Claude

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Claude
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Each time we take a step forward, more blood is spilled...but by spilling that blood, we're able to take yet another step forward.

Claude
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War is always a cruel affair, but luckily we have each other to lean on. We've steeled our hearts. We won't be broken.

Claude
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I couldn't agree more. Without them, we could never have made it this far.

Claude
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If anyone's starting to feel the strain, I'm sure just hearing from you will reassure them. Please...do whatever you can to keep their morale up.

Claude
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Oh, and about taking the fort... I'll need a tad more time to prepare our plan.

Claude
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It's called an impregnable fortress for a reason, after all. My contingencies need contingencies this time, or we may not pull it off.

Ferdinand

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Ferdinand
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Dimitri, the late prince of Faerghus. He despised the Empire with all his heart.

Ferdinand
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He should not have tried leading an army while his emotions were holding him captive.

Ferdinand
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No. If a leader's emotions overcome them, others must step in to prevent poor decision-making.

Ferdinand
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Why did his followers not intervene? His attendants?

Ferdinand
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I used to call Edelgard my leader, and now she is running amok. I am duty-bound to stop her.

Linhardt

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Linhardt
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There's word that Claude has developed a rather interesting stratagem to capture the fortress.

Linhardt
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You know Fort Merceus's nickname, I assume. The Stubborn Old General?

Linhardt
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But there must be one or two gaps in its defenses...

Caspar

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Caspar
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Fort Merceus is next, huh? Ah, the memories.

Caspar
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It's a huge stronghold in my father's domain. The town's completely surrounded by high walls.

Caspar
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I used to run around there when I was a kid...

Caspar
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Way back when a fortress was just a playground for me. Yeah, those were the days.

Bernadetta

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Bernadetta
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It's always so peaceful coming back here. But it's hard to relax knowing we have to go out on another expedition again so soon.

Bernadetta
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And assaulting that huge keep? That sounds hard. Oh, really hard! Don't you think it'll be hard?!

Bernadetta
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I knew you'd think so! I knew you— Ow! Oh, ow. Can't believe I tried to hug you through the door...

Bernadetta
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Of course you'd say that! Why'd I even ask?!

Dorothea

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Dorothea
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So many people died in the battle at Gronder...

Dorothea
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And here we are, preparing for the next battle, as if nothing happened the day before.

Dorothea
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It's almost easier to think about war as theater, with the stage an entire continent.

Dorothea
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Something like that. If an accident happens on stage, the next day's performance must be unaffected.

Dorothea
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Even if an accident happens on stage, the next day you have to sing as though nothing happened.

Dorothea
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Everyone just pretends like everything is fine... focusing on their role in the play.

Petra

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Petra
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I have excitement in my heart for secret tactics! I enjoy attacks that are surprising.

Petra
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Yes. Hunting is doing surprise attacks on prey.

Petra
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Surprise attacks are safe with friends. Fewer injuries.

Felix

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Felix
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My relationship with the boar prince began even before I was born.

Felix
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He was always by my side. You might even say that, at one time, we were best friends.

Felix
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I couldn't fathom the depth of his hatred for the Empire. So much anguish.

Felix
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Could I have saved him? Could I have stopped him?

Ashe

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Ashe
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I've heard Dedue's passed on. Just like His Highness.

Ashe
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That's true. I did hear that his body was never found.

Ashe
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You're right. I don't think anyone's found his body, so I guess he might still be out there.

Ashe
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That's what I've heard, but no one's found his body.

Ashe
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If, somehow, he's still alive...I hope we'll meet again.

Sylvain

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Sylvain
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Ya know, Professor, laying siege to a keep is like asking a girl out on a date.

Sylvain
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First, you get past her defenses...then you make your move.

Sylvain
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Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I'm a seasoned veteran at this kind of thing.

Sylvain
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Girls, I mean. I've never actually, you know, captured any keeps...

Sylvain
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Ha! I knew you'd get it, Professor.

Sylvain
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Anyway, you know more about tactics than me, so I don't know why I'm offering you advice.

Mercedes

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Mercedes
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Oh, Goddess, hear my prayer. Please bless the deceased with peace everlasting...

Mercedes
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And may his soul rest in tranquility.

Mercedes
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You know, I used to see him praying quite often when I would come to the cathedral at night.

Mercedes
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I wonder who it was he prayed for back then...

Annette

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Annette
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After the battle at Gronder, some people claim they saw my father.

