It took multiple days of moving and riding through the continent, mainly due to that horses were scarce, but there were enough to escort the majority of the army that were actually fighting. They had finally made it to Grado castle, where they finally can end the war and defeat the one who had started it all, Emperor Vigarde. Prince Ephraim, the leader of the army, hoped that Lyon was alright and that he wasn’t hurt from this war; or even overwhelmed at all that was going on.
Ephraim and the others were facing the entrance of the castle, the memories of him and Lyon were coming back to him. He remembered when his friend taught him about the five sacred stones of Magvel, each from the different kingdoms. He always relied on his friend for help on his studies, especially history.
Before Ephraim could take a step into the castle, Myrrh went up to him, a worried expression was shown on her face. “Ephraim, I sense the darkness within these castle walls, the darkness is in the castle, I ensure you will be careful”
“I’ll be alright, and so will everyone else, Myrrh.” the prince wasn’t so sure if this was true, but he tried to be as calm as possible for the upcoming battle. He wasn’t so sure if it was the emperor’s doing that the war broke out, but he wanted to make sure of it first.
“But, we must figure out the darkness inside the castle! Lets go everyone!!” Ephraim called before the “army” went into the castle and then the throne room.
Both Ephraim and Myrrh entered the castle first, only to be confronted with Grado Soldiers, blocking the throne room. There was nothing they all could do but to fight their way through to defeat Vigarde “Okay everyone, we need to plow our way through the soldiers and get up to the throne room. As that’s where Vigarde, the one who started it, is” Ephraim called to the twelve people who were going to help them clear out the enemies.
Lyon could hear Ephraim call to his army for battle as he stood next to his father; he didn’t want his friend to know what his true goal was. Nonetheless, he wanted Ephraim to fight his father and he hoped he would eventually find out what was really going on.
Just then, a Grado soldier came into the throne room most likely to inform Lyon’s father. “Your majesty, enemy soldiers are headed into the castle,” they exclaimed. “Oh! Prince..” the soldier was cut off when he saw the Prince’s face. He looks really tired but an evil smile was shown upon his face;
“Hi, What’s wrong, you look like you saw some horrid beast,” the voice of Lyon spoke “I would appreciate it if you didn’t look at me as if I was a horrid beast”
The Prince spoke again, changing the subject “Did you say we were under attack? If so, I would like you to strike your foes with all your might,” Lyon tried his best not to hold back his voice when he spoke again. “Bring all of your weapons to bear on Ephraim. If that is acceptable, Father” he turned to his father; still silent but then finally spoke.
“Do…. as he says” Vigarde said, before becoming disturbingly silent once more. The Grado Soldier nodded “Right away, Your majesty!” then they went out to get ready for the attack.
Lyon turned to his father; “Command Grado… Emperor Vigarde, and destroy Ephraim..” the smirk on his face slightly faded, but he made sure it was unnoticeable. Once again, Vigarde’s expression was unchanged; so Lyon knew he heard, so just like that. With that, the prince teleported to someplace where he can wait to confront Ephraim once
The fight took a long while, Ephraim had to walk most of the way there; and even when being transported by Tana to get closer there, it still took a lot of time to actually get into the throne room. He had to fight through many many mages and had to make sure he wasn’t heavily wounded when getting ready to take Vigarde down. When the time finally came, Ephraim got his lance Reginleif and attacked the emperor with all the energy he still had left in him.
With the help of both L’arachel’s healing and Seth’s help to rescue him, Ephraim finally managed to defeat Emperor Vigarde in a few hits. When he finally fell, Ephraim breathed heavily for a few moments to regain his energy from all the fighting.
When he regained his energy he finally shifted his focus back onto the emperor, he saw that he had disintegrated. He stepped back a bit, really trying to see if what he was seeing was real and that he wasn’t imagining it.
“He… What is this? He, disintegrated..” Ephraim said, a really surprised and confused expression was written on his face. He didn’t know how or what caused this but he knew it wasn’t normal for a human to just disintegrate like that.
Seth got off of his horse and examined the pile of dust shown in front of him, and L’arachel was just really curious to know who would do such a thing.
“I see…” the troubadour thought about what happened for a moment, then continued. “Vigarde must have been already dead! Otherwise he wouldn’t have disintegrated, somebody must have revived him with dark magic!!” She exclaimed as if she had stars in her eyes and was really confident in saying her opinion.
“This must be some sort of dark magic,” Seth sighed, as he crouched down; picking up particles of dust in his hand before dumping them back into the pile. “Regardless, though, the capital has finally been captured I will go patrol the castle to check if there are still some remaining soldiers” the red-haired man went back onto his horse.
“I will go with you, I’m sure Lyon is in this castle somewhere. I hope he’s alright…” Ephraim sighed before he went onto Seth’s horse and they rode until the went into a hall where they both saw Lyon standing there.
“Oh hello, Ephraim” a demonic voice spoke out of Lyon’s mouth. “I have been waiting for you, it seems like you’ve already beaten my father. I assumed you would, you really are strong aren’t you?” An evil grin shown upon his dark yet tired looking face.
“Lyon!! Is that you?” Ephraim asked confused as to if he was right given that Lyon looked different than he remembered. “Please tell me what happened to Grado! Why did they go to war? You must tell me what happened!!” He got off of Seth’s horse and took a couple of steps toward his friend.
Even when he took a step closer, Lyon stayed silent, not wanting to say anything to his own friend. “Come on, Lyon!! Please answer me! Why didn’t you stop your father, why did you just let him create chaos in Renais?” he tried his best not to cry, he was too tough to let himself cry. “Dont tell me you are also caught up in all the madness!! Please just answer me already! You always told me when we were young that your father wanted peace!!”
