The power of human will.
Chapter one: Perfect Stranger.
The glacier on the top of the mountain was shining brightly with a blue-tinted light. The man with blue eyes admired the view. He has been wandering for two years now, and he has never left a single trace from where he came. Not because he was in hiding, not because he was following somebody and didn't want to be detected. It was because he was a hunter of such class that he could stand behind a human, and the man would not detect him. He was a hunter who could hide in Popo's hair and no-one would find him. Even the Popo. But he left no traces of himself, simply because he did not want to. He came town, earned some money, and left. He was just another face in the crowd, nobody would remember him. A perfect stranger.
When he was talking to Nekoht, she was nodding and watching at him, as if she was confident, that he would not require any help, except for cooking and tiding the room when he is on quests.
When he settled at the guest house, he decided to make a few training rounds. At first the Khezu, then a Tigrex, and even a Kushala Daora were defeated in a few days. That's when Nekoht decided to work with him, since the village elder was raising another Great Hunter, Who Will not Forget Our Village When He Is Grown Up. She still had hope in humanity. Her kind heart could forgive those enterprising hunters, who used her kindness and worked on getting to the elite of the guild, and then left to the Bigger world. But for Nekoht ThreeDot was a stranger only, and a nice one. She liked him. That's why she asked him to bring a few mountain herbs. He understood, that this was pretty stupid, that Nekoht would do that twice faster than him, since she knew some secret felyne passages, but since he was staying in the village for free, he did what she asked. He brought all the herbs, ores, bugs, fangs, pelts, tails, horns, claws and didn't complain. But that's why he stayed in Pokke for four months instead of one and a half. Nekoht was waiting for something. She knew, that this man came here not by an accident. She was waiting for a sign, and since she was a patient cat, she achieved her goal.
Chapter two: Pretty Woman.
ThreeDot was on another quest, now chosen by himself. He didn't warn the cat, he had his own life. Nekoht gave him quests each two or three days, and he had to do some practice. Today, it was a high ranked Kirin. He chose a strong opponent, but he knew he would defeat him. When he saw the white creature, he didn't even blink; he was patient as a basarios. And even when the Kirin started to send lightning bolts one after another, ThreeDot was absolutely patient. He didn't fight so hard; his weapon bounced off the beast's skin, but he didn't care. He fought as if he was thinking about very hard. He was struck with the lightning for a few times, but he didn't care. And all of a sudden tears came from his eyes, he shouted and rushed towards the Kirin. The beast pierced his breast armor plate and struck the flesh, but ThreeDot only held his arms on the eyes of the beast. His vision started to darken, the world around him became reddish. He didn't let the head of the animal make the wound more and more severe with each strike.
And then, all of a sudden, the beast fell down, as the hunter did. ThreeDot left up his head from the ground and saw a warrior in rough brown armor. He was holding his blade high above his head, ready to land a hit, that would shake the earth. The beast had a hard hit on its left ribs, and produced a loud snicker. The last thing ThreeDot saw before falling unconscious was the beast turning extremely white, as it entered the state of rage.
He woke up in the base camp an the other side of the mountain. The Sun outside was shining a warm reddish light, and it was clear that he has been out of the real world for at least two hours. He could not see his armor anywhere, but his weapon was standing by the exit. He felt a tight bandage around his chest, and it felt warm, although it was not warm from the fleeing blood, but from from desinfecting herbs. The fire was lit, and the flames were dancing peacefully on the walls of the tent. The next thing that cought his infocused sight was a rough brown helmet, and it was clear now that it was made of Barroth scales. ThreeDot got up from the bed and walked outside the tent: his nearly healed wound allowed him to walk normally. He smiled to the shining sun and decided to get rid of the sweet bandage (yes, he did lick it. If it was wet of blood, it would be salty, but it was soaked wet with honey), and when he was about to gnaw the tissue, a loud, high voice, which clearly belonged to a woman, stopped him: 'Uh-huh, don't do that. Or, at least, use a knife. You are not an animal.' With these words she tossed him a carving knife, and he at last got rid of the annoying thing.
"So, why did you save me?" asked ThreeDot.
"Heh, I am not so cruel to let people die."
"Oh really? Then where's my armor ?"
"The armor is being dried on the rod to your left, but you managed to ruin the chest plate totally, although the rest of the armor is clean of blood. By the way, how did you manage to get yourself in such a situation? Why didn't you try to get yourself free? You could have died?"
"Well, you know. I went in a close combat."
- Oh what! I give up! I cannot understand why PEOPLE are so selfish and easy-minded! You could get yourself killed! You have a bow capable of piercing a stone wall, but no - you go arrow fighting!
- Hm. You are right. It was kinda stupid of me. But your speech is pretty strange, you say people in such way that... - at that moment ThreeDot noticed the pointy ears- ... you are a wyverian? No way!
- Yes, I am. Why are you surprised?
- Well, most young wyverians think of humans as of hairless felynes, but you not only saved my life, but also brought me here and healed my wound. Thank you.
