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Camp Alpha, Firing Range

"Alright, some of you are vets, while others had just passed out from basic," Master Sergeant Pike gave a no-nonsense glare at the gathered Marines seated on the dirt floor next to the firing range in Camp Alpha. "Now, you all have been selected to attend this course and will be assigned as your section's automatic riflemen!"

The mixed group of elves and orcs, looked upon wonder at the boxy looking weapon displayed in front of Pike. "This is the latest weapon designed here! Straight out from the labs of Ordnance and tested thoroughly before we decided to hand it over to you shitheads!" Pike growled.

"This is the MG-1 'Magebreaker', chambered in .338 or 8.5mm, weights 10.8 kg unloaded. It can use either belted ammunition," Which Pike held up a length of chained ammunition from the table, "Or a drum magazine of 75 rounds. This baby has a tested muzzle velocity of 807.7 meters per second, and a rate of fire of roughly 500 rounds per minute. It has an effective range of up to 1,770 meters!"

Pike displayed the new weapon, which looked a bit similar to the M2 Magespitter except its body is boxier and has a longer barrel at 24" long with a flash suppressor at the end and a carrying handle. The wooden pistol grip and rifle stock were painted in matte black paint. Pike placed the weapon down and picked up a couple of loose cartridges off the table and placed them side by side for the Marines to compare.

"On the left is the old 6.5 mm round and the longer round is the new .338 or 8.5 mm round," Pike explained, "The new 8.5 mm round uses a new smokeless propellant for firing, and it is three times more powerful compared to the same amount of black powder. The bullet weights at 19.44 grams compared to 9.3 grams of the 6.5 mm bullet. It is available in Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) or also known as Ball, AP, and Tracer ammunition types."

"It also has close to 2.5 times more penetration power compared to the current 6.5 mm black powder loads," Pike grinned at the wide-eyed Marines listening intently to his description of the weapon. "That is almost three times the effective range of your standard issued Magelocks! And its current recorded maximum range is up to 5,642 meters!"

Some of the orcs were using their fingers, trying to count and gauge the distance, making Pike sigh and shake his head. "Nevermind, today this week-long course is to familiarize yourselves with MG-1! It will be your best buddy, your wife, your girlfriend, sexual fantasy or your right hand! You will be taught how to clean it, service it, fire it and repair it!"

"And if anyone of you shitheads fails to reach my expectations, I will bust you back to be an ammo runner!" Pike roared at the suddenly alert Marines, "Now is that clear?"

"YES! MASTER SERGEANT!"

-----

Falledge, New Dragon Gate Inn

Billy sat on the side of streets watching the Hero Dante and his party enter the New Dragon Gate Inn with their floating luggage. For half a day, she wandered not too closely behind, watching the party as they wandered around the town, selling loot gathered from their travels and having blacksmiths to maintain their weapons and armors.

She gnawed at her piece of hard bread, using her saliva to soften it before swallowing as she watched the party through the open doors of the Inn. Billy looked up at the darkening skies and sighed, wondering should she still tail them or should she return to the orphanage. She saw the party got led away by a server and hesitated for a while before deciding to find out at least which room they were staying at.

The streets and shops around her started to darken and lamps were lit while the Glow Moss of the street lamps cast a dull pale glow to the streets. She craned her head looking at all the windows of the three-storied Inn, hoping to see where they will be staying at, but to her dismay, as darkness came, most of the rooms' windows lit up.

Stuffing the remainder of her bread into her pockets, she timidly walked into the Inn and headed straight to the counter, "Good evening, Sir!" She greeted the manager at the counter who gave her a once over and sniffed his nose.

"What do you want, brat?" The sharp nosed manager asked, "No begging allowed here!"

"Ahh, no, I just wanna ask if the Hero Dante is staying here...?" She asked in a small voice, acting like a timid child but inside her, she was fuming at the attitude of the manager. "I'm a fan of his, and would really like to get his signature..."

"Shoo, go away," The manager waved his hand dismissively at her, "Our guests are not to be disturbed by begger kids, shoo!"

"But..." She gave her best puppy eye look at the manager, who ignored her and instead rang a bell, where two burly men appeared. "Throw that begger kid out!"

"Waa?" She was unceremoniously dumped out of the Inn and warned never to appear again or she will get beaten up. Billy rubbed her sore butt and dusted her clothes angrily and struck her tongue out at the retreating backs of the bouncers. She retreated to the side of the streets and started planning for her next move. If I can't get n from the front... then I will go back the back! She thought and headed off to the rear of the New Dragon Gate Inn.

