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Awakening [A FE: Awakening Story]

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Awakening [A FE: Awakening Story]

Post by Requiem on Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:49 am

woo returning back to th3e fanfic section of the forum because why the fuck not bro

Buuuut, yeah. I've been planning the reboot for this particular, Fire Emblem-based story for a while now. After finishing my story planner up to chapter three (which may seem like it isn't that much, but I include a fuckton of shit that happens whenever I plan things), I decided to copy down the Prologue (which I had ready in advance), and also started Chapter One. Prologue's gonna be as short as fuck in comparison to the other chapters to come, and it'll also be the only chapter in first person, too.

-------------

{||Prologue||}

Imagine this.
 
You had embarked upon a journey many moons ago; one of wars, bonds, and tragic realizations- among other things. Despite the fact that the going has been pretty damn rough, you continued to push forwards; both for yourself, as well as those that depended upon your own, living being.
 
Those whom you had forged the tightest of bonds with…
…The people that took you in and allowed you to fight by their sides…
…The ones that you had shared many moments with- no matter if they were good or bad.
 
…Your true family.
 
Your will to fight for them has brought you this far.
 
You stand still for a split second in your current location before looking left, barely noticing and sidestepping a blast of a darkened, shadowy current that would have found its way through your skull. After doing so, you noticed another figure dashing toward the source; his sword flashing briefly in the minimal light. As he is sent tumbling back with a strike from the sorcerer that had nearly ended you, you unsheathe your own blade before quickly aiming a swift slash at the magic user.
 
Before the strike connects, however, the caster vanishes within a sudden void of shadows. Fast on your reflexes, you quickly cease your motions and turn around to scan the clearing for your target. It doesn’t take too long before you locate him yet again, but you are immediately struck with fear and stress at the sight before your eyes.
 
Afar, the sorcerer is charging himself up for yet another shadowy strike- but it isn’t you who he is aiming at.
 
It’s your companion.
 
Your eyes widen as you watch the swordsman begin to stagger back onto his feet, unaware of the deed that is about to happen. You sprint forward swiftly, pushing him out of the way quickly and attempting to escape from the attack yourself as the magic courses through the air.
 
…And, for the moments after, the world succumbs to a frightening darkness.
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Re: Awakening [A FE: Awakening Story]

Post by Requiem on Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:55 am

{||Chapter One||}


The day was rather pleasant. Sunshine spanned across the well majority of the grasslands, with its temperatures evenly balanced by the forces of a gentle zephyr that blew across the terrain. Distant, horizon-bound creatures skittered along beneath the safety of the greens that were their home, with some of them making their way to the forest’s edge some ways off. On minor occasion, those of matching species would find themselves crossing paths with one another, and would give one another a curious, quickened scan before swiftly bounding around and shuffling off as if nothing had occurred between them.
 
Alas, it was a finely-brewing afternoon in the kingdom of Ylisse.
 
….Save for one particular abnormality.
 
Further up on the prairie would be a particular figure (link here)- a male one at that. The man looked to be young; perhaps in his later teenage years. His hair was of a light and metallic silvery color, which shrouded over either eye of his with his sprawled-out position across the ground. He was clothed rather darkly against the lightened greens of the nature-filled grounds beneath him, with his coat remaining splayed beneath his figure as he lay on his side. Aside from seeming to catch a nap in a rather odd area of choice, he seemed to be perfectly fine, with his flanks gently rising and falling as he breathed softly.
 
These actions would soon turn a bit more rushed and broken after a few moments.
 
Within his dream, the silver-haired teen found himself standing inside a rather grand, yet dimly-lit area. With an axe in his left hand and a tome in the right, he glared at a rather thin, lanky, and darkly-skinned figure off in the distance. Under his breath, he muttered a sort of incantation; a vocalized projection of the text laid within the pages of his book, and one he knew well enough to have memorized by then. After a few seconds, the pages began to flip violently and the figure itself lifted from his hand, remaining opened and flipping as it rose to face its target. Speaking the final words of the chant, the book began to become enveloped within a ring of electricity, with a small circular beam forming at its core.
 
“…Hey! There’s-…over there-…! …”
 
His focus broken by the sudden words ringing throughout his mind, the axe-wielder quickly clutched his hand into a tight fist, which caused the tome by his command to drop to the ground with a light thud. As soon as it made impact, he felt a sharp pain strike through his head; one large enough to send him onto one of his knees as he desperately grasped through his hair. The only thing that supported him from completely falling over was his axe, with its blade locked into the tiled floors beneath him.
 
“We have t-… something…!”
 
By that point, the words seemed to be searing through his mind, though he began attempting to lift himself back up regardless. Clutching the handle of his beloved axe, the boy drew a shaky breath while beginning to balance himself into a crouch at the least. Once this was achieved, he muttered something under his breath before tilting his head up the slightest bit, peering through the narrowed slits of the mask that he wore. Beneath the shade of his masking, his eyes widened as he watched a sudden, shadowy beam-like figure course directly at him.
 
If the image hadn’t abruptly ended at that moment, he would have screamed in some degree of both fear and shock alike. However, instead of finding the pain of the magical collision coursing throughout his being, he was thrust back into the world of reality, rather than his own little dreamland. As a result of the sudden shift, he rolled over a little bit before suddenly jerking into an upright and angled sitting position. He hadn’t quite noticed at first, though a couple of people were gazing down at him at either of his flanks, and actually had to spring back quickly to avoid being sharply headbutted.
 
Wearing a slight, kind smile, the man on the right gave a quiet laugh while eying the newly-awakened lad. “Seems like someone’s awake, now,” he chuckled.
 
At the voice, the dreamer briefly froze for a moment. Light, faded, baby blue voids of his stared blankly at the ground between his legs for a second as he registered the tone of the words. …I know that voice, but… From where-…? …
 
After contemplating various thoughts within his intellect for several seconds following, the blue-eyed teen slowly tilted his head up to meet gazes with the one who had just spoken. A sense of recognition immediately flooded his senses as he saw the face of the other man.
 
He’s… It’s that other guy…from my dream just now…
 
Yet again, the silver-headed fighter seemed to be casting a somewhat blank stare- though at the one before him, rather than the ground like he had done moments prior. In reaction to this, the newcomer tilted his head a little bit while lifting his hand and slowly waving it in front of his face. “Er…hello? Are you alright?”
 
Taking note of the hand constantly fracturing his line of sight, the sleeper nodded a bit awkwardly before smirking and waving a hand of his own in a dismissive way. “Aha…yeah. Yeah, I’m fine… There’s no need to concern yourself over me, Chrom.”
 
With the last statement spoken, it would then be the other two’s turns to exchange slightly surprised and dumbfounded looks with one another. From the corner of his eye, the azure –haired man glanced back down at the boy as he sat down and continued giving them a calm, yet internally confused look. “…So you know my name, then?”
 
Blinking quietly, the coat-clad man took a moment to fully let the reply that he was given sink in. …How would I know his-… …Wait a minute… he thought while finding a sudden interest in the ground once more as his vision met the grasses around him. Laughing awkwardly, he gave a light grin while slowly hooking the eastern extremity behind his neck and scratching it gently. “Ahaha… To be honest, no, actually…” he started off. Despite noticing how this remark seemed to trigger a minor display of odd expressions from both the man and the young woman casting their attentions upon him, he continued on, saying, “As… Well, as hard as it is to believe, it just sort of…came to me. Y’know…the moment I saw your face, at least.”
 
Thoughtful silence would fill the air for the few, following moments after the last remark. Soon enough, it would be ended as Chrom shook his head quietly as if temporarily dismissing the issue. “…I see. Well…that aside for now, we should get you up, friend. …There’s better places to catch a nap than the ground, you know.” Smirking lightly, he extended a hand of his out for the boy to grab onto for support if he wished to. “What’s your name?”
 
For a moment or so, the other simply stared at the hand offered to him as if contemplating over whether the gesture was some sort of illusion. However, he sighed quietly before allowing his grin to grow a little bit as he slipped his own hand into Chrom’s with a newfound sense of strength and amusement. “So long as I actually manage to catch a wink or two regardless, I could really care less where I sleep, honestly… Heh, thanks for the concern, though,” the boy replied, giving his helper a quick, amused wink. Within seconds of securing his grasp within the other’s he quickly hauled himself onto his feet and brushed his clothing down a little bit before breathing a somewhat relieved sigh and shifting his gaze between the duo with him. “…And to answer your question, my name is-… …Huh…”
 
“…Your name is…?”
 
“…Give me a moment.” A low mutter escaped into the air as he resumed smoothing his clothing down. …My name… Come on, I can remember the name of some guy I haven’t even met, but I can’t even remember my name…? he thought to himself. Raising his hands to his chest a bit, he breathed quietly while fiddling around with the armored plating that guarded both of his forearms a bit.
 
Tilting her head a little bit, the girl nearby quietly looked at the other as he fought to remember. “…Should it really take this long to remember your-“
 
Before she was able to speak the final word to conclude her inquiry, the blue-eyed teen gave a sharp, victorious laugh while loudly snapping his fingers.
 
“Terric!” he exclaimed with victorious pride, nodding and grinning widely while shifting his gaze between the pair. “That’s my name. My name’s Terric.”
 
Though still a bit skeptical with how the reply was given, Chrom gave an understanding nod before crossing his arms over his chest. “Nice to meet you, Terric. …But…er…”
 
Terric looked at Chrom with a smidge of curiosity. “But…?”
 
“…But…did it truly take that long for you to state your name…? If I didn’t know any better, I’d honestly think that you were trying to fix a cover up identity…”
 
“Aaaaaah, that… Well, honestly-“
 
Honestly, I believe that this is simply a load of Pegasus dung.”
 
Upon hearing yet another new voice, Terric froze for a moment while listening to his surroundings. Alongside the third tone aside from his own, he couldn’t help but notice the rapid beating of what seemed to be a horse draw closer and closer to his location. He looked over his shoulder and barely caught sight of a knight, who was secured upon his own, majestic, and noble steed, before he swept around to join the people who were on foot in frontal view. Falling into another thoughtful yet slightly strained trance, he darkly-clothed boy allowed his gaze to shift between the trio before him. They all seem familiar… Even the guy on the horse. But…how-…?
 
“-expect us to believe you?”
 
…Eh?
 
Snapping away from his minor daze, Terric shook his head violently for a quick second before brushing his hand through his hair and aiming another glance toward the knight. Truth be told, he felt a slight tinge of discomfort, as well as a slight chill that trickled down his spine, as he noticed the stern and serious glare-like stare that the rider was giving him. Oooooh… Looks like I somehow made a bad first impression already… That was fast… the young teen thought to himself while slowly slipping his hands into the pockets of his pants. Opening his mouth a little bit, he made it appear as if he were about to say something. No words seemed to come out, however, as he refrained from speaking his thoughts the moment the knight continued his own.
 
“Truly…! I admit that I did overhear a little bit on your conversation with Milord and Milady, but do you genuinely take us for fools…?” Huffing a little bit, the armored knight shook his head as if in a heavy sense of disapproval, averting his gaze down to his horse’s eastern flank for a moment to ensure that his primary weaponry – a sturdy, polished lance of silver – was secured finely within its encasement below. “To think that we would immediately believe that you would firmly remember and know Milord’s name, but would have to think a little bit to recall your own…”
 
“Peace, Frederick- peace!” called Chrom as he looked over at the horseman. Hearing the call and noting the eye contact he was given, the armored, auburn-haired man eventually gave a slow nod, though seemed to mutter something under his breath as he gazed over at Terric once more. Breathing a quiet sigh, the lord brushed a hand through his hair lightly. “I hope that you find it in your heart to be able to excuse Frederick. As you can see, his sternness towards new acquaintances shows no bounds…”
 
“I am simply showing necessary skepticism to decide whether or not a man is safe to be around, Milord. ‘Tis a must when given the task of protecting both Lady Lissa and yourself.”
 
