Editor: alkinA physical phenomenon forms out of thin air with a screech, and flies towards the 'Staccato Lizard'. The spell 'Aero Ripper' slices through the Staccato Lizard's neck, killing it before it can scream.
"A lizard is heading this way! Vanguard, ready your shields!"
The group follows the clear command of the lady, students lightly equipped with wands and bows retreat to the rear, replaced by students in heavy armor. They form a row and a wall with their shields to fend off the swarming Demon beasts. The beasts that survived the onslaught of magic and arrows pounce on the student in the front row with a fierce collision. The students used their shields to repel the claws and fangs of the Demon beast, and counter attack with their swords, taking down a large number of beasts.
But the Demon beast use their superior numbers to bypass the iron wall defense and to their back. The lightly armored students on standby, behind the vanguards will attack when they see any beast slip past their defenses. No Demon beast will make it through this formation.
The middle school students who split into groups when they entered Cloquet's Forest gathered and formed into a single unit, positioning themselves into a formation that focuses on defense. The surge of Demon beasts charged at them from the depths of the forest. The students took on the waves of Demon beasts courageously.
They put down one Demon beast after another, but the torrent of Demon beasts is just on the tip of the iceberg. Some beasts slipped through the defense of the edge of the formation, and file towards the forest entrance.
"If this goes on, the first year at the forest entrance will be attacked...! We have to warn them!"
The female student in command realised the danger and wants to warn the group behind them, but they have another impending crisis.
"Watch out! A Macehead Ogre is coming at us!"
The student who saw the Ogre screams. They were warding off small sized enemies like Staccato Lizards and Saber Cats, which is manageable despite their troubling numbers. But Macehead Ogre is a different ball game. Similar to its name, Macehead Ogre is a three metre tall giant ape with a head full of short and thick horns. It requires the teamwork of several students to fight on par with just one of them. They can't take on this enemy while engaging the horde of small Demon beasts.
"...! Second file! Aim for the ape's leg! It will be bad if they draw near!"
Several staff sticks out from the student acting as the defensive wall, casting all sorts of spells. They used fire, wind and lightning magic to battle the Demon beasts.
We need to turn back time a few hours to understand why the situation is so dire.
Morning, the middle school students from the higher grades headed into Cloquet's Forest in teams with high spirits. They kept their guard up, advancing deep into the forest with no resistance and realised that something was wrong. Normally, they would have met with several Demon beast attacks this deep into the forest, but there had been nothing so far. There was no news of the Demon beast disappearing from Cloquet's Forest.
The groups hesitantly loiter around the forest, attempting to reach other teams for news. But all of the groups reported the absence of Demon beast encounters, with no signs of cats or lizards. Finding no trace of the things that should be there is an abnormal sign, so the crowd decides to report back to the teachers after a short discussion.
As they were preparing to leave, the Demon beasts started to emerge from left and right. It is a bit of a hassle, but they still raise their arms to destroy the Demon beasts.
1, 2― 5― 10―
When the Demon beasts numbered in the dozens, everyone’s expression changed. Seeing the state the forest is in, they understood that this is another abnormal event, differing from the one they experienced just now.
But thankfully, they were all gathered so they have the strength in numbers, a silver lining of this gloomy situation. With their years of experience in Knighthood combat training, the students formed ranks with a formation made for large groups. This is the result of the students who aspire to join an Order of Knights, displaying the fruits of their hard work. And thus, their group clashes head on with the swarm of Demon beasts and this brings us to the present situation.
This is the tenth Macehead Ogre they have defeated.
The tactics of prioritising ranged attack is working. They judged that staying put will wear them down, so they retreated towards the forest entrance slowly.
It was fortunate that the Student Council President, Stefania Serrati, is present. When they split into team activities, she assigned the task and suitable equipment to each group. It was the same for their combined formations; everyone has their role to play. Although they are a pick-up group, things are going well. The problem is the lack of a commander. It is great just following their given task, but if they don't act when there is an opportunity, they will miss the chance to take advantage of a situation and waste their resources.
Under these circumstances, no one objects when the Student Council President, who is in her senior year step up as the commander. She has the nominal title as well as the grades, and was trusted by everyone. Even if this is a pick-up group cobbled together on a whim, her instructions were clear and led the group through difficult situation well. Their retreat was orderly and casualties was low, but―
... This is bad. The number of Demon beasts is a problem, but why are they so adamant about charging us... How much longer can we hold them?
Stefania appeared calm when she commands, but she was frantic inside. They still have a lot of stamina and mana, but they will be overwhelmed if this keeps up.
We didn't intercept all the Demon beasts. I hope the children behind us are safe...!
The situation is deteriorating, but they still fought on.
The first years training at the outer edge of the forest was attacked while the higher grade students were battling.
In the beginning, the students near the forest screamed. Several Staccato Lizards pounce on the students and bit them. Their attacks weren’t fatal, but it is dangerous if a bunch of them strikes together. The instructors rescued them immediately, attacking the Demon beasts that were targeting the students.
The results of the instructors' actions made the situation worse, but they are not at fault. It will be fine if it was just a few Demon beasts, but the Demon beasts started to emerge en masse. The teachers missed the chance to fall back and had to keep on fighting. They are holding up well, but the students behind them fell into a panic with the emergence of more Demon beasts. The instructors who are supposed to maintain order can't draw back and give the students the proper instructions.
The students recklessly waved their staff and cast spells. Their blindly casted magic did not threaten the beasts, almost hitting allies instead. Some drew their swords without thinking about the other students that are near them, causing further panic. Compared to the higher grade students, who were prepared and equipped for battle, and had plenty of practical experience, the first years were not ready for a fight.
"...Aero Damned, Canister Shot!"
Suddenly, someone leap over the panicking first year students. Silver hair shined brightly under the sun, this image burns deeply into the eyes of the confused students. That person flips in mid air, aimed for the ground and shot out several air bullets. Canister shot meant casting several spells at the same time like a shotgun.
The air bullets hit the ground with the sound of an explosion. The compressed air bullets squeeze the face of the beasts together before blasting the Demon beasts and the ground away.
Carpet bombing is a large aerial bombing done in a progressive manner to inflict damage in every part of a selected area of land. The phrase evokes the image of explosions completely covering an area; in the same way that a carpet covers a floor.
The merciless magic destroyed a large amount of Demon beast through carpet bombing. Two more students move in from the left and right. One of them charges into the Demon beast mob with a big bastard sword in hand. He used physical boost to swing his giant sword, slicing the Demon beasts in half. He used the momentum to turn his body, drawing another weapon from his waist and point it at the surviving beast.
