Dantega:Volume 5 Chapter 5

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(PART 2)

Jeffrey pulls out his dagger with a smooth motion so quick that nobody has even noticed it yet.

Unfortunately he won’t have the time to intersect Dice before he reaches his parents, so he plans to throw the blade from his position. Of course, there are about a dozen people standing in his way so he awaits the perfect time for him to weave his throw through the gaps in their figures.

Dice pulls his hand out of his pocket, and in that instant, time slows down and hits Jeffrey like a ton of bricks. He readies to throw the dagger with all his might when he catches sight of something that forces him to halt halfway through his motion.

What Dice pulled out of his jacket wasn’t a knife, nor any kind of weapon for that matter; it ended up being a small box with a little red ribbon on it. Jeffrey immediately puts his dagger back into his coat pocket and to his surprise no one noticed.

All eyes are on Dice at this moment when he says, “I’d like to give you a gift upon celebrating your safe return.”

A perfectly inauthentic smile was worn on his face as he said that, it’s almost as fake as someone being forced to smile for a picture they didn’t want taken.

However, Gile and Diana don’t catch the imposturous grin and happily accept the item.

“I’m no good with opening frilly presents like these.” Gile says as he hands the box over to his wife, “Will you do the honors?”

Diana accepts and begins unwrapping the present neatly.

“You don’t think that could be a bomb, do you?” Elise asks, still on her guard.

“He isn’t Seiri, I doubt he could get his hands on something like that... I think.”

The two take weary steps back as Diana finally pulls out the item in the box and holds it up so everyone can see. It is two, expensive looking diamond necklaces, a silver one for the King and a gold one for the Queen. Though it doesn’t look like much thought was put into buying these, it still looks like it must have cost a fortune to purchase, so they are much appreciated both by his parents and the patrons surrounding the table.

“Thank you Dice, they're beautiful, this is a wonderful gift.” Diana said graciously, sounding like she meant every word.

Gile stands to his feet and addresses the party goers. “Everyone, my son has just returned from the battlefield. He has survived many hardships in order to return here to us, please give him a round of applause for his bravery.”

All the people in the hall begin to clap and Dice scratches his head bashfully.

Really though, his performance has all of them so fooled he should be put up for some kind of acting award. Only Jeffrey and Elise see the hate hidden behind that mask-like smile.

While still being applauded, Dice walks around the back of his parents and whispers to them, “I know you two are busy with being hosts tonight, would you happen to have time to meet in private tomorrow? I’d like to go over my experiences over the last few weeks on the battlefield.”

“Of course, I’d like to hear all about it. I’m curious as to why you’ve returned so early.” Gile replies.

Dice politely bows and replies, “I promise, I’ll tell you all about it.”

In the back of his mind an angry voice is speaking the words he can’t allow to leave his mouth.

(You already know, you bastard.)

“Good.” Gile says, patting Dice’s shoulder. “How about we meet at the top of the castle for lunch? Does noon sound good to you?”

“Noon sounds great.”

Dice again bows and walks off with his head held high; with his back turned to everyone who could see, his face contorts as he clenches his fists.

“Tomorrow’s meeting will be the death of you... Mom and Dad.”

“Should we follow him?” Elise asks upon seeing Dice exit the room.

Jeffrey is now relaxing near the buffet table and pouring himself a glass of wine, he chugs it quickly and lets out a loud exhale of relief. “Forget it. He’s not going to do anything tonight; we’ll continue our surveillance bright and early tomorrow. Until then, I’m going to take advantage of all this free shit.”

Elise takes a sigh of resignation and joins him for a drink. “Fine, let’s just make sure we have our own weapons on us tomorrow. I don’t know if we could’ve won tonight if it came down to a fight.”

“I agree, I don’t want to be caught with my dick in my hands again. We’ll be fully prepared to assassinate the Prince come tomorrow.”

“So let me get this straight, you were the object of that girl Rain’s hate and Noah used you to save her from it. Once you weren’t of any use to him there he then sent you here to join us in retaking the country?” London asks.

Dv05-chp05 img003london.png

Ash, who is sitting on the other side of the table where Zurvick was just at, replies, “W-Well yeah in so many words.”

London made it sound like she was some kind of tool for Noah that lost its value after he used it. It actually offended her a little. With the little girl with black hair and violet eyes staring at her with a face full of skepticism, she finds herself feeling even more uncomfortable by that line of questioning.

“You sure did come at the perfect time; we’re just about done with the recruiting stages for the rebellion. You’d be surprised at how many people want to jump right into something like this even though having a new leader hasn’t affected them personally. A couple weeks is all it took to gather over four thousand citizens and rogue soldiers who swore allegiance to the Queen.”

“That’s reassuring, I was worried that not many people would join. Even when I got here there didn’t seem to be any sense of urgency with them.”

“Oh trust me there is, if you looked close enough you’d find it. Today is the last day before we launch our attack, a lot of people are going to die tomorrow. They know it, we know it, an inevitability to say the least.” London leaned back in his chair and looked around when he said that.

The dozens of other people in the wine cellar are all chatting with each other, sharing drinks and being merry. This is their way of preparing for the bloodbath to come. Of course, others will react differently but most just want to enjoy the day that could be their last to the fullest.

Ash looks around and somewhat notices the same thing, a solemn sigh is given when she replies, “It’s just a shame that everyone who dies tomorrow, no matter which side, will be Trojans.”

