1346: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken – Chapter Fifteen-TwoPosted: March 3, 2016
Title: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken
Media: Video Game
Topic: Fire Emblem
URL: Chapter 15-2
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck, Sura T’Lenya, and Crunchy Raptor
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to Fire Emblem: ReAwaken. I’m your host, Herr Wozzeck, and today we jump back into this fic.
Sura T’Lenya: Let me guess: once more into the breach, my friends?
Crunchy: Well of course! It would ill befit us to delay any further!
True. Let’s get going.
We open our next chapter—sorry, the next half of this chapter—with this:
“I’m… going… to… KILL HIM…!” I pant as I chase after my son. I don’t know how long we’ve running and I don’t care to know. What I do know is that my chest is currently on fire and I’m wheezing a lot more than I probably should be.
Especially considering you’ve been wielding a sword a lot the past several days and that you’ve been doing a ridiculous amount of walking lately. I mean, how the hell does that work?
“He… can… get… her… another… scarf… dammit!”
C: Was he not the one worried about finances? You would think he would be advocating to find the scarf if he paid that much gold for it.
ST’L: No kidding. It’s like fiscal responsibility is that thing that people preach but don’t do.
Anyway, Kale is like “I’m in bad shape, Jesus”, to which Arashi is like “your endurance and stamina are shit”.
“How is that possible? I can fight against Risen without much trouble, so why is this causing me so much grief?”
Arashi grunts. “Think back to those conflicts: while the Risen were numerous, how many times would you say you were actually in serious danger from being killed by one? Risen, from what I’ve gathered from your memories, are relatively slow and seem to prefer attacking in groups. Even though you managed to fight off the Risen, how much of a challenge did they really present to you?”
Enough that he ran away from them like a little bitch once his plot-convenient anxiety showed its face? Also, you try one-manning an army of Risen that are at the equivalent level from you. I guarantee, it won’t turn out well.
C: Are you certain about that? Considering what he helped Kale do earlier…
Oh fine! *growl*
Anyway, Arashi is like “yeah, yeah, build your stamina” before going around and stuff. And then, of course, Kale wanders into the ghetto, and when he’s there he hears Daven. He follows Daven to—
“Around back!” he replies. Following his words, I head around the back of the abandoned building, which opens up into another large courtyard with a massive tree in the middle of it all.[/quote]
ST’L: How is this place abandoned in—
In all seriousness: HOW IS THIS PLACE ABABDONED?
ST’L: *snort* Well, that’s certainly a typo for the ages.
No kidding. You think Pallin would give you extra paperwork for that?
ST’L: Probably. I’d probably give it, too, to be honest.
Oh, and I don’t see Daven anywhere. “I’m up here!” …He’s what? Slowly, I turn my eyes skyward only to immediately look down at the ground in shame.
My son is in the tree. On one of the highest branches no less. And is still trying to get the damn scarf back from the bird. “What the hell are you doing?” I ask, trying to keep from shouting my head off at him. Seriously, how can anyone be this stupid? I’m really going to have my hands full with him, aren’t I?
ST’L: Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that. You haven’t even kissed his mother yet, you’ve got plenty of time to fix this.
C: You are speaking about someone who has climbed a tree to retrieve a scarf for his crush. I am not certain any amount of time can fix such great levels of stupid.
“Trying to get back Lu- I mean, the scarf! Yeah, just the scarf!” he replies before slowly inching along the branch he’s on towards what I’m assuming is the raven’s nest. Said raven is perched on the branch looking at him, as if daring him to try and steal back the scarf which has been placed in the nest. This can only end so well… “Alright little birdie…” I hear him say. “I’m not going to hurt you… I just want that pretty- OW- WHOA!”
“Daven!” I shout as I see my son almost fall off of the branch. The bird pecked him on the hand when he tried to reach for the scarf. Normally, I’d be upset at the bird for nearly killing my son but at this point I’m pretty sure the bird’s smarter than Daven. In fact, I almost feel like rooting for it. “You idiot, just get down from there! We’ll buy your girlfriend another scarf!”
“She’s not my girlfriend!” he shoots back, glaring at me. I just glare back, causing him to quickly shift his attention back to the raven. “Stupid cro- OW!”
