And here is the haunted marsh. A distant, quiet voice can be heard singing, but the singer never pauses for breath.
A light comes into view from behind a tree.
"I'm not very impressed with all the other people you've met."
"That's fair, I guess. But even if they were all impressive I'd like you better."
"If they were all impressive you'd never have come out here or talked to me."
"Maybe if they were all impressive they wouldn't think you were dangerous."
"I guess, but you probably still wouldn't come all the way out here to meet one boring dead person."
"I could be going somewhere and happen to pass here, you don't know."
"Here. This place. This marsh. You would come here on purpose."
"You should get more rest."
"Yeah. You're right."
He's about to lie down when a thought occurs to him. "But even if I didn't come here, someone would have. If everyone was impressive, I mean."
"Am I making things worse?"
"No, you're making them better, you're great."
Makji smiles at him. "I'm glad. Night, Valen."
For the first time since his encounter with the stranger, Makji wakes feeling rested.
"Hi. Good morning."
"Morning. How are you doing?"
"Better. Thank you for bringing me here." Valen is the best. Valen deserves all the things. "Is there something I should be doing? Chores, or?"
"Ask Erai, I don't really live here."
"Oh. Right." Well, he can fold up the bedding at least. "Do you know if any of the witches have anything about church history?"
"Erai does. Why?"
"I want to find out anything I can about the unbinding ritual."
"That would be good. I can tell you now that she doesn't know any way to do it for wisps, but there are a lot of people it's not too late for."