Five hours after leaving the fallen Logress Battleship, the NSX started hovering 15 meters above the ocean level. Below the Autozamian Battleship, the Black Knights submarine emerged from the water just waiting to pick up the three remaining members of Tohdou's Holy Swords, Zero, and Kallen. As soon as the NSX gains a steady position, they deployed an external stairwell that leads down towards the submarine below them from the battleship's main access point. As the freedom fighters of Japan made their way to the submarine v.i.a stairway, Zero felt even more lost in his thoughts. He was hesitant to bring Nunnally back with him due to the fact that the youngest Britannian Princess wanted to continue in carrying out Euphy's wish when becoming the new Viceroy of Area 11, he just couldn't bear himself to face Nunnally again until he could find a way to convince her to stop this foolishness. After the Holy Swords members and Kallen went inside the submarine, Zero snapped out of thoughts as he caught up to them but not before saying goodbye to the Magic Knights and the Autozamians.
After the Black Knights Submarine disappeared back into the ocean, the NSX ascended once again while still holding onto the Arms Freighter with its tractor beam. When they directed the stairway to the Freighter, the Autozamian Marines quickly boarded onto the ship and apprehended the Freigher's crew members. Conveniently, none of the Autozamians met any resistance when boarding the Britannian Arms Freighter. Instead, the entire crew immediately surrendered since most of their guards were taken out. To everyone's surprise, the Freighter Captain told the Autozamians that the guards who were protecting the ship earlier were actually very same ones piloting the Sutherland Flight-mode Knightmares that Hikaru and Kallen have just defeated during their air raid. Upon hearing all of this, the Magic Knights couldn't stop laughing their heads off hysterically.
Moving on, the Britannian crewmen were rounded up as prisoners onboard the NSX. When the Magic Knights and Zazu went inside the Arms Freighter, along with a small detachment of Autozamian Marines and Engineers, they uncovered a dozen huge storage containers filled with flight systems, Vincent Wards, core luminous in-built shield generators, and an massive array of advanced Knightmare weaponry inside the cargo hold, all of them strapped onto the floor with metal chains. As soon as the Engineers got to work on securing all of the cargo inside the Freighter, Zazu went to the command bridge of the ship while being escorted by Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu. After taking control of the ship v.i.a drive system, Zazu informs Geo about it. In replying to Zazu's success, Geo ordered the young mechanic to steer the Arms Freighter adjacent to the direction of where the NSX is heading to, considering that he needs to follow Geo back to Cephiro.
Inside the ship's cargo hold, a group engineers setup a mobile Sakuradite hyperspace module to help open up the gateway back to Cephiro, with Hikaru using her Pillar magic to help power it up to the fullest. For Umi and Fuu, they helped Zazu with the navigator at the ship's command bridge before the hyperspace module started activating. In just a few minutes, the Sakuradite Warp gate opened up again in front of both the NSX and the hijacked Arms Freighter. Wasting no time, the NSX started up its engines first before proceeding through the warp-gate with the Arms Freighter following from behind. After both of the ships disappeared, they find themselves traveling through hyperspace once again.
While steering the Arms Freighter and staying on course, Zazu opened up one of the surveillance cameras in the storage area along with a speaker.
"Everyone we're going to jump into hyperspace back to Cephiro in ETA 5 minutes. So, please brace yourself!"
Upon hearing Zazu's announcements coming from the public speakers of the Freighter, most of the Autozamian crew and the Magic Knights held onto most of the metal objects nearby before the floor of the ship started rumbling. As soon as the rumbling stopped everyone went at ease as the Magic Knights and some of the Autozamian crew went back into their crew quarters inside the NSX. But for Hikaru, the moment she went back onboard the NSX, she went into the sick bay to see how Geo is doing, despite his injuries from his fight with Suzaku and the Lancelot.
"Geo, how are you doing?!" Hikaru asked as she entered into the sick bay.
The moment Hikaru sees the injured commander, Geo, who still has dress wrappings around his injured head and limbs, laying on top of a stretcher with his left arm attached to a tube connecting to a IV-bag next to the computer. On the computer, it shows that Geo's vital signals are still stabilized, indicating that Geo will still live to fight another day. However, because Suzaku did a number on Geo, it became clear that the sub-commander needs a break from his battles against the Honorary Britannian turned Knight of the Round.
