DISCLAIMER: ARMA series belongs to Bohemia Interactive while Kuroinu belongs to Liquid. I own nothing. (Must I write this in every chapter?)

"It's only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks or groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell." -William Tecumseh Sherman

Ryuuichi walked among the night streets of the Kaminochou, the red-light district of Thorn which was bustling with activities. Citizens, both commoners and samurai alike were walking to and fro. Streets were bustling with activities. Restaurants, shops, and side-street food stalls were filled with patrons. Several men were also seen visiting inns, bathhouses, and even brothels.

Tonight was a weekend when the citizens are finally freed from their daily works, so the street is much more crowded than usual.

However, unlike the others, Ryuuichi has an important appointment he had to attend. He arrived in front of a large inn. This inn was owned by one of the nobles who was suspected to be a sympathizer of Henkaku Ishin. This place could've been filled with many members of the said movement. Some of them have friends that have been killed by Ryuuichi himself. Coming here is probably like delivering his own life.

However, Kaguya personally asked him to do this. The swordsman took a deep breath before cautiously entering.

He released his footwear before walking toward the receptionist who greeted him politely. "Welcome! May I help you, sir?"

Ryuuichi lowered his straw hat and said. "I'm with Kaguya."

The receptionist nodded. "Understood, let me show you the room, sir."

She then led him toward the second floor, passing many rooms which from the sounds of it were being occupied. They finally arrived in front of one of the occupied rooms. The receptionist knocked on the door.

She informed the guest inside. "Sir, your guest has arrived."

"Ah, yes. Let 'em in," replied a deep, baritone-like voice.

The receptionist slid the door open before bowing to Ryuuichi, letting him inside.

His eyes automatically stared at an Orc who sat inside, watching a pair of Geishas dancing while another played a Shamisen. A courtesan, wearing a seductive kimono, was next to him, pouring Sake to his cup.

The Orc has greenish skin and his body was muscular and big, looks like the combination of Sumo and bodybuilder. His hair tied into the classic Samurai 'chonmage' and his beard is neatly maintained. His sharp fang was interestingly shorter than the other Orcs he usually encountered and fought during the quests outside the city.

The Orc man turned to look at his visitor and lightly chuckled. The Orc man was none other than Katsumoto Saigo, one of the founders and a high-ranking individial in the Henkaku Ishin. While the organization is a loose movement, thus lacking a proper leader and clear chain of command, Katsumoto is the closest it can get as the commander of the movement. Quite ironic that one of the important figures of such a nationalistic movement is a half-monster.

"Well, well, well. Didn't expect the….'official' who I'm gonna meet is no other than Kaguya's errand boy himself," He took a sip from the sake on his cup. Ryuuichi ignored his mock and quietly noted that Katsumoto didn't have any weapon on him. "Anyway, I shall thank ya for acceptin' my humble invitation. Have a seat."

"How much the Shishi know about me, Katsumoto-san?" Ryuuichi asked as he made his way toward the sitting pillow next to the Orc and sat in seiza posture.

"Heh. We know everythin' 'bout ya, Sakamoto Ryuuichi-han. We know where ya usually sleep, your favorite spots to hole up, yer teamwork with Hijikata Toshiko and Soheigumi, and yer dirty work last night," Katsumoto said. At the same time, another courtesan with similar enticing kimono arrived and sat next to Ryuuichi, bringing along a sake bottle and a cup. She poured the sake into the cup and handed it to Ryuuichi, intentionally showing her cleavages while smiling seductively. Ryuuichi just accepted the cup and ignored her temptation, preferring to listen to Katsumoto. "Gotta say I appreciate the last one. Ya did the right thing. Throwin' money's slave trashes to where it belongs."

Upon noticing Ryuuichi just holding his cup without drinking it, the opposition leader laughed.

"Don't worry, there's no poison in it! Gonna be a pain in the ass if somethin' happens to you. Kaguya would order her tax revenue robber to cut my head."

The young swordsman glanced at him, before smelling his Sake, noting there's no strange scent on it and then drank it all in one go, letting the courtesan to refill it for him.

"Well, we know everything, except yer background," Katsumoto said. His eyes returned toward the dancing Geishas. He then jokingly asked, "Maybe I can dig more information if I make ya drunk enough?"

"Hmph. Try me," Ryuuichi snorted. "So, can we stop beating around the bush? I'd like it if we start to discuss our main business. The reason for this meeting. So, I can report everything back to Kaguya-dono."

"Heh. Alright then."

Katsumoto clapped his hands. The Geishas inside the room stopped their performance. They bowed to their two audiences and left the room. The same goes to the courtesans who tended both Ryuuichi and Saigo, leaving the two men with just one another. They then turned to face one another.

