Chapter 9: A New Beginning
"The All Father's favor is a fickle thing. Impress him with your audacity, and he will see you through to victory. But let audacity grow into overconfidence, and he will deliver you to your enemies." - Stigandr, Viking Warborn General.
"Week two, day five, two days pass and many things had happen in that time frame, it especially became tiring for all of us involved with these meeting.
To start, yesterday me and a few fodders Knights went to hopefully introduce ourselves to the populous when we can. It didn't exactly go well considering our choice of attire, many had avoided us with crinkled noses.
Whether they be because of stench or of meeting with us is a question in of itself. We made an interesting discovery yesterday when meeting with the local blacksmith. As one of the fodder knights gave his sword for inspection we had found that not only was it a priceless metal rarely found here in Remnant.
But it would also prove very difficult to even smelt it, but it is doable, in fact he told me that with the right material he could upgrade it even more. In exchange I gave him a few metal coins for the helpful information, which he found very fascinated by.
As we traveled through the town not much had happen, curious stares, and mischievous children had been the worst of it. One instance was when a child threw something at me, on instinct I grabbed it and water exploded around me.
What was left was some weird material and laughing children ensued in the distance. To be fair it had been quite awhile since I bathed, as I laughed so to did my men, we were pelted by the same water bombs soon after.
Yet this was a day with progress as Mercy took the role of politics and went into meetings with the "Kuo Kuanaian council"
We Harmonians have made their mark on Kuo Kuana as Mercy was able to convince Ghira to get in contact one particular meeting that held very important Mistral Council Members.
We The Iron Legion with some convincing have made progress to finding a home in Remnant, but with the council members help it'll make things quicker."
"Please you must hear us out!" says Stone to the three video projected Council Members, right behind him are a crowd of Faunus. Particular members that help run Kuo Kuana and Menagerie. With many as civilians to see these events play out.
"Stone, was it?" Says one of the first male council members. "Let me remind you of something. The only reason why you're speaking to us now is mainly because of Mr. Belladonna pushing for this meeting."
"You say you are from a nation beyond Remnant. Yet many years ago our own predecessors had already mapped all that they could, why haven't we found this nation of...Oh what was it again?" The second council member said uninterested.
"Harmony! Me and my people have been fighting a war for thousands of years! It is real! As real as can be!"Stone yelled to the three members.
"My mission was to find land, people, and we did! Call me a liar, but with everything I've done, everything I've seen. You would never forget them even if you could." Stone said with a harsh glare to the three members.
"Hmph...Now let's say you're telling the truth..." the third final member spoke up, with a relaxed posed she looked at this...person and decided to take charge of the conversation.
"What exactly does that mean for us? This meeting was made to help you, this...Iron Legion. If what you says is true, IF being the key word there, how exactly would this benefit us?"
The other two Council Members agreed with a nod and looked to the lone Conqueror expecting a really convincing answer, or the meeting would be declared done.
"...An aliance would form, thanks to Ghira Belladonna here, it's already been established that once we returned to Harmony. Menagerie and its people shall be considered Allies of the Iron Legion, and soon after allies of the Warborn and The Dawn Empire."
"Two new names you've brought up Mr. Stone. My question, hypothetical of course, is this. If this Harmony does exists...What exactly would it even be?"
As Mercy, Agusto, Durante, and the two ship masters watched, offended at what the Mistral Council Members suggested, Stone explained what exactly "Harmony" is. What they were.
"Harmony...is a place, a war torn battleground with history spanning thousands of years, its people, being us. We are warriors...built and bred for war. That's all we've been, and I'm sure that's all we will be for a very, very long time." Looking to the crowd did Stone speak louder.
"But not everyone in Harmony is one, the people that help make the warriors are people just like you, but unlike you they are refugees. Refugees that are scared, afraid, fighting to live so that they can wake up the next day knowing they haven't died." Stone looked by to the council members.
"I won't lie to you, the people of Harmony have always known nothing but pain! Our people, our people suffer because of our past deeds, we the Iron Legion weren't always one Legion. We were Knights fighting for control against one big land mass for a reason we forgot so many years ago." Stone spoke in grief remembering how even he suffered as a child, how much the war has taken from him.
