Freezing Struggle

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His cowl over his head, the winter clinging onto the cloth, his white camouflage blending with the snow. His gloved hands rubs one another, the strong breath of his, steaming out from his cowl, as his hidden eyes scanned the leafless forestry. His eyes weren’t yet of the seasoned hunters’ but they have determination, a blazing fire in the midst of the white wasteland.

His steel gaunlets, greaves and chest plate are hidden underneath his thick fur coat, but still the winter’s bite reached him, an annoyance in the young hunter-to-be’s focus. He reaches for his crossbow once more, inspecting the high tensioned string with a sharp eye, before moving onto the bolt itself. The bolt has been dipped in poison a day before, a mixture of berries and herbs that can cause extreme paralysis or even death to an adult male, but to the beast he’s hunting, would only disorientate it, hopefully giving him the edge he needs.

He lays it carefully on the boulder beside him, next he takes out his short sword from its leather sheath. Running his hand gently across the blade, he could feel the recently sharpened edge, a reassurance to his nervous heart. After sheathing it, he grabs his shield, a simple metallic circle, knowing full well that it won’t hold the beast’s abnormal claws and canines for long.

The beast he was hunting was a Bestia, a carnivore, a freak of nature. Standing upright, it is a head taller then an average adult male, and has two massive claws, a mouth full of daggers and three deadly horns in a pyramid-like arrangement on it’s forehead. It also has a very think layer of fur, covering it’s entire body, and underneath it, is an even thicker layer of flesh. There was only one known area of weakness, the flesh near it’s head, a place you could call it’s neck, is a bit softer and easier to pierce. This area is also home to the giant’s heart, and one good stab through it would quickly put the beast down. Though the young hunter knew, that to kill this beast will require everything he has learn’t, a great portion of courage, and also a little luck.

Then there it is, the magnificent, but horrifying beast, the king of snow, death. It stalked, slowly across the clearing, near the male’s place, but the hunter was camouflaged, and only the sharp eyes of the mighty eagle could distinguish his invisibility. But still the hunter was tense, as even though the beast was still far away, it could reach speeds that was legendary. Then as the beast slowly looked to its flank, the hunter snatched his crossbow quickly, but stealthily, his movements as smooth as ice.

He aimed slowly, his crossbow pointed directly at the beast’s neck. The beast was attracted to the scent of bait that the young hunter spread hours ago, a specific mixture of animal blood and herbs that would attract the Bestia but not other predators. He finally hit the trigger and the bolt sped towards the oblivious beast. But at the last second it turned its massive head, and the bolt embedded itself on it’s left paw, the beast instantly replying with a roar of rage, its bloodshot eyes immediately seeing through the camouflage of the young hunter.

The young hunter cursed quietly, knowing that if the bolt got to it’s intended place, the poison would be far more powerful, instantly confusing the beast, but now, the poison would only give it a minor headache. But still the hunter dropped his bow and grabbed his short and shield, instantly putting himself in a defensive position, the shield covering most of his body and leaving only his eyes and up not protected.

The Bestia became quiet, filling the air with a sinister silence. The hunter became aware of the bitter chill in his spine, a warning of menace. Then the creature got down on all fours, its crimson eyes flashing malevolence, foretelling the bloodshed to come. The hunter prepared himself just as the beast instantly ran at full speed, the blur of air cutting apart the thick snow. It came closer by the heartbeat, and then it leapt, an inhuman leap, crossing a vast distance towards the wall of sword and steel.

But the hunter rammed his shield onto the flying beast and tossed it roughly over him, his muscles excruciating with effort. But the beast just rolled and pounced in an instant, showering snow everywhere, immediately the hunter twirled around and cut down with his sword, steel meeting bone as the hit connected. The beast was unharmed though, as its extremely thick skull absorbed most of the impact, and it lashed out with its paws, sparks flying as the bone claws met with hardened steel.

The hunter jumped back, making a protective distance between them. He was panting a bit, the quick, reacting beast was taking a toll on him and he knew if he was to get out alive, he would need to kill it quickly. It circled him now, looking for a place of weakness, but the male twirled with it, his eyes never leaving it’s eyes. Then the beast leapt its inhuman leap, slamming onto the shield like thirty men, and the hunter staggered, a momentary loss of focus, and the Bestia took it. It bit into the hunter’s left shoulder, piercing deeply into the bone and flesh. The hunter dropped his shield, but roared defiantly, and with a keen eye stabbed his sword furiously on the beast’s weak spot, splaterring predator blood onto the blank snow.

The Bestia roared angrily and stepped back, blood streaming from it’s mangled fur. The hunter glanced at his bloody wound, but steeled himself from the pain, focusing on the monster with weary eyes. The Bestia was also injured badly, but it did not know defeat, instead it tensed to leap again for the kill blow. The young hunter knew he would only get one last change to kill the beast, or else he would die here, in the middle of nowhere, no one to find his bones.

Then the beast leapt, with crazy speed, twice as fast as before, but the hunter stood defiantly, looking death in the eye, and saying no. He instantly crouched, and blindly stabbed upwards with all his might, catching it in it’s weak spot, piercing clean through its heart. With a final death roar, that silenced even the winds, it went limp, the monstrous being gone from the world.

But the weight of it was too great, and the monster’s heavy body collapsed on him, disappearing the hunter from view as the winter wind whistled through the morning sun. Suddenly a hand appeared from under the dead beast, and the confirmed hunter reemerged, covering his wound with his right hand as he put on a weary smile and looked at the emerging light, his victorious reward, to see the sun once again.





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