to go back.
enveloping the land.
Whirling wind and ice,
staying your hand.
I watched as Gilder came back downstairs, and to my surprise, he wasn't his usual laid-back self. It was almost as if he wore a mask of a neutral expression, and you would think that he was just deep in thought. But I knew otherwise. A single glance into his eyes showed deep sorrow, as well as other powerful emotions that I couldn't make out.
Over the course of the evening, he had several more drinks, and I do mean several. I just couldn't believe it. How could he remain sober after consuming so much loqua?
Amber noticed my confused expression and laughed. I guess that I had looked pretty silly right then, and I couldn't help but join in when Cupil morphed itself to show what my face had looked like.
When she had stopped laughing, Amber asked me why I had appeared to be so confused. I answered honestly.
"How can Gilder still be sober? He's had at least ten drinks since he came back downstairs!"
To my astonishment, and Aika and Fina's as well, her face saddened, and she wiped a forming tear away from the corner of her eye. All three of us were unpleasantly surprised by her response.
"He's drank so much over the years, his body's developed an incredible tolerance for it. It's sad when you think about it, hun. He hates it, still being fully aware of what's going on and getting a headache the next day. Just look at him..."
She waved a hand in his direction, and the three of us looked over. He was sitting in the same chair as before, but was staring into space, his eyes even sadder than before. He looked like he's lost all hope, but for what, I couldn't imagine.
Amber continued where she had left off. "He hates the loqua, his life, and even himself. Bet he wishes that he could still get drunker than a horse, being the damn idiot he is." She snorted in mock disgust. "That's men for ya."
Aika and Fina were now laughing their heads off, and I was trying unsuccessfully to plead my case. After all, I was not one to go get drunk unless Aika made me. Not that I was ever happy about it when she did.
A movement at the corner of my eye caught my attention, and I turned to see that Gilder had moved to stare out of one of the large windows of the place. The sky was clear here, displaying the stars, but farther away you could see dark clouds and falling snow, showing that it was the middle of winter in Arcadia. It makes me damn glad that I don't have to go the Glacia anytime soon.
My attention was again drawn to the older air pirate's expression. His face was now peaceful, and his eyes, while still sad, had regained some of their usual mischievous gleam. I was about to get up and talk to him, but Amber placed a hand on my shoulder and shook her head. She returned to the kitchen, and I to my conversation with my friends.
But I could not help but wonder what was making Gilder act this way.