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The Heart of the Hunters-PG-15

Discussion in 'Non-Pokémon Stories' started by Delta Hunter, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Delta Hunter

    Delta Hunter The G-Rank MH

    Hello, deltakurumiru here with one of my longer fan fictions. I plan to update chapters at a bi-weekly status, so without further ado, i give you....

    The Heart of the Hunters

    Rated PG-15 for blood, gore, and the such.

    Chapter 1: Aquaious, Scourge of Unity Village

    I clanked a large fork and knife together, before saying with a large smile “Serve up that delicious food, Rain!” The silver cat with a blue smock smiled before placing a massive dish in front of me, completely with dragon head, king squid, goldenfish brew, and finally a large hunk of kirin cheese. I began plowing into the meal, grapping meat with the fork and shoving it into my mouth. With the knife, I cut chunks off of the cheese and smeared them onto the squid and dropped chunks into the brew. In the middle of the squid, after the dragon head, I heard some man running at me, yelling

    “GIVE ME YOU MONEY AND FOOD!” Oh, and he had a scimitar. He held it to my back, and smiled evilly. “Listen. You are going to give me every valuable, coin, and piece of food you have, or else!”

    “Alright. Here, have my fist” I said calmly, and before he could react, I smashed my fist into his right cheek, dislocating his jaw and breaking a few teeth. He fell down, out like a light. Rubbing my right knuckles, I muttered that I should really wear my gauntlets when eating, but I heard some yelling from down the cliff. “What now?” I sighed, and looked over the hill edge. I reached into my pocket, and pulled out a pair of binoculars. Through them I saw two girls being harassed by about ten thieves, with more in the surrounding woods. The girls had some supplies in boxes, and the robbers tried to make off with them. By the looks of it, a scuffle issued, judging by the two dead robbers and one of the girls having blood dripping from her forehead. The one with blood was on the ground limp, and the standing girl was tired. I could barely read her lips, though it was obvious she was saying help. “Rain….keep an eye on the camp” I said. Rain nodded, and went to gather the other cats to defend the small camp. I walked towards the center of the camp first, before I started running. I ran towards the edge of the cliff, and jumped.

    “Listen, these supplies are for my mother’s inn. You can’t have them” panted the standing girl. The leader of the robbers, a man with a metal helm and a fur strap across his chest, smiled, and raised his sword.

    “Sorry little girl, but this blade WILL strike you down!” scoffed the leader, but that’s when he heard me shout.

    “Testament of a hunter!” I shouted, and rammed my fist into his face. The helmet bent to the force of my blow, and the leader went skidding into a tree. The rest of the robbers gasped at my strength, before drawing their own blades and ran at me. I drew a golden shield from my back and from it, I drew a triangular blade, completely gold, and the air shimmered around it. The robbers stopped, for they recognized the blade that I held. It was known as a legend killer. “Right. You know what this blade’s name is, don’t you. Meet, with you small lives, the infamous Golden Eclipse! Fear my power!” I said, and held the blade above my head. At the mention of its name, the blade was suddenly bathed it white fire, and the air began to heat. Knowing the legends about the Eclipse, the robbers fled, dragging the limb leader with them. Sheathing the golden blade, I smiled at the weak girl, and she fainted soon after. “Great” I muttered. Stacking the creates that they had, I found myself wanting to check on them.

    The fainted girl was in a flowing kimono, with a form of corset right below her chest extending to her skirt bottom. The kimono itself was pale brown, with a black edge on the collar and the area of the sleeves when it hit her wrists. It stopped just at her knees, and had a white trim .The corset was a rusty red, and it extended the length of her skirt. Her feet were in red sandals and white socks. At her elbows, a pink sash extended from one arm to the other, nearly making sword fighting impossible with the broadsword she had. Her skin was pale, and after checking her ruby eyes, I found no cause of her fainting. A pink sash was wrapped around her waist, and a fox outline pin was attached to her right hip at the sash. A bell hung from it, and from the bell hung a pink tassel. Smaller bells and tassels hung from orange orbs that tied her brown hair into two ponytails. I put two of my fingers against her pale skin, and I could feel a heartbeat. “Well, at least she isn’t dead” I muttered. I began to feel the left side of her ribs, and that, however, was not the best choice. She woke suddenly, and quickly crawled away, surprised I that was feeling along her ribs.

    “What is this? Is this how you take a reward for saving someone?” she demanded, and was very frightened.

    “S-sorry. I was checking to see if you ribs were broken” I stammered, but then fell silent. Here I was, on my knees, with a girl completely scared out of her wits when she found me touching her. First time I ever stammered too. I tried to think of a way to get her to calm down, but nothing came to mind. She tried to stand, but fell back down, her right leg giving out underneath her. “Your leg’s broken. I can help, but you have to stay still.”

