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The Ainos started moving after they finished their preparations. Galfus and the four cubs also moved together.
‘It’s not even six miles away and the area here is so different.’
Joonbum looked around as he had never been to this area before.
The trees started to thin out as they moved. When they walked over a hill, a wide plain greeted their eyes. A cool breeze swept past him as he enjoyed the scene.
He shifted his eyes and found the animal they were looking for.
Joonbum watched closely and started to make out its shape.
‘Is that a cow? Maybe a buffalo? It’s really big.’
Joonbum took out binoculars from his backpack and examined it. It was a cow, but enormous in its size. It seemed to be bigger than an elephant. There were two very powerful-looking horns on its head. Its body was covered with short fur that looked sleek, which also helped reveal its muscles.
‘I think even bodybuilders aren’t like that.’
It was covered with monstrous muscles. The muscles moved and twitched majestically as the animal moved slowly, eating away the grass.
‘You can die from boar attack but that… instant death at the slight touch.’
Joonbum realized why Doral mentioned that even the herbivores were dangerous here. When a few of them started running, it shook the ground. He was well away from them as he had to observe them through binoculars, but he still could feel the tremors.
‘It’s quick and dangerous. How are we going to hunt that thing?’
Joonbum grew tense as he swallowed his empty throat. He was expecting an animal that was much smaller in size. But this Bodua was much larger than what he could have imagined in his wildest dreams.
Doral spoke as Joonbum quietly examined the animal.
“Galfus, Kawiqunin, and us. We all like Bodua. Very delicious. The best. But also dangerous. We have to risk our lives. Big and fast. Everyone who gets attacked dies.”
He was like an employee at a safari giving an explanation about the animal.
‘Dangerous herbivore. Delicious. Galfus and Kawiqunin like it?’
He could not understand all of what he said but he did manage to make out some words so he vaguely got the idea.
‘How many are there?’
A large number of Boduas filled the plain. Joonbum started counting.
He started counting them with the binoculars and stopped counting when he went over two hundred. There was at least double the number he had counted.
Joonbum examined the plains. There were other animals to watch apart from the Bodua. There was a group of white deer and rams covered in black. There were animals with familiar sizes also. Joonbum realized that all the animals seemed to share this vast plain in peace.
“There’s water! It comes from there, runs through here, to there. It’s a small creek.”
Joonbum turned his binoculars in the direction Doral was pointing at. There was water there as a lot of animals had come to drink water.
The size of the animals ranged from the size of a human fist to the size of the Bodua. There also seemed to be some predators among the animals, indicating order in this coexistence.
“Oh! Wow! What? Wow!”
His intention was to watch the Boduas, but Joonbum was captivated at the sight of the animals he had never seen before. Doral grinned at Joonbum who was moaning and gasping at the sight of all those animals. After some time passed, Galfus started growling. The cubs who were playing around went to Galfus in response to the sound.
“Joonbum! Let’s move.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
Joonbum put the binoculars in his backpack and followed Doral. The Ainos moved toward a large shallow hole next to a large rock and settled down. There was nothing that would provide them cover in the plains, but this area was filled with large rocks and that was enough.
‘Ambush from here?’
The Ainos started preparing as they arrived at their destination. Some started digging between the rocks and covered it again with the dirt. It was a simple trap.
‘Does that work?’
Joonbum watched it curiously and Doral smiled, knowing what he was thinking.
“It’s simple. It works.”
Next, they prepared a spear. Its sharp blade revealed itself when they took off the leather sheath that covered it.
“They stumble on the trap, fall, and we attack with the spear. Finish it with the bow.”
Doral continued talking. He first pointed at Bodua, then the trap, then the spear and the bow. Joonbum still did not understand what he said, but he knew what he was trying to explain.
‘I should change bullets.’
He started preparing too. A shotgun bullet seemed to be useless for hunting an animal of that size. He changed to a slug that was as thick as a walnut. A strong punch might work better for the Bodua.
He searched for his breath as he finished loading the rifle with two slugs. All of the other Ainos people seemed to be ready for battle also.
Galfus and the four cubs started howling, running from the distance at the Bodua. They cried at their appearance.
Joonbum shouted astonishingly as he watched Galfus running across the plain at full speed.
She was so fast. It almost looked like she was defying gravity, running at the Bodua like a bullet. The distance between her and the cubs increased instantly. The Bodua started dispersing, moving in all directions, running away from Galfus and the four cubs. The ground started trembling, and all of other animals ran.
The peaceful plain was now disrupted by all the screams and running animals.
Joonbum heard that she was the Guardian of this territory multiple times. Yet Joonbum only thought of her as a friendly dog. He couldn’t help it because Galfus was so dog-like, especially when she was being bathed and scrubbed. He was so used to the sight that he thought of her more like a dog than a wolf. But the Galfus he was watching through the binoculars was truly majestic.
A loud howl echoed across the plains. Some small animals gave up running at the sound and cowered among the grass. She sure was the ruler of this land.
Galfus jumped up and charged at the neck of a fully-grown Bodua. Joonbum couldn’t hear anything as he was far away, but it was easy to notice that Galfus was biting into the Bodua’s neck, crushing its bones. The Bodua’s resistance was futile as it fell down to the ground. The cubs also jumped on the animal and started biting. Its wound grew as it was covered with blood and the cubs continued their attack.
“It’s our turn now! Get ready!”
Doral shook Joonbum’s shoulder as he seemed to be awestruck at the sight. He came back to his senses. The tremor was growing.
A group of Boduas was approaching in their direction. The ground shook as his heart trembled in excitement. The ground shook more as the Bodua closed in.
One of the Boduas that looked bigger than an elephant fell to the ground after it stepped on the trap. Its horn dug into the ground as it fell and the ground exploded.
The Bodua let out a loud scream, falling to the ground. The other Boduas that were following changed directions and ran elsewhere. A Bodua’s scream ripped through the dust that filled the area. When the wind blew away the dust, Joonbum saw that the Bodua was already trying to stand.
He knew it instantly. Before, he doubted that they could successfully hunt this enormous animal, but there were no doubts now.
‘It’s no use.’
Its huge size with its vicious looking horn proved to be useless as it could not stand up with its broken leg. There was no way for it to resist.
“We got lucky. The front leg is broken. We would’ve had to put up a fight if it only fell,” Doral muttered as Howen approached the animal and thrust his spear, ending its life.
It flinched, screaming and moving its legs about wildly, but it stopped soon enough. Blood poured out from the wound. A few Ainos approached with a bowl and some leather bags to store the blood.
It was possible for the people on the Earth to consider this as cruel, but this was their way of surviving. Ainos started to drink the blood they gathered. No one refused to drink it. They were very happy that their hunt was a success.
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