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Plot Point





The bolt flew true. Straight through the heart on one of the three larger tendrils connected to what used to be Lord O'Kal. The bolt seemed to meet some resistance when it contacted the exposed heart, but regardless, the power behind the point blank ripped the heart free from the tendril.

The Seed roared. "Y-Y-YOU... CANNOT... W-WE... WILL NOT..."

The world froze for everyone but Týfurkh. As if time itself stopped.

"Nice shot." Said a voice, coyly.

A man materialized in front of Týfurkh. It was the same man who had given Týfurkh the drawings of Chres and the rest that night before the day of madness.

"Better mind those ribs though." The long absent man continued with a smug grin on his face as if in mockery.

Then just as soon as he appeared, the Being vanished. Time rushing back in on itself.




Chres





"Týfurkh! Look out!" Chres yelled.

The giant man had blessedly taken out one of the six hearts belonging to the seed. However, in the time that Týfurkh had managed to get close, the several smaller tendrils had already fully regenerated.

The newly regenerated tendrils sharpened into razor thin blades and slammed into the earth behind the seed, cut through stone and carving out a chunk of rock the size of a man's chest. As Týfurkh fled from the seed it struck back by lunging several of its smaller tendrils into the earth and forcing Týfurkh to dodge their strike.

But that was only a faint. the real counter attack came from the small boulder, which it swung like a club and catching Týfurkh in the side of his chest. There was a loud clang from the man's armor as the blow tossed him to the side.

Chres made a mad dash to Týfurkh and blocked the follow up strike with a heat construct he threw up in front of the man. He looked to Týfurkh and winced. The man's armor was dented around the chest. He could only hope that Týfurkh wasn't too badly injured.

"Go! Quickly!" He said to Týfurkh as the tendrils started banging against the construct with force like before. "It would be bad if I loose another heat construct to this thing."

The seed roared. Banging is tendrils again and again against heat construct. Two of its larger tendrils shot upwards crashing through the cellar's ceiling directly above Chres and Týfurkh. The tendrils seemed to tighten and wrap around something.

What was it tugging downwards on? The ceiling beams?!

Chres cursed, and quickly dissipated the construct. He barely managed to dodge the Seed's next few strikes as he scrambled to get away. "Go Týfurkh! It's pulling down the ceiling on us!"

The ceiling immediately above Chres and Týfurkh collapsed. Chres dove for cover...
Chres





Chres hit the ground as Týfurkh let loose an explosion different than he expected. Not an explosion of fire, but an explosion of sound instead. The resonance chamber erupted in a loud boom. Its force ripping several thinner tendrils, their severed bits falling to the ground. The thicker tendrils, however, only had chunks taken out of them.

Chres took down the heat construct around Týfurkh. The seed roared in anger. Pools of greenish-Yellow blood oozing out of the seed's wounds

"We have an opening!" Chres shouted.

"WE-WE-WE-WE..." Speech seemed to have become difficult for Nieffar after turning into a seed. "WE SEE-SEE-SEE-SEE..."

Black sprouts shot out of the Seed's wounds, twisting together like vines. They clotted the pools of flowing Seed blood far faster than a normal Sightless and worked quickly to regenerate the missing tendrils.

Chres' eyes widened. If they didn't act soon then they would lose their chance to take out one of the hearts. Chres rushed forward but paused when he noticed that the four thickest tendrils had shifted their attention to Týfurkh. All four raised high, about to crush him.

Chres cursed. Someone else would have to take a go at one of the hearts. Turning on his heels, he raced towards Týfurkh and quickly Weaved a protective barrier above them.

The first tendril came smashing down with a deafening sound. The Heat construct held. The second tendril hit. The construct almost seemed to groan from the impact. The third tendril hit. The construct cracked. Chres' heart skipped a beat.

"GO! GO! GO!" He shouted to Týfurkh in quick succession.

The forth tendril came down with a crash. the construct shattered. Chres jumped out of the way, and barely avoided getting crushed.

Chres





Six more tendrils shot out. Two shot towards Karina, one towards Octavio, one at Chres, and the last two shot towards the soldiers in the back.

Chres jumped to the side, but the tendril reacted almost immediately, catching him by the leg.

"CHRES!" Sil cried out in terror. Eyes wide, she zipped towards the tendril moving left and right, not quite sure what to do.