    “Oh, and I should just let you? You might be with the robbers!”

    “I saved you from them!”

    The girl tried to stand, but she fell back down, this time making a small pained sound. “Who are you anyway?” she asked.

    “My name is Halt. I’m a hunter, so there’s nothing to fear.” Her eyes widened at the mention of hunter.

    “…alright, but please do it quickly. I need to get these supplies to my mother’s inn.” She extended her right leg out slowly. Kneeling next to her, I placed my hand on her shin. She gasped.

    “Alright. I have some salve that should help, but you shouldn’t walk on it for a few days” I said in a calming voice. Removing a jar full of a green substance from my pocket, I smeared the contents onto her leg. She shivered from the touch. “Tell me, what’s your name?”

    “I’m Sakuya. My adopted sister Pia is the one on the ground.”

    I turned from her to check her sister’s status. She was breathing, but still out. Closing my eyes, I thought of what to do. It wasn’t an option to leave the two to their own devices. At the same time, the other might be worried about me. Turning to see Sakuya looking at me with a hopeful expression, I found myself undone. “Show me the way to your village, and I’ll carry your supplies.”

    “Wait, really? Thank you!” thanked Sakuya with a large smile. I looked down and blushed. I was a real sucker for woman in trouble. Grapping the supplies under one arm, I managed to get Pia under my right. She was wearing a brown poncho that covered her entire body, so I couldn’t tell anything past that. She had long pink hair, but there were blue smears in the hair right above her ears. Kneeling down, I turned to Sakuya.

    “Climb on my back, you are not walking with that bad leg.” Sakuya smiled, before she climbed onto my back. There, she draped her arms over my shoulders, and moved her legs so they gripped my waist. I blushed, and started walking down the path.

    “You’re a Huntair, right?”

    “Yes, actually. How did you tell?”

    “You’re stronger than any sixteen year old I’ve met! Relax, I’m one too! By the way, what age do you consider yourself? Hunter age, or human age?”

    “I consider myself a human with a VERY long lifespan and slow maturity. So sixteen. You?”

    “Same! You’re pretty cool, where are you from?”

    “Midgarde. I thought all Huntair are from there.”

    “Sort of. Midgarde was where they originated, but they branched out everywhere. My village, Unity Village, is where I grew up. My mother and I often travel, so we’ve been all over the four continents. She always kept me near during those travels, but it’s only after Aquaious showed up that we stopped the travels. Now, my sister and I travel together to Vielstone in order to stock up on supplies. This is the first time that the bandits attacked us…”

    “Hold on. You mentioned something called Aquaious. What is it, exactly?”
    “He’s….our protector. He’s the elemental embodiment of water in the shape of a dragon…”

    I could tell that she wasn’t telling me the whole story, but I left that subject alone. If she didn’t want to tell me everything, then she could. “Alright. It’s just I’ve hunted so many monsters, It’s rare to find one that helps humans, instead of killing them.”

    “Really? In Unity Village, monsters and humans live in peace together. The monsters help defend us, and we give them warm homes and food in exchange. At least, until Aquaious appeared. He demanded food as tribute, and every year….one female sacrifice.”

    I felt cold drops of water against my neck, and realized Sakuya was crying. “Last year…my friend Shara’s little sister Monica was sacrificed…” Sakuya said, through a pained and trembling voice. We were already in the forest, and were about half way through it. It was midday, and the sun was shining. “This year might be my family’s turn. I’m so worried.” This time, the tears were coming down faster. “He even kills the travelers coming to the village for rest. He hates all outsiders. Please, drop us off at the outskirts of town…I don’t want you to die…”

    “Not an option” I said in a stern voice. She looked at my surprised.

    “You can’t beat it! It’s lived for hundreds of years! It’s killed more than a hundred hunters! Its suicide!”

    I turned to her and smiled. “I guessed that. It must know every strategy for every weapon ever used. Well, that means I have to use a weapon that it has never seen before. A weapon that I invented, and it has never been seen before. This might be a good test.”

    “….Alright, but you can’t enter the village yet. Enter and do a heroic rescue for the sacrifice tomorrow. Whoever is chosen will be chained to a rock by the shore. At noon, he will raise from the water, and devour her.”
    Reaching the gates, I kneeled down so that Sakuya can see if her leg was fixed. She smiled as she danced around, her leg holding fine. Placing the two crates down, I moved Pia from my arm onto my back, and hefted the crates once more. I was about to enter when a woman, about 45, came running and hugged Sakuya.

