An Ordinary Day Of Hunting
It’s been a month since I became a hunter.
We’re now reaching the end of the sixth month of the year and the weather was still getting hotter.
Our clothes were soaked with sweat as Kyle and I walked along the mountain roads of Nordende.
Incidentally, Loren-san wasn’t with us today since he went hunting at a different location.
「We got a wild boar and two rabbits today, should we head back down soon? 」
「Yeah. It’s past lunch time already, so let’s call it a day… Oh, wait. Hold on」
Just when I agreed with Kyle’s suggestion, I felt the presence of prey overhead and I prepared my bow.
Then, I listened to the sound of the wind with my ears and shot an arrow over our heads.
Right when I thought that I had shot an arrow at the blue sky for no reason, it hit a bird that flew out from the trees, as its large shadow became visible.
The bird that had its stomach suddenly pierced from below fell to the ground after a moment of struggle.
Good, it was just as I expected.
I’ve been using the hunter’s bow recently, so I wonder if I have improved a little at it.
「…How did you shoot down a flying bird? 」
I was doing a victory pose in my mind behind Kyle’s voice of astonishment.
「Hm, I felt its presence and predicted where it was going? 」
No matter how a normal bird flies in the air, it’s doable if it’s in the shooting range of my arrows.
If it was a high-ranked intelligent bird type monster, it would be calling down its subordinates to go all-out to kill us. Needless to say, it won’t be just flying in a straight line. It would suddenly go up or down, use feints, rotate, turn, and other various types of freestyle flying.
It was much simpler to just shoot down birds that are less cautious.
「Isn’t it hard to sense its presence in the first place? And to predict where it’s going… It’s flying in the sky, you know? 」
「Yeah, that’s why you have to listen to the sounds of the wind」
From my straight forward answer, Kyle showed an expression as if he was having difficulty understanding.
「… I can’t do something like that」
Right, it’s because of all my life-risking experiences that I was able to develop the ability to sense the presence of other living things.
Even if I left Kyle alone in a mountain full of monsters to train him, he won’t last long enough for me to teach him that. In my case, I was only able to develop those senses in order to survive in an environment that I would die in had I not.
「Yeah, I can only say that it’s my intuition plus experience」
I don’t know what kind of advice this is, but it’s the only way I can word it.
「Well, whatever. Let’s go get that fallen prey 」
I showed a bitter smile as Kyle sighed and we walked towards the fallen bird.
We processed the bird that was shot down, then we tied it down with a rope as we carried it down the mountain.
「Ah, it’s a pico」
I found some red, round, grain-sized picos on the way, so I picked them up and threw them into my hemp pouch.
Pico is something that I also like, and the children of the village are happy when I give some to them. So, I try to bring some back every time I go to the mountains.
Maybe Kyle was also asked by the children to bring some back, since he was silently picking them up too.
While I was picking up the picos and the goji berries, I also picked up some kiruku grass on the side that the village ladies asked for.
The kiruku grass is a medicinal herb that grows on these mountains. When you grind it down and apply it to wounds, it can treat small cuts and scratches.
The demand for it is high since minor injuries often happen among the children, so there are lots of requests for medicinal herbs and food when I’m heading to the mountains.
I owed it to them for making me things like my clothes and futon, so this much was nothing to me.
This connection I feel with them when we help each other out is a good feeling.
Humans cannot survive alone.
「Oh, kiruku grass. You were asked by the aunties from the village, huh? 」
After he finished picking up the picos, Kyle said that to me while I was collecting the grass.
It seems he will be climbing up the eru trees for erus next. He was told by Loren-san to pick some up.
「Oh, yeah. That’s right」
「It must be tough for you, isn’t it?」
「Is it? 」
It’s just gathering things when I’m in the mountains. It’s not like I had to go out of the way and make a big effort.
Kyle looked at me in wonder after he easily climbed up an eru tree.
「The aunties that’ve been asking you for favors every time all have daughters of marriageable age, right? 」
「Ah, so that’s what you mean」
Yeah, when you deliver them the things they’ve asked you to get, they will ask you to take a break inside their homes or stay for dinner.
