6. The Place Where Earth and Sky Kiss (part 1)

          Two days later, they arrived at the base of the mountain, crude in shape and impossible to climb. They maneuvered the ship round and round the mountain, spiraling upward until eventually Jupiter’s Revenge could go no further. The technology that allowed the boat to fly could only lift it so high in the air, which happened to be only half way up the mountain.

          “We’ll have to take the rowboats,” Levi suggested, “They can go higher and won’t have to support as much weight. Firious, choose four men to come with you and I up to the cave and another to man the ship until our return. We will retrieve the comb and then return here.”

          “I’m coming with you,” Hataru interjected.

          “Me too!” little Zephyr agreed.

          “No. Both of you are to stay here on the ship. It’s too dangerous, and we don’t need you getting in our way. Just stay here, and we’ll be back before you know it,” Levi replied sternly.

          “No, I’m coming with you.” stubborn as a mule, Hataru stood her ground, “I might be of help to you and your men. You know... a woman’s eye! Who better to find a woman’s comb than another woman? I’m coming with you!”

          “Look, I just said ─ ”

          Firious intervened, “Ah, Levi, you might just want to let the little lass come along. That killer and his men will be here in the blink of an eye if you continue arguing like this.”

          The captain stared blankly, as if he had just been slapped for no apparent reason. “Fine. You can come along, princess, but you,” he pointed to Zephyr, “will stay here. Do you understand?”

          Pouting, the boy answered, “Yes, I understand.”

          The tiny, motorless lifeboats were ready, so Levi, Hataru, Firious and three others took off, two per vessel. Levi and Hataru rode together, the captain moving two levers on opposite sides of the craft in a circular, rowing motion which controlled how fast the three pairs of metal wings flapped. Though it looked like a taxing activity, Levi rowed the lifeboat with ease due to his strong, muscular arms. Still, he had a sour scowl on his face as his eyes stared anywhere except at the girl before him.

The End

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