    “My daughter! Why did you return?” she asked hurriedly.

    “Mom…what do you mean?” asked Sakuya. Her mother looked down, and tears fell from her face.

    “Please, come to the inn. We will speak more there.” Looking at me, Sakuya’s mother took the creates and Pia, before walking into the town, Sakuya following her. Sakuya turned to me, and mouthed be ready, before hurrying off.

    Cracking my neck, I pulled out some brown leaves from my pocket, and crushed them. I tossed them into the wind, and waited. Ten minutes later, Boyd, my first hunting cat, ran to me, his eyes blood shot and crazy. Removing my weapon box from him, I set it on the ground near me. “Boyd, tell the others that I’m leaving the group for a while. About one month. Tell them to go to another continent while I do my own quest.”
    “Master….you’re happy?” asked Boyd, and then he smiled. Nodding, the cat ran back to the camp, to tell the others my choice.

    “Happy? No Boyd, I’m in love” I said softly. “I finally found something worth protecting. Not Pokke Village, but someone with a heart.” Reaching into the box, I pulled out a large coil of black steel, with a crimson blade at the center. It was ten feet in diameter, and the crimson blade was a foot and a half long. Removing my golden armor, I reached into the box, and pulled out four pieces of pitch black armor. I knew how much of a risk I was going to take the second I wore that armor. But I need to save this town…for Sakuya. For the first time in my life, I could hear my heart beat. Each pulse resounded in my ears, as if urging me to risk it all for this girl. I was happy, and I was ready for war. The chest clipped into place, and two black wings sprung from the back. The tasset gripped onto my waist like a vice, and several coils of black scales went around my waist. The leggings gripped my legs, and a single silver spike protruded from the toes. Right below the knee and to the outside of the legs were two smaller spikes. The gauntlets felt as if they could wield a mountain of power. Along the forearm were three spikes, in growing size from the wrist to the elbow. I looked at my hands. The end of each finger was sharp and in a point. Tightening them both into a fist, I punched a tree with a right hook. The tree cracked, and there was a clear crack running from where I punched to the top of the tree. Straightening my left hand, I plunged my hand in the crack. Pieces of wood flew from the opposite side I struck, and I pulled my hand free, shaking off the wood on the hand. Curling my fingers, I hide my box under some overgrowth by the village edge. A beautiful village, it was filled with flowers, as well as a multitude of plants and trees. Towards the northwest edge of the town was an immense tree, its trunk several times wider than my weapon box. I ran around the houses, staying well in the shadows. I passed a few townspeople, but they didn’t notice me. Reaching the tree, I started climbing it, reaching the top branches in about five minutes. It was big, but my armor causes my speed to increase. Reaching the top, I stood perfectly on the top of the trunk, which ended in the small spike. Facing the village, I felt a form of pride. If they were willing to have me, it would nice to move here with my cats. It would be a form of retirement. I hated the killing. Every day it was the same thing. You woke up, talked to the elder, and then killed a monster. Sure, life here might be dull. But, it was because of how hectic a hunt can get that I wanted to relax here. Grow crops, help the people with their problems, and maybe make life easier for the townspeople. That would be perfect. Looking at the sky, it suddenly became cloudy. “What?” I said out loud. Looking at the inn, I saw a procession leave. Two older people lead it, looking like the elders. Behind them, in chains, was Sakuya. She was in the middle, surrounded by the rest of the town.

    It was too early. It was still the same day. Did Sakuya get the date wrong? That didn’t matter. What mattered was the dragon raising from the lake. “It’s time, then. Testament of the Hunter.”
  2. Delta Hunter

    Delta Hunter The G-Rank MH

    Chapter 2: A Hunter’s Heartbeat

    Sakuya was chained to a large rock by the shore. A massive serpent rose from the lake. Its body was light blue in color, with a feather like texture over its body, counting its wings. The chest had a dark blue gold boarded armor plate, at the center was a clear diamond. Its head had a similar armor plate, but it extended out like a bottom jaw. It was long, about 20 meters, possible more. Drawing a black blade from my sheath, I ran from the tree top to roof tops. Aquaious was about to bite when a black thunder bolt from my sword struck him in the face. As the smoke cleared, it turned about to see if he could find the one that attacked him.

    “Over here!” I called. Aquaious turned to see me standing on some rocks nearby. Lightning flashed, revealing the black armor.

    “Who dares disturb my sacrifice?” it hissed. So it can talk. Cool.

    “I dare. The name is Halt, but you might know me better by the name The Black Sword!” I spoke in a confident tone. The dragon recoiled. “I see. So, my reputation precedes me. Even gods quake at the mention of my title. Well then, why do you cage the inhabitants of this fair village?”

