Seth: Thank you. I don't think I've introduced myself. I'm the leader of the Knights of Renais--
Cormag: I know you. Of course I know you. You're General Seth, the Silver Knight.
Seth: ...Yes, that's right. And you are Cormag, the renowned wyvern rider of Grado.
Cormag: If the legendary Silver Knight knows my name, I can't be doing too bad, huh?
Seth: You and your brother, Glen, are famous even among the Knights of Renais. We have no wyvern riders in Renais, and your stories are favorites among the men. I've been watching your combat style since you joined our forces.
Cormag: Oh, is that so? Well, tell me: what do you think?
Seth: I'd love a chance to spar with you.
Cormag: Not a chance. I could never beat you.
Seth: So you say, but I can see in your eyes that you'll never accept failure.
Cormag: Heh... And all this time, I thought you were just another loyal dullard. Guess I was wrong. We should chat some more sometime.
Seth: Yes, I think I'd like that. Perhaps once things have eased up. I'm looking forward to it, Cormag.
Seth: Ah, Cormag. Good timing. I had something I wanted to ask you. Your family, are they all soldiers?
Cormag: Why do you ask?
Seth: Your skill with the spear is amazing. Have you trained since you were a child?
Cormag: No, I come from a long line of dirt-poor farmers. I wielded a plough, not a spear. When we were kids, Glen and I had to chase birds and animals from our fields. We used sticks and stones, and I think that helped with our aim, to be honest.
Seth: Is that so... So why did you join the army?
Cormag: It's a funny story, really. ...The emperor's caravan passed through our village one day. My brother and I watched the glorious procession from the top of a tree. Then, a stray dog started to harry the horses pulling the emperor's carriage. We threw rocks to drive off the mutt, but some soldiers decided to arrest us.
Seth: Why? You were trying to help...
Cormag: Yes, well. We didn't just hit the dog. We got a few of the soldiers as well.
Seth: Ah-ha... So, what happened next?
Cormag: Well, the emperor shows up in the room the soldiers had thrown us. He looks around and, in this very calm but stern voice, says to the soldiers: "What are you men doing, arresting mere children? They were trying to help!" Then, he invites us to dine at his table, and it was a luxurious feast, I tell you! Now, we were just kids. We lacked the basic courtesies. We were just filthy. And we kept droning on about the most idiotic things: chores, the village... But he listened to us intently, and that fatherly smile never left his face. And he said, "You lads are good at driving off dogs with stones... Your skills are wasted in the fields. Let's see how you fare with spears instead."
Seth: And that's how you were recruited.
Cormag: Exactly. It's difficult to ignore such a commanding presence. But...the emperor changed. I still can't believe what's happened.
Seth: ...I was born into a family of knights, so it was a given that I should be one, too. I trained in spear and sword. I studied chivalry and swore my oaths of fealty. And because of my hard work, the late King Fado treated me like a second son. ...It's funny. You and I are from different worlds, but we share the same loyalties.
Cormag: True... But King Fado is dead now. And my emperor is the one who killed him... My emperor is as good as dead to me.
Seth: ...I already serve a new lord. Cormag, you will find a ruler worthy of your loyalties, too.
Cormag: Oh, Seth. Of course. What can I do for you?
Seth: I've been thinking about your story, and I've come to a decision.
Cormag: Hm? What are you talking about?
Seth: ...Cormag, listen. As general of the Knights of Renais, I'd like to offer you a post.
Cormag: What? You want me to join the Knights of Renais?
Seth: Yes, exactly. I've been watching you fight, and I've been thinking about this for some time. Since we've been speaking, I've seen more than just your fighting prowess. I've seen that you're a strong and noble person as well. You are a man I would risk my life fighting beside. Prince Ephraim will be a great king. Would you fight for him with me?
Cormag: I really appreciate it. Thanks, Seth. But...Grado is my home. I can't trade loyalties to Renais just like that.
Seth: ...I knew you would say that.
Cormag: Emperor Vigarde is my only lord. My duty now is to correct the mistakes he has made. That's why I'm here. I hope you can understand.
Seth: Yes, of course... Still, I'm glad that I met you.
Cormag: Same here, Seth. Now, let's get this war over with, shall we?
Seth: Yes, and when it's done, we'll get together and tell some stories.
Cormag: Hey, what's going on here? Don't get too close now. It may look calm now, but it's got a dangerous side. Like me.
Artur:: S-sorry! Oh, the name is Artur.
Cormag: I'm Cormag. Nice to meet you.
