Part 1: Revelation
After an uncomfortable silence that seemed to last forever, Kia finally got her answer.
“Sure sure young lady we will help you.” Once again it was the man with the tattooed face speaking.
“Paltry…Patory Flower? Permanently Flower, whatever, we have it.” When the man’s pretentious words and the sight of him licking his lips while laughing entered Kia’s eyes and ears, she could already tell that there was something severely wrong with this camp of people.
After clearly seeing Kia’s face, it seemed as if this tattooed man could not put a lid on his lust. It was clear that he did not even know what the Purgatory Flower even was yet he decided to speak nonsense. Worse of all, the gaze he directed towards Kia was worse than a hyena’s. It looked as if drool would come out of his mouth at any moment. He was especially disgusting as he kept sucking his saliva like someone who was desperately trying to keep the floodgates from opening.
“Men should not be lustful. Do you want to become half a man?” Kia could not tolerate such a gaze. She instantly took a hostile stance to this group as she had already smelled something wrong.
“I was respectful yet met with mockery.” Kia shook her head in disappointment and then started to approach the carriages step by step. What was she thinking by approaching them? Even the members of the procession could not tell.
It was only when she neared the carriages that she noticed something shocking. In the bushes to the side of the road, Kia was finally able to see what the tattooed man had spat out. It was a finger! A chewed up human finger!
“Hi hi hi, little girl don’t be scared away now. It isn’t what it looks like.” When the men saw that Kia had discovered the ‘evidence’, one of them, the one in blue, tried to ‘assure’ her in a high-pitched voice. It was a voice not fitting his large stature of around 2 meters in height.
For a moment, everyone thought that the girl was frozen in fear but Kia only stopped for a short instance before continuing to walk towards the group in silence. She casually passed in between the men and arrived at the first carriage; she was completely fearless.
Woof woof woof woof!
At the side of the first carriage, the lion-like dog was barking and snarling wildly. In this moment, this was the only sound in the dark chilly park. It seemed as if even the previously fierce wind and rain had given way to the events that were about to happen. Even the men could not speak anymore due to the shock. They also somewhat realized that this situation was not right at all. By the time they turned back, Kia was already pulling off the carriage’s cloth covering.
“This is where the scent of the Weeping Purgatory is coming from.” Kia said as she grabbed the cloth curtain that covered the entire carriage. Indeed after hearing the tattooed man’s confusion at the mention of flower, Kia knew that this guy did not know anything. “So it turned out the scent came from the goods in the carriages not the transporters.”
“You! You why are you just standing there? Stop her!” The short haired woman growled at the man in the blue fur coat as he was the one standing closest to Kia.
Immediately, the man rushed towards Kia and grabbed her arm so that she would not remove the cover. However, things did not go as expected. Despite the man’s arm being over three times the size of Kia’s arm, he could not do anything to stop her arm from casually moving. In fact from the onlooker’s perspective, it looked as if he was even helping her.
“You, what are you doing?!” The woman who seemed to be the leader of this group once again shouted at the man berating him. But how could the man defend himself and say he was exerting all his strength. No one would believe him.
“Aaaaah! To hell with it!” With a shout, he finally decided to go all out and his arm swelled up to twice its original size.
It was only then that everyone understood that something was wrong with this little girl. However, even after doubling his strength, the man still found himself helpless with snot coming out of his nose and sweat dripping from his face.
“Haaaaaaaa!” With another even louder shout the size of the man’s arm expanded once again this time to 4 times the size! It looked like a balloon about to burst. With his exertion, the man’s skin started to tear and blood splattered from the wounds like jets of pressurized water. Even then, it had zero impact on Kia’s hand motion. What disturbed the man even more was that the girl had not even turned once to look at him.
However, it would be wrong to say that Kia had not even looked at the man; it was more like she had not looked at him with her eyes but her senses were always trained on him. She noticed that when the man’s skin tore from the arm’s swelling, fur emerged from underneath the skin. It was as if he was a beast in human skin! This was the only thing that could explain the man’s inhuman strength; but what about Kia? This man was exerting several tons of force on her small hand yet it had zero effect! It could not even slightly hinder her arm’s motion as she pulled the cover off the carriage.
After pulling the cover off, the sight that entered Kia’s eyes shocked her to the core. ‘What is this?! What are these beasts doing?!!!!’
“I have heard that all humans wear masks and it is only in the dark that their true selves come to light but this seems more than that. You…You guys aren’t human in the first place are you?” What these people were transporting had angered Kia. It was actually children! Unconscious children all tied up. It turns out these children were the ‘merchandise’ that the tattooed bald man was lamenting he could not eat.
“Hooo–oooo, Looks like we have been found out boys. My careless little brothers, we can no longer hold ourselves back. Let’s clean this up quickly before there are anymore funny incidences.” These words were spoken by the man in red as he tore off his fur coat and even his inner garments.
“Let us have a feast!”
The man stood there completely nude showcasing his hardened mountain-sized muscles before releasing a shocking low-pitched giggle-like roar. With him as the lead, the other 3 men followed suit releasing strange sounds that seemed to combine laughter, grunts, and roars.
A shocking transformation took place right in front of Kia’s eyes. Each of the 4 men grew over twice their original size. Their skin was torn off as if bursting apart with blood and strings of flesh flying everywhere. However, from beneath the skin, fur appeared and the men’s faces convulsed and deformed growing outward. Their eyes turned red and shocking fangs emerged from their barely human mouths. After the transformation, what stood before Kia were no longer 4 men but 4 humanoid hyenas: Hyena Men. These were creatures with a hyena’s head, human-like torsos and arms, thick fur all over their body, sharp claws, and legs that were both human and hyena-like.
However, what was noticeable even under all the blood and pieces of human skin coating their fur was that each hyena man had different-coloured fur. The older of the 4 brothers was a red hyena, the 2nd brother that had tried to stop Kia had blue fur, the third had grey fur, while the youngest – the previously tattooed bald man, had brown fur.
As for their names, the oldest brother was named “Red Sun” Speedman, the 2nd was “Blue Moon” Kaka, the 3rd one was “Ash Cloud” Vumbi, while the brown furred little brother was simply called “Little Brother” Kipi by the other 3. However, his size was the largest with an exaggerated muscular but also bony look. Further, Kipi still retained the ugly black tattoo on his hyena face even after transformation. This gave him a far more sinister appearance than his older brothers.
These 4 brothers had the title: The Rabid Hyena Bandits and they usually performed most of their evil business outside Milele town.
Vumbi – Dust cloud
Kaka – Brother
Kipi – a boy who has not gone through the traditional initiated process (derogatory)