Heart of Steel 2: Redemption of the Dead.

“If you fear death then you shall die, but if you’re ready to bleed you shall live.”

Chapter 1.

The war between the powerful cities of Synobo and Aerrud has finally ended. The Synobians became the most powerful city in the province of Ludenkia. Their forces became stronger by adding some elite assassins from Aerrud that had been captured from the battle. The reign of Aerrudians had been cut by the greediness and desire of Synobians to rule all over the province of Ludenkia.

The citizens of Aerrud became a part of Synobians. They have two options to choose from: become one of them and live or neglect the first option and die. They have no choice but to surrender themselves and become one of them to save their lives.

The Synobians celebrated their victory for being on top of all the cities in the province of Ludenkia. King Tyron gathered all his men in the palace. Of course, the presence of Gallofers was highly acknowledged by the king. Shybo and his men lead them to defeat the Aerrudians.

“Tonight, we will celebrate the success of our city on becoming on the top of all, but it’s not the end of our ambitions, for we will conquer the other cities and provinces of this world,” the King said. “But for now, let’s savor the taste of our victory. Go drink and eat all you want,” he added. The crowd applauded and began to cheer loudly. Men and women got drank all night while the captives of Aerrud did not join the celebration.

Letty was standing near the gate of the palace, watching the cheering and laughing of the crowd. It’s been five months since the downfall of Aerrud. She remembers Argus every time she stared at the blackness of the night. She reminisced those moments when they sat outside the kubyu, watching the stars at night. She misses him and can’t deny her feelings for him. Yes, she likes him already, but it’s too late to tell her feelings towards him.

“What’s running in your mind as you stared at the sky every night?” Kervin broke her thoughts. “Nothing, I’m just fond of watching the stars at night,” she replied. “Or maybe you remember someone when you stare at them every night?” added Kervin. “Yeah, maybe you’re right, Kervin,” she said and walked her way out the gate. Kervin shrugged his shoulders and sighed. He knows Letty was still sad about the death of Argus.

He and Letty are now under the forces of Gallofers. They don’t have any choice either. Kimara trained them after they held captives from Aerrud. The training they underwent was quite similar to Sabver. Kimara is friendly to them. Kervin finds her cute and gentle when he first met her. Nevertheless, they never know the real identity and character of this woman. They are outcasts inside the enemy’s territory, and they don’t trust that easily.

The Synobians were ambitious and rich. The city was well organized, and its citizens support the king. No wonder their forces were always ready for war because of the advantage of being rich. They hired some well-known assassins and warriors way back when they invaded the other cities. For that, the Gallofers were born — composed of different persona paid to kill and assassinate high-ranking people and now even kingdoms.

Chapter 2.

“The celebration last night was full of fun, and I walked home with two girls with me,” said one guard. “No doubt you outscored the two of them just by yourself,” the other guard replied. Letty heard this conversation of two guards as she passed by the gate early morning. Most of the Synobians enjoyed the event last night, but it was just a waste of time for her. She went to the training camp to see Kimara. She eagerly wanted to improve her skills and combat. She was determined to learn from the Gallofers.

***In Marawe Tribe

Shogan lifted his sword on the table. It’s been a long time since he touched a sword. His hands miss the handle he used to drive when cutting the flesh of a human. The edge of his sword was still keen and ready to cut.

“Did you miss your weapon? It’s so early in the morning. Why are you holding it with your bare hands?” Approached Martessa. “I almost forgot that I have a sword inside a box under the bed. It’s been a long time since I cleaned its edge.” He murmured. He was an assassin way back in his younger years. Last month, he just turned 62; old enough to handle a sword. Despite the old age, he can still portray a good pose while handling a sword.

“By the way, the caretaker told me that the boy just woke up from his unconsciousness last night,” said Martessa. “Good to hear that, my dear. The young boy was strong to survive the damage he had taken from falling off the cliff. I will come with you to see him this day,” he responded.

Argus’ vision was a bit blurry when he opened his eyes. He’s not sure if he was already dead. He lifted his hands and touched his face. He could still feel his palm on his cheeks. He was alive. He survived when he fell from the cliff. He rolled his blurry eyes around and saw an unfamiliar place. Who helped him? That’s the only question that popped out of his mind.

“I’m glad you had already woke up from a long sleep,” said Shogan. “How long did I sleep?” he replied. “Well, hmm, you were unconscious for two weeks, to be exact, but the great part is that your body survived.” “You are strong, and not everyone would survive from falling from a high cliff. Just imagine that? But you were able to conquer the approach of death.” Shogan added. “I, I slept for two weeks? I’m unconscious for a long period of time, but I was able to wake up from that nightmare,” puzzled Argus. “Not everyone is lucky, young man, and be grateful for that,” the old man said. “Thank you for saving my life. I owe everything to you, old man,” he said. “You need some more rest to recover your strength fully,” the old man added. Argus just nodded, and Shogan gave him a warm smile. “Get well soon,” he said and left him alone.

