(Not) Tax Collect


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11/16/16, 01:27 PM, Posted by:Alba
Tsufu's Halloween Warning
Tsufu is a pious scholar from the Shining Dunes. She wrote the leading textbooks in defensive genjutsu. Her latest novel is Advanced Willpower: Fortitude to Fight Compulsions, Enchantments, and Phantoms. She meditates regularly in Shine’s dunes, updates star and lunar charts daily, and lectures an elite class on mindfire – using your genjutsu to inflict burns.

She visited me today with a warning. She didn’t threaten me. She didn’t bring weapons or jutsu. Her warning was peculiar.
Since the destruction of Current and Glacier, she’s been inflicted with worry that the rest of Seichi prizes her intellect over her religion. She was unable to foretell the doom of both villages, so Seichi stomped on her devotions. The circumstances forced her to put aside her faith. Seichi needed her teachings. Nothing else. Her heart has ached since then, unable to publicly proclaim her prophecies and visions. She’s been wracked with fear that mounts more and more every day. She couldn’t take it any more. “Seichi must hear my prophecy.” Her fist slammed my desk. “They can’t ignore my warnings. Doom is so near at hand. Despite my past failures, they must hear me out.” So, I let her speak. She’d traveled all the way from Shine to Seichi Daily News headquarters to meet me. My pen was the least favor I could offer a desperate woman. I gave her a pumpkin muffin and asked for her story.

She described a new phenomenon in the Southern Desert.
Every dawn as the sun gradually spread light across the Southern Desert, it cast unusual red shadows across the plains. Several valleys formed cups in the sand. These valleys filled with crimson pools like goblets of wine. The pools rippled across their surfaces. Veins spread out from their edges; eight jointed legs sprouted from every pool. As the sun ascended higher and higher, the blood-red boils shrank. By early morning, they were just valleys again. And when the Academies tolled their first bell for morning class, the shadows were all but gone. It was as if they were never there.
Before I sent Tsufu away from Seichi Daily News, she asked me over her muffin, “Are you a scholarly man?”
I had no answer.
She then asked, “Do you follow history?”
I shrugged. “When I have to.”

She gave me a tome made of chitin and hide binding. She called it Wars, Deaths, and Preservations of Crimscarab Pharaoh’s Army. She warned me once more, “Doom is near at hand. I am not brave enough to visit that Pharaoh’s tombs. I pray that you can find a man or woman to investigate.”

It’s not a convincing story. Her background with prophecy is shady. I dismissed her with a couple more pumpkin muffins for her trip. I slapped her shoulder and finished our meeting with a sheepish grin. “Relax. The only doom I want to worry about is making sure my daughter can dress up like PandaShiz for Halloween. Thank you for your research. I will report on your work soon.”

Was I right to dismiss her? Should I have questioned deeper into the nature of the red shadows? In Tsufu’s absence, doubt fills me. All I have now is this book. Unti my next report, stay classy, Seichi.

Daily Seichi News reporter, Hakkan

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