Update 9: Really Wanna Guillotine Count Varley

I, uh, lost the footage of the month's intro. Sorry!
♪ Gazing at Sirius ♪

I would like for you to take your students into Kingdom territory to eliminate some thieves.
They stole a Hero's Relic from House Gautier of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus—the Lance of Ruin.

Why was he disowned?
I believe it had something to do with his lack of a Crest. Such happenings are fairly common within the Kingdom.
The Crestless cannot unleash the goddess's power, even if they possess a Relic. Nonetheless, they are still capable of simply wielding those weapons.
The Heroes' Relics are immensely powerful weapons. We must meet this threat with adequate force. Unfortunately, most of the Knights of Seiros are away from the monastery purging the apostates of the Western Church. So we are entrusting you with this mission. After all, you wield the Sword of the Creator, which is more than capable of opposing any Relic.
The Sword of the Creator is a powerful weapon, well beyond the other Relics. You have nothing to fear. However, to ensure that no harm comes to the students, we will also send the monastery's most skilled individuals to aid you.
I must remind you that you are expected to conduct yourself in a manner befitting the wielder of that holy sword. Also, you should know that Professor Hanneman has been looking for you. That is all.

Disowned because genetics didn't see fit to give him a Crest. What the fuck. He didn't even do anything wrong, from what we've been told.
♪ Spiderweb ♪

A thief with a Hero's Relic is worrisome, but with you at our side, I'm certain we can handle him. After all, you have the Sword of the Creator. It was allegedly wielded by Nemesis, the King of Liberation. If the legends are true, you hold the power to stand against entire armies. A band of thieves should be nothing.

Why does it matter?
I'm just marveling at the potential. Besides, your power does not lie solely in the Sword of the Creator. You are stronger and more terrifying than you realize.

What do you mean?
Never mind. I'm being thoughtless with my words. For now, let's just focus on the problem at hand.

♪ Arcana Code ♪

Specifically, that you were able to awaken the Sword of the Creator's power. Thusly, it seems the true nature of your Crest has been uncovered. I had, of course, seen your Crest before. However, at first, I failed to recognize its true nature. Eventually, it dawned on me that what is visible is perhaps merely a small part of a greater whole.

After this discovery, I began researching Crests that might fit that description, which allowed for a temporary hypothesis. However, I could not be certain. The Crest my conclusions led me to was far too unusual.

The Crest of Flames...
Your ability to wield the Sword of the Creator has unequivocally proven my hypothesis. A legendary power, dormant since time immemorial, and now resurrected... There can be no doubt that this ancient power resides within you.

So, Abby's got the Fire Emblem, huh?

(The Japanese term for Crest, 紋章, can also be translated as "Emblem." In fact, it's the same word used in FE3's subtitle, 紋章の謎, which translates to "Mystery of the Emblem.")

Oh, hey. Abby/Edelgard C had been time-locked away from us up until now. Let's check it out.

Content warning:
a character suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and PTSD-induced nightmares, vivid flashbacks of trauma.

If you don't wish to see that, then please skip to where I say "The content warning for Abby/Edelgard C is no longer in effect."
♪ Spiderweb ♪

Who could that be?
A ghost, perhaps? No, that is surely not the case.

What is that look upon your face? I am no ghost, if that is what was on your mind!

I heard something.

Bad dreams?
Ah... So you heard me, then.
Yes, it was a nightmare. I've had them since I was a child.

What are they about?

You can trust me with anything.
I had a feeling you'd say that. I suppose I could try... But only if you swear not to tell a soul.

Abby nods.
I appreciate it.
I dream of...my older brother, paralyzed, helpless...my older sister crying for help that never came...the youngest babbling words beyond meaning. I see my family dying slowly, waiting in the darkest depths for a glimmer of light.
I once had ten siblings, eight older and two younger. Such a large family, and yet I became the heir to the throne. Do you know why?

How could such a thing happen...
Things kept getting worse. The darkness kept getting darker. In the end, I was the only one who survived.

Never again...
Even now, I'm the only one who can carry the weight of the Adrestian Empire. The future of the Empire...of everything...depends on me.

I've never told anyone about my past before. Please...forget I said anything. Sleep well, my teacher.

...What the fuck happened at Enbarr Castle in Edelgard's childhood...?

The content warning for Abby/Edelgard C is no longer in effect.
♪ Teatime Joy ♪

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Well, that was an eventful week. Time to do monastery stuff again.

Before that, let's get Petra in Myrmidon, and Sylvain and Hubert in Monk.
♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Oh yeah, I bought the DLC, which has given me this big batch of stat boosters as a bonus. Once you buy the DLC, all of these stat boosters can be grabbed once per save file. In order:

Sacred Galewind Shoes: +2 Mv
Sacred Floral Robe: +7 HP
Sacred Snowmelt Drop: +3 Str
Sacred Moonstone: +3 Spd

The latter three are nice, but the first one is absurdly goddamn powerful. You can get a +2 Mv booster from the start of the game.

Oh yeah, I can also change Abby's outfit to a skirt version of the student uniform. Also glasses. I'll be sticking with this look for a while, I kinda like it better than her normal outfit.

Yet as I think of it, the pounding in my chest grows faster still. But is that me...or is it you?

I'll take your word for it.

Belongs to Bernadetta.

Things are finally calm again, and so I've come here to unwind. Let me tell you, I put all of my knowledge to use keeping those kids alive. Still, the truth of it is that when someone faces death for the first time...well, they figure out who they are. They learn if they can do it again.

I will protect them.

Perhaps... Perhaps it is resigned to its woeful fate of being plucked from the water and eaten...
Ah, Professor. You are so outgoing with all of the students.
I would like to have more opportunities to connect with you, though I am certain my brother would disapprove.

Ooh, this is important.

As is this one. This is also our first quest that asks us to do an auxiliary battle to complete it.

Belongs to Hilda.

