The sun blazed high in the sky emitting the heat that Castiel was not very fond of right now. Walking in the desert is one thing, but walking from Dundorma to the village Rekusarain thats's located in the Dede Desert is but a very long journey. He lost count on the many days he's been traveling and he simply doesn't care anymore.
'Why did this happened to me? Why couldn't they see where I was coming from?', he thought to himself. It felt just like yesterday that he was banished from his home city and set to live on his own without any assistance. He traveled to other cities and towns nearby, but it turns out that word from Dundorma had seemed to spread forcing Castiel to travel south towards the desert. Did his family truly hated him for what he had committed? Committing to befriend a beast that was only seen as a threat to the people. Thinking about it makes him want to cry and its to painful to remember.
Castiel was pinned to his knees and arms held by two royal hunter warriors while he screamed for them to release him as he watched in horror. "Please! Don't hurt her! She has done nothing wrong to neither of you! Why are you doing this?", he screamed feeling utterly useless that he couldn't do anything to stop the fight. His mother, Naomi and his stepfather Zachariah gave him blank and venomous looks that could be as poisonous as Rathalos claws. Naomi walked towards him kneeling in front of him and a shock of pain hit his cheek from Naomi's hand.
"You need to learn that monsters like that 'so called friend' of yours are nothing but creatures meant to harm others. As a hunter, YOU should understand that monsters like THAT Tigrex down there are dangerous to all. Even if we were never aware of your involvement with that forsaken beast, it would've killed you no matter what Castiel! I'm sorry to say this, but this is for your own good. Bring him closer so he can have a better look down on the arena", She said going back to her seat with Zachariah by her side. The royal guards forcefully dragged him towards the view of the arena holding him down and keeping his head on the battlefield. The people in the arena were loud and the battle itself was terrifying. Claire; the Tigrex he named and grew to love as his bestfriend since he was 6 years of age was doing everything in her power to defend herself from the four High-Ranked hunters.
She was barely holding on, but she was strong. She tailed spinned knocking a greatsword user 10 feet away as well as well as a hammer and longsword user. The light bowgun user shot his rounds rapidly at Claire breaking her ear. Castiel continued screaming for them to stop the fight and to leave her alone, but no one budged. Not even his sibilings. He felt so betrayed from his family's actions and wished that his father Chuck was here. He could've stopped this. He would've listened to Castiel, but he no longer is alive due to dying on a quest. He has no one to help him now. The fight continued to get gruesome. Blood and scales were slowly pealing off of the Tigrex and she looks close to dying now. Tears started to pour from Cas' eyes when she was starting to slow down and limping heavily.
She kept fighting with all her might and the flying wyvern's gaze caught Castiel's. It was barely a brief stare but it was a look that told Cas "Thank you for everything my friend" look and continued to fight for her life. Castiel was now going crazy, screaming to the top of his lungs and begging for them to stop. Many of the people completely ignored them. Only the Wyvernians (which weren't that many) and several palicos were a bit skeptical of the fight to continue. After what felt like hours, the longsword user delivered the killing blow, finally taking Claire down. Castiel felt like his heart stopped beating. The scene of watching her lifeless body lying in the middle of the ring had killed him. Claire...h.his bestfriend....she's gone. His body grew numb and his face was full of shock and misery. His mother walked towards his side still gazing on the battlefield as people in the stands kept cheering while the hunters were cheering and flaunting in victory.
"It was for your own good Castiel. One day you'll understand from my point of view. Take him to the court. He must be judged for his actions". She walked away along with the rest of the family and Castiel was lead by the guards.
