Editors: Ruzenor, alkin
The Zetterlund Continent— That was the name of the continent where Humans and Demon Beasts reside.
The tall Aubigne Mountain Range divided the continent into the eastern and western halves, with a large number of nations scattered around the land. They were known collectively as the ‘Western League of Nation’. In contrast, there was only one country in the east, the Kingdom facing the Bocuse Forest, the realm of the Demon Beasts. Taking on the role as the sword and shield of humanity— the Kingdom of Fremmevira.
At the foot of the Aubigne Mountain Range was a city which houses the largest school academy in Fremmevira Kingdom, the Laihiala Pilot Academy. And the base of the Silver Phoenix Knights, Fort Olvecius, was situated a short distance away from the city.
Even though it was called a fort, the function of the facility was not focused on battles, and the interior had mostly been taken up by ‘workshops’.
In the spacious hangar were the Silhouette Knights possessed by the Silver Phoenix Knights. The First Squad led by the Knight of pure white, the Second Squad commanded by the Crimson Knight and the Third Squad made up of the Centaur Knights. And at the head of the band of giant knights, was the Knight Commander machine that possessed top battle potential within the Kingdom— the ‘Armoured Samurai’ with two hearts and six arms.
The 10 meters tall human shaped weapons— Silhouette Knights, these knights of steel forged to battle Demon Beasts remained absolutely still like finely crafted statues, the scene of them in formation gave a sense of dignity. However, that didn’t matter to the people rushing about hastily at their feet. They were the ‘Silhouette Knights Craftsmen’ responsible for the maintenance of the Silhouette Knights. They manned rugged mobile armours called ‘Silhouette Gear’ with bags of tools in hand as they busied themselves with work. A man was issuing instructions to the craftsmen with a loud voice, a dwarf youth. He was burly in built, and wore a huge beard on his authoritative face.
“Sigh, looks like we have many wilful brats among our Silhouette Knights.”
He smiled wryly as he complained, turning his shoulders and making cracking noise. For some reasons, the Silver Phoenix Knights possessed the few unique machines within Fremmevira Kingdom. Everyone of them had powerful performance, but more effort would be required to perform maintenance. Hence, it was inevitable that the workload of the craftsmen would increase.
“Boss! The legs of the Tzendrinble are done! Its crystal tissue had been replaced with new ones too.”
“Oh, good work. It seems this will be a long trip, we have to pay special attention to the legs of the horses.
After receiving the report of his subordinate who ran over, the dwarf youth— Darwin Hulk nodded with a satisfied expression. He had the title of ‘Chief craftsmen of the Silver Phoenix Knights’, but his subordinates he had known for a long time all prefer his nickname in school, ‘Boss’ to address him and he had gotten used to it. And it was true that his job was being the boss of this workshop.
“Boss— the maintenance and outfitting of the Silhouette Gears are all done.”
“Oh, good work Bart, the preparations are almost done then.”
A young dwarf came to report after that subordinate did. His name was Batson Termonen. He was different from others, a craftsmen who was better in working on Silhouette Gear than Silhoutte Knights.
The Boss then received several reports telling him that the maintenance was complete. Including Silhouette Knights, Silhouette Gears and the large wagons pulled by the Tzendrinble, the Silver Phoenix Knights had a wide variety of equipment. And with how large the group was, it took a lot of effort to get everything ready.
“We are finally ready. Looks like this will be a rowdy trip, so liven up!”
The Boss announced loudly with a smile, and the craftsmen all raised their arms in response. The Silhouette Knights standing tall silently behind them seemed to be gleaming with pride too.
At that moment, the Silver Phoenix Knights Commander Ernesti Echevarria wasn’t in Fort Olvecius, but was together with his childhood friends in one of the homes in a corner of Laihiala Academy City.
“Alright, most of the things I need to bring along have been packed.”
