Ephraim: Eirika, are you all right?
Eirika: I am fine, Brother.
Ephraim: I'm right here, so please call me if you need anything. I'll always be nearby.
Eirika: Yes, thank you. But you do understand that I am here to fight, don't you? I cannot ask you to watch me constantly. I am your sister, not your ward.
Eirika: Wait, don't... What are you--?
Ephraim: You looked a little upset... I thought I would stroke your face like I used to...
Eirika: Please stop it. You're treating me like a child...
Ephraim: Oh, I'm sorry. It's just an old habit... Besides, you were always the one who pestered me to do it when we were little. Don't you remember?
Eirika: N-no, I don't remember! That was such a long time ago... Ahh... Dear brother, please try to remember where we are right now. What would our companions say if they saw us in such a personal moment?
Ephraim: Yes, that would be embarrassing... Forgive me, I did not mean to do anything you would find unpleasant.
Eirika: N-no... I didn't mean that... It's just--
Ephraim: So, you really do want me to stroke your face?
Eirika: No! I mean, look...
Ephraim: Ha ha, you always did blush so easily! You haven't changed at all!
Eirika: E-enough! Brother...you are starting to anger me!
Eirika: Yaa... Yaa!
Ephraim: Eirika, try taking a deeper step forward when you lunge. Otherwise, you might find it hard to dodge the counterthrust of a foe. That's why you always want to end a duel with a single blow. Don't give your opponent the chance to return the attack.
Eirika: Ah, Brother! Thank you for the instruction! I suppose I still have a lot to learn.
Ephraim: No, not at all! Rather, I am surprised at your rapid progress after such a short time! I think you would give me an excellent match were we to spar.
Eirika: You really think so? And yet, I feel... Sigh... If only we lived in a world where such skills were not even necessary.
Ephraim: I see... You're a peaceful soul. All of this fighting... It must be hard on you.
Eirika: It is... I just pray that this fighting will end as swiftly as possible. No one desires this war. So why must it continue?
Ephraim: ...Indeed. And yet there is fighting in every generation. In ancient times, our ancestors fought all manner of evil beast. But once the beasts were subdued, man then fought against fellow man... So we learned from Lyon.
Eirika: I know... But if men understand the futility of fighting, why do they do it? We could gain so much more by cooperation than by conquest.
Ephraim: You may be right... ...But I think... I understand why.
Eirika: Why, Brother...?
Ephraim: I pray for peace to return to our fair Renais. I know that war brings only sorrow. And yet, somewhere in my heart... There is a lust for battle that cannot be stilled. It screams within me when I clutch this spear...
Ephraim: Perhaps it is because I am a man. Perhaps it is because I was raised to fight. I enjoy the practice of my art. I find pleasure in the battle victorious. And the stronger I become... The more strongly the call to arms sounds within my ears. I want to see how great is the skill that I have acquired. It may be crass and low, but I cannot deny it.
Ephraim: You would disdain me for this?
Eirika: No, I could never... But, Brother, listen. No matter why you fight... Please ensure that this fighting brings good to our people and to our kingdom.
Ephraim: Of course. I am not so far gone as that. And I could not bear to see you cry for our people. Besides, I would fear the judgment of your mighty sword!
Eirika: Brother, I--!
Ephraim: Ha ha! I'm joking, of course!
Eirika: Just...a bit longer.
Ephraim: Yes, you may be right. There may be an end to this fighting soon. We may yet defeat the evil in this land and return it to the hands of men. Then, Renais may enjoy its former glory.
Eirika: Yes... You will be crowned king of Renais, and I will help you rebuild our land. We will make it a happy and prosperous country, free of conflict. Just as we three used to dream about...
Ephraim: We...three. Lyon was here with us, wasn't he? We three had so many grand ideas for the futures of our lands.
Eirika: Yes... We talked about a lot. But Lyon...
Eirika: Brother... Brother...please promise that you won't ever leave me alone. Please...promise...
Ephraim: Of course. I would never leave you. Why would you ever think I could do something like that?
Ephraim: I know better than anyone how you feel, dear sister. Ever since we were born... No, even before... We two have always been together. And together... we will always stay.
Eirika: Yes, dear brother...
Seth: What brings you, Princess?
Eirika: How fare you, Seth? Ever since the castle fell you have been protecting me, despite your own injuries...
Seth: Would that I could have served you better, my lady... You were not meant to see such things. But my wound has closed up, and it does not affect my lance arm...
Eirika: Wait. Show it to me. Look. The wound has closed, but it has not yet fully healed.
Seth: ...... What made you think of this, my lady?
Eirika: Your fighting is as superb as ever, Seth. But when you raise your lance, I see a flicker of pain on your face, as if you were merely enduring it... But it only lasts a moment. Perhaps it is all just my imagination...
Seth: Your Highness, please put your mind at ease. My wound has healed. There is no reason to worry.
Eirika: I would that were so, Seth. Please do not overextend yourself. I beg this of you. Without you, I may not be able to continue this quest...
Seth: You praise me too much, my lady...
Eirika: Hrrngh... Hahh! What do you think?
Seth: Your sword arm is magnificent, my lady. You have improved yet again.
Eirika: Thank you. It is only because I know my brother will scold me if I do not practice every day. But I still am nowhere near your level of skill, Seth.
Seth: ...My lady, I hardly think...
Eirika: Perhaps next time, you could spar with me and help me learn some technique? The basics I've learned from my brother all apply to skills with the spear. If I could learn the sword techniques of the Knights of Renais, then perhaps I could be even stronger. I would be of greater help to you on the battlefield.
Seth: Yes, but... Princess Eirika, I think you should stay away from the front lines. You are of the royal family of Renais. Please leave the fighting to me...
Eirika: Still... How can I just watch from afar while others risk their lives for me? I cannot rely on you always. I must learn to protect myself. So please, continue to observe as I practice.
Seth: Princess Eirika...
Eirika: Seth, do you have a moment? Could you help me practice a bit right now?
Seth: ...Princess Eirika. Before I do, there is something I must say to you.
Eirika: Yes, what is it?
Seth: Please forgive my rudeness... Princess, I am merely your subject. Recently, you have been too close to me. It is not becoming of a noble of Renais to fraternize in this way with her subjects.
Eirika: Oh... But I... it's just that your wound has not yet... I was merely...
Seth: It's true. The wound I received the day our castle fell has not yet healed... Perhaps it will afflict me to the end of my life. But it would be a mistake to assume you owe me a debt for this wound. This thought should not rest beneath the crown you soon must wear.
Eirika: But still, you suffered for me...
Seth: Lady Eirika. You are a noble of Renais. The nobility should not favor one subject over another. How can they maintain their fealty if you treat one so differently?
Seth: You may have to forego such attachments just to defend your country. There will be times when victory in battle demands a sacrifice. If you cannot send your men to die, then you are not fit to rule.
Eirika: ...... I understand... Seth... You are correct. I had forgotten my place, and I had forgotten my duty. Please forgive me.
Eirika: That night... We fled from the soldiers of Grado... You held me tight, keeping me safe from the enemy's blades... Perhaps...I did feel something more for you then. But...it was improper for a queen of Renais. And with my father dead, I suppose that is my station. I am a queen, and you are a knight in my service. If I do not keep this in mind, then I will never be able to rebuild our kingdom.
Seth: I thank you for your understanding, my lady. Now, if you will excuse me...
Seth: Princess Eirika. If you would allow me to say one more thing...
Seth: ...That night... I felt what you felt. When I held you in my arms as we rode into the night... It was the first time since I was knighted that I forgot my duty. I thought of you not as my queen, but rather as someone I wanted to protect from all harm. I wanted to leave everything behind... To take you far away to someplace where we could be together... Those were my thoughts...
Seth: Please forgive me. I swear to you that I will never again forget my duty in that way. Now, please excuse me. When I see you next, it will be as a Knight of Renais... And I will lay down my life to protect my queen.
Eirika: Master Saleh!
Saleh: ... ...Oh, I'm sorry, Princess Eirika.
Eirika: It's all right. Were you...praying?
Saleh: Not exactly. It's called Valega.
Eirika: What is it? Is it something to do with Caer Pelyn's cultural history?
Saleh: Yes, in a sense. Think of it as a kind of wish. A very pure wish. It is a wish that expands far beyond individual desire.
Eirika: I see. I don't claim to understand, but it sounds very interesting. If you don't mind, I'd like to hear more about it later.
Saleh: If you like.
Eirika: Yes, I would.
Eirika: Master Saleh.
Eirika: What you were telling me about Valega was most enlightening. It sounds as though you align your desires with the world around you. By knowing the vastness of creation around you, you come to know yourself. And then, by transcending your selfish needs, you wish for a better world. What you told me, it helped me rediscover the importance of that unselfish wish. It's the reason for the war we fight now... The dream of a better world. Because of your Valega, my own conviction was renewed.
Saleh: Ahhh. I'm glad to hear that. ... Princess Eirika, you remind me of the warrior princess, Nada Kuya.
Eirika: Nada Kuya?
Saleh: She's one of Caer Pelyn's ancient heroes.
Eirika: I'd like to hear about her.
Saleh: I've been told she was a strong woman, beautiful and proud. She spoke with the voice of nature, and she lived at one with the earth.
Eirika: But you called her a battle princess...?
Saleh: Well, in ancient times, Caer Pelyn was invaded by a foreign nation.
Saleh: And leading the charge against the invaders was Nada Kuya. She carried a narrow sword made from a fang gifted to her by the dragonkin. With her dragon blade in her hand, she drove Caer Pelyn's enemies away.
Eirika: Wow... Quite a story. And you think I--
Saleh: Yes. You remind me of her.
Eirika: No, no... When Grado invaded Renais, I was paralyzed. I couldn't do anything. It is only because of the sacrifices of others that I could even escape.
Saleh: But now, you are here. With your strength, courage, and dignity.
Eirika: Master Saleh...
Saleh: If you achieve victory, the legend will become reality. You will become the Nada Kuya of this age.
Eirika: I see... Yes, I see! I have a reason to fight. I have things to protect. I fight for the future. The future of Renais, the future of my people. Thank you, Master Saleh. Your stories always give me the courage to fight on.
Saleh: I'm glad to hear that.
Eirika: I pray your wisdom guides us through this war.
Saleh: I will do what I can.
Saleh: ... What troubles you, Princess Eirika?
Eirika: Oh, Master Saleh. No, nothing. My mind was somewhere else... Oh, and in the middle of a battle... I'm sorry.
Saleh: Don't be sorry. I am not going to judge you for how you think or act.
Eirika: Thank you. ... I was just remembering my home. I was thinking about the last time Renais was at peace.
Eirika: There were the most beautiful mountains, the clearest rivers... The scent of wildflowers filled the air. The sky was clear and bright. This was before war scarred the hills and scorched the skies. It was a wonderful place. Every day was filled with hope and possibility. My brother and I would go hunting with Prince Lyon. ...I would make lunches for us. Ephraim would tease, but Lyon was happy. I... I miss that time so very much.
Saleh: Princess Eirika... I give you my word that you will once again see the Renais you love restored.
Eirika: Master Saleh... I do hope so. But first, you and I must concentrate on the battle at hand. We must win. Thank you, Master Saleh. Your homeland, Caer Pelyn, was also a most beautiful place.
Saleh: We had nothing special. But, because of that, we had...everything.
Eirika: I didn't understand that before. Now, I think I know what you mean.
Saleh: I am glad.
Eirika: When we have to fight no more, please, let me visit you in Caer Pelyn. I would like to know more about your home. About Valega and Nada Kuya.
Saleh: You are welcome anytime. Caer Pelyn and I will welcome you with open arms.
L'Arachel: Good day to you, Princess. What a funny thing that we should meet here! It is providence, I tell you!
Eirika: L'Arachel, it is NOT providence. It is not even a coincidence. We agreed to meet here when we planned out our battle strategy. Wait... Don't tell me that you don't remember that!
L'Arachel: We planned this? I suppose I simply don't usually worry about such trifling details. And here we are, so I suppose that our plan must be working.
Eirika: I suppose you're right.
L'Arachel: Still, divine providence or not, isn't it strange and wonderful? A beautiful princess traveling with such a ragged bunch as this... You could have told me much sooner, you know!
Eirika: My apologies. Necessity demanded that I conceal my identity at the time.
L'Arachel: Oh, it is no longer any worry. To be honest, I believe I had figured out your ruse from the very moment we met. I said to myself, ?This lovely woman could only be of my own superior breeding.? After all, you could never truly fool a woman with my keen mind.
Eirika: My. How...impressive.
L'Arachel: There is something about nobility that simply cannot be hidden from its kin! Why, Eirika, certainly you must have felt the same thing upon seeing me? You surely saw a refinement and grace of carriage surpassing that of common folk?
Eirika: Err... Aheh... Yes, why...the very first time I met you, I could see that you... You were very far from common.
L'Arachel: Exactly. Far from common. I could not have put it better myself. It's simply impossible to travel incognito these days.
L'Arachel: Take that! And that and that and that!
Eirika: L'Arachel? What are you doing?
L'Arachel: I'm practicing! I want to be prepared for when those fiends next show up. You never can tell where or when they'll appear, after all. And if they were to appear and I were unable to prepare a magical attack... Well, I'd like to be ready to whack them with this staff of mine.
Eirika: Ahhh... Don't you think that's a bit, well, dangerous? Perhaps you should stop. If monsters appear when I am around, I promise I'll come to your aid.
L'Arachel: That's simply no good, Eirika. You know how those monsters can be. I insist that I be able to hold my own, relying on nothing but my skills.
Eirika: I've been curious about something, L'Arachel... Why are you so obsessed with fighting monsters?
L'Arachel: ...My parents were kind people. I would be like them if I am able. My home of Rausten is so near to Darkling Woods. We experienced many sudden raids. My parents took it upon themselves to defend our people against the monsters.
Eirika: I had no idea...
L'Arachel: Yes, but my parents are gone now. I've been told that they passed away when I was but an infant. They...gave their lives defending many helpless people.
Eirika: I'm so sorry.
L'Arachel: Oh, you needn't be sad. I would not want for that. No, it's wonderful that they gave their lives battling that filth. I was so young that I do not remember their faces, if I must be honest. However, that does not diminish the pride I feel for what they've done.
Eirika: Don't you feel lonely at the loss of your parents?
L'Arachel: No! Not at all! What do you take me for? Some kind of weakling?
Eirika: No, I see that you are strong indeed, L'Arachel.
L'Arachel: I should say so. But...would you not say that you are strong, too, Eirika? Your father stayed in his castle, fighting the forces of Grado. He had a noble death, don't you think? Your father was a great man. You must be quite proud of him.
Eirika: Well...yes. He refused to take even one step in retreat from the advancing Grado soldiers. But still... I mean, I...I would have thought no less of him if he had fled. Even if he were no longer a brave king... Still... I would be happier if he were still alive.
L'Arachel: Eirika... I do understand you. Everyone would tell me of my parents' bravery, of their honor... But I will never see them. I will never know them for myself. Oh, what I would give if I could have met them...just once.
L'Arachel: Eirika... Please hold for a moment.
Eirika: What is it, L'Arachel?
L'Arachel: About what we were discussing earlier... I would not want you to get the wrong idea. I was not saying I was lonely because my parents were dead. I am not that weak, you know? I have never even...cried...when thinking of my parents.
Eirika: I know, L'Arachel. You are a very strong person. We are lucky to have you with us.
"L'Arachel: I hope you do not think this all too sudden, but... Here. Look at this.
Eirika: What's this...?
L'Arachel: This ruby has been in Rausten for generations. It is a valuable gem. I would be honored if... I would like for you to have it.
Eirika: What? No, I couldn't! It's far too precious to accept...
L'Arachel: No, I mean it. Please, accept this as a gift. Here. I won't allow you to refuse.
Eirika: L'Arachel... Thank you. I will treasure it. I so wish I had something to give you in return...
L'Arachel: You needn't feel that way. Here, I've an idea... Once we've put an end to all the monstrosities in our lands... Invite me to Renais. Does this plan please you?
Eirika: Yes...certainly. Of course.
L'Arachel: Then we are agreed! Now, you had better not go dying in battle on me. Not until then, at any rate. Do I have your word?
Eirika: Yes...let us both live long enough to look back on this time. I am sure that, when we do look back, it will be as the best of friends.
Tana: Ah, Eirika. Shall we ride together a while?
Eirika: Tana, you seem well. And yes, I'd appreciate the company.
Tana: I feel I should apologize. I'm afraid I haven't been very much help to you, Eirika. To be honest, I'm still in training, and not quite battle-ready. Perhaps you'd fare better if I were not traveling with you...
Eirika: Tana, that's not true at all. You've been a great help to us. I have seen you in action. I know what I'm talking about.
Tana: Thank you, Eirika. Heh... I feel so foolish now.
Eirika: Why is that?
Tana: I look on you as a sister, Eirika. And yet, even though we're the same age, you seem so much more mature.
Tana: It is you who even gave me the courage to leave the castle. I wanted to be out on my own, like you, to pattern my life after yours. I'm simply glad that we are friends.
Eirika: Me too, Tana. I'm glad you came. You help to remind me of better times.
Tana: Oh, Brother... I'm going to get you for this, Brother...
Eirika: What's wrong, Tana? Has something happened to Innes?
Tana: My brother is so cruel! Listen to what he said to me! He told me that I was just in everyone's way... He said I should just go back home to Frelia...
Eirika: Oh, dear...
Tana: I'm so depressed. He's always like that, too. He just makes fun of me and insults me and teases me. I hate him so much!
Eirika: Tana, your brother has a strange way of showing his concern... But he IS concerned about you. You can see that, can't you?
Tana: Yes, but...
Eirika: Even my brother gets angry at me when I put myself at risk, even for a good cause. Your brother is harsh and rough of speech, but he doesn't want you to get hurt.
Tana: Well... I suppose you're right.
Eirika: Why don't we go speak with him later? I'll be right beside you.
Tana: Ah...all right. But, Eirika... I still envy you.
Tana: You and Ephraim as so close... You understand one another. It must be...so nice I wish my brother and I shared that kind of connection.
Eirika: Well, we are twins, you know. I think that makes us slightly different from normal siblings.
Tana: But you two never fight or anything, do you? How do you two maintain such a close relationship?
Eirika: I... Well... Isn't that normal for twins?
Tana: Eirika, are you all right
Eirika: I am, thank you, Tana. I always feel better when you're around.
Tana: I've been wondering... Eirika, do you think I've grown stronger? I mean, stronger than when I was cooped up in the castle at least?
Eirika: Yes, of course you have.
Eirika: Tana, you should have more confidence in your abilities. If I had to rely on my own blade alone, I would not survive. But with you around, I know I can keep fighting.
Tana: You think? I guess I'm still not sure. Still, it is nice to hear you say that. Eirika, we'll get through this, the two of us. And when we do, let's sit together and just relax.
Eirika: Sure, Tana. But first, we'll have to apologize to King Hayden.
Tana: Oh... Father... I wonder if he's still mad.
Eirika: Yes, you probably should.
Tana: Say, Eirika. Could you...
Eirika: Of course... I understand. You and I will speak to him together. Don't you worry.
Innes: Eirika. I know this might seem sudden, but... I've decided I must protect you for a while.
Eirika: What? What do you mean by that?
Innes: I was in a difficult situation at Carcino. I...must admit that I owe you much for your help that day.
Eirika: I... I see.
Innes: So now, I've decided to protect you in battle. I don't know how to say this, but... It is unacceptable that I remain indebted to you.
Eirika: Oh, you and your fool pride--
Innes: Regardless, you can count on me. No arrow can reach all enemies, but I guarantee your safety. Will you accept my oath?
Eirika: Er... Sure. I accept. Thank you, Prince Innes.
Innes: Follow me, then.
Eirika: Uh, wait a moment, Innes. You're an archer... Wouldn't it make more sense if you stayed behind me?
Innes: ...What are you doing?
Eirika: What is it now, Innes?
Innes: ...I told you I was going to protect you.
Innes: And yet, whenever an enemy shows himself, you rush in and attack! ...Everyone's going to think you're the one protecting me.
Eirika: Well, I can't help you with your image problems, Innes. You're an archer, while I have to fight up close.
Innes: That is unacceptable. I said that I would protect you, and I was being quite sincere.
Eirika: And I appreciate that. It's nice to know that, when I cross swords with the enemy, you're never far from me, with your bow close at hand.
Innes: Eirika... You are so kind... You're so different from that... brother of yours.
Eirika: No, not as much as you think. Maybe you only see him as a warrior, as competition, but he is a fine and gentle man, capable of great compassion.
Innes: ...If you say so. I suppose I cannot doubt it if it comes from your lips.
Eirika: Prince Innes, please, try to befriend my brother. I know he would want this as well. I don't know why you dislike him. When I am alone with him, he is so kind.
Innes: Forgive me, but I can bear no more of this talk. When I see you look that way, I feel only jealousy for this Ephraim.
Innes: He is...a hard man to forgive. Perhaps there is only one way to settle this.
Eirika: Prince Innes...?
Innes: Eirika. Forgive the intrusion, but I must speak to you at once.
Eirika: Prince Innes? What is it?
Innes: First, just listen to me. Is there...anyone who lays claim to your heart?
Eirika: What? N-no... There's nobody like that.
Innes: I see. Then let me speak frankly. Eirika, it seems I have fallen in love with you.
Eirika: Wh-what!? This is no place for jokes, Innes! Why would you say something like that?
Innes: This is no joke. I am absolutely serious. These feelings surprise me as well. I don't know what to do. Fighting at your side all this time, the emotion just exploded within me. I love you. I could not bear to see you in the arms of another.
Eirika: P-Prince Innes! I... I...
Innes: No, Eirika. Do not answer now. I have not yet bested Ephraim. I have not earned the right to woo you.
Eirika: Wha--? Why are you bringing my brother into this?
Innes: With a man like him around, I can see why you show no interest in suitors. If I prove myself his superior, you will surely accept my hand. If I fail, I release any claim to your affection. But I swear it on the depth of my love that I will destroy that man. Eirika, I will expect your answer then. That's all I have to say.
Eirika: Innes! What an...infuriating man! Why does he have to be so...
Eirika: Forde, you're looking in rare form today.
Forde: Ah, Princess! Yes, I'm trying not to overextend myself today. I see you're looking well, too. Except for...
Eirika: Yes, Forde? What is it?
Forde: Well... I was just thinking about something... Princess, do you find that your armor leaves a bit too much...exposed?
Eirika: I beg your pardon?
Forde: You know, too exposed. Especially around the...er...midriff, if you will. Aren't you worried that, in the heat of battle, it might, eh...
Eirika: Fly up like this?
Forde: Augh! Oh... Uh... You were...just joking. Wow. Don't scare me like that!
Eirika: Oh, I'm sorry. That must have seemed rather unladylike. Honestly, though, I do rather like this armor. It's very easy to move around in. I think that freedom of movement is far more important to me in combat.
Forde: Well, sure. I guess everyone has his own preference. I've gotten many long years of use from my armor.
Eirika: I can imagine. Now that I look at it, I can see all the scars from all your fights.
Forde: A knight's greatest pride are the scars his armor bears for him. This battered shell of mine is the only true badge of valor... ...The only real sign that I've weathered blade and arrow for king and country.
Forde: Oh, and... Well, in my case... Some of these dents are from me falling off my horse. Heh... Oh, and some come from falling asleep in my armor and rolling onto my weapons. Kind of a lot of them, actually. Heh...
Eirika: You stood by my brother when he and I were separated, didn't you? I never got a chance to thank you.
Forde: Oh, it was nothing. Really. To be fair, Ephraim probably saved my hide more often than I his.
Eirika: I doubt that. My brother rushes into battle without thought for consequence. I think, if nothing else, you restrained his natural recklessness. I owe you a debt. Both you and Kyle.
Forde: Princess Eirika...
Eirika: Forde, Renais thanks you. May you always stand beside us.
Forde: At your service, Princess.
Forde: Princess Eirika! Good to see you.
Eirika: Ah, Forde. Yes, it's good to have you fighting at my side again. It's only because of your skill that I'm fighting here today.
Forde: Well, we all seem to be deep in this fight, milady...
Eirika: Yes, there's no pulling back now.
Forde: So it would seem. My lady, leave the fighting to us soldiers. Even if there be an unholy hail of arrows, we would ride into them for your sake.
Eirika: Ha ha... Why, thank you, sir knight! ...Say, Forde.
Eirika: What will you do when all this fighting is over?
Forde: When the fighting is over? Hm... Good question. Well... I suppose I'll return to Renais... and take a very, very long nap.
Eirika: That does sound like you. And then?
Forde: Then? I would like to return to my painting, I think.
Eirika: You paint?
Forde: Yes, milady. I paint. In the past, I've tried to be quiet about this little hobby of mine. However, quite a few of our group have unearthed my hidden secret.
Eirika: Is that so? Well, I'd love to view your work sometime.
Forde: Ah, I'd be honored. It's hardly worthy of such an audience, but I'd be glad to show it to you.
Eirika: I look forward to it. Oh! And...
Eirika: Would you ever consider... doing a portrait of me?
Forde: I'm sorry?
Eirika: Is that distasteful to you?
Forde: No! No... It's just that I so rarely do portraits.
Eirika: So, it would be a bother?
Forde: Not at all! A bother? Really. This request comes from my princess. I'd be more than happy to.
Eirika: Thank you, Forde.
Forde: Princess Eirika.
Forde: You asked me earlier what I would do when all this fighting ended...
Eirika: I remember...
Forde: Well, I should have asked you, too. What will you do when this fighting ends?
Eirika: I... ... I'd like to restore Renais and bring happiness back to her people.
Forde: ...Princess Eirika...
Eirika: It is not enough that this war end...that we go home again. It's not enough that my brother become king. These things aren't enough to make a good country.
Eirika: People deserve happiness. They are the reason that we rule. Without the people, there can be no Renais.
Forde: To live happily, to be proud of our nation... To restore the happiness of her people...
Eirika: Yes, that is my dream now. It is an abstract goal, and perhaps a little vague, but...
Forde: No, not at all!
Eirika: How so?
Forde: I mean, rebuilding a country, now THAT is an abstract goal. But what you've described, that is a wonderful ambition. I've never been so proud to serve the kingdom of Renais.
Forde: I've come to a decision! I know I've already sworn an oath, but... I want to renew that vow. Please, let me help make your dream come true! I'll do anything I can to help you...as long as it doesn't require heavy lifting.
Eirika: Thank you... I'm very grateful to you, Forde. It feels like this war might never end, and our people give in to despair quickly. But thanks to people like you, who smile in the face of sorrow, they can be saved.
Forde: Oh, no. You make too much of it. I'm nothing special. I simply cannot allow myself to worry when there's fighting to be done. You're the special one. You have such a profound effect on us all.
Eirika: ...Me? How so?
Forde: It is because of you that we can go on. You and the prince are here, risking your lives for the cause. Your guidance, your leadership... It gives us a reason to live as well.
Eirika: A reason...to live?
Forde: Yes... To restore that radiant smile to your own lovely face.
Forde: I fight to see you smile again, to drive the worry from your face. If I can do that, then I will be more than happy to paint your portrait.
Forde: We'll do it together. Every day is another step closer to the end of war. One step closer to making your dream come true.
Kyle: Prince Ephraim!
Ephraim: Kyle, what's the matter?
Kyle: Prince Ephraim... You charged at the enemy line after you were injured, didn't you?
Ephraim: Oh, that? That was nothing. Don't worry about it.
Kyle: It's not the injury I'm worried about. You're not supposed to do things like that!
Ephraim: If I retreat at the first scratch, command will fall apart.
Kyle: My lord, you are the future of Renais, the commander of this army. If something were to happen to you, morale would be shattered. We would lose this war. All because of your misplaced pride.
Ephraim: Fine, Kyle. I'll hang back and let you knights lead the charge. But I don't have time to talk about this now. I'm leaving.
Kyle: He says he's going to stop being so reckless, but I know better. I have to stop him before he gets himself killed...
Kyle: Do you remember what we agreed to last time we talked, Prince Ephraim?
Ephraim: Sigh. High command must remain behind the vanguard and let the soldiers fight. And if he tries to take the van, any unit, regardless of rank, may stop him.
Kyle: Yes, exactly. So you do remember it.
Ephraim: And now, every time I try to lead the charge, my own men stop me! They waste themselves worrying about my safety when their own is at risk. Look, I agreed to your plan at the time, but this is just ridiculous. I'm going to revoke the order.
Kyle: No, Prince! I know I've told you this before... But you have to remember, you're the future of Renais--
Ephraim: And if we fail because I do not join the battle, we have no future! I do know I bear much responsibility, but I simply must revoke the command.
Kyle: I'm sorry, Prince Ephraim, but I can't allow you to do that. I'm going back to the fight. Make sure you hang back, sire. Go on.
Ephraim: ...Sigh... That blasted Kyle. I know that he's simply concerned about me. Come to think of it, he's always been like that. I can't recall a moment when he HASN'T been overly worried about me. But that order really needs to go.
Kyle: My lord prince... I must apologize.
Ephraim: Why is that, Kyle? What do you need to apologize for?
Kyle: The other day, I was injured on the battlefield. You raced to my side without a moment's hesitation. As I lost consciousness, I heard you say something I won't forget. "Treat this man as you would my own brother. Help him, regardless of cost."
Ephraim: And why must you apologize for that?
Kyle: I ought to have been the one riding to your aid, my lord. And that you would consider a low-born knight like myself a brother... All these years, I've thought of myself as nothing but a loyal retainer. I failed to understand that our bond runs deeper.
Ephraim: ...Since I was a child, you've taught me how to be a warrior. A prince is raised to be detached. Distant. To rule the people from above. I could not afford to feel any real affection for anyone. Just Seth, Forde... And you, Kyle. You were the only ones. I realize that much separates us, but I still consider you family. Although...you do worry about me too much. And you have to stop snapping at me.
Kyle: Prince Ephraim, when I was injured the other day, I came to a realization. I was wrong. The decision I made you agree to the other day was wrong. You belong on the front lines, like any of the noble warriors of Renais. It will do the men's morale good to see you fighting at their side. From now on, fight as you must! I will be beside you, and I will protect you as you fight at our side.
Ephraim: Thank you, Kyle. I was so caught in my worry that I couldn't fight well. And I will make a concession to you as well. I will not be so reckless anymore. I know I have an important position. Are we in agreement, Kyle?
Kyle: We are, my lord. Let's ride on together!
Ephraim: Sounds good. Kyle... Don't fall behind!
Kyle: Yes, sire!
Ephraim: Hey, Forde...
Forde: Yes? Oh! What is it, Prince Ephraim?
Ephraim: ...What are you hiding?
Forde: ...What are you talking about? We are in the middle of a battle, you know. Pay less attention to me and more to our enemies!
Ephraim: No, no, Forde. Give it up. Come on--let me see it.
Ephraim: ...What is that? Is that a painting?
Forde: This? No, no... No, it's a topographic map! Yes. For strategy. We need to plot out our strategy, don't we? During battles, I like to look at this map and analyze enemy lines...
Ephraim: But...that's clearly a landscape painting.
Ephraim: Did you paint this?
Forde: Er... Yes. A long time ago.
Ephraim: This is impressive, Forde. You're good with both a sword and a brush! You know, when Eirika and I were young, we'd sneak out for long horse rides. We used to watch the sunset sink behind the mountains while we talked for hours. Your painting reminds me of those days.
Forde: ... Prince Ephraim...
Ephraim: But...during a battle probably isn't the right place to indulge your hobby. What if something happened to you?
Forde: I'm no fool, Prince Ephraim. I always stay alert on the battlefield. I'll cut down any enemy that crosses my path. Well, Prince... Good luck!
Ephraim: Heh... You're all talk.
Ephraim: So, Forde... Not goofing around today, are you?
Forde: Of course not! I never fool around in a battle.
Ephraim: ...Yes, but only in battle. Next to Franz, you seem like you're always half asleep.
Forde: You surely understand how difficult it is to be compared with one's siblings. Next to you, the princess seems so kind and thoughtful. And caring, too!
Ephraim: I see your point. Yes, it's rough being held to your sibling's standards.
Forde: Isn't it, though? So let's stop all this and get back to the fighting.
Forde: Hm? What is it, Prince Ephraim?
Ephraim: ...Eirika has never been far from my side--in good times and bad. Without her...I'm not sure I could lead my people back from this disaster.
Forde: ...I think I understand what you mean, Prince. When we lost our parents, I was shattered. Franz helped me get back on my feet. If I didn't have his help then, I don't know where I'd be today...
Ephraim: We are who we are now because they have always stood by us. ...Let's end this war quickly, Forde. For them. Especially for them.
Ephraim: How are you doing, Forde?
Forde: Me? Oh, I'm fine as long as I've got a sword in my hand.
Ephraim: ...Oh, by the way, Forde. When you have some time, would you show me your painting again?
Forde: You'd like to see it? Why the sudden interest, Prince?
Ephraim: The scene you painted, it's the Renais we once knew... Those magnificent fields and tranquil farming villages... When I look at it, I can forget, for a second, that we're on a battlefield. I want to restore the Renais you painted. I want to restore these landscapes that fill me with joy looking at them. I wanted to see the painting again so that I could carry it with me in my heart.
Forde: If you like it, Prince Ephraim, I'd be honored if you would take it.
Ephraim: ...Really? Are you sure, Forde?
Forde: Yes, of course. Please take it.
Ephraim: Thank you, Forde! It is truly beautiful. ...Did you study painting?
Forde: No. I just... When we were young, I would paint for Franz. ...Our father spent much time away, and Franz wept every night, missing him. But I was just a child, too. I didn't know how to make him stop crying. One day, I showed him a drawing that I'd made of our parents... And Franz stopped crying. I've been painting ever since...
Ephraim: ...I see...
Forde: ...I've a thought... In exchange for this painting, there's something you can do.
Ephraim: ...What is it, Forde?
Forde: Once you've achieved your goal, once you've restored Renais to the way it was... Can I have a vacation?
Ephraim: Is rest all you ever think about? If you want that vacation, earn it!
Forde: Right, right. I'll just keep risking my life protecting you then, Ephraim.
Ephraim: You do that. I'm counting on you, Forde.
Ephraim: Myrrh! I'm happy to see you. You're still so young. Don't push yourself too hard today, all right?
Myrrh: I won't... I have a favor to ask. Do you have time for me?
Ephraim: What is it, Myrrh?
Ephraim: Don't be nervous, Myrrh. You can ask me anything.
Myrrh: Ephraim... May I call you... "brother"?
Ephraim: Wha... What? Myrrh... What's come over you?
Myrrh: ...I was watching you and Eirika together. You looked so close.
Ephraim: Of course we're close. She is my sister, after all.
Myrrh: I envy her. I...wish that I had a brother like you. That's why I ask... Even if just for this journey... Please be my brother.
Ephraim: I don't know what to say... I wasn't expecting you to ask anything like that...
Myrrh: No...? I'm sorry. I should not have asked...
Ephraim: Oh... No, Myrrh... Wait. I'm not saying no.
Myrrh: So, it's all right?
Ephraim: Uhhh... Sure. Of course. If it will make you happy.
Myrrh: Yes... It does. I'll come speak with you again soon...Brother.
Ephraim: Oh, my... Eirika... Myrrh... How can I say no to that look? I guess sisters are my weakness.
Myrrh: Hello...Big Brother.
Ephraim: ... Myrrh, don't you find that to be a little awkward?
Myrrh: ...Is it?
Ephraim: I mean... You're a dragon, correct? And if I'm right, you're also far older than I am...
Myrrh: That's correct... So, should I be your big sister?
Ephraim: Well, that doesn't seem right, either. You look so much younger than I do. That would be odd...
Myrrh: I am...very old. Perhaps "mother"? I...don't like "grandmother."
Ephraim: ...Let's not dwell on this. "Sister" will be fine. Well. Did you have something you wanted to ask me?
Myrrh: I did... You see, Brother, I have a favor to ask of you.
Myrrh: In the forest...I was always with my father. Even when I slept, he was there, watching over me.
Myrrh: So...Brother. Would you...stay with me at night and watch over me?
Ephraim: No! Myrrh, I understand your insecurity, but this simply is not acceptable. Especially when we are on the march.
Ephraim: Oh, don't look so sad. When you see Eirika next, why don't you ask her? I'm sure she will agree. If you and I are brother and sister, then surely you and she are sisters, too. How does that sound?
Myrrh: Yes... I'll do that. Thank you, Brother.
Ephraim: Hey, Myrrh... When this war is over... What will you do? Have you thought about where you will go?
Myrrh: ... I've lived in Darkling Woods ever since I was a child. I think that I shall spend the rest of my life there.
Ephraim: On your own? Do you have anyone waiting for you in the forest?
Myrrh: I... I am on my own now. But you need not worry. I am a dragon, after all.
Ephraim: ... I've been thinking, Myrrh. If you would like, you can live with us in Renais.
Ephraim: When this war is over... When we restore peace to Magvel... Eirika and I will be going back to Renais to lead our people. Would you like to live in the castle? With us?
Myrrh: Oh, but... I would not want to inconvenience you.
Ephraim: It's nothing you need worry about. Castle Renais is a vast place. I'm sure we could spare a room for a small girl like you. And besides, you are my sister, right? Family should stay together, don't you think?
Myrrh: ... But...you must not forget that I am a dragon. I must think about it. I would love to, but... perhaps I shouldn't, and so... I must think about it.
Ephraim: As you wish.
Myrrh: But... Thank you for the offer. It makes me very happy. Thank you, Brother.
L'Arachel: Oh, Ephraim! Why are you here? Do you not have somewhere to be?
Ephraim: I'm sorry? What do you mean?
L'Arachel: Why don't you go fight someone or break down a wall or something?
Ephraim: We all have our roles to play in this battle. I'm waiting for the right moment.
L'Arachel: Are you speaking honestly with me? Are you not simply making an excuse so that you have time to chat with me?
Ephraim: ...There's no glory in dragging out a war without good reason.
L'Arachel: It does me good to hear that. If you or any of your good men are injured, come to me at once. I'll wait for you here, and I'll heal your wounds swiftly.
Ephraim: Yes, well, that's why you're here, isn't it? We're counting on you. We fight with confidence only because we have your healing skills.
L'Arachel: Naturally! And today, I will serve you as well as I can, as always. Watch for me!
Ephraim: She seems so reliable... and SO assertive! Are women of Rausten all like that?
L'Arachel: Ephraim, wait a minute.
L'Arachel: I've heard such interesting things about you from so many people. I thought it best to ask directly: You are a reckless man, are you not? It seems an attitude unbefitting a commander, wouldn't you say?
Ephraim: Don't speak to me that way. If I can save a life by taking a risk myself, I'll do it. This is war, and war is risky. I have no problem with that.
L'Arachel: ...Oh, dear. I'll bet your body is just covered with scars under that armor, isn't it? I can heal them all for you. Let me see them.
Ephraim: Thanks. Let's see...
L'Arachel: Oh! Oh... Oh my! Wh-what are you doing?
Ephraim: I have to take my armor off if I'm going to show you the scar on my shoulder--
L'Arachel: Cad! Beast! Pervert! Devil! I simply will NOT allow you to take advantage of me in my confused state!
Ephraim: Conf-- What!? Wait, L'Arachel! What about my scars...?
Ephraim: L'Arachel... You don't have to be so defensive. Why don't you come talk to me?
L'Arachel: ...That depends. You're not going to try to attack me again, are you? You won't go ripping the armor from your...well-toned body, will you?
Ephraim: L'Arachel... That was all just a simple misunderstanding. But I apologize if I offended your sensibilities in removing my armor.
L'Arachel: Well, I suppose I can forgive you for this one indiscretion. I wasn't prepared. I've never seen a man's naked body before...
Ephraim: Naked... I was only showing you the scar on my shoulder, like you asked!
L'Arachel: A naked shoulder is a big deal! I was so shocked. Why, I could hardly sleep at all that night! ...
Ephraim: ...? What's wrong, L'Arachel? You seem different somehow.
L'Arachel: N-no. Everything is fine... Please don't look at me in such a vulgar, leering way. I find it very inappropriate.
Ephraim: Oh, I'm sorry. I had no idea. I certainly would never--
L'Arachel: What!? Are you saying that you do not find me attractive?
Ephraim: No! I... What do you want me to say?
L'Arachel: How can you be so calm at a time like this? Don't you see what you've done!? Ahhhh! I'm so frustrated! Don't you ever forget this, Ephraim! I hope that, someday, some girl comes along and gets YOU all rattled, too!
Ephraim: ...I just do NOT get her. She is rather cute, though.
Ephraim: Duessel, can we speak?
Duessel: Oh, Prince Ephraim. Of course, my friend.
Ephraim: I feel I should apologize for making you side against Grado in this.
Duessel: Bah. What nonsense! Please, use me however you would to end this war.
Ephraim: I want you to know how honored I am to fight at your side again. Show me a little of your skill with the spear, like when you taught me.
Duessel: Hmm... Ephraim, your skills have grown significantly since then. Why, the first time I met you, you could hardly hold a spear! I couldn't even bring myself to lie and say you weren't THAT bad!
Ephraim: ...There's no need to be cruel! I realize how helpless I was then.
Duessel: Let me finish! Even then, your strong will was most impressive. On your first day wielding a spear, you chose to challenge ME! I remember how enthusiastic your attack was. You were determined to win. But...you were destined to lose that day. Still, I was quite shocked. You weren't trying to learn my skill. You were trying to steal it from me! And I thought an apprentice was supposed to be obedient to his master.
Ephraim: When you fight, you must respect your opponent, not obey him. ...Besides, you knocked me out so quickly, I hardly touched you.
Duessel: I never dreamed of testing my skills against a prince of Renais. After that match, though... Oh, I changed my mind. I knew it would be interesting to teach my skills to someone like you.
