Max Greybeard sat on a low hanging branch of a tree. His green eyes watched a large river near the tree. It was nearly nightfall. Bats flew over the lake, catching fireflies and other nocturnal insects.

Max looked at the piece of raw meat sitting near the river's edge. Several flies were buzzing around it, and Max hope the creature he had been sent to kill would appear soon. Otherwise the other animals of Grimwald Forest might devour the meat and then the creature would never come.

Max touched his sword, hanging on his side in its holster. It was a silver blade, inscribed with holy runes by the Clerics. Max had used it for four years, and it was his primary weapon for dealing with monsters.

Max was agent of the Ten Rings, an order that had existed in the great land of Onaria for thousands of years. Founded by the most famous monster killer of all, Father Altima, the Ten Rings was a secret order. Its goal was to hunt down and kill evil monsters that roamed the land, protecting the innocent from them.

Max remembered when he had joined the Ten Rings. It had been a dark night, and he had returned home, carrying buckets filled with water from the great lake, Nilya. However, when Max approached his house, he sensed something was very wrong. The door was ajar, and there was no noises coming from inside.

Max had entered calling out for his mother and father. There had been no answer. Max had desperately searched the entire house, until he found his parents in their room. Or at least, what was left of his parents. The bloody horror of seeing his parents, his parents who had shown Max nothing but kindness, ripped to shreds, the walls painted red with their blood, had traumatized Max. He had stared in dumbfounded horror at the horrible sight, unable to think, just staring with horror at the sight no child should ever have to see.

Then, it had came. The creature that looked like a man, but had grey skin and had long sharp claws. Its mouth was dripping with Max's parent's blood, and it had long ears. It had no nose, just a pair of nostrils, and its eyes glowed green in the dark. It had approached Max, reaching out to him with its claws. Max couldn't move, trying to scream but finding he couldn't. The thing had opened its jaws, ready to swallow him whole.

Then, a blade had pierced the monster's chest. It had given a wild scream, but the blade was ripped out of its chest, and the monster fell to the floor. A man stood next to the dead thing. He had grey hair, and a withered look to his features. He wore black robes, and wielded a long blade of silver.

He had taken Max to the headquarters of the Ten Rings. The man explained to Max the creature that had killed his parents was a wendigo. A nocturnal monster that hungered for the flesh of humans. They usually ambushed people in the dark woods, but this one had grown particularly bold. The man had been hunting it for several days. He had been too late to save Max's parents, but luckily, had arrived in time to save Max.

He had asked Max where he would go now. Would he leave the Ten Rings or would he join them? Max had already been thinking about this, and responded, without hesitation, "I want to stay. I want to become a monster hunter and kill every evil thing on this earth."

Max smiled at the memory. How young and foolish he had been. Of course, his desire for revenge had eventually left him and Max learned that not all monsters were evil. Yet, he had stayed with the Ten Rings and became a fully fledged monster hunter in the end.

Suddenly, there was a loud splash from below. Max looked down, careful not to make too much noise. Something had just exited the river. Max watched as the thing moved under the tree. His quarry was taking the bait.

The creature resembled an enormous bipedal ape. It had giant feet, and long, muscular arms. It was covered from head to toe in white fur, which was splattered with mud. Water dripped off its hide, and it grunted, showing off a pair of long sharp canines.

This was a batut. It was a cousin of the land-dwelling creature, sasquatch. However, while sasquatches live in large forests and were docile unless threatened, a batut was lived in aquatic environments and was extremely aggressive. It ventured from its watery home often to captured creatures and dragged them under the water to feast upon. This particular one had been terrorizing the nearby farming village of Brambles. It had been feasting on livestock, but a few days ago, it had ambushed and killed a farmed by the name of Giles Shine. The Ten Rings had been contacted and Max had been sent in to deal with the batut.

Max watched as the batut approached the piece of raw meat directly below his branch. It leaned down, sniffing the piece of meat with its large nostrils. Max watched patiently, gripping the end of his silver sword. The batut looked around, as if suspicious of this odd piece of meat. But soon, the batut leaned down and grabbed the raw meat, biting into it and beginning to feed.

Max then struck. Jumping off his branch, Max fell down toward the batut, and drew his sword in mid-air. Raising it above his head, Max drove it downward, stabbing the batut in the backside.

The batut gave a loud roar of pain, rearing up, and dropping the piece of meat. Max ripped the sword free of the batut's backside, splattering blood on the grass. The batut whirled about to face Max, giving a roar of rage and pain at him.

Max simply laughed, raising his sword at it. Unfortunately, the magic in the sword had no effect on the batut, as it was an earth-based creature, not something mystical. So Max was forced to use it the old fashioned way. But Max always did like old fashioned methods.

The batut charged angrily, its eyes wild with hate and fury. It swiped at Max, but Max ducked under the brute's massive arm. The batut gave a second roar of anger, but didn't get to finish. Max drove his sword upward, ramming his blade straight into the batut's heart.

The batut froze, giving small whimper of pain. Its eyes then closed, and it fell foreward, dead. Max quickly pulled his sword free of the monster's chest, and jumped out of the way as the batut fell to the ground.

Max wiped his sword against the grass. Turning around, Max holstered his sword and began to walk back through the forest. Back to the Ten Rings.