Chapter 1:

The First Step

Tears of Wars: The Heroes are Born

One day, a young man named Roman came to a small village by the river. He looked tired, but his eyes were shining with hatred.

He rested at one of the inns in the village and trained from morning to night. One of the village girls named Terry struck up a conversation with him.

“Hey, are you from a village around here? Why do you train day and night? Do you want to become a martial master? Or do you want to open a dojo?”

“Shut up. It’s none of your business. To think your mouth is bigger than your brain. You might even be able to eat your head with that mouth,” he replied, bothered.

“Hey, I was just asking. Why are you so angry? Weird.”

“Mind your own business!”

“Well then, have a nice day.” She turned on her heels and left him.

The days were peaceful in the village, until that day came. Two Crocos entered the village. They were low-level monsters, but they possessed a strength that was clearly beyond the abilities of ordinary humans. They came once a month as usual to demand food such as livestock and vegetables.

One of them said, “Hey, step aside, you stupid human. You’d better not say no this time, otherwise we’ll destroy this village.”

The village head welcomed their arrival, but he was bewildered because they came earlier than expected. “Please be patient, Mr. Croco. We have tried, but we cannot pay in full. Please give us some more time…” he pleaded.

However, the Crocos were ordered by their superiors to carry out the task. “You think we came to negotiate? Humans are weak and stupid. We came to carry out our superiors’ orders, so we have to do as we were told.”

“But we really cannot give you everything you asked for.”

The Croco made one request to the village head. “All right, let me put it this way. Since you can’t give us what we ask for, that means you can’t pay, right? Since we’re kind-hearted monsters, how about you give us one girl?”

“Please... I promise we will give it all tomorrow, yeah, tomorrow. We will definitely give it to you tomorrow…”

The Croco snapped, “Know your place! Hey, girlie, come here. Come with us. That’s enough. We’ll give you one more week.”

“No... Please, just take me instead of my daughter…”

The Croco grinned and said, “Hoho. So she’s your daughter. Nice. All right, I’ll borrow your daughter. I’ll come back next week. I’m sure you can manage it, Village Head, otherwise, you’ll never see your darling daughter again.”

Because he was afraid that his daughter would be taken away by the Crocos, the village head pleaded and held the Croco’s leg while saying, “Please, Mr. Croco... Do not take my daughter away, please…”

Aggravated, the Croco threw the village head down on the ground. “Scram, you stupid human!”

The Crocos walked away. Disturbed by the Croco’s actions against the village head, Roman came and approached them. “Hey, isn’t it bad to come barging into someone’s house? And before we talk, maybe we can introduce ourselves first?”

“Hey, stupid brat, don’t you have parents? Your parents should’ve told you who we were. Are you the dumbest creature on Earth? Even the dumbest animals know who we are. You’ll enter a world of pain if you dare to fight us,” the Croco said and walked past Roman.

Roman called them and challenged them to a fight. “Croco, huh. If I can win against you guys, you should stop coming here.”

One of them came up to him and said, “Are you brain-dead, brat? You don’t understand at all. Let me give you one hit on the head, so your brain can function again.”

“How amusing. I’d like to see you try.”

Roman fought the Croco and the whole village watched in astonishment. In just a short time, the Croco collapsed and didn’t move, then the other Croco carried him away. His fists and kicks were so powerful, even the Croco, who was twice the size of an adult human, was rendered helpless.

Unexpectedly, the villagers cursed and threw stones at him. “Get lost, stranger. You’re a disaster. You put our village in danger. Are you acting like an idiot or is it true that you’re brain-dead? Go away!!”

The village head tried to explain why the villagers became angry. “I am very grateful to you, young man, but you should leave this village. Go find another place. What you did earlier could actually put our lives in danger, because they will definitely send even more dangerous soldiers, namely the Sharkins.”

There are several levels of monsters on Earth:

The Croco is a level 5 monster. These crocodile-like monsters have the lowest rank. They work as the courier.

The Wolfie is a level 4 monster. These wolf-like monsters have a keen sense of smell and great speed, but actually they are not very strong defense-wise.

The Torto is a level 3 monster. These tortoise-like monsters are not very fast, but their blows are deadly and their bodies are very strong because they are protected by a very hard shell. They are equipped with healing skills.

