ACT 10 - The Beginning

ACT 10 - The Beginning

A Chapter by Kevin Sheen Tiu
"

LET THE BATTLE BEGIN

"
A few days after our final family gathering, the time came when the competition made its rise, and Kazimir and I shall have to tackle difficult obstacles to claim the majestic prize.

This is it, Vera... The ultimate reason why you came here in the first place... It's your time to shine.

I changed into my maroon-colored Mandarin gown, with golden dragons as motifs. Both of the sides had slits, and underneath were tights, with a subcompact pistol in a holster wrapped around my right thigh. I fixed my hair into a three-way braided down-do, and wore a poncho (to protect me from the dangerous rays of the sun). I packed all of my guns into my athletic bag, and then I wore my knee-length brown leather boots.

"Hahh..." I sighed and looked at myself in the mirror. This is definitely IT.

I hurried downstairs to meet my family at the front porch, all carrying with them whistles and flags and banners.

"Hi!" I greeted them.

Grandma was holding a gun and was wearing a silly ribbon around her head, with "Good luck!" written in Russian on it. When she noticed I had arrived, she also greeted me, "Good morning, dearest!" and waved her hand. My dad gave me two thumbs up and also wished me good luck.

I looked around for my older brother. "Kazimir?" I called for him.

"I'm here." He appeared by the stairs, waving his hand at me. He didn't seem to look good. His face looked pale.

"Okay, my dearest grandchildren!" Grandma started to call, "I shall start off with explaining what you're gonna do during this competition. This'll be a test of courage, skill and strength! You have to face three difficult obstacles to reach the finish line.

"The first obstacle is running. You gotta run as fast as you can with the wind to the second course that's located in the mountain, including of course many distractions within. The second obstacle would be climbing. You gotta reach the upper half of my mountain, and from there you're gonna cross the bridge that connects that landform to the farthest mansion grounds. The third and final course would be to make your way back to my manor. The finish line is in here, the front porch. Stationed at each and every point of the course, there would be special maids chosen by me, to see that there's no HANKY PANKY going on." That last line somehow made her laugh.

"What?!" I yelled. I don't believe it, I just don't believe it. Who the heck would be doing something like that in a contest? 

"Ahaha, just kidding, sweetie!" Grandma snickered.

I sighed. This grandma is one heck of a joker for some reason. I looked at Kazimir and saw the look on his face. He didn't seem excited. He just isn't looking right. There's a frown on his face.

Before starting the race, grandma gave us time to talk to our parents, saying all of the good luck's and take care's we wanted.

Dad approached me and patted my head. "Go on out there, Vera. Make me proud."

"I've sworn to not let you down, right?"

He nodded. "Удачи."(Good luck.)

"Edgar!" I looked at the other woman as she hugged Kazimir and looked like she whispered something to him, which somehow made his face look angrier than before. Something's not right. As she let go of her son, she smirked and patted his head, but Kazimir pushed her away. I wonder what the problem is.  

I approached Kazimir and kissed him on the cheek, I no longer cared if our family saw us. "Good luck, Kazimir."

"Yeah," he said and held my hand. "You too."

"Kazimir, listen, is there-?" I tried to say, but he cut me off.

"No. Don't worry, just get on with the game... We gotta do this," he said, running his fingers through my hair. If he doesn't want to talk about it, I won't force him. I was just worried, that's all.

"CONTESTANTS!!!" Grandma called, raising her pistol. "When you hear my gunshot, that's your signal to start the race! Are you ready?"

"YES." Kazimir and I faced each other and nodded.

*BOOM!* And so it began.

There were two trails - since Kazimir went to the right, I went to the left.


+---000---+

Staying serious, I concentrated on putting my military skills to the max -  using it to endure and maximize my breathing, therefore not making me lose breath and become weak, otherwise it'd make me run slower. I breathed as deep as I could through my nose and exhaling little by little through my mouth. This way I'd save more energy. I also prepared my rifle if ever any wild animal or dangerous people interrupted my running.

Passing through the wilderness, something suddenly jumped from a tree and whatever it was, I immediately shot it with my rifle. I just didn't care anymore. I had to focus on running. Grandma said there'd be a lot of distractions, and boy, there really were: fierce, spirited, untamed, wild people and animals, trying to play a prank, setting up traps and disturbing me in person. Well, I just had to shoot them, anyways.

