Chapter 16: General of the Seventh Army
“Captain Klauna,” Kazakiel called out to Klauna as she was making her way through the fort.
“Yes?” Klauna turned around to face Kazakiel. In her hands were two things, Lionel’s spear and a bottle of liquor. Her hair was messy and her face slightly red. The drunkard Klauna made a full comeback.
“...this is regarding the injured, we were wondering about how to transport them. Some of them are still in critical condition. So I was wondering if you—”
“I don’t know. Use one of the carriages I guess. I saw plenty in the stables. Add springs or tell them to suck it up or something. Either they get carried in a bumpy ride or get left here to die. Their choice,” Klauna replied with a careless tone. She then took a sip before walking away.
“Captain Klauna,” Medica called out to Klauna, not long after she had her conversation with Kazakiel.
“Yes?” Klauna turned around to faced Medica.
“I need… to speak to you about Lord Lina.”
“What about Scuttlelinaria?”
“It seemed that she locked herself in her room. She refuses to eat or drink at all. Any attempts to make contact have been met with silence. The others heard her maniacal screams from time to time and talking about death and such. I’m afraid she would do something stupid or worse, take her own life.”
“Hmm? Why?” Klauna tilted her head.
“Why…?” Medica asked back.
“Why do you care so much about that slut? She almost got you all killed with her actions. As far as I can remember, she wasn’t that pleasant of a person anyways. Even now, she is only wasting precious resources and personnel due to her selfish actions.”
“...I… I can’t just leave her alone Captain Klauna.”
“Why not?” Klauna asked again.
“It’s just not right,” Medica clenched her fist at her chest. “Besides, as a Succour, I know how painful it is to lose a wing. It’s what makes us, Captain Klauna. Without them we are nothing…”
“... Do you really think that way? That you are worthless without your wings?”
“Hmph. I don’t really care. Let her do whatever she wants. If she wants to die, she can die alone in the fort after we leave. If you feel very strongly about it then force her to come out. Barge into her room or something. Force her to work. Give her something to distract herself from her own despair,” Klauna said before walking away.
“Um... I’ll try it.” Medica replied.
“Captain Klauna,” A random Warrior officer came out and called out to Klauna.
“Yes?” Once again, Klauna turned around, a little hint of annoyance in her voice.
“I need to ask you for advice regarding our current inventory. The metal the humans use in their weapons were rather high in quality. Some of them even have magic imbued in them. I suspect that they have rather excellent blacksmiths creating these.”
“Yeah? What about it? If you want the swords then take them, sell them or whatever. It’s worthless to them now, better in our hands than theirs anyways.”
The man had a rather surprised look when he heard this. “Are you sure? Looting a dead person’s body is rather…”
“Honourless? Despicable? I took this weapon out of a dead body as well. You are asking advice from a despicable person then,” Klauna brandished Lionel’s spear in front of the man. The banner of the Seventh Army fluttered.
“...Noted,” The man saluted before walking away.
‘Hmm? Again another person outside of the battalion saluted me.’ Klauna thought before walking away as well.
Klauna just couldn’t have a break. She would walk a short while before somebody would come up to her to ask a question or advice. She would just answer the best she could; without a single care; before walking away.
It went on for almost the entire morning. As patient as she was, even she has her limits. It was starting to get annoying. It reminded her of her battalion when she first met them— except it wasn’t this bad last time. One hundred and fifty people could only ask so many questions. This time it felt like the whole army was seeking her.
She was standing impatiently right now as she listened to two soldiers from Cera’s battalion asking her about their current night watch shifts. A lot of demons had died, disrupting the usual pattern and schedule.
Klauna didn’t know anything about the schedule or Cera’s men enough to advise them about patrol schedules. Even if she knew, she wouldn’t tell them anyway. She has had enough.
“Why are you asking me this? Use your damn brain for once. I’m busy right now, could you not waste my time?” Klauna replied to them, her legs tapping the floor in annoyance.
The two soldiers stood up rigid and stiff when they heard Klauna’s voice. They both then saluted. “Roger. We will sort it out ourselves.” They said before walking away.
Klauna let out a sigh before walking onwards further— this time completely ignoring everyone who calls out to her. The plan worked roughly when she finally arrived at her destination.
It was a makeshift tomb meant to memorialise everyone that died in the battle for Fort Kron. A nameless one. It had to be nameless else the humans would just destroy it when they retake the fort inevitably. Around the tomb were a few other demons just standing around and looking at it. It seemed that they were paying their respects and mourning.
