The man must have noticed the look in her eyes, the sort of recognition, as though she had seen something that she was supposed to have been looking for, because he grabbed a chair and pulled it up to their table, sitting down with them as though he had belonged there all along. He has his glass with him, and set it down among their plates and cups.
“You took longer to get here than I expected,” he told them.
Himeko looked to Cerys, unsure whether she was supposed to trust him right away, or wait for some sort of evidence. Then she looked back to the man.
Peter spoke instead of her, seeing that she was not sure what to say. “It seems that we got here before you.”
“I was here this morning,” he replied. “When nobody came here, I went to the other tavern to look for you. Although… I was told that you would be dressed far more strangely than you are now.”
“Well,” Peter said, “here we are, together at last. But let’s be clear about this. Are you sure you were supposed to be looking for us?”
“Of course I am sure,” he replied. “I can tell that none of you are natives to Summerlay.
Peter looked at his sister for a moment, then asked the man, “How would you be able to tell that?”
“My people have a way of being able to know. You have an energy about you,” the man explained, “that is not of this world.”
“Your kind?” Himeko asked.
The man gave a slight nod, looked around the room, and then gave no other explanation. “If you would allow me to explain it to you later, I would most appreciate it.“ He leaned in towards Cerys and Peter and added, “I understand that you were chosen by the good baron to deliver this message to the capital. Whatever your message is, he has explained that it is of terrible importance that it get there right away. I understand also that you need a guide; who else but foreigners would need to be led to the capital? You have nothing to fear for me, nor do I have any reason to mean you any harm. Whatever secrets you have about you, you are safe with me.”
They all seemed more or less satisfied with his assurances. He did not seem like the kind of man who would hurt anybody. He had a sort of grace about him, a feeling of wisdom, that he thought before he acted, but also the sense that when he did act, it was swift and skilled. He did not seem quick to anger, and there was a sense that anything that he did was done fully, with his heart and mind as well as his body.
Now that he was closer to them, they could see that his form was long and sleek, from his face down to the rest of his body. His frame was narrow, but not in the least frail. It was the type of body that was quick and agile, and everyone in the party would agree that these were beneficial characteristics for anyone to have, especially a guide.