Authors note: Sorry for the delay, I've been hit with so much work that updating has become next to impossible. What's more, this is likely to get worse as I continue to write my fic. Anyway, here is chapter 1.

Chapter 1: The Second Tactician.

Misawa and Crowler, having won their first skirmish without much difficulty, had little choice but to carry on their journey to Derun. However, their journey would not be an easy one and Misawa feared for the safety of both of them. Under his insistence, they decided that they need to recruit other fighters to defeat any threats that should arrive, so they headed north-east instead of directly east leading to a small, independent country called Nagavel, a country known for great training facilities. Many great knights have perfected their technique there, despite its' small size. It was rules by Queen Amarante, who was known for her great respect towards strong fighters. Recently though, the strong fighters were all involved in the chaos, which Amarante wished to keep away from. Despite knowing this, Misawa moves on.

Bastion and Crowler ride towards the once busy country, noticing nothing but a few villages and shops.

"Hmmmm…" Bastion said quietly, almost too himself, "there are shops and armouries here, but without any money, we're going to have to rely on the weapons we've got, and with no method of storage we would have nowhere to keep them. This is something we'd have to work out…"

"As well as increasing our numbers," Crowler added, "I'm not sure if we'd be better off just heading to Derun and hoping that we don't run into any trouble."

"We'd be bound to," Bastion replied, "No, we need to get more weapons and recruit."

What Bastion and Crowler didn't realise was that two dark clothed figures were watching them and talking whilst waiting.

"So that's the Price Misawa…"

"Yeah, and one of Teratho's horseman. Crowler, his name is."

"It's a pity I cannot deal with him myself, I am, after all one of Ateria's top assassins, but, business calls. I have to meet and welcome some new forces to our army, I entrust him to you. You may be new, but your swordplay is quite impressive, do you have a plan?"

"Indeed a do, master Oberon. It is simple, go straight for Misawa before he can recruit anyone who can protect him. Then I'll escape, leaving the paladin, no need to worry about him if I take out his liege. I'll just wait until the bandits strike, I can see some hiding now."

"Yes, I noticed that as well, I see you have a good eye for this. Very well, I'll leave this in your capable hands. Do this mission and your rank will rise quickly, soon people will work for you."

Before Oberon left, the second figure said, "I shall look forward to it." When Oberon had left he said, "Right then, I know my mission, reach Bastion quickly."

Bastion and Crowler were approaching the centre of Nagavel were there were numerous villages. Crowler wasn't too pleased.

"There's no soldiers here! Only villagers, they can't help us!"

"True," Bastion said, "But we need to help them, I can't just sit by and watched them get attacked when we can do something."

"Attacked? By who?"

"Bandits," Bastion answered, "Like the one behind you."

Crowler turned around to notice a bandit, big built and carrying an axe, charging towards him, but he quickly evaded. Learning from the last battle, he drew his sword and slashed at the bandit, defeating him. As he faded away Bastion spoke to Crowler.

"We need to warn the villages, Doctor. You're quicker than me, so I'll leave it up to you to prevent the villages from being destroyed."

"Leaved it to me Misawa," Crowler responded, obviously pleased with himself as he headed towards a village (There were two villages, one towards the middle-east and one next to them, Crowler headed towards the middle west one).

Bastion looked pleased, Crowler hadn't reached it yet, but he would next turn, the bandits were nowhere near. Bastion entered the nearest village and was greeted by a young girl, about a year younger than Misawa. When she saw him, she listened to his warning.

"You need to close the gates immediately!" he said quickly, "Bandit's are attacking!"

Her response was, "Yes, I saw them, it is a pity all my weapons have broke otherwise I would assist in clearing them up. Also I am needed back in Derun, someone there is supposed to have a task for me to accomplish. I have to find someone apparently, if I go to Derun they should tell me who. I may be new to the cavalry but I'll do my best. Anyway take this, the villagers gathered some gold in order to assist you. There should be an armoury around here. Good luck, I hope we meet again…"

With that she left. As Bastion exited the village an elderly woman closed the gates whilst saying, "Good luck, we're counting on you." Bastion smiled and looked at the amount of gold, noticing there was 2000 pieces.

The enemy prepared to close in, the figure that had spoken to Oberon appeared not far from Bastion. He looked towards Bastion and thought to himself, I can't allow him to attack me, luckily there's an enemy sword user, a mercenary to be precise, he hasn't reached him. I'll go behind the mercenary and hope Bastion strikes him.

When he did this and the others had finished moving, Crowler noticed the bandits approaching the village so he rushed straight into the village and was met by a middle aged man.

