A view through the window of Occitanie’s home shows a bird’s eye view of Occitanie, Rhone, Alpes, and Auvergne seated around a table. They sit on fluffy chairs with backs. The room is lit by two identical yellow floor lamps.
Another panel shows the four sorcerers at their eye level. Rhone looks at Occitanie, Alpes is eating, and Auvergne sits silently in thought. Behind them, we can see dressers and a curtain resting on a platform. A giant tree root snakes down the wall.
Occitanie: Now, with the children coming, we must protect Guyane…
Rhone speaks up, and we see the back of Occitanie’s head turned to face her. Alpes keeps eating, but grimaces.
Rhone: The Legend I mentioned is no one special. Perhaps born stronger than others, but not like the rumors of beast-people.
Occitanie: That makes things hard. A beast would be easy to chase away.
Alpes takes another bite of food, mouth open wide. Auvergne comes out of their thoughts to speak up.
Auvergne: You do not have people at the border to check the identities who come and go?
Occitanie’s hair blocks her eyes from sight. Alpes’ eyebrows turn up in the middle, and though their mouth is closed in chewing, they appear surprised.
Occitanie clenches her fist on the dark wood table.
Occitanie: With the end of harvest, we rely simply on the walls. If we had more plant sorcerers…
Auvergne remains concerned.
Auvergne: I would do the work, but I must depart with the autumn winds.
The view changes to show Rhone and Alpes. Alpes has stopped eating to speak.
Rhone: I must return to the coast.
Alpes: It has been a wonderful two weeks, Occitanie. But I must become itinerant again.
Occitanie responds across the three panels. In the first, a side view shows her looking a bit sad, with the kitchen in the background. In the second, she rests her hand on the table. The third is a close-up of her eye under intense light, the pupil wobbly.
Occitanie: I understand. You three have stayed long enough to aid me. You may return to your posts as you please. Thank you.
On another day, Occitanie stands outside her home, the wind blowing her hair around. Then we see her view of the forest, in autumn, the sky darkening.
Words float in the middle of the page, with no clear speaker.
Will these cold winds blow away my doubts?
Calais walks in the forest, carrying branches. The trees have changed color.
A front view shows them looking down in thought, branches framing their face.
Calais sits among dark green plants with light orange flowers, near a cliff of blue rocks.
Occitanie walks down the steps near Calais, silent. Calais picks one of the flowers in the foreground of the panel.
A back view shows Occitanie looking over the autumn forest.
Then her feet stand, pointed at the flowers and Calais.
Occitanie thinks: I must break this quiet, and find out. I could not ask, while Picardie was here.
Occitanie puts a hand to her chest, looking out at the forest.
Occitanie thinks: They must understand… I am not perfect.
The forest stretches out in front of her, as she stands on the rocky path along the edge of the cliff. Another cliff is further out, beyond some evergreens.
Occitanie thinks: And that… I need them.
Occitanie makes a fist, turned towards Calais. Calais has not seen her, and is focused on picking flowers.
Occitanie blushes, looking towards Calais.
Calais holds a flower up to their face, surprised.
Calais: Good day, Duxa.
Occitanie bends down, looking at Calais, who looks to the side.
Occitanie: We must talk. The witch-children arrive tomorrow.
Calais is grumpy.
Calais: Are we still guarding them?
Occitanie raises her eyebrows.
Occitanie: Not quite as much.
Occitanie closes her eyes.
Occitanie: So you truly hated that. I am sorry.
Calais holds a flower in their hand, sitting on their legs in the grass.
Calais: We have settled that matter. Do not worry. While you are here…
Occitanie grabs a flower’s stem with her hand.
Occitanie: Gathering the gnost-ili? Yes, let me help.
Occitanie moves to place the flower in a pile of other flowers.
She looks over to Calais, who is focusing on the flower-gathering.
Occitanie’s thumb strokes a stem.
Occitanie: Calais, what are we? I want to know.
Calais looks confused, twisting their eyebrows. Occitanie looks on, disappointed.
Occitanie breaks the flower stem with her thumb.
Occitanie: Not that!
She leans over, hands in the grass.
Occitanie: What am I to you? I have said my feelings. I want a response.
A single flower stands among the dark grass.
Calais: I suppose… someone close.
Occitanie blushes, eyes wide and sparkling.
Calais frowns. We only see half of their face.
Calais: What is that look on your face?
Occitanie smiles, still blushing.
Occitanie: Then, can I…
Occitanie rests her head on Calais’s shoulder, smiling.
Around the couple, flowers grow and bloom. Occitanie’s eyes open, and her smile becomes a small open mouth. Calais’ eyes are wide.
Calais looks at the flowers.
Calais: What did I…
Occitanie looks at Calais, no longer resting on their shoulder. She smiles. Calais seems disgusted.
Occitanie: Your magic betrays your face, Calais.
Calais: I just… I am so tired.
Occitanie touches her fingertips together. Calais’s body is turned away from her.
Occitanie: You need not guard yourself with me.
Calais: I should keep working.
A side view of Occitanie shows her sitting among the plants. She holds a flower up to eye-level, sneaking a glance over at Calais. She blushes a little.
Occitanie: We can continue later. I shall see you tonight.
Calais blushes, a flower by their shoulder. We do not see their eyes.
Calais’s eye tightens, eyebrow scrunching up their forehead.
Calais thinks: Flowers, flowers. I have picked sixty.
Their hand rests on the stems of the flowers.
They hold up one flower, others in the background among the leaves.
Calais thinks: Then there are those I just grew… Because she got so close…
Calais holds their head in their hands, frustrated. Flowers come up from the bottom of the page, around Calais.
Calais thinks: My head spins, at these thoughts! How can she change my mental process so much?
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