1 A Night to Remember. Part 1/2

Heavy rain can be heard outside the cabin this night. A flash of lightning covered the sky above, and a bolt of electricity struck a nearby wooden pole; erected a couple of meters above the earth, just outside the cabin. The ground shook as the force of the blast reverberated through the soil beneath and the building nearby.

"Ahh...!" A childish voice screamed in fear before a loud crash sounded out. "Ow," The admittedly cute voice cried.

A very young boy could be seen nursing a bruised elbow on the floor next to his bed. He had just been startled awake and was thrown to the ground due to the thunder. The poor thing.

This boy had a full mat of messy snow-white hair and bright sapphire-blue eyes. His face was scrunched up in frustration, and he looked to be on the verge of tears. He wore small pajamas with tiny pigs printed on them. All in all, it made for a pretty cute display.

He stood up and looked around, only to find that he was alone within the room. Both he and his grandfather shared a room and bed, so it wasn't often that he woke up in the middle of the night alone without his grandfather. The bedroom he was standing in was small. It only had a single bed, a pair of dressers, and a table-stool on the side that his grandfather slept.

The child knew that he would not fall back asleep anytime soon, so instead, he decided to look for his grandfather around the house. He must be quiet about it, though, because he doesn't want to accidentally alert his grandfather of his whereabouts.

He made his way out of the bedroom and silently closed the door behind him. Then, he slowly crept down the hall into the central room of the house. There he finds a man standing over a long table with multiple books and maps littered about. He appeared to be frantically checking over notes and marking graphs with an orange quill and ink.

The man had shoulder-length white hair, a bit darker than the young boy's, and a well-trimmed beard. He seemed to be in his mid to late sixties, despite having no apparent wrinkles or blemishes coating his skin, and the muscles that could be seen on the man are brimming with power and vitality.

Sitting on a chair next to the old man is an aged felyne. The felyne had made a pact with the man many years ago and became a palico. The felyne had white hair with black stripes running all across its body. It had rounded ears, and although its eyes were shut, they were heterochromatic, one yellow and one grey.

This man is the boy's grandfather, while the felyne is his grandfather's long-lasting partner. Merely looking at the aged duo could intimidate lesser monsters and inexperienced hunters. They were both selected to join one of the many fleets that traveled to the new world, and even though that was many years ago, they never lost their edge. If they so desired, they could easily pick a fight and win against any wyvern they chose.

Once the boy got closer to the room, several different species of tamed animals cast a glance towards him but quickly lost interest as he was a frequent visitor of their den. Though the felyne's ears twitched, it didn't open its eyes to look at him. The boy was confident that he made no sound while walking, but it seemed like an animal's ears were a lot more sensitive than he had previously assumed.

His grandfather collected and raised many different species of life. The kid's favorites are the wigglers, a species native to the new world, which would retreat into the dirt once he got close. There were also different kinds of hares, lizards, birds, fish, and even penguins living in their house.

Luckily for the boy, his grandfather didn't seem to notice his arrival and just kept working. He knew that his bedtime had long since passed and that he should not be awake right now. If his grandfather discovered him, he would likely be lightly reprimanded and sent back to bed. Still, any form of punishment or admonishment would be less than pleasant, no matter how little it may be for a child like himself.

After standing in the hallway and peeking into the central room for about a minute, his grandfather spoke up. "Velk, what are you doing up this late at night?" His voice was deep and firm, yet affectionate. Velk jumped slightly at the sound of his voice, as he did not think that his grandfather had noticed him.

"I... uh... woke up..." Velk barely scrambled out a few words in broken Mohun. He knew that he needed to add more to the story, or he would be in trouble.

"The thunder was loud... I got scared..." This still was not enough, as this has happened many times. His grandfather would always teach him tricks and songs to help him sleep through the storm. There was no excuse for being out of bed other than needing to use the bathroom or for emergency situations.

"I fell off the bed and hurted my elbow..." Velk quickly mentioned as he held up his bruised elbow, trying to show it to his grandfather, who still had his back turned towards him. This lasted for about ten seconds while Velk was growing more anxious.

"I'm sorry, grandpa." Velk quickly attempted to apologize. It was at this moment that the old felyne opened his eyes to stare at the boy. His grandfather also turned around to show a kind and caring smile on his face while his dark green eyes gazed upon the boy.

