HI everyone, sorry for not updating for more than a month, a bunch of stuff happened all together so I had to work more often than I usually do. Why do all my problems involve money… oh well. I will still continue this story but it will go slower than my usual speed so please be a bit patient. Now for reviews.
Kendecia – My first attempt at a cliff hanger. I wanted to see if that will get a reaction from people, looks like it did, thanks for reviewing btw.
Kenegi – Yup, that's where I got the idea, unfortunately I can't tell you what I plan to do with it unless you want spoilers. Anyways hope you like this chapter.
Patattack – Thanks, although it wasn't as funny as I wanted it, I still had fun writing it…or typing it…anyways thanks.
Xiang Yun – Thanks for the review. I know I wasn't successful with humor but at least I got a chuckle from someone. As for Mark not showing his face, you just gave me a good idea that I'm planning on using, thanks. As for the cat eye's… maybe but that's kind of common, maybe I'll change it to something else if I decide to use it but we'll see.
Hyralc - Thanks for the review. I admit, it was a blunder on my part, though it was intended to be implied during the library part in ch 2, it must have slipped my mind, and for the second question... i didn't think that one through, I'm still kind of new at fanfic writing so I'm contradicting myself apparently. I appreciate that you helped me point that out, I look forward to your reviews in the future
Now for my rambling!
I have to admit, this whole chapter is off the top of my head from what I remember, and I wasn't near a computer while I was typing this, which made it harder. I think I did a decent job with this chapter but I went a bit angsty. I still tried for some humor but still I need work on it so please review and tell me if I'm doing good with it or not.
I wrote this on different days so my tone while writing this changes. One day I was happy, other's I felt like crap so… yeah. It doesn't help either if your brother is an ass. But I usually let go of things in a day or two so no biggie. I'm rambling too much now so I think I'll stop and rant a bit more on the bottom.
Now for chapter 11! Should I put a title? We'll see…
Today, Eliwood and Hector were supposed to return to Katchlet to inform us whether or not they could support us. I doubt anyone would want to support Lundgren though. He's not fit to be a Marquess, I can tell even though I have not met him yet. The Legion is minding their own business and doing what they need to for the upcoming battles. It sucks to be a Tactician. Why? Because you have to help give advice to people that might or might not listen to you. I'm relatively worried about Lyn though. She might seem cheerful right now but she's acting weird. Not weird-weird, just not her thing kind of weird. Better talk to her when I can, I also have to tell her about Lundgren and his involvement with Taliver Bandits.
Due to the fact that my eye turned yellow for some reason, in order to prevent that, I decided to use less Elder magic. I have a feeling that it's corrupting me... or maybe it's reverting me back to how I'm suppose to be?... No! I can't think about it right now, only more questions will appear. I will start using Anima Magic, I've been ignoring it since Araphen, and I got a Thunder tome so that should be fun.
Eliwood and Hector arrive a few hours earlier than I thought they would.
"Hey guys, how did it go?" I asked
"It went well; we managed to make them into bystanders. They won't interfere with whatever happens in Caelin." Elwood said.
"Bah! I always hate going to those meetings. All they do is talk; I almost blew a fuse in there." Hector said.
"Really? Well here it was pretty... eventful..." I mumbled. I glared at the Legion a bit.
"What happened?" They asked.
"These guys tried to take my hood off because they wanted to see how I looked like. For the entire time they tried to remove my hood, from training to the Arena." I said.
"You guys fought in the Arena? How did that go?" Eliwood said.
"What! I was with old men the whole time and you guys were fighting with skilled fighters! How is that fair!" Hector yelled.
"Woah! Hold on hector, I joined for personal reasons, these guys wanted some action. And to answer your question Eliwood, I managed to get to the Finals but lost. At least I got money and a nickname." I proclaimed.
"What was it?" Hector asked.
"The Magic Swordsmen." I stated.
"Well at least it wasn't anything ridiculous." he said.
"Anyways! We're getting sidetracked." Lyn said.
"Err... Sorry." The guys said.
"Pfft... Men." She said.
"Hey!" I yelled.
"Prove me wrong!" she said.
"Grr... sigh...whatever. Anyways, where were we?" Trying to gather my thoughts before we started getting sidetracked.
"The Marquess's around Caelin agreed to remain neutral during the Succession problem." Eliwood said.
"So in other words, they won't interfere and they won't help Lundgren or us. They will also accept whoever triumphs over the other so whatever happens, we're on our own." I said.
"Hey, it took us 4 days to get to that, don't just simplify it like that!" Hector said.
"Well, I'm right aren't I?"
"Well yeah but..."
"Then there's nothing wrong with me simplifying it. I'm just saying it so no one will be confused to our objectives."
"...You're doing this on purpose aren't you?"
"Doing what? Trying to tick you off for no apparent reason? No, why would I ever want that?" I said innocently.
"I don't know but your type always has something planned."
