Tartu jumped off of the massive balloon that had taken him to this location. He reflected on how well designed it was - it wasn't merely an observation balloon, it was practically a floating camp, made for a trip of several days through the sky. Mylie in particular had been very impressed, and had spent almost the entire time gazing out at the spectacular views the balloon had provided them.

But Tartu didn't have time to think about that. He took out the blue orb, and Mylie took out the spellbook, in preparation for their next task. The next stage of their plan needed a powerful spell, and luckily, their book of magic provided just the incantation neccessary.

The duo proceeded across the hills and mountains until they arrived at their destination. Standing high on a cliff, they looked down upon the massive, watery plain before them. There were huge, steaming lakes dotting the area, and the mountain range in which they stood ringed it on two sides. On the other two, the ocean roared, with immense waves crashing against the coastline.

Tartu gently held the glowing orb at arm's length, dangling it over their cliff. Mylie opened the book and began to mutter the spell. It was a long one, and not even a single word could be mispronounced. But if they succeeded, they would attain such power over the Great Frontier, it boggled even Tartu's brilliant mind.

As Mylie chanted the words confidently and without hesitation, the ground began to shake ever so slightly. The occasional geyser erupted on the plain below, but beyond that, there was no other activity. In fact, thought Tartu, a tremor and geyser eruption isn't unusual at all. But when she continues...

As if hearing Tartu's thoughts, the earthquake increased in magnitude. More geysers sprayed massive amounts of boiling water into the sky.

Mylie's voice became louder as the tectonic activity became even more intense. The moon, high in the sky, cast its light over the water-covered ground, and with all the drops of water being flung into the air, it was like standing inside of a rainbow.

Finally, Mylie said the last word. All of the geysers erupted in unison for their most powerful eruption yet, filling the entire island with water. The earthquake reached its peak, and the mountains around them seemed to shudder. Then, from the ground, came a monstrosity.

Rise of the White Raviente on Absolute Island

Earth and water exploded from the ground with a single, titanic tremor. A head followed, and then a serpentine body covered in pebbles, seaweed, and barnacles. Mylie gasped - this beast was even bigger than the Taltaira!

Tartu could only look on with evil satisfaction. So this is it, he thought in awe. This is the beast of which the legend of Absolute Island spoke. It is the White Raviente.

The White Raviente heaved the last of its unfathomable bulk out of the ground and towered high above Tartu's and Mylie's cliff. Then, with a terrible screech that shook the very island and caused more geysers to spray, it left Absolute Island, angry that its rest had been disturbed.

It was headed instinctively to the mainland, and wherever it went, destruction would surely follow.

Illeera was the first to feel the vibrations underfoot. They had been travelling through the Desert for some time after the Ancient Rathian attack. Now, the end was nearly in sight, and they knew that beyond this wasteland lay the Gorge. Once they traversed the Gorge, they would be at last in the Highland, the last part of their journey.

Earlier, Tenris had speculated that the reason Taka and Relcia were heading deeper into the Great Frontier was because they were looking for the White Fatalis. As unlikely as that sounded, it was the only good reason that Taka would be doing this. So while Illeera had been recovering from the Ancient Rathian's poison, Tenris and Elric  had planned the best route to take to the Tower.

Illeera smiled at the memory from when she had woken up. Elric had been hovering over her bed, anxiously waiting for her to awaken. His face had radiated such happiness and relief, Illeera had at first been puzzled. They were friends, sure, but even Taka wouldn't have worn such an expression of anguish. She had quickly pushed the thought from her mind and delightfully accepted his and his sister's company.

But now, the vibrations coming from underneath jolted her out of her thoughts. "What is this?" she asked to no one in particular. Tenris and Elric stopped, and indeed began to feel what she felt. "The Desert is full of burrowing monsters," Elric said matter-of-factly. "It's probably just a passing Monoblos. Now let's keep moving."

They hadn't gone very far when the tremors began to gradually worsen. When they had gotten so bad that everyone had to stop in order to regain their balance, Tenris shouted over the rumbling of the earth and sand, "So much for that idea!"

