The caravan made good progress along the trail that hovered near the base of Mt. Myrneg. While the caravan traveled, Rei told Tai stories of his adventures with Ryu and Teepo before the fight with Balio and Sunder. He told her what he knew about Worens, which wasn't much, and then told her more of his adventures with Ryu after meeting back up with him. Tai listened with rapt attention and spoke hardly at all. She grew thoughtful when Rei talked about the Worens, and she brightened again when his stories of adventure with Ryu continued.
Rei loved the attention.
That night when the caravan camped within sight of Eygnock Road to Wyndia, Rei felt bad that he'd talked mostly about himself. So when the caravan had settled for the night and Rei and Tai were resting in front of the fire, Rei urged her to talk about herself.
Tai smiled and adjusted her arms around her legs. "Well, I grew up in Rhapala with my dad. He worked on the docks and sometimes as a fisherman."
"What did you do?"
"I worked part-time in the weapon store when I wasn't out fishing with my dad."
"Did you go on any sea trips?"
Tai shook her head. "No. Not a member of the Guild."
"What do you do to relax?"
"In Rhapala I'd hike around the dunes by the coast or by the volcano. Here I like hiking through the woods and just listening."
Rei nodded. "Me, too."
Tai adjusted her arms around her legs and slightly smiled as she glanced toward Rei. "I wonder if I'm anything like my mom?" she asked softly. "My dad never stared inland out the window like I did. He'd never wander around listening and tracking things in nature... he worked on the dock, he fished, and then he read the paper." Tai sighed. "I always wanted to be outside."
Rei smiled. "Me, too."
Tai looked across the fire at him with a bright smile. "I'm glad you came along, Rei. This has been fun."
Rei kicked his legs out and leaned back on his hands. "Yep."
She moved her gaze to a scrutiny of her knees and released a slow breath as her smile faded a bit.
Tai shook her head. "Nothing," she said softly. She lifted her eyes to meet his and smiled again. "I'll take second watch."
Tai released her hold on her legs and laid back, then onto her side. "Good night, Rei."
She released a slow, deep breath as Rei silently watched her. He smiled.
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