It is not spite that grips him, or some form of mislead hate. It is not fear that binds him to such a fate, scouring the lands endlessly in search of eternal rest. Elder blood flows through his veins. The blood of a beast who wanders, thirsting for the grief and malice of others. Ancient genes, passed down from generations, lasting decades, upon centuries, upon eons, drive him to end all life he deems unworthy of gracing the land before him. Insects are all he saw in these charred lands, long ago when they were lush and fertile, begging to be exterminated by his relentless power. The pure tenacity of evil that oozes from his very soul pours over this land, embedding within it the pain and torment that he must endure day after day, night after night, year upon year, and so forth.
But why? Why must we fear a lonesome beast from thousands of miles away? Should such a threat really have that much of an impact on our lives, here in the wholesome village of Makobe? Well truth be told, there is just too much that has to be done before we can just go around declaring a state of emergency against an unknown force such as an Elder Dragon, ha! We laugh in the face of such evil when there is tidying to be done, food to be cooked, crops to be grown, and guests to be taken care of in our warm inn. Yet this ignorance does not go unnoticed. After years and years of pushing our fears aside, our own generations have all but forgotten the rampaging beast that ravages all it has laid eyes upon. Fact becomes fiction, legends become stories, and tales become myths. Yes, mark my words, such ignorance does not go unnoticed…. Deep within his slumber, far across the oceans of Minegarde, the creature recognizes this abundance of forgetful souls. It angers the beast! Bestows the creature with an innate fury! "Thou shalt not be forgotten," his essence commands him. "Thy souls will fear this monolith of power once again. The very whisper of thy name will endow mortals with such grueling sorrow, as it did in times past." The beast bellows a symphony of wretched filth from his lungs, clearing them for the fire inside to churn, without interruption once again. Yes, the ancient has awakened. And although the drastic reunion to the world may come to pass without so much as a turn of the head by mortal standards; the same cannot be said for nature itself. For every step the beast takes will be felt by Kelbi and Wyvern alike. They are aware of his arrival, and soon… soon the humans will feel the same… No, this ignorance does not go unnoticed.
Chapter One: Initiation
The sheen of Berek's valiant Hunter's Helm illuminated his room just enough to add the most pleasant of all auras to his humble abode. There he stands, with a smile on his face, filled with pride and joy while taking a deep breath of the crisp autumn air, gazing feverishly at his beloved set of armor.
"Full set starting today," he murmurs while stroking the metallic chest plate with glee. There was but one spot of the wooden, model manikin that remained uncovered. The midsection was void of any piece of armor, Hunter's or otherwise. But all of that would change today, for Berek had a date with the local armory to retrieve his beloved final piece of protection against the forces that regularly opposed a rookie Hunter. And that is what he was: a rookie. Berek often pondered why he had even become a Hunter. Fame? Fortune? Glory? All of these things were unappealing to him. Truth is he didn't know why (as of 4 months ago) he had become a Hunter.
But there he stood, still in his sleeping attire, recognized as an official Hunter of Makobe Village. He may not know why he chose such an elite career, but one thing is for certain. Every time he put on said armor, and every time he holds close his mighty Golem Blade. He feels he is truly one with himself. A feeling of pure excitement and bliss, felt and known only by Monster Hunters.
"Mmm, well that sure is a fine lookin' piece of equipment!" A voice springs from behind Berek.
"Gah!" He gasps, nearly falling to the floor while clutching, and covering up his unmentionables.
"Haha, relax, it's nothin' I haven't seen before," Evelyn proclaims with a wink.
"Whatever, you can't help but love the attention," she says while climbing through Berek's window and landing hard onto the floor with a thud.
Evelyn was a rather clumsy girl, but a proficient Gunner nonetheless. She also stood proud, with hands on her curvaceous hips showing off her mix-match of different armors. Her Leather Helm for one, which was clutched under one arm, Battle Vest, Bone Guards, Velociprey Coat, and Giaprey Leggings all made up for a well defended, but slightly disorganized Hunter. She too was rather new to the game of Hunting, and signed up under the Makobe Village Chief's roster soon after Berek did.
"So are you ready!" She shrieked as Berek attempted to gather himself, and equip his armor in an orderly fashion.
"Today's the day Berek! The day we become 'Official' Hunters!"
"We are official Hunters…"
She trotted over to him and put her arm around his neck, almost tugging him off his feet. Although dainty, Evelyn was quite a strong woman.
"I mean, OFFICIAL, Hunters Berek, the big deal! Recognized throughout the land as soldiers for the Guild!"