    “Halt!” cried out Sakuya, a smile on her face. Turning to her, I flashed a smile and winked before turning back to the serpent.

    “Ah…so it was she how requested that you fight me. I thought I smelled outside influence on her.” Hissed Aquaious, having noticed our exchange.

    “Actually, it was my idea when I heard that you take sacrifices. A true protector would do nothing like this, even a god. If you wanted to protect, then protect your name!” I shouted, before leaping at him. I moved faster than he expected, to I managed to land a cut through his left wing. I landed right in front of Sakuya.

    “You fool! If you hadn’t stepped in, than only she would die! Now, this entire village will suffer!” complained the old man, most likely the elder.

    “That is, if he kills me.” I added. The elder fell silent. Switching my sword to the negative grip, I easily cut through the chains that banded Sakuya to the rock. She stood there for a second in shock, before running to the village, barely managing a thank you through tears of joy. I smiled, but was quick to smack away a water bullet.

    “You injured me! For this, you shall die from the crushing depths of a thousand oceans! AQUAIUM…CINCERTO!” roared the serpent. Large hands made of water charged me, but I leapt out of their grasp, and fled to the rocks on the shore. “Hmm…your armor is light, yet highly defensive and powerful. You have the Evade Distance Up skill, no?”

    “Heh, you’re not all hot water, snake. Yeah, this armor increases the distance that I can evade. Not bad, but far from impressive.”

    Aquaious smiled, before dissolving into the water. I was quick to go on the defensive, but I had no idea where the dragon was. I felt, rather heard, something right behind me, but it was too late. The dragon opened its maw, and a massive blast of water propelled me towards the other side of the shore. My black sword fell from my hand into the water, and I smashed into the Cliffside. “Mwahahah. You really thought that a little toothpick could defeat a god?”

    “Good point. To think I could defeat something as old as you with an overused weapon.” The dust cleared, revealing that beyond heavily busted armor and a couple of cuts on the face, I was alright. I was heavily panting, but beyond that, I was good. Standing straight, I grabbed a black steel tube at the end of the coil. Yanking it, the sound of clanking chains filled the air was the coil unwound. The individual tubes clanked together, hiding the chains inside each tube. The blade was the last to fall into place, and I grabbed it in the middle. It was a ten foot long neginata, with the crimson blade at one end.

    “What nonsense is this? That is no hunter weapon. You cheat!”

    “Actually, this is weapon I made personally. Made from Black Fatalis and Lao Shen Lung parts, this little weapon can block, cut, and strike from 25 feet away. You like?” I tossed the weapon in the air, and gripped it at the last metal tube. I applied a little more force in order to separate each tube, and ran at the serpent. Aquaious made a move to grab me, but I stopped short of his water hands. With a mighty pull, I sent the blade sailing through the air and cut a portion of his chest armor off. It fell back, surprised at my blades range. Releasing the last tube, the weapon shrank back to a pole arm, and I grabbed the center. Aquaious roared in anger, though he seemed slightly more peeved than hateful. I noticed, though, that his left side of his body, the side that I cut armor off of, was more watery than the right. Nothing seemed to have an edge, and the feathers were gone.

    “Hydro Bullets!” Roared Aquaious, and he began to rapid fire orbs of water at high speeds at me. I appealed pressure to the center of the pole arm, and began to spin it. The weapon began to increase in length due to the chains being released, but it suddenly spun into a tight coil. I held the coil in front of me, and the bullets began to crash into the shield. It was tough, but it was nothing to the weapon. Once he stopped shooting me, I released the coiled form, and gripping the last cylinder, attack his chest plate again. This time, I cut the straps holding the armor to the left side. Instantly, the left side of his body dropped from him and fell into the water, becoming the water.

    “Well that’s interesting. Your armor holds you shape together from the water of the lake. So, if I cut your armor off, then you should lose your body shape.”

    “And your point?” I raised an eyebrow, before I realized that ice had formed over my weapon. The ice was even creeping over my arm. I struggled to pull free, and I noticed that his entire body was frozen. “As you can see, I can freeze my body. Now, nothing you weapon has can defeat me!”

    “Come on, come on” I kept muttering to myself. Black lightning suddenly emitted from the blade and down the length of the staff, shattering the ice and causing part of Aquaious’ chest to break.
    “What madness is this?!” He roared. Pulling my weapon back in, a shadow loamed over me. Looking up, I gasped as I saw a massive ice pillar. “Now die maggot!” The pillar smashed right onto me.

    “Halt!” cried out Sakuya. She moved to run to the pillar, but her mother kept her back. “Halt please, get up! Get up!” she cried, tears flowing down her face.