- Never mind.
- If only all being capable of speech were like you: 'never mind'. I have to admit, I personally would request some reward, but for you a simple thnaks is enough. That's great.
- Oh, thank you - said the girl, and her cheeks becamea bit red.
- Anyway, how did you end up in her? Came to visit Pokke chief? She could be your granny.
- Miss. Two tries left.
- Kokoto village chief? Not very far from here.
- A message to the great elder of Minegarde?
- Nope. Veggie elder of snowy mountains is my granddad.
- Nice. Well, good luck on your journey, and for me is time to go back to the village.
The wyverian smiled cheerfully: no, you are not going anywhere. We're only a half kilometer away from my granddad home. You must know him. I insist. That's how you will repay to me.
- Okay. I bet I have no choise. Besides, I am glad you invited me.
- Sweet. Grab your stuff and let's move out! I'll be waiting you near that pathway.
With these words she walked into the tent, took her helmet and sword and gracefully walked towards the little pathway between trees. ThreeDot noticed that her face was pretty beautiful, but when he saw her from behind, he had to face the fact: if she is so beautiful in her barroth armor, she must be a goddes in caasual clothes.
So he grabbed all his stuff and followed her. He felt himself strange: he thought he was a loner, but now he has met a girl, who is triyng to present him to her dad. 'Where the world goes' thought ThreeDot and smiled.
Chapter three: the knowledge of elders.
While they were walking towards the veggie's house, ThreeDot found out that his new friend's name was Nokka, that she was 21, only two years older than himself, that she lives in a region near Moga and that she hates Basarios peaches because of the smell. He tried to ask her about her relatives, friends, but she remained silent. There was something in that youg wyverian - that was clear. Not only she spoke and thought different from their tirbe - she was open to people, and spoke freely without all that pafos young wyverians ysually have - but even physical aspect. Something cought his eye, but ThreeDot could understand what that was. That was not a striking difference from her tribe, yet that was a common thing among them, and the abandonce of it made Nokka even more special to ThreeDot. When she took the lead on a narrow part of the pathway - between stones or dence trees- ThreeDot lokked on her, and couldn't stop. She was clearly beautiful. 'Hell, I am in love from the first sight, or what?' thought Threedot for a few times. He hoped he wasn't.
When they at last arrived, the sun was getting to the bottom. Although the way wasn't long by measures, but it was hard and full of obstacles, which made the journey so long.
At first Threedot saw just a cave. Then he noticed a tiny burnt fireplace near it, and it became clear that somebody is living in this cave. Nokka called her granddad, and in a few minutes he came out to welkome her. He wasn't the same as in the mountains: no huge backpack, no stick to help to alk, no sneezing, but instead: a cooks coat.
'Hello, my darling!' - said the veggie in old's man voice - 'I am so happy to see you! And who is this young man?' 'His name is ThreeDot' - said Nokka - 'He suddenly met me while fighting the Kirin, and then I decided to show him your house. Is it okay?' 'Of course, of course! And I have made too many Anteka pies for two to handle. Come in!'
When they set at the table, Threedot noticed the relationship signs of these wyverians: They both had normal human legs, maybe fingers were slightly long, and green eyes. Ah! That's it! Green eyes instead of blue! That made Nokka even more interesting, after he understood why she is special. And she surely was: instead of saying that she saved him from the Kirin she said that they suddenly run into each other. A noble deed indeed.
After the meal, which consistad of twenty anteka pies (that's really much!) the elder started to clean the table, and the young ones moved to the neibourgh room. - The meal was awesome - said ThreeDot - thanks for bringing me here. But why did you tell your granddad that we've just run into each other? - My granddad always worries about me, that's why I tell him I hunt Blangongas, but instead I go and fight Rajang. But my granddad cares about honor too: if you've run into a hunter and you see he needs help, no matter haw danger it is - you must help. Besides, he never liked weak people, both physically and mentally. If he would know that I have SAVED you from a Kirin, he would be much colder to you. - Oh. Thanks for saving my reputation. - Anytime. But still, why did you get yourself in such a situation? I saw you closing his eyes. - You know, sometimes I remember the days old, when I had no life expirience. I have done a few very bad things and a lot of simply disgusting ones. And sometimes I am a bit too karmic. - Suicide is no good. - Yep, I know, but am too weak to forgive myself. And I am speaking of this so easily because I have accepted the fact you cannot change the past. But I cannot forgive myself in order to be able to change future. - That's so touching! - Hm. I've reherced this speech 20 times, so don't be surprised. - Ohh.. OK..