Ephraim: Now, you're the one speaking nonsense! Ah, I know... Let's duel again after this battle! I'm older now, better trained. I'm sure I can beat you this time.
Duessel: Hmmm... Yes, fine. I'd like to see if you've been keeping up with your training.
Ephraim: Duessel, do you have a moment?
Duessel: Oh Ephraim. Of course.
Ephraim: ...Were you thinking about Grado just now? You looked distracted. I wonder, was it the wrong decision to send you fighting against Grado?
Duessel: ...You've no need to worry. My reasons for leaving Grado are my own. It doesn't matter who I'm fighting. My resolve won't be weakened.
Ephraim: That is good to hear... Actually, I'm here for a rematch. I have no idea how you beat me last time, but this time, I can do it!
Duessel: Hmm. It looks like you haven't learned your lesson yet. You know, they used to call me Obsidian. I was one of the Imperial Three. I'm not about to let a young punk like you best me at the spear!
Duessel: Nicely done, Ephraim. There's nothing left for me to teach you, it seems.
Ephraim: That's utter nonsense. I still have much to learn from you, Duessel. I intend to be the greatest spearman Magvel has ever known. I gave up on swords after seeing how they fare against spears. Sword, axe, spear, bow...and even magic. I've seen them all. The spear always comes out on top. And I want mine to be the best spear around.
Duessel: Hm... That's a bold statement. But you may yet be the one who can prove it true, lad.
Ephraim: ...I thank you, Duessel. It's only because of the skills you gave me that I'm alive and here now. Our countries were friends, but you taught me like family...
Duessel: I am a warrior. All I can do is improve my skills and pass them on to a student. And if you best me using the skills that I taught you, well... That's just the nature of war. The young surpass the old. And I am glad to be fighting at the side of such a worthy student.
Duessel: I know that I've been branded a traitor. I'm prepared for that. But I do have one regret... I regret that I betrayed my emperor...
Ephraim: You never betrayed him. You remain as loyal to him now as when you swore your oaths. No, it is Grado who has betrayed the ideals it once held dear. And now, as then, you are my teacher. Nothing has changed. No, you are no traitor. If anything, you are the last true man of Grado.
Duessel: Ephraim... Hm... Yes. A student should not inspire his teacher. Ephraim. Be strong. Remain true. Believe in yourself, and act in accordance with your beliefs. ...No matter what happens, be a strong king.
Ephraim: Yes, you needn't worry about that. Such has been my intention since the day I first held this spear. No matter what the future holds... I'm never going to change. I will let my faith and my beliefs drive my every action as king.
Tana: Oh, Ephraim! I'm so glad to see you.
Ephraim: Tana, you should pull back to a safer location. What would we do if you were attacked by archers?
Tana: But...I want to go where you go. I feel safer when I'm close to you, Ephraim.
Ephraim: I'm sorry, but I won't be able to protect you if I get into a duel. I have to focus on fighting our enemies.
Tana: Oh, no... Please, Ephraim, don't speak to me like that. I've trained with Frelia's finest pegasus knights. I can fight, too!
Tana: I'm sorry if I've been following you too closely lately... But I promise that I won't be a burden. I'll work my hardest. So, please! Don't make me stay behind and wait for you.
Ephraim: Tana... All right. If it's what you want. We'll go together.
Tana: Ephraim, do you remember when we first met?
Ephraim: ...Ah, of course! It was at Castle Frelia, wasn't it? Eirika and I had been invited to visit for your birthday celebration.
Tana: Oh, I'm so glad you remembered!
Ephraim: King Hayden seemed so delighted that we'd come to visit. I think that was the first time I met Innes, too.
Tana: So, Ephraim, what did you think of the dress I was wearing?
Ephraim: I... Hm... I'm sorry, but I don't think I got a good look at it at the time. Perhaps you don't remember, but as soon as I arrived, Innes challenged me. We ended up having an archery match right when the party began. I think Innes won that match.
Tana: Do you remember my hair? I was so happy with it!
Ephraim: Your...hair? Uh... Well, right after our archery match, Innes challenged me to the spear. I think I won that match!
Tana: I'll bet you don't even remember what I said afterward!
Ephraim: Er, Innes can be persistent. After spears, we moved on to jousting. That time, I think it was...
Tana: Oh, you! You only remember what happened with my brother! You don't care about me at all, do you!?
Ephraim: Oh, no, no! That's not true. It's just...
Tana: Fine! Why should I care about you when you can't even be bothered to care about me? You just keep having fun with my brother and don't pay me any mind at all!
Ephraim: Tana, wait a minute! Hey! Don't go off on your own! ...What is she so upset about?
Tana: Hello, Ephraim. Shall we take a break together?
Ephraim: Well, you're in a better mood today!
Tana: Huh? What do you mean?
Ephraim: Oh, nothing. Never mind. So, uh, what can I do for you?
Tana: Eirika helped me prepare lunch. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it's delicious. Would you like to eat with me?
Ephraim: ...Tana. This is a battlefield. It's all right to take a break, but let's not let our guards down.
Tana: ... You're always like that. You're so stiff and formal and detached all the time.
Ephraim: Tana... What's the matter with you? You've been acting so odd lately.
Tana: Yes, I am acting funny. And it's all your fault, Ephraim! Whenever I try to talk to you, you always keep your distance! No matter how hard I try, you never open up to me.
Ephraim: That's not true...
Tana: Is there someone else?
Tana: It's just... You never pay any attention to me. You never have... It makes me so sad. All I want to do is be near you more and more.
Ephraim: ... Tana, you're still just a child at heart, aren't you?
Tana: Ephraim! Don't talk about me like that...
Ephraim: No, I meant it as a compliment. Because you're so young, your words have such a simple, honest purity... I do appreciate your affection.
Tana: Ephraim... Do you think you could make more time for me, so we can chat?
Ephraim: Yes...of course. But we don't have the luxury to stop and chat on the battlefield. We have an obligation to end this war first. Let's go.
Tana: Yes, all right. I'll see you later. I'm looking forward to it.
Seth: Franz. How are you holding up?
Franz: Fine. I may be young, but I'm every bit a Knight of Renais. I'll fight to the end to protect the princess, just like you, sir!
Seth: Good, good! That's the spirit! You know, you're looking much improved from when we set out.
Franz: Hm. Do you really think so, General?
Seth: Oh, definitely. You seem much more sure of yourself. All doubt has left your face. By the time you reach my age, you'll be the finest spear- and swordsman around.
Franz: Honestly? Sir, do you really believe that?
Seth: ...I do... But we are in a battle right now, Franz. Concentrate on the enemies before you, and don't get too cocky.
Franz: Yes, sir!!! You know I'd never let you down, sir!
Seth: Don't be too eager for success. Know your limits.
Franz: Yes, sir!
Seth: Ah, Franz. Every time I see you, you're getting better and better. Your parry is a little stiff, but you are clearly improving.
Franz: Are you serious? Do you really think so, sir?
Seth: ...Why is it that, when I compliment you, you always ask me that?
Franz: Oh, so sorry... I appreciate your praise, sir. I mean, you're General Seth, the Silver Knight. You're my hero.
Seth: Hahaha... No more flattery, Franz. Please.
Franz: But, General, it's true! Do you remember when Grado's forces overran Castle Renais? Despite grave injuries, you outcharged the enemy, broke their lines, and escaped. And then, you delivered the princess, on your own, to Frelia safely. If I were you, I doubt I could have survived such a challenge... You are the only person I know who can make impossible feats possible.
Seth: What pressure you put on me! How can I possibly fail now? You would lose all faith in me! Ah, but, Franz, you're still young. You will grow into a remarkable warrior, I have no doubt. Be confident. I'm counting on you. Train your mind and hone your skills.
Franz: Really? Do you really think so, General?
Seth: ...Franz... That's enough.
Franz: Oh, right! Sorry, sir!
Seth: All right, back into the fray! Let's go, Franz!
Franz: Yes, General! And remember, I've got your back!
Seth: You're doing well, Franz.
Franz: Oh, General! How are you, sir? I'm so honored that you came to talk to me.
Seth: Must you always overreact? ...Honestly, Franz... I'm the one who should feel honored.
Franz: I beg your pardon? What do you mean, sir?
Seth: When I was just a squire, there was one knight whom I admired above all others. His skill with sword and spear was legendary. He was truly peerless. We squires learned the meaning of chivalry watching him serve the king. Ten years back, we received word that an infamous assassin was hiding in Renais. This knight hunted him down in secrecy so as not to alert the assassin. He hounded the villain and killed him, but he was mortally wounded...
Franz: Ten years ago? But that's when--!? No, it couldn't be...
Seth: ...Yes, Franz. It was the greatest knight in the history of Renais. Your father.
Franz: ...I was so young when my father died. And our mother passed away before he did. Forde and I were almost always alone. Oh, I remember how I used to cry like a babe about my father being gone so much. Forde would always remind me, ?He is serving the royal family to protect Renais.? Forde was so proud of our father, but he was also a little bit sad. I remember a deep scar he had on his shoulder, probably in battle. My brother and I used to climb up his shoulders and vie for his attention. I grew up hearing what a great knight he was, but I remember only his shoulder.
Seth: ...You probably have no idea how much you resemble your father. Your swordplay, how you tilt the lance, your loyalty to Renais... You've certainly inherited your father's spirit. It is an honor to see the skill I once idolized developing in you, his son.
Franz: I...I am so flattered to hear that. Thank you very much, General. Someday, I will become a knight even greater than my brother or my father. To restore Renais, the kingdom to which I've sworn my blade, I will fight on!
Seth: Thank you, Franz. Let's do the best we can. For Renais, and for your father.
Franz: Yes, General!
Seth: Sir Garcia. Your fighting form remains impeccable, despite your years of retirement. Fantastic... How I admire you.
Garcia: No, General Seth, I still have a long way to go. I've lost so much time.
Seth: Sir Garcia...
Garcia: No, no honorifics. I gave up my title years ago so I could raise my son. I'm old and rusty, General. The man I am now is not fit for such fine company.
Garcia: But listen, General. I'm not finished yet!
Seth: What do you mean?
Garcia: I'm telling you... I'm not yet done! This is not the end of me!
Seth: ...He has a warrior's heart. Is it pride that keeps him from accepting his limitations? I'm afraid that we have awakened an incredible warrior.
Seth: Garcia. Did you come all this way to talk to me? I'm grateful. Thank you.
Garcia: Don't make a fuss. Might give me second thoughts before I do it again.
Seth: Ah, right. Sorry, sir!
Garcia: Heh... You know, you remind me of myself as a young man.
Seth: Back when you were in Renais?
Garcia: That's right. Oh, I was so ambitious then, focused on proving myself in battle. His Majesty commended my valor many times, he did.
Seth: His Majesty always watched over us. Hardworking soldiers received words of praise to drive them to greater glories. The lazy ones, he spurred to action, giving them a reason to improve... He was a great king. He earned the trust and respect of his people.
Garcia: ...What a loss we've all suffered.
Seth: When Castle Renais fell, it was all I could do to save Princess Eirika. I've never felt so powerless in all my time as a knight... ...I was mortified.
Garcia: ...I'm sorry. I wasn't blaming you for King Fado's death. I am the one who surrendered his duty to live a carefree life with his son. I have no right to cast blame on anyone but myself...
Seth: Garcia, you needn't feel that way. You're fighting for Renais again, at the side of her crown prince and princess! There's no shame in that.
Garcia: General Seth...
Seth: If you are still true to our late king, then let's win this war together. And together, we shall visit His Majesty's tomb to report our victory!
Garcia: Yes! You have my word!
Garcia: Ah, General Seth!
Seth: You seem much recovered from your poor spirits the other day. In fact, you seem quite energetic!
Garcia: I've finally accepted that I'm only ever truly alive when I'm fighting!
Seth: Ah, now that is the great Garcia I remember from my youth! Yes, all hesitation is gone from your face. You're in rare form!
Garcia: Yes, and that hesitation is gone for good, I dare say. Except...
Garcia: To tell you the truth...I am not ashamed of the life I've lived. I'm not sorry that I abandoned my old life to raise my son.
Seth: Sir Garcia...
Garcia: That decision made me who I am now. It's time I embraced both of these aspects of my past.
Garcia: I can only say this in hindsight, but... It is not so bad to have a family.
Seth: Garcia, I can see it in your eyes. You don't need to tell me.
Garcia: Heh... I see! Well then, Seth. There is only one solution for it! You should marry! It will do you good to have a family to go home to.
Seth: Ah, Garcia... You may be right, but I'm afraid it will take me some time to get there...
Natasha: Oh, General Seth, how do you do?
Seth: ...Sister Natasha, good day to you. I appreciate the care you give our wounded, but be sure to care for yourself, too. I heard about what happened the other day. It could have turned out badly...
Natasha: I'm sorry to have worried you. When I see an injured person, I must help. I seldom think of the consequences to myself. I shall be more careful in the future.
Seth: Grado doesn't know what they've lost, Natasha. You're indispensable to us. If you were injured, our entire strategy could be slowed or lost altogether. Take care of yourself first, and worry about us later.
Natasha: Seth, you are the one who is indispensable, far more than I am. You race into danger, acting as a decoy or rescuing people alone. You're the one who is reckless. I wish you would watch yourself.
Seth: I'm sorry. I didn't realize I'd been causing you so much worry. I promise to be less reckless. But you, don't do anything I wouldn't do.
Natasha: Yes, General. May you be guided to safety.
Seth: Sister Natasha? Are you well? I heard you collapsed last night. Maybe you should rest more, instead of risking yourself on--
Natasha: Oh, General Seth... I'm sorry about that... We had many wounded, and I drained myself healing them all. However, I rested well last night, and I am fully recovered. I'm sorry for giving you so much cause to worry once again.
Seth: Oh, boy... You and Eirika... What am I going to do about you? You seem hell-bent on throwing away your lives in this conflict.
Natasha: ...Oh, I see... I always become a liability in battle. All I do is cause you worry and concern.
Seth: You're always the first to race into battle to heal an injured person. Do you know what the others have started calling you?
Natasha: ...They're calling me names?
Seth: They've taken to calling you "the healing spirit."
Natasha: ...A healing spirit? Oh, no... I'm far from it. Why, I--
Seth: ...When you first joined us, I was not sure I could trust my life to you. You're from Grado, and we've seen the treacheries of which they are capable. But I've watched you, and I know now that I was wrong. I'm grateful for the kindness and compassion that you've showed us all. My men are right. You are a healing spirit, sent to rejuvenate us all. We're fortunate to have you as our friend.
Seth: More than a friend. You are an irreplaceable asset to our cause.
Natasha: Oh, my... I'm sorry... ...Please, return to the battle. And may you be guided to safety.
Seth: ...Sister Natasha... If I am injured, I will not be reckless. I will race to your side. And I know that you will take care of me when that happens.
Natasha: Y-yes, of course I will! Oh, but...I hope that it doesn't.
Natasha: General Seth.
Seth: Sister Natasha. How are you?
Natasha: Well, thank you. And you?
Seth: Yes, I'm fine. But it's only because you've been beside me as I've fought. You were always the one to heal my broken body.
Natasha: You have that wrong, General. You're the one constantly rescuing me. When I'm surrounded by enemies, when I'm separated from the others...
Seth: Sister Natasha... Do you plan on returning to Grado someday?
Natasha: ...Yes. I must return to the temple. Our people need my services.
Seth: Is that...what you really want?
Natasha: ...General Seth...
Seth: Could anything sway you to stay in Renais instead?
Natasha: ... General Seth, what are you...
Seth: ... I'm sorry. I'm-- I'll be more direct. Sister Natasha... When this war is over would you...come live with me?
Natasha: Oh! But, Seth... I'm a cleric. I'm sworn never to...
Seth: I know you're a cleric. You've given your life over to a divine calling. But would the Everlasting not smile upon the love shared by its creations?
Natasha: ...Seth, I-- Yes, I believe so.
Seth: I vow upon the sacred oaths you have sworn that I will make you happy.
Natasha: Seth... I hope you keep that promise. I'll wait for you until this war is finally at an end.
Seth: I will keep my promise, Natasha. I will.
Cormag: You're pretty good with a spear.
Seth: Thank you. I don't think I've introduced myself. I'm the leader of the Knights of Renais--
Cormag: I know you. Of course I know you. You're General Seth, the Silver Knight.
Seth: ... Yes, that's right. And you are Cormag, the renowned wyvern rider of Grado.
Cormag: If the legendary Silver Knight knows my name, I can't be doing too bad, huh?
Seth: You and your brother, Glen, are famous even among the Knights of Renais. We have no wyvern riders in Renais, and your stories are favorites among the men. I've been watching your combat style since you joined our forces.
Cormag: Oh, is that so? Well, tell me: what do you think?
Seth: I'd love a chance to spar with you.
Cormag: Not a chance. I could never beat you.
Seth: So you say, but I can see in your eyes that you'll never accept failure.
Cormag: Heh... And all this time, I thought you were just another loyal dullard. Guess I was wrong. We should chat some more some time.
Seth: Yes, I think I'd like that. Perhaps once things have eased up. I'm looking forward to it, Cormag.
Cormag: Sure thing.
Cormag: Hey, Seth.
Seth: Ah, Cormag. Good timing. I had something I wanted to ask you. Your family, are they all soldiers?
Cormag: Why do you ask?
Seth: Your skill with the spear is amazing. Have you trained since you were a child?
Cormag: No, I come from a long line of dirt-poor farmers. I wielded a plough, not a spear. When we were kids, Glen and I had to chase birds and animals from our fields. We used sticks and stones, and I think that helped with our aim, to be honest.
Seth:Is that so... So why did you join the army?
Cormag: It's a funny story really... The emperor's caravan passed through our village one day. My brother and I watched the glorius procession from the top of a tree. Then, a stray dog started to harry the horses pulling the emperor's carriage. We threw rocks to drive off the mutt, but some soldiers decided to arrest us.
Seth:Why? You were trying to help...
Cormag: Yes, well. We didn't just hit the dog. We got a few of the soldiers as well.
Seth: Ah-ha... So, What happened next?
Cormag: Well, the emperor shows up in the room the soldiers had thrown us. He looks around and, in this very calm but stern voice, says to the soldiers: "What are you men doing, arresting mere children? They were trying to help!" Then, he invites us to dine at his table, and it was luxurious feast, I tell you! Now, we were just kids. We lacked the basic courtesies. We were just filthy. And we kept droning on about the most idiotic things: chores, the village... But he listened to us intently, and that fatherly smile never left his face. And he said, "You lads are good at driving off dogs with stones... Your skills are wasted in the fields. Let's see how you fare with spears instead."
Seth:And that's how you were recruited.
Cormag: Exactly. It's difficult to ignore such a commanding presence. But...the emperor changed. I still can't believe what's happened.
Seth: ...I was born into a family of knights, so it was agiven that I should be one, too. I trained in spear and sword. I studied chivalry and swore my oaths of fealty. And because of my hard work, the late King Fado treated me like a second son... It's funny. You and I are from different worlds, but we share the same loyalties.
Cormag:True... But King Fado is dead now. And my emperor is the one who killed him... My emperor is as good as dead to me.
Seth: ...I already serve a new lord, Cormag, you will find a ruler worthy of your loyalties, too.
Cormag: Yeah, I hope so...
Seth: Can I have a word with you, Cormag?
Cormag: Oh, Seth. Of course. What can I do for you?
Seth: I've been thinking about your story, and I've come to a decision.
Cormag: Hm? What are you talking about?
Seth: ...Cormag, listen. As general of the Knights of Renais, I'd like to offer you a post.
Cormag: What? You want me to join the Knights of Renais?
Seth: Yes, exactly. I've been watching you fight, and I've been thinking about this for some time. Since we've been speaking, I've seen more than just your fighting prowess. I've seen that you're a strong and noble person as well. You are a man I would risk my life fighting beside. Prince Ephraim will be a great king. Would you fight for him with me?
Cormag: I really appreciate it. Thanks, Seth. But...Grado is my home. I can't trade loyalties to Renais just like that.
Seth: ...I knew you would say that.
Cormag: Emperor Vigarde is my only lord. My duty now is to correct the mistakes he has made. That's why I'm here. I hope you can understand.
Seth: Yes, of course... Still, I'm glad that I met you.
Cormag: Same here, Seth. Now, let's get this war over with, shall we?
Seth: Yes, and when it's done, we'll get together and tell some stories.
Cormag: I'm looking forward to it!
Franz: Oh, hello there. You're... Ah, it's Amelia, isn't it?
Amelia: Hm? Oh... Yes, and you're Franz!
Franz: That's right. How are you? Getting the hang of things?
Amelia: Oh, yes. Quite! You know, everyone here is so much friendlier than the folks in Grado. I'm glad there are so many people around my age traveling with us.
Franz: Yeah. I think I'm about the same age as you are, too. You know what that means? That means, from now on, you're my rival.
Franz: What do you say?
Amelia: Um... Well, does that mean... I have to fight you?
Franz: No, no. It's nothing as complicated as all that. We'll just work together. See, I'll try to be better than you, and you try to be better than me! Every day, try to be a better person than you are today. It's easier to do when you've got someone to work with.
Amelia: I see... But why?
Franz: Yes, well. Um... My brother's a knight, too, and he's had someone like that for a long time. I've always been envious of the competitive relationship he has. They compete, and they argue, and they bicker... But I know they respect one another, and they grow together. I envy that.
Amelia: Um... I'm not sure I can be like that.
Franz: Ha ha ha... Don't worry about it. It doesn't matter who you are. All that really matters is that we have someone like that in our lives. Besides, you are a qualified soldier, are you not?
Amelia: Er... I'm not honestly sure I'm even qualified to be out here.
Franz: Same here. That's why I picked you. Let's work together.
Amelia: All right! I'm not sure I can live up to your expectations... But I'll do my best.
Franz: Good. It's nice to meet you, Amelia.
Amelia: It certainly is!
Amelia: Oh, Sir Franz!
Franz: Amelia, hello. Call me Franz.
Amelia: What? But...
Franz: We are rivals, right? There's no need for the formality of titles.
Amelia: Oh, of course not, sir!
Franz: Ha ha ha... You did it again.
Amelia: Well, then... I got it, Franz.
Amelia: Ha ha... I'm not used to being so casual.
Franz: Can I ask you, what do you think of this war?
Franz: I still don't understand why Grado chose to invade Renais. Grado and Renais were allies. Their royal families were close friends. Why, Prince Ephraim and Princess Eirika are friends with your Prince Lyon. I detect something funny here. I simply cannot believe a friendship so strong could end so abruptly. How many lives have been destroyed by such a seemingly random turn of events? Perhaps the prince and princess know more of the truth, but...
Franz: Oh, I'm sorry. I don't mean to besmirch your homeland's name.
Amelia: No, it's all right. I wonder what drives Grado's ambitions now, too. I was born in a rural village and raised in Grado's countryside. Ever since I was a little child, I took pride in my home's origins. Grado, of course, is named after the legendary hero who saved all of Magvel. I thought I lived in a country that believed in justice and peace. But this war... It's something different than all that.
Franz: Amelia... I'm sorry. This war must be especially painful for you...
Amelia: I'll be fine, Franz. But thank you, though. It was wrong of Grado to invade Renais. Nothing can justify it. Grado has no right to destroy whole nations, ruin people's lives. This is all so...so wrong! I began this war as a soldier in Grado's armies. But now... I just want to believe... I want to believe in justice! I want to know I'm doing the right thing!
Franz: Amelia... I understand it all very well. Your love of your homeland... Your sense of justice, of honor... If there's anything I can do to help you, please let me know. We are rivals, but that doesn't mean we can't also be friends, right?
Amelia: Franz... Thank you.
Franz: I won't let you down.
Amelia: No, neither will I!
Franz: Amelia. Can I ask you something?
Amelia: What is it?
Franz: Why did you become a soldier?
Amelia: Hm? ...... ... Because I was alone.
Amelia: When I was little, I lived in a remote village with my mother. One day...bandits raided our village and took my mother.
Amelia: I had no father... My mother was my only family. She was so sick... and so very weak...
Amelia: When the bandits came... I hid under the bed... I hid there...trembling...
Amelia: I wanted to protect her! I...wanted to be strong! Even if I couldn't win... I wanted to fight! To protect the only person dear to me...
Franz: Oh... ...... ... I see now... Thank you for telling me your story. I want you to know this, Amelia. ...My parents are gone, too.
Franz: Yes... Well, I do have a brother, though. But I don't remember my mother. But I swore that I would live my every moment to its fullest. I swore to my parents that I would live a long life for them and be happy. Amelia... You're living the same way, embracing each passing moment. You believe in yourself, and your faith burns in you, making you shine. I don't know what it is you plan to do with your life, but as long as we travel the same path, would you let me walk beside you? I have my own path to follow, I know, but... I believe we're both walking toward the same goal.
Franz: You don't like that?
Amelia: No! That's not it. I'm...very happy! Franz...!
Franz: Amelia, I'll protect you.
Amelia: Franz... Thank you... I'm really happy. But...I want to protect you, too. I am a soldier of sorts as well, you know. So...let me be your shield to protect you...
Franz: And I will be your sword and fight for you. From now on. You're not alone anymore, Amelia.
Amelia: Thank you, Franz.
Franz: Say, Sir Gilliam, can I ask you a question?
Gilliam: What is it, Franz?
Franz: Are you disturbed about fighting with me?
Gilliam: Why would you say something like that?
Franz: You and I are from different lands. We have different backgrounds... I thought that might've made you feel uncomfortable.
Gilliam: Blast. I don't need to answer that.
Franz: Sir Gilliam!
Gilliam: Listen: I'm here by my king's order, and by his order alone. I'm well aware that we have diverse backgrounds and experiences. I don't care who I pair up with. You can't always have your own way. That's just how it works in Frelia. It's luck of the draw, you follow? Do they let you swap partners until you find that special someone back in Renais?
Franz: Oh, no! No, no, no... That's not what I meant. It's just... I was worried that I might be slowing you down with my lesser skills.
Gilliam: Franz, you're wasting your time worrying when there are better things to be done.
Franz: Like what?
Gilliam: Like training, of course. Quit your worrying and show me how good a Knight of Renais can be.
Franz: I could ask for nothing better. Please!
Gilliam: Franz, I can see your training has paid off.
Franz: Yes, and I have to say, I'm surprised. I feel the energy flowing through me. I think it's because of my resistance training, actually.
Gilliam: Frelia's resistance training, you mean. You mean to tell me that you have no training like that in Renais?
Franz: We do have a system to strengthen our chest, arms, shoulders, and legs. However, that's where we stop. We don't train each individual finger...
Gilliam: Every muscle acts in relation to each other muscle. How can you neglect the fingers? That's how we Frelians think.
Franz: Fascinating how our countries can have such distinct training systems, isn't it?
Gilliam: And you've been training with our system every day without a single complaint! I'm impressed.
Franz: Oh, that's because, each night before I go to sleep... I do our traditional relaxation exercises.
Gilliam: Relaxation exercises?
Franz: Before going to bed, flex each muscle you used, and you'll wake up feeling refreshed.
Gilliam: What, no fatigue the following day?
Franz: That's right. That's what it's for.
Gilliam: That's wonderful!
Franz: I can teach you if you like.
Franz: Fantastic! We'll start tonight!
Gilliam: Well, Franz, it looks like there's a lot I can learn from Renais.
Franz: Why the change of heart, Sir Gilliam?
Gilliam: I've been doing your exercises every night, and I feel fantastic.
Franz: I'm glad you like it.
Gilliam: I appreciate Renais much more, thanks to you.
Franz: Really? I'm glad. I'm thrilled that the great Sir Gilliam approves of the training in Renais.
Gilliam: Thrilled? You're overreacting.
Franz: No, honestly! I am thrilled. It's a small thing, I know... But when someone recognizes the fine qualities of Renais, I get a thrill. Renais is a small country, but it contains much that is good.
Gilliam: I don't know Renais, but I do know how you feel as a fellow knight. The more we are away, the more we think back on our beloved homeland.
Franz: I'm glad that I'm not alone in this.
Gilliam: Chin up, lad. Be proud of your country, Franz, Knight of Renais. As your friend from neighboring Frelia, I'm glad you're proud of your home.
Franz: Yes, Sir Gilliam! Thank you very much!
Forde: Hey, Franz.
Franz: I'm glad to see you're still in one piece! After that last battle, I was starting to get a little worried.
Forde: I'm glad you're all right, too. Good job out there, by the way. Your fighting form is perfect.
Franz: Thanks, Forde. I keep thinking about this war... What do you think will happen?
Forde: Dunno. I mean, whatever happens happens, right?
Franz: Always quick with a joke... But I'm serious this time. What do you think?
Forde: Hey, I was being serious. We are the best and brightest of our age, but we face overwhelming numbers. If you ask me, all I can say is that I hope we win.
Franz: It takes more than just hoping for it. We need to FIGHT for it. We are Knights of Renais, and it's our duty to fight.
Forde: Sigh... You're so serious. You're just like Kyle. If you take the battle too seriously, you're sure to make a mistake.
Franz: You think so...?
Forde: Of course! It's good to be responsible, but you have more pressing concerns at times.
Franz: All right, Brother. I know what you're saying.
Franz: Brother... Are you painting again?
Forde: Hm? Yes, well...it's a hobby. You fish, don't you?
Forde: What do you like about fishing?
Franz: Well...it's different than hunting for other animals. More patient. And yet, when I hold a fishing pole, I feel my spear arm is getting stronger.
Forde: When you're off duty, you should stop thinking about spears and swords.
Franz: ...There's more...
Franz: I feel at peace.
Forde: ...Hm. Fishing sounds nice. Lets you relax, purge your heart of the battlefield.
Franz: Yes, exactly.
Forde: And that is important, isn't it? In battle or in daily life, you just have to stop and rest, right? Hey, you should take a break sometime and go fishing around here!
Franz: Ha! In the middle of a war? You can't be serious. How could I possibly do that?
Forde: Hey, I'm not saying you should go right in the middle of a battle. Do it when you're off duty. Maybe you can help replenish our food supplies.
Forde: Sure, yeah. You go catch us a big fish, and I'll eat it. It's a deal!
Franz: Huh? Oh...right.
Forde: Now, I've something to look forward to.
Franz: Hm... Was this all just about you getting some fresh fish to eat?
Forde: Franz, that was the best fish I ever tasted. Thanks.
Franz: I was feeling guilty a little while I was fishing though. I was off duty, but still...we are in the middle of war. I guess it's fine. General Seth seemed to like it well enough, too.
Forde: Yup. And as long as everyone's happy, there's no harm done.
Franz: ... Brother. I've realized something.
Forde: Huh? What's that?
Franz: You are my role model.
Forde: Franz, what's with you? All of a sudden, you--
Franz: No, it's not sudden at all. Come to think of it, I became a soldier so I could be like you. And now, I'm going to work harder, so I can be a great knight like you.
Forde: That... That doesn't make any sense. Have you seen how lazy I am? Seriously. There are MUCH better role models out there for you to hero-worship.
Franz: No, no. You like to act lazy. It's part of your charm, isn't it? But once the battle starts, everyone sees how sharp a warrior you are.
Forde: Is that so?
Franz: Yes, it is. And I also know that you like to play the part of the fool for no other reason than to give these weary soldiers a reason to smile.
Franz: And your sword and spear skills surpass those of any knight in the service of Renais, Frelia, or any other kingdom.
Forde: Wow. Your flattery is far more than I deserve...
Franz: The only reason you paint is to acquire a better understanding of geography, so that you can use that knowledge in battle...
Forde: Nah... It's just a hobby. Don't give me too much credit.
Franz: I'm not. Think about it. You only paint landscapes, isn't that true?
Forde: ...... ...The last portrait I ever painted was of Mother...
Forde: Never mind. Not important. Anyway, I'm shocked. SHOCKED. Yeah, if you need a role model, look to General Seth.
Franz: Of course I admire General Seth. But that's just admiration. You're still my role model.
Forde: ... Well, I can't tell you what to think. I just hope you don't regret this later.
Franz: Don't worry. I won't.
Forde: Hm. Whatever you say.
Franz: Yes. So, that's that. Now, make sure you don't get yourself killed in a fight. Bye.
Forde: Franz... I need you to survive this war. You and I will go home together. When this war is over, you and I will go home and rebuild our lives.
Franz: Sister Natasha.
Natasha: Hello, Franz. How are you doing?
Franz: I'm doing fine, thank you. Everything is fine. And you look like you're doing well, too. I'm relieved.
Natasha: Yes, but it's all thanks to everyone's care and concern, really. I'm grateful for all the attention everyone has paid to my safety. That goes for you, too, Franz.
Franz: Oh, pshaw, Sister Natasha. I am just a pawn, really. I don't do much...
Natasha: You are too modest, Franz. I'm telling you the truth.
Franz: Thank you.
Natasha: By the way, that's a very interesting satchel you have.
Natasha: It's not military issue, is it? I haven't seen any of the other cavaliers carrying one like it.
Franz: Oh, this old thing? To tell you the truth, I made it myself.
Franz: Yes. This pouch holds a skin of water, and this pocket is for food. There's also a pocket for herbs... I can find everything very quickly. Oh, and I've also fixed it so that it won't shake about while I'm riding. It's easy to carry on one shoulder or sling over both. And it goes with everything.
Natasha: That's nice! You're so handy.
Franz: Thank you. It's...probably my only redeeming trait. Uh... Would you like one? I can make one for you.
Natasha: Really? That would be wonderful. But...are you sure?
Franz: Yes, of course. No problem.
Natasha: Thank you, Franz.
Natasha: Franz. That satchel you made me is ingenious. Really.
Franz: Really? Good... I made yours more lightweight than the one I made myself.
Natasha: Thank you so much. I'll cherish it. Oh, ouch!
Franz: Hn!? Sister Natasha, are you all right? What's wrong?!
Natasha: My hair...
Franz: Oh... Your hair's gotten pinched in your clip.
Franz: Oh, don't move. Let me help you.
Natasha: Thank you. ...
Franz: Got it.
Natasha: Thank you so much.
Franz: But your hair's still... Ah, I know. Hold on a moment. Let...me...see...
Franz: Ah. Here it is.
Natasha: A comb...?
Franz: Your hair is messed up. Would you like me to fix it?
Natasha: Yes, please. But where did you get that comb...
Franz: Excuse me for a moment. ......
Franz: Natasha: ......
Franz: ...This comb is a memento of my mother.
Franz: Yes. See, when I left home, I was afraid of something bad happening. So I thought I'd take this comb with me as a good-luck charm. I usually keep it in front of the portrait of my mother Forde painted.
Natasha: I see...
Franz: Yes... ... ...... There! All done.
Natasha: Um...... It looks good. Much better than when I do it myself... Franz, you truly are a remarkably handy person. When you're near me, I find myself comforted by your presence.
Franz: Don't be silly. The pleasure's mine.
Natasha: No, I mean it. Thank you. I hope that this marks the beginning of a long friendship.
Franz: As do I, milady. As do I.
Natasha: You're holding up beautifully.
Franz: Oh, no, Sister Natasha. I'm still such an amateur...
Natasha: You're serious and focused, Franz. You grow stronger every day, and you're sure to be a wonderful knight!
Franz: Thank you... But I've never excelled in either the spear or sword, and I'm a small man. I'm not much when compared to the likes of our other men.
Natasha: There are many types of knights. Some are strong, some are swift, and others are intelligent. You possess a wonderful talent that no other man can match.
Natasha: Yes. You have a pure heart. It is stronger than any spear, and it possesses its own brand of power. You should have more confidence.
Franz: Sister Natasha... ...... A...pure heart... Thank you very much. I'll take your words to heart and try to be more confident.
Natasha: That's good.
Franz: Oh, by the way. Here you go...
Natasha: Hm? Oh, that's--
Franz: Yes, it's my mother's comb. I would like it if you chose to keep it with you.
Franz: I've let myself believe that it protected me from harm. Now, I would like to believe that it protects you, too...
Natasha: ... Franz, I can't. This is something you should keep.
Franz: Sister Natasha?
Natasha: You took this comb because you believed your mother was protecting you. This comb embodies all your memories of and feelings for your mother. It should remain in your hands. That's where it belongs.
Franz: Sister Natasha...
Natasha: But I do thank you... It is a remarkably tender gesture. I'm very happy. ... Franz... The only reason I fight on with confidence is because you are with me.
Franz: Well...that's just not true.
Natasha: No, I'm serious. You see, for me, you are the person who makes me feel... Well, strong. Strong and confident. Your presence is better than a good-luck charm or anything else. I hope that you and I spend more time together, fighting for this just cause.
Franz: Yes! Thank you for all your kind words. I certainly hope so, too.
Natasha: Together, let's restore peace to all countries, not just Renais and Grado.
Franz: Yes, Sister Natasha. It is a noble cause, and we will bring victory!
Natasha: Then let's fight. For victory and for friendship.
Franz: Yes, my lady!
Garcia: Sir Gilliam.
Gilliam: Well, if it isn't Garcia...
Garcia: Your armor suits you. Must have taken a lot of training to fight in it, eh? And it probably takes a lot of strength to wear, too.
Gilliam: I don't want to brag, but... None of Frelia's knights can match me for strength.
Garcia: Oh, is that so? You know, in my day, they said I was without equal. Hm... What do you say, Garcia[sic]? Let's arm-wrestle!
Gilliam: You mean...right now?
Garcia: Oh, why not! It won't take more than a minute.
Gilliam: ... Very well. I accept your challenge.
Garcia: Excellent! I'd expect no less from a true knight! Let's go.
Gilliam: All right...
Gilliam: Ng! ...You beat me. Well, I've got to hand it to you, Garcia.
Garcia: Ha ha! Don't feel bad. You almost had me for a minute there. I'm impressed!
Garcia: Sir Gilliam.
Gilliam: Yes, Garcia?
Garcia: About that match the other day...
Gilliam: What, you mean when we arm-wrestled? That was a GREAT match.
Garcia: Yes, well... I've been thinking. Now, if I remember it correctly, I was using my sword arm... But you're left-handed, aren't you? You were using your off hand.
Gilliam: Huh? Oh, well... I didn't want to say anything, but...
Garcia: I knew it! All right! We have to have a rematch using our OTHER hands!
Gilliam: Garcia, are you-- Fine, fine. I accept your challenge.
Garcia: Let's try this again!
Garcia: Hm... See, this time, you beat me.
Gilliam: True, but it WAS your off hand this time, and it was still close. Garcia, you really are amazing.
Garcia: Ha ha ha! You know, I feel good about this. I lost, but...I feel good. With a great knight like you at our side, we've nothing to fear.
Gilliam: Don't be silly, Garcia. You're an amazing fighter. With you in our midst, our forces are invincible!
Garcia: Ha! Let us fight together, then, and watch our enemies fall like leaves!
Garcia: ! Oh, Gilliam...
Gilliam: Sorry to bother you. You just seem to have something on your mind.
Garcia: I do. I was... I was just thinking about my son, Ross.
Gilliam: Ah, Ross. He's a good lad.
Garcia: It's...a wonderful feeling to have a son, Gilliam. I was so happy to learn I had a boy who could follow in my footsteps. Do you have children?
Gilliam: Oh, no... You know what the life of a soldier is like.
Garcia: Aye, I remember it well. But I still found a wife. Don't you have anyone?
Gilliam: I-- Well, to be honest... There is someone I've had my eye on, but what do soldiers know of love? I don't know how to win a woman's heart.
Garcia: Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, don't take it too hard. These are tough times for romance. As time passes, the world will change. No, WE will change it. Wait for your time. When the world changes, people change. Soldiers change. Just wait.
Gilliam: ...You're right. When this war ends, I'll be ready to face a different type of battle.
Garcia: Yes. And when you do wed, you must be sure to invite me and my boy. It will be a great celebration.
Gilliam: Yes, of course, my friend.
Syrene: Gilliam, long time, no see.
Gilliam: Syrene. ...It's been a while. You look great.
Syrene: Likewise, Gilliam... ... ...Heh.
Gilliam: What is it, Syrene? Is there something on my face?
Syrene: Oh, it's nothing. Don't worry about it. You're still one of the best-looking men in Frelia's army.
Gilliam: You know I hate it when you tease me. What is that smile about? You're making me very nervous.
Syrene: You were with me on my first mission as one of Frelia's pegasus knight elite. Do you remember?
Gilliam: Was I really? I hardly remember. I have a tough time picturing the famous Syrene as a green recruit. That really was a long time ago.
Syrene: Oh, really? What do you mean by that?
Gilliam: Oh, nothing. Nothing. Just that you've always been one of Frelia's finest warriors.
Syrene: Gilliam... This mission matters more to me than that first mission did.
Gilliam: I understand. Much more hangs in the balance if we fail.
Syrene: We won't fail. I won't allow it!
Gilliam: Don't be a hero.
Syrene: Thanks, Gilliam. I'm grateful that you're here with me.
Syrene: Gilliam, how are you doing?
Gilliam: Everything's fine for now, but-- Syrene? You look pale. Are you feeling unwell?
Syrene: I'm fine, Gilliam. Don't worry about me.
Gilliam: ...Syrene. People come to you when they need advice, right?
Syrene: They do, yes. Why do you ask? Don't tell me you need some advice from me.
Gilliam: Yeah. Can we talk?
Syrene: Oh...well... Of course.
Gilliam: People come to talk to me, too. Must be...the wisdom of age or something. But I don't know what to say. What do you do if you have no advice to give?
Syrene: That happens all the time. But I've learned something... People feel better as soon as they let it out. They just want you to listen. We're fighting a war. It's only natural that people get scared and need comfort.
Gilliam: Do you...get scared?
Syrene: ...Gilliam. Is this all just an attempt to probe me for my problems?
Gilliam: Oh, er, don't be--
Syrene: Don't worry. If I ever have any problems, I'll be sure to come to you.
Gilliam: ...I'm always here.
Syrene: Thanks, Gilliam.
Syrene: Gilliam! I'll be right there!
