Fire Emblem: Revival 800 - Chapter 22 - JAKQ7111 - Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (2023)

Chapter Text

With the Deadlords defeated, all that was left to do was for Sigmund's forces to defeat the artificial Soul Dragon that stood in the main room of the temple. Using their Holy Weapons, they hoped that they could overcome their opponent, just as their Crusader ancestors did with Loptyr at the end of the First Holy War. The Grannvalean prince himself led the assault, keeping the mighty Tyrfing close at hand with his friends behind him.

“This is it.” he began rallying his troops. “The final battle. This Soul Dragon is the only thing standing between us and the peaceful Jugdral our families worked so hard to create. We have to beat it at all costs!”

“There is one small issue, Prince Sigmund.” Cathbad stepped in, eyes glued to his holy Valflame tome. “We know only the bare minimum of what this dragon even is. While my best deduction would be that it is some sort of amalgamation of the souls of the twelve warriors Sha chose to revive with his blood magic, that still gives us very little in terms of the dragon's capabilities as an entity. We cannot plan for what we do not know.”

“Hmph.” Athamas rolled his eyes at the bespectacled scholar. “In real battle, you've got to expect the unexpected. That's the first thing you learn as a mercenary. You have to roll with the punches. Expect that any plan won't work out and you'll have to rely on your wit to survive.”

“Oddly enough, I agree with our Gungnir-wielding comrade.” Eirc sighed, running his hand through his windswept hair. “Even the best-laid plans can go awry. That's why we have contingencies.”

“If we're coming up with plans, we'd better make them quickly.” Padraig interjected. “We should just get this fight over with already.”

“Agreed.” Aeneas nodded in the swordmaster's direction, clutching the handle of his holy sword. “Mystletainn yearns for combat, and I am not one to say no to the Demon Blade's will.”

“A-are you sure we can handle this, guys?” Miach shifted his gaze back and forth and chewed on his lip. “I mean...I know we have the Holy Weapons and everything, but...”

Len lay a gentle hand on his nervous friend's shoulder and smiled down at him. “No need to worry, my dear!” he assured the mage knight. “With the power of the Crusaders on our side, no foul dragon shall be our undoing! For this night, we are all Warriors of Love and Justice, and Love and Justice always prevail!” he laughed heartily, raising his fist in the air.

“It is true.” Mael nodded his head and coolly scanned his companion's faces of worry and excitement at the prospect of an epic battle. “We have been blessed with power unlike any others in Jugdral. If we are to live up to our names, we must be victorious.”

“And I, for one, have faith in our abilities.” Erie chimed in, a warm smile on her face. “If the gods will it that we are to battle for the fate of the continent, then that is our fate. As Crusaders of the modern day, we are a fighting force unlike any other! And the bonds of friendship that unite us cannot be broken!”

“Then it's settled.” Nessa made a decisive sweeping motion with her hand. “We get into that shrine room, face the Soul Dragon, and take it down! The fate of all of Jugdral is at stake!”

“Very well, then.” Sigmund concluded the pre-battle discussion. “Crusaders, to arms! We've got a dragon to slay!”

And with that, the twelve blessed heroes made their way into the shrine room, fanning out into a battle position. They faced their final opponent—a dragon-like beast with iridescent scales who seemed to exude an aura which unsettled Sigmund and company.

“So you're this Soul Dragon we've heard about!” the blue-haired prince addressed the monster. “Your reign of chaos ends here!”

“...” the artificial dragon did not respond in words. It simply sat in place, eyes flashing red and aura growing more intense.

“Can't talk, can you?” Sigmund grew angrier, gripping Tyrfing's handle tighter with his shaking hand. “You're just some mindless thing, aren't you?! Not even a real dragon! Just an alchemy experiment gone wrong! Well, that just means we can kill you without remorse!” he drew his holy blade and entered a fighting stance. “Ready, Crusaders?”

