Of Wyverns and Men
Chapter 1: A Tactician's Problems
EDIT: I tried my best to edit some of the details in the story. Hopefully, they worked out.
I decided I'd just format the pre-story details like this since it works and is simple enough.
Rated T because of romantic undertones and all that good jazz. Don't want to piss off anyone.
Pairings: Male Avatar (Robin)/Cherche , Chrom/Sumia (I mean who hasn't put them together?) , and a whole bunch of others which will make their way to the story eventually
Be nice to me. I'm writing this because I hit a writer's block for the manga I was working on, and it's been a while since I've gotten down and written something substantial since my Fate/Stay Night fiction. For the time being, this will suffice as a suitable project. Oh, and I don't own Fire Emblem but by god if I did, so much more than C,B,A, and S dialogue. It would go from A to Z. But I don't own Fire Emblem so there you go. I guess the ultimate goal is to get people to like my story enough to draw scenes from it? It's a crazy dream but hey, hey it might happen. In any case, enough with the jibber-jabber and here comes the story. Oh, another thing. I might time-skip a lot since this is a Cherche fiction after all, and she hardly appears at some scenes meant purely for Chrom, Lucina, etc.
Also, the dialogue may be similar to the ones in the game but ultimately I'll be modifying to my own needs. The dialogue in this chapter will be the only one ripped straight from the game since I really can't advance the story without the backplot. So I promise future chapters will be unique, with some sprinkles from other support dialogues.
The story takes place after Chrom receives note from Regna Ferox about the Valmese invasion. The Robin here has black hair whose main weapon is the Tyrfing. Enjoy.
Cloudy. Very cloudy with a chance of rain.
The telltale signs of a brewing storm were showing, and the man sitting on the steps of the palace had no wish to be a part of this at all. Sighing at the prospect of having to stand up again after what had seemed like a beautiful morning, he opened the doors to the palace. He took one last look at the sky as if begging the weather to change.
After all, it was his one day off after countless hours spent rebuilding this tangled mess that resulted from the end of the way against the Plegians. True, it had been two years since, but the scars of war hardly fade away completely. The tactician began to lament in his own mind. War and the battlefield he could deal with. The cries of mothers and children who had lost husbands and fathers to the war he was ill-equipped. There was no battle stratagem or tactic that detailed how to fix these types of things. The tactician's morose train of thought was broken by a small voice he would recognize anywhere.
"Robin, how long are you going to look at the sky like that? You're starting to worry me, and your face is doing that rubbery thingy again!"
Robin turned to a small blonde girl, the sister to his closest friend.
"Heh, you know me Lissa. Why are you out here on a cloudy day? Has Chrom asked for me again?"
Lissa's eyebrows furrowed, and she crossed her arms, pouting.
"Hmph! Maybe I just wanted to see how you were doing? Not everything has to be something Chrom wants from you!"
Robin stared at Lissa intently, his eyes not blinking at all. This went on for a good ten seconds before Lissa could no longer contain her laughter and burst out. Robin, finally having cracked her serious demeanor, broke out a smile as well.
"Come on, Robin! You almost thought I was mad, didn't you? But yeah, big brother wants you to come inside. He said something about some Feroxi diplomats and what not."
Robin nodded and went to open the door before Lissa's voice called out to him again.
"Oh by the way! I'd hurry if I were you! Chrom didn't seem too happy!"
Robin waved his hand in acknowledgement and quickened his shuffle to a medium paced run. Running through the halls of the Ylissean Palace, Robin recognized many of the things he had seen countless times during his two years living in the capital in a solitary home, though Chrom insisted that Robin lived with his family in the palace. Chrom often joked that he needed to keep his tactician by him at all times in case any Plegian assassins popped up in the middle of the night. Of course, Robin knew that Chrom saw him not only as a useful tactician but also as a close friend and trusted ally. For this, Robin was grateful for having found the Shepherds. It was not often that someone was this trusting of a random man knocked out in the field. Robin himself would have never trusted these signs, yet Chrom was willing to reach out a hand not as a protector but as an equal. Robin smiled at these thoughts, ever-realizing the value of those closest to him.
Robin approached a large door leading to the throne room where Emmeryn had once sat. While the memories of her sacrifice were still painful, Chrom had come to terms that her dream was to keep peace with the happiness of the people being his first priority. To this day, Robin still faulted himself for failing to come up with a plan to save Emmeryn. Though Chrom himself had even told Robin that this was simply something out of his hands, Robin still felt that stinging sense of failure. He never wished to experience that horrible feeling again.