Eru came out of his room with his luggage in hand. Looking at him bringing a large luggage bag he couldn’t quite wrap his arms around, Chid asked with his head tilted:
“Your stuff are all in the fort right? What exactly are you bringing?”
“Most of these are Silhouette Knight design notes, planning tools and textbooks.”
“...Yeah, right. I think the trip this time won’t be so relaxing, but never mind.”
Even though they were setting off on a long journey, Eru still planned on bringing his usual tools on the road. That was just him, and made Chid dumbfounded.
“Wait, Eru. Did you forget anything? Did you remember to take your Silhouette Knight along?”
At this moment, Eru’s mother, Celestina Echevarria, jogged after him. Mother and child were similar in appearance and in their eccentric behaviour, which almost made Chid, who was listening to them, fall down.
“Of course I did! It is the stage where I can strut my skills, the Knight Order are well prepared too. As everyone will be ferrying it together, we will be meeting up later.”
“I’m feel relieved… Eru, mother will be lonely, don’t get hurt and work hard, alright?”
Tina hugged Eru gently, reluctant to let go. Eru held her back and said with a firm nod:
“Okay! This trip will be a bit long, so take care of yourself too, mother. I will bring back plenty of souvenirs from there, so look forward to it.”
“Haha, it’s fine for you to bring back souvenirs… Working hard is important, but you must come back safely.”
His father, Mathias Echevarria, appeared from behind Tina with a wry smile. Although his son looked calm and unassuming, Eru could be very surprising at times, which made it hard for Mathias to be at ease. Even though Eru had the strength to make it through any crisis, his parents couldn’t help worrying. He patted Eru’s head, and Tina turned to the twins who were with Eru and said:
“Ady and Chid, be careful too, please take care of Eru, okay?”
“Okay, Aunt Tina! Leave Eru to us, I will work hard as the Knight Commander’s Aide!”
“I don’t think Eru will be fine no matter what happens, but I will take care of him.”
With that, Adeltrud Olter placed her hands on her hips and puffed her chest out, while Chid just shrugged. If Eru went out of control, the two of them would probably join him anyway— They didn’t say that assumption though.
“Then we are off! First, to the capital to meet everyone from the Knight Order!”
After bidding farewell, Eru ran out energetically with his luggage in hand, and the twins followed. The parents watched the lively backs of the children until they disappeared from their sights.
C.E. 1281. It was almost summer, on a day with fine weather—
In the royal capital of the Fremmevira Kingdom Känkänen, and the royal castle Shreiber that laid within, a man was walking along the corridor with long strides, his huge build moving hastily. He was Second in the Line of succession to the throne of Fremmevira, Emrys Geijer Fremmevira. After reaching the end of the corridor, he pushed open the door hard and said in a loud voice:
“Dad!... No, Your Majesty. I need to go to the Kuscheperca Kingdom! You know the reason right!?”
Inside the door was the audience room of the King. In the depths of the vast hall where the throne was, King Riothamus Haarus Fremmevira sighed deeply in resignation, and waved away the surprised attendants around him.
“... Sigh, so you’ve heard. Hold on, foolish son. I can guess the reason, but let me ask anyway. Why do you want to visit the Kuscheperca Kingdom all of a sudden?”
The subject himself didn’t understand how his father felt about his son ignoring etiquettes, and shouted with his fist clenched:
“Do I even need to say it!? Don’t tell me you don’t know, Dad. Because the Kuscheperca Kingdom… The nation where Aunt resides in is under attack!!”
Seeing the Second Prince said that urgently with his fist clenched, Riothamus replied with a tone as if he had given up:
“Yes, I knew it would turn out like this, that’s why I suppressed the news. Where did you hear that from… But Emrys, we didn’t receive any request from that nation, what reason are you going to use to head into the battlefield?”
“Reason? I don’t need such things! Because Aunt is there, and we are her relatives! Of course we should help, isn’t that enough!?”
Riothamus nodded naturally and replied:
“I see, but I won’t send out our armies. Have you forgotten? We do have a vast number of Silhouette Knights, but they are here to protect the lands and people of the Kingdom, we can’t send them to the battlefield between other nations so easily.”
