Catching Up

Vacation over, Florentino thought as he makes his way to the Kalis Parliament from the Ibarra Family Home at the Noble Quarters of Calpheon.

Florentino received a letter just as he got home from the events at Kamasylvia, it states that the Kalis Council requires an audience with him, and as a Calpheon Noble, he cannot refuse.

“What the…” Florentino said as he saw a company of Calpheon Soldiers standing at the ready in front of the Kalis Parliament. 

“Sir Ibarra!” Someone shouted, making Florentino look around. There he saw one of the soldiers waiving at him by the fountain. He approached the soldier.

“You!” Florentino shakes hand with the soldier. “You really did join the Army.”

“Well, sir,” The soldier said, “it’s for Feliciana to finally recognize how serious I am to be with her.”

“You’re still not given up on her huh?” Florentino nodded in approval. “That’s good.”

“Where did Feliciana went to anyways, sir?”

“Wherever the winds take her, my friend.” Florentino tapped the soldier by the shoulder. “Don’t worry, I heard she’s returning after her visit to Altinova and will be arriving soon.”

“Really!?” The soldier’s eyes are filled with joy. “Then I have to prepare. After this mission, I’ll go and prepare for her return and I’ll finally ask for her hand in marriage!”

“Good, that’s good. But remember this: cousin Feliciana is like a bird, remember that.”

“Sir, yes sir!” The soldier salutes and went back to formation.

Valks the Trina Knights Master

Florentino then rushed to the entrance of the Kalis Parliament, and above the grand stairs is Valks, right-hand man of Captain Delphad Castillion.

“Valks!” Florentino shouted as he salutes Valks.

“Florentino!” Valks salutes as well. “Finally you’re here, where have you been?”

“Just a peaceful getaway in the countryside…” Florentino recalls his endeavors from Kamasylvia. “Anyways, what matters is I’ve returned.”

“Yes, that I agree. The Kalis Council is waiting for you inside.”

Florentino nodded as he starts walking towards the entrance to the Kalis Parliament.

“By the way,” Florentino turns around and looks at Valks. “What’s with the soldiers?”

“That’s why you’re here.” Valks pointed at Florentino. “Ask the Kalis Council.”

“Are you also assigned to this mission?”

“Sadly, no. I’m returning to Trina Fort after I’m done here.”

“Best of luck, then.” Florentino then continued going inside the Kalis Parliament.

Delphad Castillion of the Delphe Knights

Florentino went inside the Kalis Parliament. The inside of the building is dark and only candles and the Oculus that lets the sunlight enter the room.

Florentino’s eyes haven’t adjusted to the sudden change of lighting. Then suddenly, he bumps into something or someone. Hey, watch it!

There stood Chief Commander Delphad Castillion of the Delphe Knights and Military Representative in the Kalis Parliament, standing while holding some papers, some of those papers fell on the floor when Florentino bumped into him.

“Commander!” Florentino salutes Delphad Castillion. “I’m terribly sorry!”

“Don’t mind, you. Go on, the Kalis Council is expecting you. I’ll follow shortly afterward.”

“Understood, Commander!”

Florentino continued walking while Delphad Castillion is reading the papers as he picks them.

The Kalis Council

At the center of the Kalis Parliament is a circular table with seven chairs for the members of the Kalis Council, above it, is the Oculus that lights up the center of the room.

The members of the Kalis Council are Giovan Grolin the Civic Representative, Delphad Castillion the Military Representative, Theophil Batian of the Batian Family, Dominic Erne of the Erne Family, Enrique Encarotia of the Xian Merchant Guild, Elina Leight of the Leight Family, and Herman Feresio the Chairman of the Kalis Council. Together, they make up the Kalis Parliament and run the Territory of Calpheon.

“Ah, Florentino, you’re here.” Herman Feresio said, “I see you’ve returned safely from Kamasylvia.”

“Yes sir, and I’m ready for duty.”

“I see,” Herman Feresio leans forward. “Well, I appreciate that you came on this very short notice but we have an issue in our hands.”

“Issue, Chairman?”

“We’re waiting for Delphad Castillion to give a report regarding the matter.” Elina Leight said. “Tell us, how is your trip to Kamasylvia?”

“Well, ma’am it’s… quite a journey. An Ahib Griffon attacked a nearby outpost and I helped the local army in subjugating the beast.”

“An Ahib Griffon?” Herman Feresio said, “Tell us more about it.”