Berek stopped what he was doing and paused for a second. He had always dreamt of becoming a big time Hunter in the eyes of a nation. He had even discussed it many times with Evelyn, while sitting around the campfire on redundant quests for the Village Chief. But to him it was only a dream; a desire he had hoped would come to pass. Because deep down he did not feel ready for such a daunting task, and felt he never would be. To be enlisted as a Hunter under the name of the Guild.
"Yoohoo, Berek? Snap out of it and get your gear on, I'm off to get approval from the Chief. You should be able to pick up your Tasset by then, yeah?"
He still hadn't moved much from where he had froze before, but managed a low level, "Yeah…"
Evelyn looked at the armor scattered on the floor.
"Honestly though, I don't see what the big deal is about having a matching set of armor. All in all it has the same purpose, no matter what it may look like. My philosophy is, if ya got the stuff to make it and it's better than your last, go for it. I ain't out to make a fashion statement!"
"The way you dress in battle reflects your personality as a Hunter," Berek replied while staring his female companion in the eye. "Full set of matching armor just… Shows your honor and dedication I guess."
Evelyn's blank stare proved her point of view on the matter.
"Riiiight, well you do that girly man, I'ma go get our one-way ticket out of this noobfest. Red Land here we come!" She screamed, flailing her arms in the air awkwardly and sprinting down the dirt hill to the Village Gathering Hall.
Berek finished applying his apparel and walked out the door moments later, rubbing behind his pet pig's ears before departing. The Armory wasn't far from his home, yet then again neither was anything else in the tight little village. Makobe couldn't have been more than 4 square miles or so in pure landmass. Most haven't even heard of such a place, including the brave Hunter's that stop to rest before leaving as swiftly as they came.
At the entrance of the armory lay a rascal of a Felyne, lazily swatting flies on the countertop of the main entrance. He opened one eye and saw Berek approaching, only to close it seconds later as if not at all interested in his arrival.
"Hello Milo, is your Master available?"
The catlike humanoid, without standing to acknowledge his common customer, yawned obnoxiously, "Nya, well that depends my good sir. You got the goods?"
"I gave the craftsman all of my materials yesterday Milo, he informed me that my Tasset would be ready by today."
The Felyne looked annoyed now with both eyes focused on Berek.
"You know what I mean, meow!"
Berek sighed and rolled his eyes while reaching into his pouch for some Felvine, an herbal delicacy among the race of Lynian's. Even the tribal Shakalaka cannot resist its charm. He threw the plant onto the countertop and watched in awe as the creature bathed, and smothered itself into the herb with sweet, orgasmic satisfaction.
Just then the local craftsman came out from behind the dusty curtain in back, from which only the clanking and crashing of metal on metal could be heard and saw his Felyne servant basking in the plants glory.
"Why you lazy good for nothin'!" He shouted and grabbed the creature by its whiskers and yanked him onto the floor. "Now go shine the Buster Blades like I told you to CAT!"
"Yes sir, nya!" He squeaked and scuttled into the backroom.
"Heh… So! What can I do ya fer this humble morning Berek? Oh that's right your Hunter's Tasset! Lemme fetch it for ya." He turned and made a megaphone with his cupped hands around his sweating mouth. "CAT! Bring this boy his Tasset, you know which one."
The Felyne arrived with his final piece of equipment. The last remaining protection required to have a full set of armor. But not only a full set of armor, a matching set. Something he had been waiting for and laboring over for a long, long time now. Slaying countless Bullfango, and mining what seemed to be endless crevices of rock for sheens of ore between the cracks. It was finally here. He put it on immediately, sliding it up onto his waist.
"A purrfect fit!" Exclaimed the Felyne with happiness, still clutching the Felvine in his paws.
"It is perfect," said Berek with a casual smile on his face. "Thank you very much."
"Hey it's no problem boy, you know that." The armorer put his hand on Berek's shoulder. "Son I've watched you grow into a fine Hunter. A rookie yes, but a fine one at that, ha! If only your pop were here to see you now." Berek cringed at this statement. "And that girlfriend of yours, she told me the big news today, about that Guild business you're lookin' to get yourself into. Crazy woman was my wakeup call as a matter of fact!"
"Uh, sir, I don't mean to interrupt but she's not my- But more to the point son!" The craftsman interrupted. "Things out there in the wild, they ain't what they seem to be here." He pulled Berek in closer. "I can assure you this. The farther away from here you get, the tougher, meaner, nastier, and more deadly creatures you'll face."
Berek swallowed, trying to make the loud, *gulp*, unnoticeable.
