Steel in Hand, We Defend Storyline

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Episode 1[edit | edit source]

Steel in Hand, We Defend - Episode 1
That day, we swore an oath.
All we wanted was a blissful world filled with laughter and joy.
We hereby swear to defend the setting Scarlet and hold in our hearts the Flames to manifest our iron will!
Our blades we wield only to protect the happiness of the people!
And I promise to always support these two rash, reckless idiots.
We vow now and forevermore to be the defenders of the Scarlet Flame!
Here, we swear that our iron will shall stand indomitable in the face of hardship in order to ensure the joy and laughter of the people!
We swore it. I am certain we did—but then...
What am I doing?
...
Gerald? What's wrong?
...
Testing, testing, one, two, three! Calling for Gerald! Come on, I know you can hear me.
How can you be so...lighthearted?
How can you look so scary? Also, what's up? Pretty sure I asked you first!
It has nothing to do with you.
There you go again, trying to shoulder all your burdens on your own. I bet you were thinking about Vettel. Am I right?
...
I knew it! Bull's eye. Remember what I told you? Brooding looks good on you but it won't do you any good!
I'm not brooding! And I certainly wouldn't be caught dead wasting my time thinking about a traitor!
He chose a different path, but only because he wanted to make as many people smile as he could.
At least joining the Holy Guard would do you a lot better than roaming around Envylia sulking. It'd definitely help make you stronger, too!
S-sulking?! We of the Scarlet Legion are undertaking meaningful endeavors across the—!
I know, I know. We're doing great things. Isn't that good enough?
Well... No one is really that interested in asking the Scarlet Legion to do anything yet, though.
But that just proves that Envylia is currently at peace.
We do get requests to eliminate bandits and such, from time to time. Envylia has yet to fully find its feet as a country, and until it does, one can expect that crafty fellows on the lookout for opportunities will be lurking about.
True enough. Taking down people like that is definitely part of carrying out your oath.
Exactly. It is essential. You see? It has nothing to do with Vettel.
There you go, mentioning him again.
Hush.
Look at you, getting all flustered.
Wha—?! I am not getting flustered! I am perfectly calm!
...
...
I was, in fact, flustered.
I was aware of that much.
The requests that arrived for our Scarlet Legion were few and far between. That fact alone made things difficult. I still couldn't be sure of anything.
Was forming the Scarlet Legion really the right thing to do?
Would this path really allow me to carry out my oath? Would Vettel leave me in the dust?
Lately, I have found myself frequently reminded of my father's words.
Those words I admired so much, spoken by the man I felt I ought to surpass...
Dad, tell me the story one more time!

Gerald's Father

You really like this one, don't you, son? I'm surprised war is so interesting to a young man like yourself.
It's not because I like war or anything. I just love hearing your stories!
You're always doing everything you can to fight for people!
Listening to your stories, all I can think about is how cool knights are!
They're always fighting so hard for so many people!
When I grow up, I want to be a strong and worthy knight just like you, dad!

Gerald's Father

It takes more than excellent swordsmanship to be a strong and worthy knight, my son.


Huh?! Really? Why?
Shut up, Natalie!
Gerald's Father
Hahahahah! Leave her be, son. I think she should hear this, too.
A strong and worthy knight must have a solid heart, technique, and physique.
If it's a one-on-one fight, strength is probably enough to win the day.
However, when it comes to an order of knights going up against another organization, they—and especially their commander—need more to find their way onto the path to victory.
You're talking about your big battle!

Gerald's Father

Hahahahah! I suppose I am. We only won that one because I analyzed the enemy's tactics and dissected their strategy to figure out what their ultimate goal was.


Dissected? What's that? I wanna try!
Natalie! Cut it out!


What'd I do?! Why do you always get so angry at me?! I'll dissect you!

Gerald's Father

Hahahahah! You've got spirit, kid.


Yeah! I've got spirit, so lemme dissect!
Argh! Natalie!

