This page contains all data pertaining to Sakura's supports in Fire Emblem Fates.
Corrin: Hello, Sakura. How's it going?
Sakura: Um, OK... I'm f-fine. I guess.
Corrin: You don't seem too sure about that. Are you feeling unwell?
Sakura: Huh? No! I'm in perfect health.
Corrin: Oh, I see. Then...um, do you just not like me all that much?
Sakura: What?! That's not true! How could anyone dislike you, Corrin?
Corrin: Every time I try to talk to you, you always seem upset.
Sakura: I'm sorry! That's m-my fault. I'm terrible around people!
Corrin: Sakura...is there anything I can do to help? If that's really what's bothering you, maybe you could practice talking to me.
Sakura: D-do you think that would work?
Corrin: I do. In fact, I'll prove it to you!
Corrin: Sakura, are you ready to start our conversation practice?
Corrin: Then, let's begin. *ahem* Sakura, how old were you when you knew you wanted to be a healer?
Sakura: Uh...I d-don't know...
Corrin: Did you do any special training or studying to become a healer?
Sakura: Uh, I mean, I guess... I d-don't know!
Corrin: Sakura... Try to calm yourself. Just calmly answer my questions, OK?
Sakura: I'm sorry, Corrin! I just get so n-nervous all the time...
Corrin: No need to apologize. Besides, I think I've figured out what the problem is... You let other people intimidate you. Do you have any idea how that started?
Sakura: I d-don't know.
Corrin: *sigh* I see.
Sakura: I'm sorry... Thanks for trying to help me anyway...
Corrin: Haha, sweet Sakura. One of these days I'll get you to stop apologizing!
Sakura: Corrin... Do you have a minute?
Corrin: Of course. What do you need?
Sakura: I didn't tell you this the other day, because I didn't want to hurt your feelings... But I think I know the reason I'm so anxious all the time.
Corrin: You do? Please, go on!
Sakura: W-well...I was really little when you were kidnapped and taken to Nohr... One day, I overheard some maids talking, and they said that Nohr wasn't after YOU. They had originally planned to kidnap me!
Sakura: I know! Later, I realized it was probably just a r-rumor...but I still felt terrible. It was all my fault that my brother got kidnapped!
Corrin: But that's not true! You poor thing... None of this was your fault!
Sakura: You're really kind to say that, Corrin. I still worry that you'll l-leave us again.
Corrin: Don't worry, Sakura. I'm not going anywhere. I'll always protect you.
Sakura: Thank you, Corrin. It's easier to be brave now that we're together again.
Sakura: Corrin, do you have a m-moment?
Corrin: Sakura, you look upset... You're not dwelling on the past again, are you?
Sakura: Actually, I am.
Corrin: I understand. Those memories aren't happy ones. It will take time to heal.
Sakura: Th-that's not what I'm thinking about! After you were kidnapped, there wasn't a single day that I didn't think of you. I always tried to imagine where you were... what kind of person you were becoming... Maybe you were warm and kindhearted. Maybe you were thinking of me...
Sakura: I dreamt about you too. In my dreams, I'd find you again, and we'd be so happy!
Corrin: Did I meet your expectations?
Sakura: You were more than I'd hoped for! From the moment you returned, I loved you instantly. Just...n-not as my brother.
Corrin: Huh?! What are you saying?
Sakura: The real reason I found it so hard to talk to you at first is because...I love you! I mean—look at me now! I've told you how I feel, and I still can't stop talking.
Corrin: Sakura... I appreciate your feelings, but we...
Sakura: I know what you're going to say. That we're half-siblings. But...what if we weren't?
Corrin: What do you mean?
Sakura: After you returned to Hoshido, Mother gave me a letter. She said I should read it if I ever started worrying about the one I loved. At the time, I didn't understand, but... Mother had almost prophetic powers. She must have known how I felt.
Corrin: What did the letter say?
Sakura: It was sh-shocking! It said that we're not blood related...not even a tiny bit.
Corrin: But you and Ryoma and the others... you're all King Sumeragi's children...
Sakura: That's right...but you're not his son. Your mother, Queen Mikoto, came to Hoshido to ask my father for help. She brought along a baby—you. My father knew you weren't his son... but he loved Queen Mikoto, so he raised you as his own. He really did love you.
Corrin: King Sumeragi...must have cared for me a lot to raise me as his own. But if it's not him, then...who is my real father?
Sakura: I'm sorry, but Mother didn't say anything about that in her letter.
Sakura: I'm s-sorry. It was selfish of me to tell you all this for my own benefit.
Corrin: Don't apologize, Sakura. I'm relieved to learn the truth. As shocking as it is to find out we're not blood related, it makes me happy.
Sakura: It d-does?
Corrin: It does. After all...I love you too. Why do you think I offered to help you with conversation practice? It was just an excuse to spend more time with you.
Sakura: Oh, Corrin! I'm so h-happy!
Corrin: Since we're not siblings, we shouldn't hide our feelings anymore. It may be hard, but we'll cross that bridge together. I promise to protect you.
Sakura: Oh! Then I...I promise to protect you too! Just swear you'll never leave me again.
Corrin: I swear, I won't ever leave your side.
Sakura:I've never felt this way before. My heart is beating so fast! I'm yours forever.
Corrin: Sakura, how's it going?
Sakura: Um, OK...I'm fine. I guess.
Corrin: You don't seem too sure about that. Are you coming down with something?
Sakura: Huh? No! I'm in perfect health.
Corrin: Oh, I get it. ...You just don't like me.
Sakura: What?! That's not true! How could anyone dislike you, Corrin?
Corrin: I'm sorry. Every time I try to talk to you, you always look upset.
Sakura: That's m-my fault. I should be the one apologizing. I'm terrible around people!
Corrin: Sakura...is there anything I can do to help? If that's really what's bothering you, maybe you could practice talking to me.
Sakura: D-do you think that would work?
Corrin: Well, we won't know unless we try!
Corrin: Sakura, are you ready to start our conversation practice?
Corrin: Then, let's begin. *ahem* Sakura, how old were you when you knew you wanted to be a healer?
Sakura: Uh...I d-don't know...
Corrin: Are there any special training programs for healers in Hoshido?
Sakura: Uh, I'm not really sure...
Corrin: Psst...Sakura, you're supposed to add to the conversation if you can, OK?
Sakura: I'm sorry, Corrin! I just get all tongue tied...
Corrin: You don't have to apologize so much! I think I know what the problem is... You let other people intimidate you. Do you have any idea how that started?
Sakura: I... d-don't know.
Corrin: *sigh* I see.
Sakura: I'm sorry... Thanks for trying to help me anyway...
Corrin: Sakura, seriously―stop apologizing! I'd do anything for my little sis.
Sakura: Corrin, do you have a minute?
Corrin: Of course! What is it?
Sakura: I didn't tell you the other day, because I didn't want to hurt your feelings... ...But I think I know the reason I'm so anxious all the time.
Corrin: You do?! Please, tell me!
Sakura: W-well...I was really little when you were kidnapped and taken to Nohr... One day, I overheard some maids talking, and they said Nohr wasn't after YOU. They'd planned to kidnap me instead!
Sakura: I know! Later, I found out it was just a r-rumor, but I still felt terrible. It was all my fault that my sister got kidnapped!
Corrin: B-but that's not true! You poor thing! That was never your fault!
Sakura: You're really kind to say that, Corrin. I still worry that you'll leave us again!
Corrin: Don't worry, Sakura. I'm not going anywhere. I'll always protect you!
Sakura: Thank you, Corrin. It's easier to be brave now that we're together again.
Jakob: Lady Sakura, are you feeling ill? You look less radiant than usual.
Sakura: ...Do I? I'm sorry.
Jakob: Were you out taking care of the wounded again, milady?
Sakura: Yes, h-how did you know?
Jakob: No one has a kinder heart than you... But if you tend to everyone but yourself, you'll only wear yourself out.
Sakura: Jakob, these people are hurting...because of us!
Jakob: Even if that's the case, you cannot solve everything on your own.
Sakura: If I don't do something...th-then who will?! *gasp* I'm sorry...that was very rude of me!
Jakob: No, I was the one who spoke out of turn.
Sakura: You know...I think you're right. I am feeling a little tired, after all. Excuse me...
Jakob: Lady Sakura, were you out tending to the wounded again?
Sakura: Yes, I was...
Jakob: You are a gifted healer with a tender heart, but—
Sakura: I know wh-what you're about to say...
Jakob: It will be a waste of your skills if you wear yourself out and ignore your own health.
Sakura: B-but...as a p-princess...it is my duty to look after our people.
Jakob: Milady, please forgive me for what I am about to say... But you cannot heal everyone no matter how hard you try.
Sakura: I-I know... Even if I heal them, I can't save them.
Jakob: I am glad you realize that.
Sakura: The truth is...I'm just selfish! I feel guilty every time I see someone in pain. I pretend I'm doing all this for the people, but I'm just trying to ease my guilt.
Jakob: You shouldn't be so hard on yourself.
Sakura: If you'd excuse me...I'd like to be alone.
Jakob: Did I find you studying, milady?
Sakura: O-oh, it got late, didn't it? I've been poring over these books... Jakob, I have to find a way to get stronger!
Sakura: As the war stretches on, the casualties keep rising... I must help them!
Jakob: Who are you trying to help—your siblings, the soldiers, every last citizen of Hoshido?
Sakura: I want to help everyone! I know it will be difficult...but I can't bear all this suffering!
Jakob: Milady, even a skilled healer like yourself cannot save everyone. If you continue to try—studying around the clock—you'll only work yourself to death. Help some. Help as many as you can, but stop trying to help everyone.
Sakura: B-but it has to be everyone! How could I pick and choose?
Jakob: I should have chosen my words more carefully. I'm sorry I upset you.
Sakura: No, forgive me. I shouldn't have yelled like that.
Jakob: You care about helping people. You shouldn't apologize. We need that passion. You are walking a difficult road, but I am on your side. If there is anything I can do, please tell me. I would do anything for you.
Sakura: Thank you, Jakob...
Jakob: I was hoping to steal a moment of your time, but you're studying. Later, perhaps?
Sakura: No, Jakob. That's all right. I need a break anyway. What did you need?
Jakob: Lady Sakura, I cannot stop thinking about your kindness and compassion. I confess... You've stolen my heart.
Sakura: J-Jakob, what are you saying?
Jakob: I can't imagine my life without you anymore. Please, do me the honor of being my wife.
Sakura: B-but, Jakob, you know that my mission is to heal the hurting. I can't give up now. I don't know if that feeling is ever going to change. I w-won't drag you into this!
Jakob: Lady Sakura, I would never ask you to give up your ambition. You face a difficult path. Still, I hope you'll accept this ring. Let us walk that path side by side.
Sakura: B-but if we get married...I worry that I will only cause you pain...
Jakob: The only pain you'll cause me is if you say no. I am not as skilled as you, but I have some training as a healer. Let me help. We shall walk this hard but noble path together as husband and wife.
Sakura: Jakob, you would d-do that? Are you sure?
Jakob: Without a doubt.
Sakura: I don't know wh-what to say. I'm so touched!
Jakob: Then, you'll marry me?
Sakura: Yes...I will!
Sakura: *sob* It's g-gone...
Kaze: Lady Sakura, what's the matter?
Sakura: Oh...Kaze. *sniff* Um...it's nothing.
Kaze: Now, come on! I can't be fooled that easily, milady. Something's obviously wrong.
Sakura: I don't want to bother you... (This is SO embarrassing!)
Kaze: Nonsense! I could never leave you in such a state. Please, tell me...
Sakura: W-well, I lost...something. (I hope he doesn't ask what it is!)
Kaze: That's terrible! I promise...we'll find it at once. I'll help you look! ...Uh, so what are we looking for?
Sakura: It's going to sound silly... W-will you promise not to laugh?
Kaze: Wha?! Do I seem like the kind of man who would laugh at a lady in distress? Surely you have more faith in me than that!
Sakura: You're right, Kaze. I'm sorry. (I really have to tell him, don't I?!) I lost a...doll.
Kaze: ...Ah, I see. Is there any chance you've had this doll since you were little?
Sakura: Yes...but h-how did you know?
Kaze: Well, it's clearly important. I'm sure your doll brings back many happy memories. Let's start looking! I'll ask around and see if anyone's seen it...
Sakura: Kaze, thank you! You don't know how much this means to me...
Sakura: Kaze, thank you for helping me find my doll!
Kaze: My pleasure! Just think...all that time, your doll was in the shop getting stitched up!
Sakura: I know! Subaki thought he was being helpful. He wanted to surprise me.
Kaze: Ha! Subaki is so neat and tidy. I bet that ripped seam drove him nuts! So tell me. Is the rumor true? You still sleep with this doll clutched tight?
Sakura: Wha?! N-no...! I used to...b-but I don't do that now!
Kaze: Hmm, that isn't what I heard...
Sakura: Who told you that?!
Kaze: Oh, don't be embarrassed! I think it's pretty cute. Lady Sakura sound asleep...her doll tucked under her arm... It's sweet.
Sakura: ...Really?! *sigh* I'm so relieved... I mean—I would be if it was true, which it isn't!
Kaze: *wink* Of course not!
Sakura: Kaze, I thought I'd show you a few more of my dolls...if you promise not to laugh.
Kaze: Have I laughed yet?
Sakura: No... Now that you mention it...you haven't! Here they are. I used to have four, but then I got this one.
Kaze: Wow, this is really well made. Hmm...it kind of reminds me of someone...
Sakura: Hee hee, yes! I have one doll for each of my siblings. Their hair color matches, see?
Kaze: I see... So this one is supposed to be <Lord/Lady> Corrin?
Sakura: Yes... When everyone is off fighting, it's nice to have something to hold on to.
Kaze: They must be very special to you. Do your siblings know?
Sakura: Yes. Takumi rolled his eyes. He thinks it's immature...
Kaze: Of course he does, but I bet <Lord/Lady> Corrin was happy to see this.
Sakura: Yeah...along with Ryoma and Hinoka. Even Azura smiled.
Kaze: You're lucky to have such a wonderful family.
Sakura: Yes, they inspire me to keep going—my brothers and sisters and...you too, Kaze.
Kaze: Thank you, milady. I would sacrifice body and soul to protect you and the others. We'll get through this. There will be peace on the other side of this war. You'll see.
Sakura: I hope so.
Kaze: Lady Sakura. Is something wrong?
Sakura: Huh?! N-no...
Kaze: You seem...different. I thought something happened. You'd tell me, wouldn't you?
Sakura: W-well, I...I was...just w-wondering. Kaze, do you think of me as a little girl?
Kaze: Huh? You mean, because you're younger than I am...? I seem to remember that...
Sakura: No, I mean because of the...dolls. You think I'm...childish, don't you?
Kaze: Not at all! Lady Sakura, when I look at you, I see a beautiful, gracious young woman.
Sakura: Beautiful? Do you really mean it...?
Kaze: Yes! Inside and out! No one has a purer heart than yours.
Sakura: Then...I have something to ask you, Kaze... Would you be my boyfriend?
Kaze: Lady Sakura!
Sakura: When I need help, you're the one I want to turn to. You always know what to say... Even though my problems might be... childish...you always take me seriously. Besides, Kaze, I'm not a child anymore. These are a woman's feelings!
