Chapter 10:

Chapter 10; Beta- Day 3 of The Scavengers

CirCular


Eyes?
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Closed.Bookmark here

Sound?Bookmark here

The rustling of the grass fields being blown against the wind.Bookmark here

Current body position?Bookmark here

Lying down on my back.Bookmark here

Sensation?Bookmark here

Moist. Quite irritating, not going to lie. Bookmark here

No pain though.Bookmark here

Conclusion?Bookmark here

Safe for further observation.Bookmark here

The third day began and if we were to start from the conclusion, it was quite an uneventful day.Bookmark here

We woke up around daybreak and instead of having our dry rations for breakfast, we made our way on foot to a make-shift mess hall that was made out of the same large pieces of cloth, wooden poles and metal pegs as the tent I got so intimate with yesterday. Bookmark here

In fact, I am so confident with my skills in tent-pitching that if you were to lay out the materials in front of me now, I would be able to set up the tent in no time.Bookmark here

Since the make-shift mess hall did not provide us with utensils and crockeries, we had to go there with our own wooden bowl and spoon in our hands. Bookmark here

Once again, the meal provided by the mess is decent but then again, I am the kind of person that would gladly take any food as long as it is edible.Bookmark here

Unlike the bustling mess hall back in the Matha Biquadrant, though the number of people remained rather unchanged, the atmosphere was less than joyous. Bookmark here

It wasn’t like the serene quietness of yesterday’s dinner. Some of the men in light armour could still be seen talking to one another. However, it was as if there was an unspoken rule that was put in place without me knowing that prevented anyone from speaking out loud. Bookmark here

If anyone wanted to engage in any form of conversation they would only whisper and when they do whisper, it was as if the speaker had a time limit and he would need to rush his words out so as to stop speaking as quickly as possible. Bookmark here

It wasn’t the most comfortable place to be eating in but on the plus side, instead of seating on a random table and ranting to a stranger alone, the eight of us were sitting together at the very least.Bookmark here

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When breakfast was over, we returned to our tent. We all did our separate stuff for a little before gathering back at our tent.Bookmark here

Mono was tending to the horse and donkeys, ensuring that they were well-fed with the box of dry rations.Bookmark here

WAIT A MINUTE. Bookmark here

Those were the same dull dry rations we were eating last night!Bookmark here

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Anyways, food is food. So I guess it is alright...?Bookmark here

Once again, Bones and Futsu were nowhere to be seen while Aniki, Basil, Hood, Patches and I were resting in the tent waiting for them to come back. Bookmark here

Doesn’t that mean only Mono was doing actual work while the rest of us are mere slackers?! I would like to think that that is not the case but just that we were assigned different roles to fill. Our work just so happens to be completed yesterday or were not necessary yet.Bookmark here

The moment they returned was when the strangest part of the day began.Bookmark here

For the rest of the day during times other than meal times, we sat in a circle and just meditated. Bookmark here

At least I think they were meditating. What the seven guys did were just sitting there with their legs crossed on their mats and closed their eyes as if deep in thought.Bookmark here

I thought for sure that people like Bones and Hood would not be taking things like this seriously. In fact, I was sure that they would fall asleep or fidget and play around but that doesn't seem to be the case.Bookmark here

I guess I should join them in their “meditation” too and take stock of my life so far.Bookmark here

My ultimate objective ever since arriving in this other world had not changed so far:Bookmark here

I want to go back home. Bookmark here

Back to my mother. Bookmark here

Back to my two sisters, Sou and Rou.Bookmark here

Back to my father.Bookmark here

Back to the bed that I once called sanctuary. Bookmark here

Back to the home that I know would always be waiting for me.Bookmark here

At least, I hope that is the case.Bookmark here

Remembering my convictions was only part of the equation. It wasn’t an easy part though, I almost lost it in the A. Records. However, it was also because of that that I would Bookmark here

Never,Bookmark here

Ever,Bookmark here

Forget.Bookmark here

Not anymore.Bookmark here

The other part of the equation would be finding a feasible method to get back but I can’t even begin to fathom where my first step begins.Bookmark here

First thing first, are we even in the same universe? No, not just universe, same dimension even?Bookmark here

Even if I could answer that question, how do I even achieve intergalactic/ interdimensional travel in this world of magic circuits and mana?Bookmark here

Okay, since dwelling on these would not help me, let’s work on a short-range intermediate goal.Bookmark here

The best course of action now would be to learn the language of this world. I was lucky to meet Jyn, my Rosetta Stone here so I need to make full use of this occasion. The learning process should not be too tedious:Bookmark here

I would tell Jyn one word and then, I would get him to say that word out loud to someone of this world, be it the Granharts or anyone else that is willing. They would then recite the word in their language, of which, I will be ready to note down their pronunciations.Bookmark here

