For the first time in my life, I’m running on a snow-covered road.
It’s harder to run than I thought it would be.
I’m running along the frozen road after escaping from the governor’s residence and every 10 seconds I’m applying recovery magic so in effect I can run endlessly.
I’ve lost track of the times I’ve fallen over on the slippery surface but I can’t help but feel happy.
I regret not being able to speak to Gordon before running off but I had no choice.
Let’s concentrate on putting some distance between me and Kombu Wall mine.
I can’t go as fast as I would like due to the snow and the frozen baggage I’m carrying. I think 15 kilometres an hour is my limit.
When the sun started to rise I’d been running for 5 hours and covered about 75 kilometres.
Both of the hummingbirds and George-kun are keeping up no problem.
Under the predawn sky, a signpost appeared before me.
A maid carrying Ippei’s breakfast along with her soldier escort were the first to discover he was missing.
The room Ippei had been confined in was like a cast-off skin. The door was securely locked and the grill over the window showed no signs of tampering.
The floor and ceiling were also checked and again no abnormalities were found.
“How did he just disappear?!”
Cordelia heard the report of Ippei’s disappearance whilst having her breakfast.
The sound of her whip rang out but no one answered.
“Useless! All of you! Everyone, get out!”
Everyone left apart from the old steward who was always by her side.
“Should I put him on the wanted list?”
The steward probes the intentions of his master.
“……..It seems he chose freedom rather than the pleasure of restraint. That’s regrettable. He had the qualities as well……”
The old steward simply waits without saying anything back.
“Don’t bother looking for him. Make it the official record that Ippei died….”
“Is that okay ojou-sama?”
“That fellow endured my whip. This is my reward to him.”
Bowing to the Governor the old steward sees her empty eyes reflected in the window as they look out over the dead wintry landscape.
The old steward leaves the room. He has served Cordelia since she was a child so he knows her well.
Now she was alone she would be crying.
Deciding that giving her time alone was the best thing he went off to make himself a cup of tea. (1)
As dawn arrives I stop running.
I’m pretty much buried amongst the snow but there should be a village around here somewhere if the fields I’ve found are any indication.
Since I’m a fugitive I should really try to avoid standing out.
I wonder if the pursuit teams have set off after me yet?
Black eyes and black hair are not very common around here.
I need to buy some supplies before my wanted poster gets circulated.
I need salt more than anything at the moment.
I don’t need it as a seasoning but to replenish my salt levels. I’ve sweated nonstop since I left Kombu Wall mine.
Recovery magic may restore my fatigue and injuries but it cannot maintain normal bodily functions if important things like salt levels drop too low.
I also want some different foods since I only have meat at the moment.
Some bread and vegetables would be nice.
I continued walking in the hopes that I would reach the village soon.
The boy Ruu of Macha village was milking the goats like he did every morning.
They couldn’t farm due to it being winter so the goat’s milk was the only source of income Ruu and his grandfather had at the moment.
Ruu lost both his parents to an illness that swept the village 2 years ago. He was only 5 at the time.
His grandfather Paas now looks after him though he’s currently ill with a cold.
If Paas dies Ruu will be all alone.
They don’t have the money to ask for a priest or a healer either.
[Please, help my grandfather]
This was Ruu’s prayer to god every night.
The nice sister from the church had taught him this.
If you pray to God then he will surely send an angel.
At the moment God had not granted Ruu’s wish
[When will the angel appear?]
Ruu’s small chest hurt to see his grandfather getting sicker every day.
In the morning haze, a man appeared stepping gently on the on the frost-laden ground.
Who is that thinks a suspicious Ruu
It’s a very strange man.
From head to toe, he’s wearing clothes made from animal hides.
2 shining silver birds surround the man whilst a monkey made of silver also follows him.
His eyes full of sorrow were a deep black
Ruu knew immediately.
Its the angel! God heard his wish and sent the angel!
“Excuse me…. are you….an angel?”
The man tilts his head to one side while saying nothing.
Though scared, the thought of his grandfather gave him courage.
“My grandfather is sleeping. He sick all the time. Please help him.”
If an angel is found by the guild can he blame it on the monkey god? He followed Ruu while murmuring things Ruu didn’t understand.
Ruu invited the angel to his house where his grandfather was sleeping next to the fire.
“He’s got pneumonia on top of his cold.” the man muttered while looking at Paas.
Ruu didn’t know what pneumonia was but it didn’t sound like a nice word.
He didn’t seem to do anything but the man turned to Ruu and said
“It’s all right now.”
Looking at his grandfathers face Ruu could see that his face that had been scrunched up in pain now looked peaceful.
Before long Paas started snoring. He really seemed better.
“He’s lost a lot of strength. He should eat some nutritious food. Can you make some rice porridge with goats milk?”
“Thank you very much angel-sama!”
The man stops Ruu from prostrating himself on the floor.
“Can you sell me a cup of goats milk and some salt?”
Ruu quickly bought the jar of salt and some goats milk from the kitchen.
The man gave Ruu 3 silver coins and immediately drank the goat’s milk.
“I was so thirsty. I’m saved. Well then I better get going. Take care of yourselves!”
The angel gently pats Ruu’s head and disappears into the morning sun.
Not long after the angel left Paas gets up and eats 3 bowls of rice porridge made by Ruu.
He seems to be really healthy.
Ruu was really happy his grandfather was so energetic compared to yesterday.
Ruu had no way of knowing yet, but in the future his grandfather Paas would live to be over 150 and would become something of a celebrity known as old Paas.
Many times throughout his life Ruu would tell people the story of the angel with the 2 silver birds and monkey that saved his grandfather’s life.
Whenever people asked him what the angel looked like he would answer like this.
“He had a flat face.” (2)
It became the legend of Macha village that a black haired, black eyed, flat faced angel cured illnesses there.
I have no idea what children think.
I child I met a while back called me an angel.
What part of me looks like an angel?
I wanted to ask him what part of me looked angelic but I didn’t have the time.
Perhaps I do look like an angel to innocent children.
More like a dirty fallen angel wearing a chastity belt and carrying a whip.
The wings on my back broke long ago.
If I’m an angel then pure boys like him should definitely have wings!
If wings really were attached then one day they will break just like mine did.
The world is not nice enough for an angel to live in.
Do boys that lose their wings become men?
While walking and pretending to be hard boiled I suddenly realised I had forgotten to buy vegetables.
I’m glad I got the salt and milk though.
That old man’s condition was terrible.
He’d have died in 2 to 3 days.
He had pneumonia as well as a host of other bad health issues.
I cured everything so he should be fine now.
I’m sure I did a good thing as he was looking after that small child.
He needs to raise that child for a while yet so he should live a good life now.
It wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t live to a 100 now.
And the field became a mountain. (3)
After coming to a deserted place I started running again without looking back at the village.
(1) I guess she had no ulterior motive per se. She was simply a dom who thought she had found her sub.
(2) Not sure why the author thinks every non-asian person thinks asian people have flat faces. Strange.
(3) Basically, it means the future will take care of itself / what will be will be.