All living beings need food and water to survive, that’s why predators hunt near watering holes and humans build settlements around lakes and streams. Because of this need for natural resources areas that contain water become a natural gathering spot for both predators and prey.
With these thoughts in mind Jellal puts a bit of distance between himself and the stream. After he reaches the point where the water is just barely visible beyond the bank he turns to face upstream.
Walking parallel to the stream Jellal once again focuses all his attention on his surroundings, careful not to inadvertently stroll to his death. Nearly an hour goes by while he stalks quietly through the forest.
Jellal halts his steps upon reaching a small clearing. Looking around warily he finds a tree with suitably sized branches. Nodding in satisfaction at his discovery he creeps over to the tree and silently climbs to a branch facing the clearing.
Concealing his body the best he can he carefully observes the clearing. The bank of the stream is especially low in this area and slopes gradually into the water forming what could be described as a mini beach of sorts. The gradual slope of the shore and the spacious meadow in the surroundings make this place appear to be a perfect spot to stop for a drink from the stream.
Such a perfect place to collect water from the stream immediately sends alarm bells ringing in Jellal’s head. Sure this is a great place to rest and get a drink but no halfway competent predator would overlook such a juicy area.
Shifting his line of sight Jellal scans the open meadow and the tree line with hawk-like eyes. Even the tiniest of movements are unable to escape his sharp gaze. On the far side of the meadow he spots a mouse scurrying about while obscured by the grass and weeds. Straight back from the shore hiding amongst the tree line are a pair of goblins waiting for unsuspecting prey to stop by the stream to quench their thirst. Not far from them is a trio of wolves eyeing the goblins waiting for them show an opening.
Seeing the pair of goblins waiting for prey while unknowingly being stalked themselves Jellal is once again reminded how necessary it is to remain cautious of your surroundings at all times. As these thought rattle around in his head he meticulously the area around his tree.
Unwilling to act as the crank that starts the gears turning he can only patiently wait for some poor unsuspecting soul to walk into the layered ambush. Reluctant to waste time only waiting for things to kick off, Jellal continues his journey on the path of magic, perception, and the art of doing too many things at the same time.
Time slowly passes as Jellal gradually increases his proficiency at perception and splitting his focus among multiple things. As he gets progressively more skillful the range of his perception grows larger and larger until he can even sense the goblins and wolves hiding a ways away.
After spending a considerable amount of time waiting in his tree Jellal finally senses movement behind him. A short distance away an unsuspecting boar is moseying along through the forest in his direction. The boar has a rough, needle-like coat with a pair of sharp tucks jutting out from its face. Unlike a normal boar its tusks split off in two directions leaving it with two points on each side of its face that it can use to defend itself.
Knowing the time for things to kick off is drawing near Jellal prudently eyes his surroundings, the clearing, and the tree line to ensure he didn’t miss any changes while he was splitting his attention.
Confirming the situation he picks up a throwing knife in each hand, leaving the other four he brought with him sitting on the branch ready to be picked up at any time. He plays with the knives in his hands while keeping himself in a state of constant readiness.
The boar ambles its way out of the forest and changes course for the stream. When it’s finally facing the stream the goblins can no longer stop themselves as they let out a shriek and run out at full speed. With their sticks held high overhead they quickly close in on their prey.
The boar is alerted by the goblins shrieks and sluggishly turns around to face them. Having finally managed to face its enemy the boar wastes no time charging at its aggressors with surprising speed. The goblins smack the boar with their sticks but the attacks are brushed off with ease. After swinging their sticks the goblins no longer have time to dodge the boar that is already inches away from them.
The sharp tusks of the boar rip long gashes in the goblins flesh as they are sent flying backwards. The goblins bounce along the ground before coming to a rest just short of the tree line. Blood flows heavily from their chests as they struggle to pull themselves off the ground.
Seeing its enemies still alive the boar scrapes its hooves into the dirt and builds up another head off steam as it charges in to deliver another blow. It throws its head as it makes contact with the goblins launching them high in the air.
The goblins slam into the ground behind the boar with a bone shattering thud. When the boar turns around to face the mangled mess of goblins, the patient trio of wolves finally spot the opening they’ve been waiting for.
The wolves rush out of the tree line and encircle the unprepared boar. Cautiously, they avoid the boar’s tusks as the bite and claw at its legs. Although the boar has great straight line speed it lacks the mobility to deal with the circling wolves.
Unable to injure the vigilant wolves with its tusks the boar desperately kicks out with its hind legs. One of the wolves is caught off guard as it’s propelled backwards into a tree.
Seeing the success of the previous kick the boar tries another. This time however, one of the boar’s legs is caught in the waiting jaws of one of the wolves. The wolf vigorously shakes the leg staggering the boar just in time for the other wolf to ram into its side knocking it over.
With victory in sight the pair of wolves that are still standing move in for the kill. They latch onto the boar’s exposed next and shake their energetically shake their heads back and forth.
