The person standing in front of his house was wearing a black cloak.

He turned around and he had black hair.

And he had a cold, pale face.

" Are you Henry Merrow?" he asked, in a familiar voice.

" Yes. Who are you?" Henry asked, barely keeping himself from drawing his sword. Barely keeping himself from shaking.

The man smiled at him, a thin and stilted pretense.

He extended his arm stiffly, as though for a handshake.

" I'm Aislin von Hresfeldt," he said. " I'm Master Ornstein's student at the Order. He's ill, so he's sent me to fetch you."

" I see," Henry said tersely.

" He's afraid he'll need his last rights, or such, but... I don't think it's that serious, really. Still, he's asked for you to come help while he's ill," Aislin said. " He always speaks very highly of you."

...The man shifted on his heel, like he was a little nervous.

" Shall we go in, then, Mr. Merrow?" he asked.

" Yes, for a bit," Henry acquiesced after a moment.

" Right."