Dantega:Volume 2 Chapter 5

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(PART 2)

Rain leisurely tosses a bag of luggage in the back of a horse drawn carriage, it makes a loud noise that startles the woman holding the reins. "Let's go." she says as she gets in.

The carriage woman snaps the reins and the horses begin to move.

It's over a half day's travel to get to the division that she'll be leading, so she decides to shut her eyes and try to sleep the time away until she hears a loud thud from the back of her seat. She turns to look at the source and sees a large duffle bag. Before she can ask herself whose bag it is, her question is answered when the carriage door opens and in comes Dice.

"What are you doing?" she asks.

Dice smiles and replies, "You didn't think I'd actually let you go to war by yourself did you?"

Rain sighs and replies, "Part of me didn't think you would, but all of me was hoping for it. Let me guess, this was the bargaining chip that got your parents to approve of me doing this right?"

"That's right!"

In Eiyalazo, it is the job of the Prince to experience battle for PR points. Though he will certainly not fight, the propagandists will say that he did, and valiantly at that. The optics of such a thing garners the support of the people, even though the Royals think of their citizens as primitive commoners; they understand how important it is to be in good favor with the masses.

Dice used this to persuade his parents to allow Rain's military exemption, and to add on to that he used this for his own personal need in wanting to ensure Rain's safety.

"Tch." Rain clicks her tongue in annoyance.

By him doing this, it almost completely hinders her plan in personally taking revenge on whoever assassinated her father.

Dice glares at her with a smile as though he is wanting her to look impressed by this feat.

Instead, she folded her arms combatively before leaning back into the seat to gaze out of the window, completely ignoring his presence. This will make the half day long ride very awkward for the pitiful prince.

The sun is close to setting and there has yet to be a word spoken between the two, the silence was so bad it even made the driver cringe.

The driver sighs in relief when she sees the base camp just a few minutes away.

"We have arrived at our destination." she said with a smile.

Once through the guarded gate to the camp, the sight of thousands of soldiers enclosed in a makeshift wooden fort is seen and they enter into what feels more like a large village. As soon as the carriage stops Rain immediately grabs her luggage and exits the door.

"Don't get in my way." she coldly says as she walks to a group of higher ups stationed in one of the tents.

Dice sighs and glances at the driver who is glaring at him like, 'Did she really just say that to you?'

He smiles at her and bows, "Thank you for the ride."

The driver jolts up and blushes, "Y-You're welcome! It was my pleasure your highness!!"

He waves goodbye and watches her head off into the sunset, he then looks around and is amazed at how many people are in this division; this is without a doubt one of the largest groups in the army.

Hundreds of people who just happened to be walking by stop and stare at him, they double take because they are not a hundred percent sure that the real Prince is actually here.

Dice walks into the tent that Rain had just entered, and as soon as he does he instantly feels like an outsider, the energy inside is intense. Rain and five other men are all standing over a table with a large map on it and all he can do is stand in the corner and listen.

Rain slides her finger up the map and says, "I want 3/4 of this division to head northwest toward Tronoble, and the rest remain behind as back up." One of the men surrounding the table shakes his head. "If we head there, our battalion will head straight for a blood bath, and if we're not careful the La'Juutian's will attack us from the west. The entirety of this division will be annihilated."

Rain glares at him and turns back to the table, there are red and green stones that lie on the paper which indicates their position on the map, and it also includes the blue and yellow of Troy and La'Juune.

She slides a few red stones up to the position of the blue stones that sit on the position that signifies the city of Tronoble and replies, "That's not the case, by sending 3/4 of our troops to fight the Trojans in the city, and having our last quarter lag behind us by two miles, it allows the La'Juutians to commence their attack on our left flank." She maneuvers the colored stones around gracefully, keeping their attention on her. "And while they do this, it will allow our lagging fraction to sweep behind them and attack, this will surround them and allow us to capsize their force from the outside in."

"Do you think we can pull something like that off? I mean, fighting both of them at once sounds very risky, the Trojans have the advantage of being at home. They can just retreat while we and the La'Juutians kill each other off."

