Callum woke up in his bed and noticed the red stained cloths on the nightstand beside him. Callum gently felt around his nose and noticed it was back in place but felt sore. He slowly propped himself up on his elbows and noticed that he was still wearing his training uniform, which was stained with some blood. Callum looked at his dorm door, which was closed. Did I walk back here and not remember it? He got to his feet and walked over to the door before twisting the knob and noticing it was unlocked. Someone could've came in and stole something from here, surely I would have locked it myself once I came in, Callum thought. He looked at the small hooks that carried the keys to the dorm, and noticed that both were still hanging there. He shrugged it off and took of his training uniform before putting on his ragged clothes and a pair of worn boots. He took one of the keys and walked out of the dorm before locking the door. Callum started walking down the hallway, and made his way to the dining room. As he passed through the hallways, he looked out the windows and saw that it was early morning. Callum saw some of the samurai sentries standing on the temple balconies overlooking the village behind the stone wall guarding the temple. As he walked into the dining room, Callum noticed Tito and Vilija sitting across from each other. There were other samurai who sat at other tables eating as well. Callum got a cup of tea and then sat down next to Tito.
"Good morning." said Callum.
"Good morning, Cal." Tito replied nodding his head towards him. Vilija nodded her head in Callum's direction as she took a sip of her drink.
"You feel any better from last night?" asked Tito, drinking his water.
"My nose and stomach are still sore, but other than that I'm okay." said Callum, having quick flashbacks of the fight with Phoenix and Lekkyu.
"Just out of curiosity, why weren't you able to subdue all three of them?" Vilija started. Callum and Tito looked at her. "I don't mean to ask out of disrespect. I was just wondering." Vilija added.
Callum looked at Vilija's bowl of rice and then back down at the table.
"Well, Phoenix caught me by surprise, and I was just in shock to realize what was happening and before I could do anything, I was grabbed and beaten." Callum explained. Vilija used her chopsticks to eat some more rice and then took a drink of her tea.
"I really wish my brother wasn't very aggressive like that. I wish I was there to stop him before it escalated like that." said Vilija.
"Where were you? Every samurai that was in the area came by when Lekkyu started fighting Phoenix?" Tito questioned. Vilija shook her head.
"I was giving one of the sentries a break. I guess right as I left, Phoenix began attacking Callum." Vilija replied. She sat there for a moment and then quickly dropped her chopsticks and got up, covering her face with her arm as she left the room. Callum watched her leave and then looked at Tito, who was shaking his head.
"What was that?" asked Callum.
"She and her brother are very close. They were both recruited at the same time. Vilija doesn't want to be anywhere without Phoenix with her, besides when she trains or is on duty, but you get the point." Tito explained. Callum looked at the bowl of rice across the table and the chopsticks.
"Is she coming back for that?" asked Callum pointing towards the rice. Tito shook his head and reached over to pull it over to them.
"Go for it, she doesn't normally finish it anyway." Tito suggested. Callum picked up the chopsticks and began to eat the rice. After eating most of the rice, Callum sat the chopsticks back down and wiped off his mouth with a cloth.
"Do you want me on patrol duty again once I put my armor on?" asked Callum. Tito nodded his head after taking one last drink of his water.
"Do you have any plan on rescuing your friend yet?" Tito questioned, getting up from his seat.
"A little, I need some help though if I were to follow through with the plan. I'm thinking if a squad of samurai sneak into Shogun Kaz's temple disguised as his samurai, we can sneak in and find Jerall before releasing him." Callum explained as he got up from his spot too.
"Easier said then done, Cal. Shogun Kaz's temple is guarded much more carefully than ours here. Plus, his samurai will know if you aren't one of his samurai or not." Tito explained, setting his empty cup down next to the other dirty dishes and waited for Callum to do the same.
"I don't really know then, do you have any recommendations for what I do?" Callum asked. Tito shook his head.
"I'll have to think about that with the shogun and the generals. I promise we'll come up with something and let you know about it. For now, just patrol Felshire, and when I come up with something, I'll come get you." said Tito.
