Update 74: Wow! President Big Number!

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Welcome back. Today, all of this.

Claude/Marianne B.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

I'm not sure what you mean.
Asking you about your family like that was pretty insensitive of me. No matter how curious I am, that's no way to treat someone. I'm sorry.
Oh, no. You weren't being insensitive, I just didn't want to talk about it.
I don't spend much time talking about myself. Not to people, anyway.
If not people...then with who? Unpeople? Nonpeople?
Well, yes. I'm much more comfortable talking to anyone who isn't a person.
I was actually joking, but...now I'm mystified. Who is it you like to talk to?
Dorte the horse.
Ah, of course! Good ol' Dorte. And does he understand what you tell him?
We understand each other. He tells me when he's sleepy, or when his stomach hurts, or if his nose itches.
Sounds like a complainer, that Dorte. But let's table this fascinating discussion for just a moment.
Now that we've gotten in some small talk, I'd like to know what you're hiding. You are hiding something, right? Your lineage, perhaps?
If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. If it's all just idle gossip, that's fine too. But if it's something silly like, "my ancestors were cursed, therefore I'm cursed," you should know that I won't accept that nonsense. That sort of thinking is stupid, and that's all there is to it. Say your ancestors were thieves. Does that make you a thief, even if you've never stolen a thing? Of course not.
But people have burdens to bear from the moment they're born.
My burdens are so big that I...I'm sorry. I can't discuss this anymore.

People certainly are born with burdens... She's right about that.
But, Marianne... Don't you know that you can choose not to carry them?

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Claude/Petra B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

The training equipment needed maintenance, so I thought I'd give it a good cleaning and some oil.
Why is that for you to do?
If you intend to use something a lot, it's on you to take good care of it.
You are a noble who does not have fear of working with hardness or becoming dirty. And you can climb trees. I am...impressed.
Thanks, but to be honest, I don't think being a noble really has anything to do with anything.
Nobles and commoners are all equal here. We're all buddies. Even you do chores, don't you? Social rank doesn't matter when you put your life in each other's hands. I like that about this place.
I have your same opinion. Status is something chosen by chance, not by a person.
Everything became different when I came from Brigid to the Empire. Nobility does not stop life from surprising you.
I know just what you mean.
It's not like the ancestors of the nobility or royalty were selected by the goddess herself, after all. What does origin or status matter? In the grand scheme of things, we're all just insignificant mortals. Nobility isn't a matter of birthright alone. At least, not in my eyes.
Claude, you are...very much strange for a noble.
Thanks, and same to you. You're a princess of Brigid, right? If I'm a strange noble, you are too!
I am normal in Brigid. In Fódlan, you are an...abnormality.
Ha! An abnormality, am I? Gentleman that I am, I'll go ahead and take that as a compliment.
I think also that your heart is kind. I am thinking you will be a good king.
I'll remember that. But for now, this equipment isn't going to clean itself.
I will be helping you. We will join together our efforts.
You're an abnormality, Princess. A wonderful abnormality.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Claude/Flayn C.
♪ Spiderweb ♪

Oh, I was just hoping for general reading that might illustrate the lives of city dwellers.
Right. Well, there should be regional records somewhere around here...
I haven't need of official records or anything of the like. Just some light reading on the subject.
Light reading? What do you mean by that?
Oh, you know, books that cover things like what types of activities young people enjoy—how they spend their free time. Popular fashions and trends—things of that sort. And even, perhaps...stories about romance.
Ah. I see what you're getting at. Try asking a traveling merchant. I hear they keep stock of, uh, books like that. As for here, I don't think you're going to find much aside from a bunch of stuffy records. We do get new books donated on a fairly regular basis, but then Seteth... Well, you know.
My brother? I am afraid I do not follow.
Apparently he directly approves every book before it's allowed to grace these shelves. You know, to make sure nothing "inappropriate" gets through.
I see... I did not realize he had a hand in such things. Well, I suppose it really is no use searching here.
Why were you looking for those sorts of books anyway?
Well, truth be told, I am not particularly well versed in the ways of ordinary people. Seteth never taught me of such things, and he strictly forbade me from spending much time out and about on my own.
I had a feeling that might be the case. Sounds like Seteth.
I understand and appreciate that he acted from a place of concern, of course.
Without a doubt. It's obvious that you're his whole world, for better or worse. Without a doubt. It's obvious that you're his whole world, for better or worse. Without a doubt. It was always obvious that you were his whole world, for better or worse. By the way, I've been wondering. Are you two from a noble family?
You've clearly had a rather high-class upbringing, and both of you have Crests. That can only mean you come from a prominent bloodline, right?
Of course not! No, no. Y-you are mistaken.
So...your refined way of speaking isn't because of your upbringing?
I was not aware that my speech differed so greatly from my companions. Do I really sound so...formal to you?
Well... Look, don't worry too much about it. I'm probably just overthinking things. Probably...