"Too naive! Sonic Boom!"
This weapon― gun staff Gandiva produces a vacuum from its tip, forming an air current rushing towards the Demon beasts, hitting those that were outside his sword range. Their bodies twisted unnaturally and were blown away.
A girl showed up beside him, holding two bayonet staff pointed at different beasts.
Lightning fell, accompanied by the sound of thunder the next second, striking the gathered Demon beasts. She didn't even look at the beasts that spasmed and died, attaching the gun staff onto the sword in her sheath. She held the dual swords in both hands, slashing at every Demon beast that came within range. Even a thin sword can cut Demon beasts in half if it is strengthened by magic.
The three students attacked like a storm, reducing the number of beast drastically. The pressure from the approaching swarm lessened, giving everyone a chance to catch their breath. The students’ moment stopped not because of the chaos, but from the shock of seeing the one-sided massacre.
"Draw your staff."
The short student who leapt over the crowd stood in front of them, and issued an order. The young, tender voice that sounded as pleasant as a bird, had an air of authority, making everyone follow his instructions.
"Everyone gather up, form into tight ranks. Teacher!"
The dumbfounded instructors finally came to their senses.
"Please take command and keep the initiative. Please retreat, the three of us will support the others."
The teachers started giving out instructions hurriedly. The students formed a tight formation and strengthen their defense. For first year students with inferior combat abilities to fight Demon beasts, they will need to concentrate their firepower. Although it is still a bit flimsy, the teachers commanding them can handle it.
Ernesti stared at the Demon beasts rushing out of the forest and slowly raises his Winchester. Chid and Ady stood beside him like his guards. Chid leaned the bastard sword on his shoulder with one hand, and grabbed a Gandiva with the other, while Ady rested the tips of her dual swords in her hands, on the ground. Their eyes are full of determination when they see the swarm of Demon beasts before them.
"Hey, aren’t those numbers a bit too much. Oh well, we can wreck havoc if more of them comes!"
"Hmmph― I won't hold back!"
Eru reigned in the spirited twins.
"It's fine if the both of you want to fight, but don't forget about the rest of the student body."
"Eh―? They can take care of themselves... probably..."
Ady wanted to protest, but stopped midway, because Eru was staring at her with a stern expression.
"You don't need to stay here if you just want to wreck havoc."
"Uguu, I... I get it! I will help them!"
Chid raised his hands in surrender.
"Fortunately, this is still the entrance of the forest. We can get back to the campsite if we retreat. If we meet up with the Silhouette Knights there, things will lighten up. Before that..."
Eru casted an Aero Damned as he spoke. The Demon beast that wanted to attack them while they were talking was sent flying.
"We need to protect them."
Eru made up his mind, lifted Winchester and shot out a string of spells.
While the middle schoolers are in the forest, the high schooler Knight runners were relieved from their duty and started their training. Since they cannot increase the stress on the machines, as the Silhouette Knights have to be conserved for escort duties, their training centred on one on one spars.
Edgar was in the midst of sword swinging practice when he heard noises that shouldn't appear from the forest.
"Hey, isn't the forest rather noisy?"
The moment he brought it up, the students around him perk up their ears. Sounds of tremours that weren’t there before came from the direction of the forest, and they knew what it was.
"That sound of explosions... magic!?"
"Something is up... Exercise cease! Pilots prepare to sortie. The situation in the forest seems to be bad, scout out the situation!"
The group in the camp moved hurriedly. The Knightsmiths working on the Silhouette Knights’ withdraw to let the pilots mount. They skipped the initialisation check and let the machines stand up, drowning their surroundings with the sound of the churning ether reactor. But they couldn't send all the machines out, so only five Silhouette Knights were dispatched into the forest.
"Hey, look at that..."
The scale of the crisis was beyond their imagination. Swarms of Demon beasts were charging at them before they entered the forest, the numbers were more than they had ever seen. The beast’s shrieked as they charged in all directions.
"What... What is happening?"
"The Demon beasts are going out of control? Are the brats in trouble!?"
They drew their swords and advance into the forest. They linked up with the first years in no time. The first years has successfully retreated with Eru's quick thinking.
They bundled together, retreating slowly as they casted magic to restrict the Demon beasts' movements. The beasts that rushed at the formation will be repelled by magic. Edgar move in to support them, piloting Earlecumber as a shield in front of the first years. The tense first years breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the Silhouette Knights appear and dispose of the Demon beasts. The strongest combat units of humanity ― the Silhouette Knights are trusted by the populace. Especially at the scene of a Demon beast’s raid, their power to match a hundred Demon beasts provided a great sense of security.
They retreated to the campsite, setting up fences around the area to fortify their defenses.
With the Silhouette Knights taking charge of defense, the instructors and the high school Knight runners began to discuss their plan of action. There’s enough defense to protect the first years, so that isn't an issue. Their main worry lies with the higher grade students who delved deep into the forest.
"Do you know the routes taken by the second and third years?"
"That is hard to say. Because this was meant to be a practical session, the area of operation is the whole forest, and there is no guarantee they will stay in the assigned location."
The instructors reviewed the action plan of each higher grade student and groaned with a serious expression. They wanted to rescue them, but with the limited number of Silhouette Knights, they don’t know where to start. Cloquet's Forest was vast, running around like a headless chicken will be counter intuitive. But they didn’t have time to hesitate either. At this point, Ernesti stick his head out from the instructor's side.
"Where are the places in the forest that people can gather easily?"
"Hmm? That... if they want to rendezvous, it should be nearby."
The teacher was surprised by Eru's sudden question, but still answered him. It was meaningless to discuss this with a first year, but with his spectacular performance earlier, no one felt that Eru's intrusion was out of place.
"With the scale of the Demon beast horde, won't the seniors group up to resist? That's why I think we should look for places where large group of people can gather."
"Hmm... You have a point."
"The Silhouette Knights can't move easily in heavily forested areas. Taking our combat assets into consideration, we should start our search from open spaces, right?"
The map sprawled out on the table was marked with red lines showing the routes of advancement. To reach the designated areas, they would have to cut through the centre of the forest.
"Also, you can take out the Demon beasts coming this way if you use this route. If anyone is caught in a battle, just holler and you will be fine."
Because this was an emergency, everyone accepted Eru's proposal, and formed a team to rescue the higher grade students. The campsite needed guards, so only half of the machines were deployed ― five Silhouette Knights.
