Katarina's POV

I asked Sharena, Alfonse, and Anna, "So...what kind of person is your summoner like?" Sharena giggled. "Oh, he's quite possibly the smartest we've ever seen. I heard that from his world, he would be the equivalent to a lower-class noble."

Alfonse added, "Many heroes at first want to heap praise onto him, but...his nature causes them to pull back on their praises. Well...how should I say it...at first glance, you'll probably regard him as an asshole."

Anna lay back. "But, he's actually a real softie. He won't let anyone die, and even if it's painfully obvious that he cares about us, he'll still actively deny it, saying that it's just because he's really good. But...he's a terrible liar."

I was directed towards the training regiment, where the new heroes would start to hone their skills. However, as Alfonse said, there would be an epic rant, that was primarily traditional to the newcomers.

"Alright, listen up, y'all! When I went to the summoning ruins, I asked for a bunch of heroic badasses 5stars who could whip the crap out of even Naga herself, and live to do it again and again. Instead, all I got was a bunch of incompetent fools like y'all and a side order of 1 percent of the heroic badasses I asked for. I can tell by a glance that 50% of you can't live up to your name, and the other 50% of you don't even know what's the meaning of your title! Hell, I bet you don't even know what the HELL you're here, whether you came here to fight by choice or just for your own pleasures! However, I will reorganize the failure of your lives! I will F*CKSTART your souls! I'm gonna take those 2 tier weapons out of your hands, replace them with a 4-5 tier weapon, put you to the arena and make you fight all day till you reek of sweat and disappearing fat and blubber. But fear not! Because, I will show you that this war can be beaten, I will teach you how life should be lived, I will make you throw away your insecurities, I will turn you all, into proud, level 40 masters of GALACTIC DESTRUCTION! IS THAT CLEAR, ALL OF YOU?!"

The new recruits, consisting of Minerva, Leon, Nephenee, and I yelled, "Sir, yes sir!" I sighed. At least there was a familiar face, and that happened to be Minerva. I imagined that Minerva might be a bit relieved to have someone she knew by her side as well.

"DON'T CALL ME SIR, YOU LIL BUNCH OF SISSIES! I AM PROBABLY YOUNGER THAN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU, BUT YET, I AM GUIDING YOU ALL! CALL ME SUMMONER, OR KRIS, BUT NEVER SUMMONER KRIS, OR SIR! IT MAKES ME FEEL OLD, AND I AM NOT! IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?!"

I gasped a little as soon as she heard his name. "Kris..." it had been years since we've ever seen each other, but yet...I couldn't let go of him. I hated him for leaving...but I knew that it wasn't his fault, and I believed that I would see him again. But...this person was different. He had a much different demeanor...but maybe he was still the same guy. After all, his hood covered his face, disallowing me from being able to see his face. Was he purposely trying to hide it?

We all yelled, "UNDERSTOOD, SUMMONER!"

Kris roared, "Alright, get to training. YOU WILL FIGHT AGAINST ENEMIES AT AT LEAST ONE LEVEL HIGHER THAN YOUR CURRENT LEVEL AT THE START OF THE BATTLE TIL YOU'RE LEVEL 40! IF I SEE ANY OF YOU NOT DOING SO, YOU WILL WASH DISHES FOR THE NIGHT! IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?"

"UNDERSTOOD, SUMMONER!"

After a few hours of training, I approached him. "Kris..." "What is it, Katarina?" instead of the usual roars that he had displayed this morning, his voice had more of a relaxed, calculating tone to it.

"May...I see your face under your hood? I'm sorry for requesting something so weird...has anyone else seen it before?" Without a word, he pulled his hood down, revealing his face.

I gasped, at his handsomeness. He had a dark skin tone, though it was only dark yellow, I suppose. His face was decorated with slanted, sharp, eyes, and a face that was slightly reminiscent of a V. His hair was black, and it flowed down to his earlobes, giving off a wavy presence.

"Satisfied?" he said, pulling his hood back on. I nervously nodded. "Y-yes. I suppose..I'll get back to training." "Good, then."

A few hours later, I sat down, for dinner. In Askr, there were many forts, and many heroes were sent off to different forts to guard them from Embla. They would fight, and train pretty much everyday. In return, they gained much praise and respect from the people, and had many privileges as well, as long as they did not behave badly.

I was set in Fort Bregentved, where the summoner also happened to be. As I took my dinner, consisting of chicken soup and a pie in which birds flew out of, I sat down at a table, all alone.

Minerva wasn't here, and none of my Archanean friends were here as well. When I had asked Anna if there was a hero named Kris, she shook her head, saying that unless if I was referring to the summoner, then no.

I heard someone sit beside me, and I turnt my head. It was the summoner. I frowned at him, wondering why he didn't sit with anyone else. Then I remember Alfonse's words. Yeah...I suppose that many thought of him as an asshole, and there weren't any other tables that weren't as isolated as mine. "So...what inspired you to be a tactician? What are your goals?"

