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Private invisible ties

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by Lucina Lowell, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Lucina Lowell

    Lucina Lowell Fire Emblem
    Future Witness

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    August 18th, Year 108 ~ @Robin
    [​IMG]

    The fog seemed to be determined to settle throughout the forest as much as it could. No matter where her eyes settled, a white mist cursed her vision to only see so many feet ahead of her without a struggle. Had it not been for the fact that Lucina made a journey through these woods on multiple occasions, she may have worried about possibly becoming lost amidst all of the trees and wildlife.

    Instead, Lucina tried to uphold a sense of awareness. Especially in a fog as thick as this, she could easily find herself stumbling across an unexpected foe or predator keen on delivering her harm. Though, it can be said that, for as much as she can't see, any dangers to her that aren't inanimate objects can see just as little. Still, it never killed someone to be wary.

    Hm. That voice in her head almost reminded her of Frederick. Yet, she knew better than to say that influence was from him alone.

    The Exalt paused in her tracks for just a moment. It was almost as if she had suddenly remembered the weight that rested itself on her ever since she came to Pandora... or since she had awakened in this 'new Pandora.' Could she even call it that as of this point? She had resided in this reforged version of Pandora for much longer than she had been in the one that came before.

    Despite having been around for a year, however, there was always a... sense that Lucina felt. An aura of loneliness surrounded her. Of course, she had the subjects of Oakheart, the few friends she had made that had yet to be dragged out of Pandora such as Prompto, Samus, and Velouria, and, possibly one of the best things to have happened to her in Pandora, Elthunder.

    Yet, she felt as if she were alone. Homesick, even. There were little to no remnants of her home left in this world. She heard a rumor of a man resembling her father being present in Pandora, but she could never find him. Her uncle didn't even recognize her as his niece and at some point vanished at Pandora's will. Her nephew, who had been with her since her initial arrival, turned out missing, save for a brief period of time two months ago- although, as much as she missed his company, she could hardly deny how he often was displeased with her for actually trying to allow herself to have fun as everyone suggests she does. Perhaps that was for the best. Maybe she had to be lonely. This was her fate.

    Her lost family doesn't even account for the friends she made in Pandora who vanished one night without a trace. Brigitte, Richter, Shulk... many people she tried to forge a bond with. Was this the life of Pandora, or had she simply been given a trail of misfortune? Maybe it was just greed that caused her to believe she was misfortunate and lonely... but she never thought she was such a person. So how could she always feel such loneliness?

    Not even Naga was her, no matter how she prayed. She had forsaken her.

    Her brow furrowed as she cursed to herself. No, she shouldn't believe that. Despite Naga being a goddess, she wasn't all-powerful, so she possibly wasn't able to access this realm. If she were all-powerful, then Grima would have never brought as much destruction as he could, unless Naga...

    ...

    No, she had to stop that. She couldn't have those... thoughts. She had to continue moving before something else found her. A creature, a demon... she could almost feel as if Grima's own eyes were beginning to settle in on her. He could see her.

    And suddenly, through the thick of the fog, she could see their eyes. The glowing eyes of the Risen, striking out with no warning at the princess.
    Without allowing herself time to hesitate, Lucina pulled Falchion from her sheath, just barely able to block the axe of one of the Risen. In the adrenaline of the moment, she couldn't even realize the weightlessness of it all. After a step back, her sword slashed simultaneously toward them both, cutting down them immediately as they collapsed to the ground.

    In a blink of the eye, Lucina made a realization: there was nothing there. Nothing tried to attack her. No corpses of Risen laid at her feet, or purple smog emitting from their defeat. Instead, a slash mark was left on a poor, bystanding tree.

    ...

    Why was she constantly haunted? Her breath tried to slow, but Lucina could still feel a surge of energy racing through her. She had to stop her train of thought... something else... anything else... Nothing that would remind her...

    ...

    Her mother's birthday is in two days, isn't it?

    ...

    Lucina collapsed to her knees, dropping Falchion at her side as she tried not to breakdown further.

