Winter Hunting - Chapter 11
‘If I return, I will die’. This was the only thought running through her head. Everyone in the village knew how terrible the village chief was when it came to his son.
The village chief only had his son at a late age. No one objected that he would become the next chief of this village in the future. If anyone finds out that such a person is dead and died in her own home…
Ariste slipped on the slope but managed to hold onto the roots of the tree and endure it. By the time she reached the point where the slope became gentle, she could barely breathe.
The village was just down the hill. How long has she been out of the house? She hopes she still has time until the sun comes up.
When Ariste looked back, she could see the whole village illuminated by light.
She heard it, someone’s fierce yelling and crying sounds echoing together in a fortunate wind.
She unintentionally committed murder, it was already too late to return. Even if there is a possibility, unfortunately, there wasn’t such a high probability.
Her trembling feet that were buried in the snow stopped moving. So they know where she was? She was very fortunate that the weather was bad and the blizzard was going to strike hard. Her foot prints from her house to when she was climbing to the mountain will quickly be erased.
Ariste pulled her trembling feet out of the snow. Her shoes felt even heavier as the snow accumulated in them, but I couldn’t stop now.
As she closed the slope, she entered a relatively flat section. When she lifted her head, she saw a full moon rise between the black branches of the trees. She grasped the cloak covering her body down and she hurried forwards.
Perhaps she will have to walk the entire night.
At the sound of melting snow, Ariste raised her heavy eyelid. Could it be the place she hid was found? She looked around, groaning but there was no sign of intrusion.
As the dawn drew near, the sky began to turn purple. Although the entrance of the cave was covered with branches of a broken tree, it could not prevent the light from entering through the gaps.
Ariste set aside the bonfire which was almost extinguished and set it on again. The fire got even brighter.
However, even making this fire was scary now. If someone else sees this light and finds her…she fears what would happen then, but if she didn’t make more fire right now, then she was as good as dead from freezing.
Fortunately, the inside of the cave was relatively warm. This seemed to be a place where mountain beasts borne and nurtured their babies. But there were no traces of beasts or whether it had been used for a long time.
Ariste’s mouth, as she watched the flickering and growing flames, caught an empty smile. This was not the first time she experienced this, and she was pretty used to it.
Even in the snowy mountains, finding a shelter to hide in the woods and make a fire was easy. It was because when she was a child, as she held her father’s hand, they ran away from death. Thanks to that, she was used to wandering in the mountains, sleeping in a cave left by an animal, or soothing her hunger by chewing dried bread.
It wasn’t all that first for her.
Suddenly before moving to Vito, she remembered moving from one village to another, and it was winter at that time as well.
It all started because of her father’s murder. Even if he murdered someone, her father wasn’t scared. It was because the dead asked for it.
The doctor’s wife was raped and the woman who was the nanny of her child was also killed. Knowing that, her father used medicinal herbs to make the Count fall asleep and killed the Count with a sharpened knife.
From then on, the Count’s family elder’s continued their relentless pursuit. And Ariste and her father were busy running away like a beast being hunted. It wasn’t just once or twice that they had to hide in a cave, like now, and fill their stomach with raw animal meat.
When they wanted to drink water, they melted the snow and drank it. Those days were really hard. Then, settling in the Village of Vito, in a way, it could be said that it was the only luck that fell in front of them.
“Please let us live in this village.”
Her father begged for compassion wearing nothing but clothes that were torn and dirty.
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