The Sharkin is a level 2 monster. These shark-like monsters have very sharp teeth as their weapon, fairly fast movement, great power, and a keen sense of smell, especially to the smell of blood. They are executioners sent to execute disobedient humans.

The Rhino is a level 1 monster. These rhinoceros-like monsters have strong horns as their weapon. They have a strong defense and enormous strength.

The monsters’ big guns are:

The Baramus is a bull-like monster wielding a large mace/axe. They are the second highest commander in charge of the Earth.

Satyr is a monster with curved horns. He is the Great Commander and the leader of all monsters on Earth.

Roman was puzzled, because he had just saved the girl. “But aren’t they doing as they please? Are you willing to overlook their actions? Ah, sorry, I haven’t introduced myself yet. The name’s Roman.”

“Greetings, Roman. I am Gregori, the village head. Indeed the rules are like that, but we did not expect them to come this early. You had better get going. Let us take care of it. You are a good man, but you could die if you stay here.”

“How come? I’ll stay and protect you guys. Never mind, is there somewhere to run to? Can you move to a safer place? Because it’ll be very difficult later if I fight while protecting you guys. I’ll just stay here and wait for them to come.”

“How unlike you, talking a lot. As if you understand the current situation,” Terry said.

“Wouldn’t it be better to introduce yourself first before talking to strangers? After all, I saved you. At least show me a little respect.”

“Just call me Terry. All right, thank you for saving me. What do you mean by ‘Stay here and wait for them to come’? Do you think just because you beat a Croco you can be proud of yourself? If it’s just fighting against the Crocos, there are plenty of tough fighters in this village who can beat them.”

“Is that so? Does it look like I’m weaker than them?” Roman said playfully.

“Perhaps, a little. But it wouldn’t be enough if the Sharkins came. In the past, our village was bigger than this. It was split up so that we now live here, by the river. In the past, no more than ten strong fighters in our village were killed in just one raid. The Crocos are too strong even for the ten strongest man in our village. There’s no way anyone can beat them in a one-on-one.”

“We had better get ready to move somewhere. I know a pretty good place. Maybe we can stay there. You should also come along, Roman. You are a good person and quite strong. We might need your help later,” the village head said.

Roman was baffled. “Huh? Are you serious? I’ve risked your lives. Now you have to go and find a new place to live.”

“Do not worry. That is how things have always been,” the village head replied.

“There’s no need to worry, you know? If you want to take revenge on someone, it’s better to live and get stronger until your wish is fulfilled. You have to improve your defense and speed if you want to face the Sharkins,” Terry added.

For a moment, Roman brows knit as he fell into a contemplative silence. There was some truth to what she said, so he was calmer now. “In that case, okay. First of all, I sincerely apologize to all of you, because I put you all in danger,” he said, bowing.

“It’s okay. We’d better get going. Looks like it’s going to rain. This is the right time to go,” the villagers urged.

Monsters’ sense of smell weakened when it rained. Even after the rain had let up, they could hardly smell humans.

After several hours had passed, the Sharkins came and destroyed the village. They did not find a single soul there. They were outraged. However, they could not do anything about it, so they returned empty-handed.

Three days later, the villagers found a good place to live, on the edge of a lake. For a while, they had to live under the trees to shelter from the rain and the sun. They spent several days in peace.

As usual, Roman always trained day and night, no matter the rain or the heat. He wanted so badly to fight the Sharkins even though he did not know how strong they were. Every time he faced a monster, he seemed to remember something bit by bit. However, the more he tried to remember, the more his head hurt.

They had been living near the lake for ten days. One morning, Roman saw a young man named Kenue, who was hunting wild boars with a dog alongside him. Then, he walked over to Kenue.

“Yo, do you know a good inn around here?” he asked.

Kenue attacked Roman with his spear without warning. His movement was fast. Although Roman was able to evade it, he suffered a serious wound on his right shoulder. Kenue then walked off.

“Argh! What the hell is wrong with him?! What did I do wrong? Damn,” Roman cursed, clutching his injured shoulder.

Terry walked up to him. “Hey, Roman, are you okay?! Quick, stop the bleeding on your right shoulder. What happened?” she asked, baffled.

He’s very fast. No, it’s not that he’s too fast. Maybe I’m still too weak. “I just asked him something. Maybe he knew if there was a settlement or a village nearby. He had no manners at all. I’m going to make him pay for it! Argh!” he grumbled.