"That won't happen." Rain swiftly retorts, "The Trojans will never abandon a city that holds so much importance, they need to be stationed there to avoid opening up a pathway to their capital." She points her finger on the surroundings of the city and continues. "These mountains are damn near impossible for an opposing army to pass in the southwest of Troy. Tronoble is crucial to all three of our countries and I know for sure that whoever wins this city will be in control of the first turning point in the war."

The men all look at each other and contemplate her plans. It's not like they have any choice but to do this even if they disagree, but it is more encouraging to have all of the leaders in agreement.

They all have a light feeling in their stomachs when they look at the bigger picture of all this.

This battle will go down in the history books as one of the most significant battles of all time. The light feeling isn't only from the excitement of such a thing, it also comes from the massive risk in contrast to the massive reward; they understand that if this battle is lost, it would leave the western part of Eiyalazo completely vulnerable and could possibly lose the war for them.

"Judging by your silence, I take it that none of you object?” said rain as she folds up the map. “Good, we leave tonight."

Dice is broken out of the trance he was just in while he was watching the genius of Rain firsthand and says, "Tonight? Don't you need to rest!?" Rain tut tuts and replies, "Rest is worthless Prince Dice. By us moving out tonight, we can catch the 105th Specialist Division off guard before the sun rises and we can get to Tronoble by the end of the week."

It would seem that she has had this planned since the very beginning, everyone is wrapped around her finger and they are forced to move at her pace, that also includes the Prince.

Dice folds his arms and looks at her with concern, he is about to say something but he is stopped by Rain.

"You need to trust me." she says as she walks out of the tent, not even giving him a chance to respond.

Dice sighs, but his heart races at her request. As he stands there flustered, he is paying no mind to the five army men who are staring at him in shock.

They were so infatuated with the presentation of the battle plan that they hadn't even noticed that the Prince of their country was standing a few feet away in the same tent. He turns to them and sees that they are all saluting, he does so in return and exits the tent.

By now the sun has set and it is night, a man with two different colored eyes standing in front of the tent is making an announcement to the entire battalion that they will be leaving in less than an hour and what they are to expect upon doing so.

Rain is loitering alongside a small creek and throwing rocks into it, she is anxious to leave and is just killing time, if it were up to her, the preparations and the orders for battle would be done along the way.

"Hey.." Dice said as he sneaks in from behind her.

Just the sound of his voice made Rain cringe in annoyance, to her, it seems that his pester factor has increased tenfold since her father died.

"I would appreciate it if you'd stop following me."

"You know that I can't do that."

"I recommend that you do so... or I will begin to truly show you someone unlovable."

Her words sting, he doesn't know exactly what she means by this but he only imagines the worst. He gulps his throat and proceeds to sit on a rock.

"Why do you hate me?"

He looked saddened and distraught when he asked that, and it made Rain feel obliged to answer. "I don't hate you, I don't even dislike you. There really isn't a single thing that could make me feel that way towards you."

Dice's face lights up, he reveals a wide eyed smile as if asking, 'Really!?'

Rain wants to stop this before he gets his hopes up and finishes, "But, there isn't a single thing about you that would make me feel anything more than nothing."

She walks away and heads to the stage where the announcement is being made, leaving a hurt Dice in her wake.

Dice puts his hands on his face and sighs, "I don't get it... this isn't supposed to happen this way."

He leans back on the rock and pulls off the gloves that cover his hands.

He frowns and talks to the tattoo of the pentagram, "Why is this happening huh!? You're supposed to help me!!"

As soon as he says this the surrounding area all turns red and he feels an excruciating pain in his hand. In a normal reaction to pain, people wince and move around to defer it somehow, but in this situation his body is frozen stiff and this causes it to feel even worse.

The black pentagram begins to shine and out of the light comes the familiar black snake, it slides up his arm and looks at him with its blood red eyes.

"I am helping you Prince Dice, can't you see it? You are occupying an incredible amount of space in her mind."

"Yeah, in the wrong way!"

"The process of a one sided love has to begin somewhere, even if it is not what you'd like it to be. Did she not ask you to trust her earlier? The fact that she thinks of you means you can be loved."

Dice grits his teeth at how his hand is feeling and has a cracked voice when he says, "That doesn't make any sense."

