Orion the Bounty Hunter Chapter 1: A Commission

The palace of Malamut’s royalty was characterized by degeneracy and wealth. As a bounty hunter that had been disowned from the noble family of another country in this world, Orion Deere did not fit with either criteria. She was here for one purpose: the king was willing to offer half a million gold and the details of the bounty could only be heard in his court.

Orion leaned down and dug her hands into Sirius’ furred back. Her companion—a four legged creature with a mix of fur and feathers—was the only one she could depend on to have her back. Orion wished she could have found dogs or cats like in her previous world, but Sirius was her own thing and a very good girl.

The bounty hunter and creature waited as others passed by them, engaged in politics, chores, or romantic affection. Orion sneered at the curious looks. She was dressed normally, but here that was plain. It was obvious from her worn pants and her bag stuffed with supplies that she wasn’t part of the staff.

Orion saw the signal from the guards and she approached the open doors.

From inside the throne room came the announcement, “Bounty Hunter Orion, here to answer the call! Upon His Majesty’s declaration, a brave warrior has come to talk about defending the kingdom from the threat of necromancy.”

The four guards pulled open the doors.

Orion let go of Sirius and stepped forward onto the purple carpet. She walked halfway through the room and stopped.

The carpet led to the one chair in the room, a delicately carved wooden throne. On it sat the king, a rather plain looking man with short black hair. Many joked about and feared an aging king because of his bond with a phoenix. It was understandable why. He had been on the throne for over thirty years, but could pass as one of his children easily. Baby fat still clung to his jaw, rounding out what would otherwise be an imperious look. Beside him was a thin woman in a high arching collar—his current favorite wife.

To the side, between the stone pillars and behind them stood many more people; those who had a say in the court. They were luxurious gowns or other ceremonial garb to show their status.

Orion bowed, but only for a few seconds. In this world she was from Ahan, and in her past world she had been from a country that hated formalities like this. She was not a citizen of this country and did not like the feeling of being surrounded on all sides. A quick scan of the room showed how unimpressed all of the royalty and courtiers looked.

“Welcome, brave bounty hunter,” the favored consort greeted. “I am Lyudmilla.”

“The pay is like, half a million, right?” Orion questioned.

Lyudmilla’s expression faltered. She looked a bit confused. “Indeed.”

Whispers started up in the darker recesses of the room, behind the pillars.

“Awesome. What’s the job? Your advertisement didn’t really specify what I needed to do.” Orion glanced around the room again and tried not to sneer. She hated the shrewd looks of the mothers and the battle hungry looks of the older children. Despite her two sets of memories, she did not find herself conflicted at all.

She hated everyone here.

The king yawned. He had a bit of a petulant look on his face. “It’s pretty simple really. Just kill the necromancer who has been raising the dead in the south.”

“That’s it?” Orion questioned. She knew proper necromancers were supposed to have completely black eyes, but that still left a whole section of the country to look through.

The throne room grew quiet.

Orion crossed her arms. “Can I have any more information or am I supposed to find a needle in a haystack?”

The consort opened her mouth, but was interrupted by a man’s voice.

“If you wouldn’t mind, Your Majesty, I and my escort knight would like to join the bounty hunter on her quest. We know where to find the reports and how to interpret them, while outsiders would not be able to. More hands will also be better if we wish to permanently end this threat.”

One of the crowds on the right side of the room parted to reveal the man who spoke up. Him and a young woman, both around Orion’s age, stepped out. The man wore a golden crown that showed his status as royalty, the young woman had a sheathed longsword hanging on her back. His bangs were jagged, like they had been cut by a knife, and her long hair was pulled back into a tight bun.

“Prince Bas, how rare of you to say something in court,” the consort commented.

“It is, it is,” the king agreed with a smile. “He offered to help defend the kingdom, how could I deny him the opportunity to prove himself? Especially after he made himself known for his diplomatic sense, I would love to see how his talents in battle compare to his siblings. He’s been useful and deserves some opportunity.”

The room seemed to shift at the favorable response. The right side seemed to smile at the same time, gleeful and mocking.

Prince Bas smiled and lowered his head respectfully.

Orion was almost certain that the consort and some of the people on the left side of the throne cursed under their breaths. She wasn’t sure why a prince was interested in this, but she didn’t care as long as it wouldn’t slow her down. She didn’t have time to babysit a spoiled noble and his servant.

The king continued to smile widely as he said, “I declare that the hunting party will be headed by Prince Bas. He will be assisted by his escort knight and the bounty hunter. The reward will be split between them when they kill the necromancer.”

Orion scoffed quietly, but not quietly enough, as the prince looked towards her.

The king waved his hands towards them, a dismissal.

The three, now designated as a party, bowed towards the throne. They turned and left the room to the sound of many quiet whispers. The court would be talking about this for days.

Orion was happy when the heavy doors closed and stopped people from staring at her. If she had been there any longer, she probably would have said something.

Sirius smacked her snout against Orion’s leg and received pats on the head in return.

“I’m Tam. What type of animal is it?” The escort knight questioned, looking at Sirius. Pure curiosity was in her voice. She pulled her hair into a loose ponytail, and tied a leather band around it.

Orion straightened up. “Her name is Sirius and mind your business.”

Tam looked surprised, but didn’t respond.

“Let’s talk in my study,” the prince suggested in a cheerful tone. He either didn’t notice that exchange, or was purposefully ignoring the awkwardness. He led the way through the castle, greeting a few people on the way and gaining a plate of snacks.

Orion rolled her eyes.

Great. The prince really was just an arrogant brat who only knew how to socialize.

This job was going to be a drag.

 

A/N

The beginning of a new story 😀

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About Ren

Writer of An Unwilling Prince. Longtime reader, fanfic writer, artist, and animator. Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/thesilverhunt3r Tumblr: https://anunwillingprince.tumblr.com/

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