When they reached the court, so many people were there along with the Wyvernians and Palicos to hear of what would happen to him. The testimonies and statements went for an hour and a half until they finally reached a conclusion. One of the five judges stood and spoke to Castiel. "Castiel Novak of the Royal Novak Bloodline, we have come to the conclusion that your actions were unexceptable and we have come to the decision. No longer will you ever attempt this force of action and restrain from showing an immense to the beast itself. Your licenses of ranking will be confiscated and banned as well as never taking sudden action to participating on a quest or event. Do you follow these terms?" The courthouse was silent and all of the people, wyvernians, and palicos waited for Castiel's response. Castiel knew that if he accepted the terms, he wouldn't have that much of free will for himself. Not to mention a high chance that he would be thrown in the dungeons for a torturous rehabilitation that may possibly last for 3 years. There was no way that Castiel was going to accept these terms. Ever since he met Claire when she was just a hatchling, his view of hunting drastically changed and came to the conclusion that life itself in any living thing was precious to the touch. And the idea of being banned from taking part in quests and events would mean that he wouldn't be able to save a lot of lives. His breathe was steady and lifted his head towards the judges.
"No", he said with confience, "I will not follow these conditions. I will not be held against my will for what happened in that arena. I will continue to do what I choose and if it's interacting with the monster itself even at the cost of my own life, then so be it. I rebel on the terms the court that has bestowed upon me." Gasps and mutters filled the room from Castiel's disagreement. He can feel eyes all on him with disapproving looks. As the court commotion started to settle down, the judge spoke once again. "By choosing to disagree, we hereby banish you from the Eastern Schrade region. You have until sunset to pack everything you need to leave the city of Dundorma. All valuables that aren't packed will be confiscated and sold. Meeting adjourned." Once the mallet made the slam, Castiel rushed out avoiding everyone around him to reach his home. He managed to to get his own home at the age 20 but now he must abandon it to uphold what he believes in.
When he finally made it home, he began unsheathing his casual clothes and went to his gear room. He won't be able to take everything that he had so he made a list in his mind of what he should pack. He grabbed the biggest bag he could find and started stuffing it with two pairs of clothing and a set of shoes, potions, cooked meats, drinks for hot and cold climates, whetstones, a small chest of his zenny savings, items that can be traded for zenny, and other items that will help him on his journey. His papers however were confiscated from him leaving him with no identity as well as his hunting permit and hunter rank. Once his bag was set, he looked at all the gear he's earned over the past 4 years. He just needed to pick an armor set and leave. He decided that he'll stick with his Jaggi X set since it was light and gave some good defense. The weapon he went with was his very first. The final stage of the Great Jaggi sword and shield. The others were a few duel blades and hammers. The young man never explored the other weapons as well as stronger armor because of his distractions with Claire. He quickly grabbed his talisman granting him an enchantment of defensive protection of immunity against fire attacks. The armor wasn't the best, but it'll have to do.
Once fully dressed, he took one last look of his home and left to the exit city. He would have to get a ride from a Gargwa wagon to reach Val Haber so that he can take a sand boat to the Western Schrade. He made quick work down the great stairs to the stables only to have his path blocked by Gabriel and Anna. Gabriel was older than Cas by three years while Anna was older by two years. His siblings were in their gear, most likely came back from their quest since they weren't at the arena. Gabriel was wearing his High-Rank Najarala set with his Rathian longsword while Anna wore her G-Rank Zinogre set with Zinogre duel blades sheathed on her back. "What the hell happened Cassie?!? I had to hear from mom that you were banished from the city and never to return", he said removing his helmet before flinging his arms in the air. "What the hell is going on?" Castiel sighed in exhaustion. He was really tired of this crazy shenanigans but he knew that both Gabriel and Anna deserve a proper explanation.
"I was caught by Bartholomew. He followed me and found out that I was secretly meeting Claire in secret. He went back home and reported my actions towards mother and the council. After that, everything went utterly downfall." Both Gabriel and Anna had a questioned look until their widen in certainty. They were the only ones that knew about him meeting Claire in secret when we were toddlers. What they didn't know was that he continued to meet her without them realizing despite their warnings of getting involved when they were younger.
