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TOTGDK EP 17: Trial of the Hunter: Second Trial (1)

When the light of the teleportation spell finally died down, Naxio and Moushira could only stare at the area around them in awe. The forest here was vastly different than the one down at the base of the Daemon Hunter compound. It was almost visually noticeable that it was so cleared. The air felt light and crisp, it was clear that it was area was surely purified in some manner.

"..Maybe it is true.. that it is a holy ground of some kind." Moushira said as she closes her eyes and just feelings around her.

Naxio mimicked her and the feeling that answered him was beautiful. The energy around felt like Yang but it was faint, like a ghost trying to connect.

"...I guess we just go." She said as she stared out of the peaceful forest grounds.

Naxio nods to her and they began their exploration of the Rowen forest. They marveled at the forest as they walked.

"Wow, this place is amazing.." Moushira said, her eyes sprinkling in awe. "This is very different from the Scorch Steppes.."

Naxio turns to her as if realizing something.

"Oh, this must be quite different for you..?" Naxio mentioned.

"I doubt there is any trees or area like this in the Scorch Steppes. What is it like there?" He asks curiously.

Moushira looks over to him with an amused look on her face.

"Ah, I guess the Great Clans don't bother teaching too much on the smaller clans, especially one crazy enough to try and live out in such a rigorous environment." Moushira said with a small laugh.

Naxio doesn't respond to that. He knows for a fact that his other clansmen do get taught about the surrounding areas. Especially one as large at the Scorch Steppes. Since Naxio was never meant to become a Daemon hunter, there was no reason to waste the resource to teach him. That's at least what he overheard from the servants when he had just come of age for the selection. So instead he just gives her an apologetic smile. She doesn't appear offended and even shakes her head good-naturedly.

"Hmm, how to describe home...?" She tilts her head in thought.

"I guess to start first would be to describe the land. It is filled with an ocean of orange-yellow sand, extremely hot during most days, and bitter cold at night. We don't really get snow, and rain is something that only comes once even so often."

Naxio looks back at her in intense focus as he listens to each word. While on the Dameon hunter compound, Naxio has done his best to understand the world his peers have had years to learn. Every time he isn't in class, he is in the library.

"To many, the Scorch Stepphe would appear like a waste land, but there is plenty that brings life to it." She said a soft smile on her face.

Naxio nods to her in agreement.

"I don't think I could imagine living in such a place." Naxio said thinking back to his own home.

While the Mizune compound wasn't ideal given his circumstance. The overall area, nature, and weather were some of his major highlights of the home.

"Ah right, it's always rainy in the Mizune territory, right? It's where all the flowers grow!" Moushira said.

Naxio lets out a small chuckle as Moushira was talking about what many rumors and legends say about the Mizune clan territory. It has long rainy periods and many flowers and flora came to be found there.

"Hmm, that's mostly true." Naxio replied.

Moushira was just about to ask him more questions about his homeland but both of them suddenly froze at an odd feeling. They turned simultaneously to the west and stood still. It was faint but both of them sensed it.

It was Ying energy.

"Let's go Naxio!" Moushira said as she took off running.

Naxio quickly followed behind her and together they raced through the forest towards the Ying energy.

It didn't take long for them to reach their target, a few twists and turns but suddenly the energy just stopped in place. Upon coming through a clearing they realized why it was. There in the clearing was what appeared to be a large bug-like creature. It looks like a spider however there were a lot more eyes than were normal and the colors were not natural as well. There was also a team of recruit who was currently fighting it. Well, more like we're being attacked would be a better term. On this Daemon was an orange symbol almost embedded into its skin.

"Great they tried to bite off more than they can chew." Moushira said as she pulled out her wires.

Naxio similarly summon his weapon, Falan-shi who strummed a few notes in greeting to Naxio. The recruit who was fighting the Spider Daemon wasn't one that Naxio or Moushira recognized but they couldn't just leave them to being attacked.

