In the light of tomorrow

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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In the light of tomorrow

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 6:25 pm

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68th of Spring, 522 AV

Instead of having the conversation that needed to happen, Cleon had avoided it altogether entirely. For the moment, it was working. Faye either hadn’t realized what had happened the other day, or wasn’t going to say anything he hoped. There was some logical basis for this. She had been around six years old the day it had occurred so maybe she had been too young to comprehend that he had gotten drunk and let her get sunburned on the beach. Fortunately Kami had been there with that cream to soothe their burns but he could still feel that dirty look she had given him before taking Faye away to hang out with Nesra.

So today he was going to make up for it by taking Faye to the pool, and try to show her some of the things he had learned on the surfboard. He should have done this far earlier in the season. He should have done a lot of things. It was what he did now that mattered, and now he was taking her to learn a few things at the swimming pool. Though it wasn’t quite like teaching his younger sister anymore. Today she looked closer to his age than what she was, and she had to wear some clothes she had borrowed from Oralie because everything else was too small.

It was difficult spending time with her when she got older. If he could do things his way he would have kept her in their room all day until they got things figured out with this curse because he felt extra protective over her the older she looked. He knew how easy it would be for her to get in trouble as sheltered as she’d been up until coming here, and he shouldered some of the blame for that.

Sunberth. Well Sunberth ate innocent up and spat out despair and that was something he never wanted for Faye or Farren. He flipped the coin twice, one failed so this one had to succeed. He had to provide the best life possible for her or everything he had done up until this point was for nothing. So to say it was stressful to have Faye walking around looking older would be a significant understatement. An there was a problem that he hadn’t quite foreseen in his nearsighted idea to bring her to the pool. They really didn’t have any appropriate clothes for her.

She was currently wearing a pink top and a cream colored skirt which was fine for now. In the water though, well he’d just have to keep an eye out for anyone lurking. Most of Sykans knew his face by now if not his name and so long as he was with her they would probably infer who Faye was too. At least, that was what he would be hoping. He’d taken them early in the morning in hopes of avoiding people, but that meant the water would be pretty cold having gone without the Syna’s warmth.

As he had hoped he saw that the pool was for the most part empty as they came around the bend. A broad shouldered man with long dark hair was cleaning it, but didn’t seem to pay much mind to them as he tended to a section of the pull. It took a moment for Cleon to place his face before he remembered it was Duncan who had lost his sight for a second time. His curse made Cleon feel like he had gotten off light at times like this when his impulses were muted. Muted perhaps because he was tired, or he was still coming off that bender a couple of days ago. Cleon had long ago stopped trying to make sense of it. There was only coping with it, and trying to find constructive work around that wouldn’t lead to more problems in the future.

Realizing that Duncan was indeed blind, he didn’t feel as self conscious about taking Faye into the water, and he hoped Faye wouldn’t either. Of course that didn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t come along. This was Syka after all, and the days had been beyond warm. It was almost impossible to catch oneself some time alone in the pool. He just hoped it would be only women that came to the pool this morning for Faye’s sake.

Stepping up to the edge of the pool Cleon dipped his toe in, shivered, and then with a deep breath stepped out into the water till it was up to his knees. Then turning around he tugged Faye over, holding out his other hand to guide her in. The board they would use was positioned by the edge of the pool. It was the one he had worked on yesterday, and he would pull it in after Faye got a little experience swimming in the water. Drawing off his own experiences, he just thought it would be easier that way.

“Its a little cold, but you’ll get used to it after a while.” Cleon said, hoping to reassure her as he took her hand and pulled her slowly forward into the water. Her first steps were hesitant, jerky even as she adjusted to the cool temperature of the water. She kept looking over at Duncan until finally she was deep enough in the water that her skirt started to pool around her. He guided her step by step further until the water was up to their hips before he stopped.

“Alright, here is good enough. Why don’t we get acquainted with the water before I show you how to float on your back?” He said, and then sucking in a breath, bent at the legs so he dipped below the water till it was just under his chin. It was pretty bracing, making his eyes go slightly wider as he managed a trembling smile. Then standing up he gave her a little splash when she hesitated to do the same.

