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Fire Emblem: The Grimleal's Return

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Prologue: Aftermath

Despite everything that happened previously; Robin never could have guess how long the conflict would last.  The war against Walhart the Conqueror alone lasted two painfully long years.  There were various factors that caused this length of time to pass.  Having to transport the army by boat initially then waiting for the self same fleet to return with reinforcements and more supplies was another.  They also had to be very careful about moving in Valm as well as the risk of ambush was high and Robin didn't want to walk into any traps.

When they finally returned to Ylisse; it was quickly discovered that they had been tricked by the King of Plegia, Validar.  Originally Validar had wanted to invite them to the Capitol of Plegia so that he could steal the Fire Emblem.  However due to the fact that the war on Valm lasted longer than he anticipated Validar changed his plans and invaded Ylisse with soldiers that he'd safeguarded.  He had them infiltrate the Ylisseans and it took the Shepherds an entire year to get rid of the soldiers.  It was clear to Chrom what had to be done and he ordered through Robin a full scale invasion on Plegia. 

This new war lasted a further two years leading up to a final confrontation at the Dragon's table.  Robin figuring it was safer to keep the Shepherds out of the Dragon's Table ordered them to wait for her and Chrom to deal with Validar.  She did not want to risk anyone being injured by Risen which had become a common name for the strange beasts that had been attacking Ylisse and the surrounding nations.

Surprisingly enough for both Robin and Chrom, Validar did not pull much of a fight against them.  But of course Robin wasn't born yesterday,  she expected some kind of dirty tricks up the Sorcerer's sleeve like the one that he pulled off back at the Plegia castle.

Chrom made a terrible mistake of not paying attention at the worst moment possible when the Sorcerer casted another spell as his last resort. Robin just had enough time to push him out of the way before the spell hits her instead. Fortunately, she didn't die but a few seconds after, she was feeling weird. Her vision was getting strange and she had a hard time hearing Chrom. Before that both realized it, Robin stabbed Chrom in the chest with thunder magic

''This is not your... your fault...'' said weakely Chrom holding his chest, who hasn't realize that Robin was posseded. ''Promise me you will escape from this place. Please now...go.'' he felt on the ground. Despite Validar being dead, Robin could still hear the Sorcerer's laugh.

Grima had successfully posseded Robin. The Exalt was on the ground with his legendary sword near him. Grima grinned using his vessel. ''One child of Naga death.'' said the fell dragon, Robin's voice was now distorded because Grima. He had the perfect plan to kill the little girl using the host body as a way to fool the humans.

He was about to go outside when he felt someone stabbing him in the back. He turned his head only to see Chrom, who was still alive somehow, using all his remaing strength to impale Grima with the Falchion. He then crumbled on the ground near the fell Dragon. ''I... love you... Lu...cina.'' said Chrom before his eyes turn into lifeless eyes.

Grima removed the sword from his body and tossed it aside like a twig, the blow wasn't deadly due to the sword not being blessed by the Awakening. But it was still a wound and it hurts A LOT because his host was human after all. 

''Tsh.'' Grima knew it wouldn't even leave a scar once this wound fully heals. It will only delays his inevitable victory and gives the last child of Naga a few more years to breath. Hopefully he would have time to kill her before she has a chance to be at an age to reproduce, not that would matter anyway. He warped  to the castle and sealed himself inside a secret chamber so he can begin his recovery using magic. He had no servants to give tasks or feed upon. For now,  the Risen will be on their own.

The Shepherds managed to hold their ground although a few had to retreat due to severe wounds. But the worst was when they went inside once they realized that neither Chrom or Robin have returned. This is where they made the gruesome discovery. The Shepherds won another battle and resolved another conflict but they paid a high price for this day: their leader was dead and their tactician was missing in action.

Chrom's funeral was quiet for the most part; Lucina however was almost screaming at the top of her lungs with grief.  Her mother held the child into her chest in an attempt to soothe her but Lucina was inconsolable. Joining the poor little girl was Lissa, Frederick and all of the Shepherds. A funeral who reminded them of Basilio's who died during the Valm conflict.

A few days after, Lissa was crowned new Exalt of Ylisse. That event wasn't as cheerful as it should be since the mourning that was still very well present in everyone's mind. The members of the Shepherds who weren't from Ylisse went back to live in their native land: Flavia now ruled alone in Ferox, Virion, who was previouslly a duke, had become a King since him and Cherche helped the people of Valm during a great time of needs. Finally, Tharja was crowned Queen of Plegia with Henry as her right hand.

A few days after Lissa's crowning, Frederick was summon to the throne room. The place infested with a very sad atmosphere, Frederick could only wait as he waits for the Council to make their decision. Lucina was playing with her only friend, her cousin Owain while her mother was watching over them. The only thing that was lighting the mood up was Lissa's new outfit, an outfit similiar to Emmeryn's. Her cleric princess outfit was not fitting of her new position.

''Your Highness.'' all the men of the Council turned to Lissa. She alone could apply any decisions, the Council could only suggest solutions and punishements for the Exalt. ''We highly suggest that you remove Frederick from his role as an Exalt's guardien.''

Lucina's mother gasped.

''But Chancellor...'' said Lissa to the man who spoke to her. ''It wasn't Frederick's fault if Robin--''

''With all due respect, your Highness.'' interrupted the Chancellor. ''I understand clearly your bond and your trust over this man. However, a guardien who fails to protect the Exalt is in our opinion, a fail guardien.'' the man said before adding. ''What's more he had an unique second chance with your brother and yet he has fail once more.''

Lissa groaned in the inside, how harshly of him to speak of Frederick like he was an incompetent. The Knight did many things for her siblings and herself over the years.

''However...'' he continued. ''We would be fools to simply discard his experience. For this reason, I suggest that he keeps his high position in the Shepherd and that he also continues to train the new recruits. And if your Highness could choose another member of the Shepherds as your Guardien if you prefer.''

''And perhaps Frederick could also become the princess's mentor.'' suggested a member behind the Chancellor.

''But--'' Lissa insisted, it wasn't fair for him at all!

''Lissa wait!'' suddently said Frederick who was silent the whole time.  ''I understand how you feel and trust me, I feel it even more. However if the Council wishs to put the blame on me, then for your sake, Lucina's, Owain's and Ylisse's, I'll accept it. What's more those suggestions do not seem so bad at first glance.'' he smiled, he didn't want Lissa to go through a diffucult decision like this one when she just started out as the new Exalt.

Lissa hesitated, she knew it was still wrong despite Frederick's resignation. But... she also knew it was for the best. ''Alright Frederick, if you are so sure it's alright than I'll accept those suggestions... I'll also decide who shall be my new guardien soon.'' she decided which made the joy of the Council and made Lucina's mother sighs in frustration while the two childs wonder what is going on.

...

A few years later, a enormous group of Risen attacked the capital and the surrounding villages. The Shepherds did everything in their power to stop the multiple assaults, they managed to do so after a few months. However, not only did many soldiers died for their country, many members of the Shepherds suffered the same fate. One of them being Lucina's mother. Upon this day, the princess was now raised by her aunt Lissa and Frederick.

...

More years later, Lucina is almost an adult. The princess has a much serious personality than when she was a child, however she still kept her kindness toward others. On Lucina's hair was a tiara, a gift that her mother gave her when she was little and has also become the memento of her mother. Apparently this tiara was once the Hero King Marth's. Her hair was bouncing on her shoulders as she was training with Frederick outside in the back garden.

Frederick had trained Lucina to the sword since the day he has become her mentor. Her father had already showed her how to use a sword, Frederick was only helping her improve. Lucina never knew why she had to train until she asked Frederick the question one day, he responded:  ''For self-defense''. She trains so often that she almost no longer wears dress (dress that are most of the time not of her taste since dress of her taste are ''very... unique'' according to her aunt), she wears most of the time her training gear: a simple light armor that protect her shoulders, chest, hips and part of her legs. She also has a blue cape that is red in the inside.

The two of them were sparring until Frederick sees that Lucina is getting tired. ''A breather, Lucina?''

''I could use one...'' Lucina dropped her training sword before asking. ''Frederick, do you think one day I'll be equal to my father?''

''One day you will Lucina, one day you will.'' said certaintly Frederick who almost expected the question. The years had given a few grey hairs but the Great Knight is still in good shape. He looked at the stables briefly, his horse was sadly no longer here to entertain him with her calm look.

''Shall we continue?'' asked Frederick after a moment.

''Yes.'' said Lucina as she picks up the training sword.

Frederick is now a bit farway from her. ''Come to me and strike me with your strongest blow!''

Lucina grunted before quickly running up to him and striking him with her sword.

''Remember...'' reminded Frederick. ''Melees weapons all have an advantage and weakness. My axe is weak against your sword for example.''

Lucina  did not answer, she was too busy striking him.

After a few minutes, Frederick called it for a day. ''Very good Lucina, you are doing good progress. Perhaps soon enough I won't have to hold back anymore.'' said the Great Knight proudly.

Lucina sighed in relief, her arms and legs were ''burning'' from the inside. But she felt good despite being a little bit exausted.

Not too far away, a short blonde woman is looking at them in her shiny outfit.

Edited by Nym
Chloey's correction

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Chapter 1: Princess' problem

The blonde lady is none other than Lissa herself. Unfortunately for the Exalt, the only thing that has grown over the years is her hair and not her height. Her hair is so long as that she has now to attach them together on her back in a very beautiful and fashionnable way.

Lissa joined her niece and her former guardien. ''Hey you two!'' she said as cheerful as she always is.

''Your Highness.'' said Frederick politely before bowing which annoyed Lissa.

''Oh come on now Frederick!'' exclaimed Lissa. ''Speak to me normally like you used too. I told you that plenty of times already.''

''Is that an order, milady?'' asked Frederick.

Lissa sighs 'He can be such a dummy sometimes.' thought the former cleric before telling to Frederick. ''Yes that's an order.'' Their little interaction made chuckle the bluenette. ''Nothing hurt Lucina?'' asked Lissa to her niece.

''No but thanks, aunt Lissa.'' said Lucina who appreaciated the thought. ''Anyway, I'll go back to my room. See you later.''

After her training, Lucina usually likes to lie down on her bed or read a book in the gigantic library. Most of the books that she read are either about Ylisse's history or her father's adventures. The latter because she wishs to learn more on the man that only that he used to break walls by accident, a habit that Lucina inherited unfortunately.

The princess entered  inside the castle by the garden's entrance. However before she went deeper inside, she noticed that her hair is a bit messy thanks to a mirror nearby on a wall. She quickly fixed it and was about to proceed when...

''So... how is she?'' asked her aunt's voice to Frederick.

''She's doing decent progress.'' responded confidently the Great Knight.

''Ohh that's great!'' exclaimed Lissa. ''But do you think she will be able to reach Chrom's level one day?''

''It's not even a ''perhaps'' Lissa, she has to reach it and even surpass it one day.'' explained Frederick in a serious tone.

Normally Lucina would just ignore their conversation and walk away. But she had a feeling that she had to stay and eavesdrop them especially since Frederick seems so death serious about her being a master of the sword. Luckely for her, Frederick had his back turned and her aunt can't see her because of Frederick's armor. She lunged the wall in order to listen to their conversation without being spotted.

''Yeah... and maybe sooner that you will both expect.'' Lissa's expression turned from happy to dead worried in a few seconds. 

