== CE 1277 .
The 12 years old Ernesti Echevalier and his childhood friends, the twins Archid Olter and Adeltrud Olter has moved on to middle school of the Knighthood faculty . Their other childhood playmate, the dwarf Batson Termonen, remained in the Crafting faculty . Due to Eru’s influence, Batson has shown interest in the career of Knightsmith . The two of them can sometimes be seen together, talking about Silhouette Knights design and operation knowledge .
As for Ernesti, he has been taking classes about Silhouette Knights but unrelated to Knighthood ever since he enrolled in Laihiala Pilot Academy . Eru has completed all the courses in the Crafting faculty after attending their classes for three years . After satisfying his thirst for knowledge, he is now unofficially attending Pilot faculty classes .
Since Laihiala is a ‘pilot’ Academy, the Piloting faculty is the star of the institute . Only the best graduates from Knighthood middle school may gain entry into the Piloting faculty . Although it is generally known as the Piloting faculty, not everyone enrolled here has Knighthood background . The Knight runner won’t be able to move the Silhouette Knight alone, it is still a machine that requires crew to maintain and service .
The pilots will learn about control and manoeuvre . The craftsmen learns to construct and maintain the outer skin, as well as the inner skeleton . The alchemists train in the art of crystal tissue creation and repair . The sigilmancers focus on the preparation of the Silhouette arms . The various faculties in middle school are collectively known as the Pilot faculty in high school .
With this background, the education policy of the Pilot Academy trends towards practical application . They familiarise themselves with the skills and techniques by piloting the Silhouette Knights owned by the academy . Laihiala Pilot Academy possesses 20 Silhouette Knights, a number that is more than adequate to man a fortified outpost on the frontlines . But they are the retired models Salodrea machines that are second rate in abilities .
These Silhouette Knights has been repaired countless times over the long years, and each of them are used by several piloting candidates for training . The repeated usage has worn down the machine and it requires frequent maintenance checks, a heavy burden on the students, but also great experience for real world application . Organisation hiring Piloting faculty alumni comments that the fresh graduates has the ability to work on the frontlines immediately .
On the training ground of Laihiala Pilot Academy, a mock battle between Silhouette Knights is ongoing .
In the middle of the stone building, a red machine is engaged in battle with a white machine . They have blunt sword used for training spars in their hands, battling fiercely . The machine provided by the school has reinforced armour around the pilot seats, a design which focuses on the safety of the pilots . But a Silhouette Knight going all out is still very dangerous, so the equipment is nerfed to restrict its damage . Standard equipment is only used in practical training battles against Demon beast .
There are no empty seats on the wall surrounding the arena . All sorts of people are watching the duelling Silhouette Knights from the spectators’ seats . Training with only brawls is not real training; the analysis of the fight is indispensable . There are people recording the battle logs, studying the skills of the pilots . . . some are allocating maintenance spare parts as the damage piles on; some of them are observing the effects of the magic arsenal .
Most of the people present are high school students, but there is a small figure that is out of place here . Not only is the person short, he also has a cute face that is easily mistaken for a girl . That person is Ernesti . Because his stature is small, he is occupying the front seat so his vision won’t be obscured by others, staring at the Silhouette Knights intensely .
He skipped the Knighthood faculty classes he is supposed to attend, overcoming all obstacles to earn the right to be exempted them . He is unorthodox in his actions, but is strangely law abiding in some areas .
In the beginning, Eru uses his cute appearance and mascot like character to gain entry . He was planning to watch quietly from the side, but he is now observing the battles and repairs up close, finding more places he can chip in . From the way he can easily keep up with the conversations of his seniors, his preparation in the last three years did not go to waste .
Getting practical first-hand experience and knowledge outside the classroom made Eru extremely happy . Apart from greedily taking part in all sorts of work processes, he is very interested in the training battles . The Silhouette Knights ― giant robots fighting before his eyes draws out indescribable emotions within him . The giant machines that emulate a knight in armour bash at each other with iron limbs wielding mammoth swords, even shooting powerful projectile spells . Eru observes the training battles with passionate eyes, not missing a single movement .
As a side note, there was a rumour that a guy was almost pulled into a twisted world after seeing the pretty boy, who can be mistaken for a girl, blushing while watching the Silhouette Knights with longing eyes .
