Rayan stepped forward and swiped.
Enteng kicked the ground, ducked, and rolled to dodge.
There was no line anymore.
He had some guesses, but there’s no time to think about it now. He breathed to calm his nerves, his body that screamed and begged him to run.
His instincts weren’t wrong, though.
The winds howled at Rayan’s blows. Every strike kicked up a storm of dust. Every attack would rip his body to shreds. It’s like cooties. Meeting his family at this point wouldn’t be so bad. But the people behind his back made him reconsider.
It was the same when he caught that stone spear.
Everything seemed slower.
That’s why he relied on his eyes in the same way he prayed that his joints would hold. He would scream as he moved away from his attacks, pick himself up, hit back if he could, breathe, then dodge, and disengage. Every exchange they had felt like a blind trip to a busy highway while punching a sandbag that didn’t even dare to make a sound.
Rayan’s strikes did not get any duller as the fight went on. He took hits from the three of them and tried to hit back like nothing happened. He had been missing, but that scale could easily be tipped by making a single mistake.
Joey’s thrusts with his stone spear scratched the itch on Rayan’s back, and he’s not doing anything to make his attack stronger. He would always keep his distance and nudge Rayan’s body every once in a while to remind him that he still existed.
Uncle turned into a pesky fly. He was the one who had been hurt the most. And his energy, despite being heavily injured, was something that he chose not to worry about. He would come in and take a swing at the back of his leg, but the blade of that little knife did worse than a scratch.
But that changes now.
And Rayan decided to end this joke.
Enteng punched Rayan’s face and moved away, but instead of striking back, Rayan placed his arms together to make a ball out of his hulking mass and cannonballed himself to crush this foreigner. Uncle’s attacks and Joey’s pokes did nothing, and if Enteng decides to dodge, he would be close and fast enough to break his momentum and tear his body apart.
And Enteng ran towards him.
Rayan grinned and leaned forward to pick up the pace. Enteng did the same. The wind screeched. Silence came. Both their heads pulsed with anxiety. They whiffed and braced for impact. Enteng used his momentum to slide, to roll upon failing the slide, to scream to regain his balance, and tackle Rayan’s leg at the moment his feet touched the ground.
Rayan lost his balance.
He fell flat on his stomach. Uncle joined the fray, howling as he grasped the knife with both hands and relied on his weight to sink his knife through the side of Rayan’s thick neck.
Rayan couldn’t dodge.
Uncle nicked the thick layer of Rayan’s skin.
But the blade bent and broke.
Rayan scoffed. He rolled back, pushed himself up, wound his fist, and demolished Uncle’s side as he sent him away. Enteng caught up, his lungs burning, and followed with a punch to keep their lead, but Rayan figured something out.
They could not hurt him, but why was it that he’s the one following their lead.
Rayan widened his jagged grin. He got him. He just needed to let him throw his weight and attack first. This joke ends now.
Or so he thought.
The satisfaction of crushing Enteng’s body came and blazed his arms like a glorious fire, but Joey slipped through his mind, working with the shameful display that he had built in this fight as he shot his spear into his right eye.
Joey’s spear carved Rayan’s eyebrows. This creature could think, after all. He’s a coward. But he knew what he was doing. Rayan watched as Joey’s hopeful yet nervous smile darken. He clenched his fist. It was a good try. He caved Joey’s chest with a punch, shot him to the ground, and allowed him to roll and scream away the pain that made his body forget how to breathe.
Enteng was supposed to follow, but he didn’t move. That was enough for him back away. He picked it up. Rayan sighed. He wasted that opportunity to crush him.
Rayan groaned and marched towards Enteng. “After all that talk…”
“Hey,” Enteng glanced at his comrades hugging the floor. “At least we get to die like warriors, right?”
“I suppose that is fair…”
Enteng wobbled, but he gritted his teeth and raised his guard like a boxer. He ran. He kept his form, dodged Rayan’s strike, and punched him back in the face. Rayan didn’t move. Enteng saw another attack about to smash through his skull. He veered away from his death and answered by elbowing Rayan’s side. He kicked his thigh. He knuckled his neck. He’s hitting an immovable log now. But he didn’t give up. He dodged from another attack, huffed inside Rayan’s range, punched his face again with his left, and ended the combo with a strong right uppercut. Rayan wobbled. Finally. Enteng stepped back to get some ground to deliver a right hook, but Rayan pulled himself back for a headbutt.
Enteng tried to dodge.