Kaze: Lady Sakura, I've been drawn to you since we first met, but you...you are a princess. I thought I'd have to keep my feelings a secret forever. I love you. Always have! Our stations in life are different, but I can't help it. I want to be the man by your side!
Sakura: Kaze, that makes me so happy!
Sakura: Azura, I was just thinking. I haven't heard you tell a story in a long t-time.
Azura: You're right. with this war going on, we hardly had time to chat. Do you really miss my spooky stories? I'm surprised! I guess you liked them after all.
Sakura: No, I didn't like them! They were terrifying! It's just that once you started a story, I just couldn't sleep until I knew what happened!
Azura: You know, some people actually enjoy being scared.
Sakura: Not me! I ust like spending time with you and staying up past my b-bedtime!
Azura: I still remember. Your eyes were as wide as saucers. You'd be shaking like a leaf! But still, you'd plead with me to keep going. You had to know the end!
Sakura: Well, I was really little then. Don't tell people I was a big scaredy-cat!
Azura: Haha, you have my word.
Azura: Hello, Sakura. Are you here for another spooky tale?
Sakura: No! I'm still haunted by the last scary story you told me!
Azura: Which one was that?
Sakura: The one about the m-monster in the Nohrian castle.
Azura: Oh, that one WAS good! I remember now. I overheard that from a few of the servants... Hanging in the castle was the portrait of a middle-aged man. At night, he'd sneak out of the painting and steal the maids right from their beds!
Sakura: NO! Stop! I d-don't need to hear it again!
Azura: Heehee. I'm not sure I told you the ending to that one... On a moonless night, a maid heard footsteps coming from a dark hallway. Everyone else was asleep, so where do you think those sounds were coming from?
Sakura: I don't know... Where?
Azura: She was too scared to look, so she hurried off to bed. The maid couldn't sleep a wink! When morning came, she rubbed her sleepy eyes and headed to work... Except everyone in the castle was acting odd and speaking in hushed whispers. Then, when they rounded up the maids, half of them had vanished!
Azura: The maid asked around, "Where are the other girls?" "If they overslept, they're going to be in trouble!"
Sakura: Wh-what did the servants tell her?!
Azura: They said, "What maids? We've never heard of them before..."
Azura: The poor maid searched the entire castle, but she couldn't find a sign of them. The maids' rooms were completely empty—as if they'd never existed! Then she remembered the painting, and she knew. It was him! He'd come for them!
Azura: The maid wondered why she'd been spared. Was he coming back for her?
Sakura: Ahhhhh! I asked you to stop! It's too scary. It's TOO scary! Thanks to you, I'm going to have nightmares for a m-month!
Azura: Sakura, if you're scared, you can sleep in my room...just like old times.
Sakura: But I'm too old to be afraid of the dark!
Azura: Haha, are you sure about that?
Azura: Sakura, is something wrong? You look distraught.
Sakura: Telling me that scary story was fun for you, w-wasn't it?
Azura: Well, the fun part for me was watching your reaction, but I'm sorry if I upset you.
Sakura: You know, when we were younger, people used to gossip about you. They said you were cold and aloof. I know it must have hurt your feelings.
Sakura: I wanted to tell them they were wrong. They didn't know the real you. That you smiled and laughed and were really a w-wonderful sister! I should have stood up for you, but I didn't! Now I feel terrible.
Azura: That's very sweet of you, Sakura, but you shouldn't worry. That was a long time ago.
Sakura: I should have told people about all of your good, kind qualities... But I was too shy and scared to speak up. I'm the worst sister ever!
Azura: That's not true! I should be the one apologizing. I can be standoffish. However, I knew it affected you this way. I'll try harder for your sake.
Sakura: You w-will?
Azura: Yes, but I want you to try harder as well. I want you to have the courage to talk to people, OK? Let's support eachother.
Sakura: Of course! I'll do my best!
Azura: Thank you, Sakura. I'm very lucky to have you as my sister.
Sakura: Oh no...oh dear…
Silas: Princess Sakura...you keep making little noises like that. Is something wrong?
Silas: Well? What is it?
Sakura: I-it's just...
Silas: Yes...? Are you sure nothing's wrong?
Sakura: Y-yes...sorry about that. I have...u-um...something very... impolite to ask you...oh dear...
Silas: Ask away. I won't judge.
Sakura: I-I really mean no offense by this... But, I mean, you see... Oh, I can't do it! I just can't ask...!
Silas: Deep breaths, princess. In...out...
Sakura: ... N-no, I can't! Excuse me, Silas. I-I'm so sorry...!
Silas: What in the world was that all about? Should I mention this to someone, or... Well, maybe not just yet. I'll keep an eye on her and see what happens.
Silas: Princess Sakura, I'm starting to worry about you. If something is wrong, please...
Sakura: N-no, I'm fine.
Silas: Then...what were you trying to ask me the last time we met?
Sakura: It was, um...about your condition...
Silas: My condition? I didn't know I had a condition. Rest assured, Princess, that I'm feeling fit as a fiddle.
Silas: You don't believe me, do you.
Sakura: I-it would make me feel better if I could, um...examine you...
Silas: Erm, if that's what it takes, be my guest.
Sakura: OK...this will only take a second...
Silas: I have time. Can I ask why you think there's something wrong with me?
Sakura: I-it's...your head...
Silas: My head? Oh! Do you mean my hair? I know it sticks up more than hair should, but I didn't realize that was a condition.
Sakura: N-no, it's not your hair! I-I mean, yes, your cowlicks are unusually severe, but that's not what worries me...
Silas: Well, wait. We're agreed on the hair being a problem? Can we go back to that?
Sakura: ...That's strange. You don't seem hurt or sick at all...
Silas: And...having established that, can you explain why you thought I might be? I'm a little lost...
Sakura: Oh! Of course...how did I not see it? I think you might be...cursed!
Silas: Cursed?! How?! By whom?!
Sakura: I fear that someone's cursed your head... There's no time to lose... Please excuse me!
Silas: A curse on my head? What is she talking about...?!
Sakura: Silas! I have it!
Silas: Princess Sakura...what happened to you? You're covered in twigs and leaves. Have you been rooting around in the forest?
Sakura: N-never mind that... I brought some herbs that should ward off the curse. J-just lie down, and I'll take care of it!
Silas: I'm sorry, but no. I'll need an explanation before I do anything. What in the world is going on here?
Sakura: A-all right...let me try to explain... This has been bothering me for a long time. The first time I met you, I thought that you must have been ill...
Silas: Why? I don't remember having a cough or runny nose at the time.
Sakura: But you told us that you were my <brother/sister>'s oldest friend.
Silas: Yes. Which was true.
Sakura: B-but Corrin said <he/she> didn't recognize you... So I thought there must have been something wrong with your memory.
Sakura: Except I couldn't find any bumps or bruises. Which left only one explanation... Y-you must be cursed!
Silas: No, no, no. You've got this all wrong. I'm not sick or cursed or anything of the sort. I really am Corrin's best friend. I know Corrin said <he/she> didn't remember at first... But <he/she> figured it out not long afterward.
Sakura: Y-yes, except... Corrin was only saying that to be polite. I-I think <he/she> changed <his/her> story out of sympathy for you and your condition...
Silas: No, you don't understand. I absolutely am an old friend of Corrin's. But we were both very young and hadn't seen each other in a long time. That's why <he/she> didn't remember me immediately.
Silas: Really. Just ask your <brother/sister> or our Nohrian friends.
Sakura: ... So...that's the truth of it? I'm terribly sorry, then...
Silas: No, it's fine. Now that we've got the misunderstanding smoothed out, anyway. I was taken aback, that's all... I'm curious, though... Did you really climb up into the mountains to get those herbs for me?
Sakura: Yes... I-I was worried about what else the curse might do to you... I'm so sorry...about everything... I'll be more careful from now on.
Silas: Don't be. If anything, it's good to know someone's looking out for me. I'm just happy that we're both on the same page now.
Sakura: Silas, did you want to see me?
Sakura: S-Silas?! Do you feel unwell?
Silas: Yes...I'm having trouble breathing... I think I really am cursed this time.
Sakura: I-is this true?! Oh no! I'll go fetch the herbs at once. I won't be gone long!
Silas: No...this can't be cured with a few herbs...
Sakura: Wh-what will we do?!
Silas: There's only one way...
Sakura: What is it?! I'll do anything I can to help!
Silas: Rumor has it...the curse will be lifted... if you accept this ring...
Sakura: ... Wh...what?!
Silas: That's why...it's so hard to breathe... My love for you is so overpowering, Princess Sakura... Every time I think of you, I feel short of breath...my chest tightens...
Sakura: S-so...this isn't a curse, but...
Silas: I'm afraid not... I've contracted a fatal case of true love...
Silas: ...OK, sorry about that. I'll stop kidding around and be straight with you. Will you marry me, Princess Sakura? I know that things are tense between Nohr and Hoshido... But I don't want that to get in the way of you and me. That's why I bought this ring.
Silas: Yeah... *sigh* I didn't think you'd go for a Nohrian.
Sakura: N-no, I have nothing against you! I'm just caught off guard... Oh, I wish I was better at these things, but... I'm s-so happy you told me...
Silas: You...you are?!
Sakura: As far as our nationalities go...I've never thought much about that... But...i-if it would make you happy... my answer is yes.
Silas: Thank you so much... Our engagement is strong medicine. My breathing troubles have entirely cleared up.
Sakura: What a relief...
Silas: There's still some tightness in the chest... But that's no doubt just it swelling from happiness.
Sakura: Hana, do you have a moment?
Hana: Sure, Sakura! Er, I mean... Yes, Lady Sakura.
Sakura: It's OK. You don't have to be so formal with me. When we're alone, I actually like it when you speak to me like in the old days...
Hana: Allllll right, if you say so. But it feels a little odd. You always speak to me in a pretty formal tone.
Sakura: That's just... I've never spoken any other way. It's such a habit for me now, I don't think I'd be able to change my ways.
Hana: You're right, I suppose. So, what was it you wanted to talk about? I'm always here if you need me!
Sakura: Oh, it isn't anything important. I just wanted to chat with you. I've been thinking a lot about back when we first met and got to know each other.
Hana: You mean before I became your retainer?
Sakura: Yes. You were so stubborn... You snuck into soldiers' sparring sessions and trained in the hills and fields. You took the training more seriously than the soldiers who were actually enlisted! Remember all the little scrapes and cuts you'd have afterward?
Hana: Don't bring that up—it's embarrassing!
Sakura: Hehe... And I always had to heal those injuries for you.
Hana: Some days I definitely needed your help. You always followed me and helped me out in so many ways while I was training. Thanks so much for that...
Sakura: It was no trouble at all.
Hana: Oh! But there was the time you got lost in the mountains. I thought you were following me, but then when I looked back, you were gone! It took hours for me to backtrack and figure out where I'd lost you.
Sakura: My robes had caught on a tree branch, and you hadn't noticed when I fell behind. You've always been able to fixate on a goal and not lose your focus.
Hana: I'm really sorry about that... I was so concerned with my training then, I didn't think of what I dragged you into. It really wasn't very considerate of me...
Sakura: Haha, that's not true. Now that it's all said and done, it was good for me. I tend to be introverted... so I was thankful that someone like you brought me to all those places.
Hana: Really? Hearing that makes me feel a lot better.
Sakura: I hope that you always stay the same, Hana. Never change.
Hana: Of course! ...Wait, are you saying I haven't changed from the old days? The inconsiderate days? That's just mean, Sakura!
Hana: Hey, Sakura. Would you like to continue our talk from the other day?
Sakura: Hello, Hana. Of course. I always enjoy sitting and talking with you.
Hana: I've been thinking for a while... You're a really kindhearted person to have spent your time with me. I wasn't exactly interested in all the things that someone like you would normally be. And I felt like, if I could serve someone as deserving as you... I could become a samurai just as great—no, greater—than my father was. That's why I worked so hard to become your retainer.
Hana: When I was young, I promised myself that I would faithfully serve you. I already knew I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps... Your kindness gave me a reason to achieve my goal.
Sakura: ... When it came time to select a retainer, I was told there was no rush to decide. But I immediately named you anyway. The reality is, I had decided on you long before I was given the choice.
Sakura: Your capabilities as a fighter were obvious, and that made you a good choice, but...
Sakura: You were such a young girl; several people questioned my decision because of that. No matter how skilled a samurai, they did not believe you could fulfill your duties.
Hana: What? I didn't know that!
Sakura: They said that a personal retainer needed experience even more than martial skill... And that, at your age, it would be impossible for you to fulfill your duties. I refused to listen to them, though. I had decided, and eventually they gave up.
Hana: I never knew... I'm sorry you had to go through that, Lady Sakura. Thank you so much. But...why did you fight for me so hard?
Sakura: Well, that's... I apologize... I just remembered I have an urgent errand to attend to.
Sakura: Hana, let's continue this conversation at another time.
Hana: Sure... That was oddly abrupt of her...
Sakura: I'm sorry for my abrupt departure while we were talking before.
Hana: It's OK, Sakura. But I really want to know why you fought so hard for me to be your retainer. Not knowing has been killing me!
Sakura: I figured you would still want to know... With how I left things hanging, I can only imagine your suspense.
Sakura: The reason is...I knew I could really trust you. I didn't just believe I could—you'd proven yourself over and over. Because you carry scars from so many times that you got between me and danger. Your wounds are healed, but the scars from those events remain.
Sakura: Like the time I was climbing a tree while we were out exploring. The branch broke and I fell, but you softened the blow by trying to catch me. Or the time a wild dog attacked us and you protected me when it lunged to bite... Each time you were injured. And you did it even though you weren't obligated to.
Sakura: I feel bad for the pain and suffering you've endured in my place, but back then, it told me that you'd protect me no matter what happened...
Hana: So you were feeling guilty over my injuries... Phew, it's a relief to hear that.
Sakura: What do you mean? Were you concerned?
Hana: Yes! I was worried that I may have done something to trouble you. But why wait until today to tell me? You could have told me this before.
Sakura: I guess I just felt uncomfortable mentioning the scars. Bringing up old wounds and reminding you of injuries you'd suffered for me... I saw one of your old scars the other day, and it brought all those memories back.
Hana: Haha, you don't need to worry about that! I wear these scars with pride! To a samurai, injuries in service are like badges of honor. Each one means that I've done my job well and protected you from danger!
Sakura: Thank you, Hana. Really.
Hana: It's all right. I realize how much you care about me now. So thank you, too, Sakura.
Sakura: You'll always be my best friend.
Subaki: *yawn* If I didn't know better, I'd think I was sleepy…
Sakura: Subaki, did you just say you were tired...?
Subaki: Ah! L-Lady Sakura...! Of course not! I said nothing of the sort.
Sakura: Oh, I must have misheard. I've never heard you complain before...
Subaki: Well, I've never felt fatigue before... I doubt I would recognize it.
Sakura: Subaki, when's the last time you got some sleep? Now that I think about it... You were in that epic battle yesterday. We barely scraped by, and then... Right after that, you attended the strategy meeting, didn't you? And I heard you're commanding the rear troops and organizing all of the supplies...
Subaki: That is all true...but as you know, for me, it's a piece of cake!
Sakura: I'm not doubting your skills, but please... don't run yourself into the ground, OK?