While I was on guard, I thought about Kazimir, and where he was right now. I hope he didn't reach the mountain yet.

After running for an hour and a half, I finally reached the mountain,wherein some of grandma's maids were waiting. They handed me equipments to use to climb up.

"Did my brother come here?" I asked.

Much to my dismay, they nodded. "He did."

"WHAT?!" Shocked, I ignored their bottled water and started climbing up the mountain, where I got a glance of Kazimir starting to cross the bridge. DAMN IT! 

+---000---+

After climbing for another hour or so, I was finally able to reach the upper half. However, upon walking to the bridge, I felt the ground shake strongly, as if there was a strong earthquake, and when I looked up, I saw-...

DAMN! A BUNCH OF BOULDERS COMING MY WAY!!!

I ran as fast as I could to escape the huge rocks rapidly falling down to me, and luckily, I reached the bridge. I wasn't able to see Kazimir anymore. He's gone. Damn it, he might just win this!

Looking at the bridge however, grandma was a big fat liar. "What the-?" THIS IS THE SKINNIEST BRIDGE I HAVE EVER SEEN! Wonder why? Well, obviously 'cuz IT'S JUST A ROPE!

"Milady!" The maids across called me. "You gotta cross the bridge, hand over hand!" I nodded, and I lowered myself and hung on the rope, then started crossing to the other land. 

Don't look down. Don't look down. Focus! 

I was moving so slow, and I swear I couldn't move any more than 2 meters. "Darn!" My bag's too heavy, it's getting in my way... All of my guns are here, and I need to reach the end!

I closed my eyes and thought about what I had to do. This was just so important. Vera... Losing guns for the right purpose is alright... Just do it, Vera. This is for the greater good...

Almost crying, I took my bag off and let it go. I took a long look down, saying my last goodbyes to my precious guns. My heart was torn; even my favorite rifle was in that bag. It hurt so much! I'm so sorry!!! 

I got to the next land and the maids gave me some water. I asked them if my brother had passed this way. And once again, they gave me a yes. Damn it. This is getting serious. I proceeded to run again, entering the forest and following the rail path leading to the mansion grounds. I couldn't lose this game to someone weaker than me.

Out of the blue, someone called my name."VERA!!!" And told me to get back or whatever. The guy's voice was cracking, like he was being held up or something. I stopped and looked around to see who was calling me. Who the heck's calling me?

Before I noticed it, I heard a huge explosion, and everything just went dark around me. 

I couldn't see a thing.

+---000---+


Kazimir's POV

My mother is insane. Ever since the father I never knew had left her, she hasn't been doing very well in her job, and even in dealing with her own life. She is someone no one can ever trust. That's why I decided to work on my own, and stay as far away as possible from her.

It was on the night after the dance party. My mother was drunk, and she was talking nonsense to me. But then, there was one thing she said; one thing that made my heart skip a beat, one thing that boiled my blood so much that I wanted to burst out.

"Vera," she started to say. This dragged me to curiosity.

I approached her and held her shoulders."What? What about her?" I questioned. 

"She's a very cute girl, I'll tell you that... But, ah... Too bad she won't win the competition..." She smiled like she was thinking about doing something hideous to my sister. "My son... shall win... and I'll make sure he does win..."

I shook her and denied, "How can I possibly win, mother? She's too good to be true, and there's no way I can-"

 She cut me off by that sudden sentence of hers: "I'll KILL HER." 
When she said that, I lost my mind. I couldn't grasp what she just said. I didn't understand. 

"What are you saying, mother?!" 

"At the final course of the competition... I'm planning a little dynamite party for Vera..." She was closing her eyes, but was raising her hands like she had a wine glass with her. She laughed like her plan would be fun and exciting. Next thing I knew she fell on the ground, asleep. I just stood there in front of her, frozen in fright. This woman... She is really planning to kill my little sister...

I WON'T LET THAT HAPPEN.

On the day the competition arrived, I couldn't look any better, with my cowboy theme and white hat, I think even Vera noticed the look on my face.

When she came to me and was about to ask me something, I knew it concerned about the way I looked. "No," I cut her off. "Don't worry, just get on with the game... We gotta do this." I didn't want to hear anything from her right now. Especially with the things that might happen to her. I had to avoid her as much as possible so I could protect her.