"I'm afraid I won't be helping out for awhile, kid," Geo grunted in embarrassment. "Since the GTO is critically damaged too, I do need to rest for a few months. Though, I did put in full-time work order for my engineers to repair and upgrade my mecha while I recover."
"I'm sorry, Geo. I've should've been there when I had the chance!" Hikaru said as she sat down next to Geo. "When Zazu told me what happened to you, I was horrified that you might end up like what happened to Eagle if it weren't for your doctors."
"It's not your fault, Hikaru." Geo said as he placed his hand next to Hikaru's cheek. "My strength and combat abilities have their limits too. Just promise me that you'll watch over Zazu until I recover."
"I'll do my best sir!" Hikaru said as she held Geo's hand with her own.
Meanwhile back at the NSX command bridge, Zazu was left taking care of the operations all over the NSX. Zazu felt a bit nauseous whenever he was ordered to watch over the ship since Geo is stuck inside the sickbay. Because he is still the youngest crewmember onboard the Autozamian Battleship, Zazu still has a lot to learn about piloting Autozamian Mecha, as well as any of Cephiro's customized Knightmare Frames.
For the past three years after Eagle died in battle, Geo had no choice but to intensify Zazu's officer training just so that Zazu will one day command the NSX as the new captain or commander of the Autozamian fleet.
Furthermore, Zazu also has a long way to go when it comes to combat training too. Thankfully, everyday onboard the NSX Geo had Zazu spent 3 hours in the combat simulation room sparring against holograms with his training laser sword and go over pilot simulations in Mecha combat.
As of now, Zazu is promoted from a mechanic to a junior officer equipped with a handgun holstered up to his right hip and hand-mounted, retractable laser sword strapped on top of his right hand. Even though Zazu is already armed, the engineers still haven't developed a new Mecha for Zazu to pilot yet. Instead, they gave Zazu a keypad to pilot one of the Vincent Ward, that was stored in one of the containers onboard the Arms Freighter for now.
As Zazu took out his keypad, he felt a bit scared that Zazu will be on his own when ordering the Zazu crew around. After looking at the key pad for a while, Zazu turned his attention towards the main screen.
"Attention everyone, we'll be heading towards Cephiro in ETA 5 hours!" Zazu announced from the bridge. "I only want a few men at their stations to watch over any activity from the exterior of the ship. The rest of you can take five! You'll all make it back here in four hours or when I notify you in advance."
After hearing what Zazu said, only half of the crew went to their cabins to a nice long break while 5 or 10 members remained at their stations. After most of the crewmen disappeared from the bridge, Hikaru came up from behind Zazu to check up on him.
"Hey Hikaru, are you feeling okay?!" Zazu asked the fire knight.
"I don't know, ever since Geo is stuck at the sickbay, we really need to find a way to keep Autozam's morale in check." Hikaru informed Zazu.
"Yeah, I know. I can't help but feel a bit nervous when Geo attempted to rescue Eagle in Cephiro's castle three years ago. You know what I'm talking about right?" Zazu replied nervously.
"What do you mean?!" Hikaru asked the young mechanic.
"Since I was very close to Geo and Eagle, Geo almost had me command the ship before he left to go find Eagle back during the time we we're invading Cephiro, no offense though. I never really did sign up as part of Eagle's crew just so that they would give me temporary command over this battleship. I only joined because I just wanted to make sure the ship is still intact, as well as fixing up the damages all around it. Being a mechanic is all I lived for after all." Zazu explained further. "But times have changed. Ever since we lost Eagle three years ago, I was given private lessons from Geo over officer training, and combat training."
"Oh, really?" Hikaru asked, with her eyes widened with curiosity. "Well, we do need to prepare for the worst after all, since we're already on board a battleship. You're not the only one who needs to take desperate measures when things get dire. Even though I was youngest in my own family, my elder brothers still taught me how to fight while training in Kendo because they won't always be there for me when I'm in danger. They expect me to learn how to fend for myself. Every situation that involves danger is always different."
"I know what you mean, Hikaru!" Zazu acknowledged.
"By the way, Geo ordered me to look after you until he is fully healed." Hikaru told the young junior officer.
"Then I guess we just can't do things on our own on the battlefield, can we?!" Zazu concluded, realizing that the young Autozamian and the Fire Knight needed to stay close to each other.
