Looking over the ruined keep on the only spit of dry land within 2 miles, Arieh heard Adéla muttering under her breath.
“What was that?”
“... the keep ruins are still there? Right in front of us? Not sunk into the swamp?”
“Sorry, quoting a funny... play from my culture.”
“I see...” Arieh dismissed Adéla most recent flight of fancy from his mind. She’d been making these references back to her culture a lot more recently, as she became more resigned to the fact that no one they’d met could provide her a map home. Perhaps she was using these nonsensical references as a touchstone.
Perhaps he should just ignore anything she muttered.
Arieh leaned forward on his staff, which sank further into the mud, and stared over the water. Lily pads on the water mean there (probably) wasn’t anything big enough in the water to regularly disturb the plant growth. Arieh wished for the tenth time at least he’d been able to convince Senta, his druid friend, to come along on this quest; their knowledge of botany and animals would have been so very useful. Not to mention their ability to fly short distances.
“We wading across Arieh?” Adéla inquired.
“I’m trying to determine how deep the water is. Creatures lurk in many a–”
Arieh squawked in surprise as Adéla snatched his staff from his hands. She leaned further over the water and slowly lowered the staff in. The water came up to the carved circle representing iron and strength before the staff appeared to hit any obstructions.
“Looks like two feet at least–”
“Right here at the edge. It’ll be deeper farther out. I think our best bet is walking around the edge of this until we hit those trees off behind the castle–”
“And see if there’s a drier path from that side or we’ll be able to build a small raft.”
“That will add at least a day to our quest!”
Adéla rolled her eyes like she did every time Arieh said ‘quest.’ “Sound better than drowning.” Why couldn’t the woman treat their endeavors with the proper gravity?