Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The Markelov brothers both had square, rectangular faces with the deep eye sockets, large noses and bulbous features typical for Slavic peoples, except that the elder Markelov had a bushy beard.
After graduating from high school, the two brothers joined the army. They were former residents of western Ukraine. Since childhood, they followed their father to hunt wolves and foxes in the trails of the Carpathian mountains.
The training was hard and tiring, but the two men were like fish in the water.
Most of the training was carried out in the home army camp. For the two brothers, who had been climbing mountains with their parents since childhood, there was no physical obstacle and all they easily passed every mission.
Their physical strength, good learning ability, and excellent marksmanship were later noticed by the Ukrainian special forces. Both of them were selected to join.
The two brothers were supposed to have a bright future in the army. Unfortunately, it was not a good time for that. The country’s politics were in turmoil. The military fell by the wayside and was not treated as an important department.
Besides, the Ukrainian army was so corrupt that its soldiers were promoted only by back door methods, or following a higher level of education, which the army chose to use to bolster its credentials.
Unfortunately for the Markelovs, they did not have any show-off skills or powerful connections. They had no education and no money, so it was hard for them to be promoted in the army.
The two brothers were very simple in the beginning. They trained hard and did their best on all tasks to obtain merit, but gradually found that it was pointless.
Hard training, good physical shape, learning more military skills, and hard implementation of tasks did not give them more than a few words of praise from their superior. There was no hope for a promotion.
What they saw were the sons of officials, the rich, and the army’s second-generation peers who did not train daily, but got promoted quickly without carrying out any tasks or even having basic military skills.
This was a blow to their faith. They were confident that they were a hundred times better than their peers, but ultimately other, less worthy soldiers got the promotion they could only dream of.
The thing that had the most impact on them was that as their superiors became more and more inept, human lives were lost in the process.
Once when they went to carry out a transnational mission, because of the tactical mistakes their commanders made, some of their comrades died in vain in foreign countries.
This matter was very serious and merited an in-depth investigation. However, as they expected, the upper ranks covered up for each other with the help of their family’s connections and successfully avoided punishment, while the soldiers who risked their lives got into trouble and were used as their scapegoats.
The two brothers were very strong, and it was inevitable that they would have some pride and try to get revenge.
The two brothers could not bear with such treatment, so they broke into the battalion headquarters together and severely beat up their incompetent superior.
It was a big deal. They were supposed to be court-martialed.
However, their superior was guilty, so he dared not make it public. Just then, their troops received a new task again.
This overseas mission was very dangerous, so their superior sent the brothers in the hope that they would get killed.
The superiors had hoped to put an end to the story the easy way, but the brothers were not fools. Both of them set their hands on him before he could get them killed and escaped from the army when they were overseas.
The two brothers fled to the United States, but because they did not have a long-term visa, they could not live a normal life and were forced to hide in mountains and other inaccessible places.
Nevertheless, although their life as fugitives was hard, they didn’t have to endure the stupidity of incompetent superiors or sweat and bleed for nothing.
However, they could not risk exposure, and if they were found by the American immigration patrol, they would surely be sent back to their home country, where certain death awaited them.
They have been in America for four or five years now and had narrowly avoided detection several times. When they encountered such a situation they would have no scruples to kill to escape.
Poachers were desperate thieves, and they knew the Markelov brothers had killed people but did not know the two had killed police officers!
The police received a call a few days ago and came as soon as possible. They were very eager to catch the two criminals, but the two brothers fled again, and their trip to the mountains was pointless.
When the two brothers were stuck in the hole, they thought they had met with the police, so they ran away as fast as they could. After the escape, they investigated and found themselves duped by several climbers.
How could the Markelov brothers stand it? As the poacher said, the two of them decided to take revenge immediately. Since they had already killed police officers, a little more blood on their hands wouldn’t make much difference.
However, the elder Markelov was very careful. He did not act rashly but carefully followed the other side first.
After observing the situation, both of them were glad that they did not act on impulse.
The force that the other side showed surprised them. As military experts, they could see that Brother Wolf and Firecracker fought like elite troopers and had abilities far surpassing their own.
Besides, there seemed to be wolves, tigers and other dangerous pets on the team. The two brothers wondered how these people managed to tame those wild beasts.
The other side was strong, but the brothers were not afraid. They had dealt with many opponents in their lives who were stronger than either of them.
They followed Li Du’s group patiently and found their adversaries were always passing through caves.
The two brothers wanted to ambush in the cave and trap them but later found that the caves have two exits and it was useless to block only one of them.
They followed the group until they found that they had begun the journey home. This pleased them so much that they quickly made a plan. They chose to wait by the cave where they started and block them again.
The reason they chose this cave was not the one Li Du guessed, but rather based on their knowledge of human nature. They assumed Li Du’s group would relax by the time they reached the last cave, and would not be as alert and cautious as before.
According to the plan, each of the two brothers would guard a hole. Young Markelov, who was good at hiding, stayed at the entrance. He found the bushes near the mouth of the cave and dug a hole near them to hide. No one would notice him.
He was waiting to see their adversaries go in so that he could give a sign to his brother.