Shun had propelled Hakuren 4 on the waves through the infinite fragments of shining stars.
The flow of the water and the banks of the river on either side were a blur in the darkness. I couldn’t tell how fast we were going. Just like how I felt now.
The boat I was using now was also called Hakuren 4. We technically weren’t allowed to register boats with identical names, but I couldn’t think of anything else to call it.
I arrived at the junction leading to Pinewind in no time. I stopped. Earlier this afternoon, there had been quite a few boats docked here, but now that it was the dead of night, only one remained. There was a lit brazier on the boat, but no sign of anyone.
This time around, I didn’t have the time to take a detour through the forest. I had to go through the junction. I started forward slowly. I concentrated as hard as I could on muffling the sound of the waves. Hakuren 4 glided forward into the circle of light and under the rope blocking the way.
If someone came out from the boat now, that would be the end. I held my breath until I thought Hakuren 4 had gone far enough to be hidden in the darkness.
The watchman on the boat probably thought that no one would dare break the rules and enter Pinewind. Otherwise, it would never have been this easy to sneak in.
I continued onward quietly and soon passed under the second Holy Barrier. There was no patrol here.
The moonlight illuminated two large pines in front of me. This should be the center of town. Peering through the darkness, I could see the silhouettes of houses along the river, but none had lights in the windows. Pinewind had turned into no-man’s land.
I turned and followed a narrow canal north.
I didn’t know exactly where Shun lived now, but had a general idea. His home was already on the northern outskirts of Pinewind. If he was going to move to a small bungalow even more isolated from people, there was a good chance that it would be way in the north, near the Holy Barrier. I could keep going in that direction by following the compass, but the question was, how far would I have to go?