"I've heard about what the Black Dogs are doing," Katsumoto secretly eyed Ryuuichi's sword which was still tied on his belt, but paid no heed toward it. "I, and Henkaku Shishi, had decided what to do with this situation."

"And that is?"

With a deep breath, he declared. "I'm requesting a ceasefire with the current regime, and we will do everythin' we can to defeat the Black Dogs."

Ryuuichi stared straight into the Orc's eyes, to see if he's lying or not. Katsumoto's grey irises were the only thing that truly looked like human's. "Are you really sincere with your words?"

"It's true we hate the current government, but I'd rather cut my stomach than sellin' our women and country," Katsumoto said with conviction. Both men traded gazes and glares at each other, before Ryuuichi closed his eyes and nodded.

"I see…." Katsumoto grinned in understanding.

"Seriously, the things those dogs aimed for sickens my stomach. I honestly couldn't feel what's the pleasure of rape. Well, no thanks to my bastard pops who was forcin' on my mother," Katsumoto confessed. He then chuckled dryly. "Heh, maybe we should thank that pig instead ... because of him, Shishi has one more figure to be the leader and will grow strong enough that one day, we will cut those bastards down until the last kind."

Long before this meeting, Ryuuichi had already done intel gatherings about the background of Henkaku Shishi's leaders. One of them was about Katsumoto Saigo. Born from a human woman who got raped by Orcs, Katsumoto has been ostracized since childhood, including by his own family who thought his birth was a mistake. His mom was the only one who loved and raised him until her death. When he reached adulthood and was searching for a job, the half-Orc was rejected everywhere, leaving him no choice but to join some shady organization to make money, where he probably get exposed to the opposition's nationalist teachings and gained many followers due to his charisma and his skill in sword and Kanebo fighting and Sumo wrestling. Even though he was an enemy, Ryuuichi can't help but feel sorry about him.

"Sorry, just….ramblin' a little bit," Katsumoto nervously chuckled, apologizing for his rants. Ryuuichi just nodded in response. "In short, we will do everythin' we can to protect this city. Though, I'd like to know if ya already have a plan to defeat Volt?"

"Plan, huh?"

As he slightly adjusted his sitting position, the opposition leader told him grimly. "Black Dog has over ten thousand men, not countin' other mercenary groups who might join 'em. This war won't be easy…."

"I heard the Black Dogs got the demon's allegiance," replied Ryuuichi, taking another sip.

Katsumoto chuckled dryly. "Not surprised, considerin' how Olga usually bribed her lackeys. Of course, they want more."

"It's not like the demons got any choice. Volt backed them to a corner."

"Or they could've conspired before they besieged the black fortress. The siege happened way too fast and too easy to be considered a 'siege'."

"Hmm, right," Ryuuichi finished his drink before putting the cup to the floor on his side. "To answer your question. For now….we've got no plan. Though, we need advanced strategy and tactics to defeat a force larger than ours."

Katsumoto raised his eyebrows with interest. "'Advanced strategy and tactics', huh? Those stuck up western barbarians and the idiots in charge of this place would consider 'em 'dishonorable'."

"The knights and samurai, yes. But I'm assured Kaguya-dono will do anything to protect this city," Ryuuichi said coldly. "Black Dogs don't play by any rule, and neither should us."

Katsumoto was taken aback by the young man's conviction and his understanding of war, and that made him grin, wondering where Kaguya picked up this guy and how she made the right choice by hiring him. Unlike those ignorants Samurai and western knights who never see a battle from the comforts of their home and paid other people to fight their war, yet dared to talk about honor and their bullshit, outdated codes. This man is just like him. He had set his foot in the battlefield and bleed for his comrades. He is someone who has the experience and knows what he is doing. Someone with the heart of a warrior. Someone they truly need as an ally.

If only this guy is on their side, and not Kaguya's….

"Heh, whatever ya say."

Seeing there are no more things to talk about, Ryuuichi raised from his seat. "Well then, I hope we'll get alo-"

"Oya, oya, what's with the hurry?" Katsumoto stopped him. He raised the bottle of Sake. "Why don't we have a few more drinks and get to know each other. Ya know? We are 'bout to become colleagues, amirite?"

Ryuuichi hasn't fully trusted this man. But rejecting an over would be impolite and gave a bad name to his employer. "...Alright then."

After an intense discussion, the Geishas returned and continued their performance. The two watched in silence. Katsumoto grinned eye to eye while Ryuuichi simply watched more because of a mere formality than personal interest. The young swordsman has now shifted to a more comfortable sitting position, crossing his legs, no longer in seiza. Though he was still wary of his surroundings and kept his sword on his belt. And he was still as stiff as a statue.

