The Blackwood Home

"Hello friends…" She offered weakly. "A ... a fine day for a talk … I mean walk … yes walk in the woods isn't it?" Lightning flashed, thunder than resounded rolling over the hillside into the distance as the first drops of rain fell. "Or not…"

Severos lowered his eyebrow.

"Didn't notice we had an eavesdropper. She's a real beauty, odd to be walking in the dirty woods looking like that, don’t you think?" Horo said to Severos, and then to Rose, "Looks like we're in for some nasty weather. Horo Inu, at your service." He bowed, blinking his chartreuse eyes at the flashing sky. "It's dangerous being around trees during a lightning storm. Is there a place somewhere we can take shelter and continue our talk? There is a matter of no small importance, a matter that needs to be put right, and my new friend here says he's going to help me do that."

He had to agree with Horo, both about her beauty and of the storm. The animals had stopped making noise and had gone to ground in preparation for the storm. Dark grey-purple clouds gathered over the eastern mountains, spreading shadow and the scent of rain. Severos nodded. "Indeed."

"Blackwood … " She offered with a hint of uncertainty in her voice. "House Blackwood is just up the road a bit. I was on my way there with foodstuffs I bought at market today. I was just taking a breath when I heard the both of you plotting … I mean talking here."

Severos had a small chuckle. "You needn't worry madam, we are not nefarious in our discussion. Though, I agree that perhaps we should be indoors."

"It's not far … I just need to grab my basket is all." She motioned, afraid to move until given leave to do so.

"Of course," Severos replied. He was reminded of why he had come out here and was felt mild disappointment in his mission for fungus. Still, he had some. He watched as she grabbed her things, the first fat, cold drop of water falling into the trees. Then another, a small cadence of nature upon the earth. With the woman uneasy, they left that lakeside spot, Severos depositing the amulet back into the chest and heaving it with a huff. With each step, he chanted a spell to transmute some of the lead into liquid, feeling it seep into the cracks and seams until he could not sense it.

And so they walked along the road, towards the house of Blackwood. He saw the woman look warily, especially when he spoke to her at the lake. His accent was very different from hers, as was Horo's. It was no wonder such things happen, given the war. Perhaps it was the way after war, but he still found it disheartening that such people looked upon other merely because of the way they sounded.

He sighed, feeling the strain of the chest. He hoped it wasn't much further.

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