The Cabin In the Woods

-Dalen Forest, Cecile's Cottage. 0 DSTR, Late Afternoon-

"Simon, you may be way out of your element and not have much experience with dealing with mages outside the battlefield, but you are the most honest, principled, and by far the most trustworthy person I have ever met. There is no one I'd rather have covering my back than you."

Simon paused in his packing as Katya spoke, a smile spreading across his lips as he turned to look at her. Shrugging off her compliments, he nodded slightly before speaking in a serious tone, "Just doing my duty." Grinning away the seriousness he turned back to the saddlebags before him and brought out his helm before speaking again, his voice more natural, "I appreciate the compliments, I try to be as honest as I can. And so, I might put my armor on when we go deeper in country. I have scrubbed off any recognizable markings that would identify my origin, and I hate travelling like this." He gestured towards the plain clothes he wore before pulling himself up into Maddox's saddle.

Waiting for her to mount Striker, he placed his hands on the pommel of the saddle and leaned forward to place his forehead against the back of Maddox's head between his ears. Hearing the horse sigh slightly, he wrapped his right arm around and rubbed the side of its neck. Grinning as the horse leaned into his touch, he sat up and looked towards Katya as she began speaking. Feeling his grin falter slightly as she questioned Celestia, he quickly recovered control over his facial expressions and returned his mouth to the light-hearted grin he had been wearing. He hoped if Katya saw it, that she would attach it to the statement about the witch they were going to and not Celestia.

Nodding as Katya spoke of taking the lead, he raised a hand with the palm curved up before gesturing towards the east and speaking, "Lead the way." The ride took what seemed to be hours, enough time for Simon to sharpen his ax and dagger, whittle some sticks they rode under, and then sharpen his dagger again. However, despite the hours that seemed to pass, the sun stayed directly above them at high noon. It wouldn't take much for someone to piece the subtle clues together to guess that they had entered an area dominated by magic: the sun remaining at high noon for hours, their thirst being held back despite the long term, the horses feeling no effect of the travel and moving and behaving as if they had only just started the journey.

Then, within a 1500 feet stretch, the sun rapidly descended from high noon to only being two hours from setting. Gripping his ax handle tightly, he looked around them for some sort of assailant. He felt watched, as if a mage was just around every tree and was scrying them to set up the perfect ambush. He was close to alerting Katya to his supiscion when they came upon a clearing and rhe feelings disappeared. The sun rose slightly and the temperature settled. Looking around as they broke through the trees gently, he nearly missed what Katya said, but he was able to tune in after she said 'mention.' Chuckling softly, he glanced over at her before speaking, "I won't say it, don't worry."

As they closed in on the cottage, he purposefully loosened his grip on his ax and moved it to his lap as he saw a woman come out of the cottage to go towards the well. She looked strikingly similar to Celestia, but that did not stop him from gripping his ax in a fashion that would be prepared to throw it. Hearing Katya, he spoke in a soft voice, "They can stay outside on their own, they have been trained to defend themselves." Looking out across the lawn, he raised his left hand and called out, "Greetings! We were travelling and couldn't help but to see your column of smoke. Would you perchance have food that we could purchase?"

<Tag - Katya and Cecile>

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