Chres felt himself get lifted up in the air by the leg. Reacting quickly, Chres curled his body upright, Shaped a blade, and hacked away the tendril.

The Seed roared as Chres dropped back to the ground in a thud. Beside him he heard a scream from another soldier as he was lifted into the air by tendril and submerged into the depths of the Seed's stomach.

Chres shook his head at Karina's words.

"There are too many." Chres sucked in a breath as one of the more thick tendrils came down, as if trying to crush him. Quickly he threw himself out of the tendril's path.

"I can Weave a heat construct into a temporary wall for protection if we need to buy time for an attack" Chres look to Týfurkh "But my stores of body heat are already low from our last battle. So it would be best to use it sparingly."

Another tendril swung sideways. Chres ducked under it.

"If this Seed used to be a Sightless, then maybe it has similar weaknesses."

Chres looked to the abandoned Crystal jade candle. Their only source of light in the darkened Cellar and shook his head. No they couldn't just go smashing their only source of light. At least not unless they could get some other source of light.

"The Being told us to take out its hearts, but with all these tendrils, we'll have a hard time ever getting close enough. At least not with attacks that it can easily 'see'."

Chres's gaze fell on Octavio. The man's whole magic revolved around creating constructs of light. "Perhaps we can confuse it. Redirect its attacks in a blind attempt to defend itself."

"We need to be quick." Chres looked to Jen. "Quick enough to weave in and out of its attacks, while still gaining ground.

"Perhaps even distract it." His comments then directed at Karina while jumping out of the way of another attack. "Force to to focus on threats that can attack from afar."

This creature claimed to be able to see everything. Well it was time to put that to the test.

Chres drew out enough stored body heat to Weave a box shaped Heat construct around Týfurkh with holes for air.

"Do your thing Týfurkh. Though keep in mind that this wall of protection last for a few minutes." Chres said as he tied off the Weave. "The light and fire from this explosion might help further confuse the Seed. Give me a yell when you need me to take the shields down."

Chres





Chres stood frozen to the spot. Eyes wide. He had seen death, murder, monsters, but this...

One of the Seed's many tendrils launched towards his chest.

"Chres!"

Chres blinked and Shaped a towershield at the last possible moment. The tendril collided hard against the shield. Its force tossing him backwards and causing him to lose his grip on the crystal Jade candle.

Chres landed on his back, the candle landing far to his right. As his heat construct dissipated, Chres groaned and started pushing himself to his feet.

"Chres! Chres! CHRES!" Sil cried out again in a hurry.

Chres snapped his head up. Two more tendrils shot his way. Chres threw himself sideways and rolled.

One of the tendrils shot past him instead choosing to impale a less fortunate soldier. The other tendril twisted and contorted, before finally shooting again towards Chres.

Having come to a halt, Chres shaped a smaller shield and slapped the tendril aside. The move seemed ineffective. The tendril instead wrapping around the shield before then twisting around his arm.

Chres' eyes widened. He took out his hatchet and hacked the tendril in two, freeing him from its grasp.

Chres breathed out, and quickly got to his feet.

The hearts... Chres recalled. They had to go for the hearts.

"Gonna try and set up an explosion! This will be ugly!" Týfurkh said.

Chres nodded. Any source of additional light would be helpful. He couldn't fight while holding that crystal Jade candle. That much was clear!
Plot Point





Chres' back stiffened at Karina's touch. He turned to look at her hand.

The Karina he had seen thus far was a dutiful woman who wouldn't hesitate to kill someone she believed a danger to her mission's success. But of late he had begun to realize there was more to this woman's character than her sense of duty. There was compassion as well. A sense of loyalty to her comrades.

He turned his gaze to her. Chres wasn't quite sure yet what to make of this new side of Karina. There was a part of Chres that wanted to reject her kindness. To turn her words around and tell her that this kindness was misplaced.

Instead, Chres relented, deciding it better to not reinforce the woman's concerns. He looked her in the eyes and gave a hard, tired, uncertain, yet kind smile.

With a nod, he turned his eyes forward and stepped into the tunnel's darkness.




The tunnel went on for some time. Long enough that Chres began to wonder whether there was even an end. The only sign of a potential end being the ever growing smell of rot and death.

