Update 23: I Should've Saved the Big Ball Joke for This Update

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Welcome back. Today, we'll wrap up the last of the events of this irregular, some might even say maverick, month.

Let's start with the support scenes I put off at the end of the last update.

Ferdinand/Marianne B.
♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

I've finished. What is it?
I just wanted to apologize.
It's fine, Ferdinand. You did nothing wrong.
Last time we spoke, I did not quite finish saying what I wanted to say. You say I did nothing wrong, so perhaps you will hear me out this time?
Very well. What is it?
Rather than mourning the way things are, is it not better to accept reality and move forward from there?
Accept and move forward?
Precisely. You curse your heritage and reject your present situation. That makes you gloomy, even despairing.
As long as you are held back by that way of thinking, nothing is ever going to change.
What about you? Do you really believe that you accept whatever comes in life?
I do. Come what may, I will never falter.
Well, each person is born with a purpose.
We must fulfill that purpose, no matter our circumstances. It imbues our lives with meaning and direction.

I-I see...so that's what you believe. Do you...really think it's possible that someone like me has a purpose to fulfill?
Yes! Of course.
Oh! I'll give this some serious thought. Thank you, Ferdinand. Your words have deeply moved me.
Is that so? How wonderful! I will pray that you find the answers you seek.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Hmm. Well, Ferdinand's steadfast optimism and cheery attitude certainly makes more sense now. And hey, if it can help Marianne feel more self-confident, then who am I to object?

I was tempted to call Ferdinand's line of thinking Calvinistic predestination, but that's not quite right; having a purpose ordained to you isn't the same as having your future set in stone. If someone has a proper philosophical term for Ferdinand's line of thinking, let me know.

Sylvain/Mercedes C.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Oh, hello, Sylvain. I was just on my way to pray. How did you guess?
Well, because I've been watching your lovely—
Oh, I get it. You're the type who's always looking at girls, aren't you?
I won't lie. I do enjoy beholding women...
But I don't mean it like that with you. I know I sound like a dope. I just— I think you're special.
Oh, really? You think I'm so clumsy that I need someone to watch over me? Is that why you can't take your eyes off me?
You're beautiful. And I mean that. You're... Uh, how can I put it without sounding even worse?
OK, here goes... I want to get to know you better, as friends, I mean.
I don't know where to begin.
Well, what's something you like?
I like to pray. I've been praying regularly since I was a child.
You grew up in the Empire, didn't you?
That's right. I was raised in House Bartels.
Bartels? I thought you were born to House Martritz?
It's a complicated story. I'm not sure that it's a very interesting one, but I'm happy to share it with you.
I don't mean to be nosy...if it's too personal.
Oh, no. I don't mind. I wasn't trying to hide anything from you.

My father passed away while my mother was still pregnant with me, so she had nowhere to go. After I was born, my mother ended up marrying the head of House Bartels. Shortly after, my mother bore a true Bartels child who bore a Crest. She and I were treated as though we were no longer useful to the family after that.
You think the Bartels were just using her to secure a Crest?
They must have been. My mother and I were removed from the family and forced to flee to a church in the Kingdom. I abandoned the Bartels name and took up our old family name again.
So you grew up in a church. OK, it makes more sense now why you're praying all the time.
Yes, I—oh! Praying! I forgot that I was on my way to pray!
Right...and I interrupted you. Well, see you around, Mercedes.
Yes, see you!

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Ah, finally, Sylvain has a fellow "fucked over by Crests" friend. That he knows of, at least. Ingrid doesn't seem to be too fond of her minor Crest of Daphnel, or at least how her family tries to use it, and I don't think Sylvain's aware of that.

Speaking of which! Sylvain/Ingrid B.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

That's a heavy sigh...again.
Yeah... That's the sigh of exhaustion after spending the past month apologizing for your behavior to, well, everyone.
Apologizing? I've been pretty darn restrained lately.
If by restrained you mean falling all over yourself to garner the attention of every passing female, then, yes, you've been quite restrained. Mark my words—the more you hurt people, the more weighty the repercussions will be. Your actions will come around to bite you.
Ha! If I get bitten, that's all just part of the game. Heck, I had one girl's brother come after me with a pitchfork. Heh heh...
If you end up getting maimed or killed by a pitchfork, don't expect me at your funeral.

