Vangelis fastened his helmet in place and checked it again. Everything seemed to be properly in order. His felyne partner, the small humanoid cat Hinata, looked up at him and nodded. Vangelis made the final adjustments to his crimson armor, fixing the pouches on his belt and double checking everything he had that he needed for the upcoming hunt.
"Are you certain I can't come with you, master?" she asked purring, but Vangelis shook his head.
"Sorry Hinata, this is a guild request. I've been teamed up with three other hunters from the guild, we're not permitted to take our felyne partners." he said. This was true, it was written in the contract agreed between hunter and felyne, and quests that were deemed too dangerous were assigned exclusively to hunters. He hefted his sword onto his back and felt the hooks clip into place. Hinata held up a vial of green liquid and Vangelis took it, tucking it into a pouch on his belt.
"Mega potion, master. Please be careful" she purred ,and Vangelis nodded again before pushing open the door to his home and stepping out into the brisk mountain air.
Vangelis walked through the village of Pokke, acknowledging people who nodded to him in the street. The village was filled with a whir of activity, both human and felynes going about their business. The village elder, a small woman who wore a large ceremonial hat saw Vangelis and beckoned him over.
"Vangelis my boy, how are you?" she asked, her wrinkled face wreathed in a smile.
"I'm very well ma'am, how are you" he replied. She nodded and turned slightly back to the open bonfire she was stood by.
"Oh, I'm fine, awaiting the return of some hunters I sent out earlier. They were supposed to be gathering me a cache of mountain herbs. They were new bloods, but I expect the mountain to be quite quiet this time of the year" she said and Vangelis nodded. She was right, around this time the most violent creatures that were atop the mountains would be velociprey, the light blue reptiles.
"I hope they return to you soon. If you'll excuse me ma'am, I'm expected at the guild hall" Vangelis said and she nodded, dismissing him. He turned and walked away, nodding and bowing slightly to the village felyne elder who held prominence over all the felynes of the village. He reached the guild hall and pushed open the wooden door.
As he opened the door, the conversation and hustle bustle didn't die down. Three girls were sat on a table and one saw Vangelis and waved him over. He made his way to their table and sat next to the girl who'd beckoned him. She was Kona, clad in a vibrant green armor crafted from an in numerous amount of bugs until it became nigh on impenetrable. The other two girls were clad identically but couldn't be more different. Both clad in armor crafted from the venerable Kirin, a single horned, majestic creature that was incredibly rare, able to call down lightning to strike its enemies. To the left sat Kami, the braggart and next to her was the calm, composed Reina. Both wore the mantles of Kirin, the white shaggy mane covering their own hair. To Reina's back, two long thing blades were strapped; these were holy guild sabres, awarded by the guild as a sign of great respect by guild. Kami had a great sword attached to her back; it was a new model, its name yet to be decided, but yellow runes dancing vibrantly like flames along the blade. Kona was armed with a long sword, a huge weapon twice her length, fashioned from the elusive chameleos, a giant elder dragon which could make itself invisible at will. Vangelis had seen her using it in combat; its blade too could become completely invisible. The blade, long and orange ending in a hook, was gripped tightly by a fragment of the beast's tail.
"Ladies" Vangelis said and took a seat. Kona held up a piece of parchment, no doubt the assignment.
"What's the big idea, Van? You call us all here and all we're doing is heading out to find some missing hunters?" She asked indignantly. Clearly she felt this task to be beneath her.
"That's what the hunt is? When they called us in, Id expected trouble. What's the location" he asked. This was puzzling; he'd been told to equip himself for a tough fight but missing hunters?
"They're up in the mountains" Reina said calmly, not looking up from her drink. Vangelis nodded solemnly. This was too much of a coincidence. Had the village elder known he was on his way for this mission, knowing he would be rescuing the hunters she was waiting for? And what could be at the mountain giving them such a hard time? She was a difficult one to figure out sometimes.
"The village elder mentioned something on my way here. Any idea what's causing the problem?" He asked and it was Kami's turn to pipe in.
"Tigrex!" she yelled, almost shaking with excitement. Vangelis stopped cold. The Tigrex was easily the most violent, destructive wyvern to terrorise the mountaintops. Unrelenting in its assault, it is the main reason many people stop being hunters. Often because their shredded carcasses lie frozen, equipment and armor useless to anyone after the monstrous Tigrex had bitten and clawed its way through them.
"That's why the guild wanted four of us then..." Vangelis mused.
"Its no problem for me, they should have just sent me alone!" Kami yelled but Reina, breaking her composed image for a moment, slapped her on the back of the head, causing her helm to fall over the front of her face.
"Don't underestimate the Tigrex. We've all faced them before but that's no need for complacency." Reina said and stood up. Kami hurriedly adjusted her helm and glared daggers at Reina.
"You wanna go? Right here, right now, I'm not afraid of you!" She snarled, one hand on the hilt of her sword before Vangelis stepped in.
"Come on. Times of the essence here." he said and stepped toward the door. He noticed as he left that Kona already had her hand on the hilt of her blade, her armor affording her enhanced speed, she'd have probably stopped the fight have Kami managed to swing her blade. They took the parchment to the guild desk and one by one signed it. Handing it to the clerk, who filed it away and nodded approvingly, they left the hall, heading out for the snowy peaks of the mountain.