Annoyingly, though, if you're playing Black Eagles, you can't return lost items to Hilda until Chapter 12.

Another important quest. The item she wants is...literally at the Gatekeeper's spot. I could see it from here.

It's literally right here.

Oh! Come to think of it, last month there was something to report, wasn't there? Thanks to you, I hear that everything was resolved. I never realized that bandits had entered... I'm not a great guard after all, am I? I hope you will forgive me one day!
Aww, gatekeeper, don't worry about it.

And now we have access to the blacksmith, where we can repair weapons to full durability, as well as upgrade them to higher-level forms, for some gold and ore. I won't be using it right this moment, though.

Belongs to Ingrid.

The thing is, the bandits' leader who stole the Relic...is Sylvain's disinherited older brother.

It's a pleasure to meet you.

So there's a new Knight of Seiros walking around the monastery. Neato.

What a complete disgrace to the nobility.

And just last month, the Sword of the Creator was almost stolen too.
Also quite unheard of. What impudence.
For House Gautier to invite us on to their land, they must be desperate. But at least we'll have the stalwart knights ready to stand around and watch us do all the work.
...Yeah, actually, are the knights just planning to watch us fight to the death with a bunch of thieves, and only intervene after one of the students dies?

And some are unhappy because they have a Crest they never asked for.

Instead, it held the Sword of the Creator. What could it mean?

That's not as distinguished as an archbishop, such as Lady Rhea, but it still comes with a fair amount of authority. If someone in that position plotted an assassination, I cannot help but think it must have been instigated by some outside force. There are bishops in the Eastern Church as well, but to speak frankly, they do not have much impact.

Felix Hugo Fraldarius, yup.

To think they'd go into the Holy Mausoleum and assault the Goddess Tower...
I cannot imagine the Western Church was acting on its own. Someone must have been helping them.
As for the masked knight who escaped, his days are numbered.
I hope we find him soon, so I can kill him myself.
You'll have to beat me to it.

I have come in Margrave Gautier's stead to retrieve their stolen Relic. However... As I hear it, a group of students is to attend to this matter. I sincerely hope no harm comes to any of them.
So that's Felix's dad, huh? Seems like a pretty standard noble to me.

Don't misunderstand, I always thought he was a piece of garbage, but I never thought he'd steal the Relic.
I can't wait to see his face when he realizes I'm in the group that was sent to take him down.
...That's not how you really feel, is it, Sylvain?

Professor, I hear you have had work...have worked as a mercenary in the Kingdom. Did you find joy in this?
You cannot remember? Is that having possibility? I have amazement...

Belongs to Sylvain.

We can't allow a Hero's Relic to be stolen.

I know Relics aren't easy to come by, but I'd still like to get my hands on one...

Belongs to Petra.

I'm not sure.

I'll take muscles over Crests any day. Heck, I'll take muscles over a hot meal! Actually...

Belongs to Lysithea.

I believe so.

Though...I suppose I am much the same in that regard...

It also rains a fair bit. Don't get caught out there without protection, or you're sure to catch a cold!

They didn't.
Were you using magic? I've heard you weren't, but— Ugh! It's torture not being able to go inside the Holy Mausoleum for an entire year.

I sure do wish there were more nobles like you, Professor. A teacher, a mercenary, and so very mysterious...How could a girl ever get enough?

Fódlan is a complicated place.
Gonna agree with Dedue on that one.

Belongs to Felix.

Professor... The Heroes' Relics are incredibly powerful. Please be on your guard.

Her face looks...familiar...

A History of the Founding of Faerghus.

You should just be honest with your host.

That means they used Lonato.
What right do they have to drag a good man like him into their schemes?!

Do you think she moved from her coffin and left the sword behind?
...I sincerely doubt that.

Belongs to Ignatz.

You have to master it as soon as you can. I can't wait to face off against such a legendary weapon!
Felix, please, there's more important things going on right now.

I'm so glad Lady Rhea's safe. I figure you're a great person after all, Professor.

Could it mean that you're a descendant of Nemesis, the King of Liberation?!
Again, I doubt that. Nemesis died about 1000 years ago, and if he'd had any heirs, I imagine Seiros would've killed them too, going by how enraged she was at the guy.

Where is he?
It seems he has gone off somewhere. If he is not in his room, then surely someone has seen him. Ask around.

Sure. To progress with this, we need to talk to Leonie, who's just outside of Jeralt's office.

I hate these kinds of quests, but I'm also an ardent completionist with this game, so I accept it.

However, know that I believe in you. I have no doubt that you will use that power justly.
You will most certainly fulfill the grand destiny that the goddess has seen fit to grant you.

Give Linhardt and Bernadetta some drugs. Easy.

The characters involved chnage based on what house you're instructing, by the way.

He was talking with a female knight, but I didn't get a good look at who she was.
It's Catherine. We need to talk to Catherine.

I respect your self control.

Belongs to Manuela.

Maybe he's made some kind of big discovery.

...The Death Knight?

Anyway, to fulfill Flayn's quest, we have to pick up these four pieces of debris.

Finishing that quest unlocked statue restoration. We've been getting Renown for doing quests and finishing battles. On standard New Game, this is the only place you can spend it.

Investing Renown in the statues lets you unlock some passive benefits to amplify all characters' growth (not growth rates). In particular, there's EXP increasing effects, increases to your Divine Pulse maximum, increases to the amount of skill experience gained in a particular skill, be it through battle or instruction, a boost to class mastery experience, and each statue ends with an effect that increases all units' maximums in a given stat. This is entirely useless, since you're very unlikely to ever cap a stat.

Anyway, when you first unlock the statues...

Get the Saint Cethleann one to at least the Class Exp +1 benefit. Seriously. You will thank me later. That effect does exactly what it sounds like, and it halves the amount of rounds of combat a character needs to enter for them to master a class. Beginner classes only take 30 rounds, Intermediate classes only take 50 rounds, Advanced classes only take 75, and Master classes only take 100.