“You can’t think that way.” London says, shifting his gaze to her. “There are only two types of people in this world, allies and enemies. It doesn’t matter where you’re from; the person trying to kill you is no one other than the enemy.”

It is likely this stern statement has come from his experiences as a Knight, or he was taught to think that way since the beginning of his training.

But Ash thinks those words remind her of someone.

“Did you get that from Noah?”

“I will admit that he has said something along those lines before, but both he and I were taught that lesson by General Napoleon.”

“General Napoleon huh.”

Just hearing that name gives her the shivers, she had grown up hearing horror stories about him after his stunning victory over Troy in the Battle of La’Juune, she finds it hard to separate the myth from the man that the people in front of her trained under.

“That’s right; if you’re smart you’d take that advice. Abandoning all the guilt that goes along with killing someone beforehand makes the job easier.”

London’s voice is as unwavering as ever, he knows that he’s right and this is his way of trying to help her so she doesn’t become a burden.

“I won’t be able to do that. A man once told me that after killing someone comes the most empty feeling in the world. I don’t want to forsake the pain it’ll give me, that’d be like throwing the essence of the other person’s being away. That’s not fair.”

London faintly laughs, “An innocent girl you are... too innocent. I hate to say it to you but that man was wrong; there is no other feeling than what you want it to be. If he was smart he would force himself not to feel anything, only the weak do the opposite. The essence of a dead person only exists for scavenging animals feeding on his corpse.”

His words come across as exceptionally callous; he’s an expert and one of the ten best at his job in which the main work he does is kill people. He knows all too well what it’s like to end a life, and it would seem that he has lost his humanity in the process of the many times he’s done so.

She could be staring a monster like that straight in the eye, but what he said simply proves to herself that Zurvick was right.

She frowns and squeezes the skirt she is wearing when she replies, “Don’t you dare say something like that.”

“No reason to get offended, I’m merely telling you how it is. When people die, they die. There’s no sugar coating it with gentle words and pretty euphemisms, once they’re dead, they’re worthless to the living.”

This sends her over the edge; she stands to her feet and scowls at him. The next thing she knew, she had sent the table flying across the room in a blind rage. To her, he is specifically tarnishing the memory of Zurvick, he is basically telling her to forget about him just because he’s dead, he is nobody now that he’s not breathing.

Well she won’t accept that kind of talk, especially not from one of the men responsible for his death.

“Even after they're gone, the lives of those we care about still have the ability to shape those of us left behind. Do you think that just because some heartless bastard like you says so, I’ll accept that King Zurvick’s life is now meaningless and toss him aside? He’s not dead in my mind, nor will he ever be, you got that!?”

London smiles and stays silent; he folds his arms and leans back in his chair as though he was expecting her outrage.

“Who’s dead?”

A man said confusedly from the other side of the room, Ash shifts her scowl in that direction and sees a sight that makes her face turn pale in an instant.

“Wooaah it’s you Captain! It’s been a long time!” Zurvick shouts, completely unaware of Ash’s emotional state at the moment.

He and Haas just happened to walk through the door and caught the tail end of Ash's exclamation.

“Y-You’re alive..?” Ash mumbles in shock.

“Did you believe Sturgess’s lies about me? I told you I’m one lucky bastard, there was no way I would go out like that.” Zurvick replied while scratching his head in a laugh.

“B-But I couldn’t find you... I saw you blow up!” she shouts, becoming teary eyed with each word.

“A funny story about that, I’m gonna have to tell you later though.” Zurvick then turns to London and says, “About the rebellion... Let me join you.”

London finally stands up himself; he pushes up his glasses and answers, “Glad to have you aboard.”

“WAIT A SECOND!!” Ash yells as she runs up to Zurvick and kicks him extremely hard in the shin.

He, like usual, overreacts and hits the deck as if he had been struck by a baseball bat.

“Oooaaah!? What did you do that for Captain!? This was supposed to be a happy reunion!”

Ash pounces atop of him and starts beating on him, “This was supposed to be a happy reunion until you decided to ignore my shock and talk to someone else like it never even happened! To me, I just saw a freakin’ ghost!”

“But I told you that I wasn’t going to die.” Zurvick replied softly with a strained smile, he was beginning to see the distraught on her face.

“Shut up, don’t think you’re getting off easy on this one... I thought I saw you die, and I looked for you in the rubble for hours. So give me a break.”

By now tears are falling down Ash’s cheeks and landing on Zurvick's forehead.

“I’m sorry.”

Ash takes a couple deep breaths and wipes her face quickly to hide the fact that she was crying. But the thought of all she has gone through the last couple months since the Night of the Ball is overwhelming her with emotions. She had travelled to La’Juune and slept under the same roof as the person that ordered Zurvick’s death and found it in her heart to forgive him. She had fought against a vessel of Satan and narrowly escaped with her own life. All of this was done under the impression that the person she had just kicked was dead, she had completely altered her life to make amends for it.

Now here he is, alive and well, and he looks surprised that she had ever thought he was dead in the first place.

It takes her another few moments to compose herself before huffs air out of her nose; with both her hands she pinches Zurvick’s cheeks and starts stretching them out.

“I can’t believe you’re actually here.”

“I’m here and that hurts.”

“You’re alive, you’re alive!!”

“Uuuahhhhahaahh!? Stop it! What’s with this sudden assault on my face!?”

Ash is squeezing him, slapping him, pulling his hair, poking his eyes, doing whatever it takes to cause him discomfort. She was serious when she said she wasn’t going to go easy on him, she’s lived what has felt like a lifetime of events since she thought he died, and until things are properly explained to her she’s going to punish him for making her think that for so long.

