Chapter 9:

Arc 2 - Prologue: An Unlikely Alliance

The Grand Revolution Of War!

Pain was one of the five leaders of H.G. He was smart, old, had an attitude, but he also had something that many wouldn't think he would have. He had balls of steel. A daredevil. Normally, he wouldn't be doing anything dangerous but, recently, times have forced him to action. Still, even by his standard, doing this was crazy. The three people he was about to meet were deranged. Psychos. Warmongers. Them and their armies' mindsets goes completely against what Pain and the H.G want. Still, they had common enemies.

"Sir, they're approaching," A soldier told Pain, tapping him on his shoulder to get his attention.

Pain nodded and turned around and squinted into the darkness. Their meeting place brought Pain and the H.G soldiers under his command away from their base and from their comfort zone. The buildings in this section, Munzar, were close together yet far enough apart from each other to allow armies to travel through. The quality and wealth of this section caused the lights in the area to be broken, with not enough money to repair them. Well, it was that or the Commander in charge of this section just didn't care. The few lights that did work shone dimly. This caused the streets to become almost pitch black.

Even if it was pitch black, Pain could see the shape of figures moving closer. They were quiet and blended in well with the darkness but, as they came closer, Pain could make out the glowing eyes, one pink, the other a light blue color, in the darkness. Both of the eyes weren't normal, looking like nothing Pain has ever read about. After a bit more the person those accursed eyes belonged to came into view.

"Ah! Well, I would never expect an H.G Leader himself to come talkin to me. What do ya what?"

Pain let out a sigh. The tension in the air was thick and yet, to her, she wasn't even bothered in the slightest. She just smiled, her smile wide and showing her terribly sharp teeth. Even her army didn't look scared...and they probably weren't either.

"Baaluzikai...can you maybe take this more seriously?" Pain asked, knowing the answer already.

"Why I am serious...or about as serious as I can get with you and the army you have brought," Baaluzikai answered, her voice a little bit cheeky as she leaned forward a bit.

Baaluzikai doesn't take a lot of things seriously. That doesn't mean she isn't listening. The tension in the air hasn't died down. Pain and his army have met Baaluzikai and her army once before. It was during a time of battle. They had just finished finishing off their enemies when Pain received orders to reinforce another area. Since he and his men weren't tired, they made their way rather quickly. Even if they did arrive quickly, they arrived too late to kill the opposing army. Baaluzikai had beaten them to it.


They spilled out into the plaza and saw the whole mess. The enemy, eight thousand strong, were all butchered up. Some of them were hanging from buildings by their intestines while others had a look of horror on their face and their throats ripped open. Standing in the middle of this scene of carnage, not the least bit tired and without a single one dead, was Baaluzikai and her band of three hundred. Quite a bit of them was playing around. Some were playing with the bodies while others talked casually. Now, Pain has seen some soldiers talking casually surrounded by bodies. He knows for sure that in a lot of other Factions that were at war with each other, this kind of behavior was normal.

But, Baaluzikai and her army were a band. And, to top it off, the ones they killed were torn open on purpose, allowing their blood and guts, their limbs and bones, even some of their organs to be spread apart. The Black Band was coated in blood, their uniforms now red and black.

Baaluzikai was standing near the center of the plaza and by the bulk of her army that was still in formation talking to her General, Tealath. Tealath, unlike the other Black Band members, is said to be sane. Pain doubts that but, looking at her now, it was hard to say she wasn't. Unlike the other members of the Black Band who had a blissful look on their faces, Tealath had a hardened yet slightly remorseful look in her eyes. She also wasn't smiling.

Baaluzikai and a few others turned and acknowledged Pain's army yet they did nothing else. Pain had no doubt in mind that they knew he and his army was coming. They just didn't care enough to get into any fighting position. To them, Pain and his army wasn't a threat to consider.

Pain was sure that he and his army unanimously came to the same decision.


To turn and walk away.


Unfortunately, for Pain, the moment he turned around Baaluzikai called out to him.

"H.G General, am I right? Come over here. We have something we'd like to talk about."

Pain halted in his tracks and let out a sigh. He doubts he has the skill to even scratch Baaluzikai. Well, he probably did but he definitely wouldn't be able to do anything else but that. Besides, Pain has experience with weapons with long reach. Baaluzikai's weapon, the varakilara, is not only a light yet durable weapon, but it has a reach of over four feet. It is almost as tall as Baaluzikai herself. With her speed and how long and sharp the sword is, if she wanted to, she would have stabbed him in his back the moment he turned around. Because she didn't, she might not want to kill him.

Pain knew it was a gamble but he doubted he and his soldiers could escape unharmed. So, this gamble was the best shot he has.

