Somehow, the trees were less forbidding and the forest less horrific in Red's mind than it had been when he first walked it. Perhaps it was simply being free from the cliff that so calmed him, or perhaps he was more comfortable now that he had safely traversed the forest before, but whatever the reason, Red found a small grin creeping onto his face.
As his mood lightened, so too did the fog. It occurred to Red that he was striding farther into the forest, which blocked the fog with its trees. Even so, he didn't turn from his path, thinking himself able to return if the haze dissipated.
Something began to paw slowly at his attention, and a vague disquiet settled over him. It was not until he heard a particularly old twig snap underfoot that Red realized what it was. Sound! Without the fog as dense, he was beginning to hear the faint static that fills everyday life again. Every step resulted in the faintest footstep rising from the ground; Nyoromo's faint twitching rustled wetly against fabric. In the distance he could hear a faint chirping.
Suddenly a new sound came to his attention. Wing beats. He turned to his right, and there in the air was a small pidgey, too young to fly properly, hopping from branch to branch in a tall sycamore. Turning to a maple some yards away, it tensed, then leapt, wings thrashing about in an attempt to stay aloft.. The bird made it, but lost a few feet of height in the process.
Red watched the bird progress for a few more trees before he realized how hungry he was. Looking back at the pokémon, who was not but a little higher than he could reach, he knew where his supper would come from. Making sure Nyoromo was carefully secured in his makeshift pack, Red crept after the fluttering fowl.
His progress was slow, for he knew that if he moved quickly enough to frighten his prey, it might find some reserve of strength and fly far enough that Red would lose it. His speed increased as the bird continued moving, though, because the farther it moved, the lower it went, and the more time Red would have to catch it. As he walked, he picked a large, mossy rock to use as a bludgeon.
Finally, after what seemed an hour of stalking, the pidgey flapped to the ground. Red froze for a while, watching it. The pokémon hopped forward, into a slight depression on the ground, then promptly placed its head beneath its wing. Red remained still for thirty breaths then, hoping the bird was soundly asleep, he crept forward and struck at its head with all his might.
The bird gave a single sharp squawk before falling, its neck twisted unnaturally. Red took it by the feet, and was beginning to rise when a curious chirp sounded from right beside him. He turned to see a large intelligent eye staring back at him. It turned to the corpse in his hand, recoiled, and made a trilling noise.
All at once, the fog vanished in a gust of wind, revealing a score of angry pidgeotto,