Dionus walked with me today. He said I’d had enough time alone. I asked him what he meant and he just started whistling. He didn’t stop for some time, except for the occasions when he got hit in the face with an unanticipated splash of water off a nearby leaf.

Finally he said his ability to sense anything around us was being nullified by the rain. He’s blind. He nodded at Inifra and said we were reliant on her for now. “Glad to have her now especially,” he said. “But gods, what a show she put on at the reservoir.”

I agreed. Zorga’s fortress made a better stronghold than a raft. Dionus smiled.

“I bet you put on a show yourself.” He shook his head. “I wish I could have seen it.”

I asked him if it didn’t upset him. He laughed at me then. “I’ve wanted to see you do that ever since I found out you were a Timeshift! When you slipped in the Northern Range, that was nothing compared to what you did to Zorga and his men. If I’m upset, it’s because you didn’t do it in front of me.”

I got the strangest thrill from that. Dionus, a Walker, wanted to see me use my ability? No one wants to see that… I thought no one wanted to see it.

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Have I been wrong this entire time? No, my mother knew the dangers of what would happen should word spread of what I could do. She was right about that. Dionus only knew because his senses are so heightened that he felt me pull on the Atmosphere in a desperate situation without ever seeing what I actually did. It was one of the few times I’ve ever used my ability to save my life, and Dionus was clever enough to put it all together.

I asked him if he wasn’t concerned that our enemies in the Nanten might know now. Absolutely, he told me. He had never wanted me to have to use it unless absolutely necessary. He knew the risks, and he had been thinking about it ever since I told him what I had done.

Dionus shrugged then and told me not to worry about it. I was bound to lose the advantage of surprise eventually. He smiled. “Next time,” he said. “You’d better let me know so I can watch. Shouldn’t be hard, since you won’t need to surprise anyone.”

I pray there never is a next time. But perhaps I could put on a show for him someday. I would be proud to impress one of the greatest expressionists of our time. To impress my friend.

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