The Primal Hunter



Chapter 440 - A Case of Bad Communication


The hours quickly passed as Jake just sat back and chatted with Carmen. After a while, the two of them went to talk a bit with the old man too, but he was busy being the leader of the Noboru clan and all that. Honestly, Jake wasn’t a big fan of this entire World Congress as there were two votes that didn’t matter at all to him personally. He was also annoyed at so many people staring at him constantly, including this guy who kept trying to be sneaky about it and even used some weird scouting skills.

Nevertheless, he was still glad he had attended due to the appearance of the King, and he still had a good talk with Carmen, but he sure wouldn’t classify it as productive or a good way to spend his time. Once the political maneuvering was coming to an end, Jake gathered with Miranda and Lillian again, with Neil still busy with other space mages, having occupied a booth by themselves while not allowing others to interfere.

“So, what is the expected outcome of the vote? And what should I vote for?” Jake asked Miranda once in their booth, and they had isolated it properly.

“This one is hard. Many want the Independent Worlds, some want the Devoted Ones. Many also want the Unusual Unions, but it is honestly hard to get a feel for the room, and many keep their cards close to their chest. I have a feeling no one can truly know before all the votes are cast,” Miranda answered, shaking her head.

“What do you want?”

“Honestly, if I am truthful, the Paths of the Recognized Supremes will probably be best for Haven, considering your presence and just overall what we are going for as a city. We focus on the powerful and the influential, not the masses. Most who want to live in Haven are those who do know their Path already, and those who don’t would probably do best by taking advantage of your Records, or maybe even the Records of Arnold or me,” Miranda answered.

“I have a feeling not many other factions shared this sentiment,” Jake said, shaking his head a bit.

“No, in fact, it was futile to even bring up, so I didn’t. The second best would probably be Unusual Unions based on the general interpretation of it, and that is a fine choice for us. It is also a popular one. It may even be the most popular.”

“So, we voting for it?” Jake asked

“I believe that would be the wisest,” Miranda nodded.

“You talked to the King about it?” Jake then also asked. Hey, a thousand extra votes were always welcome.

“I only heard that he would abstain… Jake, what exactly is your relationship with that… thing?” she asked a bit nervously. “You told me about your Tutorial, and I have put together that was the former King of the Forest, but didn’t you kill him? And if you did kill him, how did he come back to life?”

“Remember that Soul Renewal from the Auction event? Well, the King managed to survive by hiding a bit of his soul within my mask that I got as loot from him, and using the Soul Renewal, I then healed that part to fully revive the King, who has now changed from the King of the Forest into the Fallen King. I am pretty sure the name change is due to some Unique Lifeform stuff,” Jake explained.

“Wait… why would you go so far to resurrect a Unique Lifeform that you have slain prior?” Miranda said as she looked at Jake critically. “The mere fact the King didn’t try to kill you first-thing is already a miracle, and who is to say he won’t try and get rid of you subtly now? Moreover, even if he leaves you alone, what exactly do you have to gain besides putting an extremely powerful new contender into play on Earth, that may or may not negatively affect Haven and everyone else?”

All good questions Jake honestly had no answer to. He was silent for a bit before answering.

“I did not know about the nobility title before the resurrection, and as for what I get out of it… well, a good fight for one, and as I still have the mask, I made a gamble it would improve the item. Even though it didn’t turn out that way, I don’t regret resurrecting him. I don’t think he is an enemy, let me just say that, as he can’t really kill me or make me too pissed for reasons I won’t share,” Jake just said.

“It was questionable at best,” Miranda just sighed. “You took a massive gamble… wait… the King was resurrected shortly after the Auction, wasn’t he?”

“Yeah?” Jake said.

“How long after?”

“Not that long. It was shortly after I left for the Insect Plains I decided to do it. I did think enough to do it outside the city, and away from any settlements in case things went south,” Jake explained a bit defensively.

Miranda frowned deeply. “That is about the time the Great Famine arrived… could it have been a response somehow to the King’s reawakening? The timing seems too convenient.”

“Great Famine?” Jake asked, a bit confused. He hadn’t heard of this.

“You know, whenever everyone suddenly began to become gluttonous,” Miranda said, making Jake realize what she was talking about.

Now that he remembered… he had never told anyone he did that. Based on Miranda’s words, he also seriously doubted if he should tell anyone he did. Well… anyone besides Miranda and Lillian. Miranda was the City Leader and blessed by those Verdant Witches, and Lillian was bound by a contract, so it was all good, right? Not that he really wanted to explain it

“I may or may not know how it happened…” Jake said a bit meekly as he explained what had happened as he made Cursed Hunger.

Miranda looked at him surprised in the beginning before her surprised face turned into a frowning one before finally looking rather pissed.

“What the hell were you even thinking?” she eventually blurted out when Jake was about done explaining how he had gotten the curse under control. He didn’t go into details, but Miranda clearly knew enough about curses to know how risky it was.

“I was confident I could make it work… and that even if I fucked up, I could handle the consequences,” Jake defended himself.

“Based on what? Pure ego? Jake, that was not risky; that was just downright moronic. The amount of energy in that curse was not something you could have any reasonable confidence level in handling. And then you even decide to seal away a portion of the curse within your own soul… it is just a matter of time before it awakens some kind of ego or basic instinct if you keep in there,” Miranda scolded him.

Now Jake really didn’t want to share Eternal Hunger already had this basic instinct and had taken the form of a chimera within his Truesoul. Though to be fair, that wasn’t Jake’s fault but the Chimera Weapon he had used as a base to fuse the curse into.

“I know it was risky, but I had my reasons to be confident, okay?” Jake said a bit sternly. “While I will admit I did not know the global effects my crafting session would have and that and that large parts of the crafting process were unintentional, I will not apologize for the outcome.”

“What Miranda is trying to say is that your stunt had a negative effect on every single individual and faction on the planet and that if it was discovered you or Haven were in any way involved with it, our diplomatic situation on Earth would become a lot more complicated. Our talks of neutrality would go right out the window as we had effectively just launched unprovoked attacks on every other faction. Intentionally or not,” Lillian said. “And to do something so massive and then not inform us of any of that is a shitty thing to do if you expect us to handle Haven. What if someone knew it was you? In fact, does that Risen Casper not know? He asked how you were doing as if a bit worried just now, and considering his proficiency in curses, it wouldn’t be surprising he put two and two together. Not to mention how your friend Casper nearly got blamed for what you did.”

Jake stood with his mouth open a bit as he took the words in. He wanted to argue but didn’t really come up with any good arguments that wouldn’t make him come off as either an idiot or an apathetic asshole.

“Jake, I don’t care much what you did, but that you didn’t at least inform us you would do it, or even just a quick update after the fact. Even if it hadn’t helped us, it would have allowed us not to spend time and resources trying to discover the source. A single sentence could have saved everyone from a lot of work and even allowed us to potentially help obscure what had happened if someone came close to finding out. I had an idea it was maybe you behind it, but when you never mentioned it made me reconsider. The only thing you told me back then was that you were “handling it” or something to that effect,” Miranda added further.

He felt more and more shitty the further she got. It really felt like he got scolded, and the worst part was that he had fucked up.

The weekly meeting he and Miranda had in the start had stopped all of this from happening. She had always been updated about what he was doing, and Jake had been updated on everything related to Haven. But recently, they had drifted a bit apart, with Jake having so many of his own goals and Jake’s presence in Haven no longer being a necessity.

“I fucked up,” Jake just recognized. “Sorry… yeah, it just slips my mind. It is no excuse, but I tend to just focus on other things and not even think about informing you unless directly asked or anything like that…”

That they hadn’t even talked about the Great Famine properly was an obvious sign of bad communication. Miranda had known a bit, but Jake had been dismissive back then and hadn’t wanted to explain as he was busy dealing with the curse. He had just brushed her off to deal with it and then never brought up the topic again, and Miranda had no doubt felt his unwillingness to talk about the topic.

