Centaur Knight Arc
Uproar in Laihiala Pilot academy
Editors: Darkdhaos, Thorify D, alkin
This happened on a certain clear, winter day.“Well, has the ‘Silver Phoenix Knights’ left for Laihiala, yet?” The tenth King of the ‘Fremmevira Kingdom’—‘Ambrosius Tahvo Fremmevira’—rested his elbow on the throne as he muttered. He was fifty-seven years old, a very old man in this world, but was lively and youthful in demeanour. However, he was melancholic right now. “Yes, the carriage ferrying them has set off this morning, they should reach the academy city by evening.” The one conversing with Ambrose was Duke Knut, or ‘Knut Dixgard’. In the audience room of Castle Shreiber situated within the Capital of Fremmevira, there were several others present besides the two of them. “Yes, we will need their talent; there has been quite a number of troubling matters recently.” What was troubling Ambrosius was the recent series of incidents that hit the Kingdom of Fremmevira. ‘C.E. 1277’, this year had been the most tumultuous in the founding of the Fremmevira Kingdom. What sparked it off was the battalion level Demon beast, ‘Behemoth’ that caused a large scale catastrophe—known as the ‘Behemoth Incident’. That incident resulted in the sacrifice of numerous ‘Silhouette Knights’ and pilots and destroyed a part of the national defence line against the ‘Bocuse Sea of Trees’. Just half a year later, before the Kingdom recovered from this disaster, it suffered another attack. Near the garrison situated to the north of the Kingdom, in the Duchy of Dixgard, Fort Casadesus was assaulted by unknown villains. It so happened that the new model of Knights developed after the ‘Behemoth Incident’, ‘Silhouette Knight Tellestarle’, was situated there, and the ‘Red Rabbit Knights’ garrisoned there fought back valiantly. After an intense battle, the fort caught fire and the Knights suffered heavy casualties, including the new models. This was seen as something that happened because of the Behemoth Incident, and was dubbed the ‘Casadesus Incident’. “... As for those ‘villains’, I don’t know where they came from, but they made loads of trouble for us. To think we, the barrier for the ‘nations of the west’, have to watch our back. It seems the western nations have forgotten the reason why they are safe from the Demon beasts, those ingrates.” Ambrosius didn’t conceal the displeasure on his face, because the Casadesus Incident was much more problematic than the Behemoth Incident. The culprit behind the Behemoth Incident was a ‘Demon beast’— the beasts couldn’t be reasoned with and were something akin to a natural calamity. On the contrary, the masterminds behind the Casadesus Incident were rational ‘humans’. The Kingdom of Fremmevira was the only nation of men on the east side of the ‘Zetterlund Continent’. This nation acted the role of a shield for the western nations, keeping them safe from the invasions of the calamity known as Demon beasts. That was why it didn’t take part in the wars between humans for several centuries. The Casadesus Incident, which pulled them into the strife between men, placed doubt upon the reason for the existence of the Fremmevira Kingdom. “If it has come to this, we can’t just sit back and wait. Besides, they took a prototype machine.” The goal of the villains attacking Casadesus was to capture the newly completed prototype. For unknown reasons, that group had their eyes on the Silhouette Knights that were more powerful than the previous generation’s. And after a fierce battle, they had successfully stolen one machine away. “It is a pity, but it is too late to recapture that machine. What we need to do now is set our sights forward, and move on. However, there is something we need to do before that.” Ambrosius looked at the group that was waiting behind Knut. “We need to get the ‘bug’ in the body out. The ‘enemy agent’ who stole the intelligence related to the prototype should be hiding somewhere, right now, in our country… Now is the time for you to shine, ‘Blue Hawk Knights’.” When they heard this, the people behind Knut raised their heads. This group known as the ‘Blue Hawk Knights’ didn’t have impressive mail or even leather armour. They were dressed like normal citizens. It was strange for such a group to be addressed as an ‘Order of Knights’. “Yes! Despite having only beasts as enemies for a long time, our ‘skills’ have not dulled with time. We will present results to you as soon as we can.” A man in the middle of the Knights answered on behalf of the group. That man had an ordinary appearance with no special features to speak of. The