“Come on, it will feel nice once you get to moving. It really isn’t that cold, its just hot outside.” Cleon exclaimed as he laughed splashing her again as she started to run around the outside of the pool before she slipped into the water. He managed to catch her before she slipped all the way under but when he pulled her out she turned around to give him a playful slap on the jaw which only made him roll his eyes.

“A bit dramatic, but I’ll accept the blame. Hey- Hey- at least you got into the water” Cleon protested as she started splashing him right back, and he stumbled away from the onslaught until he was sitting on the bottom of the pool. Pushing her foot he laughed as she fell forward beside him and he held up his hands in surrender.

“Okay you got me! Are you ready to try swimming now?” He said, unable to stop himself from chuckling at the semi stern look she gave him with wet hair plastered against the left side of her face. She looked so much like Farren it was almost scary. It was a bittersweet thought that he didn’t dwell long on as his mind moved on to what they were supposed to be doing.

“Don’t worry. I won’t let you sink.” He said as he drew Faye forward into the water, and gestured for her to lean back. “Keep leaning back, and I’ll support you. You’ll see.”

As she did so, he walked his hand down to the middle of her back so that he was holding her flat across the water as he continued to carry her backwards into the pool. He smiled at her comment and continued drifting backwards until his feel barely touched the ground. Then gradually he let go over her so that she was floating on her own.

“See, I told you that it wasn’t so bad. I learned about this with a woman named Shiress. She spent some time in Sunberth before coming here as well. I’ll introduce you to her sometime.” Cleon said, pulling his legs up and trying to similarly drift on his back. For a brief moment he felt almost weightless then as he started to sink he pushed down with his hands and kicked with his legs to spur him upwards in the water. As he did so he straighted his body as he could float across the water like his sister with the occasional movement from his hands to flick him across the pool.

“So what do you think? Do you like it?” He asked with a bright grin, looking over occasionally to see how she was doing. Laying across the water she looked both excited and afraid which was close to how he felt his first few times in the water. Still nothing amounted to the terror he’d felt being tossed overboard only to be rescued by a literal god. It was weird to describe such a beautifully amazing experience as scarring but the description had a ring of truth to it.

It was a deeply personal moment that he would cherish forever. He didn’t think he would have been able to remain sane this season without it to steer and guide him along. Much like his small movements steered him across the surface of the pool, that small movement for a god had changed his course forever. He drew back into the moment as Faye said something.

Flipping around so he was on his belly, he used his arms and legs to kick his way over to Faye to check on her.

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In the light of tomorrow

Postby Faye on May 20th, 2022, 6:26 pm



Faye had been nervous about going to the pool when Cleon had mentioned it that morning. She had been positively terrified when she actually saw it. Her experience with water was not made of the best memories with the latest being seeing her brother almost drowning in the sea before miraculously being brought back to the ship. Cleon hadn’t exactly opened up about what had happened to him out on the water, but that new mark on his flesh was evidence enough that whatever had happened changed him. For the better she thought on most days, because he was far from the sulking young man he used to be, and not nearly as overbearing. Faye was a fan of the change, though she still didn’t quite understand why it had happened so suddenly.

She was sure though that Cleon would talk about it eventually. He always did things on his own time, a cycle with no rhyme or reason to it as far as Faye could tell. All things considered he was a good brother too her, even if he could be an arse at times. Like the other day. It hadn’t quite clicked until she woke up with Nesra, and realized what must have happened. It wasn’t really like there were a lot of choices for what it could be, Cleon’s vices had become more apparent as the season wore on till it was like living back at home with him before they went to the caves. Those were dark times that she didn’t want to spare a lot of thought about as they walked up to the edge of the pool.

There she saw a man that she recognized, but couldn’t remember much about him besides his name along with the curse that went along with it. She felt a sudden pang of sadness for what the man had lost. Although she didn’t know the whole story, she knew from what he had said that he had lost his sight again which implied that he had been blind before. She couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be blind but she imagined it made things very hard for him. Maybe she could do something nice for him sometime. It must get very lonely here by the pool.

