"Can You Catch Me?"
“I’m Waiting for You to Catch Me!”
Branching like trees, the paths would reach across nations. Along the ground, they reached further than roots.
Countless times these paths were traveled telling hundreds of stories. Perhaps thousands? The number only magnified by the prints left going from one nation to the next. Eventually, those very prints would fade and be left unknown. New ones would take their place and a story to behold with them. Running fresh layers of soils over tracks, this would happen as surely as time would pass with the rustle and bumbling of carriages. The seasons would race behind them eventually leaving a top layer of snow that was closest to the distant frozen forests of the Icy North.
Not many went this particular direction on the Kataki Road.
The crescent moon had been lost behind clouds that would sweep down from the peaks. Eternally frost would be carried on the most gentle drifts of wind on the chilliest of nights. The summers were no different and no less bleak. Eventually, the darkness would give up what it had hidden. With the passing of the very last carriage that would roam to the edge of the one path, the one branching path, there would be a slight shock that would come to a certain figure who was waiting posted on the hillside. Foggy blue eyes were not the least bit able to conceive what was going on as well as the ears were. Twitching, shifting, they would catch a voice on the night’s gale.
“You!” A rowdy voice! Filled with all the age and disdain for being out in the cold wind as the chestnut bearded man would brush at his shoulders. He pointed to the corner of a frost covered cliff slop that was across from another leading into the canyon past into the Frozen Forest. “Yes! You! Behind that cliff! I ain’t got time for no ninja games! Ya’ got a parcel!”
The rabbit-esque ears crowning the lilac hue of hair on the head of a certain figure would hear him right. The faux muscles would move curiously like the animal they represented as the young child would step from behind the cliff.
He was quite the sight had anyone ever known one of the children of the Usagi Clan. Their bodies clad in the tightest of garments in black shades like the one that was made of mesh and leather that bound his own. The harsh cold of the mountain pass made the season unforgiving, no matter the time of day, causing him to wear the foot long furs along his wrist to elbow and knee to ankle. His feet were covered by tufts of fur that crowned his tapered footwear. He would saunter from his hiding place, approaching the frost covered path as he would approach the carriage and the man.
“Yes! Rabbit gal! Just as I was told.” The man would reach to the seat next to him. A box sealed and tapered as the man would take a single box. “This is for ya’, right? If not, then it’s no matter. I was told to deliver at this time, this place, with someone like you. Take it and leave!” No choice was given to the young rabbit. After all, he nearly forced the package into his grasp. His hands taking the box as he would remain vigilant. The sound of the carriage rolling off at the swiftest of speeds as the man was surely aware of what kind of activity happened within these lands.
It gave the young figure enough time to carry the package and journey to his true roosting spot: a small cliffside space that was woven in limbs, rock, and a shallow dug out. It was perfect for enduring the crisp elements and even better for camp as a gentle flame was lit. It did not do well for his vision, even in the darkest of night, but the warmth was as welcoming as a hearty home; something he missed so dearly. With himself taking a seat upon the block of wood while he could hear the crackle of flame lick and bite into the fresh blocks of wood, the rabbit would finally creep his fingers to the edge of the box, slowly opening it.
It made sense. Now why he was out here made sense.
Hikari Usagi had not been able to enter the villages lest his life be forfeit. Mei Mei, the only shinobi that was watching over him as a Missing Ninja, had been the one that gave him a breath of fresh air by whisking him to somewhere he could live in solitude after explaining the rules. She would give him assignments and he would repay them in kind. He remembered telling her so many things to ensure his loyalty: his surname, his abilities, who he swore his loyalty to in his past-life, and even...his birthday.
A smile crept across his face. Yes, Mei Mei was a rogue, but at heart, she was a kindly woman even though she had not admitted to it. It made sense she assigned him to be posted here without knowing, made sense the man would deliver to a stranger, and made sense why he was posted out here before a fire. His finger sliding into the open box and placing his finger into the edge of the blend of moist texture that was glaze, a stick poking acros from another with a mound that was made of soft texture and topped with cream.
A cake with the motif of a rabbit.
Alone, he would sit there, placing his hands together. A prayer to whatever Gods cursed him to this infernal situation. The next, a prayer to the blessed Gods that had allowed him to live this horrid life as a runaway. The next, he would reach to the top of the mound of cake and frosting. His hand would reach one of the colored spheres covered in a sweet glaze and bite into it. His hands would be sure to wipe away any of the moistness along his face before it chilled his smiling cheeks to the bone.
Here, he would eat among the dancing flame alone.
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