"Work Hard, Live Well"

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The warm shining sun was seen high above the sky as small patches of clouds could be seen, occasionally passing through the sunlight as it created a small show on the land below. The long road was empty and calm, as if it was such a nice day for people to simply stay home and look at the clouds pass by. However, on this day, two cloaked figures could be seen walking on that single road, one taller than the other, as they were heading to the nearby forests.

"Ugh... I still can't believe you have us wearing this, I'm sure we lost those hunters like before so why not get rid of them?" A female voice said as she reached under her cloak to pull out a canteen that used to drink before passing it over to him as he took only a slight one.

"We never know where the enemy is, we must stay vigalint, especially on something like this" A male voice said as he finished drinking and wiped a small drop that still remained on his lips with his hand before handing the canteen back to her.

She simply huffed as she readjusted her canteen back into her cloak before continuning the travel in silence as they continued walking.

They entered the shady west entrance to the forest as they took off their hoods, revealing a brown haired man with a red haired woman as they continued walking forward. However, Ray stopped immediatly as he started to smell around, looking all around the area as he caught the scent of something off in the forest. "I think someone is here...." He said quickly as the woman reached to her back, gripping on something, but stopped when she say the man running in a quick speed. 

"Ray, wait up!" Sonia cried out as she ran after him. After some time, the pair had reached a clearing and they decided to rest there for the time being. "Great, just great, now we're lost who knows where." Sonia said as she sat herself down.

"I was sure I felt something here." Ray said as he scanned the area. Suddenly, they heard a rustle in the bushes which alerted the two to a something. Whether it was good or bad was unknown to them. After another minute or two, a man came into the clearing looking as if he was angry. He had two tonfas at hand which just made him all the more looking like a threat. Ray and Sonia readied their weapons in caution. "Who are you?" Ray said with suspicion.

"That is none of your concern." The man replied. The sound of his voice just raised the pair's suspicions because of how cold and heartless it sounded. "But if you get in my way, I will kill you."

"And just what is your objective?" Sonia asked with the same level of suspicion.

"Again, that is none of your concern." The man said not changing his cold expression.

Ray's instincts were telling him that the man in front of him was trouble, "Sonia, move back, I don't want you to get caught in this..." Ray said throwing off his cloak as it revealed his normal outfit, consisting of a tight red, white, and black kimono that was tight around his body as he glared at the person. "You will tell me what you're doing on this path or I make you..." He said with a cold tone in his voice, making the atmosphere in the area tense. 

"I don't obey orders from anyone." The man retorted as he raised his tonfas with an even more angry looking expression on his face. "Especially from a herbivore like you." He concentrated magic energy into his weapons and they were alit with what looked like a purple flame although the pair knew that it was really magic energy. "If you don't move, I'll break every single bone in your body"

Right when he said that, Ray had moved like lightning as he had appeared right behind him, "You leave too many opening's, I could've snapped your neck ten times without you noticing" He replied before reappearing back in his place in a blink of his eye. "I am Ray Martinez, who are you?" He asked taking his fighting stance. The man then smiled for the first time.

"Interesting, you think you can best me in combat?" The man said. "I'm Ryuunosuke Kageyama and I accept your challenge." He said as he raised his tonfas. "I hope you can entertain me for at least a short while."

"Hunter's do not entertain..." In an instant Ray jumped up high into the air, using the sunlight to temporarly blind Ryuunosuke as he had looked up to spot his opponent, he did not notice that Ray had already landed and was about to attack him head on. 

"Idiot." Ryuunosuke said as he blocked the attack with his tonfa. "I would not be so naive to fall for such simple tricks. However, I am impressed by your speed. You're much faster than many people I have fought. Perhaps I should try a little. Chain Spear!" He said as he launched multiple spears at Ray.

With one swipe of his hand, Ray broke off all the spear points of each chain, "You lack conviction, it shows in the weakness of your chains" He said before sprinting as he created after images, each one rushing right at Ryuunosuke.

"You're reminding me of a boy I fought a while back. He said something similar." Ryuunosuke said to wherever in the afterimages the real Ray was."Water Chains" Now, chains of water hit the ground nearby Ray along with the surrounding area.  "Lightning Chain." Chains charged with lighting then began to chase after Ray like snakes chasing it's prey.

Ray quickly anazlyed the situation and started spinning at high speeds, causing winds to slowly draw towards him, it eventually created a small tornado of sorts as the water began to spirial around the small vortex, causing the lightning itself to follow the path until it was swirling around him, which Ray sent out right at Ryu. 

