“O my, O my…you killed many of your brave warriors today Lakan. ” A man, a head taller than the rest wearing regal clothing similar to his stepped out from behind the row of warriors.

”Look at the river Lakan. The water glistens like ruby in the morning light. Thats the blood spilled from your proud and stupid warriors who did not take my side! ”

Lakan Lawin gasped. ”You.. ”

He stepped back and clutched his chest. He let go of his sword and it fell to the ground. The pain he was feeling from his wounds was nothing compared to the pain of knowing the identity of the perpetrator who betrayed him.

Facing him with mockery written all over his face was his second in command, the chief of his warriors, the mighty Danao.

”You traitor. This is treason. ”

”Ha ha ha ha! Indeed you are right and you lost! Today I will be the new Lakan and the Kingdom of Namayan is mine. ” He said laughing maniacally.

Danao took a few steps forward until he was a swords length from the king who was already badly injured.

”You are now strip of your crown. As your new king kneel before me and I might have mercy on you and spare your life! ” Danao draw his sword and pointed it to Lakan Lawins neck.

Lakan Lawin answered him with a taunting smile. ”Over my dead body. ”

With lightning speed, he pulled his two daggers from his thighs and slashed Danaos face in a cris cross pattern.

Gasps were heard from the warriors standing behind Danao. Before Lakan Lawin can plunge the daggers to his chest, a shower of arrows hit his body. He fell on his back.

”Aaaaahhhh ” Danaos screams were agonizing.

”Kill him. Kill him. ” He ordered as he staggered backward holding his bleeding face with both hands.

”Lakan Danao I think he is already dead. So many arrows pierced his body. ” One of his warrior said a tremor can be sensed from his voice.

Lakan Lawin knew he was dying. So much blood was gushing out from the many wounds on his body.

With his last ounce of strength, he cried out in a booming voice. ”All of you traitors who betrayed Namayan today, you will regret it. Your end will come upon you, ten times worse than what you have accorded us today! And you Danao, whatever is not yours will never be yours! I placed a mark on your face and when the time comes, that mark will haunt you. Bathala, I implore you to bear witness to this day! ”

He shifted his gaze to follow where the river flows towards the sea.

”My little Princess Tala… ” his voice was so soft nobody heard it. With much difficulty, he cried in his loudest voice ever. ”Remember this day and avenge us! Avenge Namayan and take it back! ” He closed his eyes and breathed his last.

An eerie silence followed.

The rebel warriors who heard the lakans last words shuddered as their hearts were gripped in fear while the faithful guards of the king clenched their hands into fists as they silently lamented the passing of their ruler.

Danao froze. A chill ran down his spine.

Who was he talking to? Realization hit him.

”The little princess. Go find her and bring her to me! ”

Down river, Handyong who was sitting on a bamboo raft dozed off but was awakened by the sudden heart wrenching cries of the baby in his arms. Without him knowing it, tears started to fall from his brown orbs that turned dark. He knew that at that moment his Lakan has died.


Authors Note

Lakan is the title of the king or the paramount ruler in the kingdom of Namayan and Tondo during the pre colonial Philippine era.

Lakambini is the title for Lakans wife (Queen)

Bathala means God

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