     
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  2. Robin

    Robin Fire Emblem

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    Fingers nervously ran along the edges of his tome as he walked through the fog - no real end-goal in mind. It wasn't like him to go at anything without a plan - but this "Pandora" was something else entirely. While the people here all claimed to be from different places - different times, he knew not to let his guard down. With Grima's hand in getting him here, he had little doubt this was all some sort of trick - illusion. Being transported away from the fight and to an unrecognizable land was...not at all what he expected. Maybe killed on the spot. Maybe absorbed within the Fell Dragon. But thrown into the middle of a field was strangely poetic. While it wasn't Chrom that helped him to his feet - or anyone at all, he appreciated the mirror. And - more than ever - appreciated his memories. This time they weren't lost. The forged bonds remained present in the back of his mind - faces of the people he loved kept him going. For them, he'd push forward and get to the bottom of what was happening. People insisted that you couldn't leave this place. That you were transported here at random, by the whim at some unseen force; which could just as easily wipe you away.

    Which...sounded like Grima. But the fact this place wasn't in ruin was what gave him pause. A distinct lack of chaos and Risen seemed out of place for the Destroyer God. Robin could also still...feel Grima. A feeling he was aware of since waking up in that field, but couldn't place it until the knowledge was forced upon him. A weight in the back of his mind - watching him. Waiting. He made a point to keep his gloves on - covering the mark of Grima - at least until he more understood what was happening and where he was.

    The most feasible possibility was actually quite simple.
    He was dead.

    It added up with the stories of others here. Made sense for Grima to strike him down when he submitted to him. He...thought it would go differently - bet his friends' lives that it would go differently. Unless...him dying took out Grima too. Struck down by his own hand could technically go either way. Maybe...this wasn't in vain. Maybe his friends were safe.

    The lack of certainty weighed on him. Tension in his shoulders and back made his neck feel stiff as he traveled.

    Robin took a deep breath in.
    A deep breath out.

    It'd all be okay.
    He'd be okay.

    It was foolish to assume he failed when there wasn't proof either way.
    Robin needed to stay level-headed until the picture was clearer.

    Pulling his hood over his features, he moved through the fog - shivering slightly against its icy touch; tome clutched to his chest as he walked. He jumped slightly at a sharp sound ahead. Was that...a fight? Was someone in danger? He blindly moved forward - stopping when a silhouette came into view. A familiar form sinking to her knees.

    Lucina?

    His heart skipped a beat - simultaneously relieved to see someone familiar, and overflowing with dread with what that meant. If this was the life beyond death - her presence was...most unwelcome. It also meant that he really had failed. That his sacrifice meant nothing. That the gamble hadn't led to where he hoped and prayed it would.

    Instead, his wife was on the ground just ahead of him - Robin slowly approaching as he attempted to balance his own emotions. Crouching down behind her, he gently put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it. She was real. Warm. Not an illusion of this questionable forest. His grip tightened.

    "I'm here," his words low - quiet, gentle, "I've got you, Lucina."
     
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  3. Lucina Lowell

    Lucina Lowell Fire Emblem
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    Location:
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    Her finger tips pushed into the earth below her as dirt collected on her glove which protected her palm from a similar fate. It almost felt as if her entire body was limp. Her head gravitated toward the earth as her neck put no effort to keep it straight up. Only a certain tightness in her arms and core were all she could feel as she trembled.

    She was fine... She was fine... Or, at least she kept trying to tell herself that, yet all of her senses almost refused to listen. Her breathing began to grow heavy as she intensely stared down at the ground, trying to recuperate herself. She had to get up. She couldn't. It was as if she felt such an immense, corrupt presence that burned into her soul that kept her paralyzed on the ground.

    Lucina. Get up. Get up. Get up-

    Out of the blue, the worst thing that could happen to her in that moment of vulnerability came to life. In the Dednear Forest, a hand gripped her shoulder. Immediately, she froze up. Her hand wasn't even holding Falchion's grip. By the time she would grab it, surely the foe's blade would sink into her flesh and put her out of her misery. Was there a point to trying to resist? She made a fatal mistake. This was her end.

