Update 25: I almost put "Couldn't Think of a Good Title" for this update's title, but that felt too glib for what I'm going to discuss.

♪ A Lonely Figure ♪

Hm? Are you still crying?

Our enemies will pay.

Oh! Your father said to look for something here. He must have been referring to whatever is behind that bookcase there...

Well, well! These entries here are from before your birth. He seems to have been writing this for quite some time. Hm? Ah... Read that part there. Horsebow Moon, Year 1159...

Lady Rhea said she died during childbirth. But is that the truth?
And still, the child she traded her life for doesn't make a sound. Didn't even cry at birth.

Lady Rhea says not to worry, but a baby that doesn't cry...isn't natural.
I had a doctor examine the child in secret. He said the pulse is normal, but there's no heartbeat. No heartbeat!

But the church is always watching us... I don't know what Lady Rhea has planned. I used to think the world of Lady Rhea. Now I'm terrified of her.

Lady Rhea is in a state over the news. But I can't change what I've done. I've got to take the child and leave...

To think that Captain...that Jeralt would meet his end like that.

I was?

He wasn't the most emotional guy. I'm sure expressing his affection wouldn't have come naturally to him.
After what's happened, it's up to me now. I, Alois, swear to protect you in the captain's stead.

Lady Rhea is looking for you. I came to tell you that. I'll take my leave now.

Oh, but I have at least figured one thing out. I know now why our fates are intertwined...

I am filled with grief at the loss of our most celebrated knight.

But it had been so long since you last saw him...
He...fell in love with one of the nuns here at Garreg Mach. Their love produced a child...whom she died giving birth to. It was her decision. She weighed her own life against that of her child's and, in the end, implored me to save the child.

Who was my mother?
Your mother...she was my...

A report from the knights patrolling the area...
Very well. Professor, you are dismissed for the day. Please rest and focus only on mending your heart. Understood?

♪ No music ♪

♪ The Land Beloved by the Goddess ♪

♪ No music ♪

♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Professor... You've been crying.

It's fine.
My teacher. You're so blinded by grief that you can't see what's going on right in front of you.
Are you waiting for time to heal your wounds?

Does it matter?
It does. You've lost yourself.
Only you can truly understand your own sadness. Others can sympathize or even empathize, but all anyone else can offer are the tears of an outsider looking in. So I have no intention of crying for you, or of standing still with you.

What do you mean?
The mysterious organization that was carrying out experiments in Remire Village and the chapel... They're up to something near Garreg Mach. The archbishop has sent the knights to undertake a large-scale investigation. No information has surfaced yet, but our enemies will soon be discovered. When they are, will you lead us into battle?

My teacher... There is a choice to be made. I hope you make the right one.
My, my. She really is quite arrogant. She spoke her mind without an ounce of reservation! But she is right. The time has come to stand again. You know already what your answer is.

♪ Mask of Fire ♪

If you were to die, then the mystery of our bodies would be revealed. Preventing that was my only aim. I'm afraid you must remain, Kronya. There is something I need you to do.
Oh, of course. I am always happy to cooperate with Solon. Leave it to me.
How annoying.
Flame Emperor... Is she offending you? Unfortunately, we cannot take our eyes off her, so there is nothing to be done. You are our greatest creation. We used the defiled beast's blood as the fuel to your flame, that you may burn even the gods. Now is the time to cleanse Fódlan with that power, and bring forth our salvation.
There will be no salvation for you and your kind. Those responsible for such gruesome deeds in Duscur and Enbarr.
All so that you may acquire the strength you need. All for a purpose...

♪ No music ♪

♪ Teatime Joy ♪

♪ Broken Routine ♪


Thank you.
Well, it would be ridiculous to not feel anything after something like that. Go on and let it out. I am here.

...Permit me another update of digressionary comments. This month...this sequence of events in general, starting with Jeralt's death, emotionally affected me heavily when I first played through Three Houses, and communicating its effects kind of entails sharing a bit about myself as a person.

I'll go ahead and put a content warning here for discussions of loss, grieving, death, and the emotions that come with each. If you don't wish to read that, please skip to where I say "The content warning is no longer in effect."

Belongs to Manuela.

Belongs to Dorothea.

I am sorry. There are no words. Leave some flowers on his grave for me.
I'm an emotional person. Always have been, even when I was a child. Being emotional, for me, usually manifests as finding it easy to cry.

I don't mean the physical act of shedding tears, I mean the emotions that prompt crying as a response. Sadness, grief, fear, very rarely joy... You get the idea.

I cried a lot at the cutscene of Jeralt's death, as well as throughout all of this in-game month, on my first playthrough. Some parts in particular reduced me to sobbing.

Connecting with fiction and experiencing intense emotions from empathizing with characters comes easily to me. Not even just empathizing with characters in bad situations, though—sometimes it's just...a reaction to my own attachment to the work.

