A bead of sweat ran down Jinn's temple as he was being saluted. He rubbed the back of his head and had an awkward smile.
"Now now, no need to be so formal," Jinn chuckled. "I'm here as an Expiate representative but I'm also effectively off duty."
Jinn placed his hands on his hips and chuckled. "Yeah. It's a long story but I was given special permission to visit Sakigake back in my early days. Perhaps I'll tell you about it during the trip. It'll take about a day and a half."
When the young trainee asked if they'd let her steer, Jinn just laughed loudly.
"Sorry, but even if they would I don't think you can," Jinn state. He turned and gave the ship a quick once-over before pointing at the back where a large ornament seemed to be attached. It looked kind of like three fish fins made of metal and cloth arranged in a circle. "See that big windmill looking thing? That's what moves the ship forward. Sakigake ships are designed to be able to move without relying on the winds or the waves. This whole ship is like a giant Enkidu tool and the steering wheel is the handle. Only an enkidu can control this thing. These ships are the only means of reaching their country right now. Esterelf's ships simply can't manage the journey yet. But I believe Stahlim developed a ship that's managed to go... err..."
"100 kilometers pass the shores."
A man in military dress walked up to the group, his hands behind his back and his head held as high as possible with each step. His hair was white as snow and combed back. His facial features were like stone if stones had frown lines.
"Lance Corporal Douglas Grant," Jinn smiled, tipping his bowler hat curtly to the man. "You are here for your country?"
"Along with these children of the mother land," he stated, gesturing behind him where three folks were standing. They looked to be metal workers or some sort based on their clothing. They looked to the Enkidu ship and awed while murmuring to themselves. "We board a Sakigake vessel today, but Stahlim is steadily advancing in developing true voyage ships. Hopefully this excursion will bear some fruit towards that."
It was close to noon when someone who didn't look like a shiphand stepped out of the ship and approached the waiting group. The representatives stood straight (except for Jinn) to greet the Enkidu, but they each (aside from Jinn) started to shrink and step back as he approached closer, seemingly growing in size with each step. When he stopped right before the group, everyone had to crane their necks just to make eye contact with the ten foot tall man in robes.
- Qi Rin:
"Na' Ghi" a deep but smooth voice spoke from behind the stone mask the tall figure was wearing. He pressed the palms of his hands together and lowered his head five inches without bending his neck, which seemed clasped in some sort of metal brace.
The group just sort of gaped for a second before Baxtor stepped forward, placing a hand over his heart and bowed his head slighlty. He cleared his throat and started speaking, but the words coming out of his mouth sounding like a series of sounds that made no sense to everyone else. However, the robed enkidu looked and listened calmly before raising a fist to wear his mouth presumably was and chuckled lightly.
"I see you made an effort to learn our tongue," the robed man said fluently, causing Baxtor to stammer and flinch back. "An admirable gesture, but not necessary. I am learned in the tongue of the humans and shall be your escort to Esterelf, honorable guests. I am Qi' Rin. It is a pleasure to meet you all."
It was then that Jinn stepped forward. He made a fist with his right hand, stretched the fingers on his left to point to the sky, and pressed his right fist against his left palm. He bowed using his whole spine while keeping his eyes looking up.
"You honor us with your presence Master Qi Rin," Jinn greeted. "Jinn Germain Brettman. My master was Kurama Obi of the Muu Zhai."
"Ah, I have heard of you," Qi' Rin stated with lightness in his voice. He mirrored Jinn's bow. "I am of the Yanh Zhing Ken. It is an honor."
After their exchange, Qi Rin simply asked the group to hand him their visitation passes they received after passing the examination and had them board the ship. When he got to Goibniu though, he paused as he looked at him, a notable hum coming behind his mask.
"You were born on this land, weren't you?" Qi Rin commented. "Well then, welcome back home, brother."
The ship's deck was wide and spacious even with the crew walking about preparing to sail. Qirin stood still with his hands clasped behind his back patiently, his expression unreadable behind his stone mask, the sunlight shining off his smooth scalp.
I minutes, the ship started to move. The large windmill-like device started amazingly spinning and as it did it seemed to push the water back and propelled the ship forward without any wind. Esterelf was already shrinking out of sight within minutes.
"Dinner will be provided at sundown," Qi' Rin stated to the group. "Beds are provided below deck. Feel free to pick and use them as you see fit. Till then, you are free to walk around so long as you don't get in the way of the crew's work. If you have any questions, feel free to ask."
Qi' Rin bowed to the group and walked away. Baxtor started stumbling, raising a handkerchief to his face as he started to grow pale. However, Lance Corporal Grant stood firm and simply started walking to explore with the other Stahlims following him. If one's not used to it, sea travel can be very straining it seems.
"I think I'll rest in a room then," Baxtor coughed as he shuffled off with his guards who were also starting to look pale.