Okay, I know that the “SHE’S NOT MY GIRLFRIEND” thing in relationships is a common trope, but this is pushing it, no? I mean, seriously: you’re in a fucking tree, fighting a goddamn bird over a shitty-ass scarf with your fatass hands to give to some crazy girl the audience hasn’t met. If this is how you act about something related to a friend, I’d hate to see what you’d do with a girlfriend.
C: It would be very entertaining.
Anyway, they then go on about how it’s actually a crow, Daven is like “they’re both black, what’s the difference”, and then of course…
Probably not the best idea, considering it immediately jumps at him, wings flared out. “N-Nice birdie…” he says, backing off from the pissed off bird. “L-Look, I just want that scarf back. It’s for someone who’s really important to me, so… Huh?”
As I watch, he cranes his head over the raven and his eyes widen. Before I can ask what it is, he starts climbing down the tree, slowly and carefully. I pinch the bridge of my nose in frustration. He goes through all of that trouble to get it back, including nearly falling off and giving me a heart attack, just to immediately climb back down? Sighing, I just fold my arms and wait for him to come down.
C: Is this meant to be comical? I am honestly not sure if it is.
At least there was no onomatopoeia.
At least he didn’t get hurt or any-
Stop that! Jesus Fuckballs on a kebab!
Anyway, Kale then bitches some more about Daven, before Daven is like—
He stretches his back, which causes an audible popping noise. “That cr- raven, I mean, was a mother. I saw eggs in the nest and realized it had taken the scarf to keep them warm.” he explains. “I’m sure that those baby birds will get more use out of that scarf than anyone else.” There’s a somewhat sad look on his face as he says this.
I tilt my head. “So… this Lucina girl wouldn’t get much use out of that scarf?”
He shrugs. “I don’t know. Chances are she’d never accept it, anyways, so it might as well go to some good use.”
ST’L: … Well that was rather sudden and out of nowhere.
C: But you did cut content, no?
Well, I did, but even with that it did come up a bit quickly. It’s really not as big a deal considering other whiplashes we’ve gotten, but…
Whatever. Anyway, we get some back and forth about that when Daven asks Kale not to bring up Lucina again. They then bump into Serena, who heard the screams and wanted to see if there was any way she could help.
ST’L: Oh good, it’s the badass orphanage owner.
Yep, that it is. Anyway, Serena thanks them for helping the kid, and Kale is like “oh, don’t worry”, before being like “but you do owe Daven an apology for throwing him”. Serena is then all “yeah, you don’t see that a lot”, and then she apologizes to Daven, who is all “nah, only my pride was hurt”. And then, of course, Kale turns the conversation to getting to know more about Usagi—I mean, Serena, and then—
I ask, causing her to turn back to me. “You did mention multiple kids and that you chase them around all day, so either you help work at the orphanage or you’re a lot older than you look.” …I really just made a comment on a woman’s age. Why did that have to be spoken?
ST’L: At only forty? Please, even humans don’t get offended by that. You should try being four hundred years old someday: then you can say I’m old.
I suddenly feel like running and my legs tense up, ready to take me as far from this place as possible.
Surprisingly, she just laughs it off. “You’ve caught me. I’m really well past forty, but I still look good for it, if I might say.” Crisis averted. No running in terror necessary. “But yes, you are right. I work at the Smiling Acorn Orphanage here in Ylisstol. In fact, I was just heading there now when I heard your friend screaming.”
Smiling Acorn? Weird name but okay.
C: At least others recognize how silly it is.
… Wait, she works at the orphanage. You don’t suppose…
…Wait, she works at an orphanage! “I’ve got a question for you, if you don’t mind me asking. You see, I was wondering if Prince Chrom or someone related to the Shepherds or the palace had come by and dropped off any kid lately.” She raises an eyebrow but motions for me to continue. “You see, I rescued a kid in Southtown when it got attacked and handed him over to Chrom and his group. I’d asked them to take care of the kid but I was thinking they might have handed him to one of the orphanages.”
She thinks about it for a minute, chewing on her thumbnail, when she suddenly snaps her fingers. “Ah, so you’re the mysterious Kale that Lady Lissa was talking about so much!”
*facepalm* Oh yay, the baby makes another appearance now. Because I totally wanted to be reminded of the übermensch wannabe…
ST’L: Well, we still wouldn’t have been done with him anyway. Remember, the author himself was all “oh dear, the places I was gonna go with that guy”.
