One whole year. A year had passed since Exalt Chrom of Ylisse had banded together with the members of his group, the Shepherds, and all the friends he'd made later, to put a final end to the threat of the Fell Dragon Grima. But it had been at a terrible cost. That cost had been Robin, strategist of the Shepherds and living embodiment of Grima. The Divine Dragon Naga had warned them all that if Robin had been the one to strike the final blow, Grima would die, and Robin would cease to exist.
But Chrom held on to one thing, and one thing only.
A clinking noise interrupted his thoughts and he looked up to see his old friend Frederick, the Knight Captain. The older man bowed. "Milord."
Chrom smiled. "Frederick. Where's your wife?"
Frederick flinched a small bit. "She's busy caring for Severa. She wants to make sure her daughter's not as aggressive as we found out."
Beside the Exalt, a pretty, grey-haired woman paused in her cooing over her own daughter, Lucina, to frown. "I haven't seen Cordelia in so long. I feel pretty guilty about it."
The knight smiled. "She misses you too, Sumia." Chrom had insisted that the friends he'd made call him and his wife by name as much as possible. "I'll tell her you called."
"Will you? Thank you, Frederick."
"What news do you have?" the Exalt asked his friend, getting down to brass tacks.
"We've searched all the fields but one in Ylisse, and Basilio, Flavia, Virion and Say'ri have searched across their lands as well. No sign."
"All but one?"
Frederick gave his lord a small smile. "The field, Chrom."
Chrom stared at him before a laugh escaped him. "Of course. Send for Lissa, Frederick."
"Yes, milord," the knight bowed and left.
"What did Frederick mean when he said the field, Chrom?" Sumia asked her husband.
Chrom looked at her with a smile. "Did I ever tell you the full story of how I met Robin?"
It was all so familiar. He'd seen those trees before, and those blades of grass. Out of habit, Chrom had belted on Falchion. The light Naga had granted it had dissipated slowly since Grima fell, falling silent some weeks before.
Walking beside him was his sister, the blonde-haired Lissa. She wore the pink robes of a sage she'd become accustomed to wearing late in their journey, and her staff, which she now called Robin's Hope, was strapped on her back.
Frederick rode his faithful horse nearby, carrying only one lance, opting to leave most of his arsenal in Ylisstol. Various magic tomes – some battered and old, some fresh and new – were in his saddlebag.
A familiar sight appeared in the grass in front of him. Dark maroon robes that were stained green by the grass. A mop of silver hair atop the head, the face serene and handsome.
Chrom restrained himself. Finally, after so long. He shook Lissa's shoulder lightly.
"What?" she asked, before looking in front of her. She gasped and touched the ring on her left hand, her thumb running over the large diamond that surmounted the gold.
A smile crossed Chrom's face and he looked pointedly at his sister. The girl looked puzzled for a while, before recognition flashed in her eyes and she nodded. Chrom signalled to Frederick to stay back and the two siblings stepped forward.
The man's eyes started to flutter open and they smiled.
"Chrom… We have to do something," Lissa said to Chrom, copying an intonation she'd used before.
"What do you propose we do?" the Exalt asked back. They 'noticed' the man's eyes open. "I see you're awake now," Chrom said to him.
"Hey there," Lissa smiled, holding herself back.
"There are better places to take a nap than on the ground, you know," Chrom chuckled. "Give me your hand."
The man looked dazed and held out his hand to Chrom. Where Grima's brand had once been, there was only bare skin.
Chrom pulled the man up and smiled. "Welcome back. It's over now."
The man blinked briefly before it all clicked in his mind. How he was found, the adventures, the wars…the sacrifice. "Chrom…"
Grinning, the Exalt gripped him in a powerful, brotherly embrace. "Do you have any idea how long I looked for you, Robin? Never wander off like that again."
Robin chuckled, a welcome sound. "I'll try not to." He disentangled himself from his friend and looked at Lissa.
The princess had tears standing in her eyes as she stared at Robin, toying with her ring.
"Lissa…it's good to see you again," the strategist smiled.
Lissa did not respond with words. Instead she stepped forward and slapped him across the face.
"Ow!" Robin shouted, rubbing his right cheek. "What was that for?!"
"For leaving me like that!" the blonde girl replied. Quickly, she moved forward and framed his face with her hands and kissed him soundly on the lips. When she pulled back, she was blushing. "We haven't had Morgan or Owain yet, you know. I can't let you die yet."
Robin blushed at the mention of their two children. "Uh…I don't know what to say to that."
Chrom laughed. "Lissa, you managed to stump the best mind in the world."
Lissa beamed. "It's my job as the best mind's wife."
Robin rolled his eyes. "I've only been back for a few hours and the teasing's already started."
They all laughed together. Chrom put a hand on Robin's shoulder and the group started to walk towards the road that led to Ylisstol.
On a nearby hill, a cobalt-haired woman stood with a hand on her hip. She smiled. "This future is a bright one." The smile still on her face, she walked off into the sunset, like the cliché of the romantic epics of old.