Clive: Onward to Zofia Castle. We must wrest the castle from the chancellor’s grasp. Lead us well, Alm.
Alm: I’ll do my best.
Desaix: Ah hah hah! I wonder who built this throne? It is marvelously comfortable! Why did I let it be wasted on that incompetent fool Lima for so long? Soon, the Rigelian Empire will finish its conquest of Valentia. And then I will rule from this throne as king of Zofia! But first, I must crush those worms in the rebel army. And worms they are… You squash the blasted things into the muck, yet still more take their place! And now they dare march on the castle? They will pay for this insult in blood! I must know what—or who—gave them this second wind…
Soldier: Forgive me, Chancellor Desaix. We’ve captured a rebel in the forest. It’s Lor… It’s Fernand, sir.
Desaix: What?! But Fernand is Clive’s right-hand man. Why would he be wandering the woods without a detachment?
Soldier: March, prisoner!
Fernand: Unhand me! I have cleansed myself of those rebel scum!
Desaix: What’s this? Am I to believe you have left your precious “Deliverance”?
Fernand: Deliverance… Pah!
Desaix: Yes, well. It seems you have a story to tell. My ears are yours, Sir Fernand.
(Some time later)
Desaix: …What? Mycen’s grandson?!
Fernand: Indeed. Clive has thrown all of our ideals at the feet of the unworthy. He’s made the boy a figurehead just to leverage some decrepit hero’s name. Well, I say damn them all! There. You have my story. Now kill me and be done with it.
Desaix: But this doesn’t make sense. Mycen didn’t have any… Ah… Now I see this for what it is. Rudolf, you villainous dastard…
Desaix: Silence! When I address you, you’ll know it. …I have decided your fate, Fernand. Killing you would be…wasteful. Come with me. I will introduce you to your new master. A master more…befitting of your ideals.
Fernand: New master? Wait—explain yourself!
Alm: Zofia Castle… We’re finally here.
Clive: Thanks to you, Alm. You should hold your head high as you command us on this great day.
Alm: It will be a great day, won’t it? Fellow soldiers! Fight with me! Today, Zofia’s people reclaim her castle and her pride!
Berkut: So this is the so-called Deliverance. What a disheveled herd of clodhoppers!
Desaix: I couldn’t agree more. Find a comfortable seat, Lord Berkut. The Empire’s finest general need not trouble himself with such rabble. You may watch from on high as my finest troops cut them down like wheat.
Berkut: I may just take you up on that offer. Shall we, Rinea?
Rinea: I have no desire to see such bloodshed. War is horrible, and I will make no spectacle of it.
Berkut: Heh heh. I jest, my dear.
Desaix: Forgive me. I must take my leave.
Berkut: Yes, of course. I trust the dracoshield I lent will add to your already considerable strength?
Desaix: It is a fine gift, my lord. You honor me.
Berkut: *sigh* You. Knight. Fernand, was it?
Fernand: Yes, my lord.
Berkut: You said the name of the Deliverance’s new leader is “Alm,” correct? And that he is of common birth? There is no mistake in this?
Fernand: None, my lord. Clive and the other fools believe he is Mycen’s grandson…
Berkut: Hmph. What nonsense. One is born either noble or common. This destiny cannot be changed. Has a sheep any hope of leading wolves? No!
Fernand: *gasp* Yes! Yes, exactly! Truer words were never spoken, Lord Berkut!
Berkut: Still, I am surprised at Sir Clive. Tales of his exploits have spread as far as Rigel… How could so celebrated a leader make so amateur a mistake? The Deliverance has no future now. All of Zofia will soon belong to the Empire… Rinea!
Rinea: Yes, Lord Berkut?
Berkut: I have a promise to make you, my dear. I will succeed His Majesty Rudolf and become the next emperor. I shall rule over the Valentian continent as I was meant to. And you shall be my empress. Does this please you?
