• Nick Richards

Chapter 4: The Duke's Children - Part Nine

“Are you looking for sustenance from your walk?” asked the man as he approached the road. “You are not from around here, so you must have walked a long way.”

Seeing that the man took the lead, and with a subtle nod from Jendi giving permission, Vialon spoke back.

“This is very kind of you, and yes, if you and your wife could kindly spare a little water, we have grown thirsty on our journey. Thank you.” He smiled at the couple the way a politician smiled at a potential voter. Vialon was skilled enough to put on a friendly face when needed.

“Yes, yes, come in and rest,” said the man. “Miriti, get the travelers some cider. Come, right this way, please,” as he walked back into the house.

It was a plain house, single floor, with a few rooms in front and a few more in back, with nice windows looking out to fields of crops. It wasn’t a fancy home, but it was a well-cared for place despite its age. Jendi and the soldiers sat down on chairs provided by the man.

“I am Boritisn,” he said, as he sat in what looked to be his usual chair.

“Vialon is my name, and this is Jendi, Grif and Tinno.”

“You are welcome, visitors,” said Miriti as she approached with a tray filled with glasses of golden cider, and she handed each of them a glass.

“Mmm … lovely,” said Jendi as she tasted the bracingly cold and sweet cider.

“We grow them in our fields,” said Miriti with pride.

Not knowing which fruit produced such lovely flavors, but not needing to know, Jendi merely nodded and took another sip.

“Where are you all from, Vialon?” asked Boritisn.

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