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Part 1: Silver Meteor's Biggest Pinch?! The Unstoppable Sword DurandalEdit
In the battle between both armies in Orange Plains, the Silver Meteor Army suffered a severe damage when Roland brutally slaughtered several enemies in his way. Whilst commanding Lim to secure the rear unit, Elen charged towards Roland and fought him in numerous rounds, but her
When both warriors introduced themselves, Roland told Elen that whilst he didn't know her reasons to be in Brune, he considered her as Brune's enemy he need to slay to ensure Brune's safety. Just before Roland could kill Elen, Tigre intervened the duel in an attempt to save Elen while aiming his arrow to hi, prompting Roland to switch his attention towards him Tigre and attempted to kill him. Despite Roland's horse galloping closer to him, Tigre did not flinched as he still notched his arrow while dodging Roland's swinging slashes, then the later shooting the arrow in mid-air before riding the horse to Elen, grabbing her onto the horse and both escape from the battlefield. Roland later pursuin Silver Meteor Army's commanders before witnessing Tigre's previous arrow-which shot towards midair-killed his horse by piercing its head, seemly immobilizing the Black Knight. While some Silver Meteor soldiers sacrificed themselves to buy their commanders's escape by surrounding Roland (who eventually slain by Roland), Navarre Knights tried to stop both Elen and Tigre but they were killed by Tigre's arrow shot instead.
Tigre's Injuries and Silver Meteor Army's First DefeatEdit
Initially relieved over their escape, Elen was horrified to see Tigre from his injuries, which resulted from Roland's Durandal slash, forcing her to grab an injured Tigre while controlling her horse for their escape. To make matters worse, Navarre Knights began to throw the javelin towards the Silver Meteor Army commanders, causing the horse thrown both Elen and Tigre onto the ground. When both Elen and Tigre facing Navarre Knight's javelins, Sofy came to her timely rescue by creating a light barrier to deflect the javelin create a light barrier to deflect the javelin; caused the Navarre Knights shock in awe. Sophie told Elen to saved her thanks and escape while she confronted the Navarre Knights. The Navarre Knights then charged towards Sophie with full force, only to be flinched by the light barrier. Roland came bay and met Sophie, but he was not amused over her "magic" and trying to break the light shield with Durandal. Durandal's strength was so strong that even made Gentle Vanadis shocked and used her power to blind the Black Knight for her quick retreat. Regardless the powers, Roland remained calm and told the Navarre Knights that it was just another enemy to be slain and they continued their pursue.
Elen immediately reunited with Hugues and Bertrand with an injured Tigre. With Tigre's severe injury, Silver Meteor Army morale began to collapse as they all worried if they survived the Navarre Knight's slaughter. Few managed to survived, while most were routed by the Navarre Knights. It took all Elen and Lim efforts to recuperate the Silver Meteor Army from collapsing and through Hughes's supportive soldiers, the Silver Meteor Army retreats. Just as Roland and the Navarre Knights continued their pursue, he stopped when he heard a sudden noise from afar and see the 300 reinforcement cavalry had them surrounded. Although these reinforcement came late, Roland deemed it too risky and commanded the Navarre Knight to retreat as well, marking their victory. Though dissapointed for were unable chase down the enemies, due to some of his suspicions about the king's order, Roland had to retreat.
It is revealed that Roland and the Navarre Knights have rushed back to Brune under the king's "orders". The Navarre Knights did arrived to Brune, but the King too sick to see him and Roland had to see both princes instead. Both princes tell the Dark Knight about Zhcted's invasion and Tigre's "defection" to Zhcted. They then trying to persuade Roland to kill Tigre and Zhcted army while they trying to allied with Sachstein and Asvarre for their support. Despite his initial doubt about the possible conspiracy within Brune, Roland remained loyal to Faron's cause and vowed that he will slay any enemy that threaten Brune.