"What can I do you for, Baaluzikai?" Pain asked, walking forward to stand beside the two warmongers, though Pain was certain that only Baaluzikai has the title.

"Take a look at this," Baaluzikai said, pointing to a piece of paper on what looks to be a clipboard, something made a century or so ago. It was made because it was easier to take notes on and hold maps when on the move.

On the clipboard was a map. Pain recognized it as the map of this district and the three surrounding it. Scattered around the map were light blue dots, black dots, and red dots. Further back there were a couple of golden dots clumped together but they had a red x over them.

"The H.G are the red and the Gudha City army is the blue," Tealath explained.

"What's the gold?" Pain asked, more than a little scared that Baaluzikai knows where everyone is located.

"That would be the actual Gudha City force led by General Duncan and General Tozmar," Tealath said.

"As you can see, we're on a time limit. We can only do so much before the real army comes in and sweeps you guys up," Baaluzikai told Pain, stretching her arms.

"Aren't you guys in danger too?" Pain asked. Afterward, he instantly regretted asking that.

Everyone in the band turned to look at Pain with a stupefied look. Even Tealath was giving him a look that asked if he was crazy. The only one who didn't was Baaluzikai, though the look she was giving him was close.

After a couple of seconds, Baaluzikai, Tealath, and the rest of her army smiled at Pain, showing their sharp teeth.

"You don't need to worry about us...but, we'd like you to take this information to your leader," Baaluzikai said before she leaned forward, "since, I think we can both have some good fun without us having to watch your backs because you're vital."

'Vital to what?' Pain thought, knowing that there is no way Baaluzikai could care about the H.G.


Now, Pain had a pretty good idea why Baaluzikai wanted the H.G to stay alive. If they were alive, they could help stir the pot within Gudha City. Even if the H.G wouldn't attack back if attacked, they would still raise tension.

Currently, Pain knows that he is playing into Baaluzikai's palm. H.G in general is. While it may not seem like it since the H.G is not making any movements that could be considered aggressive, that is exactly the problem. Pain was never one to try to start a fight that would be costly. When it came down to it, he would push to fighting to secure supplies or kill certain officials, but he was always laid off except for three times.

With the H.G making no plans, once a war breaks out, one probably caused by Baaluzikai herself, the H.G would defend themselves, eventually gaining more and more attention due to their strength. However, because they weren't taking any action, the H.G would be stuck in their own area, unable to break through and easy targets to mages and artillery. Plus, while the H.G has many ways out of their base, Pain knows that it won't take long for one army to stumble upon the tunnels.

'The only thing I don't quite understand is who is the other army?' Pain thought, his eyes scanning Baaluzikai's army.

'Baaluzikai herself won't be able to win this war, even if her army was larger than the time she was fighting at Yallham City. The only way for her to successfully start another war like in Yallham City would be to get more armies to rise.'

If Pain could figure out what armies Baaluzikai is trying to get to fight, then he had a good chance of turning things around on Baaluzikai. Of course, as of currently, he has no means of doing that. Besides, he has time. Baaluzikai, even if she is great at training her troops in less than a year, won't be able to make a bunch of armies rise up. Pain was sure of it. He even took into account how long Baaluzikai has been alive.

As of currently, the only clue he had about Baaluzikai's plan to start the war is that she is waiting for something to happen. Hopefully, Pain will find out soon...and not when it is too late.

"You know, I never expected you to send me a message asking about an alliance," Baaluzikai said, tilting her head with a finger on her chin, "While I am aware that you aren't as peaceful as the other leaders, even this was something I wasn't expecting."

"So, tell me, Pain. What is it that you want to have a truce about?"

Pain closed his eyes, thinking how to go about this. When he got the answer, he opened his eyes, a renewed determination in them.

"Have you heard of the prophecy?" Pain asked, causing Baaluzikai to stiffen a little. Out of all the things he could say, asking about a prophecy was the last thing Baaluzikai expected.

'You're just currently full of surprises, aren't ya?' Baaluzikai thought, flashing Pain a toothy smile.

"Yes, I have heard about it. The one that old Notch* gave, right?" Baaluzikai responded, wanting to make sure.

"That's the one," Pain said with a small nod.

"What about it?" Baaluzikai asked, leaning forward a little.

Pain let out a sigh, slightly shaking his head, before he started talking again.

"If the Saint is in Gudha City, can you not kill them?" Pain asked.

Baaluzikai didn't answer for a while, completely baffled by what Pain said.

When she did, she pointed at Pain, a smile not on her face, something Baaluzikai does rarely.

"Y-you believe in th-the prophecy," Baaluzikai asked, dumbfounded not really by that but by the last part he said, "and you don't want the Saint dead!?"

