Their initial stumbling had stopped, and now the two Utywan Matoran simply struggled the long hike up the mountain path. Their guide, Okoth, turned for the thirty-ninth time to make sure Bour and Nireta were still with her, watching them grapple with the challenges the landscape of Tenpravih gave them. The air was starting to thin as they ascended, and Okoth could see the chests of the two visitors heavily rising and falling.
“Do you need to rest?” she finally asked.
“Maybe— we should have waited a few hours— to get our land legs back…” Nireta replied. The Ga-Matoran straightened herself. “We’ll get them back, don’t worry,” she reassured her guide. They both looked at Bour, who stood doubled over with his hands on his knees. The Po-Matoran gave them a thumbs up, his eyepiece on his Akaku extending to the path they still had to climb. Okoth nodded, waiting for them to restart their pace before she continued to guide.
The Utywans had allowed their cloaks to drift behind them as they climbed the base of the mountain, but the warmth of the bay was quickly left behind as they entered the bleaker parts of the island. The two wrapped themselves tightly as the mountain air sent shivers up the back of their necks. A wind unlike the far seas crept slowly around them, their expressions of exhaustion now of concerns. Okoth seemed unaffected by the cold, and did not express any concern about the weather.
“They are travelers,” explained Okoth to the guard of the bastion. Bour and Nireta, wrapped in their cloaks, marveled at the structure before them; seemingly carved out of the mountain itself. Though they had hiked a considerable distance, the walls of the place extended considerably higher than the Utywans would have thought. Large windows looked out from various points facing this side of the mountain, balconies looking down along the path. They had come up the jungle side of the mountain, and far to their right, they could see a river rushing down the face of the mountain, to where it would meet the waterfalls of the beaches they had landed on far, far below.
“What business do travelers have in the Bioaku?” asked the guard.