Five days after waking up from his unconsciousness, Argus slowly regains his strength. He can now walk straight and jump. His left leg has a scar caused by a broken branch of a tree. His body was almost in rhythm again after days of rest. Thanks for the help of old Shogan and his caretaker.

“Are you feeling well already?” Shogan approached him. “Yeah, my body seems to be back in its shape and rhythm. Thanks to your medication,” he replied. “Don’t mind it. It’s a must for a person like you. Everyone will do the same thing I did if they see a lifeless human in front of them,” he said. “No, not everyone has a good heart like you. I’m blessed to be found by you, old man,” said Argus. Shogan chuckled at his sense of talking.

“Why did you fall by a ravine, by the way?” asked Shogan. “It’s a long story, but I was beaten and pushed off the cliff by a traitor,” he replied. “I came from Aerrud, and that day when I fell from the ground, the Synobians attacked the city. The enemies invaded the city. My friends were held captive too, or worst, maybe even dead,” he added. “Oh, that’s sad to hear. Let’s just hope they survive and are still alive.” He said.

“I was trained to be a future assassin in the city of Aerrud, but I’m not an Aerrudian,” said Argus. “What do you mean by that?” He replied. “I was held captive and served as a slave until I was chosen to train under the blade shadow,” he added. “So you trained to be a future assassin under the forces of Aerrud but wasn’t able to become one of them?” Shogan asked, confused. “Yeah, I think I’m not worthy of becoming an assassin in the future, for I wasn’t able to defend my friends,” he sighed heavily. “That’s not true. You’re just not yet ready to be one of them.” Shogan said. He tapped his shoulder as he slowly walked his way out.

Chapter 3.

“Hold the handle of the sword harder and focus on your ground!” Argus heard a man shouted near his Kubyu. It was Friday, and everyone in the tribe was busy in their training. Mostly were young boys who dreamed of becoming an assassin in the group of Marawe. The number of residents living in this small town was quite a few. Yet, the tribe has undeniable experience when it comes to survival. Shogan led his people in defending their territory many years way back, and by this, he was considered the strongest in the tribe. His experience in his old days as an assassin helped him retain the peaceful lives of his people. But for the latter, their tribe was not confident about how long it would be safe from invaders, knowing the big cities have risen from other forces. They live in a world where power and domination reign and greed and wickedness are scattered everywhere.

“I heard the news about the Synobians, that they are invading other small cities in few days,” Shogan said. “That was their plan after all: becoming on top by invading and destroying other cities. Not new to me and there’s no doubt that one day this tribe will be at stake,” he replied. “That’s why I trained my people well to prepare for that thing. I made up my mind to fight again this time even though I’m old.” “What do you mean by that?” He asked in confusion. ” I’ll end the wickedness of the Synobians to stop the fear and destruction of other cities,” Shogan stated in a serious tone. “How will you be able to do that?” He asked. “I’ll get in touch with my old friends to start a plan against King Tyron.” “Never thought you still have communication with your old friends,” he replied. “Real friends and true comrades never forget each other, always remember that, and if you found one, you’re lucky enough to have them.” “I’ll go with you then. I will find my old friend and save her from them,” He said in a determined manner. The old man nodded seeing his determination.

The next day Argus began his new training with Gurgo. He was the one who trained the young ones. This man was quite similar to Sabver as his first impression. But as days passed by in his training he found him interesting. He was more skilled and has a high thinking skills. He’s not just letting his trainees master the skills in fighting but allowing them to master the mind’s capabilities. “A skilled assassin is dangerous but a wise warrior fearful to deal with.” Gurgo once said to them. His mentality was amazing and had a great impact on his trainees. No doubt he was the greatest trainer in the Marawe Tribe.

It’s been a month since they began their training under Gurgo, and so far, the outcome was quite surprising. Argus’ confidence slowly builds up, and he was ready to be called an elite assassin. The training paid off, thanks to the guidance of Gurgo. This man really molded his character not just in the skills he taught but also in his passion for pushing someone to do his best. He’s ready, but there’s no assurance if he could rescue his friend and old Lendon. He has had no idea if these two are still alive or not. The last time he heard an update about the Synobians was last week. The powerful city destroyed totally the entire cities surrounded by its territory. King Tyron was a beast. Together with the help of the Gallofers, they almost invaded the whole province of Ludenkia.

“We’ll go next week to the Sanctwaryu to look for our new weapons. There are a lot of swords out there, including the powerful blade of Tartula and Dreymord,” said Shogan. “I thought the story of Dreymord was just a myth. Never thought it was real, and the sword was there,” He replied. “It was real, but the problem is, we cannot get it that easy. We need to fight some beast out there in the Sanctwaryu.” “What?? Wow. That was unexpected to hear. We’re going to fight them seriously?” “If you wanted to own a powerful sword, then you must slay those beasts and remember not to die out there. The swords are useless if you’re going to die!” “I have no choice anyway. I don’t own a good sword. I’m ready to die to get that weapon!” “Good! Show your braveness out there. Remember, if you fear death, you shall die, but if you’re ready to bleed, you shall live,” Shogan said.