''Lissa? Is something happening?'' asked Frederick suddently also worried but for her.

''We... we got another letter from Henry.'' explained Lissa with the same expression.

''I would be delighted but your expression is telling me they are dire news.'' said Frederick.

'' Yeah... here, I'll read it for you.'' Lissa pulled out the letter from her pocket.

''Dear Lissa, Frederick and the Shepherds...

How are you? Everything is perfectly find over here in Plegia and I can still make as many puns for the CAWS. Nya nya!

...Is what I would want to say. But in reality the situation is rather... problematic here. Tharja is getting more angrier and merciless each day. Just yersterday she cursed a soldier for bringing her the wrong ingredients for a hex. A curse! Of course I got rid of it for him in Tharja's back but no doubt she will be very mad once she finds out. The people are saying that she is worse than Gangrel. I mean... she didn't do much to help them in the first place again the Risen so... I ever heard there was a rebellion currently on the way to remove her from her Queen's position. I... don't know what to do.

-Henry

''By the gods!'' exclaimed Frederick as shocked as Lucina. ''How could this happen?'

''Tharja, she... she always cared about Robin.'' Lissa knew ''obsess'' was  the correct term. ''After all she was the one who cried the most when I made the decision to declare her death after our many years of searching. She even denied my decision remember?''

''Yes of course but that she would go THAT far just for Robin's death.'' Frederick couldn't believe himself. ''What do you intend to do?''

''I-I don't know! Should I even do something? This is a matter of a country and their own people after all.'' asked Lissa in hope to get advice. ''And I doubt the Council would ever agree to help them to begin with.''

Lucina had enough, she walked away. This dire new was indeed worrisome to say the least. Thanks to Sir Ricken's teaching, she knows about the wars, the Hero-King's era, her grandfather's mistakes and her father's battles and his tragic end. Every time she heards ''Plegia'', it always leave her with a bitter taste in her mouth. Plegia... a country plagued by a religion who workships a dragon, a fell and evil dragon named Grima.

She went to her room, took off her very long boots and rested on her bed.

After a few minutes, someone knocked on her door. 

''Yes, who is it?'' asked the princess.

''A fellow member of the Justice Cabal!'' said a familiar voice behind the door which made chuckle Lucina as she went to open it.

That person is Owain, Lissa's son and of course, her cousin. The young blond royal also choosed the path of the sword like his cousin. However, he had the tendancy to scream and name moves during blade practice. A habit that always make chuckle Lucina while making Frederick sighs in disbelief.

''What's up Luci?'' asked Owain, surprisingly not in his language that he tends to use often since for him, most moments are dramatic. Lucina explain to him everything that she heards.

''Wow... this is very troubling.'' Owain didn't have the words to describe his thoughts.

''Are you worried?'' asked Lucina.

''About something might happen? Maybe, it's Plegia that we are talking about. We always had problem between Plegia and us.'' replied Owain

Lucina sighed brieftly after a short moment, she wanted to change subject. ''Let's talk about something else... were you out?''

''Yea, I bought another sword at the armory.'' he then continued his sentence in his language. ''His name flought in me like the water of an eternal river... Volke, it decided that it was its name.''

''I don't get it, why are YOU allowed to go into town by yourself but I have to absolutely have an escort in order to do so?'' asked Lucina a bit annoyed by that bit that has been bugging her for quite some time.

''Perhaps because of the two of us, you are the one that stick out like a light for noctural bugs.'' explained Owain.

''But you are royal too! It can't be the outfit, I have my battle outfit just like your yellow myrmidon outfit.'' argued the princess.

''Indeed but it seems the chosen princess has forgot of the two gifts that were given to her the moment she entered this world. Gifts that even if hidden inside a hood could still reveal your identity.'' explained the blond mymidon more in details.

Lucina knew what he was referring to: her hair color and her Brand of the Exalt on her left iris. Both are proof that she is the descendant of the Hero-King Marth, gifts that are both blessing and sometimes curses for the unfortunate blue haired princess. She sighed again much longer, this time worrying Owain. ''It is really my fate to stay between these walls for most of my life?'' she said absently.

Owain didn't say anything.

''Owain?'' Lucina realized he was staring at her.

''There's somewhere that we could go.'' said Owain.

''Really!?'' exclaimed Lucina happily. ''Where?''

''To Themis.'' suggested the myrmidon.

''Themis?'' repeated Lucina in surprise.

''Yea that place is filled with nobles but they are few so you won't be bothered as much as if you go to town.'' explained Owain proud of his plan.

''That's... great but how do you plan to bring me to Themis? The guards will definately not allow me to pass even if I order them.'' asked Lucina.

''Eh don't worry I thought of everything, be at the back garden in ten minutes.'' said Owain as he went outside of her room and ran across the hall.

A few minutes passed and Lucina had just arrived at the back garden. But Owain wasn't there, instead a pegasus knight was waving at her from across the garden. ''Over there! He-ya your Highness!'' she shouted.

Lucina met the pegasus knight, her hair was formed in pigtails, kinda like how her aunt Lissa's hair used to be but much shorter. She looked quite excited to meet the princess. ''Hello.'' said Lucina. ''Is Owain...?''

''Yup! He asked me to bring you to Themis and then comeback in one hour!'' explained the excited pegasus knight before adding. ''It's an honor, milady.''

Lucina realized her armor is brand new. ''I have never seen you before, are you a new recruit of the Pegasus Knights?''

''Yup! Captain Zinia accepted my application one week ago!'' said the girl. '' My name is Cynthia by the way, milady and I wish to be a hero one day.''

''Nice to meet you Cynthia!'' said Lucina cheerfuly. ''You can also just call me Lucina, no need for formalities.''

''Alright then Lucina, hold tight!'' Lucina holded on Cynthia. ''Here we go!''

They flew for a minutes across Ylisse before arriving to Themis where Owain was waiting for them.

''There you go.'' Lucina got off the Pegasus. ''I'll be going right now before Captain Zinia realizes that I was gone, later!''

''Later Cynthia, thanks again!'' said Lucina as Cynthia was about to fly off to Ylisse.

''Everything went well?'' asked her cousin.

''Yes, since when are you friend with her?'' asked Lucina.

''Around a few days ago, she was looking for a place for heroes. This is where I mentionned  the Justice Cabal and she gladly joined our little club.'' Owain laughed. ''A hero, a princess and an avenger of darkness.''

Lucina chuckled as well until she sees the beautiful sight of Themis' village. Themis is a small land with a small village inside it owned by the Duke of Themis however despite its size, it has much to offer in the landscape departement: rivers, trees, a mini forest for animals. Much far away from the village is where the Duke lives.

''Beautiful.'' said Lucina absently

Owain also looked at the view, although he wasn't as impress since he already saw it before.

''HELP! HELLLLPPPP!'' suddently screamed a villager which alerted the two royals.

The two rushed to the area where the scream is coming from. A man was panicking. ''Fear not anymore, Owain, the avenger of darkness and his fellow compagnion are here to help you friend.'' reassured Owain to the villager.

''Oh thanks Naga, princess Lucina, prince Owain!'' said the man already relieved.

''What is going on?'' asked Lucina.

''Bandits! They are attacking the village, plundering us from anything that we have!'' explained the man.

The moment she heard the word ''bandit'', Lucina knew what to do. ''Let's go, Owain.'' she ordered as she draws her Bronze Sword that she brought just in case.

''By Haar's eye patch, we must act quickly!'' shouted Owain as he follows her to the village.

The village was completely destroyed, debris and broken chairs were scattered all over the place.

''Shoot, we can't find anything, Boss!'' said a bandit.

''There's a clenic nearby, perhaps someone will be willing to tell us where's the village money... with a little bit of cooperation, I reckon.'' said and snarled the bandit's leader.

They were about to move to the cleric when suddently Lucina and Owain blocked their route. ''Hold, fiends!'' screamed Owain.

''You will pay for your crime today, bandits!'' said Lucina in a serious tone.

''Would ya look at that? If it isn't the little princess herself and that must be the prince I reckon.'' noticed the bandits' leader. ''You two are going fetch quite a lot of money.''

But Lucina and Owain pointed their swords forward showing they have no intentions to backdown.

A bandit walked forward when suddently someone on a horse came out of nowhere and stabbed them in the chest with a lance.

''Frederick!?'' exclaimed Lucina, surprised to see him. ''How did you--''

''We will tall about this later.'' Frederick interrupted her knowing her question. ''Focus on the battle at hand for now.''

Lucina and Owain nodded.

Luckely for them, the bandits didn't have any strategies. They only attacked them the moment they were in sight, what's more since they all had axes, it was easy for the two royals to dodge their attacks. Meanwhile, most of of their attacks did not even scratch the Great Knight. After a few minutes, they were all dead.

''That was almost too easy.'' said Owain, Lucina also agrees until they heard ''Ahum!''

Frederick was glaring at the both of them. ''You two. To the castle. NOW!'' shouted Frederick angrily, leaving no chances for arguing for the young royals.

On their way, they ''bumped'' on the Pegasus Knights leaded by Captain Zinia. ''Oh Frederick, have we arrive too late?''

''Yes, I'm afraid those two did your job for you.'' explained Frederick, anger still present in his voice. ''I'm bringing those two back to see what Lissa has to say about their behaviour.''

''They aren't the only one.'' said Zinia, Cynthia gulped in fear.

Nothing escape Frederick's notice, not even a peddle or a sneaky attempt like this. Lucina forgot about that detail.

In the village, a priest is dissapointed that he didn't have the time to thanks the two royals for their efforts.

 

 

Edited by Nym

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Chapter 2: Problem after Problem

The throne room was strangely quiet despite being the middle of the day, well mostly quiet. All we could hear was the Chancellor's low voice as he was finishing to tell her about a mrelated problem to the Exalt who was barely listening to him. She was more curious to see what shenanigans those three just manage to do especially since her own son is kinda of a walking shenanigan himself, even when he was a kid.

''So what is this all about?'' asked Lissa to no particular person, the three young adults were embarassed for what she could see. It didn't help that they were awkwally waiting near each oher.

''Well...'' said captain Zinia before telling her what happened. ''I was on my way to tell Cynthia the final details for her recruitement to the Pegasus Knight, until I saw her fly away with the princess from the back garden. I guessed that they were going to Themis with their trajectory, I just had enough time to tell Frederick who was already looking for the princess, he was already leaving when one of the knights reported the bandit attack to me...''

''Wait... you forgot you had a meeting with her!?'' said Owain in a low voice to Cynthia but Lucina heard it as well.

''Woops.'' realized a very red Cynthia, too embarassed to even look at the two annoyed royals in the eyes.

''...Then on the way, we met a little Cynthia trying to be all sneaky. Too bad she didn't have time to comeback. We then met Frederick and the two royals... you know the rest.'' she finished to explain.

''This is unacceptable! We should--'' said the Chancellor before Lissa interrupts him.

''Quiet Chancellor!'' exclaimed angirly Lissa. ''This is a family issue, not something that the Council should be bothered with.'' she turned her attention to the three troublemakers. ''Now you three, I want an explanation now.''

Owain immediately stepped forward before Lucina could say anything. ''It's my fauly Mom.'' he said normally. ''I was just trying to make Lucina happy and I end up putting our three into trouble.''

