About Restless Earth:
About Blessing Sky:
About Cleansing Fire:
As Ahote climbed in, the craft leveled itself. The seats felt flimsy as the wood bowed under his weight. Only Kasha’s confidence convinced him that this rideable kite, or “sky chariot,” would hold together. As they strapped in, the wind tugged and yanked at the great wing that spanned over their heads, sending shudders through the craft’s entire frame.Air is a substance, like water, Ahote thought. They weren’t about to try to fly off into nothing, but rather to sail an invisible sea. Kasha had explained this, and on its face, the concept did make sense. Air could lift a kite, turn a windmill, or even create winds strong enough to destroy a wood-frame house. Still, Ahote preferred to rely on things he could see. When Kasha said that things were a certain way, she was never wrong.Which was why he was sitting in a seat suspended below a large kite, preparing to leave the ground. He took Sky’s lines in his hands, and the brown-and-white paint Pegasus, feeling them shift against his sides, bent his neck to look back at them.“All right,” Kasha said loud enough for her voice to carry. “Let’s go.”Ahote took a deep breath of air scented with the slightest touch of morning dew then coaxed Sky with a slap of the lines.The Winged responded at once, going from a standing start to a loping run. The harness lines went taut, and the chariot lurched forward with a jerk. They’d chosen the smoothest stretch of land they could find, but even still, the wooden skids on the bottom of the craft transmitted every bump and hollow. After Ahote snapped the lines again, Sky moved into a canter and then a gallop. His wings were still folded against his sides.The chariot bounced and jostled until a gust of wind caught it and hefted it into the air. Ahote had to admit that the chill whipping across his skin and through his hair did indeed feel like a substance. The great cloth wing above them billowed out like a ship’s sail, and the ground fell away beneath them. He sucked in his breath and focused on Sky, who was still running along the ground below.The pegasus looked back and up at his master.“All right?” Ahote had to yell to be heard.Kasha’s lips were pinched into a firm line, one hand gripping the wooden rail in front of them with white knuckles. With the other, she manipulated the omni-directional lever that controlled the chariot’s rudder and flaps. She gave a curt nod.“Up, Sky!” Ahote shouted, snapping the lines a third time.
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