Sassaak. A gray-haired rabbit ran through the long bushes. Although it had a fairly large body, its movements were extremely agile, perhaps because of its instinct to survive. Hugo, who followed closely behind, screamed urgently.
“Sister! Sister! That way! It went there!”
“Do not worry! I’m not called a great archer for nothing!”
Herietta chuckled as she pulled out a bow from the quiver she was carrying behind her back. It’s been more than half a year since she last did archery, but it didn’t matter. With a confident expression on her face, she notched an arrow on the bow.
“Look, Hugo! It’s your turn next time!”
Herietta shouted out loud and took a stance.
“When you pull an arrow like this, the chords should be pulled all the way back, and your elbows should be a little higher than your shoulders!”
The bowstring was pulled taut under her grip. Then, the bow flexibly curved and bent greatly. The feeling that passed through her fingertips was perfectly familiar.
“Aim at the prey with the arrowhead.”
Herietta was infinitely cautious. Her eyes turned to the target. Lately, she has been more lively and alive than ever. She held her breath when she thought that the bouncing bunny and the tip of the bow had matched.
Pang. As she released her bow, the arrow left Herietta’s hand as if waiting. She thought she was aiming perfectly.
Unfortunately, however, the arrow that flew through the air missed and landed on the ground next to the rabbit. Startled by the dull sound and the recoil of the arrow shaking, the rabbit started to run away. Perhaps because it felt that its life was under threat, the speed was so fast that it could not be compared to before.
‘I almost hit it!’
Herietta lowered her bow and bit her lower lip, feeling sorry.
‘It must have gone awry because it was an old bow.’
Blaming her pitiful tool, she quickly drew another arrow from the quiver she was carrying on her back. However, the second and third attempts, contrary to her wishes, just kept going sideways.
“Sister! I’ll drive it! I’ll drive it towards you!”
Excited, Hugo spurred the horse’s flank, speeding up. And Herietta followed closely behind him.
They were frantically chasing after the rabbit, and without realizing it, they went deeper and deeper into the mountains. Swish. Branches and vines swept past them quickly. The sparse trees became dense, and the intensity of the sun’s rays over their heads began to diminish.
Before long, Herietta, noticing that it was unnaturally dark around her, slowed her horse.
‘Where are we?’
She looked around the unfamiliar background and unfamiliar geography. When she entered the forest, he could no longer find the path she had been following.
‘We must have gone too deep.’
She thought it happened in a very brief moment of negligence. She knew she had to go back the way they came before it was too late.
Herietta raised her head to call up her younger brother, who was running ahead of her. But soon she saw something unfolding in front of her, and her complexion turned white.
“Hugo! You can’t go there!”
A flat, smooth circular terrain spread out among the sloppy piles of bushes. Those who have explored the forest to some extent could recognize at a glance that the unnatural terrain was artificially created. But there was no way Hugo could see it in his trance, chasing after the rabbit.
“Hugo! Wait! Wait for me!”
Herietta shouted once more. But Hugo’s actions showed no momentum to slow down. Her heart was pounding, and she hurriedly started chasing after Hugo. Her horse ran like the wind.
Did he hear the horseshoes approaching quickly from behind? Hugo, who was ahead, slowed down and glanced back.
Seeing Herietta’s pale face, he knew something was wrong.
“Sister? Why are you…!”
At the same time as Hugo shouted at Herietta, the rabbit he was chasing stepped on the terrain in question. Wooduduk. With that as the starting point, the neatly piled pile of bushes collapsed down. Eventually, a trap hidden under the bushes was revealed.
Hugo realized the situation late and screamed. He quickly shifted his center of gravity behind him and pulled the reins. But that alone couldn’t stop him in time.
Herietta drove her horse towards Hugo’s horse without hesitation. The two horses collided, causing a strong clash. Hugo’s horse was smaller than hers, so it could not withstand the recoil and was pushed back. At the same time, Herietta let go of the reins and pushed him to the side with as much force as she could with both her hands.
Hiiingg. Herietta’s horse stood still on the spot. Herietta, who had to shift her center of gravity to push Hugo, couldn’t withstand the counter-movement caused by her sudden movement. Eventually, her body, which flew through the air, fell into the trap.
