Mia was not a writer. She was a scribbler who put her thoughts on paper as she saw fit. In the late afternoon, she would polish her blade, run a few laps around camp, and return to her tent to write in her diary. She was diligent about writing in her diary once a week. The solid black cover had faded with time. The pages were worn and yellow from years of marching and mildew, and the moisture in the summertime had made them raw. What she wrote depended mostly on her mood. Usually, she was happy, but sometimes she was irritable. In that case, she withdrew into fantasy. She often wrote about her archrival in flowing white robes, wind sifting through his hair. She fantasized about exchanging strikes with him beneath the evening twilight.

Big words didn't suit her. She was always happy, never exuberant. She always thought that writing was a lot like swordplay. A swing of the sword translated to a stroke of the pen. Evading a strike was like fending off cheesy verbs and clichéd metaphors. Mia adored adverbs. To her, rabbits run quickly, clouds drift merrily, and water creeps quietly. Of course, she didn't consider herself a bad writer by any means; that was just one of her idiosyncrasies. Her writing was simple. Since she wrote only for herself, she poured her soul into the pages.

Tuesday, Sunny

Ahhhh! I've finally been hired! Greil told me to find his son, and I did! The Greil Mercenaries seem like a nice enough group to work with. Everyone seems pretty nice so far. I don't really like Shinon and Gatrie though.

I think I also found my rival! I saw a man with orange hair and white robes walking casually around camp somewhere. I think I'll look for him tomorrow. Anyway, Ike is our leader for now. He seems cute enough. I think I've fallen in love with his swordplay! I love how he can swing his sword effortlessly. I think I'll ask him tomorrow if I can spar with him!

As the Greil Mercenaries dragged on through the furnace of war, Mia's writing grew more and more confident. She noticed this too. She reasoned that her swordsmanship improved with her writing ability. It was true: she became a genuine warrior as the war progressed. She refined her movements and began to move faster on the battlefield. Her sword was her pen, and her grace was her power. But she still adored adverbs.

She held Ike's mentorship as one of her most prized possessions. Every other day, they woke up right after sunrise and sparred with him outside of camp for an hour. Afterward, they returned to base and ate breakfast. Mia would often walk to the weapons rack and rub her cheek against the hilt of Ike's sword knowing that his hand had been there.

The subject of love was not taboo, but Mia avoided writing about it. The thought of someone secretly stealing and reading her diary always crossed her mind, so she never took the chance. Once in a while however, a puff of her musings did find its way on to the page.

Thursday, Rainy

The war's been going for a long time now, and it shows not signs of stopping. I've trained with Ike for over 4 months now but he still beats me every time. I really enjoy just watching him fight courageously. I LOVE IT! And I think I'm beginning to like him too. When I first joined the Greil Mercenaries, I thought he was pretty good looking, but a rough guy to be around. Now, my opinion of him has changed. I really do like him … but I don't think I could ever tell him. I guess he just thinks that I'm a sparring partner and nothing more. I really wish that he would notice me. Maybe I'll confess to him someday far away.

After the Mad King's War had ended, Mia decided to stick with the Greil Mercenaries. It was during this time that she blossomed into a writer and not just a scribbler. She wrote in her diary twice a week now. Most of the entries were about war, but she always left room for more creative ventures. On rainy days, she would write sonnets and siestas into the early morning and wonder if Ike was thinking about her. During full moons, she would walk around base camp and make believe that was meeting her husband-to-be for the first time. She decided that adverbs didn't suit her after all, but they still held a special place in her heart.

As her skill with the pen improved, so did her skill with the sword. She had defeated Ike on a few occasions during their sparring sessions, but Ike remained the dominant fighter. She learned to react more quickly and hold the sword with a firmer grip. She often wondered if she held herself back on purpose so that Ike would continue to train her.

Saturday, Sunny

Has it really been that long?

I've been traveling with the Greil Mercenaries for more than two years now, and I'm still surprised everyday, whether it be because Oscar cooked up something new and tasty, or because Rolf and Boyd got into another argument about some little thing. I still spar with Ike almost everyday. If you asked me a year ago why I became his protégé, I would say that I wanted to sharpen my skills with the sword. But now I'm convinced that I did it mainly because I wanted to be by his side. When I wake up tomorrow, ten years will have passed and I'll still see his face in the morning sunshine. I love that look when he smiles at me right before he readies his blade. He just hugs me with his eyes, and I feel warm inside. Oh, Ike, won't you notice me? I took a strike form you on purpose the other day just so that you could hold me in your arms, if only for a moment.

Mia never confessed, but she often fell asleep imagining how Ike would react if she did. Would he say yes? Would he ignore her? How would their current relationship change? She took these questions with her. She held them like brittle leaves, fearing that they may rip if she squeezed too hard.

Nights were for dreaming. Mia would stay awake and try to listen to Ike's rich baritone voice resonate in her head. She tried to piece together every time he had said "I" along with "love", "you", and "Mia" into one coherent sentence. But he never said "love" before. Not once.

Her diary began to fill with mock confessions and tales of her eloping with Ike. Whenever she scribbled his name, her hand trembled in thought. Her body ached for him. She wanted to feel his lips with her lips. She wanted to be in his embrace and place her ear on his chest to listen for his heart beat in sync with hers. But she was shy. Of course, no one else knew this; everyone else saw her as the most outgoing one of all the mercenaries. She just didn't know much about love.

The Great War came and went. Ashera was defeated and peace was restored to Tellius. For Mia, the end of the war did not offer the same joy that it did to others. It meant that Ike was leaving for good. The day after his departure, Mia wrote her final entry.

Sunday, Snowing

Ike is gone. I'm trying my hardest not to cry because someone might hear me.

Yesterday, I was wondering if I should just burn this diary and forget about Ike. He's probably never coming back, and these feelings of mine will only create false hope. And then I realized that he still owes me something. He was my first love, so that must count for something, right? I realize now that it was my fault for not confessing during these four years, but he should have noticed something. A kiss. He owes me that much. Of course, I'll have to find him first. Rumors say that he's going to east past the Daien Mountains into the dark parts of Tellius. I suppose that's where I'm headed. This will be my final entry in this diary of mine. I'll bury it here in woods of Crimea. Maybe someone someday will find it and read it. Maybe not.

Watch out, Ike! I'm coming for you! And you'd better have that kiss ready when I find you!

And with that, she was gone.