It took them another two days to reach civilization. Or at least, the outlying farms. The trip was uneventful, or "refreshingly boring," as Rob put it.
The only events were Din's dreams. She recalled only bits of it in the morning, but seemed to remember the blue woman each time. She never explained much, and Din wasn't sure what to make of it. As long as Din and Rob talked, Din didn't think much about it, but it certainly bothered her when she was alone and couldn't help think. And then it was the presence that always seemed to bother her. One way to put together two and two gave birth to the theory that it was the blue woman who was watching him all the time. The thought scared Din, and she couldn't quite dismiss it either.
On the first farm they came across, Rob had asked Din to wait in a fair distance while he bought some food. Din agreed to that, figuring that all the blood on her clothes probably wouldn't attract a good reaction.
He returned with more than enough for a good meal, even eggs. He also brought an old dress belonging to a former maid. Din was a bit baffled, but accepted the dress. She figured that wearing a dress would be preferable to walking around in the blood-stained clothes any more than she had to.
She changed behind a tree, with Rob sitting like a statue facing the other direction. Her nose reminded her how much she needed a bath. However, she didn't feel very keen on finding out just how freezing the water was. She was glad Rob had gotten a pair of long wool socks as well, the air and wind made it quite chilly.
It felt really weird to be wearing a dress. Rob seemed to think that it was a bit strange sight as well. "Wow... it looks ... really good on you. It's just... strange seeing you in a dress and knowing it's you, Din," he commented. Din felt herself blush slightly at the comment.
Reaching the farms also meant that they were splitting up soon. Din wanted Rob to join her back to town, but Rob had been adamant about going home. He had, in fact, tried to pursue Din to return to her own farm and convince her parents with Rob's help. However, Din hadn't been very positive about that idea. There was also something else bothering her. She had something she needed to do, but she couldn't really describe what it was.
They said their farewells when they were still out of eyesight of Din's farm. She felt a bit sad by it, even after Rob assured her he'd come visit her in town once his leg had gotten better. For a moment, she felt it would be natural to hug him goodbye, but discarded the thought.
It felt strange to walk all alone. As she was getting closer to the town, there were more people around too. She felt she got some strange stares, and wondered what could be the reason. Okay, she could think of several reasons, but she didn't know exactly why they looked at her that way.
It wasn't a very long walk from her farm to town. Her family used to go there to purchase what they couldn't produce themselves. She remembered when he, as a young boy, was allowed to go with her father to town. In particular, she recalled seeing an essence-user for the first time in town. A man that looked like a giant to the young Din had walked past while carrying several timbers on his shoulder, engulfed in a red flame as he walked past them. The sight had been forever burned itself into Din's memory.
When Din and Rob had left their homes, they'd found themselves a room in town. They had planned it for quite some time prior to leaving home. Din had an older brother who would inherit the farm, so their parents agreed it would be a good idea to live for himself for a bit. Rob had just wanted to try something different for a while, and while his father hadn't agreed, at least he hadn't prevented him from doing it.
They had originally planned to find work and earn money for themselves. They had gotten work too, but perhaps not as adventurous as they had hoped for. Cleaning the stables was neither very exciting nor very well-paid. Besides, Din felt he had spent enough time cleaning stables at home, even if they only had a single horse.
So when the offer came up for to join the adventurers to the crypt, they had been far too eager to accept it. Din wondered how they would have ended up if they'd rejected the offer. Somehow, she didn't really regret it, despite all that had happened. While she wasn't comfortable with all the changes, at least she had some of the adventure she'd always dreamed of now. And she was fairly certain it wasn't over yet.