Indeed, 4 days later they were off, much to Laufey's surprise. Getting the grown-ups to approve their journey was what he dreaded most. Specifically, it was the reason why he didn't wan't Geira in the first place. She was all rules and regulations, incapable of having a good time. When she did have a good time, usually no one else did either.
Collecting the children proved difficult, who's guardians sent them off with guarded looks and mild suspicion. It was an odd time of year to go on an outing. Not because of the snow fall, mind you. It was just a bizarre time to go. The children's retreat, at least before they cancelled it, was a springtime affair. By now it was the peak of summer. Most children in the settlement had begun to collect firewood with their own parents. Getting a head start on the wintertime was the focus this time of year, for it was coming soon.
Anke burst out of his house. Shouting could be heard on the inside. By the looks of his downcast face, Laufey didn't want to know what was happening inside. When they had walked down the hill for a little while, Laufey finally glanced at his friend for a moment. Silently, he wrapped his arm around his friend's neck and wrestled him over. Anke couldn't help but smile again.
"Oh good," Ragna said sarcastically folding her arms, "your boat hasn't sunk yet."
Laufey raised his head, scrunching his face up indignantly.
"Excuse me? I like my boat. You know dad gave it to me. So you're only talking about his too."
Ragna raised her eyebrow.
"...and it's a shame you don't clean it more often."
Beside them the triplets fidgeted. Kaupi and Keli impatiently rocked back and forth. When Kaun noticed, he shoved them to stop.
"So the treasure," he said looking at the ground. "is it in Gaun? Or is it just near the mountain."
"Hell if I know."
Suddenly Ragna shoved him, with a reprimanding stare.
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever," Laufey muttered, kneeling down to untie the boat. Geira, who had distracted herself up to this point with studying the map, walked forward and into the boat, taking a seat at the front.
"Come on," she said, "It will take about 8 hours to hike Mt. Foot from Sol. We need time to set up camp before dark." She paused a moment, then shot a penetrating glance at Laufey. "But I'm sure you knew that?"
"Jesus. Okay, everyone into the boat."
"On a roll today aren't you?" Ragna said, stepping past. Carefully she grabbed the side of the boat and stepped in, placing her way all to the back. Laufey nodded and looked back at Anke, frowning.
The sullen child looked up, then back at the ground silently.
"If you would rather stay, we understand," Ragna said in a compassionate voice. Anke refused however, shaking his head stubbornly.
"No," he said finally. "It's fine. I'm fine."
Laufey looked then to the triplets holding the ropes of the boat in his hand.
"Now, or never again, chums." Kaupi and Keli nodded in unison, and moved forward. As they walked past him, Kaun approached Laufey, craning his neck to see Laufey face to face.
"If you find any treasure, you have to tithe ten percent," he said sternly. Laufey stifled a laugh when he heard this. Placing his hand on Kaun shoulder.
"You are my tithe, now get wise and sit by your brothers."
After they entered the skiff, Laufey undid the final harnesses. With the ropes in his hands that secured the boat, he stood up then and thought for a moment. Something was missing, and he couldn't figure it out, not for the life of him. He looked back at the boat pensively, feeling rather ill at ease. Then he felt someone tap his shoulder from behind.
Amma stood there, dressed in hiking pants and shoes, wearing a rough, weathered jacket. Laufey felt himself immediately blush. He never pictured her as the adventurous type. Scouring his memory in that instance he could only think of a handful of occasions where she had not worn a dress. He had only heard about it from Ragna at the dinner table. Hearing it then he likened to peering momentarily into another world. It was populated by things that made no sense, like a bright and cheerful Anke and a kind, supporting older sister. Seeing it for himself, Laufey liked what he saw.
"I am soo very sorry," she said with a pained look on her face. "My father wanted to pack me up with everything I needed."
"That's... uh, well. I think, I, uh..."
"Come on Amma. You broke my brother. Take a seat here, huh?" She tapped an open spot next to her on the starboard side.
Looking down at the ropes in his hands, Laufey smiled.
"Finally," he said.