Been a while since I wrote the last chapter. Gotta get my juices flowing again!

Chapter 5: New Haven

The boy was not difficult to follow. He moved quickly, but he crashed into debris and rubble a lot, and made very noticeable footprints. By the time they caught up to him, Aaron, Tamara, and Garth found themselves in what looked like a huge camp. There were tents, large and small, everywhere. Some had colorful hides stretched out on a rack, and ragged-looking people were raking them down for scales and fur. There was a large Dutch oven near the center of the camp, with several Felynes scurrying about, carrying hunks of meat, grains, and vegetables. The largest tent was at the center. It was red, and had the Guildcorp logo emblazoned in white on the sides. It looked big enough to hold two floors. In the front of the tent, a makeshift desk was set up, and an old Wyvernian man sat on it. He beckoned to them kindly, and the three approached them.

"Welcome, welcome! I see young Jared has brought us some new hunters! I am the official Guildcorp elder assigned to this camp, which has been designated 'Biome-H.' Make yourself at home, while I call a chamberlyne to guide you to your tents." The trio looked at each other, surprised. Here they were, in a bombed-out city, and this little old man has the kindness to offer them resources and shelter.

"Oh, and one more thing. That Great Jaggi you killed was the target of another hunter's quest. As punishment, the three of you will have to hunt without pay until the guild deems you ready." The three let out a collective sigh. Aaron remembered the last thing he ate was Tamara's "cooking." He would eat anything he could find in the field, as he was sure it would be better than her scrambled nightmare. Soon, the chamberlyne came to show them to their tents. Aaron's was white, with the Guildcorp symbol in black. It was very spacious, and had a small loft in its second floor, which held a bed and a flap through which the sky could be seen. On the bottom floor there was an item box and an armor maintenance stand. As he walked out of his tent, he was immediately tackled by a small mass of energy and affection.

"Oooooh, Aaron, my tent is sooooo coooooool!" Tamara squealed, excited.

"Did you know the item box actually leads to an underground storage room? I learned that from one of the chamberlynes! That's how they store armor!" Aaron somehow managed to get a word in.

"Have you seen Garth?"

"Oh, him? He's probably asleep. I bet it takes energy to swing that giant hammer around. Come on, lets go see if they have a blacksmith!" Tamara skipped away, Aaron jogging to keep up with her. Eventually they reached what looked like a giant furnace. Outside, hammering away at a long, rectangular piece of metal, was a young-looking Wyvernian. His skin was very tan, even black in some areas.

"You lot must be the new hunters Jared found, eh? The name's Tyson. Good t'meet ya!" He thrust out his giant hand, which Tamara pumped up and down vigorously with two of her own. Aaron stood there, staring at the furnace.

"What are you building there?"

"Oh, this? Just a little knickknack I've been working on. I got blueprints from a guild carrier pigeon from offshore. When I'm finished, it'll be a mighty weapon... I think. For now, though, I can make you weapons and armor, as long as you've got the resources."

"What can you make from this?" Tamara asked, handing him the frill from the great jaggi, a few lumps of ore, and a bone from one of the jaggi she had killed.

"Interesting stuff! I see you're a gunner, I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, why don't you go talk to Jack? He works at the stall over there. You might be able to get some armor from him." As they walked over to the stand, Garth emerged from his tent with a tired look in his eyes.

"G'morning, guys." He yawned.

"Garth, it's afternoon." Aaron stated.

"So what? I can take a nap can't I?" He complained as they walked up to the stall.

"Hello, everyone! What can I do for you?" Aaron just remembered he had spent all his zenny back at the museum's gift shop, before the asteroid hit. However, he did have the skin and scales from the jaggi they had slain. He jogged back over to the blacksmith while Tamara and Garth pooled their resources to buy two sets of armor. Jack, who manned the armor shop, shouted at a pair of sleeping Felynes who were sleeping in the back.

"I need 2 chainmail, large male and small female! And get a move on, I don't pay you to sleep!" The two jolted awake and scurried around the shop to find a set of armor to match his request. As they were fitting the armor, Aaron walked back from the forge. The blacksmith had thrown together a set of armor made from the Jaggi materials he had scavenged. The plates on his chest and shoulder were purple, and he had a hat with a plume of jaggi fur sprouting out of the top. He also had a box slung over his shoulder. Tamara immediately leapt toward him and started to examine the armor.

"Wow! Real armor made from jaggi hide! I can't believe it! Hey, what's in the box?" Aaron grinned and handed it over.

"A gift from the blacksmith." As she opened the box, a look of wonder dawned on her face. Inside the box was a Light Bowgun made from the jaggi materials they had scavenged. The bow was made out of the frill, and the stock was covered in smooth, comfortable scales. Tamara squealed with joy.

"Ooooh, this is the coolest thing ever!" She lept up and hugged Aaron, taking him by suprise. She had never hugged him before, but she had tried.

As the sun set, the three retreated to their tents. Aaron was surprised to find a steaming dinner waiting for him. A note was left beside the tray. "Complements of the chef, Nya!" Aaron never understood why Felynes had to write that as well as say it. After dinner, he took of the armor and hung it on the rack, and opened the flap to stare at the sky. He was shocked to see that the sky was full of lights, the kind you could only see in the north. They were all drawn to the Asteroid, and swirled and lept around the crystal. The beautiful display lulled him slowly to sleep.

Aaron opened his eyes. Again, he was in a world of white. It surrounded him, bathing him in light. He saw a magnificent dragon off in the distance. It's skin sparkled like the water's surface on a sunny day, and its wings looked like a stunning display of stained glass. The beast turned its head to look at Aaron, and opened its mouth. Instead of flames, a voice issued forth from its throat. A very familiar voice.

Aaron, the Deadman Paladin. How's kicks?

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