Laihiala Pilot Academy was the largest educational facility in the Fremmevira Kingdom. It conducts the pilot training programme, and naturally has maintenance facilities to support the usage of the Silhouette Knight on campus. Included are the inner skeleton, outer skin, parts crafting and the linKing of crystal tissue, a place to assemble all the parts; all these facilities are named as a whole as the ‘workshop’.
In order to service the ten metre tall humanoid weapon– Silhouette Knights, the interior of the workshop was spacious. Situated at the edge was the maintenance platform shaped like a gigantic chair. A Silhouette Knight was placed on it, and a large group of students were doing maintenance work. The unarmoured arm of the Silhouette Knight was placed on a truck to be transported. The sound of hammers pounding the giant armour into shape could be heard. There was noise everywhere and some of the people were even bickering.A burly man headed past the frantically worKing students with heavy steps. No, it was a bit wrong to use burly as the description. The man was short for his age, but he had a stout body. He was twice as thick as a normal man, giving off a strong sense of presence to the surroundings. This wasn’t because of body fat, but the strong and thick muscles buffing him up. His finely plaited hair flowing down his back and his magnificent beard clearly showed that he was from the crafting race, a dwarf.He approached the squabbling students and silently hit them with his arms that were thicker than a human leg. He held back, but being whacked by a dwarf still made the two of them roll on the floor in pain.“Really, everyone is finding trouble with me at such a busy time!! If you have time to talk trash, then move your hands!!”“Cough! Bo… Boss! Sorry, we will get back to work right away!!”If a dwarf gets serious, they could crush boulders with their bare hands. It was no joke. You don’t want to get on the bad side of the ‘Boss’ – the leader of the pilot academy’s crafting students. The two who were quarreling nonstop rushed back to their work station.“Stop messing around, half of our Knights were destroyed! I’ve had enough.”The Silhouette Knights that were heavily damaged in the battle with the Behemoth were sent here. It should originally start from repairs, but with most of the machines destroyed with only the core and the frame intact, the school had unanimously agreed to build new ones from scratch.With the knowledge and skill of the maintenance students, constructing new Knights wasn’t too difficult. But it wasn’t just one or two, with so many orders, the workload dramatically increased. They had to get help from people from the craftsmen department; the academy really went all out.Even though there were many Knights to rebuild, priority was given to machines that had more surviving parts. Those that were heavily damaged and needed a lot of work would be worked on later.“… This one would be worked on at the very end.”The Boss stopped before one of the machines. Although all the wreckages were damaged seriously, only that one’s inner skeleton fell completely apart, leaving behind only sparse parts – a terrible sight. The ether reactor and magius engine remaining intact despite the damage was a miracle.“On closer inspection, the destruction was really thorough. Was it damaged from the mana being exhausted? The inner skeleton is breaKing apart.”The Boss was staring at the wreckage seriously for a long while. The students hearing him mumble tilted their heads, unable to comprehend why the Boss was so surprised.“Ah? That should be common right? It can’t be helped if the ether reactor was flattened… Huh?”The student who was speaKing doubted his own words, staring intently at the wreckage. The ether reactor was intact, but the mana was depleted, resulting in the inner skeleton falling apart. Seeing this illogical situation, he finally understood why the Boss was puzzled. A new question arose and he asked:“Ah… Did the silver nerves break? What an unusal way of breaKing down.”“Oh, that’s right. The way it was destroyed is unique.”The Boss focused on what appeared to be the legs of the wreckage. After removing the armour, the exposed crystal tissue was torn and frayed in the middle. For these experienced craftsmen, this was a familiar symptom: the tissue exceeded its limit and will tear from fatigue sooner or later. That wasn’t surprising, but–“These fellows had all their parts replaced with new ones before they set off, why would it suddenly tear from fatigue? How was it piloted? Weird, this fellow broke down in a weird way.”The Boss grunted and stiffened his face hidden by his beard. His intuition told him that there was something wrong with the wreckage; the way it broke down was obviously different from all the scenarios they had seen before.The maintenance department didn’t just do repairs. If there were any structural improvement that could be made, they would be the ones to implement it. Hence, they have to do their best to understand any underlying problems in the machine. “The name of the machine is Guyale; the Knight runner is that fellow Di… What the hell did he do?”The Boss yelled out loudly, and assigned someone to bring the pilot of this wreckage to him. The Capital of Fremmevira Känkänen had a famous aristocrat district. Most of the nobles who have their own territory also owned a property here. The Serrati Marquis clan also has a mansion here. The twins Archid (Chid) Olter and Adeltrud (Ady) Olter were led by their sister of a different mother, Stefania (Tiffa) Serrati into this place which they hadn’t seen for a long time.The aged butler led these three towards Marquis Joachim Serrati’s study room. The study had a solemn colour, reflecting the personality of the owner and a steadfast atmosphere.Tiffa who could see him every other day aside, the twins saw their father for the first time in years, their nervousness was clear for all to see.Joachim continued to arrange his documents after they entered; only speaKing a few moments later:“Thank you, Tiffa. It’s been quite a while since I saw the both of you. It’s great that both of you are healthy. Is Irma doing well?”“Yes, long time no see, father. Mother has never fallen sick before, she is as fit as a fiddle.”