"Oh but it does my fair Prince, just wait and see."

Dice clicks his tongue and shouts, "I'm tired of waiting! I want her to love me now!"

The snake slithers further up his arm and moves eerily close to his face. "That impatience of yours, let this emotion you feel eat away at your soul, let the thirst for that girl ferment in your heart. If you keep growing that feeling, I will make your desires a reality."

The snake sucks back into his hand and it causes Dice to feel an awful pain.

He pants as the feeling dissipates slowly and says to himself, "You told me that the first time I met you... what I truly want to know is how you are going to make this happen..? I still don't get it."

A man is sitting on a throne-like chair with a chess board on an intricately designed marble table that lies in front of him.

He moves the rook of a black chess piece toward white and says, "Slowly but surely, my little pawns will soon allow me to rise once again."

He sits in an almost completely dark room, it's so dark that his face can't be seen. The candlelight can reach only to his hands, legs, and the chessboard.

"Your constant desire to meddle in the affairs of humans is childish."

Came the voice of Damien, who is standing below the rise of the chair.

He is wearing the same facial expression as always and his red eyes seem to be glowing even brighter than usual.

The man in the chair gestures to his chessboard that only has two black rooks positioned upwards in contrast to one white rook away from the rest of its group. "This is where you lack the ability to see how important humans are, without them you and I could hold no power, but with them we can have it all."

"Oh? You expect to gain so much by simply tempting them to carry out your will?" Damien replies smugly.

The man laughs, "Hahaha, of course my foolish child. That is the role of God is it not?"

"Except you are not God."

The laughter stops and through the darkness a serious aura spews from it.

Damien feeds off that aura and throws words equivalent to kindling into the fire of animosity burning from the other side of the room. "A God is worshiped are they not?"

The man on the chair stays silent for a moment until he replies, "Soon enough, everyone in existence will worship me."

Damien shrugs his shoulders and turns to walk toward the door.

"Good luck with that."

"Are you condescending me? I don't see any movement on your chessboard."

Damien keeps walking and opens the door.

"My chess pieces have been moving all along, but it would seem that you have been too infatuated with the world of man to notice it."

He exits and the room is once again embraced in a cold black. Through the darkness two red lights shine where the chair is. It is the man's eyes that are glowing like burning hot pieces of coal.

Damien is walking in the hallway when he faintly reveals a smile full of confidence and says to himself, "Go ahead and writhe in the thirst to be worshiped by fragile humans… they mean nothing to me."

Rain is riding on a horse alongside a few men and is leading a whole battalion of soldiers through the trees; this area of northwestern Eiyalazo does not have as many large sequoia and banyan as the area where Ditreig was assassinated. Here, the land mainly consists of pine and other small trees that spot the grassy and hilly terrain.

The battalion is spread out in fifty groups of ten people wide and ten people deep along a forty yard gap. The reason for this is that in case of an attack, they would easily be able to retract and form a massive defensive position, and spread out even more to surround the enemy in an offensive position depending on the size of the opposing force.

In almost all of Rain's battle plans, she focuses on surrounding the enemy; one can say that this is her specialty because in even the most unlikely situations she'd find a way to defeat the enemy from all sides and in using tactical movements.

"We should be rendezvousing with your father's division very shortly, they have retreated back due to constant attacks by the Trojans so they are stationed just a few hundred yards ahead of us." said the man with two different colored eyes who is riding next to her.

Rain keeps her stare forward and responds, "Good, I have a few questions to ask some of the soldiers. Also, who is the man now in charge?"

The younger looking blond man ponders for a moment until he put a face together with a name. "It is your father's old assistant, his name is Jalet Aldred."

"Alright, once we arrive there we will stop for no more than an hour, and afterwards I'll have them tail behind us. We can use there help."

"Yes mam."

The two divisions combine and the scene is quite hectic because the sheer number of men all in one group; some are leisurely joining each other in conversation and some are strictly business types and are ignoring the presence of the other soldiers outside of their squad.

A man comes up to greet Rain and the rest of the higher ups, he looks a little nervous and is juggling his note book in his hands.

