“May I ask just one question, other than to send me home somehow?” still left speechless over the ignorance they were left in Cylus just nodded. “You had a spying eye out in the world all the while. You must’ve known of the orb, later revealed as the fiery eye of the crystal serpent, the location of a glass root, or roots, in the world and the honey from the sandtree nectar. Why then didn’t you take action?” shamed to silence Cylus glanced over to Myranda. “We can’t see all little serpent, we see actions, people, stirrs in the currents of destiny. But to distinguish the orb from the eye, or the roots from lighting tracks when they lie idle in the sand, is beyond our,” she mused a moment, “eye in the world, as you put it.” Disliking the tone Myranda chose to speak with her Fathala had to restrain herself not to reply in kind. “How unfortunate. Especially since it would have improved the chances of banning the Sphinxes, having the powers of Dorei at our side.””Please!” Cylus voice boomed across the clearing, twigs trembling from his thunderous voice. “We can’t start fighting amongst ourselves now.” he knew Myranda would dislike him including Fathala and Lilly on their side. To a small degree it was intent that had guided his tongue. “These tidings you brought to us are important, and we are grateful that you brought them to our attention.” he continued in a much calmer and gentler tone. “Where might one find the bane?” “Stillwater sea.”Pines swayed in a strong wind, gusts foretelling of an approaching thunderstorm, blackened skies spelling the same prophecy. Two weeks had passed since Fathala and Lilly had departed from the thorn hills with Cylus and Myranda. Others in the robes of the shadow binders had joined them, as well as a few people in boiled leather, like Garlon. From time to time a group of people attached themselves to them, all in cloth, simple folk like farmers, herds and hunters. Avoiding any villages they encountered, these groups came and went, coming from these settlements, going to them. If we are to returm to the sweetwater sea to find the bane, we should travel there here, then switch over. Making the journey in times of war, across oceans and lands, is a bit dangerous. Fathala dared not voice her doubts to Cylus, he and his had the power or at least the knowledge to return her home. “Where are we going?” Fathala had asked Cylus upon their departure.”Orchara shipyard.” Taking ships across dry saltflats isn’t going to do us any good.Beyond the swaying pines a town of stone hugged the shore of a natural harbor. Giant ramps to equally giant structures told of the shipyard. Galleys, and other tall and mighty ships were lying around the dry harbor bed, a few masts stood upright in the basins of their construction. “Well, I hope your ships can fly, there canyons out there in the saltflats you couldn’t otherwise cross.” it was Lilly voicing the concerns Fathala harbored as well. Apparently deaf to her words Cylus went on towards the shipyard undeterred. It had been days since Myranda stopped paying the strangers any mind, so turning to her for answers was going to be even less fruitful. As in the pines, the wind roared through the alleys and chimneys of the town, which did not sway with it though. Peopke greeted them, there were differences in the tone of their skin, Fathala was curious how those different shades came to be, but didn’t ask. “That building over there!” Cylus pointed to.one of the buildings in the harbor, just above what would.be the waterline if there had been an ocean. For a moment Cylus, and Myranda as well, seemed disoriented, due to finding themselves in a world that is a mirror image of the one they knew. “What will we find there?” almost afraid of the answer Fathala couldn’t help but ask anyway. To her astonishment it was Myranda who replied.

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