Chapter 2: The Research Begins
It was a slime.
It was a small child slime. The slime had a scratch mark on it. Perhaps it had been scratched by my hand.
When I was struggling desperately, I accidentally scratched the body of a child slime that had come for me.
I was stunned by the pathetic little monster, but I checked again to see what I had eaten.
I timidly lick the sticky slime's remains on my fingers.
Delicious. It's so delicious.
When I was struggling against the seizure, I could only think it was sweet. But when I calmly chew it, it tastes ridiculously delicious.
"I didn't know that slime is edible."
I read many books to become a "Sword Saint".
However, none of the books mentioned that monsters are edible. There are stories of people who think that eating monsters is forbidden, but no one knows how they taste.
In the first place...
I grabbed the stick again. I stand in front of the dead slime. Most of its body has been eaten by me, and it is motionless.
I swing the stick down at the white core in the slime's sticky body.
The impact cracked the core, and the slime finally disappeared as if melting into the darkness of the night.
All that is left is a cracked, jewel-like core.
This core is what powers the monsters. The body that surrounds the core is called the "outer shell" and is slightly different from the "body" of a human, pig, or cow.
This is because if the nucleus or outer shell is damaged to some extent, it will disappear without a trace.
However, so far, no one has seriously examined their bodies.
"If the core and outer shell are not damaged beyond a certain extent, then maybe monsters can be eaten?
If I am going to live in the mountain from now on, I will need food.
It would be possible to live by consuming deer, boar, nuts, and vegetables.
However, it would not hurt to have monsters as food options.
For this reason, I need to confirm whether my hypothesis is correct or not.
I decided to take action immediately.
My target was the Black Crow.
They are bigger than crows, but if I have the right equipment, I should be able to catch them. I also have some survival skills.
The first thing I need to make is a bow and arrows that will be effective in hunting the Black Crow.
I made an ax from stone and chopped a thin young tree.
I cut it lengthwise and gradually shaped it with stones to shape it into a bow.
The bowstring is made from stripped bark and twisted strands, and the arrows are made from thin wood and fallen bird feathers.
Then apply the ground-up leaves of the silkworm plant to the arrowheads' tip. This is a poisonous plant that only works on monsters and is harmless to humans. When hitting a monster, it will cause the monster to stop moving.
Apparently, it's a must-have item for all monsters hunters.
Although not as good as with a sword, I can use a bow as well. I learned it from the Tristan family's knights.
Even though Black Crow is a monster, this should be able to knock it.
I am slowly approaching the Black Crow that's perching on the branch while keeping my footsteps as quiet as possible.
The sun is already beginning to set.
Another night is about to begin after I ate slime last night.
I haven't had any seizures since then.
In fact, I am feeling much better.
Well, the Black Crow is active at night.
If I wait until after the sun goes down, maybe the Black Crow will become more active and attack me.
If I want to kill it, I have to do it during daytime.
I get as close as I can and pull my bowstring.
It's far less reliable than a bow made by a master craftsman, but it's enough for this distance.
I release my hand from the string.
The arrow slice through the wind and heads straight for the Black Crow.
It hits him right in the stomach.
"Gaaa! Gaaa! Gaaa! Gaaa!"
The Black Crow spread its wings and went frenzied. It leaped straight up.
This is not good! He's getting away!
I take out another arrow, prepare for a second shot and aim at it. Of course, it's harder to aim when the target is flying than when it's resting on a branch.
Besides, this is a forest. There are too many obstacles.
The Black Crow's figure disappears into the forest darkness.
I thought so, but my worries turned out to be unnecessary.
Suddenly, the Black Crow lost its balance and fell to the ground. I hurriedly put back my arrow into the quiver and ran to the spot where he fell.
There I found the Black Crow, his body cramped and couldn't move.
Apparently, the silkworm plant's poison had taken effect. He had jumped up in a hurry, so the poison must have spread faster.
Now let's start the main show.
