“It looks like it.”
“But…it can’t be.”
Did it have something to do with Shun? I wanted to ask, but was too scared to open my mouth.
“Guess we’ll just have to walk in.”
“Don’t you think there’ll be guards on the road?”
“Let’s go around, through the forest.”
We disembarked at a dock about a kilometer away and started walking in the opposite direction. On our left was a grassy field and on our right a forest of ferns, camellia, and evergreen trees. We made sure we weren’t being watched, then slipped into the forest.
“I have a bad feeling about this.”
“Yeah, me too.”
The feeling grew stronger with every step. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, as if there were a magnetic field ahead pushing all the particles in our body away from it.
How far had we gone? After a while, the black and yellow stripes came into view. The rope had been extended all the way into the middle of the forest.
“You’re kidding. Who even comes through here?”
“I guess this thing goes around the entire village.”
Satoru folded his arms and stared at the rope. It was tied around the trees in a zigzagging pattern, but didn’t look as if it curved around anywhere.
“Well, we’ll just have to go through here then,” Satoru ducked under the rope that was stretched out at eye-level.
I followed right behind. My heart was pounding and I knew we seriously breaking the rules but there was no other choice.
“Sh,” Satoru suddenly stopped and gestured for me to be quiet.
There was movement in between the trees some thirty meters ahead.
Satoru turned around and mouthed something to me. Qu-ee-rat… It appeared to be a sentry.
We crouched in the shadow of the trees, trying not to breathe. I created a gentle breeze with my cantus to blow our scent away.