3 iv) There is naught but the wickedness of the woods

“There is naught but the wickedness of the woods contained within these walls, and the shining beacon of good that is this village’s populace, banding together to tamp down the dark spark of villainy that is this twisted grey creature, and all its black companions,” comes a voice. It’s low and paternal, thundering with all the passion of the pulpit.

“I think that’s a yes,” Shyan says. Fassn nods enthusiastically. “Can we buy the villain from you?” she calls out.

Confused murmuring rises from the assembled patrons. The pulpit master says, “Knave, no offer on this green earth could sway us from our noble task of cleansing our village and our woods of this menace. Come, friends,” he says, addressing his flock. “Let us join our voices in prayer so that we may exorcise this grey beast and, if needed, its busibody friends outside.”

With that, a choral chanting rises from the church group. The wrapped fabrics tussle gently in the breeze. The gang huddles. “We’ll distract them,” Shyan says. To Cang, “You get the princess.”

A lascivious grin creeps over his face.

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