The Wounded Monster
The journey continues. Of course, me and Daniela’s journey. It had started in Fhiraldo and continued through Spiris, Alessa, Valdorf, Senka Village, and Replant. We had walked through many towns, villages, and cities.
There were many that were incredibly comfortable. We met new friends that were difficult to part with. Encounters and partings were supposed to be the best parts of traveling, but they were often surprisingly hard. But each time, it meant going on a new adventure and to new encounters. Obviously, there would be more partings after that, but I knew that it wasn’t the end.
Now, what sort of encounter awaited us here on out?
Would it be something wonderful? Perhaps a surprising reunion?
My curiosity was endless. I enjoyed imagining what our future held, as we traveled together every day.
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We spent the night by a small river and then headed south. As the river was flowing to the south, we just had to follow it. The clear rushing of the water was a nice backdrop as Daniela and I talked, occasionally rested, and ate when hungry. If we were ever attacked by monsters, we killed them and cut off any pieces that we thought would be proof of the hunt. That might sound a little rough, but it really was a peaceful journey. Or perhaps I had just become so accustomed to this life that I was able to see it that way.
While we were following the river at first, it eventually changed course and turned west. And so we crossed the river and continued to go down south. Our surroundings had been a field up until then, but there were now short trees everywhere. This forest was the landmark, apparently. According to the map in Daniela’s brain, there was a small village on the other side of the forest.
That night, we made a fire next to the forest and slept.
It was four in the morning. I tossed some wood into the fire and got up to stretch my limbs.
The sky above was still dark, but I could see some light colors rising in the east.
It was just before sunrise. Recently, I had been keeping Presence Detection on at all times, and now, it caught something. I had been checking a wide area, but something had just entered it. I stretched my hand out to grab the Schwarz Tempest, which I swung over my shoulder before heading towards the spot where there was movement.
It was inside of the forest, but visibility was low. I used Nighteyes and tried to see between the trees and in the bushes. Then I narrowed down the focus of Presence Detection and continued to search until I sensed something behind some trees at two o’clock. I held my sword and walked closer in order to see what it was, all the while erasing the sounds of my feet as much as possible. It was necessary to go around the trees so I would be behind whatever it was when I came out.
Then I stared quietly through the grass towards the root of a tree. That’s where it was. Thanks to Nighteyes, I could see even if the forest was dark.
What was there, was a forest wolf covered in wounds.
Perhaps the signal had been so weak because it was dying. They say that wounded beasts are the most dangerous, but this degree of injury would mean it would barely be able to move. The problem was, what had done this to it?
I kept my guard up as I stood in front of the forest wolf. For some reason, I couldn’t just leave it there. Maybe it was because I had the Protection of the Forest Wolf. I was a little more attached to them than the average Adventurer, anyway.
It glanced towards me and sniffed. But it showed no signs of resisting.
It was covered in them. The blood was running so heavily that there was a puddle underneath it. Spatters of blood were next to its path of pawprints.
Its whimper was so weak that I started to wonder if I couldn’t help it somehow. The normal thing to do now would be to enjoy my luck, grab a free proof of the hunt and then go and track down whatever it was that did this. But this time, I couldn’t look away.
I didn’t think it would understand me, but I said it anyway before rushing back to the camp. I hurriedly took off the greatsword and rummaged through my bag for the appraisal glasses and a few recovery potions. Then I returned to where the forest wolf was. It raised its head when I asked if it was alright. Then I supported its jaw with my hand while pouring the potion into its mouth. At the same time, I watched while wearing the appraisal glasses. The deepest wound was on its chest. It looked like the work of claws. I somehow managed to pour some of the potion over that area. It must have stung, because it struggled weakly and tried to escape. But I held it down as it healed. Thankfully, the wound closed up. Daniela’s potions were quite effective. Then I gently picked up the forest wolf and headed back for the camp.