Ambrose staggered outside into the sunlight and cold air.
Just as everyone else was coming and going.
The mad array of scents assaulted his senses.
Hildreth twirled the pizza dough into the air.
“What is it, Master?”
“Something has happened.”
Hildreth set the dough on the pan. “Is it Elsie?”
“No. A vampire has done a terrible deed.” Master Shinowa took a breath and exhaled through his nose. “My brother owns a motel outside Indust City.” His mouth twitched downwards. “He owned a motel.”
“How many casualties?”
“My brother Kencha is dead.”
“He hasn’t been changed?”
“He is dead.”
“Master. I am so sorry. What can I do?”
He shook his head. “Please. Excuse me. I need—”
Hildreth came over to him and set his hands on the other man’s shoulders. “Master. What can I do?”
“I must meditate. Please, Mayhew. Let me meditate.”
“I understand.” He released him. “Let me know what you decide.”
Master Shinowa bowed and left.
Hildreth returned to his pizza.
Was it Ambrose?
Why would he be in Indust City? It must have been another vampire.
He chuckled. After all, Ambrose Smith is not the only vampire on Earth.
Master Shinowa sat in the middle of the training room. He closed his eyes and bowed his head. He let his thoughts find their own paths and ways.
Kencha appeared with a big smile on his face. His long black hair was tied up in a high-set ponytail. He held out his arms and embraced all who walked past him. Friends. Strangers. Family.
A vampire wearing a full kendo mask appeared and held out his hands to Kencha.
Kencha smiled and extended his hands to the vampire.
The vampire turned into a snake and spiraled up Kencha’s arm up to his neck and bit him.
He tried to pull the snake off, but he failed.
And he fell.
The vision ended.
Master Shinowa didn’t open his eyes and he kept his head bowed. “What should I do, brother? What is right? Revenge? Forgiveness? What would you have me do, brother? Show me! Let me see. Let me know, my brother.”
His brother did not reappear.
Instead, Master Shinowa saw himself standing in a vast field of yellow and white flowers. It extended in every direction. So, there was no telling where it began or ended.
He stood still, uncertain and lost. There was everywhere he could go and nowhere at all.
But it is up to me to make that first step.
What is the right step?
If one of my students asked me such a question, what answer would I give?
The vision ended.
He opened his eyes.
“Yes.” Tears fell down his face. “I understand.”