At last at the door after what had seemed like an endless hallway, Robin pushed them open and was greeted to Frederick, Chrom, Sumia, and the Feroxi envoy off to the side. Behind them all was Lissa. Only Naga knew how she had gotten ahead of him when he left a good two minutes ahead of her, but that thought soon slipped from his mind. As it stood, Chrom and Sumia were speaking to each other and did not notice the entrance of the solitary tactician while Frederick turned and merely nodded in acknowledgment to Robin.
"I'm not asking you to stay here with me. I'm saying I'm coming with you."
The blue-haired prince flashed a look of worry upon his face, letting out an audible groan. Sumia handed him the small-infant with her father's azure hair.
"B-but Lucina is newly born! She needs her mother now."
The chestnut-haired girl was unfazed, as if expecting this response from her husband.
"Can she not be wet-nursed as you and Lissa were? That is House Ylisse's tradition, is it not? Lucina is a strong child. She takes after her father. The brand in her left eye is not your only gift to her."
This only agitated the prince further.
"I'm worried about more than our child…I'm worried about you!"
Sumia, at last fed up with Chrom's coddling, let out a hard sigh as well and frowned.
"That's sweet. But I'm still coming."
"…I know better than to argue once your mind is made…"
Chrom let out a sigh of defeat, raising his hands in surrender to the pegasus knight in front of him. From behind him, Lissa let out a small giggle.
"Wow, Sumia really has trained you well! Keeehahaha!"
Still unnoticed in the corner, Robin began to phase out a little bit after watching the exchange between Chrom's family occur. He took notice of Sumia, a kind and gentle woman. She was a far-cry from the timid and nervous girl she was when he had met her, yet she still remained as calm as ever. Maybe it was after she had finally admitted her feelings from Chrom that she sturdied up?
"Heh, if I asked her about this, she'd just try to get me with another one of the friends in the Shepherds"
At last realizing that Robin was in the corner, Chrom waved his hand in greeting.
"I'm impressed, Chrom. You make quite a fine ruler. You've gone a long way from tending sheep."
Chrom chuckled, "Have I changed so much? It only seems like yesterday when I had found you in that field."
Robin smiled, "But two years have passed, and yet here we stand. It's almost like a cheesy ending to a play."
The two friends laughed with each other, a connection between them that had developed after many battles and trust over time. The past two years in rebuilding the war-torn countries only strengthened these bonds.
Chrom and Robin were both interrupted by the sound of the tall knight clearing his throat. "Forgive me for intruding on your talk, but I believe you had something to tell Robin, my lord?"
Chrom nodded, "Sorry about that, Frederick." The prince turned to Robin, daughter in his arms, "Long story short, we've received a call of aid from Regna Ferox. What exactly the threat is, I'm not sure but it's not the Plegians for sure. All we know is that Regna Ferox has come under attack from warships from the West."
Robin nodded in acknowledgment. "So, should we start heading off now? The sooner we get there, the more sleep I can get when we actually get to Regna Ferox. We can talk on the way there, after all."
The trip to Regna Ferox had not gone as smoothly as Robin had predicted it would. Where to begin, he had no idea. Obviously, Chrom had suggested that they all gather the Shepherds in case the immediate threat was right there in Regna Ferox. The plan seemed simply enough, but gathering most of the Shepherds was the issue as two long years had passed since they were all gathered together into one group. As it turned out, the messages of where the Shepherds were all supposed to gather at was mixed and as a result, Robin and Chrom were forced to spend much of their day gathering the Shepherds into one place.
Robin was at the end of his rope of patience, finally seeing all of the Shepherds gathered and ready to travel, though it was far too dark to travel at all and as a result, they were forced to spend the night at a camp.
Robin lay in his cot, his arm over his eyes. In his head, he prayed for Naga to end his suffering.
"One more thing goes wrong today, and I'll get a brain aneurism."
"Hey Robin! Are you tired or are you dead?" Robin's eyes flicked open, recognizing that voice. He turned up and took a look at Lissa and straightened his back from the cot.
"No, Lissa. I am not dead, but I am certainly tired. I swear to Naga that if we ever have to call the Shepherds together again, I will refuse on my life. Speaking of which, who was the person we assigned to send out the messages?!"
"I thiiiink…..I remember Chrom told Vaike to do it?"
Robin placed his face in his hands. "Well that would explain a lot. The man can barely find his way from the palace to his own house. How Chrom expected him to navigate across the country is just…." Robin let out another groan.
Lissa knelt down to the despairing tactician and brought her hands to his face. "Wait, Lissa. What are you doi-ehang?" Robin's last word was interrupted as Lissa stretched Robin's cheeks with her hands, smiling.