I'm not kidding, get this effect as early as you can. It makes mastering classes beyond Intermediate actually possible.

There's a graveyard attached to the monastery, so you'll probably find him there. I can't remember where the graveyard is, but I bet Seteth knows.
We don't need to talk to Seteth, we can just walk over there. It's at the northeastern corner of the monastery.

I was thinking we should visit...your mother.

Why is her grave here?
Hm? Oh. Of course you would ask that. I wouldn't know where to begin...
I suppose I haven't talked much about her.
She was gentle and smart. So smart. A wonderful cook. Always kind to everyone. And...she loved flowers. Whenever I brought her back an unusual flower, her face would light up.
I cherish those memories. I can't count how many times she made me happy just by smiling. And she smiled the most...when she was pregnant with you.
She died right after you were born. She wasn't able to spend much time with you.
But she loved you with all her heart. That's the truest thing I know... Never forget it.

One day, I hope you'll give this ring to someone you love as well as I love her.

Jeralt, you...kind of dodged my question about why my mom is buried at Garreg Mach.

...Only 20 years old. I know this game's set in medeival-ish times, but still. I'm older than that by not that many years, and I still consider myself absurdly young.

I did Rhea's quest. I guess that's supposed to be a tutorial for giving gifts if you hadn't already done that.

Some faculty training with Rhea nets Abby Recover. It's melee range, like, Heal, but it heals for a lot, enough to be a functional full heal for a very long time.

Some Authority training with Seteth, since I want to get Abby out of the E and D Battalion Hell Zone.

Hey, it's a special food day! Sometimes, the amount of support gained when eating a particular food type with characters who love that particular food type is increased.

Listen, Seteth was the only other person who liked fish that could support Ingrid and who isn't a character I don't intend to recruit this run...

I checked the greenhouse, and found a very bad harvest.

I actually know how to garden this time, and I'm aiming for stat boosters.

Faith training with Manuela.

I didn't mention it before, but a strategic use of faculty training, even in skills you don't intend for Byleth to make use of, is that as long as Byleth has a higher rank in a skill than a student, they get a Professor Expertise bonus when being instructed in that skill, which is equal to +2 skill experience.

Some choir practice with two future recruits, and I'm out of activity points for today.

Let's do supports. We've got a bunch ready for us.

Hubert/Bernadetta C.
♪ A Dark Sign ♪


No! Into the light! Back to the beyond from whence you came!
Are you telling me to die?
Ah— Hubert!
In the flesh. I came to ask you something.
Oh no! What'd I do? Think, Bernie, think.
There have been sightings of a sinister figure, carrying a sharp object, wandering the halls at night.
A strange giggle. The glimmer of a needle in the dark. The sound of a door creaking open and closed.
Uh, I was embroidering.
I suspected as much. Then you leave me no choice.

That was quite a sprint. A shame you lack stamina. Now, to my duty.
You're going to execute me, aren't you? Please, let me compose my last will and testament! Or at least a swan song?

Bernadetta. A word of caution. How would you feel if you fell, or bumped into someone, while carrying around that needle? Please watch where you're going in the future.

How did you manage to faint while standing up?

♪ Garreg Mach Cathedral ♪

In Bernadetta's defense, I think being around Hubert would make me faint too.

Ferdinand/Linhardt C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Linhardt. Lost in thought, I see. Unacceptable!
Are you not aware that a noble's duty is to be ever vigilant?
Rest increases alertness. Is there something I can do for you, Ferdinand?
Well, I was just passing by, and I thought I could give you a little advice.
You always seem to be napping. Why not spend your free time doing something productive?
Easier said than done, Ferdinand. I'm afraid I suffer from a constitution that tires easily.
Hmph. Some training will remedy that.
Let us work on that today. I will train you myself!

You're always giving it your all, aren't you?
Yes, I am. Is there something wrong with that?
Of course not. In fact, I rather enjoy your demeanor. You go all out even when others wish you wouldn't.
You work hard, inspire the admiration of others, and your dignity as a noble is beyond reproach.
I consider it my mission to serve as a guide and a model for other members of the nobility.
As capable as you are striking. Next to you, I am a mere infant.
Oh, you are far too kind... Although I do work hard each day to achieve all of which you speak.
You've mastered all the important noble skills. You drink tea, talk about how great you are, ride horses...
Indeed! I went for a ride earlier today.

I must get some sleep, being the infant that I am. Farewell for now, Ferdinand, oh noble among nobles.
"Noble among nobles"? Seems a bit much.

♪ Garreg Mach Cathedral ♪

Next up is Ferdinand/Bernadetta B.
♪ Calm Winds over Gentle Waters ♪

Ah, my nemesis! The hour of fate arrives... Help!
I am not here to hurt you! You need not even open the door. Just listen to me.
I...don't have to open the door? Is this a truce? OK. OK, I like truces!
Thank you. I would like to apologize for sticking my nose into your business the way I did. I thought you might be unhappy all cooped up in there, and that maybe I could help. But I've had time to reflect on what you said, and I realize I was mistaken.
Oh... Um, thanks for caring, but I'm fine actually.
I see that. I suppose that is what I am trying to say. I should not have pushed you to do something that you did not wish to do. And for me to frighten you like that... That was unbecoming conduct for a noble.
Maybe a little bit.
Frankly, I am embarrassed by my behavior. I disgraced myself. As for my injury, you need not feel guilty or afraid. The sprain was a result of my own thoughtlessness, not anything you did. I have always strived to be a good person...but I suppose all that striving was for nothing. I have failed in my duty as a noble.
Um, Ferdinand?
Yes, Bernadetta?