In silence, Hikaru and Zazu turned towards hyperspace while they see the helmsmen steer the NSX while maintaining its course.
In the Castle of Cephiro, Mira appeared at the castle garden while watching the flowers bloom along with two of best her friends one brown-haired boy and a taller girl with pig-tails. As Mira looked up into the sky, she sees birds chirping and the wind blowing through her hair.
"I only wish one day I could visit Hikaru's world!" Mira dreamed.
"Well, maybe if those invaders don't show up again there at all." The brown-haired boy said, who is standing next to Mira.
"Now that you mentioned it, I always keep having those dreams when Lady Hikaru appeared and drove that scary evil lady away." Mira imagined, mentioning the baroness that threatened her along with the villagers that she was with, including her mother.
"The Magic Knights may have been able to save our people again Mira, but we still don't know how long will this war last." The pig-tailed girl told Mira.
"I can only hope that Hikaru and the Magic Knights will defeat the invaders for good." Mira said cheerfully.
"I'm hungry. Can we go get something to eat?" The girl asked.
After hearing what the pig-tailed girl said, Mira and her friends went into the palace to find some food.
On the other side of the garden, Clef appeared in front of the gates waiting for the Autozamians to bring in their loot from Area 11. The moment he was looking up to the sky, he wouldn't imagine how much further will Cephiro have to keep fighting against the Britannians for. Pretty soon, Clef needs to hand Princess Euphemia back to them before the their war with those invaders gets worse.
Behind the Master Mage, several Autozamian engineers were resupplying and repairing his Knightmare since their previous skirmish on the outskirts of Pendragon, along with Ascot's Monolith and Ferio's Green Ranger as well. The moment Clef turned around to face the Knightmares, Ascot and Ferio appeared inside their Knightmare cockpits while going over several functional tests. The moment Clef approached his Archwizard Knightmare, one of the Autozamian Engineers handed the Master Mage an ipad that shows the current status of his Knightmare.
As soon as Clef looked at the Ipad, its small screen shows that both of the Archwizard's shoulders have red flashes over it, indicating that the Archwizard is crippled during the escape from Pendragon. On the Archwizard's back, there was a yellow triangle sign appearing on it, displaying that the Knightmare is low on Sakuradite Energy and needs to refilled before heading out into battle once more.
"Well, I hope Hikaru and the others are able to succeed in bringing in their target from Area 11 very soon." Clef thought to himself. "We're running low on supplies for our Knightmares right now."
For Ascot's Monolith, most of its missile salvos are out of ammo and both of its radium claws are out of Sakuradite energy fillers. While Ferio went over a full scan over his Knightmare, the Green Ranger is down to 25% of Sakuradite energy, most of it in which decrease by 2% out of every shot that its Energy Bowgun makes.
When Lantis checked on his Black Crusader Knightmare, he spotted several cracks all over its tungsten armor due to the damage done by the Perceival during the end of the Black Rebellion in the Tokyo Settlement. Because his Knightmare was left untouched by the Britannians for over one year, the Black Crusader isn't repaired for a long time.
All of Lantis', Ferio's, and Ascot's knightmares are being held up inside the garage underneath the Cephirian Palace waiting to be restocked and fixed up. Unfortunately, because most of the other Cephirian Knightmares was resupplied and repaired first, most of the Knightmare resources that the Cephirian's have ran totally dry in just 2 months. Unless they can find a way to gain more resources from Area 11, the entire Cephirian Army will be currently sitting ducks; it is also the real reason why Geo, the Magic Knights, and his crew went back to Area 11 to meet up with the Black Knights before conducting another mission in capturing one of Britannia's Arms Freighters earlier.
After waiting for one week, Clef is starting to worry that Geo's mission may not be successful. But before Clef is about to notify Lafarga and Caldina about going back to Area 11 to investigate, one of the Cephirian Guards appeared behind the Master Mage to announce a new report.
"Master Mage, we received word that the Magic Knights and the Autozamians have succeeded in securing the target from Area 11." The guard said as he bowed before Clef.
"It's about time they notified us about the situation at hand." Clef muttered in frustration. "I was just about to order Captain Lafarga and Lady Caldina to move in with their forces in Area 11."
"Unfortunately, we do have some bad news, sir!" The guard added in. "Commander Geo is badly injured and needs medical attention ASAP!"
"I'll put in a work order for our doctors." Clef acknowledged. "Bring them up at port!"