Annette
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They said he walked off the battlefield clutching... His Highness's dead body...

Annette
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So long as Father's alive, I don't need anything else. I just... I hope to see him again one day...

Ingrid

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Ingrid
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Among our prisoners of war, there were quite a few people who served His Highness.

Ingrid
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One of them stated that the Empire was involved with the Tragedy of Duscur.

Ingrid
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If this is true, His Highness's motives seem clear. I can't help but feel that perhaps I should have been fighting by his side...

Ingrid
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Because...I, too, lost someone to that tragedy— the most important person in my world.

Ingrid
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No. Not anymore. I am where I belong.

Ingrid
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Those of us still on this plane of existence will carry the torch. The inhumane actions of the Empire must not be repeated.

Lorenz

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Lorenz
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Fort Merceus is old and strong. Its reputation for durability is equal to that of Arianrhod.

Lorenz
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Are we really going to leave this to Claude? With a plan concocted by Hilda, of all people?

Lorenz
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I thought you might be, with how secretively that man devises his schemes.

Lorenz
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I would like to, but I am always troubled by how secretively that man devises his schemes.

Lorenz
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Let us hope the end result is not too outlandish.

Raphael

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Raphael
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You know when you work your muscles and they start screaming? That means you gotta be nice to them.

Raphael
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If your muscles are hungry, you gotta feed them, and let them rest when they're tired.

Raphael
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Whaddya mean, "how"? You just gotta eat and sleep! It's pretty obvious...

Raphael
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Of course! If my muscles hurt, then I hurt. If they're hungry, well then I'm hungry too!

Raphael
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What's with the confused face, Professor? You look like you don't get a word I'm saying!

Ignatz

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Ignatz
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The battle at Gronder Field was gruesome, wasn't it?

Ignatz
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But perhaps it's irresponsible to look away—to close our eyes to the horrors of war.

Ignatz
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Thank you. But I think I do actually.

Ignatz
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As survivors, we must ensure that all these lives were not lost in vain. We must see the tragic foundations upon which we'll build our future.

Ignatz
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May an age of peace rise from the ashes, so that all this sacrifice means something.

Lysithea

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Lysithea
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As I suspected, they seem to be supporting the Imperial army now.

Lysithea
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Though I don't quite know who "they" are yet...

Lysithea
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Nor do I know what tricks they'll use against us next. We can't afford to let our guard down...

Marianne

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Marianne
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I never used to care whether I lived or died...

Marianne
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But after seeing so much death firsthand, I now realize how precious life truly is.

Marianne
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I'm ashamed of how arrogant I was to think that death could mean so little...

Hilda

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Hilda
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I wonder how far we can get with this plan. Dressing up like Imperial soldiers to sneak in.

Hilda
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Claude said it could use some refinement. Any ideas?

Hilda
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Dress me as Edelgard?! But we look nothing alike!

Hilda
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Claude, dressed as a woman? I don't understand what the point of that would be.

Hilda
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On second thought, let's just stick to the plan as originally conceived. That seems safer.

Leonie

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Leonie
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Claude takes care of the strategy, you direct the troops, and the rest of us focus on the fighting.

Leonie
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As long as the system keeps working, we can win any battle, no matter the odds.

Leonie
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That's what everyone's saying anyway. Hope you can keep up with our expectations, Professor.

Seteth

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Seteth
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Fort Merceus is a keep that was constructed to defend the Imperial Capital, Enbarr.

Seteth
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We cannot enter the capital without first capturing that fort. But once we have it, the city should be almost entirely at our mercy.

Seteth
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Whatever strategy you have in mind, I have faith that it will lead to victory.

Flayn

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Flayn
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Standing face to face with those whom I went to school with. On the field of battle...

Flayn
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How inhuman war is—how horrifying. My heart feels shattered.

Flayn
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It is my hope that this war marks the end of such foolish behavior.

Hanneman

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Hanneman
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Fort Merceus is the Empire's single most fortified military installation. Utterly impregnable, they say.

Hanneman
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I wonder, do you happen to know the nickname given to Fort Merceus?

Hanneman
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No, I'm afraid that name refers to the Fortress City of Arianrhod.

Hanneman
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That one is a fortress that stands at Fódlan's Throat.

Hanneman
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Indeed! A very good answer, but of course you'd know that.

Hanneman
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Seems Fódlans give everyone and everything a nickname. Why, you were called the Ashen Demon!

