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“And you’re warded against it? Yet you cannot kill it?”

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He holds one arm out and uses his opposite hand’s index finger to trace a prominent scar from the forearm through the bicep. “I am resistant to any cut or strike. A blow will pierce the skin, but I will recover very quickly.”

Earlier this man said, what, something about scrubbing blood?

“The total destruction of my limbs might require as long as a day for me to wholly recover.”

Wait. Blast. How long was his body in the keeping of this tobacconist?

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“I will say only that I have not killed it yet, though I have thwarted it in some of its desires, and that it has not killed me yet.”

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The man nods.  

His eyes return to his shop's window.  “And your enemy is shaped like a man.”  The inflection is halfway between a statement and a question.

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“If it so chooses. There is useful information in that, in the shell that you perceived it to wear.”

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He looks into the man’s eyes for a few seconds without speaking.  “I see that you are shrewd. I have been forthright with you. Will you speak freely now?”

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“Forthright, eh?”  The tobacconist makes a slight, wry smile.

He walks over to his hound and squats to scratch its head behind the ears.  With his other hand he pushes back his hair again.

His voice recovers some of its lilt. “Oh, there isn't so much to tell, all things considered.  Any mischief done was already done when I found you.”

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He opens with a defensive claim, does he.

"Tell it to me as a story, from the beginning. Leave out no details, no matter how trivial."

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