Chapter 2:

A Tragedy

Tears of Wars: The Heroes are Born


A few hours before…

In the afternoon, after Kenue ran into Roman and returned to the village, he met his older brother, Darma.

“Kenue, what did you get today?”

“Nothing. A monkey scared my prey away.” The monkey in question was Roman.

“You were beaten by a monkey? Was it so tough that you lost to it?” Darma teased.

“Pipe down, Big Bro. I’m upset. Anyhow, they’re coming tonight, aren’t they?” Kenue asked worriedly.

“It seems so. Tonight, it’s not the Crocos, but those horrendous executioners, the Sharkins, who are coming instead,” Darma said with an annoyed look on his face

“Are you scared?”

“Scared? I’ve lost my fear after our parents were killed in that incident! I’ve been waiting for this. I’ll murder those monsters, the ones who took our parents away!!” Darma said with vengeful eyes.

In the past, their parents were the strongest spearman and archer in their village. Their village was respected by monsters at that time, until the executioners, the Sharkins, came to execute every human who went against monsters.

That day, the brothers bade them farewell with broken hearts. They grew strong, inheriting the abilities of their parents. They believed they could defeat the Sharkins now.

“Actually, I’m scared to face them. I still remember when they attacked Dad back then. He was the greatest person to me. His speed and power when he wielded his spear, it was as if the spear was alive and it looked really scary when he started swinging it,” Kenue said, lowering his head.

Their mother was Milona. She was the best archer, blessed with a perfect accuracy. She was even nicknamed the Hawk Eye because she had 350° field of vision. However, she was killed by the Sharkins right after they killed her husband, Brahma.

Their father was Brahma, a very strong spearman. It was said that he fought a Sharkin in a one-on-one and managed to injure the Sharkin’s left eye. Unfortunately, he could not be saved, because he sustained life-threatening injuries and was on the verge of death.

“It’s only natural. Back then we were weak, Kenue, so he looked strong, but now we’ve grown strong. Your current speed might be on par with Dad’s. Trust me, don’t hesitate, because our lives are at stake,” Darma encouraged.

That afternoon, several strong fighters joined Kenue and Darma. Some of them had a bitter past as a result of the cruelty of the Sharkins. Spurred on by revenge, they would have given their lives in a heartbeat if it meant they could free mankind.

The other villagers had already gone to a safer place, while Darma, Kenue, and several other fighters waited in the village.

After waiting for several hours, the long awaited moment came. Instantly, the air around them grew hot and heavy. They felt an intense killing aura emanating from the Sharkins, even though the Sharkins were just standing in front of the gate. There were three Sharkins and one of them had a scar on his left eye.

Instantly, Darma was furious. He shot an arrow straight into one of the Sharkins’ right eye, but the Sharkin quickly caught the arrow in his mouth and broke it with his sharp teeth.

“Big Bro, run and hide to higher ground. Let me distract them so you can get a chance to shoot. Shiro, come on,” Kenue said, charging forward toward the Sharkins.

Darma nodded. “All right, I’m counting on you.” Don’t die, Kenue...

They sprang into action. Several fighters attacked and confused the Sharkins by setting fire to weaken their sense of smell. Then, one of the Sharkins leapt quickly toward Kenue.

Kenue was silent, pondering whether to dodge or parry his attack. He could not move, but then an arrow shot through the Sharkin’s body.

“Damn, what’s with me? I could kill him if I hit his head. I’ve missed a good opportunity. I’m sorry, Kenue, please hang in there,” Darma said, upset because his arrow had missed.

The Sharkin looked in the direction where the arrow came from and grinned.

Kenue attacked with his spear, but it was easily dodged. Then, the Sharkin ran and jumped toward Darma. Kenue, who was chasing after him, looked troubled.

Shiro jumped to attack the Sharkin, but another Sharkin sprang forward and immediately bit him quickly and threw him to the ground. It was the one-eyed Sharkin.

“No… Shiro… I’ll kill you, bastard!!” Kenue roared furiously.

“Those eyes, I remember seeing them, but where it was?” the one-eyed Sharkin taunted.

Kenue sped up and attacked the Sharkin with a vengeance. “I will murder you!!”

Dodging his attack, the Sharkin said, “You seem to have a great sense of humor, huh? Killing me? Surely you jest. You want to repeat your father’s mistakes again?”

Another Sharkin closed in on Darma.

“Damn, he’s coming.” Darma tried to stay away from him.

Kenue attacked quickly with his spear, but it was dodged with ease. One hit had landed on his stomach and he immediately fell to the ground.

“I won’t kill you this time. You have a great willpower, but you’re still very weak. I’m giving you a chance to live, because I want to feel the thrill, just like back then when I was fighting your father. Don’t die until then. Go, before I change my mind.”

