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Fanfic / The Ghost of Ochs

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"...if I'm not 'legally alive', but I'm still 'technically alive', does that make me some kind of...ghost?"
Monica von Ochs, to Flayn

The Ghost of Ochs (available on Archive of Our Own,, DeviantArt, WordPress, and Wattpad) is an ongoing Fire Emblem: Three Houses Alternate Universe Fic written by Willy Four Eyes, first published on January 12, 2020.

It starts sometime after Chapter 6: Rumors of a Reaper, when Flayn is rescued from the Death Knight and the Flame Emperor's army. During the rescue mission, a second hostage is recovered - a former Officers Academy student named Monica, daughter of the baron of the Imperial House of Ochs. Unlike the Monica who appears in the game (who is presumably killed and replaced by Kronya of "those who slither in the dark" and her identity and appearance used to infiltrate Garreg Mach Monastery), the Monica who appears in Ghost is the real one, and is revived by Flayn after they are both brought back to safety. The story is told from Monica's perspective as she attempts to reintegrate with the school to finish her education, figure out why she was kidnapped, and become strong enough so that she (and others) never have to deal with similar horrors again.

Tropes used in The Ghost of Ochs:

  • Accidental Pun: In Chapter 23, while the heroes have a friendly fish-off before their houses' missions, Monica, as the last person to cast her line, says to herself that she needs to "finish strong". Leonie picks up on the pun and says she's used to hearing jokes like that from Alois, who also wishes he'd thought of it first.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While very few details are given in the game about the real Monica other than her disappearance and probable murder, Monica as she appears in Ghost is a far more heroic, polite, and kind-hearted character than the person posing as her.
    • Baron Ochs, who appears as the boss of Balthus and Hapi's paralogue in the game, turns out to be a friendly guy once he's assured that his daughter is safe and sound.
  • Artistic License Geography: Somehow, Monica's party is able to get from Garreg Mach to Fódlan's Fangs in less than two days. This is hand waved by the caravan driver telling her that he's behind schedule and needs to move quickly to get to their destination.
  • Big Damn Reunion: After spending almost a year in captivity and not getting a response to the letters she sent out after her return, Monica decides to pay Baron Ochs a personal visit when she hears of a group of bandits terrorizing the Fódlan's Fangs area. When she drops by his workshop after defeating the bandits, the baron is beside himself with joy when he learns that his daughter is still alive, and he treats her, Edelgard, Ingrid, and Leonie to dinner as a show of gratitude for helping reunite them.
  • Birthday Episode: Episode 23 takes place on Linhardt's birthday, and Chapter 36 takes place on Monica's birthday, with both events bookending a major mission.
  • Black Cloak: Flayn and Monica both describe being attacked by mages wearing feature-concealing black robes. Monica also recognizes some of the enemies that she and the other Black Eagles encounter in the Sealed Forest as members of the same group. The three travelers from Timotheos also wear mostly black, but turn out to be allies.
  • By the Hair: Monica implies that she was dragged away like this by her kidnappers, so she asks Flayn to try to braid her hair shorter to prevent it from happening again.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Flayn uses a combination of CPR and Healing Hands to revive Monica. When a nurse attempts to do a follow-up exam, Monica doesn't show any ill side effects from Flayn's healing other than a severe coughing fit after she wakes up.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: Constance bargains with Anna to reduce her markup on a rare magic tome from 20% to 10%.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Monica does this the first time she meets each of the three lords. Ingrid also does this when she first meets Baron Ochs, and has to remind Leonie (a commoner who doesn't deal with nobles very often) to do the same.
  • First Kiss: Monica and Constance share theirs after their first date in Chapter 14. Monica is so excited about it afterward that she has to remind herself to keep calm on her way back home to avoid arousing suspicion (especially since the town outside the monastery was still cleaning up from a monster attack).
  • For Your Own Good: This is the excuse that the Larkspur town watch guards, and later the Knights of Seiros, gave for arresting Hapi, lest her powers attract more monsters.