Anyway, Kale asks Serena if she’s the one taking care of the baby, and she offers to let him see the kid. Kale is like “yes please!”, and then he asks about the abandoned building right there. And then…
“From what I understand, it’s an old barrack built during the reign of the previous Exalt.” she says. “He decided that he wanted a full group of soldiers ready and waiting inside of Ylisstol at all times, so he constructed this and others throughout the city. Of course, he died before his plans could become a reality, so they’ve just sat there, wasting away.”
An old military barrack? I can actually feel the wheels in my mind slowly start to grind to life. “Since it’s a part of the military, does that mean the palace owns it?”
She nods. “Yes, but since the current Exalt isn’t the warmonger her father was, she’s actually quite willing to part with them. Not for a whole lot, either.” She looks at the building and furrows her brow. “In fact, I’d say this is probably the only one that hasn’t been bought up and made into something else.” She turns back to me. “Why? Plan on opening up a business?”
I smile. “Well, yeah, but that’s a plan that may not come through for a while. Now then, shall we be off?” I ask, motioning forwards dramatically and getting another laugh out of Serena.
“Certainly.” she replies, curtsying slowly before leading us away from the building and towards her orphanage.
ST’L: * cough* *cough* Calling it now: they’re settling in there.
C: It is rather obvious, no?
Hey, you know what? I’m just glad someone in this fic remembered that Emmeryn isn’t supposed to be a warmonger. I’ll take that any day, thank you.
Anyway, we get a line break, and we cut to the orphanage, and… what would you know, but it’s dilapidated too. Serena gets a moment to be sad about it, and Kale relates it to his own childhood experiences, and they both get nostalgic and sad about it.
“I know the feeling…” Daven says quietly enough for me to hear. Man, I just can’t help but wonder what all he went through in the future… “But, I do know one thing.” he says, causing Serena to look at him. “It’s when things are at their worst, when all hope seems lost, that something good will happen. I’ve lived a good portion of my life believing that and so far, it’s worked pretty well.”
Except, you know, for the whole part where your future is so fucked Naga has to send you back in time to fix it all up. But apart from that, something good will happen.
ST’L: Well, it’s not like being sent back to this time is a completely bad thing.
C: It has lovely trees! And crows that attack you! And also Risen!
Still, you know what I mean! It’s kind of an idiotic thing of him to say considering where he came from and all that, you know? It’s like, his upbringing was shit thanks to the world going to fuck, and he’s being optimistic about it? Um, yeah, no. I’m sure there’s a certain tattoo’d wolf who’d disagree with him on that. And watch, Kale is going to bite into it, too.
That was… cliché, but also very true. You know, despite how much of an idiot he can be, Daven does make me proud sometimes. Except for when he’s climbing trees.
ST’L: Hm… You do bring up a decent point, I suppose.
No kidding, right?
Anyway, Kale agrees with him, and then he gets hit in the leg by a ball. Serena gives the kid a shouting, and then the kid runs off and Kale is like “eh, it’s whatever. Serena then leads them inside the orphanage, and we get descriptions of all the kids before Serena’s like “there he is”. And he’s inside a dilapidated crib, and—
“He doesn’t have a name yet but you can still see him.”
C: Truly? He has not received a name yet? He has been in this orphanage for some time, no?
ST’L: Yeah, no kidding. How does he not have a name yet? That strikes me as the kind of thing they would talk about immediately as soon as he got there.
And yet with this kid, they forgot to do that.
C: Perhaps they will name him Kylo Ren?
If they did that, it’d be little wonder he turned to the Dark Side later in life. I mean, shit.
So then Kale gushes about how cute the kid is, picking him up. Of course, we then get an old lady being all “you must be the guy who rescued him”. Of course…
“Yes, you certainly seem like you would be the one Lady Lissa spoke of. It’s written all over you and I can see it in the way you move.”
“You can tell that I’m the one who saved him just by how I look and move?” I question.
She laughs. “Young man, you do not get to being my age without learning a few tricks.” True, I will admit.
ST’L: I don’t know. Something about all this still seems a little creepy to me.
Though, it is actually kind of creepy.
*shrug* Hey, you said it, I didn’t.
The old woman then introduces herself as Maybelline, the head of the orphanage. Kale wonders how Chrom didn’t see the place if he brought the kid himself, but Maybelline tells Kale “actually, he didn’t see the place, because I offered to take it off his hands right then and there”. And then we get stuff from Serena about how the nobles would dismiss it, and Lady Emmeryn’s attention is diverted by the Plegian threat, and the nobles don’t care about mercy, life sucks, blah blah blah.”
