Fresh off my non-winning NaNoWriMo break, I went ahead and posted Chapter 35 of The Ghost of Ochs just in time for Christmas. This chapter isn’t Christmas-themed (the actual Christmas analogue in Three Houses appears to be the White Heron Cup and the subsequent Garreg Mach ball, which will probably be covered in a later chapter), but it does feature Byleth making good on a promise to Hapi to take steps to help her break the curse that causes her to summon monsters instead of animals.
January 12, 2022 will be the second anniversary of the day I first published this story (not on here, but on Archive of Our Own and FanFiction.net), and I have a thematically appropriate chapter planned for that day. No points for guessing what that is.
The Wattpad version of the story is only up to Chapter 9 as I continue to add chapters weekly until it reaches parity with the other versions. For the links to the other mirrors, you can read any of them below:
This year, my Fire Emblem-loving friend Lynn and I decided on writing fanfics for each other in lieu of holiday presents this year. Her contribution was So, Let’s Be Heroes!, an idea I had where Cynthia from Fire Emblem: Awakening takes on Sophie and Percy from Fire Emblem Fates as her squires. In exchange, she asked me to write a story where Edelgard and Constance from Fire Emblem: Three Houses sneak off to take in the city life while Ferdinand and Hubert handle Edelgard’s internal affairs, and I used that to write A Capital Idea. This is the first time I’ve done one of these, but I had fun writing that little scene. Maybe I’ll do some more prompts like this in the future.
Links for So, Let’s Be Heroes!
Links for A Capital Idea
In Chapter 34, Monica hasn’t fully forgotten about the bandit woman who attacked her during her first month back at the academy. Even though she hasn’t heard anything from Raine since then, she makes a point to try to dig into her background to figure out what she was doing in Imperial territory in the first place.
Later on, Edelgard receives a letter from Bernadetta’s father that surprises both of them.
And now, for some links:
A couple of things before I go:
- It looks like I’ve dialed back my updates to a once-per-month schedule. Next month, I’m going to take another swing at NaNoWriMo, so there won’t be a chapter update in November. The next expected chapter updates should arrive in December and/or January.
- I’ve added Wattpad to the list of websites where this story can be found. To give Wattpad account readers some time to catch up, I’ll post each chapter from the beginning once a week (Saturdays) until that version is up-to-date with the other versions.
We’re starting off Chapter 33 on a somewhat low-key note, as all of the students are returning to the monastery after going on adventures. I wanted to put the scene in with Byleth talking to the house leaders to show that she was curious about what the other houses were doing while she, Edelgard, and the Black Eagles were out monster-hunting.
With the release of Chapter 32 of The Ghost of Ochs, our second story arc is complete. Monica and company have fended off an attack on Remire Village, with one of the perpetrators being her arch-enemy, Kronya. The defense mission was a success, but not without cost – many villagers are dead, and Kronya and Myson are still on the loose, disappearing to parts unknown. Maybe now, everyone will get a chance to kick back and relax again…?
Two months? It’s really been two months between the publication of Chapter 30 and Chapter 31? I really am slipping! I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, especially with this chapter where I was trying to juggle a couple of different viewpoints at once (the first wave of the invasion, then Edelgard’s reinforcements, and finally Monica’s encounter with Kronya) that things wound up less focused than in previous chapters. On the bright side, that means I can bring the second story arc to a close soon and move on.
While the AO3 and FanFiction.net versions of this story will register this as Chapter 31 (because I don’t include Monica’s little nightmare interlude in the chapter numbering), “Lying in Wait” is actually Chapter 30.
Now that I’ve reached the 100,000-word milestone on this fic, I also went and did something that I’d meant to do since the beginning – improve the story summaries on AO3 and FanFiction.net, because I didn’t feel that they adequately described the contents of the story as Monica started meeting new friends and classmates beyond Flayn and the Church of Seiros. Anyone who’s signed up for email alerts on either version will see the story summary with every update. The AO3 version is now a word-for-word copy of the description on the front page, while the FanFiction.net version reads as follows:
“After spending half a year of her life in captivity, the young Adrestian noble Monica von Ochs finds herself back at Garreg Mach Monastery where she is given the opportunity to prepare herself for life beyond the Officers Academy, and the unfamiliar dangers that come with it.”
I’m not sure that the new summary is qualitively “better” than the old one, but I feel that it’s more accurate.
Now, on to the links!
So, a couple of things to talk about for Chapter 29 of The Ghost of Ochs…
- Count Varley, who is mentioned in the game but doesn’t make a physical appearance, is the major reason why Bernadetta is…well, “Bernie-bear”. To make a long story short, everything he does that involves his daughter is guaranteed to produce the exact opposite result of what he ultimately wants in life (i.e. more money, prestige, etc.). In this story, I didn’t feel like it made sense for him to be a complete dick to everyone, so I sent Edelgard and Ferdinand his way as they were the only two people I could think of whom he could pretend to talk to as equals (Edelgard because she’s the princess and he’s trying to buy himself some extra time until she takes the crown and drops the hammer on him for that ugly business with her father years ago, and Ferdinand because Old Man Varley and Old Man Aegir are implied to be pals).
- I gave Ferdinand’s horse a name (Isaac, ostensibly based on one of his ancestors) because I’d already given Ingrid’s pegasus a name, and most Three Houses players should have an idea about Marianne’s horse Dorte. Sylvain’s steed probably has a name, too, but I haven’t thought of it yet. Knowing him, he’ll probably name it after some girl he met in town.
Next chapter, we’re off to Remire! Until then, check the usual hotspots for this chapter:
Before I started writing chapter 28, I wondered what happens to those who commit crimes against the Church of Seiros who don’t immediately get executed like the few leftover Western Church priests did after the Rite of Rebirth. I figured that some of them get shipped off to some prison somewhere and aren’t seen again for a while. As ruthless as the archbishop is against evildoers, Rhea knows she can’t kill everyone connected to the Western Church without receiving significant blowback.
Hapi (who makes her first in-person appearance in this chapter) was unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and wound up getting arrested for it, and was placed in the same facility as a few surviving Western Church members. The “who” and “why” (and maybe also “when”) will be explored in the next chapter.
Until then, you can read Chapter 28: Housing Station for Wayward Souls on this site or at the usual mirrors:
It’s way too tempting for me to make a “Year of the Ochs” joke considering that this weekend marks the start of the Lunar New Year festivities. That said, my publishing of Chapter 27 of Ghost couldn’t have been timed more perfectly, since I’m also on a three-day weekend for Presidents’ Day.
(Minor game spoilers below.)
Remire Village just seems to get the rawest of deals in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. First, there’s the tutorial mission where Kostas’ bandit gang attacks Byleth and the three lords in the middle of the night. Several months later, the village turns against itself as “those who slither in the dark” play their hand and force the villagers to kill each other.
(End of spoilers.)
That’s pretty much the same scenario we’re about to find ourselves in with the coming chapters of the story (and around the same month in this timeline, too). Will the Black Eagles’ attempt at a preemptive defensive maneuver save this village from yet another catastrophe? Let’s hope so…those guys need a break in a major way.
Mirrors for this chapter: