Since the defeat of the Warlaros, the people of Mediatas Village, plus Bronton and Hydra, had been hard at work repairing the new damage to their village. They were almost done, having worked from late morning till twilight. Just as the first villager put down his tool to get some rest, the sound of immense wings beating reached his ears.

He looked up and shouted in surprise and fear when he saw the great wyvern flying toward the village. Other people, curious as to what all the noise was about, exclaimed also and ran for cover. Hydra quickly assessed the situation and drew her Dual Swords and prepared to Demonize them. Bronton readied himself for the attack as well.

After what seemed like days, the Rathalos descended upon the village. No one moved. The second it landed, Hydra and Bronton shouted once and rushed forward, weapons primed and ready to pierce the Flying Wyvern's scales. Just before they struck home, they got a huge shock - jumping down from the wyvern's back was none other than Taka!

They stopped dead as Taka threw himself in front of the Rathalos, forcing them to lower their weapons or else severely injure him. Mylie, Taahnn, Illeera, and Relcia joined him, giving the two hunters an even bigger shock.

By now, the villagers had begun peeking out from their homes in order to see why it was so silent. There were several gasps. Taka suddenly spoke directly to Hydra and Bronton, voice ringing out loud and clear, "You will not touch this Rathalos. He is good. And he is my friend."

The reactions Taka got ranged from skepticism to appalled exclaimations to fainting spells (although he was pretty sure the latter was just overexaggerating). Hydra shook her head and grabbed Taka's arm. "Brother, you are talking nonsense. No human can become a monster's friend - they're too bloodthirsty, and far too large! ... Why am I even telling you this? Stand aside and let me and Bronton do what we're paid to do."

Yet another shock was coming; Taka drew his Longsword, Guan, and said defiantly, "Make me." Even more unexpected was what his friends were doing... They were drawing their weapons as well, supporting Taka and the wyvern! "Mess with him, you mess with me," hissed Illeera. "And the rest of us!" added Mylie, pointedly aiming her Agnablaster at Bronton's head.

By now, a crowd had gathered behind the two hunters. The Village Elder stepped forth, albeit cautiously, and croaked, "What is this outrage? A group of five fine hunters, claiming to be friends with this mindless beast?" Vulcan roared in anger at the inconsiderate insult, and everyone took an involuntary step back at the Flying Wyvern's rage.

Taka forced himself to calm his voice before he spoke. "Elder," he said firmly but not disrespectfully. "We five, plus Vulcan here -" he jerked a thumb at Vulcan, and the Rathalos flashed his fangs in a grin - "have decided that we want this pointless, centuries-long war to end. From what I have seen, other monsters seem to be sick of this war as well - but will only stop fighting if we stop." There was a stunned silence.

At first, no one believed anything Taka was saying. First of all, the words coming out of his mouth were treasonous, and almost guarenteed his exile from the Central World. Second of all, trying to make sense of these words brought one thought to mind - the boy and his friends were clearly insane. Monsters, wanting the war to end? Impossible!

And then, slowly and shyly, a little girl no older than five walked out of the crowd and gazed up at Taka's face. There was a frightened shout from the crowd (presumably her mother) but the girl ignored it. Instead, she squeezed past Taka and Illeera and stepped right up to Vulcan. The great wyvern bent down, bringing his massive head to her eye level. For a moment, other than continuous sobs from the girl's mother, nothing happened as the two stared into each others eyes - the girl's, a beautiful hazel, and Vulcan's, a vibrant blue.

Suddenly, without any warning at all, Vulcan bent down even farther until his lower jaw grazed the grass beneath him. The girl climbed up onto him, and the Rathalos took flight. It happened so suddenly that no one had any time to react. Vulcan climbed to fifty feet before the screams and gasps sounded. Even the Elder looked thunderstruck.

No one could do a thing as Vulcan slowly circled the village, the little girl on his back. Only three seconds went by before the child's squeals and giggles of delight began to ring out into the twilit air. Taka couldn't help but smile as the girl continued to laugh happily as Vulcan flew her around and around in soft, gentle circles. Relcia sighed softly and rested her head on Taka's shoulder.

Soon, Vulcan was back there with them, letting the girl slide down his back and tail to reach the ground. She smiled and hugged the wyvern around the neck, to which Vulcan responded with a small lick and a gentle nuzzle. Wow, this doesn't look like Vulcan at all, thought an amazed Taka. His patience must be endless.