Gerald's Father

Hahahah! You two get along so well. But forget about dissection for a second. See, what I was trying to do was teach you about analysis. On the field of battle, pure analysis can be your strongest ally.
Got it! I'm gonna work so hard, dad. I wanna be just like you!

Gerald's Father

Really, now? In that case, there's one more thing I have to tell you.
What is it?

Gerald's Father

Ask yourself this: what do I want to protect?
Huh?
Gerald's Father
Having something to protect is what will make you strong.
For example, what I want to protect in this world is you. You and your mother. That is what centers me. It gives me the willpower I need to fight to protect everything, as a knight should.
So, ask yourself. What is it you want to protect?
I...I wanna protect...
Present...
What're you doing, Gerald? Don't think too hard or you'll get wrinkles!
N-no I won't! Leave me alone!
Oops! Gerald, your hair is sparking again! It's like it's full of lightning!
You're being ridiculous.
You know, you've always been sensitive. The little things always get to you, don't they?
Just look at yourself! You're all sparky! It's painful to look at!
I can't remember the last time I saw you smile. Or heard you laugh!
Hmph.
So let me dissect you—analyze you!
No, thank you!

Scarlet Legionnaire

Brother Gerald! A group of monsters is attacking a nearby village!

Monsters!
Everyone, move out!
Right!
After Battle...

Scarlet Legionnaire

We have evacuated the villagers. However, we are severely outnumbered by these monsters.
Nngh!
The monsters surround Gerald.

Scarlet Legionnaire

Brother Gerald...!
Don't think about the numbers! Just focus on bringing down the monster in front of you while I draw the bulk of the horde away from here!

Scarlet Legionnaire

Taking them on alone is too reckless! Surely there is something else that can be—!
No! This is the only way we can...nnnghh!
Gerald! No!
We must protect the village! Compared to what could be lost if we falter, a wound like this is nothing!
If I cannot accomplish this, I'm not... I'm...!
Gerald...
Sometime later...
Ack!
Are you all right?
I'm fine. See to the other members first.
I already have. You're the only one left who needs my attention.
I see. Good.
Thanks to that reckless move you pulled, treatment's going to take a little while. It'll be dark before I finish.
That's fine. Whatever it takes for me to be ready to fight another day.
Mhm. You know, you keep fighting like this, and you won't be around to welcome Vettel back. He'll only have your gravestone to talk to.
...
Hmm?
What makes you think I am waiting for him to return? He'll return when he returns.
Your head's sparking again.
Hmph.
Why don't we go eat something sweet?
What? Why?
I was just thinking it might be a nice change of pace. Besides, I could go for some dessert.
You know I don't have time for frivolous things like that.
Gerald walks away.
Hey! Where do you think you're going?! I haven't even finished patching you up! Haa... What am I going to do with him?

Episode 2[edit | edit source]

Steel in Hand, We Defend - Episode 2
I feel uneasy.
About what? I'm not entirely sure, but a vague, indistinct unease lingers at the back of my mind.
Ahh, that's it!
I feel uneasy because I am unsure. I am flustered because of all that I don't know.
Being so shaken makes me feel incredibly small.
Where do all of these feelings come from?
A Vision of Vettel appears in the background
Even as I ask myself that question, the answer rises to the forefront of my mind, taking a most familiar form.
His.
So bright it hurts to look at it.
Forgetting about what I ought to protect...
What is it that I want to protect?
Gerald? Gerald! Are you even listening to me?!
What is it?
Urgh! As I was saying, we're here! At the ruins? Where the bandits from the request are based? Is any of this ringing any bells?
Yes... Right.
Gerald! This is the first request we've gotten in a long while, so pull yourself together! You're not acting like yourself.
I know what I need to do. Everybody ready? Then it's time. We're going in!
Later...
A few bandits walks within the ruins.
There are fewer here than we expected. Are the rest hiding somewhere?
It doesn't matter. Our plan doesn't change.
We will shortly be entering the bandits' base to eradicate them, as per the request we received. I will draw them out to give you the chance you need to crush every last one of them.
G-Gerald! Why?!
Here I go! Together, we will complete this request, and what's more...
We will make the name of our Scarlet Legion known throughout the entirety of Envylia!
Gerald...
After Battle...
The two bandits surrounds Gerald as they attack him.

