Chapter 78 – One month since then – Part one
(Cherry’s Point of View)
Right now, I was wiping my glasses while remembering what happened at that time.
Something involving his family happened, so he had to leave in a hurry.
By the next morning, Eil had left the village.
I can remember it as vividly as if it had happened yesterday, but it was actually a month ago.
Yeah, before I realized it, a whole month passed by.
“We can’t stay like this, Cherry.” Florentine told me.
She was the first to notice.
… No, that’s not right. Thinking about it now, I was probably the last one to realize it.
The day after Eil left, Chace immediately started hunting for food, even if he wasn’t used to it.
For about three days since Eil left, I lived with what we had stocked, but Florentine realized that this was no good.
We need to secure our own food and obtain what we need to survive.
It was easy to put those thoughts into words, but it wasn’t as simple to actually do it.
After a week trying to become self-sufficient, I realized how much I had relied on Eil. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I was completely dependent on him.
He didn’t say much. He didn’t approach us any more than necessary. He pretended to be indifferent to others and always left as soon as we stopped paying attention to him.
… But when we needed him, he was right there by our side.
Our relationship may have felt a bit estranged, with him only talking when he felt it was necessary, but… He made a big difference. Even while not saying anything more than what was necessary.
It was only after he left that I realized all the roles he played in his silence.
He hunted, dismantled and cooked the game. He foraged herbs and fruits on the forest too.
If I felt a bit troubled, I could talk to him and immediately get some advice.
And most importantly, him being here gave me a sense of reassurance. I naturally thought that, no matter what would happen, if he was here, everything would be alright.
Without me realizing it, I started thinking this highly of him. He had become a huge pillar that kept my life stable.
The things I’m doing now are quite tough and I struggle a fair bit to get them done right, yet he was always so calm when doing it, it always felt like it was easy when he was at it.
Now that I’m trying things for myself, I learned a lot about how hard it really was.
A month has passed since then.
I, who had unknowingly relied heavily on Eil, am now able to support myself.
I may still be lacking in many areas, but I got used to living in a self-sufficient way with some comfort.
After I finished wiping my glasses and putting them back on, I knocked on the door in front of me.
Once I got an answer, I stepped inside.
“Welcome to my medicine home.” An old woman replied while laughing creepily.
She looked just like an evil witch, and the dimly lit house filled with the unique smell of medicinal herbs certainly helped strengthen that image.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Cherry.” I told her.
This old woman is the poison specialist of the village. The children here, who I became friends with as they taught me a variety of things, told me about her. She seems perfectly fit for an assassins’ village.
“I have a little plan, and I’d like some poison for it.” I told her.
“A plan? Do you wish to instantly kill some hateful man out there?” The woman asked.
“No.” I instantly replied, then explained what I actually wanted to do.
I already understood that it’s better to not keep secrets from the people here, because even the children know more than me in this village.
The woman gave out another creepy laugh as she listened to me, but this much was fine. The important part is that she was listening.
If she didn’t agree with the idea, she’d just cut me off and push me away. That’s how most people in this village act.
“It’s still a bit early, but if you’re motivated, then I won’t stop you. It’s not a bad idea to focus on using poison.” With a blatant witch-like laugh, the old woman took out a bottle from a nearby shelf, “So, you want paralyzing poison instead of an instant death one?”
“Yes. This is something that people will eat, so it’s better if it’s something that isn’t harmful to our bodies.” I replied.
This is also something I heard from Eil.
Hunters have to dismantle and eat their prey, so it’s better to use something that doesn’t have an adverse effect on humans, and preferably something that is easy to detoxify.
He also said that he would never use a drug that is powerful enough to kill someone just from touching it.
In the first place, he said he didn’t even know how to handle this kind of poison, after all. So even if he wanted to, he would be unable to use it.
Also, we have to think about why we’re killing our target and what we’ll do after we kill it.
It’s easy to get passionate about the act of killing in itself, but the preparation and post-processing are important things that cannot be ignored either.
“So, what are you going to kill?” The old woman asked me.
Apparently, the effectiveness of each poison varies depending on what enemy we’re hunting, so she needs to know the specifics.
I replied without hesitation, “An Ironhead.”
That is our plan. The three of us, assassin candidates, are going to hunt a Demon Beast within the forest.