"Ya see I heard you took on a Drome the other day with that hot philly of yours. That's good. But have you ever considered taking on 3 of 'em at one time?"
"N-no sir I haven't."
The blacksmith nodded and took his grip away from the young Hunter.
"BEREK! Hey Berek!" He heard the same familiar voice coming from behind for a second time today. It of course was Evelyn, sprinting towards him, incessantly waving a piece of paper in the air.
"Well speak of the devil, HA! I'll leave you two lovebirds alone, have a good one! And good luck out there, boy!"
"She's not my!- BEREK!" She shouted as she slammed into his torso, and also for a second time to today, nearly sending him crashing to the ground.
"Berek! Guess what! We're approved! We're going to the Red Land!" She screeched, still waving the piece of paper in the around like a Conga in a mating dance.
Berek raised one eyebrow. "Why do you have a Quest in your hand?"
"Oh this?" She said shoving it in his face. He took it from her and read over it carefully. "Well you see this is our umm… Initiation, ya know? We just gotta do this real quick and we're good to go!"
"Evelyn, this is an Urgent Quest."
"Ha, I know so we'd better get to it urgently now shouldn't we? Come on! Times a wastin'! Pack your things, buy some Potions, ooo! I'm so getting a Shock Trap for this."
"Evelyn, what's a Kut Ku?"
Evelyn stopped her pouncing about and began to speak. Without looking Berek in the eye, she explained, "A Wyyyyyyvern…"
"A what! We can't fight a wyvern!" Berek threw the piece of paper into the air. Evelyn quickly snatched it back.
"But it's a little wyvern!"
"How little! Actually forget it, it doesn't matter. Evelyn we are not ready to become members of the Guild, let alone hunt a fully fledged wyvern. I knew this was a bad idea- wait. How in Lao Shan's name did you get approval for this sort of quest?"
"Chief said we were ready, she said it herself. Anyway come on Berek, you cannot pass up this opportunity!
"No. I'm not going, and that's final. Our lives are on the line Evelyn."
"Oh come on you pansy, here, look at this," she said while clearing her throat and taking a small, but rather thick booklet out of her ammo pouch. She flipped through the pages and put her finger on the line named, "Yian Kut Ku." "Ahem," she began, "A bird-like wyvern with a huge beak and large ears that splay open when it is angered." She looked up to make sure Berek was still paying attention. He was, so she continued: "With its sensitive hearing it dislikes loud noises-"
"Sonic Bombs…" Berek grunted while rubbing his chin in a contemplative manner.
Evelyn smiled and went back to reading. "It is smaller, but faster than other wyverns." She closed her standard Hunter's manual. "See? Small!"
"Small-ER," Berek said.
"The thing is pink for cryin' out loud Berek! What else could you possibly ask for! This is our calling. This is our chance to make something of ourselves for once, instead of searching through Bulldrome dung to see if we're closing in on it to inevitably have it slain!"
Berek was silent. He stared hard at the ground while clutching his newly made piece of armor.
"Fame, glory, celebrity, popularity! Ah, you are a fool to say no to such an offer Berek."
"I have no interest in any of those…"
"Oh that's right I'm sorry, you do it for the honor. Hey, where are you going!"
Berek started walking away, no longer staring off into space as if he had made up his mind on the matter. He put his hand in the air without turning around as if a sign of assurance, and said, "I'm off to pack my things… Get your trap. I've gotta find someone to take care of my pig."
"YESSSS!" Evelyn leaped into the air with delight, and took off down the dusty road once again, this time to her own housing quarters, to equip her wondrous new heavy bowgun, appropriately named, the Rapidcaster. The Rapidcaster was an improvement in all respects to her previous main weapon, the Tankmage, which she sold a couple days ago for a hefty 1400z. "Darn thing just shoots and reloads so slow!" She would always complain. So what's more fitting than a rapid casting bowgun? Unlike Evelyn, Berek did not believe in the practice of selling previous weapons, no matter how weak or insignificant they were compared to a new and improved piece of equipment. The very walls of his home were decorated with previous weapons he had been acquainted with when he was a, "fresh out of the womb," Hunter.
