“Come now, we may be strangers to one another, but there is no need for that.”

The tall stranger slowly moved his hand away from the hilt of his sword, but in a slow and measured way that made it clear he would have no trouble getting it back there.

Bomo was trying very hard not to appear frightened; he knew that while Safin was doing the talking, he would be the one doing the fighting if it all went wrong. After all Safin had difficulty with cutlery; weapons were well beyond his capabilities.

“Won’t you sit with us and eat something? Perhaps we could offer you a drink? I assure you that we mean you no harm.”

The stranger nodded, and moved off the road in the direction that Safin had gestured, his gaze still flitting between them. Bomo was fairly sure that this clearly battle seasoned individual was looking for the double-cross, despite his apparently more relaxed air.

Safin sat first and began to set out the small stove that he carried everywhere. Bomo had never been more glad of his friend’s obsession with tea.

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