Update 83: Mist Ache

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪


Like I said last time, Mercedes is now free of having her magic uses halved.

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




Oh, Dedue. Was there something you needed?
His Highness sent me to collect you.
I see. I'll be with you in just a moment. I'm almost finished here.
You were praying.
I was. Praying for everyone's safety. And praying for good desserts tonight. And that my next exam goes well. And praying for good desserts tonight, and that the greenhouse flowers will bloom.
The Fódlan goddess will accept prayers of any sort.
It's true. I've thought the same thing myself.
That reminds me, Dedue. Weren't you born in Duscur?
Yes.
Do the people of Duscur pray to the goddess too?
Duscur had a very different view of religion.
Oh?
In Duscur there were many gods. The sky had a god. The earth had a god. We made offerings to the war god for victory in battle. Held feasts for the sea god to calm the waves.
So your people prayed to different gods depending on what they needed?
Correct.
Your beliefs sound so different from ours! Tell me more.
Why? Duscur is a ruin.
Duscur may be gone, but you're still here. Would you tell me more about it the next time we meet?
If you insist.
Really? That would be great! I'm looking forward to hearing more soon.







♪ A Guide for the Future ♪




Mercedes/Constance B.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪


I'm afraid so. Please forgive my behavior from before. I cannot abide these indiscretions of mine.
That's all right. The way you always work so hard day and night, it's no wonder it's had this effect on you.
You work harder than anyone I know. I've always been impressed by that, Constance.
That means a lot to me.
You know, at the school of sorcery there was a professor who specialized in magical cures. Why not write her a letter? Perhaps she can suggest a treatment that might help.
I have tried. She could do nothing for me.
But I vowed then to the goddess that I would find a way to overcome my trials. I will prove my skills to the goddess and everyone else, bringing me closer to restoring House Nuvelle!
Haha! You're a tough cookie, Constance!
Naturally. And with your support, I shall grow ever stronger by the day!
I know you will! You know...during the years of political turmoil, House Martritz was destroyed just as your house was.
But restoring my father's house has hardly crossed my mind. I guess I'm not as tenacious as you are.
You needn't be so hard on yourself, Mercedes. You have had other priorities since then.
Oh! I've just had a grand idea!
What is it?
You ought to try to reinstate House Martritz!
Oh dear! I'm not sure that's possible.
Nonsense. If I can restore my own house, then you can restore yours.
As we work to further our own like goals, we shall learn so much that we can share with one another!
You make it sound so simple. How would I even go about that?
That is simplicity itself! You shall become a prodigy at spellcraft, as I am.
Um, all right.
I shall master the black arts, and you shall master the white. The world will know us as sister sages!
I see...
Our names shall ring out across Fódlan, earning us the titles we rightly deserve!
I hope you won't mind me saying so, but this plan seems to have gotten a bit far-fetched.
Oh, no, not if you join me, Mercedes! Where one may fail, together we are bound to succeed!





♪ A Guide for the Future ♪



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪


But this... It's downright senseless. Lord Lonato knows better. If he had enough allies to back his rebellion, it would be a different matter...
Allies?
Ah, my apologies. I was just thinking aloud. This whole situation is a bit too strange for my liking. Even with the necessary preparations in place, there is always a chance that something unexpected will occur. Please be ready for anything, Professor.


Losing him would be devastating for Faerghus.
I hope the church understands that.


Why would such a kind man suddenly raise an army?


Only four years ago, they murdered our king and slaughtered the soldiers and knights who were with him, all of whom were innocent. Even if he can forgive them, I can't—not ever. What they've done is against all codes of honor and ethics.
They? You're acting as if all of the people of Duscur were responsible for the uprising.

Please, Professor, there must be some mistake. Lonato would never raise arms against the church. At least, he never said anything to me about it.





I found some stat boosters in the Holy Tomb.

I think I can leave Dimitri's Def alone for now.

Oh, supports, those are a thing.

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


Oh. Dimitri.
Oh... I'm sorry for disturbing your prayer.
There's no need to apologize. I just finished.
I see. What were you praying for?
I was simply asking the goddess...for forgiveness.
Forgiveness? For what?
I put our soldiers in danger during the recent battle.
What matters is that they came back safely in the end. You shouldn't blame yourself for that.
It's true, but... You were injured when you came to our aid.
That? It was just a scratch. A small price to pay for your safety.
But...
I would never regret helping an ally, even if it meant losing my own life.
No, no. That's wrong.
How so?
It's just all wrong. You have my thanks for helping in the battle, Dimitri. But I'm afraid I have to ask that you keep your distance from me.
Is that so?
Yes.
Forgive me, but I will be there for you. Whether you want me to or not.


