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Brilliant Strike[]

He is the saviour of the nation who has returned to his motherland after the completion of his journey of self-cultivation. At the end of the War of Liberation, he left the knightly order to train himself, telling his reason only to the King of Knights, Alfred. No one knew his whereabouts until his return during the invasion of the Sanctuary by "Link Joker". With the "Unlock" skill, he is able to counter the mysterious ability "Lock" and liberate the imprisoned warriors. With the encouragement of the living legend, the morale of the warriors recovered suddenly. They managed to dispel the massive enemy forces and succeeded in protecting the Sanctuary.

The days of fearing the unreasonable invasions had passed away. With his illuminous dual blades, Ezel slashes through the dark clouds and destroys the black rings. Under the fiery beacon of counterattack, the roar of the king of beasts triggers the battle cry of warriors. "Don't retreat! Don't fear! Defeat the enemies standing before us! Grasp the future with our own hands!"

Monthly Bushiroad Short Novel (January 2014 Issue)[]

The Return of the Lion[]

"Beaumains! Hasn't the reinforcement come?"

The United Sanctuary was facing a danger it has never encountered before.

"It was reported that the reinforcement was ambushed. They couldn't be counted on for some time."

They were fighting against the numberless army of "Link Joker". In this severe warfare of attrition, which could be ended at any moment, the stamina and the power of United Sanctuary's soldiers were being depleted.

"Nah, is it the end of us?"

Leader of the Third Infantry Troop of "Gold Paladin"---"Gareth", couldn't hide his disappointment after hearing the report. He showed envy to "Beaumains" who could stay calm even in such adverse situation.

"Captain, if you're here..."

Beaumains pretended he didn't hear the words of despair from his friend's mouth. Until the distance of the two was so far that sound couldn't reach. Watching at the sky covered by black rings, Gareth closed his eyes with agony, recalling a scene of the past.


---"Hall of Audience", Royal Castle, Holy Nation---

"You wish to depart at any means?"

There were the stance of two men. One of them was Alfred, the well-known King of Knights. And another one was...

"There is nowhere I can stay in this nation now."

The greatest contributor of the Liberation War, the young knight who earned his fame as the hero of the new generation---Ezel.

"That's not the fact---"

"That's enough. Your Majesty, that's the matter I have decided."

The discussion was ended. Ezel left the scene and Alfred didn't stop him.

"Is that alright, Al?"

"Ahmes..."

Hearing the question of Blaster Blade, standing behind the throne, Alfred could do nothing but answered his servant negatively.

"To him, there is a path he should proceed. I cannot stop him."

"As usual you cannot."

"Will you tease my naivete?"

"...I think that is the reason for us to obey you, My Lord."

Seeing his confidant kneeling knightly, the king could finally smiled a bit.


The discussion was coincidentally heard by Gareth from the opening of the doors. He, taking calmness of words and actions as virtues, couldn't act on them only that day.

"What's that!? What does that mean!?"

Torre roared as if wailing. In the dorms, the members of the once Red Lion Corps heard the report that Ezel was going to leave the knightly order...it that was the only case that would be fine, but they seemed quarreling in others' eyes.

"The meaning is the literal one!"

Facing the roar of Torre, fused with confusion and rage, Gareth couldn't hide his inner feeling.

"...Stay calm."

They heard a voice of low tone. The stopper of the meaningless conflict was Eliwood, who joined the Red Lion Corps during later stages of the Liberation War.

"Sorry..."

"...My apologies."

As they apologized to each other, they stepped a step back.

"But, why he left without telling us anything...Is he regarding us outsiders?"

In fact Gareth and Torre thought of the same thing. Why now? Why Ezel didn't tell them? Their thoughts entered an endless loop. As if to push them forwards, Beaumains said.

"The Captain must have his own though. It's useless for us to speak meaninglessly."

"You think that's okay?"

"If you care, go to ask him directly. You may be able to chase him if you go now."

Everyone stayed silence. That's an action their trustworthy Captain judged that he didn't need to explain to them. For whatever reason, they wouldn't ask. They couldn't ask.  

