Update 72: Fatebreaker

I appear to have skipped over the art for this month's intro. Sorry. Here's the text.
Having repelled the Imperial vanguard, the Alliance army requests reinforcements from Judith, head of House Daphnel—the governing body in the northwestern regions of Alliance territory.
♪ Funny Footsteps ♪

Ya eat too much anyways, Raphael. Supplies are running low, so you're just gonna have to deal with it.
You've always been so level-headed, Cyril. Now that you've grown up, you're even more that way.
Maybe it's just that the rest of you haven't grown enough. You could work harder at being reliable.
I can't grow if I can't eat!

Mr. Leader Man has called a meeting about it. Hurry up, everyone!

♪ Golden Deer and Crescent Moon ♪

She's gonna give us food?! She really is a hero!
Maybe Raphael will simmer down now.
Now, regarding where we're going to receive the delivery...

Openly marshaling soldiers within my territory could provoke other members of the Alliance. Therefore, I will secretly gather troops in Ailell, the Valley of Torment. Will your group be able to receive the soldiers at this location? From there, it should be safe to return to the monastery by following the border between the Alliance and the Kingdom.
Ailell, the Valley of Torment...
Ailell is on the border between Daphnel territory and the Kingdom. It'll make sense when we get there, but it's a peculiar region.
I recall there being a scary legend about it...
In any case, if we use that valley, we shouldn't have to worry about being noticed by other Alliance lords.

Kinda sad we don't get to sucker-punch this prick.

♪ No music ♪

Adan/Hapi A.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

What about?
I heard that you've been telling people not to worry so much about my condition. Is that a fact?
No need to be coy. Thanks for doing that. But I do have one minor concern...
You said that I haven't sighed in five years?! What the heck is that about? Everyone's calling me "Half-Decade Hapi" now!

No, I asked around.
You asked around?! That's such a weird thing to do. I'm fighting the urge to sigh right now! Seriously?! You think that's OK?
I thought I was helping...
Well, the nickname's bogus. I have absolutely sighed in the last five years.
You wouldn't believe what a hassle it was. Monsters rampaging willy-nilly through Abyss.
There were soldiers there to fight them off, so no one got hurt, but it was a close call. Thanks to some help from the people underground, no one got hurt, but it was a close call.
Maybe if you had been there, it wouldn't have been so much trouble.
Yes, you. You've got the Sword of the Creator. That thing can chop through monsters like nothing.
Is that all?
Are you fishing for compliments now? Fine. You're a good leader. You watch out for all of us. Even when the rest of the world turns and hides from me, I know you've got my back.
That's true.
You make me feel safe. Like I can be myself. Like I don't have to worry so much about keeping my emotions in check.
I felt pretty sad all that time you were gone. I could've left Garreg Mach altogether. But then I started thinking...you might still be alive, after all. So I went looking for you. Back to where you'd fallen and all.
You really care about me, huh?
Ugh! Forget I said anything. Look at me getting all mushy and sincere.
How embarrassing. Let's just go back to earlier when I was giving you a hard time.
Don't be embarrassed.
Hey, I can feel embarrassed if I want to! I can feel however I wanna feel!
Whoa. Did I really just say that?

♪ No music ♪

Gods I love Hapi.
♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

She's more like a goddess than the goddess is!
She is very much like a goddess.
I never met her, so I don't know for sure, but she must be beautiful and kind.

I hear there are still quarrels within the Alliance... This generous offer of soldiers and supplies seems a little too good to be true. I mean, it's also really impressive, but I'm just a little worried, I suppose...

Is there something you'd rather be called?
Call me by my name.
Oh? All right, then. I'll call you—ugh. Nope! Sorry, can't do it. Too weird.

Feels like I'm digging myself deeper and deeper in debt to the Hero of Daphnel, but what do you do? It's all been worth it.
After all, we need the Daphnel army for our next move.
It's possible we'll have to deal with our enemy sooner than later. Be prepared, Teach.

In other words, the Empire can choose to invade the Alliance whenever they wish. I want you to understand that my father does not support the Empire to antagonize House Riegan. He does it to deprive them of an easy excuse to cross that bridge.

Never shirk your training, no matter what. To practice, I'm going to chop something up with my sword. Unless you'd like to train together! Care to spar?

Anna's shop opening up is always fun. I've even got enough gold to buy all of the stat boosters without it impacting my ability to buy equipment!

Let it never be said that I didn't make an effort to make Ignatz usable.

More, more!

As this war with the Empire continues, we'll see more of it, Professor. We have a duty to fight alongside our former students. We taught them how to fight, after all. Now, let's help them win!

It's exciting! I wonder what the landscape is like.
It sounds painful.
Hm, that is an interesting point... The name does seem to suggest that.

