Disciple & Teacher
As the bright sun was shining, I hid myself in a bush as I held my breath.
Even though it’s the ninth month of the year now where we’re past the hottest days of summer, the sun in the day time was still brutal.
Sweat dripped down from my forehead and ran from my neck down to my back.
I was driven by the urge to wipe off my sweat right now but I’m staying patient. My prey was nearby.
It was a deer of a rather large size that I could see amongst the bushes.
The deer moved its nimble legs and approached the picos by the base of the trees.
Then after checking its surroundings, it started to nom down on the picos.
Since the deer was still highly on guard, I continued to watch it without giving off any hostility or bloodthirst.
The moment I felt its guard drop, I stood up and readied my bow and arrow without making a sound.
From there, I locked onto my target, pulled on the bowstring and released it.
Then, the arrow quickly flew out with the energy from the bowstring.
The sound of air being split could be heard as its trajectory went down my field of vision.
— Got ‘em. The moment I thought that, the arrow pierced the deer’s head on the side and the deer fell onto the ground.
I slowly put my bow back on my back and walked up to the fallen deer.
Its legs were still twitching after its head was pierced. Red liquid gushed out from the deep wound.
It was still breathing but it was only a step away from death’s door.
I feel bad for it but for this is something we can’t avoid doing in order for us humans to live on.
I tied the deer that was no longer moving to a nearby tree with some rope and performed the bloodletting process.
Then, I felt a presence coming closer to me.
These footsteps should belong to Kyle.
With my guess, I turned around and opened my mouth.
「Kyle, is that you over there?」
「…I thought I had erased my presence though」
Just as I expected, Kyle appeared from the shade about forty meters away with a dissatisfied look on his face.
As he is an apprentice hunter, he tries to conceal his presence as his training whenever he comes up to me.
I can’t quite relax when I’m being challenged like this every time, but doing this kind of thing for him is nothing much if I think about his growth.
He was still an amateur at erasing his presence so it’s difficult for him to get past my perception and get close to me.
「You thought it’d be good to aim for the moment when I’m in the middle of processing the deer, huh? But it looks like you still have a long way to go」
「Even so, your ability to sense things is ridiculous as always. It makes me lose my confidence when you can see through me at forty meters away」
I could actually sense him from much farther away, but there’s no need to say that out loud.
He would probably take another hit to his confidence if I did that.
「Ahaha, anyone would be able to do it after getting used to it」
「My teacher is even more dull than me though?」
Even when I laughed bitterly with a follow up, Kyle responded to me in such a not cute way.
「There’s a difference in sensing animals and humans, that’s why. I was once an adventurer, after all」
「…You might think that I’ll be convinced if you put it like that, but I still don’t think your ability to sense people is normal. I mean, you can’t just say it’s because you were an adventurer that you could take down a red bear by yourself as well, right?」
「T-that’s not true」
I don’t know about other adventurers, but everyone in my party can take down a red bear by themselves. I don’t think I’m anything out of the ordinary. Yup, that’s something that can be done by any semi experienced adventurer.
「Well…it’s because of that that I was able to sense you. I recommend that you don’t come from the direction the wind’s blowing from. Because you did that, the wind carried your scent」
「I see. I’ll be careful about which direction the wind is blowing next time」
When I gave Kyle some advice to steer the conversation in another direction, he accepted it obediently with a nod.
This child seems to be quite cold and perverse at first glance, but he is quite docile at times. He’s a bit different from other normal kids, but I think the way he acts is quite cute.
While I was having such thoughts as I looked at him with a lukewarm gaze, he asks me,
「Aldo-san, how did the west side look?」
「Oh, right. Things look like they have settled down now since more than a month has passed. I barely saw any rare animals or monsters that we don’t usually see there roaming around there, so I think it had returned to how it was before」
More than a month has passed since Flora was attacked by the red bear in the west side of the forest.
At first the forest was affected by the red bear’s attack, so there were abnormal signs of the herbivorous animals and magical beasts migrating out to other places, but it looks like they gradually started to come back after some time when they realized that the red bear was no longer there.
Some monsters took this chance to move in there, but there’s no problem since we, the hunters, took the initiative and cleared them out.
It’s safe to say that the forest has returned to the way it was before the red bear attack.
「The east was safe as well today, so there are no problems as we thought」
「After this we just have to wait for Loren-san who is checking up on the north side –is what I was going to say, but it looks like we’re going to know pretty soon 」
I was a bit worried about the north side since that’s where we live.
As expected, unlike Kyle who’s an apprentice, Loren-san is good at concealing his presence.
「Huh? Where is he?」
「Hmm, where do you think?」
After hearing what I said, Kyle seems to have stopped fussing over looking for him.
He was desperately trying to find Loren-san by listening with his ears.
Then, he stopped and felt the natural breeze blowing from the north.
「Oh, that’s the smell of erue, isn’t it?」
Kyle muttered as he smelled the scent that the wind carried.
「Well then, let’s try putting the answers together」
When I handed over a pebble to him, Kyle smiled.
「Oww?! Isn’t it a bit too mean to throw rocks at me?!」
Loren-san stood up from the bush we threw the two pebbles at together while holding his head.
Despite Loren-san yelling out with watery eyes, I high-fived Kyle as we cheered in joy.
Maybe it was because Kyle is the one who usually gets picked on that he had an especially bright smile on his face.
He would be a much cuter kid if he always wore this kind of smile on his face.
「Sheesh, did Aldo teach you this?」
Loren-san asked as he walked closer while holding the part of his head that was hit by the pebbles.
「Nope, I just gave him some pointers but I didn’t really teach him specifically」
「Teacher, you collected some erues on your way here, right? I smelled the sweet scent of Erus in the air, then I understood from there」
Kyle told him how he managed to notice when Loren-san made an inquisitive face.
Then, Loren-san looked impressed for a second and clicked his tongue.
「…*Chi*, that’s right, I was eating some erues. However, I’m quite unlucky for the wind to blow at such a timing」
He was not honest at all. Normally you should be praising him in such a spot.
When I made a bitter smile with those thoughts in my mind, Loren-san crossed his arms with an unpleasant expression as if he read what I was thinking.
Then, he scratched his head and gave a tap to Kyle’s shoulder.
「Well, looks like you can do it after all. I’m glad that you have quite a good nose. Keep working hard from now on as well so you can graduate from being an apprentice」
Loren-san followed up with a “And there’s no problem with the north side–” in an embarrassed voice before he quickly started walking back to the village.
Kyle looked shocked for a second but then he smiled happily and started walking as well.
I looked at their backs that resembled a father and his son, then I picked up the prey and followed them.
TLN: I think Kurune is finally going to appear soon~