The Huntress

This story is set in a different world called Azure - a world of the most unique creatures from mermaids to unicorns to dragons to another species you must have never heard of - The Hunters. They are an immortal species of ruthless females, extremely proud and emotionless, considering themselves to be above all other species claiming that they do not have any weaknesses. Aria is a great Huntress, having trained for ages. She too considers herself superior and different, not having feelings or any other lame emotion Humans posses, but when Aaron, a young guy from the Human world, stumbles into her world, a lot of things start changing for Aria.


4. That was cruel...

Barely two weeks after his initiation in this mysterious pack/group/clan/species called Hunters, Aaron was already feeling out of place. Nothing he did seemed to be right. There was always some sort of fault in the way he sat, the way he talked, the way he breathed. Well, it was only just the one called Aria who had the most problem with him. It was almost like she only saw what he did wrong and deliberately ignored everything he did right. No, it wasn't as though the others didn't detest him, but he seriously wondered what she had against him in particular.

Besides, all the training he was having to do was getting extremely tiring. At first, the idea of being in another world and training with a bunch of rebel Catwoman-ish girls had been surreal and thrilling for him. He didn't even know if he believed it himself. A part of him was expecting to wake up any minute and go, "Oh, so that was all a dream!" but it had been two weeks and the exhausting training, the cheeky insults and the crazy world around him felt too real. And now he was feeling a bit scared. Why on earth - well, why on Azure (which was apparently what the world was called) - did these Hunters want him to train with them, and also throw all kinds of insults at him at the same time? It all just made him want to go back home.

"I'm hungry," he moaned for the seventeenth time in a row but Aria refused to make a response. It was so darn annoying. For one thing, she was the only one he saw around. All of the others just went out hunting all the time and he never even met them. The other girl, Moira, hadn't even spoken to him after she had spoken for him that one time when he thought he was most definitely going to die. They had all probably put Aria on the duty to train him and 'deal' with him as she put it, but she was hardly ever cooperative. These Hunters were a weird species - they didn't breath, they didn't eat, they didn't sleep, they didn't need anything Humans needed and they were still immortal. And what's more, they considered anybody who needed to eat in order to survive as unbelievably weak. Even after he explained to Aria how the Human body worked and why they needed to eat, she was barely interested. "Go hunt a bear for yourself if you're that hungry," was all she ever said.

"I'm hungry!" he persisted, stomach rumbling. All this time he had been living off wild berries that grew in the wood around him and strange fruits called 'bubbleberries' and 'bloodapple' that were exclusively found only in Azure. Now he was growing sick of it and he even suspected that the bloodapples were true to their name, so he really truly wanted to eat some good food. At times he was reminded of the pancakes and cheeseburgers back in his own world and he felt seriously homesick. It was too much to take. He wondered what his family and friends were thinking. They were most definitely in a state of panic. 

Aria gazed out at the skyline through a clearing in the canopy above, expression as impassive as always, but a faint trace of anxiety in her eyes. A roar sounded in the distance, faint but still blood-curdling, and he thought he saw her shudder a little. That was unnatural for her. There wasn't anything that could scare her, but he knew there was this one thing that had been bothering her for so long. These mighty roars and sounds of destruction from far off had apparently started long before he had ended up in this world, and it seemed to be causing worry among all the Hunters - mostly for Aria. She would sit on a rock gazing in the direction from which the roars sounded and mutter things to herself. "Dragons," she kept saying, a sense of trepidation in her quavering voice. 

Aaron stared at her for a long time, watching her in fascination without even realising. Her black hair was perpetually dishevelled and messy, but the way it fell over her face down to her chin was beautiful in a natural way. And for some weird reason, he felt that behind those icy cold eyes, there was a sensitive soul. It was an impossible and implausible hypothesis but he believed it still. She always seemed to be trying to keep a good distance from being the weak creature she considered Humans to be, but somewhere deep down, it felt like she was no different from them. And why oh why, Aaron asked himself, did he find that attractive? Did he fancy her? Well, not really. If she had been a little less proud, actually a lot less proud, well then maybe...

"Aria, will you please tell me what I should do?" he moaned. "I'm hungry!"

That seemed to bring her back to reality. Which wasn't a very good thing because she snapped at him frustratedly and said incomprehensible words in a different language - the Azurian dialect, he presumed. But then she did something unexpected and extremely disturbing. 

She nocked an arrow and shot it straight into the bushes and a high-pitched wail sounded. She walked over to the bushes and came back in a few seconds, dragging a slowly-dying golden deer behind her. Crimson blood flowed from where the arrow had struck it, and it moaned and wailed in agony. Aaron knew was it was feeling like. He knew the feeling when the poison slowly consumes your body and it collapses into helplessness. He knew the golden deer felt that agonising pain too, and that it knew it was dying. It's eyes shimmered and a few teardrops leaked from its eyes, and it let out a final screech before crumbling and surrendering to Death.

Aaron felt the tears prick his own eyes.

"Food," Aria said, her eyes devoid of any emotion.

Aaron just stared at her for a long time. "What did you - what did you just..." He felt a tear escape his eye even after his struggle to fight them back. What he had just witnessed...the look in the deer's eye when it knew Death was close...and the fact that Aria had not even been the slightest bit concerned that she had done something so all made him feel sick.

"Oh, what do you want me to do?" she snapped. "You wanted food, I brought you meat. I cannot do more than this. Cut this creature up and -"

"SHUT UP!" Aaron found himself scream. Aria's look of frustration changed into one of sheer confusion, as though she didn't see anything wrong in slaying a poor animal in cold blood and offer it as food for him. "That was...that was cruel..."

He didn't think he could stand being in her disgusting presence for longer. Everything about her revolted him. He turned and walked away, not knowing where he was headed, but wishing hard, hoping against hope that he would stumble back into his own world. He didn't want anything to do with a species as cruel as the Hunters.

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