In particular, I cry at fiction. Quite a lot. Even at video games, which tend to be much more narratively simple than, say, a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sure this is even harder on you. But I just can't— I can't believe...
The first time I can remember crying at a video game was... Gods, this sounds so silly... It was at MegaMan Battle Network 6. I...had to have just turned 10 years old, I remember getting the game in late June 2006, and accounting for how long it took me to beat games back then, I probably finished it mid to late July 2006.

Belongs to Alois.

To see the light in your eyes again is a gift. It inspires me to carry on as well.
As you know, the knights are searching furiously for any trace of the enemies who escaped. I'll inform you immediately if I learn anything relevant.
I didn't cry at any narrative event in the game. No, what I cried at was...how do I put this... The sum total of the epilogue.

I loved Battle Network as a kid. I got BN3 when I was 7, and even though I never finished it, it left an impression on me. It was a video game about the internet being cool! You fought evil in the computer! For a little girl obsessed with computers and the internet, it couldn't be beaten, as far as tying into my interests went. I played BN4 and BN5 religiously, even though I didn't finish BN3, and I played them both to completion multiple times. Yes, I was able to ignore BN4's flaws, because I was an 8 year old.

Then BN6 happened. I remember reading on Wikipedia, before the game came out in North America, that it was the final entry in the series. I wrote it off as Wikipedia being edited by a liar, like my teachers had warned me about in elementary school. The series couldn't end! I was having too much fun with it!

I do not see what is impossible about it. All I said was that if you want to go back to Brigid, you probably can. You are...the Empire's guest, so to speak. They cannot afford for something bad to happen to you—there would be a diplomatic incident.
Someone close to us has turned up dead, so one could argue that you're not safe here anymore.

You do not have to leave if you do not wish it.

No, look, I did not mean to pressure you. Apologies for the misunderstanding.
I played through BN6. It was so much fun.

Then I got to the end. I got through the credits, through the final BattleChip library tally and playtime, and... The game didn't return to the title screen. Instead, it started playing a scene from a long while after the main story had ended.

I thought "ooh, cool, a new protagonist?"

Then the epilogue faded to black, and its music started playing. If you've never played BN6, its epilogue music is a remix of the main theme of the game. It's...slower, and the instrumentation is—forgive my imprecise terminology, I'm not at all versed in music theory—sadder. It's remixed into a final send-off.

It sounded too sad for 10 year old me's comfort. I kind of got worried.

Oh, Professor! You must be starving. Mercie and I made some sweets for you.

Thank you for the thought.

And then, at the end of the epilogue, the game printed:

Battle Network

I...I cried. I was 10 years old, alone in my room on a July night. I cried at that final text box for a while.

I didn't want Battle Network to end. It meant too much to me. It couldn't end. I was a loner "weird kid" who had no friends. Battle Network was what I played to feel like my interests were valid and cool. If I didn't have it, then what would I play to feel like I wasn't a freak for liking computers?

It's hard for me to listen to Epilogue. It still makes me cry from residual sadness, as much as that concept can exist.

Belongs to Leonie.

Belongs to Gilbert.

I have plenty of examples of crying at important events in other games, but...well, it's hard to discuss those without necessarily spoiling said games in question. I couldn't talk about any of the times AI: The Somnium Files or The MISSING, for example, made me cry without either spoiling the games for everyone, or leaving a significant chunk of emotional impact behind spoilers bars for what I would assume is a majority of people reading this, since neither AI nor The MISSING are anywhere near as well-known as Fire Emblem.

You should play both of those games, by the way. Especially The MISSING.

The MISSING left me sobbing for...I don't know how long, but it felt like an eternity, literally scared to press any buttons on my controller for fear that things would get worse.

We should be careful.
Yes, I agree. I...don't want to lose you too, Professor.
Point is, I get attached to fiction easily, and emotionally-charged events in fiction will make me cry easily, as a result. I mostly talk about video games since, well, that's the majority of media I consume.

Belongs to Lysithea.

But when something like this happens in real life... I'm lost. I don't know what to say. But I do know this much... Sir Jeralt must have been very proud to have you as his child.
It's childish, perhaps. Video games, by the nature of how much they cost to produce, and the inherent nature of being an interactive medium, are almost always less narratively complex and nuanced than, say, literature. Maybe I'm just falling for obvious cues set up by the creators, and none of this is particularly special.

But even while you're standing still, the world keeps on moving. I always find that oddly comforting.
I'm getting off-track, sorry. Such is the nature of stream of consciousness, especially when you're writing it in disconnected sessions over multiple days.

I do not know what the enemy's aim was, but I do know this—after what they have done, we cannot suffer them to live. If there is anything I can do to ensure that justice is brought swiftly, you need only give the word.
...Part of the reason I cry easily at fiction, I think, especially important character deaths, is my own weakness at dealing with sadness and grief.

Let me tell you a story of how, looking back, I think that came to be.

Belongs to Ignatz.

She really loved Jeralt. I hope she can bounce back...
My paternal grandfather passed away in March 2005. I was 8 years old at the time.

My parents, younger brother and I were on vacation in Disneyland at the time. It was the final night of our trip. My little brother and I were watching the special features of our The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie DVD. I think it was a mini-documentary about aquatic life, hosted by some guy named...Jacques Cousteau? That sounds about right. We had a portable DVD player with an absurdly small screen that my brother and I had to get really close to see.