The entirety of the village was speechless by this point. The Village Elder fumbled for a minute or so, trying to find the words to say. Finally, he cleared his throat and rasped, "This is very... unusual behaviour for a wyvern, whom all of us know to be ferocious, merciless killers." Everyone behind him nodded in agreement, then stopped when Vulcan's eyes flashed dangerously.

"What you say must be true, Taka," he continued. "If all monsters are indeed like this - at least, on the inside - then I see no reason to continue to slaughter them. If they are done with war, then I, for one, am ready to take their side." Now even Taka and his friends were speechless.

Everyone, including Vulcan, was completely still as the Village Elder reached into his belt, took out his old carving knife, and dropped it on the ground in front of him. One second passed, and then Hydra followed his lead, letting her Raven Tessen fall to the ground at her feet. Bronton did the same with his Agnaktor Lance, as well as his shield.

Soon, everyone was dropping weapons, knives, and basically any sharp object that they could find on themselves, in a gesture of surrender. Taka's heart swelled with disbelief, hope, and pride. The long, long war, during which almost all Raptorial Wyverns and Elder Dragons had gone extinct, was finally, officially over.

"Now," Taka spoke up when everyone had something at his or her feet. "Whenever anyone is traveling in the Central World for whatever reason, and a giant wyvern or other monster comes crashing through the foliage to tear you apart, you must simply lower your head, drop your arms at your sides, and say quietly, 'The war is over. I leave you in peace.' Or something of that sort.

"Word travels fast amongst the monsters. Eventually, other than the occasional theft of food - which will only happen if a monster is absolutely starving and has no other options - the wyverns, Pelagi, Leviathans, and even Neopterons will leave us all in complete peace. We will treat each other with respect and kindness forever." Then, in a voice as strong as the Taltaira's screech, Taka pronounced, "I declare the war between humans and monsters null and void!"

Wild cheers rang out into Mediatas Village. Hydra embraced Taka, telling him that, even though she had had her doubts, she was with him one hundred percent from now on. Bronton clapped him on the back, nearly making a dent in his Qurupeco armor. Taahnn laughed as Taka went sprawling into Hydra, causing them both to collapse, and then winced as his injured knee gave a jolt. He shifted the stick he used for walking under his arm.

The celebrations went long into the night.

Two Weeks Later

Mediatas Village was completely normal again, almost as normal as it had been the day before Taka discovered that he was selected to become a hunter. Almost.

With humans and monsters now living in peace, they had begun to enjoy visiting and even living with each other. Soon, it didn't become uncommon to see monsters of all kinds roaming Mediatas Village.

Every day Taka would climb to the highest point in the village (which wasn't that high, but provided a great vantage point) and gaze out at the amalgamation of humans and their monster companions hard at work or simply enjoying the lazy afternoons. The sight always made him feel warm, content, and at peace.

As he was thinking this, two weeks after the end of the war, Relcia silently snuck up behind him and gently grabbed his shoulders. He flinched badly, but didn't do anything more.

"Hello, Taka," she greeted him softly. "Nice day, isn't it?" Taka nodded and smiled, but was certain that she didn't come up here just to comment on the weather. This was confirmed when she wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered, "I'm proud of you. You know that?" Taka's smile widened slightly as he replied, "It wasn't just me who did this, you know."

Relcia laughed, the gentle sound music to Taka's ears. She leaned a little closer to him, their noses almost touching. "You led us. You convinced us to believe in you when you first told us about your friendship with Vulcan."

After a pause, she abruptly said something that Taka found infinitely more uncomfortable: "It's been so long since the last time it was just the two of us..." With a small gulp, Taka once again summoned his courage and responded, "I've kind of missed it." Relcia smiled right back at him and closed the distance between them, pressing her lips against his. For a few moments, it really just was the two of them.

Nearly the second after they broke apart, Vulcan came soaring in to meet them. Hey, love-Bird-Wyverns! he called out jokingly. I'm in the mood for a nice, juicy hunter - I'm just kidding! I'm going hunting for Aptonoth, if you two want to come with me? Taka translated for Relcia, who cheerfully accepted the offer.

The two friends climbed onto Vulcan's back, and the Rathalos quickly took off. When they were well over the Idyllic Ocean, and Mediatas Village was just a speck in the distance, Relcia leaned over and whispered in Taka's ear, "I think being with you is starting to rub off on me. ...I understood everything Vulcan just said to you."

Taka's heart swelled at this news. It showed how close they really were becoming. "I don't think I've told you this yet, but... I love you, Relcia." Her reply was a simple smile and kiss on the cheek. That was answer enough for Taka.

The two of them watched the landscape below slowly change as the King of the Skies leisurely led them toward another adventure. One that they would all share together.


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