At that moment veggie entered. 'I want to tell you something. Something important. You have to bring this report to the E.D.O.C. - he pointed on Nokka- and you will have to protect her on her journey to Dondruma. And don't tell a soul, young man.' - said he in very serious voice, and there was no doubt something worthy of notice was happening. 'But what's the deal?'-asked ThreeDot. 'There are problem with the elder dragons. For instance, there are too little of Kushalas left. One in two months appears, that's it. But there should be a new one coming at least half a month. The dragons are starting to extinct, and that will result in unchangeable results! If it goes all like that, soon there will be no steel brutes left. And without them, thre won't be enough fresh snow coming, which will result in disappearing of Dosbiskus, and That will result in worse and worse effects! You can actually read the report on your way to the capital. Now this sounds funny and unthreating, but the must be healed before the poisson spreads in the body. I believe you will make it. And now go.' With these words he gave Nokka a box made of dragonwood, which contained the document. 'You must not loose it, because there are signatures of five veggies, and if this falls in to the hands of the guild, we will all be in great trouble. 'But why?' - asked Nokka - 'Why can't the guild handle it?' 'The volcano elder gave it a try, and now he's gone. Guild will never forbid the Elder Dragon quests, even if they are near complete extinction. They will get their money from every beast possible and will not stop. But the great elder has even more power than the guild. He will find the solution. And now, go.'
The two were quite surprised with such a tsk, especially was ThreeDot, because he could expect anything, but not a task which could change the world of guild. But there was no choise, he has promiced to Nokka and her granddad, so he left the cave and headed to his house in order to assemble his equipment. And when he left the cave, he saw a shadow, which has vanished in a second. ThreeDot knew the life too well to think that that was a hallucination or a herbivore. He watched in the dark trying to see that person (it clearly was a person), but his eyes were too weak. They still didn't get used to the dark, thus his vision was too weak to catch a clear picture. Eventually, he gave up and headed home. His lit torch scared a few antekas, but nothing unusual has happened.
Chapter four: heading out.
ThreeDot woke up because of some suspecient noise and whispers in the neibourgh room. He silently stood up, took an arrow from his bow quiver and walked into the room. In the unstable light of a single candle two felynes were putting his narga armor in a bag. They didn't look like thieves, and actually there could be no thieves in Pokke: everyone had to earn the respect of Nekoht, and she knew life very well. But TreeDot decided to find out what was going on from these two felynes. 'OK, guys, what the hell is going on' he said in brutal voice and struck the arrow in the floor in front of one of the felynes. 'Master, do not punish me, Nekoht told me to take all your equipment in a box and get everything ready for the departure, so you and your friend would waste no time on your mission.' - said his room servant in a frightened voice. 'OK then' said the hunter 'but make sure all is packed safely and will not brake, scratch or become unusable. And turn on the damn lights' With this words he left the house and headed to Nekoht.
She was preparing a cart with a popo who would pull it. There was something on it, but not very much actually. Only three weapon and armor sets were in: Kushala + set with a black bow; Rathalos X with the Courageous dream bow and an Edelweiss bow paired with the Barioth S armor set. His Tigrex X was still in the house, and his Narga X set was taken out by the felynes. One of them was holding the bag with the armor, while the other one tried to put all the arrows in the queve.
ThreeDot headed straight to Nekoht, who was organizing food resources at the moment.
-So, what's going on? - asked the hunter.
- Ahh, so these two dumbasses woke you up, right?
- Don't swear, they are good. One of them simply had his tail burned on the candle, no wonder he squeaked. Anyway, the sun didn't really get up, and you already organize the food and stuff. What's the matter?
- This cart was supposed to be sent forward to Dondruma in order to makу the journey faster. But since you woke up, get your tigrex armor on ang get in the cart too. These two furballs will accompain you and Nokka on your journey. You will nead a cook or a watcher, don't you think so?
- Okay.. just one question: why are YOU so interested in our mission?
- I know the guild toowell, and I understand how devastating the results will be. I am not talking about the ecology, no, it's already ruined, but when there are no Elder Dragons left, the guild will have no troubles on getting to the places once guarded by the beasts. And the beasts guarded not only their eggs and whelps, but more, much more: the knowledge of the ancient monks. And if they fall to the wrong hands, there will be total chaos. The guild bureacrats simply cannot stand the power which these scrolls give. And when they get them, there'll be only a big blood bath in which the winner will take all. But as soon the winner stands, another challenger will come, and it will go on and on.
- You really care about humans so much?
- I care about myself. The felynes actually live as long as humans, and I cannot put my nation in such problems. We have always served people, but we have always been friends with the wyverians, and we will protect them. And the guild will not stop. Soon, it will be only about non-human genocide. And now, go: Nokka already is in the cart.
- Yes, I will. I hope we will meet once again. You are probably one of the few creatures who took care about me. Thank you.
- We will. I have faith in you. Godspeed.
With thes words ThreeDot went to the cart and sit in it. Nekoht was still looking at him, even when the popo took the cart far away, so far, that there was only a single warm light seen. She has been thinking to herself. And then she recognised him at last. 'The bane of the men and beasts alike, -she thought- you did change a lot. But you still have much to learn. At least, you are on a right path. I wish you will make what you want.' With these words she went to her house to have a sleep. There wasn't a lot time left till the dawn, and there was much to do.
Chapter five: the highway star.