Thief A

Who the hell is this maniac attacking us?!
Rather than defending or evading...
It's more effective to commit to a frontal assault!
He shouted as he pushes the two bandits back.

Thief B

H-he's a monster! He ain't human!
Gerald walks over to the thiefs
Prepare to meet your maker.
He says as he grips his gunlance

Thief C

S-stay your blade! I yield! Spare me, please, I beg you!
I cannot.
Natalie hurriedly rushes towards Gerald.
Gerald! Wait!
You would stop me?
They've surrendered! What's the point of killing them? Shouldn't we arrest them and hand them over to the Envylian Guard?
If we did that, it would fail to make this a hallmark achievement for the Scarlet Legion.
We must finish them off ourselves.
G-Gerald? What are you saying?
Who cares about what this achieves for the Legion? You didn't create it to win accolades!
The Scarlet Legion was formed in order to carry out the oath you made, wasn't it? So just...calm down!
You don't understand!
The thiefs quickly runs away as the two talked.
Tch...
Gerald clicked his tongue as he steps forward.
Where are you going?!
I will pursue those who fled. You lot! Follow me.
The Scarlet Legionnaire follows behind.
You're wounded. Let me—
Natalie walks closer to Gerald.
If they escape, the entire mission will be a failure. I must hurry.
He brushes off Natalie as he rushes out.
Gerald!

Episode 3[edit | edit source]

Steel in Hand, We Defend - Episode 3
After Battle...
They're really good at hiding in the shadows at this late hour. However, I won't let them escape.
I will find them. All of them.
...
Awhile ago...
If we did that, it would fail to make this a hallmark achievement for the Scarlet Legion.
Present...
(Why did I say something like that?)
Natalie walks up to Gerald.
Gerald...
What is it now?
Your wounds... I still haven't treated them.
Right.
Natalie walks closer to Gerald as she treats his wounds.
You really are far too reckless.
Gerald? Why did you say what you did?
I...
Was your head sparking?
What does that have to do with anything?
Nothing, really. I don't have to analyze you to know that it can't be fixed.
Still... I want to do something for you. It hurts to see you like this.
You're always overdoing it, Gerald.
In the past...
I can walk by myself on my own two feet, thank you! Put me down right now! You're embarrassing me!
Just let me carry you. It's your own fault.
I had to go all-out if I was going to beat you! I have to do whatever it takes to keep up with you!
Well, injuring your leg isn't going to get you anywhere, is it? Vettel went to get the first-aid kit, so I guess that's it for us for today.
Heheh. Good!
What're you snickering about?
Aww. Don't be mean.
It's just...you've changed since you started training with Vettel.
You think so?
You've always thought that you were the only one willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how reckless.
But Vettel is even more reckless than you are, so your hair keeps sparking like crazy and I don't think it's ever going to stop.
You might be right.
Huh? Wait... It stopped!
It's nothing to worry about.
Hmm... Maybe if I work harder to study medicine, one day I'll be able to analyze you through dissection and figure you out?
If that's a joke, it isn't funny.
I might be able to tend to your injuries, but I can't do anything about your sparkiness. A thorough physical analysis is what's called for here.
You know, that's not really sounding like a joke.
I want to help you, Gerald. So, what do you say? Will you lie down on my operating table, for science?
Hahah. I'm afraid I'll have to pass.
I won't tell you not to be reckless, or to stay away from the battlefield because you're not a fighter.
We'll always be together, Natalie. You and me.
Okay.
Present...
I miss those days.
Now you're the one being reckless all the time and I'm the one who has to patch you up.
...
Gerald, let me carry you, too!
What are you talking about?
I don't mean physically, you big lump! You're always trying to shoulder your burdens alone, but you don't have to!
Let me help you. Let me support you. Let me take some of that weight off of your shoulders and carry it for you.
Just like how you picked me up and put me on your shoulders that day.
I'm not burdened with anything.
There you go again, sparking! You can't hide it from me.
...
Would it really be so bad to lean on me? Even when I'm standing here, begging you to let me help you?
I...
Why can't you just be honest with yourself?
Just...bring me some water, would you?
Hmph. Fine! I'll be right back.
Later...
Strange... She's been gone for quite a while.
Somewhere in the forest...
Natalie rushes forward
I'll do it, whether he asks me to or not! He wants the Scarlet Legion to be famous? Done! Maybe if I make that happen, his head will stop sparking so much!
Well, I mean, I hope I can cure it like that. Won't know unless I try.

