Hikaru sat on the roof of the inn staring out at the setting sun and absently fixed the fletching of one of his arrows. Though his body was recovered and present in the here and now his mind had wandered far afield. He thought of how he had ended up in Amberdale and how he was fighting for a people not his own to free them from a cruel man. Yet his own nation suffered from many of the same and he could do nothing to help them. Hell, he wasn’t even sure he could help these people. Sure he’d killed the mercenaries and soldiers set to keep the townsfolk cowed while the lord was away. But where was the victory? Sure they’d won the day and given the people a chance to flee, but to where would they go? Hikaru didn’t have the answer only a question; could he walk away from them and save himself?
He knew the answer as well as he knew his name. No, he would not back down from those who would stand on the backs of others for their own gains. It may not have been his fight to begin with but in asking Addie had made it his. He would do everything he could to see as many people safe as he could. They needed time or they needed to find a way to make it not worthwhile for this upstart lord to be here anymore. A straight up fight was not going to work and this day had shown that quite handily. Twenty plus mercs and soldiers down but too many more to face in a fair fight. So what could they do?
A thought about the gold mine surfaced and Hikaru wondered if it was even possible. The man wanted the riches this land had to offer, but if the riches were gone then he would have no reason to stay, would he? Could they even destroy the gold mine to the point where it was not worth trying to dig it out? He’d have to ask in the morning.
Setting aside the quiver and his remaining arrows Hikaru turned instead to a fresh piece of parchment from his journal. Uncapping the ink and pulling a fresh quill from his small supply he dipped and began to write a small letter to his mother:
Sora kono yoru wa, chiheisen-jō ni moeru yōna orenji-irodesu. Watashi wa anata ga shisa shita yō ni itte iruto watashi ga aru koto ga yosō sa reru basho kara tōkuhanarete sōkō suru koto ni yotte, yoriyoi jibun o kakushite imasu. Watashi wa korera no kotoba wa anata ga kanojo no idai-sa ni keiiwoharau tame ni mayonaka ni settei rōsoku no tenmetsu hikari de anata o hōmon suru kanōsei ga aru koto Ymeri ni shinrai shite imasu. Watashi wa watashi no tabi wa nagai mono to nari, watashi wa kore ijō kiken’na watashi ga ie ni taizai shitai baai yori mo naru yō ni idō shite inai dōro o mitsukeru osorete imasu. Sate watashi wa, ikutsu ka no yūkan’na hitobito ga issho ni ryokō suru koto ga wakatte kita hobo sonomama. Wareware wa, shin no dōmeikuni ni naru nodeareba sore wa mada wakarimasen. Watashi wa watashi yori moyori ni naru tame ni kenmei ni hataraku hitsuyō ga aru koto ga wakarimasu. Ymeri no shukufuku ni yori anzendesu.
(The sky this evening is a fiery orange on the horizon. I have done as you suggested and have hidden myself better by travelling far from where I should be expected to be. I trust in Ymeri that these words might visit you in the flickering light of the candle you set at midnight to pay homage to her greatness. I fear my journey will be a long one and I find the roads I travel to be no more perilous than if I’d stayed home. Well almost as I have found a few stouthearted people to travel with. It remains to be seen if we are to become true allies. I find that I need to work harder to become more than I am. By Ymeri’s blessing be safe.)
Folding up the small letter, Hikaru gathers the rest of his things. When midnight arrives he will burn the letter in the hearth downstairs before retiring to his bed…