“Looks like you’re fond of that young lad,” Martessa said. “I saw the young me in him. His determination, his bravery, his willingness to learn, his passion, and his love for his friends.” He replied. “It was obvious anyway. The way I look at him, I saw the young Shogan when we were young. But I might say he’s more passionate than you. That young man would be great one day if he survives in this wicked world,” She said. “He will. He will survive. And I will help him stop the reign of Synobians even it cause my life.”

Chapter 4.

It was a gloomy day. The sun was lazy to go out of its kingdom. The fog covered the whole surroundings near the river of Sunna. They crossed the river quickly, knowing there’s much danger hidden amidst the fog. The way towards the Sanctwaryu was a mess. Sticky roads, rocks scattered everywhere, and the place’s ambiance were totally dead in a figure. No one will attempt to cross this kind of place, but they are already walking in the middle of an unknown forest. The forest was lifeless. The leaves of the trees were no longer in its branches due to the snow.

Shogan reminded them to keep their senses active. The forest is said to be a cursed wood. There’s a lot of missing people crossing this forest. It was mysterious and deadly. No one knew what lies in its central core. Argus felt awkward when he first stepped into the woods. He knew the place are familiar to him. He’s been here before, but he doesn’t know when. Then he remembered that he dreamed of this place and saw an unusual animal in the forest. The place in his dream was real. What a coincidence indeed in his mind.

It was said that the sword of Dreymord was found in the cave at the center core of the lifeless forest. No one attempted to go inside that cave. According to the myth, the sword was stuck in a rock and was cursed by a witch. The sword was powerful, and Dreymord used it to kill beasts and witches until the queen deceived him. Until then, the name of Dreymord became known to the warriors and assassins. All of them were interested in getting that sword but afraid of the curse placed on it. Argus was curious about the hidden mystery of the sword, and he was not afraid of the said curse.

They were almost near the cave when an unfamiliar creature blocked their way. It was a three-hand creature with one eye and a tail. “I have never seen a creature like that in my whole life,” said Shogan. “What kind of thing is that!?” Argus exclaimed. “That’s probably what they called the “xegugo” a beast with a fearful appearance. “Wow! What a name. I don’t like his face and smell, though. It’s so irritating and disgusting,” he replied. “Then better watch out, boy, for it might peel you like a potato with his sharp claws.” The beast growled loudly, making them step backward. Then it ran towards them with a powerful force smashing both hands on everything that it passed. Both of them managed to dodge the attack of the xegugo, but that did not stop it from attacking.

“I never imagined this beast was fast despite its big size,” Shogan breathes heavily. “He’s not that fast. You’re just out of gas because you’re old,” Argus joked while breathing hard. “Don’t make a joke about our situation. Better think of a plan on how to counter its attack.” Argus has a brilliant idea on how to put down this beast. “Since this beast has only a single eye, we must distract him. We better go in separate directions. I’m going to attack in its back while you distract him in front,” he said. “Great idea, boy. That might be the end of my life.” Sighed Shogan. “Trust me, old man, just distract him by attacking in front while I cut its head from the back.” Shogan looked into his eyes and nodded.

“All right, let’s do this!” Argus is in a determined mood. Shogan ran forward, launching an attack into the beast while Argus ran at the side. The xegugo growled attacking Shogan, but he missed to hit him with its claws. Argus on the other hand swiftly ran at the back of the beast and thrust his sword to the creature’s neck. The xegugo fell down on the ground headless. Blood spilled on the ground mixing in the white snow. “What a smell!” Argus said. Shogan gave him a smile. In his mind, the boy’s strategy was undeniably unexpected and it worked.

They entered the cave where stuck the sword of Dreymords; it was in the stone near the water. The sword was black in color, and it surprised Argus. “I never imagined the sword’s color would be black,” he said. “Me too. I was surprised by its color and appearance,” replied Shogan. He then reached for the sword’s handle and attempted to draw it but could not pull it. He tried again, but it didn’t work. “Whoaa! I couldn’t pull it, boy,” he said. Argus reached the handle of the sword and pulled it effortlessly. Shogan’s jaw dropped seeing this. “The sword of Dreymord indeed is meant to be yours. I guess you are destined to be the new owner of that blade,” he said. Argus just grinned at him with amusement on his face while lifting the sword.

Chapter 5.

“Letty, you are summoned to meet the king,” said one guard. Letty nodded at him while wondering about the sudden call of the king. Maybe she was called by the success they had made when they invaded the small town of Pegardu. She pities those innocent children who got into slavery and death. She had no choice but to oblige the command of King Tyron. If only she has a chance, she will cut this man’s throat, but she would waste her life if she does it. Somehow she was hopeful that one day the reign of the Synobians would be over, and she had set a plan on how to avenge the innocent lives they had taken.

