Beast Hunters - Chapter 001: Shadows

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Beast Slayers
Chapter 001: Shadows

Preface: Six months had passed since the White Space Event that led to the entire BoogaVerse to be wipe away from Retcon’s Reboot Spectacle. After Todasúl restored the world, with an ominous warning about future threats, the world begins its process of rebuilding and brings order back into place.

In Desolate Lands, guilds were extremely common in the region due to the abundance of monsters, demons and evil spirits. However, due to the lack of resources, manpower and foresight, guilds will cease operations within a year or so, subjecting Desolatians to the mercy of the beasts continuously. Inspired by the unified effort against Negative, all the surviving guilds merged into a singular institution: Beast Hunters.

The Beast Hunters is a Hunting Guild that primarily focuses on slaying various of different beasts in Desolate Lands. The objective is to build leadership and fellowship, creating a sense of a community. It emphasizes the importance of cooperation between fellow hunters by rewarding these efforts through completion of missions and protecting Desolatians from beasts. It is managed by a group of people called the Elite Five: Silence, Buccaneer Jack, Bronson, Deader Die and the leader, Valerie. They task the Hunters with missions, provide food, shelter, support and resources, and hire mercenaries.

The original building, previously known as Crescent Hunter, had expanded greatly to support the influx of new Hunters joining their institution. It add several elements from previous guilds to covered plenty bases for the Hunters. New additions includes: Mess Hall; a Great Library; an Infirmary led by Doctor Camellia; several training areas by Instructor Jason; a resting floor; a Weapons and Armory workshop; Priscilla, a large pirate ship; and finally, the Elite Five Meeting Room.

Under new direction, the Beast Hunters aims to become a glimpse of grace in the region filled with ruin. The future of Desolate Lands is now under their hands, with various beasts that lurks in the shadows, unknown enemies working behind the scenes and the ruthless Dalv tribe that controls nearly all valuable goods and resources.

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Premise: After six months of rebuilding, the Beast Hunters is now operational, and able to send its Hunters to various missions across the land. The Elite Five, looking through various reports, seen that there is still a contested issue in Garden Town; a town overrun by Goblins to hunt the precious flowers called Red Flowers. Using information gathered by Bronson and Monster Hunter, the Elite Five made their first move under the Beast Hunter banner: eliminate all Goblins and liberate Garden Town. Will the Beast Hunters leave a good impression in their first mission in a unified institution?

Focus Areas
  • The Beast Hunters Guild
  • Garden Town: a poor, rural town with no reliable source of food, water or utilities to function. It was once a beautiful town with beautiful, rainbow flowers. However, due to the Great wars, it decimated the town, and the flowers lost their colors, becoming bloody red to reflect the destruction.
  • Field of Bloody Flowers: A strange field of flowers that contains strange power. An influx of monsters attack the town to consume the flowers—which increased their powers and magic capabilities to unimaginable levels. And no matter how many times the flowers were picked, it will regrow within days.
  • Goblin's Lair: a strange, secret lair that is home to the Goblins and holds their leader.
 
“Excuse me. This is, uhh, Jason.” A voice intercom can be heard throughout all the Beast Hunters buildings. “All Hunters, please report to the main floor. The Elite Five have urgent news we wish to speak with you all. Thank you…” Jason said. “Is this thing off? Damn, this technology is confusing as hell. Oh, it is still on? Crap…”

The voice intercom ended after sounds of Jason shuffling through the wires to disconnect it.

Excalik, a cowboy mummy, was strapping his boots on as he sat at the edge the bed. “We might finally have our first mission as the Beast Hunters, right Blue?” He stood up and did several stretches. “Beast Hunters… I like the sound of that.” He walked outside of his room and waited for Vala to come out of her room.
 
Blazrin was leaving the Mess Hall once the announcement was made. He munched on an apple as he listened about the meeting that was going to happen. The Warrior began to walk down the halls, following the arrows to where the Main Floor would be. Ever since his last battle against Negative, the fires that ate his arms left faint scars. He seemed to be a little worried about the futures he saw but figured he could do nothing about it. He wondered about how everyone held after the event.

Huh, I sure hope that we never have to deal with that nasty Negative blob thing again... No way that Todasul guy would forgive us a second time.

Blazrin continued to think to himself until he bumped against a wall on the Main Floor. He looked like an idiot but turned to see the Elite Five and waved to Silence.

"Heya, Boss! I got up super early to get a huge breakfast! I'm ready for anything you got for me!" Blazrin turned his head, almost as if looking for someone. "Uhm, I think Elilinor should be coming soon. Can't go without my partner!"
 
