Note: English is not the author's first language, so don't expect perfect grammar and spelling. Feel free to correct minor mistakes you find, though don't change major content.
Fire, flames and flashing arrows...
Hummel was running through Mearvan Town as fast as he could. A G-ranked Teostra was attaking the silent, small town somewhere in the swamps of Minegarde and wanted to move the fight to another part of the area. Finally he reached the fields, where the beast has arleady landed and started incinerating the corn with its fire breath. The archer used the seconds the dragon didn't see him and aimed a piercing arrow from his Akantor Chaos Bow right through the monster's tail to its back.
Teostra screamed as he turned towards the Hunter and started a charge, only to be stopped some seconds later by two blades cutting into its left paw and a Lao-Shan-Claw crushing into its face, knocking the kaiser of heat onto its side. The other two hunters, FlaP, who was considered a master of dual blades, and Soran, the guy with the Dragon Breaker G and Barroth G Armor(Skills: Attack Up (M), Marathon Runner, Adrenaline +2 and KO-boost), finally arrived too. FlaP moved with a swift roll in front of the stunned dragon and started slicing its face with his Eternal War(upgraded from Eternal Sacrifice, 84 raw/ 790 dragon element, purple sharpness,element-boosting demonisation-mode). Soran used the time to sharpen his Hammer and Hummel attached a bottle element coating to his bow(icreases, as the name says, the elemental power of your weapon by 50%, limit of 50 coatings). Immediately as the beast got up again, a volley of dragon-energy-arrows pierced its muzzle, fliching it and giving FlaP enough time to land a last strike to the horns, severing them from Teostra's head. But instead of disabling the flaming aura that surrounded him, it got even stronger, causing the blademasters to get blown away, engulfed in flames. Hummel unleashed some lifepowder, preventing his comrades from to big damage, and kept on shooting the Elder-Dragon.
"I can't come close to it, the heat is to intense!",shouted FlaP, even if he was equipped with his best anti-fire Armor, Kushala Q(+30 fire resistance, Skills:Frozen skin[deals a small amount of ice elemental damage to any nearby enemy], Metallic Protection, Sharp Sword, Sharpness+1(gemmed), Poison DMG x2)with the helmet exchanded with the Great Kirin-Piercing(Skills: Element attack up,+5 resistance to all elements).
"I also have no way to reach it! You have to fight it on your own till we get rid of this flames", Soran answered, having even worse fire resistance(+-0).
Both knowing they had no chance, they used a farcaster and vanished.
This left Hummel alone, as he could fight from a distance the aura didn't reach him. The problem was he had the weakest armor(basic Dark Akantor gunner), meaning if he was the sole target of Teostra, he would get hit sooner or later, what again resulted in his sure death. But he had a possible solution for his problem: he pulled a bottle with a striking white liquid in it out of his bag, removed the empty element bottle, and attached it to his weapon. His little brother Nico earned his money by constantly working on new ammo and coatings for the guild's hunters, he was it who found out how to make cheap element-enhancing coatings without the use of Kirin horn, just replacing it by the much more common Lagiacrus dung(well even if this sound disgusting but it works). And this was his newest creation, the Flash coating, made from empty bottles, flashbugs and some catalyst; although still in testing state. Their advantage was that they could be carried in a lot higher amounts than regular Flash Bombs(20 pieces), while only extremely powerful bows could hold them. Hummel had luck he used such a bow and gave it a try...
After bringing some more distance between him and the dragon, the archer pulled the string and released an arrow. Nothing seemed to happen, but after around 2 seconds, just as the red monster charged again, a blinding light filled the air and left the dragon without sight. While shooting it again and carefully dodging the jumping attacks, he waited for Teostra to regain orientation. The coating lasted around one minute, not any longer than a regular Flash Bomb. Hummel managed to keep Teostra flashed around 3 or 4 times, until the dragon understood he wouldn't have a chance this way and left the town.
As they saw the monster retreating, FlaP and Soran came back laughing:"There is really no more noobish way of fighting than permanent flashing, but nevertheless great work considering you only wear high-ranked armor!", Soran smiled. FlaP was taunting:"Yay, I always said all gunners are little cowards. But in this case, congratulations, you saved a whole Town nearly alone. I think you should get some more material from this round."
Hummel answered the praise:" You two did a great job too. Without your help I maybe ended up as dragon snack today, and if there wasn't this strange behavior of its aura, you could do even more."
So they searched the burnt fields and houses for any leftovers, they found some scales and claws, the two cut horns, three small piles of unignited Firedragon powder, a large piece of severed mane and 5 pieces of hard Teostra shell. But the most interesting discovreries where a Big Elder-Dragon Jewel that wen't to Hummel's bag and some kind of white-green, glowing crystal. "I have never seen something like this... Its not like a light- or purecrystal and somehow it seems to be alive.", FlaP diagnosed. "Dont talk some rubbish, it's just a normal lightrystal.", Soran told. Flap then complained:"Did you ever see lightcrystals within Teostra? I didn't!!!! What about you, Hummel?" " I don't know what this is, but I'm sure it has something to to with that 'aura-incident' just now. How about letting someone look at this thing who knows more about dragons than we do?" The remaining two agreed. So the trio loaded the material onto their Apthonoths and Popo and went back to Loc-Lac...
