He brushed away her hands and reached into a recess hidden amongst the gaps of large stones, and retrieved a coil of rope. Looping one end around his stakes, he placed them into the recess and tugged on the rope. Satisfied it would hold his weight, he jumped away from the wall and landed below before jumping again. He repeated this five more times and stood at the base of the wall beckoning to Asis.
Asis smiled, grabbed the rope, and sprinted the length of the wall, running against the side. She made large turns, and by looping back and forth, ran down the wall to meet Nemr. Exhilaration stole her breath and she had to suppress laughter lest she alert the sentries. They had done it: they left the city unbeknownst to the guards.
They walked along the Dawn River. It meandered through the Dawn Consortium and started to sink into the ground from a millennia of erosion. She could see the Dawn Road level from the edge of what was beginning to be a sheer cliff down to the banks of the River of Dawn. A city ahead of them was split atop the cliffs and below another waterfall. It wasn’t as glorious as the Falls of Dawn, but a series of small cascades a little taller than an adult man. That city rose in the distance, painted white by the light of the moon. Asis was tired, but being with Nemr she felt alive – able to achieve great things. No parents, no spear lessons. Just her, her friend, the cliffs and the moon overhead. Everything was perfect, the stars seemed to glow as bright as the moon and there wasn’t a cloud in sight to block the celestial field of twinkling gems.
Asis looked at Nemr, wondering if he revered the celestial light show above. She stifled a yawn into her hand and asked her friend, “What brings us out here, Nemr? Everything okay in the city?”
Nemr fidgeted and kicked rocks toward the cliff edge. He didn’t meet her gaze.
“Nemr? Talk to me.”
“Well…” he muttered, focused on an imaginary blemish on his tunic. “I don’t know how to say this, Asis.”
Asis stared at her friend. “Nemr, you’re not making sense,” she huffed. “Speak your thoughts.”