Glad to see the continuation of this story, although it took a few moments to remember where it left off before. I feel like your writing does a fantastic job of portraying Vita, with his own needs and wants but an outsider's perspective on everything. Demvir exist in that curious state of 'alive but not' and so I always like portrayals which are neither fully robotic nor fully human. Small details like the whirring of gears when his eyebrow raises keep his inhuman nature apparent.
The story itself I enjoy for similar reasons. Vita is decidedly machina but has a vested interest in the arcane. His constant reference to the differences, or similarities, between his research and the reality of the forest also do a good job of highlighting his methodical nature. His brief urge to say, "it's not magic" to Albinon fits in, as well.
Ultimately the one thing that holds this back is some of the run-on sentences. Not all of them are technically run-on (you have the correct punctuation), but at times the sentences ramble on longer than necessary. It doesn't feel like fishing for wordcount, but be sure to vary up the length of your sentences and paragraphs. Variety will keep the readers engaged. Beyond that, some minor proofreading is always good. For instance, "gold ball sized copper orb" was clearly meant to be "golf ball-sized copper orb" but the initial confusion of gold ball vs copper orb can bring the reader out of the moment.
Looking forward to seeing what specifically happened to the rest of the research team, and the inevitable encounter under the full moon.