The next morning I woke to a familiar voice.
“Hey! Juewuhl! Wake up, it’s almost light out!”
I rolled over and pulled the covers even farther over my head.
“If we were meant to be up this early, then the sun would be out.”
“Well there’s a moon… doesn’t that mean anything?”
“Yes. That’s to help you find the bathroom.”
“I’m not leaving until you get up Juewuhl.”
Hang on a second… that sounded like…
“Pailadyn?! What are you doing out of the rest area?”
“Well mother my arm is fixed now. I figured it was about time I left.” I gave her a contemplative look when she said that. She had sounded almost like a teenager…
How old was she?
“What is it?”
I shook my head to get back to the present,
”Oh, nothing. Just a thought.”
Pailadyn watched me for a moment and when I didn’t say more she said,
“Alright. Ready to get going?”
“No! How early is it?”
“I don’t know, Five in the morning?”
“Five in the mor-… why?!”
“Because… well I wanted to get moving, I hate being alone, and you were the first person I thought of.” She gave me a light punch on the shoulder, “After all, you did say if I needed anything I should come and get you. I’m just following your orders.”
“Is it too late to revoke my orders?”
“Yes, now come on!”
I liked it better on earth, where girls actually slept in. I hauled myself out of bed and did a few jumping jacks to get my blood flowing and my clear my head.
“Ok. I’m ready.”
She grabbed my hand and just about dragged me out the door. We came to the Hub where I expected us to turn and go to the training hall, but instead Pailadyn led me down the corridor leading to the outside.
“Um, Pailadyn? Where are we going?”
“It’s a secret.”
“Well, aren’t you about to bring me there?
“Then why can’t you tell me?”
“Just don’t worry about it. You’ll find out when you get there.”
Once outside, we followed the path that led to Skrybe’s house, only instead of going all the way down, we took a left down a smaller path that I hadn’t noticed the last time I had traveled this dirt road.
We followed the path for about five minutes. Pailadyn managed it with ease, while I was constantly stumbling every few steps. At last we came to the end of the line. Literally. We stood facing a rather large cliff.
“Is this it?”
“Nope. But we’re almost there!”
She felt along the rock face for a second then gave a small exclamation. Using her Shroud, Pailadyn created two longswords and punched at the rock!
“What are yo-“
Her sword went right in.
“There are slits in the rock here. If you make your blades long and thin enough, they should be able to fit.”
Then she started to climb up the wall, sliding her sword out of one hole and inserting it into the next.
“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me.” I muttered. Then I made a rotor with two blades and attempted to slide it in.
It worked. Now to actually leave the ground and climb to the top.
One “handhold” at a time I pulled myself up. My right hand missed one of the handholds near the top, but luckily my other blade was firmly in a crevice so the only thing I got out of it was a slight wrench to my left shoulder. After a second I had found the handold and was back on track.
Pailadyn was waiting calmly when I pulled myself over the edge and collapsed. I was panting pretty heavily, and she didn’t even appear out of breath.
“You can use this to get in better shape if you wish. It’s great for working everything and giving you some good exercise.
“Great. Thanks… Coach. Now… is that… all you wanted… to bring me here for?””
“Nope! Hadn’t even considered that part of it actually. I just thought this would be a cool place to bring you. There is a great view of the sunset, it’s quiet, and… private. She said without looking at me.
I could only guess what she was getting at.
“Yeah, the view certainly is nice from here. Did you make the handholds yourself?”
“Yes actually. It was an arduous process, but also a rewarding one.”
“Wow. I can’t imagine what that must have been like, carving a hole while hanging from another one. Must have taken forever.”
“Only a few weeks actually.”
I didn’t answer that one, but simply chose to enjoy the rising sun.
“What is a kiss?”