''Happy? For what reason?'' asked the Exalt, confused.

''I'm so sorry aunt Lissa.'' apologized Lucina who felt remorse. ''But I'm getting tired of doing the same thing for years: either staying inside the castle or I go outside with a very big escort. This is my breaking point right now, something needs to change.'' she urgently asks to her aunt.

''I'm sorry your Highness but I'll have to intervene.'' said the Chancellor before speaking to the princess. ''Since I am the voice of my fellow senators with me, I can honestly confirm that we all understand your feelings, princess Lucina. However as boring as it is, it is for your security and nothing else. And for us, your protection is our highest priority.''

''Right... Chancellor you are a smart man.'' said Lucina calmly. ''And while I respect your... dedication to my protection, there's a big difference between being protective of someone and being flat out... paranoid.''

The man frowned. ''P-paranoid? With all due respect, your behaviour is childish. Don't you know what happened to your father?''

''I do more than you can possibly immagine.'' responded Lucina who is a bit upset to be called ''childish''. ''And he certaintly didn't die to a random stranger's dagger.''

''Enough!'' shouted Lissa. ''That's enough for the both of you.'' she said before talking to her niece in a less angry tone. ''Lucina I... I'm sorry. I know I... well we kinda overprotected you. If I accepted the Council's suggestion, it's because well... I don't want to lose you like I lost Chrom.'' tears were starting to roll down her cheeks. ''I... I don't want to live through this again. *sniff* But I understand how you feel, I too would have turn crazy if I would have been in your situation at your age.''

''In this case, may I suggest an idea that will satisfy both parties?'' asked Frederick to everyone.

''That already sounds like music to my ears.'' said Lissa who stopped to cry after a few instants.

''Lucina is still young and inexperienced. However, if we place her in a role with important responsabilities, it could be beneficial for her. Not to mention this will also  allow her to see around the country... without doing shenanigans like what just happen.'' explained the Great Knight before adding. ''This will also give her a chance to follow her father's footsteps.''

Which caused surprise with everyone else in the room. ''Frederick, you don't mean...!?'' exclaimed Lissa.

''Yes Lissa, it is time for Lucina to be the new captain of the Shepherds!'' exclaimed Frederick confidently, the Council however wasn't really happy.

''You would... back down from your position Frederick?'' asked the Chancellor.

''I only took the position at the time because the Shepherds needed a captain after milord passed away. I knew one day his daughter would take my place, it was just a matter of time.'' said Lucina's mentor.

''Oh... Frederick.'' Lucina smiled, showing how delighted she is.

''As for the other two, they shall follow the princess and help her in her struggle.'' also suggested Frederick.

''So be it...'' Owain spoke his dramatic language. ''I, Owain Dark, shall rain a torrent of blades in Lucina's name!''

''B-but what about my recruitement?'' asked Cynthia to her former captain.

''It is interrupted... until new order.'' responded the short hair captain.

''Any objections from the Council?'' asked Frederick who could see the members were whispering on themselves.

''We don't have any objections but it seems you forgot an important detail, Frederick.'' corrected the old man.

''Which is?'' asked the Great Knight

A member of the Council brought to the Chancellor several documents, the man took a particular one and opened it. ''According to this document, they are currently no priest or clerics recruited in the Shepherds. This is troubling Frederick... not to mention that medical supplies are limited these days due to all the Annas' death. The princess, her friends or even you, mighty Great Knight could be in grave danger.''

''You are right, however Ricken volunteers himself--''

''As I discussed with the Exalt just before we went on the issue, Sir Ricken will be transfered to the border's defences. As such, he will unavailable to help the princess in her journey.'' interrupted the Chancellor who already knew what he would day.

'Damn.' thought Frederick.

''As such, your Highness.'' he looked at Lissa. ''The Council highly suggest that we delay the princess' depart until we can find a healer for her army.

''Then she ain't gonna wait for long!'' shouted a man's voice across the room.

Everyone turned their head to meet a man close to the entrance. Short hair, average height, he was wearing black priest clothes with a little bit of purple on the collar and the sleeves. He also had a scar slighly on his left eye.

''Who are you!?'' asked the Chancellor.

''No need to get all agnry there, I rekcon.'' reassured the man.

Lissa turned her head slighly to her right and talked to someone despite no one ''being'' near her. ''Kellam?''

''He is not armed.'' responded a voice near her.

''Who are you then?'' asked Lissa, in a less agressive tone then the Chancellor.

''The name's Brady.'' said the man. ''I'm the Duke of Themis' grandson.''

''Nonsense! You don't have the profile of a noble!'' said one senator.

''Didn't you Ma told ya to not judge a book by its cover, buddy?'' asked Brady before pulling an object out of his pocket. ''That should help you 'lieve it I reckon.''

He throws it to Frederick, the object is a small insignia with the symbol of the Duke of Themis: a paon. ''No doubt, he is telling the truth. That would explain how he manage to pass through the gates.''

''Right, what have you come for?'' asked the Exalt.

''I heard the princess needed a priest. I reckon I could fill the spot.'' explained Brady.

''But why? I don't recall helping you or even meeting you before now.'' asked Lucina.

''Quite the contrary princess: I was in the clenic when the attack happened. Those bandits were quite the pain in the ass, all I could do is help anyone that got wounded by those bastards.  I reckon I should repay you by joining the army while my old man repair the village.''

''I have no objections!'' said Lucina happily. ''Also call me Lucina.''

The four of them chatted together. ''Satisfy now, Chancellor?'' asked Frederick.

''...Yes.'' he said before they all take their leave.

''With that in mind Lissa, we should also be on our way.'' said Frederick.

''See you!'' exclaimed Lissa happily. ''Have fun and be careful!''

A few hours later...

''Here we are!'' said Frederick.

The five of them arrived in a massif camp near the capital. Tents, a mess hall, an armory and a stable were the ingredients of what is called ''the Shepherds' camp''.

''Let's have a look around.'' suggested Frederick.

''After you!'' said Lucina.

Frederick showed them the entire camp, stopping along the way to clear a few pebbles.

''Sir Ricken?'' said Lucina at some point when she saw a familiar mage.

Ricken grew quite a lot since his debut in the Shepherds, he is now quite tall, is quite the powerful mage and his clothes look similar to those he had when he was still a rookie. ''Hey there Lucina, Owain!''

''Preparing your stuff for tomorrow?'' asked Frederick.

''Yup!'' responded Ricken, quite proud of being known as a powerful mage even to the Exalt herself.

''I thought you were just a teacher, sir Ricken.'' said Lucina, realizing her mistake.

''Ahaha, nope I actually was a Shepherd this whole time. It's almost my second house here.'' explained Ricken.

They discussed for a while, then Frederick showed to Owain, Cynthia and Brady their tent respectively.

Finally it was Lucina's turn. She opened her tent but seemed quite confused. ''A problem, Lucina?'' asked her mentor.

''Yes... well it seems strange to ask but... where is my bed?'' asked Lucina.

Frederick chuckled to the question. ''Ah Lucina, you have much, much to learn. This sleeping bag is your ''bed'', it will be tough the very few nights but after that, your body will adapt.''

''B-but...''

''No ''but'', the princess will have to sleep like everyone else. Your father always used to say: ''In the Shepherds, everyone is equal''. It has become a fundamental and even our slogan over the years, no one get special treatement even the princess.''

Lucina sighed, she already miss her big comfy bed.

The same night...

Lucina just woke up, she had a hard time sleeping inside this bag. Frederick was right.

She decided to take a look outside, which she did until she heard someone screaming: ''WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!''

This made her jump, she quickly went inside and put on her armor and her sword. She regrouped with Frederick and her friends when she sees who is attacking.

''What are those abonimations!?'' she asked.

''Risen... how did they manage to be this far unto our borders?'' responded Frederick, extremely worried. ''We have to get rid off them!''

''Right!'' said both Lucina and Owain.

''If someone needs to be patch up, just yell my name!'' said Brady who stays behind them.

''I'll do my best! Just make sure there's no archers around, Lucina.'' said Cynthia confidently, readying her lance.

At first, the Risen were simply attacking whatever soldier was in range to be killed. The little group could easily prevent their plan from being successful, until for some reasons, they suddently change of tactics. Some lance wieldiers went directly after Lucina, ignoring foolishly her friends or even Frederick's blade.

After this failed attemp too, they again seem to have a chance of plan. They attacked key objectives such as the armory and the medical supply tent, Lucina had to spit their tiny forces to save both objectives in time before they lose too many items. After that, the sneaky Risen were not more.

After the battle however, Frederick was as tense as before. It has been a long time since he last saw the Risen as an actual threat and not an obstacle to get rid off.

 

Edited by Nym

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Chapter 3: On route

Frederick was on his way to Ylisse, mounted on his horse as he looked behind him one last time before looking forward. After the battle, he left Lucina and her friends in the hands of Ricken who had to delay his depart.

After an hour, Frederick finally arrive at the castle when he requested an audience with the Exalt.

...

''Um... while it is unfortunate, I do not see why we should be worried.'' said the Chancellor. ''Risen attacks are nothing new after all.''

''You are half right Chancellor.'' responded Frederick from across the room. ''This is not the attack itself the issue --well for the most part-- it is more of HOW it happened that is the elephant in the room I'm afraid.''

''What do you mean Frederick?'' asked Lissa confused.

''I asked a report to my sentinels after the battle was done, all of them sweared on their life and honor that they did not see a single Risen outside of the camp before the battle. They all said that they only saw Risen when they were already inside.'' the Great Knight explained.

''Which means?'' asked a man of the Council.

''Someone warped them inside the camp.'' concluded Frederick.

Everyone went silent for a split second, realizing what it means.

''So the Grimleal isn't all that dead as we thought.'' also concluded captain Zinia.

''Yes,'' responded Frederick. ''I thought for sure that the Sorcerer that killed by my own hands that tragic day was the last one... but apparently, I was also wrong.''

Lissa sighed heavily, she hates to be reminded of THAT day. The day she lost many, many friends.

''Which brings me to my next point: their attack is also proof of being under the control of someone. On their own, they only attack anything on sight.'' explained Frederick. ''But those last Risen ravaged key objectives such as our medical tent and our armory.''

''Which means someone is trying to prevent us from moving out.'' concluded the smart pegasus knight.

''Lissa...'' Frederick wanted to ask a favor to the former princess but she guessed just by looking at his expression. She sighed.

''...Fine. I'll send a message to Tharja and Henry. Hopefully they can give us an answer.'' she said sadly, she didn't want to doubt her friends.

A while later in the Shepherds' camp

Lucina and Owain were sparing while Brady was doing a checkup on Cynthia's pegasus. The priest was done when Cynthia suddently panicked.

''Ahhhh Brady!'' the priest turned around pretty quickly to see what's wrong, Cynthia had her hand on her Pegasus's nose. ''My Pegasi's nose is hot!''

''That's normal for a mount, ya dummy!'' responded harshly Brady.

''Ohhhhhhhhh, I didn't know.'' she responded Cynthia innocently.

''What do ya mean 'ya didn't know'?'' said Brady in disbelief. ''I reckon a knight probably should know 'bout their mount.''

Lucina chuckled, Owain too. It was hard to train when shenanigans were happening. Ricken was watching over them.

''It's kind of funny how much you ressemble your mother, Cynthia.'' remarked Ricken.

