Hey everyone! First I'd like to thank you for giving this story a chance. This is my first story and I do hope you're going to enjoy it. Please, leave a review with your opinion at the end, so that I'd know what you think of it and also what you think I could improve.

I don't see what else is there to do, besides inviting you to read the first chapter of "Hunters":

Chapter #1: The Beginning

"Excuse me, sir" a shy voice reached Tidar's ears, making him open his left, crimson eye to look at the speaker, who turned out to be a young boy, no older then nine years, with messy, short, black hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a white shirt with a black waistcoat on it and pants in the same color.

The boy seemed to be slightly nervous with Tidar's presence, but still manage to speak up with a solid voice: "I didn't mean to disturb your meditation, but… but that sword that lies on your knees. It has seven runes on its blade and I was wondering, if you… if you're one of the famous Hunters" the boy finally manage to spill it out, yet the crimson-eyed teenager didn't change his expression even one bit.

After a moment of gazing at the boy with his left eye only, Tidar stood up to his feet, his medium-length, black hair falling freely on his back and both sides of his head. He stopped now both his eyes at the younger boy, thus revealing that his right pupil was not the same color as the left. Under contrary, it was sky-blue and had a scar running through it. He wore a mostly red outfit with a black symbol in a yellow circle on his back, though the younger boy did not knew what the symbol meant. The 'hunters' pants were slightly baggy in the same, red color as the top of his outfit.

Tidar, an eighteen-year-old man, kept on staring at the boy, making him even more nervous then he already was. Finally, putting a smile on his face, he replied, putting his hand on top of the messy storm of the boy's black hair: "You're pretty bright for your age, kiddo. But to answer your question: yes, I am one of the Hunters."

"I knew it!" yelled the boy cheerfully as he threw his hands to the sky. "My mom had doubts, but I knew you were a Hunter! This is so cool! I always wanted to meet one of you guys! So, you're going to Ircol too? What for? Are you on a mission from your Council? Huh, huh? Go on, please tell me!"

"And why are you so interested in this so much, young one?" Tidar asked as a playful smiled appeared on his face. He noted boy's eyes began shining, as he replied, louder then one should: "Coz becoming a Hunter has always been my dream! Once I grew up, I was planning to sign up from the training to become one! I hear one needs to be at least twelve years old to do so, so I have just three more years to go!"

"Is that so?" the young Hunter's smile widen even more. "Well then, who's to know, maybe someday we'll get to work together? But, seeing how you're so into it, I'll give you a piece of advice. Remember, that no matter the situation, sometimes fighting isn't the answer…"

"I know" the boy replied excitedly. "But please, tell me, why are you going to Ircol? Or maybe that's just a stop to go deeper into Arton Continent? Please, I wanna know!" and with that Tidar merely shook his head in amusement.

"There are things that need to be taken care of in Arton" he finally replied. "But I cannot say more, I'm afraid. You know, Hunter business" and with that he winked to the boy, before walking away. In the distance land was already visible. At this rate, the ship would reach it's destination in just a couple of hours, especially since the sea was peaceful and there was no sign of storm clouds in the sky.

Who would have thought that after all those years I'll be returning to Arton? Tidar asked himself as an ironic smile crossed his face. It's already been almost a decade since my last visit… isn't that right, Dru? Well, time sure can pass by quickly without you even knowing. Or maybe we just allow it? Who knows the answer to that?

His thought got interrupted at that moment however, as a sudden shout went through the ship, making most of the passengers to shiver in fear: "Pirates!" the sailor in the stalk's nest yelled, pointing towards north-west and as the young Hunter turned his attention in that direction, he spotted a ship coming in fast with a black flag dancing in the wind.

Dammit, why now? he cursed in his mind, while his eyes narrowed slightly. The captain kept yelling at his men, trying to do his best to avoid getting caught, yet Tidar merely threw him a quick glance, before once more looking at the pirate ship: It's useless. With their speed there's no way we can turn around and run away before they reach us. Our only hope would be getting to the port, but even so they could cut off our route. It's dangerous hunting this close to the shore, but that also gives great advantages against the ship, who have nowhere to run.

And just as he predicted, the pirate ship soon reached the transporter, allowing the bandits to come aboard. It was only then that the young Hunter managed to take a closer look at the other boat, noticing that it was painted completely black. The flag presented a skull with an eye patch. Not very artistic, but that still did enough to make people feel fear every time they'd seen it on the horizon.

Fight broke out, however the few guards did not manage to defeat pirates who outnumbered them. As the last, two soldiers stood between the passengers and the bandits, aiming their spears at the intruders, one of the corsairs stepped forward with a wicked smirk on his face. Tidar narrowed his eyes, guessing this was the bands leader.

"Oh my, you still wanna fight?" asked the man with medium-length, blonde hair and blue eyes, while he kept on smiling evilly. He was dressed in a baggy, waistcoat that uncovered his chest and had a big, round, golden earring in his left ear. His pants were also baggy and in the same color as the top. Tidar also noticed a saber tied to his belt. "If you'd just give up, we might've let you live, but now…" and with that he reached for his weapon, making both soldiers charged at him instantly.

