Snippet #2789785

located in Veilbrand, a part of Assassin's Pledge: Revolution, one of the many universes on RPG.

Veilbrand

The Nation of Stone and Wealth

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Character Portrait: Kyero
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Revolution Base (Theta), Veilbrand

Three Days Later...

Frosas, the final day of the seven day calendar week. The improvements in basic body mechanics, accuracy, and confidence in the Revolution’s forces were small, but noticeable. All four Generals, as they watched the final group of trainees completing their final exercise for the night, glanced to one another silently before observing Kyero as he raised a hand and called for everyone to stop.

”That’s enough, everyone. Find your partner and begin your cool-down stretches. Once you’re done, you’re free to leave.”

Everyone partnered up and began stretching together. Assisting each other with both forward and side splits, back stretches, chest stretches, and core stretches. And within five minutes, everyone had finished and was on their way to their quarters in the barracks.

Meanwhile, the Generals approached Kyero.

”Not bad for your first week, Kyero.” General Sol stated plainly.

”I believe congratulations are in ordeur?” General Luna added.

”They’ve obviously gained confidence in you as an instructor, and that’s good.”

”Yes. If they doun’t trust you, the woun’t wourk hard for you.”

”I would suggest that you take this time to review the progress they’ve made and immediately plan for next week’s instruction.”

Kyero remained facing the departing trainees.

”I already have my plan for next week.”

”And that would be?”

”Kobas, Muras, and Legas will be strength and cardio conditioning, as well as partner exercises to increase combat synchronization. Illas, Sutoras, and Oelas will focus on speed, accuracy, and reaction times. And Frosas will be a day to rest, focusing on meditation and discussion about topics which they may be concerned about.”

The Generals glanced to one another.

”I can understand Kobas through Oelas, but Frosas being about meditation and discussion? What purpose would dedicating a full day to them be?”

Kyero turned towards General Star.

”General. How many times during this Revolution have you found yourself feeling tired in a way unrelated to combat fatigue?”

”A few times. Why?”

”Take it from me, General. Devoting all of your time to training yields... Mixed results. There must be time for rest to let the mind and body both cool down.”

”I agree with the point that we must give them time to rest their bodies. But discussion? I agree with General Staur that this is confusing to me.”

”Before I answer, I’d like to ask a question of my own. Have any of you ever discussed with them what their personal fears, goals, and motivations are?”

Silence.

”I didn’t think so. You receive your orders, relay them, and then you’re off to the field of battle. It’s a simple approach, but it lacks something important: Trust.”

The Generals expressions hardened slightly as they glanced between one another.

”Before you argue, hear me out. You know this well enough, but I’ll say anyway that these are ordinary people. They’re not soldiers. You’ve all become Generals in this Revolution. A title granted to soldiers with great experience in most circumstances. And you now lead them as if they were soldiers. But they’re not. They’ll never be soldiers. They’re just people fighting to reclaim their homeland. And right now their only connection to you is their orders...”

Kyero trailed off a bit, his lower lip twitching slightly as he lowered his head.

”If orders are all they have, they’re no better than mindless weapons...” He said quietly.

Lifting his head, his voice regained its edge.

”Without a connection to you, they lack anything other than their personal motivation. They’re individuals, not a unified body acting as one.”

The four Generals eyes all opened a touch wider and they each took a deep breath as they remained silent to let Kyero continue.

”Requesting a discussion between myself and them will help me connect with them on a deeper level. I won’t take to the field with them when they’re deployed. But if I can help build a sense of common understanding between them and unify their mentality, their survival rate will skyrocket.”

General Comet stepped forward.

”I understand. You seek to create a brotherhood among them, if you will. More than just “we are the people of Veilbrand.” You want to give them a common understanding to share despite their differences in background and social class before joining this Revolution. This would see their faith and trust in one another rise, and allow them to fight with both ferocity of purpose and peace of mind at the same time knowing they all have each other's backs as one... Correct?”

General Sol was silently approached by a messenger and handed a piece of parchment.

”Exactly.”

”... I have to admit I’m impressed.”

”It doesn’t look like you have much time to act on this, Kyero. This report states that Egruus’ forces are soon to march on the city of Kruutzag, to the Northeast.”

”You’ve got to be kidding.”

”What’s the issue?”

”We occupied that city about a month ago. We knew he’d be back for it eventually, but we didn’t know he’d be preparing to move on it this soon. Our supplies there are meager due to the recent re-allocation of resources to Fort Hruitz on the Western front last week before your arrival. If we don’t perform an emergency deployment within the next few days, we’re not going to have enough supplies or manpower to protect the city.”

”... Is that right?”

”Unfortunately, yes... The troop aren’t going to like this. An emergency deployment is going to decrease morale.”

”Especially once they learn Egruus is going to send 1,000 men versus our four hundred, presuming we can spare everyone for the operation.”

”We’ll have to use everyone. The city isn’t laid out in a way that could serve as the difference maker.”

”This is not good. If we can’t maintain our pousition, we will lose moure than just the city.”

”We stand to lose an ally.”

”Who?”

”The Archbishop of Gweynura has family in the city. If even one of them comes to harm, he’s sworn to withdraw his support for our cause which includes a hefty sum of Gold and access to his personal trade caravan. We’ve kept that connection out of the public eye for now, but Egruus is shrewd enough to notice the drop off in our resources if we lose this connection.”

Kyero slowly looked away, and General Comet arched an eyebrow as she noticed his center of balance shifting away from his walking stick. Kyero was quick to make the correction, but it was too late. However, she maintained her silence as Kyero took a step away from them.

