Year 2046, Phileinial Calendar
Republic of Philein
[Mr. Rosen, congratulations on passing the interview and the hunter exam last week.] A woman’s voice on the other line spoke.
“For real? I-I’m happy to hear that!”
[Please keep checking your emails for the results. We will call you back soon.]
Kino punched in the air out of happiness. “I did it!” He looked at the washroom mirror and fixed his two-block haircut before grabbing his bag with a broad smile plastered on his face. The club had no table tennis meeting today, allowing him to go home early.
It was the last period of the day. Students of the University of Thoma High School Department left the school premises with their plans in mind. Kino Rosen sprinted the hallways to catch up to his best friend waiting at the school’s gate.
“If you have more time after picking up Reno from his school, you can still come to my house. We can check out the new Final Phantasm Remake,” says Morris, his best friend since elementary school.
Kino scratched his head.“I can’t leave him now that he’s sick. Maybe tomorrow after work.” He texted his younger brother Reno to let him know he was coming to pick him up soon. His brother’s homeroom teacher had called him this afternoon, saying his little brother hadn’t feeling well since lunchtime. The school nurse allowed Reno to stay in the infirmary when Kino informed her he was still in class and that no one was at home to look after him.
Reno was born deaf. Kino has been providing for their needs as a working student since he was 16. The plan was to send his brother to a good high school and go to the university, but the money either went to the utility bills or to pay their father’s debt.
It has been tough for an 18-year-old boy to do all the work alone, but he didn’t have any choice. The only family they have are each other. He wants Reno to live a normal and comfortable life.
“Hey, Morris! Get us some snacks before you go!” A group of friends sitting at a nearby bench waved at them. The students were probably staying for their after-school clubs. Kino noticed the strawberry blonde girl sitting at the center, quietly glaring at them. He turned to nudge his friend on the shoulder.
“Why are they calling you? Aren’t they known for bullying people–” Morris was already gone beside him.
Where did he go?
“Did he just disappear? Like your father?”
The group laughed so loud it echoed across the whole campus plaza. “Where’d your boyfriend go, coconut?” Asks June, the biggest bully in the group. “Come here. We’re kinda starving. Maybe you can grab us a snack from Tho-Mart?” He asked in a threatening manner showing off his large fists.
Kino sighed, then walked towards them. He could run, but he knew he’d only get in more trouble once they spotted him in the following days. He just wanted to get it over with and see his brother.
“Err… Uh, the money?” He reached out his palm. June and his friends looked at him incredulously.
“Are you stupid? Go buy it on your own.”
“Get me some banana milk, Rosen. Large. I’ll pay up when you get back.” The blonde girl puffed her cigarette right in his face. For a student council member, it wasn’t a pleasant image of her.
Kino didn’t say anything more and went to Tho-mart just across from the school. Morris was probably their new errand boy and had disappeared out of fear. He purchased the cheapest snacks he saw that wouldn’t affect his budget for the week and small banana milk for the SC secretary. He grimaced, remembering rent was due next week too. He’ll have to beg his bosses for an advance payment to keep the apartment.
The Rosen siblings’ parents died while on a business trip four years ago, leaving them their small house and the father’s debts, having no known relatives to stay with. The house was eventually sold to pay off a quarter of the debts, while the remaining amount went to Reno’s medical care and special education. The rest went to cover their extra expenses—which wasn’t enough. Their father’s casino addiction had led his children to owe his million-dollar debt to a known organization that’s been roaming around their home again. Last time, some of the men were seen around his school, making him climb the school walls to escape their notice. Kino had no choice, so he thought of applying to a professional hunter group at the age of 18.
While the cashier was processing his order, his blue eyes stared at the old TV screen hanging on the wall.
[Seven residents from Erin City mysteriously died of flu-like illnesses on Monday. The police have been investigating the whole neighbourhood. The families claimed the symptoms were similar to the Blue Sick flu from seven years ago—]
[BREAKING NEWS! An S-rank gate just appeared in the middle of Nether Street in Cassiel State, Itaport City, at 4:38 PM. A hunter division has already responded to the scene. Residents living near the red zone are advised to stay indoors. Civilians are ordered to stay away within a 1-2 mile radius. Nether Street is currently closed at this moment until the gate is shut. Vehicles are to temporarily—]
“Closed? But my brother is—“ His phone suddenly rang.