Subaki: That would be impossible!
Sakura: I know how hard you work to make it look easy. You don't have to pretend with me.
Subaki: Shhh! L-Lady Sakura...don't speak another word!
Sakura: B-but...! Subaki: I just remembered some supplies I need to attend to. Excuse me... (Subaki leaves)
Subaki: *sigh* This is terrible!
Sakura: Subaki, what are you reading there? It has you so tense, you're wrinkling the pages!
Subaki: L-Lady Sakura! Th-this? It's...nothing... *sigh* There's no use trying to hide it... The rumor will spread soon anyway.
Sakura: What rumor?
Subaki: I accidentally doubled our weapons order. See? Right here. It should say 10.
Sakura: Haha! Is that all? That's OK. It's better to have more weapons than not enough!
Subaki: Only an idiot could mess up something so...basic! This is devastating. My perfect record has a blot in it now. I'm finished!
Sakura: Now, Subaki...I can think of a few slipups you've recovered from in the past...
Subaki: I keep hoping you'll forget that...uh... incident.
Sakura: How could I forget your arrival at the castle? You were so splendid! ...And then you fell off of your pegasus... right in front of Hana and me? It was endearing...
Subaki: More like embarrassing. You shouldn't delight in other people's misfortunes...
Sakura: I-I'm sorry...! At least I didn't laugh like Hana...
Subaki: Well, don't get your hopes up. I will never repeat a mistake like that again.
Sakura: Subaki, I'm sorry!
Subaki: A flawed soldier is worthless! I must take my leave. Excuse me...
Sakura: Subaki...! I think he misunderstood me...
Sakura: Subaki, I've been thinking about our conversation...
Subaki: N-not this again! Lady Sakura, please, let's leave it in the past.
Sakura: But I'm worried about you trying to be perfect all the time. No one needs that!
Subaki: Please understand. I've been destined for the castle guard since my youth. That's why my parents set the bar so high. I had to be perfect at all times. Otherwise, I would embarrass myself in front of royalty. No mistakes allowed!
Sakura: But everyone makes mistakes!
Subaki: Not me. I will not be the flaw in your reputation, Lady Sakura.
Subaki: Your retainers are a reflection of you. I was ashamed when I fell from the saddle. But you were gracious and forgiving. You chose me as your retainer anyway... I swore then that I would never let you down again. I would be flawless.
Sakura: But, Subaki...feeling sorry for you wasn't why I chose you.
Subaki: It wasn't?
Sakura: No. I chose you because I thought you were amazing. You were brave and strong! You were such a hard worker! That one little fall made you all the more charming.
Sakura: Yes! Now, please, stop torturing yourself! There's no need to try so hard!
Subaki: Lady Sakura, you accept me as I am. Thank you! It is an honor to be in your service.
Sakura: Thanks, Subaki. I depend on you!
Subaki: Lady Sakura, I would like to swear an oath to you.
Subaki: Yes. Your speech the other day left quite an impression on me. It would be an honor if I might renew my vow to serve you.
Sakura: O-oh, all right. Go ahead, then.
Subaki: I was born into a family that served the Hoshidan crown for generations. My parents raised me to be a paragon of strength and skill.
Subaki: I thought the only way to make others happy was to perform perfectly...
Sakura: B-but you've learned that's not true, right?
Subaki: Yes. You've completely destroyed my entire belief system!
Sakura: Destroyed it?! I-I didn't mean to! But I guess you're right! I did, didn't I?
Subaki: Hahaha, it's OK. I'm extremely grateful that you did. Those values were a source of pride. I didn't think I'd forget them so easily. And yet...when I'm with you...I want to show you my perfect side... and my not-so-perfect side.
Sakura: I accept your oath and would ask one more thing of you.
Subaki: Yes! What is it? I will do anything my liege asks.
Sakura: I would be much happier if you thought of me as a woman, not a liege. I love you, Subaki. Is that wrong?
Subaki: O-of course not! As your retainer, I assumed you would always be beyond my reach. Even though I loved you, I resigned myself to be nothing more than your loyal retainer.
Sakura: So...you have feelings for me too?
Subaki: Yes! From now on, I will serve you both as my liege and the woman I love!
Sakura: Thank you. I love you too, Subaki!
Saizo: Ngh... I have failed... I might have made it out of enemy territory, but they'll find me soon with these injuries. And I'm too badly hurt to drag myself the rest of the way to camp. I almost made it, but this is as far as I go... Ah well.
Saizo: I can't see in this darkness. If you're an enemy come to finish me, do it quickly.
Sakura: N-no, it's just me! It's Sakura!
Saizo: Lady Sakura? How…
Sakura: Oh no! You're hurt! Wait just one moment and I'll heal you.
Saizo: There's no time. My pursuers may catch up to me at any moment. Go, quickly! You must get back to camp!
Sakura: But... but I can't just leave you here to die! This will only take a second if you'll please sit still!
Saizo: Ugh... if anything happens to you, how will I ever look Lord Ryoma in the eye again?
Sakura: Hee... Heehee…
Saizo: Lady Sakura?
Sakura: S-sorry... It occurred to me it won't matter if you can look him in the eye when you're dead. I-I guess I'm a little punchy…
Saizo: No comment.
Sakura: P-please stop squirming! We need to get back to camp together!
Saizo: Fair enough...
Saizo: Excuse me, Lady Sakura. I'd like a moment.
Sakura: Oh, hi, Saizo. Sure, I'm not busy.
Saizo: *ahem*... Thanks for your help. It was only your intervention that kept me alive.
Sakura: Oh, anytime! You're almost like family to us, so I don't mind helping you.
Saizo: But, Lady Sakura... why were you so far from camp that night?
Sakura: I was feeling restless... Now that I think of it, maybe I knew somehow about your predicament.
Saizo: Hmm. It must be a divine gift you enjoy as a shrine maiden.
Sakura: Whatever it is, I'm glad it saved you.
Saizo: Yes, well.. while we're on the subject…
Sakura: Yes, Saizo?
Saizo: I want you to have this.
Sakura: Ooh! Desserts from the castle town at Hoshido! These are so hard to come by... How did you get your hands on them?
Saizo: I heard they were favorites of yours. So I acquired a few as a token of my gratitude.
Sakura: Y-you got these just for me?
Saizo: That's what I said, yes.
Sakura: ... Heh. Heehee…
Saizo: Why are you laughing now?
Sakura: Because! It's funny to think of you going out to buy desserts…
Sakura: Heeheehee...oh, s-sorry. I keep giggling in front of you. Oh! Instead of keeping them all to myself, why don't I share these with you?
Saizo: N-no! That's all right. I-
Sakura: But there's way too much for me to eat alone.
Saizo: I-I'm sorry... I have to go! *poof*
Sakura: *cough* Saizo...? He vanished... W-was it something I said?
Sakura: Oh, um, Saizo…
Saizo: Lady Sakura?
Sakura: Um... I'm sorry.
Saizo: Hm? What is there to apologize for? It might help if you could look me in the eye when you answered.
Sakura: Last time we talked, you disappeared into a cloud of smoke... I offended you in some way, didn't I? Was it the giggling? I bet it was the giggling.
Saizo: What? No.
Sakura: Then why...?
Saizo: I... um... ...I despise sweets. I get nauseous just from the scent of them.
Saizo: You were making a move to open the box, so I instinctively fled. I'm deeply sorry for the misunderstanding.
Sakura: So that's what happened... I wouldn't have guessed it of such a brave soldier.
Saizo: I'm ashamed to react so strongly. It's not becoming of the high prince's retainer.
Sakura: Oh, I think it's fine! Even a little... cute.
Sakura: Very cute. It's wonderful to see a more human side of you. And it was so sweet of you to buy me something you dislike so much. It's very generous!
Saizo: I'm delighted that you're pleased, Lady Sakura.
Sakura: Thank you very much, Saizo. I hope we can talk again soon.
Saizo: If you wish it, Lady Sakura.
Saizo: Hello, Lady Sakura. Do you have a moment?
Sakura: Hi, Saizo. What is it?
Saizo: I'll keep this short. I am Lord Ryoma's faithful retainer and so could never leave his service. For this reason, I cannot enter yours.
Sakura: Sure, I know. Why do you bring it up?
Saizo: Because I... I love you.
Saizo: Your smile has a strange effect on me. At first, I was uncomfortable with being laughed at. But your smile stayed with me after the laughter was gone... And in time, I realized it was comforting, in a way. All of which is my way of explaining why I've fallen in love with you.
Sakura: S-Saizo... You don't know how happy I am to hear that... You used to scare me a little bit, with your scars and your clothes. But ever since I found out how kind and cute you really are... I started to have feelings for you.
Saizo: That's a weight off my mind, Lady Sakura. I couldn't be certain that you would share my feelings. Although... what did you mean when you said that I'm "cute"?
Sakura: Heehee, well... you always project this aura of being all business. But when I saw you run from a few sweets, I realized you can be pretty childish.
Saizo: I-I see... I'm not sure that's the compliment you may have intended. But detestable as my weakness is, I feel better hearing you speak highly of it. Thank you, Lady Sakura. I cannot pledge my fealty, but I do pledge my undying love.
Sakura: Oh, Saizo... I-I might not be perfect, but I'll be so happy to be with you.
Saizo: As will I. My world will be a better place with you in it.
Hinoka: Yaaaaaaah! Hyah! ...Hmm? Is that you over there, Sakura?
Sakura: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt your training.
Hinoka: No, it's fine. What's the matter?
Sakura: Uhh... I was just admiring your fighting style, Hinoka. You always look so cool.
Hinoka: Is that it? If something's bothering you, you can tell me. I'm your big sis…
Sakura: I guess not all sisters are alike…
Sakura: You're this brave, incredible warrior, and I'm... not. We're nothing alike.
Hinoka: That's not true! There are things we have in common, like... Oh! Every morning we wake up with the same bedhead... We both like to run barefoot on the grass... What else...?
Sakura: N-no, I don't mean like that. I mean... personality. You're brave, and I'm not.
Hinoka: You have plenty of strengths.
Sakura: I wish I was more like you... Then you could be proud of me. I didn't mean to blurt all of that out! I'm sorry. I shouldn't have interrupted!
Hinoka: ...She left. Now what do I do?!
Hinoka: Sakura, do you have a minute?
Hinoka: I thought of a few more things we have in common.
Hinoka: Yes. For as long as I remember, whenever I left for battle, you'd tell me to be safe... And you were always the first person to welcome me back when I came home, right?
Hinoka: Did you know that I did the same thing when Father and Ryoma left to fight?
Sakura: You did?
Hinoka: Yeah. It was you telling me to be safe that made me realize how important family is. I thought, "We really are sisters." Oh, and another thing, I may have had a doll or two.
Hinoka: Yeah, and, while I'm happy we have some things in common, even I have weaknesses. We should both try to be the best versions of ourselves.
Sakura: That's a great idea! I'll try to help you!
Hinoka: Good... I'll do the same for you.
Sakura: Hinoka. I have a favor to ask. I want you to give me lessons!
Hinoka: Lessons in what?
Sakura: Well, um... up until now, I was afraid to ask for your help with fighting. I thought I'd only be in your way if we trained together.
Hinoka: Sakura, don't think like that…
Sakura: After our talk the other day, I want to try harder. I want you to train me for battle.
Hinoka: You're serious?! I never thought you'd say that!
Sakura: I want you to be able to count on me, Hinoka.
Hinoka: OK. In that case, I'll be serious, too. You have to do something for me in return.
Sakura: What's that?
Hinoka: In exchange for training you, I want you to teach me how to treat injuries... ... But go easy on me! Remember, I'm not going to be on your level.
Sakura: Hinoka...! I'd love to!
Hinoka: Ack! Wh-what's wrong? Why are you hugging me...?
Azama: Lady Sakura, can I ask you something?
Sakura: Yes, of course. What is it?
Azama: Why is it that you're so selfless? It seems like you're always helping other people!
Sakura: Well, I don't know if "selfless" is the right word, but I—
Azama: I mean, you're a princess, right? Shouldn't you be barking orders at people? Why should you ever have to lift a finger?
Sakura: Um, well…
Azama: Now that I think about it... Not only are you a princess—you're the youngest in the royal family! You should be spoiled rotten!
Sakura: No, I don't think…
Azama: Oh, if I were in your shoes... the liberties I would take... I'm very jealous of the position you're in, Lady Sakura.
Sakura: B-but, I…
Azama: Oh, you've really angered up my envy now. I am consumed by burning jealousy! Good day!
Sakura: Wh-what just happened?
Azama: So, we meet again, Lady Sakura…
Sakura: Azama, I wanted to say—
Azama: You know... I don't really think I ought to speak with you today. I find myself becoming frustrated with the way you squander your privilege. So, I'll be on my way. Cheers!
Sakura: Um... wait…
Sakura: Could you please... not say those kinds of things to me?
Azama: What kinds of things precisely, my dear?
Sakura: I'm tired of the way you treat me. Just because I don't act how you think a princess should!
Azama: Oh ho! There's some of that princess-like attitude you've been missing! You were born under a lucky star, you know. Might as well take advantage!
Sakura: But, that's just not right…
Azama: And here we are again. How depressing. Being humble and meek all the time isn't getting you anywhere, my dear.
Sakura: I... I think I've had enough. WHY DON'T YOU JUST SHUT UP?!
Azama: You... you just snapped that staff in two with your bare hands! That's what I like to see! Stand up for yourself!
Sakura: Whatever. I don't care what you think. I'm out of here, Azama!
Azama: Amazing. I just KNEW she had potential.
Azama: Greetings, Lady Sakura. Can you spare a moment to talk?
Azama: Oh ho! The silent treatment, eh? Well played.
Sakura: I told you to leave me alone! All you do is treat me rudely and ignore what I say. I'm sick of it!
Azama: Well, believe it or not, I'm actually here to apologize.
Azama: Seriously! Granted, I'm not exactly sorry for raising your ire... but I thought an apology would smooth things over.
Sakura: You just said you weren't sorry! How could you think that would make things better?
Azama: You're sharp as a tack, Lady Sakura.
Sakura: Well you're a jerk, Azama!
Azama: Wah?! Quit hitting me with your staff already! I've got something else to say.
Sakura: What makes you think I wish to hear it?
Azama: I brought you something to make up for my rudeness. Here, take it.
Sakura: What? This is... Oh my goodness! This is one of those amulets made in the sacred mountains of Hoshido, right? Isn't this very expensive? You really shouldn't have, Azama.
Azama: No really, I want you to have it. Listen, I know I'm not the most eloquent person in the world. But I was hoping this gift might serve as my true apology. I spent a great deal of energy and effort acquiring this precious object for you. As a priestess, you clearly understand how rare this amulet truly is.
Sakura: Of course I do!
Azama: So we're OK then? Let's shake on it to seal the deal.
Sakura: What a strange way to put it. You really aren't all that eloquent. But yes, we're fine. I'm not mad at you anymore.
Azama: Thank you. I hope this offering will inspire you to look past all the rude things I've said.
Sakura: I told you, all is forgiven.
Azama: That's wonderful... Though I have to admit I'm a little surprised. You were so easily swayed by a gift!
Sakura: I knew it! You are a jerk after all, Azama!
Sakura: Hello, Azama.
Azama: Ah, Lady Sakura. Say, do you still have the amulet I gave you recently?