Back in the city and after some rest in the tavern, the hunting party separated. Soran went out to hunt an Espinas, while FlaP moved to the workshop, looking for some new equipment. FlaP was a funny, kind hearted young guy in the surprising age of just 16 years. He came from a hunter family living in Pokke village and learned the art of fighting since he was 3. While he favored Dual Blades, he still was very good with Sword and Shield and even better with the Longsword. He and Hummel knew each other since 6 years, and they got best friends in that time.
Hummel wasn't that experienced in hunting like his friend. In his 17 year long life, he spent only 3 of them with hunting and just reached the G-rank some months ago. His dad didn't want him to get a hunter but instead a farmer, like his grandpa and great-grandpa and great-great...(well i think you got it). It was still a good work, but Hummel wanted to do something exiting, and the idea of hunting came to him as he saw his friend defeating a Shen Gaoren marching towards Loc-Lac.
But it isn't that his father was strictly against it, he was just surprised, as none of his clan ever was a hunter. Why? Well, because Hummel's dad was no human, but a Felyne, like the rest of his whole family. To be honest, it wasn't even Hummel's biological family. He was found by the Greenpaw-Felyne-Clan as a little baby and so they decided to bring him up as one of them. So there he stood, Hummel Greenpaw, the first "Felyne Hunter" Loc-Lac has ever seen. He stood in front of his house, opening the door and coming in. He tried to be quiet, but too late; even before he could take a step, 5 small bundles of fur jumped ito his face, shouting "Uncle Hummel!!!" and starting to lick it with their tongues. It was the newest offspring, his sister's 5 children, each just 2 years old but already bringing the chaos everywhere they appeared. Tony, Fredy, Joe, Rin, and Mia where the 5 most hyperactive beings on this planet. But they could be quiet too, in particular when he was telling some stories about the wild, neverending world out there.
"Hey, let your uncle in peace, meow." Hummel's sister Rea called. She was a pretty, 13 year old Felyne with a light grey fur and white paws. Some moments later her orange-coloured husband Rony came out. "Yeah, stop devouring him like a Tigrex,meow, or we'll have no uncle anymore." The kitten obeyed and gave their uncle some room to catch breath. "They are just like their mother", laughed Hummel. "Hey, i've heard that", the mum answered laughing too. "Please come in for a cup of Tea, meow."
"Yeah sure, I'm just going to remove the armor and put on something normal." He just entered the room left to change his clothes and then went from the "house part" of his home, which was build especially for him, to the earth corridors the felyne normally lived in. The ceiling was elevated some foot so he could walk there without having to crouch. While moving deeper into the cavern lighted by some torches, he came in into Nico's laboratory: the black cat was sitting at its table and experimenting with something that looked like a piece of Gravios shell. " Hey Nico, how are you?". He looked up and smiled:"Meow, hello again. I see that Teostra didn't grill you, meow." "Yes, thanks to your flash coatings I'm still alive. The only problem is the large delay between firing them and the actual flash." "Oh, ok. I'll try to fix that as soon as possible, meow." "And here is some of the Fire-Dragon powder you requested.", Hummel said and laid a small sack on the table. "Thank you, meow." "No problem Nico. But i've really to go now, Rea has invited me for a cup of tea and she's waiting long enough. "Ok, have a good day, meow." "Yeah, you too."
With those words Hummel left and went a bit deeper to the cave, turned left and eventually reached the kitchen, where Rea and Rony where sitting at the table and his grandma sleeping in front of the oven, next to the as well sleeping children. The tea was arleady filled in the cups.
"Sorry, didn't want to let you wait", he excused. "Oh come on, meow. Thats no problem at all." "We used the time too quiet down the small ones, meow.", Rony answered.
"How's Grandma?", Hummel asked, looking at the old, sleeping cat while drinking his tea. "Oh, she's alright. Sleeps a lot, meow, but other than that she's healthy."
"Oh, thats good. Where are mum and dad? Didn't see them today." Rea told him they went to the city, buying some new land from another insolvent farmer.
After they've drunk all of the tea and finished their conversation, Hummel went back to his room and went to sleep.
Suddenly, somebody knocked the door. Hummel stood up and opened the door: FlaP was staying there, completely out of breath. "Hey buddy, what's up?"
The other hunter catched his breath again: "Get your best euipment, the guild has a new urgent quest, even higher ranked then G*3. I've already found two other hunters that come with us." "Give me just a second.", Hummel replied and started readying his equipment...
Shadow of the sands
The airship was shaking while the four hunters sat there and waited for their arrival in the Sandy Plains. The other two hunters FlaP mentioned seemed like two total idiots to Hummel. One of them, Grano, was a big, Greatsword-wielding gorilla without any intelligence, showing of his muscles any possible time in his Conga Z armor and confirming himself how cool he was. The other one, naming himself "Leoniras, the grand bard", wearing Melahoa Z and having a Wolf Shamisen Hunting Horn, was only busy with writing his lines about their "upcoming heroic battle". 'I hope they are at least good fighters', thought Hummel, after watching them for a while.
