Chrom slightly wonders if his tactician might be even remotely insane. Defeating their general and lowering the Valmese's morale, he can understand. Finds it quite simple and exact, to be honest. But defeating an army with only their elite, and setting their ships ( along with the Valm fleet ) on fire to assure no survivors from their onslaught? He thinks he has every right to question her sanity.
But his trust outweighs his doubt, and soon enough, Chrom is striking down their general. The rest of the Valmese army openly stare, dropping their weapons and running in frenzy at the loss of their leader.
"What now?" he pants out, sheathing Falchion as he walks towards his tactician. Her eyes are practically shining in concentration. Her eyes are shining in concentration and though she makes no motion to assure him she has heard, Chrom knows that his tactician is already calculating the exact moment they set the sea on fire.
"We let the world burn." She murmurs and Chrom practically hears her smug smirk carving itself on her face. He shouts a command overhead, letting the other soldiers know that the time is near. The soldiers around him are nervous, he hears one murmur a curse and a prayer.
Chrom braces himself as Ceci's hands tighten around her fire tome. It needs only a few weak incantations and the Plegian's oil supply for her and the other mages. Chrom looks around and sees that their mages are already set, tomes on hand. He worries slightly about Tharja and Henry, but Libra and Olivia are with them and he's fairly certain those two are enough to satiate the ex-Plegian dark mages and ensure their safety. Miriel is on another boat, but Gregor is already looming over her, eager to jump out of the vessel in a moment's notice.
Chrom can vaguely make out the rest of the Valmese fleet in front of them with the rest of their own behind. He exchanged a look with his tactician and she nods in response.
"Steady!" He yells, and it is the mages' cue to take aim and start reading their incantations. Ceci raises her hand once she spots the oil barrels on the vacant Ylissean ship in the middle of the sea. Chrom turns on his heel and rushes to jump out of their kamikaze ship. "Now!"
From the corner of his eye he finds the pegasi and wyvern riders taking as many of their soldiers back to the clear fleets. He manages to land with a forward roll, standing up with some help from Gaius as he runs back to the rails and calls for Ceci. Their tactician whirls around and grins almost manically at him, but stops in her tracks only a moment later. Lucina joins him near the railings and scowls. "What is she doing?" she asks and Chrom honestly can't answer.
Chrom hears a gasp and a strangled "Ceci, no!" and his attention is back on the burning fleet. His tactician is lost from her original spot. "That idiot!" he hears Gaius yell, his cloak is already lying on the ground and he looks ready to mount Minerva any second. Libra is still dressing Cherche's wounds, but the wyvern's mistress expresses her disproval to let Gaius on her precious Minerva anyway.
Lucina gasps, staring at the crowd. Chrom turns to his daughter and her face is absolutely drained of colour. "Morgan isn't here." Her voice isn't even above a whisper.
Chrom's hit head on with a shocking realization.
Of all the time she decides to try and be a mother – Chrom calls out her name again. Sumia mounts her Pegasus but even Vaike knows it's practically suicide for both rider and mount to even try. Lucina isn't willing to lose her mother a second time either. Amidst their argument, they hear a loud splash, a tell-tale sign of something breaking the surface of the water. Most rush over the edge of the ship, craning their necks in an attempt to see what exactly is going on. Chrom sends a short prayer to Naga for the safety of his tactician and her family.
They hold their breaths.
There's bubbles coming up before the surface of the sea breaks again and they catch the familiar mess of dark midnight-hued hair fanning against the water. They waste no second more as Lucina calls for Gerome and the wyvern rider is already off in the sky, sweeping over the flaming ships. Wyverns have always been more tolerant with the heat.
Chrom watches as Ceci hoists up what seems to be an unconscious Morgan over Minerva's back. He heaves a sigh of relief much like the others as they see Gerome fly back up the skies mere seconds before another oil tank explodes, fully engulfing the fleets in flames once and for all.
"The sea itself is on fire!" Lissa gasps out, marvelling at the red flames replacing the blue sea. He reminds her lightly that she still needs to fix up Sully's slightly dislocated shoulder.
Only a few seconds pass before Minerva lands back on their vessel. Chrom is no doubt first in line on berating their tactician on her more than foolish decision. He stops short with all he wants to say thrown out the window when Gerome gently eases her down, Morgan clutching tightly on her coat. Even Cordelia and Libra hold their tongues when their eyes fall on the two tacticians.
"Now look here you idiot – are you seriously a genius because that was the stupidest thing –" Chrom doesn't need to shut Gaius up, silently thanking Miriel for elbowing the thief into silence. A small crowd gathers in a semi-circle, a comfortable distance away from their tactician and her son, allowing them some room.
Chrom quietly watches as Ceci raises a shaky hand, teeth slightly chattering from the cold breeze, before brushing away wet strands of hair from Morgan's face. Brady steps forward, his staff in hand and a bag full of vulneraries and concoctions slung on his shoulder.
"He's fine…" she murmurs, they strain their ears to hear her. "He inhaled a bit of smoke but… but he's fine." Morgan coughs for a good few seconds as if to prove her point before succumbing to sleep once again. "Don't… don't waste the staves on us. Check the wounded."
Her voice sounds so soft and so vulnerable that Chrom wants to yell at both her to not fall asleep and the rest of the crew so she can get some rest. He looks up to tell her something but she is already fast asleep. Stahl breaks through the crowd and wraps a blanket around her, carefully prying off Morgan's almost iron grip on her coat. He does the same with Morgan before Vaike jogs slightly to join him, ungracefully slinging the child over his shoulder almost like a potato sack. Morgan doesn't even stir.
"Ogre's teeth, this kid is light! Who's on mess duty tonight?" Noire timidly raises her hand. "Yeah, well! Listen to 'ol Teach and give this kid some extra, aight? No wonder he's going off and fainting and all that!" Vaike grunts and turns to Stahl, carrying Ceci in a bridal manner.
"We'll take them to the cabins below deck so they can get some rest." Stahl informs him. With a nod from Chrom, he and Vaike scurry downstairs, Cordelia and Lissa hot on their trails as they shout something about undressing and catching a cold. Chrom clears his throat and turns back to his soldiers on board.
"We should have had at least three more days until Valm, but circling around this hell pit requires an extra day." He reminds himself to congratulate Ceci later for such a large scale success. He pats his past self on the back for picking up the amnesiac tactician in the fields that day. "Though we have won today, we still have a war brewing ahead of us in the days to come. You are all dismissed unless the need to call for our lot arises."
The group scatter, some heading down the cabins while the wounded and the healers stay above deck gathering their materials to finish their task before dinner. Lucina is by his side, stone faced but looking a tad bit shaken up as she takes a glance at the fire dying down in the distance.
"They'll… they'll be alright." Her tone seems unsure, as if she's asking him instead of reassuring. Chrom places a hand on her shoulder and gives her what he hopes is a gentle enough smile. He squeezes lightly and Lucina gives him a small grin of her own.
"They'll be fine."
a/n: hello! have a Chrom!Centered!chapter! updates will be done on Fridays only because school is starting up again for me. u v u;;
thank you, everyone!