A/N: This chapter is a romcom. The theme of this chapter has to be shit happens. I think I laughed my ass off writing the last section. But it does start out rather serious with plot significance and all. I'll try to post the next Chapter on Christmas morning. Thank you Xen Kiv again for the beta.
Also on (c2ii tumblr com) I'm hosting Tactician Roll Call. Basically I'll draw your avatar if you post your streetpass card and tag it tacticianrollcall. You can also PM me or Deviantart me! Let's all share streetpass cards!
PQ is getting longer so I'll put a checkpoint author's notes. It's a timeline of significant events thus far. From now on I'll also put a brief summary of important things that occurs last chapter. I apologize if I don't write clear enough. But I hope to better myself! Thank you for the support!
Summary also include where PQ differ from canon. Read at your own risk.
ST (South Town) is our general timescale. Chapter one is 0 ST. M for months W for weeks and D for days.
0 ST (Ch1 and Ch2) Prince Chrom arrives in South Town and recruits a tactician. That night Robin reveals her origin and sings a Plegian hymn. There's no forest fire and no risen. With her memories, Robin reroutes a faster route to Ylisstol. They do not cross paths with Sully and Virion.
6D ST Frederick falls over from hunger. Robin begins to prepare separate meals for the Great Knight.
2W ST (Ch3) A day away from Ylisstol, Robin scouts for a hidden lake to have the Shepherds freshen up. Chrom walks in on Robin bathing, romantic development issues. Robin accidently exposes her mark of Grima.
2W +1D ST (Ch3 and Ch4) Chrom promises to keep the mark a secret. The group arrives in Ylisstol. Lissa reveals she and Chrom are royalty, much to Robin's dismay. Libra heals Robin's wounds while Chrom, Lissa and Frederick convince Emmeryn and the court of her stay. Robin begins work as tactician. Chrom visits her at night. More (romantic?) development occurs.
2W + 2D ST (Ch5) Robin is introduced to the rest of the Shepherds (in the worst way possible). Lissa inspires Robin to continue. The Plegian finds new respect for the impish princess. Libra joins the Shepherds due to Robin's request. Maribelle joins to protect her dear Lissa from the suspicious Plegian.
3W ST Ricken convinces Chrom he can fight (With the example Maribelle can be in an army).
1M ST (Ch5) The Shepherds accustoms to Robin's training regimen. The two month training excursion is approved. Chrom swindles Robin into sharing a tent. Cordelia joins the Shepherds as a representative from the Ylisse Calvary.
2M ST (Ch6) (Romantic development) Training continues. The Shepherds fight at Far fort and rescues Gaius and an unnamed boy. Gaius joins the Shepherds. Robin noticed his criminal brand.
2M + 1D ST the Shepherds view the remains of a town attacked by Plegians. Robin fears for Chrom's morality.
2M + 1W ST Chrom rejects Donnel as a recruit.
2M + 2W ST Shepherds stops by South Town. Allene talks to the Prince.
3M ST With no immediate threat from Risen, the court is less eager for diplomatic relations with Regna Ferox. Without supernatural support, Plegia is less confident in their attacks. Although tension rises, war is still questionably looming. Exalt Emmeryn and Prince Chrom enters political battle against the nobles.
4M ST Chrom convinces the court. The Shepherds make haste for Fort Ferox.
4M + 3W ST (Ch7) (More romantic development) The Shepherds arrive at Fort Ferox. However with the additional month of hesitancy, the match between champions has already passed. Plegia has yet to provoke Ferox. The warrior realm has less incentive to support Ylisse. Prince Chrom arranges a meeting with the West Khan.
-~ [o] ~-
"This looks odd. Are you sure it's edible?"
Chrom stared into the bubbling mess. It looked worse than anything he has ever made, and his own cooking managed to knock out Vaike in one spoonful.
"Your highness, I have experimented on local fauna to be positive this potion is not poisonous. From the data I obtained, there is a significant increase in body heat retention and physical activity increase. Substantial effectiveness of this concoction is directly related to dark magic input from Libra. Does this report suffice?" Miriel wiped her glasses of fog.