That comment caused everyone to stop what they were doing. ''You knew my mother, sir Ricken?'' asked Cynthia.

''Of course! Sumia and I were good friends, she made tasty pies for everyone despite her clumsiness.'' confirmed Ricken. ''Even your father, I even holded you when you were a baby. But oh man... nothing beats Brady when he was a kid for sure!''

''Wait... Brady too?'' said Owain. ''Brady, your parents were in the Shepherds too?'' he asked before noticing Brady had tears in his eyes.

''Ah shucks...'' he sniffed. ''Now ya manage to make me cry, my poor Ma and Pop.''

''Oh dear... I'm so sorry we brought you terrible memories.'' apologized Lucina.

''It's alright,'' he sniffed once more. ''But yeah... they were in the Shepherds which is another reason of why I joined, I reckon I want to make them proud.''

Lucina smiled then she hears a familiar voice near them. ''Oh Frederick! Any news?''

''Hello Lucina! I have our orders: we will pay a little visit to Ferox. Perhaps Flavia will be happy to see us.'' said the Knight.

Ferox, she knew that land very well. A cold place filled with strong and fearless warriors.

''Futhermore, there's someone that should introduce themselves.''

A dark red haired mage was beside him, he was wearing black clothes and a black mage hat. He also had glasses. ''Greeting, my name is--

''Laurent!'' suddently screamed Ricken before hugging his son.

''D-Dad... you are... hugging too tight. Please... let go.'' said desperately the mage which made Lucina chuckle while the others holded their laugh.

''Woops sorry. But it has been so long!'' said his father as he let go. ''You are always so busy.''

''Ahem anyway...'' said Laurent who wanted to move on from that embarassing unfortunate moment. ''My name is Laurent as you now know and I've been ask by the Exalt to assist at the best of my abilities, princess Lucina.''

''Welcome aboard!'' said Lucina. ''Also just Lucina is fine.''

''Very well, Lucina.'' said Laurent.

''I'll be on my way soon then.'' said Ricken. ''I delayed my depart for as much as I could.''

''Of course.'' said Frederick. ''Let me help you with your things... and maybe clear a few peddles on the way to your tent.''

As they both left, Owain asked the same question he asked to Brady to Laurent.

''Well obviously my father is in the Shepherds.'' responded the mage. ''And my mother Miriel used too.''

''Um... partners linked by the relationship of those before them, how thrilling!'' said Owain which confused Laurent and the other two.

''He means it's kinda convenient that our parents all were in the Shepherds... and we are at their place now.'' traducted Lucina.

''Um, but the Shepherds were bigger than a few couples for sure.'' said Laurent.

''Are you... suggesting there's are more?'' asked Lucina.

''Yes, my dad told me everything.'' explained Laurent. ''Unfortunately we have the only one whose parents stayed in Ylisse. The others are somewhere out there, I suggest we recruit them... if they choose to take arms.''

''I'll take note of that.'' said Lucina, she wondered where those person could be. She only knows of Tharja.

...

A week later, they arrived near an outpost near the borders between Ylisse and Ferox. Unfortunately it is swarmed by Risen. Frederick asked a scout to explore the area before going in.

In meantime, Lucina walked around on her own. She was lost in thoughts ever since Frederick mentionned her father also went to Ferox in the beginning of his journey, she really was following his footsteps.

''Argh!'' she bumped into something by accident, she wasn't looking in front of her, she fell on the ground. Her armor had a bit of dirt on it now.

She looked in front of her confused, she bumped into another person. A young dark blond man with blue eyes who also weared an effective light armor, a black and red one unlike her blue's.

''Watch where you're going, woman!'' snarled the young man as he also stood up.

''My apologies, I wasn't looking.'' said Lucina.

''You don't say?'' he mocked her which made Lucina a bit unconfortable. Luckely the young man wasn't staring at her, he was only mumbling to himself.

Suddently, someone ran loudly towards bushes and trees. Lucina was surprised to see a maid of all things, she was out of breath. ''Milord! You... are so fast.''

Which was followed by the young man grabbing her with surprising force. ''I told you not to call me by that name!'' she yelled at her and he grabs fermently her left hip.

Lucina was shocked for a second then she grabbed her sword. ''Let go, this is not how you treat a woman.''

''Mind your damn business you.'' he drawed his own sword. ''I do whatever I want with her, she is mine.''

He brought her closer to him just to provoke Lucina. It wasn't painful for the maid but the princess felt bad for her. However Lucina was out of options, she didn't know if she could beat him in a duel. Even less if that maid is forced to help him.

But the maid suddently walked in front of him. ''Milord, we need to go...''

The blond young man looked behind Lucina only to see reinforcements, he grabbed his maid's hand and ran away with her.

Lucina tried to stop them but after a short chase, she lost sight of them in the dark woods. ''Damn it.''

However, the guy was called 'Milord' by the maid. 'Is he some kind of noble? He is rude for sure.' thought Lucina.

Lucina walked back to where everyone waited for the scout. A while after, the scout came back and indeed reported a group of Risen occuping the outpost as he speaks.

The princess ordered that they march and cleanse them off this outpost.

When they arrived, Frederick can't help himself to mention ''I have a strange feeling of déja vu.''

Indeed the battlefield reminded him of the same one where he suggested Chrom that they could also fight without Robin's orders and where Vaike lost his axe only for Miriel to give it back to him.

Lucina was about to order the attack when Cynthia --who was flying a second ago-- said to Lucina. ''Lucina! Look over there!''

She pointed in the direction of the battlefield where far away and near a forest, a thief and a fighter are fighting the Risen together.

...

''Fuck me, they just keep coming and coming.'' said the thief as he cuts down another one with his dagger in one hand and his sword with the other.

''Focus Vol, we just have to hold on until our lord comebacks.'' said the fighter.

''Yea I know Simba, I just hope he doesn't die on the way, it would be unfortunate for me.'' said Vol.

...

''We have to help them!'' ordered Lucina.

Unfortunately, the Shepherds had first to cut down a few Risen before being able to reach them.

...

A while after, a dark blond young man followed by a blonde maid have arrived from the forest to the battlefield.

''Milord!'' said the thief. ''Glad to see you're still alive.''

''Shut up Vol, I don't pay you for saying stupid shits. In what world would I ever be in danger.'' responded the man.

''Your orders?'' asked Simba.

''Let's clear those rotten puppets and get the hell out of here. I want that reward from the villagers.'' ordered the young man.

''What about me?'' asked the maid. 

''You stay close to me and you heal me whatever I'm wounded.'' he ordered.

''But... what if they are wounded?'' she asked, confused.

''They don't need you, they have healing potions if they can't dodge their predictable attacks.'' which made the other two sigh in disbelief.

'Hypocrite' thought Vol.

''But, but Milord!''

''No 'but' or else I'll punish you again, Inia.''

... 

''Lucina.'' said Laurent.

''Yes?'' she asked to the mage.

''It looks like they got reinforcements.'' he said that sentence with a upset tone.

''It's a problem?'' Lucina noticed his tone.

''They look fully capable of dealing with them now.'' they notice the thief and the fighter are no longer defending their position. ''See? We will have to hurry up and kill as many Risen as we can before they kill them first, otherwise we won't have a chance to grow!'' warned Laurent.

''Got it.'' said Lucina.

...

A while after, Lucina meets the same young man she met in the forest earlier. ''You!''

''You again? You are persistent, unfortunately my time is precious and I don't want to waste it on you.'' he snarled before going elsewhere, far away from her.

Lucina watched as he cuts a Risen along the way.

Then she met the maid. ''Oh you, you're the maid from that person.''

''Oh h-hello.'' she said.

''Are you okay? I hope he didn't hurt you or anything.'' asked Lucina.

''Oh no, he might be a bit rude sometimes but well, he isn't that bad... although my left ear is all red now.''

''Thanks Naga...'' said Lucina relieved. ''Now if I may ask, who are--

''INIA, ARE YOU CHATTING WITH HER INSTEAD OF BEING BY MY SIDE!? suddently screamed angrily the young dark blond man at Inia from across the battlefield.

''What the...?'' said Lucina, surprised.

Inia gulped. ''S-sorry but I have to go...'' she quickly ran in his direction.

'Blast, I didn't even had the time to ask the question.' thought the princess.

...

The battle turned from a simple battle to a race to see who will kill the Risen captain first.

''Out of my way!'' said Vol as he shoves Owain.

''You dare oppose Owain dark, fiend!?'' shouted Owain angrily.

''Nope! I won't get my gold if he sees me slacking.'' explained the black hair thief. ''See you later, slowpoke.''

''Slowpoke!? My sword hand will make you eat those words, jerk.'' said Owain as he ran after him.

...

''Oh you.'' said the fighter to Frederick.

''Yes?'' Frederick didn't pay attention until the fighter spoke to him.

''You are Frederick the Wary, the Great Knight who was once under the command of Prince Chrom, are you not?'' asked Simba calmly.

''Yes that is correct.'' said Frederick.

''I figured so, your appearance is the exact same as the one that my old man described of his murder before he died of his wounds.'' said deadly calm the adult fighter.

Frederick flinched from his words. ''A-and what was his name?''

''I'll give you time to remember.'' Simba slowly walked away. ''I suggest you at least remember his name next time we meet on the battlefield.''

Frederick frowned as he looked at the fighter. He is way older than the rest of his comrades but he can't figure which man he is talking about yet.

 

The battle ended with Lucina barely having enough time just to cut down the captain before the dark blond young man could. ''Damn you!'' he said angrily.

The two groups faced each other. ''Who are you people?'' asked Frederick before Lucina.

''Funny I was about to ask the same question, old man.'' responded the young man.

''O-old man?'' Frederick frowned, he only has a few grey hairs!

''They are the Shepherds.'' suddently said Simba. ''This 'old man' is Frederick the Wary who was once under Prince Chrom's command.''

The Shepherds were surprised. 'Damn, I didn't know hes was going to use this information, I was a fool.' thought Frederick.

''The Shepherds? Then who is the comman--'' he interrupted himself once he looked at Lucina. He realized his mistake.''OH! That blue hair, how dumb of me. That's why you also had troops behind you. I see now... princess Lucina... the little bird who flew away from her nest.'' the dark blond young man for the first time smiled at her with an uncomfortable grin.

Lucina jumped in surprise. ''If you know me now, I ask-- no I DEMAND to know who you are!'' ordered Lucina.

''Normally, I wouldn't give it but since you are Lucina, I'll do an exception. My name is Nym.'' he then turned but looked at Lucina with the same grin. ''Make sure you remember it since I guarantee it isn't the last time that you will hear of it.''

He walked away to the forest, his troops followed him.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nym

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Lucina watched speechless as the strange group headed to where they came from.

''Should we chase them?'' asked Owain to his cousin.

Lucina shaked her head. ''There's no point, it would only delay us from arriving to Ferox. What's more according to... Nym, he says we will meet again for certain.''

And so, they marched for a few days before they finally arrived in front of Ferox's gates

''F-f-freezing.'' Lucina was shaking all over her body, her light armor wasn't much protection against Ferox's harsh environnement.

Frederick chuckled. ''You can hide behind my horse, she will shield you from the cold.''

Which is what Lucina does, she felt a little bit better.

''Halt! Who goes there!?'' said a woman in an armored suit in front of the door, her javelin pointed at the group.

