Karasu (烏) - Part 16
Enter the Fox
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Karasu, Part 16
Though the satchel wasn’t large, it had carried enough food to last Shichi for several days. He started slowly, eating only a few handfuls throughout the day, allowing his stomach to grow accustomed to digestion. His mind began to clear. He noted the positions of the sun and stars, making his way back towards the river. Only the mountains were cold enough for snow, and the brown earth began to reveal itself as he descended. With the soil came roots, and soon he had foraged a small stock to refill the bag.
The river was a welcome sight. Though the water was chilled, he removed his shoes to wade into its embrace. The current was painfully cold, rushing fast enough to make him falter as he moved. It washed away the blood and dust, biting his skin, reminding him how to shudder and cringe — how to feel alive. Shichi knelt, removing the bandage from his calf to rinse the wound. It had finally begun to heal. The skin was closed, but sore. Unfortunately, his shoulder would continue to keep him from the treetops. It had been difficult to sleep on the ground; it was as if his body knew that it wasn’t safe.