"Yes sir!" The Guard saluted as he left the area.
The moment the guard disappeared, Clef went towards where Ferio, Ascot, and Lantis are inside the garage and told them all what the guard said on his report. Feeling relieved that they're about to prep their Knightmares very soon, all three Cephirians accompanied Clef to the port which is up several levels of the palace.
As soon as they went to the floor, to met up with the Autozamians and the Magic Knights, the Cephirians saw the NSX appear right in front of them, with the secured Arms Freighter being lowered down inside the castle courtyard. At the same time, the guards ordered everyone to clear the courtyard as the Arms Freighter landed softly on the ground in front of the palace's entrance. After a few minutes of silence, the autozamian crew opened up the main hatch of the Arms Freighter, letting the engineers move in and gathered all of the Sakuradite Energy Fillers, Knightmares, and Weapons before bringing them all into the garage.
For the NSX, the ship brought forth a bridge connector that stretched from the ship's entrance all the way to the floor of where Clef, Ferio, Lantis, and Ascot are all at. The Magic Knights and Zazu appeared as they were seen bringing in a mobile stretcher, which was holding Geo Metro on top of.
"Good lord, Geo. What the hell happened to you?!" Lantis gasped, the moment he saw Geo covered up in dress wounds.
"I'm afraid Suzaku has gotten stronger with his Lancelot. I thought I was seen stars when he struck at me back there. I'm sorry if you have to see me like this." Geo grunted in pain.
"We really need to get our Knightmares upgraded as soon as possible." Umi told the group. "If Suzaku was able to let loose more hell upon us with the Lancelot Conquista, then Britannia's forces will unleash a more stronger might as well."
"Ms. Umi's right." Fuu added in. "We have to take this up to a whole new level."
"I understand. Get Geo to the hospital wing. Zazu, have your engineers start tuning up our Knightmares immediately." Clef said, giving out orders to the Magic Knights and the Autozamian mechanic.
"It will be done, Master Mage." The Magic Knights and Zazu all said in unison.
As the Magic Knights were on their way to the hospital wing just to drop Geo off, Zazu took the castle's elevator down to the ground level in order to meet up with his fellow crew members in tuning up the Cephirian Knightmares.
In just one hour later... Hikaru left the hospital wing first before Umi and Fuu followed her from behind. The next thing Hikaru has in her mind was to check up on Clef in the war room. On the way there, the Princesses of Chizeta and Fahren appeared from the mess hall. It appears that they have all just finished their breakfast in the Cephirian Palace Cafeteria.
"Man, that cake was delicious." Aska chirped.
"Tell me about it." Tatra gigged.
"Oh hey guys!" Umi called out to the three Princesses. "I didn't think I'd see you all here."
"Well, we may have been able to rescue the Cephirians from those Britannian bullies, but since the war with the Empire is still far from over, we're not really leaving Cephiro unprotected yet." Tarta explained to Umi. "We're just on our way to meet up with Master Mage Clef in the war room."
"I see." Fuu said calmly. "Well, we're on our way to the war room as well. There is still some work to be done in order to keep the Britannian activity at bay."
"Let's go guys." Hikaru told the rest of the group. "We haven't got all day."
As Hikaru ran ahead to the war room, the rest followed her from behind down the hallways. On the way to the war room, Umi and Fuu noticed through the windows that the Dome of Fahren and the Bravada of Chizeta have also docked next to the Castle of Cephiro as well. After looking at the two ships for a few minutes, Fuu and Umi also looked down to see the Chizetian and Fahrenian guard standing in front of the main gates with several Cephirian Knightmares patrolling the battlements as sentries.
Feeling relieved for a moment, the Magic Knights were convinced that their friends from the other neighboring countries are still here to back them up. For Hikaru, she called out to Umi and Fuu to have them keep moving to the war room. The moment they arrive, Zazu is seen along with Commander Topaz, Lantis, and Lafarga outside of the war room. Not wasting any time, everyone entered the war room to see Clef looking at the broadcasting screen 15 feet above him.
The moment the Magic Knights and their friends looked up, they see Nunnally making her speech in front of the Britannians as the new Viceroy of Area 11. Next to her left, they see Suzaku Kururugi again wearing his Knight of the Round uniform. Hikaru couldn't help but feel a bit angry from the inside that her former friend couldn't come to his senses yet. Due to the circumstances, Hikaru has still yet to defeat him in battle by all means. From the other side of the screen, Nunnally's speech is taking place back at the Britannian Government Bureau. Before it could begin, a woman's voice echoed out from the PA speakers.