I'm sorry...



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪




Dorothea/Yuri C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪


What was it you think you saw?
It looked like you were singing to the children in the alley out back. And may I say, you were fantastic. Your performance hit me right in the heart.
That was a song from Mittelfrank's Imperial capital show, right? Ah, the good old days. You must have come back night after night if you remember it that well.
Perhaps a few times... I remember well how you looked upon that stage. You were the talk of the capital among all the nobles. Unsurpassable? Yes, that was it.
It's hard to believe I'd run into that unsurpassable songstress in a place like this. Hm. Luck is on my side, as ever.
I couldn't convince you to sing tenor yourself, hm? You're talented enough for it.
What are you getting at? Is this an invitation from the Mystical Songstress herself?
Male virtuosos are hard to come by. Would-be divas are a dime a dozen, but men? Not so much. And they have to be talented. As good as I am, which is very talented indeed.
I think you have what it takes. If you're interested, I can—
Sorry, but no. No way in hell am I ever doing that.
Goodness. You could have stopped at "no."
I can't think of anything more wretched than getting up on a stage to sing in front of a bunch of people.
You didn't seem to mind singing for those children.
The little ones weren't feeling well and couldn't sleep, so I sang them a lullaby to help. That's a far cry from standing on the same stage as you have with all those stuffy nobles staring at me.
Truthfully? I'm not brave enough for it.
Rein it in, Yurikins. It's the opera, not the battlefield. This isn't a life or death situation.
Heh heh... Fair enough. Sometimes I forget what's a real threat and what isn't.
But I must ask you never to bring up singing again. Not to me.
Not if you want to keep things amicable between us.


How can someone that good at singing hate it so much?



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪


Wow, we haven't gotten to see many of Yuri's sore points. Wonder what this one is about?
♪ Corridor of the Tempest ♪


I decided to do auxiliary battles, to try and pull some of my units out of the Noble/Commoner hellhole.

Bah, no Mag.

Yes, yes, yes! Exactly what he needs.

Okay, that's a decent first level.

No Str, dang.

About what I'd expect from Raph.

Ouch.

These levels will not matter in the end.

Caspar gets off to a great start.

Meh.

Yeah, standard Balthus stuff.

Not bad, honestly.

Yes, yes! My boy pulls through.

More Mag is more healing.

Alright, that's good.

Yes I do, Dorothea.

I'd prefer Str, but hey, +1 Crit.

Wow, angling for some early goodwill, huh, Raph?

Good.

Shrug.

Three Str levels in a row, this is very good.

Reasonable! I like Def + Res levels.

Oh noooooooo...

Str is good, I like that.

Damage stat is all that matters for Meteor usage.
♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪


Back at the monastery...

Dedue/Felix C.
♪ A Dark Sign ♪


Are you speaking to me?
I don't see anyone else here, do you? You're that boar's lapdog.
Do not mock His Highness.
Ha, spoken like a good pet. Why do you follow him with such devotion? Do you really think a man like that is worth it?
Faerghus destroyed my homeland. Burned it all to the ground. Slaughtered my people.
The punishment of Duscur.
My father, my mother, my sibling—all were killed. We received no aid. No respite. Faerghus murdered our dignity and torched our pride. His Highness is different. He is the only one who sees my people as human. He risked his life to save mine. And it is thanks to him that I no longer wish for death.
That's what we call "blind obedience." Tell me. Would you give your life for him?
Yes.
And what if he commanded you to join him in a senseless massacre?
I would do it.
Even a massacre of children, or the elderly, or your own comrades?
Without hesitation. You have misunderstood me. I am the sword and shield of His Highness. Weapons do not have a will of their own.
Blind obedience.
You're right. I did misunderstand. I shouldn't have called you a lapdog. You're a rabid cur. You and the boar prince make quite a team—two crazed animals.
I warned you not to mock His Highness. I am aware you have a history of friendship with him, but one more word...
I've said my piece. Scamper back to your master.



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪


Holy fuck, Felix, calm down.