Artur:: You, too, Sir Cormag. It's a pleasure.
Cormag: So... Interested in wyverns, are you?
Artur:: It's not so much interest as it is, well, fascination, if you will. The way how they fly in the sky at will... and their powerful limbs. I've seen them from a distance before, but I've never seen one up close... Do you think it would mind if I were to touch it?
Cormag: Nah, go right ahead. But wyverns can be proud. They won't warm up to anyone they think unworthy. Took me three years before this one would let me ride on his back. Oh, he hated me at first. Always snarling and snatching at me... I don't know how many times he threw me when I tried to ride him.
Artur:: R-really? Maybe I should keep my distance then.
Cormag: No, he seems to like you.
Artur:: How do you know?
Cormag: He hasn't tried to eat your face yet, for one thing. Maybe he can sense your, what'd you call it, fascination? Yeah, maybe it won't take too long for you two to be friends.
Artur:: Hm. Well then, it's very nice to meet you, Sir Cormag's Wyvern?
Cormag: His name's Genarog. Next time you're around, come say hi.
Artur:: What's wrong, Sir Cormag? Did something happen?
Cormag: The star-stone amulet that you so generously gave Genarog... It got shattered when an archer attacked us. It's not all bad, though. That stone stopped the arrow cold. Saved both me AND Genarog, it did. Had that amulet been not there, we wouldn't be here right now.
Artur:: That's unfortunate, but I'm glad the amulet worked! I'll have to make a prayer of thanks for the stone's protection.
Cormag: Well, we owe you, Artur. And it's not exactly a perfect trade, but... Here.
Artur:: What's this? This... This looks like a wyvern stone!
Cormag: A wyvern stone? Are they rare?
Artur:: Yes, very! Where on earth did you...
Cormag: Genarog had it. I didn't have any idea what it was. I figured maybe you'd know something about it. And it looks like I was right, wasn't I? You know what it's worth? Well, like I said, it's yours. Keep it.
Artur:: A-are you sure!?
Cormag: Sure. You don't mind, now, do you, Genarog?
Artur:: Th-thank you... I mean it... Sir Cormag, Genarog... Wyvern stones are like dragonstones, only far more rare. Mages covet them. Having one focuses your powers, refines your magical control. But nobody knows where they come from or how to craft them. There are no more than a handful of wyvern stones in the world today. I never thought I'd even see one, much less hold one in my hands.
Cormag: So it's a big deal, eh?
Artur:: It most certainly is, Sir Cormag. Genarog... I can't thank you enough. You've made one of my dreams come true.
Cormag: I'm glad we were able to help you, Artur.
Artur:: I'll cherish this wyvern stone always. ...By the way, Sir Cormag, do you have a dream?
Cormag: ...My dream. Hmph... My only dream right now is to undo the damage Grado has done. I want Grado to be a peaceful nation again, ruled by a gentle man.
Artur:: I'm sure you'll see your own dream realized, Sir Cormag. After all, we're all fighting to make that dream come true. You and Genarog have made my own dream a reality. And you know that I'll do what I can to make yours real, too.
Cormag: Genarog was right. You are a good lad, Artur. Tell you what. If we do restore peace, you must visit my homeland. And when you do, I think Genarog would like to take you flying.
Artur:: I'd love to, Sir Cormag. I look forward to visiting Grado in better times.
Cormag: What's the matter? You've got your gloomy face on again.
Natasha: Doesn't this all get hard for you?
Cormag: This what?
Natasha: ... Ever since this started, we've been fighting nothing but Grado soldiers. These are our countrymen. Our families...
Natasha: Every battle we win, I see only how many casualties we've caused. I'm a healer, but to win this, I must turn my back on my countrymen. I have to let them suffer, when all I want to do is help them. But...
Cormag: ...But what?
Natasha: Grado is responsible for all of this. Our homeland... Grado has caused so many deaths now. We have no choice but to fight.
Cormag: Ah. You see it now. That's the sad irony of the battlefield. I ride a wyvern and use my spear to bring low men who should be my allies. We each joined this cause in hopes of bringing Grado to its senses. Our country has set the world on its ear, and it's up to us to right things.
Natasha: I suppose...
Cormag: ... You know something, Natasha? You should never be ashamed of the fact that you're from Grado. You have no debt to pay, no burden of guilt to bear. Grado was once a magnificent country. Do what you can to restore that glory. It took only a handful of men to turn Grado down the wrong path, but perhaps a mere handful of soldiers can set things right again.