Seiri, who was sitting beside London on the table before it was tossed, hops off of her booster seat and walks over to London. “What are you, some kind of shrink?”

“Oh so you noticed?”

“The way you dug at those two, there was a reason for that right?”

“Yeah... You know, it has been said that when one feels the greatest pain that their true character reveals itself. I knew that that girl was the Captain of Zurvick’s division, and I knew that the two of them were in Tronoble together and that just like us she thought the King was dead. By telling her the wicked truth of death it stirred up a deep resentment in her that showed me who she really is, it showed me if I can trust her with my life or not.” “And the verdict?”

“It’s just as Noah said, her role in this story is here with us.”

London leans down and grabs the paper carrying the battle plans and hands it to Seiri.

“Take a quick picture of the King alongside the others once he is done being beat up by that girl. Go to the newspapers and have them make as many copies of our plan and the picture as possible. Don’t be careless and get caught while doing so.”

“You don’t have to worry about me screwing up.” Seiri replies, offended that he even felt the need to say that.

She turns away and goes to get her camera when London speaks once again, “Oh and one more thing. Tell him that the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper should say, ‘The King is alive and here in the Capital.’”

Seiri smiles and trots away, “Yes sir.”

London looks over to Lennox and finds that he is at the bar talking to one of the few women in the room at the moment. He sighs at his comrade’s dispassion in a time like this; apparently Lennox doesn’t think this mission is important enough to stop him from hitting on a random girl.

Nonetheless, he grabs a glass and a butter knife and beats on it, gathering everyone’s attention.

“All of us are here for the future of Troy... so allow me to make an announcement.”

Captain Red Spektor is walking alone in a hallway at the La’Juutian weapons plant in the most southern part of the country. It is extremely cold in the building because the vents that pump hot air are currently on operational downtime. Each step he makes, the sound of his steel-toe boots hitting the metal ground makes an ominous echo.

He stops for a moment and begins talking. “You know what, I’m tired of looking for these damn intruders. I thought you told me that I’d be able to kill as many people as I want when I joined up with you?”

Out of Red’s hand comes the familiar black snake that has been plaguing the world the last few months. “You haven’t had any consequences for your actions yet have you?”

Red scratches his head. “I guess not, but I want to kill more than what I have been. Killing off the same kind of people gets boring, I need some excitement.”

“Things will get exciting I promise you that... What if I told you that the intruders are actually two of the Ten Knights of La’Juune?”

Red’s face lights up when he hears this. “Really!? Ohooo that’d be fucking great, I’ve been dying to test out my strength on someone worth killing.”

The snake slithers up his arm and says, “That is why I respect you Captain Red, your only desire in life is to kill as many people as possible. Someone with a mindset like that deserves to have the shackles of law unhooked from his ankles.”

“Damn right, everyone dies, they should be happy that they were killed by me. Living a boring, carefree life is a waste of breath. That being said, when I die I fully expect to go to Hell. You promised me that I'd snag a spot as one of your Dukes down there, don’t forget.”

“Of course my fair Captain, I never go back on my word.”

“Hahahaha bullshit I don’t believe that, you’re the fucking Devil, of course you do.”

“You have no need to fret, you see, that pentagram on your hand is a contract formed between you and I, the terms and conditions are set. The only way I can terminate that contract is if you fail.”

“I ain’t gonna fail, I’m too cool to lose. I’ve always been that way, and I always will. Consider the distribution of those new weapons done.”

“The guns that I taught you to make are the best killing machines man has to offer. We’ll expand from there, the weapons used to destroy human life will become more advanced and you’ll watch the degradation of humanity right before your very eyes.”

“Oho man do I like the sound of that. There's poetry to it that’s soothing to the ears, like a mother's lullaby or some shit. It’s beautiful, gorgeous, perfection!”

“This contract is mutually beneficial after all; we’ll share in the pleasures of watching the world burn. All that’s left for you to do is get rid of those Knights and restart our normal operations here, once back in operation we’ll be just a short time away.”

The snake recedes back into Red’s hand and disappears from sight; Red stops walking and picks at his ear while looking around.

“Oh yeah I almost forgot about those intruders... Hmmm, if I was a well-trained killing machine like those two are, what would I be doing at this very moment?”

He then starts tapping on the wall with his knuckles, causing a clicking noise that echoes in a similar fashion to his boots.

“I’d move in silence until I found the perfect opportunity to assassinate whoever it is I was supposed to kill. Which means I’d wait for him to be alone and defenseless, just like I am now.”

Red keeps tapping his knuckle on the metal walls when he suddenly stops. The sound the last click made is different from the others. Instead of the hollow ‘Clack’ noise, it made a more solid sounding ‘Clunk’.

A thin smile arises from the edges of his mouth as if he had just found gold. He sets his palm flat on the wall and shouts,


He swings his palm away from the wall and the metal wall contrived like aluminum foil and crashes onto the hallway floor. The heating vent that was connected to that wall falls and hits the ground, he grabs onto that as well and the vent splits in half vertically and opens up wide as if being forced apart by some giant can opener.

Two figures fly out of the vent and dash away from him on both sides.

Now surrounded, Red shows no sign of worry when he holds his sides and starts laughing. “Huaahahaha well looky here. Two fucking chicks caused all this damage!?”

Allia immediately prepares to fire an arrow from her bow; she points it directly at the back of Red’s neck when she says, “Captain Red Spektor, the Crown of La’Juune has found you guilty of treason. Therefore you are sentenced to death.”

