Morning. There weren't any windows in Gale and Mizu's room, but even so, a room was always lit up a little in the daylight. Gale felt warm skin on her arm. She turned her head the other way to find Mizu, his piercing, ocean-blue eyes locking the nineteen-year-old in his gaze. She looked down a little. "You just can't go one night with your shirt on, can you?" She chuckled, stroking his abdomen teasingly. He smiled. "Maybe you should try taking yours off," Mizu retorted. Gale climbed on top of him, and pulled her shirt off. He stared at her, a little startled. "Happy?" Gale laughed. Mizu kissed her and locked his arm around her waist, reaching under the bedsheets with his free hand.
Suddenly, Shinji burst in to the rooom. Gale jumped, wrapping her arm around her chest instinctively. "CAN YOU KNOCK FIRST?" She roared, enough to frighten a small child. The fear and amazement even flared in Shinji's green eyes for a few seconds, before she broke into an unnaturally immature giggle. "Make it quick, Altair wants to see us in ten minutes," Shinji said, holding back her laughter. Mizu asserted his presence in the room with more humour. "We only need five," he muttered. This time even Gale couldn't help but indulge in the immaturity.
Shinji sighed with feigned exasperation. "Mizu Nagare, you are such a dog sometimes, you know that? I dunno what to do with you sometimes. If that house of yours isn't filled with children by the end of the year, I'll be surprised." she huffed. Suddenly, Jinsoku ran past her, with something large tucked under his arm. Shinji ran after him hollering as she went. "Jin! You give that back, you little - ! Don't make me chase you, 'cause you know I will!" she yelled at the top of her voice, shutting the door behind her as he sped off.
The Village Elder's house was very cluttered. It was also very awkward for Gale, Mizu, Shinji and Jinsoku, as there was no Village Elder in Hyoku, only a small "government" of about four people - one of which was actually Mizu, who did have a serious side, despite his generally lighthearted and carefree demeanour. Flames danced in the small hearth behind the Village Elder's rocking chair. Altair sat in a chair adjacent to the Elder, his brow furrowed with concern, his eyes staring down at nothing. Skylar lay in a bed next to the hearth, no expression in her face, totally at peace. The foursome sat opposite Altair and the Elder, waiting in silence for Altair to brief them. Finally, roused from his thoughts, he cleared his throat and began to speak.
"Aside from the Yamiokami incident last night, there has been some disturbing...developments. A group of hunters has attacked Hyoku and Chikyuu."
"What?!" Shinji exclaimed, the others' eyes widening with worry. Altair coughed before continuing.
"They all wore the same Ukanlos armour and weapons, and they stormed the two villages in organized gangs, calling themselves 'Children of the White Star'." He added. This made Gale freeze almost literally, remembering the horror of Yaketsukuyona, the White Star, and the atrocitites that had cost her and the others their teacher, their friend, and almost their world. "The White Star..." she whimpered.
"You know of this?" Altair inquired flatly, confused.
"The White Star... is a Wyrm. The ice Wyrm...Yaketsukuyona.... but he's dead! I killed him with my own hands!" she cried out, stressed. Mizu put his arm around her shoulder, gesturing with his free arm for her to calm down. Altair also put his hand out.
"Relax, Gale. You need not fear. He hasn't been seen or heard of in any way but that. Also..." he continued, speaking a little slower, so as not alarm anyone, "there was a distinctive hunter that was with the gang in Hyoku. Apprently, he wore the same armour, but wielded a Shadow of the Moon, and was called Kazir. Do you know anything of him?" he said, genuine care and concern in his eyes, leaning forward a little. Gale shook her head. Altair leaned back, relieved and worried at the same time.
"These attacks do not bode well. And this Kazir...apparently he counjured a blizzard, that lasted about half a day. He seems to have complete control over ice and snow. He must be a Descendant of Yaketsukuyona." he murmured. "And according to military reports, he's heading this way. I want you four to wait here until he comes and goes, while I, Skylar - if she is well enough - and another aquaintance head into Janguru Forest to hunt the Yamiokami. Will you do this for me?" He asked seriously.