The essentials for a Hunting Classed Quest: Potions/Herbs/Mega Potions/First Aid Meds/ etc., aka "Healies", whetstones, maps, rations, and the occasional Psychoserum if you're not in the mood for a wild goose chase. Berek packs all of these things, even though most are presented in the chest, supplied by the Makobe Village themselves. He never is too careful. Especially today. His first real wyvern. Not some push over Drome like the local craftsman was speaking of earlier, a real, live wyvern. And also like the craftsman had stated earlier…
"The farther away from here you get, the tougher, meaner, nastier, and more deadly creatures you'll face." Berek kept hearing those words ringing in his head, and became fearful. Not only fearful of his life, but of Evelyn's. He had known her well, ever since she was too young to even dreamed of becoming a Monster Hunter, and now… "Look at her," he thought to himself. "She'd most likely die for me if given the chance." He carefully sheathed his Golem Blade great sword with the utmost precision to his back, and took one last deep breath. "If she were to die today… If I lost her…"
"NO," he said aloud in what seemed to be the privacy of his own home. "I will not live with such fears and regrets. I'll do anything to protect her."
"Berek!" He heard from outside shabby two bedroom home. "Come on let's go, I've got something to show you!"
"What's that?" He asked while shutting his front door.
Evelyn held her slim and futuristic looking bowgun as high as she could and announced it as if the weapon were some form of ancient relic. "The RAPIDCASTER!"
"Hmm, neat. What'd take to make that?"
"Neat!" She vented, stomping her foot to the ground. "You ungrateful, this weapon dwarfs yours in all comparisons!"
"Haha," he laughed, "Well it all depends on how efficiently you use it my lady." He stopped in his tracks.
"Oh I almost forgot! Stay here I'll be right back. Gotta pet Poogie."
"Good luck!" He shouted as he ran back inside for an instant.
He was back within 30 seconds. Evelyn smiled, and threw the heavy machinery onto her back, walking along side her Quest mate. "If you must know, it mainly took a lot of Bulldrome and Kelbi parts, nothing too severe." She looked at the massive bulk of sharpened bone strapped to Berek's backside. A beastly weapon it was, at least 4 to 5 feet in length. "I've always thought about becoming a Blademaster, I guess I'm just not much one for sweat and grime. I prefer to stay clean during my hunts."
Berek smiled and commented, "Is that it? Or do just have trouble swinging a blade?"
"Look you name the time and place and we'll switch weapons, I'm down." She said with authority, while passing the final gates to their quiet and simple community. Within 10 feet of leaving the perimeter she looked back smiled, withholding the tears in her eyes. "I'm sure gonna miss this place once we're outta here for good," she sniffed.
"Yeah…" Berek said. He always responded as though he were thinking, and had a lot on his mind. Evelyn used to question him often on his solemn responses, until it no longer interested her. Truth is, Berek did have a lot on his mind. And that was an understatement. Sure, he should, considering he was about to partake in the most dangerous quest of his and Evelyn's life. But that wasn't what was bothering him. Inside his soul was a much deeper reasoning for this contemplation. It was his father.
12 Years ago, in Makobe. An extremely well recognized hunter occupied a simple two bedroom home, despite his wealthy status. It was Berek's home as well, and that hunter was his father. Berek's father had made a name for himself not only in Makobe, but countless other villages, towns, cities, and lands. He left his birth village of Kokoto at a very early age, nearly the same age that Berek is now. He too had a Golem Blade. Year after year, he traveled throughout the continent until he made his way to the Green Land. Here he spent most of his hunting career in a largely populated town called Bordertown, gradually improving his weapons, armor, rank, and status as a Hunter. Here he advanced through the ranks of the Guild until he perished while in battle. An unwanted battle at that. The, almost legendary, Hero of Kokoto, had a Hunter Rank of 15, otherwise known as a Forest Guardian, before his life ended. Story goes, the battle hardened Hunter was en route to a showdown with a local Rathalos of Bordertown when he was ambushed, and mauled to death by the very beast he sought to slay. This is the story of course, simple and believable by most people's standards, but not to Berek. He was merely 5 years old when they came through Makobe, carrying his father's lifeless body on a stretcher. For this is where he wished to be buried, the home in which his son was born. And that was that. The famous Hunter was killed by a ruthless wyvern during battle.
But Berek would not have it. Berek's father had always wanted to sport a full platter of Rathalos armor, and was missing all but two pieces. He was highly skilled and had fought many Rathalos before… There was no way such a petty beast could have taken his father so easily, he thought. There had to have been more to the story, something more to the tale! But what? They say the last word the Hero of Kokoto managed to gargle out of his blood-filled mouth was a somber, "Silver…" And that was the only lead he had to go on. Why his father would utter such a useless rambling before his death was beyond Berek. As they made their way to the nearby camp in the forested, hilly area of the land, all he could think about was the gaping hole in his father's chest, and that one, simple color: Silver.