Chapter 4

Nadine watched as Madam Yvonne poured tea for her. An onlooker would think that she was in Madam Yvonne's shop for some gossip and tea, not knowing that Nadine was there to receive advice on how to become a lycanthrope huntress.

"Sugar?" Madam Yvonne asked jovially. Nadine nodded and she was given two cubes.

Madam Yvonne took a sip of her brew which she took with sugar and exhaled. "This is good! Chamomile is my best kind of tea."

"Now let's get down to business." Madam Yvonne said sternly, "You have to come to terms with the fact that you might have to kill a few lycanthropes. Do you have enough balls for that?" She asked.

Nadine thought for a moment before she nodded, "Anything to save Dave."

"Good. Now, the books I gave you are mix of fact and fiction. Luckily for you, I've had prior dealings with lycanthropes so I can tell you a few things about them. Firstly, lycanthropes are pack creatures. That means they travel in groups of 7 to 15 and are led by an Alpha, who makes most of the major decisions, and the council of elders who advise him."

Nadine nodded, listening raptly.

"Second, the lycanthropes have one known weakness. They have a very severe, debilitating allergy to silver." Madam Yvonne continued.

"So you can kill them with a silver bullet? Just like in the movies?" Nadine asked eagerly.

Madam Yvonne rolled her eyes, "Silver bullets. It takes three to five rounds to kill a mature lycanthrope. You can also give it a fatal dose of mercury."

"Mercury?" Nadine echoed.

"Why, yes. It's not called quicksilver for nothing." Madam Yvonne replied. "You can also kill a lycanthrope by decapitation or removing its heart."


Madam Yvonne ignored her, "Or you could turn two lycanthropes on each other and watch them destroy themselves although that takes a lot of work." Madam Yvonne said.

Nadine nodded.

"Lycanthropes are really strong, so you'll have to be careful. If you can, kill them before they change into wolf form." Madam Yvonne advised.

"I thought they only changed during the full moon." Nadine said.

"Another lie pop culture feeds the populace. Lycanthropes can turn at anytime, but for some reason, they're stronger during the full moon." Madam Yvonne said.

"But, those books you lent me didn't give specific ways to spot a lycanthrope." Complained Nadine.

"I could be able to help you with that. When you spot your first lycanthrope, I need you to get some drops of blood from it. I'll use that to prepare a charm that will warn you when lycanthropes are nearby. But to get your first lycanthrope, you have to trust your instincts." Madam Yvonne said.

"Most hunters die from fights with lycanthropes. We have to counter that. You'll need a gun with silver bullets, a silver sword, a huge vial of mercury and silver armor." Madam Yvonne checked the items off on her fingers.

"Ok. What for?" Nadine asked, bewildered.

"The weapons are to make your job easier. The silver armor will be to protect you from the slash of a lycanthrope's claw." Madam Yvonne explained with great patience. "I'll need your statistics. All these will cost some money. Money I can't afford to lend you."

"Don't worry. I'll see what I can do." Nadine waved that aside.

"Good. I also recommend you sign up for shooting classes, fighting classes, sword classes. Also work out and stay fit. It's essential for your survival." Madam Yvonne said.

Nadine gulped. Her schedule would definitely be packed. Well, she shrugged, it wasn't as if she had a job.

"And one last thing Nadine. These creatures are so much stronger than the average human, if you're going to engage with them, you'll need to take enhancers." Madam Yvonne said.

"You mean drugs?" Nadine asked with righteous indignation. As a high school teacher, she'd been quite vocal in her campaign against drugs. It wouldn't be right if she started using them now.

"More like boosters. Don't worry. I'll specially brew them for you. That'll be all for now. It was nice talking to you." Madam Yvonne smiled at Nadine. She felt great knowing that everything was going according to her plan.

*  *  *

Nadine smiled as she listened to what her parents were saying. She was actually tired from a full day of learning how to shoot a firearm, fight with swords and fight unarmed. She was sore from getting floored many times, and wished she was st home soaking in a hot tub of water. But here she was, pretending to enjoy dinner with her parents. At least, her mother hadn't invited a prospective suitor.

"So, Nadine. Why the change of mind?" Her father asked all of a sudden.

"What do you mean?" Nadine feigned ignorance.

"Oh! Come on! You never accept our invitations to dinner. At least, not since Dave disappeared." Her mother replied.

"Well, mother, I've finally seen the light. You and Dad were right all along. Dave's gone. I shouldn't throw my life away because of that." Nadine lied through her teeth.

"So you'll get a job then?" Her father asked. He was ashamed of telling his golf buddies that his only child was unemployed.

"I guess, eventually. But first, I want to go on a vacation. You know, rediscover myself before I go back into teaching." Nadine said.

"Take your time, there's no rush." Her mother said.

"Well, I can't afford to pay for my vacation, so I was hoping you two could lend me a spot of cash." Nadine smiled sweetly.

"Anything you want, my dear." Her father said, relieved that his only child had come around.

*  *  *

Two weeks later,

Nadine felt that she was ready to start hunting. She hadn't completed her classes, but she was confident she could hold her own against a lycanthrope or two. The more time she wasted, the more difficult it would be to find Dave.

She walked into Madam Yvonne's office to let her know of her decision.

"Nadine, I was expecting you." Madam Yvonne smiled. "Do you want some tea?"

"No, I'm fine." Nadine replied.

"So why have you come here today?" Madam Yvonne asked bluntly.

"I've come to tell you that I want to start hunting." Nadine answered with equal bluntness. "That is if my weapons and armor are ready."

Nadine had given the money she'd gotten from her parents to Madam Yvonne to procure the weapons and armor.

"Is that all?" Madam Yvonne asked breezily, "You sure you don't want some tea?"

Nadine decided to oblige her and took the cup that was placed in front of her. She took a few sips and instantly felt dizzy. Her eyes closed of their own accord.

When she was able to reopen them, she saw a wolf-like creature where Madam Yvonne had been standing moments ago.

"If you think you're ready to hunt, fight me!" It said in Madam Yvonne's voice before attacking her.

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