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

I guess it's not surprising that Flayn would want to read up on the romantic ways of modern people, given how long she was sleeping for.

Lorenz/Marianne A.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

Would you permit me to offer you tea, as a token of my gratitude?
Um, I'm a little busy right now. Maybe later tonight?
Of course. I will look forward to it.

Certainly! Thank you for coming. And please, relax. This is no formal occasion.
Oh! This tea tastes so good!
Doesn't it just? This is my absolute favorite. I'm pleased you like it.
This pastry may suit your palate also. It is commonly paired with this tea, in my homeland.
Ah, it's sweet. It complements the astringency of the tea.
You have exquisite taste! And there is plenty more where that came from. We simply must do this again.
You want to spend more time with me?
Well, that's... Actually, there's something I need to say.
Yes? What is it?
I've been keeping this from you for a while. It's... It's about my Crest. It's just terrible. I—
Please, that's quite enough!
You're trembling. If uttering this secret hurts you, then I have no desire to hear it.
It-it's just...
Your smile is a greater gift to me than any truth. Whatever you have hitherto concealed, I am certain it is essential to you. And I do wish to know it. But not until the day arrives when you can tell me with a smile on your face. I am not the sort of man to prize my own knowledge over others' happiness, you know.
Besides. The mystery is part of your charm.
Hehehe! You're funny, Lorenz...
There! That's what I mean! Your beauty has always captivated, but that smile truly warms my heart!
This is the first time I've smiled in so long...and I have your kindness to thank for that.
As I've said, you are perfect just as you are. But I suppose I can take a little credit! Yes, your radiant smile shall illuminate all the world! With me by your side, you will not be able to help it!
Hehehe! I'm looking forward to that.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Now that was just sweet.

Raphael/Ignatz A.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

Well, if it isn't ol' Ignatz! I got a message here from my sis.
Oh, a letter from Maya! I haven't seen her in so long. I bet she's all grown up.
Nah, she's still a shrimp. It's been a while since I saw her, but she's probably only up to your shoulders.
Wow, I can't believe she's gotten that tall!
I wrote to tell her about how we're friends again. Do you remember this?
Is that the picture I drew for her?
She sent it along with the letter. I guess she held onto it since we were kids! All right. That's enough looking. She said to show it to you and send it right back.
To think, she's handling my little doodle with such reverence! That warms my heart. I remember the day I gave Maya that drawing. She looked so happy. Before then, I never knew I could make people happy with art. It was a revelation. I've been drawing and painting ever since, in hopes of becoming an artist one day.
You're much better now, so it must be paying off! I bet you could be a real artist!
No, that's not possible, I'm afraid. I have to consider my parents' wishes.
Who cares what your parents want? It's not like you're a noble or nothing. Your fate is your own!
Huh, you think so?
I know so. And I'm gonna support you with whatever dream you got.
OK. Lemme see... What's the first step to follow your dreams...oh! Got it! You should paint me!
Uh, paint you?
Yeah! I want my little sis to know how good I'm doing here, so I gotta send her proof. Plus, she'll be doubly impressed if it's a painting you made!
Hah, good point! I can certainly try to capture your likeness. I'll paint you with a warm, cheerful expression on your face, to bring Maya comfort.
My face? No way. You gotta get my muscles in there! Mostly my chest and arms.
Are you sure that's what she'd want to see?
Wait! Before you start painting, I gotta get me a little more training in! If my muscles aren't bulging, then what's the point?
I'm not sure about this...