group included young women, old men; all of them seemed to be ‘ordinary’ pedestrians that could blend right into a crowd. They only had one common feature. Their eyes seemed to glint from time to time, and they had a sharp gaze that could see through anything. Ambrosius, satisfied with their answer, nodded, and turned to Knut. “Good. Well then, Knut, I will hand the command of the Blue Hawk Knights to you. Do not forget about the failure last time and succeed this time for me to see.” “... Thank you, Your Majesty, I will definitely capture all of the villains.” Knut bowed deeply; a sharp light could be vaguely seen from his lowered gaze. The incident was dubbed Casadesus, and Fort Casadesus was situated within his duchy. Furthermore, he had held great expectations for the prototypes that were destroyed. The Casadesus Incident was a slap in the face, no wonder he hated the villains to the bone. Like Ambrosius said, this mission not only gave him a chance to restore his honour, it would also allow him to vent his wrath and display his merciless means, famous within Fremmevira. Ambrose was pleased with Knut’s response and his facial expression relaxed. “I look forward to the performance from all of you. Let’s leave that as it is for now; this concerns that ‘mischievous lad’, after all. Since I gave him an Order of Knights, he will show his true nature sooner or later. For things to proceed smoothly, we need to send someone who knows what is happening to follow him… Right, Knut?” Knut who kept his fiery rage from showing earlier showed a stiffened face. He wondered what that ‘mad dreamer’ would do; he was more dangerous than the villains in some ways. “...Yes, please leave them to me, too. I will arrange for them to work under the perfect conditions.” Even though it was dangerous, they had to do it. To wipe away the shame of Casadesus, the ‘results’ of the Silver Phoenix Knights were needed. The prototype that was smuggled out of the nation, and the terrorists that were inside the country; Fremmevira was in an unstable situation. They needed to unite together to face the biggest test since the founding of the nation centuries ago. While the Capital was having a conference that could shape the future of the nation, the Silver Phoenix Knights were— “Hey— I can see Laihiala. We are finally back.” The man on the horse said casually. Right now, everyone was moving on a carriage. The group was heading in the direction of one of the cities at the foot of Mount Aubigne— the city walls surrounding ‘Laihiala Academy City’ gradually became visible. It was home to the largest educational institute in the Fremmevira Kingdom —‘Laihiala Pilot Academy’— the home base of the Silver Phoenix Knights, which was comprised of students. They finally reached the academy city, sighing in relief when they passed through the main gate. After experiencing the construction of the prototypes, getting dragged into the Casadesus Incident, and the formation of the Silver Phoenix Knights, everyone was highly tense. For these students, this was a heavy burden. The carriage headed towards Laihiala Pilot Academy, and the group was dismissed on campus. Most of the students stayed in the dormitory on campus, but there were local students as well like Ernesti and his childhood playmates — the twins, Archid and Adeltrud. The three of them walked side by side towards the Echevarria residence. “Oh—it has been so long since the last time we saw Eru’s home! Ah~ that was tiring!” “Yup, I want to rest properly at home for a while.” They couldn’t help cheering after reaching the doorsteps. Eru’s mother, ‘Celestina Echevarria’, rushed out the moment she heard their voices and hugged Eru. Eru also hugged his mother gently. “I’m home, Mum.” “Welcome home, Eru. Are you hurt? No? That’s a relief. How was it? Are they happy with the Silhouette Knights everyone made?” “Yes, they loved it! There were some slight ‘failures’, so it broke down, but they want us to build more.” “Ara, that’s great. I will work hard for dinner tonight, so you can have a good meal and work hard.” “Yay, I will look forward to it!” While mother and son embraced each other, their dialogue was a mess. When Eru’s father saw this scene, he felt at ease, but couldn’t help sighing. The sun set behind Mount Aubigne and the thick curtain of nightfall covered the entire Laihiala Academy City. Dinner that night was shared between the Echevarria and Olter families, who were close. The mothers from the two families displayed their culinary skills, filling the table with sumptuous dishes like a carnival. In no time, the