Monster Hunter Legends: Requiem of Fire
Date Started: 4 June 2010
Date Finished: 12 April 2011
Requiem of Fire – Chapter 1
The year 208, modern times, after the separation of Monsters and Humans
Located in the south of Minegarde, the two Volcanoes create a wall of smoke and fire. A pass runs through them, but it is polluted, and has come to be known as Kokoto Swamp. Dondruma lies to the east of both Volcanoes, near the coast. But the powerful presence of the Volcano still creeps into the minds of its residents. Only the experienced and strongest of hunters venture there, and it is a Guild requirement that they reach a certain level of expertise before they can hunt in those fiery depths. But there is one exception, which bypasses all the Guild's rules – a mining town, known as Firestone Village. It lies at the bottom of the Volcano, and mines further and further into deep veins of Machalite and Dragonite… but that was thirty-five years ago. The town was destroyed, by an unknown entity. There were no survivors. - Excerpt from Guild's Report on the Volcanic Region, re-located on day prison records were transferred.
The year 173, modern times, after the separation of Monsters and Humans
The small boy stared down at the rock in his hand. It was stained black with ash, but his hands were already dirty. Spotting another intriguing object, he put down the rock carefully and investigated. It was a shiny rock – pinkish, with grey edges. "Hmm." He mused to himself. As son of the town's Mining Chief, Jeffrey had always wanted to be like his father. He wasn't allowed to go into the main mining caves, but he was allowed to go around them, and lots of strange rocks turned up now and again. It's not Dragonite… or Union Ore, which was a metal… Jeffrey thought, pocketing the odd stone. He surveyed the rocky expanse one more time, and then ran off towards the town. It was a busy day; people were running here and there, exciting talk going on… grown up talk. Jeffrey and the other children had designated any boring talk, "grown up" talk. But there was something different about it this time. Out of the babble Jeffrey could hear, he picked up on certain words… hunter… monster… danger… Monster Hunters were not common in Firestone Village. Jeffrey was not even sure if Firestone had an official hunter… but hunters did pass through on their way to the volcano often, if you could catch them on their way by.
Jeffrey had never aspired to be a hunter… it was one of those things that was just out of reach in a small mining town. The closest anyone in the town got to hunting was meeting their Basarios. It was an old tradition, supposedly learnt from the Monster Warriors of old. The Volcano Monks had built their small temple in the town, and had sought out the Gravios birthing grounds. The ritual went like such: the youngest of the village were led to the newborn Basarios, and made contact with them. It assured the children there was nothing to fear from monsters, if you were friendly to them. The Basarios grew up, and still maintained their friendship towards the children when they became Gravios. The monks called the Gravios the most intelligent of monsters… they did not attack without reason, and their hard rock shells reflected their defensive nature. Jeffrey had met his Basarios at the age of three, and it was surely a Gravios by now. The rock wyverns stayed as Basarios for five years, then joined the Gravios males and learned to fend for themselves. The monks sometimes protested against the Guild when it sent hunters to kill the Gravios, but were tossed aside and the hunts continued. Someone was calling his name, and Jeffrey turned in a circle to find the source. He spotted his father and one of the volcanic monks waving to him, and headed over. His father knelt down, and put his hands on his son's shoulders. He drew a ragged breath, and asked, "Jeffrey, do you know what's going on?"
"No. Why is everybody excited? What's happening?"
"Son," his father stifled a sob, and Jeffrey could see it was hard for him. "Son, you have to get to safety with the other children. Go with Father Glen, he knows a safe room in the temple. You have to stay there-"
"NO!! No, no! What's happening? I wanna stay with you!" Jeffrey cried in frustration.
His father looked at him, and gave him a long hug, tears welling in his eyes.
"I love you son. Be safe for your mother and I." He let go of Jeffrey, and led him to the other children huddled near Father Glen. Giving a final smile to his son, he headed off to join the rest of the town.
Other children were crying, but kept following the monk. Jeffrey expected they would have been given the same talk from their parents. Father Glen took a key out of his pocket, and rounded the corner to the temple. It was an old thing, the crimson red of the stone now faded, and the runes on the walls barely literary. He opened the heavy stone doors, and ushered the children inside. He began closing the doors, but one child called out, "What are we supposed to do?" Father Glen looked down at the children, a mixture of fear and pity on his face.