There's not much else I can do...
At the time, I knew of death only as a kind of...abstract concept. I knew that life had to stop at some point, and I'd often referred to things as "dying" when I played games, but I don't think I really got the human impact of death, and what it can do to people.

My paternal grandfather's death didn't do much to change that. I didn't see the man very often, and he always seemed kind of grouchy and closed off when I did. It didn't help that the way I was informed of this was my parents just...telling me about it, after one of them (I don't remember which) had just gotten off the phone with another family member. My brother and I just went back to watching that special feature.

Belongs to Hilda.

It seems this month will be a quiet one around here. There aren't many knights around to liven things up.
Most of the knights are gone, seeking out the enemy.
Isn't that a bit much? I agree it's important, but is it a good idea to neglect the safety of the monastery?

It would be a shame if we were invaded.

A year and a half later, September 2006...my maternal grandfather passed away. I'm told he went peacefully in his sleep, watching the Oakland Athletics win a baseball game.

I was 10 years old by this point. This one...hit me a lot harder than my paternal grandfather's death. My maternal grandparents showed up at our house a lot more, and I'm told were a lot more involved in my early childhood—though, obviously, I don't remember much of that, so I can't attest to that. They were at our house for every Christmas morning. They were at all of mine and my brother's birthdays—including eventful ones like my 4th birthday, where I got my Nintendo 64, and Super Mario 64. They always got me games I really wanted for Christmas; they knew exactly what to get. (Probably because of my parents, but let's ignore that.)

Belongs to Annette.

All of that sounds trivial, but, well, I was a kid. A kid who closed herself off from most family because of her parents' abuse. Having grandparents who knew exactly what I wanted for Christmas was a godsend.

Unlike my paternal grandfather, my family drove up to my maternal grandfather's funeral services. I remember only the rosary. It was a Friday.

Belongs to Felix.

That's how I got through when I lost my parents. If you need help with anything, just come and see me. Eating and training are my specialties.
Near the altar at the rosary was...my grandfather. Lying in his coffin. He looked like he could've been asleep, but for the whole "not breathing" part...

I mean, Jeralt was so much stronger than me, but even he... That's enough. I can't dwell on the past. There's no way to know what my future holds, but I do know one thing.
Whatever happens, I have to make my own way in this world. I have to keep pushing so I can grow even stronger!
I...didn't know how to process that. He was right there. Why couldn't he be alive again? He was cool. His body was right there. Why couldn't he just come back? Why did he have to die? Why couldn't I ever get to see him again? Why would there always be an empty recliner in our living room on Christmas?

The knights are even now searching for our enemies' whereabouts. They are to report back the moment they find something. If you desire revenge, Professor...you can count me in.
That...that was when I learned that I didn't handle grief or death well. I broke down crying in front of my grandpa's coffin. I wanted him to come back. I didn't want there to be an emptiness in our house on holidays.

I was only 10 years old then, but I've found that grieving for the death of someone hasn't gotten easier for me as the years have gone by.

Thank you.

This month in Three Houses...and this interaction with Bernadetta specifically, made me sob. A lot. Jeralt wasn't an especially present figure in Abby's life, but...he wasthere. He was concerned for her safety, and trying his best to keep the both of them as safe as possible when he got conscripted back into the Knights of Seiros. Just the way that he talked to Abby showed a fatherly affection for her, which is more than I can say for, I dunno, Greil.

The cutscene where Kronya gets to cheat death because of Thales's apparent knowledge of Divine Pulse... It wasn't fair. Why did they get to overpower my power? Why did Jeralt have to die? It's not fair...

Then, obviously, I went into the exploration. Even just getting into the menu, the music—Broken Routine—made me cry harder. After I got over that and managed to pick up my controller again, I did...pretty much what I'm doing now. Going around, listening to all of the students offer their condolences and/or support.

I got to Bernadetta. I saw her out of her room—all the way on the other side of campus, no less. I talked to her, and she said what's right above there. I...sobbed again. I struggle with anxiety, much like Bernadetta, and I can't say there aren't a lot of days where I just want to be shut in my room and left alone, especially when I'm stuck in my parents' house, like I am, because even a year and a half after graduating, I still can't find a godsdamned entry-level software job that will take me. Even when something terrible happens, like a parent of someone you're close to dying, it can still be hard—or even harder than normal—to extend yourself and offer whatever support or condolences you can. You might stress out and worry that you'll screw up and everything will fall apart around you, even when you had the best of intentions.

Seeing Bernadetta push through all that and talk to Abby, and offer some flowers for Jeralt's grave, it... It's kind of the clearest example, to me, of the characters in Three Houses feeling more human than a lot of characters in other games, and even previous Fire Emblem games. It touched me.


What? This is no time for asking permission. I learned long ago that one can ask permission or forgiveness. It is rarely useful to request the former. Still, it appears the knights have already taken everything useful. There were Crest-related objects I thought might be worth studying, so—

That's about all I wanted to talk about with regards to this month's impact on me. I kinda spent a lot of emotional energy on doing that, heh.

