Rik ran. He ran like there was a Diablos on his tail. And there would be one soon, if he didn't hurry up. Not a literal Diablos, of course, but everyone in his hunting class agreed that the instructor had the temper of one. Usually, Rik wouldn't test his luck being this late, but he had been offered a deal he just couldn't refuse. Ever since his mother, a legendary hunter who saved the isolated Moga Woods from destruction by a Ceadeus, passed away, he had survived by trading and selling the items his mother had collected, and had started a successful business in Loc Lac city. Earlier that morning, Rik's favorite customer, a hunter veteran who was known jjust as Rust, had come to him with a large bundle, which he dropped at Rik's feet as he was closing up his little shop just off the main road. "Sorry t' come so late, I know how important 'tis fer you t' be on time fer yer trainin', but I got a little deal fer you." Rik had just raised his eyes a the grizzled hunter, a bit sceptical. "Better be worth my time." Rust cracked a big grin, showing the few teeth he had left and mashing the scars on his face together. "It will be , young, man, trust me." Rik opened up the small warehouse that stored all the items he had collected or traded from hunters and merchants. Although he wasn't the biggest place to pick up anything you needed, he was the most trustworthy, and most of the veteran hunters preferred to go to him. As Rik and Rust walked inside the warehouse, Rik wandered over to the shelves of ore and bones and other, rarer things. Rust walked to the bench where Rik made all of his trades, and placed the bundle on it. "So what are you looking for, Rust?" Rik enquired. "Well, I'm makin' a new Switch Axe, see, and I'm short just the phial. I know they're the only things yer got left of yer mother's stash, but I need it fer an important quest." Rik chuckled, what are you talking about? Anything I got iss up for trade or sale. I'm guessing you want the dragon phial?" "Actually, no, I need the element phial." Rik raised an eyebrow. "That's gonna cost you. What're you offering?" Rust took the cover off the bundle, and Rik almost let out a gasp of amazement. "Wow! These are really rare! Sure, it's a bit worn, and the phial's missing, but that's definitely worth more than just one measly element phial!" What Rik was looking at was a High Bolt Axe. In his mother's days, such weapons were common, but nowadays, with the declining numbers of the Lagiacrus, hunting them for materials was forbidden, so weapons like this were increasingly rare. Rust grinned as he saw the would-be-hunter's eyes light up. "so, we gotta deal?"
Rik rushed into the classroom at the Loc Lac guild headquarters. It was full of students around his age and the noise was incredible. "Yes!" He exclaimed. The instructor, an ex-hunter by the name of Tempest, was very strict about punctuality. Luckily, he wasn't there. Two other students, a boy and a girl, walked up to him as he entered the room. "heyas, Hurricane" The boy called out, grinning. "What's happening, Lance?" Rik responded. "Nothing much. Why're you so late?" Rik grinned at Lance and replied cryptically "Got a deal I just couldn't pass up." The girl raised an eyebrow. The only reason Rik would risk the wrath of Tempest for work if it was something extremely rare or expensive, and she was curious. Rik caught her look and laughed. "You'll find out after we've passed our training exams, Zoey." "Which will be in ONE MONTH, may I remind you, so instead of socialising, I expect you to be practicing!" Rik whirled aroound to see Tempest walk in as the room fell silent. Rik, being half-Wyvernian on his father's side, was tall for a 16 year old, around 6 foot 4. But Tempest stood out among the crowd. Hailing from the Wyvernian Hub across the sea, he was 8 feet tall and alomost as thick as a tree trunk. With a thick bushy moustache resting above his mouth and protruding eyebrows, he looked quite stupid in his Rathalos gunner's armor. Of course, the armor was only for show now, since losing all movement in his left arm. Since he could not wield a weapon again, the Guild had assigned him to train the new generations of hunters. In this group of recruits, he inspired fear and punished anyone who stepped out of line, but he was an excellent teacher, and everyone respected him. So far, he had taught them how to use almost every weapon effectively. Okay eveyone, lets get our armor on and meet me at the arena, it's time to teach you how to wield a Switch Axe."