It wasn't all your fault, you know. I'm to blame too. I hurt you, and I'm sorry.
Really, it is fine. It healed quickly.
And...it wasn't for nothing either!
I am not so sure.
I do like my time alone. Actually, it's more of a need. But you're right. I also need to venture out every once in a while.
Maybe if I work as hard as you do, I can try it a little more.
Yes. Keep working at it. You are already much more outgoing than you used to be.
When I mess up or even when it's just a bad day, it's hard for me to step outside. I'm too scared.
But the next day, I try again...because I know that one mistake doesn't ruin everything. So you're still... I mean, just because you...That doesn't mean... Ah, I...don't know how to put it, but that's how it is. So, um... The end.
What a graceful end to the conversation.
Hey, come on! That was serious! Ugh, at least I got you to laugh.

♪ Garreg Mach Cathedral ♪


Also, as someone with generalized anxiety, let me tell you, I can relate hard to what Bernadetta said at the end.

Onto Linhardt/Bernadetta C.

Lots of Bernie today.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Funny Footsteps ♪

It's just me, Linhardt. What are you doing?
Painting! Just painting! Not important. Am I in your way? I'm in your way. I'll just go. I'm going.
No need for all that. I just came out here to read. I'll stay quiet and still so as not to bother you. How's that? If you want to go, that's fine too.
Um... No, I'll...stay.

Say, aren't you usually holed up inside?
Ah! I'm sorry! I'm sorry for coming here! I'm sorry for bothering you!
You're mad, aren't you? You look really mad! I'll just pack up! I'll be gone before you know it!
Mad? At you? Never. I rather admire you in fact. I fantasize about shutting myself in my room and never going outside again. It sounds like paradise. However, I wouldn't be able to perform my research. That, Bernadetta, is a problem.
Wh-what? You admire me? Nu-uh. No way. I know a trick when I see one! What are you plotting?! So you want to copy me, is that it? And what's a copy do with the original? Replace it! Well, I've got you figured out. I won't just sit back and take it... I'll fight you!
What? That's n— Ugh, this is too much hassle. I'm leaving.
Ah! I'm sorry! Please don't kill me!

♪ Garreg Mach Cathedral ♪

If you're thinking Bernadetta going "you want to make a copy of me" at Linhardt was silly...well, it was. But it's not unrealistic. That she'd think that, I mean. Being afraid of...well, most anything, that'll make you irrationally paranoid.

Having abusive parents also makes you irrationally paranoid, but let's not get too much into that.

Got enough of Bernadetta yet? No? Well, here's Bernadetta/Sylvain C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Time to get nice and snug, maybe do some sewing...

What? N-no! Nothing at all!
Hey, relax! It's OK if you'd rather not tell me.
By the way, I believe you left something in the library... A half-written manuscript? Your own work, I presume?
I was curious who it belonged to and gave it a read-through. You're a really talented writer!

I'm sorry. I peeked at the first page then the next, and I couldn't stop.
I think it's good enough to publish. It's the kind of adventure story that will make people laugh and cry! I love how you never know what mess the hero is going to get herself into next. I'm dying to read more!

Uh, your mouth's hanging wide open. Bernadetta? Are you OK?
Sorry, um... Was someone talking about a story?
Yes? That would be me. I read your book.
Y-y-you read my book?
Yeah, and I loved it!
Aaah! I'm so humiliated! Please, forget everything you read!

Now what do I do with this book?

Even if I burn the pages, I can't burn his memory. Not unless I...throw him in the fire too...
No, that's awful. Don't think things like that, Bernie.

♪ Garreg Mach Cathedral ♪

Please do not commit murder, Bernadetta.

Oh hey, we've got Abby/Hilda C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

You were daydreaming too.
Ha! Not as much as you! It's hard to tell what's going on in that skull of yours. Your expression is always blank. Come on... Smile!

By the way, in the next battle, may I focus on logistical support...off the battlefield? There's no use having a weakling like me in the middle of the action.

You're not a weakling.
Have you even seen me, Professor? Look at these noodly little arms!
I should be cheering everyone on from the sidelines.

Why aren't you taking this seriously?
Because even if I did, I would still be a weakling.
My big brother is the type of person who's supposed to be on the battlefield.
For me, it's just a waste of energy. It's pointless. Everyone's cut out for something different. The right person for the right task, you know?
Please, Professor? Keep me off the battlefield, and maybe I won't tell everyone you were daydreaming!

♪ Garreg Mach Cathedral ♪

Hmm. So there's at least some logic behind Hilda's chronic dereliction...

Alright, we're out of activity points, let's move on.
♪ Learning Lesson ♪

Petra gets instruction in Lance, because I want her to class into Pegasus Knight when the time comes around.

Sylvain finishes his Reason aptitude, gets his dodgetank skill, and gets further instruction in Reason after that.

Still training Bernadetta in Axe. It's still torturous.

Edelgard gets mixed instruction in Reason and Axe.

Caspar's always going to have low Authority, but I might as well get him into D range, at least.

Try studying the movements of others for improvement.

Monster Breaker: +9 Mt, 1 range, costs 5 durability. Effective against Monster foes.

...Monster enemies? Huh?

Rally Dexterity: Use Rally to grant Dex +8 to an ally.

Gives, effectively, +8 Hit and +4 Crit. Pretty situational.
♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Ding! Got a +1 HP booster.

I didn't plant new seeds yet, because I wanted to see if I could grab a particular type around the monastery.

Professor level C+! We have 6 activity points for monastery exploration now, but more importantly, we can do 2 auxiliary battles per day. For the love of the gods, do not do any auxiliary battles until you get that. You're getting way less value from your day if you do battles while only being able to do one of them.

Nothing beats sincerity.

Try reading Cichol's General Treatise on Mercenaries.

I'll try to persuade him to stop.

More Faith training.

Abby gets the all-important Faith C+. Why is that all-important right now?

I bet you've come to invite me to your class, what with my stupendous grades and all.

This was a successful interaction, I must say. Please provide me with all the most challenging assignments. I want to be well equipped for the future.

