Thanks to Slices, Seithr-Kairy, JC, Snakeboy33, Nanoman79, Van the Rogue Soul Drinker, for reviewing last chapter.
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Chapter 3) A knight of Honour is Revealed
The Noblemen and women and people of influence within Area 11 were gathered in the Viceroy's palace awaiting the public knighting of Prince Lelouch's personal Knight. Everyone was decked out in fancy suits with elaborate frills and tails for the men and fancy dresses with foofy skirts, lace and cleavage for the women. The occasional soldier of high rank and status wearing a military dress uniform mingled with the civilian guests (mainly men but a couple of female soldiers of distinction were also present.)
That was one feature that had changed during Lelouch's governship over the forces assigned to Area 11. Not only had his radical policies improved the overall quality of life for the Elevens (Japanese.) But he'd also affected aspects of Britannian society as well (predominantly within the military.) Namely the treatment and promotion of commoners and women (the empires stance on Numbers been well known, less well known but still prevalent the empires stance on commoners and women as a whole.) It was widely accepted that those of noble birth were fast tracked for promotion while Commoners had to show exceptional skill and determination in order to achieve a high rank within the Imperial Army. It was the same with women with but a few acceptations.
War was considered to be a man's game and fighting in one was not generally considered to be an appropriate past time for a woman. After all Knighthood was originally meant for men of distinction hence 'Sir Knights' and not 'Dame Knights' despite this a few plucky Dames back in the age of chivalry rose and successfully challenged that ideology. In the modern age women as soldiers were frowned upon within the Britannian military at least (The Euro Universe having long since been Unisex, while the Middle Eastern Federation and Chinese Federation have their own views and taboo's regarding female soldiers.)
Lelouch did his best to change that as soon as he was able to; He didn't care if you were blue blooded or common as muck. If you were capable of leading a squad, and had the necessary skills you got promoted. if you showed the qualities and abilities required to become a Knight you were made a Knight regardless of pedigree and whether or not your reproductive organs were on the inside or outside. This resulted in the natural ire of the many nobles serving in the military who expect special treatment and automatic respect their titles entitle them to. Even as the Noble borns hated him for it the common borns loved him for giving them a chance to prove their worth.
Arranged along the side walls of the hall were the occasional guard clad in simple Grey uniforms denoting their rank as privates (the only way such low ranked soldiers would get to see the event in person, it was quite an honour.) they each carried a rifle in their right arms held high as they kept a strict attention pose. They had to remain alert at all times (officially in case of a terrorist attack against the prince, unofficially in case an irate noble decides to attack the prince.)
A majestic red carpet cut the hall in half and leads from the main doors which were closed to a series of steps that lead up to a raised podium overlooking the hall. A throne like seat stood here for the Prince to view the party from. It was flanked on either side by lit standard adding decorative flames as the main lighting was provided by elaborate and expensive chandeliers hanging down from the ceiling. The walls were made of marble with white supporting arches. Behind the throne A tapestry displayed the glorious flag of the Holy Empire of Britannia. White, Blue and Red stripes upon which a black shield with a yellow frame resides, on the left side of the shield the emblem of a winged Lion rearing to strike while on the right side a winged Snake coils ready to strike, (this was also the personnel crest of the Britannia family.) A white Banner underneath proudly displayed a famed Britannian saying in Latin "Through war we advance - Through victory we evolve" a favourite motto of the Emperor himself.
All this came together to provide an impressive background for Lelouch Vi Britannia Viceroy of Area 11 to lounge upon his throne lazily; long black hair hanging over his eyes, clad in white for a change with a white velvet robe over a purple hue under shirt and purple hue shorts with a pair of purple hue socks and white sneakers. As he awaited his Knight to appear and take his place before him. And at that moment the grand doors open to admit...Gottwald and Tohdoh!
Margrave Jeremiah Gottwald (Rank of Colonel in the Imperial Army, Chief Commander over Area 11's military force.) with dark blue wavy hair dressed in a navy blue military dress jacket with black trousers, and carrying a sword in a sheath attached to his back hanging to the left. Kyoshira Tohdoh (rank of Colonel in the Imperial Army, technically the second in command over Area 11's military force) with short brown hair dressed in a maroon military dress jacket with black trousers, and carrying a sword in a sheath attached to his back hanging to the right.