A tug on her hand pulled her from those contemplations as she focused again on Cleon who looked almost as nervous as she was. She took his other hand gingerly and took a cautious step into the pool. The change in temperature from the hot and humid to coldish water sent goosebumps racing up her legs as she almost jumped back out of the water. Almost because Cleon held her from backtracking so she was stuck switching from foot to foot as her body became adjusted to the cool water.

“A little cold you said??” She countered as she looked over to see if Duncan had noticed her discomfort. If he had, he was poised enough to pretend he hadn’t and eventually she was far enough out into the water that the chill felt like it had somehow became a part of her. Then she was staring at her skirt, fretting a little over what the water would do to it and if Oralie would be mad at her. Still it was either wear this or nothing but her underclothes which was a non-starter for several reasons she didn’t bear thinking about. She would just have to hope that these clothes would be as good as new after giving them a thorough wash, and if not she would see about buying Oralie a few replacements.

So many people had been kind to her over the course of the season about clothing given her unique needs throughout the season. About the only time they really didn’t have covered were the couple of days she spent as an infant and a toddler, though a shirt wrapped around her body seemed to do on those days. It had been a trying experience for them both, and Faye just hoped it would be over soon though part of her was scared that this was to be her life now as a freak that grew older every day only to regress and start all over.

Then Cleon splashed her drawing her away from such thoughts as she attempted to pursue him across the pool. Though the going was slow, as it felt like she was trying to run in well.. Water. Slapping the water back at him she didn’t stop until he surrendered and even then she got a few more splashes in before she ended up falling along side him and getting even more wet in the process. Fortunately it wasn’t so bad now that she had grown acclimated to it, and it actually felt a little nice though she still shivered occasionally when any of the bare skin above her neck touched the water. He eventually buckled under her shrewd look, and she beamed a smile back at him.

“Okay, but lets take it slow alright?” Faye said as Cleon guided her out into the water. Lowering herself into the water from the back wasn’t were she would have started, but she trusted his judgment as she leaned back until she felt his hand supporting her. Then she took in a deep breath as he lifted her off her feet so she was just floating on her back now.

It was an almost weightless feeling, and belatedly she realized she had been gripping his shoulder rather tightly as she thought any moment her face was going to go under the water. When it didn’t, and she seemed to float rather effortlessly, a little bit of excitement replaced that fear as she took a few strokes at the water with her limbs, testing it out as Cleon continued to carry her.

Then before she’d even realized it properly, his hand was getting lighter and lighter on her back until it was gone though she was still left floating on her back. It came as an exhilarating realization though also a terribly frightening one as she didn’t dare try anything out to disturb this odd equilibrium until Cleon reassured her.

She thought she recognized that name. Shiress. The woman who was plagued by a ghost or something. It was hard to remember exactly the particulars, there were so many curses running about and all of them had there terrible sides. Her heart went out to all of them because these curses had really dealt a lot of pain to this community.

Eventually she dared to look over at her brother, tilting her head gradually sideways until she caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye. Then miming his movements she splashed herself forward with little paddling motions of her hand and gently kicked out with her feet, though she stopped that when she seemed to be sinking with the movement and stuck to steering herself around with little strokes of her arms.

Looking over at Cleon she nodded. “Yes, it feels almost like I’m weightless and-” She bumped her head against the side of the pool, and in grabbing her head dipped under the water before being pulled from it moments later sputtering. When she looked up to see who it was, she saw Duncan holding her out of the water slightly before setting her down gently so she could stand up in it.

“Careful around the edges of the pool. They’ll sneak up on you.” Duncan said with a slight smile, shifting slightly as Cleon swam up.

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In the light of tomorrow

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 6:27 pm

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“Its okay, she just bumped her head and went under for a tick.” Duncan said calmly as Cleon was trying to paddle over. It wasn’t the most graceful thing as his splashes and kicks were more primal than anything else. It was also notably absent of any sort of rhythm as he pretty much used his limbs spastically to get across the pool and over to where his sister was rubbing her head. As he saw Duncan though he slowed down a bit till he was treading water, then standing in place before walking the rest of the distance over to where Faye stood against the wall.

“Are you alright Faye?” Cleon asked and once he had confirmation he looked up at Duncan apprehensively. “Thank you for pulling her out of the water when you did. I should have been keeping a closer eye.”

