25. Fated Bloodshed
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Bonus Valentine's Day chapter for all you single people out there! This is my gift filled with love to you. Happy couples not allowed to read this.

 

Chapter 25: Fated Bloodshed

 

The Plains of Fate. Just as its name suggests, it is an open field right next to Prashyufa. The plains stretched wide beyond what the eyes can see and is surrounded by forests and tall hills. It is said that the Supreme Cadenza fought the First Demon Lord and his allies’ right here in these plains. Supremes are beings of immeasurable power, ageless immortals that can only be described as gods. The battle determined the fate of the Ak’hims and the First Demon Lord and his subordinates won by a narrow margin.

Too narrow.

The plains still fester with her unholy blood. No trees take root in this place, only grass. The place was aptly named the Plains of Fate. In the plains, Klauna could see tens of thousands of humans, elves and dwarfs setting up large encampments all over the place. Banners of various countries were placed all over the place.

On the other side were about thirty thousand demons, twelve armies in total. Both sides made a defensive line away from each other, one moment away from a slaughter fest. It seemed that the Alliance had also decided to meet the demons head-on rather than opt for a more defensive position. Both sides just gathering massive amounts of soldiers, waiting to be swatted like flies. 

“There has to be more,” Klauna muttered under her breath as she viewed the enemy numbers. One country already outnumber them four to one, there was no way a conglomerate of countries only has this many numbers. Could more of the alliance not be here due to logistics?

Or was there another reason for their lack of numbers? Klauna thought about what was going through the leader’s minds for both sides of the war. She then stopped because it was too tiresome to think about factors that she cannot control. 

“There are so many of them…” Poi said to the others, her voice was shaky.

“Makes you think of the scale of the whole war doesn’t it?” Balestra replied.

“Yeah… Can we really make a difference here?” Poi asked.

“The outcome of the battle? Most likely not,” Klauna replied to her question.

“Then… why are we here again?”

“You already know the answer to that question Poilautenula,” Balestra said to her in a stern voice.

“I know that… but...”

“If you are so afraid of it then you can stay behind. I’m not forcing you to come with me.” Klauna then faced towards the other rogues and Ak’hims that was with her. “You all can stay behind.” She said in a clear commanding voice.

A moment of silence fell upon the area. Poi took this moment to think about things. She then took a deep breath and looked back at Klauna with determined eyes. “No... I’ve come too far to back away now.”

The other Ak’hims that were with her nodded in agreement. Satisfied with their answers, Klauna took one last look at the battlefield. It was almost dawn and the two sides stood there just looking at each other. Klauna then jumped down from the tall tree. She then made her way towards a certain encampment within the woods. Balestra and the other Ak’him followed behind.

Klauna had identified three points of interest in the areas near the Plains of Fate. One of which was a rather secluded area that was both easy to hold and easy to retreat from. It was located on top of a hill and surrounded by thick trees and canopy, providing them with the necessary cover and advantage if they were to be attacked. Inversely, it made striking from this position much easier.

A forward operating base was set up here by the Seventh Army, far away from the battlefield that was about to happen. All but one hundred soldiers of the Seventh Army were here. The rest stayed behind to continue fortifying the camp back at Prashyufa. Klauna put them under Lina’s command. Though that was just in name and formalities, Klauna doubted that she would actually do anything.

“Lord Klauna!” Harbin saluted Klauna as she moved into the camp.

The other officers also heard her loud voice and came over to gather up, giving a salute in the process. Within the camp was a few hundred soldiers lined up in position. All equipped and awaiting orders.

“The battle is about to begin. How are the preparations? Are we sortie ready?” Klauna asked Harbin.

“Yes. Every single person in the camp is ready!”

“What of the others? Are they in position as well?” Klauna asked another question.

“Captain Kazakiel and Senior Yuupiecca are in position and awaiting command. I’ve said to everyone that we will be communicating via the grimoire.” Harbin nodded to Poi.

Nodding back, Poi then pointed out a copy of the fake grimoire, a small tiny book which she keeps in her breast pocket. 

“Voice test! Can everyone hear me?” Harbin said to the grimoire in front of her. 

Her voice echoed in the area as if there were two Harbin saying the words— her secondary voice coming out of Poi’s location, rather, it was coming from her ginormous mounds. It was much softer than Harbin’s real voice, but it was enough to relay information.

“You don’t have to shout dammit. You almost bust out my ears,” Yuupiecca’s voice could be heard coming out of the two grimoires.

“...I am in position.” the voice of the Watchtower Warrior was heard soon after Yuupiecca’s.

“As you can see it’s working, Lord Klauna. It’s not perfect, we are still trying to figure out some other things like the clutter and the volume control, but we need more time for that,” Harbin explained the problems with the current setup.

“Incredible… we can really communicate even at these distances.” A demon muttered in amazement.

Klauna got closer to Harbin and spoke to the Grimoire. “This is Klauna. You guys stay in position and wait for the signal. Many lives will depend on how well you execute this. I’m putting my own life on the line here as well. I wish you all good luck.”

