Exiled West

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Gang Raid

Chapter 3: Gang Raid

When Jackson and I were shown the risks of trying to become a High Roller in Velorian, it still made me consider the possibility of attempting to become one if needed for my search of Logan Campbell. I had nothing to lose after all and was half prepared for death when I chose to come to this cursed land. I left the thought on hold for now and still wanted more information about many other things. We left Catherine’s home and waited for the next step as to what would happen with me specifically.

“Levi, you still haven’t told me your case,” John told me still wanting to know what I wanted from Velorian. “The look in your eyes and from what I could see… it seems like you’re looking for something or perhaps someone?” He managed to guess half of my intentions but thought it was to save or meet with a loved one.

“You’re half right,” I took a deep breath to prepare to explain my situation. “Logan Campbell, heard of that name?” I asked John.

“Logan Campbell, quite a standout name but I never heard of him or at the very least not that I’m aware of in my life.”

“Hm? Logan Campbell… think I heard of that name in a newspaper?” Jackson said recalling the name but I knew he only remembered it from back in our homeland and not from Velorian.

From there I started to explain my reason to them of how I was a man who didn’t live in the poor side of society. My parents owned a successful business in which they made sure to leave a good chunk of inheritance in my name that covers me for a very young retirement. As one could tell I had a very fortunate and lucky life but despite having it all I grew up without much of a goal in life. Nothing came to my life that made me want to work hard in trying to gain it until one day at the age of twenty-two I met Isabella Ross. A beautiful woman with light reddish hair and pale white skin with a weak body primarily from her legs resulting in her having to use a wheelchair most of her life since birth. Isabella was still capable of walking but needed a custom-built stick at all times for support and couldn’t walk for too long.

It was during a banquet when I first met Isabella and at first, I didn’t think much of her just like many other females I’ve met growing up. Since most of them only ever looked at me because of my wealthy background and nothing more and nothing less. But Isabella was indeed different from others I have met in my life. Everything from her voice, smile, and touch made me for some reason feel at ease as she didn’t look at me like some wealthy man of high status. No, Isabella treated me just like any other human being, someone with feelings, emotions, and personal troubles. And thus finally, for the first time in my life on that day, I had a goal and it was to dedicate everything to making Isabella, my woman.

However, such a task proved to be difficult as I spent an entire year getting rejected by her. But I didn’t give up no matter how many of those around me told me it was pointless or how many times I got rejected. Isabella had finally given me something worth exploring in my plain empty rich life, something to work hard for even though those in poverty would deem it not something to be considered as a difficult task but I managed to succeed. Once I conquered the woman of my dreams, I never felt such happiness after working so hard. The last time I ever felt that way was only during my younger days as a naïve child growing up piecing mere blocks correctly. I was truly a man maddeningly in love and married to the woman of my life whom I had two children with being a boy and girl. But all of that joy, unfortunately, came crashing down as one night when I arrived home from work seeing police surrounding my mansion-sized home. There they gave me the terrible news that my loving wife and kids were killed.

Never before have I ever grieved so much in my life even when my parents died at the age of twenty-four. The utter pain in my heart and sanity of losing everything that made me happy was dreadful. And the person who took it all away was Logan Campbell, that bastard and two other of his lackeys broke into my home primarily to steal but killed my wife and kids along the way just to avoid alerting security. And despite that those scum still got caught by the guards I hired which made me furious knowing they did something horrible only to be pointless at the end of it all. The filthy pieces of ingrate trash ruined everything for me and I naturally fired every single useless guard that allowed it to happen.

So much anger raged within me and I pleaded and begged and even tried bribing for the officials to allow me to torture them in the worst way possible but I was denied the satisfaction. In the end, the three criminals were given the choice of execution or exile and two chose execution being afraid of the stories about Velorian while Logan Campbell chose exile. When I heard the news that Logan chose exile, I was infuriated that the bastard continued to live and wanted to see his head fly off but everyone kept telling me the same old crap about exile being equal or worse than execution. And that’s what I wanted to believe but as a whole year went by of trying listening to advice about moving on and continue to live normally but life for me no longer had any meaning. If cared nothing for it until I met Isabella then I most certainly wasn’t going to give a single shit about it once I lost Isabella and my two kids.