"Attention. The Inauguration speech of the new Viceroy of Area 11 is about to begin."
Since Zero has failed to capture Nunnally, I wonder what is she going to say to the public?! Hikaru thought as Nunnally raises her voice soothingly.
"How do you do everyone?! I am Nunnally vi Britannia of the Royal Family; 87th line to the Imperial Throne. Due to the unfortunately, timely loss of Duke Colaris recently, I shall be assuming the position as the Viceroy of Area 11 in his place. I may not be able to see or walk, but I'll do my best to support this area with all my heart. So please, help me help you."
"It's hard to believe that little, crippled girl back at the Ashford Academy is actually a Britannian Princess too, just like Ms. Cornelia and Ms. Euphy." Fuu murmured.
"Those Britannians are full of unexpected surprises!" Lantis thought. "Though, I doubt she is much of a threat like Cornelia was."
"This may be unexpected but I'd like everyone of you to cooperate with me." Nunnally continued with her speech. "As your new Viceroy, I'd like to recreate the administrative zone of Japan."
Upon hearing this, Princess Aska, Tarta, and Tatra are feeling pretty disgusted about it. This was due to the fact that when Euphy attempted this, millions of Hikaru's, Umi's, Fuu's people were killed on that day. Even though it has been one year since that incident at Mt. Fuji occurred, they still couldn't forget about the horrors that took place there, neither will they forgive Britannia for what they did there. But for the Magic Knights, Lafarga, and Clef, they still kept their cool because they're feeling a bit suspicious behind Euphy's unexpected behavior. Of course, they did their best not to tell anyone that Euphy is still alive and in exile because it'll just encourage them to chase after the 3rd Princess of Britannia all the way to the ends of the world.
Upon hearing that Nunnally wished to have the Elevens call themselves Japanese, the Magic Knights also wished that they helped Zero capture Nunnally when they still have the chance. Unfortunately, since they missed that opportunity during their battle when Upson's fleet at the pacific, they won't be facing Viceroy Nunnally in person anytime soon. As of now, they're not sure if they can trust Princess Nunnally with that kind of decision because they're all afraid that all of Cephiro and Japan will be fall into another blood bath again.
"Even when that tragic misunderstanding occurred last year at Mt. Fuji, I do not believe that the attempt to establish that zone is a mistake. I also wish to convince the Cephirians and their allies to at least end their conflict with the Empire with peaceful terms. Therefore, I wish to convince all natives and citizens to live in a gentler world."
"GENTLER WORLD MY ASS!" Tarta hissed as she slammed her fist on the table. "She may not look like a threat, but that doesn't mean that the rest of her fellow Britannians won't pose a threat to our existence."
"Tarta, please!" Tatra said, trying to placate her younger sister.
"I wouldn't even dare try to let the other Chizetians anywhere near those Britannians either; I can't imagine a tragic event like this befalling on our people too." Tarta snapped at her elder sister before turning her attention towards the Knight of Water. "Umi, you know what I'm talking about."
"Yeah, I know!" Umi said nervously.
"And those of you Magic Knights and the Black Knights, I wish to beg your forgiveness from the rest of the Britannian Royal Family and please participate in the Zone as well. I will assure you that I will not make the same mistakes that my sister Princess Euphemia did. We can work something out in taking the first steps in making this right for all of us."
Not wanting to hear another word of Princess Nunnally from the screen, Tarta suddenly snapped and charged straight at the screen.
"YOU LIAR!" Tarta shouted as she jumped up in the air.
In an instant, Tarta swung a mid-air kick at the monitor and smashed the electronic with her feet, making it crash straight on the floor.
"I'm not falling for this, not EVER!" Tarta snarled as she tried to catch her breath.
"Sister, please calm down!" Tatra told Tarta.
Ignoring what her elder sister said, Tarta grunted in disbelief as she stormed out of the war room in silence. For the rest of the group, everyone but Tatra stood their totally shocked not knowing what to say to the young princess of Chizeta. The moment Tatra turned towards the crowd, she did an apologetic bow first.
