Chapter 14: Pride of the Seventh Army
General Lionel was one of the few great generals of the Northern Demon Kingdom. He was a war orphan that made his name during the great reign of the Fifth Demon Lord. Due to his terrible past, he decided that no other demons deserved to have the same fate as him. A huge part of the Seventh Army were orphans as well. People that Lionel took in when they have nowhere else to go. Thousands of demons that owe him a debt of life.
He was a great man that should have been the Sixth Demon Lord. The only reason he wasn't, was because Venti the Fifth favours her daughter, Sylendria as the Demon lord. Lionel could have contested this of course, but he didn't. Back then it was a mystery. Now everyone in the Seventh Army knew why.
The very same Seventh Army that was currently cutting down humans in order to give aid to the general. Almost a thousand demons were enraged and were charging in onto human formations recklessly. The humans held strong recklessly as well, protecting their general that they swore their life to. It was a battle that neither side could back away from.
Piles of dead bodies— humans and Ak'hims alike— were laid upon each other in a pool of blood. The living crawling over them in a long drawn out slugfest. Above the ground, the Succours attempted to interfere but they were shot down by arrows and anti-air magic. Then, an ominous wind came by and forcefully grounded the winged demons. The succours struggled but no matter what they did, their wings, although flapping, was not enough for the Succours to take off the ground anymore due to the black winds.
Not giving up, the demons kept charging in onto the human formations, caring less about their own lives as they risk it all to reach the general.
Lionel himself was within sight of the Ak'hims, brandishing his mighty spear towards a select few humans who were ganging up on him. His aura flared brightly, overwhelming the humans. They wore specific special armour and clothing. The one leading them was a gaudy looking general wearing full golden armour, a crown on his head.
Lionel and the group of humans clashed with each other, trading mighty blows that shook the areas nearby. At first glance, It might look like Lionel was equal to the small group of humans, but Lionel had been fighting at his full strength for a while now. The Ak'him knew if they don't reach him in time, Lionel will be defeated.
Cera who arrived at the battlefield earlier was trying all sorts of ways to get to her foster father. Climbing on top of the demons or digging through the ground with the help of the Saboteurs or simply giving her all in a brute force attempt to scatter the humans in front of her.
She tried everything.
And so did the humans.
Every single attempt by Cera was only repelled away by the sapiens. This was probably their only chance of victory. To kill General Lionel and hope that his death could break the Ak'him's spirit.
Yet, Cera and the others didn't give up. Slowly but surely, they make their way to Lionel. Minutes felt like hours to Cera as she battled her way through. However, just when Cera was about to break the line and reach out...
The great lion fell. A sword stabbed right through his heart from the gaudy general.
Cera could feel her heart stop. She stopped breathing and the whole world went dim. Her eyes only see the once unbeatable man, the man who gave her a reason to live fell lifelessly to the ground. Cera's legs lost strength and she slumped down to the ground as well. Tears flowed down her eyes as she no longer had the will to fight any longer.
All of the demons in the immediate area could be seen in a state of disbelief as well, unable to process the events that happened. They just stood there, no longer having any will to fight. The humans saw this took the chance to cut down the demons, the Ak'hims' reckless attacks putting them in a bad position.
The enemy general saw this and quickly attempted to cut off Lionel's head. To show it the demons and further demoralized them.
His attempts were quickly stopped as a large pillar of flames appeared around Lionel's body and the areas nearby. From the skies, beyond the clouds, was a female demon with long hair diving onto his position. The human general attempted to swing upwards in order to intercept the demon but was met with a fireball to the face. He had no choice but to step back.
The demon landed gracefully on the ground as if gravity was a joke. She then immediately picked up the nearest weapon from the ground, Lionel's spear, and ran towards the gaudy general. The human general swung his sword towards the unarmed demon, his body still on fire, but was outmatched by her speed and suffered a blow to his body. A quick stab that pierced through his armour and through his chest.
With a quick change in body weight, Klauna pushed the human down to the ground before taking the spear out and stabbing the man again. This time she stabbed him in the throat before pulling the spear again and did a big swing to slice off his head.
In just a few decisive seconds, Klauna had eliminated the enemy General who had gotten careless.
This time it was the humans that were in disbelief. The entire battlefield went quiet as if time stood still. The fire died down and Klauna took this time to go over to Lionel's body, checking to see if she was too late. She brought up his large body and called out to him, but Lionel didn't respond.
Lionel was barely alive, but it was too late. His wound was fatal and there was no hope for survival.
A frustrated look could be seen on Klauna’s face as the two exchange their last words to each other.
Cera could not hear what the two were talking about. Even if she could, it wasn't registering. Her mind was blank. It was if she lost her ability to think.
Soon after what feels like several hours, Klauna picked up Lionel's spear and brandished it towards the skies. The banner of the Seventh Army spread out for all to see.
"Stand up!" Klauna yelled out with a loud commanding voice. A bright blast of red aura was released from her body and the entire battlefield felt heavy.
Her voice was so loud it might not even be an understatement to say that the entire battlefield could hear it.
"Why are you acting like it is all over!? Stand up! Are you going to let his sacrifice be in vain!?" She yelled again.
