Although my head got stuck in the fence, I somehow managed to squeeze through and I made my way inside. The place was large, and if I walked about at random I would probably get lost.
I sniffed the air, and looked for a place that smelt of people. Given that it was a military base, the place was filled with the scent of males. It was very different from mother, who smells sweet and fragrant.
The paths that people used had the snow shovelled off them, so I just followed them. Eventually, it opened up into a clearing of sorts. Kind of like a snowy sports ground.
I found dozens of people gathered in one of the corners, so for the moment I hid in the shadow of a building.
I then once again slowly poked my head out. They were apparently doing sword training, and even though it was so cold, they weren’t wearing coats or anything. There were probably other people working or doing other training, so maybe these people were only a fraction of all the people living in this base. After all, compared to the size of the building, there were too few people here.
Everyone had a sword in one hand, but the only people swinging their swords were the two in the middle.
“You’re being too timid. You think you’re fit to be a knight with guts like those?”
A strict-looking superior was scolding them harshly, as he watched the two match swords.
Since there weren’t any ‘knights’ in my old life, I got just a little excited.
The superior man had short grey hair, and a fearless face. He was tall and muscular, and had a well-maintained figure, like a boxer. He probably like 3% body fat.
Not only that, but what stood out most was the big scar on his face. It ran down the left side of it, from the forehead to his chin. It was like a sword cut right down, and because of that his left eye was scarred.
While I was staring at the one-eyed knight from the shadows, without any warning, he suddenly turned my way.
We were pretty far apart, so I never thought he’d notice me, but the moment our eyes met my fur stood right up and I jumped back into the shadows.
His right eye shot right through me. Why did he notice me. I didn’t move or make a sound at all.
It can’t be that he noticed my gaze? Was it because I boldly stared at him?
The man showed no signs of heading my way. I could still hear the metal swords clashing, and the training seemed to continue without incident.
After getting my breathing under control and calming down a little, I stuck my head out to have just one more lo──
──ok, oh he’s still looking this way.
HE’S STILL LOOKING THIS WAYY!
This time our gazes definitely met, so I turned my body around and ran right out of there. As my feet hit the ground, soft snow flew up. Moving my short legs, I ran for a few dozen metres before slowing down to take a corner. It’s fine, nobody is chasing me.
Around the time that I sighed in relief, I calmed down and realised that there was no reason I actually had to run.
To begin with, I came in here because I wanted to ask somebody for the way to the Capital. I haven’t figured out how to ask when I can’t talk though.
Anyway, I really need to make contact with the humans or else nothing will ever begin. What am I going to do if I run away just from eye-contact. I was a human too, in my past life. I know full well that humans aren’t just walking masses of cruelty. There’s no reason to run.
I took a step forward after gathering my courage.
But when I saw a few knights walking from afar, I immediately curled my tail and hid in the shadow of a staircase.
Like you said, I might be a bit cowardly.
Actually, now that I’m this small, a human is actually shockingly big to me. Seeing them up close is pretty scary.
Not only that, but I don’t even know how the humans of this world would react to me. What if they caught me and killed me, and then skinned me for my fur.
Since I look just like a small fox cub, what if they didn’t realise I was a snow spirit. And if they did notice, what would they do? I don’t think anybody would attack me, but…
Anyway, the point is that it’s scary not knowing what they’d do to me. Would it be safer for me if I acted like a normal fox, or would it be safer for me if I really brought out my “snow spirit-ness”? Umumu…
I was thinking seriously about the issue, but a wave of sleepiness started to wash over me. I spent all day moving about after all, and I had a really rough time with those horrid children too.
It’s almost evening now, and even though there’s some time left until sunset, I should probably start sleeping now.
I gave a large yawn――since I’m in this kind of body, I couldn’t do a pretty little yawn with my hand over my mouth. It was a bold yawn with my teeth completely bare―and then I began sneaking around looking for a place to spend the night.
I walked about the base, careful not to bump into any humans, and in the end I decided on the back of what seemed like a barracks or dormitory for the knights. It wasn’t all that spacey, but there were some short trees here and there. I bet once spring comes, the lawn will pop up from beneath the melted snow.
It didn’t seem like people would often come here, and there weren’t any markings by stray cats or anything either.
There was a shed in the raw corner of this back courtyard, and it seemed almost forgotten, so I decided that I was going to sleep there. Maybe the door had been broken, because I couldn’t see one anywhere.
Inside, it was small enough that maybe even an adult couldn’t lay down here. The only things inside were snow shovels. Since there was no door, a little snow had blown inside, but it was no issue to a living fluffball like myself.
I entered the shed and then curled up into a ball.
If I had to name one worry, I suppose it would be that the whole shed was visible from a dorm window. The opening to the shed was completely in-line with it.
But once the sun sets, the place will be blanketed in darkness. It’ll be pitch black in here too, and even if somebody looked out the window, maybe they wouldn’t see me?
With my eyes closed, I thought about it casually with one foot into the land of nod… ZZZ…