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TOTGDK EP 5: Blood and Blade (Part 1)

The morning of the first day of Daemon Hunter training was as daunting as Naxio expected it to be. The light of the morning sun has just begun to break and he and the numerous recruits were all seated in a meeting room within the compound. Looking around the room he could figure that not all the recruits were here, given the younger-looking faces, it would seem that they were divided by age.

The room was large, oval-shaped with stone pattern floor tiles and a high decorative glass ceiling. This glass portrayed the first great war against the first Daemon King Ondrijar and how the Daemon Hunter Core came to fruition. The outer edge of the room was higher than the center where at least 100 seating spots were placed. At the front of the room was a raised platform, a few inches higher than the edges of the room. Three seats were placed there, making it easy for whoever sat there to see the full scope of the room.

"Attention! Lead Hunter Llewellyn has entered! Lead Hunter Iakovos has entered! And Master Hunter Ranek has entered!"

At that announcement, three figures walk into the room and everyone bows immediately. The first figure to enters was a man who seemed to almost glide across the floor with how much grace he painstakingly injected into every step. A mane of golden blonde hair fell behind him, shimmering the sun and flowing through the air as if it was as light as a feather. Even his eyelashes which were also a golden brown seem to shine which only brought more attention to his almost inhumanly blue eyes. A smile was nearly permanently pulled on his pale lips as he moved to the front of the room. His robes appeared different than the normal Daemon Hunter robes with extra layers, straps, and leather pieces. The additional colors of his Clan were also more prominent with this outfit as well. When the man reaches the front and turns, it was clear that he was the Lead Hunter Llewellyn who is also the son of the Clan Leader Lorinexx from the Lorecia Clan.

The next figure to walk in was another male however it was noticed he possessed neither the grace nor the unearthly beauty that Llewellyn had. This man was younger as well, with a rather gruff appearance. His hair was short and dark brown, falling only to his shoulders if untied. A dense bread on his face only made his eyes appear crimson red rather than the ruddy red that they are. His body is large and heavily muscled, his arms which were uncovered, bulged out from their position crossed over his chest as he moves. To some, he could appear attractive in a more rugged manner, however his towering presence seems better suited for intimidation than anything. His outfit was similar to Linex in appearance except for the very apparent alteration of the arms in which the sleeves were removed. That hint alone made it easy enough to identify this man as Lead Hunter Iakovos, a prominent member of the Oodan Clan.

The last man to enter was older than both prior ones. Black hair which slowly dips into grey edges falls to his shoulders with a somewhat lengthy beard. His eyes were coal-black and were almost always narrowed into a scowl. Though his body was quite muscled for his age, his form wasn't as large as the Oodan Clan member. On his face, one could see that he has been through many battles due to the numerous scars. His robes were unlike any others, paired with pauldrons which only accent his form, and a cloak that dips to the floor. Flashes of gold and snow white made it apparent which Clan he haled from. He walked with measured steps to the front, arm behind his back and a deep frown on his face. His very demeanor seemed to dominate the room and invoke a heavy pressure that absorbed attention like a moth to a flame. When he turned and looked over over the recruits it became quickly apparent who he was. Master Hunter Ranek, the legendary "God of Battle" and current Clan Leader of the Ziraniel clan.

"Recruit Hunter! I am honored to welcome you to the Daemon Core Compound!"

Master Hunter Ranek's voice was a smooth baritone sound that echoed through the room. His eyes do a quick sweep of the room once again.

"For over 100 years, many have pledged to the Hunter Core. Fighting not only wars but in great battles which have only attested to our commitment to righteousness and the eradication of evil. We are what stands between the common man and the vile Daemon creatures and those who have pledged themselves to darkness. The choice to become a Daemon Hunter is a decision that comes with great honor, pride, and sacrifice, a decision of which you all have made today! "

His speech was filled with pride which only seemed to further fuel a fire in the hearts of the young recruits seated. Their eyes gleaming with determination and eagerness on young faces.

"Now I'm sure you all are more than eager to begin your training and to that, I will leave you with just some parting words. We are hunters, our blades battle our enemy and our hearts keep the fire of righteousness alive. Never let your heart blacken or your blade become dull. Hunt well, Daemon Hunters!!"