"Not bad." Ryuunosuke said as he saw Ray's ability to think fast. Using a chain made of Earth, he was able to block the reflected lightning attack before he began another charge while attacking with Chain Whip.

Ray stood his ground, focusing his stance to widen a bit as he closed his eyes, sensing the chain approching him as he quickly snapped at it with two fingers, breaking it apart with ease while at the same time using a spinning motion on the ground to get closer to Ryuunosuke who attempted to block the incoming attack, but ended up leaving himself open as Ray made contact with his chest, "Magnum Shot..." A powerful shock wave blasted through his hands as Ryu was knocked back, coughing a bit from the attack that he was dealt. 

"That hurt." Ryuunosuke said as he regained his composure. "But that doesn't come close to what I've been through in the past. Come at me with whatever you got." He then charged at Ray tonfas raised ready to continue the fight.

"Interesting, not many have ever been able to take my Magnum shot and be consious afterwords, very well then, make the next move" Ray said standing in his fighting pose, waiting on Ryu to attempt another attack on him. 

"Might as well use that technique that kid showed me. Ghost Road." Ryuunosuke said with a smile as he dissapeared. "Special Technique: Twin Dragon Chain!" He summoned two chains, one of fire, the other water and they surrounded Ray creating steam. "Special Technique: Full Metal Barrage!" With great speed Ryuunosuke attacked with a flurry of attacks using his tonfas and his chain magic.

Ray managed to deflect some of the attacks with ease, but was hit hard in the chest by the rest, though it didn't move him, even Ryu could tell that the attack actually did some damage. Though Ray simply cracked his neck, looking at him with a serious cold stare. "I'm very impressed, it's been so long since someone actually made me feel pain, but I'm afraid you made a grand mistake" He said disappearing in an instant before appearing right behind Ryu, about to strike him with a powerful arm thrust.

However, right before he could, a lightning slash wave appeared in front of Ray as he and Ryu quickly jumped out of the way, both looked over to see Sonia glaring as she had drawn her sword. "That's enough, both of you! This pointless fightning isn't going to solve anything. All we want is to pass through this area Ryu, that's all" She said growling as the two as the aura around Ray quickly calmed down as he took in a deep breath. 

"What's with the interference herbivore's wife?" Ryuunosuke asked still having a cold expression on his face for he did not like being interrupted.

"First off, I'm not his wife, second, there is no point to this worthless argument, especially considering I saved you sorry butt from him. You have no true clue about what he can do, and to be honest there's no time to waste on you, we have a mission to complete" She said stabbing her sword into the ground as Ray looked over to Ryu. 

"I wonder, who would really need saving." Ryuunosuke replied not losing his cold stare. "I didn't even go above 10% of my power. Also, I didn't use my restrict magic which I could have used to stop his heart from beating."

"You would've had to obliterate me to stop me runt, especially considering I am a Hunter, look up" He said as Ryu looked up, all around the forest were small little orbs of what appeared to be sunlight, but not bright enough for anyone to notice. 

"Is that all?" Ryuunosuke said with the same expression making it hard to determine whether he was surprised or anything. "Go ahead and hit me with your best shot if you want. My body can take it."

"I've already wasted too much of my time on you, we need to get going Sonia" He cracking his neck before dispelling the spell as Sonia simply sheathed her sword and began walking, "You're more than welcome to follow us if you're lost" He told Ryu. However, Ryuunosuke just turned around and walked the other way. The two companions just shrugged and headed towards their destination, Blitz Village.

At Blitz Village...

"Aw, Ryu-chan left me all alone again." A pink haired girl named Sakura Momoka pouted as she wandered the town. "He must have gotten lost again." Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw two people coming out of the nearby forest.

"Ugh, I'm glad to be out of there, if I had known we would have to fight such an opponent, I would've kept my cloak on" Sonia said stretching her arms over her head as she looked forward as she took out the piece of paper that she had in her bag.

"I don't sense any kind of trouble, I wonder why the village put a request for two wandering mages" Ray said as he looked around to see the village like a ghost town. 

"Finally, I see people!" Sakura exclaimed joyfully as she walked over to Ray and Sonia. "Did you come to this town for the job too? Me and my partner came here but then he got lost. I'm Sakura by the way!"

"Hello there, my name is Sonia Topaz, and this is my partner Ray, yes we did come to find out about this job they posted in a nearby village" She said looking over to Ray, but noticed that he had a serious look on his face as he looked all around the village.

