Red hair. Kerowyn pried her jaw off the floor. But… Yamato all have dark hair!
Unmistakably red, she saw, stepping inside as Sanosuke moved back. Habit made her take a quick look around; from the tables of various heights, the horse-farrier equipment, and the rough-barked piece of firewood left on a counter for cats to savage, this was Healer Gensai’s beast-treatment room.
Even in Haven, people had livestock to take care of, and a room like this was far easier for a Companion to get treatment in than a stable. Not to mention safer for a Herald to get treatment in, when all that might be holding him out of shock was the grip of his Companion’s mind.
Hate to think what it’s like trying to get hoof-prints out of this floor, though.
The gray-haired man in the Edoko variant of Healer Greens didn’t seem worried about it, holding up a cautionary hand. “You left the mages outside?”
“They’re not happy about it,” Kerowyn said dryly. “Neither am I.” She cast a measuring look at Kaoru. “But our resident expert says mages and half-awake samurai are a bad mix.”
“Is that all she said?” Yahiko’s grumble floated in from the hall. “K’so. Heralds-”
:Watch your language, kid.: Sanosuke stomped a hoof, eyes narrowed. :You want to stay? Be quiet.:
“All right, all right. Pushy.”
:Pushy, hell. Ayame and Suzume are just down the hall. You want to scare them awake? They listen to you, kid. Think about that before you start turning the air blue.:
“Mages’ ki is rather unmistakable, yes,” Gensai replied, ignoring the brewing brawl between kid and Companion with a long-suffering air. “And for centuries the only reason mages have come to Yamato is conquest. It’s hard to override generations of training.” He sighed. “He can sense you, Herald, and he has a very strong will. I can’t hold him under long.”
“And you haven’t let him wake up because?” Kero prompted.
“There’s a few things you should know,” Gensai said matter-of-factly. “And he is skilled at battou-jutsu. I want to be sure he’s awake before you’re in range.”