Gilliam: Syrene! Don't be a hero!
Syrene: ...Gilliam, you're always telling me to be careful... You know full well I watch over everyone. It's what I do. But you... You're the one who always watches over me.
Syrene: You know why I stay close to you? Just to hear you say that.
Gilliam: Is that...all you want to hear me say?
Syrene: What do you--?
Gilliam: Syrene... When this war is over... ... ... ... Let's get married.
Gilliam: Don't answer now. When this war is over... When we get back to Frelia... Wait until then, will you? Wait until then to tell me.
Syrene: Gilliam... You needn't wait that long. You already know my answer. ...But if that is what you want, Gilliam, then yes! ...I will wait until the war is over before I give my answer! Gilliam... Good luck.
Gilliam: Syrene... Good luck to you.
Moulder: Gilliam, did you hear something?
Gilliam: No, Moulder. I didn't hear a thing.
Moulder: Was it just in my head? Hm. That can't be good.
Gilliam: Moulder, you've been working yourself too hard. You should rest.
Moulder: No, I'm not tired in the slightest. I'm fine. I cannot believe you don't hear it! Is something wrong with your ears?
Gilliam: Moulder, please. I know I've seen many battles, but I'm younger than you are. My hearing is fine.
Moulder: Then why can't you hear it? I'm starting to worry about that noise.
Gilliam: Your ears are playing tricks on you.
Moulder: There it was again! That sound I told you about. Gilliam, did you hear it?
Gilliam: Oh, not again. No, Moulder. I don't hear anything.
Moulder: Is it really just me? Am I the only one who can hear it?
Gilliam: Maybe you should describe the sound to me. Is it a dull noise? A chirp? If it's louder, I should be able to hear it.
Moulder: No, it's nothing like that. It's soft...a melody of some sort.
Gilliam: A melody? Are you saying someone is playing music during a battle? What kind of music? What sort of instrument is it?
Moulder: I can't explain it. It's so...heavenly.
Gilliam: Heavenly? You don't suppose it's some sort of...sign, do you?
Moulder: Gilliam, I would be happy if you didn't say such things.
Gilliam: Oh, sorry. But, Moulder... You're the one dedicated to spiritual matters. I wouldn't be surprised if--
Moulder: I said enough of that, Gilliam. I must be imagining things. That's all.
Gilliam: A melody only you can hear. Sounds mysterious to me.
Moulder: I agree. Especially because I can't explain the cause. I must say, I'm worried. Gilliam... If something were to... happen, well... I'm counting on you.
Gilliam: Moulder, we've been friends for a decade and a half. I'll protect you. Besides...it's my duty as a Knight of Frelia.
Moulder: I know I can count on you, Gilliam. I know that better than any man. You have my gratitude.
Gilliam: Of course, Moulder.
Gilliam: How are your ears today, Moulder? Can you still hear that melody?
Moulder: No, I haven't heard it for a while. I guess it was a hallucination after all.
Gilliam: Regardless of the cause, I'm glad that you don't hear it anymore.
Moulder: I'm relieved, too, but...I also miss it somewhat. The melody was haunting me, and I finally remember what it was.
Gilliam: And? What was the song?
Moulder: That was the music played at King Hayden's coronation.
Gilliam: Frelia's coronation hymn. Ah, I remember it well... It is a strong song, and Frelia's knightly choir performed it well.
Moulder: I was the one who carried the crown to the throne. I was so nervous that I might drop it!
Gilliam: I remember that you were the one to bear that regal burden. I was a mere recruit, stuck in the back with the other whelps. You know, I remember now... Your hands shook like you were frozen!
Moulder: Yes, and then someone shouted, in a loud voice, "Get ahold of yourself, man!" The crown slipped, and I fumbled to catch it! I was so embarrassed.
Gilliam: I'm so sorry. I was young. You know, I felt so bad that I have spent years making it up to you. I acted before I thought. I'm sorry for all the embarrassment I caused.
Moulder: That's right! I believe I met you the very next day. Aha! I've figured it out!
Gilliam: Figured what out?
Moulder: That melody--I could only hear it when I was with you. That means...
Moulder: It was a sign. A sign from above that we must both return to the basics.
Gilliam: Return to the basics? What does-- Ah. Of course.
Moulder: Yes. We must remember who we were and what drove us to join this cause.
Gilliam: I believe you are right...
Neimi: Gilliam... Gilliam! Sir Gilliam!
Gilliam: Be quiet, Neimi! Someone will hear you!
Neimi: Oh...I'm sorry. I just wanted to tell you there's a scratch on the left side of your armor.
Gilliam: Oh, that's nothing. My armor's covered in scratches. This one, I got defending Border Mulan in a siege years back. And this one goes back to my very first fight as a knighted soldier. Each of these is a story. Each one is a mark of pride.
Neimi: Yes, but I'm worried about this one near the glide clip. I can repair it. Just...don't go anywhere!
Gilliam: Neimi, don't go off by yourself! We're in the middle of battle! One false step, and our strategy could be ruined--you might create an opening! You put not only yourself but all of us in peril when you do that!
Neimi: Oh! I didn't mean to-- ...Sniff...
Gilliam: Don't cry, Neimi. Save your energy for fighting.
Neimi: Y-yes, sir! I'm... I'm sorry.
Gilliam: Listen. This is my armor. I take good care of it myself. Don't worry about other people's armor. Worry about yourself. Understood?
Neimi: ...Yes, you're right. I'm so sorry... Sorry for...for messing around.
Gilliam: I...do appreciate your concern. If you see something, bring it to my attention, and I'll fix it.
Neimi: I will! Thank you, Sir Gilliam!
Gilliam: Neimi. You seem to be adjusting to the rigors of combat well. You're a skilled archer after all.
Neimi: Oh...I'm so glad to hear you say that! I was so sad after we talked last. I didn't know what to do, but then, I decided to focus on my archery.
Gilliam: That's the spirit, Neimi. So, have you been training by yourself? I never mastered archery. I'm sorry I can't help you train.
Neimi: No, no... Thank you, but I've been thinking about this a lot. First, I need to sharpen my vision so I can target more easily.
Gilliam: Sharpen your vision? Good eyesight seems essential in a good archer, but... How can you improve your vision? I don't understand.
Neimi: My grandfather taught me to stare into the distance and concentrate. My grandfather taught me everything I know about the bow. My grandfather was-- He was a great archer. One time, a snake was attacking a bird nest on a tree in a mountain far away. He aimed at the snake and shot it down.
Gilliam: Incredible. He was able to pick out and hit a snake from that distance? Your grandfather must have been a great archer.
Neimi: Yes, he was. And that's why I've been staring into the distance. I've been training constantly on the field, and my vision has improved. See that tree in the distance? I can spot the bugs crawling on its leaves.
Gilliam: I'll be impressed when you can hit each of those bugs from here.
Neimi: But...that would be cruel!
Gilliam: There's no need to shoot bugs. You only need to shoot our enemies... ...using your keen eyes and the skills your grandfather gave you.
Neimi: Don't you worry! You can count on me!
Gilliam: Neimi, I wanted to ask about your vision-training regimen.
Neimi: Ah, where I stare into the distance and concentrate?
Gilliam: Yes. I've been trying it out myself, but... I've had some problems.
Neimi: Problems? What do you mean?
Gilliam: Whenever I'm training, people start to avoid me. It's not just that. Even animals run away from me when I'm at it.
Neimi: And you're just... You're just staring into the distance?
Gilliam: Yes. Standing perfectly still, staring into the distance.
Neimi: Maybe it's...because you look scary... I used to get that a lot. Cormag[sic] said I was frightening him. He thought I was angry at him.
Gilliam: I look...scary? Hm... I have refined my stare to intimidate my foes in battle. You may have a point. No wonder people get scared when they see me glowering into the distance. You know, I might almost consider it a compliment of my knightly prowess!
Neimi: I have an idea... Perhaps if you smile, it might not be so scary.
Gilliam: ...Like this?
Gilliam: It's still scary, isn't it?
Neimi: Uh... Maybe it's because you're crossing your arms. How about...holding some flowers instead? That might help.
Gilliam: You want me to stare into the distance... smiling...and holding flowers?
Neimi: I think that would look good...
Gilliam: You're just being nice, Neimi. Your keen vision is a gift, and your training may improve it... But I know I can never imitate it. It's yours and yours alone. I place much faith in your sharp eyes and your steady hand.
Neimi: Th-thank you, Gilliam! I won't let you down!
Moulder: Vanessa, how are you holding up?
Vanessa: Father Moulder. We are struggling, but I'll pull through somehow. Say, Father Moulder...
Moulder: You want to know about Prince Innes, don't you? He's doing well. I was worried for a moment, but he'll be fine.
Vanessa: Oh! I, uh... Thank you. ... How did you know?
Moulder: Well... You see, as a priest, I've met people from all walks of life. Some of them--like you--well, I can read them like an open book.
Vanessa: You...can read my mind? That's so...embarrassing.
Moulder: No, no. It's not like that. I just mean you are a pure, straightforward girl. That's a compliment worthy of a knight.
Vanessa: Do you think so? Thank you, Father.
Moulder: Hm. Say, would you like to hear a story from the prince's youth?
Vanessa: I'd like that, Father. Very much!
Moulder: Hm... Oh my! You know, I think we'd better take care of our enemies, first.
Vanessa: Look out! Over there! Stay here, Father. I'll take care of this.
Moulder: Yes, I think that would be best.
Vanessa: Tell me your story another time, though. I'd like to hear it.
Moulder: I'd be delighted. Another time, then.
Vanessa: Yes, Father!
Moulder: Well, do you have time for that story I promised?
Vanessa: Certainly, Father.
Moulder: It was over ten years ago, when the prince was just a child. There was a ceremony at the castle, with a trick archer of sorts.
Vanessa: A trick archer?
Moulder: Yes. He was a very famous and undeniably skilled archer from abroad. He was to shoot a tiny target that had been placed in the distance. However, in the middle of the show, someone stopped him from shooting.
Vanessa: Oh, no... It wasn't--
Moulder: Yes, it was young Prince Innes. He said, "That's not far enough! Move the target back farther!" Then, he insisted on trying himself.
Vanessa: That's so like him!
Moulder: Isn't it? King Hayden tried to stop him, but... Well, you know how he is. He doesn't listen to anyone. And so, it became a contest between our prince and this foreign archer.
Vanessa: So, what happened?
Moulder: First, they established the ground rules. Each person was to shoot at the target. If both arrows hit, they increased the range. They simply continued to move the target back until one person missed the mark.
Vanessa: Sounds simple enough.
Moulder: Ah, but the two were evenly matched. Every shot was a perfect bull's-eye. The crowd cheered, and the target moved ever farther back... But then it came to the turning point. The foreign archer said, "This is no test. Let's move the target back more." It seemed like bravado, but the archer actually had a clever tactic in mind.
Vanessa: Clever? How so?
Moulder: They had been shooting for some time, and the archer's arms had grown weary. Precision archery is far more taxing than the battlefield, you see. So even though he was a skilled archer, he was at the limits of his endurance. He was still hitting the mark accurately, but his arm was quivering more and more. Everyone knew that the prince was on the verge of victory.
Vanessa: I don't understand. They were shooting at the same target, shot for shot, right? Why would moving the target make any difference?
Moulder: Yes, they were still shooting at the same target. However, the archer suggested that they move the target much farther away... Much farther than any child Innes's age could hope to loose an arrow to.
Vanessa: Oh, that IS clever!
Moulder: Even the archer, with his trained arms, was firing at his maximum range. In fact, he almost missed the target! Then, it was the prince's turn.
Moulder: It was clearly too far away for the young prince to hit the target. But His Highness was undeterred. He drew his string and fired up into the sky. The arrow did not merely hit the target. No, it was a perfect bull's-eye! You see, the prince arced his shot to extend his range beyond its limits. To hit a target this way requires incredible skill, but the prince did it. And then he turned to the archer and said, "Shall we move the target back farther?" The archer looked so crestfallen. He admitted defeat, and it was settled.
Vanessa: That's amazing...
Moulder: That it is.
Vanessa: Thank you very much, Father Moulder! That's incredible! I'm even more--
Vanessa: Oh... No, nothing.
Moulder: I'm glad you liked the story. Keep up the good work, Vanessa.
Vanessa: Yes, sir!
Moulder: I'm glad to see you well, Vanessa. You do your fellow pegasus knights proud. We are blessed to have you fighting at our side.
Vanessa: You credit us warriors too much, Father. Without healers, we would all be lost. Nothing I say can tell you how much I value your presence here.
Moulder: We are all doing our part in this war. No need to thank me.
Vanessa: I'm serious! Without your help, we would never survive these skirmishes!
Moulder: I'm gratified by that. Thank you.
Vanessa: Father... Thank you again for the other day.
Moulder: Hmm? Oh, you mean that story?
Moulder: Ah... You know, you remind me of myself, twenty years back.
Moulder: Oh, never mind... ... Good luck to you, Vanessa. I don't know where this will lead, but I'm sure the prince knows your feelings.
Vanessa: Father Moulder, I only aspire to be worthy of his greatness. I expect nothing in return.
Moulder: Are you sure?
Moulder: Well, do what you think is best for you. We all carry many burdens... To country, family, duty, honor... However, we are all ultimately free to embrace or reject those burdens. If you find yourself in need of spiritual guidance, speak to me.
Vanessa: Father Moulder, you're so kind. Thank you. I'm so grateful to have you on the field with me.
Moulder: Vanessa, we fight for the greater good. We fight for our country, for our friends, and...for ourselves.
Vanessa: You're right, Father. In so many things.
Moulder: Colm, you dolt! Don't you see what you've done!?
Colm: Hey! That's no way to be! I was trying to do you a favor here. It's not my fault if I accidentally burned your package lighting my torch!
Moulder: That's exactly what I'm talking about! You're always so careless! My spare robes were in that bundle! Oh, and now look at them! They've been charred black!
Colm: Oops... Those were your clothes? Tch! That IS a shame. My mistake. I apologize.
Moulder: This isn't the first time this has happened, Colm! And it was my robes of office then, too! I'm starting to wonder if you have it in for my clothes!
Colm: Oh, no, no. Don't be silly! And besides, only the bottom has been singed. Just trim it off and wear it short. See? Why, I'm sure you'll set the world of fashion on fire with your new look!
Moulder: That's what you said last time about the sleeves.
Colm: Oh, er... Really? Ha ha ha! Well, sorry. I'm sorry. No, really. I deeply regret this.
Moulder: You don't look particularly sorry. You look rather pleased with yourself.
Colm: No, I'm sorry! Truly! Seriously!
Moulder: If that's the case, then you can just spend tonight reflecting upon what you've done.
Colm: Me? Are you kidding?
Moulder: I want you to take some time to reflect on the consequences of your actions. Colm, I'm only doing this because I care. I care about the condition of your soul.
Colm: ...You really know how to lay on a guilt trip, don't you? Sigh. I'm in trouble now... Shoot!
Moulder: Colm. Did you do what I asked of you?
Colm: Of course, Father Moulder! In fact, I've set aside a little time each night to reflect on my day's deeds!
Moulder: Good. I'm glad to hear you've taken my suggestion to heart. Might I inquire as to what manner of thing you're reflecting on?
Colm: Well, I reflected on how hungry I was, and so I packed some extra salted pork today.
Moulder: Did you say...salted pork?
Colm: Yes. See, on reflection, it had been a while since I'd had salted pork.
Moulder: ... What about the day before?
Colm: Hm... The day before... Oh, yeah! I was reflecting on how much walking we'd done, and I realized I needed new shoes. I figured, next chance I get, I'd go out and steal me a new pair!
Moulder: Colm... I'm not sure you understand what it is I asked you to reflect upon.
Colm: You told me to think about what I'd done during the day and to reflect on it.
Moulder: I told you to think over the things you did and feel sorry for having done. I wasn't talking about what you wanted to eat or whether you needed new shoes! That is not the point of all this!
Colm: Did it ever cross your mind that... maybe I haven't done anything I'm sorry about?
Moulder: Don't be foolish! Think back on the things you've done during the day. Then, think about the troubles you caused and vow not to repeat them! Do you understand me now? This is for your own sake! I'll come back in a few days. Keep thinking!
Colm: ...I thought that whole self-reflection thing was going a little too well. Fine, Father. I'll do it. I'll do it.
Colm: Yawn... Oh. Let me guess. You want to hear what I've been reflecting on.
Moulder: Exactly. Although...I noticed that you look sleepy. Are you well?
Colm: I...was up late last night thinking about everything. I couldn't sleep well.
Moulder: That's unfortunate. Did you have so much that you regretted doing? Hm. Well, let me hear it. Tell me what's on your mind.
Colm: All right, well, here goes.
Moulder: Hmmmmm... That's...
Colm: How's that? I'm doing good, aren't I?
Moulder: I'd say so. You're going over your every action, from waking to sleep.
Colm: Well, that's what you told me to do.
Moulder: Well done, my lad! I've never heard so much thought go into what you've done before! Compared with the salted pork, your transformation is impressive! It's a little extreme, but......
Colm: But the funny thing is... I've started noticing all these things about me I didn't know before. I keep saying, "That was wrong" and "I'll do better next time." So...I'm not repeating the same mistakes over and over.
Moulder: I had noticed that your behavior has significantly improved of late. You look sleepy now, but your face seems far more peaceful as well. It seems that you're finally growing up, thanks to these quiet moments.
Colm: Heh... You know, I think that's the first nice thing you've said to me!
Moulder: You're coming along just fine. But... go easy on yourself, all right?
Colm: How come?
Moulder: If you stay up all night thinking about your day, you'll make yourself sick. You've already mastered the art of learning from your own experiences. I don't want you falling into old habits because of a little illness. I have high expectations of you, my son.
Colm: Thank you, Father Moulder. I'm glad that you do. It's only your expectations that have made me become a better man.
Syrene: Father Moulder, you look tired. We've been asking so much of you lately...
Moulder: Don't worry about me. I'm rather more worried about you, Syrene. You had only just been transferred to this unit when we left Frelia. I'd imagine it must be odd not having any familiar faces around.
Syrene: I've already learned everyone's name and field of specialization. Don't worry about me.
Moulder: Impressive. You've been paying attention.
Syrene: To beat your enemy, know your allies. Without knowing the skills of your own men, you can never win a war. I don't want to die just because I didn't know what to expect from my troops.
Moulder: I was worried about how well you were integrating into our group. You seem to have matters well in hand, though. I'm proud of you, Syrene. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me anytime.
Syrene: Thank you, Father Moulder. I do appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Moulder: Syrene, you said you'd already learned everything about our little band. Did anyone in Frelia go over the details with you before you left?
Syrene: No, Father. Things were rather hectic in Frelia before we left, as you know. Everything I have learned, I've learned on the job, so to speak. People...confide in me, and I learn by observation.
Moulder: Interesting. So, even though you're new, they know they can confide in you?
Syrene: Yes. The ladies seem most comfortable speaking to me.
Moulder: I understand. Even a man of the cloth is still, at heart, a man. It must reassure them to know that there is another woman to whom they can speak. There are many women among us. If I cannot be "father" to them, please, care for them as a mother.
Syrene: With all respect, Father, I refuse to minister to their needs as a mother would. I am still young and unworthy. I prefer to speak to them as a sister.
Moulder: Ha ha ha ha... Yes, of course. Please excuse me. Help them, then, as a sister would.
Syrene: Yes, Father! Now, may I have a word with you? As their sister?
Moulder: I beg your pardon? Me? What? Has someone...complained about me?
Syrene: Well, I'll let you know the day after next new moon.
Moulder: Must I wait until then? Is it so terrible that I needs must prepare myself for the news?
Syrene: Rest easy, Father! It's only a suggestion, not criticism.
Moulder: Hm... What could it be?
Moulder: So... Last night was a new moon. And that means today is the day. I've been going mad wondering, Syrene. What is your suggestion?
Syrene: Ah, right you are, Father. It is indeed the promised day. Well, then. On behalf of everyone, I have two words for you. Father Moulder?
Syrene: Happy Birthday!
Moulder: What? Birthday? Oh... Oh, yes! Why, today is my birthday, isn't it? But--
Syrene: It is a fine tradition to celebrate one's birthday, Father. In a war, uncertainty surrounds us every moment of every day. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, let us celebrate life today. That should encourage us all to keep going, wouldn't you say?
Moulder: Yes, indeed. To share the joys of life is very important. Thank you, Syrene. In this chaos, I would have forgotten my own birthday.
Syrene: You exhaust yourself caring for others, but you pay no attention to yourself. We are all so grateful to you, Father. So many different people came up to me to ask how we could show that gratitude. You are a man of great virtue, and an inspiration to us all.
Moulder: I am touched... At my age, I thought all my happy birthdays were well behind me. I'm a little embarrassed at that...
Syrene: You must remember to take care of yourself, Father. And thank you.
Vanessa: Captain Syrene!
Syrene: Vanessa! How are you? I was worried about you!
Vanessa: I'm fine, ma'am. Thank you for your concern. Glad to see you doing well too.
Syrene: Vanessa, you know you don't need to talk like that when we're alone.
Vanessa: But we ARE on duty.
Syrene: Let me put it this way, then. This is an order from your captain! When we're alone, you are to speak to me as if we are at home.
Vanessa: Yes, ma'am!
Syrene: Vanessa. Sigh. Did you listen to a word I said?
Syrene: Ha ha ha! Yes, that's it! Oh, by the way, I have something for you.
Vanessa: What is it?
Syrene: Here you go. Father wanted me to give it to you.
Vanessa: But this is... The war god Fale's amulet!
Syrene: Yes, this is a battle amulet. I received one before I left home, too. You were summoned so suddenly that Father didn't get a chance to give it to you. And Mother wanted to tell you, "Never be apart from this amulet."
Syrene: She also wanted you to relax and do your best. And to get a good night's sleep always.
Vanessa: Well, I do try.
Syrene: Maybe others don't notice, but I know you too well, Vanessa. I know you don't get enough rest when you feel overwhelmed with responsibility. But, to be at your best, you need to take care of yourself, OK?
Vanessa: Yes, ma'am--I mean, Sis.
Syrene: I'll be right by your side tonight, so just relax. You need a good night's sleep.
Vanessa: Thanks, Sis. I sleep better when you're around.
Vanessa: Captain... I mean, Sis.
Syrene: You look better, Vanessa. Did you sleep well?
Vanessa: Yes. First time in a long time. Thank you, Sis.
Syrene: I've been meaning to ask you...
Syrene: You don't seem to have much appetite lately.
Vanessa: Well, I've just been--
Syrene: I told you, Vanessa, I know you too well. So, who's the lucky guy?
Vanessa: What?! That's just crazy! I don't know what you're talking about!
Syrene: You know I can tell when you're lying. Plus, you not eating is a dead giveaway. I mean, when's the last time you said no to a cookie? It's not a criticism. One of your most charming qualities is how you can outeat anyone. It's because of someone special, isn't it?
Vanessa: Well, um...
Syrene: But, Vanessa, first and foremost, you have to take care of yourself. I'll support you no matter what, but no one is worth losing your health over.
Vanessa: Thank you, I guess. I'll do my best... Sometimes I think that if I were more like you--you know, a great knight, an attractive woman, and just all-around perfect-- I'd have a better chance with him. ... Hmmm. That didn't sound as pathetic in my head as it did out loud.
Syrene: Don't be silly, Vanessa. You may not know it, but I'm sure that person likes you for who you are.
Vanessa: Do you really think so? I've always wanted to be like you. You've always been my role model. But, I feel like whenever I finally catch up to you, you're already gone. You've already moved on. I'll never catch up with you, no matter how hard I try.
Syrene: I'm very proud of you, Vanessa. And as your older sister, I recognize your talent more than anyone else. You should be more confident.
Vanessa: I feel better after opening up to you. It's hard not to compare myself with you, but I have to get past that.
Syrene: That's the spirit. And remember, you have to take care of yourself.
Vanessa: Yes, I know. As always, thanks, Syrene.
Vanessa: Hi, Syrene. Thanks for talking the other day.
Syrene: Are you feeling better now?
Vanessa: Well... It's not that easy, but I quit comparing myself with you.
Syrene: You might not know this, but there's something about you I've always envied.
Vanessa: About me? What do you mean?
Syrene: You have an inner fortitude that I will never be able to match.
Syrene: Do you remember when Father collapsed? Mother and I were so panicked that we didn't know what to do. You were the youngest of us all, but you gathered nuts in your small hands and went to the village to sell them. Then you came home with medicine for him.
Vanessa: Well, I don't know what to say.
Syrene: When you face a difficult circumstance, your true self emerges. You were very young, but had the presence of mind and ingenuity to help Father. You comforted me and Mother, and you rescued Father. I've always respected your strength, and wished for some of it myself.
Vanessa: But...you were the one who joined the Knights at such an early age, and it was you who supported our family.
Syrene: I emulated your strength. I wanted to support my family like you did. It's always been my goal. And I respect you more than anyone else. I wish you could be as confident in yourself as I am of you. No matter what, you'll always be all right.
Vanessa: All right, then. I have to tell you! The person I love is--
Syrene: Wait, Vanessa! Wait until the war is over to tell me. When everything is over, bring him home. I'll go home a little ahead of you, and wait for you two with Father and Mother. We'll make your favorite meal... Is that enough to convince you?
Vanessa: Yes. I'll do my best... For this war and also for him.
Syrene: That's my girl. Don't worry. You'll be all right.
Vanessa: You must be Lute!
Lute: And who are you?
Vanessa: I'm Vanessa. I'm captain of Frelia's pegasus knights. And this here is Titania. We're both pleased to meet you, Lute.
Lute: Ah, the pegasus, the proud, winged horse. You know, they only attach to someone they accept as their master. And did you know that pegasi fly by kicking the air, not by flapping their wings. It's a common misconception, but wings are mainly used for gliding.
Vanessa: ...Yes, as captain, I learned all this long ago. Plus, if they flapped their wings constantly, no one would be able to ride them.
Lute: In some countries, the word pegasus means "fountain" or "ocean." Different cultures have different stories about the creation of the pegasus. In one legend, there was a monster who could turn anyone into stone. When the monster died, its blood seeped into the ground. There, a pegasus was born.
Vanessa: Interesting... You are very knowledgeable.
Lute: I know.
Vanessa: ...Well! Thank you for the lesson. I'm glad we're on the same team. It was nice meeting you.
Lute: Yes, nice to meet you, Titania.
Vanessa: I'm Vanessa!
Vanessa: Um... No.
Lute: I meant...Vanessa, right?
Vanessa: I'm happy to know that I've made such a strong impression on you, Lute. ... So, what can I do for you?
Lute: It's common knowledge that pegasi have strong resistance to magic. I developed a new counterattack to that power, but it still needs refining. I guess what I'm saying is... Can I try it out on Titania?
Vanessa: What?! No! Of course not!
Lute: I was joking.
Vanessa: Sigh. You said it with such a straight face... You definitely had me fooled.
Lute: Thank you! That's so sweet of you to say.
Vanessa: It wasn't a compliment! Besides, you really don't seem like someone who has much of a sense of humor.
Lute: Is that right?
Vanessa: Yes... And it seems like your magic is the real thing. When you defeated the enemy the other day, I saw a sharp flash of magic from above.
Lute: Gee, I wonder why that happened...
Vanessa: Because...you're good?
Lute: Why, yes! You are 100 percent correct! For once.
Vanessa: My point is, we don't have enough mages in Frelia, so we're counting on you. When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a pegasus knight like my sister. I was also interested in magic, but I just didn't have the talent.
Lute: Well, you are a great pegasus knight, so it's worked out fine. Besides, I am also interested in becoming a pegasus knight.
Vanessa: Where are you in your training?
Lute: I'm at 98 levels out of 158 levels total.
Vanessa: That's very impressive... Anyway, let's just do our best out there, shall we?
Lute: Of course.
Vanessa: Lute, did you know this? The wings of a thousand pegasi are an incredibly potent aphrodisiac.
Lute: I...I didn't know that... OK, now I really need Titania's help. Wait! Wait! I was just kidding! Hush, Titania! Hush! I was joking!
Vanessa: I see... I was, um, kidding, as well. Heh heh? Hee hee! Consider it payback. But, Lute, I never thought you would try to steal the wings right off her back! Guess the battlefield is a lonely place! Ha ha ha ha! You know, I'm often told that I need to loosen up and not be so serious. I'd always tried to be like my sister. She's very strong, as both a knight and a person. Maybe I've tried too hard. But it's so much easier to loosen up with people like you around. Thanks!
Lute: I see.
Vanessa: When I'm with you, I can relax and just be myself.
Lute: Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.
Vanessa: That was a compliment! Jeez. You're a tough one... When this war is over, would you like to come visit me in Frelia? You could ride a pegasus if you'd like.
Lute: That would be an illuminating experience. But I have to start reading up on pegasi behavior now, so I won't get thrown off. Do they like carrots?
Vanessa: Well, I don't know about that. I'll let you do your research. I must go now. See you later, Lute.
Lute: Yes, Vanessa.
Vanessa: What's that down there?! Whoa, Titania! Whoa, girl! Let's stop here! Are you hurt?! Are you all right?!
Vanessa: You have GOT to be kidding me! Sleeping while a war is waging? Bold warrior, it's time to wake up! Hey! Lazybones! Get up!
Forde: Snargleblagh...hmph? Zzzzzzzzz...
Vanessa: Oh, boy... Let's go, Titania. It's clear that Mr. Slug here needs his beauty rest.
Forde: Zzzzz... Huh? Did someone say something?
Vanessa: Oh, look who's actually awake today.
Forde: You must be one of Frelia's pegasus knights.
Vanessa: I'm Vanessa.
Forde: Yeah, that's right. Vanessa. I'm Forde. Nice to meet you. By the way, what do you mean by me being awake?
Vanessa: Just the other day, I was flying by and saw you lying on the ground. I thought you were hurt, but when I got closer, I saw that you were just sleeping! I couldn't believe my eyes. I was so disgusted that I just left you there. But then I started to worry about enemies spotting you, so I went back. By the time I got back to where you were, you were already gone.
Forde: I catch them off guard that way and then attack. That's my strategy.
Vanessa: I seriously doubt that.
Forde: Ha ha ha! But anyway, thanks for your concern.
Vanessa: You really don't stress or plan much, do you? So different from our prince...
Forde: The prince of Frelia? Ah, you mean Prince Innes. I think he's almost 100 percent stress. But I'm sure he's quite the ladies' man. I bet you have a crush on him, too. You're blushing, so I must have hit a nerve!
Vanessa: I-I don't! I didn't say anything!
Forde: A romance between a prince and his knight? What scandal! What intrigue! It's all right, though. You can love anyone you like. You must have lots of competition, seeing how he is a prince. It's much easier to date someone you can be yourself around. Someone like, say, me would be ideal for you. What do you say?
Vanessa: Um... Let's go, Titania. We've wasted enough time here.
Forde: You don't have to run away like that! OK, see you! Watch out for those archers!
Vanessa: I think I misunderstood you.
Forde: Yeah? So you understand me now?
Vanessa: I guess so. You've been working for me from behind-the-scenes, haven't you.
Forde: Yes. But don't worry. I'm used to that sort of misunderstanding.
Vanessa: Well...thank you.
Forde: Heh heh heh. You're welcome, of course. So, how about all that other stuff?
Vanessa: What do you mean?
Forde: Am I too far a cry from a prince?
Forde: I felt an energy...
Vanessa: Energy? What are you talking about?
Forde: Everyone has a different type of energy. Some energies can heal hearts, others spread courage. When you first saw me sleeping, I was dreaming of running across a field. I felt this warm energy engulfing me, blowing across my face like a summer wind. It must have been your energy that made me feel that way.
Forde: Would you like to feel my energy, too?
Vanessa:' Um... I'll certainly think about it.
Forde: Wonderful! I'll be waiting for your answer, Vanessa.
Innes: Vanessa, are you all right?
Vanessa: Prince Innes! Yes, I'm fine. I'm glad YOU are fine, sir.
Innes: Good, Vanessa. Your contributions to this war and also to Frelia as a whole have been very valuable.
Vanessa: Thank you for your kind words, sir. I was so worried when a messenger from Carcino told us you were in danger. I worried for your safety.
Innes: Nothing is going to happen to me. It's still very strange to me that you are grown up and worry about me now. When you first joined the knights, you were just a girl. You've really grown, Vanessa.
Vanessa: Well, um... I'm still learning.
Innes: You are a great knight now. I'm counting on you, Vanessa.
Vanessa: Yes. I'll protect you at any cost.
Innes: Ha ha ha! Vanessa, you don't need to protect me. It's the other way around. As the prince of Frelia, I have the duty to protect you.
Vanessa: Oh, yes! I didn't mean to offend!
Innes: Pshaw! But remember, I am counting on you.
Vanessa: Thank you, Prince!
Vanessa: Your skills are so polished now! I bet you could shoot down a drop of rain!
Innes: You flatter me, Vanessa, but my skills aren't quite there yet. But I've noticed that you have improved quite a bit since this war started.
Vanessa: Oh! Thank you, sir.
Innes: You make me confident in battle.
Vanessa: Me?! Oh... Er...
Innes: Yes, you! With such a skilled knight at my side, I feel secure and can be my best in battle.
Innes: I can always sense you trying to protect me at any cost. Normally, I don't need any help, but you are the exception. I'm grateful for your help.
Vanessa: Thank you very much! It is my duty to protect you at any cost!
Innes: Ha ha ha. Your duty, huh. That's fine, Vanessa. No need to worry about risking your life. I'm pretty unstoppable with you beside me.
Vanessa: You'll have to use a spatula to peel me off your side!
Innes: What's wrong? You're spacing out.
Vanessa: I'm sorry, Prince Innes! Watching you shoot that arrow reminded me of something.
Innes: What's that?
Vanessa: The time you demonstrated your archery skills at the king's birthday ceremony. You shot three arrows simultaneously, and hit three different targets... I was so impressed. I still remember that moment like it was yesterday.
Innes: Well, even though there were three targets, they were only about an arm length apart. It wasn't like shooting three enemies in battle. It's only an exhibition trick.
Vanessa: Even so, you couldn't have done it without strong accuracy and concentration. It made a very strong impression on me... I've admired your skills ever since then.
Innes: Vanessa... Was it my skills you were admiring... or was it me?
Vanessa: What?! Um...
Innes: Just kidding... Kind of. But I'm impressed you remembered it. I had forgotten until just now.
Vanessa: I have...always been watching you... and always been admiring you... I hope that doesn't sound too creepy.
Innes: I don't know what to say... I've always known you as a knight. A great knight, in fact. But when this war is over, I would like to get to know the other side of you. The woman. ...Ahem. Yes. Let's go, Vanessa. Don't ever leave my side from now on!
Vanessa: Don't worry, Prince Innes! I would follow you anywhere!
Ross: Oh! Hi, Dad.
Garcia: What are you thinking about?
Ross: Nothing... Well, maybe just... What was Mom like?
Garcia: Your mother... Well... Where do I start? In many ways, she was very similar to Princess Eirika.
Ross: Princess Eirika?
Garcia: Yes. She was gentle, but also very strong. She could share others' pain.
Ross: I see.
Garcia: What's wrong? Do you miss her?
Ross: I was just thinking... When was the last time we visited her grave? Not since we left the village and started this journey... It's been so long. She must be lonely...
Ross: When the bandits attacked the village, we had to leave. But Mom's grave is still there.
Garcia: Ross. Let's go home when the war is over. To the village where Risa rests.
Garcia: We can rebuild the village again, just the two of us. After all, that's where we belong... You, me, and...your mother.
Ross: Yes! All right. But I'll have to be a lot stronger to help with that. So we'd better start training, Dad!
Garcia: If you insist. Show me what you've got!
Garcia: That all you got?
Ross: Awww! Mmmmgrrrr... Ha!
Garcia: Gah! Ha!
Ross: Gah... Wahhhhhh!!
Garcia: Hm?! Haaaah!
Garcia: All right... Good. That's it for today.
Ross: Whew! Wow!
Ross: You're so strong, Dad.
Garcia: Ha ha ha! You're finally getting the hang of it, boy! Your stroke is heavier, and your swing has definitely improved.
Ross: Yes. I've been practicing all the time, even when I'm not in battle. Maybe someday, I'll even surpass you!
Garcia: You're getting stronger, no doubt about it. But I'm not going to LET you win. You'll have to get there yourself.
Ross: Now you're talking! The higher the hurdle, the bigger the reward. All right, I'm gonna go practice my swing! See you later, Dad!
Garcia: All right, boy. Risa, you'd be so happy. Ross has grown into a strong young man.
Ross: What is it, Dad?! Ow... Ow! Ow! What are you doing? That hurts! You're crushing my shoulder!
Ross: What's wrong, Dad?
Garcia: Ross... I'm going to be sentimental for a moment. Bear with me.
Garcia: You may be almost grown, but you're all I've got in this world. It's true that your skills have improved, but don't act foolishly.
Garcia: There's no greater tragedy than when a parent must bury his child. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Ross: Yes...I understand. It's just weird to hear you talking like this... I guess I have been getting a big head. No one is invincible.
Garcia: Yes, that's right. And when you start to think you are, that's when you're the most vulnerable.
Ross: I was just all puffed up when you said I had improved. I'll be careful from now on. I haven't told this to anyone, but I guess dads can see these things.
Garcia: No matter how old you get, you'll always be my son.
Ross: Yes, and I'll always look up to you!
Garcia: You must be Dozla.
Dozla: That's right! Who are you?
Garcia: My name is Garcia. Sir Dozla, I've been hearing a lot about you lately.
Dozla: Only good things, I hope! Ha ha ha! I've heard of you, too, Sir Garcia. Mostly about your incredible strength! Hey, would you mind lifting this boulder? Just kidding! Ha ha ha!
Garcia: Ha ha. It's not a big deal. Are you normally this...energetic?
Dozla: Well, I stuffed myself, so I'm feeling pretty great!
Garcia: You can't fight on an empty stomach. Eating is very important to keep up your strength. Especially breakfast. I've heard that in some cultures, they call breakfast "first break."
Dozla: What's that? What do they break?
Garcia: A fast.
Dozla: A fast what? Huh? Speak plainly! I don't understand all this talking in circles.
Garcia: We don't eat anything while we sleep, so it's as if we are fasting. So, the meal you eat in the morning breaks that fast. This means that breakfast is an especially important meal.
Dozla: Huh. Who would have thunk it? The only thing I consumed this morning was knowledge!
Garcia: What do you mean?
Dozla: Just that I make it a point to learn other disciplines. You have to if you want to grow as a fighter.
Garcia: I completely agree. Young men in this army are strong in their specific fields, but weak in others. The art of complete training has been lost on the younger generation, I'm afraid.
Dozla: Yes, that's right! Back in our day, fighters had to learn many disciplines in case they had to fill in for a wounded teammate. I've always wanted to learn archery. The delicate precision is the opposite of fighting with an axe.
Garcia: Me, too. Why don't we meet sometime and study it together?
Dozla: That's a great idea!
Garcia: Hello there, Dozla!
Dozla: I had a great time last time!
Garcia: Yes, indeed.
Dozla: I just love sparring! It's like having a conversation, except with weapons!
Garcia: You DO know that you're not supposed to swing the bow like an axe, right? Ha ha!
Dozla: I was only clowning around! I'm recalling that a certain someone loaded the arrow in the wrong direction and nearly impaled his shoulder. Hmmm. Now, who could that have been?
Garcia: That was a defect in the arrow!
Dozla: Ha ha ha ha ha! I'm sure!
Garcia: Maybe you just can't teach old dogs new tricks.
Dozla: I don't believe that's true at all. You're magnificent with an axe. How hard can it be to learn something new?
Garcia: No, you're the great one. You're a menace to the enemy!
Dozla: Where did you learn to fight like that?
Garcia: Well, I used to lead troops in Renais. I learned the basics there... Once I retired, I was living on a mountain. My daily chores involved swinging an axe, although just for splitting firewood.
Dozla: See? You learned how to apply your skills to different fields. Maybe archery just isn't our thing. We should try something else.
Garcia: What do you suggest?
Dozla: How about magic?
Dozla: It can't be that difficult to learn. As far as I can tell, it's just a bunch of arm waving and shouting gibberish.
Garcia: You do have a point.
Dozla: Let's practice sometime soon.
Garcia: I'm looking forward to it...Mage!
Dozla: Ha ha ha ha! Yes, indeed!
Garcia: That did not go as well as I had hoped.
Dozla: Well, that's not entirely true, is it.
Garcia: It would have helped if you hadn't whacked me in the head with the staff.
Dozla: I didn't mean to hit you! You just got in the way when I was... conjuring.
Garcia: I still have a lump on my head.
Dozla: I feel badly about it, all right? Besides, I think you're forgetting that I also healed you with that staff!
Garcia: No, you didn't! You burned my beard clear off!
Dozla: Oh, yes. That's right. I'm sorry.
Dozla: You have to admit, though, you looked quite dashing without that beard. It took at least ten years off of your appearance. No, at least twenty!
Garcia: You really think so? I can't stop smelling burnt hair.
Dozla: But, wait! At least give me credit for making it grow back that quickly.
Garcia: ... Very well. It grew back nicely. Thank you.
Dozla: You're welcome!
Garcia: This little foray into other disciplines has certainly taught me a lot.
Dozla: Me, too! After all this, sword fighting should be a piece of cake!
Garcia: Don't come near me right now, Neimi!
Neimi: Oh! I-I'm sorry! I was just...wondering what you were doing.
Garcia: I'm preparing myself for the battle. Please don't come near me right now.
Neimi: Are you trying to get psyched?
Garcia: Yes. To prepare myself for battle, I visualize the enemy in front of me. Then, during battle, I can focus all my attention on them. If you want to survive this war, you must focus all your attention on the enemy.
Neimi: I-I see. Please excuse me now!
Neimi: Y-yes, sir?
