The Impregnable Fortress
Explore - Chapter 17
Dimitri, the late prince of Faerghus. He despised the Empire with all his heart.
He should not have tried leading an army while his emotions were holding him captive.
True enough, but I suspect the reason he died is that he could not keep his emotions in check.
I see. You are saying you met with Dimitri?
But you could not tell if it was reality or a dream. Hm. I wonder what that could mean.
Fort Merceus is next, huh? Ah, the memories.
It's a huge stronghold in my father's domain. The town's completely surrounded by high walls.
I used to run around there when I was a kid...
Way back when a fortress was just a playground for me. Yeah, those were the days.
It's always so peaceful coming back here. But it's hard to relax knowing we have to go out on another expedition again so soon.
And assaulting that huge keep? That sounds hard. Oh, really hard! Don't you think it'll be hard?!
I knew you'd think so! I knew you— Ow! Oh, ow. Can't believe I tried to hug you through the door...
I heard that a staggering number of people lost their lives in the battle at Gronder.
And here we are, preparing for the next battle, as if nothing happened the day before.
It's almost easier to think about war as theater, with the stage an entire continent.
Something like that. If an accident happens on stage, the next day's performance must be unaffected.
Even if an accident happens on stage, the next day you have to sing as though nothing happened.
Everyone just pretends like everything is fine... focusing on their role in the play.
It hasn't sunk in yet.
They slaughtered the boar... I can hardly believe it. I thought he was alive all this time.
He must have really hated Edelgard to lead such an ill-advised assault.
Hmph. No point in feeling sorry for the poor scoundrel now.
I've heard Dedue's passed on. Just like His Highness.
You're right. I don't think anyone's found his body, so I guess he might still be out there.
If, somehow, he's still alive...I hope we'll meet again.
Ya know, Professor, laying siege to a keep is like asking a girl out on a date.
First, you get past her defenses...then you make your move.
Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I'm a seasoned veteran at this kind of thing.
Girls, I mean. I've never actually, you know, captured any keeps...
Anyway, you know more about tactics than me, so I don't know why I'm offering you advice.
Oh, Goddess, hear my prayer. Please bless the deceased with peace everlasting...
And may his soul rest in tranquility.
You know, I used to see him praying quite often when I would come to the cathedral at night.
I wonder who it was he prayed for back then...
I only know what little I overheard.
But what I did hear implied that the Empire was involved in the Tragedy of Duscur.
If it's true, that may explain why His Highness chose to fight the Empire.
Perhaps I should have fought alongside His Highness.
Because...I, too, lost someone to that tragedy— the most important person in my world.
Those of us still on this plane of existence will carry the torch. The inhumane actions of the Empire must not be repeated.
Fort Merceus is old and strong. Its reputation for durability is equal to that of Arianrhod.
Are you certain your plan is sufficient? It seems to be a little simplistic.
That's not terrifically reassuring! Shouldn't you have more faith in your own plans?!
Incidentally have you heard any news of Claude?
I, for one, have a hard time believing he is dead. He was always a clever and tenacious sort.
You know when you work your muscles and they start screaming? That means you gotta be nice to them.
If your muscles are hungry, you gotta feed them, and let them rest when they're tired.
Of course! If my muscles hurt, then I hurt. If they're hungry, well then I'm hungry too!
What's with the confused face, Professor? You look like you don't get a word I'm saying!
If Claude somehow survived, I imagine he's terribly wounded.
All three forces have suffered heavy losses. We're incredibly lucky to have not been involved.
This is a perfect and unique opportunity to go on the offense. Now is the time to prove ourselves, Professor.
I like this idea of yours—dressing as Imperial soldiers so they'll let us in. But don't you wish there was one more twist in the plan?
Come on, Professor, think! How could we add another wrinkle, hm?
On second thought, let's just stick to the plan as originally conceived. That seems safer.
The battle at Gronder Field certainly took an unexpected turn, did it not?
Let us press on, so as not to waste the opportunity.
Fort Merceus is a keep that was constructed to defend the Imperial Capital, Enbarr.
We cannot enter the capital without first capturing that fort. But once we have it, the city should be almost entirely at our mercy.
I will make the necessary preparations. Be ready.
Fort Merceus is the Empire's single most fortified military installation. Utterly impregnable, they say.
I wonder, do you happen to know the nickname given to Fort Merceus?
Seems Fódlans give everyone and everything a nickname. Why, you were called the Ashen Demon!
Myself, I have been called the Father of Crestology, which is a nickname as well as a title, I suppose...
Each step closer to Enbarr, I'm reminded of another part of my past.
Riches and poverty, glory and failure, that city has it all. And if I'm honest...sometimes I miss it.
That's how the past works though, isn't it? It's always a different story than what you really lived.
You're quite a tactician! Disguising ourselves as enemy soldiers to sneak in, undetected. A stroke of brilliance.
In a frontal attack, our losses would be tremendous. With this strategy, we can really snatch victory from the jaws of...deceit!
I hardly recognize everyone... Their faces have changed so much. More experience in the eyes, and more pain.
I'm glad that they're stronger, but I hate to think they've all become hardened killers.
Look after them, OK? Try to keep 'em on the straight-and-narrow.
Did you give the ridiculous order to prepare Imperial armor for every one of our troops?
I've reached out through all of my channels, but there are limits to these things.
I'll have to recruit an entire town's worth of people if I ever plan on making enough.
