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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“Not the place where you'd normally find one of my order, I'll admit,” the druid
replied, handing Nellise the small package and taking her offered coins in return. “But it's
peaceful enough here.”
“You'd prefer to be living in a forest or something similar, I imagine,” Aiden
continued.
“I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name,” Harlin inquired politely.
“Aiden Wainwright. I apologise if this conversation is making you uncomfortable, I
was merely curious.” A flicker of recognition registered on the druid's face.
“Ah yes, Aiden. I've heard that you're one of the people who managed to make it
through to the south and return alive. Well done,” He sat against the large desk, crossing
his arms as he spoke. “But as to your observation, yes, I would prefer to be living
amongst the forest, but I felt that I was needed here for a time, despite some local...
resistance.”
“I had nothing to do with that,” Nellise blurted, catching Aiden off guard. “You
know how the Church feels about your order. I am but a simple acolyte, and I had little
influence with the clergy.” Harlin moved his hands in a placating manner to calm her
down.
“It doesn't matter my dear, I don't blame you.”
“If the Church didn't want you here, then how did you end up staying?” Aiden asked.
“I am quite adept at veterinary medicine and I take good care of the local farming
community, and their prize animals. They‟ve a lot of sway with the Mayor, you see.”
“Yes, quite. I just have one more question,” Aiden continued. “I've read that some of
the more learned members of your order are capable of controlling the weather. Is that
true?”
“That's quite an exaggeration, I'm sure,” Harlin chuckled. “Certainly a short rain
shower or storm could be enacted, but nothing major, I assure you.”
“I see, well, thanks for humouring my little inquisition,” Aiden said with a fake
smile. “I think we've bothered you enough for one day.”
“Not at all, I've enjoyed our little chat,” Harlin replied with an equally fake smile.
“Fare ye well.” Aiden prompted Nellise to head out the door, closing it after they were
back outside in the rain once more.
“I hope your curiosity is satisfied,” Nellise commented, hurrying along next to him,
determined to have her say. “That was a little more uncomfortable than it needed to be.”
“I'm sorry, I just wanted to see how he'd react, that's all,” Aiden shrugged.
“Do you think I haven't considered that possibility already?” Nellise complained.
“After the first week of incessant rain, he was the first person I went and spoke to. But
there is no way he could have been responsible for such an extensive downpour, and I
don't think any druid who has ever lived had this kind of power.”
“You're right of course, but I can't help but think that his presence here has
something to do with it,” Aiden rejoined. “It's just such an odd coincidence, you know?
But I‟ll admit, he seems harmless enough, I guess. So, do you have everything you need
now?” Nellise peeked inside one of the bundles to check its contents.
“Yes, I'm prepared, though I still don't understand why we have to get going so
quickly. Can't we rest up for another day or two?”
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