Terry brought him back to the lakeside to have his right shoulder treated.

“What is this? What happened to him?” the village head asked, panicking a little.

“A crazy young man attacked me with his spear. Argh,” Roman said as he continued to grumble.

“We had better take care of your wound, Roman. Take a rest and do not train until your wound has healed,” the village head advised.

“You know why that young man attacked you? Monsters and humans are evil. It’s difficult for humans to trust each other, because many people betray others for their own gain. Some of them inform monsters about the location of human settlements,” Terry explained.

“Uh, troublesome. Terry, what are you capable of? Are you just a tomboy country girl who likes to lecture people?” Roman asked sarcastically.

“Watch your words. You don’t know me at all! Rest and heal your wounds, because you’ll be quite useful if a monster turns up,” she replied in annoyance.

Five days later, Roman’s wounds healed completely. The village head asked him to investigate the area around the camp. He left the village. He also wanted to know how close they were to where monsters live.

Arriving at a fairly high hill, there was a small village not far from their camp. He decided to take a closer look to make sure that the place was safe enough. However, once again, he bumped into Kenue.

“Hey, wait! I’m not a bad person. I’m the same as you. I also hate monsters, so please don’t attack me,” Roman said gently.

“Hells. What do you want from me? You want to spy on our village, huh? Monsters will then attack our village, right?! You’d better have nice words, or else your bones will become my dog’s lunch!” Kenue growled, pointing his spear at Roman.

Looks like I really have to learn how to watch my words, huh?

“Answer me!! Shiro, attack!” Kenue shouted, giving orders to his dog.

“Wait, wait, wait... Don’t... Well, I actually came from far away. I’m a traveler. I stopped at a small village by the river, three days’ walk from here. Then, I accidentally beat up a Croco, causing trouble for the village and now the whole village and I have moved near the lake. I came here to ask if there might be a place in your village for all of us,” Roman explained.

“Scram, before I change my mind!” Kenue exclaimed, glaring at Roman.

“Hey, I haven’t even finished talking yet. At least be polite and introduce yourself. The name’s Roman.”

“Kenue,” Kenue replied courtly, striding off.

“Well, now it’s better. Hey, wait, I want to ask you something.”

“Make yourself scarce and avoid unnecessary fights with monsters,” Kenue advised him with a serious look.

“But why? If we combined our forces, we could fight together against those monsters. We could definitely beat them,” Roman said confidently.

“Are you brain-dead? Men like you die quickly.”

Damn! Do I look that weak? “Hey, I’m strong. If we’re together, we can definitely win!”

Immediately, Kenue attacked him with his spear, but he used the reverse side and once again Roman fell because he could not avoid Kenue’s sudden attack.

Kenue was a young man who was gifted with spears and fast movement. He had a brother named Darma. Darma was an archer who had extraordinary eyesight, so that the accuracy of his arrow shots was almost perfect.

“You couldn’t even dodge my attacks,” Kenue said, aiming his spear at Roman.

“Bastard, you attacked me all of a sudden, making it hard to dodge. If only I was ready, I’m sure I could’ve dodged it!”

“You think monsters will wait for you to get ready before attacking, huh?! You think they’re going to take it easy on you?! Don’t you know they’re very fast and strong? Even if you’re ready, if you encounter the Sharkins, your chance of survival is only 0.1%. Maybe even lower than that. You’d better be careful. I’m going back to my place,” Kenue said, walking away.

Roman then returned to the place where Terry and the other villagers camped near the lake. He told them that there was a village nearby. He wanted to investigate it with someone. Terry offered to come with him.

Terry’s specialty was using a bow. She was a fairly reliable archer, with a fairly high level of accuracy.

At night, Roman and Terry left, sneaking to get a close look at the village.

They raked their eyes over their surroundings. However, terrible things had happened. The village was destroyed, bodies and fires scattered everywhere. They both saw Kenue’s hunting dog’s dead body and several shadows from behind the fire, huge and shark-shaped.

And in that instant, Terry’s body stiffened and her sweat dripped profusely. Roman was speechless as he looked at her. In fact, the Sharkins’ killing aura pierced deep into their bodies, even though they were still quite far away, roughly 100 meters.