They Both enter the hall in union and stride forward determinedly towards their prince ignoring the stunned silence that fell across the room at their arrival. Lelouch merely gazed evenly at his subordinates knowing the majority of the guests would be intimidated by their presence. Gottwald had a reputation for been zealous in his duty to the crown and displayed loyalty that would put any knight of honour to shame. While the nobles may accept a fellow lord been knighted the fact that he had entered alongside Tohdoh who himself held equal rank with the Margrave suggested a double knighting (it had been done before) and the knighting of a non-noble, an eleven no less was unthinkable to them. And yet they knew that the commoner prince would do it if only for the sake of annoying them.
Fortunately for the Noble's fraying nerves the two colonels stopped before the stairs to salute their prince before taking up guard positions on either side of the red carpet (Tohdoh to the left and Gottwald to the right) before turning around to face the assembled guests who finally realize the purpose of the two elite Knights: Intimidation, they are there to make sure no one is foolish enough to interfere with the knighting. (And with two of the prince's most loyal supporters, and at least his most fanatical it was doubtful anyone would work up the courage to intervene.)
Speaking of the high society leeches...I mean Nobles had recovered from Gottwald and Tohdoh's abrupt entrance and were gossiping amongst themselves as the party got back to normal. No doubt relieved that an eleven wasn't about to be knighted by a prince of the realm anytime soon (if only they knew.) Lelouch couldn't honestly say he didn't know more than a handful of people there because he knew each and every one of them (having read every file Intelligence had on them official or otherwise.) However there were only a select few of them worth his notice.
Such as Major Suzie Torres A short red haired attractive young woman with freckles. (20 years old, Daughter of an Earl) She showed a keen grasp of tactics both current and old that are used by both conventional armies, and guerrilla warfare. He'd personally had her promoted from Lieutenant 2nd class over Lieutenant 1st class Sir Alexander Bayville a short blond haired snub nosed young man. (25 years old, the current Duke of Bayville) who while showing exceptional skill in Knightmare combat left little to be desired when it came to the bigger picture namely directing others in such combat. this had caused a tiff between the Bayville's (backed by several old and influential noble families) and the Prince (backed by the fact he's the viceroy what he says goes.) Apparently it had something to do with the rather outdated thinking that an actual Duke outranks an Earl let alone an Earl's Heir. (Some such nonsense anyway.) Lelouch catches her eye and nods approvingly causing her to blush madly her cheeks almost matching her hair as she was clad in a dark blue uniform top (as typical empathizing the breasts) and an extremely short black mini-skirt. Lelouch looks away scanning the rest of the guests (inwardly confused, Women? Civilians or Soldiers he just didn't understand them.)
Ah and of course there was always his Half Brother Clovis with blond hair arranged magnificently, done up like a peacock oozing charm out of every available orifice, more frills and ruffles than half the other guests or so it seemed. Surrounded by no less than a dozen guests hanging onto his every word (most of them of the female persuasion.) This was actually a good thing. Lelouch was many things, (Not all of them bad but there the things that stick out the most.) He knew full well the nobles opinion of him and his policies having ruffled practically every feather in the coop when it came to the high class society. (It was a shame more nobles weren't as down to earth as the Ashford's or even Jeremiah (who was admittedly half-mad himself to be fair) sadly these were the exceptions and not the rule as in were.) Of course this was where Clovis came in as Sub-Viceroy his primary job was to go around soothing the feathers even as Lelouch riled them further. He had effortlessly ingratiated himself amidst the nobles of Area 11 listened to their complaints, their problems, and their opinions and promised to raise them with his brother the Viceroy (never actually doing so as he knew full well Lelouch wouldn't be coerced like that, but it gave them a semblance of control, and that's what counted.)
Not that Clovis had a clue what was going on - Lelouch preferred it that way (he let him throw his parties, and make his public service announcements, and promote art, and design the occasional building or amusement park or even work on those ecchi Swimwear of his.) And Clovis kept out of Lelouch's way unless specifically asked otherwise. At the moment he knew Lelouch had arranged this ceremony to both knight and unveil his Knight of honour to the world but just like the rest (with the exception of Gottwald and Tohdoh who had probably figured it out themselves, after all they did each have a hand in his personal Knights training even if they didn't know it at the time.) He didn't have a clue who had been chosen to receive this honour.
