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Kasuin
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The Sublime Overlord of the Realm
Shad shook the man's hand and shook it firmly. He would do no less than that. There was still strength in his fingers, but not what it once had been. And as Shayne spoke of bastard grandchildren and asked him the question, Shad nodded gravely. Yes, sir. I do. He was quite thankful once Shayne moved away. It eliminated some of his tension immediately though his head felt like he was swimming. It was then he noticed that Echo had fallen onto a bench and looked particularly ill.

The half elf took a moment to blink the bits of stars from his eyes before he set a hand on the back of it and took the step needed to lower himself down atop it, beside Echo. Echo...? He lifted a hand to gently rub her upper back, trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong with her. Echo, are you okay? I didn't do something wrong, did I? I mean, I didn't end up with my head up my ass like I figured I would, but if you want, I can go and pat your dad on the rump and I'm sure he'd oblige me. Heh... His attempt at humor was lame, but he knew it. He was simply concerned that he had said something that had upset her and wished she'd say something or laugh or smile.

----

Whisper's wanderings took her to a half-burned garden behind a wall. The willow tree was crisped, but some branches still shaded the rock that sat beneath it. The rock had been there for ages and she smiled sadly as she looked at it. There you are, Rock. I figured I would find you eventually. When everything else seems to change, only the landscape around you does. A bigger tree, a burnt tree... She shrugged as she moved to settle herself atop it. It doesn't matter. You're still here.

She pressed her feet to its sides and propped her elbows onto her knees, seeking meaning and peace as she always did. The world smelled like wet campfire. Insects hummed rhythmically. The sun still hung in the gray sky. She closed her eyes and let the hours pass her by as she meditated. No matter what happens in my life, the core of me remains. It was the meaning she had for. The garden, what was left of it, was the lesson. It had changed to almost be completely unrecognizable, yet the stone, the heart of the garden, yet remained. It was burned and dirtied, but it was still undeniably the stone that she had sat upon all her life. In the same way, her body, her circumstances, even her home had changed, yet the core remained the same. She inhaled slowly and then let out the breath. Life continued. Be in peace, Julianne Markis, my friend.
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Respite · Phenvast City


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