At support rank C, Lysithea requires that Abby have 12 Mag and Faith C+ to be recruited.

Yeah, she was gonna be rank B before long, but this means I can get a week of instruction in for her, and also take her to the auxiliary battles next week.

It was at this point that I noticed that last faculty training with Rhea unlocked Abby/Rhea C.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

There is no need to be nervous. Please, come closer.

I'm still nervous.
What a sweet child you are.
Oh, my apologies. I should not be treating you like a child. As Jeralt's kin, somehow you don't seem at all a stranger to me...

He never mentioned you.
Oh dear. How heartless of him.
In any case, let us endeavor to become closer from here on out.
Since you are here, shall I tell you about the Jeralt that I knew?
By the look of it, you haven't heard much about his time at the monastery, have you? When I first met Jeralt, he was quite young. Why, he could not even grow a full beard at that point! On one fateful occasion, the band of mercenaries he belonged to fought alongside the Knights of Seiros.

I tended to his wounds in a desperate attempt to save his life. Thankfully, my efforts were not in vain. Jeralt managed to escape a seemingly certain death.

I didn't know... Thank you for telling me.

Even at the monastery, there are not many who know that. I tell you this because...to me, you are the child of the one who saved my life all those years ago.

Never mind. It is nothing. I simply wanted to say that I trust you.
By coming to visit with me today, you have... Well... Suffice it to say that my day is brighter than it otherwise would have been. I thank you for that.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

I get the distinct feeling there's a bunch of stuff that both Jeralt and Rhea are hiding from us...

Oh hey, we've got Bernadetta/Dorothea B. More Bernie! More Bernie!

Content warning:
violence against a child.

If you don't wish to see that, then please skip to where I say "The content warning for Bernadetta/Dorothea B is no longer in effect."
♪ Spiderweb ♪

Oh no. What did I do this time? Did I offend you? Is this your revenge?
No, not at all. I just want to talk.
If you promise not to resort to violence, I'll do whatever you want.
Bern, I've just been worried about you. That's all. When I said I was your friend, you ran away, saying something about your father. Remember?
Um... Vaguely...
I know you've lived through some bad times. If you could tell me about it, maybe I could help?
Oh, I don't know.
Please. Your father's not here now. Whatever it is, you're safe to tell me.
All right...

They said commoners are scum and that they'd crush any that tried to come near me.
Hang on. Scum? They called me—I mean commoners—they called us scum?
Yeah. But once, a long time ago, I did secretly make friends with one...a boy. When my father found out about him, he disappeared the very next day.

Since then, I've been terrified of making friends with anyone. Commoners, especially.
I... I never knew that kind of thing really happened. You hear stories, sure, but... Oh, Bern. I'm so sorry.
I'm proud to be your commoner friend!

Bernadetta is crying as she says pretty much everything from here on out.
Hey now, relax. There's nothing to bawl about. If your dad tried to beat me up, I'd return the favor and then some.
Return...the favor?
When I was in the opera, you better believe I had run-ins with the most wicked, terrible men. I survived kidnappings, attempted murders, all kinds of stuff. But you know what?

You're incredible, Dorothea.
So now that you know I can defend myself, can we be friends, Bern?

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

If you were wondering just how much lower Count Varley could go, he was willing to kill (or at least attempt to kill) children who got close to his daughter. And y'know what? He's a noble. He'd get away with it. Powerful people, especially men, always do. What the fuck could the commonfolk do to retaliate? Rebel against Count Varley and execute him for the crimes he committed, drawing the ire of both the military of the Adrestian Empire and, from what we've seen, probably the Knights of Seiros?

Which is why Dorothea's expression of confidence in her self-defense prowess to Bernadetta warms my heart. The woman can very definitely fend for herself—not just in terms of the story, but gameplay, too. Sure, I use her primarily as a spellcaster, but she does have a strength in Sword, signalling that she has experience using them in the past. To Bernadetta, hearing someone—especially another woman—being unafraid of her abusive, violent, controlling father and the goons he could send after anyone who got too close to Bernadetta, must've been probably the most soothing thing she's heard...ever, really.

Beyond that, this scene is another reason I love Dorothea as a character. She's smart, she's got a sharp tongue that she knows how to use against the people it'd wound the most, and she can hold her own against people that seek to harm her. Pretty much the platonic ideal of the kind of woman I want to be someday.

The content warning for Bernadetta/Dorothea B is no longer in effect.

And with that, Abby/Manuela C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

You were sleeping.
Oh dear... Professor? Is that you? I... Just a moment.
What should I do? I can't open the door in this state...
Manuela, you simply must quit...oversleeping.
Hold on. Where are my clothes? I can't even find my— Where in blazes is my underwear?!

Some crashing and tumbling noises are heard.

I can't tie this properly! It's not even covering— Oh, Manuela... This will have to do...

Are you OK?
I-I'm fine. Just... Just hold on a moment.

That took a while.
Excuse me? You had a reason for coming here, I assume.

No, you've done nothing wrong. Let's just say I'm not having a good day. Actually, I didn't have a good night...

I have a message from a knight...

He said, "We will never go out together again."
Yeah... Figures. Kind of saw it coming, actually. That's why I came back to my room and went to bed. To get over it. Thank you...for checking in on me. Was that all you wanted?

Sleep well.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Manuela is incredibly relatable, honestly.

We've also got Abby/Hubert C.
♪ Spiderweb ♪

I am, yes. And yourself?
Of course.

Something wrong?
No, not at all. It's just that I find myself a little concerned for your well-being.

It seems so.
Don't be flippant.
There is something you need to understand about the role I play here. One of my many duties is to determine potential advantages and potential threats to Her Highness. If you prove yourself useful to Lady Edelgard, then all will be well.

Dispose of me?
Yes. This is no joke. While I may be a student here, I am her servant first and foremost. Therefore, if an untimely demise is not to your liking, you would do well to demonstrate your utility with all haste. I should warn you that I am far less compromising than Lady Edelgard.

