Update 94: Chivalry, much like Rodrigue on my failed attempts at this paralogue, is dead.

♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

No preamble this time.

The added units aren't the thing you have to worry about for this paralogue on Maddening. The two extra guys near our starting spot don't help, though.

The real headache on this map is a combination of the near-defenseless villagers only getting very minor buffs, making them even easier target practice for the enemies—but it's not just the villagers. Rodrigue not only doesn't get any buffs, but his stats are almost exactly the same as they are on lower difficulties. He's got +2 max HP, +2 Str, +1 Mag, and +2 Cha. He's incredibly susceptible to being killed, and unlike the villagers, he doesn't have the good sense to hide.

For this map, I'm taking a mix of my better units (Bernadetta, Ingrid, Ashe) along with some more middling units. Notably, I'm opting to leave Dimitri and Constance out, with Dimitri acting as Ashe's adjutant.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Tempest of Seasons ♪

We open with Balthus using Blaze on these three.

Damaging all three of them, plus rattling them, makes closing off the southeastern reinforcements much easier.

Dorothea is lucky enough to be able to one-shot this thief with Thoron.

Some might say that having Ingrid bait enemies out with Gradivus might be a waste of this powerful weapon. I scoff at them.

There's just way too many enemies up top to deal with all at once, so let's Blaze them.

Adan, meanwhile, puts that mercenary at near-fatal HP.

I'll send you flying!

A lucky crit makes clearing out the top much easier. Caspar's luck is rewarded with further luck.

...Not the stat, Lck. Like, luck in terms of a good level that's statistically unlike— Never mind.

I will prove myself!

An unnecessary crit, but who can say no to style points?

I do like Dimitri getting Spd.

Oh, he mastered Lord, too. Neat.

The mercenary green units are, thankfully, reasonably competent against the enemies on this level.

Every point of HP, Def, and Res matter on Maddening.

Seven hells, the villagers are already on the move.

Oh, come on, man, you were safe behind that mercenary!

I'd normally complain about kill-stealing, but... Well, time is of the essence with this map, so every enemy I don't have to deal with is time I can spend advancing instead.

Now, this—using Gradivus to kill an enemy outside of enemy range, while being able to bait out other enemies—is a good use of Gradivus.

This is some real galaxy-brained shit: move Adan in front of Bernadetta, so that Mercedes—who otherwise cannot reach melee range of Bernadetta—can apply Stride to Bernadetta.

Get back!

The gauntlet users are, by far, the biggest threat to the villagers on this map. I'm overextending Bernadetta by a large amount, but she's only within one enemy's attacking range, and she's well-positioned to assist either the northern group, or Ingrid, depending on who ends up in more trouble.

That's all of the top units taken care of.

I will prove myself!

Hell yeah, good crit.

Anyways, told you Bernadetta would be safe. She'll lose a lot of HP, but if I play my cards right, all that'll mean is that she gets the +5 Atk from Persecution Complex.

A small gamble, sure, but it paid off.

Eviscerate is a good combat art. It actually saves me a use of the Vajra-Mushti, since Balthus would've had to land four hits to kill that armored knight.

That's the southeastern reinforcements shut off before they could even start.

As usual on Maddening, the reinforcements on this map can act on their spawn turn.

Danger danger danger!

One less enemy to deal with, at least.

Thank you for evading that hit, mercenary.

All you've done is make her stronger.

Wow, Rodrigue managed to not get himself killed.

Just look at those combat stats, though. 10x2 Mt, 100 Hit on the enemy's end, and a measly 16 Mt and 59 Hit on Rodrigue's end. Part of doing this map on Maddening is babysitting Rodrigue and making sure to take out any threats near him, to the reduce the risk of him deliberately getting into fights he can't win.

Unnecessary, but I'm kind of impressed.

At least those two are safe.

That's the southern reinforcements closed off.

Kills that thief, and holds the other one in place. Good use of Ashes and Dust, in my opinion.

Try this!


Bet you completely forgot that onagers are a thing, huh? Sylvain's able to kill that rattled thief with it.

Caspar's gonna bait that thief out.


Mercifully, no other enemies were able to attack Rodrigue.

Great work, man, truly exemplary.

I'm not doing half bad, if I say so myself.

Locking three enemies in place, and a Bernadetta level that contains Str and all of her defensive stats? Hell yeah.

