I stood with Sia and watched in silence as Urbano waved his hands frantically and yet another log was hauled into place.
Wiping away the sweat on his forehead, the wiry youth made his way to us as he grinned and held up two fingers.
“Two classrooms done?” Sia asked with a smile in return.
“Starting the third today,” Urbano said proudly.
Nodding, I asked with a hint of worry, “What about the studies?”
“Ah,” Urbano said, frowning as he looked at the construction team who had been laboring as hard as they could over the past day and a half to create classrooms large enough for all the maidens together.
Basically, they were building three new main halls, except that they were to be called classrooms instead.
Turning back to us, he shrugged as he said, “I don’t know how we’re going to study, to be honest. We’ve been working as hard as we can, and even then, the classrooms are only going to be ready by tomorrow midday at the latest.”
Nodding, Sia said, “I’ve been thinking about that. Would things speed up if we all pitched in with you?”
Shaking his head, Urbano said, “It’s not that easy. More hands will make the job go faster, but it will also mean that the quality will go down.”
Tapping her finger on her chin, Sia asked, “Would your team be able to learn everything if we prepared notes and summarized things for you?”
Brightening up, Urbano nodded enthusiastically as he said, “Yes! That would work, I think. No, I’m sure it will,” and he looked at his construction team with pride in his eyes.
Patting him on the shoulder, Sia said, “Finish the work as fast as you can so that you can rest, yeah?”
Interjecting, I said while grinning, “When you guys wake up, expect a lot of hot food!”
Laughing, Urbano nodded at us, and then left to oversee the next phase of the construction.
As I glanced at Sia, who was chewing her lips as she thought, I asked, “Proton for your thoughts?”
Looking at me briefly, she asked back, “Which Proton?”
Holding out 1 finger, I said solemnly, “1 copper. Not a single coin more.”
Chuckling, Sia grabbed my finger and twisted it and she said as I howled, “This is another test, isn’t it?”
Clutching my finger to my chest and shooting a wounded look at her, I asked, “Which part? The classroom part, or the actual test part?”
Looking at me with piercing eyes, she said, “Neither.”
Straightening up, I looked at her and asked, “Then which part?”
Pondering, she said, “The teaching part.”
Raising my eyebrows, I waited for her to elaborate, and after a moment she said as she gestured with her hands, “It’s too straightforward, yes? Also, three classrooms. They know we have a construction team that would be handling things.”
Continuing her thoughts, I said as I frowned, “Which means they know that there’s no chance that they would be able to study unless we helped them.”
Nodding, Sia said, “Exactly. Plus, if they were to teach us… they don’t require 3 classrooms at once, do they?”
Shaking my head, I said, “No… they don’t. Which means that the classrooms have another purpose?”
Kicking a stone on the ground in frustration, Sia said, “That’s what I can’t figure out. What is that purpose?”
Patting her on the shoulder, I said, “We’ll find out soon enough. For now, let’s focus on getting everything else ready.”
“Mmh.” she said, agreeing with me as her eyes went back into focussed mode.
About to stride off with me, she paused and looked at me as she said, “By the way, you’re the head of the combat team now since both Marrok and Iole have left.”
Shaking my head, I said, “No. You’re going to be the head. Me and Apollo are going to be the vice heads.”
Swivelling her head to gaze at me, she asked, “Why?”
Stretching, I said, “Remember what Sir Liam said? We all need to be warriors. So I think that we should no longer have a combat team. Just the Maidens.”
Falling silent, Sia considered it for a moment before saying, “That’s true….” then decisively, she said, “Alright. Combat team is now abolished, and the Maidens? They shall be ready for anything and everything from now on.”
Suddenly, she froze before she swore.
Puzzled, I looked at her as she scanned the community. Then she turned back to me and said, “Faust... I think I have the answer.”
Waving her hands animatedly, she said, “We’re all together in this. I think that in the same way that we all have to be combat capable; we have to be able to study individually and collectively.”
Catching on, I said, “You mean…”
Punching her fist into her palm, Sia said, “I mean that we’ll need a teaching team. One made of all the subjects. Both before and after. The classrooms aren’t meant for the teachers to teach... they’re meant for us to teach each other! Well, also for them to teach us… But more so for us!”
Silently, I looked at her before I let out a breath.
“That’s very logical and I think you might be correct,” I said, as I looked at her admiringly.
Grinning back at me, Sia said, “Well, we’ll find out soon enough. But for now, let me get everything in order.”
And saying so, she ran off… leaving me standing alone.
Raising my head to the sky, I put my arms behind my head as thoughts ran through my mind.
Thoughts about how, even with all the excitement and comradeship that the camp offered me… I wasn’t satisfied.
I craved something more.
But what purpose could I serve?
Vaguely, I felt that I had a purpose, and it pulsed deep inside my heart, but no matter how I searched for it… it stayed hidden.
Letting down my arms and touching my heart, I looked off into the distance as the Maidens burst into action with Sia heading them.
Shaking my head, I smiled wryly as I banished the thoughts the same way I did every single time they appeared.
For I had to live in the now.
Now I have a test to prepare for.