Hanneman
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Myself, I have been called the Father of Crestology, which is a nickname as well as a title, I suppose...

Manuela

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Manuela
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Each step closer to Enbarr, I'm reminded of another part of my past.

Manuela
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Riches and poverty, glory and failure, that city has it all! And if I'm honest...sometimes I miss it.

Manuela
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That's how the past works though, isn't it? It's always a different story than what you really lived.

Alois

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Alois
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Hilda's quite a tactician! Disguising ourselves as enemy soldiers to sneak in, undetected. A stroke of brilliance.

Alois
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With this strategy, we can really snatch victory from the jaws of...deceit!

Alois
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Yes... With you leading our fighters, I've no doubt the Empire will suffer an embarrassing deceit. Get it? "Deceit"? Again?

Alois
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Ah, rats! You've seen through my cunning punning!

Catherine

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Catherine
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I hardly recognize everyone... Their faces have changed so much. More experience in the eyes, and more pain.

Catherine
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I'm glad that they're stronger, but I hate to think they've all become hardened killers.

Catherine
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Look after them, OK? Try to keep 'em on the straight-and-narrow.

Shamir

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Shamir
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Please tell Claude not to give us any more ridiculous orders.

Shamir
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I've reached out through all of my channels, but there are limits to these things.

Shamir
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I'll have to recruit an entire town's worth of people if I ever plan on making enough Imperial uniforms.

Cyril

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Cyril
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Guess what I noticed. I can see further than most other people can see.

Cyril
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But I can't figure the point of seeing further than an arrow can fly, since I can't shoot what I see.

Cyril
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I suppose I could see a whole horde of enemies coming and run away. That's kinda useful, at least.

Cyril
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Yeah, I suppose it could be real useful for finding Lady Rhea too.

Cyril
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Thanks, Professor. I think I get it now. I'm gonna put my eyes to real good use.

Judith

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Judith
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Ah, Professor. I have a question for you... Have you heard of the Death Knight?

Judith
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I'm referring to that Imperial general who has been operating under that moniker.

Judith
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Well now...I don't know very much myself. Only that he's caused a great deal of havoc in the west.

Judith
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Nothing is certain yet, but I get the feeling we'll have to face him soon enough.

Gatekeeper

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Gatekeeper
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Greetings, Professor! Nothing to report!

Gatekeeper
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Is it true that we'll be assaulting Fort Merceus next? That doesn't sound like the brightest idea...

Gatekeeper
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I've heard that it's built to withstand an attack from even the largest of armies!

Gatekeeper
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Not to tell you how to do your job, but don't do it! I'm not ready to say my final good-byes to everyone...

Soldier

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Soldier
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Doesn't matter how sturdy the keep, if the commander defending it is incompetent, it can fall as easy as anything.

Soldier
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That's what they say, at least. I wonder if that applies to Fort Merceus...

Soldier
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All I know is if I was the emperor, I'd never in a million years assign an incompetent commander to a fort as important as that one!

Churchgoer

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Churchgoer
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I've come to deliver vegetables we harvested in the village to the monastery's dining hall.

Churchgoer
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Because of the season, I couldn't really pick that much, but I wanted to help you guys out, even just a little bit.

Churchgoer
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We're busily planting seeds, so when things start to grow, I'll be back.

Knight of Seiros

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Knight of Seiros
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Some say they saw Gilbert, who used to serve in the Knights of Seiros, at Gronder.

Knight of Seiros
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Apparently, he was originally a knight of the Kingdom who served Prince Dimitri.

Knight of Seiros
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He was an exceptional knight. I wish I could have fought by his side...

Merchant

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Merchant
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Hey, there! We merchants of the Alliance territories were excited to hear of your victory in the last battle.

Merchant
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We don't much like the prospect of doing business under the heel of the Empire.

Merchant
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The Alliance is what we know and love, but more than that, it's low on regulations, which is great for business.

Merchant
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Please keep up the good work, Professor! The merchants of the world are on your side!

Soldier

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Soldier
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The fish in this pond get fed every day, so they're swimming all lazy and serene...

Soldier
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But the only reason they're kept here is so that they can one day be used for food.

Soldier
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But the fish don't know that, so they just swim around happily...

Soldier
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It's a bit of a miserable thought, but aren't soldiers much the same?

Monk

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Monk
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I've come here after getting chased out of the Empire. There's no place for our kind there anymore.