"Just… keep safe kids. Don't make much noise. It'll be all over soon." He replied, and closed the doors with an echoing thud. The kids in the temple milled around for a little, not sure of the surroundings. They usually found the temple boring, the odd ornaments and statues no fun when you were continuously told, "Don't touch." Most of the children Jeffrey knew, but some where from families outside of Firestone Village. No one felt like talking, and few sat down whilst others moved around aimlessly. Jeffrey spied an intriguing object at the back of the temple, and walked over to it. It was something to keep him occupied, at least. It was a Gravios mask; the eyes polished Firecell stones set in a Novacrystal casing. Jeffrey remembered the stone in his pocket, and walked around to see if the monks had a matching one. They usually kept references on these things. He soon located the small book room, and found the monk's "Complete Minerals and Ores of Minegarde". He opened the book, just as a small earthquake shook the temple. He continued on reading, and found a picture reference to his stone… a Basarios Tear. "Cool…" Jeffrey muttered, just as a larger earthquake rumbled. Confused by the quakes and satisfied with his stone, he strolled off back to the temple entrance. The other children where all crowding around the doors, as yet another earthquake occurred, and Jeffrey decided to stay near the book room, but kept watch. A series of stronger earthquakes happened, and suddenly the whole front of the temple collapsed to the screams of the children. Jeffrey dropped to the floor, only daring to peek around the side of the hallway. A monstrous dark form was outside, seemingly blocking out the sun. Jeffrey trembled in fear and hopelessness as the monster turned and moved a huge green eye over the wreckage. Jeffrey kept as silent as he could, and watched as the form moved away. He snuck a look around the corner only when he could feel no more quakes, and instantly burst into tears at the sight of the lifeless children.
Requiem of Fire – Chapter 2
Even an hour later, the sounds of the monster’s footsteps could still be heard reverberating through the earth. Jeffrey looked up, and saw that the temple’s roof was crumbling. He was in a bit of shock, but he still wanted to get away from the monster, so he ran for the doors. He leapt over the rubble, and the bodies trapped beneath it. Tears ran down his face, wiping away the dirt in lines. Now he was out of the temple, Jeffrey was not sure where to go. He couldn’t hear any noise coming from town, but he also couldn’t tell if that was good or bad. Slowing down, he wiped his eyes with his least dirty sleave. The volcano was still in its dormant, almost sleepy state. Jeffrey looked around for any Basarios or Gravios that would give him some protection, but there was no sign of any, save for some odd looking rocks. He decided upon heading towards the main part of town. Strolling round the corner, the town was empty, a ghostly breeze sweeping through it. He kept walking, at a slower pace now, searching the doors of houses. He came to the middle of the town, and checked the entry road first, then turned to check the road to the mine. When he swept his gaze across the mine entrance, Jeffrey burst into an uncontrollable fit of tears.
He turned away from the horrid sight, and buried his head in his arms. For a child of ten to view something even grown hunters find terrifying, it is an experience that will break you or change you. All across the mines entrance where the dead bodies of his townsfolk. There was blood everywhere, splashed in streaks across the walls and forming into puddles on the ground. The people where barely recognisable as human anymore, their bodies broken and bruised in impossible ways. The townsfolk had tried the best they could against the beast, but they where only miners. The beast had torn them to shreds, and then trampled the remains. Jeffrey still lay where he was, shuddering once every few seconds, and let out a solemn wail. He heard something coming, over the echoes of the beast’s steps. It was a soft clanking noise, accompanied by ragged breathing. Struggling up, Jeffrey didn’t bother to wipe his eyes. The noise was coming closer now, but the noise of the beasts steps where also getting slightly louder. Jeffrey stared at the direction of the road, and suddenly a hunter shot out from one of the side roads, sprinting Jeffrey’s way. Another hunter followed close behind, but he was slowing down and flailing his arms about in fatigue. As the hunters came closer, it was as if they had seen a ghost when they realised Jeffrey was staring at them. They were stunned by the presence of another living thing.
“Hey, kid. What’s your name? I’m Daniel, and this is Robert.” The hunter called Daniel walked over to Jeffrey, and made a hesitant motion, as if to pick up Jeffrey. “Urm… kid, we need to go. Now. If you can’t run, I’ll carry you. Kay?”