“Eh, seems like Di will lose again . ”
Piloting faculty student . . . Helvi Öberg mumbles as she records the battle logs, a breeze blowing across the arena messes her short and curly hair .
The situation of the battle before them is clear, the red knight is struggling . Its dual wielding blades and on the offense, but it didn’t break through the white knight’s defense .
“Hmm, what do you think about this battle, Eru?”
Helvi, who has been glancing at the data in her hands asked Eru, who was sitting obediently beside her . Their eyes remained fixed on the arena at all times .
“The speed of Guyale’s sword is slower than before . I think that is the reason why he missed the opportunity to score points off attacks . ”
” . . . I see . Now that you mentioned it, his attacks seem too casual . I thought the condition of the Knight runner is not too good . What went wrong?”
“The movement of the right arm seems sluggish . I think it is because the joints or crystal tissues have been replaced . ”
Helvi browses through the documents in her hand and confirms the maintenance report of the red machine named Guyale . The record states, due to signs of stress and fatigue in the crystal tissues of the right arm, it has been replaced this morning . The movement probably seems rigid because the parts are not aligned . She found the reason behind the sluggish actions of Guyale, but she couldn’t tell that that the condition of the right arm is bad . Helvi moans Eru’s passion and attention to detail when watching training battles is better than those actively engaged in it . She found it amazing and wonders where his passion stems from . The white machine fighting Guyale in the arena, Earlecumber, fended off the attack and stabbed at the Guyale’s chest . The horn sounded, signalling the end of the battle . The instructor judged that the spar has been won by Earlecumber . Guyale couldn’t overcome its bad condition in this battle .
The machine that was battling just now enters the workshop situated near the arena, and the pilots exited the Silhouette Knights .
The pilot of the white Earlecumber was Edgar C . Blanche, a tall and dignified man . Similar to his appearance, he is mature and steadfast, an elite among the pilots .
The red Guyale is manned by Dietrich Cunitz . Unlike Edgar, he has long blonde hair, a meek and skinny man . His abilities are top notch, but he tends to get nervous and loses his head easily over small matters, his performance is inconsistent . He seemed frustrated because he lost the match .
He started squabbling with the maintenance crew the moment he got off the machine . Instead of discussing the issue, they are pushing the blame onto someone else, even the bystanders know they won’t make any headway . Helvi couldn’t stand it and butts in . She explained her findings about the arm to settle the meaningless quarrel . But Dietrich’s expression lit up mid-way and smiles sarcastically . In contrast, the maintenance crew looked annoyed .
“Oh, no wonder the movement is so rigid . Maintenance is skimping on the repairs . ”
Dietrich is suggesting ‘losing is not my fault’ . Edgar standing nearby advises him sternly:
“Di, that’s going too far . If the arm is not functioning well, you should adopt a different style in your fight . It’s fine if you lose after trying, but your movement seems unfocused today . It is not right to blame it all on the maintenance crew . ”
Dietrich’s sarcastic smile disappears after being lectured in front of everyone .
“You only won because my machine’s performance is sub-par, don’t get cocky . ”
“The content of the spar is more important than winning . I am just saying that you should reflect on that . ”
“Is that so? Why don’t you operate a faulty machine in our fight next time?”
Dietrich left in angry strides after uttering these words with a sour face . The people in the work shop have gotten used to this and simply shrugged . Eru, who was watching from the side-lines made a perplexed face and Helvi patted his head for some reason . The school bell rang, announcing the end of class and to start preparing for the next lesson . Eru was unhappy that the fun time is over, but still bowed to Helvi and rushed back to the Knighthood faculty .
Eru have no idea what his classmates in middle school are talking about, there seems to be some events . He must have missed something if the whole class is talking about it . Probably because he is spending so much time in pilot school .
“I’m sorry, I have no idea . Can you tell me what this is about?”
Eru said with a troubled expression . His classmates look at each other for an instant, and all of them started explaining at the same time . Maybe they enjoy talking to Eru, or they felt excited when speaking with Eru . It requires tremendous patience to summarise the jumbled contents, but it can be filtered down to these main points .
– In order to accumulate practical experience in fighting Demon beast, all three grades of Knighthood middle school will be participating in a field trip .
– The destination will be the region of Jantunen, the forested hill home to small Demon beast .
– The first years will be focusing on the basics of camping and wilderness survival skills .