Edgar who was the pilot of the pure white Silhouette Knight – Earlecumber, was the first to volunteer. As he was getting inside Earlecumber, someone called out to him. Edgar turned back and saw Eru standing there.
"Can I go, too?"
"The family members of my friends are also in the forest. They are worried, so I want to join the search if possible."
Edgar felt troubled. Although it is dangerous, it shouldn't be a problem with Eru's combat ability. And with the rational discussion he displayed during the conference, it will be helpful to bring him along. Edgar agreed after thinking about it.
Earlecumber let Eru stand on his hand and stood up. Behind him is Helvi in Trandorches and three other machines. They entered the forest with heavy steps.
"Those who have depleted your mana, help the wounded! Front line switch with standby line! Hold the line, everyone just hold on a little longer!"
Their mana were exhausted and they are panting hard. They try to stabilise their breathing as they continue to defeat the unending torrent of Demon beasts. The higher grade students protect their wounded as they continue to retreat from the forest.
It has been several hours since the battle begun, their retreat has been difficult. They are fine with handling the beast one at a time, but when a huge wave swells up and attack, they are forced to deplete their stamina. The Macehead Ogre that shows up from time to time drains their mana. Because they can't cast powerful enough spells as they lack mana, a Macehead Ogre managed to close in on them and cause serious damage. About half of the group is in the state of mana depletion or have been wounded, their forces are dwindling. They conserve their remaining stamina and keep switching the vanguard to hold the up the battle front. But they don't know how much longer they can last; they are close to the campsite, which is the only hope that kept them going.
But reality is cruel.
Two Macehead Ogres appeared dead ahead ― They are so agitated that they are foaming at the mouth, charging straight at the group. Compared to the beginning of the battle, the magic at their disposal are much weaker, so the students couldn’t stop them. The vanguards frown. The sole Macehead Ogre that attacked earlier wiped out over a dozen students, inflicting heavy casualties. If they take on two at the same time, they might be wiped out.
Stefania who is in command knows this very well. On top of giving out commands, she has moved to the front line with her staff in hand. She has gone through all sorts of possibilities while fighting, but they don't have the combat prowess to break away from the encirclement. The group is reaching the limit of their physical and mana reserves. They can't muster the strength to defeat the Ogres even if they wanted to.
The Macehead Ogre has an endurance that matches its tough appearance. They advanced steadily, making light of the desperate struggles of the students. The chaotic attacks served to agitate them instead, making them more excitable.
"This is it..."
Someone mumbled this softly. The Macehead Ogre who was right before them raised their fist, aiming for the head of a vanguard. The vanguard raised their shields, even though it is in vain.
That's why he didn't understand what happened when he heard the sound of a dull explosion over his head.
He didn't see several Piercing Lances flying over his head with incredible accuracy, hitting the arm of the Macehead Ogre dead on. He also missed seeing the Piercing Lance exploding one by one in accordance to its script, blowing the Ogre's arm away. By the time the vanguard composed himself, the Ogre was running away, yelping.
Following immediately was something that is beyond his imagination ― the one which came flying wasn't just the magic projectile, but the caster himself ― Ernesti, who rush in like a silver bullet. This was a literal description, as Eru was conjuring 'Aero Thrust' to accelerate as he was leaping, just like a bullet. He used the momentum to catch up with the limping Ogre who lost its arm, slashing off its head with a Sonic Blade. The head flew into the air and the massive body collapsed.
Eru landed with enough force to dig into the ground, turns his head as he slides and pointed his Winchester at the other Macehead Ogre. Fireball was rapidly cast from its tip, engulfing the Ogre an explosion that shakes the ground. Half of the Ogre's body was charred and falls.
"Now... Now's the chance! Kill it!"
Stefania was stunned by Eru's sudden intrusion into the battlefield, but she didn't let the chance slip away. Her command made the students move, finishing off the Ogre.
"Sorry for the wait, Student Council President. I brought reliable reinforcements."
Without needing Eru to show her, she could hear heavy footfalls behind. The rescue team overtakes the higher grade students, spreading out in front and protecting them.
The ten metre tall giant Knights swung its gigantic iron sword, easily wiping out a wave of Demon beasts, this was the overwhelming strength of humanity's strongest weapon. The students erupted in cheers at the sight of the powerful Silhouette Knights. There are no reinforcements more reassuring for the group on the verge of defeat. They are safe.
"... Well, well, bringing Ernesti along was the right choice."
Edgar who was riding inside Earlecumber mumbles to himself, as he drives the Demon beasts away.
They followed Eru's suggestion and searched for places with wide open spaces. They discovered the higher grade students shortly after advancing in that direction. That is because the students are bunched together and ready to retreat. But they were in a crisis when Edgar found them, the Macehead Ogres were about to break through the formation. They can take down the Demon beasts easily with the Silhouette Knight’s power, but they are too far away. They will also hit the students if they use the Silhouette arms.
Frustrated with his inability to help, despite having the strength to do so, Edgar grinded his teeth in regret. At this moment, Ernesti who is in the hand of Earlecumber charged ahead. The Ogres fell easily before the rampaging Eru, making Edgar sigh. His performance is shameful when compared to Eru.
With the Silhouette Knights who made it in the nick of time as escorts, the students continue to retreat. There are many injuries, but no one was lost and everybody made it back to the campsite in one piece.
This happened slightly after the Laihiala Pilot Academy student body left Jantunen for Cloquet's Forest.
A Silhouette Knight passed by the convoy and arrives at the eastern gate of Jantunen. This is probably urgent as the exhausted Knight runner approached the Knights after reaching the gate. The Knights were stunned by the sudden turn of events, but their faces turned pale after receiving the report of the pilot and hastily informed their commander.
"Is... this true!?"
Commander of Jantunen garrison Knights ― Philip Hallhagen's expression changed after hearing the report from his subordinate. The vice-commander, Gottfried Hyvärinen, who was also in the commander's office was expressionless, but his face is white. This showed the impact this report gave them.
"Yes sir! Stronghold Balguerie was decimated under the attack of the battalion level Demon beast ― Land Emperor. It is likely the defending team has been wiped out. Behemoth is moving west into the heart of the Kingdom, and is expected to show up around Jantunen soon. Sir!"
Battalion level Demon beast's sudden attack makes Philip's head ache like a nightmare. But the commander has no time to waste. It is fortunate a Knight runner brought this news to him, giving him some buffer time to prepare for the Behemoth to appear. Every second is precious.
