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«Integrity Knights» (整合騎士, Seigou Kishi?), also known as Integrators (インテグレータ, Integurēta?), are dragon knights that serve as members of Order of Integrity Knights (整合騎士団, Seigou Kishi-dan?), the main military force of the Axiom Church in Underworld. Integrity Knights were originally regular residents of the Human Empire that possessed either extraordinary martial skills, or higher likelyhood of disregarding the rules of the church. Such individuals had memories of their original lives suppressed by the church's leader Quinella through the «Synthesis Ritual» to serve as her unconditially-loyal puppets. These knights were meant to protect Quinella against Cardinal and Dark Territory forces.
After the death of Quinella, Integrity Knights began to serve as the commanders of the newly-established Human Guardian Army to protect the Human Empire against the upcoming war against the Dark Territory. Decades after Kirito and Asuna became the leaders of the Human Empire, the Order of Integrity Knights was disbanded in favour of establishing the Order of Integrity Pilots (整合機士団, Seigou Kishi-dan?, lit. "order of integrator machine riders"). Some Integrity Knights chose to transfer to the newly-established order, others chose to live out their lives as regular residents of the empire, but a great majority instead chose to go into a state of Deep Freeze to be called back to service in the future.
The full names of all Integrity Knights consist of three words and follow a common formula: the first word in the name is the Knight's first name, the second word is the English word «Synthesis», most likely a reference to the «Synthesis Ritual», while the last word is a number of the knight in English.
The first Integrity Knights were actually Underworld residents with a high level of a hidden parameter called «Transgression Quotient». Such people were likely to disobey the Taboo Index and go against Quinella's plan of maintaining the regularity of the world, therefore, Quinella wanted to dispose of them. However, she could not murder them because of the single "Do not murder" command passed down to her by her parents. Therefore, instead of murdering them, she decided to capture them and use them as guinea pigs for her research into a command that manipulates the Fluctlights directly. These experimental subjects had their memories damaged during the rituals and, after the experimental rituals were complete, the bodies and minds of the subjects were frozen: the natural degeneration of their maximum Life was halted and they were reduced to beings existing only to breathe.
After Cardinal managed to assume control of body who also had supervisor level authority and retreated to the Great Library Room, Quinella took up new measures to protect herself. One of them was to create absolutely loyal followers to protect her. The many experimental subjects that were kept frozen within the Cathedral were the first to become Quinella's absolutely loyal warriors, the first Integrity Knights. Later, Quinella established the Four Empires Unity Tournament as a new method of acquiring the best warriors in the Human Empire. The winner of the annual tournament is invited to the Central Cathedral, where Quinella forcefully turns the victor into an Integrity Knight. Meanwhile, the victor's family is awarded with large monetary rewards as well as being bestowed the status of a higher noble, creating a unanimous opinion among noble and wealthy merchant parents to have their children study the sword.
The Integrity Knights are led to believe that they were summoned by the Administrator from the Celestial World at that they have no ties with the world that they were "summoned" to. The Knights who apprehend violators of the Taboo Index have their memories of the action suppressed, so that the Integrity Knights would continue to believe in the lie of their origin and so that they wouldn't be surprised when the former prisoners become new Integrity Knights.
Currently, about half of the thirty-one Integrity Knights in existence are those who had broken the Taboo Index, while the other half are the past winners of the Four Empires Unity Tournament. However, not all Integrity Knights are past tournament winners or criminals who broke the Taboo Index. Fizel and Linel, for example, were born as experimental subjects for Quinella's resurrection experiment and, after the experiment was scrapped, they were allowed to choose their next Sacred Task. Even though they chose being Integrity Knights as their Sacred Task, they only became Integrity Knights after killing the previous twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth Integrity Knights.
Although the Integrity Knights were initially created as escorts to help defend Quinella from Cardinal, ever since the beginning phase of the «load experimental phase», eight Integrity Knights are dispatched to guard the Edge of the Human Empire against the creatures of the Dark Territory, while several more are dispatched to supervise various regions of the Human Empire. However, about twelve or thirteen Knights are always present at the Central Cathedral to defend Quinella. Fizel and Linel, due to their age and lack of knowledge, were assigned to learn law and Sacred Arts as sister apprentices, thus they also stayed at the Central Cathedral.
