To Maite and Kepa’s relief, the next few weeks were uneventful. So much so, in fact, that they actually found time to relax. Maite had heard so much about La Perla, the spa nestled into the heart of La Concha beach, that she had to check it out. So, early one morning, she made a reservation and, while Kepa was recovering from a late night with a few friends in the Parte Vieja, she made her way to the spa. She wasn’t sure what to expect – a spa is a spa – but she was pleasantly surprised by what she found. There were two floors of various water treatments. The first floor had a large pool with various stations of water jets that each targeted a different part of the body – the lower back, the legs, the upper back. Maite could have spent all day just cycling between these stations, but the wonderful sensations as the water massaged her body made her eager to explore the rest of the spa. Another pool, with its own massaging stations and a waterfall that hid a secluded area, was somewhat warmer but otherwise quite similar. So, she made her way to the second floor. This one was filled with yet another pool with yet a different temperature and more water jets. But, it also housed several saunas, both dry and wet. Maite had never really experienced a sauna before and she relished the opportunity. She enjoyed both, in a different way. The dry sauna was maybe a little more uncomfortable at first, but as she got used to the dry heat she felt it relaxed her more. She had heard of a Nordic tradition of going from the sauna to the cold lake, so she immediately made her way to the cold diving pool next to the saunas. The hot/cold contrast shocked her to her core, but energized her in a way she never would have guessed. She hadn’t felt so alert in forever. After the shock of the cold water plunge abated a bit, she made her way to the last station, a waterbed, where she simply lay still for a while. All told, it was probably two hours later when she finally emerged from the spa into the bright sun that sparkled over the ocean in front of her.
She texted Kepa, asking if he was awake. A reply came quickly, saying he indeed was, and even showered. Maite asked if he wanted to meet her in the Parte Vieja for a bite to eat since she had skipped breakfast and imagined he hadn’t eaten yet. He replied – Noski! Soon, Maite found herself sitting opposite Kepa at a small cafe where they each ordered a coffee and a pastry to start the day.
“What do we do now?” asked Maite.
“What do you mean? I’m going to eat.”
“I mean, about Marina, about the zatiak.”
Kepa shrugged. “I guess we wait until we see the next light and we go chase the next zatia.”
“Should we do something about Marina?”
“What would we do?” asked Kepa. “We could just ignore the zatiak and her quest, but I have a feeling that would cause more trouble than not.”
Maite nodded. “I agree. I think she might prove vengeful, depending on her fractured personality.” She paused. “Should we be more proactive about chasing the zatiak?”
“Well, we can just sit around here, waiting for another light to appear, or we can try to actively hunt them.”
“How would we hunt them?” asked Kepa between sips of coffee. “We don’t know how to find them?”
“Don’t we?” replied Maite. “When we were in old Donostia, we were able to use our absorbed power to find the zatia there.”
“Bai, but that was because there was a zatia there. There isn’t one here and now.”
“No, but there has to be some signature of them, otherwise how do they appear like they do? And if there is a signature, then that means we might have a way of tracing them.”
Kepa put his coffee down and was silent, just staring off into space. After a few minutes had passed, Maite put down her own cup a little louder than she might normally have done, to get Kepa’s attention.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m trying to focus on finding a zatia,” he replied.
Maite sighed. “There might not be another one here – we already found one.”
“Who says there can’t be more than one in a place?”
Maite’s brow furrowed. “I guess no one…”
Kepa began focusing on nothing again, his brow creased in concentration.
Maite didn’t wait for him this time. “I have an idea,” she said.
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