Anyone would have easily believed his grandfather to be a male super-model. He was very handsome, his body looked to have been sculpted by a master artisan with no physical deformities marring it, and his face did little to match his apparent age. Just as his grandfather was about to speak up, loud knocking sounded at the door. Every eye in the room turned towards it.

"Stay here." Velk's grandfather commanded as he quickly made his way to the door. Once arriving, he looked through a circular peephole in the door. Determining it was safe, he opened it.

Opening the door revealed a young, tired-looking youth who was panting. It looked as if the man had just run a marathon at full sprint. He was dressed in a dark blue raincoat that was currently drenched due to all of the rain. His tall boots were muddy, and his eyes were covered by his wet, blonde hair.

The young man seemed surprised by the quick answer but gathered his bearings quickly. "Sir!" he gave a swift salute.

"Out with it! You should know I do not like being disturbed at this time of night." Velk's grandfather ordered.

"As you order!" The youth exclaimed loudly to be heard over the rain.

The youth spoke quickly and loudly so that all the information that he had obtained could be transmitted. Although Velk could only hear tidbits of information here and there, it did not mean much to him, as he could hardly understand what they were talking about. The exact opposite could be said for the old cat, as it hastily got up from the stool and ran over to a box with a bunch of cat prints decorating its surface and weird-looking tools surrounding it.

Velk watched the felyne grab an enormous blue hammer out of the box, much too large for its size. His grandfather turned to look at him, catching the attention of Velk. The two had a staring contest of sorts, and although Velk thought it was a fun little game, his grandfather did not share such sentiments.

His grandfather turned his attention back towards the man and yelled out, "Quick! Sound the bells! Time is of the essence!" He also shouted some extra orders, but Velk was not able to understand them.

"Yes, Sir!" The man quickly saluted once again and ran at full speed towards the center of the village. Velk watched the man slip into some mud as his grandfather turned around. Closing the door behind him, he made his way over to a red box on the other side of his palico's.

Turning to look at Velk with a bag in hand, his grandfather said in a grave and stern voice, "Velk, listen very carefully to me. I need you to take this bag and pack all of your favorite clothes and belongings into it as quickly and as neatly as possible. Can you do this for me?" Even though Velk did not know what was going on, he still listened to his grandfather's words without question. He accepted the brown backpack and nodded fiercely.

"I need you back out here once you are done. Please hurry!" His grandpa shouted as Velk was already running down the hall and into their shared bedroom. Velk did not understand why he needed to do this, but he could still hear the urgency in his grandfather's voice and felt it necessary that he moved quickly.

Once he arrived in front of the dresser, he started packing his favorite clothes like his grandfather asked him to do. He grabbed a mixture of comfy plain shirts and shorts, Velk knew that he should also pack undergarments and socks, but he did not consider them important enough to add yet and will probably do so later.

At some point, he had taken out his favorite pajama shirt that had a Pukei-Pukei face printed upon it with its tongue sticking out and its eyes rolled over. It was his absolute favorite as he believed it to have a funny expression. Plus, it was super comfortable to wear. There was no reason not to bring it along!

Once he was finished packing his clothing, including the one sock and no undergarments, he moved on to his belongings. There was not much. All he had were a couple of toys and picture books, and they were probably not important enough to be brought along. He did, however, pack the "Tale of the Five." It was a book detailing the creation myth behind the world and why it works the way it does. Although Velk could not understand half of the words written in the book. It was still his favorite as he could imagine enormous dragon gods and what it would be like to fight them or simply have a friendly conversation.

After Velk deemed that he was finished packing, he closed up the bag and left the room. He then quickly made his way back to the central room of the house. Arriving, he found that all of the animals had already fled, except the wigglers, of course. His grandfather decked out in white plate mail armor on his chest, shoulders, legs, knees, elbows, hands, and feet. There was also a long blue robe with gold embroidery of dragons covering most of it. It looked like something the guild knights would wear, but not quite.

There was the long sword leaning onto the table, which Velk had only ever seen in a display case. It was a rather long blue sword with sapphire jewels adorning the length of the blade. It had long, wavy black skin flaying from each of the gems. Its edge was serrated and looked sharp enough to cut just by looking at it, while its handle was long enough to fit 5 hands.

The sword was affectionately named [Dragon Fucker] and was known for its legendary 'dragon slaying' abilities. Velk had once asked why the sword was identified in such a way, but all his grandfather told him was that it is highly inappropriate to use the word in public and not say the sword's name for now, or he would be punished. So he dropped the issue and no longer asked but kept what his grandfather said in mind.