"Kyuu!" The little Will-o-wisp at Excalik's side wiggled its flame body. He seemed to like the nickname given to him. Blue slid under the gap the door had between the floor and its frame, making a ghostly wail to signal Vala it was time to come out of her room. She was in the middle of reading a book that was floating in midair while she buttoned up a vest over her blouse. 

"You almost scared me," She flatly said although she was smiling. "I'm joking." Reaching to pull her cloak over the rest of her outfit, she grabbed her scepter and tied her boots on securely. Vala opened the door with Blue flying back to his place on top of Excalik's hat. "I see you're raring to go," she greeted. "Though I'm a bit nervous since we've never worked with anyone else from other Guilds before this..."

====

"Man, and right in the middle of my workout..." Eleanor grunted between push-ups. She finished her set and stretched a bit more before she was sure her muscles were completely prepped for the day's work ahead. "Phew! I still got it!" Eleanor rinsed her face off to freshen up and she strapped on her harpoon spear to her back. "Ooh, I can't wait to use this~ traded in my old chakram for it."

Exiting her room, she slid down the railing of the stairs and landed feet-first. "Yahoo! Who's ready to pummel some skulls?!" She shouted.
 
Excalik blushed a bit upon seeing Vala coming out of her room. Clearing his throat, he agreed with her statement. “Yeah. Have you seen the other members? Some them are quite a loudmouth. I think I seen a lady that was apparently an ex-con before this.” He adjusted his hat, hearing Eleanor’s loud voice that echo across the room. “Speaking of the devil… shall we head down, ma’am?”

====

The Monster Hunter woke up and went to freshen up. Their amor fully clean inside out, and the rotten smell of monster guts no longer emitting, they put on the armor and headed downstairs to the main area.

====

Silence frowned in embarrassment upon Blazrin shouting at him. “Loud as ever Blazrin? You really have to shout at me every morning?” He attempt to composed himself as others are coming in the main area. Silence was standing on the stage podium, waiting for the other Elite Five members to arrived.
 
"Aww, you know I don't scream that loud, Boss. Think of me as this guild's official alarm clock." Blazrin said proudly. "Besides, you're the Boss, how can I not be excited? You're like... a super Boss now! You're the top of the top! I wanna be like you one day, so you're an inspiration."

Blazrin perked his head upon hearing Eleanor's voice from down the hall. He poked his head out from the door and yelled out for Eleanor.

"Aye yo, Elilinor! The Boss is here! Get in here!"
 
Vala sighed to herself since she disliked loudmouths like that who were always seen needlessly causing a ruckus. "Well, if Valerie wants to work with them, it can't be all bad..."
====

Eleanor rushed into the center of the main floor with a big grin on her face. "Man, this place is huge! Beats sleeping outside or in that old dinky cell I used to have," she said. "But it's so quiet! Where is everybody?!"

She was struck on the back of her head with the handle of a sword from behind, making her grab her head and yelp with pain.

"Quiet down, you're making too much noise this early in the day." Valerie withdrew her sword back. "... oh, it's you. I thought you were supposed to rot in jail somewhere?"

"I was, but they let me go on parole!" Eleanor stuck her tongue out at her. "Bet you used my bounty money to finance half this stuff."

"Not even half. Barely was enough to afford a proper fur coat. Now sit before I make you, jailbird."

"S-scary...." Eleanor took her seat.

"Oy oy, it sure is lively this mornin'." Bronson had already made his way to the podium, so he watched them bicker from afar.

"If you could really call it that." Valerie stretched her arms with a yawn before she took her spot beside them. "I'm a bit surprised that punk ended up with you guys. She hasn't been... troublesome, has she?" She asked Silence as they waited for the remainder to come in.

Vala gestured to sit down across the table towards the unoccupied seats. She wanted to keep her distance since she wasn't very good at socializing with semi-strangers.
 
Silence narrowed his eyes, remembering the actions Eleanor did during the mission in Shina Ania, and how they threatened to kill one of the hostages to force their hands, among other things. “Uh, yeah, she’s been a good spot during my time. Never an issue.”
“Wow, this is livelier than my time with the Heroes Organization. Everyone actually came.” Deader Die stepped onto the podium with the other Elites. “Looks like all the elites are here…?”

---

Monster Hunter entered the main floor, still as silence as ever. They sat down in the front row to have full view of the meeting. They were unfazed by the amount of shouting by the few.