Thus, I gave up that wealthy life many poor would kill to have and went on to murder a certain police officer who stopped me from killing Logan Campbell myself when I had the chance during his trial. It was because of that damned officer that I was unable to commit suicide and continued to stay in this world knowing Logan Campbell was possibly still alive out there stained with the blood of my loved ones he stole from me. That police officer only did his job and he had a family of his own yet I still took his life but the thing is I stopped giving a crap about questioning what’s right or wrong. I made my decision on the type of person I would become and what I would live for and that is to find Logan Campbell to kill him with my own hands. Or at the very least giving myself the pleasure of finding his dead body to gain some peace of mind when I would take my own life knowing that bastard was truly dead and suffering in hell.

When I finished telling John and Jackson my past and why I chose to come to Velorian on purpose. I suddenly heard Jackson approach me and by my surprise I get hit in the face by his fist, knocking me down on the floor nearly making me go unconscious.

“You son of a bitch! You had everything… everything! For free! And you threw it all away just because of one woman!? Couldn’t just move on and find another and have kids with em!?” Jackson yelled at me with anger after hearing I was someone wealthy with lots of inheritance money that I gave up just for the sake of finding a criminal who could either be alive or dead.

In Jackson’s mind, he thought such a thing wouldn’t have been a big deal and it would be something you would eventually accept and move on. A man who only ever knew the poor life and tried working hard to get out of it but always failed couldn’t possibly understand me.

“Fat bastard!” I stood up and I also got angry seeing how Jackson thought money would be everything in someone’s life and started to fight him. “A poor peasant like you will never understand!”

We both threw punches and grappled but Jackson was bigger in terms of size resulting in him throwing me to the ground while John simply stood around watching me and Jackson fight it out. Some of the folk of Vornil came around including some guards to check what was going on but John stopped them from interfering.

“Ungrateful rich son of a bitch! You couldn’t just find another woman!? You had the damn money!” Jackson yelled out as we grappled trying to take each other down to the ground.

“Fuck you! You poor people only care about money! You think money can just solve everything!? Filthy scum! That’s why you’re always poor!”

“Yeah! It fucking should solve everything! Everybody back in the homeland is dying of hunger and disease and you’re over here crying about a woman getting killed by someone! Get the fuck out of here!” Jackson landed another clean punch onto my face which makes me fall and Jackson mounted me swinging away while I did my best to defend myself.

Since I came from a rich background, I wasn’t exactly somebody who was physically in shape at the time and my experience in terms of fighting was amateurish. Resulting in Jackson beating me up badly and John finally stepped in forcing Jackson off me before my face would turn into a bloody mess.

“Rich bastard! I should have never helped you out yesterday! Should have just left you in the darkness!” Jackson kept screaming out while John and another guard forced him away from me.

I was barely conscious only seeing a blur and faintly hearing Jackson’s anger for a few seconds until my eyes forcefully gave out themselves. I was unconscious for only three hours and I awoke on a bed, well, wouldn’t say a bed since there was no mattress or cushion underneath just a flat piece of wood and blankets acting as a mattress so it wouldn’t feel too rough.

“Ughn… ahh!” I slowly stood up and felt a bit of burning and itchiness from my face. “Fat fucking bastard! I’ll kill him!” I said not letting what Jackson said or did to me go off easily.

I was placed in a very small room with the wooden bed barely having enough space to fit and there was nothing else present not even a window. From outside the room, I heard someone walking closer in my direction and they opened the door to check up on me.

“Good, you’re finally awake.” It was John who entered having come every hour to see if I awoke. “Hmm, now I could see your desire to kill.” He said knowing I wanted revenge against Jackson. “Wouldn’t do that if I were you.” He warned me.

“Why? That fat bastard started it first!” I angrily said having no intentions of listening. “And the things he said about just some woman… that piece of garbage fat filth will never understand what she was to me!”

“Relax, I spoke to Jackson once he calmed down a bit. He’s at the very least sorry about punching your teeth in but doesn’t want to be your friend anymore.”

