Chapter 25Ash Bottom (25)
Translated by X-treme
Edited by X-treme
Ash Bottom (25)
When I rushed into my house, I found that my parents had already evacuated and the fire in the kitchen was out. The mulberry tree was gone, probably taken out for self-defense. With a wry smile, I took the vial containing the poison and added a little water.
The poison in the vial was a hunting poison that had been handed down to me by Mr. Van, and I usually kept it dry. Normally, it is stored dry, but when we go hunting, we mix it with water and use it. It is effective even without the water, but it becomes sticky, which is necessary to plant it in the groove (poison socket) of the spear.
After confirming that the contents of the vial had regained enough viscosity, I grabbed two spears and a set of bows and ran out of the house. If I’m dealing with a bear looking for food, I won’t have to use them but if it comes to the church and tries to attack people, I will wield them for defense.
I haven’t had to deal with a bear yet, and I don’t want to fight it aggressively without Mr. Van’s support. Well, if I feel like it, and the situation doesn’t allow it, then I will fight. As I approached the church, I came upon a huge black body. I’ve hunted deers and boars before. I’ve stared down a snake and even fought off a wolf. In each case, I felt my life was in danger.
Even a deer caught in a trap would swing its antlers and try to kick you away with its strong legs if you tried to approach it. But the chill that ran down my spine warned me that the huge creature that strode leisurely toward the church door was more deadly than anything I had ever seen before. Bears in the wild were known to be so violent and intimidating, just by their appearance.
Why would a bear approach a church full of people? There are several possibilities. It had followed the children picking wild vegetables and had come this far. Maybe it was interested in the sound of people’s voices, but that didn’t matter now.
The question was what to do with the people in the church. Bears are omnivores. They eat animals, they eat plants. They don’t eat people very often, but there is a legend that once they get a taste of it, they will only eat people. This is the season when bears wake up from their hibernation, and judging by the drool dripping from its mouth, it looks like the bear is now prioritizing its appetite.
This impression was strengthened when I saw the bear’s eyes turn back to look at me. The most primitive kind of killing intent is the same color as appetite. It wanted to eat. I inwardly regret that I should have strung my bow when I was at home. It’s not going to give me much time to string it.
I gave up on using the bow, threw it, and thrust one spear on the ground. Then, while gently dripping poison into the remaining spear, I call out to the opponent who is staring at me with blazing eyes.
“Welcome to our village, Mister Bear. What can I do for you?”
The bear responded to my friendly greeting with a ferocious roar. It might have been a friendly greeting, but since it didn’t understand human language, it might have sounded like a threat.
“If you’re just hungry, I’m not your enemy. If you need food, I can give you some.”
The bear circles his face, checking his surroundings. He’s a cautious fellow, checking to see if there are any other enemies besides me.
“How about we just do nothing, fill our bellies a bit and go back to the forest. I think we’ll both be satisfied with that.”
The bear, apparently having decided that I was the only enemy, stood up and let out another menacing roar. The volume of the roar, so loud that it hurt my ears, came down from far above my head and echoed to the bottom of my stomach. I guess this is what it means to have your heart chilled. Sure, it was scary but threats don’t work on me. Because I know a fear that surpasses this one, I have a high tolerance for fear.
“Apparently, you do not intend to leave quietly. I’m not going to sit back and watch you destroy this village either.”
This is my village. Based on the hope I got from the book, woven together with the will and knowledge I took from the book, and spun into an ideal dream story. It is still far from ideal, I have yet to reach my dream.
“If you wish to destroy it, good. I declare.”
A very low-temperature will that penetrates my brain to my spine and fills my entire body – the will to kill.
“Mister Bear. I am, without a doubt, your enemy.”
Perhaps reacting to my desperation, the bear stops its threat and lunges at me. No sooner had I realized that a huge body was approaching me at an astonishing speed, than a wild arm reared up and snapped at me. Evasion was a reflex. I threw myself forward to duck under the right arm of the attacking bear. If I retreated backwards, I would only be killed by the rush. No problem. My head remains calm even in the face of a wild bear’s murderous intent.
The bear follows me with his gaze as I run to the side, and stops its charge. Faster than it can turn on all fours, I raise my poisoned spear and charge at its flank. After accelerating as much as possible, I put all my weight into the spear, and pierced the base of the bear’s right foreleg as it turned around. Instead of a menacing roar, a scream goes up but the bear didn’t flinch. Then the bear’s left arm swung at me at the same time I took a defensive stance with my spear.
A moment passed, and I could not perceive what had happened. All I could tell was that the handle of my spear was shattered, I was blown away, and I felt a horrible cold sensation on my right arm. The handle of the spear was shattered because it could not withstand the bear’s blow. The reason I was blown away was because I was too lightweight and even a graze of the blow would have done that.
The cold sensation on my right arm was probably due to the direct exposure of the nerves to the air as a result of the bear’s claws scraping off my flesh. The rest of the arm was comfortably warm from the gushing blood.
