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Updated: May 8

Work had become harder than usual during this Atom. The orchards and plantations are starting to feel the cold nights and mornings.  I was told that as part of the preparations for winter we

needed to build a greenhouse, bigger than the one we had from last year. That's why I was glad to find some help.

Happened during the wacky fair. Our house is at the west end of Bree, next to a road rarely travelled if not for lost men or habitants who are looking for our help. I was saddling Copper our horse to ride to the center of the village when a man appeared on horseback on the road. I greet him as it is custom here, despite the unlikely chance to be answered. Most travellers come from big cities, manners are quite estranged for them.

A deep ‘Hello’ was heard back, making me look up again. ‘Not a man, a boy’ was my only thought, while he looked around, clearly lost. “Can I help you?, Do you need direction, lad?” I asked. I was aware I was already late, blaming another sleepless night filled with what I hoped were only nightmares, so I moved on loading the small cart. “I don't know” He looked at me with curiosity, probably at my appearance, and especially my ears caught his attention, as they usually do. “I’m looking for a specific kind of help, of a healer I was tolled live on these parts. I’m looking for him” he met my way, deciding to arrange his grown blond hair to show short elvish ears.

I tried to be subtle, but when a bag fell from my hands, I couldn't help it. As I’ve probably mentioned before, a halfling is rare to be found, so we together were the oddest of chances. “Her” I corrected the confused boy, “the healer, is a her”. He was conscious and didn’t say anything, so since he didn’t move, I took a moment to take in his appearance. Despite the youth of his features, he was marked. Dark bags under his sunken red eyes, and too skinny for his health by the way his clothes slightly hung from his shoulders.

I couldn’t tell him he had found who he was looking for. Strangers often bring trouble, my mother says, but I wasn’t able to bring myself to let someone starve, besides, he most likely gets in trouble and eventually comes back if he asked the right people.

“Do you want to earn some coins, boy?” he stopped his attempt to leave. He was examining me again, judging the offer, probably. “What’s the job?” he didn’t move back on his horse a little, as if expecting a trap. “I was on my way to sell this at today’s market” I pointed to the cart full of bags to let him see it was nothing dangerous, “and my horse is not healthy enough for the trip” I lied, seeing him consider the offer. “Also, it’ll do me good some help. Ten nine silver coins for a morning of light work, how does it sound?”. He nodded, letting his eyebrows rest for the first time, and got off his horse. He was as tall as me. “How far is it?”

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