dining table radiated a noisy and cheerful mood. The group chatted about everything, and most of the food was consumed by the stomachs of the children in short order. The children who were official ‘Knights’ had great appetites. Both mothers smiled happily when they saw their children’s satisfied faces, and started clearing away the empty dishes. After finishing the meal, everyone was resting. Eru went before his father, Mathias and grandfather, Lauri. “I have something to tell you, Dad, Grandpa. His Majesty has appointed me as the Commander of an Order of Knights.” That was the opening sentence; Eru’s sudden words made his Dad and Grandpa spit out and choke on their tea simultaneously. The children, who were expecting their reaction, stayed well out of range. “Cough! Cough, E-eru…. What was your appointment again!?” “The Commander of a Knight Order. To be specific, the Commander of the newly raised Silver Phoenix Knights.” The smiling Eru looked at the stiff Marthias and the dumbfounded Lauri, who was nursing his temple. Chid and Ady watched the entire scene as bystanders. “... Is, is that so? That’s great news, right? But what are you going to do about school? Since you are going to be a Commander of a Knight Order, are you dropping out of school?” Mathias who took some time to shake off his stiff condition was thinking about this point. ‘Dropping out of school’ wasn’t surprising. Even though most of the people within the nation could go to school, not everyone could complete the entire course. As the students could decide the length and form of schooling depending on their family situation, there were plenty of people who only studied in primary school and didn’t progress to middle school. Those who had to drop out because of work were considered fortunate. Although dropping out because one was appointed the Commander of a Knight Order was definitely unusual. “No, by the grace of His Majesty, my Silver Phoenix Knights will be based in Laihiala. The Order is also special in nature, so, even though I am currently the Commander, I will still be a student until graduation.” “Eru… I did say I would support you in anything, but this is a bit…” ‘A Knight Commander studying at the Academy as a student’— this would definitely be the most unique title of all time. Mathias’ head began to ache even though he didn’t drink any liqueur. “And so, I don’t need to move even though I am a Knight Commander. It is embarrassing to say this, but the Silver Phoenix Knights will use the facilities of the piloting faculty as its base. I think His Majesty will issue the official Order in a few days.” “Wha, what… Eru, you even took over the Academy…” Lauri gazed towards the sky; he could almost see the brilliant smile of his old friend on the other side of the clouds. It seemed that his old friend was reverting back to his playful-self after meeting this grandchild of his. Their actions combined were beyond his imaginations. He had already resolved himself that this might happen someday, but he didn’t expected it to be so fast. Lauri finally recovered from his shock. He straightened his face, which had an expression of pride he had, as the leader of an institute and as an educator. “... Even if I have to accommodate you, there are things I would not back down from as the principal of Laihiala. Eru, there will be new students entering the piloting faculty next year. If the Silver Phoenix Knights uses the school facilities, where would the new students go? I can’t accept this even if this is the order from His Majesty.” Lauri stared sternly at Eru, who sat properly and replied with a nod: “Of course, the Silver Phoenix Knights won’t rob my incoming senpais of their place to study. To be frank, the purpose of the Silver Phoenix Knights is to ‘create Silhouette Knights the world has never seen before’, just like the Tellestarle. To do so, we will be developing new techniques in the future, too.” As he listened to the smiling Eru’s reply, Lauri couldn’t help breaking out in a cold sweat. This group had already created the technological breakthrough of the generation, Tellestarle. If they formed an Order of Knights and researched officially, how far could they soar? That was something Lauri couldn’t imagine. “That’s why we want to pass these techniques to our seniors and juniors in the piloting faculty. It is already a given that our Tellestarle will affect the future development of machines greatly, so, the seniors won’t lose out from learning these techniques.” This country was changing widely with Eru and the Silver Phoenix Knights at its centre. This