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MHD: The Darkness Within IV - Dondruma at Risk

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Note: I have literally no idea what Mezeporta Square adds to MH Frontier, or even where it is, so I'm going to give it its own general purpose for this fanfic, as well as put it in the middle of Dondruma Town. If you do know what the Square is, by all means, tell me. I'm not changing anything regardless.


Dondruma Town - a bustling trade city, full of civilians trying their best to go about their daily lives. Farmers bringing in fresh produce, poultry, and more by Aptonoth-drawn cart, traders from distant lands selling rare goods, and of course, hunters accepting paying requests from Mezeporta Square.

Mezeporta Square was were all of the hunters gathered. Here, they forged their weapons and armor, took airships to the various hunting grounds, and relaxed in the taverns after a hard day's (or night's) work. It was a rougher part of the city, and it wasn't uncommon to see bloody fights break out over the slightest thing. The Great Frontier being the Great Frontier, if you weren't tough enough to even defend your mug of ale, you were likely dead meat.

The thing that really bothered most people was that Dondruma Town was constantly plagued with monster attacks. No human really knew the true reason - that the monsters knew that this city was a populous trade center and would most likely cripple the Frontier's human population if it was destroyed - but they were always alert and on guard, ready to hide or draw their weapons in case of a sudden attack.

During this rainy afternoon, it was business as usual in Dondruma. Of course, "business as usual" often included a rampaging monster or two, and today was no exception. Citizens ran in fear through the streets, trying to reach their shelters and doing their best to outrun the monster that was chasing them.

This was no easy feat, even if the weather had been perfect. The driving rain and wind hindered many of the people, causing them to slip or run off course and bump into things. Then there was the monster itself, capable of outrunning an Apceros stampede. It was the Embodiment of the Storm, Kushala Daora.
KushalaFly

Kushala Daora

The citizens were in a panicked frenzy, desperate to reach the safety of their homes. However, they did not realize just how difficult it was to keep track of a monster's location when fleeing through a crowded metropolis.

Thus, as they rounded a corner, they came face-to-face with the Elder Dragon itself. The Kushala Daora screeched, and all of a sudden, the wind intensified throughout the immediate vicinity. It was the Daora's infamous "wind aura" activating - the closer they got to the dragon, the stronger the winds would become.

But no one was stupid enough to get any closer. The poor townsfolk pushed past each other in an effort to get away from the monster. The Daora lunged, snapping its jaws, and managed to snag an unlucky merchant by the neck, instantly breaking it. No one stayed around long enough to see what the dragon did with its catch.

Suddenly, the sound of a Hunting Horn sang through the air. The Kushala Daora looked up from its freshly caught meal and saw three elite hunters running down the otherwise empty street towards it. Growling, the Daora threw up its wind aura again in an effort to deter them.

One hunter carried a Lance, which was just long enough to spear its quarry without its owner being affected by the punishing wind. The Daora screamed in pain as the ultra-sharp weapon pierced its metallic scales.

There was an audible sucking sound as the dragon inflated its lungs, then a huge screech as it released a massive burst of wind from its mouth. The Lance-wielding hunter was thrown high into the air by the projectile, but the other two managed to dodge. However, they were still brought to their knees by the sheer force of the wind blasing past them.

The hunter that already had her Bowgun out and primed to fire was thrown completely off balance by the sudden attack, and fired a burst of Pellet Shots, missing the Kushala Daora by a meter or more. The shots struck a building, demolishing a section of it and causing it to fall on top of the Elder Dragon. It flinched as medium-sized fragments battered it.

The other two hunters saw their chance and charged. The Lance-wielder was hit by a stray swipe from the Daora's claw, which caught the edge of his shield and flung him to the ground. The third hunter, who carried a massive, deadly-looking Greatsword, swung it with all of his might, but the blade just fell short of the dragon's scales.

Jumping into the air and scattering some stray debris in the process, the Daora rose into the air, hovering just above the ground. It sucked in another breath and let out one long, loud shriek. The wind and sound took the form of a beam, and the Elder Dragon swept the street with it, flinging large amounts of dust, leaves, and small rocks into the air.

Momentarily stunned by the falling masonry and sight-clouding dust, the Bowgun hunter struggled to see through the huge cloud. Too late, she spotted the Daora coming straight for her - and then she saw no more, as the dragon's curved talons ripped through her neck. With a final gasp, she hit the ground and lay still.

The dust cleared, and the other two hunters instantly saw that their comrade had fallen victim to the Kushala Daora. One swung his Greatsword once more, and the blade connected with the Elder Dragon's flank. However, the weapon clanged off of the Daora's metallic hide. The dragon noticed that the blow was powerful, and it galloped off to find a better place to continue the fight.

The two hunters, though, thought that the dragon was fleeing for its life. They pursued, with the Greatsword user pausing to sharpen his weapon with a Whetstone. With only a mild jolt of realization, they saw that the Elder Dragon was heading straight for Mezeporta Square.

"Damn it," said the Lance-using hunter as they chased after the Daora. "It had to be today when the monster attacked." His companion agreed, saying, "All of the other hunters are off on hunts. Of all the damn days to get a pile of hunting requests from the Guild..."

They ran as fast as their heavy armor would allow them, passing a dark, narrow alleyway as they did so. Almost instantly, the Kushala Daora crept out from its hiding place and followed the pair with a satisfied growl.


Despite the driving rain, Mezeporta Square looked as it always did. The two hunters burst out from the narrow street, and involuntarily relaxed at the sight of the place where they had spent most of their lives.

