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“…Is it dawn?” (Yuri)
It was actually my first experience to stay up all night without doing anything.
‘Of course, I have experienced staying up all night, but every time I did something like chatting, playing games and many other things. It’s not easy to imitate a sentinel.’
The way the dark sky gradually and gradually whitened was also impressive, and at the same time made me feel bored, drowsy, and slightly barren.
“It’s bad if two leaders are gone at the same time. You can go to bed first.” (Yuri)
Carol had a face that she couldn’t understand, as if she could hear or didn’t hear. It could be said that she was completely exhausted.
After a while…
“Understood. Let me do that…” (Carol)
She said it.
For a moment, I thought that she would trying to rebut or say something, but when she paid attention to her physical condition, she immediately gave up and said ‘Yes, it’s impossible’ and decided to admit obediently. She understood that she should take the offer.
“Yes, do it.” (Yuri)
When I said it without looking at her, I saw one of the sentinels make an unnatural movement in the corner of the field of vision. He lost consciousness for a moment while standing, but it wasn’t a movement I had seen many times like stretching out muscles and waking up. It was as if he was surprised and fell down on his bottom. It was such a movement.
“I-it came!!!” (??)
A loud voice echoed.
“It finally came out?” (Yuri)
I stood up.
“Carol, take command of them. Well, it seems that we’re doing it as planned.” (Yuri)
Carol ran with a drowsy, tense look on her face.
The plan was to hold a spear, half-circle the bear and protect the eagle. This isn’t such an esoteric situation, and if we act on the mission of protecting the eagle in mind, it will naturally happen. If they were farmers who were forcibly gathered from a rural village, the mission would be to ‘protect oneself’, and there would be no formation or they would run away. As expected, I don’t have to worry about those guys.’
I also ran for a short run with my luggage, and when I arrived, it was a single huge bear. I wondered if the height was three meters. The members with a small spear surrounded it in a long distance, and they were making a line of spears.
Instinctively, I felt the overwhelming fighting power due to its hugeness, and I thought that it was totally hairy involuntarily.
However, the brown bear didn’t seem to be in a very aggressive mood. It had a little interest in the people who were looking at it with spears.
According to the man who took care of the horse, the brown bear first attacked a house.
The house was engaged in fishing, and they hanged fishes under the eaves with strings, that was to make dried fishes. The brown bear seemed to enjoy it. After that, it came down to the village.
At that time, this inn was still open. When it was open, the inn seemed to have thrown away the leftover food by the guest in the hold dug in the back of the building. The brown bear probably smelled it, dug up the hole, and began to fish for garbage.
There were several other houses that had received its arrival, and it seemed that the brown bear went around those houses once a day and returned to the forest. Of course, the inn was no longer open, but it seemed that the bear wouldn’t give up and went around as part of the patrol route.
That was why this brown bear didn’t seem to attack humans. However, it didn’t mean that it was afraid of humans, and if it were very hungry, it wouldn’t hesitate to attack humans.
The brown bear was constantly standing up and crouching, but its eyes weren’t against humans.
‘Is it like a human being gently watching the intimidating stray cats that are aggressive? If you leave it as it is, it will return to the forest if you keep quiet. It seems to be that way today.’
‘However, that’s not always the case tomorrow. If it can’t get any prey today, it may think of eating humans tomorrow.’
I took the luggage which I had taken care of.
The luggage contained tools with various processing applied to an iron cylinder, fitted with wood and metal parts. The tool was a tool for firing a metal ball from the iron cylinder.
In other words, it was a gun.
When handled, oil with a low viscosity was applied to the whole, so it didn’t get sticky. There was a feeling of wetness. This was a state-of-the-art gun imported from the Republic of Albio, as a gift of heart and a document for the Kilghina Kingdom. It was a smoothbore gun without rifling, and the ignition method was the matchlock type.
‘Unlike a sword that has just been sharpened, a gun doesn’t get worse with one or two shots. Or rather, even if this is given as a gift, there could be some accidental discharge. In fact, I have shot it five times.’
I took out the lit match from the leather bag, and put it in the clamp. The match had been devised so that the smoldering fire can continue to burn for hours, so it could be kept ignited in a leather bag. The bullet, gunpowder and ignition charge had already been loaded.
By pulling the trigger, the match would vigorously pressed against the pan, and the ignition charge on the pan would be ignited. The fire entered the gun cavity through a small hole in the barrel and fired the igniter. In the process, it was supposed to fire ammunition.
In other words, the pan was exposed to the air. It was possible to prevent rain from entering it by covering it with something called a pan lid. The amount of gunpowder placed on the pan was about the same as the tip of the little finger. Once the lid covered it, even a slight movement wouldn’t cause the gunpowder to overflow.
Opening the lid and preparing the igniter was done to prepare the firing system. As long as the lid was close, even if the trigger was pulled, the match would only be pressed on the lid, and it wouldn’t stick in the pan, so it wouldn’t ignite.
