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.

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3. Training

"Concentrate."

"I'm trying."

"Try harder."

Aria heard Aaron groan moodily as she forced him to grip hold of the longbow and wear the quiver of silver arrows, ordering him to shoot a point she had marked on the bark of a tree that stood five meters away. He flinched slightly as he raised his right arm to point the longbow at the target. It probably still hurt him from that day she had attacked him, but it had been two weeks now and she had seen to it personally that his wounds were dressed and that he was getting better. She was not taking excuses for cancelling practice whatsoever. If the Human was to become a Hunter, he would do it the right way.

Even while saying that in her head, the idea sounded absurd. How could a person become a Hunter? The Hunters were a different species altogether. To think that a filthy Human was being trained by the best Hunters ever to become one of them...it was ridiculous. But Moira seemed to have other plans in her head. It was only out of a certain amount of obligatory respect for her that Aria had agreed to take that weak Human under her wing and train him personally every day. But how right she had been that he couldn't just become a Hunter. He had not managed to shoot a perfect arrow after all this time.

"I am wasting my time," she muttered to herself. "The Human is useless."

"My name is Aaron, you know," he snapped. The nerve. Aria had never liked the Human race, even the wisest of them whom she had heard of from bards who sung of Other Worlds. They seemed to her to be a...a feeble species. They had so many weaknesses in them. All sorts of queer emotions were embedded in their minds. She would never understand how their brains worked, not if she tried her hardest. This Human who insisted that she call him Aaron (what a strange name) was not much better than others she had heard of. He was every bit as weak and hopelessly incapable as she had imagined.

"You are not doing very good," she stated as Aaron shot his fifth arrow that bounced straight off the bark and landed ten meters away. 

He groaned. "Hey, I'm a newb. Give me a break."

'You are a what?"

"A newb," he looked at her as though he expected every living being to know what that word meant. "As in, short for newbie."

"And what on Azure is that?"

"Oh come on," he laughed slightly. "Don't tell me you don't know what that means!"

Aria glared at him impatiently.

"A newbie is someone who is new in a group. Like me, I'm new in your group. Get it?"

"Our group? Do you even realise that we Hunters are -"

"Yeah, yeah, I know," he threw his hands in the air in surrender. "Don't lecture me on that again. I've had enough in two weeks, Aria."

Aria shook her head disbelievingly. It escaped her how someone could be so ignorant. She watched as the Human shot arrow after arrow and failed each time. He had absolutely no respect for a species as superior as the Hunters and on top of that, managed to maintain an insane sense of 'humour' about it. As though it was not in the slightest bit disgraceful that he was not living up to any expectations. Aria wondered what Moira would have to say about that, but she hadn't seemed much interested in him ever since he had started training. In fact, she didn't even ask if he was making any progress. That was strange.

None of the Hunters were males, and each one of them detested the entire male species as much as they detested all Humans. In fact, the main reason they hated Humans was that their race was a male-dominant one. The Hunters despised how the Human females let their males rule them so ruthlessly, when they had so much potential to rule themselves. Moira, too, had detested all males, and her decision to bring in this little sheep to their herd was an unsettling one. She was not one who made unwise decisions. It was characteristic of her to be tactful in everything she did. That was the reason she was respected among Hunters, and that was the reason they had trusted her blindly in this senseless decision she had made.

Aria watched Aaron work again, this time shooting an arrow that flew into a river a few feet away and hit a slumbering mermaid who shot out of water and screamed impolite things at him. He apologised, embarrassed, but Aria had different worries. Her impeccable intuitions were telling her that something bad was going to happen if this Human stayed among them for too long. Something very bad. And it was not much comfort that her intuitions had never once been wrong.

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