Tomorrow Is Another Day
The sun shone brightly over the sands of the desert. Because of the planet's irregular orbit around the sun, there was no actual night - daylight was a constant on in this barren world. The majority the population was in bed sleeping, having adjusted to the consistent sunlight long ago. But deep in the mountains, far from the sunlight, someone was awake.
The pupil studied deep below the surface in an underground cave. Although there were many methods for lighting the room, a simple candle was the easiest way. There was a small supply of flashlights in one of the other rooms, but she didn't want to waste one for merely reading.
A knock at the door interrupted the student's thoughts. "Come in," she softly called.
The door opened. "You're still studying?" the little man asked, with a gentle smile on his face.
His student returned the smile. "Just let me finish this chapter, I'm almost finished."
He sighed. "Tomorrow is another day, you need your rest. How am I supposed to teach you if you're falling asleep at your desk?"
She laughed. "I have three pages left, I'll be done in ten minutes."
"Noah, you can read tomorrow. Go to sleep."
Noah closed the book. "Okay, I'm coming." She picked up the candle and headed for her small room in the back of the cave. "Good-night, Master," she said, as she entered her chamber.
Noah closed the door and put the candle on her desk. She hung her long, white cloak on the hook by the door and proceeded to change into her nightgown. As she washed her face with the cloth and bowl of water that she kept on her table, she studied herself in the mirror. She had come a long way since the day she had first arrived here.
The past six years of her life had been spent in this cave, studying with Master Tajima. Her uncle, the governor of Motavia, had advised her parents to send her here to learn all she could from him. At first, she wasn't sure if she liked the idea of leaving her hometown of Casba to learn about "magic", but eventually she grew to love it.
Noah frowned at her reflection. She often wondered why her parents had listened to her uncle. They were so traditional, almost dull in their ways. Why they would send their only daughter to study magic was beyond her comprehension.
Her parents. She hadn't seen them in almost ten months. She tried to visit them at least twice a year, but the town had been cut off by the last rainstorm. It rarely rained on Motavia, but, as the old saying went, when it rained, it poured. The founders of Casba, her parents among them, had prided themselves on their decision to build the town against the ancient rock formation that would offer them protection and resources. But now, because of the flooding, the formations blocked anyone from entering or leaving the town. It was said that there was a passage through the mountains, but Noah knew better than to listen only to rumors. The water should be gone soon enough, she thought, she would see her parents within a few months.
She picked up a brush from her table and started to comb the knots out of her long blue hair. Next time she visited her parents, she thought, she would ask them why she was sent to study with Master Tajima. Or she could just ask him tomorrow, over lunch, possibly. Noah had many questions for her mentor, she may as well ask them soon. She wanted to know many things, like why there weren't any other students, where the magical techniques came from...
Noah yawned and finally smiled at her reflection. Tomorrow. As her master had told her before, tomorrow was another day. A day when, perhaps, she would finally find some answers to her questions.
* * * * *
Master Tajima pulled his timepiece out of his robe. "We've studied enough for this morning, let's have some lunch."
Noah stood up and pulled some burgers and colas out of the cabinet. She set them on the table before her teacher and they began to eat.
As she thoughtfully chewed on her burger, she wondered which question she should begin with. "Master?" she said.
Noah paused. "Why did my parents send me here?" she finally inquired.
"You know the answer to that, your uncle told them that it would definitely be to everyone's advantage."
"Yes, I do know that. But I want to know why it 'would be to everyone's advantage.'"
Master Tajima set his burger down on his plate and tried to decide on the best answer for his student. "Your uncle likes to think ahead. He wants the best possible future for you and everyone else on Motavia, everyone else in Algol."
He knew that Noah would not be satisfied with this answer, and he was right. "But what does that have to do with me coming here?" she asked.
He paused again. "Some answers just are not available to you at this time, you will know when the time is right."
Noah knew that it was no use arguing with the old man, so she decided to change the subject. "Okay, but why am I the only student here?"
"I have had other students in the past, just no one else at this time."
"Where are they now?"
Once again, Master Tajima searched for the right answer. "The majority of them were not suited to this line of study and they left me after a short time."
Noah looked down. "Oh." She paused. "But that still doesn't answer my question of why I've been the only student here in the past six years."
"Because I'd prefer to focus my time and efforts solely on you."
Master Tajima shifted in his chair. "You have proven to me that you have a special gift for this and that you will use these techniques in the future to the best of your ability and to benefit others." He checked his timepiece again. "And if we keep wasting time like this, you'll never complete your studies. Come, Noah, let us resume our work."
Noah wrinkled her nose, but remained silent. There was so much more that she wanted to ask him, but she knew that her questions would have to wait for another time. She cleaned the dishes off the table and followed her master to continue her work.