“Don’t worry about it. Just keep the edge of the pool in mind.” Duncan said and started to walk away. Cleon watched him carefully for a moment before he looked back at Faye, and gently parted her hair to look at the scalp beneath.

“Well it doesn’t look like it left a mark, but I’m afraid you’re still ugly.” Cleon said with a grin, and Faye expression quickly turned into a scowl. Before she could swat him though he jumped back into the water and started to swim off. Flipping around so he was on his belly, he tried a stroke he had done before kicking out wide with his legs as he he did the same with his arms. This sort of movement had brief lulls in between little jolts through the water as he drew back his arms and legs before kicking them out again. Still it was faster than Faye trying to follow him which was funny to see as she started to doggy paddle after him without really realizing what she was doing.

Before he got too far however he slowed down enough so she could catch up to him, and as she did he caught her under the arms to pull her over towards him. Even older, she was still shorter than him so it wasn’t particularly difficult to keep her afloat while standing up on the bottom of the pool. He hoped it would give her a good experience with treading water but she seemed preoccupied with splashing and slapping him until finally he maneuvered her so he could hold her arms down with her back pressed against his chest.

“Okay, okay. You’ve had your fun.” Cleon chuckled, panting a little as he rested his forehead against the back of her head. “Now, how about we try out a little surfing. Get the basics covered at least.”

When she accepted and didn’t look apt to smack him again, he released her to her own devices only to guide her over to where she could walk again after him. Then he went on his own to grab the long surf board and pull it into the water. It looked even better in it than out of it, and he expected it would look even better still in the sea. He was close to being able to try that soon. A little more practice and he’d be giving his first wave a try.

Sliding the board out onto the water between them, he held out a hand for Faye to help her onto the board.


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In the light of tomorrow

Postby Faye on May 20th, 2022, 6:30 pm



Of course Cleon would diffuse the moment by saying something mean. She tried to swat him, but got nothing except water when he started to swim away. At first she tried walking after him, then when that proved too slow she slid forwards into the water, sporadically stroking with her arms and legs as she struggled to propel herself forwards and keep afloat at the same time. Cleon was enjoying this too much and worse than that, he was getting away. As she stumbled her way through the water he was crossing the pool in sure little jolts away from her, occasionally splashing her thought it was hard to tell with how much water she was kicking up.

Then her opportunity came as Cleon slowed down and to her surprise grabbed her under her arms. Yelping in surprise she started to swat, splash, anything she could do to get back at him as he twisted her around and then hugged her arms to her chest so she couldn’t splash him anymore. From all the treading water then this Faye was breathing hard, and had to catch her breath for a tick before speaking.

“You deserved it you big ole meanie, but okay I guess.” Faye said, sounding more disappointed than she felt. Truthfully she was curious about what it would be like to surf. Cleon seemed to be rather taken with his job lately, and it would be interesting to see what his work was all about. It wasn’t something she could readily understand just from looking at the board he had but she had an inkling about what it was for.

She let Cleon guide her over to the shallower section of the pool without much resistance until she felt that she could touch the ground with her own two feet. Then it was walking in slow motion before Cleon met her with a long board spread between them. Confused she took his hand before being pulled across the board.

“Wait-” She said but it was a little too late for that as she said it breathlessly already halfway over the top of the board. Suddenly she was laying across it with Cleon holding it steadily as she floated along. When it didn’t look like it was about to sink or capsize under her, Faye spared a look at Cleon with a little smile. This might be much more fun that swimming.

Cleon said something, then gestured at the water so Faye followed suit, cupping her hands before stroking them through the water. She was pleasantly surprised at how easily such a simple movement carried her across the water, faster even when she kicked a little bit with her legs. This was actually kind of fun. She kind of felt like she was a bird through the water, gliding across it as the tips of her wings just barely skimmed across. Though the loud splashes her feet made quickly disabused her of that imaginative idea as she felt almost the opposite of graceful. Still this was more enjoyable than she would have realized it could be just seeing someone else do it.

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In the light of tomorrow

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 6:31 pm

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Cleon smiled to see the look of wonder on Faye’s face astride the board. He had felt something similar his first time across the back of the board, and made sure to carefully guide her along for a bit till she got used to the balance across the board.