An odd chuckle forms in the pit of Red’s chest upon hearing that. “Oho how professional, hearing a cute girl talk in such an orderly fashion is quite the turn on. It’s a shame, such a damn shame that I’m gonna have to kill you.”

“Such a waste of your final words.”

Allia shoots her arrow, Red doesn’t even turn around or try to avoid it. The arrow gets within a couple inches of his neck when it is suddenly stopped in its tracks and suspended in the air.


“Come on, a fucking arrow?” Red turns around and reveals his right hand that has a black ink-like substance swirling around it.

Looking closely, Allia can see that the black water is connected to the tip of the arrow, this is what stopped it from striking him.

Red snaps his fingers and the arrow turns around and shoots in Allia’s direction. She desperately tries to move out of the way but it becomes obvious that she won’t be able to avoid being hit. That’s when a gold shield bounces off the walls of the hallway and deflects the arrow at the last second.

After successfully defending Allia, the motion of the shield doesn’t stop, it skims off the roof and zooms at Captain Red. The tips of this shield are razor sharp, if this connects with human flesh at this speed the results will certainly lead to decapitation.

But to the chagrin of the laws of physics, Red smiles and holds out his bare hand and grabs the shield before it hits him. The shield’s momentum is brought to an abrupt stop.

Red examines the weapon and says, “Now this is what I’m talking about. You must be Celestia Letrova right? Being in the business of weapons I’ve heard about this little toy you've invented. It must feel great to lop off someone’s dome with this thing.”

“I-Impossible...” Celestia mutters in disbelief, Red’s hand should easily have been cut off.

Red cracks his neck and shouts, “I hope you don’t mind if I try it out, do you!?”

He swings his body and hurls the shield back at Celestia like a frisbee, sending it sliding against the metal wall at an incredible speed. The wall is viciously split as sparks fly all about; Celestia tries to maneuver the shield back under her control with her glove but the force in which it is moving is far too great. The shield bounces off the wall due to its spin and dashes straight right, directly on a path towards Celestia’s neck.

The razor sharp edges of her own weapon will decapitate her unless she moves quickly on her feet, not having enough time to evade, she twists her wrist as fast as she can. The shield’s trajectory remains the same but its rotation switches from a horizontal spinning motion to vertical. This narrows its kill radius tenfold; but this maneuver is not enough to avoid getting hit by it, it zooms past her face and barely grazes her shoulder before crashing into the wall behind her with a loud bang. Her blood flies as she falls back from the force of the impact.


Even though the wound will definitely need stitches, it’s not life threatening, she narrowly avoided having her head roll on the ground by intentionally allowing herself to get hit.

“I’m fine.” she says as she winces, she sends an angered glare at Red and finishes, “Something tells me this bastard isn’t going to be as easy as the last one.”

Allia clicks her tongue and her whole demeanor changes, she takes another arrow and points it at him.

Being in the middle of the two girls in this narrow hallway, Red can’t help but feel cornered. However, not a worry appears on his face as he smiles and holds out his arms.

“I can feel it... Someone’s gonna die here for sure! There’s no better feeling than this! To kill or be killed is the best drug one could ask for, this is better than sex don’t you think?”



The two girls stay silent and keep their guard up, glaring at him intently.

“Oho no reaction eh? I guess this must be the Knights of La’Juune’s way of doing things, work is work for you guys. You probably think nothing of taking another’s life. And you know what? I hate those kinds of people the most, you’re supposed to take pleasure in it. It’s a waste of time otherwise.”

Allia shoots her arrow and it slides by Red’s face, even though she intentionally missed him to intimidate him into silence, he didn’t even flinch.

“Shut up you freak.”

“Huahahaha that’s not the professional talk that I think is sexy. That was weak, lame, garbage, unattractive.”

“We’re not here to talk.” Celestia added, “We’re here to kill you.”

“That’s more like it, a great improvement!! Show me the best La’Juune has to offer!!”

A black watery substance surrounds Red, this is the trigger motion for Allia and Celestia. They simultaneously fire their weapons and the battle for the weapons plant officially begins.

Rain is frozen; the Eiyalazonian soldier is alone with the King of La’Juune and a former Battle Strategist in the cabin of a carriage. Even with her great mind she can’t find a way out of this, the only thing she can hope for is to lie to him and see if he’ll fall for it. By all means telling the truth is out of the question.

Without looking the soldier in the eyes she bows and says, “How can we help you sir?”

“If you don’t mind me asking, I’d like to know where you’re from and where you are heading.” The soldier asks.

Rain is trying to come up with an excuse when her thought process is interjected by Noah saying, “The Capital.”

“Is that so? Well then, where are you coming from?”

“We are Eiyalazonian citizens that were in the country of La’Juune when the war started. We were taken in as hostages but we managed to escape.” Rain smoothly lies, if one didn’t know any better anyone would believe her story from the delivery of her words alone.

“Would you mind showing us some sort of identification? There’s been a lot of people defecting to different sides from all three countries. We’re never too sure who’s lying or not.”

Rain tightened her jaw when he asked that; she doesn’t have any form of I.D and Noah certainly doesn’t have any.

She continues with her lie and says, “The country of La’Juune took everything from us, they had even blinded my partner here during an interrogation. All we want is to go back home, please let us pass.”

