“Wake up, wake up now. It’s already early morning.”
Tedomi was nearly immobilized on the bed. Hearing the sound of the old man just made him grumble and curl up into the blanket. Spare me some time please, it’s more winter now. Then suddenly he realized it, when the next sound came out at the same time.
“There is no time for mercy if you don’t get up. Come to the temple now. Snow is already all over there.”
He stood up right after the thought along with those corresponding words. It’s time to go visit the lost God. That’s it, the winds have come enough.
With a both straight and curvy hair inherited from his father and mother, he never felt the need to comb it. Just brushing the teeth, washing the face, and wearing a blue short coat to keep the warmth, he went outside the door after around ten minutes. This early morning was nothing more than the night, since the moon was still there and darkness was still fully around. There was only a dim light on the horizon, but it’s just a matter of time until the Sun could be seen.
However, for this moment, the night is our only friend.
The old geezer was waiting for him outside, with a long brown coat covering all his feet. Well, not to mention his elegant silver hair that made Tedomi disappoint of his own messy hair, he never shaved his beard either. So we are even, right. We are a team now.
“Again, you’re all talk. You said you would even get up before me. And now look at you, rolling so hard from the bed to the ground.” – Gora said irritatedly.
“Aye, I’m late. I’m sorry. But you should consider my situation. The curves last night were just so hard to look into, and I could not even find any clue to connect to the mountain land either. You can blame me all you want.” – Tedomi answered indifferently.
“If I were to blame you, then I would just let someone else do the job of waking you up from the window. Look at me, I’m an old man shouting at a kid since the early morning, and even through a window! Am I your classmate?”
“Yep, yep. I got it. Now shall we begin?”
“It’s my talking. Damn you brat.”
Well, it was all the same as usual. Every winter, this argument was normal to be seen, between the young boy and the old man. At the end of this year, I will become more of a man, so that will make us even more even next year.
“Ah, Gora, what about the dog? Have you seen it in person?”
“Call me Grand Gora, well whatever. Only the night guard seemed to see it several times. But it was too fast to catch up. And in the morning, looks like that it went hunting in the forest, or under the foot of the mountain. What a weird dog.”
“Snow is already here, yet it still lived so well. I bet it was a wolf inside, haha.”
“Yeah, there used to be a rumor from a foreign merchant who told the villagers that he had caught a glimpse of a pack of dire wolves, when he traveled past the mountain hill. They seemed to be running for a gathering somewhere.”
“Something is coming, Grand. I told you, I’m not a kid anymore.”
“Yeah, you’re not only a kid, but a bookworm who always stayed up too late to think about the weirdest thing ever. And to me, that’s harder to deal with than a kid. Moreover, that story he told was already two months ago.”
“Grand Gora, you have my respect. But we will talk about this after investigating the gate.”
“Again, that is my talking. Watch it, brat.”
Tedomi wanted to ask more, but he decided to stop. He could talk very much about what he felt curious and had some knowledge in, but he always knew the limit of any saying. There was always something beyond that he needed to see for himself first, before going on any further. Grand Gora was the only one who ever answered him meticulously about everything he asked, so he wanted to prove himself worthy of that treatment. After all, he was one of the oldest, and also one of the most knowledgeable people in the village.
They kept strolling over the snow under feet, and the cold was getting a bit less. The Sun would appear anytime soon, but never until they finished their work at the temple. This Winter was harsher than the last, so the schedule for the work had been made longer. Normally, Todemi would only have to clean the gate of the celestial temple and sweep out all the snow stuck to the ground, and then make a fire for anyone who spent the night outside to have a place to rest after coming back in the morning. However, he even did more than just that. Gora wanted to collect any piece of traces that anything might have left there after the night, and Tedomi had a job corresponding to the geezer. He would note every odd shape or curve in the notebook, saving for later investigation. Gora might see his notes and predicted something interesting, or even told him a long story.
This celestial temple has never been exactly the same after a one-night stand in Winter. Looking for just a tiny difference made you shiver in the cold.
Thinking while not looking, he was suddenly stopped by Gora, only a step ahead.
“What is it, Grand?”
“There was a smoke over there. Seems like someone has come before us.”
“Or a new one finally appeared.”
They went straight ahead, and faster, faster. No matter the difference in ages, they were both very quick in running, even though none of them looked athletic. Especially when there was something novel in the investigation in this ending region of the village, they were the fastest to know.
Maybe not this time, I think.
When they arrived at the gate and looked inside, they knew that was right. The fire was still there, and a black coat floating in the wind.
Tedomi gave a wary glance over Gora, who had opened his eyes widely.
“It looks like that we have no other choice but to lose our way here. For what it’s worth, that one was finally showing cherself. There is no rumor anymore, Ted.”