Knights & Magic

 
 

Knights & Magic Volume 5 Chapter 43


The thunderous footsteps of metal giants broke the early morning calm. To a bystander, the chaotic rumbling and deep vibrations could easily be mistaken for an untimely earthquake.

It was the capital of New Kuscheperca, Fontaine. At the moment, countless Silhouette Knights gathered before the gates. Among them were the Resvant Vidos, also known as the ‘Tower Knights’, and the Revantiers, the newest mass-produced model. These two models made up the core of New Kuscheperca’s royal retinue and standing army, also known as the Royal Life Guards.

The Guards have expanded to such an incredible size that their numerous Silhouette Knights seemed to stretch from the foot of the wall to the far horizon. Faced with such a sight, it was difficult for any onlooker to imagine the uncertainty that stood before them. The introduction of Silhouette Gears has greatly relieved the logistical bottleneck, and has led to a significant increase in production. By now, the new Royal Army has recovered much of the former splendor of its predecessor.

The Guards some came to a halt. As the shaking of the ground stopped, only the quiet humming of the air intake valves remained. As a gust of wind blew past the foot of the metal giants, bring with it the dust of their march, a glittering Silhouette Knight rode out through the gates of Fontaine at the rear of the column, and slowly made its way to the front of the Guards. It was an extravagant Silhouette Knight covered in richly decorated armor – the lost ‘King’s Mount’. More accurately to say, it is not the same as the Mount from before, as the previous one was destroyed alongside the late king. What stood before them now was the newly rebuilt ‘Kartoga Ol Cauchard Secundus’.

At its appearance, all the Guards knelt in unison. From their chests, Knight Runners came out of their cockpits and stood at attention as the Silhouette Knights’ armor peeled away. Faced with loyal knights, Kartoga Ol Cauchard Secundus also came to a stop, and opened its chest armor in response as everyone’s gaze was fixed on the person who emerged. As the King’s Mount, it was the Silhouette Knight meant for the sovereign, and logically, the one who appeared from Kartoga Ol Cauchard Secundus was none other than the Queen Regnant, Eleonora.

The Queen’s appearance had stunned all the Knight Runners, as the one before them was no longer the sheltered flower that they had come to know. Before them stood a woman dressed, not in an elegant evening gown, but in a full combat suit meant for Knight Runners. The famed beauty known across the western lands stood before them with an unwavering will, slightly blunted by exhaustion. Like a wildflower, alluring yet resilient, Eleonora no longer had any of the uncertainty that had once plagued her in her eyes, and with a deep breath, she looked out toward the gathered forces.

“Brave knights of Kuscheperca, we have endured! During the night when our beautiful capital Delvincourt was consumed by the flames of war, we learned of our powerlessness, and suffered defeat at the hands of a despicable but powerful enemy. In a single night, we were robbed of countless things precious to us. They took away our homes, burned our land, and killed our beloved king…”

The loudspeakers mounted on the King’s Mount carried her voice far and wide. The quietly listening knights slowly clenched their fist, seemingly remembering the night when the old capital fell to invasion.

“However, through the support of our allies, we stand tall once more! Our new shields could resist the blows of those who wish to enslave us, and our new swords could pierce those who meant us harm. Despite all this, our rebuilt kingdom is now under threat by the terrible Flying Dragon. The Dragon… is unbelievably strong, and if we let it freely rampage through our land, the tragedy of ‘that night’ will surely repeat!”

The atmosphere surrounding the knights began to heat up, but no one knew if it was from the vast congregation of Silhouette Knights or the knights own broiling rage. Even when faced with likely defeat, not one knight showed any fear. All their faces were flushed with an unshakable resolve. Like a bow in full draw, the knights eagerly awaited for the Queen’s order to unleash them upon the invaders and retake their homeland.

“…But we will not sit idly by as tragedy comes to our doorsteps. We shall no longer hide behind our meager walls, but with our own two hands, take back what is rightfully ours…! I, Eleonora Miranda Kuscheperca, the Queen Regnant of Kuscheperca, commands you…!”