Rik waited nervously in the line of his classmates as Tempest taught them the basic moves of the Switch Axe. “Today we will run through the basic attacks of the axe form. There are three basic attacks for the axe form: the horizontal slash, overhead slash and an upswing. These three attacks will encompass most of the attacks used by you during your Switch-Axe exam.” Like all other weapons that were taught to hunters-in-training, all students were expected to pass an exam that focused on their ability to use the Switch-Axe in the field. The exam consisted of hunting fifteen Jaggi in a special arena, littered with rocks and trees and small streams, with the weakest weapon available for that type. Rik’s best exam (all exams were marked on the speed of the hunt, the amount of items used and how many times the trainee died) was his Longsword exam, with a time of 5:17, 2 potions used; and 0 deaths, and was the fastest Longsword exam pass time at this particular hunting school. He was not looking forward to his Switch-Axe exam, for he had barely passed the Greatsword exam, and he believed that the Switch Axe would be incredibly similar to the Greatsword.
Rik watched as Tempest gave examples of each attack, and explained the small details that would help them put as much power as they could into each of their attacks. After making the class practice these attacks for almost an hour, Tempest called for the class to stop. “Well done, all of you. Today wasn’t perfect, but with a bit more practice, all of you should pass the exam,” Whilst Tempest had a mighty temper that earned him his nickname, when he wasn’t angry, he was very supportive and fair. “I expect all of you to be here in the practical room by 9:30 sharp, no matter what business you have to attend to.” Tempest looked pointedly at Rik at the last part. It was no secret that Tempest disliked the fact that Rik was often late to training due to his business. “Dismissed!"
Lance laughed as Rik ran, red-faced, into the practical room with barely five minutes to spare. “Well, look who’s here early today!” He jested. Rik glared at him. “It’s not my fault. I had that much business today I thought I wasn’t going to make it in time,” Rik walked over to the weapons rack that had been put out for the class. Instead of the wooden practice Switch-Axes the class was using yesterday, these were made roughly of soft metal, and were far heavier. Rik chose the best one left, and swung it around a few times. “Hmm. I think I could get used to using a Switch-Axe,” Lance and Rik heard a big, booming laugh from behind them, and then a deep rumbling voice. “Well, let’s hope you can master the Switch-Axe transitions then!” Standing behind them, in his Uragaan armour, his helmet under his arm and a giant grin flashing from under his big, bushy beard, was Bert. Everything was big about Bert. His voice, his gut, his hands, his grin, his beard; but especially his height was big. Bert was taller than Tempest, which was amazing, considering Bert was human. Where Tempest was quick to anger and strict, Bert was easygoing and quick to laugh. Rik grinned as soon as he saw Bert. “Are you going to be teaching us today, Bert?” The hunting instructor laughed again. “Well, why else would I be here? Tempest caught an illness at the tavern last night, so I’m filling in for him.” Rik grinned even wider. No Tempest yelling and scowling for a day was one of the things every student in his class wished for. Bert walked over to the front of the open air room and yelled, with a giant grin on his face, “Okay you maggots! Get in line!” The whole class laughed as they formed three rows of ten. If it had been Tempest who had yelled out, they would have grumbled and taken what he said as an insult. But as it was Bert, who never took anything seriously (except hunting); they took it as a joke. Everybody liked Bert. He was relaxed most of the time, and took a more laid back approach to teaching than Tempest, but at the end of the day he still taught just as good, and some student thought he taught better.
“Today you will be taught how to transform, or morph your Switch-Axe into sword mode, and back, as well as the basic attacks for sword mode.” Most of the class grumbled. While they still had a few more weapons to learn, the majority of the class had already picked their dominant weapon. And now, they had to learn how to morph the Switch-Axe, one of the most complex things that a hunter could do. Most of the class failed at their first attempt to morph their practice weapon, everyone except Rik and a student called Tarrow. Rik had found it incredibly easy to morph his practice weapon, and morphed it back again. While the rest of the class tried to morph their weapons, Rik just morphed his back and forth between sword mode and axe mode. Bert wandered through the students as they attempted what some of them thought was the impossible. A few more had got it, and were grinning happily as they looked around them, seeing their fellow students failing. “Hey, Rik, could you give us a bit of help?” Lance pleaded. Rik laughed as he saw his friend. Lance was doing it all wrong. Rik showed his friend how to stand properly and gave him a few tips on hand movement. “Well now. Are we an expert at this now, Rik?” Rik turned, grinning, as Bert wandered over. “I am now, Bert. It’s easy.” Bert grinned. “It’s good you think that, Rik. Mind showing me?” Rik nodded, and quickly morphed back and forth several times. “Good job!” Bert declared, and then wandered off again. Thirty minutes later, Rik hear Bert yell, “Are we all able to morph our Switch-Axes? Yes? Good. Now, let’s begin with the basic sword mode attacks.”