Garcia: I apologize for yelling at you.
Neimi: That must be how he became such a brilliant warrior! I must go focus now...
Garcia: Neimi! That gauntlet...
Garcia: That gauntlet! The one embroidered with the gold falcon...
Neimi: Huh? Oh, this? My late grandfather gave it to me. It was too big for me, so I resized it to fit my hand. He was the one who taught me how to use a bow... This is a keepsake he gave me.
Garcia: Is your grandfather's name Zethla?
Neimi: How in the world...? Did you know him?
Garcia: Of course. He was THE master archer. He was known as "Single-Arrow Zethla." He had amazing accuracy and could shoot any target, moving or still, with one shot. "No second arrow for Zethla" was what people would say. Renais tried to recruit him many times...
Neimi: Now that I think about it, when Grandpa went hunting, he would take only one arrow with him. Me, I always took many arrows...
Garcia: So, it WAS true!
Neimi: He never did join the army, even though recruiters did come by often. He said that it wasn't in his nature...
Garcia: I know. In fact, I visited him once when I was young. He was wearing the gauntlet that day, and it left an impression.
Neimi: I see... Renais is such a big country, I never would have thought that you knew him. It's a small world.
Garcia: Indeed. I can't believe Single-Arrow Zethla's granddaughter is fighting in this war. I'm encouraged by this fact. I'm counting on you, Neimi.
Neimi: What? YOU'RE counting on...ME?
Neimi: Um...I'm...happy to hear that. I-I'll do my best not to let you down!
Garcia: Good. Then let's go.
Neimi: Yes, sir!
Garcia: Neimi, I'm sorry if I startled you yesterday.
Neimi: Huh? Oh, you mean when you were preparing yourself for the battle? No... I was just surprised by your...enthusiasm for this war.
Garcia: I used to be like this all the time. I was always preoccupied with battles, to the point of neglecting my family. And now, here I am, back on the battlefield. I'm sure my wife is somewhere sighing.
Neimi: Oh, no, Sir Garcia. I'm sure your wife understood how you felt.
Garcia: I think it's hard to understand when you are not a soldier.
Neimi: In times like this, you have to fight to stay alive.
Garcia: You've lost family too, didn't you?
Neimi: Yes. But, I can't keep crying. I have to be strong and keep going.
Neimi: You quit the army and lived in a mountain village with Ross because Renais was not at war, didn't you?
Neimi: You don't seem to be the type of person who enjoys fighting for its own sake. I think you know the emptiness and pain of war more than anyone else. I can see that just by looking at you! Em... I'm sorry if I'm being presumptuous.
Garcia: No, Neimi. Thank you. You are very perceptive. You'll make some lucky guy very happy someday.
Neimi: Oh... Um... This is kind of embarrassing.
Garcia: Don't be embarrassed! Oh, by the way, please take this.
Neimi: What is it? Oh, this haircomb is lovely!
Garcia: I bought this for my wife when I was still in the Renais army. But...I never had the chance to give it to her.
Neimi: Sir Garcia...
Garcia: I buried her with some of the things I'd brought back. I don't know why, but I couldn't bring myself to bury this, though. I don't need it. What would I do with it? You'd make better use of it. It will give you a reason to keep using that mirror of yours, too.
Neimi: Sir Garcia! This is too much! Thank you! I will take good care of it!
Ross: Hey, you!
Lute: I hope that maniac isn't talking to me. I'll pretend I can't hear him. La la la.
Ross: You, over there! Mage woman!
Lute: Are you talking to me? Firstly, my name isn't "Mage Woman," nor is it "You." Why don't you lower your voice and act a little more civilized? Who are you?
Ross: I'm son of the warrior Garcia, Ross.
Lute: So you're "Son-of-warrior-garcia-ross." That's an unusual name. I'm Lute, genius mage extraordinaire. You've probably heard of me. So, Sir Son-of-warrior-garcia-ross, how may I be of service to you?
Ross: My name is ROSS! You're kind of weird. Hey, you can use magic, right?
Lute: Yes, although to be more accurate, I don't just "use" magic. I am a master of all magic. Please don't make that mistake again.
Ross: Wow, that's really great.
Lute: Well, maybe for you. For me, I'm just that good. It's normal.
Ross: Isn't it hard to remember all those spells?
Lute: Well, I think for the average person, it probably is a difficult task. But for me, it is as simple as using a hint of fragrance when baking a cake.
Ross: I...have no idea what you mean. Wait a second! Does that mean even I could learn magic?
Ross: Hey! At least pretend to ponder the question for a little bit before you answer.
Lute: OK. Bye.
Ross: Hey! Hey, wait a minute!
Ross: Hey, mage lady! I mean... Let's see... Lute!
Lute: Hello, Sir Son-of-warrior-garcia-ross.
Ross: It's ROSS! You left in the middle of the conversation!
Lute: Thank you, but it's no big deal.
Ross: That wasn't a compliment! So, by the way...
Lute: So long.
Ross: What the heck? Hey, wait a minute! I was telling you not to leave suddenly!
Lute: What do you want?
Ross: Well, nothing in particular. I just thought we could chat...or something.
Lute: Well, THAT doesn't sound very productive nor strategically important, but... If you want to, please go ahead.
Ross: OK. Um. Let's see. What to talk about. You know, my mom used a little magic, too. She passed away a while ago... But, that's why I thought I might be able to use magic, too. Last time, you said no right away, but you hadn't heard the whole story.
Lute: Do you want to be a mage?
Ross: No, not exactly.
Lute: Well, then you should keep following your own instinct instead. Everyone has his or her own talent. I figure the path you are taking now is appropriate for you.
Ross: Yeah.... Maybe you're right. Well, it's not like I was torn between the two or anything. I kinda just wanted to talk with a female mage like you. Thanks.
Lute: Um, you're welcome, I guess. I'm glad I could be of your service.
Ross: Yo, Lute.
Lute: Hi, Son-of--I mean--Ross.
Ross: Hey, you remembered my name finally!
Lute: Because I'm good.
Lute: Are you here to insult me today?
Ross: Where'd you get that from?! You are as strange as ever.
Lute: Thank you very much.
Ross: That wasn't a compliment! Have you always been like this?
Lute: You mean, have I always been brilliant? Well, I've been me. So, yes. I've been surrounded by books for as long as I can remember.
Ross: You studied magic since you were a kid?! Did you do anything for fun?
Lute: Well, there's my monk-watching habit.
Ross: Huh? Never mind. How about your mother and father?
Lute: I don't have any memory of my parents. But according to my grandmother, they are traveling in distant lands.
Ross: Oh... So you have a grandmother. What is she like?
Lute: She's like an elegant goldfish that's been sun-dried with a wildflower.
Ross: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Lute: OK then. So long.
Ross: Hey! Hey, Lute!
Ross: You may be a great mage, but you don't seem to be physically strong. So, from now on... Well... I'll be at your side to protect you.
Lute: Well, that's very kind. But you know that the more likely scenario is that I'll be protecting you.
Ross: That's not what you're supposed to say! You're just supposed to say "Yes"!
Lute: OK. Yes.
Ross: Man... I might not seem that tough now, but someday I will grow up to be a man as strong as my dad. You wait and see!
Lute: OK. I'll look forward to it. But I won't get my hopes too high. Disappointment is a cruel mistress.
Ross: You! Grrr! I'll show you!
Ross: Ugh! Hey! Ow! What the heck?!
Amelia: I'm so sorry! I'm just very clumsy. Are you all right?
Amelia: E-excuse me.
Ross: You! You're from Grado, aren't you! This was a sneak attack, wasn't it! Then prepare yourself for battle!
Amelia: Oh, no! Please listen to me! It's true that I am from Grado, but I am now on your side!
Ross: You must think I'm pretty gullible! You can't trick me like that!
Amelia: But I'm telling the truth! I am on your side! I didn't attack you. I tripped and fell into you, but it was an accident!
Ross: Right... Let's say for a second I buy this story. But how can you explain tripping when there's nothing around to trip on?
Amelia: There was a dent over there, and--
Ross: Huh? Oh, you mean that. I see. You tripped on that thing, huh?
Ross: How could you have tripped on that? I can barely even see it! Hey, isn't that spear a little heavy for you? You're so small. Need a little help?
Amelia: Not really. It's much lighter than other knights'. I'm working on building up more power, but I'm getting the hang of it.
Ross: Hmmm... I noticed that your armor is very shiny.
Amelia: Um, yes. Thanks, I guess. I'm always polishing it.
Ross: That's a sure sign of a new recruit! Watch out for hazing. You might as well be wearing a sign taped to your forehead that says? I'm a rookie!?
Amelia: Oh... Um...
Ross: Don't worry. I've got your back.
Ross: But in exchange, you must cover ME when someone attacks me with a sword!
Amelia: Oh... OK. I'll do my best! Um... Say...
Ross: What is it?
Amelia: Thank you... for believing me that I'm not your enemy.
Ross: There's no point in fighting with someone on your own side. OK, let's go!
Amelia: Oh, hi, um...
Ross: I guess I haven't told you my name, huh. I'm Ross, the son of the warrior Garcia.
Amelia: I'm Amelia. Nice to meet you, Ross.
Ross: Likewise. By the way, it looks like you're getting better at battle.
Amelia: Yes. It's mostly because you and others are helping me out. I'm also getting the hang of my spear.
Ross: I see. I was once a rookie too. Everyone has to start somewhere. We're young, and we start at the bottom of the chain, you know? But we'll get stronger, both of us. So let's work hard, all right?
Ross: Good, good. Oh, by the way...
Ross: I have something for you. Now, where did I put it? Hmm... Ah, here it is.
Amelia: Thanks... Um, what is it?
Ross: Isn't it obvious? It's a necklace.
Amelia: I can see that, but... Why?
Ross: I bought it. I mean, I bought it a long time go. There was a kid selling this on the street, and he just wouldn't leave me alone. I didn't need it, but he seemed really hungry, so...
Amelia: That's very kind of you, Ross.
Ross: Oh, it's not a big deal. A-anyway, it's yours now.
Amelia: What?! I couldn't!
Ross: No, it's yours.
Ross: Don't you like it?
Amelia: It's not that. It's very pretty! It's just...
Ross: Then keep it.
Amelia: Thank you. It's so lovely.
Ross: You should have just accepted in the first place. Why are you acting so reluctant?
Amelia: Well, I've always lived very...modestly.
Ross: Huh? What's that got to do with it?
Amelia: I could never afford something like this... So to me, everything is so very precious... And I couldn't take something that was precious to you...
Ross: I see. Please just take it and enjoy it.
Amelia: If you're sure... Thank you.
Ross: Of course! Besides, I've always looked better in earrings than necklaces. Just kidding! OK, let's go, Amelia.
Amelia: Ha ha ha! Sure.
Amelia: Hi, Ross.
Ross: Hey, Amelia. I heard you're getting better.
Amelia: Yes, I'm getting there.
Ross: Well, it's a hard road to get to where we think we should be.
Amelia: Yup, that's true.
Ross: As for me, my father was always the warrior in the family. I've always wanted to be just like him. I think I'm just finally starting to get close to that goal. But anyways, how are your parents?
Amelia: Well... I don't talk about them much...
Ross: Oh! Um... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...
Amelia: No, no. It's fine. My father has been gone for as long as I can remember...
Ross: I see.
Amelia: I was living with my mother, but... But she is...no longer with me.
Ross: I see... Sounds like you've had a rough life...
Ross: I'm sorry I brought up something painful.
Ross: Um... I've got it! I'll be your big brother!
Amelia: What in the world are you talking about?
Ross: Your brother! And you'll be my sister! Yeah! This is the best idea I've had in a while! It doesn't matter that we're not blood relatives. The army is like a family, so we are like siblings! So it's decided, then. You're my little sister from now on. So you're not alone anymore. You can call me big brother, OK?
Amelia: Um... This is all kind of...sudden. I don't know if I'm ready to--
Ross: Never mind all that! We're brother and sister from now on. All right, Sis?
Amelia: How old are you anyway?
Ross: Huh? What's that got to do with it? You know... Old enough to show you the ropes.
Amelia: Wait a minute... You're probably the same age as me!
Amelia: In fact, I'll bet I'm a little older...
Ross: Grrrrrr! Be quiet! I said I'm the big brother. It doesn't matter the exact date we're born. I'm the big brother. Any way you look at it, I'm the older one!
Amelia: Ha ha! You're too funny! It's so cute when you get mad! Hee hee hee!
Amelia: Thanks for the laugh.
Ross: Hmph! When this war is over, I'll take you to my village.
Ross: Haven't you been listening to anything? We're brother and sister now, remember?
Amelia: Um, right.
Ross: From now on, you and I are going to share both joy and sorrow as a family. OK?
Amelia: If I didn't know better, I would think that you were proposing to me. Ha ha ha!
Ross: What! That's not what I'm talking about at all! You twisted my words up! Just forget it! Anyways, let's go!
Amelia: Ha ha ha! Thanks...BIG BROTHER! Hee hee!
Ross: Here you are. I finally tracked you down.
Ewan: Hi. Um. Who are you?
Ross: I'm Ross. You?
Ewan: I'm Ewan.
Ross: Hey, Ewan. Nice to meet you. I've been looking for someone around my age. Let's hang out sometime, OK?
Ewan: Sure, but do we have to wait until "sometime"? How about now?
Ross: What are you saying? We're in the middle of a battle!
Ewan: The others are fighting well, so the two of us won't make much difference. Besides, even though I just started using magic the other day, I'm pretty good. If something does happen, we'll be OK.
Ross: Well, I'm pretty confident in my skills, too. But, you know--how to put this delicately-- it's the matter of morale.
Ewan: You certainly are dedicated. That's a surprise.
Ewan: Why don't you prove your dedication by answering this brainteaser?
Ross: Like a riddle? Sounds fun!
Ewan: Yes. It'll be really fun to watch you struggling to come up with an answer. Ha!
Ross: Hey! What's that supposed to mean? Well, whatever. Let's do it.
Ewan: OK, here it is. Ross, do you know what a balance is?
Ross: Of course I do! Who doesn't? It's a type of scale with small plates on both sides to put weights. When both sides are the same weight, it balances. So that was the riddle? Easy!
Ewan: Ha ha ha! You're too funny! No, that was just the setup for the brainteaser. Here's the real question. Assume there are 25 pebbles.
Ewan: Yes, they're really small. As small as peas. They are all the same color and shape. In this group, there's one pebble that's lighter than all the other pebbles.
Ross: And I must tell you the way to find that pebble?
Ewan: Of course not. What kind of challenge is that? The question is, how many times do you need to use the balance to find that one rock?
Ross: How many times? Uh... It's not...24, is it?
Ewan: What?! Oh! Ha ha ha ha ha! That's the first time I've heard that one! I see. So you were thinking that you'd measure the pebbles one by one! That's great, Ross! You're too funny!
Ross: That's not a compliment, is it. You think I'm an idiot!
Ewan: That's not true. Actually, it is. Ha ha ha! And did I mention how perceptive you are, too?
Ross: Oh, you! Just you wait! I'll figure it out! I just need some time to think about it.
Ewan: The anticipation is killing me.
Ross: Hey, you!
Ewan: Oh, hi, Ross.
Ross: I have an answer for your brainteaser!
Ewan: You got it, huh? That's amazing!
Ross: Y-yeah. The answer is...
Ewan: Yes, yes?
Ross: Four times!
Ewan: You must have worked really hard to figure that out!
Ross: See! See! I told you I'd get it! Fighting's not the only thing I'm good at.
Ewan: However, that's not the correct answer.
Ross: What do you mean? I can't believe it! Ugh! If that's not the right answer, then what is?
Ewan: You were close. The right answer is three times.
Ross: Only three times? How? Tell me!
Ewan: The key is how many pebbles you put on the scales at first. First, put eight rocks each on either side of the scale. The side with the lighter rock will be higher than the other, right? Or, if the sides are balanced, it means that the lighter rock is in the rest of the pile. So that was one turn on the balance. The rest is pretty easy to figure out. Let's assume that the lighter rock was in the remaining pile of nine rocks... Then you'd put three rocks on each side of the scale. So that's the second turn. If either side of the scale tips, then the rock is in one of those two piles. If the scale is balanced, then the rock is one of the remaining three rocks. So, now you've figured out which group of three pebbles has the lighter one. What you do now is put one rock from this pile on each side of the scale. Like before, if the scale tips to one side, the lighter pebble is on the scale. If the scale is balanced, then the remaining pebble is the lighter one. And that was the last turn on the scale. Did you get all that?
Ross: Huh? Well, I think I got it...
Ewan: What?! I just explained it all very clearly. You still don't get it? That's really...
Ross: Really what?!
Ewan: Um, nothing. Forget it. A ha ha ha ha!
Ross: "A ha ha ha" what? What do you mean "forget it"?
Ewan: Anyway, it's been fun hanging out. Let's get together again sometime, OK?
Ross: It wasn't fun for me at all! Hey!
Ewan: Hi, Ross.
Ross: Oh, it's you again.
Ewan: That brainteaser was fun, huh? Did you get it yet?
Ross: I already told you I didn't have any fun! If that's what you consider fun, you must have had a pretty bad childhood!
Ewan: Well, I was an orphan.
Ewan: My sister and I were abandoned when I was really young, before I could even talk. She became a dancer and raised me all on her own. I'm really grateful for her.
Ross: You were an orphan? I-I'm sorry. I had no idea.
Ewan: How could you know? Don't worry about it. I don't even remember being abandoned. And because of that, I got a chance to travel around, and meet lots of people. Like you. So, I'm not sad at all.
Ross: I see... Hey, I just had a great idea. Let's be brothers?
Ewan: Huh?! Like blood brothers? I'm really not into slicing myself up for people I just met.
Ross: No, no, no. Just, you know, brothers! Now call me "Bro," Bro!
Ewan: Um... OK...Bro.
Ross: Say it like you mean it! Oh, never mind. It'll just sound forced.
Ewan: I told you so.
Ross: Well, just call me Ross for now. But, you can consider me a brother from now on.
Ewan: What do you mean by that?
Ross: I mean that I will be a friend who you can rely on and trust completely.
Ewan: That's very kind, considering I really haven't known you for very long. But thank you. You're a nice guy, even if you're not very sharp.
Ross: Hey! No need to insult me! A simple "Thanks, Bro" will be enough!
Ewan: Ha ha ha ha ha. You're so funny! By the way, do you have a girlfriend?
Ross: W-what! Of course not! Did you forget? We're in the middle of a war right now! I have to focus on that!
Ewan: Huh. A ha ha ha ha!
Ross: What's that for? How about you? Do you have one?
Ewan: I have a lot of them!
Ross: What?! A lot of them! Oh well. We're still pretty young. Better to not get tied down.
Ewan: Good luck, Ross!
Ross: Don't talk like it's not your problem, too!
Ewan: Hey, Ross. I think we're going to be friends for a long time. In fact, I know it.
Ross: OK. Boy, you're such a laid-back guy...
Ross: Um... Ahem. Are you Sir Gerik by any chance?
Gerik: What do you want, boy?
Ross: Oh, my name is Ross. I'm the son of warrior Garcia.
Gerik: I see...... So, Ross, are you an axeman?
Ross: Yeah! Don't be fooled by my appearance. I'm actually pretty good.
Gerik: Ha ha ha! If you say so.
Ross: Well, I think so. But it's important to keep improving.
Gerik: Why is that so important to you?
Ross: My father is such an amazing warrior. I've always wanted to be worthy of the title "son of Garcia." And I want to be able to go home and rebuild my village. After that, I want to go on a voyage and train in the open ocean. And after that, I'd like to go back home. To do all this, I need to be the best warrior I can be.
Gerik: Those are admirable goals. I'll help you out sometime.
Ross: How? You'll give me a lesson? Are you serious? That's great!
Gerik: I might not be able to beat your father, but I could teach you a thing or two. Why don't you try landing a hit on me?
Ross: That'd be great! But before we start, let me go practice on those guys first!
Gerik: It's great that he's so eager to learn, but he's really not ready to go solo yet!
Gerik: Ross, didn't you say that you wanted to go on an ocean voyage to train yourself? The sea is a great place to train because it strengthens both the mind and body.
Ross: Have you ever been on a voyage?
Gerik: Of course. I've escorted many commercial ships before. It's embarrassing, but I got seasick for the first few days. That was very painful. But I got used to it in a few days. It was a long trip. Nature was more brutal than the enemies who pursued us. But after the voyage ended, I realized that I grew up a lot. The sea is an amazing combination of brutality and expansiveness.
Ross: Now I definitely want to go on a sea voyage.
Gerik: By the way, Ross, how's your injury from our last session?
Ross: Oh, that little thing? It healed right up!
Gerik: Ha ha ha... You sure are tough, boy!
Ross: Sir Gerik?
Ross: What should I do to be strong like you?
Gerik: That's a tough question... I would have to say that it's all in the mind.
Gerik: If your desire to win is stronger than your opponent's, you've already won. Your mind is your most important weapon.
Ross: Come to think of it, I have noticed that. At our last lesson, before we even started, I was thinking that I could never win. I guess it was like admitting defeat before even trying. All right! You've convinced me! I'll start strengthening my mind as well as my axe skills. Thank you, Sir Gerik. I can't wait until our next lesson!
Gerik: His energy is refreshing, but I must teach him patience next time.
Ross: Hey, Sir Gerik...
Gerik: What is it, Ross? You seem down today.
Ross: Why is the sword stronger than the axe?
Gerik: What are you talking about? Just use a stronger axe to beat a sword.
Ross: That's not what I mean! I want to be strong enough to split a silver sword with an iron axe.
Gerik: Your father...
Ross: What about him?
Gerik: He could defeat many swordsmen with just one axe.
Ross: So you've seen him in battle?
Gerik: Just once. He was leading a unit of the Renais army. He was swinging his axe at the front line.
Ross: Wow, my dad was really strong, wasn't he!
Gerik: He was more than just strong. He was like a war god. I have to be honest with you, Ross. I was on his enemy side at the time.
Gerik: I was a mercenary hired by the other side. It was a fierce battle against Garcia's unit, and we ultimately had to retreat. Come to think of it, this is a perfect example of the power of the mind. You see, I was so intimidated by Garcia that I had lost even before I started. That was an unforgettable failure for me. After that, I swore to myself that I would be as strong as him with a sword.
Ross: Wow, I can't believe Dad beat you down like that! He's the greatest. But you're pretty great, too.
Gerik: Someone who lost to your father?
Ross: Yeah! You might have lost that time, but you became a great swordsman because of it! OK. I'm going to stop moping around. From this moment on, I swear that someday I will destroy swords with my axe. You are my witness, Sir Gerik!
Gerik: Truly, you are the son of the warrior Garcia.
Ross: That's not all! I'm also the best student of the master swordsman Gerik!
Gerik: When did you become my student?
Ross: When I met you! Oh! Enemy detected! I'll catch you later! Give me another lesson someday, Sir Gerik. I'll be much stronger by then, and maybe I'll win a match with you!
Gerik: I believe he will surpass Garcia someday.
Neimi: Oh, hi, Colm... How are you doing?
Colm: This no time for pleasantries! You need to concentrate in battle!
Neimi: I was just being polite...
Colm: I never thought thought I'd see you on the battlefield.
Neimi: Well, I might not be the best, but when something needs to be done... I do it.
Colm: It's amazing how war affects people. I mean, look at you. You're a bumbling crybaby, but even you've pulled yourself together temporarily.
Colm: When we were little, you followed me everywhere, tripping and crying...
Neimi: Oh! Sniff... Why are you always so mean? Waaa!
Colm: And now look at you! You're still following me everywhere, tripping and crying, but now you're doing it on the battlefield. Will you PLEASE stop your boo-hooing
Neimi: Sniff... OK,,, I'll try...
Colm: Man, you can't do anything without me, can you! And stop crying!
Neimi: But... Sniff...
Colm: What is it?
Neimi: You're the one who's... making me cry.
Colm: What are you doing?
Neimi: Oh! C-Colm... I-I was just restringing my bow...
Colm: Wow. You really take after your grandfather. The way you handle your bow is great!
Neimi: Grandpa taught me how to shoot when I was little...
Colm: Yeah. Your grandfather was a really top-notch archer. I still remember how he tried to shoot me.
Neimi: W-well, Colm... That's because you were stealing fruit from our tree.
Colm: He really taught me how frightening an archer with a good shot can be.
Neimi: But... He never hurt you. He just wanted to scare you. He missed on purpose.
Colm: No, he was aiming for me. I was just too fast for him to hit me.
Neimi: He never missed a target when we went hunting.
Colm: Well, then, I guess I'm just faster than wild animals.
Neimi: Hee hee! Ha ha ha!
Colm: Hey! You're laughing at me, aren't you?
Neimi: Hee hee! That's not true... It's just that... You haven't changed much since then.
Colm: What's that supposed to mean?
Neimi: J-just that you still exaggerate a lot. But now that I think about it, you've always been on my side.
Colm: Not always! And now especially, I can't always be there to protect you. I have many responsibilities to this unit, you know.
Neimi: I know...
Colm: But I can't leave you alone, either.
Neimi: Thank you...
Colm: Neimi! What's wrong?
Neimi: Oh... Sniff... Colm...
Colm: What's wrong? Did someone attack you? Are you hurt?
Colm: Did someone say something mean to you? Did someone steal your mirror again?
Neimi: That's not it...
Colm: Then what is it?
Neimi: I j-just...have something in my eye...
Neimi: Whew! It's gone now.
Colm: I thought you were hurt!
Colm: What's the matter now?!
Neimi: Uh... I'm sorry for alarming you... But... I'm happy that-- I mean-- Thank you for caring for me...
Colm: No need to get all mushy about it. You shouldn't cry so much.
Neimi: I know. The other day, when I was in battle, I was remembering all the times you helped me when we were little.
Neimi: Like that time I fell into the river and you came and rescued me. Or the time I broke Grandpa's bow. You helped me fix it. And all the times bullies picked on me, you defended me.
Colm: Seriously, Neimi. You've always been such a crybaby.
Neimi: Yes, but... Because you were there with me, I was never sad... When Grandpa died, you were by my side the whole time, holding my hand...
Neimi: Thank you, Colm. For then and now... I like you a lot...
Colm: Oh... If anything is troubling you, come see me first, all right? I'll take care of anyone who makes you cry.
Neimi: I will...
Colm: I think your haplessness is permanent. But don't worry, I'll take care of you.
Neimi: Oh! Sniff... Colm... Sniff...
Colm: Oh, no. I made you cry again, didn't I.
Neimi: Sniff... Yes... But for different reasons this time.
Colm: That's better.
Colm: Neimi... I'm the only one who can make you cry. For now and ever, got that?
Neimi: All right...
Colm: Hey, you! Have you seen a scary-looking woman?
Marisa: ...Scary-looking woman? Is she your sister?
Colm: NO. I don't have any sisters. The woman I'm talking about was beautiful, but also very scary. Have you seen someone who fits that description?
Marisa: I don't think so. Beautiful but very scary... What do you mean by that?
Colm: Well, I'm not exactly sure, either. I just heard from one of Gerik's mercenaries that there is a woman sword fighter here. Apparently, she's very talented and was hired for an unbelievable sum.
Marisa: A woman sword fighter??
Colm: Rumor is that if you speak to her without thinking, she's likely to attack you out of nowhere!
Marisa: Is that so.
Colm: Maybe her face is scarred from fighting. Yeah, that's probably it! She's beautiful, but has a very sad past behind that scar. And that's why she's so scary!
Marisa: A scarred face? A sad past?
Colm: Or maybe it's because her lover was killed, and she's trying to avenge him. That seems equally plausible, doesn't it? Anyway, if you see her around, would you tell her that I was looking for her? See ya.
Marisa: Well, I'm the only female sword fighter here. I guess he was looking for me. He is so clueless...
Colm: Oh, hi, Marisa! I'm sorry for what I said the other day. I figured out that you were the scary woman I was talking about. I'm Colm. Nice to meet you.
Marisa: OK. So, what did you want from me?
Colm: Oh, nothing special. I just wanted to meet the famous swordswoman. I was going to challenge you to a match, but I've seen you fight and know how good you are. You'd beat me senseless.
Marisa: I'll accept a match with you anytime.
Colm: Well, I don't know how else to say this. You're scaring me.
Colm: Yeah. It sounds funny, but you never look at the enemy... I mean...you don't care about the enemy at all.
Marisa: I have no idea what you're talking about. Speak English.
Colm: I mean... Even when the enemy is right in front of you, you aren't even looking at him. You're fighting something else.
Marisa: Something else?
Colm: I'm not that smart, and I don't know much about swords. So I can't say exactly who or what it is you are really fighting.
Marisa: I see.
Colm: Um... What I mean to say is good luck in all your battles. Um... That's it. See you later!
Marisa: The enemy...I'm really fighting?
Colm: Hi, Marisa.
Marisa: I was thinking about what you were saying the other day.
Colm: You mean about you not fighting the enemy in front of you, but something else? Is that what you're talking about?
Colm: What about it?
Marisa: Do you want to know? What I'm really fighting with?
Colm: Huh? Y-yeah...... If you want to tell me, sure.
Marisa: What I'm really fighting with is...
Marisa: My father.
Colm: Your father?!
Marisa: Well, to be more precise, his shadow.
Colm: Was he a swordsman also?
Marisa: He was one of the most famous swordsmen in Jehanna. He was also a mercenary.
Colm: I see why you're so good.
Marisa: Ever since I was a child, my father taught me how to live as a mercenary.
Colm: Since you were a kid?
Marisa: The harsh conditions of Jehanna breed strength and ruthlessness. The only way to survive is by being a mercenary.
Marisa: My father is my parent, my teacher, and above all, a mountain I must conquer.
Colm: A mountain?
Marisa: Once I conquer the mountain, I can accomplish anything I want.
Colm: That must be a...big mountain. So, where are you on the mountain? A third of the way up? Halfway up? Or can you already see the summit?
Marisa: ...I'm only at the base.
Colm: You still have a long way to go, huh?
Marisa: ...Yes. I don't even know where the summit is yet.
Colm: Well, then, you don't know how long it will take, do you?
Marisa: I'll just keep climbing. Even if it takes me forever...
Colm: Oh. I see. Well, good luck. I'm sure you'll make it to the top.
Marisa: Yes. Someday. For sure. You're...a nice guy.
Colm: Ha ha ha! Oh, please. You're embarrassing me.
Colm: Hey, you! I know your secret.
Rennac: Huh? My secret?
Colm: You're a thief, too, aren't you? Do you think that's acceptable behavior for someone in the princess's entourage?
Rennac: Ha ha ha! Where'd you learn a big word like entourage, boy? Not that it's any of your business, but Her Highness already knows about my...hobbies. You're not, by any chance, trying to threaten me, are you? That's funny. I never thought I'd be reprimanded by a boy!
Colm: Hey, old man, don't you talk down to ME! I'm not a boy. I'm Colm! And I'm not threatening you, either. I was just surprised that you're a thief because you dress so nicely.
Rennac: I assume you're in the same trade. Those rags are a dead giveaway. Well, you may not take any pride in your appearance, but I'm different. Do you see this jacket? It has silk embroidery, a trend that I started in Carcino. Where are the stitches, you ask? They're on the inside of the jacket. But I'm not going to show you. The truly cultured man cares about every detail. It would be a waste of my time to even try to explain it to a poor urchin like you.
Colm: Why are you bragging about something so lame? And I'm not a poor urchin! Man, I've never met anyone as annoying as you!
Rennac: Oh, don't be so sensitive, little urchin. If you want to be like me, make more money. Improve your skills. The name of the game is making money. Money is all that matters. It's your only way out. Work hard and escape from poverty.
Colm: First of all, I don't want to be like you! Second of all, I'll show you!
Rennac: Well, don't pull a muscle, little urchin!
Rennac: Hey, urchin, have you made any money yet?
Colm: Stop calling me urchin! I heard that your dad is a wealthy merchant in Carcino.
Rennac: Yes. So what? My father is a wealthy merchant, and his son is a thief. Great family, huh?
Colm: If you're rich, you don't need to steal. You can just buy whatever you want.
Rennac: You are so green, boy. Greener than the fruit I left out for a month.
Colm: What's that supposed to mean? I've never had dried fruit, so I don't know what you're talking about!
Rennac: Oh, that's too bad. Listen, urchin. Merchants are always stingy. It's part of who they are. And my father was especially stingy. He gave us nothing for free.
Colm: We had to work for everything we had. So my brothers and I learned the value of hard work from a young age. And this just happens to be my job. Get it? It's not easy being the son of a merchant, huh? Forced to work from a young age. I had a tough childhood, too. I always had to hunt and garden with my dad. I guess our lives aren't so different after all, huh.
Rennac: Er, a little hunting and gardening is quite different from actual work. You can see that just by looking at how you and I turned out.
Colm: Well! I'll show you! Maybe you'll wake up one morning and find that something important to you is gone! Consider yourself warned, old man!
Rennac: You know, warning people of your plans isn't really the most effective thieving strategy. Anyhow, I look forward to seeing what you can muster.
Rennac: Hi there, urchin. I haven't heard you bragging in a while. I thought maybe you gave up on your big plans.
Colm: I'm more persistent than you think I am. I came to see you because I remembered-- Wait, you haven't noticed yet?
Rennac: Noticed what?
Colm: Ha ha ha! I won!
Rennac: What? Did you actually steal something? Don't tell me... A ha!
Colm: So you finally noticed! Yes, I secretly stole only the embroidery off your precious jacket. So, how's that for stealth? That's some pretty fine thieving, if I do say so myself.
Rennac: I see. The embroidery IS missing. Good work. It's a little early for a victory celebration, though. The embroidery was of a pony, correct?
Colm: Huh? Yeah...
Rennac: Unfortunately for you, that was a fake. I knew you would try to steal it, so I replaced it with a fake beforehand. The real embroidery is of a phoenix. But I won't show it to you. Nope, never.
Colm: You! That's a cheap trick!
Rennac: In this business, anything goes. However, I'm impressed that you got as far as you did. I definitely don't want you for an enemy.
Colm: Heh heh heh... Same here, I guess. I'm glad that we're on the same side. Now give me my boots!
Colm: Kyle, do you have a minute?
Kyle: What is it, Colm?
Colm: Well... It's about Princess Eirika.
Kyle: Is something the matter with her?
Colm: It was a while ago, but when she went to bed, she was...
Kyle: What happened after she retired to her room? Colm, don't toy with me. Just tell me!
Colm: The princess looked like she was having trouble falling asleep. She kept pacing.
Kyle: Having trouble falling asleep?
Kyle: That's not good. It's very important for her to get enough rest during this tough march. This war has been very hard for Prince Ephraim and Princess Eirika. I'm sure she's probably spent a few nights worrying, but--
Colm: Hey! I just remembered that I have this secret remedy my mother used to make. It started off as a freckle cream, but it turns out that it works pretty well with insomnia, too.
Kyle: Really. That's a good idea. I'm sure Prince Ephraim and Lady Eirika would love to have something like that.
Colm: OK, then. I'll give it to her next time I see her. I'll let you know how it goes.
Kyle: All right, Colm.
Colm: Kyle, big news!
Kyle: What is it this time, Colm?
Colm: It's about Prince Ephraim.
Kyle: What? What happened?
Colm: He's just like me!
Kyle: Just like you? In what sense?
Colm: He hates studying, too!
Kyle: And...? That doesn't seem like news or anything.
Colm: It's big news for me! And for you, too! The future of Renais is not looking good if he hates studying as much as I do.
Kyle: Don't worry about it. He might not like studying much, but no one is as bad as you. Besides, if you're bringing this up to denigrate him, you are in serious trouble.
Colm: Not at all! I'm just worried about Prince Ephraim and Princess Eirika.
Kyle: I understand. But this news was really useless. In the future, please only bring me relevant information.
Colm: Kyle, I have some useful news!
Kyle: Finally. What is it?
Colm: Heh heh heh... Well, it's a secret about you.
Kyle: A secret about me? What is it?
Colm: You have a girlfriend! Her name is Meriella! You send letters to her all the time, don't you!
Kyle: Oh, that. I've been meaning to tell you about her.
Colm: I'm so glad to hear that, Kyle. Let me know if you need to talk to someone. Long-distance relationships can be hard. I can't believe it! Stuffy old Kyle is in love!
Kyle: In love? Me? I think you're confused. Meriella is not my girlfriend. She is one of my teammates.
Colm: Workplace romance, is it? Say no more. I understand.
Kyle: Just shut up and listen to me. Meriella is the alias we use for Renais knights on undercover missions.
Colm: Alias? Like a secret code?
Kyle: Precisely. We send mail addressed to Meriella, which only the Renais knights know. The contents are always the same: We let them know that Prince Ephraim and Princess Eirika are safe. It's all written in secret code. That's the letter I was sending.
Colm: Even though we're in the middle of a war, does it really have to be so complicated?
Kyle: Yes. Better to be safe than sorry.
Colm: I see. Well, would you like me to deliver that letter?
Kyle: No. Every single soldier is important in this war. We need you here.
Colm: Really? You value my service? Neat!
Kyle: Um... Yes. Although you do bring me some pointless tidbits, you have also been a big help.
Colm: Great! This is so encouraging! Until recently, I thought I'd never have any real connection with the knights. But it's different now. Now, I consider everyone involved in this war, especially the knights like you, to be my friends. I will always fight for my friends!
Kyle: Thank you, Colm. Civilians and knights... Together, we'll restore peace in Renais.
Neimi: Whoa... That's beautiful! Your armor, I mean. It's so shiny.
Amelia: Th-thanks. Ah... Er...
Neimi: I'm Neimi.
Amelia: Oh, my name is Amelia. Nice to meet you, miss.
Neimi: Miss? Oh, no. I'm just Neimi. It's nice to meet you, too.
Amelia: All right, Neimi it is.
Neimi: Anyway, your armor really is lovely. That color reminds me of the michew berries that grow in my hometown.
Amelia: Oh, I've had michew berries before! They're really shiny, and they're sweet and a little tart when you eat them. I just love them in pies...
Neimi: Oh, I know! I didn't think they grew anywhere else. They're so yummy!
Amelia: Tell you what: if we come across any in the field, let's stop and pick them.
Neimi: That sounds like a good idea.
Amelia: Maybe we can use some of the supplies to bake some michew pies for everyone. One bite, and they'll forget all about their exhaustion.
Neimi: I agree. I'll keep my eyes peeled, and if I see any, I'll pick some for you.
Amelia: Ha ha! That's great! Now we've got something to look forward to, hm? Oh, we'd better get back to the battle.
Neimi: Aw... All right, Amelia. But let's talk some more again.
Amelia: Oh, you bet! I'm really glad I met you, Neimi.
Neimi: Me too, Amelia.
Neimi: Amelia, can I ask you a question? Why did you become a soldier?
Amelia: Hm? Well... It's... I wanted...to become strong.
Neimi: Strong? What do you mean?
Amelia: All my life, I've felt helpless, like I needed someone to defend me. I didn't want to feel like that anymore. But what about you, Neimi? What are you fighting for?
Neimi: I'm not really sure how I wound up getting involved in this whole war. It just...sorta turned out that way, you know?
Amelia: It doesn't matter how you wound up here. Your skill with the bow is amazing, Neimi. I'm not sure how to put this, but... You seem more battle ready than most of the trained soldiers I've met.
Neimi: Hmm mm mm... Thanks. My grandpa taught me everything I know.
Neimi: We used to go hunting together when I was little... Oh! That reminds me! I used to have a pet fox, a little kit I found out hunting one day.
Amelia: Wow! A fox kit? I've never seen one before. Was it cute?
Neimi: He was adorable! So small, and he had such soft and fluffy fur. It was so cute watching him try to run his fastest on those short little legs.
Amelia: Tee hee.
Neimi: What about you? Did you ever have any pets?
Amelia: Me? Well, I don't-- Oh! I did! I used to have a little pet bird.
Neimi: Oh, what kind?
Amelia: Hm. Well, she had beautiful feathers, I remember that. They were all blue and yellow and orange. She used to sing to me.
Neimi: She was a songbird? That sounds nice.
Amelia: It was. Whenever I felt lonely, she would sing her song to cheer me up. I let her go when I left my village and joined Grado's army.
Neimi: That's so sad... I think I'd like to get another pet when this war is all over.
Neimi: Definitely. You should get one, too. Once this war is over, I mean. When everything is at peace again, we should each get a pet.
Amelia: That sounds great! And then we can have our pets visit one another.
Neimi: I'd like that.
Amelia: Me, too.
Amelia: I just noticed something, Neimi. There are a lot of female soldiers traveling with us, aren't there?
Neimi: You know, you're right!
Amelia: It's nice to see. It wasn't like that in Grado's army. It makes me feel much more at ease.
Neimi: I was really nervous when I started up, but then I spoke more with the princess...
Amelia: I've started noticing that some of the women are getting...friendly with the men. I thought it was, you know, just the camaraderie of the field or whatever. But I'm starting to think that's not the case, if you know what I mean. I'm starting to think maybe it's something else entirely.
Neimi: Hee hee hee... So, um... Is there any boy you like?
Amelia: Hm? Why do you ask? Or...is it that you have someone YOU like?
Neimi: I do. He's someone who's always watched over me, stood by my side. He used to make me cry, but I...I love him.
Amelia: That's amazing! You know, I'm a little jealous of you... Have you told him how you feel?
Amelia: Well, you have to tell him! I'm sure he likes you, too, Neimi.
Neimi: I will. Someday. Not today. But someday, I will.
Amelia: There you go.
Neimi: But you never answered my question!
Amelia: What, me? I...er... I honestly never really spoke to any of the men in Grado's army.
Neimi: But you're not in Grado's army anymore! What about now?
Amelia: Huh? Oh, er, well... I'm...not so sure...
Neimi: Ha! You do, don't you!
Amelia: Uh... Mm-hm...