FlaP broke the silence: "What do you think will await us down there? The report only said something about a white pseudo-wywern living in the desert." "Don't ask me. I don't know more then anyone else here." And maybe this fact was the one troubling him most. Even if there might be more powerful creatures, you knew at least how they fight. They where the first hunting party ever encountering something like this. As he and FlaP didn't know what type of enemy they would meet, they've brought the best gear in terms of raw defense and power they could find. FlaP used his Dark Ukanlos armor and some of his favourite allrounder-weapons, the Chameleos-Stingdaggers(312 attack. 320 poison, 160 acid, purple sharpness, 20% affinity, status demonisation). Hummel brought his Dark Akantor gear, with some armorsphere-upgrades to let him live through at least one hit, and a Monoblos Heart Bow(345 attack, 4 charges by default, rapid 3, pierce3, pierce4, rapid 5, any coating except element). Then suddenly the airship stopped and a guild lady came out of the front cabin.
"This quest is extremely urgent, so it will take even some more time then in a G*3 quest until we can manage to get you some supplies. Any hunter not aborting the quest and bringing a proof for defeating this monster will be promoted to G*4 rank, the first time in guild history. We will not guarantee for your lives or health. Good luck."
With those words four rope ladders came down the side of the airship and the hunters started their descent. They came down to the mud pit, with only some Bnahabras flying around there. After some marching and taking two psychoserums, they eventually reached a big desert area, with a beast looking similar to Nargacuga feeding on a dead Qurupeco.
"What the hell is this?", FlaP asked. "I don't even want to know, just lets kill it!", shouted Grano and charged towards the wywern. "For honor and glory we ride into the fight!!!", the bard almost sang while following the gorilla. "Dumb stupid idiots!", sweared Hummel and, having no other choice, started the combat too. FlaP and he reached the other ones, and just as the white Nargacuga noticed them, some arrows where heading towards its face. Soon after this opening, Grano smashed down his Gaoren Cleaver, cutting the Narga's front claws, which seemed much longer and bigger than the ones of a black exemplar. The creature jumped around, trying to hit Grano and FlaP with its tail. The former one blocked with his blade, the latter dogded and got in some demonised hits. In this time, Leo played some songs, but suddenly got interrupted by a spike looking out of his right leg. Crying from pain, he fell down. Hummel had to dogde some of those spikes too. The wywern lauched them in single, precise shots, unlike the "old" Narga, that just launched as many as possible, hoping to hit its prey. The beast started a ferocious assault on the two remaining blademasters, attacking them with a flurry of claw swipes followed up by tail slams. Finally Leo managed to heal his wound with a potion and tried to pound his instrument onto the enemy, only to see how that one evaded any strike.
After it got some distance from its opponents, Narga tried to start a well planed attack and went to its prowler stance. Knowing what to do, FlaP threw a sonic bomb. But Narga didn't fall over or something like this. It just ignored the sound and shot two spikes in both Leo's and Grano's direction. Then the pseudo-wywern jumped around and smacked the dodging-busy bard with its tail. His face completely white and trembling of fear and pain he was lying on the ground nearly dead. "Leave the fighting to the experienced ones.", admitted FlaP, droping a farcaster on him and bringing him back to the basecamp this way. ' He won't come back. Leaves 1 done, 3 to go', the person in the Ukanlos shell thought and charged towards his foe. He got some hits on the tail, leaving a deep scar and finally managing to inflict a higher dose of poison, seen on the color of its wounds on the body changing from red to a more purple tone. As it faced Hummel, he threw out a flash bomb to stun it. But the effect didn't last long: only some seconds later it recovered and its eyes started to glow red. It was a familiar red glow, but it didn't mean anything good. Narga unleashed an angry roar, and while the humans had to cover their ears, it digged underground. Hummel had to think for a moment: "One moment, digging monsters are never healthy... RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!", he shouted, taking an armor pill on the run to increase his chances of living through a direct hit. "Hey, chill down guys, I'll bet it's running away from us.", Grano laughed. But it seemed he lost the bet.
Narga resurfaced, jumped high in the air and shot down spikes from above. Grano barely managed to doge and block the projectiles, as suddenly the monster crushed down its tail to the ground, sending a wave of sand towards the distracted gorilla, pinning him to the rock wall and leaving him seriously injured. As Hummel turned around again, he saw a green cloud of smoke where he last heard the laugh.
So Hummel attached a paralysis coating on his bow and continued firing. He got hit sometimes in between, but could barely survive the strikes. 5 mega- and 1 maxi potions later the last hit of the coating occurred, stopping the movement of Narga in midair and letting it fall down like a stone. Now, eventually, FlaP could cut of the tail completely and together with Hummel's new attached acid coatings, they could penetrate the shell beneath the fur, leaving the wywern easier to injure. Even more enraged, the white beast turned anround and leaped towards the slightly unaware archer, ready to impale him with its claws. FlaP used the time to sharpen up his daggers and drinking a mega juice. Hummel saw no way to dodge the charge, so he went all-in and shot his foe's right paw. The pseudo-wywern loost its balance and landed, instead with its claws into the hunter, onto its side. FlaP jumped finally up from above and punctured Narga's neck with his weapons, taking the last bit of both, anger and life, out of it.
"Holy crap, this was close.", sighed Hummel while igniting the singal torch to show the airship they finished. After carving what they could get, they fixed the airship's ropes around the corpse, readying it to get brought to the research center in Loc-Lac.
Back in the sky, the guild lady came again: "Congratulations, you two. As you both killed the white Nargacuga and didn't cancel the quest unlike those two",pointing at the heavily injured men laying in the airship's bed and sipping their potions," you are now the first hunters to officially reach hunter rank 10, giving you access to the G*4 quest. The only problem is, that the only known G*4 species until now is the white Nargacuga." "Oh, thats no problem, I am sure there will be enough new things waiting for us out there.", told FlaP. And as things went on, he told more than the truth right now...