Eleonora’s eyes held no tear, for she was no longer trapped by her old hesitant and anxious self. Below her, Kartoga Ol Cauchard Secundus drew its sword and pointed squarely at the distant capital.

“Brave knights of Kuscheperca… onward! To reclaim our country and capital from those who wish us dead! Audentes Fortuna iuvat!”

“””Oooh!!”””

As a thunderous roar echoed at Eleonora’s declaration, the masses of Silhouette Knights sprang into action. The Guards marched with a single purpose – to liberate Delvincourt from the grips of Žaloudek. It was a campaign that committed the entirety of Kuscheperca’s Royal Life Guards, a truly decisive undertaking for the kingdom. The Guards advanced with a vigor and resolve reminiscent of Žaloudek’s on the fateful night.

In their column, many Resvant Vidos marched with the Revantiers. Certainly, the heavily armored Resvant Vido were not built with mobility in mind, so in order to not burden the pace of the army, they had most of their unwieldy ‘Bulwark Robe’ removed and transported separately in wagons. Granted, before any battle, they will need time to reattach the robes, but that was still much more preferable to having the entire army match the pace of the fully laden Vidos.

Behind the core of Silhouette Knights, the massive wagon train followed with their supplies, flanked on both sides by vigilant knights piloting Silhouette Gears.

At the center of the formation marched Kartoga Ol Cauchard Secundus, with another richly decorated Silhouette Knight – Emrys’ Gordesleo – marching alongside the King’s Mount.

“Hahaha! That was a splendid speech! I guess Ellie really is used to the duties of a Queen now~”

“R-really? I feel like there is still much to work on. I just hope my speech earlier didn’t bring shame to the title of Queen.” A nervous reply came from inside Kartoga Ol Cauchard Secundus.

“Everything in that speech was written by Ellie… no, Her Majesty. Do not worry, I am certain Your Majesty did wonderfully.” From ‘behind’ Eleonora, another voice rang out.

“…Isadora. Why are you acting so distant? It is making me terribly uncomfortable.”

“It is a proper part of etiquette. After all, you are now Queen of this country.”

Kartoga Ol Cauchard Secundus was uniquely designed with two pilots. One of them was Eleonora, and the other was her cousin, Isadora. Logically speaking, a King’s Mount should only be piloted by the sovereign, but the current Queen have never had any piloting lessons, and struggled with even the most basic maneuvers. As such, during the construction of Secundus, it was purposely modified to allow two pilots. Granted, Secundus did not have the same spacious design as Centaur Silhouette Knight ‘Tzendorg’, so the interior was unusually cramped.

“More importantly, I am sorry, Isadora. Because of my own ineptitude, I had to make you come with me onto the battlefield.” Eleonora let out a long sigh as she kept her eyes focused on the road.

“Do not worry. Since you had already resolved yourself to war, it would only be proper for me to accompany along. After all, you are not the only one who wants to take back our country~” With no one to listen in on their conversation, Isadora reverted to her usual familiar tone.

“Also, Emrys-san. The Queen and I… the Queen’s Mount could not reasonably fight and will serve as no more than a figurehead. Therefore, be sure to keep us safe.” Isadora opened comms and said to the nearby Emrys.

To ensure the campaign’s success, they could ill-afford to leave anything that needed defending in Fontaine. Such was the only reason why Eleonora, who had no experience in piloting or commanding, had to participate in the campaign. On the battlefield, her only purpose was to serve as the figurehead ‘Queen’, but it was a task she could leave to no one else.

For a dangerous gamble like reclaiming the old capital, there was undoubtedly anxiety within the populace, but it was also a mission they could not ignore.

As such, the transcendent and beautiful Queen was the perfect symbol to rally the troops. With the tragic tale of how she lost her father in the first battle, the troops would certainly respond positively to her presence. Although the Queen was a neophyte in command, she was unmatched in her effect on the morale.