Gabriel was the first to break the silent. "I knew it! Great almighty Gypceros I so knew that my suspicions of you secretly meeting that Tigrex was 100% correct! I mean what in Fatalis' name were you thinking little brother?!? Did it not crossed your mind once that there are horrible consequences for performing this kind of stunt?" Castiel glared daggers at his brother. "Of course I knew, but I never expected for me to be followed!"
"You should've listened to us in the first place! Right from the very beginning Cassie! This wouldn't have happened and now your so-call friend paid the price in that arena!"
"Don't you dare think about-"
"Okay enough! Both of you stop this now! Could we please discuss this without blaming each other?", Anna said getting between both her brothers before things got worst. Gabe and Cas were hesitant at first but stand down. Anna nodded and looked back to her younger brother. "Castiel, I know that this is really hard for you right now but you need to understand from our view that what you were doing was foolish and you could've put your life in grave danger. I mean did it ever crossed your mind how we would've felt when we found out that you were killed?" The "former" hunter was about to protest but shut his mouth knowing that his sister was right. Even if he wasn't killed by Claire, it still crossed his mind a few times of what their reactions would've been if he got killed.
"I'm sorry. I..It's just...its been a long day and I wish not to talk about it right now.", he said feeling tears forcing to come out.
Anna smiled and pulled her baby brother into a huge. "It'll be okay. We truly are sorry for you and Claire."
Gabriel approached and joined the huge as well. "I'm sorry as well for had happened to you and I'm sorry for accusing you earlier. That was a harsh call." As they pulled apart, Castiel and his siblings walked over to the stables looking for an available ride for Val Haber. Anna and Gabriel insisted to go with him which Castiel accepted. He could use the company. As they rode on the wagon thanks to a friendly palico, Gabriel went to breaking the ice of silence. "So you really are leaving huh? Can't believe mother would allow such a thing. It would've been different if dad was still alive." Castiel and Anna nodded in agreement. "On the bright side, you no longer have to be betrothed to that douche Michael is friends with."
"Yeah no kidding. That Lucifer guy was really rude and looked at you out of lust than kindness", Anna said pulling out a whetstone to sharpen one of her duel blades. Lucifer was 6 years older than him and it was Zachariah's idea to arrange him with Castiel. Naomi; with no doubt agreed with him since she viewed a strong hunter family line is the best. Castiel never liked him when he first met him especially when he was with Michael. Those two were more worst than hunting in a Yian Garuga quest. "Yes, I'm glad that I no longer have to show any concern of my so called 'marriage'. He never was the perfect choice for me."
They continued to give small talk until they finally reached Val Haber. Before they could exit the wagon, the palico driver meowed for their attention. "It may be a little late, but I would like to say that I side your opinion Castiel of the Novaks. What you did back in Dundorma was really brave of you. Hold on to that young hunter. Maybe one day in the mere future you'll create a greater shift to all." Castiel gave a warm smile to the old palico. "Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it."
"(Meow) No problem and good luck. May you have a safe journey!" They paid the driver and walked down the main rode of Val Haber. As the three hunters walked down the main road, they started to notice that everyone was gossiping in whispers as they passed by them. Turns out word of Castiel's actions had spread like a plague. Castiel tried to ignore but couldn't help that the majority of the multiply conversations around them were negative towards Cas. They truly believe that Castiel committed a heinous crime. He was a bit surprised that a couple of wyvernians were against his actions since wyvernians show a very high level of respect for nature and the monsters that roam within it. Gabriel sensed Castiel's distress and gave a comforting hand on his shoulder easing Castiel. Once they reached the end of the rode, they stopped by a section of houses that was home for several hunters. Gabriel lived at these parts because he didn't wish to live near his family that were strict. "Before you decide to take off. Both Anna and I have something to give you. We managed to get the remaining materials to fully upgrade the weapons since you didn't have the time to do it." Castiel gave a questioning look as Gabriel ran inside his house. "You'll see what he means", Anna said standing patiently next to Castiel waiting for Gabriel to get what was in his house. The door opened not even a minute later and Gabriel came bouncing next to Anna with a brown bag carrying some item in it. "So these guys were a pain in the ass to get so don't you even consider getting rid of these or your ass is grass", he said with a grin handing him the bag. Castiel opened the bag and gasped when the weapon was clutched in his hand. It was a pair of Wolf Tesson duel blades that are forged from a Yian Garuga. He slid the fan-like weapon open revealing a beautiful design with purple, and a few other colors. The the tip ends of the fan was forged with thick and razor sharp metal able to cut the thickest hide. Castiel has always loved the look and design of these weapons and he was grateful that his brother and sister were so kind enough to make them for him.
