It's too warm out here to be wearing a cloak at all, let alone a hood over my face, but I can't stand the sunlight in my eyes a moment longer, and I can't stand to leave the garment behind. I sigh. I've been too accustomed to the air conditioned dimness of my temple for too many years to walk about freely in the sunlight.
Maybe it's good you're out of there, Riwn suggests.
Maybe you never should have awakened me, I reply, somewhat petulantly.
Then you would have joined me, he reminds me.
So? Smothering isn't the worst way to die. I'm still looking for a way down off this ridge and out of the blazing sun, and following the sound of running water, I believe, is my best option. The problem is that my shoes and clothes are not meant for outdoor travel, and I have to move carefully over the rocks and through the unfriendly foliage to keep from hurting myself.
You should have stayed put, then, Riwn is saying complacently. Of course he doesn't care whether I live or die, and in truth it makes very little difference to me as well, except--
I have to find Touin. I thought the mountains were supposed to be colder when you were higher up? So why is it so unbearably hot up here?
Why should you be surprised that things aren't the way you expect in the real world, lady never-leaves-her-temple?
He does have a point; I've been assuming all along that the height to which my temple was mysteriously relocated is one of those that overlooks the valley in which it used to sit -- but I suppose it could be any mountain anywhere for all I know. Still, I am Chrishtai, I reply, surveying the little cleft in the ground before me. Will that lead me down to the water? It looks like it's going to be filled with uncomfortable plant-life after not too long, but I think that's the way to go. The 'real world,' the world of the living, holds no interest for me, except for Touin. Whatever that was that happened two days ago affects me very little.
You say so, Riwn replies, but you were quite shaken when I found you in the ruins of that temple of yours.
Only because everyone else there had died, I reply as I begin to scramble down the cleft, and they were all pestering me to know what had happened. As if I know what happened beyond that things were just suddenly... wrong... and chaotic... and moving... Just because I am Chrishtai doesn't mean I have the answers to everything, but acolytes, even dead ones, seem to think me much more powerful than I am.
My foot slips suddenly, and with a shriek I go sliding down the cleft through a mess of foliage that tears my clothes and skin, whips my face and eyes, and evades my grip as I struggle to catch myself. I was correct about one thing, at least; the miniature valley does, in fact, lead to the river I've been hearing from above: its end dumps me into it from a height of at least five feet, in fact. My mouth fills with water and my severely scratched skin stings as I plunge into the river, flailing for any kind of handhold. It's deep and cold -- even after I've been complaining about the heat of the sun and my cloak, unpleasantly cold.
Calm down, Riwn is telling me, and I suppose that's easy for him to say. He didn't drown, so he can't know what an unpleasant way to die it is, but I've heard all about it. My cloak is tangling my legs and keeping me from effectively propelling myself towards shore, and I can't seem to get my head above the water. Of course, the fact that I've never been swimming in my life doesn't help. The last thing I'm conscious of is Riwn's rueful remark, Guess I'll be seeing you soon, then.