Klauna went right up to the tomb before placing a bottle of liquor in front of it. She then sat on a giant boulder looking towards the tomb.
“You are an asshole you know that Lionel? Now that you are dead, who is going to sign off my discharge papers?” Klauna said to the tomb. Not caring if the other Ak’hims heard her or not.
“We’ll be leaving this fort soon. This will be our last time meeting each other. I’m not sure what kind of drink you like so I just brought a cheap one. I’m taking the good one with me,” Klauna continued.
“Cheers,” Klauna said before chugging down her bottle in one go.
Once done, Klauna just sat there lifelessly as she stared into the Tomb. She wanted to say more words to him, but couldn’t find any will in it to say them. The two had been friends for a long time— more than a decade. He was the only other person other than the Analysts that she cared about. The things that needed to be said between the two of them had already been said.
Klauna just stood there and stared at the grave. A few seconds. A few minutes. A few hours. By the time she realised it, evening had come and the sun was almost setting. Everyone around her was gone.
“Have you come to your senses already?” Cera’s voice came from her side. Klauna looked over to see Cera sitting down next to her on the boulder. “I can see where Harbin gets her habits from,” Cera muttered.
Klauna didn’t respond and opened up her shirt to grab the other bottle of Liquor that she had on her. Before she could open it, Cera forcefully took the bottle and tossed it away. It fell to the ground and the bottle broke, the contents leaking out onto the ground below.
Klauna gave an annoyed look to Cera. The liquor that she just broke was one of the better ones..
“I like it better when you aren’t drunk,” Cera said.
“I’m not drunk,” Klauna replied.
Klauna let out a sigh at her response. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind hit the two. The banner on Lionel’s spear fluttered in the air, waving proudly for a few seconds. Once the winds had passed, Klauna brought her attention to the spear. She then held it in front of Cera in a gesture to pass it to her.
“Here. Being the one leading this army now. I believe this should be handed down to you. It’s a nice spear that Lionel has. I’m sure you would be a good wielder," Klauna said to Cera.
Cera’s mouth was agape and her brows furrowed. “A nice spear…? Do you… even know what it is that you are holding in your hands?”
Klauna tilted her head and gave out a look of confusion. She then brought the spear in front of her to inspect it.
“It’s a magic spear is it not? It’s very strong considering how light and easy it is to wield. It doesn’t rust and requires no maintenance as well. The edge is always sharp. I’m sure Lionel got a masterwork blacksmith to work on this.” Klauna responded based on her inference.
“Unbelievable… I knew he said you were ignorant about our culture. But I didn’t expect it to go this far…”
“Hmm? What do you mean? What’s so special about this spear?”
“... The weapon you hold in your hands is one of the five relics of the Ak’hims. The favoured weapon of the First Demon Lord. The Warrior relic, Indominatus. It’s a soul weapon, a sentient weapon that chooses its wielder. Anyone not worthy of a soul weapon’s choosing will not be able to wield it. It will either be too heavy or blunt,” Cera explained.
“The spear is alive?” Klauna asked as she inspected Indominatus further.
“Very much so. At least that’s what the stories say.”
“...So you're telling me that this army has two relics of the entire race this whole time?”
“Yes. The Warrior Spear Indominatus, and the Grimoire of the Analyst.”
“...Command must be more incompetent than I thought. If we lose, these two relics will be lost to the humans.”
“... I cannot argue with that.”
Klauna let out another sigh. She then held the spear in front of Cera again. “Take it.”
Cera however, didn’t bother with it and started talking. “Captain Klauna. Do you know what does respect means?”
“...I don’t see how that has to do with anything.” Klauna responded.
“For us Warriors you see. We believe that respect is earned. Loyalty by debt or by great actions or just by being a generally strong person.”
“You’ve earned my respect Captai- General Klauna. I can say for sure that you’ve earned the respect from the others as well.”
“...” Klauna kept quiet and let out a confused look.
Cera let out a sigh. “Lord Lionel always told me that you are a straightforward person and you need things to be explained to you directly. So I might as well tell you straight right now. Take the spear and keep it. It has chosen you for a reason. Get used to be being called a general. Cause you are the general of the Seventh Army now, General Klauna.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever formally introduced myself to you. My name is Stardivacera Warrior. I’m looking forward to working with you,” Cera said before giving Klauna a bow.
“Huh?” Klauna replied with her mouth slackening, lost for words.