A Girl, A Boy, and Their Mule

As the sun shone down over the grass and beyond, the sound of hoofbeats patterned the soft gravel. The trio travelled in anything but silence.
A mule snorting, the girl humming, the boy talking to the mule. It was just a cycle, the least vicious cycle imaginable.

"That it up ahead?" Rhys said, nodding to the town up the path with Rik's reigns in hand.

A grin crossed Sarala's face, cheek to cheek, ear to ear. "It looks just like I remember. Came here once when I was a child, did I ever tell you about that?"

"No, but I assume you will," he glanced over to the woman walking beside them. Rik's large hooves sounded clunky as the pathway turned into cobblestone. Warfall was getting nearer and she could almost smell the livelihood in the air. Bread, smoke, the scent of conversation if it even had a smell.

"Well, you already know I have family there. I was a lot younger then, maybe six or seven? We travelled to Warfall for my cousin's wedding, held in the center of town. It was pretty nice for such a small place, food was actually amazing." She continued to beam as she remembered the times when it was all simpler.

"That's the last time you were here? That's forever ago. Do your cousins know you're coming?"

A chuckle escaped her lips, "They don't have a clue. You know better than anyone that everything I do is spur of the moment."

Upon entering Warfall, their pace slowed until reaching a halt in front of a tavern. Rhys hopped off the mule, sliding their bag onto his back. His eyes wandered to the sign hanging above as Sarala tied Rik to a post.

"The Hidden Goat. A tavern named after a goat?" He turned to her jabbing a thumb at the sign.

"Maybe the goat was important," she shrugged.

"Then why would they hide it, stupid?" Rhys was then lightly elbowed in the side and she opened the door for him.

Soon as they entered the building he felt at home, wherever home was. The candlelit sconces, scent of sweat from unwashed village folk after a hard day's work. The clinking mugs of ale on the wooden tabletops. Nothing like it except... everywhere. In every town. And it was his favorite thing to do, visiting taverns across the lands. All sorts of interesting people there for different reasons.

And there sure were all sorts of people in this one.

"Watch your pockets," Rhys muttered to her but she was too jolly to care.
Seating themselves in two chairs up at the bar, he carefully tucked the bag by his feet. Everything they had was in that bag. All of it. They couldn't risk losing it, so of course he volunteered to hold it.

"Last few pints we had couple villages back tasted like swamp." Sarala spoke up, tapping her fingers on the wood as she waited to be served. "Smelled like it, too.

"Maldurn Marsh?" They made eye contact after she looked up.

"Maldurn Marsh." The woman responded with a slow nod. The seriousness broke away quick with her smile and a grumble from him.

They didn't speak of the marsh.

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