    “Your own pride killed you, hunter. Black Sword? Pah! Your weapon is indeed powerful, but the longer it stretches, the longer it takes to return to normal. Now, which of these people shall I eat first? Your girl….or maybe eat her family first, and leave her for last. Hate must spread, so everyone may be in perpetual pain!” Aquaious roared, and his eyes began to move around rapidly.

    So cold. So cold. I can hear Sakuya. But…is this my end? Will I ever feel my heart beat again? I opened my eyes. I was in a form of a cavern in the pillar that smashed me. My right arm and my left leg were broken, and I could taste blood in my mouth. A broken rib must have lacerated a lung. Breathing was hard and painful. I couldn’t move. I could feel tears in my eyes. I lost. I failed. What good was I in this broken state? My left hand tightly clenched the hilt of my weapon. The Omniam Necat. I thought I could kill all with it. Was this not to be? I could hear Sakuya wailing into the wind, crying for me to stand. Was I a failure to her? A hunter that lost was not a hunter worthy of living. But…I wasn’t worthy to the guild…but what about to someone else? Kari, my sister…Adam, my cousin….Delta, my brother…Sakuya….They all trust me. They know me. They know my strength, my heart, and my soul. Sakuya….she’s crying. This dragon is threating her family….what man would stand by and wait for the end?

    “Aquaious…..” I said in a confident tone. I stood, and I could feel it. My heartbeat. It was heard. A red aura covered my entire body, and my weapon gained a black glow. The dragon looked confused, for he thought that the pillar would kill me. I stabbed the top of the cave I was in, and shouted in a voice that seemed unearthly “DRAGONIC THUNDER!”
    Lightning began to strike around the pillar, and a massive black one struck the pillar. It flowed into the pillar, and in one big thunder crack, the pillar exploded in a flash of black light. After the dust settled, I stood among the rubble, my spear crackling with the black lightning.

    “You only have your left hand! Your speed is gone! You die now! Become engulfed in my hatred!” Roared Aquaious. Two massive burly ice arms protruded from his sides, right below his wings. Roaring in anger, he charged me.

    “No. You forget” I spoke in a calm voice, pulling my left arm back so that the chains curved over my right shoulder. With a flourish, I yanked the chain, and the blade cut through the air. “Huntair are born left handed.”

    My blade soared over the village folk, and stopped after cutting through the rocks of the shore. A black line followed my blades path, as the blade’s destructive properties became known. The dragon gasped as he saw the line cut his left arm, right arm, and chest in half horizontally. The rocks fell down, cleaved in half perfectly. “Your hatred weakened you judgment, and thus your armor and body were as weak. Become known, Aquaious, as the one monster I sent to the Forest of Beginnings with hatred. Farewell” I spoke. I curled my blade back into a tight coil, and attached it to the back of my armor. I walked towards the people, as Aquaious fell, its two halves falling into the water. I smiled, but then started coughing up blood. I fell to my knees, breathing hard. The damage the dragon did was starting to affect me, now that the adrenaline wore off.

    “Halt!” cried Sakuya, and she ran to me, and used my good arm to help prop me up into a standing position. “You won! How did you break out of the ice?”

    “I…” I began, but that that’s when I heard movement in the water. Turning around, I saw the head of Aquaious charging through the water. I pushed Sakuya out of the way, and with one hand, caught the large head.

    “I HATE YOU! I HATE ALL OF YOU! WHY DO YOU NOT HATE ME? WHY DO YOU ALL NOT HATE?” roared the head, trying to push me into the wall of a nearby store “WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS SO SURE OF YOURSELF? WHY ARE YOU SO STRONG?”

    It noticed, then, that I was standing between it and Sakuya. The more it pushed the more I pushed back. “Damn…DAMN YOU!” it roared, and began to ram into me again and again. “You have others to care for…to protect….to be there for….to love…why are you so strong?!”

    I grabbed it by the armor, and I stomped on it to hold it still. It evaded back a distance, before running at me again with a long ice horn. I broke the ice horn with a single chop, and it charged again, even angrier. I straightened my hand, and as it ran up, I stabbed my hand between its eyes. “Go ahead, dance. Dance on the corpse of the monster you slew. Isn’t that what you damn hunters do?”

    “No. Only hunters do that. I am no hunter.”


    “My name is Halt. That much is true. But I hate the kill. I send a monster back to the Forest of Beginnings, and from there it raises again. You plunge them into an eternal cycle of rebirth that never ends. Wouldn’t just one death be happy, and not one of constant death and rebirth?”