We can't be sure who to trust anymore, can we? Who are these people, really? What do they want?

When the cold rain washes the body, when the bird and wolf announce the dawn... Receive them into your blue blood. Receive them into a twinkling star.

I pray that Jeralt is happy in the next world.
I'm not quite sure why, but seeing Cyril's prayer on this playthrough made me tear up a bit. I hadn't really reacted to it as much on previous playthroughs.

I know how heavily grief weighs upon one's heart... I lost my mother some time ago. It was... Forgive me my moment of weakness. Even all these years later, I cannot recall that time without feeling the pain as if it were brand new. Just know that I am praying for your mind and your heart to find peace.

Both Tomas and Monica have each gone missing at one time or another. It was reported that when Monica returned from her disappearance, she began to act like a completely different person. As if, perhaps, the real Monica had been killed and replaced by an impostor. Thinking of it like that, it is possible that this Solon had been impersonating Tomas for some time. How they managed such a convincing change of appearance, though, I still do not understand.

Belongs to Seteth.

The content warning is no longer in effect.

Another NPC added by DLC wave 3.

I'm not sure when this professor level experience book showed up.

That ring! I have seen it before...
Ah, I know! Jeralt showed that ring to you beside a grave... Do you recall?
He said he wished for you to have that ring one day. That means it's yours. He also said that you should gift that ring to someone special.
There's a variant of this conversation with Sothis for if you didn't talk to Jeralt in the graveyard a few months beforehand.
Huh. It is faded and quite hard to read, but there is something written on the bag... Are those Jeralt's initials? And there is one more set as well... Ah. Of course.
Unless I am mistaken, there is a custom by which two souls join their lives with vows and rings. Have you heard of such a thing?
This ring must be the one that Jeralt gave your mother...

Belongs to Manuela.

I'll listen.

It wasn't made of iron or steel because... Well, because whatever it was, the wound it left wasn't normal. Who could make a blade like that, do you figure?
It's been pretty clearly established that Those Who Slither in the Dark have access to some terrifying technology and/or magic. I'm not surprised their weapons would be made from a strange alloy.

Come to think of it, maybe it's made from the same Agarthium that Crescent Sickles and Devil weapons require for repairs...

Manuela and I can take on some of your workload this month. We can't do all the teaching, but at least we can lighten the load for you. I've always seen strength in your eyes. I know you'll recover.
You're a very strong person.
...Thank you, Hanneman. Genuinely.

Now more than ever do I understand how very lucky I am that you were able to save me.
Professor, I deeply appreciate what you have done. Thank you. If there is anything at all I can do in return, please tell me, OK?

How about a little logic, instead? The knights have spread out around Garreg Mach in search of Jeralt's murderers. Thus, the monastery's fighting strength is, for the moment at least, depleted. Perhaps that was the enemy's real objective. We should be prepared for further confrontation.
If you chose not to teach the Black Eagles, Hubert's dialogue here cuts off at the first text box. I'd been put off by him prior to this on my first playthrough, but that specifically made me dislike him intensely. I'm still not entirely comfortable with him, to be honest.

Can't be easy to trust anyone around this place once two people allowed inside it have ended up being body snatchers.

Another professor level experience book.

Belongs to Linhardt.

I unfortunately botched my time with Petra and Ferdinand in the sauna.

I then spent my last two activity points on dining.

Oh dear, that's a lot of supports.

♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Mm? Mmm, huh? What, is it morning already?
Morning is long gone. I said the lecture's finished.
If that's the case, I suppose I can sleep a bit longer...
No. You. Can. Not. Get up this instant!
Calm down... Calm down. I was having a wonderful dream...
Oh? What were you dreaming about?
I was dreaming about having the best afternoon nap of my life, and the dream I was having in the dream was amazing...
I thought as much. I have to ask. I'm pretty sure you could do anything you put your mind to, so why do you spend so much of your life sleeping?
I sleep because I'm tired. What other reason would I have?
No one can be that tired all the time.
Well, not all the time, no. Most nights, I'm quite wide awake. Sometimes I get distracted and forget to sleep. Usually, I sleep two days for every three I'm awake.
Are you kidding me?
No one sleeps for two days. That's beyond lazy. That's... There's not even a word for that!
I can't help it that my sleep schedule fails to line up with everyone else's.
After I did you the favor of waking you up, you could at least take this seriously.
Look, putting in effort is how you grow. You know, as a person and stuff. If you keep this up, you're going to end up just another hopeless dropout.
I'll be fine, Annette. I'll be just...fine...
Anyway, I'm pretty beat. Talk again soon.
Linhardt! I wasn't finished talking!

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Annette's being a bit of a jerk there.

