Chapter 2.1

My vision blurred as tears welled up in my eyes. I hastily brushed the moisture from my cheeks with my palm, gritting my teeth to summon more strength to my legs, already as frigid as stone.

I can’t afford to be captured here.

It had been half a decade since my parents met their fate at the hands of the Black Wolf tribe’s Kennard during the war. Since that tragic day, my own people had held me responsible for our defeat, attempting to end my life. Consequently, I had fled and lived a life of seclusion ever since.

I had never remained in one place for longer than three or four months. Whenever I stumbled upon an abandoned hut or cave, distanced from any village or settlement, it became my temporary abode. During my stay, I strived to avoid encounters with others. My sustenance came from mountain berries and fish, and when it was time to relocate, I made my way along hidden mountain paths after the sun had dipped below the horizon.

As my clothing became too worn to wear, I would silently descend to the streets in the dead of night, pilfering garments left out for laundry and disguising my conspicuous red hair beneath a cloak and hood.

Every day brought fear, and at times, I wished I could willingly surrender my life into their hands. Today, I had just finished mending my ragged clothes with the needle and thread I’d managed to find, then laid down on a bed crafted from twigs and fallen leaves.

Individuals who approached me without even pretending to know me would suddenly throw a black bag over my head, striking me hard enough to send me into unconsciousness. Upon regaining my senses, I would be subjected to curses and merciless lashings upon my back, the torment relentless.

I had lost count of how many times I had awoken to such brutality, yet now, I found myself bound to a stake, awaiting the cruel embrace of flames.

〈…You must survive. There will come a time when you will become the dawn of a new era. So, even if the path is arduous until then… You must endure and live.〉

I couldn’t forget the last words my mother had uttered before drawing her final breath. Though I stood alone in this world, I was resolute in honoring my mother’s wishes. I couldn’t fathom what she meant by becoming the dawn of a new era, but it was her dying message, uttered amidst coughs of blood, that fortified my resolve. Each day I endured, clinging to the hope that one day, her words would reveal their meaning.

〈Instead, you must return when I come for you.〉

Who was that man? These words, a promise to return, were beyond my comprehension. Would he let me escape, only to chase me down later? If so, why set me free in the first place? No matter how much I pondered, it made no sense. However, this was not the time for such musings. The immediate concern was putting as much distance as possible between myself and the man or his kin, who might soon pursue and recapture me.

As snowflakes seemed to fill the world, my vision blurred alongside the tears welling up within me. I hurriedly tried to wipe them away.


In an instant, the ground beneath me vanished, and my body was catapulted into the air. Soon, I found myself plummeting and tumbling uncontrollably down a hill of collapsing snow. The distinct scent of the White Fox tribe clung to my side, and screams were no longer audible. I struggled for breath and the ability to open my eyes, instinctively curling up and shielding my head with my arms.

Was this to be my inevitable end? If so, what of my mother’s wishes? Amidst my chaotic descent, a fleeting moment of laughter overcame me.

Ha, what purpose does it serve now? I might as well die like this.

As I plummeted, it felt as though I were descending into the depths of hell. Struggling to open my eyes, I whispered to myself, ‘I’m really dying.’ Before me, the yawning door of death began to materialize, vast and obsidian, hurtling toward me at breakneck speed.


As I drew closer to the tightly sealed door of death, an excruciating sensation enveloped me, as though my entire body was being crushed, and my head mercilessly squeezed. Not a single sound escaped my lips, not even a feeble whimper. I was utterly immobilized, unable to move a single fingertip.

It’s warm.

The frigid chill, akin to countless tiny needles piercing my entire being, gradually relinquished its hold. In its place, a soothing warmth radiated from the crown of my head, eventually flowing down to my eyes, tinting my vision with a comforting crimson hue.

Accompanied by the sound of labored breathing, the scent of the White Fox tribe drew ever nearer.

This is my only escape.

It was a pitiable truth, one that filled me with bitterness. I felt resentment for the life I had been born into, a life that had led me to this harrowing moment.

Alright. Even if I die like this, whether they take me away and I die or I meet my end here, it’s all the same…



not work with dark mode