“Give way. I’m going to the front.” (Yuri)
I squeezed out the members and went to the front row.
“Commanding Officer?” (??)
I heard voices like that. When I went to the front row, I saw the bear well.
‘The distance should be about six meters, I think? I’ve also shot about 20 shots with another gun, so I somehow know the trick. It is quite difficult when the distance is ten meters or more, but if the target is that big thing at this distance, it will surely hit.’
I stood on my knees on the spot, pressed the butt plate on my shoulder, aimed at it, and opened the pan. The brown bear was staring at me as if it was intrigued by my unusual behavior.
I stopped breathing and aimed.
When the trigger was pulled, there was a snapping sound of spring. The match was struck down the pan, and a black powder called Bajuu burning in the atmosphere, sounding like fireworks.
Along with a tremendous roar, I felt a strong recoil on my shoulder.
Beyond the smoke emitted from the gun cavity, I saw a lead ball sucked into the abdomen of the brown bear. At the moment of hitting, the brown bear apparently felt a strong attack, shaking its body.
Then, after staring at me hatefully for a few seconds, it ran away toward the forest at a glance.
The members around me looked like a pigeon eating a peashooter because they saw a foreign weapon they had never seen before and a loud voice that they had never heard before.
“Hunter! Where’s the hunter!?” (Yuri)
I called the hunter out loud.
“Hey! Hey!” (??)
For some reason, a man wearing beast fur appeared while replying twice. It was the hunter who I met before starting the night watch.
“I don’t know if it’s a fatal injury but I did a serious injury. Can you chase it with your dog?” (Yuri)
I looked at the bear’s departure. The red drops that fell in dots continued to the forest.
“It’s possible somehow.” (Hunter)
‘Somehow, huh? If yours can’t follow the traces of blood that are so thick, I don’t think it’s a hunting dog.’
‘Well, the long-haired dog in sight is wagging its tail vigorously, and it doesn’t look like an old dog. It seems to be full of motivation, so it won’t be a problem.’
‘Hunting dogs have the role of finding prey birds and animals, and tracking them if the hunters injure it. In many cases, a big opponent like a bear can’t be killed even with a gun, but dogs can track it and bark from a distance to prevent it from resting and increase the bloodshed. As a result, even a wound that isn’t fatal if rested, can take life.’
“Well, follow it. I’ll give the fur to you.” (Yuri)
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It took about two hours, and when the hunter returned, a cart like a large two-wheeled wagon, which was forced into the forest, was full of meat and fur. It seemed that the bear had been dismantled at the site.
Carol and the unit members were watching as if they were flocking. In the hunting among nobles, they usually hunt deer but not bears, so they saw this scene for the first time.
“Hmmm… that’s fine fur.” (Yuri)
When I said that…
And the hunter replied with the face that seemed to be afraid of something heartless.
‘He is mostly afraid that I would say ‘I want it’.’
“Don’t worry. As promised, you can take it. But, I’ll get the other parts here.” (Yuri)
“Yes, of course.” (Hunter)
“So, where’s the gallbladder?” (Yuri)
When I said that, the hunter had a surprised face.
‘You have a face that looks like saying ‘Damn it’, you know.’
“Uh-uhmm, it’s here.” (Hunter)
The hunter took something fleshy, hanging with a thin string, out of his bag,
‘You… If I didn’t ask you, you were probably keeping it in your bag.’
This was the first time seeing the bear’s gallbladder, but it was very grotesque. A white, thin, translucent film was wrapped in a fluffy liquid that bound the doorway. Since the entrance and exit of the gallbladder were fixed in one place, the liquid inside didn’t come out.
When this was dried, it became a solid shape and became a medicine called bear bile. Since the gallbladder was an organ that stored bile, the bear bile could be called a dried bear bile medicine.
I had eaten it when I was young, but it had a strangely bitter taste. It was a medicine that embodied suffering in the mouth. This was something that had been prized in ancient times, at least among Shanti, and it sold very high.
The hunter used the thread used for tying as a handle and held it in the bag. He probably planned to hang it in his house to dry it when he got home.
“I’ll have that.” (Yuri)
When I received the gallbladder…
“Can I ask you how to dry it?” (Yuri)
“…When it dries, just sandwich it between plates with holes and flatten it. It might be torn and ruined, and it may be enough to dry as it is. However, it’s not for sale…” (Hunter)
‘I see. It looks like a water bottle now, but if it becomes half-dried and the contents lose its liquid state, it should be gradually pressed and dried, right?’
“I understand. Thank you. I got a good souvenir.” (Yuri)
The hunter went to the fur while having an expression of regret or something like ‘What a souvenir? I had to take a risk of my life. Well, it’s fine. I feel sorry for you, but I was the one who inflicted the fatal wound. Besides, the fur should sell at a fairly high price, so I want you to be satisfied with that.’
When I turned around, Carol was staring at me.
