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A Deadlier Shot [training/d-tier to c-tier dex]

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Lexi worked her lengthy blonde hair back into a braid, securing it with a ribbon before she carefully slung her quiver of arrows across her back and gingerly took up her bow. Though far from delicate, she was always careful with her hunting items. She could not afford to replace them any time soon and her father had crafted this bow himself, it had sentimental value. She quietly headed from the small camp she had made in a small oasis, her destination a more open area. At one end of the clearing was a large mound of sand she had tried to form into a target of sorts. She had originally planned to just use a rock, but she did not want to damage her arrows if she could avoid it. The sand made a good targeting system to reserve her bows and she had been working over the last couple of days to infuse it slightly with mud to minutely increase the resistance so she could better judge how deep her arrows might sink in an actual target.

She knew she had been lax in maintaining her training, her skill sufficient for taking out wildlife, but she knew she would need to be stronger and more accurate with her shots if she hoped to be able to rescue her family when she found them. She slid an arrow from her quiver and notched it in one fluid motion of practiced ease. Calming her breathing and steadying her heart beat, she took pulled the arrow back to her cheek, readjusted her aim and then released the tension on the bowstring. The arrow sailed towards the target, missing her intended spot by several inches. She repeated the process, adjusting her aim again. This one landed closer to the center spot she had marked, but was still not centered. Again, the process was repeating, each arrow landing closer and closer to the point she was aiming for. It was not until she had landed several in the dead center that she felt confident with her progress for the evening.

The next night, the young woman changed her location, working at the target from a more difficult angle. Arrow after arrow was launched, some hitting, others falling short of the mock target. When she ran out of arrows, she jogged over to collect what she had shot up to that point, discarding any that had cracked and separating the ones that simply needed a new head. Trudging back to her post, she took several deep, calming breaths before repeating her earlier process. Draw, aim, release, centering breath. Draw, aim, release, centering breath. Again and again until she was satisfied and the majority of the arrows struck where she intended.

For two weeks, she practiced, eventually adding in small dodging motions to mimic a combat situation, her steps small and nimble. Any time she did not spend training on her focus, she spent searching for nuts and berries. When she wanted meat, it was another variation of her training to find some small animal and bring it down as quickly and efficiently as possible. She focused on killing her prey in as few shots as possible, aiming for vital points that would kill them instantly or have them bleeding out in very short fashion. By the end of her foray into the oasis, she was able to take down a desert hare in a single shot and a small gazelle in no more than two shots. The practice with moving targets was valuable but difficult when she, herself, was moving stealthily about. By the end of the trip, her arms ached but felt stronger, the bows flew more swiftly and with greater accuracy, and overall, her intended targets suffered less than on her last hunting trip.

She swore to herself that she would not allow herself to become this lax again and vowed to make more frequent trip out for training her skills.



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