overly huge historical torrent made Lauri afraid, but his face looked calm and fresh as if the bitterness from before was not real. “Eh, if everyone can work together, it won’t be a bad thing.” “Yes, let’s work hard together! It will definitely be interesting!” Eru’s smile was so brilliant that it was hard to open your eyes. Several days later, the existence of the Silver Phoenix Knights was officially made known to the Academy by decree of King Ambrosius. This was the start of the huge wave of change washing over the life on campus. It had been half a month since the Silver Phoenix Knights set up base at Laihiala Pilot Academy. The pilot faculty students gathered at the familiar school workshop. They had received the official appointment from the King, and were now members of the Silver Phoenix Knights. However, the only thing that changed was their title. Their life on campus proceeded like normal; no wonder the reality of the situation faded gradually over time. “Ara… All of a sudden, we are Knights of an Order; it seems funny when you think about it.” The ‘Boss’, David Hepken said with mixed feelings. Edgar C. Blanche shook his head. “Boss, you were there when it happened, I was roped in while lying on a hospital bed.” “You looked so anxious, worrying whether you would be selected or not.” “No way, well, probably…” Helvi Öberg smiled deviously. Edgar’s actions became awkward with her teasing. “Eh, it was just getting interesting working on the new models. It’s a shame to end it like this, accompanying our Knight Commander isn’t so bad.” Dietrich Cunitz shrugged. The Boss realised something and clapped his hands. “Yah, since the silver boy is the Commander and we are normal members, should we watch the way we address him? Like Young Master Commander or something?” “Guess we should. Maybe Classmate Commander?” “Too casual. We are an Order of Knights after all; we should call him Knight Commander at the very least.” “No, no, we should respectfully address him as Sir Knight Commander.” Before they knew it, the members started joking about Eru. The Silver Phoenix Knights was a strange Order with the youngest Commander ever. Considering the reason and goal of its formation, its discipline was more laxed than regular Knight Orders. It was raised hastily after all. “... I don’t like such weird titles. It feels uncomfortable, just address me as usual. It will make me happier.” At this moment, the Knight Commander himself appeared. And of course, he was wearing a tired expression. “Putting that aside, it’s great that everyone is here. I have with me the first mission of the Silver Phoenix Knights.” “You are rushing us off to work now? You are always like this, so impatient.” Eru pointed behind him where heavy footsteps and the grinding of metal could be heard. The source of the noise was revealed in no time. What appeared behind him was the two and a half tall mobile armoured suit— the Silhouette gear. “Oh? Isn’t that the toy you made? What do you want to do with that… Hmm? Hey, could the one controlling it be…” The Boss’ voice became surprised mid sentence. Everyone present knew how the Silhouette gear performed wondrously during the Casadesus Incident. However, they also knew the flaw with the Silhouette gear. As it required a large amount of mana to control it, only a handful with exceptional talent—referring to Eru and the twins—could operate it normally. But the face of the one piloting the Silhouette gear was Eru’s childhood playmate—the Dwarf boy, Batson. “That Bat boy isn’t proficient in using magic like you, right? How did he do it? Tell me.” Even though Batson had played with Eru since a young age, he was just a craftsman and lacked powerful magic abilities. “Fufufu, this is the result of the enhancement made by me and Batson! Batson, please handle the explanation.” When he heard that, Batson took a step forward and knocked the chest plate of the Silhouette gear in delight. “Alright. The previous Motor Beat model could only be piloted by someone like Eru. But this ‘Motor Rad’ is different. A miniature sized Magius Engine is installed inside! As you can all see, even a magic novice like me can operate it!” No one understood Silhouette gears better than Batson, he knew every nook and cranny, even the Boss had to acknowledge that. “Ohh! That’s interesting; you mentioned a miniature Magius Engine? Where did you get that?” “We asked Duke Dixgard for it, and he got one for us.” Eru made it sound simple, but the Boss simply sighed. The secrecy level of the Magius Engine wasn’t as high as the Ether Reactor, but information