“Can you take Ilan to see where she’s going to stay, Sen?” said Vivian to the old man.
At which he responded “Yes, that’s why I actually came around. I just talked to the Guildmistress who was in the Journey Hall, making some preparations for the Ceremony of Departure, and asked me if I could show Ilan her rooms, as soon as possible.”
I was staring at both of them, in full expectation of what would come next. Vivian had to prepare her journey as well, so I stayed with Sen the rest of the afternoon. He showed me the stables where Shobogenzo had his own box, which I noticed was labeled as “Misaki”, and he showed me the dinner halls where long tables were arranged in parallel to the side walls, leaving in the middle of the hall, a big empty space. The dinner halls could hold more than a hundred people. Sen showed me around; the outskirts and along the streets of the Guild Halls. I met artists of all races who worked on different techniques, and saw many places that I promised myself to investigate again.
“Do you wish to see your rooms? They’re just around the corner” he said.
“Aren’t we behind the stables that you showed me before?” I asked, wishing inside that my rooms were near them. Sen had a cheeky smile on his face while we were turning around the corner. We reached the door, or should I say, the big stable door and Sen opened it.
“In the…stables?” I was happy and confused at the same time. “My rooms are the stables??”
“Ha ha! No. Your rooms are up those wooden steps. “he exclaimed.
I didn’t notice with all the excitement that at the end of the boxes, where the horses slept at night, was a narrow hall with wooden steps that led upstairs.
“It’s all yours upstairs” he made a little sweep with his hand, inviting me to go first.
When I reached the end of the stairs I was exhausted. The roof at the end, was vaulted with a glass window, and on the right, a door was waiting for me to open it.
“Welcome to the Misaki rooms. Your parents and your granddad and all your ancestors used these rooms and made them theirs… now it’s your turn.” Said Sen.
While we were entering the room, Sen asked if I carried the map with me. I remembered that the map was still in the horse’s bags, but I promised him that I’d get it before nightfall.
“Let me explain to you a bit about what you will need for your journey, Ilan” He led me to the only table in the room and showed me some material.
He showed me a couple of cardboard boxes and he told me that I would need to alter them somehow, make something nice out of them, because those would serve me during the whole journey as containers of all the things I’d find in my way. Then he showed me some fabrics and some air dry clay, from which I had to make a doll. With the brown envelopes that he brought me from a shelf, he asked me to make a paper bag book, and decorate the cover with whatever I liked most. “How you make all these items is up to you, it’s all you need at the moment. And don’t forget the map. All will be explained to you later. And don’t forget either, that I’m here for you, for whatever you need, at any moment.”
I heard him, but I was already creating all that stuff.
“Sen?” I asked while I was putting together my paper bag book.
“Yes?” he answered.
I stopped doing what I was doing, and looked at Sen “You said before that all my ancestors used this room, but you didn’t mean that you knew them, did you?” Before he answered, I already knew what he was going to say, because he took a deep slow breath, like mum does, and so I knew that it was a yes.
“There’s something about me that you still don’t know, Ilan” He said in a very soft voice.
“That you are a Samuraï?” I was convinced I guessed.
“ Yes I am a Samuraï, what you still don’t know is that I was born more than a couple of thousands years ago.”