The only other guest worth his notice was Earl Lloyd Asplund an eccentric man but great fun at parties; A light blue/grey haired glasses wearing man currently sporting a multi-coloured dress coat that was as garish as it was hideous with a purple ascot with white spots and a set of golfing trousers to complete the somewhat eccentric appearance. Lelouch could only think of one advantage for the wearer - namely he at least didn't have the misfortune to have to look at it. He couldn't help the quirking of his lips in a snide smile as he suppressed the inappropriate urge to laugh out loud at the man's antics as the eccentric Earl waves enthusiastically in his direction barely missing sending a baronesses hat flying off in the process. It was completely inappropriate, totally outrageous and against all degrees of social decorum and not to mention hilarious! It was too bad he was Schneizels 'man' oh well perhaps he could steal him away from the Second Prince sometime.
Tokyo Military Base
The Rest of Lelouch's Royal Guard were observing the proceedings via Hi-TV's Broadcast of the Knighting with some amusement and annoyance all round. Viletta a light blue long haired woman (Major,) Kewell a brown haired man (Lieutenant 1st class,) Chiba a short brown haired woman (Lieutenant 1st class,) Asahina a dark green haired man with a scar running down the right side of his face (Lieutenant 1st class,) Urabe a dark blue haired man (Lieutenant 1st class) and Senba a white haired old man (Captain.)
Kewell swore under his breath before forking over several notes to a smug looking Urabe "Damned Jeremiah" he mutters under his breath shooting his on screen superior a dirty look "figured it was a foregone conclusion" he admits moodily.
Asahina adjusts his glasses "Me too" he sighs uncomfortably before reluctantly forking over several notes of his own to a smug looking Viletta.
"It wasn't ever going to be Tohdoh" Chiba states calmly ignoring her fellow soldiers digression even if she did disapprove of it "we all knew that"
"Tohdoh would give his own life to protect Prince Lelouch" Senba declares boldly "personally I've always found the comparison between a Knight and a Samurai to be fascinatingly similar in many respects" he smiles ruefully "but they would never accept a Samurai as a Personal Knight" shakes his head in disappointment.
"I was sure he'd pick 'orange' boy" Kewell mutters not letting the point go "Jeremiah's fanatical about the Prince it should've been him" he snarks whiningly.
Viletta smirks "But if Jeremiah took the crown's oath to serve Prince Lelouch he'd have to stand down as Chief Commander and the homeland wouldn't accept Tohdoh as his replacement"
Asahina nods his head still smarting from the blow to his wallet "even though he is the next in line in terms of rank, and since there are no other candidates of high enough rank or experience..."
"...He'd have to be replaced by someone from outside Japan" Urabe finishes "most probably a diehard supporter of Darwinism, who will try something silly like trying to take command over the military" he chuckles at the thought. While Jeremiah was the Chief Commander and did deserve the title, it was in fact Lelouch who effectively controlled or rather ruled the military despite not having an actual military rank.
"And while we're on the subject I thought our commander in chief specifically ordered/threatened and demanded that you never call him that again on pain of death?" a smug Urabe asks a still irate Kewell who glowers daggers at him before turning away muttering something about 'stupid fruit hating Margraves.'
"I wonder who he's chosen" Chiba comments in an effort to forestall another petty fight. "Were all that makes up the Royal Guard so it must be from outside..." she tails of as onscreen the grand doors open to admit Lelouch's Knight.
"What..." Asahina says. "...the..." Viletta says. "Fuck!" Kewell/Urabe say in union.
"Well..." Senba blinks in surprise "...this is unexpected" he comments, taking the appearance of Lelouch's Knight in his stride, unlike the others.
The Grand doors open once more to admit Lelouch's chosen Knight and the gathered nobles grow quiet from genuine surprise as the Knight strides past ignoring all the pointing and gaping and stunned expressions, features remain calm and focussed upon the Prince seated on the podium awaiting his Knight's arrival.
Wearing a blood red military dress jacket that ended at the waist it featured a black stripe that ran up the middle branching into a cross over the breasts (which were covered if heavily empathised, the young lady been slightly bustier than Viletta and Chiba.) and with a black mini-skirt (slightly longer than usual and with a blood red stripe running along the right hand side.) Long blood red stockings reached all the way up to half way down her upper leg and thick black combat boots, a sheathed sword attached to her left hip completed the image of aggressive beauty. She had long flowing red hair that went past her shoulders but was tied back behind her.
