Guess who's back? Back again? Toasty's back! Tell a Friend! Also, in case you were wondering:
Full jaggi armor Thane lance
War hammer Full chainmail armor
Jaggid fire Full chainmail
Chapter 8: The Beleagured Earth
The return trip was solemn. Silence was Aaron's only conpanion as he watched the ruins go by, the cart rumbling and shaking. The only cheerful ones were the felyne drivers, who kept a lively conversation going as they led the Apotonoth over shattered cement and concrete. Even Tamara, who always had something to say, was quiet, a thoughtful look on her face. When they arrived at Biome-H, an awesome and terrible sight awaited them. The Asteroid, having fallen only weeks ago, was growing. Not only had it reached the height of the tallest building, but the surrounding ruins had begun to sprout crystals of the same color as the Asteroid. Eerie lights refracted through the area, completing the phantasmagoric scene. A strange, low sound, like a church organ, could be heard occasionally echoing through the area.
The cart grinded to a halt outside of the village's gate. The three hopped off, and approached the Guildmaster's tent to confirm their kill. The Guildmaster had a troubled look on his face, but kept a cheery disposition.
"Excellent job! Well done! Your first official hunt was a success, then?" The old Wyvernian asked.
"It depends on your definition of success." Aaron said, and filled the Guildmaster in on what happened during the hunt.
"Oh, my... That is unfortunate. You were close to victory, but denied by the nemesis of our village... Oh, well! It's not like we can punish the Dredgonis for kill stealing! I'll see to it that you get your full reward, in both money and materials." Aaron and Garth looked at each other, confused.
"What do you mean, materials? We already carved all we could off the Darunga." Garth asked.
"Didn't you two learn anything in history class?!" Tamara scolded the two. "Guildcorp has special Felynes in their ranks that specialize in salvaging monster carapaces. Hunters are rewarded with extra materials after the hunt, based on their performance." Sure enough, two cart-bearing Felynes rolled into town.
"Hunting request SQ-37? Your rewards have been delivered, Nya!" The small felyne dumped the contents of the cart. The harder part of the beast's shell, it's horn, and several claws fell onto the ground. Aaron and Garth looked at each other, and raced off to the blacksmith. Tamara sighed, thanked the Felynes, collected the materials, and jogged off behind them.
The blacksmith was hammering away at a hunk of metal with a grim look on his face. Aaron jogged up to him, and waited for the others to catch up. He then presented the items from the carving and the rewards to the smith.
"I think it's time for a new set of armor for Garth." Aaron said. Each one of them had gotten something new since they arrived at the village, except for Garth. Tyson, the blacksmith, took a look at the materials, and said, with a surprised grin,
"Wow! You're almost there! But I can't make armor out of shells alone. The world just don't work that way! I need some malachite, but don't you worry. It'll be we'll worth it. Since the large increase of carapaceons and Neopetrons, I've taken the libery of designing a new set of armor. Go ask the Guildmaster about gathering quests. For now, store these items in your tent, Garth." Garth grabbed the Darunga's various bits and pieces, and walked over to his camp. Tamara sighed at Aaron.
"You don't even know what gathering quests are?" She asked with a surprised look on her face. Aaron shrugged. Guildcorp history class meant nap time for him and Garth.
"Well, these quests are the same as others, only instead of hunting something down, you have as long as you like to gather as many materials as you can. However, there are no rewards, and no Felynes to cart us back home." Aaron was distracted by an idea. He had seen malachite in the Guildcorp museum. The deep blue mineral was somewhat rare, and found in areas with high mineral content. After Garth returned, the three went to the Guildmaster, so Aaron could present his idea.
"I would like to initiate a gathering quest to the crystal-infected zone of the city." He asked, unsure.
"Well, I guess I could let you go. Our research balloons have not seen any large monsters in the area. They seem to get skittish around the crystals. You can go, but you must have a fourth member of your party to go along with you, for safety." The three looked at each other, dismayed. With a sigh, Aaron began the search around the village for a fourth hunter.
After an hour of searching, the three bought some food at the felyne chef's cafe. While they were eating, a small, energetic figure jumped onto one of the stools.
"Oy! Tha usual, if ya don't mind! And don't hold back on the wild bacon!"
Aaron looked over. Jared sat there, with a hungry lookon his face. The team had just found their fourth member.