Additionally, a personally-led campaign to recover the lost capital had a symbolic meaning in and of itself, and would serve to solidify her rule after the war. Therefore, after weighing all the options, they had opted for the King’s Mount to be a two-pilot Silhouette Knight even if it was slightly inappropriate. Fully aware of the reasons, Emrys let out a smile at Isadora’s request.

“Mm. The main battle formation is certainly the most dangerous location on a battlefield, since it is where the fiercest fighting will take place! But worry not, no harm shall come to Isadora and Ellie as long as I and Gordesleo draw breath… Not to mention, we also have them on guard…”

Gordesleo turned its head around, as if prompting to their immediate vicinity. Surrounding Secundus and Gordesleo were the chosen elites of the Guards. In addition, there were also the wagoned Centaur Knights, the Red and White Companies, and the six-armed Demon God – the full force of the Silver Phoenix Knights.

“With the Silver Phoenix Knights here, even the Flying Dragon dare not harm you.” Emrys declared with a smirk.

From behind Gordesleo, the Reds and the Whites raised their weapons in affirmation to the declaration.

“Alright, I shall place my trust in everyone.” Isadora remarked.

At that moment, a large shadow floated across the marching troops. The Levitate Ship leisurely cruised overhead, its body adorned with the emblem of the Kingdom of New Kuscheperca and the crest of the Silver Phoenix.

“…So is that Ernesti-san’s newly modified ship?”

“Yes. It may not be apparent, but it seemed Boss and Eru had made some last minute modifications. Behind its innocuous exterior, who knows what sort of nasty contraptions it has hidden underneath…”

If what was said earlier was true, then the Levitate Ship would certainly be worthy to serve as the ‘trump card’ against the Flying Dragon. Curiously enough, Chid, who tend to never stray far from Eleonora, was aboard that vessel.

◆ ◆ ◆

Kingdom of Žaloudek, Kuscheperca Territory’s eastern border.

For the Old Kingdom of Kuscheperca, the eastern border meant the Aubigne Mountains. However, for Žaloudek’s occupied territory, which has to deal with the resurgent kingdom, the eastern border meant what were originally the borders between the two regions of Old Kuscheperca.

Along the new border, the outposts turned fortresses were hotly contested between the two powers, as their exchange during the Grand Western Storm quickly turned into a war of attrition.

Žaloudek’s defensive forces were primarily composed of black knights. The black knights’ incredible strength and tough armor, coupled with their poor mobility, made them the ideal unit to line the defense.

Stationed atop the high walls of the fortress, the ten mels black knights stood tall, perfect for sentry duty with their height. The Silhouette Runners within kept their eyes peeled to the monitor for any unusual movements on the horizon.

The calm and uneventful morning soon changed as shadows appeared in the thick morning fog.

“…!! Emergency! Enemy Attack!!”

The black knights’ response was fluid and precise. With the siren sounded, the humming of the Ether Reactor from nearby Silhouette Knights quickened as the defenders mobilized themselves into action.

“Another group for some morning sparring? Seriously, how eager are they for their deaths…”

“As long as we are around, I doubt they-… Wait? Over there…?!”

From the distant forest, more and more Silhouette Knights appeared through the fog, their hands bearing the standard of New Kuscheperca, and slowly closed in on the fortress.

Before the Kuschepercan advance, the black knights began to waver. There were simply too many enemies, especially for a fortress of its size. No matter how strong the black knights were defensively, against such overwhelming numbers, they had no chance at victory.

“…Perhaps they finally decided to take out this fortress?”

“No, wait a minute, something is odd… For them to deploy such a large force, their defenses elsewhere must be severely weakened. Have they decided to go all-in?”

The black knights could not help but feel a chill. They have heard of how the Flying Dragon was pushing the Kingdom of New Kuscheperca to the brink of annihilation. However, the final throes of a kingdom were not to be underestimated, especially one known to have a sizable military force.

“T-that is the King’s Mount! The Queen has finally moved to campaign?!” The black knights exclaimed as they caught sight of the shimmering Secundus.

As it stood, their worst nightmare has become a reality. Faced with overwhelming numbers and unwavering morale, the black knights could do nothing to resist the onslaught. Before long, the fortress was adorned with the colors of New Kuscheperca.

