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The mighty Bandicoot of War did not know the challenges of the Valley of Sorrow. He was washing off in the river as Asspin waited for him at a large rock. His bruises and scars reminded him of the battle field he's fought and walked through. He sighed and looked up to the sky, seeing dark gray clouds that usually signified rain. A memory came up of long ago, of when he was younger.

The memory played itself very vividly, as if it had happened just recently. The village Crash had grown up in was under fire, both a younger Melda and a younger Crash were hurried into a safe haven. Screams of agony were heard as flaming arrows impaled both villagers and some buildings in the village. Fire crackled to and fro, causing orange blazes of death as far as one could see from the safe haven. Crash watched in horror as the flesh and fur was burned from some of his parent's acquaintances and even family members. He held onto his father's hand while Melda held onto their mother's. Their father was a well-known man and would do anything for the village. He pulled away from Crash and his grip, hugging him close, then ran outside with his blades. There was the sounds of slashing enemies and groans of agony for a while, but then it fell deadly silent.
More silence came and their mother grew more and more worried. Pulling herself from Melda's grip, she gave both her children a hug and gave her necklace to her daughter. She took what she could find as a weapon, which was a butcher's knife. Crash saw Melda cowering a bit as she felt alone now as the eerie silence crept back into the safe haven. He hugged her close. Despite being so young, he was an elder brother and felt like he had a duty to protect her.
The silence only grew stronger in the night. He wanted to go check on their parents as well, but he didn't want to leave his sister like their parents left them to go check things out themselves. He held Melda's hand as he slowly made his way to the archway. The wretched smell of decaying bodies immediately wafted by his and Melda's nose, causing them to cover them with their free hands. He looked around, seeing dead bodies at least half a mile down the path. This didn't appeal much to Crash or his sister. As they neared the town hall, which was located in the center of the village,  the body count seemed to triple at least visually. They got to the archway entrance to the town hall, which was covered by a rather ruined curtain. As soon as Crash opened it, he jumped back, noting the blood covered walls and the dead, rotting and some headless corpses lying on the ground. There were some that were stuck to the wall thanks to some long swords and they just looked in horror that right at the center peace of the town hall, their parents were impaled, one on top of the other, on the statue of the town's founder's sword. There was a deep, intimidating voice cackling far off in the distance. Crash's fists clenched as Melda clung to him, sobbing. He thought he saw the mark on the victims, which seemed to be the letter C burned into their fur on their faces that showed the eyes of a dead soul, like the way the bodies died trapped the soul within them for eternity.

The memory faded away, but the expressions on his parent's cold, lifeless faces haunted Crash until this very day. Now that he was done bathing, he had put his clothing back on. He took his blade out and walked back to where Asspin was, who was no longer in the place he had left the mask. He shrugged it off, not really giving a second thought about it as he looked at Dingo's map again.
He began to walk toward the mountains again, looking around as it was broad daylight and any attacker could easily see him, which made him a bit paranoid. He gazed around, having a feeling that he was being watched. He held his blade's handle that he had hand made for his own preference tightly, slashing the green vines away to open a clear path for him.
Asspin could be seen once Crash got a quarter of a way to the mountains. Fortunately, Crash was quick on his feet. He had to be to be a great warrior in his village. Asspin looked back and noticed him, looking quite surprised.
“I was wondering what was taking so long,” he said, rather bluntly. “If I had legs, they'd be aching by now. What took so long anyway?” He then caught onto the fact Crash could not talk on his own and sighed. “Don't answer that. Come now, we're almost to the Valley of the Sorrow.”
Crash nodded and then began to follow him. He'd merely use Asspin for a shield, as he had no other use for the mask. Quite frankly, he didn't want the floating nuisance to even follow him, but so far he was the only means of communication with any village people he met and needed help from.
Slowing down, Crash became more cautious as they both approached a large lake with a rather grim color to it. There stood a few feet away from him was an idol, wielding to large daggers. He stepped up to it and Asspin went over to the small part of it that had some sort of hieroglyphic on it.
“Judging from this,” he said. “I can make out its an enchanted sword, but I cannot figure out by what or who originally owned it.”
Here's Part 1 of Chapter 2.
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April 30, 2009
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