When the signal was made, I ran east, since it was the shortest way to the mountain. I did a little study after listening to my mother talk about the places in her sleep.

I came to the mountain and saw some guys at the peak, preparing boulders, I think. I had the urge to stop them, but I had to reach the dynamite people before Vera does. I prayed she'd survive that mountain, and I was kind of bullish about it too, since I knew she was a strong woman.

At the final course, I saw two maids waiting for Vera's arrival. They were hiding behind the grasses and trees, with the Vera's trail a few meters away in front. I was lucky to have encountered them from the back.

"See anything?" One maid said.

"Nope. No sign of her yet..." The other replied.

I hid behind a huge tree a little bit far from them, trying to plan something up to save my little sister. I've got to get that woman away from the plunger. If she falls on it, half of the forest will go.

I swiftly and quietly moved to another tree, closer to them. I still got my rope, so this might be of use.

Out of the blue, Vera appeared, and the maids prepared themselves. I gulped and waited for the chance.

Alright, at the count of three. 1... 2...

"THREE!" I ran towards the maids and made a ruckus. I was able to tie one maid up since she was weaker, while the other 'tomboyish' one was a little harder to beat, so I tried to fight her fist-to-fist. 

"VERA!!! GET BACK! GET BACK!!!" I yelled so loudly I thought my eardrums would pop.

The tomboyish maid was able to get me and tried to strangle me. I couldn't even land a single punch on her. This was preposterous. The other maid escaped from my ties, and she got on to the plunger. "Hahaha, too bad for you, little boy... You know, your mother asked us to do this for you to be the winner... You can get all the fortune, and that little sister of yours will be no more... Hahaha!" I was so enraged to the point where demonic powers came to me (just an expression, haha).

Alright. Enough of this "no to fighting women" rule. JUST BEAT THE S**T OUT OF THEM!

I was finally able to punch the woman strangling me and grabbed the other woman to stop her. Unfortunately (I never thought this would happen), more maids arrived and pulled me away. One was going to the plunger; the others holding me down with my mouth covered. Geez, these women are strong!

"Get ready girl..." One maid said.

All I could think of was Vera. My mind was blocked, and I couldn't move an inch because of these women.

Suddenly, I heard a loud gunshot, and a huge branch fell on the women holding me, setting me free. "Are you alright, Kazimir?!" Someone said. I looked back and saw Vera's father. How did he know about this?

"Why are you-?"

"No time to explain, get that woman!"

I ran to the woman at the plunger and punched her face good and hard, knocking her out. "How did you know about this?" I asked him.

"Your mother talks to me," he replied.

I was shocked. "Well anyways, thanks."

"Oh, it was the gun, really... And- OH MY G- OH NO!!!" He pointed at another huge branch that fell on the plunger. This made us all panic. There was nothing we could do about it.

*KABOOM!* Everything just exploded.

+---000---+

The ground back in the mansion shook, and this caught the two ladies' attention.

"Ah- I don't know what that was.. It could've been thunder or a small earthquake," Cecilia said. "But one thing I do know: A winner could be coming in any minute now!"

Kazimir's mother grinned at the sight of the forest far away, assuming that Vera died in that tragedy.

+---000---+


Kazimir's POV

"Oh Kazimir..." Vera's father approached me wearing a sad face. He looked like he lost everything, and that's what I needed to see for myself.

"I've gotta find out." I ran fast away to where my little sister could be. 

She can't be dead. She can't be dead. She can't be dead. I thought over and over again. My heart was pounding, I was really scared of what might have happened to her.

"Vera!" I shouted while searching around for her. "Vera! Vera!" I ran into the smoke, hoping to find her.

Please be alive, Vera!

"Vera! Vera!" I almost stumbled upon a huge rock, still trying to look for her at every turn. "Vera!!!" I felt like my vocal chords were going out. I had to scream loud enough for that girl to hear me.

I was taking so much time. I couldn't find her. She's gone... I was too late...

I was at the point of crying my heart out, when someone said, "Are you just gonna stand there yelling my name all day?" My eyes opened wide in shock, and I saw her coming out from the smoke.

"Thank heaven you're safe!!!" I rushed to her and embraced her firmly. I didn't want to let her go. I didn't want her to leave my sight ever again.