Monk
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But there are still many inside Empire territory who haven't abandoned their faith in the Church of Seiros.

Monk
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I pray that one day we'll get the chance to rebuild the church within the Empire...

Knight of Seiros

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Knight of Seiros
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After that great battle earlier, the balance of power in Fódlan has shifted greatly...

Knight of Seiros
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To get revenge for all our fallen friends, we'll have to stake our lives on the fight that lies before us.

Soldier

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Soldier
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Edelgard, Dimitri, and our own Claude...

Soldier
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All the house leaders from way back when assembled again at Gronder.

Soldier
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I wonder what their thoughts were as they headed out to the battlefield...

Yuri

link Verdant Wind
Yuri
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If the Empire rallies its forces and attacks Garreg Mach, I'm not so sure Abyss will be OK...

Yuri
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If we're not careful, it'll end up buried in rubble.

Yuri
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Like I said, only if we're not careful. If it comes down to it, I'll protect this place till my dying breath.

Yuri
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Heh heh... Ever the valiant one. But nobody ever knows how a war will turn out. That's part of the deal, you know?

Yuri
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Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I want to ensure there is still a refuge for people to escape to.

Balthus

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Balthus
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I hear Hilda proposed a genius plan. That right? Heh, we've got a little strategist on our hands.

Balthus
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Not too long ago, she was just a tiny girl who couldn't do a thing on her own. Now look at her. She's the fiercest of the fierce.

Balthus
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I wonder what Holst would say if he saw her now. I bet he'd be proud...just like me.

Constance

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Constance
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It's not that I don't sympathize with Lady Edelgard's goals, mind you.

Constance
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But perhaps not to the point of shedding blood for her ideals.

Constance
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I must keep her example in mind as I chart a new path.

Constance
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Of course. But I've gone down a different road.

Constance
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Peace in Fódlan and a restored House Nuvelle shall be my guiding star as I blaze my own trail!

Hapi

link Verdant Wind
Hapi
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People have always fought, I guess. Bandits and nobles clashing over territory. Things like that.

Hapi
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So before the war, when folks talked about how peaceful everything was, I thought, "What continent are you living on?"

Hapi
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I get it now. A few isolated skirmishes here and there are nothing compared to a full-blown war.

Hapi
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The one truly peaceful place I've known was the village where I grew up.

Anna

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Anna
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A class reunion on the battlefield? That's...bleak. That must have been so hard on everyone.

Anna
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You gotta keep looking after them all. I mean, they still look to you for guidance, you know?

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Anna
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Abyss? You're interested in that place, are you?

Anna
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Ancient sprawling remains deep below Garreg Mach... That's Abyss.

Anna
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Some folks have made their home there. Obviously they all have their reasons and tales to tell.

Anna
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But only the most enterprising merchant would venture near it. My advice? Avoid going there yourself.

Abysskeeper

link Verdant Wind
Abysskeeper
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Hey, you. Listen up. I've got something to report.

Abysskeeper
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I hear there was a huge battle recently. Glad to see you made it back safe and sound.

Abysskeeper
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Maybe there's life after death, or maybe that's just a bunch of pretty words. Either way, we should live like our time here is all we've got.

Resident

link Verdant Wind
Resident
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Got a wager for ya. My friend says there's twice as many women in Abyss as men. You think he's right?

Resident
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Good eye. You win. Here, have a little something.

Resident
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No way. You got eyes? Take a look around.

link Verdant Wind
Resident
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Good eye. You win. Here, have a little something.

link Verdant Wind
Resident
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No way. You got eyes? Take a look around.

Resident

link Verdant Wind
Resident
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I hear there was a pretty spectacular battle up there recently, but we don't hear a lot about that stuff.

Resident
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There was a lot of talk when it first started, but five years on... It's just a fact of life.

Resident
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What? There have been lots of battles on the surface recently? I hadn't heard! See what I mean?!

Resident

link Verdant Wind
Resident
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Please, you can't tell anyone you saw me here. I'm in hiding from the army.

Resident
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I couldn't stand the war. The violence. I had to get away... But now that I've deserted, I can't go home.

Resident
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Justice, ambition—what does any of that matter if you're dead? I just want to live. Is that so wrong?

Monk

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Monk
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Thank you so much. This is just the type of flower she once loved so dearly.

Monk
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I can rest easy now.

Monk
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I must be off. Take especially good care of yourself, won't you?

Monk
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Please, look after Jeralt. She'd have wanted that.