ThreeDot was sitting and recounting all his arrows. 1430,5. One of them was broken apart, and a half was lost. Nokka woke up and looked around. "I can't believe these popos are moving so fast. I mean, we've made a quarter of the journey." "Ans I can't believe that I agreed to participate in THIS", said ThreeDot in a gloomy voice. "Oh, come on, you are not alone: I am with you and so are the guys who drive the popos. By the way, who are they?" "Two felynes. I already tried to call these furballs, but they are having troubles with these monsters. It seems Nekoht told them not to sleep in order to shorten the journey." "Really? Sounds cruel" said Nokka.
For the whole day nothing unusual has happened. The two cats, who were sitting on the popos' backs didn't try to get off. ThreeDot shot a few birds stupid enough to fly above the cart, Nokka has sharpened all her swords and blades and throwing knives. ThreeDot has sharpened his two luckie arrows (made of carbalite ore) back to their purple sharpness and put the back on his hips. These two things saved his life for many times, he has even killed a Monoblos with them.
When the night was about to fall, Nokka said: Enough! I am tired to sit in here for the whole day! We must have a stop. With these words she thrusted her greatsword into the earth, the popos suddenly stopped, and the felynes fell down. In a few minutes a little camp was set up.
The popos went grazing in the forest, though they didn't go far away from the camp. But even if they did, the felynes would have foung them.
One of the felynes set up a fireplace while the other one prepared the raw meat. After few minutes the food was ready, and everyone started eating.
"So guys - said ThreeDot with his mouth full of tasty anteka meat - what are your names?" "I am Sarah - said the cat wearing a Jinogua armor with a Jinogua axe behing her back - and I will serve my mistress with all my heart." At that moment okka hugged the cat. "Hm... Awesome Nokka, you have a comrade. And you, what's your name?" "My name is Konor - said a cat with a low voice, who was wearing narga armour and a sword - and I will serve you, master." "Ok, forget all this crap. You are my comrade, not some little stupid slave. You are a hired warrior, and you can leave at any moment. This means, that you are a cat, who controls his life. You got this Narga materials from your prevous master?" - asked ThreeDot. "Nope, my sister, Sarah, and meaw, we were wild cats. We did many nice things together. Sarah and me were the best fighters in or band, but then we chose to leave such life and went to the village. Soon, we were hired by Nekoht as farm guardians. And then we came here." "Aha, and what with your sister?" "She stayed in the band. She is it's leader, you know, she cannot leave her cats meow." "Awesome - said ThreeDot in a tired voice - but for now I bet we all should go to bed. You two should have a sleep too. You have some nice ears which will tell you of any sound even when you sleep. Lights out." And in a minute, all four fell into sleep.
Nokka was woken up by Sarah. When Nokka was about to shout at her for interrupting a dream about little piggies, the cat showed a "shhh" sign and pointed into the sky. Above the road the milkyway was shining with a blue light. This was probably the most beautiful thing the skies could show to the people. Nokka woke up Threedot and Konor, and they all set and watched the miracle. But suddenly, a little star started to become more and more blue. "What the, a comet or what?- said ThreeDot". Then the little star began to move. Slowly at first, but then it gained more and more speed. "I have a bad feeling about this - said Sarah in a little voice". And in the next second a ball of blue flames has hit the ground with such power, that it has sent an immense flash of light around it, which has blinded the hunters for a few seconds.
When the flash was gone, the hunters saw the empress of flames, Lunastra. She has caused a flash of blue flames, as she collapsed with the earth. She was covered in red bloodstains, and her right wing was bleeding heavily. The hunters were standing behind the beast, and tried not to catch her attention. Konor was holding his blade, while Sarah was pulling out a shock trap. ThreeDot was about to fight, but Nokka decided to stop him: "remember our mission? We should not touch any elder dragon. They can extinct. And if we fight the Lunastra, we will help the bad thing. And this is not good." "But do you see that she is wounded? If she sees us, we're doomed" - answered ThreeDot in a wispering, desperate voice. And at that very moment, the beast turned around. It was staring at the hunters for a few moments and then gave out a loud roar, and covered itself in a flame aura. "Shit, we're doomed." - said ThreeDot.
He rushed towards the cart, jumped in and took out the closest bow he found: dark bow 2, while Nokka took out her Siegmund sword. The two prepared for battle.
Lunastra stroke first. She lauched a fire breath attack, and Nokka barely blocked it, while ThreeDot uphid behind her, putting one of his lucky arrows in the bow. "This should blow the shit out of her. She will hopefully fly away from us, and we won't have to kill her, I bet." When the flames were gone, Nokka rolled out of the way, and ThreeDot shot his heavy arrow in the general direction of Lunastra. These two arrows were not sutable for sniping, but if the situation required simply brute force and dealing heavy wounds in a few shots, these two came in handy. The arrow was targeted in the head of the beast, but it landed in the wound on the wing. "Heh, it's even better." - thought ThreeDot, and shot the second one. Although ThreeDot was a skilled shooter, these arrows were more of a cover fire, you would never hit a desired area with them. Thus, the second arrow pierced the beast's left palm and pinned it to the ground. Lunastra gave out a sream of pain, took the bottom arrow with her teeth, pulled it out and with the move of her head, threw it in the darkness. Her palm was bleeding, the ground was starting to cover red. She was mad from unending pain, and as the last statement, she rushed at the hunters with immence speed. Nokka pulled out the sword and went into instant block stance, but since she was wearing no armor, she would get hit pretty strong.