I'm sorry. I was being... You're right. I know what it did to you when he died. It hurt to see you hurt and not be able to do anything. When you wouldn't even come out of your room to take care of your horse...
Nothing affected me the way his passing affected me.
Well, I'm happy that you're better. Seeing you out and about helped me relax enough to be able to flirt with girls again.
Your predictability is utterly disappointing. When I finally stopped mourning, you know what brought me back? My concern. For you.
You know you can't get along without me following in your shadow and caring for you. You flirt with anything that has a pulse, offend people left and right, and constantly cause commotions.
Huh... The truth really does hurt.
Please, Sylvain. Consider your actions before you carry them out.
And stop acting so nonchalant about getting hurt or killed. Promise me that.
OK... I promise.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Ingrid was close to Felix's brother, huh. Well, her commitment to fixing the problems Sylvain causes for himself makes more sense now—she does like him, on some level, and doesn't want to see him get himself killed or at least seriously injured due to a reckless disregard for his own life.

Remember, Sylvain doesn't really care about what happens to him as a result of his decisions, since he views his life as already decided for him because he bears a Crest, his family's fucking obsessed with that, and his inevitable marriage in the future will be decided purely on which other family wants his Crest the most.

Sylvain/Marianne C.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Oh, Sylvain. Yes, I was just heading back to my quarters.
Well then, my timing couldn't be better. I was just heading into town, and I thought maybe you'd like to join me?
Um, I don't think I should.
I heard a story once about a beautiful maiden who was locked up in a monastery day and night. She was held prisoner by her own fear of the outside world. Then a brave knight set the girl free and took her to town where they drank tea and talked for hours. So, my fair maiden...
Please, you should not waste your time on me. Besides, my adoptive father requested that I not stray too far from the monastery.
Margrave Edmund wants to keep you locked up, huh? I've heard he's...let's call it ambitious. Well, just tell him who I am. I think he'd approve. I'm heir to House Gautier, one of the most prominent families in the Kingdom. I've got a Crest, I've got money, and I'm stunningly handsome.

What's that face for, Marianne? Was it the handsome thing? I can see how that might have been a bit much.
[Mariannne1] I...I don't really know you all that well, but I don't think it makes a difference. I mean, it doesn't really matter to me that you have a Crest.
Oh, no—no—no. I didn't mean you should find my Crest impressive. I meant your family would, and— You know what? Maybe I should start over.
If you're going into town, please just go without me.
Oh. OK.
I've got to get going anyway. Places to be, ya know. Well, this is me going...
But remember...should you ever need me, I will forever be your knight, my maiden.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

That scene's kind of hard for me to grasp. It reads to me like Sylvain's bog-standard flirting, but the end also kind of reads like he knows that Marianne hates, or at least does not like, Crests.

Ingrid/Seteth C.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Is something troubling you, Ingrid?
Oh! Seteth! You seem to have caught me when I thought nobody was around.
Perhaps I can help, if you would like to share.
I wouldn't want to bother you with my trivialities.
I will not pry, of course. But if you keep it to yourself, no one will be able to help you.
That's true. It's regarding my father.
Count Galatea? I have met him, once or twice.
Well, you have likely heard that House Galatea's financial situation is precarious. Many regions of Faerghus are harsh and infertile, but our lands are especially so. There were several years of fruitless harvests—it nearly ruined us. We could barely feed our troops. Then I was born bearing a Crest, after generations bore none. Suddenly my family hung its future on me. My father had hopes that with my Crest I'd be married into a noble family and that House Galatea's financial troubles would be a thing of the past.
Ah, I see. And the other house would benefit from the addition of your Crest-bearing blood. It seems to me you have suffered much for the misfortune of being born with a Crest.
I beg your pardon?
I know Crests are highly valued, but they are also a burden. My feelings are mixed.
You truly think so? But you're so devoted to the goddess. I'm surprised to hear you say such a thing.
Perhaps one day I will expound upon my opinion of Crests in greater detail with you. For now, let it suffice to say that whether or not you bear one is secondary to your identity. You are a person, first and foremost. And you should be permitted to grow as a person, Crest or not.
I agree. Thank you for listening.
If you ever wish to discuss this again, consider me available whenever you please.
Thank you so much!

