Hinel walked Ranhon, looking for work. Though the weather was hot and humid, making the air sticky with sweat, Hinel kept his helmet on. His armor also added to the burden of the midday heat; his pace slowed down considerably from this morning. Overhead the sun trekked across a cloudless sky, a small yellow orb in an ocean of blue. When Hinel looked with the mountains to his back, he could see just how far it was to the next town; leagues stretched for what seemed like endless merchant trails into the distance. On the horizon was the village of his last Passover.
“Hey, hey!” spoke the same irritating voice that sent a chill down Hinel’s spine. The voice came like that sudden chill of a wraith with a hint of a screaming banshee coiling around whomever heard it. Hinel gave an involuntary shudder and kept moving forward, determined to avoid the speaker for as long as possible. “I said hey!”
Hinel sighed and succumbed to defeat, it was useless fighting anymore. He turned and stared down at the girl following him wherever he went. “What is it this time, Mary? I’m kind of in a hurry, so make it quick.”
The girl with an infinite abundance of annoyance looked up at Hinel as though trying to see passed his armor and get a good look at him personally, replied, “Aren’t you going to the temple? A lot of foreigners go there these days; usually a lot go in time of war. I remember the last war; nearly everyone in the village prayed daily, I didn’t. I never saw any reason too.” Her eyes suddenly recoiled and looked away from Hinel, her expression softening greatly.
Hinel was silent for a time. His gaze was fixated on the girl in front of him with a calculating glance, wondering many things about her that he never considered before, but most of all: Who is she? “I don’t… I mean I guess that I could go to one, I haven’t been to one in nearly five years. Lead the missy.”
A group of approaching soldiers took notice of the produce stand and made their way towards it whilst talking among themselves. Five of them in all, all looked to be younger recruits; their armor was unsullied, not even a patch of dirt could be found on its shining surfaces. As the group grew closer, Xanas, being a Moogle, had better hearing than those present, could hear snatches of their conversation.
“I say we take all of their products, right now.”
“I’m not stopping you, be my guest.”