Duessel: Oh, Prince Ephraim. Of course, my friend.
Ephraim: I feel I should apologize for making you side against Grado in this.
Duessel: Bah. What nonsense! Please, use me however you would to end this war.
Ephraim: I want you to know how honored I am to fight at your side again. Show me a little of your skill with the spear, like when you taught me.
Duessel: Hmm... Ephraim, your skills have grown significantly since then. Why, the first time I met you, you could hardly hold a spear! I couldn't even bring myself to lie and say you weren't THAT bad!
Ephraim: ...There's no need to be cruel! I realize how helpless I was then.
Duessel: Let me finish! Even then, your strong will was most impressive. On your first day wielding a spear, you chose to challenge ME! I remember how enthusiastic your attack was. You were determined to win. But...you were destined to lose that day. Still, I was quite shocked. You weren't trying to learn my skill. You were trying to steal it from me! And I thought an apprentice was supposed to be obedient to his master.
Ephraim: When you fight, you must respect your opponent, not obey him. ...Besides, you knocked me out so quickly, I hardly touched you.
Duessel: I never dreamed of testing my skills against a prince of Renais. After that match, though... Oh, I changed my mind. I knew it would be interesting to teach my skills to someone like you.
Ephraim: Now, you're the one speaking nonsense! Ah, I know... Let's duel again after this battle! I'm older now, better trained. I'm sure I can beat you this time.
Duessel: Hmmm... Yes, fine. I'd like to see if you've been keeping up with your training.
Ephraim: ...Were you thinking about Grado just now? You looked distracted. I wonder, was it the wrong decision to send you fighting against Grado?
Duessel: ...You've no need to worry. My reasons for leaving Grado are my own. It doesn't matter who I'm fighting. My resolve won't be weakened.
Ephraim: That is good to hear... Actually, I'm here for a rematch. I have no idea how you beat me last time, but this time, I can do it!
Duessel: Hmm. It looks like you haven't learned your lesson yet. You know, they used to call me Obsidian. I was one of the Imperial Three. I'm not about to let a young punk like you best me at the spear!
Duessel: Nicely done, Ephraim. There's nothing left for me to teach you, it seems.
Ephraim: That's utter nonsense. I still have much to learn from you, Duessel. I intend to be the greatest spearman Magvel has ever known. I gave up on swords after seeing how they fare against spears. Sword, axe, spear, bow...and even magic. I've seen them all. The spear always comes out on top. And I want mine to be the best spear around.
Duessel: Hm... That's a bold statement. But you may yet be the one who can prove it true, lad.
Ephraim: ...I thank you, Duessel. It's only because of the skills you gave me that I'm alive and here now. Our countries were friends, but you taught me like family...
Duessel: I am a warrior. All I can do is improve my skills and pass them on to a student. And if you best me using the skills that I taught you, well... That's just the nature of war. The young surpass the old. And I am glad to be fighting at the side of such a worthy student.
Duessel: I know that I've been branded a traitor. I'm prepared for that. But I do have one regret... I regret that I betrayed my emperor...
Ephraim: You never betrayed him. You remain as loyal to him now as when you swore your oaths. No, it is Grado who has betrayed the ideals it once held dear. And now, as then, you are my teacher. Nothing has changed. No, you are no traitor. If anything, you are the last true man of Grado.
Duessel: Ephraim... Hm... Yes. A student should not inspire his teacher. Ephraim. Be strong. Remain true. Believe in yourself, and act in accordance with your beliefs. ...No matter what happens, be a strong king.
Ephraim: Yes, you needn't worry about that. Such has been my intention since the day I first held this spear. No matter what the future holds... I'm never going to change. I will let my faith and my beliefs drive my every action as king.
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!
Amelia: Yes! Oh, but you're not injured at all, are you, General Duessel? We've all been struggling so hard, and yet you don't seem tired at all. You are an impressive man. It's all I can do simply to stay alive out here, it feels like.
Amelia: What is it? General Duessel? Is something wrong?
Duessel: Oh, um, sorry. Your... From the first time I laid eyes upon you, your face... I was sure I'd seen it before...
Amelia: Huh? Is that so? You mean before now? Or before I even joined Grado's army?
Duessel: Yes, that's right, but I can't recall... Getting to be my age has its price.
Amelia: Don't be silly! I happen to think you're still quite young, General Duessel!