He pulled them both into a hug and forced his tears to stay in. "Thank you so much. I just wish that I could give you guys something in return." He said as Gabriel was clapping his back while Anna smiled. "Well if you want, we can hold possession of most of your materials and equipment since they will no longer be yours. Oww!" Anna gave him a swift kick at his leg looked back at Castiel. "That is IF you want us to have." The younger sibling pulled from the hug and gave a small smile. "Go ahead. Its not going to be something that'll own since I'm banished." The young hunter folded his duel blades and slid them into his large travel bag and gave one last hug to both his brother and sister. "I'll miss you both and I'll try to find someway to contact you guys. Wish you'd come with me if you had a choice."
"I wouldn't mind going with you since I hate this shit hole but mom has me rapped around my balls and it'll be hell if I provoke her. I will do whatever I can to leave this place and if not, then I might as well do something that'll send my ass sky high from the city", Gabriel said with a smile. Anna laughed while Castiel rolled his eyes. "That goes the same for me to but please be careful. Write to us just so we know your alive okay?" Castiel nodded and they lead him to the docks where a large sail boat was about to board off to the west. The young man took one last look at his remaining that ACTUALLY cares for him and walked on board giving paying the pay keeper. Several individuals gave wary looks to Castiel obviously knowing who he was but kept to themselves. When the sail was release, the ship moved forward and Castiel watched as the town and his brother and sister grew smaller out of sight the further the ship went across the blazing desert.
Ever since then, Castiel did not look back. He's been on the rode close to a year now. He kept his promise in writing letters to Gabriel and Anna, but there were times where he had to postpone it for awhile. Turns out word of his actions had been spread towards the west and they didn't allow any hospitality for him. He knew there wasn't a place for him there so he chose to travel south since its a high possibility that no one will know who he is. Although he had plenty of zenny, he had to use a good majority of it to keep moving. He'd been robbed a few times, had to sell various items for his journey, and he was forced to sell his sword and shield, his headgear, AND his talisman since he was low on zenny when he reached the borderline of Arcolis. So here he is about a mile away on a dusty rode to reaching Rekusara Village and running low on water. It would probably take him about 15 to 20 minutes to get there since its plain in sight but with the dry heat, it'll probably take 30 minutes to get into the village. As he continued walking at a slow rate, he could hear thumps of heavy footsteps coming from right behind him. He quickly turned unsheathing his duel blades only to find a carriage dragged by two adult Aptonoths. He sighed in relief that it wasn't a monster.
He encountered several on his way down south. He ran into mostly Bird Wyverns and the other day he barely escaped an aggressive Monoblos. Not something he wanted to run into again. The carriage was coming closer and Castiel moved to the side for it to pass only to stop right next to him. He looked towards the driver who was a young blonde wyvernian lady who looked about a year or two younger than Castiel himself. You could always tell if a person is wyvernian from the unusual characteristics and her pointed ears were a complete giveaway. "Excuse me, do you need a lift into town? That's where your headed right? Into Rekusara Village."
Castiel nodded and the young wyvernian smiled. "Hop on! I can give you a lift!"
"Oh no, I don't wish to imply on your behalf."
