Characters: Vagrant Soldier Ares
"Listen up. Anyone who goes after me dies. Anyone who goes after the girls won't die, but will wish he did."
The titular hero of the story, Ares is a young vagrant swordsman who joins the Tample Mercenaries for the promise of food, shelter, and snacks. Despite his apparent simple-mindedness and naivety, however, Ares' long term goal is a vengeance, against the Red-Eyed Swordsman who killed his master, Kiron.
His real name is Sebastian, the son of a nobleman and his mistress. After his father died, the nobleman's wife and son hired an assassin to kill him and his mother. While fleeing, he jumped from a cliff after his mother was killed and lost his memory from hitting his head. This is how Kiron found him. By the end of the series, his skills with the sword are legendary and he becomes the commander of the re-established Tample Mercenaries that he and Baruna funded with their bounty from killing the Red Eyed Swordsman Kiberos.
- Always Save the Girl: Ariadne's safety comes first, even if it means he'll have to miss out on a huge battle, scale a castle wall during a siege with her on his back, or snapping out of a heroic BSOD just to save her.
- Berserk Button: Threaten Ariadne, and Ares makes an about face from idiot hero to a killer on a warpath.
- Blood Knight: Ares picks fights for no reason other than the fact that he's itching for a spar. These range from barrack room brawls to death matches against other renowned warriors.
- Blue Blood: Ares is the son of a nobleman and his mistress, although he remembers none of this after hitting his head while trying to escape a mercenary hired to kill him after his father's death.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The same guy who can't figure out that the reason he can't see is because he's wearing his helmet wrong, also fights on par with legendary swordsmen more than twice his age.
- Crucified Hero Shot: Michael ties Ares up on a cross and leaves him for the carrion birds.
- Eye Scream: The Red-Eyed Swordsman carves out Ares' right eye as a reminder of his quest for vengeance.
- Friendless Background: As a swordsman apprentice, the other children stayed away from him because he was supposedly a killer-in-training.
- Give Me a Sword: In his fight against Sion, Ares' swords repeatedly break, prompting Michael to toss him a better one from across the room.
- Heroic BSOD: After Michael wipes out the Tample Mercenaries and leaves Ares for dead.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Maim and torture an assassin in front of the girl you love because that's what it takes keep the others from attacking her? Even if she's horrified and hates you for it? Yes, if that's what it takes.
- Honor Before Reason: He'll attack the enemy commander in the middle of a tense negotiation table just because the enemy commander has red eyes.
- Idiot Hero: He's often more concerned about his next snack than the threat of imminent death on a battlefield.
- Meaningful Name: Ares - the god of war. He chose to rename himself after strongest person in the world after losing his memory of his original name and identity as a child.
- Love at First Sight: He falls for Ariadne pretty much the moment they walk past each other in the street.
- Missing Mom: She is killed by the mercenary hired to hunt them down.
- The Nose Knows: He can pick out Ariadne's perfume in the midst of a crowd of smelly soldiers from dozens of meters away.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He has to be pinned down by Michael and Baruna to keep him from getting them all killed for attacking an enemy commander in the middle of enemy territory during negotiations.
- True Companions: What he considers himself, Michael, Baruna, and Gohue.
- Weapon of Choice: Swords, pretty much without exception.
- During his fight with Cygnus, they each drop their weapon and pick up each other's, stand there awkwardly for a moment, then amicably trade each other the sword and spear without speaking a word.
Another mercenary that joined up with Tample in the same round of recruitment as Ares, Baruna is generally a calm, reliable friend who uses rope daggers instead of swords like most of the main cast.
Later on, it's revealed that he gained his incredible weapon skills from his years spent as a slave in Darak. Not only was he a gladiator slave, Baruna was also the reigning champion before he decided to escape from captivity so that he could have a choice in who he killed and who he didn't.
He acts as a foil to Michael and spends a lot of his fights backing up his friends, whether it's taking out the countless mooks in the background so that his friends can have one-on-one duels against the enemy commander, providing mid-range support against enemies too strong to fight alone, or even fighting the Red-Eyed swordsman alone to buy time for Ares to recover. By the end of the series, Baruna joins Ares in re-establishing the Tample mercenaries.
- The Charmer: He can turn on the charm when he puts his mind to it.
Governess: I refused a couple times, but in the end I gave in to his killer smile.
- Combat Pragmatist: In a handcuffed match against the current gladiator champion Oerebus, Baruna picks up his dagger and stabs the guy in the throat despite the traditional rules of going unarmed.
- Delaying Action: Despite knowing he's outmatched, Baruna holds off the Red Eyed Swordsman first with his rope daggers, then even picks up a sword in order to buy time for Ares to wake up again. Fortunately, Ares does so in time to prevent this from becoming a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Defector from Decadence: In Darak, gladiator champions are treated like lords and showered with admiration from their countless fans. Baruna would rather have freedom as a wandering mercenary.
- Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Manages to slaughter dozens of skilled fighters with two small daggers attached with a rope that could easily be caught or tangled. In fact, letting enemies do this is occasionally part of his strategy.
Baruna: Don't you know that small peppers are hotter?
- Foil: To Michael. Often when Baruna spares a defeated enemy's life, Michael chooses to kill them even when it's no longer necessary. Michael also pulls a Face-Heel turn whereas Baruna sticks with Ares to the end.
- Indy Hat Roll: He, Michael, and Gohue are the only ones who make it past a falling grate this way. Which then leaves them trapped alone with forty elite body guards.
- Kill the Ones You Love: He's forced to kill the mentor who taught him how to use the rope daggers. This is a large part of his motivation to escape being a gladiator despite his status as champion.
- Meaningful Name: The proper spelling of his name is 'Varuna', the Hindi god of water and law.
- Oral Fixation: He almost always has a cigarette in his mouth, even in the middle of life or death battles.
- Slave Brand: He has a slave tattoo on his back and a smaller one on his shoulder from his gladiator days.
- Smoking Is Cool: Cool enough to light one up in the middle of battle and lend a spare cig to your enemy.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: The tallest amongst our main characters, and alluded to in-universe as quite good-looking.
- Weapon of Choice: It appears to be two daggers connected by a chain.