"How could you ever think that!" I acted shocked. "After all we've been though, all those battles, all those lonely nights, I even held your hand when you cried that one time. I thought you were my brother! How could you!"
"Wait what! That never happened and you know it! Stop making things up." Hector was fuming.
"No, we've been friends too long to just break up like this, I won't let it happen!"
"What! I only met you less than a week ago. Shut up or I'll kill you!"
"Alright, I'm satisfied. What's wrong Hector, were you taking that seriously?" I said.
The group was just looking at us trying to contain their laughter.
"What? I wanted to see his reactions." I said.
Everyone busted out laughing. Hector who also joined in the laughing once he caught on was still a bit ticked off but otherwise, we were frosty. It wasn't how I would prefer to do it, but we needed something to take our minds off our little escapade to the castle. A person can only handle so much before they start to break down. I prefer to think of it as a happy mind is a calm mind, and a Calm mind won't get your comrades killed in battle.
"Well anyways, thanks for your help guys." I told them.
"Truly, we couldn't have done it without you guys." Lyn said.
"No problem, we just wish that we could help out more." Eliwood said and Hector nodded.
"You guys have done enough. Now it's up to us to finish the job." I said.
Good luck." they said as we were taking off.
"A thousand blessing's unto us..." I started saying.
"And a thousand curses unto the enemy." Lyn and Rath finished. I love that saying now.
"Alright people, let's go!" I yelled. Everyone cheered with me as I raised my hand in a triumphant way. (Think of it like Ken when he wins in Super street fighter)
We started making our way to Caelin. We were getting closer now. Once we finish up, I'll spend a few days in Caelin to figure out where I should head to. I would think of it right now but I should really focus on the task at hand.
Time skip: Two days before arriving at Caelin (A/N woohoo! first time skip! too lazy atm)
"Milady Lyn, We will arrive at Caelin in 2 days time." Kent said.
"We haven't run into any solders yet either, perhaps our luck is changing..." Sain said.
I started opening my mouth but only to receive a slap to my mouth from Serra.
"What was that for!" I yelled. Holding my mouth and massaging the red area.
"Because you were about to say something that would definitely bring us a lot of trouble." She said leering at me. The rest of the Legion glared at me too.
"What? I can't help it. I give advice to what CAN happen. It's not my fault if I'm right." I said.
"Well, what do you THINK will happen Sir Mark?" Kent said.
"Well... Wait, Sir?" I asked.
"I believe that it is your title Sir Mark." Sain said.
"I'm just a commoner, I don't have a title, and I don't like them either." I said.
"Be that as it may Sir Mark, you've earned that title. Well... mostly among ourselves anyways. You've earned our trust and we follow you to our deaths. I think it is only right to call you by that title." Matthew said.
"But I don't like titles. It makes me sound... superior. I don't mind the title; I just hate the repercussions of it." I said.
"I think you deserve that title S-Sir Mark." Florina said stuttering.
"Oh boy, even Florina too. What exactly did I do to deserve the title anyways?" I asked.
"Your helping me get to my grandfather while dealing with an opposing army." Lyn said.
"You helped us find Milady and are keeping us safe from danger." Sain and Kent agreed.
"You help me find Lyn." Florina said.
"I was at a crossroad in my life, after this I'll get some recognition and maybe a stable job." Wil said grinning.
"You helped me by reuniting me with my wife but also providing a solution to my problem." Dorcas said.
"You're keeping me entertained while I get to Ostia." Serra said. Wait... Ostia? Why didn't she go with Hector!
"Your helping me by getting away...from her." Erk mumbled.
"You're helping a Sacaen, that's enough for me." Rath said.
"I'm just going along for the ride, but its fun. You always find a way to get into trouble." Matthew said, note to self, kill Matthew.
"You help those in need, which is good enough for me." Lucius said.
"You saved me when I needed help from the Black Fang." Nils said.
"You helped me get back my mother's ring." Ninian said.
"Uhh... that was all Lyn... well mostly. I just boss around people, there's nothing to respect from that. Also on a side note, don't trust me. I'm a Tactician, I'll do whatever it takes to come out on top, and so if we arrive at a point where we have to battle each other, then I'm taking you down without hesitation." I told them. It might sound cruel but I have no idea where I'm heading, odds are I will end up at opposing sides.
"If that happens, then we did something wrong and you're trying to fix our mistakes." Lyn said.
"Lyn, I already told you not to place your trust so easily on people; you'll end up getting betrayed." I told her.
"You wouldn't be lecturing us about trust if you didn't want to hurt us." Nils said.
"Well that's..." I said.
"It's your own way of keeping us safe right." Wil said grinning like a fox, I got to learn how to do that, it looks awesome.
"...Have it your way, but no "Sir" got it. I detest titles. I prefer an open door for my comrades, if one of them dies, then I can grieve for them and make sure that whatever happened to them doesn't happen again." I said.
"Hah! Spoken like a veteran." I heard from behind.