    ...

    Yet, for whatever reason, the stranger hadn't taken the moment to strike. That hardly helped her nearly shaking body as she realized that may not be their intention. Instead, they ushered some words, words she could only barely process. "I'm here. I got you..." There was an odd sense of familiarity to them, but her head could hardly process who they could've belonged to.

    But... it was enough. Enough for her to not take her opportunity to pick up the blade, spin around, and cut whoever dared to grab her down. At least, not without trying to use her senses to see who it was first.

    In a swift motion, she spun her body around and allowed the hand to fall off of her. The blue-haired princess stared into the face of whoever had held on to her and whispered into her ears, her eyes doing their best to focus on him rather than spinning at everything in sight.

    Robin.

    As she stared into Robin's eyes, for a brief moment, an expression of horror remained on her face. One that was staring into the eyes of an assailant. A murderer. A destroyer of all life and all one holds dear. That was the first thing to collect itself as she processed the person in front of her. Next, it was her breathing, gradually beginning to quiet and slow as the adrenaline coursing through her started to take its leave. Still, the sweat of fear glistened against her skin.

    At last, she grew the courage to speak. "...R-Robin?" She murmured, her breath hitched. How did she even process this? At one moment, she was wallowing in her loneliness, her uselessness. In the next, a man sat above her, looking down at the miserable state she was in.

    A friend. A friend from home. A friend who she grew close to amidst a war. A friend she could rely on, who she could count on. A friend who realized killed her father in the time she broke away from. A friend she tried to slay to save the future, but couldn't bring herself despite everything. A friend, among many, who she abandoned at the request of Naga, who has now forsaken her. A friend she thought was... different once she met his face in Pandora. A friend she distanced herself from out of fear, who became scarce. A friend she had nightmares over, she felt guilty over.

    A friend she had treated terribly despite everything good he had done for her once.

    "...What are you doing... here?"


     
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  4. Robin

    Robin Fire Emblem

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    She froze at his touch and he couldn't help but wonder if he had just fallen prey to a trap. A woodland known for illusions, traps - things that were impossible seen before them as a way to draw them further and further in. Yet Robin hadn't even hesitated when he recognized Lucina ahead of him. It was...sloppy, wasn't it? Emotions overriding logic in a moment of weakness. Robin thought he was better than that - but knew he also wasn't. When it came down to it, his friends were both his greatest weakness and strength all at once.

    Lucina shook under his fingers, causing him to tighten his grip - brows pinching together as he attempted to string together what was happening. What could shake someone as strong as Lucina to her core like this? She quickly turned around causing him to attempt to back up to give her space. But...since he was crouching, he just ended up sitting down fully - arms behind him to keep him from falling fully onto the ground.

    There was fear in her eyes.
    Fear while looking at him.
    Did she see Grima?

    Robin quickly pushed himself forward so he was sitting on his knees - holding up his hands as she spoke his name as a question.

    "It's...it's just me. I promise," his voice quiet - suppressing the urge to hold her. To comfort her. To cup her face and tell her it'd be okay. She was clearly jumpy and forcing his presence on her was the last thing she needed. So he'd just sit in place and talk to her until she was calm.

    "I could ask you the same thing," a weak smile, as he pushed his own hood down - so he could clearly be seen, "Though...I'm not sure of the answer myself. I've only been in this place for a short while, and am still trying to put the pieces together. I thought it was Grima's doing at first but...it's too peaceful here. I-I don't really know what Pandora is. People have explained it to me but I'm just...still sort of unsure what to make of this place," his gaze fell as he sighed.

    He hated not knowing.
     
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  5. Lucina Lowell

    Lucina Lowell Fire Emblem
    Future Witness

    Posts:
    132
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Exalt of Oakheart
    Location:
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    Although she never saw him appear, it was almost as if Grima's demonic red eyes did their best to pierce through Robin's flesh. To alert Lucina. To scare her. To taunt her. Some corrupt plot to drive her insane, even though she is trapped in a box where she couldn't escape to stop any new schemes conducted by the Fell Dragon if he managed to revive himself and continue his rampage. Not only that, but has the Tempest been consuming worlds while she remains stuck here?

