I'll openly admit that I feel a little aimless. My graduation was in December and things have sort of just been quiet for me. I've been trying to figure out where I want my life to go from here, but… I dunno… somedays it's just a giant road block and whatnot. I did try to apply for a job somewhat recently and it didn't go well. *sighs* It happens.

If you've been wondering about a bit of my silence lately, it's kind of because of that, more or less. Also, I've been playing Splatoon 3. There was some rust in my gameplay because I haven't played the original in… Arceus knows how long… and I totally skipped 2. Been having fun and have managed to get my main up to the coveted fourth star, and gotten my catalog up to 98. …can't beat the final boss of the story mode, but besides the point.

Anyway… let's at least try to get something worked on. While I do actually have Engage right now… I haven't actually started it just yet. I kinda wanna finish my first run of Three Houses. I'm actually on the final chapter of the Golden Deer route, but I have some other priorities going on in my life that have kinda kept me busy.

I will say that this won't contain any story spoilers as, while I have a gist of how it unfolds, I don't know all of the specifics. It'll mainly just kinda be broad events from the game, for a ship that I really like.

Fire Emblem belongs to Nintendo, Intelligent Systems, etc.


(Alear's POV)

Do you ever just have a moment where you look at someone and you just… get it? Like… you know in your heart that they're special to you?

…uh… my name is Alear. I'm known as a Divine Dragon. …can't say a whole lot more than that. I had been having a… strange… past few days to say the least…

But I had made some friends, and the girl that I said made me feel like I just… got it. Her name is Etie. She has orange hair that reminds me of sunset, green eyes that just have this sense of hope, and her combat ability is simply amazing.

Something about her is just… special… and I want to work with her.


Our travel to one of the kingdoms had seemed like it was going to be simple enough, but then trouble had shown up. The Corrupted… those horrible monsters… were covering parts of a village and we had to do something.

I took a moment to try to assess the situation as quickly as I could, but it was so much to take in…

"We're gonna need to hurry!" Vander spoke after a moment.

I gave a nod and then looked around…

"Etie!" I quickly spoke, then passing her the Ring of the Holy Knight that contained Emblem Sigurd, "Counting on you."

"I'm honored, Divine One," she responded as she got her bow ready and then got the ring on, "Sigurd!"

"I am ready!" Emblem Sigurd spoke.

I gave a quick nod, then turned forward, "Marth!"

"Understood."


The battle went on for a little while. We were at an advantageous position against the enemy commander, but none of us could reach them. They kept moving around and the few people who were capable of casting magic were running out of stamina to keep using it.

We just needed to close the gap…

"HA!"

My attention turned to the source of the sound, seeing Etie having bested a Corrupted whilst Engaged with Emblem Sigurd. …wait…

"If this love is a crime…" Etie spoke, and then she blinked a little bit in confusion, "Why did I…?"

Her confused look was just so cute.

"Alear!"

Right! Emblem Marth. Uh…

"Etie!"

She then turned towards me.

"I think you're our best bet of felling the enemy commander right now. Think you can get in close?"

Etie gave me a nod that said she could, along with a thumbs up, which made me smile at her. After a moment, she was able to get moving, going for the special skill granted by the Emblem.

"One strike shall decide it all!" she proclaimed before she managed to land the attack.

I couldn't help but whistle in amazement at this. She was incredible.


We eventually made it back to the Somniel after some travel and, over the next few days, I kept my eyes on Etie as she was going about her training. I had been trying my best to keep up with her in secret for a little while, but… uh…

One day, I just couldn't help but laugh a bit at how amazing she was and she spotted me…

"You're looking at me kinda weird…" she commented.

"Sorry. I didn't mean any offense. I just couldn't help it…" I managed to, somewhat nervously, tell her.

"Is there something wrong with how I look?" she asked me.

"Oh, no! Nothing like that!"

"Then tell me why you're laughing already," Etie requested, folding her arms a bit.

I couldn't help but laugh just a bit more, "Well, you know how you're always so confident?"

Etie's expression eased up and she almost seemed to be genuinely confused by that.

"I was thinking about how plain it is on your face. There's confidence all over you. It's kind of inspiring to look at," I elaborated.

"Which is why you were staring…"

…you know, in hindsight… given how awkward I felt when I found out Clanne and Framme did that with me… uh… maybe it should've been obvious a normal person would also find it weird…

"Forgive me, Etie. If it bothers you, I'll stop…"

Etie was quiet for a moment, but then she eased up, "Nah, I don't mind. I'm actually a little honored to help out the Divine One."

