Disclaimer: Yoshihiro Togashi
Edit I: 16/4/2012
Freya stepped into the ballroom of Oak Hotel, the most prestigious hotel in Crevasse City. It was enormous, enough to fit a few hundred people and had classic design. The wall was covered with majestic gold and yellow wallpaper with branch-like brown pattern, complete with an old fashioned chandeliers hanging on the ceiling. There were 2 big windows framed on the right and left side of the room. The floor was covered with a plain blood red carpet with no chairs or tables. The room smelled nice but was a bit cold to her liking.
She approached a corner of the room silently and sat there, trying not to attract unwanted attention. She sat in the corner, attempting to be as little as possible. Later, a boy, probably 12 year old or so, gave her a plate with a number on it. He gave it with a warm smile as he said good luck. Freya read the number, 126 it said. She concluded she was the 126th applicant for this hunter exam. Not bad for a first attempt. She made no wait to place it on her clothes. Left chest to be exact.
Looking away from her plate, she observed the people who were currently present in this room. Men dominated the number, she realized there were only 50 or so women, including herself. She glanced to left and right, unsure what to expect from these people. She doesn't find anyone interesting in particular. Some were pretty usual, others stood out in their own unique way, but Freya didn't feel any threat or uncomfortable feeling. She sighed; she was never one to analyze everything in the first place. She trusted her instincts more than anything else.
That was until she felt a glare directed towards her. It was quick, just a mere one second, even less maybe, but it made her felt like her heart jumped out of her chest. Her muscles tensed, but she didn't react in any other visible way. She is good with controlling her emotions, knowing when to let it show and not. She gave every single person in the room deep observation in order to find the owner of the menacing glare.
Still, she found no one. Freya sighed once more. She reminisced how she wound up here through the pre-hunter exam and suddenly remembered how tired she was. She had walked non-stop for approximately 3 hours, swam against a river's high current and finally extracted all pieces of information to reach this place. She knew the hunter exam was hard, but she didn't think it'll be this tiring. She was more of the brain more than the brawn. So, she decided to sleep and restored some strength to proceed through the next challenges given to her. She snuggled at her corner to make herself more comfortable. She closed her eyes and emptied her mind little by little as she finally drifted to sleep.
A warning from her brain was all Freya needs to wake up. She opened her eyes quickly, finding a man with a knife, ready to stab her. The culprit was shocked. Startled, he backed away quickly as he sheathed her knife back to its cover. The man's face was priceless, as if he was facing a wild lone wolf whose sleep has been disturbed. Of course, Freya really did felt like one. She gave the man a nonchalant look until he was out of sight and she giggled quietly. The man had completely ruined her sleep but at least she gave her some entertainment. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. How long has she been sleeping? Her stamina had regained considerably, but it wasn't enough. She won't have a good sleep she was longing for in some short period of time. But she slid it off, knowing full well her life is much more important than sleeping.
It was something her body would do for survival; her senses were more sensitive than common human. It wasn't until she was 10 that she understood her unique gift. From the realization point, she tried to heighten it more. Why? First, out of satisfactory point, she loved knowing she was more than other people and she wanted to make sure the big difference between them. She also liked being the black horse. No one would suspect a vulnerable looking girl as a threat, but, when people realized she really is a threat, it was already too late. Second, because, admit it, it was pretty cool to have these kind of different ability. She felt like a ninja the first time she knew this.
Of course, it was kind of different now. 6 years of regular training and exercises, physically and mentally. It paid off, in the end. She knew there were many people who were far stronger than her. But then, she knew she was good enough. She can sense danger even in unconscious state. Her ears can hear the faintest sound in the range of 1km. Her eyes recognize the smallest detail and provide great observation. She knew every taste and fragrance of food or any material at all, poison or not.
Automatically, she also gained a lot of knowledge and other kinds of ability. For example, 'The Perfect Pitch'. It allowed her to name or reproduces a tone without reference to an external standard. She can also read Braille and mastered various kinds of languages.