But as she explored the rear of the Inn, she found it all fenced up with walls and a locked gate. She frowned and thought of climbing over the gate but suddenly noticed the building at the side of the Inn looked deserted and there were no walls covering it. She wandered around the building and found that the side of walls had several sculptures that give easy hand and foot holds for her to climb up.

Looking around, she found no one in the vicinity and the darkness of the night gave her plenty of covers to climb up the side of the building next to the Inn. This is gonna cost that Uncle plenty of silvers once she was done with this! She though in her mind as she expertly crawled up the side of the walls.

Giving out a final grunt, she flopped her self over to the roof of the building and laid on the sloped tiles panting from the effort of the climb. Billy laid on the roof for a while, catching her breath before she sat up and looked across the gap to the Inn opposite her. A balcony laid before her eyes within a couple of meters away and she decided to jump across. Gathering her courage, she nimbly ran along the side of the roof and leaped across the distance and hit the balcony rolling and slammed against the wall.

Groaning with pain from the land, she rubbed her elbows and knees and thanked the gods that the room's balcony she landed on was unoccupied. She leaned over the balcony and started to slowly climb over to the next balcony, as the balconies of each room were within easy climbing distance.

After peeking into the windows and curtains of several rooms, she still couldn't find where the Hero Dane and his party were staying at. She leaned out of the balcony and gauged that there were roughly another six or seven rooms she still did not check yet.

"I am really gonna charge that Uncle for more money! Not silvers but in gold royals!" She grumbled under her breath and started climbing again. This time, after the second balcony, she found the girls from the Hero's party. She peeked through the tiny crack of the curtains and saw both girls were blushing their hair and preparing to sleep.

Ignoring them, Billy quietly climbed out of the balcony and headed to the next but found the room to be dark and empty. She continued on to the next balcony were lights could be seen from the window and peered in.

To her happiness, she found the Hero Dante! He was laying on his bed with his top off, showing off his perfect muscles with his hands over his head. He appeared to be humming and he turned to the side of the room and said something which surprised Billy till a woman walked into view.

They started hugging and kissing on the bed and Billy watched with wide-eyed, blushing at the intimate act and at the same time fascinated by it. As the couple reached the climax of the act, Billy recognized the girl as the Adventurer's Guild admin girl! She covered her mouth and sniggered, thinking that this piece of information should be worth something to someone, when she heard a gagging noise from the room, loud enough to be heard despite the thick windows and stone walls.

She peeked back into the window and saw the girl who was saddling the Hero Dante, had her throat gripped by the Hero and was struggling in his grasp. The Hero Dante had a strange smile on his face as his eyes were half closed and Billy noticed with a shock that the bare skin of the girl was turning grey and wrinkled, at a pace that was mind-boggling to the young girl.

Soon in a matter of seconds, the body of the girl held by the Hero Dante, turned into a grey and dry husk, totally unrecognizable as the pretty and vibrant admin girl earlier. The Hero dropped the shriveled body on the side of the bed and stood up naked.

Billy gasped as she saw the terror sicken looked of the shriveled body and quickly covered her mouth in panic and dodged down away from the window, praying that the Hero Dante did not hear it.

-----

Dante stretched his body, feeling power and youth coursing through his veins when he heard something from the window. He tilted his head and smiled, grabbing his discarded clothes and putting them on and stepped over the dried up husk on the floor.

He yanked the balcony door open and looked out, left and right and saw nothing. "Must be a bird or something," He said and closed the door.

-----

Billy let out the breath that she held, and sighed in relief. She stood up from the next balcony which she managed to climb over just in time before the Hero opened the door and started her climb back down from the Inn when she felt a chill on her back.

She turned slowly and saw the Hero Dante standing at the balcony, giving her a charming smile but his eyes were giving off a sense of dread. Billy froze and said, "Hi, and... bye!" before quickly jumping over the side of the balcony and madly climbed down to the first level.

As her feet touched the ground floor, she barely cast a glance back up and took off as fast as her legs could. But to her dismay, she heard a heavy thud and looking back, she saw the Hero Dante landed right behind her and his face still held that cheerful smile.

"Oh heavens!" Billy panicked, her heart beating rapidly as she ran for her life, knowing that if the Hero caught her, she will be killed or turned into that dried up body!

The adventurer uncle! He must be able to save her! She thought as she ran through the small alleyways, hoping to lose the Hero.

"Run little rabbit run!" She heard soprano voice mocking her from behind and she chanced a look and regretted as she saw that smiling face behind her, keeping to her pace easily.

"I am coming to catch you~!"

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Merry Xmas people! Wishing you guys a good holiday and ... eat more ham! XD


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