Riwenne and her team have found themselves on the surface of the moon, where she can train away from the watchful eye of the sun goddess’s spies. But she still has to learn how to contain the immense power of the soul staff she wields.
Training on the Moon
“Whoa!” Fairuza said, reaching out to grab hold of my hand before I could tumble off the moth’s back. “Take it easy. Let’s just sit and adjust for a few minutes.”
I clung to her as she pulled me back down to a seated position. My body felt weird, like I was floating in water, and the slightest movement seemed to push me without any effort at all. And my head was spinning. I took another breath of the moon bell to steady myself, and tried to sit still as I looked around.
The gravity is much lower here, Quilla warned me belatedly. You won’t need your full strength to move around. Rest for a little while and keep breathing with the flower until your lungs adjust. The air is very different.
We all stared with open amazement at our surroundings. The sky was still black, like nighttime, although we could see the sun and stars hanging over head. Chelynne looked like the moon, but larger, filling a large portion of the sky. From this distance, I couldn’t see the borders of any country, pick out landmarks—even the floating city of Haman—or see any sign of human life. It was just one big stretch of land surrounded by water. I tried to imagine what my friends were thinking as they stared back at us.
Around us, there were so many wonderful and strange things that I couldn’t take them all in. More lunar moths fluttered over the meadow, sipping nectar from the flowers. A bee buzzed by us so close that I ducked to avoid it—it was almost as big as me! If the insects were this large, I was afraid to see what the animals would be like.
Namburo reached into our picnic basket and pulled out fresh fruit. “We should probably eat something before we get started,” he said, passing some around to each of us. “That was a long flight.”
I’d lost track of time, but my stomach rumbled at the sight of the food. It must have been several hours at least.
“We might as well have lunch,” Fairuza agreed. “We need our strength to train.”
I was impatient to get started, but Janera had packed the picnic basket full of treats, so I didn’t mind waiting a little longer. The lunar moth also seemed to be resting after the long flight because it wasn’t moving much. Hopefully, it didn’t mind if we stayed on its back while we ate.
Namburo spread out a picnic blanket and brought out more food to share. I gobbled down two pieces of flatbread wrapped around cold cuts of meat and cheese, then took a second helping of fruit.
Don’t worry about saving your supplies, Quilla said. There is plenty more food and water for you here. My garden will provide everything you need.
A garden on the moon. I couldn’t wait to see it!