Damn it, I was too busy talking that I didn't notice where we were. How did I not see this fog earlier. There are mountains surrounding us and it's easy to ambush us. Ok, no more talking on the rode, only when we set up camp. If I keep this up then someone will end up dead. The voice came from the direction of the mountain.
A man came out; he looks in his 50's. He's bald but he's a giant. He stands like a fortress. From the looks of him, he's a knight. He looks heavily fortified too. I doubt that most of our attacks will get through to him; even Erks magic won't have a large effect on them like most other knights. He's a veteran and a damn good one too.
"General Wallace!" Kent yells. Crap, this guys a general.
"If it isn't little Kent, and there's old Sain, still trying and failing to pick up women. Hahahaha!" he bellows.
"General, why are you here?" Sain said.
"What else would I be here for? To see this supposed granddaughter of Lord Hausen." Wallace said. Kent and Sain got into battle position, as did everyone else.
"Stand down!" I yelled.
"But-" Kent started saying.
"I said stand down!" I yelled louder in a commanding tone. It made everyone flinch and obeyed, heh being a tactician has its merits.
"I see you know what you're doing." Wallace said.
"What does he mean?" Wil said.
"From the looks of him, he's experienced, more than any of us. He's got power as well as speed if he managed to sneak up on us. This guy can probably take half of us before falling. There's no way we can manage to fight him and continue on. Our best bet is to listen what he has to say. Remember he said he wanted to meet Lyn, he didn't say if he would hurt her. But that remains to be seen." I said.
"Ha! You might be young but you know your stuff. Most people would let their pride run their mouths." he told me.
"Well, I'm not most people; I refuse to let my men die because of a misunderstanding." I told him.
"I see... Well then, bring her out why don't you." He said.
Everyone was still in their battle positions. They were ready to act if needed to. Of course, I know they wouldn't be able to stop him, but still, they wanted to protect Lyn from danger. But Lyn, being her usual self, by which I mean she can handle herself stepped out.
"Milady, you-" Kent started saying.
"Enough! I don't need someone to protect me. I can stand on my own." She said.
She walks over to Wallace and confronts him. They stood there, Wallace looking into Lyn's eyes.
"Those eyes..." Wallace said.
"Pardon?" Lyn said.
"Hahaha! Young lad, I've been fighting for years, but if I've learned anything about people from it is that you can tell if a person lies from their eyes. Your eyes shine brightly girl, such bright eyes never tell a lie." Wallace stated.
:"What do you plan to do now then?" I asked.
"My boy, I assume you know what I intend to do." He asked.
We looked at each other and start to chuckle. That chuckle turned to a full blown laugh. We laughed for a while and the Legion looked at us like we were crazy. Our laughing eventually died down.
"Great to have you as our comrade." I said.
"Good to be fighting to good ol' fight again whelp." He said.
"Wait... what just happened?" Serra said.
"I...think we got another member." Matthew said.
"...Leave it to Mark to get us a powerful ally." Lyn said laughing nervously.
"Anyways, Wallace I'm assuming that you didn't come here alone. Why would they send a lone solder, even if you were or once were a general." I said.
"Hahaha! You even noticed that. Quite impressive whelp! Aye, its' just like you said I am not alone, they called me back in order to stop the one that was trying to falsely succeed the throne." Wallace said.
"Why that no good-" Sain started up.
"Easy Sain, since he sided with us, then that must mean he doesn't feel the same way as Lundgren." I said.
"That's right, now that I've seen the girl, I can see she's almost the spitting image of her mother, give or take a few features though." He said.
"You knew my mother?" Lyn said.
"Yup, I've known her since she was a whelp herself, when she tried to elope with your father, I caught them. But I let them go." He said.
"Why?" Lyn asked.
"I hate to interrupt, honestly I would but we have a skirmish to win." I told them.
I notice that we were surrounded by enemies; the fog that's rolling in isn't helping either. If there's a time for action, this is it.
"Audelia, can you see through this fog?" I asked.
"No, it's far too thick I can only see at a limited range. Farther than a thief but not by much." she said.
"Alright, Wallace I need a layout of the Area, as well as who is the commander of the opposing force." I told him.
"There's a village north of us and there are two ways past this mountain, both is across the bridges on either way of the mountain or climb the mountain itself. There's a large forest passing it and the commander is at the mansion southeast of here, at Eagler estate. The commander is Eagler himself." Wallace said.
"The General!" Kent shouted.
"He's here! Oh this is not good." Sain said.
"Wallace, how good is he?" I asked.
"We are evenly matched, although I doubt I could take him because of my retirement. At best, I could leave him just tired enough for your bunch." He said.
"Let's hope it doesn't end like that. Give me a moment to think." I said.