A new era of hunting...
After the day they came back, FlaP's and Hummel's life changed drastically. From everywhere came onlookers to see the two first G*4 hunters. They changed from two totally unknown hunters to the great heroes. Well, but after some weeks and some more people finally on G*4 too, the whole bustle calmed down a bit. They where still kown everywhere and had a sure place in hunting history, but at least they could leave their houses without everybody wanting to touch them.
In those weeks, some more species on G*4 level where discovered, but it wasn't anything really new. Only some subspecies, like the yellow Gobul, bloodred Lagiacrus, blue Monoblos and grey Yian Garuga.
One day, Hummel was sitting in a tavern, drinking some beer and looking what other people did. He noticed only some low-ranked hunters that asked him for an autograph and Grano, flirting with two easy girls:
" Jea, and that way I defeated a white Fatalis with my bare hands, while dodging the fireballs of the silver Rathalos and throwing the Kirin off the tower, only to get disturbed by five Super Rajangs right after this!"
The women looked impressed and asked nearly synchronous: " And what did you do with them?"
Grano laughed his ' I am the best'-laugh and said: " Well, they had no chance against me. How should it be another way. I broke the horns of one of them and used them as weapons, sending them the same way the Kirin went. After all that I jumped down the tower and carved like an idiot, getting my bags full of rare materials."
"Can you show them to us?" "Sorry girls, but they are at the workshop, being crafted to some armor matching my level of a G*4 hunter."
Hummel nearly had to vomit, but not because of the beer, but because he couldn't believe how much trash a human could talk. He decided to disturb mister ' I am the best' for a second:
"Don't believe him a single word. He did never see a Fatalis in his whole life, not even a silver Rathalos or everything else he talked about. I saw with my own eyes how he ran away from the white Narga, and even if he reached G*4 now, he done it the same way he reached any rank else. He used the work and skill of others, just being at the right place at the right time to get promoted."
"What did you say just now?", Grano asked with his mouth wide open. "I told the truth about you." With those words he left the tavern, seeing how the girls lost any interest in the gorilla and left too, and entered the workshop.
The wywerian blacksmith greeted him, and telling him his new armor set just got completely crafted and upgraded to the maximum. It was a Narga V armor, using the shell of his fist G*4 prey in combination with some black Fatalis webbing and a heavenly white Narga scale. Even if the defense of the set wasn't the greatest in the world, only around 390, it was light enough to provide evade+1 by itself and with some gems even evade+2. But its true strength lied in the two offensive skills: Normal S boost, increasing his damage by a good amount, and Shooter K.O., a total new armor skill. It gave arrows and bowgun shots impact power similar to a hammer strike. The downsides of that power where the heavy weight of the arm-shell, distracting allot from loading; and the warm fur, making need for additional cool drinks in hot areas. But with the right gems and thanks to the 12 slots of the armor, it could all be removed, leaving an excellent set.
More inside of the workshop, he saw FlaP, going crazy about his new pair of Duals. He noticed Hummel early as he came and started talking full of excitement:" Hey you, you won't belive me what i've got! They could improve the Ebony wings with white Narga stuff, unlocking even a new level of sharpness." The upgrade was called 'Birch wings', a weapon superior to anything the world has ever seen. With a stunning attack power of 396, 50% affinity and natural black sharpness(one level over purple) and accces to power demonisation it was abolutely the best raw power Dual Blade ever made. After some talking about their equipment and other things that happened, their ways divided again and they went home.
FlaP moved along the streets of Loc-Lac slowly, carrying the Birch wings on his back. On his way he came along the arena, and so he decided to watch some fights. It started of with some newbies trying to defeat a great Jaggi, and finally one of them, a young boy with a light bowgun, managed to hit the Jaggi's head and brought victory to his party. He smiled as in a later fight he could see Leoniras, trying to challenge a Diablos. The wywern smashed him against the wall, and the security hunters could barely manage to stop Diablos from killing that eternal beginner. FlaP went down to the registration counter and asked if he could take part in an arena fight. "But you are not wearing any armor!" the lady behind the counter contradicted, but FlaP only replied he wouldn't need any armor. So he came into the arena, and the crowd got very loud as they discovered they could see the legendary Nargacuga slayer fighting. His foe was a recently captured Barroth, still full of mud. The brute wywern charged, but the experienced blademaster evaded with ease. As Barroth wanted to throw the mud on FlaP, he rolled under its belly, slashing it without any need of power, ripping of any mud from its legs and letting it trip. Some strikes later the extremely sharp blade went through the tail's flesh completely, letting the barroth fall over with a large wound on his back. It got angry, very, very angry and charged towards FlaP. The hunter didn't move till his foe was only some steps away, then jumped up, somersaulted around and cut the skalp of the wywern off its head while killing it at the same time. The crowd couldn't hold itself back with applause, even some underwear flying down to the sand of the combat ring. The proud winner bowed in front of his audience and left the arena. His price consisted of 2 Barroth coins and a steel egg, nothing special anymore for FlaP.
