The journey toward a new life…
In the days leading up to her wedding, Suzu had managed to stash a bag stuffed with essentials for her planned journey a bit away from the village (she had paid a servant girl nicely to hide them for her). Inside were peasant garments, a fancier dress, a blanket, a small knife, several stolen maps, a small amount of food, water, and a large purse full of gold coins. She also carried her stolen sword from her husband. Yes, husband. She was married, technically, but it was all on paper.
Immediately following her escape, Suzu ran a ways from the house before removing her shoes and outer layer of dress. She balled them up and carried them with her in case she needed them in the coming days. When she reached the fields near the edge of the village she found her hiding spot and changed into her more practical clothing. The only light by this time was the moon and she did not look back. She did not know how much time she had before Katsu alerted her family. She tried not to think about these things, though. She was focused on getting far away.
She walked on for several hours more until she felt she needed to stop and find a place to sleep. Gathering enough strength to climb a tree, she rested with her sword in her hand and slept until the sun rose. When she woke, she calculated her whereabouts on her map and decided the direction she should travel next. Her feet were sore but she had to get farther away before she could request help without someone questioning her.
After two hours she reached a village similar in size to her own. She donned her nice dress, stashed her bag, and went into the market to sell her wedding clothes. From a different vendor she bought a small chest for her belongings so she could blend in then found a rickshaw driver willing to take her to a larger city. He didn’t question her; she looked as if she was preparing to visit a friend (and she told him as much).
They traveled for half the day and finally reached their destination. She stopped him at an inn near the edge of the city then shooed him away, paying more than he was owed just to be safe. She slept very well that evening.
The next morning she continued her plotting. She was almost where she wanted to be. She had heard of a community off the grid whose culture was vastly different from her own. The women had incredible power and had many servants and samurai to protect them. It seemed like it was too good to be true but Suzu wanted to see for herself. She knew of a tea house where she could make contact with someone who might be able to help her. She also knew that if she didn’t find this community she would have no end to her troubles but she would have to worry about that later…