The Bad Omen?!Edit
Back to present, Roland is then asked Oliver if the archer that shot his horse was the Earl Vorn, which Oliver agreed since he saw him. Oliver tell Roland about every details about Tigre, including his infamous background as the poorest noble. As Roland groaned, Oliver urged him not to worry while considered that he just had a bad luck. However, Roland didn't believed this while smiled at him as claimed that the arrow shot was more than just intentional, much to Oliver's confusion. He explained that Tigre's arrow shot was smart and instead praised Tigre's archery skills while felt his first impression about him. Roland's answer made Oliver dubbed Tigre as a monster, which Roland deemed it as normal since his enemy also dubbed him as monster, due to his merciless and relentless in battle. Oliver could only sigh about it, while Roland tended to lighten Oliver up.
The Unexpected ReunionEdit
With 800 death and 1600 injured, the Silver Meteor Army tasted it's first yet disastrous defeat and it's foundations was almost crippled. To worsen the situation, Tigre's was laid unconscious in a ward while nursed by Titta. While Elen and Lim remained silent, they are visited by Mashas who came by and see Tigre. Despite her uncertainty of about Tigre's recovery, Elen had to tell Mashas about Tigre's condition and tried to consult him as he felt shocked and remorse. However, visit from Sofy and Hugues towards had ease the group, especially Elen and Mashas as they see them alive. Hugues then asked Marthus about his meeting with the Vanadis in the king capital, while Elen and Lim are also curious and wished to listen about Marthus's story. Marthus was unsure how to explain the situation, but Sophie don't mind him tell the details about their meeting. With all three looked at him curiously, Mashas begin to tell his story about his horrifying discovery in Nice Imperial Palace, from Faron's severe breakdown via Badouin's accounts to his encounter with Sofy who saved him from assassination.
Part 4: A Plan to Defeat RolandEdit
The story from Mashas regarding Faron has garnered nearly everyone's sympathy, but they were even shocked to learn that since Tigre has turned traitor, the Silver Meteor Army was forbidden from entering into Alsace and the Navarre Knights attack was part of Thenardier's plot in ridding Tigre. Hughes became frustrated to hear this as he assuming that Thenardier had been using his connection to get his advantage against his enemies. Lim then asked if they were possible to beat Roland, which Elen replied that not even Sofy and herself could stop the Black Knight. Mashas and Hughes further explained to the girls that the only they knew about Durandal was that it was Brune Nobility's national treasure. Whilst unable to explain the magic sword attributes, Elen told Lim that she would not allow her to battle against Roland before she could listen to Lim's proposal; furthermore, Mashas rejected Lim's proposal in trapping Roland as he claimed that the Black Knight's sharp intuition has helped him in surviving countless traps and even find them without problems. To further worsen the situation, Hughes informed everyone that the supporting aristocrats and nobles also demoralized after hearing Tigre's injuries. Having urging the generals to keep the situation under control, Elen decided to visit Tigre.
A Visit for Earl Vorn's conditionEdit
They entered his tent and saw Tigre, Teita, and Batran.
Tigre was sleeping, breathing deeply. Teita was working hard to nurse him. Batran had come to visit and was helping her work.
“... He's finally asleep.”
While rolling bandages about Tigre's body, Teita let loose a sigh of relief. Her clothes were dirty with sweat and blood, stained clothes were scattered about the vicinity.
When she had seen Tigre being carried on a stretcher, she nearly fainted. There was a large wound across his body, and his clothes were stained even through the leather armor.
His wound was hot, and, even with a cloth applied to his body, it would not close up. She had used alcohol to disinfect his wound and wiped an ointment on the injury before wrapping him in bandages soaked in a medicine prescribed by the doctor.
Teita dried off the sweat on his body with a cloth. Her fingers were wrinkled from the liquid, and were swollen and red.
--- Gods of Brune, King of the Gods, Perkunas, Mother Goddess Mosha...
