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Manhwa: Vagrant Soldier Ares

Other manhwa by Kum-Chel Ryu:
Vagrant Soldier Ares (떠돌이 용병 아레스) is a Korean manhwa written and drawn by Kum-chel Ryu. It is a war epic that spans 26 volumes. The story centers around young swordsman Ares and takes place in a world similar to Ancient Rome.

The world of Ares is similar to Ancient Rome and shares important names with that history. The main characters belong to or ally with the central country of Chronos. Daraak Empire and the Radnik Alliance flank Chronos' western border, Isiris flanks its southern border, Chronos' ally, Silonica, flanks its eastern border, and the island nation of Minos is off its northern coast.

At the story's onset, a young warrior named Ares meets Mikael when both enlist with Temple Mercenaries, the most respected soldiers-for-hire in Chronos. Their comrades Baroona and Gohue are also soldiers for Temple Mercenaries. In their first mission, they put down a band of bandits that have been terrorizing a remote village.

The king of Chronos has neglected his duties, and neighboring states contemplate invasion. Temple Mercenaries are hired by Chronosian general Icarus for a pre-emptive attack against Minos in cooperation with their ally, Silonica. There, the four meet Ariadne, Ares´s future girlfriend, and her bodyguard, the young, able Helena. During the invasion, Ares protects Ariadne, winning the respect of the initially antagonistic Helena. Mikael and Baroona attract the attention of Icarus when Mikael defeats General Kentaro, a champion of Minos. The Temple Mercenaries succeed in capturing the Minoian king and force him to stop attacking Chronos and General Icarus is hailed as a hero.

However this is the beginning, there are forces both inside and outside of Chronos, that want to conquer that kingdom for various reasons.

Ares has examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: If there's a sword or knife in this series that can't be casually stuck in a rock until later, this troper hasn't seen it.
  • Anachronism Stew: This features cigarettes, t-shirts, and sneakers in a medieval setting. Although this can be justified since Ares doesn't take place on Earth.
  • Anyone Can Die: Michael, Cygnus, Linda, Sandra etc...characters were introduced only to be killed in a later date.
  • Back to Back Badasses Ares and Baruna, Baruna and Douglas
  • Badass: Plenty
  • Badass Grandpa: The Silver Wolf Kaiser.
  • Berserk Button: Mortally wounding one of Ares' Companions acts as this, but threatening Ariadne puts him straight into a Tranquil Fury.
  • BFS: Shion's Ionix
  • Bishōnen
  • Blood Knight: Kirberos, Kirus
    • Ares. Whenever he sees someone really strong, he just wants to fight. He'll even ignore the war for the chance to face off with a single worthy opponent.
  • The Caligula: The previous king of Chronos and half brother of Ares
  • Combat by Champion: Many major battles tend to start with this.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ares.
  • Darker and Edgier: This series is a decidedly more bloody take on the shounen genre, with the good-natured Idiot Hero having no qualms about killing fleeing or wounded opponents.
  • Distressed Damsel: Silver Wolf Kaiser's granddaughter.
  • Dressing as the Enemy
  • Easy Amnesia: Ares, who may or may not remember his past life as Sebastian.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Baruna, who's master of a weapon that looks like two kunai connected by a chain.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Michael.
    • Granted, before this he repeatedly kills potential POWs, comments on how instead of slaughtering everyone in a fortress, it's smarter to leave a few survivors to spread the tale, and kills an exhausted Cygnus after his fight with Ares.
  • Faking the Dead Icarus, in order to deceive Prince Michael and the Isiris army.
  • Fallen Hero: Shion
  • Fantasy World Map: Ares has this but it's maps out a small part of that world. You can see it HERE.
  • Faux Action Girl: Helena.
  • Folk Hero: Kiron
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars
  • Heroic BSOD: Ares
  • Heroic Sacrifice
  • Hollywood Tactics: "The enemy is here! Let's leave our defensive stronghold and meet them on the open plain!"
    • Granted, one of the instances of this was coupled with Combat by Champion, the series's staple. The other was against orders, and the soldiers only did it because their enemies, realizing that the defenders wouldn't leave their stronghold, went around slaughtering civilians.
  • Idiot Hero: Ares
  • Improbable Weapon User: Baruna
  • Kill 'em All: Consider the high body count of introduced as well as main characters, characters were introduced waiting to be killed.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Master Swordsman: There are several, Kiron, Kirberos, Kirus, and The Silver Wolf Kaiser.
  • Meaningful Names: Plenty
    • Ares, the Greek War God. To be fair he took the name that Chiron associated with "the strongest man in the world", since it was his goal to become the strongest.
      • His original name, Sebastian, the Patron Saint of Soldiers
    • Michael, the Archangel and War Prince of Heaven.
    • Varuna, the pre-Vedic Hindu god of lord of the cosmos, keeper of divine order and bringer of rain.
  • Mentor
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Kiron, Ares' master died while fighting Kirberos.
  • Mooks
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Many, used in a comedic fashion in Ares Ch.35.
    Assassin Leader: (After Ares has already killed half his men) From whom did you learn the ways of the sword that are so strong?
    Ares: Chiron!
    Assassin Leader: (Jumps out window)
  • Nice Hat: Icarus
  • Oral Fixation: Michael and Icarus always seem to have something in their mouths.
  • The Quiet One: Michael
    • Robin is this too, seeing as he's literally a mute.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Gohue
  • Rain of Arrows
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Anyone who's from the Red Eye Clan is a seasoned killer.
    • To be fair, this is only because in the past, after refusing to give up its peaceful ways except to defend themselves, the Red-Eyed clan was massacred and now continues to be hunted up until the modern day.
  • Red Shirt Army
  • Retired Badass: Kiron, he would like to live a peaceful life but he keeps getting challengers who want to beat him.
  • Retirony
  • Royal Blood: Ares is the bastard son of a previous king
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: 101's entire story, he overdoses on pills to save Linda and dies soon after, then Rikion comes in and kills her anyways for shits and giggles.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Kiron is this seeing he forced Ares to take on and kill any challengers that wanted to kill Kiron.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Icarus and Baruna.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Michael, as the story goes on, it's just gets worse.
    • Rikion has turned into this recently, massacring entire villages as payback for Isirisans did to his own country.
  • The Speechless: Robin, while he never speaks, the readers can see his thoughts.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Kirberos is supposed to be spelled as "Kerberos", referring to the three headed dog that guards the entry into Hades.
    • The Tample/Temple Mercenaries
    • and Kiron should be Chiron, The centaur who trained heroes from Greek Myth
  • Supporting Leader: Icarus
  • The Strategist: Icarus
  • Take Over the World
  • Team Pet: Emergency Food
  • Underestimating Badassery: Ares, Baruna and Michael are constantly underestimated by various gangs/thugs/villains because they look young. Said opponents are often quickly put in their place.
  • World Building

Unbalance × UnbalanceManhwaVeritas

alternative title(s): Vagrant Soldier Ares
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