“It is to be war,” said the young man, his eyes as dark as his hair. “There is no other way.”
The old man turned and opened a bamboo cabinet. He removed a laquered tray, two cups, a black teapot. He doused the utensils in hot water and began laying them out for the ceremony.
“What are you doing?” growled the young man. “Did you not hear? We are at war!”
“Yes,” said the old man. He did not look up as he lit the fire. “And you have already lost the first battle.”