Asta was the first to find the duo that morning. She’d woken earlier than usual to make sure Aoife’s dress was dry, and had promptly gone looking for her when the orphan was nowhere to be seen. When she had found the two of them nestled together—though the two would stress they weren’t actually touching—in the barn, she had thrown Aoife’s dress at her and called her a whore. It didn’t take long for the miller and his family to investigate the commotion, and soon enough Aoife and Rin found they had outstayed their welcome. The two hurriedly dressed themselves and set off on the road again, but their thoughts were still occupied by the events of the night before.

“Do you believe any of it?” Aoife asked, breaking the silence for the first time since they’d left the mill.

For a second, Rin thought Aoife was questioning if he believed what Asta had said, but thankfully his brain caught up with him before he answered. That would have been priceless, making a fool of himself this early on in the game.

“I’m not sure. Scientifically speaking, I don’t think it’s possible. And a man stopping a war just by talking?” Rin shook his head as he spoke, uncertainty brimming in his young mind. “It could just be anti-theist propaganda. When you pair it with that prophecy, that idea makes sense, but it seemed to recall the origin of the monarchy, and they are sworn under the Maker.”

“What makes you think it’s about the monarchy?” Aoife asked, confused.

“The man that stopped the war. Think about it; he put an end to a war and built civilisation from the ground up. Aostre did the same, did he not?” Rin paused, concentration thick on his features. “Maybe it’s Royalist propaganda from back in the day, but why all the wolves?”

“It said they went North, didn’t it? We should go. Maybe there’ll be answers there,” Aoife offered.

They both knew it was likely little more than the ravings of a madman, but they couldn’t deny the allure of an old fashioned adventure. They’d read about so many in all their books, and here they were presented with one of their own. Who were they to turn that down? It would certainly help occupy the time they were intending on wasting in the hopes that the real murderer was caught, and in their naive young minds they believed the city watch and the police wouldn’t think to look as far North as they were planning on travelling. No one would go that far to avoid capture, would they?

Getting that far would certainly prove troublesome, though. Rin had his university money, but they needed a bank to access it, and that meant cities. The less cities they crossed paths with, the better. Not to mention withdrawing his money would leave a trail, and they didn’t want to leave any way of being followed. If they were lucky they might be able to beg something, but they couldn’t count on begging their way to the other end of the country. Rin wasn’t sure they could even beg their way out of the county, if the incident at the mill had been anything to go by. Regardless, though, their plan was set in motion, and their destinies were beginning to take shape.

So they kept walking. According to Rin’s knowledge of the land—knowledge that was limited to old maps and the byproducts of hobbyist cartographers—the nearest town of any consequence was back off to the Northeast of Eturia, a small place by the name of Honeywell. It would take them at least a day to get there on foot. Maybe longer, if they ran into the city watch. The duo were still tired, and now they were hungry and they were cold, but Honeywell was their best shot. It was their only shot. It had to work, they didn’t have any other options.

The End

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