Katsumoto sometimes glanced at Ryuuichi whose dark red eyes glued at the dancing Geishas. His high ponytailed seemed to be largely unkempt though it doesn't reek bad. His lush kimono and straw hat made him look like a vagabond, wondering if it was intentional or Kaguya doesn't pay him that much. Yet Katsumoto would probably lie if he thought the guy wasn't good looking. He even made the courtesan genuinely swoon at him. At one point he couldn't even figure out from which region this guy came from.

Katsumoto shrugged it off and continued watching. He would probably find it out sooner or later.

"He he. Girls in this city are really the best dontcha think so? At least better than the old hags in my hometown," Matsumoto stated, looking a bit drunk.

"Agree with that," Ryuuichi nodded before taking another gulp. Even though his colleagues considered him kind of a strong drinker, Ryuuichi already felt a little bit lightheaded right now.

"I wonder, what are ya aimin' by becomin' Kaguya's agent?" The opposition leader suddenly asked, trying to juice out at least minor information about the swordsman.

Ryuuichi already knew about it, but answered it anyway. "...I'm repaying my debt to her. That's all."

His simple answer doesn't satisfy Katsumoto's curiosity. "Bah, just that? Ya have to try harder to convince me."

"It's up to you to believe it, but it's the truth."

"I bet there might be another reason for that. Was it position, money, women, opportunity to kill without havin' Sōheigumi put a bounty on yer head?" Katsumoto nudged in a little bit whilst playfully grinning. "Or maybe, you're actually in love with Kaguya? The latter seems to explain why ya always follow her orders no matter what."

"I'm under no obligation to reply to any of that question," He replied simply without even staring back.

"Heh, suits ya'self," Katsumoto snorted before emptying his cup with one big gulp. "Hah! Lemme tell ya something, Sakamoto-han. If ya ever fell in love with someone, don't ever be their slave. If they truly return your feelings, they won't tell ya to do stupid shits."

"I'll keep that in mind," Ryuuichi was quite surprised that his former enemy is giving him genuine advice. It's now his turn to ask. "How about you then? What's your reason to join the Shishi? Are you doing it for money or position."

"At first, yes, but then I have a change of heart. Half of the Shishi was once part of a secret merchant association. We made a pretty huge profit from it. We can live a high life if we wanted by just putting a little more 'dirty' effort on it, but we don't want that."


"This fortress city….no, this country needs reform," Katsumoto's smile fathered. His joyful expression suddenly turned serious. "Many ain't no realize it yet, but we are unconsciously under the colonization of the western barbarians. Since Yamato was gone, thanks to Olga and her lackeys, we can no longer walk on our own goddamn legs. The High Priests after Lord Seimei choose to lick a fake goddess' ass rather than bowin' to our late emperor and gods. Kaguya is one of them, and will be the last one to do it."

Ryuuichi silently glanced on while sipping his sake, taking a note on Katsumoto's steely gaze. "This man can be a threat to Kaguya-dono."

The opposition leader continued. "Not only that. Samurai also lost their balls by living in comfy without givin' a fuck about the people they obliged to protect. They transferred their role to human trash who don't care 'bout anythin' other than money and women. The battlefield where warriors fought for honor and country then died a glorious death, soon becoming an orgy fest for horny dogs. It fuckin' lost its meaning."

"So, that's your motivation? Reforming the things to….the good old ways? Not bad," Ryuuichi mused.

"Of course. After the creation of the Seven Shield Alliance, life has been good, yet, we forgot that good times like this weakened everyone except those money's slaves who became stronger. And now, those wild dogs turned around and bit us instead. I hope that served as an epic wake up call to our true warriors," Katsumoto laughed as he took another sip from his refilled cup.

While he isn't into what they aimed for, he can truly understand the sense of nationalism and patriotism those men felt. Though he feared some of their members could embrace Black Dogs' misogynistic and outright disgusting view. He gotta be prepared for it.

In a low threatening tone, Katsumoto suddenly warned Ryuuichi. "After our business with Black Dogs has settled, I hope ya won't interfere against our mission or I'll be forced to eliminate ya."

Ryuuichi didn't feel threatened, only a bit irritated judging by the expression his face made. "I'm Kaguya-dono's sword. I'll do everything she asked me. Should something threaten her life, I slay them all."

His response amused Katsumoto. "Heh, ya sound more like a knight in love rather than some debt-ridden hobos."

"Am I?"

"Yup," He accidentally dropped his cup, spilling some Sake to his pants. "Oh well, seems like I'm pretty drunk right now."

He then stood up and grabbed the courtesan next to him by the waist, who in turn moaned seductively. "Ara~ Your huge Orc thing will tear me apart~"

"Don't worry, baby. I'll be gentle," He led the courtesan into the bedroom. But he turned back upon remembering his guest was still there. "Wanna join me?"