Dedue/Ashe C.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪


Steaming them with herbs is delicious too.
Wow, you know a lot about this. I'm learning so much from you, Dedue.
Were you a cook at the castle in Fhirdiad?
No.
Did your family own an eatery of some kind?
No. My sister and I helped with cooking at home.
Wow, that's all? I thought I was confident about my skills, but next to you, I feel like an amateur. Hey, could you give me some advice about other kinds of meat, besides fish?
Ashe.
Yes, Dedue?
Why do you spend time with me?
We're friends, right?
I just want to get to know you better. Is that so odd?
I am from Duscur.
So? Look at me—I came from a life of poverty. I was lucky to even be let in here, to study with all these high-class people. I think we have a lot in common.
Being poor and being from Duscur are two different things.
Oh, I know! But we can still be friends, can't we?
You are a peculiar person.
So I'm told!



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪




Ashe/Mercedes C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪




I accidentally made this food much sweeter than I wanted...
Let me taste it. Hmm, yeah, a little sweet. What if we try adding a few spices?
Huh? This is delicious! You're an amazing cook, Ashe!
My dad used to own a restaurant. I helped out a lot around the kitchen, even as a little kid.
Wow, that's a lot of responsibility to take on at an early age. No wonder you always work so hard.
I might learn something if I watch you cook!
Well, no promises. I just have a little bit of experience, that's all. But look at you—you're great at baking cakes!
It's true that I'm quite good at baking, but I'm not the best when it comes to seasoning. Maybe it's because I don't like spicy food? It's tough to make food taste good when you don't enjoy it.
I just had an idea! If the reason I can't cook spicy food is because I don't like it... Then all I have to do is eat some spicy food! If I learn to like it, then I'll be better at making it, right?
I don't know. Maybe? What makes you say that?
No, no, no. None of that matters. Once I've made a decision, I have to go with it! I'll make something spicy right away!
Oh, this won't end well. If I leave her to it, she'll make an even bigger mess.
Hey, Ashe! Which seasonings should I use? These ones?
Um, hold on, Mercedes! Let me show you!
That one goes best with meat, but for stir-fry, what you really want is this...



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪


Huh, that's two supports with Ashe that focus on cooking. Interested in seeing where they both go.

Ashe/Ingrid C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪


...
Uh, Ashe?
Ah—Ingrid! You gave me a start! How long have you been standing there?
Not too long. Apologies for startling you. Must be a great book, for you to be so deeply engrossed in it. What has you so captivated?
Oh, ah, it's quite an old book. One of the really old legends of Faerghus.
Aha, it must be the "Sword of Kyphon," then, yes?
Oh, so you know it!
Oh, yes. I know it quite well. I read it often as a child. In fact, I read it so much that my personal copy fell apart. I brought it everywhere with me. I adore that book.
The tale of the warrior Kyphon, whose devotion and loyalty enabled his best friend, Loog, to become king. He went to great lengths to see things through.
Exactly! I love the image of him charging forward into the fray, ready to take on any obstacle in the name of his king!
Indeed! He was the very picture of the perfect knight. In my opinion, the best chapter is right around the middle of the book...
Ah, the part about the War of the Eagle and Lion? That's my favorite part!
"In a flash, Kyphon's sword flew from its scabbard. The knight parried the assassin's blade mere inches from the spine of his king."
"Kyphon's blade hummed like the wind, slashing the enemy's throat. In mere moments, their forces lay vanquished—decimated by his mighty blows."
Hehe, I can recite the entirety of it, if you like. I never grow weary of that tale—the pinnacle of knighthood, with all its struggles and glory.
I know just what you mean! I never get tired of it.
Some people laugh at me for reading these old tales, but I'll never outgrow them.
I'm glad to find someone who shares my enthusiasm!
I'm glad of it as well.
Tell me, what other books do you enjoy, Ashe?
Well, the first one I ever read was Loog and the Maiden of Wind.
Ah, you have fantastic taste! That story is another favorite. The final chapter makes me tear up every time...
I know! When I first read it, I just couldn't get that ending out of my head.
It seems we have much in common. I look forward to chatting again sometime.
I'd love to! Yes, let's!



