My first story for Fire Emblem: Three Houses! Hope you enjoy this slice of life at Garreg Mach!
On a bright and sunny Saturday morning, Ingrid left the dining hall after a lovely breakfast, stretching her limbs as she walked to the training grounds. She loved Saturdays at the monastery because they allowed her the freedom to train as long as she liked without interruptions for the most part. And because the Battle of the Eagle and Lion was to be held next month, more and more people were frequenting the training grounds alongside her and the other students dedicated to their training, which allowed for more sparring partners.
Not that she would tire of training with Felix, who could be found at the training grounds more often than her, but sometimes she liked to shake things up. For example, sparring with Caspar of the Black Eagles was fun because he liked to yell as he swung his axe, and she felt more able to let go with her own battle cries, which would only get her weird looks from Felix.
However, when Ingrid reached the training grounds, she was surprised to find that there was only one other person to be found. Perhaps she had eaten breakfast too quickly and beaten almost everyone there, or maybe they had other errands to run before they arrived for training. It wasn't her fault that the food at Garreg Mach was so delicious!
She had eaten breakfast with Felix and Sylvain, so she at least roughly knew of their whereabouts, along with the fact that Sylvain more than likely wouldn't be coming.
With a sigh, Ingrid decided to get on with her training, picking up one of the wooden lances and heading over to the dummies, not wanting to bother the other girl already there, who looked to be deeply focused on her sword technique. With a yell, Ingrid began practicing a new motion with her lance, slashing the dummy with her attempts.
After a number of tries, Ingrid decided to take a breather, panting as she went to survey the area to see if anyone else had arrived.
"Ah!" Ingrid cried out, leaping backwards as she noticed the girl she had seen was behind her, and she had to stamp down her gut impulse to stab at her with the lance still in her hands. "I'm sorry, you caught me by surprise."
"My apologies, you were so focused on your training I was waiting before I spoke," the girl said, a strange accent following her words, one that Ingrid couldn't place. "I wanted to know if you would be sparring… uh, if you wanted to spar with me."
"Oh! Yes, I can spar with you. You're Petra, right? From the Black Eagles? I'm Ingrid from the Blue Lions," Ingrid introduced herself, now recalling where she had seen the girl before. They had never spoken before because of being in different classes, so Ingrid figured this might be a good time to get to know her.
"It is nice to be meeting you, Ingrid. I hope you will not be minding if I use the sword against your lance," Petra said, gesturing with her right hand, which was holding her training sword.
"Not at all! My friend Felix is also fond of training with swords," Ingrid assured her with a smile.
"I have gladness! Let us begin the sparring, then," Petra smiled, backing up to put some space between them before getting into a stance that was both defensive and made her look ready to pounce at any second, sword at the ready.
"Bring it on, Petra!" Ingrid called out, assuming her own battle pose, before letting out a cry and charging at the other girl, who met her lance with a swing of her blade, the two wooden weapons clashing in the middle, both girls trying to overpower the other.
Fighting Petra was quite different to fighting Felix, despite them both using the same weapon. Whereas Felix would more often go on the offensive, using straightforward slashes and slices in order to overpower his opponent, Petra was more reactionary, basing the type of strike she would use based on what her opponent was doing. If Ingrid slashed at her from overhead, Petra would slice, and if Ingrid were to stab at her, Petra would dodge and come at her from the side, quickly closing the distance between them. Her movements were much different from Felix's, too, and this led Ingrid to wonder where she had learned her swordsmanship, because it looked nothing like anything she had seen before in Faerghus.
After quite a while, the girls stopped their sparring session, both panting heavily from exertion.
"Wow, that was quite the workout! You had me on my toes the whole time," Ingrid broke the silence between them, walking over to where Petra was catching her own breath. Petra looked up at her and smiled, stretching up to her full height from her stooped position.
"I am agreeing… uh, I agree with you! I have gratitude for letting me fight with you, Ingrid," Petra replied with a smile, holding out her hand, which Ingrid took in her own to shake.
"I must ask, where did you learn how to fight like that? I have never encountered anyone who fights like you do, even here at Garreg Mach. I was very impressed with your technique," Ingrid asked, her curiosity getting the best of her.
"Thank you! I have learning of my technique in Brigid, where I come from before I came to Fodlan," Petra replied, giving Ingrid a slight bow.
"Oh, you come from Brigid? That would certainly explain why I didn't recognize your fighting style," Ingrid said, not too surprised to hear that Petra was not from Fodlan. "I have never met anyone from Brigid before. Brigid is to the west over the sea, right?"
"That is correct. Brigid is a country that is between Dagda and Fodlan. I have come to Fodlan to show peace between Brigid and Fodlan, but I am working to show that Brigid can be independent from Fodlan," Petra explained, Ingrid nodding as she took in Petra's words.
"That's right, Brigid was Dagda's ally in the war between them and the Empire, weren't they?" Ingrid asked, getting a confirming nod from Petra. "So Brigid is subject to the Empire now… I'm sorry to hear of it, Petra."
"It is alright. While I have been in the Empire, I have been shown great kindness, including from Edelgard, so I am not so unhappy here." Petra smiled. "But I know that the position of Brigid needs to be stronger, so I have come to the academy in order to learn many things about Fodlan in order to prove that Brigid is not an enemy."
"Well, I wish you luck in your endeavor, Petra! It sounds like there is a lot to be done," Ingrid replied, in awe of how brave Petra was to be in a foreign country, trying to prove that her own is worth more than they believe it to be.
"I thank you for support, Ingrid!" Petra said with a nod, her face lit up with happiness. "And how about you? What is it that you are working for, Ingrid?"
"Oh, me? Well, compared to what you hope to accomplish, it isn't much, but I very much want to be a knight serving my king, so I've come to the academy to become stronger," Ingrid told her, Petra nodding.
"That sounds like a worthy goal, Ingrid! I will wish you luck in becoming a knight as well, then," Petra replied with a smile, one which Ingrid was not able to match.
"Thank you, Petra. Unfortunately, I might not be able to make my dream a reality, but I will still work towards it," Ingrid said.
"What are you meaning? What is stopping you from achieving your goal?" Petra asked, a confused expression clear on her face.
"Ah well… My father wants me to marry a wealthy man in order to preserve our bloodline and strengthen House Galatea, which is quite poor at the moment. If I listen to him, I don't think it would be right of me to go into knighthood," Ingrid replied, looking away with a frown as she remembered her father's expectations for her.
"I see, your position is tough. There is what you are wanting, and that which your father is wanting, but they are at odds with each other," Petra said, which Ingrid nodded at with a sigh. "I think that you shouldn't give up on your dreams, but it is up to you whether you listen to him or not. I am lucky that my goal is the same as my grandfather's, so I can be working for it freely."
"Thank you for your kind words, Petra. I don't have to make my decision right now, so I will keep getting stronger. After all, the Battle of the Eagle and Lion is next month, and I don't want to let the Blue Lions down!" Ingrid said, her mood brightening with the reminder.
"I will support you, but of course the Black Eagles will be the ones winning the battle. I look forward to facing you on the battlefield!" Petra replied, her eyes glinting with determination.
"We'll see about that. Let's spar again sometime, Petra!" Ingrid said, waving as she went over to the training dummies, where she noticed Felix was now slashing at one with his practice sword.
With a quick greeting, which was responded to with a grunt from Felix, Ingrid went back to her drills on her own dummy. As she struck the dummy repeatedly, she smiled fondly, Petra's encouragement fresh on her mind. She wouldn't give up on her dreams, no matter what her father said.