While reciting the names of nine of the ten Gods Brune believed in, Teita joined her hands in prayer in desparation. Only to the Goddess of Death, Tir na Fa, did she not call out to.
--- Please, Please save Tigre-sama.
At that time, a voice was heard from outside the curtain. Teita stood up alongside Batran.
“Teita. Keep an eye on him.”
Batran left the tent where several men stood. Their ages varied, and not all wore leather armor.
--- I've seen his face somewhere.
Thinking of that, Batran remembered immediately. They were men who disputed with both those from Alsace and Zhcted. They were soldiers and the aristocrat of Territoire whom Augre had brought.
“Hey... Um... Is the General all right?”
Hesitantly, one man asked.
Batran nodded solemnly.
“Though it is a serious injury, his life should be safe.”
When he answered them, an expression of relief floated to their faces. After a quick bow, they left. Having thought the tent would be invaded, Batran looked at them dubiously.
--- How wonderful.
It was not just them. While Teita was caring for Tigre, many other soldiers had appeared.
From another tent, many groans and screams of injured soldiers could be heard. There were some voices of encouragement and shouts as well. In a situation like this, any timid person would wish to run away in the night.
--- Young Lord...
Batran seemed as if he could weep at any moment, further distorting his wrinkled face. The little old man had been with the Vorn family since Tigre's father, Urz, was alive. He had known Tigre from the moment of his birth and loved him like a son.
--- Urz-sama. The Young Lord is still necessary for Alsace. Please, keep him healthy.
A sudden voice called out to Batran. He looked up in surprise to see Elen standing before him.
“What were you talking about with the people who just left?”
Batran did not like Elen. Though he felt an obligation to remain kind to her for helping Tigre defend Alsace, he still wanted to keep his distance.
--- I wish the Young Lord and Teita could be happy...
However, because Batran had served by his side for many years, he was knowledgeable of the hierarchical relationship within an army. In terms of position, Elen was equal or above Tigre, and Tigre would not want him to oppose her.
“The soldiers were anxious about the Young Lord's health.”
He replied obediently. Elen wore a mysterious expression.
“Are they soldiers from Alsace?”
Batran shook his head.
“They are soldiers brought by Viscount Augre. I have heard many have come to visit him.
Elen looked wide eyed at Batran in surprise.
“How is Tigre?”
“He is asleep.”
“I wish to see him. May I enter?”
“... If Teita is fine with it.”
Given his position, Batran could not say what he wished to.
Elen smiled and nodded and entered through the curtain next to the elder man.
Teita looked back when Batran called her name and was surprised to see Elen. Her face showed her exhaustion, and she looked troubled.
“What business do you have?”
“Just for a while, would you mind letting me see Tigre alone? It's nothing important, just... I have something I wanted to say.”
Teita hesitated for a moment. Tigre had finally fallen asleep, so she did not want others to see him if possible. Besides, she could not think of what she might want to say to someone who was sleeping.
However, seeing her sad expression, she hesitated to refuse. It was her first time seeing Elen like that.
“... I understand, but please be careful. He has just fallen asleep. If something happens, please call me immediately. I will wait outside.”
Silver Wind Vanadis RedemptionEdit
Elen nodded strongly and smiled at Teita.
When she saw the girl with the chestnut-brown hair leave, Elen removed all sound with the Silver Flash at her waist and kneeled down. She looked at Tigre's body under the light. His upper body was bare, wrapped in layers of bandages.
“--- You really did save me today.”
Having been knocked off her horse, Elen very well could have been struck down by the Black Knight.
Elen quietly took Tigre's hand and placed it to her left breast.
“Tigre. My voice may not reach you in your sleep, so please, listen to my heart through your palm. Feel my life. Hear my feelings.”
Tigre did not react. Elen continued as she was.
“I witnessed your bravery before Roland with my very eyes. With only your bow in hand, you rushed forward. I was amazed. But... more than that, I was happy.”
