The village seemed too quiet. Too quiet, except that somehow the fyrhund padded out of a side street and fell in next to me.
I petted him. “Where is everyone?”
Thruor pursed her lips. “Hiding. They might have seen us coming.”
“And not wanted to stick around to find out whether we were dangerous or not.” I could see that.
The dog panted at me. Then he pointed his nose towards a house.
“What’s in there?” I asked. Maybe I should have asked who.
“Hrm.” I glanced at Thruor.
“Take Mike and check it out.”
I was deferring to her, as the one vastly more experienced. I glanced at Mike again. It was hard to be entirely comfortable with his presence here. It was hard to get my mind out of…well, having spent too much time on Midgaard, I supposed.
It was still Mike. We headed for the house. He moved to kick the door in. I shook my head and tried it.
There was a child inside. She was crying. It could be a trap, I knew.
“Who are you?” she managed.
“Not an enemy.” I was being honest. I could not tell the girl I was a friend.
“My dad left. There’s going to be a war.”
I smiled at her. “I’m trying to stop it. I’ll try and get him back for you. What’s your name?”
I smiled again. “I’m Siglaugr, and this is Michael.”
“That’s a weird name.” She turned her attention towards him. “But you…you’re…”
“We’re not enemies.”
Which was, of course, the point at which the girl’s mother attacked us unprovoked. Not a trap, no.
Just a woman protecting her child.