“Your majesty,” Letty bowed her head. “I have good news for you, young lady. I have made up my mind to give you a new responsibility,” he said. “What do you mean, your majesty?” She replied. “From now on, you’ll be the leader of the Westerians, and you have the authority to this group,” said the king. Letty was totally surprised by this. She never thought the king would make her a leader to a certain group. “It’s my honor to accept that responsibility, my king,” she replied. The king nodded at her, and she was dismissed. But still, it was a good idea to become the leader of the Westerians. By this, she could start her plan of the king’s downfall.

“Well, well, well… It seems like somebody here getting a shot from a king,” said Kimara. Letty smiled at her knowing she’s always teasing her. “It’s a big responsibility, I guess, to lead a group like the Westerians, and I don’t have the guts to be superior to my fellow warriors and assassins,” She said. “Don’t be so down to earth, my dear. You deserve that thing, though, because you persevere to be the best.” She added. “It’s because a good trainer like you trained me, I owe this to you.” “Let’s stop this praising thing, and let’s celebrate your success, so come with me, and let’s eat and drink,” Kimara added. Letty just frowned at her; this lady is fond of drinking. But Letty is now comfortable with her. She treats her as her older sister.

– – – – –

Argus is now enjoying using the sword of Dreymord. It’s been a week since they get the blade in the cave of Sanctwaryu. He practiced handling it, and somehow he was used to it. The sword is perfect in form, edge, and handles. But oftentimes, he stares at the sword, wondering what curse lies in the powerful blade of Dreymord. It was said that whoever will be the sword’s owner will suffer like the fate of the real owner of it. But Argus doesn’t believe in curses or bad luck.

“I’m glad you already mastered handling the sword of Dreymord. So how’s the feeling when you use the sword?” Asked Shogun. “Well, it’s quite mysterious when you look deeper on the sword, but as I lifted it, I feel nothing but the powerful force lies within it.” “You should take good care of that sword, for it chose you.” “I will. I’ll use it to give justice to those people who suffered from the cruelty of this world,” said Argus. “Anyway, tomorrow we are heading to the place of Pegardu to meet an old friend,” Shogan added. “Okay! I’ll come with you.”

The next day they headed to the small town of Pegardu. Shogan has an old friend there whom he met in his younger years. This man is an expert when it comes to medicine and treatment. He’s hoping that he could convince him and join in his town as reinforcement. They were almost in Pegardu when Argus noticed that the place is already burned into ashes. He was devastated to see this terrible killing without any mercy. Corpse scattered everywhere.

“Looks like we’re too late.” Said Argus. “The whole place was burned down, and with no sign of survivors,” he added. “I never thought this is what would welcome us. So sad to see this kind of scenario. My heart is broken seeing innocent lives taken,” said Shogan. “Yeah, so many innocent children lost their lives because of this thing they call supremacy and power.” “That’s why we need to bring them down and annihilate them to save this chaotic world,” said Shogan in a serious tone. His face hardened when he said those words. Argus knew he was determined, and that he was thinking deeply.

“We’ll go back to our marawe and prepare for our incoming mission. We will be heading to the enemy’s nest and surprise them. We will destroy them one by one!” “Are we ready for that, though?” asked Argus. “We should, or else it’d be too late for us to save our own lives.” “I’m ready to die for those people who suffered a lot in this cruel world, and I don’t fear death,” he said. “Good to hear, young man. Let’s go home and plan a good strategy on how to enter the enemy’s kingdom.”

Chapter 6.

“Are you all right Letty?” asked Kervin. “Yeah, I’m just thinking of those innocent children who lost their lives when we burned the whole village of Pegardu.” She said. “We don’t have a choice but to obey the king’s order. We are just his followers.” “I’m tired of following this evil king. I don’t know if I can continue to follow his commands the next time he summons us.” “What do you mean by that, Letty?” asked Kervin. “I will no longer obey his command this time even it cause my life,” she replied. “Are you out of your mind, Letty!? You’ll just waste your life by doing that. We have come this far. We are alive, and that’s what is important.” “I know. I know we had come this far, but can you imagine your whole life following him and living a life like this!? I can’t, Kervin,” she said. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Letty. Make up your mind.” Kervin said and walked away.

“My Lord, the forces are ready for your command anytime,” said Gambet. “Very well then. Tell Shybo and his men to lead the attack in the city of Cremsonn,” the king replied. “Yes, your majesty,” Gambet replied and went straight away.

“Listen up! Tomorrow we’ll be heading to the city of Cremsonn to destroy them, so prepare yourself. We’ll go before the sun rises from its nest to surprise them,” Shybo spoke to the crowd. The crowd roared instantly while lifting their swords and weapons in the air.

“I think this one is the biggest invasion that we will have.” Said Gambet. “Well, this will be probably the most bloody one for the Cremsonnians are huge in number, and many will lost their lives tomorrow,” Shybo grinned. “Don’t be so overconfident Shybo, those people are also aware of their territory so we better plan a good strategy to conquer them,” Kimara uttered. “I know. I know. That’s why we’re here now to make one, Kimara.” He chatted back.