"Get down!" Moushira yelled over to them as she commanded her wires to strike.

Fortunately, they heeded her call as soon as possible. The high pitch screech of her wires cut through the air and immediately wrapped around the large spider's body. She pulled back quickly, throwing the spider off balance, and even managed to pull it backward. However, the daemon quickly recognized the new arrivals and turns its attention to Moushira and Naxio. At that same time, Naxio had been strumming a few notes and blasted out a wave of sound at the creature. The sound wave shook the creature as it hit. The spider let out a loud screech and suddenly pulled back its hinds legs, putting its height upwards to tower over everyone. The Razor-sharp blade-like claws it had been walking on were like a whirlwind as it tried to strike Moushira to get out of the web of wires wrapped around its body. Moushira quickly dodges out of the way, she was actually quite surprised by how quick this creature was. While Moushira has its immediate attention Naxio looked over to the other group which was just staring at them in awe. It was two boys, one from the Xian Clan and the other from Kai Shin.

"Are either of you injured?" Naxio called over them.

Both shook their heads no and from his quick glance over. They weren't harmed too badly, just a few scrapes and bruises.

"Please help then! This creature isn't going to be easy to take down!" Naxio asked.

While he understood it was a competition and he's sure these two had been the ones to probably provoke this creature, survival was 1st priority. The two boys nodded, a bit shaken but quickly draw their weapons. Moushira who had been keeping the beast at bay was slowly losing in terms of speed against the creature. It was getting a few hits which could be deadly if she wasn't careful.

Suddenly another burst of sound stunned the beast momentarily. She quickly took this time to step back, releasing her wires and putting some distance between her and this creature. At the same time, the other group lets out a volley of attacks. The Kai-shin boy waves around an elegantly looking fan and a torrent of water suddenly appeared from a glowing symbol in the sky. It crashes down done on the beast from above, but it doesn't appear to be overly affected again the creature. Next was the Xian clan boy with his dark-colored longbow. He nicks back an arrow, and from the tip is a gale of wind bubbles around the tip. Once he lets go, the arrow slashes through the air as fast as a lightning strike. However just as it's about the hit the spider directly, it suddenly dodges out of the way.

The spider doesn't take long to assess the battlefield before letting out a loud ear-piercing screech. The very sound echoed in each of the recruit hunter's ears. The creature then quickly spun out a thick white web and used them to quickly escape away. The hunters watched the creature escape, not even attempting to follow due to the unknown knowledge of where it could be going. After the danger had fully passed and they could no longer feel the creature's Ying energy, they all let out a collective sigh of relief.

"Ah, thank you for your help." The Kai Shin boy said as he looks at both Naxio and Moushira.

They nod back to him and the other team quickly leaves after that. Naxio wanted to stop them but realized quickly it doesn't make sense to try and partner up in this kind of trial.

"...That spider was worth 20 points, and it was tough just from that small fight we had." Moushira said in passing as she looks back in the direction that the creature had disappeared in.

"I'm surprised you didn't want to go after it?" Naxio asked her.

"Too risky, I don't think it left because it was worried. I think it was trying to lead us away." Moushira said as she turned back to Naxio.

"We should start off small for now, just to check how powerful the Daemons actually are. Get some points that way and then work our way up from there." She suggests.

Naxio nods in agreement, it was a sound plan, and given that they would be in competition with others it might be the most sound. More than likely everyone is going to try to hunt the higher points, to try and get to the 500 mark quickly. At that, the two began again exploring and hunting for Daemons.


Moushira let out a long sigh as she sits down exhausted. The sun had already begun to dip down now and the sky was now an orange glow. The pair had just finished off another Daemon, this one was marked with just a 5 point marker however the overall strength of the creature wasn't something to scoff at. Naxio looks down at the marker, their total points of 30 blinked from it.

"Just this much huh?" Moushira said as she was leaning over his shoulder.

