Volume 7 Prologue



The woman was running –

She ran through the cedar trees.

It was hard to travel in this marshy area. Furthermore, because she was holding a child’s hand, she couldn’t move the way she wanted to.

However, this hand was the one thing she couldn’t let go of. If she did, she wouldn’t be human any longer.

The woman tightened her grip on the child’s hand.

After heading forward further, she went through the forest into an open space.

The area was so overgrown with white skunk cabbage[1] it was dazzling –

She saw a small cottage ahead.

If I get there – just as the woman thought that, the child whose hand she was holding tripped.

‘You OK?’

The woman helped the child up.

The child lifted a face covered in dirt and nodded expressionlessly, but the woman saw that blood was coming out of the child’s knee.

The child had a deeper injury than she had thought. Running would be impossible with that leg.


The woman leapt up at the voice that flew into her ears.

She turned around and saw somebody running from the forest. No, the expression on the person’s face wasn’t fit to be called human.

– Just like a demon.

With the child’s leg injury, they would be caught in no time.

The woman came to her decision without any hesitation.

'Can you run there?’

The woman pointed at the cottage a little ways ahead.

The child nodded.

'What a good child you are. Live – you’ll live.’

The woman hugged the child tightly. After feeling that warmth one last time, she pushed the child’s back.

The child ran, dragging the injured leg through the skunk cabbage –

The woman turned her eyes to the farewell, as if to say farewell.

Her pursuer would soon reach her.

Tears welled up in the woman’s eyes. It wasn’t because she was frightened. She was sad because she was parting from the child she loved.


The woman said that once more, even though she knew it wouldn’t reach her child’s ears.


[1] Asian skunk cabbage is called mizubashou (水芭蕉) which literally means water banana. The name comes from how its appearance is similar to the leaves of a certain type of banana. It has lovely white flowers (as seen ).