Chapter 8: Emerald Forest

Tom didn't quiet expect to get launched into the air by a catapult but now as his body was soaring through the air wind slamming against his face he closed his eyes and thought of a way he’d be able to land safely on the ground without being injured. Opening his eyes as he saw the ground quickly approaching as his feet glowed a bright yellow colour as he came crashing to the ground feet first the light flashed brightly and then dissipated cushioning the full force of impact.

Unsheathing the two slender and thin looking katana’s from his back he heard the sound of multiple bodies crashing onto the ground as he slowly walked forward all senses aware of anything that might leap out and ambush him. It was just then he saw a flash of pink leap overhead as the image of Ania flipping through the air and landing gracefully on the ground behind him. Twirling around she unsheathed her spear in one swift motion pointing the tip towards Tom before realizing who he was and lowering it “So looks like I’m paired up with you” “It would appear so now let us try and figure out where we are and get to the temple as quickly as possible” “I like the way you think no chit chat just straight to the task at hand” Ania said grinning.

“Wohooo this is awesome” Alan yelled happily as he looked to his right to see a flaming ball barrel through a tree leaving a giant flaming hole before crashing into the ground leaving a huge crater. Seeing an approaching branch Alan grabbed a hold flipping himself around before landing onto the ground placing both hands in the air “Tadaaa” he said watching Mitch walk up from the flaming ground as he instantly spotted Alan and then shut his eyes “HELL NO I’M NOT PAIRED WITH HIM DIDN’T SEE IT DIDN'T HAPPEN”.

“Sorry rules state first person you see you’re stuck with so we’re partners” Alan said grinning happily as Mitch immediately pulled out his flask and took a swig “No amount of drink will get me through this” he grumbled as Alan slapped him on the back “Come on don’t be so dull together we’ll own this trial and have fun doing it”. “Alright screw this I’m doing it solo” Mitch said pushing past Alan as he started running through the forest “Hey don’t be silly we can’t complete this together partner” Alan yelled after him “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CALL ME PARTNER AND YOU’LL DIE IN THIS FOREST!!!”

Pushing a low hanging branch away from his face Tom walked through the thick dense forest with Ania behind as they glanced around at the vast high hanging tree’s blocking out nearly all forms of sunlight. “If you want to make friends you have to talk to them and ask questions” Alan’s voice echoed in Tom’s mind as he looked over his shoulder at Ania “So that getup of yours is pretty slim fitting I bet it’s great for maneuverability” raising an eyebrow Ania looked at him “Was that some form of compliment to try and hit on me” “Not really simply a mere observation”.

Awkward silence followed as Tom decided to try a question “So what do you think of the academy” “It’s a pretty nice place of course given where I grew up any place is nice compared to it” “Excellent I’m making progress” he thought to himself before hearing a rustling in the bushes as he unsheathed both katana’s, they were both long and slender constructed of light looking steel with a white handle while on the bottom of the handle was a button.

It was easily three times the size of Tom with black shaggy fur covering its entire body and white razor sharp claws. White plating covered various parts of its body while a bright white mask hid its face with a strange red pattern marking while blood orange eyes glared down at the two hunters standing before it.

“An Ursa be careful they have brutal strength and deceptive speed despite their size” Tom said slowly circling around the creature assessing the situation and how best to handle the beast “Wait this thing has a proper name?” Ania said just before Tom leapt into action.

Letting out an ear piercing roar the creature swung a huge paw down towards Tom who nimbly leapt past the attack as he pushed the two button at the bottom of his katana. The blade split into a thin fork as two explosions hit the creatures face causing it to stagger back roaring in pain. Inching closer towards the animal Tom’s katana’s began to glow a bright green colour as vines burst forth from the blade ensnaring the creature before he dashed past its head cleanly slicing it off while the body of the creature came crashing down onto the ground.

Landing next to Ania he sheathed both blades on his back while Ania simply stood there stunned at what had happened, in a mere matter of moments he had dispatched the giant creature before she could even pull her spear down from her back “Wow that was pretty impressive” “Oh that was nothing I've slain grimm twice its size before” Tom said before walking off leaving Ania to stare at the corpse of the creature then back to Tom before running to catch up with him.

