Chapter 10 - Hunting : Second Blood
As the 'body tempering liquid' had lost its effect, Vahn was curious as to how much his body had grown within the ten days.
Name: Vahn Mason
Race: Human, *sealed*
-Power: I-40(0) -> H-146(0)
-Endurance: I-70(0) -> G-203(0)
-Dexterity: I-23(0) -> I-95(0)
-Agility: I-38(0) -> H-153(0)
-Magic: H-120(0) -> H-130(0)
Soul Strength: Tier 1 (Mortal Soul)
Though it had only been twenty days since his arrival in this world, Vahn was happy to see many of his stats had increased by more than 100 points, with the exception of his Magic. His hard training was able to bring at the full effects of each use of 'body tempering liquid' which was able to increase each physical parameter by 10 points if used with maximum efficiency. His daily running and weight contributed to the remaining gain.
Vahn was now ready to move on to the next phase of his training. He would replace his early morning regimen with hunting. It had already been several weeks since his arrival in this world, and surviving on nuts and fruits wasn't exactly satisfying. Since he now had a firestone, he was determined to hunt some small game to obtain meat. He also thought it would be a good method to make money before he entered the city since he would be able to clean the furs for barter.
He had now saved up a total of 29 OP, which he had used 10 to exchange for a manual on basic trap making. Using 9 of the remaining points, Vahn bought several small traps and wires to set up in the various small trails that lined the forest. He then exchanged the last of his points for a new bow.
'Sun-kissed Yew Shortbow'
A small bow made of flexible yew wood. It had undergone a special ceremony during it's crafting which causes it to emit a gentle warmth a smell similar to sunlight.
'Twined Steel Arrow' x30
Arrows forged from steel that have been twined around a yew shaft giving them both flexibility and penetrative power.
Vahn was grateful that purchasing the bow had given him arrows. Immediately after he had made the purchase, he thought of the possibility he would have to collect more ore before he would be able to make use of it. The best thing about the arrows was that he was able to assign them to the slot of the bow within his Equipment slots allowing him to immediately nock an arrow with a thought.
Using his newly acquired skills and equipment, Vahn set out into the woods around his home. He tried making sure all of the traps were within 200 meters of his camp, so he would be able to check them periodically throughout the day.
As it was still early in the morning, the sun had just begun to crest over the trees, casting long shadows through the misty forest. Vahn stalked patiently through the woods, looking for areas that seemed to have heavy animal foot traffic. He wasn't accustomed to hunting, but with the assistance of Sis he was able to quickly identify the best locations using the analytical ability of 'The Path'. The best part of it all was that he was able to clearly mark where he had lain the traps using his the marking function of his minimap.
After another hour or so, as the early morning mist began to dispurse Vahn found his first target. About 30 meters from his position, near the edge of a clearing, sat a rabbit nibbling on a plant Vahn had previously identified as 'alfalfa'.
He slowly crept towards the rabbit while holding his breath, trying to conceal his presence as best he could. As he closed in on the rabbits' position, it almost felt as if he had begun to blend into the environment around him, and even his thought process started to fade, becoming one with the forest.
In this peculiar state of mind and being, Vahn was able to close to within 10 meters of the rabbit without startling it. Slowly...he got his bow into position and nocked an arrow with a simple thought. He took aim at the rabbit and held his breath, bringing his focus to its absolute limits. He pulled back the arrow and in a single smooth motion, let it loose at his prey.
*sound of arrows whistling far off the intended course*
The rabbit was startled by the sudden interruption to its meal and immediately bolted into the nearby bush-line.
"Awww man, I got so close and still missed!" exclaimed Vahn as he fell onto his butt feeling defeated.
(*Of course Vahn. Not only have you never fired a bow before, but you lack the training and skills to be able to hit small targets at a distance. You should set up targets near home to acc.u.mulate experience. There is also the option of trading in for a hunting techniques manual once you've acc.u.mulated more OP.*)
Hearing her reminders, Vahn couldn't help but agree that he had been a little too hasty. After spending about twenty minutes looking for the arrow that had flown astray, Vahn returned to his camp and added archery training to his mid-day regimen.
The same afternoon, Vahn had trekked back into the forest to check if any of his traps had been triggered. As he had previously marked them in the map, it was a relatively simple job to locate them. The first three traps had been empty, so Vahn had to reset them. It may have been that the creature was larger than the trap could hold, or something was able to move through the snare without getting caught in it.
On his way to check the remaining tracks, Vahn was brought to a halt by a noise that seemed to come from the direction of one of his snares. He began to slowly stalk towards the trap in anticipation of his first catch. Once again he began to feel as if his body was blending into the surroundings, and he was able to easily approach his destination without drawing attention to himself. Finally, he was able to clearly see what was caught in the trap...
Standing slightly under one meter, with its leg stuck in the snare was a goblin. The wire used in the trap had dug deeply into the flesh around its ankle, and the goblin seemed to lack the intelligence required to escape.
Vahn could feel his pulse begin to accelerate, as thoughts of his previous encounter with the goblin emerged from the back of his mind. He knew the danger such a creature posed, even though it was one of the weakest in the entire continent. Fortunately, this goblin didn't possess a knife similar to the last one, or it would have cut the wire to aid in its escape.
Releasing a sigh, Vahn moved even closer to the goblin which seemed to become aware of his presence as it looked towards his direction.
The goblin began to lash out, completely ignoring it's still snared leg and tried to lunge at Vahn. The snare tightened, pulling the goblin directly into the ground once it had been stretch taut. The goblin began to struggle, repeating the process of standing and falling while continually trying to lunge at Vahn with it's characteristic viciousness.
Vahn approached within a single meter of the goblin, just out of reach of the range of it's lunge. He slowly drew back his bow with an arrow already nocked, aiming directly at the head of the goblin.
Perhaps realizing what was about to happen, the goblin ceased it's struggling and looked up at Vahn, an unforgiving hatred preset within the gleam of its eyes.
Releasing the arrow, it penetrated directly between the still glaring eyes as the body of the goblin spontaneously turned to dust leaving behind a small crystal in its wake.
Picking up the crystal, Vahn released a repressed sigh. This encounter with the goblin was far different than his previous struggle of life and death. He had been in control of the entire situation, and even though the goblin was trapped, Vahn was able to face it directly and overcome the fear that had settled in his mind.
Looking into the now silent woods, as the sun began its decline towards the horizon, Vahn added a new goal within his training menu. Other than hunting game, he would begin subjugating the various monsters that could be found within the forest. He wanted to become strong enough that he was able to face them without having to rely on traps. Knowing that it was a necessary step if he ever wanted to successfully venture into the dungeon, Vahn began to walk towards the next set of traps...and towards the future that he had decided upon....