Episode 4[edit | edit source]

Steel in Hand, We Defend - Episode 4
Natalie rushes in
Hah! Found you!

Bandit Leader

Oh crap! We're done for!
Wait... Just one? You're all alone?
Capturing one little bandit chief isn't going to be difficult for me.

Bandit Leader

Hahahahah! Never would've expected one of you Legion dogs to have the guts to come in here alone.
Without your troublesome captain around, none of you scare me.
I am nothing like Gerald or Vettel, but I chose to walk alongside them all the same.
Which means that sometimes I'm going to go all out!

Bandit Leader

Quit your babbling! Lads, get her!
The bandits quickly made their way to Natalie.
Meanwhile...
Damn it! What am I doing?
I know Natalie better than anyone. It should have been obvious to me what she would do!
Gerald hurriedly rushes.

Bandit Leader

Surround her! She's a tough one.
The bandits began to surround Natalie.
Of course I am. I'm a member of the Scarlet Legion.
(Still, I suppose I have to admit that my plan failed. I was hoping to nab their leader and run back to Gerald, but now I'm outnumbered and surrounded.)
The bandit leader walks up to Natalie

Bandit Leader

No backing out now. Not unless you beg. Heheh.
Not going to happen. I'm not a quitter. I wouldn't be caught dead pleading with the likes of you.

Bandit Leader

Heh. Keep running your mouth, see where it gets you. I think you'll be changing your tone before long. Try to leave her mostly intact, lads! We want her in working order. Heheh...
Huzzaaaahhhh!
Gerald shouted a battle cry as he pushed a bandit back, quickly catching up to Natalie
Huh?! G-Gerald!
You idiot! What possessed you to charge in here alone?!
You're not the only one who can be reckless, you know! But...thanks. I'm glad you're here.
You... Hmph.

Bandit Leader

Curses! Why'd that monster of a captain have to show up?! But..
The bandits quickly made their way to Gerald.

Bandit Leader

We still outnumber you! Nothing's changed! Hahahah!
Hmph. I can take all of you on myself without breaking a sweat.
And that's how it should be.
After Battle...
Gerald gets pushed back.

Bandit Leader

Heh. That's some big talk. Might wanna save your breath, though. Your breathing's a little ragged.
Nngh! Ack!

Bandit Leader

You did pretty damn well for just one man. No idea what made you try so hard against hopeless odds, but it's all over now.
Good night.
Everything goes dark...
What made me...?
I wanted to protect that which is important to me. I wanted to carry out my oath.
That much should be obvious.
So what is with all these...feelings?
A Vision of Vettel appears in the background
And why does your face come to mind?

???