It’s a bit awkward for a conversation between parent and child, but it’s more than a problem of etiquette. The twins were the illegitimate children of the Marquis, plus their ill relation with the legal wife meant they didn’t have much of a chance to interact with the main family. They seldom talked to their father, Joachim, so both parties weren’t used to this.“Father, I have brought them with me, do you have anything for them?”Tiffa sensed the awkward atmosphere. They had not come out with a way to converse, so getting straight to the point would help them open up with each other.“That’s right… I heard from Tiffa that Archid and Adeltrud have a friend named Ernesti Echevarria, right?”They never imagined that they would hear this name from Joachim. Not just the twins, even Tiffa had a surprised expression.“How is he as a person? Do tell me what you know, go on.”Their father’s tone was beyond debate. Chid and Ady suppressed their doubts, looked at each other and described their impression of him: Childhood playmate and their teacher in magic; In terms of magic alone, he should be the top talent within the nation; and his passion towards Silhouette Knight, etc.Even just listening to half of it was enough to shock you, but Joachim did not question and listened quietly. The doubts in the twin’s heart grew deeper because they didn’t know why their father was interested in Eru. Joachim probably read their doubts from their faces, pondered for a moment and explained:“He was listed as one of the contributors in the battle with the Behemoth. Although there wasn’t any awards for him this time, but it was proposed that he should be rewarded for his efforts in the future.”“Hmm? This means that Eru’s contribution would be properly acknowledged!?”“Don’t be hasty, it’s not something that would be decided immediately, it would depend on his performance from now on.”Eru who risked his life in the ‘Behemoth Incident’ wasn’t recognised or rewarded after the situation was resolved. Eru himself might be fine with it, and he did give up on it without much hassle, but the twins couldn’t accept it.Those who actually watched would definitely know.That might be the reason why Chid became closer to the father he wasn’t good at dealing with. Joachim was strict, but he wasn’t unreasonable.“But father, you said it would depend on his performance, so what should we do?”
“Simple. Just tell me if he accomplishes anything from now on. Understand?”“Yes, father!”The joy on Chid and Ady’s face were easy to see, the tense atmosphere of the visit had also dissipated. The twins were close to Eru and were sure that he would make it ‘big’ one day. If they tell their father at that time, Eru’s strength would be recognised. They had always been relying on Eru, so this was some form of paying him back.Tiffa had a gentle smile too. She also thought that it was wrong to overlook Eru’s accomplishment, so her feeling in wanting to help was the same. Joachim didn’t change his expression as he watched the cheerful children.For a whole week after the Behemoth incident, Laihiala Pilot Academy stopped their classes.As the event overlapped with the field trip, many middle schoolers were injured, there were even deaths among the pilot cadets in high school. The school thus needed time to attend to this situation.In this sudden holiday, the students who were safe and sound spent their time freely. Some visited their parents back home; some relaxed in their hostel; others used the chance to play as much as possible. As for Ernesti–The Echevarria mansion was situated near Laihiala Academy City. In one of the rooms in the mansion, Eru was concentrating before a desk, writing down something. The evening sun shined through the windows, only the sound of the tip of the pen touching the paper could be heard.“… Hmm– that should be the rough structure of it.He had just completed a section and returned the pen back into the ink bottle. Eru stretched in satisfaction, rotated his stiff shoulders and leaned back onto the chair.The words on the notebook were tidy, detailing the design theory he had learned in class, his thoughts from observing other pilots and most importantly, the ideas he came up with while piloting, which included his memories from his previous life. This notebook could be described as ‘book of terrifying knowledge of a different world’. The last page had the freshly finished sketch of the machine based on these notes.
