Fire Emblem Fates - Convictions
Chapter 1 - There is Warmth in a Cold Place
A cool breeze flew through the stairwell as four people approached the top. The sudden coolness made one of the people shiver and embrace herself, only to trip on a step a moment later.
"Oof!" the woman exhaled as she caught herself on the steps. She stood up, shook off any accumulated dust on her black maid clothes or white apron, and brushed her rose-pink ponytail back. "I'm glad I wasn't carrying any dishes."
"I think we're all glad you're not carrying any dishes, Felicia," an elegant man in butler clothes remarked as he walked past the woman.
"Jakob, that's too cruel!" Felicia whined, closing her eyes to keep dust from getting in her eyes,
"Felicia, I think he's only saying this to help motivate you," a powder-blue-haired woman said, patting Felicia on the shoulder and smiling reassuringly. "Isn't that right, Jakob?" She turned to Jakob. Her smile turned into a cold glare. While Jakob didn't turn around to see her face, he could feel a chill emanating from her.
"Of course," Jakob agreed, continuing up the stairs without missing a beat, though a shiver went up his spine.
The fourth and last person in the group chuckled. He was wearing heavy plate armor, so his laughter was accompanied by clinks as metal hit metal. "Flora, when you and Felicia are separate, sometimes I forget that you are twin sisters," the man said. He caught up to Felicia and placed his hands on her shoulders to steady her and guide her forward.
"Thank you, Gunther," Felicia said, resuming her trip up the stairs. "I'm okay now."
Jakob sighed. "If you all remain this noisy, you'll wake up the young master."
"But… that's what we're supposed to do," Felicia said.
"Hah!" Gunther laughed again.
The four of them reached the top of the stairs, which led to a large bedroom. The bedroom was lit by several oil lamps near the ceiling, which were the only source of light during the dark, early hours of the morning. Jakob and Flora were the first people up, so they were the first to approach the bed in the center of the room. Jakob stood away from the bed and gestured to Flora. Flora stood next to the bed and smiled as she looked at the young master, still fast asleep in his bed.
"Master Corrin," Flora said softly. She brushed some of his platinum-colored hair away from his face. "It's morning, Master Corrin."
Corrin's eyes slowly opened. He saw Flora leaning over him. The bed rocked as Felicia jumped and leaned on the bed next to Flora.
"Good morning, Corrin!" Felicia said cheerfully. "Time to wake up!" She pushed off the bed and stood straight as Corrin stretched and sat up.
"Meh… Flora? Felicia?" Corrin looked around and smacked his lips. His eyes moved to the some of the large windows surrounding the bedroom, providing a view of shadowy mountains and an overcast sky. The sun still hadn't appeared over the mountains in the horizon. "It's dark outside. Still night..." Corrin said as he yawned and stretched again.
"It may be dark outside, but it's still morning," Gunther said, standing at attention at the head of the bed. "You have a training session today."
Jakob took a step forward and bowed. "I've brought your training weapons."
"Right," Corrin said as he exhaled in a yawn, still not fully awake or aware of his surroundings. "Still sleepy..." He rubbed his eyes and massaged his temples. He then brought his arms back to support himself up on his bed. His eyes started to close again, and his head slumped down.
"Oh?" Flora said. "In that case, let's wake you up. Felicia..." She glanced at Felicia.
"Yes, Nee-san!" Felicia put her hand to her mouth to try to stifle a giggle. The two of them nodded at each other, then leaned in close to Corrin's head.
Corrin could feel the warmth from their proximity. Their breaths reached his skin. Flora and Felicia reached out with their hands and held his slumping head up. Corrin relaxed from their warm touch on his cheeks. Their warmth soon disappeared as they summoned ice magic into their hands.
Corrin jumped up on his bed, his eyes wide open. "Wah! T-t-that's cold!" Corrin shouted. "Okay, okay, I'm up!" Flora and Felicia took a step back as Corrin extended his hand in protest.
"It can't be helped, Master Corrin," Flora said. "After all, we are from the Ice Tribe."
Corrin was breathing hard from the sudden change in temperature and from his brief shouting. "All right then," he said, between breaths. His breaths slowed down, and he closed his eyes. "It's just… I had this dream."
"Oh? A dream?" Jakob asked. "What kind of dream did you have?"
"Yeah, it… it was a strange dream." Corrin's eyes were closed, but he was sitting up straight. "A group of strangers… They were saying they were my siblings." He opened his eyes and looked at Jakob. "But I've never seen them before."