I bite my tongue to keep from swearing. Now I’m getting a full picture of just what’s going on: With Emmeryn and the Shepherds trying to stop a war, the nobles can run rampant. The commoners wouldn’t raise any complaints since they would either be stamped out by the nobles who are doing it or it would just cause trouble for Emmeryn. Either way, they lose, and the nobles can get away mostly unscathed. I place the baby back in his crib and walk over to the doorway. “I feel sick to my stomach now.” No matter what world I go to, the rich screw over the poor; the strong stamp out the weak; people look down on others from their thrones.
ST’L: So does anybody else want to strap this guy into a chair to do a marathon of Game of Thrones?
No kidding. If this kid thinks this place is bad, I’d be afraid to see what he thinks of Westeros…
So then Daven is like “what can we do?” Serena starts to refuse, before Kale—
“We’re not asking.” I interrupt. “Daven and I are offering to help. …Well, Daven’s offering for us to help, but I’d be more than willing to do it.” I look at Daven with approval. Way to go, Daven. I should’ve thought of this myself.
But you didn’t, because King of the Basics.
C: He has taken some initiative, at the very least.
Anyway, Kale is like “YOU’RE TAKING OUR HELP WHETHER YOU WANT IT OR NOT”, and Maybelline is like “well, if you insist”. After that, we get a line break, and we cut to…
“Get… back… here… whatever your name was!” I shout/pant at one of the many kids that I’m watching over. The little brat just turns around and sticks their tongue out as they run off, a pouch of gold coins- MY POUCH- in his hands. “God help me… First smoke from Barnab-ass, then running full-tilt after Daven, now chasing kids? Farewell, my lungs…” I mutter.
And farewell to your chances at being a combatant, right?
C: Obviously. Perhaps Kale could do with a read-through of Mass Effected?
Hey, to be fair, at least Kale isn’t saying he’s anemic or anything like that. He just says he’s “out of shape”. And I don’t know about you, but at least it’s that, and not fucking forgetting to do your homework on conditions that would disqualify you from combat.
My stomach seemed to be on to something, as this is the most work I think I’ve ever done. These kids, despite looking like stereotypical street urchins, have way too much energy for their own good. In the span of a single hour, I’ve had them ask me who I was, where I’m from, if I could let them play with my sword- which really sounds disturbing in context- and they’ve stolen stuff off my belt at every opportunity.
ST’L: Hey, look at it this way, kid: it’s good practice. You thought street urchins were bad, just wait until they pop out of your wife’s body!
ST’L: What? It’s true!
And to top it all off, I’ve got an annoying parasite in my brain laughing at all of this.
“Come now Kale. Surely you can handle a few unruly children?” he taunts, making me wish I could strangle him. “Just look on the bright side: your endurance has increased by two points due to all of this!”
“No, I just wanted to see if you’d believe me. I’m surprised it worked.” I can practically see the smile, and I can hear the laughter.
And he’s a troll now, too.
C: I distinctly remember adding that to the list already.
Ah, fair. Fair.
“Shut up or I’m throwing this sword in the nearest river.” Suddenly I feel someone crash into me and- THAT KID JUST STOLE ANOTHER MONEY POUCH! “GET BACK HERE!” I scream, as both the kid and spirit laugh at my situation.
And on that note, the scene ends, and we cut to later in the day when the kids calm down. It of course turns the conversation to Daven, who then starts by saying “I’m the oldest, so I’m used to chasing kids around”, before we get a bit of a rambling from him about how he never got to see kids be happy in the future.
ST’L: Hm… We’ve been getting lots of that.
Well, to be fair, his future was pretty shit.
ST’L: Oh, that wasn’t a criticism. Just makes me think.
Serena shows up, serving all the kids dinner. She offers some to Kale, whose gut reaction is…
While my stomach says yes, it wouldn’t feel right to eat these kids’ food, so we just shake our heads.
C: The King of the Basics doing something stupid to seem halfway noble? What sorcery is this?
Hey, to be fair, the only food they could provide would cut into the kids’ food supply. Given how in detail the prose went about how destitute the place was, I can actually see it happening.
C: Wait, a well-meaning gesture from a Gary Stu is actually well-meaning?
Yep. For once, I’m actually glad this fic is surprising me with stuff. It’s mostly pleasant surprises.