He tilts his glasses up, salutes and stutters when he says, "I-I'm the Captain of this division, my name is Jalet Aldred. It's a pleasure to meet your acquaintance."

Rain twitches her eyebrow and becomes intrigued by this gingerly man, she jumps off her horse and looks him in the eye.

"So you are the new Captain huh? I'd like to ask you a few questions."

"Yes ma'am."

"You were Captain Ditreig's assistant correct?"

"Yes ma'am."

"So out of all your soldiers, you carry the most intelligence about the circumstances of his death, correct?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Then tell me all you know."

"Yes ma'am."

Dice joins the group and listens in on the talk when he sees the gingerly man scramble as he flips through pages of his notebook and begins to read.

"At 0900 hours, two of our surveillance men we're killed in action by Trojan spies. Their uniforms we're stolen and the two spies infiltrated our division and assassinated Captain Ditreig."

Rain rests her hand on her hip and leans on her left leg, with a suspicious tone she bluntly asks, "Is that all?"

"Yes ma'am."

She stares at him with a straight face, causing him to become even more nervous and he begins to really sweat profusely. Seeing this verifies the suspicious feeling that is poking at her subconscious, but instead of abruptly stating what she is thinking, she decides to gather a little more evidence.

"What were the names of the two soldiers that were killed?"

Jalet flips back in his notebook and puts his finger on their names. "Eh-uh... It was Corbin Mizlesh and Applic Stellson."

"What did they look like?"

Jalet flips a few pages back and says, "One had brown hair and green eyes, and the other had somewhat of a feminine build with short black hair and crimson eyes."

Rain doesn't say anything when she turns away and reaches her hand in a pouch that rests on the side of her horse's saddle and pulls out a large book.

She looks through it and asks, "Oh? Tell me something Jalet, do you note everything down in that book of yours?"

"Y-Yes ma'am."

"Why is that?"

"B-Because I feel that it is important to write everything down in order to obtain consistency in daily routines."

"Hmmm, and I have something in common... I also enjoy charting the everyday moments of the world around me, it helps me plan ahead so I can bend those moments to move at my own pace."

Jalet is confused as to where she is going with this, so he thinks it'd be wise to simply go along with it.

"Is that so?" he asks with a wary smile.

Rain stops on a page and pulls a piece of paper out.

"Oh, this is what I was trying to find... now, just one more." She continues to turn the pages until she once again stops and pulls yet another piece of paper out. "Here we are."

She puts the book back into her saddle pouch and turns to Jalet, causing his shoulders to stiffen up. She faintly smiles and hands him the two pieces of paper.

"As a pupil similar habits, I'd like to know what you think of these two pictures."

"Y-Yes ma'am."

He grabs the papers and sees that they are actually two photos of men, and as soon as he sees this he turns even more pale and his eyes grow so large it's as if his pupils are hitting the lens of his glasses.

On the photo to the left is a man with long black hair and black eyes, and on the photo to the right is a large muscular man with golden hair and blue eyes.

But this isn't what has got him so shocked; underneath the photos are the names of the men, 'Corbin Mizlesh' and 'Applic Stellson'.

This has completely contradicted the story that Jalet had just told. Corbin, a man whom he described as someone with brown hair and green eyes has differing features than that of the photo; and Applic, the man whom in the photo looks to be the exact opposite of the described feminine man with crimson eyes and black hair.

"Of course, I had all the photos of the men in this division sent to me so I know what I have to deal with. You see, this is called controlling your future Captain Jalet. By simply combining all of the odds of certain events that could happen and preparing for each one separately, you can literally control your own destiny." She walks with in a few feet of him and continues, "Those who live for the daily occurrences that help the present moment go by smoother will only be run down by the past. And if I'm not mistaken, that is exactly what has just happened to you. Because you failed in preparing for what I might do once I got here, you were caught in your little cover up."

"W-Wait, t-this isn't what it----"

Before he can finish his awful attempt at making an excuse, Rain interrupts him.

"Now now, no need to look so discouraged about it, you have successfully given me a fairly accurate description of the assassins, and that's the most important thing I need to know."

She pats him on the shoulder and walks past him.

Jalet exhales in relief and releases the tension in his shoulders, but he quickly stiffens back up when he hears her voice again.

