Chapter #155 – “Spear Of Kindness”
A day later.
In the clearing in which Daneel had spoken to the Domination Corps before, there stood groups of soldiers who were standing at ease and talking amongst each other.
There was a world of difference between these two groups which was easily visible for anyone watching. For instance, each and every one of the soldiers’ eyes darted around from time to time, as if assessing the location for threats.
A few minutes later, three men walked in front of them before activating the secrecy trinket that had by now been permanently fixed at this place.
As the opaque screen came into being around them to shield them from spying eyes, the soldiers arranged themselves into neat files before bowing as one to the King who had just arrived.
The second man was the commander of the regular soldiers, Luther while the third wore a steel helmet which covered his entire head.
There were around 1000 soldiers currently in the clearing, but not even one could guess who this man was judging from his body language. Although he gave a familiar feeling to many, they just couldn’t place it in their minds.
Strangely, the King and Luther both stepped back leaving the stage to the mysterious man who surveyed the scene calmly before shouting:
“Soldieeeeeers! What do we say to those who seek to defeat us?!”
“I WILL NOT GIVE UP!”
The answering shout came almost instinctually from the depths of the soldiers’ minds. It was as if they had responded in this way hundreds or even thousands of times, making it so that it had imbibed itself completely into their psyche.
With gasps and cries of surprise, the men and women in the clearing finally recognized the voice of the man who had taught them everything they knew.
As the man on the stage removed the steel helmet covering his face, the watching soldiers felt as if they had been transported back in time to when they had just joined the army.
The army of Lanthanor worked in a peculiar way: only general training was given to all, while specialized skills and any extra training had to be earned by the cadets themselves.
To earn them, cadets had to first be selected to be under the wing of someone who was in command of troops.
As for individuals such as squad leaders, lieutenants, etc. , it was mandatory for them to have at least half of the individuals under their command be new cadets or cadets in training.
Only after certain metrics(such as performance in live battle) was met, would the cadets graduate to be regular soldiers who could avail more benefits from the government.
Of course, this only applied to the regular soldiers. Soldiers in the elite groups were treated completely differently, with each of them valued and trained even individually to bring out the best in them.
The main reasons for this system being in place in the regular army was so that resources could be given to those who deserved them.
Of course, base resources would be given to all but they were hardly enough to sustain a Fighter’s growth especially with the harsh training they went through. If they wanted more resources, they would either have to show talent or hard work in the regular competitions that took place which tested different aspects of a soldier.
In a way, this system was quite good as it weeded out those who entered the army just to use the resources and grow stronger.
But, the problem was that this method alienated those who made it through by barely scraping through the minimum requirements.
With their fellow soldiers being more talented and getting more results, these poor individuals would often find themselves spiraling into a cycle of losses after losses.
Often, this would result in them giving up hope and leaving the army.
Vess had been one such cadet who had just barely entered the regular army. As an orphan, she had grown up listening to stories of a soldier’s life from the man who had run a small orphanage in her area.
Enamored by these tales, she had chosen to join the army as soon as she was eligible.
Although she had been filled with joy when she got the news that she was selected, all she had left was hopelessness after the first few weeks.
She often placed near the last in most of the competitions, making it so that there was no squad or troop who would take her in.
Just when she had been about to give up and leave, a man had approached her and spoken in this voice which she still remembered as being the ray of light in the shroud of darkness that had completely covered her.
“Hey Kiddo, wanna join my squad?”
It seemed that his name was Robert, and he loved to go around the army gathering those whom no one would take in. After doing so, he would train them himself and make sure that they found their place in the army, resulting in the moniker of the man who wielded the spear with a heart of kindness.
Thus, Robert Anivron had been the name which was on the lips of so many people that it irked the noble who had taken command as per King Richard’s orders.
After dismissing him due to the incident where his foolish orders would have resulted in the death of many soldiers, he had been quite shocked but even more angered to know that a rebellion would have taken place if not for Robert’s order to do nothing to refute the nation.
Taking solace in the fact that he would have a life of depravity as a deserter, the noble had let the matter go after assigning people to make sure that no one helped Robert even if his family was going to starve.
This entire tale was still talked about often in the campfires in the army, but instead of before when the ending had been sad, there was now the happy addition to the story that the beloved General Robert was in the Palace with his son as King.
Still, many had been puzzled as to why he hadn’t chosen to come to the army to address all his old trainees.
Now, they understood that it had been so that he could appear in front of them as the man they once knew.
Indeed, the disappearance of the deserter brand on his forehead was enough evidence that the “Spear of Kindness” had regained his strength. Besides, his strong body made it look like nothing had even happened in the first place.
Seeing the ardent love in the soldier’s eyes, Daneel smiled with happiness feeling glad again that he had transmigrated into this individual who was born to such an incredible man.
Apparently, the slogan was his father’s catchphrase both when he trained cadets and when he rode out to battle.
Looking beside him, Daneel noticed that Luther was smiling for the first time since he had met the man.
Feeling Daneel’s gaze on him, the commander said, “I had my eyes on your father for a long time, and I even tried to change the decision to expel him from the army. I actually wanted to groom him as my successor.”
Nodding, Daneel turned towards his dad and said, “Father, take your time to converse with them. We will wait.”
In response, Robert only waved his hand before shouting again, “Meet at 7 tonight at our regular haunt. The wine’s on me.”
Turning around, Robert walked towards Daneel while a resounding cheer rose up behind him.
A confident smile the likes of which Daneel had only seen in his distant childhood adorned his father’s face.
With the joy that he had finally healed his father only increasing with time, Daneel turned around and started to walk back to the Palace along with the other two men.
“Son, I would trust these men with my life. I think that they will definitely suit your plan to make a special guard who will raise their potential to be an elite Fighter Army who can take on any role you wish. I will convince them to take the oath, and along with them, I will also be giving the oath myself.”
Indeed, this whole meeting had been set up in response to Daneel sharing his plans with his dad the night before.
After the removal of the brand, although Daneel had many questions, he had shelved them to join in the happiness of the Anivron Family. Taking a day off from training, he had spent the entire time talking to his family and spending time with them. Using the opportunity, he had also told about the development technique and his dream to make the army stronger.
Seeing the scene of the giants dominating the battlefield with a single spell had made the thirst to make his own forces stronger.
Now, with his father with him, he had one more person whom he could trust to take the burden off his shoulders which was threatening to crush him if he even tried to tackle it all alone.