I am not running, Kerowyn told the little prickle running up and down her spine as she left the room. I’m just leaving, I’m not running….
:I notice you’re not saying you’re not scared,: Sayvel pointed out.
:Hells, yes, I’m scared,: Kero shot back, shutting the outer door behind her. :That man’s death on two feet, just as much as Tarma ever was, and he doesn’t trust me yet. Can’t say I blame him, either. If he did what I think he did to stop that Final Strike – I can think of half a dozen Heralds who would have run him through then and there.:
:You’re right,: Sayvel admitted. :We like to think we know about expediency, but-:
:You get spoiled, here in Valdemar,: Kero finished, pulling on her boots. :We’re so good at our job, we Heralds, we tend to catch bad problems before they get worse. And the hard choices usually end with us deciding to die.: A wry smile bent her lips as she walked to the courtyard well. :And here’s someone who knows about hard choices.: “Healer Gensai.”
Pouring out water into a carry-bucket for his herb garden in the thin light before dawn, Gensai straightened. “I thought you might not be finished yet, Herald-Captain.”
Start small, Kerowyn told herself. “I’d be interested in knowing just what happened between those two youngsters.” She gave him a knowing look. “Given that, if I was hearing those curses right, Himura has a strong suspicion you’re responsible.”
“No more than that poor young man is himself, staying on the road alone so many years,” Gensai said matter-of-factly, glancing over the garden to plot out just how many buckets he’d need. “You should have seen his clan-channels. Knotted up like old rope! I’ve seen some ronin in bad shape down the years, but-” The Healer caught her narrowed eyes, and shrugged. “He was an accident waiting to happen, Weaponsmaster. I thought it’d be best if he happened here.”
“Not good enough,” Kero said flatly. “That’s a Herald in there, Gensai. My student. Now what in all the hells is a clan-channel?“