Chapter 1 – Sign of problem
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A long long time ago at the time when humanity was still at its infancy, out of nowhere magic come to existence. It was suddenly everywhere, in the air, in the deep ocean, within the earth. Without any warning whatsoever magic envelope the world.

Where it was originally come from? Nobody knows.

Then living beings evolve so they can utilize this magical property around them, humans included.

Sometime after that, some hundreds or maybe thousands of years or so later, magical beings started to appear, and human that could use magic also sporadically born, also there are entirely new intelligence magic races popped up one after another.

It was a chaotic era where humanity wasn't at the top of the food chain, a time when our world was a world of swords and magic.

This time period was called the Era of Magus.

Most of the people, experts or not look at the remains of the documentation of these magical times as sort of heavily exaggerated depictions of what truly happens and not something historically accurate. Everyone agrees, myself included.

From our perspective, human from advanced technological age, all of that nonsense was nothing but fiction from fantasy sections.

After all, magic is no longer exist now, there are no dragons flying around spewing fire or exotic races that heavily dependent on magic.

They're extinct.

Simple as that.

Nobody really sure why or how, but one day, magic just cease to exist like it was never there.

Just as surprising as they come and destroyed the balance of the ecosystem, it also suddenly gone, destroyed the balance of the ecosystem again.

The good thing is, as most unreasonably strong monsters extinct and races they're competing with are gone, humanity fare way better than the time when magic existed. We have uncontestedly dominated the whole planet for the next thousands of years.

But there's a catch.

Magic wasn't entirely gone. Remnants of artifacts, places with a high density of mana, and various magic abnormalities still exist on some part of the world.

That's where the big organization that cooperates with 'night hunt' come in.

It is their job to keep everything magic related to being completely hidden and secured from the general public population.

Then when things get violent we, as in 'night hunt' step in. We would, as the name suggests, hunt wild magical creatures or sent to scout out the dangerous area for them.

Not gonna lie, after looking at my position which is at the bottom of the bottom, I'm basically no different from an expendable muscle.

"Haaah... "

"You look like a zombie."

The moment I take my seat, my seatmate told me so. I touch my face while smiling wryly. Is it that bad?

His name is... Michael? Or something, I remember his friend called him Mike before.

Actually, I'm not sure, let's just avoid calling him by name.

"Yeah, my acquaintance asks me to hunt a rat in the sewer last night, I almost didn't get a chance to sleep all night."

"A rat?"

"Yeah, she told me it was troubling her so she called me."

"Is that so... I never had rat problems before."

We banter a few unimportant stuff before we run out of things to say.

He is... I guess you could call him my friend? We aren't particularly close and honestly we never exactly hang out or particularly close, but we are pretty chill with each other.

No, a friend might be too much, a familiar classmate perhaps?

Thinking about how I really interact around the school he might be one of the very few people I could say 'yeah, I know him' to people.

Because of certain person keeps calling me almost every day to take care of something all year around, I barely join any school activities or friends gathering. I honestly still didn't even know everyone's names in my own class.

It's not like I was being isolated or avoided, but yeah, the amount of interaction I did with people around me is way below the average line.

I never had a girlfriend, or any friendships despite being on the last year of my high school.

I'm not even going to make any excuses, my school life is absolutely barren.

Technically I could blame this entirely to my slavedriver keep calling me for work, but at the same time, I think if I put a little bit more efforts to socialize I don't think it would go this way.

There are times when I free, and I could spend my time with my classmates if I wanted to, but... Yeah, no need to lie to myself, I'm just too lazy to go.

Once, one of my classmates used to invited me to join them to watch some movie, I was totally free for that weekend but I refuse his offer. I told him I was just finished an exhausting job so I wanted to have some rest... Which is not a lie, mind you.

Naturally, after I reject his offers again and again at some point the invitations just stopped altogether. I guess in his perspective I was a guy busy with my part-time job.

And this kind of cycle is repeating constantly over and over again for all three years of my high school life.

Pretty sad, I totally agree, but honestly, this is the most preferable scenario for me.