“Uh...” Lucien paused, noting his leader's apparent rage. Still, after a brief second, he prepared Gae Bolg and narrowed his brown eyes at the artificial dragon. “Ready, Prince Sigmund!”

Before the battle could commence in earnest, the artificial dragon's eyes flashed red one more time. It let out a loud thrumming sound, shaking the room around them. Right before the heroes' eyes, the shrine began to warp and stretch, transforming from an ordinary altar room into a battlefield unlike anyone had seen before. The ceiling, walls, and floor seemed to disappear into nothingness, leaving only a vacuous space lit by an aurora resembling the dragon's rainbow scales. As if from nowhere, a small army of summoned soldiers rose up from the empty ground, eyes flashing the same red as the dragon's and the corrupted warriors Sigmund and his friends had encountered over the past several months. They brandished their weapons and stood still, appearing to await orders from the beast that summoned them. The battlefield shook as another loud hum emanated out, and the summoned soldiers rushed at the Crusaders, signaling the start of the fight.

“Well, no time like the present!” Sigmund drew his holy blade and entered his fighting stance. “Crusaders, to battle!” he charged forward, leading his comrades into the fray.

The distorted plane on which they fought caught the holy warriors off guard at first, struggling to orient themselves in the space as they began their assault on the Soul Dragon and its phantom forces. Their initial attempts to strike the dragon's shadowy protectors were less than successful, and soon the twelve found themselves overwhelmed by their greater numbers.

“Ugh!” Padraig grunted in pain after getting hit by a blast of dark magic. “This place is weird. Where even are we?”

“Most likely some sort of pocket dimension created by the dragon's magic.” Cathbad answered, attempting to pick off one of the shades with his Fenrir tome. “The world around us has bent and twisted into this...bizarre place. It is as though the shrine itself has become corrupted. Fascinating.”

“Don't admire the chaos magic, Cathbad!” Nessa groaned, using her holy tome to melt away some of the shadows assaulting them. “We need to get rid of these things and reach the dragon itself!”

“Which would be easy if it the physics of this room weren't so strange.” Eirc stumbled out of the way of another oncoming magic attack. “I can't seem to get my footing here. It's like the floor isn't even real.” he then looked up and addressed the two wyvern riders of the bunch. “Does it feel any better in the air?” he asked.

“N-not really...” Lucien looked ill, his trusty mount swaying back and forth. “I think Quanny is getting dizzy up here!” he stroked the green-scaled beast's head to steady him. Quan let out a whimper in response, still hovering in midair to the best of his ability.

“Whatever is causing this, we've got to find a way to push through!” Sigmund tried moving forward, taking a slash at one of the shades. “Remember, this is the final battle! We've got to win in order to save Jugdral!”

“Easier said than done, Prince Sigmund.” Mael nocked an arrow onto his sacred bow and let it fly. “This is no ordinary battle. Even the Twelve Crusaders were still fighting on solid ground! This is easily the most disorienting place I have ever encountered, and trying to fight a virtually unknown enemy on this plane is proving to be as difficult as expected.”

“Well, it's got to get done somehow!” Aeneas slowly clambered forward, deflecting attacks with his greatshield and swinging Mystletainn at any shade that came after him. “We've come too far to die now!”

“Nobody's dying yet.” Athamas thrust Gungnir forward, making contact with one of the shadows at last. “At least, nobody on our side.” he smirked wolfishly.

“Less quipping, more fighting.” Eirc cast Forseti's spell, sending a powerful gust of wind forward onto the battlefield. “Save the witty remarks for our victory speeches.”

“Hmph.” Padraig dashed ahead, using the Astra technique to strike at a shade five times in a row. “Works for me.”

The fight continued in silence for another moment longer. As time went on, Sigmund's forces grew accustomed to the strangeness of the space, and even managed to advance on the dragon and its guardians. This was no easy feat, however, and the twelve brave nobles were beginning to suffer great damage at the hands of these unusual opponents.

