Far away, in a distant stone chamber, two figures crouched over a large stone chest. They had traveled far from the Mysterious Beyond to get to this spot, traversing the regions of Moga and Minegarde to reach this location. It was a place that had been forgotten by both humans and monsters, for it hadn't been used in millennia.
The taller of the two figures shifted his weight slightly, waiting for his companion to unlock it. He was excited, no doubt about that. Contained within this chest were the secrets to several kinds of magic, or so the legend said. He had never thought that much about magic before, because, as most humans and monsters did, he had always dismissed it as myth and nothing more.
But the battle that had been waged a year ago had changed this. An extremely rare type of magic had been utilized by an already special human - the boy Taka. He had, against all odds, summoned the power of the Thunder element within himself, just in time to save his friend from the literal jaws of death. It was this miraculous phenomenon that had gotten the two beings thinking long and hard about the possibilities of magic, and the powers that would be granted if one could master such things.
Apart from Taka, the pair knew that they had no real competition in the field of sorcery. And Taka was just a novice, wet behind the ears when it came to using the spectacular powers that he had been blessed with. However, he did have another formidable power - that of shapeshifting. He needed to be handled very carefully.
"Almost there?" the taller figure asked his companion. A smooth female voice answered, "Yes. Just a few more seconds, and we'll be able to start putting our plans in motion."
The figure smiled. Oh, how he loved to plan. Of course, this was because most of his plans ended up with him ruling over the known world - the Mysterious Beyond, Moga, Minegarde, the Great Frontier, and finally, the Central World.
Suddenly, there was a clicking sound. "Got it!" said the girl excitedly, and opened the chest. A bright light suddenly shone from inside of it, slightly illuminating the otherwise pitch-black chamber.
The duo looked inside and smiled simultaneously. Their grins were identical - wide, triumphant, and carrying signs of pure evil in them. Inside of the chest sat a glowing crystal orb and a medium-sized, tattered book. Both knew that these two objects, when combined, would give them the secrets to ultimate power.
The girl picked up the book and flipped through the first few pages. "I can't understand the language this was written in," she said frustratedly. The other took the book, examining the characters. His grin grew wider as he replied simply, "I can."
Tartu snapped the book closed and tucked it under his arm. "Come, Mylie," he beckoned. "Time to test this out on the ones we both know and hate - Taka and his little friends."
The crescent moon was high in the sky above Mediatas Village. It was the second anniversary of the end of the monster war, and the festivities were still going strong. Lots of food, competition, and friendly chat - everyone used this night to relax and have fun.
What made this particular party special were the visitors - Tenris and Elric, two young teenagers from the distant Mysterious Beyond. They had trekked across their own region - as well as that of Moga, where the war was still going strong - in order to reach Mediatas Village. Their friend Taka had sent word of this occasion three weeks in advance, and they had graciously accepted the invitation.
Now they, as well as Taka, Illeera, and Relcia, were sitting at a small, round table, chatting and laughing delightedly. Each had a half-finished meal in front of them, and they had slowed down on the snacking in order for more opportunities to talk. A single lantern was positioned on the centre of the table, bathing the area in its warm yellow light.
Elric chuckled as Taka took a large bite out of his bread - first bringing his mouth up to the food, then biting down and twisting his head in an arc, thus tearing off a sizeable chunk. "Did anyone ever tell you that you eat like a Bird Wyvern?" Elric asked, still laughing.Taka snickered as he swallowed the morsel whole. He gulped loudly as the bread, almost too large to fit down his throat, slowly made its way down. Then he said, "No," and casually gestured to his feathery Qurupeco armor - in particular, the feathery headdress. He finished, "But then again, I look like a Bird Wyvern."
Tenris, Elric's sister, giggled. "You and me both, Taka," she said, pointing to her own Qurupeco armor. "Hey, are you going to finish that Gargwa leg?" Tenris suddenly asked him, gazing pointedly at the large piece of poultry meat in front of him.
"Be my guest," Taka responded. As she greedily tore into the leg, he continued, "I've never really liked Gargwa meat anyway. But I suppose there are worse things to eat - Khezu Steak, anyone?" He held up a large, slimy piece of pale white steak surrounded by a large strip of fat. Everyone instinctively recoiled at the sight of the disgusting cut of Flying Wyvern flesh.
You'd better not eat that, said a voice. I wouldn't want to be around a wyvern-eater, now would I? Taka turned, surprised at his friend Vulcan's presence. "I wouldn't dream of it," he replied. "I'd rather eat Aptonoth dung." The Rathalos' blue eyes twinkled merrily, then he flew off towards his cavernous nest, a dead Herbivore in tow.
Taka knew that Vulcan would be heading for his nest, where his mate, Reia, and their three hungry Rathling chicks awaited him. They had named the chicks - a male and two females - Bront, Taa, and Rell. The first two had been named after deceased friends - Bronton, Taka's father, and Taahnn, a good friend who had sacrificed himself in the battle with Renalimas a year ago.
Rell, the littlest Rathling, had been named after Taka's girlfriend, Relcia. "Auntie Rell," she had called her, almost as soon as she learned to speak. Relcia herself had taken a shine to the little wyvern, even more so than the other two. Now, they were nearly inseparable.