The Gallofers set a plan and are ready for tomorrow’s invasion. As usual, Shybo and his men lead the way, while Kimara together with Letty will back them up. The plan is simple, Shybo will attack at the main gate while Kimara’s group will turn to the back part of the city. Letty will lead her small group this time; it’s her first time doing this in her entire life.

“Are you ready for tomorrow? Kimara asked her. “I don’t know. It’s my first time to lead a small group in a war,” she replied. “Don’t worry, just do your part as a leader and be confident all the time,” assured Kimara.

Letty at the back of her mind is hesitant about the job of being a leader in her small group. She’s planning something else aside from joining the invasion. She plans to escape after the invasion.

+ + + + +

“We came late in Pegardu,” said Shogun. “What do you mean by that?” asked Martessa. “The whole place was burned into ashes and we found no survivors left.” “It seems like we got unlucky to take an old friend from that place,” she replied. “Yeah. So sad about that thing. Helus was a good friend and probably he will come home with us and be a good addition to our tribe,” he added. Helus was a great healer and also skilled in fighting even way back in his younger years, but above all, his talent in healing was exceptional.

“By the way, the forces of Synobians are planning to invade the city of Cremsonn tomorrow as what have my spy said,” Gurgo interrupted. “So what’s the plan now, old Shogun?” Argus asked. “We’ll join the war tomorrow,” answered Shogan. “Are you serious about that thing?” Argus added. “Yes! We’ll wait for the right timing to attack them. I know we cannot defeat them easily but we can weaken their forces if we kill some of their skilled assassins and warriors,” he replied. “So that means we’ll just cut one arm to lose its balance?” “Finally Argus you hit the dagger,” Shogan tapped his shoulder.

“All right! Listen up my fellow Marawenians. Tomorrow we’ll join the war between the Synobians and Cremsonnians and there’s no assurance if we could go back here alive. This time we’ll gamble to at least weaken the enemy’s forces by killing them separately. As we go there, remain vigilant of threats so let your senses awaken,” Shogan reminded them. The tribe agreed with him and raised their weapons above and cheeried.

“Are you ready for tomorrow, Argus?” Martessa asked. “I should be, Martessa, or else I’m not fit to go out there,” he answered. “Just put in your mind always that no matter how powerful and strong your weapon is if your heart is weak then you could still be easily killed,” she reminded. “I know, Martessa. I’ve been weak before but that was a long time ago, and now I’m far different from it.” “Just put this in mind though, if you fear death then you shall die but if you’re ready to bleed you shall live.” Martessa left and Argus remained in his position watching darkness around him with questions running through his head.

Chapter 7.

The road towards Cremsonn was quite foggy and the snow started to fall when the forces of Synobians began to march their way. The Gallofers lead the way while the group of Kimara and Letty headed their way to the back part of the castle of Cremsonnians. They moved without any noise that the guard at the gate didn’t even notice them. Shybo and Gambet took care of the guards and opened the gate without hesitation. They moved closer to the castle of King Cesar effortlessly.

“Open the lights and defend the king!” A voice shouted near the window of the castle. The Synobian’s presence was finally noticed by the Cremsonnians. The clash began and the sound of different weapons echoed in the dawn.

“My king, go and hide in your son’s room,” said Attaros, the chief of all the warriors in the city. “Call the forces of Krypton and tell them to defend the city,” he ordered one of his men. Kryptons are a group of assassins and well-known warriors in the Cremsonn who fight for the king and its city.

The forces of Synobians slowly defeated the front part of Cremsonnian’s palace. King Cesar swiftly went to his son’s room and tried to escape in the secret tunnel connected to the gate at the back part of the city not knowing it was already occupied by the group of Kimara. On the other hand, Attaros together with the Kryptons battled against Shybo and the Gallofers.

“You cannot hide your king with us,” said Shybo. “King Cesar is not here anymore and his throne will not fall down the ground easily,” exclaimed Attaros while drawing his sword. “Your name is already known in every city in the province of Ludenkia, but not today for your name shall perish together with your body in this city” he added. “Your words sound like a threat to my naked ears but it doesn’t affect nor shake my cold-blooded body from killing who comes and hinders along my way,” Shybo grinned. The duel between the two started and likewise between the Gallofers and Krypton. But in the end, the Gallofers outlasted the Kryptons though some of them were injured badly. The Kryptons gave them a good fight until the end while the duel between the two had also come to an end. Shybo survived death but got deep cuts and injuries from fighting Attaros. “Not bad as I thought for you were able to deal deep cuts with my flesh,” Shybo talked to Attaros’ corpse. “Search the whole palace and city and find the king,” he commanded his men.

The group of Kimara and Letty conquered the back part of the city. They held some of the Cremsonnians as captives including King Cesar who tried to escape in the secret tunnel of the palace. Letty undoubtedly led her group in her first-ever invasion as a leader. She smiled bitterly for she doesn’t want to continue this kind of act. “You’ve done great today, Letty, and it seems like you’re fit to be a leader,” Kimara commended her. “Thank you, Kimara for the compliment. I just followed what the plan is,” she replied. Kimara just tapped her shoulder and left to meet the others. Letty looked around the whole place with a heavy heart. Many innocent lives were taken away again from this attack. She imagined those innocent children who were left behind by their parents. She imagined those because she was like them when she lost her parents way back.

