05. Stanik Alubov
- • Can Carnivorus Plants Bloom (33, 29)
- • Supplies Party
Long before he joined the ranks of Gunnhildr's Blades, Stanik had dreamed of becoming a hero.
Life under imperial rule was, for the great majority of Bozjans, a daily struggle against poverty, and the same held true for Stanik's parents─a slow day at the little stall they ran meant no food on the table that night. No coin could be spared to send Stanik to school, and that, too, was not uncommon. Stanik himself did what he could to earn money, whether that be minding the neighbors' children or polishing boots on the street, but no matter how bad things were, he never resorted to thieving. His parents had always taught him that being poor was no excuse for poor morals.
At the age of fifteen, Stanik presented himself at the imperial army's conscription office for evaluation, and was accepted as a soldier. He did this not because he sought a soldier's glory, but rather to ease the burden on his parents by giving them one less mouth to feed.
Of his meager wages, he sent home what he could. Though it be but a pittance, it sometimes helped Stanik feel like the hero he yearned to become. The letters he received in return were his sole source of comfort, evidence as they were that his parents yet survived.
Stanik was stationed at a distant post when reports of the “incident” flooded in. A message arrived from his parents five days later, and he felt a rush of relief...until he saw the numbers neatly printed in the corner. It was dated one day before Bozja Citadel all but ceased to exist...