I looked up. The slanted eyes of the fox bore into my own as it considered me. I had fought all traces of sleepiness for the last 48 hours, instead resting at short, almost meaningless intervals as I continued on.
My confidence meant nothing if I got caught. I continued moving because that was all that I could do. Move on, and fight. That was what I was trained to do.
I stared at the animal until it deemed me unworthy of its attention and went back to smelling the damp ground.
The food I had prepared had been scarcely touched since I had left. No. Since I had been forced to flee. It was a meager meal of breads and dried fruits that wouldn't stale for a long period.
Closing my eyes I imagined the path I had taken from my study maps.
I had headed off from the western wall and done a loop back towards the eastern lands in order to refill my water supplies and gain other necessities. I had followed the river down and crossed it where it had originally branched off to the south by use of a fishing boat that was willing to take me for a fee.
It had been a long journey and the only sleep I had been able to gain was that of when I was on the fishing boat in the middle of the river, though that had been short lived.
It didn't matter in the end though.
I had to stay alive and rethink my actions.
I wasn't afraid of death, in fact I welcomed it, but I couldn't die just yet.
My mission wasn't over.
I lived for one thing, and one thing only.
That was something I could not change.
And so, I walked on, resting for as long as my body allowed me to as I continued my journey.
I had to find someplace safe enough to regroup.
That's when I saw it.
A shimmering, almost rainbow like mass that flew above my head, sweeping through the air.
My eyes widened. A Ohju.
That could only be Erin.
The girl that had won favor despite committing treason enough for any official. The girl who had been pardoned by both the queen and king and allowed to live freely with her Ohju's.
The girl that that idiot Iaru wouldn't admit he liked.
Yeah, that one.
I watched the magnificent animal soar through the skys and almost felt myself wishing I was there. I could fly high and be free.
But that is not my life.
I live only to serve and protect.
I am a Sezan for the queen.
I had also just killed one of the eldest officials in her court.
I am a Sezan for the queen.
I am a wanted traitor.
But only I know the truth behind those actions.
The beast headed across the river and the combination of sleep deprivation and hunger finally caught up to me.
My body slowed and wouldn't move on my own accord no matter how hard I tried.
I moved my eyes, my vision hazy to glance at the creature once more. Magnificent.
They could only truly be controlled by one thing. Themselves.
I couldn't help but feel a hint of envy towards them.
Only the strong can survive though.
I closed my else and felt my body fall into a heap. I would wake up in a day or so and continue on.
That was my plan at least.