The cheer that erupts filters through the room and echoed all the way up to the ceiling. A furor that continued well after the three high-ranking Hunter left the room. Naxio looks around with a smile, feeling the utter courageous urging flow through the room. It truly was a time where he felt that no matter what, he was going to make his clan proud. After a few minutes, the room was emptied, the first day was just for introduction purposes and for the new hunters for familiarizing themselves with their new home. Naxio took full advantage of this time to explore and look around. He was quite impressed with the architecture of the compound grounds.


At hearing his name, Naxio turns and is pleasantly surprised to see Moushira walking up to him. She was dressed similarly to Naxio in the rather basic Daemon hunter gear. A dark-colored long-sleeved top with dark-colored pants that has an overlapping cloth displaying her clan colors. She smiles softly at him as she nears.

"I'm happy to see you here!"

"Same to you."

Her expression seems to darken just a few her eyes drift downward for a second but then she perks back up almost immediately. The smile on her face was softer and filled with such emotion Naxio could feel his heart skip a beat.

"...I was so sure when I was going home that my dream was over. That as soon as I arrived home both my mother and I would be thrown out onto the streets with nothing. But it would seem I have you to thank for this chance?"

Naxio shakes his head with a faint blush on his face.

"No, no it wasn't me! My aunt, the one who found us, was the one who recommended us both!"

Moushira's eyebrow clenched up in confusion.

"Both of us? But you are from the Mizune clan, weren't you there to take the test?"

An unsettling feeling crawled into the pit of Naxio stomach, it wasn't uncommon for people outside of his clan to question his rather unusual relationship with the rest of the clan. However, as soon as they hear about what happened, he is immediately stored away into an 'undesirable' category in most situations. It happened so many times before and yet this time, he just wanted to stay in a good light with his first friend. Even if it was only a matter of time before she found out the truth.

"Um, it's a bit complicated."

Moushira was always insightful and knew from the look on his face and the way his body language was that this was a subject that made him uncomfortable. She wisely directs the conversation to a different subject.

"Oh right, did you want to head to the Hunter Library?"

Naxio's entire appearance instantly brightens. His eyes almost sparkled at the aspect of learning, something that Moushira had learned as soon they two has met.

"Of course!!"

The pair then began to walk through the halls. Naxio was surprised to see that the entire compound was enclosed by a stone building. It made sense however given how cold it was usually around this area. Heavy snowfall and storms were something that happened quite often as well.

As they walked, they passed several training rooms, some areas for leisure, and a variety of other areas before reaching the Hunter library. The doors were massive in size, almost spanning up to the top of the ceiling. Inside was just a long-winded as the doors. Books shelves align the walls, creating corridors and halls which held vast amounts of knowledge, spanning from simple geography to the more intense subjects of Yang control and so on. Naxio could already envision himself getting lost in book after book as he looked around in wonder. Hearing a small giggle, he turns to see Moushira looking at him with a small smirk on her face.


"Sorry, sorry. You just look like a little kid who just got one of his greatest wishes granted!"

Naxio gives her a small pout.


The pair continued to explore the compound, and eventually end up in the mess hall. Given that it was almost noontime, lunch was being served. The hall was moderately packed and already the recruits have grouped together either by clan, personality, or otherwise. Naxio and Moushira had gotten their food and were attempting to find a good spot to see but so far finding none.

"Hmm, it's already so packed... Where can we sit?"

Moushira didn't seem to be bothered but Naxio could certainly feel eyes on them. It was something he noticed while going through the halls, every so often he would feel a pair of eyes following them, a whisper that only hushed as they got closer. It didn't take long for him to gather what it was all about.

The fact that the two of them got recommendations from the elusive Lialic fox was much bigger news than he first thought. Many wondered what the pair could have possibly done to gain her favor given her reputation for being generally untouchable and perpetually unimpressed. This is what leads to their current issue, everyone seemed to be watching them with obvious judgment in their eyes. No one wanted them at their table that much was clear. It was until Naxio stumbles almost into Moushira that he noticed she had stopped. He turns his head in the direction she was looking and realizes why she stopped. There in the very corner of the halls was a table that was relatively empty save for one person, however that one person made all the difference. Naxio's face drops a bit at seeing the familiar figure however Moushira didn't seem bothered in the least.

"Come on Naxio!"

"Ah, wait for a second, Moush-!"

Naxio's warning came too late as Moushira confidently walks over to the near-empty table and sit right next to the person. She even looks back to Naxio with a beckoning motion. Naxio lets out a sigh, looking around to see everyone was still watching even if they were trying hard to appear indifferent. He walks over and sits opposite to the person who had yet to even notice them it would seem.

