'I would never have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. Our Harbinger, also Dragonborn.' Vilkas prods the camp fire with a stick. 'Are you hungry? There's food in the pot.' He steps around the fire, presses a clay mug into your hand. 'Drink,' he says.
You expect the mug to be full of mead so it surprises you then when press the mug to your chapped lips, tilt your head back and feel the cool splash, taste the null flavour of water against your tongue.
The water clears some of the grogginess from your head.
'You took quite a fall to the ground,' Vilkas says. 'I thought you were dead.' His brow wrinkles. 'Didn't fancy being the one to cart you all the way back to Jorrvaskr.'
Vilkas takes a seat next to you, leans forwards and peers into your face. 'I heard the rumours. Thought it was idle gossip,' and he reaches forwards, brushes a strand of hair from your cheek. Then he quickly withdraws, coughs and clears his throat.
'When Farkas hears of this he'll be wanting you to hunt a dragon just so he can see it with his own eyes.' There's a hint of warmth in his voice, a tint of admiration that you haven't heard since you were suddenly made Harbinger at Ysgramor's Tomb.
You sink back down into your cocoon of furs and blankets.
The First Seed sun has disappeared and been replaced by the moon, Masser. From where you lie you stare at the consolations as they wink down at you from the sky.
'Found them wandering not far from here,' Vilkas says, diverting your attention to your two steeds tethered close by. 'None the worse for wear.' You feel relieved, not only because you are fond of the two creatures, but also because navigating the terrain of Skyrim is made so much easier on horseback.
'Should get some rest,' Vilkas says. It is the most he has ever spoken to you in such a small amount of time.
Both of you rise as the first beams of the sun begin to push between the branches of the trees Vilkas built the camp beneath.
You help Vilkas roll up the furs and blankets, trample out the remaining embers of the fire, collect the utensils and pack them away onto the horses backs.
'Should head that way,' Vilkas says, pointing the direction you are to go. 'Should arrive at the cave as morning ends.' A frown creases his brow. 'Hope we're not too late.'
You slide a foot into the stirrup and just as you are about to mount your horse Vilkas rests an arm upon your shoulder.
'Yesterday, I thought Hircine had dragged you to his Hunting Grounds.'
For a second you consider telling him about your vision. About how you had seen Hircine when the dragon knocked you to the floor. You decide against it.
'Wasn't sure whether I should return this to you. But it's yours, so I guess I should.' He pulls you away from your horse, takes your hand, pushes back your fingers and places an amulet upon your palm.
'It came off you yesterday when you collapsed. After you 'absorbed' the dragon soul, or whatever it is you Dragonborn do.'
He closes your hand around the amulet, rubs his thumb across the top of your fingers. 'Perhaps it's best you keep it off? Don't want others to start thinking you are available.'
You rub your fingertips across the familiar surface of the amulet. Trace the knot work with your fingernails. An Amulet of Mara lies in your hand. The one you got from Riften all those months ago.