[Kino! A red gate appeared near your brother’s school. You should film it when you get there! For my twatch content!] It was Morris, talking about his live-streaming site.
“Morris? Where the hell did you go?”
Morris groaned on the line. [I went straight home. I-I just can’t let them pick on me anymore. I’m sorry, did they approach you when I left? But don’t worry. I’ll pay you back on—]
“Just keep it. It didn’t cost much, anyway. I have to catch the bus soon, so I’ll just see you on Monday, okay?”
[Alright. I’m very sorry, Kino! Don’t forget the red gate on your way! Make sure to get a very clear view of the beasts and send it to me! It’ll surely boost my followers!]
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. I won’t forget.” Honestly, he felt a little excited as well. Everyone is aware of how dangerous the gates are—and the creatures—but majority of the newer generation kids are more intrigued and interested than frightened.
Since the two were little, Morris had been obsessed with the monsters–the biggest threat to humanity’s survival over the centuries: the wraiths. Three types of wraiths have invaded the world: The beast type (B-type), the humanoid type (H-type), and the humanoid-hybrid type (H2-type).
The B-types are the closest to wild animals. Their intelligence is nowhere close to that of an H-type or an H2-type. They are either pets or livestock. The H-types, however, have human-like features and intelligence, except they have natural silver hair and red eyes. Aside from that, they can transform into a monstrous form engrained with an instinctual ability for combat. Their skin turns greyish-blue, and their veins protrude out; their teeth and claws sharpen, and their eyes turn pitch black with red irises. Their strength also increases upon transformation, and their body seems to be less affected by gravity. The H-types are the more significant threat to humans due to their more powerful abilities and intelligence.
The H2-types, on the other hand, are the offspring between the male H-types and humans. Most of these H-types are usually the wraiths that only want to have peaceful lives upon entering the human world. Since they look human, they are harder to discover. They easily blend in, dyeing their hair and wearing contact lenses to conceal their eyes. Some of their human female partners learn their real identities and still choose to be with them, but others choose revenge and get the H2s and their unwanted offspring killed with the help of the hunters. The hybrid babies either look more wraith or human. But no matter which blood is superior, having wraith blood still puts their lives in danger. On the other hand, some H-types, especially in the rural part, take over small areas and demand tribute in the form of wives, land, and treasures.
400 years ago, these species appeared on Earth via the “Gates.” These Gates served as portals to connect their world to the human world. The Gates have different colours depending on the power and count of B-type wraiths coming out. White Gates (F-rank) release the weakest B-types, then blue (D-rank), purple (C-rank), orange (A-rank), and lastly, red (S-rank), which is the largest Gate. They release the most powerful beasts in thousands.
On the other hand, the H-type wraiths have yellow Gates exclusively for them. Only they can use the yellow Gate, which releases their kind in any ranking and count.
Wraiths have been responsible for millions of deaths ever since their appearance four centuries ago. Nations learned to fear them. Whenever a Gate opens, people would immediately leave their residences. Ships would immediately announce an emergency evacuation whenever one appeared in the middle of the sea. Farmers would burn their crops and salt the earth, cursing it forever whenever one appeared nearby. They became humanity’s biggest enemy aside from their kind, throughout history.
Wraiths will never stop slaughtering humans until they achieve their goal of claiming our Earth for their own. But as long as wraiths exist in the human world, the hunters will never stop until their quest to eradicate the Wraiths is fulfilled.
Their world, called Agartha, was described as an apocalyptic world. It’s full of wars, famine, plagues, and death. They are desperate to grasp a world without having to experience that suffering. By killing off the species from the other side of the gates they could find a new home to start all over again. But of course, humanity won’t allow that. Because this is our world, where we were born and where we want to die.
To fight for humanity’s survival, the Wraith Hunters Association or WHA was formed 400 years ago. They’re the group responsible for slaughtering wraiths and closing the gates. One of the most honourable jobs in the world. They get to be heroes while swimming in cash. It’s technically everyone’s dream job, but not everyone is prepared to die.