– For safety, Pilot school will be sending several Silhouette Knights as escorts .
“I see, it will be conducted two weeks from now . ”
“Hey, did you only find out about it today?”
“That’s what I thought . You keep going~~ to high school right? You don’t come~~ back much anyway . ”
Eru tilt his head perplexly . Chid seems shocked, but Ady looked unhappy . Eru has been reporting to Piloting faculty during class and after class, the time he spent training with Chid and Ady have been dwindling .
“Ady? Are you in a bad mood?”
“Not~~ really . Totally not . You are mistaken, right?”
But the way, Ady is crossing her arms and her strong tone seems to be announcing ‘I am very unhappy’ .
“I don’t think I did anything wrong . What did I do?”
“That’s right~~ you didn’t do anything . You are not here most of the time anyway~~”
This is what a hopeless situation means . Eru has no idea what he should do and requests Chid for aid with his gaze . Chid seems to acknowledge that and changed the topic forcefully .
“We will split into teams for the field trip . Eru, which group are you joining?”
“Ah, about this . . . ”
Eru glance at Ady who couldn’t hide her curiosity and said:
“If there are no special arrangements, I would prefer forming a group with the three of us . From the sounds of it, the first years will be concentrating on the basics, so grouping up casually should be fine . ”
“Oh― we will be staying together then . . . ”
Ady’s mood has obviously improved . She went behind Eru and put her arms around his neck in a hug like usual .
No matter how old I am, I don’t get women . . .
Including the memories from his past life, Eru looked at Ady with his wealth of life experience and felt a chill . About two weeks later, Ernesti and the others prepared to go on their field trip under the clear blue sky .
Large communal horse drawn carriages are parked in front of Laihiala Pilot Academy . The middle school students gets onto the carriages under the direction of the instructors .
“Take care of yourself―”
Batson from Craftsman faculty is not participating in the field trip . The Knighthood trio walks towards the carriage after Batson bid them farewell in a nonchalant tone .
“Eru, Eru, this way!”
“Don’t rush; the carriage won’t leave without us . ”
The destination of the field trip is a place called ‘Cloquet’s Forest’ . That place is covered in forest and is slightly elevated, filled with Demon beasts that are relatively weak . Carriages are used for the long trip after considering the strenghth of the Demon beasts . Cloquet’s Forest is a suitable place that meets the requirement of the field trip . According to the route planned, they will swing by Jantunen to resupply before heading into Cloquet’s Forest, which is nearby .
After all the students are seated, the carriages set off one by one . The long caravan of carriages advanced steadily on the road .
The ten Silhouette Knight escorts spread out along the convoy . They are piloted by the high schoolers from the Academy . The dark red and pure white machines, Guyale and Earlecumber are here too .
The Silhouette Knights used by the Academy are donated from the military . After the long years of maintenance by the students with free reign, their appearance has become unique and interesting . Some have meaningless and complicated patterns engraved on its armour, while others has eerily big accessories added onto its head, and there are armours that are pieced together in a weird pattern . The machines have been customised deeply, giving a ‘that’s too exaggerated’ kind of feeling . The exoskeleton comes in all sorts of colours, having an elegant air about it, instead of being fierce and mean .
There are many Knighthood majors participating on the field trip . Although middle school is full of kids, they are still candidates striving to be knights, so there shouldn’t be any problems if they meet the attacks of normal Demon beasts . Even if this is a field trip, they can’t be spooked by small Demon beasts . Within the Kingdom of Fremmevira, mid-sized Demon beasts about a dozen metres still lurk in the forest and mountain regions, and they might run into them on the road . The Silhouette Knights are the insurance against unexpected attacks .
“I thought we will have a chance to fight Demon beasts, but it turns out to be a boring trip . ”
Dietrich Cunitz who is riding in Guyale complains loudly . Although they are here as a safeguard, there has been no major incidence on this road for the past several years . Although the Knight runners have been assigned the mission of ‘long distance manoeuvre training’, this is a trip that has nothing to do with tension or motivation .
“Hey, I know how you feel Di, but you can’t say such things . ”
Helvi Öberg who is piloting the Silhouette Knight ‘Trandorches’ instead of working as a battle logger reminds him . There are microphones inside the pilot seat, and the sound inside will be broadcast loudly through external speakers if it is not turned off . It is amplified to ensure the message is not drowned out by the noise of the Silhouette Knights in operation, so it is possible that a middle schooler might have heard him .
