They sit on the edge of a small patio, attached to the body of the dojo and facing the waterfall, the forest above it. The town’s wall, tall stalks of bamboo that has yellowed with age, terminates at the woods’ edge. Kiori dangles his legs in the air, kicks them back and forth with the impatient energy of all children. He looks up at the waterfall, over to the trees and down the road in turn, his attention never remaining in one place for long. His father simply stares straight ahead, feet planted, but knee twitching uneasily.
“You’ve fallen behind in your training, again.”
Kiori’s legs stop moving, then begin again with increased speed and intensity, but his eyes are focused straight down at the stone walkway. They remain there, as though stuck, while his father takes the rare opportunity—his youngest son, listening!—to continue speaking.