The Queen is my Lover

Lioness of the Kingdom

Kimura, The Northernmost village of the Blue Kingdom. The village is triangle-shaped with Blue Banyans on two sides and a small river on the other. Because of the river, the village feels like a severed body part of the kingdom. And the river is the reason the Cloaker is still roaming the village and didn move deeper into the kingdom.

Kimura is a very productive village. Being closer to both forest and river, this village has many opportunities. Hunters, fishermen, farmers, butchers, tanners, merchants, gemologists, and many more variations of working people live here. This village has over a thousand residents and countless traveling adventurers, hunters, and merchants gathered in search of better opportunities. Kimuras tax alone is 17% of the total income of the Kingdom. As the Northernmost village of the kingdom, Kimura is pretty far from the capital, as the capital is almost at the center of the Kingdoms border. But Kimura being a village of opportunities, communication with the capital and other nearby towns and villages is very good. On a Dodoo, the fastest-riding bird in the entire kingdom, it takes about 7 hours to reach Kimura from the capital. Though Dodoos are one of the rarest breeds of tamable monsters. A Dodoo looks similar to an Ostrich in figure but is a bit smaller in height than them. They can fly but they run very fast and are very friendly toward humans. But only a few people have access to these because them being so rare among monsters. Obviously, Argos has one too. But the difference is for everyone else, the Dodoos are tamed and provided to them by the Kingdom to ride on them. But the Dodoo that Argos has, was tamed and trained by him. Thats his personal ride and unlike other Dodoos, the one Argos has whom he calls by the name Drake, is a bit special. Drake was the king of its pack and where other Dodoos are unable to fly, Drake can take flight and traverse for a short period of time. A Dodoo is slow on the water as it has trouble swimming with a person on its back. But as Drake can fly for short time, Argos didn have to slow down due to there being a river on his path. So he reached village Kimura in 5 hours only. But 5 hours is a very long time for a village invaded by a monster, a Cloaker at that.

When Argos reached Kimura, it was a dead village. Not a single human in sight. Such a busy place became ghosted in just a matter of hours. People locked themselves inside their houses. As he is walking down the road towards the Hunters Shack, he notices people watching him through their windows and curtains. As he passed by, he saw horses, cattle, dogs… all dead.

The place called Hunters Shack is a tavern for hunters only. Its a two-story building, the ground floor being the tavern and the upper floor being the Hunters office. The Hunters office branches are in every town and village and are directly managed by the kingdom. Every Hunters office has an overseer whos appointed by the kingdom. The one stationed in this village is a man named Hendrick. Hendrick is not in his office now. He came down to the tavern. The tavern is packed full of hunters. None of them could go on a hunt today. Hunters have class among them just like monsters. The lowest is the Normal class and then consecutively Professional, Epic, Elite, Royal, and lastly the Monster class. Other than Hendrick who is an Epic class hunter, every other hunter gathered here is either Normal or professional class. But the monster that invaded is an Elite class. Hendrick doesn have the confidence to win if he faces it. But he can just sit on his bum while the village is ravaged. But recklessly charging it and then dying won help the village either. And Hendrick is a brawl-type hunter. He can tank and deal high damage but he is not agile. But a Cloaker is normally faster than almost every other monster. He won even be able to hit it. This situation makes him frustrated. To ease up the tension he is drinking some mead. He is drinking his 5th tankard now. Thats when a heavy knock on the tavern door. The entire tavern became silent. Then another knock. Its clear that on the other side of the door there is a human standing. But no one is moving to open the door. Hendrick stands up and reaches for the door.

He carefully opens the door a little and peeks outside. A young man is standing outside, a longsword on his back, and a scar just above his eye. Hendrick knows this man. He met him multiple times in the capital. The Kings Sword, Argos. He smiles broadly and opens the door.

He bows and greets him.

– Peace to you sir Argos.

Argos is very familiar with Hendrick too. He smiles and greets him with a bow too.

– Peace to you too sir Hendrick. Please don be formal. Its good to see a familiar face.

– I can express how relieved I am to see you. The way the situation is I was just about to go out to fight that by myself. But I know that would have been suicide.

– Don say such things, sir Hendrick. You know our king would never sit still in a situation like this. For him, The kingdom and its people come first.

– I know, pardon me. I was just scared for the people here. The Cloaker already killed 2 kids. They were small children, playing with each other. One died on the spot, other died of poison at home. 5 more civilians got injured and 2 of them are in serious condition. I know how capable you are Argos but did you come alone? I mean we need at least a physician for the injured.

– Don worry anymore. My Dodoo is faster so I reached first. Royal hunter division 3, sir Keilans party, and the assistant for the royal physician sir Yordan is coming as well.

– That puts me at ease. So whats the next step? How do you intend to hunt it? And how should I help?

– Where was it last seen?

– The eastern corner of the village near the river bank.

– Hmm, thats the opposite of the village entrance, thats good. Sir, you should take some hunters from here and move the injured to a house near the village entrance. When the others arrive then they can start tending to the injured then and there. And as for me, I have to bait it out. Please lend me a few throwing daggers.