“With this, I could complete the promise I made with those two… What’s left is the promise with His Majesty.”He crossed his arms as he mumbled to himself, falling deep in thought once again. He was troubled over the promise he made with the King a few days ago. ‘Constructing the best Silhouette Knight’– the content of the promise coincided with Eru’s goal, but there hadn’t been any progress.“There are mountains of problems. There are tons of difficulties when making a Silhouette Knight… making a Silhouette Knight… Silhouette Knight…”The temptation creeped into his mind when he relaxed, tunneling into a corner of his mind. It spread rapidly like an ink drop in water, taKing over his mind. Shortly after, Eru couldn’t resist the temptation and said it out loud:“Wahh, Silhouette Knight, I want to pilot a Silhouette Knight…”The worse thing was thinking about related matters. The more Eru tried to not think about it, the more rooted it became in his head. Furthermore, piloting a real Silhouette Knight was actually a great stroke of luck. Closing his eyes, Eru could see that scene before him again– the metallic legs following his command, the strong pace sending strong vibrations; the friction the arm made when it swung the several meters long sword; the inertia he felt whenever he entered the command to move forward; the fight with the powerful giant beast. All these experiences and memories assaulted Eru in the form of an illusion.“Ughh, I want to pilot some more, just riding for that short while wasn’t enough…”That might be so, but Silhouette Knights were not something that you could pilot and run around in. Eru was just a middle school student. Remembering this fact, he laid down on the table meekly. “No good… I can’t work like this. At such a time, I need to go out for a walk.”He propped himself up, running out onto the streets once he was ready.Some time later, Eru showed up at the smithery ‘Termonen Workshop’ which was situated in Laihiala Academy City. He came to visit one of his childhood friends, the young dwarf Batson Termonen.As the son of a smithery owner, he should be working to inherit the family business. But after having this strange friend that likes Silhouette Knight a little too much, he had slowly drifted onto the path of a Silhouette Knight craftsman.With this background, they had been acting like a Silhouette Knight fan group.“… That’s what happened. I will be building a better Silhouette Knight and present it to His Majesty.”“What ‘present it to His Majesty’! Why does it suddenly look like a request from the King!? I don’t know what to say to you, there should be a gradual progress in events…”Eru who strongly believed that the completion day would come chattered cheerfully while Batson just brushed it off casually. Batson thought Eru was going on a field trip, but in the end Eru exchanged blows with the Behemoth; Batson thought Eru had safely returned, but he made such a ridiculous promise with the King. Eru’s actions had been unpredictable over the years. Batson sighed deeply, giving up on retorting each point.“…Eh, forget it. This suits your style, too. So what are your plans? Do you have an idea about the new Silhouette Knight?”“No.”“Hey.”Eru’s firm reply made Batson almost fall over. Batson thought Eru had a plan from his confident demeanour.“If you ask me what I want to create, I do have lots of ideas. But the problem of where to build it hasn’t been solved. How about constructing it at your place?”“Of course not!”Silhouette Knights were about ten metres tall, a giant robot made from metal, crystal and magic armaments. It requires large facilities, not something you can make in a workshop in town.“Can’t you accommodate this? Aren’t we comrades?”“I don’t care if you are a comrade or a friend, no means no!”As the two of them were chattering happily, the door of Batson’s room was suddenly opened with a strong force. Both of them were shocked as they turned to look at Batson’s father.He worked long years as a craftsman and had the feature of a dwarf too. His strong body was full of solid muscles, and his fierce bearded face looked just like a demon’s. He was emitting a dangerous aura, pushing them back several steps.“You two… Didn’t I say don’t be noisy, it would interfere with work?! If you want to be noisy, do it outside!!”Without waiting for him to finish, the two of them leapt out the window. They didn’t hesitate even though Batson’s room was on the second floor. Eru who jumped first landed smoothly and used Air Cushion to catch Batson who jumped next. Their movements were unusually practiced, as if they had probably done this several times before.“Eh, we were chased out. What do we do, Batson?”“Dad is fierce, it can’t be helped. Ah, how about going to the Pilot faculty’s workshop?”Eru didn’t understand why Batson made this suggestion and tilted his head.“Didn’t a bunch of Silhouette Knights get totaled in the recent battle? They should be repairing them now, let’s ask them to let us observe.”“I get it, that’s a great idea, let’s go, then!”Eru cheered himself up and ran in the direction of Laihiala Pilot Academy, with Batson chasing behind.It was past noon in Laihiala Academy City. The two of them reached the campus and were passing through the school gate when they heard someone calling for them.“Hee, found him.”“Caught Eru–!!”The ones who grabbed Eru’s arms were Chid and Ady. Because they were both taller than Eru, Eru whose arms were caught couldn’t touch the ground.“Eh- Chid, Ady? What is it? This is so sudden.”“Nothing, how should I put it, we guessed that Eru would be here.”“Since we guessed right, we should catch him! Well then, where should we go next?”The two of them seemed to be grabbing Eru just for the fun of it. Eru swung his legs hanging in mid air and sighed depressedly.“… I was thinking that the workshop of the pilot school are conducting the repairs of the Silhouette Knights, so I wanted to observe.”“Is that so? Let’s hurry there immediately!”“It’s fine to go along, you two. But it’s about time you put me down.”And so, the four of them headed towards the workshop of the pilot school. Although they were just in their first year of middle school, they were already familiar with the layout of the campus and reached there in no time.They sneakily peeped at the insides of the workshop. The knocking sound of hammers, the rollers of cranes, the angry shouts and the roar of the Silhouette Knight’s engine. It was noisy inside. Eru wanted very much to get closer to watch, but the frightening focus of the craftsmen made them feel bad about intruding. Hence the group slowly moved to a spot where no one was working.And, they came to the side of the machines that suffered devastating damage and would be dealt with later.At the rear of the workshop was a giant chair for Silhouette Knight maintenance. On it were iron pieces that could only be described as wreckage being lifted by a crane. That was probably the torso of a Silhouette Knight. As the exterior had caved in, the inner skeleton was also warped. Leaving Eru and Batson aside, the twins couldn’t comprehend what it was for a moment. Thankfully, there were scraps of red paint as clues, which led them to think about the original form of that machine.“That is… eh, could it be Guyale that was piloted by Eru?”Chid observed the profile of Eru who was gazing at the wreckage and mumbled a question.
