The next morning you had all but forgotten about Mrs.Midoryia’s supposed lie. Philip had woken you up bright and early. Being his usual chipper morning self. However his mood was quickly dampened by your defiance to wake up.
“Y/n get your lazy self up out of bed. We have hunting to do,” he growled tugging on your leg. You didn’t bother to open your eyes. Instead you pulled the blankets over your head. Attempting to block him out.
“Leave without me. I’m dead.”
Philip grabbed you waist dragging you off of your mattress. You let out a startled yelp as you hit the hardwood floors. Groaning you rolled onto your back. Glaring up at your older brother.
“Screw you,” you hissed. He broke into wide grin strutting out the door. You tossed your pillow at him but missed. The plush object hitting the floor inches from him.
“Get dressed and packed. We’ll be leaving in ten minutes!” He laughed disappearing from view. You scowled dragging yourself onto your feet. Making your way over to the closet you pulled out your usual hunting outfit. Grey tank top, black and red flannel shirt, jeans, and work boots. Not the most fashionable attire but it was efficient.
You trudged into the front room to see he had already packed your backpack. He must’ve grown impatient with you. He paced back and forth between his bag and yours. Muttering out a list under his breath. Upon seeing your still half asleep form he huffed. Grabbing a comb from the coffee table he advanced on you. You gave a mock hiss as he held you in a headlock.
“Stop it, your hair looks awful. I swear you sleep upside down on your head,” he scolded. You squirmed in his grip. Trying your best to free yourself to no avail. He finally let you go once your hair was in tidy order. He sidestepped your punc at him. Picking up your backpacks.
“Here, and your badge is in your front pocket. Don’t forget it,” he stated. You rolled your eyes slinging one of the straps onto your shoulder. He secured his bag in place. Strapping his quiver around his waist. He cast a sideways glance in your direction. Waiting for you to do the same. Although you secured yours diagonally across your chest. Your bag hanging off of your free shoulder.
“That’s not as efficient Y/n,” he frowned. You shrugged scooping your crossbow up from the table.
“Might not be but it works for me,” you countered. His eye twitched but he didn’t bother to argue. Instead he headed out the backdoor. With you in sluggish pursuit. You were never a morning person. Philip knew this and yet he still tried to drag you along with his early schedule.
You stifled a yawn as you entered the forest. The sun had barely risen and you were struggling to see. The birds still weren’t out yet and a sleepy silence settled over the woods. The only sound were your brother and yours footfalls. Philip navigated the forest floor with ease.
His eyes glowing a faint yellow. No doubt using a night vision spell. You merely followed his path. Avoiding the same areas he did, matching his steps, your movements matching his with precision. It was a dance you had formed together long ago.
When you were merely children learning the trade from your parents. Philip came to an abrupt halt and you almost stumbled into him. That was unusual. He never stopped like that, not unless he saw a-
“Mimic,” he breathed holding his crossbow up. You followed his gaze. Having to squint to see the creature in the dim light of dawn. It was bent over. Pincer like fangs feasting on the corpse of a rotting deer.
It’s blade like arms buried in the dirt to hold it’s upper body up. You maneuvered yourself beside Philip. Taking careful aim with your own bow.
“I’ll take the head. You go for the throat,” he whispered. You didn’t move to acknowledge. Merely inclined your crosshairs to match his request. An inhuman shriek tore through the air as two arrows buried into the shell like hide of the creature. It struck the earth with a harsh thud. Disintegrating into dust within seconds.
“A mimic within the first ten yards in. This might be a bigger infestation than we thought,” you muttered. You had merely thought a small bunch of mimics had grown brave. Wandering past the border out of confidence. The one thing you had avoided thinking about was over population. There was to much competition for food.
So they were leaving to find more prey. Philip’s voice broke you from your thoughts as he began walking again.
“It was merely scavenging near the edge. We don’t know how bad it is just yet,” he argued. Despite his attempt to be logical, you could tell he was thinking the same thing.
“Right. Have to survey the area first,” you said placing another arrow in your crossbow. By the time the sun had risen you had killed off three more mimics. All ranging from six to eight feet, mere adolescents still. Which meant they were healthy eaters. Which was a good thing.
It meant that the competition for food wasn’t great. In other words, you might’ve jumped the gun. There might not be as many mimics as you had worried. That or the larger mimics had started eating the smaller ones.
“Multiple tracks? Mimics don’t hunt in packs,” you scowled. Philip pursed his lips, brow furrowing.
“Not unless their hunting large game. Think of it like wolves hunting a moose. They work together to take it down, that way they have more to eat,” he explained.
“What the heck is bigger than a mimic? I count at least four tracks here,” you replied in disbelief. Philip took the left side of the path. Stepping lightly to make himself more quiet.
“A werewolf or minotaur for starters.”
“Wrong region for minotaurs. Plus we didn’t pass any pack boundaries on our way in,” you countered taking the right side. Both of your bows raised and ready to fire. You turned the bend to see three very angry mimics. They were snapping and hissing at each other. Hovering over the body of one of their own.
Looks like they had started a squabble for food. None of the creatures took notice of you as you advanced. That gave Philip and you the edge of surprise. You took aim of the smallest one. Philip’s crosshairs training on the largest.
