I really felt bad for leaving Robin by herself but she did say she wanted to be alone and I know that she did have numerous friends who would be able to console her if needed.
I arrived at Leopoles (sp) right at 11?. It was in what everyone referred to as the Oriental district. It was a long street starting with little Korea at the east end and gradually changes to little Philippians, little Cambodia and the little China intersecting along the way little India, little Italy and little Greece. It was a 15 block melting pot of the city.
Now I have never been to this area of town so late and I have heard rumors through people at the magazine that some places would be biased toward Caucasian individuals unless they were accompanied by someone who was well of Oriental persuasion for instance.
Walking in to Leopoles was an experience. The room was dimly lit and the brownish-red walls made the room look smaller than it was. Oriental symbols in gold and black decorated the walls and hung from the ceiling. The place was only about half full but was noisy enough to make up for the other half that was not full. Looking around I did not see Fu.
I approached the hostess stand where an elderly woman stood. She nodded to me and gave me a half smile, as if she was partially annoyed.
“for one?” she asked me in very broken English and was in the process of grabbing a menu.
“I’m supposed to meet someone here” I replied
“Do you see?” She gestured to the room as if I would suddenly see who I was looking for.
Still not seeing I told the hostess “I think he would be alone?” I was still stretching my head up looking over the guests.
“You boy with book?” She suddenly questioned me “Come” and led me towards the back of the room and into a smaller private room away from sight of the main dining room. There alone sat Fu.
Standing he bowed to me “Greetings Master Klassen, I was not sure if you would decide to come. Please sit.”
Returning the courtesy, I returned a slow bow as well. “How did you know my name?”
“There is a lot I know Master Klassen”
“Well I am sure there is…Mr. Fu?” I wasn’t sure if Fu was his first name or his surname “You seem to know about this whole journal that I have, and I really don’t understand. First that lady Gaji and that guy want it, then you and your biker gang chase me through the streets, only to corner me and invite me out to dinner simply to tell me about the book?”
Fu simply smiled at me, then had a sip from his cup “I do apologize, when you get to my age you have to have a flair for the dramatics to relive the boredom. You see Master Klassen, I am over a thousand years old, to be honest I have lost track as to how old I am.”
He paused at to have another sip , and to me looking at him he didn’t look or act let anywhere close to a thousand.
He looked away from me waived at a waitress and pointed down to me “How rude of me not to offer you something to drink” , and I tried to decline but the waiter was poured me a glass of tea anyways.
“So what’s the deal with the book” I am sure I sounded a little impatient when I spoke
“The book is older than I, where it was created even I am not sure. I have heard rumors that it was created in India of the middle east, but that has never been confirmed. I do know It has been passed down and has moved on for centuries”
“Yes, as you may or may not know the book is magical although some say its cursed. There is a rumor that JRR Tolkien loosely based his books the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings after hearing stories about the book. The book, as the ring does chooses where it wants go to”
“Really?” well I didn’t say it out loud, but I was thinking that…seriously this was the real world and not some science fiction novel.
“The book” Fu continued “as the ring gives power and corrupts”
“OK, so what about the book writing to me?, how do you explain that?”
“The book creates a psychic bond with its master, and anyone who’s ever owned the book can pass messages to its current or former owners”
“But if they don’t have the book how can they?” Once again my head was starting to spin, I was getting too much information and although it may had made sense, it was too farfetched for my liking.
“You haven’t had the book long enough to ..sort to speak gain that power yet”
“Well you won’t be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or anything like that, and do not under any circumstance try to stop any bullets”
For and old guy he sure had a sense of humor.
“You may as well order a drink, this may be a long story” and Fu began his story