    Those thoughts were hardly enough to distract her from her newfound situation, however. Paralyzed to her soul, her eyes attempted to remain glued to Robin, but she uncontrollably averted her gaze, glancing to the sides almost as if worried about some other force coming to strike. As if this were a distraction in it of itself.

    But... that couldn't be, could it? She felt Robin's hand clutch her shoulder. The sensation almost even seemed to still linger, but any check would assure her that it was well away.

    This had to be real. This had to be Robin.

    Had she not chased him away? Only briefly had that Robin tried to speak with her, then suddenly he had ceased from continuing. She vaguely was aware of his presence had been in Pandora for quite a while, but she never made an effort to contact him again. Effectively, she erased him from her life in Pandora. It was not something she desired to curse someone as close of a friend as Robin, but her mind was almost tormented by him whenever her eyes laid upon him within this realm.

    It was just him...

    Her mind has been manipulative of her perception of Robin over the past year.

    Why couldn't she think right about him?

    This was Robin. Not... not Grima.

    They were two different people.

    Her head carefully nodded at his assurance of his identity, trying to remind herself of that fact. How long had she gone thinking like this? She... had to stop it. Robin was a good friend, despite... everything associated with him.

    Although, the most peculiar piece of information had been given to her: Robin only remembered being in Pandora for the past few days. Had... the previous Robin been taken out of Pandora? She never even knew... What a terrible friend she was. Perhaps this was why she was lonely. Why she was hardly blessed with long, fulfilling encounters with friends and family from the life she had been taken from.

    Her eyes looked over his complexion, his pale hair, bright eyes... things she had not seen for a long time. "I have been marching from a wasteland to return to the village I've settled in," Lucina began to answer his question. Could... she possibly fix things? This was almost as if it was a new beginning. Robin, forgetting how horribly she treated him, was kneeling before her as if it never happened. She could fix this... was that manipulative of her? Taking advantage of an unfair situation? She pressed her lips together, glancing toward the ground in worry. She should be careful about not accidentally becoming worse of a friend than she started off as.

    Still, the visions could still plague her mind. That was clearly a risk... but, to be frank, she missed her friend. She... had to fight this. If not for her sake, then for his. "Those people were right... This is a different realm: Pandora. People from all sorts of different realms have been forced into here..." Her eyes tried to return to Robin, fixating on his eyes. Not Grima's.

    "I have been here for..." She paused for a brief moment, thinking. How did she explain this? Did she tell Robin of the Calamity, which jumped them forward a hundred years in time? Did she tell him how she witnessed the destruction of the realm? And how she died during it? Frankly, there was no reason she should still exist after that day... It was surreal. To think it was almost the anniversary of that time. "I suppose it would be easier to say I have been here for little more than a year."

    It was easier. Perhaps another time she could elaborate for him, but... the last thing she should vividly describe at that moment was her death.

    "Neither Grima nor Naga have made and physical appearance or connection here... All I have had are... Nightmares," She swallowed nervously. It wasn't exactly a topic she spoke with Robin often about, but... they were always present. Sleep had only grown more difficult in Pandora.

    Shaking her head, the princess grabbed Falchion, carefully bringing herself to her feet rather than continue to succumb to collapsing. Not that her legs stopped shaking. Oh, her body refused to quit tremoring. Sheathing her blade, she extended a hand to her newfound companion. Hopefully, a companion she wouldn't push away. Again.

    She just had to keep standing strong.

     
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  6. Robin

    Robin Fire Emblem

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    Robin quietly listened to her speak not realizing how much relief came from seeing a familiar face until that very moment. And not just anyone either - but the woman he had chosen to spend the rest of his life with. At first...he had been hesitant with his feelings towards her. After all, she was the infant daughter of his best friend in his timeline. It didn't matter that they worked well together in combat. It didn't matter that...literally the rest of his friends were settling down, getting married, and having children. What came first was everyone else and their happiness. His emotions were ill-placed and he'd ignore them.

