Each of them sat at direct points; East, West, South, and North. The man who stood did so against the open panel of the shoji door. All the rain outside made a tranquil background to the intensity that seemed to emit from those inside.
"You called for this, White Snake." The man shrouded in the door way smirked with his first words to help move a long the pace of this meeting. His impatience a blessing and a curse.
"I've told you to not call me that." Spoke the man in white robes, a tie of a pearl belt to his waist. He paused drinking from the cup settled in his right hand. "We have been here too long. I think it is best that we continue on. Waiting here any longer brings the Ogata armycloser. They were only seven days out from us when we stopped, meaning they've covered enough ground to be three days out since we arrived."
Both men fell silent. They were both imagining how to break the news. Their time here had been a breath of relief, a small moment to savor, given how peaceful the village had been to them.
"I will tell her." The man in green rose from his seated posture. He could be the bearer of bad news to give the rest a small break from constantly seeing a flash of disappointment in her eyes.
"It's too late. Kobo has gone."
The four men left behind all looked to where Kobo had been. None of them seemed surprised to see that he had been the one to let the princess know.