[P] it was a great big world, with lots of places to run to
At first, Whisper wasn't sure if the other girl picked up on her meaning. There was a long pause, and perhaps even hesitation – but this wasn't so surprising, she thought. Her parents and their peers had always reinforced the idea that Outsiders would view their pack as anathema. In the past, when Salsola had been first founded and forged, black magic and slavery had been key components of their culture. Over time, these greater evils had disappeared – though not entirely. If her father hadn't acquired Heulwen, it stood to reason some other master (a crueler one, undoubtedly) would have done so.

Salsola saved Outsiders, even those who were unwilling and unaware of this great boon. Those who did not understand would fall back to those old half-truths and lies. The rumors which spread not only made Salsola sound terrible and fierce, but helped keep away fools that might tempt their great wealth and power.

Naomi did seem to understand, however, and Whisper smiled to reassure her that she herself was no threat.

Their common ground – horses – was more interesting than the subtitles of false-identity and allegiance. Whisper was always interested when it came to the large animals, and eyed Naomi's with curiosity and a touch of critical insight. Finding the flaws in these beasts was part of her father's role as Equinest, and if she ever hoped to follow in his path, Whisper would need to be able to identify these too. Not that there were much, if any, faults she could pick out from a distance.

“I love horses,” Whisper stated plainly and with conviction. “You said your mare is a warhorse? What's her name? Did you train her?” This seemed unlikely, given they were close in age. Still, what if she had? Was there something Naomi knew that Whisper didn't? Was this stranger more talented than her, who had been caring for horses and riding them since she could shift?

A strange sensation – jealously, almost – sparked in Whisper's heart.

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RE: it was a great big world, with lots of places to run to - by Whisper Eternity - 3 October 2021, 09:52 AM

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