related to it was still classified from the general public. Eru was provided with it just because he asked, showing the high expectations they had for the Silver Phoenix Knights. It was a fact that they were part of the organisation, but the Boss wasn’t ready to accept that just yet. “Fufufu, the important part is this. If Batson can pilot it, it means the Boss and the others, all of the craftsmen can do it, too.” The Boss squinted his eyes and considered his words carefully. He understood the main point in no time. This Silhouette gear, which could exert a large amount of power as just one machine, was very valuable. The craftsmen had to work with giant humanoid weapons ten metres in height—the Silhouette Knights. Every component was huge and required a lot of manpower to handle, along with various equipment like cranes and tractors. With the Silhouette gear, they could handle the spare parts with fewer people and cut down on their burden drastically. “I see, this is getting interesting! Alright, Bat boy, we will make more Silhouette gears, come give me a hand.” “Yeah, leave it to me! I am also a member of the Silver Phoenix Knights! I will work hard!” Batson thumped his chest and agreed. And so, the Silhouette gear ‘Motor Rad’ took the first step in becoming the working gear of the craftsmen. It didn’t take long for the Silver Phoenix Knights to rely on the Silhouette gears so much, that they couldn’t craft anything without them. As expected, the Silhouette gears performed marvelously in handling large spare parts. Not just that, either out of convenience or from laziness, the craftsmen did their work directly while piloting the Silhouette gears without getting in or out of it, using it in a way even Eru hadn’t imagined. The teachers in the piloting faculty were shocked by the revolutionary crafting techniques adopted by the Silver Phoenix Knights. In the end, this technique didn’t only affect Knight engineering. It was adopted in all sorts of fields. Since it affected the largest education institute in Fremmevira, Laihiala Pilot Academy, it was only a matter of time before it spread nationwide. From this moment on, the Laihiala Pilot Academy—no, the education system of this Kingdom —had a revolutionary change. The source of the revolution, the Silver Phoenix Knights, was quietly, but surely getting stronger. The Mountain Range Aubigne divided the Zetterlund Continent in two, with the royal Capital Känkänen at its core. Other large cities such as Laihiala Academy City made up the entire Kingdom. This ‘West Fremmevira Highway’ was the beginning of it all, the cradle from which the nation was born. If one was to travel south from these large cities by carriage for several days, one would reach a city far from the populous areas, a fortress city hidden in the thick forest known as ‘Dufaure’. Känkänen and Laihiala were protected by city walls, a necessary defence in the nation surrounded by Demon beasts. Most towns above a certain scale would have defensive walls as well. Dufaure was the same, but for some reason, its walls were much tougher than normal. Its structure was very unique as well with sparse residential buildings and more than half the city occupied by one single facility. Its scale was even larger than Laihiala Pilot Academy. The impenetrable walls and the city centred on a giant facility. This was the reason why Dufaure was known as a fortress city. The true identity of this large facility was the ‘National Technological Robotics Laboratory’—or NTR Lab—a research and development centre. The NTR Lab was the Fremmevira Kingdom’s one and only large Silhouette Knight research institute. They were responsible for collating all of the technologies related to the Silhouette Knights and building new models. In the long history since the founding of the nation, they had worked long and hard on their research. The Silhouette Knights requires centuries to develop, so it not only served as a research facility, but also a manufacturing plantation. This vast development workshop had all sorts of equipment and loads of experimental prototypes. Because of its long history, large amounts of miscellaneous items were piled all over and could only be described as messy. However, machine nerds would definitely jump with glee if they saw this. Inside messy workshop number one, a large group of craftsmen were completing a certain task. They surrounded four Silhouette Knights with shoddy appearances, its design differing from the mass produced model Karrdator. Were these the prototypes they were designing? That wasn’t so. This group was