Trial and error...2 deaths...again...1 death...got it! (A/N A reference to the fails that I'm sure a lot of people have experienced)
"Alright, here's the plan. Rath, Dorcas, Matthew, Nils, Erk and Serra go North, I don't want to be flanked, you're in charge of this division Rath. Sain, Kent, Florina, Wil, Ninian, Lucius, Lyn, Wallace, we'll be taking on the brute of the army so those with armor, stand in front, distance shooters behind them, support behind them, Lyn I'm sure you'll be in the frontlines so take extra vulneraries with you. 2nd division, your job is to rout the enemies on the way and to attack the enemy from behind, we'll hold them off in the meantime." I said.
"That's awfully risky whelp, if they don't make it on time we're goners." Wallace said.
"I know, but every war is a gamble, and gambling is the devil's game. And he loves people that have the balls to do something this stupid." I said with a fox grin. (A/N Been reading Naruto fanfics too much)
"Hah! How right you are Whelp!" Wallace said. The rest of the Legion were looking at me like I grew a second head, spit out fire and suddenly turned to ice and started saying some alien language.
"He's lost it." Wil said.
"Totally." Nils said.
"Let's put him out of his misery." Dorcas said.
"Hey! It's not my fault that the odds are against us; sometimes we got to manage on a wing and a prayer." I said.
"Well...this is you so... it probably was your fault." Serra said.
"Hey, I'm not a Danger magnet!" I yelled. Everyone stayed quiet. "Come on! Say something; it hurts more if you don't say something. Lyn what do you think!" I looked at her.
"The clouds... they're so puffy." Lyn said not looking at me in the eye. Damn it, even Lyn.
"Hahaha you got quite a group with you Whelp." He said. I guess that's my name for him.
"Anyways, let's go!" I yelled.
As we were advancing, I notice a strange crest on Wallace.
"Hey Wallace, what's that crest your holding?" I ask.
"You mean this? This is a Knight's crest; it unleashes my power to a new level!" He said.
"Then why haven't you used it?" I asked.
"I don't know, I just came out of retirement, while I was in retirement, I saw no point in doing It." he said.
"Mark, I suggest not letting him use it."Audelia said.
"Why?" I asked.
"While it does raise his power to a new degree, he is not as strong as he can be in his current condition, I suggest making him as strong as he can in that form and then using it." She said.
That makes sense.
"Wallace, hold it. Although it will help in this battle, you can still become stronger; wait until you're as strong as you can be in your current form until later." I told him.
"Well you're the Tactician, Whelp." He said. I swear, he loves calling me that.
The battle raged on for about an hour(A/N this place always took at least 50 minutes for it to finish by my playthroughs) Kent, Sain, Wallace were in the frontlines, holding the line. Wil, Florina, Lucius and I were attacking from a distance, Wil with arrows, Florina with Javelin's, Lucius with Lightning, and me with fire and thunder. Ninian was support, using her powers to help. Lyn was attacking when she could and take out the enemy. This lasted until the 2nd division came and flanked the enemy. There team seemed to have managed better than ours because of Serra. I don't know if I'm glad to have Serra or not anymore. Also, there's nothing better than using torches on a foggy day, it works wonders. We make our way to Eagler's estate, looks like he's the only one left now.
"Alright, Kent, Sain, Wallace, and Lyn, you guys are coming with me, the rest stay in the back until Eagler makes a move. We might be able to convince him to join." I said.
We walked into the estate and confronted Eagler. If I were to say one thing about the man, it would be that he was powerful. From the looks of it he's a Paladin, the ascension from a Cavalier. Maybe I should have had Wallace transform, but no use crying over spilled milk.
"Eagler." Wallace said.
"Wallace... Why do you side with the traitor's and with the imposter?" Eagler said.
"She is no imposter. She's the daughter of Madelyn, if you look at her you can tell." Wallace said.
"It makes no difference to me, I have my circumstances and you have yours." Eagler said.
"But Sir-" Kent said.
"Can it Kent. You're a knight of Caelin. If we were ever to face each other on the battlefield, I expect you to fight with the enemy, regardless of who's with whom." Eagler said.
"If you would only listen to us Sir." Sain said.
"Words will not persuade me Sain. We are at a crossroads right now." Eagler said.
"If words aren't enough to change your mind, maybe action will." Lyn said.
"Madelyn! Wait... you're not her, but indeed the resemblance is uncanny." Eagler said.
"But we will still fight right?" She said.
"Aye, there's no changing the fact." He looks at us and lands his eyes on me. "Who are you? I would like to know the name of the commander that routed my men and pushed me to a corner." Eagler said.
"...My name is Mark. I am no commander, just your average run-of-the-mill Tactician. But tell me Eagler, what did you mean by circumstances." I asked.
"That is nothing that the dead need to know." He said.
"They must be holding something precious to you if they have a hold of you to such a degree. Tell me one thing... This is your estate so you have family here, where are they?" I asked. Eagler stayed silent. "Damn, I just guessed but I hoped it wasn't true... Lundgren... you bastard!" I cursed.
"What's going on?" Lyn said.