“He was never my friend, to begin with, and sorry is not going to cut it! I’m killing his fat ass the moment I have the chance!”

“It will have to cut it or I’ll need to kick you out of this town or kill you. And before you say anything stupid like you don’t intend to stick around anyways then if I were you, I would reconsider your background. Listen, your goal is a crazy one chasing a possible long lost dead body but I’m not one to decide what you should do with your life. The only thing I can do is give you advice on how to survive in Velorian and to increase your chances of finding this Logan Campbell.” John waited for me to answer if I was willing to hear him out.

“… Fine, go on, let me hear it.” I said and calmed myself down putting aside my anger for the time being since even though I didn’t care much about my life I still wanted to do my best to stay alive as long as possible to search for Logan.

John then continued to explain that someone like me with a wealthy background was not in shape to be venturing into a cursed and lawless land. There were still many people from various other countries ranging from the original occupiers which are called the Natives. The Natives are those who were the first to live and breed in Velorian until their land was discovered and a fifty-year war broke out with the Natives suffering in-between of it all. Since the war ended ten years ago leaving behind a cursed land many from different other countries still voyaged here in an attempt to occupy since it was a huge amount of free real estate waiting to be owned. The most known ethnicities of people being the Beaners, Negros, Japs, Ching, and then there’s my type considered to be Crackers.

Those terms are primarily used to describe their appearance, way of speaking, or culture in general since there are still many others from different lands coming to Velorian but those five are the most common you would find here. Velorian is a huge land and since there’s no official government superpower managing this land it’s up to all the poor and criminals that come here to build their new society. But human nature is almost always hungry for power especially when those people come from a life where attaining some form of power was impossible in the past. Everyone wishes to have power and command their territory but many have failed while some have managed to build a decent town and even a whole city. But again, because there’s no true government with an army lots of murder, stealing, raping, and other horrendous crimes happen every day.

John warned me that I wouldn’t last even a week trying to live out in Velorian even if he gave me a gun and some resources. He recommended that I stayed at least six months in Vornil working hard labor to get myself in shape while also doing basic training to fight and using a gun. To me, that felt like too much time to be wasted but John was right that I lacked lots of experience in living among danger and also in fighting. It was a tough decision and I still had some anger towards Jackson but John gave me the whole day to think it over with a level-headed mindset.

I laid on my bed looking at the ceiling imagining there was some kind of sky in that windowless room. Seeing the gentle and soothing smile of Isabella that always made me smile in return only to see that image get splattered in blood morphing into the face of Logan Campbell, a man who showed no guilt in taking my happiness. All that pathetic bastard ever thought about was trying to keep living and desperately picked exile. Since John told me there were cities and towns in Velorian the chances of him being alive were higher and there was absolutely no way I was going to allow that piece of filth to keep living.

Time passed as it became nighttime and I was still struggling to make up my mind on John’s recommendation. They had given me food that wasn’t cooked well but I did come from eating the finest of dining so I had to get accustomed to eating low-class food. Anyways, I fell asleep on the uncomfortable creaking bed which took me a good hour to fully go into slumber but a few hours later I got woken up by the sounds of gunfire and yells.

“Huh!? What’s going on!?” I quickly stood up from my bed hearing shots and screaming in every direction.

“AAAHHHAHAHA! Kill em! And get their goods!”

“AAAAAHH! HELP!”

“Loot it all boys! YEEEHAAAAWWW!”

The sounds of merciless men and horses riding by were close to the building I was residing in and I left my room finding myself on the first floor of someone’s home. I walked over to the living room where a woman rushed up the stairs with her young six-year-old boy while a man took cover in the window equipped with a rifle firing away.

“Hurry! Get up there and hide!” The man screamed out to his wife as he reloaded and noticed me. “Here!” The man slid a pistol to me without hesitation if I would help him or not.

I picked up the gun which was a colt single action revolver and upon looking up to help out that man I see a bullet go straight through his head as blood splatters all over the wall and single couch. From there I heard some people trying to kick open the door that had a wooden chair near the knob to make it difficult to enter. But it wasn’t enough and on the third kick, they forcefully broke open the door. As soon as they did, I right away fired but those people who were from a gang were smart and took cover to the sides predicting someone would be waiting.