"Come on, Robin. You can't keep having this face all the time! I might think it's funny but other people will just think you're a weirdo!" She continued to contort his face into other patterns.
"Lisshaa, can yoush lets gosh uff mah fayce? Eesh horts."
The happy blonde girl kept on stretching his face. "Only if you promise that you won't try to overwork yourself, okaaay? Even Chrom feels bad that you aren't getting enough sleep. So pinky promise?"
Robin nodded and hooked his pinky with Lissa's, and she let go of his face. As she turned to leave the tent, Lissa looked at Robin.
"Oh, right! I almost forgot. Chrom told me to tell you to avoid the guys." By "guys," Robin knew full well what she meant by that. It was the posse of people that had essentially become his closest group of friends outside of Chrom and his family. Of course, he hadn't seen them in over two years, though he wasn't exactly thrilled to see them either. Much as they were his friends, they also had a tendency to pull pranks that would drive any man insane.
Robin sighed, "Let me guess, they have a bucket of ice water to pour down my pants again? Or is it spiders or fire-breathing scorpions this time?"
Lissa giggled, "No, no, no. They're just hunting you down to see who you married! I don't think they know you've been drowning in work these past years."
Robin closed his eyes. By the gods, they're going to give me so much trouble about this. I don't even want to think about it…
His train of thought was interrupted by Lissa's voice.
"Say Robin, I always thought it was funny that you, always talking to people, would've been married by now too or at least found a girlfriend! You're always matching people up in battle, though it always seems weird you never seem to get too attached to anyone." She finished off with a slight frown at Robin, waiting for a response.
Robin closed his eyes. He knew this was all too true. He cared for many of his companions as much as he would with a brother or sister. However, he was a tactician first, and he couldn't risk letting personal matters cloud his judgment when strategizing battle. He had seen how this had clouded Chrom's judgment when dealing with Emmeryn. Robin was determined to avoid this situation from happening again at all costs.
"Hey! Stop phasing out all the time! You're starting to make me think you really are dead!" Lissa snapped Robin out of his trance once again. "Anyways, yeah, you really should start looking around! No one wants to die all alone and lonely when they're old."
Robin raised his eyebrow at Lissa. "Speaking of romance, does Frederick know that you're following him all over the place?" Lissa froze as she was beginning to leave the tent. As she turned, Robin could see her face was now a bright cherry red.
"Ho..how did you…I mean I wasn't following anyone! Better question, why do YOU think I'm following him?" Robin smiled at the flustered girl.
"Lissa, you know that I patrol the camp at times, right? I always notice that whenever I needed something from Frederick, you always tend to be nearby. Just a tactician's intuition." Lissa stuttered for a while and swiftly left the tent. Robin chuckled to himself and laid his head on the makeshift bed. It had been a long day, but at the very least he could get some rest before the last half of the trip to Regna Ferox. The winters there were harsh, and Robin certainly wasn't looking forward to venturing through the snow once again.
Lissa's words still rung through his head, though he took little notice of it when at last, sleep began to rush over his face.
"I'll deal with finding someone later…"
The cold, winter, air whipped across Robin's face. It felt like someone had slapped him with a cold mackerel, if there was such a feeling in the world. At last reaching the gates of Regna Ferox, Frederick raised the banner of the Ylissean House, signifying that they had arrived. The great bronze gates began to creak before opening slowly. Robin rode next to Chrom, who was accompanied by Frederick, Sumia, and Lissa. Directly behind Robin were Gaius and Vaike, who had been prodding Robin the whole time about his "mystery" wife, though Robin denied all rumors of such tidings. Behind those two was Ricken, another one of Robin's friends, though he still possessed much of the youthful energy that he was accustomed to.
Robin would have drawn Tyrfing and cleaved Vaike and Gaius in two had he not been so tired. As he had guessed, he was awoken that morning to a cold bucket of frogs dumped on his head (courtesy of Lissa), followed by many excited greetings and questions about his romantic endeavors since the Plegians were defeated. As it turned out, speculation had gone wild after Chrom's wedding with Robin often being the subject of many amusing, but false, rumors. Most amusing to him were those which saw him being wed to a princess from across the ocean or even one that had him married to a serpent disguised as a woman. In any case, Robin had put an end to these rumors.
"I guess these idiots need something to talk about. After all, everyone had always been wondering when Chrom and Sumia were finally going to get together."
Despite being annoyed beyond sanity by these rumors, a smile still cracked across Robin's face to have seen his companions once more. "Idiots they may be, but they are still my friends," he said to himself with a smile on his face. From behind him, the all too recognizable voice of Vaike rang out in mock anger.
