Revolve - Chapter 22
Preparing to the Hunt
Opening sleepy eyes, Siare discovered that Rey had already gone. She sighed with displeasure and closed her eyes back. Quite piquant scenes appeared in her head one by one... Satisfied, the woman puffed strangely but still adorably. Then she opened her emerald eyes again.
Lifting her tired body from the bed with difficulty, she looked around and made sure she was left alone in the house. At that moment, her gaze was caught by few white bandages.
‘And in the end, I even didn’t manage to bandage him,’ smiling ridiculously, the woman got out of the bed and headed to another room.
On the other hand, Rey was resting at his home at this moment. After the stormy activity, he felt pain from his wounds again. That’s why he decided not to move at all until the nightfall. He need to be in a state good enough for hunt, at least.
This time, he decided to slightly change the usual schedule and go hunting as soon as it gets dark enough.
Wounds in the form of a Forest man healed several times faster. And somewhere about an hour after sunrise, Rey felt that his ribs could endure a hunt. No, of course, his bones hadn't completely grew together yet; they simply caused much less discomfort now.
Turning into a snake, Rey praised the practicality of this body once again. While in the body of a Forest man he felt pain with every movement of his torso, in the form of a snake he only need to stop moving the segment of his body with a transferred bone damage. Naturally, this would slow him down, but since main advantage of a snake’s body was its poison, the overall efficiency wouldn’t change very much.
Rey decided to hunt earlier this time due to the simple reason: he needed more souls in order to heal himself to a state that would be suitable for tomorrow's training.
Only after ten hours, Rey came back. But the result was worth the wasted time. During this time, he managed to catch twenty four animals. Though he had only six souls left now; the rest of them he spent to heal old and new injuries, which he got during the hunt. Unexpectedly, but such a long hunt went almost unnoticeable for him. Moreover, hunt in the body of a snake was quite enjoying.
‘I guess they’ll accept it without questions, if I say that such regeneration is just a gift from their Goddess. It even seems that Theia thinks this way’, Rey walked to the entrance to the training room. It was early and there was still some time before the sunrise, but Rey knew that usually Arvus comes here at this time. It wasn’t really necessary to come here earlier than his teacher and, given his yesterday's state, it’d be even better to come later. However, Rey wanted to defeat his strange teacher at least in this.
Unfortunately, as he came closer to the entrance, Rey heard some noise, coming from the small building. As expected, inside the room he saw Arvus, training with daggers. But there was one unusual moment: weapons in his hands weren’t training; it was those gray daggers made of strange opaque metal. At first sight, they seemed worse than blades made of atanite, a greenish crystalline mineral, which can be extracted from the special type of trees, about which Rey learnt recently.
He knew that Arvus had already discovered him, so he didn’t even try to interrupt his “dance”. Just watching this level of mastery from the side, Rey involuntarily felt a desire to achieve the same level as soon as possible. The daggers cut the air with a loud whistle. Only by this sound, Rey could understand that these daggers was more dangerous than the one made of atanite. Moreover, in the hands of such a master it seemed that they were deadly. Arvus still continued the dangerous dance. His legs, hands, and his whole body were in perfect harmony. Each new step was a continuation of his previous movement.
Only a few minutes later, Arvus had completed a long set of movements and turned to Rey, who silently stood nearby, “How are your wounds?” By the tone of his voice, anyone could understand that Arvus actually didn’t really care about his pupil’s wounds.
And Rey didn’t mind about such an attitude, “I'm fine and ready to continue.”
Looking at Rey from head to toe, Arvus muttered something silently and headed to the exit. After walking a dozen steps away, he said quietly, “Follow me.”
An ordinary person wouldn’t hear these words, even if Arvus would say it standing very nearby. However, Rey heard everything quite clearly. He remained silent and followed his teacher.
Their walk didn’t take long. The building, to which they headed, was located right behind the training grounds. Stepping inside, Rey immediately understood the main task of this place. Here could be seen several rows of various weapons along the walls. It seemed that here were everything, starting from small attachments to fingers, reminding long claws, and ending with a huge glyph, which was even larger than Rey himself. All of them had light green color, combining both esthetic and deadly danger.
“You can choose a pair of daggers and a bow. And there…” Arvus pointed to the far end of the room, “sets of armor. Everything is sorted by its size. For now, just take one of them. If you will show yourself well, you will be able to get a personal armor. Also you will have to return an old armor in that case.”
“Why do I need this?” Rey didn’t understand why he was given an opportunity to choose weapons. That’s why Rey decide to ask his teacher about this while he was still in the mood to speak.