This method would be effective in learning specific words and building vocabulary but not very helpful for sentence making or conventional language. That would require an alternative learning process but I could come up with that at another time. Bookmark here

Focus on learning the words first.Bookmark here

Now that the serious stuff is out of the way, I could dwell a little bit on some of the interesting things I noticed.Bookmark here

Have you ever wondered why M*lan was able to successfully join the army in her father’s place without ever arousing the suspicions of her immediate superiors and fellow soldiers?Bookmark here

Having experienced similar circumstances, I would like to hypothesise:Bookmark here

That is because the conventional concept of “showering” had yet to exist back then.Bookmark here

Think about it. The soldiers back then would not have the time to set up a bathtub full of water for each and every of the thousand to millions of soldiers out there. So if they really have to clean their body, they would simply dip themselves in the nearest fresh water and call it a day.Bookmark here

If so, no one could easily tell that one of their comrades that they have been fighting side by side was in fact a lady since there are very few opportunities for them to even disrobe their armour.Bookmark here

That is just my theory. A tangential theory!Bookmark here

I went on this tangent because I am feeling the need to take an immediate shower right now but this might be the right time to ask when everybody seems to be deep in thought (?).Bookmark here

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Just like that, the day went by with us just having three meals at the makeshift mess hall and seating around meditating.Bookmark here

Was it just me or were there fewer people in the mess?Bookmark here

This could be a time-sensitive matter as well since we only began making our way to the mess after nightfall. The other soldiers could very well have eaten before us and we were just one of the last few groups to consume dinner.Bookmark here

Now, we were back at our tent. Unlike yesterday, Aniki and Mono were quick to fall asleep. In fact, everyone else already tucked in less me and Patches.Bookmark here

Instead, he was sitting in front of the campfire where Aniki and Mono were sitting yesterday with his personal dagger in hand.Bookmark here

I had a sneaking suspicion before but now it was confirmed. We seemed to be working in a pair system determined by the placement of our beds. Like how Aniki and Mono slept on the same bunk bed, the same goes for Patches and I, which meant that Patches and I are assigned as buddies for each other.Bookmark here

In short, I could not sleep yet. I am obliged to stay by Patches until the time for us to leave comes. When would that be, I do not know.Bookmark here

Grabbing my dagger, I sat beside him in front of the cackling campfire.Bookmark here

It wasn’t obvious when Aniki and Mono were doing this yesterday but we not only had to sit in front of the campfire, but also keep the fire going by occasionally throwing in new firewood so that we would not be in complete darkness.Bookmark here

My thoughts weren’t able to turn fast enough yesterday but now I knew better: The presence of the daggers would suggest a bare minimum of defence against something out there in the darkness, although I did not feel any safer than having a kitchen knife at hand.Bookmark here

Okay, I will be honest with you. I had been ranting in my head ever since I had sat down just so that I wasn’t reminded of the awkward silence that is present between Patches and I.Bookmark here

I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what is the difference between this occasion and the serene quietness during yesterday’s dinner. They just felt fundamentally different.Bookmark here

As we stared more into the raging dance of the flames, Patches took out a rectangular slab after unwrapping it from a cloth, he proceeded to rub his dagger on it.Bookmark here

Ah, he is sharpening his dagger on the whetstone.Bookmark here

I wasn’t able to think that far ahead and retrieve my whetstone! Bookmark here

Nothing I can do about it now…Bookmark here

Patches: [**, ******...]Bookmark here

The first one to break the silence was him but I had a feeling that neither of us would be able to understand what the other was saying. Bookmark here

Although we could, at the very least, get through to each other through the sentiments embedded in our words. That is to say, I have a feeling what he was sharing now wasn’t something he would share normally.Bookmark here

Patches: [**, *, *******. ************. ********************.]Bookmark here

He had this forlorn look in his eye as he talked, as if he was as far away as the stars in the… um, as the stars in the sky if they were there.Bookmark here

Patches: [**, ******. *****?]Bookmark here

After asking that question, he unveiled the large piece of cloth that covered his left eye, the one he wouldn’t take off even when he was asleep.Bookmark here

The place where his left eye was was blue.Bookmark here

Simply blue.Bookmark here

It wasn’t that his left iris was blue but that there was nothing but blue there, as if someone replaced his left eye with a blue marble.Bookmark here

Horrifying fight? I don’t think so. Bookmark here

In fact, from a certain perspective, it could even be considered beautiful.Bookmark here

Hauntingly beautiful.Bookmark here

I didn’t exactly keep track of how long we had been standing guard by the campfire but the moment the next pair, Hood and Futsu, came up to us, we knew they were here to take over our duties. Of course, Patches had already covered up his left eye before that.Bookmark here

We made our way back to our tent and ended the third day.Bookmark here

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