We made a fifteen mile loop today. The Batsu want us ready and able to go a hundred miles in a day, which made me laugh in spite of how much laughing hurt by that point. A hundred miles in the Nanten? But then they don’t mean in linear fashion. The amount of zig-zagging and circling they do keeps them in small areas, but means plenty of miles covered in the process.

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Dionus takes less pleasure from this than I do. He wants to fly for real. He does enjoy it though, and today we made a few short races out of the central legs of our loop. Our confidence grows each day, and our bodies have responded well to the training. I have never been so active in all my life as I have been in the Nanten. I have never hiked, marched, nor run as far anywhere else for as long. My muscles are responding to this training in ways I wouldn’t have imagined possible a few years ago.

We are eating even more for it. The Batsu, thankfully, are excellent hunters. Every loop out that we take results in dozens of birds fresh from the branches. The ecosystem of the canopy is entirely different than that on the ground. Everything seems smaller, more like the flora and fauna of home. It’s strange because I would expect it to be the other way around, considering how little sunlight penetrates to the ground below.

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Where the rest of the Nanten must compete to scrounge between the roots of the trees, we have the freedom of choice from the boughs. I could live like this.

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