Chapter 1 — The boundary line, the marriage between a girl and a wolf. Part 21
Silent Steps had made some rather wrong assumptions from the very beginning.
He didn’t understand what being a rebel entailed.
And because he didn’t understand that, he couldn’t possibly know how to save one.
All he did for now was stay silent.
“Could you tell me,” I asked him, switching the topic. “What was the world like when the humans and the animals used to live together?”
His eyes were fixated on the horizon as he clumsily answered.
“It was way back, back when the legends were still being born. When humans turned into animals, and animals turned into humans. The city and the forest were one, gods, fairies and spirits could be found everywhere, and both animals and humans spoke the same tongue. All souls rightfully returned to the forest, and all flesh was eaten correctly. Any sort of meaningless slaughter was something to be ashamed of.”
That sounded just like–––
“It was a dream-like age. An age that only exists in history as of the present. Nowadays, even the meaning that embroidered all creation itself is being lost.”
“But if that age still continued today, I wouldn’t have been able to marry Shiro, would I?”
“That might be one thing that you can be happy about, about how it all turned out.”
His current gentle tone didn’t suit him, which threw me quite off balance.
“Do you know how old Moon Eater is?”
I shook my head. After all, I didn’t know.
“He is younger than you. He’s barely over ten, yet his strength can be compared to mine, who has already seen three and a half decades. He is the only one out of the entire pack who uses the shadows, and not the wind, who doesn’t have gray fur but white instead. In the end, the only one who might understand what he truly loves and hates is you.”
Now, he was looking down at his own shadow.
It was as if he was looking for the silver wolf in the dark shadow.
“I should have killed him the moment he was born.” He smiled wryly as he lifted his head, then continued in a lighthearted tone. “If I had done so, I would have been able to live another day.”
In an instant, I suddenly felt everything fall silent.
All sound disappeared from the forest, from the surroundings, and even from the wind.
I could even feel my heartbeat grow quieter.
Inside this frozen state, I sensed something coming closer.
A presence that was engulfed in a shroud of hatred was rapidly closing in on us.
“You also think that way, heh?”
Silent steps was staring directly at it.
The white darkness.
Words that I had never imagined entered into my conscience.
That was Shiro, but it also didn’t look like Shiro.
Even his steps seemed similar to a king’s.
A bit too lonely, a bit too distant, a bit too cold.
All entities were fearful of his presence.
“I’ll kill you.” It was Moon Eater’s heavy and monotonous voice that resounded along with all his blood.
It was so sharp that whoever heard it would feel like they were being torn apart. Even me, as I instinctively grasped my own body, suddenly feeling as though I had been completely abandoned.
“Ohh, I wonder about that.”
As if trying to wash away the killing intent, he answered playfully and took a step forward.
But Silent Steps wouldn’t stop talking.
“I’ll mourn you by eating your heart after I kill you. Just pray that you are reborn as a gray wolf next time, Moon Eater.”
“You will have a worthless death.”
Shiro kept closing in on Silent Steps, yet he wouldn’t yield.
“What happened to the four I left with you?”
“Dead,” he answered flatly.
“I only sent them to negotiate though.”
“You tried kidnapping Saki, you hurt her, and even took her away. In the first place, they were only blocking my way, do you think that there was a way to negotiate with them like that?”
A feeble, bitter smile appeared on Silent Steps’ face.
“You sound almost like a human.”
Covered in darkness, Moon Eater took yet another step forward.