Anyway, Kale and Daven do end up asking if they can join Serena. Kale starts by saying “how do you do this”, and Serena is all “well, it was the easiest day for me, so thanks, hope you’re not mad.” She then expresses concern about the future of the orphanage, and how she’s not sure she can handle the pressure of taking care of the kids. Of course…
“But I’m just going to have to try. For the kids’ sakes.” She opens her eyes and smiles at the two of us again. “Again, thank you for your help.”
ST’L: Hm… So she’s worried that she can’t take the pressure, but she’s trying anyway.
Can I just say that we have a new candidate for “best character in the fic”? Because holy shit, this lady is awesome! I want to know more about her than I do, I want to see her in her daily routine… And really, that’s the best sign that you’ve created a good character. You want to know more about them, and you want to see how they think, what they feel, all that wonderful jazz. And we’ve got all that in Serena!
So yeah. Kale and Daven are like “well, we should head home, thanks for everything, I think you’ll be fine”.
Letting go of her shoulder, I motion for Daven to follow me as I head for the gate-
“Oh, you can’t be serious.” Daven cries.
-and into a drunken Barnaby, whose breath smells way too much like alcohol. And he still has his knife, somehow. “Imma kill those bratsh…” he slurs, staggering towards me and Daven. “Even if it meansh I hafta kill yew!” And suddenly he rushes both of us. With his KNIFE.
C: Oh, it is this cretin again. Is he attempting to go for an Awesome McEvil status? He is rather failing if he is.
No kidding. Seriously, we get Serena, and then we have to go back to the token sycophant who is too over the top to be taken seriously.
“Daven, get Serena inside and make sure the kids stay safe! I’ll… try and figure out some way to keep him busy.” I don’t wait for his response, twisting out of the way of the knife. I take a few steps back and hold my hands up defensively. “Listen Barnaby: you’re drunk and you don’t know what you’re doing! Stop now, go home, and I won’t even tell the guards about this!” He just runs towards me and tries to slash me. Well, if he won’t listen to words… I grab my sword and draw it, holding it defensively in front of me. “Stop or I will hurt you.” Again, he ignores what I say and charges, trying to cut me rather than stab me. I swing my sword in an effort to block.
“OH GODS!” at least three people scream and for good reason. You see, a funny thing happened when I brought my sword up: Barnaby stumbled and his hand hit the blade of my sword while I was swinging it, so… There’s a very good possibility I just accidentally cut off a man’s hand.
So did you cut the dude’s hand off, or didn’t you?
ST’L: Yeah, we’d appreciate it if you’d make up your mind on that.
My eyes flicker from my sword, to the bloody lump on the ground, to the crying man, back to my sword, and then to the ground.
“Fuck…” I mutter.
Oh, so you did cut the guy’s hand off.
C: Good, at least the prose decided. I have seen enough vagueness to last me a lifetime.
Yeah. Though, dude still chopped a dude’s hand off. What is he, Luke Skywalker?
ST’L: Hey, the guy rushed him with a knife. Can you blame him?
No, but I can’t help but wonder what the hell blocking motion would result in the dude’s hand coming off. It’s not a criticism of the spirit of Kale’s actions because they were in self-defense, but I can’t help but feel there’s bad swordplay practice in there somewhere. If only SC or Fraug could chime in…
Anyway, Kale tells Daven to find guards, and Kale is like “wait, hang on”, and then he uses his ultra-special healing powers to heal the dude’s stump. Of course…
And I suddenly feel extremely tired. Arashi, did I just-
“You may have just used a bit too much of my power healing him. I’d advise against doing anything like that for at least another day.”
So he expended more energy to heal a chopped off hand, and somehow used less to heal Daven, who was suffering from a possibly mortal stab wound. Right, because that makes sense.
C: Do you suppose this wannabe’s wrist was big?
When you put it up against fixing damage to internal organs and sealing up a larger wound?
C: … The parrot brings up a fair point.
Anyway, Serena runs over to check if Kale is okay, and Kale says he’s just tired. And then, the guards show up, and grab Barnaby. Kale says—
“Don’t worry, I managed to heal him up. I’m sorry he lost his hand but- Hey, what are you doing?!” Two of the guards rush me and grab my arms before hoisting me up.
“For attacking a man with a dangerous weapon inside of the city of Ylisse, you are hereby under arrest!” one of them states.
…Well then. This is bad.
Oh dear. This is going to be awkward.
ST’L: I suppose it’s going to be an awkward segue to see the others. It’s that, isn’t it?
