It had taken perhaps fifteen minutes for Hamada to answer his door, engrossed as he was in his latest work, only to find the woman who had knocked already nearly out of earshot. Perhaps he should invest in a doorbell, he wondered as he watched the Burmecian carefully wipe the mud from her feet before stepping inside.
"Thank you for this, sir." Freya said as she propped her spear against the wall by the door, her coat now hanging from it. "I doubt either of my coats would ward off the night air for long."
"Perhaps, perhaps not. I know little of your race, but I can say with certainty that any man would rather have the comfort of a warm fire and thick walls to keep the cold away. Not to mention, the risk of a Shade attack growing ever higher. Please, make yourself at ease."
Hamada turned his attention away from his guest as she settled in before the fireplace, stepping into the kitchenette to prepare hot tea. As he idled away with this, Freya took a moment to take in the painter's small house.
Small was a good way to describe it. The entry hallway was barely there, leading immediately to the border between two sides of the house, headed by the necessary fireplace(which was currently rather low). To the right was a rectangular space, separated into a square containing a small round table with a partner chair, and another thin rectangle with naught but a countertop, a cupboard, and a simple magitech stove. The stove in question was piping along quite happily as Hamada waited for the water to boil.
To the left was severe clutter, a living space fit for a hoarder. Or perhaps a painter with no desire to sell. Around a lone easel in the center of the floor were countless painted canvases, each blessed with a different, spectacular view of the northwestern wilderness and its inhabitants. But there were so many. Too many, Freya thought. They were stacked against the wall, piled tens high, and there were a staggering number of small towers. She almost missed the man's bed in her surveillance, tucked neatly into the corner away from the fireplace.
The whistle of the kettle caught her attention, and she watched Hamada pour the water into two cups, dropping the tea leaves into each before bringing them over.
"I apologize for the lack of standing room, and again for only having the one chair." He said with professional sincerity, sipping at his tea afterwards. Freya took his apologies with an aloof smile, gazing briefly into her tea to watch the leaves stain the water brown. "I've been hosted with much less hospitality more times than I think I should expect; I'm grateful that you allowed me inside in the first place."
"Hmh. Well, to you it may be the generosity of a stranger. To me, perhaps I just do not wish to find a corpse polluting my subject."
She chuckled for a moment. But then she stopped, quietly contemplating the man's face. She couldn't really tell if his was serious or not.
"Ah, but forgive me," He starts, sipping once more before continuing. "My name is Hamada, a painter, as you have likely guessed. May I ask yours?"
"Freya Crescent, a dragon knight of Burmecia." Pride seems to briefly glow from her.
"A dragon knight, you say? I suppose there is a distinction from a 'dragoon', then."
"From what I can tell, yes."
"I could not tell you any more than that; I merely know the name. With that said, I have heard of Burmecia. A country of mice, or so I hear. How is it that a country of mice takes on the mantle of dragons for their knights?"
"Dragons have been our guardians, since ancient times."
"Is that so? Interesting. I wonder if they are the same as the dragons of our land?"
"If I meet one, I'll be sure to tell you." She shrugs.
Those two words proved to be the death of their conversation, as tea took the forefront of their minds. Eventually, sleeping arrangements were made, more specifically: Freya would use the bed while Hamada stayed awake as per usual to work on a nighttime painting.
The next morning brought nothing new as Freya relinquished the bed to a grateful Hamada, and she departed once more with quiet thanks, heading towards writers-know-where.
They probably don't know either.
What do you think of the planetarium?
That beautiful twinkling of eternity that will never fade, no matter what.
All of the stars in all of the skies are waiting for you.