Leonie/Seteth C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Hello, Leonie. I imagine you are here to fish?
Yeah, this is a great spot for it. You must be a pretty experienced fisherman, huh?
Actually, while I have enjoyed the hobby for a long while, I must admit I am less than proficient.
Now that you mention it, I can see you're not having much luck today.
It is likely because I am not using any bait.
Well, that explains it! But why bother fishing at all, if you're not even trying to catch something?
Truthfully, I fish only so that I might relax. It is soothing to me, to cast the line and watch the water ripple... My days are busy, even hectic. It helps to find peace and quiet every so often.
Oh, that makes sense. Still, if you're going to go to all the trouble, you may as well actually bait the line.
Maybe so. But, to my chagrin, I do not even know what type of bait to use.
I learned to fish by accompanying my wife. She was always the one to bait the hooks. She would hand me the rod, and I would cast my line. I never paid attention to how the rest was done.
Ah. And your wife, where is she now?
She passed away, quite some time ago. Since then, I have only to fish on my own.
Even so, I...I find peace out here. Bait or no bait. And what about you? Why do you fish?
Me? Just for the fish, actually.
For me it's purely practical. Catch a bite now, one less meal to worry about later. Hunting, fishing...whatever it takes to get by. That's how I've always done it. I'm not exactly starving right now, but back then, if I couldn't catch something, I'd go hungry. So getting the hang of it was pretty vital.
I would certainly say so. I imagine it is intensely satisfying to catch a fish when the need is so great.
Probably, yeah. The need makes it more purposeful. But hey, if you ever want to try fishing for real, I'd be happy to share my bait with you.
And if you catch something, I'll cook it up nicely for you. How's that for motivation?
Oh? Are you a skilled chef also?
Can't promise it'll be fancy, but it'll taste good.
Impressive. Wouldn't you know it, I am suddenly overcome with the urge to excel.
Great! Let's get started!

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

I find it amusing that there's quite a few support scenes in this game that all focus on fishing.
♪ The Forgotten ♪

Remember that battle five years ago? Oh... Um, I'm guessing you do. Anyway, remember that knight who watched over Abyss with me for a while? He said he was going to check on things up top but that he'd return. Thing is...I haven't seen him since. Lots of knights have returned, but not him. I hope he's safe...

Surely, such an uneventful journey won't require my presence.
I'll need you with us.
You will? Then...I shall don my marching boots.
Though I would ask that we at least consider marching only under cover of night.

These days, people call her a hero. Back then, I just called her a catch and a half.
How long ago did you know her?
Quite a while. I was a kid back then, but she caught my eye when she came to one of the Alliance dances. She was the second loveliest lady in all of Fódlan. Who's the first, you ask? Heh, that's my little secret...
...The first is Claude's mom, huh?

Any movement about their borders, and the lords of the Kingdom will react swiftly. Don't underestimate them. Keep your focus on a positive outcome. There's a lot to gain and a lot to lose.
Wow, I think Yuri and Annette are the only people to recognize the possibility of an ambush at Ailell.

You know, I've always wanted to see the world. That's why I left my village. And here I am, traveling to all these interesting new places...to kill people. Not what I had in mind.
Maybe I'll find some time to admire the scenery. Though people might get mad I'm not taking this silly war seriously...
Oops, that was close. Almost sighed.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Adan/Yuri A.
♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

Am I interrupting?
Nah, just wrapped up what I was doing. Need something, friend?
Is that what you just wrapped up?
Oh, you mean this... I use it to write down the names of everyone I've lost over the years. We lost a lot of lives back in the war. Some of them were only with me a little while. Some of them were family to me.
Why do you write down their names?
Somewhere along the way, I figured I should record the names of those I've lost. The ones I failed to protect... There's nothing we can do for the dead—not in this world. Not really, anyway. And it's not like we know what happens after. So writing their names down here, that's all just for me...for the one who's still around. After all, they deserve to be remembered. Even if they're not here to see it.

I can see why you might do that.
Heh. If you can see why I'd do that, then that's something, I guess.
Well, anyway. Make of my notebook what you will. It doesn't matter much to me.
If you go before I do, I'll make sure to add you in here as well.
It's not as though I'm one of "your people..."
You may not be one of my people, per se... At this point, I do have to admit that I...I can count on you.
I kinda get the sense that if I hang around you, that dream I've been grasping for will become all the more real. So do me a favor and don't go dying on me, OK?
Same to you.
It'd take a lot to get rid of me. I was born under a particularly lucky star.
Hmm, cat got your tongue? Looks like you want to say something but don't know how.
So much talk of names, and yet I don't know yours...
That again? You don't give up easy, do you?
All right, all right. I'll toss you a bone. My name's not actually my name.
But it's the one I'm enrolled with here at the academy. The one I've hung on to as the adoptee of House Rowe. Come to think of it, the last I heard someone use my real name was...a very long time ago, from my mom. Who knows? Maybe someday I'll tell you.
Perhaps if you decide to pursue that dream alongside me, you'll find out.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

