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Witchblood hunt 3- Birthday

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Witchblood hunt 3- Birthday

Post by Dullahan on Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:05 pm

“Nate. Nate. Wake up, Nate.”

“Nngh.” I felt someone nudge me continuously, but I was too deep in my sleep to wake up.

“I-I don’t think you should wake him like that. It’s not nice.”

“Nonsense, I do it all the time and he never complained once.” The girl argued. “Besides, he’s pretty used to it. Wake up, Nate!” She started to shake me about in my bed. She thought that would wake me up. I could only react with a heavy yawn. “Shoot, he’s not waking up. Should I punch him in the face? That could wake him up.” She asked her assistant.

“No, stop doing things to him! Maybe we could let him sleep a little longer.” She argued back quietly.

“He’s been asleep nearly the entire morning! He needs to wake up right now!”

She continued harassing me in my sleep. “Wake up, Nate! I can’t be any more serious! Wake up!” She kept shaking me and shaking me, until I finally couldn’t take it anymore!

“Alright, alright; I’m awake! Stop shaking me.” I just hate being woken up like this, with her nearly shaking me to death.

“About time,” Taylor replied, “I would have thought you were dead if none of that worked! But, that’s not important. What’s important is it’s our birthday today!”

“Wow, really?”

“Yeah, we’re turning ten today. How come you don’t ever remember our birthday?”

“It’s just that I have my mind set on different things.” I struggled to come up with that answer. “It’s too early to remember things.” I always had a terrible time remembering things; our own birthday sometimes isn’t an exception. I’m glad Taylor always remembered things like that. But now that I think about it, today does give me something to be excited about.

“Happy birthday, Nate.” Ericka squeaked. “I’m so happy for you.”

“Yeah, so am I.” I replied. “I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life. Where’s your dad? I want to ask him something.”

“Oh, h-he’s in his office. But I don’t think you should disturb him.” She warned me under her voice. “He’s really busy.”

“He won’t mind. He had me for three years, he’s used to it.” I scrambled to put my shirt on. I dashed out of my bed quickly.

“W-wait, don’t leave me with your sister!” Ericka shouted in panic. She tried to keep up with me while following, but I was too fast for her.

I rushed down the stairs in the hall. I tried not to fall down in my fast pace. My footsteps echoed through the quiet ballroom, catching the attention of nearby servants. I could hear Ericka behind me yell “Nate, wait for me! You’re too fast!”

“I can’t slow down! I might trip and fall!”

“Nathaniel, Ericka, don’t run down the stairs so loudly!” Jocibelle shouted. She was one of the maids that heard our footsteps. “You’re disturbing the master in his work!”

“Jocibelle, is Jakob in the office? I need to ask him something.”

“Yes, but you can’t go in. He’s doing very important busin-” I made a run for his office before she could finish her sentence; “Master Nathaniel, come back here!” (My question is too important for me to wait and ask him! If I don’t ask him now, then I might miss my chance!)

I threw the office doors wide open. Jakob sat at his desk paper-covered desk. He had one of the maids help sort out the paperwork. He handed a couple sheets to his helper, and she went out.

“Ah, good morning, son.” He greeted me with a morning vibe. “Good to see you didn’t sleep the entire day away.”

“Can I register to the witch hunting program?” I asked him in an eager voice.

“A straightforward question deserves a straightforward answer- no.”

“What? Why not?”

“Because technically you’re still too young for the program. But that’ll change after tonight, I suppose.” Jocibelle and Ericka burst into the room after me.

“Master, forgive me,” Jocibelle huffed, “that boy forced himself in here! He didn't understand you were busy.”

“That’s quite all right, Jocibelle; he couldn’t have caught me at a better time. I was finishing up for the moment. In fact, could you watch over Taylor and Ericka for a while? Nathaniel and I are going to run some errands in town.”

“Of course sir-”

“Wait, what?” I couldn’t help but overhear Jakob’s plan. “What are we going to do exactly?”

“You’ll see soon enough.”

Jakob and I rode to the Steady River Square. The bustling metropolis was restless this late August morning. The Square was chaotic as everyone invaded nearby merchants. I’m still not used to the city life.