    “I…never knew an ounce of kindness in my life. I was sent into that endless cycle by a hunter…who believed rage was the secret to power.” The crack began to widen, and the head began to lose its shape. I needed to know the name of the hunter that was so evil, but I knew that he would die first.
    “If you return to this place in your next life, then please be a good guardian.”

    “I….will….Halt….” spoke the head in a struggled voice before the crack finally finished him. The two pieces of the head armor fell to the ground, and the head dissolved back into water.
    “It is done.” I spoke, looking at the lake. Blood was at the corner of my mouth, and I could feel my lungs burning in pain. My legs were weak, but I managed to look at the village folk. “If you have someone who can heal, that would be nice.” My left leg gave out, and I fell right in the sand. The old woman came forward, and immediately tried to get me up. However, I was so weak from the fight, and my armor was busted and heavy, so that she couldn’t help me up.

    “Come on hunter, you’re not done yet. Marian, help me with the hunter” ordered the old woman. A thin girl with blue hair and a witch hat came running and grabbed my other arm. With the two of them, they were able to drag me from the sand into the town, but suddenly my armor throbbed.

    “Hack!” I coughed, spitting blood into the ground. The armor’s curse! Why? I thought only the helmet could start the domino chain of curse. The old woman and Marian didn’t react, so I needed a way to get this armor off before it kills me. My right arm couldn’t move, so I needed to slip off the left gauntlet. The less of the armor you wore, the weaker the curses are. I began to move my left shoulder around, trying to undo the straps that held it to the chest plate. The straps were bound tight, and it was not going loose without untying it. “Excuse me….but could you remove the armor?” I croaked.

    “We’ll have to anyway because of your broken bones. Why do you ask?” answered the old woman.

    “It’s nothing” I said, but then my armor pulsed, and I spat more blood. The pain it was causing was starting to darken my vision. “Come on, come on” I muttered, trying desperately to stay couscous. That’s when my right leg was crushed suddenly by the curse, and I knew no more.
  3. Delta Hunter

    Delta Hunter The G-Rank MH

    Chapter 3: Micah the Hunter, and the Armor’s Curse

    My eyes flickered open, and at first I thought I was back in Pokke Village. My chest was wrapped in bandages, and both of my legs were in casts. My right arm was only bandaged, so I could move it. The room was an older style, having wood and benches. The only thing that snapped me back to reality was Sakuya sleeping next to my bed, her head resting on my right hand. For some reason, I didn’t feel the need to move my hand right away. If any of the Guild saw this exchange, then both of us would be hanged for treason. I slowly moved my hand out from under her head, and placed my hand behind her head, stroking her soft hair. I smiled, but when I heard footsteps nearby, I quickly pulled my hand back. A male teen of about 16 with blond hair and a fur vest stepped in with a platter of food. “Oh, you’re awake” he muttered. Either he was shy, or he wanted to talk to Sakuya.

    “Who are you?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “Man, you must have had wax stuck in your ears for these past five days to not know who I am!” scoffed the male. He then stuck his arm out in an upward fashion, with his right arm at an angle against his chest. “I am the one and only protector of this fair village, the one, the only, Micah!”

    As Micah was doing his ridiculous posing, I was eating one of the rice balls he brought. He brought two rows of five rice balls, and a plate of squid sashimi. I was in the middle of the second rice ball when he noticed that I ignored his pose. “Come on! You have to be able to value the incredibleness of the pose, as one hunter to another!” he yelled, clearly upset.

    “Wait, you’re a hunter?” I asked, this time even more confused. He was thin, though not weak, he wasn’t even close to hunter level. I seemed thin and youthful, but my muscles were highly developed to the point of the escapades that hunters do. I started laughing hysterically. It was just too funny that this kid thought he was even near my level.

    “Hey! Really now, I’m not to your hunter level, but I’m at the level of a hunter needed for this village” said Micah in an offended voice. My laughing calmed down, and I reduced it to a small chuckle.

    “My apology, but I can’t help but laugh when someone says they’re a hunter and they are not from Midgarde. Even after leaving the Guild, I can’t help but feel pride at my status.” I said, and looked down. Sakuya was starting to stir, most likely from my laughing.

    “Halt, you’re awake!” said Sakuya in a cheery voice as she grabbed me in a hug, her arms around my neck. I was stunned for a moment, unsure of what to do. My ribs, though, knew that they were healing, and that the kind gesture hurt.

    “Ow. Good mourning to you to.” I said in a pained voice.

    “Good morning?! You were out for five days! I was worried…” countered Sakuya, not letting go.

    “Sorry I made you worry. Are you okay? Where am I, anyway?”