I could have Ingrid move up and to the left, and even take out the brigand with Gradivus, but that'd leave her open to three other enemies, and she would not be able to survive that.

The attack connects, and kills the cavalier.

Healing Focus is so broken.

Thank you, Rodrigue.

...I guess that works!

Good hit, bad level.

An unusually good level for Annette. Too bad it won't matter.

The attack connects, and kills the mercenary. This onager is being unusually useful!

Too bad it doesn't mean Sylvain'll get a good level.

No crit, sadly. It would've only been a convenience, though—the thief isn't in range of anyone he can kill.

Rodrigue being a big fan of picking fights he can't win mataches up perfectly with his personality in the story, to be honest.

I've got you!

Ashe and that killer bow+ get along really well, wouldn't you say?

That's the escape tile open.

Let's dance!

Thank you, Yuri.

+1 Crit isn't enough.

Don't think I showed off Felix talking with Rodrigue mid-battle last time. Let's see it now!

Felix... You may know this already, but no matter how many you kill, more always appear. Anywhere in the Kingdom these days you can see the same kind of scenes. His Majesty, the late king, would despair to see it.
A dead man doesn't despair. Besides, let's focus on the living.
I didn't get around to it, since I didn't deploy Dimitri, but Rodrigue has dialogue for talking to Dimitri, too.
Oh, Prince Dimitri is here to help! I am humbled, Your Highness, and so sorry to trouble you.
No, it is fine. As a man of royal birth, this is the obvious course. However, it does not exactly seem like they are remnants of Miklan's faction.
Indeed. Nothing but common bandits, and yet... Ruffians like that have recently surged in number.
I am aware. For now, let us focus on saving the villagers.

Two turns later, Caspar baits the final enemies out, so we can end this.

That actually hit?!

Well, Adan's able to get in and block the enemies off from being able to hit Ashe, so that's nice.

That's not 70 Hit, it's 39 Hit. After Hit +20.

...Well, shit, I'm not gonna say no to that.



It pains me to trouble you, but I humbly request your assistance in helping to secure the villagers' safe escape!
Oh, Rodrigue has dialogue for Adan, too.

Right, I'm getting bored of this.

That's that.
♪ No music ♪

All that effort for a piece of equipment I don't even think is that useful.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Might as well do supports while we're here.

Dimitri/Sylvain C.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪
I, um, accidentally forgot to record the first line... Pretend Sylvain said this.
I'd better avoid the training grounds. I swear, His Highness never sleeps...

Ah, Your Highness! Hello. No, I was not wildly carousing with women. There was only the one. Let's just forget you saw me, agreed?
Unfortunately, I can't do that. It's time someone talked some sense into you, and it seems the task has fallen to me.
Sylvain... I'm not saying you can't enjoy yourself at night. But you must learn the art of moderation. Again and again, you end up wandering the streets until the early morning...
OK, I get it. I don't need one of your lectures. I've got them all memorized, anyway.
I promise I'll be better in the future. I'll stop going out at night. I'll focus more on my studies... I promise I'll be better in the future. I'll stop going out at night. I'll attend all the strategy meetings...
And in return, you'll go into town with me, and we'll invite some cute girls to dinner. Shall we shake on it?
The way your mind works absolutely confounds me. How did you even arrive at such a notion?
You need to get out more. Naive and uptight is no way to live your life.
Naive and uptight? Yes, well, compared to you, I imagine I'm downright run-of-the-mill.
I'm not so sure. Most men are experienced enough to know not to give a dagger to the girl they—
Will you never let that rest?! It was many years ago! Perhaps a good knock on the head will help you to finally forget about it...
With your brute strength, a knock on the head could knock the life right out of me. You'd better watch that temper, Your Highness.
So how about this—I'll try to behave, and you'll try to loosen up?
If I do as you wish, will you truly promise to improve your behavior?
What'd I just say? Of course I'll behave. A knight of Faerghus never goes back on his word.
What about you? I wanna see you with a girl on your arm.
I am a man of my word. I will...attempt to do as you ask. But you had better uphold your end of the bargain as well.

Oh, Dimitri. You always take even the silliest things so very seriously. This should be fun...