Now, she wanted to test the result of her training and gain more power in the process, here in the hunter exam. She once again observed the now almost full room. It was a lot more crowded than the previous time. As she scanned people in general, her hazel brown eyes met raven black belonged to a kid, probably 10 year old or so. His face was flat, without a single trace of emotion. He was wearing traditional clothes of a Japanese shrine maiden, with boots and a headband adorned with cartoon faces; there are two small straight bunches of hair, each of which is fastened by 4 hair bands that each are decorated with the same cartoon faces on his headband, hung down on the sides of the front. Freya wondered, is the kid male or female?
Suddenly, the kid smiled. It caught Freya off guard, what even more surprised her was when the kid closed the distance between them. She raised an eyebrow at him; he changed his smile into a grin as a reaction. The boy didn't appear hostile nor feel like he was a threat, but Freya was cautious enough to attack him lest he did something suspicious. He eventually made a stop in front of the sitting girl. Now that he was very close, she could see him more clearly. She concluded the kid is a he.
"Hi, what's your name?" He asked. He looked sincere, it was a question made by an innocent child. She knew better though, no common child can pass the pre-hunter exam, let alone be a hunter. There must be something special beneath all of it and she must be aware of all possibilities. She looked at his plate number, 366.
"Freya," she decided to answer. What was the worst a person can do, in this case, a kid, with a name? Oh, wait. Google it and my enemy can kill all of my family. Freya scoffed inaudibly, yeah, right. Her parents and older brother were much stronger than her. Deep down the entire ordinary-teenager-girl act she put around school, she was not raised like it. At all. She was something special even before she discovered her ability, but behind the shadow of her older brother, how can she be satisfied with herself? Another reason why she entered the hunter exam, to prove her abilities to her family.
The boy in front of her spoke up, snapping Freya out of her thoughts, "Nice to meet you, Freya. I'm Alluka!"
He didn't know what made him approached her to the extent of ignoring his older brother warning. Do not talk to other people, he remembered it clearly. She just piqued his interest, something that the 13-year-old boy can't comprehend.
He was walking aimlessly in the room filled with applicants. He just got there and this guy, Tonpa, went to him and acts nicely and friendly and sweetly. He made no attempt to put up with Tonpa's attitude, so he shoved him off. That's when she saw her from the corner of his eyes. She was sleeping tightly, resting her head to the wall at her right. She was sitting cross-legged, with eyes closed and covered with her side bangs and her chest expanded and deflates in steady and slow rhythm. She was dressed in a simple white t-shirt, a baggy black knee shorts, and a pair of grey converse, complimented by a black bangle encircled on her left wrist. Her shoulder-length black hair looked messy.
Alluka stiffened as he saw a man approaching her with a sharp-looking knife. He was ready to go and pound the man unconscious, but he refrained himself. If she can't dodge the attack, then she's probably not worth much. So, he remained on his position and observed quietly. The man was almost there with his knife ready. Suddenly, the man stopped and he backed away quickly and turned his heels away from the girl, looking petrified and shocked. The look of the man was priceless as Alluka find himself giggling. Later, he found the knife man talking to the man he expelled not too long ago, Tonpa. Alluka made a mental note to be watchful for Tonpa's tricks.
That happened not too long ago. Alluka exchanged names with the girl. He believed in his decision, Nanika didn't seem to object either. Besides, it's boring to talk only with Nanika all the time, now that his older brother is not here with him. Alluka sat beside Freya, making himself comfortable beside the teenage girl.
He wasn't scared, no. He's a member of the deadliest assassin family. He received the same training his older brothers get. Well, until that misfortunate event when his family discovered his dark magical ability, that is. He shuddered of the memory being locked up and deserted by the other members of Zoldyck. Nanika and him, in a room full of various dolls and toys, thinking that maybe, that would keep us occupied. Hell, no. It's definitely boring and they're doing it because his family was overwhelmed by fear of their power. The Zoldyck family, having a fear of something. That sounds right to Alluka.