"This batch shall be ready by nightfall. Half a spoonful should be a sufficient dose. I am content to conclude dark magic appeals to the scientific method. I am eager for further experimentation."
Chrom nodded hesitantly. The prince had commissioned Miriel early on when they first entered Ferox, to create a medicine against frigid weather. The dark tome they found in Far Fort proved useful. Sir Libra finally grasped the basics of hexes. It has taken a while but with combination of science and hexes, Miriel somehow managed to produce this promising putrid potion.
"Great! Robin will surely cheer up with this."
His tactician had a cloud of doom surround her as of late. But at least she will not have to endure the bitter weather soon.
"I have yet to compile a methodology to measure statistics of happiness in quantity. Should I-"
"Thank you Miriel that will be all. I'll return in the evening with Robin."
-~ [o] ~-
Arena Ferox prevailed through the hard white cuts of snow. As promised, the West Khan greeted the Shepherds the day they arrived. However as Flavia said, Basilio expects a duel before any political discussion begins. The West Khan explained a decisive decision regarding foreign policy should be fought between champions. This was an intelligent move. After all, his army will take no casualty preventing the Shepherds from an advantageous position.
Unfortunately, his champions are still recovering. Instead of a battle of ten on ten, Basilio has set an actual duel. The prince will fight alone, ruining most of Robin's dual guard preparation. Luckily the Khan's strongest warrior was on his way to the west port of Ferox when the Shepherds arrived. It will take at least a week for him to return to the Arena.
And so Robin, for the past few days, has dedicated all her efforts into training Chrom as a solo unit. His skills as a Paladin are all but nullified as his opponent was a swordsman. Aegis can only guard damage against projectiles like arrows and magic. Defender, like dual guard and dual strike, requires a partner. Even the prince's Charm was only effective around other units. In fact after thinking it over, Chrom is far from suitable for fighting alone. The only skill he will benefit in this bout is Luna.
Since the day they met, the prince and the tactician have fought side by side. Robin criticized her naïve thinking. How could she not prepare the man for when they must separate? The young woman groaned into her hood. It was time she stopped playing around as well. No more horses and Pegasus, she is to be a tactician once more.
As tactician, she will guide Chrom back to lord style of combat. Without the need for terrain advantage or travel, the Prince can do away with horses. Chrom fought at his finest on his feet. Currently the prince worked on his lance form. Hopefully by the day of the duel, Chrom will be able to throw a forged short spear. Initiating battle from a distance, the lord can avoid a nasty Astra. And the next turn Chrom will have no need to fear Vantage.
There is nothing to fear, Chrom will surely win. This does not stop Robin from slamming her head into her work desk. The lord has banned her from watching him train. The tactician argued it was an unreasonable order only for every Shepherd in presence to agree with the Prince.
Robin refuses to believe she was being overprotective. Sully had attacked with Astra as practice but it could have dealt crippling damage! The duel is so close, it's not her fault she guarded the prince in reflex…protecting him from all fifteen strikes in a row. In fact, not only is she banned from observing, the Prince has also refrained her from approaching training ground at all. She has no idea how much process Chrom has made. Clearly he was doing this out of spite.
Robin sighs. She wrapped the wool blanket closer to her form. But it could be as Lissa suspected, her own guilt and fear of failure was causing irrational actions. There's really nothing she could do at this point and it was frustrating. Once more, the tactician slammed her head.
"Sup Bubbles, brooding again?"
Behind her new crate of books popped out an orange flop.
"Gaius did you need something?"
As usual, the man invades her personal space. He rested his chin on her right shoulder. His body towered over hers.
"Ah grumpy grumpy, does Ferox not feed you enough?"
"No Gaius, I'm grumpy because it's freezing" she groaned.
The longer they stayed in this white landscape, the moodier she gets. The endless winter arrived. It was one more irritable constant that doesn't go her way.
"Well now you can smile because I've got something up your fancy"
With a sleight of hands, he brings to light a stunning pendant. With the shine of crimson reflecting the candle glow, Robin found herself distracted from previous anxieties. Satisfied by her reaction, Gaius opened the lock and brought chain around her neck.