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Dimitri/Hapi B.
♪ Spiderweb ♪

Listen up, Didi. I remembered something.
Remembered? Ah, does this have something to do with why you were staring at me earlier?
Not ringing any bells. I stare at people all the time. Anyway, do you know Anselma?
Anselma... Yes, of course. But how do you know that name? That is what my stepmother was called in the Empire. In the Kingdom, she was called Patricia.
Oh, so that's what it was. I see now. What a relief. It was really sticking in my craw. Well, now that that's all settled, I'm off to bed.
Just one moment. You may understand, but I most certainly do not. How did you know my stepmother?
She used to visit all the time. I think she was friends with the lady who kidnapped me.
Friends? Are you sure?
I heard the lady helped bring her to the Kingdom, but I don't really know the details. Anyway, when Anselma saw how I was being treated, she got angry, just like you. You remind me a lot of her, actually.
Are we really that much alike?
I'd say so. Come to think of it, you greet people in the same way, hold a book in the same way... You even get angry in the same way! It's uncanny.
I share no blood with my stepmother, but to hear you say that... It conjures a great deal of emotion. I suppose it makes sense that we would share certain mannerisms.
To think that the person you mentioned was my stepmother is...baffling, to say the least.
What do you mean?
For all intents and purposes, my stepmother was completely cut off from the outside world. Suffice it to say few knew that my father had taken a second wife.
Sounds...complicated. I can keep my mouth shut, if you like.
I would very much appreciate your silence on the matter. But thank you, truly, for all that you said. Truth be told, the union between my father and stepmother has given rise to...much speculation. But for now, what's truly baffling me is the identity of that lady you mentioned... She welcomed my stepmother into the Kingdom after she fled home due to political strife... Hm. No, I must stop this. It's time to put an end to this discussion. Baseless speculation will get me nowhere.
Oh, come on. I finally felt like I understood, and then you go and say something cryptic like that.
If I can't sleep tonight, I'm blaming you.
Well, if that happens, come back here and I'll keep you company. I'll be training a while yet.

I wonder... Could Hapi's captor truly be her?

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

I'm with Hapi on this one, can you quit being cryptic, Dimitri?

I got locked out of being able to do this support in Silver Snow, so...

Annette/Ingrid B.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

What's the matter, Annette? You look upset.
I'm just so, so sorry! I had no idea!
I'm not sure I follow. Take a breath. What's going on?
Well, I was really curious about why you're not interested in things like makeup. So I asked some of our friends about it...and...
Oh, I see. I imagine they mentioned that my family was fairly poor, and they probably also mentioned that I lost my fiancé. Correct?
They did. I'm so sorry. It was thoughtless of me to try pushing those things on you.
It's perfectly fine, Annette. It's true my family struggled financially. It wasn't easy growing up, but it taught me values I wouldn't have learned otherwise. And we weren't so poor that I consider myself deprived. I'm sure my family would've bought me makeup if I'd wanted it. But it never mattered enough to me—not then, and not now.
Oh. So you just...never sought that stuff out?
Never. While I acknowledge it can be fun, fussing over my outward appearance isn't an instinct of mine. When I was younger, I'd usually be found covered in dirt, bugs in my hair, and a big smile on my face. Things haven't changed too much since. Then, when my fiancé passed on, my priorities shifted even further. It reminded me of what's most important in life.
Beyond that...it's hard to think of myself changing without him around to see it, even if it's something trivial like how I present myself.
But talking to you has helped me realize it's OK to loosen up and enjoy those things if I want. So...thank you.
Me? Oh, I didn't do anything at all. Except pester.
More importantly... Do you notice anything different about me today?
Yes! It's very subtle, but I could tell right away that you were using that makeup I gave you!
You could? Ah, that makes me happy. I was trying to apply it just how you showed me.
You did great, and it really suits you.
I think there's a lot I can learn from you, Annette. You've helped me embrace a lighter side of life I quite like.
It's my pleasure! Oh, this is so great! Want to go shopping to celebrate?
Uh, shopping? But...what would we buy? That sounds so overwhelming!
There's a dress I've been eyeing for a while now. I'm certain it will complement your pretty eyes. Just leave it to me, Ingrid. I'll make you the most fabulous knight this world has ever seen!
Well that does sound fun! I look forward to it.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

...Y'know, war monk may be a bad class, but...

Screw it, where's the fun in playing this game if I only do what's optimal?

Next time: Remire, but on Maddening.

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