A manga created by Etorouji Shiono, running since 2005, though it was put on Series Hiatus until recently, with new chapters now released monthly.In the Empire of Szaalenden, there is a certain tale told to children and adults alike. In the year 3968 the Empire was at war with a powerful dark enemy called Wischtech. With the Wischtech forces close to overrunning the Empire's defenses and casualties rising every day, the Emperor sent fourteen champions to seal the route used by Wischtech's invading armies. Not all would complete the journey; three died along the way, and were forever known as the 'Precious Departed'. Four betrayed the rest and were killed, their names blackened with the title of 'Lances of Betrayal'. The remaining seven pushed on and completed their mission, bringing peace to the Empire. They became known as the 'Seven Heroes' and were lauded far and wide as saviors of the land.Twenty years have passed since the war, but there is trouble in the Imperial Frontiers. A mysterious boy named Koinzell appears on the outskirts of the Empire, cutting a bloody swath through the chaos. His one goal: to kill the Seven Heroes no matter the cost. At the same time, there comes word of a prophecy, proclaiming that a hero will come from the frontier to stop a mysterious, deadly catastrophe.
Alas, Poor Villain: In his madness Barestar recognizes Koinzell as Ascheritt, then begs him for help and cries about how he only ever wanted to be a merchant like his father. Even Koinzell found it pitiable.
Anti-Hero: Koinzell, although he still has his high standards about honorable soldiers and knights, though. He would kill any of the Seven Heroes and their supporters in a heartbeat, despite acknowledging that their deaths would only invite chaos. Still the number of generally heroic deeds he carries out outweighs his more "villainous" traits—he is not above helping random commoners out and even intends to become The Atoner for all his actions once he's through with his vengeance.
Blood from the Mouth: Nearly any time someone gets nailed in the stomach/chest this occurs, even to Koinzell himself. Though he never dies, of course. It's put to good use here, though it's not exactly...what kills the very unlucky guy.
The Empire: A rare good version. But it's far from being The Kingdom. Wischtech could be a standard evil one (maybe).
Enemy Civil War: A civil war later in the manga one breaks out between the forces of Lebelont, who has control of the Imperial forces, and the newly resurrected Glenn, who along with much his own forces also controls Ischudien's forces as well.
Enemy Mine: With Lebelont on the verge of starting a new Wischtech war, Elserea's knights, Rozen and the Order of the Seven Lances, Dragon Chief Ischüdien and Koinzell all want to stop Lebelont before things get worse. They really don't join forces though, as Ischüdien winds up showing up with a revived Glenn shifting the entire nation.
Even Evil Has Standards: Glenn believes Barestar to have crossed the line by invading Jullas-Abllas and even refuses to punish the people of Jullas-Abllas' rebellion since it was Barestar who started the mess in the first place and had been held accountable for what he did.
Later Dragon Chief Ischüdien, who is shown working against Lebelont's war-mongering ways after Glenn's death when Lebelont should be serving the Empire, not conquering it.
Evil Makes You Monstrous: Happens a lot as many people, normally the bad guys use different means to gain some sort of inhuman power.
Subverted in some cases such as post-resurrection Glenn who (so far) goes from average looking older guy with traces of nobility and regret to more of a Bishōnen then in previous flashbacks of his youth and even more cold and heartless.
Glenn can bestow this onto others as well using a catalyst known as "Gungnirtropfen", which goes either one of two ways. If the ingestor is strong of will and mind then they become more powerful and beautiful. Lebelont's daughter, Supaz is an example of someone who was a rough Large and in Charge female commander is morphed into a Amazonian Beauty capable of killing a One-Winged Angel form of one of her brothers without much effort after joining Glenn. If they aren't capable, however, then they become monsters.
Expy: The Szaalenden empire is obviously based on The Empire from Warhammer especially how their armies mix men with swords, dragons and flying aircraft and how 8 Elector nobles elect the new Emperor.
Four Is Death: Subverted with The Four Lances of Betrayal (unless you count the fact they were all killed save Ascheritt).
From Bad to Worse: With Glenn dead, the power hungry Lebelont takes action by taking over Glenn's former lands and killing dissidents who gets in his way to become the next Emperor. What's worse? He plans to rekindle the war with Wischtech to achieve more fame than Glenn. Even a veteran of the war Calls him out of it.