Sakura: Of course! I've been carrying it with me everywhere. It's beautiful.
Azama: Oh good, I'm glad to hear it. I guess you and I are getting married then.
Sakura: What are you talking about?!
Azama: Oh, didn't I tell you before? That amulet is a symbol of my proposal.
Sakura: Y-you never told me that!
Azama: Are you sure? Maybe I wasn't totally clear, but that's what it means.
Sakura: This is all so surprising. I just don't know what to say.
Azama: The truth is that I have feelings for you. I think that together, we can make an amazing team. If we stay close, maybe I can help you take advantage of your royal position. And I know we'll have a ton of fun!
Sakura: Is this your peculiar way of saying you want to be close to me?
Sakura: Heh. That's it, right? I can tell because you're so quiet all of a sudden.
Azama: Fine, I admit it. You're right.
Sakura: To be honest, I always had a hunch that you felt this way. And the truth is... I really like you too.
Azama: Really? You mean it?
Sakura: I've had a crush on you since we first met. But your tendency to say rude things got under my skin. I didn't want to be with someone who hurt my feelings all the time.
Azama: I shouldn't have been so callous. I know that my sense of humor can be off-putting sometimes. But I want to take responsibility for my actions. I want to change. If you give me a chance, I'll prove to you that we're a match made in heaven.
Sakura: Hmm... OK, Azama. I accept your proposal. But don't you dare let me down.
Azama: Thank you, Sakura. I'll do everything I can to be the husband of your dreams.
Sakura: I know that you will.
Sakura: Hayato, wanna share some of this red bean mochi with me?
Hayato: Red bean mochi? Where'd you get that?
Sakura: It was a gift. Just as I was about to eat it, you walked by, and I thought I'd share...
Hayato: Nah. Sweet stuff's for girls. What makes you think I'd eat something like that?!
Sakura: ...Oh. I'm sorry I offended you.
Hayato: That's OK. It's obviously too much for you. I'm sure you just wanted my help. In that case, I guess I'll have a bite or two. ...Uh, Sakura?
Sakura: Mmmm! Sorry. Were you saying something?
Hayato: I was just saying—if you can't eat it all, then I'll help you. ...But, hey! Where'd it go? You didn't leave any for me?
Sakura: I'm sorry! You said you didn't want any. I ate it.
Hayato: WHAT?! All of it? Already?
Sakura: When I'm around sweets, I can't stop myself! You didn't...actually want some, did you?
Hayato: No! Of course not!
Sakura: Next time, I'll make sure to leave some for you.
Hayato: OK! I mean...if you insist.
Sakura: Hey, Hayato! I got some more of that red bean mochi! You want some?
Hayato: Oh...that stuff. Sure... I guess.
Sakura: Mmm! Here. Have some!
Hayato: *gulp* *nom nom* Wow! This is good! I mean REALLY good!
Sakura: Uh... Not to pry, Hayato...but maybe you actually LIKE sweet things?
Hayato: Huh?! No, I don't. I mean...not really.
Sakura: It's OK if you don't want people to know. ...But why is that, anyway?
Hayato: Sweets are for kids. I won't have anyone treating me like a child!
Hayato: My tribe expects me to be dignified. I can't munch on sweet cakes like a little brat!
Sakura: You can't even eat what you want...just to protect your reputation? That's awful!
Hayato: Well, I can't! I've gotta be mature!
Sakura: I have an idea! What if you only eat sweets when you're with me? Everyone will know you're just doing it for my sake... What do you think?
Hayato: Well, if you insist.
Sakura: Great! We'll be pastry pals! It'll be our secret, Hayato!
Hayato: Sakura, guess what I have here!
Sakura: Um...are those honey dumplings?! Those are my favorite!
Hayato: Well, it's about time I paid you back for all of that mochi you shared with me!
Sakura: I can smell them from over here! Can I eat one now? Please? Pretty please!
Hayato: Of course!
Sakura: *nom nom* Mmm! Syrupy-sweet with the faintest hint of salt! You don't mind if I eat another, do you? Mmm! *nom nom*
Hayato: Why don't you finish off the bag? There's something I wanted to ask you.
Sakura: Mmm-hmm. Yes?
Hayato: You could've offered that red bean mochi to anyone. Why'd you pick me?
Sakura: Well, it's going to sound stupid now, but I thought we were about the same age.
Hayato: Yeah. So?
Sakura: There aren't too many young people in this army, and I thought we'd get along. But it turns out you're a lot more grown-up than I am!
Hayato: I don't know if that's true!
Sakura: But it is! You're always thinking about your responsibilities to the Wind Tribe.
Hayato: And you're always thinking about everyone else's feelings! That's very mature of you!
Sakura: Thanks, Hayato.
Hayato: It was kind of you to come up with a secret plan to share sweets with me. But thanks to you, I don't think we have to keep it a secret anymore.
Sakura: Huh? What do you mean?
Hayato: You helped me realize it's OK to be myself. I like sweets. I don't care if people know!
Sakura: ...Aww, Hayato, that makes me so happy! Our secret plan is finished!
Hayato: Yes, but there's one thing. I still want to be your pastry pal. You don't mind, do you? I know I could eat sweets on my own, but I'd rather eat them with you.
Sakura: That sounds great! I'd like that too!
Hayato: Sakura, do you have a minute?
Sakura: Sure! Does it have anything to do with honey dumplings? Or red bean mochi? Or sticky buns? Or—I know—doughnuts?! Hurry up! Tell me! Which one?! Come on, Hayato! You're making me hungry!
Hayato: Actually, it has to do with ALL of those things.
Sakura: ALL of them? You can't be serious!
Hayato: Yep! Dumplings and mochi and sticky buns and doughnuts!
Sakura: *gasp* Really?! Where are you hiding all of those desserts?
Hayato: Well, I wanted to invite you on a little trip to a famous bakery. Whaddya say? They have all of those sweets, plus some other stuff you didn't even mention yet!
Sakura: Th-that sounds amazing! You'd really take ME?
Hayato: Yes, Sakura! We're pastry pals! Anyway, this is what they call...a date.
Sakura: Whaaaat?! A date?
Hayato: This isn't just two friends hanging out, munching on honey dumplings. I like you.
Sakura: B-but, Hayato, that's crazy!
Hayato: You're right! I am crazy...about YOU.
Sakura: I never thought you'd be interested in me, because you're so much more mature!
Hayato: Sakura, I feel so comfortable around you. We can both be ourselves. We don't have to worry so much about impressing anyone. Besides, I think you're very grown up... when you're not covered in icing! Whaddya say we snack our way through life together, one sticky bun after the next?
Sakura: Hayato, that sounds delicious!
Sakura: *sigh* I'm so relieved we made it out of there alive!
Hinata: Lady Sakura, you looked a little green out there on the battlefield. You doing OK?
Sakura: Yeah, I'm fine... I just got a little scared, that's all...
Hinata: You can't let the enemy see you sweat! They always go after the weak link!
Sakura: Really? I...I didn't know that! What should I do?
Hinata: Hmm... Maybe some extra training would help? A soldier should always be prepared!
Sakura: Extra t-training...?
Hinata: If you want, I'll take you through some exercises, myself! I'd do anything for a cutie like you, Lady Sakura. I'll be right back...
Sakura: Training with Hinata? Why does this make me nervous?
Hinata: All right! Let's start your training. No one's going to call you weak again... Not while I'm here!
Sakura: O-OK, if you say so...
Hinata: First, let's fix your posture! Straighten your back, and puff out your chest!
Sakura: O-OK... Like this?
Hinata: That's great! Just like that! Now, let's hear your battle cry! Say something loud and...offensive!
Sakura: What?! I couldn't possibly do that...!
Hinata: Did you just say, "couldn't possibly"...? Come on! You're better than that!
Sakura: O-OK. Uh-uhhm... Th-there's NO way I could do that!
Hinata: That was so cute! Not exactly the effect we were going for, but still...
Sakura: D-do you think I did OK? No, wait... I mean... I was awesome! Wasn't I, punk?
Hinata: Haha! Maybe I've pushed you too far.
Sakura: *sniff* Fine, then. What do I have to do to sound tough?
Hinata: Ack! Don't cry, please! I'm sorry! It was fine... It was good!
Sakura: Hinata, I'm hopeless, aren't I?
Hinata: I think I'm taking the wrong approach. Don't worry. I'll come up with something!
Hinata: After all the guff I gave you, here I am, the one getting hurt in battle...
Sakura: That's OK, Hinata. I'm just glad it's not serious.
Hinata: *sigh* I guess I was the weak link this time...
Sakura: Th-that's not true! When we got out there, I froze up and forgot all my training!
Hinata: That's not what I saw. You fought bravely to heal and protect our comrades. Strength isn't just cutting down enemies. You also need strength of heart.
Sakura: I wasn't brave...just desperate. That's all. Hinata, do you think I'm helping, or am I just getting in the way?
Hinata: Nonsense! We need you out there! When you're with us, we all fight more bravely!
Sakura: Thank you, Hinata! That's kind of you to say.
Hinata: Ah, Lady Sakura. I hoped to find you today. There's something I wanted to tell you...
Sakura: What's that?
Hinata: *ahem* I've learned a lot about you recently. And...the truth is...I'm falling in love with the person I'm getting to know...
Hinata: I know that I shouldn't feel this way about a royal princess. But it's not fair to keep things from you. I love you, Lady Sakura... That is all.
Sakura: Hinata...wait! You don't have to leave so soon. I l-love you, too.
Hinata: Um...but...you mean as a friend, right? You don't mean as...a man?
Sakura: At first I thought of you as an older brother who was trying to look after me... But it's different now. I'm falling for you too...
Hinata: I...I was sure you were going to turn me down!
Sakura: No! I would never reject you. I want to be with you forever.
Hinata: You really mean that?
Sakura: Yes, Hinata! I want you by my side.
Hinata: You have no idea how happy that makes me! I promise to stay by your side always.
Sakura: That's all I ask from the man I love. You have my heart forever... ...and forever after that.
Sakura: U-um... Takumi... can I talk to you about... the banquet?
Takumi: So you're dreading it too? Well, don't get any bright ideas. We can't exactly skip out.
Sakura: I know! And they won't cancel. It's one of Hoshido's longest-running traditions!
Takumi: What I don't get is why we're holding a party when there's a war going on!
Sakura: I just get s-so n-nervous talking to people…
Takumi: Yeah, I never know what to say at these things. Everyone's so stiff! I wish we could leave all this highfalutin stuff to someone else, but we can't.
Sakura: We'd just look irresponsible.
Takumi: You know, Sakura, what we need is a plan.
Takumi: So did you come up with any brilliant strategies for surviving the party?
Sakura: All I've got is "act the part, and h-hope for the best..."
Takumi: Wow... that's really optimistic of you. Think we could pull that off? I was thinking more along the lines of fake a fever and hide out in the infirmary... ...Or set all the guests' hair on fire and run for cover.
Sakura: Maybe we could ask Azura for suggestions...?
Takumi: And what's she going to do? Tell me not to act like a jerk? We've gotta handle this on our own.
Sakura: All right... It's just, we're running out of time... and I'm r-really scared!
Takumi: Leave it to me, Sakura. I'll think of something.
Sakura: *sigh* Whew! I'm so glad the banquet's over!
Takumi: Ha ha! Me too. I guess we survived without a plan after all! I panicked and started talking everyone's ear off... and they lapped it up!
Sakura: I know! They loved us! A lady told me she hopes her daughter turns out like me!
Takumi: Yeah, all we needed to do was make an effort. Who knew?!
Sakura: I actually enjoyed meeting everyone and hearing their stories.
Takumi: It's important for us to be accessible. Sakura, you and I make a good team.
Sakura: Thanks, Takumi. We'll keep working together for the good of Hoshido!
Kaden: *yaaaawn* Looks like I've got enough time for a nap if I can just find a good spot…
Sakura: Zzz... Zzz... Mmm...
Kaden: Hmm... Is that Sakura over there? She looks so comfy. I bet there's a nice breeze and plenty of shade under that tree...
Kaden: Ah, I think she's waking up. Good morning, Sakura!
Sakura: Oh... It's just you, Kaden. You surprised me!
Kaden: I must apologize! You were sleeping so soundly, and I disturbed you!
Sakura: Oh...I guess I did fall asleep. Uh...do you think we could keep this...between us?
Kaden: But why? There's nothing wrong with a little nap now and then, right?
Sakura: I didn't mean to take a nap! I just dozed off... I'd be so mortified if people found me like that!
Kaden: ...I have an idea! How about we become napping buddies?
Kaden: Next time you need a little shut-eye, come find me and we'll curl up together...
Kaden: That way you wouldn't be caught napping alone, right? Don't they say, "Nodding off's not so scary if everyone's dozing together"?
Sakura: I-I've never heard that before!
Kaden: Oh... Well, we say it back at the kitsune hamlet. No worries. I'll come find you soon, Sakura! I'm already looking forward to our nap!
Kaden: Hey, Sakura—are you ready to nap some more?
Sakura: Ah, hello, Kaden. By nap, do you mean accidentally fall asleep under a tree? *sigh* I guess so.
Sakura: Umm...I'm pretty sure it's just down this way. Ah, here it is.
Kaden: The gentle breeze... The soft grass... This really is a great spot. OK, it's nap time!
Sakura: Heehee. Listening to you now, I realize how peaceful this place is.
Kaden: Yeah, we're going to sleep SO well. Oh, but before that...
Sakura: What are you doing?!
Kaden: Sorry, I always groom myself before I take a nap. If you want, you can rub my ears.
Sakura: They look really soft and furry, don't they?
Kaden: You can touch them if you'd like. I love it when someone strokes my ears. Go ahead!
Sakura: OK. ...Wow, they're so fluffy!
Kaden: Aren't they? That's because I always keep myself groomed.
Sakura: You're right. Your fur feels like velvet! I could keep stroking it forever.
Kaden: ...Huh? Sakura? What's wrong? Why'd you stop talking?
Kaden: Huh?! Did she fall asleep? Well, that's what happens when you've got silky-soft fur like mine. Nighty night!
Kaden: Sakura! Wanna nap together again?
Sakura: Ah, Kaden. Hello. Umm... I can't today...
Kaden: Oh, are you busy? I understand...
Sakura: No, that's not it. I just feel bad taking a nap while everyone's at war.
Kaden: Ah, I see your point... But I think the war is the very reason we should nap.
Kaden: When everyone's so worried, they get tired more easily, right? If we don't take some time to relax every once in a while, we won't be able to fight.
Sakura: Oh... You might be right about that.
Kaden: That's why naps are so important... I think everyone should nap together!
Sakura: Everyone? T-together? Heehee... It sounds kind of fun!
Kaden: Doesn't it? But we can't all be napping at the same time... That's why I was planning to nap just with you.
Sakura: Heehee, OK...
Kaden: So we're still napping buddies?
Sakura: Heehee! Yes. That's right!
Sakura: Kaden, is something wrong? You don't look too good.
Kaden: Ah, S-Sakura! Um, it's just...
Sakura: Is it your stomach? Or your head? Here, let me help...
Kaden: N-no. That's not it! I just haven't been sleeping well lately.
Sakura: Trouble sleeping? That's a sure sign of sickness! Do you have a fever?