"Lundgren the bloody bastard is keeping his family hostage, forcing his hand so to speak." I said.
"Is this true Eagler?" Wallace asked.
"Yes, therefore I cannot stop. I need to prevail or my family will die, I will give anything for them, even my life!" He yelled as he got to his battle stance.
"Everyone, get ready." I said. Everyone prepared themselves.
What happened next was a battle with a madman. Eagler was a beast, a monster if you will. He didn't want to go down no matter what we threw at him. Wil and Rath hit him with arrows which stuck to his armor. Sain, Kent, and Florina threw Javelin's which speared his armor but were sticking out of him. Dorcas, Matthew and Wallace hit him with their weapons which horribly disfigured his armor. Lucius and Erk unleashed their magic on him which was worse then the rest. But he still kept his position. I hate to see a man as great as him die for those that don't deserve it.
"Eagler, give up, anymore and you'll never see your family again." I told him.
"Shut up! I... have to keep going... even in death... I will keep going..." He said gasping for air.
"So be it, guys leave him to me, if anyone has to kill him, and it'll be me." I told them. I could see it in their eyes; they didn't want to kill him.
"Mark, you don't have to do this." Wallace said.
"Not calling me Whelp, this must especially hard on you Wallace. But I can see none of you can carry this burden, so I'll do it myself." I started chanting words for Flux. Eagler used all he had left to charge me, I stared at his eyes while he was running towards me, and it was his last attempt to kill at least me. I finish my incantations but wait into the last second. Just as he lifted his weapon, I muttered "Goodbye." The blast went off and it covered the room. Smoke and debris flew everywhere.
When the smoke cleared, Eagler was standing in front of Mark, his lance went through Mark and Mark stood there watching Eagler. Once we regained our visibility, Mark had his hand pierced but was not impaled, Eagler however got hit directly with the Flux spell, he stood there, unmoving.
"Even in death, you refuse to fall. Eagler... you are truly a man that one should fear." Mark said.
Eagler was standing in front of Mark, his eyes were glazed, and his eyes were dead. He stood there, his body refused to fall and he died trying to protect the one's that meant the world to him. Mark stared at the man for a long time before he withdrew his impaled arm having Serra heal it. Nobody said a word for a while, it felt right, a moment of silence for a great man. After a while, Mark broke the silence.
"Looks like we found another reason to get to Caelin. Find what you need, we'll stay here. I want to bury Eagler in his home. It would be dishonorable to him otherwise." He said.
We all nodded in silence. We each separated and went our ways. Wallace, Sain, Kent, and Mark carried Eagler's body outside and proceeded to making a grave for him. Lyn stood there looking at Eagler's body, although there were circumstances that lead to his death, the weight of his passing echoed through the hearts of those who knew him. Mark stayed silent, working by himself to make the grave. Kent and Sain offered help but he refused saying "His death is mine to bear; I killed him, its only right that I make the grave where he will lay..." They went back to Eagler's estate but Lyn stayed there, watching Mark work until night fell. It was till then that Mark spoke up.
"Something wrong Lyn?" I asked.
"No... I was just... watching..." She said.
"Your taking this harder than anyone else, now tell me what's wrong?" I asked.
"It's... nothing." She responded.
"Lyn... Look, I'll just come right out and say it, we aren't far from Caelin, if you don't have your resolve ready by then, and then we will most likely fall. We can't have our leader second guessing her actions. Something is wrong, and the Legion is starting to notice, if you don't come out and say what's wrong, it will probably come out when it's too late." I said.
"..." Lyn was silent.
"...Very well, I'll stay here until you're ready to talk." I said.
Lyn was quiet for a long period of time. Waiting is one of my strong points so I can probably out-wait her. But she's been holding this for a while. If I think about it, I picked up on it back in Araphen. Damn Marquess, I want to kill him, maybe I should have listened to Shadow back then...
"...What if..." I heard.
"Hmm?" I said looking at Lyn, looks like she's ready to talk.
"What if... my grandfather doesn't like me... what if... he treats me like a barbarian like Marquess Araphan did... what if I came here for him to reject me because I have Sacaen blood in me?" She asked. Poor girl, she's got a mess of emotions bottled up and it's driving her nuts.
I took a deep breath and sighed out loud. I looked at Lyn straight in the eyes and flicked her forehead. (A/N Watched Jackie chan adventure's last night)
"Ow!" she said.
"Are you an idiot or what?" I told her.
"What?" She said confused.
"I'll answer all your question's right now. First of all Marquess Araphen has a stick up his ass so far that it practically comes out of his mouth." I got a chuckle for that one." Second, it doesn't matter what Marquess Araphen thinks, you said it yourself, you're proud of your blood so why should that stop you now. As for your grandfather, I can probably say with absolute confidence that he won't reject you. Trust me on this." I said.
"How can you be so sure? You know how royalty tend to be, what makes him any different!" She yelled.