◆ ◆ ◆

The news was quick to reach Delvincourt.

The anxious messenger ran through the hallways and knelt before Viceroy Catalina.

“…A-after the New Kuschepercan Army c-captured the fort, they showed no sign of stopping their advance! T-their forces are estimated to be at least a full b-brigade strength, numbering over a hundred S-Silhouette Knights!!” The messenger reported to an expressionless Catalina.

“Isn’t that their whole army?! Wait, won't it mean they had completely forsaken their defense? If we launch an attack on their capital, Fontaine, we could wipe them out in one fell swoop!!” Standing nearby, one of the Knights Commander exclaimed.

“It is not as simple as you think, fool.” Catalina just waved him off, “According to the report, the King’s Mount is among the invasion force.”

“W-what?! Milady, to our knowledge, wasn’t the King’s Mount destroyed in the initial battle by Prince Cristóbal?”

“A copy… No, perhaps they had it rebuilt. Either way, how they came by the King’s Mount is of little importance. The real issue is the one piloting it.”

There was little need to guess. Before long, the Knights Commander quickly revealed a shocked expression, and turned to Catalina.

“C-could it be… the Queen herself?!”

“Who else? They had abandoned their forts and capital, and mustered all their forces for this invasion. Likely, they are under the assumption that they would be able to rebuild as long as they have their queen.” Catalina could not help but chuckle.

Certainly, Kuschepercan movements seemed rash, but at the same time, Žaloudek also faced a difficult decision.

Simply put, while Žaloudek had the option to raid the now unguarded rear, it served them little purpose to damage the infrastructure of the cities and forts they wished to claim for themselves. In their plan, they had always seen the elimination or subjugation of the royal bloodline as the most preferred method.

“Still, how reckless… For them to even abandon their capital, they must be gambling with everything on the line. If my assumptions are not mistaken, the only viable target for such a large force would be… here.” Catalina said in a soft voice as she pointed at her feet.

For everyone present, the old capital Delvincourt, now the seat of Žaloudek’s viceroyalty, was undoubtedly the only reasonable target.

“Wait… If we think about all this from a different angle, is it not preferable for us to have the Queen herself come knocking on our door? If they wish to end this farce once and for all, I am more than happy to oblige.”

In a way, the situation benefited Žaloudek as well. If they committed to a decisive battle against the Queen, they could save all the trouble of taking the rebel’s territory one fortress at a time. However, a sense of foreboding seemed to take root in the heart of Catalina.

“Send word to Lord Mardones. Since the enemy so neatly packed themselves up for us, there is no longer any need to take them out piecemeal. Let us meet their invasion force and burn it to the ground, alongside that figurehead Queen of theirs!” Catalina barked at the nearby messenger.

“Understood.”

The Flying Dragon was tasked with assaulting the Kuschepercan fortresses. Therefore, if the order did not arrive, then Žaloudek’s greatest weapon would not be able to arrive in time for the decisive battle. The messenger hastily ran out the audience chamber to deliver the orders to Doroteo, while the other officers silently went their own way to marshal their forces, leaving Catalina alone on her throne.

“A personal campaign… and here I thought that sheltered girl would be more reserved. Not that any of it matters, since she is one of my enemies that I would have to strike down if I were to consolidate our rule. There are still things to be done before the Flying Dragon Battleship’s return.” Catalina let out a deep sigh as she tapped her finger against the throne.

With that said, to finish up her final ‘preparations’, she summoned a certain someone for an audience.

◆ ◆ ◆

“As ordered, what does Her Excellency want of me?”

The one to arrive to Catalina’s summon was Gustav. As always, he answered in a tactless manner, but with the urgency, Catalina did not pursue his insubordinate tone further.

“Rejoice, Gustav Martones, I am granting you a new Silhouette Knight to replace the one you had lost. We can’t have you on our payroll only to loaf around.”

“…Yes, I understand.”

