Chapter 8: Bowtruckle!
Translated by : Chua
Edited by: TN and Elkassar
The trees grew sparsely inside the forbidden forest. The trees on the edge of the forest were thin and the ground bare. Grass appeared rarely, and even the tree leaves had a layer of black on top. A dull fog floated adrift along the forest grounds, causing the vision to be limited. While circling the forest edge in search for a Jobberknoll, Sheyan caught sight of a massive and evil looking tree through the dense fog. Its roots occupied a square mile, its enormous roots were like the veins of a terminal cancer patient warping and intertwining each other.
Just by gazing at this tree, an immense horror formed in Sheyan’s heart. Obviously it was his perceptive sensing warning him intensely. Without hesitation, Sheyan turned around and fled, this was not a time to play hero. Based on his prior knowledge, the dangers lurking within were countless. Werewolves, unicorns, centaurs,the Acromantula Aragog, whomping willow…… Of course, the biggest danger was Lord Voldemort who was currently inside hunting the unicorn in order to absorb its blood!
Finally, Sheyan found the thing he wanted on a collapsed dead tree.
This was the larva of an emerald green scarab. This sort of fatty maggot is the top-quality food for a Jobberknoll, just like how caviar is to a human. The maggot normally grows inside a decomposing log, it is completely obnoxious to bird species like the woodpecker, but since the food menu of the Jobberknoll includes insects, Sheyan had full confidence they would be extremely interested in his 4 dishes. Human’s die for wealth and birds for food, this phrase is a millennium year old chinese proverb.
The next step was to find a medium size and luscious tree, the best was to have an umbrella treetop. Jobberknolls loved to rest on such trees. Sheyan’s plan was to conceal a small noose along the tree branch, placing the maggot in the middle. Once the bird pecks on the maggot, the lasso would be tightened and be reigned in. Actually this snare could be easily shaken off, but Sheyan’s reaction was almost three times an average person. Therefore, he could trap the Jobberknoll in a flash, and had high confidence of accomplishing the day’s mission.
Time sped by, and Sheyan only found a tree that fulfills his requirements at noon. He carefully surveyed his surroundings for any danger, before approaching the tree boldly. Just when he prepared to climb the tree, suddenly the original serenity was suddenly broken. A dark figure pounced towards Sheyan’s head. That audacious sharp claws dug into the tree bark producing cracking sounds as wood splinters sprayed out! Sheyan faced up in astonishment, blood gushed out from his face as his eye area seemed to suffer a heavy blow!
That shadow was unstoppable, landing on the ground as the soil around him burst out. Within a second, that shadow once again pounced towards the bloody mess of Sheyan’s face. Yet Sheyan didn’t panic, he grabbed out ferociously with his left hand and managed to catch that black figure in mid air. The figure instantly gave off an unpleasant shriek. It sounded like a cicada that was stuck in his hand. Sheyan then gently opened his eyes, the corner of his left eye displayed out a 5 cm long cut, as blood streamed down. If one didn’t look carefully, he would really believed that his left eye was the victim.
That black figure was roughly the size of a palm. Its skin had a camouflage color, which looked to be formed with wooden bark and branches. It had a pair of small brown eyes, flat mouth and its teeth were a slight plant green. Yet its incisive claws were like that of a cat which could be retracted anytime, and extend out anytime. It looked rather comical, but looking at the state of Sheyan’s wound, it was definitely not as harmless as it appeared to be.
“What is this?” Sheyan was quite amazed.
Quickly the nightmare imprint transmitted a notification.
“You caught a unique creature to this world: Bowtruckle.”
“Its corresponding milestone is activated.”
“Biologist: Finding 11 different species of unique creatures in the Harry Potter’s world. Currently discovered: Bowtruckle.”
“Doting Man: You please 50 different Bowtruckles.” (Milestone cannot exist with ‘Cruel Man’ milestone)
“Cruel Man: Kill 200 Bowtruckles.” (Milestone cannot exist with ‘Doting Man’ milestone)
“British museum honorary member: Submit a Bowtruckle to London’s british museum.” (Warning: this action will incur the punishment of the Ministry of Magic)
“Warmhearted man: Separately complete the final commissions from the 4 magical shops in London. One of the missions, Final commission of Gringotts manager: Infiniti Franc. He wishes that you find a Bowtruckle’s gallstone. Normally, only a boss Bowtruckle has a small chance of growing a gallstone. (Mission has not been activated)”
Seeing the name Bowtruckle, Sheyan recalled several pieces of information he previously gathered.