“Yeah, but maybe a task you take a liiiiiiiiittle bit too seriously, Frederick…!” the girl spoke up almost at once, catching the attention of all three males within the area. “I know you’re supposed to be our sort of bodyguard and all, but I really don’t think it’s necessary to follow us around everywhere we go!”
 
“But what if one from other lands were to recognize who you two were- to recognize that you hail from the Ylissean kingdom?” Frederick shot back in a calm, yet questioning tone.
 
Lissa pouted while crossing her arms at the horseman in a disapproving manner. “Do you think that we can’t defend ourselves?”
 
“With all due respect, Milady, but I think that you can’t defend yourself… Your brother would more than likely be fine in a fight, but I truly do have my doubts when the situation concerns you…”
 
“Well, Chrom could just defend me if I get attacked or something, can’t he?”
 
“And if it appears that he is away at the moment?”
 
Lissa fell silent for a couple of moments while just staring at her interrogator. Her grasp around the healer’s staff that she held grew a bit tighter as her other hand scratched the back of her head uneasily. “…I…could try to hit them with this?” she suggested while waving her staff a little bit. “Or…maybe throw a rock or two at them?”
 
“Neither your tone nor your methods inspire a solid sense of confidence within me, and that is the reason why I insist on following your around so closely,” Frederick replied coolly. The slightest smile of victory was etched upon his lips as he spoke this.
 
That statement seemed to be the last straw for the blonde for the moment, as she began dismissing the knight’s case in a rather rushed and agitated manner. Meanwhile, both her brother and the awakened boy watched them from afar. Slowly, Terric took a couple of steps over towards Chrom, leaning over a little bit and hushing himself a little bit to prevent himself from being heard by Frederick’s ears. “…Are they, like… Are they always like this?” he asked while smirking in a faint sense of amusement at the scene before him.
 
Shrugging, Chrom teetered a bit from side to side as if quietly debating over the question. “Eh… More or less, I guess,” he would eventually reply with a smirk of his own. He watched his sister point her staff at the mounted knight while attempting to engage herself within another debate yet again, chuckling quietly all the while. “I guess it does happen a lot.”
 
“All too much?”
 
“Yeaaaaah…all too much.”
 
The two would share a quiet laugh for a moment as if they were long-time companions before falling suddenly silent. Aside from the arguments brewing afar, the air grew awkwardly still and silent. In attempt to lift the feeling, Terric began making a few, low-toned clicking noises with his tongue against the roof of his mouth, casting several thoughtful glances around at his surroundings as he quietly surveyed the area. Eventually, he resorted to making popping noises with his lips, though soon gave up on his feeble attempts to effectively break the silence.
 
…Gods, this isn’t gonna work at all…
 
Sighing quietly, Terric glanced over at Chrom for a moment while beginning to fix a question to continue their conversation. A little bit desperate for a topic, he decided to speak the first thing that came to mind and said:
 
“…Soooo… He said that we were in Ylisse, right?”
 
Chrom met Terric’s gaze, looking him over for a moment. “…Yes, that’s…right…” he spoke in reply while nodding. “…You didn’t even know where you were?”
 
The dark-clothed boy shook his head.
 
“…Strange,” the lord muttered softly while continuing to gaze at the apparently forgetful one by his flank. He took a moment to fully scan him over, noting the type of clothing he was wearing, alongside the weaponry he had on him. Secured upon his back was a rather large axe, with a dual pair of swords kept in sheathes on his back as well, though both were beneath the axe itself. His legs seemed to bear a couple of band-like accessories with rectangular pouches large enough to fit a decently-sized book in. …He doesn’t quite look like any of the soldiers that we’d have here… Chrom thought before lifting own gaze to meet Terric’s lighter one again. “…You don’t look like you’re from here. That’s for sure…” Tilting his head a bit, the azure swordsman gently crossed his arms over his chest again. “…You truly don’t remember anything worth mentioning?”
 
Terric shrugged casually while nodding in response to the question that he was asked. “Yep. I can assure you that I’ve been telling you the truth ever since the moment I opened my mouth to talk to you guys.”
 
Silence fell upon Chrom’s being once more as he, too, nodded as if confirming the remark himself. Looking down at the ground, he placed a hand over his over the bottom half of his face in thought. His head tilted up after a moment or so, and he lowered his hand as if he were about to suggest something, though found himself cut off before he began as Lissa entered the scene again, with Frederick following close after.
 
“Well, if what you’re saying is true, then I actually think I know what’s happening!” the blonde shot out while taking her place within closer proximities of both Chrom and Terric. “I read about something like this in a book one time. I think it was something called…amnesia? …Yeah, it was called amnesia!”
 
Frederick gave a low, exasperated sigh. “Differing titles will not change the fact that this is all a load of dung, Milady…”
 
In contrast to the horseman, Chrom actually seemed a little bit drawn by the suggestion that his sister laid out. “Actually, I think I remember seeing something about it in a book or two, myself…” he pondered aloud while gazing over at Lissa. Turning over to Terric, he remained silent for a couple of moments before speaking again. “…What do you think?”
 
Smiling a bit, the apparent amnesiac simply shrugged while laughing a little bit. “I dunno, man. Honestly, I don’t really know what I think anymore, considering how I couldn’t even remember my own name…” Lifting both of his hands up, the man gave his shoulders a couple of quick, refreshing rolls before intertwining either extremity of his behind his hand and huffing a little bit. “Buuuut…I guess that it could be a possibility.”
 
“Right… In that case, we’ll be bringing you to Ylisstol to discuss matters, then,” Chrom spoke with another nod. “We can settle matters there.”
 
The silver-haired amnesiac simply stared at Chrom for a moment.
 
“….....I assume that I have no say in his whatsoever?”
 
In response, the lord shook his head. “It’ll only take a little while, so you’ll be fine. Ylisstol isn’t too far from here, anyways, so-“
 
At that moment, all undivided attention was brought across the grasslands as a rather large explosion went off in the distance. All four members of the group swiftly shifted their gazes over to a town that was some ways away. Despite the distance spanning between them and the horizon-bound location, however, it was clearly apparent that smoke and flames seemed to be furiously veiling over the proximities and perimeters of the town.
 