At long last, the pactmakers reached and opening into a room that appeared to have at one point been an expensive cellar. Barrels of wine lined the walls. Some still intact. Others, broken to bits.

Towards the back of the room, on the left, there appeared to be a stairwell leading upwards. However, that stairwell was no longer reachable. The wooden flooring before it appearing to have disintegrated away. And it wasn't just the flooring that appeared to have disintegrated, but earth beneath flooring as well.

Indeed, in the back of the room was a giant domed shaped hole. And at its center, a pile of corpses. Corpses being fed upon by a monstrosity.

Chres breathed in as he took in the Sight of what could be none other than the Seed of Insight. On the surface, it appear similar to human skeleton, except its bones were black and wood like, similar to the skin of a Sightless. But at the same time, it was all wrong.

The Seed's lower body appeared to be embedded deep into the earth, with only its deformed and enlarged hip bones emerging from the soil. From there, the spine was elongated. Far longer than it should be. With its back curved backwards unnaturally in a parabolic shape.

From the shoulder blades, the arms hung downwards and dug back into the earth. Its neck, curved back 180 degrees further, ending in an enlarged skull. Something appeared to beat from within the skull... could it be, a heart???

Chres blinked and shook his head. His gaze shifting to what appeared to have once been the Seed's rib cage. Its ribs curved outwards instead of inwards. Looking almost like a flower in bloom. flayed skins seemed to stretch out between the ribs like webbed feet. At times it even seemed to fuse into and out of the bone. At the center of this... ribcage flower... were human organs fused together in a mishmash of grotesqueness.

The intestines flayed about in a messy disarray, twisting in and out of bone and at times fusing with it. The Intestines seemed to act similar to blood veins. at places they were translucent revealing the greenish-yellow ooze being pumped through the Seed's system.

But all of this was not the end of the monstrosity. At the center of the seed, from where the heart should have been, three thick tendrils sprouted outward. Embedded at the base of each these tendrils were more hearts, which beat to the rhythm of the heart in the Seed's Skull.

The tendrils themselves appeared to be made of braided bones and sinew, which split off multiple times forming several individual free moving tendrils. Collectively, they moved about, picking at the pile of corpses before them. When the Seed found a corpse it liked, it would pick it up and pull it back towards the center of the seed. Towards what appeared to be a bloated, mutated stomach.

The corpses would sink into this stomach on contact, disappearing beneath the surface and only serving to expand the stomach further. Chres could only surmise that the Seed was consuming these corpses. Merging them into its very being.

Chres wanted to vomit. Fortunately, though, he managed to keep his stomach intact.

"Is it not incredible-" Started the dry sound voice of a Sightless, "-what a bit of Insight will do to a person?"

Sightless Nieffar appeared from behind the Seed, his hands clasped in front of him.

"Although, this one received far more than a small dose of Insight. Indeed, we had been dosing him with high amounts of Insight for weeks before he turned Sightless." Nieffar said, placing a hand fondly atop the Seed's skull.

"He was doomed to take this form from the start. You see, one does not remain Sightless for long after receiving frequent high doses of Insight like he did. Indeed, shortly after scratching out his own eyes, he could not help but give into his new found addiction. The moment he turned Sightless, The once great O'Kal, Lord of Shimmer Town, took the final plunge into the depths of Insight. And so it consumed him. Reducing him to the mindless Seed of Insight you see before you."

Lord O'Kal?!?! The Seed of Insight was Lord O’Kal?! The Lord of Shimmer Town?!

"Senses..." Chres breathed out. The implications of it all hitting him at once.

Lord O'Kal had reportedly locked himself inside his manor ever since the Distortion occurred. Not accepting audiences even before the Day of Madness.

Senses! The Seed used to be a person! That meant, the Sightless could turn people into these monstrosities?! No... Chres shook his head. Nieffar had specifically stated that it was after someone became Sightless, that they then could turn into these monstrosities...

Chres re-examined the cellar before him. Senses... they were in Lord O'Kal's manor! In the Lord's very own cellar!

“Such a tragic end for Lord O'Kal. More depressing yet, we no longer need him.” Nieffar continued.

His hand traced down the skull and along the Seed's twisted spine. There was a look of yearning on the Sightless' face.