It gets worst for the civilians and military, as a mysteriously alive and younger Glenn or someone claiming to be him, has come back controlling Dragon Chief Ischüdien and his forces along with a new super weapon and has ignited a Civil War with his forces and Lebelont.
Gratuitous German: Everywhere, the most grating example is the title (which would actually mean Bad Leaf). Leaf as in a blade of grass. "Blatt" (or rather "Schneidblatt") is rarely used to refer to blades, and if it is, its use is generally restricted to tools. A saw has a "Blatt", but a sword or knife would have a "Klinge". And that isn't even touching the faulty grammar. The intended translation is probably "evil blade", or "bad blade". The term "Blattmeister" (which is probably supposed to be a blademaster) sounds more like a skilled gardener...
Hero with Bad Publicity: Koizell; played with somewhat, as while he is an Anti-Hero not afraid of getting his hands dirty, on the other hand more and more people realize the true nobility of his heroic deeds and how he's mostly in the right about things.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The latest volume is #10, yet there are eleven volumes published. Why? Because the first volume has the number zero. Surprisingly, there's no chapter zero.
Makes sense, given that the first volume simply covers Koinzell's introduction, introduces various characters, and showcases the general theme for the rest of the series. Especially because it doesn't do more then lightly touch on the main story right up until The Reveal
Ironic Echo: Koinzell claims that Schtemwolech cut apart his right arm during the Seven's betrayal of the Four. Guess which part of Schtemwolech's body Koinzell destroys first...
Intimate Healing: Koinzell's method of healing Ato is licking all of her wounds. Or to be more precise, covering her wound with his blood, which he gets by cutting his tongue.
Jerk Ass: Many of the villains. The rest are worse.
Luke, I Am Your Father: More for the readers than the characters, as most of them know already long before The Reveal; Glenn is the Emperor's son, and Ikfes is the son of Koinzell's old friend and fellow "Lance of Betrayal" Kfer.
Mercy Kill: Koinzell does this a lot, much to his dismay.
Nothing Up My Sleeve: The High Priest of Heaven's Lance temple has a pair of cross bows hidden up his.
One-Winged Angel: Many of the villains had a contract with demons (really Wischtech techno-sorcery), essentially giving them the power to change their body in a gruesome fashion. Even Koinzell can unleash this, although he can only activate his power fully under the moonlight, or by getting extremelypissed off.
Only Known by Their Nickname: We never know Peepi's real name; everyone just calls her Peepi, much to her annoyance. She slowly accepts it, though. It's also hinted that her real-name might have some importance.
Our Giants Are Bigger: Wischtech Dekunszuants, towering monstrosities with dozens of eyes, clad in enormous plate mail and wielding gigantic weaponry. Simply seeing one appear breaks the morale of an entire imperial army.
Seven Deadly Sins: The seven heroes all seem to represent one. Schtemwölech is Lust (thirst for power and his use of women as youth serum and combat thralls), Barestar is Greed (merchant background and constant grasping for more and bigger weapons), Glenn is Envy (his actions were motivated by his jealousy towards Ascheritt), Lebellont is Pride (everything he does is motivated by his arrogance and megalomaniacal superiority complex), Nirgenfeld is Sloth (he seems too afraid to do anything except sheepishly following more proactive and charismatic characters' lead), Güllengurv is Gluttony (he's a lot like Nirgenfeld, plus a Fat Bastard), Ischüdien is Wrath (although we haven't seen his modern self being anything but calm and composed so far, he's also considered Dragon Chief, creatures often associated with Wrath).
Spell My Name with an S: Since Shiono's method of creating names is basically "throw a bunch of letters on the wall and see what sticks", this tends to happen a lot, although the spelling of at least some of the characters and places is given in-universe.
The Rival: Ikfess. He even gets to use Koinzell's original sword.
Villainous Breakdown: Barestar when he recognizes Köinzell as Ascherit (this, or he's simply hallucinating) and remembers that he once simply wanted to help his father as a merchant. Köinzell taking him down almost looks like a Mercy Kill as a result.
Villain with Good Publicity: The Seven Heroes. Also, in early beginning, some border lords using the name of "Four Lances of Betrayals" to gain support for themselves.