The Giant Crisis

“We can worry about the Ahib Griffon after we’re done with our own problem, Chairman.” Delphad Castillion said as he enters from the shadows. “The Giants by Gehaku Plains are already on the move.”

“I’m sorry,” Florentino interjects, “Giants, sir?”

“Yes,” Delphad Castillion nodded, “the Giants there are expanding their territories again and now they’re attacking merchants and villages… some Nobles are already part of the casualties. We’ve already sent an expedition team there but-“

“They didn’t make it back.” Herman Feresio said.

“-Yes, we haven’t heard from them ever since.” Delphad Castillion scratched his head. “Now we’re sending in a battalion.”

“And we need you, Florentino,” Herman Feresio said, “to go there and… inspire them.”

“With all due respect, sirs. I’m not really a good role model for the army. I’m a mercenary… an adventurer, if you will.”

“But your allegiance still lies with Calpheon,” Herman Feresio said, “that is something every Calpheon soldier should inspire to have, loyalty to his country. May Lord Elion guild you. Glory to Calpheon!”

“Glory to Calpheon!” Florentino and the rest of the Kalis Council said in unison.

At the Rendezvous Point

After the meeting with the Kalis Council, Florentino went outside Kalis Parliament to see that the battalion at formation earlier is now gone.

Where’s the Battalion? Florentino thought.

“If you’re wondering where they are,” Delphad Castillion said as he walks towards Florentino from the inside of Kalis Parliament, “they’re already deployed to deal with the Giant Crisis.”

“Sir?”

“Your true mission is this: kill the Giant Chief. The army is just a diversion.”

Florentino took a step back. What is the Kalis Council thinking?! Sacrificing the army?

“Before you jump to any conclusions,” Delphad Castillion continued, “our end goal is to remove the head of the snake. The body will soon follow.”

“But sir… to sacrifice an army?”

“A necessary sacrifice! Those Giants are harming our territories and citizens! Now then, I believe in you, Florentino. Glory to Calpheon!”

“Glory… to Calpheon.”

Florentino salutes at Delphad Castillion then leaves. He went to his horse and made the horse sprint.

At Hill Path just southwest of Calpheon City. Florentino is arriving at the rendezvous point. The problem is, there are no soldiers even at the checkpoints. Something’s wrong.

Florentino made the horse run faster to Gehaku Plains.

Decimation

Florentino got off the horse quickly and was in shock with what he saw. The battalion sent from Calpheon City was decimated.

How? How could this happen? Florentino thought to himself. There’s no way that a whole battalion could be defeated so easily.

He saw one of the Giants kneeling down to a nearby dead soldier, looting it. His eyes went wide open at to what he saw attached by the right arm of the dead soldier that the Giant removed. No… Please…

Florentino is battle-ready, he readies his ra’ghon, now glowing brownish-yellow.

Florentino dashed forward then aims the crossbow at the Giant then fires.

The bolts hit the Giant by the left shoulder, making him turn around.

Like a flash of lightning, the Giant fell to the ground before he can grab his weapons. Florentino stabbed the Giant by the throat with the blade made by the manifestation of the power of the light from his ra’ghon.

The Letter

Florentino kneels near the dead Calpheon soldier that the Giant was looting, it’s as Florentino feared. It was the soldier he was talking to earlier by the fountain in front of the Kalis Parliament.

“No… look what happened to you…” Florentino said as he looks down, “how am I going to tell cousin about this…”

There, he saw a small paper stained in blood just beneath the dead Calpheon soldier’s chest armor.

“A letter… for… cousin…” Florentino then stands up and puts the letter in his pocket underneath his chest plate. “Don’t worry, my friend, I’ll make sure she reads this…”

In the distant, further into Gehaku Plains, there’s a battle taking place. The remnants of the decimated battalion are still fighting and their resolve is still unwavering.

Florentino knew what he must do. He readied his weapon and starts sprinting towards the distant battle.

Some of the Giants saw Florentino and quickly engaged but Florentino made short work on them. Every strike of his ra’ghon and every hit by his crossbow bolts is a dead Giant.

Florentino is now in a blood frenzy because of his unstable emotions.

Last Stand

By the distant are three Calpheon soldiers fighting for their lives against four Giants. They’re surrounded.

“We got you now, Calpheonian.” One of the Giants said.

“Men!” one of the soldiers cried, “if we die here, we died defending our homes, our friends, and our families.”