“So what we going to do, exactly?” I asked Jakob.

“We’re going to a few shops to pick up presents for your sister. Then we’ll stop by the guild’s blacksmith on the way back for yours.” Our horse was moving slowly, the streets were crowded with pedestrians. We moved at a snail’s pace across the city.

“Nathaniel, why haven’t you called me “dad,” yet?” Jakob asked. “You always address me by my first name.”

“Sorry, sir,” I apologized, “I just think it’s a little too soon for me.”

“I understand. You’re still a little shaken from your past. I shouldn’t force it out of you.”

We approached the first shop; a little hunting outlet called “The Hunter’s Den.” We opened the front door, and a little bell rung. We were greeted by the Elven clerk-

“Greetings, customers,” he said with a smooth voice, “how may I be of service to you?”

“I’m here for an order I placed two weeks ago.” Jakob said.

“Ah, yes, your order is ready; let me fetch it for you.” The Elven man rushed out of sight and returned with a burlap sack and a sling of arrows. There might be a bow concealed in the sack. “This bow I hand-crafted, as you requested, I hope you find it to your liking. That’ll be 340Au.” Jakob paid the clerk in gold, and we headed out of the store.

The next store we went to was a tailor shop called “Angel’s Linen.” The store was filled with elaborate wear and pretty dresses.

“Hello, Hello!” The Panther-kin seamstress welcomed us. “I love when customers come into my store!” something seemed unstable about her. Her ears kept twitching in every direction. She looked like she hasn’t slept since she was born.

“Yes, hello; I’m here to pick up the dress I ordered for my daughter.”

“Oh, yes, the special order. I just finished the dress yesterday.” She pulled out a box. “Uhm, what are you doing?” She became suspicious when Jakob reached for the box.

“I just want to buy it.”

“No you don’t, you want to steal it!” She pulled the box away quickly out of paranoia. “You were going to snatch it and run, you thief!” She caused a ruckus throughout the entire shop. All eyes were on Jakob and I, and it was unbearable.

“Let’s calm down, how about I trade you this gold for the box?” Jakob pulled out the gold needed to pay for the box. . The sight of the gold cooled her down. She slid the box to him with care, and he thankfully accepted it. Before we left the shop, the seamstress shouted and waved eccentrically-

“Have a nice day!”

“What was wrong with her?” I asked Jakob puzzled. “I’ve never seen anyone act so strange before.”

“All Panther-kin are very difficult to reason with. The littlest mistake will set them off. That’s why I tend to avoid communicating with them.” I’m just glad that she took the gold. She was getting too loud. With that said, we made our way home.

The morning passed and the afternoon awoke. We finally made our way back to the guild. A husky, dark-haired man that could swallow the sun manned the guild’s forge. He towered Jakob without an effort.

“Jakob, my friend, long time no see!” He shouted in warm glee.

“Hello, Tillin. How’s business today?” the two men saw eye-to-eye as friends.

“Slow, as usual. I like when business is slow, it gives me more time to work on, well, work! Haha!”

“You could hire an apprentice. If you’re worried about your workload that much, that could help lighten it for you.”

“I’ve been fine on my own, thank you very much. And ya’ brought yer little spud back for me, eh?”

“Tillin, this is my son, Nathaniel. He and his sister are from the Northern Pride.”
“Northern Pride? Like where Susan and Samantha North came from? I heard they were attacked not too long ago.”

“Susan was my mother.” I responded to the forgemaster.

“Oh, yeah, I remember her like I met her yesterday. Same for her sister.”

“You know my mom and aunt?” I was surprised.

“Oh, yes, I practically watched them grow up. My name is Tillin Bear-hold. I was the one who taught them how to hunt witches.” I dropped my jaw when I heard that.

“You taught my mom?”

“Aye, but she was the most difficult of the two. It was hard to teach someone when they only accept their own authority. Heh, she kinda reminded me of you back then, Jakob.” Tillin laughed as he reminisced in the past. Jakob shuddered when he brought that up.

“Ugh, please don’t bring my past up. I promised myself not to even mention it to Ericka.”

“What happened back then?” I became curious. I never knew there was another side to Jakob.