I have to minimize the damage to the outer shell to avoid making the Black Crow disappear and see if I can slice off the meat.
I have no experience with monsters, but I know how to butcher chickens because the Tristan family's chef taught me.
I'll start by pulling the feathers from its stomach.
As expected of a monster. It has strength. Even though the poison should have made him unable to move his body, he was struggling. The Black Crow's wings hit my cheek repeatedly.
Once the feather pulling is done, I cut off its wings that had hit my cheek earlier.
I thought it would turn into a magic stone at this point, but the Black Crow hasn't disappeared yet.
"As expected, if I cut off its head, it will die."
I had no choice but to leave the head and cut off the legs. I didn't want it to look at me, so I wrapped its beak and eyes around with a rope that I made earlier.
Finally, I cut open the belly.
The next thing I know, I am holding the Black Crow's breast meat in my hand.
I was absorbed in my work. The sun almost disappeared behind the mountain.
At that moment, the Black Crow seemed to have run out of energy and finally turned into a magic stone.
I thought that the breast meat, wings and legs I had removed would also disappear, but they did not disappear like the slime.
The Black Crow's breast meat is so beautiful that it made my eyes sparkle.
It looks a little more purplish than a chicken, but it's not particularly gross.
If anything, it looks more like a crystal or a gem.
I'll try to eat it right away.
I boil water from the river in a plate-shaped stone.
I made a fire using Bocklin, a fruit that contains a lot of resin.
My father's knights taught me many survival skills, so I am quite skillful in this thing.
I put the breast meat into hot water and boil it.
Even though it is harmless to the human body, it is still meat that has been poisoned by the silkworm plant, so it is best to be cautious.
Besides, there is no guarantee that the Black Crow itself is not poisonous.
That's right. Let's try an experiment with the wild dogs that attacked me before.
I throw the meat at the dogs.
The dogs happily ate it up and left with a satisfied look on their faces.
Seems to be no problem.
So I roast the remaining Black Crow breast meat over the fire and try to eat it.
I screamed in surprise.
It had just the right amount of fat on it, and the chewy texture was not bad. It had a slightly unique taste, but the flavor gradually spread in my mouth as I repeatedly chewed it.
More than anything, it was the first meat I had eaten in a while.
I enthusiastically munch the meat. I forgot that I actually eat a monster's meat after 1 or 2 chews.
Even though there is plenty of it, I never get tired of it.
Before I knew it, I had eaten it all.
My stomach is swollen.
I had eaten too much, as expected. If the wild dogs attacked me now, I wouldn't be able to move.
I lay down on the fallen leaves.
I am so satisfied.
When was the last time I felt so satisfied?
The sun had finally set. The second night of my life in the mountain is about to begin. But before that, I noticed a change.
"Are? I can see the forest more clearly than yesterday."
The forest that had been as dark as the bottom of a well looked brighter than yesterday. I thought it might be because of the fire, so I moved away, but no - my vision is still clear.
My eyesight has improved. No, I can see better at night now.
Is it because my eyes are getting used to the night's darkness?
I tilted my head. I'm still not sure.
There is another strange thing.
After eating the slime, it is obvious that my physical condition has improved.
I haven't had any seizures at all today. I'm feeling much better.
"Is it possible that eating monsters make my health better or increases my physical strength?"
I heard that there are some magical plants and their seeds that can increase human strength.
The outer shell of monsters may also have such an effect.
"Then, can this heal my body?"
An idea suddenly pops into my mind.
If my body healed, then I can challenge my father to fight one more time and maybe win. Maybe he would allow me to come home.
Let's give it a try. I quickly decided.
To do that, I first need to research the potency of the monsters' meat and how to prevent them from turning into magic stones.
Exploring things that are not written about in books will surely be a challenge.
But on the other hand, I am excited. Maybe it is because I have found hope for my life.
Then immediately, my research on Monster Food began.
At the same time, it is also the beginning of my survival days in a mountain full of monsters.