I asked Inifra how long this rain is going to last, to which she simply shrugged. “A month?” She thought about it for a second. “Maybe more. I always hope it’s more.”

I can understand why she hopes that for herself, but I certainly do not. Inifra seems to walk taller with the rain cascading around her, as if she is lighter for the added weight of the water. She intentionally steps under the tree-formed waterfalls, and sloshes through the runoff and standing water at every opportunity.

If she wasn’t so elegant I would liken her to a child for her glee.

She seems so very content with how things played out in Zorga’s fortress. She doesn’t seem to realize the level of risk at which she has placed me.

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For one, no one knows what expression counterbalances a Timeshift, but that does not mean someone in the Nanten has not figured that out. Secondly, even if they cannot neutralize my expression (which fighting another Timeshift would effectively do), they can plan for me accordingly. All they need to do is ambush me, kill me before I know I’m in danger, and it’s over.

If a true enemy knows what he’s dealing with, he will not allow me to see him coming.

If he is a Timeshift, he will know that he can fight me man-to-man. While I am not terribly worried about the loss of my advantage in a fight like that, for I never use it in any case, it does mean that what is effectively my last resort is taken from me. It also means that if he is clever enough, he will lock me into a fight with himself while his co-conspirators attack me as they can.

I have never fought a Timeshift, but my mother did what research she could when I was young. From what she found: if two are in the same place and one uses his ability, the other’s perception of time instantly conforms to that of the first. Thus if the one slows time down, the other will see and experience time in the same way. Supposedly the Atmosphere locks time to both if they are close enough to one another.

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I don’t know if that applies to the abilities they have built up around shifting, or only the actual shift of time itself. I also do not know if there is an aspect to the skill I do not know. All expressions come with at least two balancing powers, but I do not believe shifting forward to be the counter to shifting back. I think ‘Shift,’ is one power. I have heard the name ‘Chronos,’ in rumor only, but I have yet to discover it for myself and I am too scared to explore enough to find it.

Gods, I hope that word of what I can do does not spread. I keep replaying that night in my mind, trying to see if there was any man in that hall that I left alive. If there was anyone who could have escaped before Inifra pushed the whole fortress over that cliff.

If I did leave any of them alive, it is too late now to do anything about it.

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