Once back up on the cliffs, I loosen my hold on Falcon. He’s more trustworthy on grass than he is on sand. As the guards move their horses into a trot, my aughisky picks up his pace as well, moving smoothly alongside Neora’s smaller palomino mare. Most of them don’t view horses as prey but it isn’t uncommon for some to attack a horse. However, Falcon doesn’t care. He had sniffed at the mare earlier, but otherwise he has not reacted in the way I have known other aughisky to.
Her next question catches me by surprise. I’ve been asked at least a hundred times by riders, young lords, buyers and the like, but hearing it from a girl’s mouth throws me off. She must be truly interested in them to be so curious. “You have to convince them that you are a part of the ocean, that you belong with them. It is not an easy process. I have spent my entire life trying to learn to sing to them the way the ocean does.”
Or at least that is the way it should be done. Every man has his own method but nearly all of them completely ineffective. Magic is so far beyond mere human understanding, yet sideshow oddities would have men believe otherwise. Books wrote about concoctions and special brews that would calm the aughisky. I’d also seen others talk of how bells or iron or certain herbs would somehow bring them to heel. It was all false. Yet, every year without fail riders would use these lies. And every year riders would die.