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CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: CITY ON A HILL
Daru was stationed with Maya in the north watchtower overlooking the gate.
They scanned the horizon for any sign of movement.
“When this is over, Arun and I are going to take a long vacation. We’re just
going to get away, somewhere quiet, where we can just relax,” said Maya, wistfully.
“Do you really, think this is the best time to talk about this?”
“As long as we have our eyes on tomorrow, there is hope there will be a
tomorrow. Do you think Ianus will ask you to marry him?”
“Maya?” Daru blushed, “I really don’t know. I thought about asking him, but
with everything that’s been going on. This just isn’t the best time.”
“When is a better time? When it’s quiet?” Maya laughed, “Listen honey, it’s
never quiet. You have to grab anything good that comes your way. Life is only simple
when you’re too young to see everything going on around you.”
“I know. We did tell each other how we feel, and we shared a dance that I will
“So much rests on Ianus, the weight must be unbearable. Don’t neglect your
work. In the battle to come every warrior must stand strong. Find what you’re fighting
for, and hold onto it.”
“How will I know what that is?”
“It will be the same thing that urges you to get out of bed in the morning. It is
easy to find something to die for, but it is truly special when you find something to live
for. That will be the same thing that you would fight for.”
“I live for Ianus, no, I take that back. I live for love.”
“Then fight for love. That is a powerful reason to live. When I thought I lost my
love, it was like the breath had been stolen from my lungs. Hold on to it, and don’t ever
let it go. That is your greatest strength.”
Daru smiled, and looked away.
“All of your training,” said Maya, “Your whole life has conspired to bring you
here. You are ready for it. You are more than a match for whatever comes your way.”
“Thank you. That means a lot coming from you. I have always seen you as
something of a role model for my life. I can’t thank you enough for being here with me.”
Daru stared off into the distance. A great sea of trees waved in the breeze. The
smell of incense wafted up to the tower.
“The Parcae are praying for our safety,” said Maya, “Eman told me they would.”
“Is that a good sign?” Daru asked.
“I don’t know. I’ve never heard of them doing this before. I like the idea of
someone praying for us.”