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Climbing Her Cares Away (Major Mission/Altitude training)

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Aka Hanako
Aka felt something make contact with her head, and brushed through her hair with her hand, forcing a large amount of pebbles to clatter down at her feet. She looked up toward the peak of the cliff face to see another larger stone coming down, giving her barely enough time to duck out of the way before it clunked solidly onto the dirt. Aka closed her eyes and sighed, moving away from the rock face for the moment and lighting a cigarette.

She took a long drag as she evaluated the height of the climb that she had to make so far, estimating that she had to be a bit under halfway up. She then looked at the rock that she'd narrowly dodged just moments ago, blowing a puff of smoke out.

"Almost lost my other eye... Need to be more careful up here." Aka spoke softly, wanting to avoid causing any sort of a rock slide. Then again, she had heard that was a myth, but things that may or may not be true aren't exactly things that she wanted to trifle with when she was so far away from any foreseeable aid. Walking over to the ledge of the plateau that she was currently on, she crouched down and looked out past the pines onto a grand view of the island.

She could see Syne far to the side of her, situated on a mountain below where she was, as well as a small glance of Skylight to the Northwest. She had decided to climb the northern peaks, so it was cut off by a portion of the mountains she was on. What was really clear to her, was the sprawling blue forest beneath her. It really was a sight to behold, completely different from Forever fall, considering one could see trees of that coloration worldwide during the Autumn. This was the only place that one could see a blue forest though.

A breeze suddenly blew past, making her shiver as she realized that it was only going to get colder the more she climbed, despite how warm it had been earlier. She had worn a tank top specifically for that reason actually, but now seemed like a change was really needed. Aka crushed what was left of the cigarette into the dirt before standing up and walking over to the bag she'd brought with her.

It was small, a climbing bag. She packed light, mostly taking just what she felt like she'd really need to make this enjoyable for herself. Reaching into the bag, she pulled out a grey hoodie, covering herself up and zipping it up before reaching in again and grabbing a bottle of water. She didn't drink much of it, just a quick sip before she dropped it back in, closing the bag and slinging it around her torso.

She made note of where those rocks had fallen earlier, and moved to a different side of the cliff face. Aka really didn't want to get messed up by one of those while she was climbing, especially since she was going cordless. She backed up, looking for where she was going to climb to next, and when she found it she ran at the wall, hopping up and planting her foot against it as she grabbed a hold of one of a rock that was jutting out. She was secured, so now she could start to climb for real.

Every rock she grasped, she tugged on before resting weight on it, being certain that it could hold her, and she did the same with her feet, kicking at any rocks she planned to step on. This was a steady cycle, one that she had perfected when she was younger, yet still she felt worried before she had come out here. Worried that maybe she would be a bit rusty, or that she lost the stuff that made her so good at this in her age. In reality, the more that she thought about it, the more it made sense that she had gotten better at this through her experiences since then.

She was much stronger and more confident now than she was, and honestly, she could really see herself taking this on as a hobby again. It probably wouldn't feel quite the same though, as she's seen most of the island by now. It's lost a lot of its 'exploration' luster now that she's been through most of it. Maybe she could take up cave diving, or even deep sea diving.

That all sounded fun to her, it was so easy for her to daydream when she was doing something like this. Aka knew it wasn't the safest habit, but at this point, she doubted that it really made much of a difference. She was starting to feel the cold now though, putting her back into the present as she got to heights where she could see her breath, leaving her to wonder how long she has been scaling this cliff face alone. She felt like it had possibly been an entire hour at it, but couldn't say for certain. She wanted to look down, but she knew better, instead, she pressed herself against the wall and took a quick break to catch her breath.

If she made this into a hobby, she could easily get into the best shape of her entire life, so that might be in the cards. It's not like she disliked it either, more like she felt like things were less enjoyable than they used to be. Was that really because she'd seen it all though? That was the real question she was asking herself, almost as if she wondered if she was trying to convince herself not to take up a hobby.

From there, she started to climb again, wondering where those thoughts were starting to bubble up from. At last, it seemed like she was nearing another plateau to gauge her height and take another real break. Her cadence was unbroken for this next stretch of rock, as she nimbly swung herself from rock to rock so that she would never get too complacent or slow the decent pace she was making. She did slow down for a moment when she though she heard something on the peak she was going for, but not hearing anything afterwards, she assumed that she'd imagined it and pressed on.

Upon reaching the peak, she peeked her head over and scanned around to make sure she wouldn't have a fight on her hands that she wasn't expecting. Only when she felt like she was all clear, did she throw a leg over the ledge and roll herself onto the plateau. The area had much less vegetation than the last one had, without trees and only a few bushes. All that meant was that there was less wind coverage to Aka, leading her to rub her hands together to put a bit of artificial heat in them.

She moved to the ledge and sat down, looking out to the same view she had seen before, albeit one which looked much smaller compared to what she'd seen earlier. Her bag was rested beside her as she took a peek at her watch, realizing that that climb had taken her an hour and a half to complete. That sounded fair to her, she looked behind her to see where she would need to climb to next, but was surprised to see that she only had about a five foot climb before she reached the complete peak of the mountain that she was on.

It was in no way the tallest mountain on Bellmuse, she would have needed much more gear to make that climb, however she had a sense of pride in her completion of this feat. Aka lit up another cigarette as she looked out to the landscape again, surveying for what she would do next while she wasn't at work. She was startled back to more approximate thoughts when she heard some kind of a noise coming from a path to her side.

Aka stood up quickly, bending down to draw her knife from her bag as she steeled herself for whatever was to come. She really did not want to fight up this high, especially in such a small space, for fear of falling off of the peak. At this height, she was certain that her aura wouldn't do much and that she would die. If she was careful though, she could probably use that to her advantage and force the creature off the cliff herself. She waited... and waited, listening as footsteps drew ever so nearer. Then suddenly, she was floored with what she saw.

A big white ball of hair came rounding from the stony mountain path, a sheep, bleating at her as it walked to a bush and started to eat bits of the foliage. Aka laughed once stupidly, before falling into a seated position and dropping her knife. She started laughing again as she flopped onto her back in exasperation. From there she decided that she would start climbing a lot more often, and also that she was definitely walking her way down the mountain instead.

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