Rik sighed, as he lay in bed. There were exams today, as there would be for the next two weeks. Students were only allowed to attend school on the day they were to take their exam, and Rik’s exam was on the last day. The past few weeks had been agonising, learning the various evasive manoeuvres, combos and the more difficult attacks. Rik was glad it was over. And now, he had almost two full weeks to run his business, unhindered. Rik eventually got out of bed, got dressed, and set up shop.
Rik thought it was ironic, as he sat polishing the High Bolt Axe Rust had traded him. Every day when he had school to attend, he was busy to no end. But now, when he had all day, there were virtually no customers. Rik sighed, and started to work on a particularly stubborn patch of dirt stuck in the morphing mechanism. “Looks better’n she’s look in years, Rik.” A grizzled voice wafted from over the counter. “Rust!” Rik grinned as he greeted the old hunter. “I thought you were off hunting around Jumbo Village!”
“’Just got back. How’s school been to ya then?”
“It’s been fair enough. My Switch-Axe exam is in about two weeks.” Rust looked around the small room that customers could wait out of the rain in. “Bit empty, don’t ya think?”
“Oh well. These past few weeks have been insane, so I’m not worrying. Apparently, there’s some new Guild quest. Have you got any idea as to what it is?”
“’Course I do, son. First thing I checked when I got back. See, there’s this old village in the Snowspire Mountains- That’s as far West as you’ll ever go- and there’s been a few disappearances. Locals say there’s a demon in the mountains there, and they asked the Guild for some help. Put a hefty sum o’ Zenny into the quest, they did. Only the best of the best‘re going, and fer once I’m glad I’m not one of the elite hunters of the world.” Rik and Rust talked for the rest of the day, with the odd customer dropping in. Rik enjoyed Rust’s company. He was old, and wise, but with a sharp tongue and a wit as fast as any. Rik passed the next two weeks in this way, talking with Rust about all the epic battles he’d had in his life, and running the business.
Rik waited in the foyer of the arena, palms sweaty. Next to him waited Tarrow, her raven black hair tied neatly into a ponytail. Neither of them even acknowledged the other’s presence, their eyes facing straight ahead. Rik was the first to be called for his exam. He accepted the Bone Axe offered to him for the exam, and walked into the arena.
It was as if he had stepped into an entirely new world. All around him were living trees and grasses, running streams and boulders, waterfalls and gullies. Rik knew how big the arena really was, but it still never ceased to amaze him how small you felt while you stood at its entrance. The arena was at least two miles in diameter, probably more. Rik took this all in as he quickly moved off to a pair of Jaggi standing close by, feeding on a fresh Aponoth carcass. He crept close, trying not to alert the Jaggi. When he was close enough, he drew the Switch-Axe, morphing it into sword mode as he did. So far he was the only person to be able to draw into sword mode. Snick, Snick, in two strokes, Rik had severed one Jaggi’s head, and caught the other in the chest. He quickly put the beast out of its misery, and put his weapon away.