Neimi: Don't worry. I'm sure he likes you, Amelia.
Amelia: Why do you say that?
Neimi: Well, you're so... You're so cute, and you're so nice. How could anyone NOT like you?
Amelia: Neimi... Thanks. That's really sweet of you. I'm happy to hear you say that!
Neimi: Be sure you tell him how you feel!
Amelia: You, too! I'm not the only one suffering here!
Neimi: Hee hee hee. All right. We're in this together!
Neimi: Oh... Brother Artur...
Artur: Yes? And you must be...
Artur: Ah, Neimi. I'm sorry that our introduction has been so delayed. And please, just call me Artur. "Brother" is too formal.
Neimi: Oh... All right, Artur it is.
Artur: Very good. Ack!
Neimi: What is it? What's wrong?
Artur: Oh, nothing. Sorry. But...that hand mirror hanging from your waist...
Neimi: Oh, this? It's a keepsake from my mother. I had it stolen from me once, so I've made this leather strap for it. I can tie it to my belt and take it with me everywhere now.
Artur: It's... Excuse me, but may I look at it for a moment? Hm... Yes, well, that is interesting. If my memory serves, this is quite a valuable mirror. It is a gift given only to clerics of the highest order. Few of these mirrors exist, and for you to have one means your mother...
Neimi: Yes, she was a cleric... When I was young, an illness...
Artur: Say no more. I understand. But seeing you and the mirror she left you tells me something. Your mother was a good person, benevolent, faithful, and caring. And you are the product of her care, filled with the same light.
Neimi: Thank you... It makes me happy to hear that.
Artur: I'm delighted to have met you. We shall have to speak again.
Neimi: I hope so, Artur! See you soon.
Artur: Neimi, it's an honor to speak with you again so soon!
Neimi: Oh! Artur! Yes, I'm happy to see you.
Artur: That's an impressive bow. Am I to understand that you're an archer? I've heard the others speak highly of your skills.
Neimi: Thank you. And I was watching you use your magic. It was pretty incredible!
Artur: Oh, it was nothing. I'm just a novice. Oh! Neimi, I see you've put your mirror away, have you?
Neimi: Hm...? Huh...? I don't...think...I did...
Artur: What? What does that mean?
Neimi: Oh, no! I've lost it! What am I going to do?
Artur: Lost!? How could that happen!? That mirror is a precious artifact, not to mention an important keepsake!
Neimi: The leather strap... It's torn... Ohhhh... Sniff... Waaaaaaah!
Artur: Oh, don't-- Please don't cry. Don't worry. We'll look for it together.
Artur: Any idea when you lost it?
Neimi: I think I...sniff...had it with me when the battle started. It was...right there on my belt... Sniff...
Artur: Then it must be around here somewhere, right? I'll go look over here. You check the ground back there.
Neimi: All... All right...
Artur: I couldn't find it here... Any luck there?
Neimi: ...Sob... Sniff... I can't...find it...
Artur: Don't worry. It has to be around somewhere. Just keep looking. I'll ask the others, too.
Neimi: All right... I'll just go look over here...
Artur: Oh, Neimi... Sigh... How am I ever going to find it in the middle of a battlefield? I suppose I simply must have faith. Yes, that's it. Faith will guide me to her mother's mirror.
Artur: Look, I found it! Here...
Artur: I've been asking around since the last time we spoke. I found out that our convoy master had found a mirror lying on the ground. When I asked to see it, imagine my delight when I saw it was your mirror!
Neimi: ...Sniff... I'm so... so happy!
Artur: ... You know, when I was looking for your mirror, I was reminded... I had a similar experience when I was young. It's why I chose to be a monk.
Neimi: What happened?
Artur: One day, when I was just a little boy, I had lost a toy, and I was crying. I lived near a monastery, and one of the monks saw me sitting there weeping. He spent his day trying to find out why I was so sad and to cheer me up. It was so trivial--that toy was nothing but a trinket, but to me, it had value. I later found out a friend of mine had taken it without asking, but... Anyway, I was very happy that someone had stopped to show so much concern. To everyone else, I was just a petty child weeping over a toy. To this monk, however, I was a sad and lost soul, crying out in need. He was so kind, and he spent so much of his day on a child's tears. I admired his attitude, even then. It was then that I realized that I could honor his deed by becoming a monk.
Neimi: And...that's why...
Artur: Yes, that's why. Oh! Your mirror! Here you go.
Neimi: Oh...... I'm...really happy...
Artur: Ah. Just as I thought.
Artur: Your smile is delightful. It's a vast improvement on those tears. The heavens themselves must have wanted to see that smile and conspired to help me find your mirror.
Neimi: Thank you, Artur... I'm so grateful.
Artur: No, Neimi. I'm grateful to you. Talking to you makes me feel at peace. I feel like...some of the others make light of me from time to time.
Neimi: Oh, that's only... It's just because you're so honest and pure of heart. Someone I know...teases me a lot, too. All the time, he teases me.
Artur: I see... I'm sorry to hear that.
Neimi: Well, it's not that he's all bad. He can be very kind, but... But you're kind, too, Artur.
Artur: Thank you. You know, when you meet someone, that person reflects back at you like a mirror, revealing within them the emotions that you project. Angry people bring out the anger within others, just as sullen, hopeless people bring out nothing but the sorrow within all those to whom they speak. Do you know why so many people seem kind to you, Neimi? It is because you yourself are a kind person. You bring that out in others.
Neimi: Oh, Artur... That's so kind-- I mean... Er... Thank you.
Artur: Please, Neimi, always hold that kindness close to your heart.
Neimi: I will...
Lute: Hm... I wonder if... Oh, I see...
Artur: What are you doing, Lute?
Lute: Oh! I was just observing this chemida beetle.
Artur: You haven't changed at all, have you, Lute?
Lute: What do you mean?
Artur: You spent most of your time sequestered in your room, studying your books. On the rare occasion you went outside, you were paralyzed with fascination.
Lute: Of course! There are so many fascinating things to be learned from nature! There are a great many books out there, and I have read most of them, of course. But I've found that what is written can differ greatly from how things truly are. Take this chemida beetle, for example. I've been reading from "The Glossary of Falibrian Entomology" lately. According to the glossary, their wings fall off once they reach maturity. However, I have just found an adult beetle whose wings still work perfectly! Exceptions do exist to the rules my books outline. This is a rare specimen. I wonder, should we take it back with us?
Artur: Sigh... I hope this isn't another of your pranks.
Artur: Do you remember when I loaned you my copy of "Lux Aeterna"? You replaced my bookmark with the tail of a sedgel lizard. You scared ten years off my life, I swear it!
Lute: Did I do that?
Artur: And! Knowing full well that I have a...mild...fear of spiders, you caught a small army of them and unleashed them in my room!
Lute: I thought that if I immersed you in the thing you feared, maybe you might be able to overcome your fear entirely! And I went to a lot of trouble trying to catch those spiders!
Artur: ...Why would you do that?
Lute: Well, I did get a bit of a kick out of the experience myself. Why? Did it bother you?
Artur: YES! Oh, don't worry about it. At least you did it because you cared about me, right? I'll just accept it as the best gesture of kindness you can manage, Lute.
Lute: Are you tired, Artur?
Artur: Huh...? Oh, no, I'm... ...... You're right. I am tired. How could you tell, Lute? I was trying my best not to show it.
Lute: Oh, come on! There's no one better than me at spotting things like this! I can tell, you're mentally exhausted.
Artur: I don't know what I expected, but... I had no idea war would be like this. One battle after another, overwhelming odds...and monsters!? In this day and age, we're fighting monsters from the legends and epics? I know how much is at stake, but sometimes...I get so tired.
Lute: When you're tired, there's nothing better than a good meal and a long sleep. And if you look at page 990 of "De Floris Mysticis," there's a special herb that, once decocted into a potion, will help relax your muscles. Look for the parfina flower, and reduce it into a thick syrup before drinking. Oh, and I hear music helps you sleep. If you like, I can hum something for you.
Artur: Thank you. However, I think I'll pass on your offer, delightful though your humming must be. You must be tired as well. Take care of yourself, and rest when you can.
Lute: I will. In fact, maybe I'll just hum to myself instead. Will you be all right?
Artur: I'm fine. I feel quite refreshed, in fact.
Lute: Refreshed? How so? Was it some new kind of magic?
Artur: Perhaps, from a certain point of view. Your every word has nurtured my soul...
Lute: Hm. I'm not sure I get it, but as long as you're feeling better!
Artur: Hello, Lute.
Artur: What is it? You look like you have something on your mind.
Lute: Oh. No. I was just thinking about monsters.
Lute: Yes. All these monsters are our enemies, I know, but...they're not all bad, are they?
Artur: What are you talking about?
Lute: They're kind of cute, don't you think? I mean, like those revenants, for example.
Artur: It's fair to say I will never understand your tastes. Besides, I thought you enjoyed using them as, well, magic practice.
Lute: Oh, I do. I do indeed. I use my magic to rip them to shreds...with love, of course.
Artur: Your way of expressing love is somewhat frightening...
Lute: Do you think so? Thank you.
Artur: No... That wasn't a compliment. ... Should I, ah, expect you to attack me with magic, too?
Lute: Hm? Why would I attack you with my magic?
Artur: You don't get it?
Lute: No. Your strange logic baffles even my brilliant, brilliant mind. That's why I'm curious.
Artur: Really? You don't get it?
Lute: No, I don't!
Artur: You really don't?
Lute: Stop that!
Artur: I'm just giving you a hard time, Lute. All right. I'll just come straight out and say it.
Artur: It's because I like you.
Artur: In fact, I love you, and I'm hoping perhaps that you love me.
Lute: Oh! Oh!!!
Artur: Now, do you understand?
Lute: Er... Um... A-according to "A Young Girl's Primer to Nazonian Magic," that most ancient tome long sought by, er, the terrible Demon King himself... it's not uncommon for a party to assign feelings of...er, love to the reanimated hordes they confront on the battlefield, and considering my incredible brain and the remarkable skills I--
Lute: Well, that is... What I mean is...
Artur: What's wrong with you? I don't often see you lose your cool.
Lute: Th-that's because...
Lute: Well... My books don't tell me anything about how to deal with love! So...
Artur: Heh... Heh heh heh... Ha ha ha ha!!!
Lute: I'm sorry. I'm a little out of my depth when it comes to love.
Artur: No, you're not. Love needs no textbooks. Just be yourself, and listen to your feelings.
Lute: Is...that all I need to do?
Artur: I promise.
Lute: ... Er, excuse me...
Lute: Well, er...
Lute: I'm glad...you're here.
Artur: I am, too, Lute.
Tethys: Child, come here a moment.
Artur: Child...? Are you talking to me?
Tethys: Yes, that's right. Come here for a moment. I won't bite.
Artur: How may I help you, my lady?
Tethys: Would you spin yourself around right there?
Artur: ...What? Spin around? Like... Like this?
Tethys: Hm... Not bad. Not bad at all. You have a graceful form. And you're quite beautiful. It'd be a waste to let you stay a simple clergyman.
Artur: Beautiful? Me? Do you really think so?
Tethys: Yes, you have a lovely face. Say... Would you like to dance with me? I think you have the potential. I could use a partner. When this war ends, I think it should be you.
Artur: I...don't know about that. Dancing probably isn't my thing.
Tethys: You never know until you try. Anyway, from what I can see, I think you've got what it takes. Trust me. There's no future in this church business. Be a dancer.
Artur: I'm afraid I have to disagree. I feel this is my calling, you see. Er... If that's all you wanted, would you excuse me?
Tethys: Oh, oh. Yes, fine. Only... What's your name, child?
Artur: I'm A-Artur.
Tethys: I'm Tethys. I'm a dancer. Don't forget.
Artur: Hm? T-Tethys?
Tethys: That's right. I'll see you later, child. Think about what I told you about becoming a dancer, won't you?
Artur: I really don't think it's for me...
Tethys: Do you remember the dance steps I showed you the other day, child? No? I'll show them to you again. Pay attention, as you'll be going next.
Artur: Tethys, we're in the middle of a battle. Can't this wait until later?
Tethys: My, aren't we confident! No, we can't have that. We have to practice. I refuse to have a partner who's too lazy to practice daily.
Artur: No, you're not following me. I'm not your partner. I don't want to-- Would you please stop calling me "child" in front of everyone!
Tethys: What's wrong with looking young? After all, you have such lovely skin. May I...touch your cheeks?
Artur: Oh... Ah, normally, people wait for an answer before they start...er... well, touching me. Um... Would you please stop?
Tethys: Amazing! It's like velvet to the touch! You have such smooth skin!
Artur: Er... Excuse me... Ah... I really must protest... P-please... S-stop...
Tethys: Tell me... What's your secret?
Artur: I... I don't have any secrets! Oh... You meant my skin. Well, I just rub manon leaves on after I wash.
Tethys: Manon leaves? Those scratchy things? I always thought they would just leave a rash. Hm. Maybe I should try... I'll see you later, child. I'll be checking up on your progress, so be sure to practice those steps.
Artur: ...Huh? But... But I don't want to be a dancer... I... Sigh...
Tethys: Well, look who's come to see me! I'm glad to see you showing some initiative. You must be practicing a lot, hm? Well, show me what you've got!
Artur: Please! I have a name! I am not a child! My name is Artur! And...I really must protest about becoming a dancer. I have no interest in learning how to dance, do you understand?
Tethys: I'm glad you're here, because I have something I wanted to tell you.
Artur: Y-you do?
Tethys: I scrubbed my face with manon leaves, just like you said, but look... I got a rash, just like I thought I would. Look here, on my cheek.
Artur: Uh... Maybe you scrubbed too hard?
Tethys: Well, here... Take a look.
Artur: I'm not sure this is the right time. We're in the middle of a battle.
Tethys: We'll be fine. It'll only take a second. We'll be done in a flash.
Artur: Fine, fine... But let's be quick.
Tethys: Come on, you're not looking right. Get closer. Closer... More. Look right around here... See? It's red, isn't it?
Artur: ...A little, but...it's not that bad. Whoa!! I-if you turn your head so suddenly like that...your face is... It's so close to my...
Tethys: Hm mm mm. You're blushing. Are you all right, child?
Artur: I-I'm fine, but... Every time you're around, my heart...
Tethys: Starts thumping?
Tethys: To tell you the truth, you look just like my first love.
Artur: Is... Is that so?
Tethys: But he moved, and I never saw him again. Oh, it brings back such memories... He and I couldn't have been much older than, say, ten.
Artur: ...Are you telling me I look like a ten-year-old child?
Tethys: Yep. Those sparkling eyes are totally him.
Artur: ... I see... I know someone who looks like you, too.
Tethys: Oh, really? Who would that be?
Artur: ...My mother. She called me "child" when I was little, just like you do now. I used to like that then, but now that I'm older...
Tethys: ...Oh... A bit of a mama's boy, are you, Artur?
Artur: Excuse me? Mama's boy?
Tethys: Tee-hee... Very well. I shall mother you. Call me "mom," child.
Artur: ... Er... I... I'm not sure about this. Besides, I used to call her "mother," not "mom," so...
Tethys: I'm only kidding. I just love teasing you. However, I am serious about you becoming a dancer. Your good looks and graceful movement tell me you have the talent... You would make a fine partner. Just think about it, will you?
Artur: Oh, I forgot--that's what I wanted to talk to you about. I don't want to-- ...Er, excuse me. Tethys, would you wait up for me!?
Artur: So this is a wyvern...
Cormag: Hey, what's going on here? Don't get too close now. It may look calm now, but it's got a dangerous side. Like me.
Artur: S-sorry! Oh, the name is Artur.
Cormag: I'm Cormag. Nice to meet you.
Artur: You, too, Sir Cormag. It's a pleasure.
Cormag: So... Interested in wyverns, are you?
Artur: It's not so much interest as it is, well, fascination, if you will. The way how they fly in the sky at will... and their powerful limbs. I've seen them from a distance before, but I've never seen one up close... Do you think it would mind if I were to touch it?
Cormag: Nah, go right ahead. But wyverns can be proud. They won't warm up to anyone they think unworthy. Took me three years before this one would let me ride on his back. Oh, he hated me at first. Always snarling and snatching at me... I don't know how many times he threw me when I tried to ride him.
Artur: R-really? Maybe I should keep my distance then.
Cormag: No, he seems to like you.
Artur: How do you know?
Cormag: He hasn't tried to eat your face yet, for one thing. Maybe he can sense your, what'd you call it, fascination? Yeah, maybe it won't take too long for you two to be friends.
Artur: Hm. Well then, it's very nice to meet you, Sir Cormag's Wyvern?
Cormag: His name's Genarog. Next time you're around, come say hi.
Artur: Thanks. I will!
Artur: Sir Cormag!
Cormag: If it isn't Artur. What's the rush?
Artur: I've been thinking about how to become friends with Genarog. I was thinking perhaps he might like it if I gave him something.
Cormag: You want to give Genarog a gift?
Artur: Yes. It's an amulet made of a star stone. According to legend, those who carry star stones are blessed from above. It's customary to wear them as amulets in Renais, and I thought...
Cormag: I see... But that's your amulet, isn't it?
Artur: No need to worry for me, Sir Cormag. I pray every morning and every night.
Cormag: Well, if that's the case, then we'll take it. Look at that, Genarog! All right, Artur, I want you to place it in his saddlebag.
Artur: I'm a little scared, but I'll give it a try! All right... The saddlebag... This one right here? There you go... ... Sir Cormag, look! Genarog licked my hand!
Cormag: Whoa, not bad... Not bad at all, Artur. I've never once seen him lick anyone's hand but mine.
Cormag: Yeah, and it took him two years before he'd even do that! You and he seem to be getting along famously, as they say.
Artur: That makes me happy, Sir Cormag. I'm glad he likes the amulet.
Cormag: I think he likes you more than he likes that amulet, honestly.
Artur: Really, Sir Cormag? May I talk to him again?
Cormag: Sure, anytime. We're looking forward to it. Both of us.
Cormag: I should apologize to you, Artur.
Artur: What's wrong, Sir Cormag? Did something happen?
Cormag: The star-stone amulet that you so generously gave Genarog... It got shattered when an archer attacked us. It's not all bad, though. That stone stopped the arrow cold. Saved both me AND Genarog, it did. Had that amulet been not there, we wouldn't be here right now.
Artur: That's unfortunate, but I'm glad the amulet worked! I'll have to make a prayer of thanks for the stone's protecting.
Cormag: Well, we owe you, Artur. And it's not exactly a perfect trade, but... Here.
Artur: What's this? This... This looks like a wyvern stone!
Cormag: A wyvern stone? Are they rare?
Artur: Yes, very! Where on earth did you...
Cormag: Genarog had it. I didn't have any idea what it was. I figured maybe you'd know something about it. And it looks like I was right, wasn't I? You know what it's worth? Well, like I said, it's yours. Keep it.
Artur: A-are you sure!?
Cormag: Sure. You don't mind, now, do you, Genarog?
Artur: Th-thank you... I mean it... Sir Cormag, Genarog... Wyvern stones are like dragonstones, only far more rare. Mages covet them. Having one focuses your powers, refines your magical control. But nobody knows where they come from or how to craft them. There are no more than a handful of wyvern stones in the world today. I never thought I'd even see one, much less hold one in my hands.
Cormag: So it's a big deal, eh?
Artur: It most certainly is, Sir Cormag. Genarog... I can't thank you enough. You've made one of my dreams come true.
Cormag: I'm glad we were able to help you, Artur.
Artur: I'll cherish this wyvern stone always. ...By the way, Sir Cormag, do you have a dream?
Cormag: ...My dream. Hmph... My only dream right now is to undo the damage Grado has done. I want Grado to be a peaceful nation again, ruled by a gentle man.
Artur: I'm sure you'll see your own dream realized, Sir Cormag. After all, we're all fighting to make that dream come true. You and Genarog have made my own dream a reality. And you know that I'll do what I can to make yours real, too.
Cormag: Genarog was right. You are a good lad, Artur. Tell you what. If we do restore peace, you must visit my homeland. And when you do, I think Genarog would like to take you flying.
Artur: I'd love to, Sir Cormag. I look forward to visiting Grado in better times.
Joshua: Hey, you there.
Joshua: You a monk or something?
Artur: Yes. I came from Renais. My name is Artur.
Joshua: I'm Joshua. So, uh... You want to make me a bet?
Artur: A bet?
Joshua: Sure! Call it in the air: heads or tails?
Joshua: What's the matter? All you have to do is say heads or tails. So what's your call?
Artur: I have no idea what this is about, but I'll say heads for now.
Joshua: Right, so I get tails. Here, we'll flip now. Annnnnnd... Right! Tails. I win.
Artur: You win. Um... What do you win?
Joshua: Well, now, you have to do whatever I tell you.
Artur: What? Why do you say that?
Joshua: You lost, right? Since you lost, you've got to do what I tell you. So when this battle's over, I want you to train with me.
Artur: Train? What are you talking about? Look, I only said heads because you pressed me to! I don't remember you saying anything about what we were betting on.
Joshua: You shouldn't worry so much about the tiny details! You'll waste your life, worrying so much! Now, about that training. I always have a tough time fighting against people who use magic. I think it's got something to do with getting the timing right... I don't really need to polish my technique too much. However, I've noticed that these battles just keep getting harder. So, I figured I should train with someone who can use a little magic!
Artur: I commend your attitude, but I really can't help you... My evenings are pretty full as it is, so...
Joshua: Hey, now! A deal's a deal. I'll be waiting, so don't be late!
Artur: Fine... But just for a little while!
Joshua: Hey, Artur. I wanted to thank you for training. I learned a lot from it. I hope you're not too exhausted for today's training session.
Artur: Well, actually... Could we not do this today?
Joshua: Hey, now. Show a little enthusiasm, why don't you? An attitude like that ain't gonna win you any battles!
Artur: You may be right, but I just can't keep up with you. If you keep exhausting me in training, I'll be no good when the real fighting begins. I'm trying not to let it show, but I'm really worn out today.
Joshua: Then let's make a bet. If I win, you do what I tell you.
Artur: Joshua, I'm quite drained, and we still have much fighting to do. You should just rest tonight.
Joshua: Don't worry about me, Artur. So, heads or tails?
Artur: Fine... Heads.
Joshua: Great! You're heads, and I'm tails. Here we go! Incredible! Tails! I win again!
Artur: ... Could I see that coin?
Joshua: What for? Are you suggesting that I would actually cheat?
Artur: ...No. Sorry.
Joshua: So it's a deal. I'll be waiting for you tonight. Don't forget!
Artur: Fine... ......
Joshua: ...You're hopeless. Don't look so tired. It gets me all worried, and I can't go back to the front being all worried. Listen, just take a day off. Get some rest, all right?
Artur: But I lost the bet.
Joshua: The deal was, if I win, you do what I tell you. And what I'm telling you to do is take it easy.
Artur: Joshua... I appreciate it. I've never done much fighting. I think I'm just worn out. It's exhausting, having to keep your guard up all the time. But your kindness has rejuvenated my frazzled nerves a little.
Joshua: Well, we're still fighting, so don't let your guard down. Stick close to me today, and I'll watch over you. But don't skip tomorrow's training!
Artur: I'll be there.
Joshua: Hey, Artur! You're looking pretty pleased with yourself today. Care to make a bet? If I win, we'll hit the training again tonight.
Artur: No need for bets, Joshua. I'll be happy to train with you.
Joshua: You're volunteering? Are you feeling all right? Did you take a blow to the head?
Artur: No, no. I'm fine. I'm just offering to help you out. It's easier than losing another bet to you.
Joshua: What do you mean? You've got even odds of winning.
Artur: You must be joking! Out of the past 21 coin flips, I've won two, and you've won 19! Those are impossible odds to beat, so there's only one answer. You must have some divine betting power or something. If I can help you train, I will, but I don't want to lose anymore.
Joshua: Hmph... But that's no fun! All right, you don't have to train with me if you don't want to bet.
Artur: ...Excuse me?
Joshua: I don't have any divine power. You've won 11 out of 21 coin tosses so far. We're about even. I was...cheating. Just a little, though.
Artur: You cheated? I felt so guilty when I accused you earlier. I guess I just trusted--
Joshua: Yep. That's your problem. I know trust and faith are important to you monkly types. However, on the battlefield, you can never trust your foe. If we were gambling for your life, and not for training, you'd be dead 19 times over. Well, I mean, you can only die once, but you get my drift.
Artur: ... I'm speechless...
Joshua: Ha ha ha. Good thing I'm a reasonably fair man, huh? No harm done, and you even learned a little something, didn't you?
Artur: I suppose.
Joshua: So here's the deal. I want you to keep being my partner. But this time, I'll be teaching you a little bit about wagers.
Artur: What's more important to you, Joshua? Gambling or training? I guess I don't even have to ask you that, huh? But no more cheating!
Knoll: Er, excuse me... If at all possible, uh...would you mind not stalking me like that?
Lute: You noticed, huh?
Knoll: What did you expect? You've been at my back for days. I can't help but notice! What do you want from me?
Knoll: Hey! What was that for?
Lute: You dodged, huh? I knew your presence would be dangerous to me.
Knoll: Hm? What do you mean by...
Knoll: Stop! P-please! Stop!
Lute: You did it again. Hm. This isn't good. Nobody else has dodged me twice.
Knoll: Wh-what are you saying--
Lute: You're quick at escaping, too. You're dangerous. I'm afraid I can't let you threaten my natural superiority.
Knoll: You must be...
Lute: You must be Knoll. I've been researching you. I also plan to find out your Achilles' heel before too long.
Knoll: ...Why would you do something like that?
Lute: Because there's no one better than me.
Knoll: I'm sorry?
Lute: I said there's no one better than me. And if there is, I have to stop him. I can't have you threatening my natural superiority here.
Knoll: Threatening your--
Lute: I've seen you. You use magic, and that makes you competition. And you use dark magic, which makes you the enemy of light.
Knoll: That's a common misconception, actually, about dark mages. And besides, we're allies here.
Lute: No, not until we make it clear who is superior.
Knoll: Oh, fine...
Lute: What, you think you're better than me?
Knoll: I never said that! Look, we're on the same side here. Does it matter who's better?
Lute: Matter? Of course it matters! How could you possibly think it doesn't? Personally, I think I'm clearly superior to you. Don't you agree?
Knoll: Do what you like.
Lute: ...... That was close. You were trying to trick me, huh? That's dirty pool.
Knoll: ...... What I'm saying is...
Lute: It's not safe for me here. I must retreat...for now.
Lute: Can I-- I just wanted to say I'm...sorry.
Knoll: Gotten over yourself, have you?
Lute: No, but I've been watching you, and I've noticed something when you fight. Suffice it to say that I am now convinced that there's no one better than me.
Lute: I must have miscalculated your abilities at first. I don't know why I thought you could have been better. Anyway, I'm sorry that I overestimated your skills. Well, if you'll excuse me.
Knoll: You know, I think you may have missed the point.
Knoll: What seems to be the problem?
Lute: ...No, nothing. See you...
Knoll: ...Oh, hold on. Lute.
Knoll: Why don't you stay and chat for a moment? Now that I'm not a threat to you, we can relax and talk. If you don't mind, of course...
Lute: Hm... All right. As long as we're in agreement about who's superior around here.
Kyle: Hey, you.
Lute: ...... I'm sorry, were you talking to me?
Kyle: There's nobody else here, is there?
Lute: And who are you?
Kyle: I beg your pardon. I should have introduced myself. Kyle, of the Knights of Renais.
Lute: Ah, I see. And I am Lute, mage of profound genius.
Kyle: Very well, Lute. The pleasure is mine. To tell you the truth, I've been looking for you.
Lute: Has someone issued a search notice? Or is there a bounty on my head? Or is this perhaps a private matter?
Kyle: I...guess it would be that last one. I have a favor to ask.
Lute: What would it be? My requests are classified into seven categories and 25 items.
Kyle: I don't know how it would be classified, but...I want you to help us fight.
Kyle: I'm a strong believer that morale is best served by good leadership. A unit of knights, all trained by Renais's finest generals. But we're fighting no ordinary foe, and we need more diverse skills. That's where you come in. Because you can use magic, you could be invaluable in helping me develop unique battle strategies.
Lute: So that's what you wanted me for, is it?
Kyle: How about it? Would you do it?
Lute: Sure. Anything you say. I don't mind.
Kyle: I should warn you, I spend my time on the front line. I ride out to meet the enemy head- on rather than attacking from afar. It's a much riskier prospect than supporting from the rear guard. Is that going to be a problem?
Lute: I have no objections.
Kyle: Excellent! I appreciate your help. I expect we'll be able to generate some stunning tactics together. You don't need to stay at the front the whole time. I'll give you a cue when to approach.
Lute: Got it. I'll do whatever you say.
Kyle: I'm counting on you.
Lute: You have nothing to worry about. There's no one better than me!
Lute: Yes, sir.
Kyle: I was right about you. You've been a great help to us all.
Lute: Well, of course I have! I told you there's no one better than me!
Kyle: Magic is an incredibly powerful force, isn't it? Sturdy armor, tough hide, it makes no difference to magic. I'm in awe of it.
Lute: You're not so bad yourself. You're an incredible fighter.
Lute: Have you trained a lot?
Kyle: Yep. When I was young, there was a lad I hated losing to. Every day, I trained harder and harder in hopes of defeating him.
Lute: So what happened? Did you finally beat him?
Kyle: Uh... Not as such, no. But I haven't lost to him in a while, either. We're evenly matched. I think we force one another to improve.
Lute: I see. It's always good to have someone against whom you measure yourself. Aren't you glad you have this personal adversary?
Kyle: Uh-huh. You know, I think this is the longest conversation we've had.
Kyle: Well, uh... Not to sound rude, but I didn't take you as the kind to be interested in others.
Lute: No, it's not rude at all. I just... got a little interested in you.
Kyle: I see. Keep up the good work.
Lute: Yes, sir.
Kyle: Hooo... What a fight! How are you holding up, Lute?
Lute: No problem, sir. I could keep this up all day!
Kyle: That's good to hear. But don't push yourself... You're vital to my strategy!
Lute: Of course I am! There's no one better than me!
Kyle: I'd have to agree. This would be a lot harder without you along. This might seem forward, but... What do you do when you're not, well, fighting in wars?
Lute: Me? Oh, I'm a student of magic.
Kyle: I guessed that much. What I mean is, do you have any hobbies?
Kyle: That's right. Take me, for example. I like to collect carved figurines of animals. I have a small collection of them back home at Renais. How about you?
Lute: Does monk-watching count?
Kyle: Monk-watching? What are you talking about? Maybe I should ask a different question. Do you have any favorite foods?
Lute: Out of everything I've had, curry of dried toad is my favorite.
Kyle: Er...right... Do you enjoy cooking?
Lute: I don't cook much, but I'm sure I'd be good at it. I mean, I can cook with a single word, no fire necessary!
Lute: I'm sorry?
Kyle: Ha ha ha ha ha! I never get bored talking to you. I can't explain it, but I find you so refreshing!
Lute: Really? I like talking to you, too.
Kyle: ...... Lute.
Lute: Yes, sir?
Kyle: Why don't you come to Renais once the war is over?
Lute: Why not? No objections.
Kyle: Ha! No objections? That's your answer? Well, all right, then. Let's focus on getting through this war first, though.
Lute: Yes, sir.
Kyle: I'm glad to have you with us.
Lute: Me, too, sir.
Joshua: Hey, I've been hearing good things about you lately. Everyone's real happy you've been helping to heal them.
Natasha: Really? That's nice to hear. I do what little I can, but I'm glad if I've been helpful.
Joshua: Oh, you have been, rest assured. You don't just mend flesh. Your smile eases all our pain. So, I may have lost our bet... but everything seems to have turned out for the best, right?
Natasha: Joshua... I just do what I can to help and to stay out of everyone's way.
Joshua: I'm just saying, you've saved a lot of lives out there. We've got other healers, I know, but you're more than that. You're special. I may be the most cynical of our lot, but even I can see that.
Natasha: Joshua... You're far too kind.
Joshua: Don't be so humble. You deserve the praise.
Natasha: If...if you say so.
Joshua: Well, I do. So keep it up.
Natasha: I'll do what I can.
Joshua: ...Nice smile.
Natasha: Oh! Aaaaaah!!!
Joshua: Watch out! Nngh!! An arrow!? Did someone set up a trap for us? Or is there someone here? An archer? Where is he?
Natasha: Joshua! You saved me. Thank goodness you were near.
Joshua: Yeah, well... I just happened to be in the neighborhood is all.
Natasha: You make light of it, but I truly appreciate that you were nearby.
Joshua: Well, uh... Are you all right?
Natasha: I'm fine, thank you. But it's only thanks to you, Joshua. You saved me. I'll try to be more attentive to my surroundings.
Joshua: Yeah, well... It's not always easy, you know? Especially when you're working. You concentrate pretty hard when you're doing your healing thing. Just focus on your work, and I'll keep an eye on you. Sound fair?
Natasha: Oh, no... I couldn't ask you to spend all your time protecting me.
Joshua: What, you don't want me to?
Natasha: It's not that at all! I rather like-- ... Um, never mind.
Joshua: ...... Say, you want to make a bet?
Natasha: Another...bet? Right here? In the middle of this battlefield? What did you intend to bet on this time?
Joshua: That you're gonna fall for me, sooner or later.
Joshua: I'm betting yes, personally.
Natasha: Oh... This isn't the time for jokes... I-I just don't know.
Joshua: Hey, don't go running off! Sigh... I wasn't even joking...
Natasha: Joshua, are you all right? Do you need medical atten--
Joshua: Natasha, how did you get here so quickly?
Natasha: ...... I just...happened to be in the neighborhood. Are you hurt?
Joshua: Ugh. Yeah... But it's only a scratch. Still, if you could...take care of it. Please?
Natasha: Yes... ......
Natasha: ...... ...All done.
Joshua: Thanks. ...... Say, Natasha. Want to make a bet?
Natasha: On what? If this is another of your little jokes, I--
Joshua: Will I make you happy? That's what we'll bet on. Are you in, or what?
Joshua: That's everything I've got. I can't up the ante any more. So how about it? Are you in?
Natasha: Are you...serious?
Joshua: Look into my eyes, and decide for yourself.
Natasha: ...... I...
Joshua: "I serve the people," is that it? Listen, does it make any difference if you serve them in Grado or Renais? You can come with me. It'll work out, you'll see. I'll make it work.
Natasha: ...... ...... I will...
Natasha: ...... accept your wager.
Joshua: You will?
Natasha: What I'm betting is my future. My happiness.
Joshua: Natasha... ... I can't afford to lose this one.
Natasha: You're right... And I hope from the bottom of my heart that you win.
Joshua: Don't worry. In a pinch, I never lose. Well, I mean, I lose sometimes. But not this time!
Natasha: At least...you won our last bet.
Joshua: Hm? Oh! Oh, yeah... That you'd fall for me.
Joshua: ...That was easy. This bet, this is going to be a tough one. I'm gonna have to work at it. But knowing that I've won one bet already, at least I've got that.
Natasha: This war is terrible...but at least it brought us together.
Natasha: Master Knoll...
Knoll: I know you... You're Natasha, from the temple.
Natasha: Yes. I remember seeing you many times back in Grado. But this is the first time we've ever actually spoken.
Knoll: I don't know what it is, but clerics and mages seem to be like oil and water. And we mages can be an enigmatic bunch at times. Shadowy and sinister... Or at least, that's how I've always imagined you clerics saw us.
Natasha: Oh, no! I never-- Well, no. You're right. We had few dealings with the mages. But that's in the past. I have a question for you, Master Knoll.
Knoll: I think I can guess. It's about the Sacred Stones and Prince Lyon, is it?
Natasha: It is. My mentor died...trying to warn us about the threat our Sacred Stone posed. I want to know the truth. What is Emperor Vigarde up to? What is Prince Lyon's role in this?
Knoll: There are as many truths out there as there are people to tell them. Perhaps it's best simply to choose the truth with which you are most comfortable.
Knoll: In the eyes of your mentor, I would imagine we must have seemed quite evil. He imagined our magical studies using the Sacred Stone were sacrilege. I suspect he quite loathed the ancient magics he called "dark."
Natasha: You're wrong... My mentor wasn't like that at all! And isn't this war the direct result of all your dark magic research?
Knoll: Hm... Well, I suppose you are right about that. Your magic stems from faith in the unknowable, the divine presence. In contrast, dark magic stems from knowledge, from understanding. We distrust what we do not understand, and we strive to know the unknowable. Perhaps our disciplines truly are incompatible.
Knoll: ...Our researches ended in miserable failure. Grado's Sacred Stone was shattered. Prince Lyon, corrupted... And this whole tragedy that unfolds around us even now. It's true. We mages have triggered this age's greatest calamity.
Natasha: But why? What was it all for? What did you hope to accomplish with the power of the Sacred Stone?
Knoll: All Prince Lyon wanted was to help people...and we are his servants.
Natasha: Help people?
Knoll: We read of a spell entitled the time shear. It causes, in effect, a hole in time. This spell warps time, punches a hole through cause and effect.
Knoll: We lack the knowledge to reproduce this ancient spell today. Prince Lyon, however, was convinced that we could unravel its secret. He felt we could use it to predict-- and even prevent--future events.
Natasha: ...Prevent...the future?
Knoll: Oh, we dedicated years to studying this spell. You see, the greater the disaster, the farther it sends ripples through time. We learned to read these ripples from the future, hoping to save lives. If we could know when a disaster would strike, we could evacuate people. We could save millions of lives.
Natasha: But... It seems so, so blasphemous. That worldly creatures should take control of fate, it--
Knoll: Are you saying that, knowing the future, we should do nothing? We should simply allow people to die in order to preserve "fate"?
Knoll: I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound hostile. Prince Lyon himself was troubled by these same doubts, you see. But we pressed on with our studies. We felt it was our duty, in the interest of all Grado's people.
Knoll: Perhaps we were bitter that we receive no credit for aiding Grado. That we receive no accolades for our research, for the benefit it brings. I do not know. But we pressed on, nonetheless. The misconceptions linking the ancient magics to "evil" die hard and slow. Prince Lyon sought to change that. He wanted, as we all wanted, to prove that our magic had good uses.
Natasha: Prince Lyon would never--
Knoll: With our aid, Prince Lyon predicted a great storm rising in the south. He barred ships from leaving port, and, oh, how the people complained. But the storm came, and the seas raged. We saved countless lives. And Prince Lyon cared not at all if the people loved him for it. He only wanted them to be safe.
Knoll: And now, I see it all so clearly. All our research amounts to nothing. All I can do now is lament our hunger for knowledge. Our greed.
Natasha: Master Knoll...
Knoll: ...Still have questions, do you? I have told you all that I know.
Natasha: I'm not sure you did. You said that you could see...ripples of future disasters, is that it? And the greater the disaster, the more clearly you could read it? Does that mean you saw something? Some tremendous disaster to come?
Natasha: And in knowing about the disaster, Lyon thought he could prevent it. Could he have... Was he studying the Sacred Stone to find a way to prevent this disaster?
Knoll: And what will you do, now that you know this, too? Haven't you called such knowledge blasphemous?
Natasha: I...don't know what to do. If my mentor were here, I think he might be able to guide me. But I'm still so inexperienced. I feel lost in this dilemma.
Natasha: But how can I not act on this? If I do nothing, knowing that something terrible will happen... If I could have helped... I... I don't know what to do.
Knoll: ...Within five years, half of Grado will be destroyed.
Knoll: In the southern half of the continent, there will be a terrible quake. The ground will shake violently. The earth will crack open wide. Cities will fall. Fields will burn in the earth's hot blood. Few will survive. This is what we have foreseen.
Natasha: How-- How can this--
Knoll: I advise you to leave Grado. You might be able to escape the disaster if you head north to Renais or Frelia.
Natasha: No... I can't do that. When this disaster strikes, people will need help and healing. If I could help them even a little by staying behind...
Knoll: You would willingly risk certain death to save a handful of people?
Natasha: If I died serving Grado, I would have no regrets, Master Knoll. Thank you for sharing this. I will make the most of this knowledge.
Knoll: ... Spoken like a true cleric. You would drop everything without hesitation just to help others. This is the difference between mages and priests. Knowledge versus sacrifice. Perhaps you might allow me to join you when the time comes...
Natasha: Master Knoll?
Knoll: If I am to honor Prince Lyon's intentions, I cannot flee this. I am not sure how best I can help, but I do not want anyone to die. Not if, by my action, I can save them.
Natasha: I understand how you feel, Master Knoll... Let our strengths be united, then, for the common good.
Cormag: Oh, great. Perfect timing. You're a priestess, aren't you?
Natasha: Y-yes. I am. How may I--
Cormag: Sorry, I'm in a bit of a hurry here. Uh, could you heal this little guy for me?
Natasha: Heal...who? Do you mean that kitten?
Cormag: Yeah, what's the matter? Can't you do kittens?
Natasha: No, that's not it. It's just, I was a little surprised to--
Cormag: Whatever. Doesn't matter. If you can heal him, hop to it!
Natasha: Oh, yes... Sorry. ... There. He should be fine now. Aren't you a lucky little kitty? This sweet man saved you!
Cormag: Sweet man? Me? Heh. Lady, you don't know me. But thanks for saving him.
Natasha: Not at all. I couldn't let the little guy suffer.
Cormag: The name's Cormag. I'm glad I ran into you.
Natasha: I'm just glad I could help. My name is Natasha.
Cormag: Well, I owe you one for saving the cat. If you need any help, just call out, and I'll be here.
Natasha: I shall remember that, Cormag.
Cormag: Hey, it's Natasha, right?
Natasha: Yes, that's right. How is the kitty doing?
Cormag: I took him back to his mother. I figured he belonged back with his mom.
Natasha: I agree.
Cormag: How about you? Where are your parents in all this?