His expression growing rather serious upon the realization of what had happened, Chrom turned himself around to fully scan the clearing afar. “…On second thought, Ylisstol can wait.” Taking a deep breath, the navy-haired lord drew his sword before looking over his shoulder and at his companions. “The town needs our help! Come! Hurry!”
 
It didn’t take too long for Chrom to depart, with both Lissa and Frederick following after him as quickly as they could. Having fully realized what the situation entailed a little bit later than the others, Terric found himself stepping after the trio a little bit and just staring after them before standing as he was to process the situation. As he watched the others dash off, he scratched his head while scanning the scenery around him.
 
…If I wanted to, I could make a break for it right now.
 
He brought his attention back to the burning town afar, alongside the figures resembling the ones who had rushed off. Well enough, with each second that he remained as he was, all three of them grew smaller and smaller to the point where they appeared to be mere dots to the naked eye.
 
Bowing his head a little bit, Terric allowed a low gross between a sigh, growl, and a groan to escape his lips as he aggressively scratched his head for a moment in thought. Breathing deeply, he gave one last, shifting glance between the town and his freedom before lifting the remaining hand and hooking it behind him. He grasped hold of his axe’s handle before leaning forward and breaking out into a strong sprint after the group in the distance.
 
Screw it… It wouldn’t hurt to help the people out, after all…
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Requiem

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Re: Awakening [A FE: Awakening Story]

Post by Requiem on Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:33 pm

It was safe to say that the scene was rather chaotic upon arrival. As Frederick rushed into the town first – as was to be expected as the soldier on horseback – he gazed around with his lance at hand, his eyes narrowed and challenged all the while. He was met with the sight of burning buildings all around him, which were appropriately paired with the sounds of crackling embers, alongside the panicked cries of distant villagers afar. A low mutter escaped his breath as he quickly pulled on the reins of his horse, driving it to rear about and turn quickly. Darkened auburn eyes of his immediately scanned the lower level beneath him, catching gazes with his nearing Lord.

“Milord, they’ve already stormed throughout the well entirety of the area…!” he spoke briefly while scanning the surroundings once more. His guard was well-kept and his trusty lance was at the ready as he surveyed the scene further. “As far as I can tell, most of the villagers have successfully evacuated. However, there seems to be a small group consisting of the town’s leader, alongside a few other civilians, that are currently being held hostage in front of the town church…”

“See to it that you make it there, then, Frederick,” Chrom replied while quickly continuing on his path. “You and I will clear a path to the back and rescue the people.” With those words, the azure-headed swordsman bound off and into his first skirmish, clashing blades with a neighboring swordsman. He held his ground effortlessly at first, keeping his weaponry evenly leveled and stable as he guarded against his attacker. “Go! Make haste!”

Frederick stared after the man for a moment before giving a curt nod and lightly whipping the reins of his steed once more, causing it to turn and rush off into another active part of the streets. “As you say, Milord,” he said under his breath while leaning forward into the mane of his horse for the moment. It didn’t take long before he reached a couple of newfound foes while upon his mount. While Chrom was busy fighting afar on foot, the armored knight quickly swung his right arm around, aiming a strike at one of the two men standing before him and engaging himself within his own skirmish.

Meanwhile, a particular, blonde-haired healer made a subtle entry into the scene at long last. Cautiously, in order to avoid much attention, she stayed closer to the abandoned stalls of the markets, peering around curiously and carefully while keeping her staff close to her own being. “Pfft… They say that I wouldn’t be able to protect myself…” she muttered with a pout under her breath while beginning to look over at the clearing. Crouching next to one of the stands, she attempted to shield herself from view as best as she could while watching both her brother and her armored companion deal with several men afar. “That…may be true now that I think about it… But it sucks for them when they realize who they have to run crying for help to when they hurt themselves…!”

In a gradual manner, she closed her eyes, growing quiet for a few moments after she huddled beneath the wood of the shopping stands that shielded her from view. A soft sigh left her lips, which was accompanied by an inaudible murmur. She sat like this for a little while, holding her staff relatively close to her chest before opening her eyes the slightest bit. After doing so, she shook her head as if she were pushing some other, distracting thoughts from her mind before pulling herself into a crouch and turning around. Shifting her staff to a single hand, she held it low and by her side while beginning to stand up. At first, she brought herself up just enough to peek over the top of the stand again in order to survey just how much the situation had progressed. Instead of glancing around as she planned to, however, Lissa found herself staring into the eyes of a lone man, which caused her to stagger back from shock almost immediately. To this reaction, the same man merely gave a small grin while snickering softly.

“Well, ain’t ya jus’ a pretty ‘lil lass…” he spoke slowly and mockingly, eying the cleric up and down a couple of times. His smile seemed to grow a little bit more as he jumped over the shopping both, landing smoothly on his feet before slowly and threateningly beginning to stalk closer towards Lissa’s location. “Heh… My, it would be nice to wake up to such a pretty face every day.”

While Lissa continued to step backwards in a slight panic, the man just continued to follow her with that same, chilling smile of his. By the end of his last sentence, he stopped for a moment, chuckling lowly under his breath as he heaved the axe that he held over his shoulder for a moment.

“…C’mere, lass. The sooner yer head’s on my wall, the sooner my ‘lil dream can come true!”

With those words, the axeman bound forward at once, leaning forward while initiating his sprint. In response to the movement, Lissa made a quick motion of her own, turning around and beginning to flee in attempt to save her own life. As she did so, she couldn’t help but release a loud, frantic cry that rang across the clearing.

Upon noticing the sound, Chrom swiped the enemy that he was engaged with away at once, glancing over his shoulder as soon as he did so. He scanned the clearing as quickly as he could to try and catch the source of the sound. His eyes widened in a sudden rush of shock and concern as he saw his sibling sprinting about. “Lissa…!” he shouted, turning from his previous foe and running off towards the healer’s position. Despite his hastened run, he couldn’t quite reach her in time as yet another swordsman intervened with his path. He noticed at the last moment, but only managed to barely and somewhat clumsily block the sword coming at him with his own Falchion. As each blade clashed against one another, he quickly adjusted his figure to support his own weight while fending his new attacker off, giving him a glare before slightly peering over at his sister once more as she continued her fleeing attempts.

