They passed through the republic like wind, unnoticed and unopposed, laid low waiting for winter they then simply walked over, not even needing ships!” Shedomus threw his habds in the air in disbelief. The conjurers in the republic also were stricken by the disappearance of their powers, but why the guards would risk dire consequences by invading the Florals was beyond him. “So you see, we should have stopped them.” Nicodia realized tgat she still was biting on her fingertips, just as she always had when told a fascinating story. Ashamed of such childish behavior she slowly drew hands behind her back. “You, your people didn’t know, they fooled you. So it wasn’t your fault!” Nicodia had found her non-stammering voice again. Shedomus sighed heavily, he still felt guilty for the atrocities the guards had committed. Having found her confidence again Nicodia turned to the ocean, spreading her arms to the sides to receive as much sunlight as possible. For a Floral the sun bathing was more than a ritual, but pure bliss. Even during the invasion and brief occupation, she had found the time to follow the sun, if the skies allowed for it, and bask in the warming, golden light that the heavens poured down upon her. “I want to go where wind now blows, straight east.” feeling his plea for forgiveness as not accepted, because unwarranted, Shedomus turned into the direction of the rising sun too, sighing once more.”There in the distance, one can’t see it from here, or the edges of the mainlands,” he pounted to thinly visible stripes of land in the north and south, “lies only the pole. As I recall from Albin rumors a desolate place. Few trees, no bushes, a little grass and lots and lots of rocks, sharp as knives. No one lives there.”Nicodia lifter her head in a proud manner. “Then I shall go there, live there for a year, to prove that we Florals are in fact not docile, forest dwelling, nectar dispensaries!” even though the Albin and Humans treated them with respect, most of them who came in contact with the Florals thought of them in a similar way. “First you’ll need a ship. Not a boat that you could learn to maneuver all by yourself, a ship. Something the towering waves, that are fuelled by the raging winds, wouldn’t throw over. Then you’d need food, I know you can harvest the sunlight and soak up nutrition from beneath your feet,” again Shedomus made just a vague gesture, “but the pole is allegedly mostly cloudy and has little sunshine.” he smiled softly as he suddenly shook his head. “I will return to the camp, it is the one where Humans and Albin are located too, you are welcome to accompany me.” he turned away, stopping dead in his tracks. “I didn’t mean to discourage you, I was as eager to see the world as you are, to some degree I still am. It is no accident some of my people call me Shedomus the traveler!” he smiled warmly before walking away, leaving Nicodia to her thoughts once again. Without looking or paying attention to his steps in the grass she knew he walked away and soon was gone. Although he seemed like a nice person all together, she still harboured some distrust for him. For all of the outlanders.Staring out to the waves she sighed, it was of no use, Shedomus was right, she needed a ship. Slightly discouraged she turned inland, the gentle winds swayed bush and tree. Shaking lose fruit, leaf and blossom. As if he had left a clearly visible road Nicodia followed Shedomus’ steps, directed at the camp she had avoided before. Clouds drifted across the blue canvas of the heavens above, paired with a strong wind from the west, swaying the tall grass near the encampment in waves like the waters of the ocean. Nicodia was surprised to find the bodies of the guards gone. But the soldiers of the Albin and the Humans who guarded the camp were equally surprised to see her walking up to them.”I wish to enter if I may.” she held her head up right not looking at them directly. Making not much of a fuss, they parted before her, revealing a camp that was poorer than her village. Tents, ragged by the weather, stood in long rows, leaving room for roads in rectangular lines. The unnatural order of the structure of the camp hurt Nicodias sense of order. Reluctantly she directed her steps inside the camp, seeking out the largest.

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