"Issue emergency orders, muster all the Knights near Jantunen! This order overrides any mission they are currently undertaking!"
They orderly repeated his given orders, salute and sprinted out immediately. Philips and Gottfried dash out as if they were chasing after him, and head towards the war council room.
"A Behemoth... Even Jantunen doesn't have a battalion, only the Capital can match that."
"The categorisation is only a guideline. Even with our forces, we can take it down if we are prepared for major losses."
Philip clenched his fist as he moved hurriedly.
"I know, but the problem is the scale of the losses! It's meaningless to blindly sacrifice the hundred Silhouette Knights in our garrison! Jantunen will be left defenseless!"
Gottfried was quiet after hearing this. He did not wish to risk the destruction of their band of Knights, but Behemoth has already ravaged a stronghold. If Jantunen suffers heavy collateral damage, the trade routes of the Kingdom will be heavily congested. If the supplies to the frontlines are cut off, it will adversely affect the fortresses, leading to more catastrophes. This could determine the fate of the entire nation; they have to kill the Behemoth even if it takes the lives of the entire Knight company. Gottfried had to offer his advice if necessary, that is his duty as the vice-commander.
"...No, there is no time to discuss this. If we don't stop it here, the entire kingdom might fall. Send an envoy to the Capital, they will need to send a replacement company of Knights after we fall..."
Seeing Philip’s face twist with worry, Gottfried can only nod in silence.
All the Knights on duty were already there when Philip entered the war council room. All of them wore anxious expressions because of the impending crisis.
The Knights outside the city received a call order, so they had to assess the situation before all the Knights return. A map was prepared, and the possible advancement route of the Behemoth was highlighted. The Knight runner who sent the warning didn't know the current position of the Behemoth either, so they had to factor in things such as terrain and the mobility of the Behemoth to predict its advancement route, and estimate its rough position. They will also need to decide where they will fight the Behemoth.
"From the direction it is headed and the terrain around stronghold Barkley, the most possible route is around D'Aiguebelle Mountains, through the forest at the foot of the mountain."
"That is right beside Jantunen... Its current estimated position?"
The Knight who was asked pointed to the map.
"I think it passed through Crepel Plains and is about to enter Cloquet's Forest."
"Cloquet's Forest... Uguu, that's closer than I thought. If we are going to intercept it, we will need to do it somewhere closer to Jantunen..."
A Knight behind him suddenly shouts.
"Did you say Cloquet's Forest...!?"
"What? What’s wrong with Cloquet's Forest?"
No one wanted to listen to bad news, but they needed to keep tabs on elements that could affect them. Before the watchful eyes of everyone, the Knight announce with a pale face.
"... Laihiala Academy is conducting a field trip there right now!"
All the Knights present are speechless. Not only Jantunen, even citizens who are the assets of the nation, as well as the children are in danger. There are Knights in the room who has relatives studying at Laihiala Knighthood school right now. Some of the Knights approached Philip frantically.
"We need to go to Cloquet's Forest!"
"We have to save the children!"
Philip was troubled with the accumulating problems, but he did not consider it for long. Another mission takes priority.
"...Send out messengers, but the company will stay put until we have gathered enough forces."
"Commander! Are you forsaking them!?"
Philip roared at the Knights who were pestering him, his voice filled with anguish.
"I want to help them too, but with our current forces, we will need to give everything to take down the Behemoth!... I am not optimistic about the coming battle. Striking now without mustering the whole company will just be wasting our forces, we might even be wiped out by the Behemoth. Don't be mistaken! Our objective is to defeat the Behemoth, defend Jantunen and safeguard the entire Fremmevira Kingdom!"
The rowdy Knights quietened down. They also understood that they have no say in this.
"... What we can do now is to have faith in their luck and wits..."
They looked into the darkness in the direction of Cloquet's Forest.
The entrance of Cloquet's Forest, Laihiala Knighthood school campsite.
After the upper grade students in middle school retreated successfully, a simple fence was erected alongside the Silhouette Knights, forming a simple line of defense.
Most Demon beasts emerging from the forest are about one metre in height, the largest being three metres tall. Their combat capabilities are insignificant compared to the ten metre tall Silhouette Knights. They swat away clusters of beasts with a single sword swing. But there are a few that sneak past because of the large difference in size. They swarm towards the fence, and are held off by the students who move in to fill the gap.
From the Demon beast's view point, the Silhouette Knight who seems to be flaunting its existence is intimidating. Unwilling to face them, the beasts flank the Silhouette Knights, attacking the base camp from either side. The middle schoolers in the higher grades suffered many casualties, so this is a favorable situation for the Knighthood students who lack the manpower.
After the sun sets beyond the mountains, the attack came to an end. The students, who are alert even with the absence of enemies instinctively felt that the battle was over and takes a breather.
"Is the Demon beast stampede over?..."
Stefania Serrati, who felt fatigue from the depth of her heart was relieved. She was leading the able bodied student body to the very end. They met up with the teachers back at the base camp, but they judged that it will be easier for Stefania, who has been commanding from the very beginning to continue. But part of it was because of her sense of responsibility.
"Chid, Ady... Eru."
When the situation has calmed down, she greeted the students, who were resting and surveyed the campsite. She called out to the familiar faces loudly when she came across them.
"Ah, Onee-sama... Are you okay? I heard the student body was in trouble!"
Stefania shakes her head.
"As you can see, I am doing well. Enough about me, you guys were reckless out there."
Stefania looked amazed as she spoke. The students who just retreated back to camp were riddled with wounds and fatigue, so their combat capabilities were minimal. They will struggle to handle the Demon beasts that sneak pass the Silhouette Knights in their current state. But thanks to Eru buying time for them, they managed to recover and made it through.
"We were the only ones who can still fight, so we went a little overboard."
"I think the three of you are as effective as a platoon, and that is not going 'a little overboard'... Sigh, never mind. More importantly... Eru!"
Stefania approached Eru, who was standing behind the two of them and hugged him. She didn't care about Eru, who was surprised and couldn't resist, and rubbed her face on that silky, smooth hair of his.
"Ah~~ this healing♪~~ I can keep fighting if Eru is here."
Stefania-senpai... Can't be helped. I will give her some reward for her hard work. If my sacrifice can improve her mood, then, this is nothing.
Stefania happily played with his hair and poked his cheeks, Eru did not resist, and allowed her to toy with him. Ady seemed angry, but didn't stop her.