“Correct. I remember the armour and the way it was damaged. It is completely wrecked… No wonder they are putting it off until later.”“Amazing, what did you do to destroy it until it looks like that.”Ignoring Batson who was stunned, Ady stared at the completely totaled wreckage and seemed to be in a trance. The thing before her could tell her wordlessly just how desperate the battle with the Behemoth was. Even the twins who had never piloted a Silhouette Knight could imagine it easily.When they heard Eru talk about the incident in the past, both Chid and Ady thought they had understood how dangerous it was. But the wreckage displayed before them was beyond their imagination and made them speechless. The giant lumps of metal were twisted horribly like clay. How large was the force that destroyed it, and how dangerous it was to face it–Chid clenched his fist until it turned white, while Ady was tearing up. One misstep and Eru could have died on that battlefield, which gave them the chills. It couldn’t be helped, but the twins were terribly frustrated about not doing anything to help during such a crisis.”… Pretty.”
At this moment, Eru’s soft voice spread into the ears of the gloomy twins. They floated up from the sea of regret and turned towards Eru slowly. “Even a destroyed robot is so pretty…”
Eru sighed, his profile looked so charmed. He didn’t realise the atmosphere around him was turning icy and said:”That’s right, when something with a form breaks apart and leaves only wreckage behind, it is known as the ‘elegance of silence’. The air of defeat and loneliness… Is so pretty…”The eyes of the twins met for a split second, the 132nd session of the Olters siblings’ conference ended with a consensus– they decided wordlessly to attack Eru.”!? Ick… Ick hwurts ick hwurts, wife areth youth dowing!!”Eru’s cheeks were been pulled hard, making him protest loudly in tears. The twins continued pinching without letting up.“Eh, you can’t blame them, Eru…”Batson watched calmly from the side by himself.“Hey, where did you brats come from?! Stop making a racket here!!”The twins pinched for a moment longer before letting go. Eru who was finally liberated nursed his cheeks and was about to protest when a roar came from behind him. It was loud enough to be heard over the other noises in the workshop. They turned to see a dwarf youth with a strong presence — the Boss, David Hepken.“Oh? Isn’t that the silver boy? You really like it here, huh, but don’t disturb our work.”The Boss knew Eru, who was hanging around the pilot school as if it was normal. And, he was even here when school was out. Even the Boss was stunned. Eru looked past him at the person standing behind him.That face was as pale as a ghost, under the eyes were thick eye bags. His carefully combed blond hair was a mess– the official pilot of the red Knight, Dietrich Cunitz. For a moment, Eru couldn’t identify him with the Dietrich in his memories and rubbed his eyes. But no matter how he looked at him, the Dietrich before him was in a distracted and terrible state. His arrogance and cockiness were gone, with frustration and gloom taking its place.“Eh, umm…. Dietrich… Senpai? Right? What happened?”Eru asked with a stiff smile that lacked confidence. Dietrich’s face looked so down that even Eru was troubled. Dietrich responded with an ugly smile and said hoarsely:“… Ahh, Ernesti. Ke keke… a little… right, just a little. I have been having nightmares recently… The demons from the infirmary chasing me… which made me lose sleep. If I let my guard down just a little… Ugh, that person acting cute with a terrifying voice, pui!”As he spoke, it spurred the memories of his nightmares. Dietrich’s eyes lost focus and seemed to be drifting off to the other world– The Boss gave him a chop to the head, pulling him back. Dietrich blacked out for a moment and then woke up. The Boss’ chop probably worked.“Ugh, oh, oh… Ah! Where am I…? Wah! Eh, forget it. Since Ernesti is summoned here to explain, too, right? That makes it easier.”“Ahh? What does the boy need to explain?”“What else, you want to know the reason why Guyale broke down right? Isn’t that why you asked the ‘reason’ to come here?”The Boss looked between Dietrich and Eru’s face for a long while, slowly getting what his words meant. His frown became even deeper.“Wait. Di, from what I am hearing, that boy seems to be the reason why Guyale broke down?”“Eh? Isn’t that… You asked him to come without knowing that?”“No, I didn’t look for him, he just showed up by himself.”The conversation didn’t match and all three of them tilted their heads simultaneously. In the space of these few seconds, Dietrich seemed to have noticed something and clapped his hands together.“Ah, did I let something slip?”“I think that’s what happened.”The Boss stroked his beard out of habit and looked at the two of them with sharp eyes.“Ah, never mind. Just tell me everything.”Seeing the Boss smiling deviously as he cracked his bones loudly, no one present had the guts to object.When Eru was piloting Guyale in the fight against the Behemoth, Dietrich was watching from behind, so he didn’t have any ideas on how he piloted. Eru’s skills were not something that could be understood through observation, so he had to do the explaining. It was fine in the beginning, but they ran into problems immediately. “… Pardon, say that again.”“Okay. I took the seat, but my limbs couldn’t reach the controls and pedals, so I read it through the script in the magius engine and controlled the Silhouette Knight by ‘processing it myself’.”The Boss, who always had a scary face, opened his eyes wide in surprise, a rare sight. That was understandable; the magius engine exists because it was impossible for a person to keep up with the script processing. Doing the processing by yourself goes beyond common sense. Dietrich who experienced the movement of Guyale firsthand aside, no one could have stopped the Boss’ expression from turning doubtful. Dietrich’s expression, on the other hand, turned sharp.