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It took three days, almost three nights too. The prey turned into an other. I wasn’t sure it would happen. Leaving the safety of the fence to check on the prey, it was dangerous. But it was a risk worth taking. I learned a lot. Prey can turn into others when they’re still alive. Prey get hungry multiple times a day. It didn’t reject when I fed it. And it turns out prey can eat the same thing as others. Using a little bit of my preserved meat, it wasn’t a waste. But now, this prey is finally an other. I don’t have to feed it anymore. I’ll leave it tied up, suspended below a branch. It was tricky getting it up there. But I knew from before there was a way to lift heavy things into the air. The hooks in the food-preservation room used the same concept. But instead of a wheel on the ceiling, I let the rope wrap around a branch.

The prey was in good condition when I caught it. It almost feels like a waste for it to have turned. I could’ve butchered it, preserved more food. But I already caught a lot of prey; it doesn’t pain me as much to watch one turn. Besides, it was useful to know. If I want to preserve a prey, I can’t use tainted weapons, can’t let their flesh be exposed to others’ blood. But at the same time, if I want to kill prey in a camp, a scratch is enough to take care of one as long as I’m patient enough. If I find a camp with stubborn defenses, I can slowly whittle it down over time, killing the prey inside one by one.

As for the other prey, bringing them into the food-preservation room was difficult. I had to start the food-preservation process outside, draining their blood into containers. I used that blood to lure the others away, left a trail from the back of the building all the way inside. Not all of them went; I’m not sure why. But there were a lot of containers of blood. In the end, only three others didn’t follow the trail. I killed them. Then, I brought the dead prey over the fence. They were too heavy. So I cut them apart into pieces with the bone saw. The food-preservation process isn’t that rigid. At least, I didn’t see any problems with skipping the step that required them to chill overnight before cutting them into pieces. I hope they preserve well even though I mixed up the order of the steps.

Also, the first prey that I shot, it turned into an other. My arrows must’ve had others’ blood on it from when I used them as targets to practice on. It had tried to eat part of the prey that I hadn’t transported yet. But the dome blocked its mouth, the gloves preventing it from tearing the flesh. It seems like there needs to be a balance for others. If the dome protects their whole head, they can’t attack. But if it doesn’t protect their whole head, they’re left vulnerable. It doesn’t matter to me whether or not an other dies. Their only use is attacking. Letting others have the dome is a waste. Except for the big one. The big one turned into an other a few hours after the first one. It’s perfect for pressing down doors, fences too. Since its main use is creating an opening for the others, I left the dome on its head alone. I don’t want it to die. I even gave it more armored clothes from the other prey. They were too small to fit normally. But I tied them on in a way that wouldn’t hamper the big one’s movements. This other, it’d take me a while to kill it even if it doesn’t fight back. When prey try to kill it, they’ll have an even harder time.

In the end, I only obtained two more prey to preserve. It’s worth going through the process for them. It may take a while. But they provide food for more days than I have to spend on preserving them. I did want to leave after the first prey were done with the smoking process. But now I have to wait a bit longer. The prey know my location. Or, they know this place has food. I wonder if they’ll keep coming. I’ve already repaired the traps outside; the prey only stepped on two. As for the traps on the inside of the fence, I didn’t bother hiding them again. The others were going to ruin them anyway the instant they approached the fence. I hope the prey don’t come. But at the same time, I want them to. Compared to attacking the prey’s camps, defending is much, much easier. I fended off five prey by myself with my traps. The fence was useful too. The prey were armored, had bows, were coordinated. But the fortifications were too much for them. I don’t understand how I succeeded in capturing this building. I’m sure I could’ve fended off the horde of others if I were in the prey’s position.

But being on the defensive isn’t good. It’s easier. But I don’t like it. What if prey don’t come? I’ll starve. What if prey decide to leave after failing an attack? I’ll starve. Finding camps, finding prey, it’s more dangerous. But the prey are guaranteed to be there. It’s not that difficult to find camps either. The prey love their fires, the columns of smoke in the sky giving away their positions. Eventually, I’ll see one if I walk far enough in one direction. It might seem like I’ve solved my problem of food. But I know that’s not the case. Until I found out where prey come from, my food supply will always be limited. I have to grow prey. Once I learn how, I can focus on finding God.

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Virlyce

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