Linhardt/Lysithea B.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

I know you're the one who sent me that "anonymous" letter. "There are things we must discuss..." Ugh, it sounded like some bizarre love letter.
What? No. Of course not. However, I wonder what you would have done if it was...
Now I'm just confused...and grossed out.
I'm sorry, but that is not the overall topic of discussion. Do pay attention.
Pay attention to you? As though anything you say is worth listening to. It's not like you can tell me anything I don't already know.
You don't have a very positive opinion of your Crests, do you? That's why you should listen to me.
I've dug through all my books, and there's no record of anyone being born with two Crests. You are, to be blunt, an impossible occurrence. For you to have a second Crest, it must have been forcibly implanted after birth.
Is that your theory, then?
Yes. It is. To further the theory, if the power exists to implant a Crest, then it must be possible to remove one too.
And that is the real issue at hand.
I... I could have one removed?
That's what Hanneman is working on understanding. I'm helping him with it.
Professor Hanneman...
Based on your reaction, it seems you want one of your Crests removed...
I don't think I'd give up having two Crests if I were you.

That's what you'd think? You're completely lacking in empathy, so of course you would make such a crass and foolish assumption.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

..."Die very, very young"...?

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

But what is she hiding?

Ah, Marianne. You're no bother at all. In fact, you've arrived at precisely the right time.
Huh? The right time...for what?
You have a Crest, don't you?
I-I don't—what are you saying?
If you hide it, that just makes it more interesting. You do have one.
I, um... Please don't tell anyone. You can't tell anyone I have a Crest. If people find out, then...
Please! My adoptive father told me to keep it a secret! And I personally don't want it known!
Who said I intended to tell anyone? Your secret is safe with me. I find it fascinating that you carry the Crest of the Erased Hero—
Please! Stop! Don't say another word!
No one should know about or even speak of my Crest. Nothing good comes of it. It's even the reason my parents disappeared.
This Crest only brings bad luck to anyone who comes near me.
Even you, Linhardt. You have to stay away.
Bad luck generated by the Crest? Now that would be a discovery well worth making. What manner of bad luck do you suppose might beset me?
No! You shouldn't be so cavalier about something you couldn't possibly understand!
I—I have to go.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

The Crest of the Erased Hero... Well, we're getting more clues as to why Marianne is so terrified and cagey about her Crest. A Crest with a name that ominous can only have a sordid history behind it.

Caspar/Dorothea B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Casually? I don't know what you mean.
I just feel like you're always asking me to do things that might make other people uncomfortable. Like when you asked me to clean your room.
You're not very flirty toward me like you are with the other guys. You seem weirdly comfortable around me.
You pay more attention than I would've thought. Hey, are you interested in me? You know, "interested" interested?
What? Uh, no! I—um. It just seemed weird and I was curious.
I'm kidding. It's true that I do find you quite a convenient little helper at times.
It's like you're...how to put it? You're like a little brother to me.
Ugh. Really? That's not exactly a compliment.
No, but it's true, and now that I've thought about it, I like the whole idea.
Why don't you try calling me "big sis" and see how it feels?
No, no. That's not gonna happen.
Why not?
I'm embarrassed just thinking about it.
Oh, come on. It's just a goof. You can manage it at least once, can't you? Please? I know! If you do it, I'll stop using you for my chores. How's that sound?
That's...an enticing offer. Fine. Once.

Well done, Caspar! You're such a cute little boy, I'm proud to have you as a sibling.
I'm not cute, and I'm not little! How would you feel if I made you call me "big bro"?
Oh? Well, I wouldn't mind that at all, big bro.
Is something wrong, "big bro"?
Aaargh! This is the worst.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Dorothea/Felix C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Hunh! Hah! Hyah!
Hello? Felix?

You can hear me. That's good. I was worried maybe your ears didn't work.
What do you want?
Oh, nothing... Nothing in particular, I mean. But now that I'm here, and now that you've asked... When you've finished up, do you think you'd like to join me in the dining hall for something sweet?
I'll pass. I don't like sweets.
Also, you're a nuisance. Stay away from me.
That's not a very nice way to talk to a classmate.
Anyway, you sound like you're shooing away a stray cat.
Shhh. Shut up.
I am not a stray cat, Felix, and I am not leaving until you take a moment to chat with me.
You are a pest. Fine—do what you will.
Oh, you better believe I am going to keep doing exactly what I will.
Hah! Hyuh! Hunh!
Hmm... Maybe instead of a sweet treat, we can get something spicy? Would you like that? I've heard the dining hall is serving a dish with some western spices in it. Mmm... Does that sound good, Felix? Would you like something spicy instead of sweet?
You're distracting me.
When I am hungry, I will eat. Alone. Stop squawking at me.
Well, since you asked so nicely, I'll leave you in peace. Good-bye, Felix!

♪ Broken Routine ♪

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

The other day? What are you talking about, Felix? Is this a trap?
You know...when I called you "insatiable."
Oh, that? Can't say it didn't hurt, but you have nothing to apologize for.
I mean, you've said worse, Felix.
Considerably worse.
Come on, we've known each other since we were kids. We're not going to let your constant verbal abuse get in the way of our friendship, are we?
No, I suppose not.
Whenever I started doing something dumb, you'd yell at me about it.
And whenever you dragged me into something, Ingrid would find out and start lecturing us.
All these years and not much has changed, has it?
But you're different, Felix. You used to be so, I don't know...carefree when we were young.
Now you're the exact opposite.

