Although she is now a formidably physically strong woman, Riku’s real strength has always lain in her drive and her determination. When in battle she is completely fearless (but not reckless), and her combat skills are more than a match for any pilot in Britannia. Skilled with both sword, gun and her power. Her combat skills are not her only outstanding quality, indeed, she seems to be immune from the political strife and intrigue which plague the rest of her family, and she has simply never been interested. Her temper, though destructive, can at least be helpful in relieving stress.
Riku has always had a headstrong and powerful personality, and can often behave selfishly or act without thinking of the consequences for other people’s emotions or needs. When not in a combat situation she tends to try and ignore or gloss over problems rather than talk them through, and this is the same with people. She is stubborn to the core of her soul, and an admission of a wrong on her part is prized more than any diamond. She still has a powerful temper when it’s roused.
Riku Li Britannia is the Second Princess of the Britannian Empire, the second daughter of Charles Zi Britannia, and patron of the Elite Knightmare Unit the Glaston Knights. She was born on Britannia in the city of Pendragon, where she spent most of her youth. The first years of her life were made up mostly of boredom; her elder sister Rainbow rarely entertained the thought of playing with her, and she always found her brothers to be either uninterested, simply too dull or weak to entertain her for any length of time. This was in part due to her rough nature, and in part due to the fact that following the birth of her sister Rihanna (as well as having both older male and female heirs to the throne) she was considered unimportant should the question of succession ever arise.
Born with the power of pyrokinesis it didn’t take Riku long to gain a basic grasp of her ‘skill’, and soon she was burning things down on an almost daily basis. Considered too disruptive and too undignified to make a courtly princess, and too stubborn and single-minded to make an academic, she was instead placed on the path of a soldier early in her life. At least her sparring sessions seemed to alleviate some of her excess energy. So she continued until the age of eight and even though she had been instilled with a sense of discipline and strength from her training, her unrefined and rebellious character remained. She caused hell for her tutors and her trainers alike, purely out of boredom and an underlying frustration at being sidelined. Though she always looked up to Rainbow, by the time Riku had become old enough for the older girl to take an interest in her she was already heading into the world of politics.
So Riku cast around looking for a friend. Every one of her peers avoided or feared her, regarding her as dangerous or downright mean (which to some extent she was). It was then she met the young Rein Zwei who had been brought to the Palace by her father. The two struck up an instant friendship over their shared powers of pyrokinesis, and a sense of loneliness. Riku took Rein under her wing, and started teaching her how to control and use her powers, whilst at the same time taking great delight every time Rein would set fire to one of her siblings. The two grew very close, and Riku considered Rein to be her sister in all but name, allowing Rein to call her ‘Riku-nee’ and calling her ‘Imouto’ in return. It was Riku who inadvertently got Rein hooked on soda, and many a day was spent running around the halls of the palace, causing as much havoc as they could. Rein was even granted rooms in the Palace beside Riku’s own, and enjoyed nearly all the same privileges as the young princess herself.
Riku was, through age and experience, always the more dominant of the pair of them. While she never ‘bullied’ Rein, and anyone who did was swiftly dealt with by Riku personally, the older girl did sometimes lead her astray when she should not, ignore her at times, and even in some cases take her for granted. This wasn’t Riku being purposefully mean, she just always assumed that her and Rein’s friendship was something immovable, and thus didn’t always act the way she should’ve as an older sister. As Rein grew into her adolescence and Riku developed fully into her teenage years the pair’s behavior got smarter and more planned, but no less chaotic. Despite often getting Rein into trouble in the first place Riku would always defend her (even if the particular crime caused was Rein’s fault), often to the detriment of herself. It was at this point it was decided that Riku would attend a military academy. The two were more apart than before, but still stayed close, and perhaps even grew closer.
Riku even began to see Rein as something other than a sister, something quite far removed in fact. She never admitted this out loud to the girl, feeling it was both weird and unrealistic, but there was an understanding there. Riku even promised to make Rein her own personal knight when she graduated from the academy, which she did. On leaving the military academy with full honors she appointed Rein as her personal Knight, and embarked on her first military campaign. However, something about Riku changed when she was in action. Gone were the soft edges, the hyper and chaotic girl who had once terrorized the corridors of the imperial palace with her young friend. She was hard, decisive and uncompromising in her approach to combat. For Rein, who had not expected this change or changed at all herself, it came as a complete shock to her system.
