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Passing the burden

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Khurshæd - Bahaaru - Mysterious package

“Is it a present?” Khurshæd wonders uncertainly, eyeing the half-open cloth bundle on the table.

Nanu’s dry laugh ends in a gurgling cough; not long, now. “More like a burden, but you’re the only one to bear it. Open it, if you like.”

Nervous now, she does so. The wrapping itself is a fine, heavy cloth, closely embroidered with intricate patterns. Within, several small waxed paper envelopes containing different sorts of salt, each with a label denoting the place of origin; more embroidered cloths, closely folded; a carved figure of a woman that doubles as a phial of oil. “Nanu,” she whispers, feeling a chill whisper over her skin in the heavy summer heat, “I thought you destroyed all this.”

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