Elen's smile turned bitter, and her voice became angry.
“But you were injured this much. You are the General of the army. Who will defend Alsace if you are gone? Who will lead the soldiers?”
Power entered her hands as she pressed Tigre's hand strongly against her chest.
“... I heard the soldiers of Brune have come to look at you. They look terrible, they're relying on you. They're trying to find some pillar of support.”
Roland was a powerful existence.
That man, like a storm, destroyed all things before him, allowing his men to advance. His very existence was the reason the soldiers could not remain brave. As the one who took down his horse, Tigre had become something of an object of reverence amongst them.
“No... Maybe it is not the soldiers who want to rely on you but me.”
Those words inadvertently spilled from Elen's lips.
He had gone forward with courage. When the soldiers saw him carried off the battlefield in a stretcher, a strong remorse ran through them.
He could not afford to remove his mask of courage until the war ended.
At that time, Tigre's hands moved. Elen's hands clasped his tightly.
Elen was surprised, and she smiled. Even if he was unconscious, Tigre was encouraging her in his own way. She thought so.
“... Tigre. I will protect your soldiers. I will protect those you wish to defend. Because you are mine.”
So hurry and wake up.
Elen muttered those final words and squeezed Tigre's hand strongly once more before standing up and leaving the tent. She stood before Teita and Batran.
“... Are you finished with your business?”
“Yeah. I told him everything I wanted to.”
The Gentle Wind Vanadis Joined Silver Meteor ArmyEdit
Elen responded with an out-of-place smile. Strangely enough, she was feeling refreshed. Suddenly, a strong wind blew; the bonfire near the curtain flickered violently. The guards looked about in a panic as a small wind blew in Elen's hair from the sword at her waist.
“What's wrong, Arifal?”
Elen stroked the pommel of her longsword and looked at the sky. The moon and stars were spread throughout the sky; a cold wind blew from above.
--- Incidentally, Tigre said it would rain.
“How is Lord Tigrevurmud?”
A familiar voice. Sophie approached with her bishop staff in hand. Elen explained with a fearless smile as she saw her fellow Vanadis approach.
“He won't die. Not in a place like this.”
Elen had seen his hand move. The hand she had grasped was warm. He had a will to live, a clear vitality.
“That's why I'll be fighting Roland until he wakes up.”
“I see. I thought that might be---”
Sophie's bishop staff made a sound as she smiled radiantly.
“Allow me to help, Elen.”
Elen looked as if she could not agree.
“You have come as a messenger. It would become a problem if they found out you helped in battle.”
“Then we simply need to keep it a secret.”
Sophie responded with a slightly mischievous voice.
“Rather than fighting the Black Knight alone, would it not be better to face him with two?”
Elen's mouth distorted as she played with her silver-white hair. Arifal let loose a wind as if in agreement with Sophie. Elen's hesitation was cut short.
“I suppose that's for the best. I'll gladly borrow your strength.”
“I will do my best – Will I be using my Template:Furigana as well?”
Though her tone and expression were of a joking nature, Elen responded seriously and bluntly.
“We'll use it.”
Contrary to what one might believe, Sophie simply nodded in confirmation as she brought her finger to her face.
“Elen, I will give you some advice... though I suppose it will not really matter for you. We are Vanadis. We are not to be human.”
She spoke as if she had read Elen's mind completely. Sophie smiled and walked away.
After seeing her off, Elen returned to the others. Lim, Massas, and Augre surrounded a map and were discussing strategy beneath a lamp.
“How is Lord Tigrevurmud?”
Lim asked with her typical unfriendly expression, but Elen saw the emotion deep in her blue eyes.
“You saw him as well? Since he was asleep, I did not think you would be able to.”
Lim shook her head while Augre looked at Elen in curiosity.
“In his current state, Earl Vorn should be fine, right?”
“I don't know.”