Such a sob story, who knows where she came up with that, perhaps she even thought of it on the spot the moment when the soldier knocked on the cabin door. Whenever it was, it’s definitely the best she has to offer. During times of war, things like that happen quite often, it’s not too much of a stretch for the soldier to actually fall for it and show her sympathy.

Rain is still bowing while she pleads.

The man sighs and leans his back up against the cabin door. “Is that so..?” he says in a fashion that screams out skepticism. “Then how did you come about this expensive carriage?”

This question is what she was hoping to avoid, she hasn’t come up with an excuse for that yet. Being prisoners of war that had narrowly escaped torture, there’s no way they’d be able to acquire something as high class as this, anyone can see that this is certainly off. That’s like living in a mansion but still having to dig potatoes out of the dirt for food.

Rain has nothing to say to that, she stays silent and contemplates another way out of this when Noah steps in front of her and removes his blindfold.

“What are you doing!?” Rain inquires as she pulls his sleeve trying to get him to sit back down on the seat.

Noah shrugs her off and says to the soldier, “Enough with the silly games... Captain Heinrich Zimmer.”

That name is sent flying through Rain’s memory like a flash of lightning. She lifts her head up with eyes wide open and catches her first good look at him. He has blond hair with two different colored eyes, one being green and the other being blue. He’s not too old but not a young man either, he’s most likely in his mid-twenties so he doesn’t give off the impression of a battle hardened soldier. This man is undoubtedly the person Rain was giving orders to only a little more than a month ago. He was second in command to Rain in the 1st Royal Army division that she was supposed to lead to victory in the sacking of Tronoble.


He winks at her, revealing his blue eye and waves arrogantly. “Long time no see Brigadier General Rain Von Ronheim.”


“Sorry for interrogating you. You see, I knew who you were all along, I just wanted to get back at you for all the crap I had to deal with when I was serving under your command.”

Heinrich shifts his attention from the shocked Rain to Noah. He bows respectfully and says, “King Noah, I await your orders.”

“Wait a second, just what the hell is going on here!? The two of you know each other?” Rain shouts.

Noah shrugs his shoulders and answers, “Remember when I told you I had a spy working in the Eiyalazonian military that was close to you? Well, this is him.”

“You’re the spy?”

“That's right.” Heinrich says politely, “Allow me to reintroduce myself... I am Heinrich Zimmer, the ‘Chameleon’ of the Dravic Branch of La’Juune.”

“I’m sure you’ve heard of the Dravic Branch.” Noah adds, “This man here is the top spy from there. The nickname ‘Chameleon’ was given to him because of his ability to adapt and change his own personality in order to fit the environment the people around him have created. He never wavers from the personality that suits the people he’s spying on, thus the reason why you never suspected him of being an enemy.”

Hearing praise from the King is like music to Heinrich’s ears, he soaks it all in as Rain asks, “So the reason why my division didn’t come back with Dice to help me in Tronoble was because of you..?”

“Yeah, I assumed control of the 1st Royal Army division the moment the time in which you promised your return had passed. I hope you don’t hold a grudge against me, but I naturally blamed the whole thing on you.”

“I see...”

Normally, Rain would be brewing with the hot sensation of hate right now. She looks over to Noah, who is sending her a glare of worry about this very thing.

She smiles and flicks Noah’s forehead, “Don’t look at me like that.”

She then turns to Heinrich and says, “I’m no longer interested in holding grudges for things I can do nothing about now. This pest of a king of yours has helped me see the errors in my ways.”

“Wow King Noah, I must commend you. I personally thought that this girl was the most rotten person in the world. For you to have changed her like this must’ve been a miracle.”

“No, it wasn’t me.” Noah replies as he rubs his forehead, his sleepy expression lights up a little when he grabs onto the familiar right hand of Rain. “She changed herself, I had nothing to do with it.”

“That’s even more surprising.” Heinrich says, a little flustered at the cute face Rain is showing at this moment. He grumbles as he clears his throat and asks, “So what are your orders King Noah? Where do we go from here?”

Noah smiles confidently and answers, “To the Capital.”

“Understood, it’s quite the coincidence that my division is heading back to the Capital on leave. Since we’re all going to the same place, shall my division and I escort you?”

“That’d be great.”

“Yes sir.”

Heinrich hops out of the cabin and salutes to Noah through the doorway, before shutting the door he says, “From here, we’ll reach the Capital by noon tomorrow. I’ll inform you when we get close to the Castle.”

“Thanks Heinrich, you’ve done a great job.”

The door is shut and the feeling of the carriage moving once again is felt. Looking out the window, one can see that they are moving in unison with the entire division that Rain used to command.

An amazing turn of events to say the least; what are the chances of something like this actually happening?

Extremely low; far too low for this to even be a possibility, that is unless...

She turns to Noah who is sitting comfortably on the seat while still holding her hand and asks, “You knew this was going to happen... This was all part of your plan right?”

Noah pulls her hand down gently, prompting her to sit alongside him when he answers, “You should know by now that I never haphazardly do anything unless I’m forced to. When I say we’re going to do something, even if it is something as silly as flying a kite, I’ll make proper preparations for it ahead of time.”

“Hmph!” Rain puffs, “You could have at least told me, you shitty Prince. That whole situation almost made me panic.”

“You were worried about my safety? Why thank you Rain, that means a lot.”

“About you? Don’t flatter yourself, I wasn’t worried about you at all. It’s just that without you this war can’t be stopped.”


“What’s so funny?”

“I’ve heard of this kind of attitude before, it’s called... Hmm what was that? Oh yeah, Tsun-----”

Rain takes a pillow from the seat and hits him in the face with it really hard. “Don’t even think about finishing that sentence.”