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Raphael/Marianne B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

You need some meat in your diet! I don't know if you can eat human food, but bug meat might be good for you. That's right, you need to eat plenty of bug meat if you want to get big and strong like me! No more sweets for you!
What?! He's talking to a bird!
Huh? Is someone there?

Oh! Marianne! You're right on time! This little birdie was telling me that he misses you and— Ah, oh!
Aww. It flew off.
It appears so.
Why do you think birds fly away when there's more than one person around? Birds never seem to stay put unless I'm alone.
Birds are very cautious creatures. They tend to fly away when they're startled.
You mean they're afraid of loud noises?!
Oops! That was probably too loud for the birds. C'mon, Raphael. Keep it down.
How's this? Do you think we'd be able to talk to birds together like this? I still haven't met a bird that can speak human. I was hoping you could introduce me.
Huh? I thought you were just talking to one?
I was mostly talking at him, not to him. He just said "chirp chirp" and stuff like that. I had no idea what he was talking about. I don't think he understood me either.
Marianne, you always know which birds understand what you're saying, right?
Next time you find a bird who understands you, I hope you let me know so I can join the conversation!

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Raphael/Leonie A.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

You bet! Gotta reply to these things as soon as they come in!
You had one last week too. It's great to see you're both so good about staying in touch. It's especially important when there's a war going on.
Yeah. Oh! That reminds me! My sister wrote to say how much she loved the painting supplies you sent!
Good. I'm glad gathering those pigments paid off.
You even made her a brush! I really appreciate you doing all that for her.
I was fascinated with painting at that age. I was a pretty artistic kid, if you can believe it. Not a lot of time for it when you're hungry though.
Sounds like you had a pretty tough time growing up too, huh?
I guess so. We never thought of it that way. But it's true the children in my village don't usually get to choose their futures. Any one of us could have had the talent for artistic genius and never even noticed. I was one of the lucky ones. I only got to follow my passion thanks to my father and all the other folks. That's why, once I come into my own, the first thing I'll do is head back there and help the other kids.
Oh, wow. It's like all the kids in your village are counting on you.
Haha, no need to exaggerate it.
Besides, it's not like I'm unique. You're working hard for your sister's future, aren't you?
Yeah. It's like me and you are both carrying big weights. We should try sharing the weight with each other! You know, lighten both of our loads!
If we share our problems, then we only gotta carry half the weight, right? It works out for everybody!
It's...probably a good thing you didn't try to take on your family's business. If you take half of my burden, and I take half of yours, the total's still the same.
Nah. That doesn't sound right. Everything's lighter when you don't gotta carry it alone.
Hahaha, on second thought, you might be right. With the right attitude, and the right partner to share the burden, maybe it is only half the weight.
Now you're getting it! It's a waste of energy to struggle alone when there's someone who can help you!
That's true. And I do hate waste, as you well know.
So when it comes to working toward the future you're after, you know I won't fall short.
Great! And you should never fall short on sharing a big meal with me too!

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Again, I love it when Raphael has keen insights. Sometimes they're corny, but "corny" doesn't mean "wrong."

Raphael/Flayn B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Of course! My muscles are always ready to train!
I imagine so! Mind if I tag along? I have been practicing my battle cries—I believe you shall notice a marked improvement.
Raaaah! Yaaaah!
Wow! That sounds much better than last time! But try doing it more like this.
Urrraaaggh! Hrrraaah!
Hearing it anew is positively invigorating! I have much training ahead if I am to become as strong as you.
Try not to strain yourself. You've got smarts, so you shouldn't have to worry about your muscles.
I won't be satisfied until my body is as strong as my mind!
As my body is so frail, my brother is endlessly worrying over me.
I know what that's like. I have a little sister too. I always worry about her, even when it's something small, like catching a cold.
Then surely you understand. I want to give my brother peace of mind.
If I don't get stronger, I won't be able to do all the things I wish to do.
But I'm quite enjoying this! I have never shouted so loudly in all my life!
Each time I allow myself to let go in such a way, I feel invigorated!
Well, if you're having fun, I'm not gonna stop you! Go on and shout as much as you want! Give it all you've got and make your brother proud. Give it all you've got and make your brother proud. I'll help too!
Just you wait—I've only just begun!
All right! Gather up your energy deep in your gut and get ready to shout!
Kyaaaa! Raaaaaah!

