David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig) flew the highest this week and takes his eighth win!
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“Does it seem colder this year?”
Theo adjusted his coarse wool cloak and inhaled sharp sweet autumn air. Brandy planted the haft of her glaive with a brusque laugh to watch her companion clamber over the rocky riverside terrain.
“Weakling! You knew this was coming!”
The warrior was unhindered by the weather, elevation, or terrain but the faint cloud of her breath answered Theo’s question just the same. The priest felt its humidity but couldn’t quite see his own breath. Of course, Brandy had always run hotter than most. Thankfully, she allowed him time to lean on his own staff after catching up to her.
“You know,” Theo gasped deeply. “We could take our annual hike to see the mountain colors a little more leisurely.”
The corner of Brandy’s mouth turned up and she raised an eyebrow. It warmed Theo’s heart. It also meant he wouldn’t be getting any kind of a break, but the king’s champion didn’t smile for just anyone.
“We are taking it leisurely.”
Theo’s childhood friend resumed her ascent and he fell into step behind her. The clear murmur of the mountain stream was like silence compared to the ocean roar of their hometown. For all the vibrancy of the canopy filtering the light around them, it felt like a great blanket bringing a sleepy quality to the whole scene.
“That girl, Arah,” Theo ventured. “Do you think she’s really from the future?”
“I… It seems that way…”
Cresting a rise and rounding a corner, Brandy led them to the first overlook of the inland valleys. Red, orange, and green treetops stretched out in the middle of the day like the ocean at sunset. While Brandy shouldered her glaive, Theo leaned on his staff again.
“Everything’s going to change.”