The bear was uncomfortable with the tip of the spear remaining at the base of his right foreleg, and he was twisting around to see if he could get it out. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I tore off the sleeve of my torn right arm and tried to stop the bleeding. I roll up the torn sleeve so that the knot is under the armpit of my right arm.
I heard that if you squeeze the large blood vessel under the armpit, the blood won’t go beyond that point, so the bleeding will stop. I’m going to do my own experiment to see how it works. If I survive, I’ll record it in my experiment notebook.
“Oh, are you ready to go?”
At about the same time, the bear seemed to be getting ready for battle. Unlike me, who had applied first aid, the spear tip was still intact. In addition, his right foreleg was weak and he looked as if he had difficulty walking. The poison was starting to take effect.
Still, it was a huge bear. It would be a long time before he collapsed. According to Mr. Van, who had a lot of first-hand experience with bears, it would be best to wait at least three minutes until it couldn’t move. I still have two minutes left; I probably wouldn’t be able to hold my bleeding much longer than that.
“Both fighters’ right arms are useless, and there’s a time limit. What do you say we call it a draw?”
In that case, I might be able to survive, but not the bear. It would probably collapse around the entrance to the forest. I wondered if the bear knew that. Either way, it had no intention of retreating and started running toward me. In response, I moved cautiously and hurriedly, as I had decided beforehand.
I threw the handle of the spear in my left hand at the bear’s face and rushed to the other spear as soon as the bear lost sight of me. I held the spear and turned to face the bear at the same time the bear charged me again. This time, I didn’t run away either. I put the stone butt of my spear on the ground and point the tip at the bear’s charge. This is probably how a spearman who intercepted a cavalry charge would feel.
The ground shuddered as the heavy object came toward me, and the only thing I had to defend myself with was a thin stick in my hand. It’s scary. There is no doubt about it, I am afraid. If the opponent doesn’t change direction, even if I pierce him with my spear, his huge body will fall on me with great force. That alone would be enough to kill me. It was a bad bet, my fear was normal.
But the bear must be afraid, too. He is going to be impaled by the sharp tip of the spear. The tip of the spear is enough to kill him. There are two kinds of fear: the fear of waiting for imminent death, and the fear of proceeding to death on one’s own. This was a test of courage. I used my right arm, which had very little strength, to hold the spear firmly in place. The only thing left to do was to use the power of the ground to pierce the heavy object.
My pulse rises. My oxygen consumption increased due to the tension, and my breathing became ragged. But the tip of my spear does not waver. Death is right in front of me but the experience of fear sustains me.
You are a brave bear. Living in the wild, you may have experienced a serious injury. Perhaps you have even been hunted to the brink of death. But I can assure you. The only thing you haven’t experienced is really dying, right?
The last beating of your heart, the lungs not moving after exhaling, your vision fading away. For the first time in your life, you hear the pure sound of wind, unencumbered by the sounds of life inside your body. One by one, the grains of your consciousness disappear.
With the fear of being dead, I no longer have anything else to fear. I can resist the fear of death with the fear of being dead. That absolute difference was the difference between life and death for me and the bear, who was about to collide with me with only one step left. The bear stood up on its two hind legs as if to show off its huge body.
“You’ve been defeated, by fear!”
At the last moment, the bear was overcome by fear. The bear’s momentum waned and it twisted to escape the spearhead. However, there was no way it could stop the acceleration of its massive body, which weighed almost a ton. The bear’s huge body collapsed toward the spear. All I have to do is adjust the tip of the spear toward his heart. After the raw sensation of piercing through something thick, I feel something softly pulsing, and then the impact on the spear.
The spear snapped unbearably, and the bear’s huge body sank to the ground, grazing half my body.
“That’s what happens to cavalrymen who let……fear get the better of them at the last minute.”
The bear’s will to flee to the right was carried out when it was too late. It was I who survived. The next question was whether I could live on after this. The wound on my right arm was deep. The bleeding has slowed down, but it has not stopped. A lot of bleeding, infection due to festering of the wound, I needed urgent treatment.
I found myself sitting down on my knees. Oh no, my mind is a little foggy, I need to stay conscious. I feel like there are people around me but I can’t see very well. No, I have my eyes closed, my eyelids are awfully heavy. I don’t think I can treat this on my own, I have to get someone to do it for me.
“Do not undo the bandage on my right arm until the bleeding has stopped.”
Since blood transfusion is not possible, further bleeding must be avoided.
“For the wound, please use ointment……that I have in my house.”
Infections should be able to be reduced with aloe and beeswax wound remedies.
“Stitch up the wound if you can. Don’t bandage it too tightly if the bleeding has stopped.”
Healing shouldn’t start until the blood flow stops completely.
“Yes, the bear. The bear is poisonous, so if you want to eat it, make sure it’s well cooked.”
I would like to keep some bear meat for food if you can. I want to eat it when I get over this injury. Ten years into this life, you’ve brought me to my death, you bear. I’ll eat you and I’ll live. I’m not going to die. There’s still so much I want to do. I’m going to live.
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog