Chapter 17: Rift Knowledge
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The others in the group didn't pay much attention to him, most likely assuming him to just be an acquaintance who she'd ran into or something of the kind. They were all too exhausted and injured to take any real notice or care about him following alongside them.

Surprisingly the guards at the gate didn't pay much notice to the groups of Hunters simply walking back inside, they were casual and even greeted a few that they recognised with enthusiastic smiles likely happy that their friends had returned alive. Like this Jackson easily passed through into the Ciudad de la Cueva without an issue.

The brunette woman quickly said her goodbyes to the rest of her group before grabbing him by the hand and leading him off in down one of the streets. Jackson was amazed at how the city resembled Mayson City, their designs were almost exactly identical which he found suspicious, 'Did the countries know this would happen?' He thought to himself quietly as they dodged through crowds of people, Hunters like themselves all equipped with various different weapons; guns, swords, daggers, cleavers any type of weapon that had existed in human history could most likely be found just on this single street alone.

On the waists of these people a small token was attached to either their belts or pockets and dangled from what looked like string. He saw numerous "E's" and more than a few "D's" but nothing more than that, 'Hunter Ranks?' He took a wild guess, 'They're using the same as those in Mayson City then...' 

Despite having some knowledge of Hunters, enough to at least know the basics as a previously normal civilian who hadn't experienced an awakening, there were still many things that he could guess that weren't common knowledge to the rest of the populace. It was like there was a tight seal on some information that Hunters could share with the general public and what they couldn't.

A few minutes of walking later and they came to a stop outside of a building established in what he could only guess was the heart of the city itself, it looked like it had been artificially built raised from the ground so that from it you could see the rest of the city all the way to the walls that defended them from the outside.

"Come!" The brunette said enthusiastically as she pulled him inside, the inside was no less impressive than the outside with marble columns resembling Greek temples holding up the room, they entered what looked to be a reception area that had numerous glass walkways hanging above it on which people passed back and forth busily holding stacks of papers or drinks as they chatted.

They quickly approached the line for the reception desk and waited for about five minutes as the receptionists quickly dealt with requests, Jackson glanced behind him only to see the line still just as long as it had been when they'd got in it. "You talk." The brunette turned and said to him before pushing him with one hand forward towards the smiling receptionist, her eyes glanced over his rather shabby appearance with concern.

"Um... hola?" He said sheepishly before turning his head to look at the brunette who was simply smiling from the side without saying a word.

¿Cómo puedo ayudar al señor? The receptionist said, it sounded like a question but he couldn't be sure. "I don't speak Spanish." He said awkwardly as he looked at her, it took a moment before she seemed to register what he had said but understanding quickly dawned on her.

"Ah, please wait here sir." She said in fluent English before retreating to somewhere in the back, Jackson was somewhat relieved that he was finally able to communicate with someone properly as he waited for her to return. They weren't waiting long before she returned with a well-built man, a sword was sheathed at his waist as he dwarfed the receptionist in size.

"If you'd please follow Eric here to talk somewhere more private." The receptionist said with a smile before pressing a button that unlocked a door that allowed the man to walk out, he glanced at Jackson and flashed him a brief smile before starting off towards a flight of stairs just a short way away.

...

"So you're from Mayson huh?" Eric said with a sigh after listening to Jacksons' story, "We're getting a lot of Hunters' from there recently... what the hell is going on." He mumbled under his breath just loudly enough for Jackson to hear.

It was only him and Eric in the room, the brunette woman who finally introduced herself as Cecilia was waiting outside for when they were finished. 

"Honestly what you've told me is... incredible, to awaken on the verge of death and kill your attacker with your bare hands? Not many would have the courage or even the luck." Naturally Jackson had omitted some of the more... wilder details from the story he'd told, talking of Dragons and visions would most likely make them think he'd gone insane from the sheer pressure of the situation. "Well, now it's time for me to answer some of the questions you're having I suppose? Where do I begin..." He muttered as he organised his thoughts.
 
"Well that's a good a place as any. My name is Eric Legilorn, A Rank Hunter of the Hunters' Alliance and I came through a rift about four months ago from Invicta City, one of the four Human Bases left on the planet." He said simply, giving Jackson enough time to digest it as he waited.
 
"Some might say that rifts are random but it's much the opposite, from what we've discovered they seem to mainly open within a one-hundred mile radius of the densest human population on the planet and they'll always link to another one of these areas. They're quite convenient for travel between the other cities even if they are random." 
 
"So does that mean I can go back to Mayson?" Jackson interrupted, his thoughts wandered to his foster-mother who probably thought he was dead by now. "Technically yes, but I wouldn't recommend it.." Eric crushed his hope almost immediately after he'd asked this however.
 
"Rifts normally open between a point of dense human population and one of dense monster population or a strong monster population, in your case where it was only a single relatively weak beast is a rarity. Which is why it's not recommended that any Hunter below A Rank enter a rift and even then they're still putting their life in danger." Eric didn't give him a chance to respond as he pulled up his shirt to reveal a nasty scar extending all the way from the middle of his upper chest down to his waist. 
 
"Even in a team of A and B Rank Hunters we were almost completely annihilated by a single beast..." He said solemnly as he warned Jackson off of any ideas he might have.
 
"Anyway, you're probably wondering why you've never heard of the other Human Bases before right?" He switched the topic quickly, as if to tell Jackson that there was no discussion about this - he wasn't to enter a rift and that was an order not a request.
 
'I just have to get strong enough to return right?' He said in his heart as he enthusiastically nodded to Erics' question, as much as he was eager to return home he wanted to know more about the this seemingly 'other-world' that the Hunters' lived in parallel to everyone else.
 
Done for today! Hope you enjoyed, cya all tomorrow :)
As always any mistakes/errors in grammar or otherwise please comment below and I'll fix them ASAP.

 
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