"Wait, I can't accept this."
She held his hand away save for a moment of hesitation when the jewel passed her eyes.
"This must cost a fortune and I'm still trying to return the books you pilfered."
She glared at the orange hair man, attempting to hide the temptation of such luxury beneath disapproving look. All his gifts were attractive. Gaius had an excellent sense of persuasion and bribery. In fact, two nights ago, he hustled the prince into paying for a trip to the local circus. It did lift Chrom's mood immensely. But the point is she will not be bought off with trinkets. Actually there wasn't even a need to convince her of anything.
"I told you I'll keep that tattoo a secret. I gave you my word."
She had seen his prison brand the same day he joined the Shepherds. It was recent events that caused her to slip this knowledge. Chrom's habit of walking in on her has finally rubbed off. It was arctic outside, and Robin was in rush to get her bath over with. The young woman mistakenly entered the men's side. She was lucky in sense it was Gaius by himself, and the small clothe had yet to be removed. And yet her luck was dry as it was Gaius and not someone like Stahl or Libra who would brush such incident aside with ease.
It was then the thief realized his secret was out. And ever since that incident, Gaius has attempted to bribe her into the secrecy she already choose to follow.
"You know as tactician I cannot condone thievery of any kind. Sure I may turn a blind eye to missing cinnamon buns from the mess hall but jewelry of this value…where in the world did you swipe this?"
Her initial shock faded into more pressing concerns. Her mouth started to ramble.
"Please tell me it wasn't from the Khan's treasury. Or at least this was the only thing you swiped. Curse Naga, if you did, I'll do everything in my power to return it. We want Ferox as an ally not an enemy! Or worse, what if they hunt you done-"
"Whoa Bubbles! I'm more important than the alliance? That's real sweet of you."
Robin's face turned a hue of dangerous red. She grabbed the man's shoulders and shook him harshly. How could he stay so calm?
"I'm glad you think this here charm is a priceless national treasure. Because that's its worth in sentimental value 'cause I made it."
"You made this? It's…magnificent."
He seemed rather proud as a mischievous grin grew on his face. This new prospect lured her conviction to pieces.
"No, I can't."
She quickly turned her head away.
"I won't take bribery especially not for something I already decided to do. I don't know why you need assurance in this manner when I would think my word is enough."
"Look, I trust."
Robin raised one of her eyebrows. Does he really? He was Plegian like her and that right away meant treachery.
"Honest and truly."
His viridian eyes were lucid. It is apparent he is sincere.
"It's just that in my business, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Gal who says she'll do something for nothing? Well, she's the first one wanting payback down the line!"
You're not in that business anymore was the first thing that came to the tactician's mind. That and the fact Gaius just used a spiteful break up as his example. Was he really giving her more dirt?
"That's…not a bad idea."
The orange haired man looked to her in bemusement. There was something the tactician was dying to know. She may not take bribery but she may take an equal trade.
Gaius would have firsthand knowledge of Plegian stability. This topic has bothered her greatly ever since they met the East Khan. Robin feared to probe previously as Gaius appeared to have Chrom's favor. She cannot allow anyone, especially not the prince, to know her concern for her birth nation. The question is does she trust Gaius enough to ask?
"How about trading a secret for a secret?"
He tilted his head slightly to the right. Her eyes glance to the left to insure the door was shut. Yes she trusts him.
"Tell me about Plegia."
He stared at her in surprise.
"What's going on between the Mad King and the Hierophant? There's a division in the government isn't there?"
"Am I supposed to know that? I'm just a thief."
"No you're not."
It's time to see if this gamble proves fruitful.
"That wasn't any band of brigands at Far Fort; it was the King's private militia. Normal bands of brigands don't consist of assassins and they don't have the audacity to slaughter an entire town."
The room became silent. The rest of the Shepherds were haunted by the reality of war. It distracted them from this truth. But she has not shared this knowledge and now Gaius knows Robin kept cards up her sleeve. The fire flickered.
