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Margue was sweating, but the night was cool. He perched atop a seliota fungal stalk, which swayed under his movements, but easily supported him. Being one of the tallest in the forest, it gave him a beautiful view of the canopy. Had the moon been full, or he blessed with more time, the greens and yellows and oranges would have been a beautiful sight. It was why the day trips to the easily climbed cliffs to the east drew so many customers.

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The tea was nearly ready.

Seya set down the mortar and pestle — grinding the last of the herbs for the recovering molts could wait. The worm food needed a herbal infusion, but so did she. And she was far enough along in life and her career that she was done prioritizing herself last.

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Lakes was being obnoxious. And from what Seya had been able to hear of it tumbling down the stairs from the rearing hall, he had been for most of the day.

It was that time of the afternoon where she longed to be home, but needed to push through the last of the record keeping. It didn't help that her mind had not been able to leave the blanket from yesterday alone. During every task she found the mystery of the previous day inserting itself.

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Girral breeders was a truly liminal space; not quite the city and not quite the forest. The plot of land sat in the run-out at the bottom of the hill that housed the city, and was mostly marsh land.

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