Again with the abuse! This from the guy who's always been by that good-for-nothing's side. So did you come to apologize or to insult me?
I was on my way to train and I saw you. That's all.
You're off to train? Again? Now who's insatiable?
Better than sitting idle like you.
A little idleness would do you some good, pal.
Come on. Let me buy you something to eat.
You have to choose, Felix. Our friendship, or your training.
My training. Good-bye for now.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Sylvain really doesn't let friendships go easily, does he? Even when they're with someone like Felix, who's grown into a self-isolating cynic, and for understandable (if not necessarily condonable) reasons.

Felix/Flayn C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Why are you here? You're interrupting.
Oh, uh— My apologies! I simply thought you were doing a great job...
Just how sharp is that blade of yours, Felix? Do you imagine you might be able to cut something cleanly with it?
Ah, wonderful! I have a special request for you, then.
You want me to cut this firewood?
I do. I shall toss them one by one to you, and you shall make a sweeping blow to slice them!
Sounds like a chore.
I saw a knight do it once, so surely you can as well.
Or perhaps you are worried that you are not capable.
What? I am more than capable.
Right! Show me what you are made of. Here it co—
Doing them one by one is tedious. Just throw them all at once.
All of them? If you insist! Here we go!

I know.
You are undoubtedly the most revered wood cutter in all the land. Now I am intrigued—next time, let us try an even larger wood pile!
Why did I agree to this?

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Well, that was cute.

Just...don't push yourself too hard too soon. It's OK to allow yourself to be sad right now. Losing someone dear to you... Well, each loss is unique, but it's a feeling I know very well. That said... Professor, I...

Aw, Gatekeeper... He cries in his voiced dialogue when he says the ellipses...

Even though you're scared, push through.

Well... That's all I can do for today. Time to move on.
♪ Learning Lesson ♪

I'd take the time to study the subject before teaching it.

♪ No music ♪

♪ Hope as a Melody ♪

Oh, yeah, I recruited Anna, because she comes with a free Large Bullion. If that annoys you, then I'm sorry.

How the heck do these Church of Seiros higher-ups keep being born on the same days as the saints? We skipped over it last month due to, well, you know why, but Seteth's birthday is 12/27. Coincidentally, Saint Cichol Day happens to fall on the same date. We also already saw Flayn's birthday coinciding with Saint Cethleann Day.
♪ Broken Routine ♪

Professor level A+. We now have 10 activity points when exploring, and most importantly, 3 activity points for battles. Spending our free days on battles is now a much more attractive option.

I also got Sword C+ for Abby.

Dining also got me another support rank.

Sylvain/Annette C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Sorry, Sylvain, but I'm trying to think right now. Could you keep quiet for a bit?
How can you stay focused reading a book that thick...with such small print? Is some of that text upside down?
If I use the formula in this line here, the magical energy should... No, that's not right...
You're even cuter when you're working through a difficult problem.
Sylvain, I'm serious! Please be quiet.
Hang on. Look at the third line. You've got the formula wrong.
I said be... Oh. You're right. How did you know that?
Well, I mean, it's written right there...
Most people wouldn't be able to grasp this formula just by glancing at it.
Have you read this book before?
Nope, this is the first time. OK, now that I look at it... Wow. This book makes things way more complicated than they need to be.
Hmm... And what's your take on this part here?
It's just describing another application for the same formula. Ha! This is pretty easy!
You know...you're actually kind of amazing. I've been studying magic for a while now, but even I have trouble with this stuff.
You act like all you do is mess around, but are you actually working really hard in secret?

Life is short, Annette. If you waste it working hard, it'll be over before you know it. Get out in the world. Have some fun!
That's easy for you to say. You're strong and smart without even trying. It's not fair.
Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be rude.
No, I was just thinking you're pretty cute when you're sulking. You know that?
What is wrong with you?
Hey, uh, I just got lucky with that stuff in the book. I'd normally never be able to outsmart you. Anyway... I'm gonna get out of here and leave you to it.

Got lucky, huh? I'm not so sure about that.
Well, that does it. It might be tough, but I won't accept second place. Let's go, me! I can do this! I'm going to finish this whole book before sundown!

♪ Broken Routine ♪

That's the spirit, Annette. Just don't get too jealous.

Moving on.
♪ Learning Lesson ♪

Welp, Lysithea's now even more ridiculous. She only has 1 Warp charge when she's not in Bishop or Gremory, but even one use of free positioning is still super valuable.
♪ Broken Routine ♪

Gah, I forgot to harvest last week.

I spent my stored-up stat boosters. Ferdinand's got a good supply of Spd for a cavalry unit, but he's a little behind on Str for my liking. Meanwhile, once Bernadetta's able to double most enemy units, she'll be absolutely unstoppable, so she gets a Speed Carrot.

More supports? More supports.

Abby/Hilda B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Everyone focuses on training without even needing to be told.