Rik had killed three more Jaggi as quickly as possible, when he came to the top of a three metre cliff, a waterfall rushing down beside him. There, at the bottom of the waterfall, was a group of about 8 Jaggi. Rik drew the Switch-Axe as quietly as possible, using the babble of the waterfall to cover the noise of the Switch-Axe unsheathing. Rik jumped behind the closest Jaggi, which was facing towards the centre of the group, and before it had enough time to register his presence, he took out its legs with a wide, horizontal slash, which hit another Jaggi in the face as it bent down to take a drink. Rik turned then to the rest of the pack, morphing the Axe to sword mode. He would deal with the injured Jaggi later. The pack slowly spread out in a semicircle around Rik, wary. Then one of the Jaggi, which looked like it was the biggest and most experienced, jumped at him, claws outstretched toward his face. Rik caught it in the chest first with a side slash, and then followed up with a vertical slash to the Jaggi that was right behind the leader. As if the first attack was a cue, the rest of the pack lunged at Rik. He managed to kill two of them before they got to him. Rik caught a claw in his chest, and a bite in his calf, dealing with both of the perpetrators quickly, and turned to the remaining two, who stood there, sizing Rik up. Rik stepped in quickly with a vertical slash to the Jaggi that seemed to be more inclined to attack first, but it jumped to the side in time to miss the attack, closer to the other Jaggi. Rik twisted the Switch-Axe, dealing a horizontal slash to the Jaggi, who both caught it in the chest. Rik morphed his Switch-Axe back into axe mode, and walked up to the Jaggi he had injured, and dealt it a powerful overhead slash that separated its head from its shoulders. Then, he drank a potion, to stop the bleeding. So far, so good, Rik thought as he headed off to find the last two Jaggi.
The last two Jaggi he found and killed easily. They were hiding in a hidden clearing that Rik had found during his Dual Swords exam. Rik walked to the entrance of the arena, clutching his left arm. One of the last two Jaggi had managed to score a nasty gash through his leather armour. As he walked to the infirmary to let a doctor treat his wounds, he caught Tarrow looking at him, a smirk on her face. Rik produced a mock scowl, and then poked his tongue out at her. As Rik let the doctor administer treatments to his wounds and bind them, Rik waited impatiently for his results. As the minutes dragged by, Rik became more and more anxious. Suddenly he was struck by an irrational fear that he had done so bad that they weren’t even going to bother coming in and telling that he had failed.
Six more minutes dragged by before Tarrow walked in. She looked slightly better off than Rik had by the end of his exam. She smiled at him as she sat on the bed opposite him and let the doctor put various ointments on her wounds to help them heal. “So what was your time?” She asked, to pass the time until the examiners came with her results. “I haven’t got them yet. They usually come and tell you right after the exams finished, right?” Tarrow looked concerned. This surprised Rik. Tarrow didn’t really spend much time with Rik and his friends, and rarely even spoke to them. When she did, though, it was with an air of superiority. Why would she care if he didn’t get his results? Before he could ask about this, however, the examiners walked in. “Congratulations to both of you, you both have passed.” One of them said. The other had a sheet that probably held their hunt times. She turned to Rik first. “Rik, you finished with zero "deaths", one potion used, and a time of 11:28. Congratulations.” She then turned to Tarrow. “Tarrow, you finished with zero "deaths", one potion used and a time of 8:31, and have beaten the record for this exam. Congratulations.” Tarrow was ecstatic. She would have started dancing, had the doctor not held her in place, telling her that she wasn’t to move so much until he had bandaged her up. Rik smiled politely and offered Tarrow his congratulations. As he headed for the door, Tarrow called out after him, “See you at training, Rik!” and waved goodbye to him. “Yeah, see you at training.”
Rik walked into the room the next day, and instantly made his way towards Lance and Zoey. “Heya Rik! How was the exam?” Was the first thing Lance said when he saw Rik. “It was good. What was your time?”
“13:21, I think. Pretty good, huh?” Rik laughed. “Ha! I beat you! 11:28! But Tarrow beat me, she broke the record.” Lance looked dejected. “You beat me? How could this happen?”
“Leave him alone” A voice came from behind Rik. “It’s not every day he beats you, so just let him have this one.” Lance leant to one side to see who was behind Rik. “Hey, Tarrow. ‘Heard you broke the record. Well done.” Tarrow blushed as she sat on a nearby table. “It wasn’t that hard for me. They were mostly gathered in one place, so I didn’t have to look much.” Just then Tempest walked into the room and called for class to start.
Rik, Lance and Zoey sat under a tree in one of the many gardens that existed in the school. It was their break between weapons classes and theory of hunting, which included the various habitats for monsters, the history of hunting and the monster food chain in various habitats and how a monster’s place in the food chain changed between these habitats. “So what were you doing while school was out Rik?” Zoey asked. She was lying down with her head in Lance’s lap, and Lance was stroking her hair gently. “What else would I be doing with two school free weeks? I was running my business and talking to Rust about that new urgent quest that the Guild’s put up.” Lance looked at him, interested. “There’s a new quest? What’s it about?”
