3 Chapter 2 [Edited]

'What a strange day.' Rowan thought as he sat on his bed. 'It has been the first day in my life here, that I woke up this early.'

'I don't know why, but I feel like something bad is going to happen... just has to be a false alarm, right? It's not like I have a sixth sense or anything!'

The experience has been something unpleasant. It felt like he got electrocuted—as if a god tried to warn him of an upcoming calamity.

Calming his breath and wiping his sweat, Rowan opened the door, and was met with his family; it was the same as every day.

*Phew* This pushed out the foreign anxiety within Rowan, before his usual demeanour appeared.

________

After having a meal, Rowan stepped out of the house and began to wander around the village, having completely got himself adjusted to a lazy life.

'I have now reached 13 years of age. I guess I'll soon have to start to partake in my role as a villager. Hmm, should I be a farmer or fisher?'

As someone who has never fought, he didn't wish to become a guard that fends off the enemies. Since the educated knowledge from his previous life didn't seem to provide much use in this village, Rowan had no choice but to become a farmer or fisher, as Cocoyasi village specialized in agriculture.

After aimlessly walking, Rowan sat down on the cliff that he found on the edge of the island. He stared at the vast ocean and sky in awe, which are things that he barely came across in his previous life; they never ceased to amaze him. However, something made an appearance in Rowan's sight, as it rapidly approached Cocoyasi village.

'Huh? What's that ship? It's heading towards our way.'

As the ship neared, some ferocious-looking people with skin colors ranging from blue to pink were found to be standing on the deck. At the same time, the ship itself was being pulled by a giant creature that seemed like a hybrid of cow and fish.

Witnessing such scenery, Rowan felt intimidated, as he has never seen something that bizarre in his whole life. 'That can't be a marine ship, I don't see their signature symbol on the sail. Which means... pirates?!"

'I have to warn everyone, right now!' Snapping in realization, Rowan hurriedly ran back to the village with all his might.

The issue was, that Rowan wasn't fast at all. At 13 years of age, he didn't do any physical training whatsoever. Running from the cliff to the village took quite some time.

By the time he reached his destination, he was huffing heavily. Noticing this, the villagers around him asked in worry.

"Bob, are you ok? What's wrong?" Noticing Rowan in such a state, Genzo approached him with a worried expression.

"Pirates, I saw a pirate ship everyone! It's heading towards us!!" Rowan said while pointing his finger towards the direction he came from.

"What?? How?! There's literally a marine branch near our village!!" Hearing Rowan's information, Genzo yelped in shock. "Everyone, hurry, let's retreat to where the marines reside! They will protect us!!"

"Shahahaha! Too late!!" Suddenly, a loud and sharp voice boomed throughout the village, and caused the people to freeze.

Rowan, gulping at the same time, slowly turned his head around, and was met by several huge blue-skinned men with features that represented fish.

"Greeting, humans." The blue-skinned man in the front, with a saw-like nose, growled with a sharp glint in his eyes.

"From today on, I, Arlong, am the king of this land!! As the owner, whoever lives here must pay the rent, 50 thousand Beli for each child and 100 thousand Beli for each adult!!" With a menacing grin, Arlong shouted out. "Pay, or be killed!!"

Rowan was engulfed in fear. Even though he was mentally an adult, it was the first time he was exposed to such killing intent. Even without realizing it, Rowan started to think with his head clenched in his hands.

'Me, Pob, mom and dad... 300 thousand Beli in total!! We should have enough, right??!' Shaking in fear, Rowan and other villagers were about to walk towards their home, to gather their fortune. However, just as they took a step, someone spoke out.

"No one pays anything!! Before you kill anyone, you must go through me, Youchiha Fob!!!" To Rowan's horror, it was his own father! "As the sheriff, I shall defend my village!!!"

*Bang* *Bang* *Bang*

Fob took out a fully loaded gun from his waist, before shooting toward Arlong without any hesitation. However,

*Clang* *Clang* *Clang*

the bullets were instantly blocked by Kuroobi, the 2nd in command of Arlong Pirates, by his arms.

In the next moment, all Rowan saw was his father getting slashed by Kuroobi's sword. Fob fell as the blood gushed out from the newly formed giant gash on his abdomen.

"DA-" Rowan was about to shout, but quickly covered his mouth in fear. However,

"FOB!!!" / "DAD!!!" Pob and Lass screamed, before hurriedly running towards Fob!

"*Cough*... I'm okay. Don't come close." Fob shakily stood back up with a large gash on his abdomen, before pointing his gun back at Arlong. "You... huff... you can never-"

*Puuk*

Before Fob got to finish his words, he was pierced by the sword that Kuroobi threw from his hand.

*Thud*

With a stoic expression, Kuroobi approached Fob, who fell without any sign of life, before pulling his sword out.

"SHAHAHAHA!! What is this weakling!!" Arlong laughed out loud, before turning his gaze to Lass and Pob. "I am a very generous fish-man. Although your filthy mongrel of a husband made me mad, I will give you a chance to repent. Pay up the double, 200 thousand Beli for you, 200 thousand Beli for your dead husband, and 100 thousand Beli for that kid."

Furiously glaring at Arlong, Lass shouted, "I... I WILL NEVER GIVE A SINGLE BELI TO YOU!!!"

"WAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!" Pob, who was holding his mom's hand, was crying out loud, with his arm covering his face. Watching this, Rowan was anxious. At this rate, his mom and brother will suffer the same fate as his father!

'Should I go out and do something? But how? What can I do? I can't even lift a sword!' Rowan was stressed beyond belief, as he clenched his head and pulled his hair. 'Even the gun didn't work! What do I do?!'

Listening to the angered response of Lass, Arlong's face turned nasty as he signaled Kuroobi.

'Wait-' Before Rowan could register,

*Swoosh*

he saw Kuroobi slaughtering his mother and brother.

*Thud* *Thud*

'Ah... n-no... no...' Rowan's body froze completely as his eyes were locked onto his now-deceased family, who were lying below Kuroobi's feet with blood spilling out.

'Why...'

"I hope this served as a good example of what will happen to you humans if you were not to pay up." Arlong slowly turned back to the shivering villagers. "I will give you 3 hours. After 3 hours, I will hunt you down myself."

All villagers hurriedly scrambled in fear, leaving Rowan alone on the spot, who was blankly staring at his dead family.

"Hmm? Boy, haven't you heard? Scram to your parents and bring money!! Or don't tell me that-"

"Stop! I'll bring money! He's my child!!" Sweating hard, Genzo hurriedly reached and grabbed Rowan's hand.

"Hmph. Hurry up." Arlong and his crew began to walk away, leaving Genzo and Rowan.

After staring at Arlong's back with a sense of helplessness, Genzo turned to face Rowan.

"Bob... your family..."

"Mr.Genzo...' Rowan silently muttered, with his eyes getting teary. "Will you tell me... what... just happened?"

Genzo couldn't dare to speak a word but hug Rowan tightly as the tears threatened to escape from his eyes as well.

From Rowan's eyes, the scene where his family was mercilessly slayed, replayed over and over again. He felt his whole body shaking.

"Dad. Mom. Pob. My..." Rowan's eyes wavered, and at the same time, he couldn't suppress the vomit that spilled out of his mouth.

His whole world felt dizzy.

"...From now on, you will be my son." Genzo gritted his teeth as he clenched his fists so tight that they shook uncontrollably, "Those... who survived must live on."

Then Rowan's world turned black.

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