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Chapter 1 The Dream of The Young
There's no end to human desire.
Humans, at the top of the food chain, acc.u.mulated generations of knowledge and wisdom, used more and more advanced technology to better their lives and to protect against attacks of their own . . .
The power-driven conflict between countries was the origin of all disasters. Suddenly, the world became different, just because someone powerful pressed a few b.u.t.tons as if playing a game, destroying the world, and himself.
A few years later . . .
Some more years later . . .
The survivors began rebuilding. In a society without full law and order, the remaining knowledge was organized by knowledgeable people, and the environment started to improve.
Now: 2700 AD, and 521 years after the nuclear war.
Location: Continent of Yashew, the Village of Ladou.
“Brother,” a voice came from deep inside the cave. "I'm starving!"
“How are you hungry again?” a deeper voice asked. “Good thing I caught fish today. Come on over; we'll grill some now.”
A dim light turned on inside the cave, illuminating two tall men, both of whom were wearing scuba suits. Most people who have been to the warrior intelligence outpost in Ladou Village knew they were the water monster brothers on the wanted poster.
“Did you find diesel?” The younger man's voice was excited.
“Yes,” the older brother said. “I got an old tank outside the cave when you were sleeping. Too bad the tank runner got away. I dragged the tank back and got some diesel from it.”
“What about the tank?” asked the younger brother.
“I broke off the auxiliary gun for its diesel. It's a pile of trash other than that. I took the parts like Water Monster taught us and made some machines with them.”
“What did Water Monster say?” The younger man sounded anxious. “When can we attack Ladou?”
“In two or three months.” The older brother caressed the computer equipment next to him. “With what he's shown us, when we have a.s.sembled enough mechanical troops, we can destroy Ladou!”
“I'm so sick of waiting like this!” the young man suddenly shouted. “Except for our grandfather, I'll eat everyone like a snack!”
“All right, all right.” The older man chuckled. "I know you're ambitious, but we need to eat first. Here, I'll grill some fish for you.”
He took the fire-starter and pressed a b.u.t.ton; instantly, fire flared from the nozzle, and the fish strung on the tree branch started to smell appetizing.
“Brother, did you lower the fire setting?”
The older man answered, “Yeah, we don't have much fuel, so we've gotta be frugal.”
“But our fire-starter will be weaker,” said the younger brother. “If a bounty hunter comes for us, what are we gonna do?”
“No worries.” The older brother turned off the flame and grabbed one fish. "Eat. These machines we've built are enough to protect us. Watch out for the fishbones.”
“I know," the younger man mumbled as he chewed the food.
Three months later, spring had arrived at Ladou. People's moods improved as their world became greener; they were busy preparing food for the following season. Kids played in the village, oblivious to the incoming danger. At dusk, men who had worked hard all-day piled into the bar to numb themselves with alcohol.
“Can I have a sip, Brother Suoying?” A young man looked hopefully at the drink. “Just one sip.”
“No, Nange.” The other young man smiled. “If I let you drink, Uncle Pumpkin would beat me up. What's the rush? You'll be eighteen tomorrow.”
Nange sighed and leaned listlessly on the table. Suddenly, a loud sound signaled the arrival of a skinny young man. His head was bandaged and he was limping.
“I'm exhausted. I need a drink!” He breathed heavily. “Did you know Red Wolf is here? I saw his war truck.” With this shocking news, four shot gla.s.ses appeared in front of him.
Red Wolf is here!
Who is Red Wolf?
No one knew who Red Wolf was; even the warrior intelligence center connecting the entire continent of Yashew didn't know. This red-haired man drove a red war truck and was forever wearing a wolf mask. He was known as the “undefeated hunter.” He was a bounty hunter who caught monsters. He was the ideal lover for daydreaming girls and the idol for countless young men. Now, according to the injured young man, he was near the village of Ladou, and his war truck had been sighted! The news energized everyone.
“How did you get hurt?” The bar owner personally brought the messenger a drink.
“I got too excited,” the young man admitted. “I was cutting tree branches. When I saw his war truck, I fell off and hit my head. I hurt my leg, too.”
He was known to be an honest guy and his words were believable. The bar exploded with conversation and speculation.
“What's Red Wolf doing at Ladou?”
Someone’s comment made everyone calm down. Ladou was such an unremarkable village in all of Yashew that there were no specialty products here nor anyone Red Wolf would want to befriend. Was he just pa.s.sing through or trying to collect the bounty on the water monster brothers?
“People have too much time here. What's the point of gossip?” a person at the corner of the bar uttered as he played with a tall gla.s.s. This man had red hair, a sharp gaze, and ordinary clothes. He didn't draw any unnecessary attention.
“Hey, don't you want to know what Red Wolf is doing here?”
The red-haired man looked up to see a baby-faced young man.
“No,” he replied, shaking his head.
“I know why,” the young man said. "I'm serious. Buy me a beer and I'll tell you.”
“I don't want to know.” The red-haired man smiled. “And I won't buy you a drink.”
The young man's face reddened, but before he could say more, someone patted his back. “Nange, were you gonna say Red Wolf is going to look for the war truck under the big pit? Silly kid, that truck belongs to me, Suoying. You shouldn't be telling people that.”
“When did it become yours?" Nange sat down at his original seat.
“Tomorrow!” Suoying raised his gla.s.s and gulped it down. “I'll bring it back tomorrow!”
The war truck under the pit.
The red-haired man also raised his gla.s.s and finished the drink. He smiled.