doing the opposite of constructing and repairs, they were taking these Silhouette Knights apart. “How did they do this… Even the way the Crystal tissues are connected is different; do they have to strengthen it this much?” “Is this a small arm… To remove something like this after adding it in, unbelievable.” These machines that were disassembled were already damaged significantly before they worked on them, some of them critically destroyed. The machines were named ‘Tellestarle’—they fell into the hands of the villains during the Casadesus Incident and had to be destroyed. Logically speaking, they should prioritise repairing them, but the ‘original creators’, the Silver Phoenix Knights’, had already progressed to the next stage like an unreigned horse. These machines were, thus, left behind. In the end, it was decided that they should be given to the NTR Lab for research rather than scrapping them. “Hmm, I wish we could have disassembled them while they were in perfect condition.” The craftsmen looked like kids, who had found a new toy, immersed in the job at hand. Every time they tore down a spare part or found a new structure, it would spark off a theoretical debate regarding the mystery of Tellestarle. And of course, they didn’t let their hands idle while doing so. The machine Tellestarle used the knowledge and concept Eru brought from the alternate world, known as ‘Earth’, and didn’t have anything in common with this world. The mysterious machine that seemed to have fallen from the heavens spurred the curiosity of the craftsmen. They carefully disassembled every spare part that made up the giant machine, greedily making this technology their own. Despite the passion of the craftsmen, the process of disassembling the giant by normal means progressed slowly. The problem lies in the ‘vast differences in technology’. They couldn’t understand the strange design and concept that ran contrary to current models and could spend an entire day discussing it. If the ‘design plans’ that came with the machines were missing, their progress might have been stalled indefinitely. A new figure appeared in the room full of passionate and determined craftsmen. The person was short in stature with a stout body, his facial expression hidden behind his wrinkles. The carefully braided hair and beard was taller than he was. His eye-catching appearance made it clear he was an elderly Dwarf. “Workshop Chief Gaizka…” The craftsman who greeted him had a little bitterness mixed in his face. Workshop Chief ‘Gaizka Johannsson’— He was in charge of Workshop number one, the direct supervisor of all of the craftsmen. “You all sure took your time… Is the work finished?” The hoarse voice that sounded like the friction of rusty tools sent a chill down the backs of the craftsmen. The group stopped what they were doing as one and looked at each other awkwardly before saying hesitantly: “We found some interesting parts. Chief, this machine has a structure not seen in current models, so we need more time to complete our investigation. This is a treasure trove. The more we investigate, the more discoveries we make. If they didn’t give us the design plans, who knows how much effort it would take to research this. For example…” When he noticed his subordinate’s bad habit of rambling on when he becomes too engrossed, Gaizka waved his hand to cut him off. “I see… so how much do you all understand? And is it useful?” After Gaizka asked that, the craftsman shut his mouth, as if all his rambling never even happened. From their reaction, it was easy to tell there wasn’t any good news. Gaizka narrowed his eyes that were covered in wrinkles. “Eh, like I said, the concept is too different… we could emulate it, but I think we need more time to understand it.” The craftsman didn’t continue as he could see the rising anger in Gaizka’s eyes. “... You mean the proud technicians of the NTR Lab couldn’t grasp the things made by mere students?” “That’s not it… we already made progress. For example, the way the Crystal tissue is used increases its power and is more efficient.” The craftsman’s answer didn’t satisfy Gaizka and his expression remained stern. The craftsman was already breaking out in a cold sweat, and he felt like running away when he remembered what he needed to report to Gaizka. “Actually, Chief… There are a few problems…” He said timidly. Gaizka’s expression eased. “We can settle the structure part soon… But there are other problems. The Magius Engine seems to be modified drastically; even the scripting engineers can’t grasp the entire thing with all their effort…” “What