Wiro Sableng Volume 3 Chapter 5 part3
Wiro Sableng Book 3 Chapter 5-3
Three horsemen jumped down from their horses’ back. They moved lightly and in a blink of eyes the three men had already stood between Kratomlinggo and Village Chief Kundrawana. The three of them were clothed in the Kingdom’s soldier uniform and their faces were horribly ugly. No matter Village Chief Kundrawana and Kratomlinggo as well as the villagers of Bojongnipah, they were all equally shocked. In his disbelief, Village Chief Kundrawana felt relief because he soon recognized the three men who were none other than Tapak Luwing and his two minions! However, the Village Chief of Bojongnipah did not understand why the three bandits wore soldier uniform.
At that moment, Tapak Luwing who was standing in front of Kratomlinggo with hands on his waist yelled loudly: “We are the soldiers of Linggajati Duchy! You are the troublemakers here, huh?!”
Kratomlinggo and the villagers of Bojongnipah were astonished, while Village Chief Kundrawana and his wife cursed in silence knowing how smooth the Black Trio in disguising themselves and playing their roles as the soldiers of the Duchy to trick the villagers and concealing the secret of their extortion! Kratomlinggo suppressed his shock. He felt that he should not be afraid of the three soldiers of the Duchy, after all isn’t this a good chance where he could explain the extortion conducted by that Kundrawana?
“Brothers,” said Kratomlinggo, “if you are the soldiers of the Duchy, it was a coincidence that we meet you here…!”
“What stupid coincidence you mean?!” Tapak Luwing shouted.
Kratomlinggo then explained thoroughly every detail of the incident regarding the tax collection to Tapak Luwing. However, he was very surprised hearing Tapak Luwing’s response.
“So you purposely lead the villagers of Bojongnipah to follow your every whim?! To entice them to resort to violence! This is called a rebellion! This is a blatant challenge to the Kingdom, a revolt to the King’s regulations because the tax collection was truly issued by the King and relayed through the Duke in Linggajati!”
“But why only the villagers of Bojongnipah who are levied with such crazy tax!” answered one of the villagers standing next to Kratomlinggo. “Yes, other villages are exempted from such rules!” others yelled from outside the front yard.
“What do you know, you fools!” burstedTapak Luwing. “This is the King’s decree! The fertile and rich village such as Bojongnipah should not be compared to other villages. It is appropriate that this village is charged with slightly higher tax…”
“Slightly higher, huh…” muttered a villager sarcastically.
Kratomlinggo tried to mediate the increasingly hostile atmosphere. “Rest assured that we don’t have the slightest intention to defy the King, there is no thought of provoking unrest let alone stirring rebellion. We only want that the tax is levied with the normal amount as we are usually charged…”
Tapak Luwing spat out to the terrace floor. “You are truly a forked tongue, sly manipulator and the ringleader of rebels! Towards your Village Chief, you can speak harshly as you see fit, but with us the soldiers of the Duchy, you dare not to do that! Lead all villagers to leave this place! Scram at once!”
Then Kratomlinggo responded: “The villagers of Bojongnipah came here to demand justice. If we are to leave this place, then justice must be exacted!”
“Hmm…is that so…?” Tapak Luwing grinned. His blackish rotten big teeth looked disgusting. “Before you and others talk high and mighty to uphold that justice, let’s see if you can receive my right fist!”
Instantly, Tapak Luwing slammed his right hand to Kratomlinggo’s chest. The target quickly dodged to the side.
Tapak Luwing’s left palm found its target on Kratomlinggo’s abdomen. It appeared that Tapak Luwing’s right fist strike was only a feigned attack! Kratomlinggo buckled and rolled over on the ground. His abdomen was in intense pain, he felt such nausea he was about to vomit, and his breathing heavied.
This man apparently was not merely a simple farmer, but a man who has learned martial arts. Quickly he controlled his breath and bloodstream. Then with such high speed he lunged forward. Six villagers accompanied his attack. Thus, the fight ensued.