Gerald!
Natalie quickly made her way in front of Gerald as she took the attack from the bandit leader.
Ngh!
What are you doing?!
D-don't just...lie there...
Natalie sluggishly walks up to Gerald
No! Don't you—!
Gerald quickly grabs hold off Natalie so she doesn't fall, but then... Natalie slaps him.
Huh...?
Snap out of it! You're being so stupid, Gerald.
Wh-what?
How many years have I stood by your side? You might not realize it yourself, but it's clear as day to me.
I can see right into your mind. "Vettel would do better." "Vettel is already way ahead of me."
Those are the kinds of useless, unproductive things you're dwelling on right now!
Is Vettel all you care about?! Are you so consumed with him that there's no room in your heart for me? We swore that oath together, didn't we? The three of us!
Gerald, you're such a fool. That foolishness is exactly why you should be holding your ground!
You idiot... You've got to prove that the path you chose is the most righteous one! Force your opposition to believe in you with the sheer power of your will! I know you can do it.
N-Natalie!
Nngh... Getting mad makes your blood pump faster. I...forgot.
I suppose that...makes me a fool, too. A fool who decided...to prop up...another fool.
Natalie! Hang in there!
You are not alone, Gerald. I am here, and all of the Scarlet Legion are with you.
If you still don't understand, then...I'll have to dissect you after all.
H-huh?
We're all...here...for you. Ngh...
Natalie falls unconsious
Natalie! Natalie, wake up!
As Gerald screamed, The Scarlet Legionnaire's arrive at the scene.

Bandit Leader

Damn it! Look at them all!

Scarlet Legionnaire

Natalie! Brother Gerald! Are you all right?
Wh-what are you all doing here? I never...

Scarlet Legionnaire

When we couldn't find you anywhere, we feared the worst... I'm just glad we made it in time.
I...!

Scarlet Legionnaire

Why didn't you tell us what you were planning? You're always charging recklessly into things. Why don't you ever ask us for help?!
I mean, we might not be as strong as you, but we're all members of the Scarlet Legion, aren't we? Which means we're all in this together! Let us help you, Brother Gerald!
I-I...!

Scarlet Legionnaire

We're not letting these bandit scum win! You got that?! Our captain is counting on us! We're all going to live another day!
Show them what it means to be a part of the Scarlet Legion!
The Scarlet Legion cheered loudly
All of you...!
I...
Everything goes dark...
A Vision of Vettel appears in the background
I've been watching others, preoccupied with what they are achieving instead of what I am doing.
But that wasn't what he tried to teach me.

Gerald's Father

Having something to protect is what will make you strong.
For example, what I want to protect in this world is you. You and your mother. That is what centers me. It gives me the willpower I need to fight to protect everything, as a knight should.
So, ask yourself. What is it you want to protect?
What was my answer back then?
Here, we swear that our iron will shall stand indomitable in the face of hardship in order to ensure the joy and laughter of the people!
What am I fighting for?
Is it not to protect that which is important to me?

Gerald's Father

Ask yourself this: what do I want to protect?
Everything goes dark...
What am I doing?
The bonds I have worked so hard to forge, the friends I have made... Are they not plain before me now?
Denying the path that I have walked...
That would mean denying those very bonds. My own friends.
I won't let that happen!
What is it I want to protect?
The answer is clear.
A vision of the Scarlet Legion and Natalie appears in sucession in the background
And now that I know it...
All that's left is to defend it by sheer force of will.
For that is the knight my father taught me to be!
A red aura envelops Gerald.
The Scarlet Legionnaire gets pushed back by the Bandit Leader.

Bandit Leader

Hah... Bwahahahah! What's happened to your fangs, Legion dogs?

Scarlet Legionnaire

No...!
The Bandit gets knocked back by Gerald.
...

Scarlet Legionnaire

Brother Gerald!

Bandit Leader

Hmph. It's all the same to me if another dog joins the pack. Get him!
The Bandits surround Gerald as they attack him.

Bandit Leader

Hahahahahah! Skewered like a pig on a stick! Argh!
Huzzzaaaaaaahh!
Gerald shakes off the Bandits that surround him.

Bandit Leader

You...dog!
Like I said. Nothing's more effective than a frontal assault.

Scarlet Legionnaire

Brother Gerald!
Don't worry. My injuries aren't fatal.
Your captain's not going down that easily.

Scarlet Legionnaire

Understood, Brother Gerald!