“Wh-what do we do now?” Miach whined, breathing heavily and leaning forward on his horse. “I don't know how much longer I can keep up like this!”

“That's what we have healers for.” Erie confidently replied, raising the Valkyrie Staff in the air and casting a powerful spell from the holy rod. “Raising the dead isn't the only tool in this staff's arsenal. It can also heal the living, and apply regenerative effects over a short period of time. You'll all be feeling better in no time at all!”

“Thanks, Erie.” Sigmund smiled at the sagely priestess. “You're a literal lifesaver. Now, let's keep moving! We don't have much more to go!”

With the power of the Valkyrie Staff ensuring that none of them would succumb to their wounds from the shades, Sigmund's army continued forward, slashing and stabbing and casting their way through the remaining guardians and making it all the way to the dragon itself. Up close, the alchemical creation appeared much larger than it did even in the shrine room, easily dwarfing the twelve heroes.

“You think you can stop us that easily?!” Sigmund glared daggers at the imposing creature. “We're not afraid of you! You're just another enemy to defeat! Nothing can stand in our way!”

“...” the dragon's eyes flashed red, and it seemed to focus its attention on Sigmund directly.

“Is that supposed to scare me?!” the prince raised his voice even further, gripping Tyrfing with all his might. “You're nothing! We beat your goons, and now you're going down!

“...” another low rumble sounded from the dragon as its eyes glowed a deeper red. The space around them shook, responding to the dragon's display of power.

Sigmund readied his sword, eyes beginning to flash red. “THAT'S IT!” he roared in a distorted voice. “THIS IS BETWEEN YOU AND ME! YOU'RE FINISHED!!” he charged ahead, dealing blow after mighty blow against the dragon. He appeared unstoppable, filled with more passion and power than he had ever felt before. A foreboding aura surrounded the knight prince, unsettling his teammates.

“Prince Sigmund!” Erie called out to her comrade, eyes wide with distress. No response. She turned to the rest of the group. “What's wrong with him?” she asked, breathing becoming shallow with panic.

“The dragon must have got to him.” Cathbad answered, casting Valflame on the dragon's leg. “He's acting like every other corrupted warrior we've encountered along our journey.”

“Then how do we stop him?!” the priestess looked horrified. “We can't just kill him like we did everyone else! There has to be another way!”

“We beat the dragon, we get all the magic to stop.” Eirc cut in. “It's as simple as that. Our objective remains the same.”

“But don't we need Tyrfing to help do that?” Miach asked his more confident cousin, knees shaking in terror. “We can't exactly do this without Prince Sigmund!”

“He has been our brave leader this whole time.” Nessa acknowledged. “Always going above and beyond to save people...even if it meant putting himself in harm's way in the process.”

“Are you saying that...he got corrupted because he wants to go down fighting?!” Mael interjected. “How absurd!”

“Maybe not as much as you'd think.” Athamas narrowed his eyes. “I've seen guys like him a million times. Always wanting to beat the bad guys with their own two hands, acting like they've got the weight of the world on their shoulders, and it'll crash down on 'em if they don't keep fighting. You play hero one too many times, and it'll consume you. Just like anything else.”

“Well this time is different!” Nessa insisted. “Prince Sigmund is different! We've just got to get through to him!”

“I doubt it's possible at this point.” Padraig sighed, shoulders slumped. “If the others couldn't be saved, what makes you think Sigmund can?”

“Well, we can't just give up!” the princess of light replied emphatically. “Either we beat this dragon, or it kills us! Or worse, traps us with it forever! We don't have a choice but to fight!”

“Then it's settled.” Aeneas solemnly nodded his head. “We shall fight until the bitter end if we must!” the armored prince advanced, slashing the artificial dragon's leg with Mystletainn.

