Dragon Knights (竜騎士, Ryū Kishi) are the predecessors to Makai Knights. It is a magical knight that uses power acquired from a Makai Dragon to help him combat Horrors. While it's unclear how many existed, it suggests that Dragon Knight Edel is the only one of his kind or sole-survivor; making him a unique warrior.
A Dragon Knight is created through the power of a Makai Dragon. When a human and a dragon form a bond, they form a symbiotic relationship, in which the dragon will impart the powers of a Dragon Knight onto the person. Once a Dragon Knight, the person will be endowed and enhanced to become something akin to a Makai Knight, a magical warrior that's highly adept in martial arts and magic, but utilizes a completely different armor system than the Makai Knights.
Whereas the Makai Knights utilizes a crafted wolf-themed armor made out of soul metal, a Dragon Knight uses an armor that's made from the body of a dragon. The armor itself is made from the hide of the dragon, giving it strong resilience to magical and physical damage. A Dragon Knight is enhanced and endowed with increased strength, endurance, stamina, speed, magical resistance, heightened healing factor, resistant to Horror taint, alchemy, limited use of magic without a brush, and enhanced senses. What would take a lifetime of training for a Makai Knight to become a full-fledged knight and to match a Dragon Knight's abilities, the Dragon Knight simply goes through a transformation process and emerge as a formidable combatant.
For combat, the Dragon Knight is armed with primarily a straight sword, similar to European-style long swords, but with a dragon emblem to show the sword's origins. When abrasively rubbed with the sword, dragon flames will engulf the weapon for their form of blazing armament combat. A Dragon Knight can sense Horrors and doesn't need special magical tools for detection. However, even without the knight's enhanced senses, the knight can utilize alchemy to reform inanimate objects into animated drones called Giryū (義竜) that can be used for surveillance, combat support, healing, and retrieval tasks. Edel possesses at least 5 types of Giryū in his disposal: Dragon-like Gen (元), iron maiden-like Shō (鍾), crow-like Karasu (鴉), horse-like Gan (巌), and mechanical fish-like Ruru (ルルウ, Rurū) (which sacrificed its life to revived him after mortally wounded by Kagome). A number of Gen and a Karasu can combine into a humanoid Giryūjin (義竜人) that can challenge a Makai Knight.
When it comes to summoning and utilizing their armor, dimensional portals aren't used to summon their armor, it's actively being worn in a dormant form. To bring out its full-armored potential, the knight must stab himself with a dragon fang through its armor to bring out its fully armored version. It is likely a form of blood magic in which the armor bonds with the user. Dragon fire engulfs the knight and the armor forms throughout the knight's body to become a Full-Armored Dragon Knight.
In Full-Armored Dragon form, the knight can still utilize its alchemy and magical powers on top of traditional melee combat. Similar to Makai Knights, Dragon Knights have something akin to a magical horse, but it takes the form of a flying dragon-like guardian lion, giving it an advantage in aerial melee combat. The knight can also utilize a form of blazing armament throughout its body with dragon flames. However, while dragon flames are a fire used for purifying and burning its target, it doesn't have the flexibility of mado flames, which can be used in a variety of instances for healing, spell casting, and magical sensory.
Unlike Makai Knights, the Full-Armored Dragon form doesn't have a 99.9 secs time limit for combat. Instead, the length of use is reliant on the knight's ability to withstand the physical strains of the armor itself; the stronger the knight, the longer he can utilize the armor. However, because the armor is so strenuous, it can badly fatigue the knight, causing him to unable to summon the armor at will without severely draining his strength. This is due to the fact the armor can absorb and soak in dark energies, it can't be purified like makai armors. This causes a form of toxic harm to its user after long-term use. The knight's dragon can help purify the Jaki (dark energies) out of his body as dragons eat dark energies as food. Without it's dragon partner, a knight can still expel the dark energies on their own; the process is often painful and can weaken its user.
One ability not fully defined is the dragon's partner physically bonding into the dragon. If a dragon is too weak, it's partner can become one with the dragon. When this happens, the dragon and partner will share their life-force as well as thoughts together. The human won't have ultimate control over the dragon, but will have some influence in its actions. When a dragon dies, a dragon knight can still live on without its dragon; if the dragon dies while fully merged with its partner, both will die together.
Before the creation of the Makai Knights, there was experimentation with various elements and powers in an attempt to create a magical warrior able to handle powerful Horrors. Unfortunately, nothing was successful at the time and the priests looked to Dragon Knight Edel and Makai Dragon Nova. Seeing their awesome power against the Horrors, the priests intend to discover the secret to makai dragon biology and find a means to replicate their powers. Unfortunately, instead of establishing a peaceful relation, the Makai Order (driven by their own hubris) opted to kidnap Nova and later, Edel to uncover the secret powers of dragons by force. As result, both sides ended up waging war on each other.
In the aftermath of the bloody battle, the dying Nova used the last of her powers to seal Edel and burn down all of her opponents before dying and becoming a forest. It's unknown whether there are survivors from Makai Order's side, let alone whether the said survivor (if any) decided to hide their shame from provoking the said conflict, but in either way but Makai History would remember Makai Dragons and Dragon Knights as a legendary power and that Edel turned against the Order for unknown reasons. The Order then decided to continue the research on ways to replicate dragon powers with alternative methods, leading to the discovery of Soul Metal and Makai Knights.
The Last Dragon
In modern times, dragons are considered extinct and the Dragon Knight has become myth and lore. However, a sole surviving Dragon Egg has been salvaged by the Makai Order and placed in a makai facility that houses dangerous artifacts and magical tools. Elsewhere, Edel, awakened after centuries of being locked away and now seeks his long-lost dragon child of his and Nova. The egg hatched and bonded with Alice Hiromi and she named it Loop. Edel wanted to take his child back, but the Makai Order intervened on his attempts every step of the way. Ultimately, Loop sided with Alice and not his father. Edel was severely weakened after multiple encounters with Zero and Priestess Rekka; he was felled by Rekka and Loop was felled by Zero. The only sole surviving remnant of dragon power is a micro dragon egg, a parting gift from Alice to Zero.
- As the result of Makai Order's brutal confrontation against Edel and Nova along with indication of Makai Dragons no entirely extinct (camouflage ability demonstrated by a deceased member of their own in Moonbow Traveller), the Order will likely doomed to repeat the same mistake should the surviving Dragon Knight and their Makai Dragon partners (if any) eventually revealed themselves.
- Rather than another conflict between Makai Order and Dragon Knights however, the worse implication will likely an argument over how to deal the latter side that eventually sparked a civil war among members of the Order, especially if the story about Edel's fall from grace somehow becomes well-known among both sides thus effectively making the rogue Dragon Knight a martyr.
- Dragon Knights can magically control Small Makai Dragons, an ability priests must take a precaution in countering it.