Pain nodded, understanding Baaluzikai's confusion. When he first heard the prophecy, he had wanted the Saint to die, especially if the Saint was in another city. However, after he thought on it some more, especially when the signs from the church point that the Saint will be around Gudha City, if not in it.

The Saint is the only way to change things around here. While Mertle is content with the H.G doing nothing, and apparently the other three leaders are as well, Pain isn't like that. On the outside, sure. On the inside, he isn't. He is sick and tired of doing nothing and, even without the Saint being in the picture, things were only going to get worse.

"Yes, I am aware of how absurd it sounds," Pain said, "but, if things stay the same then there is no hope for us. That is why I need the Saint here and alive."

Baaluzikai was silent for a moment. Then, she let out a bark of laughter.

"'re more interesting than I first thought. You just keep on surprising me," Baaluzikai told him before turning around and walking back towards her army. At first, Pain didn't get what she was doing until he noticed the front line of Baaluzikai's army spread apart, revealing a space in her band. Waiting in that space were five uniquely dressed individuals. Pain recognized one of them as Tealath, though she was wearing a different outfit than last time. This time, she was wearing a light tan and brown colored outfit and, also unlike last time, her signature two Varatharnians* are in her belt.

'Huh. I never guessed that Baaluzikai had five Generals in her band. Though, considering the size it once was, that is understandable.'

It wasn't until the Generals and Baaluzikai huddled together that Pain realized that Baaluzikai was talking things over with her Generals.

'That also makes sense but, for some reason, I always thought Baaluzikai the complete leader type who makes almost all the decisions by herself.'




'It also means that she is taking what I told her seriously.'

Pain closed his eyes and did something he hasn't done in a long time.

....He prayed. He prayed that Baaluzikai and her Generals will agree with him. He prayed that he isn't making a mistake. He prayed that everything will work out in the end, even if it isn't to his satisfaction.

This did not go unnoticed by Baaluzikai and her Generals, who took what he was doing with a silent nod.

With them reaching an agreement, Baaluzikai turned around and walked back up to Pain.

"Can I add two little somethings to our deal?" Baaluzikai asked, causing Pain to stop praying and open his eyes.

Taking Pain's silence as a yes, Baaluzikai went on with her little arrangements.

"Firstly, if the Saint becomes too much of a threat to us, we do have permission to kill them," Baaluzikai said, holding up one finger.

Pain opened his mouth to argue but was cut off by Baaluzikai putting a finger on his lips.

"When I mean too much of a threat, I meant not by me and my band's plan. I meant if they become a threat to too many armies."

Pain closed his mouth. Seeing this, Baaluzikai took a step back, taking her finger off his lips.

"What if they want peace?" Pain asked.

Baaluzikai was silent for a bit, her eyebrow raised.

"Pain," Baaluzikai said with a sigh, "the Saint, one way or another, will be used. If they come, there will be no peaceful solution."

Baaluzikai put a hand on Pain's shoulder and showed him a smile that appeared to be smug, showing her sharp teeth, though Pain had a strong feeling her smile wasn't suppose to be smug at all.

"Even if that old fool Merkel doesn't want them to be used, it will happen," Baaluzikai told Pain, her voice almost sounding like she was warning him.

Pain shook her hand off and resisted the urge to put a hand on the hilt of his weapon.

"Merkel is no old fool," Pain said as evenly as he could.

Completely unaffected by the cold daggers in Pain's voice, Baaluzikai stuck her tongue out and winked at him.

"We both think he is an old fool, Pain. You have a lot more respect for him than I do but even I have some respect."

Baaluzikai leaned in closer, her smile disappearing, her expression serious.

"But the truth is that I now find him sickening. If it weren't for some promises and the H.G, I would have killed him when I had the chance years ago."

Pain felt a chill go down his spine but his facial expression didn't change. Baaluzikai looked at him for a bit longer before she let out a cold, slow chuckle, turning around with her hands folded behind her back. She wasn't wearing white gloves unlike last time, allowing Pain to get a great view of her black and dark purple claws that resembled obsidian, besides the purple of course.

"My last condition is something a little more...personal for you and your in it involves you guys," Baaluzikai said, holding up two fingers, her back still facing Pain.

"Something your own army can't handle?" Pain asked in disbelief.

Baaluzikai didn't respond right away. Instead, she turned her head to look at him, a downright insane and menacing smile on her face. It took Pain a second to realize that her eyes were torn and black.

"Yeah..." Baaluzikai started, tilting her head, "something like that."

Notch: The "father" and ruler of all the Apostles. He is powerful but is only seen by the Apostles.

Varatharnians: Owned and used by the Royal Black Band. Two smaller katana-like varakilara. Used by a small few, mainly General Tealath. They are used by specialists in the Royal Black Band.

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