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Reprieve

She was supposed to stand at attention – “eyes forward, rapt to all”, as her commander told her – but she approached a bench instead, leaned her halberd against the wall, and savored the brief window of silence. When her eyes were closed, she could just make out the green moss of the forest, the crack in the mountain, and the shadow that loomed in the distance.

More Tempest and the Fire art, my Beauty and the Beast retelling.