Rinea: I…do not have words…
Berkut: …It has begun. I pray this Alm fellow makes the battle at least halfway entertaining.
Desaix: Hear me, worms of the rebel army! You have done well to make it this far… but you have no hope of defeating me! …Now, Slayde! Take the cavalry and run down every last one of those wretches!
Desaix: Rebel scum… You can’t hope to touch me. So long as I have the dracoshield Lord Berkut gave me, I am invincible!
Desaix: Urgh! N-no… W-wait… You have the wrong…
(After Slayde has been defeated)
Desaix: What’s this? Slayde has been defeated? Damned rebels will rue this day. I must withdraw! The rest of you are ordered to hold the castle at all costs!
Slayde: I recognize you… You’re those bumpkin brats from the village in Ram Woods.
Alm: Huh? …This is the knight who tried to kidnap Celica!
Slayde: You whelps deprived me of a prize I most desperately needed. Hear me well, runts! My name is Slayde… and today, I in turn shall deprive you of your lives!
Slayde: I- impossible! This is neither the time nor place for me to die…
(Slayde and Desaix defeated)
Slayde: D-don’t think you can gloat yet… You thought you defeated Desaix? Ha! That was just a double. The true chancellor has retreated to his fortress. And now it’s my turn. I’ve no intention of dying here with you maggots!
(After the battle)
Berkut: Pathetic. The chancellor is all talk.
Fernand: What shall we do now, my lord?
Berkut: We cannot hold the castle with my detachment alone. We must retreat. Fernand, you stay with me. We’ll join up with our main force in the forest.
Fernand: Yes, my lord!
Berkut: …You have made an impression, Alm. Yes you have.
Clive: Desaix’s forces are retreating…
Alm: You mean…we won?
Clive: Yes, Alm. We won. Zofia Castle can finally return to the hands of her own people!
Alm: We really did it… We did it! We freed Zofia!
Clair: Hee hee! The boy from Ram shall kiss my hand and thank me for securing this victory. Ha ha ha! A jest only, I assure you. You were wonderful, Alm. This victory proves you have what it takes to lead us.
Alm: This victory wasn’t mine alone. I share this glory with all of you.
Tobin: Sure, but hold on a second before we start throwing roses around. Desaix and Slayde both got away, remember?
Gray: Tobin, you sure know how to take a squat on someone’s big moment. Forget who got away! There’s still plenty of reason to celebrate.
Lukas: Gray is correct. True, it is deeply regrettable those two snakes managed to elude us. But regardless, we have retaken the castle—the symbol of her kingdom. Was this not the Deliverance’s primary goal?
Clive: Indeed, it was. I know this war will continue as long as the empire desires Zofia… but this victory is a sweet chalice, and right now, we should drink deep!
Alm: Clive couldn’t have said it better. We fought for this. We earned it. Now let’s take a moment to enjoy it.
Clive: So then! Shall we go inside? Our friends in the castle will be most eager to meet their deliverer.
Alm: Deliverer?! Come on, you make me sound like some kind of hero or someth— Hey, wait!
Archer: Huzzah for the Deliverance! Thanks to you, the castle is finally rid of those imperial dastards. Oh, what a joy to watch them run… We’re finally free! You have my heartfelt thanks. Truly.
Man: The chancellor retreated to his fortress west of the northern forest. He’ll be beggin’ Rigel for help now, so he will! What a piece of filth, leavin’ his men behind to die in his stead…
Woman: They say all of King Lima’s children are dead now, so they do. Oh, but I’ve heard tale that one of ’em still lives… Her name was Anthiese. PRINCESS Anthiese! Juicy bit’a gossip that, eh? Story goes, the villa she lived in was set to blaze some ten or so years back. Folks thought she burned to cinders, but you know how tongues like to wag. Could be some brave soul up and saved her. Wonder where she ended up if so?