Ignoring the muffled and somewhat incredulous exclamation uttered by a certain Baroness Stadtfeld whose hat narrowly survived a certain Earl Asplund earlier on. she walks past the last few nobles and up the steps to come to a stop before her prince. She bows gracefully before kneeling on her left knee holding her right arm behind her back and left arm raised across her front under her breasts "Your Highness" Kallen greets him levelling her gaze on his emotionless features "Lady Kallen Stadtfeld at your service"
Lelouch smiles warmly at his knight showing the assembled guests that this slip of a girl had his full support and approval (although that might just be the uniform it did accent her bodies curves somewhat and he was a healthy teenage boy despite what others would believe.) he stands up and walks toward her coming to a stop about two steps in front of her. "Kallen Stadtfeld" he states leaving of her title on purpose.
"Wilt thou swear to pledge thy fealty from this day on to Britannia" his left eye winks knowingly at Kallen, who has to fight to keep her composure, this goes unnoticed by everyone else. 'Of course not' she thinks sardonically 'my loyalty is to Japan' as he well knew. "and stand as a Knight of the Crown?" he asks her seriously.
"Yes your Highness" Kallen replies without hesitation.
"Wilt thou abandon selfishness and devote thou-self as thy Prince's Shield and Sword in body, mind and soul for the sake of justice?" he asks her seriously (although the casual observer would later claim he seemed to leer over the word 'body' which was what he wanted everyone to think.)
"Yes your highness" Kallen replies without hesitation (taking considerable effort not to roll her eyes at his suggestive phrasing, she knew as a woman people would think she was using 'femine wiles' to gain favour with the Prince, she didn't need it from him too.)
Kallen now draws her sword an elegant Katana a silver blade which has a decorative blood red motif written in Kanji upon the left side of the blade 'Red Queen' near the Hilt guard. which itself was black with the hilt been blood red. She holds the sword out to her Prince hilt first with her right hand under the guard and her left hand supporting the blade in the middle.
Lelouch Vi Britannia accepts the offered blade reverently (Fully aware there were many people in Area 11 disappointed that Kallen hadn't run him through with it, and that most of them were actually in the hall with them.) running his hand up the right side of the blade and showing his approval with a curt nod (aimed at the blade rather than Kallen strangely enough.)
"From this day forth you will be honour bound to serve your prince in every capacity" again with the innuendo "and are expected to hold yourself to the required standards of decorum, duty and loyalty expected of an Honoured Knight. Is thou willing to accept Thy obligation?" he asks her deadly serious.
This was the final chance for a Knight to back out of servitude (In the olden days a refusal at this point usually resulted in the Knight having their head cut off by an enraged lord.) And was generally looked down upon as dishonourable for a Knight to refuse to swear to the final oath after swearing themselves to the previous oaths. (nowadays in a more civilised era executing the Knight for refusing to swear the final oath was considered in bad taste if still technically legal - rather the Knight is commonly stripped of rank and titles and banished from the empire where if they are killed by 'mercenaries' immediately afterwards well that's life.) Needless to say it was very rare for a Knight to refuse the oath after coming this far.
"I accept my obligation your highness" Kallen replies without a moment's hesitation she bows her head briefly "I swear on my honour as a Knight of Britannia and as the Heir of Baron Stadtfeld to serve you in every way possible" damn it he'd got her at it now...Lelouch smirked inwardly knowing full well how meaningless her pledge was, oh well he'd already received a pledge of service from Kallen Kozuki, this was just a public unveiling more than anything else. (hence the pomp and circumstances.)
Lelouch goes back to admiring the blade for a few seconds as Kallen lowers her head in preparation (to be knighted or beheaded depending on the whim of a royal brat.) Lelouch raises the Katana high before bringing it down to tap Kallen's right shoulder lightly before moving the blade up and over her head and down to tap her left shoulder lightly. Lelouch removes the blade and smiles triumphantly.
"I Lelouch Vi Britannia do hereby dub thee Dame Kallen Stadtfeld, knight of Honour of the Vi Britannia line" he proudly declares even as Kallen mouths the word Kozuki at him in secret. he figured they'd used her 'false' name one too many times for her liking.
A group of fierce Rebels were watching Hi-TV's broadcast with interest. Naoto a short brown haired man (the Leader,) Ohgi a dark green haired man (the 2IC,) Tamaki a light brown haired man (the Mechanic,) and Nagata a black haired man (the getaway car driver.)
"She actually went and did it!" Ohgi states incredulously, never in his wildest dreams had he seen Naoto's sister been knighted by a Britannian prince.