“Yesterday, Siare talked with me about your first hunt. She said that you can already hit targets from a distance of a hundred paces.”
Sights of satisfaction appeared in Rey's eyes because he really could hit a center of a target from such a distance.
However, next Arvus’ words cooled out his jets, “Of course, I told her that every second child in our town can do it, but she insisted that you are ready.”
‘He’s so talkative today,’ Rey thought and then replied, “I’ll try to meet her expectations.”
“You’ll go with five more our brothers,” without paying much attention to Rey’s words, Arvus continued. “Vern’ll be the leader of your squad. I’ve already told him that you are stronger than you seem, so you can carry a larger load.”
‘Hmm. He is meaner than usually…’ Rey was a man of action, so he asked directly. “Did I do something to make you angry?”
“Why do you think so? I’ve simply decided that after the “successful” day you should do a change of scenery,” Arvus' voice was strict as always.
Rey understood the subtext of his words. And even despite his intractability, he always responded to taunts in the same manner, “I have to ask your permission before sleeping with somebody?”
Arvus’ gaze didn’t change when he heard the question, and it seems that neither he was going to answer. After a few second, Arvus turned to the exit and instead of saying goodbye said, “Vern and the others will be waiting for you at the south gate at the sunrise.”
Watching the disappearing silhouette, Rey ponder the reason of such a dislike, ‘Maybe he likes Siare?’ just as this thought came to his mind, he immediately dropped it. ‘I even don’t sure that he likes anything at all…’
Turning to the stances with weapons, Rey went deeper in the arsenal, looking at the equipment stored there. Involuntarily, he thought, ‘These types of weapons... Though I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure that they were created not for hunting animals.’
Thinking about it, Rey came to the conclusion that either the Forest folk wasn’t peaceful, or, more likely, they had another natural enemy, apart from the predatory animals.
There wasn’t much time left till the sunrise, so upon choosing the weapon and armor, Rey immediately went to the appointed place.
“As I can understand, you are Rey?” the tall and strong Forest man, dressed in the same green armor, turned to him.
“Yes, I am. And it seems that you are Vern, right?” Rey still was slightly taller than this hunter. Even though Rey wasn't going to stand out, it was necessary to show some politeness, at least.
“Yes,” the son of the Forest smiled. “Nice to meet you. You can’t even imagine how rarely you can see someone with the Goddess mark.”
“Well, I lost my memory, so I only know what I was told.”
“Lost your memory?” surprised, Vern continued. “Arvus didn’t tell me anything about this.”
“He almost doesn’t say anything at all...” Rey just couldn’t not to say this. Even though he had the same trait, which he managed to successfully ignore. Or maybe he just didn’t have many chances to talk with someone from the town.
Hearing his words, Vern laughed, “But it was he who found you lying in the forest. Among all of us only he can smell blood, so you should be grateful to him. Besides, both of you are marked. That's why I think you should understand him better than anyone else.
“I respect him,” with the help of this laconic answer, Rey let Vern know that he understood his words. And also the fact that he wasn’t going to continue their conversation about this. And the hunter seemingly understood him.
The rest of the squad members were not yet visible, so the leader of the group decided to continue the conversation.
“You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, but what kind of blessing did Tian Aret give you?”
Rey had prepared an answer long ago, so he confidently said, “My body is stronger than the bodies of others. I get tired slower, I recover faster, I see and hear better…” Deciding that such an answer would be enough, Rey stopped.
However, Vern immediately asked another question, which Rey also had predicted, “And what the Goddess took from you?”
This answer was also pre-prepared by Rey, but he wasn’t sure whether it’d be enough to satisfy Vern’s curiosity. After all, this was a lie, “I was deprived of sleep.”
“Hmm?” the Forest man didn’t immediately understand him.
“I cannot sleep. Even if I want to.”
Seeing Vern’s slightly darkened face, Rey said nothing. He simply continued to silently wait for the rest of the squad members. In fact, he didn’t care about the surrounding atmosphere. Silence was even more pleasant. However, Vern obviously didn’t like it, so he decided to break it, “On the other side, we’ll be in the forest for four days, but we won’t have to worry about choosing a sentinel for a night.”
Rey strangely looked at Vern. The son of the Forest steadily endured the gaze of the cold white eyes. For a second, Rey stared into his eyes. It was obvious that Vern was an open person and he was just trying to make a contact. That’s why Rey thought that the position of the leader of their squad perfectly fits him.
“You're right. Arvus doesn’t dare to say that I was useless in that case.”
Seeing that Vern’s face become cheerful again, Rey didn’t think about it anymore.