"Thank you for your offer, Katsumoto-san, but, respectfully, I have to decline," Ryuuichi stood up, facing the Orc with a small business-like grin. "If you'll excuse me, I have to return to the temple and inform Kaguya-dono."

"No problem," Katsumoto nodded. He also noticed the disappointed look of the courtesan who tended Ryuuichi whose advances were largely ignored by the young man. He knew that young attractive swordsmen like him are the types of most courtesans here. "Yer an interestin' man, Sakamoto-han. I'm lookin' forward to our next cooperation."

"Thank you. I'll be on my way then. Have a good night," Ryuuichi said, bowing down toward Katsumoto who staggered to the bedroom with the courtesan.

"You too, Sakamoto-han," He said before closing the door behind him.

On the other side of the land, a group of Black Dog mercenaries traveled on horseback across a vast grassland. Along with them were several demons such as Orcs and goblins. After traveling for several distances, they finally see their target; another village to pillage. "There it is!"

"I heard the hottest chicks from around here came from there," One of the Black Dogs yapped. All of them have a lecherous smile on their face. From passing information, not only that the village is full of pretty, sexy girls, but its inhabitants are mostly high elves and beast people, giving some variety of choices to satisfy their depraved lust after getting bored from human and dark elves girls.

"Damn, I really wanna taste their pussies!"

"Hell yeah, I'm bored with the one in our post."

The Orcs and Goblins respectively grunted and laughed wickedly, raring to catch even more women to rape.

These Black Dogs was supposedly told by Volt, the leader of the Black Dog— No, King Volt, the ruler of the newly proclaimed Sex Empire to 'defend' the village they've taken under control in case the Seven Bitch Alliance tried to do anything funny until Volt returned, where he'd bring along more girls to fuck and hopefully, the Mercenary Queen Maia. In order to boost morale, the king himself was also quite generous by giving his men dark elves women to fuck. However, despite how sexy and hot some of those girls are, these dogs had grown tired of them and wanted to find some new ones to break.

Well, it's not like Volt will know about this when he and most of their forces are marching toward Ansur. In fact, he'd be happy if they helped expand the Sex Empire's territory, would he? It's not like those stuck-up knights can do anything against it, knowing how inept they are.

"Save your chit chat for later, ya lot," The leader of the Black Dogs barked at his men, shutting them off. He then grinned and raised his sword. "We are gonna have a hell of an orgy tonight! Charge!"

In unison, the Black Dogs and their monster allies shouted energetically before racing toward the village.

The leader licked his lips. He could already feel his crotch bulging in his pants as he imagined having his way with those high elves and beast girls.

They really couldn't wait to taste the women here. However, the leader noticed something off. The village was so dark. There's barely any lantern to illuminate the whole place. Despite that, they kept charging forward.

He never thought that he and his men are gonna bite more than they can chew.

Suddenly, countless bolts of lights appeared from the village and headed straight toward them at high speed, followed by thundering cracks. The dogs screamed in pain as they were hit by those bolts and fell from their horses.


"What the hell- Aarrrgghhh!"

Those who were quite fortunate only got hit at their horse before falling to the ground, only to get lit when they tried to flee on foot. The Orcs were the unluckiest as their large body made them an easy target to whoever was firing those bolts. The goblin managed to slip away and fled thanks for their small stature though some were not as lucky as their compatriot.

"Screw this shit! I'm out from here!"

After the dogs leader set himself free from his dying steed, he ran away as fast as he could whilst screaming like a little girl, until a few of those 'magic bolts' hit his ass and thigh, dropping him faceplant to the ground.

The surviving Black Dogs tried to run away from those bolts of light. Too bad, they couldn't outrun those bolts. As those things pierced their bodies, all of them slumped to the ground in a similar manner. When the last Black Dogs fell, someone in the village shouted "Cease fire!". The bolts of light ceased and the village outskirts went silent again.

Sometimes later, a group of men armed with rifles and dressed in NATO combat fatigues came out from the village. The men moved in arrowhead formation as they kept their 5 meters spacing. Behind them were a handful of friendly high elves and beast peoples warriors and mages who were the protector of the village, or 'local assets' based on what the platoon commander referred to them.

The soldiers slowly approached the dogs' corpses, kicking some of the bodies they came across to check if they were really dead.

One of the NATO soldiers stared at a corpse that got his body thorned apart by .50 cal machine gun before muttering. "What kind of dumb-motherfucker would attack a suspiciously blacked-out village in the middle of the night?"

"Medieval Bandits I suppose," Replied another NATO soldier who wore a watch cap, Private George Haggard nonchalantly. He is the demolitions specialist of the team and comic relief. He also has an unhealthy amount of love for explosions which tend to give their sergeant a headache every time he blows something up.

"Well, thank you, Captain Obvious," Answered Private Preston Marlowe sarcastically, the soldier who asked the question in the first place. Also the FNG in their team.

