As promised, here it is!
Lucio paced on the bridge overlooking the dark battlefield, murmuring to himself. The pale sickle of the moon illuminated nothing but the single diamond on his crown.
“My lord!” a servant said, stumbling in. “You asked for me?”
“Yes.”, Lucio said. “Bring the Director and the Captain to me.”
The servant left and soon brought back Tarrell Ward and Feragrim. “What can I do for you, your majesty?”
Lucio waved the servant away and bade the Director to come closer. “Is there anything you can do with your Flux to turn the tide? The bears are destroying my men, and the modified men are faring little better. The cannons are ripping the formations apart as well.”
“I can attack the cannons, but I am only one man. I cannot use the Flux’s full potential.”
Lucio shrugged. “We know nothing of their formation. I suspect the eagles are involved too, and there seem to be some… monkeys… operating the cannons.
“They would have a detachment of Librarians, I would think, if Scrimm is there”, the Director pointed out. “If all of them concentrated on defeating me, they would win.”
Lucio said nothing and dismissed the Director.
Feragrim spoke up, “You are aware that you failed in your purge? Several elves remain.”
“Of course I know, Feragrim. Raychel and the other elves were the ones who broke out the modified elves, after all. You too are dismissed.”
Feragrim stepped out.
Eclipsius appeared again, a dark skinned man with cold dark eyes. “How are your efforts going?”
“They go well. I had originally intended to attack each empire on its own, but then I received news that that Lord Marvael had declared rebellion and allied with those empires. Now I am killing a bird, a monkey, and a bear with one stone.”
Eclipsius asked, “Who is Lord Marvael?”
“Some heir who missed his chance for the throne when I took over Silmaria.” Lucio replied diffidently. “He’s nothing.” He then continued, “Their armies are all in a joint struggle here. The civilians seem to have evacuated. I could find no trace of them.”
“This goes well, you say?” Eclipsius murmured. “You have lost more men than they have. Even your modified men are doing nothing.”
“I assume your war machines are ready. If not, get them ready. I have need of them soon.” Lucio said, ignoring Eclipsius’s admonishment.
Eclipsius shook his head. “Why not tomorrow?”
Lucio shrugged and turned back to surveying the battlefield. “Using your machines will bring sickening destruction. I only need them as a last resort.”
“You are aware that this is a war that you’re waging, right? You’re supposed to be bringing sickening destruction to these people.”
“And I will bring it to them my way.” Lucio said firmly.
As Eclipsius vanished without a word, Lucio’s eyes drifted across the fires kindled on the battlefields as the soldiers made camp and rested. Soon his thoughts turned to his goals back home, to his kingdom, to his elves. He had left control to a regent that he trusted not to usurp his throne, but still worried for his empire’s safety.