“Oh, just that in Snowspire village there have been some disappearances, and the locals think it’s the work of a demon in the mountains, so they sent a request to the Guild for help.” Lance looked stunned. “Wow, sounds dangerous. Wonder what the place is like?” Rik smiled. “I can answer that one for you. The village is on a flat just before the base of the highest mountain in the Snowspire range. It’s almost constantly covered by a blizzard, and even Barioth have a hard time there. On the mountains themself is a lot worse. It’s a very dangerous place, and not just because of the weather. There are Barioth and Tigrex and Great Baggi’s all throughout the mountains. Every year about one or two people go missing from the village, so it’s not like its uncommon, but apparently there have been four or five disappearances this month, which is unusual.” Zoey looked at Rik, puzzled. “And how do you suddenly know so much about this place?” Rik looked as if he had been asked a stupid question, and shrugged. “I used to live there. My mother was born there, and she wanted to raise me over there with the support of her family. But she came here just before she died, when I was about nine, and I haven’t gone back.” Lance looked incredulous. “Why haven’t you told us this before?”
“You never asked. Does it matter?”
“Not really, but still...” Rik decided they needed a change of subject. So what about you guys, what did you do for the last two weeks?” Before either of them could answer, the bell that signalled the end of the break rang.
A month passed uneventfully when Tempest came to class with big news. “A week after your Bow exam, you will be assigned to a veteran hunter for a month and assist him in the field in groups of four. The Guild will give you the resources needed to create a basic weapon that you will use for the month if you do not have a weapon already. After the assignment has ended, you will be asked to hand over the weapon. The hunter you are assigned to will assess your ability to remain calm under pressure, work as a team and you gathering skills, the three most important abilities looked for in a hunter. The Guild wishes you luck.”
The whole class was abuzz with excitement. “A week after our Bow exam? That’s only four weeks away!” Lance exclaimed. “I wonder how the groups get chosen! Who do you think we’ll be assigned to? Do you think they’ll let us hunt a Rathalos or something?” Zoey laughed at Lance. “Don’t get your hopes up. It’ll probably be just gathering quests and minion hunts, and if we’re lucky, a Great Jaggi or something.” Rik sat back, thinking. He hadn’t gotten his High Bolt Axe up and running yet, the sheathing mechanism wasn’t working quite right, and he had to decide whether to take the resources for a Longsword or Switch-Axe. Eventually, he decided upon taking the Switch-Axe materials. He liked using the Switch-Axe. Whenever he held one, it was as if his hands knew exactly what to do instinctively. Rik’s thoughts were interrupted by a gentle cough from behind him. "Looks like I'm in your group." Tarrow stated. "Really? And who gave you the authority to join our group?" Lance snapped. "Well, considering that there's nowhere else to go, I have to. Trust me, this group wouldn't have been my first pick." Tarrow replied calmly. "Come on, let's go confirm our group with Tempest."
Rik exited the Smithy, a brand-new Bone Axe on his back. Lance, Zoey and Tarrow were already waiting for him outside. They had all got their weapons the previous day, and all of them had their leather armor and their weapons equipped. Lance had an iron lance strapped to his back, and was one of the more deadly wielders of that type of weapon in their class. Zoey had her bone scythes over one shoulder, and was already an expert with them. Tarrow had a bow and quiver at her hip. "So, where did Tempest tell us to meet this hunter who's going to be training us?" Tarrow asked. "Oddly enough, we're goig to meet him at my warehouse." Rik replied. "Really? I've never seen your warehouse before."