Jeffrey was in a state of shock now, and just nodded.
“What’s that? You can run? Or you want me to carry you?” Jeffrey didn’t reply, because he had noticed something emerging on to the road. Two great tusks coming from a huge bloodstained mouth where snapping open and shut in a taunting fashion. The face of the beast was reptilian, but the green eyes showed pure anger.
“Aww, SHIT DAN!! We gotta go, now!!!” cried Robert, hopping on either foot, eager to get out of there as fast as possible.
“I’m not leaving without the kid!! Come on, I’ll carry you.” Daniel scooped Jeffrey into his arms, and broke out into a sprint towards the nearest rocky hill. The monster had noticed them as soon as it poked its head out, but its immense size limited how it could move. Even so, it was still terrifying in the volcano. It began at a slow pace towards the group, and Dan and Robert kept heading to higher ground. Robert was running out of breath a lot, and it was setting them back. Closer to the volcano, and higher up, Jeffrey could see the beast in its full form. It had huge spines all over its back, which became less spiky down its tail, which then ended in a claw-like thing. When the hunters thought it was a safe enough height, they paused to rest and view the monster’s progress. It had stopped only a short way up the hill, and was gazing at the rock in front of it, as if judging it. It roared, a savage sound that shook the tunnels of magma in the volcano, causing several geyser of lava to appear around it. It then tunnelled into the rock, and disappeared. Robert flopped down, and sighed. “Thank GOD. I thought it was gonna get us back there…” Daniel put down Jeffrey, who was still rather shocked.
“Ok kid, what’s your name?” Dan asked again, now they were safe.
Jeffrey looked up at Dan’s face, and murmured, “Jeffrey.”
“Alright Jeff, that’s a start. Do you know what’s going on here?”
“No,” he mumbled, his voice coming back slowly. Dan glanced at Robert, who nodded.
“Ok, this might be a bit hard to understand Jeff, but bear with me. Your village was safe, ok? We don’t know how or why, but the Akantor, that monster, changed paths on the way to an area known as the battleground, and attacked your village. There were four hunters, but we lost them in our first strike against it.”
Jeff was coming out of his shock, but the realisation that his parents might be dead was also appearing. He started to sob a little, but it unsettled the two hunters. “Hey, Jeff, please don’t cry,” said Dan, tearing up as well, but wiping them away so Jeff didn’t see.
“We’ve both lost people we care about very much, but whilst we are in this volcano, we have to be strong, kay? Now I want you to promise me you’ll be strong, for your parents, and us. Don’t let your parent’s deaths be in vain.” Dan reached out, unsure whether Jeff would mind a hug, but he accepted.
Robert made a violent cough, and Daniel walked over to him.
“What’s up Rob? You ok?” asked Daniel, worry in his voice.
“Look, Dan, I’m not gonna lie to yah- the Akantor got me. It’s shoulders probably broken a couple of my ribs. Leave me here.”
“Rob, I’m not going to leave you behind! We were sent to kill this thing, and that’s what we’re going to do! The Guild outpost shouldn’t be to far, we could get Jeff to safety and come back with reinforcements. That so-called Dark-God isn’t invincible. It’s no god either.”
Robert let out a smaller cough, but replied adamantly, “No. I’m only a burden to yah. I could try hold it off for as long as I can, but the pain is gonna get me eventually.”
Daniel’s face contorted with a mixture of sadness and anger, but just made a growl sound and said, “Come on Jeff, let’s get out of here.”
Requiem of Fire – Chapter 3
The Akantor moved slowly through the earth, its powerful claws shovelling the dirt out of its way. Now and again it would break through a magma channel, but the molten rock barely phased it. The Akantor was always reading the earth’s movements above it, searching for the small signal of life on the surface. The small tap of human feet…
Daniel and Jeffrey walked briskly through the outskirts of the volcano. It had been hard to leave Robert, but it was his choice, and Daniel didn’t want to argue. Every now and again tremors could be felt, and Dan reached out to steady Jeff. The Akantor must be weakened… in the fight earlier Dan’s team must have dealt it some crucial blows. But there was also the fact it had consumed much of the villagers remains, which meant it would be at full stamina. Many monsters stuck to their natural food chain, preying on the herbivores or small bird wyverns. Only those that were extremely old or angry ate humans. Maybe the Akantor was both. Jeff rubbed his eyes, but his sleeve and hands were getting dirty from the ash. The volcano was unusually violent today, and several rivers had formed down its slope and formed into a lake at the base. Dan wanted to avoid going into the volcano as much as possible.