Excalik raised a brow in concern, seeing all different Hunters in the area. “Phew, strange seeing so many different kinds of people. I mean, one of the Elites was originally a hero… and he is... a Zombie? Don’t you think it’s kind of creepy to have an undead work as a hunter?”

---

“I think we’re missing one. Where is that clown?” Silence asked.

Suddenly, the main doors burst opened, as Buccaneer Jack entered the premise. “Aye… looks like I made it in time, mates! Could’ve gotten here earlier, but I was sniffing out me gold at the bay area you see.” Jack laughed loudly as he walked through the podium. “Gooday, mates. This be the first time we have an official meeting as the Beast Hunters. Silence, Bronson, Deader, and Valerie, today a good day as we worked as a united team.” He dig into his pockets and outright started chewing on the gold he found.
 
"Nice to see you this morning, Elilinor. Hope you slept well on your best, sure beats sleeping outside for a change, eh?" Blazrin sat next to Eleanor and ruffled her hair. "I think Boss is gonna give us a super secret mission or something. I mean, if the Big 5 are here, it's gonna be something important, right? It also looks like we got some new faces too." Blazrin pointed to Excalik and Vala.

If I'm not mistaken, I think those two helped fight against that Negative blob 6 months ago...
 
Vala side-eyed Excalik with a blank look on her face. "... It's starting to feel like weird is the norm."

Valerie cleared her throat. "Thank you for the introductory remarks, Jack..."

"Alright, that's well and all, but what's it got to do with today?" Eleanor yawned, stopping to adjust her hair since Blazrin ruffled it so much she looked like a sheepdog.

"For starters, we've more manpower now. A lot more that we can focus into places more efficiently than having you all scattered here and there. The world is a dangerous place, little bird. You should know," Valerie taunted with a chuckle. "Considering the severity of what has been going on as of late, it's too risky to operate disjointed like that at the moment. So a unified coalition was in order. Your debut as Beast Slayers begins today, for something that is too dangerous for just three people to handle alone. So listen good 'til the end."

Valerie nodded to Bronson to step by her and speak his piece. 

"Awright. A while back, I was approached by a new recruit to the Crescent Hunters Guild for assistance. But I understand today might be your first time meeting everyone else, so do stand up and make yourself known, Monster Hunter." He stated, making an open-handed gesture to the silent one in armor. "At their request, I went with them to scope out the problem of those wretched little creatures terrorizing Garden Town but it's turned out to be a bit more complicated than a simple cleanup job. Since this is your home we're talking about, we'll let you have the floor here."

Eleanor tilted her head in confusion. There was a person in there? She thought Monster Hunter was just a suit of armor sitting there for decoration.
 
Monster Hunter nodded once and stood up and waved towards everyone. They reached the stage and turns to face everyone on the main floor.

“What the… now we have people wearing in strange clothing. Can we really trust someone if we have no idea what they look like?” Excalik tips his hat. “Very strange…”

Monster Hunter taps the mic once before speaking. “Greetings, I’m called the Monster Hunter by my kin in Garden Town. As Bronson said, there were reports of vicious monsters that attack our town constantly: Goblins. Creatures that have harbors no regards to human life—they steal, kill and pillage anything they can get their hands on. They are dumb, but they are fast learners. Teach them once, and they will be able to replicate by memory. They are cunning and use sneak tactics to get the drop on you. They are capable of wielding magic—although they are weak in that department, letting your guard down around such is not recommended. They will use any exploitive means to drag their filthy blade against your neck. Their most sought out prize is the Red Flowers that surrounds our town. Bronson and I comb through the area and killing any Goblins in sight. However, we found out that the area was infested with radiation, so we had to prepared protective gear to get closer, as we believe that there is a Mutant behind their attacks. We didn’t have much success of finding their locations, due to the world suddenly ending on that day, but with more people, we can scuff them out of their holes and kill every single last of them.” 

Monster Hunter gripe onto the podium, nearly digging their fingers in the wood. “They have terrorized us for years despite my efforts to hunt them down. I could not save everyone that was taken nor killed by them. I hope… we put an end to them. Please, save my town from these vicious monsters, and I’ll be indebted to your cause.” 

Silence turned his head slightly towards Monster Hunter after their speech. He know the feeling of helplessness against the monsters.
 
"Well if those goblins are giving you a hard time, you can count on me and Elilinor to cut them up a bit," Blazrin said while jabbing a thumb on his chest. "Me and Elilinor make a pretty mean combo. I mean, she's the best partner I've ever had! Let us handle those goblins for you and we'll clean things up on no time!"

Blazrin sounded as confident as usual but he pondered on the thought of the goblins using magic.