''Raimi! It's me Frederick and I'm followed by the Shepherds and Chrom's daughter.'' said the knight to the stubborn gatekeeper.

''Your identity doesn't prove anything, as long as you can't prove that you are truly escorting the princess.'' warned Raimi. ''I'll be forced to send forces to test your words!''

Frederick sighed in disbelief. ''Here we go again...''

''Hold!'' said Lucina to Raimi. ''I can prove my identity.''

''You can?'' said the armored knight.

''Yes.'' said Lucina confidently. ''Look at my left iris.''

Raimi does what the bluenette asks her to do only to find the Brand of the Exalt inside Lucina's iris. ''By the gods... you are.''

''May we not fight over a pointless cause now?'' pleaded Lucina to Reimi.

''Yes of course, my apologies milady.'' said Raimi as she bowed.

''Great!'' Lucina smiled. ''Now for what the reason we have come here: we would like to see... what was her name... Flavia?''

''Yes Khan Flavia, I'll go see her personaly.'' said Reimi. ''Please remain here until I comeback.

Raimi walked away with the usual loud noises that armored knights do when they walk.

''That's a relief.'' said Lucina to Frederick and her friends.

''Why did Chrom didn't though of showing her his own Brand or even the Falchion.'' mumbled Frederick to himself.

A while later, the white haired Knight came back with good news. ''Khan Flavia is avaliable, follow me please.''

The interior of the castle wasn't as bright as Ylisse's one but it definately had its charms. The corridor that leads to the throne room was still filled with statues of previous Khan noticed Frederick. However, he also notices that there was a new statue since the last time he came here.

A dark skinned woman was waiting for them, most of her blond hair had turned grey. Lucina noticed she had a hero armor on her.

''Look who is is, the Shepherds themselves!'' said the woman. ''It has been quite some time.''

''Flavia.'' said delighly Frederick.

''Oh my, new faces that I don't recognize aside of Frederick. Oh...'' Flavia stared at Lucina. ''That blue hair, could it be... Lucina?''

''Have we... met before, Khan Flavia?'' asked Lucina, surprised that she knows her.

''If I have!? Of course I have Lucina.'' Flavia grabbed her hand. ''You were still a baby though, look how much you have grown now! Aww, the memories are coming back. More than fiveteen years already, you are making me feel old.'' jested Flavia.

Lucina chuckled. ''Please tell me more!'' she begged to the Khan

''Well, I remember the day Basilio and I went to visit your family at Ylisse-- baby you couldn't travel very far away at the time.'' telled Flavia to Lucina. ''When Basilio took you in his arms, you immediaely started to cry. HAHAHA, that poor oaf was probably too scary for you but you were just fine in my arms!''

Lucina chuckled yet again but she then asked. ''Who is Basilio?''

''Oh Frederick didn't tell you?'' Flavia glanced at the Great Knight only for him to shake his head. ''Normally Ferox is ruled between two Khans, the West Khan and the East Khan. I was the East and he was the West. Thanks to our little tournament and your father's help, I was able to get full power. Unfortunately little did I know, I would have it for way longer that I expected...''

''He... he died?'' asked Lucina, mesmorized by her story.

''Yes...'' replied sadly the Khan to her question. ''He died during the war against the Conqueror, he bought us some time but he didn't make it despite my best efforts to save his foolish behind.'' she then pointed to one of the statues in the corridor. ''If you wish to know how he looked at, the brand new statue is him.

Lucina and her friends quickly took a look. ''Whoa!'' said Cynthia while the rest remained speechless. The man was a tall, bald and dark skinned warrior with an eye patch covering his right eye, he holded an axe.

''That eye patch near you right eye Flavia. It is the one...?'' asked Frederick while the others were busy.

''Yes, Virion was kind enough to send it to me. Although I don't wear it, I just keep it on my face as a memento of him.'' said Flavia, Lucina and her friends returned near Flavia. ''I wish that dumb oaf would still be alive, he would light up the mood with one of his lame jokes.''

''I'm so sorry, Khan Flavia.'' apologized Lucina. ''I didn't want to remind you of sad memories.''

''Not your fault, Lucina.'' she clapped her hands. ''Anyway let's change subject shall we? Now, for what have you came for today?''

Frederick spoke first. ''We recently have been attacked by Risen. However this time around, someone warped them and even in battle it was clear they were under someone's control. Is it happening in Ferox too?''

''Without a doubt.'' confirmed Flavia. ''My men have reported several attacks of the same description in the last few days. Luckily for me, I got an unexpected... helping hand.''

''An unexpected helping hand?'' asked Lucina.

''Yes, a group of 'mercenaries'.'' explained Flavia. ''Their leader explained that their main objective is to 'eradicate the Risen plague once and for all' as he said.''

''By any chances, was their leader a young man whose hair is dark blond with a black and red armor and a sword?'' asked Laurent to the surprise of his compagnions.

''Why yes, did you met them on the way here?'' responded Flavia, a bit surprised by the question.

''Sort of.'' said Lucina. ''The leader is very... strange to say the least.''

''If I may add, they are definately not mercenaries.'' said Laurent confidently.

''HAHA, well spoken young man. I didn't fall for their 'mercenary' nonsense either.'' said the Khan. ''Especially when his maid call him 'milord'... and the fact that there's a maid following him.''

''What do you know of them?'' asked Lucina to Flavia.

''Not much I'm afraid.'' Flavia however had an idea that she wanted to share with them. ''But if they aren't from Ferox or Ylisse then that means...''

''... They are from Plegia.'' finished Frederick. ''I expected as much. Flavia, I know it's very sudden but.''

''Troops? Sure I wouldn't mind give you a hand but I sure would hope if we could avoid another war.'' said Flavia.

Lucina sighs, she also wishs that too. Two generations of fighting between the two nations, could they prevent a third time?

''Thank you for everything Khan Flavia.'' said Lucina.

''Hold, I have a favor to ask before you go.'' said Flavia.

''What is it?'' asked the princess.

''I have recently hired a champion to represent me. Since I'm the only Khan now, the arena didn't hold any major battles in years.'' explained the Khan. ''I would like that you and your friends face my champion in a friendly battle. It could be a valuable experience for you.''

Lucina thought for a few seconds then said. ''Very well, I accept.''

''Good, see you in the arena in one hour.'' said Flavia but as she was about to head out, she said to Frederick. ''You sit this one out, I want to see them fight.''

''Alright.'' he was forced to obey.

A while later, Lucina was in the building that serves as the arena, she was stretching herself for the upcoming battle. She hears the door open behind her, she turned around to see a familiar face. ''Khan Flavia?''

''My apologies for interrupting your preparation.'' said Flavia. ''But I wanted to give you a gift before the battle starts.''

Her two hands were holding a sheltered sword. ''I spoke to Frederick earlier and he mentionned how you recently been able to use an iron sword, I figured you should also be able to use this very rare sword.''

Lucina took the sword that Flavia handled it to her, she unsheltered it only to gasp once she sees the blade. ''A rapier!''

''Ah, I see you know your weapons quite well.'' responded Flavia proudly. ''A sword that can pierce even the sturdiest armor and that can reach riders on their mounts.''

''Thank you, Khan Flavia.'' said Lucina.

''Please, just call me Flavia.'' replied the dark skinned woman. ''And you're welcome. Good luck for your match!''

'It's funny, it's almost as she absolutely wants me to win.' thought Lucina as Flavia walked away.

...

Lucina and her friends enterered the tiny circular arena.

''I wonder who we are going to face.'' said Cynthia.

''An excellent question.'' said Laurent to his friend.

Lucina notices Flavia and Frederick are watching from the stands.

''A titan from the darkness, a giant from the twilight.'' suggested Owain.

Which was followed by a sudden loud but familiar voice. The noise got louder and louder until the Knight stopped moving, she looked  at the multiple faces before she stared at Lucina. ''You, you are Lucina aren't you?'' she asked.

''Yes, you are?'' asked Lucina.

''I'm Kjelle.'' said the Knight. ''I'll be your opponent for this battle. I also have come with a proposal: since you have friends with you, how about we fight one on one while you friends take care of the men that are with me.

''Lucina, that's not a good--'' advised Laurent.

''I accept.'' said Lucina.

The two of them walked together in an isolated place to fight. Meanwhile Kjelle's men appeared, mostly fighters and knights with two mages.

The battle was a piece of cake for Lucina's friends. Meanwhile , Lucina had her duel with Kjelle.

''Khan Flavia wishs to see my strength, I'll not hold back!'' shouted the Knight confidently.

''Good, this duel will be very valuable for me too.'' said Lucina calmly. ''And I too wish to see how strong you are.''

''Good then prepare yourse-- wait a minute.'' Kjelle suddently interrupted once she noticed something strange.

''Is there a problem?'' asked the princess confused.

''That weapon that you are holding... is that a rapier?'' asked Kjelle.

''Indeed.'' responded Lucina, still confused for the reason why she interrupted the beginning of their duel for that.

''Huh? But since when do you have it? You didn't have that when you arrived there. I was watching you the whole time.'' said Kjelle, a bit upset.

''Actually, Flavia gave me this sword.'' corrected Lucina.

''HUH!? Wait what the!? Why would she... are you kidding me!?'' shouted Kjelle, very upset at her superiour.

The battle didn't end well for Kjelle as Lucina easily could fight thanks to be able to pierce through her armor, despite the weapon disavantage.

''No... way.'' said Kjelle as she fell on the ground, defeated by Lucina.

A while later, Flavia and Frederick joined the two groups.

''Congratulations Lucina!'' said Flavia proudly. ''You won the tournament.''

''Hold on there!'' said Kjelle angrily. ''It wasn't fair, you gave her a weapon effective against me!''

''Come now Kjelle. Lucina wouldn't be able to do anything against you with just her iron sword'' said Flavia. ''But you of all people should have know that this was a ruse.''

Kjelle flinched. ''A ruse?''

''HAHAHA, of course! Did you really think I needed to test your strength? I already did myself.'' Flavia smiled at her own antics. ''But you will get bored and will lack real combat experience if you stay with me in Ferox as my champion. What's more, since your parents were also in the Shepherds...''

''They were?'' asked Lucina to Kjelle.

''Yea.'' confirmed Kjelle.

''Then it will be my pleasure to have you join us, Kjelle.'' smiled Lucina.

''Are you sure that's ok, Khan Flavia?'' asked Kjelle just to be sure.

''Yes... it is the right thing.'' reassured Flavia. ''I am sure it is what that old oaf would have done if his champion Lon'qu would have survived his fight against Chrom.''

And so the Shepherds traveled back to Ylisse with a new member at their side. Little did they know, Lissa had news for them

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nym

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Chapter 5: Neighboring trouble

A few days before Lucina and her friends were on their way to Ferox...

Inside her chamber, Tharja was sitting near a corner of her room. She was crying so much her eyes were all red and puffed, she was also holding the picture of a particular tactician.

"My... *sniff* poor Robin..." she mumbled to herself.

Suddently someone opened the door, a young lady with black hair who looked very nervous just to talk with her mother.

"M-mom, you need to get some sleep.'' suggested the princess.

"Poison sleep?'' asked suddently Tharja who seems to forgot she was still mourning  Robin's death.

''N-no, just regular sleep." corrected her daughter.

