Claude

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Claude

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

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

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

Claude

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

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

Claude

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

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

Ferdinand

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

Ferdinand

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

Ferdinand

Why did his followers not intervene? His attendants?

Ferdinand

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

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

Linhardt

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

Linhardt

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

Caspar

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Caspar

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

Caspar

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

Caspar

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

Caspar

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

Bernadetta

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Bernadetta

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

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

Bernadetta

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

Bernadetta

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

Dorothea

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Dorothea

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

Dorothea

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

Dorothea

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

Dorothea

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

Dorothea

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

Dorothea

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

Petra

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Petra

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

Petra

Yes. Hunting is doing surprise attacks on prey.

Petra

Surprise attacks are safe with friends. Fewer injuries.

Felix

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Felix

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

Felix

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

Felix

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

Felix

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

Ashe

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Ashe

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

Ashe

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

Ashe

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

Ashe

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

Ashe

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

Sylvain

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Sylvain

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

Sylvain

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

Sylvain

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

Sylvain

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

Sylvain

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

Sylvain

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

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

Mercedes

And may his soul rest in tranquility.

Mercedes

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

Mercedes

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

Annette

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Annette

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

Annette

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

Annette

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

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

Ingrid

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

Ingrid

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

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

Ingrid

No. Not anymore. I am where I belong.

Ingrid

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

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

Lorenz

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

Lorenz

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

Lorenz

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

Lorenz

Let us hope the end result is not too outlandish.

Raphael

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Raphael

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

Raphael

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

Raphael

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

Raphael

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

Raphael

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

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

Ignatz

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

Ignatz

Thank you. But I think I do actually.

Ignatz

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

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

Lysithea

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Lysithea

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

Lysithea

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

Lysithea

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

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

Marianne

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

Marianne

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

Hilda

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Hilda

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

Hilda

Claude said it could use some refinement. Any ideas?

Hilda

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

Hilda

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

Hilda

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

Leonie

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Leonie

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

Leonie

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

Leonie

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

Seteth

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Seteth

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

Seteth

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

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

Flayn

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Flayn

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

Flayn

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

Flayn

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

Hanneman

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Hanneman

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

Hanneman

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

Hanneman

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

Hanneman

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

Hanneman

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

Hanneman

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

Hanneman

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

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

Manuela

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

Manuela

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

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

Alois

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

Alois

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

Alois

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

Catherine

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Catherine

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

Catherine

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

Catherine

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

Shamir

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Shamir

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

Shamir

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

Shamir

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

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

Cyril

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

Cyril

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

Cyril

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

Cyril

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

Judith

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Judith

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

Judith

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

Judith

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

Judith

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

Gatekeeper

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Gatekeeper

Greetings, Professor! Nothing to report!

Gatekeeper

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

Gatekeeper

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

Gatekeeper

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

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

Soldier

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

Soldier

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

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

Churchgoer

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

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

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

Knight of Seiros

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

Knight of Seiros

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

Merchant

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Merchant

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

Merchant

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

Merchant

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

Merchant

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

Soldier

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Soldier

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

Soldier

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

Soldier

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

Soldier

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

Monk

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Monk

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

Monk

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

Monk

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

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

Knight of Seiros

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

Edelgard, Dimitri, and our own Claude...

Soldier

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

Soldier

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

Yuri

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Yuri

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

Yuri

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

Yuri

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

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

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

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

Balthus

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

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

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

Constance

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

Constance

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

Constance

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

Constance

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

Hapi

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Hapi

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

Hapi

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

Hapi

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

Hapi

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

Anna

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Anna

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

Anna

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

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Anna

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

Anna

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

Anna

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

Anna

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

Abysskeeper

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Abysskeeper

Hey, you. Listen up. I've got something to report.

Abysskeeper

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

Abysskeeper

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

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Resident

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

Resident

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

Resident

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

link Verdant Wind
Resident

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

link Verdant Wind
Resident

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

Resident

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Resident

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

Resident

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

Resident

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

Resident

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Resident

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

Resident

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

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

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

Monk

I can rest easy now.

Monk

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

Monk

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