81st Turn, Seventh Year, Twenty-First Cycle, Byrday
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From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim

With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library

Byrday, Twenty-first Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn

Sixty-Second Day in the Trees

I am feeling better today. My temper is improving. I still feel saddened that Souja will soon be leaving, but it is nothing I cannot survive. I still have some growth, and my insides feel unsettled yet, but I have balance again. It is not the same balance I once had, but it is still balance.

I still feel very protective of Torne and Souja. I do not think that will pass. Torne is as old as I am, but he looks so young.

I wish that I had been closer to my young sister. We love each other, but we are very different people. Hah. Not so different now, perhaps.

If I had been closer to her, I might have learned from her some of the things that I might expect. I know the instincts of a male, but what instincts will affect me as a female?

Well, that simply means it is more important that I maintain my balance. The desert taught us balance1.

This forest, though, knows no balance that I can find. What can be said of a place where one can find winter two leagues away from summer?

The inhabitants show no more balance than anything else, judging by the things they leave. Today, it was a door we found.

It was in the middle of the path. There was no building around it. Just a doorframe. The door was hanging open awkwardly by a single hinge. The other hinges had been ripped out. Both door and frame were painted a bright red that made them even more conspicuous.

There were two sets of tracks. One was of a two-legged creature. Possibly a human, from the size and shape of the tracks. Its tracks led to the door and ended there. The other set reach the door, stop, and then move onward, past the door. They continue for a short ways, and then move off the path. They were made by a four-legged creature, possibly a cat, though one much, much larger than Souja2.

We left it there, not caring to examine it too closely. Torne, I think, learned some caution in the tower. I am glad for that, mostly. It was a part of who he was, and it is sad to see a bit of that die, but it will help the rest of him to live longer.

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