Rayan’s scales grazed and tore through the side of his face. Blood was sprayed, but Enteng didn’t back away. He blacked out. But he screamed to get himself back. His vision blurred, but his goal remained firm. He planted his foot in front of this behemoth and strained his back to sink three of his fingers deep into Rayan’s right eye.
Rayan groaned as his blood trickled and stained his jagged smile. It was the first blow that reached him, so it was necessary to repay this kind of effort. He elbowed Enteng’s side. The impact was strong enough to force the air out of his lungs. Enteng’s vision blurred as he gasped, but Rayan’s fist was already on a trip down to his face by the time he woke up.
The impact silenced the breeze.
Enteng placed his arms together to soften the blow, but his turned upside down, blurred, disappeared, and brightened. His brain rattled. He woke up on the ground, struggling to breathe. His thought froze, his jaws stiffening. His body shivered. His body remembered what happened. The pain registered and rotted his arms that sat at both of his sides, unmoving, heavy, numbed yet chewed by the amount of impact it shouldered.
Rayan touched his hollowed right eye, chuckled, and moved forward.
“That was a good fight. I wish that it would’ve ended differently. I wish that we’ve fought more, but you people have occupied this piece of land and killed everyone inside. That would be something that everyone would not be able to forgive,” he sighed. “Motherfucking Uncle… I didn’t get to ask your names, but it is too late now. I’ll just remember your faces. You three were one of the few people that we’re able to hurt Rayan the Unbreakable. Take pride in that as you face the doors of the afterlife.”
“Although…” Enteng picked himself up from the ground, hunched and his arms dangling by his shoulders. “I’m still here. I’m still standing, so it’s not over yet. I still have a whole lot of kicking left within me.”
Rayan smirked. “Being right means you’ll die trying.”
“You were wrong about another one very special thing.” Enteng ran towards him. It was getting brighter. Maybe he’ll get to that farm after all. But he bore that grin with pride and ignored the pain churning his lungs. “This was never a three-on-one. Get him, George!”
Rayan instinctively raised his guard and waited. The man with a spear would never get near him again. The man in front of him would kick his crotch and die right after. The only one capable of hurting him was a broken little man with a shattered weapon.
And there was this little prickly plant.
Was that it?
Was that a bluff at all?
This plant was something that Motherfucking Uncle wore when he challenged him. It didn’t bear any authority. It’s just cute if he had to say it—he and his prickly skin.
Was that it?
Was it an attack?
What was he supposed to expect?
“This is the culmination of our bullshit!”
Enteng kicked his balls. He gave it all, and he felt his foreleg cracking upon impact. Balls of steel, indeed. This monster wasn’t hurt. He was right. He would die trying. He smiled as he watched Rayan’s fist come to blast his head off.
“I forgot what Uncle told me to say, but fuck it. Thunder clap and something!”
Joey screamed and smashed the live mosquito racket at the back of Rayan’s leg. He was wrong, and he received a mild shock from Joey’s mystical item as it broke. No matter. It would never be used again.
Joey had another weapon, so he punched him again. But Joey dodged by the hair, screaming, as he rolled backward. This was it. He mustered all of his courage. It didn’t matter if he had pissed his pants as he steeled himself for death. He wasn’t strong enough to cut him. Enteng just needed a distraction.
“Please get this, Sir!”
Joey threw Enang’s Machete towards Enteng. It fell short and clanged to the ground.
Joey screamed, closed his eyes, and tackled Rayan. Rayan didn’t budge. Enteng, on the other hand, hissed to ignore the pain as he pushed himself forward. He kicked the ground and forced his trembling hands to make a fist and to snatch Enang’s weapon.
His racing heart hollowed his chest. His breath faltered. He saw that same mountain again in a flash and met Tabu’s eyes. He brought himself back to reality. Fear twisted his legs into the earth, but he gazed forward and threw the machete towards Rayan’s head.
But his body tensed. It felt that he was too late. The blade that would not even be able to hurt him just whistled past his head. This feeling. Did that prickly plant cause this?
It was fear.
He shivered. He realized that his right eye was blinded and that he had to turn his head to see what was about to happen.
It was Motherfucking Uncle.
He caught that blade. He seemed to have taken flight with his limbs stretched far to his back to gain more speed and momentum. His blood rained. He was injured. He’s crying, begging for everything to work. It was not glorious at all, but there was this certain happiness that filled Rayan’s heart.
What he saw was the height of a being that seemed to be brighter than the sun.
“Stealth kill, Motherfucker!”
Rayan let out a satisfied smile as Uncle brought the blade down and turned everything to black.