"Is this what the pride of the Seventh Army amounts to? His pride?!"
"His pride…?" Cera muttered to herself as Klauna's voice resonated within her.
Cera starts to remember a certain moment she once had with General Lionel.
"My greatest achievement has always been this army, Cera. You are all my Pride, the one thing that I care the most. I hope that one day you can find something that you are proud of," Lionel's words spoke out inside Cera's mind.
It was then that Cera's heart started beating again. Blood poured through her veins, her mind full of rage and sadness.
'It's not over yet. I have to protect his pride!' Cera thought to herself as she wiped the unending tears off her face.
"Didn't you hear what she said? Stand up!" Cera shouted as she brandished her sword the nearest human around her, instantly killing him.
She then screamed in anger as she sliced off more human soldiers around her. The other demons heard the scream and woke up from their stupor. Seeing Cera in a rage made them rage as well.
Much much more than earlier.
Ignoring the pain within their hearts and their bodies, they just find the nearest human they could and kill them in cold blood. The humans that were still in their own state of stupor.
The high profile humans that were alongside the gaudy general tried to rally the men. They also have an angry almost maniacal look on them. The humans were no doubt out for blood as well.
However, Klauna was already charging at them to prevent them from doing so. With speeds like a panther, she zipped through the humans in order to aim at the remaining human leaders. The human elites noticed her banded together in an attempt to fight off the Analyst. They’ve beaten the general of the demons, this one will be no different.
A great mistake by the humans when they soon found out that Klauna was much faster than Lionel and her blows equally as strong. No, even stronger. Large waves of pure magic energy were released with every swing of the spear she wielded in her arms, disrupting any type of formation that the humans may have. Any attempts by the human elites to rally the men were met with Klauna’s devastating strikes.
Soon, one of the humans made a mistake and Klauna wasted no time to punish him. A stab from the spear went right through the human’s skull. The death of the humans made an opening on the rest of the elites. Using the momentum she had, she exploited the newfound opening and killed the next human. And the next. And the next. The next. Next….
All the elites were now dead alongside their gaudy general. Blood permeated from her clothes and skin. Any humans who saw this were terrified of her power and ran away. Seeing that some humans had started running away, the others woke up and started doing the same.
*Boom! *Boom! *Boom!
Unfortunately, their escape path was blocked by artillery shells from the skies. It was Harbin and the Analysts. Going through the bombardment meant getting torn to shreds. Any attempt to backtrack was met with the bloody blades of the enraged Seventh Army behind them. Stragglers that managed to escape both were picked off by the Succours that have regained their flight abilities now that the mages responsible for the ominous winds have stopped casting.
Seeing no other choice, the humans decided to go all in and fight to their last breath— hoping that they will still be able to win the battle.
By then, it was already too late. The enraged demons were killing off the remaining humans left and right. It was no slaughter.
It was genocide.
* * * * *
Rows of whoever was still alive in the Seventh Army could be seen lining the hallways of the fort. Many of them had a distant and empty stare. Some of them had tears dripping off their cheeks.
But none of them looked away.
In the middle of the hallway was Klauna dragging the deceased body of her friend Lionel by her shoulders. She stared straight while holding the body of her dear friend as she slowly made her way to the end of the hallway. The spear clutched within her hands as the banner of the Seventh Army flutters in display. One by one, the demons threw flowers and saluted the general— taking one last good look at the general.
After a few long painful minutes, Klauna arrived at her destination— the end of the hallway. A large pile of dead bodies were neatly arranged on top of each other; it was the dead bodies of all the Ak’hims who died that day. All the officers of the Seventh Army positioned themselves near the pile. At the frontmost was Cera, holding a lit torch in her hands.
Klauna placed down Lionel right at the edge of the pile before giving him one last look. On his face was a smile, the look of a man that’s satisfied. Klauna had all the right in her to punch that smile out of Lionel’s face. How could he be satisfied knowing he led his children into death like that. How can he be satisfied knowing that he left his children in such a disappointing way?
‘How could he smile like that when I couldn’t?’ Klauna thought to herself as she moved away from the body and looked towards Cera.
It was her turn to say her goodbyes. Cera kneeled in front of the general and kissed him on the forehead before moving away. After her was Kazakiel, and the next officer. This went on till the last of the officers, Harbin.
Harbin took a look at Lionel’s dead body with teary eyes before giving him a bow. She then tore a page of the grimoire before folding it and placing it on Lionel’s lap.
The highest honour an Analyst can give to any person.
When all is said and done, Cera, the torchbearer placed the lit torch on Lionel’s body, setting him aflame. The fire then spread across the pile and every other Ak’him there were burned and purified by the holy flames.
The spear and the banner of the Seventh Army glowed at the sight of the burning Ak’hims.
Make no mistake. The demons did not win that day. They’ve won nothing and only lost everything in return.
Seventh Army : 1038 killed. General Lionel and a multitude of leader positions deceased.
Humans : 9283 killed. Total annihilation of the human army.
Total remaining :1312 soldiers remaining.
Total remaining :110 humans captured and sent to the dungeons.