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Pet Name: Dammann
If you arrive to Shenkuu by boat, or by foot too, you can easily see a big wooden building upon the highest hill of the town. It has the peculiar shape of a pagoda, and it’s richly painted with a bright shade of red, with black and gold insertions: it’s called the Lunar Temple. Once you reach the bottom of the hill, you notice a quite large path; you don’t have to climb the hill to the top of it, if you aren’t interested in talking to the Wise Gnorbu. At half way, you can find a quite small, white and red building. Both the sides of the road are adorned with shrubberies, and you can already feel a sensation of peace while walking towards the structure. You are admiring the breath-taking landscape with astonishment (you also probably have your mouth open), when you hear someone greeting you. “Welcome to my humble abode!” says a deep, calm voice. You quickly turn yourself to the direction of the voice and notice that you have almost bumped into a Stealthy Techo. You apologize and look at him better; he wears a white tunic fastened at the hips by a dark blue belt, which is the same shade of his skin. He smiles and introduces himself: “I’m Dammann, delighted to meet you. I’m a monk and I’m the finest connoisseur of teas and infusions here in Shenkuu. Anshu in person gets the supplies for his herbal remedies here. If you are here for one of my special blends, I’m all ears!” He is speaking of brews, and you have always appreciated a good flavoured one, so you are curious to know more about him and his job now. “This is the first time you have visited the Ocha House, is that right?” You nod – you didn’t even know the name of the building before Damman told you! You take a quick look to the internal part of the House, and notice that it looks like a shop, with shelves full of jars and displays with prices.
“Well, there are many things to see here. If you follow me, I’ll guide you to the garden I handle. It’s a special one, since there are all the aromatic trees and bushes I use for my tisanes in it.” You follow him around the small pagoda, without entering the shop, fascinated by his personality and his gentle, calm behaviour. You go up some steps and find yourself in a marvellous place; there are many different plants around you; many of them have different coloured flowers, and every one releases a charming scent. The Techo grins, and starts listing, while pointing at the different herbs: “This is Camellia, its leaves are used to produce green and black teas. Here you can observe the Vanilla Orchids, and here the Melissa, better known as lemon balm.” He keeps describing the different shrubberies and flowers. You would admire this luxuriant garden the whole day, but you are too tired because of the long walk. Since your legs can barely keep you upright, you ask Dammann if there are any places to sit down. He nods, and you notice that he is still smiling. He asks you to follow him again.
The Techo guides you to a small hut made of wood and paper; it has a peculiar sloping roof and a couple of big windows. The main door leads you to a bare room where you can see a small teapot on a burner, a table, four wooden chairs, and some shelves full of glass jars containing herbs, and blends. You plop into one of the chairs, your legs thanking you. Dammann asks you if you have any preferences about tisanes and teas, and you shake your head. “I think that you will appreciate a relaxing infusion.” He goes towards a shelf, brings a jar, opens it and deeply inhales the fragrance: it’s the one he was looking for. The water in the teapot is boiling, and you are feeling a little confused as you are wondering if it boiled the whole day. The Techo takes it away from the burner and pours some mix in it. In the meantime, he takes a porcelain tea cup from a cupboard and puts both on the table right in front of you. You notice that it’s a very quiet place, and there are no noises except for birds’ chirps; you would never leave this place, would you? Dammann serves you the tea after some minutes, helped by a strainer. He only says: “Rooibos flavoured with raspberries, rose petals and vanilla extract. I suggest you to add some honey, which tastes better than sugar with this infusion. I hope you enjoy it!” He offers you a delicious Buzz Honey pot. As you are sipping the tisane, you think that choosing to visit the Ocha House was probably one of the best decisions you took in your life ever. What about asking Dammann to be his assistant? He would probably need one, since he is the only one taking care of the garden, and the small shop…
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