"You sure hide a lot of secrets underneath that pretty face of yours Bubbles."
"Who are you?"
His eyes narrowed, suspicion well deserved. The untrained eye would not have noticed the thief's right hand drifting closer to his knife pocket. And now its undeniable Gaius was loyal to the Shepherds.
"I'm no spy if that's what you fear. If I was, then I would have no need to ask such things from you. If there are internal affairs, it could prove to be lethal weakness to Plegia."
He stayed quiet and she wonders if he is contemplating.
"Understanding you have yet to tell me or Chrom on your own, you're afraid of an invasion too right? You don't want mindless revenge against Ylisse but you also don't want a repeat of the war. "
"Blue's not that kind of guy."
His reply was terse. Chrom can convert even the nonbelievers. But in Plegia, what is not said is often more important than what is. Silence tells her Gaius knows with such an advantage Ylisse may do as it please. The nobles are far from submissive under the Exalt's rule. Even if Emmeryn declare peace, there are those who are willing to take the punishment for the benefits of war. The court for certain will applaud an end to their continuous annoyance.
"War and politics, that's the problems of the fancy royals, I'm just here for desserts. "
"I don't think so. I know you're a good person. You wouldn't have risked your life to save that boy else wise. That was an act against the King and to act against the King means to betray Plegia as a whole."
Gaius shrugged his shoulders as though he could care less. As usual he tries to brush off the tension. He mumbled in his typical nonchalant way.
"But that's your secret huh? All this time everyone thought you and Blue were two peas in a pod. Guess no one has it easy."
Her eyes soften. She cares for Chrom deeply. This much she has accepted. But ignorance is bliss. The prince will not betray her but he has no such love for her homeland. To share these thoughts would only cause him strife and pressure. Should the prince act like she feared, then he will only suffer from guilt and regret.
There is only so much she can share. This too, Gaius understands for he is not so different. He closed his eyes, his hands slacks on her bed sheets. It seems he will disclose some information.
"After the war, Plegia split into two factions, the order of the old rule and the assembly of new Grimleal. The Mad King reigns over the old order and Hierophant Chiral leads the new."
The war ended when the Exalt died during his assault on the capital. In the process, he orphaned the current King Gangrel. There is no wonder the man held a personal grudge on Ylisse.
"The Grimleal split? I know the previous hierophant Validar shaped the old order between the Grimleals and the royal line, but I have yet to hear notable information regarding the new hierophant."
Hierophant Validar died around the time she was born. The man's entire family was murdered by an early act of Ylisse aggression. But from what she can guess, the old royalty prevented Hierophant Chiral from prominent change. Their deaths worked to the Chiral's favor. While Gangrel was only a child, he had the opportunity direct Plegia into a new age of rule.
No king would be willing to give up power. The struggle between Gangrel and Chiral must be the cause behind the schism. What she cannot understand is what in the world did the Hierophant try to do? The man must have attempted to control the mass through a shift in religion but what could be so effective?
Robin is an expert on the political significance of the Grimleal. Religion ruled over every citizen. Their power is undeniable. But the Hierophant had no power over an army. Even Dark Mages are under the rule of the King.
In all her studies, she was never taught to worship Grima. She has no clue what the actual belief of Grimleal pertained. Perhaps she was too young before was forced to leave but the topic of theology was avoided in favor for secular activities of the cult. Right now, this left a gaping hole in her logic.
"Tell me about Chiral. Why haven't I heard about this before?"
"Well Plegia is trying to keep this hush-hush, not exactly good face to show. Your typical people are taught to blame it on Ylisse."
"Then how do you know?"
His mouth thins. She may have pushed too far. At this point she has a gist but it could be completely wrong. Robin walked over to the orange haired man with care. Delicate hand stretch to meet his. She sat calmly next to him trying to figure out how to phrase her next words. He fidgets when their skin met. To be honest, she is at her wits end but curiosity trumps her uncertainties. Robin couldn't help blurt out her thoughts.
"The group of brigands you were in, it was sent by King Gangrel to assassinate Chiral wasn't it? You don't look like the kind. But since you had a criminal brand…Did you agree to get out of prison?"