    This time Sakuya let go, and looked at me with a confused look. “You’re in the apothecary in Unity Village. And I’m quite fine, thanks to you. You were so amazing!” I looked down again and blushed, earning myself another hug from Sakuya. “You already met Micah, too. He lives in the Sharaence Tree, the tree in the back of the village.”

    “Wait, that tree is a house?”

    “Yep! It’s a nice place, if I say so myself” said Micah, with his ridiculous posing again, this time whipping his left thumb along the tip of his nose. Sakuya let go of me, and began to eat the sashimi.

    “Why do you pose so much?” I asked, finishing the second the rice ball. I was still hungry, but I’m unable to eat too much rice in one sitting. Otherwise, my stomach tries to remove all of it as fast as possible. Also known as vomiting uncontrollable.

    “I like to think about it as my signature.”

    “Ah….have any steak?”

    “Steak? What’s that?” asked both Sakuya and Micah. I sat there for a full minute, unable to comprehend what they just said. This village has no idea what steak is….what….just what?

    “THE HELL?!” I roared, surprising both of them and sending them a distance away. A customer at the shop stopped for a second, and hurriedly grabbed his order and ran. Marian was just as surprised, and after leaving the cauldron room, came to see what was going on. She saw both Sakuya and Micah cowering in the corner.

    “Woah! What is going on here?” she asked.

    “Th—Th--that’s one scary hun—hun—hunter” stammered Micah. Sakuya couldn’t say anything more.

    “What in heavens is going on here? Honestly hunter, keep your lid on!” sighed Marian, shaking her head.

    “Sorry, but to not know what steak is….does your village have ANY kind of meat?”

    “No, our primary resources stem from plants and fish.” At that statement, I could already feel my stomach object.

    “Right…anyway, where is my armor?”

    “Gaius the blacksmith has been working on it for the past five days, and he isn’t anywhere nearer than when he started! The materials are just too different for him to work with!”

    “Micah, could you tell this Gaius that in front of the village gates to the right are some bushes. Under the bushes is a large box. You NEED to stress that the two of you should move it into the forge together. Also stress that under no circumstances that anyone should go inside, no matter how big it seems. It’s endless, trust me.” I ordered Micah.

    “And I should why?” pouted Micah, facing away from me. Sakuya did sit in a chair next to the bed, though she was still startled by my earlier outburst.

    “Because, the more damaged the armor is, the more powerful the curses are. In the box is the fifth piece of armor to the set, a black helm. DO NOT REMOVE IT!”

    “Why don’t you tell him yourself?”

    “I have no idea, ask the leg casts!” I could feel the rage rising in the room. I quickly forced myself to calm down, but Micah was not in the mood for calm.

    “Oh, look at this. Some big shot hunter strolls in, kills something, and expects everyone to obey his commands. Sorry boy, but I’m not your mother!”

    When he mentioned mother, all of the fight in me left. I sat in the bed, and fell silent. “Oh, sore subject? Sorry, but I have no sympathy for you. Go limp home to the Guild, you have no place here!” Micah strode out of the room and out of the building, looking very much like he won the argument. Sakuya watched him leave, but suddenly turned back to me when I started sobbing, tears coming from my eyes.

    “I know Micah has a personal distain of hunters, with them burning down his home in Loc Lac, but he really should be in more line than this” muttered Marian, before she too realized I was crying. “A hunter crying….never knew they could.”

    “Please, could you leave us alone?” asked Sakuya politely. Marian nodded, and left the room to brew some medicine. “Halt…why are you crying? Micah didn’t say anything that insulting.”

    “Sorry…it’s just….my mother was murdered years ago. I thought that I could be able to take mother insults, but this…this just shows how weak I am…” Sakuya wrapped her arms around me again, and we hugged. It felt nice, I think. I let go, and stood up from the bed. Tearing the casts off, I found my legs healed and ready to go. I was reduced to the thin pants that I wore under my armor, but I didn’t care. Removing some spare clothes from my bag, I quickly dressed in a simple white shirt and dark blue pants. Without shoes, I ran out the door, and quickly headed for the gates. I could already hear commotion ringing out from the large inn, and judging by the boot prints, Gaius found out why I hate that armor. Pulling aside the bushes outside the gate, I reached into my box, and pulled out golden armor. It was easy for me to throw on, and after the four pieces were in place, I slammed down the helmet. I pulled out two swords of equal length, one gold, and one silver. A bowgun made of golden scales was strapped to my back, and the last weapon was the Eclipse, still in its shield on the back plate. Pulling it out, I strapped the shield to my left arm and held the sword in my right. “This should be fun” I muttered.

