Bivouac in Another World
It was likely that only seconds had passed. But I was able to come to a decision. I was determined to stay put.
As soon as the goblin who was lured by the scent came near the bushes, I thrust the spear out and right into its skinny little throat. I didn’t know if it was by chance or my own skill. But it had gone so cleanly and precisely through the center, that the goblin couldn’t even scream before it fell dead. I quickly grabbed the body and pulled it behind the bushes.
Now there were nine in the herd.
Good…perhaps I could chip away at their numbers like this… As if that would ever work.
I knew that much. After all, once the goblin blood started to flow like this…
They would discover it. But I had anticipated as much. I pull out the spear and grab the goblin’s leg in order to drag the body with me as I run in the opposite direction of the herd.
All my energy is exerted in creating a gap between us, and once they are completely out of sight, I stop and cut off the goblin’s head with the billhook. First, I spread the overflowing blood on as much of the ground as possible, causing the smell to spread through the area. Then I run.
Out of nowhere, a memory of this one time I had to chase a shoplifter during my part-time days comes to mind.
Of course, there was no time to think about such things. After running a short distance I stop again, and start to dig into the dirt with the billhook. It’s a good thing that the dirt and rotten leaves were soft and easy to cut through… I smear the dirt over my blood covered legs to extinguish the smell. As that was hardly going to be enough, I lie in the dirt and begin to roll from left to right as well. Changing my body odor to that of the soil. With this, I should be able to fool their noses. My bloodied spear will also have to go. You’ve been very helpful, buddy. Thank you.
I change the direction I’ve been running in and now head for the plains. Surely, I would be safer if I went in the opposite direction of the forest. I prayed that I wouldn’t encounter any new monsters on my way there as begin to run again.
After running for quite a while, I slowed to a walk. My discarded spear was now replaced with a stick. With my trusty billhook, it was quite easy to cut things. But I couldn’t work on sharpening it while I walked, so it would remain just a stick for now.
A little further on, the forest suddenly ended and I walked out onto the plains that spread out past the hill. Trying to stay cautious of anything behind me, I make for the hill. I was quite surprised to make it back here… Though, I looked completely different now than when I had left. Back then, I was clean and unarmed, now I had a stick and a billhook and was covered in dirt. From what I could tell, looking at the position of the sun, it was about noon. Only 5 to 6 hours had passed…
Perhaps I had decent adaptability then.
I sat in what was probably the same spot I had first appeared, and took a short break.
I had not been able to get any food or drink after all.
The only thing I did was murder someone and pick up a dirty billhook.
“That was exhausting…”
But I couldn’t just stay here and whine. I rested just long enough to catch my breath before looking at my surroundings again. There was no mist at all now, the view was great. Though, that also meant there was nowhere to hide. But that was only true in this spot, if I went down the hill, I would not be visible from the forest. And I wasn’t afraid of anything anymore.
Turning my back to the forest, I descend the hill. Apparently, the plains continued quite far off. This too, made it difficult to hide… Enemies would be easier to spot, but they would also see me, and there was nothing I could do about it. Well, well, isn’t this great…
As I was thinking this, I came upon something new. Two parallel lines and some sort of footsteps in between.
Was this the wheels of a horse-drawn carriage? The dirt colored lines stretched out from the forest and split into two. Like it was tracing the forest, or avoiding it. This was a stroke of luck! I was quite sure that following it would lead me to a town. With how worn these were in both directions, either one was likely to lead to a town.
But I couldn’t tell which was closer or what the distance would be. In a way, this was a crucial moment for me. Hmm…I had to think…
I thought for about 5 minutes, but I think I’m just going to take the left path! And so I walked on. It was much easier to walk on than the grass as the ground was well-trodden here. I would be able to move at a much faster pace than when I was on the plains. I could feel that I was going faster. Or maybe it was just my anxiety getting the best of me.
□ □ □ □
I’ve been walking nonstop since then. The sun had started to set behind my back. In other words, I was walking towards the east. As long as the sun was setting in the west like it’s supposed to, anyway. Based on that premise… with the hill in the center, the forest must be stretching out to the north. I create a map in my brain as I walk.