Luca Salonen Eskola’s Activity Report — First Part
This is the story of Miruporon and Luca’s meeting among other things.
As to who Luca is, please refer to chapter 50, ‘Miruporon’s Activity Report’.
This story is divided into three parts.
First Year. Today I went out to the forest to pick branches again.
As long as one doesn’t go into the deep parts of the forest one won’t encounter dangerous beasts.
Just in case, a dog is brought with me.
I wasn’t taught how to shoot yet.
Father told me that he will teach me once I can hunt one rabbit a day for three days.
As for the result, I could not yet hunt a single one. Father also said that he caught his first prey when he was thirteen years old. I still had two years until then.
There’s such a circumstance. The only equipment I have are a bow and arrows and a knife.
In this period, the sky quickly grows dark so I have to finish quickly.
When I gathered enough branches and thought of returning, the dog was staring somewhere far away. It sometimes does these things so I decided to leave it alone.
The surroundings were growing blurry.
This is why I don’t like winter, or so I thought, then I noticed the dog hiding behind me.
It’s a dog that doesn’t fear even bears, just what could it have been frightened by. When I squinted my eyes, I could see the silhouettes of people.
Two of them.
Could it be, ‘the village’s best hunter’ Grandfather Bergholm? He has a terrifying face that would be able to silence a wailing child through fear.
The approaching figures became clearer.
A large man was coming from in front of me.
He had brown skin and for some reason he did not have any clothes on for the upper half of his body. Moreover, he was walking barefoot with only thin-looking pants. On his ears, he had colourful feathers. His face was tough and deeply chiseled. He was completely different from the rest of the village.
I remember father saying it before. He said that foreigners were residing in the lord’s place for a few years now. I had not seen them before until then.
I was overwhelmed by the sight.
The appearance was already amazing, but then he even had a large deer on his shoulders.
Deer of that size is one that adults take a lot of time to drag on sleighs. Just what kind of man is the giant lifting it easily?
I couldn’t move from the spot.
The foreign giant did not even glance at me when he passed by.
As I stayed there, I came to face another person.
It was a woman following behind the giant.
She was taller than me. Probably the giant’s daughter. Her eyes were similar to his. In her hand, she had a long spear that did not match her size. It was probably her father’s.
It was the first time I saw someone with brown skin and black hair. The eyes were black too. It was fascinating.
The woman silently stared at me.
When I said that I just happened to look, she tilted her head.
Then I noticed that she a rabbit in her hand.
She had a bow and arrows on her back. I wonder if she caught it herself?
I was curious so I asked.
However, the woman merely tilted her head, without saying anything.
Seeing me point at the rabbit so many times, she might have mistaken it as me wanting the prey, as she held it out to me.
As if I would receive prey that a woman hunted!? Taking me for a fool!!
I ignored the woman holding the rabbit out and ran all the way to the village.
From that day, I fiercely trained handling the bow and arrow.
As a result, a year later, I was able to catch rabbits three days in a row.
I met the woman after a long time in the village, so I showed her the rabbit, but she only tilted her head.
I felt as though I was being belittled that I grew angry.
Second year. I managed to make my father teach how to handle guns.
I remember starting with the weakest, the air gun.
The air gun is a gun that shoots bullets through air, without using gunpowder. I’m still not sure about the structure. It’s said to be weak, but it has enough power to pierce flesh so father kept emphasising that I have to be careful when handling it.
Only small animals can be caught with air guns. Medium-sized animals like the boars can only be dealt lethal wounds with shotguns that use gunpowder.
Finally, when I got used to handling guns, I learned how to use rifles.
Rifles are the most lethal guns, able to take down large animals such as bears.
Hunting bears is not recommended because of the dangers, but all the mean train to be able to defend against bears.
I’ll quickly catch large animals and surprise that woman.
The foreign woman was still curt, and she only tilted her head in reaction to my words.
If she’s living in this village, it would be nice if she at least learned the language.
I got angry every time I talked to her because it felt like I was losing.