The remaining eleven Crusaders continued their assault on this final opponent, trying desperately to take it down and save their friend. However, even with their Holy Weapons on their side, the dragon easily withstood their attacks. With similarly little effort, it emitted a shock wave that heavily wounded all who stood in its way.

“Ugh!!” Lucien gasped, breathing heavily from the pain. “It's...still too strong. What do we do?”

Eirc looked on, watching the corrupted Sigmund swing his sword fervently. Unlike the others, he seemed to actually be causing harm to the dragon, each strike burning the artificial beast and sizzling its skin. This gave the wind mage an idea, and he gathered his allies around to reveal the plan.

“Look.” he addressed the party in hushed tones. “It seems our corrupted leader is the only one who can damage the dragon on his own. It's like he's more powerful than the dragon's power made him even stronger.”

“But at the cost of his sanity and judgement.” Cathbad replied. “There's no denying that our previous corrupted opponents were quite formidable, but chaos magic is still chaos magic. He could easily get himself killed with how wildly he's fighting, or worse, he gets caught up and kills us instead.”

“Just listen to me.” the tactician continued. “This means that the dragon must have a weakness. What if it's weak against its own power?”

“That's all well and good, except we can't exactly use this thing's power against itself without getting corrupted ourselves.” the scholar rebutted. “Unless...” he began stroking his chin in thought.

“You wanna hurry up with that thought?!” Athamas grunted, trying in vain to pierce through the dragon's scales with his lance. “Some of us are still trying to fight back!”

“The only solution I can think of for our current predicament would be for the corruption plaguing Prince Sigmund to be reversible.” Cathbad shifted his glasses and faced towards Sigmund, still furiously swinging Tyrfing around and injuring the artificial beast.

“Impossible.” Eirc retorted. “Or at the least, highly improbable and impractical. We have encountered over a dozen of these corrupted fighters over the course of our journey, and not one of them has ever been able to overcome the dragon's influence.”

“Maybe...there was one, though...” Padraig murmured, eyes downcast. “Or at least...almost one...”

“You don't mean...?” Erie gasped, realizing what the sword prince meant.

“Lord Daire...” Mael confirmed, nodding his head with finality. “I recall what he said in that final battle in Isaach. He challenged Lady Emer to one final duel so that he could go out of this world with honor. In that moment, he seemed almost...lucid. Like he was waking up from the spell.”

“In the end...” Padraig's eyes welled up, “...he thanked Emer for ending his life...ending his suffering.”

“So what are we going to do?” Lucien asked. “It sounds like any way we approach this, there's still a good chance that Sigmund dies! We can't let that happen! Not after everything we've been through together...”

“Then we'll just have to put our trust in him, and in ourselves!” Nessa confidently replied, clutching her holy tome to her chest. “We are the newest generation of Crusaders! We live together, or we die together! And I, for one, do not intend to die today!”

With that, Naga's champion stepped towards her rampaging cousin, breathing deeply and making sure her hands didn't tremble too much while gripping her tome. Praying to Naga and to Saint Heim for guidance, she began to speak.

“Sigmund.” her voice was clear and her tone was even. She didn't want to convey any hesitation or nervousness. Showing weakness in a situation like this surely seemed like it wouldn't end well. “Please listen to me. You're being corrupted by the dragon. You have to come to your senses if we want to defeat it!”

“I am defeating it!” Sigmund shouted in reply. “I'm the only one fighting while you all are standing around not doing anything! If you want to be useful, then stop talking and start fighting!!” he swung his sword twice more, injuring the dragon while also getting attacked himself.

“No, Sigmund.” Nessa held firm. “You are not defeating it. Not alone. If you keep this up, you will burn out before you know it, and the dragon will squash you like a bug! Your anger has made you fall prey to its magic. You're stronger physically, but also more reckless. If you're not careful, you'll get yourself killed, too!”

“It doesn't matter if I go down!” the prince roared. “If I beat the dragon, then I'll save Jugdral! I'll be the hero my father was, and his father, and all the way back to Baldr and Heim! As long as the dragon is slain, the hero wins! Now let me be the hero and slay this beast!!”