In the battle against the Silver Phoenix Knights, Doroteo was in charge of the Jade Dragon Knights that ran down the routing Kuschepercan troops. Despite inflicting heavy losses on the Kuschepercans, his Silhouette Knight ‘Swordsman’ was completely wrecked in the ensuing battle. Although the remains were later recovered, the Silhouette Knight was deemed beyond repair in the foreseeable future. Therefore, rather than having Doroteo wait for his personal Silhouette Knight to repair, it was more prudent to just give him another.

With a Silhouette Knight, Gustav was now able to return to active service. However, the man himself was not particularly thrilled about the prospect. For him, the slow and bumbling Tyrantor that served as the backbone of Žaloudekian Army was a terrible match to his nimble fighting style.

Compared to piloting the Swordsman, a personalized Silhouette Knight uniquely designed for his combat style, he would be hindered by the non-compatible unit, if not outright strip him of any ability to serve as the ‘ace’.

Furthermore, his only alternative to the Tyrantor would be one of the captured Kuschepercan Resvants. However, with the ‘Eastern Model’ already in widespread use on the battlefield, he was hesitant to rely on an obsolete model.

“Come, let me show you to your new Silhouette Knight.” Catalina did not care for Gustav’s reservations and ordered him to follow.

She led him to the Silhouette Knights workshop in town, and down to the deepest recess within, where a solemn unit stood. When Catalina pointed the Silhouette Knight out, Gustav could not help but be flabbergasted.

“I will leave this unit in your care.”

“M-milady! I-isn’t this the royal exclusive model, ‘Alkelorix’?!”

The ‘Alkelorix’ was the newest and most advanced Silhouette Knights designed specially for Žaloudek royalty. Its elegant body of pure white adorned with gold-plated rims was an undisputed masterpiece.

“That is correct. As far as Silhouette Knights are concerned, it is indeed the strongest in our arsenal, and clearly a better fit to your style than the Tyrantor. I know you have your own quirks, so I will lend you some knightsmiths for you to make adjustments as you see fit.”

Gustav was at a loss for words. It was certainly a royal favor like no other, and he was unsure how to respond to Catalina.

“C-could this unit be Prince Cristóbal’s?”

Toward his hesitant question, Catalina merely shook her head.

“Alkelorix is not considered the King’s Mount, but merely a unit that was reserved for the royals. As such, my brother was not the only one to have received one. This here is my personal unit.”

Counting the unit given to their elder brother Carlitos, there were three units of Alkelorix in total, and before them stood one of the three.

“As you may have been aware, my piloting skill is mediocre at best. However, being royalty, they had one prepared for me, even though it has served as no more than a decorative piece. Originally, I brought it along as a spare for my brother’s unit… but Cristóbal is no longer of this world. In other words, there is no longer anyone left to pilot this unit.”

Gustav could not hope to fathom the complicated emotions that swirled inside Catalina at that moment.

“You are the ace among aces in my army, but are well known for your numerous quirks – you neither like working in a group, nor enjoy piloting the black knight. Therefore, I ask you to pick up my white sword. As far as my brother’s revenge, I am certain Doroteo will see it resolved. Instead, I will ask you to defeat the Kuschepercan rebels in my stead, and return a splendid victory.”

Since the princess had thought everything through, Gustav had little reason to refuse.

“Please leave it to me. I will use my sword to strike down all enemies that dare to stand against Her Excellency and country!” Gustav declared as he took to his knee and bowed.

Hearing Gustav’s sincere promise, Catalina nodded in affirmation.

After Catalina left, Gustav continued to gaze attentively at Alkelorix. Soon, a couple of knightsmiths appeared in the chamber.

“We are here at your command, and will remodel this unit as you deem necessary!” The knightsmiths excitedly announced.

They were designated knightsmiths for the Alkelorix, and as such, were without much work since the passing of Cristóbal. With an unprecedented task now ahead of them, the knightsmiths were not able to contain their excitement. Sadly, their excitement only lasted until Gustav opened his mouth.

“The princess said I could modify this unit as I see fit. Then… I will ask you to make that the armament.”