"Hey! Did you just call Teach an idiot?! We should dump another one of y'all buckets on his head!"
"Hey now...Aren't we overreacting a little bit here?" Robin's face flashed in pure horror as he saw that the bucket of snakes was no joke.
Robin's screams of pain rang out throughout the Feroxi capital, accompanied by the laughter of many of the Shepherds.
"We've been waiting for almost three days. We don't have that much time, my good Khan." The light-blue haired man spoke these words with an almost annoyed tone, though Flavia was hardly annoyed by this. The bald buffoon she had to deal with on a daily basis was far worse than this childish noble from Rosanne.
"You know I could easily throw you out into the snow? After all, you seem to dislike the Feroxi hospitality we've shown you up until this point."
Virion raised his hands in resignation, "My dear lady, I hard-"
Flavia interjected, "I am not your lady, little noble. I am the Feroxi Khan and you will address me as such until you learn to respect your betters!" She drew her sword in emphasis, pointing towards to Virion's groin area.
"My dear lad-Khan! There's hardly any need for such violence! What I meant to say is that me and my dear retainer here are extremely indebted to you and your hospitality! So please sheath your sword and leave my privates uncleaved!"
Flavia snorted and put her sword back in its sheath. She turned her attention to the dark-pink haired knight to the left of Virion. "You girl, tell me how you manage to deal with this sad excuse of a duke?"
The woman flashed a small smile, "I have my ways. Also, having a pretty wyvern to eat him if he does anything wrong helps tremendously."
Flavia let out a hearty laughter, "You! I like you! I do regret to say this though, what was your name again?"
"Cherche, mighty Khan," she replied
Flavia smiled to Cherche and reached out her hand, "Well met, Cherche! Never mind with the titles. You may simply call me Flavia. As for that buffoon over there, his name is Basilio, though you might have figured that out already with our constant little debates we have."
Mouth agape, Virion interjected, "Ah, dear Khan, I feel as if-" Flavia's sword was once again produced on his lower parts.
"What did I just say? You stay quiet until Chrom gets here. Then maybe you can hope you'll get to leave this place with your privates intact." Virion closed his mouth and remained silent.
Truth be told, Flavia had seen this Cherche training during their stay at Regna Ferox. Flavia was, by her own standards, a mighty warrior even by Feroxi standards. However, she had seen Cherche and recognized a fine warrior when she saw one. She was calm and composed with both her axe and the lance, not to mention she was able to do this all while mounted atop a fearsome wyvern. The only thing Flavia found out of place was how she was able to interact with the wyvern without getting her head eaten as most of the wyverns around the Plegian and Feroxi border were captured and restrained until battle was called. This girl though, she was able to not only avoid getting eaten by this wyvern but also earn its trust. It was something she had never seen before in her years of battle.
"Heh, maybe you should fight for me in the next tournament of the Khans. You would be a mighty champion for the Feroxi throne."
Cherche laughed softly, "I'm flattered, Flavia. But I would have to decline, as my primary focus is to reclaim Rosanne and ensure my lord does not get himself killed by either the Valmese or by his own people he so kindly left behind. Perhaps another time."
Virion opened his mouth again, "My dear Khan, first you threaten my bodily parts and now you attempt to recruit my finest warrior? I would say that at this point, you are in debt-" He was cut off as the warrior-queen thrust her sheath into Virion's groin.
With the duke nearly crying in pain, Flavia looked at the pitiful sigh. "Don't say I didn't warn you."
Virion reached out his hand to Cherche, "Cherche, please…help me….can't feel…legs…blacking out…"
As she helped her pitiful lord up, a messenger burst through the door. "My Khan! Prince Chrom and his entourage have arrived at the gates. Shall I let them in?"
Flavia gave a nod and stood in front of the throne, waiting. She turned to the duke, who was now up, "Virion, get ready to explain. You finally get to use that blabbering mouth of yours for something useful."
Virion feebly smiled and tried his best to assume a lordly posture, though still having intense pain within his groin.
The doors opened up, with Raimi at the front. "My lord Khan, I present to you Prince Chrom."
"I apologize I could not come sooner, Flavia"
Flavia smiled, "What matters is you are here, Chrom."
"So is it true Valmese ships have set sell? What can you tell us?"
"Not much more than that, I'm afraid. The details remain hazy. Just a moment…." Flavia turned to her back and shouted out, "Oaf! Where are you, you big, bald-Chrom is here!"
A large bald man stepped out from the shadows, raising his hand in greeting to Chrom, which he returned. "Ah! Well met, boy. I knew you'd come. We have someone you should hear from. I believe you've met? He claims to have insight into Valm's intentions."