I didn't have to deal with any problematic issues around school, which saved me from strained myself.

I can't keep all three sides of monster slaying, socializing and school duty at the same boat, it would sink.

So what I did is simply throw off my social life out of the boat.

But...

It would be a lie if I say I was satisfied with my lifeless school experience.

***

"That is it for today."

With that, today classes are over. Another slow and uneventful day.

Without anything in mind I packed up my stuff and ready to go home.

I'm incredibly tired, exhausted almost, although I do try to sleep between classes and at recess, it just doesn't seem like my fatigue was decreasing at all. Actually, it just makes me more tired as my nap is always interrupted and cut short.

I hope there is no work for tonight.

I want to sleep peacefully through the night at least just one day.

When those words registered to my mind I feel even more miserable, the fact that simply sleeping is becoming more and more of a luxury for me really hit me hard.

I really want to quit...

But that is not really an option as they would 'clean me up' in the name of rehabilitation.

The 'Night Hunt' implant something inside of me that gives me enough power and ability so I can fight off monster on a fairground. Of course, when I quit they would take this thing off from my body. Fair enough right?

The only downside is, there's a very high chance of the removal doesn't go very well. Most of the cases of hunters undergo this retirement procedure are either permanently crippled, have some sort of brain injury, or straight up dead.

In a way I understand the analogy, sometimes things are easier to put on but then it was extremely hard to get it off, like a tattoo.

So it was either to continue this hazardous work and probably die in one of my mission or if I'm brave enough to apply for retirement I will face an extremely high chance of turning into a vegetable.

And it didn't end there, there is a saying 'everything has a price' and this power is not exempted from these wise words.

This "price" is what makes an option of just plainly run for it with all of the money I earned out of the question.

Because I need the drug that 'night hunt' possess to hold my power intact. Without the drug, not only it will be an absolute hell of pain would attack my body, but I will also living on a run which is not fun since I'll probably be hunted down and killed in less than a week. There's also a possibility that I may lose control of my own power and run amok as a half-crazed hunter.

Yes, the drug is the main problem, if not because of it I would have already chosen to run away from this situation.

There might be other symptoms that I may have missed because it was hard to feel, but looking at the most obvious ones already convinced me enough that I couldn't continue to live without the drugs help.

Aaah... I still didn't see any possibility to get out of this damn awful monster hunting work without any hard drawbacks.

.
..
...

Just before I left the school ground I stopped my feet.

It was just a ripple, but that was definitely magic.

It is impossible for me to mistake it with something else.

As a 'Hunter' an ability to detect magical presence is my bread and butter, it was an absolute requirement for me to be able keenly sensing mana and expertly hiding mine. If I can't do that then I probably already dead long ago.

So, I'm one hundred percent sure that was magic, or a pulse of magic if I were to be exact.

Now, this raises two questions, why here? And why just a single pulse?

There should be no chance of abnormalities to occur here.

I've seen the map of magical phenomenon activities around the country and thankfully the area around my boss jurisdiction is considered a milder area, ah I digress.

Anyway, this school and tens of kilometers around it should be marked as a green zone, a safe zone where no magical activity could be observed.

And then the second question, why it was only a single pulse. Normally it would be more of continuous radiation.

Then after it reaches certain thresholds of intensity it will start to affecting the area around the epicenter and turning it into a what I usually like to call a dungeon. Of course, it wasn't the official name, but it was easier for me to understand when I called it that way.

Months later magical beast will manifest in the dungeon, though most of the case that's not going to happen because I regularly patrol the area and exterminate the cause of the magical abnormalities before it causes any damage, no matter how petty it was.

So, in a way, I was duty bound to investigate this issue.

The idea of turning a blind eye and just go home also popped up in my head, but if this turns out to be a serious problem later on, the one who will be called to clean it up will be me.

Therefore...

"Haaa..."

With heavy heart, I turn around and walks back to the school.

_____
Critics are highly appreciated!
I have so many anime and manga to catch (* _ω_)…
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