Stefania enjoyed herself with the cuddling for a long while. Suddenly an awkward voice called her from behind.
"Eh... Student Council President..."
The student was looking for her, but was surprised at how creepy Stefania’s smile was. This was expected as Stefania was leading the student body coolly earlier, but is now hugging a junior with a lewd smile.
"What is it?"
"The teacher is asking for you to discuss our next move."
"I understand. Sorry you three. Let's chat later, it will just take a little while."
It was too late to cover it up, but Stefania didn't seem to mind, changing to Student Council President mode immediately. The three of them waved at her with an amazed expression as Stefania leaves.
Alright, we made it past the dangerous period, but what's next?
They made it through the stampede of the Demon beasts, but Eru didn’t think that things are over just yet. He looked back at Cloquet's Forest, which seems to be growing darker, as if it wants to mask itself from Eru's sight.
Even Eru is not sure what was lurking deep within the forest.
"And so, we are moving out tomorrow?"
The instructors are unable to come to a consensus for their next course of action. This is understandable as they have not grasped the whole picture. Anyway, they had informed everyone of their course of action over dinner. Eru and the others drank the soup made from simple vegetables and the food they brought along, while they confirm their circumstances.
"Correct, we have many wounded but no one is in danger of dying, the worst of it are just fractures. There are many who have depleted their mana and are exhausted. The teachers feel that it is dangerous to move with our inadequate fighting power."
"Yes, but isn't it dangerous to rest here?"
"The horses will also be affected by the dark. The instructors decided that being attacked while exhausted and moving on the carriages will be too risky, it is better to wait for day break while taking advantage of the base camp's defenses. I think we won't be attacked by Demon beasts in such numbers any time soon."
"Oh― what an optimistic view."
"Not really, all the options are like a gamble, this is simply choosing the safest option. If something does come in the middle of the night, it will be easier for the Silhouette Knight to defend if we stay put."
What they can do now is to rest up, detect danger early and react to the situation. In the end, they have to depend on themselves. After dinner, they try to relax and shake off their tense emotions, and put their hopes in making it to Jantunen when morning comes.
But they missed an important thing― What created the stampede?
They didn't notice that the Demon beasts heading their way were desperate, as if something was chasing them to the west.
They only regret missing this detail during the twilight hours just before dawn.
The red sun rises slowly over the mountain range. The students, who took the last shift suppressed their drowsiness and yawns. The surrounding is peaceful. After meeting the large scale migration of the Demon beasts, there were almost no Demon beasts left in Cloquet's Forest. The whole forest seems to have died with a silent air.
―And that silence was broken suddenly. They noticed the weird noise coming from the forest. The sound of trees breaking and falling appears to follow a rhythm. Something heavy seems to be hitting the ground. It didn't take long for them to realise what that meant, sounding the alarm immediately.
"Oh shit! A big one! A big one is coming!"
Both instructors and students who were sleeping jumped out of bed when the alarm sounded. They didn't sleep well because of the tension, so everyone was moving once they got up. The high school Knight runners, who are dragging their tired bodies to perform their standby duties, mount their Silhouette Knights, activating them immediately to guard the entrance to the forest.
The sound of trees falling can be heard clearly now, along with the thundering footsteps. It is clear that something big is approaching.
"Hey, isn't this bad?"
It goes without saying that everyone can feel that this is a crisis like never before. In this intense atmosphere, everyone's eyes are drawn towards the forest entrance.
There is no Demon beast larger than duel-level in Cloquet's Forest, that was the reason it was chosen for the field trip. But the footfalls of the approaching beast tells us how large it is.
It was a large Demon beast that shouldn't appear in Cloquet's Forest. The swarms of Demon beasts that attacked them out of nowhere.
The Demon beast wave was so large, as if the whole forest was rushing out. Could it be that they were chased out by the intruding colossal beast?
The trees near the entrance fell like dominoes. Finally, the Demon beast appeared with the light of the breaking dawn. It was covered in uneven armour with protruding edges. It was easily mistaken for a mountain, and humanity's strongest weapon, the Silhouette Knight looked as weak as a child in contrast. Its eyes that are disproportionately small scan the area before it.
Everyone was awestruck, feeling fearful and weak before its majesty. Land Emperor ― the colossal beast that appeared at the border of the nation is now advancing dangerously close to Jantunen.
An abnormal silence enclosed this space. It spurns from the tension between the Demon beast and the people present.
The humans on scene, Laihiala's students, are awed by the gargantuan sized Behemoth and can't move. The elite Knights posted at the frontlines were also stunned when they saw the Behemoth; it is too much to ask fifteen year old students to find enough courage to stand up to it.
During the moment when time seemed to freeze, the Behemoth moved first with its calmer mind-set. It looked around, opened its mouth and howled. Instead of sound, it felt closer to a shock wave moving through the air. Its horrifying lung capacity released a roar that made the earth tremble, shattering several trees close to it. The armour of the Silhouette Knights closest to it shivers, and it took a few steps backwards because of the pressure. The sound is so loud that the students had curled up in a ball, cupping their ears; some even fainted from the shock wave.
This is the signal that undid their bindings. When they started moving, the silence before was just like an illusion. Everyone is running away from the Demon beast as if they were being pushed back. This is not because they have come to their senses, but the chaotic actions due to their panic. The instructors lost control of the situation; everyone is just focused on running away from the Behemoth.
Escaping is the best option under such circumstances, but the way they are doing it is bad. The range a human can travel on foot is limited; they need to run to the carriage if they want to escape further. The panic strickened students didn't think about that, and just concentrated on getting away in any direction.
Just as the group was dispersing, there was suddenly an explosion at the front. No matter how terrified the people are, they won't run into an explosion. The student body's movement stopped for an instant and a figure used this chance to jump in front of everyone.
"Get away! Run! It's dangerous! Everyone head for the carriage!"
Following Eru's lead, the few students who kept their wits shot out Fireball, preventing the group from spreading out. They attracted the attention of the students with spells, herding them towards the carriage like hunting guides. They are still far from being calm, but the group is stable enough to understand instructions. They run towards the carriage in order to escape from the Behemoth.
The middle schoolers are not the only ones awed by the Behemoth, it was the same for the high school Knighint
t runners. Because they are in possession of the powerful Silhouette Knights, the Behemoth is a bigger threat to them. With the responsibility that comes with this power, they can't run away. Even if they want to fight, the enemy is too strong.
t runners. Because they are in possession of the powerful Silhouette Knights, the Behemoth is a bigger threat to them. With the responsibility that comes with this power, they can't run away. Even if they want to fight, the enemy is too strong.