“Would it be possible to reinstate those weekly meetings?” Jake finally asked. “I know it is a bit harder, but if you can contact me with that ritual, can’t we set something up? If you need materials to do the ritual, I will naturally cover the cost.”

Miranda smiled a bit as she answered: “I think the weekly meetings are a good idea. We can even make them monthly or bi-weekly if we are busy. As for covering costs, those altars from Yalsten more than cover everything.”

“We got an agreement then,” Jake nodded. “And while we wait for the vote result… let me tell you about the newest drama in the Order of the Malefic Viper.”

Jake decided this would be a good time to finally mention one secret he had kept from them both so far: the fact that he had a Bloodline. The entire Order would soon know, and it would be odd for Miranda not to. He would still keep all details a secret, but he did reveal he had one and that it was related to presences. He even used it to explain away a bit of how he controlled the cursed weapon.

She was surprisingly not very surprised. In fact, she said she had already guessed he had something like that, especially as she knew Eron had a Bloodline and that Jake seemed to “get along” well with him, if that was the right phrase.

Overall, Jake realized how dumb it was that they had never actually discussed it before, but it was good to get it all out in the open. She did show quite some schadenfreude when Jake told her about the many people who would be hounding him in the Order but did give him one good piece of advice.

“You need to move the target off your own back, and the fact everyone believes you have a backer is a great way to do that. Just make it clear that you cannot make the decision on your own but need the permission or maybe even command of your mysterious backer. Make it clear that convincing you is a waste of their time and that they should aim to convince the backer instead, as without his involvement, you are unable to choose.”

“But my backer is the Viper…” Jake began as it clicked. “Who no one can discover, and even if they think they find out, they won’t actually believe it possible for the Malefic Viper to be my backer. So I would just put them all on a wild goose chase while everyone else leaves me alone to not further annoy me.”

“Which will at the very least buy you some time until they find out your backer is too hard to find, begin to believe you somehow never had one, or do realize it is the Viper, in which case I am sure you have progressed enough to handle that. I am certain it will leak at some point either way,” Miranda said.

Man, those meetings were going to be a good thing. Jake wanted to ask her about Meira too but was interrupted as the system said they only had a minute left to vote.

“Unusual Unions?” he quickly asked.

Miranda nodded as Jake placed all his votes on it. A minute swiftly passed as the second and only “real” vote of the Second World Congress ended.

The vote for Paths has concluded!

With 32% of the total votes, the chosen System Event is the Paths of the Unusual Unions.

The event will begin in 1 month (30 days), and all eligible participants will be invited at that time. Additional information will follow.

It was short and simple with nothing concrete. A bit like the Treasure Hunt. It seemed that the votes had been damn tight, with the winner only taking 32%. It was clear many factions had tried to go for something else. The overall percentage of actual votes probably also went down due to the King abstaining. Either way, this was not an event Jake would participate in, but the next one sure was.

System Announcement

Quest Received: The Call of the Exalted Prima

As the world progresses, the Prima Watcher of Earth has been observing. Soon the Seat of the Exalted Prima shall appear on Earth and invite in all those who have managed to form keys to allow their entry. Anyone entering the Seat of the Exalted Prima can participate in the Path of Myriad Choices event, as well as gain access to the other benefits offered within the Seat of the Exalted Prima.

However, beware, for the Seat holds dangers that the current warriors of Earth may not be ready to face yet. Should they unleash this danger and come out victorious, it shall reward the entire planet, while should you fail, it may fall to ruin.

The Seat of the Exalted Prima will appear on Earth in three months (90 days). Be prepared.

Objective: Obtain a Key of the Exalted Prima by combining three Key Fragments of the Exalted Prima.

Current progress: 2/3 Key Fragments of the Exalted Prima

Jake read it over and only thought for a moment before he pulled out two small items he hadn’t thought about for a very long time.

[Key Fragment of the Exalted Prima (Unique)] – A key fragment to the Seat of the Exalted Prima. Collect three fragments to form the Key of the Exalted Prima to gain access.

Well then, I guess Prima hunting season just started.

A note from Zogarth

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