“Listen to yourself!!” Cathbad stepped forward, fire in his expression. “Do you really think you can win this battle on your own? This dragon is more powerful than even Loptyr, not to mention less predictable! We have to work together to accomplish anything!”

“Last I checked, I was the only one actually fighting and hurting this thing! And besides, I'm the leader of the army, I'm the heir to Grannvale, and I'm the one who's going to kill this monster single-handedly! I don't need any of you!!”

“Oh, that's IT!!” Nessa raised her staff in the air, casting a Sleep spell to immobilize the corrupted prince. “You aren't listening at all! The dragon has corrupted you. This strength and passion you're feeling? It's the chaos magic warping you. You want to be the big hero and slay the monster—I get that—but you can't do it in this state! Not by yourself! You are a hero, yes, but no hero stands alone! Not you, not your father, not your grandfather, and certainly not the Crusaders of old! Saint Heim dealt the final blow, but it was the Twelve who beat back the Empire and freed Jugdral from Loptyr all those years ago! Now, in order to beat this dragon, you have to snap out of this. Free yourself from its control. We are all putting our faith in you. Let us help you, and we can all work together to win this battle.”

“Nngh...” Sigmund grunted, still unable to move his limbs thanks to Nessa's magic. “I...have to be strong. Be brave. Save the world. It's my...destiny. It's my life. If I can't do that...who am I?”

Erie shook her head at the prince, looking directly at him with sad, compassionate eyes. “You are so much more than just the heroic prince and the leader of this little group. You are Sigmund Bel Chalphy: a kind, caring man who always sees the good in people. Who always wants to help the people around him, even if they are complete strangers from other lands. Who always treats his subjects as equals, and his comrades as genuine friends. Just like we wouldn't be here if it weren't for you, you wouldn't be the same without that kindness and the support of your friends. Now please, help us to help you.”

“M-my...friends...” Sigmund struggled to speak. “I...nngh...I c-can't fight this...”

“Yes, you can.” Eirc sternly replied. “You already are. You are beginning to actually listen. To take in what we are saying to you. Keep this up, and you will surely come to your senses before you know it.”

“If someone as stubborn and strong-headed as Daire could begin to do this, then someone with a big heart like yours can do so, as well.” Padraig added. “Just keep that heart open. To remember who you are, and to honor those whose closed hearts led them down this destructive path.”

“I've fought alongside plenty of guys who thought they were destined for greatness.” Athamas continued. “Led a lot of them to early graves. They died ugly deaths. Deaths that happened for no good reason. Kills me to think about sometimes. Don't let it happen to you, too.”

The prince let out a pained scream, trying desperately to break free from Nessa's binding magic. “I...can't!” he yelled. “I can't do it! I' beat this! the world! the fight...once and for all!”

“Your Highness, you are no mere knight, nor are you some glory-seeker out to prove anything to anyone!” Len attempted to keep his prince's attention. “You are a true Warrior of Love and Justice! You fight not for the thrill of victory or to hear the cheers of the masses! You do so because you are a man of conviction, who stands up for what is right in this world! You cannot do so in this corrupted state!”

“It is true.” Mael chimed in. “You may be strong, but your true power lies in your ability to rally people from all walks of life to your side. It is a gift not all of us possess. Cherish that, and it will lead you down the right path.”

“You're...not just a weapon.” Miach's voice shook as he held up Mjolnir to show Sigmund. “None of us are. I was raised my whole life thinking that this book was all I was good for. B-but now I know that we're more than our blood, or our titles. We're people...and it's people who save the day. Not just steel and magic.”

“He's right, Prince Sigmund.” Lucien nodded his head with a sorrowful look on his face. “Our blood and weapons may make us appear strong, but it's our teamwork that's brought us this far.”

