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Chapter 35

Derrl started to walk down the beach towards town, but stopped, turned and gestured at the ship as he undid the rune that held it supported. The Pribe, with her supports knocked out, lowered herself in the water abruptly, causing a disturbance that sent a wave of water over the sand to soak Derrl's boots. He made a face as if disgusted, shrugged, and took off his boots. Sodden leather footwear in hand, he trod along the beach towards the Pint. He still had to show up for work. "Have your crew get her over to the docks and get her dry-docked." He called over his shoulder. "Once you've got that done, send someone to Mensk; he'll know where I am." It was at this point that he realized that he was going to be late for work, since he had to go around the bay the length of the beach. He thought to himself for a moment. I don't have to go around, I can cut across. I'm starting to like being a wizard. His thoughts led him to form a rune in his mind, similar to the one that held up Yerril and the Pribe. In his mind's eye, he could see it stretch out into the distance ahead of him as he faced the water. His steps led him out across the water using the Pint as a point of reference, as he could not see the path without closing his eyes. The path lay mere inches above the water's surface, in such a way that occasionally a wave graced the bottoms of his feet as he serenely made his way to work. It seemed absurd really. His abilities seemed rather mundane. After all, his new use for it was to avoid being late for work. As he traversed the expanse of water, looking down, he saw schools of small fish scatter as they were pursued by some larger predator. He glanced at the sun momentarily, and hearing bells echoing faintly across the water, he knew that there was no way that he would be on time at this rate. He began to run along the runes he had laid for himself. As he went along, he unraveled the runes that lay behind him, so that the path was only solid to a few paces behind him. Running barefoot along a trail made of magic was an invigorating experience for him. It was solid, and yet it felt as if it gave every time he stepped upon it. There was no shock every time he set his foot, as there would have been on a paved street were he barefoot. But there was no loss of traction as on sand, just a pleasant sensation, like running barefoot on a well-kept lawn.

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