Jakob and Gunther exchanged concerned glances for a moment. Flora saw them, and turned back to Corrin, her smile gone. "Um… Master Corrin, it was just a dream. Perhaps you can talk about it more later. But you have your training session."
"Good luck, Master Corrin!" Felicia exclaimed, her enthusiasm still not lost in the others' seriousness. "Master Xander is waiting!"
"Ugh…" Corrin massaged his temples again. He opened his eyes, looked at Felicia, and smiled. "Well, I guess I shouldn't keep him." Corrin started to stand up. Felicia extended her hand to help, which Corrin accepted tiredly. A cool breeze flew through the windows, making Corrin unconsciously grasp Felicia's hand tighter.
"Hmm," Flora murmured, observing Felicia's and Corrin's hands with a smile.
Corrin's legs still weren't completely awake or supportive of his body, so he walked slowly. They were walking back to the stairs, with Felicia still holding Corrin's hand, when Jakob stepped in the way and raised his hand to stop them. "I'm glad we're all smiles before the training session, but perhaps Gunther and I can help the young master put on his armor."
Felicia looked at Corrin, then at his hand that she was still grasping. She gasped and let go. Corrin merely looked up at Jakob. "Hmm? Oh, right," Corrin said.
"If you'll excuse us, Felicia and Flora," Jakob said.
Flora guided a flustered Felicia towards the door. "Of course. We'll wait at the stairs," Flora said.
"See you in a moment!" Felicia added, waving as she disappeared through the room door.
The two maids entered the stairs lobby and waited. Felicia was swaying left and right, with her hands behind her back. "It's unnaturally cool today, isn't it?" Flora said with a subtle smile.
"Hmm?" Felicia asked, looking up and stopping her swaying.
"Oh, nothing," Flora said. She glanced at the three barred windows. "I'm glad the young master's siblings are all visiting today."
"I know, it's probably so lonely for him," Felicia said. She walked over to the windows and held onto a bar. "Though we're his family too, aren't we?"
"He does bring warmth to the Northern Citadel," Flora thought aloud. "I can't imagine what this place would be like without him."
"Though I hope he'll be able to leave sometime." Felicia gazed out the window. She turned to Flora and smiled. "And we'll go with him, of course!"
"Of course," Flora agreed, joining Felicia by the window. They both looked out the window. "I hope our home is okay," Flora said quietly.
"Hmm? What was that?" Felicia asked.
"Oh, just reminiscing, Felicia," Flora said. "When we left the Ice Tribe. When we came here. It's been a long time."
Felicia clapped her hands together with excitement. "We should bring Corrin over to the Ice Tribe sometime!" Felicia said.
Flora giggled. "That would be lovely. Though I don't think Corrin would appreciate the cold."
Felicia put her hands on her hips and spoke with determination. "Don't worry, we'll keep him warm!"
"Oh?" Flora asked, crossing her arms and giving Felicia a curious look.
"I mean… er…" Felicia put her hands on her cheeks to cool her blushed face. Flora giggled.
"Hmm? What do you mean?" The two sisters turned to see Corrin walking up to them.
"Wha? N-n-n-nothing!" Felicia insisted.
"Come, the young master's siblings are waiting," Jakob said, eyeing the two sisters with his standard unfazed expression.
Gunther patted Corrin's shoulder. "I hope you're awake, Master Corrin, because if not, Master Xander will be giving you a wake up."
"Right, right," Corrin said, stifling a yawn. He started going down the stairs, with Jakob, Gunther, and Flora following. Felicia shook her head for a moment, then jogged to catch up to the rest of them.
A loud shriek echoed through the mountains as a wyvern descended onto a platform. The wyvern extended its wings to decelerate, then flapped them a few times before landing on the ground. It took a few steps forward to slow down its forward movement, then came to a stop. The wyvern shrieked one more time, then dropped its body to the ground.
"Good girl," a woman said, massaging the wyvern's neck. She slowly raised a slender leg into the air and over the wyvern's body. She then slid down one side of the wyvern until two heeled boots reached the ground. "Corrin…" she murmured, looking up at the tall tower keep.
"Onee-san!" a young girl shouted as she approached on a horse. The woman smiled as she saw the girl dismount and run up to her. She leaned forward to catch her breath for a moment, then looked up. "Camilla, you could've waited for me!"
"Aw, sweetie." Camilla patted the girl on her head. "You're the one who wanted to ride here."
"I know, but I thought maybe if Corrin does come out, we could go on a ride. He's the only one who doesn't have his own horse. Or, well, a wyvern."
