I have been put into action near the border, somehow the regentry has managed it for me to infiltrate a group of freethinkers! Don’t aske me how, master, for I do not know myself. All I do know is that with every passing moment amongst these people I long to be back in the citadel. Listening to you holding a passionate speech that used to bore me, now seems as desirable as being embraced by the great fungus itself. I miss your elaborations, your sometimes cruel, but necessary lessons in the art. But I have to stay focused on my task, find out their plans, perhaps even partake in a preparation scheme, and undermine them. We suspect there are more groups, or cells as the officers who briefed me called them. Yours truly Crysallis.

 

Phyllis put the letter down. In the distance she could see the empty patch in the forest, left behind by the forestfires that had raged for weeks after freethinkers crossed the border. The leaves of the trees were slowly turning from green into tones of yellow, red and brown. Behind her she heard the steady breathing of the florals, almost drowned by the howling winds from the east. “Be careful.” she put the message away that Crysallis had somehow managed to send to her. “May the fungus catch you fall, guiding your steps from beneath the earth.” she added even quieter. Although they had not a friendship per se, they had becone ratger close over the years of Crysallis’ training, an unusually long training, but Phyllis had a lot more to teach than others, giving her the opportunity to only teach exceptionally gifted conjurers, thus lengthening the time they stayed in training with her.

It was a moment she felt even more glad to have had the Florals’ mouths sewn tight than at any other given time. A foul comment from any of the two would have sent her into a rage violent enough to kill the valuable Floral. Instead of being mouthed at she paced back insise in between them with a triumphant smirk.

 

Hissing away in the background, words to diluted by other noise, even the sound of Phyllis own heartbeat, the voice was a constant companion in the dreamworld. Ever present, she grew accustomed to it as if it was the heartbeat. Standing on a twisted version of the rooftop garden Phyllis looked around. Although washed out to the point of consisting of sounds rather than words, the whispering voice seemed stronger. Her teacher, who had died years before, walked towards her. Quickly Phyllis concentrated on the voice, while her mind tried to remember how long she had the ability for lucid dreaming. Greeting her with a simple nod, the man who had instructed her, amongst many other things, also in lucid dreaming, walked by, disappeared.

“Are xou the fungus?” Phyllis’ voice was as distant to her as the whispering voice, although she could make out the words she said herself. Momentarily the voice stopped whispering. Far off in the distance she saw the two Florals from her southern rooftop refuge. “Or a mental infestation contracted from them?” she spat the last word out as if it was poison.

Whispers hissed away again, as if to reply to her inquiries, what the answer meant to say was, however, indecipherable. Phyllis stepped closer to the Florals, shooting by her sides were the plants and fungi growing on her dreamed rooftop garden, that slowly turned into a valley. With one pace she had reached the Florals, previously some twenty meters away. In the melting pot of whispers, wind and her own breath and heartbeat, the voice remained as close, or distant as before. She felt fire melting from her hands, in small drops it fell to the ground, igniting a circle around her and the two florals, whilst the pavement of the rooftop garden had changed into soft grassy ground, the citadel, the entire city even, had disappeared, making way for a dark, vast forest. Filled with trees and tall mushrooms, towering high above herself.

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