With a quick spin, the pirate chief deflected the first spear and made the other slide along the blade of his saber, going above his head. In a flash he slashed one guard's chest (A/N: the one whose spear slide on his weapon) and elbowed the other in the face. As the second soldier took few steps back to keep his balance, the bandit jumped forward and cut from bellow, creating a big wound going through the man's torso and ending at his chin.

As the soldiers collapsed to the floor of the ship, the pirate chuckled and slowly wiping the blood of his saber with a tissue, he announced, making parents embrace their children tighter: "As you can see, resistance is useless. Might I suggest you hand over your valuables to us peacefully and maybe no-one else will get hurt. Refuse to do so and everyone will end up like that" with this he pointed at the guards with the tip of his weapon, while his men headed towards the passengers.

"Aren't you gonna do something?" the young boy asked Tidar, who didn't even realized he stood beside him. The Hunter gazed at his 'fan' and after a moment of silence, he replied with a whisper, so that only the boy could hear him: "All they want are things. It's best to not interfere…"

"What are you talking about?" the boy should back, slightly louder then he should. "You're a Hunter! You could easily take all those pirates" but at this point Tidar covered his mouth with his hand, as he looked deep into the boy's eyes: "Yes, most likely I could take out all the pirates, but when there's so many of them, it's possible there will be casualties among the passengers. The risk is too great. All the soldiers died already. There's no need to extend the number of tombstones that would be required."

"But…" the boy tried to oppose, but the young Hunter stick to his own: "They're just things, boy. They're not worth dying for" he announced sternly, once more glancing over at the pirate captain. It was then that one of his men saluted to him and receiving a nod, he began: "We'll be done in a matter of minutes, Silas, sir!"

"Good" the leader nodded again and as some of his men already began taking things to their ship, he spoke up again, gaining the passengers' attention: "Thank you for your cooperation! It's much appreciated. I assure you we'll put that money in a good use…"

"No, you won't!" he suddenly heard a yell and as he turned towards the direction it came from, he saw the boy that was speaking with Tidar, holding a spear of one of the dead soldiers, that laid just next to him. "You're gonna give everything back and leave us alone, otherwise I'll kill you!"

"Krick, no!" some young woman called after the boy, making Tidar guessing she was his mother. Sadly the boy didn't listen, while the chief of pirates, Silas, merely smirked: "So, you're going to kill me, eh?" he asked, reading his saber. "This will be interesting to see…"

"Then watch!" Krick shoot back before charging forward, pointing the tip of the spear at the bandit's chest. Shit! Tidar only managed to cursed in his mind as he got mad on himself for not even noticing the boy disappeared in the crowd. I won't stop him in time!

As the boy came closer, Silas simply ducked under the attack and threw his saber forward, making it pierce right through Krick's chest. His mother only gave out a loud cry as she hid her face in her hands, while the nine-year-old widen his eyes. He didn't scream. Life escaping his body before he managed to do that.

Instinctually Tidar ran towards the boy, completely ignoring pirates, that gathered around him with their weapons ready. He kneeled down next to Krick and lowering his head, he softly shut the boy's eyes before placing him gently on the floor of the ship.

"Damn, some brats really don't understand a thing" Silas chuckled as he began cleaning his saber yet again. "Now you, get back to the other passengers before I kill you! I'm already ticked, so if you won't listen, I'll kill everyone on this stinking ship!"

"He wasn't older then nine years" Tidar announced, still not raising his sight, which made the pirates captain rise his eyebrow. "There was no point in you killing him, you could've just disarm him, throw away his weapon. And yet, without hesitation, you just ended his life. I didn't want to do this, but this I will not forgive" and with that he reached for his sword, picking it out in a fraction of a second, before any of the bandits could react.

"Why the hell didn't anyone took his weapon away?" Silas demanded, making one of his men reply simply with a shaking voice: "Y-you didn't gave the order to drop your weapons, sir"

Hearing this only made Silas narrow his eyes, while they traveled towards Tidar. In a flash they widen as he noticed markings on the blade of the teenager's sword: "Seven runes… you're a Hunter!" he yelled, making all the pirates stare at the young man shocked.

"That I am" Tidar responded simply, still not even looking at him.

"B-but then…" Silas began as panic slowly took over: This is not good! He may be alone, but he's still a Hunter! Maybe even I cannot compare with him. And that look on his face… if he wins, he'll certainly kill us! And with that thought, he decided to make a desperate move: "Wait, we'll return everything. We'll give up! There's no point in continue fighting…"

"And what good will come out of you surrendering now?" Tidar asked grimly as his finally raised his head to look at Silas, which send shivers down the man's spine. "That won't bring that boy's life back."

"A-attack!" the pirate leader yelled to his men. And in a flash all charged at the Hunter from every direction.

To be continued…