“Both of you take this seriously . Even if nothing happens, this is still part of our training . ”
Earlecumber caught up to Guyale and Trandorches, the voice of Edgar C . Blanche can be heard booming from the Silhouette Knight .
“As expected from the top pilot, such high end content . ”
“Di, didn’t you hear what I said?”
“Ah ― keep it down you two, everyone can hear you . ”
Guyale and Earlecumber fell silent after hearing Helvi and returned to their positions . Helvi felt uneasy about the days ahead while she is piloting Trandorches .
They are not the only ones who don’t know how to kill time .
“I know it can’t be help, but this is too boring . ”
After rocking in the carriage for about half a day, Chid is bored out of his mind . Not only Chid, the students around him are feeling the same . They are four days away from their destination, and with their transportation taken care of by the carriage, the students on board have lots of free time . They can talk freely, but they are growing tired of the cramp space on the carriage, which can’t be help .
“Do you want to look at the scenery outside? The scenery outside is interesting . ”
“No, the only one who is satisfied with watching the scenery is you . And you are really tenacious, how long do you plan to watch that?”
Chid looks at Eru with tired eyes . Eru stops gazing at the scenery and turns back, siting properly on his seat . He looks really cute with his head slightly tilted while deep in thought, relieving the atmosphere instantly .
“Want to read the books I brought along? I think you can kill some time this way . ”
“Books . . . I want to stretch my body . Eh, never mind . What have you got?”
“Theories on Alchemy, volume 1 . ”
“Is that a textbook? Isn’t it better to sleep then read that?”
“You are right, but there is really nothing to do here . Why not follow Ady’s example and take a nap?”
Ady is sleeping soundly in front of Chid . Her peaceful face that has nothing to do with boredom makes Chid look up to the sky . He maintained that position and suddenly thought of something .
“Eh, it’s a great way to kill time right?”
They climb on top of the carriage . The top is full of the students’ luggage . Unlike the inside of the carriage, there are no seats here, but there is no problems sitting down .
“The scenery here is better . ”
The carriage advanced leisurely under the clear blue sky, the top of the carriage feels nice and peaceful . A breeze made Eru’s silver hair sway . He found a nice seat among the luggage and entered scenery appreciation mode .
“Ah― this is still boring . But it is nicer than the inside of the cramp carriage . ”
Since there is nothing to do, napping under the sky sounds interesting . Chid didn’t care anymore .
“Ah, so you guys are here . ”
Ady poked her head out from within the carriage .
“You woke up?”
“Yeah, you guys are gone when I got up . ”
Ady made her way to Eru’s side as she spoke, and lied on his thigh, getting in position to sleep .
“The sun is so warm, it feels better sleeping here . ”
“Sleeping is fine, but why are you using my lap as your pillow?”
“It’s feels nicer this way . ”
As Eru was at a loss, Ady has begun her journey into dreamland . Eru couldn’t do anything about her and started reading, looking out at the scenery occasionally . Chid ponders about stuff for a while, but thinks it’s too bothersome and gave up, using a luggage as a pillow to nap .
Their leisurely journey continues at this pace . After rocking for three more days on the horse drawn carriage, the group from Laihiala Pilot Academy finally arrived at the largest city of central Fremmevira ― Jantunen .
There is a reason why Jantunen ranks amongst the top cities in the Kingdom . It lies along the route that leads to the west of Fremmevira and beyond the Aubigne Mountain Range . It is also the transit point for supplies leading to the frontline fortress to the east of Fremmevira . As an important transport hub, its defences are second only to the Capital, surrounded by siege walls and moats . On top of that, there is a large band of knights equivalent to a company (100 Silhouette Knights) garrisoned here . No matter how crucial this city is, there is too much military force for one city . But they are stationed here because of Jantunen’s strategic location, allowing them to reinforce frontline cities quickly . And in practice, about thirty percent of the forces will receive patrol and escort missions outside the city .
By the time the convoy from Laihiala Pilot Academy arrived at Jantunen, it was already past noon .
The city wall surrounding Jantunen is colossal in scale . Because of the existence of Demon beasts, traveling long distances is difficult, so this is first time seeing another big city other than Laihiala for many of the students . Everyone is curious about this city and this is the most anticipated part for many of them .
