The Opium Smuggler by Celine Jeanjean (The Viper and the Urchin Book 7)
English | 2020| Sci – Fi | ePUB | 3.5 MB
An impossible smuggling route
A smuggler who won’t quit
Will Adelma’s stubbornness bring her success or get her killed?
Adelma has one dream: to set herself up as a smuggler. But as the daughter of a fisherman, that’s easier said than done.
As she slowly starts to network in the smuggling world, she comes across a man who loudly mocks her looks. What’s a self-respecting wannabe smuggler to do? Punch his lights out, of course. Preferably in front of an audience—adding humiliation to injury.
But the man turns out to be far more powerful than she realised, successfully ensuring no one in the smuggling world will give her work.
With no options left, Adelma turns to one of the most dangerous people in Damsport. No one knows where The Widow comes from, whether she’s truly a widow, or how she came to operate Damsport’s largest criminal network.
The one thing everyone knows? You don’t mess with the Widow, and if you work for her, you better make damn sure you’re successful. The consequences of failure don’t bear thinking about.
Except that Adelma’s first smuggling job is going to be a route that no seasoned smuggler has ever survived. That’s enough of a challenge, but it’ll be even harder with someone after her, determined to make sure she fails.
Adelma’s too stubborn to quit, but will she be able to pull off the impossible, or will she get herself killed in the process?
Adelma dropped anchor in the quiet little cove she and Kieran had used before. It was the middle of the night, but although there was a full moon, the creek was hidden within thick shadows, keeping them out of sight of anyone watching from the shore.
The tide had begun to go out, revealing a slimy fringe of algae that ringed the base of the rocks, like the last few hairs clinging to a balding man’s head. The coast in this part was a jumble of rocks and boulders, giving way a little farther on to a coarse gravel beach. With the low tide, the sea-worn, smooth rocks were going to be so slippery, they might as well be covered with oil. Adelma and Kieran would need to be careful.
Once the ship was secured, Adelma paused, listening to the night. The air was thick with the salty smell of the algae, the waves lapping gently against the rocks. As far as she could tell, all was well. She grinned into the darkness and whispered, “You ready?”
Kieran grunted. That was as much of an answer as she was going to get from him. She figured if there was a problem, he’d make the effort to actually use words. Adelma climbed over the side of the boat, easing herself down into the tiny dinghy that she kept tethered to the side of her ship.
Kieran leaned over to pass her a bundle which she cradled carefully in her hands. That bundle was as dangerous as anything an alchemist could cook up: a rover sea fly nest.
Rover sea flies were no joke, and Adelma had been stung enough times growing up to have a healthy respect for them. They were big, about the size of hornets, and they made their nests in mangroves, building the drop-shaped structures around low branches or roots.
Adelma had no idea why they were called flies—they should have been called something like painful-arse hornets. Rover sea flies made them sound nice and harmless. Probably some stupid scientist wanted to have them named after him.
She’d waited until the flies of this particular nest were all inside and asleep for the night. Then she’d cut off the branch supporting the nest and wrapped it in a cotton cloth. So long as she was careful not to disturb the rovers, she’d be able to carry the nest without trouble.
Kieran slipped down into the dinghy, making it rock. It was so small that when they were both sat in it facing each other, their knees were touching. He had a pack on his back which contained the opium, and Adelma passed him the rover nest. He kept it at arms’ length, twisting to the right so it wasn’t in Adelma’s face. Although it was too dark to see his expression, Adelma knew there’d be quite a lot of fear there. Kieran wasn’t the bravest sort.