Gaius jolted up rapidly. His hands sprang to cover her mouth. Robin nearly flubbed off the bed.
"Bubbles! You trying to give me heart attacks!?"
He waved his arms about in a comical manner. It's amazing how lighthearted he could be in an otherwise gloomy circumstance. She plucked his hand off.
"So I am right!" she giggled.
"I call shenanigans! I didn't know you were wicked enough to tricked me for more blackmail!"
He pointed at her accusingly. Robin laughed as he compared her to the devil.
"Tell me more about Hierophant Chiral. What's the difference between the new order and the old?"
Gaius pouted and grumbled.
"Why is the little lady so curious? If you're looking for more ransom, I have no more! Not even if you trade me desserts for a month!"
That's a harsh bargain by Gaius' standards. Did he want a year's worth? She can hardly bribe him with confects after standing her ground against such behavior. But still, she didn't intend to use any of this against the thief. If only he believed what information he shared will stay confidential. It's harsh but the tactician knows he will not betray her or by his logic, Gaius cannot betray her. She is willing to share her deepest secret.
"How about I give you more ammo against me? Then will you trust me?"
Gaius huffed, keeping a skeptical eye on her. She couldn't help sniggering again. He looked so cute when irritated. To get him to express such a state was worth the strife and effort. It'd be nice to memorize this moment.
"I won't tell a soul about your tattoo and everything that happened in this room stays in this room okay?"
"Sounds like we're eloping."
She threw her paperweight at his head.
"Okay or not?"
"Ow Bubbles! Okay!"
She stood before Gaius, her back to the door. Holding her breath, she peeled off her right glove, partially exposing the glowing eyes of Grima. Gaius greeted the brand with an open mouth while whispering something along the lines of sweet flaming onions. This was short lived when the door slammed open.
"Robin you in here!?"
With lightning speed, the tactician shoved her hand into her coat pocket. Standing at her door was the young blonde princess. Were they caught red handed? She needed an excuse and fast.
"Gasp! GASP! Are you cheating on Chrom! Did he upset you again!? What did the stupid head do this time!?"
Lissa's rambling continued to spiral into crazier accusations before finally stopping to heave for air.
"What? Breathe Lissa!"
Robin held her as the girl wheezed. Suddenly the princess stood up to glare at the thief.
"You! Go ahead and steal my candy but you can't steal Robin's heart! She's my sister in law!"
When in the world did she agree to this? Whatever is the case, the tactician will have to take responsibility for the possible casualty coming the thief's way.
"Lissa, Gaius wasn't trying to court me."
She can't tell the princess what was actually happening but she can't have Gaius maimed either.
"Or maybe I am."
Robin's face crunched together as her head turned to face the smirk of the soon to die thief. Gritting her teeth, she mouthed a death threat. Is he insane? What was he trying to pull?
"Bubbles here, was just about to accept this lovely gift I handmade."
They guilty necklace dangled in his hands. Gaius smirked.
"Blue's kind a dense, even the princess thinks I'll win. Pretty shiny huh?"
Stomping the ground, Lissa shouted.
"I knew Chrom should have given you jewelry! Girls love jewelry! But nooooo, he wanted to give some stupid potion."
"What no! I didn't accept this necklace!"
Robin was not cheating on anyone. Robin was not being bought off by some trinket. Robin was frustrated and pissed. The tactician rubbed her forehead with her left hand.
"Chrom doesn't need to get me jewelry and I don't need some potion either!"
"Oh yeah the potion!" Lissa said as if remembering an important task. The princess latched on to her right arm. Robin desperately shoved her ungloved hand deeper.
"Chrom asked Miriel to make a concoction that keeps people warm! You like that more than some necklace right?"
"Never mind! I NEED that potion. In fact, you should show me it right now."
"Wow really! Take that you candy stealer! You lose!"
Lissa glowed as she danced around the orange haired man. The tactician lets out a sigh of relief when her arm was freed.
"Fine fine, go have your fun."
He shooed the princess. Not missing a beat, Lissa jumped to the exit.