"We are not alone either! The people of the Warborn, of the Dawn Empire, they were like us too! And just like us we are tired...we wish for a dream that has escaped us time and time again!"
"And when peace finally showed, after countless battles, after a Millennia of bloodshed, of War, the Grimm had come and they now threaten our way of life."
"I come to you now with a plea, as the representative of the Iron Legion I ask of you to help us, our people need a home, a safe place to live and grow. That is what Harmony is, and without your help..." Stone left the statement unfinished, for everyone that heard him could understand should no help be given.
All was silent in the meeting room, with many of the Faunus Citizens touched by The Conquerors speech. Yet to the Council Members as they look to each other and talk in a hushed tone. Minutes pass before all three Members stood to speak.
The third went ahead and said her piece, "Mr. Stone, with the upmost respect I can give, I'm afraid that is all that time we have." "What?" Stone had started, looking to the other two now feeling hopeless.
"We are very busy people at the moment, and this meeting was only short because of your...special case." The first had said.
"But do not fret, for we have decided to hear you out, despite its...absurdity." The second said.
"We will keep in touch with you Stone. Mr. Belladonna, and the Council of Menagerie, expect us in two weeks, if not, than soon. As for the representative of the "Iron Legion." We expect proof ready by the time we call back, more information will be given on a later date. Good day." The third finished her statement and the projection closes.
The crowd were murmuring with each other, and the Harmonians present looked to each other and started to leave.
"Excuse me, Stone?" Ghira Belledonna called out. "Where are you going? The proceedings aren't finished yet." As Stone stood back and the rest were leaving, the Conqueror made his claim.
"The council had decided to give us two weeks. If we are to accept their help than we have no choice but to leave and come back with a more competent leader than I."
"Since it will be sometime for my men to ready our ships, I will stay behind and propose an idea." As Stone spoke to the room full of Faunus leaders and Faunus Civilian of Menagerie, his plan was such.
"I will leave a small fighting force here for the protection of our small camp. As well as one of our ships, all I ask is for my men and items to be put under your protection."
"Well..." Ghira and the other small leaders of Kuo Kuana look to each other, although begrudgingly they mad a decision, all had nodded and the vote was passed.
"I'm sure that's something we can arrange." 'Excellent!' Stone yelled in Latin.
"We the Iron Legion will never forget this act of kindness you have given us, once I bring our leader may our alliance bore a new age for all." Stone approached the leaders and gave each a Harmonian hand shake, with some more ready than others.
The next day during the morning an announcement was made to the remaining Harmonians based outside of Menagerie, the ships were being ready for a journey back home.
Back at the Iron Legion Camp dubbed New Haven. Just like Unity in the middle of this new camp was a large war tent, around it were small various personal tents for the Knights.
Around those tents were other miscellaneous tents, some were for food, others for armor repair, and there was a tent where the armor it had allowed you to scavenge for.
Of course most of the time to many it barely had anything of worth with most of it going to smelting material and currency.
While beyond these tents was a makeshift border of logs and sharpened spikes jutting out of the ground facing out.
This new day begins within one of the small personal tents, a certain fodder knight writing in his Journal, this knights name was Dean with his hood and chainmail undone.
" Dear Family, I'm writing this down in regards that this will be the last you will hear from me for quite a bit of time."
"Just like before I've decided to continue on this expedition in hopes to earn more money for you and the rest of the family."
"I'll be staying in this new world guarding our new outpost, do not worry for I am fine and this new place has people of their own which we are under their protection."
"I had doubts that this new world existed and I'm glad to say I was wrong because with it comes new people, plants, and devices I hope to study and find."
"Excuse your idiotic son mother, your stupid brother my siblings for staying longer than I said I would, but with it will come greater riches for us, and a possible home for all of us so we may finally relax. From Dean, your loving family member."
"Hey Dean! You ready yet? We're supposed to have left minutes ago to see them off!" A feminine voice yelled from outside his tent. Standing from his cot and readying his letter, placing his journal on the side.
Dean walks out of his tent and is greeted by two friends of his, these were the same fodder knights he was with during the first new inland expedition.
Jane who had short brown and messy hair, and Sebastian who had big grey hair with a matching beard. Like Dean they were all wearing the standard Iron Legion Armor given to fodder warriors.