"I'm terribly sorry everyone. I'll do my best to pay up for the damages as soon as possible!" Tatra said to Clef, Lantis, and Lafarga, feeling embarrassed for what her sister just did.
After a few minutes of silence, Clef turned his attention on the map table in front of the Magic Knights and Cephiro's commanding officers. The Master Mage raised his staff up to the ceiling as the blue orb on it lit up. In just half a second, a wide ray of blue light came from Clef's staff as it illuminated the entire map table, making the landscape of the entire land of Cephiro appear before them. All around the castle, they see that their castle is surrounded by forests and floating mountains. Before anyone could say what Clef is doing, the Master Mage makes his announcement first.
"When you Magic Knights left with Autozam to secure the target at Area 11, I had Lafarga and Lantis send in some of their patrol squads to setup with watchtowers in the floating mountains." Clef said as he pointed his staff at the floating mountains at the northern and southern positions of the castle. "They'll be on the lookout for any enemy activity that is 500 clicks away from our borders. Each of their squads has a sorcerer that will use their magic to teleport their reports straight to us whenever they spot the enemy within that range. That way, it'll give us time to have the men defend the wall before they initiate their attacks upon his castle again."
"We also cast several cloaking dome spells over those watchtowers, just to make sure that the Britannians do not spot them in their sights." Lantis added in.
"I hope it'll be enough for them to notify us of the enemies presence without getting caught." Umi muttered.
"From the research and technology blueprints that Rakshata gave us and from the supplies that we secured from that Arms Freighter, we still need more time to upgrade all of our Knightmares; possibly about 3 days tops." Zazu reported.
"We also need to stay in touch with the Black Knights." Lafarga suggested. "They still have yet to find a better place to setup their fort, now that they lost control of the Tokyo Settlement."
"What about Mt. Fuji? Didn't they took over that section after the Britannians stationed there have all been defeated?" Hikaru asked, not forgetting the assault upon the place where the Japanese massacre took part in.
"A lot of things have changed since you and your friends were locked up in Pendragon, Hikaru." Ferio spoke as he appeared from the entrance of the war room.
Upon hearing Ferio's voice, the group was a bit surprised to see the Cephirian prince appear before them unexpectedly.
"Now that you mentioned it, where have you been all this time while we were inside Pendragon?" Umi asked the Cephirian Prince.
"Ever since the end of the Black Rebellion, me and my men were forced to flee along with Urabe's Black Knight squad. While on the run, we went back to Mt. Fuji to have the rest of our men evacuate immediately. The Knights of the Round were on their way to Mt. Fuji to reclaim that section right after Prince Schiezel took you and your friends away from the Tokyo Settlement." Ferio explained.
"You don't mean..." Clef said in a state of shock.
"We did left a detachment of Cephirian Guardsmen and Knightmares behind to defend Mt. Fuji before the rest of our main force launched our staged attack upon the Britannian Government Bureau in the Tokyo Settlement." Ferio confirmed. "They were under the orders of Guard Captain Demeron."
"Captain Demeron?!" Lafarga asked feeling a bit nauseous over where Ferio's speech is heading.
"Unfortunately, one of the Black Knight scouts informed us of the Britannian Knights of the Round will be at Mt. Fuji in 3 hours. So, I got my men onboard Urabe's airship before we took off. We didn't have enough time to get the prisoners onboard our airship so we left them all behind. Captain Demeron stayed behind to buy us some time to escape. For our Guard Captain, he didn't survive when the Knights of the Round reached Mt. Fuji. Demeron was toast, along with his guardsmen squad."
"I guess we lost another one of our own commanding officers then." Clef said, feeling a bit guilty over losing more Cephirian soldiers.
"We did managed to pick up Kallen Kouzki and her Guren in just two days later after we fled Mt. Fuji; after that we all went into hiding deep within a nearby forest to setup camp. For several months, we dispatched a few of our spies to find you." Ferio explained to the Magic Knights.
"How did you find us in Pendragon?" Fuu asked Ferio.
"Our spies managed to capture one of the Britannian pilots who was one a surveillance mission in rooting out stranglers that fled the battlefield in the Tokyo Settlement. Of course, Kallen did a number on that pilot during his interrogation and he finally admit that they took you girls to Pendragon to await your trail for your acts of terrorism. It wasn't easy trying to plan a prison break from Pendragon since it is the capital of the Holy Britannian Empire. Thankfully, I was able to use a magic scroll to turn Urabe's airship completely invisible from the Britannia's radar there. As soon as we reached Pendragon unnoticed, we already saw that you Magic Knights have already broke free from your fate. So, we seized the advantage of taking the Britannians down by surprise, the moment we got closer to you girls." Ferio continued. "The rest, you already know."