Natasha: I understand, Cormag. I'll do what I know to be right, no matter what. I feel like a heavy fog has been lifted from my heart. Thank you.
Cormag: Ah, I just wanted to see that lovely smile on your face again. You and me, we've got lots to talk about, I think. Let's do this again.
Cormag: Princess Tana! That still sounds so odd to me. You know, I had no idea you were a princess at first. But please, just call me Cormag. There's no need for honorifics with me.
Tana: Cormag it is, then. I had a favor to ask of you.
Cormag: What would you have me do, Princess?
Tana: I'm prone to attacks from archers when I'm on the battlefield...
Cormag: That makes two of us. It's a common problem for airborne soldiers.
Tana: I thought perhaps we could keep watch for archers and warn one another.
Cormag: Hm. Yes, you've got a good idea there. A "buddy system" of sorts. But if you saw an ally in danger, you'd warn him regardless, wouldn't you?
Tana: Well, of course! But we're so high up that I was worried... If I saw an archer, I didn't think my voice would carry to you in time. Perhaps the neighing of a pegasus or the cries of a wyvern could carry far enough to warn the others.
Cormag: Oh! I see... Yes, we might not be able to hear each other in the heat of battle. But our steeds can be louder than either of us could. And trust me, my wyvern's shriek can pierce your ear from two leagues away. A brilliant idea, Your Highness.
Tana: Really? Thank you.
Cormag: Right, so if we see anything out there, we'll have our mounts call out, right?
Tana: Cormag, thanks for warning me about that archer the other day. Your wyvern startled me, but I think you may have saved my life!
Cormag: Well, you should thank him, then. I can't take credit for it. I mean, he started shrieking out to you before I even saw that bowman.
Tana: Really? That's amazing... In that case... Thank you.
Cormag: The bond between a wyvern and rider is close, and this guy's a smart one. I'm sure you and your pegasus are the same, wouldn't you say?
Tana: Oh, yes. It's the same with every knight and her pegasus. It's so sad to see how war has changed the way we relate to our animal allies. It's taking such a tremendous toll on these beautiful creatures.
Cormag: I agree. This whole war is ludicrous. War itself is madness, even more so if it's for greed or the fantasy of power.
Tana: I hope our efforts end this war quickly. I don't want to see anyone else die.
Cormag: Nor do I. But you cannot race headlong into battle. We'll need you to help rebuild our shattered nations, after all. We soldiers are expendable, but you regal types aren't.
Tana: Cormag, don't say that!
Cormag: But it's true.
Tana: No! No life is expendable!
Cormag: Your Highness...
Tana: Don't throw your life away. Promise me, will you?
Cormag: ... As you wish, Princess. I'll be careful.
Tana: I saw you fighting earlier... and for some reason, it made me sad.
Cormag: I see. I can think of many reasons why a man would fight. Atonement, revenge, entertainment... For power... For fun... But I don't know the reason I am fighting anymore.
Cormag: What more would you expect from a man who's lost his faith? A man whose emperor has gone mad, whose homeland is collapsing?
Tana: ...... What are you going to do when the war is over?
Cormag: I'll help rebuild Grado, of course, but I'm not sure beyond that. I doubt that I'll remain in Grado for long, though. They've branded me a traitor. I'll find no home awaiting me there.
Tana: Then why don't you come to Frelia? You can join us as an airborne knight!
Cormag: And what makes you think a traitor like me would be welcomed in Frelia?
Tana: You're no traitor, Cormag. You've stayed true to your beliefs. That sadness I saw in you comes from your own country's betrayal of those beliefs. Your sadness runs as deep as your faith in Grado once ran. I want your faith, your strength, and your passion to serve Frelia now.
Cormag: I appreciate the offer, but I cannot reforge the oaths I've broken. I'm sorry.
Tana: It's all right. I understand your feelings. However, if you ever wish to serve your beliefs again, remember my offer.
Cormag: I might just give up this soldiering nonsense and go into woodworking.
Tana: Then I'll track you down in your woodshop and ask again.
Cormag: You may not look it, but you're pretty strong willed for a princess. I'll think about your offer.
Cormag: I am as you see me. Fine in every respect.
Duessel: I'm not talking about your flesh. It's your heart I'm worried for.
Duessel: I'm here because I made the decision for myself to leave Grado. Luckily for me, one of the leaders here is an old acquaintance of mine. I'm not saying my heart is at ease, but I have found something to believe in. Something to fight for. And yet, you...
Cormag: I, too, made a choice to be here. There's no need for your concern.