Kaden: I'm fine... Besides, I know exactly what's wrong.
Sakura: You do?
Kaden: Yeah. The reason I can't sleep is...you!
Kaden: Yeah, I can't sleep unless we're napping together...
Sakura: R-really? ...So you feel like that too?
Kaden: Huh?! You're having the same problem?
Sakura: I can't fall asleep without stroking your ears!
Kaden: Haha! Really? When I'm with you, I feel all warm inside. W-would you be my girlfriend?
Kaden: I wanna be with you when we're napping, eating, sleeping, anything...forever!
Sakura: I want to be with you forever too!
Kaden: Sakura, come over here so I can hug you!
Sakura: A-aaaaaack! Kaden, you're squishing me! I can't breathe!
Ryoma: Sakura, are you OK? Why are you just sitting there? Did something happen?
Sakura: Ah, Ryoma! ...I'm fine. I was just carrying some heavy packages and stopped to rest.
Ryoma: I'm proud of you for helping all the time. You're growing into a lovely young woman.
Sakura: I'm not strong like you are, Ryoma, so I'm not much help during battle... That's why I try to do as much as I can off the battlefield.
Ryoma: That isn't true. You're plenty of help during battle! You're a talented healer. There's no need to be so hard on yourself. It's OK to depend on us sometimes.
Sakura: But I don't want to inconvenience anyone.
Ryoma: No one has ever thought of you as an inconvenience! In fact, there's something I want to show you.
Sakura: Something you want to show ME?
Ryoma: Yeah. Once you see it, you'll know how important you are to us. Meet me later?
Sakura: Of course!
Ryoma: Sakura, thanks for coming with me.
Sakura: Of course, Ryoma. Is the thing you wanted to show me up ahead?
Ryoma: Yeah. I found this place when I was on patrol. Should be just a little farther... ...Yes, this is it. See that tree? That's what I wanted to show you.
Sakura: Oh... It's magnificent! What kind of tree is that?
Ryoma: That is a cherry tree. It isn't in bloom right now... but when it's covered in blossoms, this whole place looks enchanted.
Ryoma: Not long after you were born, Mother and Father took all of us on a walk. We came across this enormous cherry tree in full bloom. Right then, they decided to name you Sakura.
Sakura: So that's where I got my name? I had no idea!
Ryoma: It's true. Even the forest loved you. So please, take better care of yourself!
Sakura: Thank you, Ryoma. That's a really special story.
Ryoma: Good. I'm glad you think so. Let's come back here when the flowers are blooming.
Sakura: I would love that!
Ryoma: Sakura, do you have a minute? I brought you something.
Sakura: Is that a...hair ornament?
Ryoma: Yes. It's a cherry blossom. I thought it would look pretty in your hair.
Sakura: B-but I couldn't accept something so... beautiful!
Ryoma: Of course you can. I hope you'll wear this and remember the story of your name.
Sakura: Ryoma, thank you. I am so lucky to be your little sister. I will treasure this!
Ryoma: I'm glad you like it. I'm sure Father and Mother would have been delighted.
Ryoma: From now on, you can always come to me for help. You'll never be an inconvenience.
Sakura: Thank you. I love you, Ryoma!
Ryoma: Haha! Now you're going to make me blush. ...But thank you. I love you too, Sakura.
Sakura: Excuse me, X-Xander…
Xander: Hello, Princess Sakura. How may I be of service?
Sakura: Oh, it's n-nothing... I just wanted to say hello…
Xander: Ah... Hello, then. Are you sure that's all you wished to say?
Sakura: Y-yes... Uh... no! Actually, that's not it at all…
Sakura: Um... I'm s-sorry. This is awkward…
Xander: It doesn't have to be. I swear it. If you have something to say, please—just say it!
Sakura: M-maybe later…
Xander: What was all that about?
Xander: Lady Sakura, may I have a word?
Sakura: Uh... OK.
Xander: I'm curious. The other day, you stopped to say hello and then... disappeared. Now, it's a bit of a mystery. What was that about?
Sakura: I was just p-practicing.
Xander: Practicing what?
Sakura: I'm training myself not to be s-so shy. I always get nervous around people. I thought if I could work up the nerve to talk to someone like you…
Xander: Someone like me?
Sakura: Well, y-you're the most intimidating person in Nohr!
Xander: Oh. I see.
Sakura: Ack! I'm s-sorry! I didn't mean to blurt it out like that! I'm sure you're actually v-very nice. It's just... you're pretty scary!
Xander: Scary? Ha!
Sakura: I'm sorry! I didn't mean to say that!
Xander: Don't apologize. I get that a lot. I am used to it by now. Some mean it as a compliment; others do not.
Sakura: Oh, that was so incredibly rude of me! I'm r-really sorry!
Xander: Gone again, just like that...
Xander: Princess Sakura, may I have a moment of your time?
Sakura: Um! I! Uh…
Xander: You wanted to practice speaking with the most intimidating person in Nohr, right? I'm happy to be of service.
Sakura: I'm s-so sorry I said that... It's just…
Xander: You don't have to explain. I understand completely.
Sakura: You do?
Xander: I don't tell many people this, but I was a timid child. I could barely make eye contact. I was also clumsy with the sword at first, which disappointed my father to no end. Then, one day... I decided to change. I tried the very tactic you are using now. I decided to talk to the most frightening person I could find.
Sakura: Wh-who was that?
Xander: My father.
Xander: Yes, and it worked. But talking to my father was not the thing that changed me.
Sakura: It wasn't?
Xander: The most important thing is that you must WANT to change. I see that desire in you. So, let's talk. Now. You choose the topic.
Sakura: B-but I don't know how!
Xander: Don't think so hard. Tell me... What's the best thing that's happened to you today?
Sakura: Oh... I know! I passed by some pretty flowers this m-morning.
Xander: Ah, gardening. That's good! We'll start with flowers... What sort were they?
Xander: Lady Sakura, shall we talk some more?
Sakura: Yes, I would enjoy that.
Xander: Ah, I like that fierce look in your eyes. Your training seems to be paying off.
Sakura: Yeah, maybe... If it is, I have you to thank!
Xander: Today, I think we should talk about the future.
Sakura: Oh, that's good! I like to imagine what it'll be like in our countries after the war…
Xander: As do I, but that's not what I meant. Princess Sakura... *ahem* What I mean to say is... um... This is odd. You have me at a complete loss for words.
Sakura: Prince Xander? Wh-what is it?
Xander: What I'm trying to say is... I want you to have this ring.
Sakura: Th-th-th-that's a...?
Xander: Sakura, you look pale. Are you OK?
Sakura: Y-yes... I just got n-nervous again. This is such a huge moment! Heeheehee…
Xander: Now you're laughing? Gods, this isn't going well.
Sakura: No, I'm sorry! It's just funny... We're both making each other nervous!
Xander: I suppose I can see the humor in that. Still, I must implore you to give my request your serious consideration. If you say yes, I promise I will always do my best for you and for our people.
Sakura: Oh, Xander. You've already done so much for me. I first approached you because I found you intimidating... But now, I look forward to our every conversation. I won't keep you w-waiting, Xander. My answer is yes!
Xander: I am so pleased to hear it. Come, let us go tell the others.
Sakura: Oh, h-hello, Leo. Are you headed to today's war council meeting?
Leo: Yes, I am. Will you be joining us?
Sakura: No, I... I wouldn't be of any help. I hate discussing how to d-defeat people…
Leo: I see. So we're all getting together to do something you hate.
Sakura: I'm s-sorry... I didn't mean it like that.
Leo: It's true, though, despite how you meant it. War meetings are for creating strategies and deciding how to best our enemies. I can see how that would be troubling to someone who loathes violence, as you do. Unfortunately, if we don't do it, then our own soldiers will end up hurt.
Sakura: Y-yes, I understand that... but...
Leo: Lady Sakura, you're simply not cut out for the battlefield. It's all too clear. You should stay out of harm's way and pray for the war to end quickly. A gentle person like you isn't cut out for this life.
Sakura: Leo, m-may I have a word?
Leo: Hello, Princess Sakura. What can I do for you?
Sakura: Are you having another meeting of the war council soon? If so... I'd like to j-join you.
Leo: You? In the war council?
Sakura: Yes... If th-that's OK.
Leo: You yourself said that you're unable to contribute to our discussions. Why would I subject you to something that you despise? There's no benefit to be gained.
Sakura: Yes... It's true. I DID say that.
Leo: Then why would you join us? You should put it from your mind. You're very empathetic. You feel the pain of others more acutely than most. Even if you did tag along, doing so would only cause you undue suffering.
Sakura: B-but I need to know what's going on! The more I know, the better I'll be able to help our soldiers when a battle's over.
Leo: Ah, so there it is. Your aim is to help those who fall on the battlefield.
Sakura: If I know how many injuries to expect, I'll be better prepared.
Leo: I finally understand. Your logic is most sound. In that case, your presence would be much appreciated.
Sakura: Th-thank you so much, Prince Leo!
Leo: I must thank you for your participation in the war meeting, Princess Sakura. Thanks to you, efforts to help the injured in our last battle were greatly expedited.
Sakura: Thank you... but it wasn't just me. It was all of us working t-together.
Leo: I urge you to accept my gratitude, as well as my apology. I was wrong to say that you weren't suited for the battlefield. You've proven yourself a capable soldier in your own right.
Sakura: Well, I still don't like it. Hurting others and being hurt back and all that... I wish the war would just stop, but I can't close my eyes and hope it passes!
Leo: Princess Sakura... You're a strong lady. You clearly experience severe anxiety and fear, yet you never let it overcome you. Instead, you find something you can do to help and you do it with all your heart.
Sakura: Th-thank you, Leo.
Leo: I believe I'll be relying on you more and more in the future, Princess Sakura. You are a truly capable ally.
Sakura: Oh! Th-thank you! I think I'd like that...
Leo: Princess Sakura... May I have a word?
Sakura: Hi, Leo! Um, m-may I ask why you're looking at me like that? You're making me nervous!
Sakura: Oh dear! Please say something before I explode!
Leo: Princess Sakura, there's something I must tell you. I've been... truly impressed by your efforts in our war meetings recently. You're always thinking about how to help others, and never about yourself. I hope your kind heart never changes... In fact, I wish to protect it.
Sakura: Don't worry about me, Leo! I promise, I won't let the war change me.
Leo: I'm glad to hear it, but that's not exactly what I meant.
Leo: Seeing such kindness inspired something in me. Feelings I never thought I'd have. Feelings... of love. For you.
Sakura: For m-m-me?!
Leo: You have such a sweet heart, so full of understated strength. There's no one else like you. I need to have you by my side, Sakura. That is... if you feel the same.
Sakura: Oh, Leo... I d-don't know what to say! To be honest, I feel the same way about you... b-but you're so brave and noble! I'm not sure I'm a good match for you…
Leo: That simply isn't true. And I'm willing to spend the rest of my life proving it to you.
Sakura: The rest of your life?
Leo: Yes, Sakura. But we can start with a stroll. We could walk hand in hand... We could even speak of... happier things.
Sakura: Oh? Like what?
Leo: Things like... the peace I feel when I'm near you. See? Now, you're blushing…
Sakura: Th-that's because... that sounds like the best idea I've ever heard. I want to be with you forever, Leo, and learn all about this side of you!
Leo: As you wish, Sakura. Ever as you wish.
Sakura: Hm? What's that sound?
Elise: Laaa ladi-da la-dee-daaa ♪ la dee dee daaa
Sakura: Oh! H-hello, Elise. What kind of instrument are you playing? I've never seen anything like that in Hoshido.
Elise: Oh, this? It's a violin!
Sakura: A violin, huh? It sounds... g-gorgeous.
Elise: Really? Thanks! I'm glad you like it. We've got all kinds of lovely stringed instruments in Nohr. This one's pretty small, but there are some huuuuuge ones too. I love violins though. They're so cute! Don't you think?
Sakura: Yes, it's adorable! I didn't know you could play an instrument, though.
Elise: Heehee. Yeah, I had to take lessons when I was younger. "A lady must know how to delight the ear and soul with music!" It's a weird thing all noble girls have to do. But princesses especially.
Sakura: I see.
Elise: I hated it at first, but now I love it! It's so much fun! Do you play any instruments?
Sakura: I do! Back h-home, I played the koto.
Elise: The koto?
Sakura: Yes. It's a stringed instrument too, but it's not as small as the violin. And you can't play it while moving around. You must be sitting.
Elise: Oh, wow! I'd love to hear you play one sometime! Will you play for me?
Sakura: I would be delighted to, but I don't have one with me, so we'd have to find one.
Elise: That's OK! Detective Princess Elise is on the case!
Sakura: Teehee. She's so enthusiastic. I think we'll be g-good friends one day.
Elise: Sakura? Sakura! SA! KU! RA!
Sakura: Elise? Is s-something wrong?! Why are you so out of breath?
Elise: I found someone who has a koto!
Sakura: Huh? What do you mean?
Elise: When we talked the other day, you said you'd play the koto for me, right? So I went into town and asked everyone there if they knew someone who had one!
Sakura: Oh! You asked all those townspeople? I thought you were just going to check here in camp…
Elise: I even asked them to bring it back here so you could play for me! Let's go!
Sakura: Wah! Elise! P-please don't pull my arm so hard!
Elise: Whoa! You're amazing, Sakura!! And the koto is so pretty! I didn't know a stringed instrument could sound like that! I wish I had half your talent!
Sakura: You're much too kind. There's no need for such f-flattery, you know.
Elise: It's not flattery! I really mean it! Oh! I just had a great idea! We should play together sometime! You on the koto, and me on the violin!
Sakura: Together? You mean as a duet?
Elise: Yeah! Doesn't that sound like fun?
Sakura: It does, but Nohrian and Hoshidan music are so different... Do you really think we can find a song that will match both our instruments?
Elise: Hm, you're right. I didn't consider that. But there's got to be at least one song out there that will! We'll find it. I just know it.
Sakura: Heehee. Yes, perhaps. Come, let's get our sheet music and see what we have.
Elise: YAY! We'll find the perfect song in no time!
Elise: Yahoo! We did it! We actually played a song together!
Sakura: It was exhilarating! I've never performed a duet with a N-Nohrian musician before.
Elise: So what did you think? I don't think it was half-bad considering it was our first time!
Sakura: I agree. There are parts we could surely improve upon, but overall? A success!
Elise: Yup! And the contrast between the two instruments was so neat! I bet no one's ever played music quite like that before! We're geniuses!
Sakura: Haha. Perhaps we could try to find some other songs as well. It would be lovely if we could keep p-playing together.
Sakura: I just hope we can get in the time to practice with the war going on…
Elise: True. Well, maybe someday, when we finally have peace, we can still do this together. Then we could gather people from both kingdoms for a huge concert!
Sakura: I think that's a w-wonderful idea. Each song could be performed using instruments from each country. It would inspire our people to truly come together as one.
Elise: I can see it now! I bet people will remember it for generations!
Sakura: One can only hope. But we have a long road ahead of us before that day.
Elise: That's OK. I don't mind so long as we walk that road together.
Sakura: We will! From now on, we'll always be friends!
Kana: Mama! Hey, Mama!
Sakura: Kana? What's wrong?
Kana: Look! I picked some pretty flowers for you! They're yellow like the sun!