"Don't stop! Move―!"
Caught in a dilemma because of an enemy out of their league, the first to snap out of it is Edgar. Be it fight or flight, remaining still before the Behemoth is like suicide.
The Knight runners finally recognise that the Behemoth is preparing to charge and tries to evade in a panic. The momentum of the beast is incomparable to anything in this world. Even a Silhouette Knight won't stand a chance when facing one. The pilots break out in cold sweat, losing their will to fight. What can they do to fight this terrifying Demon beast?
But one man, Edgar, suppressed his fear when he realised the advancement route of the Behemoth coincides with the carriages the middle schoolers are using to flee, and said with resolve:
"I will distract the Behemoth! Everyone, please lend me your strength!"
"Huh? Edgar! Do you know what you are saying!? That is a Behemoth! It will send all of us flying with a kick!"
"I know! But our juniors will be wiped out if we let it rampage. No, not just that. It will assault Jantunen if it heads down the same way as the carriages!"
Helvi who snapped at Edgar knows, too. There is nowhere to run, even if they escape from here, it will just lead to more collateral damage. She gritted her teeth with enough force to splinter it.
"We have no choice but to go through with it...!"
"We are Knights. We learnt swordsmanship and piloting in order to protect our Kingdom, how can we run without a fight!"
Edgar equips magic armament onto Earlecumber as he spoke. The ether reactor is running the flow of mana activates the magic armament... the whole Silhouette Knight glows dimly.
"I don't want to die pointlessly either. We need to draw the Behemoth's attention!"
"Yes, there's no other way!"
Edgar didn’t want to lose the spirit he managed to squeeze out. Earlecumber led the charge, aiming at the Behemoth's leg.
"All units, draw staff! Use magic bombardment to draw its attention and pull back!"
Edgar shouts as he pulls his control stick all the way back. Earlecumber channels its mana to the magic armament under the control of its pilot, lightning staff Arquebus. The tip of the simple longish weapon glows brightly, a lightning bolt strikes at the Behemoth with a flash.
Unfortunately, the blast had no effect. One reason is the Behemoth is too big; the other factor is the electricity was directed towards the ground from the armoured shell without hurting the interior.
The other three Silhouette Knights apart from Edgar has also armed themselves with magic armaments, circling around the Behemoth while firing their overed spells. It is hard to tell the effectiveness of the attacks, but they achieved their goal of getting the Behemoth's attention. The Behemoth turns its head when it noticed the disturbance, looking at the Silhouette Knights casting spells at it with annoyed eyes.
"How... It is ineffective..."
"It's fine! Don't stop and run! We just need to buy some time!"
The Knight runners understood the Behemoth is focusing on them, so they lure the Behemoth away from the middle schoolers and retreat at full speed.
As the high school pilots battles the Behemoth, the middle schoolers are rushing onto the carriage.
Because of the number of people, only about half of them has evacuated despite the carriages being dispatched one by one.
There are still a lot of people left... we need more time, we can only depend on our seniors now...
Eru stands at the end of the line, looking at the fight between the Behemoth and the Silhouette Knights with a grim expression. Using spells beyond human capabilities ― overed spells are negated by the invulnerable armour shell, leaving no trace of injury. Before the colossal beast, even the crystallisation of human technology, the Silhouette Knights are insignificant. The Eru who is just one person is even more powerless.
He has a serious face. The situation of the high school pilots is overwhelmingly bad... No, it is hopeless, their attacks does no damage at all. Their tactics revolves around retreating, disrupting it with deft movements. The Silhouette Knights will fall with just a single hit because of the differences in mass. If the pilot continue to accumulate fatigue and stress ― it is hard to think of a good outcome.
I will evacuate everyone, so don't die senpai...!
No matter how fast a Silhouette Knight is, there is no guarantee it can get out of the way of an angry, charging Behemoth. Hence, the other Knights will concentrate their attacks on the Behemoth to divert its attention, if it locks on to their comrades. Their attacks did not hurt the Behemoth, but it was frustrated with the annoyance.
"Hahaha! Is that it, this thing is big, but can't do anything to us!"
Dietrich shouted. In order to overcome the intimidating aura stemming from the gigantic body of the beast, he has to convince himself that he has the upper hand. It was meant to motivate himself, but because the tactics of stalling for time was working too well, they were taking things lightly. Could it be, this is a slow and dumb beast that is all bark with no bite? In actual fact, it will take just one hit to shatter a Silhouette Knight, but toying with the Behemoth this way has dulled their sense of judgment.
For a short time, they seem to be successful in their bid to drag out the battle. The Behemoth that is chasing after the escaping Silhouette Knights slowed down suddenly. The pilots watched the Behemoth's changes, as it took a huge breath with a lung capacity appropriate to its colossal size, sucking in an illogical amount of air.
The next second, a fierce breath of tornado shot out from its mouth. This is a ranged magic attack. The pilots who assumed the Behemoth can only charge and attack physically, were caught off guard by the sudden projectile spell. A tornado charged in a straight line. The turbulence from the current engulfed a machine that didn't get away in time. The Silhouette Knight couldn’t resist the raging air currents which twisted its armour and squashed its crystal tissue.
The ten metre tall mass of steel ― the Silhouette Knight flew into the sky and fell heavily to the ground. The impact shatters the limbs which has the least durability, which breaks off from the torso. Because the Silhouette Knights are humanoid shaped, its tattered image burns deep into the heart of the pilots.
"Hya! Ugu... Wah!"
Dietrich saw the whole process clearly. His classmate, who has been with him through high school ― and his Silhouette Knight was destroyed, making him scream as if his throat was in spasm.
The next moment, another machine disappeared before Dietrich's eyes with a loud bang. He didn't understand what happened, but he gets it when he shifts his gaze.
The Behemoth struck with its tail. The moment that machine stopped, it was hit by the tail which was swinging with inertia, flying out in a twisted lump. Dietrich is safe because of luck ― his position was slightly out of range. He would have been swept by the tail if he was a couple of steps forward.
Two Silhouette Knights were easily shattered like some pottery in the blink of an eye. The pilots realised how wrong they were to think they can hold the Behemoth off somehow. The Behemoth turns its head towards the surviving Silhouette Knights as if it was flaunting how easily it can destroy them. The perpetrator of the entire incident was targeting them next.