"Hey, check out this motherfucker's stuff," A nerdy, bespectacled soldier, their tech expert and automatic rifleman, Private Terrence Sweetwater exclaimed while pointing at some items that got sprawled on the ground from a half-opened bag next to a dead brigand and horse. He opened the back and checked what's inside. The private was dumbfounded when he took out some of the contents. "Wait, what? Panties and bras with holes in it? Errr, what the fuck is this bottle? Viagra? And….what the fuck?! Ropes, dog collar, sex toys, and riding crop?! What kind of sick-fuck bringing shits like this to a war zone?"

Haggard eyed the riding crop and some of the sex toys scattered on the ground. "Hey, I call dibs on that riding crop and toys. Gonna try some SM play with my girlfriend once we get back."

"IF we are able to get back," Sweetwater reminded him.

"Shit, I'm sick of this clusterfuck after clustrefucks! I wanna go home to Texas!" Haggard suddenly yelled, causing the other soldiers to look at him as if he had gone mad. Though they were lying if they didn't feel the same way, though there's no point in yelling it other than making himself the target of the sergeant major's ass-chew if words go away. The Texan private continued this time in lower tone. "Or at the very least, I need a single peaceful night to enjoy the 'fruit of civilization'."

Haggard's last sentence reminded Sweetwater of something. "So, when will you return my porn mag, Haggard?"

"I've told you, Sweet! I never borrowed any of it from you! I'm not interested in your Korean cartoon girls who have absurdly big tits and getting fucked by tentacles!"

Sweetwater —being a weeaboo that he is— was offended by his friend's comment. "It's not Korean, you dumb-fuck! It's Japanese!"

"What's the difference? Both of them are in Asia," Haggard retorted back. Unknown to them, their sergeant heard their argument and took a deep breath to calm his nerves.

"Marlowe, check those guys over there," Ordered the sergeant which Marlowe quickly complied.

The Bravo 2-6 team leader, Staff Sergeant Samuel Redford is a large build middle-aged African-American whose dream is to get that sweet DD-214 and spend the rest of his life as a fisherman. He also had grown to hate the army after he handed his ass to the recruiting officer to get that bullshit 'recruitment bonus'. And now, he could do nothing but to accept his fate and babysit a squad full of retards and troublemakers.

DD-214 = A document issued upon a military service member's retirement or discharge from active duty in the US Military.

"And Sweetwater, just shut up!"

"He's the one who started it, Sarge!" Argued Sweetwater before Haggard shot back.

"Hey, you're the one who accused me to steal your Chinese cartoon bo-"

"Shut up!"

As the sergeant smoked his men, Marlowe noticed one of the dead hostile looks...strange. His body is unrealistically big, tall, and round, putting some fat-asses POGs to shame. He kicked the body to check if he is still alive before rolling the body around. He was surprised to see it has horns, sharp teeths, pointy ears, and a big nose like a pig.

POGs = People Other than Grunt. A slang for non-infantry units, such as Supply, Cooks, Mechanics, etc.

"Holy shit, is this an Orc?" The private muttered. He never expected he was gonna see a creature like that, in his first overseas deployment no less.

Before further inspecting the Orc's body, Marlowe heard a very faint groan. He looked to the side and saw one of the bandit's bodies doesn't have any gunshot wound to either his head or his torso. The private approached him and stepped on his eye, causing the bandit to grunt in pain.

"Try again later, bitch," Marlowe chuckled, having just caught him trying to play dead. He then called his sergeant. "Hey, Sarge. We got one alive!"

"Someone get a medic!" Redford shouted. The medic then rushed to Marlowe's side and began to treat the bandit's wound. The sergeant then contacted his platoon commander. "Bravo 2 actual, this is Bravo 2-6. Be advised, we had secured a POW. The doc is currently checking his wound."

"Don't move!" Redford looked to the side, watching the other team detained another surviving hostile. "Hands up, asshole!"

He contacted his superior again. "Correction, we had secured two POWs. Possibly more to follow. How copy?"

"Solid copy, 2-6. Outstanding. Make sure to keep them alive. We need to juice out any information they got."

"This is Bravo 2-6. Roger that, out," The sergeant then breathed heavily, looking around at the kill zone where several crows started to appear, circling around the dark sky as they tried to prey on the dead bodies. He noticed one of the local assets, a young elf knight approached him.

"These guys are Black Dogs. This is their insignia," She said, handing Redford a black cloth with red dog head insignia on it. The elven knight in question is long haired blonde beauty which has a curvaceous body with F-cup. She held a decorated longsword in one-hand and wore an 'armor' —which in Redford's eyes looks more like a sexy swimsuit than armor— that exposed her upper chest and toned belly. She looks probably in her late teens or early twenty, making Redford wonder how could this kid become the second-in-command of her knight group. Redford glanced at her before looking back toward the kill zone.