"Hurry up and follow me Robin!"
At this, Lissa charged out. Before leaving the room, Robin slipped on her right glove and tossed three bags of Kris' Confects on to her bed.
"Gaius, don't cause any trouble. I'll be back."
-~ [o] ~-
Sully swung down her sword, blocking his first strike. Immediately, Vaike hurled two hand axes to his head. Chrom narrowly dodged a lethal blow. His so called rival never backs off. The earlier match was so intense it brought Lissa to tears. And for good reason! The second axe landed on his abdomen. Thank Naga for his newly forged chest armor. That in itself made him a greater lord than before. He cannot imagine surviving a hit with only clothe.
At this point, Chrom has dueled against nearly every Shepherd who was not a magic unit. But its only with Vaike and Sully can he test out his true skills. The two attacked without restraint against their prince. Fredrick held back his blows too often. The same followed Sumia and Cordelia. Stahl was a better challenge as he fought with the same flair as Sully but training ended the moment it hit lunch time. Kellam was too difficult to track down. Ricken was still weak with a sword. And Gaius was too eager to lose quickly and be on his way.
But Chrom was fairly proud of his progress. He is grateful of those days where Robin worked him harder than a mule. Even Vaike and Sully needed to pair up to stand a chance against the great lord. The prince was simply too fast. He would be even faster if he used Eirika's rapier. But the weapon was nearly broken like most things he used that were not the Falchion.
Chrom was upset to know he could not learn arms thrift or whatever skill it was that Cordelia and Robin used and was forever doomed to break more weapons. And as such, the rapier was given to his tactician.
Thinking it over, Robin is probably the only one capable of matching him in a one on one duel. From a far many would not understand. Frederick for one does not realized her skill. Physically yes, without a Pegasus she was slower and weaker in strength. His tactician lacked a strong vitality and is easily hurt by magic. She was mainly balanced but performed her best with tomes. Even then she was not as magically inclined as Miriel or Maribelle.
But that battle against General Raimi taught Chrom to see what Robin saw. What his tactician missed in exceptional physique was made up with skill. Chrom has not told the pearl haired woman but as of late, he takes extra note of different units and their abilities.
Pegasus Knights are known to be weak to arrows and weak defensibly in general. When Lissa rode on a dark Pegasus, she would often rush right into enemy territory. Such an order would be the equivalent of homicide to any other tactician. A moments rest will lead death. But when Lissa finished an enemy, she could fly out to safe distance without tire. This skill was attributed to Galeforce.
Similarly myrmidon, also of weak defense, learn to stay alert against any incoming attack when hurt. Chrom learned to attack Sully and Stahl from a distance if his first attack failed especially since they often unleashed Astra.
Robin used just about all of these skills. At one glance of the Khan's Champion, she would be able to mimic his entire build. Yes, he banned her from watching him train for now but they will have plenty of time together later. If only she understood she was far from useless. Chrom had little time to cheer her up and she has not given him the chance.
Tonight all will be forgiven once she learns he defeated the weather issue.
Chrom raised his left arm. A hand axe stabbed into his shield.
"What are you standing there look all dazed out for! What? We not enough of a challenge?"
Sully spat at his direction.
"No I was just thinking—"
"Teach can riled him up. Ya know what I saw the other day? Poor Robin didn't realize she was in the wrong bath."
This duel has gone on long enough. It was time to finish this.
"Good job idiot, it worked. Now he's angry."
"Your end has come!"
Charging his silver lance, Chrom lunged forward with Sol. Just as the first strike hits, he strings in Luna. Sully stepped aside, not evening bother to defend her partner. Vaike laid down in defeat. Night time draws near and he has prior arrangements he would rather not miss.
"Ow…not even teach can keep fighting."
"Ah quit your whining or should I send my horse on ya?"
The great lord lets out a sigh as he lent a hand to help the eccentric warrior up. Boastful laughter filled training ground. From the entrance of the training ground entered Basilio. Following him was a silent man.
"Looks like he is as strong as they claim!"
"Basilio." Chrom greeted.