The two sounds coincide with each other. The former was Dietrich screaming in horror, because of the Demon beast, the latter was Edgar, shouting to overcome the fear in his heart to steel himself.
Damn! How can I be so careless! The Behemoth is a battalion level Demon beast... I knew it was a monster that cannot be handled by the handful of us!
Edgar couldn’t forgive himself for the loss of his comrade's life, because he underestimated the enemy. His anger is stronger than his fear, pushing him forward.
"Everyone, avoid facing it head on! No matter what, evasion takes priority! Just a bit more, everyone, please hang on!"
They had engaged the Behemoth, everyone will be wiped out if they turn and run suddenly. After hearing Edgar's spirited voice, the other Knight runners responded to him, even though they are shivering with fear. All of them used everything they had to dodge the Behemoth's attack. Right now, they can only put their life on the line and keep pestering the Behemoth.
Under the rampage of the Behemoth's magic, the high school pilots are forced into a dire situation.
Eru and the others had safely evacuated the middle schoolers, and he hopped onto the last carriage himself. He watched the battle from the carriage, speeding away from the Behemoth. The high schoolers are at a severe disadvantage with the magic attack of the Behemoth, killing off any chance for them to run away, even if Eru and the rest had left. The conversation he had with Edgar flashed across his mind. Even if his message didn’t reach them, the only thing he can do now is to give his support.
At this moment, a red shadow appeared in the corner of Eru's eye. He turned his head quickly, and was shocked after he identified it. The red shadow was the Silhouette Knight, Guyale.
Could it be... As he was thinking, he turned his head ahead and saw the battle still raging on between the Behemoth and the other Silhouette Knights. This means Guyale is abandoning the other students and escaping by himself. Eru jumped off the carriage when he understood this. Everyone was stunned by his action and couldn't stop him. He ran after Guyale with the speed of a bullet.
A red Silhouette Knight was running in the bright forest under the sunny sky.
The quiet forest extends all around it; there is nothing in the surroundings. But the red machine was focused on its task, sprinting hard as if it was being chased. In fact, the red Silhouette Knight Guyale and its pilot Dietrich Cunitz was pressed into this situation with no way to escape. What is driving Dietrich is pure terror. The image of his classmate's Silhouette Knight being crushed by the Behemoth repeats in his mind endlessly. Dietrich doesn’t even dare to turn back, blindly pushing Guyale to sprint forward. Although he is not the one running, but his lungs are constricted because of fear and his breathing is irregular.
Knight runners have absolute trust in their machines. There are Demon beasts which have power beyond the Silhouette Knights, but Dietrich didn’t think they were invincible. He was not prepared to face an enemy that shrugged off attacks and can destroy Silhouette Knights in one hit. In the end, he panicked, and made the shameful choice of saving himself by sacrificing his classmates.
But the goddess of fate did not let him off so easily.
Guyale's speed suddenly dropped drastically. Although Dietrich was panicking, he immediately thought of a reason for this. He went through the battle earlier and sprinted at full speed. He didn't display the calmness he showed during his training, running hard in an inefficient manner. What awaits him is a dead battery.
The fear that accompanied his immobility seizes Dietrich, but he could still do something about it. He stops Guyale and switch to standby mode to rest and recover his mana reserve. After confirming that the Behemoth is not pursuing him, he sighed in relief and steadied his rough breathing.
After stopping, he gathered some of his wits and felt a strong pang of regret. He shakes his head to clear away this thoughts. But being unable to move, all sorts of thoughts emerged, pushing Dietrich into a corner.
―That's right, I abandoned my comrades and ran―
―Leaving your brother in arms behind, a shameful behaviour for Knights―
So... So what! Staying there means dying in vain! I only chose to live, and the code of chivalry didn't say anything about dying for nothing!
Dietrich denies the accusations of his own conscience. His calm breathing becomes rough again; he didn't even notice his hand holding the control stick is becoming stiff because he was gripping too hard. His eyes were wide open as he sweated profusely, and he continued to affirm and deny his own thoughts.
Dietrich, who was tormented by his own thoughts, heard a sound that drew closer into the distance and came to his senses. That is the screeching sound of compressed air, which is followed by the sound of metal rubbing against metal. The vision in front of him suddenly widened, and he couldn’t react because of how sudden things were happening.
The chest plate armour of the Silhouette Knights was connected by compressed air for ease of entry into the cockpit. But it was opened suddenly, although he didn't activate the control for the hatch, and has no reason to do so. To open the hatch from the outside, you had to manipulate a complicated set of levers and had to be careful not to dismantle the armour by accident. Based on this situation, someone is opening the hatch from the outside using the lever.
A figure jumped up to the open hatch which confirmed his deduction. It was a petite body, with a head of silvery, purple hair. That figure is Ernesti, who smiles casually at Dietrich and says:
"I finally caught up with you, Senpai."
Eru said in a casual tone, as if he has simply forgotten to bring something. Eru tilts his head and continued:
"I will go straight to the point Senpai, are you running away?"
For Eru, this question was meant to be a confirmation, but Dietrich trembled when he heard Eru. The sudden appearance of his junior asking so bluntly made him hysterical.
"...! Ah, d... damn... right! Running... What's wrong with that! Just missing one man won't change the tide of battle! Why do I have to die in vain? The chivalry code doesn't tell us to abandon our lives!"
Dietrich repeats his thoughts, not caring how broken his reasoning was. He did not answer Eru, but was trying to convince himself. Eru nods with his usual peaceful smile and said to the agitated Dietrich:
Dietrich didn’t expect such a reaction and lifted his head up, tongue tied. Great? What did he say to make Eru so happy?
"Because, that reason is sufficient for me to borrow Guyale from you."
When Dietrich realised what he meant, Eru has drawn his Winchester. This is the last thing he remembered while he was still conscious.
After knocking Dietrich out with a single air bullet, Eru made a pleased expression and nodded his head with satisfaction. Although he can sympathise with Dietrich's situation, Eru is still angry.
Eru perked himself up and scanned the cockpit. Silhouette Knights are ten metre tall giants, but the cockpit was tight and messy with all sorts of gears. The most prominent feature is the seat in the centre, the control stick to the side and the pedals under the seat. The Knight runner controls the Silhouette Knight by holding the control sticks and stepping on the pedals. Eru recalls the functions of the pilot seat and the activation procedure.
After Eru undid the harness and was preparing to drag the unconscious Dietrich out, he thought of something.
"If I leave him here unconscious, won't he die if wild beasts attack him?"