Robert had bandaged his wound as best he could, and had tried using an immunizer to help the bodies healing process, but he still felt a fair bit of pain. He had got Dan to leave, because he knew facing the Akantor in his state was a suicide mission, and Dan had already seen his other friends die. Robert had struggled down another slope, careful not to slip on the sharp rocks. The area he had moved into was covered in the sharp stones, and they littered the ground like some kind of warning. He had navigated them carefully, but nicked his ankle on one or two, drawing blood. Now, he was inside the huge caverns which where marked ‘safe’ on the Guild maps. There had been no sign of the Akantor, but the tremors had been becoming more frequent. On the other side of the cavern, Robert spotted a rocky form emerging from a lava pool. He tensed, and pulled out his hammer, Pulsating Core. It was an odd weapon for any hunter, but it was his first, and he was proud of it. The form walking out from the lava turned out to be a Gravios, and Robert let out a short chuckle and put his hammer back. Just then, a large quake shook the cavern, and the Gravios let out a long roar. Robert stumbled, but caught himself at the last second and looked around for its cause. Two lava spouts appeared, and the Akantor pulled itself out of the magma. It was truly hellish; its gleaming red eyes, and lava covered spikes. Its fangs where covered in blood and lava. Robert felt compelled to stop this abomination, no matter the pain. He readied his hammer, and ran towards the Akantor. It was still adjusting to the cavern when Robert caught it by surprise. He landed a magnificent blow to its head, smashing the previously weakened fang into a hundred pieces. Robert snarled, not letting the Akantor have any breathing room. He brought his hammer down hard on its claw, bringing a sharp crunching sound. The Akantor was now fully aware, and it rounded on Robert. It planted its feet into the dirt, and snapped forward with its fangs. Robert managed to leap out of the brunt of the attack, but a small tooth caught him.
Robert tried feverishly to untangle his armour from the Akantor’s mouth, but his chainmail was lodged in well. He had one hand on his hammer, and brought it down on the Akantor’s head, but there wasn’t much force applied with one hand. Its eye swivelled and noticed Robert. Opening its jaws, it clamped down powerfully, smashing through Robert’s armour and shoulder.
“AAAARGGH!!” he roared in pain, clutching his now pathetic arm. His shoulder had been completely crushed, and his right arm dangled uselessly. He turned around slowly, noticing the breathing on his neck. The Akantor growled, and with its one good fang, impaled Robert through the chest. He hadn’t stood a chance. As Robert gasped out his last breaths, he shoved the hammer into the Akantor’s mouth, and chuckled to himself, making blood dribble down his chin. The Akantor roared, raising its head as high as it could, as the life drained from its victim.
Meanwhile, across the volcano, Dan and Jeff heard the rumble of the lava. The rocky fields had begun to thin out, but they were still not near the Guild outpost. Jeff had been very quiet, and the only sound was Dan’s armour clanking for a while. If it came to facing the Akantor again, his weapons would work as best they could. Good dragon-element dual swords were hard to come by, and his Demonic Flaming Pair was one of them. They were considered one of the legendary “Dragonslayer” weapons, but Dan didn’t like to compare himself to the old soldiers who had once been famed for actual dragon slaying. They were true heroes. As they walked on, Jeff looked up and his eyes widened. Far off, a small glint could be seen, on top of a short watchtower. The Guild’s outpost. Dan brightened up a little, the only sign of hope he had had all day.
“C’mon Jeff, not much longer now! How are you feeling?”
Jeff glanced up. “A bit better.”