“Nothing, it’s nothing, Nathaniel.” He was antsy quieting my curiosity. “Have you got my order finished yet, Tillin?”

“Aye, I have the boy’s armor ready. Want to take a look?”

“Of course, Tillin; I’m always interested in your crafts.”

Tillin spent a couple of minutes lacing my armor chestplate on. The laces were located on my sides, and he didn’t have the easiest time tying them. But after many tries, he finally tied the laces tight.

“There, how does that feel on ya, lad?” He asked me.

“Almost natural- like wearing a shirt, only it’s a metal cover.”

“Your armor is made of iron; nothing fancy, or terribly expensive. It’s the lightest metal I can forge; I know how much Lion-kin just love their mobility. It can take a hit or two from a sword, but only a hit or two. It’s perfect to start you off with.”

“Will it help me fight witches?” I asked him.

“Yer thinking ahead of yerself, lad. Armor like this I wouldn’t even recommend using in the fields of war. This is more like crawling level armor; the basic of the basics. However, it could save ya from some giant jumping spiders; ya definitely don’t want those to catch ya without it on!” He went to work on inserting my boots. I shot Jakob a little disappointing glare.

“Tillin does a fine job making armor, Nathaniel.” Jakob assured me. “His family ran the guild’s forge for a long time. There isn’t anyone else that I trust more than him.”

“Ya flattered me, Jakob.”

“Would he need any chainmail with the armor, Tillin?” he asked.

“What kind of a question is that? Do ya want his arms and stomach to be fully exposed? The boy needs chainmail.”

“Why are you working the forge now, Mr. Tillin?” I asked. “You trained my mom and aunt, why aren’t you training any more hunters?”

“Aye, I did train yer relatives, lad. They were great hunters. They made me very proud to be their mentor. But, during my last witch hunt, my reflexes became shot. I quit huntin’, and helped my father at the forge.” He finally put the last boot on my foot. I felt the weight of them as I lifted each leg in the air. “How do they feel, lad?”

“They’re just a little tight.”

“Aye, I must’ve been an inch or two short on my measurements. I can take them back to the forge, expand the metal a bit. It shouldn’t take very long.” He cautiously took the boots off, and headed back to the forge. Jakob and I were left in the silent room.

“Can you help me with my bracers?” I asked Jakob. “They’re hard for me to get on.”

“Sure.” He knelt down and assisted me. “You look a little bothered. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong.”

“Something is bothering you, I can hear it.”

“I want to be strong enough to fight the demons that killed my village. That’s why I want to join the witch hunting program. But I saw what they can do, and I doubt that I can successfully take vengeance on them.”

“Is that why you want to join? For vengeance?”

“I had other reasons: I wanted to get rich. I wanted my name heard. I wanted to help my parents. The program gives me a perfect opportunity to avenge them and my village.”

“It’s perfectly understandable that you want to do that. But it sounds to me that that’s your biggest driving force. Say that you do successfully kill those demons- would your vengeance stop there? Or will it compel you to go even further? If you fight only for vengeance, how long do you think you will last, hmm?” I rubbed my wrists when Jakob finished tying my cuffs on.

“I only want to kill those monsters, I’m not asking much. They’re just paper, after all. If I can kill a witch, I’m certain I can kill them, too.”

“You sound eager to fight. But if you become too eager, you’re more likely to be left wide open- a single mistake and it would be your last. If you’re going to hunt, you need to keep a level head at all times.”

“Fine, I’ll be careful. Geez, you sound just like my dad sometimes.” I scoffed.
“I see your wounds healed nicely.”

“Yeah, thanks to Jocibelle and that burning oil of hers-” Tillin arrived with my newly adjusted boots.

“Alright, I got the new boots! Why don’t ya’ try ‘em on?” He handed me the boots in a happy mood. I pulled them on, and I noticed the difference. “I had a bit of trouble around the toes, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle.”

“Yeah, these don’t feel as tight now like before.” I responded in my amazement.

“How much does the armor cost, Tillin?” Jakob asked.

“I’ll be nice to ya’ since yer’ my friend- 494Au.”

“You’re still giving me discounts? Tillin, you don’t have to. Here,” Jakob gave Tillin 987Au instead.