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Huh. Seteth's less of a stodgy religious conservative, for however much that term can apply to politics in Fódlan, than I expected. The Church of Seiros seems pretty dedicated to ensuring the value of Crests, so to see the man who's only second to the archbishop even say that the value society places on Crests can be toxic to the populace, including the people who bear them, is surprising.
♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Anyway, I recorded this update after DLC wave 3 dropped, so there's some new mechanics stuff to talk about. You can make units show up in battle with their monastery outfits now.

There's three new outfits for each unit, too. There's evening wear, which resembles Marianne's Officers Academy uniform on women and somewhat resembles Linhardt's on men.

There's summer wear, which resembles Petra's Officers Academy uniform on women, and Felix's on men.

And the meme outfit, the servant uniform, which is a maid outfit on women, and a butler outfit on men. Each character has two variants of the servant uniform: one with their personal colors on it...

And a black and white outfit that fits with standard depictions of those uniforms in media.

There's also a bunch of new quests dotted around the monastery. This first one unlocks the sauna, a new way to spend activity points.

Let's warm up with Bernadetta.

In case you were worried, no, the sauna isn't a fanservice thing. Everyone wears a tank top and shorts into it.

The name of the game with the Sauna is getting Adan/Abby and/or the other person's heat meters into the green. Don't get it into the red. Getting a character's gauge into the green gives them the Refreshed buff, which boosts the amount of skill points gained from instruction (or, in Adan/Abby's case, faculty training) by 2 for the rest of the month. Already, that's equivalent to the bonus gained from having a skill be a strength, or from a maxed-out statue.

If both Adan/Abby and the person you brought in get their bars into the green, they both get the Very Refreshed buff, which increases that bonus to 4. It's very much worth it to use activity points to get whoever you want to particularly train up that month the Very Refreshed buff. Do it on the first week, though, and avoid doing it when you have limited instruction time that month.


Talk to Anna. That's it.

Belongs to Leonie.

Ancient sprawling remains deep below Garreg Mach... That's Abyss.
Some folks have made their home there. Obviously they all have their reasons and tales to tell. But only the most enterprising merchant would venture near it. My advice? Avoid going there yourself.

Anna also has a quest for us. No reason not to take it.

I think this quest is just meant to set up what the heck Abyss is, since it's almost certainly going to be part of the Abyss Mode that was advertised for DLC wave 4.

Another hint about what Abyss will be, I guess.

Get an item from the cathedral.

Another new mechanic! We can feed the cats and dogs around Garreg Mach now.

Walk up to an animal, hit A, and you can choose a food. As a rule, they like fish and meat, and don't like produce; this applies to both dogs and cats.

Most of the time, you'll just be told the animal looks happy.

Sometimes, however, they'll give you a smithing material. This can range from bog-standard smithing stones to very rare materials like mythril and agarthium.

You can't feed a given animal infinite times, though.

By the way, every student has a line for when they've won the White Heron Cup, as well as one for if they lose. Here's all of them.
I knew victory was inescapable. And...you believed in me too.
Losing is never easy, even at something as insignificant as dance. I suppose I should have trained harder...

Unbelievable. I never imagined I'd actually win.
The obvious result, of course.

Ah! Did you see that? I have done my family proud!
I thought this might happen. I am sorry I volunteered in the first place. You should have chosen Edelgard.

Although I was against the whole endeavor, I must be honest and say that I am quite pleased that I won. But I won't do anything like this again, thank you.
I suspected this might be the end result. Uh... All that time I could have been reading...or fishing...or napping...or...

Aww yeah! I knew I could do it! Thanks for the distraction, Professor.
I actually lost? I can't believe this. Now I feel even worse than I did before...

Who would've thought I'd have a talent for dancing? Heh-heh... Aw, this actually feels nice.
Knew it from the start, Bernie! No chance. Hmph...

We did it! I couldn't be happier, Professor. I loved dancing in front of an audience again.
Ugh. What a letdown... I'm gonna go find a hole to hide in and not come out for a few weeks.

I have grabbed victory! I give gratitude for your great teachings, Professor!
I have had failure. I did not work with enough hardness. I feel a large shame.

It was solely thanks to your patient instruction that we won, Professor. In all honestly, I'm still in a state of shock.
I knew it was beyond my reach. I am so sorry that I let us down, Professor...

More than anything else, I am pleased not to bring dishonor to His Highness—or to you, Professor.

We won. Are you happy now?
You see? Now you know it was a mistake to choose me.

Yeesh... I really thought I could pull it off. Maybe it was a lack of practice...