From the size of the territory alone, Fremmevira Kingdom was the top few amongst the human countries. And these nations were willing to be seen as being less prestigious than the border nation because of the countless Demon Beasts in their lands. That was the reason why they needed a huge army of Silhouette Knights, to keep the peace, and this shut the mouth of the aggressive Emrys. Even though he was reckless, Emrys also had a sense of righteousness, and won’t risk the safety of the citizens in order to rescue his aunt. That was why he said:
“Is that so? I get it… Then I will go to the Kuscheperca Kingdom and save aunt by myself!!”
He was the type who would put his thoughts into action once he had made up his mind. As Emrys turned to leave, Riothamus couldn’t help holding his temple and said to the back of his son:
“What can you do by going alone?”
“... I don’t know! But aunt took great care of me in the past, I can’t just watch idly!”
Riothamus maintained his calm and said with squinted eyes:
“Well then, are you going to a nation at war with the name of ‘Emrys Geijer Fremmevira’? Don’t you understand what that means?”
Emrys stopped as if he was struck by lightning.
“You are not that stupid, right? It’s true that my sister is in that country, but more importantly, what will happen if my son went there? They might treat that as a declaration of war by the Kingdom of Fremmevira.”
“That’s why I said…! That’s right, the Kuscheperca Kingdom is on the west of the Aubigne Mountain Range. If that place is attacked, it means Fremmevira might be next! If we send reinforcement before that…”
“That might be true, but are you going to give the enemy a proper reason to attack us? The actions of a King represents a Kingdom, and it is no exception for you who is in the line of succession. In conclusion, answer me Emrys, do you have the resolve to drag the nation and its people into war because of the choice you are going to make?”
Emrys fell silent, but even without words, how he felt was clear from his trembling body and fist that was clenched so tightly that blood was about to burst out.
“Your Majesty… Dad, do you mean you are going to abandon aunt…!?”
“That’s not possible, I wouldn’t do such a thing.”
The tone of the King completely flipped the direction the conversation was going. The dumbfounded Emrys couldn’t react for a moment.
“You can’t do anything even if you left by yourself. If you want to do something meaningful, you will need the appropriate power. I can’t commit our forces en masse, then I will just send warriors that can fight one to a hundred…”
As he listened to his father, Emrys thought of a Knight Band. In Fremmevira Kingdom with plenty of Knight Orders, there were few who could fight one to a hundred. When he was about to said that name, news that ‘they’ had arrived reached the ears of the King.
“We have kept you waiting, Your Majesty. The three squads of the Silver Phoenix Knights are ready for the expedition, and are awaiting your orders.”
Ernesti appeared in the audience hall together with Chid and Ady, and knelt respectfully. Seeing Emrys, who didn’t stick to the rules, being struck speechless, Riothamus suppressed his laughter in one upping him.
“Not happy about this? Emrys, you know how strong they are. They are the strongest band of Knights that defeated the Behemoth and the Hive Queen, and saved our Kingdom from crisis numerous times.”
Emrys shook his head with a shocked expression and said:
“I know that very well… Hey, Dad, didn’t you say you won’t pick a fight so the Kingdom won’t get dragged into war?”
“Yes, that’s exactly it. So Emrys, you have to avoid using the name Fremmevira over there, and pretend you are not related to us. Don’t give anyone the excuse to attack our Kingdom.”
Emrys finally relaxed his shoulders in relief, such a crude method even surprised Emrys who liked to solve problems with brute force.
“... Dad, aren’t you just making excuses?”
“No, in such matters, the one who said it first wins. Emrys, if you persevere, there will always be a way.”
Riothamus cleared his throat, and continued after changing to a serious face:
“Our Kingdom is now progressing in unity, it would be troubling if fights broke out at our ‘rear’ during such a crucial moment. We need to make them a bit more peaceful, in other words, more balanced. Kuscheperca is a large nation in the west, we can’t let it fall into chaos. I will leave my foolish son to you, Silver Phoenix Knights.”