“Good, good…” Dan replied, looking around. He had thought he’d heard something. They walked on for a short while, until a sound made them jump. Jeff spun round a few times, trying to find its source, but he wasn’t tall enough to see what Dan could. Over the next ledge, a Gravios had appeared with severe wounds. He jogged over, and began climbing down to the Gravios. Jeff peered over the ledge to see what he was doing, but instantly regretted it from the sight of the Gravios. Its right wing had been shredded, with only strips of it hanging from its arm; it had deep crevasses in its shell, which underneath showed the Gravios’s innards; its neck had also been ripped open. There was no doubt that this was the work of the Akantor. Dan had reached the Gravios now, and was speaking softly to it. Hunters killed monsters for a living, but when the killing was unjust, anyone with compassion took pity on those hurt. The Gravios made small whimpering noises, and stopped moving frantically. Daniel inspected the wounds, and could see the Gravios was a long way from dying. But the pain… Dan unsheathed his dual swords, and saying a short prayer whilst stroking the Gravios head, drove the swords into its heart.
Too many had died today, and Jeff and Dan were changed from it. Jeff had climbed down to see the dead Gravios, less repulsed than before. Dan had wiped his swords clean, but did not set about carving the monster. Suddenly, another Gravios rounded the corner, and noticed first Daniel and Jeff, then the dead Gravios. It let out a ling roar, and charged. Jeff cried out and jumped for cover behind the dead Gravios. Daniel just stood where he was, and let the Gravios skid to a halt in front of him. Jeff, realising no combat was about to break out, decided upon approaching the Gravios. Daniel was staring down the monster, not daring to break his gaze. Jeff couldn’t reach the Gravios head, so he head round to its leg. The Gravios broke its sight with Daniel, and peered down at Jeff, who had his arms wrapped around its leg. The Gravios made a sort of sighing sound and relaxed its body. Dan was unsure what to do now; he couldn’t tell whether the Gravios would attack him if he ran off. Just as he was deciding what to do, a rumbling broke the silence. A rumbling they all knew all to well…
Requiem of Fire – Chapter 4
“Jeff, get on the Gravios. NOW!!” Dan roared, ushering Jeff to climb the rock wyvern’s wing, trusting it to protect them. The rumbling continued to grow larger, a crashing sound emerging from underground. As soon as Jeff was on the Gravios’ back, Dan grabbed the Gravios’ head and pulled, trying to get it moving. It did, and sent him stumbling with its unexpected speed. Jeff clung on for dear life as it began its charge, away from the quakes. Picking himself up as fast as possible, Dan sprinted after the Gravios. After what could have been a hundred meters, the crashing stopped with an explosion of rocks and fire.
The Akantor had arrived.
Not daring to look back as the beast let out its blood-curdling roar, Dan kept running after Jeff and the Gravios. This was not the way Dan had planned on escaping; the Gravios was running back to the Volcano to get away from the Akantor, but it was taking Dan and Jeff further and further away from salvation. Dodging around a sharp boulder, Dan made it a point to look ahead instead of at his feet. This helped, as looking up he noticed a lava channel cut into their path. The Gravios, with Jeff on its back, ran straight on through, Dan desperately searching the rock walls for a good jumping point.
The Akantor’s claws smashed into the walls as it powered on, not caring that the sharp rocks dinted and wore away its scales. It was only focused on the humans fleeing from its wake. The Akantor was old, old enough to despise the incessant force of humanity. It wanted only death and destruction, a world free from fear… a world where only the strongest survive.
Although, Dan had no clue that this was what the Akantor was thinking.
He was focused on leaping the lava flow, and from a high enough point on the rock wall, he jumped. Sailing through the air, he thought for a dangerous moment he would hit the molten rock, but in a second this doubt was gone as he landed roughly and rolled on hard stone, quickly pulling himself up. As he had rolled, he had glimpsed the Akantor closing the gap, pulling chunks of rock off the cliffs. Picking up the pace, Dan forced his eyes up, just in time to see the Gravios and Jeff round a corner, heading into the volcano’s cave system. If I can make it to there, Dan thought, the Akantor would be stuck for long enough for us to escape.
Closing the distance, his energy dropping with each step, Dan dared a look back to see the Akantor’s progress. Unfortunately, it was to close for comfort. Fortunately, it was having trouble as volcanic rock was being easily dislodged from above it, raining down and obscuring its vision. Pulling on his last reserves of strength, Dan bounded around the corner and into the cavern.
The strange beauty of the magma, and the powerful fiery glow it raised in the cave, was a sight to behold. Remembering he had a couple of energy drinks and a well-done steak, Dan pulled them out as he jogged across to the exit Jeff and the Gravios were taking. Wolfing the items down, Dan waited for the effects to kick in, turning round to look back the way he’d come.