I couldn't help but feel my face turn just a little red at that. I'm just honored to have someone so amazing.

"If staring at me lifts your mood, go ahead and stare all you want."

"Thank you!" I beamed. I'll admit I did blank on the next thing she said, but she did go back to her routine.


Some weeks had gone by. I did watch Etie practice here and there and kept my eyes on her as we kept going along our journey. She was doing her due diligence with her training and has gotten some major skills in both her hand-to-hand and her axe wielding skills. I've been doing my best to at least try to train as well, and I've gotten decent with daggers and magic.

We had been called to deal with some sort of a threat to a village that they… couldn't quite explain properly.

"So… what was it the villagers said the enemies were using?" I asked again.

Vander proceeded to take out the note he had received from Yunaka, who had been a new steadfast ally in our battles, and read it back over a little. He eventually handed it over to me to allow me to skim through it after a bit.

"'A weapon that fired similarly to a bow, but it was not a bow. It was fairly large and seemed to be very heavy, yet being wielded like a flail. It was not magic either'..." I read, only to quirk my head. I eventually let out a small sigh and turned towards the group, "Okay, so, we have no exact idea what we're going to be up against. Did you get a good look at what they were, Yunaka?"

"Not really…" she responded.

I just exhaled a little bit.

"Sorry."

"It's fine. You being safe is important…" I said. I paced around a little bit as I tried to think of what to do for our strategy.


We eventually arrived at the battlefield and saw the enemies were in some sort of an armor and wielding some sort of heavy weapon… thing. Can now see why it is that. Me and Emblem Kamui had started the charge against them, only to discover they were heavily armored.

"Crud…" I mumbled, quickly evading a swing of… whatever that weapon was, "Citrine, Anna, Yunaka! They're all armored! You know what to do!"

The trio of spellcasters nodded and quickly got to work. However, before I was able to respond, one of the enemies had managed to get a hit in and…

Wow… okay… that really hurt. The wind kinda got knocked out of me. Another-

"Divine One!"

I coughed a bit and fell to my knees. I couldn't stand and I could see a bit of blood had come out. This was bad…

"Please, no. You're supposed to walk this path with us to the end, Alear!" Emblem Kamui spoke.

Etie glanced around at the danger I was in at the moment and then turned towards me, "Sorry about this, Divine One!"

She then quickly pulled the Ring of the Crux of Fate away from me and placed it on herself. Without another word, Etie quickly moved forward and readied herself.

"Emblem, Engage!"

The Emblem's magic flared to life around Etie and her hair became a silver shade that matched Emblem Kamui. She quickly got some mystical fogs around us to buy me a little bit of cover before she went on the attack.

"Scatter like petals!" Etie shouted, finishing off the last foe.


Clanne and Framme got to work on healing my injuries after we made sure the coast was clear. Anna at least seemed to kind of know what those weapons were.

"These aren't all that difficult to use," Anna commented as she carried one of the, as she called it, 'mage cannons', over, "Although, the ammunition is kinda hard to come by…"

"Ammunition…?" I asked.

"Like how a bow has arrows," Anna elaborated, "Still, these might at least be worth keeping around."


After we got back to base, I was… in immense amounts of pain. Even with all of the healers we had doing their best, those attacks really hurt. Emblem Marth and Emblem Kamui both eventually came to check on me and make sure I was okay. Etie had also come by here and there, clearly very worried. It did make me happy to see her, though…


A day or so later, I had gotten up to at least try to get something to eat. It wasn't an easy walk, but I was able to manage it. …Vander did eventually spot me and tell me I needed to go back to laying down, but I argued that I had wanted to not feel like a helpless child.

"...very well…" he eventually relented, "There is a simple task that you should be able to do, even while injured."

"Okay…"

"We have been getting reports lately of a strange presence coming from the well."

"...the well we got those strange weapons from?"

"Indeed. I have not been able to find anything myself, but you should at least be able to check it out yourself."

Sounded simple enough.


Little did I know. Okay, so, I went over to that well in order to get a look around and I eventually peaked in before… well… something… caused me to be teleported into an entirely other world. I was without most of my equipment and had to make do with the little the two people I happened to bump into, Nel and Nil, were capable of providing me with. Nel had told me about some ability set that they call an Enchanter in this realm and I eventually found a way to use those skills.

Which, well… we desperately needed. While Nel was more than capable of combat… Nil… basically needed a babysitter. Which, owing to my still somewhat injured state… fell to me.

