Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
Looking for Authors for Exclusive positions! Paid. DM the Admin on Discord if you're interested. LINK
In Middle-East Europe, inside a small city that’s almost like a town, autumn just settled, and at the edge of this town, sounds of metal hitting metal resounded. A fit yet rough man with messy hair and dirty jeans turned black from the dust was hammering with a stable rhythm behind his rundown house and near the heated furnace made of stone and bricks. The cold wind of the autumn didn’t even reach him as the heat from the furnace struck his naked and tanned top in full. Although the heat would make anyone frown from the burning sensation, his skin was already long used to it, now neither heat nor cold disturbing the man that was in his late 30’s by now.
“Will you really not think this through again? Why won’t you come with me? Michael…”
A woman that seemed like a model or actress in her late 20’s was sitting down on a chair that was placed near a table behind the house’s backdoor, her long and straight red hair falling gently over her shoulder. On her slender fingers, beautiful small ears, and around her mesmerizing white neck, glamorous accessories of gold and silver with expensive stones or complex and elegant designs were further enchanting her beauty. Her black dress was highlighting her curves while also showing enough of her white skin to make any man unable to take his eyes off her, but not enough to give a slutty feeling as she seemed more elegant than scandalous. Her eyes were sharp and of an enchanting natural purple color, while her small and red lips were now pouting from dissatisfaction, her small nose also flinching like a rabbit’s from the strong smell of melted copper.
Hearing her question, the man continued on hammering without even turning as sparks and flames struck his unprotected hands and front, leaving him unfazed as he simply couldn’t feel the pain anymore. His burning and focused eyes didn’t flinch one bit while his hammer continued on striking the metal, now slower so the woman could hear him talk, his voice rough and indifferent,
“When I’ll need your help again, I’ll be sure to contact you. But don’t even dare thinking of bringing me back to your crazy circus, woman.”
“You know I also have a name…”
She crossed her arms and smiled annoyed while the man smirked amused, continuing on hammering.
“Would you just remember any bastard’s name?”
“My~ how mean. Are you still mad at me after dealing with that woman? You know she wasn’t fit for you, yes?”
“Who is then?”
“Me, of course.”
The man snickered for a moment then just continued on, ignoring her completely. Seeing how he was simply unwilling to listen to her wishes, the woman sighed frustrated then just got up and got closer, trying to resist the strong heat.
“I suggest not coming any closer, or all that fur on you will start smelling like a burnt pig.”
He turned to her and pointed at the furry jacket she had on with a mocking grin. Making eye contact, the woman was momentarily surprised and a sensual smile appeared on her face as she tried to mesmerize him while touching her lips with one finger,
“Oh~? Are you worried about me? That’s new~.”
“I just don’t want to have another body to bury. I have nothing to use to set out the fire in case you start burning.”
“… You really know how to kill the mood.”
“There was none in the first place. Now leave. In case I’ll need your help, I’ll call. But until then, stop disturbing me.”
His rough and cold voice resounded through the sound of metal hitting metal. The woman was able to tell that she had no chance in changing his mind and a light sense of regret washed her over, only to quickly shake her head then turn to leave, leaving behind only a few words.
“In that case, I’ll wait for your call. But remember, the moment you’ll dial my number, is the moment you’ll become mine, no take-backs.”
He said nothing as he continued on hammering until she completely left. After doing so, he stared at the sky and sighed tired, looking in the distance and observing how dark clouds were coming closer.
I have enough money to buy two favors from her, yet she won’t want anything but myself… What a greedy woman.
Sighing annoyed, he hardened the cooper sword he was making into a bucket of oil then started polishing it by hand with a rough whetstone.
His phone then started vibrating and a tired expression appeared on his face,
Why won’t these people just leave me alone already…
On his phone, two messages appeared almost simultaneously, one from an unknown number, while the other one from his own brother:
Boss. Most of us have been released. We need you to restart from scratch. Where are you?]
Michael. I saw the news. Your dumb friends got freed. I’ll be sure to put them right back in if they do anything retarded, okay? I know you’re a drunkard now, but just be sure to have them not bring any troubles to me.]
Reading the first message, Michael simply swiped it away to delete it, but he got quite irritated after reading the one from his brother.
“I won’t do s***. Focus on yourself and your family, idiot.”
He then sent the reply right back and closed his phone as he wanted to focus on his work. He sighed once again annoyed and after glancing at the sky in the distance, he observed how the clouds were rushing right towards his city with incredible speed, making him breathe out tired while a small grin appeared on his face,
Look at how obvious the signs are, yet the idiot won’t even sharpen his knives. Tsk, I won’t tell him what to do, he’s a big boy already. If he can’t feel this danger, then he doesn’t deserve the title of an elite soldier.