    Until he didn't.

    A small bunch of flowers, burning face, a pep-talk from a friend on the back of his mind.

    They even got to meet their daughter, thanks to the warping of timelines. A horrible little demon named Morgan, who seemed to be naturally gifted in tactics and wanted nothing more than to be just like her dad.

    A daughter that would never be born since he now found himself in Pandora.

    Robin quietly noted how she worded what Pandora was. No mention of this being a prison by Grima. No mention of...any of that. Just another realm. And...she had been here for a year.

    His gaze fell as his brows pinched together, as he sat on his knees before her. Every suspicion - every guess he had to this place, was apparently incorrect. Lucina being here for a year broke every shred of a theory he had. Which meant...maybe this really was just a different realm. Something that had nothing to do with that last rather precarious situation he found himself in. Which also meant that the thing he heard about timelines might actually be true. They could be plucked from anytime from any variation. Meaning the woman before him might not...actually be his wife.

    Robin quickly shoved the thought aside, knowing there were more pressing things to focus on.

    "A year," he repeated, chewing on his bottom lip a bit in thought, "Are any of the others here?" he followed another train of thought, lifting his gaze once more to meet hers with a bit of hope in his eyes.

    He was making a point to not look at her hands for a ring.

    "Neither Grima nor Naga have made and physical appearance or connection here... All I have had are... Nightmares,"

    He was barely able to hear the full sentence, before he felt it. A familiar punch to the back of his mind at the mention of Grima. Robin physically recoiling a bit - a soft gasp as a hand clutched his head. So...Grima was still here. Still with him. The Fell Dragon taking the mention of his name to remind Robin he was but a vessel - a husk meant for something greater to wear. That was...concerning, considering the situation he had let. He had said yes to Grima - yes to submitting to his will. Did that mean he had more power over Robin here?

    Did that mean he could come out whenever he wanted?

    Robin shook his head to both clear the thoughts and the pain he knew wouldn't really leave him for the rest of the day; like a bruise that would get disturbed by the faintest things until he rested again.

    "I'm sorry you have nightmares here. Understandable through...everything you've seen," he rubbed his temple a bit, before dropping the hand - deciding to ignore it, even if the pressure remained in his head, "But...that town you're heading to - would it be alright if I joined you? I must admit I don't have a location I was heading to myself."

     
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  7. Lucina Lowell

    Lucina Lowell Fire Emblem
    Future Witness

    Posts:
    132
    Gender:
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    Occupation:
    Exalt of Oakheart
    Location:
    Oakheart
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    21
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Directory:
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    Was anyone else here? ... Sometimes, it was difficult for Lucina to tell what had happened and what hadn't happened. Who had actually been there, and who wasn't? Everything almost seemed to mesh together, like ancient memories from her past mingling themselves into her current life. They never wanted to leave her. They were always present in there, somewhere. Waiting to come out and confuse her next waking moment.

    ...Who had actually been there? At least, of the names that Robin would recognize whatsoever. She had met a few people she knew, but they were certainly nobody Robin could have met before. It was only thanks to the chaotic nature of the Tempest that she had even vaguely recognized some of these faces. Then there was that sip from the fountain of truth, a few more faces and names to go with them became prevalent in her mind. It was disorderly, who she actually knew and who she didn't.

    It almost felt as if, everyone who had been there at some point, was some distant dream she experienced in a different time, a different place. Her brother, Inigo, had been there at her side only briefly before he vanished from her life once again. Her uncle encountered her in the mountains, not knowing who she was, before stepping out of her life as well. Her father... she still isn't sure whether it was merely his existence was in her hope or he was actually present in Pandora. Whichever was the truth, all she knew was she never found him before he vanished like the rest.

    And then Robin was also there, distantly.

    ...

    "The only person we know who is also trapped in this realm is... Aversa, I believe," Lucina answered, deciding against describing any of her other thoughts about who had been once there. It was easier this way. "In the past, there had been others, but..." Quietly, the exalt took in a breath, exhaling out her nose before finishing the thought, "They... simply are not anymore."