When the beast was about to hit the young woman, lunastra fell down, blinded. And at the next second she got pierced with four throwing knives, thrown by Sarah. The dragon tried to fight the sleep, but she was too weak to stay awake for longer, and she fell asleep.
ThreeDot went closer to the beast, pulled the arrow from the wound and went to the cats. "Hell, you are kinda S.W.A.T. Cats or what!? How the hell you made all that? You are ninja adepts, eat steroids or what?" - asked ThreeDot in a shocked voice. "We have told you that we've been the best warriors in our tribe, haven't we, meow?" - replied Sarah. "Awesome." - said Nokka. "Yeah, really awesome. But where's Konor?" At that moment the cat popped up infront of the man and gave him the carbalite arrow: "Here you go, master." "You know what? I will not take any more felyne partners, you are the only one I need, dude. And more than that, I'll make a school where you and Sarah will teach the felynes. Well, I will at least try." - said TreeDot. "Ohhhhh, you are so generous!" - said Nokka in lovely voice. "Oh God" - replied ThreeDot. The cats were standing aside preparing the bags with food etc. etc. etc.
They tried to get away from the place as fast as possible, and they eventually reached a little town of Morna. There they changed their popos to a new pair of Aptonoths, while the popos were sent back to Pokke. There the hunters refilled their water, food, ammo, and left for Dondruma, in order to fulfill their mission.
Chapter six: The big city lights.
The two hunters and their cats decided to stay in dondruma for longer. They chose a little house in city limits, not far from the cultural center of the city. It was a quet place with a nice view on the city streets.
"Ok, now we go to the great elder, give him the document, take the another document and the madal for being nice, and go home." - said ThreeDot in a cheerful and happy voice. "Wrong. We came here not to simply to complete the request, but to also visit the town. I've always wanted to see Dondruma, all the places of interest, the theater..." - said Nokka in a dreamy voice. "Shit. bordomous shit." - stated ThreeDot, - "I really think we should leave as soon as possible. Your granddad is waiting, and more than that: there can be guild agents chasing us and..." "Oh, come on! I insist on this. More than that, there must be a beatiful play in the state theater. "The great Rang-shong-rung" Should be very interesting. Please, I ask you!" "Oh, ok. I cannot resist to such a beatiful girl. Yes, we will go there, and then we will give the document to the great elder and leave. Becides, whereis it?" - inquired ThreeDot. "I left it to the cats. They should take care of it. And now, lets leave our weapons, change our armors to casual clothes and go to the theater!" "OK. I think this will help me to... um... relax, probably? Whatever, let's go to the street!" - said ThreeDot in sure voice.
When they have changed their clothes in casual robes, the two headed straight to the theater. When they reached the big semi-round amphitheater made of grey stone, ThreeDot felt a pretty thrilling experience. He felt himself a tiny bug, who faces a rathalos. His experience of knowing this building was only from his childhood, when he was willing to be an actor. Now he forgot about that dream and didn't really think about that. He remembered it a few times, but then he just left it. And now he was about to see the work of people, whom he always wanted to be. But that wasn't all that serious now. At that moment Nokka ran up to him and said:"Here are the tickets! The play will start in an hour. So, where will we go? We can visit the market square, there should be many funny things." "Ok, we will go wherever you want. I am the one who will bring your dream to life." "Get ready for raising kids then." - said the wyverian in cheerful voice.
When they've reached the market square, the young woman lost her mind. She was running around the place, watching and testing all things her eye saw. ThreeDot was standing near the fountain and watching in the blue sky, waiting, when this madness would end. Suddenly, a man came to him, and asked:"You are waiting for your friend out there" - he nodded towards the marketplace. "Yes, I am. And why are you asking?" "Oooh, I've been waiting for my wife for years now. We came here before three. And it is already ten minutes left till six." - said the man. "Uh-oh, I'd better hurry her up. Otherwise we will miss the play! Well, good luck out there, and I'l run and try to find her!" With these words ThreeDot rushed into the market.
They barely made it to the beginning of the play. For some odd reason, Nokka hasn't bought anything. They took their seat, and the play began. It was telling about the legend of the so-called "Lao-Shan-lung warrior", about his life and so on. While Nokka was trying to catch the every word of the play, ThreeDot was pretty bored. Though the decorations were amazing, the actors were brilliant and the music was astonishing, ThreeDot wasn't really concentrated on the show. But suddenly he had a strange feeling, as if somebody was watching him, trying to read his soul with the eyes. He started to get worried, but didn't want to distract Nokka, so he just set straight on his seat and started to look at the crowd in order to find the curious person. In a minute he saw a guy, who could be that peson, but he was sitting and staring at the stage with an interested look. Way too interested. ThreeDot remembered his face, but forgot about him in a few seconds because the bell rang, which meant the end of the first part of the play. ThreeDot was the first to leave the hall, he just couldn't stand the heat and sweat of human bodies.