All they could do was to allow Teita to take care of him. Until his wound was fully healed, he would remain haunted by the shadow of death.
Even so, Elen spoke with an attitude as if she did not have to worry about him.
One person continued to look at her inquisitively.
“By the way, have you decided what to do in the future?”
Elen loudly declared her answer to Lim.
“Tonight, we're going to the river up north.”
After Elen left the tent, Teita continued to nurse him.
“... Teita. You need to rest as well. I will look after the Young Lord.”
Batran spoke to Teita. Though tired, she was still hesitant.
“May I sleep near Tigre-sama?”
“Yes. I'm sure he'll be happy to hold your hand in his rest.”
Teita bowed to Batran and lay next to Tigre, quietly grasping his left hand. Because it was the hand with which he grasped his bow, it was rough.
--- He was bleeding so badly, his hand was covered in blood...
Teita remembered when she saw Tigre.
“I will rest for just a moment. Tigre-sama, please open your eyes.”
Closing her eyes, Teita fell deep into slumber.
Batran looked at Teita. After checking that she had gone to sleep, he quietly cleaned up the bloody bandages around them.
The Mud TrapEdit
In the General's tent, the three people looked at Elen in confusion.
“... If possible, please explain this in detail.”
Massas offered a feather cushion for Elen to sit down on.
“I remembered Tigre said it would rain tonight.”
“It will rain...?”
Lim dropped her eyesight to the map and looked at the river to the north.
“If it rains, the Navarre Knights will have dull movements.”
Augre nodded in consent.
They were covered in heavy armor and helmet and held a heavy shield with a spear or longsword. Though they boasted a formidable power when rushing, their movements would slow down if they were covered in mud.
The Zhcted cavalry had the advantage of mobility.
“Though I feel bad about it, I'll be counting on your hard work again, Viscount Augre.”
When Elen asked him to work hard, the old Viscount began laughing, little by little.
“I see. Your army does not wear a full set of armor. Once soaked, you will encircle them.”
“But I wonder if we can win tomorrow's battle like this.”
Without moving her eyes from the map, Lim threw out a question.
“We can probably do it.”
Massas muttered as he looked at the map.
“The Navarre Knights are strong, but none are as strong as Roland. They will also collapse if they are attacked from behind.”
“That's right. We'll separate Roland from his Knights somehow and take them on separately.”
Her hair of silver-white drifted as the Vanadis laughed.
“Thanks to Lord Massas, we roughly understand the situation in the Royal Capital. For now, we will send two messengers to establish contact with Roland. Even if he does not see them, we will be able to buy a little more time, and we will get a better idea of the situation.”
“What do you mean?”
Massas inclined his head and stroked his beard since he could not understand what she meant. Elen crossed her arms across her chest and answered in a serious tone.
“To see if he knows or is interested in why the Zhcted Army is stationed here. We do not know if he is acting as a leader or a soldier.”
“... True, we do not know much about the situation.”
Lim placed her hand to her mouth and began to think.
The reasons soldiers fight could be for food, a salary, or for exploits. In general, soldiers fight for realistic things. It was rare they would trust their Commander for his popularity and bravery. Still, while that was true, there were exceptions.
However, a leader was different. In the first place, they were the type to gather soldiers to fight their battle.
If he had a firm reason to fight, they could think about it and increase their potential options.
“Lim. Tell me why Tigre fights.”
“He is prioritizing the safety of his people. Also, he wishes to punish Duke Thenardier for his cruel actions. He wishes to have him pay reparations, and he also wishes to remain neutral in the future civil war. Those are his four goals.”
Lim answered smoothly without hesitation. Elen smiled satisfactorily.
“That's right. Although his strength is much weaker than Thenardier's, he has a reason to fight. Even then, I believe the Knight's leader, even when commanding so many Knights, does not know of it.”
“... Speaking frankly, I do not believe he would believe the words of his enemy.”
Lim's blue eyes narrowed in thought. Elen continued to nod.