…honestly, if I didn't think Nel would kill me for it, part of me had a very small bit of a desire to just not bother.

Even with the Emblem that increases defensive abilities, Nil was such a pain.

…yeah, this other world has different Emblems. The only one these two had was one that contained the Emblems of Chrom and Robin. We did eventually start getting some of the others, including Emblem Hector to help Nil, but… ugh…


The last battle in this other realm was… not great. I had been so injured from all of the fighting up to that point that I was only narrowly able to keep moving and fighting… and I cut it very close…

"Alear, NO! You can't die! Not now!" Emblem Chrom called out.

I managed to force myself back up and keep going…

Suffice it to say… that was one of the worst fights of my life, what little I could remember. By the time I finally made it back home, I was wobbling around and struggling to breathe. I didn't even need to look at my appearance to tell I was probably a giant mess.

The adrenaline in my body was… starting… to… fade… everything… spinning…

Everything was… getting… darker…

"Divine One! Divine One!"

…?

"I found her! She's in bad shape!"

"...Et… ie…"


I could feel something warm holding onto me as I started to wake back up. My eyes slowly opened and I turned to see Etie was holding onto one of my hands. She was asleep in a chair beside my bed at the moment, and I could tell that I had probably worried… well… everyone at this point. I could see some of the others looking in from just outside of the door.

I didn't even dare try to get up at the moment. All of the injuries I had were not ones I'd be walking off anytime soon. Still… I was back.


Needless to say, the next few months were slow and the others were… basically not allowing me to go anywhere without a bodyguard. At all. Considering the situation I accidentally found myself in, I don't blame them. It did feel a tiny bit patronizing, but… again, I can't blame them.

Still, I did at least get relative choice on the matter. So~...


"Let's make this quick, Divine One! We've got a lot to do!"

A voice that I don't mind waking me up in the morning. I started to stir a little bit, although slowly, which resulted in her starting her morning exercise routine. I eventually turned around and got up to watch her just a bit, before sitting up to let her know I was awake.

"Ah!" she gasped, fairly surprised, "Oh… hey. Didn't see you wake up. …fine morning, isn't it?"

"With you around, it's always fine," I responded without thinking about it.

Etie's face went red and she gave off a nervous giggle. Honestly, I don't think I had ever seen her get that flustered before. It was cute. I kept my eyes on her for a little bit, which she did seem to notice.

"I see you're staring at me again, Divine One…"

"I was. Again. Sorry, I just can't help it…" I apologized as I got up and started to get through some of my morning routine.

"You know I don't mind. It's pretty neat, in fact," she admitted, which made me smile, "That said, I can think of better ways for you to feel good than just admiring my confidence."

"...such as…?" I asked as I got my hair into a ponytail.

"A hundred laps around the Somniel!"

I almost lost my grip on my tether that keeps my hair up in shock, but I caught it quickly enough. I turned towards her in a bit of surprise, even though I knew she did laps in the morning, I never really counted how many…

"Like… running?!"

"Even I get stressed sometimes. And when I do, I always go for a run. As long as I'm running, my mind is empty."

"Huh. Still... are a hundred laps really necessary?"

"In my experience? Yes. Anything less runs the risk of a few stray, lingering doubts. So how about it? You interested?"

I finally got my hair up in the ponytail before I turned towards her, "Sure."

"Great. Let's get started!"

"You mean now?!"

"No time like the present! Do you wanna get confident or not?"

"I hadn't planned on running a hundred laps today. But I guess it's worth a try," I spoke before I gave off a relaxed smile, "You're on, Etie! Let's go for a run!"

"Now you're talking!"


Things had been going well. I'll admit that, first day we did that jogging… I fell asleep at the breakfast table and it took them almost an hour to get me back up. I ended up sleeping rather well that evening, though, so that was a plus.

Besides that, we had been making some steady improvements. The Bracelet Emblems from that other world actually came back with me and we had been able to use them pretty well. Additionally, I had actually found some of the ammo for those special cannons and Etie had been making pretty effective use of them.

Regardless of what happened following that little trip, since then, Etie was always by my side in combat in some way.

There was one battle that had some Corrupted on pegasi and Etie had to use her new weapon to get them out of the air. I hurried over to her side and powered up her weapon.

"Ready?" I asked her.

Etie gave me a nod before positioning her attack, then adjusting the angle a little bit, then letting the attack fire. She effortlessly cleared the Corrupted.

"Nice one!"

"Thanks."


"I will never give up!" I proclaimed, empowered by Emblem Lucina. With that power, I was able to get a few of the Corrupted away. The path was cleared.