”... I don’t suppose we have any time to waste, then. Until the time of deployment, I will be starting each day with meditation followed by discussion and an impromptu training plan based on what we discuss. Our priority now is to maintain and build up their morale before deployment. And I may call on one or more of you to help. Agreed?”

Agreed. They all said in unison.

”Good. Then I will take my leave for the evening... I need to think.”

With that, Kyero limped off to his quarters as the Generals disbursed.

Later that night...


Kyero sat in his chair near the window, looking outside. His room was on the fourth floor of the building, above the rooftops of surrounding buildings. His bandanna was wrapped around his forehead, allowing him a brief, secret reprieve from its confining fabrics.

Knock, knock.

The bandanna was pulled down, and Kyero grabbed the walking stick and placed it closer to his chair.

”Enter.”

General Comet walked into the room, closing and locking the door behind her.

”Good evening, Kyero. I hope I’m not bothering you.”

”Not at all. What can I do for you, General Comet?”

She took up a seat in the empty chair next to him.

”... You’re not really crippled, are you?”

”What gives you that impression?”

”I noticed your center of gravity shifting today without the need for the stick. If you were really a cripple, you’d have moved the stick first to compensate for it.”

Kyero took a long, soft breath through his nose as he turned his head towards the window.

”You’re a better teacher than you thought.” She chuckled.

”Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone. But it does make me wonder why you pretend to be crippled?”

”Would it serve anyone better if they knew I wasn’t?”

”It might. I mean, most of the troops weren’t all that enthusiastic about being taught by a blind cripple until you demonstrated how well your ears compensate for your lack of sight.”

”I see...”

”Are you even blind?”

”Yes.”

”Really?”

”Yes.”

”How can I be sure?”

”My sense of hearing would not be able to help me accomplish what I have if my sight hadn’t failed.”

”... I suppose that’s true. How did you go blind, anyway?”

”Scarlet Fever. But because my parents didn’t think it was anything other than a rash caused by allergies to new clothing they’d bought me, they didn’t take me to the doctors in time to stop the infection from spreading to my eyes which destroyed my retinas.”

”I see. That’s awful.”

”Well, I survived. So I wouldn’t call it “awful.” “Unfortunate,” yes. But if I hadn’t lost my sight my hearing wouldn’t have become as sensitive as it is. And I wouldn’t have become an instructor for the Revolution’s forces.”

General Comet chuckled softly, but shook her head.

”You know, you’re a bad liar, Kyero”

”Why do you say that? You don’t believe me?”

”It wasn’t much, but the lie about your crippled status now makes me question everything else about you. And I’m wondering what I would see if I took that bandanna off.”

”Nothing you’d like. My eyes aren’t a pretty sight.”

”Would you mind letting me be the judge of that?”

”I’m sorry, General Comet. But yes. I would mind.”

”... Very well. I’ll keep my word about not telling anyone you’re crippled. But whatever it is you’re hiding from us, you can’t hide it forever Kyero. Trust me.”

She stood up to leave, but paused short of gripping the door knob.

”You know... I like what you’re doing for our people. I really do. But until you come clean about what you’re hiding, I don’t think I can trust you on a personal level.” She began, glancing over her shoulder. ”And weren’t you the one saying we needed to build trust to become a unified group instead of a gaggle of individuals?”

Kyero remained silent.

”... Goodnight, Kyero. I hope that whatever you have planned for our people gives them the strength and courage to face what’s ahead.”

With that, she exited the room and closed the door quietly behind herself. And once he heard her footsteps trail off, Kyero took a deep breath as he removed his bandanna once again and looked outside.

The moon was almost full. It would be by the time of deployment. Kyero had until then to rally the Revolution’s forces on a personal level and build their confidence in what they’d learned, in each other, and in their leadership figures. If he couldn’t, this may very well be the Revolution’s final mission. Either they survived this coming assault, or they lose everything and need to start fresh... If they can.

And as he stared at the moon, his eyes began glowing brighter.

Kyero hissed and grabbed his chest as his heart began pounding like a hammer against his lungs. His breath was cut short, and he curled forward, knocking his stick over in the process, as he landed on his kneed and covered his mouth with his free hand. Slowly, blood leaked from between his fingers and his vision began to blur. And a deep, dark voice began resounding in his mind.

It came on a whisper.
Wwwwweeeee can stoooooop hiiiiiimmmmm...

Kyero violently shook his head, throwing droplets of blood across the floor as he doubled forward planting his forehead on the wooden planks.

Dooooon’t resiiiiiissssssst... It’s foooooorrrrr theeeeemmmmmmmmmmm...

Kyero lifted his head and slammed his forehead into the floor, almost knocking himself unconscious as he toppled over onto his side. His heart rate began falling, and the metallic taste of blood in his mouth waned as it stopped flowing freely. Slowly, Kyero pushed himself up onto his hands and knees, breathing heavily as the last few drops of blood fell from his lip to the floor.

Whhhyyyyy resiiiiisssssst?...

Through labored breathing, ”Because fuck you.” He growled.

The voice fell silent as Kyero’s heart settled and the pain in his chest faded. He stood up slowly, using the table for balance, as he wiped the blood from his mouth and caught his breath. And as he looked to the moon one last time before closing the blinds, Kyero sighed.

”Seems I’m running out of time in more ways than one.”

Kyero then replaced his bandana over his eyes and left the room. He needed to clean up his mess.

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