Prologue, Snowy Roads. Part 2 by oscar garcia

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"She has lived here longer than you have been alive and has intuition you cannot hope to understand. I for one will listen, and take into consideration what she has to say."

"I have heard of her intuition." Katie said with disdain. "Wives tails. She will tell you herself she does not even know how it works."

"Be that as it may," Aline said, "I did not call us together for nothing."

"That remains to be seen." Bryan said acidly. His gaze rounded the table, "How can we be sure she is not just paranoid."

"Aline deserves your respect." Jake snapped. "We should at least hear her out before questioning her judgement." Mikal and Gerry both nodded in agreement. Bryan sighed again and Katie hid a scowl in her cup of chocolate. "What is wrong with you?" The comment was aimed at both Katie and Bryan. Not only was Aline much older than they, but her warnings had saved Kados from being burned to the ground on more than one occasion. Bryan underestimated the danger that the many tribes of demonspawn around the Yarith Mountains posed. Gerry told him of patrols not two miles from the city that were forced to fight demonspawn tribes to the south and in the Darkwood to the north. He too would listen to Aline.

"Something stirs in Ghena." Aline whispered. "An ancient evil. A darkness so vile i can feel it calling me. Beckoning me to its aid." Her red eyes flashed fiercely on all of them in a sweeping glance. "I will not go. I am more human than demon, and I will stay with my chosen people."

Bryan laughed quietly. Jake felt hot anger rise in his face, but contented himself with a baleful stare. Who did Bryan think he was that he could disrespect Aline this way?

"We have heard your tales." Katie scoffed. "I will not live in unfounded fear." She almost spat out the last word, giving Aline a defiant look. Aline bit her lip, but he was sure if none of the others were present, she would put Katie in her place with some caustic words.

"That is enough, Katie," William barked, "I will not have you insulting Aline any longer." He emphasized his point by pounding his fist on the table.

"I am surprised at you both." Gerry said. "Aline and her intuition has saved your livelihoods on at least one occasion." He wagged his finger at them both. "Were it not for her your house would have burned down in the raid two years ago, Bryan. Katie, I seem to remember that you were here at the inn because of her intuition. Your house did get burned down."

"I agree with Gerry." Mikal said. "You two are the last on earth who should be giving her a hard time."

Katie at least had the decency to look abashed, but Bryan bit his lip and then mumbled something. Jake wished her heard what it was, but on second thought, maybe it was better that he didn't. Jake could not believe how foolish they were acting. There were here to run the town and they bickered with Aline as if she were some sort of bad influence. Then it occurred to him why they would act that way. There were many people of mixed blood that lived in Kados, but none were on the Council other than Aline.

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