Elsewhere in the forest Mitch was busy trying to evade Alan but failing miserably as he would randomly pop out of nowhere. “Argh can’t I just lose him” Mitch groaned as a body dropped down from the tree branch above him “Nope sorry we’re partners” Alan said as Mitch swung a punch only hitting the air as Alan dropped onto the floor. “Like it or not we’re stuck together for this” he said standing up as Mitch rolled his eyes “I know but I don’t have to enjoy it right” as he went to walk off there was rustling in the bushes next to him as he stopped suddenly to see a black blur dart towards him.

“WATCH OUT” Alan yelled going to push Mitch out of the way only to watch him nimbly roll underneath the shadow which turned to face them revealing a giant hulking werewolf looking Grimm. The huge create was covered in black shaggy fur and stood on two muscular hind legs with a spike protruding from its knee, white blade like appendices jutted out from its back forearm and bicep while three spikes were seen on its neck. As per all Grimm it had a pitch white mask covering its face with strange red marking patterns and bright glowing orange eyes.

“That’s a Beowolf so be careful they have razor sharp fangs and teeth” Alan yelled out to Mitch as the creature lunged towards him slashing its razor sharp claws while Mitch flipped backwards avoiding the blow and unsheathing Ashura as it glowed a bright red colour “Heh so I can finally put a name to the beast I’ve been slaying” a sinister grin spread across his face as he launched a huge fireball towards the creature who dashed right past it and leapt teeth bared through the air.

Alan had pulled out his tonfa’s and was about to go leap in and assist Mitch but stopped as he saw him dance past the creatures jaws raking his katana along around its head blood spraying everywhere as the Beowolf went crashing onto the ground howling in pain. “HA you can’t be done yet can you” Mitch said as the creature leapt back up slashing a claw which Mitch dodged past and lunged in slashing again as a red gash appeared on its stomach. “He’s toying with it?” Alan thought as he usually expected hunters to deal with Grimm in a swift and quick manner but Mitch was enjoying fighting the creature?

Multiple gashes appeared on its body as the creature now stumbled towards Mitch falling onto the ground as flames danced all around his body “Alright time to finish you off I guess” he said clicking his fingers as a huge explosion of flames consumed the Beowolf leaving nothing but tiny black charred bits of the creature. Sheathing Ashura he turned to see Alan staring at him “What?” “Nothing you just have a unique way of fighting that’s all” “Yeah well I wasn't brought up or trained as a proper hunter I learnt what I could from myself” as he turned to walk off Alan grinned “You know that’s the first thing you've told me about yourself perhaps we’re becoming friends” “Yeah fat chance of that happening yet”.

“Hey wait up!!” Ania yelled as Tom stopped allowing her to finally catch up as she knelt down taking deep breaths “Sheesh you move to bloody fast” “Sorry I forgot that others aren't quiet up to my skills” “Ermm excuse me?” “A simple observation I’ll slow down for you”. “God you need to learn social skills” Ania said rolling her eyes “My new friend Alan has told me the exact same thing” “So what was that whole thing with the vines back there?” “I simply used the dust infused in my blade to create an specialized attack to assist with my battle”.

“Hold up how’d you get dust infused in your blade they cost like a ton of money not to mention you need to be incredibly skilled” shrugging his shoulders Tom unsheathed one of his katana’s holding it up “I’ve been able to manipulate dust since the age of 6 as for how I obtained dust well it’s practically my family business”. As they walked along trying to locate the temple Tom explained that his family was incredibly well known dust distributors and have been for as long as their history went back.

“Huh never knew you were part of the Sai-Leng family they’re pretty well known around my parts” “My family are pretty well known all over” “Still doesn't explain the infused dust” “They also specialized in being able to infuse dust into various objects like my armor and boots also have dust inside them” “Woah that’s pretty awesome actually” Ania marveled at his gear which showed no real indication of possessing dust inside until Tom activated them a myriad of bright colours glowing around him.

“So you've learnt a lot about myself does that mean we’re friends?” Tom bluntly said as Ania sighed “I wouldn't say we’re completely there yet but it’s being worked on”. “How about you what’s your life story?” Tom asked as Ania stopped walking immediately and was staring at the ground “Mine there’s nothing to tell I simply left home wanting to become a hunter” “So that’s all? What do your parents do” “Nothing special” “They have to do something?” “I SAID THEY DO NOTHING ALRIGHT NOW DROP IT!!” Ania yelled running past Tom who stood there wondering what that outburst was all about as he didn't say anything to offend her.

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