"Well, I don't give two shits about what ugly ass name these motherfuckers give to themselves," Redford replied sarcastically whilst putting the cloth in his pocket, earning a hump from the elf girl.

He remembered how bewildered he was when their platoon stumbled upon this village. Bravo 2 platoon was greeted by these half-naked girls shooting several arrows at them and waving their swords and those 'magic staffs', demanding who they were. Though, they immediately stood down when the platoon commander told them they meant no harm. During a rest, Redford who grew curious asked the same elf girl, Elicia Hag-something on why she was wearing such a ridiculous outfit.

"Ridiculous? This armor is a blessing from the Goddess incarnate Lady Celestine Lucross! How dare you insult it, dark elf!"

"Armor is supposed to cover your body from harm, not to expose it like a hooker in a titty bar! And I'm not a dark elf, lady! I'm a human. Look at my ear!" The two kept bickering until the lieutenant and knight commander came to defuse the situation. The LT also reprimanded Redford not to talk shit about the local's culture because it can cause unneeded conflict.

The sergeant couldn't help it. Having grown up in a devoted Christian family, seeing something like this is plain wrong for him, even though it's just 'a different culture matter'.

Anyway, back to present….

"Anything else, ma'am?"

Elicia exhaled before replying. "My subordinate reported that there are goblins among this party. They might still be around."

"Understood," Redford nodded and contacted his CO again. "Bravo 2, this is 2-6. Our local assets reported that hostile goblins might still be around this area, over."

"Acknowledge, 2-6. We will dispatch team 2 and 3 to investigate, out."

The sergeant then stared at the beautiful starry night sky before sighing and cursing under his breath. "Goddammit, I'm gonna miss that fishing league again…."

"There is a house….in New Orleans. They call...the rising sun. And it's been….the ruin of many poor boys. And God I know….I'm one."

Sergeant Ben Kerry softly sang to an old Vietnam War-era music as he leaned to a boulder. A chem light laid beside him gave him some enlightenment in the darkness of the night. He covered himself from the cold air with a DD-214 blanket which he received from his younger mate in the orphanage not long after his KIA status was revoked. They all thought Kerry is gonna retire soon. Well, he still has a year left on his contract, and it'll probably get prolonged due to this bullshit he was thrown into.

From a pouch on his vest, he produced a can of dipping tobacco and opened it, only to see it was empty. "Fuck. No Copenhagen," He angrily threw the can away. "If I knew shit's gonna hit the fan like this, I should've gone to PX."

Several hours before the sunset, after the truck he drove was out of fuel, he was forced to walk for a few kilometers, following the dirt road to whatever place it brought him into. Every hour he tried to contact anyone in the NATO open channel, hoping for a response. So far, he got none.

He noticed that the landscape around the area is unfamiliar, which means his map is totally useless. The fact that the GPS has "no signal" confused him even more. The sergeant even wondered if this is what the butterbar Bootenants felt when they got lost in navigation training.

Butterbar Bootenants = Bootenant is a military slang that is the combination of the word for the new guy (Boot, or Barely out of training) and lieutenant. Butterbar refers to the second lieutenant's rank insignia.

He finally got an answer when he came across some locals riding a horse-drawn chart that looks like it belongs to the medieval age. The local curiously looked at his multicam uniform that made him look like he lost a fight with a paintbrush. Kerry also noticed that the locals wore medieval age peasant clothing. "Ah shit, I guess I'm now the protagonist in those Jap cartoons Adams told me," he said to himself before asking the locals. He asked if he had seen someone wearing clothes like him. Fortunately, the local nodded and said he saw some strange men in a 'fortress city' called Ansur wearing the same clothes and with the same 'paintbrush' like him. He then told him the direction toward the city which was not that far according to him.

"Also, please be careful with the Black Dogs. I heard they had begun pillaging every town and village they see. Though, you'll be safe inside the fortress city. Best of luck, stranger!" The old man said before speeding away in his cart.

Now, back to the present….

"Ansur is probably just a few clicks ahead, if I passed this….fucking forest." He glanced at the forest next to him.

Ever since he enrolled in SERE as a private, he never liked forest, and he hates it even more ever since Adams, his superior and best friend was killed inside it because of a land mine. He got over his trauma thanks to the time when he waged guerilla warfare in both Stratis and Altis, but he still hated forest with guts. And he had no choice but to do it now. Hopefully, there's no land mine in this forest and he won't run into some shit that is gonna complicate the whole matter like those 'Black Dogs', or worse CSAT or AAF patrol.

"Dammit, if only that shitty pick-up truck still has fuel on it," Suddenly, his radio received a transmission.

"This is Baker 2-1! Does anybody read me? Anyone? What the fuck is going on?"