“What an amazing wall, what are they defending against?”
“The enemy they have in mind are Demon beasts . . . or rather, the Demon beasts during the nation’s founding . There are many more vicious Demon beasts during that era . ”
“Oh . . . That’s why it is so massive . ”
The students were elated when they saw the gate leading into the city . But the carriage did not pass through the gates, but are gathered in the open space in front of it .
“Wait, aren’t we going into Jantunen?”
“They already told us that the stop at Jantunen is only to resupply . ”
Although the group can disembark and rest outside the carriage, but they will need to move out once the goods have been loaded . The students who thought they could get a reprieve from the dull journey starts to complain, the twins stare at the gargantuan gate and nags .
“Man, this is boring . It won’t do any harm letting us in for a while!”
“That’s right, I want to go shopping . ”
“Wait, that’s not why . . . ”
“Don’t you want to take a look?”
“I am interested, but going on a tour with such a large group of students can turn into a horrible mess . ”
As they spoke, Eru looks to the side . It was probably arranged in advanced, the merchants came out of the gate with the goods, which are then loaded onto the carriages .
The short break was over and it was time to go . The carriage left with the reluctant students on board and move towards their destination ― Cloquet’s Forest .
After traveling for a day from Jantunen, They reached Cloquet’s Forest . The road that leads to the east of the Kingdom was badly maintained . After rocking in the carriage for the whole day, they finally reach the entrance of a thick forest .
The caravan parked in an open space near the entrance of the forest, the base camp for annual field trips .
The students started setting up tents under the command of the instructors . They have been sleeping on the carriage on their journey here, ready to escape at a moment’s notice if Demon beasts attack . But they will be training for several days here and can’t stay on the carriages indefinitely . So they erected tents and used this base as a camp site .
The seniors have experienced this several times and set up their tents skillfully . In the Knighthood faculty, besides normal training, camping trips are also conducted once in a while . Since they aspire to be knights, setting up camp is a necessary skill when traveling in an army . Learning skills other than sword and magic is a unique feature for those majoring in Knighthood . But it is not easy for the first years . Although they learned and practiced before the trip, their inexperience still shows in their work . Even with the assistance of the instructors, there are a few teams that slowed the progress, so dinner was served very late .
The entrance of the forest was filled with tents just like a camping zone . There are torches all around, illuminating the dark corner of the forest . As part of their training program, the second years are assigned guard and patrol duties . With so many charges, the instructors can’t take care of everyone, so the students are also posted as guards, which serve as practical assignments too .
Eru’s team set up their tent faster than the other groups . Eru knows the steps well, and with the tall twins’ helping, they finished in no time . The two of them helped the other groups after finishing, while Eru walked to the outer edge of the camp site .
The basics are all done . I am not being lazy . . . ah, found it .
Beside the camping ground of the middle school students is the base of the high school Knight runners, and their Silhouette Knights . The footsteps of the Silhouette Knights and the hum of their internal components will disrupt the sleep of the campers . That’s why they are stationed here in case of any emergencies .
The ten Silhouette Knights are arranged in rows, in standby mode with one knee on the ground . Their colossal figures are partially illuminated by the camp fire . With some parts hidden in the darkness, they look more imposing at night . Normal people might feel intimidated, but Eru simply smiled as he looked at the rows of iron giants seated in a row .
Ah, giant robots are great― this is the oasis of the heart, every home should have one .
There are no such terrifying families even in this world . But regretfully, no one is around to retort Eru .
“Hey, you there . . . silver hair? Is that Ernesti?”
After a short moment, someone called out to Eru who was immersed in a mysterious healing aura of robots . He turns back and saw the owner of Earlecumber ― Edgar .
“Evening Edgar-senpai . Sorry to disturb you . ”
“So it is you . Why are . . . I guess it is pointless to ask . ”
Eru is famous in pilot school . His antics and motivation are well known, too .
“Is senpai on standby duty?”
Edgar heard Eru’s query as the flickering light from the camp fire shineed over them . He smile bitterly and shook his head .
“No, we were deciding the order of the duty but . . . sigh, Di is making a scene as usual . ”
“Yes . Simply put, he was complaining about standby duty being a hassle . As Knight runners in their senior year of Laihiala Academy, protecting our juniors is an important mission . . . But as usual, his attitude is flippant . ”
He still has to carry out his task no matter how stubborn he is . But Dietrich still insists on nagging about it .