    "Truthfully, I have always felt a sense of isolation. Even in the span of a year, I have seen many faces come and gone again. I don't know what keeps me chained to this realm... Only that I have outstayed the faces I recognized," Lucina admitted, her head bowing slightly as she thought of the many faces she once knew. The people who she never would see again. "I would be lying if I claimed I don't worry the same fate will claim you. No matter what I tried, I couldn't fight the whims of fate here."

    A frown overcame her, which she had done her best to overcome, but faltered. She wasn't going to breakdown again. Not now. Her gaze stared off to the side, scanning the earth below them as she tried to dispel the thoughts of despair from her mind. It wasn't even for the same reasons... Gods.

    Eventually, she met Robin's gaze once more, doing what she could to maintain eye contact with the lost-now-found white-haired tactician. "...You have my gratitude for your sympathies," The princess sighed, her head craning side-to-side as she pushed away more thoughts of the nightmares. The less she thought about them, the better. After all, she would be given plenty of time to contemplate them toward the night hours.

    "You wish to accompany me...?" Lucina's eyes widened, almost as if shocked by his question. Realizing her shift in expression, the woman tried her best to return it to its previous state. "If you wish to do so, then... Let us make our way to Oakheart now. We may continue our conversation on our way there," The princess insisted, beginning to continuing to walk as she turned away from the tactician. Briefly, she glanced behind her, gauging whether or not he was following, before returning her gaze ahead of her.


     
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  8. Robin

    Robin Fire Emblem

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    Robin continued to sit on his knees - hand idly rubbing at his temple from the mention of Grima as Lucina explained who else was present within this Pandora. He was more than hopeful for Chrom - maybe some of the others that came back in time with her. Lissa would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Frederick would keep him on track. Even if it had only been a handful of days since he last saw them, he missed them all greatly. He couldn't help but wonder what occurred after his disappearance.

    But at Lucina's words he froze. Fingers that were idly drawing circles on his head to rub away the ache from Grima, halting. Eyes widening as he felt a chill run down his spine.

    "Aversa?" he repeated, feeling his pulse quicken. She knew how to let that demon within him free. She could complete the ritual. She could...free Grima. And she was here. It was likely even easier now, since Grima practically had Robin's consent to take over. Submitting to the Destroyer God to get closer, to save his friends. It should have worked - it was his only option. But now it was just...an unknown risk. This...this thing inside him, just waiting to break free. To cast him away, and use his body as its vessel.

    After all, that's why he was born.
    Why he was created.

    Robin physically shivered - almost not hearing the rest of what Lucina had said.

    He tried to recover - to focus on her new words. Clearing his throat, he dropped his hand from his temple - knowing it wouldn't do any good anyway. The headache would remaining throbbing until he slept that night.

    "Oh...I heard of others mention this. Pandora has a fluid nature - people passing in and out," he hadn't really understood it at the time - but context helped. A final glimpse at a full picture, to place the puzzle-piece in the correct location.

    He paused, realizing what this meant, however.

    "...You're alone here," his brows pinching together. He wanted to reach out again, yet kept his hands at bay. Until he...knew what their relationship actually was, he was hesitant to touch her. Words sinking in, as his gaze fell. She was worried that he'd disappear - just like the others.

    "Lucina...I have no way to promise you that I won't disappear tomorrow. I don't think I have control of that. But while I'm here, I won't let you be alone anymore," he gave up keeping his hands to himself, resting his hand on her shoulder, "I'm...sorry you've had to watch people leave this world. But I'm here now."

    Robin offered her a soft smile - heat pulling at his cheeks. He probably had said too much but...too late now.

    At her confusion of him following her, he smiled, "Of course I want to accompany you. You're the first thing to make sense in this...unsettling world," he admitted, gaze falling with a touch of a frown.

    Lucina began to walk - Robin only realizing she had started moving after she glanced back. He took a few quick paces to return to her side, "So tell me of this Oakheart."
     
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