"True, royalty tend to also have sticks up their asses so far that even Father Sky can't reach, but remember that not all nobles are the same. Take Eliwood and Hector for example. They are both... well mostly Eliwood are what nobles should be if they weren't corrupted with power and wealth. As for your question to if he's any different, I know because he's your grandfather." I said As-a-Matter-of-Factly.
"What does that have to do with it?" She asked.
"Because you learned what you know from your Mother and she learned it from her father. So judging from your personality, your grandfather is the type of person who cherishes his family above all else, and he's kind to everyone and fierce to his enemies. He is probably kind and gentle and probably also as stubborn as you." I said while smirking.
She sat down taking what I said to heart. I sat beside her until she was back to her old self again.
"Thanks Mark." She muttered.
I smiled and stood up and ruffled her hair a bit. "No problem Lyn, anything to help. We should probably go back before everyone starts worrying about us." I said. As we walked back to the estate, Lyn asked me something.
"Hey Mark, why were you quiet for a long time when you killed Eagler." She asked. I flinched a bit and stopped to think before I answered.
"...Killing to survive and killing to protect are two totally different things Lyn. When you fight to survive, you don't regret it as much as you should because it's either them or you and when you hear there reasons for doing what they're doing it only further justifies your sense for killing them. On the other hand, killing to protect is something more... complicated. You do bad things to protect those who are precious to you, so is that bad or good? You steal money but you give it to the poor, is that bad or good? But either way, if you end up fighting those who protect, you feel the weight of their burdens with every strike you hit him with. The weight of that burden is something one must let go eventually but I want to carry it... as a reminder to those who fight and fall before the one's they protect." I said.
"...How heavy is it?" She asked.
"Honestly... it feels like I'm carrying the world on my shoulders, but that's the weight of a soul. Anything lighter would be an insult." I said.
We walked to the estate in silence. It's a good thing too; I wouldn't answer anything else besides that. Life can be taken so easily yet it's so hard to repent for it.
Today seemed better than ever before. Yesterday's... incident was a bit of an eye opener for the Legion. I'm assuming they learned a valuable lesson, well most did. Wallace must have already known it, he's an awesome guy, the type of guy you wouldn't mind having as a grandfather or something. Anyways, tomorrow we reach Caelin and our last battle as Lyndis's Legion will be there. We set up camp a few miles from Castle Caelin, everyone's a bit jumpy, after finishing my notes on my journal, I decided to roam about the campsite and see if I can unnerve some few nervous people. First stop is the Caelin knights. After looking around I found Wallace, Kent, and Sain talking to each other. I walked towards them in attempt to join in.
"Hey guys, what's up?" I asked.
"Mark, we were just talking about our battle tomorrow." Kent said, trying to not make eye contact.
"I see... worried about attacking your former allies?" I asked.
"I...I... yes. They were my brother-in-arms; I don't want to strike them down." Kent said.
"Even worse, there can be innocent villagers involved. Caelin is surrounded by small villages and homes, the battle can cause unintended collateral damage." Sain said.
"...Look... I'm not going to lie. There is a good chance of that happening, but there is also a good chance of it not happening, if you worry about it too much then it will only strike your nerves till you refuse to act. As much as I hate to admit it, there are bystanders that die because of war, there's no stopping it. But, it doesn't mean we can't try. As for your brother-in-arms, I said this before, they made their choice. Would you let your past friendship interfere with the safety of your new ones? The best thing you can do is knock them out, the worse... they already prepared themselves for that fate, don't hesitate now, its time for action, not one for thinking." I said.
"Whelp, it seems you have more backbone then I gave you credit for." Wallace said.
"Never underestimate your enemy, or in this case your ally." I said.
"Aye, I see it in your eyes, you hold back a vast majority of yourself, I can't see through you, it's like there's a fog in your eyes." Wallace said.
"It's a sign of a Tactician." I said trying to play it off.
"If you say so whelp." Wallace said.
"Looks like I gave you guys some food for thought, hopefully I won't see you guys fall in battle. I'm going to talk to everyone else, have a good nights sleep guys." I told them as I walked away. Let's see, who's next.
I spot Erk, Lucius, Rath, Wil, Dorcas, Matthew, and Nils around the campfire; they seemed to be sharing stories about themselves. It would be bad to join in right now but I need to check up on them or I might not get the chance.
"Hey guys, what's going on here?" I asked.
"Hey Mark." Everyone said.
"We were just telling stories about our lives. Sit down and join us." WIl said.
"So, who's gone up already?" I asked.
"Dorcas who talked about meeting his wife and Nils talked about funny things his sister's done." Matthew said.
"Aww, Ninian's story sounded fun and Dorcas's sounded very... manly I think, so who's next?" I asked.
"Erk, then Lucius, Rath, Wil, Matthew and since you came your last." Nils said.
"Alright, now let's start." I said.
