(The following post contains spoilers for Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the first few chapters of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes.)
About two-and-a-half years ago, I started writing The Ghost of Ochs with the intent of giving Monica, an NPC from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, her own backstory and personality, expecting the sparse information about her life before “those who slither in the dark” got to her to be the end of her story. Then Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes comes along (my copy just shipped and should be at my doorstep tomorrow morning), and not only does Monica show up in a cutscene in the February 2022 Nintendo Direct reveal trailer, but one of the first missions you get after meeting Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude is to free Monica from one of “those who slither’s” dungeons. And because Monica is such–well, to call her a “big fan” of Edelgard would be severely underselling it–she joins Edelgard’s faction without hesitation, and becomes a playable ally if you choose to support the Black Eagles.
I’m not sure whether I should wonder whether someone at Nintendo read my fanfic while working on Three Hopes (since the canon interpretation of “Monnie” also seems to have a thing for girls, considering that out of the few A-rank supports that were shown in the demo, one is with Hubert, her self-styled rival for Edelgard’s attention and affection, and the other two are Edelgard and Dorothea), but it’s nice to know there’s genuine interest in the character beyond my silly little 150,000-word story.
Seeing the seeds of the Edelgard/Monica relationship in the Three Hopes demo made me re-examine their scenes in Three Houses. Edelgard is the one who brings up information on House Ochs’ dire situation after you have to mercy-kill Monica’s father in one side quest, and if you have Edelgard challenge Kronya during the Sealed Forest mission, she looks and sounds angry at the assassin (almost as mad as Leonie is considering who Kronya had just murdered) – not just because her cover almost gets blown, but because “those who slither” probably killed one of Edelgard’s old friends and had Kronya use the body as a puppet to keep a close eye on her. Could Nintendo have been setting up this connection all along and I hadn’t paid close enough attention to it?
(Spoilers end here.)
Anyway, I’m glad I was able to get Chapter 40 out before the day of Three Hopes’ release even though I’d spent the last two weeks milking the demo for all its worth. One of the survivors of the Remire tragedy shows up to warn Monica and a few of her friends that the Death Knight (the one who kidnapped Flayn before the start of the story) is still at large, and may be closer than they think. With security patrols being stepped up around Garreg Mach Monastery, it’s obvious that Archbishop Rhea isn’t going to take this threat lying down, even if the rumors around town get wilder and wilder…
Whether or not you’re planning on picking up Three Hopes at any point, why don’t you give my story a read here, or at the usual spots: