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Private An Impossible Reunion

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by Jeralt Eisner, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    January 18th, Year 109--The City of Heavenfell
    @Leonie Pinelli

    He'd never appreciated the sight of a bar as much as he did today. Except for those jobs where he'd actually almost been killed, but those were few and far between. After killing that giant, bush covered lizard, Jeralt had taken up the task of escorting Cyrus to a close by settlement. It was much better than wandering through the wilds of the world he now knew as "Pandora" aimlessly. As soon as they passed through the gates, Jeralt hunted down a tavern and set his knights free in it for the rest of the evening. Sigurd was set up in a nice stable, and there were enough vacant rooms for the small group to rest up in and get their bearings. He personally just wanted a damn drink. Nothing but water after all the shit he went through was a crime, and he was going to rectify it as soon as possible.

    "I'll take an ale," Jeralt said, dropping his full weight on an unclaimed bar stool. His lance was stored away, but a sword still rested on his belt, and his shield was at his back again. He had no idea if they would take his currency, but that was a problem for the future him to solve. It always sorted itself out in the end. "Yeah, just a whole tankard. Keep them coming."
     
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  2. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Things were starting to fall into place again. Talking with Claude really helped lift the weight that had been holding her back this entire time. She really should've done it sooner than that, but well, she had learned her lesson and that was what mattered. In the end, Leonie could only live her life through honesty and hiding her feelings was only going to make her hurt. There were still some things she was keeping to herself, for other's sake more than her own, but those were manageable, even if she might make a little slip every now and then.

    Tonight, Leonie was just enjoying herself with some drinks. She was trying to not drink too much so as to not risk blowing Claude's cover by accidentally blurting out information in a drunken state, but she had built some good alcohol tolerance, so she could still take some shots before she started feeling funny.

    When the door opened and the familiar sight of Captain Jeralt surrounded by knights of Seiros left her stunned, almost making her choke on her drink as she swallowed it down. For a brief moment, she thought she was starting to see things, eyes falling to the mug in her hands as she wondered if someone had slipped something inside it while she wasn't paying attention, but then she heard his voice, and other people were clearly seeing the same thing as she was, and that was the moment reality hit her.

    "Captain Jeralt?!" She yelled out in pure shock, pretty much jumping onto her feet and slamming her mug on the counter harder than she intended to.

     
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  3. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    A handful of other taverngoers gave Leonie some judging looks for her outburst, but they went back to their own business soon enough. Jeralt paused mid drink, and then carefully set his now half full tankard back on the counter. That didn't sound like a knight, and he'd question why in the world they were yelling at him anyway. They couldn't be that drunk yet. He wiped his mouth and locked eyes with the woman that had stood up, a strange sense of recognition welling up in him. She was really familiar.

    Too familiar. That hair color and the way she said his name... It hit him like lightning a few seconds later.

    "...Leonie?" He asked, getting up from his seat. Wasn't she a little younger than that though? It was like he'd somehow missed a few years.
     
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  4. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    It really was him. He took some time to realize who she was, but that wasn't surprising. If the Captain was here, then that meant he came from before the war, where she still had short hair and wore the academy's uniform. Compared to back then, Leonie had gone through a lot of changes in appearance that would make it hard to recognize her if he still had her younger image fresh in his mind.

    "You're here too..." she spoke, walking over to him, the shock of seeing him there blocking out any other emotions that this situation would bring in her. "I... how long have you been here?"

    There were so many things to talk about. The war, Byleth's "transformation", all the timeline stuff... and, of course, there was what happened to him. So many things to say, yet she just couldn't find the words. All she could do was ask basic questions as she looked at her former mentor, alive and well, if not confused by what was going on. Out of all the things that happened to her in Pandora, this one had to be the most unbelievable one so far.

     
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  5. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    "Uh...yeah, I'm here." In a place he barely understood, but here nonetheless. Jeralt stood taller and crossed his arms, watching Leonie. She wasn't acting right. Usually she had a lot more energy, always thinking about training or weapon maintenance or patching something up. Never hesitating much. This was weird.

    "Spent a few days in the woods with these guys," he said, sticking his thumb at the group of knights talking at a different table. "Then we found our way here about...an hour ago." Cyrus had wandered off to who knows where on some personal investigation. "You alright?" He really wasn't the type to pry, but he was getting concerned about whatever context he was missing here. How long had she even been in Pandora?
     
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  6. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    So he was out in the wilderness and only arrived in civilization an hour ago. That meant he still had no idea what Pandora was about, another thing that she'd need to fill him in that would likely make her sound like she had lost her mind. Not something that she was looking forward to doing but it had to be done. If anyone had to break out the news to him, it might as well be her.

    "I'm fine, really. It's just..." she opened her mouth to say something, then hesitated, all that came out being a sigh instead. "There's... a lot I need to talk to you about. Important things," she glanced at her surroundings, finding the whole tavern a bit too crowded for what she wanted to bring up. "Do you... want to talk in private? I know you've probably been itching to drink until you're barely conscious..." she smiled, a laugh even escaping her as fond memories came back to her, although it was only for a brief moment, "... but I promise what I have to tell you is... big, and a lot of it isn't good," she grimaced slightly as she said those last words.

     
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  7. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    It shouldn't have surprised him, but it was interesting to see how... Mature wasn't the right word for her change. Leonie was always pretty mature for a kid, but now she was calmer. Not so easily controlled by her gut feelings. He was pretty sure he didn't teach her anything like that, but he was still proud of her progress. A mark of a good mercenary.

    "I dunno what could be bigger than getting dragged into another world, but..I've got a room upstairs," he said, after turning her words around in his head. Important things that weren't good. There was a sinking feeling in his stomach as his imagination tried to guess the "news". Jeralt grabbed his drink off the counter and headed up to the second floor. The hallway was much quieter than the bar below, and no one else seemed to be around at the moment. "...Please tell me that Byleth's alive." He couldn't even look at Leonie as he said it, his gaze focused on the door he was unlocking. It was hard to keep his voice from wavering, but he managed to do it. Was Byleth even here? No, that didn't matter, as long as they were okay.
     
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  8. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Huh, he had already gotten himself a room? Well, Jeralt was nothing if not a practical person. It made sense for him to get everything set up for himself before drinking himself into oblivion. He was probably counting on the other knights to drag him back after everything was said and done. The thought of it was enough to make Leonie smile again, in spite of her mixed feelings regarding everything going on.

    With a nod, she followed after Jeralt. Hearing his question about Byleth made her heart sink. Of course he was concerned about his kid. He must've had noticed that she was older than he remembered, so his mind went immediately to how his kid was doing in her time. He often didn't act like it, but Jeralt was a really caring person underneath all that no-nonsense attitude.

    "They're alive, don't worry about it," she reassured him in a tone that was almost casual. The smile on her face became just a little sadder as she thought back to the day she went to check up on them.

    Once the door was unlocked and they were in, Leonie just stood around the center of the room, arms folded and eyes looking at the ground as she pondered about how she was going to start this off. She didn't want to keep Jeralt waiting for too long, so after some brief consideration, she looked back at him and unfolded her arms.

    "What's the last thing you remember from before ending up in Pandora, Captain?" she asked, bracing herself for his answer.

     
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  9. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    He didn't realize how much not knowing was messing with him until Leonie confirmed Byleth's condition. It was like taking off twenty pounds of armor, and his shoulders sagged to a degree. Good, he could stop worrying...as much.

    "We just finished cleaning up those beasts that came from the abandoned cathedral," he answered. "Didn't even get to regroup before the vines dragged us out. How long has it been since then?" This time shifting stuff was hard to keep track of.
     
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  10. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Of course, the mission at the chapel, the very end of it to boot. That meant that Jeralt was in much the same situation as Claude, except he just wasn't aware of it. Whenever Pandora took them back to their time, they'd die and that was it. She... still struggled with that thought, but she was thankful for the conversation she had with Claude before because otherwise... she wasn't sure she'd be able to keep her composure here.