Gale and the others nodded. Altair smiled, a little less thinly than normal. "Thank you. It's good to know that I can trust you," he said. "Ah, I have another favour to ask of you. My 'aquaintance'... he is a Descendant of the fire Wyrm, and a seasoned hunter... however, he aslo a seasoned drinker . If you can bring him to his senses and persuade him to accompany me, I would be very grateful," he added, getting up to leave.
"Wait! What does he look like?" Gale called to him.
"You'll know him when you see him," he murmured, leaving the door open behind him.
As the others got up to leave, the Village Elder spoke. "Mizu, can I borrow you for a moment?" she said, her voice quiet and a little croaky. Mizu went to sit down again, Shinji shutting the door behind her (as she was the last to leave). The Elder rose from her rocking chair to poke a the firewood in the hearth with her stick. "We meet at last. You are Emily Nagare's son, aren't you?" she said. "I can tell," she saddened, not waiting for a response. "You have her eyes. Blue, like sapphires. She never knew you, but she loves you very much." she purred nostalgically. "Okay, that's it. Nothing else. Off you go."
Mizu got up to leave. Suddenly, he cried out, as a sharp pain flew through his head. He fell to his knees, one hand on his head, the other on the floor. He heard the woman's voice again.
"AH! Finally, a stable connection! I know this hurts, but just listen carefully. Kazir and his ilk are heading this way. I know you know all this, but be very careful and do not let him see you. He knows of how you and your friends defeated the White Star. He will kill you. He is after you, Gale, Gigas, and other Descendants. He needs their power for his schemes..."
"Wait...who-?" He beckoned her, but the woman was already gone. Ignoring everything else, he got up and left.
The Three Horns - the tavern that Altair had spoken of. Full of drunks, black-market merchants, prostitutes and hunters alike, it was a symphony of drunken singing, quiet music and laughter. There was absolutely no way to discern one drunkard from another. But Gale, Shinji, Jinsoku and Mizu (who had quickly caught up with them, not saying a word about what happened in the Elder's house) knew immediately who they were looking for.
"There. That's our man." Shinji said, pointing to a small, round table in the middle of the tavern, filled by three hunters, one in Uragaan armor, one in Plesioth armour and the other ('their man') in Lavasioth armour (except the helmet, which he had tucked under his left arm), roughly in his mid-forties (his face also had many scars from all the hunting he must have partaken in), with an Agnablaster stood next to him, resting vertically against his chair.
He laughed louder than everyone else in the room, opining his drunken views on current affairs, his words so indistinguishable that only a fellow drunkard could understand a word he was saying (or rather, spraying). The four of them slowly approached the table. The three sitting at it look up at them.
"Whaddya want, ya..." the man in the Lavasioth armour began, only to falter back into indistinct slurs yet again, the three of them choking on their own laughter. Shinji stepped forward. "You're coming hunting tonight." she said flatly.
"Oh, you askin' for a date, sweetheart!?" he said, his croaky voice, his breath laced with liquor, and by the croakiness of his voice, he had been a smoker for some time. The threesome descended into another wave of alcohol-induced laughter.
"No," Shinji said, trying to hold her anger back.
"Well then, who's askin'?" the man grumbled, still laughing.
"You tell him I don't wanna go nowhere huntin' no damn Elder Dragons, m'kay, sweetheart?"
Shinji grew tired of being on tenterhooks with the hunter, reached over to her right and grabbed Gale's Lost Black Katana, poiting the tip at the man's throat. "Tell him yourself," she grunted, "And don't call me 'sweetheart'."
She expected the whole place to be alarmed, but this bar was used to armed scuffles, and a drawn weapon was commonplace on most nights. The man seemed to sober up at this, if only enough to get out a comprehesive sentence without laughing or choking. He stoop up from the chair, and ever so sofly pushed the blade aside with his right hand.