“It is possible Roland's reason to fight is only because the Template:Furigana is flying within Brune.”
“If your thoughts are correct, then he is likely sending Earl Vorn's messengers away so as not to confuse his Knights with excess information.”
Augre's wrinkled face distorted even further.
“Roland is fighting us. He is likely looking for detailed information on us that he can trust. If he understands that Tigre's actions were unavoidable, we may be able to open negotiations.”
As Elen had said, it soon began to rain.
The Silver Meteor Army began their march. The cold drained their physical strength, and the rain dampened their spirits. Their clothes grew heavier with the rain while their shoes only became more mud-covered as they walked.
“You can use double the wood to keep warm. You're also allowed to drink a little alcohol.”
It would be necessary to fight the Navarre Knights in the morning. There was a need to cheer up the troops.
There were some who felt the desperation in their situation. There were those who knew it would be hopeless to run away in the dark of night. There were others who feared Roland's bravery and thought of the doom of defeat.
There were many who were deeply impressed by Tigre's bravery when he fought, but there were also those whose will to fight decreased due to his injury. No, if anything, that was most predominant.
When the night grew old, they arrived at their destination. Viscount Augre visited Elen's tent.
“I am off to make preparations, Lord Vanadis.”
After a short rest, Augre and his soldiers were to move out. Accompanied by Tigre and the injured and non-combatants, they numbered approximately one thousand.
Whether they would be fine or not, Elen did not know. She understood it was a difficult situation; still, it was best for those who could not fight to be away from the battlefield. Knowing this, she sent them with Augre on his task.
“Is everything necessary prepared? It's best to be more ready.”
The old Viscount struck his chest.
“This is Territoire. It is my land. There is no need to worry.”
With the plan made from the meeting Elen stood up and shook Augre's hand, promising to reunite tomorrow.
The Dark Knight's Concern (Summary)Edit
During his dinner with Olivier, Roland asked his general regarding anything about Tigre, to which Olivier replied that according to the rumors, Tigre "hired" Elen and Zhcted Army to save Alsace from Thenardier Army's atrocities, which resulting Tigre's "defection" in the first place. Hearing about Alsace's incident garnering Roland's sympathy as he not only frustrated over Thenardier's or Ganelon's atrocities, he also lamented that Faron's sickness makes his army unable to do anything. However, Roland continued to ask Olivier about his reputation where Olivier read a three-pages letter-which was sent from Calvados Knights's Auguste. According to the letter, even without other skills aside from archery Tigre was beloved by his people due to his attributes of charisma and benevolence. However despite his dilemma between fighting against Tigre or confronting dangerous consequences, Roland decided to finish the job as he wished to see Tigre in person while electing Oliver as the successor to the Navarre Knight Brigade should anything happened to himself.
- The first battle between Silver Meteor Army and the Navarre Knights leads to Elen's early rivalry against more formidable rival such as Roland. Durandal's mysterious attributes in nullifying elemental powers also proven that even Vanadises's Viralt aren't invulnerable.
- Roland's origins and upbringings are explored throughout the entire chapter. Nicknamed as knight of knight during his childhood, Roland was a strong and quick learning boy among the children despite his handicaps in illiteracy. His first meeting with the young Faron (who was the prince at his time) have paved his way as Brune's mightiest hero as he is now.
- Combined with overwhelming trauma over Regnas's death and his worsen health, Faron's condition was deteriorating both mentally and psychologically-a truth which only Badouin and Mashas know. Whilst seeking help from a other Nobility was the only solution by far (though Faron still hold the full authority), it wasn't helping since some of them were family relatives to both Thenardier and Ganelon, making tackling against both Brunish Dukes impossible.
- With Tigre out from his commission as the commander for a while, due to both his injury and fever, Elen would placing herself as the Silver Meteor leader in avenging Tigre in their second battle against Roland, making her as the army's co-commander.