    At his question, Leonie briefly clammed up. Part of her didn't want to say anything and just let Jeralt keep living without knowing but she knew that wasn't going to happen no matter what she did. Still, having to be the one to break out those news wasn't easy for her, she could feel the words trying to come out, only to be swallowed back down again and again.

    Eventually, she just took a deep breath and began talking.

    "After we dealt with the demonic beasts at the chapel, you and the Professor went to check everything and found one of the students there, Monica," Leonie paused, just saying that name making her scowl. "She... she was a spy and stabbed you in the back the moment you let your guard down."

    At first Leonie was clearly angry as she thought back on Jeralt's killer, but slowly it cooled down and instead she just looked sad. Unable to even look at Jeralt directly. She hadn't outright said it yet, but she knew that Jeralt would be able to pick up on it anyway. Regardless, she still hadn't answered her question.

    "Not counting the time I've been here... it's been almost six years since... you died."

     
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  11. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Jeralt raised an eyebrow at the name Monica. That kidnapped kid they found in the catacombs with Flayn? What did she have to do with this?

    Oh, she was a spy. It was difficult to understand why a stab to the back would be an issue for him. He had survived far worse injuries over the years and as far as he knew she wasn't much of a fighter in the first place. No Crest or magic spell to rely on either. Why was Leonie worked up over that?

    "Wait, that killed me?" he asked, quieter than before. Through his armor and whatever blood magic Rhea shoved into him all that time ago? A girl with a blade was all it took? "But that shouldn't be possible." Unless the weapon was built to kill people him. Weapons with their own magic, like the Sacred Relics. Perhaps it was similarly designed. To his faint surprise, hearing about his own death didn't fill him with dread. Disappointment in himself for being so easily tricked, but no anxiety over the end that awaited him. He felt worse for everyone else he'd failed in the process. He frowned and looked down at his chest, focusing on his beating heart. Nothing outwardly betrayed that he was on borrowed time, and yet he was. How sobering. "Leonie...I'm sorry that happened."
     
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  12. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    The way Jeralt spoke about his own death was... both surprising and unsurprising at the same time. Somehow, he always managed to keep his cool and it looked like even this wasn't going to be enough to make him budge. He sounded more surprised that it was just a stab on the back that killed him than actually dying, which was... a bit odd. Sure, Leonie herself would never have thought Jeralt would meet his end that way, but at the end of the day, he was just human. Anyone could get killed like that if they weren't careful, but Jeralt was saying it like he knew for a fact that it was impossible.

    Was there something here that she was missing?

    "It's not your fault," Leonie bluntly stated, shaking her head. Then, after a moment of silence, she began facing Jeralt again. "If it makes you feel any better, we set off to get revenge as soon as we could. Monica is long gone, so is Tomas, for that matter," she spoke in a neutral tone as she began to regain some of her composure, now that the hard part was over. "Those two, and the other people working with them, we got rid of them all, even if it took a long time."

    In short, they made sure to finish the job. Leonie knew the incident at Remire Village had affected Jeralt just as much as it did everyone else present, so maybe he would find some comfort in knowing that the people of that village had been avenged, as well as him and everyone else that suffered because of those who slither in the dark.

    "There's... a lot that happened since that day. I don't even know where to start," she sighed. "Is there anything in particular you want to know? I'll answer as best as I can."

     
  13. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    But wasn't it his fault, to a degree? He promised Byleth he'd be alright, and then he dropped his guard at the worst moment. Or maybe he'd just escaped death too many times, and his luck had run out. He wasn't deeply fond of the idea of immortality. Everything and everyone had to fade away eventually. That was just the natural order of things. The world endlessly changed, and old relics like him had to keep up or disappear. He wasn't going to tell Leonie that, though. It didn't seem right to start an argument over it.

    "I assume that you took care of the Death Knight and Flame Emperor too, then. What exactly was that group trying to accomplish in the first place?" Jeralt asked. "And...is anyone else here besides you and me?"
     
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  14. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Right. The Flame Emperor and the Death Knight. That... was going to be a little more difficult to explain. Well, the Flame Emperor, that is, Leonie still didn't know anything about the Death Knight other than he was a really creepy and strong general for Edelgard who alerted them to the javelins of light falling at Fort Merceus and gave them enough time to escape. Other than that, he was just another enemy to her, one that was also gone.