I really won?! I can't believe it! Oh, Lonato, I wish you could have seen me!
I definitely wasn't cut out for this. I'm so sorry to let you down, Professor.

Oh! My goodness! I actually won! I'm so glad you had faith in me, Professor!
I'm sorry that I didn't win, Professor. You put your faith in me and I let you down...

Professor, I did it! I won! Haha! All that practice paid off!
I'm so sorry, Professor. I feel like I've betrayed you...

Can you believe we won? Maybe I'm a natural, after all!
I'm sorry, Professor. My two left feet were especially problematic, after all.

Wow, I never thought I'd win a dance competition. I've clearly uncovered a hidden talent!
Well, at least you can't say it's unexpected. You're a brilliant strategist, Teach, but you really have no eye for dancing talent.

It was a foregone conclusion! Am I or am I not Lorenz Hellman Gloucester?
To think I would suffer such a defeat at dancing. My father is liable to disinherit me.

Winning was even easier than I expected! And did you hear the crowd? They loved me!
I thought the point of dancing was to make people laugh! Oh well, maybe I'll win next time.

Wow. We won? I guess I'm better at this than I thought.
I knew this would happen. I embarrassed myself in front of everyone.

You chose wisely! I gave it my all, and I'm glad it paid off.
I'm so sorry I lost. You put faith in my abilities, and now I've let you down...

I...I still can't believe it. How could someone like me have possibly won?
I'm sorry that I couldn't do better. I doubt you had high expectations anyway...

Professor, I did it! I'm so happy I think I may literally start to glow!
I'm so sorry, Professor. I really thought we had it in the bag...

Seriously? I won? Maybe I should drop the mercenary idea and take up a life of dancing!
Aw, just when I started to think I had a chance. Dancing turned out to be pretty fun, once I tried it.

Professor, we did it—together! Did you enjoy my dance moves?
Oh no... We lost. I do hope I made good progress with my dance technique though.

Hm. We have to win a tournament. How hard can that be?

Yay. I gave Lysithea the Speed Carrot.

Trying something different this week.

Alright, let's do this. This tournament can't be that hard.


Let's not.

Alright, battalions, what've you got for me?

O-Oh. That's— That's pretty good.

Feeding animals has given me a lot of Wootz Steel. I forge a few Brave weapons.

That got us a few supports.

Petra/Shamir C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Ah. Petra. Well, it looks like it might rain.
I have understanding. Rain training can cause unhealthiness. Can I give you a question now?
You come from Dagda, I think. Why are you working at the monastery?
You can tell I'm from Dagda? Ah, I suppose Brigid is our neighbor. As for why I work here, that's simple. I work to live.
Rhea took me in when I had nowhere else to go. I'm here to repay my debt.
I don't plan to return to Dagda any time soon.
But, Fódlan is an enemy for you, right? Are you feeling OK about that?
The only ones I've fought in person are the Imperial army. I carry no ill will toward anyone else.
I have gratitude for your answering. You have given me understanding.
How about you? Do you hate them? The Empire is your father's enemy, no? And it's Dagda's fault that Brigid got pulled into the war at all... So, do you hate Dagda? Or do you see that as none of your concern?
The fault is not of Dagda. My father made his own choice to be joining the war. I cannot say I have no hatred for the Empire, but I do not have any for Edelgard.
When I came here, she was always helping me.
Makes sense. You can hate a country without hating its people.
You speak with such honesty. It is very amazing.
I'm not that special. I just don't let emotions get in my way.

Felix/Ingrid B.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Oh, hello. Have you been there long? I was absorbed in this book.
Another silly legend?
First of all, they're not silly. And second of all, no.
It's an essay that speaks to uncommon and challenging battle scenarios. I've been researching such things since you proposed your unique strategy. Listen to this—"Your commander gives orders that put your hometown in extreme danger. Do you carry out the orders or protect your hometown?"
What nonsense.
I was talking about real-world tactics, not some dumb ethical question.
Whatever your personal feelings on the matter, I see similarities between such tactics and these "dumb" ethical questions. I haven't read beyond this one, but I think the obvious answer is to follow your commander.
The duty and pride of being a knight demand that you follow orders, regardless of your own feelings.
But if I were put in such a position, I don't know how I'd fare...
In fact, were someone to carry out those orders, I know that I'd attempt to stop them.
Stop bothering with all this. You're not meant to be a knight.

