In a dark alleyway, a small silhouette was digging into a smelly pile of trash. Multiple stray cats and dogs had surely gone through this pile, and this silhouette would by no means be the last one to do so. The silhouette was digging a bigger hole so it could forage even deeper into the pile for hopefully a morsel of food but to no avail. The more it dug, the bigger the hole became before ultimately the pile of trash collapsed…
It took a few moments for the thing to dig itself out from the pile. Smelling thoroughly like garbage, the thing shook its entire body with a pitiful look of despair in its eyes.
It was a small stray dog. A particular breed of dog that wasn't as competitive to other breeds; a shar-pei.
The dog didn't know how it was ushered into this type of lifestyle, it didn't even know where it came from. It was just a regular stray dog whose first memory of the world was smelling a pile of rotten trash.
For as long as it could remember, the dog lived its entire life in the outskirts of a very large city. Very rarely was the dog able to go into the city without being caught. Most of the time, the inhabitants of the city would chase it out and curse at it. Some would even aim kicks and sticks its way…The best the dog could do was carefully prowl the city at night in hopes of finding a morsel of food to eat.
The things it ate every day might've been impalatable, but it was the only thing keeping the dog alive. If it didn't eat, it would die. The dog had seen those unfortunate few that weren't able to muster up enough energy to even budge. How terrible their fates were, to be laid on the ground with nothing else to do but wait to die…
It didn't know why it was getting weaker and weaker by the day either. A fight or two could be won in the past if it tried hard enough, but now it was far weaker than before. The dog felt close to death. If not from starvation, then from fighting with another dog…
There had been a day before when it was walking on the side of the roads when a carriage went by. It had originally planned on getting as far away from the carriage as possible, but then a small spherical object fell from the carriage caught its attention. It wasn't meat, but the dog somehow knew that it could be eaten.
The dog scampered to the object then and stuffed it into its mouth like it would if it found a piece of cake. The door to the carriage was only just opening up then when the dog looked up. It could see a young male smirking at it.
Then the human threw out something else for it to eat. Without thinking twice, the dog ran up to eat it.
The smile on the human's face deepened.
And so, the dog and human continued this game where the human would throw out something from the window for the dog to eat. On and on, this game was played until the dog's leg were weak to the touch and could keep up with the carriage no longer.
The environment around the dog was completely different to where it had been before, much to the dog's bewilderment. This was a new place for the dog. No walls were here, no people, and no other dogs. It was just a large expanse of wilderness and pitch darkness where hardly anything could be seen.
It felt scared. How had it managed to go all the way here? How long had it even been walking with the carriage?
Left with no other choice but forward, the dog continued to walk. It walked, and walked, and walked. At one point, the dog was even chased by a fierce beast that had nearly bit off its head, but the dog managed to escape by falling into a river.
Falling into the river had nearly killed the dog as well, but it managed to survive that by swimming ashore later. Wet and hungry, the dog trekked shambled forward.
The rain was starting to drop down, wetting the ground as it walked. Soon, the dog came to the foot of a mountain where it came across a hole just big enough for it to fit inside.
Now situated in the mini-cave, the dog prodded a little deeper into it since the rainwater was trickling inside. It was dark inside, and the dog didn't know how long it had walked, but it was surely a long distance.
At one point, one of the dog's legs touched upon nothing when it took a step forward. In the darkness, the flat ground had turned into a steep slope. The dog stumbled and tumbled down the slope for a decent amount of distance, only stopping when it was back on an equal surface. But even then, the dog's legs were entirely exhausted from all the walking it did.
By the time the dog opened its eyes, it realized that there was something shining in the cave. It was still dark, but the cave walls were shining a luminous sheen of light.
There was a tremendous stalactite hanging from the center of the cave's roof. Droplets of liquid were dripping down from it every so often. And underneath the stalactite was a hollowed out hole with a body of sparkling liquid.
The dog walked around the cave but found nothing of interest. Tired, cold, hungry, and thirsty, the dog finally gave up and trodded towards the center. Collapsing next to the body of liquid, it started to lap at it.
It had never drunk water so delicious as this! Sweet and warm to the tongue, the dog never felt so at bliss before.
Sleep claimed the dog soon after. It didn't even know how long it fell asleep for, but the dog was feeling completely refreshed. It started to pace around the cave again to look for a way out.
The dog search for a long time without tiring, but it soon realized that it couldn't even find the slope it fell down from…
Hunger was starting to set back in now. There wasn't anything to eat here, and so the dog started to despair. It would die here if it couldn't find a way out soon.
Then it noticed a stone that was shining on the ground in front of it.
Something about this stone was giving the dog a strange feeling. The feeling that this thing could be eaten…
Its eyes were drawn to the nearby cave wall. Scratching at it, it dug out a small egg-sized red stone. Smelling the strange object, the dog noticed something about it.
There was a scent to this stone that made it seem 'edible'. Feeling hungry, the dog took the stone into its mouth and swallowed it.
The moment when the object was swallowed, the dog felt as though it had swallowed a ball of fire. Its stomach was filled with a wave of warm comfort and satisfaction.
But even more importantly, it wasn't as hungry anymore.
The dog realized then—it could eat this stone!!
It was ecstatic. Had the dog knew about this beforehand, it wouldn't have fought with all those dogs over worthless pieces of trash before…though the dog knew that it couldn't eat just any regular pieces of stone. Only those that were shining and had a 'smell' could be eaten.
It didn't want to bother why this was the case, that wasn't very important for now. The most important thing was that it no longer had to worry about starving to death here! It could eat and eat and eat here to build up strength and find a way out from here.
Days went by, but the dog heard the voice of a human at one point somewhere in front of it. Terrified, the dog hid behind a large boulder and waited.
From a broken part of the cave wall on the other side, the dog noticed a large powerful group of men come out. They had to be strong if they could break apart that large boulder earlier.
When the humans saw the glowing stones around, they all looked excited for some reason.
Taking the opportunity of when they were all distracted, the dog darted out into the corridor they left from to return to the surface.
From there, it continued its life as a wandering stray. It wasn't very fierce and didn't go hunting like the other dogs. Instead, it looked for the stones it could eat, but those were rare and few. Still, he was finding enough to be able to survive. And this way, the dog was able to live a strange, but manageable life as a 'stone' eating stray…
From every day to now, the dog would often search at the base of a certain mountain for food. Then one day came a small white bird from the sky. Before it could even realize what this bird was doing, the 'bird' turned into a large eagle and grabbed hold of it to take into the skies.
To say it was terrified was an understatement, but the dog didn't fight the bird.
The 'bird' was speaking to it as they flew, but the dog wasn't very sure what it was saying. It was just too terrified to really think about its situation.
But the dog realized that the city was coming into sight now. It hadn't seen the city and its large walls for so long…All the familiar streets and the throngs of people…
In the end, the dog was dropped onto a small alleyway right in front of a male and female…