"Good night.", I say
"It's this way.", André says and shows me the way.
While we move along the road, I get glances of the present ninjas. Some of them are looking at me, like I'm some goddess, but most of them just look expressionless. Why, I wonder? I look around, searching for something familiar. Anything that can make me remember a bush, a tree, a flower or even a face. Nothing, not even a single déjà vu. Disappointed I look back at André, but with a slight shock I realize, that I've lost sight of him. Now I'm alone in the crowd of ninjas. Very few of them look friendly, but the rest is watching me with cold and observant eyes. Like they are expecting something bad to happen.
"There you are. Come on, it's this way," he says coming out of nowhere.
"Sorry, It's just..." I say hesitantly.
"What?" He asks, looking at me with worried eyes.
"No... Its nothing, forget it."
"Alright," he says, not looking convinced at all. We start walking again and this time I concentrate on following him, not wanting to see those cold and observant eyes again.
Soon after we reach a big tent, big enough to stand up in it and for three or four people to sleep in there. There is light in it and a shadow of what look like a man. André pulls the curtains aside and signals to me, to go inside. I do so and the person, whose shadow a saw, stands there leaning over, what look like a map on the table.
"Mizuki, I brought the girl," André says, slightly bowing his head, a gesture of respect. I wonder, who this guy is?
"Thanks, André. You can go and report to Willem. I'll look after her in the meantime," the guy, who André called Mizuki, says.
"Yes, thank you." André leaves the tent and abandons me with Mizuki.
"Hi, I'm Mizuki Hino. It's nice to meet you," while he introduces himself, I take a look around. When you're inside, it doesn't really look like a tent. There was only a table, two chairs and two beds with a partition in between.
When I look back at him, I see that he's smiling, like he knows how I feel.
"Yes, I know. It doesn't really look like a tent, does it?" I shake my head and glance at the two beds once again. He noticed.
"It's here you're going to sleep, for know. The other bed is for André, since he'll be your guard. Don't worry, he's not the type who'll do anything to you, not that he's not allowed to," Mizuki says with a wry smile. I just stay silent, not knowing what to say.
"Did André tell you anything about this place?" He asks. Again, I shake my head.
"Well, he is a man of few words. But still, he should at least have explained the situation... Or maybe not, never mind." He scratch his neck and an awkward silence rise. I get the feeling, that he had said too much. What was he going to say? What's the situation? I want break the silence somehow, but I don't know what to say.
"You're rather silent. Are you scared or just shy? Cause there's nothing to be afraid of here," he breaks the silent before me and I find myself answering, without thought of what to say.
"I'm not shy. I'm just confused and scared and sad. I find myself in a place I don't recognize, surrounded by people I don't know. I feel pain, physically and mentally, and empty, like there something missing, besides my memory. I just don't know what to do," I say slowly, trying hard not to fall apart.
"What do you mean by feeling pain?" He asks looking concerned.
"What I mean is, that every time I try hard to remember, I get a headache. But if I don't try to remember, I won't know, who I am and that hurts. Mentally," I explain, trying to make him understand.
"Hmm... I see, that's a problem. I want to help you, but I think this is something, you'll have to figure out yourself. I'm sorry."
"No, don't be. I never wanted to be a bother," I say remembering the cold eyes earlier. They probably hate me, even though they don't know me.
"You're not a bother. How could you, when you haven't done anything?" That's what I wanna know. "Anyway, I think André will be here soon. Don't just stand there, have a seat," he says pointing at the chair. I hesitate shortly, but then sit down. Cause he said, that there is nothing to be afraid of and that I'm safe. Could I believe him? Am I really safe here?
Silent again. This time it's more comfortable though. Mizuki sits down on the other chair and looks at me with curious eyes. He just sits there and observes me. It remind me of the other ninjas, except his eyes aren't cold, just curious and friendly. I don't get the feeling, the he hates me, like I did with the other ninjas, but I can't be sure. Nervously I look away, at the two beds, the tent curtains, the floor, at anything but him. I feel like he's still looking at me. It makes me feel exposed, like he can see right through me. I glance at him and sure enough he's still looking at me. I look away again and my eyes wander to the table and the map. The map isn't that big, but it's hard to figure out, where it is.
"It's a map of the forest and the surrounding mountains. There's very few villages here and not all of them are safe, for us at least. This valley is probably the safest place in miles," while explaining this he smiles at me. He answered my question, before I even got a chance to ask.
I open my mouth to ask something else, but change my mind and close it again. Instead I look up at him. He's not looking at me anymore, but instead he's looking at the map.
Out in the corner of me eye, I see a movement at the entrance. I look over there and see André enter the tent. He walks over to me and look at Mizuki.
"Willem said, he has something important to talk to you about," André says bluntly. Mizuki stands up, takes the map, walk over to the entrance and look back at me.
"I hope you memory returns. See you around." A smile, a wave and then he's gone. Now it's only André and I.