The end of the flower field began a dense, close growth forest. None of the trees are anywhere close to the size of those I’m used to. Looking between the forest and the flow field, it was almost like a barrier was protecting the field. There was a definitive line between the two, with no gap between them, but also no overlap. The trees weren’t like the giant tree we had just come from, and were only about as round as my waist, maybe a bit more in some cases, and very close together.
“Ah, I thought that’s what I saw.” Tristain interrupted my thoughts with a declaration, and pointed over to a sizable mound only a short walk away from our current position. “Let’s go investigate what we’re up against.”
After walking for a bit, we came upon what I can only describe as a monster. It had 4 roughly equal size limbs, a thick body of hair, and a ferocious mouth with two long teeth that spilled from its mouth, arching upwards. It was, when alive, probably double my height when standing on all 4 legs, and probably twice that if standing upright.
“I was afraid of that. It’s definitely a relative of a bear, but this is huge.” Walking up to it, Tristain commented that even to his knowledge it was huge. It was clearly dead, however. The head lay in the flower field, and a few flowers had started growing out of its ears, and eyes.
Getting closer, i ran my hands against its hair. “This hair is so thick and soft…”
“It’s fur, not hair.”
“Fur?” He calls hair by different names?
“Yes, fur. Check to see how sharp the claws are, maybe we can use them. I don’t want to get close enough to those flowers to see if any of the teeth are usable and it’s far too large to move.” Tristain was inspecting the monster poking with his stick. He looked somewhat confused. “It’s almost like there isn’t any bacteria to decompose the corpses… Or just takes a long time?”
He was muttering to himself, but I didn’t understand, so I tried to follow his directions, then realized I couldn’t. “What are claws?”
“Heh.” He chuckled a bit. “It’s hard to remember that you won’t know. The feet have sharp-ish fingernails. Those are claws. With something this large, maybe they will be quite hard?”
I nodded, and checked the back appendages, the feet, as it were. They had claws the size of my forearm. I ran my index finger along the bottom edge of one of the nails, and pulled back in surprise. “Ouch!” I had two clean cuts on my side of my index finger that had been facing the nail. “Those are definitely sharp!”
“Huh?” Tristain came over and looked at my finger. “Hold still. We can’t let this keep bleeding.” He tore off a strip from the bottom edge of his vest, and wrapped it around my finger. “You okay?” I nodded. It hurt, but it wasn’t anything that would hold me back.
I watched as he then took a thick stick, it was nearly the circumference of my arm, and weaved it between 3 nails. Then taking another large stick, he lifted it above his head, and stopped, sat it down, and looked at me.
“Can you cut that claw off with your runes?”
I wasn’t sure what he was going for, but responded nonetheless. “Sure?”
He motioned for me to continue, so I concentrated, and used the air to slice each claw off. After picking them up, and inspecting them, he held them out, and asked me to do another odd thing: “Can you also cut down here, and smooth it out, so it fits in my hand, and isn’t sharp?” Not having any reason to refuse, I did so, but again, I wasn’t confident in my assumptions of his motives. Sharp things can always be useful, but what would we actually use them for? Then, he presented two of them to me, one shorter one, and one longer one. Leaving him with the same. “So the inside of the curved edge is sharp, be sure not to slice yourself with it, but these should work well to defend ourselves with.”
I don’t really understand though, what are we defending ourselves from? We haven’t seen anything other than this dead monster which he called a ‘bear,’ and some flowers. “Defend ourselves…?”
“Well, yes, if there is a bear… ish… creature, then there will be those that eat them. And who knows if they are herbivores or carnivores… and besides, we need food too… Although… If there isn’t any bacteria to decompose this… and no insects as well? This place is messed up… We should maybe just take some of his meat and eat it.” Talking out loud, I’m sure I just heard some pretty strange things just now.
“Eat… his meat?” I was hungry, but I had never eating anything but the fruits of the tree. I didn’t know anything else was edible.
“Yeah, leave it to me.” He swung one of the claws from overhead into the body of the beast, slicing through the fur easily, and blood flew from the wound, splattering right onto my face and vest.
I wiped my face, and blew out air from my mouth to rid myself of as much of the blood as possible, then glared at him. All he could give me as an apology was: “ah, whoops, sorry about that.”
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