The smile on Noah’s face doesn’t leave him and he keeps on laughing.

Rain tries to get up and walk to the other side of the cabin but is stopped by his grip on her hand.

“Let go, I won’t just sit by while you make a fool out of me like you always do.”

“Oh come on, I was just joking.”

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you’re terrible at jokes. So let go.”


Rain clicks her tongue and scowls at him, the persistent part about Noah is the part she dislikes the most.

With a sigh of resignation, she relaxes her shoulders and asks, “Well then, since you’re the kind of person who’d think so far ahead just to fly something as dumb as a kite, what makes you want to hold my hand right now?”

Noah stands up and gets close to her; he looks her square in the eyes when he answers, “Do you really want to know?”

“Of course I do, I wouldn’t have asked you otherwise, you idiot.”

Noah inches his face closer to her, she backs up a little confusedly but he doesn't stop pressing forward until her back hits the cabin wall. By now Rain’s thought process is clouded and her body’s senses are tingling from his energy.

Just what is he doing? Is he teasing her again? But what’s with this serious look in his eyes?


“Ssh, don’t talk.” Noah interrupts.

The two of them can feel the warmth of each other’s breaths on their faces and the tension in between them is like a wall ready to be broken at any moment. “Close your eyes, Rain.”

Rain is hesitant at first, but she is not really in the mood to fight him for some reason. She shuts her eyes just as he asked her to.

(Is... Is he going to do what I think he is?) Rain thinks to herself, her face is becoming red and her heart is beating wildly. She starts feeling his face getting closer to her and her mind continues to race. (Is he really going to kiss me!?)

Thinking that this is what he is going to do, she considers moving her head, but her body won’t move. It’s as though it wants this to happen, and won’t budge until it is over. She is going to let him kiss her without even knowing why.

However, she feels his face move past her lips and the air from his breath hits her ears.

His voice is soft, so soft that if his mouth wasn’t so close to her ear she wouldn’t be able to hear him.



“I’m going to die.”

She instantly opens her eyes in shock, her shoulders jolted when he said that and her body starts shaking.

“I thought I told you to close your eyes.”


Noah then grabs onto her other hand, he stares at her intently when he says his words in an almost monotonous tone, “The reason why I’m holding on to your hand is because I like to. To be perfectly honest, I love it. There’s no thinking ahead here, there’s not a thought of anything other than the moment of touching you. I want to cherish these moments because I know I won’t have many of them left. You see, I’m extremely happy right now, can’t you see it on my face?”

Looking at the expressionless face residing on Noah, there’s no way she can tell that he’s actually happy. It’s more like he is giving a stern speech to a school child that had just stolen a piece of candy.

She doesn’t understand, she’s hopelessly confused; the sounds coming from the back of her throat are attempting to ask questions but aren't forming out of the front of her mouth.

“You were right about me being sick.” Noah continues. “I’m horribly sick, unfortunately, an irrecoverable sickness that can’t be cured. I don’t know how much time I have left, so I want to allow myself to be a little selfish before I pass. Of course, if you really don’t consent to it I’ll force myself to let go of your hand.”

“Y-You’re kidding... This isn’t a funny joke Noah!!”

Noah faintly smiles, “You were right, I’m not good at jokes; I don’t even know why I try. I’m no good at many things actually, how I express my feelings seems to be my worst trait.”

Noah squeezes her hands and never shifts his gaze from her eyes as he continues.

“You see, I had thought I’d abandoned them a long time ago in order to become a perfect General. I was on that path until I had come across a troubled Battle Strategist from an enemy country who I found an incredible need to help. That’s when I started to see what that girl was truly like, and it made me feel... I guess odd is the best way to explain it. She made me want to give myself away to her, the person I was supposed to be was bred to live in a world of conflict, and this Battle Strategist gave me the hope that I could exist outside of that world if only I gave myself to her instead. Does that even make any sense?”

“N-Noah... Wh---“

“I guess not, it certainly doesn’t make sense to me.” Noah interrupts her again, “Knowing why this has happened is beyond the realm of what I can understand, I wasn’t prepared for it, nor am I equipped to handle it now.”

Having Noah spill his guts to her so suddenly has gotten her feeling as if this will be the last conversation with him. It’s like a criminal that confesses to crimes no one ever found out about on his deathbed.

It’s leaving a horrid pain reverberating in her chest as he continues to speak.

“But because I don’t know, I’m obliged to act upon these feelings with no plan for the future… Even though the setting of this cabin behind enemy territory isn't romantic at all, even if you end up hating me for it, I can’t keep myself from giving everything I have left to you.”

Noah pulls her towards him and asks, “So can you please close your eyes once more?”

She takes a deep breath and hesitatingly closes them again.

Noah’s voice gets closer to her when she feels the air of his words as he says,

“This is all I have.”

Their lips touch, much to the contrary of what she expected, the kiss he gave her is surprisingly gentle.

To Noah’s surprise, she didn’t even flinch when the feeling of her soft lips reached his.

This sends his feelings in a jumble, does she want this? Is she just scared? Is she sowing a cute blushing face right now? Or is she frowning in disgust? But none of these thoughts matter, nothing is going to keep him from stopping this moment in time. He’s going to take this experience to his heart’s content because chances are, it won’t happen again.

After a couple long seconds, Noah backs his face away from her and opens his eyes, he looks at her and is amazed to see the beautifully cute blushing face she’s wearing with her eyes still closed.

