Dec 03, 2021 3:10 PM
a trickster in amenta
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"Not unless someone I've met is reading it to me. I can only magically gain understanding by borrowing it from a specific person; I can't pull it out of thin air."

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"So no audio recordings either?"

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He shakes his head.

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She chews her lip thoughtfully. "That will make it harder to get you out of this neighborhood."

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"Oh?"

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"There is a procedure that visitors are supposed to follow when they leave. There are instructions in the rooms intended for the procedure but if you can't understand them that won't help."

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"Ah, I see. I should be able to learn the language much faster than normal by borrowing your understanding in conversation, or any other volunteer's, like we're doing right now; but that won't help me if the instructions are very complicated. I don't mind staying here for a while, though, if you don't mind having me here and if having me here won't cause trouble."

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"I am worried it will cause trouble. Not - by itself, but if it were widely known."

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"I see. Is there anything I can do to help with that?"

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"...possibly. Nothing like this has ever happened before, so it's hard to be sure."

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"Your neighbourhood has been very hospitable to me so far and I wouldn't like to cause you any trouble."

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"I'm glad to hear that you feel that way. Is there anything else you need? With your injury, the doctor was unsure what to do since you're slightly different from us."

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"There are ingredients I could use to make myself heal faster by magic... pure distilled water is probably the easiest to come by. I can also use similar magic to heal other people but I don't know whether magical healing is a service you'd find useful, and the traces would linger much longer than the traces of the magic I'm using now. Potentially permanently, depending on the method."

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"- hm. Only detectable by other magic users?"

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"As far as I'm aware, only magic can detect this type of magical trace," he confirms. "I think your technology is ahead of ours in a number of ways, but the technology I'm used to has tried several ways to analyze magic without directly using magic and failed at nearly all of them."

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"Can we learn magic?"

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"Yes, and I'd be happy to teach it."

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She looks perhaps surprisingly annoyed by this answer. "Hm.

Perhaps I should - explain our complicated situation."

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"Perhaps you should."

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"Tosu informed me that you've been watching Learning Friends. You might have noticed, if your color vision is like ours, that the cartoon dogs - probably, I haven't watched an episode since my youngest great-grandchild was two - probably are shown to come in various colors. And not red."

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"Yes, I did observe that."

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She has loosely braided blush-pink hair, and she picks up the end of her plait by way of illustration. "Amentans also come in various colors. Including red. Reds live separately from everyone else, and you landed in a red neighborhood."

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"...hmm. And you're—likely to be troubled—by the rest of the colours?"

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"It happens. Not constantly. Enough that it's a serious concern whenever something unusual happens that the other castes - they're called castes - might be interested in."

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"I see. And you're concerned that... if I leave the neighbourhood and teach magic outside it, someone might later find out that I healed some of you, and they'd trouble you about it?"

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