By Shu Rimm
Don’t leave Shu! There is no reason for you to prove yourself out in the world! How will you fend for yourself?
Listen to your mother, are you sure this is what you want?
You shall be banned from the town indefinitely. Farewell Shu, my child…
“What!” Shu jumped up, sweat dripping down his face. He looked around frantically, quickly realizing it wasn’t his room in Oedo Village.
After sitting there for a second, he looked up at the roof. “Damn, even after 3 years I still can’t get that out my head…” He looked over at the time, realizing it was still morning. “Ugh, I was hoping to get a few more hours of sleep in. All well, might as well get me something to eat.”
As he got out of bed and got dressed, he realized that Holly was out. Pushing the fact out of his head, he headed toward the kitchen of their little area. He reached in one of the shelves, and pulled out a large pack of noodles. It was a delicacy for commoners around the world and he won it in a little board game event in the city region just yesterday.
“Oh my, I can’t wait to see what it tastes like! This is by far the main reason I wished to wake up today!” As his mouth began to water, he started the process of cooking.
Five minutes have passed, and his food was just about finished. “Ah, after the long wait, it is time for me to enjoy my prize!” He dumped the noodles into a bowl with utmost care to not drop a single piece of the noodly goodness now below his nostrils.
As he began to get his first bite, everything around him vanished. The pure flavor of the food had began to consume his every bud as he ate more. He felt like nothing else mattered as he was being consumed by the very thing he was eating. It was almost like…
“It’s almost like I am in paradise!”
Shu looked up, shocked out of his wonderful trance, to see Holly's eyes beaming at him like lasers from across the table. He took another bite of his noodles, hoping to still enjoy every second of it, and took a slight gulp then replied, "Um. . . Yea, what is it Holly?"
Shu knew better than to tick Holly off but he tended to do it from time to time. But what exactly is she so whacked out about now? I didn't do anything . . . unless. Shu began to remember something she brought up the other day before his board tournament, but Holly quickly cut off his thoughts.
Suddenly, like Natas coming to Beldra from the Abyss, Holly bawled at him like never before. "We got only thirty minutes until the meeting for the battle competition and I don't plan on missing it so you can finish your measly noodles!" With a smack on the face, and a clunk from Shu's rear end hitting the floor, she turned and walked off.
"Damn it,” Shu mumbled. "How did I know it was going to about some tournament that I of course don’t care for?” Shu looked to his left on the floor and seen that his noodles were dumped. "Aw come on! I just won that and she wasted it! And for what? A damn battle competition! I didn’t even get to finish half of it! God this is a pain!"
With that he cleaned up the mess, tears threatening to escape his eyes. May I enjoy your flavor later on in life noodly one… He then walked out the door, to meet Holly at the entrance of the inn they were staying at.
They were in the small town of Valveyer, a town known for its inns and one of the six main guildhalls. Even though it isn’t as huge a town like Valvontay, the Capital of the country Valiar, it still thrived with people who enter there to rest and find hunts. It was one of the first places they went to after leaving Oedo, which was far south, and so they tend to stay there often.
"You better hope this is something good Holly. You know I hate doing these battle-oriented tournaments since we are usually up against other people. So if someone else joins the competition, I quit," moaned Shu as he spotted her, still mad about the noodles.
Holly looked shocked, "wha-what! What do you mean you'll quite? We need that yen, I mean come on, it's 10,000 yen total... that is a lot." Pleaded Holly. She kept this up till Shu finally gave in. There has never been a single argument where Shu has won. The last argument they had ended with Shu buying Holly a bow that cost 2,500 yen.
Shu went back in the inn to get his gear. As he walked in, a young lady at the counter said to him, “you heading out at your sister’s bidding again Shu?” This lady’s name is Yokima and she is the daughter of Galina, who is the actual owner of the inn.
Looking at her while he looked for his key in his pocket, he said, “Yup, she insists on doing some tournament down at the main guildhall. She has no clue what it is other than the fact that it’s battle-oriented and I don’t really care. If it’s a tournament between me and someone else, I will not do it whether I told her I would or not.” As she nodded in agreement, she handed him a receipt for his payments, smirking since it said 0 yen, and wished him good luck as he headed back to his room to grab his stuff.
As they left, Shu and Holly talked about what kind of tournament it might be as well as possible hunts they can take on. As they talked, they saw several other people, both solo and in groups, walking toward the guildhall. As Shu looked at these groups of people, he wondered if it’s really just some race to get a target for the money and not really a tournament. As he thought this, he saw the building straight ahead of them.