    "Well, that's a bit complicated," Leonie scratched her head. "The Flame Emperor's real identity was Edelgard, and she became the emperor just about a month after you died. She declared war on the Church of Seiros, saying that the church was taking advantage of the believers' faith to keep themselves in power, something like that."

    Goddess almighty, this was hard. Leonie knew there was more to Edelgard's motives than just that but she'd keep it simple for now. If Jeralt wanted to dig deeper into it, he could just ask Edelgard or Hubert about it. That aside... Jeralt had told her before that he didn't trust Lady Rhea, so it did make her wonder... would Jeralt have sided with Edelgard, if he was still alive back then?

    "I don't have all the details, but Edelgard wasn't on good terms with the rest of them. Well, the Death Knight was her lackey, but that's about it." Leonie folded her arms. "What happened in Remire Village and your death, neither of those were she wanted, but the others acted on their own. They were working together but... not really working together at the same time," she sighed, the whole thing making her feel frustrated with how messy it was. "Still, it was only because her vassal, Hubert, left us a message that we managed to find where they were hiding and put a stop to their plans."

    Plans that... she hadn't mentioned yet. There was way too much going on in that war. Trying to summarize it all was going to give her a headache at this rate.

    "It was a lot, basically" she concluded, unfolding her arms and placing a hand on her head, her tone sounding tired. "As for who else is here... well, the Professor is here. They're living with a few of their students."

     
    #14 Leonie Pinelli, Jan 13, 2020 at 2:41 PM
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020 at 4:38 PM
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  15. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    ...The Flame Emperor being Edelgard the whole time seemed almost obvious in hindsight. Adrestia had kept an icy relationship with the Church of Seiros for a while now, even if it looked like the tension was starting to fade. The knights had been very hesitant to toss any accusations their way because of that, not wanting to trigger a diplomatic incident, but he guessed that the new Emperor had enough of the church already if she went straight to war. Manipulating the believers to gain power. Was that what Rhea had been doing the whole time? It was so hard to read her, even way back when he was first saved by the Archbishop. Jeralt wanted to trust her from the bottom of his heart, but Byleth... He couldn't let what happened to his wife and child go. Not without hearing the whole truth.

    He missed a damn war. The first true war in at least a hundred years. But if Edelgard didn't get along with the forces that destroyed Remire and created those demonic beasts, then what motivated the Empire to join with them in the first place? And then she'd sold them out after her defeat too. What was really going on there? It was all a mess.

    "A war in Fodlan...thought it was all gonna be quiet for a long while." It seemed that the continent was destined to be fought over. He'd seen the three counties slowly come undone. It was only a matter of time, but he expected something less explosive. Leonie brought up Byleth and a few students of theirs, and he stopped humself from asking for their exact location. He couldn't run off and leave the knights alone, they had no one to report back to. He sighed and sat in a chair.

    "I'll...have to track them down later, then. Or you could tell them where I am. I'll be staying here for a while anyway." He was still curious about the war though. "I can guess that Faerghus sided with the Church of Seiros to fight the Empire, but you're from the Gloucester territory." The Alliance technically had no horse in this race. They could fight against the Empire to strengthen their relations with Faerghus and the Church, or take the opportunity to escape the religious influence altogether. Perhaps even play neutral until the ruling lords could see which side was winning. "Who did you fight with?"
     
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  16. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Leonie was honestly expecting Jeralt to ask her about where Byleth was so he could see them, but instead he just said he'd track them down later, which was... odd. Was there something keeping him from going straight away? Well, other than her, that is. Maybe he realized that seeing him would be... very shocking to the poor Professor and was refraining from just rushing in right now. Or maybe he wanted her to break the news first to kinda ease Byleth into it, whether that'd be a good idea being a can of worms in itself.

    Either way, the focus was still on Fódlan's situation and now, the topic was what side she was on, or rather, where the Alliance was during this. As experienced of a man as he was, Jeralt likely knew how the standings in a war like that would be, though she doubted he knew exactly how it played out.