"Errm, I'm not so good using or dealing with magic, so I don't know how I'll do against those magical goblins. Be real nice to have a spellcaster on our side..."
 
"We get full permission to kill 'em?! Finally!!" Eleanor cheered with a fist in the air. "Sign me the hell up! I won't miss out on the chance to mess up some brains!"

"Monsters raiding the town huh?... How can we say no?" Vala said, thinking. "But radiation sounds just as dangerous as the goblins... what to do..."

"Hey, hey! She can do magic stuff! Really well in fact!" Eleanor shouted, pointing at Vala across the table. "Can ya can ya can ya?!"

Vala sank down into her seat, blushing in embarrassment. "Y-yes...."

"Kay! Count 'em in too!"

"... I really hate that woman," Vala mumbled.

"Guess it's settled. Bronson can come with since he's been there before."

"Aye. Wouldn't want the lassies to get in any trouble neither. Why I didn't let me sisters out of me sight when I was startin' up the job. Even though that one's got teeth that could rip apart a good slab of mutton in one bite!" Bronson laughed loudly.

"They're so sharp I might bite a hole through my lip if I ain't careful!" Eleanor guffawed back.

"I wish I could come with, but with only one eye, I'm afraid I won't be a good lookout for you all." Valerie pointed to her eyepatch. "Maybe next time~"
 
“Uh, yeah, we’re in.” Excalik scratched his head after Eleanor’s outburst and deciding that they would come as well regardless of input. “Last time we fought a monster was a disgusting zombified dragon. We’ll give our best to liberate your town from these creatures.”
Monster Hunter nodded. “Thank you. I’ll be indebted to you.”

Silence stood up. “Based on that, the central mission is to kill all Goblins around Garden Town and eliminated the one that leads their pack. I expect a clean and successful mission without fail. Think of it as a test of your unity for your first mission. Since Bronson will be coming along, I don’t have any need to come. He is more than capable of ensuring your safety.” Silence said, still wondering about the response letter regarding on Mecha Samurai’s condition. He stills needs to be prepared. “Though, please make sure Eleanor and Blazrin aren’t causing, ahem, too much trouble.”

Deader nodded. “I agreed with Silence… it seems that you guys got things handled. I’ll sit this one out… still need to get use to getting around here.” 

“I, however, will come as well!” Jack pounded his chest. “Killing damn Goblins and finding that crazy mutant? Sounds like the time in my younger days, where we were trap in the Scorching Summit trying to find those valuable minerals, and I, with several daggers lunge on me back, carrying a bucket load of rocks with one hand and a sword on another—”

“Stories for later.” Silence sweated a bit. “You have all your mission. Gather your supplies and equipment and head off to Garden Town.” Silence said. “Don’t let us down.” 

Monster Hunter bowed to Valerie, Deader and Silence. “Thank you, Elites. I’ll owe you my life.” 

“Guess we’re going…” Excalik turns to Vala. “You better get that leather mask to protect you from that radiation.”
 
"Alright, time to fight those crazy monsters. We should get some masks to help us fight in that radiation. I wish Mecha was here, he would have no problem fighting those goblins." Blazrin smiled as he rose from his seat. "Right, make sure to pack the essentials, Elilinor, like extra snacks. The good news is that we got to team up with a bunch of new folk!"

Blazrin smiled at Excalik and Vala as he moved to the two and slicked his hair back in front of Vala. In his usual manner, he likes to be a little flirty to the girls.

"The name's Blazrin. If you ever need help, you can count on me and Elilinor. We're all a team here but if you ever feel like going out for dinner, I know a good place." He glanced at Excalik and held his hand out. "Pleasure to meet you, Bucko. Looks like we're gonna be working together for this mission, huh? I think you'd be more scared of Elilinor than the Goblins, she's got a wicked bite."
 
Excalik was feeling a bit agitated on how Blazrin approached Vala, slapping the axe-warrior’s hand away from him. “Listen partner. Don’t get too comfortable and keep your hands to yourself. And I ain’t your bucko—it’s Excalik. Best to remember that, Yack. Let’s get those masks and away from this Romeo.” The cowboy mummy storm off to get prepared for the mission.

Silence placed his hand over his face in embarrassment. “Uh, yeah, make sure you keep an eye on those two. They ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but fighting wise, they’re capable.” He told Jack and Bronson.
 
"Ohoho, I remember bein' like that meself," Bronson tried not to chuckle. "But I wasn't very good at pick-up lines. That and girls didn't like lads who took the dirty jobs like I did..."

Valerie sighed and rolled her eyes at him. "Don't forget the alcoholism."

