Part 91: Duessel - Ephraim, Knoll
She's not really that impressive, her growths are good where it counts (luck, res), and Valkyrie's other caps are painfully low.
It's true that the caps are fairly low, but when you compare the caps for a Mage Knight, she's doing about as well as she can. It's probably impossible to get a "God Unit" out of this game anyway, since that would imply that there was someone who defied expectations in order to become awesome. People getting good levels in this game isn't out of the ordinary. Considering the growth rates, it's basically the status quo.
Anyway, I promised you guys a support, and a support you will get. Rennac's all filled out, so hie we now to Duessel, the Obsidian General.
Yes, that is, in fact, a word, believe it or not. It's in Hamlet.
Supports - Duessel
Starting Points: 30
Points per Turn: 3
Turns to A Rank: 70
Critical Evade: +2.5
: Duessel, can we speak?
: Oh, Prince Ephraim. Of course, my friend.
: I feel I should apologize for making you side against Grado in this.
: Bah. What nonsense! Please, use me however you would to end this war.
: I want you to know how honored I am to fight at your side again. Show me a little of your skill with the spear, like when you taught me.
: Hmm... Ephraim, your skills have grown significantly since then. Why, the first time I met you, you could hardly hold a spear! I couldn't even bring myself to lie and say you weren't THAT bad!
: ...There's no need to be cruel! I realize how helpless I was then.
: Let me finish! Even then, your strong will was most impressive. On your first day wielding a spear, you chose to challenge ME! I remember how enthusiastic your attack was. You were determined to win. But...you were destined to lose that day. Still, I was quite shocked. You weren't trying to learn my skill. You were trying to steal it from me! And I thought an apprentice was supposed to be obedient to his master.
: When you fight, you must respect your opponent, not obey him. ...Besides, you knocked me out so quickly, I hardly touched you.
: I never dreamed of testing my skills against a prince of Renais. After that match, though... Oh, I changed my mind. I knew it would be interesting to teach my skills to someone like you.
: Now, you're the one speaking nonsense! Ah, I know... Let's duel again after this battle! I'm older now, better trained. I'm sure I can beat you this time.
: Hmmm... Yes, fine. I'd like to see if you've been keeping up with your training.
: Duessel, do you have a moment?
: Oh, Ephraim. Of course.
: ...Were you thinking about Grado just now? You looked distracted. I wonder, was it the wrong decision to send you fighting against Grado?
: ...You've no need to worry. My reasons for leaving Grado are my own. It doesn't matter who I'm fighting. My resolve won't be weakened.
: That is good to hear... Actually, I'm here for a rematch. I have no idea how you beat me last time, but this time, I can do it!
: Hmm. It looks like you haven't learned your lesson yet. You know, they used to call me Obsidian. I was one of the Imperial Three. I'm not about to let a young punk like you best me at the spear!
: Nicely done, Ephraim. There's nothing left for me to teach you, it seems.
: That's utter nonsense. I still have much to learn from you, Duessel. I intend to be the greatest spearman Magvel has ever known. I gave up on swords after seeing how they fare against spears. Sword, axe, spear, bow...and even magic. I've seen them all. The spear always comes out on top. And I want mine to be the best spear around.
: Hm... That's a bold statement. But you may yet be the one who can prove it true, lad.
: ...I thank you, Duessel. It's only because of the skills you gave me that I'm alive and here now. Our countries were friends, but you taught me like family...
: I am a warrior. All I can do is improve my skills and pass them on to a student. And if you best me using the skills that I taught you, well... That's just the nature of war. The young surpass the old. And I am glad to be fighting at the side of such a worthy student.
: I know that I've been branded a traitor. I'm prepared for that. But I do have one regret... I regret that I betrayed my emperor...
: You never betrayed him. You remain as loyal to him now as when you swore your oaths. No, it is Grado who has betrayed the ideals it once held dear. And now, as then, you are my teacher. Nothing has changed. No, you are no traitor. If anything, you are the last true man of Grado.
: Ephraim... Hm... Yes. A student should not inspire his teacher. Ephraim. Be strong. Remain true. Believe in yourself, and act in accordance with your beliefs. ...No matter what happens, be a strong king.
: Yes, you needn't worry about that. Such has been my intention since the day I first held this spear. No matter what the future holds... I'm never going to change. I will let my faith and my beliefs drive my every action as king.
Starting Points: 0
Points per Turn: 2
Turns to A Rank: 120
Critical Evade: +5
: Don't tell me you've joined up here as well, have you?
: ...General Duessel. Prince Lyon no longer holds the capital. My reason for remaining is gone...
: Knoll, I have something I would ask you. What exactly happened to His Majesty and Prince Lyon?
: ...... Do you have the courage to hear that answer? I think perhaps that it will not be an answer you want to hear.
: What does that mean?
: Are you familiar with a certain foreign anecdote of comedic nature? It involves two starving men and a single loaf of bread. If they break the loaf in two, both men will die of starvation...
: Knoll, I'm not asking for a riddle. Let's not waste any more time here. I'm ready to hear the truth. Nothing you tell me could surprise me.
: If that is your wish, General Duessel... I will speak frankly. This is something that Prince Lyon does not know. Something that no one should know.
: We students of ancient magic, along with Prince Lyon himself, were researching certain arcane techniques lost long ago. We were able to reproduce one... phenomenon, but only briefly.
: I should be more concise. Prince Lyon and I pierced the veil that clouds our futures.
: What? You...could see into the future? How is that possible? What magic is powerful enough to--
: Time is like the water of a river: it flows ever on, never stopping. Certain disturbances can cause ripples that speed swiftly downstream. If you can see the water, you can read the flow, the ripples, the waves.
: It is possible, General. Possible and, at times, easy. Just think of it: If you knew a storm was coming in advance, you could evacuate everyone in its way. If you could see what was to come, you could help those who might have died. Prince Lyon explained this to us with much joy in his voice and heart. His power would, at long last, be able to help the citizens of Grado.
: We continued our work. There were ceremonies, rituals--such horrors... And then we saw it. In the near future, Grado would be ravaged by catastrophe.
: A catastrophe? Do you...
: No, it's not the conflict in which we are currently embroiled. This event is still in our future. We saw Grado. We saw the earth crumble. We saw our people dying. We saw the shape our future would take.
: What? That's madness... Idiocy! I've lived a long life, and I've never heard of anything like that. Not ever.
: I am not surprised that you do not believe me, General. We could not believe it, either. We tried to disprove what we had seen. But nothing could shake the vision. In this disaster, Grado would be destroyed. Countless would die. Those who died quickly would be spared the slow horror of starvation. This was when the emperor died, by the way. Lyon was shattered by despair. He devoted himself to research, and then came the Dark Stone...
: So that's what happened? Is that when the decision to invade Renais was made?
: I don't know. Only one person knows the truth behind that.
: I have told you only the truths I have seen.
: Is that you, General Duessel?
: You're tired, aren't you? Worn to the bone. I understand how you feel, but on the battlefield, this only invites death.
: You are probably right... And yet that might be best.
: What are you planning to do from here on?
: I do not know... I have lost my way. Perhaps I should have been executed in the capital.
: I once studied dark magic alongside Prince Lyon. He was such a gentle soul. You could see it--he was too kind to survive. Prince Lyon dreamt of finding happiness for all of Grado's citizens.
: And now, Prince Lyon is no more. I have lost everything.
: I have also lost everything. And we have both lost our ways. We are dead men who have stayed too long away from our graves. But remember, Knoll... You cannot see the future, but you can look back at your past. Look and learn. And remember. What gave your life meaning, and what has taken meaning from you now?
: If you still hold the convictions that guided you in Grado, you can start anew. That... That is what I must do. We may be diminished by our shame, but we are not dead yet, my friend.
: General Duessel... I am not as strong as you. Still, I believe you are right. I, too, shall search for a new path. A path that guides me to realizing the dreams Prince Lyon once held so dear.