Groaning, I stretched myself as I looked up from the books in which my head had been buried for the past two hours.
Beside me, Sia raised an eyebrow as I turned a suffering look toward her.
“Why do you look like someone punched you in the stomach?”
Pointing at the book, I sighed, “I don’t understand anything of this.”
Dragging the book toward her, Sia looked at it before her eyes lit up as she said, “The language of war?”
Grumbling, I said, “It sure is. It’s waging war on my mind and my mind is losing.”
Laughing, Sia said, “I find it very interesting. He’s right, you know. Arithmetic and geometry are the foundations of war. And astronomy? Astronomy is like the guiding light.”
Groaning even louder, I said, “Not you too!”
Grinning at me, Sia said, “I can teach you, you know?”
Wide eyed, I pushed myself away from the table and looked at her before I blurted out, “You can?”
Nodding, she said seriously, “It’s pretty easy for me to understand, and I’ll try to explain it to you too… but!”
“But?” I asked hesitantly.
“But first, you haven’t forgotten about our little training session… have you?” she said as she narrowed her eyes.
Gulping, I wished fervently that she had forgotten it… but apparently no such luck.
Weakly, I said, “Isn’t that in the past? All of us went through the same experience after all…”
Shaking her head and tutting, Sia said, “Tsk tsk. Is our combat team head scared of a little sparring?”
Straight faced, I said, “Yes.”
Getting up and grabbing my hand before she pulled me along, Sia said, “Too bad. You’re still sparring with me.”
Crying out in sadness, I was whisked along, and soon we were on the practice field of our community.
“Wait, there were others too with me. What about them?” I asked as I realized it was only me and her on the field.
Grinning, Sia said, “You’ll have to take their share too!”
Eyes bulging, I stared at her before I rushed to the armor locker that we had created for the combat team.
Kitting myself out in shields, shields, and more shields; I stood there valiantly as Sia’s eyebrows shot up into her hair.
Examining the shield that was slung on my back and the two shields that I was holding, she snorted as she asked, “Planning on becoming a turtle?”
Defensively, I said, “I plan on enjoying my free time tomorrow, you know?”
Pointedly ignoring me, Sia leveled her sword at me and flashed forward.
Raising the shields and blocking frantically, I was reminded of our time training and my discovery of redirection.
Nostalgically, I realized that I had not fought with Sia like this in ages.
A minute later, as I nursed my nose, which was thankfully not broken, I realized that perhaps this was why I had not fought with Sia like this in ages.
Crouching beside me in concern, Sia asked gently, “Faust… are you okay?”
As I was about to reply; I almost spat out a mouthful of blood as Sia continued on to say, “You seemed a little weak there.”
Crying out bitterly, I exclaimed, “It’s not that I’m weak but that you’ve become a lord bea-”
“Bea-?” Sia asked dangerously as I trailed off.
“Lord beautiful and charming lady. Yes, that’s what I meant,” I said, as I nodded solemnly.
Tilting her head, she said with a laugh, “That sentence makes no sense.”
Wincing, I ventured, “Me small brain…”
Laughing loudly, she agreed with me as she said, “Yep. You small brain.”
Pulling me up, she patted the dust off me as I winced, and then grew serious as she examined my face.
Self-conscious, I touched my face as I struck my pose and said, “Don’t stare so much. I know I’m handsome bu-oof”
Clutching my stomach, I looked with wronged eyes at Sia, who rolled her eyes as she said, “Don’t give me that look. I know you’re tougher than a cockroach.”
Musing, I had to agree with her as I really was an undying cockroach.
Shaking her head, Sia said, “Listen... We have to put our plan into action soon.”
Growing serious along with her, I said, “What do you have in mind?”
“I’m going to call a meeting, and there’s only four things that we have to do.” Sia said after a moment.
“Urbano?” I asked.
“That’s one. The other is Apollo, and the third is the maidens.” She said as she nodded.
“What about the fourth?” I asked as I rolled my shoulders.
“I’m taking over the fourth.” Sia said as she began walking toward the main hall.
“You need any help with that?” I asked as I fell into step with her.
“Not at the moment, no.” she said after considering it briefly.
Nodding, I tapped her on the back and said, “I’ll be back. Time to get our butts into gear.”
Grinning at me, she said, “Aye, it’s time alright. See you in 15 minutes?”
“30. I’ll bring some food too.” and saying that, I trotted off to find the rest of the Maidens.
For we had plans… and plans need action for them to work out.