Duessel: Well, now you've got my attention! What was it you wanted this old soldier for?
Amelia: It's just that, even among the younger knights, there's no match for you. And, uh...
Duessel: Ha ha! I'm not so old that you need to worry about propping up my ego, lass.
Amelia: Ah...uh... I'm sorry.
Duessel: No, no. There's no need to apologize. I quite enjoy talking to you, in fact. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this army who feels that way, either. The fighting's fierce, Amelia. You watch yourself! When you're near me, I'll make sure I keep a good eye out for you, too. I'll be there in a flash if you need me. Go ahead and fight without worry.
Amelia: Ah, y-yes, sir! Thank you very much. Fighting alongside you, General Duessel, is a great honor. Well, I'll be moving on now.
Duessel: Be seeing you! ... But...I just can't remember where...
Duessel: It seems like you've grown quite comfortable with the spear.
Amelia: Yes, sir! I have, sir. Thank you.
Duessel: You did well to choose the spear as your weapon. It suits your height well. It also extends your reach and enables you to strike with force. More force, even, than a sword could bring to bear in a battle. All weapons have their own unique characteristics. You're familiar with the idea that some weapons are strong against others?
Amelia: Isn't that what they call... the weapon triangle?
Duessel: Yes, it is. And from the looks of things, your affinity for the spear is quite good. If you continue to practice, you should continue to improve and grow stronger.
Amelia: Really? Ah, that makes me happy.
Duessel: Mm. To begin with, the spear is quite a deep weapon... Yet the attacks comprise three surprisingly simple movements. Right step, left step, and thrust.
Amelia: Right step, left step, and thrust... I'm following you.
Duessel: Excellent. But listen, Amelia.
Duessel: Because they are so simple, they are easy to learn but tough to perfect. They are the strongest and most pure of techniques. When you practice them, practice perfecting each gesture. And remember, the spear is a subtle and powerful weapon.
Amelia: Yes, sir!
Duessel: Now it goes without saying that other weapons have their good points, too. Swords are easy-to-use, all-purpose weapons, and axes possess devastating strength. You should learn to use each weapon type. If you can master them all, you'll be an unstoppable force. That is, of course, if you can overcome your own natural affinities. To begin with, you should work on mastering one weapon type. Then you can gradually change weapons until you can use them all. That's what I have done, you understand. That's called being multi-proficient. I'd like to tell you more about different weapons, but that lecture must wait.
Amelia: ...Wow... General Duessel, you know so much about weapons, don't you? I didn't even realize how caught up I'd become. All right!
Duessel: What is it? Where are you rushing off to?
Amelia: I want to practice the things you've told me about. The basics—right, left, thrust. Right?
Duessel: Mm, that's correct. But... I'm happy to see you so enthused, but do you have any reason to rush so?
Amelia: Um, well... There's someone—one of the Knights of Renais—to whom I do not want to lose.
Amelia: It's not that we're going to fight, or that I want to defeat him or anything... It's just that we're kind of keeping track of the other's progress, and... It's just a thing we do.
Duessel: I see. I think that should prove to be a good source of motivation then. Get to it.
Amelia: Yes, sir! Oh...I think I'll, um, go and practice over there... I'd be nervous in front of you, so I'm going to practice on my own. I'll be back to show you later.
Duessel: All right. Understood.
Amelia: Great! See you later!
Duessel: Ha ha... Such energy. I feel energized just being around her. She's just a girl now, but someday she'll be a woman of grace and beauty. ...Oh, that face...where have I... ...... !! Wait...could it be? Yes! I remember now! That's definitely it. Amelia! Amelia! Where could she-
Duessel: I've been looking for you. And now I've found you.
Amelia: Um, wh-what's happened? I've never seen you in such a rush.
Duessel: There's something I'd like to ask—No, something I'd like to tell you.
Amelia: Er, all right. What is it?
Duessel: I remembered. I told you that I thought I'd seen your face before, didn't I?
Amelia: Uh, yes.
Duessel: Well, I remembered.
Amelia: Oh, is that it? Please don't keep me waiting, tell me.
Duessel: ...... Amelia. What is your mother's name?
Amelia: ! ...... ...My mother...
Amelia: My mother's name is... Melina...
Duessel: And what happened to her?