“… Even if I believe everything you said is true, then what? What does it have to do with this fellow breaking apart because of mana depletion?”“I took the place of the magius engine, which meant I could control all functions of the machine freely. When I was delivering the final blow to the Behemoth, I turned off the safety device, using all my remaining mana in that attack. In the end, I accidentally used up the mana that was keeping the structure intact.”“Damn it! How do you want me to resolve the issue that way!! The limiter was meant to keep the mana from depleting completely!”The Boss had a stern tone, but he could only shake his head at Eru’s recklessness. He breathed out a sigh that was exceptionally heavy, and gave up on lecturing Eru.“That might be so, but I am the only one who can control it that way, so you are not in a hurry to solve this, right?”“Of course, it would be a disaster if it could be done easily!! Forget it. And the crystal tissue snapping from fatigue was related to you, too, right? No, you broke it right?”“You are right… But being told that in my face still makes me unhappy.”“Can it, so it really is your fault!!”“That was the burden of full control. Guyale was under an abnormal amount of strain and broke. This made our situation desperate, too.”“You… After replacing it with new parts, it should operate smoothly for more than a month. But you broke it in just one battle…”The Boss couldn’t help looKing up and covering his forehead with his palm. At this point, he couldn’t do anything about it. The work on hand was already a headache, but he noticed the possibility of something worse happening.“Hey, wait. Boy, if you get serious, would all the machines you pilot get destroyed?”“The possibility is high. The Karrdator operated by the Knights has better crystal tissue, so it would probably last longer.”So it’s a problem of bearing the load– Eru grumbled casually. The Boss glanced at him through slitted eyes and his face turned sour.“Tch! If I don’t improve this, I would lose face as a craftsman. That might be so, but I can’t solve the problem immediately.”Speaking of which, pilots that would be so reckless were unheard of, so it’s natural for the solution to not exist. Anyway, this was not a problem this facility could tackle. Finding an answer to improve the design was not something you could settle it in one day.The repairs would be left for later, the research to solve this issue would be done later — the Boss secretly came up with a plan. Unfortunately, there was someone who treats unrealistic options as something normal.“If that is so, I just happen to have a great idea! And there is no downside to it– the most important thing right now is increasing the toughness of the crystal tissue, right?”That person was Eru. He raised his hand cheerfully, saying something shocking in a loud voice.“Huh? Increase the toughness of the crystal tissue? That is easy to say, but how long do you think alchemists spent researching that? In fact, there has been no breakthrough for the past hundred years.”“Ah, no. When I say increasing toughness, I am not referring to the crystal tissue itself. I lack the expertise on alchemy anyway, so I want to work on the way crystal tissue is ‘used’.”In the face of the people who were popping out question marks because of the term ‘used’, Eru used this chance to explain:“Here is how an old story goes: ‘One arrow is easy to break, but it is hard to do so when three of them are tied together’. Which means…”His proposal was to bind several crystal tissue together in the form of a ‘rope’, By combining the weak individual strands together, the toughness could be increased. By braiding it together, it could improve its elasticity compared to longer strands and enhance power output.“… I call it ‘strand crystal tissue’. What do you think?”Eru was brimming with smiles, like a salesman concluding his pitch. Following this, he braided the crystal tissue on the spot and presented the flexible ‘rope’ for everyone to see.The twins didn’t seem to understand, just accepting everything Eru said. Batson and the craftsmen present reacted very strongly.The Boss picked up the crystal tissue with a slow and deliberate motion and studied it. He started shaking his hand and then fell deep into thought. With his past experience of attempting to improve the Silhouette Knight, he wanted to say something, but gave up after failing to find the words. The Boss sighed and said:“To combine the crystal tissue through braiding… this is a blind spot.”He was usually serious when talking, but the words he said were filled with mixed emotion.“Is that so? It’s strange that no one ever tried it though.”“The boy is right. It does seem weird hearing you say that… But improving the Silhouette Knight usually starts from the inner skeleton and the placement of the crystal tissue, or enhancing the quality of the materials. No one would think about changing the crystal tissue this way.”Silhouette Knight is a gigantic weapon that mimics a human Knight. Based on the idea of ‘amplifying the power of men’, it had the shape of humans. Although it had the advantage of being easy to pilot and to understand, it also limited new ideas to the human shape, holding back its development. A pure machine that is piloted like a human, this contradiction was rooted deeply into their psyche. The architects of Silhouette Knights lost the idea of making breakthroughs from the very basics.Eru could overcome this because of his knowledge from a different world, where robotics was very developed. Even though his face was covered by his beard, the Boss was smiling happily at this moment, a rare sight.“Haha! After thinking it through, this idea is interesting!! The time is just right, let’s install this thing in that machine we are repairing!!”The bright and cheery Boss made the students take a step back. But the Boss was occupied by the Silhouette Knight’s enhancement project and didn’t mind it one bit, preparing to give the order to the others–“By the way, could I make another suggestion? How about changing the exterior shape too?”