When they finally got to the front of the hall, Holly turned and looked at Shu. She stood there for a second then said in a stern voice, "Ok Shu, we don't know what we have to do exactly, but if we succeed we get 10,000 yen and I want that yen, so do not mess up." With that all said and done she turned and walked in.
Shu glared at her entering the hall. He didn't feel like doing this but what has to be done, has to be done. He looked to his right to look at the mercenary build board. "A craflin on the loose...350 yen... a flinter in the city...675 yen...hey what is a hugter?" Shu looked at the bottom and noticed a picture of what looked like an over-sized cat at least weighing a ton (not really but still) and it had what looked like swords as claws. "Damn, the person is willing to give up 2,500 yen to whoever kills that thing, must be a strong buster." He turned his head to the door of the Guildhall. “I guess I will go for that sucker if I don’t do this ‘tournament’ that’s going on,” said Shu as he walked in the hall, the Hugter mark in hand.
It wasn't hard to pin out his sister in there since she was the only one at the front talking to the maids. Huh, she’s always so nice to the other people but never me. She turned as if hearing his thoughts and motioned for Shu to come over there. He just shook his head and went to the captain of the guildhall. Sir Glandor was at the far end of the room in a corner talking to some of his assistants. He saw Shu then yelped, running toward him.
"Well well, if it isn't Shu the light elf. Why are you here? Competing in the match perhaps?" Shu could tell he was happy about it since Shu usually tries not to attend these things and go for the bounties instead. It was a thing about him, not wanting to fight others unless absolutely necessary.
“Obviously I don’t intend to, but I will listen to it just to satisfy my sister. Now if it is a hunt like this one, then I will proudly accept the offer,” said Shu as he lifted the Hugter mark up for Glandor to see.
Glandor stared for a second then chuckled as he seen what Shu was holding. “Haha, I forgot to remove it from the board, but then you will love this one. You see, that target your holding is called a Hugter, but that same one has been killing all the people who’s been targeting him lately. But, according to a certain survivor, the reason is that the Hugter has been possessed by a mid-class Frit demon and is growing stronger with every fight. As of now, he can cast several spells and is said to even produce venom from his claws,” said Glandor as he pointed at the sheet. “That is why it went from 2,500 to now 10,000 yen, meaning that it is what today's meeting is for.”
"So it’s not a tournament, but a high class hunting mission. Not only that but, it’s a demon that looks like regular monster with fire and venom… Sounds like fun, hopefully no one will join." Shu replied with a grin, as he tossed the mark in the trash and sat to listen to the information.
With a smirk Glandor snapped his fingers and yelled for everyone to take a seat. It was time for the meeting to begin. Everybody sat down to listen, as well as Holly who went and sat behind Shu who sat in the ninth row.
Glandor walked to the front and turned to face everyone. “Welcome to all adventurers in the hall. As some of you may already know, this isn’t a tournament meeting, but a high ranked hunt mission.”
High ranked hunt missions, also known as the suicide missions by most, are missions that are far beyond the average missions you see on the hunt board outside guildhalls. These missions usually call for a group of four or more experienced fighters, but there are few who can two man or solo them.
“Anyone who isn’t of semi-pro ranking or higher, you know the routine. This is a high ranked mission, meaning you must leave unless you're in a party of those ranks.” Immediately, several people began leaving the hall. You could hear the mumbling of some people being agitated by not being able to stay. By the time they all left, more than half the guild was gone.
Both Shu and Holly remained in the hall due to the fact that they were ranked Pro and Veteran in the Guild. The guildhall is organized by the ranking of the guildies. During these meetings, anyone below Semi-Pro, unless in a team with that rank or higher, must leave before the meeting starts. Semi-pro sit in the far back, the 11th row, and move up to the Godly or Devilish rank who sits in the front row. Rookies and Arriba-Rookie can’t attend meetings, which is why they don’t get chairs for the meetings.
Shu is a Veteran, which is one rank above Pro, which is Holly’s rank. There are 14 ranks total, including the creator. The guy in the front giving out commands, Glandor, is the creator. He runs everything in this guild. We also have 1 known person ranked Godly, but he is never here. Shu nor Holly has ever met him or her. Nor has anyone they’ve talked to. It is considered a mystery whether or not we actually have one. But there are people who said they’ve seen them here at least once. And Glandor never once said whether it’s true or false.
“Okay, now let's get this meeting started.”