After a short excoursion to the shop, refreshing his potion and whetstone supplies, he eventually reached his house. It was an unimpressive bungalow, but inside there where some very expensive decorations, like a stuffed Kirin head serving as a lamp or the invisible carpet made from Chameleos skin, giving the illusion that anyone staying on it hovered some centimeters in the air. FlaP liked such things, as he didn't know what to do with a lot of low ranked material, he just used them to make such exclusive stuff for his house, giving the interior a look of being entirely made from monsters.
He entered the small arsenal in the back of the building, containing his collection of armor sets and weapons. He was a perfectionist, looking for the best armor set for every single weapon he owned, and writing down any fact about monsters or items. And that way he started with his Birch wings too: They already had the actual possible maximum of sharpness, so any set with Sharpness +1 would be useless. On the other hand, he needed still something to keep his sharpness up long enough, so he watched out for anything with Sharp Sword. The first armor he thought of was the Garuga V set he recently made from grey Garuga parts, bringing him Sharp Sword; Status attack up; Poison Negation and reckless abandon+1, at the cost of Sleep Durationx3. But the status attack boost wasn't the thing he needed, and he didn't find any other G*4 basic set that fulfilled his needs. So he decided to mix up some sets: He used the Garuga V tasset and greaves, Narga V helmet and mail and finished it with the good old white Fatalis Z vembraces. After getting gemmed in the workshop and being used together with his Sprinter charm(+17 stamina, gathering-20), this set would provide him with Sharp Sword, Attack up (large), Evade+1 and Eternal Stamina; a skill reached through collecting 20 skill points of stamina, that allowed him to stay permanently under effects similar to mega juice; and this way giving him a lot of great skills(the gathering downgrade was no problem, as this armor would never be used to gather any items) with an also great defense of 693. After having this work done and writing a notice to let the armor getting gemmed, he put away the Birch wings, placing them on the spot the Ebony wings took earlier, and finally went to sleep...
F³-Flaming Flooded Forest
Soran was sitting on a tree above the water, still wearing his Barroth G armor, waiting for his target to get in range. In the liquid, there where two yellow plants, moving around slowly. As soon as it was under him, Soran grabbed his Hypnoc Snooze hammer(1060 raw, 450 sleep, white sharpness) and jumped down into the lake. He lauched a sonic bomb in direction of the plants, where suddenly a Gobul startled out of the ground. While the leviathan tried to find its orientation, Soran smacked his mace at one of the three Gobul lanterns.
Yes, three. The yellow Gobul is a rare mutation of the species, having grown more lanterns and using a much more powerful paralasiys toxin. It can keep a human stunned for hours and is produced in enormous amounts, gathering itself in bubbles under the Gobul skin-spikes. If one of those bubbles bursts, the toxin would be released in the surroundings, stunning every attacker. But the downside of this mechanism is the fact that Gobul isn't immune to the liquid, sometimes even paralysing itself. This lets fighting a yellow Gobul being a gamble on either your or its life. It uses all attacks of the "old "species, but has additions like spraying its toxin around on will or unleashing a firework of flashes with its three lanterns. Other traits, like elemental weakness or the love for frogs, are shared with he original leviathan.
So after some hits the first lantern was ripped of the fish, which infalted itself from anger and started to bite the hunter. Soran could dodge the attack by swiftly propelling himself through the water. But as he turned around, the leviathan swam backwards towards its attacker and impaled him with its spikes. Soran lost his abillity to move, dropped his weapon and sank down to the ground of the lake. Gobul lost interest and started to swim away. The hunter slowy ran out of air, thinking already he would drown. Just in time someone kicked him, shocking him enough to be able to move again, and bringing him to the surface. It was a woman, like him im the age of around 20 years, with long brown hair, a slim face and a blue piercing in her nose. "Hi, still alive, huh? I'm Ciepha, and who are you?"
"Uh, i'm Soran, hi too. I think I owe you something..." "Don't talk so much trash, you owe me nothing but an explanation what you've done down there." "Oh, I just tried to hunt that yellow Gobul out there. And well, you saw what happened after this." " Yes, I saw it. let me tell you a trick." With those words she gave him two bottles filled with a green liquid. "It's a serum of rarefied Vespoid neurotoxin, imunizing you against paralysis for around 10 minutes. Drink this and you will be safe from drowning again like just now. By the way, I'm hunting Gobuls too, how about killing it together?" "Um yeah, why not. I'm just gonne pickup my stuff " stammered Soran and went back underwater to grab his hammer. Now that he looked at her properly, he noticed she was wearing nearly full set of yellow Gobul armor(Skills: Paralysis Doubled, Speed Eating+2, Status Attack up, Reckless Abandon+1), only with that blue piercing instead of the helmet. As he asked why she weared it, she answered it would allow her to hold breath longer underwater. Her weapon was also made from Gobul, the Blazing Dahaka( 252 attack, 350 paralysis,white sharpness), a very powerful SnS.
After some swimming, they finally reached the Gobul, swimming unaware in front of them. Both hunters opended their anti-paralysis serums and emptied the bottles. Soran closed the distance between him and the leviathan, smahing down his weapon on one of the toxic bubbles, ripping it apart and releasing the green-yellow liquid. As it touched Soran's body, he felt his arms and legs getting heavy, but he could still move freely. Ciepha moved in and began to attack the monster's tail, and suddelnly, after some hits of her sword, the Gobul stopped moving, only his fins and eyes trembling around. The stunning blade and its own toxin paralysed it in not time. The hunters used the free time to attack with all they got, and finally the Gobul's tail and another lantern got cut. Now as Gobul recovered, Soran smacked its chin with his weapon, letting it fall in a deep slumber. He placed a waterproof barrel bomb on the fish and ignited it with a paintball, leaving a shockwave and a dead Gobul. After carving it, they got back on land.