"Well, it's a good thing you and Urabe hadn't went through that Sakuradite Gateway back there." Umi said, feeling relieved upon learning what Ferio just went through before being rescued by him.
"But now that Mr. Urabe is dead, we really need to avoid getting recaptured by the Britannians because our luck won't last forever." Fuu said, proving out a point to Ferio, Umi, and Hikaru.
"What do we do now, Clef?" Hikaru asked the Master Mage. "I know we're still here for a good reason, right?"
"Oh yeah, sorry for the delay." Clef apologized as he finally gets straight to the point. "After you went with Geo to help him secure one of Britannia's Arms Freighters, I sent in some spies to infiltrate Pendragon thanks to Princess Aska's aid. They have just informed us that one of the Britannian Royals is planning an arranged marriage to the Empress of China; by doing so, Britannia will be paving way for an alliance with the Chinese Federation."
"That can't be right!" Umi snapped. "It's bad enough that they were illegitimately following orders from an ex-cabinet member of Japan last year. And now, they are going to form an allegiance with Britannia?"
"What the Chinese Federation did last year was not appropriate. This is a pretty much different approach. I fear that if the Empire is able to gain their support from the Chinese Federation, they might try to launch another massive attack with their forces as well. After all, you girls didn't forget that you helped Zero intercept the Chinese Federation last year did you?!" Clef added in. "Diethard told me all about it a few days later after that attack on Kyushu block."
Upon hearing such a revelation, the Magic Knights felt a bit nauseous for their actions back at Kyushu. For Fuu, she couldn't help but think that their effort of helping Zero and Mr. Suzaku during that battle will get the Chinese Federation their attention. Despite their efforts of being honorable knights, Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu may have just started a war with the Chinese people too.
"I'm not that impressed when you girls got involved in a battle that Cephiro isn't concerned with. However, since your efforts has convinced Princess Euphy to order the Britannian forces to stand down from attacking our country, I can't say I was disappointed." Clef continued with his briefing. "Though, the last thing we need is to have another enemy country going after us when we did some damage to their forces."
"Um Mr. Clef?!" Fuu spoke while trying to mention the Master Mage another fact. "They did say on the news that the Chinese government didn't confirm any responsibility over what Mr. Sawazaki did. So, I'm sure they won't come after us since it was done out of a misunderstanding."
"I'm sorry Fuu. But if the Britannian Empire successfully formed an allegiance with the Chinese Federation they'll likely exchange info over what we did to keep Empire at bay. Worse than that, forces from both countries will soon overrun our castle just to force us to hand over Princess Euphemia back. So, I'll have to send you girls in an undercover mission to confirm that they won't use the Federation's power to gain the Empire an unfair advantage against us." Clef informed as he raised his staff over the map, using his magic to changing Cephiro's landscape into a large blue area surrounding the Asia Continent.
"You Magic Knights, Zazu, Aska, and the twin Princesses of Chizeta will all be meeting up with Zero at the next destination which is 500 miles outside of China, along with a company of your best men." The Master Mage told them as he used his magic ring to pinpoint a rally point at where the Black Knights will be showing up at. "We're going to need more time for our Cephirian forces to regain their strength. Ever since the Black Rebellion, we lost like half of our entire Cephirian Army when the Knights of the Round came in. They already did a number on us without even breaking a sweat. So, if we were to face them again on the battlefield, our warriors need to ascend to a whole new level first. You Magic Knights are our only hope left."
"I understand, Clef!" Hikaru said, feeling a bit uneasy about getting involved in dealing with the Chinese Federation again.
"Good, they'll inform you on which targets will be involved in the operation in China." Clef said briefly before turning towards Zazu, allowing the mechanic to make his speech.
"I've just been informed that the Black Knights will be relocating themselves to another destination. Once they're done establishing their new base, they'll send in our coordinates on where we will pinpoint the location of where the Sakuradite Gateway will be sending us to." Zazu announced. "We'll pack up and await until then."
"Thanks Zazu. Everyone, dismissed." Clef acknowledged the young mechanic, officer.
