COPYRIGHT © 2017 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
“Brother, behind you!”
I sprinted to my brother and threw my daggers at the assailant, hoping in all hopes I could stop him from slicing my brother in half.
However, my effort was in vain as the attacker’s sword sliced my brother’s flesh as he repelled my flying daggers with his thrown kunai like it was nothing.
I stopped in my tracks upon my brother’s voice. Luckily, he managed to evade with just a shallow cut on his stomach while the black-clothed man quickly evaded my brother’s kick.
Now that I could assist the situation, the assailant was covered with black fabrics from head to toe, and only his eyes were seen.
A professional killer.
I forgot to mention, often, there were assassins and mercenaries, as well as, ex-soldiers’ mix into the fray ––making the test much more challenging.
I know, right.
My brother stopped me from coming towards him, there must be something up ahead. I scanned the ground while my brother kept the assassin occupied.
I got to say the assassin was more than skilled to hold his own against my brother.
When my eyes found that ever so small indentation in the snow, I threw my daggers at it, and the ground shook, giving way to a whole about ten meters deep with sharp rocks protruding on the ground.
There were probably more like that scattered all around us, and I would be grunting from broken bones right about now if not for my brother’s warning. The fall might not be able to kill us, but it would undoubtedly make us scream for days.
My grandparents meant business this time.
I bit my lips feeling disgusted, angry, and frustrated at my family for this senseless test.
It was not like the world would fall into chaos overnight.
I didn’t get the whole sense of this training.
If it was for self-defense, it was okay –– but this?
We are not in the past. War was already behind us.
What was the use of all of this?
It was too late to evade –– in the blink of an eye, the dagger that was supposed to hit my shoulder was thrown to the side by my brother’s knife.
I glanced over at my brother.
The assassin managed to stab my brother in the shoulder when he lost focus because of me. Because he used his dagger to save me instead of defending himself.
I screamed and threw my needles at the bastard. I didn’t care if I used it all. I was in rage at the sight of my brother’s bleeding shoulder. I knew he sacrificed himself so I wouldn’t be injured. I knew since the start of this training, he was continuously taking blows that were meant for me. He was protecting me from the side while also defending himself.
But he was still human, after all. He couldn’t always protect me with this many assailants. It was a given I wouldn’t come out from all of this unscathed.
The assassin wanted to retreat, but my brother gripped his arm, which held the sword stabbed on his shoulder. And yet, the assassin still managed to avoid the needles aimed in the critical spot of his body. But my brother took the opportunity to take out a dagger and strike it against him.
However, this assassin was good. He avoided the knife in time it could do severe damage. He managed to pull back his hand and somersaulted away from my brother.
I sprinted to his side while my eyes never left the man, who was now exposing his face. My brother’s dagger sliced off the mask from his face.
I was surprised that our professional assassin was young and good looking to boot –– almost the same age as my brother.
My brother murmured.
Though he was injured, he was still standing tall with his imposing aura –– not a trace of pain on his icy cold face.
Does my brother know the boy?
This Russell just grinned before he sprinted away.
“You’re not getting away!”
I was about to chase after him, but my brother stopped me, and I stared at him with questioning eyes.
“He’s . . . unimportant. We have to set out camp. It’s getting dark.”
Only then, I nodded and stared at his bleeding shoulder.
“Brother, your shoulder . . . I’m so––”
“It’s nothing serious.”
“Brother, I will set up camp. You just concentrate on your wound.”
I sprinted to our things to get the materials I needed before he could even stop me.
I avoided my gaze when my brother pressed the heated knife against his wound.
The sizzling sound and the smell of burning flesh filled the igloo while my brother’s eyes dimmed though no sound was heard from his lips. Like he was already used to the pain.
I blinked away the tears in my eyes.
“Why do we have to do this? It’s not like we are in times of war.”
I grunted while my brother wrapped his wounds in clean clothes after he closed and disinfected his injuries.
“It’s not like we are in those times of our ancestors. This is already the twentieth century for heaven’s sake.”
“Estela . . .”
My brother’s calm voice stopped me from procrastinating some more.
“Reserve your strength. You’ll need it in days ahead.”
“But brother! Don’t you find this whole thing . . . repulsing? Is it not enough to know self-defense? Why is it we have to undergo this ridiculous training? I know our grandparents wanted to pass their knowledge and life surviving skills they learned in times of war, but that time had now long gone pass––!”
“Estela . . .”
My brother’s stern voice halted me, and I stared at his serious face. Then he smiled and caressed my cheek.
“The world is changing, and we have to prepare ourselves for it by learning to adapt to different situations to preserve our bloodline.”
I puffed my cheeks and widened my eyes at him.
“You sounded like our grandparents.”
“You can’t survive in this world by just doing what’s right.”
He then gently pushed me on the cloth bedding.
“Now sleep. I’ll take the first watch.”
I didn’t complain. I knew the pain from his wounds would keep him awake, so I might as well take the first rest.
I intertwined my forefinger in his and closed my eyes.
“Good night, brother.”
I whispered as I kept thinking about what he said.
Throughout the years, I discovered this world was not all ponies, dollhouses, flowers, sugar, spice, and everything nice. Even though I didn’t like it, I knew what he was saying. I knew this world was cruel and could crush me whole in a day.
It was precisely because of that –– I killed my other self.
The innocent girl that I was is dead. I killed her because she would never survive in this world.
I am willing to be the villain. To be the bad guy if it meant I could protect myself and those I love.
After all, bad guys weren’t so bad if they have something to protect.
I took a peek.
Everything is white.
I hated the color white. It reminded me of desolation and loneliness.
But it also reminded me of you.
Your presence comforted me in this cruel world.
My ever so cold, indifferent, yet warm and caring . . . big brother.
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