The northern winds always felt warmest at dusk in the Forest of Weeping Willows. With the Island Continent so far west, the Crystalline Princess liked to imagine the sun glanced longingly at the Isle on its way back towards the eastern skies, a last goodbye before nightfall. Ghuli sat on a high, steady branch of a blue willow deep in the forest, tying the ends of some of its switches as the sun heated her skin. She only had a few minutes left before Cyan found her, so she clutched the ridged bark as she stood, pressed her long, brown feet down against the ties along the branch to keep her balance, and stretched her arms to hold the switches at a comfortable point. She held her breath within her. If things went how she desired, she would be swinging through the air in the next few seconds. Otherwise, she would have to explain to her watchmen why breaking her arms and legs was a good use of her time.
Ghuli closed her eyes and let her feet slip away from the branch. For two seconds, she was falling through the air, and then the switches jerked tight beneath her feet. She screamed and laughed as the blue leaves of the other switches brushed her. She flew upwards until she stared up at the wraps bound around her feet, the hem of her un-dyed woolen skirt sucked against her shins. Then, she was falling backwards through the same switches, grasping her makeshift swing as it took her back the other way. Her black curls covered her eyes and mouth as her body lay suspended in the air for another long second before she was swinging forward again.
She was able to do this a few more times before she locked eyes with her First Lieutenant Watchman in the brief moment she lay in the air. “You said you would stay on the Eastern Road,” he said as she passed him.