The beast had tried to come through the cave’s entrance, but just as predicted, it got stuck. It was attempting to tunnel through the entrance, but was having little luck.
The Akantor gnashed its hideous fangs, and through the gore Dan spotted something familiar… pieces of Robert’s shredded armour were caught, and Dan just glimpsed the handle of the Pulsating Core…
With newfound anger and energy, Dan turned his back on the beast and began running across the cavern. He still had to make sure Jeff had gotten to safety.
And Jeff was safe, for the moment. The Gravios had charged through the caverns and streams of lava with ease, not even slowing down until it reached a secluded basin close to the inner parts of the Volcano.
Glancing around, Jeff took in his surroundings. He had never been this far into the Volcano, and the sight was awe inspiring, as well as burning. Jeff didn’t have armour on, so the effect of the heat was less powerful, but he still felt it all the same.
Looking to the back of the Gravios, Jeff spotted Dan come bolting into the basin. His face looked incredibly tired, but Jeff knew that Dan could still go on for a while. Hunters seemed to have an unlimited amount of energy.
Slowing his pace, Dan jogged up to the Gravios and gave it a rub on its stony head. “Jeff, hop down for a second.” Dan motioned for the Gravios to lower its wing, and Jeff slid down.
“What’s up?” Jeff asked, noticing the unsure look in Dan’s eyes.
“I know I said we could both make it to the outpost, but this time I’m not so sure I can.” Dan spoke solemnly, as though resigned to his fate.
“What…? No! No, I won’t let you! You have to come with us,” Jeff pointed to the Gravios, “I don’t know what to do out there!”
Dan held Jeff by the shoulders, giving him a reassuring squeeze. Jeff’s eyes filled with tears as he remembered his own father holding him.
“Jeff, the most important thing is for you to LIVE. I am staying here to fight the Akantor. The souls of my friends, and everyone in your village, are counting on YOU to live. I can hold it off, and that should be long enough for the Gravios to get you away,” Dan paused now letting his words sink in.
“Now – get back on the Gravios, and get out of this damned Volcano. Let people know what happened here. I know it’s not something you want to deal with right now, your village has been destroyed and all, but it will help you move on. See you kiddo.” And with that, Dan hoisted Jeff back on to the Gravios.
Backing away, Dan waved as the Gravios lurched upwards. With incredible effort, the rock wyvern flapped its wings and began its journey, soon soaring through the sky.
The last Jeff saw of Dan was his back, as a huge form hefted itself from the earth.
There goes my last valiant act on this earth, Dan thought as he watched the wyvern fly off. Also, he thought oddly, I didn’t know Gravios could fly. Shrugging, Dan turned around as he felt the all too familiar rumbling.
The Akantor burst out of the ground, causing short but powerful quakes as its feet came down. With a great heave, it pulled the rest of its body out, coated in magma.
Unsheathing his dual swords, Dan stepped forward as the Akantor re-positioned itself, and unleashed a short flurry of strikes at its chin. The Akantor was now fully aware, and turned to face Dan head on.
Whilst Dan avoided a short bite from the beast, he realized that the Akantor had, in fact, managed to make its way to the planned zone – the Battleground.
The Akantor lifted its tail, making to slam it down on Dan, but he was too quick. Running under its legs and slashing as he went, Dan reached its right side just as its huge tail swung to the left. Noticing a weak point on its scales, Dan entered Demonization, all his pent up anger coming out as he furiously let loose a blinding fast combo of slices. Roaring, the Akantor was starting to feel the pain – it was losing stamina as its body attempted to recover from all the wounds it had obtained before reaching the Battleground.
But it was more determined than anything to not lose to the hunter. Rearing up, its chest glowing red and its eyes becoming a demonic crimson, the Akantor bellowed its hideous sound, blasting Dan off his feet.
Landing hard, Dan struggled to avoid the small geysers of lava that had appeared with the roar. As the Akantor lowered itself, Dan focused his anger on the eyes that had greeted so many with death.
Taking up his dual swords, he brought them down in an arc of demonization and plunged them into the Akantor’s right eye. The dragon element trapped in the swords exploded out in a brilliant array of black lightning, and as Dan left the blades to continue doing damage, blood poured from the eye.