Riku took her immature behavior and failure to obey protocol when in battle situations as a sign of complete disrespect and weakness. Even though she saw Rein as a sister, her inexperience and lack of a soldier’s mindset (partly as a result Riku’s naïve decision to have her accompany her in the first place) were putting her and others under Riku’s command in danger. She started to lash out at Rein, trying to keep a check on her powerful temper, but only succeeded in increasing her rage. After one mission in which two men were lost, Riku blamed Rein’s refusal to engage on her orders for their deaths. In the argument that followed the feelings of pent up anger, frustration and betrayal came out, and both Riku and Rein tore into each other. Riku, being stronger, louder and more aggressive came out the victor of the argument of course, but only after saying some things that should have been left and could never be unsaid.
Rein was stripped of everything, her position, her status as a knight, her source of income, her home and, worst of all, her friendship with Riku. The older girl ordered her back to Pendragon and then cast her off completely. Riku continued on her campaign, eventually winning a decisive victory and earning the respect of the Britannian Military. She has been fighting ever since then, moving from conflict to conflict, war to war. She has gained a reputation as one of Britannia’s top commanders, and also as one of its best soldiers. She is a certified Knightmare Ace in her own right, and is the patron of the prestigious Glaston Knights, and has even taken on a new Knight; the brilliant Genshin Matsura, as her own devoted personal champion. Riku commands great respect and loyalty from large sections of the Britannian army, who view her as more an excellent soldier than a high and mighty princess. She can still play politics when she has to, but is just as brash and hard-nosed in her approach to diplomacy as she is to tackling any other sort of ‘problem’.
Riku still has a domineering and powerful personality, and coarse and unrefined as it can be, it can hold the attention of an entire room when she walks in. Conversations go the way she wants them to go, and she has little tolerance, if any at all for people she considers to be wasting her time. She is a passionate person, and it would be a stupid person who would call her unemotional, but she seems to be immune to guilt, remorse, intrigue, rumor and slander, brushing them off as things that weaker people suffer from. An aspect of Riku that has changed in her time away is her appearance. Her hair, once flame red when she was born and then pink during her adolescence, has mellowed to a light purple in her adult life. Her eyes are still red, but she has taken to wearing blue contacts ever since her fight with Rein all those years ago for reasons only she could explain. Physically she has finally grown into a fine figure of a woman, tall and full bodied, which has only made her even more formidable.
Riku doesn’t like to think about Rein, or how she treated her. She is glad that Rein managed to come back from the state she left her in, but will still refuse to acknowledge she did anything wrong to anyone except herself in private. Deep down, she still has feelings for the girl, and there is a part of her that wants to say sorry. Not that she could ever bring herself to do so. Someone who did benefit from Rein’s fall was Riku’s younger sister, and only full sister, Chikage Li Britannia. The loss of Rein made Riku realise that she should pay more attention to her own flesh and blood. She is the only sibling Riku makes regular enquiry after, or even talks to. Whenever she can, she’ll try and spend time with the younger girl, teaching her, but also trying not to be too overbearing. It was her who helped Chikage free Seiryu Touketsu from prison, and secure him training with the Glaston Knights. Like with Rein, perhaps even more so, Riku is very protective of Chikage, and trusts Seiryu to look after her, on the understanding that if he doesn’t she will personally flay him alive.
She is currently still on some campaign or other, earning more medals and trying to spend as much time away from the madness of Pendragon and her family (with the exception of Chikage) as possible. Riku pilots her own customised Gloucester, called the Firedrake, which she always takes into battle. It is equipped with heavier armour than a standard Gloucester, and a few pyro-based weapons, along with an improved version of the Maser Vibration Sword which serves as its main armament.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
- Pyrokinesis - Riku, like Rein and Urufu, possess the ability to summon and control fire at will. Although the fire she summons is not as intense as that of her comrades, being only of red and orange flame, her skill with manipulating makes up for this lack of power. Indeed, it was her who taught Rein the basic skills of the power when she was younger, and her own expertise has only increased since then.
- Knightmare Commander - Riku’s reputation as a fearsome Knightmare pilot is well deserved. She is a certified ace with a high kill record, and is fearless in battle. Her tactical skills on the field of battle are some of the best in Britannia.
- Swordmaster - Riku has always been adept in the use of a blade. She has often dueled outside of Knightmare Frames to prove a point, and to this day maintains a respectable reputation as an honorary master of the Britannia school of Swordsmanship. Her sword was made specially for her, and carries the name of ‘Firebrand’.