Chapter 7 - Rest
What an incredibly puzzling situation. How is that she knew a language without every learning a language. It was insane. There would be a reasonable explanation for it but right now Remy found herself thinking so hard that it hurt. Maybe it had something to do with the knife and her journey to this new place. Perhaps she was expose to the language when she was young and was recalling it from some distant memory. No, the supernatural circumstances that brought her here was the more obvious of choices… but how…
Remy had forgotten that she was in the company of two other individuals.
“Sindeu e uihae…” said Rojin.
Remy’s attention snapped back to the room. She looked over at the two men and realized that what she had done was not likely a normal occurrence. Hisao looked at her even more intensely than he had ever before - which quite honestly Remy didn’t think was possible - and the old man’s face scrunched in perplexity. As if she wasn’t enough of a freak already - why on earth did she read it aloud?
She waited for the repercussion. Slowly the confusion faded from their faces. Hisao still kept an intense look but it was substantially less intimidating while Rojin reverted to the warm smile he held earlier. Rojin motioned for her to follow him again accompanied with a few words that Remy interpreted to be, “come along now.”
Hisao, however, did not follow. He gave Remy and Rojin a slight head bow in farewell and stepped in front the statue. He took a deep bow then slowly kneeled placing his hands on his lap. Rojin opened the sliding door beside the shrine and motioned an after you to Remy. She took one last look at Hisao - who now had his eyes closed in prayer - before stepping through the door.
She was standing on a porch that opened to a wonderfully aged court yard. The square yard held buildings on all four sides. Each were connected with an stone pathway that met in center forming a large circular landing. The building directly across from them was the largest and mirrored the style of the temple. The two on either side were smaller. The one on the left looked the newest. It had porch on the side that faced the courtyard and the plaster walls had windows with shudder. Remy thought it looked rather homey. The building on the right side of the courtyard was the smallest and shed-like in style. It didn’t have a porch but instead it was raised on stilts.
The courtyard itself was well kept. Trees surrounded the buildings and grew tall overhead laying shadows across the yard. The sun was quite low and the light it cast was a reddish bronze. Remy thought it looked so peaceful. Even though her being here was due to a series of unfortunate events she couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty.
The old man walked to the newest building and Remy followed. He ushered her through he door and Remy was impressed with her instincts - it was their home. The floors were covered in matts and in the center of the room was a low table. Cupboards were tucked against the walls and Remy saw that they were topped with bowls and cups and a teapot - all made of either porcelain or clay.
The wagon, the sword, the traditional clothing, the dinnerware - Remy was wondering now if she really had gone back in time. Rojin took off his sandals and guided her to the table. Remy followed suit by removing her footware. She set down her med bag and took a seat. Rojin held out his hands as if to say, stay here - I’ll be back and disappeared out the door toward the back of the home.
Remy tried to logic out her thoughts. It had been a strange journey so far - no doubt about that. Could it be that the knife transported her not only to a different place but maybe a different time? It wouldn’t be a far stretch considering how she ended up here in the first place. The thought made her tummy twist in worry - if she was in a different time that would make it far more difficult to get home… it might even make it impossible.
Remy took a deep breath. Perhaps she was just in a place that was behind the times. Like a corner of civilization yet to be integrated with the rest of the world. She had heard of African tribes like that - she wasn’t entirely sure if there were any uncontacted peoples in Asia but one could hope.
It wasn’t long after that Remy could smell something cooking and smoke from a fire. A little while later bowls of rice, broth, and charred fish were set on the table in front of her. Rojin handed her chopsticks and smiled. He didn’t wait for her to begin and instead dug right in. He filled his small bowl with rice and topped it with fish. Remy did the same. Her mouth was watering - she hadn’t realized how hungry she had been until now.
She ate until she was stuffed. Rojin kept refilling her bowl whenever it was empty and she did not complain. For the first time since she arrived in this strange place she felt a sense of relief. The tension in her body released ever so slightly, but, Remy was unable to savour it as it quickly transformed into sheer exhaustion. She could feel her eyelids drooping and her shoulders sagged.
Her tiredness must have been apparent because Rojin came around the table and helped her to her feet. He guided her to one of the doors off the dining room and opened it. There was smaller room with one tall wardrobe and a small cupboard. Rojin opened the cupboard and pulled out a stack of blankets. Moments later Remy stood in front of a modest bed made two thin quilts and a roll for a pillow. Rojin had brought in a lit candle as the sun had finally set. He bowed on his way out and closed the door behind him.
Remy unbuttoned her top and folded it setting it to the side of the bed. She took of her socks and laid them beside her shirt. She blew out the candled and reached for the covers. Remy felt a little guilty about crawling into her bed with her soiled pants and tank top but she was to exhausted to remedy the issue. She pulled the covers to her chin and her eyelids acted on their own volition forcing her to say goodnight to the world.
Remy awoke to sunshine blazing in through her window. It was warm, just warm enough to cause beads of perspiration to form on Remy lip. Just warm enough remind Remy that she had not showered for days. The corners of her eyes felt crusty and her neck felt sticky with sweat. So much for this being all a dream….
She got up to find a two bowls and a clothe set by the door of her room. One bowl, the large one, held water for washing and the other held an assortment of berries and nuts.
Remy tried a nut and found that it sort of tasted like a hazelnut. She crunched away on her breakfast and reached for the cloth. The fresh water on her face felt divine. She splashed it onto her neck and used the clothe to wipe away the dirt and sweat. She didn’t know how long she took but by the end the water sat murky with grime and her skin felt raw from scrubbing. She ran her fingers through here hair and tried her best to patted down any pieces sticking up from sleeping. If only she had a mirror…
Remy let out a sigh. The clean and freshen state brought clarity to her mind. Today she was going to find the nearest town. It was her best chance to get her bearings straight. It was possibly that she would be able to find someone who was connected to the modern world. Remy finished up her berries and nuts, folded up her bedding and made for the door.
The dining area was empty but the front door to the courtyard was left open. Remy stepped out onto the porch. Rojin and Hisao were in the center of the courtyard standing about five feet away from each other but facing the same direction. They moved together - their motion synchronized with one another. It looked to Remy as if they were doing Tia Chi but slower than she had ever seen before - each pose taking as long as a minute to complete. Remy stood silently and observed.
Hisao was wearing fresh clothes and his long dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail. His robe was a deep blue and his wide legged pants were a soft white. Rojin wore the same clothes as yesterday except he did not dawn the top half of his robe. It was left dangling from his belt. Remy’s first impression was that Rojin had been overweight but now she saw that he was more muscle than fat. His belly was tight and his arms heavy and sculpted. From the porch Remy could see the marks on his skin, the same marks she noticed the day before. They were white in colour and linear in shape but from where she stood she couldn’t see enough to confidently say what they were. Remy wondered if it was a unique kind of vitiligo - as that was the only thing she could think of that would cause such pigment loss in skin.
Remy watched the men. She hoped that her being there was okay and that she wasn’t any kind of a disturbance. Quietly she made her way to the edge of the porch and sat. She noticed that against the nearest pillar rested Hisao pack and sword. She could see the hilt clearly now and hadn’t really given it any thought since the night by the fire. The embossed hilt held the same gusting swirls of clouds like the ones on the front door of the temple. The swirls broke apart to leave a small space for two symbols - similar to the ones on the statue.
“Be. Wilder.” said Remy. It didn’t seem quite right. She tried again.
That was it.