“Just leave it to…? Huh? S-swords? But milord, the Alkelorix already comes with a sword.”

Gustav pointed to the countless swords that lay in the corner of the workshop. However, the Alkelorix already came with a sword on its waist. As such, the knightsmiths were at a loss for what to make of his request.

Seeing the knightsmiths’ baffled expressions, Gustav could only let out a wry smile.

“That one is not enough. I want you to attach all of the swords.”

“A-all of them?! Are you serious? There are at least thirty swords!”

Understandably, the knightsmiths were bewildered by the request to install all the swords. Yet, Gustav just brushed aside their shock and staunchly stood by his decision.

“Yes. How could I function without my swords? Ah, just adding swords would not be sufficient, I will also need to have its strength increased. This way, I won’t lose to that twin-sworded bastard again!”

Gustav took to his own tempo and ordered modifications after modifications to recreate Alkelorix to match his desires. Soon, the modified unit bore little resemblance to the original Alkelorix.

“W-with all these new armaments, if we also change this… Milord, I do not think it could be piloted!”

With Gustav’s demands seemingly at random and frequently difficult to implement, the knightsmiths could not help but protest. However, Gustav was completely fixated on his demands, and ultimately everyone failed to convince him otherwise.

“We will try our best to meet your demands… Speaking of which, since you had taken to modify the unit this much, why not give the unit a proper name?” The knightsmiths, having resigned to his demands, asked Gustav.

To the knightsmiths, the modified Silhouette Knight could no longer be called an Alkelorix, or rather, their wounded pride refused to accept it as worthy of the name.

“Ah, I had already decided on the name. My new sword was given by Princess Catalina, and served as a tribute to the late Prince Cristóbal. Therefore, I shall name this fellow… ‘Death Sword’.” Gustav said with a confident nod.

◆ ◆ ◆

The Kuschepercan Army marched at a brisk pace toward the old capital, and had covered much ground in the short time since crossing the border. Much of their fast movement was thanks to their familiarity with the land, as they were marching through what was previously Kuschepercan territory. As such, they were able to avoid chokepoints and fortresses, and took lesser known paths to cut down on travel time.

However, as the column neared Delvincourt, they were met with a difficult problem.

On a certain evening since departing from Fontaine, Kuschepercan leaders and officers gathered before a map of the central region.

“Here lies our target, Delvincourt, and surrounding it, the Tetraspides Fortresses ‘Silda Neljak’… the last line of fortresses safekeeping the capital.” Eleonora pointed at the four interlocking fortresses, each guarding one of the cardinal directions.

Despite being the seat of a major kingdom, Delvincourt itself was built without any meaningful defense. The city relied extensively on Silda Neljak, which shielded Delvincourt from all approaches, as bulwark against attackers.

“Yet, the very fortresses we constructed to defend our capital now blocks our advance.”

With the appearance of the Levitate Ships that circumvented conventional logic, Silda Neljak could only watch helplessly as the original capital fell to the invaders. With the collapse of the regime, the fortresses were now under the firm control of Žaloudek, which ironically, now stood in the way of its rightful Queen.

“Attacking Silda Neljak by land is futile. As it stands, we will only unnecessarily drag out the siege and allow Žaloudek to marshal greater forces.” Isadora explained.

For the Kuschepercan Army, dragging out the campaign would not be ideal and they would preferably avoid a protracted siege. Beyond the more proximal reason of not allowing Žaloudek the time to marshal their forces, they had another concern for limiting the campaign length.

“Hmph… If we delay for too long, that dragon will probably catch us from behind.” Emrys crisply said as he brought his fist to his palm.

From the time when they have begun their advance, the Flying Dragon should still be in the vicinity of the borders. The greatest gamble for the Kuschepercan Army was the timing of the Flying Dragon’s return. Of the possibilities, encountering the Flying Dragon while they assault Silda Neljak was the worst case scenario.

“Certainly, they are not at the level of Silda Trider, but Silda Neljak is still incredibly tough to assault frontally. In addition to the strong walls, Silda Neljak was built atop a network of rivers and controls the only drawbridge accesses.”

