“Dying Flowers Look Up at the Birds”
What They Say:
The world is rules by a diversity of inhuman beings, who persecuted humans and drove them to near-extinction. One day, the forest guardian Golem meets a human girl. This is a chronicle of a journey that would bind a member of the dying “human” clan to the forest guardian Golem, as father and daughter.
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After finding shelter from the harshness of nighttime sandstorms, the group splits up within the massive cave system to prepare their camp, with parents gathering firewood and the girls going off to draw water. However after the children have left the vicinity, it is only then does Haitora reveal the real reason they decided to allow Golem and his daughter to accompany them in their travels – this man too is human. The disease they are seeking a cure is no ordinary sickness and after traveling to many lands to find a solution, the pair finally arrived at a fortuneteller on the outskirts of the known lands. It was there were the mysterious being told of a possible remedy: it immediately saw that his blood was polluted, and the only medicine was to partake of pure fluids from another being of his own kind. However while he did not believe such nonsense was possible, Uzoi must have taken those words to heart and in her desperation will go to any lengths to seek a restorative, even if it means she must kill someone else to save her father.
As the men discuss the graveness of the situation, Somali and Uzoi are taking a leisurely walk to a nearby lake, but as they near the water source, the harpy girl confront her friend with a shocking declaration – she knows this child is a human. Although she does not try to deny it even after all the warnings from Father, the innocent one is too panic stricken by this statement to make any rebuttal to defend herself. It is only then does the avian tackle Somali and with her full weight over her body, makes the next frightening statement: in order to cure Haitora, she will do anything, including kill this girl so that he may drink of her blood. After hearing this dreadful announcement, Somali screams out which causes Uzoi to be repulsed, allowing the young human to run for her life. However in her haste she does not realize the harpy girl is merely toying with the chase, rushing ahead only to have the hunter soar over and land gracefully in front of her path. Turning from the straight path of before, the child makes a hasty retreat and in her indecision stumbles over the side of the cliff, landing in the lake below and resulting in a splashy entrance. Not able to swim, the scared girl flounders and looks everywhere for some hope of rescue, only now noticing Uzoi is watching from above, trying to decide if she should save her friend.
Ever since this series began, we have been charmed by the relationship between Somali and Father, but now that another pair has been introduced the possibility of conflict is as raw as the cruelty against humans. It is now that we know others of her race existing, that the insanity of mindless slaughter comes into play, now witnessing the foul depth of how Haitora and Uzoi came to travel together. While one can acknowledge the lengths humans must go through to live in a world where they are the hunted, it is stunning to realize every action has its own consequences, even if they were meant with the best of intentions.
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