The twins did everything except gather firewood—that task they assigned. The discussion of sleeping arrangements was brief. The twins would share Feldspar's tent and their new annoyances would sleep in Gypsum's. Neither twin wanted to share a tent with either of the other two. Pyrite was about the same age as their uncle, but he had demonstrated during the walk that he had gas.
Amethyst seldom shut up. The tent for them was pitched on one side of the fire while the twins pitched theirs on the other side, nearly ten yards away.
After the fire wood was arranged along with sharp commands from the twins to watch and learn, they discussed the possibilities of food.
Finally! The two villagers could contribute something positive! Both were experienced at fishing and had fetched along the gear necessary, including bait. They were assigned the task of catching enough to feed the four as well as the cleaning and scaling. Again, to the near shock of the twins, the two villagers had brought the tools to accomplish these chores. They had not brought along cooking utensils, however. Apparently they had planned to eat their catches raw.
Riotori can safely eat anything that does not eat them first, and any meat or fish is as nutritious raw as cooked. But cooked is much preferred. Gypsum fashioned four spits from the thinner branches of the accumulated fuel while Feldspar constructed a crude tripod for each spit.
The brothers reluctantly admitted that the natives of Krakold knew fishing and fish preparation. After Pyrite and Amethyst each caught one she took up the task of scaling and cleaning, without being told, while her father caught one more. That last was of a size to impress even Feldspar and would easily feed the girl and one of the men. After the preparation was finished Amethyst rummaged through her belongings and produced a tiny covered pot. Inside was a multi-colored powder which she sprinkled upon the meat as it cooked.
The young men were suspicious but said nothing...until after they took their first bites. The meal was delicious! Feldspar grudgingly voiced the compliment and agreed that their adoption of these villagers might have an advantage or two. The meal was completed in silence. But then the father and daughter moved a little away from the camp, knelt, and spent several minutes kneeling and speaking their thankful praises to The Creator.
The twins exchanged looks, then rolled their eyes to the sky. This behavior would require some discouragement.
After the two newcomers had cleaned up after the cooking the four sat around, relaxing and conversing...which meant, mostly, listening to the girl chatter away. More than once she whined about the pains in her feet and legs.
Magnanimously, Gypsum dug a small piece of turgus root out of his pack, bit it in half, and offered a piece each to Pyrite and his daughter. After only a few minutes of chewing she admitted that she felt better.
The light from Shul had faded many minutes before, and the cloudless sky offered a view of the stars that the brothers found only comfortingly familiar, despite the strangeness of the customs they had recently encountered.
Feldspar and Gypsum, as was their habit, stripped for sleep. A growled protest from Pyrite was almost drowned out by a gasping shriek from the girl. Apparently the citizens of Krakold—or at least the members of Pyrite's family—slept in their clothes. The twins stood by their tent, comfortable in their furry nudity, and listened to the insane complaints of the older man.
Finally, Feldspar had had enough. He told them so, then added, "It is our custom, and much more comfortable and practical! Remember, it is you that have insisted your lives are ours. I don't give a crozard's turd whether you choose to sleep clothed or not, but do not expect us to subject ourselves to your ridiculous habits! Now go to bed and keep silent!"
With obvious finality to stalked into his tent. Gypsum followed. He found himself again wondering at the loquaciousness of his older brother. Who'd have thought that increased aggravation would provoke increased wordiness?
Then he thought of trying to sleep through a warm night while still wearing the clothing of the day. He shook his head, and then the rest of him, and his tongue protruded from between his fangs in an expression of distaste. He lay down on his bedroll as far away from his brother as possible—perhaps two feet or so—and fell asleep.