“Shit!” I quickly stepped to my right where there was a closet room to use as cover and the men fired away with the bullets easily breaking through the wood. “Urgh! Fucking wood!” I lifted my left arm as the pieces of wood and dust was getting sprayed all around near me since that closet didn’t have much room. “AAAAHHH!” I screamed while only exposing my right arm out firing without looking hoping I’d get someone.

But being in such a panic and desperate state made me forget I only had five bullets loaded on the gun and I right away ran out with no ammo to get from anywhere in my position.

“Oh no! Oh shit!” I started to panic not knowing what to do and just waited there with my gun hoping they would be stupid enough to just walk over at melee distance.

They took their sweet time walking slowly and closer to the closet where I took cover and from their wariness, I knew they weren’t that dumb. At that point, I figured instead of just waiting for death I would try at least something even if that something would have a one percent chance of me staying alive longer.

“I’m killing you! RAAAAAAHHH!” I yelled loudly as I got out of cover to rush at the gang members. But before I could make any further steps, I get my face splashed on with blood as one of the bandits got their heads shot from behind.

The other tried reacting quickly by turning to the shooter but gets shot right on his hand getting disarmed.

“GAAHHH! AAAGGGAHHH!” The man screamed as three of his fingers were blown off and had a hole in his palm.

“Levi! Is there anyone else!?” It was John who ended up arriving and saving me but I was in a small shocked state with my face stained in blood. “Levi!” He shouted louder to me.

“Wha… no, it was just those two,” I answered coming back to my senses.

“Alright,”

John walked over to the man on the stairs holding his hand in pain and grabbed him by the back of the neck and forcefully tossed him down the stairs.

“You picked the wrong town to raid!” John told the bandit and finished him off by firing point-blank at his head. “Dammit! Not William!” He said seeing the man who gave me the gun dead but he had no time to mourn as there were still bandits outside. “Levi, keep Linda and her kid safe! Can you do that!?” He asked.

When John asked me for that favor I at first didn’t exactly care about protecting the mother and child and was more concerned about my safety. But I had owed John a lot since he gave me a chance to hear me out and give me food. If it wasn’t for John, I probably would have been dead earlier in the day.

“Yeah, I’ll look after them,” I told John in a reassuring tone.

Upon hearing that John simply gave a nod and left the house to help the others in Vornil out closing the door behind him. Not knowing what to do in such a situation, I simply barricaded the door again and took cover near the window looking out seeing dead bodies of the bandits and a few horses that got shot. I never expected things would get chaotic after only two days of being in Velorian. But that chaos made it clearer that John was right about me not knowing how to fend for myself against people with the intention to hurt or kill me or worse.

The shoot-out continued for another twenty minutes until it all came to a silence which made me feel uneasy not knowing if John and the others who protect Vornil got killed or if all the bandits were killed. Thankfully, it wasn’t the worst case as I heard John’s voice from a distance getting closer as he ordered his men to check up on everyone and to let them know it was safe.

“Levi! It’s over, you can open up!” John shouted out as he knocked on the door where I was keeping a mother and child safe.

I walked over to open the door for John who seemed like he didn’t have a hard time dealing with those bandits. And it was all because he was a High Roller and the bandits were amateurish themselves but if it was a more experienced gang especially another High Roller then John would have had a much more difficult time protecting the town.

“I’m sorry about… William, there wasn’t much I could do.” I told John who walked over towards William’s body.

“Yeah, I know.” John sighed not liking that he has to tell the mother and child about it. “You still have time to make up your mind, if there’s anything you need just ask one of my men outside.” He simply said and walked to the door telling some of his men to help bring out the body.

John then walked up the stairs of the house to give the bad news to the mother and child. Not knowing what else to do I just returned to my room and tried sleeping off everything that just happened. From the room, I heard the mourning wife and kid after getting told William got killed. Hearing them didn’t move my heart since it has been cold ever since I lost the ones I loved. But I understood their pain clear as day and the only question to them would be what path would the kid take after that tragedy? And who’s to say that would even be the only one the child would witness which could result in a darker and colder path.

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