Chapter 2:

Blessing of the Tempest

Zero.


He just didn’t want to think anymore.Bookmark here

The monster marched, creating a green, violent trail of light with his gleaming eyes. Enteng’s jaws tightened. Crawling backward would be useless. He didn’t dare to bash his leg with the arm of his late wife. He wiped the sour taste from his mouth and closed his eyes. He waited. Bookmark here

For what?Bookmark here

This was a being of pure muscle, scaly greenish skin, and a pair of jagged teeth. This man, probably, was so jacked. Humans control their diets and lift heavy things to get as half-jacked as this monster. He just imagined himself dying with his fully grown kids and grandkids standing by his deathbed. It was way better than consciously trying not to piss his pants. But, it won’t be his problem if he relieved himself after his head was blown off by a stone club.Bookmark here

The sour taste came back and brought him back to that summit.Bookmark here

He sighed. Bookmark here

His sunken eyes fell to his legs. Red. Everything beyond his feet was a mix of red and black. He didn’t want to look at it anymore, but that twisting feeling was familiar. It was his fault.Bookmark here

Was this peace?Bookmark here

If that’s so, then the people who advocated for peace and love in everyone were on the wrong team. This one made him want to rush his retirement down to the coffin and face the monster with a helpless chuckle.Bookmark here

Freedom.Bookmark here

He picked himself from the ground. Sticky and red. He wondered whose blood was the one that stained his hands. He grimaced at the sting in his throat. He had screamed his last. He just needs to face this death forward. This was his freedom.Bookmark here

“End me,” Enteng widened his grin. “please.”Bookmark here

He combed his hair with his wet bloody hands and slicked it at the back of his head. A bit of stain trickled to his left eye. This was a joke, probably, but he could rest easy knowing that he’ll be happy in his next life. Probably.Bookmark here

“We mistook you for the Kanids. The least I could do is to ask and remember your name, invader,” it asked with a low voice. Bookmark here

“Enteng.”Bookmark here

“I’m Benok.”Bookmark here

Enteng lowered his gaze and waited. Bookmark here

Benok swung his club. Time moved slow. Benok. He puffed his cheeks in an attempt not to laugh. But this was it. Enteng didn’t close his eyes. It would be dark soon. His enemy knew what he was doing, everything would end in one blow.Bookmark here

The wind howled in his ears. Bookmark here

Enteng’s chest swelled, fear made wings of whatever it was on his back and dragged his will down to his legs. Everything was slow. The club was following a white line. The trajectory would have it caving through his head—if he didn’t do anything. But he wanted to close his eyes, and yet he couldn’t. Maybe he could wait. This eternity stretched as his blood rummaged through his every vein. Wait. There was no need for him to live. He could just grit his teeth, take it, and meet his family at the next second. Just a few more. Just a bit more. Any second now. Bookmark here

But his energy soared. He dodged. His heart broke upon that movement without any sudden thought. His will to live had returned, believing that feeling of danger that ripped through his muscles. He didn’t want to die, maybe, but he didn’t know why. His actions just flowed. Bookmark here

He grimaced at the wind, the tempest caused by the blow that was supposed to end everything. He begged. Maybe there’s just an explanation for this. He couldn’t think. He didn’t want to think. Bookmark here

That shell, a single stem left only with the fewest of leaves after being pruned away from that pestering grief, cried as he took a step forward, clenched his fists, to chase that small light, that hope to live, and punched Benok on the face. Bookmark here

Enteng’s knuckles flared in pain as Tabu’s words rang back to his ears. Bookmark here

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