“Gods, damn it all…!” the navy-haired Lord cursed through clenched teeth. Swiftly and hastily, he grasped Falchion’s handle with both hands before pushing and swinging outwards, fending his enemy away for the moment. Without much time to react afterwards, however, the same swordsman recovered with little effort, and, before Chrom knew it, he found his blade clashed against the other’s once more. Because of this, he groaned in minor frustration, forcefully leaning forward against the sword that opposed him. While this occurred, he looked over his shoulder and in the general direction in which he assumed Frederick to be in, shouting loudly in attempt to catch his attention.

In a predictable response to the call, the knight quickly struck his lance across a couple of other raiders, ridding of them effortlessly before gazing to the side and at his lord. Soon after doing so, however, he caught the motions of Lissa and her pursuer from the corner of his eye. Narrowing his eyes in strain, he immediately turned his horse around before whipping his reins, which, in turn, compelled the horse to progress in a full sprint towards the lady’s direction.

Midway during his departure, however, he was forced to stop as a trifold of other men came across his path, with a burlier, axe-wielding bandit attempting to block him from the front while a dual force of swordsmen flanked him from either side. In response to this, Frederick instantly stopped his horse, scowling lightly as he reared the creature and bore his lance. “Dastards, the lot of you…” he hissed with a lack of amusement while striking one of the sword-wielders away, turning the other way to barely parry the remaining one.

Without any straightaway backup to defend her, Lissa continued doing the only thing that she could do for the moment:

Run.

While both Chrom and Frederick defended themselves for the moment, Lissa herself wove as best as she could around the numerous shopping booths and stands strewn across the town square, taking the occasional glance over her shoulder to see where her pursuer was. Each time that she did this, she was only met with the reoccurring realization that the man behind her was slowly yet surely beginning to catch up with her. To this, she quickly brought her gaze to rest upon the stone continuing in front of her every time, trying her best to keep pushing onwards. Although adrenaline was helping her make do with her fleeing act, she did admit that she was growing tired of the trap that she was caught in – both physically and mentally.

Gods, is this really how it ends for me…? Throughout the panic that she was suffering, Lissa managed to make a few, frantic thoughts as she ran along. She bit her lip lightly in distress as she continued forward, beginning to feel the effects of her rush wear down and fatigue begin to take hold of her as her breathing picked up. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I got stabbed by some rogue swordsman or something, but… Getting chased by some axe-wielding bandit with a bad accent?! You’ve gotta be-

Before she could conclude that thought, Lissa found herself skidding to a sudden stop as another figure entered into her line of view. Said figure appeared to be yet another man who, coincidentally, bore a blade within his hand. Upon seeing the cleric, he assumed a stance before sprinting forward, his eyes narrowed as he leaned over during his run and held his blade relatively close to eye level all the while.

Wasting little time, the blonde quickly acted on impulse, shifting her course and veering left since the paths both behind and in front of her were out of the question, and because she would have been met with a face full of stone and wall if she made a break eastbound. When she turned, she released several, low murmurs as she turned the corner of an aisle of booths and began a one-way venture down the strip of land. Soon after doing so, however, she was met with another face – one to which she was both panicked and annoyed with at first.

Gods, they just have to keep coming out of nowhere, don’t they?! Why can’t-

“Duck! Now!

Needless to say, Lissa was a bit caught off-guard as the latest newcomer gave the sudden command to her. It didn’t take her long to realize that this man in particular was the same man that she and the others had encountered and had aimed to bring away for interrogation, and it only took a split second after that for her to notice that he wasn’t blindly charging forward. He had a stern, solid look on his face as he sprinted forward and shouted to her, with a tome in one hand and what seemed to be a cross between an axe and a scythe in the other. After seeing this, she did comply and drop to the ground when she reached a smaller distance from him – but more from impulse at that moment.

Terric began to make stronger movements before Lissa had reached the ground, as he had stopped in his place and had begun to lug his axe over his shoulder with a hardened glare at the coming raiders before completely chucking it forward and over the girl’s head. A fraction of a second afterwards, he snapped his book open, and a sort of powerful aura seemed to radiate from him as its pages began to flip furiously. While his left hand maintained a grip on the active tome, the remaining one remained stretched outwards with its palm opened and directed at the axe that he had just thrown.

The axe soared over Lissa’s head at a frightening speed and at the two incoming men, causing them to suddenly diverge from their original path and step to the side in a hastened and slightly scrambled manner in order to save themselves. In a seeming reaction to Terric’s stance, however, the axe coming for them didn’t quite strike through their path, but rather froze in place while still rotating vigorously mid-air while releasing several, darkly-hued crackles and sparks on occasion. Both attackers seemed to be caught amiss and off guard by the sight.

Terric wasted no moment while they were distracted.

Almost immediately, he leaned forward and went into a lunge, sweeping past Lissa with a sudden burst of speed as he hooked his newly-freed hand behind him. He grasped hold of a handle – the handle of one of the two swords locked within sheathes that were clipped to the back of his belt – and quickly slid it from its compartment. His attention shifted quickly over to the rivaling swordsman that had been pursuing Lissa before he leaned towards his direction, dodging a slash aimed at him before parrying strongly with his own. In a swift and seemingly effortless manner, he began a sort of dance across the clearing with his enemy, matching each one of his strikes with a leveled version of his own. He constantly shifted on his feet, dodging and weaving around the strikes that he didn’t manage to block with steel. From a decent distance by then, Lissa had gotten up and was observing from the scene from afar, all while remaining out of sight – legitimately so, that time around. Having seized his opportunity without a chance for breaks or recovery, Terric had attracted the attentions of both the swordsman and the axeman before he began his own attack. Lissa had taken the moment to retreat to a safer distance.