Excuse me?
You heard me.
I know you hate the ideals of chivalry and pride.
So much so, you prefer to escape your duty as your family's heir.
You have no right to criticize me for my ideals.
Perhaps not. At least I know not to heedlessly obey orders. I know not to romanticize blind obedience.
My brother taught me to think for myself.
Don't you dare bring Glenn into this...
You're right. Forget it.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Fuck off, Felix. Your cynicism being caused by trauma is no excuse for telling Ingrid to give up her ideals and be some man's accessory.

Time to move on.
♪ No music ♪

♪ A Promise ♪

As am I, in the sense that I look forward to destroying all of the unworthy suitors who will inevitably swarm Lady Edelgard.
I will admit, Edelgard is adorable. However, when it come to elegance on the dance floor, I am superior!
You're not a bad dancer, Ferdie. But you do have some moves that are...hard to watch.
You honor me with your kind words! I understand that I am sometimes too dazzling to behold directly.
I'm envious of your positive attitude. I also know how to dance...in theory. Maybe I should participate as well.
Not me! You wouldn't catch me dancing at a ball any sooner than you'd catch a fish swimming through the sky!
You do tend to flop around like a fish on the land, after all.
Wh-why would you say that?! Now I feel like a fish on a skillet...
On a skillet... Hahaha! Ahem, never mind.
Speaking of the ball, do we get to pick who we dance with? I wonder who I should ask...
A bold subject change. Should Lady Edelgard wish it, I would be honored to...
I will fight with all that I have within me!
Fighting? No, that's not really the point...
I will not be as a fish upon the flame!
Um... OK...

Like a class reunion? That's a great idea!
Five years from today will be the millennium festival for Garreg Mach Monastery. I've heard the magnitude of the festivities will exceed all prior years.
Ooh, how exciting! Sounds like a great excuse to come visit our dear professor.
You will be seeing how much growing I have done. You will be pleased, Professor. This idea is good!
Who knows where each of us will be in five years' time...or who we will become. Still, I have faith that all of us will gather and celebrate our reunion.
That's assuming the professor is still here in five years...and not enjoying a cozy early retirement.

Of course.

Don't forget, my teacher.

♪ No music ♪

♪ The Night of the Ball ♪

I understand. You hardly had the time to breathe in there.

It is difficult.

But where is there to run? This place is filled with joyful students looking for a dance.

As voted on by the thread, we'll be spending this moment away from the ball with Dorothea.

Why do you look so happy?
Well, because you're here, of course!

What letter?
Are you saying this is...a coincidence?
How disappointing to think you didn't come here specifically to see me.
Still, if we're meeting by complete chance...that has a certain appeal too. It's as if destiny brought us together!

I thought you weren't comfortable around me...
Oh, that's just when you're looking through me in front of others. When it's just us...I kind of like it. Originally, I wanted to see what you'd do when you read my letter. I just wanted to see if you'd come here like I asked. I had a feeling that you would.
Though, I suppose you didn't even read the letter to begin with... I should just be thankful I wasn't left here waiting. All alone. Forever.
Do you know it's been almost nine whole moons since you arrived at Garreg Mach?

I have not.
Uh-huh, right. I bet you're just hiding it. There's someone you're sweet on... Don't you worry, I won't pry if you don't want to share. These things are private, after all.
Well, I oughta get going... I wouldn't want to be in the way if your special someone shows up.
Either way, I do hope you'll share a dance with me later.

So Dorothea definitely has a crush on Abby. If it wasn't obvious enough already, the fact that she sent her a (presumably) love letter should cement it. Good on her for being willing to get out of the way of Abby and her fictional special someone, though.

I'm tired.
How dull of you! Had I a body of my own... Oh, I would sing and dance until I fell upon the ground! But you... Hmph. Do as you will.


Why would I?
Oh, come on! Hurry up!
I know that you are curious to see what she is up to... I hear...someone singing. From over there...

♪ Guardian of Starlight ♪

Actually... It is not that I have heard it. I... Did I once sing that song to someone? No. There's more. I wrote this song... Oh, but how could that be so? If that were true, then how could she be singing it? Unless...

♪ No music ♪

That's it for now. Next time: something awful, probably, because this month's been pretty pleasant.

This update brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my LPs on Patreon:

Next Update
Previous Update
Table of Contents
Support the LPs on Patreon