Sakura: Oh, thank you! These daisies are beautiful!
Kana: Do you really like them?
Sakura: I love them. But what's gotten into you lately? You've been bringing me an awful lot of flowers.
Kana: I just remembered that when I was real little, we'd go looking at flowers together. You always smiled so much when we did. And I think your smile is the best, Mama! So I decided to start bringing you lots and lots of flowers to help you smile more!
Sakura: Oh, that's so sweet! But...I do have a favor to ask of you.
Kana: Anything, Mama. What do you need?
Sakura: Remember how I told you that flowers are living things too? Well, when you pick them, it hurts them, and they wither away and die.
Kana: Oh no! I've been hurting them? It was an accident! I'm sorry, flowers! I've been such a big meanie!
Sakura: Don't worry, Kana. I'm sure the flowers know you weren't trying to hurt them. You just need to promise not to pick any more flowers, OK?
Kana: OK! But...if I do that, then how can I show you all the neat flowers I find?
Sakura: Hmmm... How about if you find some, you come and get me. Then we can go look at them together! How does that sound?
Kana: Really? You won't be too busy?
Sakura: Of course not! I'm never too busy for you.
Kana: OK, then it's a deal!
Kana: La la lalala-la-la ♪ And now it's Mama time!
Sakura: Aw. You look so happy, Kana!
Kana: Of course I'm happy! I just found some great flowers for us to go look at! You're going to love them, I'm sure of it! Look! There they are, Mama!
Sakura: Oh, you were right. These are so pretty!
Kana: Yup! And they're cherry blossoms! Just like you, Mama!
Sakura: Oh, Kana. You're so sweet!
Kana: Those flowers might be pretty, but I think you're even prettier!
Sakura: Is that so? Well, I think your smiles are even prettier than that!
Kana: Really? Yay!
Sakura: Oh, that reminds me: I have something to show you.
Kana: Oooh, is it something good? Can I see it right now?
Sakura: Teehee, calm down. I don't have it right now, but it's—
Kana: Ah! Wait! Don't tell me! I want to be surprised!
Sakura: All right, then. I'll keep it safe until we can sit down and look at it together.
Kana: Mama, I'm here! Where's that thing you wanted to show me?
Sakura: Hello, Kana. It's right over here. Take a look.
Kana: Oh wow! This is such a big book! And look at all these flowers! Where did you find them?
Sakura: These are all the flowers you've been bringing me. I dried them out and pressed them between the pages to preserve them. I figured it would be the perfect way for me to keep your little gifts safe.
Kana: This is amazing! Like, really, really amazing! I hadn't realized how many flowers I'd brought you. Look! There are the yellow daisies I gave you the other day! Mama, thank you for taking such good care of them. This makes me so happy!
Sakura: And thank YOU for bringing them to me! I'll cherish them for a long time to come.
Kana: You're welcome!
Sakura: You know, we didn't pick those cherry blossoms we saw the other day... But we did make some nice memories when we went to go look at them. I want us to have many, many more memories like them. How about you?
Kana: Me too! I love you so much, Mama!
Sakura: I love you too, Kana.
Dwyer: Mother, I made you some coffee.
Sakura: Oh! Thank you, Dwyer! This is wonderful. It has a lovely aroma. You have a real gift for brewing.
Dwyer: You mean it? It makes me really happy to hear that you like it so much.
Sakura: It's incredible...*sigh* You're probably better at making coffee than your father these days.
Dwyer: Better than Father? That's the best praise I could ever hope for! I should probably keep that to myself. He might get mad.
Sakura: Huh? You think so? I don't think he'd be that upset. Ah, on second thought I guess I can picture him getting a little bit jealous.
Dwyer: That actually sounds worse.
Sakura: Heehee. Right? Yeah, maybe this should just be our little secret. I can imagine him forcing me to drink cup after cup of coffee. Keeping them coming until I said his brew was better than yours.
Dwyer: Heh. That's not all that hard to imagine. I still have more in the carafe. Let me know if you'd like another cup later.
Sakura: I think I might! Thank you, dear.
Sakura: Something on your mind, Dwyer?
Dwyer: Hello, Mother. No, nothing in particular.
Sakura: Don't try to hide things from me. I know you forward and backward. I am your mother, after all.
Dwyer: Oh. Sorry.
Sakura: Just talk to me. Tell me what's wrong. I'd love to help, even if you just want me to listen.
Dwyer: Well, it's just that... I don't think I'm suited for the battlefield.
Sakura: Huh? What makes you say a thing like that?
Dwyer: You know why. I hate getting into fights. All I would do is weigh everyone else down in the heat of battle.
Sakura: Oh, Dwyer. You're being way too hard on yourself.
Dwyer: Maybe I should just leave the army and be a butler.
Sakura: You can't do that.
Sakura: You don't weigh down anyone, Son.
Dwyer: How do you know?
Sakura: Because you're kind.
Dwyer: No, I'm not.
Sakura: Yes, you are! Don't deny it. Like when you told a little white lie to try and keep me from worrying about you.
Dwyer: All the more proof that I have no business on the battlefield. There's no room for kindness there.
Sakura: You're wrong, Dwyer. Kindness absolutely has a place in wartime. The valor and compassion that drives you to face danger and help others is unique. That doesn't come easily to most people, but it's very important. I think you know exactly what I mean.
Dwyer: I'd never thought about it like that. Thank you, Mother. I'll do what I can to help my friends.
Sakura: That's what I like to hear! Let's do our best to protect those we care about. I may not be the strongest warrior, but know that I will always look out for you.
Sakura: What was I thinking...
Dwyer: Mother? Is something wrong?
Sakura: Dwyer? N-nothing's wrong! I'm just a little tired. Please, don't worry about me.
Dwyer: You're aware that a son can always see through their mother's lies, right?
Sakura: Oh, is that so?
Dwyer: I might not be able to help, but I'm more than happy to listen. Please, talk to me.
Sakura: Thank you very much.
Sakura: I just realized... I'm an awful mother.
Dwyer: Don't say that. There's not a shred of truth to that.
Sakura: I basically told you... that you belong on the battlefield.
Dwyer: Ah, you mean when I was worried the other day?
Sakura: Yes, exactly. A mother's foremost concern should always be the safety of her children. And here I am pushing you into war. I'm a horrible parent.
Dwyer: Stop it.
Dwyer: You may have suggested that I stand and fight, but it was my choice to stay. Not yours.
Sakura: Oh. That's true.
Dwyer: More importantly, I needed your wisdom. I feel like I might have put my friends in danger without your encouragement.
Sakura: Oh, Dwyer. I had no idea.
Dwyer: So, please, stop calling yourself a failure. You're the best mother anyone could ever ask for.
Sakura: That's so kind. Thank you!
Dwyer: Now, why don't I make some fresh coffee so you can unwind.
Sakura: OK. I'm so lucky to have such a thoughtful son like you, Dwyer.
Sakura: Wh-what is it, Sophie?
Sophie: Look! I found some of those flowers you love! Ones just like what you have!
Sakura: Oh...these are wonderful. It's very kind of you...
Sophie: Heehee. I'm glad you like them!
Sakura: U-um, one thing, though... Where did you pick these?
Sophie: That's what's so amazing! They were really close by! I can go back and get you more, if you want. There's a bunch more!
Sakura: Oh dear...I don't know how to say this, but... I planted flowers like these just the other day.
Sophie: Then that means... Oh no! That explains why I hadn't seen these flowers there before! I'm so sorry, Mother!
Sakura: I-it's OK. It was still a nice thing to do...
Sophie: Can...can I go back and plant these again? They'll grow back their roots, right? Awwwww! Why am I always screwing up things like this?!
Sophie: *sigh* Why am I such a klutz?
Sakura: W-was that you sighing, Sophie?
Sophie: Hey, Mother... Do you think I'll always be a klutz? Earlier today, I went to the market and got a bunch of apples for myself and Avel. When I got back, I decided to see if he could catch one in his mouth, but... I let go in the windup, and the apple hit an old lady behind me instead! Also, Avel fell over. I don't know why that happened.
Sakura: Heehee... That sounds awful... Hee.
Sophie: Mother! Don't laugh at me.
Sakura: But you say such funny things.
Sophie: I'm seriously worrying about my future here, Mother!
Sakura: I-I'm sorry. I shouldn't tease. But of all the flaws you could have... is clumsiness really so bad?
Sophie: I'm not a little clumsy! My life is one long series of mistakes and blunders!
Sakura: Is that true, though? I-I don't think it's bad to try and fail. That's all a mistake is, unless you don't get back up, r-right?
Sophie: But... But...
Sakura: Think of it this way... It's the flaws in something that bring out its beauty...
Sophie: Now you're just making things up, Mother.
Sakura: N-no, I meant it! Sorry...
Sophie: *sigh* Thanks for cheering me up, though.
Sakura: H-hello, Sophie...you look excited.
Sophie: I sure am! What you said the other day really cheered me up.
Sakura: I'm glad to hear that! Although it's probably just you forgetting you were worried about anything...
Sophie: Why do you always have to tease me?
Sophie: Oh, that does remind me, though... I made a small mistake at breakfast today. I...accidentally gave the horses the soldiers' meals.
Sophie: But once I realized my error, I rushed to make fresh meals for everyone. Suddenly, they all joined in to help! It made me really happy.
Sakura: Really? That's awfully nice of them.
Sophie: Yeah, I think so too!
Sakura: I bet I know why they were so eager to help you.
Sophie: Maybe they were worried that I would burn everything?
Sakura: N-no, I was going to say... Your enthusiasm and energy spreads to everyone around you.
Sophie: It does? I don't know...
Sakura: Believe me, it does. S-so you're fine the way you are! It's you being you that makes everyone happy to know you. That's all it takes.
Sophie: OK, Mother! I think I can do that. Oh! Also, I think I found some flowers nearby that I'm sure you'll like. We can go check them out together!
Sakura: O-of course! Um, b-but...
Sophie: Don't worry! They aren't the ones you replanted. I didn't pick any in advance, either—just in case!
Sakura: Oh...whew. I-I was afraid to ask...
Sophie: All right! Let's go!
Sakura: Hello, Midori. What is that in your hands?
Midori: Remember how your knee was bothering you the other day? Well, I made a special ointment. It should help out with the pain. It took me a couple of days to track down the right herbs, but I did it!
Sakura: Wow, you did all that just for me? Thank you so much, Midori.
Midori: Heehee. Why don't you take a seat and get comfortable. I will apply it for you, OK? Shoo, pain—stop bothering Mother!
Sakura: These unique medicines of yours are always so effective. The soreness in my knee just disappeared!
Midori: Really? Yaaaay! Err, I mean, I'm glad that it helped.
Sakura: Did your father help you create this ointment?
Midori: He sure did! I mentioned that you'd been in pain, and he gave me a few ideas. I still had to do a ton of research though.
Sakura: I'm glad that you're so passionate about your studies. I bet your father was delighted to share his knowledge with you.
Midori: Heehee, I hope so! He's always pleased when I come to him with a new herb.
Sakura: I bet. You're such a good girl. We're both proud of you. No one could ask for a better daughter.
Midori: Heeheehee! Thank you. I love you, Mother!
Sakura: I love you, too, Midori!
Sakura: Oh, Midori, dry your tears. Did something happen?
Midori: Nothing... Nothing, I'm fine. *sniffle*
Sakura: Talk to me. What's wrong? I'd like to help in any way that I can.
Midori: Well... I was in the forest collecting a few herbs, and some kids came up to me. They asked where my parents were and laughed when I said I was an adult. Then they said they were going deeper into the forest. I tried to stop them... But they turned to me and said, "Kids can't tell us what to do!" and ran off.
Sakura: Oh, I see. Children can be so cruel. Did you notice if they made it home safely?
Midori: Yes, they did. I watched them carefully to make sure they came back from the forest.
Sakura: I'm pleased to hear that. You're a very thoughtful girl.
Midori: I guess...
Sakura: Midori, please don't pout. I know it's hard, but sometimes when you do something kind, others won't notice. Regardless, that's no reason to stop helping people in need.
Midori: You're right... I'll just be true to myself.
Sakura: That's a good girl. Even if other people don't notice your kindness, I certainly will. And I will always believe in you. Don't worry about what other people think. Instead, just focus on doing what you know is right.
Midori: *sniffle* Thanks, Mother.
Sakura: Why, hello, Midori. You're in high spirits today.
Midori: I sure am! Remember those kids I met while I was collecting herbs the other day?
Sakura: Yes of course, the ones you warned, right?
Midori: Exactly! I ran into them in town earlier, and they were so nice. They even apologized for being rude to me.
Sakura: Oh, really? So they understood that you were just trying to help?
Midori: They sure did! Well, that and I think their parents yelled at them for being so mean. But it still made me feel better.
Sakura: I'm glad the air is clear. Maybe they aren't so bad after all.
Midori: I think we're friends now. But, um... They invited me to go back into the deep forest with them... They said we'd be safe if I came along, but I'm not so sure. We probably shouldn't go without a grown-up, right?
Sakura: Please, stay away from the deep forest. It's a very dangerous place for children and adults alike. Please understand—I just want you to stay safe.
Midori: Of course. We'll stay away from there. I promise. Anyway, I already suggested that the kids come with me to collect some rare herbs. I told them it'd be much more fun than wandering around some dank, dark forest.
Sakura: That sounds like a great plan. Now you run along and have fun with your new friends!
Midori: OK! Thanks, Mother!
Asugi: Ah, mission accomplished. I got a ton of useful information tonight. Today's undercover work was riskier than usual. I almost got caught this time. "Almost" doesn't count though, heh heh. Time to share what I learned and go relax.
Sakura: A-Asugi...? You're back! Oh, th-thank goodness!
Asugi: M-Mom?! Shouldn't you be asleep? It's really late.
Sakura: I couldn't s-sleep... I was t-too anxious waiting for you...
Asugi: I'm fine, Mom. It's an early morning tomorrow. You should be asleep!
Sakura: B-but I just told you, I can't! I g-get so afraid thinking about your missions.
Asugi: Look, I get sent out on these recon trips because I'm good at them. We all risk our lives when we're out on our missions, and I'm no different.
Sakura: Alone, though...? I-I don't know... I th-think I would sleep better at night if—
Asugi: I told you, I'm fine. I do what I have to, and that's the end of it. If you stay up all night, you'll just be a liability to all of us tomorrow.
Sakura: Th-that's just...
Asugi: Look, it's late. I'm exhausted. We should both get some rest.
Sakura: I suppose... G-good night, Asugi.
Asugi: I've successfully infiltrated the enemy base. Piece of cake! (Mmm...cake.) Now to scope out what the leaders here are up to. They've been acting suspicious. If I can just find some evidence that they're planning something…
Sakura: I'm sure y-you can!
Asugi: WHAA—?! What...? MOM?! What in the name of all that is sweet and holy are you doing here?
Sakura: Heehee. You don't mind th-that I followed you, right?
Asugi: Wh-why would you follow me? This place is dangerous!
Sakura: I m-must have mentioned how scared I get when you g-go alone...
Asugi: You shouldn't be here, Mom. This is MY mission, not yours!
Sakura: O-of course! But...I can help here and there, right...?
Asugi: SHH! Be quiet!
Asugi: Not another word! The enemy patrol is heading this way...