The harsh clicks of your bows firing sounded. Two of the mimics vanishing in a cloud of dust. The remaining one let out a deafening screech. Arms flailing as it charged you. Philip dodged sideways as you fired off another shot. It struck the mimic’s chest bouncing off without causing any harm. You rolled out of the way as it’s knife like arm slammed into the dirt. You reloaded your crossbow as an angry snarl caught your attention. You glanced away for a split second to see a second much larger mimic. Oh, crap! Philip fired off three arrows directing it’s attention towards him instead of you.
“Y/N BEHIND YOU!” Philip yelled out. You felt your gut drop in realization. The other mimic snagged your backpack dragging you towards it. You slid your arms out of the straps. Barely managing to escape the creatures grasp.
You turned on your heel taking aim just in time to see the mimic swinging it’s lower body at you like a tail. You were nocked clear over the trail side. Rolling head over heels down the slope. Sharp rocks and brambles tore at your clothes. Snagging in your hair and clawing at any skin they could.
You managed to right yourself halfway down the sharp incline. That way you were sliding on your back. However it didn’t have the affect you wanted. Instead of giving you an advantage to grab onto something, you were smacked square in the eyes by a branch full of pine needles. You cried out in pain flailing your arms.
Attempting to shield your face as the underbrush continued to assault your body. When you finally came to a stop you were bruised and scraped beyond belief. You spat the mud out of your mouth rubbing at your eyes. The pain was almost unbearable.
You lifted your head attempting to squint to see your surroundings. You could barely make out the tree trunks and branches of the trees around you. The pine needles must have scraped up your eyes when the branch hit your face. That wasn’t good. If you couldn’t see, you couldn’t shoot.
If you couldn’t shoot, you couldn’t kill the mimic. Which left you dead in the water. You patted the ground around you hoping for some miracle your crossbow and quiver had landed close by. To your dismay it hadn’t. Great, you had no way to defend yourself.
A shriek sounded a few yards behind you. Your blood ran like ice through your veins. One of the mimics had come after you. You scrambled to your feet. Instincts telling you to forget finding a weapon.
You needed to start running! And that’s just what you did. You used your hands to feel your way through the dense woodland. Trying to remember which way you had come in. However adrenaline and terror were clouding your mind.
You couldn’t recall which turns to take. Where had you even come in? You couldn’t see clearly enough to discern any of the trees around you. You were slowing down. Legs aching and lungs burning.
It was probably safe to stop now. Just for a few seconds. Mimics weren’t great at tracking. They were only good at chasing. And after running for a good ten minutes you were pretty sure it had no idea where you were.
You sat down with your back pressed to the trunk of a large pine tree. Hot tears dripping down your cheeks from your eyes watering. Or maybe you were crying from fear. After all, you’d never been on your own before. You always had Philip to count on.
Now here you were, sitting in the middle of no where. Possible blinded. Crap, how were you going to find your way out of the woods if you couldn’t see? Better yet, were your eyes ruined? You weren’t a doctor but you new scraping your irises could cause blindness.
You really hoped that wasn’t the case. You’d barely had your hunting license for longer than two years. You still had duties to perform! You tried to hold back a sob. Rubbing at your cheeks in an attempt to wipe away the tears.
Your stomach dropped as a warm sticky liquid met the back of your hand. Oh, no. No, no, no. You were bleeding. You were bleeding, lost, and unarmed, with a mimic roaming around looking for you.
You were dead. There was no possible outcome. You were going to die here. This time you couldn’t control your sobs. You sat there bawling like a child.
Your head bowed as you accepted your fate. It wasn’t how you thought you’d go out. You thought you’d just grow old. Maybe go down helping defend a sanctuary somewhere. But not alone, and certainly not helpless.
“Are you lost?”
You almost had a heart attack when the person spoke. You glanced towards where you had heard them to see a small blurry figure. You could vaguely make out two colors, blue and green.
“Oh my gosh you’re bleeding! Are you okay?! What happened?!” The boy ask jogging over to you. It might’ve been your weakening vision but you swore he wasn’t walking like a human.
“Uh, no. I got lost and i slipped down a hillside. A branch hit me in the face. I can’t see very well,” you explained nervously. The boy gently took your hand helping you to stand.
“Don’t worry. I’ll help you find your way back. What part of town do you live in?”
“I just moved into the old cabin. I don’t know the road name. It’s on the road that leads into the woods.”
“Oh, i know where that is! I used to pass it on my way out here all the time,” the boy replied cheerfully. Now that you were both walking you were certain something was wrong with his legs. He had a sort of bounce to his step. But it wasn’t natural. Before you could ask you smacked your forehead on a low hanging branch.
A curse flew out of your mouth without even thinking. Your gut reaction was to immediatly apologize to the kid. Instead he spoke up instead.
“Sorry! I should’ve warned you. What with your sight damaged and all. I’ll be more careful. Are you alright? You aren’t hurt are you?” He babbled nervously. You shook your head pursing your lips together.
“No, i’m alright. I just can’t see much at the moment. Doesn’t help that i’m tall enough to hit all the branches.”
“Wait, so you can’t see me?”
That caught you a little off guard. Why was he surpised you couldn’t see him? You just told him you were half blind. Maybe he thought he looked odd and was worried you’d think he was strange? It was possible with the way he was walking. He might have support braces on or something.
“No, i can’t. You just look like a really colorful blob,” you smiled trying to lighten the mood. No need to make him feel any worse than he already did.
“Oh, that’s good. Hey, look! I can see the lights of your cabin from here!” He exclaimed tugging you forward. Encouraging you to walk faster. But you couldn’t help but wonder. Why had he thought it was a good thing you couldn’t see him?