He smiles tenderly and says, “You can open your eyes now.”

She slowly opens her eyes, and a warm sensation escapes them and flows down her cheeks. She is crying as though she had just let out the pressure in the dam that was holding her heart back. The truth is, she is aching, her heart hurts so bad it’s forcing her to cry.

“I’m sorry...” Noah says as he looks away, “I won’t ask you to forgive me.”

“What are you talking about!?”


“There’s nothing to apologize for...”

“Then why are you crying?”


She puts her face in his chest, her lips are quivering.

“You said you’re going to die soon... if this is another terrible attempt at a joke, I’ll kill you myself.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Stop apologizing and tell me that it isn’t true!”

“I’m sorry, Rain… I am going to die.”

The next morning, the Capital of Troy awakens to a historic day. Today is the day that the Trojan people take their country back from a traitor, today is the day that the Queen reinstates her rightful position as ruler of this great country.

The morning sun shines gracefully over the white castle of Troy. The morning air is crisp with a gentle cool breeze, and the warmth of the water in the moat that stretches around the castle is steaming upon its touch, adding serenity to the atmosphere around the place. Just another perfect morning in the most beautiful city in the world.

No one would expect that the fresh clean air reaching the noses at this peaceful moment of time is about to be tainted with the smell of blood. There is a large clock tower above the entrance of the castle grounds, and there are four guards stationed there and many more throughout the outskirts of the grounds and inside the castle’s gates. These guards are led by Anders Henson and are under the control of General Sturgess.

These people are the enemies of Troy.

The men standing at the foot of the clock tower are yawning in boredom, they’ve been stationed here since earlier in the morning, and the fact that they are almost off shift seemingly makes the time move slower. The clock is only a minute or so from 9, and when it gets there, their grueling eight hour shift is over.

They stare at it anxiously as the minute hand slowly reaches the twelve and the bell sounds for the new hour. They all take a weathered sigh in relief as they prepare to make their return to the barracks.

However, an odd sensation comes over them and they are suddenly stopped in their tracks.


The clock tower explodes and debris is sent flying all over, the men under the tower who were walking to the barracks are shredded to pieces along with it. All across the walls of the castle grounds, more explosions that stretch in the mile long radius circling the castle pop in split second intervals. Like dominos falling, the explosions spread and the morning sky is filled with the color orange and the smell of smoke.

“Wow wow wow so perfect!” Seiri shouts as she looks on from a distant building through binoculars.

She has a perfect view of the destruction she caused from this vantage point.

Standing next to her is Lennox, Haas, and London.

“I thought I told you not to destroy any structure of the castle?” London asked after the tailend of a sigh.

“Collateral damage is collateral damage. There’s no avoiding it.” she replies.

“She’s right.” Lennox says, looking at himself in the mirror like usual. “Who cares if the King gets pissed, it’s not our problem.”

“...Agreed...” Haas added.

London pushes up his glasses as he watches thousands of Trojan citizens rushing into the castle grounds, by now an alarm has set off at the castle, guards and other enemy soldiers come rushing to the moat in order to stop the invading citizens.

Bodies fall into the lukewarm water of the moat, instantly turning it red with blood. He is witnessing the battle for Troy unfold and the immediate loss of life is quick evidence of what’s at stake here, this rebellion is the human embodiment of determination and grit. Watching this scene of two opposing views of the same nationality clash is brewing up an indescribable feeling in him.

He smiles and pulls out his fencing sword, he walks toward the door and addresses the others, “Let’s go, it’s time for the Knights of La’Juune to fulfill their mission here in Troy. Collateral damage be damned.”

Haas pulls out his twin blades, Lennox takes his broadsword and throws it over his shoulder, and Seiri juggles a few of her flasks as they follow him out of the room and head out to the battle.

“King Sturgess! The castle is under attack!” A man shouts after banging on the door of Sturgess’s room.

“I know.” Sturgess replies with an angered frown on his face, he is looking out the window and watching the scene unfold.

Just a few minutes earlier he was awakened by the sound of dozens of explosions from all around the castle.

He clicks his tongue and opens the door only to be met by the panic stricken face of the guard who had just reported the chaos outside.

“Who is responsible for this? The people of Troy are actually trying to fight back?” Sturgess asks himself as he strokes his beard.

Not expecting an answer, his petrified guard hands him a newspaper and says, “This was shot over the moat a moment ago by a catapult.”

Sturgess grabs it in an annoyed motion. “Don’t feed into this propaganda, they are trying to mess with your heads. This is just a-------“

In a split second, his face contorts into an odd shape.

He caught glimpse of the headlines stating,


“What the fuck is this?” he mutters, glaring at the picture of Zurvick alive and well with a group of citizens in some kind of wine cellar.

He tries to debunk this picture as some kind of fake, but his instincts know that this is a real situation he’s found himself confronted by.

He crumbles it up and throws it on the ground while shouting, “Damn it!! That bastard always finds a way to survive!”


“Go down to the castle grounds and fight with the others!”

“Yes sir.”

The guard rushes off and leaves him alone.

He grits his teeth so hard that a cracking noise exits his mouth. “There’s still time.” he says through his shut mouth, a thin smile forms as he takes off running. “There’s still time!!”

Sturgess enters the dungeon where he is keeping Lelaine imprisoned, it has been close to a month since he put her in here and she hasn’t been out yet. He lights some candles and with his sword he starts banging the metal bars of her cage to agitate her into waking up.

“Lelaine!!!” he shouts, “It’s time for you to come to me!!”