“Get in there and stay in there!” one of the guards orders as they boot me- actually boot me- into the cell and shut the barred door behind me. “There will be a hearing for your crime. Until then, I hope you don’t mind sharing a cell.” He walks off as I turn around and look for my apparent cell mate.
My eyes widen when I see who it is.
“What are you doing in here?” we ask at the same time.
“I was trespassing.” “I cut off a man’s hand.”
ST’L: And of course, as soon as Garrett comes back in the story, cells are not the only thing he shares with Kale.
That’s what she said!
ST’L: … Why are they sharing the same paragraph?
C: Perhaps they are speaking over each other? It does seem like a rather strange way to convey that, though.
Anyway, Kale then explains he was defending himself, and then he’s like “wait, where were you trespassing?” Garrett is all “apparently I was trespassing on a noble’s lands, or something, I don’t know.
He sighs but grins. “Not that it really matters. You know who I saw coming in here while I was being dragged to this dump? Marco’s here for some reason and he said he’d work to get me out. I’m not sure how he can do it but he seemed confident enough, so he must have his ways.”
“And if he can get you out, he can probably get me out as well.” I reason.
*frown* Wait a minute… What the hell is Marco doing in there in the first place?
ST’L: You don’t think it’s a sign of bad things, do you?
… I hope not. I mean… if this leads to any bullshit, it’s gonna suck, but I hope not! It’s been an okay chapter so far, I’d hate to see it do something stupid…
He nods before lying back down on the bed he’s been on. Which, I might add, is the only bed in here, so I’m really hoping we don’t stay the night. Trying to make myself as comfortable as possible, and looking for a place that doesn’t have any signs of rats or, worse, spiders, I sit down and try to relax. Key word being try. “Arashi, you have any idea how I can get out of this mess?”
“Is something wrong?”
“Yes… I’m not sure why but I feel… unsafe here. This close to the castle, I mean. I’ve been feeling this way since we arrived but know that we’re so close to the castle, something’s making me incredibly nervous.” He lets out a grunt of frustration. “I’m not sure how what you can do to get out of this. Sorry, but until I know what’s wrong with me, I’m going to try and rest.”
Let me guess, this mysterious something is gonna be mystical, it’s going to get in the way of Kale’s thing, blah blah blah… It’s the Fire Emblem, isn’t it?
ST’L: Why would that affect this thing in a way if he’s supposed to be a benevolent guardian?
That would be true if he didn’t have four split personalities.
As I feel him disappear, I sigh and lean back- OH WHAT THE SHIT- “SPIDER!” I practically rocket to the ceiling as one of the eight-legged abominations that were spawned from the deepest pits of Hell shows itself. “GET IT AWAY! GET. IT AWAY!” Garrett looks up from his bed and gives me a confused look before shaking his head and lying back down. Well, screw him too- OH GOD THE SPIDER JUST MOVED TOWARDS ME!
And suddenly, we get this:
ST’L: *snerk* Didn’t know she was so afraid of spiders. Gotta remember that next time I see Kalo…
And why would that be relevant to him?
ST’L: Because it would be funny.
Yeah, yeah, whatever. Anyway, we then cut to Kale as he’s let out thanks to Marco, who’s accompaniedby everyone else. He rushes out of the cell, bumps into Marco, who is all “what was that”. Kale then goes on about his fear of spiders, and then Marco is like “don’t worry, you were acquitted, but Garrett owes me for all the money I paid to bail him out”. Kale then tells Marco “so you’re here on business”, before Marco is all “I was gonna do this alone, but since you’re all here I might as well let you come with me.
So then we get another line break, and we cut to…
…I’m actually meeting Emmeryn. In person. I’d never thought something like this would happen in my life but, apparently, the reason Marco’s been at the castle all day was so he could get an audience with the Exalt.
C: Marco’s business was with the Exalt? What reason could he have for speaking with the Exalt?
I don’t know, but I have the horrible, horrible feeling I know what’s up.
ST’L: Apart from Emmeryn being out of character?
Yes. Apart from—
Walking into the throne room with everyone, Marco at the lead, I manage to see the Exalt and she just seems to radiate a strange calmness, as if being around her will make everything better. She’s not even sitting on her throne; she’s standing in the middle of the throne room. “Ah, I’d heard I’d be having an audience with someone but I had no idea it would be so many people.” She smiles as she says it.