"Sorry, I was making my letter for my family." "Family man, can't help them you know?" Sebastian said to Jane.
"Right right, well come on then, last mail call was a bit ago, if we hurry than we can get it sent out back home."
"Right." Dean said, putting his hood and chainmail back on over his short black hair and dirty clean shaven face.
"Oh yeah, hoods, when did they decide to make that a rule again?" Jane said to Sebastian as they all started to walk to Kuo Kuana's docks from New Haven.
"Oh it ain't that bad, they're just hoods and chainmail, they'll at least protect us." Sebastian said with his hood up.
"From what? As far as I'm aware Grimm and Chosen warriors are just going to tear through us when they have the chance.
"You don't think that's true don't you? I mean, we have a purpose don't we?"
Sebastian and Jane looked to each other with disbelief and sighed. "Kid, count yourself lucky you joined after the war, trust me when I say that compared to chosen warriors and up. We die simple as that."
"Yeah, I remember stories from my grandpa who was a fodder knight that you have a better chance fighting other fodder warriors then you do a true warrior. Even then that's still very low." Jane said with sorrow
"Your grandpa was a fodder knight?" "Of course, where do you think I got the idea to join?" As the three got quiet Dean pulled out his letter to look at it. Now fearful for what the future has in store for him.
"So why did you two stand behind?" Dean asked, because the reason they were in the camp was because they were apart of the small force to stay behind and watch New Haven.
Ten at max were to stay behind while the rest take the two ships to Harmony in hopes of grabbing the de-facto Knight Faction Leader to talk to the council himself.
"I stayed because I don't really have much back home, no family, no friends, thought I stay behind and see the new sights." Sebastian replied with.
"Don't wanna see my family, and I know for a fact my "To be husband" wants to see me." Jane had said, with the three now close to Kuo Kuana.
"What about you?" Jane asked. "They offered more money so I thought to join up and send it home." Dean had said.
"Family man" Sebastian and Jane teased before chuckling to laughter. "Hey! What's that supposed to mean?" Soon enough the three made it to the docks with the rest of the Fodder Knights to watch the two Harmonian Ships leave.
With the orders to watch over New Haven and help the Menagerie guards as much as they could when needed. Dean's letter was able to make it back to his grieving family. While Stone and Mercy made a terrifying discovery when coming back, they went to the Lord Warden immediately after.
While back in Menegerie, Durante and Agusto stand at the docks in their free time over looking the ocean, contemplating.
"Your visions were correct Agusto, I thank you for saving my life, and because of it, I have unlocked a interesting power." The Warden says, as they both continue looking upon the vast ocean.
"It is of no problem to me my friend. When I saw you lying there I feared the worse, but I remembered the plan."
["Ok, remember my will, concentrate." As Durante was bleeding and barely standing, from being pulled by the Grimm away from his team he remembers the words Agusto spoke to him earlier.
"W-when things go wrong, remember your will...To C-concentrate..." Grabbing his sword he pulled with him when the Beowolves kidnapped him and readying his stance did he yell and charge. "To fight!" ]
All Durante could remember was a yellow glow as if he was in a Revenge state, then it turned dark blue. What happened next was that he saw a second version of him next to him.
Suddenly it disappeared in a haze when attacked and he killed the unsuspecting Grimm. Next was throwing his sword at a giant bear and waking up in a tent in new Haven.
"Which brings me to a question of my own Agusto. What else do you see?" The Lawbringer did not say as he stared to the sea, concentrating, Durante sees him glowing a light grey, an aura one could barely see.
With closed eyes Agusto opened his eyes and saw many Iron Legion ships big and small, a dozen Agusto would have to guess and on these ships were many people waving to the docks he was standing on.
It was brief but he could feel a light breeze, it was a bright morning as much as he could tell, and around him he was seeing many Faunus citizens next to him waving to the ships as well. When looking around everything suddenly went back to normal, to the ocean, the empty dock, and Durante.
"Well?" The Warden asked with curiousness. "...Hope." Agusto replied with before leaving back to New Haven, awaiting new orders. Durante followed suit.
"Welcome to Beacon!" Those words were yelled at to three students wearing Haven school uniforms walking through the Beacon Academy's hallway.
