“I’ll explain it” he said “I’ll explain everything and answer all your questions, but now come by the fire and have a tea and some honey cake. You are needing it, aren’t you?”
I could only nod shyly which made him laugh. I didn’t know it then, but I was going to love and remember that laugh for the rest of my life.
Shobo and I followed Yarlung in silence. And after a while I got comfortable with the thought that he’d already know me. I remembered my conversations with Sen Gin, and for some reason the old man had a very similar presence. He was warm, made me feel confident, and was probably a very wise man.
I was absorbed in my memories of the past three days when Yarlung said “Here we are, that’s my home”.
The river widened a bit and formed a miniature estuary with wooden gangways built all over. The old man had a kayak tied on a pole and so I guessed he was also a fisherman. On a little slope was built this beautiful wooden house.
We walked along the gangways, remaining on firm ground and circled the hut by the left side. There, was a big opening with a fire going in the center on which a kettle was already boiling water.
In front of the house was the lake with the snow capped mountains silhouetted on the horizon. The front porch was raised with posts above the shore level so I left the horse on the nearby meadow behind the fire site and followed Yarlung.
“Tomorrow you can take the horse to graze healthier grasslands, I’ll show you around” he said.
“This house, did you built it?” I asked.
“Yes” he answered “But I couldn’t have finished it without Dolkar’s help.”
“Who is Dolkar?” I asked curiously.
“He is my grandson, he lives here too, you will meet him this evening” he said while we walked back to the fire site and sat on the tree stumps that were arranged nicely and randomly around the fire.
“Please, sit. Find yourself comfortable,” he said.
That made me realize that I was already feeling comfortable, so I sat and observed how the old wise man made tea for both of us.
“Ask me what you want to ask me so eagerly, Ilan” he said while taking his own seat near me.
“Well, I’m just wondering of course, how did you know me?” I said
“If I tell you that I’ve been a mentor at the Guild Halls would it resolve the mystery?” he then asked.
“That explains everything!” I exclaimed and remained open-mouthed.
“I also know your own mentor, Ilan. It was Sen Gin who told me that you were coming, and so I prepared everything here so you can stay at least one month if you wish it that is,” he explained.
“Yes, of course I’d love to stay,” I answered and felt a so deep joy that I couldn’t describe it.
“I think you’d probably love to wander by the lake and the other surroundings during the afternoon, please feel free to discover this place all by yourself.” He continued, “You already know what it looks like on the east side of the lake, because that’s from where you came. If you follow the shore on the left, you will end up in the foot of the mountains, but if you follow the shore on the right, you will see much more. Vast grasslands await you and your horse to be explored. And of course, you can also go back in the forest behind the house and explore the woods. It’s all up to you every day. I’ll be here and glad to help you with anything.”