"Oi! I'm sober now, don't bring my liver into this. At any rate, leave em to us, we'll bring 'em all back in one piece."
====
Vala watched Excalik leave for the equipment before staring back at Blazrin. The entire time, she had stayed silent until he said his piece. She raised her eyebrows and kept her seemingly permanent frown.

"... My name is Vala. I remember you both well from six months ago... but let's try to keep our socializing professional." Despite the first impression she got from him, she maintained politeness with a small curtsy before she turned the other way, following after Excalik and turning her nose up. "... and I prefer dinner alone."

"Heeheehee, looks like she's a tougher customer than the ponytail girl." Eleanor couldn't contain her mockery. "Well, we've got some packing to do, so you can think about girls afterwards! I wonder what kinda Mutant there might be?..." she said as she sauntered off to obtain her protectice gear. "I better get my knives too for good measure. Wouldn't want those little freaks getting close."
 
"Yikes, easy there guy..." Blazrin backed away from Excalik while being declined by Vala. "W-What's a 'Yack?'"

He followed Eleanor and took a hold of his trusty axe. It got a new handle since the old one was burnt to char after his spell against Negative. This handle was made completely out of steel and had magical properties, mostly to keep it from melting in case he decided to use his little magic skill. This time he had a little backpack he wore in case they need to carry extra supplies. He made sure to pack the first aid kit, just in case.

"If they get too close, just try to bite them, that'll be sure to get them running! Bet they wouldn't expect that, eh? We should get some extra masks, just in case. You can stuff them in my backpack along with your other stuff. Make sure to leave room for Vala and that Yack dude."
 
“Let see how  our first official mission as a unit goes.” Silence said. “This will be the testament of our strength in Desolate Lands, and perhaps, finally able to cause the Dalv Tribe to be cautious of their movements.

====

All the Hunters going on the mission to the Garden Town headed to the Weapons and Armory department to gather equipment.
Excalik did not need much replacement for his tools and weapons. His hat was still sharp as ever and gotten some new bandages to cover his body. Hopefully, they will not burst into flames if he tried to run faster than usual. Picking up several masks, giving them to Vala. “I wonder why Monsters aren’t affected by this kind of stuff…?” Excalik questions. “Lots of things that we don’t know about the world…” 

“Because Monsters have strong resistance to these types of radiation. Becoming a monster enables them to survive through the harshest of conditions, even radioactive infested areas, though there is a limit of how much they can take. If they bask in it, they will certainly die or received permanent damage.” Monster Hunter addressed Excalik’s questions as they picked up their tools for the mission. “And their resistance is what makes them dangerous. They can toss radioactive things at once without too much concern.” 

They picked up several more leather masks and gave it to Blazrin and Eleanor. “And yes, the more masks, the better. We do not know how far the rabbit hole goes. Best to be extra prepared. They usually sent out scouts to convey the area. So we need to smoke them out and kill them so they don’t alert the others.” Monster Hunter, prepared, headed towards the exit to start the mission.

“…. That one is intense, isn’t it?” Excalik said.
 
"I'd love nothing more than to dismantle the Dalv Tribe..." Valerie clenched her fists tightly around the scabbard of her sword, speaking with venom in her voice. "Break them up into little packs like the starved jackals they are until nothing remains of their parasitic empire."

=====

Eleanor nodded along, packing the masks into Blazrin's pack. "Welp, I guess I won't be biting anything, taking off that mask sounds like I might die. Do you think Monster Hunter is a robot too?! I thought they were a statue Valerie bought when I walked in."

"Somewhat, yes... the intimidating type," Vala replied, fishing out a few flammable vials from the drawers and a flint and steel. "Just in case we need to set a couple fire traps."

"Eeyup! I love me a good tripwire or two, I'll take some rope with us for a good rope trap or maybe if there's some underground systems we need to get into," Eleanor continued putting the items until the knapsack was fairly full. "That's about it since I'm carrying my knives and harpoon with me... should I pack sandwiches?"

"Do you intend to use it as bait?" Vala asked.

"No, it'll be ours to eat."

"Then don't. Unless you want them to smell it before they see us." Vala scolded.

Bronson slipped on his fixed-up coat and a pair of gloves whose forearm cuffs were lined with metal guards. His hunting axe was still able to use its trick mode, but the blade of the axe looked like there were rubies smelted into its crevices that gave it a distinct pattern of cooled magma. "Just finished this out in the workshop... can't wait to give it a whirl on their skulls!" He said with a menacing grin. "Let's roll!"
 
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