Four villagers were thrown back to the terrace floor, two of them were knocked out, two others fell with broken ribs and disjointed elbow. Kratomlinggo crashed to the pillar supporting the terrace. His chest was pounded by Tapak Luwing’s palm strike. He tried to find his balance and readied a counterattack. However, even before he steadied his stance his vision darkened and blood spewed from his mouth! In a moment, the man fell down to the floor!
Seeing this, many villagers became furious. They charged forward to the terrace in disorganized assault, holding various weapons.
“If you want to meet early death, come now!” shouted Tapak Luwing while crossing his saber.
The attackers faltered now, but the most furious among them resumed their fight and attacked frantically. A horrible slaughter then commenced. These people sprawled around with blood gushing from their wounds, hacked and slashed by Tapak Luwing and his minions’ weapons! Other villagers cowered from continuing the fight despite their superior number!
Warih Sinten had long run away going inside the house, screaming and shrieking in her horror while Kundrawana bit his lips and closed his eyes, shying away from witnessing the slaughter. If only he did not remember his son’s safety, he would have drawn his kris and joined the fray!
“Anyone wants to be acquainted with my saber, you are most welcomed to come forward!” Tapak Luwing challenged with his left hand rested on his waist.
Tapak Luwing laughed. “Well, if you are still not ready to meet your maker, just carry these butchered morons lying on the terrace and scram at once!”
The villagers’ rage was overflowing. Nevertheless, seeing the horrible scene with their own eyes right in front of them made them shriveled and lose their courage. Village Chief Kundrawana himself just stood frozen. His jaws were clasped firmly, his anger brimmed over as he witness the crime. His hatred to the Black Trio of Comel River was beyond measure! However, he could not do anything against them just like other villagers.
The villagers carried Kratomlinggo and all the other casualties. Before they left, Tapak Luwing shouted.
“Next time I don’t want to see such disorder, unless you ask to get slaughtered like your fellow fools! Anyone trying to revolt, do it as you damn please! My saber has indeed thirsted for blood since long!”
No one replied to Tapak Luwing’s challenge.
And Tapak Luwing in his disguise as a soldier of the Duchy warned again in a loud voice:”Don’t you forget, midday time tomorrow at the latest you must pay the tax! Anyone refuse to pay, you will bear the consequence!” when all villagers of Bojongnipah had left the place, Tapak Luwing sheathed his saber and turned to Village Chief Kundrawana.
“You should thank me for saving your pitiful neck, Village Chief…!” Village Chief Kundrawana ground his teeth. His jaws bulged. Tapak Luwing guffawed repulsively. “At dusk tomorrow you must hand over the tax money to me in an old shack at the crossroads to Linggajati!”
Kundrawana stayed in silent.
“Hey, are you deaf?” Tapak Luwing asked.
And the Village Chief of Bojongnipah still did not say a word. Thus, Tapak Luwing yelled at him. “Are you f***ing deaf, huh?!”
“I’m not deaf, Tapak Luwing…”
“Then why are you just silent? Are you mute?!”
Tapak Luwing’s two minions grinned in their amusement.
“Exactly at dusk, I must have the money. Do you listen…?!”
“What if they refuse to pay?”
“That’s none of my business! Whether they pay or not, I will get my hands on the money!”
Tapak Luwing gave the sign to his two minions. The three of them stepped down the terrace and saddled up their horses.
That night, with all the little healing skills and knowledges he knew, Kratomlinggo managed to heal the inner wound he received from Tapak Luwing’s palm strike. Basically, it was not due to Kratomlinggo’s skills and knowledges which made his healing possible but it was because Tapak Luwing actually did not channel all his inner power to strike him this morning.
His revenge for Tapak Luwing and his lackeys, his deep resentment that he could barely repress over Village Chief Kundrawana and the levy he must pay tomorrow, they were all combined into a firm resolution to fight back that he decided to travel to the Capital that night! He shared this plan to his friends. That night, Kratomlinggo with four other villagers rode together to the Capital.
The night was pitch dark. The crescent moonlight and the starry sky could not dispel the darkness. Kratomlinggo and his four fellow villagers spurred their horses, passing through a road bend and arrived at a bridge connecting the riverbanks of a small river.