"Good afternoon, Young Master!"

Kaldov, who was as silent as a mouse and eyes peeled to the book near him, finally looked up. There was no outward expression on his face, however, it was obvious he wasn't expecting either of them to talk to him. His golden eyes drift lazily from Moushira to Naxio who seemed like he truly didn't want to be seated there.

"...Ah, hello."

His reply was short and flat, a trait both Naxio and Moushira were realizing was, in fact, natural for him. To most people, they would assume he was uninterested from his monotonous voice to his almost constantly blank face.

"We saw that there was an open spot here and thought to join you. You don't mind right?"

"Hm, no it's fine."

Naxio frowns and lets out a small grumble, clearly a bit annoyed at how quickly Moushira was warming up to Kaldov. The three ate in relative silence until Moushira let out a small sigh, pushing her food around limply. Naxio who noticed her displease looks over at her with a frown.

"What's wrong?"

Moushira gives him a small sheepish smile.

"Well it just I was kind of hoping the food would be a bit better is all."

Naxio agrees with her, while the food wasn't awful, it wasn't exactly the best as well. This may be a given since it was a compound of warriors.

"Hmm, m-maybe next time I can cook for us?"

Naxio statement is stuttered out in a nervous voice. He looks up at her and she has a surprised look on her face. Even Kaldov who hadn't really made any comments since they arrived looks to him. Naxio is taken back and averts his eyes, not really used to being the center of attention.

"Wh-what's wrong? I-Is that something odd to say?"

Naxio silently curses as he thinks that already he has made a mistake. But then Moushira shakes her head, her face still pleasantly surprised.

"No, not at all! It's just I wasn't expecting that you know how to cook. I mean, I can make myself something small but it wasn't an overly big thing for me growing up with a lot of boys."

Moushira's smile drops a bit at the end of her sentence. Naxio smiles at her.

"It was something my caretaker taught me. I've always loved to cook, she even joked saying it was something passed down from my mothe-..."

Naxio's words are cut short and his smile falls almost immediantly at his mentioning his mother. Moushira as if sensing the dark mood cast interjects.

"Well, then I would be honored! Please feel free to make whatever you think best! I'm sure it will turn out well."

Naxio smiled brightly at her but then both of them are surprised to hear another voice interjected.

"Fried beef and noodles."

Naxio and Moushira turn to look at Kaldov who is staring directly at Naxio.


"Make Fried beef and noodles."

At that statement, Moushira burst out in a giggle while Naxio gave a strained smile.

"..Ah ah? Yo-You, want me to make fried beef and noodles?"

Kaldov nods, seemingly not even noticing the shift tension in Naxio's voice. Moushira could barely contain herself as she snickered at Naxio's clear displeasure.

Unbeknownst to the three but their interaction was indeed catching the attention of their peers. The once stone-like young master of the famous Ziraniel Clan was casually chatting with a seemly random small-time clan member and the famed "cursed" child of the Mizune clan? Those who watched could hardly believe it themselves.

Soon all three finished their meal, Naxio stayed close to Moushira as they were leaving the mess hall. Kaldov, however, was going in a different direction. Moushira who notices calls out to him.

"Oh, young master Kaldov! You are going to the library?"

Kaldov turns to them and raises the book slightly in his hand with a nod.

"Well, I hope we can meet and talk with you again later!"

Naxio was standing off a bit to the side, with his arms crossed and a frown still on his lips. Moushira chuckled a bit as they both watch Kaldov walk down the hall and then out of sight.

"The young master truly is unlike most of the Great Families?"

"I guess..."

Moushira looks over at him with a mischievous look, she was quite curious about Naxio's very obvious dislike of Kaldov. Granted their first meeting could have gone better and given Kaldov very blunt attitude it wasn't too far to understand how some people could be annoyed or feel like he was rude.

"Hehe, it's so strange to see you like this Naxio! You are usually so polite."

Moushira teased as she looks at her friend. Naxio gives her a huff and shakes his head.

"I am polite. It's just something about him that irritates me!"

"Hmm, could it be...cause he thought you were a girl?"

Moushira's teasing only further flustered Naxio as he looks at her with an annoyed look as it would seem he thinks back to their first interaction with Kaldov.