But where had the Daora gone? A monster of that size couldn't just disappear into thin air, after all. Both hunters drew their weapons once more, assuming a back-to-back formation. They were ready for any of the Elder Dragon's tricks.

A slight increase in the wind speed suggested that the Kushala Daora was near. The hunters tensed up, prepared for it to suddenly appear from any direction - except from right above them, of course.

Folding its wings back, the Daora plummeted straight down, throwing out its claws at the last second. It slammed down onto the paved ground in the hunters' midst, causing cracks to form in the cobblestones. The Greatsword hunter was caught underneath one of the Elder Dragon's feet, and despite his protective armor, his spine snapped due to the crushing impact.

That left the Lance-wielding hunter all alone, the only of his party of three to have survived thus far. Against his will, a trickle of sweat dribbled down as he stared into the dragon's malicious blue eyes. The Daora raised its head and screeched, once again letting its wind aura whip up its surroundings.

The sudden, gale-force wind caused the hunter to stumble. The Kushala Daora immediately sprung into action, turning on the spot and lashing out with its tail.

The thin, whiplike tail caught the hunter directly on the cheek. The blow didn't just sting, it was also extraordinarily powerful. The impact caused the hunter's head to turn at an unnatural angle, instantly snapping his neck.

With all three opponents dead, the Kushala Daora let loose with a victory roar. The rain suddenly became a downpour, obscuring the dragon from anyone who might have been watching. The wind increased in strength as well, causing houses and merchants' stalls to creak and groan.

All of a sudden, there was a bright flash of light, emanating from the top of the building the Daora had plunged down from a minute before. The Elder Dragon looked up at it to see two humans staring back at it. The taller one had a glowing orb of energy clutched in his fist. Something about the pair didn't bode well for the Daora.

Then its time was up. The female raised a hand and pointed it at the Daora. A beam of pure energy flashed from it, striking the Elder Dragon. Its life slowly ebbed away - it had been frozen from the inside out, with innumerable ice crystals piercing its muscles and organs and causing it to bleed internally.

As the Daora died, the male hunter levitated himself and his companion gently to the ground. "Excellent job, Mylie," he said. "You've learned to control the Ice element well."

Mylie grinned. "I had a wonderful teacher," she hinted, quickly pecking him on the cheek. Tartu allowed the faintest of smiles to spread across his face before stepping up to and examining the dead Elder Dragon. The rain and wind lessened, as the Kushala Daora's control over it faded and disappeared entirely.

All of a sudden, there was a shout. Tartu's head snapped up and Mylie instantly reached for her Agnablaster. Then they paused - there was someone running towards them. It was a squat, goblin-like creature called a Wyverian. As it turned out, this particular Wyverian was none other than the Master of the Frontier Hunter's Guild himself.

"That was incredible!" he exclaimed in a husky voice once he had reached the duo. "You two slew that Kushala Daora like it was nothing!" The Guildmaster coughed a few times, trying to catch his breath, before continuing. "The Hunter's Guild needs your expertise. The monster war has flared up dramatically in the past few years. If you can help defend Dondruma Town, then I and the rest of the Guild would be in your debt."

Tartu smirked inwardly as a plan formed in his mind. Almost automatically, he joined it up with the plan that he was already following, so that now it was a simple step towards achieving his ultimate goal.

"Of course," he said, bowing formally. "My friend and I would be honored." The Guildmaster beamed happily and said happily, "Excellent, excellent! Come, I must talk with you in my quarters." He hobbled off, gesturing for Tartu and Mylie to follow.

"That old fool has no idea what he's doing, branding us as allies," Mylie hissed to Tartu. "Agreed," he said simply. "When all is said and done, we will not only be ruling Dondruma Town, but the entire Great Frontier, and the elite hunters that work within it."


Meanwhile, in Mediatas Village, Illeera stared up concernedly at the spot from which Taka and Relcia had left, Tenris and Elric by her side. The couple had left a day before, and there was still no sign of them. Illeera knew that when something as worrying as this happened, there was usually something transpiring elsewhere.

"Still no sign?" asked Tenris, running a finger over the blade of her Qurupeco Chopper. Illeera didn't even look at her, just shaking her head while still staring up at the clouds. "What do you think is happening?" Elric piled on. "Have they found the Fatalis yet? And if they did, has it..." He let the sentence trail off, afraid to even speak of Taka and Relcia's possible fate.

"It's more than likely," Illeera said finally, voice cracking. She would not let her best friend die without her, not after all they had been through. "But we must find out for sure."

Tenris' eyes were wide. "Are you saying that we must pursue them into the Great Frontier?" she asked, half-skeptical, half-scared. Illeera turned towards her and her brother, nodding solemnly. "That is exactly what I am saying."

Turning to Elric, she ordered, "Elric, inform the monsters and villagers that we are going after Taka and Relcia. Tell them that we will be back within a week, and if not..." It was her time to trail off.

Elric nodded seriously, then bolted off to do what she had commanded. "How will we get there?" asked Tenris. "It's not as if we can shapeshift, like Taka can. Are we bringing one of the monsters along?"

Illeera shook her head. "No. It is much too dangerous to risk losing more than just our lives. We will be the only three casualties if something goes wrong. As for transportation - we will have to journey the old-fashioned way. By foot."


To be Continued...

Monster Hunter Destiny: The Darkness Within V - The Legendary Black Dragon

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