Disclaimer: I don't own Fire Emblem.

I've been planning this story for a while now and finally just posted it. I couldn't decide what characters to put in it, so I need to thank Soernfangirl04 and Neville 2.0 for their suggestions. As always, thank you for your comments, that is, if you are one of the nice people who actually do review.

The beginning of this is pretty much what Knoll told Natasha and Duessel in their conversations. (About the earthquake that would destroy Grado and how him and Lyon foresaw it by using a spell that allowed them to read the ripples of time. In case someone didn't get either of those conversations.)

"I appreciate what you have revealed to us, but… I still do not understand. Why would he invade Renais? What would he gain from releasing the Demon King from the Sacred stones?" Ephraim and Eirika sat on their mats in a tent across from Knoll, one of Lyon's previous researchers. The somber man took a deep breath then slightly shook his head.

"There is only one man who knows the true answer to that and he is Prince Lyon himself."

"To start a war like this…It…It's not in Lyon, is it? Could he really have been lying to us that entire year we spent together?" Eirika looked despondently at her hands whose fingers patted their tips against her knees. Her set gaze suggested deep thought.

"No. The bond between the three of you was sincere. That I am certain of. The prince wanted nothing more than to save Grado from complete destruction when the earthquake hit. As for how he went about it… I do not know why he chose the path he did. It was only my job to read the ripples of time."

"The earthquake you spoke about." Ephraim directed the conversation back on topic. "Were you able to read when it would hit?"

"We foresaw it within the next five years. It could be tomorrow. It could be the last day of the fifth year. A certain date we could not read clearly."

"Ephraim…what are we going to do? We can't…if this continues, we'll have to fight Lyon face to face…"

"There has to be something more to this than we know. I refuse to believe that Lyon would betray us without reason. Knoll, do you believe that Lyon would listen to us if we requested a seating?"

"I could not say. There were days when the prince was himself; gentle, timid, and caring. Then other days he became a monster not even recognizable as the Prince Lyon we knew. It was times like that which got Father McGregor and I set for execution. I was rescued but when I heard that Father McGregor's execution had been carried through I began to wonder if the prince was still within a mortal's ability to save."

"Father McGregor…but why? He was Lyon's mentor. He looked up to him." Her shoulders tensed as she thought back.

"He believed that our work was blasphemy and voiced it openly. How the prince was… the opposition was nothing to him. No matter what others thought, he was determined to help them. The dark stone began to influence him. Now its like he is the combination of two halves of completely different people."

"Lyon… I refuse to give up on him. I have to at least try to talk some sense into him. Eirika, you continue leading the troops into Rausten. I will take a small group and head into Grado."

"But, brother…going into enemy territory with only a small number of soldiers? How many did you plan on taking?"

"I have eleven in mind. Knoll, would you be willing to return to Grado? I know your execution was scheduled. I will understand if you wish to remain here."

"No, I will come if that is what you wish of me. In these times of darkness I will search for the light. Whatever I may do to help bring an end to this conflict…"

"Thank you. I would also like to bring Franz, Amelia, Ross, and Ewan…"

"But they are so young!" The princess protested. "Do you really believe that they could survive were you attacked in the heart of enemy territory?"

"Yes, I do. They show a large amount of potential. Their lack of experience is what makes them ideal. Experienced soldiers often charge into battle without any specific orders at all, or so was the case with Forde and Kyle. They know that they are yet to be up to par with the other warriors, so from what I've observed they have listened to any advice they could get. Because of our size I will avoid conflict when possible, making the ability to listen to instructions more vital then pure combat skills. Attempted pacifism means nothing if your soldiers begin the battle."

"I hope that you are right…"

"I would also like to take Colm. If we do get captured, his skills would be essential for getting us out of the cells. Another long range attacker would be useful if we get in a fight so I will take Niemi as well. A healer may be of use, so I will talk to L'Arachel. Undoubtedly Dozla will come with her. Lastly, Joshua and Marisa would be good additions because of their skills with a sword. That should be all I need."

"It seems like such a small group… Are you sure that is all that is required?"

"As I mentioned earlier, I have no intention of getting involved in unnecessary conflicts. I honestly believe that I am taking too many. The larger the group, the harder it is to go unnoticed. At our size now, we have just enough people to pass ourselves off as a mercenary group. That will be our disguise as long as we can pose it." He turned back towards Knoll who had a troubled countenance. His face showed clear concern about an issue he had not mentioned. "Is something the matter?"

"What if the Prince is elsewhere? There really is no guarantee that he would be at the castle given the advances in the war. If he isn't, then we would have entered enemy territory for no reason. You will have to give your name in order to hold a seating. If he is away, the guards will attack."

"Then we will have to risk it. If this goes well, we may end the war earlier and with less deaths."

