iv) Fassn slept the night through

Fassn slept the night through. His eldest sister came to him in a dream, her listless, ephemeral form barely distinguishable against the undulating plants that rose up all around them. Fassn blinked. He appeared to be on the sea floor.

“Good to see you again, my brother,” Qulya said. “How many years has it been?”

“Two decades or more,” Fassn said. “It’s good to see me? Now I know you’re lying.”

Qulya chuckled. Air bubbles escaped her mouth and bounced trippingly upwards, to some unknown surface. “Old Ajralan treating you well?”

Fassn scoffed. “He is a father, a son, a wizened old sage. He knows what’s up.”

“Ah, Fassn,” Qulya said, shaking her head. “The question is not what is up, but where.”

A sudden rush of insight came upon Fassn; long-sought illumination, at last! He sat bolt upright in his bedroll, awake and alert, breathing hard, but could not remember what his realization had been.

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