“What are you going to do with that?” (Carol)
Carol pointed to the bear’s gallbladder that I hung. From her look, she seemed to feel gross.
“It’s a loot. Isn’t it good?” (Yuri)
“…? Is this a loot? Anyhow, wouldn’t it be better to get the claws or the hands?” (Carol)
“Aah, it seems you have never seen this. This is the bear’s gallbladder.” (Yuri)
“I understand that it’s an internal organ, but… what is it useful for?” (Carol)
‘What, this girl… could she haven’t tasted it at all? I remember being told by Rook, ‘This is very expensive, so drink it and appreciate it.’, but in reality, the royalty doesn’t drink this much because of folk medicines. No, I’ve seen a single bear gallbladder sold for gold coins at a medicine store before, so that shouldn’t be the case.’
“This is for a bear bile, you know? Haven’t you had it?” (Yuri)
“I have never heard of it. Are you going to boil it as it is?” (Carol)
‘Boil it? I’ve never heard such a wasteful way to have it.’
“When it dries, it tastes like very sweet candy. The bear gallbladder is special. There is no strange taste, and there is a light sweetness. It’s a famous high-quality dessert, but I didn’t expect you wouldn’t know it. I’ll let you eat later.” (Yuri)
‘Since this is interesting, I’ll trick her.’
“Sweet…? Is there such meat?” (Carol)
“There’s such an internal organ in the body. It’s interesting, you know.” (Yuri)
She had a genuinely interested face.
“Then, I’ll dry this out. So, give the eagles the bear meat and internal organs. Apart from the stomach and intestines.” (Yuri)
The digestive system was clogged with alkalis, bacteria and feces, so it was better to remove them.
‘If you want to let the eagles eat it, you should at least wash them.’
“Uhm, me?” (Carol)
Carol saw a lump of meat on the cart, which was a terrifyingly splattered sight.
I would do it if I was ordered, but it might be tough for Carol, who was raised as a fine young lady, to scoop up that bloody lump of meat with both hands and gave it to the eagles. Since she had been staying up all night, I would expect that she didn’t want to do it.
“No, I’ll do it if you take care of the horses. I wouldn’t give them any stomach and intestines, but let me know.” (Yuri)
“Aah… I got it.” (Carol)
“When it’s over, you can take a rest.” (Yuri)
‘Let’s take turns sleeping with Carol.’
“What are you guys doing?” (Yuri)
There were unit members making way along my way. Somehow, they looked excited.
Some of them confronted the bear as the spearmen while the others were people who just got up.
‘Well, it must have been an interesting spectacle, so it’s a pity for those who ended up missing the action. Anyhow, that’s the kind of the soldier who plays the role of sentinel.
“We were talking about the heroic appearance of the Commanding Officer.” (??)
It was one of the younger people than me who said something that didn’t make sense.
There were quite a number of younger people than me in the unit. Although it wasn’t a majority, it wasn’t a very small number.
“I just fired a gun.” (Yuri)
‘Although there is a sense of triumph there, it is a matchlock and to them, I have the image of doing the job of the common foot soldier (Ashigeru). The heroic appearance means that I fought bravely. I don’t think that there’s a reason to be timid just because I used a gun, but I don’t think I’m brave.’
‘However, generally speaking, confronting a bear is in the category of bravery enough. As long as the gun is fired safely, the bear would know it had been attacked even if it doesn’t get hit, so it would run away. That’s what I think.’
“That’s it. Is that the weapon of the Kuran? If you don’t mind, could you…” (??)
‘What is it? Is he excited to learn it?’
“The instructor is going to join us over there. Now is not the time.” (Yuri)
The young man uttered ‘Aah’ with a disappointed face. “Understood.” (??)
“Yeah… However, all of you, if you’re free, think of the situation in your head. About this.” (Yuri)
I lifted the gun I had in my hand a bit and showed it to everyone.
“It’s an easy weapon for anyone to handle. Let me tell you. I only practiced for just one day a week ago. It’s not that I’m a genius or anything, but anyone can handle that much after training for a day. Just imagine, there are thousands of people equipped with such a weapon, line up and fire the bullets, that can kill a bear with a single blow, all at once. Think carefully what would happen if you did that. By the way, the weak point of this thing is that rapid fire isn’t possible. It will take some time to get ready for another shot. If you’re free, try to figure out how to counter that problem in your head.” (Yuri)
After saying that, I went straight to the kitchen and washed the bear gallbladder with water. The soft and flabby bear gallbladder was filled with a blue liquid that was different from the blood when washed. The strong visceral membrane wasn’t like to be torn easily.
It felt like I bought a bulky souvenir at the beginning of my trip, but I was secretly looking forward to its completion.
- I find this video about Musket Gun is very informative. Click this link to watch it. Special thanks to the owner of the video.
- I don’t support eating bear bile (or anything related matters leading to the production/farming of it) but if you do, that’s you.
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