Lightning Is The Only Way

Chapter 25 - 25 –  Senior Hunter

Gravis walked to the exit of the town. When the guards saw him, they simply opened the gate without a word. They had orders from the town lord that Gravis could do anything he wanted, but the guards had to keep the town lord up to date with news about him. When Gravis went through the gate, one guard retreated and ran to the town lord's residence.

Gravis noticed that and guessed that the town lord probably had eyes on him. He didn't care that much. If the town lord wanted to attack him, he would be an excellent test of Gravis' current combat strength. If the town lord didn't do anything, that would be fine too. Gravis left the town and searched for the Hunting Guild.

After a while, he found it. It was to the east of the town, while the gate Gravis left from, was on the south. It was a wide building made of stone, and he could see a big sign on the roof that read "Hunting Guild". Gravis could also see stalls on the side of the hall, where some beasts walked around, which were probably tamed. He could only see ferocious beasts and no demonic beasts. Demonic beasts were perhaps too strong.

Gravis went to the entrance and walked in. The Hunting Guild had no guards, apparently. They probably didn't need them since the Hunting Guild was full of strong hunters. Wanting to rob this place was pure suicide for most people.

When he went inside, he noticed that the hall also functioned as a bar. Long rows of wooden benches and tables adorned one side of a large hallway, while the other side had the bar. At the end of the hall, there was a giant noticeboard. That was probably the place where the bounties and missions were listed.

"Hey, newbie!" a guy shouted from one of the benches, a beer in front of him. "You want to register as a hunter or do you wanna set up a mission?" he asked as he stood up, and walked to Gravis.

The guy looked imposing. He was around two meters tall, and bulging muscles peeked through his brown vest, with nothing underneath. A large sword, nearly as long as the guy himself, was slung over his back.

Gravis looked at him with his typical neutral look. "I want to register as a hunter," he commented dryly, as he continued looking around the hall. The hall seemed moderately full, but there was still some space. Nearly everyone had some kind of weapon on their backs, since this was outside the town. There were no restrictions regarding weapons out here. He could see all kinds of weapons adorning the hunters' leather armors. He could see bows, staffs, swords, sabers, spears, and many more.

The guy whistled in surprise and astonishment. "Oh? You're a little young for that. Are you sure about this? You need to be able to slay a ferocious beast, at least," the guy explained.

Gravis simply nodded. He didn't want to get too close to others due to his 'contagious luck'.

The guy simply shrugged, while leaning with his elbows on a nearby table. Another man sitting at that table looked at the guy with a disgusted look and pulled his food away from the guy's elbow. The guy talking with Gravis ignored it. "Well, it's your neck. You need to get over to the counter and register." The guy gestured with his neck to the bar.

Gravis nodded. "Thanks," and walked to the counter.

The guy looked at Gravis, walking away. "Heh, a shy guy, eh?" With that, he walked back to his table to continue drinking his beer.

As Gravis arrived, a middle-aged, grumpy-looking woman looked at him. Here, no one was intimidated by his weapon, since the Hunting Guild was outside the town. Here, everyone walked around with a weapon. "What do you want?" asked the woman, annoyed.

Gravis didn't care about her manners. He preferred direct conversation. If someone were friendly to Gravis, he would feel uncomfortable and guilty since he had to act coldly. He didn't want to infect others with his luck. "I want to register as a hunter."

"To become a junior hunter, you need to find a party that will accept you, and kill at least four ferocious beasts until you can accept missions by yourself. To become a senior hunter, you need to have tempered skin and must prove yourself by killing a ferocious beast solo," the lady narrated like it was practiced, which was probably true.

Gravis didn't wait. "I want to become a senior hunter," he stated blankly.

One of the lady's eyebrows rose. "Kid, don't joke around. You're still too green to become a senior hunter. You probably haven't even killed a chicken before," the woman laughed in disdain.

Gravis narrowed his eyes at the woman. Just when he was about to release his Will-Aura to make things easier, an old man on the side of the counter walked over. "Margaret, you don't have the authority to stop people from registering. Give him the test," he ordered.

The lady rolled her eyes and started rustling through some paper below her counter. After some seconds, she took out a piece of paper. "Here," she threw the paper at Gravis, who promptly caught it. "A ferocious beast called 'Tree Fiend' has been spotted near a farm to the south. Just follow the instructions of the paper. If you manage to kill it, bring its corpse here. If it's too heavy, bringing us its head will be enough, but you won't get any spoils, except for the monetary reward."

Gravis calmly looked at the paper, read through it, and nodded. He shoved the paper into one of his front pockets, turned around, and left without another word.

"Tch, another crazy youngster thinking he knows how the real world works," the lady commented in disdain. The man, on the other hand, was rubbing his chin with a smile.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that. I felt something… unique from him," the man told the lady.

"Tch, you're getting sentimental. If the boy dies, that's on you!" the lady angrily remarked and went back to look through some documents.

Gravis quickly left the hall and ran towards the south. He followed the instructions and arrived at a farm, not 20 minutes later. After asking the farmer about his beast problem, he ran to the east of the farm to a close forest. The farmer saw the Tree Fiend there some hours ago. He had commissioned the hunt about two weeks ago, but since he didn't have enough money, he could only commission it as a trial mission.

A trial mission only cost about a third as an actual mission. Like the name suggested, trial missions were meant for hunters as a trial to upgrade their rank. There were multiple ranks, with Junior Hunter and Senior Hunter being the lowest and the highest, respectively.

There were not many people with tempered skin just walking around, so the Hunting Guild created some additional ranks for the hunters without tempered bodies. Just, those ranks were not accessible to new recruits. A hunter could only start at the bottom or the top. If they told someone with tempered skin, that they first had to slog through all the ranks, they might not join. They had tempered skin, after all. They could just go somewhere else.

Gravis arrived at the place where the farmer last saw the Tree Fiend. It was close to a forest on the edge of the farm. That was the place where the farmer let his animals out to eat. Of course, that would seem idiotic with a ferocious beast stalking the area. Yet, the farmer was afraid that, if the creature didn't find any food there, it would come to the farmer instead.

Gravis jumped into a haystack and waited for the Tree Fiend. He knew the basics of tracking, but why would he risk going into the forest and searching around forever, if he could simply wait for the beast to appear on its own? So, he decided to simply wait.

About five hours later, he saw an about two-meter tall, tree-like creature stalking around the forest's edge. Its arms were thin and ended in long, thorn-like barbs. It was also walking on only two legs. This was probably the Tree Fiend. 'Fitting name,' Gravis commented in his mind.

The Tree Fiend didn't know that death had arrived.

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