”Handyong, promise me! No matter what, you have to save her. ” Lakan Lawin was panting, as he shoved a little bundle wrapped in grey cloth to his arms.

”No, Lakan I cannot leave you now. We can still defeat them. ” Handyongs words were drowned by the screams, as chilly as the night breeze that filled the air.

”There is no time. Take this. ” The king took his necklace and handed it to Handyong together with his dagger.

Lakan Lawin peeked at the sleeping baby and gave her a quick peck on the forehead.

”Im sorry my little princess. I cannot watch you grow physically. Grow up bravely and take revenge for us. My spirit will guide you. ” He croaked.

With his strong hands, he pushed the unmoving Handyong to a small bamboo raft before cutting the hemp rope that attached it to the boat. He threw a bamboo pole to Handyong which he caught instinctively with his free hand.

”I count on you Handyong. Protect her with your life and help her take back what is hers. ” He watched as the raft and the slouched figure of his most loyal warrior was swallowed by the darkness of the night.

He hurried back to the cabin where his wife was. He found her looking at the door and under the flickering light of the torch he could see the smile was still on her face. That was the same smile she had when she sent him off with their child earlier.

She shielded him from the spear of a warrior who sneakily entered their cabin to kill him. That was Dagang one of the brave warriors he selected to serve and protect his family but he betrayed him in the end. Despite her wounded body, she was able to pierce Dagangs chest with a sword giving Lawin time to flee with their daughter Tala.

”Go. Save her first. ” Her breath was labored. She could feel her life force living her body.

”I love you. I will wait for you to save me. ” Lakambini Diwang Diwang gave him her sweetest smile despite the excruciating pain in her body.

When Lakan was gone she whispered to the air. ”Sorry my love. I can keep my promise. I cannot hold on anymore. ” She closed her eyes and her clenched fists went limp.

Lakan Lawin kneeled beside her and gently held her in his arms. He swept away the bloody hair that covered her face. He pressed his lips on her cold ones before letting out a beastly scream that pierced through the stillness of the early morning. His agonizing screams startled the birds resting on the trees that were lining the river bank and they flurried away in panic. The warriors fighting outside paused for some time as fear gripped their hearts.

He picked up the spear that took his wifes life and with the sword on his right hand, he left the cabin in big strides.

It was now the crack of dawn. The east was splashed with warm yellow and pink hues as the sun like a shy lady hiding behind a fan did not want to show its full face but let its rays peeked teasingly from the horizon. What a beautiful scene, a scenery that every artist dreamt of capturing on a canvas with his brush.

Lakan Lawin surveyed his surroundings. The six smaller boats that escorted them where all devoid of its occupants and dead bodies were sprawled around. The few remaining warriors were fighting hard to keep their enemies from getting into the kings boat. Lakan Lawin moved forward and killed a few rebel warriors with his sword and spear. He killed a few more but there were too many of them and his strength was ebbing away each time he swung his sword.

All his remaining guards were subdued and he himself has no more strength left. He dropped the spear on the floor but held on to his sword and he used it to prop himself up.

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