Robin: You’re Soren, are you not? Tactician of the Greil Mercenaries?
Soren: That depends. Who’s asking?
Robin: My name is Robin. They say you’re a brilliant strategist, you know.
Soren: Are you trying to bribe me? Flattery is not going to get you anything.
Robin: Peace, Soren. The only thing I want to ask of you is a moment of your time.
Soren: I’ll have to decline. I’m busy at the moment, as you can see.
Robin: Oh? Too busy for, say, a game of chess?
Soren: Chess? Why would I want to play chess with you?
Robin: I’m a tactician myself, you know. And I want to see for myself if you’re as good as they say.
Soren: There’s no need to spend time playing chess, if that’s all you want. If you’re truly so stubborn to be convinced, I suppose I can allow you to look at previous plans of mine.
Robin: I appreciate it, but that’s not what I meant. I want to beat you in chess, Soren.
Soren: Is that so? In that case, don’t bother. You’ll lose.
Robin: Are you truly so afraid of a challenge?
Soren: Quite the opposite, I’ll have you know. But if you’re so desperate for me to prove it to you, I will. As I said, though, I’m busy. Prepare yourself for a swift defeat.
Robin: You’re on!
[Robin and Soren have reached support rank C.]
Robin: … Yes, it certainly is. Again.
Soren: You’re surprised?
Robin: Believe me, I wish I was.
Soren: It’s good that you’re not. I told you the first time you challenged me that you wouldn’t be able to best me.
Robin: Don’t remind me. You said it would be a swift defeat, and you weren’t lying…
Soren: I don’t tend to if I don’t have to. You are an interesting opponent, though, I must admit.
Robin: Well, thank you, I think. But I still can’t wrap my head around this. How do you manage to win every time when you open with the same move? You should be predictable, but I just can’t figure it out.
Soren: Hmm. Robin, you know why you keep losing, do you not? It’s painfully obvious.
Robin: What? No, I have no idea. What am I doing wrong?
Soren: Well, tactically speaking… nothing. Your strategies are sound, almost impressive; all you really lack is one thing.
Robin: Oh? And what would that be?
Robin: Excuse me?
Soren: I don’t think you should be surprised. My victories have been swift and plentiful, but look at how many pieces I have, and compare it to your own.
Soren: Are you starting to understand? You’re too quick to throw away strategies because they risk sacrifice. Sometimes, that’s just something you’re going to have to accept.
Robin: I see… well, if that’s the case, then I think I’m going to have to admit a permanent defeat.
Soren: So soon? And after you were so intent on defeating me?
Robin: Well, if the one thing I’m missing is the one thing that I refuse to gain, then I suppose I never will beat you.
Soren: Why do you refuse to accept it? Sacrifice is necessary for the greater good of the army, at times. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you begin to emerge victorious.
Robin: Soren… I won’t deny that you’re a genius when it comes to tactics, but that’s just not something I can accept. These may just be pieces on a chess board, but in battle? That pawn is someone’s life. Someone with a family, with friends, with people who love and cherish them… Any soldier understands that there’s a risk of death, but if I can save someone’s life, I will. That’s not something I’m going to be able to change.
Soren: I see.
Robin: I’m sorry. I know I should take your advice more seriously.
Soren: No need for apologies. You’ve taken my advice and thought it through, and decided against it. Neither of us can change that.
Robin: Right… Well, thank you for your time, Soren. It’s been fun. Perhaps we can continue to play together after this, just for the sake of playing.
Soren: Hmm. I’ll consider it.
Soren: … I swear, that man gets more confusing by the day…
[Robin and Soren have reached support rank B.]
Robin: Soren? Are you sure you’re feeling alright?
Soren: What? Yes, of course, I’m fine. Why do you ask?
Robin: Well, you seem… distracted. You usually call out your moves as you do them, but you’ve been silent for the past few turns. I’m getting worried about you.
Soren: I… I suppose there is something on my mind.
Robin: Oh? We can set aside the match for a bit, if you’d like to talk with me about something.
Soren: I’ve just been meaning to ask you something; are you still frustrated by the fact that you can’t beat me because of your strategies?
Robin: Well, I mean… it’s certainly frustrating. My tactics work on everyone but you; I think I deserve to be at least a little perplexed.
Soren: I see. That’s exactly what I was afraid of.
Robin: Excuse me?
Soren: Your tactics are nothing to be frustrated with. You’ve mentioned in the past that you have a close relationship with the members of your army back home, correct?
Robin: Of course. The Shepherds are practically my family.
Soren: This is exactly what I was referring to. Tactics like mine, they’re effective, but I’m not exactly well-liked because of them. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Soren: But you, Robin, you have nothing to worry about. Your strategies are effective, your men trust you; you have everything a tactician could ever hope for. It’s everything I could ever hope for, certainly.
Robin: Soren, you’re a wonderful person and a brilliant tactician. You know that, right?
Soren: I’m afraid that not many others share your sentiment. If we’re done with this, it’s your move.
Robin: Yes… of course.
[Robin and Soren have reached support rank A.]
Robin: Hello, Soren. Are you busy?
Soren: I always am. But I can spare some time for a match, if you’d like.
Robin: Perfect. I’ve set up the board, if you have some time right now.
Soren: You seem eager.
Robin: Playing with you is always a pleasure, after all. You want the black pieces, I take it?
Soren: It is customary, with us.
Soren: … Robin. Why is there a ring on my pawn?
Robin: Heh, of course you would notice so early. I don’t know why I expected anything different.
Soren: I asked you a question.
Robin: A question that I’m sure you know the answer to. You’re very smart, Soren; surely you can figure out why I’m giving you a ring.
Soren: You must be joking.
Robin: Er… excuse me?
Soren: You can’t be serious, Robin. You can’t… you can’t want to… to —
Robin: Soren, I love you.
Soren: H — Huh?
Robin: You heard me, I know you did. Soren, you’ve taught me so much — about myself, about you, and not to mention about chess and tactics… I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much from one person. You never cease to amaze me; you’re brilliant, and I know you’re a big softie under that cold front you put up.
Soren: Robin, you…
Robin: I want to keep learning. I want you to keep teaching me, showing me things that I’ve never seen before. After all… you’ve already taught me how to love.
Robin: Wh- Soren, are you crying?!
Soren: You… you really are serious, aren’t you?
Robin: Well — yes, of course I am. Why would I lie about this?
Soren: People lie all the time, Robin. It’s what they do. But you… you’ve never lied to me. You’re truthful, you’re determined, and so kind I don’t understand it, sometimes.
Robin: I don’t lie to the people I love, Soren.
Soren: No, I didn’t think you would.
Robin: Soren… If you don’t feel the same way, you can say so. This will probably be our most awkward match yet, but you don’t have to say anything you don’t mean.
Soren: Hold, Robin. You didn’t let me finish.
Soren: To be brief, I’ve not been shown much kindness in my life. The only person who’s ever been nearly as kind to me as you would be Ike. But you show a kindness that’s much different than his. You treat me as your equal, and yet you care about me with a sincerity that I’ve never seen before. It’s… it’s not something I want to let go of. You’re not something I want to let go of, Robin.
Robin: Wait, does this mean…
Soren: Yes, Robin. I will marry you.
Robin: Soren, that’s… ha, that’s amazing! I think you may have just made me the happiest man in Askr!
Soren: An overstatement, I’m sure. Though, I hold the same sentiment.
Robin: I’m glad to hear it. I swear to you, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that I stay by your side.
Soren: That’s all I could ask for. Thank you, Robin. I… I love you.