Bandit Leader

Nnrgh... You're still outnumbered, dogs! You can't win!
The bandits quickly made their way to the group.
Oh, yes we can.

Bandit Leader

What?
I forgot myself for a while there...
But thankfully, I have friends, good friends, to help me remember who I am.
A vision of Natalie appears in the background
For their sake...
From this point onward, it will no longer be just my willpower or my faith...
But my very being, my heart, the blood running through my veins!
All of it will become as steel, glittering for all to see!

Episode 5[edit | edit source]

Steel in Hand, We Defend - Episode 5
Gerald knocks down a bandit as the Bandit Leader comes up from behind him.
Finally, I understand.
It's because I was comparing myself to another that I grew flustered.
Gerald strikes down the bandit tying to put up a struggle.
It's because I was comparing myself to another that I felt uneasy.
Gerald cuts through the bandit as a bandit strikes from behind him.
It's because I was comparing myself to another that I craved a glorious achievement.
Gerald attacks the bandit with force, pushing him back.
But no longer.
Now I will acknowledge my own progress, without comparing it to anyone else's.

Gerald's Father

Ask yourself this: what do I want to protect?
I will protect Vettel and Natalie, my dearest friends!
The Scarlet Legionnaire clashes blades with a Bandit.</div
To protect that which I hold dear...
Gerald pushes back the Bandit Leader.</div

Bandit Leader

Wh-who the hell are you?!
I'm not the sun, that's for sure.

Bandit Leader

H-huh?
At some point, I started to believe that I had to be...better. Brighter than the sun, stronger than steel.
But I am who I am. My methods may be different, but it matters not, so long as we walk the same path.
A vision of Natalie appears in the background
The path that we of the Scarlet Legion walk is the true path to bringing smiles to Envylia and all the world!
Scarlet Legion, follow me! All units, charge!
The Scarlet Legion cheered loudly as they followed behind Gerald.
After Battle...
Natalie opens her eyes
Hm...?
Finally awake?
I... H-huh?! What's going on?!
You must be pretty out of it if you can't figure that out. I'm carrying you.
I-I know that much! It's just that it's embarrassing!
You lost consciousness. You weren't in any state to walk on your own.
S-still...! Wait... What happened with the bandits?
Incapacitated and bound. I instructed the Scarlet Legion to hand them over to the Envylian Guard.
That's...good.
Thank you, Natalie.
F-for what?
You really opened my eyes.
Heheh. Guess I can put that dissection on hold then, huh?
You really intend to do that someday?
Assuming you keep sparking. Someone's got to do something about that! It might as well be me.
...
Gerald...?
You were right. I've been comparing myself. To him.
Leading the Scarlet Legion, I began to wonder which was more important: strength like steel or a light as bright as the sun?
Well, look at you, being all honest with yourself. And to even admit that I'm right...
I no longer have any doubts.
A Vision of Vettel appears in the background
Perhaps you are more suited to leading the Scarlet Legion.
But I am who I am, and that is enough.
Even if you forsake your vows, I will see them through to the end, the way that only I can.
Driven by my iron will.
The vision disappears...
Natalie.
Yes?
Here and now, I vow to protect those I care for in my own way, regardless of how long that may take.
So, please...remain by my side. Support me as you will.
G-Gerald, I...!
Of course I will, you idiot! Who else could support a sensitive, stubborn fool like you? It has to be me!
Good. I'm counting on you.
Hey... Can I ask you something?
Sure.
How long do you intend on carrying me?! I can walk now! Clearly!
Why don't we go eat something sweet?
Y-you're going to put me down first, right? We're not walking into town like this! No way! Put me down!
Just let me carry you.
Oh...
Something you want to say?
It's just... You're smiling. I haven't seen you smile in so long...
I promised dad that I'd...
Stop right there! Let the memory itself be enough. You don't have to put it all into words for me to understand.
We're going to stay together, right? That's all that matters.
You're right. Let's go, Natalie. Together.