Fight and Flight

Guitterez frowned but changed his expression to match Benavides.
“That gleam in your eyes certainly looks promising,” he said as he stood to pat Benavides on the shoulder. “More troops are essential. Will we be able to send for them?”
 “I do not see why not. We could only muster twelve thousand to bring with us, and the attacks on both fronts have escalated,” Malta interjected with concern.
 Benavides inhaled sharply, then released a small sigh. “The evacuations have made it nearly impossible to assemble fleets to protect all of our borders. However, the Tribunal Council has just made everything easier for us, he said.
“How do you mean?” Guitterez asked.
“The Council has directed all military branches to remain neutral in this war. I advised them that our kingdom will be spared a countless number of casualties if the citizens are permitted to defend themselves from the tyranny of the two houses. The Council agreed to conduct a draft for infantry soldiers,” Benavides answered.
“The infantrymen will need dedicated officers to facilitate soldiers fit for defending this kingdom,” Guitterez replied.
Benavides clasped his hands and rubbed them together vigorously. “That is where the three of us come in. The Council gave their blessings for us to establish a conservatory specialized in mentoring an elite force of military officers. There will only be a select few who can be enrolled. The plan is to train them in various military tactical operations, so they can lead the infantrymen to victory,” he said.
Malta perked with interest. “Will this conservatory be only meant for men, or can women also be permitted to serve?” she asked.
Benavides turned to her and said, “Do not fret my friend, I did not forget what we discussed. And I convinced the Council that our kingdom and country deserve all the support we can get from every able-bodied citizen. The best part about the conservatory is that we can hand-pick the most promising and gifted young people from the all over the region.”
“This is brilliant. What an amazing opportunity!” Malta exclaimed.
“I agree, but I would like to propose that we take considerable measures to vetting these individuals. The conservatory should comprise only those who come from prominent households. That way we can ensure they will be both aesthetically and mentally fit for our program,” Guitterez said with a smug grin.
Malta rolled her eyes and quipped, “Prominent households do not always provide the most stable offspring.” She glared at Guitterez intently.
Guitterez paused for when he realized Malta’s jab was directed towards him. “Well, at least they will already be academically inclined, which will be to our advantage,” he shrugged.
Benavides felt the conversation had taken a turn for the worse, so he abruptly interjected. “We need to iron out that logistic later. What is important is that we at least will have the force to end the battle between the dueling houses. The infantry line and officers will report directly under our command.”
The trio agreed that the Tribunal Council had given them a gift, which was rare. They knew it would take mounds of compromises amongst them to pull off the conservatory. Each would have to lay prideful spirits aside for the benefit of saving their kingdom from the two houses. Having enough manpower to stabilize the entire country would be their only hope for the kingdom of Nerou.
Hours later, dawn crept in quietly and was ushered with a light flurry of snowflakes. The serenity of those first few moments was abruptly interrupted by thunderous war horns and a melee of soldiers who wore the Greater House’s emblem of the blue robin crest on their tattered uniforms. Their armor was mangled, and there was a great sense of hysteria, as if they were in flight of a hot pursuit. Soon, the city of Nerou was completely infested with both the Greater and Lesser Houses. Chaos and destruction were well underway by the time the military swooped in to take action.
Captains Benavides, Guitterez, and Malta lead the cavalry to victory by expelling the evil forces from the city. The battle was far from over. In fact, the duration was over twenty-five years of turmoil. Each House took turns besting the other, while the military remained neutral. Civilians were expected to serve their regions accordingly. The Tribunal Council gave Benavides permission to proceed with his plans for the conservatory. He chose the location as the city of Emor, where the ruins of a once renowned colosseum were reconstructed into Calvary Academy.
The institution had a decent start until General Guitterez came up on charges for command rape of five female cadets. He went into exile to flee from the Tribunal Council and the wrath of General Malta. She felt his crimes would hurt the enrollment count of female cadets, which she had worked tirelessly to increase. Malta was also at odds with Benavides for his decision not to pursue Guitterez and bring him to justice. She became dissatisfied with the direction of the academy, so they parted ways as well.

The Waring Robins, Ch. 3

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