“Burn the whole city and take away everything that could be useful for us,” Shybo ordered. The Synobians took all the gold and silvers in the palace and burned them immediately. Shybo became victorious again in their invasion and then they traveled their way back to Synobo.

Shogan and Argus are patiently waiting for the passing of Synobians in the long road of Legasia, which is connected between the two cities. Finally, the forces of Synobians arrived, and they waited until half of its forces were gone. “Wait for my signal to attack,” said Shogan. Argus gave him a nod, then came the other forces of Synobians. Shogan finally signaled his men. “Attack!”

The Marawe tribe suddenly appeared out of nowhere in the foggy area of Legasia and surprised the enemy. The enemies couldn’t respond well to their attacks because of the fog. Shogan’s plan worked out and became effective. They killed hundreds of men and took all of their weapons. “Well done, my tribe! Now let’s get out of here,” Shogan exclaimed, breathing heavily. “I thought we’ll wait for the others to pass by?” puzzled Argus. “No. I changed my mind. This is enough for now, for they might know our identity,” explained Shogan. “You have a point, old man. Now let’s get out of this place.” Argus second the motion.

The group of Kimara and Letty are passing by the long road of Legasia when they noticed that some of their fellow Synobians were already lifeless. Hundreds of them were no longer breathing and swordless. “Stay alert! Keep your senses sharp, for we never know what lies in this foggy road,” exclaimed Kimara. Letty drew her sword and moved cautiously. They moved forward until they finally passed the long road of Legasia. “Shybo needs to know this,” murmured Kimara.

Chapter 8.

“We got victorious conquering the city of Cremsonn last night, but I’m still puzzled about the hundreds of men who died heading home after the battle,” said Shybo. “I want the group of Kimara to resolve this. They will speculate and get some information to whoever did this to our men,” he added. “This isn’t a threat to us so I agree with Shybo to put an action on this issue,” agreed the king. “But for now, my fellow Synobians, let’s celebrate our success again for another victory we have,” he added. The crowd began to cheer and the celebration started.

“Letty! Come with me,” exclaimed Kimara. “Why are you so excited, Kimara?” Letty replied. “Well, the king gave me some sort of stuff that I think you may like, like this one.” Kimara handed her a bracelet. The bracelet is made of tiny diamonds and designed like a flower. “Wow! The king really gave you this!?” “Yes! It’s a reward for us, so don’t ask anymore, my dear,” answered Kimara. “Thank you for this. I really love it,” she replied. “We need to celebrate because in the next few days we’ll go for a special task assigned to us. So let’s go and have a drink.” “I don’t drink, Kimara, but it’s a disrespect for you if I neglect your offer; I don’t have a choice either.” Letty grinned. “You have a choice, my dear, and always remember that.” Kimara smiled.

° ° °

“Why are you so quiet early in the morning, young man”? Martessa approach Argus. “I’m just meditating, Martessa, for I had a bad dream last night about the place I came from,” he explained. “Oh, and what kind of dream was it?” “I dreamed of death and hopelessness of people suffering from the cruelty and greediness of invaders. I saw myself standing in the middle, watching havoc of every city and cry of anguish and pain.” “Well, your dream is not far from reality these days because we live on that.” “You’re right, Martessa, and we need to stop this.”

“So what’s the next plan, old man?” asked Argus. “We’ll wait for the information from our spy inside the enemy’s territory, and we will draw another plan,” replied Shogan. “The life of your spy is at stake, old man. I think we should not allow him to put his life at risk for getting information inside the enemy’s territory.” “I already thought of that, young lad, so don’t talk too much. I told him that that’s the last time he will enter the enemy’s cave, but don’t worry, for this spy is very clever.” “We cannot assume that the enemies are blind, Shogan. Remember, they too have great spies,” interrupted Martessa. “I know, Martessa, but we need to gamble so we could move precisely according to our plan and strategy.”

The celebration continued in Synobo. People everywhere are enjoying, dancing, and singing on the roads. Beer scattered around, prostitutes are also seen in every corner. Maru slowly walked into the crowded place of drunk people and lit his cigarette. Shogan told him to spy and get information inside Synobo, so he disguised himself as a beggar. The task was not easy for him, but he is used to this kind of job. Earlier this day, he heard the plan of Shybo about the task he assigned to the group of Kimara. They are moving on the next Wednesday to travel back to Legasia to search for something that could help them to find some answers about the ambush. Maru swiftly traveled his way to Marawe to tell the information he collected.

“So, what’s the next step you’re planning, Shybo?” asked Gambet. “After we defeat the Cremsonns, we need to conquer other cities besides Ludenkia, and after that, we’ll be on the top,” he replied. “How about your plan on the king?” “I don’t mind that for now. I’ll deal with it afterward,” he grinned. “The group of Kimara is heading to Legasia on Wednesday. Are you sure they don’t need reinforcement?” asked Gambet. “Kimara and her group are prepared for that task, and I’m confident that they can handle it,” he responded. “Whoever does that ambush will pay the price of death,” he added.

