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Backstory

        It was Colt’s payday today. He worked from 6am to 10pm everyday as a labour for the Kingpin of the town. And he still had a chronic patient mother to take care of. But no matter how hard he worked, the little amount of salary could never cover the heavy medical expenses. On this day, he received a few golden coins as the salary of this month. By the time of tomorrow, the coins would be all spent on food, at Kingpin’s store.

        Colt had no choice.

        This town seemed to have all kinds of business activities in fair competitions. Behind the picture, Kingpin owned almost all the businesses, including grocery stores, pharmacies, furniture houses and etc. And consequently, Kingpin controlled the job market in the town. Colt was a living victim under the monopoly.

        “I've spent every penny of the salary on the living expenses. How am I supposed to pay mum’s medicine…” Colt was absorbed in thoughts. The frustration got worse when mother’s coughing sound hit his mind. He came across Kingpin at a cafe near the dock, talking to the hunters with a map.

        Colt brace himself and interrupted Kingpin. “Mr. Kingpin, can I have my salary in advance for my mum’s treatment? She’s seriously ill…” Colt asked.

        Kingpin said nothing but sneered, and continued his conversation with the hunters. A hunter scanned Colt and whispered to Kingpin, “Mr. Kingpin, he can be our bait.”

        Kingpin finally took a look at him after listening to what the hunter just said. In a moment of silence, a smile appeared on Kingpin’s face. “You’ll have the medicine,” he said.

        Colt was thrilled and followed Kingpin’s man to get the medicine. When he thought this was an offer of kindness, Kingpin came to him with his men.
“You think you could take the medicine without paying for it? It’s 100 golden coins!” Kingpin threatened Colt.

        Colt froze. “I don’t have that much money…” he said frighteningly.

        “No money? Work to pay then.” Colt made an order and his men dragged Colt away, heading to the suburb out of the town.

        Colt was taken to a swamp by Kingpin and his gang. The swamp was creepy and smelled nauseous with brown mud everywhere. The crew covered their noses and followed the bone-like remains on the ground, sweeping the dying willows aside, to an open area.

        All of a sudden, the swamp shook violently, splashing the water to everywhere. A wave of rotten stink blew towards them, coming along with several roars. Colt could not believe his eye…

        An enormous hale navy dragon with eight heads coiled slowly. What was under its body was no longer mud, but shiny coins!

        “It’s your time! Distract Lernaean!” Kingpin shouted as he kicked Colt on his back. Colt instantly stumbled right in front of Lernaean. The eight heads launched attacks when Lernaean smelt human flesh. Colt dodged behind it in a mess.

        “Cutting off all the heads? This is insane! What should I do…” Colt searched for possible plans in his head. But Lernaean’s heads also kept striking in the meantime, pushing Colt to the limit. At the life-or-death moment, Colt spotted that one of the heads kept checking on the coins under its body.

        “Could that head be…?” Colt barely got himself together, dodging the heads and dashing to the target. He pulled the maximum effort to swing his sword! Dragon’s blood spouted non-stop from the wound. Colt tripped himself and slipped down to the coin pile. Lernaean fell down very soon, twitching and screaming in agony.

        “I did it...coins?” the confused Colt saw Kingpin and his men rushed to the coins and bagged them up in hurry. The hitting sound of coins instantly cleared Colt’s head and he hurried to grab his share before it was too late.

        “I can afford mum’s treatment with all these coins!” A hunter spotted Colt when he was stuffing coins into his pockets. As soon as the hunter approached to capture him, he jumped off to the ground and fled the scene.

        “Mr. Kingpin, that kid got away!” the hunter didn’t bother to chase after Colt.

        Kingpin’s eyes remained on the coins and waved his hand. “Grab more bags! There are still tons of coins!” he commanded.

        The hunter returned to the coins as Kingpin didn’t care about Colt’s escape.

        “Hey! Didn’t I tell you to grab more bags?” Kingpin grumbled with a bag full of coins. His hands slipped as he raised head, spilling the coins to everywhere. He didn’t just see the glitter of the coins, but also the spatters of blood. Flesh was shattered to the scene; Human scream was mixed with dragon roar.

        Two more heads were grown from the neck Colt hacked.

        “...Seven, eight, nine.” Kingpin counted. He stood at the scene like a pig to be slaughtered, staring at Lernaean as the nine heads were hissing at him…...

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