Kris turnt his head, looking at me. Apparently, he wasn't used to people starting a conversation with him. He replied, "I was never inspired to be a tactician. I was dragged here by an unknown forces; I wasn't here by choice. However...apparently I have inherited my ancestor's skills as a extremely competent tactician. However, any idiot can do the things that I did. I must prove myself capable of matching him, or being better than him. That is my goal."

I wondered what his ancestor was like. "Er...then who was he? What was he like? Could you tell me about one of his achievements?" I could feel a bit of a smile creep onto his face. As he didn't have much conversations with too many heroes, it appeared that he was actually...a bit happy about the fact that someone would want to start a conversation with him.

"His name was Zhou Yu, a brilliant tactician. However, he was not only skillful in the ways of strategy in the battlefield, he was also a manipulator of relationships. And sadly, I must admit I have not yet began to grasp the art of trickery yet. But anyway, one of his most famous exploits was when he was to attack he enemy at sea, he knew of a college friend who happened to be visiting by, who also had some ties with the enemy warlord. So when he came over, Zhou Yu purposely pretended that he was drunk, and let him steal a fake letter that was supposed to be written the enemy warlord's 2 best navy generals, to assassinate the warlord. Tricked by the letter, his college friend gave it to the enemy warlord, and the enemy warlord promptly executed these two, and later on, he won most of the navy battles against that warlord."

"He sounds like he was a very clever man indeed! But, are you sure of using deception? I'm not sure if I see of you as a manipulator, nor would the people want to see you as a manipulator either. You're...a symbol of hope to the people." I said with a smile.

Kris just glanced at me. "A symbol of hope?" he growled, spite in his voice. "The heroes are better suited for being a symbol of hope. Look at them. Tough, strong, handsome, brilliant in many aspects. Who am I to compare? I only have looks and smarts, some which some heroes may possess even more than me. Let them be the hero. If it wasn't for my power to use the Briedabilik, I doubt I would still be here."

I giggled at him. "But...you're still here, right? That still accounts for something, correct?" He sighed. "I suppose you're correct...but I suppose, I cannot turn my back on these people yet. No matter how hard I try to push off the praise, people will still see me as a symbol of hope. I suppose that fate is rather odd to choose a wretch like me..."

Wondering why he had such a cynical view, I asked him, "So...why do you plan on ending the war? If i remember correctly, this isn't even your world. Why do you still choose to interfere?"

He replied: "Because...they want me to. And I don't want to disappoint them, because they all view me as this oh-so-great tactician, who'll never let a single unit die just to get victory."

I shook my head. "You didn't exactly answer my question. I asked about you, not them." He glared at me. "Honestly, I don't gave a single damn about this war. I'm just sick of disappointing people in my entire life. Besides, what good is winning a war, if I can't even..." he started to choke on his words.

"Sorry, I must go." With that, he left, leaving me at my table. I resumed eating my meal. Well...at least it was an interesting conversation, even though he was very cynical.


As I got prepared for bed, I went outside, hearing a beautiful voice. It definitely wasn't Azura's or Shigure's. It had a brasher tone to it, at the same time, a depressed voice behind it.

"The mysteries of it I recall, suddenly the truth will change the way we fall, I didn't want to hurt you hope you know, empty promises, shatter dreams of love..." I looked at Kris, who had stopped singing. "Was that-"

"Yes. I hope I didn't destroy your ears." I shook my head. "Kris, that was beautiful. You-"

He shushed me, putting a finger to my lips, like...my Kris would often do. "Please, forget that this happened." he then returned to his room, while I stared at him. I felt a strange connection to him, like I desperately wanted to help him. I wondered about the other heroes, whether if they would want to help hem as well. Nay, I shook my head. Probably not.

As I walked into my room, I noticed one of the only things that I had left of Kris. Kata...I picked up the dark blade, and took its twin, Ris. At first, while he was still here, I had kept them as one, as Kataris. After he left...I had separated them. I could have put them back by connecting them by the butt of their hilts, creating a double-bladed sword, or put them together to become its original form again, but I never bothered.

I held them up in the air, looking at the creation that I had made for him. It belonged to the two of us, and besides aesthetics, it was very dangerous as well. I tossed the swords out of the window, only for them to return after they began to decline. Brimming with dark magic and forged with diamonds, it was designed to target the lower of an enemy's defenses. I had wanted Kris to use it to its full potential, to be proud of me, but he had disappeared before he could use it.

I swung the two blades around, battling with the shadow that was my consciousness. I then stopped, looking at those two. They may very well be the strongest weapons in Archanea...but without Kris, what was the meaning of using it? This was designed just for him.

I put my hands to my head, and returned to my bed, going to sleep. Before I succumbed to sleep's embrace, I noticed an C, glowing on my chest. Brushing the thought aside, I fell asleep.