Vanroc sat down next to the shrubbery where he had found his bag and took stock of what he still had with him:
- The ring of his mother, which he still wore on his hand.
- The bag with a big hole.
- Some paper. (Included the address the young lady wrote down.)
- The map he used to determine his destination.
- His ration of water in a water bottle.
- A pair of stones with fire magic to make a campfire.
Of all the things Vanroc had lost, the food rations were the worst, especially after he had no rope to build a new trap. However, he was also sure he would not try to catch anything after the previous events.
To find his position, Vanroc had opened the map, but he could not tell where he was currently. Fortunately, he could roughly determine which way was southeast, since the morning sun was already visible in the sky through the treetops.
So he packed up the map again, took his belongings with him, and hoped to get out of the woods before starving.
Vanroc walked through the forest for seven days until he finally arrived at the edge of the forest. In the last few days, he was unlucky that he found hardly anything edible like berries to satisfy his hunger. His water rations were already used up the day before, which made him even weaker since he already had to make do without food.
Vanroc was on the verge of eating grass several times to quench his hunger, but he knew it would not really help him. Therefore, he tried to use the time to leave the forest as soon as possible.
When he stood at the edge of the forest, Vanroc was visibly relieved. He finally made it.
Vanroc kept walking forward until he found a field of vegetables. From afar, he could see a person who was apparently working on the field.
Vanroc was glad to finally see another person after so many days in the forest. He moved toward the field with the person.
As he got closer, he could see a young girl, that looked about 15 years old, who was weeding. She wore a white bandanna and an ankle-length blue peasant dress. Under her bandanna, a few dark-blond strands of hair stuck out, blowing in the wind. Her body was average-slim and apart from a small snub nose, she had average facial features.
As she heard footsteps behind her, the girl turned in the direction Vanroc came from. When she saw the young man in front of her, she was shocked. It was no wonder, considering that Vanroc was covered in scratches and bruises and his clothes had suffered badly from the fall from the slope.
With a worried expression, she got up and asked Vanroc, "Are you alright?"
Before he could answer the girl, his eyes turned black, and he collapsed. Vanroc had pulled himself together and held on with all his might until then. Now when he heard the girl in the blue farmer's dress talking, he couldn't help but relax and give in to the feeling of helplessness.
If it had been a few days earlier, before his journey through the forest, he probably would not have given himself to the feeling of helplessness in front of a stranger, because the distrust that had built up through the betrayal of the people in the village would have been too strong. However, after the last days without food and water, the urge to survive and give in to exhaustion was so strong that he decided to ignore any mistrust. He just wanted to survive. In his inner being, he already knew that not every person he would meet would want to cheat or deceive him in his future.
The expression on the girl's face, standing right in front of him waiting for his answer, turned into a panic expression when Vanroc collapsed unconscious. His body fell forward towards the girl. Her first intuition was to avoid the falling body. However, she decided against it so that the boy in front of her would not hit the ground with his head.
Some time later Vanroc woke up. He felt all the injuries his body had suffered from his journey through the forest. Hunger and thirst, which he had suppressed the last days with all his might, now came to light.
Vanroc realized only after a short moment that he was not lying on a hard floor like the last nights during which he had slept in the forest. He lay on something soft, like a bed. At that moment his memories came back. He remembered the young girl he had seen in a field.
Slowly Vanroc opened his eyes and saw that he was in a room. Just as he was about to look around, he heard a female voice.
"Oh, you're already awake! How are you?"
When Vanroc heard this voice, he saw the young girl in the blue farmer's dress coming towards him.
With a faint smile he replied, "Yes, thanks to your help I feel better already. Thank you very much!"
When she arrived at the bed, Vanroc had already set himself up and looked up at her.
"Here, have a drink, you look like you haven't drunk for ages," said the girl in front of him. She had already prepared the glass as she had seen his dried lips before and suspected that he was dehydrated due to his collapse.
Only now did Vanroc notice that the young lady held a glass of water in her hand and handed it to him. Thankfully he accepted this and drank the glass in one sip. The feeling as the water ran down his dry throat was indescribably pleasant for Vanroc. He had never before valued water to drink as much as he did at that moment.
The worried expression on the girl's face in the farmer's dress watching him drinking relaxed as he thanked and drank the water.
She took the glass that Vanroc had emptied and said, "I'll get you some more water, I'll be right back."
Then she left the room.