For heavy mechanical Silhouette Knights, fording rivers could be said as a major weakness to their operation, as they would move sluggishly from the increased resistance in water. This would prove fatal as the defenders would have free range on the immobile Silhouette Knights. However, even if by the odd chance they survive the onslaught, the imposing gatehouse remained a daunting challenge.

“The gatehouse was designed with consideration for Silhouette Knights. It wouldn’t even budge if we unleash our shots on it. The only way to break through the gate would be with some sort of siege equipment…”

From the personalized mace of the black knights, to the large battering rams, there were numerous types of siege equipment they could utilize. Yet, they all have the crippling flaw of their sheer weight, making them unreasonable to move across the river.

“If that is the case, then our best option would be to open the drawbridge from within.”

“Sure. I guess we can’t just ask nicely and have them open it for us…”

No defender would be dumb enough to open the gate to their enemy. In short, the only options for them were to find some way to open the gate, or destroy the gate completely – neither option was particularly enticing.

“The drawbridge is supported by steel chains. However, there are enough steel chains to make it so that one or two breaking is insufficient to drop the bridge. As such, we could rule out sabotaging the chains, which leaves us just the bridge controls.”

After Isadora’s explanation, Eru seemingly had recalled the perfect tool to carry out such an infiltration.

“I see… Then, I guess it is time for the SIlhouette Gears to make their appearance.”

Isadora and Eleonora both nodded their heads, as they saw the similarity between this task and the mission where they were rescued from captivity.

“We are familiar with the land. The best approach would be to have the Silhouette Gears circle around the fortress and infiltrate through the forest at its rear. The main objective is to open the gate, then support our forces to sweep the fortress. As far as the personnel assigned…”

“Everyone is ready, please leave the mission to us.”

With the mission decided, Eru began to assemble the members. The commander of the Silhouette Gears was given to the familiar face of the Blue Hawk Knights, Nora Frykberg.

“Boss, how is Guyalarinde’s repair coming along?” Dietrich, who had been quietly listening, suddenly asked Boss.

“Oh? Sorry, there was no progress on the repairs. We were all busy with the youngster’s modifications of the Levitate Ship. That and, delegating the company commander’s unit to be repaired by outside hands is hardly proper.”

If it were just the Kardatolles, they would have no problem leaving the repairs to the Kuschepercan knightsmiths. However, the company commander’s unit, especially the Guyalarinde, tend to have many quirks installed directly by Eru, and would be problematic if it were tampered by unfamiliar hands. As of such, the repair had been set aside in favor of the Levitate Ship modifications, and didn’t make it on time for the expedition.

“Since such is the case, I regrettably must ask you to borrow a Revantier for combat.”

Seeing the distressed Boss, Dietrich seemingly was deep in thought.

“Then, Ernesti, is it alright for me to partake in the mission with the Silhouette Gears?” Dietrich asked after a moment of pause.

“Oh? You wish to volunteer?”

“I have at least some familiarity with the Silhouette Gear. Since Guyalarinde is still out of commission, I might as well put my skills to good use.”

Hearing Dietrich’s concise answer, Eru was now the one deep in thought. However, it didn’t take long for him to bounce back, with a face full of anticipation.

“Great! Then let me borrow the second company for a while. I always wanted a force that I can freely move around!”

Hearing Eru’s loud announcement, the members of the second company could not help but be anxious.

“What now? The young master is being even more whimsical than Di.”

“Well, the young master always has been a whimsical one…”

“Haa… I guess we can’t all jump in a Silhouette Gear, might as well see where the young master leads us.”

After the storm of whispers passed, the second company seemed to have reached a consensus.

“We understand. We shall be under the young master’s command.”

“For some reason, I can’t help but be annoyed by how you all reached the consensus…” Dietrich let out a wry smile as the second company decided their direction.

With the plans settled, the Silver Phoenix Knights and the New Kuschepercan Army continued their march, toward Silda Neljak.