Etie simply gave a ready expression as the power of the Bracelet of the Shepard Exalt flowed through her.

"Arcthunder!"

"Our bonds give me strength!" she exclaimed, jumping through the air to finish the enemy off with the empowered Levin Sword. The enemy eventually fell to the ground and she smiled, "Our bonds are far stronger than destiny!"

Both of our Engage forms eventually timed out and Etie's confident expression eventually fizzled and she looked a bit embarrassed, "I don't know if I'll ever get used to some of the things I say when I use these powers…"

I just giggled a little bit before I fumbled a bit to get my hair back into the ponytail. …I don't know why, but it always goes flat when I use an Emblem's power. Ugh.


Me and Etie eventually arrived back at base and walked a bit together.

"How did you like our run recently?" she asked.

"That was my first time ever doing 100 laps around anything. I slept like a baby afterward. And then came the muscle aches the next morning…"

Etie winced a little in response, "Oops. I should've warned you about that…"

"But the run itself was just like you said! When I ran, I could feel my troubles fade away. There was nothing on my mind but the run. It was honestly pretty strange."

Etie gave an almost proud smile in response, "So you get it now! Oh, it's such an honor to be able to do that for you."

We kept talking for a little while and it just felt… great.

"I was content before to be inspired by your confidence, but with these exercises... maybe I could be the one inspiring others, just like you did for me. You've helped a lot, Etie."

Etie's face went red after hearing that and she eventually headed off, a bit embarrassed. I did follow after her a little bit, but it was mainly in a playful way.


…you know, one of these days, maybe I should take lessons in self-preservation. Cause I'm not the best at it. Had another close shave, but things bounced back. Etie and I spent a bit of time together after that and I learned she had actually started to learn magic.

"...I thought you said you were really bad at it…"

"I'm not… amazing at it… but… I just don't want to see you die. I'm really scared about anything happening to you," she told me.

"I'm sorry."

Etie simply proceeded to give me a hug. I just melted into her arms and let it happen with a smile.

"I will always protect you, Divine One," Etie spoke.


After some time, there was another battle. We were all fighting at our best, but we needed to get through and fast. Etie got over to me and I knew what to do.

"You ready?" I asked her with a smile.

Etie simply nodded her head a little and held her hand up.

"Emblem Eternal!"


A new announcement!

An upcoming project coming from me…

Project: HC

Hopefully… 2023


I'll admit that I actually didn't know what to call this project until the day this went up when "Always Protect You" just sorta came to me. I'm fairly happy with it, as it demonstrates the bond between the two characters.

I will also say that I didn't exactly know what perspective this was going to be at first. I eventually decided to make it into Alear's because I haven't done a first person perspective story in a while now.

Honestly, this was quite a bit of fun to work on. While it did hit a delay due to me wanting to include the two new DLC classes, the fact this is finally done and dusted for a story makes me happy.

So, let's briefly cover the new project announcement. I'll admit that this preview was supposed to be in the next main chapter of Kamen Rider Hero, but I've been hitting some walls on progress on that and needed to work on some other things so that I wouldn't just feel so… stumped, I guess, and decided to just push the trailer into the next thing that I knew would actually be finished. I can't really say a whole lot about Project: HC currently other than it does relate to Kamen Rider Hero in some way.

And, well, an unexpected thing happened. KKD's grandfather has, sadly, passed away. I decided to include a dedication to his memory in the next proper Hero chapter, and having the promotion for another project felt like it would be very insensitive.

…side note, I discovered the one year anniversary of Heroic Tales: Kamen Rider Marth's release is soon. …dear Arceus, where has time gone? *sighs*

One thing I am debating doing for the simple fun of it, on a second playthrough of Engage, is maybe limiting myself to only using Emblem Rings if their character is a Rider in Kamen Rider Hero. So, by the current standings of the characters, that would cut me off from five of the twelve Emblem Rings… and leave me with one DLC Emblem. …Chrom and Robin are in an odd situation there, but… eh. We'll see how that goes whenever I get to that run. I am thinking I'd make it into a MahDryBread styled challenge video. But, again, we'll see.

I think my favorite part is the one where Etie says she'll protect Alear. It's just cute.

Honestly, given how off and on I've been working on this, it's nice to finally have it be wrapped up. I do have a few other ideas on the docket, but we'll see how some of them go. While my original intention was for the next part of the Pokémon Legends mini-series to go up, I do have something else that's gotten pushed up on the priority list. As for what that is? Stay tuned.

Just Live More.