“Sweep your hands through the water like this, and try kicking your legs a little bit.” He suggested after a time, gesturing how he wanted her to scoop at the water as she went along then smiling as she tried it out. It was much easier telling her what to do than doing it himself that was for sure. Although he had been to the pool more than a few times this season trying to learn the art, he hadn’t quite grasped his sense of balance yet. He still fell more often than not. In fact he wasn’t sure how one got off a surf board without falling. Still it was a joy to see Faye enjoying this and he let her splash around a little bit before he made his next suggestion.

“Okay now try keeping afloat on your own, and steer the board towards me.” Cleon suggested as he pushed through the water away from her and the board. He didn’t expect that she would fall off with her weight laid evenly across it. He let himself sink for a little while before moving his arms and legs through the water. When he did he tried to maintain a semblance of order to his strokes, but it was hard. His natural reflex was to push is arms and legs up as soon as they went all the way down, kicking at the end of their terminus because his mind just wanted to keep him afloat. His body wasn’t quite jiving with what his head was telling it enough so that he figured he might have a better time of it if he started with floating on his back and working out from there.

So he did just that, and once on his back he slowly stilled his limbs until he could manage to just drift along with minimal input, splashing here and there as Faye paddled over to him. He looked sidelong at her with a broad smile, happy to see how happy she looked on the back of that board. She looked more free than she had for a long time and he was glad that he was able to share such an experience with her. He really needed to take her out more and he would do he best to make sure she did get to have more experiences now that they were far from Sunberth. It was the least he could do after his sister Farren had sacrificed so much to get them here. In spite of these curses, he was determined to give her those opportunities to grow and learn what she wanted to so she might be able to chart her own course in life. He just hoped she would forgive him for all that had passed between them.

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In the light of tomorrow

Postby Faye on May 20th, 2022, 6:32 pm



When Cleon let her off to float on her own, Faye was briefly terrified that she was going to start sinking and froze across the top of the board. However when the world didn’t flip over, and she continued paddling her way cautiously across the pool. Occasionally she would shift her weight to the right or left depending on which way she felt the board was bending. It was an odd feeling, one she wasn’t entirely sure wasn’t only in her head. Still her caution kept her upright so she continued doing so as she occasionally splashed across the water to follow the curve across the pool Cleon had taken.

Occasionally she caught a look from Cleon that she could swear looked almost wistful which kind of made her feel embarrassed because he got that way looking at her. She wasn’t used to getting so much attention from her brother, and when she did get attention it was usually because he was making up for some wrong which she supposed he was now, but she didn’t like to think of this trip to the pool like that. She just wanted to relax and enjoy the fact that her brother was spending time with her, and showing her something he was interested in. She couldn’t remember the last time she had seen his face light up in such a way.

As she moved across the pool she ventured to dip her hands further, and further beneath the water as she skirted along its surface, occasionally kicking her legs into the water behind the board to give herself a little boost. This sort of swimming was actually kind of fun and a lot less stressful than relying on her body to keep her afloat. She could venture to practice all sorts of strokes, and she did. Sweeping her hands out wide, close together, clawing directly into the water all to get a feel for how it made her move across it though she had to temper such excitement knowing that this wasn’t representative of pulling herself through the water, only of how her hands passed through it. She still cherished the chance though but eventually her arms needed a break and she propped herself up on the board, laying on her elbows as she gave a look to Cleon.

“Is this board okay to sit on?” She asked. It certainly felt solid enough to support her weight, but she was a bit cautious after feeling the way it had flopped under her when Cleon had been pulling her across it. She certainly didn’t want to be tossed under the water by surprise, especially after her skin had just started to dry out. As the morning sun rose, and the jungle began to steam he kind of enjoyed the juxtaposition of cool water lapping against her legs and arms while the rest of her body remained outside of it. The only thing uncomfortable about it was the way her clothes stuck to her body, which rubbed the wrong way occasionally when she shifted her position along the board.

