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Beneath the Mask

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“I’m telling you! Sirius has to be Camus! They look exactly alike, other than the mask!” Marth insisted to the honorable and venerated General Jagen, who was shaking his head.

“I’m sorry, I just cannot seem to recall his face at all.” The General shook his head, much to Marth’s dismay.

“Is it because you are old and senile?” Marth asked without any malice.

“What? No!” Jagen shouted, “It’s because, although he was the leader of the Sable Knights and a formidable foe who wielded Gradivus, he was ultimately just one of many minor bosses who we fought in our campaign. Why are you so fixated on him?”

Because Jagen, he was one of the only people who didn’t defect after having one conversation with me! Me! And like half of our army is made up of deserters! He’s the one that got away, Jagen! There will never be a Knight who embodies the Codes of Chivalry like him ever again!”

Wow , ok.” Jeigen felt extremely unappreciated in this conversation. Exactly how many knights fled with the Prince so he could reclaim his birthright? But apparently, that was nothing compared to the loyalty of feeling sad when dying as a minor boss.

“Jagen, don’t be like that! Come back!” Marth tried to stop his oldest advisor from leaving, but not too hard. After all, he had an investigation right now! And then later he could apologize for whatever he did wrong. Plus he was a prince, so Jagen had to accept his apology!

Otherwise he would be exiled.

And the first step to any investigation was finding eyewitnesses, and luckily for Marth, two of them were heading towards him.

“Est, Catria!” Marth called out to the younger Whitewing Sisters, “You two were there when we were invading Gurst, right? Doesn’t Sirius look familiar to you guys at all?”

“Actually, now that you mention it, he does, doesn’t he?” Est scratched her head in thought.

“Now, Est. Zeke is probably hiding behind the mask for personal reasons. We shouldn’t pry.” Catria tried to reason, before slapping her head after realizing she just said his name.

“Oh yeah! He totally looks like Zeke now that you mention it!” Est acted as if this was the discovery of the century, despite that not being the answer Marth was looking for.

“Sorry, who is Zeke?” Marth asked, completely lost. 

“Oh, he was this General from when we helped unify Zofia and defeat that weird zombie dragon. And also the second zombie dragon.” Est told him as if that was the most normal thing in the world.

“Huh, that’s weird. I don’t remember any of that.” Marth wondered because that sounded awesome and he definitely wouldn’t have forgotten that adventure.

“That’s because you weren’t there.” Catria was taken aback when Marth looked genuinely confused, “You do realize we have lives outside of you, right?” Catria became more incredulous by the minute. 

“Haha, it's cute that you think that.” Marth laughed, and Catria just gave up and took the compliment. “So if you guys don’t have anything useful, I’m gonna go ask the next person.”

“He looks like an old Mercenary I worked with. He had that whole Black Knight Aesthetic going on back then too,” Navarre reminisced in a dark corner while he crossed his arms, “He was super honor bound as well. Think he went by Eldigan or something. Shame he got beheaded by an employer though.”

“You know, he looks just like one of the regulars at my Flower Shop!” Abel nodded, “His name was Xander! I wonder what happened to him in the end, considering the last time I saw him was when he bought flowers for his sister’s funeral… Oh my Naga, that’s so morbid!” 

Marth felt a little bad for sharing his theory on what happened to Xander with Abel.

“Maybe he has a brother who looks like him?” Jake offered, “My girlfriend, Anna, has sisters who look almost identical to her, so it might be a situation like that?”

“He reminds me of this one General from an opposing army.” Astram reminisced. “See, they had six generals and each of them were named after stones. The Fluorspar felt that their leader had changed, but couldn’t leave because of a sense of duty. Anyways her name was Selena…”

“They aren’t even the same gender!” Marth screamed.

“He reminds me of my Wyvern now that you mention it…” 

Needless to say, Minerva was no help.

“Honestly,” Draug started, “I don’t know any of these people. Ever since you got new troops, you haven’t deployed me once! I don’t think you understand the power of Armor Emblem!”

“Well excuse me for being a master tactician who wants troops that can actually keep up with the army!” Marth defended, “Next you’ll tell me that growths are more important than bases!”

“Well they are, you elitist! Jagen is an XP Thief!”

“Oh my Naga, can you hear yourself? I bet your favorite game is Heroes, you casual!”

“Have you ever heard of Gundam ?”

“Princess Nyna,” Marth went all in on his last hope, “You and Camus were close, right? Please tell me I’m not imagining things with Sirius!” 

“No, I know what you mean, he does remind me of Camus,” Nyna told Marth.

“Yes! Thank you!” Marth celebrated for finally finding a sane person after the sea of nonsense he just had to deal with.

“Actually, Prince, you remind me of Camus, as well,” Nyna added, which made Marth’s celebration feel premature. “In fact, Princess Caeda also reminds me of him!” Princess Nyna then went on a long list of people who reminded her of Camus, most of whom Marth didn’t even know.

“Is there anyone who doesn't remind you of him!?” Marth nearly pulled out his perfect hair in frustration. He was so close!

“Emperor Hardin.”

“Please, I’m begging you! And I’m a Prince! Me! Just take off the mask for Naga’s sake! ” Marth sobbed, clinging onto Sirius’s pants, which greatly distressed the Masked Knight.

“Okay, okay, I’ll do it! Just please stop crying!” Sirius peeled the whining prince off his leg and carefully removed his mask.

Which revealed another mask.