Chapter 1 — The boundary line, the marriage between a girl and a wolf. Part 17
Divided into three plastic bags was the food that I bought. It was way too much for only a person and a wolf to eat.
Most of it comprised of vegetables that would go along well with the meat dishes and a bit of alcohol. Getting it all inside the house was a tad troublesome, but luckily my mother wasn’t there in the living room. She was probably together with my step-father in their own room.
After I went into my room, I left all the food in the corner, waited for my step-father to come as usual, took a bath, and then called for Shiro.
Just like last night, he was there on the roof and jumped down to the balcony rails when I called for him.
He was still afraid of making the floor dirty, but I took the towel that I had prepared for him beforehand and wiped his feet clean with it, then forcefully pulled him inside the room.
I placed the food on the floor, put two glasses nearby and filled one of them with red wine.
“Do you want some too?”
“Sure,” he said, so I filled the other glass too.
I took both glasses and lightly hit them against each other, acting out a toast by myself.
Then Shiro skillfully picked up his glass with his mouth and drank it all in one go by lifting his head.
I had a feeling that I’d choke if I tried imitating him.
“It has a peculiar taste.”
Full-body red wine.
It had a deep, blood red color to it.
With a strong bitter taste accompanied by the smell of wine, I didn’t like it much but the silver wolf seemed to have taken a keen interest to it.
I filled his empty glass with wine again, and he swiftly drank it all in one go.
“Did you like it?”
“It’s not bad.”
After that we continued eating without much conversation.
We both ate as much as we could force ourselves to, but in the end we weren’t able to finish everything.
We did manage to finish one bottle of wine though. Shiro was the one who drank most of it, but he didn’t seem to be drunk yet while I was already feeling dizzy after just one glass.
I noisily fell down in an unsightly manner and just stared at the ceiling.
It was spinning, the floor felt like it was swaying, my hair was fluttering, and my heartbeat was unusually loud as well.
“I ate too much and I’m not feeling particularly well.” My breath was hot and held a slight hint of alcohol.
“Same here,” he silently agreed, without much thought like always. “This is the first time I’ve indulged myself like this since the time I was born. It’s really quite unsightly.”
I was staring at the ceiling for at least five minutes, when at last my drunken daze receded a bit, and I spoke again.
“What…were you thinking about?”
“I was thinking…about killing her.”
After having put some thought into it for about a minute, I finally realized that he was talking about Mouse. Her knife was still inside my pocket, and her right arm, thrown away. She probably didn’t die though.
“I couldn’t kill her. Hunting for something else other than for procuring food shouldn’t be allowed. And she was too weak of a girl to even be considered as an opponent worthy of fighting with.”
“Death is simply that: death. It doesn’t matter how you die, the end result is always the same. But, once you try to force some other meaning into it, it makes death not seem like death anymore.”
I shook my head slightly and brushed my hair away.
People die, then turn to dust. It never varies.
“That’s wrong,” Shiro rebutted strongly. “The soul gets tainted that way. Eating is a form of mourning—eating the flesh, that is. If you bury the skin and the bones, the soul returns to the forest. A proper death is connected to new life. Senseless slaughter is just savage, has no salvation and separates the forest from its surroundings beyond repair.”
“Is that the law of the wolves?”
“It’s the law of the forest, the law of the animals, the law of another world.”
“But now that you have left the forest, are you still bound by it?”
He nodded without hiding the wavering in his eyes, his silvery fur swaying as he did so.
“I was ready to do that. I knew it’d come to this. But still, you see, it’s…how should I put it, just…heavy.”
The wolves and the humans, the forest and the city, Shiro and me.
“I welcome you then, to the world of humans,” I said, sounding almost sarcastic. “From here on, you won’t be able to turn back.”
That was the only fact I knew for sure. Living with a human was definitely like that.