But that's past. Right now, he's here; ready to take on the hunter exam. It was hard to convince his older brother to let him participate at first. Alluka was frustrated; he didn't want to burden his older brother forever. He was lucky and grateful that he even managed to slip off from his family's grasp. All thanks to his older brother. So, the least he can do was to get stronger. Alluka knew his brother was just concerned and worried of his well beings; he's not rescuing Alluka just to let him go and die later. He promised Alluka to always protect him and the hunter exam is not exactly safe and all. It was quite the opposite, hence the objection his brother gave him.
Alluka reasoned. He will take part in the hunter exam after strict and hard training. His older brother can do it, why can't he? They were only a year apart anyway. He knew the risks, a little too much even. Still, he wanted to do it. So, his older brother agreed.
Alluka was proven to be a fast learner and talented in fighting. Under his older brother supervision, the training wasn't an easy walk in the park. His older brother gave him no mercy. Some even include a life-threatening experience. Alluka wondered which were more dangerous between the training and the hunter exam. It felt like his older brother was trying to kill him in his own hands. Alluka even considered quitting halfway, but he couldn't back down, could he? His pride and ambition to prove his capability kept him going. So as a result, his strength and fighting ability improved drastically in 2 years training.
He remembered his brother reluctantly let him go. Not after a handful of lecture and warnings, though. But, he still let him go.
He soon realized he has been spacing out for quite some time, forgetting temporarily of the teenage girl next to him. He turned to see Freya, wondering what to say.
"So, your first time here?" she asked without even turning to see him. This, of course, surprised Alluka. He didn't think Freya was one to engage a conversation. Yet, he was happy for some reason.
He quickly raised his voice to answer, "Yeah, you too?"
She gave a small nod and then silence. Alluka was thinking of what to say next when Nanika whispered something in his mind. He smiled at the thought and thanked Nanika. He can feel that Nanika is also interested in the girl beside him. He was sure now she was no ordinary girl. Well, come to think of it, there is no way an ordinary girl can make it through the pre-hunter exam anyway.
"So, what kind of weapon do you use?"
This is a good question indeed. He saw no weaponry near her, so he just assumed she was a martial artist. But what he wanted to achieve was more than to confirm his hypothesis.
"A secret what makes woman, woman," she said with a playful grin plastered on her face. Alluka was taken aback by his reaction. A grin. So far what she had given as a reaction is either a little hint of surprise or just flat.
"Good answer," Alluka shrugged. She is a mystery indeed and Alluka wanted to know more. "You won't mind if I stick around you, will you?" He asked with curiosity. This is the best way to find out.
Freya seemed to ponder the possibilities of having him around. After some time, she shrugged it off and answered with a flat tone, "As long as you won't bother me, I guess it's okay. But, just as a heads up, I won't hesitate to kill you if I must, kid."
Alluka was, once again, taken aback with her answer, but quickly masked his shock. "Only if you can," he answered with a smug.
"Hey, I'm pretty sure I got more experience than you do kiddo. What are you? 10?" She said with a mocking tone. Oh, no. She did not.
"I'm 13, but that doesn't mean you're more superior because you're older!" He snapped, obviously pissed. Nanika giggled inside of him, and he made a mental 'shut up' for Nanika. Nanika, ignored this, he even laughed out loud now.
"Yeah, sure. Whatever."
The lack of response made Alluka even more pissed. So, he did what most kids will do in this situation.
"Fine! We'll see whose better. I challenge you to a race. The one who can pass the first round of this hunter exam first, wins." He said with a fierce tone. Freya seemed amused by his reaction, but smiled nonetheless.
They looked at each other in the eyes. Both seemed determined not to lose and filled with pride. Alluka extended his right arm. Freya reached out to it. They shook hands, sealing the deal.
This was the start of their adventure and rivalry.
A/N: So, I just have some minor changes and cluster the first and second chapter into this.
I add Tonpa because it's just not right without him pestering the newbies. :D
PLEASE REVIEW! and Thanks for reading. :)
P.S. The explanation about Perfect Pitch and Alluka's appearance didn't belong to me. It belongs to the respective website I took the explanation from. I'm just being lazy, sorry.