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In the light of tomorrow

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 6:33 pm

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Cleon nodded as he back paddled back to her, swing his arms out wide to catch as much water as he could before swooping it in towards his body. It felt almost relaxing, but seeing Faye needed his help, he quite trying to get acquainted with controlling his body in the water and focused instead on closing the distance in between them. As he drew along side her, he stood up out of the water and tapped her leg gently to get her to stop paddling through the water.

“If you want to sit up, I find it easier to spread your legs before you push up with your hands. Just take it slowly and you should be fine. I’ll make sure you don’t topple over.” Cleon said in a way that he hoped was reassuring. He didn’t touch the surf board just yet, only remained nearby to see if she needed his help because he wanted her to get a feel for the balance in the board as she did it.

Still he couldn’t help but feel a small surge of nervousness as he watched her push herself up slowly, hesitating every now and again as the board shifted before adjusting her posture until eventually she had carried herself up to an upright position. Smiling, he started clapping.

“Good job. That’s much better than I did my first time. I’ll admit, I did more falling on the board than staying on it but you did great.” He said, and gently placed his hand on the front of the board. “What do you say about us getting some breakfast before I have to go to work?” He asked pulling her along. As much as he wanted to draw this moment out, he had obligations to get to, ones he felt keenly about after his drunken mistake the day before. This was a lot of fun for him though, and he intended to take her out again soon. Yet he had another surprise in mind that could take place much sooner.

“I know, but tomorrow I spend the whole day with you at the outpost how about that?” Cleon asked, knowing that Faye was still quite curious about that place and he wanted for her to experience it because it was a very interesting blend of people that mingled there. Even some from their own city, but he didn’t care to mention that to her. It would make her think of Farren and spoil the mood.

When Faye accepted he guided her back to the edge of the pool and helped her off into the shallows. He was very pleased that she had enjoyed it as much as she had. Maybe after a few more days practicing in the pool they could even try their hands at the sea when he felt both of them were strong enough swimmers. There was so many things he wanted to do with her now, and it was just a shame that he had waited this long to do them. Oh well, no time like the present.


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In the light of tomorrow

Postby Faye on May 20th, 2022, 6:34 pm



Faye did as Cleon advised, spreading her legs so that they were on either side of the board before gingerly walking her hands up till she had her back mostly straight. It was a bit scary with how the board moved underneath her like it could slip out at any time but with Cleon there she had the courage to continue until she was completely upright. Then came an immense feeling of satisfaction at having managed it as she looked across the pool. She wondered what this would feel like on the sea. Probably a lot scarier but also beautiful.

Those feelings of elation were dampened somewhat as Cleon mentioned drawing things to a close. Of course she had known that this wasn’t going to last all day, but still it seemed the time had passed them by too quickly. She had felt like she’d learned so much with him out on the water, and just wanted it to last though she knew better than to argue with her brother when he got that look.

So looking a little disappointed she enjoyed her last few chimes astride the board as Cleon drew her in, then made a suggestion that brightened her features considerably. The outpost. Really? She blushed when she realized he recognized her excitement and had a look around. Fortunately it looked like no one besides her brother had noticed and she rolled her eyes at him as she started to rock a little bit with excitement.

“Okay, deal. Bright and early right?” She asked with a wink, suddenly eager to just be on with it even though she knew she still had a full day ahead of her. Perhaps she would go see what Nesra was up to. If she didn’t keep herself busy after breakfast she might go insane from the waiting and anticipation. If she couldn’t find Nesra then there was always Kami at the Panacea or even Oralie if she could find her. Safe to say she wouldn’t be bored but it would be difficult waiting with such excitement on the horizon. At least it gave her something to look forward to while Cleon was off working. She hadn’t found anything that she particularly enjoyed yet, but she was on the look out. It was hard forcing herself to go put herself out there to meet people, but it was part of the newfound independence she was enjoying in this place so she needed to use it for all it was worth.

First breakfast though, then seeing about who she might want to apprentice under. Cleon shouldn’t be the only one working after all. Not that he ever complained to her, but Cleon was never the sort to voice his displeasure of something openly which had made him a hard person to know growing up. He always talked around his problems, changed the subject, anything to dodge confronting it directly though he had started to change on that front. Perhaps Syka was doing that for him. Whatever the reason, she liked the change and looked forward to their adventure tomorrow.

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