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

These supports just aren't the same when you can't hear Flayn's voiced battle cries, trust me.

Flayn/Manuela C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Whatever are you talking about, Flayn?
Singing! Why, you are...you are wonderfully skilled at it, are you not?
Why, I have even overheard people saying your voice is akin to the singing of a goddess!
It makes me happy to hear, but who told you that?
Oh, the students are always speaking of it. Which got me to thinking...
I may be the only person in all of the academy who's never heard your beautiful voice in song.
So...I was wondering, Manuela. Might you sing a little something for me?
Your request is touching, but I can't perform on such short notice. My voice is an instrument and requires proper, gentle care.
However, the stories are true. I was once the leader of the Mittelfrank Troupe. But that was a long time ago.
Middle... Frank? Um...what do those words mean, precisely?
You've never heard of the Mittelfrank Troupe?
Before the war, it was the single most popular opera company in the Imperial capital! I used to sing on stage with them. I was the star, in fact.
Oh wow, in all of Enbarr? They must not have been around when I was living there...
You used to live in Enbarr?
Indeed. Although, I was quite a bit younger at the time. It is where I was born, as a matter of fact.
Ah, well, you must have been too young to hear about us.
Ah, yes, that could be! And...what, precisely, is the function of an opera troop?
You don't know what an opera troupe is? Well... It's a group of performers, like myself, who act out stories on stage, in front of a big audience. Stories with lots of singing.
I—I understand now! I certainly have experience in the fine art of storytelling. There is often singing, as a part of story time for the children at the monastery.
That is darling, Flayn. But I'm not sure it's quite the same thing as an opera. You see... Operas are performed in grand theaters, with orchestral accompaniment. Everyone attending wears their finest. It is a very special occasion.
Theaters, they're called? You mean to say that there are buildings exclusively used for...telling stories?
You've never even heard of a theater?
You're an intelligent girl, Flayn, and the world is full of wonders. You have a lot left to discover.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Did theaters not exist 1000 years ago?

Yuri/Hapi A.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

That came out of nowhere. Haven't you noticed there's a war going on? I can't leave now.
Hm, hadn't noticed, nope. Now that I have, will you head home once it's over? To check on your parents.
No. Even after the war, I can't return. With my curse, I might destroy the whole village. I won't put them at risk like that.
True. I want to say you could go there and everything would be dandy. The way things tend to shake out, though, it can be pretty hard not to sigh...
What about you? You don't mind spending all this time away from...wherever you call home?
Can't say I've spent much time thinking about it. Maybe after the war is over. I've got plenty to keep me occupied. If I drop things and head home, my people will lose respect for me. I can't have that.
I see. I know I should visit home at some point. It's been more than a decade since I left, though. They probably think I died.
They might. All the more reason for you to go back. I know you're scared. But if you keep your visit brief, it'll work out fine. I don't know about yours, but my mother would want to know that I'm OK.
I suppose I could stop by for a short visit. That might be nice...
Still worried? I can accompany you. I'm sure you'll find some use for me.
You know you'll be so caught up in my lively conversations, you'll have very little time for sighing.
...Hmm... That plan could backfire. I might find the conversation boring, and then...
That would never happen. I wouldn't allow for it. And on the off chance a beast does appear... Well, that'll clear up your boredom pretty quickly, won't it?
You've got a weird sense of humor, Yuri-bird. I like that. I guess I wouldn't feel so nervous about going home if you went with me. I might even have a good time. When you're there, you feel closer to the stars. They look so clear and bright. I'd love to show you.
Ahaha. I look forward to it. I bet we'll even see some of the stars you taught me about.
And maybe I'll finally lay eyes on that constellation you told me about. A fishing rod, was it?

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

And now, Leonie becomes a terror.

Hilda becomes an even bigger terror.
♪ Chasing Daybreak ♪

Myrddin time. Hapi kicks things off with a very, very good level.

Raph hits level 30. High time he becomes a war master.