And then it was time for Ambush at Ailell! Not much happened this month.
♪ No music ♪

Don't be a wimp! Anything's worth it for more food supplies.
Move over, Raphael. Somehow you make the heat even worse.
Let's stay calm, everyone. Once we meet up with Judith's soldiers, we can go right back home.
Oh, I finally remembered! The legend goes that this valley was born from the wrath of the goddess... They say a pillar of light poured from the heavens and completely burned away the forest that used to be here...
So you're telling me the goddess, who is supposed to be benevolent, burned a forest to a crisp? Typical.
That's what the legend would have us believe. But it's not recorded in any of the scriptures...
Either it's completely made up, or the goddess is some kind of monster.
Huh? Is that...
The time for idle chatter is over, Claude. Look over there.
Ah, has someone come to greet us?

♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

They joined the Empire's side without hesitation during the coup. And now here they are, lying in wait for us.
House Rowe is mediocre and vulgar, but I hear their knights are powerful.
What about the Daphnel soldiers? You don't think...
We need to break through their ranks.
We've already been spotted, so there's no time to come up with a brilliant plan.
Everyone, prepare for battle! I leave the command in your capable hands, my friend.

Who's ready for levels? And a slight bit of different stuff this time!
♪ Chasing Daybreak ♪

That Str is not gonna be enough, especially not at level 27.

Hey, my boy, how've you been?
♪ Paths That Will Never Cross ♪

But this is how it has to be. There's no turning back.

♪ Chasing Daybreak ♪

Hello there!

So, there's three instances of former students defecting to enemy armies across all of the different paths.
To recruit both Ashe and Lorenz, you need to have recruited them in Part 1. If you did, then you'll be presented with the prompt I've been given just now. They also always defect, regardless of what happened during Part 1.

Lysithea is...different. She doesn't defect if you recruited her in Part 1, so her showing up as an enemy is purely a chance to recruit a new unit, somewhat similarly to old Fire Emblems, I suppose. Unlike recruitment in Part 1, acquiring her this way will result in her arriving at level 29, with pre-set stats, skill ranks, and abilities. I'll discuss the details and tactical implications of this more when we actually get to that point, though, I'd rather not go off on a tangent about it in a completely different route.

Anyway, I don't think I really need to tell you what choice I made, you can just see for yourself.

I'll...I'll do it. I'll join your side. Let me fight for you.
Ashe doesn't actually join us for this map, but he'll be available for deployment starting next month. Welcome back, my boy.

Magnificent work, Yuri.

You, not so much.

Eh, damage stat.

"Marginally" is correct.

Yep, that sure is Seteth.

Where were levels like this earlier, Claude, you dope? Your Str and Mag are still within 8 points of each other! How are you managing to maintain that?!

Man, Hilda is terrifying right now. 30 Str and 27 Spd (these include class bonuses) at level 28.

I don't think Hapi's speed is recoverable, but her Mag is acceptable.

Damage stat.

I guess I can't be too annoyed at Yuri getting all of his defensive stats at once.

Petra's not quite as scary as Hilda, but she's still turning out quite well!

Oh, the Hero of Daphnel is here! I'll expect more from her than the young ones...

Similar situation to the Silver Snow version of the map. The only real difference here is that, if you want to get the energy drop from Judith, you need to have Claude talk to her, not Adan.

Slower than our other fliers, but still packs a decent punch!

Every Linhardt level makes me sad. I wish he was a better unit. Or that male units could become gremories.

Hey, look, I managed to talk to Judith this time!

Sorry, Judith. Looks like I let that rat get away.
Hey, don't worry. And here, you should have this. Perhaps it will come in handy.


I'm gonna end up saying "damage stat" a lot with our slower units.

Anyway, now that we have Yuri on our team, I should note that he has two sets of battle lines here! One for Ashe, and one for Gwendal.
Do you truly intend to forfeit your life for House Rowe? There's still time to change your mind.
I finally understand Lonato. He knew the price of standing for his beliefs...and he paid it gladly.
I will do the same!
I like you—don't be an idiot. Or maybe I'll just have to smack some sense into you.
So. You've chosen to turn your blade against the count. Heh. Never thought I'd see the day, mongrel.
And yet you are seeing it, aren't you? Say what you will. I know your true feelings for me. Sure, you watched my back by order of the count. But you cared too. You were the only one who treated me as an equal.
That is all in the past. This is no time for misplaced sentimentality. I must do what I came here to do.
If you're confused, take a moment to remember these lines from the first chapter of Cindered Shadows:
I know you... You're the one Lord Lonato adopted. Isn't that right?
That's right. Wait... I recognize you too! You're Count Rowe's adopted son! I don't know how you ended up here, but your house is no doubt worried sick! Let's get you home, OK?
You really think I'd choose to go back there? Haha! Better watch yourself—you might lose a limb...or your life.
It shouldn't be surprising that Yuri, adopted son of Count Rowe, has history with one of Rowe's trusted generals.
♪ No music ♪

It's time to gather ourselves and pull back our troops.