…Emmeryn being out of character. Which, thankfully, that sounds like something Emmeryn would say.
C: And you would judge it by only one line?
No, but it gives me hope.
Anyway, Marco says “well, these guys just came her because circumstances”, and then he introduces himself. The others do so too, and they all kneel in front of her. Of course…
“Please, there is no need for you to kneel before me. Would you please stand?”
Thank you for remembering Emmeryn is a humble queen. That gives me some small amount of comfort.
We all do as she asks before she continues, though… why am I starting to feel slightly sick?
C: You thought it could possibly be anything else?
Not even for a second.
C: Smart parrot.
Emmeryn asks if there’s anything she can help with, and Marco starts by saying “well, we’d like to establish a mercenary company here in Ylisstol. Emmeryn is all “sure, works for me, you probablydon’t have a name but that’s not important” Kale then brings up they have nowhere to stay, and he’s like “so I found these barracks, you mind if we use them?” She’s then all “well, you gotta fix it yourself, but other than that, be my guest”. And then, of course, Kale’s stomach acts up, and then he excuses himself before walking away, and then as soon as he walks from Emmeryn he feels better. He asks Arashi something, but he doesn’t say anything.
We then cut back to Marco, who tells everyone to go check on Kale. As soon as they leave, though…
He let out a deep breath. “Now that we’re alone, I can finally talk to you about the matter I felt most important.” Turning around, everyone saw his expression had hardened considerably. “You don’t remember me, do you?” he asked.
Confused, Emmeryn shook her head. “No, I do not. Have we met before?”
Oh no. If this is what I think it is…
Marco looked at her for a moment before blinking. “Yes, we have. Several years ago; eight, if I’m to be precise. In Plegia, during one of your many attempts to make peace between your kingdom and mine.” At his words, every one of the guards, including Phila, the Captain of the Pegasus Knights, tensed up. Everyone but Emmeryn, that is. She seemed to be surprised, as if a memory had just reappeared. “Eight years ago, two men broke through the guards protecting you as you rested in an inn at the border of Plegia and Ylisse. They were sent to assassinate you. One of the men did it simply for the money, while the other had much more at stake. They managed to get to your room when they stopped, hearing you crying.
One of them hesitated, unsure of what to do. He was curious as to why she was crying and for what possible reason that someone who had everything should be sad. The other prepared to strike, only to be stopped by his partner slicing his neck to keep him from attacking you. The body hit the floor, startling you and alerting you to their presence, though the survivor had already stepped from the shadows.” Emmeryn closed her eyes as the memory of that night slowly came back to her.
C: I suppose we should be thankful the polecat is not here?
Yep. He would’ve flipped…
Anyway, we then get a line break, and…
“Who-who are you?” a young Emmeryn asked the man who had somehow appeared in her room. He was clad entirely in black and his face was covered. In his right hand, he held a sword that had blood dripping from the edge. Looking past him, she saw the body of another, similarly clothed man. “Oh gods…” she murmured, standing from where she sat and pressing herself against the wall. She looked towards the door that led to the room where Chrom and Lissa slept. “If you are here to kill me, do it, but do not hurt my family.” she pleaded.
“Why are you crying?” the figure asked, startling the young Exalt. “You have power, wealth, and a loving brother and sister. There are people who would kill one another to gain your position, and yet you cry. Why is that?”
“Because I’m about to go on a long David Gage-style speech where I overelaborate on something when I don’t need to!”
ST’L: Oh, so I wasn’t the only one who noticed that.
Nope. It’s been a weird thing. I haven’t paid too much attention to this fic’s propensity to have its characters explain too much in lines of dialogue, but I will say it’s kind of distracting sometimes. I mean, it’s tough to get out of that habit in dialogue, but… Dear Lord! Can the characters be a bit less elaborate in how they say things, please?
Emmeryn, stunned by his question, slowly responded. “Because… of how much hatred there is. My father hated the Plegians and attempted to massacre them. His hatred led to the Plegians hating all of Ylisse.” Looking the intruder in the eyes, she was surprised to see the interest they held. “I want to end it, this hate between the two countries. I want peace, for those that I love, for my subjects, and for everyone.” A pang of sadness tugged at her heart. “But… after today, I wonder if it would ever be possible for me to do this, to put an end to the hate, to the bloodshed. My father caused so much strife during his reign, causing the people to hate him. Even now, they insult me and say I am like him. Coming here, I’ve been called names I wouldn’t wish to repeat. No matter what I do, the hate never goes away.”
