Aaron returned with his usual loud footsteps. Laura looked up at his hairy face, his sculpted torso... for a moment she thought she saw a glint of metal, but it disappeared without a trace. Laura shrugged and continued warming herself.
"I want to show you something," he said.
"I don't want to see it. I'm very busy brooding."
"Come along anyway."
"I'm still indecent."
Laura sighed and got to her feet. "Fine."
Aaron turned and led the way up the mountain trail. It wound around and around the mountain, then around and around some more. Still there was no snow on the ground, despite the chill that her angst brought to the entire setting. Somewhere near the top, the path diverged. Aaron very deliberately turned away from the one path, giving Laura pause. The katana of X'andurel seemed to quiver as she looked down the rejected way, as if its rejection reminded her of her own past rejection. She started down it.
Aaron cuffed her quite sharply over the head. "Do not EVER go that way!" he shouted.
"Fine..." she grumbled.
A little bit further, and they came to the end of the trail, which was also a door in the side of the mountain. Aaron glared at the door for a moment, then ran at it screaming and flailing with his fists, shouting obscenities like, "I hate you!" and, "My life sucks!" and, "I wanted a pony for Christmas!" Finally, the Door of Much Angstia opened before him, and they continued into the mountain.
It was completely hollow inside, with only a narrow path along the "wall" of the mountain. They walked across this path, which wound and wound throughout the inside of the mountain, before coming to another door. At this door, Aaron took out a writing utensil and scribbled some words, which said, "Feberday 14. My life sucks. No one reads this door anyway. Why do I bother?" With that, the Door of Much More Angstia opened before him, and they walked back outside of the mountain, where the path continued as if it hadn't ended.
And then they were at the top of the mountain. Laura looked around, seeing the cave where she had received the Katana of X'andurel, but not her hometown, or her Sensei's home. It brought her much angst. The stars twinkled in the night sky, like drops of ice on a dark and brooding soul.
Aaron turned around, grabbed Laura firmly by the waist, and kissed her. Laura backed away, sputtering. "What are you doing?!" she shrieked.
"It's Feberday 14!" Aaron said. "The Day of Love and Such! You don't know that?"
"But I don't love you!"
"I saved your life!"
"You disgust me!" Laura turned and ran back down the trail.
Aaron watched her go, then slumped to his knees. "NOBODY LOVES ME!" he screamed to the stars. After much stomping and crying, he fell on his back and just looked at the stars. "Maybe I will give her to Rord Evirpantsu," he sighed. "She deserves it now." A shooting star flew past, reminding him of the darkest moment of his life...
Laura ran down the path, bursting through the Doors of Much Angstia and Much More Angstia with a flick of her katana. The kiss was still on her mind, as it lingered across her dry lips. She had enjoyed it, but she could not love. Ever. And Aaron was a jerk anyway. How dare he try to be angstier than her?
Laura ran past the campfire, grabbing her still wet clothes in a flash, and tugging them on as she continued past the slain bodies from before. She was running so fast that she didn't see the giant green rock in front of her until she had dashed herself upon it and fallen on her back.
"Oh dear," the rock said. "A damsel has injured herself upon me. I must help her while feeling absolutely no attachment." The rock reached out with a rocky arm and helped her up. Only the rock was a knight with a face carved by angels. Laura's heart skipped.
The knight stood back and examined Laura. "Oh dear. I had hoped this wouldn't happen."
"What?" Laura asked.
"I was hoping to not run into a female samurai, secure in the reasoning that they don't exist. But now they do exist. My world has been turned upside-down, as it always is." He sighed deeply. "Is there a seasoncer with you?"
"He's at the summit."
"Damn it all..."
"But enough about him." Laura blushed. "Let's talk about you."
"No no, I simply must be going. It is my duty. It is my curse." He sighed again and started up the trail.