"Trust me, it's nothing much." Lance said, humour lighting up his face. "Oh, thanks for your support, Lance" Rik shot back at him. "It's not the biggest, but it makes me a living. Come on guys, we don't want to be late. They made good time to Rik's warehouse, and went inside where it was cooler. A large 'Help Wanted' sign hung in the window. "Why are you asking for help Rik?" Tarrow asked. "Well, he's going out on a big adventure, and he needs someone to make ends meowt with his little business." The voice came from a ginger and white felyne carrying a large box of items back from inside the warehouse into the small room. "I guess I should take down the sign now, then." Rik said. "Everyone, this is Mel. Mel, this is Lance, Zoey and Tarrow,"
"Purrleased to meet meow all, nya!" Rust walked out from the back of the warehouse, his pack filled with gleaming green Dragonite ore. "Just thought I'd stock up. Anyway, You youngin's ready to go huntin'? I'm the hunter assigned to ya'. The name's Rust." Rik grinned. He just knew this was going to be fun.
"Run, Rik!" Rust yelled just outside the range of the Rathian's fireballs at the entrance to its nest, a wyvern egg clutched in both hands. Lance, Zoey and Tarrow had an egg each as well, and stayed well behind the seasoned hunter. The mother wyvern hadn't noticed Rik yet, a wyvern egg clutched in his hands, standing next to the cliff. It had been four weeks since Rust had started tutoring them, and three days earlier, Rust had woken them and told them to pack their bags. "We're going to Moga village, got a nice quest there. We're t' transport five wyvern eggs fer' a restraunt in Loc Lac. C'mon, get crackin'." When they reached their destination, Rik was welcomed heartily. "Well look who we have here!" The chief had exclaimed. "You're the spitting image of your mother, except taller," The old man joked. That night there had been a great feast. Sometime during the night Junior had slipped over to Rik and handed him a small piece of paper. " Give this to the Chef before you leave on your quest tomorrow, and ask for health and stamina up, as well as the felyne lander skill. It should help. Rik remembered this as he stood at the edge of the cliff, a common shortcut to area 5 for hunters needing a quick escape. Without warning he let out a piercing whistle, and started yelling obscenities at the wyvern. "Go on Rust! I'll distract it for you!" He now had the Rathian's full attention. As it charged, Rik jumped off the cliff, and landed in area 5. The landing was rough, but the egg didn't break in his hands like it would have if he hadn't got the felyne lander skill. Rik saw the shadow of the Rathian sweep over as it prepared to land, and ran towards the small crack that led to a clearing just before the base camp. The others were already halfway across the clearing by the time he made it, and Lance, Zoey and Tarrow had looks of amazement on their faces. Rust was laughing, his eyes shining with tears of laughter. "You got balls, son. I wondred what it was that Junior gave ya' last night. I'm guessin' it was a coupon for the Chef?" Rik nodded as he joined the group. As they ran to the small gully that held the base camp they heard a roar from the skies. They quickly made it to the base camp and put the large, heavy eggs down, and Rust lit the mission complete flare. "That was slack, Rik, not telling us what you were gonna do," Lance berated his friend. "We thought you were gonna die." Rik laughed. "Sorry, but that Rathian was about to nail you. How much are you getting paid for these Rust?"
"More than they're worth, that's fer sure. It's usually 5,000z fer one fer the Guild's research team. This quest's payin' 50,000z fer the five, so these here eggs're payin' twice as much. I think you youngin's deserve 2,000z each, seein' how this was a difficult quest fer begginers like yerselves." Rik, Lance, Zoey and Tarrow were speechless. They didn't expect to get paid while doing this, and if a quest was especially hard they thought of it as special training. "Uhhh, thanks, I guess." Rik eventually got out. "Well, you four did an exceptional job here. Honestly, I thought yer wouldn't be able t' take on this quest a couple days ago." For the rest of the wait for the Guild airship the team were silent. Lance was sitting on the wharf fishing with Zoey leaning next to him, her arms about his waist. Rik had taken off his leather armour and was swimming in the small pool, washing off the sweat from the day. Tarrow and Rust sat around a small fire, talking about hunting tactics for certain monsters. "...Now if it was a Barioth, I'd be lancing the sucker. More able t' block it's attacks, see."
"What about gunning? If it can't reach you, it can't hurt you, right?"