She brushed off the dirt from her poncho, and her face was covered in black dust. "I keep my instincts wide open, Kazimir. I expect the unexpected," she said, seeming confident. "But maybe this time someone did plan to fool around me, huh?"

I took my handkerchief from my pocket and wiped her face, and I kept on kissing her each time after every wipe.

"The will says 'May the best man win'... Now I ain't sure I am the best man..." She looked at me with only her eyes clear and shiny, standing out from her dirt-covered face.

"No, that's not true-!"

"YOU SAVED MY LIFE! Now how am I gonna work for a man who saves my life?!"

"There's no time to talk about that, Vera! My mom did this for me... She set you up! She wanted me to win, and because of that, she planned to kill you so I'd be the winner!" I exclaimed, only to shock her.

"Your mom?!" She shrieked, like she was really pissed.

"Vera, if I hadn't met you in the past, I would've left you alone here to die, even if I won through stupid means.

 But now I don't care who gets it! I've got my own job, and I'm rich through it! I don't need no inheritance! You are enough for me. Just having you instead of this whole s**t is the best prize!" I held her face, but when I was about to kiss her, she pushed me away.

"Kazimir, don't," she said, stepping away from me.
 
"What are you-?"

"One of us has got to win." She pointed and looked at me like she was going to kill me. I had no choice but to follow her scheme.

+---000---+


At the front porch, the two women were waiting for the winner to arrive.

"You know," Cecilia started to say. "If there is no winner... then the entire fortune goes to-..."

"A PERSON COMING!" Someone from the back shouted, pointing at someone far away.

"...- the person coming. Uh-what?!" Cecilia turned to look at the man running towards them. "Who is it?!"

"Who is it?"

The winner arrived at the front porch, shocking the ladies.

"I don't believe it!" Vera's father exclaimed.

 Kazimir's mother clapped her hands. "You're safe! I knew you could do it, Edgar!" She approached her son and tried to hug him, but he pushed her away.

"Stay away from me, you little..." Kazimir glared at her.

"Edgar, dear, where's Vera?" Cecilia wondered, worried about the other.

"Here I am!" Vera suddenly appeared behind Kazimir, holding a gun in her hand. She pointed it to Kazimir's mother and declared, "You son of a b***h. Think you can get me by surprise?" 

"What are you saying, Vera?" Kazimir's mother was raising her hands, thinking that the girl might shoot her.

"You set me up, you slithering snake! You're gonna pay for it!" Vera approached the woman and slapped her across the face with her gun, causing the woman's nose to bleed. "You deserved that, バカヤロ," (-B*****d.) she said, glaring at her.

+---000---+


Vera's POV

Hahh... Seriously, I never thought I was gonna die! But thanks to my instincts and my military training, I learned how to expect the unexpected and defend myself from it! I learned a lot about predicting the future, and dude, I seriously was able to use that when that mine exploded.

Anyways, because of her foolishness and playing around my game, I slapped the other woman's face using the gun I hid on my shin, which made her bleed. Tsk, served her right. I wanted to do more to her. Now I wished I had intended to really kill her the moment I saw her. She was a traitor, after all.

Kazimir saved me, so I asked him to go first, then I would just follow closely behind him. I wanted to kick that  woman's a*s along the way, and when I arrived, I did it with brute force.

"Vera!" Grandma hugged me. "My precious granddaughter, are you alright?"

"I am. Thanks to Kazimir, I lived."

"Kazimir, the first to arrive. You are the winner!" Grandma raised Kazimir's hand. The three of us applauded, when Kazimir suddenly came to me and grabbed my hand. He tugged me closer to him and asked grandmother if we could wash ourselves up first before the meeting. Grandma agreed and said she'd wait for us at the dining room for dinner. So Kazimir then pulled me inside, and we went upstairs to my room's bathroom.


© 2018 Kevin Sheen Tiu


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Added on May 13, 2018
Last Updated on May 13, 2018
Tags: romance, action, save, story, fight, end, adventure, drunk, enemy, bomb, rival


Author

Kevin Sheen Tiu
Kevin Sheen Tiu

Philippines



About
I'm Kevin Sheen Tiu - a used-to-be passionate writer who's now stressed about college. more..

Writing
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A Chapter by Kevin Sheen Tiu