"This was sort of easy, too easy somehow.", told Soran. Ciepha smiled:" You just have to know the weakness of your enemy, and then you will have an easy game". The two moved to the exit of the forest, but somehow fate didn't want to let them go: A bloodred Lagiacrus blocked their way, sleeping on the path. "We should avoid it and search another way", Ciepha suggested. But to late, the Leviathan already awoke and started roaring...
The bloodred Lagiacrus is comparable to the red Khezu in the way they are mirrors of their origin, but just with other color and weakness. But not only that red Lagia's elemental weakness changed from fire to ice, it has also learned some new tricks: Not only its charges or bodychecks are electrized, nearly every single attack can be charged with lightning. When in rage, it is able to sustain its elecric shield even while moving or attacking, damaging any nearby enemy by a considerable amount. However, this ability will consume its stamina within no time, leaving it completely without energy. Also, while submerged, the leviathan is now able to create a water current from its mouth and to charge that water up with electricity, even firing at targets on land( similar to Plesioth). As it has to rest allot more on land to regain stamina, it has adapted with longer and more powerful forelegs, allowing fast sprints and jumps in a pseudo-wywern like manner, making this foe challenging both in water and on land.
As soon as Soran had recovered his hearing, he had to dive away from a jump attack of Lagiacrus. The beast started firing around lightning balls in a real frenzy, setting some trees and bushes on fire. Ciepha managed to leave a scar on its tail, but drawing the monster's attention onto her. Soran jumped onto the leviathan's backand started to smash the dermal spikes with his hammer, shattering some of them. Lagia shook him off and turned towards him, charging directly in his direction. Ciepha Knocked him out of the way and blocked the attack with her shield, only suffering from little damage. As both she and her enemy stopped their movement, she began to slash the chest of her opponent, injecting the Gobul toxin into the wound. As Soran got back on his legs, he used the time to place a pitfall trap on the ground.
"Ciepha, get it in here!", he shouted. The huntress managed to escape Laiga's claw swipes and jumped over the trap. Their adversary charged its body up, shining like a ball of pure energy, and slided towards the humans. Shortly before reaching them, it chrashed down into the gound, wriggling around in order to get out of the pit. But a few seconds later, something hard got smashed against Lagia's face, and it fainted. The hammer strikes and shield smahes of the duo where too much for the leviathan, and so it lied around there in the trap, not being able to move. While Soran continued to strike the dermal spikes on Lagia's back, Ciepha kept on cutting its chest. They proceeded to infuse their sleep- and stun-toxins into their victim, but it recovered early enough to escape the trap without any of those ailments. Roaring in pain and rage, it jumped into the near lake, only to blast out a wide beam of electrical water. Ciepha managed to dodge, but Soran got a full hit on his chest, getting lauched some yards away and kept lying on the ground, with electrical current running through his body. In hope to save him, Ciepha sprinkled lifepowder in the air, and upon breathing in some of the white dust, Soran found new power to stand up, though still seriously injured. They both had to dive from another water beam, and after healing his wounds with an ancient, life-providing potion, Soran and Ciepha jumped back in the water, ready to give Lagia some blue dots on its red shell.
Back in the water, Lagiacrus engulfed itself in a field of electricity, making impossible for any blademaster to reach it without getting hit. The hunting party had to dodge several bodyslams and charges, even again the beam attack. Some minutes after, the lightning faded and the leviathan's adversarys could start their assault again. Finally, Ciepha could paralyse it, allowing the hunters to crack a horn and cut the tail. The monster still kept on attacking, blasting the lake's wall with a volley of ligthning balls and finally ripping a hole into it, while trying to hit the humans with another lightning current attack. The water started flowing down, sucking both hunter's and even the mighty leviathan into a large, subterranean cavern. The shock of the impact was too much for Ciepha, who fainted away. Now there where only Soran and Lagia left, circling each other with their legs underwater, waiting for the other to make a slight mistake.
"You get me on my nerves, you bastard of a monster.", Soran whispered. The beast bowed its head as if it would understand every single word.
Suddenly, it charged towards him, but he dodged with ease. "Too early, bastard." But Lagia hasn't finished, turned around and sled, charged with electricity, back towards Soran, who evaded the attack again. He charged towards Lagiacrus and swung his hammer with all his power. "YOU GONNA DIE HERE, YOU FREAK!!!". He cried his lungs out ouf his chest as he crushed the leviathan's leg, breaking every single bone. His foe tried to limb away, but a sudden strike on its back broke the shell there and the next smash on that place proved fatal to the king of sea. The massive body collapsed and let the ground shake as it fell down. It was finally over, or at least it seemed so.
Soran picked up the unconscious woman, laid her around his shoulders and started to climb up the caverns wall, coming back to the lake, now with a much lower water level than before, and tried to retreat to the base camp. He went through the forest, only disturbed by some Ludroths, and eventually reached the camp...
