“They were just scared. They know living near the Pelagirs is risky. And everyone’s heard stories about what happened to people who got caught in the Change-Circles. Especially east of Hardorn. How they – sometimes still looked human. But weren’t. Not where it mattered.” Kaoru swallowed dryly. “A lot of those stories are true.”
“Sessha – knows. But it hurt, being feared. And to realize we will likely always be feared, here where we had sought safe refuge. Sessha can see why Yamagata-san settled Maboroshi as fast as could be done. At least there, where we may choose which gaijin come and go, those of us who are hanyou who wish to live openly may. But sessha fears for the children. Those who do not yet know they are hanyou. How will we explain? How will we raise them to be proud of what they are, with this fear breathing about them?” Red hair glimmered as Kenshin shook his head. “Fear without leads to fear within. And that will create the monsters your people seek to destroy, that it will.”
“Not if I can help it.” It hurt, not saying any more than that. She wanted to tell him Kerowyn wasn’t the only Herald willing to let a former hitokiri alone; wanted to spill every detail of her meetings with Talia and a very few other Heralds, as she delicately laid bare what her boarder was inadvertently teaching her about his very private people. Wanted to blurt out that he was safe, no one would drive him from Haven, Selenay herself wanted him here-
But if he knew that, he would run. And the Heralds would lose their best chance to come to terms with what they’d thought was just a legend.
A legend Kerowyn doesn’t know about. Yet. Kaoru held out a hand for the small pouch of tools he kept in his sleeve. “Start at the edges, work out to the tip?”