I awoke in the dark several hours later. My chamber was empty, but there was a bottle of Monastic Gin¯n the bedside table along with a note from Master Gow:


Walk to the pavilion. For each step, take one drink. In this manner you shall learn the true nature of a journey.

When I arrived at the pavilion the bottle was nearly empty and my steps were unsteady. Master Gow stood silently staring up at the stars. As I approached, he turned to me and asked, "Do you understand?"

"I think so," I replied in slurred speech. "Each step of a journey is an adventure of its own, and to ignore any of them is dangerous and leads to pain, embarrasment, and…"

"Stop," said Master Gow. "You are too drunk, and we ascetics are forbidden to laugh. But if you wish, we can go to the village. I know this great club, wall-to-wall with babes like you've never seen…"