“We're the first set of Holy Weapon users to all fight on the same side since the days of the Crusaders themselves.” Aeneas confirmed. “And that's thanks to you and your leadership. Now we've got to continue that if we want to win.”

Sigmund's screams faded into grunts and groans, before once again being replaced by heavy breathing as he struggled against both Nessa's magic and the corruption plaguing his mind. His allies, nay, his friends, all rallying behind him helped the prince regain his senses enough to address them with clarity.

“N-Nessa...everyone...” he panted. “I...I'm sorry. You're right. I've been letting my selfish desire get the better of me. I...can't do this alone. And I can't fall to despair. Not when I'm- we're- this close to the end. Now let's beat this thing! Together!”

As if answering Sigmund's call, a golden light shone through the void. Each of the twelve Holy Weapons began to glow, as did the brands on their wielders' bodies. A voice rang out, echoing in each of their heads.

“Ye heirs of destiny. Carriers of our might and our legacy. Ye Modern Crusaders.” the voice spoke. “We are the Twelve. Your ancestors who overthrew the Loptyr Empire and won the Holy War. You have proven yourselves worthy of not only our power, but our spirit. We shall aid you on your quest to save the land we once called home.”

With the blessings of their forebears guiding them, the twelve heirs faced down the artificial abomination with renewed vigor. Their hearts beat as one, united in their determination. Their love for their homeland, their families, their friends. Their desire to see this through to the end and make it out the other side.

“Thank you, Nessa. Everyone.” Sigmund smiled at his comrades. “Your support in all of this means the world to me. Now, we've got a mission to accomplish. Shall we?” he turned to face the enemy, Tyrfing shining brightly in his hands.

“Crusaders, to arms! One last time!” Nessa added as the group reentered the climactic battle.

The group fanned out, surrounding the Soul Dragon with clockwork synchronization. Blades struck and magic flew out from their tomes in such perfect harmony that they finally managed to deal significant damage to the monster. Each time one of the Holy Weapons hit their target, they would leave a wound on the dragon's body which erupted with holy light, and the chaos-formed beast would let out a horrific scream.

“It's working!!” Erie exclaimed. “We're actually making progress!”

“It seems that when Prince Sigmund broke free of the dragon's spell, it left it vulnerable to attack.” Eirc tried to reason. “And empowered us further, as well.” his eyes narrowed with excitement rather than their usual smug confidence. “I've never felt more alive!”

“Did the rest of you hear those voices earlier?” Miach asked as he dealt another shocking blow to the dragon. “Were those the real Crusaders talking to us back there?”

“I don't know for sure.” Cathbad began thinking about it. “But it certainly does feel like we're in better spirits than we've been for this entire fight. If that's the Crusaders' blessing, then it is a welcome gift from above.” he smiled widely and cast one more holy wall of Valflame's fire.

“We're finally united.” Sigmund nodded proudly. “Just like they were all those years ago. They've acknowledged us as their successors not only in blood, but in spirit. They called us the Modern Crusaders, and I for one want to live up to that title! So let's do it! Let's make Jugdral proud!”

Their leader's rallying cry proved exactly what the newly-crowned Crusaders needed in order to finish the job. As one, they each attacked the Soul Dragon one more time, until it could fight no more. A roar shook the distorted space one last time before the dragon disappeared into a pillar of light, and the dimensions of the shrine went back to normal. Silence filled the halls, and a weight seemed to lift from the Crusaders' collective shoulders at long last.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dong Thiel

Last Updated: 22/02/2023

Views: 5784

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dong Thiel

Birthday: 2001-07-14

Address: 2865 Kasha Unions, West Corrinne, AK 05708-1071

Phone: +3512198379449

Job: Design Planner

Hobby: Graffiti, Foreign language learning, Gambling, Metalworking, Rowing, Sculling, Sewing

Introduction: My name is Dong Thiel, I am a brainy, happy, tasty, lively, splendid, talented, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.