– The whisper of the devil came into the Boss’ ears. The Boss digested the meaning of these words and turned back slowly. Before him was Eru, who had a sparkling smile.“Boss, I am thinKing of adding arms onto the back.”The boy looked as cute as a girl, saying words gently while smiling like a flower. But the content was incredible. This couldn’t be described as ‘insufficient explanation’, but more like the realm of insanity.The Boss did hear the words clearly, but it took him a much longer time than before to understand. Even the twins, who were used to Eru’s erratic nature couldn’t hide their bafflement. The one who was most calm was Batson who had heard plenty of his ridiculous ideas.For the craftsmen who didn’t even think about improving the Silhouette Knight until moments ago, Eru’s words were incomprehensible. Logically speaking, Silhouette Knights should be a weapon ‘in the shape of a man’. And in this world, men usually have two arms and legs. Only characters in fairy tales go beyond this norm, so apart from Eru, no one could understand where the idea of adding arms to the back of the Silhouette Knight came from.The stunned Boss sighed deeply and wanted to retort, but dropped that idea. It would be nonsense if these words came from someone else, but this was coming from Eru who proposed the new idea of the ‘strand crystal tissue’. The Boss suppressed his voice and struggled to keep his heart normal and asked:“… Just to be clear, I should ask to clarify. Why? How?”Even though he was doing his best to suppress it, the Boss couldn’t keep his voice from trembling.“As for why… I discovered the last time I piloted a Silhouette Knight, that they only have two arms.”“Eh? That is obvious, do you need to bring it up? Huh?”“Sigh, calm down Ady. Let me finish… I think the issue lies with the control of the ‘Silhouette arms’. In order to conduct long range attacks, the Silhouette Knight has to use ‘Silhouette arms’. The armaments have to be operated by hands, so there is a need to change between sword and armaments according to distance and the situation.”Eru stopped and looked around. All the faces had the same ‘that is obvious, what is the problem’ expression on them. His smile deepened.“But I think that is inefficient; there would be a gap when changing the weapons, too. Obviously, there is no choice but to store the ‘Silhouette arms’ in close distance combat. So, I am thinKing of putting something at the back… something like a hand that could operate a ‘Silhouette arms’. That way, there would be no need to change weapons and the ‘Silhouette arms’ would be available any time.”Everyone wasn’t buying Eru’s explanation wholesale and had a deeply confused look. They felt something wasn’t right and didn’t know how to express it– In that awkward atmosphere, the one who moved was the leader of the engineers– the Boss.“… I know what you are getting at. Let’s leave how to increase the number of arms aside. If we really do add another arm, how would it be controlled? Humans don’t have arms on their back; I don’t need to explain that right? You can’t control things you don’t have.”Without needing the Boss to point it out, almost everyone was thinking the same thing. Silhouette Knight’s control was based on the movement of the pilot’s limbs. With this system, it was impossible for the pilot to control parts that humans do not have.Wrong, there was no need to bring out structural logic. Emotionally, they were resisting the addition of parts which humans do not have. It would be the best to laugh this off as nonsense– such thoughts were formed silently and were the common thoughts of everyone present.But, Eru’s smile did not disappear, and he didn’t stop his advance. He is a product of an alternate world, journeying alone outside of the common sense of this world, happily redesigning the existence known as Silhouette Knights.“I understand your concerns, but I am not proposing adding a real arm, so it doesn’t have to be as agile as one. In simple terms, it just needs to hold the ‘Silhouette arms’ and shoot, that’s all. Which means…”Eru took in everyone’s confusion and repulsion, describing it casually. The strongest thing that was pushing him was his will and clear objective. Slowly, everyone was convinced by his words.“At the same time, an automated movement script with aiming functions would be added. A device that could control the movement of the ‘Silhouette arms’; this is my proposal… the development of the ‘Back Weapon’ and the ‘Fire Control System’.”There was a small area in the corner of the workshop separated by boards, dubbed the ‘conference room’. Even though Eru’s proposal deviated widely from common sense, the group didn’t reject it and gathered here for a discussion. Eru explained with a clear voice, his chalk making rhymatic sounds on the board, gradually drawing out the whole picture of the alien shaped machine.“Although I used the word ‘arm’, what I wanted was a simpler design… Something that could hold an object firmly.”The additional arm — named ‘Auxiliary arm’ henceforth– would be kept when the ‘Silhouette arms’ were not in use, and would be deployed when in combat, ready to fire. When deployed, the Auxiliary arm would mount the weapon over the shoulder, facing forward.The Fire Control System is the script responsible for the deployment and the retraction of the Auxiliary arm. This movement doesn’t require much flexibility, it just needs to be able to deploy and retract the Auxiliary arm. Hence, it wouldn’t be a burden on the pilot and could be completed automatically by the system. Just hearing this much, the Fire Control System script seemed to be used only to point the armament forward, but its main feature was the aiming function. Displaying a reticle on the holo monitor, the script links it to the ‘Silhouette arms’ to control the direction of fire.At this point in Eru’s presentation, the expression of the craftsmen changed. To use the ‘Silhouette arms’ without interfering with the use of the hands, it even made the addition of an aiming reticle possible. Although the pilots are the experts in controlling Silhouette Knights, the craftsmen doing maintenance also have the related skills. That’s why they could understand the advantage the ‘Back Weapon’ brings—increasing the opportunity to attacj, more variation in tactics, and the possibility of stronger attacks.