Chapter Nine: Hunt Night:

The hunters could smell her just outside the city. Six months, and now they had a break. A teenage hunter turned to his father.

�Is it time?� he asked. His father listened to the sky.

�Yes,� he answered. �I can feel traces of her.� He turned to his son. �Go alarm the camp.�

�Yes, father,� the boy said. He dashed towards the tents. He picked up a big soup spoon and beat it against the big pot.

�Get up!� the boy yelled. �We found her! We found her!� Heads poked out from their tents half-asleep.

�Is it true?� an old hunter with glasses asked.

�Yes!� the boy exclaimed. �Everyone, gather �round for a strategy meeting!� The hunters dragged their tired feet to the campfire. The leader in camo stepped forward.

�Alright, men!� he addressed his team. �We start our attack today!� Whispers ripped through the men at the fire. The old man with glasses raised his hand.

�You sure this time?� he asked. The leader pushed up his own brown framed glasses.

�Yes,� he answered.

�So, what do we do now?� a hunter with red hair asked. The leader grabbed his gun.

�We storm the gate at 0300 hours!� he answered. He looked among his fellow hunters.

�Hiroji,� he commanded. �You and Takeru here will hack in and let us through.� The leader patted his son on the shoulder as he spoke. Takeru winced at how this would play out. Please don�t make me do this again, he pleaded in his head. His father shot him an icy glance. �Is there a problem?� his gaze asked. Takeru looked down at his feet. A boy with dyed blonde hair in the crowd stood up.

�Yes sir!� he said aloud. The leader looked down at his son. Takeru pressed his lips together.

�Yes, sir,� he mumbled.

�Good!� his father shouted. �Once you are in, search the whole city for other entrances!�
�Yes!� the boys answered.

�Hiroji,� the leader ordered. �Fire off the signal! We will storm the city from all angles.�

�Yes, sir!�

The leader handed his son a mini radio. �Use this to report your findings,� he said.

�Yes sir,� the black-haired boy said with a salute. The leader shifted his focus to the other hunters.

�Meh, brace yourself!� he ordered. �We will catch her this time!� As the men cheered, water sprites watched them from above.

�Oh no, they�re at it again!� they sang. �We can�t have that! No, no! We must tell Bunny-tan straight away!� The sprites vanished within the early morning darkness to sound the alarm.