As soon as he went into a corridor which leads to the theatre museum, he was grabbed by his wrist. He turned around and saw the guy, whose face he remembered during the show. The boy was about seventeen years old (later ThreeDot found out that he was right), was not higher than ThreeDot's shoulder, with dark hair and a little scar near his left eye. He was quite a fat guy with big belly and big cheeks. In fact, he reminded a hamster a little bit. His eyes were staring at ThreeDot with adorance.
- Hello? - said ThreeDot in surprise - What do you need from me? - Could you please show me the scar? Pleeeaase? - said the boy in a begging intonation? - What? Do not know what you are talking about - replied the hunter. - Of course you know. The "Sting" scar.
That was the thing that ThreeDot didn't expect at all: he has been hiding his scar on the left shoulder very good: he masked it with different waxes which suited his skin color, and the wax was very hard to remove, even Nokka didn't see it when she removed his armour, and now, just a random guy, whom he has never seen in his entire life asks him to tell him one of his greatest secrets so easily as if it was the most common thing possible.
ThreeDots eyes started to slowly fill with blood, his breath became heavier and harder, he produced a tough growl, and in the next second he grabbed the lad by his throat and put him to the wall. The boy tried to free himself, but it was worthless: ThreeDot had got very strong fingers due to using the bow so often. He stared at the boys eyes with anger, but didn't see fear in it, more of a surprise.
- Where do you know that from? You work for the guild? You were watching me? But since when, October? But how... - ThreeDot was whispering and growling in anger, and more than that: he was about to panic. - I just know your face: I've seen you killing that Akura Vashimu with your lucky arrows. Calm down, nobody knows who you are, except me. When I saw you in the hall, I couldn't believe my eyes: I am your fan, if you can call me like that. And now, could you please let me go, it gets too hard to breathe. - Oh, yes, sorry - ThreeDot released his fingers, and the boy gasped. - Why did you go in hiding? Why? What have you done that they exiled you, and what the hell are you doing here, in Dondruma? - Too many questions, my friend. I think I can call you like that, right? - Sure! - shouted the boy in excitement. - Ok, but how did you find me? - asked the hunter. - Coincidence. - Oh god, OK, and what is your name? - My name is Bruce, though this name doesn't suit me at all, but I don't give up - said he with a little sigh. - Well, this is ok, you will go through this - said ThreeDot with a face, representing surprise and interest at the same time. - So, will you show me the scar, Sting? - asked Bruse once again. - Call me ThreeDot, this is my name now. And do not tell anyone what you have seen, otherwise the story will repeat and do not want it.
ThreeDot looked around in order to see if anyone could see them, but they were alone in the corridor and there were no people around at all. So he did what he promised: his clothes had long sleeves, so he had to put the blue silk coat off, and then he started to put the wax off his shoulder with a knife he always was caring with him. Soon Bruce what he wanted: the "Sting" scar. ThreeDot was in the first party ever to hunt a G rank Jinogua, and more than that, it actually was the first Jinogua to be ever slain. He was wearing his Kirin armour, but he was also wearing the steel underarmour, which gave him additional protection from simple attacs. That day he was also wearing it. And when Jinogua went into its last state of rage, his entire body became electrified, and the person he chose to pin to the ground was ThreeDot. The beast's leap was so fast, no one could predict it. As it landed on the hunter, its fully electrified claw pierced his armor, melting the steel protection and leaving a deep scar in the hunter's body.
Bruse let out a deep sigh of adorance when he saw the melted metal tightly connected to the bone and muscle around it. It was impossible to remove this piece of iron from the hunter's body, because it would severely damage the shoulder bone which it has penetrated. Now ThreeDot's arm had a deep wound, which was covered in metal, as if it was a totally deformed pot for boiling food. A scar, 15 santimeters long went from his shoulder towards his elbow, shining with metallic light. It was about 4 santimeters deep, but there was wax at the moment, so only the edges were visible. Bruse instinctly tried to touch the scar, but ThreeDot pulled his arm away, which really disappointed the boy.
- Nope, you do not want to do that. - forbid the hunter. - Sorry - said Bruce - I lost control. It is like touching the biggest sword in the crafting shop with your hands.
ThreeDot was watching at the boy's face, reading his emotions, but then at the corner of his vision he saw a shadow at the end of the corridor. He turned around, and saw the figure. He saw it for tiny part of a second, but he understood that it belonged to a human. His face changed from pleased to worried, no, not worried: scared. Bruce saw this change and asked about it, but ThreeDot told him to leave.