"REGULAR POISON!?" suddently yelled Tharja for no reasons.

Noire sighed seeing that her words weren't reaching her mother at all. It was worrying her more and more each and every day as her mother' sanity was decreasing in an alarming rate. She didn't know what to do. She walked out of her chamber and leave Tharja alone.

It didn't help that her father is strangely missing despite the fact that he said he would comeback in a few hours. At least when he was here, she wasn't losing her mind that much. But even Henry isn't enough to occupy her since he pretty much has to do her job for Tharja.

Noire had to get help, she knew it. But who? Then, she had an idea of who she could ask.

She asked for the help of a maid, Noire asked her to write a letter to the Exalt of Ylisse as she knew the exalt was a friend of her mother.

Little that Noire knew, someone was eavedropping behind a pillar near them. His first job for the captain will give him some easy money.

This letter, weeks later, end up in the hands of the good person. After reading it, Lissa asked for the Shepherds to see her when they just arrive from their journey to Ferox.

Lucina and her friends along with Frederick walked inside the throne room where Lissa was, for once not sitting on her throne room with the letter in hand.

"Welcome back!'' she said happily. "Unfortunately, you won't stay here for long."

"We are going somewhere again?" asked her niece.

"Yes, to Plegia!" confirmed Lissa.

"Plegia? What did they said?" asked Frederick.

"This letter was written by a certain 'Noire'." explained Lissa.

"Noire?"

"According to herself, she's Tharja's daughter and apparently she needs our help but she said she would give more details at the border and that she will convince her mother to come. The rendezvous is in a few days" said the Exalt.

"Well then... I suppose we are going to the borders at once!'' said Lucina, ready to go to another adventure.

"Careful now, it could be a trap." warned Laurent.

"I agree with young Laurent." said Frederick. "We should bring soldiers just in case."

"Hehehe, of course." said Lissa before adding. "And probably even more since I'm going too!"

"What!?" said Frederick, Lucina and the Chancellor at the same time.

"Your Highness! You must not--"

"Oh hell yeah I will!'' said the little Exalt detemined. "If Tharja is here, as the Exalt, I should be here! What's more I'm tired to just sit around all day."

"As you wish, aunt Lissa." Lucina closed the topic. "But we will be extra careful just in case Laurent is right."

A few days later at the border between Ylisse and Plegia.

The Shepherds, the Pegasus Knights and Lissa walked together towards the meeting point where all they could see was two women and one man waiting for them.

''There they are!'' said one of the women who was much younger, probably Noire guessed Lucina.

The more they were approaching, the more Lissa, Frederick, Ricken and Kellam could see Tharja has changed a lot since the last time they saw her. First she is much skinnier, she has a few grey hairs in her dark hair and finally, it seems she wasn't sleeping well.

''Hello... Noire I pressume?'' asked Lucina to the young lady.

''Y-yes.'' said Noire.

''I'm the princess of Ylisse, Lucina.'' greeted Lucina, she then pointed each of her friends one by one. ''There is Owain..."

"Hello fair maiden of the darkness!" said Owain in his usual dramatic tone.

"Cynthia..."

"Hi-yah!" said Cynthia happily.

"Laurent..."

"Greetings." said Laurent.

"Brady."

"What's up?" said Brady.

"And Kjelle."

"...Hi." said Kjelle.

"H-hello." said nervously the princess. "Thank you for coming here..."

Henry laughed when he met his old compagnions, told a few raven puns at the same time. Meanwhile... Tharja was just staring.

"Tharja?'' asked Lissa, worried. ''Tharja, you remember me?''

Tharja didn't answer, she was staring.

"Ah come on Tharja, you have to remember them!" said Henry enthusiastically. "You remember Lissa the social butterfly? Or Frederick the very serious fellow? Or Ricken, the guy mage who wasn't even an adult at the time? Or... what was his name again?

"Kellam." said a voice out of nowhere.

"AH YES! Kellam, that's right so--

"I do not care." said Tharja annoyed.

"But... Tharja."

Suddently, Frederick and Laurent both noticed that a lot of Plegian soldiers were advancing on their position.

"Lucina..." The princess turned  around only for Laurent to point at the direction of the soldiers. Which caused everyone else in the Ylisse army and Noire and Henry to be surprised, only Tharja wasn't.

"Tharja? Where do all these soldiers come from and why?'' asked Henry to the Queen.

Suddently, Tharja screamed on top of her lungs. "SOLDIERS OF PLEGIA, ELIMINATE THE YLLISSEANS!" she ordered before drawing her Nosferatu tome and casting the tome on Lissa only for Zinia to block it just in time.

Lucina knew their position wasn't favorable for them. ''FALL BACK!" she ordered and all of the troops falled back to their side before they get surrounded.

"Mom! What have you done!?'' said Noire in disbelief to what just happened.

...

''I knew it.'' said Laurent. "Do she really wants to start another war?"

"I don't know." admitted Lucina.

"My dark senses detect that the Queen isn't thinking with her mind clear of the clouds." said Owain.

"Yeah no shit, captain Obvious." mocked Brady to Owain.

Frederick warned Lucina. "Lucina, they have cross the border." The plegians are running toward them. "We will have to fight."

Lucina sighs, why did this had to happen?

''Ricken." said Zinia to Ricken. "Let's escort Lissa to a safer position.

"Right!" said Ricken.

"... Good luck everyone." said Lissa who wasn't feeling happy anymore, that destroyed her happy mood.

...

While the battle on the borders was a large battlefield, Laurent noticed that Ylisse got the edge very easily. He reported his observations to Lucina as she was done beating a fighter.

Lucina guessed it was probably because their morale of their units is very down. Most of them don't even want to fight, they know a third generation of Ylisse versus Plegia would only cost more casualities. Especially if they do not know their leader's motivations.

At some point they had to get through Noire, Henry decided to step back and try to talk it out to Tharja who was completely ignoring him.

Lucina decided to be the one to face Noire, the princess no longer weared her comfy outfit but a battle armor for female archers. Noire was holding her bow but she didn't look confident.

"Noire..." said Lucina.

"Lu-Lucina, I swear. It wasn't our intention but my mother... she... she was out of her mind lately. I thought the Exalt could help her." explained Noire.

"I see... unfortunately you stand in our way. Step aside please." asked the blunette.

"I-I can't do that, she's watching me... sorry." said Noire, readying an arrow.

"So be it Noire..." Lucina drawed her sword but wasn't fast enough to dodge Noire's arrow. Luckely it was only a minor injury on her left shoulder.

Then Lucina walked one more step and attacked, Noire tried to use the bow itself to block but Lucina easily hurt her enough times for her to fall on the ground.

"OW!" screamed Noire, wounded.

"Stand down Noire!" ordered Lucina.

"O-ok." she said weakly.

Cynthia, from where she was in the sky, could see that the Plegia was retreating after Noire's defeat. But for what reason?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nym

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Chapter 6: Plegia and Ylisse

"What the hell Tharja?" asked Henry, clearely upset as they came back inside Tharja's bedroom. "You just declared war upon our friends!"

Tharja didn't answer at first then she said weakley said. "Robin..."

"Huh?" Henry was sure he didn't hear that one right.

"Robin... she was the one who told me to do it." explained Tharja without looking at him.

"What are you talking about Tharja? Robin is dead remember?" the white haired mage said while turning his attention to the photo on her desk until he hears Tharja falling unconscious. "Tharja? THARJA!"

Several hours later...

A tall and respected man has just arrived in front of the castle's gates. Yvon greeted the two soldiers who were near the gigantic door. "Good day, I have a rendez-vous with the Queen about an important subject."

The two soldiers glanced at each other. "Is there a problem?" asked Yvon.

"Well... the Queen is currently unavailable for the moment." said one soldier.

"I'll see if sir Henry can see you." said the other soldier before opening the gate and going inside.

After a few minutes, the solidier came back. "Sir Henry is free to meet you, you may pass."

Yvon nodded his head before going inside. Near the throne, Henry was waiting for him.

"Hello sir Yvon." said Henry.

"Hello sir Henry." said the rich man. "Have I come in a bad time?"

Usually Henry would try to laugh it off but the situation is so dire, he doesn't want too. "Sadly, yes."

"Is the Queen in a critical condition?" asked the man, worried.

"I don't know." admitted Henry. "All I could do is make her lie on her bed and have a maid nurse her for the time being. I've been trying to find a cleric but they are so rare in Plegia."

"Oh dear, that is ill news indeed." exclaimed Yvon.

"Anyway, as you can understand, your meeting will on hold for now." said Henry before sighing.

"If there's anything I can do to help..." Yvon suddently had a thought. "But tell me, who is leading the people in her absence. You?"

"I... I lack the competences to be a good leader. I'm usually more of the friendly and joke guy you know?" Henry was trying to find a solution while he was speaking with the rich man. "I need to find a solution really fast otherwise..."

"If you need someone that can lead our people, I know one person who could help you." suggested Yvon.

"Really? Who?" asked Henry.

"You are looking at him." said Yvon before smiling.

"You sir Yvon?'' said Henry, a bit surpised by his suggestion.

"I am not royalty myself but I sure do know a thing or two about leadership." explained the man. "After all, I have many workers under my care in our business." he then added just to reassure the skeptical Henry." Oh but don't worry, it will be of course until the Queen recovers. Consider me a... king substitute."

Henry hesitated, he knows he could simply take Tharja's place himself. But he knows Yvon is a well respected man and has qualities that he doesn't have. "Fine. Comeback in a few hours with all the stuff that you need. I'll prepare the announcement."

"My thanks sir Henry. See you." Yvon bent slighly before turning around.

Normally, he would just have to continue walking straight in order to get out of the castle. But he decided to make a little detour. He turned right before walking for a few minutes before going upstair, then he walked along a small corridor before arriving in front of a balcony who was inside the castle. The balcony allowed to see the totality of the main hall. A young man was already here before Yvon arrived.

"My thanks." said Yvon to the young man. "I'll officially be King soon."

The young man didn't even look at him at first. "Tsh, you welcome... I guess."

There was a small moment of silence, Yvon walked before stopping beside the young man and also watched the hall. There was some kind of party that the maids were preparing down there."

Yvon couldn't hold his curiosity. "Tell me, how did you manage to do that? Did you use dark magic?"

"I told you that I don't use that, not anymore." said calmly the young man. "Do you see that maid down there?"

"Which one? There's like fiveteen of them." replied the old man. 

"The one with the slight white hair. Her name is Cassy and she has quite the uncanny ressemblance to Robin. Let's just say it was easy to trick the Queen with the help of a hair style and a copy of Robin's coat." said the dark blond young man before mumbling. "If only the Queen didn't act so creepy, I had to give Elya double the price that I offered her and I had to stay near her just in case. Can't really blame her, I would be freak out too..."

"I see... well it is quite cleaver from you, my dear nephew." said Yvon which made his nephew rolls his eyes in disbelief, he even turned for the first time since their discussion.

"For the last time, keep that 'friendly uncle tone' to yourself." he said harshly. 

"I'm trying to be nice here." said Yvon in disbelief. "My godness, Nym. Can we not have a civil and calm conversation for once?"

"You can put your-- you can keep your sweet side for Elya. I'm used to the yelling, thank you." said Nym harshly.

