You can recover from your wounds if there are endless desires.
If you want to know what happiness is, you must keep walking.
Though there are sacrifices unsaid in amidst endless desires,
If there is passion and courage in you, you must keep walking.
~ "Kagirinai Yokubou no Naka ni" Hayashibara Megumi

Saka Ogawa

Sometimes I think of myself as a monster. A god? Not likely. There's no such thing. But monsters, we've seen them with our own true eyes. That's how I live; what you see is what you get. There's no point in worshipping or fearing people you've never met.

Monsters… they say if you can live alone, you're either a god or a monster. To me it sort of narrows everything down.

I don't enjoy being a monster though. I enjoyed my life before, when I was just a weak little human boy. Life with my big brother Melfice. Boy, that was fun. Fishing and sword fighting and a crock full of lies.

Lies. Right. Thanks for confusing the shit out of me, Melfice! I still don't understand what you mean by that. Life, lies, you made it sound like as if they're the same thing. I refuse to see myself as a lie. I am not a lie. I am Ryuudo, ex-civilian of the village of Garlan, a now outsider to the world.

Could I blame all of this on you, Melfice? I would hate to say this was all my fault. You wanted me to be strong, and I thought I did. I don't know… you didn't tell me a damn thing. You just went on a hacking spree and then left like nothing happened. Did you have fun, Melfice? Did you have fun putting me through that? Putting everybody through that?

Too bad things couldn't be different. I've now been dubbed a curse to Garlan. Great. Bad luck does run in the blood. But I can't let that get to me. I was already out here, and there was no other place to go but forward.

That thinking didn't get me far. After an hour, if I turned around, I could still see a bit of Garlan in the distance. I didn't want to let go. I wanted to be able to run back home and everyone would accept me in open arms. Whee, that would've been just grand. Capital idea. Give me a damn break, I was 14 years old and I was just kicked out of my village. Every single person I trusted with my life denied me. Can you imagine that kind of crap? Hell, even a fat old guy cursed me. I thought fat people were supposed to be jolly.

Ha ha. Thinking back, I've gotten a hell of a lot colder. Then again, I don't think I had a choice. Being soft didn't take me anywhere. It just gets me lost in the long run.

And right now, I think I am lost. Not mentally lost, though. I know who I am now; I'm Ryuudo, 15 years old, currently a dirty Geohound, unknown to many. It's good to know who you are so you're not lost, but it sucks when you're looking at all directions and they all look the same. Shit.

So I just sat down and forgot about pondering about the past and came back to the present. The past is the past; it's over, so it's best just to forget about its ugly face and pretend that it never happened. I'll be much happier that way. I'll be even happier once I figure out a way out of this goddamn forest. If a see ducks walk past me I don't know whether I'll laugh or cry or grab them and cook their asses for some meat. Most likely the latter.

As I tried to mentally backtrack where I was coming from, I heard some flapping ahead. It sounded loud, yet distant, like it was coming from a rather large bird. Large birds are good on the hungry stomach. Feeling ‘dem hunger pains a'grumblin', I forced myself up and headed towards that direction. It doesn't really matter where it takes me village-wise; if I catch that bird, it'll last me until I do find my way out of here.

And as I struggled through the woods, I felt myself getting sidetracked again. I noted to myself how sad my life is now, how searching for food like this doesn't even compare to the food I had back in Garlan. Broiled fish, mm-mm-good. Could I ever have meals like that again? A life like that again?

Probably not, but I'll worry about that when the time comes.

But right now, it's time for some grub. Just as I predicted, a huge bird was sleeping high on the tree above me. THE hugest bird I've ever seen. I could get my fill on half of him and save the rest for some other time. Hell yeah, life's starting to look up now.

I started up the tree, making sure I had a good grip on each time I raised myself. I had just had a nasty fall from the last job so I didn't want to bust my ass again. Besides, if I fall and the bird flies away, it'll be adding insult to injury. I hate that.

By the time I got up to the bird's level, I was exhausted. I climbed a little too high for this piece of meat… I'm not too accurate on guessing measurements, but I'd say I was about 100 feet off the ground. But no worries; this bird will make it all worth it.

But what a weird looking bird. It looked like it had steel or something coming out of its wings. And is that… a horn? This is one freaky bird. Shit, I hope this thing's not poisonous; I don't have a lot of antidotes with me.

Right when I was about it grab its neck to snap, The Freaky Bird turned to me and said, "Can I help you with something?"

"Whoa!" I was surprised for about a second, and almost lost my grip on the tree. I caught myself and stared at this funky eagle-like thing. This thing talked. Birds don't talk. At least, not that I know of. I have to remember that I /am/ in a world filled with three-headed dogs and two-faced people. A talking bird shouldn't be so amazing.

The bird tilted his head. "Well?"

I didn't know what to say. My hands wanted me to just kill the bird right then and there, but somewhere in my acid mind I couldn't leave a question unanswered. No one likes unanswered questions. "Well, uh… I got a new outfit! Would you like to see?" I gave it a plastic grin as I tossed the last of my dignity off the tree and posed as much as my gripped arms would let me.

I don't know what the hell possessed me. Was I trying to lie to a possible future meal? Or was I trying to impress it with my witty, oh-so-charming personality? I really don't know; all I know is that deep down, I was laughing. Not because this makes me so sick that I laugh coldly, but because this was funny. I was having fun.

The Freaky Bird was not having fun apparently, because he was violently pecking at my head. I whelped in protest, I lost my grip, and then I fell.

Busted my ass again.