The Integrity Knights are also the ones who are sent to capture major criminals both in the capital and the remote regions of the Human Empire and bring them to the Central Cathedral, where the criminals are forcefully turned into new Integrity Knights. All Knights are usually dispatched to a different region than the one that the Knight comes from to keep them away from their families to sever the Knight's connection to his/her past.
Armaments and characteristics
High-ranking Integrity Knights are usually armed with Divine Object-class weapons, wear armor and have abnormally large Object Control and System Control Authority values, though lower than Quinella's. All Integrity Knights do not die from old age due to their lifespan being frozen by Quinella, they are all proficient in speed chanting and are able to use advanced Sacred Art rituals, though they are not able to use supervisor-level ones. The Knights use dragons as their main means of transportation and during air battles.
A «Synthesis Ritual» (シンセサイズの秘儀, Shinsesaizu no Higi?) is a supervisor-level Sacred Arts ritual that allows the manipulation of an Underworld resident's Fluctlight. The ritual requires for the target to have their Fluctlight's core protection to be removed, which can either be done with a simple core protection removal command that the target has to voluntarily chant (voluntary Synthesis), or requires special rituals that take three days of casting to forcefully disable the protection, but this is a time consuming approach due to the enormous amount of parameters that need to be set for the ritual (forced synthesis). The ritual can only be used on targets that are at least within the caster's line of sight or, preferably, ones that have physical contact with the caster.
The name of the ritual signifies the unification of the soul and memory of the person.
History and use
The Synthesis Ritual was tested on captured Underworld residents with high Transgression Quotients and initially developed as a command that would allow Quinella to manipulate her own Fluctlight. Specifically, it was first used to delete her own emotions safely, so that the error correcting sub-program of the Cardinal could not take control of her body.
Later, after Quinella found out that there was a limit to her memory capacity, it was used to create a backup of her own memories in the Fluctlight of a young nun before deleting her own unnecessary memories. However, this plan backfired and allowed Cardinal to take control of the nun's body.
After Cardinal took control of the nun's body, which had authority equal to Quinella's at the time, and escaped into the Great Library Room, where Quinella could not reach her, Quinella started using the Synthesis Ritual on her previous experimental subjects as well as any new captives who had broken the Taboo Index or had won the Four Empires Unity Tournament to turn them into absolutely loyal warriors under her command.
The Synthesis Ritual conducted on the Integrity Knights slightly differs from the ones used on Quinella's research subjects. The main difference is that the ritual conducted on the Integrity Knights also involve the use of a «Piety Module» (
As a person's learned abilities are greatly linked to the person's memories, erasing all of the victim's memories would cause the victim to lose their secret swordsmanship moves and Sacred Arts techniques, therefore Quinella only obstructed the most personal memories. The Module is inserted in a way that it would obstruct the links between such memories, thus sealing the history of the victim and instead creating false memories while simultaneously forcing in absolute loyalty towards the Axiom Church.
The Module is inserted in the place where the memories of the victim's most loved person are usually kept, therefore stimulation of these memories causes the prism to fall out. However, the art can only be fully revoked when the fragment of memory that was replaced with the Piety Module is returned to the victim. Just removing the prism will not return the flow of memories to what was before the ritual took place and, in the worst case scenario, might even severely damage the memories themselves.
Known Integrity Knights
- In an alternate Alicization timeline, Edith is a good friend of Alice and among the top-ranking Integrity Knights.
- In an alternate Alicization timeline, Kirito, along with Eugeo, earn the right to become Integrity Knights without breaking the Taboo Index. As of Material Edition 28, the two are still considered as Integrity Knight trainees as they have yet to undertake the «Synthesis Ritual».
- Volume 11, Chapter 6, Part 2
- Volume 13, Chapter 11, Part 2
- Volume 13, Chapter 11, Part 3
- Tweet by the author about the voice actors of Fanatio's knights.
- One of the Oscillation Blades named in Volume 13, Chapter 10.
- Volume 19, Chapter 6
- Volume 20, Chapter 10
- Volume 25, Chapter 9
- Edith character information slide from the Alicization Blading segment during Tokyo Game Show 2019.
- Material Edition 28