I thought that they were just watching out for me at first, since I was new to the village. But, I found out later that they were trying to hook me up with their daughters because I’m single.
「It’s because good hunters are popular. They are reliable in case of an emergency and they can put lots of meat on the dinner table」
Kyle said with a bitter smile as he gathered the erus.
Well, how should I put it? It makes me happy that I’m popular but it makes me a bit uncomfortable when their parents suddenly try to hook me up with their daughters right in front of them.
I wonder if I will be offered dinner or a hook up today as well.
「Isn’t it fine if you don’t make the delivery yourself every single time? You can just hand it to their family members like their kids, brothers, or neighbours. Gathering the things might not be a hassle but making the delivery yourself every time is very time consuming」
True. I don’t have to go to so many different houses to make the delivery. It’s very common to find people’s family members helping out on the fields in this surprisingly small village.
I would only have to hand the stuff to their family members together along with the picos.
◆ ◆ ◆
After we finished picking up the kiruku grass, we gathered some erus and headed back to the village with the game on our backs.
As we headed down the mountain back to the village, the children who were helping out in the fields also came to take a look at us today.
Even though they were in the middle of work, the adults around them were still smiling as if they were saying “Oh well, it can’t be helped”.
「Did you come back with prey today too? 」
「Oh, we did. We got a boar, two rabbits, and a bird」
「「Yay!! Meat!! 」」
The children were overjoyed when we showed them what we caught.
If they are genuinely happy about this thus far, it makes me happy as well.
「Kyle-ani, which one was the one you killed? 」
A little boy who was very interested in the hunted animals asked Kyle as he pulled on his sleeves.
「… The rabbit」
「What, a rabbit? You suck! 」
Kyle smiled after he answered bitterly.
Kyle looks mature for his age, but strangely enough, he still gets picked on often by other kids.
「But you know, it’s quite hard to catch rabbits because they are quite agile」
「… I don’t need a follow up from someone who shot down a flying bird out of the sky」
He said something to me that was not cute at all even though I was covering for him.
Perhaps we were able to become closer thanks to hunting in the mountains together, and he can send fun jabs at me now.
… Lately, I’ve come to understand more on how Loren-san feels when he makes fun of him.
「Wow! Aldo nii-chan, you shot down a bird in the sky!? I used a bow before too, but I don’t think I can hit a bird that’s flying so fast in the sky though! 」
「Is it that amazing? 」
The boy who had used a bow before seemed to understand it but the girl who had never used one before had no clue. But, that is not unreasonable.
As I saw the children becoming deeply interested, we told them our hunting stories. They gradually started shaking with excitement.
「Did you bring back the same thing as always? 」
「I have some too」
When Kyle and I brought out a small hemp bag, the children happily gathered around us with their hands out.
They ate the picos with joy as we handed picos to them one by one.
Their happy expressions were very cute. Children are nice.
It’s my first time realizing that since I came to live in this village.
The children I’ve met up until now were all strong children from the slums. They were all cheeky kids who aspired to become adventurers. Interacting with normal kids like these is refreshing.
It’s not like I don’t like people who make desperate efforts to live, it’s just that something did not sit right with me when I saw my past self in them.
While I was in such deep thoughts, I called out to a little girl who I recognized.
「~What is it~? 」
「Here. I was asked by your mother to get her this, so can you give this to her? 」
「Un. Okay! 」
When I gave her the kiruku grass, she answered with a bright smile.
Good. With that, I can avoid having her older sister, Colene, pushed on to me.
No, well, it’s not like I dislike Colene-san, you know? It’s just that I have never thought of this kind of thing before I came to this village, so I have no idea what to do.
However, I couldn’t imagine the two of us living together at my house.
「See you later Aldo-nii, and Kyle-ani! 」
The children waved their hands and ran back to their work at the same time after they were done eating the picos.
Kyle and I also waved our hands back with smiles on our faces.
「Aldo-san, you’re fitting in quite well with this village, huh?」
「…It’s thanks to everyone here」