“The plan is to install the functionality of the fire control script into the unused area of the magius engine. Ah, I will be doing that part. Also, the pilot using this function needs to…”Pilots just needs to be trained in using the aiming function. The reason was simple, they do not need delicate control to use the Auxiliary arm, and the Fire Control System would automatically deploy, retract and even aim. The control could be done through the pilot seat easily, so there wasn’t any burden when controlling it. If the pilot needs to adjust to the modification, then the training programme of the pilots needs to be adjusted.“… That’s the summary of the proposal. Further details would be finalised when production begins… How does everyone feel about this?”Facing Eru, who was cutely tilting his head, no one gave a response. Right now, a terrifying silence was controlling the workshop. Eru’s ‘technology’ had turned their perceived common sense on its head: adding parts which deviates from the human form and installing scripts in the untouchable magius engine. Even though they had accepted the idea of strand crystal tissue, Eru’s proposal was very abnormal to the students present.Eru explained himself clearly, the common language of the engineers was displayed on the board — ‘technology’. It had no fantasy or fairy tales, with a taste of reality, it couldn’t be ignored with a laugh; and it was full of charms, making it hard to resist.Seemed like I’ve still got it in me. My presentation skills haven’t gotten rusty. But they still need another push.In Eru’s eyes, the maintenance students were obviously lost. It’s fine if the presentation wasn’t good enough, they could reject it directly. But, the problem was that it was feasible enough to be discussed. Their cultivated common sense was warning them something was wrong, but when Eru brought out the revolution this technology could bring, their logic pulled them to accept it. In order to push the group who were caught in this dilemma and fell into silence, Eru continued:“Even though Silhouette Knight mimics the form of men, it is still a tool, a machine. There is no need to be hung up on it being in the form of men… If there is a function that is needed, don’t you think that it’s fine to modify how it looks?”If a devil appeared in any story, it would probably give off this feeling. A beautiful appearance whispering sweet temptations in your ears, luring you away from the straight and limited path of the world– As everyone’s thought were heading down this divergent path, the Boss sighed in an exaggerated manner.“Really, just who the hell are you? Be it the strand crystal tissue or the back weapon, I don’t understand how you keep thinking up things we have never seen, or heard of before.”“How should I put it? I want to do it because it doesn’t exist, I wouldn’t have done it if it had already existed.”Eru pouted, prompting the Boss to stare at him for a long while before laughing out loud. The Boss’ hearty laughter swept all the doubts and gloom of everyone, who were present away.“Keke, hahaha! You got me. Yes, you are right! Kick reason to the curb, right? I like it. It might be frustrating, but the boy has a point. We craftsmen are professionals who improve Silhouette Knights. I will accept your proposal!!”With this as the cue, the engineers’ curiosity won against their hesitation. As one, they unanimously moved towards the development of the strand crystal tissue, back weapon and fire control system– a step towards the revolution of a new Silhouette Knight model. It might be a small step, but there was a definite change in their mindset.And so, the ripple that started in Laihiala Pilot Academy will one day spread through the nation, and push the evolution of the existence known as Silhouette Knights to the entire world.Four figures walked in a row in Laihiala Academy City which was basked in the light of the setting sun.The petite one walking in the middle– Eru was in a great mood, and seemed to be on the verge of singing. That was understandable; he didn’t expect to fulfill his ambition of modifying a Silhouette Knight. When he thought about the coming days, Eru felt overwhelming joy. Compared to the chirpy Eru, Chid and Ady beside him seemed gloomy.“Hey Eru, to be honest, I didn’t understand everything that happened today. But if the modification goes well, the Silhouette Knights would become stronger, right?”“Yes, of course!”Chid wanted to say something, but seemed hesitant.“… Eh, Eru… after strengthening the Silhouette Knight, are you going to fight the Demon beast again?”Chid’s words made Eru blink with a stiff smile. Eru’s mind was filled with the ‘modification’, and totally forgot about how to apply it practically. Facing this unexpected query, Eru cleared his throat to dismiss the anxiety in his heart and forced a smile:“That, that’s right. It’s a rare chance to create powerful Silhouette Knights after all, and think about it. And, becoming a Knight or pilot means fighting Demon beasts.”“That’s true, Eru has to fight… and you are ready to do so.”Eru looked surprised by Chid’s hesitant expression, and was hugged from the side by Ady.“E~ru! You didn’t forget that promise, right!!”“Huh? Umm– Yeah. About teaching both of you how to fight with Silhouette Knights, right?”“Correct. If we put our mind to it, we can do it! I absolutely forbid you from fighting alone again.”Ady remembered the wreckage of the red Silhouette Knight. Even though Silhouette Knights were known as the strongest weapon of men, there were still a lot of Demon beasts in this world that were stronger than them. When Ady thought that Eru might be in danger, her tears would blur her vision, and the sounds would blur.