“I don’t want to hear his complains, so I decided to change the mood and see these guys . ”
The two of them raise their head to look at ‘them’ . The campfire lit up the giant knight in white armour ― Silhouette Knight Earlecumber . It was not customised and retained its original shape . Its simple design has no special features and has a gentle feel about it . With the top pilot Edgar controlling it, the two partners are known as the strongest in pilot school .
“Senpai likes Silhouette Knights . too?”
“Eh? Rather than like . . . they are my weapon and comrades . My mood will calm down when I am with them . When I feel frustrated, like just now or when I feel tired, I will visit them . ”
I am probably not suited for this kind of talk ― Edgar scratched his head .
“I think having a reliable companion is wonderful . ”
“You really like Silhouette Knights . That’s right, if you continue to work hard as a knight, you will gain a partner too . . . Ah, we talked for too long, first years should get back before it gets too late . ”
And so, they bid their farewell and returned .
” . . . Okay, De should have calmed down by now . ”
After watching the bright silver disappear into the darkness, Edgar mumbles to himself, and prepares to head back with the spirit of heading into battle .
The sky is totally dark . The first years finished their late dinner in the dim lights and returned to their tents . The first years have no assignments for the night . After the long journey and setting up camp, fatigue sets in and they wrap themselves in their blankets and sleep . When they have gone into slumber—
A loud howl from a beast came from deep within the forest . It was probably wolves . After the first howl, howls in response can be heard from all over the forest . The students on guard duty heighten their senses and look towards the forest . The howls can be heard every now and then, so they lost interest in it after a while . But there are some who can’t ignore the howls . It reminds the first timer the situation they are in . This is not a safe town for a carriage they can run away on . This is right in front of the forest where Demon beasts lurk, they are sleeping in tents that were erected here .
Even though Cloquet’s Forest is not really dangerous, it is not considered safe even with the students on watch . After arriving here without incident, they felt the atmosphere was on the way here, but grew tense because of the howling . Their sleepiness because of fatigue is gone and they are wide awake .
In Eru’s team tent, Chid is shaking his head while lying down . Although he is not very affected, Chid still felt a bit uneasy and can’t sleep .
I thought I was braver than this, seems like I am quite tense too .
The dim camp fire shines in, giving the dark tent an unsettling atmosphere . Chid suddenly wondered if Eru, sleeping besides him was uneasy like him and called out softly .
“Hey Eru, I want to ask . . . Eh . ”
Eru was fast asleep . He was not totally unmoved, but he was a warrior on the frontlines of hell in his previous life, too . He understood the importance of rest even if he doesn’t want too, and gained the ability to be able to sleep under any circumstances .
. . . Although I have known from the beginning, but he is too strong and carefree .
After hearing Chid, Ady who couldn’t sleep turns and stares at Eru’s sleeping face .
“Eh, how cunning . ”
Chid doesn’t know what she means by cunning . Ady shifted over and pulls Eru into her arms, hugging him like a pillow . Eru woke after being hugged this way . He realised it is Ady, and he pats her head and falls asleep . Maybe Ady felt safe because of this and her breathing turns smooth after a moment . Looking at the two of them, Chid felt foolish for not being able to sleep .
Isn’t it stupid for me to be tense by myself?
That’s it, he decided to not worry anymore . After a while, he enters dreamland .
The next morning, the students start getting up some time after dawn .
A lot of student didn’t get enough sleep . In the drowsy atmosphere, Eru’s group was refreshed . There are always students who can’t sleep when camping, experiencing this tension is one of the objectives of this field trip . The instructors didn’t push the younger first years, so the content of job is rather relaxed . After the students finished the simple breakfast made from preserved food, they gathered in groups by their grades under the commands of the teachers .
After the teacher had given brief instructions, the second years break into teams and headed for the depth of the forest . The prime objective of this field trip is to engage in practical battles with the Demon beast lurking in the forest, and to hunt for a certain number of them . The first years will head to the outer region of the forest, and may have to fight if necessary .
The first years were tense as they enter the forest for the first time, while the other grades had to bear a different sort of tension, as they headed into the forest . After a moment, the sound of their armour grows softer as they move further in and the forest turns quiet once again .
And so, this long day that all students in the Knighthood faculty will never forget begins .