Go for it, Kid!
It took Leguna only three days to travel to Seatide. The trip usually took half a month, but he could use a portal, so he arrived much faster than expected.
Portals shortened transport times, but due to the immense costs, most people didn't use them. Leguna was the bureau's director and was traveling at the military's behest, so he could use it for free.
"Halt! Who goes there? This is a restricted area. We will kill you if you keep coming!" bellowed a sentry, his bow drawn.
"Oh? I didn't think boss's troops would be well-trained." Leguna said, sincerely surprised.
The lot had been a drunk, brawling gang of gamblers. They had no business being anywhere near the military, much less being assembled into a single unit. He'd trusted his boss could get them to listen to him, but he didn't dream he could whip them into an actual disciplined force.
"I'm Kurdak's friend!" he shouted back, "Tell him an old friend is here to see him. He'll know who it is!"
"Our commander isn't here. Don't try to bluff your way through!"
"What about Londo, Blackie, or Eibron? They'll all know who I am!"
Leguna was rapidly becoming impatient. He didn't mind waiting in the sun, but no one was allowed to make his woman do the same.
The sentry stared at them suspiciously for several more seconds, then left.
"Fool!" Eibron nearly slapped the guard as he yelled. "Is there a girl with long blue hair next the brat?"
"How did you know?" the sentry asked.
"Let them in, quick! No, you go find something else to do, I'll deal with them myself!"
Eibron shoved him out of his tent before he could even ask who they were. Eibron himself had only recently learnt what position the brat had taken up, and he was in no rush to tell anyone about it.
Kurdak stormed into the camp ten minutes later.
"Boss..." Leguna whimpered, on the brink of balling when he saw the man charging down the gap left between the tents, a woman not far behind him, "Sis..."
"Hey..." Vera smiled when she got closer.
"Why are you both wet? Vera, you're not a teenager anymore, and Leguna, you may still be a kid, but don't embarrass me like that."
"We came as soon as we got your letter," Annelotte interjected.
"You haven't lost your looks yet, I see." Kurdak smiled in surprise when the girl appeared out of the shadows in the corner of the tent, "So, how far have you two gotten?"
"What are you talking about?" Annelotte, her eyes frozen in suspicion immediately.
"N-Nothing~" Kurdak quickly shook his head.
He glanced at Leguna, who looked like a puppy who'd just seen his ball pop.
"Looks like you're less short now."
"What do you mean 'less short'? I'm taller, tah-ler!" Leguna scolded with an uncharacteristic pout, "I'm not a kid, but I'm not an old man yet either!. I'm still growing!"
"Who's an old man?! And 'still growing' is the definitions of a kid!" Kurdak scowled back at him for several threatening seconds, then sighed, a hint of a smile cutting through the scars on his cheeks, "Enough monkeying around. Let's get going, the general's waiting for us."
"I'm not the one monkeying around," Leguna murmured, but followed.
The group met the general soon after.
"Mister Leguna! I thank you again for coming to help us," the general bowed.
"Don't be so courteous, General." Leguna said, waving his hand respectfully, "I'm just a young man, you're an old hand. I can't handle such treatment."
"Hahahaha!" the general laughed, "For someone like you to be so humble... It's too rare. Alright, I'll call you 'senior' for today."
"You're being too polite."
"Oh, to Lance with pleasantries! Let's get down to business."
"I've been wondering, what exactly do you want me to do?"
"To destroy the magic cannons," the general answered plainly, "All you have to do is get rid of those blasted cannons and we'll deal with everything else."
Leguna had read about the cannons. He was too happy to have Annelotte's help, though he'd never tell anyone that. Even if he really did just have to turn them into scrap metal, her magic would be far more effective than his shortswords, and then there was that nagging feeling that there was more to it thanks to Annelotte's damn questions.
"I can't guarantee it'll go without a hitch, but I will do my best."
"That's more than enough!" the general nodded happily, "If even the bureau's director can't deal with them, I doubt anyone else can."
"I hope I don't disappoint."
The general may lack the finesse and refined elegance someone of his stature ought to have, but Leguna would take that over a scheming bastard who knew what to say any day of the week.
"I will put my faith in you, Mister Leguna," the general said finally, bowing slightly.
"You mustn't put that much pressure on such a young boy!" Leguna coughed.
"Nonsense. If this succeeds, you will have saved hundreds of my men--" The general turned to Annelotte and smiled. "--And you are the empire's sapphire, Miss. Annelotte."
"A pleasure, General," Annelotte curtsied in return.
"No need to be so polite," the general waved his hand, "I am good friends with your father. I'm your uncle for all intents and purposes."
"Very well, Uncle," Annelotte said obediently, "Father has mentioned you before. He says you're the last intelligent person left in the army."
"He just doesn't know the smart ones!" the general laughed.
"F-f-f-f-f-father?!" Both Kurdak and Vera nearly fell over.
"What happened between Annie and the old man?" Kurdak half-shouted in a whisper into Leguna's ear, making the boy jump.
"You don't want to know. He's been spoiling her rotten for months now!"
"That's how he won her over?" Kurdak asked, his mouth nearly swallowing his face whole.
"Yes. And despite his best efforts, she only started calling him father earlier this month. He dragged me to a bar and forced me to down four liters of moonshine!"
"Looks like he's warmed up to you as well. Drinking with your father-in-law, huh..."
"Yup," Leguna grinned smugly.
"Tch, but what's the use of only getting with the father?" Kurdak said distastefully, "It's been half a year and you're still in the doghouse with the daughter! Do you want to wrinkle and die alone?"
"You know what she's like, Boss! I'll ruin everything if I try to rush it," the boy murmured, ashamed of his inability to work his woman.
"Whatever. I can only worry about you that much. You've known her for years but you've only managed to make her angry at you... I don't know if I should hope for you finally winning her over on your deathbed! Then again, you said she insisted on coming?"
"I guess she's getting tired of waiting as well. Go for it, kid!"