° ° °

“I heard that the Synobians are planning to go to Legasia tomorrow to investigate the ambush,” Maru said. “So what’s the next move, old man?” Argus asked. “Then we need to wait for them tomorrow and ambush them again.” The old man answered. “Are you sure about what you have heard, Maru?” he asked. “Yes! The group of Kimara was assigned to do the task. Her group is not that big but composed of well-skilled individuals. So we better not underestimate them,” he added. “I know. I’m pretty sure they are prepared for that thing, so we must also stay focused on our task,” Shogan said. “Did you play safe as a beggar?” asked Argus. “I’m pretty sure they didn’t notice me spying on them. So don’t worry about it, Argus,” replied Maru. “But still, we need to be vigilant, for we never know the enemies are just waiting for us outside,” added Argus. “You’re right, young man, so better prepare, and as well as the rest of you, for we’re heading to Legasia tomorrow.”

“Are you going tomorrow to Legasia?” asked Kervin. “Yes. We are assigned to gather information about the ambush,” she replied. “I thought Legasia is just a road? It seems like few individuals are living over there,” he responded. “Me too. I never imagined that foggy place has residents,” Letty added. “Be careful, Letty, for you never know that place.” “I know, Kervin, for that place is mysterious.” “Good luck in your task tomorrow, and stay safe. I’ll go ahead,” he said.

Chapter 9.

The road of Legasia was covered with thick mist and fog when Shogan’s group arrived. The place was so quiet, and you can only hear your own breathing. It was already five in the morning, and the sun was already rising from the top mountain. Argus was still sleepy because of the ambiance of the place. “Stay alert. Don’t let your eyes close, lad, for the enemies might come anytime.” said Shogan. Argus just shook his head and put his hands on his sword.

Kimara and her group arrived exactly at six in the morning. The road of Legasia was still covered with fog and mist. They began to search for possible people living in this place. And at last, they found one house beside the river near the long road. They knocked on the door, but no one seemed to be there. They pushed the door hard to open it but found nothing.

“Let’s keep moving on and find another house that might give us information,” said Kimara. “Seems like there’s no sign of people here, Kimara,” Letty uttered. “I think those people living here already abandoned the place after that incident,” she added. “Probably. They fear to lose their life after witnessing those bloody incidents,” added Letty. “Let’s keep moving, and we must find some traces of the enemies who ambushed our fellow Synobians last time.” “All right,” and off they went.

“Get ready! Someone is coming!” Shogan uttered. The Kimara’s group is approaching the old house beside the rocky river. “Open the door! Is anyone inside the house?” shouted Kimara. No one answered her, so they pushed the door with force. Kimara was aware that someone is watching them, so she ordered her group to stay alert. But as she reminded her group, one of her men collapsed on the ground — he shot with an arrow. “Attack!” A voice shouted out of nowhere.

Argus swiftly moved and slashed his sword at every enemy he passed by. One by one, they fell to the ground, lifeless. On the other hand, Kimara and Letty tried to fight hard but could not eradicate the enemies easily. “Who the heck are these people, and why are they so skilled!?” exclaimed Kimara while fighting hard. “I don’t know, Kimara, but our numbers are getting lesser, and we are in a dangerous situation,” replied Letty. “Let’s get out of here!” shouted Kimara. But as they attempted to escape, they got trapped and unable to move because swords were pointed at them.

“Wait! Don’t kill them!” shouted one voice. Shogan walked in their direction while carrying his bloody sword. “Who are you!? And why are you doing this!?” asked Kimara. “Oh, you are a woman, a brave woman. Let me introduce myself, brave woman. I’m Shogan from Marawe,” he said. “Why are you doing this? We are from Synobo, and you’ll pay for this!” said Kimara in a serious tone. “I know you are a Synobian, but I’m not scared of you and your kingdom,” replied the old man. “Then better kill us now, or else you’ll die in the hands of my master and king!” “I’m not going to kill you, for we have an important thing to do with you. Bring them to the town,” ordered Shogan.

“Wait! Don’t hurt them. I know one of them,” shouted Argus as he hurriedly moved in the direction of the captives. “Letty?? Is that you?” uttered Argus. Letty lifted her head and couldn’t believe what she’s seeing in front of her. “Ar..Argus?? Is that you?? How is it possible?? You’re already dead when you fell from the cliff,” Letty uttered in disbelief. “Ohh, so she is the one you are talking about,” interrupted Shogan. “Yes, old man,” Argus answered. “All right. Talk to her later. We better leave this place first. Let’s go,” ordered Shogan.