He stopped his attack on Kenue and the other Sharkin who was chasing Darma stopped.

Darma walked up to Kenue.

What?? They just let us go? “Kenue! Are you okay?” he asked worriedly.

Kenue cried, hugging Shiro and said, “Shiro, don’t die on me... Sniff...” Tears coursed down his face.

His dog was bitten by a Sharkin. It was badly injured and then perished.

“Come on, Kenue, Shiro is gone. Let’s go,” Darma said, pulling Kenue up to leave promptly.

They took a quick look around. The fighters who fought with them were all gruesomely killed by the Sharkins, their bodies littered the ground.

Then, the two went to the place where their fellow villagers had gone.

Currently…

“What the hell?! They’re all dead! Damn. Why did this happen?” Roman said, perplexed.

Terry and Roman stood still as they watched several huge, shark-like figures behind the flames. The Sharkins were still inspecting the village.

Roman saw Kenue’s dead dog. Then, the two left and ran to their camp by the lake, terrified and trembling.

“Hey, why are you guys running? You look as if you have seen a ghost,” the village head said in surprise.

“We saw the Sharkins back there, Father…!” Terry answered breathlessly.

“What? Where should we go now?! Are they heading here?” the restless villagers asked.

“Is that true? Was the village attacked by the Sharkins?” the village head asked, a little panicked.

“We don’t know the details. Just being there near the Sharkins was already making it hard for us to breathe. Indeed, they’re very dangerous,” Terry explained.

“Did he die? Even though I just found out his name. I wish I could be his best friend, because he’s strong. I want to surpass him!” Roman murmured.

“How about we check other areas from the top of the hill? Maybe the villagers had run away. You know, there seem to be too few corpses there for a village.”

“Yes, I know. It’s possible that he managed to escape with the help of his dog and then it died. I’m sure someone as strong as him can’t die easily,” Roman said, hoping Kenue was still alive.

“Okay, let’s go see from the top of the hill,” Terry said. She asked Roman to come along.

Roman and Terry went to check the village. Was it possible that the villagers had left and Kenue managed to escape? Roman seemed certain that Kenue was still alive.

“Hey, Terry, have you ever faced the Sharkins before?”

“Not yet, but I heard from my father and other villagers that they actually only kill people who resist. If they come it’s best not to fight them because anyone will die if they fight them. My father said they only kill people who violate the rules.”

Yikes. That means I’m their target now. Whoa, that’s awful. “Ugh. I regret beating the Croco…”

“Don’t sweat it. As long as we stay away from them, we’ll be safe. They have a weak sense of smell, but if you get hurt, you’re toast. Their range is very far when sniffing blood. Actually, the ones to be afraid of when it comes to smell are the Wolfies. Their sense of smell is virtually on par with the Sharkins’ when they smell blood. The Wolfie is a wolf-like monster.”

“You know a lot, huh? Tell me anything else about monsters. Do they have any weaknesses?”

“Weakness? I told you, everyone who fights the Sharkins will end up dead. But my father once said, there used to be a great spearman from a certain village. It was said that he once went head-to-head with a Sharkin and managed to injure the Sharkin’s left eye, but eventually he was killed by the Sharkin.”

“I see, I want to be able to use weapons, too. What weapon will be good for me?”

“You’d better just keep training your body to get stronger and faster. Your punches and kicks against the Croco that time were very strong. Even the strongest fighter from our village will take ten to eleven hits to beat them. Actually, their body is quite hard, even a sharp sword can’t easily cut their body. But you were able to bring him down with just one kick and two punches. Your body is very well trained,” Terry praised him, blushing a little.

“Ah, no, I’m still very weak compared to that boy. He’s fast and strong.”

Along the way they exchanged stories until they came across Kenue. However, this time it was different. Kenue looked so miserable that he did not even recognize Roman.

“Yo, Kenue, we meet again, huh. Thank goodness you’re safe. What about the other villagers? I’m sorry, but I saw your dead dog. Anyway, this is my friend, Terry.”

“Who are you? I don’t give a damn...” Kenue replied, dragging his feet. He looked away.

“Hey, I’m Roman. We met at the lake back then. We’ve met twice before, how could you forget? Could it be that you’re brain-dead now?” Finally, I can pay him back. Roman cracked a smile.

However, Kenue did not seem to recognize Roman, due to the misery from Shiro’s death. “I don’t know you. Get lost.” He walked away with a blank stare.

“What’s wrong with him? There’s no way he doesn’t remember. Maybe he’s started to go senile,” Roman said, puzzled.

“Hey, Roman, look! There seem to be bruises all over his body. Could he possibly fight the Sharkins? If so, could he really be able to escape from them?”

