Toriko walked up to a mountain. Mathew walked next to him, as he had asked Toriko to go with him on this hunt. And behind them walked their partners. Komatsu was in his happy fan-boy mode, as he walked next to the head chef of a ten star restaurant; Seto. As the four of them reached the entrance to a cave, they stopped for a moment. the target on this hunt was a capture level 80 creature; the lime bear.
the reason for this name was because this bear lived in a limestone cave. And inside the cave system they now stood in front of were natural hot springs with calcium bubbling up. Mathew knew that, if he hadn’t chosen Sunny for one of his other hunts, he would have chosen him for this one, seeing as the hot springs did wonders for your skin. As for the bear, as it wandered through the caves, thus the water, calcium stuck to his fur bit by bit, eventually becoming limestone, forming an armor around the bear.
Toriko grinned, ‘this will be a pretty tough beast to take on. as it constantly lives in the caves, its stone shell is pretty durable. And with the bear’s natural affinity for limestone and its ability to move freely with such an armor on makes for a strong defense and dangerous offense.’ Mathew nodded, ‘true, but fighting such a bear is really worth it. its meat is being kept inside a nice and durable shell, which has minerals that are good for the skin. As such, it will have a nice soft and mellow meat under that armor.’ Toriko nodded, ‘nice and mellow meat, while remaining chewy and having a nice rich flavor.’ Toriko wiped the drool from his mouth as he had imagined how it would taste.
as the four of them walked into the cave, Mathew looked back at their chefs, ‘and not only is this a chance for the two of us to work together on a hunt, it’s also a chance for the two of them to cook together and learn from each other.’ Toriko nodded, ‘and with Seto being a ten star chef and Komatsu being a quick learner, I’m sure that our meal will be great.’
Komatsu walked forward quickly, having overheard their conversation, ‘oh you bet it will be big guy. I still have some Melk stardust with us. and so long as the bear’s flavor is strong enough, it can be enhanced even further with that.’ Mathew licked his lips, ‘I’ve heard rumors about the taste it has. Now I’m looking forward to tasting it.’ Seto stepped up to them, “good to know that everyone is excited. Now get ready, some limestone snakes are coming.”
Toriko and Mathew looked further down the cave and saw three large snakes, covered in a layer of lime stones. Thewalls of these caves were giving of their own light, so even though the sunlight didn’t reach this far, the hunters could still see clear enough. These beasts were capture level 55. Mathew brought out his claws and Toriko slashed his hands together, bringing out his fork and knife. As the snakes attacked, both hunters countered with a shield. Toriko used his fork shield and Mathew his turtle shield. As the three snakes bashed against it and were pushed back, the hunters countered.
Mathew pounced the first snake, had the air surround his right claw, slashing at the closest snake; tiger wind claw! The force of the attack knocked the snake against the wall, but it was mostly unharmed thanks to its armor. Toriko launched a leg knife at the other two snakes. His attack had the same result as Mathew’s attack. Mathew ran after his target, let electricity run through his left arm and stabbed his left claw into the limestone snake; lightning dragon fang.
this attack pierced the stone and the flesh, finishing the snake. Toriko saw this as well and launched two flying forks, hitting and piercing the other two snakes. As Toriko grabbed those two snakes and brought them to Komatsu, Mathew brought his snake to Seto. And as the chefs cut the stones of, Seto gave everyone another warning, “some Limadillos are on their way. I count twenty.”
Limadillos were capture level 48 and were capable of rolling themselves into balls. And as they also lived in these caves, their armor had an extra layer of limestone on them. and as they came rolling at you they were capable of going really fast. And the biggest problem was the numbers they traveled in. Toriko turned to the incoming rumbling sound of rolling limadillos and Mathew sunk down onto all fours, activating his beast mode.
as the twenty beasts came into sight, all twice the size of a basketball, they came in rolling and bouncing fast. Toriko blocked the first with his fork shield, but the second smashed right through it, bashing him against the ground. Mathew used his beast mode’s increase in speed to dodge the limadillos, before jumping against their sides, pushing and kicking them into the walls. but their armor was rather hard to crack.
Toriko jumped up from the ground and unleashed a spiked punch, putting a small crack in the stone and driving the limadillo he had hit back. Seto used a wind shield to cover him and Komatsu, keeping the critters away from them. Mathew chased the one that had a crack in its shell and delivered a drill punch on the cracked stone. the crack was broken open and the creature underneath had come to rely on its stone shell. As it cracked fully, the creature died.
