|Castle Shirasagi||Rout the enemy.|
A lot of things occur between the end of the last fight and the start of the next, but long story short, you find yourself in the Hoshidan castle in most surprising circumstances. Before you can really come to terms with anything, however, a scout will arrive and spread word of an attack, and the Hoshidans - not being very bright - will trust you to come along and help them fend off the Nohrians. Rescue your new-found siblings Sakura and Hinoka, save the villagers, and prove your loyalty to the family you’ve been warring with your entire life!
The battle begins, like most do, with a tutorial (29. Danger Area). This tutorial just points out that you can see an enemy’s movement range by selecting them with the (A) button. You can also press the (X) button to see the range of all enemies at once, and even overlap the two. Handy.
Additionally, there is a glowing yellow tile marking a “Village” near a building to the north of where your units start. Move any character to the tile in front of the village (which Rinkah will refer to) and select “Visit”. When you “Visit” villages you may receive items, advice or even new allies, as covered by the tutorial (26. Villages). Case in point, when you visit this village you’ll be rewarded with a “Goddess Icon” , an item which permanently increase your Luck by four points. Mega score!
When you select Kaze for the first time he’ll tell you about some Vulnerary he has, bringing up yet another tutorial (16. Trading Items). To trade, simply move next to the character you want to trade with, select the “Trade” option, then pick what items you want to hand off. Vulnerary are healing items, and since you don’t have Felicia/Jakob around this time, you may want to keep them handy.
With all that out of the way, turn your attention to the battle itself. Your enemies are simplistic brutes called “Faceless”, Nohrian cannon fodder. You start in the lower right corner of the map, and your stranded siblings, Sakura and Hinoka start in the upper left. Between you are hills and Faceless aplenty. Sakura is rather vulnerable to attack, but Hinoka should do her best to defend her, and you also have Ryoma as an ally, who will do his best to make his way to his siblings, tearing through any Faceless he encounters along the way.
Your part in this, then, is to control Rinkah, Kaze and your protagonist and make your way to your siblings, and there are two viable routes to take; either go straight north, or go left, then north. Along the way your protagonist will have to activate Dragon Veins to blast the hills into flatter, more navigable terrain. Kaze, as a Ninja, can debuff foes he hits and attack at a range, which puts the Faceless at a distinct disadvantage, while Rinkah is notable for her high Speed and Defense, which makes her a wonderful passive pairing partner for either Kaze or your protagonist.
However you decide to go about it, move quickly, After a few turns Ryoma will tell you about Auto-Battle (30. Auto-Battle) which puts the AI in control of your units. Why would anybody want the game to play itself, though? Ah well. Fight your way north, use the protagonist to melt hills, capitalize on your ranged advantage and heal when necessary and you should make it to your siblings just fine. Just be careful as you advance, as the enemies tend to bunch up towards the north-middle of the map, and if you’re not cautious, you could find yourself on the wrong side of several tag team attacks in one turn.
After the battle, the siblings will group together and indulge in some expose. Apparently there’s a barrier around Hoshidan territory that keeps the Nohrians at bay. Your mother Mikoto is the source of this barrier, which is as good a qualifier for a queen as any. While the barrier protects against Nohrians, it doesn’t work against their magical monsters, which the Faceless are an example of. Lazy mother!
Hinoka will then inform you that Nohrians are bad people, and your protagonist, being a dunce, is genuinely surprised by this revelation. Really? Krakenburg? Windmire? All the black armor? Land covered in shadow? Your dad trying to have you killed? None of that rang any bells? Oh well, afterwards you’ll make yourself at home in your old home that’s not really your home, after which you’ll meet Azura. Get it, because her hair is blue? It seems that Hoshida indulges in capturing noble babies, too, but they’re better at the whole Stockholm Syndrome thing.