Garden 5

“This place looks very different in the daylight,” Kaveri chuckled, strolling through the orchard beside Tyrel. “And without spirit creatures around,” Tyrel said dryly. “And no need to stay out of sight.” Somehow, it was just the two of them again. Kieran had been deep in a conversation with Dayo that had soon bored them. A century-old amarog was interested in gardening? What sense did that make, anyway? Madoc was back at the inn, drowsing through Sanur’s dark, with a promise from the innkeeper that food would be delivered if they didn’t make it back in time—service paid for with…

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Garden 4 pt2

(chapter continued from previous post) “Well?” Tyrel crossed his arms over his chest and gave Umako his best you’re-pushing-your-luck glower. He heard the others follow him, could all but sense Madoc loyally at his side, but didn’t look away from the earthborn. Who tried to hold Tyrel’s gaze, but failed. Dropping his eyes, he mumbled something. “Again?” “I created it.” It was still only a mutter, but at least it was audible. “Why?” “Gods are supposed to have spirit creatures around them. I don’t. Didn’t.” “And your idea of something useful was that?” “No.” Umako scowled sullenly. “A friend visited.…

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Garden 4 pt1

Fox-form, Tyrel crouched under a flowering bush, all senses alert. The scents of honey and fruit syrup and a sort of bread made from germinated grains, which Dayo had assured them would be sweet even without the dried fruit in it, were so strong to him as to be faintly nauseating. Dayo had raided the order’s food stores without compunction, loading his new partners down. The trickster had, more than once, displayed behaviour that suggested to Tyrel that it needed or at least craved sweet foods. Given Dayo’s description of it as acting like a poorly-disciplined child given entirely too…

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Garden 3 pt3

(chapter continued from previous post) Where did they find all these weird plants? Tyrel wondered. Here, the ground had been built up with coarse sand and small riverbed gravel, with only the paving stones of the path offering secure footing. It looked too dry for anything to grow, yet peculiar plants with thick fleshy leaves, some of them adorned with alarming spines, seemed to find it just right. He didn’t much care for the smells here, either: at least some of these plants had strong odours, and they weren’t all pleasant. One gardener, at least, hadn’t gone to the screaming…

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Garden 3 pt2

(chapter continued from previous post) The rest of the orchard was easy, but it got more complicated when they reached the broad lane along the edge of the orchard and turned along it. They weren’t the only ones responding to the uproar. Tyrel, shadowed by Madoc’s greater size, managed to duck into the darkness along the fence and thought he’d avoided being seen, and Kaveri scurried up the nearest tree, spiralling so she was on the far side of it. Madoc’s normally extremely effective camouflage, however, was scant use on an open lane in full bright moonlight. Unable to discuss…

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