    As I was putting on my gold armor, Micah had his hands full with an out-of-control man in a bust suit of black armor. All he could do was dodge around, allowing some of the guests of the inn to get hit by the wild punches of the suit. The man inside had messy black hair and a scar over his right eye. His left eye had a blue claw mark painted over it, though he could still see out of it.

    “Watch my guests, you idiot!” yelled the voice of Sakuya’s mother, as she fished around her counter for a weapon.

    “Well, then maybe they should move!” yelled Micah in anger as he dodged another blow that shattered a wooden table. “Gaius isn’t anywhere near this strong! What kind of armor is that?” Turning around, Micah saw the armor right behind him, ready to strike. However, I ran in through the destroyed doors and took the punch head on. The man smiled, but noticed that I showed no signs of pain.

    “Dragon X, you’re going down. Now!” I ordered to the man. He stumbled back, and I saw something odd. His knees bent at an odd angle. Sliding a blood red clip into the Golden Valkyrie, I pulled back a lever on the side, and the bow pulled back. Kneeling down, I aimed the gun at the armor’s knees.

    “Target sighted. Dragon bullets prepared. Armor is -35 to dragon, preparing for corpse removal” I said as I aimed the gun. Before Micah could object, a red bullet fired lazily from my gun and tore through the knee of the armor. All of the armor suddenly fell, and the man was left standing on small stilts. He wasn’t that tall, about a foot shorter than me. In order to compensate, he wore stilts that had a flat metal foot in order to move the heavy leggings. He was in a black vest and black shorts, though I could see smudges of light blue. The man staggered, and fell onto the ground. Blood flowed from his left foot, or what was left of it, after my dragon bullet struck it. I looped the bowgun strap around my shoulder again, and began to speak directly to all of the remaining patrons.

    “Do not blame this man for the trouble he has caused you. I will be willing to pay for all damages, replacement tables, and the such for his actions.” I spoke with a thundering voice. The others flinched, and a few children fled under tables.

    “Who are you, stranger, who saved us and willing to pay for another’s actions?” asked a man, his arms out wide in front of two children and a woman.

    “Me? No one important, merely the Golden Moon Hunter” I spoke in a powerful voice, as yet another title passed through my mouth and into the ears of the many that heard. They were in awe. In fact, if I recalled correctly, I had a certain legend about me gaining the title, full of woe it was. “If you all stay for the night, then tomorrow night I will begin, with permission, to tell of my fantastic hunts. I’ll start with the finest of all.” I spun around, and with a simple flick of the wrist, tossed the short man onto my shoulder. “The same hunt that I created the black armor from. The Tale of the Dual Fatalis Hunt!”

    Hefting the armor onto my shoulder, I sprinted out the door, without waiting for a response. I would have to talk to the owner the next morning, but for now, my limbs ached with strain. I hadn’t realized it, but the fight with the Aquaious took well over an hour-too long for any normal hunter to take without running at least once. The strain made my eyelids heavy, but I knew I had to bring the man to the healers.

    I wasn’t two yards from the door to the apothecary when the door swung open suddenly and the old woman stormed out. “Really, hunter. I know your made of steel, but even metal has a breaking point. To run off like a bull in full blown rage, and with recant injuries to boot!” She would have continued on her rant had some of the remaining flesh on the man’s left foot not come loose. It fell and landed with a sickening splat, and I did all I could do in order to keep my rice balls down. It was not easy, given my stomach’s dislike of rice. The old woman saw the flesh fall, and at that moment noticed the limp man. I handed him to her, and the old woman brought him into the same room that I was healing in. She slammed the door shut behind her, and I could hear the lock click into place. I sighed. I now had no place to sleep, but as usual, I knew the only solution. More sleeplessness. Sure, the inn was an option, but I had no money to pay, despite my earlier claim. That claim was merely based on the assumption that a place near here with supplies took zennies. That was not a comforting thought. Broke, wounded, and with no place to sleep was eerily familiar to me. My tale for tomorrow was not the double Fatalis. It was a hunt that began my currant obsession. That one monster that I somehow defeated through sheer force of will. The fearsome Tigerex. It was a pseudo-wyvern, known to attack and kill entire armies. My cousin had hunted dozens of them, nearly pushing them into endangered status. I never had the appetite for hunting them. It was never an enjoyable experience for me, despite hunting the Kirin it was always a chore. Finding a large branch high off the ground on the Sharaence Tree was easy, but one was wide enough for the armor and I. I was not about to let this armor out of my sight again, and until the morning, I wasn’t going back to my box to put it away until mourning, since Micah saw what the armor could do and he knows the location of my armor box. Looking at the stars, I could feel an uneasiness that I had not felt since my very first hunt. Something was on the horizon for this town…and that meant that I wasn’t going anywhere.

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