When Linda calmed down, she nervously stepped out of the cockpit and walked a few steps back into the kitchenette. There was blood and entrails all over the floor, while the meat was sitting on the counter. If there was more space or even a bit more equipment to utilize, obviously Beatrix wouldn’t have made such a mess.
He turned his head towards his sister and asked “Have you seen one of these birds before? Are they common in this region?”
“Little Brother Ares… This is a Gnome-Stalker Owl. The Slavers in the Northern Mountains use them to find and capture people like me… My Mama… She was eaten by one of these monsters when I was young. That was when our Tribe got captured by the Northlanders… I was only a baby though, so I don’t remember it much. I’ve had friends who were fed to them before and I was almost picked… But then Master bought me and everything got better.”
There was a wry smile on her childlike face and tears were welling up in her oversized brown eyes again. However, even after hearing such a ‘heart-wrenching’ backstory, Beatrix just shrugged. Then he asked “Are you going to keep blabbering or are you going to help me butcher this bird?”
Linda picked up a knife off of the table, but she didn’t know what to do. In fact, she almost stabbed herself after slipping on a piece of intestine and falling onto the blood-soaked floor.
The boy shook his head and took the blade from her, then instructed “Pluck out all the feathers for me. I’ll use them to make fletching for arrows later on, so they’re pretty valuable. Don’t worry about the rest. You can take another shower once you’re done. It isn’t that expensive to fabricate water, so we don’t need to worry about rationing it yet.”
“Okay…” She hesitantly began working on the folded up white wings, which were dyed red in blood.
The whole inside of the tank smelled rancid from the innards, feces and digestive juices that were splattered on the floor, so Beatrix used a voice command to open up the small entrance at the very back of the storage compartment. He couldn’t help but mutter “If only I had a mop and a bucket…”
Hearing that, Linda immediately said “Ah! Don’t worry Little Brother! Let your big sister take care of this!” Then she proceeded to use her bare hands and her tiny body to push all of the blood, guts and excrement outside.
“Umm, good work. Now go take another shower and come back when you’ve cleaned all of that shit off of you.” Once the girl happily scampered off, Beatrix murmured “Maybe she really is my sister after all…”
“Phew~, that was a lot of work! But totally worth it! Hehehe~!” Linda was wearing her ripped up sackcloth tunic and sitting on a small stool, while eating her hard-earned meal. It was a bowl of ‘Vitamin Blend Alpha’, heated up in the microwave, plus a decent amount of pan-fried owl-breast.
“This is probably the best meal I’ve ever eaten, in my entire life! Little Brother, you were only a baby a few days ago, so how did you become such an amazing cook?”
After hearing that question, the boy furrowed his thin brows and glared at the naive Gnome with his bright-purple eyes. She stopped smiling and got frightened at first, but when she saw a smirk on those tiny lips, she became happy again.
“Out of all my many skills that I’ve honed over nearly a hundred years, my cooking abilities are mediocre at most. I didn’t even have any seasonings to use. If you can’t put a piece of meat on a pan and flip it over a few times until it’s done, then there’s something seriously wrong. I’m sure that you’ll be better than me at cooking within a few weeks at most.”
Ares sighed, then pulled his clothes out of the drier and muttered “I’m going to take first watch. Once you’re done eating, get some sleep. We’ll continue the search in fourteen hours.”
“Okay~!” Linda had already slept on the comfortable bunk bed once already, so she was actually looking forward to experiencing that again. She smiled blissfully, as she enjoyed every last bite of the delicious meal and then went into the cockpit to ask “May I use the bathroom?”
“I’ve mentioned this before, but you don’t need permission to piss or shit. Just make sure that you do it in the toilet. Also, don’t put your hands inside of the toilet. And close the door if you’re taking a crap. There’s a switch on the wall that vents the air outside, so make sure to do that…”
Beatrix was sitting in the gunner’s chair and ‘experimenting’ with her assault rifle, so she didn’t even bother lifting her head to look at the anxious Gnome. “I’m sorry…” After apologizing, Linda scampered away and went to the bathroom.
Then the little boy resumed his test, by taking all seventeen remaining bullets out of the magazine and then sacrificing a single soul to refill the empty container. It wasn’t instant, but the ammunition appeared one cartridge every second. However, that speed actually wasn’t so bad.
‘I’ll need to do some testing, but I doubt that I’ll need to use more than sixty rounds per minute anyway. I’m a little disappointed that there aren’t any special options however… There seems to be a huge contrast between my Legacy items. It’s also possible that I have more secrets hidden in my Soul Realm… Maybe even a method to use magic?’
As he was thinking that, the mana-sensor picked up a few pulses of elemental Chaos mana. Then there was a long wave of Nature mana from the same location, roughly ten kilometers to the northeast.
However, instead of heading out right away, Ares just used one of the touch-screen computer monitors to jot down the information. After that, he went back to waiting and using the various cameras to keep an eye on the situation outside.
‘I’m already down to thirty-eight hundred Souls… No, it’s best to avoid spending any of them on experiments. If a mana-calamity happens, then it would only be a matter of time before the whole world was overrun with magical beasts. Even if that wasn’t the case, I might need them to unlock the other items from my Soul Realm later on…’
Thus, Beatrix continued his watch until Linda woke up. Then he finally got some sleep.
Anyone else catch that “Immortal Soul” reference? It’s still a mystery ‘where’ “Immortal Soul” takes place. It could be in the future, in the past, or perhaps… Is it actually taking place concurrently with CC, TDD, HCOP, TDoE and TDoDK?
The truth is that I haven’t really decided yet lol. I can say for certain though, that all of my stories are leading up to the same peak.
Chapter 2: The Rusty Saber Bandits