Lukas: So how does it feel to have doffed the oh-so-heavy mantle of leadership?
Clive: Ha ha! Do I sense a hint of judgment there? I wager I'm lucky someone as level-headed as you keeps me on my toes. Forsyth is all drive and emotion, while Python... Well, Python hardly seems to care about much of anything. Both are fine soldiers in their own ways, but neither is a great advisor.
Lukas: Ha ha ha. Well, don't tell Forsyth. He'd crawl into his bed and never come out again.
Clive: *sigh* I'd laugh were it not true. You see why I need someone like you? A cold observer to watch over me.
Clive: Is something wrong, Lukas? Why the troubled expression?
Lukas: Clive... I was thinking over what you said. About my being a "cold observer"?
Clive: What, that?
Lukas: Yes, that. It's true—I AM cold. Few passions ever manage to flare up in me. Granted, I'm not nearly as dispassionate as Python... But just once, I should like to be red with rage, green with envy... Something! I wonder if it is normal to feel so... detached.
Clive: Of course it is. And I believe such perfect composure to be a virtue beyond compare.
Lukas: Well, I am who I am. I imagine I should stop hoping for more.
Forsyth: Wait... Is that him? It is! Sir Clive! Sir Cliiive!
Clive: Ah, Forsyth. How fare you?
Forsyth: Never better, sir! I could take on a whole army, so I could! Just watch as I secure a grand victory in your name, sir!
Clive: Splendid. Er, but while I appreciate your enthusiasm, I have a small request: Please DO NOT run headlong into the enemies ranks again. How many times now have we had to save you because you got separated?
Forsyth: Eeep! Yes, sir. S-sorry, sir. I will strive to do better see! And if I fail to learn my lesson. then I am prepared to die a warrior's death for my mistakes!
Clive: Let us hope it does nor come to that. You know, you have tremendous talent, Forsyth. but you are far too tense. Perhaps you should attempt...to loosen up.
Forsyth: L-loosen up, sir? A-all right, sir! I'll work on that right away!! Just watch how loose I can be!
Clive: Forsyth, what's wrong? You look distressed. What happened to your usual vim and vigor?
Forsyth: I'm sorry, sir. I tried to do as you said. And I mean, I tried EVERYTHING. But I just can't seem to make it work.
Clive: What are you talking about?
Forsyth: You know. Being...loose. You asked me to treat you the same way as I do Python, remember? But the only way I could do it was to treat Python with MORE respect. And the filthy things that man says! ...We ended up coming to blows. Lukas had to step in and pull us apart. How can I ever treat him like you?
Clive: I...think you may have approached the problem the wrong way.
Forsyth: Sir Clive, why can't things just stay the way they are? You're the land's finest knight—a symbol of everything I've ever admired. And I know this is strange considering how long we've fought together, but I still get excited every time I have a chance to speak with you. If I seem tense or get carried away, it's probably because of that. Do you know what I mean?
Clive: Ah! Now we're getting somewhere.
Forsyth: Er...we are
Clive: You're finally starting to open up! Just don't overthink it, all right? Also I assure you that I'm not worthy of such levels of admiration. You've seen all the terrible mistakes I've made. I feel guilty being put on anyone's pedestal.
Forsyth: Nonsense, sir! True, losing Zofia Castle was a blow, and we've seen our share of failures. But I've watched you closely. Every time, you picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, and kept going. You're the reason we all still have hope! I WANT to put you on my pedestal! I want you pedestaled! Because it's my faith in you that gives me the courage to fight without fear. I know Alm may be our leader now...but you're still the banner we look to. You should remember that, sir.
Clive: I shall. Thank you, Forsyth. And forgive for asking you to change who you are. I realize now that you're already the sort of man the Deliverance needs.
Forsyth: Y-you mean it, sir? Oh, thank you! You honor me!
Python: Uuuuugh! Is the battle over yet? This is exhausting. Just get me as far away from the front lines as possible!
Python: Ahh! Yes?! Um...yes?
Clive: Why the surprise? I just wanted to see how you were faring.
Python: Oh. Well, I suppose I've had better days. ...Uh, sir.
Clive: Honesty always was your finest trait. Still, now that Alm has assumed leadership, we've many new recruits. They're inexperienced, and even frightened in many cases. Such men look to you, ad it would behoove you to set a better example.
Python: Beggin' your pardon, but I ain't so sure that's a good idea. Folks already got you and Forsyth and Lukas for role models if they want 'em. If ol' Python starts acting all hoity-toity, they'll have no one approachable left. Someone around here has to stay on their level.