”My work here has built me a connection to this town just as strong as any connection that the of Lord O’Kal had to this land. This town was promised to me. Given to me. I molded it. Shaped it into a place where the Clan could call home. I planted its seed. Tended to it even! This town… It belongs to me.”

Nieffar’s wood-like skin began to warp and crack. Tendrils, not unlike the seed’s, emerging from within. Ever since that day back at the clock tower, that day when the pactmakers nearly overwhelmed him, the Insight’s call had changed.

Nearly taking the plunge into the darkest depths of Insight had changed everything for him. The amount of Insight granted to a Sightless no longer able to sate him.

He had gotten a taste of the Insight’s full knowledge. A knowledge only Vetius was known to be able to wield. Everyone else who tried, the power consumed them. Turning them into Seeds like the one before him.

Things would be different this time though. Nieffar knew it in his bones. He could wield this knowledge! Wield it just as well… NO!... Better than Vetius! He had trained for a century as Sightless! Had long since learned to be one with the Insight. It would not take him like it had with this pathetic lord! He could use it! Use the Insight's full power and turn the tides of battle in the Clan's favor! He would fix it! He would fix everything!

And so Nieffar took the plunge. His mind falling into the Insight’s depths. He could see things! Yes! So many things! The past! The present! The future! The past! The present! The future! The past! The present! The future!

Nieffar’s body grew and warped. The cracks along his skin growing. His flesh beginning to peel away. Chres’ heart began to race at the gruesome sight. He held his breath and took a step back. His eyes widening further every second.

"This power is mine! It belongs to me!" Nieffar roared as his body warped and legs dug into the earth. "I can control it! I can control anything!"

Nieffar bit into the Seed. His jaw seeming the fuse into it. The world pulsed with a blinding darkness that ate at the light of the crystal Jade candles.

"I-I... CAN CONTROL... WE C-C-CAN CONTROL..."

At last the darkness gave way. The dim light from the candle filling the room yet again. The seed had transformed; splitting off into two Seeds, both merged together at the hip.

"W-WE... CAN C-CONTROL... ALL..." The Seeds roared in unison. "W-W-WE... SEE... ALL..."

The Seed's tendrils sprung to life. Shooting out at the pactmakers and the soldiers behind them.
Plot Point





Blinding light surged from shattered candle. The light itself almost seeming to twinkle in the air. Many cultists dropped to the ground stunned by the sudden lost of Insight. Most impacted, however was the Sightless.

"Attack!" The lead soldier shouted, snapping to his senses. "And for senses sake! Give Týfurkh back his gear men!"

The soldiers disguised as wall guards, jumped to life. Giving Týfurkh his equipment back and setting to work at securing the building. The lead soldier and three others quickly drew their weapons and attacked the most threating opponent. The Sightless.

The scene turned to choas, with dieing Cultist falling to the ground like flies. Some of the cultist, however, manage to recover from their shock and quickly got back to their feet in a vain attempt to fend off their attackers.

The soldier were quick to secure the back entrance of the Church meeting up with Karina, Jen, Octavio, Chres and the remain soldiers not in disguise. With the back entrance secure, three groups of soldiers split off. the first group started making ground towards the front with some of the soldier strategically positioning furniture to cover the bigger windows in the building. The second group worked to secure the second floor, as they started fighting their way up the nearby staircase. The third group of soldiers, a significantly smaller group, made for the basement.

Back with the Sightless, the soldiers had been quick to make swallow wounds. they had initially been thrown off by the thickness of the Sightless's skin but they adjusted quickly, attempting to pierce the hide with sharp thrusts rather than attacking with slashes.

The Sightless cried out in sorrow, confusion, pain and fury. Sorrow at the sudden lost of Insight. Confusion at the sudden attack. Pain from the wounds inflicted upon him. And fury at his inability to anticipate the attack.

He attacked with his sharpened tendrils blindly. Taking out one of the soldiers in the attack. He then leapt backwards in an attempt to avoid more attacks only to collide with a soldier behind him, who then lodged his sword in the Sightless's back shoulder.

Sightless Talne roared, as his wounds slowly worked to heal up. He turn his left fingers into a second set of tendrils and dung them into the earth beneath his feet. He needed to reconnect with the roots of the seed of Insight! He need to get some form of vision back!