"I can't sense anyone here, no human, animal, or even scent of anything. This is something else, something vile that happened to this village" He said walking over to the ground, trying to determine if there was anything that could give him any clues. 

"Allow me to help." Sakura said. "My Data Scan magic will be able to find what we need." Her eyes then turned green as she scanned the town. After some time, she noticed something out of the ordinary. "I can see residue of powerful magc energy in the area. Whatever it is, it has a huge ammount of Magic energy and it's quality is off the charts!"

"She's right, the energy is immense, I don't think an ordinary mage or beast did this" Ray said looking around until he found a doll of a little girl's as he grabbed it and took a sniff of it. "I found a scent, it seems to be only a few days old, we may not know each other, but I can tell you are a decent soul, would you like to join us?" He asked looking over as he handed the doll to Sakura. 

"Sure, it'l be fun!" Sakura said with glee. "Now I wish that he was here. He needs to practice talking with people. Oh well, I'll drag him into this when we find him."

"Drag me into what Sakura?" A voice came from the bushes and Ray and Sonia were shocked to see the cold stare from Ryuunosuke who they just fought a while ago.

"Ryu-chan! I found some people that you can talk to!" Sakura said excitingly. "Maybe we can all be friends!"

"I don't become friends with herbivores." Ryuunosuke said as coldly as before.

Ray growled and cracked his fists, but simply exhaled his break before glaring back at him, "If you wish for him to come Sakura, be my guest, but keep him under control. I don't need a raging dog going off his leash" He said before turning around to smell the area and catch the trail. "Got it, looks like whoever did this was heading up to the mountain regions, dangerous and tricky territory" He said looking at Sonia. "Be prepared all of you, it will not be an easy trip" He said with a serious tone before grabbing his gear. 

"Ryu-chan, what happened?" Sakura said unknowing of the earlier tense situation. Ryuunosuke just walked on without answering but now with a more intense look in his eyes. 'So that's what happened.' Sakura thought as she could understand what he was thinking just from looking at his face.

"Sakura, scan the mountain area for anything life threatening and for hidden enemies." Ryuunosuke instructed. "If we can get that information now, we can avoid most threats."

"Understood." Sakura said as she began scanning again. Because of her magic, the group was able to avoid many weak edges and traps that could have led to their death.

"Based on the ammount of traps, we can assume that the enemy is here and they don't want us here." Ryuunosuke said after some walking.

"Though they aren't exactly the smartest bunch so far, I can disable every single one of the traps with ease, there must be something more to this than we originally thought" Ray said beginning to walk with the others following as they passed the village outer limits.

"I'm just more worried about if the villager's are safe or not" Sonia said drawing her sword just in case anything might come out and surprise them. 

"I have confirmed of the vilagers' location." Sakura said. "Do not worry, they are safe. They are currently hiding for the time being. Also, there is an enemy 50 meters away from us currently holding a giant axe. The enemy has earth magic."

"I'll be right back then." Ryuunosuke said as he charged towards the enemy Sakura pointed out. A few minutes later he brought said enemy back using his chains. "I have captured him. We can get some info out of him. Maybe there is a patrol rather than them being close"

Ray grabbed the man before sending him slaming against a wall and grabbing his neck, "We know something's been going on, this isn't just another snatch and grab, you are here for something and you will tell me what. Otherwise, I will make sure you beg for your death" He said in a emotionless tone as the man looked at him with true fear in his eyes. 

"Okay, I'll talk!" The man said with panic. "We've been preparing for some ritual but I don't know what! I swear, that's all I know!"

"He isn't lying. I can see his brainwaves." Sakura said.

"I'm knocking him out anyway." Ryuunosuke said as he used a chain to knock the man unconcious leaving a huge bumb on the man's head.

"Ryu-chan, you don't have to be so rough." Sakura said

"For now, just chain him up and leave him somewhere, we'll deal with him when he comes back" Ray said taking in a deep breath as he found the path leading up to the mountains. "I can sense something big is going to happen, if anyone else has doubts, then stay here" He said with a serious tone as he looked over to his small team.

"You know me Ray, I'm not gonna back down from anything" Sonia said with a large grin as electricity passed through her entire body. 

"Me and Ryu-chan are coming too!" Sakura said for herself and her partner.

"I won't let a herbivore out do me." Ryuunosuke said as his serious expression remained on his face. "Let's get a move on."

Ray simply chuckled as he turned around, leading the group down to the path where they were going to find the rest of their enemies, but little did they know that the real fight hadn't even begun yet. 

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