He pulls a key out of his pocket and opens the door to the cell, it is so quiet in here that he becomes suspicious that she is even alive. In the corner of the cell is the form of a person huddled in a blanket, he walks to it and kicks it.

Still no noise, his face distorts in worry when he fears that she might actually be dead. He hurriedly pulls the cover off of her, and to his relief, she is there, breathing with her eyes open.

She is alive.

But the terribly cold and empty look in her eyes and her overall body language looks like a person who has long been dead mentally. She looks to be the definition of a person whose body is alive but is dead inside.

Pleasured by her sad state, he feels as though he has accomplished one of his goals, he has broken her.

He grabs her arm and lifts her to her feet, she struggles to keep up as he walks her up the stairs and out of the dungeon.

She is in such a state of incoherence that she doesn’t even try to fight it, she has lost whatever strength she had when her hope was shattered.

Once in the castle, the light of the sun hits her through the windows and she feels a burning pain on her skin as her broken body reacts to the dramatic change in atmosphere. Her eyes burn due to them being in continuous darkness, exposed to such little light is like staring into the sun for her, yet she is so weak that she can’t even find the strength to close her eyes to stop the pain.

She can’t see, nor hear, she is gone.

Like a doll, she holds the same expressionless face and a motionless body.

Her legs stop and Sturgess begins to drag her along like a dead animal.

“You’re not in that bad of shape, you spoiled Queen. I made sure to feed you enough to where you didn’t lose too much weight, you pretty much look the same as when I left you.”

Sturgess knows that he is talking to no one, he’s speaking to her as though she understands him just so he can release his pent up frustration at the urgency he’s been forced to operate under.

He reaches a door with a couple of frightened looking maids standing in front it.

These maids do the basic work of the castle, as employees of the castle they’ve essentially been held hostage here since the coup. Now caught in between two fighting forces, their lives hang delicately upon the will of others.

Sturgess viciously tosses the limp body of Lelaine on the floor in front of them and orders, “Give her a bath and clean her up, put makeup on her, make her look nice and pretty and take her to my room when you’re done.”

The maids shake as they help Lelaine back to her feet and stare at him in fear.

“Hurry it up! I don’t have time for you to just stand there and stare at me!!”

“Y-Yes, right away sir!”

The maids take Lelaine into the room and shut the door behind them.

Sturgess rushes to one of the windows and looks down on the battle ensuing at the moat.

A wicked, thin smile surfaces on his face as he squeezes his right hand.

“This damn luck of yours has run out, Zurvick. I have the power to kill you myself now, so come to me! Hahahaha, I’ll be waiting with your wife!”

Zurvick and Ash run through the wave of enemy soldiers on the suspension bridge over the moat. It would seem that the surprise attack didn’t allow them enough time to pull it up because it is stacked with hundreds of people from both sides. Zurvick is leading the way, cutting through all who stand before him until he hits a wall of shield-bearing soldiers and he is pushed to a halt.

“Ash!” he shouts as he holds his hand out.

Ash doesn’t reply, but runs at him at full speed; she unhesitatingly jumps up and with her right foot lands on his open palm. He then catapults her over the opposing soldier’s heads; the guards have no clue what happened until they are struck down from behind by the sword of Ash.

This gives Zurvick just enough wiggle room to break through the line and reach the other side of the moat.

“Push forward!!” he shouts, gesturing to the citizens of the rebellion to follow his lead.

They all rush in simultaneously and overwhelm the last remaining guards on the bridge. Zurvick catches up to Ash and pats her on the shoulder.

“Good job, I’m glad to have you on my team again.”

“Idiot, don’t you realize that you’re on ‘my’ team?”

“Haha fair enough.”

The sound of screams from in front of them interrupts their touching display of camaraderie. Soldiers of the fortified castle are pouring down boiling oil and shooting flaming arrows at the citizens of the rebellion. Dozens of people are burning to death as the struggle to get through the castle door ensues.

“I’ll go help them!” Ash says as she sprints to their aid.

“Look out!”

Zurvick tackles her to the ground just in the nick of time, three arrows narrowly zoom past them and stick into the ground.

“You always have to look up when invading a castle. If you can time the attacks of the defenders, you can adequately uphold your offense.”

“O-Okay.” Ash replies as she stares at his hand that’s resting on her chest, she knows now isn’t the time to be flustered but she can’t help it.

Zurvick gets up from atop of her and looks up at his castle intensely. A little bitter that he didn’t even notice that he accidentally groped her, Ash stands to her feet and looks up with him.

In the window more than thirty stories up is the figure of the man responsible for all of this, Sturgess is looking down at them with a smile on his face while Trojans are dying.

“That bastard... What do you say we wipe that smile off his face, huh?” Ash asked Zurvick, pumping herself up in the process.

She runs to the aid of the others, all while looking up for incoming arrows.

But Zurvick’s glare is set solely on his former friend and ally; he takes a deep breath and forces himself to turn away.

“Hold out for just a little while longer Lelaine... I’m coming for you!!”

He rushes in and fights with the rest of the others.

Though everyone has their own reason to fight, Zurvick’s reason is simple.

Though the others have the pride of their motherland they are fighting for, Zurvick’s is more singular.

Though they fight for their loyalty to the Queen, he fights for the love he has for his wife.

But in this moment, they all share this battle together, whether it’s for the idea of the person and all she stands for, or the person herself.

They are all fighting to save Lelaine Niveusvenia, the Queen of Troy.

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