As he began to walk he noticed that the moonlight was glinting off of something on the floor and leaned down to get a closer look. He discovered that they were small white rocks from the desert. They were prevalent in the area that Asha and he had been camping in and as he looked down the corridor he noticed that the rocks trailed down it towards the courtyard. He looked down the hall the other way and discovered that the rock trail started at their door. With no other hints to where Asha had gone he followed the rock trail out into the courtyard and eventually into the city.
A cool breeze raised goose bumps on his bare arms and Rei fleetingly wished he had worn a shawl but he settled for wrapping his arms around himself instead. The rocks stopped as he approached the river and as he walked onto the path that bordered the shore he saw a lone figure crouching in front of the water. As he walked towards him he noticed that Asha had two floating candles by his feet.
“I was wondering when you’d come. I’ve been leaving you that damn rock path every night for the past week,” Asha said as Rei crouched next to him.
“Sorry, I wanted to respect your privacy,” Rei replied. “Are you going to light them this time?” Asha’s parents were dead. They had died when he was a baby and he had been raised in an orphanage until he joined the scouts at the age of eighteen. Every year around his birthday since he was seven Asha had come to the river with two floating candles for his parents and every year he had gone home with them unlit.
“I don’t know,” Asha said with a small smile. “By the Gods, I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I never even knew these people; you would think it would be easy to let them go.” Rei moved closer to the other man and casually wrapped one arm around his shoulders. Asha leaned his head against Rei with a sigh.