Back at the greenhouse, Occitanie sits at the table with Guyane. Guyane has zer head resting on one hand.
Guyane: And yesterday’s… personal issue?
Occitanie: I believe I have made things worse.
Guyane lifts up hand, opening zer beak.
Guyane: Perhaps, with a witch, we can use some magic…
Occitanie makes fists on the table, as if to pound on it. Guyane rests zer head in both hands.
Occitanie: Never. We forbid mental state alteration magic in this region.
Guyane: Is that the only reason?
Occitanie frowns, but we only see one eye.
Then Occitanie walks away quickly, leaving the greenhouse.
Occitanie: … I will bring Charentes, a local witch, tomorrow. She wishes to meet you before bringing in the new contracts.
Occitanie exits the greenhouse, entering the forest.
She looks at one hand.
Occitanie thinks: I could not stand it if Calais only loved me because of some witch-magic…
Somewhere else, among the roots of the trees, Calais stands, one heel lifted.
They put a hand to their neck. They frown, looking down.
Calais thinks: What are my feelings?
In town, Picardie enters her home.
She futzes with the collar of her shirt, frowning as well.
Picardie: I shall return home.
Occitanie walks to an open door.
A voice: There she is!
Alpes, Auvergne, and Rhone are standing at the door of Occitanie’s home. They are all in loungewear. Alpes’ bangs are down, covering their forehead. Auvergne looks worried, and Rhone looks up, distraught.
Alpes: Occ! There you are!
Auvergne: You seemed to disappear for two days.
Rhone puts a hand on Occitanie’s arm, eyebrows raised.
Rhone: How did you do, Occ?
Occitanie is tired and her gaze feels empty.
Occitanie: I told them. Calais. That…
Alpes lights up, grinning.
Alpes: A special occasion! I shall get my earthen brew out!
Auvergne and Rhone remained reserved, although Rhone puts her palms together.
Auvergne: Good for you.
Rhone: You finally did it.
Occitanie remains outside, in the dark.
Occitanie: We will see… if I can get a response.
Auvergne moves to stand parallel with the door, looking at Occitanie.
Auvergne: Come in, Occ. It is your house.
A full-width panel shows the open door slightly less open, and the yellow wall in the background.
Calais sits at a table in a blue and green-themed house. Picardie stands, about to sit.
Calais: Thank you for having me over.
Picardie: You know, Auvergne told me something today. They said they travel because it made their magic stronger.
Picardie sits, glum, and hands wrapped around the side of her face.
A zoomed-out panel shows the full interior of Picardie’s house. Blue and green tapestries hang from the walls, and ornaments decorate a tree root. A small dresser hs a plant on it, and a pile of large scrolls leans up against the wall. Calais and Picardie sit in the middle, at the table. Picardie has one hand up.
Picardie: I always thought going further from your native region would hurt your magic, right?
Calais takes a bit of some food.
Picardie does not start eating.
Picardie: But I guess air sorcerers have it easier. They do not need their native soil, habitual forest, or familiar waters.
Calais thinks about it, leaning on one hand.
Calais: I never thought about all that… That… makes sense.
Picardie tenses up, hands down. She looks away from Calais.
Picardie: I may try to return home and bring back a plant.
Calais puts an arm down on the table.
Calais: Good for you. You came three years ago, and you never once took a break from work.
Picardie’s eyes widen, mouth open a little in shock.
Picardie: You… noticed.
Calais smiles at Picardie across the table, and Picardie remains in shock.
Picardie’s left hand clenches a bit into a fist.
Picardie: I will leave when harvest ends. Will you be able to handle some of my work?
Calais looks at the hand, smiling.
Calais’s hand rests on Picardie’s hand, forcing it to flatten out.
Picardie: Thank you.
Occitanie guides the crafting witch Charentes to the greenhouse, through the forest. Charentes is black, with thick curls. Occitanie is looking back at Charentes, eyebrows twisted in frustration.
Charentes: This place has not changed much.
Occitanie: That is what you believe, Charentes. Some of these trees have grown, others have been chopped as magical wood.
Charentes smiles a bit, raising up one hand.
Charentes: You know what I meant, Occ. Anyways. Have you thought about my other proposal?
Occitanie looks back at Charentes, grimacing.
Occitanie: I refused!
Now, the two have arrived at the greenhouse.
Charentes: What a pity.
Occitanie: Enter. I will stay outside.
Charentes looks forward, bemused.
Charentes: So, the demon lives here?
But a closer look shows Charentes frowning.
Charentes enters, and puts a hand to her chest, the ring and pinky fingers folded in.
Charentes: Demon? I am the crafting witch Charentes.
Charentes’s eyes widen, and her mouth drops. Guyane is flying above her and we can only see zer leg.
Guyane: Greetings. I am Guyane. I have chosen to bond with glass.
Guyane descends a little bit.
Charentes: So, you are a crafting demon.
Guyane descends to be face-to-face with Charentes.
Guyane: The ether has told me another resides outside the valley. We are not too close- after all, my cocoon would have not appeared if I would upset your demon.
Charentes frowns, putting a hand to her chin to think.
Charentes: I understand. I work in stone, which does go with glass. But the crafts of this region are of poor quality. Will you be alright?
Guyane raises zer arms, looking away from Charentes.
Guyane: Time will change everything.
Charentes looks hopefully at the demon.
Charentes: You know of that fact, for certain?
Guyane’s shoulders and wings slump.
Guyane: Not as a fact, no.
Guyane turns a little, but still faces Guyane.
Charentes: Well, we must discuss other matters. I have…
The early morning light shines on the wispy clouds of autumn, above the walls near town. A few trees have already changed color.
Picardie: I have everything. Do not fret, Calais.
Calais’s and Picardie’s boots stand among fallen leaves, next to the pillars of the wall’s gallery.
Calais: I just want you to be prepared.
Picaride smiles, while Calais frowns on. She has a bag on, and a coat with a fluffy scarf attachment.
Picardie: I will be. Or at least, for the predictable elements.
Calais stops frowning as much, but Picardie keeps smiling.
Calais: Then. Goodbye. I wish you the tenacity of dandelions.
Picardie begins to move away from Calais.
Picardie: I wish you the calm of a grove of birches. I will return.
Picardie runs off, through one of the openings of the wall/
Calais: There she goes… She runs so fast. A goal in sight. And I? My goal?
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