You won't protect your friends?
Of course I'll try to protect them, but... I don't understand why anyone would want to risk their life for someone else. When you die, no matter how you died, it's over.
To me, it's more important to enjoy life. We only live once, after all.

I'm not sure.
Well, no matter what people may think, I'm going to keep being me.
So, in our next battle, I'll support everyone from the sidelines!
Abby shakes her head.
Aw, come on! Please?
How about I do something for you, as a way of saying thanks?
Oh, I know! I'll let you join me for dinner in the city!
Two pretty ladies strolling around town... I'm sure someone will treat us.
If we were playing as Adan, Hilda would say this.
Everyone would be jealous, you know. They'd all love to spend time with me.
OK, OK! Just think on it.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

So Hilda only wants to do work that's absolutely necessary for keeping her life going, so she can continue to have fun... I see.

Abby/Cyril B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Oh darn. There's trash over there.

Hard at work, I see.
Hey, Professor! The cathedral's a real important place for the Church of Seiros, so I always make sure it's all sparkling clean. The monks do some cleaning too, and they tell me not to bother—and sometimes they even say to go away—but they just don't clean as good as I do.

Are you a believer?
Nah, not really. And Lady Rhea told me it's OK if I don't show an interest unless I feel like it, and I haven't so far, but... I just wanna take good care of the things she cares about.
If there's a thing she wants taken care of, then I'll do it better than anyone else.

It's hard to find the time...
Maybe you don't realize how great a person Lady Rhea is. She's always praying hard as she can for her followers all across Fódlan. She does it every single day! And even though she's always so busy, she tries to listen to as many people's needs as she can.

She's so kind.

I think it's about more than kindness.
Hang on! You trying to say ya know more about Lady Rhea than I do?
OK, maybe she likes ya more than she likes me...
But I know that I know a whole lot more about her than you do.

I wasn't, though...
Huh? Well, just as long as we're all clear on that.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

I'd say "geez, Cyril, calm down," but I suppose I can see why he's like this.

Moving on.

Come next break day, I opt to clean out my quest backlog. Roll the important bits.


Bernadetta is an unstoppable death machine now.

Str, Felix. Str.

Bah, garbage. That's her first garbage level in a while.

HP, Spd, and Def? Throw some Str in there and I would've considered that a perfect level.

Speedy Ferdie. Get more Str, though.

Alright, Flayn! That's what I like to see.

I swear to god, my Annettes, no matter the playthrough, are cursed with eternal 2 stat levels.


Good! She's like a lesser Bernie.

That'll help her with dishing out one, and only one, big magic hit per round of combat.


Ooh, that's bad too.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Tactics ♪

They're in a place called the Sealed Forest, close to the monastery. The archbishop is gathering the knights to begin a search.

Why in secret?
She must be afraid that a thirst for revenge will compel you to seek them out. Now that you know, will you give us the order?

This discovery comes just when the knights are at their busiest. It is all too likely that our foes revealed themselves to lure you out there.

You can't stop me.
Please, Professor. Do not act carelessly. I ask that you leave this to us.
Losing you so soon after losing Jeralt would be unbearable.
Lady Rhea, our professor is not acting out of revenge. Sending us out there is the most strategic move we can make. You can't deny it. Most of the knights are still far away. Not only does our professor wield a Hero's Relic, but there is no one here who is more powerful. Seteth and the few remaining knights can't leave the monastery unattended. We have fought under our teacher's command countless times. We are the most effective army here, and we are already prepared for battle. We have no idea what the enemy is plotting. We must act now!
Professor... Do you agree with this strategy?
Abby nods.
Understood. I will give you the order. Destroy the enemy that is hiding in the Sealed Forest... You have the protection of the goddess on your side. Whatever happens, you shall overcome.
Let's go, my teacher. Whatever happens, do not lose your conviction out there.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

I got Ingrid to pass the certification exam for Wyvern Rider. She doesn't change into it yet, though, since she still needs to get Darting Blow from Pegasus Knight.

Let's close out with supports.

Edelgard/Hubert B.
♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

After all, I was only four years old when we first met.
From your perfect memory, Lady Edelgard, I expect nothing short of the utmost precision. Do go on.
Please don't mock me with such frivolous praise. I can hardly recall that day.
Forgive me.
I suppose I must have been six at the time. I have no recollection of it. My earliest memory of you is of when you were injured. I recall being scolded most sternly by my father. "You are Lady Edelgard's servant!" he said. "You must protect her with your life!"
I had no idea. But House Vestra has served House Hresvelg for generations... Given that, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
Indeed. After that, I made certain to accompany you wherever you went. That is, until...the incident.
Ah, when my uncle, Lord Arundel, defected to the Kingdom and took me with him.
The sensation of loss that overcame me on that day defies all description. It was as horrific as if I'd lost all my limbs. I left the city in a mad rush to rescue you. My father sent soldiers to capture me. I fought them off for three days, but they did finally manage it. Of course, I was only ten. I never would've reached Fhirdiad.
I've never heard that story before. So there are things you've never told me.
It wasn't important.
That's beside the point. I wish to know these things. If there's anything else you're keeping from me, please tell me at once.
Respectfully, I decline.
Why? It's a simple order. I really must kn—
Speaking of your orders, there was a task you gave me earlier which I have yet to carry out. Excuse me.