Deep into the earth, the tendrils dug, following a familiar pulsing. The call of the Seed and the Insight it promised. At last he found it! His tendrils wrapped around the Seed's root. Dots of life spring up in his sightless gaze. A piece of Insight returned! While he could not make out the building, He could now see the living soldiers around him.

Yes! Now he could fight back! Now he could...

The Slightless turned his gaze downwards, the Insight calling out in warning. There were people in the basement?! More soldiers!

The soldiers in the basement raised their swords and hacked with all their might. And just like that, they chopped his tendrils in two.

The world went dark once more. His connection to the Insight lost yet again. Sightless Talne bellowed in rage as the enemy descended upon him. They struck again and again, at one point even salting his wounds which in turn countered his ability to heal.

Before long, he lay on the floor dying. He cursed the town. Cursed the pactmakers. Cursed Sightless Nieffar for not leaving sooner... but most of all, he cursed himself... cursed himself for staying. For had he left Nieffar behind, then none of this would have happened.




The battle for the church ended as quickly as it started. Chres breathed a sigh of relief. For once something in this town had actually been easy. Chres shook his head.

"Feels good to finally be the ones with the numbers on our side." He said.

"SHHHHH!" Sil said, fluttering over one of the dead cultists. "They're sleeping!"

"Nope." He replied irritably, as if he didn't have the time to deal with her nonsense. "Just dead."

Sil huffed and crossed her arms. "Rude."

Chres rolled his eyes and waved her off.

"We best hurry." He said looking to Karina. "Your soldiers can't hold this place forever."

One of the soldiers from the basement arrived in a hurry.

"Lieutenant Colonel!" The soldier said. "You best come take a look at this!"




The Pactmakers found no Seed of Insight in the basement of the Church. What they did find was a hidden tunnel that seemed to be shrouded in darkness. Chres could make out faint hints of a rank smell coming from the tunnel. It smelled like rot and death. This had to be it. The seed had to be at the end of this tunnel.

Chres took out the Crystal Jade Candle Karina had given him. Its light did not even make it to the tunnel's end.

"Scary..." Sil whispered. Chres couldn't help but nod in agreement

"I'll go first" He said, as he entered the dark abyss...
Chres





Chres nodded at Jen's words.

”With any luck, the soldiers we sent in with Týfurkh still have his equipment. However beelining it to the basement doesn't feel smart. Who knows how long it will take to kill the Seed. We'll need to secure our footing in the building first, and then hopefully that will buy us enough time to take on the Seed.”

Karina's blade impaled one of the cultists straight through. Chres hurried to catch up. Quickly he shaped a spear in his hand and dispatched another cultist that tried to take Karina in the back.

Chres let the spear construct dissipate, and turned his focus towards another cultist, blocking his attack with his hatchet.

”Go on ahead.” He said to Jen and Octavio. ”We'll met you in there soon. See if our friend needs help and make sure our soldiers get to work securing the building.”
Plot Point





Chres smiled. ”Well how about that. Come on. while they storm the front, We can hit them from the back.”




"Right." Sightless Talne said in a flat tone.

Swallowing, The soldier took the crystal Jade candle from Týfurkh. Slowly he turned towards the Sightless.

"Sightless Talne!" A cult guard interrupted. There was a touch of worry in his voice.

The Sightless frowned. "What is it?"

"The townsfolk! Their heading for the church! There are people in the street riling them up!"




While most of the mob went straight for the front of the Church, there were a few who thought to tackle the back entrance. Four Cultist Stood in front trying to fend them off.

”Come On!” Chres Shouted, as he took out his hatchet. ”we need to take them out before they reinforce the entrance!”




"What?!" The Sightless said, turning his back from the pactmaker and the soldier.

The head soldier took this moment to make a move.

"Now!" He shouted.

The Sightless' eyes widened as he realized what was about to happen. He turned as the soldier threw the crystal jade candle on the ground and slammed his foot down on the candle with all his might.

The crystal, rather than shattering, cracked. The cracks lit up as if the light inside was trying to escape.

Sightless Talne's expression darkened. "You! You were in on this farce too?!"

The Sightless' fingers elongated into tendrils. "Intruders!" The Sightless shouted. "Kill them all!"
Inside the Church of Insight





Sightless Talne frowned. The Pactmaker was lying. While Sightless Talne had never met this man before, his description match that of the pactmaker Sightless Nieffar fought in the Clocktower. A giant man covered in armor with a giant crossbow. This had to be the same man.

