Yan, and his party, manage to also loot the food reserve of the brotherhood but only took the stuff with the best quality.
He made 'Fire-Roasted Curve-Horned Deer', 'Fifteen Meat Paella', 'Stir-fried Mountain Veggies with crushed Petta Nuts ', 'Blue Forest Eagle Egg Soup', and 'Red-Goat milk Cremé Brûlée' for dessert.
It was only when the sunrise came when Yan manage to finish cooking all of the dishes.
"Wow! Big Brother, the food smells so good!"
"Of course it's smells good. You're big brother is a Third-Rank Master Class Chef, you know. Hehe."
"Woah. I don't know what that means but I'm already hungry just by smelling and looking the food you made!"
"Slow down, kiddo. Wait for everyone to settle down and have their leaf-plates then we can have our breakfast."
Because their stored utensils were not enough to cover the number of people present, Rosella and Rae picked large leaves and make makeshift plates for everybody.
When everyone had their leaf-plates, they surrounded the table on which the food Yan made was displayed.
"Before we eat, everyone close their eyes and say grace."
Everyone nodded and closed their eyes. Yan also closed his eyes as he spoke the common Azureth prayer.
"To the Gods, to the forest, to the sea, to the sky, and to the creatures who sacrificed themselves for us, thank you all the blessings that you have given to us. Thank you for the second life you have given to my new brothers and sisters. May the food we eat strengthen our mind, our soul and bodies."
"Hey, that's mine!"
Some stood while others sat on the ground and boulders as they eat with their hearts content. There are also others who were laughing while crying. They have never eaten this type of food before. This was the most delicious food they have ever tasted!
Weeks ago, they were tortured and had only thought to die. They have never imagined to survive that hell and even granted to taste these heavenly food. They have never dreamed on seeing the blinding sun in the sky again.
Marybeth, one of the individual revived by Yan, couldn't help for her tears to fall when she felt the warmth of the sun in her face and taste his food in her mouth.
It had been almost a month when she had eaten a proper food and saw the sun in the sky, much less feel its warmth. For many days she was tortured by those bad people inside that dimly lit cave.
When her small village in the forest was raided by the Red-Bandana Brotherhood, her husband tried protect her with his life. When she saw her husband had been captured and was about to be killed, she couldn't help it anymore and decided to get out from the cabinet she was hiding to kneel and beg for his life.
"Marybeth, why did you get out!? You shouldn't have got out! Why?! Why?! Stupid! You stupid woman! Please, please, let her go and I'll become your slave! Please, I'll do anything! Just let her go!"
"No! Don't kill him! Please, please, let my husband off!"
"What are you saying?! These guys are demons in human skins!"
Her husband was about to get crazy when she saw her wife got out from hiding. Suddenly, he felt a metal club striking his cheeks.
Before he could shout for pain, one of the men present gagged his mouth with a rope, making him incapable of talking. He could only struggle as he watch his wife do stupid things.
"Oh my. What a beautiful lady we got here. Hehe. So, this guy is your husband?"
"Yes! Please, don't kill him. I beg you, don't kill him."
"So, you want us to spare his life. Mm. We can actually do that. Right, brothers?"
"Yeah. We're actually not as bad you think we are. Hahaha!"
"Yeah! We're kindhearted people. Hehehe."
"Sure, we could do that but there's a huge problem. A little while ago, your husband killed two of my brothers. His crime is quite heavy. If you want us to spare his life, you need give us 'heavy' compensation. You know what I mean?"
"If you could spare his life, I would do anything! I can clean your houses and wash all your clothes. Please, just let him live."
"Oh my. What a dedicated wife you've got, my friend. You're a lucky bastard!"
"Now, now. You don't need to be agitated. Because you have a good wife, I will forgive you. Mm. Miss Marybeth, right? How about you became our maid in the camp? We'll treat you very good in there."
Thinking that their offer was easier than she had imagined, she immediately agreed to their request.
"I...I'll do it as long as you let him live!"
"Of course! The Red-Bandana Brotherhood always keeps its promise."
"You're welcome but It's time to leave. Say your goodbye to your husband."
Marybeth slowly stood up and walked towards his husband. She knelt down and hugged him.
"Please, live. Thank you for everything. I love you!"
She reluctantly let go him and followed the members of the brotherhood into their base. Her husband could only cry as he watched his wife made the biggest mistake of her life.
When he can only see her shadow, he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his neck. It seemed the world tilted abruptly and his vision rolled. He was beheaded.
Before Marybeth could even reach the camp, she was assaulted by multiple individuals as they rip apart her dress.
"What?! No! No! No! This was not your promise!"
"Promise? Us? You stupid bitch! Hahahaha!"
For days, her body had been humiliated and toyed by many members of the brotherhood repeatedly. The only thought that was keeping her will to live was knowing that her beloved husband was alive.
But when she couldn't take it anymore, her mind snapped and unconsciously called for her husband to come and save her in her hellish predicament.
Little did she know that her beloved husband, who she exchanged her life with, was actually killed on the same night they promised to let him live. Her mind and spirit completely collapse when she heard the truth from the same person who had promised her.
Her husband, who she loved with her all, had already left her alone in this world. That night, grief completely swallowed her body and emptiness replaced her eyes.
'Husband, wait for me. I'll follow you.'
Slowly, she lifted her body then banged her in the rocky floor. She wanted to die. It was the only way he could be reunited with him. Blood oozed in her forehead and coldness enveloped her body as her vision turned black.
Pain suddenly surged all throughout her body. Marybeth slowly opened her eyes and only to see a handsome young man, the most handsome man he had ever seen, gently smiling at her.
"I...I am not dead?"
"You're not anymore. Be still. I'll heal all your wounds."
'Why?! I should have died! Husband! I want to be with my husband!'
As she was been recently revived, she was so weak that she could only shout in her mind. Yan's glowing hand touched her forehead and the pleasant feeling flowed all throughout her body. Warm feeling slowly wrapped around her as the scars in her body began to heal and her complexion became healthy.
In her mind, she saw her husband smiling back towards her. His mouth was moving like he was talking something to her. She couldn't hear him but she knew his words.
'Live. There's so much things you have to do in this world. I'll wait for you here. Thank you. I love you!"
The life of her eyes returned as she stared at Yan's handsome and gentle face. Tears flowed through her eyes. She hugged Yan tightly.
"Thank you! Thank you!"
"It's okay, you're safe now. Those people will not hurt you anymore."
- - -
As Marybeth slowly eats the delicious food Yan made, she knew her knew goal in her new life. She looked towards the handsome and gentle face of her saviour and decided what to do in this new start.
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