Wait just a moment!
I just hope he's not hiding anything too worrisome...

♪ Broken Routine ♪

I don't get Hubert. I really don't.

Hubert/Bernadetta C+.
♪ A Dark Sign ♪

I just, um... I wanted to thank you.
For the other day. You know, when I...fainted. Thank you for carrying me back to my room.
That was nothing. It saved me effort in the long run. Leaving you there would have just caused even more trouble.
I guess that's true. Well, thanks. There, I said it, and now I'm going.
Is this why you have been circling me like a vulture for the last several hours?
Uh, vulture's a bit... Well, yes.
Yet you would have fled if I'd approached. It seems you will avoid me at almost any cost.
Um... Well, that's...
You don't need to say it. I know. I'm frightening.
I'm told so often.
Ah! Please don't laugh like that!
Apologies. I will be mindful not to laugh in your presence from now on.
Ah! The grin of death itself! T-terrifying...
You think so?
Oh no. Now you're angry too!
Hardly. I'm sorry to have frightened you.
No you're not. It's a trick! You're lulling me into a false sense of security!

She's a lost cause.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Can't say I don't sympathize with Bernadetta there. Hubert's exactly the kind of person who'd cause my anxiety to spike.

Ferdinand/Flayn C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

It seems to be coming from the training area... What could it be?

Aha! Yes, that is the smell, all right!
I am simply doing some armor maintenance. A little oil keeps the rust at bay, ensuring that the armor moves smoothly, without any hitches.
I see. I thought maybe you were doing some cooking—you smell a bit like food. But I suppose that is the oil tricking my nose.
I would not cook in the training area. Are you hungry, by chance?
Not really, no... But is that oil not also used for cooking?
For things like frying meat or drizzling over a nice, crisp salad. Things of that nature?
Were I to coat my armor in oil that smells of food, I would be distracted by hunger at all times!
I doubt that amidst actual fighting, the smell would still make you hungry.
When you are in the thick of it, you devote all your focus and energy to the fight. There is no time to feel peckish.
I suppose you are right.
And actually... All of this talk of delicious oil has made me hungry!
In that case, I will accompany you to the dining hall. I will be finished in a couple of minutes...
I must apologize, Ferdinand, but I cannot wait even a moment for you. I am famished!
I shall be in the dining hall, getting my fill of fried goodies!

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Flayn's a regular gourmet, huh?

Caspar/Bernadetta B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Well, well. If it isn't Bernadetta! What brings you here?
Am I bothering you? I'm sorry! I didn't mean to! I'll come back another time!
Don't leave yet, you just got here. Was there something you wanted to talk about?
Uh... Yes... Do you remember that time in town?
In town? Oh! You mean when all those thieves showed up. That was rough. I heard a bunch of people got robbed.
N-no, not that! I mean the time I was...carried off.
Some thieves tried to carry you off?!
Horrible! Absolutely horrible! Just tell me which way they went. I'm gonna—
That's not what I mean! Oh, just forget it.
Wait! Don't go! What are you trying to ask me?
Will you really listen this time?!
Of course. Sorry. You have my full attention.
Do you remember when you carried me to that spot with the really pretty view? Where is that place? I've been looking all over.
The place I took you with the view? Oh! Right! OK, first you go out the monastery and— Actually, it's kinda tricky to explain.
C'mon, I'll just take you there again. But pay attention this time.

Aaah! Stop! Put me down!

♪ Broken Routine ♪

Was carrying her really necessary, Caspar?

Lastly, Felix/Annette C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

♪Oh, this mountain of sweets, and treats that I long to eats... Oh, stacks of steaks and cakes and crumbs and yums...♪

I hope I'm not interrupting.
Felix! You weren't listening, were you?
I heard enough to know that you're hungry.
No! I mean... Well, yes. At least tell me you didn't see the dance?
You have nice footwork. Get something to eat. I can take over watering the plants.

And you're shouting.
You can't just spy on people while they're singing without even saying anything! It's not right!
I actually did call out that I was coming in. It's not my fault you didn't hear.
Well... You need to speak louder, then! Ugh, this is so embarrassing...
And of course I was singing some silly food song I made up. I should have been singing about...bears! Or swamp beasties!
I didn't realize there were songs about bears and swamp beasties.
That food song seemed to be close to your heart. Your stomach isn't far from your heart, after all.
Oh, you are the worst!

Huh. What was that about?
I better water these plants. Wouldn't want them to get thirsty, or they might start singing too.

♪ Broken Routine ♪

I admire Annette's singing and improvisation. The most I can do is badly sing Sonic Boom (the opening song for the US version of Sonic CD) from memory, and some bits of Dragonsong from Final Fantasy XIV.

Well, that's that for now. Next time: we take revenge.

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