"Seriously dude, you look like your going to pass out any minute. Just hope on." Castiel was hesitant at first. He sighed and climbed on sitting next to the driver. "Great! Let's get going! Oh my name is Jo by the way. Jo Harvelle, to be exact!", Jo said extending her hand to shake Cas' hand. He took her hand and shook. "Castiel."
"Castiel? Well nice to meet you. I'm guessing your a hunter on a mission?", she said motioning the Aptonoths to move.
"Um no. Well I mean I've been looking for an area to settle but so far there has been no luck granted for. I wouldn't mind taking part in missions as long as its available." During his travels, he tried to find areas where he could settle and make zenny, but due to lacking any kind of identification its been very hard. Jo looked him over trying to figure him out. "You know, my village has been meaning to look for an aid from a hunter. They are retired hunters but they aren't in the greatest state to pull tougher missions and the younger hunters we had before left to learn new tactics such as new styles of hunting and using various skills of hunting arts from a town called Bherna which is found between the Northern Oelde District and the Eastern Schrade. So yeah, if your interested we could use a hand. It'll not only help you, but it can also help benefit the village."
The rogue hunter thought about it to himself. If he took the position, not only will he have a place to stay and get paid, but he can also help save lives of various monsters. He would also have to request missions that won't lead him to killing large beasts but to repel them. "Okay, count me in."
"Great! Will head over to Rekusara so that I can buy a couple of products and materials for the village farm and will be on our way." When they made it into the village, it was an actually oasis the village built on. They had a nice majority of citizens walking around the village, multiply building on the flat surface and on high terrains surrounded by small and large palm trees, and had several pools of water. Jo herded the carriage to a stop near a drinking fountain for her herbivores and both walked towards the seller. Jo bought various seeds, mushrooms, herbs, plants, and several bugs like thunder bugs and brought them back to the carriage. Castiel got to restock on drinks and food since he was really low. Once they both were seated in the carriage, Jo lead them East taking the back rode out of the village. They both made conversation giving brief details about themselves. Castiel grew to like Jo from learning her backstory. She had a mother named Ellen but never knew her father. She had a thing with one of her childhood friends named Dean but that set sail a long time ago, and she knows about 4 retired hunters that she looks as family. Their conversation continued in depth that Castiel didn't realize how long they've been traveling. His view was met with a vast ocean and a dock with a large ship awaiting them. "Hey Jo, where exactly is your village? I forgot to ask you that earlier."
The wyvernian faced palmed herself and laughed. "Sweet Konchus that's right! My home is on an island in the middle of the ocean. The village is called Moga Village located on Deserted Island. It'll take us about a week to get to the island. Hope you don't easily get seasick." Castiel has heard of the island town. He's never been there in person, but he has a generate idea of what it's about. The town was well known for their distribution of seafood and far travel to trade goods. Once they reached the docks, several passengers helped them load everything on the ship. It was a huge ship. A trading ship to be precise.
Jo motioned for Castiel to follow her up the deck where the captain of the ship was at. The captain was talking to one of his crew mates discussing the amount of cargo they had down deck. He had a bit of a an accent from a distance. When they finished, the man turned towards Jo and gave a warm smile. He looked about the same age as him and was about an inch or two taller than Cas himself. He had short brown hair, a thick scruff with grey eyes. He was equipped with a light metal plated chest piece with a black long tailed jacket, leg armor grieves, arm armor, and was equipped with a Buster Greatsword sheathed behind his back.
"Jo! How did the trade deliver go for you? I hope there weren't any problems for you coming back", the captain said to Jo with a rough accent.
"Ha! You can say it went well as I planned. Got all the materials we needed in the Arcolis Region. However there was an incident where a Seregios was within the area. Good thing there was a hunting party near by that kept that prickly pine cone away from the carriage allowing me to escape with no harm done." The captain grinned at Jo. "Well good thing those hunters were there", he said now shifting his gaze shifted from Jo to Castiel. He took a long look figuring Cas out. "Judging by the beaten up armor and those duel blades stashed behind your back, I'm guessing your a hunter on the rode right? I'm Benny by the way."