"You are such a cutie, Elise!" Camilla pinched the girl's cheek for a brief moment.
"Mohhh!" Elise uttered as she peeled Camilla's hand off her cheek. "Could you stop doing that?"
Camilla laughed. "But you're just so cuuuute!" Nevertheless, she stopped pinching Elise and settled with putting her arm around Elise and bringing her closer.
"Hmph. Not as cute as Corrin, I bet you're thinking," Elise said.
"Aw, all of you are cute in your own, unique way. You, Corrin, Leo… Even Xander!"
Elise giggled. "Hah! I can't see Xander taking that kindly."
Camilla joined in the laughter. "Come on," she said, after their laughter calmed down. "Xander and Corrin should be finishing their training soon."
Flora and another blue-haired servant arrived at the platform. "Lady Camilla, Lady Elise." Flora greeted them before bowing. "Welcome back to the Northern Citadel."
"Flora!" Elise exclaimed. She ran up and hugged the maid, who responded by smiling but maintaining her posture.
"Hello, Flora," Camilla said, walking behind Elise. "Marzia is happy to see you, too."
The wyvern looked at the group of people and shrieked. Flora smiled and approached the wyvern. "After visiting so often, she's become acquainted with me, I suppose," Flora remarked, walking up and petting the wyvern. Marzia snorted in a wyvern's version of appreciation. "We'll take care of your mounts. I'm sure you want to rush ahead to see Corrin?"
Elise clapped her hands together. "Right! Thanks, Flora!" She jogged ahead, with Camilla following behind.
They walked through the citadel, up some stairs onto the walls, and down a parapet walk, until they heard the clashing of swords and the grunting of people in battle. "I wonder if Corrin's improved," Camilla thought aloud, listening intently to the clangs of metal hitting metal. "Their swords are striking more rapidly."
"It would be amazing if Corrin was able to land a hit on Xander!" Elise said.
"Oh, do you want Xander to lose so badly?" Camilla teased.
"Camilla!" Elise protested. "I just like to cheer for the underdog."
Camilla laughed, then leaned in closer to Elise. "I'm cheering for Corrin, too," she said. The sounds of battle stopped. "Oh, I suppose we have a victor now."
They rounded the tower and saw Corrin and two blond men standing around each other. One of the men was taller and older. He wore a dark circlet around his head and a purple cloak over his black battle armor. He sheathed his sword as Corrin caught his breath. Corrin stopped for a moment and said something to the younger man, which made the blond run away a few paces, holding his collar. The young man removed his cloak and flipped it around before clipping it back on.
Camilla looked at Corrin's smiling but tired face. "Oh, Corrin, are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?" She walked up close to Corrin and leaned in, examining his body.
The older man coughed. "Do you have no trust in the crown prince?" he asked.
"Nope!" Elise chirped. "Sorry, Xander!"
Camilla ignored them. "If Xander hurt you anywhere, let me know." She placed her hand over his heart. "I'll make you feel better…"
Corrin flinched away and scratched the back of his head. "Nee-san…" he said nervously, bowing his head down. "I'm fine." He looked up into Camilla's eyes and smiled. "But thanks for worrying about me."
"I was worried about you, too!" Elise said.
"I know, I'm thankful that you're always there for me," Corrin said. "Even when I'm stuck here in the citadel, you're there for me."
"Oooooh!" Elise jumped at Corrin and wrapped her arms around him. "I love you, Corrin!" she said. "You're my most favorite person in the whole world!"
"Jeez, she's still such a brat," the younger man muttered.
"Oh, Leo, you love her too," Camilla said. "And her innocence is a light for this world." She put her arm around Elise's shoulder. "It's a sign that this dark kingdom can still be changed."
"Nee-san…" Leo said.
Corrin looked at his four siblings gathered around him. "Everyone," he began, a fond smile appearing on his face, "I love you all as well." He looked past the people and at his room at the top of the tower. The light in the room highlighted the prison-like iron bars that secured the windows. "I still don't remember much of my past, and I haven't been allowed out of this citadel…" Corrin's smile faded away as he thought of his restricted home.
"Corrin…" Xander said softly, his voice betraying his concern.
Corrin looked back at them and smiled. "But still, whenever you're here, you make this place the best, happiest place to be. Thank you."
"Ohhh, Corrin!" Camilla smothered Corrin in an embrace and muffled any response he may have had. After a few long, breathless seconds, she released him and held him by the shoulders. "I have something to say that you might enjoy." She gazed into his eyes to see his reaction up close. "It seems Father wants you to come to the castle."