"Oh, that reminds me." Rain turns around and glares at him. “I have a question for you.”

Jalet quizzically turns and replies, "Y-Yes ma'am?"

"Since you saw the perpetrators, I must ask why you were not present when Captain Ditreig was killed?"

He takes a sharp and very deep breath before attempting to respond.

"Eh! Ah ah... you see he was..."

Rain still has such a calm demeanor about her and she once again interrupts, "Could it be that the two spies were personally directed to Captain Ditreig through you?"

She is spot on in her assessment, she came to this conclusion when she thought about what the many different circumstances that could be possible in which the spies were able to gain access to her father. To her, it seems most logical that the spies would have had to go through Jalet to speak with the Captain privately.

Judging by his reaction, she assumes she is correct and says, "Yes... that has to be it. How else would the Captain's assistant be nowhere near his superior when he was being killed? And why else would you go to such great lengths to cover it up..? You have a slue of charges against you Capt- no... Jalet."

Jalet's knees are shaking and it is quite obvious that he is a total wreck; he is in such shock that he was easily found out just because of a slight slip up that no one should have noticed.

He can't come up with the words to retort so all he can do is bow and shout, "I'm sorry!!!"

Rain begins to walk back to him, "Other than the assassins, you are the closest man responsible for the death of Captain Ditreig."

She lifts his head from his bowing position and looks him straight in the face, she frowns and turns away quickly.

After a few steps she turns to the onlooking men on horses and coldly says, "Execute him."

Jalet drops to his knees, this is the worst possible outcome he ever could have imagined; he wants to beg for his life but his throat is so hoarse that only the sound of light grunts can be heard.

Dice's face drops, for one, he can't believe what he had just witnessed, and for two, he can't believe that she could so callously send a man to death for something that wasn't entirely his fault.

He jumps in between them and shouts, "Absolutely not! I won't allow it!"

Rain doesn't turn around and lets him continue his objection.

"That punishment is far too harsh for something like this, how can you be so heartless!?"

Rain waits a moment before answering, "The punishment is too harsh? Because of his negligence, his superior was cut down from under his nose. This drastically altered our war effort."

She turns to him and reveals a face so full of anger that it makes his stomach hurt.

"Quit this stupid honor act of yours and use your god damn head! This man is lucky I don't have his eyes, ears, and arms dismantled and force him to run blind into the forest! Because of this man's incompetence we lost valuable ground in our offensive against the Trojans. And because of this man, I lost my father!"

This sudden surge of emotion has caught everyone around off guard.

Dice has never seen her act in any way that would indicate such a reaction.

But that's still not going to deter him from what he knows is right, he takes a deep breath and prepares to reiterate what he had said before when he feels the back of his right hand pulsate.

Along with this pounding heartbeat like feeling in his hand comes a voice, "This is the beginning, my fair Prince. Let her order stand."

Dice clenches his teeth and shuts his eyes as he screams to the voice from within his head, "No! I can't accept the order for such an awful thing!"

The voice gets louder, "If you do this she will realize that you will do anything for her; she will start to accept you. This is what you have to do, the path to her heart is opening through this hate that she holds. This is the fist step needed to have her heart and mind cling to your image."

"But I can't do this!"

"Oh but you can, just allow me to help you."

"That's what I don't get! How are you going to help me? Especially in this situation!!?"

The voice is now so loud that it is giving Dice a banging migraine.

"I will show you."

Within an instant, the headache disappears and his body feels incredibly light, so light that he does not notice that his hands are moving by themselves.

(Huh? What's happening?) he thinks to himself.

And this thought enters his mind more and more when he begins to hear himself talk without his consent.

"You are right, Rain." he says.

Rain looks at him with a confused expression until her eyebrows steadily form back into a frown. "I don't want to hear how you're going to tell me I'm right, only to add a 'but' at the end."

Dice smiles, "That's not what I'm going to do this time... in fact, that's not what I'm going to do ever again."

"What are you talking about?" she asks.

"By seeing your face just now, I realized that what you want from me is not kindness, but support. It’s why you told me to trust you isn’t it?"