♪ Beneath the Banner ♪

We're lucky we all made it out alive.
I can see why they call you a hero.
Well, that's ancient history. Anyway, long time no see, Professor! Are you still watching this boy's back?
Can you quit calling me a boy in front of everyone? I'm the leader of the Alliance now. It's not proper—
Not proper, is it? Says the leader who has neglected Alliance territory for years. If you're really the "Master Tactician," you should go back to working quietly at whatever little desk you do your planning on.
Ugh, don't call me that either. Who even came up with that nickname?
It's a perfect title for a boy who loves crafty schemes as much as you do.
You should be grateful to the professor. On your own, you'd look like a scoundrel of a leader.
Haha! Claude's usually so flippant, but even he gets overwhelmed when Judith is around!
As expected from the leader of the prestigious House Daphnel. Her dignity is beyond compare, even if she is no longer one of the Five Great Lords.
The Five Great Lords?
The five most influential lords of the Leicester Alliance. They hold the voting rights at the roundtable conferences. House Daphnel used to be included among their ranks, but division from within has hastened their decline. Their vote has since been passed to the emerging Margrave Edmund.
Thanks for the exposition, Gloucester boy.
Boy?! I will not—
Now, to business. There were some unexpected interruptions, but I've brought soldiers and supplies, as promised.
Thanks, Judith. I'll gladly take them off your hands...
Hold your horses, boy. You're misunderstanding. These soldiers are precious to me. I made them what they are. I'm not about to loan them out to someone.
No? Then why did you come here?!
What I'm saying is that I'll be joining your army.
You're going to fight the Empire with the Knights of Seiros, right? Fight for Lady Rhea? Not without me.
That's admirable and all, but we still don't know for sure if Rhea is in the—
Oh, she's there. A witness saw Lady Rhea being dragged off by the Imperial army after the battle five years ago.
Are you sure your source is reliable?!
One of my own saw it happen. I'm certain.
It seems we chose wisely when we decided to fight against the Empire.
But you're the leader of House Daphnel. Is it OK for you to leave your territory unattended?
And what about you? Is it OK for you to leave the Riegan territory unattended?
That's... I've left it in the hands of a reliable retainer and—
And I've asked that retainer to watch over Daphnel territory as well.
Wait, wait, wait... You just up and decided to get my retainer to do that without even asking me? No respect, this one...
What retainer?
Oh? You haven't met him yet, Professor? His name is Nardel.
He strikes me as a really special individual. And he's quite handsome too!
So that's your definition of handsome?
No objections, then? Good. That settles it. House Daphnel is now yours to command.
I'm sure you'd come along even if I refused. So be it. We'll be counting on you, Judith.

♪ Golden Deer and Crescent Moon ♪

Hmph. I'm sorry it couldn't be more.
No, it's enough for the time being. We'll use them to secure even more troops and supplies.
How so?
The key to my plan is Count Gloucester, the leader of the pro-Empire faction in the Alliance.
You intend to sway my father to join the other side?
If Count Gloucester were to switch to the other side, that would basically unify the Alliance. Then we could utilize our full military force in the fight against the Empire.
You don't mean to ask me to persuade him, do you? That would be...quite impossible.
In other words, Claude will have to persuade him?
I don't plan on it. We'll just take his concerns out of the equation. The Airmid River flows along the border between Gloucester territory and the Empire, right? Of all the bridges that cross it, the Great Bridge of Myrddin is the only one near Gloucester territory large enough for an army. Currently, the Imperial army occupies it.
So, if we were to capture the bridge...
Count Gloucester would be freed from the threat of the Empire. Thanks to us.
But we have to pass through Gloucester territory to reach the Great Bridge of Myrddin, do we not?
Yes. And if we attempted it, naturally he would try to stop us.
I am sorry, but I must ask. Surely you do not plan to engage in combat with my father?
Don't worry. I want him as a future ally. What good would it do to waste both of our forces fighting?
I take it you have a scheme?
Who do you think you're talking to, Teach? Preparations are in the works even now.
So the Master Tactician is finally going to show us his true power. I'm looking forward to it!
I'll do my best to live up to that name by making my scheme as impressive as possible.

Apologies for the short update, but I feel that combining two months' worth of stuff into one update would be too much, regardless of how short the first part is.

Next time: The Great Bridge of Myrddin, Special Pikachu Edition.

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