I'm not worried.
Ha! Such confidence. I'm beginning to see why you caught her eye.
My family, House Vestra, has been sworn to House Hresvelg for generations. Since the dawn of the Empire, we have worked to protect the emperor by any means necessary—both in the open and in the shadows. If you incur our wrath, you will see just what I mean.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Fuck off, Hubert.

It never ends! Edelgard/Dorothea C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

You're going to get wrinkles all over that cute face of yours if you don't smile more.
Hello, Dorothea. I was just lost in thought.
There are so many things to be done—to think of them makes my head ache sometimes. So many nobles of the Empire are utterly useless. When I am emperor, I intend to appoint only those who can actually be useful. It doesn't matter if they're of noble or common birth.
Noble or common, eh? Can you really do that? I mean, not that I don't agree. I'd make all those nobles vanish if I could...
It's not a question of can or cannot. All that matters is doing it and doing it right. The nobility system has only been around for twelve-hundred years. The concept didn't exist before that.
"Only" 1,200 years, huh? You always say such preposterous and extraordinary things, Edie. Yet somehow, you actually make it work for you. It's like you're a character from an opera.
A character from an opera... Hm. If an opera is made about my life someday, I wonder how I'll be portrayed.

Well, that all sounds pretty violent. But either way, it would make an incredible opera. Do you figure it'd be a grand action piece full of combat and strife? Or would you prefer a somber political drama?

That's quite enough, Dorothea. I'm starting to feel more than a little embarrassed.
Lovely as your voice is, let's just hope that any operatic productions about me are still a ways off.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Aww, that was cute.

Oh hey, this is queued up too. Annette/Hilda C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Haha! Oh, wow. It really is messy. I'm not sure there's even enough room to breathe.
I haven't been tidying lately. I start to procrastinate when I'm busy.
Oh... Hey, how about I clean up for you?
Really? That would be amazing! So, are you good at cleaning?
I love it! Actually, the messier a room is, the more determined I get to conquer the crud!
Works for me! I'll leave you to it. Don't wanna get in your way.
Great! See you later!

The sound of glass shattering plays.
Annette?! Oh no, my vase!
Oh my goodness! I'm so, so sorry! I'll clean it up right— Ahhh!
Not again!
Th-there was a big bug! So big...
Oh no! Oh no—oh no—oh no—oh no! Annette, do something!
Wait! Not magic! I don't want you to burn my room down!

No kidding. I guess it was my fault for getting you to clean up my mess. At any rate, you've made such a mess of my mess, now I feel motivated to clean my own room. So, that's kind of a positive outcome.
I guess that's one way to think of it...
You know, I really do admire your can-do attitude. Although it might be, ah, too much? You don't want to overextend yourself.
For one thing, you'll tire yourself out. Based on what I just saw, you might even get hurt.
Don't worry about me! I'm fine! I've been like this my whole life.
I've never wanted to let anyone down. My parents, my uncle...
So I always try to give it my all. And it's taken me this far, at least!
I guess so.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Bit of a glimpse at the cores of those two.

Belongs to Linhardt.

Abby/Felix C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Care to train with me? Waving this sword around alone is boring. And I'm tired of crossing swords with worthless opponents.

You think I'm a worthy adversary?
I don't know for certain, but you seem skilled. I've always been interested in your technique. You learned from the former captain of the Knights of Seiros, and traveled Fódlan fighting as a mercenary.

This line is, obviously, skipped over if you view this scene prior to obtaining the Sword of the Creator.
Good sparring partners like you don't grow on trees.

Why are you so focused on becoming stronger?
Why? Hm. I never really thought about that. I learned to thrust a sword before I learned to write my name. Of course, my upbringing wasn't unique. That's how it is for all children in my country. You're no use if you can't swing a sword, however mighty your Crest may be. It was the perfect environment for me. I could live free of stodgy values and virtues.

Do you have any other ambitions?
Why should I? Nothing's as important as the pursuit of strength.
But that's enough idle chatter. Take out your sword. My mind is emptied of all but the thrill of the challenge!

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

There's more to life than fighting, Felix.

Anyway, I'm out of activity points, so onto the next week.
♪ Learning Lesson ♪

Please get out of the Authority Hell Zone, Dorothea.

She'll need Lance way down the road for Dark Knight.

Riding, too, like Hubert is learning.

God, I have to burn so many instructions on something with so little return. At least I won't have to do it after she's passed the exam for Brigand.

♪ Teatime Joy ♪

♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Rally Charm: Use Rally to grant Cha +8 to an ally.

It's easy to dismiss Rally Charm—trust me, I did too, the first few runs I did. Then I realized that it gives, effectively, +2 Mt to gambits, and also +40 gambit Hit/Avo. Rally Charm is invaluable on Maddening, where gambits with big AOEs are the name of the game for making sure you don't get overwhelmed.
♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Anyway, now that we're at the next free day, time to take care of those quest battles. Roll the levels!

I feed Sylvain the Galewind Shoes. Trust me, I know what I'm doing. This'll be relevant in about 4 in-game months. For now, it means our trusty mage-with-Cavalier-HP-and-Def can get around the battlefield really quickly.

Petra gets the Floral Robe and the Fruit of Life, increasing her max HP to a much more comfortable 35, as well as the Snowmelt Drop.

Caspar gets the Moonstone.

Feh, I guess that's fine. Doesn't hurt to have a durable Edelgard.

Mag and Spd! I knew you had it in you, Hubert.

Bernie, please.

Well, I did advertise him just a few boxes ago as being durable...

I will permit this level only because I just fed her a bunch of stat boosters.

Battalion Vantage: When foe initiates combat, unit still attacks first if battalion endurance is ≤ 1/3.

About as bad as its normal counterpart. At least this one's less dangerous for making sure a unit doesn't die.