Meanwhile, Terric continued on with his parrying battle with his fellow sword-wielder. Despite the heat and intensity of the moment, he actually seemed to be enjoying the fight that he was locked within – and seemed to actually be grinning a little bit because of it. After another barrage of metal clashing against metal, he shifted to the side rather suddenly as his opponent aimed another slash at him, completely dodging the attack and causing the foe to deliver a needless yet strengthened strike going vertically downwards. Terric was met with the image of the man drawing his blade closer to his figure before deftly leaping back to a safer distance, which made him chuckle and grin a little bit more in amusement.

With the quick pause, the magical swordsman took a second to recollect himself and to observe the others. He couldn’t help but notice that the axe-wielding barbarian from earlier seemed to be finally regrouping with his swordsman companion, and that both people were relatively close to his axe – which, due to the effects of his ever-active tome, was still exhibiting a fierce, electrical outburst while spinning about mid-air. Seeing this caused him to tilt his head, and he smirked lightly while watching the duo begin to progress his way. While they did so, he merely stood as he was and remained unfazed by their advance. Little did they know, he began to focus his attention into the tome that he held onto, which, in turn, caused his hand and forearm to flicker lightly within the same, shadow-like electricity coursing all around his axe afar.

For the next second or so, he simply kept as he was, charging himself while keeping a hawk’s eye on the approaching foes. As soon as they became within a closer proximity with his airborne weaponry another time, he clenched the bottom of his book before abruptly shutting it. This, in turn, caused his axe to give an instant, hefty pulse of electrical energy before landing on the ground with a sharp mass of clinking noises as it collided with the stone. Because of their closeness to the object, both bandits were temporarily stunned and more than likely suffered a minor burn or two from the lightning tome.

The moment that he had shut his tome, Terric had quickly dropped it and begun sprinting towards the other two standing afar. As he closed the distance, he snuck the newly-freed hand back like he did earlier, taking hold of the remaining blade and unsheathing it. By the time that the shock had subsided and the men were just beginning to recollect themselves, Terric had already arrived and had delivered a smooth, horizontal slash at the same swordsman that he frenzied with earlier. Should he have arrived just a second later, the man would have survived on a whim by stalking back and dodging the strike.

Due to the swiftness of Terric’s appearance, though, the ruffian unwillingly accepted the blow, staggering back with a cry as he felt the sting of his newfound wound at once. Taking advantage of the extended opening, Terric quickly brought the same sword that made the cut in a diagonal slash going up, not only slicing through the existing wound that he had created, but also producing a new one that scored across his enemy’s chest altogether. With that final cut, the man released his sword to clutch his bloodied and torn shirt before keeling over and collapsing onto the ground in pain.

This instance occurred in only a matter of moments, which seemed to leave the axeman in a slight sense of franticness and awe as he fully registered the fact that his comrade had been struck down. In the process of his assault, however, Terric had turned himself to a somewhat hefty degree in order to focus on one target at a time, and, thus, had his side exposed to the barbarian. Like how Terric himself had seized the moment when his enemies were stunned, the axe-wielder made an immediate, vigorous movement forward while beginning to swing his weapon around.

The moment that his rival swordsman had hit the floor, though, the multi-weaponed teen began to turn around in a swift motion to turn his attention to the remaining enemy at hand. This, coupled alongside a rather quick  reaction, caused him to be able to bring both of his swords up to create a sort of ‘X’ shape in front of him, blocking the axe that would had cut him through. He skid back a little bit from the sheer force put into the blow, though grinned slightly at the axeman as he began leaning forward against his weapon to regain balance. “Heh…I couldn’t help but catch your little performance earlier…” he murmured in a low, threatening tone, raising his eyebrow as he gave a challenging glare towards his opponent.

A somewhat deepened, rumbling laugh left the axe-wielder’s lips as a grin of his own slowly etched onto his expression. “Ye…? Wha’, ya go’ a prol’m wi’ it?” he spat in a mocking tone while grasping the upper portion of his axe’s handle with his free hand, pressing forward after doing so. Because of this, Terric was pushed back a little bit, though quickly recovered by shifting his feet before he was thrown to the ground. He chuckled lightly, a slight glint caught within his eye by then.

“Yeah, ‘course I got a problem…” As soon as he said this, Terric clenched the handle of his right blade, keeping his eyes locked with the other’s all the while. This seemed to cause the blade to begin to crackle within a magical, and seemingly electrified energy, which caught the axeman off-guard yet again. In response to it, he gave a grunt while stumbling backwards in order to free himself of whatever shocks he would have taken otherwise. Terric merely watched him during the short time that this happened, his smile growing a little bit more in amusement.

“…You don’t treat ladies like that. So…you gotta pay the price.”

Seizing his chance, the remaining swordsman immediately lunged forward. In reaction to this movement, the barbarian lifted his axe in attempt to block the oncoming attack aimed at him. It would only be parried and effectively countered as Terric stopped in front of him, slamming one of his blades into the axe before him. He focused his strength into the same hand that wielded it, forcing the weapon to the side to expose the man that hid behind it. Afterwards, he leaned forward across the newly-opened space, delivering a hefty kick to his target’s chest, which, in turn, caused him to fully release his axe before staggering backwards and clutching his chest a bit.

With the man completely open, Terric laughed quietly under his breath before taking one last lunge forward, closing the distance for the final time before slamming his right foot down in front of him. Sharply, he turned himself in a tight arc, swinging his right arm upwards and bringing the corresponding sword with it. The motion drove a cut striking diagonally across the other’s chest to surface, and, while he gave a sound of pain, Terric wasted no time in giving another slash going the opposite way with his other sword.

The strength laid into the last two strikes was enough to send the axeman into a realm of agony, and Terric watched for a few moments as he collapsed onto the ground, writhing slightly in pain before falling motionless.

Given that a few moments had passed and that he ensured that the man wouldn’t be getting back up, Terric relaxed his stance a little bit while sighing heavily and loudly, rubbing the blood off of one of his blades with the edge of his coat before sheathing it. Now with a free hand, he glanced across the clearing, tilting his head as he caught sight of Lissa from afar. He lifted his hand, waving at her slightly. “It’s safe to come out, now.”