“Oh Jakob, yer’ always trying to be generous.” Tillin laughed, but he took the payment anyways. "Make sure to come back when you need somethin’!”

"Don't I always? Let’s go home, Nate.” it’s about time we left! It’s been getting boring. Tillin’s hammer continued banging when we left.

“Hooray! Jakob and Nate are back!” Taylor couldn’t hold her excitement when we walked into the hall. “Nate, where’d you get that armor from? It all looks so heavy!”

“We got it from the forge by the guild. The guy running it was kind of-” I saw that she wasn’t really listening to me. Her interest went to the presents in Jakob’s hands.

“Hello, Jocibelle. How were the girls?” Jakob asked his maid.

“As always, Ericka hasn’t been any trouble,” She replied humbly, “she’s in her room sleeping now. As for this girl, she had more energy than I’ve ever seen in a child.”

“What are those, Mr. Jakob? Presents for me?” Taylor asked.

“In fact, yes, they are for you.” He replied. “Here, I’ll give you this one first-” He handed her the burlap bag . She unraveled it eagerly- inside was a dark mahogany long bow. The wood was smooth to the touch.

“Wow! I love it! Thank you, Jakob!” She was captivated by the sheen the wood produced.

“Why don’t you try it? Pull that string back-” Taylor tried as hard as she could, but she couldn’t draw the string back. The bow shook in her grip as she put force on the string. Suddenly the bow jumped out of her hands, and onto the floor!

“I can’t move the string!” She yelled in distress. “It’s too hard for me!” Jakob was puzzled why she couldn’t draw the string. He tried it himself, and even he struggled to draw it all the way.

“Huh, the string is too tight. You could attend archery lessons, you’ll get used to it.” He suggested. “For now, let’s have Miss Jocibelle take you to put this on, okay?” He unstrung the box, and pulled out a beautiful purple dress. It had a small bow tied around the waist. The sleeves and collar were frilled. Taylor gasped at its awe-inspiring beauty.

“It’s so pretty, Jakob! I love it! I love you!”

“This dress was made especially for you. It’s made of Aquarian silk- it’s just as sturdy as Nate’s armor, but as beautiful as a ballroom dress. I’m glad you love it.”
He smiled. He handed Jocibelle the dress, and she left with Taylor.

“Do you want to see your new weapons, Nate?” Jakob asked me. I’ve been making due with the sword I found at the village, but I’m excited to see my new weapons! Maybe I could start my own armory, collecting weapons.

Jakob brought me to a room I haven’t been to. The room was filled with dust and cob webs. It looked like it hasn’t been cleaned in over a century.

“What is this room, Jakob?” I asked him.

“This is the original Frost Chamber. It was here where the foundations of Guild Witchblood were established. It holds the history of every past Frost.” He pulled a shield off the wall over the fireplace. “These weapons I’m giving you are my family’s heirlooms. Every Frost has used them in their lifetime, including me.” He handed me the shield. The dark blue shield was encrusted by a snowflake pattern. I strapped it on my left arm. It weighed a lot less than I expected. I waved my arm about, and the shield didn’t tire me out.

From the same coat of arms, he plucked a short sword from the wall. Something about it was special: the hilt looked almost like glass, and shone a bright bluish hue. The blade looked cold to the touch. It felt more different than my other sword; like it’s more balanced.

“This blade had seen many battles in many hands.” He preached. “It has been damaged and repaired many times.”

“So if these are your family’s heirlooms, why are you giving them to me instead of Ericka?” I asked him puzzled.

“Originally I was going to give these to her; but she took more of a liking to magic. I thought you would get more use out of it than she.”

“I’m not much for giving thanks, but thanks.” Showing thanks has always been one of my weaknesses. It was hard for me to even tell him “thanks.” “Now I have everything I need for the program.”

“Ah, yes, the program; I will register you, but promise me one thing- don’t let vengeance be your main driving force. I’ve seen too many people die from it. I don’t want you to die from it either.”

“Fine, I promise.” I promised not to be led by vengeance- it doesn’t mean that I won’t enjoy killing those paper demons, though. All I could do now was wait for tomorrow as the day quickly burned out.
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