Part 1

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They told me I wasn't really supposed to be a ballooner. They didn't realize how much of a challenge that really was.

Learning was what I always wanted to do, and am I glad that I had all these monsters to research. My name's Coran Farstein, and my favorite monster is definitely the White Fatalis. It's just so elegant and beautiful, not to mention deadly. I witnessed a hunter die from the beast just from the Fatalis tripping on his scrawny body. Such a sad sight. From up above, you definitely get to feel the hunter's pain. The attacks. The farming for jewels, I can see the jewels from here.

I always carry a hunter's bow with me. Not any fancy one with the element attacks and the peircing, just a bow and arrow. I also carry a carving knive in case I need it to survive. And who would've thought I would've needed it so badly?

The Fall

It all began when I was studying the Kushala Daora, a fine specimen of a creature (I skipped my initiation to ballooning for your sake). A hunter was using catspaw to attack it, poor fool. you could tell the hunter wasn't ready for this not only from his weapon, but he went alone and he brought such terrible armor. Mosswine armor. Pity. I was watching this battle from above with my telescope until one move was made. The Daora shot a burst of air at the hunter, it hit a ramp, rocketed towards me and cooled all the air in my balloon whilst putting out the fire that was warming the air. I couldn't believe that happened, and I started sinking.

I thought to myself how that could possibly happen while I was headed toward the fight. Tails were lashing. Paws were swiping. And soon, balloons were landing. The basket poofed into the snow. I felt like a snail without a shell. As soon as I felt that way, the hunter ran towards me.

"Oh no," I whispered, "not this guy." But I judged too soon. He approached me with an open hand.

"Need an assistance?" he asked. I couldn't even see the poor soul under that gluttonous mosswine mask.

"Greatly," I responded. I took his hand and heaved myself out of the basket.

"Ben's the name," he said, sounding delighted to introduce himself, "Ben Wolfson."

"Wolfson?" I asked. "That sounds a bit... made up."

"Well, I did... you're good. It was Kutu."

"Didn't want to be compared to the beaked maggot, did you?"

"No, you got it all wrong. I love the Kut-Ku!"

I must've had a blank face for ages staring at that poor, lost soul after that dumb remark.

"And your name?" he asked.

"Coran Farstein, ace informationalist."

"Hey, I've read your book!"

"Have you?"

"Yes. The one on the studies of velociprey."

"That, really wasn't my best work."

"Stop being modest, that wa-"

A shriek. A shriek from an areal wind stream from a Kushala Daora.

"Get out of here! Now!" I ordered. We both dove behind some rocks as the Daora landed just inches from both of us. It sniffed around. It looked in our directions. It knew we were there. No sounds could be heard other than the wind it was producing and my heartbeat. It inched forward. It inched more. More and more until It was in my line of vision. I readied an arrow and fired. It got up on it's hind legs and roared! I thought it was going to be enraged, but no. It fell to the ground squirming like a fish out of water. Ben and I teamed back up.

"Why the mosswine outfit?" I asked him.

"I get hungry a lot," he responded, "and this helps."

"Attack it, damn it!" I reminded. He gave me the strangest look as he ran towards it. Maybe I was too harsh. I do have a problem with being too harsh. I would've kept my negative judgement on him if he didn't do what shocked me and debunked my studies for years!

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