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪




Dimitri/Ashe C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪


Absolutely!
Sorry, I should probably take care of it myself, but we'd be here until sundown if I—
No problem at all! I've had lots of practice with things like this. Happy to help however I can.
Oh. Well, thanks. Actually, I'll fetch you something to make the job less of a burden. You like sweet things, right?
Ah. Well, yes...
Sorry, no! I can't ask you to do that!
Ashe... I've told you, there's no need to act like that.
I can't have someone from the royal family running errands for me. It doesn't feel right.
Lonato would be furious with me, I'm sure!
If Lord Lonato says something to you, I'll write him a letter of protest. I really don't mind, so you needn't worry about that. And while I'm being candid... I'd prefer it if you didn't speak so formally to me. We're supposed to be allies. We've fought side-by-side as equals, haven't we?
I know. But to commoners like me, you're royalty. Regular folks normally only lay eyes on someone like you once or twice in their whole lives.
I understand. I really do. When I ascend the throne, perhaps I should do a tour of each city...
What? No, that's not what I meant!
I'm at a loss... I wish to make things better, but I seem to only upset you more and more.
That is certainly not my intention. Perhaps I should leave you be and take care of our shopping...
Please, I promise I'll go myself just as soon as I've finished with the tent!
Ashe. Enough. OK... I've a question. Answer me this. I don't normally eat sweets, so what would you recommend?
Oh. Well, if price isn't a concern for you, then you should go for the sugar candies. The ones they make in town are really delightful.
Ah! Oh, Your Highness—please, you mustn't!
Got it. Sugar candies it is. I'll go and fetch some.





♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪




Caspar/Raphael C.
♪ Funny Footsteps ♪


Hey! Caspar! You work your muscles almost as much as I do.
Of course! Everyone knows that if you skip a day, you lose three days of work.
Ain't that the truth. Let's get to it then!




Ughh... Ughh... You might be right. I'm exhausted!
You know...I really envy you, Raphael... You're huge!
I know I'm big. Everyone knows that. What are you talking about?
Well, I'm not very big, but I've always wanted to be. That's why I train so much. I just don't know how to bulk up. I'm not very big, but I've always wanted to be.
Is that all? I know how to fix that!
Really? You gotta show me!
Follow me!




That's right. Now sit down and eat up!
We're just gonna eat?
Yup. Eating's the best way to get bigger! You gotta eat, and you gotta train. Do 'em both enough and you're sure to grow.
I always thought I was a pretty big eater, but maybe I wasn't eating enough? Or not often enough?
Probably both. Look at my plate compared to yours. Now this is a meal!
Whoa! Your plate looks like a mountain!
If that's what I gotta do, then I'm gonna eat until I can't anymore. I'll eat until there's no food left!
That's the spirit! C'mon! Let's go clear out the pantry.
Let's do it! I'm gonna eat till I can't move!



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪




I accidentally got locked out of this support chain on the Silver Snow run. Whoops. Let's fix that.

Annette/Ingrid C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪


Sure, I can spare a moment or two.
I was wondering... Do you have any interest in fashion and makeup and stuff like that?
I haven't the time to bother with such frivolities. As long as basic hygiene is being met, then I'm happy.
Oh, but you're missing out on something so fun!
I mean, it's not like you need it, of course. You've got beautiful bone structure, lovely hair, long legs... But aren't you interested in trying something new?
Um, well, thank you... I suppose I do find it all somewhat intriguing.
But my time is precious to me, and my focus is on knighthood. Taking time to paint my face simply isn't a top priority.
Sure, but imagine if you could combine the two and become the most fabulous knight ever! OK, maybe I'm taking it too far. I know knights don't necessarily need a ton of make-up or things like that for the job.
I'm just saying I really think you'd enjoy it if you opened your mind to it. All I'm talking about is a light touch. I can see it now... Your gorgeous face done up with a delicate application of makeup. The fabulous knight who everyone looks up to and wants to be!
Um...well, maybe? I guess? That does sound mostly harmless...
Hooray! OK, we don't have a moment to lose. Here, take this makeup kit. Play around with the colors and see what speaks to you.
Now, wait just a—
I actually got that little kit as a gift the other day, and I wasn't sure what to do with it, because I already have that one.
It's a limited palette, but I think it fits the look you're going for perfectly.
I actually never agreed to start putting that stuff on my face, Annette.
What? Oh... Well, then I guess this whole kit will have to go to waste. I'll just throw it away like the garbage it is.
You're throwing it away? I can't just stand by and let something go to waste...
OK. All right. Thank you. We can do this.
That's the spirit! Oh, and I'm happy to help you learn to apply it too. Come on, let's go to my room. I have some brush techniques to show you before you get started.
Now don't get carried away...
Argh. She played me like a fiddle.



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪




I sure did get a lot of support ranks this month, huh?