Young Woman: Princess Anthiese had a brother from a different mum, but they were still close. After that fire at the villa, however, neither body was found. I often dream that at least the princess managed to escape somehow…
Lady Cavalier: That mongrel Desaix stole the royal sword when he turned tail and ran. The Rigelian imperial household gave us that sword as a sign of friendship. I don’t know what use Desaix has for it. Oh, it’s a powerful sword, and no lie… but only in the hands of the right wielder. And that wielder isn’t him!
Soldier: The ridersbane here in the vault makes short work of mounted soldiers. But as it’s a lance, only knights and similar classes can wield it.
Man: General Mycen was a magificent man, but King Lima never did like him. Of course, he never liked much of anything besides his wine and women. I wager Desaix looked upon the general as an obstacle of sorts, too, because after he murdered the king’s children, he pinned it on Sir Mycen. You’d have been daft to believe such a thing, of course… which is precisely what the king did. Or perhaps he just saw it as an excuse. Regardless, Mycen was found guilty and banished. He’s lucky he wasn’t hanged.
Clive: Friends, may I have your attention? It’s true we have made great strides by recapturing the castle… but Chancellor Desaix—the man who started all this—remains at large, and the Rigelian Army yet lingers inside our kingdom’s borders. To free Zofia, we must find Desaix, slay him, and drive Rigel back for good. Alm…
Clive: You are our commander now. We would hear your opinion on this.
Alm: Oh, right. My opinion. Um… Well, what are our options?
Lukas: We could be defensive—garrison the castle and wait for Rigel to come to us. Or…we could take the fight to them. The choice is yours.
Alm: I see. …… You know, until recently, I’d never set foot outside of Ram Village. This war has been my first glimpse of the kingdom I live in. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen what it’s been reduced to. Needless to say, it’s far worse than I’d heard. People are suffering. Even dying. But this war, no matter how terrible, has also taught me something. It taught me that when we stand up and fight…we help those people. I don’t want to stop helping them now. I want to press on and make as much of a difference as I can. I know this probably sounds empty. Maybe even mad. But I think we should keep fighting until we’ve taken back all of Zofia. So then…will you stand with me? Will you stand and fight?
Clair: What kind of question is that? Of course we will, silly boy!
Clive: Then it seems the matter is settled. The Deliverance shall march! We will put Desaix down and scatter the Rigelian Army to the four winds!
Tobin: Wow… That gave me goosebumps. Not bad, Alm. Not bad.
Gray: Were you even listening to a thing he said? Your goosebump-giver just declared war on the whole damned empire!
Tobin: I know, but I think it was a nice spee— WAIT, HE DID WHAT?! No, no. Come on, this isn’t WAR, Gray. He’s just going to kick them out.
Gray: Riiiight. And then Emperor Rudolf will just send a fruit basket to apologize! C’mon, Tobin. You can’t be so thick that you don’t see what’s coming.
Gray: What? Stop staring at me. It’s creepy.
Tobin: You knew it would come to this, didn’t you? When you agreed to join the Deliverance, I mean.
Gray: Oh, come now.
Tobin: You’re the one who said all those years ago that Alm was different from us. You knew he was going to do something like this one day.
Gray: Ha! I’m not a prophet, Tobin. All I meant was that he’s different.
Tobin: Well, you were on to something no matter what you meant. Because now we’re starting to see that he’s much bigger than we are. I’m proud of him, but…I’m also going to miss him.
Gray: Oh, brother. You poor kid, Tobin.
Old Timer: Well, if it isn’t the good men and women of the Deliverance! I was hoping I’d run into you. Please, allow me to welcome you to the castle. I served Zofia’s king for many years, you know. If you need anything, just ask!
Alm: Thank you. That’s very kind. This is my first time here, so I’ll admit to feeling a bit lost. My grandfather, Sir Mycen, spoke of it on occasion, but—
Old Timer: Sir Mycen the Zofian general?