"Thank God, finally!" Kerry exclaimed before replying. "I hear you, Baker! This is Sergeant Kerry here. What's your status? I'm out in the middle of nowhere. Can you assist?"

"Assist? Shit, man! We're in need of help ourselves!" The guy on the other side of the transmission yelled in distress. "Our transport chopper was shut down. We took refuge in some alleys, in, errr….Ansur! Fortress city of Ansur!"

"Well, Baker 2-1 must be those "strange men" that the old man referred to. How many are you?"

"Ten men! Four riflemen, a pilot, three FIA guerillas, and one friendly Greenback. The other pilot has his leg wounded by shrapnel. He can't walk normally."

Greenback = A slang for Altis Armed Forces (AAF) by NATO soldiers, due to their green uniform and backpack.

"Okay, just stay put! I'll find a vehicle," Kerry reassured the soldier, making him sighed in relief.

"Appreciated, sergeant! When you arrive, stand by on the southern gate. I'll send someone to pick you up!" Before cutting off the transmission, Baker 2-1 warned him. "Oh, and just a head up from the locals: try to avoid any settlements near this city. A group called 'Black Dogs' executed massive assault, or something like that. Serious shit must have gone down. Better not push your luck!"

"Alright. I need to find a truck or something."

Almost at the same time, Kerry heard the sound of a running vehicle engine rumbled from afar. Slowly the sound got closer until he saw lights coming from the dirt road across the river. Kerry quickly wore his helmet and lowered his NVG, looking at the source of those lights.

"Wait, isn't that a CSAT truck," He then grinned malevolently. "How convenient."

"Run! The Black Dogs are coming!"

"Save your life!"

Panic screams broke through a small village. Villagers stopped their activity, blew the light sources that illuminated their village, and scrambled to get their families and tightly locked their houses' windows and doors. For centuries, demons had invaded their lands and destroyed countless villages beyond the walls that protected the fortress cities. Now, those demons returned with the help of the Black Dogs, the one who should've protected them from harm. They all knew that the Black Dogs and their demons ally —if the rumors were correct— can and will rape all the women and ravage their humble village-like shears mowing down the lawns and they could do nothing to stop it. The villagers all just pray that a miracle will happen to protect them.

Inside the church, an old priest instructed the nuns to hide in the back room which will lead to a door in the back while the younger priests scrambled to pick anything that can be used as a weapon, from spear to pitchfork. After making sure the preparations were complete, the head priest joined the younger priest who was busy barricading the front door with chairs and desks while the others gripped their weapons tightly, ready for a last stand resistance against the marauding rapist.

In hope to lift the spirit of the young priests, he gave a brief, short speech. "Be bold, brethrens. We will hold the line as long as we can so our sister can escape to safety. Do not fear death! Lord see us through. Heaven...is our destination!"

The young priests all shouted energetically before turning on the barricaded door, ready for anything the dogs might throw at them.

After waiting for a few minutes….nothing happens.

There was no scream. No war cry. There's not even the sound of horses galloping. There was nothing but silence. Instead, the old priest heard some rattling and rumbling noises that were barely silent.

"What was that?" He then peeked through the windows where he saw a very strange large horseless-wagon coming from the village entrance. The horseless wagon then stopped in front of the church. A man got out from what appeared to be a room on the front side of the wagon through a door and walked toward them while another four men dismounted from the back of the wagon. They didn't look like Black Dogs as they seemed to be moving almost in a calm, disciplined manner. The other houses and shops were also left untouched. However, the elderly priest tensed up when the four men were armed with metal boxes that resembled a cross-bolt.

"Get ready!" The head priest whispered to his men until one of those strangers came knocking on the door.

"Open!" The strange man yelled loudly in a weirdly accented voice.

The head priest glanced at the young priests which now had puzzled expressions on their faces. They looked at each other, unsure of what to do.

"Open please!" The stranger knocked again, this time his voice grew louder. "We want talk!"

A few seconds later, before the head priest made a decision, a loud explosion rocked just outside the church, shattering the windows and catching everyone in shock. The head priest recoiled back, covering himself from the broken glasses. It was followed by another explosion.

He now heard a pained grunt which followed by the strange men, all shouting in foreign language. A series of loud cracks now echoed loudly outside. The old priest fearfully peeked through the now broken window again, watching as those strangers fired several bolts at the corner of one of the houses on the right of the church. A different kind of cracks were heard whenever the strangers fired their crossbolts, although they were as loud as the first ones.

The head priest could only watch as those strangers rained bolts after bolts at the unknown as he silently wished none of the villagers would get hurt.

