Sometimes people try to destroy what they don't understand. Sometimes it works. Sometimes those things come back to bite them in the ass.
Agata helped Kayin fill a tub with hot water. Kayin took a quick bath before changing into some clean clothes. They were serviceable, though no match for the finery of the mayor. “I think Fenrod missed the valley,” Agata said.
“The valley is the safest place for us,” Kayin said. “We have an easier time defending ourselves. It's also our home. We ran there when we didn't have anywhere else to go. Now we choose to leave only when we're curious and for the most part we are left alone.”
“There are some who fear you mean to use your powers to enslave others,” Agata said.
“Our purpose now is to have and raise children in the service of our Goddess and encourage those with our gifts to come forward instead of hide away,” Kayin said.
“Fenrod said your Goddess is very demanding,” Agata said.
“She's not like the Guardians,” Kayin said.
“Why doesn't your Goddess help protect people like my da?” Yrian asked. “Why does she let them die?”
“She expects us to fight our own battles,” Kayin said. “It's not for Her to step in if we aren't worthy of her attention.”
“Wasn't my da worthy of her attention?” Yrian asked.
“Fenrod was, but again we don't ask Her to save us,” Kayin said. “Our honor depends on standing up for ourselves and our families, protecting all even if it means our deaths.”
“Da shouldn't have died,” Yrian said.
“You're right, Yrian,” Kayin said. “He didn't deserve to die just because he was different. That's how the world works sometimes. You destroy what you don't understand or frightens you. People can be very ignorant when they want to be.”
“Yrian, when Kayin leaves, you and I are going to talk about why men hunt those like your father,” Agata said.
“How many more will the bad men kill?” Yrian asked. “Why doesn't someone stop them?”
“We're trying to,” Kayin said. She stretched out her leg and lifted her trousers a little. “See the scar? I got that fighting for that very purpose.” She gestured to the socket where her missing left eye once sat. “This too. Ours isn't an easy life, Yrian. Things are better now than they were a hundred cycles are. But it's going to take a lot longer before we're seen as equals to everyone else.”
Agata and Kayin talked about Fenrod for a little while before Agata rose. “It's almost time for you to be at the mayor's house. I'll show you the way. Yrian, stay here.”
“Yes mum,” Yrian said.
The two women walked through the streets. “Do you think it would be safer for us in the valley?” Agata asked.
“Yes,” Kayin said. “Agata, it's possible Yrian has the gift. There are those who would kill a child just to prevent him from growing up like us.”
“Will you take us with you when you leave?” Agata asked. Kayin nodded. “When do you want to go?”
“As soon as the meal with the mayor is over. I don't stay too long in one place. For obvious reasons,” Kayin said.
“I'll put together some things as soon as I get home,” Agata said.
“Good,” Kayin said.
Agata left her at the door to the mayor's mansion. Kayin knocked. A servant answered. “May I help you?” he asked.
“Mayor Kolar invited me for the midday meal,” Kayin said.
“You must be Mistress Monette,” the servant said. “Mayor Kolar is expecting you. Please come this way.”
She was led into a rather opulent dining room, far more suited to the house of a noble. Algar was already seated at the table. “Mistress Monette, welcome to my home,” Algar said. “Please, be seated.”
Kayin dropped into the chair that was pulled out for her. “You provide a sumptuous meal, Mayor Kolar,” she said. “There are many foods here I didn't expect.”
“You'll find, Mistress Monette, that just because we are small does not mean we don't have our luxuries,” Algar said. “I trust the valley has something similar for your people?”
“We tend to keep things simple, but I will admit that there are days where we indulge ourselves,” Kayin said.
“Please, enjoy the wine,” Algar said as his servant poured it into her goblet. “It's an old vintage, set down by my grandfather.”
“Thank you, Mayor Kolar,” Kayin said. She took a small sip. She frowned and took another. Her eyes widened and she set the cup down.
“Is something wrong Mistress Monette?” Algar asked.
“Poison,” she gasped.
“Yes, I hoped you wouldn't figure it out so soon,” Algar said. “While I am grateful you killed Siward, I can't have your kind roaming my town at will. Fenrod was enough of a threat that I looked the other way when he was killed. Since I can't do that with you, I knew I would have to come up with a different way.”
Kayin gasped a few more times before breaking down into laughter. “Mayor Kolar, I find your attempt to kill me rather amusing,” she said as she stood up. “Mage made poison. That's certainly a new one for me. It's easy enough to diffuse however, if you know what you're looking for.”
“I see,” Algar said. “Well, I suppose it was worth a try. Perhaps the others I've sent to kill Fenrod's family will have better luck.”
Kayin spun around and hurried out of the house. She couldn't run fast but she was already extending the tendrils of her power, testing the weave for recent death. As she neared Fenrod's house, she heard a scream. She cursed her leg and tried to increase her speed.
Kayin found the door splintered. She pushed past it to find four men advancing on Agata and Yrian. “It'll be your bodies added to the graveyard today,” Kayin said. She reached out and seized hold of two of the men's threads.
She twisted and turned them until they were standing between the others and Fenrod's family. With a tug on their threads, she forced them to attack their comrades. Swords clashed and soon two of them lay dead.
“Let us go,” one of those left standing said.
“No,” Kayin said. She turned him against the other. “Not until you're dead.” A third fell. Kayin turned to the fourth.
“What are you going to do to him?” Agata asked.
“Him I'll spare,” Kayin said. “Carry this message back to your mayor. Those who try to harm us or those we've sworn to protect will soon find themselves under siege. Do not get complacent, for you never know when we'll strike.” She gave him a shove with the weave and he staggered out the door. “Agata, did you get your packs made?”
“Yes I did,” the other woman said.
“Let's go. Before more show up,” Kayin said. Agata pulled on her pack and lifted her son into her arms. Kayin led them out and onto the road.