To the right of his grandfather was the palico. It was holding a giant blue hammer way too big for its small body. The weapon was made the same way as the long sword, only being blunt rather than bladed. The armor also looked much the same as his grandfather's armor, with the only difference being the type of dragon inscribed on its back and the hood covering up the palico's head.

"Velk, my boy, come here, quickly." Velk made way to his grandfather with hurried steps, holding up the bag in front of him.

"We don't have much time, and I need to give you some important items." Velk's grandfather took the bag out of his hands and set it on a nearby stool. He then proceeded to grab a belt much too large for Velk's size but wrapped it around the bag, securing it in place. He then quickly set out 3 items on the table in front of him.

First, he picked up a very ordinary-looking rock and handed it to Velk, explaining, "This is a stone that has saved my life on numerous occasions. I call it [Maker's Whetstone]. It is a whetstone that never breaks, no matter how many times it's used." Velk wanted to ask what a whetstone is, but his grandfather beat him to the punch by continuing. "Don't worry about it for now; you will learn what a whetstone is in the future."

He then handed Velk the bag and moved Velk's second hand towards the belt. "I will show you how to put the stone inside the belt."

Velk looked at his grandfather with the most confused look on his face he could muster. His grandfather saw this and grabbed the stone and the belt. Velk watched as the stone seamlessly disappeared from his grandfather's hand. Velk's eyes widened in surprise as he tried to understand what even happened.

Velk had seen his grandfather and his palico do many strange things, such as making ice out of nothing and starting a fire using only their hands or paws, but he never knew how they did it. He had tried multiple times himself but could never seem to make it work.

The very next second, he saw the stone back inside of his grandfather's hand. "I need you to do what I just did." his grandfather then went on to explain that he needed to focus on the belt and use his mind to store the stone inside of it. While Velk did not really understand what he was supposed to do, he did know that he needed to 'want' to put the whetstone inside the belt.

Velk's grandfather handed the whetstone back to him along with the bag. Velk spent half a minute trying to put the stone inside the belt before something 'clicked' in his mind. He watched the stone vanish from his hand and into what he believed to be the belt. The boy looked up at his grandpa with a happy expression adorning his face, looking for praise, only to find his grandfather already focusing on the other two items.

His grandfather then proceeded to grab a sapphire gem, shaped like a star, radiating vitality, light, and power. He brought it towards Velk's face, not revealing any acknowledgment towards the longing for praise within Velk's bright blue orbs. "This is a very, very, very important gem. It can never be shown to others. Do you understand me?"

Velk slowly noded once again in understanding as he watched his grandfather store the gem within the belt. Finally, the old man grabbed the final gemstone. It was light brown and glowed with a gentle light. The boy could hear the gem humming a pleasant noise as his grandfather picked it up. Like the star gem, this gem also gives off a powerful feeling. He watched his grandpa store the final gemstone within the belt as well. "The same can be said for this gemstone. Never show it, and only take it out for no more than a couple minutes if you must."

As soon as all of the items were stored, a loud bell could be heard in the distance. The ringing meant that danger had been spotted coming towards the village, and every noncombatant should stay in their homes. But this signal was different. It would ding twice in short succession instead of the usual once. This was to warn of incoming danger that noncombatants should try to stay clear from as much as possible. It was stated that the villagers should gather into a group and quickly head to Rak-Al-Faar, about a day's travel without rest. Failure to do so would likely result in injury or death, if not worse.

Velk's grandfather hurriedly got up and grabbed a tiny coat made for Velks personal use. His grandfather rapidly put it over Velk and made sure that it was nice and tight. He picked him up from his seat and moved him to the floor near the door. Grabbing Velk's tiny shoes and swiftly putting them on Velks feet.

Velk's grandfather picked him up again in one arm and set his grandson's head near his shoulder. "Grab on to me!" He commanded. As Velk put his arms around his grandfather, the palico climbed itself onto his shoulder as well. His grandfather did not seem to mind the extra weight.

He moved his hand over the doorknob and opened it to reveal the same scenery as before. Velk did not understand why his grandfather stalled for a second to look back inside the house, but he saw his grandpa nod and then ask, "You ready?"

"Yes," Velk gave a nod of his own, followed by his grandfather taking one final step through the door, out into the rainy night...

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