Erk's story was about his teacher, Pent, the Mage General of Etruian, and his wife Louis. It was a nice story overall, he talked about how he was raised as a mage and how he saw Pent as a father figure. He also said how everything went wrong once he met the pink haired banshee (A/N once again, too much Naruto Fanfics).
Lucius story was rather boring. He talked about how he came into the service of Elimine and how his training was. Not that it wasn't interesting but it was slightly downhill.
Rath's story was... sketchy. He talked a bit about his Kutolah tribe from when he was younger but then made a huge gap into it by saying he went to serve Marquess Araphen. But I shouldn't poke into it; he'll share once he's ready.
Wil's story was a bit odd. He talked about his home in Pharae and about his childhood friend's. He especially talked about a girl named Rebecca seeing as how she was also trying to be an archer. Rebecca's brother Dan (Can't remember his name) disappeared and Wil went to go find him and hasn't been home ever since. Seemed like something out of a book but who am I to judge.
Matthew's story was definitely weird. He left out a bunch of things because of his job as a spy. He did however talk about his sweetheart Leila. It seemed that they met during their work as spies and have been seeing each other for a while. He kept saying how hot she was but knowing Matthew, he might be over exaggerating. It's kind of cool though, finding love in a dangerous profession such as spies, hopefully nothing happens to them. (A/N We all know what happens but those who say I should spare her, put it on the reviews)
"Alright Mark, it's your turn." Erk said.
"Alright, just let me think of what I should share." I said.
"How about how you grew up, I for one would love to hear how our Tactician grew up." Matthew said. Everyone seemed to agree with him. Might as well make it a sob story while I'm at it, it might get a few of them off my back.
"...Alright but it's not something I like to share." I said, everyone was listening anxiously. "I grew up in Bern, I would like to say I grew up with parents and went to school but that didn't happen. I was an orphan living on the streets, I lived in an orphanage until I was 4 and they kicked me out. For years I worked, ran and stole just to survive. By my 12th birthday, I was considered an adult and was harassed by everyone seeing as how it was viewed wrong to punish kids. From then on, my refuge was an old library where I spent most of my days reading. I eventually left Bern and tried to make it to a more prosperous place, but making my way through Bern wasn't easy. But long story short, I arrived in Sacae, weary and exhausted and collapsed, and that's where I met Lyn, a few days short of meeting Sain and Kent.
I wasn't some sort of prodigy that had a loving family and went and got an education. I didn't graduate at the top of my class from some prestigious school with a prestigious family. I was scum of the earth, unwanted by my own parents. I took care of kids younger than me who couldn't fend for themselves and I got the crap kicked out of me on a weekly bases. Talking with Lyn was actually the first time I talked to someone around my own age, much less a girl. But, that's just the way my life turned out; I can't change it so why even bother to remember it. If I want to live I have to look forward, the only time I look back is when I take a glancing view." I finished, everyone was silent. Heh, looks like I know how to tell a sob story, and I was just winging it. (A/N seriously, I was.)
"...Sorry." Nils said.
"For what? It was in my past, and there's no harm in telling you guys. But do me a favor and don't tell anyone about it, if they want to know about my past, let them talk to me about it." I said. They nodded.
"Fate works in mysterious ways, an orphan that struggles through life, tries to make a better life for himself and ends up getting involved in a coup' de tat(don't know how to spell it)."
"It's kind of poetic isn't it? A person with no skills except for what he learned in a library, leading a band of trained solders to stop an evil tyrant. Heh that makes me that strongest warrior on the field but the weakest bystander in life." I said.
"If it weren't for you, we would not be here today; I consider it a blessing in disguise." Dorcas said.
"Indeed." Lucius said.
"Well personally, I think Fate can go screw itself, our future is what we make of it, so tomorrow, let's fight for it." I proclaimed, a resounding "Yeah!" was heard. "Alright guys, make sure you get plenty of rest, we'll need it tomorrow." I said. Everyone nodded.
Ok, that's all the guys taken care of, now I just need to physic up the girls. Seeing as how the guys were all together, I'm assuming the girls are too. I found all of them gathered at their campfire. (Separate side for obvious reasons.)
"Hi, how's everyone doing?" I asked.
"Hey Mark, what are you doing over on this side?" Lyn asked.
"Just checking up on everyone, usually everybody gets nervous before a big battle, I'm just checking on everyone, so how's everyone holding up?" I asked.
There was silence.
"All of you too huh. Well it's not like I wasn't expecting it, it's getting late so I'll be blunt, what's the trouble?" I asked.
"...Well... after what happened to Eagler, we're having second thoughts about attacking Castle Caelin." Ninian said.
I take in a big breath and sighed. "Did you mention what I told you Lyn?" I asked. She nodded. "Ok, just so I don't get confused, what exactly are you second guessing?" I asked.
"...I. It's the way we're handling this. C-can't we just talk it out?" Florina asked.
"If it was that simple, then we wouldn't have to go through the trouble of taking on the army. Lundgren has sent his forces to attack us, that means he either won't listen to us or he wants us dead indefinitely." I said.