“And I’m just going to tell you all this, random stranger.”
ST’L: Says the guy who had a character of his spill his heart about his break-up to a guy he only knew for ten minutes.
… First of all, that was five minutes, second of all, shut up.
“And so you feel as though your work is meaningless? That no matter what you do, you will never succeed?” the assassin asked, scrutinizing the Exalt closely. “There are many who would take what you said and call them lies, simple falsehoods you’ve created in an attempt to save your life. There are those who see your search of peace as a sign of cowardice; that you fear that you are unfit to rule and seek an end to the troubles your country faces.” The young man paused, watching how the ruler responded to his words. “I, however, see that you do genuinely strive for the same thing I wish for: peace from this meaningless struggle.” Sheathing his sword, the young man turned away from her and gathered his ally’s body. “I shall make my leave, Exalt Emmeryn, though I will ask that you do one thing: Never give up on your dream. Too many have lost too much for this goal.” Without a word more, the young man vanished, leaving Emmeryn to consider what he’d just said.
Why does that sound like…?
“You were… That night, that was you, wasn’t it?” Emmeryn asked, looking at Marco.
Marco nodded once, before beginning to undo one of left glove. “Yes, it was. It was my assignment, my duty to my country, to kill you. When I returned and reported that I had failed, I had this done to me.” Pulling off the glove, everyone gasped at what was beneath it. The flesh was burnt and mangled, as if it had been placed into the hottest fire imaginable. “Knives, heated in a forge, were raked across my skin. They intended to skin me alive that night, had my father not intervened.”
C: Oh no. I suggest you take cover, asari.
Slowly, he began to put the glove back on. “Even after losing his power, he still had enough say to keep me alive, though I was disgraced because of my failings and eventually, with Gangrel’s rise to power, I was exiled from my homeland.”
Emmeryn simply stared at the young man before her, her would-be assassin who had suffered to allow her to live. “Who was your father?” she asked.
Closing his eyes, Marco began to say the words he knew could change everything. “My father was Augustus du Plegios, also known as King Augustus III. I am his son, Marcellus du Plegios, the exiled Prince of Plegia and the rightful heir to the throne.” Opening his eyes, he stared straight at Emmeryn. “And I intend to claim my inheritance.”
I just… I literally can’t be assed now. I mean, Marco is the rightful prince of Plegia. What the actual fuck?
C: Care to tell us how you—
*douses Crunchy’s eyes with hydrochloric acid*
C: AH MY EYES, THEY BURN, THEY BURN WITH THE INTENSITY OF A THOUSAND LIGHT SABERS! *runs out of the room*
ST’L: Really gets you that riled up, huh?
I just… really? This is where that was going? No no, not enough that he was a noble, he has to be the rightful prince of Plegia, too? What the hell is this?
ST’L: I mean, they didn’t get that much explained, but… Well, look, the author’s note is right there, let’s get his take on it.
Finally, Marco’s whole ‘birthright’. To be fair, the issue as to whether or not the king before Gangrel had an heir was never brought up and I thought it’d make an interesting twist to the story.
ST’L: Is that true?
Well, yeah, but it ignores a pretty key issue involved with Plegian rule: Marco isn’t Grimleal. The game’s backstory specifically said that the war Ylisse launched against Plegia was directly caused by their worship of Grima.
ST’L: Well, the past kings of Plegia weren’t connected to the cult of Grima, from what I’ve read up. I was under the impression that Gangrel rose to power riding the wave of hate involved from the war with Ylisse. And that he was also just a thief.
Hm… Actually, now that you mention it, the game was pretty bad about establishing just what the fuck the succession rules of Plegia were if all that is true. Nor did it really talk about who Gangrel had to depose. But shit, man, I’m pretty sure succession requires you to worm your way into things. Like, if Marco was supposed to be the next king of Plegia, how the hell did Gangrel step in?
ST’L: Perhaps HBO should make a show about that?
I guess it could make for compelling storytelling to show how Marco didn’t somehow become the next king of Plegia, but… At the same time, it makes me a little nervous. So I’m going to hold my breath and hope to God the explanation for this isn’t stupid.
ST’L: We’ve still got time.
Yes, that we do.
Anyway, folks, that’ll do it for this week. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to give Crunchy a bath. And if I know Crunchy, he will resist to the end of time if need be.