The prince of Grado finally spoke “I.. urgh” he hunched over for a moment trying to contain himself, before standing back up again. “Let me.. tell you something, Ephraim.” he spoke again, his body shaking slightly “I have been wanting to do this for a very, very long time.”
“I will make the world MY plaything. Heck, I have been planning this my whole life! Why else would I befriend you and your sister. Did you truly think I would really want to be friends with you?” he scoffed “I wanted to know a perfect way to attack and destroy Renais. Our friendship was fake all along”
“Lyon, we both know that’s not true! You never learned how to fight, it was never in you, I know you would never do that!”
“Oh, but- ack” Lyon was cut off by a pain in his head, doing what he could to breath. “Ah! Urg! I..” he started feeling lightheaded and looked really pale. Before he could say anything else, he passed out.
Ephraim gasped, and immediately grew concerned. He ran up to his friend and went onto his knees, he felt really worried. “Lyon!! Oh shit are you okay? Oh no he’s passed out!” he then turned to Seth, who surprisingly was still there watching the scene that had happened just minutes before Lyon passed out onto the ground.
“Seth! you go continue to patrol the castle, I’ll go take Lyon somewhere safe!!” Ephraim commanded. Seth nodded and went to continue patrolling. Ephraim looks down at Lyon for a moment “You’ll be alright, my friend…” he sighed before he picked up the prince and went to find a place to set him in. Lyon’s weight overwhelmed him a little but it was nothing he couldn’t handle.
He eventually found Lyon’s room, the door was unlatched so he pushed open the door. But when he did, he saw that all of it was in tatters. Books everywhere scattered across the floor, the desk, and even on his bed. Shelves were empty and papers were ripped and scattered everywhere; and the ones that weren’t ripped to shreds were in a big pile both on the floor and on the desk with multiple notes attached to it.
Ephraim laid Lyon onto the bed and took some of the scattered papers that were not ripped to shreds, and tried to see if any of them were legible. He skimmed through the papers and found something about the dark stone. But before he could get a chance to read the other papers he grabbed, Seth came in and knocked onto the open door.
“Prince Ephraim, we’ve found cells in the back, there were some captives. And one wishes to speak with you” Seth said.
“Alright, I’ll go check in and see what they need” Ephraim replied, and he went to the back of the castle where the prison cells were.
Ephraim saw a man in dark cloaks, he looked awfully hidden under all those robes. The man had a lot of dark faded blue robes and wore a hood to cover most of himself. The only thing that was really visible was his face and his hair. The robed man walked over to Ephraim, his gloved hands clutching the rusted bars before starting to speak in a low, quiet voice.
“You’re Prince Ephraim, correct?” the mage asked “My name is Knoll, I am, or was a researcher for your friend Prince Lyon. Seth told me that Lyon had passed out and that you were taking him someplace safe”
“Yes, that is true” the prince of Renais nodded before asking “Did something happen between you and him?” The dark mage sighed and then nodded “Yes, its a long story but, Emperor Vigarde had died from a terrible illness. With that, Prince Lyon was devastated, then-“ Knoll got cut off by Ephraim
“But, Vigarde was the one who caused the war between Grado and Renais, did he not?” The taller male asked, awfully confused.
Knoll then took a heavy sigh “Allow me to continue as I was going to,” he huffed another breath before continued once more. “One year ago, Vigarde had died from a terrible illness that plagued him, and with that Lyon was devastated. He felt insecure about ruling without his father, so he did what he could to try and revive him.”
“Wait, He wanted to revive him?
” “Yes, as you know the Sacred Stone of Grado was used to seal away the demon king, we called it the Fire Emblem. Both him and a team of mages tried to harness the power inside, I remember he was so overjoyed when he learned he could use it to save the lives of others.
” Knoll explained everything else that had happened and after that he then asked: “Is Lyon alright? Where is he? Can you let me out? I wish to see him..” a Renais soldier then unlocked the cell and then Knoll got out.
“Lyon is in his room, or what used to be that is…” Ephraim replied to Knoll’s question “I am not sure if he is alright or not, but I do hope he is after him suddenly passing out. I will show you where he is if you’d like.” the dark mage nodded and the two went to Lyon’s room.
When entering the room, Lyon still passed out on his bed, Knoll felt his hand. Cold. “He seems to be still breathing” Knoll said “But when he wakes up, I would like to warn you of what might come” “Alright I’m listening” Ephraim replied before Knoll spoke again.
“If he wakes up, please be careful, he could deceive you or try to break the other Sacred Stones. He broke the Stone of Grado so its best to not let him break the others.” the mage still holding onto Lyon’s hand, hoping it will move.
“I promise you I will be careful, Knoll…” Ephraim says, before then turning to Lyon’s sleeping body “Lyon, my friend, I hope you’ll be okay…”
He just waits for hours, sitting there, hoping the Grado Prince will wake. Its now night time and he is still just hoping he wakes. Knoll had already left to find something to wake Lyon up. He thinks about what Lyon had said to him after the fight with Vigarde. How he said that he was only friends with him and Eirika just so he could find the weakness of Renais and exploit it’s vulnerability. Or when he said that he never liked him or all of that crap. Yet, he didn’t believe it, he knew Lyon, he was his best friend after all, so he reassured himself that it will all be fine. He will see Eirika again, they will return to Renais, and all would be good once the war ends.