Flavia turned to Virion, who was doing his very best to seem as if no physical harm had befallen him. Upon being called upon, he awkwardly shuffled to Chrom, smiling with a face that both reflected pain and a mock happiness.
"Good day, lords and ladies. How fare you all? Allow me the great please, and indeed honor, of introducing myself…"
Chrom sighed, remember every reason why he had been happy to see Virion leave, "We all know who you are, Virion. Although, I don't believe we've met your companion?" He indicated to Cherche, standing to Virion's left.
In triumph, Virion stuck his chest out, ignoring the pain in his legs for a moment of glory, "Hmph! You know nothing! Prepare for my great unmasking! Long have I posed as archest of archers! Yet that was but a ruse! Yea, an artifice, to disguise myself as a mere above-average man. In truth, I am-"
Seeing her lord begin to get into his tempo of bravado and noticing that Flavia was growing impatient, with her hand on the pommel of her sword, Cherche decided that it would be in the best interests of her lord and for time to speed things along.
"Ahem. May I present Duke Virion. I am his humble servant, Cherche."
As the armor-clad knight named Cherche introduced herself, Virion and Chrom began talks as to specifying the threats that lie ahead. Robin was mystified by this woman. She would have seemed a common maid had she not been wearing what resembled a rider's armor. As the rest began to continue to talk, Robin looked with great interest at the woman named Cherche.
Perhaps it was a vice of his, but Robin could not help himself but to see everyone as a potential tool in the arts of war. With occasional quick glances, he could tell by her physique that she was clearly somewhat trained to fight, though her armor suggested that she rode some sort of beast. Whether this was a pegasus or a wyvern was yet to be determined. Robin continued to throw glances at Cherche like this for quite a while until he noticed that Chrom and the rest of the people in the room were all staring at him.
"Uh, Robin? Are you okay? You've been looking back and forth between the ground and at Cherche for quite a while."
Robin suddenly realized with a jolt at the situation he had landed himself in. Behind him, he could hear Lissa trying her very best to stifle her laughter.
By Naga, she's going to tell the guys, and I'll never hear the end of this
Virion chuckled, though it seemed as if something was paining him, "Hah! My dear Cherche is a gem upon the crown of Rosanne, the diamond of my house! Of course she has caught the fancy of our dear tacti-" He was instantly cut off by a swift blow to the groin from Flavia.
"What did I tell you about saying stupid things, you oaf?!" Flavia placed her sheath back into her belt. She then turned to Robin, "Though it is true, you have been unfocused for some time. I know better than to question your intuition, but is something wrong with Cherche in particular?" By this point, a sign of annoyance seemed to sweep across Cherche's face. It was a natural reaction, after all, with one assuming that something was wrong with her only moments after having met her.
Robin raised his hands and smiled, "No, no, no. Forgive me my lady. I meant no offense at all. I was just listening in on the conversation without knowing where I looked."
A small voice spoke from behind, "Your 'listening' really involved a whole bunch of peeking at her!"
"Lissa, you're not helping."
Chrom sighed, "In any case, Robin. We need to get ready for the Valmese landing over at the port. I trust you'll want to call the Shepherds for a meeting tonight?"
Robin nodded, and they all bid their farewells. As Robin turned to leave, he shot one last glance over at Cherche. She was turned away from him, though Robin had no idea why he even looked over at her in the first place. He noticed a slight scar on the top of her back, maybe a battle scar? Before he could take another glance, Chrom had dragged him back into the hall.
As they walked through the halls, Chrom laughed to himself, "Well, Robin. You certainly owe me one for bailing you out." Robin looked at Chrom in confusion.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that you were looking at her quite intently. I dare say things may have gone far worse had Virion not been there and had you not been an adept liar. Don't believe for one second that after these two years that I'll believe your were 'listening' to the situation." Chrom took a look at Robin's face, his brows extremely furrowed in annoyance. This only served to make Chrom laugh even harder.
"One day, Chrom. Your tactician will get a brain aneurism, and you'll cry yourself to sleep without me."
Chrom pat Robin on his back. "Don't be so surly, Robin. After all, it's what friends do, right?"
Robin hesitated then smiled back, raising his hand and patting Chrom on the back as well, "Right, friends."
Well there ya go. I started it off and I promise that most of the scenes won't be those straight from the game. I'll be creative with how much more pain I can cause Virion and Robin. I'm writing this for fun so whether or not reviews come in is of no matter, but I welcome happy reviews and constructive criticism.
Anyways, depending on how finals go, the next chapter can either appear within the next few days or next week.
Have a good weekend and hope I see y'all next time.