Origin of the Elder-Dragons
Hummel could evade the claw swipe with the last bit of his breath left. The Tigrex' paw missed him only by some centimeters. "Hey you yellow stupid thing, come on and get an enemy on your level!!!", Grano yelled from the other side of the desert. But the wywern just ignored him and kept on clawing the gunner. Just at the right time, FlaP came and slashed Tiggy's paw with his Katana of eternal night (1354 attack, Awakening:+320 sleep, black sharpness). It turned around and screamed, jumping towards the other side of the area. Flap had chosen this weapon in combination with his Blackbelt V armor(Skills: Sharpness+1, Sharpening Skill Inc., Awakening) in addition to his Chaoshroom V(Skills: Status attack up) beacause he wanted to have some fun while hunting, especially because this was "only" a G*3 ranked Tigrex.
And the reason Grano was around there, was only because he begged the other ones to help him, and they just couldn't bear how he stood there, trying to persuade them. So they now stood there, fighting Tiggy now since around ten minutes and Grano didn't make a single attack the whole time. 'This was the last time i'm helping this idiot.', sweared Hummel, shooting tiggy with his Ukanlos Crusher(medium bowgun, 576 attack, freeze S rapidfire, clust S lvl3 chargefire, -40% affinity).
He decided to bring a bowgun this time, to improve his skills and to have some fun too. The Crag S LVL 3 grenade reached tiggy's face, detonating right infront of it and stunning the monster in place. Some hits by FlaP's mighty weapon later, the wywern fell into a deep slumber, with its tongue hanging down into the sand. Eventually, Grano reached their victim. "It's showtime, let us see what you call your 'skills'.", taunted FlaP, well knowing that mister gorilla would screw up the situation into the worst possible result, like always. Hummel loaded a Clust S lvl3 Shell and aimed from behind. Grano unsheathed his Gaoren Cleaver and started charging the strike with all strength he got. At the same time, Hummel pulled his trigger, building up power for the attack. As Grano's blade came down, the bullet was already in the air, and just a second before he would miss Tigrex, an explosion of the size of an adult Popo filled the air, provided the monster with an ungentle awakening and Grano with a free flying lesson. And as Hummel could see this strange scene, he had loads of fun. Even stranger was the fact that Grano's weapon was still somehow able to cut Tiggy's tongue, leaving it with an empty mouth. The wywern jumped up and flied away, while FlaP couldn't hold himself from lying on the floor laughing until tears came out of his eyes. This was just ridiculous.
The angry gorilla shouted:" Why did you shoot me? I was nearly ready to strike it!!!!!" Hummel just anwered smiling:" I'm really sorry. I kept my gun loaded to continue firing as soon as possible. And somehow the shot released himself." "Oh come on, that's not funny, I'm not that dumb, even if you might think I am." "Fine, if youre not that dumb, then tell me what is 3 times 4?" "Uhhhhm, that's easy, 6!!". FlaP, still lying on the ground, couldn't stop himself from even more laughing. "Well, Grano, you are really not as dumb as I thought, you are even more dumb...", said Hummel, shaking his head. Grano made an insulted face as they started following the paint track left behind by their target. The two hunters where nearly out of sight while Flap came back on his feet. "Hey guys, wait for me!!!", he yelled while following them...
After following the slight traces of pink juice left on the ground, they finally found their sleeping prey in a cave with some dark purple crystals hanging around on the walls. "Ok, then lets end this.", whispered FlaP, jumped down and cut the Tigrex's muzzle down to the bones. The beast awoke and roared, throwing FlaP away with the shockwave of sound. It then jumped back, staying now with the crystals directly behind it. Hummel wanted to start firing, but he couldn't believe his eyes. He saw something that nobody would believe them, not even themselves. Something like an "aura" of greenish-black lightining surrounded Tigrex, with the energy streaming around between the Wywern and the minerals. Somehow, the green part flowed to the crystals while the black energy collected itself first around, them somehow in Tigrex. The creature started to deform, the front legs got shorter, but the wing webbings remained, on its back grew two further wings and its forehead got something like two horns, pointing backwards similar to those of a Kushala Daora or Fatalis. The stream of energy ended with a last discharge of lightning, nearly covering the whole ground but not harming any of the hunters. The wound of the beast where disappeared and instead of a Tigrex, something else, even more deadly stood in front of them. The sweat was running down Hummel's face. He took a look around, seeing only FlaP holding his blade tight with both hands. No hint of Grano's presence was left...
 Improved Picture with Background, made by Bomb13  Aurex drawing by Countjoe1, great work Add a photo to this galleryThe creature took some steps with its new body, looking around bloodthirsty. The hunters readied themselves for everything imaginable, but they where not able to prepare for what would come. Tigrex, or at least what once was a Tigrex, seemed to roar, but the sound didn't stay where it was. The waves where so strong even the air started swinging to a degree even the human eye could see, and suddenly the "roar" solved itself from the mouth, flying like a projectile towards Hummel. He couldn't move if he wanted to protect his hearing, but instead he would get hit by the sonic waves. The orb of sound came closer, ripping the rocky ground of the cave into pieces. Just a second before it reached the defenseless gunner, somebody wearing a white cloak jumped in and pushed Hummel away and blocked the impact with his black gunlace's shield, getting driven off several meters. In the meantime, the Tigrex, or whatever it was, jumped and entered flight with its newly grown, second pair of wings. It glided towards FlaP, catched him with his mouth and cushed him into the rock. The blademaster was lying on the ground unconscious, bleeding in face and stomach. The person with the gunlance started firing several round in fast succession, drawing the monster's attention onto it. "I'll distract it, get your injured friend and run. I can handle this beast by my own." "But I can't let you alone here with this.... thing....",Hummel contradicted the stranger. "You don't know what you're off against. I told you I can handle this and now go away while you are alive", the cloaked one shouted. It had no point in trying it again, so Hummel waited for ex-Tigrex to look somewhere else and grabed his partner.