Just as Illeera thought this ordeal couldn't get any worse, the ground shook so badly that it felt like a giant had picked up the world and shaken it. Roughly tumbling to the ground, Illeera looked up in time to the earth in front of her suddenly heave and explode outward. A gigantic, reptilian head blasted up out of the ground in a storm of dust and sand.

Tenris and Elric were staring wide-eyed at the beast, unsure how to react to such enormity. It was as if some deity had taken the words "enormous", "titanic", and every other synonym and given them all a body to slither around in.

The dragon stopped, its unfathomably large body halfway out of the ground. It slowly swung its head around to stare down at the three speechless humans. A shrieking roar tore from its throat as it opened its mouth wide, flames already gathering within. Everyone abruptly unfroze and ran in the opposite direction, although they knew that there was really no hope of escape.

But then, something happened to make Illeera, Tenris, and Elric, and even the monster behind them to pause in utter confusion. Entire packs of Genprey and Gendrome were rushing towards them in a hurry. They took no notice as they sprinted past, screeching in a hundred voices. Herds of Apceros joined them, oblivious to the four beings before them as they followed their predators to some unknown destination.

The great dragon's head fins flapped as it detected something. With a huge roar, it reared back and slammed its head into the ground, creating a new tunnel for it to travel through. Its body disappeared into the new hole even as it appeared from the old hole. Then it was off, constantly diving and resurfacing like a serpentine dolphin.

"What... what was that?" Elric asked, out of breath. But then, another tremor shook the Desert. Sand flew up, then continued flying as if swept into a sandstorm. A massive dune rose in front of them. Illeera, through her terror, saw that the blowing sand was actually coming from the dune. What's going on? she thought, even as she took out her Sonic Bow IV in preparation for battle.

Her friends drew their own weapons, and as they did, the sand dune exploded violently. Sand blasted them, scratching their faces and getting in their eyes.  Clearing their vision, the three friends were just in time to see a sand-coated, enormously large red monster rear up and give a rumbling roar.

"Okanoth", actually called Odeibatorasu.

Illeera was startled when she found that she couldn't remember the monster's name. However, she was sure that it was related to the powerful Akantor that slumbered in volcanoes, and the terrifying Ukanlos that haunted icy mountains. It's called something similar, then, Illeera concluded. Okanoth, I think, or something like that.

The Okanoth roared again, the sound causing the sand itself to ripple and boil like lava. The creature's shell huffed sand and earth from its giant, central hole. It bared its huge, rectangular teeth in a snarl, although it looked more like a grin. Tenris, Illeera, and Elric all tensed for battle.

The huge Pseudowyvern dragged its claw across the ground, causing a huge ripple of sand to sweep towards the trio. Illeera and Elric managed to avoid it, but Tenris was caught in the wave and swept off of her feet. The Okanoth lifted its great, flat tail, prepared to pummel her into the dirt with it. She saw the danger just in time and narrowly avoided it, then jumped in with her Qurupeco Chopper and struck the tail three times.

The fiery blows stung the Okanoth, which bellowed with pain. It quickly turned around and snapped at Tenris, its flat teeth coming together with an echoing crash. If Elric didn't get his sister out of the way in time, she would have been crushed like an insect.
MHF オディバトラス戦BGM05:44

MHF オディバトラス戦BGM

Odeibatorasu Theme - Lord of the Sands

Illeera distracted it from pursuing Tenris further by shooting a few arrows its way. The electrical projectiles hit around its eyes and nose, stinging them painfully. Seeing that its foes were spreading around it, the Okanoth growled and aimed its cannon into the sky.

Illeera, Tenris, and Elric all scrambled to avoid what happened next - the Okanoth was firing huge boulders from its cannon into the sky, sending the rocks plummeting to the ground like a meteor shower. Each boulder struck the ground with an impact that shook the sand.

Elric ended up close to the monster, and took the opportunity to strike its back leg with his Khezu Shock Sword. He managed to carve a deep cut in the Okanoth's flesh, causing blood to pour down onto the sand beneath. The Pseudowyvern's response was a roar that crashed in their ears, making them cower and clutch their heads in pain.