"You won't kill me, sweetheart."
"Doesn't mean I won't try, asshole."
"...You make a good point," he said quietly, seeming to sober up allot now, picking up his Agnablaster from against his chair. "You got a name, sweetheart?"
Shinji decided not to grill him about calling her that this time, as it was clear that it was one of his idiosynchrisies.
"And you are?" Gale asked. The man grabbed his bowgun by the trigger, hauling it over his shoulder.
"My name's Gigas," he said, already walking toward the door. "I'm off to my place to get some prepare. I'll meet you in the forest."
"Oh, um, we're not going with you," Gale told him. Gigas turned around to face them, still at the door, his brow furrowed in confusion.
"Whaddya mean?" he said, befuddled.
"We're staying here to take care of something important. Altair told us to get you to go with him. He was gonna take Skylar, but she's still asleep."
"Skylar!? She okay!?" Gigas exclaimed.
"She's fine. She just needs her rest. Now hurry up, go! Altair's waiting for you," Gale said, gesticulating for him to go. Still carrying his bowgun over his shoulder, he strolled off, leaving the door ajar. Suddenly, a scantily dressed woman - one of the prostitutes - threw herself at Mizu, putting her hand on his chest and pushing him against the table, pressing her body against his. "Hey, sexy. You wan't some o' this? I come cheap," she whispered seductively, stroking his neck, unbuttoning her shirt.
Gale's pupils dilated. Her hand balled into a fist as she punched the prostitute in the face, knocking her unconscious. "Hands off, bitch! ...Only I can push him against tables and call him sexy," she purred, stepping over the young woman on her way out.
Gigas found Altair at the edge of Jaguru forest, waiting patiently. He stolled up, a Dancing Hellfire Long Sword on his back and his Agnablaster is his grip, fully armoured. "You came. I was afraid that I'd have to handle this alone." Altiar muttered tonelessly.
"Not so, ol' friend. Papa Gigas is at the ready!"
"Hm. Gigas Honou, invigorated as ever." Altair said, letting a small chuckle escape his lips. He sent his raven into the moonlit forest ahed of them, then extended his silver, gauntletted arm toward the undergrowth."After you, O Confident One." he purred sarcastically. The middle-aged veteran strolled at his usual leisurely pace into Janguru Forest, Altair following close behind.
Nighttime. Gale and Mizu lay in bed, kissing. Gale pushed him away from a second. "Whoa there, horsey. I need to breathe after a few minutes, y'know?" she said, smiling, getting out of bed and kneeling down to get to eye-level with her Felyne. Suddenly, the door burst open and a small Ash Tiger scurried in, meowling. "Remy!?" Gale yelped. "Where the hell did you go!?" Mizu sat up, confused.
"Wait, you mean that you know he's been gone all this time...and you didn't think to point it out?" he asked.
"I don't need to, I trust him to come back. He always does this when we go hunting, he just doesn't normally take this long."
"You're a strange one, Gale Kaze," he mused.
"Love you too," she said sarcastically, ignoring him.
"Erm, hello-oo, Gastronomes, some attention, please, nya!" Remy interrupted, gesticulating with his grey paws. "I've been scouting out and about, and I was the attack at Hyoku, that Kazir and his Ukanlos henchmen! He was spouting some gibberish about "Children of the Ice" and "Father", and "Descendants", nya! He's scary, nya. I don't like him one bit!"
"What else did you see?" Gale said.
"Kazir killed Sensei Makoto, said she was a Descendant of the earth Wyrm...and....nya..."
"He what? What is it?" Gale said, worry looming over her.
"Kazir...killed you mother, nya..." Remy croaked, hanging his head.
Gale's eyes lost their warmth and her skin went deadly pale, and he began to tremble. Mizu slowly got out of the bed, knelt down and wrapped his arms around her, as pain and grief encompassed her, tears began to fall, and she let out a scream of almost animalistic pain and suffering.
To Be Continued in: Legacy of the Descendants V: Children of the Ice