The prince brushed off some dirt off his lap and made way towards the Khan as Sully took Vaike to the infirmary.
Behind the Khan must be his opponent. The champion arrived after five days of delay. The recent storm must have made traveling difficult. The extra days of training may seem unfair or disadvantageous to the Khan's Champion. Especially after viewing the Prince training specifically against him, Chrom prepares for the possible objection.
The West Khan patted the silent man with great fervor.
"Think you can handle him?"
The man nodded once and said nothing more. Looking into the man's eyes, the prince can practically see them judging him weak. Chrom willed his face to not scowl at the arrogant bastard.
"Is this your Champion?"
"Hah! He's been waiting for you Lon'qu! Go ahead and introduce yourself."
The sword master walked forward to face the great lord. He was of decent height, lean and not bulky like the Khan. The man had wild brunet hair and was dressed in a fashion Chrom has not seen in the entire Ylisse continent. Champions are outsiders after all. The strange name Lon'qu indicates the man may come from Valm.
Chrom wonders what the appropriate introduction would be in this circumstance. Robin had briefly described the Valmese bow when they meet. But his tactician also reminded him he was royalty and should bow freely. Then should Chrom extend for a handshake? Or maybe he should just greet casually? In the end, his opponent spoke first.
"We shall prove our worth in battle."
Lon'qu did not change his expression. Just like that, before leaving room for a reply, the man turned his back and returned to the Khan's side.
The East Khan did say Ferox thought little of political politeness. Chrom would not mind fighting out his disputes here and now.
"When is our battle?"
"Eager aren't we! Any time you want Prince Chrom. Lon'qu is always ready."
The bastard agreed.
Honestly he can't wait to shove a lance up—
"As soon as possible would be great but it would be best for me to notify my tactician."
He's spending too much time around Sully. Chrom shuttered at the thought of Maribelle's rant on manners. He will tell Robin tonight and arrange the battle tomorrow.
"Robin is it? Are you visiting her now?"
Basilio's voice was deep and keen. Chrom shifted uncomfortably but hopefully his face did not show it.
"Yes, I am."
"We'll go with you. We can arrange the battle today."
This sounded logical. The prince nodded. His face was grim as he led the way.
According to Robin, the West Khan attempted to buy her service as tactician. Which is not too surprising as the sound victory at Fort Ferox was more than impressive with an army less than half the size of the Khan's. Robin was also obviously not a subject of Ylisse. It is easy to assume she will work for the best offer.
Thinking this over, Ferox would be more appealing to the tactician. The West Khan would be willing to offer more lavish propositions than what Chrom could. The ruling Khan was the highest position of power of this realm. Chrom was only a prince held back by his court. The lord cannot even fully protect his tactician. Ylisse is bound for war, no doubt her status as Plegian will only set her as a target. Should Ylisse go to war then she will be forced to fight her own country. Robin was willing to fight against brigands but Chrom is not sure if she could hurt her people.
Chrom has fought off brigands from Ylisse but he would never attack the innocent villagers. If his court sent the Ylisse army upon the Prince, Chrom does not know if he could raise his sword. When he first returned to Ylisstol with Robin, he practically begged Em to prepare for war. Plegia was prompting Ylisse to initiate, to invade. His sister did not give in. In reality, Chrom wanted nothing more than finishing this jest. He knows Plegia will attack eventually. It was the whole reason he negotiating at Ferox in the first place.
But the longer he stays, and the more delays there are, Chrom doubts. As long as Robin was by his side, he cannot lose. She was an unparalleled genius and he knows she stays with him only out of will, maybe companionship. There is nothing stopping her from accepting Basilio's offer. He does not want to find out whose side she will choose. He fears one day he will awake to find she is gone.
Perhaps on their return to South Town she sensed it and compromised. But now he is afraid to rise to an empty bed. The prince can't help but hope it will never reach that point. He hopes Em's patience will pay off and there will be no bloodbath.
Chrom stopped in front of his destination. He had asked Lissa earlier to bring Robin to try the concoction. Seeing the Khan and his Champion lingered his arrival. She should be inside already. An incredulous stench escaped through the cracks.