Furiously, the Okanoth dug into the earth, leaving no trace behind as sand rapidly filled in the hole. Everyone cautiously looked around, trying to determine where the monster would surface.

There was a sudden movement in the sand a fair distance in front of them. The Okanoth's cannon slowly rose out of the earth, sand pouring off of it with a great hissing sound. The cannon trembled, and then all of a sudden, a massive boulder came flying out at tremendous speed. Tenris screamed and threw herself out of the incoming projectile's path. Illeera hit the ground just in time, and Elric barely managed to prevent his head getting ripped off.

The boulder landed just ahead of them and exploded in a massive storm of dust and debris. The shockwave blasted them back toward the Okanoth, which was now rising further up out from the ground. They drew their weapons once more, prepared to fight for their lives.

A deep inhalation occured as the Okanoth sucked in a breath. Illeera guessed what was happening, and frantically motioned for Tenris and Elric to follow her. They ducked beneath the Okanoth's head just as it fired a beam of earth in front of it, sweeping the beam from side to side.

The Okanoth was confused - it hadn't seen them take refuge right underneath it. But it took an educated guess and  rose up onto its hind legs. It teetered for a second, then did a savage, earth-shaking belly flop.

Desperately, Illeera hurled herself out from underneath the falling Pseudowyvern, just getting out of the way of its arm. Elric followed, as its head hit the ground not even an inch from his feet. The body slam caused a curtain of sand to fly up, obscuring their vision.

When it cleared, Illeera and Elric frantically got to their feet and faced their foe once more. But, with a terrible chill, they both saw the body of Tenris crushed underneath its foot.

Seeing his sister limp and lifeless on the ground sparked something in Elric. He flew into a terrible rage, rushing straight at the monster with his hand on his Great Sword. Illeera, although concerned for his safety, decided to back him up, covering his charge with a flurry of arrows.

Wincing from the rain of arrows upon it, the Okanoth hurriedly burrowed into the sand. However, it didn't stay submerged for long - it partially resurfaced, doing a kind of swim-crawl through the sand to meet Elric. He paid no heed to the rapidly advancing Pseudowyvern, whose mouth yawned wide to crush him between its two jaws.

Illeera screamed his name, but he didn't notice as the Okanoth bore down on him. Right when the creature was almost on top of him, he jumped with all of his might. The Okanoth also lunged forward, its jaws as wide as they could stretch. It brought its teeth down together with a thunderous noise.

But Elric's jump carried him past the ring of teeth just before they would have mashed him. He landed safely in the Okanoth's mouth a split second before it closed.

Illeera, through her worry, began to question his motive. He knew that by jumping, the added momentum would allow him to avoid the bite, she thought. But what was he planning to do with that knowledge.

She found out a second later. The Okanoth suddenly gave a tremendous bellow that blasted across the landscape, rippling sand and making Illeera's head feel as if it were about to explode. Cringing from the sound, she looked hard at the Okanoth, with its head raised high in the air as if in agony. She felt a thrill when she spotted the Khezu Shock Sword sticking up through the Okanoth's head.

The roar became a dying moan. The Pseudowyvern crashed to the ground with an impact that shook the Desert. After a second of unbearable stillness, Elric crawled out from its mouth, exhaustedly towing his bloodstained Great Sword. Illeera ran up to him and gave him a bone-crushing hug.

Then she thumped him repeatedly on the head. "Don't... you... ever... do... that... again!" she said with each whack. "Ow, OK!" complained Elric, swatting her arm away. He looked over sadly at the broken body of his sister, lying forlornly in the sand. "I just had to avenge her," he whispered, tears welling in his eyes.

Illeera gently led him away, and he perked up a bit. They continued their journey in silence. Elric's silence was heavy with grief and the loss of his only sister. Illeera's was taut with suspicion. What was that monster we encountered before the Okanoth attacked? she wondered, and decided that she probably didn't want to know.

Then a realization stopped her for a moment in her tracks. Now I remember. It's called Odeibatorasu, not Okanoth. What the hell was I thinking?

To be Continued...

Monster Hunter Destiny: The Darkness Within XII - The Darkness Conquers a Hero

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