He said, "You've come to stop the bandit's haven't you? You need to hurry, the castle is being guarded by a bandit, reach the castle and warn the queen, she'll be able to handle it from there, but the knight's seem to be unaware of it, take this vulnerary, it's always good to be prepared for the worst. Of course, a healer would be useful, but there's not always one around. Good luck.

Crowler left and pocketed the vulnerary. Bastion walked towards the mercenary and struck him in the chest with his lance, leaving a large wound, the mercenary struck back, but Bastion narrowly dodged.

Next, the figure behind the mercenary walked up to Bastion, but didn't draw his sword. Instead, he spoke to Bastion.

"Hey Bastion, good to see you again, it looks like you need some help."

Bastion turned round to face the swordsman, a myrmidon to be precise, who had removed his black cloak to reveal Nathan.

"Nathan!" Bastion shouted, obviously pleased, "good to see you, I was looking for you!"

"Indeed. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I was a recruitable enemy. Either way, I can join you now."

"Good timing actually," Bastion replied, "Crowler was saying we needed some new recruits just before this battle."

The mercenary decided that Nathan was the target and aimed towards him. However Nathan jumped out of the way and came crashing down on the mercenary with his steel sword. As the mercenary faded away, a vulnerary was left behind. Nathan picked it up and pocketed it. The two rushed towards Crowler, who was taking care of some axe using bandits who thought attacking a paladin might be a good idea, after finishing the bandits Crowler turned to Bastion and Nathan.

"Ah, Nathan!" he said, "it's good to see you've joined us, we could do with a new recruit, right, what do we do next?"

Bastion looked towards the remaining enemies, the castle was guarded by a strong looking fighter and several brigands. Some mercenaries were approaching from where they entered. Bastion thought for a minute and said something Crowler couldn't hear to Nathan. Nathan nodded.

"Right then," Bastion said, "I will go and stop the mercenaries, Dr Crowler, take care of the brigands. Nathan, I'm leaving the boss to you."

"No problem Bastion," Nathan replied as Crowler charged into the bandits Bastion positioned himself where only one mercenary could attack so he could control his damage and heal accordingly. When only the boss remained Nathan approached the boss but did nothing. He knew that if he got hit twice, he would fall to a steel axe, so he would wait and win with speed. The fighter raised his axe and spoke.

"What? Mercenaries? How did you… they're all fighting elsewhere? Fine, you'll wish you never crossed me!"

The fighter raised his axe and attempted to hit Nathan, who sidestepped, jumped towards him, slashing him, then jumped back and delivered the final blow.

"You… who are you? Think you're righteous? You'll only perish that way?"

As he disappeared Nathan entered the building and approached a knight. He spoke to the knight.

"Excuse me? There're some bandits attacking the villages. I've dealt with some, but I think there's still some left."

The knight jumped back in shock, "Bandit's, leave it to me, I'll call the other knights!"

The night, Queen Amarante spoke to the three of them.

"I have heard from one of our countries knights that you assisted with the dealing with of the bandits, for that I thank you. I, of course, am aware that you," she looked towards Bastion, "Are Prince Misawa of Teratho, we have always lived in co-operation with your country and that will not cease. Our soldiers will assist in their defence. Furthermore, I insist that you stay there tonight. I am certain you will need something to eat. I will send for my cooks to get you something instantly.

That night, in Lagurn. Three figures, none of which could be seen, were talking.

"Oberon, you fool! You hired a traitor, Misawa not only lives, but he has a new ally!"

"Leave it, Sharmaine, how was I to know, I'll send someone who's served longer this time. Fearghas, any new news?

"The seventh position has been filled," Was the reply

"What?" Oberon asked, "The Seven Shadows have their final member, who is it?"

"He calls himself Kabayama, and he's quite a strange character."

The next morning, Crowler and Bastion were looking for Nathan, who was nowhere to be seen. Their search didn't take long, but Nathan wasn't alone.

"Is that…" Crowler started.

"Stuart!" Bastion shouted, rushing towards their tall, black haired friend.

"Turned out he was a knight here," Nathan added, "An axe knight to be precise, he's joined us under permission from Queen Amarante. We have better control over the weapon triangle now as well as a second horseback unit.

"Nathan's informed me of out mission," Stuart said, smiling, "and I know a good route that'll take us there quickly. We'll leave after dinner."

End of chapter.

Well, please review, I'll try to update quickly.



Bastion: Lord (Lance)

Crowler: Paladin

Nathan: Myrmidon

Stuart: Axe Knight


Oberon: Assassin

Shermaine: Druid

Fearghas: Wyvern Lord

Kabayama: Sage