Amelia: When I was just a child, she was stolen away by bandits. My father had already passed away, so I was totally...sniff...
Duessel: I'm sorry... ......
Amelia: I was left... all on my own... ......
Duessel: ...... I was right... You can rest easy, Amelia. Your mother is alive and well.
Duessel: It happened a few years back. I was leading a patrol near the Grado border. We unexpectedly rode up on a group of bandits, and a battle ensued. When we had taken care of the bandits, we rescued a lone female captive. We figured she had been taken from some village, but she was in shock. In fact, her distress was so great, she had forgotten much about herself. Her body was in such a weakened state that she could barely walk. We felt such pity for her that we took her to a peaceful village we knew of. There, we set up a home for her where she could recover and live quietly. Some years later, she was restored to her former vitality. Slowly, she began to recall the lost memories of her past. Only recently did she remember that she had once had a daughter. I took time off from my duties and visited the village where she had lived. But the villagers told me her daughter had left the village some time ago. With no clues as to the girl's whereabouts, I'd almost given up hope of finding her. And then, in the strangest of places...
Amelia: I-it can't be! Th-that woman... What is her name?
Duessel: Her name is Melina... Amelia, she's your mother.
Amelia: What!? Are you... Are you sure?
Duessel: Yes, I am. I see Melina's face reflected in your own. There's no mistake. Isn't it wonderful, Amelia?
Knoll: We students of ancient magic, along with Prince Lyon himself, were researching certain arcane techniques lost long ago. We were able to reproduce one... phenomenon, but only briefly.
Knoll: I should be more concise. Prince Lyon and I pierced the veil that clouds our futures.
Duessel: What? You...could see into the future? How is that possible? What magic is powerful enough to--
Knoll: Time is like the water of a river: it flows ever on, never stopping. Certain disturbances can cause ripples that speed swiftly downstream. If you can see the water, you can read the flow, the ripples, the waves.
Knoll: It is possible, General. Possible and, at times, easy. Just think of it: If you knew a storm was coming in advance, you could evacuate everyone in its way. If you could see what was to come, you could help those who might have died. Prince Lyon explained this to us with much joy in his voice and heart. His power would, at long last, be able to help the citizens of Grado.
Knoll: We continued our work. There were ceremonies, rituals—such horrors... And then we saw it. In the near future, Grado would be ravaged by catastrophe.
Duessel: A catastrophe? Do you...
Knoll: No, it's not the conflict in which we are currently embroiled. This event is still in our future. We saw Grado. We saw the earth crumble. We saw our people dying. We saw the shape our future would take.
Duessel: What? That's madness... Idiocy! I've lived a long life, and I've never heard of anything like that. Not ever.
Knoll: I am not surprised that you do not believe me, General. We could not believe it, either. We tried to disprove what we had seen. But nothing could shake the vision. In this disaster, Grado would be destroyed. Countless would die. Those who died quickly would be spared the slow horror of starvation. This was when the emperor died, by the way. Lyon was shattered by despair. He devoted himself to research, and then came the Dark Stone...
Duessel: So that's what happened? Is that when the decision to invade Renais was made?
Knoll: I don't know. Only one person knows the truth behind that.
Knoll: I have told you only the truths I have seen.
Duessel: You're tired, aren't you? Worn to the bone. I understand how you feel, but on the battlefield, this only invites death.
Knoll: You are probably right... And yet that might be best.
Duessel: What are you planning to do from here on?
Knoll: I do not know... I have lost my way. Perhaps I should have been executed in the capital.
Knoll: I once studied dark magic alongside Prince Lyon. He was such a gentle soul. You could see it—he was too kind to survive. Prince Lyon dreamt of finding happiness for all of Grado's citizens.
Knoll: And now, Prince Lyon is no more. I have lost everything.
Duessel: I have also lost everything. And we have both lost our ways. We are dead men who have stayed too long away from our graves. But remember, Knoll... You cannot see the future, but you can look back at your past. Look and learn. And remember. What gave your life meaning, and what has taken meaning from you now?
Duessel: If you still hold the convictions that guided you in Grado, you can start anew. That... That is what I must do. We may be diminished by our shame, but we are not dead yet, my friend.
Knoll: General Duessel... I am not as strong as you. Still, I believe you are right. I, too, shall search for a new path. A path that guides me to realizing the dreams Prince Lyon once held so dear.