Dorothea/Yuri B.
♪ Words to Believe In ♪




You're looking a bit serious, ladybird. Oh...your foot. What happened?
It's healing nicely, but I'm not supposed to put too much weight on it.
Ah, so that's why you've called me here. What do you need? Help with errands?
Not an errand. An opera.
I see.
There's been some loose plans for a performance. Nothing professional, strictly volunteer. I signed up to take part as one of the main roles.
And then this happened. The professor told me I should bow out, just to be on the safe side.
Makes sense to stay off your feet while you heal. Meanwhile, you want me to fill your role, right?
Got it in one! I'm glad we're on the same page here.
Surely someone else is up to the task. Professor Manuela for example...
Already tried. Trust me, I wouldn't ask unless I was desperate. I knew how much you'd hate the idea.
Aside from hating it, I also wouldn't remotely sound like you do.
Oh, don't worry about that. Most of our audience won't be able to tell the difference.
The crowd's going to be a bunch of down-on-their-luck children that the monastery's taken in. I'm only talking about a small festival in the plaza. We want to give them a good show, that's all.
You have an idea of what they've been through. I thought you might want to pitch in.
Mm-hmm... I hear your angle. Fine, fine, yes. I'll do it.
Good for you. I knew you'd rise to the occasion.
You certainly know how to pull heartstrings to get your way, don't you?
Where did you learn to do that, anyway? The opera?
Could be! I've never known a songstress who wasn't both beautiful and resourceful. Now, are you ready to go over the libretto? You've got a lot of rehearsing to do before the performance.
Seriously, though... Thanks, Yurikins.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.



♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪















Moving on to the end of the month, I'm able to pull many units out of the Noble/Commoner hellhole, thank the gods.

Time for the absolute roughest early chapter.
♪ No music ♪



♪ Beneath the Banner ♪


Thunderbrand?
You mean you don't know? My weapon is called Thunderbrand. It's one of the Heroes' Relics. A long, long time ago, the goddess bestowed divine weapons upon 10 heroes, which were passed down to their descendants. It's an honor to wield, but I'm afraid there won't be any chance for that today. Our mission is to help clean up the aftermath, not to fight.
Why would Lonato incite such a reckless rebellion?
You should know more about that than any of us, Ashe.

♪ A Lonely Figure ♪


He probably didn't want you getting caught up in his own personal vendetta.
What vendetta?
Let me guess. You're wondering why Lord Lonato would start such a reckless rebellion. How much do you know about the Tragedy of Duscur, Professor?
I don't know much about it.

♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪


It's OK, Catherine. Please, go on.
Right. Well, Lord Lonato's son, Christophe, was accused of being involved in that whole awful affair. He was executed by the church.
The church executes criminals?
Speaking from the church's perspective, we simply passed judgment according to our doctrine in place of the Kingdom, which was in complete chaos.
...
King Lambert was attempting a major political reform. Needless to say, he had many enemies. Whatever the truth behind that incident may be, Lord Lonato has harbored resentment toward the church ever since.
Well... To be more specific, his grudge isn't only against the church. It's also against the one who turned Christophe over to them...



♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪


It looks like our mission just changed, Professor. Everyone, prepare for battle!



♪ As Swift as Wind ♪


Ugh, I really don't want to do this...

I wish I could show you the map, but, fog of war. Here's the group I'm taking along for this map. I don't have to deploy Dimitri, but he's about as durable as Dedue is—he's invaluable for drawing enemies out.
♪ No music ♪


The sooner I finish this, the better.


♪ Fódlan Winds ♪


Being able to fan out my more durable units immediately will help in dealing with this map.

Dedue moves forward and uses a torch. Unfortunately, this means he doesn't get the Def bonus of Stalwart Shield, since he didn't end his turn with Wait.

The Maddening version of this map contains a whopping four extra units, all near the start. There's a bow user and a mercenary near the north, and another sword user + bow user near the south.



As always, attacking units in Avo-giving tiles is annoying, so Adan helps by rattling them with Assault Troop.


Dimitri also uses his gambit to damage this soldier.

Sylvain's gonna hide out in this forest tile.


Leonie uses Curved Shot to take out that fighter.


Caspar unfortunately cannot kill this archer, but hey, it gets him some EXP, and leaves the archer easily vulnerable to being killed next turn.



Reminder that allied (green) units are buffed up on Maddening to compensate for the big increases to enemy strength. They can hold their own against enemy units, thankfully.