Thinking about his brother once again, the man named Michael chuckled dreadfully while setting off the fire, packing his tools so they won’t get too wet from the incoming rain.
“Let’s go, man.”
“Yeah dude, in a bit.”
I packed up everything and prepared to go to my Karate training with my friend, the training started right after we finished classes, so we had to rush our steps. After we ran towards the station, we quickly embarked on the bus then got down after two stops, running towards the dojo then into the changing rooms.
Oh oh~! We’re going to do a practical activity today as well! So cool!
As I prepared my karate gi, I also took out the gloves, the shin protections, and the casket as today was a close-combat training day.
I’m named Leon Roil, I’m in my second year of high school and I’m a karate practitioner. I’m rather average at school and my family it’s a fulfilled one. I can’t say I have anything amazing or incredible about me… maybe only my calm mindset and a sturdy body. While my dad works as a police officer, my mother it’s a designer for a modeling company. I’m the only kid in the family and our financial status it’s quite average, but with no problems. I’m no genius at Karate as I won and lost battles, never really winning any medal, but I still liked it. My looks, I consider them average, but the girl I’m in relation with keeps saying it’s otherwise. She is the one I had a crush on for a long while and when I finally confessed, I was shocked to find out that she felt the same way, such, making us be together for 4 months already. The boys in my class are all friendly and we hang out rather often, with a few of them even having quite a lot of things in common. We like to play football or basketball together, at times going out to drink or eat, telling stories, jokes, ideas, or have other idle talks.
After I finished my training, it was already 8 PM and I had to rush back home to eat together with my family, the three of us talking and laughing at the table without a worry. The next day was almost the same thing, giving me the possibility to grow and live my adolescence without any problems.
All in all, if I had to confess, I had a perfect life.
However… when life’s too great, then it’s bound for misfortune to make its way in.
One rainy day in the middle of autumn I went back home rather late as it was a day of training, and to my surprise, the lights were off while the door was still closed. We lived in a medium-sized house with one floor, so getting home earlier than the others made it feel rather gloomy.
I guess both of them got stuck with their work. Oh well~, guess I gotta make myself something to eat.
I went to the kitchen and as I started making myself a light meal, a sudden call attracts my attention, the caller being my father.
“T’zup dad? Mom’s not home yet, so want me to make something to eat for both of you?”
“… Dad? Are you there? Hello?”
There was no answer from the other side and I asked rather confused. A bad feeling made my hands turn cold but I ignored it as I couldn’t think of anything bad that could’ve happened.
[Leon… listen to me…]
[Whatever happens… just understand that both I and your mother love you dearly.]
His words made me freeze in place and because of that, I dropped the pan in my hand.
“Uh, oh. I dropped the Pan… Also, dad, what do you mean by that?”
[Son, you’re 17 years old, think you can live by yourself?]
“Well, you two taught me quite a few things for when I would go to university, but… why so sudden?”
[Good… I already talked with your uncle. Go to him tomorrow morning.]
“What? I got school tomorrow-“
[*beep* *beep* *beep*]
“H-he dropped the call on me?! What the hell man?”
I was rather hurt by him suddenly interrupting the call, but then I continued to make my food and finish eating, take a shower, all of this while our conversation continuously repeated in my head.
What happened? Why does my heart feel like it would jump out of my chest at any moment now? God, just what is dad doing right now?
The next day I woke up rather tired because of the uneasy feeling I had, giving me a hard time falling asleep. I opened the news while making myself lunch because the silence was killing me, seeing how neither of my parents was home yet.
[Breaking news: The wife of X City’s officer has been brutally murdered by stabbing after the law of Lesser sentencing to criminals that committed stealing worth less than 10 thousand Euros has been implemented a week ago. Many think that the reason for applying such a law was so the corrupt politicians could be released due time and so it has been decided to erase such a law at all cost-…]
“…What city? I-Isn’t that… my city?”
I froze in place after I heard the news and quickly reached out to my phone, trying to call my father. Even so, the moment I dialed his number, it sounded that his phone was closed or outside range, making for my face to pale.
[…-the officer has been informed but afterward, he is no longer to be found. Many think that he might be preparing for a vendetta-]
“What vendetta you story-tellers?! Stop talking s*** about my father!”
I roared furiously as I couldn’t help but negate everything they said.
