And then one year passed.
I heard the distant howling of a Forest Wolf. It was unusual for them to come out into the forest during midday.
I threw the herbs I had been gathering into a sack, and scanned the forest in front of me while I slowly retreated. I caught a glimpse of them. Two of them were coming. No, three.
I unsheathed the long sword that was starting to finally feel right in my hands, and then I moved to an area that was more open.
The one in the lead charged right into the clearing I was in and jumped towards me at full speed. In response, I stepped to the side and crouched as low as I could, and cut upwards into its neck.
It passed me and then fell to the ground.
I had felt the blade go through it, and it hadn’t gotten back up. There was a lot of blood, so it was likely down for good.
I glanced at it briefly and then checked my surroundings.
It was odd for Forest Wolves to not work together. The fact that it had jumped at me so recklessly suggested that it was probably quite young.
The two that came after were more cautious. Instead of running out into the clearing, they moved in separate directions through the trees so that I would be right between them. This was why Forest Wolves could be so dangerous. I was lucky that there were only two left. Three would have been tricky.
Just as one of them entered my blindside, they charged at the same time.
“Don’t underestimate me!”
In turn, I charged towards the Forest Wolf that was in my line of sight, and slammed my shield into it during the brief second that I caught it by surprise.
I turned my head as we were moving past each other, and it was just as the other wolf was about to jump on me.
I thrust the sword into its wide open mouth, and it went through and came out the other side of its head. However, I also lost all momentum then, and so I let go of the sword and jumped to the side.
The last one had recovered now and was about to attack, and so I kept it in check with a bash of the shield. The previous attack must have taught it, as it backed away…no, it didn’t!
The first Forest Wolf that I had cut from the side was attacking me now. I took several steps back while swiping at its legs with the shield.
Just as I thought, the first attack had been very effective, and it was too weak to stand up immediately.
In the meantime, I pulled out the short sword that I had behind my waist.
So I still had HP left…
Yes, HP was not meaningless after all. It was less about physical strength and more about vitality. The power to live, perhaps. Not that it would decrease during battle because you were tired, but it didn’t go down if you were starving, dehydrated or ill. And if organs that were necessary to maintain life were damaged, it would turn to zero.
So you could live if you had remaining HP.
Well, you would also die if you kept bleeding. Blood was an important organ, after all.
That being said, it couldn’t be helped that it was once again two against one.
This time, I would attack first. I ran to the more vigorous one, and just as it crouched defensively, I threw my short sword at it.
It was taken by surprise and jumped far back. At the same time, I threw myself in the opposite direction and retrieved my sword from the Forest Wolf corpse. That’s when the wounded one attacked me.
This time I slashed it from the front and put an end to it.
The last wolf howled and walked around me briefly before running away.
I exhaled and wiped the blood off of my blade.
The meat of Forest Wolves was not particularly good. The best you could do was turn it into dried meat. I took out a rope and strung up the youngest one in order to drain out the blood and remove the guts. The guts and the corpses of the others would be slime food after I removed the magic stones. I could only carry one with me.
Slimes had brown viscous bodies, and if you hit the protrusion in the middle of them, they would fall apart. Apparently, they left magic stones, but they were too small for me to find.
During this last year, I somehow learned how to use a sword.
I did some farming, along with sword practice, herb gathering, processing, and goblin hunting. I was so busy that I could only rest for two days every week. And in this world, there are only six days in a week.
In order to gather magic stones, I actively fought goblins and was able to rise to Level 8.
Eralt Lv2, Reverse Age Lv3, Farming Lv3, Carpentry Lv1, Carving Lv2, Leatherworker Lv2, Gathering Lv2, Shield Art Lv1
Visitor From Another World, Farmer
In spite of all my training, I didn’t get a Sword Art skill. Or a medicine skill. Why?
However, as I was able to reliably hunt Forest Wolves and goblins with a one-handed sword now, it wasn’t as if I hadn’t accomplished anything. And since my MP increased, I should be able to reverse my age by 5.7 years. That would make me 36!
About half a year ago, I told everyone in the village that I was planning on leaving. They were sad, but also understanding.
They even threw a dinner party for me yesterday.
And so today was the day of my departure.
All of the villagers had gathered at the gate to see me off.
To be honest, life had been very comfortable at the village.
Everyone worked together, and both happy and sad times were shared.
The population had risen compared to four years ago, and there was a cheerful kind of drive to develop even further.
I even had a house that they had helped me build, and that I had grown very fond of.
And I had made good friends.
…But, I’m sorry. I have to go.
And I couldn’t tell them the real reason for it.
I walked out of the gate and then turned around and bowed my head.
“Thank you. Thank you all! You have done so much for me, and I feel terrible for insisting that I must see my homeland once more before I die. But I will never forget the days I spent in Ruyana village, of all of you, who welcomed me so warmly. Thank you so much for the last four years!”
“Don’t talk like this is the last time we’ll see you! You just have to come and visit us again!”
Zuky said with tearful laughter.
“We’ll be praying for your safety.”
Said the chief and Mrs. Mefica, who I was greatly indebted to.
“I’ll be protecting your fields, so you better come back for them!”
Said Mr. Dick, who had taught me much about farming.
They all sent me off with smiles.
Gein. You’re the one who is going to take me to the city. It will be awkward if you start crying now, idiot.
I looked ahead, took one step forward, turned around, and raised my voice.
“All of you, I’m off!”
They clapped warmly and shouted ‘take care,’ and I turned around and waved several times until they were out of view.
Yes. I didn’t know when or how old I would be.
But even if there were no longer any people that I knew, I would definitely return one day.
Yes. As I made that promise, I took a step forward into my new life.