Hyoku hadn't changed at all in the last three years. Of course, the hunter Rakurai wasn't here anymore, and someone had to take Arashi's place at the school, but, save that, it was the same sunny and peaceful village it had been three years ago.
The replacement Sensei, Makoto Suzuki, was a thin and good-looking woman, in her late twenties, early thirties perhaps, average height, with purple hair and blue eyes (an increasingly common eye colour in Hyoku, it seemed), and a kind face. The children loved her almost as much as Sensei Arashi. However, there was something about her that offed Mizu. He claimed to get headaches when he approached her. It was strange for sure, but didn't trouble him any, though. They were about to pay her a visit, as they had received a messgae from her that sounded quite urgent - and it involoved monsters.
After they had finished breakfast, they left Remy in charge of the kids (the Felyne was a strangely reliable babysitter), pulled out their armour (Kirin X for Gale and Barioth for Mizu) and left for Shinji and Jinsoku's house. It rested at the very top of the village (the village lay on uneven ground), and was covered in ivy (not poison ivy, though). Gale knocked on the door firmly. A few moments later, a slender girl with blonde hair and green eyes opened the door, smiling. "Good to see you guys. I take it you got that message from Sensei Makoto too?" she asked. The couple nodded. "Well, we can all go...as soon as someone gets a move on!" Shinji called back to inside the house.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Jinsoku's voice yelled from upstairs. The voice's owner slowly hobbled down the stairs, hopping on one leg an he tried to get the leggings for his Narga armour on. About halfway down he lost his balace, crying out as he tumbled down the stairs, his bow falling on his head. The trio at the door laughed in unison. "Jin," Shinji called to him (for short), "You never change, do you?" She turned back to Gale and Mizu. "C'mon, let's go!" she barked, excited and impatient, already speeding away from the house as far as her Agnaktor armour would allow. Gale and Mizu waited for Jinsoku to gather himself, then left with him.
When the foursome reached the schoolhouse, Mizu knocked on the door, simultaneously opening it. The hunters stopped at the sight of two odd-looking strangers with Sensei Makoto.One was tall, lean and thin, maybe a year or so older than them, with shoulder length black hair, pale skin, emerald green eyes and a long, dark-green cloak that almost touched the floor (it also reached around to cover the right side of his body slightly), it's edges frayed and ripped as if someone had taken bites out of it, which reached around the front of his body and reaching a little lower than shoulder-length, held together with silver rings. He was wearing fairly normal clothes as opposed to hunter armour, but one could tell that they were made of Remobra materials, and decorated with silver pauldrons in places. His boots, which were pointed at the toes, were plated with a material that loooked almost like ivory, as was the glove he wore on his right hand- his left glove wasn't silver plated and was covered with white bandages (for decoration, not injury), although there were some slivers of black where the wrap hadn't been placed. He had similar wraps on his left and right forearms and his left thigh, and a holster with a strange pistol sat on the left side of his hip, and shruikens on the other. A fairly large raven perched upon his left shoulder.
The other was a girl and, judging by her height, a few years younger than Gale and the others. She had the same black hair (though it was cut short), pale skin eyes and green as the man, but wielded Hidden Ones, and looked more ninja-like than him, her clothes made of the same dark green cloth as the man's cloak, except this made up the majority of her clothes. Her attire was completely symmetrical (unlike his), with the same black leather covering her lower arms, her chest, and making up her boots (the leather on her also had pauldrons, but they were black as opposed to silver).
Sensei Makoto interrupted the foursome's awe. "This is Altair Tatsumaki," she pointed to the man, "And Skylar Kuuki," she finished, pointing to the girl. Before Makoto could say anything further, Jinsoku posed a question to Skylar. "Um, Skylar, how old are you? You look pretty young for a hunter.""I'm thirteen, goin' on twenty!" Skylar answered, her voice light and energetic, a little louder than normal. If her answer hadn't given away her age, her voice definitely had.
"Twenty-two." Altair piled on bluntly. His voice was deeper, heavy and slightly gravelly, the polar opposite of Skylar's.
"Altair and Skylar have come from the village of Sukai, with a request." Sensei Makoto said, gesturing to the duo. Altair stepped forward. "We need your help. A monster called the Yamiokami has attacked our village," he muttered.
"An Elder Dragon, to be precise," Skylar interrupted. Altair shot her an cold-yet-thankful look, then continued.
"There have been many casualties, and all of the other hunters in out village have been killed or incapacitated. Some...will never be able to hunt again. Skylar and I cannot handle such a threat alone."
"So, will you guys help us?" Skylar chirped. Atlair took another step forward, extending his right hand. Each of the hunters stepped forward and shook it, one by one. Skylar beamed, while Altair managed a nod of gratitude. The six hunters each turned and bowed to the smiling Sensei Makoto before exiting the schoolhouse.
At the path that lead to outside the village, Gale, Mizu, Shinji, Jinsoku, Skylar and Altair stood, readying their weapons and equipment for the trek ahead. Gale and Mizu had left their children in the care of Sensei Makoto, as Remy was coming with them. Skylar had taken a shine to the Ash Tiger, deeming him 'adorable'. Altair was briefing the group.
"To get to Sukai, we bypass, we must cross the Unmei desert, but not entirely. We can avoid the worst of the heat and the sandstorms if we take a shortcut through an underground cave. Granted, a Plesioth dwells there, but with the six of us, a Piscine Wyvern should pose little threat. Especially since three of us are Descendants," Altair hinted, directing his eyes at Mizu and Gale, who looked a little shocked.
"What? H-how do you-?" Gale stuttered, taken aback.
"You are not the only ones to with knowledge of the ancient Wyrms that once ruled the land," Altair mused. "I, like youself, Gale, am a Descendant of Guretosutomu, the great wind Wyrm," he added.
"I-I'm a...but, I thought you had to kill a Wyrm to absorb it's power?" said Gale, confused.
"Not so," replied Altair. " One merely has to touch it."
"But...how are Mizu and I Descendants? Guretosutomu never told me..." Gale inquired.
"You must have aquired the power when you slew the White Star. There are flukes where the slayer of a Wyrm becomes a Descendant automatically." Altair then turned to Mizu.
"Your mother," Altair said flatly. Mizu froze. Gale clutched his arm.
"My mother...how -?"
"She was a hunter in this village, one leap in the bloodline away from being the Descendant of the water Wyrm that you are, Mizu. Then, one day, she went missing while hunting. She has never been seen since. That's all I know." Altair said, turning to leave. Skylar, Jinsoku and Shinji slowly followed suit.
"Mizu...I know you don't wanna talk about it, but...if you ever change you mind...I'm right here," Gale whispered, kissing him on the cheek. He smiled thinly, and followed Gale and the others away from Hyoku.
The voice was clearer this time, still warm and smooth like honey, but this time he was able to distinguish it as female. Taking it with a smidgeon more seriousness than last time, he followed his girlfriend and their comrades on their way.
To Be Continued in: Legacy of the Descendants III: The Black Beast Strikes!