When they left the corridor, Bruce said to ThreeDot: "Thank you. And Sti.., I mean ThreeDot. If anything happens, and you think I can help you, just ask the road to the Sirobs' house. Nearly everyone knows it. See you." With these words Bruce left surprised ThreeDot alone, heading towards the entrance to the audience hall. Surprised hunter just finished putting his jacket on when Nokka caught up with him. "Where have you been? You have missed all the sword-eaters show outside." "I just made some friends" - said ThreeDot with a small smile. He turned his head to the main entrance and saw a huge crowd coming in, because the show was about to start. In the very end of the crowd he saw a tall figure in dark clothes walking against the flow of the people. "I have a bad feeling about this" thought ThreeDot and in the next second received a kiss on the cheek from Nokka. "What for?" "To take the bad feelings away." - smiled Nokka. "You can read human mind?" - said ThreeDot in a frightened voice. "Nope, you stupid, you just said it aloud" - she smiled once again. "Oh, crap." - that was ThreeDot's opinion on this incident. Then they both returned to their seats at the hall. When they took their places, ThreeDot watched at Bruce: the boy was a good guy. He didn't even turn his head towards ThreeDot and was talking about prices for the tickets to the next play with his friends instead of saying anything anyhow connected to the hunter at all. "This boy can be a good friend after all" - thought ThreeDot and smiled.
Chapter seven: ye great scary old one.
The next day the duo (Nokka and ThreeDot) with their cats headed towards the main building of the whole city: the main gathering hall. It was really huge, ThreeDot was amazed: when he was a kid, he thought that this building is bigger than any mountain. Now he understood, that he still feels himself a little bug compared to this building. That was probably because he was not allowed to enter it since the incident, for about three years now. He really didn't believe that his dreams came true: he could enter it now, without being thrown out. Apparently.
When they approached the gates, two guards went closer to them. " What do you need here?" - asked the blonde one, who had a special ops gunlance behind his back. "We need to talk to the Great Elder" - said Nokka in a strong voice. "Aha, sure. Who the hell are you to be allowed to talk to him?" - said the ginger one, who was armed with an azure rathalos bowgun. ThreeDot called the ginger guard closer to him with a gesture, took him by his clothes, pulled him very close and whispered something to his ear. The guard made a few steps back and turned his head to the gunlance user, made a quick nod with the head and turned it back. Nokka was in a big surprise, and moved her stare from ThreeDot to the guard and back. The bling guard said: "Hm. OK, you may pass, but they" - he pointed at the felynes - "cannot enter. These are just the rules. No animals, gunpowder or big sums of money." The duo entered the hall, and the cats went to the market. They already knew what to buy for their masters.
It was a very comfortable temperature in the building, not too cold, not too hot, and their steps were echoing in the hall. At this time all the hunters had vacation, this was a rule, and the messengers felt themselves really lonely. Soon, they reached the room, where the secretary of the great elder was sitting. He was watching through some papers with very little interest, and was surely bored. When Nokka came up to him, he looked at her and said in a bored voice: "Wyverians and their partners can skip the que." In fact, there was no que, but Nokka still was pleased.
When they went into a big corridor, which was lined with mirrors on the walls, Nokka asked her friend: "What did you say to the guard?" ThreeDot made a small, satisfied grim and said: "Nothing, just my name."
They entered the room of the great elder. There was no gong in the room, and in fact, it was another room at all. When ThreeDot saw the Elder's face, he instinctively touched his left shoulder. Just as a reminder to himself. The Elder recognized him, but gave no sign of it. Insteard he focused on Nokka. "Greetings, Nokka, the daughter of Moros, why did you come here?" Nokka made a swallow. She was shocked by the size of the wyverian himself and the power his voice had. She felt herself as if she fell into a deep deep well, and somebody at the top shouted a phrase, but instead of silencing with each second as the normal sound does, it echoed more and more and when it reached her, it was as loud as a roar of Tigrex. Nokka felt herself absolutely powerless in front of the Elder and understood that she forgot both her native and human language at the second the Wyverian started to pierce her soul with his eyes.
"What the hell is going on?" - thought ThreeDot. "Just say the damn phrase about the scroll, then say thatit's important and then give the paper, and we're done! Shit, why don't you speak?" He understood that Nokka became too shocked and decided to do whatever he could.
"We are here with a mission from the veggie elders of snowy mountains, tundra, forest and hills, deserted islands and old desert. They made a research, which results are shocking and important for the whole continent. They sent us to you in order to solve this problem. They said that you will find the right solution." ThreeDot tried to stay as brave as possible, but his voice went smaller and smaller as he progressed in his speech. He understood that the Elder wasn't pleased with him speaking. They already broke in when Elder didn't allow to, and more than that: it was ThreeDot. He wasn't allowed to be in here, but he even saw the Elder. More than that: he spoke to him.
