Jack of all Trades – 22

-An Apology and an Apology-


It was morning. The sunrise was especially beautiful from the top of the tree. Right under me, I could see the tent and the tarp we had set up yesterday.

Mmm? Why would I sleep in a tree if we had a tent?

That would be because of the wrath of my roommate.

My spirits were a little low that morning as I untied the rope of vines from around me and used it to slowly climb down the trunk. I couldn’t help but sigh in relief upon seeing that there was no movement coming from the sunlit tent. The owner was still asleep. Of course, I would not do anything so tactless as to try and wake her up. That was the other day’s lesson, I suppose.

Don’t wake up Daniela.

I began to make a fire to heat up what remained of yesterday’s soup. As there was not much to do now, I sat and stared into the flames as time seemed to move slowly. I enjoyed staring blankly at the fire. It allowed you to empty your head a little.

Before I knew it, I could hear the sound of the soup boiling and I quickly move the pot away. The soup is poured into a bowl and I enjoy a lonely breakfast. I’m sure she’d wake up eventually. But it was boring to have to wait, so I decided to set up a little surprise for her. I would go and hunt a deer.

I swear, it’s not because I wanted to eat it myself. Nope!

It wasn’t too hard to make a bow out of a pliant branch and some rope. Arrows too. I sharpened a straight branch and attached some feathers that were on the ground and it was ready. I’m sure I could have done better with more time, but I wasn’t a professional. This was sure to at least be enough to take down a deer, thanks to ‘Jack of all trades.’

I tried Daniela’s method of detecting the presence of other creatures that she taught me yesterday, as I searched the forest.

Hmm. Was this a monster or a deer? If it was a monster, then it was likely a forest wolf. They often moved in packs. But what about deer? Deer also moved in packs. But unlike forest wolves, they didn’t have magical energy. Then if I could detect the presence of magic…

“Eh, of course, it would not be that easy to detect.”

That would be a cheat.

“Anyway, I’ll search for one and observe from afar.”

That was really all I could do. I better hurry up and hunt this thing if I wanted to surprise her.

I imagined her surprised face as I walked on for several minutes. Apparently, I was pretty lucky today. There was a group of deer walking ahead of me. This was just great. Now I just needed to successfully kill one and everything would be perfect.

I check the direction of the wind. It wasn’t upward, but it wasn’t downward either. Then I felt a gentle touch against my left cheek. Was it a spirit?

I slowly move to a downward position. The deer were quietly eating the leaves of young trees under the morning light that leaked from the forest roof. They hadn’t noticed me yet.

They continued to be oblivious as I arrived in position and pulled out my bow. I imagine it in my head, then ‘Jack of all trades’ immediately plays the motions in my brain, on four separate screens. I follow the instructions, nock the arrow and pull.

The wind blows calmly at my hair. Just as the bangs that slightly covered my left eye moved, and my view was clear, I let go.

Unlike Daniela’s bow, there’s a loud whoosh as the string sends the arrow flying. The deer all look in my direction. One of their numbers now has an arrow half-way into its chest. There is a faint cry. A scream. The other deer scatter in a panic as the one deer falls to the ground. I quickly dash over to it and raise my sword over it to give it a quick death. It’s wet, black eyes look up at me, but I ignore it as the blade falls.

□   □   □   □

Asagi was gone.

Such were my thoughts when I got out of the tent and looked up at the tree. But there were traces of him having been here. Yesterday’s soup was warm and near the fire. My bowl and spoon had been washed and were set right next to it. The bowl was even upside down as to stay clean. That alone was enough to make me smile, a little.

The morning of the previous day. I had slept in late as usual. Apparently. Not being able to wake up in the morning was my eternal curse. I had even drunk some ale I got from the kitchens to help me sleep that night. But I suppose that was my downfall, as I had become quite hot in my sleep and somehow managed to remove all of my clothing. And then Asagi had come to wake me up. It was an accident that I had invited, and so it was not his fault. But my own sense of shame made it difficult to accept that.

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