Maria stood on the edge of the train depot thing for her new life to begin. For 16 years she had dreamed of becoming a Monster Hunter. As of today that dream would start to become a reality. From behind her father made a loud harrumph sound. With a slight I roll she looked back at her father, a husky man, whose job had been for the last 15 years been a clerk for some backwater repair store. Granted it had made a lot of money for them, but there is no excitement no fun and deftly nothing to do with monster hunting. As soon as you notice his daughter looking back at him he piped up.
“I say Maria, you don’t actually have to go through this. Know that your grandmother is gone, you can choose the proper life. Not this cockamamie monster hunting business. You get a proper job, something they’ll make real money. That some petty little pay-as-you-go job, that constantly put you in danger. You can make real money have a real life, but consequent yourself in mortal danger.”
Mars chest immediately tightened at the mention of at her grandmother. Here’s immediately beginning to gather at the corner of her eyes. She immediately wiped them away, monster hunter’s did not cry. Her hand instinctively dropped to her bag in it was the last gift from her grandmother. An flintlock pistol that her grandfather once used. Immediately resolves stiffened.
Her father continued not noticing the gesture, “we don’t need her money to get you into a good school, me and your mother have plenty of money to send to a proper school. We could send you to Grade Wall, I have a friend there could easily slip into one of the more professional classes. On top of that, my friend Jason has a job opening in his business, if you have a job there and finish your schooling. I just don’t think it’s proper for you be going to this Monster Hunter Academy. There is no need for it, there plenty other people who have into the profession there is no need for you to do it. It’s unsafe, uncouth, and that’s not mention the downsides of all that higgledy-piggledy.”
Maria set her jaw the same way she had seen her grandmother do it. For many hours of observation she had seen that her father would cave in, if one game this pressure without giving the illusion of resistance. She was going to Monster Hunter Academy, her entire life to live up to this. Every hour she spent reading over texts, running for miles to get her endurance up, and practicing was also your weaponry, was not going to waste. She was going to Monster Hunter Academy, no matter the cost, she wanted this so bad she can feel it in her bones.
“Father,” she said softly, trying to keep the anger out of her voice, “I want this, I really do, why can’t you just be happy that I have been accepted?” Her father harrumph again.
“Why! Why? There is no need for this you can have a proper life, have a proper family, and most importantly you can be respectable. That some vagabond going after monsters that could kill you on the whim. It’s bad enough that your grandfather was one of these, these Monster Hunter’s there is no need for you to follow in his footsteps. There is no need at all! I don’t know why you don’t just obey me and mother. We’ve tried so hard to make a respectable. I always find you off somewhere reading some Monster Hunter book, or playing with swords and spears and flintlock’s. Whoever heard of such a things is no need for such weapons. The walls around the cities have kept us safe enough, and the guards are well-paid and well-respected. I can understand you wanting become a guard. But a Monster Hunter! Just walk away from this Academy and come with me to Grade Wall. I’ll be going there soon and you get your classes started immediately. Just come away.” He pleaded basically, despite her desires she wavered a little bit, but then she gathered her results.
“No father, I’m going.” And as she said that a train whistle sounded nearby. Her father jumped slightly and looked down the tracks. The quick flash of anger across his face he turned around and began walk away. Again tears is begin to form in Maria’s eyes, then she dashed them away. Under her breath she whispered, “I love you father.”
Maria watches as the train approached, excitement starting to build in her chest. Over the noise a sound behind her made Maria slightly turned, a 17-year-old boy, overweight and red-faced had had rushed on to the train platform. He was slightly shorter than Maria, dark-haired with smile lines around his eyes.
“Did I (huff) did I make it?” He inquired. “Is this the train going to Monster Hunter Academy?”
Maria stifled a giggle, hunters did not giggle, “yes, you made it the train is just arriving.”
“Oh good (huff) I only just got my acceptance letter in the mail, I would’ve been here sooner but I had to pack my bags,” he indicated behind him as an equally overweight man sauntered up carrying a few bags on his arms.
“Mark, what have I told you about jumping out of the wagon. You can hurt yourself of doing that,” he said slightly out of breath. Again Maria stifled a giggle. Mark, seem to have as much chance become a Monster Hunter, as her father. But she wasn’t going to deny him his chance. Despite her misgivings see extended her hand.
“Maria Estevan Garcia, nice to meet you Mark.” For a second Mark did nothing, a surprised look on his face.
“Are you… Are you related to James Estevan Garcia?” He tentatively asked.
“Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! I can’t believe it I’m going to Monster Hunter Academy with a Garcia!” He said practically jumping up and down with excitement. “I read all about his exploits!” He said looking over at his father. “Do you remember dad!”
The older man lifted an eyebrow at Maria, “oh really, I didn’t know the Garcia’s was still in the monster hunting business.” He looked Maria up-and-down, then added, “well you different look like James’s granddaughter.” Maria’s breath caught in her throat.
“You knew my grandfather?” She asked tentatively.
“Yes, yes indeed. When I was but a lad I tend to the join the Monster Hunters ranks. Unfortunately I injured myself on the first month, Mr. James attempted to give me back into it, but I didn’t have the heart for it. But always remember him for his kindness.” He had a far-off look in his eyes as he spoke the look down at Maria. “Indeed, you definitely remind me of Mr. Garcia.”
He smiled and proffered his hand. “Anyway it was good meeting you, I hope this profession takes to you.” Maria gladly shook his hand. She had more questions about her grandfather, but she knew this was not time. People had started getting off the train and is her turn the board.
