The outside of the horseshoe valley was filled with hubbub. The leaders of the Alician family gathered their forces outside of the valley, only the Alician Lions, and the Maiden of Throes remaining alongside the Roaders. Noland and Ciara came out of the entrance, they walked to the vehicle where a man, with a fox=like smile, came and greeted them.
“Grandmother,” the man said. “It has been a pleasure. Also, it is nice seeing the man who had helped Grandmother to reach her peak.”
“You are?” Nolan asked.
“Dario Alician,” he said. “At your service.”
“Dario, are you still working with the Islanders?” Ciara asked, her hands placed in front.
“I am, Grandmother,” Dario said. “The Spheroid Aircraft is doing well, however, the machinery that could fly on two wings have been delayed. We need more testing.”
Nolan’s eyes widened. He rubbed his wrinkled left arm with his hand.
“You are testing air vehicles?”
“We are,” Dario said. “Although, I must admit that even though the Spheroid Aircraft has been a success, to fly with a machine while minding the fuel, and how to extend airtime. So far, we’ve been able to fly with the machine for fifteen minutes before running out of fuel.”
Nolan grabbed hold of his chin.
“I see, an aircraft has a tendency to use too much fuel. Do you use the same fuel as the automobile?” Nolan pointed at the automobile.
“Yes, and may I say that your modifications are strangely unique. What did you do?”
“I just made sure that the engines don’t overheat. I’ve no complained about the engine, and the horsepower, and its ability to tackle the terrain as well, however, the engines easily overheats, and the heat shielding is too thin. There’s also the smell of fuel, and the usage of it can be too excessive. Also, make the steering wheel round, and not square, it’s easier that way. The transmission system can some work, and may I suggest vulcanizing the tires?”
“What do you mean?” Dario said, his hand lifting his chin.
“The rubber is too thin, and when it makes contact, I can practically hear the rim and the outer lip creaking every time it meets with a hard object.”
Dario stared at Nolan for a second, his head lowered, he glared at the floor. Nolan tilted his head to the right, his arms folded, and eyes on Dario. Ciara watched the two while still keeping a serene expression.
“Hmm, no wonder I don’t see that much need to repair. I keep what you have said in mind. Are you perhaps a mechanic, Sir Nolan?”
“I might have been one. Though I can’t remember since I recently lost my memories.”
“Ah, I heard from Mia. That is a shame, and yet it seems that skill doesn’t easily vanish. Are you interested in aircraft, Sir Nolan?”
“I can fix up cars and make some modifications, but I have no know-how on how aircraft work.”
Ciara stared at Nolan with her eyes half-open. Her brows narrowed as she looked at Nolan talking to Dario. Dario nodded his head and took a single step back with his left foot. He pointed his mouth down and took a breath out.
“That’s a shame, but if you know how the cogs work then there should be no problem with,” Dario said, his eyes pointed to Ciara. “Ah, if we ever manage to complete the Spheroid Aircraft, please visit us on the island, and grace us with your presence, Grandmother.”
“I will,” Ciara said, nodding at Dario. “I would like to witness the birth of this aircraft. Ah, may I ask if you are going to fit it with bombs?”
“Ah,” Dario looked down for a second. “We are still testing how far up the aircraft can go. I will notify my crew, and have them build a payload system that we could use to drop explosives. Airborne artillery will be our new weapon!”
“We could this to incinerate the monster burrows, but it looks like we have to deal with the Cascade Nation first,” Ciara said.
“Well, I have work to do, and I rather not waste your time, Grandmother. I’ll be leaving for now,” Dario said, he went to the half-trucks with its engine rumbling. The Alician Family that gathered in this horseshoe valley mounted their automobiles, and wended their way out of the valley, leaving a trail of dust.
Nolan saw Mia walking towards them, her eyes half-smiling as she does.
“Grandmother, I have attached the Maiden of throes to Leander’s forces.”
“I see,” Ciara said, she looked around. “I have not seen your twin, Nia?”
“She’s busy helping Auntie Audrey on the ancestral city. Besides, she will be marrying someone from the House Cheery.”
“Is the City doing well?” Ciara asked.
“It’s doing fine, Auntie can manage with Nia by her side.”
Ciara nodded her head. Nolan turned around, and sauntered towards the automobile, opening the door, and entering inside. He started the engine of the automobile, went out, opened the hood, and did a minute check before closing it. He went back to the automobile, leaned his back on the seat behind the wheel, and tightened his grip on the steering wheel. He rubbed his aging left arm for a second and looked out of the window.
“We should go, the journey’s still long. I rather not spend three days out there on the road. A train would be better suited if we want to travel faster.”
“No can do,” Ciara said. “I prefer to take it slow, and besides, it might help in chasing the illusions away. Let’s go, Mia.”
“Coming,” Mia said, ambling along with Ciara, they entered the backseat of the automobile. Nolan nodded his head at them and started the automobile to the entrance of the valley. He drove the automobile way past the forest and entered the main roads. Seeing the flat road, Nolan let his wrinkled left arm, rest on his lap. He looked at the road ahead and thought of how the swamp, where the person named Vie lived. Nolan thought how he would like to see the last bleak walker other than him.