When I woke, I heard sounds coming from the streets of Palu. The first sun had just risen, but the second one had not. What was going on so early in the day? Then I remembered that Palu was a village that never slept. It was a bit disorienting to say the least. If I hadn’t seen the single sun, I would have thought I had slept through most of the day. I looked out the window of my room and noticed Redik and Leky standing at a fountain in the courtyard of the inn. I quickly dressed and went down to the fountain to meet them.
“Up a little early, are we?” chuckled Redik. “Did the excitement in the village wake you?”
“It is so unlike my home in Shaylee,” I answered wide-eyed.
They both laughed as Jada joined us. She had just come from seeing Vee and Fiera. They were putting the final touches on our weapons. Jada suggested that I join them in short order for training. Jada saw my ‘Do I have to?’ look and answered before I could get a word out, “Fiera may not always be there to protect you. You must learn. If you are fortunate, you will never need to use these skills. In the event you do, you must be ready, Carena.”
I knew she was right, but I was certainly not a warrior by any stretch of the imagination. I hoped Fiera and Vee would be patient teachers. Turning a Healer into a warrior seemed an impossible task to me, but I had to try. So I nodded to Jada and followed her to the area where I was to train. Fiera and Vee were already engaged in a demonstration of combat with the daggers. I paid attention to how they used each and every weapon as they continued their demonstration.
While I trained, the others met at the fountain. Captain Leky had invited Losi, the great builder of Palu, to meet with our entourage. He told our group that he was expecting the remnants from two Blossom ships whose captains were killed during the last storm. He asked for the group’s assistance in moving the disassembled ships to the southern side of Palu where he would begin the construction of a healing center for the people of Palu. The group offered its assistance as long as it did not interfere with its main reason for being in Palu, namely to assure our safe and speedy departure from this seaside village.
Three blasts from a horn down by the shore signaled the arrival of the remnants from the two ships whose captains had perished in the recent storm. Losi signaled for the group to follow him down to the shore. Some of the villagers were already making their way to the wharf. Others were headed toward the site chosen by Losi. One of the villagers climbed on a large rock and motioned for the crowd to quiet down. Everything went still. Then he proceeded to give thanks for the gift from these two dead Blossom captains and asked the grey winds to bless them for their kind act. There was a moment of silence and then the wagons made their way to the shoreline. Villagers, visitors, and those in our group created lines from the wagons to the ships holding the cargo of remains. Pieces were passed down the lines to the waiting wagons. The loaded wagons then proceeded to the southern end of Palu where a site had been marked for the healing center.
Once the ships had been unloaded and the last wagons had been filled, everyone at the shore proceeded to the site to help the others unload the wagons.
It was late afternoon when Jada, Lexa and Arial came to find us. They stood and watched as I clumsily tried to work the bow. Only one out of five arrows actually hit the cross-section of a tree trunk we were using as a target. The sounds coming from the side of the building were those of muffled laughter. I’m certain I presented a comedic show for anyone watching.