Mathew regrouped with Toriko, dodging the bouncing and rolling limadillos, ‘so, what’s the plan Toriko? We already have three snakes and one limadillo. Do you want more?’ Toriko also dodged the bouncing and rolling creatures and replied, ‘to take on a level 80 creature, we need to be at full strength. To refuel the energy we’ve expended so far we need some more food to replenish that energy, as well as give us a boost. I’d say five more of them, for a total of six. The rest we can scare off.’
Mathew nodded and jumped into the air, grabbed one of the bouncing beasts and tossed it at Toriko, who punched it away with a spiked punch, cracking the stone, before Mathew hit it with a drill punch. Just like the first one, this second one befell the same fate. The four that followed as well. as they had gotten what they wanted, Mathew and Toriko regrouped and Seto joined them. all three of them unleashed their intimidation within the cave, unleashing a great combined power, scaring of the remaining limadillos.
as Mathew and Toriko gathered up the six creatures, Komatsu and Seto got to cooking. But as they did that, from deep within the mountain sounded a massive roar. The lime bear had felt their presence and seemed to be waiting for them. Toriko grinned, ‘it seems someone else is ready for a battle as well. that’s good.’ Mathew grinned, ‘when the prey is prepared, it makes for a more interesting hunt.’ A bit later, the two chefs finished preparing the snakes and limadillos and sat down with the hunters, enjoying their first meal of the day.
the meat produced by both creatures was satisfying and whet the appetite of both hunters for the lime bear even more. As they continued further down the cave, reaching parts where water was flowing down the rocky path. It was slippery here and there and at parts where there were large caves with an entrance and an exit, the water reached up to Toriko’s knees.
the water was nice and warm and as they went lower, the water seemed to become warmer. This indicated they were getting closer to the source of the natural hot spring and its heat source. But Komatsu also noticed something else as they kept going lower and lower, ‘after we encountered those Limadillos, we haven’t encountered any other creature. Don’t you think that’s strange?’ Seto shook his head, “not really. Remember the roar that went through the cave? It was most likely from the lime bear, telling all other creatures not to obstruct our path. It wishes to know who came here,… before eating them.” Komatsu shivered as he heard that.
Toriko looked back and asked, ‘for someone who is deaf, alongside blind and mute, how is it that you heard the bear’s roar?’ Seto chuckled in silence, “I feel with my soul. I sensed yours and sensed all three of you heard a roar. That way, I heard it as well,… sort of.” Mathew nodded, ‘having Seto as a partner brings many advantages along. He’s a great chef, he’s a good and strong fighter. And his ability to detect danger through his soul touch has no equal.’ Komatsu nodded, ‘well it’s indeed true that he has warned us about any and all creatures that have attacked us so far. So he’ll also be able to find the lime bear when it’s within his reach?’ Mathew and Seto nodded.
they went deeper and deeper and gravity increased as they did. The water they moved through also felt heavier. And the calcium into limestone process seemed to have sped up as well, as stones were forming on their pants after walking through the water. after seeing this, Toriko took Komatsu on his shoulders and Seto created a wind disk under his feet, making him float over the water.
as they went a little deeper, Seto’s soul sense had found the lime bear and its cave. Knowing this, they followed the flying chef and finally found an enormous cave with a deep pool of water in it as well. Komatsu’s head would have just come up above the surface. Mathew and Seto weren’t as well as Toriko, so the water reached just below their chests. As for the lime bear, it stood hunched over on its rear legs. And its ankles came just above the water. it stood about fifteen meter tall, was covered from head to toe in lime stone, was incredibly broad and without a doubt the ruler of these caves.
Toriko put Komatsu on Seto’s wind plate, ‘please protect Komatsu. I’m certain that this bear’s shield is far more powerful than that of those snakes and limadillos. And with this creature being level 80, we can’t afford to go easy on it.’ Seto nodded, “I understand. I’ll protect him.” Mathew nodded and jumped atop a rock that stood out of the water, activating his beast mode, making him stay low, to counter the gravity. he felt about ten times as heavy as he normally would on the surface. They were rather deep here to feel that. Toriko, having trained in heavy hole, was more used to it.
the bear came down to all fours and came running toward them, before roaring and swinging his right claw at both hunters. Toriko created a fork shield and Mathew backed it up with his turtle shield. Even so, the speed and strength of the bear was enough to break through both shield and knock both hunters against the wall. Mathew remained hooked to the wall with his claws, while Toriko landed in the water again. Mathew rushed over the ceiling, unhooked his claws, jumped down atop the bear, delivering a turtle drill punch. The force smashed the bear’s head into the ground and made the cave shake, but the armor had not cracked.
the bear stood up with a roar, shook Mathew of its head and lashed out with its left claw, slamming Mathew into the water. Toriko rushed forward, delivering a spiked punch against the bear’s right ankle, pushing it back, causing it to trip and fall, allowing Toriko to launch another punch, hitting the bear on its side. His strength pushed the bear away, but the bear’s armor remained intact. Mathew jumped out of the water onto another rock, ‘it seems that not only is the limestone down here stronger, the gravitation on the rock makes in denser, more durable.’