Taka was suddenly jolted out of his thoughts by the arrival of Jin, Illeera's monster companion. The Zinogre pup had been rescued by her, literally the day after the war ended in the Central World. Now, Jin looked flustered as he skidded to a halt in front of the five friends.
"What is it, Jin?" asked Illeera, concerned. The Fanged Wyvern panted for a few seconds before blurting everything out. Hydra saw something suspicious on patrol in the Wet Rainforest! he yelped. She said that it looked like two humans - but it was so dark, she couldn't see their faces. One of them was carrying some kind of glowing orb, and the other one was muttering to herself. Hydra said that the voice sounded familiar to her...
Just then, Jin's speech was cut off by a huge fireball that had appeared from nowhere. It smashed into the building next to where they were, forcing everyone to drop everything and run. Taka looked around for the source of the fireball, and found himself facing none other than Tartu and Mylie.Eyes blazing at the very sight of them, he drew his Longsword - a weapon made from Alatreon parts called the Dark Claw. Taka had nicknamed it "Demise". His old Longsword, Guan, had been broken in battle a year ago, and he still kept it as a memorial to all of the adventures he had faced. But he had replaced it with a new Longsword, knowing that one day, he may have to use it.
That time had come. Taka charged forward, Demise held at the ready. Tartu suddenly said something under his breath, and tendrils of dark energy suddenly shot out from his outstretched hand and wrapped around Taka's neck. He choked as his airflow was cut off and the tentacles squeezed him even harder. The pain was unbearable, and just as Taka was about to drift off, something flashed out of the corner of his eye.
Illeera's arrow sped straight and true, slicing through all of the dark tendrils and making them evaporate into nothingness. Tartu gazed at her with intense hatred, then drew his sword, prepared to deal with her. Taka smacked him with the flat of his blade, disorienting him enough for Illeera to run a safe distance away.
Mediatas Village was chaos. Tartu split off from Mylie, busy battling Illeera, Tenris, Elric, and Reia, who had emerged from her den to join the fight. Taka took his distraction as an opportunity to slip through the shadows, looking for Mylie. I promised her once that if we met again, I would kill her, he thought furiously. And I keep my promises.
His eyes glanced toward the battle now raging in the centre of Mediatas Village. Relcia had joined the fray, swiping at Tartu with her Wolf Tessen Dual Swords. It was all he could do to dodge each one of her strikes while keeping the others at bay.
Relcia slowed down by a fraction of a second, accidentally stumbling on a bit of uneven ground. Tartu saw his chance - an orb of black energy surrounding his free hand, he flung it at her. When it hit, it instantly grew into a shadowy prison that engulfed her. When it faded a second later, Relcia hit the ground, face deathly pale.
Rage flooded Taka's heart. He leapt from his hiding place in the shadows, wanting nothing more than to skewer Tartu on his Longsword. Running at Tartu, he was about to strike him down - when a teasing voice sang out to him. "Oh, Taka," it called, prompting him to look over. What he saw made him freeze instantly.
Mylie had appeared again. She was standing over Relcia's unmoving form, one foot planted on her back. Mylie was holding her Agnablaster directly at Relcia's head, leaving little doubt what she would do with it, given the chance.
Taka cursed under his breath. If he attacked, Relcia was as good as dead. If he did nothing, Tartu would drag him into the battle, and she might die anyway. Wrestling with the decision to fight or surrender, Taka suddenly glanced away and saw that the choice was no longer his.
One of the Rathling chicks, Taa, had emerged from her parents' lair and seen what had happened. Knowing that Relcia was in mortal danger, she acted without hesitation. Now, Taa was running toward Mylie, greyish-green scales glistening in the light of the fire, prepared to save Relcia.
But her shriek of mixed anger and determination had reached Mylie's ears. Instantly, she whipped her Agnablaster upwards and shot a single Clust Shot. The projectile sped down Taa's open throat and, after a single moment, exploded in her stomach. The little wyvern collapsed forward, hitting the ground with a dull thud.
By sheer intuition, Reia immediately knew what had happened to her daughter. With a screech of pure rage, she charged past Tartu and ran straight at Mylie. The traitor faltered as she saw the enraged Rathian speeding right toward her, fearsome jaws wide open and prepared to crush her between them.
Tartu avoided a swing of Elric's Khezu Shock Sword and saw the danger Mylie was in. He muttered a few words under his breath, and suddenly the entire battleground was filled with thick fog. No one could see more than an inch in front of them, and when it faded, Tartu and Mylie had vanished.
Reia's fury became sadness. She nudged the limp head of Taa, as if hoping that some spark of life still remained within her. Of course, she found none, and the mother wyvern began to sob. Vulcan was suddenly there, standing solemnly beside his mate and stroking her back with his wing.
Taka couldn't bear to watch another second of this depressing scene. Instead, he turned toward the unconscious Relcia, blissfully unaware of how close she had come to perishing. He called Illeera over, asking for her help. Together, the two friends carried Relcia toward the Village Elder's dwelling.
He'll know how to treat her, Taka thought, trying to reassure himself. But rage once again threatened to consume him as he thought back to Tartu's magical attack, Relcia helplessly hitting the ground as if struck dead. Tartu and Mylie will pay, he seethed inwardly. And if I can't cause their death, then I would dearly love to watch them die slowly and painfully. They must pay for all of the destruction that they have caused. As soon as Relcia is better - I will go after them.
To be Continued...