In the hollows of quiet places we may meet,
the quiet places where is neither moon nor sun,
but only the light as of amber and pale gold
that comes from the Hills of the Heart.
There, listen at times: there you will call, and I hear: there will I whisper, and that whisper will come to you as dew is gathered into the grass, at the rising of the moon.
-The Silence of Amor, By: Fiona MacLeod (William Sharp, 1855-1905)
He watched her leave, finally allowing a breath to be taken as the woman disappeared into the reeds. It had seemed years since that very encounter, and perhaps the spell had indeed locked him into place. It was another moment passing before the Knight turned to study the water beneath his feet, which was placid except for the occasional ripple passing over the surface as the wind blew gently. The birds resumed their melodies of the day, once more offering a tribute of sound to nature. Everything seemed so normal, and peaceful, but yet, he knew better. As soon as any woman came into his life, there were problems, and the least was the loss of his heart. First, it had been his son, Michael, and then his wife sought his death in a cycle of blame and vengeance. When Sin was gone, there had been that emptiness left as the last person that he had cared enough to love and hate was taken from the world.
Still, it had been her own fault as the death of their child caused a grief so great that Sin had first sought solace in the arms of other men before finally seeking to carve out Sindri’s very heart. Once, it was too late, she realized that the stone always remained, and instead, it was her own life that had a deliverance from pain. At least one of them found some release in all of this.
Turning, he inhaled once before beginning to exit the swamp and head for the trees. If they were to truly leave tomorrow, the Merle had preparations to make, which included the gathering of provisions, sharpening of weapons, and a visit to the temple. He hardly needed the blessing from the old priest, but it could not hurt to see what the future might hold for he and the mermaid that wanted aid to find the artifact.
Sirens, always singing sailors to their doom, and he had one begging for his aid. He’d heard tales of the usual women that came from Nighe, the city under the sea, and it wasn’t anything reassuring. Still, the artifact hunter had a reputation that differed somewhat from the usual ilk of her kind and was known for keeping her word as well as having a steady hand to the blade.
Her name was muttered softly as he considers the mental image of her in his mind. She wasn’t too hard on the eyes, at least, and still, Sindri wondered why yet another redhead was in his life. He held little luck with any female with that particular hair color, and for a second, the Knight contemplated leading the woman to her death instead. However, that thought was soon banished from his thoughts as he reminded himself that there was a noble purpose to his quests now. Redemption wouldn’t be earned by false deeds, even if the monster within wanted blood for its appetites.
Shaking his head, he approached the muscled black stallion grazing near the copse of trees, and whistled for Alaricon to come. The horse snorted and looked up to see his master before trotting closer. Reaching out to caress the horse’s neck, he laughed. “It seems, my old friend, that we have a new mission and a maiden to aid. Fancy that..” Bitterness was the verbal boon wrapped in this words as he patted his hands gently over the stallion’s body. The horse just eyed the Knight before snorting and returning to his cropping of the grass. For now, Sindri was content in merely watching the sky as he mentally went through a list to of what would be needed.