Claude and Petra get what they need.

In an ideal world, Lorenz gets levels like this a lot.

Lysithea can afford to miss Mag for a few levels. It's fine.

My boy does not do so well after killing Acheron. Still on pace to be decent, good even.

Speaking of Acheron, Claude has battle dialogue against him.
The declining Alliance will be finished if I kill you. The Empire will herald the new age!
Only if you manage to kill me. Hm? What's that to the north?
Looks like the home of another opportunistic noble is burning...
That's...that's my castle! NO!
That's the declining Alliance at work, right there. Seems like you were facing the wrong way, Weathervane!
And speaking of battle dialogue, fun fact: there's dialogue for Claude fighting Lorenz on this map! Of course, this is impossible to see—Lorenz does not defect when playing as the Golden Deer.
Aren't you gonna stand aside, Lorenz? Unless we win, the Alliance can't survive.
Even if that's so, to allow you past without a fight would be pure cowardice, I'm afraid.
You are one stubborn guy.
Lorenz also has dialogue for fighting Adan. Since we won't be seeing that at all, I might as well paste it now.
It's been a while, Professor. If this were anywhere but a battlefield, I would offer you tea.
I've no choice but to follow the Empire, if I wish to live. I hope you will not think ill of me.

Speed, glorious speed.

Oh dear.

Utterly bizarre.

That's good, though.

Keep it up, Ferdie.

Please get Str, Adan!

Like Petra. Every physical unit should aspire to be like Petra.

Oh, Lorenz.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Beneath the Banner ♪

I was prepared for bloodshed, but that was more than expected... I guess I'm still not used to this.
Even our enemies were fighting for their own cause. They held out without fleeing until the bitter end...
We must overcome this.
Yes... We can't afford to stall here.
Now it's on me to return to Alliance territory and convince those lords to join us. Lorenz, would you return home for the time being and lay the groundwork with your father?
Fine. After all, this is for the Alliance. Or rather, for all of Fódlan.
For those of you who live in Alliance territories, I ask that you return to your houses, and spread the word about the current situation. Until we finish our preparations, Judith and the knights will do everything in their power to defend the Great Bridge.
That's a casual way to dole out such a deadly mission, boy.
Do you object?
Just who do you think I am? I won't let the Empire pass this way, even if it costs me my life.
Too bad you're not allowed to die. Fight like your life depends on it, but flee if you're ever truly in danger.
A tall order, as always. I'll use my best discretion, Claude.
We have no objections either. Go forth and secure us a sufficiently powerful army.
You'll hear no objections from us. Go ahead and secure us a powerful army.
I'll stay here too. The only ones I'd be going home to are my little sis and my grandpa.
Are you sure you don't want to see your sister? It may be a while before you can return home again.
But if I see her, I may not want to come back. So I'll wait till I'm done here.
I'll stay here too.
Actually, I'd like for you to come with me, Teach. To help negotiate with the lords. They're followers of the Church of Seiros, after all. It'll make things easier if we have someone there to speak on Rhea's behalf.
All right, everyone. Let's meet back at the monastery next month. Good luck out there.

♪ Golden Deer and Crescent Moon ♪

I have returned, Nardel.
Oh, ah, Master Claude. It's you. I mistook you for one of the local children. My apologies.
It seems you have adjusted to your work here. Our recent strategy was successful, thanks to you.
I was a bit concerned when House Goneril's army intervened from the east.
Count Gloucester must have requested reinforcements from them.
Yes, and they have that young general who won some acclaim from his battles in Almyra... Regardless, they showed no signs of seriously wishing to attack us, and merely fulfilled their obligations to House Gloucester. Now then...who is this handsome fella?
This is my professor, who I asked to join me at the roundtable conference. Teach, this is Nardel, that retainer Judith was talking about.
Nice to meet you.
Hm, how polite. I've heard good things about you from Master Claude.
As you can see, he wasn't born in Fódlan. Still, trust me when I say he is highly capable.
True. In fact, my capability is my only redeeming quality.
I hope you'll continue to look after Master Claude, Professor.

Gonna do another short one for the sake of keeping things flowing pretty well.

Next time: something we haven't seen yet.

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