The twinkling, hungry eyes would have collected quite a bit of that sand. Which would allow me plenty of time to run. I ran, following the same direction that Daniela went. She was apparently quite fast herself, as she was nowhere in sight. I disappeared into crowds as I ran down the main street. Several people looked back in annoyance, but they’d have to excuse me. This was an emergency. My life was in danger. The trick to getting through dangerous situations was to prioritize your own survival. I looked back now and again to make sure they weren’t following, as I headed to the southern guardhouse.
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The food at the stall had looked so good. Good enough to stop me in my tracks and stare. It was the same for the man who bumped into me. But he didn’t chastise my lack of attention and apologized first. Upon realizing that I was hungry, he even bought me dinner. A kind person. His unusually black hair was quite long, almost like a woman’s. His eyes were somewhat hidden behind his bangs, but he had smiled gently.
Our dinner together at the park was a quiet, peaceful one. Far from the fights at the bar and the shouts of the street stalls. It was a different world. It was a good time. Good food. I wanted to slowly enjoy the taste of it, but he finished his food very quickly. I suppose he had nothing better to do, because he kept staring at me as I ate. It was kind of embarrassing. One shouldn’t stare at a lady when she is eating.
We finished eating. He said that he would return to the inn he was staying at and waved goodbye before leaving the park. And then it happened, just as I too got up and decided to look for a place to stay.
A group of men who had been hiding behind the trees, sprung out and surrounded me. Each and every one of them wore a vulgar smile. I couldn’t help but raise my voice in surprise, but that ended up being a good thing. Because he returned. From what I could tell, these people knew each other. But not as friends, no, they were enemies. They had called him Black Rabbit, which he did not seem to take kindly to. It may sound adorable when just hearing the words, but to him, there was nothing but derision in them.
He and the leader of the group unsheathed their swords. I had assumed that a duel was about to begin, but he only dodged the attack and then continued to crash into one of the men in front of me as if he were a heavily armored knight. There was no panic in his face, he was only concerned about me. It was very kind. I could not understand why these men had gathered to torment him so. I could feel an anger rising up within me, but he told me to head for the guardhouse. He said that I should call for help, but I think he just wanted to allow me to escape. I hesitated for a moment, but there was no time to lose. I asked him his name and etched it in my heart so I would not forget it. This person who cared about me, regardless of the situation.
Asagi. Wait for me. I will reach this captain known as Russell.
I use wind magic to vault over walls and move over roofs as I make my way to the southern gate.