Unfortunately for the wolves they weren’t the only ones waiting for the right moment to strike. From the side a pair of throwing knifes speed through the air toward the unknowing wolves. The knives strike both wolves in the throat fatally wounding them.
Grabbing the rest of his throwing knives Jellal hastily climbs down from his perch. He first makes a move toward the goblins that were pitifully tossed aside by the boar. Jellal looks emotionally at the goblins and sighs. Although they are in a mangle mess the goblins are still breathing … until Jellal cuts their throats with a knife.
Having taken care of the goblins, Jellal sets his sights on the boar and pair of wolves that are lying in a heap a few feet away. He cautiously circles around the group before throwing a knife at each of them for good measure.
Seeing the trio each react slightly when their eyes were stuck with a throwing knife he warily approaches one of the wolves from behind. Once he reaches two feet away he lunges at top speed and repeatedly stabs the wolf in the neck. When it finally stops twitching he does the same with the other wolf before eventually moving on to the boar.
As he’s giving a few extra stabs to the boar for cautions sake Jellal is interrupted by a low growling noise. Jellal lifts his head as he watches the wolf that was kicked in the face by the boar menacingly circle him. Collecting the throwing knife that was embedded in the boar’s eye he slowly begins circling together with the wolf.
The wolf is the first to make a move as it lunges toward Jellal. Jellal is quick to react as he throws the knife in his left hand at the wolf’s face. The knife flies at the right eye of the charging wolf making it abruptly change directions to dodge.
The knife sticks in the ground as the wolf narrowly avoids it by moving to its left. Unfortunately for it things played out exactly as Jellal had anticipated. While the wolf is trying to recover from dodging Jellal approaches swiftly and uses his empty left hand to grab the fur on the wolf’s back before jamming the knife in his right hand through the back of the wolf’s neck.
The wolf lets out a whimper and collapses. Jellal quickly mounts his toppled foe and repeatedly stabs it in the neck until it stops twitching. After giving it the mandatory extra stabs he lifts himself off his enemy’s corpse while panting heavily.
Jellal takes a few steps back and looks at the six corpses littering the clearing. Even though this was the first time he’d killed another being he felt extremely calm. If he was a normal goblin it would be natural, but since he reincarnated he thought he’d have some aversion to killing. His thoughts swirl around his head as he tries to figure out a reasonable explanation. After staring off into space for a few seconds lightning strikes in his head as something dawns on him.
[Could it be that I was a- a bad person? No no no, that can’t be it. It must have something to do with me becoming a goblin, there’s no way a superior being such as myself was a bad person. This must be another one of that despicable poo lord con artist’s schemes. Such lowly tricks, humph]
Quickly recovering Jellal drags the wolf’s corpse over to join its comrades before collecting his throwing knives from the dead bodies. Knife in hand he carelessly begins skinning the first wolf. Since throwing knives aren’t designed to be used for such a task he only focuses on not damaging the pelt.
After skinning the first wolf he promptly moves on to the second, then the third. After all three wolves are naked he carries the pelts over to the stream. Using the flowing water he washes the fat and blood off his knife before scrapping the remaining fat and meat off the pelt. He repeats the process for all three pelts before washing them and his knife one last time and returning back to bodies.
Moving to the mouths of the wolves Jellal uses his knife to begin prying teeth. After collecting a few of the sharper and more prominent teeth he moves on to the other two wolves. Having pried loose thirty teeth he returns to the pelts to continue working.
Using his knife Jellal cuts off the leg portions of hide from one of the pelts before cutting two of them into lengthwise into relatively thin strips. Grabbing the remainder of the pelt he uses his knife to poke small evenly spaced holes around the edge of the body portion of the pelt.
Folding the pelt over on itself he begins using a tooth he collected earlier to push a hide strip through a hole in the top layer of the pelt. Continuing from there he pushes the hide strip through a corresponding hole on the lower layer of the pelt. After pulling the strip so that an equal amount remained on each side of the pelt he continues using the strip to sew the sides of the pelt together resulting in a crisscross pattern. When both layers of the pelt are sewn together he ties off the remainder of the strip to make sure the seam doesn’t come loose.
Having finished sewing one side of the pelt together he picks up another hide strip to do the same to other side. With both sides sewn up he removes the tail of the pelt and lets the neck portion hang over the last remaining opening.
Knife in hand Jellal pokes small holes equidistant from each other in the neck part of the pelt. Unlike the holes used to sew up the body the five holes in the neck are much wider apart. The remaining hide strips are cut in half before being five of them are tied to the hole in the neck.
Using his knife he carefully cuts a pair of small holes close together on the body of the pelt to correlate with one of the holes in the neck. After cutting pairing holes for each hole in the neck he cuts a hide stripe into five small pieces before sticking them through the pairing holes and tying the ends together resulting in five small loops on the body of the pelt that the hang down can be tied to in order to securely close the opening at the top of the pelt.
