Description & CharacteristicsEdit
Phantom Makai Knights (also called shadow-folk) are a covert group of Makai Knights that operate discretely within the shadows. They are without territory; the knights are allowed to travel across multiple territories to handle special missions while answering to only the Watchdogs. They are tasked to take on some of the hardest missions that require the coordinated efforts of a group of knights. However, the full description of their group are not fully defined due to limited information. Based on observation though, there are notable differences and similarities between regular knights and phantom knights.
A phantom knight's training differs from a typical knight. Traditionally, a knight is trained between a master and a disciple until the disciple graduates and inherit his master's armor. With the phantom knights, they are trained as a group by a master and senior disciples. However, unlike other knights, they continue working together as a group and maintain ties to their unit even after they graduate. It's unclear though do they have armors. Only two knights, Eiji Busujima (leader of the group) and Kurō (Eiji's prized pupil), are known to have makai armors; the rest of the knights seem to rely on their makai swords for combat.
The phantom knights themselves bear no identity nor title. It suggests the knights are a collective of orphans, possibly re-purposed parent-less children within their realm. As a group of title-free knights, their merits aren't acknowledged nor known within the makai realm. However, there is some confusion to this matter as Eiji Busujima, bears a title and is a knight of the senate despite no one else in the group has that privilege.
Like any knight, they must purge the darkness out from the weapons they use. Unfortunately, without a purifier (usually provided by the watch dogs), they had to use alternative means. The Barg is a makai beast that has the unique ability to seal darkness away. Because of that, knights have to stab the Barg with their blades to cleanse their weapons. Unfortunately, this method of sealing is barbaric as it treats the creature as a tool, not a living being. The creature is watched over by other shadow knights to keep it contained while handling other missions.
For missions, Eiji organizes his group in teams. The senior disciples act as squad leaders over the lesser trained. The shadow knights have no oversight and are given relatively full autonomy over their activities. With Eiji at the helm, it was presumed he can manage a whole division, regulating themselves without scrutiny. Eiji often has his trusted seniors handle the missions while he goes out on his own, only coming back from time to time to check in on their progress. Unlike other knights, the shadow knights rarely answer directly to the watch dogs. Eiji is usually the one taking orders from a watch dog and command his squads accordingly to complete their mission(s). After the discovery of Eiji's treachery, the fate of the group remains unknown. With Eiji jailed for releasing Eyrith, it was never clarified did the shadow knights ended with him or if it is under new management. It was hinted in Makai Tales that Crow is (temporary) taking over the leadership of the Phantom Knight Order from his master Eiji Bushujima.
Overall, the shadow knights remain mysterious and not all of their methods of doing things are fully clear.
Phantom Makai Knights' origin remained mystery, but it's presumed that they came to being following the creation of Makai Knight. Even so, they operate differently than typical Makai Knights as they move more discretely within the shadows.