Tilda looked out at the swirling snow and frowned.

“You don’t have to go. It’s just a silly tradition. No-one ever arrives.” 

Elgar was not dissuaded. He strapped his sword belt over his coat and took up his pack. “Brumal Night isn’t just about feasts and gifts, Tilda. You know that.”

She blew out an exasperated sigh. “How long are you going to be? We have to be to my parents early tomorrow morning for leaf laying.”

“I’ll be as long as it takes.”

“You know, I don’t even think the others are going to be doing their lanterns. Just you.” Elgar smiled to himself. He didn’t tell her that there were four lanterns in his pack and had every intention of placing all four himself if the others did not uphold their responsibility. Whatever they thought, he knew it was necessary. It was entirely possible he’d be out past the witching hour. 

He wrapped his new wife up in his arms and gave her a long kiss. “Bear the pail, my love.”

She rolled her eyes. “From well to hearth, you big idiot.”

As tradition dictated, he left with the sunset, and headed West.


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