I will take any Spd I can get on Ferdie.



Def's...important, I guess. Complements her new HP.

Much better!

One down.

Godsdammit, Edelgard.

Well, at least it has Mag...

Dorothea's no good, very bad level.

It's also Hubert's, I guess.

Oh, nevermind, they were just giving Linhardt's sleepy self a bit of help.

And that's a wrap on the auxiliary battles.

One more support for the road, why not.

Abby/Petra C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

When and how is this expression used..."I fell for it."

I fell ill?
No, that is what you say when your body is feeling unwell.

I don't understand...
Are you a stump? I mean...are you stumped? That makes me surprised!
Can I ask you about another word? The one that is written here...

Your cheeks are on your face.
Yes, I know about that! That is a joke of Fódlan! Right?

The mark?
You are already knowing that I am from Brigid. This is a mark from Brigid. It is a prayer to the forest spirits. A prayer to be protected. Hunters ask the forest spirits to have safe and bountiful hunting. There are many spirits in Brigid. I have more marks on my arms and back. They are prayers for my family's health and triumph.

No, but thank you.
Oh. I have understanding.
I have much gratitude for you, Professor. You always listen with patience.
I can read and understand the language of Fódlan, but to speak it...gives me difficulty. I hope I will keep having your support. And I will give you my support too, with my whole heart.

Let's do our best.
Yes. We will keep walking forward.

Petra has a drive and energy that I only wish I could mimic.

♪ Teatime Joy ♪

Bleh, I don't have any of Dedue's favorite teas.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Good gods almighty the supports never end.

Well, being a member of the peanut gallery won't transcribe them any quicker.

Edelgard/Hubert C.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

If you had never met me and entered my service, you might have had a more peaceful—
A more tedious path? Inconsequential and spoiled rotten, like so many other nobles? Never. My duty to you is no mere obligation. I chose this. I had thought that would be obvious to you.
I understand you well. Better than anyone. But when I see you at the monastery, studying with the others... It makes me wonder what kind of life you might have had without me. That's all.
Such a life may have had its appeal. I thought I'd left my years of carefree innocence behind me. But I cannot deny that I find myself enjoying my time at the monastery.
I feel the same way.
That enjoyment, however, is only thanks to you. Standing by your side is all that truly matters to me.
I see. Then I won't speak of such things again. If it's really what you want, I'll gladly keep you by my side. The path I must walk...is soaked in blood. It's a path that can lead to madness, can snatch away one's future, and can even take one's life.
And the pool of blood at my feet is growing larger. Those stains can never be washed clean.
Please leave the violence to me. A leader must be seen as pure. Above the fray.
Allow me to paint the path that lies before you red with the blood of your enemies. I will do it gladly.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

As much as I dislike Hubert, I do admit that he's probably very trustworthy as long as you're on Edelgard's good side. Dude is devoted. Slavishly so.

Anyway, Edelgard/Linhardt C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

You could say that. I'm looking for someone named Linhardt who's been skipping lectures again.
I see. Well, congratulations, you've found him. Did you want him for something in particular?
What else could bring me here other than your complete negligence?
Well, perhaps you're interested in hearing my latest theories on the nature of Crests. I suspect the formation of Crests may be quite different than that recorded in church tradition.
Before you go on, is there any discernible benefit to me allowing this babble to continue?
Well, of course.
And that would be?

That's it?
What more do you need? Crest research is its own reward.
You know, if you ever truly applied yourself, you could become a distinguished scholar.
You could use your Crest knowledge to benefit the world or uncover new discoveries in magic theory.
Why would I busy myself with such tedious work?
I perform this research for my own knowledge. I'm not interested in the world at large.
There's nothing wrong with a selfish drive for knowledge but only if you put it to good use.
I'm sure there must be some use...
Oh? Then please, tell me what potential uses you have in mind.

So I'm sure my not-at-all useful research could be used as a fine lullaby for the children of the world.
A lullaby?
Ugh, I have things to do. Just know that this was my last warning.
Sure, of course. Good-bye.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Once again, Linhardt is very relatable.

Edelgard/Caspar C.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Huh, ha! Rah! Hyyyah!
Oh! Edelgard!

I did, but no matter. What has you training with such intensity?
It's never good to neglect one's training, but overdoing it is ill-advised as well. You could already give any student here a battle they wouldn't soon forget.
You think so? Thanks! I appreciate that.
I can't really stop training though. I gotta get better if I expect to get anywhere in this world.
If memory serves, you're the second son of House Bergliez, right?
That's right. My older brother is the heir, and there are already too many mouths to feed in our family, so I can't count on any support. I pretty much have to make it on my own, you know?
I understand. It's difficult being born a noble. Those who inherit everything also inherit great burdens, but the same can be said of those who inherit nothing.
What are you talking about? I don't have any troubles.
Who cares if I don't inherit anything? It just means I get to cut a path to my own future.

Are you picking a fight, Caspar?
Hey now, come on. I didn't mean to be disrespectful. Always happy to fight though, if that's what you want.
Ugh, I have no desire to bicker with you.
Good luck with your training. Good-bye.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

You could've...handled that a bit better, Caspar.

Hubert/Ferdinand C.
♪ Spiderweb ♪

This again.

Maybe you would be more perceptive if your mind were less burdened by sedition.
Sedition? Absurd. This is an important project.
Yes, I heard. A new way to prove how superior you are to Lady Edelgard.
She is not your rival, Ferdinand. She is above you.
A noble, like you, ought to know his place.
Anything is better than being a noble like you.
Every time you open your mouth it's "Lady Edelgard this" or "Lady Edelgard that." Do you ever think for yourself?
You follow her around like a pet. You spend all of your time fretting over her, and yet you never truly express an opinion of your own.
Before you reprimand me, take a moment to consider your own failings.
Your nonsense is tiresome, so I hope this will be the last time I have to remind you. Lady Edelgard is the Imperial princess. You are merely the prime minister's son.