At those words, the blonde peered slightly over at the boy who called to her, staring quietly at him for a few seconds before slowly nodding and beginning to stand back up. Cautiously, she began walking back into the clearing, looking around to keep an eye out for any possible newcomers. All she saw was the sight of her brother and the knight afar as they seemed to be finishing up their own battles.

Eventually, she gave a soft, exasperated murmur, sighing under her breath as she relaxed a little bit. She looked over at Terric as he walked a bit further away to collect his tome. “Thanks… Y’know, for popping up like that all of the sudden.”

Shrugging, Terric simply laughed a little bit while waving dismissively at the girl. “Yeah, no problem at all. It just felt natural to help a pretty girl in distress, anyways,” he spoke in reply, giving her a faint grin before turning around and walking off a bit more. He stopped next to his axe, huffing something under his breath quietly before crouching down and picking it up. Bringing it to his coat, he rubbed a little bit of its fabric against the blade as if polishing it before glancing back at Lissa from over his shoulder. “Heh, you’re lucky that I came when I did, though… That last guy came in a flash. If I got there just a second later, well… To be blunt, you would’ve been screwed.”

As if she were about to say something in a snappy retort, Lissa furrowed her brows and opened her mouth to say something. Nothing came out, though. For a moment, she kept herself like this while just glaring slightly at Terric, watching as he secured his axe across his back and turned around to face her. After sharing gazes with him for a little while, she sighed and shook her head while pouting. “…I wouldn’t have been that much of a lost cause.”

Terric chuckled a little bit while raising his eyebrows. “Oh, yeah. You’d just smack them with your staff, right?”

“Hey, it could’ve-!”

Lissa!

Before her Lissa’s remark could be concluded, she was called out by an approaching voice. The sound caught the attention of both people standing, driving them to look to the side and at its source. They were each met with the image of a certain Lord jogging over, with an armored knight following him close behind. Several bodies could be seen in their trail.

Quickly, Chrom rushed up to his sibling, holding her lightly by the shoulders. “Are you okay? They didn’t hurt you, right?”

From afar, Terric replied for her, lifting a hand and waving over at him with a slight smile. “She shouldn’t be. If they did end up getting a scratch or two on her, then feel free to blame me for that in the end,” he called, which earned him a glance from the navy-haired swordsman afar.

Chrom shifted his gaze from his sister to the person who had given him the response a couple of times before turning a little bit and looking at the other man. “…Noted. But…that aside…”

Curiously, Chrom began walking through the remains of the town square, stopping a couple of feet away from Terric. “You could’ve run when we came to the town… You had the chance to escape.” He paused to cross his arms over his chest slightly while staring at the one across from his, tilting his head a little bit. “You saved my sister, and I’m thankful for that. But…why didn’t you run? You had the chance to, but you didn’t take it.”

As if pondering for a short time, Terric puffed his cheeks out a little it, cocking his head a tad while rubbing his chin gently. “Eh… Well, I actually considered making a break for it. But, like… Y’know, saving myself over a whole town didn’t really sit right with me. So…I came to help out, too.”

Chrom blinked once while continuing to stare at Terric. A slight smile tugged at his lips. “So you’d rather fly off to someone’s rescue instead of saving your own skin?”

“Either that, or he could be plotting something…” Frederick sighed while casting a subtle glare at Terric.

“At ease, Frederick…” For a moment, the Lord gave the armored knight a small look. “I know that you’re acting in our best interest, but I trust him enough for now. For Naga’s sake, he saved Lissa instead of saving his own life.”

“Eeeeeh, relax…” Terric said from the sidelines. He crossed his arms casually while eying the trio before him, giving them a slight shrug as each person looked over at him. “Let him have his skepticism, man. Honestly, if I were in his position, I’d be doing the same thing, so…I understand.”

At those words, the rest of the group continued to gaze upon Terric in silence. After a few seconds, Lissa tilted her head a little bit. “You’re acting really calm about this… Like…a lot calmer than a lot of people would.”

The first reaction that Lissa would be given in response to what she said was an amused smile, courtesy of Terric himself. Once more, he just shrugged while laughing softly. “Well, maybe that’s because I’ve got nothing to hide. It’s not like I’ve been lying about anything I’ve said up until now, after all,” he spoke nonchalantly, shifting his gaze between those in front of him before shaking his head a little bit and pacing forward a few steps.

“If I have to prove my innocence to you, then…Hell, I will – even if it means that I’ll have to sit through a little bit of interrogation or something. Obviously, though, that has to be saved for later. It still looks like we have some things to tend to.”

When he finished speaking for the moment, Terric stopped some distance from the others, peering across the clearing. Eventually, he glanced at the others from over his shoulder while pointing across a bridge leading to another part of the town. The first building after crossing the bridge would be the church, where a few remaining bandits – alongside what seemed to be their leader – looked to be keeping some civilians hostage.

“We still gotta save them, right?” Terric asked, tilting his head a little bit.

Chrom narrowed his eyes while allowing his eyes to follow where Terric pointed, nodding a little bit. “That’s right… It seems like they’d hurt one of the civilians if they saw us, though…”

“Perhaps a little brute force would successfully apprehend them?” Frederick suggested as he trotted forward upon his horse, holding his lance safely by his side all the while.

Terric shook his head, keeping his arms crossed as he looked up at the knight. “That could work, but it would probably aggravate them more than we need them to be.”

Those words seemed to earn him a short glare, but Terric just unfolded his arms and rose his hands innocently.

“Hey, I’m just saying… Brute force is a possibility, but it may make them riot and give them opportunities to pick out our weak spots if we focus too much on sheer power,” the strategist went on, bringing his bright, icy blue gaze to lock onto the group across the bridge once more. “Not only that, but it may rile them up to the point where they start threatening to kill their hostages if we push too hard at them right off the bat. There’s also the fact that it looks like they still outnumber us, even if a little bit…”

Lissa took her turn to join the others. She blinked quietly while observing the group across the bridge. “The numbers look pretty even to me… Actually, it kinda looks like it’s unbalanced in our favor. There’s four of us and three of them!”

Smirking a little bit, Terric looked at Lissa from the corner of his eye. “Fix your count to accordingly account for the people who can fight.”