"This is going to change everything" Nagata declares sagely.
"Wonder how much that sword would fetch on the open market" Tamaki wonders out loud, having always been the weak link of the team.
While the others react with stunned surprise Naoto Kozuki however merely smirks 'so that's what you meant...' he thinks wirily hindsight always was a bitch. "Hee..." he laughs, his sister a Knight of Britannia who'd have thought? "Okay now I am a believer" he mutters to himself.
Kallen gracefully accepts her blade when presented by her Prince Lelouch and re-sheaths the Katana. Lelouch then signals for her to rise which she does standing up to obscure him from the view of the assembled guests before turning around to face the assembled guests.
(This is symbolic: the Prince has done his part and so for this one time allows his Knight to take centre stage and receive their due acclaim.)
And for the most part the hall remained quiet as most of the assembled guests had yet to come to terms with the viceroy knighting a slip of a girl no older than he himself. (Indeed a certain Baroness had fainted during the proceedings.) And just as disconcerting was the deliberate slight of using an illegal Japanese weapon as the Knighting sword instead of a more traditional Britannian long sword.
'Then again there was always one' Lelouch thinks wirily as Earl Asplund gave a rounding applause of approval (clapping like the clappers with genuine delight.) 'Totally barking mad' he thinks 'but damn if I don't like his style.' And of course with Gottwald, Tohdoh and several of the sharper soldiers joining in (at a more sedate pace.)
The damn only literally broke when Prince Clovis began his own applaud showing his support of the controversial knighting. The assembled guests despite their confusion and disapproval of Lelouch followed suit. Clovis on the other hand tips his half brother a 'knowing' wink clearly under the 'in-correct' impression that Lelouch shared Guinevere's taste in Knights who were usually more proficient in the bedroom than a battlefield.
'So be it' Lelouch thinks triumphantly 'let them underestimate my Knight' after all they would have to take it back after seeing her true power. They would learn the hard way why Lelouch Vi Britannia was the uncontested ruler of Area 11.
Student Council club-room
A group of Civilian students were watching the proceedings with mixed views. Milly a rustic blond haired young woman (Student Council President,) Shirley a long orange haired girl (Student Council Vice President,) Nina a glasses wearing green haired girl (Student Council Accountant,) and Rivalz a blue haired boy (Student Council Dogsbody,) and with Nanari a blind wheelchair bound long brown haired young girl (Student Council mascot.) they were watching (or in Nanari's case listening to) the broadcast on Hi-TV (Sponsored by Pizza hut!) Eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Viceroy's Knight only to discover a familiar face and an absent member of the Student council. (Kallen Stadtfeld Student Council Probie.)
Milly had been interested because she knew the Prince her family been old friends of the Vi Britannia's. and even got to See him on the rare occasion when he visited the academy to see her Grandfather (and someone who will remain nameless but needless to say highly important.) And since her parent's insisted on arranging prospective fiancé's to get the Ashford's into been nobility again. After all - you couldn't get nobler than a prince and he was handsome.
Shirley had been interested because she had a massive crush on the Prince (something which embarrassed her, but oddly enough was shared by the majority of the countries female population and bizarrely enough some of the male population as well.) She rarely got to see him since he usually left the public announcements to Sub-Viceroy Clovis and was jealous of Milly for getting to see him in person.
Nina had been interested because she admired Lelouch he was always fair and lenient but at the same time refused to allow any wrongs to go unpunished, it was thanks to his efforts that people could walk through the settlement at night and feel safe, even with the number of Elevens that had moved into the settlement.
Rivalz had been interested because it involved the number 1 most desirable man in Area 11 (as voted by the Tokyo Telegraph.) and was hoping to get some tips, unfortunately for him he was A) Not of Royal or even noble descent, and B) usually always skint, Damn you cruel universe!
And Nanari...(formally Nunnally vi Britannia 87th in line of succession. but shh! That's a secret!) Was content to hear her brothers voice...she was unable to see him as often as she would like to without putting her identity at risk. And he was always so busy with governing and everything. If it wasn't for his pretend meetings with Mr. Ashford she'd have to go for months without him.
Of course it came as a shock that mild mannered Kallen the student councils newest member had just been knighted live on television. She'd been drafted into the club as she was in to ill-health for anything more strenuous and had the worst attendance record in the academies history. How could she possibly be a personal Knight! And to a Prince no less! Didn't you have to be in the military to become a Knight?
