Merryn rubbed her eyes. The cast spell still flashed as a pattern of tiny dots. A warm muggy wind moved blue hair strands over her vision. Brushing them away, she held a nearby stall poll steadying her balance.

Don't remember the city being this crammed with merchants before. The coins clanked in the pouch on her hip. The man in the stall she held on to glanced sideways liken he would bore a hole into her with just a look. She sniffed, then let go straightening. She clutched the bag giving it a squeeze, it shank down.

The port and the book were at opposite ends of the city. Hope the map will have a shortcut to it. The paved jade streets, and marble lined walls bled with an overdone nobility. Like a sore throat after too many sweets.

Humans, they always went overboard. It was hard to take the disdainful looks they were as subtle as a kick in the gut. Never mind, it's not their fault. They couldn't see it. The shadows everywhere, not like normal ones, no these were darker, thicker. The sooner it was gone the better they'd all be.

She frowned. It was bad enough having to learn the darker arts, let alone be dumped here. Really can't blame the Elder Adapts they are already pushed past their limit. This city it had been around the book far too long. Still,-no it'll be alright.

She breathed in a few times. It was hard calling him, but had to be done.

"Feared Kage, wrap the shadows tight, with a kiss of the night," she whispered.

She pressed her hands together, fingers overlapping focusing on the words. The coolness flowed from her feet to the tips of her long ears. With a flick of a hand, the pouch slipped into her vest where it vanished from sight.

Moving forward there were majestic trees that provided shade between the homes. She edged away from the light staying under the shade.

Many houses had carvings on the doorways of the seven spirits. The favorite being the water spirit of Sho-Zen. Fitting as this was a port city.

Have to be careful here the smallest sun shaft would break the spell. She pressed to a wall weaving between the homes working forward.

Crouched down, she breathed shallow. Soft pink petals floated to the ground and carpeted the streets. The people who sat under them, their long shadows trailed off to the left side and merged with the others. It had begun already.

Only a few years had passed the training as a priestess stopped and the darker arts began. There wasn't any help for it this had to be done. She bowed her head, touching her forehead with her fingertips. Olenus, forgive this next act.

The shadows moved of their own, wavering up the sides up against the buildings. A thin tail lead back, it hugged the wall sides and buildings. She shivered. Wrong all wrong. A trio of women passed shadows clung to them, like a wafting smoke. She played with a boot tie until they passed.

She worked her way towards the back-end of the city; the élite lived here in their white houses, decorated with paintings of the spirits. This one had three fish heads encircling each other. Along the edges the foamy waves crested over the doorway, offering peace and blessings.

She padded closer, her footsteps but of a whisper, her outline, but a shadow. The hidden spell absorbed the darkness around her.

She stopped, crouching near the outer castle wall. That old woman had lied! A seer still patrolled the castle.

She padded forward in the alleyways and through the large gardens, hiding behind the various plants as needed. Crouched low as possible, she sprinted to the house ahead.

A group of overdressed women walked past. How could they breathe in those tight-ribbed girdles? She pulled in a breath while she crouched against the wall. Come on, move your slow-moving frilly butts. As soon as they passed, she tiptoed closer to the castle.

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