Kerry's prediction was right. Looking at the direction the Zamak truck took, the CSAT is moving toward the small now almost blacked out settlement. Kerry turned on his NVG before quickly rushed toward the village and hid through the darkness. For whatever reason, they stopped in front of a church. The officer leading the team disembarked and along with another rifleman knocked on the church's front door while four riflemen dismounted from the back and set up a perimeter around the truck.

Kerry hid behind the corner of a house, about 100 meters on the east-side from the church. He readied his under-barrel grenade launcher and carefully aimed at the officer and the rifleman in front of the church. He made sure that the blast didn't damage the truck.

After some adjustment, the sergeant took a deep breath and then fired a shell.

The 40mm grenade hit the front yard of the church, catching the CSAT officer and two riflemen on its blast radius, wounding and possibly killing them. Kerry quickly turned his aim on the other side of the truck, firing another shell that killed a rifleman. Not stopping, he switched to the assault rifle and fired several rounds at the truck driver and the two remaining riflemen who scrambled for cover. He managed to kill the driver but failed to hit the other.

"Shit," He quickly ducks for cover when the CSAT riflemen returned fire. Knowing the house is made of wood, Kerry decided to fall-back into the alley. He went to the back of the house and kicked the back door open. The sergeant did a quick sweep through the room and noticed a family cower in fear on the corner. He promptly ignored them and moved to the front side of the house.

Through the window, he noticed that the two remaining riflemen were moving toward the house, keeping their heads low whilst using fences and crates as concealment, hoping their enemy wouldn't see them. Too bad, Kerry is used to detecting concealed targets during his time as a guerilla fighter.

The sergeant aimed at the one who hid behind the crate firing several rounds in semi-auto before quickly turning toward the other one. Before he managed to pull the trigger, the last remaining rifleman fired several bursts at him, forcing him to get down and take cover. Bullets pierced through the wooden house, whizzing past Kerry's ears. After CSAT stopped firing, Kerry peeked to the window again and saw the hostile rifleman turned tail and ran, probably trying to escape or find a hardcover. Kerry quickly aimed at his back and tapped the trigger several times until the rifleman collapsed to the ground face first.

Kerry sighed in relief before exiting the house. On his way toward the truck, he double-checked the dead bodies he came across one by one, shooting them in the head. The NATO soldier checked the back of the truck with his rifle. Fortunately, he didn't find anyone there. Instead, he found some crates full of weapons, ammunition, and equipment. The soldier couldn't help but to grin and said, "Bingo".

He returned to the CSAT riflemen dead bodies and took their 6.5mm Katiba rifles including their magazines and backpacks, throwing them to the back of the truck. Who knows if he and the friendlies will need them later.

Finally, he reached the front yard of the charge. One of the riflemen laid on the ground mustered all of his strength to raise his rifle but Kerry quickly sent him to the afterlife with a headshot. He confiscated the rifleman's weapon and threw them to the back of the truck before returning toward the officer's corpse, hoping for any intel. But to his frustration he only found a map of Altis, compass, and what seems to be a note or letter written in Farsi.

After checking the officer's body, he put the note in his pocket and returned to the truck. He opened the truck door, pulling out the driver's corpse before getting inside.

As he turned on the engine, he noticed the priests inside the church stared at him through the shattered window.

He gestured a "sorry for disturbing" before speeding away, leaving the nervous priests who were unsure of what in Goddess's name just happened right in front of them.

There it is, the second part of this chapter. Now, I'd like to apologize 10 times for the lack of updates in over ONE YEAR. I've been busy playing around with games after I bought a new gaming PC, writing my original stories, and finally, there's my scientific thesis. So, I won't promise for a quick update.

I'll make the plot a bit different from the other Kuroinu fanfics, such that NATO (as demonstrated by Kerry who prefers to avoid the Black Dogs as possible) will be much more cautious, considering they are in an unknown land with scarce supply and manpower, and the Seven Shield Alliance won't be totally useless (some will be reliable while other will be a pain in the ass for the NATO, thanks to their so-called 'honor' that will make real-life knights and samurai laughing from heaven).

As you can see, all of the named NATO troops stationed in the village are characters from Battlefield: Bad Company while the Elf commander, Elicia is from Kyonyuu Fantasy 2 if.

I was about to add another faction (Knight Order) which will be the foil for the Dawn Templar and Holy Iris Chivalric Order, as in having more pragmatic approach in battle, similar to real-life late medieval era Knight according to some old fencing manual (I'm addicted to Historical European Martial Arts or 'HEMA' characters me being), but decided against it because there'll be too many characters, not mentioning they wouldn't be as relevant as my OC Ryuuichi and the Samurai of Thorn.

And finally, the CSAT made an appearance in the form of a small team, only to be annihilated by Kerry so he can get a truck LOL. But I promise, they'll play a bigger role later.

I've opened an OC request. You can send their bio via PM or review (be advised, I will probably alter some of their information so they can fit well in my story). Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Till next time!