Milly wasn't all that phased 'So that's why you've been skipping class all this time' she mused having seen through her latest victims sick act 'but does Lulu know about your half-breed status, it isn't exactly common knowledge...ooh but he used a Japanese sword of course he does.' she cackled slightly disturbing the others who are creped out by the evil villain laughter. 'I can't wait to interror...I mean enquire about this...Mwa, ha, ha, ha...!'
Shirley didn't know whether to laugh or cry 'Kallen...did you Know Prince Lelouch all this time, I mean I knew the president occasionally met with him, but this is...oh no she can't be his mistress! I'd just die - it's not fair how come I've never got to meet my Prince Charming' she bursts into tears much to the others distress. 'I love you your highness! I really do'
Nina blushed uncomfortably sandwiched between a cackling Milly and a crying Shirley 'Prince Lelouch...Kallen protect him' she thinks determinedly.
Rivalz just couldn't believe it 'awe man how does he do it! Sure she had that frail routine going for her but she was still one of the hottest girls in the academy' can't hold a torch to the president but then who could? 'He's already stolen the hearts of all the girls at school and now he's collecting the girls themselves' he sighs forlornly 'I'm...so...lonely...' he whimpers.
Nanari giggles at the fuss her older brother's actions had caused 'I love this' she thinks 'their all so lively' she wished she could 'see' him again but her eyelids remained firmly shut. 'please protect my big brother Dame Kallen, he deserves someone like you for everything he's done for me.'
"Mistress Nanari" A brown haired woman clad in a maid's uniform with black sleeves and leggings and a white apron top, and high heels, with a white maid's hat to complete the outfit. "It's time for your tea" she announces with a warm and friendly smile, having enjoyed watching the knighting ceremony alongside her young mistress and her mistress's friends.
"Oh thank you Ami-san" Nanari replies gratefully. Miss Kozuki always takes such good care of her, and she used to care for Kallen too. In many ways she was more of a mother to her than a maid.
1 More on Lelouch's pro-Eleven policies next chap, I figured this chap gave me a good opportunity to comment on the other known biases of Britannia namely commoners and women (not counting Cornelia and the occasional elite there seems to be more opportunity for men than women in Britannia's military. this suggests similar discrimination the armed forces in our world suffered (and still do to an extent.) And having Lelouch champion equal rights like this works perfectly since his mothers a commoner (who actually managed to ascend to become a Knight of the Rounds!) No wonder he's all for common born and women's rights.
2 Originally I wanted Lelouch to be all in white (to empathize the white prince image the public see him as.) But honestly I can't stand his 'demon' emperor clothes and so I decided to add in more purple to spruce it up. (In future expect to see him wear a lot of black.)
3 The banner behind Euphemia during Suzaku's knighting displayed what I presumed to be the Britannian flag. And I know in the real world flags don't feature motto's but I figured artistic license...it looks like the royal families crest and all good crests come with family motto's. And the motto I came up with does sound like a popular saying for a nation with a military mindset that thrives on conquest.
4 I wanted to keep you guessing as to who was been Knighted - It was never going to be Gottwald (he's to invaluable as Chief commander, and would have to have stood down from his position to become Lelouch's Knight.) and neither was it ever going to be Tohdoh (That would only cause him problems, he's barely accepted as the commander of Lelouch's royal guard.)
5 Suzie Torres and Alexander Bayville are random OC's they aren't important and probably won't be seen again for a long time. (point of interest: I never stated which section of the military they were in, so if ever I need someone from the air force or the navy I can always bring them back.)
6 Yep Lelouch pisses of the nobles big time (just by breathing alone been a peasant prince let alone his radical policies.) That's why he keeps Clovis around to mollify the kind of people Lelouch frankly wouldn't speak to unless literally forced.
7 Just to clarify Clovis isn't exactly Lelouch's lapdog in this story; he still dreams of one day ascending the throne but see's the merit in letting Lelouch do as he wants and just going with it (if Lelouch gets into trouble, it's nothing to do with him as the sub-viceroy he merely followed the viceroys direction.) and it does give him the time to have parties, oversee his own projects (Code-R perhaps,) drink a lot, paint, design elaborate buildings within the settlement, create (perverted) swim wear for women, and have affairs with nubile young daughters of nobility.