The Great Elder was sitting on his enormous throne, watching at ThreeDotwith his eyes and said: "Whom are you lying to, my little human friend? To her?" - he pointed at Nokka. - "To yourself? To me? You know who you are, what you want and why you became what you are at the moment." Nokka turned her head to ThreeDot and said-: "What is he talking about?" ThreeDot looked at her and said: remember what I said to you at the cave? That's it." He looked at he Elder and said to him: "I came here to help, not to reclaim my title, or my position, or respect that I had. Just listen to her and you will find a subject to think of."
Nokka took out the box with the document, held it in her hands and made a few steps to the Elder, and when he stretched his arm, she dropped the box onto his palm, as big as shield of a lance. The box, which looked big in her hands was as small as a fisherman's boat in the vast ocean in his. The wyverian pulled his hand closer to his face and opened the tiny lock with his nail, took out the scroll, put on his huge glasses and went into reading. He looked through the script and said to the duo: "You've done well, my friends. I will think about this. Now you may go." With these words he made a gesture with his right hand, meaning that they could go away. Both Nokka and ThreeDot bowed and leaved the hall.
"What the hell was that?" - whispered Nokka in an interested voice. "We've been knowing each other for quite a long time, and there were a few incidents which changed us both." - answered ThreeDot staring in front of him while they were walking. The rest of the way to their house they remained silent.
When they were standing in front of the big wooden door of the house they rented, ThreeDot felt something wrong. He stepped forward and pushed the door. For some reason it opened, but the cats always closed it, even if they were inside. The lights were out in the house, and only slight silhouettes were visible. ThreeDot told Nokka to stay outside, while he went into the darkness.
He could see nothing, but he felt that it was wrong: the carpet was not lying straight, the window curtains were closed. When he made it to the middle of the room, he stepped into something liquid, which made a splashing sound his foot touched it. It was cold. It added even more unexplainable feeling to the strange smell, resembling rotten food. It was weak, but yet sensible. He went towards the right wall, where there were candles and silicium to light them. The stones were lyighing on the same place, but the cancels were on the floor. He lit the candles, turned around and gasped: he saw a horrible picture.
The liquid he stepped in was blood. In the middle of the room he saw Konor, hanged by his tail to the ceiling, his stomach was ripped and guts were hanging out like a rope, drops of blood were falling from the lowest piece into the whole pool of blood, making splashing sounds as it connected to the rest of the liquid. The cat had no eyes, only black eyeholes were watching at ThreeDot, which gave him creeps. He could see bloodstains of the cat's face, as if those were traces from tears. ThreeDot rushed towards the cat, but he slipped in blood and fell down. His clothes momentarily became wet, the blue colour darkened. They were all in blood, all his coat was soaking wet and it was impossible to wear it any more. But ThreeDot didn't feel that. He just felt cold.
He was lying at his back in blood, breathing heavily. Though he was a hunter, he has never seen such gory things happening. He sat up, looking at his left hand, all covered in blood. Suddenly he felt terrible heat on his right thumb: the wax of the candle went onto it in a big chunk, burning his skin. He gave out a scream of pain and threw the candle away. It fell onto the floor, but was still burning. ThreeDot turned his head to the candle and saw Sarah: the cat was lying on a desk for chopping food, her paws were all around the floor, the tail was burnt and the rest of the body was attached to the desk with sticky sap of the sap plant.
ThreeDot stood up, nearly touched the dead body of Konor, and tried not to vomit. The smell of death came into his nose, he could taste it with his tongue and lips, unable to resist it. He turned around and tried to run to the door, but tripped on a chair in the middle of the room and fell down once again. He didn't feel pain, momentarily stood up and rushed to the door. He crushed into it and it nearly flew away as he ran to the stairs, breathed heavily while watching at the floor with his hands on his knees. When he calmed down, he stood up and couldn't believe his eyes: Nokka wasn't here. She went somewhere, but where? ThreeDot went downt from the stairs and saw a little note on the floor. He picked it up: it was handwritten in black ink "we have her. Leave Dondruma." ThreeDot threw the paper on the ground and stomped on it. "I will not leave it like this" - he growled in anger.
He put the bodies of cats in two bed sheet and buried them on a pet sematary not far from the house.
Chapter eight: help from above.
When ThreeDot returned from the cemetery It was already dawn. He entered the house and changed. His casual clothes were no more needed: he decided not to wear them at all, becides, they were all covered in blood. At first he applied wax on the scar (when he saw it, he remembered the cats once again), then started to dress. He decided to wear his Tigrex set paired with the latest Narga bow. He took his back bag made of Tigrex materials (he just loved that monster) with a clip for easy dropping, so when he would encounter any danger, he just had to press a button on the muddle of his chest and the bag would fall down, saving priceless time.
He went to the clothest bar and asked where the Sirobs' place was. A cart driver agreed to take him for two hundred zennys. ThreeDot had no choice and had to paay this astronomical sum.
The journey was really short, though ThreeDot would never find this place. He just couldn't believe there were such houses in Dondruma: the tall building, four floors high, made of marble and wood (he couldn't understand what holds what: marble holds wood, or wood holds marble.) The windows and doors were made of dark grey stone, and the whole building looked very rich
- to be continued-