“Beats me. Hey, Kenue, is it true that you fought the Sharkins last night? How did you escape?” Roman asked Kenue, but something unexpected happened.

Kenue immediately took a random bamboo stick and aimed it exactly one centimeter from Roman’s neck. Roman froze.

With a very sharp and vengeful gaze, Kenue said, “If you dare speak again, I’ll cut your throat. If you understand, then shut up!! Useless weak human!! You scum, weak, stupid, and useless!! Why am I so weak?! Damn!! I couldn’t even protect Shiro and the villagers!! I’m an idiot!!”

Terry could only look on in silence. He’s so fast. Amazing. If he moved even a little further, I think he would really cut Roman’s neck. His gaze held no uncertainty. However, the sadness and suffering in his eyes were so obvious. “Ah, I’m sorry, we’d better get going. Come on Roman, let’s go.”

Darma walked up to them and said, “Hey, who are you? What do you want from my younger brother?”

Terry and Roman pondered this information. His younger brother? So he’s Kenue’s older brother?

“Ah, the name’s Roman. This is my friend, Terry. I’ve met your brother twice before and he always hurts me every time we meet.” Damn. I’ll pay you back, Kenue.

“Ah, I’m Darma.”

“I don’t know them,” Kenue said to Darma, striding off.

“Looks like we came at the wrong time, huh? I’m sorry, Darma. My name is Terry.”

“It’s okay, actually we had an accident. Our village caught fire, so we had to move elsewhere.” The Sharkins were very strong indeed, I’d better not tell them, so that they don’t panic.

“We saw them. The Sharkins. Behind the blazing fire. I’ve been wondering, did you guys fight them?”

“Actually, we hold a grudge against them.”

“Are you guys stupid?! Didn’t your parents tell you how dangerous they are?! You guys are crazy. Are you brain-dead?! Don’t throw your lives away, got it?!” she snapped, exasperated by their actions.

Roman chuckled. Are we brothers now? Because we’re all brain-dead.

Darma told them what happened. “Actually, our parents and some other villagers were killed by the Sharkins. That’s why we decided to take our revenge, but it turned out that they were really strong and fast. Even though I could still see their movements, my body wasn’t fast enough to dodge their attacks. Besides, I’m not a close-range fighter,” he said, hanging his head.

“Still, if you care about things like that, it means you’re throwing away your lives. You should understand that. If you know that even your parents were killed by those monsters, why would you even want to do so? Your parents had sacrificed their lives to keep you alive, but you want to die instead. Are you stupid?!” Terry ranted.

Roman tried to calm her down. “Hey, Terry, they’re grieving. That’s enough.”

Darma immediately fell silent, contemplating her words. It was true. Anger, resentment, and helplessness filled their minds, so that they were ready to throw everything away. A momentary silence hung over them.

He smiled and said, “Thank you for reminding me the significance of our parents’ sacrifice. I’m even more excited to exterminate them now! I’ll train to get even stronger, so that our parents’ sacrifice won’t go in vain. We must keep on living and get stronger to avenge our parents.”

How could he instantly smile, even though mere moments ago he looked so broken and frail? But I’m glad my words could lift him up. “So, what do you want to do next, Darma?” Terry asked.

“Come with me. We’ll defeat those bastards and free this world from suffering and pain, so that everyone can be free and have better hopes,” Darma said, posing coolly.

“Hey, hold on, I should’ve been the one to say that, because I’m the strongest,” Roman said.

“Is that so? My younger brother once told me about you if I’m not mistaken. Hmm...” Darma said, recalling what Kenue had said.

“Really? What did he say? Am I strong? Am I fast? Or am I a good person?”

Darma sneered, “He said his prey got away because a monkey scared it away. That was what he said when I asked him the day before when he’d just returned from hunting. Is that monkey in question you?”

“That bastard. He was the one who attacked me when I wasn’t ready. If I were ready I could’ve dodged his attacks. No doubt,” Roman said, slightly embarrassed.

Terry laughed hearing Darma’s story.

Darma chuckled. “But to be honest, you’re not weak at all, Roman. Kenue is indeed really fast. He’s very skilled with spear, just like our father. He was formidable and great at using spear. Until now I don’t think there was a human who could dodge his spear’s attack. However, he was killed while fighting a Sharkin in a one-on-one. He was too cocky, that was why he died,” he said, his voice quivering.

Hearing his words, Terry instantly remembered the story his father had told her about a spearman who challenged a Sharkin to a one-on-one fight. One-on-one? Could it be that he’s the son of the strongest spearman, Brahma? No wonder the boy’s speed is remarkable. “Um, are you Milona and Brahma’s child?”

Her guess was right on the money. “Indeed. They’re my parents.”