Chapter 8 Hunting Time
It's been about a week ever since I've woken up in this world but I think I've settled into a cycle that I've become accustomed to.
After a hearty morning breakfast, it would be time for my training as I did the exercise regime that was supposed to make one go bald.
Then I would come home and she would train me in fighting. For now, it was just some basic drills as I got used to having a weapon in my hands and also knowing how to handle it, so it was still manageable for me.
A sword was still too big for my current body so I was given a wooden sword that was scaled down to my size.
At first, I thought I would probably be suffering a lot from this, but I had totally forgotten that I was no longer just a normal human but a Meslatar instead. The 'warmup' exercises did tire me a little but it was not to the point that I could not do the rest.
She definitely knows what she's doing.
After the morning exercises, it would be a lunch break before I'm left in the study to read through the books that she had showed me that day. She really did expect me to read through all the books she had pointed out, though she left it up to me on which books I would read first.
I've tried asking her about magic but on this point alone, she told me that I was still too young to learn about it. Not because I could not understand it, but because my body's mana was not formed yet to even perform any sort of magic.
Despite that, learning about the theories on magic was on the table, that's why the books from Aerialla Academy were also left in as part of my studies. I decided to leave those be for now though, since I'd like to know more about this world first before diving into that.
Then at dinner, I would be quizzed on what I have learnt and she would correct me or add in information I might have missed.
I realised that during my reading time, she would be missing from the house and only return in time to cook dinner.
My question of wondering what she was doing during that time was only answered with a silent smile, before she started gushing about how cute I was worrying about her.
That brings me to the point of our relationship.
In this week, she had trained, taught, fed and clothed me with a gentle smile on her face, something I had never experienced in my previous life.
I don't think I'm ready to see her as my mother yet, but I've at least stopped being wary of her.
And for this particular morning, instead of doing sword drills like normal, she had announced that it would be different today.
"We'll be going to the forest today, my little one~ Hold on to this, just in case~"
I looked down at the small dagger wrapped in a leather sheath she had just handed to me. I'm guessing she was busy preparing this when she was missing.
"Mother… You just handed a one week old child a weapon," I pointed out.
"Ufufufu~ The smartest and cutest one week old child I might add~ Ahhhh~ you're so, so cute~"
"You're gushing again," I sighed, a phrase I've grown accustomed to saying after bearing witness to this scene over the week.
"Ara, ara? Mama can't help it when my sweet little one is so cute~" She gushed, patting my head excessively.
"Umm… Anyway… What are we doing today?"
"Oh, Mama is going to take you in the forest today! It's still too soon for my dearest little one to be fighting monsters, but to simply hunt some wild animals is fine~"
I looked down at my dagger that was not much longer than my forearm, "I'm supposed to hunt with this?"
"Ufufufu~ A sword would be too long for your current body right now, remember~"
My gaze shifted to my own body and I knew she was right.
Unfortunately, I did not go through any more growth spurts aside from the first day.
I did ask her if this was normal for Meslatars and she confirmed that it was indeed normal. In the wild, dragons were hunted from a very young age so they had to grow quickly or they would die. Even their own siblings and parents might kill them.
For Meslatars, the growth spurt of the dragons carries over in set stages of our lives but it would slow down due to our Mahun blood for the rest of the time.
It was only because I had my previous life's memories that I could act like this, otherwise, a normal Meslatar baby would still act like a baby despite having the body of a two year old child.
Must really suck to take care of one.
I do have to point out one problem though…
"Hunting and swinging a sword are two different things, mother… And are you sure I'm ready for this?"
"Ufufufu~ There's no need to worry about that, Mama shall be the one luring the animals to you~ Just having you swinging your wooden sword around without using it in practice is useless too~"
That's not really my point but what do I know? She has yet to do something that has hurt me so I'll just go with it for now.
I strapped the dagger to my waist before following her into the forest with my hand being held in hers.
If it wasn't the fact that we were dressed like this, you might have mistaken us for a mother and her child visiting the market with how carefree she looked. She was even humming a tune as we walked.
She moved through the forest without hesitation, as though she knew it like the back of her hand. It didn't take us long before we came to a clearing with a small stream flowing through it.
"Wait here, my little one and be ready~ Mama will go find prey now~"
And without so much as another explanation, her wings exploded out from her back and she shot up into the sky, flying deeper into the forest.
It's a little late but I realised that her wings aren't always outside of her body. When she doesn't need it, it seems to retract itself under her skin.
I wonder when my wings will start growing… I don't want to admit it but I actually missed flying.
Remembering where I was, I unsheathed the dagger and held it in my hands in a standard grip.
I did a few practice slashes with it and found that the blade was quite nicely balanced in my hands so I don't need to worry about it flying out of my grip. This was definitely custom made.
Right as I was wondering how long I needed to wait here, there was a loud rustle in the bushes and a rabbit-like animal jumped out from it.
I say rabbit-like because while it certainly looks like one, the sharp horn on its head definitely sets it apart from any normal rabbit I knew.
Also, it looks like it's coming to attack me.
I quickly lowered myself into a combat stance with my dagger held in front of me, just in time as the horned rabbit leapt towards me with the sharp end of its weapon pointed straight at my face.
Have you ever been in a position where something sharp was flying towards you? Like right at your face?
If you have, then you might understand why at that moment I froze as my mind blanked out after seeing that animal with its sharp horn leaping right at me.
Before it could skewer me however, a hand reached out and grabbed it by the neck, pulling it away mid flight and flinging it away to smash into the tree nearby.
"Oh my dear little sweet~ Are you ok?" Mother asked, fretting around me as she checked me for injuries.
I blinked, "I'm… I'm fine, mother. Did you… Did you expect that to happen?"
"Ara, ara? Perhaps? I don't doubt you would face such things on a daily basis in your other World, yes?"
I sighed, "Could I try again?"
"Ufufufu~ As expected of my little one~ Of course you can! Wait here!"
She flew off again into the sky, giving me time to look at the rabbit that she had just thrown at the tree.
Over there was the corpse of the rabbit that had splattered into literal meat paste on the tree, a very noticeable indentation on the wood from where the body had impacted.
The rabbit literally exploded from the force of being thrown… Just how strong is she?
Another rustle of the bushes brought my attention back just in time to see another horned rabbit leap out to rush towards me.
This time, when it tried to skewer my face I was prepared.
Remembering one of the moves I was taught by her, I lowered my centre of gravity and leaned my body to the side, just enough to allow the rabbit to sail past me.
At the same time, the hand with the dagger slashed out, cutting the rabbit across the side of its body as it leapt past.
It landed in a heap and rolled onto the ground, making a shrieking noise from the pain.
I turned around to face it and it looked like the wound was deep enough that it wasn't getting up any time soon.
"Ara, ara~ As expected of my dear little one! You did it!!" She cheered, appearing out of nowhere again. "Now kill it~"
I looked down at my hands, expecting to see them tremble or something, but somehow, the idea of killing it did not repulse me.
In fact, there wasn't any joy or fear either, it just felt… Normal?
I gripped the dagger and knelt down in front of the rabbit, slitting its throat and ending its suffering quickly.
"Should I… Should I be worried that I felt nothing doing that?" I asked.
She came up from behind and hugged me in her arms, "Why should the strong feel anything for the weakness of their prey? Such is the way of the ones that stand at the top of this World. Remember that, my little one. This World preys on the weak and if you do not wish to be prey, you'll have to be strong."
Yeah… I'll need to get stronger.