"Hei." said Callum before bowing towards Tito, who bowed back. They both walked in different directions.
Callum wanted to go see Ketra again, knowing that this time, Phoenix wasn't there to do anything about it. He couldn't help it, because he felt like he was so in love with her. Callum made his way to the apple stand, but noticed someone else was working it. It was an older man with shaggy grey hair. Callum walked up to the vendor and took out his coin purse.
"Hey, can I get two fresh apples?" asked Callum. The vendor nodded and grabbed two apples before quickly rinsing them in a bucket of cold water and then handing the samurai the apples. Callum handed the coins to the man, who smiled back with rotten, yellowed teeth. Callum smelled the sour breath come from the man's mouth, and nearly made the samurai throw up.
"Do you happen to know, Ketra? The girl who works at this stall too?" Callum asked.
"She's off right now, in fact, she's at the tavern over there across the street." the man replied as he pointed to a long building diagonal from the stall. Callum nodded his thanks and walked over to the tavern. I know I'm supposed to be walking through the streets and not doing this, but come on, she's beautiful. I can't not do it, Callum smiled. He opened the tavern door, and a strong scent of ale quickly entered his nose. Callum looked around the room and spotted Ketra in the corner of the tavern, sitting alone at a table. Callum walked over and patted the table, getting Ketra's attention. She looked up at the samurai with a smile, but Callum could see the redness around the girl's eyes, as if she was crying.
"Hey, how are you?" asked Ketra, her voice shaking a little bit.
"I'm okay, what about you?" Callum returned, shifting his feet.
"I've been better. You can take a seat if you want. Wait, aren't you supposed to be walking around the village or something?" Ketra questioned. Callum nodded with a smile and took a seat.
"Yes, but I wanted to come see you." Callum replied. I probably could've worded that less weird. Now I sound like a creep, Callum thought. Ketra nodded her head and smiled.
"You can sit here with me if you want. It's not like a have anyone else to talk to anymore." said Ketra, this time keeping her voice from shaking. Callum thought about Phoenix's banishment.
"The one thing I hated about him, was that he was way too protective of me. He always got jealous with other guys." Ketra explained. Callum nodded his head, yet again, thinking about the fight last night. Callum noticed an empty bottle of ale in front of Ketra.
"Would you like me to buy you another one?" asked Callum, pointing towards the bottle. Ketra shook her head and pushed the bottle to the side.
"I appreciate it though, Cal." said Ketra, smiling. Not only did she say my name, but she shortened it too. That might mean something, I hope, Callum thought.
"Are you aggressive? Like him?" asked Ketra, putting emphasis on the word 'him'. Callum shook his head quickly and put his arms on the table.
"No, it's a rule Shogun Lekkyu has for the army, especially. I'm not aggressive towards anyone unless they are trying to hurt me. And even though Phoenix beat me and nearly killed me, he is no longer my concern, so I'm not going to go after him to get him back." Callum explained. When he said the name Phoenix, a tear rolled down Ketra's face. Callum noticed it and immediately felt bad.
"I'm sorry. All of this is my fault. If I never came over to see you, none of this would've ever happened." Callum apologized. Ketra looked into Callum's eyes.
"Don't say that. It really isn't. You did nothing wrong, Phoenix was the one that got jealous and overprotective and wanted to start a fight with you." Ketra quickly said, her voice beginning to shake again. Callum was about to open his mouth to say something, but before he could, he saw a one of Shogun Lekkyu's generals walk into the tavern.
"Hey, Ketra. I have to go, I'll talk to you later." said Callum, quickly rising to his feet. Ketra pulled out a slip of paper and handed it to the samurai. Callum took the paper and looked at it. It was folded.
"What is this?" asked Callum.
"It's my inn room number. Whenever you can, come see me." said Ketra, before waving Callum to leave before he could get in trouble. Callum walked around the general and left without being seen. Callum looked at the number on the paper, and grinned at what he saw. It was the number 35.