Hugo, who witnessed the spectacle right in front him, screamed. It felt like his heart had dropped to his toes. He jumped off his horse and ran near the trap. Then he knelt down on the ground and looked through the inside of the trap.
“Sister! Sister! Are you okay? Please answer me!”
He shouted loudly. Tears welled up in both his eyes.
“Sister! Sister! Please!”
Herrietta, who was lying on the bottom of the trap, let out a groan.
“Sister! You are alive!”
Hugo sighed with joy. Herrietta, who had been trying to move, slowly raised her body. Her body throbbed here and there, as if she had been beaten. But luckily, nothing seemed to be broken. It was fortunate that there was soft mud on the floor instead of hard stones.
She looked around, frowning and sweeping the tangled hair behind her back. It was made to catch small beasts rather than large animals, and the inner area was not very large. She lifted her head to get a rough idea of the depth of the trap. It was much taller than she was and had a steep wall, so it didn’t seem like it would be easy to climb out of.
Herrietta looked up.
“Hugo! You know that if I go up here, I’ll come and beat you once! I told you to follow me, when did I tell you to jump out on your own?”
“Not one, but ten! Please come up safely!”
Hugo immediately responded to Herietta’s threat.
“Do you think you can come up here?”
Herietta touched the wall with her hand. It had rained the day before, so the mud that made up the wall was wet and a little soft.
She tried to find a place where the groove was, stepped on it and climbed up. But it wasn’t as easy as she thought. Besides, the tingling in her right ankle made her think it was slightly sprained when she fell. She couldn’t move completely, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t even climb two steps, and she slid down.
Her ten escape attempts were unsuccessful. In the end, she accepted that with her own strength she would not be able to get out of this trap.
“Hugo! I think it would be unreasonable to climb without equipment! Do you have any lanyards or ropes nearby?”
At Herietta’s words, Hugo quickly looked around.
“I don’t think so!”
“At least something like tree trunks or vines?”
“I don’t know about that… Shall I look for it?”
Herietta pondered Hugo’s question. Finding vines shouldn’t be too difficult.
However, it was not easy to find a vine thick enough to support her weight, and to cut it as needed, it required quite a high level of skill. It seemed rather unreasonable to entrust to a boy who was only eleven years old. Moreover, there would be no knife in his hand.
Herietta decided to change her plans.
“Hugo! Can you go and call people?”
“Yes! I fell into a trap in an accident, so tell them to help me out! If possible, please bring some ropes and knives, too!”
“But, sister, it would be dangerous to be here alone…”
Hugo hesitated. Seeing that, Herietta snorted.
“What difference does it make when you are here? If we stay like this at night, we’ll both become wolves’ food forever!”
“Wha, what wolf?”
Hugo screeched and freaked out. She guessed he hadn’t even thought of that. Herietta nodded her head.
“Yes! So go fast! You have to come back before it’s too late!”
“Would you like to be wolf’s food?”
“I’ll go and come back as soon as possible!”
Hugo jumped to his feet at Herietta’s threat. Even if he pretended to be daring, he didn’t want to be food for the wolves. From above, she heard a bustling sound as if he was preparing to return to the village.
Herietta looked at the sky. Is it because it is in the middle of a dense forest? It felt like it was getting dark already.
“Hugo! Run towards the trampled grass or broken branches!”
Worried about leaving her little brother alone, Herietta shouted into the air. But no answer came. Then, in the distance, the sound of horseshoes was heard. It looked like Hugo was heading to the village.
“I wish father would not come if possible.”
The Mackenzies were the ones who didn’t like Herietta going out. They wanted her to pursue more ladylike hobbies rather than focus on martial arts like archery or swordsmanship.
What would they say if they found out about her current situation? The bow and arrow that she had been cherishing for a long time were sharp and broken in half, and she didn’t know if she could use it any more by the end of today.
“Well, I’m not in a position to choose, beggars can’t be choosers.”
She muttered to herself. As the sound of the horse hooves disappeared, there was silence around her. For some reason, she could hear the faint sound of the wind blowing from above. It was still early, but she was afraid that she might hear the cry of a hungry wolf from somewhere.
‘What kind of thing is this when you set it up just to catch one rabbit?’
Herietta let out a deep sigh.
Comments for chapter "Chapter 11"
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