Nature Abhors a Vacuum
â€œNot the place where you'd normally find one of my order, I'll admit,â€ the druid
replied, handing Nellise the small package and taking her offered coins in return. â€œBut it's
peaceful enough here.â€
â€œYou'd prefer to be living in a forest or something similar, I imagine,â€ Aiden
â€œI'm sorry, I didn't catch your name,â€ Harlin inquired politely.
â€œAiden Wainwright. I apologise if this conversation is making you uncomfortable, I
was merely curious.â€ A flicker of recognition registered on the druid's face.
â€œAh 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,â€ He sat against the large desk, crossing
his arms as he spoke. â€œBut 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...
â€œI had nothing to do with that,â€ Nellise blurted, catching Aiden off guard. â€œYou
know how the Church feels about your order. I am but a simple acolyte, and I had little
influence with the clergy.â€ Harlin moved his hands in a placating manner to calm her
â€œIt doesn't matter my dear, I don't blame you.â€
â€œIf the Church didn't want you here, then how did you end up staying?â€ Aiden asked.
â€œI am quite adept at veterinary medicine and I take good care of the local farming
community, and their prize animals. Theyâ€Ÿve a lot of sway with the Mayor, you see.â€
â€œYes, quite. I just have one more question,â€ Aiden continued. â€œI've read that some of
the more learned members of your order are capable of controlling the weather. Is that
â€œThat's quite an exaggeration, I'm sure,â€ Harlin chuckled. â€œCertainly a short rain
shower or storm could be enacted, but nothing major, I assure you.â€
â€œI see, well, thanks for humouring my little inquisition,â€ Aiden said with a fake
smile. â€œI think we've bothered you enough for one day.â€
â€œNot at all, I've enjoyed our little chat,â€ Harlin replied with an equally fake smile.
â€œFare ye well.â€ Aiden prompted Nellise to head out the door, closing it after they were
back outside in the rain once more.
â€œI hope your curiosity is satisfied,â€ Nellise commented, hurrying along next to him,
determined to have her say. â€œThat was a little more uncomfortable than it needed to be.â€
â€œI'm sorry, I just wanted to see how he'd react, that's all,â€ Aiden shrugged.
â€œDo you think I haven't considered that possibility already?â€ Nellise complained.
â€œAfter 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.â€
â€œYou're right of course, but I can't help but think that his presence here has
something to do with it,â€ Aiden rejoined. â€œIt's just such an odd coincidence, you know?
But Iâ€Ÿll admit, he seems harmless enough, I guess. So, do you have everything you need
now?â€ Nellise peeked inside one of the bundles to check its contents.
â€œYes, 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?â€