Outdoors Dining is 20% Tastier
With a start, my eyes opened. It was still dark all around me. But there was a moon in the sky that had not been there before. Three in fact. A blue moon, a red moon, and a yellow moon. Each was different in size as they illuminated the forest below. I looked down at the forest bathed in moonlight. It wasn’t because I was cautious or had a bad feeling about anything. It’s this way I was sleeping, it was incredibly terrible. The tightrope made of vines was digging into my stomach…
But there was nothing I could do about it… It was not as if I could just move along from here. And so I take the billhook, that I had stabbed in the tree and started to cut off any branches that were in reach. These were quickly wrapped around my body to make an instant ghillie suit. It was at least better than being seen by anyone as I was before. Well, I suppose this was as good as it was going to get… I lean my back against the tree once again. There was really nothing else to do. I let out a sigh.
Staying awake just because I couldn’t sleep would have a negative impact on the following day. A yawn escapes me as I think this. It was probably because I was so tired, but the sleepiness had finally come. Without resisting, I surrendered myself completely and was off to dreamland before I knew it. I’m quite sure it was a dream where I had a chat with some regular customer during my night shift.
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Light poured from between the trees and hit me in the face. The sky I could see through the cracks of the forest roof was blue and clear. Today would be sunny. It was preferable to rain, but walking in the coverless plains on a hot day was not going to be pleasant either. I would have liked a cloudy day. But what good would my whining do? I untied the rope and wound it around my waist. If I didn’t reach a town today, then I would be sleeping outdoors and in a tree again. I couldn’t throw it away.
I removed the branches used for camouflage and took in my surroundings. There did not seem to be any goblins about. This made me rather delighted as I prepared to climb down the tree. The billhook too, was tied around my waist with the rope and the spear was tossed from the tree as it would get in the way while I was climbing down. Slowly, my feet extend towards the ground, and all the while I can hear my backbone cracking. Hmm… It wasn’t the best sound, healthwise, but it was refreshing to hear.
Now that I was refreshed, I picked up my spear and head back for the wheel tracks.
Once I arrived, the walk continued much as it had yesterday. Only today, I was determined to make it all the way. But there was nothing in my stomach. I was hungry…if only I could arrive at the town before I fainted…
I wouldn’t be able to move if I stopped walking. I continued onward as if running from my own fatigue. And then I suddenly heard the clean sounds of something running. It was…water!
I went off the road and shoved my way through the bushes. What lay past them was a small river that was about 30 cm in width. I crawled to the river and washed my filthy hands until they were clean. After that, I scooped it up in my hands and drank it all in one gulp.
The sensation of cold water running down your throat. It was good. I drank the water until I was satisfied and lifted my face. This small river was flowing towards the east, but it seemed to be coming not from the west, but the southwest. I see, so this was the junction point with the wheel tracks. Lucky for me. I would be able to travel alongside the river for quite some time. Now, if only I had some food, then there would be no reason to complain.
I listened to the sounds of rushing water for several hours as I walked. Around this time, the sun had reached its peak and was on its route towards the horizon, I felt a strange presence. What? I prick up my ears. The sound of rushing water. The sound of the wind caressing the plains. The sound of faraway trees bending as they sway. And…a certain rustling and the sound of movement through the grass.
Something was here.
I slowly hold the spear in one hand and reach for the billhook with the other. The sound was coming from the south. It was from the other side of the river. In that case, I would put some distance between me and the river and hide in the grass near the plains.
After a moment of waiting in the shadows, a dog… No, it was a wolf. It had a light brown and ash colored fur that moved in the wind as it lapped at the river water. Was this…an animal? Or a monster? I couldn’t tell. But the one thing I was sure of, was that this guy could be food. Meat had appeared right in front of me. I never thought the day would come where I would look at a wolf and think that meat had arrived. But these were desperate times. I was hungry. And so I would hunt.