Sakura: O-oh gosh...
Asugi: *sigh* OK, they're gone. Gods, my heart is racing. I was certain they'd spotted us.
Sakura: I'll be more c-careful next time.
Asugi: Geez, Mom. I know parents like to bond with their kids, but this is overkill!
Sakura: I'm sorry! I j-just want you to be s-safe!
Asugi: Ugh, enough is enough. I can't think straight when you're here. This whole mission is a bust. Let's go.
Sakura: W-we're leaving...? Why?
Asugi: Come on, Mom. I know a shortcut back. It's time to go home.
Sakura: But it's a long way...a-and we're at their base now... Sh-shouldn't we stay a while?
Asugi: It's over. Come on, let's hurry back.
Sakura: H-hi, Asugi! What's the p-plan for tonight?
Asugi: ... WE are not going anywhere. You're not coming along.
Sakura: B-but...if I don't...wh-who will look after you?!
Asugi: Mom, you're being unreasonable. Don't you trust me?
Sakura: I just hate how th-they always send you on these m-missions alone! It's s-so dangerous... H-how am I supposed to n-not worry about you?!
Asugi: We each have our own part to play in this war, Mom. I'm a ninja, so I fulfill the roles that my training has prepared me for. When you follow me, it puts us both in very real danger. Instead of focusing on the mission, I can only think of protecting you.
Sakura: I d-don't mean to be a burden... I-I'm just trying to help!
Sakura: What if you were b-bleeding somewhere I c-couldn't get to you... H-horrible thoughts like those keep coming to me until I c-can hardly breathe!
Asugi: Mom... Look, this is embarrassing, so I'm only going to say it once.
Asugi: When I got back from my mission that one night and I saw you waiting up for me... I was really happy.
Sakura: You w-were?
Asugi: I was. It made me realize that I had a real home to come back to. Knowing you're out there, waiting for me, makes me desperate to make it back home. No matter how much danger I'm in or what I have to do to make it back safely... I always will. I will always, always come back home to you.
Asugi: That's why I need you to stay here. My home is wherever YOU are. I can't do what I do without knowing that I have a loving home waiting for me. As long as you're here, safe and happy, I'll never lose heart.
Sakura: ... Th-that makes sense... I hadn't thought of it that way. It'll be hard, b-but I'll try to c-calm down and stay home.
Asugi: Mom... Thank you. You don't know what that means to me.
Sakura: I'll k-keep the home fires burning while you're out d-doing what you do... And I'll m-make sure you have something to eat when you return.
Asugi: That...would be AMAZING!
Sakura: I'll make c-cookies, or cake, or pie... All your f-favorites! Wh-whatever I can do to help, because I love you.
Asugi: Thanks, Mom. I love you too.
Selkie: Hey, Mom! What are you doing? Wanna go outside and play?
Sakura: Ah, hello... O-oh my goodness! Selkie! You're all muddy!
Selkie: Yep! I was exploring in the forest, and I think I fell off a cliff or two. Heehee!
Sakura: Wh...WHAT?! Are you OK?!
Selkie: Aww, I'm fine. I just scraped my knees a little bit. Everything still works the way it's supposed to. See?
Sakura: S-Selkie, get off the table! You might be injured and not even know...! Oh, Selkie, you're so rambunctious... Try to be careful about these things.
Selkie: Grr, that's no fun! What am I supposed to do?
Sakura: I don't know. Have you considered meditation? It's very relaxing...
Selkie: I dunno...sounds boring. Oh! I have an idea! Let's play dress-up! We can put on makeup and everything.
Sakura: Selkie... That's a wonderful idea! I think it'll help you discover a whole new world of possibilities!
Selkie: Yay! Let's do it! Gimme that lipstick!
Sakura: W-well, I need time to prepare. I know it's hard for you, but please be patient. I'll come fetch you once everything is ready!
Selkie: All right...this is gonna be great!
Sakura: Are you ready to try on some makeup?
Selkie: Oh yeah! Bring it on!
Sakura: *sniffle* I dreamed about this day, but I was starting to think it would never come... I think maybe it's best to start small, perhaps with some—
Selkie: War paint! Right under the eyes with lipstick! I want green—do you have green?
Sakura: A-are you sure about— Hmm, well... I suppose I should introduce you to makeup with something you're interested in. This is called foundation. You put it on first before anything else.
Selkie: You mean this powdery stuff? I think it's gonna make me sneeze. AH-CHOO! Oh no...it's everywhere!
Sakura: Eeek! I-I mean, whoops! Just a little mishap... N-nothing to be upset about!
Selkie: *sniff* I'm sorry, Mom. I'm screwing everything up, aren't I?
Sakura: Don't give up so soon, Selkie. Would it be easier for you to watch me do it before you try?
Selkie: Hmmm. OK...that sounds good.
Sakura: That's the spirit! You'll learn the basics in no time at all. You're so naturally beautiful that it won't take much to make you look—
Selkie: Fierce! I want to look like I could rip your head off with my teeth. Rawr! I mean, not YOUR head, Mom. Anyway, make me look fierce!
Sakura: O-oh my! Well...if that's what my daughter wants, then...!
Selkie: Hey, Mom! Guess what?
Sakura: Selkie? I'm guessing...something...good?
Selkie: Yeah! I got so many compliments on the makeup you did for me. People said that I looked terrifying!
Sakura: A-and that...makes you happy?
Selkie: Uh-huh! There's just one problem...
Sakura: Oh dear... Don't tell me I...
Selkie: I loved the makeup, but it took so long to put on. I'd kind of rather spend that time outside playing and running.
Sakura: Oh. Oh...
Selkie: B-but that doesn't mean I didn't like being with you! It was really fun to see how you put it all together. I guess what I'm saying is... Sometimes I want to do makeup with you, but other times... I want to run and play outside with you!
Sakura: Haha...one is as good as the other to you, isn't it? Well...you were brave enough to try on makeup with me... So I guess that means next time it's my turn to go exploring with you.
Selkie: It does? Yay!
Sakura: Think nothing of it. And if you ever want to try on makeup again...just say the word...
Selkie: Aww, you're the best! I'm so glad you're my mom!
Sakura: Hello, Hisame. Do you have a moment?
Hisame: Oh, hello, Mother. What do you—? Is that—? Why do you have that?!
Sakura: Ah. I thought it might be yours. I found it among some of my things. It's a diary, right?
Hisame: Y-yes. It is... Why? Did you read any of it?
Sakura: No, of course I didn't. Even if I had wanted to, there is a lock on it. See?
Hisame: Oh, thank the gods. I'd forgotten about the lock. May I have it, then?
Sakura: O-of course, dear.
Hisame: Mother? You, um...you can let go now. ...Is something wrong?
Sakura: Well, um...now I'm a little curious as to what you've written in it...
Hisame: I would very much prefer it if you didn't read it! You may be my mother, but there are some things that should remain private.
Sakura: Oh! Yes...I-I suppose you're at that age when you would be having certain tho—
Hisame: Just what are you trying to imply?! Regardless, the diary is from when I was much younger. To be honest, I don't even remember what I wrote. I just know that it was private.
Sakura: Oh, really? Well, that's a little disappointing. Teehee.
Hisame: Yes, very disappointing. Now may I please have it back?
Sakura: OK, OK. Here you are.
Hisame: Thank you. Now, if you don't mind, I'll be on my way.
Sakura: I know I should just let it go... But I want to know what he wrote so badly.
Sakura: Um, Hisame... I had some questions concerning that diary of yours.
Hisame: Y-you didn't read it, did you?
Sakura: No, no. I promise. It's just... When you were little, we didn't get to spend much time with you. So I was wondering if you'd like to share some of what you wrote back then. I want to know more about what my little boy was like, I guess. Is that OK?
Hisame: Of course it is, Mother. I am happy to hear you're so interested. Hm... How about we read it together?
Sakura: Really? Are you sure it's OK?
Hisame: Yes. I think it would be fun to look back on that time with you, Mother. But I truly don't remember what I wrote. So I reserve the right to skip over anything we might find which I don't wish to share.
Sakura: Yes, of course. Could we start now?
Hisame: Sure. I actually have it right here, believe it or not. And the key goes...there. All right. "Today was a good day. Mom came to see me!" "I wonder when I'll get to see her next. Maybe it'll be real soon this time." "We got to play a lot today, though! So I don't think I'll be lonely for a while." Heh. It appears as though I wrote about your visits on nearly every page.
Sakura: Hisame... You must have felt so alone...
Hisame: It wasn't all so dreary as that. I did other things as well. I'm actually surprised that there's nothing about my daily life in here. You'd think I'd have written about something else. At least a few times... But I suppose those visits were always the things I looked forward to most. It was a rare treat, after all.
Sakura: Yes...this diary has made me realize how precious the time we have together is. We should take care to treasure every moment.
Hisame: Precisely. I feel the same way, Mother. <br Sakura: Thank you for allowing me to read your diary.
Hisame: No, Mother. Thank you.
Hisame: Mother? You don't seem well. Is everything all right?
Sakura: Hm? Oh, yes! Everything is fine.
Hisame: Then why do you look so distressed? Or...is it something you'd prefer not to discuss with your son?
Sakura: No, it's not that. I've just been thinking about that old diary of yours. I was so happy you let me read through it with you the other day, but... It was difficult to hear. You were so patient with us. And so cheerful. And for what must have been so long... There's no excuse for what we put you through.
Sakura: I know that it's all in the past now. There's nothing anyone can do about it. I am so, so sorry, Hisame. Can you— *sniff* Can you ever forgive us?
Hisame: Of course. And I understand why it was so. Please, do not trouble yourself over it. Here, with the army, I feel like I live every day to the fullest. As a child, all I'd think about was when I might see you and Father next. But here, I fight alongside you. I can contribute. I have a purpose. I've never been happier than I am now. So please, don't be sad, Mother.
Sakura: Thank you, Hisame. It helps a lot to hear you say that...
Hisame: I did nothing. But I am very glad to hear it made you feel better.
Sakura: It did. And I will do anything to make sure we are never parted like that again.
Hisame: And I pray the day never comes when anything threatens to part us. Thank you, Mother.
Sakura: Mitama? Mitama!
Sakura: Mitama, how long do you think you can stay holed up in there? Your attendance is required at the next war council meeting. Please come out!
Mitama: Please apologize / Tell them I am feeling poor / I'll come tomorrow.
Sakura: I'm not falling for that excuse a second time! Come on, Mitama. Don't make me drag you out. ...Fine! I'm coming in!
Mitama: Please, honored Mother / I beg you to have pity / On pitiful me. I am too tired to attend the meeting. I will just fall asleep at the table.
Sakura: You're only that tired because you stayed up all night reading poetry again! Sometimes I'm of half a mind to just lock all your books away for a while. Such a strange obsession. I wonder where you got it...
Mitama: The answer is clear / A gift from Father did it / A brush and paper. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Sakura: That can't be it. You can do a million things with a brush and some paper. You could have written stories or kept a journal, or chosen to draw. But you chose poetry.
Mitama: I must ponder this / Other paths I left untrod / Why did I begin?
Sakura: Something must have happened when you were quite little.
Mitama: Oh! I have an idea! Perhaps we should now / Try to solve this together / Mother and daughter.
Sakura: That sounds wonderful! Maybe we could— Oh no, I almost forgot about the meeting! Were you— Never mind. It doesn't matter. You must get ready to go. Quickly! Come on! Hurry, hurry!
Mitama: (My ruse discovered / I have no choice but to go / It was worth a shot.)
Sakura: Hello, Mitama. What are you up to? And why are these papers everywhere?
Mitama: Sly old Memory / She leaves only threads behind / For us to follow.
Sakura: I'm not sure what you mean... *sigh* As always.
Mitama: I am referring to the recovery of lost time via a thread of memories. To reclaim the past, we must begin by seizing upon a single vivid memory. It, in turn, will unlock the others in the thread, leading back to one's destination. This being the case, I am looking for my very first poem. It is here somewhere.
Sakura: Oh, so your first poem is the end of one of these threads? Where, then, are you hoping this thread will lead you?
Mitama: Before there was verse / Mitama existed not / Wherefore Mitama? I wish to understand who I am. I was not myself until I learned poetry. If I find my earliest self, I find the "why" of my now-self. In the beginning, the end. Therefore, the search.
Sakura: I see. You've been thinking about our last conversation. And you think that finding your first poem will tell you what drew you to poetry.
Mitama: Yes. How long 'til it's found? / In a blizzard of poems / A single snowflake. It has been many days. But I am determined.
Sakura: Is there any way I can help?
Mitama: Well, perhaps if you could— Ah! Wait! I may have found it / The Alpha of Mitama / Omega, my search.
Sakura: Oh, what does it say?
Mitama: Mother does not come / I count the days passing by / Days without number.
Sakura: M-Mitama...is this really your first poem?
Mitama: Yes. I remember now. You'd become very busy, and my caretakers told me you couldn't come to visit. I began writing poems to comfort myself while you were gone. Left waiting for you / My world turned inward to verse / Structure to sorrow.
Sakura: I'm so sorry, Mitama. Can you ever forgive me?
Mitama: Don't apologize / You had a duty, a cause / The world needed you. I am sorry. I didn't want to upset you. And I want you to know I understand. You fought to protect me. I know that now.
Sakura: Maybe. But maybe I could have done better, somehow. Anyways...we still don't know why you turned to poetry in particular for comfort. How about we write a letter to your caretakers? They might know something.
Mitama: More clues to my past / Hidden in old memories / The search continues. Yes, you are right. I will draft a letter immediately.
Sakura: Er. Maybe I should help with that. I think they might appreciate a letter with fewer poetic tangents...
Sakura: What? This can't be right.
Mitama: Mother? Is that the letter from my caretakers? Please, let me hear it / Perhaps the source is revealed / The search now bears fruit.
Sakura: Well...I'm not sure how to say this.
Mitama: What is it?
Sakura: It says here that I'm the one who got you started on poetry.
Mitama: I don't understand / You have no great love for it / What else do they say?
Sakura: I don't understand either. Give me a moment, though.
Sakura: Your caretakers say that I used to teach you the lyrics of the lullabies I sang you. You had trouble singing, so I taught you by reciting them. Eventually, you forgot they were songs, but you never forgot the lyrics themselves. And when you wanted to find more things like them, you naturally asked for poetry. Luckily, they had many books of traditional verses—tanka and haiku especially. Dozens, from the sound of it. And after that...well, the rest is history.
Mitama: Mystery dispelled / I know now the catalyst / My life's prime mover. And to think that so much of my life has hinged on a simple misunderstanding... A single mistake / Like ripples on a still lake / Echoes across life. But that means—
Sakura: Yes. It looks like the source of your love for poetry was me.
Mitama: So it wouldn't really be right for you to scold me for it now, would it? Yourself the wellspring / Can the source of the river / Choose to flow uphill?
Sakura: Teehee. I admit defeat. But that doesn't get you out of the war council meetings!
Mitama: Poetry and song / Daughter and mother allied / Invincible bond!
Sakura: Heehee. I think that one's my favorite so far!
Caeldori: Hm. The advance troops have just received fresh recruits, so they'll be needing tents. And a larger shipment of grain. Have the quartermaster make the arrangements.
Hoshidan: At once, milady. Would you like him to resume his duties managing the armory?