Although he was angry at Dietrich for running away by himself, Eru was not willing to kill him. After contemplating for a while, Eru saw some space behind the seat. The cockpit of Silhouette Knights will usually have blankets, food, and a first aid kit for emergency supplies, enough for a few days of solo travelling if they lost contact with their team. These items are stuffed behind their seat so they won't interfere when they are piloting.
"Eh, it's a bit of a waste, but I can make space here."
Eru randomly pulled out some of the items and threw them out. After confirming that there is enough space, he squeezed the unconscious Dietrich in there. Although this position was uncomfortable for humans, but Eru wasn't bothered.
After 'settling' Dietrich, Eru turned towards the seat. Unfortunately, the size is designed for high schoolers. Eru won't be able to reach the control sticks and pedals with his stature. The seat does not have the convenient function of being adjustable like the cars back on Earth.
Eru had already anticipated this, and he came with a plan in his mind. He slashed at the consoles on either side of the seat calmly, destroying its casing. He was not doing this out of frustration. He pulled out silver wires from within the destroyed panels ― Silver Nerves. Eru coiled the wires around Winchester, sat down and buckle himself in. Winchester is made from that white mist tree that is an excellent conductor of mana; it becomes a primitive control input device by entangling Silver Nerves around it.
"... I will have to do this live with no backup plan, failure is not an option."
The Silver Nerves transmit mana and scripts through the control sticks and pedals to the magic engine, which in turn uses scripts to operate the Silhouette Knight. The commands of the pilots are interpreted by the magius engine, transforming them into scripts to move each part of the Silhouette Knight. Taking this concept to the extreme, if you have great control over the scripts, you can operate the Silhouette Knight without control sticks.
But that is only in theory. It is difficult for pilots to conceptualise and control Silhouette Knights through scripts alone, so the control sticks and pedals are necessary to reduce the burden on the pilots and make control simplier. By having physical control sticks and pedals that matches the four limbs of the pilots, the movement of these controls can be used as input data for the movements of the robot, a semi automatic mode of control. The current way of riding a Silhouette Knights is a combination of physical control and script transmission, a balance between simplicity of control and complexity of actions that can be taken.
The problem Eru has with the Silhouette Knight lies with the difficulty in using the physical controls. That's why he planned to use total script control from the start, using his own magius circuit to handle the large stream of control scripts. This is an absurd idea, but Eru has the script processing speed beyond the realm of normal humans, so it was a worthwhile bet.
Eru took a light breath, calmed down, closed his eyes and concentrated.
The Winchester connects to the Magius engine through the Silver Nerves. Normally, it is the Knight runner who answers the magic input query, so there wasn’t any resistance with the pilot assuming direct control. It was surprisingly easy to establish a bypass route. Eru's conscious became one with the Silhouette Knight, reading and processing the pre-programmed scripts in the magic engine.
Eru analysed the script with his eyes closed. He construct a magic program from nothing, growing it outwards in all directions. Arms stretched out from Eru's mind to draw the magic program ― reading its contents. Even though the code and symbols were different, but being in the flow of data is nostalgic, and he smiled gently.
"Alright, time to show you see the power of a professional programmer."
He began analysing the core of the magic scripts at a fast pace, starting with comparing what he had learned so far with the scripts within the magius engine.
"Starting pattern analysis... Similar scripts detected, physical boost, Amplifier..."
Most of the scripts in the magius engine were similar to the scripts he knew. Eru identified them one by one, using the script to understand its purpose. The more similarities there were, the faster he could grasp the internal workings.
"The base is physical boost? Crystal tissue is the emulation of muscle tissues. To move them, the theory is the same..."
Using Architect sigils, he dissected each script. Each part formed complicated patterns and are interconnected, the magic program is expanding to the limit of his conscious.
"The control of the crystal tissue... placement, the connection between each of the modules, output control, this is the mana output of the ether reactor..."
Guyale, which was kneeling on one knee in standby mode trembles slightly. Its fingers move, its eyes begins to focus and see its surroundings clearly.
"To activate... I will need to connect my physical boost with the movement script of the Silhouette Knight. It needs to be converted to accommodate the Silhouette Knight, using the default output control parameters to move..."
The mana produced by the ether reactor executes the script issued by the pilot, broadcasted out to the entire Silhouette Knight through the Silver Nerves. The Silhouette Knight loyally obeys the command, using the mana stored in the crystal tissue to contract and expand. The machine vibrates, standing up slowly like a new-born deer.
"Operation parameter conversion complete, activation starting... Adjusting output values, mana reserves adequate. Okay, take one step..."
Guyale's gigantic body balanced itself awkwardly, taking one heavy step after another, taking large but unsteady strides. The movement is like a zombie, staggering and slow.
"Feedback adjustment, optimising."
Eru used the feedback details from practical movements to scan for excessive movement in the crystal tissue and debugs the script. These scripts still has traces of being a magic script, but errors were detected by synchronising the movement and user input, optimising it in a short time. Guyale's movement changed from unsightly shuffling to a graceful walk in the span of a few steps.
It had been half an hour since Eru started accessing the magius engine. The Silhouette Knight, the weapon which is the crystallisation of humanity's wisdom was now completely under his control.
Guyale moved as Eru wishes. There are no lags because of physical defects or inefficient scripting. It is one with the pilot, making total full control a reality.
The situation is dire.
The high school Knight runners are in a deadly battle all this while, so Eru issued Guyale a command. It accepts the command and starts sprinting as if to make up for all the time that was wasted.
As he ran, Eru's expression shifted from a tension to a smile. He didn’t feel anxious or pressured. The reason was simple; Eru was piloting a robot right now. The robot follows his wishes and was sprinting wildly.
Eru didn't think too much when he chased after Guyale; he was too preoccupied when accessing the magius engine. He only had the leisure to think after he started moving, coming to terms with what he was doing.
Eru thinks it is childish to react this way, but he couldn’t contain his emotions.
"Ah, Ahhh, Ahhhhhh! Robot, robot, I am piloting a running robot!"
For him, be it the tremour of each step the machine took, the Holo Monitor showing the scenery that was disappearing at an horrifyingly, fast pace or the inertia Eru is feeling, all of it felt so blissful. Who can stop Eru's joyous laughter? Eru forgot about the powerful Demon beast that was waiting for him ahead, and immersed himself in the happiness of piloting a Silhouette Knight.
Guyale ferries Eru, who forget his original objective as well as the foaming and unconscious Dietrich towards the battlefield at an amazing pace…