8 Lloyd's outfit was inspired by Collin Bakers Doctor Who outfit. I couldn't be bothered to look up what he actually wore during Suzaku's knighting and figured a man that eccentric would wear something outlandish. (And since Cecile isn't there to keep him in check he's free to run wild.
9 Yep Kewell is a member of Lelouch's royal guard; The purist fraction was created sometime between the formation of Area 11 and the start of the canon series, and with Lelouch in charge been of common descent despite been a Prince he wouldn't allow a fraction to rise in power that could threaten him. So Kewell been a survivor decided to join Lelouch rather than attempt to fight him (politically of course.) I wouldn't say he's best buddies with any of the four holy swords, but he is less racist than the canon version. Even so expect him to still retain his ideals (pure bloods are better...) Even so he's loyal to Lelouch and accepts the four holy swords and Tohdoh (primarily because they could individually kick his ass!) And won't be betraying him anytime soon.
10 YES! I planned to let you think it could be Suzaku right up until the last second where it's revealed to be Kallen! (I always wanted to write a story where Lelouch was a prince and Kallen becomes his Knight. But I could never get my head around a version of Kallen accepting and embracing her Britannian side and as you can see in this story she hasn't she's still Kallen Kozuki at heart!
11 Kallen's uniform is based slightly on Viletta's but with sleeves and no gloves, and a red colour scheme. (Was any other colour an option?) I made her skirt longer than most on a whim.
12 Knighting ceremony subtly altered from Suzaku's (please remember the noble guests are merely shocked that it's a young woman they don't know and that she was knighted with a Japanese blade; her half breed status is unknown by most so in the eyes of the world, she's a pure blooded Britannian of reasonably high status. (Heir to a Baron's title, is not actually a Baroness herself yet.,)
13 The name Red Queen just felt so appropriate on many levels and even thought the sword is a different type than the sword in the game series it comes from, it still feels right. (Lelouch also holds a sword: A modified Claymore can you guess its name? Hint: Tohdoh's sword: A unique Okatana 'Yamato' and Gottwald's sword: A modified Broadsword 'Force Edge'
14 I added the get out clause to increase the length of the knighting ceremony and it seems to work, and the punishment for refusing an oath at the end made sense considering what we know about Britannia.
15 The scene from the Shinjuku district was merely to show my reviewers that Naoto was indeed alive (every story no matter how AU kills him of, so I just had to be different.) But it also highlights a subtle difference -Shinjuku district not ghetto.
16 It surprised me when I looked back over Suzaku's knighthood and saw him obscure Euphy from view, and I hope my explanation for this makes sense.
17 that bit about Guinevere's knights may be entirely fictorious, I think I saw a mention of her choosing knights for sexual favours in a couple of fanfics and got the idea from there. If anyone's wondering - I always count both Guilford and Darlton as personal Knights of Cornelia and I think there really are rumours about her and at least Guilford (she however is a much celebrated military commander and her knights are more than capable on the battlefield - the bedroom I wouldn't know about.)
18 when it came to the end brining in the student council seemed to be the obvious answer (other than Milly who never get's as close to Lelouch as in canon none of them other than Nanari aka Nunnully have ever talked to Lelouch.) I think in canon Milly views Lelouch as kind of a little brother and so does her best to be an annoying big sister to him - since she's grown up without him this time she views him in a more romantic light. Shirley has to be madly in love with Lelouch always but unfortunately comes across as Nina-ish in her obsession. Nina's got a crush on Lelouch (Like her crush on Euphy) for a reason that may be made clear next chap and is still kind of racist but I re-wrote her part to make her less racist than I was originally going to. Rivalz not that he'd admit it is jealous of Lelouch he's all alone in the student council surrounded by girls and yet there all obsessed with Lelouch a person other than Milly and now Kallen they've never met - he's worried that Milly may become Lelouch's Princess, snicker and he's actually right for once. Nunnally makes her appearance! She looks the same as canon but is using a false name Nanarie (which was Nunnallys name in a non-English version of the show don't you know!)
19) The last sentence was an add-in at the final stage - yes it's Kallen's mother whose very proud of her daughter, no she's not addicted to Refrain, yep she's looking after Nunnally (in place of Sayoko who's more useful as Lelouch's Personal Assistant/Assassin.) In case anyone points out that Kallen's mother was a terrible maid - that's true (although who wouldn't be with a dragon like Baroness Stadtfeld breathing down your neck?) But she is however a wonderful mother which is what Nunnally needs especially in the absence of her brother.