"Hmph! And he dares asks me, a stranger, to cook for him?!"

"Hmm, you two are gonna be quite the pair haha!"

Naxio shakes his head with a displeased look on his face.

"No way, please don't pair me with him, Moushira..."

Moushira drops it even as she lets out a laugh. The two continued onward with exploring the compound. From there they saw other sleeping quarters. It would seem that they were divided by year equal to their study. Given that three years is usually required for the Daemon Hunter training, there are three separate large sleeping quarters divided into many separate rooms. The final area they stopped at was a large indoor garden. The garden area has many areas of patches of grass where a variety of plants were situated. The wall was a similar stone pattern as that of the rest of the compound however the ceiling was glass which gave a natural light to the room and the plants. The air even felt more calming, most likely this is a place of meditation and realignment.

"'s so pretty here!"

Moushira's and Naxio's eyes wandered around the room. At the time there were a few people present, most of which were either talking among themselves or actually meditating.

"Hmm, it really is!"

Naxio's eyes catch a familiar figure in the distance and the happy expression on his face slowly fades. Moushira was still admiring the garden so she didn't realize at first that Naxio had gone deadly still. It wasn't until a voice called out to them that she realized what was happening.

"Hmph, I still can't believe she chose you."

The voice is cold yet familiar to Naxio. The figure walked up to them with two others behind him. It was Su-Len and the twin brothers Najalen and Malajen. Su-Len stomps right up to him with stern on his face, fresh hate in his eyes.

"You dare cheat Aijiah out of her spot!"

His volume was attracting the attention of others which made Naxio shrink back a bit. He didn't want to be the center of attention especially with Moushira being right there! Moushira steps forward and gives the trio her usual smile.

"Ah, young masters! How nice to see you again!"

She then gives a bow. Su-Len didn't even give her a greeting back, merely turn his sneer look at her.

"You again. Didn't I tell you not to be around him?!"

Moushira's smile strains a bit as she looks at Su-Len.

"Ah, yes I do remember! Hmm but I also remember telling you that your concerns are... unnecessary. I can handle myself, young master."

The room seems to deafen and the temperature drop. It didn't take a scholar to hear the underlying sarcasm in Moushira's voice, how she openly mocked Su-Len without even a hint of regret. Su-Len's face grew red with anger and Naxio could feel his heart drop into his stomach. He quickly tries to salvage the situation.

"Su-Len, please."

Su-Len turns back to Naxio, his fury still hot and crackles in his body.

"You think you can become a Daemon Hunter? HA, so quickly you seem to forget who you are and what that mother of yours did?!"

"Su-Len.. I-"

"Be quiet!"

Naxio's fists clench up almost enough to cause bleeding. His eyes turned down and clouded with pain. Su-Len roughly grabs the front of Naxio's robes and gives him a small shake. Moushira looks ready to interject but Naxio's head shake stops her.

"You will bring doom to our clan just as your mother did before. Yu-Len made a mistake choosing you so don't even think that you are now on the same level!"

He then drops Naxio without hesitation and pushes past him. A strange feeling comes over Naxio as he grids his teeth. It wasn't like this was anything new, he used to this. It shouldn't affect him!

Why are you getting upset? This is what everyone always says!

Naxio's thoughts sat bitterly in his mind.

But... things are different now.. right?

Naxio could admit to himself that things were remarkably different. From Yu-Len's unexpected recommendation to Li-Ren to train him, a deep yearning boiled in his heart. He knows that it probably won't make a bit of a difference but he wants to prove himself. Even if his family doesn't believe in him.

"...I won't be a burden to the clan."

His statement was said softly but with a determination not commonly found in him. Moushira turns to him, a surprised look on her face that slowly morphs to pride. The expression on Naxio's face was unlike any other she has seen. His eyes seem to shine with determination and stubbornness that was vastly unlike him. He has a frown on that other further pushing the idea of him digging himself firmly into the ground.

This was the first time Naxio truly stood against the harsh words of his fellow clan members. Su-Len was caught off guard by the look Naxio leveled at him. The meek boy was gone.

"I swear that I won't be a burden to the clan and I will prove myself!"

Su-Len let out a scoff before walking off, the twin follow right behind with curious looks at Naxio. It was on this day that Naxio made a promise to himself. Not only would he prove himself in this Daemon Hunter training but he would also find out the truth behind what happened with his mother.

The real truth.

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