"Gunning's good, if yer teaming on it. Otherwise, it can jump ya' easy as nuthin'. There's the airship." Rust said, pointing to a small dot in the sky. "how can you tell?" Rik asked, swimming to the edge of the pool and getting out. "I've bin doin' this kinda stuff fer longer'n you've bin alive, son. If it were a wyvern, a dot that big would be moving almost twice as fast, and it would be more erratic in it's movements. Next time yer see a wyvern flying around, look at it's flight pattern." As the airship came closer, Rust told Rik and Lance to go get the delivery box. "Holy wyvern tears, this is heavy!" Lance complained. "That's because it's got five wyvern eggs in it. Now suck it up princess, and let's get this onto the air ship.
Rik lay in bed. He knew he should get up, and get ready for hunter training, but he couldn't be bothered. A few minutes later, Mel scampered in, and scratched Rik across the cheek. "Ow! What was that for?"
"To get you up, why else? Tarrow is here, she's waiting in the warehouse." Rik sighed and got out of bed, got dressed and went into the cold and dark warehouse. "So, what brings you to my warehouse?" Rik asked Tarrow, who stood inspecting a large mound of shining crystals. Tarrow mustn't have heard Rik enter, because she jumped and turned around quickly, blushing. "Well, I, um... I wanted to see what it was like in your warehouse. And Rust said that we were supposed to meet here before he tells us what our next training quest. I'm sorry that I woke you up, by the way."
"Don't worry about it." Mel walked in again, this time with a customer, a regular who Rik knew very well. "Hi Rik, just need some Thunderbugs. Farming high rank Los."
"That's alright Jo, go right ahead." Mel shot off, and a few seconds later, came back with a box that was almost as big as the Felyne was. "Here, let me get that," Rik offered, and took the box of thunderbugs from the struggling Lynian. "By the way, Lance and Zoey are in the waiting room, nya."
"Ok, can you talk about payment with Jo, and them put the materials away?"
"Sure, nya. But I might need some help meowving that box again." Rik nodded, then entered the waiting room, Tarrow following. As soon as Rik entered the room, Zoey gave him a peculiar look. "It's our last day with Rust today." Tarrow looked confused. "Yes, so what?"
"Rik almost arrived late to one of our lessons because of a deal here, and told us that he would tell us what the deal was after our final exams were over. Being taken on by Rust was like our final exam, and today's the last day." Lance laughed. "That? I almost forgot about it!" So, what was this deal that you would test Tempest's temper to take?" Rik motioned into the warehouse with a free hand. "Well, I might as well tell you now. Come on in."
Jo and Mel had almost finished haggling as the group walked in. Rik wandered over and saw what Jo was offering. "Hmmm, add one sunspire jewel ,and you've got a deal." Jo nodded. "One sunspire jewel extra it is. Thanks."
"No problem. Mel, can you put these materials away?" Rik asked as he picked up the box of thunderbugs. "Come on guys, the thing is over this way. Rik put away the box, and led the group to a small bench where the High Bolt Axe he had traded Rust for sat under a cloth. Rik had finished cleaning it, and now he just had to find a phial for it. "So, that's it?" Lance said, looking disappointed. Rik had to laugh it this. "Just wait 'till you see what it is!" At this he pulled the cloth off the weapon and almost fell to the ground laughing at his friend's expressions. "Rik, that's a-"
"Yes, it is. It wasn't in that good condition when I got it, but in my spare time I've been rrestoring it. Now all I need is a phial." Just then Rust walked up. "Just use that dragon phial ya' got. 'Cos the guild don't want people huntin' Lagi's, they've taken all the weapons off the weapon roster, which means ya' can customise 'em as much as yer want." Rik looked stunned. "Uh, yeah, that's a great idea!" Suddenly enthusiastic, he ran off to find his dragon phial. When he came back, Rust was talking to the others. Lance looked ecstatic, Zoey looked indifferent, and Tarrow looked dubiously at Rust. "Are you sure this is going to be alright, Rust?" She asked sceptically. Zoey was the only one who saw Rik come back and filled him in. "Rust wants us to gather 7 bughoppers, 2 cactus flowers and 13 fire herbs." Rik didn't understand why Lance looked so happy, or why Tarrow looked so worried. "What's the catch?"
"We have to do it while Rust fights a gold crown Barroth with low rank gear."
Here's my attempt at a fanfiction, hope you like it.
P.S. Anything in italics AND in bold has already happened.