Corrin gasped. "Does… does that mean…"
Camilla smiled. "That's right. You're allowed to leave the citadel."
Corrin was silent and motionless for a moment as the information sunk. Finally, he jumped at Camilla and returned her embrace. "I'm allowed to leave!" he exclaimed.
Camilla rubbed Corrin's back as they embraced. "I know it must have been lonely, staying here," she said. "But it's finally time. Today marks your first day of freedom!"
Elise pouted briefly, puffing her cheeks and exhaling slowly. "Aw, I wanted to give the news." Her frown quickly turned into a smile when she looked at Corrin, grinning with his eyes closed as he hugged Camilla. "But big bro, isn't that wonderful?"
"Yeah, Elise!" Corrin opened his arms up for Elise to join in the hug. "Finally, I get to join you all. I will do Nohr proud."
Xander watched his siblings with a small smile on his face. "Good," he said. "Now let's get ready to head out."
Several servants were gathered in the main hall.
"Miss Flora, can you believe it's actually happening?" the other blue-haired servant said to Flora.
"I'm very happy for the young master," Flora responded.
Jakob maintained his disciplined stance. He closed his eyes for a moment and cleared his throat before speaking. "Flora, Lilith, they are approaching."
The five royal siblings were walking down the main hall. Xander was in the front, walking with his back straight. Leo came next, also walking tall. Corrin came after, with Elise attached to his side, her arms locked around Corrin's waist. Camilla walked in the back of the group, watching the others affectionately.
Lilith bowed deeply. When she stood back up, a smile was on her face to greet them. "Congratulations, Lord Corrin!" Lilith said, curtsying as they walked up to her. "You're heading out into the world! I will be joining you under Gunther's directions, if that pleases you."
"Lilith! Of course that makes me happy that you'll be joining me!" Corrin unwrapped himself from Elise's arms and moved closer to Lilith and Jakob. "Come on, you know I could never leave you alone."
"Of… of course..." Lilith looked down and blushed.
"Lilith, is Corrin's horse and the others ready?" Xander asked.
"Yes, they're ready. They've really grown fond of Lord Corrin after all these years. He's been taking such good care of them."
"That's right," Camilla said. "Corrin's always been so kind to everyone." She laughed. "Remember when you found that injured little bird? You couldn't leave the bird alone."
"Of course!" Corrin said. "I couldn't… well, yeah, I couldn't leave the poor creature alone when I have the power to help. I'm sure it'll grow into a fine, beautiful bird."
"Eheh, yes, of course," Lilith said, shifting her weight from left to right.
"Hmm?" Corrin turned to Lilith, who was looking down. "Lilith, why the long face?"
Lilith summoned a weak smile. "Oh, it's nothing."
"Hmm." Corrin eyed Lilith curiously, until Elise jumped up and landed right next to him.
"Jeez, come on, Corrin, you're so dense. She's just feeling lonely." Elise nudged Corrin with her elbow.
"Lonely?" Corrin asked, turning to Lilith. "But you're coming with us, Lilith."
Elise took this moment to wrap her arms around Corrin again. "Yeah, but she can't hog you all to herself anymore. She likes you, Corrin!"
"N-n-n-no! It's not like that!" Lilith insisted, waving her hands in front of her in disagreement. "I… I have to get the animals ready!" She escaped down the hall.
Camilla laughed and put her hand on her chest. "Oh, Corrin, how can anyone not like you."
Leo sighed. "Always the popular one, aren't you," he said, looking at Corrin's interactions and shaking his head, though he couldn't keep a small crease from forming at the edges of his mouth.
Xander was talking to Gunther while his younger siblings joked. He turned around and joined the others. "Okay, everything is ready. Let's be off. Father is waiting." He started walking.
Gunther faced the servants. "Flora, Jakob, I'll be leaving things to you. Felicia and I will accompany Lord Corrin." Felicia and Flora exchanged surprised looks. "Please take care of the citadel while we're gone."
"Of… of course!" Flora said, bowing. "Leave it to us." She exchanged another look with Felicia, who seemed concerned. Flora gave her a reassuring smile.
Jakob smiled as well. "Please enjoy yourself, Master Corrin. We'll take care of things here." He looked at Felicia. "Felicia, do please take care of the young master."
"Of… of course!" Felicia mirrored her sister's words and actions as she bowed deeply as well. She took a few steps forward and joined Corrin and Gunther.