Third year. Feeling that I now had enough proficiency with air guns, father allowed me to use shotguns.
Now I can hunt boars!
But the woman’s attitude did not change.
Even when I showed her my hunt, she merely stared down at me in silence.
Looking down at me, I don’t like it! She slowly grew bigger and is looking down at me.
She’s definitely going to become a huge woman like her father. What a monster!!
It could be that she’s a descendant of the legendary giants.
I’m much taller than my mother. She’s the weird one.
I’ll overtake her height some time!!
When I drank reindeer milk from that thought, I was hit by my father who scolded me to not waste valuable goods.
Fourth year. By the time I was getting used to using the rifle, I coincidentally met the huge woman in the forest.
She was still using bow and arrow.
I wonder if the impoverished lord told her not use guns? I’m not sure.
Even when I asked directly she merely tilted her head and did not say anything.
She did not hunt anything yet. However, I had a boar on my sleigh.
It was the biggest I had ever hunted so far. I pointed towards it to boast it.
The woman merely stared at the hunt.
I started feeling restless because she did not smile or applaud.
While we were wasting time, the snow started falling.
The wind was growing stronger, so it was clear that it will turn into a blizzard.
Even when I told her that I’m going home, she stared vacantly. Rather, she tightened her grip on her bow and tried to proceed into the forest.
Is she an idiot!? There’s no way an arrow will fly true in these conditions.
Hunting also involves observing the forest.
In other words, it’s important to learn how to read nature.
If one overexerts oneself in hunting when the forest is rough one might die.
Just what was she learning from her father. Or maybe she did not learn.
Since it couldn’t be helped, I gave her a ptarmigan and a rabbit I had in a bag.
I told her to take this bag and go home today.
The woman eyes went back and forth between me and the bag.
It’s alright so take it, I told her.
Then the woman did something mysterious.
She suddenly held up her fist and pounded it against her chest.
I had no idea what that meant.
More importantly, the snow was blowing harder so I grabbed the woman’s hand and headed to the village.
When I arrived at the entrance of the village, the woman’s father was waiting there. Just behind him the lord was there as well.
The huge father came over here with a stern expression. Surely, he can’t be trying to slap my face, I thought, but he took an unexpected course of action.
The moment he saw his daughter he hugged her.
I thought that it was overprotective of him to dote on such a bulky girl.
The woman was saying something while pointing at me.
Right afterwards, he stood right in front of me.
Did she something bad about me?
Could the terrifying father have found out that I’ve been saying “Giant woman!” or “You don’t even know the language!?”
The woman’s father raised his fist with great vigour.
Pathetically, I shut my eyes tightly from the force.
However, the anticipated impact did not come.
When I faintly opened my eyes, the father was pounding his chest with his fist.
So what does that action mean!?!
When I stared at her father again, he bowed once more.
Then, he hugged his daughter again and then they headed into the village.
Since I couldn’t get what was going on, I spat curses as I stomped on the ground.
Then, the lord who had very thin presence spoke up.
First, he thanked me for bringing the giant woman back.
I was told that she had a strong sense of responsibility, not coming back from hunting until she has caught prey. She was told to not overexert herself too much, but since those words would not be conveyed events like today might happen, he said.
After that, he taught me the meaning of the action of pounding one’s chest with their fist.
Apparently it means ‘thank you’.
Of course, depending on the situation, it can mean ‘yes’, it can be used to mean respect for the other. It has many uses.
Now that I knew the meaning of the mysterious action, I felt a little better.
Then, the lord said that he’ll be leaving the giant woman to me.
He said that he’s glad that a clumsy girl like her has a friend like me.
I’m not her friend! I said, but the lord grinned like an idiot and said, “Come on~ no need to be shy.”
Dammit! Who are you calling her friend!?
I’m going to make her speechless one day! It’s not like I want to do something with her!
The lord told me to take care of ‘Miruporon’ and then he left.
That was the story of the day I found out the name of the giant woman.