    "You're... kind of right," she pointed out, tilting her head a little. "Lady Rhea went missing after Edelgard launched an attack at the monastery, just a month after she became Emperor. The knights scattered looking for her, so the Church was pretty much gone. The Empire also took over a big chunk of the Kingdom with time and the prince was said to be dead, so the situation there wasn't good. The Alliance also got split in two, with House Gloucester allying with the Empire, and House Riegan against them."

    Just getting through Alliance territory was an ordeal because of all this. It was only because of Claude's clever mind that they managed to get through it without tearing the Alliance apart in the process. From there, things worked well... for the most part.

    "As for myself, I became an apprentice mercenary and fought in battles across Alliance territory, until I remembered a promise the Golden Deer class made to reunite at the monastery on the day that would've been the millenium festival. From there, we reunited with the Professor and they, along with Claude, led us to fight against the Empire," she smiled fondly at the memory of their reunion, as well as the relief she felt when she saw Byleth alive and well.

     
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  17. Jeralt Eisner

    Jeralt Eisner Fire Emblem

    Posts:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Location:
    The Crystal Vales
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    300+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Huh, he knew the Kingdom was kind of unstable, but having their royal line killed and their land partially conquered? That was a pretty bad state to be in. And Rhea disappearing? He'd honestly thought that her influence could never be removed so quickly, but the knights had been left in complete disarray so they must have believed something happened to her. Did she flee, or was she captured? Thr Alliance splitting at the seams was the least surprising. The lords had their own interests that drove them, and the Empire's pressure would make them crack eventually.

    "You're a mercenary now then? And you defeated Adrestia under the Riegan house's command? Didn't think he was the type to lead a resistance..." Pulling together his neighbors to have a standing army was impressive enough, but to win a war like that? Nearly impossible. "That's a very impressive victory, kid. I'm talking to a real war hero," Jeralt said, clapping her on the shoulder. The only bright spot here was that the war Leonie fought in was over. He didn't want to imagine the state that Fodlan was in. It'd probably be unrecognizable. "Did the knights ever find Lady Rhea in all that chaos?"
     
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  18. Leonie Pinelli

    Leonie Pinelli Fire Emblem
    Blade Breaker II

    Posts:
    121
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    26
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good

    Hearing Jeralt praise her for her contribution in the war made a lot of emotions resurface. Relief, pride, happiness... Leonie had spent a long time just training, improving herself so she could get closer to her mentor's level of skill. It was hard, the weight of those expectations she felt she had to fulfill was enough to make someone want to quit. She never thought she'd be able to hear those words come directly from Jeralt himself and now that she had she finally felt like she actually achieved her goal. She felt like she was released from the doubts that were always in the back of her mind and now she could finally relax a little.

    "I learned from the best," she countered, smiling proudly. She could feel the urge to cry rising inside of her, but she was pushing it back. She wasn't gonna crack like this.

    That aside, there were more questions to answer. Namely what happened with Lady Rhea, which was, well... technically easy to answer, but Leonie wasn't sure how she could tell him that she was actually a giant dragon without sounding like she was making something up. Honestly, she never would've believed it if she hadn't seen it happen with her own two eyes.

    "Lady Rhea was being held captive in a dungeon in Enbarr. We rescued her after we defeated Edelgard. All that time being captive really took a toll on her though, so she wasn't fit to be the archbishop anymore." Leonie frowned. It was hard to see Lady Rhea look so weak, like she could collapse at any moment. Whatever issues Edelgard had with her, doing that to someone was just wrong. "With both the Empire and Kingdom without leaders, the plan then was for us to unite all of Fódlan under one banner. We expected Claude to take over, but he had other things he needed to do, so instead he left it to the Professor."

    She spoke the last sentence casually, briefly forgetting that to Jeralt in particular, that information would be pretty huge. It was pretty visible in her expression when that realization hit her, prompting her to say at least a little bit more on the subject.

    "So, uh, yeah... your kid became the first king of the now United Kingdom of Fódlan," she restated, her voic sounding a bit awkward as she wasn't sure if this was the right way to break out that particular bit of news.

     
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