The other two soldiers responded with a warcry.

The five Giants raises their weapons.

“For Calpheon!”

Suddenly, a lot of arrows started raining down on the Giants, killing them.

“What?”

“Over there, sir!”

“Florentino!” The soldiers shouted but Florentino just ignored them and continued on further into Gehaku Plains. His only focus is killing the Giants.

“Wait, sir!”

The Giant Chief

Florentino presses on, killing every Giant that gets in his way.

Atop of the hill, there Florentino saw the Giant Chief and a Calpheon soldier at the ground begging for mercy.

“Please! Please!” The soldier cried. “Don’t kill me!”

The Giant Chief only laughed as he slowly creeps his way towards the helpless soldier, with his large metal club being dragged along the ground.

The Giant Chief raises the large metal club to the air.

“NO! PLEASE!”

Everything went silent after the splatter. It only angered Florentino.

Florentino slowly walks towards the Giant Chief as he reloads his crossbow while his fiery gaze focused on the Giant Chief.

I will not let their deaths be in vain!

En Garde!

Florentino delivers the first strike. With the crossbow, he hits the Giant Chief by the left shoulder.

The Giant Chief felt the crossbow bolt hit him but it’s not enough to hurt him. He only turns around and faced Florentino.

Florentino then proceeds on using the ra’ghon. The power of light starts manifesting to form a blade.

Suddenly, the Giant Chief that is in front of Florentino disappeared. What?

The Giant Chief was behind Florentino with the Giant Chief’s back facing him and the large metal club covered in some blood.

“Aaaahhh!” Florentino cried out in pain as he went flying towards the nearby large rock. The blood that covers the large metal club was Florentino’s.

What was that?

Florentino tries to get up when the Giant Chief disappeared again. This time, Florentino dodged to his left.

Then the Giant Chief crashed at the nearby large rock.

What happened earlier was not the Giant Chief teleporting but in fact a high-speed sprint that can’t be noticed easily with the naked eye. The Giant Chief was too fast.

The Struggle Continues

Knowing that the Crossbow wouldn’t be enough, Florentino then switched to his greatbow and starts shooting arrows at the Giant Chief.

The Giant Chief then sprinted towards Florentino and raised his large metal club.

Florentino dodged to his right, not knowing that to his right is the large rock from earlier, he hits it hard, but he managed to dodge the Giant Chief’s attack.

With Florentino now close to the Giant Chief, however, he uses the ra’ghon with the manifested blade and stabbed the Giant Chief by the torso.

The strike wasn’t enough, Florentino just made himself closer to the Giant Chief’s reach.

The Giant Chief grabbed Florentino and threw him to the ground.

Florentino is struggling to get up. Damn you!

Help!

Just when all hope was lost, the three Calpheon soldiers from earlier arrived.

“Hey, you!” one of the soldiers shouted while he throws some rocks at the Giant Chief, “Hey ugly! Yes, you! Why don’t you pick on someone like me?”

The Giant Chief was intimidated and changed his focus from Florentino to the soldier.

Suddenly, another soldier appeared in the opposite direction.

“Hey ugly!” the soldier shouted while throwing rocks as well. “Pick on me!”

The Giant Chief then changed his focus on the other soldier.

“No! Pick on me!”

What are you people doing? Florentino thought.

A moment later, while the Giant Chief is busy with the two Calpheon soldiers, the third soldier went out of hiding and approached Florentino silently.

“Sir,” the soldier said, “we’re getting you out of here.”

The soldier helped Florentino get up and they quickly left as the two soldiers distract the Giant Chief.

The Giant Chief then roared in rage.

“Time to go!” the two soldiers said in unison.

Live to See Another Day

Florentino and the soldier arrived at Hill Path from earlier.

“No!” Florentino cried. “Leave me! I have to kill that Giant Chief!”

“No, sir,” the soldier said. “You need to leave. There’s no point if you’re killed as well.”

“I said, leave me!”

“I cannot!”

Shortly afterward, the two soldiers that distracted the Giant Chief arrived.

“Sir! We did it!” the two soldiers said. “We’ve escaped!”

“A lot of us didn’t make it,” the leader of the three soldiers said, “but that means we can avenge them as we fight them another day.”

Florentino stared at him as he realized what the soldier meant earlier.

“Yes, sir,” the soldier nodded. “We have to survive so that we can avenge them another day.”

Florentino nodded without a word.

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