As he watched, the Akantor whimpered and scratched at its face in an attempt to stop the pain. The dual blades released a continuous stream of dragon element, and Dan backed away as the Akantor became more violent.
Suddenly, the Akantor spun, its tail coming around with tremendous force, slamming straight into Daniel.
Jeff and the Gravios had flown far, out onto the rocky outskirts of the Volcano, near the outpost. Sniffling as he shuffled down the Gravios’ wing, Jeff walked over to look the monster in the eyes.
It seemed to be sad, so Jeff reached up and patted its headed. It gave a shuffle and a small noise, and then turned carefully back to the Volcano.
“You want to help him, huh?” Jeff said, speaking as loud as he could so the Gravios would hear him.
The wyvern turned its head, gave what could be seen as a nod, and then leapt into the air, flapping powerfully. The large gust of wind pushed Jeff over, but he didn’t mind. The Gravios was soon a shadow amongst the dark clouds. Turning, Jeff began his path towards a new life.
Dan leant on the rock wall, crumpled and broken. He felt as though the pain would never stop, and death would never come. The tail hadn’t just broken him; the sharp talon-like spikes on the end had raked across his left arm and left leg.
The Akantor itself hadn’t calmed down. It had torn its eye out with a savage swipe, and the deformed eyeball lay on the ground with Dan’s swords still trapped in it.
It turned towards him, now more hideous than ever with a gaping hole in its head. It was still enraged, and was readying to use its wind tunnel – the same attack it had used to wipe out most of the townspeople.
As Dan prepared for the end, a gap appeared in the smoke, bringing rays of light into the hellish place. Through the gap shot the Gravios, falling with the weight of a mountain, unleashing a roar as it came down.
The Akantor spun, its concentration for the wind tunnel broken. Dan stared in awe as the Gravios crashed into the Akantor’s back, sending the great beast sprawling. It rolled over, intent on killing both Dan and the Gravios. Before it could pick whom to kill first, the Gravios unleashed a devastating beam of fire that seared the eye socket and burned the Akantor’s head. As it roared in pain, the Gravios charged forward and span as it closed in, bringing its tail around like a hammer onto the Akantor’s head.
The Akantor fell, and for a moment Dan wondered if it was dead. But it lifted itself back up, the rage beaten out of it. Tired and wounded, the Akantor tunneled away, to fight another day.
As it did, Dan breathed a sigh of relief. The Gravios ambled over, looking curiously at Daniel’s sad form. The loss of blood should have been making him cold, but he felt warm.
The Gravios lay near him, his personal guard. It would remain there until he died in peace. Allowing himself a smile, Dan drifted off with the feeling of hope.
Requiem of Fire – Epilogue
The Guardian climbed the ladder into the guild outpost, glancing about for the man who had sent for him. Sure enough, he stood at the window on the opposite side of the room, looking at the Volcano.
“You sent for me, Lewis?”
The man turned to the Guardian, removing his helmet as he did. His armour was strange for someone who was a representative in the Top 3 – a combination of Kushala Daora and Shen Gaoren pieces.
“I did. Because I have a task which only you can complete.” He said, speaking in a low tone. He rubbed his moustache before he went on.
“The Akantor. Have you heard of it?” The Guardian nodded. “I’m guessing you’ve only heard of it through the tale of the Great Wyvern, and the Valley of the Twins? Well, I’m going to tell you a bit more. Sit down.” Lewis motioned to a seat close to the window.
“The Akantor is a fearsome beast to even look at. It is covered in black spikes and scales, and is as big as the largest Gravios. We sent a whole team in to kill it. None have returned.”
The Guardian made a short gasp at this, narrowing his eyes behind his mask.
“But a scout of ours tells us it is wounded – it has lost an eye, which was found with two dual swords stuck in it. From what I’ve been told, this means a hunter named Daniel was the one who wounded it. I need you to go into the Volcano and defeat the beast once and for all!” Lewis finished, an angry look about his face. He was certainly a passionate hunter, but he was getting old.
He was the Top 3 representative for Dondruma, so the Guardian expected nothing less.
“Alright. I’ll do it, as long as you stop any other hunters from entering the Volcano.” The Guardian said, now determined to hunt the Dark God.
“Already done. Good luck, but I don’t think you’ll need it.” Lewis put on a grim smile, and left. Following him, the Guardian set off towards the Volcano.
