Rousing III: Interpret

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In silence I slinked away from the Gären estate and toward my sinkhole of morning shift.  Around me the west end was sleeping.  The birds didn’t chirp too loudly, there weren’t very many dragons out walking, and even the wind seemed to hold its breath.
That left it easy to hear the soft, stealthy padding that came up behind me.
I said, “Hello again, Adwyn-sofran.”  Your tongue caught the scent of eyepaint.
“Greetings, Kinri of Specter.”
A twitching blue frill brushed my headband, and metallic-red eyes caught that.  I walked on, forcefully, and left the orange drake trailing behind me. Why here, why now? I’d had enough of this smirking, scheming wraith at breakfast.
“What do you want?” I asked him.  “I need to get to work.”

Rousing II: Covet

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I watched Ushra’s black eyes as he stepped in.  They were orbs almost sunken in a face hundreds of gyras old, and there were depths to those eyes.  Whatever sense of dragons I might have, I wouldn’t push it trying to read Ushra.
Those eyes were lingering on the orange drake high-walking in. The ancient alchemist was frowning.
Under that gaze, Adwyn entered. A red dress was flowing under him, swishing as he walked in, gleaming in the fain light of the loversuns.  His metallic-red eyes met mine as he entered, then he glanced around the room and his gaze settled on the dark-jade wiver.
“Ah, Gronte-gyfar. Greetings,” he said, and inclined his head with it. His brilles were clouding in a way which had them glinting slightly in the sunslight, and he may have missed the brief frown on the old wiver’s face.
Turning to our end of the slab, he added, “And hello, Specter-eti, Gären-eti. I was looking for you both, in fact.”

Sifting VIII: Reglaze

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Would this day ever end?  This entire adventure had passed in one day, in one evening.  Yet, in my mind, in my aching legs, and in my relationship with Hinte, a whole cycle might have passed.  More had happened today than in any other cycle of my life.
Routine dominated my days. Wake up before the second dawn ring, Kinri. Check by the coutiers, maybe your brother finally sent a letter.  Go to moil at the Llygaid Crwydro every day, except (stars, don’t forget!) not on the purportedly-sacred crestdays and troughdays.  Hope Cthwithach-sofran has time to teach you anything, else you’ll have nothing else to show the day wasn’t waste.  Let Uvidet-gyfar drag you out to play cards at the Moyo-Makao every other day.  Check by the courtiers again, you never know.  If you grow bored of things⁠ ⁠—⁠ when you grow bored of things⁠ ⁠—⁠ you can beg the guards at the south gate to let you out, and fly some laps in the pretty red ravines south of town.  Then sneak out at night and look at the endless stars.
All of the excitement and terror of this break from routine had exhausted me…  but it was worth it, to spend some time with Hinte that wasn’t just phatic fumbling.

Sifting VII: Anneal

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Along the roads into Gwymr/Frina the scattered lamp- and sign-posts mixed with bright-colored signs warning of trenches and sudden drops. Little glider-scorpions emerged from the deeper crevices, flitting in the night with the short, sporadic glides that named them.  Often the whirring of bats rose with the calls and buzzes of the scorpions, but when one appeared, the other would grow silent, hiding or hunting.
We passed a few houses dotting the ravine at its widest, where the posts instead fenced off their yards.  Here, netting rose from the fence-posts, and blocked any inward flight.  The nets met big poles rising from the roofs, making the houses like spiderly pyramids.