Dust in the library was constantly on the move. Dusty books, folios and scrolls taken from dusty shelves, disturbed dust from tables, floors, ladders and rugs. Dancing in narrow rays of sunlight, the tiny specks of dust formed a kaleidoscope for onlookers to marvel, and be hypnotized.

“Where is your master?” Ghanus looked up from a heavy folio, he was hungry, but had hoped to finish with his study before supper. “This morning she wanted to investigate something, she did not disclose to me what or where.” Ghanus saluted before Gajus.

In the face of the older man he read a hint of desperation, even worry and sorrow. “Go get some food.” Gajus sighed and waved the youngster off. In his mind there was no doubt that Ghanus was the child of himself and Phyllis. He clearly had the same devotion to the fungus, the same disdain for other races, and the same determination. Gajus’ worries increased as he watched his son shuffle off with the folio tucked under his arm. At the door to the library the young man was apprehended by another novice, she had guards with her. After a heartbeat or two they had reached Gajus.

“Master Gajus of Duskvalley, you are under arrest. It is suspected that you are a traitor! If these allegations turn out to be unjust your reputation will be washed clean.” the leader of the guards put shackles on Gajus wrists, who was stunned, besides resisting the arrest would only strengthen the allegations against him, and in a building filled with other conjurers he stood no chance.

“What have you done with the floral?” Ghanus rushed up to him after he had dropped the folio. “Don’t look so surprised! One of the florals that we have relocated from the rooftop is gone! Where have you taken her?” the young fungal clenched his fists, Gajus felt immensely grateful that Ghanus didn’t have any Mana on himself.

“Sir, please leave the interrogation and investigation to us.” the guard pushed back Ghanus, who spat curses at Gajus and wanted to behead the traitor. “May I ask what I have done that was suspicious?”

“Ordering the guards of tge great fungus to retreat!” Ophelia entered the room, her wide plain black skirt blew as she paced quickly towards the accused. “Just in time for the next attack wave of the freethinkers movement, in addition a witness placed you at the former location of two floral captives, attempting to poison them.” she looked him up and down. “To think we once were friends Gajus.” disappointed she turned and stared at the still raging Ghanus for a moment. Eyebrows pushed together, inquiry in her eyes she turned back to Gajus, who in turn nodded.

Shaking her head she walked out again, the entourage of guards followed her with the freshly acquired prisoner.

Stricken with disbelief Ghanus remained in the library, carefully he picked up the folio, returned it to the booth. The novice that had informed him of the missing Floral came up to him. “I don’t think he took the floral.” the noise level in the library was unusually high, still it was to Ghanus as if he was lost in a sea of silence. “He was here most of the day.” Ghanus replied turning to the door. “Still, I fear that something terrible will happen.”


Sunrise was well underway as the troops retreating from the great fungus ran into an errand carrying orders for them to return immediately, only a minutes behind him was a batch of guards and conjurers, destined for the fungus. None of them had noticed the group of about thirty armed men and women advancing on the fungus beside the road. About an hour ahead of the new guards.