Chapter 2.2

At that moment, as my eyelids hovered on the brink of closure, as though my very soul were about to take flight…

As the scent of the White Fox tribe gradually faded, a more potent and pervasive aroma enveloped me. Struggling to lift my heavy eyelids, I discerned a figure emerging beyond the door of death. This entity was shrouded in absolute darkness, save for its burning amber eyes that blazed like infernal flames. At every glance, it exuded an aura of death incarnate, a harbinger of doom.

I found an odd solace in the notion that this harbinger of death had come to claim me. I yearned to follow swiftly, eluding the pursuit of my own kind, even if it meant descending into hell itself.

“Take me… please…,” I implored, my words murmured while moistening my parched lips. Whether these words reached the harbinger of death remained uncertain, for I could neither hear nor see a thing.


Where am I? 

A faint glimmer of light appeared, only to vanish repeatedly. I lacked the strength even to lift a finger, and every attempt to open my eyelids was met with searing pain, a stark reminder of my existence.

Amidst this haze of discomfort, the crackling sound of burning firewood filled my ears. Suddenly, someone forcefully raised one of my eyelids, unleashing a blinding burst of light that pierced through my pupils, stabbing at my brain.

It hurts, I wanted to scream, but my voice remained imprisoned within me, unspoken. Moments later, my other eyelid was lifted, and the relentless light penetrated once more. I could hear a faint conversation, an older man providing guidance to a young boy.

I wanted to ask about my identity and whereabouts, yet my voice remained stubbornly absent. Instead, an overwhelming fatigue gripped my entire being, dragging me down as if I were sinking into the floor. The world of light and sound gradually receded, drawn into the abyss.


It felt like an unending cycle. I would drift in and out of consciousness, my eyelids gently lifted, and unfamiliar voices discussing matters while the crackling of a burning firewood persisted.

“You appear to be regaining awareness,” a clear voice finally reached my ears. As my vision slowly cleared, the face of an elderly man materialized before me. His hair, like his chest-length beard, was a muted gray.

Who are you? I blinked repeatedly, trying to discern his identity, but my efforts proved futile.

“Can you hear me?” His words echoed as if I were submerged in water, yet I managed to grasp their meaning and responded with a faint shake of my head.

The sound of his hair brushing against a thick pillow resonated in my ears. My movements were severely restricted, and even the slightest motion sent sharp pains coursing through my head, as if a weighty stone pressed upon it.

My limbs lay immobile, and a pulsating ache permeated my entire body at irregular intervals. Slowly, I managed to turn my head and inspect my surroundings. I found myself lying on my side, supported by substantial cushions both in front and behind me, and I could feel a bandage tightly encircling my head.

A gossamer-thin curtain cascaded from the ceiling, enveloping the vast bed, its sheer fabric tethered with a ribbon to a nearby pillar. Small lanterns adorned the walls, casting a gentle glow, while a roaring fire illuminated the opposite wall, situated at the foot of the bed. Within the dimly lit room, the interplay of light and shadow performed a captivating dance.

“Where am I…?” I murmured, but instead of a reply, the elderly man exchanged quiet words with someone unseen, bustling out of the room without revealing themselves.

“What’s your name?” the old man inquired, his upper body leaning slightly forward.

“Name?” I felt my brow furrow, my vision gradually sharpening to reveal the bed’s ceiling and the old man’s face more distinctly. Yet, an inexplicable sense of bewilderment still gripped my mind, like a struggle in the midst of profound darkness.

My name… My name…? The more I sought to recollect, the further the memories seemed to slip away, as if on the brink of losing my sanity once more.

“Perhaps you cannot recall your name?” The old man’s voice held no trace of insistence, yet an unspoken urgency and fear began to envelop me. My heart raced, my body temperature soared, and beads of sweat formed.

What was my name? I wondered in a frantic internal struggle. Why can’t I remember?

“Hmm,” the old man mused, toying with the end of his beard and tilting his head. “How about your age? Any memories of your hometown or family?”

“No, I don’t know,” I replied, my voice quivering and laced with tears. Who am I? Why can’t I remember? Where in the world am I?



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