Swamped Chapter 138 Page 14

“Distilling for, uh, Rats, I guess. Well, they ain’t exactly rats but I don’t think there’s a Common name for ’em. In context, I think it’s slang for amateurs.”

“It’s not a story, then? It’s directions?” you ask, a little skeptical.

“Can’t make out enough of the rest to say for sure. It could be a story for all I know. I mean, if I were writing instructions for something or other, I don’t think I’d compare my audience to rodents in the title.”

“Well, if you can share what you do know, that might be helpful. Even if it doesn’t seem like anything.”

Elliot frowns.

“Basically I just know a word here and there. Best I can do is tell you what words show up a lot. Bottle sure does, but that makes sense given the subject matter… oh, there’s another word that comes up often that I don’t know. Guessing that’s alcohol or the like, since Mother didn’t exactly want me learning about booze. The rest seem like the sort of words you’d expect to show up often. Person, you, and, the… that sort of thing.”

“Hmm. Anything that shows up less often than you’d expect?”

“That’s a hard one,” Elliot mutters. “I don’t know what this should look like, and even if I did, a word that’s missing might just be replaced with a synonym I don’t know.” He glances over it again. “But now that you mention it… the word Abluni doesn’t show up anywhere except the title. Even in this part that looks like it’s talking about pests that might get at the mixture. That’s a little weird.”

“Well, we think this is a translation into Theletian. The original work probably wouldn’t have mentioned them if the creature is specifically Theletian.”

“Really,” Elliot muses. “That doesn’t quite add up, though, because there are some other Theletian-specific terms that did get used. Which I didn’t think much of until you brought that up.” He looks down at the paper again. “In fact, this particular line seems really weird if it’s supposed to be a translation.”

“Why, what does it say?” you ask.

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You can rely on the kingdoms to outlast the storm, the rocks to outlast the kingdom, and the winds to outlast the rock.