Damn you, Bad Luck.

It didn't hurt as much as I expected it to. Maybe I'm turning immune to falling on my ass. Yes! Another victory well claimed! But as much as I wanted to frolic in the ever present meadows, I had something else to tend to. I looked around and I couldn't find my things. I had a whole bunch of medicines and food and money in there. If I don't find that bag, I might as well heave myself off a cliff, because I won't be able to go anywhere without it.

More sidetracking. That's what I used to think about Melfice. He was pretty much my whole life. Without him, I thought I could never live. But somehow, once I was forced away from him, it worked out anyway. Life works in mysterious ways. Well it can bite me for all I care, because life can suck major ass. I should throw the finger in there too, just for good measure.

And before I knew it, I was back in the present again. Some time passed, so I figure the bird had beat me to the bag. It probably ate all my food and took all my stuff. Shit. Shit shit shit. I should've snapped that bird's neck when I had the change. Now I might as well heed my advice and dive off that cliff over there.

But maybe I shouldn't. I think I could go without those items for a bit. They were just items I needed for a short period. I could find jobs to get money to buy more items and food. Easy. It's all a part of recovering from your wounds. If you bust your ass, if you lose your money, if you don't have any food, if you lose your family, you just gotta remember what keeps you alive as of now and keep on going. So just as long as I have my sword, I'll be good and set.

I patted my leather sword case strapped to my belt.

And I died.

Well, okay, I didn't die. But I felt like I did. My sword was gone. Along with all the other useless crap I had lost, my sword was among them. Now I'm really starting to loathe whoever was behind all this. Whoever it was, I would like to take the opportunity to chop their head clean off.

With what? Joke's on you, Ryuudo boy. Ha ha.

Tired of the situation, I sprawled myself across the grass. The sun's starting to set. It's going to be dark soon and I'm going to go postal soon. But what can I do? Somehow, I'll find a way out of this. Just not now. Right now, I just want to sleep and forget that this happened.

And sleep I did. It was nice; the first time in a long time I had a well-rested, dreamless night. I didn't wake up to a nice sight though. My first sight could only be described as a feathered ass. I frantically shoved it out of my face, wiping off my clothes just it case it decided to take a nice dump on me. Luckily I was clean. I glared at the bird that will soon be dead.

"Hi again," The Freaky Bird said. It started flying again and this time it landed on my head. I batted it away.

"Look, I don't know who you think you are," I said heatedly, "but next time you shove your butt in my face, I'll eat it for breakfast, mm-kay?" I don't know why I said that, because I was planning on eat it anyway, but hell, I might as well keep its hopes up.

"You better show respect to your elders, boy," it grunted as it soared behind a small tree in front of me. "I may be just a bird, but I'm well more than 30 years older than you."

I raised an eyebrow. Since when should I care about how to treat old people? Er, I mean, things. If anybody gets on my nerves, I give them a piece of my mind. Discrimination is a bad influence on morals.

Just as I decided to eat the bird raw as soon as it can back, The Freaky Bird reappeared from behind the tree with a whole load of stuff hanging from his neck. It looked awfully familiar. It was all too familiar when the bird dropped the items onto my lap. With a cherry a top: my sword.

"My things!!" Throwing the last of my dignity out the window again, I hugged my bag. Even though I officially gave them up last night, I felt like something was complete in my life again. I had things to keep myself alive again. I felt like I've recovered from my wounds, and all that was left was a big scar that you can just put a big bandage over. Life seemed back to normal. As normal as it could get, anyway.

The Freaky Bird flapped in front of me. "You need to work on your balance, or you'll never get any food." It then started to circle around my head. "Maybe you need bigger shoes."

"Maybe I need to eat you," I recoiled. But I couldn't do that. There was something about this bird that I couldn't bring myself to hate. It had a sharp tongue and an acid look to his eyes. In a way it reminded me of myself.

The Freaky Bird scoffed. "Is that any way to show your gratitude for bringing your life back together?" It shook its head in resent. "And I thought you were a Geohound."

Scratch The Freaky Bird. This bird is Goddamn Crazy. Geohounds are seen as savage and brute and everything you hate. Of course, it wasn't too far from the truth, but still… what a screwed up bird. Is that horn too far into his brain or something?

"... Thank you."

Hm, I've hit rock bottom now. But something told me that this was right. I feel like this bird knows me, wanted to know me. And as crazy as it sounds, I feel like I want to know this bird too. But I still wondered why it came back with my things, even though I was about to shove it into my growling stomach.

"You're welcome," The Goddamn Crazy Bird replied back, and it set itself on my shoulder. "Life's not too much fun when you're sleeping around with nothing to protect yourself. You seem like you have a lot of potential. I want to see you grow stronger."


But I stopped myself just in time.

"What's with you, bird?" I asked. "You do this to every single kid that waltzes up to your face?"

"Not at all, you idiot. You seem different than the people I see around here. I'm curious about how you tend to use your attitude towards the future." It nibbled at my ear, half-playfully and half-violently. "And my name is Skye."

Curious, huh? This bird was definitely something I want hanging around me.

I can't tell if I mean that sarcastically or seriously.

But we'll worry about that when the time comes.

I shrugged. "Fine, do whatever you want!" I put my bags on and started towards the direction I felt was right. It didn't matter where it'd take us, just as long as it took us somewhere. "My name's Ryuudo. It's gonna be a while before we get out of these woods, so why don't I bore you with my life story?"

"I've got plenty of time," Skye said.

We've got plenty of time.

To recover.

From wounds.