Toriko grinned, ‘than this will be a good test of our strength. Fighting under this gravity, while the water’s calcium creates limestone on our bodies, against a level 80 creature used to this environment. We’ll most surely evolve our cells here.’ Mathew grinned, stopped using beat mode, stood up and activated his strength mode. The bear stood up as well, before storming to the two hunters again, swinging both its claws at them.
instead of making a combined shield this time, Mathew and Toriko attacked. Mathew launched a 20 spin drill punch and Toriko unleashed a 18 fold spiked punch. The force of these clashed shook the entire cave and send the water splashing. The bear was driven back by the force of the two punches, but there was still no crack in its armor. Mathew looked at all the water around and knew that it would be too risky to use his lightning power in here. However, the wind of the tiger and the fire of the phoenix were another story.
a white aura covered both his arms, his right was covered in aura that resembled a wing, his left in that of a tiger claw. The wing than became red and started burning, while the claw became silver and wind began blowing around it. Toriko brought out his fork and knife, starting with launching his leg fork, hitting the bear in the chest, pushing it back. Mathew followed up, slashing the stabbed spot with his phoenix burning wing blade, unleashing a powerful wave of flames.
the bear roared, both because it was getting angrier, as well as because it had felt this attack. Mathew flapped his right arm, pushing himself back to Toriko, ‘it seems it’s working. Let’s continue attacking that spot on its chest.’ Toriko nodded and Mathew lashed out with his left arm, ‘tiger claw wind blades!’ Mathew send out five aura disks with a wind edge. As they hit the attacking bear, the armor seemed to get somewhat scratched and the blowing wind stopped the bear in its tracks. Toriko followed up, unleashing his leg knife, hitting the chest and causing a thin scratch in the armor.
Mathew picked up Toriko and threw him at the bear, before sealing strength mode and activating his beast mode, jumping after Toriko. Toriko hit the slashed spot with a spiked punch and Mathew followed up by hitting that place with a drill punch. Their combined attack pushed the bear against and through the rock wall. However, it stood up again, angry and hurt, with just a small crack in its armor. And the water on the two gourmet hunters was putting calcium on their bodies, bit by bit covering them in lime stone.
Toriko lashed out with his arms, throwing several forks and knives. But the stones and gravity were also starting to slow him down, thus slowing down his techniques. Mathew took a step back, feeling the stone forming on his skin, thinking, “if my dragon uses lightning, my tiger uses wind, my phoenix uses fire, than my turtle should be able to use earth. worth a shot.” Mathew raised his right arm, surrounding it with white aura in for form of a turtle leg. Then, using the electricity within his body, he made a magnetic field within and around himself. Using this, he drew on the stone covering his body, clad it onto the aura arm, before rushing forward.
Toriko had noticed what Mathew had done, had taken a stance and as Mathew had jumped, Toriko had caught him on his fist, before launching Mathew with a spiked punch at the lime bear. Mathew launched a turtle earth drill punch, hitting the spot they had targeted before. using a stone with the same density as the stone it hit, both stones cracked and broke down, revealing the skin beneath the stone. Toriko nodded and launched a leg knife at it. Mathew jumped out of the way and the attack pierced the bear’s flesh and finished it off.
getting all the limestone of the lime bear’s body was difficult, just like it was difficult to drag the enormous body outside for preparation. As both hunters hung their clothes to dry and rested from their strenuous fight, Seto and Komatsu cooked the lime bear’s meat. And as Komatsu had said, as they finished cooking, he spiced it up some more with some Melk stardust. The meat was literally glowing.
the four of them sat together, gave their thanks and started eating. After such an intense fight under difficult circumstances, this taste was all the more rewarding. It gave everyone back their energy, gave the hunters back their strength and increased the power of their gourmet cells. Mathew’s cells, which had evolved during the fight, were pushed further, settling in the new ability.
having completed 5 ingredients on his list, ozone herb, ghost crawler, dr. Franken fish, Parsifal peacock and the lime bear, Mathew now only had three more ingredients to go before Suramo would allow him into the gourmet world. And with the way his cells were evolving and adapting, it would not take all that much longer.