360 hunt

 As expected of a beast living in the forest, Samija walked with very little noise. I can detect the sound because I know where it's coming from, but if I didn't, it would be lost in the wind or something.

 I try my best to keep up with it, but I can't help making a louder noise. Maybe I should have made some boots with deer fur soles. I should have made some boots with deer fur on the soles, though I'm sure I would have felt like a bandit when I wore them.

 I stepped on a fallen branch and made a noise, which made me look at Samija, but she didn't seem to mind. I guess she's not close enough to be bothered by the noise yet.
 Well, that doesn't mean that we have to go around making sure that all the beasts with good ears can hear us. We want to increase our chances of encountering them as much as possible.

 We followed Samija for a while, trying to make as little noise as possible, trying not to get separated from her, and trying not to mock her, but we didn't see any prey for a while.

 There is a lake in this forest. There is a lake in this forest, and it seems to be fed by underground water from the nearby mountains.
 Not far from the spring, Samija lowered herself. I hastily bend down as well.
 She looks around for a moment, then crawls over to check the ground.

There are footprints. Some old, some not so old, so I think they'll be here again. Let's wait here.

 I whispered back to Samija. He seems to be trying to kill his prey when it comes to drink water.
 The thought crossed my mind that tigers do the same thing, but I didn't say anything about it.
 Samija, who had been twitching her nose for a while, muttered to herself.

"...... And yet...
You're getting more.
"Oh, .......

 What Samija mutters is about her family. At first it was just Samija. Soon it was Rike, then Diana, then Liddy, and then Helen and Anne. Helen and Anne joined in, and to top it off, Krull and Lucy.
 It's getting hard to call them a small family. Maybe that's what's not so interesting.
 I somehow turned my gaze from Izumi to Cermia.

"You don't like it?
"No, not really. It's fun to talk with everyone.
I see.

 Samija shifted her gaze to the edge of the spring. I look back again.

I thought you'd be more relaxed.
That's what I thought most of all.

 Both of them keep their gazes fixed on the fountain and speak in very low voices.

I thought it would be the three of us for at least a few years. ...... Well, I thought if Rike left after a year or two, it would be the two of us for a while after that.

 When it came down to it, that wasn't the case at all. I'd like to ask her if there is a watchdog involved in this, and if so, what she intends to do about it, but I'm sure I won't get the chance.

As I said before...
It's not like I'm complaining either.
Just .......

 Then I felt something warm gently touch my shoulder. I looked and saw Samija's head. I couldn't see her expression because she was lying face down.
 I swallowed my saliva in anticipation of what she would say next. Samija looked up, and her eyes met mine. Her eyes seem to be moistening.
 My heart begins to beat faster. Easy, easy.

 Just then, Samija's head turned to the side. To the Fountain. She's twitching her nose.
 I hurriedly looked in the same direction and saw a very large deer drinking from the spring. There are three more deer around, each smaller than the one drinking water.
 If the one drinking water is a male, then the smaller one is probably a female.

 Samija and I looked at each other again, nodded gently, and picked up the bows that had been placed there.