Guess what I noticed. I can see further than most other people can see.
But I can't figure the point of seeing further than an arrow can fly, since I can't shoot what I see.
I suppose I could see a whole horde of enemies coming and run away. That's kinda useful, at least.
Thanks, Professor. I think I get it now. I'm gonna put my eyes to real good use.
Greetings, Professor! Nothing to report!
Is it true that we'll be assaulting Fort Merceus next? That doesn't sound like the brightest idea...
I've heard that it's built to withstand an attack from even the largest of armies!
Not to tell you how to do your job, but don't do it! I'm not ready to say my final good-byes to everyone...
Things we can't obtain here are likely obtainable by way of the underground.
Are you unfamiliar with Garreg Mach's underground? The place is an absolute paradise for those who can't stay above ground.
Doesn't matter how sturdy the keep, if the commander defending it is incompetent, it can fall as easy as anything.
That's what they say, at least. I wonder if that applies to Fort Merceus...
All I know is if I was the emperor, I'd never in a million years assign an incompetent commander to a fort as important as that one!
I've come to deliver vegetables we harvested in the village to the monastery's dining hall.
Because of the season, I couldn't really pick that much...but I wanted to help the church out, even just a little bit.
We're busily planting seeds, so when things start to grow, I'll be back.
Knight of Seiros
I've heard that Gilbert, who used to serve in the Knights of Seiros, fell at Gronder.
Apparently he was originally a knight of the Kingdom. And now he's shared Prince Dimitri's fate.
Gilbert was an exceptional knight. It's an unspeakable shame...
According to information we've received from the Eastern Church, the Alliance territories seem to be experiencing intense upheaval.
Their leader's well-being is still unclear, and the lords are all questioning each other's intentions.
It seems like a difficult time to ask the Alliance for assistance...
The fish in this pond get fed every day, so they're swimming all lazy and serene...
But the only reason they're kept here is so that they can one day be used for food.
But the fish don't know that, so they just swim around happily...
It's a bit of a miserable thought, but aren't soldiers much the same?
I've come here after getting chased out of the Empire. There's no place for our kind there anymore.
But there are still many inside Empire territory who haven't abandoned their faith in the Church of Seiros.
I pray that one day, we'll get the chance to rebuild the church within the Empire...
Knight of Seiros
After that great battle earlier, the balance of power in Fódlan has shifted greatly...
But we only stood a chance because we drove the Empire from the Great Bridge of Myrddin.
To get revenge for all our fallen friends, we'll have to stake our lives on the fight that lies before us.
If the Empire rallies its forces and attacks Garreg Mach, I'm not so sure Abyss will be OK...
If we're not careful, it'll end up buried in rubble.
Like I said, only if we're not careful. If it comes down to it, I'll protect this place till my dying breath.
Heh heh... Ever the valiant one. But nobody ever knows how a war will turn out. That's part of the deal, you know?
Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I want to ensure there is still a refuge for people to escape to.
It's not that I don't sympathize with Lady Edelgard's goals, mind you.
But perhaps not to the point of shedding blood for her ideals.
Peace in Fódlan and a restored House Nuvelle shall be my guiding star as I blaze my own trail!
People have always fought, I guess. Bandits and nobles clashing over territory. Things like that.
So before the war, when folks talked about how peaceful everything was, I thought, "What continent are you living on?"
I get it now. A few isolated skirmishes here and there are nothing compared to a full-blown war.
The one truly peaceful place I've known was the village where I grew up.
I'd love to catch up, but I'm super busy right now. Working. For money. You understand.
I'd love to catch up, but I'm super busy right now. Working. For money. You understand.
A class reunion on the battlefield? That's...bleak. That must have been so hard on everyone.
You gotta keep looking after them all. I mean, they still look to you for guidance, you know?
There's unrest everywhere these days. All of my fellow merchants seem to be endangered.
I hope things go back to normal soon. People need more to smile about, aside from my great deals.
Abyss? You're interested in that place, are you?
Ancient sprawling remains deep below Garreg Mach... That's Abyss.
Some folks have made their home there. Obviously they all have their reasons and tales to tell.
But only the most enterprising merchant would venture near it. My advice? Avoid going there yourself.
Hey, you. Listen up. I've got something to report.
Lots of things happen down here. Lots of reports need to be reported. And for all reportable things, I'm your guy.
Got a wager for ya. My friend says there's twice as many women in Abyss as men. You think he's right?
I used to be a rather important person in the church, but...I am in exile for committing a crime.
I embezzled some money. But it wasn't out of greed!
My hometown was pillaged, you see, and the church wasn't putting in enough to rebuild...
I hurt my leg in the last battle. Had to take shelter down here—nowhere else to go.
Be careful up there. All sides are bringing their strongest people to this fight.
Count Bergliez in the Empire, Lord Holst in the Alliance... I'm sure the Kingdom's got someone too.
Ah, I see. So you are Jeralt's child. You so resemble your mother.
I did indeed. I was acquainted with your parents. I've been wanting to speak with you for a while now.
I've been gone from the monastery for some time now because... Well, it matters not.
Might I...ask a favor of you?
Do you mind terribly picking up some fresh flowers to place upon your mother's grave?
I am certain she'd be deeply moved to receive a gift from you.
Thank you so much. This is just the type of flower she once loved so dearly.
I can rest easy now.
I must be off. Take especially good care of yourself, won't you?
Please, look after Jeralt. She'd have wanted that.