Because Sacred Stones already had support conversations, the conversations I include at the end of the chapters are just the characters conversing normally and nothing more. I do this for two reasons; A) To give all the characters a chance to speak, even if they aren't necessarily involved with the main plot at that time. B) To feature conversations that I want to take place without transitioning every time I want to show two characters speaking that aren't in the same place as the last two speaking.

Ephraim and L'Arachel

"Princess? Could I speak with you a moment?"

"Ah, Prince Ephraim! Is there something I can assist you with.?"

"Actually, there is. I have decided to take a small force into Grado disguised as a mercenary group to see if we could hold a seating with Lyon. Our group needs a healer. I would ask that you come with us."

"Why certainly! I am pleased that someone has recognized my divine skill! Have no fear, for the lovely banisher of darkness shall ride beside you! All beings of blasphemy shall fall before my overwhelming presence!"

"Um… I am glad to here that then. We leave tomorrow."

"And I shall be there!"

L'Arachel and Rennac

"Rennac, we leave tomorrow and part from the rest of the group. Prince Ephraim has demanded that the banisher of light ride at their side and bless their mission!

"Eh? That little side quest of theirs to try to sway the Grado Prince? What a waste of time. He's not going to stop the war just because we ask him to. And what is this "we" thing that you mention. I received no invitation."

"Why, I am your invitation! You are duty bound to throw down your life to protect me at my whimsy!"

"If you hadn't realized yet, princess, our contract had expired a while ago and I have no need to renew it. The pay was just too low beneath my standards."

"No worries! If you wish to stay by my side I will not insult your gesture or affection by forcing gold upon it!"

"Um, I do believe you misinterpreted me. I'm using the end of our contract as a reason to get AWAY from you. I will be staying within Princess Eirika's ranks."

"Well, if you were so desperate to escape me, then why is that you are still here?"

"Because the terms of the contract that I signed with the Princess of Renais are much more suited to my tastes. Trust me. It has nothing to do with you."

"Humph! Your shyness in expressing your true joy while around me grows old! Say whatever you wish, just make sure that you are ready on time!"

"…How do I keep getting involved with this woman? Seems like I'll be trapped forever."

Innes and Ephraim

"Innes? Is something the matter? You have been glaring at me for some while now."

"Did you really think that you could leave me to this child's play while you took all the glory for accepting the harder mission? Hardly! What time do we leave?"

"This really isn't a volunteer mission…"

"And who are you that I should take orders from you? Best me before you act so superior.""I wasn't being superior… we were hoping to take only a small force to avoid combat."

"And what do you know of subtlety, swinging your lance around the battlefield in such a manner as you do? One more person, especially me, will not make a large difference in size. Bah! I will find out from another. Mark my words, Ephraim! You will not beat me!

"…This is going to be a failure before it begins…"

Franz and Forde

"Hah! Prince Ephraim thought I was so much of a hand full that he recruited my younger brother this time!"

"…No, its nothing like that at all. He probably wants to leave the stronger of the soldiers with Eirika to take on the approaching Grado troops. After all, we plan on not being noticed until we're at the castle."

"You better be careful, you hear? No being lazy like me. Take care of yourself. We need to return home together.'"I will."

"No. You have to promise me. Promise?"

"All right! It's a promise!"

Ross and Garcia

"My son is a warrior now… good enough even for missions. You make me proud, Ross."

"Aw, c'mon dad! I'm going on a peace mission! Its not exactly gonna get me a fighter's glory."

"Part of being a good warrior is knowing when battle is not the best answer. This experience will help teach you that. Especially if the desired outcome is reached. It will be impossible to reach the castle without being recognized by someone. Even when you do make it to the castle, there is nothing saying that the prince won't attack you without seeing you."

"Hah! Then I'll cut them down with my axe just like you taught me! Nothing's gonna stand in my way!"

"This is not a game with wooden sticks, Ross. You need to understand that."

"…I know. I'm just…kinda nervous, you know? This is going to be my first time on the battlefield alone."

"You are never alone. You will have allies ready to help you. And your mother smiles at you from above. Even now."

"I know."

Ewan and Saleh

"See teacher? See how my skills improved? I told you I would be a worthy student! Now I'm good enough to go on a big mission with Prince Ephraim and everything!"

"Don't get overconfident."

"Huh?"

"You need confidence but overconfidence in your skill leads to underestimating the enemies' power and ultimately death. You would do well to remember that."

"…Well, that wasn't much of a good-bye!"

I know I had a lot of conversations in this chapter but it would have seemed strange if some people left without talking to others first. I actually had more in mind but cut them because they were either less relevant than the ones above or both the people were going with Ephraim. Eventually, I will have all the characters in. I was going to let the story go after they dealt with Grado castle but I decided to carry the story through the earthquake that hits Grado, too. I'll take suggestions for conversations and as always, R&R. Thank you.