The group of Shogan and Argus left Legasia immediately, not knowing someone is following them. Shybo ordered Dreyfus and his group to follow Kimara as reinforcement. Kimara doesn’t have any idea about this plan. Dreyfus followed them until they passed by the small town of Pegardu when Argus noticed that someone is following them. Argus alerted Shogan about it, but the old man already sensed it, so he used some tactics to deceive the enemies. They stopped at Pegardu to rest for a while, but Shogan plans to trap those following them. The place was familiar for him, and so he used this as an advantage over the enemies.

“All right. Listen up. I have a plan to trap those following us, so listen carefully,” he said. “I’m familiar with this place, so we’ll divide ourselves into four groups to surprise the enemies,” he added. The plan is set, and they divided themselves into four groups positioning in their respective areas. Dreyfus signaled his men to stop at the entrance of Pegardu. “I have a bad feeling about this place, so be cautious when you enter it,” warned Dreyfus. They continue to move towards the entrance of Pegardu when it suddenly started to rain.

Chapter 10.

The sudden rain made Dreyfus’ men not see what lies inside Pegardu. The rain favored the group of Shogan, and they began to move to assassinate the unaware enemies. One by one, they fell in the rushing water and mud. Lifeless bodies and blood soaked through the ground. One by one, the men of Dreyfus died. He was aware of it, so he withdrew from the bait of the enemies and swiftly ran out of Pegardu, but as he reached the entrance of the small town, he stopped when he saw someone standing out there. Argus wasn’t sure if he saw Dreyfus inside but finally realized he was right when he met him at the gate. On the other side, Dreyfus was in disbelief when he saw someone familiar to him — Argus.

“How could it be possible?? How could it be possible you’re still alive at this very moment?? I know I already killed you when I pushed you off that cliff,” he said, confused. “My time at that moment has not come yet, and luck was on my side. I’m still alive because I still have a mission here on earth, and that includes you, Dreyfus,” Argus threatened while drawing his sword. “Don’t threaten me with your words, badass. I’m not scared of you; even life gives you a second chance, and even a hundred times. Life favored your luck. My feet won’t tremble in front of you. I will make sure this time you’ll never survive, and death will embrace you in the depths,” exclaimed furious Dreyfus while drawing his sword. “No. I’m still breathing at this very moment to end the killing of the innocents and stop the greediness in this world we live in. The rain will witness the redemption of the dead,” he replied. “Then do it, curly mustards!” Dreyfus shouted as he swiftly attacked Argus. Both lunged their swords with force, making it ignite a fire in the middle of the rain. They battled under the pouring rain like they were like dancing, for both were a master in handling a sword. But in the end, Argus became victorious when he badly hurt Dreyfus’ right arm. He was not able to use his right arm in precision. “You win this time, Argus, but it doesn’t stop here. One day, you and your group will die in the hands of Synobo.” “We’ll be waiting for that day, and we’ll die fighting for what is right until the end,” Argus killed him as the rain stopped pouring its tears on the ground. The battle between the two has finally ended as the sun slowly appeared in the dark sky.

The rain had totally stopped, and bloody bodies were all over the small town of Pegardu. No one from the group of Dreyfus survived. “You killed him, Argus? You killed Dreyfus?” uttered Letty. “I did. The revenge of the dead is just getting started. This is just the beginning of our mission.” “Is that you, Argus? You seem to be a different person now.” “It is still me, Letty. But I’m far different from the weak Argus you used to know,” he replied. “Let’s go home. We need to discuss our next plan,” Shogan said. They moved out from Pegardu and headed their way to Marawe.

“Shybo, there’s a message from Dreyfus coming from its pet,” said one man. Shybo slowly opened the folded paper bound by a bird’s feather. He read the message of Dreyfus and threw the paper at the air after. Dreyfus told him about the unknown group of people lead by an old man. He somehow wondered if this man is Shogan, and he was right when Dreyfus mentioned him in the letter. Dreyfus still managed to send a message for the last time after he lost his life. “Still a good job, Dreyfus, even it costed your life. You still made me proud, young man. I’m still wondering how the old Shogan survived the last war. Very interesting,” He chuckled.

The next day Shybo gathered his men in front of the city. “Listen up, my fellow Synobians! I have an important thing to discuss with you.” The crowd went silent when he raised his hands. “The groups of Kimara and Dreyfus were captured and defeated by unknown forces, but I found out who’s responsible for it. An old acquaintance led that group, and we need to capture them immediately before they destroy us. So for this moment, we will not take them lightly, for this man is experienced in war.” “You hear Shybo right. I know this man, and his name is Shogan. He was a great warrior way back in his days. We need to take him and his group down before he can cause a problem in our way. So from now on, we’ll hunt them,” The king declared to the crowd. The crowd furiously roared in agreement.

° ° °

A week after Letty and Argus finally saw each other, everything between them started getting back to normal. Their friendship was back in shape, and together they trained to improve themselves. On the other hand, Kimara became one of them as she realized the purpose of this group of people. She joined the Marawe tribe and started a new life with them. She trained under Gurgo and led a new group of young people. Day by day, she became used to her new life with Letty’s help, but Argus was still not confident about her. He’s not trusting her completely, thinking it might be a trap to take them down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *