Part 80: Kyle - Ephraim, Forde, SyreneBy the way, sorry to distract from voting, but here's another support. I'll be skipping past Ephraim for now, because there's one support that I'd rather leave until the end. You probably know the one.
Supports - Kyle
Starting Points: 20
Points per Turn: 3
Turns to A Rank: 74
Critical Evade: +2.5
: Prince Ephraim!
: Kyle, what's the matter?
: Prince Ephraim... You charged at the enemy line after you were injured, didn't you?
: Oh, that? That was nothing. Don't worry about it.
: It's not the injury I'm worried about. You're not supposed to do things like that!
: If I retreat at the first scratch, command will fall apart.
: My lord, you are the future of Renais, the commander of this army. If something were to happen to you, morale would be shattered. We would lose this war. All because of your misplaced pride.
: Fine, Kyle. I'll hang back and let you knights lead the charge. But I don't have time to talk about this now. I'm leaving.
: He says he's going to stop being so reckless, but I know better. I have to stop him before he gets himself killed...
: Do you remember what we agreed to last time we talked, Prince Ephraim?
: Sigh. High command must remain behind the vanguard and let the soldiers fight. And if he tries to take the van, any unit, regardless of rank, may stop him.
: Yes, exactly. So you do remember it.
: And now, every time I try to lead the charge, my own men stop me! They waste themselves worrying about my safety when their own is at risk. Look, I agreed to your plan at the time, but this is just ridiculous. I'm going to revoke the order.
: No, Prince! I know I've told you this before... But you have to remember, you're the future of Renais--
: And if we fail because I do not join the battle, we have no future! I do know I bear much responsibility, but I simply must revoke the command.
: I'm sorry, Prince Ephraim, but I can't allow you to do that. I'm going back to the fight. Make sure you hang back, sire. Go on.
: ...Sigh... That blasted Kyle. I know that he's simply concerned about me. Come to think of it, he's always been like that. I can't recall a moment when he HASN'T been overly worried about me. But that order really needs to go.
: My lord prince... I must apologize.
: Why is that, Kyle? What do you need to apologize for?
: The other day, I was injured on the battlefield. You raced to my side without a moment's hesitation. As I lost consciousness, I heard you say something I won't forget. "Treat this man as you would my own brother. Help him, regardless of cost."
: And why must you apologize for that?
: I ought to have been the one riding to your aid, my lord. And that you would consider a low-born knight like myself a brother... All these years, I've thought of myself as nothing but a loyal retainer. I failed to understand that our bond runs deeper.
: ...Since I was a child, you've taught me how to be a warrior. A prince is raised to be detached. Distant. To rule the people from above. I could not afford to feel any real affection for anyone. Just Seth, Forde... And you, Kyle. You were the only ones. I realize that much separates us, but I still consider you family. Although...you do worry about me too much. And you have to stop snapping at me.
: Prince Ephraim, when I was injured the other day, I came to a realization. I was wrong. The decision I made you agree to the other day was wrong. You belong on the front lines, like any of the noble warriors of Renais. It will do the men's morale good to see you fighting at their side. From now on, fight as you must! I will be beside you, and I will protect you as you fight at our side.
: Thank you, Kyle. I was so caught in my worry that I couldn't fight well. And I will make a concession to you as well. I will not be so reckless anymore. I know I have an important position. Are we in agreement, Kyle?
: We are, my lord. Let's ride on together!
: Sounds good. Kyle... Don't fall behind!
: Yes, sire!
(So Ephraim didn't really like Orson, then? No wonder the guy defected)
Starting Points: 30
Points per Turn: 3
Turns to A Rank: 70
Critical Evade: +5
: Hello, Forde.
: Hmm? Oh, Kyle! How have you been?
: What are you doing out here? Are you-- Are you painting?
: No! I-- Well, yes. Actually, I'm not so much painting as sketching. I use this piece of charcoal to draw and shade, like this.
: You know we're in the middle of a battle, don't you? What if someone attacks while you're distracted?
: Calm down, calm down. I just like to keep a record of our battles with these pictures.
: You're just rationalizing! You're a cavalier--it's time to start acting like one.
: Fine, fine. I'll stop. As you command, Sir Kyle, commander of the Knights of Renais.
: ...Oh, brother. Do you have to make everything so difficult?
: If you don't want the hassle, stop telling me what to do!
: Then stop fooling around on the battlefield. Seriously, wasting my time on an idiot like you is just stupid.
: Huh? Did you say something?
: Nothing! If you have so much time to waste drawing, let's have a quick spar.
: What! You want to spar? Now?
: Yeah, that's right. I don't waste time. I take care of my weapons, my horse, and myself. And not just that--I also make sure our morale is good and our men are safe.
: You're thorough, aren't you?
: I'm a knight. It's my duty.
: You really need to take yourself less seriously.
: And you need to take your duty MORE seriously.
: Yaaaaaaawn... Oh, why am I so sleepy?
: Forde! Are you falling asleep on the battlefield!? What is wrong with you, man!?
: What are you so fired up about? You're really ruining my nap.
: You have no sense of self-preservation, do you? What is wrong with you? You lack even the common sense of an infant, you know that?
: Oh, you're one to talk. When you were a baby, you were planning out strategies to take over the nursery. You were stuck up then, and you're stuck up now. And STILL the ladies liked you!
: You leave them out of this! Women have nothing to do with it.
: They don't? Oh, come on! Isn't it important to have an heir to carry your standard when you're gone? Take your sister, Mia--she married into a nice Frelian family, didn't she? I'm just curious who would ever settle for such an uptight knight as you. You ever think about that? You think you might meet her in this war?
: That's not what I'm here for!
: Ha ha ha ha. Of course not. But I bet you're still a ladies' man, huh? I know you--you're a perfect gentlemen, always nice to the ladies. I remember when you were little, you were always the first to help when you saw a little girl crying. You would go running up to lend a hand. I still remember how impressed I was that you would do that. It was cool.
: I just could never turn my back on someone in need. It is what's expected of a knight.
: Yeah, but you weren't a knight yet!
: Well, it's...expected of someone who aspires to be a knight, too!
: You've got an answer for everything! But, I have to admit, you've also got my respect. You're a good guy.
: Wow! Now you're embarrassed.
: What's wrong, Kyle? You're the one who looks tired this time.
: Oh, Forde. It's you. I was just lost in thought for a moment. I figured that I could use a little breathing room. I guess that's why you paint your landscapes, isn't it?
: That's right. You see it now? Everyone needs a little space to think, even on the battlefield.
: Well, I wouldn't go so far as to approve of painting during a battle. What if the younger soldiers started to copy your example? However, I see your point. Everyone needs a way to clear one's head. So... How long have you been doing those drawings, anyway?
: What's the matter? Forgotten when you started?
: ... I started drawing and painting when my mother died.
: When I was young, I won a tournament for training swordsmen...
: I remember that. I took second place.
: She seemed far more pleased at a picture I'd drawn of her than at my victory. She kept that picture near her always, and she looked at it often. She rejoiced more in my skill with the brush than in my skill with the sword. I never understood why... Not until recently, at any rate.
: Your mother was very kind. I remember that about her. I'm sorry that she fell ill while you were so young.
: I feel lucky--I have my memories of her, after all. Franz, though... He was too little to talk or even walk. That's why I kept that picture of her hanging in our home.
: So that's the story behind that picture in your house... I didn't realize you drew it. I remember watching you practice swordplay when we were little. I wanted to be like you, and I was irritated that I didn't practice more. I got so upset with myself when I lost the tournament to you. That's why I work so hard to keep practicing and improving my skills.
: ...I didn't know...
: Oh, man. It's not like me to get this introspective. What is it about you that makes me talk so much? Come on, let's go.
: Heh. All right. Oh, and, Forde...
: When this whole war is over, teach me how to paint.
: Yeah, all right. Fine. But we both have to get out of here alive first.
: It's a deal.
Starting Points: 5
Points per Turn: 3
Turns to A Rank: 79
Critical Evade: +5
: You're Syrene, aren't you? Commander of Frelia's pegasus knights?
: I am. And I know who you are. You are Sir Kyle, cavalier of Renais.
: I'm honored that you know my name. I don't believe we've met, have we?
: We met once, about ten years ago or so. You may have forgotten.
: Ten years ago... Wait, you're...THAT Syrene!?
: So, you've finally remembered me?
: Do I ever! I didn't think I'd ever see you again.
: Well, Sir Kyle, you certainly have turned out well.
: Oh, please. Let's do away with the honorifics, shall we?
: Of course, Kyle. Ah, you haven't changed at all. It takes me back.
: I barely recognized you, Syrene. You look completely changed. I had no idea you'd become a knight--a pegasus knight, no less!
: That's nice of you to say. So I've grown, have I?
: You've grown a lot. It's a shame we have to be reunited on a battlefield.
: You're right about that. We ought to sit down and talk soon.
: I'd like that, too, Syrene. But let's finish off this lot first, shall we?
: All right, but don't try to be a hero like last time, all right?
: A hero? What did I do?
: Well, that's your homework. See if you can't remember.
: How are you holding up, Kyle?
: The war is tough, but my sword arm is strong, and I am well.
: Mmm. That's an awfully stuffy response.
: Stuffy? It's accurate. Isn't that enough? But that's beside the point. I still can't figure out what you were talking about.
: Oh, your homework? You've been thinking about it all this time? You're so serious! I was right. You haven't changed in the slightest. You've always been this way. Remember when I tried to show you around Frelia's castle town? You said, "I'm here to do my duty. Not to sightsee," and you went back inside. You went home without even trying Frelia's fabulous seafood! King Hayden thought I'd been remiss in showing you our fair city.
: I'm sorry about that, Syrene. I had no idea... I was on a special mission to deliver a letter to King Hayden. I didn't have any time for sightseeing, like I'd said.
: Are you seriously apologizing for that? It was so long ago!
: Ha ha ha... You're right, you're right. ...I know I was only there for three days, but that was a memorable trip. I grew up in landlocked Renais. I'd never seen the ocean. Not before you showed it to me.
: You didn't show any interest at all in local culture or cuisine. But when I asked if you'd like to go to the sea, you got so excited!
: It was intense. I felt so small, standing there, staring at the sea. Looking over the waves, I hoped that I could be that strong, that persistent.
: I think that's the only time I've ever seen the real you. I know we only spent a half day together, but it was such fun.
: Really? I'm glad to hear that.
: Maybe sometime, we can do that again.
: I'd like that. Let's use that hope to drive us on. When we've restored peace, we'll go see the Frelian coast again.
: Yes, definitely.
: What's wrong, Syrene? Are you hurt?
: No, I'm fine, but I'm worried about my pegasus...
: Here, let me take a look. Hm. Looks like he's got a wound here that hasn't properly healed. I can fix this up for you. It's nothing serious, but you might want to get him some proper care later.
: Thanks, Kyle. You're a lifesaver. It was careless of me not to have noticed the injury.
: Your pegasus is smart. He may have hidden it from you so as not to worry you. It's not your fault, Syrene. You shouldn't worry about it.
: No, I'm just not fit to be a pegasus knight. I'm so pitiful. If you hadn't seen that injury, I could have put us both in danger. I could have cost us both our lives.
: You're being too hard on yourself. If you were in danger, I would have been at your side in an instant. I'm sure you would do the same, wouldn't you?
: ...Yes, gladly.
: We just have to help one another out if something happens. You and I have been friends for over ten years, after all.
: For over ten years?
: That's right, Syrene. You did the same for me back then.
: ...Back then?
: It was on the day I left Frelia. Near the border, I came upon some bandits harassing a poor merchant. I tried to help him, but I was outnumbered. Badly. When they saw I was a knight, they wasted no time surrounding me. I thought that was it for me, but then, out of nowhere, you show up. You and I drove off those bandits, and you saved my life that day.
: I see you've finished your homework.
: Oh, so that's what you wanted me to remember! "Don't be a hero" indeed!
: You'd left Frelia before I could give you a going-away present. I went out, hoping to catch up to you, when I saw you surrounded by bandits. You were fighting all those bandits on your own to save that merchant... I'd never seen a knight so dedicated to the protection of the innocent.
: Going-away present... You're talking about this, aren't you?
: The wooden pegasus I carved for you! ...You still have it?
: Of course I do! After we dealt with those bandits, you said to me, "Keep this, and remember Frelia." How could I possibly misplace it? I carry it with me as a reminder. As long as I have this, I feel like I'll always have someone watching over me. Actually, I started collecting wooden figurines since you gave me this. But I always carry this one on me.
: I'm glad to hear it's meant so much to you.
: I'll treasure it always.
: ...Kyle... When we're all at peace again, won't you visit Frelia once more?
: You know... I was thinking about that, too. I think I really missed out by not having Frelian seafood. This time around, I won't miss it. And I should see some sights, too. Will you show me around, Syrene?
: Yes, I'd love to. I've been told I can fry up a mean fish, too!