361 prey

 Samija and I gently picked up our bows from where we had left them.
 The tree deer was on the other side of the spring, and we were watching it from behind a shrub, so we couldn't see it clearly from the other side.
 Well, that's probably why he came out to the edge of the spring. If they could see us completely, they would have been too cautious to approach us.

 He takes an arrow out of his quiver and attaches it to his bow. Don't pull the string yet.
 After a while, just as Jyuka was about to finish her drink, Samija tapped me lightly on the shoulder. You want me to aim.

 I slowly stretched my left arm out in front of me, so that the base of my right thumb was against my cheekbone, and drew my bow. At this distance, with this bow, and with my strength, I should be able to reach the target in a straight line, not a parabola.
 So, I aim straight without angling the arrow.

The head?

 We had a very short conversation in a very low voice. Then the head of the deer, which had been drinking water, lifts up and suddenly turns to face me. Did he notice me?
 The barking deer is staring at you as if it is surveying you. In other words, it hasn't moved a muscle.

 I unleash the power stored in my drawn bow. Boom! A sharp sound is heard, and the arrow that has gained speed heads straight for the deer.

 It would have been better if I had aimed for the right target, but something at the moment I released it affected me, or maybe my aim was off in the first place, but the arrow hit not Jushika's head but his neck, and instead of losing its speed, it pierced him deeply.
 That would have been a fatal wound, but there was a good chance it would have escaped. It would have been better if the arrow had hit him in the shoulder or thigh, so that he could not use his legs.


 As soon as I said that, I heard a bang right next to me. There was a sound. The arrow was even faster than the one I had fired, and it pierced the tree lion's head with a dull thud as the arrow struck its neck and knocked it back a little.
 The barking deer, which was on the verge of rampaging, fell to the ground. The rest of the deer ran away like rabbits.

Did you get them?

 Sarmyas answers my question as if nothing had happened. That's the dignity of a professional woodsman.
 We slung our bows over our shoulders again and began to walk along the edge of the spring to retrieve our prey.
 A little while later, Samija suddenly gave a small laugh.

"What's wrong?
What's the matter?" "Well, I guess even elephants have their weaknesses.
That's true. I'm not used to swords and spears, but I'm not used to bows.
Is that how it is?
That's the way it is.

 We both laughed at that.

 When we reached our quarry, we found that it had arrows in its neck and head, and was bleeding from them. It was a huge thing, but it didn't move a muscle.

Let's move him. We don't want to smell too much blood by the Fountain.

 I put my hand on the prone deer first.

Is that what you do when you eat?

 "Is that what you do when you eat?" Samija asked, noticing my gesture.

That's right. "Yes, to apologize and thank you for the lives you took, and to pray for the salvation of your soul.

 Samija's reply was curt, but she too gently placed her hands together.
 For just a few seconds, she prayed for the soul of the deer she had killed. Maybe he (a male, by the looks of it) has been reincarnated in another world, too.
 Then, Samija quickly ties the rope around his leg. The two of us pulled the rope and dragged him along.

 They quickly dragged a large deer from the spring and brought it to a distance. The rope was then used to hang the deer from a tree, and Samija inserted a knife around its neck. The heart seems to have already stopped, and although it doesn't spurt out loudly, it doesn't seem to be frozen yet, and it starts to drip slowly.
 Samija dexterously handled the knife and ripped out the belly to remove the internal organs. First the intestines and bladder, then the liver, stomach, lungs, and heart.

You're really good at this, aren't you?
"Of course I am. Besides, the meat won't taste good if it gets stuck here. ......
I see.

 I don't know what the logic behind it is, but it's better than nothing. I guess I should say that it was a good decision to leave this to the professionals, Samija.
 The rest of the organs were thrown away (the wolf would come to eat them), but the heart was the only one that I could find.
 But the heart is buried in the ground with a knife. In this way, you give life back to the forest, and the forest gives you new life.

 After quickly removing the internal organs, we dragged the deer to the lake, and that was the end of what we had to do today.
 After lowering the suspended deer, Samija and I began pulling again.