Cornered Key

P1CH1 – The Iron Skull Family

-Mom, how did our ancestors cross mountains without airships?

-People with common sense never tried that. You see…

…In this world, mountains are thousands of meters tall, but they are straight down steep. Some people just call them pillars of the sky. And all you see below is darkness. Navigators drew these points black on the map and said it could be around minus 10,000 meters. For comparison, our known mountains are between 5000 and 10,000 meters.

But we also have the Plain Belt around the globe. It’s like a giant hill, but it’s so big it looks flat from a person’s view. It’s full of rivers and lakes, but people are scared to live there as it’s closer to the darkness. You would think you could see the bottom of the darkness at 0 meters, but adventurers said, it just looks even darker the closer you are to the bottom.

But here at Iron Peak, there is nothing to worry about. We have the Bean-lake, the mines are rich in materials, we have your dad creating the best blades in the world, and we have great warriors like Spike Beard Fred and of course… me.


-Oh Ben, already asleep? Was my story this boring? One day you’ll experience these, you are right… and even more. The world is cruel.

Iron Peak is a peaceful little village with only 100 villagers. Famous because of the Iron Skull family. But fame comes at a cost…


-I’m right here, Fred – Isabella appears from nowhere – I was telling a story to my son. Too bad Griefers need to interrupt it. Did they come back for more ass-kicking?

-It’s him… Griefing Griefed Alberto. The Griefer with the 5 million bounty. He’s been harassing these smaller mountains for 7 years now.

-It’s just one more ass to kick for me, nothing more nothing less, Fred. Let’s do this.

Isabella and Fred approach Alberto. He’s a tall and slim young man showing off his abs all the time in those unzipped leather jackets. But it’s also showcasing two revolvers with golden decorations all over them.

Ahh you must be Iron Skull Isabella and another fat old idiot with spiky beard who I don’t care about. – Smiles Alberto at the warrior duo – You Iron Skulls are very famous… I think you could reach a 1 or 2 million bounty with my help. Too bad we are standing here as enemies, and I have a 5 million bounty. Do you really think you can protect this little village from me?

-Did you finish your whining? – Isabella stops his annoying speech and charges towards the Griefer.

Iron Skulls don’t use weapons, their head is the weapon. Isabella headbutts Alberto like it would be nothing. Fred reveals 4 spikes underneath his beard and throws them at the knocked-out enemy, each piercing one of his limbs to the ground. Alberto looks defeated. Isabella and Fred take a breath, but they don’t notice that the Griefer’s guns start moving like little robots… maybe they are little robots? While Alberto is getting his consciousness back, his guns remove the spikes from his limbs. He stands up holding a gun towards Isabella.

-Hey Iron Skull! – he shouts at her – You never gave me a chance to showcase my skills… and I never miss.

POW! A gun’s sound can be heard throughout the village. Even little Ben wakes up from his deep sleep. Iron Skulls may have a skull as strong as steel… but a skull has holes, and the inside is still flesh. Frederick screams, tears in his eyes, meanwhile, his warrior friend’s eyes only bleed. Isabella falls to the ground, but Alberto follows her to the death. Fred is old, he may mix up the poisonous spikes. And he did… but the poison was not that strong to save Isabella anyway. Frederick doesn’t know what to do, all he sees is little Ben looking at his mother’s corpse from the distance.

Everyone stands in shock until they realize Griefers don’t work alone. They still need to face Griefing Griefed Alberto’s army. They are charging towards the village. Fred throws his remaining spikes at the army piercing through some, but it’s not enough. They lost, Isabella is dead. The army is still charging towards the village, smile mixed with anger knowing they lost their leader, but they can take revenge easily. This lasts until they go blind all of a sudden.

-WHAT IS THIS? – the scream of the Griefers can be heard.

-It’s mercury. – A very old lady’s voice can be heard. – You didn’t think the Iron Skull family was that small, did you?

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