Jellal gives the sewn up pelt a once over to ensure things are functioning properly. Confirming there are no problems he flips the pelt over and retrieves the two leg portions of the pelt that weren’t cut into strips. Setting the pieces side by side he cuts the top and bottom portions off in a straight line, making sure the pieces are the same size in length before poking small holes near the newly cut edges. Carefully he pokes an equal number of holes in the pelt that correspond with the holes in the leg portions. Using the remaining hide strips he sews them to the pelt.
Picking up the pelt he flips it in every way imaginable carefully inspects his handy work. Seeing everything in order he nods in satisfaction as a self-praising grin floats about his face. Finally his makeshift backpack has been completed.
Now that his backpack is made Jellal finally sets his eyes on the boar. Similar to how he did with the wolves he starts by skinning the boar. However he stops halfway through in order to keep from getting dirt on the meat.
After the skin is peeled back he starts cutting off chunks of meat. Having cut a few decent sized chunks of meat he pauses momentarily and looks around. Spotting his objective he speeds to the tree line and climbs a small tree. Amidst the trees branches he snatches a few dozen overly large leaves.
Jellal scurries back down the tree and returns to the boar. Using the leaves to wrap the meat he cuts away from the boar he rapidly strips its bones clean. Satisfied with the amount of meat obtained from this side of the boar he places the remaining wolf pelts next to its body and rolls it over on top of them.
After briefly running to the stream to clean his knife Jellal gets back to work skinning the boar. Once the skin is out of the way he begins cutting away chunks of meat the same way he’d done to the other side of the boar.
When the boar’s meat has been stripped to an acceptable degree he takes the wolf and boar pelts over to the stream. At the stream he cleans the blood, fat, and meat off the boar hide before washing the wolf pelts and carrying them back to where his bag is.
Jellal carefully rolls up the wolf pelt and places them at the bottom of the bag. Next he brushes the dirt off of the boar hide before stuff it in his bag with the hair facing outwards using it as a liner of sorts. With the boar hide acting as a liner to keep blood from leaking into his bag he finally stacks the leaf wrapped meat inside the liner while leaving a couple chunks out for dinner.
He prepares to close his bag but stops as he glances at the remains of the boar. After a moment of careful deliberation he walks over to one of the wolves and tightly grips its upper jaw while placing his foot inside its mouth. Wrenching away with his arms while stomping down with his foot he manages to break the wolf’s jaw.
Using his knife to cut away connecting tissue he separates the lower jaw from the wolf’s body. He sets one end of the jaw bone on the ground wedging it between some rocks so it doesn’t fall over, then he proceeds to stomp down on the part of the jaw bone that’s sticking in the air.
The bone snaps unevenly leaving a piece with just the side of the jaw while the other piece has a side and the front of the jaw. Borrowing the power of the stream he cleans his knife along with the smaller piece of the jaw bone.
Returning to the boar carcass he tightly grips one of the tusks under his arm while using the jaw bone as a makeshift saw. With great effort he saws at the base of the tusk slowly inching his way through it. After the groove reaches a depth equal to the length of the wolf’s teeth he flips the carcass and begins sawing at it from the other side. Although the two cuts don’t quite meet in the middle the remainder of the tusk is thin enough to be broken with his bare hands.
After snapping off the tusk he sets his eyes on the remaining one. Even though he sawed it the same way he did the first tusk the second one took nearly twice as long to get through. He easily breaks off the second tusk before checking the state of his makeshift saw. Although it can still function as a saw if necessary the teeth have dulled considerably hampering its ability to cut through bone.
A moment of deliberation is followed by him setting his sight on the lower jaws of the last two wolves. He breaks the jaws the same way he did with the first wolf leaving him with three small but straight saws and three long curved saws.
In a moment of inspiration he hooks the curved part of the bone beneath a large rock wedging it in roughly before smashing at it with a decent sized rock. Upon doing the same to the other two he’s left with four sharp straight saws, one dulled straight saw, and one half jaw bone busted to the point of being unusable.
Yet again Jellal returns to the stream to clean his makeshift saws and his considerably dulled knife. He prepares to put the saws in his bag but reconsiders after thinking about how sharp they are. Reaching into his bag he digs out one of the wolf pelts he’s yet to use.
He uses one of the leg sections as material for hide strips to use for his new project. He lays the first saw on top of the wolf pelt so he can gauge how much hide is needed. He cuts the hide to the needed specifications before it on top of itself, poking holes, and sewing the bottom and side together.
After repeating the process for the other four saws he completes his brand new set of hide sheaths. The saws slide easily in and out of the sheaths to the point the sheath will slip off if you don’t hold onto both the saw and sheath. A few seconds of pondering was all it took for him to decide to leave them the way they are since he only wanted the sheaths to keep the saws from damaging his bag.
Jellal opens his bag and carefully uses his hand to create a gap between the boar lining and the bag. With enough space created he wraps the remains of the pelt he used to make the sheaths around the sheathed saws and slides the package snuggly in to place.
Finally finishing his projects Jellal harshly scrutinizes his surroundings wary of any potential threats. Finding the surrounding area clear of threats he turns his sight to the meat he left out to eat for dinner, for the first time in this life he’ll be preparing his own food.