"I see." Sightless Talne said acting as if he believed the man's response. He took a moment to use the Insight scout his body for hidden weapons. "Of course that's why you only now came to us, rather than before."

The Sightless's brow creased. Talne could see the bottom contents of the pouch, a pile of salt. Though at the top of the pouch, that was a different matter. Atop the pile of salt, there was blank spot his Insight could not penatrate. A crystal jade candle... The blind spot couldn't be anything else.

"Well then. I suppose it would be good to get you out to safety, wouldn't it? ... but first-" The Sightless looked to the wall guard leading the pact maker. "-would you kindly relinquish this man of the pouch at his side and the crystal jade candle within it."




The lead soldier stiffened.

"C-candle?". He stuttered.

The man turned to Týfurkh, eyeing him nervously.

"Yes." The Sightless said. "The one in the pouch of salt."

"Of- of course your Sightlessness." The soldiers said with a bow, "Please forgive our negligence." The Sightless nodded at the man's words

The Sightless nodded as the soldier approached Týfurkh and began to slowly undo the pouch at Týfurkh's side. It seemed as if the Sightless might have seen through Týfurkh, however he still didn't seem to realize that he was speaking to soldiers in disguise.

"What now?" The soldier whispered to Týfurkh. "We can't give him the crystal, can we? Do we break it? Should we attack?"
Plot Point





Together, the pact makers devised a plan. A plan to distract, outwit and dismantle the Church of Insight's defense. Alone Týfurkh went towards the back entrance. His hands tied in front of him. Surrounding him were a handful of soldiers dressed in the wall guard uniform.

The Sightless, sitting by a second story window, stood up and turned his Sightless gaze towards the entourage. The soldiers approached the cultists guarding the entrance.

"We got one." The lead soldier said.

The cultist raised an eyebrow before sparing a glance towards Týfurkh. "Got what?"

"A pact maker." The soldier said.

The cultist seemed skeptical as he took in the size of Týfurkh. "You all capture this giant man?"

"He came to us willingly." the soldier said, thinking quickly. "Agreed to give himself willingly in exchange for escape."

"Escape?" The cultist said, eyebrow still raised.

"This one is no friend of the Nation of Touch. A defector of the army who would be executed on sight if they recognized him."

The cultist frowned, and spared Týfurkh a second glance. This time the cultist took in the full suit of armor, his skepticism wavering.

"He surrendered his weapons to us." The soldier continued seeing an opening. He nodded behind him. Two of the other soldiers lifted his giant crossbow and other weapons to show that they had unarmed the pactmaker. "He his no threat to us."

The cultist hesitated before nodding. "Come in." He said.




”Looks like they took the Sightless left the window.” Chres said looking out the window of the abandoned shop from which they exited.

They had sent a lone soldier out as a look out. His job was to signal the group. If he wiped his brow, it meant the Sightless had taken noticed and left its position. If the adjusted his boots, then it meant that the cultists had taken the bait.

A that moment, the soldier took a moment to adjust his boots. ”And they took the bait. Octavio, your up.”




A Pactmaker? Now of all times? The Sightless Talne frowned, as he waited for the pactmaker to enter in the center of the church where his fellow cultists had placed statue depicting the Shadowy Eye atop a pillar made of vines. Well perhaps this will be enough to budge Nieffar out of his stuper.

The Sightless shook its head taking a moment to use the Insight in order to see if Nieffar had yet to budged. Nieffar remained rooted at the place Sight Talne had last seen him. Beside The Seed. Sightless Talne tsked. What was Nieffar doing? The town had fallen! It was time to leave with the rest of the Sightless!

As the giant man entered the room. Sightless Talne looked to one of his attendents at his side. "Tell Sightless Nieffar that we have a pactmaker. Tell him it is time to go." Sightless Talne's attendent nodded and went off towards the stairs leading to the building's cellar.

Sightless Talne turned to face the Pactmaker. A useless just with Insight at his fingertips, but he found that 'looking' at people of which he was about to address helped to settle the unease that most people felt around his fellow Sightless.

"So I understand you defected from the army of touch." The Sightless spoke to the giant. He frowned at the words. "You should have come to us sooner. Why surrender yourself now of all times?"
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