Oh, incidentally, mercenaries have Axebreaker+ for their Maddening enemy ability.

Axebreaker+: Grants Hit/Avo +30 when using a sword against axe users.




Excellent, excellent, excellent. I could probably stop feeding Dimitri stat boosters now and he'd be fine for the rest of the game. In fact, I might've over-boosted his Def...













A knock-on effect of allied units being buffed is that Catherine is even more of an unstoppable monster than she usually is.

Unfortunately, having buffed stats doesn't stop allied units from having little survival instinct.






Lysithea is very powerful, right out of the gate, thanks to me purchasing some of her important abilities early.

Oh, yeah, basically everyone who unlocked it in previous runs has Death Blow or Fiendish Blow, depending on if they're a physical or magical unit. It only cost me 500 renown per unit, so, why not? Again, if the Maddening earlygame's not gonna play fair, why should I?






Sylvain finishes this guy off, and gets a not bad level.



Well, that has Str in it, so it's not a bad level.

Dedue, unfortunately, is not very good with gauntlets yet.


Dimitri takes out the mercenary he locked in place.


Not much damage, but hey, it's a better use of his turn than doing nothing.



Bah.



Caspar unfortunately whiffs two of his attacks, leaving this archer at half HP.

I kind of want him to get Spd, but this level isn't awful, still.



Letting one of the church soldiers die deprives me of a secret book, but I don't really care.




Oops. Should've checked to see if Lysithea was in any enemy's range. I can't really blame that on Maddening, that was just a very basic tactical failure.


This should be safe.




I also decided to take a different tack, while I'm rewinding. That was a gamble, but it paid off. The myrmidon gets shoved closer to his friends.




This lets Adan get some extra chip damage in from his gambit.




Adan's gambit also lets Hapi kill this mercenary.

Not an awful level for Hapi, Spd is nice. Constance's level is just bad, though.

Dimitri kills this archer, same as before.



Caspar still can't kill this archer, but hey, 8 HP is better than 16 HP.



Importantly, it lets Dedue kill the archer with Fading Blow. It also makes me immediately regret giving Dedue kill EXP.



Sylvain finishes off the 1 HP mercenary.


Screw it, none of our units are in dire need of healing, I could at least try to keep this guy alive.



Looks like healing this guy gave him some decent luck, as he dodges the enemy's hit.

Well, that sucks, but it's better than someone dying. 7 HP isn't that big an injury.



No real way to stop Catherine from stealing potential EXP, same as it ever was.

Groan.



Dedue moves forward to give me vision of what's up ahead.


Leonie drops this mercenary to critical HP...


And even though he's rattled, Sylvain is able to finish him off.

Caspar will take some of the heat off of Dedue.

Adan patches Dedue up.

Again, no-one else really needs healing, so why not try for the secret book?



Mercifully, these guys are somehow unable to double Dedue.

Same with Caspar.


That doesn't mean Caspar can't be left at bad HP levels, though.

Oh, thanks for exposing yourself for a very low change at dealing 1 damage to Dimitri.



Holy shit! This guy can actually double this soldier!




Two more Mag, and I could've killed that guy with Miasma Δ.








Boink.


Thank you, Mercie.

I'd prefer you get Mag above all else, with all of the healing you'll be doing.




Sylvain should be good enough to draw out this mercenary. Catherine or her goonw ill probably kill him on the ally phase anyway.









Ugh. Love archers just appearing out of fog of war.





I don't know why Catherine keeps going for Foudroyant Strike.








There, Hapi actually is able to get a kill.


Remember to always position Leonie adjacent to a male ally, if possible. No sense in missing out on that free +2 damage.


Same with Sylvain. The two's abilities, as you might've guessed, combo pretty well.

Wow, okay. That's pretty good!



Thankfully, the mini-boss is unable to double Caspar.







This is a good time to mention enemy dark mages' Maddening ability.

Seal Strength: If unit damages foe during combat, foe suffers Str -6 for 1 turn after combat.

This is one of the more annoying enemy Maddening abilities. Even if a dark mage can't actually do that much damage to someone, the target will still be stuck with Str -6 for the next player phase—unless you use Restore.



Okay, get out of my face, and quit it with that damn fog.

As long as Lysithea gets Mag in a level, she's doing fine, as far as I'm concerned.

Attack Dimitri, I dare you.