“Roger.”
“Noted.”

The Watchtower Warrior and Yuupiecca replied.

Klauna nodded at their response. “Then as planned, I’m leaving two hundred Analysts, one hundred Saboteurs, and one hundred Succours under your command. Cera your whole battalion will follow me.”

“Affirmative,” Cera replied with a firm tone. She was definitely prepared for the upcoming battle.

“...got it, Lord Klauna.” Harbin however, replied with a less than confident tone.

“...What’s wrong? Getting scared? You should be in the safest position possible,” Klauna asked Harbin.

“No… that’s not it… It’s just that… I’m not sure if I’m ready to lead this many people… What if I screw up?” Harbin clutched her Grimoire before shrivelling in place.

Harbin was rather worried about her newfound importance in the army. The recently new application of the Grimoire changes everything. She was now, one of the more important people within the Seventh Army. Without her, communications between the grimoire will get cut off. She was now the coordinator between the battalions. Making any mistake now could mean that hundreds, even thousands of lives could be lost.

Klauna brought her hand and gave Harbin a small pat on the head. “Then don’t.”

“Pretty easy for you to say, Lord Klauna...” Harbin replied, taking Klauna’s hand off her head in embarrassment.

“Please don’t say that. It is not an easy decision for me.”

“...”

“You aren’t the only one here who feels pressured Harbin. We all are,” Cera said as she looked towards her men. “Their lives are in my hands as well.”

“Just do your best, it’s all that I ask. Let’s go, Cera.” Klauna said before walking away.

Cera gave Harbin an understanding nod before moving away. “Men! On me!” She yelled and her whole battalion moved out of the camp.

Balestra and the other Ak’hims under Klauna moved as well.

“...I’ll try my best,” Harbin said to herself before taking a deep breath. She then walked further into the camp in order to give order to the four hundred people that were assigned under her.

 

* * * * *

 

Inside the enemy camp, a young prince, now wearing a crown was in a small room, kneeling towards a small statue. It was some sort of avatar, the personification of their beliefs. Beside him, was his lover and aide, just standing by his side. There were other people in the room as well, a few of his best friends and companions, an elf princess and a dwarven warrior.

They all waited for him to finish doing his thing which wasn’t very long at all as he soon stood up and went out of the tent. His companions just kept quiet and followed after him. Once outside, the young man turned towards the skies only to see that dawn was soon approaching. He then turned his attention towards the line of troops, waiting for the upcoming battle.

“The time has come for us to rid this land of those foul demons is it not? King of Serrora?” The Elf Princess said to the young man.

“Don’t call me that… I’m not sure if I deserve being called by that title.”

“Better get used to it, Kiddo. The other countries are watching you.”

“Yeah, I know…”

“Do you think the demon that killed uncle is here?” The young man’s lover asked.

“I don’t know… I asked the men to search for a mighty demon with a mighty banner. According to them, there were a few mighty demons that they spotted among them, but none of them had a banner.”

“What will you do if you see the Demon on the battlefield?” Asked one of his companions.

“I don’t know… I know that revenge isn’t the answer to this, but I cannot deny my men who call for the Demon’s blood.”

“I see…”

A loud thundering sound could be heard as they converse. It was then followed by a loud roar from a horn, then more horns. It finally ends with a loud roar from all the demons across the Plains of Fate.

The whole group was set on alert. Bells and horns from the Alliance’s side soon rang out as well and the thunderous roar of everyone on their side could be heard. The young Prince yelled to everyone to take positions. Once ready, they await the demons to make their move.

The long-awaited battle was about to begin.

The dark skies turned purple, then orange and soon dawn came and the whole battlefield was lit with yellow light. The demons made their first move and rushed towards the Alliance who were heavily defended, blinded by their pride and arrogance. Fools. The humans only further prepared themselves as they hold spears to halt the incoming demons.

It worked somewhat.

The frontlines were blasted away by the sheer strength of the demons and their powerful physical and magical abilities. But the Alliance didn’t let up. They quickly reinforced the lines and pushed back with zeal.

The Prince and his companions immediately went to work and spearhead an army to cut the demon lines, killing off any demons in their path.

As hundreds of people died around him, the young Prince thought to himself. Maybe coming to the Plains of Fate wasn’t the right thing to do. A lot of people are going to die and for what? Petty revenge?

He could have just fortified their borders and ended the war in a stalemate. Instead, he sought help from other countries and promised his people that he will eradicate the demons from the continent in a fit of rage. He basically ordered a whole chunk of his country to die and this decision weighs on his consciousness.

In a way he was right, but war is often a two-way affair. Sylendri was just as hell-bent on exterminating the humans off the continent as much as he wants the demons gone. It could only end in bloodshed.

Battle of Fate Result so far:

Ak'hims.  : 30340 Soldiers remaining. Demon Lord and 12 generals in total.
Seventh Army :1578 Soldiers remaining.
Alliance : 98890 Soldiers remaining. 

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