Chapter 9 Getting Better
After that day, mother would bring me on hunts every other day. She even taught me how to skin and process my game too, in case I needed to survive in the wild… Which technically we already are.
The rabbits were quite easy to deal with since they were quite predictable, always leaping towards my face and trying to skewer me with their horns.
Once you learned their pattern it was quite easy to simply prepare for it.
And precisely because she didn't want me to get complacent after easily killing those rabbits for the nth time…
"MOTHEEEERRR!! I THINK A BOAR IS TOO MUCH!!" I screamed, clinging tightly onto the tree trunk while the boar growled underneath me.
Of course, she was nowhere to be found, leaving me to deal with this angry beast that was intent on murdering me for some reason.
The only upside was that it wasn't a big one, its size comparable to myself.
I don't doubt she was watching from somewhere nearby, ready to jump in if I were to show signs of being hurt. That means this is most likely another test of hers to see if I was ready for the next step in her lessons.
As much as I'm happy with the amount of trust she has in me…
But what the heck, I'm not even a month old yet and I'm already fighting wild boars?! With a dagger?! What am I supposed to do?!
They're meant to be hunted with spears you know! Things that have a much longer reach than a dagger?!
I looked down and the boar was still there, glaring at me.
Ok, let's not look at it for now…
Ughhh… Don't tell me that it's not even going to leave me alone? I've been hanging up here for at least five minutes already…
Does she really expect me to take on this boar on my own?
I looked back down again.
Yep, it's still there.
Seriously, what the hell am I supposed to do with this?
Ok, ok, calm down now. Let's take stock of what I have, maybe there's something I can use to turn this situation around?
I have a dagger.
Yep. Ok, I'm screwed.
No wait… I got it.
I climbed a little further up the tree, reaching one of its branches that was around the length of my arm and the thickness of my wrist.
Hanging onto the tree with my legs, I pulled out the dagger and cut off the branch, holding it with my other hand while I started sharpening one end of the branch with my dagger.
It was rather awkward doing this while still clinging to the side of the tree but I managed to do it in the end.
Sheathing my dagger, I climbed back down until I was low enough to reach the boar with the improvised spear.
The boar thought I was climbing back down to the ground and started readying itself to ram me, only to have my spear stab into its face the moment it looked up.
It let out a squeal of pain as I pulled back the spear to stab it again, this time nicking it near its eye.
Obviously, the stick wasn't strong enough to pierce through its skull but it was still sharp enough to make it bleed.
I was hoping that this would convince it that I was not worth the effort and then it would decide to leave me alone.
Unfortunately, it only made it even angrier and it rammed its head against the tree.
And with only one tiny hand holding onto the trunk, it was no surprise the force was enough to cause me to lose my grip on the tree and fall towards the ground.
The bad thing was that I lost my grip on the spear as I flailed while trying and failing to hold on to the tree.
The good thing was that I landed on top of the boar, straddling its back.
Both of us paused for a moment as our current situation suddenly clicked.
The boar tried to shake me off but my dagger was already unsheathed while my other hand had grabbed on to its tusk for leverage.
With my dagger, I started stabbing it at where I thought its neck was repeatedly while hanging on for dear life. If I were to be tossed onto the ground, I would definitely be done for.
It ran around the clearing, bucking and tossing, trying to throw me off. It even rammed into a tree nearby but I managed to hold on.
Eventually, I must have struck something important as the boar finally toppled over, almost crushing me with its body before I could jump away.
I panted, feeling winded from the unexpected boss fight out of nowhere.
But heck, I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel accomplished.
Right as I was celebrating my victory, a figure swooped in and lifted me up in their arms, raising me up into the air.
"Ahhhh~ I knew my sweetest little one could do it! Mama is so proud of you!!"
I knew it, she was watching nearby.
"Mother… Could you at least warn me before doing this in the future?" I pouted.
"Ara, ara? But it would defeat the purpose wouldn't it? Besides, these are only small fries~"
I can't argue with the fact that it does help my growth so I decided to leave it at that. Also because she looked so happy and proud that it also kind of made me feel just a little bit accomplished too.
She gives me another kiss on my forehead before moving towards the boar, easily lifting the beast with one hand.
"Ufufufu~ It looks like we'll have boar meat for dinner today! Look forward to it, my sweet~"
Indeed, I was already looking forward to it. One thing for sure though, her cooking was definitely first class.
You know, when they say the quickest way to the heart is through the stomach? I'm quite inclined to agree since eating her cooking everyday just about made me open up to her already.
Now… The only thing missing was sweets.
Unfortunately, sweets and cakes were a little difficult for us to make here since we don't exactly have an oven and the stove was not enough to make such delicacies. I don't know how she did it but the bread she made the other day was without the use of an oven.
Oh well, I can wait.
We made our way back home and I hopped into the bath while she prepared dinner.
The bath itself was similar to a typical Japanese bath with the bathtub on the far end and a shower area in between the door and the bath.
Obviously, there wasn't any plumbing system involved but the water came from Mana Crystals.
Recently I had learned that these Mana Crystals are basically the crystalized form of mana, allowing them to act as a battery of sorts to magic tools. These Mana Crystals are usually found in monsters though there are places where they naturally form in places of high mana concentration.
Because of its utility, the people of this world had learned how to use them in conjunction with their daily lives.
For example, the shower here has a Mana Crystal that was imbued with a water enchantment that conjures water with a touch. Coupled with another Mana Crystal that is enchanted with the fire element, it also allows the user to control the temperature of the water as well.
Naturally, a battery would eventually run out of power and the depleted Mana Crystals would disintegrate and need to be replaced after a while. But if you knew how to enchant the Mana Crystals yourself, all you need is to get an unenchanted Mana Crystal and you would be able to replace them easily.
With the help of these Mana Crystals, even people like me who are unable to use magic are able to enjoy using magic tools.
I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to enjoy such luxuries in this world but I'm just glad that it wasn't the case. You really don't know the value of such simple things until you lose them.
Coming down from upstairs, I was greeted with a mouth watering smell that filled up the first floor of the house.
Spotting me, mother immediately waved me over, "Dinner is ready~ Come and get it my little dearest!"
As expected, she had used the boar from today's hunt as the main ingredient.
The two of us enjoyed the dinner with mother telling me about how I could have handled the boar better such as laying a trap for it. Nevertheless, she was still impressed with how I handled it.
When I was finishing up the last bit of my food though, her demeanour suddenly turned serious.
"My dear? Mama has to leave home for a little while starting tomorrow…"
The tone of her voice made me understand that her trip isn't going to be a one day thing.
"How long? And I don't suppose you… Mother is bringing me along?" I asked instead.
She sighed, "Most likely a few days to a week and no, the place Mama is going is somewhere you're not ready to go yet."
I nodded, not even asking her what she was going to do since she most likely wouldn't tell me anyway, "Don't worry mother, I can take care of myself. There's food, water and I'll also occupy my time with my training so there's nothing to worry about."
She did build this place to be self-sufficient after all and I've already grown used to living here, there shouldn't be any other problems, right?
I was immediately pulled into a hug before I could even see her move.
"Oh my sweetest, cutest child! Mama loves you so much!! Mama promises to get you something nice when I come back! Look forward to it!"
"Mmmfffmmmhhh," I replied, not having much possibility to talk since I was stuffed inside her bosoms.
Well… Looks like I will have the place to myself for the next few days huh? I wonder what I could do?