Yvon sighed. "There it is, I recognize your father in--"

"Don't you fucking dare!" interrupted Nym. "Let my dead father out of this will you? And my mother while you're at it!"

Yvon wanted to change subject as it was starting to get heat up between the two of them. "I should probably go soon. I wonder how Maria and Elya will react once I tell them the news."

"Won't make much of a difference for Elya, she's already the princess of the house." mocked Nym which Yvon hated.

"You speak of dare but you do THAT!?" said Yvon angrily. "Also this is not true and you know it!" the staff looked up but Inia suggested to ignore them.

"There it is, the yellings that I know." said Nym before smiling. "It is true, you just don't see it from your point of view. I mean come on, the girl doesn't even know how to boil an egg or even boil the water. In some ways, I'm happy to have been raised differently."

"You are lucky  that I am not the King yet, Nym because this type of comment would have resulted in a harsh punishement." warned Yvon.

"Of course, 'your Majesty'." mocked Nym. "But that was the only time I'll ever help you. Have fun dealing with the Risen with no idea of their current location." Nym walked away. Yvon sighed before also walking away, he had to go home and prepare his stuff.

The next day...

The Shepherds made the camp a bit far away from the Ylissean border. At the mess hall, almost every one was here. Including the Exalt herself. 

Lissa yawned before saying." I forgot how much the bed for the tent were different compare to the one at the castle." she said annoyed.

Which resulted in a few laughs of their compagnions, including her niece and son.

"If Chrom was there, he would have call you a real princess." said Frederick who was still chuckling.

"Hey! It has been a long time okay!?" said Lissa even more annoyed.

Lucina watched the conversation then she remembered Noire who was at the medical tent. She finished her breakfast before going to the medical tent. Inside it, Brady was watching over Noire.

" 'Morning Lucina." said the priest.

"Good morning Brady. How is she?" asked the princess

"She'll be alright, her wounds were nothing that I couldn't fix."

"Great!" said Lucina before someone cleared their throat behind them.

"A moment if I may, Lucina." said Laurent, he was holding many papers together in one hand and a feather in another. "As you are already aware, one of my duty is to monitor this army at the best of my abilities. As such I would like to ask a few questions to our new recruit over here."

"Woah, slow down Laurent." said Lucina. "I didn't even ask the question yet."

"Lucina's right. Your brain is moving kinda a bit too fast under that big hat, buddy." said Brady.

"Oh, my apologies." said Laurent before everyone hears a little laugh.

"Being around you people is a bit hilarious." said Noire calmly.

"How do you feel?" asked Lucina before Brady asks the question.

"Good, I'm more worried about my mother than me to be honest." said Noire. "But about that other question..."

"Yes?" asked the princess.

"Shepherds, m-my father mentionned this group before." said Noire. "I would like to join if you promise to help our people in return, the Risen are swarming in Plegia."

"I would like to help Noire." said Lucina. "However I cannot promise you anything. After all, your mother just declared war upon us."

"Indeed." added Laurent. "It would be unwise to hunt the Risen down currently."

"It-it's alright, I just hope we can do anything about it." said Noire.

A while later, the four of them went outside when the sentinel warned the camp. "PLEGIAN SOLDIER! HE CROSSED THE BORDER!"

Frederick was the first answer. "How many?" he asked loudly.

"Just one soldier, sir." said the Sentinel from his vantage point. "He has a white flag with him, it's a messenger."

"A messenger? What for?" asked Frederick before deciding. "I will go meet him alone, in case this is an elaborate trap."

Frederick walked outside of the camp to meet the soldier. He was holding a paper with him that he reads in front of Frederick.

"Ylisseans, we would like to apologize to what just happened." read the soldier. "Sir Yvon would like to exchanges a few words with the Exalt concerning our current situations. You may also visit the castle if you wish." he finished reading before putting the letter away in his pocket. "That is all."

"Hold on, wasn't Tharja supposed to be the Queen?" asked Frederick.

"Yes sir." replied the soldier. "But I'm afraid she is currently ill and sir Henry has chosen to not take her place for the time being. As such, sir Yvon is assuming the position of King for the time being.

"I see..." Frederick knows he isn't suppose to make a decision on his own but he knew what Lissa would think. "You can say to him that we will come, but don't expect us to come without being on our guard especially after what just happened."

"I will sir!" said the soldier before turning toward the opposite direction.

Frederick walked back, the rest were waiting for him.

"Welp, I guess we have no choice now." said Lissa.

"My apologies Lissa, but they would be fools to try another trap. Assuming they aren't lying about Tharja being ill." said Frederick.

After a few preparations, they were on their way to Plegia castle.

"This place is as dark and gloomy as I remember." whispered Lissa to Frederick.

Lucina heared what her aunt said but she ignored it. She too felt the castle was unnecessarily dark but it has a certain... charm. She couldn't say what exactly, it was how she likes her clothes.

The giant door was already opened as they passed by. Inside the throne room was two men waiting for them, one was Henry who they already know. The other is a much older man.

"Hello, Exalt Lissa. It is an honor to have your presence with us today." said the man to Lissa.

"I feel the same way, sir Yvon?" asked the Exalt.

"Indeed." said Yvon. "Although I am only a substitute until the Queen recovers." he then sees Noire and he knew what she had in mind. "She is in her room right now, Noire. Unfortunately, we need to find a cleric that can tell us of what she suffers."

Noire turned to Brady. "Hey Brady..."

Brady nodded before putting out his staff. "Time to get to work, I reckon."

The two of them walked upstairs.

"Now, I believe we have much to discuss." said Yvon to Lissa.

"Yeah... about what just happened first." suggested Lissa, holding a pose that she's a bit upset about that surprise amubsh.

Yvon clearely showed his embarassement. "My apologies about the Queen. We do not want another war as much as you do. I'm afraid however that we need to find a solution fast in order to prevent a war to happen ever again between."

"I one hundred percent agree on that one!" said Lissa, delightful of what she hears.

Meanwhile, a young lady was watching everyone from afar until she notices Lucina. "Oh... are you a princess?" she asked to the bluenette.

"Urm, yes?" said Lucina to the dark brown young lady.

"Sweet! My name is Elya." said the young lady. "I'm a new princess!"

"New princess?" asked Lucina.

"Yes! We got here yesterday." explained Elya.

Yvon clears his throat. "If you want to discuss with your new friends Elya, you should discuss elsewhere. The Exalt and I have much discuss."

"Yes Father!" she said before grabbing Lucina's hand. "This way!"

"Wahh, wait a second!" she got dragged around by Elya while Owain, Kjelle, Laurent and Cynthia follows them. She brought them in a corridor where Lucina introduced her friends to the princess.

"By any chance..." Lucina had a thought in her mind. "Do you know a boy named Nym."

"Oh, you have met Nymy before?" asked casually the princess.

"Nymy?" said Lucina.

"BHAHAHA, NYMY." laughed Owain. "What a cute name for a serious and dark fellow."

"Nymy is a bit grumpy sometimes but he isn't dark by any means." corrected Elya. "Well that's my cousin for you."

Suddently their conversation was interrupted by Noire who asked to Laurent to help Brady for Tharja. Lucina suggested that they follow them.

"Do you need my assistance Brady?" asked Laurent to the cleric once they entered the room. 

"Yeah, I reckon I can't figure out what is going on with the Queen. Well to be more specefic, what is causing her illusions?" he said to Henry.

"Yea, she said 'Robin' asked her to declare war on you." said Henry.

"Either it's because of the lack of sleep or something is amiss here." said Brady. "At least she will be fine as long as she rests for a long time."

Lucina remembered what Nym told them, could it be his fault?

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nym

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Chapter 7: Betrayal

"What a pain." said Vol while counting his paid. "The last mission was a pain in the butt let me tell ya!"

"Quiet Vol, this is just the beginning." said Simba while sharpening his axe, he was almost done. Vol could hear him despite the huge noise. "Risen are becoming a problem by the minute."

"I know but... can he at least allow Inia to heal us? There's only so much healing potions we can use!" whined the thief.

"Tsh..."

A male mercenary was also there with them in the rest room. 

"Such a shame you two are stuck with him." said the mercenary.

"Quiet you!" said Simba. "You have no place to critic our commander, considaring the only reason you even joined the princess' troops was because of the princess herself!"

"Perhaps," said Inigo. "But considaring we have a healer to watch our back and a gentle leader, we are in heavens unlike you."

"Yes but at least he has tactical knowledge unlike Elya who has none." counterargued the fighter.

Inigo sighed.

"What's the point? You know that the population has a bad opinion of him, even before the princess arrived." Inigo pointed at the window. "And you know they want the princess to replace him."

"She--"

"Tactical knowledge is already covered by Alexandra." replied the mercenary. "Good attitude cannot. Your leader is... rotten to the core."

"He is not!" said Inia who was eavesdropping their conversation from outside. "He has an attitude problem yes but..."

"Inia, you are too royal." replied Inigo. "Open your eyes, he treats you badly. You deserve more than being a personnal maid."

Inia was speechless.

"And Vol..." Inigo knew exactly what to say to convince the thief. "You could get more if you worked with the princess and I'm not talking about just gold."

"Truly?" asked the thief, delighted to hear that.

"What the hell, don't you have any royalty?" scolded Simba.

"Only to the biggest offerer." replied the shameless thief. "Unlike you, I also think about my good being."

"I DO care about my good being." corrected Simba. "But in case you didn't know, we are the only one who patrol across any villages to clear the Risen."

"Well considaring we mostly sit around all day, we could actually join you." suggested Inigo. "All we would need is to replace Nym."

"And by who do you suggest replacing him?" asked the fighter.

Inigo didn't answer, instead he simply smiled.

...

"Truly!?" asked Lissa who couldn't believe her ears.

"Absolutely." said the king of Plegia. "As a man of business, both Plegia and Ylisse will have a lot to gain from an guarantee peace and help between our nations. Plus I believe this what Queen Tharja would have desired."

"Wonderful!" said Frederick, Lucina, her friends and Elya just came back at this exact moment. "Ah, just in time for the great news!"

"What news?" asked the princess of Ylisse.

"A treaty of peace and a promise to help if needed between our nations!" explained Lissa.

"That's wonderful indeed!" replied Lucina.

Her friends agreed.

Suddently, someone opened the door that leads to the courtroom. A mercenary that Lucina has never seen before entered.

"What is the meaning of this?" asked the King, he dislikes being bothered when dealing with important affairs.

"My apologies for the interruption." said the mercenary. "But I have an important announcement to make."

"What kind Inigo?" asked the princess of Plegia.

"The units under Nym wishs to not longer being under his command." explained Inigo as the maid, the thief and the fighter have arrived.

"What is this nonsense!?" said Nym who came from upstairs.

"Well well, look like the angry princess has just arrived!" mocked Brady. Nym glared at him for a second.

Lucina stayed calm but she couldn't help to giggle like Cynthia a bit. This is probably not what he had in mind last time.

"Simple." said Vol. "We aren't satisfied with you."

"Of the three, you have the least reasons to fucking complain, you unroyal sack of gold!" said Nym angrily.

"Perhaps, but I would like AT LEAST someone to heal my bacon in the battlefield and not relying on potions." replied the thief. 

"...Same for me." added Simba, who looked at the ground.

Nym looked at the maid. "Even you... I am very dissapointed."

"I..." She also looked down in shame.

