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from The Hunt for Bheanoira by Dacia M Arnold

Chapter 3

“Now, back to Sir Gregory. Did your pa tell you the stories as a child?”

“I read them, Lord..?”

“Bearbóir, but I often just go by Bear.”

The old man’s name translated to barber in the old language. What luck! But then this meeting seemed all too good to be true. The man pegged him in an instant, knowing his quest. His entire demeanor seemed to know far more than Jude offered. Something was quite off about this entire village.

Jude followed Bear up the stairs of the inn. The old man walked upright and sure-footed, unlike the slurring mess he had seemed upon their greetings. Maybe there was far more magic at work than met his eye. There were odd things about the inn itself. The golden lanterns held glass bulbs without wicks. Instead, the glass held tiny twisted golden strings. And there was a constant hum sound which hung in the air, like a slight vibration all over his body. The sensation of the hum made him anxious. Was he too trusting of the man who knew too much? And what role did Mae… Macna play in his quest? She likely played no other role than the one he held in his dreams; however, he wished her there regardless.

“Your room, Jude.” Bear unlocked a heavy wooden door to a plain room of wood which contrasted the rich gold plating of the rest of the inn. More golden glass lanterns sat were candles should be, but the currents were pulled back wide to allow the early morning sun to fill the room. “How long do you plan to stay before starting on your journey?”

“Honestly, based on Sir Gregory’s writings I imagined years. But with your apparent willingness to help, might see me off sooner than anticipated.”

“Aye,” Bear slouched his back. “But ya might heed yer gut. Yer senses tell ya the m...

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