posted Jan.15.17 at 03:00 pm

The Cynn lifted the large book, bracing it on his shoulder. < Wish me luck, > he told Sraddi airily as he turned away, the smoke still drifting from his lips.


It had been a slow process, over the course of a sunny, blue-sky day. The thin dirt road running past the willow tree by the pond was empty--which was just as well, or else someone would have witnessed the tree as it writhed, and creaked, and shed branches and reshaped roots until it had something like legs and arms. Slowly it had risen to its new feet and then set off towards the horizon, across the green lowlands, leaving a spot of freshly turned earth behind by the pond.

"--Well, that's the short of it, in any case," Helly said quite mildly. The sky looked no less flat and ominously grey over nir part of the palace, and some of the trees in nir courtyard were bare. Inside nir small house, though, a brazier was glowing a warm orange. Helly did not seem bothered by the winter, although ne had draped a woolen shawl around nir shoulders. Ne was standing in front of a chalkboard that had diagrams of plant and animal cells drawn meticulously on it, and ne rolled the chalk between nir approximation of fingers. "More than two thousand years ago, I thought I might go for a walk," ne continued. "And I've yet to stop walking."

Liya was perched on a stool by the brazier, a notebook open on her lap and an ink pencil in her hand, although she had stopped writing to stare at Helly wordlessly.