My mom, died? Moreover, she was killed?! No no no, impossible. Just what era are we even living in? Aren’t we in the 21st century?! And we’re living so close to the center of the city! Who would randomly kill someone just like that? Just when and where did that happen?! It’s impossible, no way, there’s no way…
I sat down while looking with a ghastly face at the floor.
-BEEP BEEP BEEP-
As I was lost in my thoughts, my phone turned on an alarm that I set so I could go to school early to not be late.
I need to go to school… Right, I can’t just stay at home… M-maybe things will return to normal once I arrive at school.
I tried to forget… or rather, I wanted to forget but couldn’t, all of this being stuck on my head like how the stars are stuck on the cloudy sky… may be hidden, but inevitably there.
After changing and preparing my bag, I went out and waited at the bus station deep in thoughts.
“Yo Leon-… Dude you look terrible, is there something wrong going on?”
I got up on the bus and I met with one of my classmates who greeted me, only to freeze in place for a moment after seeing my dark eyes and ghastly complexion.
“I-… I had a really bad nightmare, dude. Don’t worry.”
“Damn fam, it must’ve been a scary one, you look terrible.”
I can’t relax… It’s like the world itself has changed.
While my buddy continued on chatting with me, I looked around and couldn’t help but feel fear, danger, while the all too familiar road to school now appearing extremely strange and unknown. I simply couldn’t help looking around, wary of everything that was happening around me, thinking that death might be lurking at every corner.
After we arrived at school I couldn’t help but feel strange gazes from everywhere around me, as if someone knew a truth about me that I wasn’t aware of. Feeling my back cold, I just went to my table and tried to calm down, my palms sweating like crazy. I opened my textbooks and prepared for my first class when suddenly someone shocked me by appearing in front of my table.
“Hey Leo~, you didn’t greet me this morning~!”
My girlfriend came to my seat and pouted irritated, making me look at her rather surprised. Trying not to appear weird, I smiled lightly and apologized while scratching my head,
“I’m sorry about that, I was with my head in the clouds since yesterday night.”
“Hm~… Well, you do look rather absentminded. Did something happen?”
“Really~? You know I’m your girlfriend, right? You can tell me anything that’s on your mind.”
“I’m serious, don’t worry.”
She leaned over my table and I instinctively backed off. I then smiled widely and just waved my hand in negation. I looked at the clock and said rather agitated,
“Oh look, the class is gonna start soon. You better go to your seat.”
“And since when do you care about that? Fine, if you want to get rid of me, then fine.”
“T-that’s not what I meant-“
She left rather annoyed and I couldn’t help sighing somewhat relieved as I simply couldn’t help but wish to be alone for a while, although I felt bad for making her feel avoided. The teacher then soon came in and, just before we could start class, he looked surprised at me and with a troubled smile on his face as he asked,
“O-oh? Leon, how come you’re at school?”
“W-what? Why are you asking this, teacher? Should I not be at school?”
“No no, I’m rather impressed. After all, didn’t you had a deceased in your family right the other day? It’s everywhere on the news after all.”
The whole class then started murmuring and whispering while throwing glances my way, some of the whispers upsetting my stomach as my face palled,
“Hey hey, his father was the city’s officer, right?”
“Because I heard that his wife just got murdered in cold blood yesterday night.”
“No way! Leon’s mom died?!”
“And his father it’s now also missing.”
“You think he’s going to die as well?”
“Either that, or he’s going for a vendetta. That’s what the news said.”
More and more whispers resounded in the class and while it continued, the other’s eyes started to make me feel under incredible weight and tension. Eyes of pity, of concern, of curiosity, of amazement, or even of fear, all of them turning my way and making me feel like some kind of creature from a circus.
My neck was drying while my voice was shaking. I couldn’t help but feel like all my classmates that I had a good time with, were now suddenly showing me a stranger’s face, the face of someone that I simply couldn’t recognize. My girlfriend herself seemed greatly shocked and even afraid, making for my heart to sink.
“Oy dude, are you fine? Should I bring you to the infirmary?”
My bench-mate asked me as he saw my pale face while I was sweating cold sweat.
As I tried to speak I felt like puking out, having to immediately rush out of the class and towards the bathroom, vomiting everything I ate that morning.
She’s-… dead… for real…? Mom…!
Tears flowed down my face as I tried not to just break down in the bathroom. I continued to vomit then after I washed my mouth, face, and hands, I looked in the mirror, only to see a devastated young man of 17 years old, his face pale, his eyes pushed in his head and red from tears, while his clothes were shriveled and as if thrown on him.
Uncle… father talked about him… maybe he knows more…