Stepping away from The Merchant of Nevra Coil since I’m not 100% certain of the release timing. So I’m going with a section of Allure of the Gypsies. Get a look at Luke and Nyx earlier in their adventures.
“Your hometown looks very quaint, Luke,” Nyx mentions from the edge of the flower-covered hill.
Reveling in the fresh breeze, she takes in the sight of the modest town sitting a mile away from their camp. Plumes of smoke billow from the only stone building in Haven, which Nyx assumes is the local blacksmith. Unlike this large structure, the rest of the town is a collection of wooden houses. The styles of buildings range from single story homes to a four-story tavern with several offshoots that can be rented as single room apartments. Many of the homes have two square holes cut into their dark wood roofs. Nyx is curious about the openings and how they stop rain and snow from falling into the houses, but her companion has repeatedly refused to answer her questions. The only consistent feature of the varied buildings is their fenced-off backyards.
“It would have been nice to spend the night there instead of camping a mile up the hill,” Aedyn complains, his back sore from sleeping on the ground.
“Come on, guys. Would you really want to give up sleeping on a flower-covered hilltop for a boring bed?” Luke asks with a crooked grin.
“I can’t believe you actually asked us that,” the caster says, turning away from Haven to finish packing.
Nyx and Aedyn are slinging their backpacks over their shoulders before they notice Luke preparing a new fire. A warm crackling erupts from the branches as their friend pulls out a small frying pan from his backpack. Aedyn is about to say something when the forest tracker begins cooking some narrow strips of bacon. Nyx can only shrug when the priest looks to her for an explanation. After a few minutes of quiet, Luke begins absent-mindedly whistling to himself.
“You ask him,” Aedyn whispers.
“You’ve known him longer,” Nyx contends.
“Well, you call him your little brother.”
“It’s your job to . . . damn it. I got nothing.”
“Do you two want some breakfast?” Luke asks, flicking the frying pan to flip the bacon. He finishes cooking the meat and carefully places the hot cookware on a nearby rock. After some more rummaging through his backpack, he pulls out some dried fruit to snack on while the bacon cools.
“We’re less than ten minutes away from town. We could make it to your parents’ home in time for breakfast,” Nyx answers, her right eye starting to twitch with annoyance. “If we get there early enough, we could even offer to help with the cooking.”
“I believe Nyx is trying to say that we should go into town and meet with your parents in time for breakfast,” Aedyn interjects, trying to be more diplomatic. “We will not cause a big disturbance in their day if we show up early. If we arrive around noon then we will be interrupting their work day. Am I right?”
Luke scratches his head thoughtfully while looking at his hometown. “I guess. It isn’t easy for my dad to stop in the middle of projects because of the heating and cooling process. Still, my mom can take a break from appraising and gem-setting without a problem. She works out of the kitchen after all. Now that I think about it, we should probably wait until evening. This way, my parents will be done with work and we won’t be disturbing them at all. I saw a wide river that we can hang around for the day. It was about two hours to the southeast from here. We can catch some early morning fish and have a good lunch if we hurry.”
“That was a glorious failure, Aedyn,” the smirking caster whispers.
“At least, I did not make it sound like we were going exclusively for a free meal.”
“Stuff it, sun boy.”
“Do not bring my religion into this.”
“Hey, guys! I used up all of my water to put out the fire and clean the frying pan, so we need to head to the river instead of going to Haven. I can’t travel without anything in my water skin. It could lead to trouble if we get lost,” Luke interrupts with his back to his friends. The other half-elves stare at him as if they are trying to burn a hole through his head.
“Let us not fight amongst ourselves,” the priest proposes.
“Agreed. Let’s just fight him,” Nyx says with a cruel grin.