A Lost boy somehow gets even more lost.
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"Hmm, it might have been one of those, though not 'coffee.' I know this will sound strange, but... could one of you try singing each guess?"

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"Singing it? That does sound strange, how would that help?"

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"It's how I learn new languages," he says, wondering if the sense of exposure will get worse. Surely, if what he says is true enough, the line toward misleading wouldn't be crossed (and setting aside, for the moment, who's actually drawing that line, if anyone besides he is at all)... "Once I've heard a word being sung, I seem to just remember it automatically, and can figure out what it means."

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"Caaaa-rob," croons somebody, "chocolaaaate..."

"How in the world does that work? Who even thought to try that?" says another.

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"That one!" Danny points after the second word. "Chocolate!" Also he now knows what carob is, too, which is neat.

(He has no idea if it existed on earth or not; he hasn't noticed anything else here that didn't yet, but then again, how would he know? It's not like he memorized every plant and animal. But if it's lumped in with chocolate and coffee, it's surprising that he hasn't heard of it on earth. Maybe it's just... outdated?)

"It was my favorite. Is there any around here, or..." He realizes that along with the definition and properties, he has some sense of it being fairly rare and expensive.

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"Not here today. Should be possible to get on Rabbitround, but it's hard to grow."

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"Right, I'll keep an eye out for that, then." He's still a bit distracted from the knowledge-sense of rarity he got from learning the word "chocolate" in their language. Where did that come from? Would it have still come through if he heard the word from someone who lived on a round where chocolate was really common? 

In any case, this is as good a transition as any. "Speaking of which, Captain... I spoke with some of your crew, and heard you appreciate small bits of beauty." He carefully takes the wood square with its attached blue eggshell bird.

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"- oh, huh, where'd you get this?"

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"Oh, I made it."

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"It's an interesting concept..." The captain holds in various angles to check how it responds to lighting conditions. How big is it?

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About two-by-two inches, as best he could measure it without a ruler, with the eggshell fragments extending about a quarter-inch forward from the wood.

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"Yeah, I have a spot for this. It's lovely, thank you so much for thinking of me!"

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"You're welcome! I haven't done much art before, so it was really nice to try some." He is in fact surprised and pleased by how well it turned out considering his lack of experience, and her approval feels like confirmation that he did in fact make something good. "Enjoy the rest of the festival!"

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"You too!"

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He tries, though none of the sweets are able to satisfy his new, strange palette. This one's texture is like overripe grapes in his mouth, that one's cream tastes curdled, those simple sugar cookies are like a mallet of sweetness, no subtlety at all...

Eventually he loses hope of finding something that tastes good, and stops trying, feeling slightly nauseous. He wonders, as he continues to circulate and listen to various people discussing what they enjoy, if he can make something of his own that he'd enjoy.

The most bearable food he's found here are the simplest ones, so maybe if he tries baking his own cookies, he can avoid whatever it is that the people do through cooking that makes things hard to stomach...? It was years since he helped his mom make brownies, even before he went into the Hedge, but his surprising success with the eggshell bird has emboldened him to try new things.

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Once the food stops drawing his attention, it's the people he notices more. It's hard to forget for long how pretty everyone around him is, and he finds himself drawn more and more to the young women who seem closer to his age (or maybe a little older? It's hard to tell, given he's not sure how old he actually is anymore, and given the way people are so attractive and fit people around here are).

In an attempt to not just linger around them, he also tries to pay attention to anyone talking more about the religious beliefs themselves, curious if he can get a better sense of what the roots and core tenets of this faith are, or if it's just all about celebrating nice things.

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Some people are having a moderately philosophical discussion about how it's not in any way necessary for human existence that sugar also exist and be safe for human consumption, so they're very fortunate that the spirits involved chose to taste good in such a special way. Someone puts in that they could be missing out on lots of possible tastes that don't exist but could, but the consensus seems to be that there's a pretty good assortment and at least they're not missing out on this one.

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Huh. He wonders what they'd think of the sugar spirits if they had enough of it easily available to start noticing health problems. Or maybe they're "made" to handle sugar consumption better than baseline humans.

He stays out of the debates for now, in any case. His feeling of exposure feels like it grew a fraction from his conversation with the captain's group—his mind keeps turning back to their confusion over singing words helping him understand them—but it's still bearable, and he doesn't want to risk growing it further.

If he's allowed to take some spare sweets, he'll pocket a few to give to Ashimba and her housemate as thanks for letting him stay in the barn, then he'll look around for anyone else with the right armband besides the captain to ask when their ship is leaving for Rabbitround.

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Nobody stops him from taking a couple.

Here's an armband person hanging out with a sewing bee and doing his own mending. "I heard after the sugar festival, we're going to load up on the extra sweets and then get out of here."

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"Thanks!" He'll hurry to find the captain again. "Hello! I'll be leaving now, and heard your crew will be getting ready to set sail not long after the festival. Do you happen to have room for me?"

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"Yep, there's a spot. Are you bringing your own food?"

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Score!

"A week's worth. I can stock up on more if needed." Particularly if he's okay with getting his calories from sugar cookies, which... "okay with" is maybe a stretch, but he'll survive.

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"We shouldn't be longer than a week, but it's not impossible, depends on weather conditions. I don't recommend skimping on food you know you like, if the weather gets rough the kitchen's going to be running pretty light on crew while everyone's on the sails."

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"I'm still looking for food I like, but I'll keep that in mind. Thanks again, I'll see you soon." He hurries to grab more sugar cookies, only a little self-consciously; if food wasn't so weird to him in this world he probably would have gorged himself at so many free sweets being available, but as it is he only takes a dozen to supplement the nuts and fruit he's foraged.

After that he rushes to say thanks and goodbye to all the acquaintances he's made around town, hurries for an extra special thank you for Ashimba and her housemate (assuming he doesn't see them around the festival already), then ensures he has his meager belongings and heads for the ship dock, buying some extra jerky along the way just in case food is hard to come by on Rabbitround.

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He is directed to a hammock, and the crew heaves off from the round.

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