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(*゚ー゚)♥ The release of N1 Salgado makes me sentimental… He was first released like 5 years ago (the week right after R3 Leon’s release).

*On a side note: today is Marguerite’s birthday.

Warning: the following content contains spoilers!

Previous: Spoiler #42 – Jead R1 ~ R3

Leon R1: Year 3394 – Captive

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Now that all the Vortexes were gone, thus the Stormriders have lost their job – travelers and merchants no longer needed their guide to cross the Savage Land.

Archibald, Leon’s mentor in Regiment, visited Leon one day. He asked Leon if he wanted to join him to rob a caravan a few days later.

Leon asked him if he could provide more details, so Archibald told him that the caravan was a team from the Imperrodia royal army, transporting goods to Meriguadia Kingdom. Archibald said that the robbery was for the money, but Leon was not very convinced. However, he agreed to join anyway.

So the day had come and the two executed their plan to rob the caravan accordingly. They both knocked off a number of guardians. Leon thought that this mission would be a huge success – until Archibald bashed his head from the back and made him pass out.

***

Leon woke up finding himself captivated by the Imperrodia royal army. Archibald was not there indeed. The interrogator had been torturing Leon for days, but he never disclosed who was behind the robbery.

Just before the interrogator intended to step up his action, Leon was saved by a man.


Leon R2: Year 3394 – Departure

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The one who saved Leon was Lahm, a high-ranked engineer. After Leon’s recovering from the interrogation, Lahm asked him if he understood what had happened.

“The caravan you robbed carries the property of the engineers, and that’s why I’m here,” Lahm explained. “Even though you didn’t say a thing, I still know that it was Archibald. You have been betrayed.”

“By the way,” Lahm continued, “Can you do me a favor? I need someone to transport an important item to The Eye. As an ex-Regiment member, you would make the best candidate for this task.”

The Eye, the largest Vortex?” Leon was confused. “Wasn’t the Vortex disappeared?”

“Of course it was, but I want you to deliver this to the location where the Vortex disappeared,” Lahm showed Leon a small wooden box with an unknown machine inside, which could be lifted up by a single hand.

Leon reminded himself that his life had been saved by Lahm twice already. If Lahm didn’t tell the Regiment members to hide after The Eye was eliminated, all of them would have been killed* already.

Leon had no reason to deny Lahm’s request, so he rested for a few more days and started his journey to The Eye.

 

*Note: See note 2 here.


Leon R3: Year 3394 – Train

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Leon decided to take a train ride first, he would then use a horse ride to reach the location of The Eye. He needed to rest a bit more, so he took a nap on his seat.

***

Leon was woken up by an odd metal-stretching sound. Sitting opposite to him was a stranger in hoodie, who was waving his prosthesis arm.

“My apologies, did I wake you up?” The stranger said. “I’m not adapted to the heat and humid air on the Ground, as well as the dust here.”

“What do you want?” Leon questioned. “You’re not here to talk, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m here to talk to you. Let me introduce myself, I’m…”

“I got nothing to talk with you,” Leon stood up, pulled out a gun and shot towards the man’s head.

***

Leon jumped a few steps backward and took a glimpse at the man. The man had stood up already, with Leon’s bullet caught in his prosthesis hand.

Leon escaped to the next wagon with his box, only to find that all the other passengers were killed. All their bodies were sliced into pieces by sharp blades – or wires – and the whole wagon was stained in blood.

Leon kept running toward the last wagon of the train while shooting back to the determined killer. He disabled the man’s prosthesis arm, but his leg was also ripped by the man’s metallic wire.

Both of them climbed on the roof of the moving train. Leon was sealed by the killer’s wire around his neck – he was still too fast even though he could not use his prosthesis arm anymore!

“So you can now listen to me properly,” The killer said, tightening the wire on Leon’s neck. “I’m not your enemy! I just want you to give that box to me. The machine you’re holding will bring calamity to the Ground just like the Vortexes! Give the box to me, and serve us. We highly value your ability.”

“Fine, I’ve lost,” Leon dropped the box and surrendered. “Who are you again?”

“I’m Salgado,” The man released Leon from his wire.

“Alright, Salgado – you can take that!” Leon kicked the box and it flew high in the air. Salgado was distracted as he tried to catch the box with his remaining arm. At this moment, Leon shot towards his legs.

Salgado lost balance and fell off from the moving train.

Leon went back to his seat to pick up the real box – the box he showed to Salgado was just a counterfeit.

***

It took Leon a week to reach his destination after getting off from the train. He then set up the machine as instructed beforehand.

The machine craved a triangular area on the ground. The area started to glow, and Leon could see through different parallel worlds from the triangle. He started to worry if the machine would bring back the Vortexes.

“Maybe I should have listened to Salgado before I do this,” he thought.

Leon was not told to observe the machine, but he stayed there anyway because of curiosity.

After 10 more days, something had happened – the triangular area started to emit a strong white light, and someone was walking outside from the light. That someone really shocked Leon.


