In a craze, I bite, tear, chew and swallow. There is no salt or pepper here, just the real taste of flesh. It reminds me of that time when I splurged my money on payday by buying meat and cooking it in the morning, only to realize I forgot the salt and pepper. At that time I was disappointed at it being ‘tasteless!’ but now it seemed delicious. Maybe hunger acted as a spice, or it was just that wolf meat tasted great. Whatever the reason, it was incredible. Before I knew it, the hind leg was nothing but bone.
Ahhhh…I am satisfied… Looking into the flickering flames started to make me sleepy, but I could not allow myself to sleep now. There was still so much to do. With my hunger satiated, I was now refreshed enough to think. What did I need to do first? Put out the fire. I extinguish it by throwing sand over the cinders. The next thing to do was to retrieve the meat I had sunken in the river and wrap it in a wet t-shirt in order to carry it on my back. Then I needed to get out of here as soon as possible.
There was a simple reason for why I was in a hurry. I did not want to repeat my mistakes. The last time it was the smell of the blood from a goblin I had killed. That was the cause of much misfortune. It was the reason I reeked of dirt now.
Now it was a wolf that I had killed. It had likely been separated from its pack. It was not likely that a wolf would be moving on its own like that. Unless it was a lone wolf, but that seemed a little too convenient to be true. There were no adjustments for being the protagonist. There must be a pack nearby. Even if there wasn’t, there would be no harm in assuming there was one and acting accordingly. It had smelled so good. I don’t know if the smell would have excited the wolves’ appetites, but it would surely make them suspicious.
And so I would leave as soon as possible. There would be no resting after the meal. I couldn’t see a future other than death in the event of being attacked by a whole pack.
After finishing preparations, I squat down low, with perked up ears and observe my surroundings. I didn’t hear any rustling. Now was my chance!
Leaving the river behind me, I return to the wheel tracks. I am sure to head towards the east as I jog ahead for a while. Ughh, this was going to mess up my digestion…
□ □ □ □
Some time passes after that. Fortunately, no monsters attacked me as I ate the wolf meat and walked towards the east where there would surely be a town. Partway, the river had curved off into a different direction. It was a little lonely to have that soft sound of running water disappear. It was almost like a companion to me on this journey. But I was alone. There was nothing to do but walk on.
I walked for two days, but the forest never ended. It was clearly very vast. I was constantly paranoid that someone was watching me between the trees, but in the end, I had no choice but to sleep on the top of one of them. But really, I was starting to get used to this life. I slept well at night. The morning air tasted great.
It was now the fifth day, and the familiar scenery finally began to change around me. The forest, which until now had only existed on my left started to invade the front as well. The wheel tracks which had seemed to be avoiding the forest, were now headed straight into it.
“Hmm, what could it mean…”
I was sure that it had been avoiding the forest because of the goblins. There could be other monsters aside from goblins as well. So then why was it going straight into the forest now? Well, it could only mean that the town was right ahead. That’s why the tracks don’t bend to the south. If this town was in the east, then I had no choice but to head right into the trees as well. But the goblins were still fresh in my mind. If they attacked me again here…damn, that would be the worst.
But I couldn’t stay here. I had to go. You needed to decide quickly and immediately in order to survive. I take down my spear and billhook. I’m much lighter now that I’ve eaten all the wolf meat. Though, you could also say that it meant there was no turning back. I tightened my belt and walked towards the forest.
I noticed one thing after getting close. The wheel tracks were not just recklessly plunging into the trees. The trees had been cut down around the tracks. As far as I could see, there did not seem to be any trees blocking the way. Apparently, people were maintaining a clear path here. The town must be quite close now.
I stay cautious of my surroundings as I stand at the edge of the forest. With a lick of my lips, I take the first step. I should reach the town as soon as I get through this forest. Probably.
…Of course, that was not going to be the case. There were no advantages to being the protagonist. I could already feel that there were eyes on me. Multiple pairs from both the left and the right. My legs can’t stop moving. I felt like I would be attacked the moment I stopped walking.