Clive: I understand, but this is an army. We must also teach them discipline.
Python: You won't get discipline if you don't create a welcoming atmosphere.
Clive: And you don't think we have that now?
Python: Well, I didn't say THAT. ...Er, sir. But truth is, it's not always easy for everyone to find his or her place here.
Clive: I must confess, our last discussion has been weighing on me quite heavily. I seek to close the rift between the Deliverance's nobles and commoners. But there are days when it seems to only grow wider. Have I not endeavored to treat those of low birth fairly? I always thought to reward my men based on merit, not station. And yet you believe some still struggle to fit in.
Python: Well, you won't win any points by using terms like "low birth." ...Sir. You make it sound like it's our privilege to be elevated to your level. Like if we don't have your station, then all we really have are our merits.
Clive: I never meant to slight you, Python. Nor anyone else.
Python: Yeah, I know that. And anyway, you didn't create the order of the world. It ain't your fault. But respectfully and all? You might wanna stop preaching understanding. You can't understand us. Not really. Your life is just very...different.
Clive: You're right. I've never had to worry about starving or freezing to death... I have never had to face the same indignities or despair as you. Yet in trying to champion those causes, perhaps I have become a hypocrite.
Python: Eh, don't flog yourself about it. Lot's of commoners want a champion like you. Hell, Forsyth practically walks behind you tossin' out rose petals. But some of us commonfolk just aren't ever goig to relate to you, so... You know what? What do I know. Forget I said anything, sir.
Python: Sir Clive. Your spirits lifted yet? Sorry for running my mouth, by the way. After our last heart-to-heart, everyone blamed me for putting you out of sorts. Clair practically had me at lancepoint. ...Wait, not practically. Literally. Anyway, if you could tell 'em to let up on poor Python, I'd appreciate it.
Clive: I apologize for what you went through. ...Especially that lance business. It took me some time to come to grips with all you told me. Would you hear me out?
Python: All right...
Clive: Python, I believe in structure. There should be a king and a nobility, and beneath them, common people. That is the structure I was born into. And, to be blunt, I still believe it is the structure a kingdom needs to survive. So I apologize if that does not sit well with you.
Clive: But I CAN believe all that and still have tremendous respect for you. I mean what I say, Python: Noble or common, any man who fights at my side is my ally and friend. I just wanted you to know that.
Python: ...I really got your silk stockings in a bunch, didn't I? Well so long as we're leveling with each other, I think you're dead wrong. Nobles living fancy while the people starve ain't structure—it's privilege. And I hate any man who looks down on me because of it. Now, does that mean I hate you? No. You may not be my FAVORITE person in all the land, but—
Clive: Clearly not.
Python: Heh. Touché. Well let's just agree to disagree on this point, eh? You may not know what it is to starve or freeze, but you still put your life and livelihood at risk for the sake of others. That's enough to win my respect. I mean, it's sure as hell something you'll never catch ME doing!
Python: So even if you don't have my undying affection, rest assured you have my bow, t least until this war is over.
Clive: This gladdens me, Python. Thank you. I cannot say what waits for us at the end of all this, but I hope that we will secure better lives for noble and commoner alike. So please keep fighting—if not for me, then for Alm.
Python: Ugh. I said I would already, didn't I? Ah, whatever. You got it, sir!
Clive: Mathilda! Every night, I dreamt of being able to fight at your side again like this.
Mathilda: As did I, my love. I fear I'm so excited, I can barely keep hold of my weapon. ...You do have that effect on me.
Clive: Heh heh. In that case, I hope I don't lose us the damned battle. There's no need for you to be nervous. I'll be right here. Now go forth and tear the enemy apart like the beautiful war maiden you are.
Mathilda: I thought you would never ask. Watch over me, my love!
Clive: Mathilda, what grieves you? You look so sad. Where hides your lovely smile?
Mathilda: It's your sister... She claims I was showing you up on the battlefield. That it was... unbecoming. This conversation set my mind a'whirl. On the battlefield, man and woman are equals judged by skill alone. But you are to be my lord husband. It was never my wish to diminish you or bring you shame.
Clive: My sister is the one who should be ashamed. Such an old-fashioned idea! I will never be your "lord," and your exploits bring me naught but pride. If I want to outshine you, then I must earn it by my own hand. Don't you dare change. I love you exactly as you are.
Mathilda: And here I thought I could never love you more...!
Clive: Now get back out there and have at those dastards, you wild Valkyrie.
Mathilda: Ah, it does my heart good to hear those words. Now stand back while I unleash the seven hells upon these pitiful fools!