“By your will, the Silver Phoenix Knight won’t let you down.”
Emrys was hesitant about the right timing to speak, but probably felt it was too much of a hassle and said with a step forward:
“Right, that’s fine! I feel at ease with you guys here. Let’s go, Silver Phoenix Knights!!”
The King said to his departing back:
“Use your eyes and observe the war between nations well. We will be entering turbulent times soon. With such a situation, we can’t just fight the Demon Beasts blindly… And rescue Martina, I’m counting on you.”
Emrys turned his back a little, and nodded firmly.
All the cities of Fremmevira Kingdom, including the capital Känkänen, were protected by sturdy city walls without exceptions. The western gate of Känkänen— In front of the huge gate that a Silhouette Knight could walk through, the fully armoured Silver Phoenix Knights were gathered.
The core consists of the pride of the Silver Phoenix Knights, the Third Squad of Centaur Knights, Tzendrinble. A large wagon was attached to the back of the Tzendrinble, making it a powerful means of transport. As they were most suited to long distance marches, they received a careful overhaul this time. On the wagons were the Silhouette Knights in standby mode, the mass produced models that uses the most advanced technology, the Karrdator that made up the First and Second Squad.
And of course, they were also transporting other things like food, spare parts and maintenance tools for the Silhouette Knights too. With so much cargo, the group was rather large in scale.
“Putting it nicely, we are helping our allied nation, but we are actually going to war. Of course we are going to bring loads of things.”
The captain of the Third Squad, Helvi Oberg looked around her with an impressed expression and the one who answered her was the captain of the First Squad, Edgar C. Blanche. The Silver Phoenix Knights who possessed strong combat prowess and mobility had been tasked with missions to various locations, but those were only within the country. They had always moved with a light load on the premise that it would be a local deployment. It was the first time they went on an expedition with so many things in tow.
“One big factor is that we don’t know how the situation would be like over there. Alright you two, the Knight Commander is here, time to get ready to move.”
The captain of the Second Squad, Dietrich Cunitz showed up at this juncture. After saying that to the two of them, he went back to instructing his Squad members, and the members who had been waiting idly started preparing swiftly.
After passing through the gate, Emrys appeared with Eru. When he saw the fully loaded Silver Phoenix Knights, he remembered the rumours spreading amongst the people about the ‘Hive Beast Crisis’. If the Silver Phoenix Knights that suppressed that ‘most terrible attack in recent years’ was to go, they would definitely— As he was deep in thought, he reached the exceptionally large wagon at the fore of the Knights. The special wagon pulled by two Tzendrinble had an extravagant Silhouette Knight which was reflecting the golden sunlight.
“... Gordesleo, this time, you will be fighting for my aunt.”
Emrys was filled with emotions as he looked up at Gordesleo. Eru walked passed him and turned around, with his back to his Knight Order. Suddenly, all eyes present were on him.
“Your Highness, your orders please.”
“... Alright, Silver Phoenix Knights! Our mission is to save my aunt, keep the peace, and to send the retards who attempts to start a war flying with a punch!”
The briefing which was reckless in all sorts of ways made all the members standing properly slump their shoulders. Emrys wasn’t concerned, and pumped his fist forward and said:
“The enemy aren’t Demon Beasts! We might meet unimaginable difficulties, but I am confident that we can succeed with your powers and mine!”
“Well then— Everyone, liven up and let’s join the fray!”
Eru had a joyous smile on his face, and made a violent conclusion. The members all shouted, followed by the sharp exhaust sound of the Silhouette Knights.
The Silver Phoenix Knights then set off towards the storm in the west, this was the first expedition to the west by the Kingdom of Fremmevira since its founding. Affecting both the east and the west sides of the continent, this year would herald the most drastic change in the history of the Zetterlund Continent.