Lissa slowly looked over at Terric, glaring at him while puffing her cheeks out and pouting. “Jeeeeeerk…”

Chuckling, Terric shrugged as he turned around a little bit more to catch a better glimpse of the girl. “Gods, I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Don’t go taking it too seriously, now. But back on track… See, you say that the numbers look pretty even- and they do look that way at first glance. Look around, though.”

Terric watched for a moment as Lissa, alongside the others stepped forward a few paces before gradually and curiously following his direction. He eyed those with him for a moment before looking back at the people on the other side himself. He pointed towards the left of the church.

“There. It’s hard to see since they’re further away, but there’s other people there,” he said. “By the looks of it, they’re all swordsmen- probably rogues that the bandits here hired to help them out during their raid. Speedy and skilled. If we rushed in with only the intention of beating the Hell out of those bandits, they’d probably pick up pretty fast, rush over, and then overwhelm us. In order to deal with them, we have to take care of at least the majority of the bandits in front of the church all at once, that way we’d still stand on even scales when the rogues come over.”

Frederick eyed Terric for a few moments before slowly glaring back at the opposing force. “What do you propose, then?”

As if anticipating those words, Terric gazed up at the knight yet again, flashing him an amused smile. “We take the bandits in front of the church down, first and foremost. The leader’s probably gonna put a good fight up, so he won’t go down right away. As one of us takes his attention, we go for the more scrawny ones near him.” The boy took a moment to point elsewhere, moving his hand to shift between two mages that seemed to be patrolling around the hostages alongside their leader. “I’ll take the mage on the left,” he began, smirking while going on to gaze at Lissa, “while you just distract the one on the right.”

Both Chrom and Lissa widened their eyes in disbelief, while Frederick narrowed his eyes in judgment while glaring down at the planner. “W-Woah, how exactly would I do that?” Lissa asked quickly. “Like…I mean, I don’t wanna admit it, but you basically hinted at it yourself! I can’t really fight!”

“I’m not asking you to fight, though. Just to distract.” Turning around fully, the icy-eyed man began to approach the cleric, hooking one of his hands towards his back while he walked. He unsheathed one of his swords, rubbing its blade a little bit before gently holding it out to the blonde. “Here’s how it’s gonna work, if you guys are fine with this in the end. I’ll be taking the front group out with your brother and his burly bodyguard. Frederick here would go and take the leader since he’d probably be able to withstand more of a hit compared to both Chrom and myself, while Chrom and I take the mages. Frederick’s gonna get there first since he’s on horseback, so things are probably gonna start going to Hell already by the time Chrom and I get there. To make an opening for myself, I’ll be using my tome to throw my mage off-guard, while you support your brother from afar while doing the same thing with my sword.”

Chrom furrowed his brows while gazing over at the sword that Terric was offering his sibling. “…The last time I checked, you can’t hit someone that’s far away with a sword unless you throw it. And…well, that sword is nearly as tall as Lissa is.”

Terric rose his free hand, nodding and pointing at Chrom while smirking. “Right you are, but that doesn’t explicitly apply to my sword. It’s got a magical touch to it, too.” Glancing back over at Lissa, he nodded towards his blade. “You were watching me earlier, right? Did you see how the blade sparked on occasion?”

Silence would overcome the healer as she glanced back down at the blade, thinking. She nodded after a little while.

The strategist grinned. “I admit that it would probably be a bit heavy for most people, but you don’t need to go swinging it around since you’ll be safe on this side of the bridge through all this. All you need to do is lift, aim, focus, and fire- and it should be no problem to do that if you used both of your hands. I’m asking you to do this because I assume that you have the most magical experience out of the three of you, and also because I can’t use magic on two people at once. …Much to my chagrin.”

Despite hearing the explanation, the rest of the group continued to look a little bit cautious. With some hesitance, however, Lissa slowly reached out and took the sword that she was offered after placing her staff down. Her arms gave way at first due to the weight of its material, but she adjusted to it accordingly in little time. She looked up at Terric. “…Okay, well, what if I miss the guy?”

Terric shook his head. “That’s fine. You don’t have to necessarily hit him. If you’re worried that you’ll miss, just aim at the ground near him, then. It just has to catch him off guard long enough for Chrom to be able to easily hit him.”

Rather than a worded response, Terric was greeted by another span of silence as he peered patiently at the girl, waiting for any possible other questions she had, or perhaps a rejection of the proposal. After a small while, however, he watched as she gave a small nod and nothing else. Smiling a bit at the gesture, he then took a turn to look at the others.

“Well…? What about you guys? Are you gonna trust me?” he asked while shifting his gaze between both Frederick and Chrom.

For the moment, Frederick merely remained silent, conveying little to no emotion whatsoever as he returned the gaze that Terric gave him for a short time. Without uttering a word, he merely looked elsewhere, and instead went on to glance at the lordling.

Chrom, meanwhile, remained quiet for a couple of moments. He peered over at the bandits afar before inhaling silently, nodding. “Yeah, I’ll trust you with this. Plus, we shouldn’t really wait on this any longer, anyways. It would be best to go along with what you have now since it seems safe enough.”

With two approvals down, the silver-haired swordsman nodded at Chrom before slightly and finally landing his gaze upon Frederick. The two stared at each other for a few seconds. As Frederick begun narrowing his eyes, Terric merely raised his eyebrows slightly while cocking his head ever so slightly, patiently awaiting the inevitable.

Soon enough, the knight gave a rather hefty sigh which was paired up with a grumbling tone.

“…I suppose that if both Milady and Milord agree, then I must, as well.”

Laughing a little bit, Terric lifted one of his hands, giving the horseman a thumbs up. “It was only a matter of time~!” he said casually, winking in a joking manner before turning to the others. He reached down with one hand, undoing the strap for one of the pouches that were bound around his thigh. He reeled the same tome that he used earlier from within its fabric, lazily flipping the containment closed before drawing his remaining sword out with his free hand.

“’Aight, let’s get started. Lissa, go on and take some cover behind one of the shopping stalls closer to the bridge. The rest of us will move on my mark.”
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Requiem

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