Sticking to the shadows of the forest so as to not be seen, Marth glances into the camps of the Shepherds. The area has the aura of warmth, good soldiers engaging in friendly sparring on one end, quietly exchanging stories over cozy campfires on another, and cooking and cleaning all between, a place for anyone to find a way to enjoy the night.
It’s strange to look at, they must admit. None of this is a sight they’re particularly used to, as even the most optimistic towns from their future were still quiet and tired. Nor was the grass ever this green, so comfortable looking to lay on while being surrounded by such genuine smiles.
It must be pleasant to be someone who could have the opportunity to join them.
Friendly contact with another human being would be nice.
Still. Work to be done, unfortunately, which means more intel to discover about this timeframe. There’s a lot of things that still confuse them, not least of which can be traced back to a woman who, given her seemingly enormous importance in this army, might as well have not existed in the books of history.
Robin. It’s confusing, the dead silence surrounding her. Surely, the grandmaster tactician of the Shepherds would be meaningful enough to warrant at least a few offhand comments, yet at no point in their childhood can they recall anyone having mentioned her once. Marth can recall people discussing a tactician in the army, but to their understanding, it was never a female one, instead being described as this burly, towering fellow with brawn matching his brains, a threatening aura hiding underneath his quiet hood, which, comparing and contrasting to the shivering, abrasive woman with no voice control they hear about in these camps, clearly doesn’t fit the mark.
What happened to her in their past, then? Does this have any relation to the events they need to stop? It would track that if she had betrayed them at some point, then they would still speak of her in some fashion, would they not? It’s as if she was a ghost, a liminal being who is simultaneously the most important person on the planet, yet might as well not exist.
A thought process that isn’t being helped by her not being anywhere in the camp, not even hidden in the silhouettes of the tents. Strange.
Perhaps they should look through the kitchen area again—
“You absolutely cannot tell anyone about this, okay?”
Erm. Did they just hear someone from within the forest?
“You’re saying it as if this is something I’d be bragging about to people.”
Hm, multiple persons, in fact. What on earth are two people doing conversing in a forest?
The first voice makes a confusing, high-pitched squeak. “I-is it?”
“No, no it’s not.” The second one sighs, with an oddly familiar tone. “Don’t worry so much, alright? Your secret’s safe here.”
Secret? What secret? Did Marth just stumble into some double agent against the Shepherds? What on earth did they just stumble into—
“T-thank you, Chrom.”
“Don’t mention it. It’s for a good friend.”
Marth quickly moves into the forest. They can beat themselves up over not recognizing the literal Prince of Ylisse’s voice later, because right now, if they were to take a guess…
“Um.” Indeed, it seems the squeaky little voice belonged to the very tactician they were looking for. “Y-you can stop petting me now.”
“Oh. Uh, right.”
So, as best as Marth can tell, there is the unknown tactician of mystery, and Chrom, out in the woods where nobody is supposed to see them, as this woman has her back pressed up against a tree sitting on the ground, and there is extremely personal contact going on as they both tell each other to guard their important secrets that nobody else is allowed to know.
They don’t exactly know what the feeling of walking into one’s parents making love is like, but they’re pretty confident it feels like this.
“I know you’ll need some private time, and all.” Thank the gods, if Chrom had done anything they’d rather not imagine, he had clearly already done it. “Make sure you head back soon, alright?”
The prince leaves, and for a while, the girl simply sits frozen, giving Marth some time to let the nausea leave their body. They assume she has a reason for doing this at first (reasons I would prefer to not fully know, they repeat to themself), but she’s entirely