Leon R4: Year 3394 – Reunion

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The ones coming out from the light were Milian, Rosso and a charming lady who Leon couldn’t recognize. Leon was overjoyed as he thought they had been already killed in the last battle in The Eye.

Milian told Leon that all the other members of Company B and D were killed, and Leon noticed that Milian’s left arm was missing.

The lady – Marguerite – asked Leon how much time would they need to get to the nearest town, so Leon told her it would take a week on foot. Leon realized that she was not an engineer from the Regiment, and he was skeptical about her intention. However, Leon was unsure if he should disclose his suspicion.

***

So they headed back to the town.

“Where are Bernhard and Friedrich?” Leon asked Milian.

“All members except us have been killed,” Milian replied.

The Eye has vanished, did you reclaimed the Cores? How do you get to here?”

“Yes, but we couldn’t escape from the monsters after that. Marguerite, an engineer, was the one who saved us,”

“How much did Lahm tell you?” Rosso interrupted. “If you know nothing about this, just don’t ask.”

“I’m not asking you, I’m asking Milian,” Leon rebutted.

Milian changed the subject. He asked Leon if he wanted to join them and fight.

“What to fight? Fight for what?” Leon didn’t get it. “All the Vortexes have disappeared!”

“We don’t fight the Vortexes. We fight for ourselves.” Milian answered with a serious face.

“Agh… I would have some more questions for you, but whatever,” Leon said tiredly, “I’m done for.” And the party remained silence again.

***

Milian asked Leon to join them again a few days later, but Leon politely refused. He told Milian he didn’t want to get in more troubles after Archibald’s betrayal.

***

After days of travel, the party finally reached the closest town. Leon told the trio that they should part there.

Rosso suddenly drew a gun and shot Leon from the back. Milian tried to stop him but it was too late. “Our betrayal to Regiment seems to be discovered, there’s no other way.”

Milian approached Leon, leaving Rosso and Marguerite behind. He told Leon to keep quite and that the bullet didn’t hit his vital points.

As he came forth, Leon finally realized they were the betrayers of the Regiment – only a sword from Regiment could make the incision on Milian’s left arm.

“Drop dead!” Leon cursed.

Milian took out his gun and shot to the ground, pretending he was killing Leon in order to convince Rosso and Marguerite.

Leon got up later and strolled away after the trio left.


Leon R4: Year 3394 – Knife

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Leon was having a nightmare. In his dream, he went hunting with his best friend, Abel. They found a beautiful buck. Leon aimed at its abdomen and shot it down.

Blood oozed from the buck’s abdomen was immediately absorbed by the forest soil. A life withered and disappeared.

As Leon approached the dead body, he found a big black hole appeared on his own stomach.

***

When Leon woke up again, he found himself in a small deserted house. He felt cold with his lungs filled with the late autumn’s air.

He was rescued by Archibald, and his wound was properly dressed. Archibald told him to take the medicine he handed to him and take a good rest.

After 2 days, they decided to visit the nearest town for better medication, even this implied they had to travel in the wild for days.

***

On their way, Leon requested Archibald to explain his betrayal, and so did Archibald.

“I have… things to be settled with Ballantyne, the current leader of Imperrodia.” Archibald said. “He got his current position with the backup of the engineers. So Lahm approached me, saying he could be an intermediary between us. The costs for this were the battle resources carried by the caravan, Ballantyne’s personal information, and… you, Leon. He said he wanted to see you. If you happened to be arrested, Lahm would have a perfect excuse to leave Pandemonium and go to the Ground, since he was one of the Regiment engineers.”

“Do you know anything about the Regiment’s betrayers? Rosso, Milian, and a woman I don’t know about…” Leon asked. “They almost killed me, and surely they killed our friends. They were the one behind the fall of the Regiment.”

“So it was Milian…” Archibald was feeling uneasy. “I must go to Meriguadia, since they are looking for someone living there.”

***

Leon wrote a letter to Abel before daybreak, saying he wanted to meet him at Meriguadia.

They started the day by horse-riding. However, Leon could barely hooked himself on Archibald’s back. He was obviously weakening. To make things worse, the weather started to worsen – Archibald was overwhelmed by the unusual humid air, while Leon couldn’t even sense this.

Both of them were drenched by the sudden downpour before they could even find a cave to hide.

***

“What a series of misfortunes,” Leon said. He was quickly losing vitality because of the cold. “Two Stormriders trapped in a storm. How ironic.”

Archibald was trying his best to start a fire, but Leon told him not to bother.

“Time is running short, just leave me here and go. You can travel faster without me,” Leon told Archibald. “Hand this letter and my knife to Abel.”

“I am not taking these. You have to hand these to him in person.”

“That’s enough,” Leon muttered. “You don’t need to feel regret. Without you training me, I should have died already back in the Regiment.”

Archibald stared at Leon and finally took the items.

“The Regiment… what a nostalgic term to say. We used to have friends and mission.”

“We still do have now.”

“But now the others have gone… and I’m tired here…”

***

Archibald left Leon’s body in the cave and speechlessly walked into the storm.

[END]

 

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