"Come on, Corrin!" Leo called. He had already started walking with Xander and Camilla. Elise was waiting for Corrin.
"Right!" Corrin responded. He turned to the servants. "Um, I'll be heading out!"
"Be safe," Flora said.
"Take care, Master Corrin," Jakob said.
Corrin took two steps away, then hesitated. He suddenly ran up to Flora and hugged her. "Oh!" Flora hesitantly placed her arms around Corrin and patted his back. "There, there, Master Corrin," she said. "We'll see each other soon." Flora caught Felicia's concerned eyes on her again. "And Felicia will take care of you."
"I know," Corrin said. "But… Thank you." He let go of Flora and looked at Jakob. "Thank all of you. I wish you all could join me." He approached Jakob, who was unsure how to receive him. Corrin then went in for a hug as well.
"Eheh..." Jakob laughed nervously and patted Corrin on the back. They separated, and Jakob smiled. "We will take care of things here. Come now, Master Corrin, it's your time to see the world. Enjoy it."
"Right!" Corrin turned and looked at Elise, who was still waiting behind him, her hands on her hips. "Come on, Elise, I guess we shouldn't keep Father waiting."
As Corrin, Elise, and Gunther walked off, Felicia remained standing and looking at the ground. After a moment, she walked up to Flora and hugged her. "Goodbye, Onee-san," she said. "Hopefully, we'll see each other soon." She looked up at Flora and smiled.
"Goodbye, Felicia." Flora gave her sister a warm smile and a confident nod. "Come on, you're allowed to enjoy yourself, too. Have fun at the capital."
"Right," Felicia said slowly, separating herself from Flora. Flora gently pushed Felicia forward.
"And take care of Corrin for me! Er… for us all," Flora said.
"R-right!" Felicia exclaimed. She waved, then jogged to join Corrin, Gunther, and Elise. She then turned her head as she walked and waved again. They disappeared from sight, leaving Flora, Jakob, and the other servants. After a moment, they relaxed their posture and went about their work.
"I do hope Felicia stays okay," Jakob said.
Flora nudged Jakob with her elbow. "Oh, so you do care."
"She's taking care of Master Corrin, after all."
"Of course," Flora said. They started walking down the main hall to the servants' quarters. "I'm worried more about you, Jakob," she said.
"Without Corrin, I worry you'll run yourself to the ground looking for some purpose."
"My dear, I'm pretty sure we all know I am the most professional of the staff here," Jakob said, earning himself a shove from Flora. "And I take no shame in admitting my dedication to Master Corrin," he added, gaining another shove from Flora.
Flora turned back to where Corrin and the others had walked off to. "I do hope he'll be okay, now that he'll be experiencing the real world."
"I'm sure he'll be perfectly fine," Jakob said. "What with all the caring and reliable people around him." Jakob allowed himself a small smile. "Oh, and Felicia's a caring and re-... is there too," he added. Flora shoved Jakob into a pillar.
This is my first Fire Emblem Fates story! I've actually not completed Revelations yet. I've only finished Birthright and Conquest. But I plan on creating my own route, which may share some events with the other routes but won't be exactly the same. And I'll be creating and filling in stuff that happens in between events or that happens at the same time but in a different place.
Please let me know your thoughts and opinions! I think I'll try to focus this story on adventure rather than romance, but yes, there'll be romance. I don't quite know the couples yet though.
Usually I refer to my reviews in the following chapter, but since this is the first and since I've made some updates, I'll go ahead and mention them here.
Thanks for the review, P.T. Piranha! As I mentioned, I've dropped my usage of "said" from 98 times to 58 times. I've always been unsure about dialogue, because I've read specifically not to worry about using "said said said" all the time. I've also read that the most interesting verbs make for some uninteresting reading. Buuut, that might apply to more detailed writings. I've also read some good warnings on the use of "hissed" or "coughed" or "laughed" instead of "said." They're to be used before or after speech, but not during speech, so that's why you might not see me use those variations. Well, hopefully, I've kinda found a nice middle ground in this revised chapter and for future chapters.
Thanks for catching the Jakob thing! Ugh… that one might be a bit difficult for me, since my hands are used to typing the standard version.
And now KeziaVolition has also posted a review. Thank you, KeziaVolition! I wanted to make reference to this so that people don't think you guys are crazy when they read the revised Jakob-ed chapter. Oh, and KeziaVolition, yes I am still working on Searching for an Olive Branch! This one is just easier to write/update (right now) since I'm following the game.
-Updated 8/10/16 I decided to go with onee-san instead of sister.