did you say… Even if they did rewrite the Magius Engine, we can reverse engineer it based on the machine functions, right?” “We have the design plans, but after looking at the content… We have no idea how they controlled this function…” Gaizka raised the corner of his eye and the faces of the craftsmen turned as white as a sheet. “You lot listen up, His Majesty ordered us to develop an entirely new model… an entirely new model! This is the biggest project of the past century!! Once this plan is realised, we will leave our names in history. How can all of you panic at the very first stage!?” Even though they wanted to explain, they couldn’t produce the results to prove it. The craftsmen who were trapped between the wrath of their Boss and reality were soaked in cold sweat, with no signs that the situation might improve. What saved them from this impossible dilemma were the words of a third party. “Hey, Gaizka, they will drop their hammers in fright if you scare them like that.” Both sides reacted dramatically when they heard this. Gaizka turned back instantly while the craftsmen smiled in relief. “Ara, Director Olver… to think you would come here even though you always complain that your body is getting rusty being glued to the chair all day. What brings you here?” Olver Blomdahl was the head of the NTR Lab, the director of the entire facility. He had a youthful appearance, wearing a loose robe with a tall and had a skinny build contrasting deeply with the Dwarf Gaizka. He wore a bright coloured bandana on his head, and the most prominent thing was the slit-like eyes of his. Gaizka wasn’t expecting him to come and surprise flashed across his face momentarily. But he concealed that by clicking his tongue before anyone noticed. “I am here to take a look at the new model, of course. To create an entire new model from scratch was something that has never happened, since the founding of the nation. I want to listen to a proper briefing, so I made some time to visit. Everyone, this might be a direct order from His Majesty, but rushing it won’t do. Progressing slowly is fine; the most important thing is to do the job right.” The craftsmen practically showed their acknowledgement and returned to their work stations before anyone stopped them. Shortly after, only the bitter faced Gaizka and Olver were left. “Director, you are making things hard for me. Overseeing the workshop and craftsmen is the authority of the workshop Chief. Bypassing me and giving out orders makes it hard to do my job.” “Oh, you are right, but I think it’s not good to rush. That’s why I advised them out of goodwill.” “I understand your position, director, but don’t worry… I will take my leave; I have other places to inspect.” Gaizka left quickly. Olver watched him leave and shrugged. “Really, Gaizka is so stubborn… He is capable, but too inflexible. The most important issue in any task is to know your limits, especially in a situation that is obviously a test for us.” Olver was genuinely curious about the new models, but he had another reason for visiting. He heard the rumours of a new Knight Order being founded, and that group had created the first new model in the past hundred years. “... It is unbelievable, but His Majesty formed a research workshop that is not part of the NTR Lab and gathered the personnel to develop a new model. On the other hand, we are obviously falling behind.” In the ruckus of the disassembly operation, no one heard his murmurs. He didn’t mean it to be heard by others, anyway. “Is he testing us? Or… giving us a strong dose of motivation? To think His Majesty is so cheeky, he probably meant to do both. Forming a separate organisation and making us ‘compete’... Am I over thinking this? No matter what, I have to keep my eyes open. Even if we ‘hear it clearly’, there is only so much we can understand.” His mutterings were drowned out by the noise and disappeared with the wind. “Brat… acting so arrogantly because His Majesty likes you… I will show you.” Gaizka cursed as he took crude strides forward. Anger that was different from what he felt when listening to the report of the craftsmen was welling up. His sunken eyes were burning with wrath as he glared at the wreckage of the Tellestarle with his murderous gaze. “The next generation mass production model… Yes, if I complete this, my name will be in the history books, I won’t need to see that brat’s arrogant face, ever…!” He resolved himself with a heavy heart full of anger and an ominous smile on his lips. In order to realise his ambition, he shouted at his useless subordinates again.