Natasha: I haven't seen them since I joined the clerical order. We would write, but it's been a while since I heard from them. I wonder how they are. I've been worried about them.
Cormag: Are you from Grado, Natasha?
Natasha: Yes, I am.
Cormag: I thought so! You know what? That's where I'm from, too! Where were you born? I'm from the south myself.
Natasha: I was born in a village near the Renais border.
Cormag: Ah, well, you've got nothing to worry about then. When I joined the army, I was stationed near the border. Worst thing you've got to worry about there is bandits.
Natasha: Really? That's so good to hear. Thank you for telling me that. I get so worried.
Cormag: Ah, there. That's a nice smile you've got there. Cheers me up just looking at it, it does. Don't worry too much about your parents, Natasha.
Natasha: I won't, Cormag. And thank you. I mean it.
Natasha: ...Hello, Cormag.
Cormag: What's the matter? You've got your gloomy face on again.
Natasha: Doesn't this all get hard for you?
Cormag: This what?
Natasha: ... Ever since this started, we've been fighting nothing but Grado soldiers. These are our countrymen. Our families...
Natasha: Every battle we win, I see only how many casualties we've caused. I'm a healer, but to win this, I must turn my back on my countrymen. I have to let them suffer, when all I want to do is help them. But...
Cormag: ...But what?
Natasha: Grado is responsible for all of this. Our homeland... Grado has caused so many deaths now. We have no choice but to fight.
Cormag: Ah. You see it now. That's the sad irony of the battlefield. I ride a wyvern and use my spear to bring low men who should be my allies. We each joined this cause in hopes of bringing Grado to its senses. Our country has set the world on its ear, and it's up to us to right things.
Natasha: I suppose...
Cormag: ... You know something, Natasha? You should never be ashamed of the fact that you're from Grado. You have no debt to pay, no burden of guilt to bear. Grado was once a magnificent country. Do what you can to restore that glory. It took only a handful of men to turn Grado down the wrong path, but perhaps a mere handful of soldiers can set things right again.
Natasha: I understand, Cormag. I'll do what I know to be right, no matter what. I feel like a heavy fog has been lifted from my heart. Thank you.
Cormag: Ah, I just wanted to see that lovely smile on your face again. You and me, we've got lots to talk about, I think. Let's do this again.
Natasha: I'd love to.
Joshua: Hey, you're Prince Innes, aren't you? I'm Joshua. Nice to meet you.
Innes: I'm sure.
Joshua: Well, now that we know each other... What say we play a quick game of chance, hm?
Innes: Hm? What are you planning on doing with that coin?
Joshua: We're gonna have a little wager. What else? If I'm going to fight alongside someone, I want to know him. And there's no better way to get to know someone than a friendly wager! So... What do you say to a starter bet of...1,000?
Innes: Betting? Here? You can't be serious.
Joshua: Hey now. I always take gambling seriously. Always. Whether you live or die on the field often comes down to luck. Every fight, you're putting your life in someone else's hands. You should be glad to meet up with such a lucky guy.
Innes: You may rely on luck, but I prefer raw skill. However, we might as well. Put your money where your mouth is.
Joshua: Now you're talking! Right, here we go! Heads or tails? What's your call?
Joshua: Let's see what we've got... Oh, well. It's heads. Too bad, Your Highness. You lost.
Innes: What? That's impossible. I saw--
Joshua: C'est la vie. Look closely. See? It's heads.
Innes: That's strange... My eyes never fail me, but I could have sworn-- Hm. There seems to be more to betting than meets the eye.
Joshua: Figure that out already? You're a quick study.
Innes: Yeah. Let's try that again. I'll get it this time...
Joshua: ...Heads again. That's ten losses in a row.
Innes: I don't care. Next bet. Double or nothing. Tails.
Joshua: Shouldn't you stop soon? Maybe you've got the cash back home, but you're on the road. And I'm willing to bet you're not carrying that much on you.
Innes: No, keep going. I don't feel like quitting on a bad streak.
Joshua: Fine, fine... But then can we call it quits? You've let me win enough, and I don't want to bleed you dry.
Innes: No. I won't let you leave, not while you're still ahead. Hurry up. We don't have the luxury of time here.
Joshua: What's that saying? The cooler the head, the hotter he bets? Something like that. And you seem pretty cool most of the time. I guess the old saying is true.
Innes: Thanks for waiting. Let's get started.
Joshua: You can't be serious. You want to keep going?
Innes: Just flip the coin.
Joshua: ...Oh, brother. Your Highness, I have a little admission to make here. You have no chance of winning. The whole thing is rigged.
Joshua: Yeah. You flip the coin ...like this. Then catch it in the hand. I'm the one holding the coin. I can turn it over any way I choose just by moving my palm a bit. Like this.
Innes: Hmm... That's how you did it... I knew you were up to something. It was straining my disbelief that you could keep winning like that. Strange that I couldn't catch on to your little trick, though.
Joshua: That's nice of you to say, but I'm sure you must have suspected. There's a guy who hangs out near a pub in Jehanna. He's real smooth. His secret is to mix in just enough losses to make it look plausible. If you ever go there, you'll know the guy I'm talking about right away.
Innes: Interesting. I've never had any experience with this sort of thing. One only has so much time when he's groomed to become the king, you know.
Joshua: I can imagine. But a king must have a wide range of knowledge, don't you think? When I was a journeyman, I lost a lot of money to scams like this. I started learning these tricks so they couldn't be used on me anymore! It's all rubbish, innit? But it's not a bad thing to add to your experience.
Innes: I must hand it to you, you have a point. Some things, you can only learn firsthand, on the field.
Joshua: Well, I've given away enough of my secrets for one day. I'll give you back all the money I took you for, so go easy on me...
Innes: There's no need to give it back. That I failed to see your trick was my own failing.
Joshua: You serious? All right. Good deal. You're a good man. Let's just call this your tuition fee, eh?
Joshua: Now what? What is it this time?
Innes: We're still in the middle of the bet. We'll pick up where we left off.
Joshua: Are you saying... you want to keep going?
Innes: Naturally. You've revealed your secrets to me. My luck is bound to change. I feel a winning streak coming on.
Joshua: ...Oh, brother. Well, you're persistent, I'll give you that much. Call it in the air.
Joshua: So, is today my lucky day? Or... Tails, hm? Oh, well. Luck's just not on my side today, I guess.
L'Arachel: Oh, may I ask what you are doing?
Joshua: Hm? Oh, I was just checking my luck. Looks like today is not set to be one of my better ones.
L'Arachel: That's not good! Perhaps if you gave up that coin for some good, honest prayer... I have no need of luck, you see, for I benefit from divine grace!
Joshua: That sounds nice. I'd love to have a bit of that myself. All right, let's have a quick bet to see which is better. We'll test your divine grace against my good old luck.
L'Arachel: Oh, I could never give in to such a vile sin. Gambling is a pox, a boil upon the fair skin of mankind.
Joshua: That's going a bit far, don't you think?
L'Arachel: Gambling corrupts the masses, and I'll have none of it. Which is the more noble: to earn your keep or to swindle it? And besides, this is a battlefield, not a gambling hall. No, I simply will not indulge in such spiritual pollution here.
Joshua: Oh, you're really making too much of a big deal out of it. This is just a coin toss. You can flip a coin just about anywhere. Let's see... Well, heads or tails? What is it?
L'Arachel: Since you refuse to resist the evils of temptation... I shall have to teach you a lesson you won't soon forget. Heads!
Joshua: I knew you'd come around! Right, so let's see here... Hey! It's heads! You really are lucky!
L'Arachel: Huh? I won? Well, of course I won! I shouldn't be so surprised. It was fate. One as blessed as I could never lose at something so base as gambling.
Joshua: Great, so let's keep going. How about putting some money down this time? 100 gold coins?
L'Arachel: That's fine. Anything I win will, of course, fund only noble causes.
Joshua: That's my girl... Are you ready? Heads or tails, what's your call?
L'Arachel: Heads. What else?
Joshua: Hi, there.
L'Arachel: Hello, Joshua.
Joshua: Do you have a few minutes to spare? I wanted to win back my money. You were doing pretty well the other day. I was overconfident. But today, I'm feeling lucky.
L'Arachel: I accept your proposal. But remember, I think that gambling is an immoral, inexcusable pastime. You can tell it is wicked, because of how good you feel when you win.
Joshua: Can't disagree with you there. Last time, I went easy on you because you were an amateur. Don't think I'm gonna throw away my money like that today.
L'Arachel: I would never ask you to go easy on me, Joshua. After all, I have righteousness at my side, and I need no favors.
Joshua: Righteousness? Is that what you've got? And to think, you were the one telling me gambling was wrong!
L'Arachel: Oh, but it is wrong. I meant to teach you a lesson, and your lesson continues. When done for a just cause, surely gambling could not possibly be wrong.
Joshua: Now, let's see the color of your money!
L'Arachel: Look, Joshua! I won
L'Arachel: What do you mean, making such rude noises in front of a lady!? You're slowing down the game!
Joshua: Hold on, give me a break! You got me. I lost. I've had enough. It's just like you said. I shouldn't gamble anymore.
L'Arachel: Are you quitting on me? Where's your spirit?
Joshua: ...Man. I just don't get it. Not at all. You must really have some sort of divine powers on your side. I mean, I've been fixing every single game, and I still can't wi--
L'Arachel: Fixing? What do you mean? The game's not broken. I'm doing fine!
Joshua: Uh... No, I-- Nothing. Anyway, I'm all done. I don't want to play with you anymore. Go take someone else for a ride.
L'Arachel: A ride? Like on a horse? What are you talking about?
Joshua: Look, what I'm trying to say is... You don't know anything, and you STILL managed to beat me!
L'Arachel: What do you mean, I don't know anything? Oh! Such disrespect! What do you know, other than gambling? Tell me that!
Joshua: Hm? Let's see... I know how to survive in a desert, for one thing.
L'Arachel: I think we're all quite familiar with the hardships of travel by now! If that's all you've got, don't go around telling me I'M the ignorant one!
Joshua: Aaaah! Enough already! Fine! Fine! I was wrong!!! Anyway, the point is that I'm not gambling with you ANYMORE!
L'Arachel: Oh! He ran away! ...Why do they always run away? Who will I play with now? Oh, I have an idea! We can build a gambling hall in Rausten! Yes, I'm brilliant! I simply must bring this up with Uncle next time I see him!
Joshua: Hey, I hear you're good with a sword...
Marisa: Who are you?
Joshua: I'm Joshua. And you?
Joshua: It's a pleasure. By the way, you ever hear this?
Marisa: Hear what?
Joshua: Well, I guess it was popular for a while, way back when. But when two swordsmen met on the battlefield--even allied swordsmen-- they would duel it out to test one another's worth with the blade. So what do you say? Don't you think it's time to revive this tradition?
Marisa: ... You want me to kill you?
Joshua: No, no, no. I'm not saying we have to fight to the death! It's just a simple test of skill.
Marisa: ...Fine. As long as I get a chance to whet my blade's appetite.
Joshua: Er... Great! Now, what say we make this more interesting? If I win, you owe me, and if you win, then I owe you.
Marisa: Owe me what?
Joshua: ...I'm not quite sure yet. How about... Ah, yes. How about you owe me a favor.
Marisa: I'm not following you.
Marisa: But it doesn't matter. I'm not going to lose to you.
Joshua: Now you're talking.
Marisa: Then let's get started.
Joshua: Whoa! Hold your horses! Where's the hurry? Let's do this another day. After all, I like to savor the anticipation a little bit.
Marisa: I don't get it, but fine.
Joshua: Great! We're all set then. Next time we meet, we cross swords. Deal?
Marisa: ... There's nothing to anticipate. You're simply going to lose.
Joshua: Well, I don't know about that. See you later. I'm looking forward to it.
Marisa: Same here.
Joshua: Oh... Tsk!
Joshua: Dang...! There!!
Marisa: Ha! ...
Joshua: Whew... After a match like that, I can be happy with a tie!
Joshua: You're better than I thought.
Marisa: You're not too bad yourself.
Joshua: Heh... Thanks. But remember, I was at a slight disadvantage, so...
Marisa: I must admit, I did hold you at a slight disadvantage. However, we are closely matched, despite our incompatible styles. I simply couldn't land a decisive blow. But it was all worthwhile. After all, I've learned, and that is worth far more than any wager.
Joshua: I see. You're a quick one, aren't you? How did you get that good?
Marisa: Fighting is all I have.
Joshua: You live for the sword, eh? I prefer rolling the dice to swinging the sword, you know?
Marisa: ...Why is that?
Joshua: Whew... I thought you'd never ask. You're asking how I got hooked on gambling, right? Let me see... There's not much to tell. I guess by the time I realized it, it was already too late. I'd grown bored of everything before I discovered gambling. But then I saw it--gambling was like life, in short little bursts. Life itself is just one big gamble! That's how I see things.
Marisa: I see. ... I don't know anything about gambling, but it was a good duel. We must try this again soon.
Joshua: What, with no wager? That doesn't sound very fun.
Marisa: Suit yourself.
Joshua: You mean that? Then we'll have another bet. I'll win next time. See you later.
Marisa: See you.
Joshua: ...... How's this?
Joshua: Whew... Looks like I won this time.
Marisa: ...... I made a mistake.
Joshua: No, you're just having a bad day. And it's not like I had a decisive victory this time. I'd say we're still just about even.
Marisa: All that matters is that I didn't win. You won the bet. What do you want me to do?
Joshua: Oh, you remembered our last bet! That makes me happy. All right, here goes...
Joshua: I want you to be my partner for a while... How's that sound?
Marisa: What? Your partner?
Joshua: Don't get the wrong idea. I just meant for training. And gambling.
Marisa: So, nothing would change...
Joshua: Well, I suppose, but there's still a point to it all.
Marisa: What's that?
Joshua: If I train with you, I'm going to become a better swordsman. And if we train together, maybe we'll each learn something.
Marisa: I could ask nothing better.
Joshua: And there's something that I want to do soon when the war is over. It's something that can't be done in a single day or overnight. You could probably call this the biggest gamble of my entire life. I'm going to have to hone my skills, and I'll need someone to help me. What do you say, Marisa? Won't you lend me a hand?
Marisa: I'm good for fighting, and not much else.
Joshua: You think? I doubt that's true. Well, think about it.
Marisa: ...I'll do it.
Joshua: I know this is a gamble, but... gambling is my hobby.
Marisa: I see that.
Joshua: Well, don't let me down.
Marisa: I won't. But try to keep it interesting, all right?
Joshua: Heh. Then I'll do my best to keep you entertained. And remember what I said... Life is a gamble. You never know what'll happen. But don't worry. I'm sure you won't be bored. Besides, how often do you meet someone you can spar with? Not to mention someone who can actually beat you!
Marisa: I'll win next time, though.
Joshua: That's the spirit, Marisa.
Joshua: You're Gerik, right? Head of that band of mercenaries?
Gerik: Where's your respect? I've got a title. Use it.
Joshua: Oh... My mistake. Pardon me. I'm Joshua. I heard you once commanded a band of over a hundred mercenaries. I've been wanting to talk to you.
Gerik: Huh. So that's what you've heard, is it? You look a bit on the rough side. Yeah, I can see it in your eyes. You're no ordinary swordsman, are you?
Joshua: ...It's just like they said. You're a natural leader. Commanding and observant--it's a rare combination.
Gerik: Ah, thanks. So what brings you over here, anyway? Didn't just come here to say hello, did you?
Joshua: You ARE a sharp one.
Gerik: Not half as sharp as your sword, from what I've seen out there.
Joshua: Actually, I'm here with an offer, but I didn't want to rush into it. I'd hate to mess this one up. I can't go into the details just now, but it's a big job. I'm guessing it'll pay pretty well, too.
Gerik: I see. Well, you have me curious. I'm looking forward to hearing your offer.
Joshua: You should be.
Joshua: Hey, Gerik.
Gerik: Is that you, Joshua? So, I hear you like to gamble.
Joshua: You hear right. Care to try your luck?
Gerik: Ha ha ha. I'll pass. But tell me, why do you like gambling so much?
Joshua: I've got my reasons. Mostly, I just like to believe in my own luck.
Joshua: Oh, yeah... See, you can have all the skill in the world and still have a bad day. It doesn't take much for the most fortunate man around to have a fall. A royal family at the height of their power gets betrayed, and that's the end. It's life really, innit?
Gerik: Hmm... You've got a point there. But you know, Joshua, you don't want to use luck as an excuse. Don't blame luck if you lose a fight. Blame yourself, but not luck. Renais didn't fall because of bad fortune. It was malice that did it. You're right--there's good luck and bad, but it's no excuse for failure.
Joshua: Well, that's a good point you've got there. But I think I'll just keep believing in my luck for now.
Gerik: Whatever works for you. If you're an even match against someone, sure, luck is a factor. But you're not counting on luck alone, are you? You're a fine swordsman, and that isn't all luck's doing there.
Joshua: You are far too observant. We're lucky you're on our side.
Gerik: That's the best compliment a mercenary can get.
Joshua: Call it a hunch, but I think this is the start of a long friendship.
Gerik: You think so, huh? I wonder if that's just a lucky guess.
Joshua: Well, I'm a lucky guy.
Gerik: Hey, Joshua, I don't mind a little friendly gambling with my men, but would you mind not fleecing them too much? It's demoralizing.
Joshua: Hm? Oh, you're talking about those guys? Man! They wore me out! They just kept losing and losing and losing, and they still wouldn't give up! If they'll risk so much on a bet, they might risk too much in a battle. You're their commander. You should have a word with them.
Gerik: Ha ha ha... Good point. I'll talk to the boys. But, Joshua... I'm going to have to win back the money that you took from my men.
Joshua: It's about time! I've been waiting for you to put the challenge to me.
Gerik: Oh, I'll do more than just challenge you.
Joshua: So if you win, I'll cough up your men's money. And if I win...
Gerik: What's it going to be? Come on, out with it.
Joshua: I want you to join me when this war is over.
Gerik: ...That's all you want? Well, it doesn't sound like your standard mercenary assignment, but you've piqued my interest. This sounds like a big bet. I'm not sure I get what you're after in all this, but... Fine. You've got a bet.
Joshua: Great, then let's go... How 'bout we flip a coin?
Gerik: That's it? I'm wagering my life on a coin toss? Eh, why not? Flip it.
Joshua: Heads or tails? What's your call?
Joshua: Which leaves me with tails. ...Here it goes... Hup!
Joshua: ...Ready to see what it is? ... Look! It's tails!
Gerik: I won. Now, let me have the men's money back.
Joshua: ...Wait, you called heads...
Gerik: I sure did. But you cheated. Open your left hand. There--you palmed the coin and swapped in a fake one.
Joshua: ... You ARE observant. Not a lot of people can see through that. You're right. You win. Here, I'll give you back the money.
Gerik: Ha ha ha. Thanks, Joshua. I'll get this back to the men.
Joshua: Mind if I ask how you found me out? I like to think I've gotten pretty good at that trick.
Gerik: Before I became a mercenary, gambling was my one true love in life. I've had to learn how to see through a LOT of tricks in my day.
Joshua: So, wait... You just pretended not to be interested in gambling? You're really something. You pulled a fast one on me. Today's not my--
Gerik: Not your lucky day? Don't say that, Joshua. You were just out of your league is all.
Joshua: I'm starting to think maybe I was. But then again, maybe not... Maybe today was just YOUR lucky day.
Gerik: Ha ha ha... I like your enthusiasm. And I'm glad you appreciate my gambling prowess.
Joshua: I haven't given up on you yet. When this war is over, let's have us a quick duel. If I win, you come work for me.
Gerik: You're on. Just make sure you stay alive until then.
Joshua: Don't worry. I'm feeling lucky.
Kyle: Hello, Forde.
Forde: Hmm? Oh, Kyle! How have you been?
Kyle: What are you doing out here? Are you-- Are you painting?
Forde: No! I-- Well, yes. Actually, I'm not so much painting as sketching. I use this piece of charcoal to draw and shade, like this.
Kyle: You know we're in the middle of a battle, don't you? What if someone attacks while you're distracted?
Forde: Calm down, calm down. I just like to keep a record of our battles with these pictures.
Kyle: You're just rationalizing! You're a cavalier--it's time to start acting like one.
Forde: Fine, fine. I'll stop. As you command, Sir Kyle, commander of the Knights of Renais.
Kyle: ...Oh, brother. Do you have to make everything so difficult?
Forde: If you don't want the hassle, stop telling me what to do!
Kyle: Then stop fooling around on the battlefield. Seriously, wasting my time on an idiot like you is just stupid.
Forde: Huh? Did you say something?
Kyle: Nothing! If you have so much time to waste drawing, let's have a quick spar.
Forde: What! You want to spar? Now?
Kyle: Yeah, that's right. I don't waste time. I take care of my weapons, my horse, and myself. And not just that--I also make sure our morale is good and our men are safe.
Forde: You're thorough, aren't you?
Kyle: I'm a knight. It's my duty.
Forde: You really need to take yourself less seriously.
Kyle: And you need to take your duty MORE seriously.
Forde: Yaaaaaaawn... Oh, why am I so sleepy?
Kyle: Forde! Are you falling asleep on the battlefield!? What is wrong with you, man!?
Forde: What are you so fired up about? You're really ruining my nap.
Kyle: You have no sense of self-preservation, do you? What is wrong with you? You lack even the common sense of an infant, you know that?
Forde: Oh, you're one to talk. When you were a baby, you were planning out strategies to take over the nursery. You were stuck up then, and you're stuck up now. And STILL the ladies liked you!
Kyle: You leave them out of this! Women have nothing to do with it.
Forde: They don't? Oh, come on! Isn't it important to have an heir to carry your standard when you're gone? Take your sister, Mia--she married into a nice Frelian family, didn't she? I'm just curious who would ever settle for such an uptight knight as you. You ever think about that? You think you might meet her in this war?
Kyle: That's not what I'm here for!
Forde: Ha ha ha ha. Of course not. But I bet you're still a ladies' man, huh? I know you--you're a perfect gentlemen, always nice to the ladies. I remember when you were little, you were always the first to help when you saw a little girl crying. You would go running up to lend a hand. I still remember how impressed I was that you would do that. It was cool.
Kyle: I just could never turn my back on someone in need. It is what's expected of a knight.
Forde: Yeah, but you weren't a knight yet!
Kyle: Well, it's...expected of someone who aspires to be a knight, too!
Forde: You've got an answer for everything! But, I have to admit, you've also got my respect. You're a good guy.
Forde: Wow! Now you're embarrassed.
Forde: What's wrong, Kyle? You're the one who looks tired this time.
Kyle: Oh, Forde. It's you. I was just lost in thought for a moment. I figured that I could use a little breathing room. I guess that's why you paint your landscapes, isn't it?
Forde: That's right. You see it now? Everyone needs a little space to think, even on the battlefield.
Kyle: Well, I wouldn't go so far as to approve of painting during a battle. What if the younger soldiers started to copy your example? However, I see your point. Everyone needs a way to clear one's head. So... How long have you been doing those drawings, anyway?
Kyle: What's the matter? Forgotten when you started?
Forde: ... I started drawing and painting when my mother died.
Forde: When I was young, I won a tournament for training swordsmen...
Kyle: I remember that. I took second place.
Forde: She seemed far more pleased at a picture I'd drawn of her than at my victory. She kept that picture near her always, and she looked at it often. She rejoiced more in my skill with the brush than in my skill with the sword. I never understood why... Not until recently, at any rate.
Kyle: Your mother was very kind. I remember that about her. I'm sorry that she fell ill while you were so young.
Forde: I feel lucky--I have my memories of her, after all. Franz, though... He was too little to talk or even walk. That's why I kept that picture of her hanging in our home.
Kyle: So that's the story behind that picture in your house... I didn't realize you drew it. I remember watching you practice swordplay when we were little. I wanted to be like you, and I was irritated that I didn't practice more. I got so upset with myself when I lost the tournament to you. That's why I work so hard to keep practicing and improving my skills.
Forde: ...I didn't know...
Forde: Oh, man. It's not like me to get this introspective. What is it about you that makes me talk so much? Come on, let's go.
Kyle: Heh. All right. Oh, and, Forde...
Kyle: When this whole war is over, teach me how to paint.
Forde: Yeah, all right. Fine. But we both have to get out of here alive first.
Kyle: It's a deal.
Kyle: You're Selena[sic], aren't you? Commander of Frelia's pegasus knights?
Syrene: I am. And I know who you are. You are Sir Kyle, cavalier of Renais.
Kyle: I'm honored that you know my name. I don't believe we've met, have we?
Syrene: We met once, about ten years ago or so. You may have forgotten.
Kyle: Ten years ago... Wait, you're...THAT Syrene!?
Syrene: So, you've finally remembered me?
Kyle: Do I ever! I didn't think I'd ever see you again.
Syrene: Well, Sir Kyle, you certainly have turned out well.
Kyle: Oh, please. Let's do away with the honorifics, shall we?
Syrene: Of course, Kyle. Ah, you haven't changed at all. It takes me back.
Kyle: I barely recognized you, Syrene. You look completely changed. I had no idea you'd become a knight--a pegasus knight, no less!
Syrene: That's nice of you to say. So I've grown, have I?
Kyle: You've grown a lot. It's a shame we have to be reunited on a battlefield.
Syrene: You're right about that. We ought to sit down and talk soon.
Kyle: I'd like that, too, Syrene. But let's finish off this lot first, shall we?
Syrene: All right, but don't try to be a hero like last time, all right?
Kyle: A hero? What did I do?
Syrene: Well, that's your homework. See if you can't remember.
Syrene: How are you holding up, Kyle?
Kyle: The war is tough, but my sword arm is strong, and I am well.
Syrene: Mmm. That's an awfully stuffy response.
Kyle: Stuffy? It's accurate. Isn't that enough? But that's beside the point. I still can't figure out what you were talking about.
Syrene: Oh, your homework? You've been thinking about it all this time? You're so serious! I was right. You haven't changed in the slightest. You've always been this way. Remember when I tried to show you around Frelia's castle town? You said, "I'm here to do my duty. Not to sightsee," and you went back inside. You went home without even trying Frelia's fabulous seafood! King Hayden thought I'd been remiss in showing you our fair city.
Kyle: I'm sorry about that, Syrene. I had no idea... I was on a special mission to deliver a letter to King Hayden. I didn't have any time for sightseeing, like I'd said.
Syrene: Are you seriously apologizing for that? It was so long ago!
Kyle: Ha ha ha... You're right, you're right. ...I know I was only there for three days, but that was a memorable trip. I grew up in landlocked Renais. I'd never seen the ocean. Not before you showed it to me.
Syrene: You didn't show any interest at all in local culture or cuisine. But when I asked if you'd like to go to the sea, you got so excited!
Kyle: It was intense. I felt so small, standing there, staring at the sea. Looking over the waves, I hoped that I could be that strong, that persistent.
Syrene: I think that's the only time I've ever seen the real you. I know we only spent a half day together, but it was such fun.
Kyle: Really? I'm glad to hear that.
Syrene: Maybe sometime, we can do that again.
Kyle: I'd like that. Let's use that hope to drive us on. When we've restored peace, we'll go see the Frelian coast again.
Syrene: Yes, definitely.
Kyle: What's wrong, Syrene? Are you hurt?
Syrene: No, I'm fine, but I'm worried about my pegasus...
Kyle: Here, let me take a look. Hm. Looks like he's got a wound here that hasn't properly healed. I can fix this up for you. It's nothing serious, but you might want to get him some proper care later.
Syrene: Thanks, Kyle. You're a lifesaver. It was careless of me not to have noticed the injury.
Kyle: Your pegasus is smart. He may have hidden it from you so as not to worry you. It's not your fault, Syrene. You shouldn't worry about it.
Syrene: No, I'm just not fit to be a pegasus knight. I'm so pitiful. If you hadn't seen that injury, I could have put us both in danger. I could have cost us both our lives.
Kyle: You're being too hard on yourself. If you were in danger, I would have been at your side in an instant. I'm sure you would do the same, wouldn't you?
Syrene: ...Yes, gladly.
Kyle: We just have to help one another out if something happens. You and I have been friends for over ten years, after all.
Syrene: For over ten years?
Kyle: That's right, Syrene. You did the same for me back then.
Syrene: ...Back then?
Kyle: It was on the day I left Frelia. Near the border, I came upon some bandits harassing a poor merchant. I tried to help him, but I was outnumbered. Badly. When they saw I was a knight, they wasted no time surrounding me. I thought that was it for me, but then, out of nowhere, you show up. You and I drove off those bandits, and you saved my life that day.
Syrene: I see you've finished your homework.
Kyle: Oh, so that's what you wanted me to remember! "Don't be a hero" indeed!
Syrene: You'd left Frelia before I could give you a going-away present. I went out, hoping to catch up to you, when I saw you surrounded by bandits. You were fighting all those bandits on your own to save that merchant... I'd never seen a knight so dedicated to the protection of the innocent.
Kyle: Going-away present... You're talking about this, aren't you?
Syrene: The wooden pegasus I carved for you! ...You still have it?
Kyle: Of course I do! After we dealt with those bandits, you said to me, "Keep this, and remember Frelia." How could I possibly misplace it? I carry it with me as a reminder. As long as I have this, I feel like I'll always have someone watching over me. Actually, I started collecting wooden figurines since you gave me this. But I always carry this one on me.
Syrene: I'm glad to hear it's meant so much to you.
Kyle: I'll treasure it always.
Syrene: ...... ...Kyle... When we're all at peace again, won't you visit Frelia once more?
Kyle: You know... I was thinking about that, too. I think I really missed out by not having Frelian seafood. This time around, I won't miss it. And I should see some sights, too. Will you show me around, Syrene?
Syrene: Yes, I'd love to. I've been told I can fry up a mean fish, too!
Amelia: Ah, General Duessel!
Duessel: Oh, it's you, Amelia.
Amelia: Yes! Oh, but you're not injured at all, are you, General Duessel? We've all been struggling so hard, and yet you don't seem tired at all. You are an impressive man. It's all I can do simply to stay alive out here, it feels like.
Amelia: What is it? General Duessel? Is something wrong?
Duessel: Oh, um, sorry. Your... From the first time I laid eyes upon you, your face... I was sure I'd seen it before...
Amelia: Huh? Is that so? You mean before now? Or before I even joined Grado's army?
Duessel: Yes, that's right, but I can't recall... Getting to be my age has its price.
Amelia: Don't be silly! I happen to think you're still quite young, General Duessel!
Duessel: Well, now you've got my attention! What was it you wanted this old soldier for?
Amelia: It's just that, even among the younger knights, there's no match for you. And, uh...
Duessel: Ha ha! I'm not so old that you need to worry about propping up my ego, lass.
Amelia: Ah...uh... I'm sorry.
Duessel: No, no. There's no need to apologize. I quite enjoy talking to you, in fact. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this army who feels that way, either. The fighting's fierce, Amelia. You watch yourself! When you're near me, I'll make sure I keep a good eye out for you, too. I'll be there in a flash if you need me. Go ahead and fight without worry.
Amelia: Ah, y-yes, sir! Thank you very much. Fighting alongside you, General Duessel, is a great honor. Well, I'll be moving on now.
Duessel: Be seeing you! ... But...I just can't remember where...
Amelia: General Duessel.
Duessel: It seems like you've grown quite comfortable with the spear.
Amelia: Yes, sir! I have, sir. Thank you.
Duessel: You did well to choose the spear as your weapon. It suits your height well. It also extends your reach and enables you to strike with force. More force, even, than a sword could bring to bear in a battle. All weapons have their own unique characteristics. You're familiar with the idea that some weapons are strong against others?
Amelia: Isn't that what they call... the weapon triangle?
Duessel: Yes, it is. And from the looks of things, your affinity for the spear is quite good. If you continue to practice, you should continue to improve and grow stronger.
Amelia: Really? Ah, that makes me happy.
Duessel: Mm. To begin with, the spear is quite a deep weapon... Yet the attacks comprise three surprisingly simple movements. Right step, left step, and thrust.
Amelia: Right step, left step, and thrust... I'm following you.
Duessel: Excellent. But listen, Amelia.
Duessel: Because they are so simple, they are easy to learn but tough to perfect. They are the strongest and most pure of techniques. When you practice them, practice perfecting each gesture. And remember, the spear is a subtle and powerful weapon.
Amelia: Yes, sir!
Duessel: Now it goes without saying that other weapons have their good points, too. Swords are easy-to-use, all-purpose weapons, and axes possess devastating strength. You should learn to use each weapon type. If you can master them all, you'll be an unstoppable force. That is, of course, if you can overcome your own natural affinities. To begin with, you should work on mastering one weapon type. Then you can gradually change weapons until you can use them all. That's what I have done, you understand. That's called being multi-proficient. I'd like to tell you more about different weapons, but that lecture must wait.
Amelia: ...Wow... General Duessel, you know so much about weapons, don't you? I didn't even realize how caught up I'd become. All right!
Duessel: What is it? Where are you rushing off to?
Amelia: I want to practice the things you've told me about. The basics--right, left, thrust. Right?
Duessel: Mm, that's correct. But... I'm happy to see you so enthused, but do you have any reason to rush so?
Amelia: Um, well... There's someone--one of the Knights of Renais--to whom I do not want to lose.
Amelia: It's not that we're going to fight, or that I want to defeat him or anything... It's just that we're kind of keeping track of the other's progress, and... It's just a thing we do.
Duessel: I see. I think that should prove to be a good source of motivation then. Get to it.
Amelia: Yes, sir! Oh...I think I'll, um, go and practice over there... I'd be nervous in front of you, so I'm going to practice on my own. I'll be back to show you later.
Duessel: All right. Understood.
Amelia: Great! See you later!
Duessel: Ha ha... Such energy. I feel energized just being around her. She's just a girl now, but someday she'll be a woman of grace and beauty. ...Oh, that face...where have I... ...... !! Wait...could it be? Yes! I remember now! That's definitely it. Amelia! Amelia! Where could she--
Duessel: Amelia! There you are.
Amelia: Oh, General Duessel.
Duessel: I've been looking for you. And now I've found you.
Amelia: Um, wh-what's happened? I've never seen you in such a rush.
Duessel: There's something I'd like to ask-- No, something I'd like to tell you.
Amelia: Er, all right. What is it?
Duessel: I remembered. I told you that I thought I'd seen your face before, didn't I?
Amelia: Uh, yes.
Duessel: Well, I remembered.
Amelia: Oh, is that it? Please don't keep me waiting, tell me.
Duessel: ...... Amelia. What is your mother's name?
Amelia: ! ...... ...My mother...
Amelia: My mother's name is... Melina...
Duessel: And what happened to her?
Amelia: When I was just a child, she was stolen away by bandits. My father had already passed away, so I was totally...sniff...
Duessel: I'm sorry... ......
Amelia: I was left... all on my own... ......
Duessel: ...... I was right... You can rest easy, Amelia. Your mother is alive and well.
Duessel: It happened a few years back. I was leading a patrol near the Grado border. We unexpectedly rode up on a group of bandits, and a battle ensued. When we had taken care of the bandits, we rescued a lone female captive. We figured she had been taken from some village, but she was in shock. In fact, her distress was so great, she had forgotten much about herself. Her body was in such a weakened state that she could barely walk. We felt such pity for her that we took her to a peaceful village we knew of. There, we set up a home for her where she could recover and live quietly. Some years later, she was restored to her former vitality. Slowly, she began to recall the lost memories of her past. Only recently did she remember that she had once had a daughter. I took time off from my duties and visited the village where she had lived. But the villagers told me her daughter had left the village some time ago. With no clues as to the girl's whereabouts, I'd almost given up hope of finding her. And then, in the strangest of places...
Amelia: I-it can't be! Th-that woman... What is her name?
Duessel: Her name is Melina... Amelia, she's your mother.
Amelia: What!? Are you... Are you sure?
Duessel: Yes, I am. I see Melina's face reflected in your own. There's no mistake. Isn't it wonderful, Amelia?
Amelia: My...mother... Sniff... Thank you... Thank you...
Amelia: Sniff...aaa... Aaa...waaaaaaa!!
Amelia: Waa... Thank...you... Waaa... Thank...you... Sniff......
Duessel: I, uh, I'm so happy for you, Amelia... Sniff... Oh, no. Old age must have loosened these dry, old tear ducts... Sniff...sniff...
Ewan: Hey! What's your name?
Amelia: Me? I'm Amelia.
Ewan: Ah. Amelia... My name's Ewan. Hi!
Amelia: Hi, Ewan. It's nice to meet you. So, are you fighting with us?
Ewan: Yep, I am. I'm a mage.
Amelia: Really? You look like you're only about my age. That's neat.
Ewan: Ha ha! Ah, I'm nothing special compared to my teacher. You want to see some magic?
Amelia: H-here? Now? But... isn't that dangerous?
Ewan: Oh, don't worry. Magic isn't just for combat. For example... Voila! It can do stuff like this!
Amelia: Wow... They're so pretty! All those little lights, spinning around together... Is this really magic?
Ewan: This? This is magic used to make girls happy.
Amelia: Hm? Ah! Oh, Ewan, stop teasing.
Ewan: Ha ha ha.
Amelia: Ha ha.
Ewan: You should show me how good you are with your lance sometime.
Amelia: Huh? Um, all right. But... I'm sure you'd be bored.
Ewan: That's not true. And even if it were, it's simply a matter of how you make it fun.
Amelia: How you...make it fun?
Ewan: Uh-huh. Like this war, for example. Well, Amelia, I'll see you later!
Amelia: Hey! ...... Ewan sure moves at his own pace... How you make it fun? Hmm... That seems like a good rule to live by, when you think about it.
Amelia: Ah... Whew. This looks like a good place to take a break.
Ewan: ...! ...... Boo!
Ewan: Ha ha ha! Amelia, it's me.
Amelia: Ah! Ewan? Why did you do that? I thought you were one of the enemy!
Ewan: Ha ha ha. We talked about this, remember? How you make it fun? I just wanted to make our meeting here a little more fun.
Amelia: Well, it wasn't fun for me at all.
Ewan: Ha ha ha. Oh, yeah, Amelia? Do you remember you promised to show me your lance work?
Amelia: Um...yeah. I remember. Well, all right. Here. Watch closely.
Ewan: Oh, I will.
Amelia: ...... HA! ...YAH!
Ewan: That's good.
Amelia: AH! ...WAH!
Amelia: ...... ...YAAAH!!
Ewan: That was great!
Ewan: You're good, Amelia. You're as good as any of the other knights.
Amelia: Do you mean that? Whew... To be honest, I have been practicing even harder lately. But it was all worth it to hear you say that. Thanks.
Ewan: Really? No, thank you. I like your outfit, too.
Amelia: Huh? Oh, I get it. You're teasing me again, aren't you, Ewan? What was it, again? "Making things fun"?
Ewan: Ha ha ha. No, that's not at all what I was doing.
Amelia: Hmm... I'm not sure I should believe you.
Ewan: Ha ha ha. Princess Eirika has a similar outfit. Is that a popular style?
Amelia: Um...I don't know. But it's easy to move in, so...
Ewan: I see. I think it's cute. Especially that stain right there.
Amelia: Oh... Ewan, you're such a twit!
Ewan: Ha ha ha.
Ewan: Amelia, have you traveled much?
Amelia: Travel? Hm, let's see... I went from Silva to the capital on my own once. Now that I think about it, I'd never left Grado until now.
Ewan: Oh, really? My teacher--he's the great sage Saleh from Caer Pelyn-- took me out on a training journey for many months once.
Amelia: Where did you go?
Ewan: Lots of different places across Magvel. We went to Renais, Frelia, Rausten, and Jehanna. Oh, and we went to Grado, too.
Amelia: Wow, that sounds great.
Ewan: Yeah, it was a lot of fun! There were so many new things to see. Say, Amelia, I just had an idea...
Amelia: What is it?
Ewan: When this war is over and we're all at peace, why don't you and I take a trip together?
Amelia: Huh? Just the two of us?
Ewan: Sure, why not? Does the idea bother you?
Amelia: No, it's just...
Ewan: There's so much I want to show you, Amelia. How the dark green forests refract the morning sun into a million burning emeralds. The melancholy spectacle of the sun sinking slowly beyond an endless horizon. The wind gently coercing vast fields of wheat to dance, heroic mountain peaks... Oh, and the gorgeous flower beds that fill your vision with brilliant colors! There are so very many spectacular places in the world. I want to see all of them again...but this time I want to see them with you. When you see them, you'll really understand how wonderful it is to be alive. The feeling will fill your heart and make you want to sing with joy!
Amelia: That's so...eloquent, Ewan. ...... But I understand what you're trying to say, and yes. Let's go! I want to see all of it and more!
Ewan: Great! Then it's settled. You know what? This gives us something to look forward to while this war goes on. Just thinking about it makes my heart beat faster.
Amelia: Ha ha. You know, Ewan, being around you fills me with so much energy.
Ewan: And I'm happy when you're around, too.
Amelia: I'm looking forward to our trip. It's one more reason for us to work quickly to put an end to this war.
Ewan: Yeah, let's do what we can, because we're definitely taking that trip!
Syrene: Princess Tana! You've put the whole court in an uproar, you know? Running off to fight with this troop without a word to your father?
Tana: I'm sorry for all the trouble I've caused, but I'm fine.
Syrene: I was ordered to watch over you and ensure your safe return. I intend to stay by your side and serve as your bodyguard, Princess.
Tana: I'm happy to have you at my side, Syrene. Honestly, I was starting to get a little fed up.
Syrene: Why is that, Princess?
Tana: I saw that letter my father had sent. "Defend Tana to the death"!? Is he serious? The soldiers think so--they won't leave me alone! I appreciate the concern, but I'd like a LITTLE privacy!
Syrene: Ha ha ha... That does sound like King Hayden. He looked so sad when you left. It was more than I could bear.
Tana: ...I know. I feel bad... Hey, Syrene. Doesn't this remind you of when we were children? When we were together, it was like I finally had an older sister.