Rain stays silent as she watches him say and do things that are baffling her; she watches as he pulls out the saber from his sheath and points it at Jalet.

Jalet's jaw drops, his fear is paramount when he looks into Dice's eyes and sees no hint of any emotion, only the cold glare of someone who is about to take a life.

"N-No don't! Didn't you just say that you'd help me!?!?!" Jalet shouts in a panic.

Dice shows no thread of hesitation when he says, "That was before I understood Rain's feelings... I can only understand her if I can feel the same pain that she does. The pain of losing a father because of a gingerly weakling who wasn't paying attention! You do deserve this punishment!"

Rain is taken aback, this transformation of character is an exact 180. She can't believe that he'd even say something like that and is beginning to wonder if he has always had this within him.

With widened eyes she asks Dice, "You aren't actually going to do this are you!?"

Dice looks at her and gently smiles, "I must do this, to show you that what I said was true."

He lifts his saber and slices down on Jalet's neck, completely lopping off his head in a clean strike.

As soon as his lifeless body hits the ground a couple soldiers run and grab his corpse to take it into the woods for burial.

Rain can't believe what she had just seen, an odd feeling begins to brew in her chest and she doesn't know if it is good or bad, but she knows it is tightly squeezing at her.

With a cracked voice she says, "You... you actually did it."

She shakes her head and quickly comes to her senses, she looks at the multi-colored eyed blond man on the horse and orders, "I want you to find someone worthy of becoming the Captain of this squad... and make sure he is good too, he will be taking over my father's former position."

"Yes ma'am."

"Wait!" shouts Dice before the man can take off. He puts his hand on his chest and kneels toward Rain. "Please... allow me to take that seat."

"What?" she asks with one eyebrow raised.

"I don't think anyone other than me is better suited to take control of your father's division."

"But you aren't allowed to fight."

"I don't have to... I can lead them in a similar fashion as you."

Rain thinks about it for a moment and is about to refuse until he looks her in the eye and quietly speaks so the others can't hear. "Please... I want to help you restore your name, by me doing this, it will show the people that I respect your father so much that I personally chose to command his own troops."

"Fine..." she replies. She gestures to the other onlooking men and says, "We leave in an hour, so get everyone prepared."

All of the men simultaneously shout "Yes ma'am!" and head off into the masses.

Rain has her composure back and she looks at Dice for a moment, the two aren't alone but no one around can hear their words. She folds her arms and stiffly asks, "Why did you do that?"

Dice stands from his kneeling position and walks to her side, he leans his head close to her ear so she can feel his warm breath when he says, "Because I love you."

He walks away into the crowd and leaves Rain standing there in the same spot.

When he said this, Rain has that tight feeling resurface once again in her chest, she puts her hand over her heart and asks herself, "This is interesting."


Dice is leaning over the bank of a river that runs through the trees and gags, he is desperately trying to vomit to relieve some of the nauseating feeling in his stomach. The images of the beheading flash into his mind like a strobe light cutting through the dark.

"I didn't want to do that! I didn't want to do that! I didn't want to do that! Why!? I told you no didn't I!? Why did you make me do it!?" he shouts in a panicked voice.

The voice of the snake rings in his head, "Did you not see the look in that girl's eyes? You have made a large impact on her from just that one action."

"It wasn't me who made an impact! You were the one who did all of that!"

"It was what needed to be done."

Dice starts throwing water on his face and shouts through the droplets, "I don't care! I don't want this deal anymore, I want to make her love me on my own!"


"Do you hear me!"

"Very well then... I shall leave you, but you will soon beckon me once again for knowledge when she comes to you and expects someone more to her liking."

The voice disappears and leaves Dice's mind to wander in its own dismay. He is breathing hard and drinks a big gulp of river water, he then shakily stands up and leans on a tree.

(Is he gone for good?) he thinks to himself.

He readies to remove the soaked white glove on his right hand to see if the pentagram is still apparent when he hears some footsteps crunching on some leaves from behind him.

He slowly turns to look assuming it is just a regular soldier checking in on him, but is in for a big surprise when he sees that it is none other than Rain.

"R-Rain? What are you doing here?"

Rain takes a couple more steps toward him and replies, "I just want to talk with you."

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