Caeldori: No. I will continue to oversee it personally. On that note, please go to the smiths and requisition the items on this list. Delivery is expected within the fortnight.
Hoshidan: Yes, milady. Right away, milady.
Sakura: You certainly seem busy these days, Caeldori.
Caeldori: Oh, Mother! How can I help you?
Sakura: I'd heard the supply division was short of hands and thought I might be able to help. But it looks like you've got everything under control! Whoever appointed you really knew what they were doing.
Caeldori: You flatter me, but I've got plenty of room for improvement yet. I'm still very new to this kind of work.
Sakura: Heehee. No need to be so modest. Now, what can I help you with?
Caeldori: Thank you, Mother. I appreciate your offer, truly, but I have nothing for you to do. All I've left is the inventory.
Sakura: Then I will help with that. With an army of this size, it must take a long time to count everything.
Caeldori: Well, see, about that—
Sakura: Here, let me see the list. We just need to make sure the numbers match, correct?
Caeldori: Well, yes, but... Here, look at this.
Sakura: Hm? This isn't an inventory. What is it? Some kind of diagram?
Caeldori: Er, something like that, yes. I drew it up for the armory a little while ago. If the supplies are stored according to the plan, they can be counted with ease. It takes a fraction of the time and...only one person. I'm sorry, Mother.
Sakura: I see. So...uhm... Are you sure there's nothing else I could do?
Caeldori: Well...I have prepared some tea over there for just such an occasion. Please, help yourself!
Sakura: (Am I b-being coddled by my own daughter?) (Truly, I am the most useless of humans...)
Caeldori: What was that? Did you say something, Mother?
Sakura: N-no, dear.
Caeldori: All right, these crates are fully loaded. Have we moved the damaged weapons yet?
Hoshidan: Yes, milady. They are en route to the smiths as we speak.
Caeldori: Perfect. Then all that is left is to deliver the new ones to the front. See to it.
Hoshidan: Understood, milady!
Sakura: ... ...Hi.
Caeldori: Wah! M-Mother! I didn't see you! Wait, what are you DOING? It's dangerous to hide in there. We put weapons in those barrels.
Sakura: I apologize. I was just watching you work, and I didn't want to disturb you.
Caeldori: Is something wrong? You seem a little off today.
Sakura: Oh, no. I am fine. I just came by to offer my help again, but it looks like you still don't need it. I'm impressed, though. You never hesitate, and you give precise orders very quickly. You were so impressive, in fact, that I felt I had nothing to offer whatsoever. So I suppose I will just sit over here and drink my tea. Again. *siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip*
Sakura: You really take after your father, don't you? Intelligence, charisma, strength... You have all of his gifts. Not like me! Teehee.
Caeldori: I— Mother...
Sakura: Don't worry. It's a good thing. Now, I don't want to be in your way, so I should get going. Keep up the good work!
Caeldori: Mother! Oh, pickled hen feet! She's gone.
Caeldori: Ah, there you are, Mother.
Caeldori: Do you have some time? I wanted to speak to you about something.
Sakura: Of course, dear. What is it?
Caeldori: Well, the last time we talked, you said that I was just like Father. But...I don't think that's true. I've always wanted to be like Father. He does everything so effortlessly. Fighting, riding, speaking...it all comes to him as naturally as breathing. I'm not like that.
Sakura: What do you mean? I don't think this army has ever seen such a capable administrator.
Caeldori: I mean that I have never seen Father work hard at anything. But I have seen you do so. I know that you trained for years to acquire your skills. And it was YOUR work ethic that gave me the courage to try to improve myself. It made me understand that I did not need to be naturally gifted to succeed in life. So thank you, Mother. I would not be who I am without you.
Sakura: I-I don't know what to say. And now I'm starting to— Oh, goodness. I'm a mess.
Caeldori: Please, don't cry. There's no need to say anything. Just...never think you are not as important a part of me as Father. OK?
Sakura: Of course, of course. I promise. Thank you, Caeldori. You make me so proud to be your mother.
Sakura: Um, Rhajat? We need to talk...
Rhajat: Hello, Mother. Why are you making that scary face? Did I do something?
Sakura: Well, there's something I have to ask you. It's pretty important.
Rhajat: O-OK... What is it?
Sakura: I heard a rumor that you cast some sort of spell on a handful of villagers recently. Is that true?
Rhajat: They wanted me to perform a good-luck ritual for their upcoming harvest. I didn't really want to, but they were so insistent that I gave in eventually.
Sakura: Unfortunately, some of them came here to complain about you.
Rhajat: Why would they complain about me? I just complied with their request...
Sakura: A strange illness has been spreading among them... They've never seen anything like it before.
Rhajat: I don't know why that would be. But sometimes even benign magic can have unintended side effects...
Sakura: Rumors have been spreading... The villagers are blaming your spell for their sickness. I don't believe them at all. I know you'd never do something to hurt anybody. But can't you tell me about the enchantment you used? Maybe together, we can find a way to help them get better. I don't want anyone to be scared of you.
Rhajat: Those villagers will be wary of me regardless of what I do. Maybe it doesn't really matter...
Sakura: Wh-what does that mean?
Rhajat: It's just complicated, Mother. You shouldn't involve yourself in this. No good will come of it.
Sakura: R-Rhajat! Wait, don't go!
Sakura: Whew... This is so tiring. But I need to keep going. Looks like I have everything. Time to go!
Rhajat: Greetings, Mother...
Sakura: Aah! R-Rhajat! You scared me!
Rhajat: That bag is awfully large. What have you been getting up to?
Sakura: U-um, well, I-I'm... I-I'm j-just g-going shopping! Yeah, that's it!
Rhajat: I know everything has been crazy lately, but you look exhausted. Why don't you rest? I'd be more than happy to go to the market for you.
Sakura: I-I'm perfectly all right. Don't worry about me...
Rhajat: Is this supposed shopping trip just a ruse? You're only now leaving the house, and yet that bag is filled to the brim. You were planning to assist those sick villagers, weren't you?
Sakura: How did you—
Rhajat: I have a keen awareness of events unfolding around me. Do you feel obliged to come to their aid because they blame me?
Sakura: No, it's nothing like that...
Rhajat: Then what is driving you to help them?
Sakura: It's my calling to assist those in need. I can't stand to watch people suffer around me. Don't worry, Rhajat. It doesn't have anything to do with you.
Rhajat: You didn't have to sneak around behind my back though...
Sakura: I'm really sorry. Listen, I must be going. The villagers need me to deliver these supplies. I hope you can forgive me.
Rhajat: Wait... I know that I'm not responsible for this illness. I'll be able to explain everything soon. But I need a little more time.
Sakura: O-OK... I trust you. Just come and find me when you want to talk.
Rhajat: Thank you for understanding, Mother.
Rhajat: Here, Mother. I wanted to show you what I've been working on.
Sakura: Wait... Is this some sort of medicinal herb? I've never seen it before. Do you think it can cure the villagers?
Rhajat: Yes. It took longer than I would have liked to mature. I even had to use a bit of light magic to encourage the herb's growth. If I could have brought it to you sooner, I would have. I just needed to make sure it worked first. I'm sorry...
Sakura: How did you come across this cure?
Rhajat: It took some time. When the villagers asked me to cast a spell for them, I noticed something strange... There were several people who were coughing profusely. A few of them also looked quite pale.
Sakura: So the villagers were already sick when you cast that spell!
Rhajat: Precisely. I had heard that there was a rare herb that naturally fights illness. I managed to track down some seeds and got to sprouting them right away.
Sakura: Why didn't you try to warn the villagers? No one would have been suspicious if you'd just said something!
Rhajat: My sole concern wasn't their perception of me. It was their health. The most important thing was to find a cure before the sickness got out of control. All I really cared about was you trusting me.
Sakura: You are so foolish!
Rhajat: Um, why are you hugging me? We need to get this herb to the villagers right away.
Sakura: I'm just so proud of you!
Rhajat: Let me go already. It hurts when you squeeze me so tightly! Listen, you should help me turn this herb into a tea. That way we can distribute it quickly.
Sakura: Good idea. Let's go cure the villagers!
Siegbert: Mother... So this is where you were.
Sakura: Oh...! Hello, Siegbert.
Siegbert: You seem tired. Is everything OK?
Sakura: You needn't worry about me. I'll be fine... I've just been so overwhelmed lately. I can't seem to rid myself of this fatigue...
Siegbert: I see... Mother, I think I know the perfect way to help us both!
Sakura: Help? Help with what?
Siegbert: I'd like to give you a shoulder massage.
Sakura: You want to...massage my shoulders? But how would that help you?
Siegbert: Like you, I've been feeling some aches and pains. One of the healers here showed me some pressure points to relieve the pain, but I can't really find the spots when I try to massage myself. If I could practice on your shoulders, you could tell me when I find the spots.
Sakura: How kind of you! I can hardly refuse such a gracious offer.
Siegbert: Excellent! Thank you, Mother. Here, try and relax...
Sakura: Mmm... That feels wonderful. All that fatigue has drained away. Thank you ever so much, Siegbert. But weren't you tired as well...?
Siegbert: No need for concern, Mother. I'm the one who should be thanking you. Now that I know where to apply pressure, my pain will be a thing of the past.
Sakura: I-I certainly hope so! Still, I appreciate what you've done for me, Siegbert.
Sakura: Oh dear... Your neck still seems slightly stiff, Siegbert.
Siegbert: It's nothing, Mother. Don't worry about it.
Sakura: Um—! P-please don't squirm, or I can't give you a proper massage.
Siegbert: I'm fine, really! I don't want to be seen like this.
Sakura: Hee hee... Surely it's fine every now and again...isn't it?
Siegbert: *sigh* Fine...
Sakura: The massage isn't really what I came for, though... Is there anything you want to discuss?
Siegbert: Nothing you need to worry about— I'm sure I can handle things on my own.
Sakura: R...really? I don't mind listening, if there's anything troubling you...
Siegbert: Well... Lately I find myself lost in thought a lot. I can't help thinking that I'm not strong enough yet. Or wondering if I have what it takes to protect the people.
Sakura: Ah, so that's it. You know...the world is full of strong people. People who've fought many battles or studied long and hard... Compared to them, it's only natural for you to feel inadequate.
Siegbert: Mother, you aren't really helping...
Sakura: But what you have to realize is that those people can feel powerless too. And there's a lesson in that for you. There's no shame in powerlessness... Not at your age. The trials and tribulations you face as you grow old... Power comes from those.
Siegbert: Trials and tribulations... These things will make me stronger? Thank you, Mother. I feel a bit better already.
Sakura: Wonderful! And if a massage would help you feel better, I'll do that for you too.
Siegbert: Mother, have you got some free time?
Sakura: Ah, Siegbert... How can I help you?
Siegbert: Well, I'd like to give you another shoulder massage.
Sakura: Hee hee... Don't tell me you need a reminder about the pressure points.
Siegbert: N-no, of course not! I just wanted to repay you for the advice you offered me the other day.
Sakura: D-did it help...?
Siegbert: It did indeed. I've been able to apply that open-mindedness to several situations. I've learned from villagers what it is to live diligently. And from my comrades, I've learned what it's like to face strong enemies... I've witnessed all different kinds of strength from the people I've encountered. And I've become acutely aware of my own shortcomings. But now, instead of grinding to a stop when I find a fault in myself... I want to push forward and overcome the obstacle.
Sakura: My, Siegbert, how you've grown...
Siegbert: I'm sure I'll still find things to be worried about... But that's also a necessary waypoint on the path to growing stronger... For now, I think I'll puff out my chest and brood a little, like Father.
Sakura: Yes, that's wise... B-but try not to take it too far. And if I can help you grow in any way, please don't hesitate to ask!
Forrest: Mother! You have such great timing!
Sakura: Hmm? Did you need something, Forrest?
Forrest: Actually, I have something to give you. I was just on my way to see you, in fact.
Sakura: Oh, you got me a present?
Forrest: Yes. It's a very special dress!
Sakura: Oh, it's beautiful. The fabric is so soft. And it's just my size!
Forrest: I'm glad you like it. And a little relieved. I was worried it wouldn't appeal to you.
Sakura: It's wonderful. Thank you so much, Forrest. Say, why did you decide to make this dress for me?
Forrest: How could you tell I made it?
Sakura: Isn't it obvious? The detailed embroidery is something few people are capable of. It's an obvious sign of your handiwork.
Forrest: Awww, thank you, Mother! Your kind words mean the world to me.
Sakura: You even used all my favorite colors, too. I wish I could wear this every day!
Forrest: Oh, you don't have to do that! Besides, why would you want to wear the same thing? Honestly, I would love to make you a wide variety of dresses.
Sakura: Heehee. That would be wonderful!
Sakura: Hello, Forrest. You look so sad. Did something happen?
Forrest: How could you tell?
Sakura: The look on your face. Mothers can always tell these things.
Forrest: Ah, I see... I was in town today, picking up some supplies, and I ran into the worst people. There was an elderly man who had gotten lost, and no one would help him. A few townsfolk were mocking him! I was disheartened to see people be so cruel.
Sakura: Hmmm, I see. Well, that certainly wasn't nice of them. Sometimes, people can be very mean. What did you do?
Forrest: I helped him get home, of course! The poor dear was so confused. I don't understand. It's one thing to stand by idly, but they were laughing at him!
Sakura: Oh, Forrest...
Forrest: I know I shouldn't be surprised. People can be incredibly unkind. Sometimes I wish I could shut myself up in my room...forever!
Sakura: But, Forrest, this is exactly why you can't lock yourself away. You'll miss opportunities to help people! What if you'd stayed home today? Who would've helped that man?
Forrest: You're right. I must be brave!
Sakura: Yes. Some people will always be callous and cruel to others. But that's not a good reason to stop treating other people with love.
Forrest: Thanks, Mother. It would hurt even more to change myself just to avoid their cruelty.
Sakura: Just know that you can always come and talk to me whenever you're feeling sad. Even if you just need a sympathetic ear, I will always be here for you.
Forrest: I couldn't ask for anything more. Thank you, Mother.
Sakura: Heehee... *hum*
Forrest: Hello, Mother! You look so chipper today. Did something good happen?
Sakura: Yes! Something lovely, Forrest. I wore that pretty dress you made me when I went into town... People were complimenting me left and right!
Forrest: Oh really? That makes me so happy to hear!
Sakura: Every mother loves receiving praise for something her child did. I know they were just complimenting the dress... But I couldn't help feeling radiant while I was wearing it. It's like I've been walking on clouds ever since.
Forrest: What do you mean? Mother, you are beautiful! The dress simply complemented your lovely face.
Sakura: You're just flattering me. However, it wasn't the dress that made me proud.
Sakura: A stranger asked me a question that would warm any mother's heart. She wanted to know if I had raised the sweet girl she'd seen the other day. She saw you help that old man, and she was impressed by your kindness.
Forrest: Really?! ...Mother, I just realized something. I will never let the laughter of cruel people stop me from being who I am. Long ago, I decided I wouldn't let them change the way I dress... and I certainly won't let them stop me from being compassionate toward others.
Sakura: I'm happy to hear you say that.
Forrest: Thank you, Mother. I'll follow your advice and keep being myself. In fact, I think I'll start by making you another dress to wear around town. I bet you'll love it.
Sakura: Heehee. How exciting!
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