“I hope I’ll get to see you again,” she said.
“Rather!” Came the reply. The old gentleman turned his son. But in all the noise Maria couldn’t hear what he is said to Mark. With a shrug she showed that the conductor her ticket and boarding the train.
It was not hard finding a seat, there was a many people boarding, and most were leaving anyhow. Not many people are going to Monster Hunter Academy, or the town nearby. Maria gathered that very few people were going to the Academy, and that from what conversation she had heard the vast majority of people on the train were indeed going to the town. Those saying vast majority was somewhat of an overstatement. Maria found a place it and put her few possessions in the overhead compartment and settled in weight the long journey. Only a few seconds later Mark appeared followed closely by another boy. The newcomer was a very tall young man, very skinny, and his hair was shaggy and this kept. It’s golden sheen was eye-catching though. Mark smiled at Maria, and indicated the boy.
“Hey again. You don’t mind if we join you?” He asked tentatively, ”by the way this is Gregor, he from my old school. Gregor this is Maria Estevan Garcia!”
Gregor seemed to recognize the name but only barely. He gave Maria a sleepy smile in place his single bag next to hers. Maria lifted an eyebrow, but said nothing, he had less than even she had. Gregor turned and helps Mark place his stuff in the compartments.
He tiredly sat down across from her and immediately closed his eyes.
“Nothing personal Maria,” Mark explained, “he was up late last night getting ready for the journey. He had to get his sisters and brothers all prepared for when he left. One has to get up early in the morning to get all those kids ready for school. He’ll be more talkative later once she’s got enough sleep.” Mark smiled widely and began to play with some small tools in his pocket. Despite herself Maria was curious about the small implements.
“What are those?” She asked. With the start Mark quickly moved his hand from his pocket.
“Uh oh, forgot to leave these.” He said as he reached back into his pocket and pull up the tools. “My father the jeweler, and sometimes he lets me working on some of the delicate tools. I have a knack for fixing small delicate things. I’ll just have to send it back to him once we reach Monster Hunter Academy. Maria looked over the tools with a critical eye even now wondering what they could use for other than jewel making.
“Well maybe you’ll have a good use for that talent in monster hunter training.” Maria said. She wasn’t sure, but you never knew.
“Who knows,” Mark agreed he carefully stored in the tools among the bags and sat back down. Gregor opened an eye for a second, gave Mark at poignant look and close his eyes again. Mark raised his hands in a defensive gesture.
“All right, all right I’ll write it down somewhere so I don’t forget.” He seemed to read from the look. Maria gave a half smile and look back and forth between the two boys. Apparently Gregor new Mark fairly well. Enough to know that he might forget such as detail. Maria stifled the a giggle and reached into her pocket, and pulled a small piece paper.
“Here,” she said, “write it down on here.” Mark thanked her and wrote down the note on one side of the paper. He flipped it over and looked on the side. His eyebrows lifted in surprise.
“Did you draw that?” He indicated that picture on the back side of the piece of paper. Maria could feel the face getting hot.
“It’s just a doodle.”
“It’s very good for a doodle. You got an eye for small detail,” Mark stated. Maria blushed more than push the, to the side.
“Oh it’s not that great as is something to the passes time.”
Mark let it go, and gave the piece of paper back. “You can remind me the send tools back later,” he stated.
Maria gave a half smile, and placed the piece of paper back in her pocket, “all right I will.”
It was cold, and it should not have been. When the four monster hunters had followed their quarry into the Valley between the two hills, it had been a balmy night. But as soon as they had stepped over the boundary between the two hills the temperature had suddenly dropped. James Estevan Garcia knew there was something terribly wrong. He had hunted many monsters in his life, and none had left the passes of destruction like this one had. His many pleas to his comrades had fallen on deaf ears. Like him they were very experienced hunters, and had taking on so many different types of monsters, that they were certain that they could take on anything. James, unwilling to leave his comrades pushed on as well, despite his misgivings.
As a group of hunters push further into the valley, and temperature seem to plummet. Soon they could see their breaths coming out in clouds. By that time the other hunters begin to realize there was something more going on, but because of their pride they were unwilling to fall back. Finally at the back of the Valley a cave appeared before them. All around the cave entrance trees, shrubs, and bushes seem to be wilted and dying. James began to shiver from the cold and worry. The three other Monster Hunters with doubts nagging at the back of their minds pushed on, forcing James Estevan Garcia to follow.
And that was the last anyone ever heard of those four great hunters. The area was abandoned, and the farms left to rot. James Estevan Garcia’s family decided that they will no longer want to live in their city state. His wife and five children moved to the capital of Amareda, Amar. There James’s children chose to get many different occupations, none though decided to follow in their father’s footsteps. But the mother, Emelia Gustavo Garcia knew that it was in their blood, and that one day one of their children would get their grandfathers calling. So 30 years later Maria Estevan Garcia was born, and like her grandfather, Emelia knew, that this young girl was going to be a Monster Hunter.
Emelia to her dying days told Maria about her grandfather’s adventures. She told her all about months of hunting her grandfather had been away, and about the different monsters and creatures that were in their world. The young girl was captivated by the stories and dreams of adventures; she soaked up all the knowledge and asked her more questions, far more than Emelia could ever really answer. So what money she had left Emelia put into a savings so that her granddaughter could follow in her husband’s footsteps. Despite some protests from her children Emelia Gustavo Garcia made way for her granddaughter, go to the best Monster Hunter School around.
Monster Hunter Academy!