"Still...it feel's wrong to keep killing, you can only do it for so long until it starts to affect you." Serra said, earning the looks of everyone. "What? I'm a cleric; I've seen what happens to those types of people." She said.
"Well... let me put it in another perspective, if we leave things how they are now, it will undoubtedly lead to worse consequences." I said.
"Like what?" Lyn said.
"First of all, your grandfather will most likely die. He will take full control of Caelin and align himself with Araphen for example. Thus corrupting Caelin itself. Caelin doesn't have what it needs to support itself without the help of the Marquess, thus making Caelin deteriorate and eventually falling upon itself. Many will die and more will suffer." I said.
"But still... it isn't right." Ninian said.
"Whether it be bad or good, it doesn't matter, history is written by the victors, whoever loses will be seen as evil regardless of whether they be good or not. This isn't a question of good or bad, this is a question about what needs to happens, not what we want to happen." I said. They think about it for a while before responding.
"Leave it to Mark to set us straight." Lyn said.
"Your Welcome, I'm glad I didn't have to smack some sense into you." I retorted. Trying to break the silence.
"As if you can." Lyn said.
"Don't underestimate magic; I'll burn your ass!"
"If you do, I'll chop of yours!"
"As if you can!"
We had a staring match for a while and it broke when the girls started laughing. It worked but still, I wanted to continue.
"Alright guys, it looks like you guys are good to go for tomorrow. Get enough sleep because we'll need it." I said and started walking away.
"You guys have been fighting more and more Lyn." Florina said.
"Really?" Lyn said.
"Yeah, you guys act like a married couple." Serra said earning a slight tint of red on Lyn's face.
"No, it's more like brother and sister bickering." Ninian said.
"Well whatever it is, they enjoy each other's company at least." Serra said.
"...A brother..." Lyn muttered silently.
"Your evil, you know that." Audelia said.
"Why?" I asked.
"You just manipulated all of their feeling into achieving tomorrow's victory."
"I did what I had to do so that they would survive."
"Maybe but they would have found their resolution on their own, you used twisted logic for your own gain."
"It may have been slightly twisted but its logic nonetheless."
"You better hope it doesn't bite you in the ass."
"I'm pretty sure it will, not that I'll regret it if the time comes when they must."
"...It sounds like you know what the future holds."
"Not even, I'm just using them for now, besides it doesn't hurt to have solders that can kill without regret."
"...You're acting different than before."
"You seem more...ruthless."
"Who knows, maybe this is the true me, after all I don't even know who the hell I am."
"You might not know who you were, but now, you are Mark, Lyndis' Legion's Tactician."
"A person with a great destiny..."
Audelia stayed quiet for the rest of the night. Since I had already talked to everyone in the Legion, I wrote down whatever I said today and put it in the journal. I sat on the bed and thought about stuff. Once this is over, I'll spend a few days in Caelin and then leave... that are the plan anyways. I can't accept Lyn's offer anymore, I need to know who the hell I am. Those were my last thought before I fell asleep.
The next day, everyone was ready. Everyone had a hardened look in their eye's even Florina.
"I won't bore you with an epic speech that I had in my head, I will only ask one thing. Are you ready?" I said.
Everyone stood there, and at the same time, stomped their feet in sync.
"Alright, this might be the last time we will see each other, so GIVE THEM HELL!" I yelled. They cheered.
We marched forward towards Castle Caelin, for whatever awaits us there.
Omake – Mark is Normal, Serra is Italic, Other is Underlined
Damn it, Serra's hot on my trail, better hide.
Mark! Where are you! I demand you change your ungodly green colored cloak!
Keep quiet…keep quiet…
Sn…. S… ake….Sn…k…
What the hell?
…come in…Snake, you there?
What the hell! What is this, how can I see your face with this device!
Mark! There you are!
Crap! Thanks a lot buddy!
… What was that about?
Author's notes –
I tried adding some cheap comedy in and because I felt like it. I shortened the battle scene because it takes too long to write and we mostly know what happens, I hate getting my teammates killed so don't expect them to die, maybe critically injured or crippled in some way (still hate this part if I make it). I totally regretted killing Eagler, he fought on the wrong side for the right reasons. I was thinking of sparing him but as luck would turn out, I felt strangely angsty that day. You know what they say, "The good die young." Or in this case, he was old.
I tried to get a bit of Character Interaction in this chapter. I always thought to myself how they can kill so much without feeling anything so I used this opportunity to try to reflect some human emotion. I wonder if I got it down.
I admit, I made Mark a bit of a Gary Stu in this chapter, but don't worry, in a few more chapters; I plan to make his life… less bright… heheheh….
Anyways, I might not be able to rewrite or proofread my chapter because I haven't got the time, so if I make a mistake in grammar or the chapter didn't turn out as good as you hoped, I'm sorry.
Anyways, hope I still have people reading this; it's been a month after all. Till next time.