"You treated her bad!" said Inigo. "She has every right to feel that way. And she is not alone, the people couldd want you to quit. Your methods are too harsh, almost cruel!"

"Oh that's rich coming from Inigo, the womanizer!" mocked Nym.

Inigo went angry. "What did you just--"

"ENOUGH!" said Lucina before Elya could intervene.

"Mind your damn business, princess of Ylisse." replied Nym. "This is between me and him."

"Listen Nym, as much as it hurts, sometimes it's better to learn when to stand down. If the people wants it, you should give them what they want even when you don't want to." said calmly Lucina.

"And let Elya take my place!? She doesn't even know how to be a leader damn it!" said Nym.

"That can be learned." replied the King. "I approuve."

Nym couldn't believe it, he shaked his head. "Fine, I quit."

"Really?" asked Inigo.

"Don't comeback crying to me." warned Nym.

"Like it would ever happen." replied the mercenary.

...

And so, the Shephards left Plegia with a new commander under the task of cleaning the Risen. Yet Lucina can't shake the feeling it wasn't for the best.

 

 

 

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Chapter 8: Helping or not helping

Three weeks later...

Ever since their return from Plegia, The Shepherds did not fight as much as Frederick would have hope. In fact to the Great Knight' surprise, no report of bandits have been reported and the Risen are being slained on sight by the soldiers at the border or at the outposts if they do manage to get through their defenses by warp.

During those few days of break. Lucina recruited a new member: Yarne. The last member of the Taguel, an almost extincted race because of human hunts. Luckely, she managed to convince him to join the Shepherds in exchange for food and protection.

However those little vacations are over as a pegasus knight request an audience with the Exalt. There's also a wounded plegian soldier with her.

Frederick and Lucina were both discussing with Lissa when a soldier arrived to tell the pegasus's demand.

A while later, the pegasus knight entered with the plegian soldier. Upon seeing the wounded soldier, Lissa requested that we fetch her a staff. It has been a long time since she had to heal someone.

"By the gods, what happened?" asked Lissa to the two soldiers.

Zinia, who was here, guessed it had to be something very serious if one of her soldiers had to leave her outpost temporarely. Especially since they are healers at the border.

"I do not know, your Highness." responded the pegasus knight. "He came to the borders injured and asked for someone to bring him immediately to you. He looked grave."

Lissa asked the same question to the plegian soldier.

"It's a disaster, no... it's horrible, Exalt of Ylisse. The Risen... have destroyed every single of our outposts." said weakely the soldier.

"What!?" said Lissa surprised. "Every single around your country!? What happened?"

"I do not know." affirmed the soldier. "I was... doing my job. Then I heared the screams... they suddently appeared out of nowhere... everyone was killed except me but I barely... asked with my own life..." he said before collapsing. Someone arrived with a staff, Lissa healed him.

"It will need rest, someone bring him to a room." a soldier brought the sleeping soldier out of the throne room.

Meanwhile Lucina asked the Shepherds to come. Everyone including Yarne, Lucina told them what the soldier said.

"How dire it is Noire?" asked Lucina to the plegian princess.

"Really bad." explained the nervous princess. "Those outposts were there to prevent anything from attacking the small villages and the small cities that aren't the capital. Without them, they are defenseless."

"Great." said Kjelle. "So we pretty much have to hurry over there, right?"

"Exactly. We depart in 15 minutes, get moving!" ordered Lucina.

The more time they take, the less time they will have to save anyone that they can.

The travel to Plegia was slow but steady, Lucina and Laurent limited the numbers of brake that they allowed to give as they need to hurry up.

While the Shepherds were on their way to their destination, they did not know that a young woman and a young man were both on their way towards Ylisse.

"Are you sure going to Ylisse is a good idea?" asked the young man.

"Duh, of course!" replied the red haired young woman. "You can't even imagine how great it is over there."

"I hope, Severa." He wasn't all that convinced, him that only lived in Plegia for most of his life.

"And don't you think I own you anything, Ien." replied Severa harshly. "You did NOT save me, ok? I had the situation perfectly under control!"

"Before or after they surrounded you?" mocked the dark blonde haired young man.

"Urgh, and why didn't you use your magic to kill them in the first place?" asked Severa.

"My magic is euh... I don't want use it too much." explained Ien.

Severa never heared something that ridiculous. "What are you blambling about?"

Ien didn't have a chance to explain as he heards someone behind them. Both turned around to face the same bandits.

"Going somewhere?" mocked one of the bandits.

"Damn they catch up pretty quick." said Severa. "Blast them again!"

"I...  can't." denied Ien.

Severa cursed. "Fine then we will do it the normal way!"

A few minutes later, the Shepherds arrived near the battlefield.

"Lucina!" said Cynthia. "Up ahead, two persons are being attack by bandits!"

"We have to help them!" said Lucina.

"Lucina, while I respect your good will, you have to remember that we are already on the clock here." reminded Laurent. "We cannot afford to--"

"I know Laurent but they both seem to be capable fighters." replied the princess to her right hand. "They could join us in the important battle ahead."

The battlefield was composed of a few mountains, each person were hidden inside a fort each. The woman is a mercenary while the man seems to be some kind of mage that use a sword.

"You ugly brutes are better not break one of my nails!" snarled Severa before fighting a barbarian using her sword.

Later...

"Huh? Wait are you... princess Lucina?" asked Severa.

"Indeed, and you are?" asked Lucina.

"My name is Severa." explained the mercenary.

"Severa? As the daughter of the Cordelia, the former captain of the Pegasus Knight and the mentor of Zinia!?" Lucina couldn't believe it. 

Severa sighed. "Why do people always need to mention her whatever they are talking to me. At least Ien didn't know her so..." she mumbled.

"Oh sorry if I did something wrong." apologized the princess, although confused.

"It's alright, just make sure to stick around, I always wanted to join the Shepherds!"

...

"Are you alright?" asked to the young man.

"Yes I am--" He flinched when he recognize her. "Not her again!"

"Is something wrong? Wait... Nym?" she noticed his angry face.

He walked away before she has any chance to say anything else.

...

Severa glanced at the amount of dead brigands on the ground. "That's what I call a massacre! And my nails are intact."

"Severa." said Laurent approaching her. "If you would be so kind to sign those papers for me. It will be your last step before becoming a member of the Shepherds."

"Where is Ien?" asked Severa.

"Hum? Ah yes, I must sadly inform you that your friend... did not tell you the truth." said calmly the mage.

"The truth?" said Severa surprisingly.

...

"Why are you away from Plegia?" asked the princess of Ylisse.

"That's none of your concerns." replied harshly Nym.

"Be polite, 'pal!" warned Brady. "Lucina doesn't deserve to be talk down by you!"

"You are right, I should keep it for the likes of you." replied the former captain.

"I cannot believe my ears." said Severa who was followed by Laurent. Everyone was surrounding Nym, he felt like an animal in a cage. "You... you are a prince?"

"Yea... but my pride prevented me from telling you the true. Making a fake name is much easier to explain."

"Nym." said Lucina calmly. "Our time is limited, so tell me why are you moving away from your own kingdom."

Nym sighed in annoyance. "Because I am tired of this country."

No one said anything.

"What is this unwise nonsense?" said Owain.

"Oh you can talk, you!" mocked Nym.

"ENOUGH!" said Lucina who tried to keep her cool. "You are a prince. I understand you lost your post but it wasn't a reason to leave the country."

Noire who didn't say anything until now suddently come to a realisation. "OH! It is because of--"

"QUIET NOIRE!" screamed Nym angrily.

Which made the princess nerveous only for Lucina to reassure her. Kjelle wanted to punch him in the face.

"I'm the one who gives orders here!" she said harshly to the unwise young man. She turned to Noire and said calmly. "Now Noire, please share with us what Nym refuses to tell us."

"Ever since he was at the role of captain, Nym faced criticism from the population who felt his methods were... brutal. Both as a tactician and a leader. It got worse when the princess arrived, everyone wished that she replaces him." explained the archer.

"In the end, they got their wish." noticed Laurent. "So now he is turning tail to not walk in shame."

"Why does it matters anyway? Can't I not choose my own fate in peace, you have already denied one part of it!" replied the upset young man.

"Because Plegia is currently under attack from the inside by the Risen." explained calmly Lucina. "That is why we need as much help as we can."

The news of his homeland being under attack did not cause him to even flinch.

"I would expect at least some kind of reaction." analyzed Laurent. "I would personally be extremely worried if I learned Ylisse was under attack by undead creatures."

"I already knew Risen would destroy the outposts." confessed Nym.

"And how would you know that, you that just ran away from the country?" asked the mage.

"Because the Grimleal's dark mage at the Dragon's Table is still alive of course. Doesn't take to be a smart head like you to know what happens next." responded Nym with his mockery.

"So you knew the exact location of the source of the Risen yet you did not act?" asked Laurent, who couldn't believe his ears.

"My uncle doesn't deserve my help." said harshly the former prince.

"King Yvon?" asked Lucina.

"He is the reason why Queen Tharja is ill." revealed Nym. "He is also the reason why her daughter is spoiled to the core."

Noire gasped.

"So we have a family issue on our hand that turned into... this." said Laurent. "So you refuse to tell him anything but at the same time, you will let innocent peoples die. Do you not care about them?"

"No."

"What about your troops?" tried again Laurent.

Nym forced a laugh. "Yeah not really. Simba just care to kill the man who killed his old man." he said as he pointed at Frederick. "Vol is just a shameless thief that will do anything as long as you give him a gigantic bag of gold."

"And what about the maid?"

"Poor Inia... her family is so poor but big, they had to send her to the army just for the extra money. I gave her the easiest job while making sure she stays away from the battle but..."

"But you troops did not receive any healings from her whatsoever and then you got backstabbed." said Laurent.

"It doesn't matter anymore. The capital's defenses will fall, my cousin doesn't have any experience in leadership and there's only so much thing a tactician like Alexandra can do. And I doubt that womanizer will bring any morales to the troops." said Nym sadly. 

"Which is why you have to go. With us. Right now." said fermently Lucina. "If what you say is true, then you are their only hope."

"I don't--

"Prove yourself to the people." suggested Laurent. "Of course it would be for the best that you change your behaviour: war always bring risks. Hiding a healer is not a good idea."

"But--

"And in case you still resist, I'm afraid you have no choice but to obey Lucina over here." argued Laurent which surprised everyone.

"What nonsense are you talking about?" asked Nym. "I obey no one's orders. I will go here if I want to go there."

"I'm afraid it is not possible anymore." explained Laurent. "Now that you lost your captain title, you were just a prince. And yes I did just said 'were' since you ran away from home, and you are not directly related to the King being his nephew instead of son, you were only a prince as long as you stayed in the country. But now... I'm afraid you are below Lucina, not her equal. So you have no choice but to obey, otherwise you would violate the brand new pact of peace between the two nations."

"W-W-Wait a minute..." gasped Nym.

Laurent smiled, he won that match.

"We are departing in 5 minutes!" ordered Lucina. "This order applies to you too, welcome to the Shepherds even if just temporarely." she said to Nym.

"Get your butt moving!" yelled Kjelle.

"Y-Yes Ma'am!" He had no choice but to play their game.

Severa smirked.

Lucina hoped this little discussion did not slow them down too much. She also hope Nym will do his job correctly... this time.

 

 

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