At that moment, Kratomlinggo and his friends saw a group of horsemen at the other side of the bridge. There were three figures and they stopped their horses at the other end of the bridge. Seeing the bad sign, Kratomlinggo immediately halted his horse in the middle of the bridge and signaled his four friends. The night was indeed pitch dark however Kratomlinggo’s eyes were still capable of recognizing the foremost horseman waiting in front of him. The man was actually the soldier of the Duchy who had beaten him this afternoon!
“Damn,” whispered Kratomlinggo. “How did these Duchy cockroaches know about my departure to the Capital?!” Until now both Kratomlinggo and his friends did not know the real identities of the three bandits intercepting them at the other side of the bridge!
The foremost horseman at front who was none other than Tapak Luwing guffawed in mocking tone. “It seems my lesson and warning this afternoon is ignored, huh!” snapped Tapak Luwing. Kratomlinggo did not answer. Secretly his right hand slipped behind his waist to reach his saber. His four friends also did the same thing. And on the other side of the bridge, Tapak Luwing could be heard chortling again.
Once he stopped laughing, he yelled frighteningly. “Where the hell are you going, you puny monkeys?!”
“There is no enmity between us. Please make way, step aside…” answered Kratomlinggo.
“You asked us to give way to you? Well, go ahead…just do!” responded Tapak Luwing while steering his horse to the side. Such welcoming gesture instead made Kratomlinggo and his friends stunned, sitting silently on the back of their horses. “Come on, why don’t you pass?!” asked Tapak Luwing.
And Tapak Luwing opened his mouth: “If that’s what you decide, then only your rotten souls will pass this bridge!”
Tapak Luwing drew his saber. Two other “shiiiing!” voices could be heard from the sabers unsheated by Tapak Luwing’s minions. Seeing this, Kratomlinggo and his friends also drew their sabers at once!
“I know you are traveling to the Capital…” Tapak Luwing said while pulling his horse’s reins, “But know that only your corpses will appeal before your King at the palace!”
Within two spear distances, with one loud shout Tapak Luwing’s horse jumped forward. His two minions followed his lead. Three sabers flashed under the dim crescent moonlight. Five sabers confronted them!
Sparks spattered. The noise of clashing sabers were followed by the cries of agony. Two of Kratomlinggo’s friends fell off the horseback. One was severed on his abdomen with his gut wide open, the other one lost his right arm!
In the second pass, the Black Trio of Comel River who still wore the soldiers’ uniform attacked again with such savagery without giving a breath to their opponents! Two other men screamed and collapsed, one of them was thrown into the river. Kratomlinggo himself fell off his horse, losing his saber. He was lucky not to be inflicted with any serious injury. Realizing that it was a futile attempt to resume his fight, the man immediately turned around and retreated!
Tapak Luwing chucked. “You scaredy frog-legs! Where are you escaping to?!” From his belt, the leader of the Black Trio of Comel River produced a dagger. The weapon was thrown, streaking with whizzing voice! Kratomlinggo who did not realize he was the dagger’s target kept on running.
The poison-coated dagger was just about an inch more from stabbing his back, but in that instance a star-shaped silvery object dashed from the thick bushes on the riverbank!
Sparks shot out.
The strange star-shaped object did not only manage to deflect Tapak Luwing’s poisoned dagger, but also to snap the dagger into two!
Tapak Luwing was shocked. In his surprise, he forgot how he tried to kill Kratomlinggo. Instantly he turned his body around. His sharp eyes had seen where the star-shaped silvery weapon had been thrown from. The leader of the Black Trio of Comel River cursed loudly.
“Who the hell dare to poke his nose into othe people’s business, come here and show your face so my daggers can make new holes for you!”
After saying that threat, Tapak Luwing threw three poisoned daggers at once to the bushes in the dark.
A whistling voice came out followed by a chuckling sound.
“I’m here, my man! Why did you attack an empty place?!” with condescending tone, the man showed himself.
“You son of a b***h!” snapped Tapak Luwing. With his left hand, he threw again a pair of daggers to the man standing around six spear distances across the river.