"Why did you stop?" Lon'qu questioned him.
"Ha! It seems Ylisse has some lousy cooks."
Chrom stepped aside with his hand covering his nose.
"Not cooks…my mage…experimenting with potions…"
For some reason, he can anticipate his tactician might be somewhat, kind of, okay really offended by this gift. So much for cheering her up. The sword master narrowed his eyes. Ignoring the smell, he pushed passed the lord.
As soon as he entered, the man screamed.
"What happened!?" Chrom shouted as he made way inside the room quickly followed by Basilio who has drawn his axe.
"W-w-wo—WOMAN! Your tactician is a—"
Chrom was greeted by the sight of his tactician bear hugging the swordsman's waist. Her head rested profoundly between the man's legs, rubbing against unfathomed parts, as Lon'qu grabbed her hair with all his strength, trying to pull her off. Needless to say, this sight was extremely wrong.
"Get off her you bastard!"
The prince smacked Lon'qu with the blunt of the falchion.
"What me!? G-get this insane woman off me!"
"No!" Robin's voice cracked.
She revealed her flushed red face.
It was then Chrom realized Lissa was holding him back from cutting off the swordsman's head.
"Chrooommmm! Robin got really sick after she drank the potion! She's acting all weird and talking all funny!"
The pearl haired young woman returned to cuddling her face to the man's crotch.
"G-get o-ff me or I-I will cut you down!"
"Are you going to show me your sword?" She hummed. "Mmmph marry me!"
Basilio burst in laughter.
Chrom spun around until he found Miriel. His hands grabbed her shoulders.
"You. Said. It. Was. Safe."
The red head pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose.
"Yes. Conclusive data recorded from the experimental group does relay all functions are maintained and by definition the body sustains no harm. However…"
"However!?" The prince shook the older woman.
"However it seems Libra misread the dark tome. Instead of producing heat, the hex causes the victim to go in heat. Data from animals mislead the conclusion as the results point to similar physical expression."
The prince barely understood a thing besides this was all Libra's fault.
"Is this permanent?"
Is Robin going pine after that arrogant bastard for the rest of their lives?
"The effects are temporary and should only last for the night. Sir, please let go of my shoulders. I do believe I am now bleeding."
"I'm impressed! Your mage created a love potion. Good for the whole night huh? I'd be happy to buy the recipe even with this ridiculous smell!"
Chrom doesn't care if Basilio was the Khan. He was not going to stand for this.
"How are you doing Lon'qu? Enjoying woman at last?"
"Lon'qu? Your name's Lon'qu?" Robin moaned. She gripped even harder despite Lissa's attempt to pull her off. "I love you Lon'qu!"
The swordsman passed out on the floor and it was not from Chrom's whack to the head.
"Looks like your tactician defeated my Champion. I suppose a battle will have to wait."
Chrom yanked Robin off the unconscious man. His tactician immediately latched on to him instead.
Tomorrow, she's going to kill him. But tonight, tonight someone needs to die.
-~ [o] ~-
"Libra! LIBRA! Where are you!?"
"Yes your highness? Is there something wrong?"
-~ [o] ~-
"Why are you in our room?"
-~ [o] ~-
A/N: Thank you for all the reviews and feedback! I'll try to pace development better in the future! I would like to say PQ is almost at the half way point but then again this is just an estimate. I think I wanted to reach Fort Ferox by chapter 5 but as you can see that never happened.
As my first long fic, I planned the pacing like how I'd pace my manga but haha writing is really different! Everything takes longer. It was probably why a lot of things felt squeezed into the first few chapters. I wanted to keep each chapter parallel to the chapter in the game. But that's really impossible!
Its makes me very happy people accepted the way I write Robin. I don't view the avatar as a self insert because he/she has a defined personality. I hope PQ!Robin is what anyone can imagine canon!Avatar would act in PQ situation.
The next chapter's a bit wonkiloo too. But I hope we get out of this iceland soon! Even though the Ferox arc seem to drag on forever to me, hopefully the events were interesting for my readers.