Date, January 7th
After a week of journeying you arrive at Jasper City which will be the starting site of the 290th Hunter Exam. The cool morning air still lingers as the sun is just starting to rise above the tops of the buildings off in the distance. It is only mid-morning but busy streets are alive full of people visiting various shops with cars and buses driving by carrying people through the city. You take out a piece of paper that you received from a Navigator that led you to the city. The paper reads “Matilda's Bookstore” with an address scribbled below it. You begin to walk through the city heading to the shopping district.
You arrive at a small two-storied book store tucked neatly in the middle of a row of various buildings and shops in the shopping district of Jasper City. You open the door and a small bell rings from atop the entrance signaling that someone has entered the store. You glance around the shop and notice that it is nearly filled to the brim with books. The store is packed with rows and rows of bookshelves stuffed tightly full of books with even more books stacked in columns on the floor that nearly reach the ceiling. You walk over to the counter where a small, old woman with short, slightly gray, curly hair is sitting behind the register. She is wearing a pair of thick lensed glasses with her face half covered by a book. “I’m here to check out a book”, you say. The old woman glances up at you from her book and replies “What book are you looking for?” You then repeat the phrase the Navigator told you to, “I’d like to check out the book ‘History of the Vanished Empire, Volume 4’, please.” The woman pauses for a moment to look at you then reaches in a drawer behind the desk and pulls out a small ticket and hands it to you. “Go out the back door and follow the alleyway to the right until you see a door with a red X marked on it. Knock on the door and hand them the ticket”, she says pointing over her shoulder to the backdoor. “Good luck”, she says and glances down back to the book she was reading.
You head through the back door and follow the alleyway to the right like the woman said. After walking for a few minutes you approach a door with a red X marked on it and knock one time. The iron door makes a loud thud sound before going quiet. Suddenly a small metal panel opens up in the door and a man in a gruff voice says, “Ticket please” while holding out his hand. You hand the man the ticket and the large iron door swings open revealing a man in a black suit and dark shaded sunglasses sitting in a chair with a newspaper in his hand. You step inside and the man presses a button and the door shuts behind you. You stand inside a small room with no windows or entrances other than the one you just came in. “Brace yourself”, the man says just before pushing another button next to him and suddenly the room drops and you feel like you are in free fall barely able to keep your feet to the floor, but before you realize it the room comes to a stop and the man presses another button and the door you just entered swings open and he gestures for you to exit.
As you exit the room the door closes behind you and you can hear the faint sounds of the room darting back up to the surface. You are standing in what seems to be a dimly lit maintenance hallway with cables and pipes running along the ceiling edges. The city noises you were able to hear moments ago have gone completely quiet indicating you are quite far below the city. At your feet is a white arrow painted on the floor pointing left. You follow the arrow for a while passing several other doors and maintenance boxes before reaching a large metal door. You open the door and standing before you is a large, man-made tunnel shooting off in two opposite directions. You look around and standing in the enormous open tunnel is a large group of people in all different shapes and sizes carrying all sort of gear and equipment with some talking among themselves and others standing around quietly. These are your fellow Hunter Exam participants.
You step into the large open area and a small, odd looking person runs up to you. They are carrying a bag full of badges with a number printed on them. He reaches into his bag and says, “Hello there! My name is Beans and I am from the Hunter Association. Please take a number”, handing you one of the badges with a number on it. “These numbers are very important and represent the place in which you arrived to the Exam site. Please do your best to hold on to them.” With that he turns around and walks off to go greet another one of the examinees. You pin the number to your chest like everyone else then precede to walk further into the room.