"...I guess that explains why the test has 5 months to complete?" Naxio said as he looks back to her.

"Hmm, probably. It would make sense after all." She said stretching out her arms.

"Shall we set up camp for now?" She suggests.

Naxio nods in agreement and they find a relatively hidden location in a cave. The cave itself wasn't large by any means, and there didn't appear to be any animals or anything that had been resting inside as its home. While Naxio is setting up a fire, Moushira places her wires at the entrance of the cave. Even though the entrance itself wasn't overly noticed from afar, if one were to venture close enough it would be easy enough to spot. Once done, she joins Naxio where he has just gotten the campfire up. Sitting down with a small sigh, she rolls her shoulder.

"Ugh, I can tell why this one is called the Trial of the Body. The amount of endurance you have to have is something."

"Hmm. The first exam even though there were Daemons, it wasn't constant." Naxio said agreeing with Moushira.

Moushira glances towards the entrance of the cave. There was still a bit of light out but the moon was slowly rising in the sky.

"Tomorrow we should hunt for some food. And then we can continue searching for more Daemons. I'm assuming that there is a lot of lower points Daemons but only a few of the higher points ones. It makes the most sense to me at least, what do you think Naxio?" She said.

At the end of her statement, she turned back to Naxio who was nodding at her assumption. He thought similarly. It wouldn't be smart to have too many high-level Daemons, it would just be a recipe for disaster.

"Hmm, I agree. I don't think the lead hunters want any more... issues with the exams. They've selected the daemon thoroughly." Naxio said.

Moushira nods in agreement. The two talked for a bit more before finally falling asleep. Fortunately, it wasn't something too hard given that they had been sleeping beforehand in rather a precarious environment during the first trial. However, the next morning for them was quite the rude awakening.


"Get away!!! Get AWAY!"

Naxio and Moushira are ripped from their mostly dreamless sleep. It was still relatively early in the morning, the sun had yet to crack the sky. They both quickly exited the cave after Moushira took down her wires. They could vividly hear screams and running footsteps racing through the forest.

"S-Should we help?" Moushira asks a bit unsure.

Naxio was similar as it would be an unknown fight that they would be possible to enter. Without knowing who is or what was attacking it would be dangerous.


"Let's go!" Naxio said as he already was on the move.

Moushira didn't hesitate a second behind. Naxio knew logically this was a risk but he couldn't just leave someone who was clearly asking for help! The two races through the forest to find where the voices were coming from. And once they arrived upon where they were coming from, they were in for quite a shock. The creature that was wildly attacking a team of recruits was large and as tall as the surrounding forest trees. Its dark-colored fur was thick on its body, its hands reaching out to grab the recruits that were just barely dodging in time. It appeared like a gorilla, however the size and color of its eyes were wrong.

"N-Naxio look.. at its color!" Moushira said pointing it out.

Naxio saw, in the sea of thick dark-colored fur was a marker, a red one.

The beast let out a loud roar that could be heard easily from yards away. It suddenly picks up a large boulder that was next to it and throws it!

"Shit! They're not gonna get out of the way in time!" Moushira said as she quickly acted.

Naxio wasn't far behind her as he quickly summon Felan-shi and strummed a few notes. The echoing sound pierced through the air, the sound passed over the beast making it wince at the sound of it. At the same time, Moushira had used her wires to close the gap, and quickly wrap around the thrown boulder and yank it down to change the trajectory. She knew she wouldn't be able to stop something so large and heavy, so changing the trajectory was her only choice! Fortunately, it worked enough that she was able to prevent the other recruits from getting crushed! The team does notice them almost immediately but doesn't stop running!

Moushira can't help but curse them as she watches them disappear into the forest. But it was too late now for that. The beast who had been attacked now turns to them, eyes going first from Naxio to Moushira. A deep growl rumbling in its throat as its ire now switches to them. It lets out another echoing roar and proceeds to rush the two of them!

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