Oct 28, 2021 11:39 AM
witch queen hua cheng
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(Wuming helps.)

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(Wuming helps begin, and Wuming helps end, when dianxia has changed her mind.)

(Dianxia can't handle that many witches on her own.)

(Wuming rushes ahead of her with no idea whatsoever what she's planning to do about it. Can dianxia handle half that many witches?)

(Probably not.)

(But Wuming can.)

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She doesn't know how long it takes before she's conscious again, after that.

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She drifts, maybe dreams.

She promised - she wished - to never - never ever -

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She comes back to herself in stages.

She is someone; there are times, one after another; she is somewhere.

Not "she is located somewhere". More "somewhere is her".

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Somewhere is her. There's no body, no bones and arms and eyes and suchlike. But she has a dim awareness of it. No, not dim; indistinct but by virtue of inexperience. She thinks she can learn to be somewhere.

Is she a witch? She doesn't want to be a witch, unless dianxia happens to be in dire need of a seed. If she is a witch she supposes the priority is to make sure she can lie down and die in the event of such a thing. Does she have familiars?

The answer turns out to be "not yet". But after a long time - it's hard to tell how long, with no days, no nights, no heartbeats - she learns how.

She is full of butterflies, the ends of their feet sticky with the taste of blood, their wings flashing silver in light she fills herself with from nowhere once she's re-learned to see, images of dripping flowers brought to her in millions of insect-facet glimpses.

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And one day, some of the butterflies pile into each other, forming a shape, a figure. A body, with bones and arms and eyes and suchlike.

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She finds her gem not too long after that. It's dark, but it doesn't matter, something else tethers her to this world. Her own inability to join the ranks of those who abandoned Taizi Dianxia.

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Where... is Taizi Dianxia.

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She doesn't know. She doesn't even know how to find out. It's taken her years to put herself this much back together, she finds when she emerges from herself - years in which dianxia could have gone in any direction, suffered any fate.

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And she's still not sure she's safe. She's something like a witch; she has some sort of witch powers. She doesn't know how to use them yet, and if any of them were out of control -

- she'll look, of course, for her beloved, but it will be best if she finds her only when she's ready to be of use.

Hua Cheng gets to work.

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