The journey to the city was boring. Dao just wanted to get there as fast as possible, no distractions, no looking around, nothing. Some people just didn't appreciate the journey, only the destination. If you applied that to life, it didn't really work, as the destination for most people tended to be death. Dao, however, didn't appear to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate philosophy. He was reminiscing again, for all the good it did. What did he have to reminisce upon anyway? From what he could gather, all swords masters did was train to become better, always focused on one, unattainable destination, never appreciating that all the time life was passing them by. Never appreciating the journey. There was probably a lesson in that, but Kitsune couldn't be bothered to find out what it was. He was too busy trying to get Dao to carry him, as he had bigger legs, so it was only fair. Eventually he gave up and just jumped on while Dao was deep in thought, and sat on his shoulder until he noticed. It drew some strange looks.
The city was the largest town Kitsune had ever seen, bustling with thousands of people, and it absolutely stank. As in, he'd smelled buckets of manure, better than this place. The markets were alright, the scent of so many people covered up by the sweet aromas of perfumes and spices, but the platform was a nightmare. He would much rather have walked. The train itself, however, was wondrous. Despite living in the south, Kitsune had never seen a train before. His own small town had never been important enough to warrant a station, and he'd hadn't had the opportunity to travel much. One of the downsides of being basically at constant war for 5 years.
As soon as they got in the train, Dao looked like he went to sleep. At first he thought the Tigre was mad, as he watched the scenery go whizzing past. After about ten minutes of nothing but rice fields, Kitsune decided that Dao had the right of it, and curled up on his seat. When he awoke, they had arrived at the crossroads. Finally. I mean, really, the journey took, hours. And there was nothing to do. At all. Why would you take a train? It's a stupid idea. Probably. People use it, so it must be Okay but, its just, you know, right?
Anyway, Mr Big & Stripy headed straight to the tavern, an unusual move for a swords master, but at least the guy was more interesting than he appeared. “It is getting late. We'll stay the night at the Black Rooster tavern. It's a shabby place but the owner, Fat Cheol is an old friend of mine. It is a place full of degenerates, mercenaries, sell swords and thugs so behave yourself and don't cause any trouble!”, on second thoughts, maybe he was boring. "You say that as if I've never been anywhere worse."
The innkeeper/barkeep/all round jolly man seemed very much like almost every richish barkeep he'd ever met, and they were usually quite nice guys. He seemed to know Dao, so that might get him a few freebies. Or a few blind eyes. “Can I give this this to your little friend or should I poor him some water?”
"Ahem, his little friend, is, officially, of the age of sixteen, and very much appreciates your gift of apology, for making such a cataclysmic error." And he jumped up and plucked the bottle from the barkeeps hands. Then looked for something interesting.
As he saw it, there were two options. One: The was a dejected looking woman with pure white hair, sitting on her own, not dressed like a harlot, and a phoenix tattoo on her forehead. Interesting. Two: The was a very large man wearing black with a huge sword at his hip, and he looked like he knew how to use it. Fun. Unfortunately, smashing up a tavern never made you very popular, so since crossroads was the kind of place you tend to pass through a lot, he settled for option one. She was kinda pretty anyway.
He sat on the bench opposite her. Well, I say 'sat', more half-kneeling half-standing so that he was eye level with her. It took a while for her to notice him. "Hey, hey lady, it's rude to ignore people." She glanced up at him, "Are you the disciple the other bloke was talking about? Why are you here? Where are you going? Why is your hair so white?" He took a large swig of the bottle, "I am not drunk, yet. Please hold my interest, because otherwise, I may be forced to get drunk and start a fight with that guy over there. Who knows, we may be able to help each other. Are you going north? Why? Who are you? You know what, lets start again." He took a deep breath, slowing down. Everyone always told him that he talked too fast, and she probably hadn't caught a single word that he'd just said. "Hi," He extended a hand, "I'm Kitsune. You are presently the most interesting thing in this room. Congratulations."