– As you wish. Just wait a bit here.

He runs upstairs and returns soon. He hands Argos 5 shiny dagger. These are no ordinary daggers. They are all made of Spiked Pythons scales. Very sturdy and very very sharp. The only downside of these is that they can pierce armor as they are usually very light. But Cloaker doesn have any armor in its body so this will be very effective. Argos smiles and heads out. Hendrick quickly calls forth 5 professional level hunters and heads out with them as well.

Far east of village Kimura. A warehouse near the river bank. Usually used for keeping products that go out of the village for sale. Drake is standing just in front of the warehouse. Shrieking at the top of its lungs. Argos is on top of a tree just beside the warehouse. He can see Drake right before him. He is ready with his dagger. All his bodily senses are alert to any movement around. He is still sweating a lot. He loves Drake and hates putting it as bait. It could get badly injured but this is the only fastest way he could think of to hunt the Cloaker.

A Cloaker is a very agile monster. It looks a lot like a Lion but it has a needle at the end of its tail and it spreads deadly poison using its tail. Thats not the end of the problem. The most annoying ability it has is that it can become invisible for a pretty long time. It becomes visible as soon as it attacks but Argos doesn have to luxury to let it attack even once. Drake may even die. The wind is chilly but Argos is feeling colder than he actually should. Because he is nervous maybe. Suddenly he notices something. For a very brief moment, he saw something move. What was it? A leaf? It seemed like something stepped on it for a second! Argos grips the dagger hard and calculates the estimated position and throws three daggers one after another. As soon as the last dagger leaves his hand he jumps down from the tree. On the other hand just before Argos threw the dagger Drake instinctively felt a presence. Its also a monster after all. To save its life it jumps to its left and shrieks harder. As soon as Argoss feet touch the ground he lunges to the place where his last dagger is going to hit. His first two daggers don hit anything and hit the ground with a thud! But the third dagger hits something and as soon as it hits the Cloaker becomes visible. All this happened in just about 5 seconds.

Its a bit bigger than normal Cloakers and a bit blueish in color. Cloakers are usually grayish in color. This one is an Alpha male. As soon as it becomes visible Argos sees it properly. Its still in the air as it lunged for Drake, if Drake didn move it would have gotten hit by the Cloakers right paw. The third dagger hits when its still in the air. When it got hit it flinched and as soon as it landed, quickly turned towards Argos. It knows by instinct who it should be wary of. Its tail is now alert and pointing at Argoss neck. Argos already unsheathed his longsword. The longsword is not silver in color like usual as its not made of metal but with monster body parts. Its made of a Dragons horn. Its got a crimson-red hue to it. Argos glances at Drake. Its standing beside the warehouse door. Seeing it safe Argos exhales a sigh of relief. He has absolute confidence in defeating the Cloaker easily. He was just tensed because of Drakes safety. Now that he doesn have any tension he rushes forward and swings his sword like an upward strike. The Cloaker easily dodges and lunges at him trying to smash his head with its paw. Argos ducks and rolls out behind it and turns to swing his sword targeting its tail. But it kicks the side of his word with its legs in the back. Now they are facing each other trying to time their next attack right. Argos brings out a dagger in his left hand and suddenly throws it behind the Cloaker, the dagger lands on a rock and made a heavy sound. Because of a Cloakers natural instinct, its always aware of its surroundings, so it had to look back where the dagger landed to confirm what the sound was. Thats what Argos was aiming for. While its distracted he lunges and strikes at its neck. At the very last moment, it realizes the danger but its already too late. It can dodge but still tries. The sword pierces right through its neck but as it tried to dodge at the last moment, the sword hits the side of its neck so it doesn die in an instant and takes its revenge. Its tail moves at a speed that Argos couldn perceive and gets hit by it. The needle pierces his left shoulder and he gets poisoned. A deadly pain starts spreading throughout his entire body. But on the other hand, the Cloaker dies a bit after it drops to the ground.

Argos is groaning in pain. Cloaker poison can kill a human in about three to four hours. He tries to stand up. Seeing its master in pain Drake runs toward him. He grabs Drakes back and tries to stand up. His eyes are getting blurry. He tries to look around and notices a silhouette approaching him.

– Amazing sir Argos. You really killed the Cloaker in no time. But looks like you got poisoned in the process.

Argos recognizes the voice of Yordan. He feels relieved. But thats just for a moment. Yordan stands right before him and suddenly he feels a sharp pain in his belly. It feels like he is been stabbed. He looks down and sees a knife pierced through his belly and Yordan is holding the knife. He leans closer to his ear and says.

– You are a great warrior. I really admire you. Too bad you are loyal to the core to his majesty. If we want to kill him successfully, you have to die first.

Argoss eyes become bigger in shock. There is a conspiracy going on? An attempt on his majesty… But he can think anymore as he drops to the ground losing consciousness.

After almost two centuries, a conspiracy against the crown is taking place!

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