Syrene: That was my first assignment after graduating from the academy. I'd been asked to watch over you. It was a huge job for a young knight. But I enjoyed my work. You were always so kind. I miss those days.
Tana: I was so lonely when you got promoted to the pegasus knights. But now, I'm glad to see you've risen so high. It means that, even out here in the battlefield, we can spend time together. I want to talk about the old days, about Frelia and my father.
Syrene: Yes, let's. Shall we go now?
Tana: All right, but don't forget about tonight!
Tana: Hello, Syrene! I'm so glad we talked the other night. I had so much fun.
Syrene: I did, too, my lady. I was quite surprised, in fact. The young Princess Tana I once knew has grown so much.
Tana: Y-you think so? Tell me, how have I changed?
Syrene: You're so serious now. This war has made you serious. You're not the same princess I remember from my youth.
Tana: I know that I've lived a sheltered life being the princess. I know that I've taken my family's wealth for granted. When I saw what the war had done to the people of Renais and Frelia, I knew that I needed to do something to change things. And you know what? You taught me something I never forgot.
Syrene: ...I did?
Tana: Yes, that's right. Your strength and pride as a pegasus knight. Your graciousness and kindness as a human being. Your example is a lesson that has stuck with me, Syrene.
Syrene: I'm honored to hear that I've had such an impact on you. You truly are a kind lady. Serving the Frelian royal house has been my greatest joy.
Tana: There's...another lesson I was hoping you could teach me.
Syrene: If I can help, I would be glad to.
Tana: I'd like you to teach me...cooking.
Syrene: I can make some traditional Frelian dishes, but I'm no gourmet chef... But if you don't mind, then I'd be happy to teach you what I know.
Tana: Thank you! When I return home to Frelia after this war is over, I hope to cook my parents a proper meal to apologize for running off.
Syrene: I'm sure they'll be surprised to see how much you've grown out here. Surprised and pleased. They'll certainly forgive you for going off on your own.
Tana: Sometimes, I wonder... I do hope that they forgive me.
Syrene: Of course they will. They're angry because they're concerned. If you return safely, they will be relieved, not upset.
Tana: You're right... Thank you, Syrene. But it can't hurt to ease their anger with some good food!
Syrene: Right you are, milady. I'll teach you everything I know about food.
Syrene: That food you made the other night was fabulous. The soldiers told me about it.
Tana: Really? They were talking about my food? I was so nervous.
Syrene: You've learned the basics well. That's a solid foundation for all Frelian food. Take care of yourself, milady. I look forward to hearing how your parents respond to your cooking.
Tana: You take care of yourself, too, Syrene. It's your duty to protect me, right? Then I want you to fulfill your duty and promise to go home with me!
Syrene: I shall do what I can. But the battlefield can be a dangerous place, milady. If something happens to me, see to it that you return home safely.
Tana: Syrene... You're like a real sister to me. I've always admired you. You've taught me so much already, and there's so much more that I can learn from you... So you can't die. You have to come back home to Frelia with me. No matter what.
Syrene: Princess Tana... I shall never leave your side, milady. But if something should happen to me... If, perchance, I were to...to die, I would die happy knowing you were safe. Please, don't waste my sacrifice. Make it home, safe, alive, and well.
Tana: I will. I promise. But you have to promise me... Promise that you will do everything in your power to return home with me.
Syrene: I will, Princess Tana. We will return to Frelia together. I promise.
Tana: Hello, Sir Cormag.
Cormag: Princess Tana! That still sounds so odd to me. You know, I had no idea you were a princess at first. But please, just call me Cormag. There's no need for honorifics with me.
Tana: Cormag it is, then. I had a favor to ask of you.
Cormag: What would you have me do, Princess?
Tana: I'm prone to attacks from archers when I'm on the battlefield...
Cormag: That makes two of us. It's a common problem for airborne soldiers.
Tana: I thought perhaps we could keep watch for archers and warn one another.
Cormag: Hm. Yes, you've got a good idea there. A "buddy system" of sorts. But if you saw an ally in danger, you'd warn him regardless, wouldn't you?
Tana: Well, of course! But we're so high up that I was worried... If I saw an archer, I didn't think my voice would carry to you in time. Perhaps the neighing of a pegasus or the cries of a wyvern could carry far enough to warn the others.
Cormag: Oh! I see... Yes, we might not be able to hear each other in the heat of battle. But our steeds can be louder than either of us could. And trust me, my wyvern's shriek can pierce your ear from two leagues away. A brilliant idea, Your Highness.
Tana: Really? Thank you.
Cormag: Right, so if we see anything out there, we'll have our mounts call out, right?
Tana: Yes, and thank you, Cormag.
Tana: Cormag, thanks for warning me about that archer the other day. Your wyvern startled me, but I think you may have saved my life!
Cormag: Well, you should thank him, then. I can't take credit for it. I mean, he started shrieking out to you before I even saw that bowman.
Tana: Really? That's amazing... In that case... Thank you.
Cormag: The bond between a wyvern and rider is close, and this guy's a smart one. I'm sure you and your pegasus are the same, wouldn't you say?
Tana: Oh, yes. It's the same with every knight and her pegasus. It's so sad to see how war has changed the way we relate to our animal allies. It's taking such a tremendous toll on these beautiful creatures.
Cormag: I agree. This whole war is ludicrous. War itself is madness, even more so if it's for greed or the fantasy of power.
Tana: I hope our efforts end this war quickly. I don't want to see anyone else die.
Cormag: Nor do I. But you cannot race headlong into battle. We'll need you to help rebuild our shattered nations, after all. We soldiers are expendable, but you regal types aren't.
Tana: Cormag, don't say that!
Cormag: But it's true.
Tana: No! No life is expendable!
Cormag: Your Highness...
Tana: Don't throw your life away. Promise me, will you?
Cormag: ... As you wish, Princess. I'll be careful.
Tana: I have your promise, Cormag.
Tana: What are you fighting for, Cormag?
Cormag: What makes you ask?
Tana: I saw you fighting earlier... and for some reason, it made me sad.
Cormag: I see. I can think of many reasons why a man would fight. Atonement, revenge, entertainment... For power... For fun... But I don't know the reason I am fighting anymore.
Cormag: What more would you expect from a man who's lost his faith? A man whose emperor has gone mad, whose homeland is collapsing?
Tana: ...... What are you going to do when the war is over?
Cormag: I'll help rebuild Grado, of course, but I'm not sure beyond that. I doubt that I'll remain in Grado for long, though. They've branded me a traitor. I'll find no home awaiting me there.
Tana: Then why don't you come to Frelia? You can join us as an airborne knight!
Cormag: And what makes you think a traitor like me would be welcomed in Frelia?
Tana: You're no traitor, Cormag. You've stayed true to your beliefs. That sadness I saw in you comes from your own country's betrayal of those beliefs. Your sadness runs as deep as your faith in Grado once ran. I want your faith, your strength, and your passion to serve Frelia now.
Cormag: I appreciate the offer, but I cannot reforge the oaths I've broken. I'm sorry.
Tana: It's all right. I understand your feelings. However, if you ever wish to serve your beliefs again, remember my offer.
Cormag: I might just give up this soldiering nonsense and go into woodworking.
Tana: Then I'll track you down in your woodshop and ask again.
Cormag: You may not look it, but you're pretty strong willed for a princess. I'll think about your offer.
Tana: I'm so glad to find you safe! Everyone back home is worried. Don't you worry, though. I'll protect you from now on.
Innes: ... Tana, what are you doing here? You have no place on the battlefield. I want you to return to Castle Frelia immediately.
Tana: Why does everyone say that!? I am one of Frelia's pegasus knights and a trained soldier! I studied with Syrene and Vanessa, two of Frelia's finest!
Innes: And you're also a Frelian princess. You should not be fighting. What would happen if you were injured?
Tana: No! I'm not going back!
Tana: I won't go back!
Innes: Why does she always have to be like this?
Tana: Did you see me out on the battlefield, Innes?
Tana: I knew I made the right decision, coming out here. I feel like our strategy is becoming much better, as is our fighting. You do agree, don't you, Innes?
Innes: I grant you some small credit for your achievements on the field of war. However, I still insist that you return to Frelia.
Innes: It's true that you've gained some experience out on the battlefield. But your ignorance of the world around you is simply appalling. It must be tough for a pampered castle brat like you to interact with soldiers.
Tana: If you can say something like that to your own sister, I'm more worried about you. Even when you're right--and your judgment is good, I know-- you're so blunt that I don't think many people will want to listen to you.
Innes: Never mind about me. This is about you, Tana. If you keep traveling with us, someone might take advantage of your naivet? More than anything, I can't allow that Ephraim to--
Tana: What are you saying? Do you really think Ephraim and I--
Innes: No. Even if you're not interested in him in the slightest, I... I simply do not want to see you get hurt.
Tana: Innes, what are you suggesting? If that's the way you're going to be, I just won't talk to you anymore!
Innes: Tana, wait. I'm not finished! Blast...
Tana: Oh, Innes! Why can't you understand!?
Innes: Why can't you listen to your brother? Why are you always so stubborn!?
Tana: You're the stubborn one, Innes! Why can't you understand how I feel? You're my only brother, and I have no one else on whom I can rely... I don't want to waste our time together arguing!
Tana: You don't know how much I envy Eirika and Ephraim their closeness. They understand one another's thoughts and feelings perfectly all the time! Why aren't we like that? Why do you never understand me, Innes?
Innes: Tana, wait. I don't say these things because I hate you.
Tana: That's a lie! You're always so mean to me, Innes! You make no effort to understand how I feel.
Innes: That's not true. I'm still your brother, and I think I know you better than anyone else.
Tana: ...Do you mean that, Innes?
Innes: Absolutely. Do you remember the incident with the crown?
Tana: Hm... ... Oh! I remember. It was when I was very little, and I lost Father's crown. He was so angry with me. I thought he would never stop yelling. I was so terrified of his wrath, and I just couldn't stop crying. I honestly believed Father would throw me in the dungeon! But you searched the castle from top to bottom, and you found the crown. And I remember what you told Father when you brought it back to him: "I took your crown, Father. I wanted to see what it would look like on my head." I remember how happy I was when I heard Father laughing at your words. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world to have a brother like you.
Innes: I know how you feel better than anyone else. And that's no lie.
Tana: Innes... I understand now why you said what you said. But please, forgive me for being here, for not going home. I simply wanted to be near you, my beloved brother.
Innes: ... You win. I'll let you stay. But you be sure to apologize to our father when we return home. And don't worry too much. I'll be there with you when you do.
Tana: Really? I love you, Innes! You're the best brother anyone could have!
Innes: And you are quite a handful, Sister.
Tana: Oh! You're one of Gerik's mercenaries, aren't you?
Marisa: Frelia's princess...
Tana: Yes, that's right. I'm Tana. What's your name?
Tana: Nice to meet you, Marisa! I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you all. Mercenaries, I mean. It's because of you that we're doing so well.
Marisa: It's my job, and I'm doing it. No need to thank me.
Tana: But I'd always heard mercenaries were renegades, cutthroats, and oath breakers. You're nothing like that, though. So that's why I wanted to thank you--for fighting so hard for us.
Marisa: It's not out of loyalty to you or to any kingdom. I'm happy as long as I have a chance to swing my sword.
Tana: Oh... Is that so... But it doesn't matter to me! You're helping us now, and I know you'd never betray us.
Marisa: I don't care what you think.
Tana: But-but... Oh, wait! Well... She doesn't talk much, does she...
Tana: Oh, Marisa.
Tana: What is it? What's the matter? Oh! Have you never seen a pegasus?
Tana: Is this your first time ever seeing a pegasus up close?
Marisa: Yes. I've fought beside pegasus knights, but I've never been this close before.
Tana: Well? What do you think?
Marisa: ... I thought they would have more delicate legs, because they fly so much.
Tana: Oh, they can gallop quite quickly. They don't always have to fly.
Marisa: Interesting. ... It is truly magnificent. Powerful and beautiful.
Tana: Would you like to touch him? Pet his head. Achaeus likes that.
Tana: Of course. Be my guest. Unless you're...scared?
Marisa: I'm not scared. ...Very well. ......
Tana: That's it... ...... See? He is happy.
Marisa: Your pegasus is named... Achaeus... That is a good name. A strong name.
Tana: Thanks. Syrene named him. She's a pegasus knight. She's sort of my mentor. Someday, I want to be as graceful and strong as Syrene. And then, like Syrene, I'll pass my experiences on to the next generation.
Marisa: I see. I have no goal but to master my swordsmanship.
Tana: Oh, but that's a fine dream! Then let's keep working, shall we?
Tana: Marisa, is it difficult to improve your swordsmanship?
Marisa: It is. I practice daily. I've fought a thousand men and won each time. And still, I have seen only the barest glimpse of what I could achieve.
Tana: Really... Maybe you shouldn't press yourself so hard.
Tana: I can see how dedicated you are to becoming a better swordfighter. But if you focus too much on a lofty goal, you might not notice when you reach it. And I have no doubt you will reach it.
Tana: What is it, Marisa?
Marisa: Why do you waste your time speaking with me, Princess?
Tana: Oh, am I not supposed to do that?
Marisa: It's not a matter of whether you should or should not.
Tana: At first, I thought you were brusque and...maybe a little intimidating, too. But you're not like that at all. You're just shy--and a poor conversationalist.
Marisa: A poor-- You know, many of my fellow swordsmen still fear me.
Tana: I'm sure they do. Your grace with the sword is something else. But when you're not fighting, you're completely different. More pensive. You're so dedicated to your goal. You have that far-off look in your eyes, like you're lost in thoughts of love or something like that.
Marisa: You've already made up your mind, Princess, so there's no point in my arguing.
Tana: Then we agree! Oh, but there's one more thing. Just call me Tana. You don't have to keep calling me "Princess."
Tana: We're friends now.
Tana: That's right! So just call me Tana. I don't want you to worry about royal titles and formality when we talk. You say you've dedicated yourself to the sword, but... that doesn't mean you can't have a friend or two, does it?
Tana: ...... Well, Marisa?
Marisa: ...... No, that doesn't sound...bad.
Tana: Great! Boy, I don't know what I would have done if you'd said no. But there it is. We're friends now, right, Marisa?
Marisa: As you say, Tana.
Gerik: Hey, Prince! How's it going?
Innes: Gerik... I'm sorry you had to see that ugly side of me.
Gerik: Huh? What do you mean?
Innes: At Renvall, when you stayed by me. If not for your loyalty, I would have fallen into the hands of those mercenaries.
Gerik: Ah, well, that's my job, innit? But what's your point? This is unlike you, Prince.
Innes: I've guided men into battle countless times before that day. I've always tried to be a model commander, to guide others by my example. But...I found that many of my soldiers wanted a less severe example to follow.
Gerik: Ha ha ha...
Innes: But you're different. I've known that from the day we first met. How do you stay so composed in the heat of battle?
Gerik: I don't know how to answer that... I suppose it's just in my nature. Long discussions on the battlefield, however, are not. Let's go already.
Innes: Nice work, Gerik... I see the Desert Tiger is still as fierce as ever.
Gerik: I can't believe my skill with the blade is known in circles as high as yours. Let me tell you, I didn't get into this line of work because I like fighting. It was a twist of fate that started me on this path...
Innes: Really? But I've heard of your fame from no less a person than my father. He tells me your name was once known from shore to shore on this continent.
Gerik: The past is the past. I was just doing what I had to. If I hadn't, I never would have survived. But there's something about combat that just doesn't agree with my nature.
Innes: If that's the case, why are you with these mercenaries?
Gerik: Ahh... The answer is so simple, you'll probably laugh. Back when I was a kid, a friend from my village said he wanted to be a mercenary. He said he was going to be famous, the greatest warrior in all the land. No matter how many times I told him to give it up, he wouldn't listen to me. Well, one day, he left for Jehanna. I didn't know what else to do, so I went with him and joined the guild, too. Stupid reason, isn't it? Anyway... I didn't particularly like fighting, and while I wasn't opposed to the money, I certainly wasn't in it for fame... I just couldn't let my friend go off and get killed.
Innes: And where is this friend now?
Gerik: He went off and got killed.
Innes: I see...
Gerik: So there was no reason for me to continue being a mercenary... But then there were other men who I considered to be my friends. I couldn't bring myself to abandon them... And so the years passed and here I am. The thing is I can't stand to see my friends die. But if you're in this business long enough, people around you get killed. It happens. The only thing you can do is keep moving forward and try not to think about it. So... Yes, I'd have a problem if you got yourself killed. I've got no place else to go, and I'm tired of trying to forget.
Innes: Hmph... Do you really think I'd lose so easily? It won't do for you to underestimate me.
Gerik: Oh, uh... Right.
Innes: There's something I've always assumed to be true... Those born to royalty cannot show others any weaknesses or deficiencies. If they're not perfect at all times, their enemies will take advantage of them.
Gerik: Yeah? So?
Innes: But meeting you has made me rethink that belief. My father told me before I left that I should watch you and learn from you. At the time, I believed there was nothing a mercenary could teach me. Now I know better. I am thankful to both my father and you.
Gerik: That's enough of that. In my opinion, you're much finer than I could ever be. The way you live, your manners, and your bearing... I could never pull it off.
Innes: Me? What do you mean?
Gerik: Look at you! You're full of confidence. You've got pride. When I first met you, I thought, "What a high-handed dandy."
Innes: Did you just call me...a dandy?
Gerik: But that's just who you are. Being proud is not always a bad thing. You must have worked yourself near to death to preserve that pride. What I mean is that you never make excuses for losing or being beaten up. No matter the pain you face or hardship, you keep on fighting to honor that pride. It's what defines you, and I can't say that I don't admire it.
Innes: It comes naturally. I will be king one day, and I will make Frelia the greatest nation in all the world. It will be a wonderful kingdom of wealth and power. When that day comes, I will command you to become general and lead Frelia's armies. No, I'll have you come and ask me to make you general.
Gerik: Ha ha ha! I can't wait!
Gerik: Tethys. How are you feeling?
Tethys: Oh, Chief. Things are as fine as one could expect. But I've been dancing so much I've worked up quite a sweat. At this rate I may even lose a few inches off of my waistline. Who knows, maybe my figure will be even more alluring than before.
Gerik: Ha ha ha! Well, I'm not sure that's even possible, but keep up the good work. Your dancing has had quite a restorative effect on the troops.
Tethys: Really? I'm happy to hear it. I must keep dancing then, mustn't I? Oh, I almost forgot, Chief. I have good news, and then I have better news.
Gerik: What's the good news?
Tethys: I hear today's meal is one of your favorites, herbed stew.
Gerik: Oh, that is good news! It's been quite a while since I've had any. And the even better news?
Tethys: In this next battle, you'll get your hands on some sort of an incredible treasure.
Gerik: A treasure?
Tethys: Yes, that's right, some sort of treasure.
Gerik: Ha ha ha! I see. I don't know what it might be, but I can't wait for it. Nor for today's meal.
Tethys: I'm going to continue dancing a bit longer so as to work up a healthy appetite.
Gerik: So tell me, Tethys, when did you first start dancing?
Tethys: Oh... Well, that would have been...
Gerik: Hm? What's the matter?
Tethys: Um, well... Yes, it was long ago. Back when Ewan was still young.
Gerik: What is it, Tethys?
Tethys: ...I'm sorry, Chief. I'll explain it another time. Can we drop it for now?
Tethys: Chief. The truth is, Ewan and I? We were abandoned by our parents.
Gerik: ... Oh, I see...
Tethys: Um... I wandered about with little Ewan in tow. He had no idea what was happening. I was a child myself with no job. We went to bed hungry every night, and our clothes were rags...
Tethys: Then one day I said to myself, "We cannot go on like this!" I watched a dancer on a street corner and memorized all of her moves. I wasn't a very coordinated child and it was so difficult. I didn't have real shoes, so my feet were a mess of blisters, and I fell so many times I was covered in cuts and bruises. It was painful. And miserable. And very, very difficult. But I never cried. Because if were to cry, he would cry.[sic] And I loved seeing Ewan's smiling face. I wanted him to smile all the time, so I worked hard so he could.
Tethys: Tee hee hee. What a sad and miserable tale. I'm sorry. I was reminded of it all just recently, and I was overcome with emotion... But that's how I earned the dancing skills and physique I have now! All of the hard work I did back then has made me the woman I am today. What do you say to that?
Gerik: I'm not sure what to say. So before you met up with us, the two of you had a rough time of it, did you?
Tethys: OK, that's enough. The past is the past! You mustn't tell anyone about this. I don't share this story with others. I only told you because you're the chief. A story of toil and hardship doesn't quite fit my mysterious image, does it? You know what I'd like? For you to tell me more about you.
Gerik: Sure. Another time, though, OK?
Tethys: All right. Let's see this thing through to the end. If we do our best, good things will come of it. And then better things after that. Right, Chief?
Gerik: Right, Tethys. You be careful.
Tethys: Of course! And you too, Chief!
Tethys: Um, Chief, there's actually one thing I've been wanting to ask you.
Gerik: And what's that?
Tethys: Sorry if this brings up any bad memories, but how'd you get that scar on your face?
Gerik: This? I got this beauty when I had just started out as a mercenary. I was still a novice, but I was feeling pretty good about my swordsmanship. I got to a point where I was arrogant enough to believe no one could best me. Then one day it happened... It's something I've never been able to forget.
Tethys: What happened?
Gerik: It was just another battle. I'd been hired on as another sword and then I met him. He was a knight from some country or another. I had fought knights on several other occasions and had beaten them all. Even though he was a bit tougher, I was sure I'd defeat him in the end. That's what I thought. But... His strength was beyond me. I may as well have been using a broomstick to fight. I remember thinking, "What a tiny little world I've been living in." He crushed me effortlessly, and the wound he inflicted became this lovely scar.
Tethys: I see...
Gerik: I was truly frightened. It was the first time I'd experienced fear as a mercenary. So this knight saw how scared I was and said, "Go." He didn't kill me. He let me escape.
Gerik: I was humiliated and ashamed. My eyes were finally opened to my own weakness. It goes without saying I lost every shred of self-confidence. I still dream about it sometimes. It wakes me up every time. I've never forgotten that knight. He thought I was weak and pathetic.
Gerik: I was young and stupid. This scar is my punishment.
Tethys: But that knight spared your life. Because of that, good things and better things have happened?
Gerik: What do you mean, Tethys?
Tethys: First of all, Chief, you're alive. If you had died, all the good times you've had since that day, and all the joy you're sure to have from this day onward, wouldn't exist. And another thing, because you lived, you made many friends and you met me. I also don't think that knight thought you were pathetic. I think he saw a young man with his whole life ahead of him. That's why he let you go.
Tethys: Yep. I'm sure that's it. So try thinking about it in a more positive light.
Gerik: Ha ha ha. You're right. I was a lot calmer after that. And while I've had hard times, there've been far more good times. I guess you could say I owe my success as a mercenary to that knight.
Tethys: Yep. You've got your knight, and I've got my dancer. Thanks to the two of them, the two of us are here now. Say, Chief, why don't we become like them? I think we should work at being inspirations to other people.
Gerik: Hm...good idea. Thanks, Tethys. I think I'll sleep soundly tonight.
Tethys: Good. You know, Chief, I'm really happy.
Gerik: Yeah, me, too. I've got a life I enjoy and good companions. All that and a wonderful woman to love. Everyone should be so lucky.
Tethys: Oh! Chief!
Gerik: Whoa! ... Hey now... This is a battlefield. This isn't the place for that...
Tethys: No one's looking...
Gerik: Um... Oh, all right...
Gerik: Hello, Marisa.
Gerik: How're you doing? Your sword still sharp?
Marisa: Same as always.
Gerik: You're not seriously injured or ill, are you?
Gerik: I see. So you can continue on?
Marisa: Yes. Why all the questions?
Gerik: Oh. I'm the commander, you know? I'm supposed to check on you now and then. Well, see you later.
Marisa: I'd like you to keep talking. I don't mind talking to you.
Gerik: You know, we've known each other for a long time, so I understand you... But listen, Marisa, it wouldn't hurt you to be a bit more sociable. Not for me, mind you, but some of the others have a hard time working with you.
Gerik: Speaking of which, when I first met you, you were always working alone. I remember thinking how odd that was. I figured a woman as beautiful and talented as you would have men all around her.
Marisa: Don't need 'em.
Gerik: You see, that's what I'm talking about! Your beauty belies your words.
Marisa: Do you like sociable women?
Gerik: Um...sure, I guess. I mean, doesn't everyone? If you go to an inn, aren't the sociable gals the most popular?
Marisa: I understand. OK. I'll be more sociable. This better?
Gerik: Say, Marisa.
Gerik: Listen, you've been acting a bit odd lately. You don't talk to me as much as you used to.
Marisa: ... I'm practicing.
Gerik: Practicing? Practicing what?
Marisa: Being sociable.
Gerik: Oh... Because it's you I'm going to assume that you're serious. You know what I said before? I wasn't really serious, so don't worry about it.
Marisa: But. I've practiced. I'm a bit more sociable.
Gerik: In what way? You don't appear to have changed at all.
Marisa: You're wrong. Let me show you.
Gerik: What? You're going to be sociable? This I've got to see. Well, go ahead.
Marisa: You won't laugh, will you?
Gerik: No, I won't laugh.
Gerik: Yes, I promise.
Marisa: Here goes... Hello, Gerik! Wonderful day for a battle, isn't it!
Marisa: Why are you looking away?
Gerik: N-n-no...reason... Mmha... Bwa ha ha ha ha!
Gerik: C'mon, Marisa, don't be like that.
Gerik: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to laugh. Are you still mad?
Marisa: I'm mad.
Gerik: Forgive me. I really and truly apologize. Still mad?
Marisa: I'm still mad.
Gerik: Sigh. OK, I get it. What do I have to do to get you to forgive me? I don't have much gold, but I could get you a snack...
Marisa: You're the chief. You don't have to apologize. Just give orders.
Gerik: Well, I know, but I was wrong. I was the bad guy. My crime was not being sensitive to your feelings. I tell you what, I'll buy you anything you want.
Marisa: You're soft. Leaders are normally harsher than you. You're too nice. Too nice to all of us. That's why...
Gerik: That's why what?
Gerik: Well, I said too much and I'm sorry. You're fine just the way you are.
Gerik: Yeah, of course.
Marisa: Th-then... If you would... I wouldn't be mad anymore.
Gerik: Hm? What did you say?
Marisa: Nothing. Forget it.
Gerik: C'mon, it wasn't nothing. If it'll put you in a better mood, I don't have a problem with...
Marisa: Forget it!
Gerik: Hello, Saleh!
Gerik: Imagine! You and me fighting together. Life's full of surprises, isn't it?
Saleh: I suppose so.
Gerik: So, what do you think of our commander?
Saleh: I'm here. There's your answer.
Gerik: Good point. You know this job seems to have more meaning than any of my previous ones. And it's not because it deals with the continent and all the nations and all that. I simply want to accomplish my employer's goals. That's my prime motivation.
Saleh: I think it will all work out. As long as you and I are here...
Gerik: Ha ha ha! Well said. No one can touch us, is that it? I do imagine with us in the field we'll win most battles, eh? Can't get overconfident, though.
Saleh: Mm. ......
Gerik: Huh? What is it?
Saleh: Gerik... Do you...
Gerik: Do I what?
Saleh: Nothing... Pay me no mind.
Gerik: C'mon, now. What is it?
Saleh: Forgive me. It's nothing...
Gerik: All right... Well then, let's get going. When there's a break in the fighting, we should get together for a meal.
Saleh: Very well. We'll eat to our mutual good fortune...
Gerik: Yes, to luck!
Gerik: Tell me, Saleh, how fares the elder?
Saleh: She hasn't changed a bit.
Gerik: Is that so? You know I was so surprised the first time I visited Caer Pelyn. The elder's eyes...they were not the eyes of your average person. They were filled with a lifetime's wisdom and seemed to look right through you. Deep...and sharp. And they were so clear. I've looked into the eyes of many people, but no one had eyes like hers. But the thing about the elder is that her eyes weren't harsh, or judgmental. That's what I like about her. Actually, when I first met her, she intimidated me. But she treated me with such kindness. She's why I grew to enjoy Caer Pelyn, even if it doesn't have any nightlife! I want you to take good care of the elder, Saleh.
Saleh: Yes, I intend to.
Gerik: You say the right words, Saleh, but are you being sincerely considerate?
Saleh: Considerate? When I'm home, I look after her personal belongings. I also take care of her meals and watch over her health...
Gerik: That's only natural. You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you? That's just like you, though.
Saleh: Is there...something else I should be doing?
Gerik: Next time you go home, make sure you take her a gift. Bring her some jewelry or something that's popular in town.
Saleh: But... I don't know what she likes...
Gerik: Oh, please, Saleh. That's not the issue. Simply receiving that sort of present from her grandson will make her happy.
Saleh: Oh...is that so?
Gerik: That's what I'm trying to tell you.
Saleh: I understand. I'll take it into consideration.
Gerik: When we next pass through a city, I'll help you pick something out.
Saleh: That would be helpful.
Gerik: Studying magic is all well and good, but you should pay attention to these things, too. And in your case, you need to work on understanding women's hearts.
Saleh: ...... I'll look into it.
Gerik: Ha ha ha. I'll help you out in that area, too.
Gerik: Hm? What is it, Saleh? You look even more serious than usual.
Saleh: Gerik... You truly despise me, don't you?
Gerik: Huh?! What?
Saleh: Your friend, I...
Gerik: Don't say it, Saleh! That was an act of fate. Right? All you did was brush those sparks away from yourself.
Gerik: Listen, we're mercenaries. We end up working together with old foes, and crossing blades with former allies. It's just part of the job. My friend Zabba died by your act. That much is true. And at that moment, I could think of nothing but avenging him! But after that, you saved my life... We became friends. That's the truth of it, isn't it?
Gerik: I trust you now. You are my friend. I'm not lying to you. I don't lie to my friends. That's something I don't do.
Saleh: And you are my friend. Since that day, it's you who has saved me time and time again.
Gerik: We're all human after all. Helping our friends is part of our nature.
Saleh: Gerik... You... You're a good man...
Gerik: That's enough of that! You keep that up and I'll be blushing like a schoolgirl.
Gerik: Hey! Ha ha ha! I caught a rare glimpse of you smiling. Listen, Saleh, I know we're risking our lives here, but this war's not our whole lives. Let's not do anything stupid. We're going to get past this. Then you're going to haul your carcass back to Caer Pelyn and care for the elder!
Saleh: Yes... And you'll visit, too.
Gerik: Sure. When things calm down I'll let you throw me a feast. I can't wait to have Caer Pelyn's famous mutton stew again.
Saleh: We'll be waiting for you, Gerik.
Ewan: Hey, Tethys! Check out my magic!?
Tethys: Ewan! How many times am I going to have to say it? This isn't a field trip. Please promise me you'll behave.
Ewan: Oh, you don't have to worry about me. But since I'm here, I'd like to be of use. Otherwise I'm just in the way. You gotta let me do something.
Tethys: You have a point, but you're still too young.
Ewan: Too young? I'm not a child anymore! I can look after myself!
Tethys: What are you talking about? You're not a full-fledged mage, are you?
Ewan: Well, no, not yet. But someday I'm gonna be one of the best mages ever! These soldiers recognize my talent. That's why I'm here on the battlefield. Just watch me! You wouldn't say that I'm too young or inexperienced if you saw me!
Tethys: Wait! Ewan, wait up! Oh, he's gone... Only a child would say something like, "Just watch me."
Ewan: Hey, Tethys. You've been getting pretty chummy with that guy lately.
Tethys: What do you mean, Ewan? Who's "that guy"?
Ewan: You know, THAT guy. Look, he's right over there... And that guy waving his sword around... I'd say you've been a little too friendly with all of them!
Tethys: Too friendly? I wonder. I think chatting now and again is normal. Wait a minute... Ewan, are you feeling jealous?
Ewan: D-don't be stupid. That's not it at all!
Tethys: Hold on. You know, that man told me he found a frog in his boots the other day. And that man woke up to find half his moustache shaved off. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?
Ewan: N-no. This is the first I've heard of it.
Ewan: Um, yeah...
Tethys: Ooh! It WAS you, wasn't it? Ewan, you can't do things like that. Even if it is kind of funny.
Ewan: But they're morons! All they do is get you to dance, and then they run around on the battlefield challenging each other to "contests of strength and valor"! Ewan: They're dumb braggarts, and I was just taking 'em down a peg. But I'm not jealous!
Tethys: All right, all right. I'll keep your secret this time, but you must stop!
Ewan: They're the troublemakers, you know? Oh...OK. I got it. I'll leave 'em alone. But, Tethys?
Tethys: What is it?
Ewan: I'll always be here to protect you. I'm not too young for that! So instead of always helping those guys, dance for me once in a while. I know it'll make me stronger!
Ewan: I'll see you later! You gotta promise to dance for me!
Ewan: It's not such a good idea for you to dance too close to the front lines.
Tethys: Hee hee! Thanks for worrying about me, Ewan. But are you sure it's not just the jealousy talking?
Ewan: Th-that's not it at all! It's dangerous! That's it!
Tethys: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. But you know, Ewan... Since you joined up with the army, you really have gotten stronger.
Ewan: I have, haven't I? So I'm no longer a novice, right?
Tethys: No, you've truly grown. I'm glad, but also a little sad.
Ewan: Hmm. So when I'm a full-fledged mage, you're gonna be sad?
Tethys: I guess so. A little sad, anyways. I'm so much older than you that I've always thought of you as a child. That's why I always thought I had to protect you.
Ewan: You know, at the beginning of all of this I really was treating it like a game. Then I saw the dangers you faced to help everyone. I knew I couldn't treat it like a game any longer. Battles threaten people's lives and need to end quickly. That's why I need to boost my powers. I want to help you and the others. I have to become a full-fledged mage to really do my part. So, don't be sad. I just want to protect you...
Ewan: You've been looking after your little brother for so many years. Now it's my turn to return the favor. I mean, I am the man of the family. So from now on, I'm gonna be helping you out.
Tethys: Thank you, Ewan. Hearing you say that makes me very happy. It proves to me how much you've truly grown. But that doesn't mean you need to rush off on your own or anything. If I thought you didn't need me anymore, I would feel really sad.
Ewan: There's no reason to get all weepy. No matter how old I get, you'll always be my big sister. My one and only.
Tethys: Say, Marisa, you're left-handed, right?
Marisa: How did you know that?
Tethys: Well, when you're carrying a sword, don't you always have it in your left hand?
Marisa: No, I can use either hand... But my left hand is stronger.
Tethys: So that's like a warning sign: left hand equals danger.
Marisa: Warning sign...
Tethys: So why is it you always sleep on your right side? You know you never roll over in your sleep? And even the slightest noise causes you to spring up. Do you ever really sleep?
Marisa: I have to do that. Otherwise I wouldn't survive.
Tethys: Wouldn't survive? You must be exaggerating.
Marisa: I sleep with my dominant arm up. That way, if I'm attacked, my good arm is ready to go.
Tethys: Huh... Do all sword fighters sleep that way?
Marisa: If your dominant arm is cut, you're at a disadvantage in battle. That means death.
Tethys: But doesn't your arm ever fall asleep? Aren't there times when you can't use it?
Marisa: No. My father trained me when I was a child, so that doesn't happen.
Tethys: When you were a child? How? Kids always roll around in their sleep.
Marisa: My father placed blunt swords at my sides when I slept to keep me from moving.
Tethys: Your father did that? But that's so dangerous...
Marisa: No, the blades were rounded and dull. And it worked. I don't roll over when sleeping.
Tethys: Wow, sword fighters have some intense training methods, don't they? I'm glad I was an average kid. I mean, I was poor, but at least I slept freely.
Marisa: Tethys. Are you right-handed?
Tethys: Will wonders never cease? You actually started a conversation.
Marisa: When you dance, you often begin by putting your right foot forward.
Tethys: Now I'm really amazed. I can't believe you noticed. But footwork in dancing has nothing to do with being right- or left-handed. Dancing is a way of expressing feelings through body movement. All of one's experiences are incorporated and displayed in the way one dances.
Marisa: Experiences? What kind of experiences?
Tethys: That, my dear, is my little secret. Mine may be a bit unique, though. My life's taken some odd turns, but it's because of them that I started dancing. And when I'm dancing, I'm happy.
Marisa: Hmmm. Your dances give people courage. Dancing suits you.
Tethys: Doesn't it, though? All the mercenaries tell me that, too. Now that you understand my dancing, you're truly a member of Gerik's team.
Tethys: Tell me, Marisa, have you ever thought about wanting to be reborn?
Tethys: You know, coming back as someone else after you die? If you were going to be reborn, what would you like to be? Perhaps a beautiful dancer like me?
Marisa: I'm fine with being me. I can't imagine anything else.
Tethys: I thought that's what you'd say. Actually, I thought of lots of things, but really can't imagine any other life. I guess that means that in spite of all the hardships we've faced, we're really happy.
Marisa: I suppose so...
Tethys: Living in this age means that we face many bad things and then worse things. Yet... We're alive, so that means we also get good things and then better things, too. In tough times, I sometimes think I'd like to be reborn in another time, but the important thing is to not give up and to live your life to the fullest.
Marisa: When you die, life is over. There's no such thing as being reborn.
Tethys: Well, you may be right.
Marisa: We only get one chance. So all I can do is keep fighting.
Tethys: After all's said and done, you truly like who and what you are, right? We have completely different lives, but we have that in common. That and the same man, right?
Marisa: What?! What do you mean?!?
Tethys: You can't hide it from me. I guess I should ask, do you think you're hiding it?
Marisa: I-I'm hiding nothing. Nothing at all!
Tethys: What an interesting reaction. Youth is so cute.
Marisa: Wh-why are you smiling?! Ah...
Tethys: Don't be embarrassed. We're going to be around each other for a long time. We should talk.
Marisa: I've got to go!
Tethys: There's no need to run away. We may be rivals, but we're still friends.
Marisa: I'm not running away! I'm just...leaving!
Rennac: Are you Tethys, the dancer who captivates all audiences?
Tethys: Who are you?
Rennac: Oh, you don't know me? That's so disappointing. I am Rennac of Carcino. I beg your indulgence...
Tethys: It's a pleasure to meet you, Rennac. However, I'm a bit busy at the moment. Perhaps we could talk another time.
Rennac: Is that so? Very well then. Another day.
Rennac: And perhaps I could have you dance for me and me alone.
Tethys: Hm? I will of course dance if you ask, but... For you and you alone? Are you perhaps attempting to woo me? If that's the case, you should stop. I've...
Rennac: No, no, that's not what I was intending at all. Yet many women who say they're not interested end up in my arms all the same.
Tethys: Well, if that's the case, maybe I'll keep my eye on you. If you turn out to be such a catch, I may rethink my stance.
Rennac: It's a deal then. I ask that you observe my conduct closely. Good day.
Tethys: Oh, dear... I think he took me seriously. I hope he doesn't get his hopes up too high.
Rennac: Ah, the beauteous Tethys. It's a pleasure to see you again. Well? Have I made an impression on you yet?
Tethys: Well... You seem to be...unobjectionable. Yet you've a long way to go, I think.
Rennac: That's a bit severe, isn't it? Is there something specific you desire?
Tethys: Oh, well...perhaps you could bring me something?
Rennac: Bring you something? A gift, is that it? Very well. What shall it be?
Rennac: Tethys. I've been looking for you. You haven't been avoiding me, have you?
Tethys: Oh, of course not. Hee hee...
Rennac: The object you spoke of the other day? I have it here. Please take a look.
Tethys: Um. Oh, yes. That. Of course.
Rennac: You forgot what you asked for, didn't you?
Tethys: That's, that's...not true.
Rennac: OK, then take a look. Here it is.
Rennac: What do you think?
Tethys: It's nice. Very pretty.
Rennac: It's as big as a fist. Notice how the red, white, and blue colors play across the surface of the gems.
Tethys: It really exists.
Rennac: Did you say something?
Tethys: No, nothing. Pay me no mind.
Rennac: Well, I brought it to you as promised. So this proves that I'm worthy, does it not?
Tethys: Yes. I now realize that despite your appearance, you're a very hard worker. Does that make you a good catch? Hmm...I'm still not convinced.
Rennac: Really? How disappointing. Is there something else you desire?
Tethys: Let me see... There is this...
Saleh: ...... Oh, Ewan!
Ewan: You were practicing Valega, weren't you? "To know the harmony of heaven and earth, body and spirit"...right?
Saleh: Yes, you are correct.
Ewan: Um..."To contemplate oneself"... And...what was the rest?
Saleh: "To contemplate the world and to envision all creation. Thus, to be enlightened."
Ewan: Oh, that's right. Doesn't it get to be a bother finding a quiet place like this, though?
Saleh: Contemplation takes time, Ewan. It doesn't matter where, so long as you do it.
Ewan: Oh... Well, if Valega is an important part of Caer Pelyn's culture and history, I think I might give it a try.
Saleh: Really? And I wonder how many days you'll last at that.
Ewan: Heh. I guess you're right. Knowing the harmony of the heavens sounds tough. Do you have anything easier I could practice in the meantime?
Saleh: Hm. Let me think. Your skill level is still quite low, but...
Ewan: Thanks, Teacher. I remember when you first decided to teach me some magic. I was so excited that I went out and practiced over and over again.
Saleh: You must pace yourself. Using too much magic can drain both body and soul.
Ewan: Yeah. Boy, I know that. After that time, I was so tired that I couldn't stay awake. I was so tired that I slept for a full day. I woke up in bed...
Saleh: Technically, it was two days.
Ewan: Oh, so that was you who carried me home?
Ewan: Now that I think about it, no one else would have bothered! Thank you.
Saleh: Ewan, don't push yourself too hard. Magic is no game.
Ewan: I know, and don't worry!
