4 Monkey 1169
After the Isawa left, Bayushi Tatsuo sat quietly on a stone bench in the tea garden, contemplating the maple tree. His feet faced away from the tea house and the black lacquer of his zori was stark against the white gravel. He had been there for about twenty minutes when he spoke – apparently to the tree.
"Tea is much more enjoyable inside the tea house than underneath. Perhaps next time you would like to join me there?"
There was a pause.
"Hai, Bayushi-sama." The chagrined voice came from behind Tatsuo, accompanied by a slight crunching of gravel.
"Well, you'd better go share what you've learned, Hiruma-san."
"Shitsurei shimasu, sama."