Adan gets a very good level from some minor healing.



bahahahaha no damage

yeah i might've overboosted Dimitri for this early on, but, again, i'm not gonna give him any more stat boosters, and this is a pretty decent sign that he'll be fine for Reunion at Dawn

Annette managed a very defensive level off of adjutant EXP.





Again with Foudroyant Strike.

Oh, fuck you, let me have that EXP.

I just spent the player phase moving people up slightly.

Meh meh, I was hoping more enemies would move up.



Honestly, I'm surprised I've been able to keep both of Catherine's mooks alive up until now. The Maddening allied unit buffs are pretty serious.



I'm hoping for the best with sending Leonie up to tank all of this. Caspar moves next to her to activate Rivalry.


That is a lot more damage than I was expecting.



Oof, that's bad.

That's good, though.

Moment of truth.




Ow, ow, ow, that hurt more than I thought a generic enemy gambit would. It hit Dedue, too.










After these three chuckleheads, all that's left is Lonato and two fighters near him.






Thanks, Sylvain, it was really worth giving you that kill.




Moving on.

Lonato, bizarrely, is mostly unchanged from Hard. He has +5 max HP, +1 Dex, +4 Spd, +1 Res, and +4 Cha. You'd expect more stats, given that he's gained 5 levels compared to Hard. Still, the Spd and Cha buffs are significant.

General: Nullifies instant death effects and halves damage from enemy gambits.
Canto: Allows unit to move again after completing certain actions, if there is movement remaining.









You have to be close to breaking Thunderbrand by this point.





Marianne gets an excellent level from healing. Every point of Def is potentially valuable, if any of my magic users have to eat counterattacks from physical units.





And now, only Lonato remains.


♪ Wrath Strike ♪


Since this is the lsat time we'll be seeing Lonato in the LP, let's see his battle dialogue versus Dimitri and Ashe.
Stand down, Ashe. I must destroy these evil-doers by any means necessary!
Please surrender, Lonato! Whatever your reasons for doing this, we can still talk it out!
Rhea is an infidel who has deceived the people and desecrated the goddess! We have virtue and the goddess herself on our side!
Even if all that's true, dragging the townsfolk into it like this isn't right!
Enough. If that is how you feel, prepare yourself! I'm putting an end to this!
I apologize, Your Highness. It is regrettable that we should cross swords like this.
Lonato, I sympathize with your position. I really do. I have no wish to kill you, but I am afraid you have left me no choice. Please...forgive me.
Your Highness... I cannot stop here. For my child, and for the people of Fódlan.
If you will not stand aside, then I have no choice but to cut you down.





Great job, guys.







Swarm Ζ basically erases Lonato's Spd buff.



Excellent, Dimitri continues to impress me. I mean, it's hard for his growths to fail him, but still.

Now, who to give this kill to...



Yeah, Leonie seems fair.

Not the best level.
♪ No music ♪



Getting both stat boosters was easier than I thought.


♪ A Lonely Figure ♪


Everyone in the village was...was so nice to me. And I...I killed them. I killed them all! I had to, I know I had to... I know that! But still... What does that make me?
Please, don't beat yourself up, Ashe. We did what had to be done.
I'm...I'm sorry. I shouldn't be bothering you. I'm...I'm going to check on the town. I hope my brother and sister are OK.
That...that was my first time killing civilians too... Those who I'm sworn to protect. Militia amongst the enemies... I didn't expect that. It was my first time killing civilians. Those who I'm sworn to protect.
That is the reality of war.
Are you insane?! Those weren't knights or soldiers, but fathers and sons! We...we shouldn't have killed them. We should have found another way...
I...I'm sorry. It's not fair for me to blame you for the circumstance. I know that if we hadn't...done what we did, even more civilian lives would have been lost. At least, my mind understands that. But...my heart...
Professor... Those in power, no matter the era, always claim they fight for a just cause. That they take life to protect it. But... Is it truly OK to take any life you please, all in service of some implacable "just cause"?
Lord Lonato didn't take up arms out of a lust for power. He simply believed his cause to be just. Who's to say it wasn't? Maybe we didn't have to cut him down like that. Maybe we could have reached a mutual understanding...found a path of peace.
I...I have to believe that. Perhaps the notion sounds laughable to you. Mere lip service to naive ideals. But I can't believe otherwise.



♪ A Dark Sign ♪


We can't tell who sent it, so the source is suspect, but the content is too disturbing to ignore. We must report this to Lady Rhea right away. I hope that it's nothing...


Next time: Rite of Rebirth, Maddening Edition.

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