Bayani scrunched up his nose and gave Peter a look. He knew his boyfriend would knew what it meant, even if nobody else did. “I don’t know whether to call you a realist or a pessimist.”
“I just want to live through this quest,” Peter replied with a shrug. “Adventures are so much more fun when it’s just pixels and you can start over if you lose all your hearts.”
“Or hit points,” Bayani reminded him.
“Do you think there are different types of nor beasts?” Himeko asked on a more serious note.
“I suppose that might be the case,” James replied, “although there is still so much that we don’t know. It could be that the longer they have been monsters, if in fact they used to be human all, has an impact. I would rather not talk about it,” he added. “Let’s just ride on and stay away from them. If you can get yourselves indoors before the sun sets, you don’t have to worry about any of these things that you are asking.
Himeko did not seem to like that kind of answer. ‘Be careful and you will have no problems’ was never good enough for her. She and her friends liked to know all the possibilities for a situation in order to prepare for it. After all, they would not always be able to be indoors before nightfall. That was always the way it went; be careful, make sure of something, and there is always going to be a time when things don’t go quite right. One cannot be perfect all the time, after all.
Despite Himeko’s frustration, James stood by what he said. He led them on another day riding over hills, across fields, and through villages. Another day of eating on the road, even when it came to lunch.
“I will get you to our last village tonight,” he explained, “where you will go tomorrow, and then I must take my leave of you.”
“So this will be our last night together?” Peter asked.
“For quite a while, yes it will be,” he replied. “You will have everything that you need, and your guide in the next barony over will have more supplies as well. Now stop talking and ride!”
James spurred his horse onward. It seemed that that day they had much more ground to cover, unless they wanted this journey to take a third day. Apparently that was not a reasonable option, however, because the guide had been told to wait a specific amount of time. Any longer than that, and he would not stick around, afraid that the quest was going to fail, and that someone, somewhere along the way, had been found out, and that they could not continue forward.