Exit: The Hunt

ExitRichard returned to what he dubbed the Circle of Terror after a brief lunch of hastily prepared fruits, nuts, and berries.  All of which Olive had said would be necessary to keep his strength up.  Olive and briefed him as well as she could in regard to the hunting techniques of the Pyorg tribe, however, the true test would be when he launched out into the field with the other hunters.  Richard wondered if the chief would be kind enough to allow Olive to come along with the hunting party, she would be a great comfort to him in this tense time.  Not to mention an excellent asset as a hunter.

It was worth a try.  If you don’t ask, then the answer is always no, thought Richard

Richard saw the chief standing in the center of the circle.  He was debriefing a group of men about the rules of Richard’s inauguration hunt.    Noticing him out of the corner of his eye, the chief turned quickly to address Richard.

“Temcancibus!  Come meet your hunting party.  These men will help you bring down the large beast which you must kill and bring back to the Pyorg community,” stated the chief.

“Have you considered a different pet name for me?” Richard asked.

“As far as I am aware, the original deal was that you need to survive both challenges before I stop calling you rotting dog meat, Temcancibus!” The chief exclaimed.  The men around him laughed heartily.

“Temcancibus!  You have until sunset to slay a large beast and bring it back to camp.  End of discussion,” quipped the chief.

“Sir, could I bring Olive along with us?  She is an excellent tracker and would be a great asset to the team,” said Richard.

“No women allowed this time.  Besides, we all know you’re sweet on her!  She would just be a distraction to you.  If something horrible were to happen, you would not be able to stay focused on your task.  Even if nothing eventful happens, Olive commands much attention,” said the chief.  “You are not allowed to take her.  Now get out there and subdue something!”

Richard and his hunting party left the circle of terror and exited the front gate of Pyorg territory.  They were now in the wilderness.  There was no turning back.

Richard and his army of five men who were stronger and in much better shape than he crept into the seclusion of a cluster of fir trees after traversing a small open space.

“What do we do?” Richard asked.

“You’re the leader Temcancibus!  You tell us what to do!” The most intimidating man in the group said.

“What is your name, sir.” Richard inquired.

“Baqui,” the man stated.

Richard peered through a gap in the trees and noticed one of those gluttonous lion like creatures he had seen the day earlier, eating grass.  He would be quite the catch if he could be caught.

Without warning, there was a rustling in a thicket across from the hunting party, about one hundred yards straight ahead.  Emerging from the trees with surprising speed was a giraffe like creature, though it was notably larger than the variety Richard had seen back on earth.  Using its powerful legs, the giraffe lunged toward the lion, who at this point had stopped eating and turned to face his attacker.  After a very brief scuffle, the giraffe had clearly overpowered the lion and was busy tearing him to shreds.  This was a shock to Richard.  On earth, this event would have occurred in an opposite fashion, with the lion being the victor.  However, this interesting turn of events gave him an idea.

Motioning toward the rest of his party, Richard proceeded to speak.

“Gentlemen, the giraffe is gorging himself, not even paying attention to us. If we attack him now, we can salvage a double kill.”

“You sir are crazy!  This has never been attempted in Pyorg history!” Baqui retorted.

“There’s a first time for everything!” Richard replied.

Bounding out from the safety of the trees, Richard unsheathed the long sword Olive had let him borrow.  If the chief wouldn’t let him take her along, he was at least going to use her metal in the fight.  For a moment, the sword glinted in the sun in such a way that the rest of the hunting party, and Richard himself, thought that this plan had half a chance at being successful.

Armed with clubs the others followed, intent on stunning anything that would get in Richard’s way.  However, they were instructed over and over again not to make the actual kill.  That was Richard’s job.

The giraffe had taken the life of the lion and was slowly preparing to disembowel its prey.  It was sitting down with its back turned toward Richard.  He took this opportunity to  creep upon the back of the large beast.  The rest of his hunting party watched silently, ready to strike with their clubs.  The creature sensed Richard’s presence and arched its neck back quickly, exposing sharp teeth, intent on dismembering the new found pest.  With one swift blow Richard swung the long sword, cutting neatly through the neck of the great mass.  He jumped toward solid ground as the former beast crumbled beneath him.

After a moment of silence as the hunting party took in what had just happened, Richard instructed them to drag both the lion and giraffe back into the cover of the forest.  Once they were in a safe enough place,  Richard led the men in the construction of a rudimentary cart in order to more easily transport the large amount of meat back to the Pyorg tribe.  After half an hour, with skilled use of the long sword, the wheeled pull cart was assembled.  Two of the hunting party manned the posts extending from the front of the cart, while the other three resigned themselves to push from behind.  Richard, their fearless leader as far as they were concerned, led the way back to camp, cutting through the thick undergrowth in order to make their journey as direct as possible.  Turning the cart proved to be difficult.

Within an hour the successful hunting party was safe in Pyorg territory.  The chief rushed toward Richard and quickly embraced him.

“Temcancibus!”  screamed the chief.  “You survived the hunt!  I underestimated you.”

Richard instructed the men to reveal the plunder.  He was enjoying his new found confidence.

‘A double kill! You’ve made history!” screamed the chief at an octave Richard did not think his baritone voice could have reached.  “This calls for a celebration with the entire tribe!  I will change your name, and as is customary you will be able to choose a bride from our people.”

Richard liked this idea very much.

“I must round up the women, those who can cook, and those eligible to be your bride,” the chief said.  “We will eat, drink, and be merry long into the night!  A great thing has happened today.  A wonderful day to be a Pyorg!”

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