Faith’s cloud rode the wind faster than Jay could clamber after her. She zipped up cliffs and over divots. He had to search for shallower paths and leap over trenches in the steepening terrain. Soon Jay lost sight of her, but he continued to trudge up the slopes. Occasionally he glimpsed a pinprick of white against the mountainside, but always lost it when the wind whipped it left and right.
Atop the main island she saw a white-walled monastery. She landed nearby—beside a great gray stone statue.
The statue intrigued her. It was a giant bird atop a stone box sheltering a tiny man with its wings.
She turned to the monastery and waited. She might have waited minutes or years, so disrupted was her conception of time. Eventually she saw Nemo exit the monastery; she recognized him by his navy robes and the swastika she’d carved on his forehead. Nemo approached her and bowed. “Akayama! Oran dora.”
“Virgil Blue,” she said. Nemo nodded. “I must ask you for a favor.”
“Anything,” said Nemo.
Nakayama squawked. “You speak! You speak English!”