“Ady? Are you okay? Don’t worry, I had thought about preparation for that, too… Oh, right! How about asking them to do ‘that’ too?”Eru seemed to be thinking of something and snapped his fingers. Ady lifted her face slightly, while Batson and Chid looked at each other with a confused expression.Several days later, Eru and the Boss came to the Laihiala Pilot Academy’s dean office.Hearing a polite knock, a calm response came from the dean, Lauri Echevarria who was inside. Even though Lauri was a bit surprised, he still ushered them in.“Oh? Eru and David, what a rare combination.”Lauri offered them a seat as Eru gave him some documents. Inside was the report summarising the proposal for the strand crystal tissue, the back weapon and the fire control system.“Dean, the document inside contains the proposal for a Silhouette Knight brought up by the silver boy. The maintenance department wants to create a new Silhouette Knight using this plan.”Lauri’s eyes were wide open after hearing these sudden words, and studied the documents carefully. After browsing through it once, he placed the documents on the table and exhaled deeply. Lauri looked into the distance and said:“Ara… Should I say this is unexpected… you two have stirred up something troublesome.”“It’s your grandson who did that.”“That’s why it was unexpected… should I say beyond my imagination? I didn’t think that you would start so soon. This report seems very unusual. Eru, can it be done?”Eru smiled like usual when he was asked– But Lauri, who was his family understood that Eru’s blue eyes contained unusual passion, confidence and the will to challenge the norm. And as he expected, Eru nodded strongly in agreement.Your Majesty, my grandson is wilder than I imagined. He will probably go beyond my control“… Grandpa? What do you think? Are you willing to accept it?”“Dean, we should have the freedom in the production and modification of Silhouette Knights. But the ‘core’ of the modification is different from the past, so there would definitely be many problems. That’s why we are seeking official authorisation.”Lauri whose thoughts were somewhere far away– specifically, the Capital, was pulled back because of these words.“Yes. A lot of the Knights had to be reforged because of damage, so the timing is just right. Some failures are acceptable, just do it the way you want to… Hmmm? No, we can’t afford to be slow; we have to finish it quickly. If there are not enough Knights, the pilots won’t be able to practice.”Lauri suddenly slapped his knee. The Behemoth Incident destroyed half the Knights of the Academy. Even at the full strength of twenty, it was not enough for all the pilots in the Academy, and they had to take turns. With half of it gone, it would definitely affect training.“About that, I have another proposal!”Eru raised his hand strongly and opened the briefcase beside him, taking out a notebook.“Hey, so that wasn’t all? You are well prepared, boy…”“I have been thinking about this for quite some time. To conduct Silhouette Knight piloting practice, you have to ride a silhouette Knight. But the number of the important Silhouette Knights is limited, and takes a lot of effort to make new ones… a vicious cycle.”Lauri and the Boss suppressed their doubts and nodded. Eru opened his notebook that was bulging from a lot of sticky tabs and showed them the newest page.“But increasing the number of Silhouette Knight presents another set of problems. First would be the expensive parts, reactors and engines, and the specialised workshop to handle large machines and manpower… Taking the cost into account, there is only one answer.”Lauri and the Boss listened to Eru’s explanation, squeezing together to look at the notebook filled with words. On it was a strange object– A combination of a human skeleton with armour, which was filled with crystal tissue. According to the notes, it was about two and a half metres in height, slightly bigger than a normal person wearing armour. But it was about a quartre the scale of a Silhouette Knight.“That’s right, just make it smaller! That will cut down the work, and the facilities to construct it can be smaller in scale too. In other words, it can be mass produced easily. Silhouette Knights need ether reactors and magius engine because a single person can’t provide the mana and process the script to control such a large body. If the machine is smaller, the burden would be lessened, too… It could be operated by just one person. It doesn’t require the heart units, so the price would definitely be cheaper. If you order one now, you can get another one for free!”Hearing the long sales pitch of Eru, one would suspect him of being a merchant from somewhere. Lauri and the Boss had different reactions.“…Tiny Silhouette Knights? You are not satisfied with the new model, and are plotting that, too!?”“I see, but this thing sounds interesting. How about it, David? If it goes smoothly, the pilots won’t be bored out of their mind.”Hearing Lauri say that, the Boss adopted a troubled attitude.“Dean, I have no objection about making this, but making the new model and this at the same time will be too much, in terms of manpower. Even if it is easy to make, we simply can’t do both.”Constructing the new Silhouette Knight. That is a tedious mission that is troubling when you just to think about it. The Boss and the engineers don’t have the spare energy to work on other projects. Without the craftsmen working on it, it doesn’t matter how interesting the idea was.But Eru was prepared for this.“Don’t worry about this part. The good thing about this is its simplicity compared to Silhouette Knights, and it is easy to make. I think it could be done even without the skills of the Senpais in the high school department.”Understanding what Eru was saying, the expression of these two finally went beyond surprise and turned expressionless. The Boss sighed deeply.“Boy, I didn’t know you would go that far.” The Boss was definitely not complimenting him, but Eru simply smiled in reply.