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But no land was a better land to look at, in Quint's eyes, than the fertile plains and rolling hills of Avra. Avra was the home of Wido before he traveled to live in Culmen. The Avrans are farmers, living off the land, growing crops and raising cattle. They are simple folk with simple homes and simple values.

Things feel different here. There was tension in Eremus. There was hostility in Truncatis. There was fear in Glacialis. And looking back, Quint felt all of that as though it hung in the air. But here in Avra it’s different. It’s calm and it's content. It’s as though the weight of his mission has been lifted off his shoulders. He feels like a different man. A new man. Like he’s being born again and seeing the world and all its wonder for the first time.

 

He walks taller and smiles brighter. Quint, for the first time in his life, feels special.

 

Everyone is so nice and happy. Everyone is so welcoming and accepting. Quint has never felt such an intense feeling of belonging. His desperation is swept away and replaced by an almost joyful ignorance that seems to embody the citizens of Ager. 

He continues to walk down the street and his mind numbing haze gets thicker. With every step and every greeting from the passers by, Quint’s mission fades further and further from his mind.

Avra