Exhausted, I fell back into bed. My breathing barely calmed down when Asami escaped my embrace and retreated to the bathroom as usual. This time I went after her and sneaked into the shower cabin. For a while we just stood there, watching each other as the warm water poured on our bodies. I realized it was probably the last time I would see her like this. I turned her toward the wall and pressed myself against her. I wanted her to feel me, to remember me. Her wet body in my arms, I knew I was going to miss her.
After the shower, I waited for her to come to bed, but instead, she sat on the armchair by the desk and told me she had some unfinished work, which needed to be done before the morning.
“Please, wake me up before you leave, ok?”
She gave me a prolonged look and nodded.
“Nik san,” she said, just as I was about to close my eyes.
“I’m glad we’ve met.”
I tried to keep awake until she’d come to bed, but the sleep came over me quickly.
When I woke up, she was gone. I found an envelope with a letter inside. It was one of those perfumed letters and its gentle fragrance pleasantly taunted my nostrils as I read.
’Dear Nik san,
My visit to the small temple was not a simple coincidence. Nothing ever is, if one looks hard enough. I went there to consult the Gods. I don’t do it often, only in cases when something touches me in a particular way.
With you, Nik san, I felt from the very beginning our paths crossed for a reason. The Gods confirmed that to me, but I still struggled to understand what the reason was. The more I learned about you, the more I realized my role in all this was to help you on your path to your destiny in the same way I was once helped by another fellow traveller.
In my line of work, I meet all kinds of people, powerful people. One of them owed me a big favour.
There is a night club called Tenko in Shibuya district of Tokyo. It’s an exclusive club and your name will be on the list of guests from tomorrow on for a week. Once there, you should search for Mr Fujiwara Kansuke. He is the man if you want to get to Yamato Damashi.
I’m sorry if I cannot help you more. Even this much was very hard to obtain. I want to warn you, though – these people you are looking for are powerful and dangerous.
Be careful, Nik san, and good luck in your journey!
I read the letter again, every word carefully, then folded it and placed it in the pocket of my jacket. I was beginning to have serious doubts my dream of becoming a Yamato Damashi fighter would ever come true, but Asami’s letter confirmed to me I was still on the right track and boosted me with hope.
Asami opened a door for me, and I was sure as hell going to walk through it. Thank you, Asami san.