That is what I strive to do, always.
Thus my devotion to surpass Edelgard, so that if she needs guidance, I will be prepared to give it.
If you think it is tiresome to have a mind of your own, you will never be much of an advisor.
Does the river of filth pouring out of your mouth ever stop flowing?
Your obsession with all things superficial is disgusting. It's no use. You're hopeless. I'll take my leave.
I have nothing more to say to you. Get out of here.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Two different people with two different ideas on how to serve their ruler best. Gotta say, I kind of agree with Ferdinand more.

Hubert/Linhardt C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

Linhardt. Here again, I see.
Go away, Hubert. Now is not a good time. Ah, yes. The double line becomes a helix, and its arc... No, that cannot be correct...
Now is exactly the time. Lady Edelgard requests your presence. Come. The lecture is about to start.
Politely inform her that my research is vastly more important than...whatever it is she has to say.
While your passion may be admirable, it is sadly misdirected. This matter takes priority.
Return to your hobby when your duty is done.
Hobby? But this research will most certainly prove useful in the future!
The Empire requires you to be useful now. I should think you would want the same.

In truth, you have talents that many, including myself, will never have the privilege of possessing.
Are you complimenting me, Hubert? That alone deserves to be studied.
Let me finish. I haven't an ounce of respect for the cause you have chosen to waste your talents on. Which changes frequently, I might add, with no rhyme, reason, or results. Learn to apply yourself to something constructive. You may still have a bright future.
That sounds suspiciously as if you're not going to leave me alone.
I just want to live a life doing things that interest me. Is that so wrong?
That is unacceptable. Even for a nobleman. Her Highness will soon ascend the throne. She is attempting to deal with such noble privilege head on.
You have a point, and I understand where you're coming from. But I can't do it. I can't bring myself to work for someone else.
Pathetic. Keep to your books, then. Good-bye, Linhardt.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

As much as I love and relate to Linhardt, Hubert...does have a point regarding his research topics constantly jumping around is bad. It's also surprising to see Hubert admit inferiority to someone that isn't Edelgard.

Ferdinand/Petra C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

He has much concentration right now. I will wait for him to be finished reading.
Mm hmm...
Diplomacy has an effect upon weapons development. Yes... That makes sense.

A short time. You were devoting all of your attention to that book.
Forgive me. I was fully absorbed in my reading.
I see you have been reading as well. Anything interesting?
I am studying the history of Fódlan.
A history book! What a keen student you are. And it's about House Hresvelg. Certainly a stimulating topic.
I am wishing to learn all about Fódlan. What is the book you are reading?
Oh, this? This relates to a little hobby of mine—the regional history of weapons development in Fódlan.
Militaries have to adapt their weapons according to terrain and climate, and they have to keep up with technologies in other regions. It's very interesting.
Yes, it is interesting. I see why you would be enjoying that kind of reading.
Oh, does that excite your curiosity too? Perhaps you would care to read more about it, then.

I give you my gratitude. Research of weapons could be a good reference for me.
Oh, please take my apologies. I was meaning to tell you that our professor is wanting to see you.
Oh! It is not like you to forget something. I suppose I ought to be going, then.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Caspar/Dorothea C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

I'm always happy to help. What can I do for you?
That is exactly what I was hoping to hear. Would you mind coming along to my room?

There's still more to do? Why do you care so much about keeping this place clean? It's just a dorm room.
Were you raised in a stable? Leaving this place a mess wouldn't be fair to the next person who uses it.
In fact, I think once we're done with this room, we should clean up your room as well.
Yeah, I don't think so. I have some actual training to do.
Oh, come to think of it, I have a date myself. The fella I'm seeing has quite a charming face, rich family, and, I assume, a tolerable personality.
Don't you get tired of spending time with all of these guys who have "tolerable personalities"?
Oh, it gets tedious at times. You must listen to them talk, for one thing. But it's important for my future.
That's how I see my training. I guess it's pretty much the same thing.
I don't know if that's a comparison you really want to make.

Sure, I'm a noble, but I'm also a second son. I don't have anything coming to me. Why do you think I'm always training so much? I need to prove myself on the battlefield if I plan on making it anywhere in this world. I know you don't have noble status or wealth, so you're putting in the effort to marry well, right? See? Pretty much the same thing.
I suppose... It would be nice if everyone saw it that way.
Well then, Caspar, I need to get ready for my date, but shall we both agree to work hard for our futures?
Absolutely. I just hope our efforts are worth it!

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

That was a...surprisingly perceptive comparison from Caspar.

Okay, last one. Caspar/Petra C.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Caspar! Do you want to train with each other?
Uh, yeah. Sure.
You have had new training recently. And great improvements.
I want great improvement too. Will you give me help?
Well, hey! Look at that! You pay more attention than I gave you credit for. I have been trying new training methods.
They're definitely paying off. My movements are much sharper lately, more precise.
I am knowing that! I want that too.
You teach. I learn. We both get more strength. It will be greatness.

Yes, Caspar?
Uh, no. Never mind. Sorry. I was just...thinking about something else. Nothing at all! Let's train!
I heard a question in your voice. Say it.
No, no, no. It's really nothing. Don't worry about it.
OK. I will not be worrying. Can we begin the training?

What am I knowing?
About my father.
Your father? He is of the military, in the Empire. I hear he has great skill.
No, not that. Well, it's kind of about that... I'm talking about when Dagda and Brigid invaded the Empire.
My father led the Empire's army that fended off the invaders.
Your father was in that battle. Did you really not know?

You... How long have you had this knowing?
I just found out recently. I had no idea before then, but it's all I've been able to think about since...
So, now you have the truth.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

...Well, that...got real heavy, real quick. Caspar's unfairly burdening himself with sins of the father guilt, if you ask me.

Phew! That was a big update. Next time: we reclaim the Lance of Ruin.

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