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"Yaketsukuyōna... you never taught us about this one, Sensei... and it's so big and mighty... how are we supposed to stop it!?" Gale asked with dread.

"By not standing idly by and doing something," A low, matter-of-fact voice answered.

Gale, Mizu and Arashi turned to see a tall young man of about Gale and Mizu's age, sixteen or seventeen, dressed in hunter armor made of Remobra materials, but had been treated with a sleek chrome coating. Gale knew it was reinforced, but no changes other than the chrome were visible, although he wasn't wearing his helmet. He had a crimson Espinas Great Sword sheathed on his back, the handle of which he had his left hand firmly clamped around, ready to use at any given moment.

He had tanned skin and deep grey hair that was short, other than the two long strips of hair that hung over his forehead at either side, being thrown about in the wind. His eyes were a cold, otherworldly golden colour, transfixing Mizu and Gale in their icy gaze.

"Rakurai... what are you doing!? You are only a boy! You stand no chance of defeating an Elder Dragon!" Arashi yelled with worry.

"Watch me, old man," Rakurai scowled coldly.

He strode confidently toward the raging beast, ignoring the screams of terror and raw destruction around him, as if nothing but the dragon and he existed. He stopped at the foot of the beast. It sensed the young man's steely gaze upon it, and turned defiantly to meet it. He closed his eyes, and tightened his grip on his sword, which Gale, Mizu and Arashi, watching from afar, didn't think was possible.

"Begone. You have no place here," Rakurai muttered.

And with that he took one huge swing of his sword, which came crashing down upon the monster's foot. It left a huge gash, poisoning in the process. Yaketsukuyōna screeched with pain and rage, flapping its wings wildly and clutching blindly at its surroundings. It turned at an angle, rose into the sky and fled, leaving pools of blood in its wake.

However, while it did take to the sky, the White Star had no intention of fleeing the scene. It feigned a retreat, then banked sharply left and fired a huge ball of icy blue fire near to Rakurai. He had just enough time to swing his Great Sword in front of his body as a makeshift defense before the freezing ball of tundra made contact with a house to his right, shattering the house to pieces and forcing Rakurai to his knees. Sharp, ice-covered splinters of Dragonwood flew in all directions. The site on which the house once stood was a pile of icy flotsam, small white-blue flames dancing in the winds, while some of Yaketsukuyōna's flames had condensed into glittering snowdrops.

Yaketsukuyōna saw that Rakurai had defended himself from the attack, and swooped down to the ground, staggering as it did, partly because of its cut and poisoned foot, and partly to break speed. It came to a halt in front of him.

Rakurai stood up, not fazed by the dragons mighty blow. A short silence descended upon the village. The frantic murmuring of the villagers died out, until only the howling winds and dancing flames could be heard. Then the dragon roared, a roar of lost pride and angry pain. Rakurai made no attempt to cover his ears, just stood before it - impassive, apathetic, insensible and expressionless. The strips of hair at the front of his head were flowing from the strength of its gale force breath. When it was finished, it let loose a feral, guttural growl, then became impassive like Rakurai, awaiting a challenge.

"... Like I said, beast... GO AWAY!" Rakurai shouted.

His icy, golden eyes sprang to life, and he stretched his left arm out, and held his right up toward the sky, hands outstretched. Gale, Mizu and the rest of the villagers watched in awe as a dark cloud swirled around him. Thunder roared, and then suddenly a beam of white-gold lightning struck directly down and into Rakurai's palm.

The bolt of lightning condensed into golden sparks, and ran down his arm and circulated around his entire body. He ran toward Yaketsukuyōna, and let loose an uppercut upon the beast's breast, sending an electric charge running up its body, and cracking the ovular ruby upon its chest. As it screeched in pain, he launched a dragon punch, hitting its left shoulder, staggering the mammoth beast. Then he finished with a 360 degree kick, sending the elder dragon crashing to the floor, electric sparks flashing on occasion, puffs of smoke rising up from its charred body.

Rakurai let gravity force him down before landing on one knee, bowing his head. He stood, facing away from the beast, staying silent. Yaketsukuyōna yowled weakly, wheezing as it rose, still limping from its foot, which it then licked, curing the poison. It turned, rose to the sky and fled, staring a Rakurai with a foul look the entire time.

The villagers didn't cheer him, however. They were just to shocked. But Gale, still staring at him, got the feeling he didn't care. She watched him walk away from the carnage coldly, and slowly the villagers began to spur back to life.


3 Weeks Later

Gale walked toward the schoolhouse. Hyoku had since recovered from the White Star's devastating attack. However, even during the carnage, the schoolhouse had suffered no harm. Maybe it truly was blessed.

She knocked on the open door and walked in. Sensei Arashi and Sensei Ryu, a tall, thin, middle-aged man with long dark hair, stared at her - Arashi happily, Ryu fiery and unwavering, as if he wanted to attack her with his narrow eyes.

"I came to see you, Sensei. I want to join the search party for the White Star," Gale announced boldly.

The two men stared at her - Arashi an amazement, Ryu in a mix of amazement and disgust.

"You are no hunter. You will only hold the rest of the party back, girl." Sensei Ryu scowled.

"Exactly. So I'm signing up for Hunter Training." Gale retorted, meeting Ryu's narrow gaze.

Gale had made her decision. She would become a Hunter.


To Be Continued in: The White Star Chronicles IV: A Hunter's Test

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