He started running as fast as he could, eventually reaching the exit. He waved to the observation balloon, crying for help. Some other hunters, a group that just carved a Daymio Hermitaur, noticed them and tryied to care for FlaP's wounds. Finally, after around an hour, a guild's emergency airship came and took them back to the next village, to Kokoto...
As soon as they arrived, they brought FlaP to the village's healer. It was a surprisingly young girl, but it knew what sort of wounds there where and how to handle them. "He is heavily injured, but no important organs where harmed. He'll be back on his feet in maybe 2 weeks.", she told after examining the wounds. Hummel told the village elder what happened and asked him about that cloaked hunter. "I don't know hoe this could be. I only saw him staying for one night here at the inn. Today's morning, he left the village without a word. And that Tigrex-whatever, it seems a big threat as its next the village. A pity our own two hunters, Rye and 'the legendary gunner' are on their way to the volcano, searching for a Lavasioth." "I would try to protect the village, but my weapon isn't my best one. Can anybody here get me at least a decent bow?" "No, I think the best what we can get you in this short time will be a basic Hunter's Bow III." " That has to be enough for the moment. How much unused barrels have you?" "Uhmm, I think we can get you something about 20, maybe 25 if we empty some filled with wine." " Have you enough gunpowder to fill them all? And maybe some scatterfish to boost the damage we can deal?" "I think if anybody who know something about this, we can have the bombs ready in around 2 hours." "Good, make them and place them in the small canyon in the west, and lay out as much pitfalls and shocktraps as you can. I am going to get some coatings, ammo and other stuff I'll need."
With those word he left the elder and buyed as much ammo and coatings as he could afford. After 3 hours of hard work, all 23 barrel bombs where ready, even 5 barrel boms+ could be made out of nothing. Just as Hummel and some villagers the cloaked hunter appeared, totally out of breath: "The Tigrex-dragon is heading directly towards the village. I moved as fast as i could but it will arrive in some minutes, if not earlier." "Ok guys, we change our plan, let the bombs here and evacuate all the villagers. We have no other choice than fighting this thing right here at the village's center. If anybody can, put up those traps. It going to be showtime!!!", explained Hummel and put both the weak bow and his bowgun onto his back, starting to ste up traps and bombs. The cloaked one helped and sharpened and reloaded his gunlance a last time. The villagers had left, and now there where only those two left. Hummel loaded a Pierce Shell into his gun and readied himself for the fight.
FlaP opened his eyes. He noticed he was moving, even if he didn't do anything. The next thing he noticed was a striking pain in his stomach. Slowly he could see clearly againand finally understood what was going on. He was lying on an Aptonoth and around him where allot of people walking away from their village. He still was wearing most of his armor, only chest plate and helmet where removed and his belly was covered in red bandages. His katana was lying beside him, with the sheath missing. He started to sit and tried to get down from the herbivore. "Hey, you are to weak to stand up! Stay in bed!", a young woman was talking to him. He just ignored her:" The only one that knows how weak I am is me, and I.....Uggghh" The pain got stronger, feeling like thousand hot iron rings around his chest where getting smaller, taking him any breath. He fell back on the mobile bed on the Aptonoth. After some minutes of recovering from this shock, he finally mangaged, against all advices of the people around him, to get on his feet. The pain was still big, but he could live through it. He grabbed his weapon and loosely attached his armor back. "You won't have a chance agianst this thing, even if you where healthy!!!" everybody tried to tell him. FlaP didn't mind.
Suddenly, a shockwave moved through the ground and a cloud of ash came up from the village's position.' I have to help Hummel... he needs me, even if its the last thing I'll do'
This was the only thought he had, even that horrible pain didn't matter. FlaP was running, he was running even if his legs forbid him to do so and even if his whole body seemed to explode.
The village came to side, or at least what was left. That guy with the gunlance was defending against a barrage of charges and sonnic blasts, while Hummel, heavily injured, continued firing from something that loked like a not very powerful bow. His Bowgun was lying on the ground, ripped to shreds by the dragons fangs. The most arrows just bounced, and the few ones that penetrated the skin of the beast didn't show a real effect. " Hey man, need some help?", FlaP whispered with his left power. " YOU? Here? How can you...", Hummel was staring at him with wide open eyes.
Tigrex used the moment and turned away of the cloaked warrior. It started charging at Hummel, with a speed one could barely see it. FlaP closed his eyes. He listened to all around him. From the steps of the beast to Hummel's breath, he noticed everything. Then he did what he didn't ever do in such a serious situation:
Like with that Barroth in the arena, he concentrated the flow of life around and in him on his hands, then in his weapon. Suddenly, everything started to give a sence to him. He could see the point in every single thing in the world. And then, as he opended his eyes again, that Tigrex-Whatever was lying on the ground dead, with a broken piece of a black blade looking out if its head. FlaP was holding a broken Katana and was staying on his knees. Just as the other ones arrived, he fainted away, seeing a light coming closer...