After everyone left the war room, Zazu went back to the NSX to get packed up for the trip to the new Black Knights base; same goes for the Princess of Fahren. As for the Magic Knights, they followed Lantis, Lafarga, and Topaz back into the garage where they have been told that their Knightmares are finished with their upgrades.
However, Umi went down to the cafeteria to check up and Tarta and Tatra to see how are the Chizetian Princesses are doing. As soon as Umi saw them, Tarta was sitting next to Tatra sulking after hearing about what Viceroy Nunnally said on broadcast. Before Umi could say anything, Tarta makes her speech in front of the Magic Knight of Water.
"I do regret making such a scene back there, Umi. But ever since I saw what they did to your people, I almost lost it. I mean, the previous viceroys of Area 11 were just as ruthless and merciless. I doubt that Britannian Princess is going to be any different."
"Well, she didn't seem that much of a hostile when I first met her in Ashford Academy." Umi replied, trying to deny Nunnally's grim future. "She was just a blind, disabled, young girl."
"Unless there is strong evidence that Viceroy Nunnally won't threaten us, people of the New World, I'm not falling for any of her decisions in Area 11." Tarta retorted. "Anyway, since we both missed Clef's briefing, do you think you can tell us what we're going to do now?"
After hearing Tarta's request, Umi briefly explained the operation in China involving the arranged marriage between the Chinese Empress and one of the leaders of the Holy Britannian Empire. Upon listening to what Umi said, Tarta took a deep breath before she and Tatra went back to their ship for preparing themselves to meet up with the Black Knights are their rendezvous.
The moment the lights turned on inside the garage, the Cephirian Warriors see that only a handful of their Knightmares are equipped with Integrated Float Systems, thanks to the Autozamian Engineers and the new Knightmare parts that they have recovered from the Arms Freighter; the same goes for Ascot's Monolith, Caldina's Dancing Siren, and Topaz's newly customized Knightmare.
Topaz's new Knightmare is now seen as an orange Akatsuki Command Model. It is now equipped with a Maser Spear, Tower Shield, MV Swords, and a wrist-mounted energy arbalest attached to its left hand, which is replaced from the wrist-mounted bolt-casters. In addition, several more of Cephirian Knightmares are now upgraded with the same upgraded weapons to that of Topaz's Knightmare; except that they're still painted mostly in blue tungsten armor, embroidered with red linings. They've all been developed from their Gloucesters into newly customized Gareths. Unlike the Britannian Gareths, the Autozamian Engineers replaced their heads with Knights Templar Sugarloaf heads and that their shoulders are equipped with arrow-like harkens. Both of the Cephirian Gareth's hands have dual-wield Arbalests mounted on both of their wrists. Hung on the Gareth's backs and over their right shoulders are huge Maser Spears and Halberds attached with slings. Last but not least, most of their MVS are holstered up to their waists and sheathed into their scabbards.
For the Monolith, Dancing Siren, the Black Crusader, and the Lancelot Blitz, their weapons are now enhanced with Sakuradite, plasma energy allowing them to penetrate very thick Tungsten armor with ease.
After taking a good look at most of the upgraded Cephirian Knightmares, Zazu felt totally stunned by such an awe appearance. After careful consideration, the mass-production of new Knightmares that the Cephirians will be using are now identified as the Cephiro's Centurion Gareths. Before he could say anything about it, one of the engineers handed Zazu a PDA, in which shows that his Autozam Mecha is now ready for him to use onto the battlefield.
"Man, this is going to be so much fun." Zazu said excitedly. "Then again, we still need time to get all of these Knightmare Frames ready for combat so, only one legion of Cephirian guardsmen will be piloting one battleforce of 300 Centurion Gareths while accompanying us during our operation. The rest of our forces will stay behind and guard the Castle until the all of the Centurion Gareths are developed and ready for combat."
"Understood." Lantis acknowledged. "Let's move everyone, we have no time to lose."
In response to Lantis' orders, the legion of Cephirian Guardsmen went inside their Centurion Gareths and proceeding onboard the Bravada and the Dome of Fahren, along with Cephiro's Warriors, Zazu Torque, and the Magic Knights. The moment they went inside the ships of Chizeta and Fahren, the princesses were already at the bridge giving out their command to departure to their new destination, leaving the NSX and Geo Metro behind at the castle.