Yoshi loved his parents, he really did, but sometimes he just needed to get out into the world and get away from them. The same was true of Dáirine, with whom he had a strange sort of on-again, on-again relationship that neither of them quite understood.
To get away, he’d taken to wandering the world — a family trait, it seemed. There was a lot of world out there to see; Yoshi had a feeling that he could travel for a century and not see half of it. But he made a point of checking in every year or so. There was nothing more embarrassing than having your mother appear out of nowhere because you hadn’t remembered to visit.
It was on the way back “home” — to Cloverleaf, which had never been home but was the place his family lived — that Yoshi encountered the little village. It was friendly to a passing stranger, something not all towns would do in this rough age, but their friendliness had a cautious edge to it.
Over the entrance to their village center was carved a bible verse: Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware, Hebrews 13:2
“Friendly verse,” he commented to the mayor, who was showing Yoshi around like an honored guest. “There a story behind it?”
“There is, of course, as with everything in the Bible.” The mayor was careful with her words, cagey even. “The good book teaches us that we must be mindful of all our guests, as we never know when we might host the Lord’s own messengers.”
“I’m no angel,” Yoshi laughed. “Just a traveler and sometimes a message-carrie…oh. Not that kind of messenger.” You’d think with a mother like his and four years at Addergoole, he’d have learned to watch his words. But no.
The mayor did a good job of hiding her flinch, but there was a flinch nonetheless. “Indeed.”
“You’ve had some trouble with ‘angels’ here, haven’t you?” Most places had. This long after the apocalypse, it wasn’t as tough is it had been when Yoshi was a kid, but hatred took a long time to die out and a lot of fae did their best to earn that hatred tenfold.
“We’ve been blessed by the visits of the Warrior That Comes With the Wind more than a few times.” The mayor tilted her head further into the village center. “Here. We keep the paintings here, so that we never forget to be polite to guests.”
Yoshi followed her, wondering what he’d see. Demons, maybe, one of the nedetakaei, or a fellow Addergoole grad who’d decided to try godhead. A charlatan, maybe; he’d run into a few of those, too. Or maybe-
“Leo!?” Damnit, there went his mouth again. There was Uncle Leo, staring at him from three portraits. And Ruki from a fourth.
The mayor’s voice grew very very slow. “You… know… him? The Storm Prince of Death?”
Yoshi thought fast, which would have been better to do before he talked, but hey, he could get out of this one. “I know his children.” That was true.
“Aah.” She relaxed and nodded. “By-blows and ill-gotten bastards?”
Yoshi couldn’t help himself. He usually couldn’t. He coughed on the very idea. “I, uh.” He regained his poise, such as it was. “I don’t think their mothers would like to hear you say that.” He knew his mother wouldn’t. He could guess about Ruki’s biological mother’s response.
The woman tilted her head. “Oh?”
Well, shit, he was in for it now. He looked at the paintings, then looked back at the woman and waggled his eyebrows. Then he cheerfully threw Uncle Leo to the wolves, such as it was. “Let’s just say that I’ve heard angelic visitations can be… mmm… heavenly?”
He was still laughing to himself over that one when he left the town — in a bit of a hurry, granted — the next day. The look on the mayor’s face! The shock that had turned slowly to thoughtful curiosity… and a glance back at the portraits.
Uncle Leo, the “Storm Prince of Death?” He’d heard funnier stories. If he stopped to think about it — which he rarely did, and probably wouldn’t this time — he’d heard much funnier stories. Uncle Leo had… he’d had some bad years. He might have done some Storm-Prince-worthy stuff even.
But the idea of it all still made Yoshi chuckle, if only for the thoughtful demon-worshipping women that might be throwing themselves at the feet of the Warrior That Comes With the Wind, should he ever pass through their town again.
“Angelic visitation,” he snorted to himself. “Heavenly messengers.”
He couldn’t laugh for long, though. He had messages to deliver… and a home to visit.Want more?