A Bowtruckle is a creature that protects a tree. It mainly resides in certain forests in west England, South Germany and Scandinavia. It has a pair of brown eyes, small body (the biggest is roughly 8 inches), and its exterior is made from bark and branches weaved together, helping it camouflage.
A Bowtruckle is a gentle and shy creature, it only eats insects. But when it feels that the tree its protecting is under threat, it would immediately jump down and charge towards any lumbering worker that threatens its habitat. Using its sharp incisive claws to dig out their eyes. If a wizard offers a ground beetle to the Bowtruckle, it will calm it down for a long time and thus would be able to obtain wood from the tree and manufacture wands.
He suddenly recalled a few words spoken to him by Hagrid. He was enlightened, actually Hagrid wasn’t suspicious of the contestant’s speech, but he thought that the unlucky Sidang got assaulted by a Bowtruckle when climbing the tree. Hagrid was wondering why the tree would have a Bowtruckle, and not about the injuries on Sidang.
Going through the list of corresponding milestones the Bowtruckle provided, Sheyan pondered for a moment. Obviously, the only milestone in his scope of capabilities was ‘Doting Man’ and ‘Cruel Man’. But it seemed like the ‘Cruel Man’ could be completely more swiftly, but such a huge amount of 200 was enough to let others feel powerless. (Gamers would know, solo killing 200 creatures is a terribly excruciating mission)
In comparison, ‘Doting Man’ had a much friendlier headcount requirement. Furthermore, the requirements to please them wasn’t very high, just feeding them adequate beetles was enough to coax them. But where would Sheyan find so many ground beetles? Searching far and wide, he only found a few. Since the situation was hopeless, he released the Bowtruckle in his hand. That fella immediately ran off after suffering a little. Similarly, 7-8 other bowtruckles resting on the same tree fled as well, and thus would not foil Sheyan’s plan to catch a Jobberknoll.
After Sheyan devised his snare, he waited. Not even half an hour later, a Jobberknoll flew in. This bird was rather plump, it looked rather enticing. Plucking out its feathers, sprinkling spices onto it and roasting it, it would make such a delicious meal. This Jobberknoll seemed rather clever, it circled around cautiously before landing as though it knew there was an imminent danger waiting for it.
After a long wait, the bird then dove down in an imposing manner, charging straight to Sheyan’s prepared delicacy. The snare very smoothly activated, but was immediately snapped off by the fat bird, it was like it did not place Sheyan’s lasso within its eyes. After observing for a while, Sheyan finally saw the light. Actually it wasn’t that this bird was so clever that it saw through the snare, it was because previously it had suffered due to the protective Bowtruckle, which was why it was so cautious…..
After a short while, a few more Jobberknolls flew over. They halted unexpectedly as though they had developed some amicable preference for this beautifully shaped tree. Sheyan crept closer to probe if they would fly away. Only when he reached the bottom and was about to leap up, did the birds fly away. When Sheyan distanced himself, they once again flew back to the tree effortlessly.
Seeing this situation, Sheyan formulated a plan in his heart. He once again returned to that decomposed log, and dug out 7-8 maggots. He then placed one beneath the tree, and hid himself 7-8 metres away.
Expectedly, that group of fat birds darted down like an aircraft, completely gobbling up the maggots. It then returned to the tree and shook its head vigorously.
Sheyan placed another, but this time he stood 5-6 metres away. He then expressed an extremely firm but harmless attitude, definitely not leaving.
The flock of birds hesitated, but the initial Jobberknoll that came darted down without hesitation. He snatched away the maggot and slowly indulged in it. The other birds looked on with envy and rage, their hearts filled with jealousy and regret.
Sheyan continued to place the maggots, and walked away.
When he was left with two maggots, he straightforwardly threw it in front of his legs. The group of confused birds started hesitating, but once again that foolishly bold one straightforwardly charged downwards. Seeing that bird leading the way, the other competitive birds similarly charged down. Sheyan took a breath and withdrew both hands. The button on his shirt had already been slipped off. He stood still against the onslaught of birds, leisurely receiving the Jobberknolls into his shirt and then closing it off.