Alm: Er, yes, that’s the one. I’m his grandson, Alm. He lived in this castle long ago, didn’t he?
Old Timer: Well, yes, but…how very odd. I knew the general quite well, and he had neither wife nor child.
Clive: I beg your pardon, good sir, but that simply cannot be the case. Alm is most certainly related to—
Old Timer: No, I assure you, General Mycen told me himself. “I have no family,” he said. Clear as day it was.
Alm: But wait… If I’m not…
Clive: Pay him no mind, Alm. The old man’s probably just confused, is all. It was a long time ago.
Alm: Y-yes… That must be it…
(If you talk again)
Old Timer: Hmm… Very odd indeed…
Cavalier: Commander Alm! You’re just in time. Please proceed up these steps. A visitor is waiting for you up on the balcony.
Alm: A visitor? Who is it?
Cavalier: I’m afraid I cannot say. Go on and see for yourself.
Alm: All right, then…
Cavalier: Please proceed up these steps. A visitor is waiting for you up on the balcony.
(If you arrive before speaking to the Old Timer)
Cavalier: Beg pardon, Commander, but the balcony is in use. Would you mind coming back a little later?
Mycen: It’s good to see you, boy.
Alm: Grandfather?! What are you doing here?
Mycen: Heh. I have my reasons. Look how far you’ve come, Alm. You’re a man grown now. You’ve been through quite a bit since leaving the village, haven’t you?
Alm: I suppose. But Grandfather… I’m sorry I never said good-bye or thanked you for all you did for me. I still feel guilty about that. But I think I made the right choice. I’m the commander of the Deliverance now. And together, we’ve already liberated the Southern Outpost AND this castle. So you see—
Mycen: I didn’t come here to pick apart your actions, Alm. I came here to ask you a single question: Are you ready?
Alm: Am I…ready?
Mycen: Indeed. For once you march on Rigel, you place yourself in the hands of destiny. You won’t be able to stop the events that unfold. No one will wish you well. Many will even try to stop you; unexpected tragedy is sure to follow. That is the price of what you are about to undertake.
Mycen: So I ask again: Are you ready to take the lives of others into your hands? Are you ready to shoulder all of their burdens? Their desires? And are you ready to fight and bleed until Zofia and all of Valentia is saved?
Alm: I am. I know I may be in over my head, and I still have much to learn. But when I say I will fight for my kingdom, I will fight for my kingdom. No one will stop me. Nothing will break me. I’ll see it through to the very end.
Mycen: …Very well. I’ve seen that look before. Must run in the blood…
Alm: Huh? What do you mean?
Mycen: You’ll understand in time, boy.
Alm: Say, that reminds me… This old man downstairs was saying some strange things. He told me—
Alm: Huh? What’s that noise?
Mycen: Well, well… The people have gathered to get a look at their new hero. You should go greet them.
Mycen: Burn this memory into your heart, boy. These are the people whose burdens you will carry the rest of the way. Remember what lies upon your shoulders.
(Image of Alm greeting the masses)
Narrator: And so it was that Zofia Castle was liberated from Desaix’s clutches, causing the Zofian people to greet their new hero with raucous cheers. However, what Alm did not and could not know, was that his victory here was but the prelude to a longer—and far more bitter—conflict.
Soldier: I bear ill tidings, Emperor. The rebel army has taken back Zofia Castle!
Rudolf: …… And what of Berkut?
Soldier: Sire, Lord Berkut withdrew and rejoined with the main force.
Jedah: Pathetic… Pathetic! A Rigelian Knight, the emperor’s sworn defender, scurrying away like a rat? My arcanists would never have painted so sorry a picture…
Massena: Hold your tongue, Master Jedah.
Jedah: Why should I? I merely speak the truth.
Rudolf: You said the leader of this “Deliverance” is named Alm, correct?
Soldier: Yes, Emperor. He assumed command after Sir Clive of the Knights of Zofia stepped down.
Rudolf: Did he now…