Cormag: I believe in myself. Therefore it matters not where I am. So no matter where I go or what I do, I'm sure my brother would understand.
Cormag: And besides, General Duessel, you're here in this army with me. There's no shame in fighting alongside the man once known as Obsidian.
Duessel: Mm. Cormag, let us emerge victorious from this war, for the things we both believe in.
Duessel: Well met, Cormag. I'm impressed by your skills.
Cormag: They're still far below yours, General Duessel. By the way, I have a favor I've been meaning to ask of you.
Duessel: What is it? Please tell me.
Cormag: Your stories tell of a small lance you carry like a treasure. May I see it?
Duessel: Stories, you say? Am I the subject of stories now? Interesting. Here is the lance you're talking about. Examine it at your leisure.
Cormag: It... It really is... It's a Gavaleus...
Duessel: Oh! You've heard of Gavaleus, have you? You must know quite a bit about the crafting of weapons. This is one of Gavaleus's final works. I have quite a collection of weapons, but this is among the most beautiful of them. While it can be used in battle, I would never dull its shine with blood or dirt. If I ever use this lance, I vow that it will be only in my own final hour.
Cormag: It shines as though it could light up the soul of its wielder. You're right. I would hesitate to stain its beauty with blood, too.
Duessel: Ah, so you grasp what I mean? Cormag, you have a discerning eye.
Cormag: Thank you. And yet, I know that I will never be your equal, General Duessel.
Duessel: Come, now. You know, your brother asked to see this lance once as well.
Cormag: My brother?
Duessel: Yes. You two are so alike. His comments mirror your own almost exactly.
Cormag: Is that so?
Duessel: For warriors, our weapons are our lives. I'm glad to know you understand that. Someday, you'll be a splendid wyvern knight to equal your brother.
Duessel: Cormag... I've something I want to show you. Here it is. This lance. What do you think of it?
Cormag: My! It has such power! It sends chills down my spine... I am not nearly strong enough to wield a weapon such as this.
Duessel: Hm, you think so? Merely holding this lance makes me tremble with dread. Not overly so, but enough to stop me from wielding it in combat. This lance... It can drive its wielder to madness.
Cormag: Madness, you say?
Duessel: Yes, Cormag. It's a magic weapon of dark design that's been in my family for ages. Legend states that the leader of our house must always carry it, but never use it. We are prohibited from wielding it until such a time as madness itself rules the day. It's part of my legacy, and yet...I... I made a grave error... I allowed Valter to use this lance.
Cormag: You let Valter--
Duessel: Yes... ...We were in the middle of a battle. Valter had broken his lance, and when I wasn't looking he somehow took this one. From that moment, he was changed... He killed everyone—even retreating men. I took the lance from him when I realized what had happened, but it was too late. Madness had awakened within Valter and was coursing through his body. From then on, he hungered only for battle and for blood... It's not as though Valter was a gentle lamb before, but now his appetite for violence increased many times over. It's all because of this cursed lance.
Cormag: ...... That odd light playing around the point... I thought it looked familiar. It was Valter... It's the same light Valter had in his eyes on the battlefield. Valter's insane because of this lance. ...... Sir Duessel, if it please you, would you let me have this lance?
Duessel: What? You? B-but...
Cormag: Are you worried that I will end up like Valter?
Duessel: N-no... ......
Cormag: This lance—someone needs to master it. It's just a feeling I have. A weapon is only as good or evil as the man who wields it. In the hands of someone just, it can be a righteous weapon. In the hands of the wicked, it's a danger to all. Believe me, I have not been seduced by this lance. I merely want to see it used for the purpose for which it was forged.
Duessel: ...... I understand you, Cormag. I'm going to let you have it. I have no son. I had not yet decided to whom I should pass on this legacy. Now I see that leaving it to someone whom I trust and believe in is best. As with me, your admiration of weapons is balanced by a healthy respect. You also have a good eye, and you possess tremendous strength. The day you are able to wield this lance may not be far off at all. If the madness in this lance can be tamed, it may very well be a weapon without equal. ...I never had the courage to wield it, but I would love to see it used righteously. ...I am entrusting it to you. I hope you will use it one day.
Cormag: I accept your gift, Sir Duessel. I would receive it once this battle is finished and our hearts are calmer. If I were to take it in the heat of battle, I might become Valter the second. It is a possibility that I cannot dismiss.
Duessel: Yes, I see. Cormag... I'm counting on you. I look forward to the day I can see this lance wielded correctly.
Cormag: Understood. Until that time comes, please try not to get yourself killed, General Duessel!