Predawn glinted over the horizon, pale buttercream and blue and silvery clouds banishing the blacks and indigo blues of night. A few last defiant stars twinkled. Oranges and golds and bloody pinks began to streak the world, painting a new beginning over the softer pale colors of the day, with the ruddy arid desert heating quickly as they did.
A small campsite by a lone scraggly tree was the only source of motion in the coming dawn.
“Up-” grunt “-down. Up- down…”
Hanging by the highest branch, about four feet off the ground, Chiro performed another sit up, holding it for a count of three at the top as her abdominals quivered with the effort. Then she slowly lowered herself back down. She hung by the tops of her feet, hooking her on the branch versus hanging from her knees. There was a pause. Then, slowly, she removed one leg from the branch and began again.
Soon it would be too hot to practice safely, with the merciless Osirian sun beating down on her, leaving her dangerously exposed. Traveling at sunset and into the dusky night was much easier, especially here, where she knew the stars. Far from cities and their lights and noise, at night the heavens stretched above her like a road to mirror hers, much as it had at the Monastery of the South.