"Beaumains, can you stay in the knightly order without Captain?"

"I chose the path of knights to protect the citizens. Even though the Captain left, the fact didn't change."

"Eliwood, are you?"

"...That is, the job of the knights"

""Yes...Torre...it doesn't matter if I don't ask you."

"Are you stimulating me?"

Beaumains and Eliwood have decided their paths. Even Torre, who had displayed his intolerance, returned to normal.

"Gareth, what will you do?"

Among all people in the place, Gareth was troubled and suffered the most, undoubtedly. To him, who had sworn "to swing his sword for Ezel for his life", the fact came too suddenly. Gareth lowered his head and looked blank. Nobody could talk with him, and a silent night passed for the dorm.


"Wuaargh!"

A painful scream reached the ears of Gareth and woke him up. A knight was slashed to pieces by a faceless foe. That was a scene he had watched many times, and a scene he could never get used to.

"I, Is this the end of us...!"

Gareth cleaved the killer of his subordinate into two.

"In this situation, losing the target and the direction..."

The attacks of two soldiers stalked to his back silently were parried by Gareth, using his enemies own strength.

"Unable to protect the citizens, the comrades, the nation..."

Before his elegant skills resembling flow of water, dozens of enemies were defeated in one strike. Yet, no joy was found on Gareth's face.

"Defeated by these guys of unknown identities, and faced our end..."

The suppressing number of enemies, the chaos of command system, the tragic losses of comrades. The friendly forces were falling low, and the enemy forces were always increasing. Not only Gareth, everyone on the field.

"My solemn apologies, Captain..."

"Don't show me a loser's face, Gareth."

He heard. The response he shouldn't hear.

Before the echo of the nostalgic voice faded away, the warcry like roaring thundered the whole battlefield with radiance.

"RELEASE, KING OF BEASTS! SALVATION ROAR!"

The blinding light and shockwave wiped out not only the enemies, but also the black rings that corroded and infested the knights. The light was dimmed gradually. Friends and foes alike, they focused their sight in the middle of the light.

"Forcing the knights of lions, the knights of my corp, to lower their heads and sigh, to be infested by despair..."

The eyes with willpower that never wavers. The knight of silver and copper which left the name Incandescent Lion.

"The heavens may forgive such blasphemy, but I won't!"

Ezel, the hero of salvation, had returned.


"That is, the hero of salvation..."

"Captain! Captainnnn!!"

"Even he's a hero, he's only one..."

Shocked, wept, confused. The warriors who showed many responses...

"Calm down! You can shout or stay dumb, but only after you survive this battle!"

...ceased their actions after the sentence. After that, earth rumbled from afar. That was the reinforcement they hoped by far.

"Everyone, unsheathe your sword, charge!"

The forces of Pegasus Knights, led by the veteran warrior Gancelot.

"Fall back while protecting the injured! Save as many as possible!"

The forces of Lapis Lazuli Celestials, led by the guardian angel Zerachiel.

"Second Troop and Fourth Troop, follow Miranda. Others, follow me!"

The forces of Jewel Knights, lead by Salome, the Vice Grandmaster who took up the job of Ashlei. With forces of Witches standing behind, that was a mighty reinforcement full of elites. And as the best time point that everyone was heartened, the lion roared the third time.

"Take your sword, prepare your throat! Guardians of the Sanctuary! It's time to strike back!"

With war cries that could cover the noises of marching, the knightly order counterstroke.


Watching the enemies being drowned by the forces of the knightly order, Ezel walked to the only knight who didn't act. The knight, with one of his knees sticking to the ground, kneeled firmly.

"Though I have many things to say..."

Even though Ezel spoke, the knight didn't move, just like a statue.

"Let's speak afterwards. I can't say everything in the battlefield."

Ezel didn't care and continued to say, but the knight didn't look at him.

"You are serious, as in the past..."

Sighed, the lion turned his back from the knight and stepped forward.

"From now on, we knightly order will pierce through the center of the enemy's formation forcibly."

"Don't fall behind, my knight."

Again, the lion's back was followed by the knight.

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