The rogue hunter was about to answer back only for Jo to answer for him. "Yes! This fellow hunter here whose name is Castiel had gladly agreed to help our poor little village. It's about time a hunter said yes to my offer. Good thing I ran into you on my way back." The blonde wyvernian said patting his shoulder.
"Yeah no kidding. Ever since Dean, Sam, and Charlie left the village to hunt in new areas AND the development of the hunter arts and styles, things started going a bit downfall for home. I mean John and Bobby have kept the village afloat for quiet awhile, but its getting a bit harder for them now since they no longer are in their prime anymore. So thanks Castiel for accepting Jo's offer." Castiel gave a shrug. "Well I mean there's no where for me to go and I'm honored for you both giving me the opportunity." Both Jo and Benny nodded.
"Captain!" One of the crew members said shouting to Benny. "Yes, are we ready to set sail?"
"All is set and ready! Waiting for your command."
"Great, lets start heading out now. Spread the word mate." The man nodded ushering everyone on board to get into position. As the boat was ready to set sail, Benny looked back to Jo and Castiel. "Jo, would you mind taking Castiel to his room so he can get settled. I gotta stay up here and help."
"Sure, I'll be right back then. Follow me Castiel. Lets get you situated." Jo took him down deck to the first floor where a kitchen was in view next to stacks of crates filled with food and liquids. They turned the corner revealing multiply doors leading to individual rooms. They walked passed 4 rooms till Jo came to a stop and opened the door on her right. The room was small with a bed, small dresser, a mirror, and a chair. There was a small window at the end of the room showing the ocean. "It's not that much. Sorry if you were expecting something more fancy. Benny is really the only one with a luxury room since he's the captain of the Andrea Trading Ship. So I would say that's fair."
Castiel walked inside placing his bag on the bed and looked around his room. "No its fine. As long as I have a place to sleep. So are we going to Moga Village then?", he said as the ship was starting to move heading out towards the sea.
"Oh no, we have to stop by Port Tanzia first before we head to the Deserted Island. We just have to make a few trades there and we're done." Castiel nodded and looked out his window. "Your not much of talker are you? Guess you've isolated yourself from a lot of people."
"You can say that. All that was on my mind was for a place to settle for myself and helped with quests", he said looking towards her. "You know, you never did say why you were on the rode in the first place. All you said was that you came from up north and been walking down south since. I don't mean to pressure you and saying your reason, but I have a feeling that you're not ready to speak of it since it seems really personal." Castiel gave a small chuckle and nodded. "Yes your right about that. I mean, I barley met you so there's not that much that I'll be saying right now."
Jo giggled couldn't agreed more. "Yes you are right on that one. That aside, I'm gonna head back up deck. If you need anything at all, just let me know. My room is right next door in case you need me okay? In the meantime, enjoy", she said shutting the door leaving Castiel in his empty room with the creaking of the ship. He removed his gear and pulled on some comfortable clothes feeling the need to rest up from a long and tiring day. He placed his gear and bag on the dresser and collapsed on the bed face flat and spread out. 'You can relax now. Everything is going to be fine now'. He said to himself.
For so long, Castiel has been on the rode for nearly a year with no opportunity to finally settle and make a name for himself. Finally he can start writing letters to Gabe and Anna since his time on the rode was difficult. It was struggle and he had to make some tough choices, but now he no longer has to worry of what he needs to face. He'll finally settle and call Moga Village his new home. His permanent home where he would help the village and maybe. Just maybe; he can show everyone on how he views the monsters that are hunted. He knows it'll take time to adjust, but he's positive that everything will go smoothly.
With a tired yawn, Castiel slowly drifts to sleep getting the rest he clearly needs for the upcoming arrival to Port Tanzia.