Saleh: What is it, Ewan?
Ewan: Do you remember a few years ago when you went to visit Commander Gerik? That was when I met you and followed you back to Caer Pelyn. I never said thank you for taking me in, Teacher. I've never regretted it.
Saleh: I remember it clearly. I kept thinking, "What have I gotten myself into"?
Ewan: If that's the way you felt about it, why did you let me be your student?
Saleh: Your eyes.
Ewan: My eyes?
Saleh: You had a spark in your eyes. I knew that I saw an exceptional talent for magic in those eyes.
Ewan: Wow. That's really something. I would never have guessed.
Saleh: I'm sure, as your training progresses, that you will feel your power grow.
Ewan: I'll train even harder, then! Back when I first started, I... thought you were kinda scary.
Ewan: Well, you don't really talk much. I always thought you were angry with me, and I didn't know why.
Saleh: All that because I was so silent all the time?
Ewan: Yep. But after a while, I figured out it was just the way you were.
Saleh: Ewan, you can never find truth in words, spoken or unspoken. Truth lives within the heart.
Ewan: But other people can't see what's inside your heart, can they?
Saleh: If you can trust one another, you can see. And you will understand.
Ewan: Oh! Is that how it works? I think I get it now. But talking is so important in building friendships, isn't it? We use words to communicate things like feelings and ideas. But all that stuff, it's just on the surface. Does that mean that if people use their hearts, they can communicate without using words?
Saleh: That's right.
Ewan: You really are great, Teacher. You teach me by making me teach myself, and I mean more than just magic... ...Remember how angry you were at me that one time? Back when I took out that magic tome?
Saleh: ...... I wasn't angry that you took the tome out with you. It's that you took it with you without asking and went for a stroll. And then you stopped to play in the river...
Ewan: That's right. Then I dropped it and SPLASH!! Right in it went... It wasn't in the water long, but those pages were totally illegible...
Saleh: That utter carelessness-- No, your lack of consideration. That's what made me angry.
Ewan: I'm s-sorry. But I never took any books with me when I went to the river after that.
Saleh: And there were other things, as well.
Ewan: Oh, you don't mean...that? Oh, yeah. Ha ha ha.
Saleh: Unbelievable... I've never had a student so troublesome as you.
Ewan: But I promise to be much more careful in the future!
Saleh: Is there even a shred of truth in those words?
Saleh: You rascal...
Ewan: Oh, Teacher.
Saleh: Ewan... If something happens to me, take all my scrolls and magical items, and... keep them for your own.
Ewan: What? Why would you say that?
Saleh: This conflict has grown bitter. I'm not sure I'll see it to its end. And...if something does happen, I want you to care for Dara. Watch over her and Caer Pelyn.
Ewan: Oh, come on! There is no way anything is going to happen to you, Teacher! And besides, if you weren't around, I would have no clue what to do.
Saleh: Ewan... Don't underestimate yourself. One day, you will surpass me.
Ewan: Huh? Really? Do you mean that, Teacher?
Saleh: It all hinges on your own efforts.
Ewan: I won't let you down!
Saleh: Only those who choose magic can handle it. And you are special even among them... Be confident. You have a rare gift that others can never duplicate.
Ewan: Teacher... If you really mean that, then there's no way I'm going to let you die.
Ewan: I'll be at your side protecting you. If the two of us combine our power, we can get through anything that arises!
Saleh: Whew... Protect...me? I had no idea until this moment how dependable you've become.
Ewan: Right! That's because I'm the great sage Saleh's number-one student!
Saleh: Well spoken, Ewan. Come on, follow me. I'll use this war to teach you every last bit of the magic I know. My dear, sweet student.
Ewan: Sounds good, Teach!
Dozla: Hello, laddie.
Ewan: Oh, hi! Uh...
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! The name's Dozla.
Ewan: I'm Ewan. It's nice to meet you, Dozla, sir!
Dozla: Aren't you a little bundle of energy? I bet you're a regular troublemaker. So, what were you so lost in thought over? You having any problems?
Ewan: Nope, nothing. I don't have any problems. I was thinking of something interesting. You want to hear about it?
Dozla: Sure. Tell me everything.
Ewan: Well, I was thinking of how much fun it would be if I could do something...
Ewan: Some battlegrounds are full of plants and stuff, but others are dreary and dead.
Ewan: If a place like that were suddenly filled with beautiful colors, it'd be neat, right? Like if it could suddenly become a flower garden?
Dozla: Ho ho, a battleground becoming a lovely flower garden? Aye, that would be nice. It would help heal the hearts and minds of the soldiers. But how would you do it? Do you have some sort of magical powers or something?
Ewan: Yeah, I do, but I've decided that wouldn't be the best way. If I did that, people would be more impressed by the magic than by the flowers. I think it would be better to make it something that anyone could do and enjoy.
Dozla: Oh... It's all too difficult for me to follow, but it sure sounds like a nice dream. If you could pull it off, I'm sure people would really enjoy it.
Ewan: Ha ha... I haven't really thought much about how I would do it. I was just thinking how nice it would be, that's all.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! That's fine. That's what young people are supposed to do. Many great things come from the daydreams of youth.
Ewan: Really? Do you think so? All right! I like you, mister.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Is that so?
Ewan: Yep. And I'm going to call you Uncle Dozla from now on! It's about time for me to get going. I'll talk to you later, Uncle Dozla!
Dozla: All right, laddie! Till next time!
Dozla: Ho, laddie.
Ewan: Uncle Dozla!
Dozla: So, you're in high spirits today?
Ewan: Yep! I'm always in high spirits. How about you, Uncle?
Dozla: Oh, I'm doing as well as can be expected. I'm a bit tired, actually. I'm a bit closer to the ground than everyone else, so my legs tire easily. Gwah ha! It would be nice if there were an easier way to move around, wouldn't it?
Ewan: Oh, that reminds me. I've been thinking of something. Do you want to hear about it?
Dozla: What's this? Have you come up with yet another fabulous idea?
Dozla: Well, what is it?
Ewan: Coaches! You're familiar with coaches, right?
Ewan: And we've got a coach in our convoy because it can carry people and supplies.
Dozla: Yeah, they're useful enough. They're nice if you're traveling far with wounded men, children, and whatnot. But without roads, they're almost useless, and forget about dense forests. Oh, and they can be quite vulnerable in a battle. Not very useful at all, really.
Ewan: Exactly! So I was thinking about coaches that could travel in the air...
Dozla: What's that? Are you talking about using pegasus knights?
Ewan: That's what I was thinking at first. But you know, that probably wouldn't work. I mean, a pegasus can get mighty picky about who it lets ride him, right? I haven't really thought about how to actually make a flying coach, but... But wouldn't it be amazing if one really existed? It would be fast, and all that stuff like bad roads and forests wouldn't matter!
Dozla: Ho ho ho ho!
Ewan: And even if people lived far apart, they could visit one another quickly! What do you think?
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! It's fantastic! And it would be useful, that's for sure! Sounds like fun, too. I'd sure love to ride about in a flying coach. Think about it--the land spread out below, glittering dawn skies...and the wind! Ah, it all sounds like a dream.
Ewan: I hope it becomes reality someday.
Dozla: Me, too. I like the way your mind works, laddie. Let's talk more later.
Ewan: Ah, Uncle Dozla. Listen to this, will you? I've been thinking about something new.
Dozla: Ooh, I can hardly wait.
Ewan: Imagine people far away from each other talking.
Dozla: Far away? You mean, like, if you and I were maybe...100 paces apart?
Ewan: Nope. Farther than that.
Dozla: All right, 1,000 paces!
Ewan: Not even close. Farther still!
Dozla: 10,000 paces? You must be kidding.
Ewan: No, I'm not. And even farther than that! For example... What if one person were in Frelia, and the other person were in Rausten?
Ewan: That's right! Anyone you could think of, you could talk to. I read about magical devices that could do the same thing, but... Wouldn't it be better if anyone could do it, and not just mages?
Dozla: Impressive! I think I see it... People could send and receive important messages instantly, is that it?
Ewan: No, even better than that! I'm not talking about just sending messages back and forth. I mean like if they could talk, just like you and I are now! We wouldn't need messengers at all! It would all happen instantly!
Dozla: I just can't wrap my head around this one, laddie. It's too much for me.
Ewan: Great, isn't it? You could contact your people in Rausten from anywhere, at any time!
Dozla: My, oh my... You've got quite an imagination, don't you? The things you come up with always surprise me, laddie.
Ewan: Ha ha ha. I used to get in trouble for always thinking up these outlandish things.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! That's a shame, laddie. After all, I'm sure a lot of the things we have now seemed outlandish once. If nobody dreamed, nothing new would ever be created, would it?
Ewan: Uncle Dozla... You always have time to listen to my ideas, Uncle. It makes me really happy.
Dozla: It's always worth the time to listen to you youngsters and your ideas. It's sad, but I know people who are so busy that they've no time to spare. But me, I've got time. As you know, I'm one of Princess L'Arachel's men. I'm not the brightest fellow around, so she doesn't give me a lot to do. But that gives me lots of free time, and I'm always happy to spend it with you.
Ewan: Thank you. I think you're the best, Uncle Dozla!
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! What a nice thing to say. And I think you're the best, laddie. I think when you're fully grown, you're going to be a great and interesting man.
Ewan: Do you really think so?
Dozla: I do. It's that sparkle in your eyes that convinces me.
Ewan: Yahoo! Ha ha ha.
Dozla: I'm looking forward to the day when I see one of your ideas made reality.
Ewan: And that day will surely come. It's weird...but there are times when I can almost picture a world like that.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Now that would be something. I'll have to make sure I live long enough to see it.
Ewan: Yep! And you'll have to stay my friend, too!
Dozla: Well, of course!
Cormag: Sir Duessel.
Duessel: Are you well?
Cormag: I am as you see me. Fine in every respect.
Duessel: I'm not talking about your flesh. It's your heart I'm worried for.
Duessel: I'm here because I made the decision for myself to leave Grado. Luckily for me, one of the leaders here is an old acquaintance of mine. I'm not saying my heart is at ease, but I have found something to believe in. Something to fight for. And yet, you...
Cormag: I, too, made a choice to be here. There's no need for your concern.
Cormag: I believe in myself. Therefore it matters not where I am. So no matter where I go or what I do, I'm sure my brother would understand.
Cormag: And besides, General Duessel, you're here in this army with me. There's no shame in fighting alongside the man once known as Obsidian.
Duessel: Mm. Cormag, let us emerge victorious from this war, for the things we both believe in.
Cormag: Sir Duessel.
Duessel: Well met, Cormag. I'm impressed by your skills.
Cormag: They're still far below yours, General Duessel. By the way, I have a favor I've been meaning to ask of you.
Duessel: What is it? Please tell me.
Cormag: Your stories tell of a small lance you carry like a treasure. May I see it?
Duessel: Stories, you say? Am I the subject of stories now? Interesting. Here is the lance you're talking about. Examine it at your leisure.
Cormag: It... It really is... It's a Gavaleus...
Duessel: Oh! You've heard of Gavaleus, have you? You must know quite a bit about the crafting of weapons. This is one of Gavaleus's final works. I have quite a collection of weapons, but this is among the most beautiful of them. While it can be used in battle, I would never dull its shine with blood or dirt. If I ever use this lance, I vow that it will be only in my own final hour.
Cormag: It shines as though it could light up the soul of its wielder. You're right. I would hesitate to stain its beauty with blood, too.
Duessel: Ah, so you grasp what I mean? Cormag, you have a discerning eye.
Cormag: Thank you. And yet, I know that I will never be your equal, General Duessel.
Duessel: Come, now. You know, your brother asked to see this lance once as well.
Cormag: My brother?
Duessel: Yes. You two are so alike. His comments mirror your own almost exactly.
Cormag: Is that so?
Duessel: For warriors, our weapons are our lives. I'm glad to know you understand that. Someday, you'll be a splendid wyvern knight to equal your brother.
Duessel: Cormag... I've something I want to show you. Here it is. This lance. What do you think of it?
Cormag: My! It has such power! It sends chills down my spine... I am not nearly strong enough to wield a weapon such as this.
Duessel: Hm, you think so? Merely holding this lance makes me tremble with dread. Not overly so, but enough to stop me from wielding it in combat. This lance... It can drive its wielder to madness.
Cormag: Madness, you say?
Duessel: Yes, Cormag. It's a magic weapon of dark design that's been in my family for ages. Legend states that the leader of our house must always carry it, but never use it. We are prohibited from wielding it until such a time as madness itself rules the day. It's part of my legacy, and yet...I... I made a grave error... I allowed Valter to use this lance.
Cormag: You let Valter--
Duessel: Yes... ...We were in the middle of a battle. Valter had broken his lance, and when I wasn't looking he somehow took this one. From that moment, he was changed... He killed everyone--even retreating men. I took the lance from him when I realized what had happened, but it was too late. Madness had awakened within Valter and was coursing through his body. From then on, he hungered only for battle and for blood... It's not as though Valter was a gentle lamb before, but now his appetite for violence increased many times over. It's all because of this cursed lance.
Cormag: ...... That odd light playing around the point... I thought it looked familiar. It was Valter... It's the same light Valter had in his eyes on the battlefield. Valter's insane because of this lance. ...... Sir Duessel, if it please you, would you let me have this lance?
Duessel: What? You? B-but...
Cormag: Are you worried that I will end up like Valter?
Duessel: N-no... ......
Cormag: This lance--someone needs to master it. It's just a feeling I have. A weapon is only as good or evil as the man who wields it. In the hands of someone just, it can be a righteous weapon. In the hands of the wicked, it's a danger to all. Believe me, I have not been seduced by this lance. I merely want to see it used for the purpose for which it was forged.
Duessel: ...... I understand you, Cormag. I'm going to let you have it. I have no son. I had not yet decided to whom I should pass on this legacy. Now I see that leaving it to someone whom I trust and believe in is best. As with me, your admiration of weapons is balanced by a healthy respect. You also have a good eye, and you possess tremendous strength. The day you are able to wield this lance may not be far off at all. If the madness in this lance can be tamed, it may very well be a weapon without equal. ...I never had the courage to wield it, but I would love to see it used righteously. ...I am entrusting it to you. I hope you will use it one day.
Cormag: I accept your gift, Sir Duessel. I would receive it once this battle is finished and our hearts are calmer. If I were to take it in the heat of battle, I might become Valter the second. It is a possibility that I cannot dismiss.
Duessel: Yes, I see. Cormag... I'm counting on you. I look forward to the day I can see this lance wielded correctly.
Cormag: Understood. Until that time comes, please try not to get yourself killed, General Duessel!
L'Arachel: Oh, I cannot believe it. There is something very wrong with this world.
Dozla: Hm?! What is it? What's happened, Princess L'Arachel?
L'Arachel: Hello, Dozla. Listen to this. The other day, I paid a visit to a nearby village. I found something inconceivable there. Not one of them had ever heard of the beautiful banisher of darkness before.
Dozla: What?! Even with your anonymous campaign to rid the world of monstrosities? I cannot fathom how those people could be so uninformed!
L'Arachel: Last night, I was so distraught that I quite nearly drowned my pillow in tears. This will never do, Dozla. I must be more famous. The entire world must know of my legend. The troubadours must be made to sing my praises far and wide.
Dozla: And I'm sure they will!
L'Arachel: The five heroes who banished evil... My own sacred ancestor... Oh, to be like them... I so long to be praised by the masses, too.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! And you shall be, Princess!
L'Arachel: But I get the feeling that we're going to have to change our methodology. Appealing to the common people is of the utmost importance. First and foremost, we need a plan of action. A means to win their hearts. Please, Dozla, I want you to think of something, too.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Leave it to your trusted Dozla!
L'Arachel: Dozla, have you thought of any good plans?
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Prepare yourself for joy, Princess L'Arachel! I, Dozla, have come up with a plan of masterpiece proportions!
L'Arachel: Oh! That is good news! Don't keep me waiting, Dozla. Let me hear it.
Dozla: Gwah ha! Here goes! All of the heroes from the dawn of time had two names, did they not? So what you need, Princess, is another name. Something with oomph!
L'Arachel: Oh, Dozla! What a splendid idea! An alias would make it easier for the people to remember me. Very well, Dozla, we must come up with a wonderful epithet for me.
Dozla: Hmm... Aha! It's come to me, Princess L'Arachel! How do you like the sound of "the green-haired battle princess"?
L'Arachel: Um, no. I want something with more force. Something with more...impact. I've got it! What do you think of "the beautiful princess of peerless beauty"?!
Dozla: Oh! It's fantastic! You're amazing, Princess L'Arachel! What a splendid nickname!
L'Arachel: Of course it is. L'Arachel, "the beautiful princess of peerless beauty"! It has such a nice ring to it. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?
Dozla: Gwah ha!
L'Arachel: What we do now is vital to our success, Dozla. It wouldn't do for me to ride about calling myself by my own nickname. It must be spread about in a nonchalant manner. Dozla, starting now, I want you to refer to me exclusively by my epithet, "L'Arachel, the beautiful princess of peerless beauty," when you're among the soldiers. And don't forget to slip it into everyday conversation, too.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Understood, Princess L'Arachel!
L'Arachel: How is it progressing, Dozla? Is it working?
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! You will be pleased, Princess L'Arachel! Just recently I saw a group of villagers together gossiping. They'd seen a suspicious young woman in fantastic garb riding around at night. And they called that enigmatic woman "the beautiful princess of peerless beauty"!
L'Arachel: Yes! They were most certainly talking about me then. At last, I am becoming known amongst the people of the land. Those three long trips I took around the area were worth the trouble.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! You're so right, Princess L'Arachel! There can be no doubt that the villagers were appropriately impressed.
L'Arachel: Yet I find it passing strange. How is it that no one has appeared to imitate me? The beautiful banisher of darkness was well enough known, after all. It's only natural that someone somewhere would have aspired to be like me. The fact that no imitators have appeared has me very worried, I must say.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! How right you are! But you are peerless, Princess L'Arachel, as your nickname says! It would be impossible for anyone to claim your beauty as her own!
L'Arachel: Well, that is true. It certainly was not easy for me, after all. Yet now, I am destined to be remembered in the future as a hero. I wonder how my legend will be passed on after I leave this earth. I am so looking forward to it. "The beautiful princess of peerless beauty," L'Arachel... Ah... How enchanting. Already, I weep for the world that will one day be robbed of my beauty.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha!
L'Arachel: I must do something spectacular this battle to ensure my name is remembered. Let's go, Dozla.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Ready as ever, Princess L'Arachel!
Dozla: Oh! You there, lassie. Are you lost?
Myrrh: I... I'm not lost. I'm traveling with Ephraim. I'm his...friend.
Dozla: Oho! In that case, you and I are allies, are we not? My name's Dozla. It's an honor to meet you!
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! You're a quiet lassie, aren't you? And you're so tiny, too. Seeing you takes me back to the days when Princess L'Arachel was a child. Tell me, lassie, how old are you?
Myrrh: ... It's impolite to ask a woman her age. That's what Ephraim says. I think you're being rude.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Aren't you the sassy one! You're still young. I don't think you need to worry about age just yet.
Myrrh: And how old are you?
Dozla: Me? I'm all of forty-seven years old.
Myrrh: And I am... 1,200 years old. Roughly.
Dozla: Huh? Gwah ha ha! Stop teasing me, lassie! You don't have to be shy. Just tell me how old you are.
Myrrh: I did. And I said I'm 1,200... Roughly.
Dozla: Hrmph! Princess L'Arachel! Princess L'Arachel! Where are you?
Dozla: Oh, lassie. What luck meeting you here. Do you know where I might find Princess L'Arachel?
Myrrh: ...I do not. But that's not important. Where is Ephraim?
Dozla: If it's Prince Ephraim you're after, just follow the sounds of combat! There's no better way to motivate your troops than to stand by their side!
Myrrh: That L'Arachel person is probably with Ephraim. I saw her next to him speaking to him on quite familiar terms. For some reason, it made my chest feel...funny.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! It must be love!
Myrrh: Love? This feeling is...love?
Dozla: Mm. I've tasted the sweet and the sour that life serves up, and I know love. You, my dear, are in love with Princess L'Arachel!
Myrrh: I'm not so sure about that...
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Are you all right, lassie? There's no need to worry. No matter how many enemies pop up, I'll protect you.
Myrrh: I appreciate it... I do feel safe when you're nearby... Somehow, you remind me of my father.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! I get that a lot! So tell me, little one, where is your father, anyway?
Myrrh: ...My father... ......
Dozla: Er... What's wrong?! Did I ask something that I shouldn't have? I-I'm sorry, lassie. Please don't cry...
Myrrh: I'm not crying... I'm not crying...
Dozla: Ah! What do I do? Wait. Just think. I must have run across something like this before. When Princess L'Arachel was a babe, and she would begin to cry... She would tug on my beard! That would always make her happy. C'mon, lassie, grab a handful of my beard and give it a good, strong yank!
Myrrh: ...... You are strange, Dozla.
Myrrh: But you were worried about me. That makes me happy. You're a nice person after all.
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! You've stopped crying. Hm, that's a good thing.
Myrrh: Yes. Thank you.
Rennac: Ah... Why has fate chosen to treat me so cruelly?
Dozla: Ah, Rennac. You look so pleased to have been reunited with Princess L'Arachel. I'm glad we're all in one piece!
Rennac: You haven't changed, Dozla. Your ability to misread people still ruins all conversation. I am lamenting, old man! I am raging against my horrible misfortune! You're a vassal sworn to serve Princess L'Arachel. You're supposed to be here. I, however, am not. I'm temporary. Got it? I'm an employee! I am NOT a vassal!
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! You're just as interesting as ever. You're still hard to follow, but...
Rennac: This is not a conversation for you to enjoy, and it's not at all hard to follow! It's not that I don't enjoy being in this army, but traveling with her again... I mean, I haven't even been properly paid for the last job.
Dozla: Oh, so it's about money, is it? In that case, you've no worries, Rennac. All you have to do is see Princess L'Arachel safely back to Rausten. Once that's done, His Majesty will pay you any amount you desire.
Rennac: That's what I heard the last time, but do you have any idea how much I desire? When he hears it, His Majesty may very well explode!
Dozla: Hmm, so about 1,000 gold pieces?
Rennac: Huh? You can't even buy a proper blade for that price!
Dozla: What, 5,000 then?
Rennac: You've got the wrong number of zeroes, old man.
Dozla: Oh, my apologies. So you want 500 gold, eh?
Rennac: No! That's smaller! It cannot get smaller! I want more! It's 50,000! 50,000 gold! And I'll bend 50,000 ears to get it if I have to! Someone must listen!
Dozla: Oh, right. I understand! You need 50,000 ears, is that it? Very well, when we return to Rausten we'll get 50,000 people together! Wait...that's 100,000 ears. Well anyway, you'll have all the ears you need!
Rennac: It's just a figure of speech, old man. Bah! I was a fool to complain.
Rennac: Life is...a fickle beast, is it not, old man?
Dozla: Why are you so solemn, Rennac? You can't win battles if you've no hope!
Rennac: This journey has taught me the hollowness and the transience of life's pleasures. Ah, to what end do we toil on this unforgiving earth? Why do we live?
Dozla: Why do we live? Well, if you're not alive, then you're dead, and... Er...if you're dead, then you can't eat, and... What was I saying? I think I must be getting hungry. I wonder what's for dinner. My belly's a-rumbling!
Rennac: It must be nice to have no worries other than what to eat, old man. And not just you, either. I'm sure that a certain young lady has nothing to worry about, either.
Dozla: What's that? Do you mean Princess L'Arachel? That girl believes the world will turn out just as she envisions it. I doubt if the word "worry" even has any meaning to her in the first place.
Rennac: What a completely envious position to be in. I may not look it now, but I'm the son of a wealthy Carcino merchant. I believed that you could move the world if you but had the gold. Money was everything, and with money, nothing was beyond my reach! I adored money! I loved money! You see?
Dozla: What good fortune for you that your father was a thriving merchant.
Rennac: That's just it... There are people who can do anything without any money at all... She's overbearing and egotistical, yet she has us all jumping through hoops. That's a skill normal people don't possess.
Dozla: That's Princess L'Arachel! She makes the impossible possible! You're with her because she made a deep impression on you, too, right?
Rennac: A deep impression? It's more like I'm in shock, and my brain's been frozen.
Dozla: What? Your brain's frozen? That'll never do! Did you forget to wear a hat? Let me at it. I'll thaw it out.
Rennac: Knock it off! I was speaking figuratively! You know? As in "not literally"? You're too strong to joke around like that! Stop it!
Dozla: Gwah ha ha! Just teasing you!
Rennac: Sigh... What a pair the two of you make... You know, you're the only one who can keep up with Princess L'Arachel, old man.
Dozla: You know, Rennac. I was just thinking about something. These battles are tough on an old man like me. I might not make it through to see the end of this.
Rennac: Where did that come from? It better not be an omen.
Dozla: I want to see Princess L'Arachel in her wedding dress one day. That's my one wish in life: to see her happily wed.
Rennac: Telling me about it isn't going to make it happen. Trying to find a worthy prince who's willing to take Princess L'Arachel? That's no easy task to accomplish.
Dozla: If I end up food for the crows, if I cannot escort the princess home, I want you to take care of her for me.
Rennac: What? Why? No, I won't do it. You can't make me! Sorry, but NO! You're the vassal, old man. I'm nothing more than an escort, a thief. When this war's over, I'm going to collect my pay and then disappear. You got it? Once Princess L'Arachel settles down, she'll probably never leave Rausten again. It's got nothing to do with me.
Dozla: That's cold, Rennac... I'm disappointed. I'm sure she'll be so lovely. Princess L'Arachel, the bride... If I gently close my eyes, I can envision what a glorious spectacle it will be.
Rennac: If all you need is someone to listen, I'll play along. What kind of spectacle?
Dozla: The loving couple exchanging their sacred vows. The joyous citizens of Rausten!
Rennac: "Congratulations, Princess L'Arachel!" "Our condolences, Prince."
Dozla: The newlyweds will smile and wave as the royal coach passes through the crowds. Can you see the flowers? The silver and gold inlay and the gems glittering in the sun?
Rennac: What? They have a gem-encrusted coach? Now that's something I must see. I'll be on the street, waving a flag, then I'll race up and offer my congratulations!
Dozla: Would you really? That's happy news. Princess L'Arachel will be so surprised to see you running after them!
Rennac: Yeah, and then she'll look at me with that smug face and say, "Oh, Rennac. Whatever are you doing here? Come along! Fall in and follow us."
Dozla: And then Princess L'Arachel will set out across the continent on her honeymoon... I've got it! You'll be her guard on her honeymoon! Fantastic! That's wonderful!
Rennac: N-no! You're getting carried away!
Dozla: Now you're a true vassal to Princess L'Arachel, body and soul. Gwah ha ha!
Rennac: I've got a terrible feeling I'll never get away from Princess L'Arachel...
Duessel: Don't tell me you've joined up here as well, have you?
Knoll: ...General Duessel. Prince Lyon no longer holds the capital. My reason for remaining is gone...
Duessel: Knoll, I have something I would ask you. What exactly happened to His Majesty and Prince Lyon?
Knoll: ...... Do you have the courage to hear that answer? I think perhaps that it will not be an answer you want to hear.
Duessel: What does that mean?
Knoll: Are you familiar with a certain foreign anecdote of comedic nature? It involves two starving men and a single loaf of bread. If they break the loaf in two, both men will die of starvation...
Duessel: Knoll, I'm not asking for a riddle. Let's not waste any more time here. I'm ready to hear the truth. Nothing you tell me could surprise me.
Knoll: If that is your wish, General Duessel... I will speak frankly. This is something that Prince Lyon does not know. Something that no one should know.
Knoll: We students of ancient magic, along with Prince Lyon himself, were researching certain arcane techniques lost long ago. We were able to reproduce one... phenomenon, but only briefly.
Knoll: I should be more concise. Prince Lyon and I pierced the veil that clouds our futures.
Duessel: What? You...could see into the future? How is that possible? What magic is powerful enough to--
Knoll: Time is like the water of a river: it flows ever on, never stopping. Certain disturbances can cause ripples that speed swiftly downstream. If you can see the water, you can read the flow, the ripples, the waves.
Knoll: It is possible, General. Possible and, at times, easy. Just think of it: If you knew a storm was coming in advance, you could evacuate everyone in its way. If you could see what was to come, you could help those who might have died. Prince Lyon explained this to us with much joy in his voice and heart. His power would, at long last, be able to help the citizens of Grado.
Knoll: We continued our work. There were ceremonies, rituals--such horrors... And then we saw it. In the near future, Grado would be ravaged by catastrophe.
Duessel: A catastrophe? Do you...
Knoll: No, it's not the conflict in which we are currently embroiled. This event is still in our future. We saw Grado. We saw the earth crumble. We saw our people dying. We saw the shape our future would take.
Duessel: What? That's madness... Idiocy! I've lived a long life, and I've never heard of anything like that. Not ever.
Knoll: I am not surprised that you do not believe me, General. We could not believe it, either. We tried to disprove what we had seen. But nothing could shake the vision. In this disaster, Grado would be destroyed. Countless would die. Those who died quickly would be spared the slow horror of starvation. This was when the emperor died, by the way. Lyon was shattered by despair. He devoted himself to research, and then came the Dark Stone...
Duessel: So that's what happened? Is that when the decision to invade Renais was made?
Knoll: I don't know. Only one person knows the truth behind that.
Knoll: I have told you only the truths I have seen.
Knoll: Is that you, General Duessel?
Duessel: You're tired, aren't you? Worn to the bone. I understand how you feel, but on the battlefield, this only invites death.
Knoll: You are probably right... And yet that might be best.
Duessel: What are you planning to do from here on?
Knoll: I do not know... I have lost my way. Perhaps I should have been executed in the capital.
Knoll: I once studied dark magic alongside Prince Lyon. He was such a gentle soul. You could see it--he was too kind to survive. Prince Lyon dreamt of finding happiness for all of Grado's citizens.
Knoll: And now, Prince Lyon is no more. I have lost everything.
Duessel: I have also lost everything. And we have both lost our ways. We are dead men who have stayed too long away from our graves. But remember, Knoll... You cannot see the future, but you can look back at your past. Look and learn. And remember. What gave your life meaning, and what has taken meaning from you now?
Duessel: If you still hold the convictions that guided you in Grado, you can start anew. That... That is what I must do. We may be diminished by our shame, but we are not dead yet, my friend.
Knoll: General Duessel... I am not as strong as you. Still, I believe you are right. I, too, shall search for a new path. A path that guides me to realizing the dreams Prince Lyon once held so dear.
L'Arachel: Well, hello.
Innes: Imagine meeting you here.
L'Arachel: Yes... You know, I believe this is our first chance to speak privately. I am L'Arachel of the Theocracy of Rausten. It's a pleasure to meet you.
Innes: I believe you already know my name. I am Innes, prince of Frelia.
L'Arachel: Speaking of Frelia... Oh, I remember, the seafood was delicious there.
Innes: Yes. I would agree that the fish of my homeland is not unpleasant.
L'Arachel: Yes. However it does not compare with that of my home, Rausten.
Innes: Is that so? I know not what fish your country has to offer, but I have a hard time imagining they could be that much tastier than our own.
L'Arachel: Your doubt is not surprising. Once this war is over, you must come and visit Rausten. I think it best if you try a wide variety of our fish for yourself.
Innes: That's a good idea. I will most certainly do so. And perhaps you have not tasted all the fish Frelia has to offer. To be sure, you should visit again. Perhaps a culinary exchange is in order. It may be you change your opinion.
L'Arachel: We'll see. Very well, I accept your invitation. I will visit your country once more and taste your national dishes.
Innes: Are you sure you're supposed to be here? I wonder if you're truly here with the permission of your superiors.
L'Arachel: Of-of course I am! What gives you the right to speak to me in such a manner?
Innes: Well, I have heard a bit about your wild behavior...
L'Arachel: H-how rude you are! If I were not a holy woman, I would beat you senseless.
Innes: How savage YOU are. Perhaps you could learn self-control by observing Frelia's pegasus knights. Yes, there's something I'd like to show you. When the Frelia's pegasi gather in Walles Forest... It's a spectacle of such beauty...
L'Arachel: If it is beauty you seek, then Rausten is second to none. Do you know of Rausten's lofty peak Mount Mimir. I pity those who die without having gazed upon its breathtaking beauty.
Innes: ... If you recommend it so highly, then yes, I would indeed like to see it.
L'Arachel: Yes. That would be splendid indeed. But there are many more equally beautiful places in Rausten.
Innes: Then perhaps you should tell me about them for future reference. And in return, I shall take time to tell you about the beautiful places in my kingdom.
L'Arachel: Yes, I would love to hear more.
Innes: The Theocracy of Rausten certainly sounds like a spectacular land.
L'Arachel: As does Frelia, much more than I imagined it would. And yet...
Innes: You mean to ask which is the more spectacular? Is that it?
L'Arachel: What? That's no question at all! Rausten is clearly superior in every way.
Innes: I expected you would say so. But what of the truth? Your opinion is subjective, is it not?
L'Arachel: Well...um... All opinions are subjective, but I'm sure an objective evaluation would yield the same result.
Innes: To prove that, we will need some fair and impartial third in our discussion.
L'Arachel: Indeed! And I have a splendid idea. Let the pair from Renais judge. Surely Ephraim and Eirika can come to a proper decision.
Innes: Of course. I agree completely. I think I should remind the two of all the wonder Frelia holds.
L'Arachel: Then it's decided. They will visit both of our homes, and we'll show them such splendor as to leave them breathless. Invitations to tour our two nations will surely have them overjoyed.
Innes: It would only be natural.
L'Arachel: It would be natural. Very well then. Let us deal with this evil and take those two home with us. First and foremost, it is a competition to see whose land is more magnificent!
Innes: I can see this whole affair has you very enthralled. I cannot say where this little competition will lead us... But I am more than happy to go up against you.
L'Arachel: Don't blame me if you regret our contest later, though. You may be composed before others, but you'll surely be lonely on your own.
Innes: Be warned yourself. Your words here may prove embarrassing to you later.
L'Arachel: It's not a problem. This is just another contest in the name of all that is holy and true.
Innes: Ah, very well then.
L'Arachel: Just a moment, Rennac.
L'Arachel: And what do you mean, "yipes"? Is meeting me honestly such an unpleasant affair?
Rennac: It's just that my job becomes difficult when noisy people like you are about.
L'Arachel: Noisy? How rude! Couldn't you have said showy? Or flamboyant, perhaps!?
Rennac: But that would be lying. You really are noisy. Do you even realize that you were yelling just now?
L'Arachel: Yell? Me!? Why, I never! You've gone too far! Rennac, you would do well to remember that your number-one priority is guarding me.
Rennac: That's not the case anymore. These people respect my abilities and value my skills.
L'Arachel: Very well, I grant that you've made yourself useful out here. However, sir, you know nothing about how to treat a lady! You would do well to refine yourself.
Rennac: Now, who's being rude? I happen to be quite the gentleman. For instance, I have some small renown as a fabulous dancer.
L'Arachel: You? A dancer? I wonder if you're not merely flattering yourself...
Rennac: You don't think I can dance? Then test me! You'll see how well I can dance! Come on, get down off your horse.
L'Arachel: Me? Dance with you? Do you believe I would dance with a commoner? Please, our stations would never permit it.
Rennac: It's not a matter of station. If you permit us to dance, you would see. Unless... Wait a minute, maybe YOU'RE the one who can't dance!
L'Arachel: Rennac! You overstep yourself! All right! If you dare speak such blasphemies, then I have no choice! When next we meet, I will test your vainglorious boast myself! But remember, my dancing with one such as you is a rare occasion. Because it will be so special, I expect you to be most grateful. Got it!?
Rennac: Yeah, yeah. I get it.
L'Arachel: Very well. I suggest you devote yourself to practicing while you've the time.
Rennac: Now, you're the one who's gone too far! I'm going to make you eat your words.
L'Arachel: So...Rennac. We finally meet again. Do you remember our agreement?
Rennac: Princess L'Arachel! Well, of course I remember, but... Surely, this isn't the place for a, er, dance off, is it?
L'Arachel: Stop your complaining! You will make yourself available at MY leisure, sir. Now then, shall we dance?
Rennac: Are you serious?! In THIS place? It's preposterous! It's ridiculous...
L'Arachel: Very well, let us begin.
Rennac: Yes, yes, I know what happens next. Oh, bother...
L'Arachel: 1...2...3... Slow...slow... Quick, quick, slow... Ah! Y-you... Not bad... No, good... Very good actually... You CAN dance! You're much better than I imagined you'd be.
Rennac: Thank you. My father was a merchant. We found ourselves invited to many balls. It was my job to dance with the wives and daughters of his associates. I found that I had a taste for it, and with practice, I improved my skill.
L'Arachel: Is that so? I see... It's not fair you kept that secret. Your dance skills were quite adequate. Your treatment of ladies, however, is still sorely lacking. Next...
Rennac: Uh-oh. I really have no time to chat. I must be going. Farewell.
L'Arachel: W-wait a minute, Rennac! Ooh! ...... I don't know why, but... I'm quite vexed...
L'Arachel: Don't you know that it's rude to sigh when you see someone, Rennac? You may be a fair dancer, but your smooth moves belie your gruff manners. You should learn from me. If you were truly happy, you would not sigh so. Tell me, Rennac, what is it that makes you happy?
Rennac: Makes me happy? Let me see... Uh... I've never really thought about it. If pressed, I'd have to say gold.
L'Arachel: Gold, did you say? So if you had gold, you would be happy. Is that it?
Rennac: Well, if you have enough gold, you can buy whatever you desire. Mercenaries work so that they can get paid. It's why they fight. Knights fight because they have sworn oaths, but there is more... They've been promised a certain social status by fulfilling their oaths.
L'Arachel: So, by getting what you desire, you can be happy? Is that it?
Rennac: What do you mean?
L'Arachel: Rather than lament over what you do not possess, you should treasure what you do. That's a very important lesson to learn, don't you think? Isn't that the road to true happiness?
Rennac: Princess L'Arachel... I know you mean well when you say things like that. But coming from someone who has everything, it means very little.
L'Arachel: This has nothing to do with my station in life. And as for you, what need have you of money or fame? You have me! Merely serving me must be the greatest pleasure man can know.
Rennac: So, that's what this is about, is it?
L'Arachel: Your employer is sweet and lovely. That is something most people dream of having. Surely you cannot aspire to happiness greater than this.
Rennac: ...... I've always wondered, Princess, how your ego grew so large.
L'Arachel: You complain far too much! Come, Rennac. It's time to go. Follow me, and try not to lag.
Rennac: Ah, Princess L'Arachel! ...Perfect... True happiness? Is this really what happiness feels like?
Myrrh: ...... Um...
Saleh: May I help you?
Myrrh: Saleh, wherever we go, you're always at my side. Don't you ever do anything YOU want to do?
Saleh: I came from Caer Pelyn. I have been entrusted with the honor of being your escort. Protecting you, Great Dragon, gives my life meaning.
Myrrh: Great Dragon? Please, there's no need to call me that. My father is the great one. I've done nothing. I'm not great at all.
Saleh: It is true, Great Dragon, that your exalted father once saved mankind. On that day so long ago, he shielded us from evil. He is our true savior. However, mankind has forgotten that most sacred debt we owe him. I do, as we all must, what I can to atone for that crime of neglect.
Saleh: Great Dragon, does my presence bother you? If it does, please do not hesitate to tell me. I would remove myself at once and not bother you again until needed.
Myrrh: ... It's fine. Do whatever pleases you.
Saleh: ...Thank you.
Myrrh: There's something I wanted to ask. You're from Caer Pelyn. Do you know if my father has ever visited your village?
Saleh: He has. I myself have never seen his noble personage. However, I have heard that Dara met him once when she was young. Some monsters had wandered into Caer Pelyn, and the Great Dragon saved us.
Myrrh: Really? I wonder why my father chose to help you.
Saleh: That, I cannot guess. We poor humans cannot hope to grasp the thinking of the Great Dragon.
Myrrh: ... My father has dedicated his life to protecting humans. For the longest time, I could not fathom why he would do this. But now, after spending time with all of you... I begin to understand how he felt.
Saleh: Great Dragon...
Myrrh: I'm sure that I-- that I will continue to fight, as he did, for all humanity.
Saleh: I am truly grateful that you feel that way, Great Dragon.
Saleh: Great Dragon... I know I'm being rude, but I've a favor to ask.
Myrrh: What is it?
Saleh: Would you please come to our village?
Myrrh: To Caer Pelyn? But...
Saleh: Dara and the other villagers would be overjoyed to see you. The village is quite spare, but we would do our best to entertain you. You could stay for as long as you wanted...
Myrrh: ... Saleh, you made that request on my behalf, didn't you?
Saleh: No, not at all. I apologize. I have been disrespectful.
Myrrh: No, I'm pleased. However... I doubt I should stay too long.
Saleh: Why is that?
Myrrh: It's because I'm a dragon. My father explained it to me. We are both human and monster. And because we are both, we are also neither.
Myrrh: We have the power of dragons; therefore, we cannot live together with humans... We have the hearts of humans; therefore, we do not belong with monsters. We are outcasts in this world, never a part of either community. And so we live our lives alone, never to be understood by anyone.
Saleh: But there are humans whose actions make them monsters in the eyes of others. I do not think of you as such when there are many worse monsters among my own kind. Regardless, I believe the villagers would be most pleased to have you visit.
Myrrh: Saleh... Thank you. Your words have cheered me up a little. Please wait for my answer. When all of this is finished... When peace returns, I'll give you my answer then.
Saleh: I understand.
Myrrh: And when I do return to Darkling Woods, I will not be sad. Because of the time I've spent with you, the memories you've given me, I shall not be lonely. I shall never feel like an outcast again.
Saleh: Lady Myrrh...