Closing in on the Battleground, the Guardian wondered whether there was any chance of survivors. He had seen the devastation large monsters caused – even in the Volcano, the Akantor was no different.
Climbing into the basin of stone and lava, the Guardian spotted a figure on the other side of the area. Heading over, wary of the lava, the Guardian could make out ash covered Guild armour, with a dirty liquid splattered across it. As he drew closer, he realized just who it was. On the man’s back were the holders for dual swords – it was Daniel. Sighing, the Guardian wondered what to do with the former hunter. Squatting, he went to lift the man but paused as he noted the expression on his face – Dan had been smiling in his last moments.
Glancing around, the Guardian saw no sign of the Akantor, and he could always come back for it. Hefting the man onto his shoulders, the Guardian headed back the way he had come.
Nearing the outpost again, the Guardian sighed as he realized he didn’t know what to do with the body. It might be a bit of a shock to the Guild workers, he thought. Leaning Daniel against one of the support poles, the Guardian climbed quickly into the outpost.
“Does anyone know where the nearest town is?” He asked loudly.
“North, about two miles. You can’t miss it.” One hunter replied.
“Thank you,” the Guardian said, and then returned to Daniel’s body.
“I’ll give you a heroes burial, Daniel, that’s what I’ll do.” He said, as a sort of reassurance to himself. Shit, he thought, I need something to cover him with if I’m going to stroll into a town.
Soon enough, after gaining a sheet from the outpost workers and trudging the two miles, the Guardian came to the town gate. Kunoi, it was called. Laying the body down for a minute, the Guardian headed towards the nearest local he saw.
The boy was wearing farm clothes, and seemed to be a bit down in the dumps. “Hello there. I’m not from round here, and I need to know whether this town has a cemetery close by.” The Guardian said, removing his mask to show he meant no harm. The boy glanced up, and considered the Guardian for a moment. “What for?” He asked looking to the sheet the body was covered in.
“I found this man in the Volcano, he is a brave hunter who died because of a terrible monster. I don’t know how long he was in there, but he needs to be buried properly. A hero’s burial.”
At this, the boy gave a little sob and wandered over to the body.
“No kid, don’t!” The Guardian got out, but too late. The boy had pulled back the sheet, revealing Daniel’s face. The boy’s sobs turned into tears and sniffles as he sat next to the dead man. At that moment, something in the Guardian’s head clicked. “Did you know him?” The Guardian asked tentatively.
“Yes,” The boy said, wiping his eyes, “He saved my life. I’m the last person alive from Firestone Village. He saved me from that monster… the-“ The boy choked up now, not sure if he should go on.
“It’s ok. My name is the Guardian, and my job is to protect Minegarde. What is your name?” “Jeffrey.”
“Ok Jeffrey, have you told anyone your story?” The Guardian asked.
“No… Daniel told me to, but I heard the soldiers talking at the outpost… They said no one survived, so I came here and a kind family has taken me in. I don’t think I can re-tell what happened in there…”
“That’s fine. You don’t have to. Can I leave this man to you? I need to return to the Volcano and defeat the beast once and for all.” The Guardian patted Jeff on the shoulder as he turned his head to the Volcano.
“But what will I do?” Jeff asked, curious at the Guardian.
“Hmm. What do you want to do?”
“I… I used to want to work with my father… but now I want to get as far away from here as I can…” Jeff said solemnly. The Guardian sighed. “How about this: I will come back here in a few years, to check on you. I will watch over you, Jeff, and I will help you choose your path. How does that sound?”
Jeff sniffed once, but replied with a strong voice. “Okay.”
The Guardian shook hands with the young boy, and turned away. He paused at the gate, and faced Jeff again.
“You knew that man better than me. Can I entrust you to give him the burial he deserves?” The Guardian felt a pang of guilt entrusting a child with this matter.
“Don’t worry.” Jeff looked up, and smiled.
Behind his mask, the Guardian smiled as well.
“See you later, kid.”
Year 1 - Fates Legend
Year 171 - Rathalos Red
Year 173 - Requiem of Fire
Year 183 - Knights of the Tundra
Year 198 - The Tigrex Samurai
Year 208 - The Tigrex's Rage
Year 210 - The Grand Trio