Although these three weren't just any ordinary students, especially when it concerns the women in between the Gray haired boy and mint-colored hair girl
This was Cinder, Cinder Fall and at the moment she was a more conservative dark gray outfit with a long-sleeved collared top and white armband. Unlike most female students, who wear silver knee-high socks, Cinder was wearing black tights.
As the three continue walking to their dorm room that the Red-Hooded young girl directed them to, the gray haired boy decided to start a conversation.
"So Emerald, what do you think of our soon to be "friends"?" Mercury Black asks in his Haven Uniform. "Please do not start will you?" Emerald Sustrai says annoyed with a hand holding her head.
"What? It's an honest question after all." Mercury playfully says while Emerald could only glare. "That offer of you shutting up still stand you know."
"Hmmm..." Mercury as if pondering on the offer seriously, "Nahhh." Reply's with a teasing tone, enjoying Emerald's annoyance.
Cinder could only sigh at her minions bickering and makes them quiet down until they reach their assigned dorm room. The group got to work moments later, with Cinder receiving a scroll call and the two waiting for orders.
"What of the plan itself?" Cinder asks through the scroll.
"The plan stays the same, except an addition to it comes in the form of an...unlikely ally. They would be the second wave if and when the Grimm are stopped too soon."
"Pardon my rudeness, but I don't quite understand." Cinder reply's, gaining the attention of Mercury and Emerald.
"Everything will make sense once the time is right. All you need is for more chaos to spread, and with the help of a..."Warmonger", that will be possible.
"Warmonger? Your grace, I assure you that I am able to do this on my own."
"So you say, I assure you that I believe in your ability to carry out your plan. The Warmonger and her forces will be the second wave of warriors as assurance."
"So whose this "Warmonger"?" Mercury whispers to Emerald, which she shrugged in response.
"She's a capable fighter who seeks to cause war, her goals aligned with yours and a partnership was made in the process."
"Can we trust them?" Cinder asks.
"Trust is a strong word Dear Cinder, for now they're simply working for us, nothing more, nothing less. At the moment they are a just mere associate like the White Fang. I'll send more data later on, in the meantime continue your work. Oh and Cinder, I'll be watching." With a click the calls end and Cinder sighs.
"Is everything ok?" Emerald asks with a hint of worried professionalism. Mercury scoffed at this question.
"Yes, at the moment the plan stays the same, except there's been a last minute change." Looking to her scroll, new files had been sent to her which she looks at them.
"With an army of 150, they have been spotted near Anima. Pillaging and fighting against warring bandit camps for dominance." Cinder reads off the report of these mysterious warrior.
"Despite having no Aura and no mechanical long ranged weapons they have held their own and won all of their battles suffering minimal casualties."
"No aura? Now you've got to be pulling my leg" Mercury jokes barely believing what the report says. He was silenced when Cinder glared promising a painful experience.
"When approached they were cautious and wary, but when offered riches we had available they laughed at the Lien. Yet the leader of the group Identified as "The Warmonger" saw the cards she asked to strike a deal. We accepted and made a "Pact" with the warriors with some conditions."
"One, they are to be labeled as equals to the rest. Two, if a siege is to be, they are to fight in it and kill as much as they could. Three, ways to unlock Aura, Four, ways to improve the armies fighting prowess, and Five, a base to plan and negotiate with."
"We are the Blackstones, and we will have..."
"War." The mysterious armored individual says from her throne. In front of her an informant able to send a message to her now declared allies.
As the informant leaves, the leader of the Blackstones leaves her tent and all around her are working Knights. Knights wearing pure orange and black.
With a banner not far holding an insignia featuring of a sword, the blade facing down, between one half of a helmet resembling that of a Templar helmet on the right of the blade. While of the left side was a human skull.
This was the insignia of the Blackstones, and the leader now had a plan. They made an alliance with a dangerous group that even the Leader has doubts about.
"Although I took your name, although I trained as hard as I could under you. Is this really the right thing to do?" The Warmonger thinks.
"Why must I think as such, of course this is right. If we are to have war then this is the only way. Master, I'll masquerade as you because I believe that this is right."
The Warmonger says going to her throne once more. "I know you have a plan greater than we know, so allow me to do the best I can. For I am Apollyon! For Heathmoor, for the Knights!"