  • Healing Hands: Basic healing magic works like this, although Linhardt advises against direct contact with an injury victim's wounds.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: After gathering Crest Stones with Monica and Linhardt, Bernadetta tells them that she plans to go back to her room to "study". Monica doesn't believe that's all she's doing since Bernadetta told her earlier in the day about Linhardt's upcoming birthday, and she heard some unusual noises coming from Bernadetta's bedroom before their meeting.
  • Implied Death Threat: Starter Villain Raine threatens a caravan driver into handing over all of his goods. When the driver tells her that he doesn't have anything valuable enough for her to steal and that she "wouldn't like what's back there", she says:
    "Oh, you wouldn't be lying to me, would you? Because empty caravans don't hold much value to me. They tend to catch fire easily... and so do their drivers."
  • Initiation Ceremony: When a student completes their certification exam, they are treated to a quiet and dignified ceremony in Rhea's audience chamber, with their professor, and sometimes also their peers, attending as witnesses. Monica receives one (and a cool new robe) when she gets promoted to Priest.
  • Legally Dead: Seteth informs Monica that Baron Ochs called off the search for her when he feared that he would never see her again. They attempt to write letters to the baron to reassure him that Monica is in safe hands. The issue is eventually resolved by Monica (and a few friends) visiting the baron in person.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Subverted. While the story assumes Byleth selected the Black Eaglesnote , Dimitri mentions that his house was the one who participated in putting down Lonatonote  and Miklannote , as both battles took place in Faehrgus territory and involved family members of two of his housemates (Ashe and Sylvain, respectively). The Blue Lions and Golden Deer are also shown doing missions that take them to other parts of Fódlan in Part II.
  • Mundane Utility: On Monica's first date with Constance, Constance uses her magic to brew tea.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Baron Ochs is only referred to by his title in-game. Ghost gives him the name "Nicolaus".
  • Painting the Medium: Whenever Sothis speaks to Byleth, all of her dialogue is rendered in centered italics, indicating that Byleth is the only one who can see/hear/speak to her.
  • Pun: The Ochs family motto is "Be strong, be stubborn." That is, "strong/stubborn as an ox/Ochs".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title of Chapter 2, "Maybe I'm a Ghost", is taken from the song "Maybe I'm a Lion" from Final Fantasy VIII.
    • In Chapter 8, Monica decides against telling a merchant in Drachen Village "It's me, Monica", dismissing it as insufficient to prove her identity.
    • Chapter 15, "Non-Fatal Three-Way", references WWE's "Fatal 4-Way" matches.
  • Tempting Fate: The very moment Caspar mentions getting anxious to fight "those who slither in the dark" again after the Sealed Forest mission is when they launch their attack on Remire Village.
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: Played for Laughs in that Monica wishes she had a business card as proof of her identity, but resorts to this when identifying herself to a merchant in Drachen Village: "Monica von Ochs, Daughter of Baron Nicolaus the First, Student at the Garreg Mach Officers Academy, and Liberator of Trade Routes". To everyone else, she simply addresses herself with her family name, and nothing more.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: In Chapter 6, Monica and Linhardt engage in a brief game of cloud-watching while on weeding duty.
  • Title Drop: The page quote comes from Chapter 2, when Monica learns that her father declared her Legally Dead but complains that it can't be so because Flayn healed her. Flayn, innocent and naïve as she is, takes the "ghost" statement literally and tells Monica not to scare her like that.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Seteth refers to the prison where Hapi is being held as a "housing station for wayward souls".
  • Villain Teleportation: Myson uses teleportation magic to get himself in and out of battles. Kronya, who prefers not to use magic, has to rely on him to travel long distances without tiring herself out.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: The story starts with Monica waking up in Garreg Mach's infirmary in an Only Mostly Dead state.
  • What If?: The basic premise is Monica surviving her ordeal with "those who slither in the dark" and finishing out her Officers Academy curriculum as originally planned.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: Some of the Black Eagles encounter a mother-son pair of demonic beasts in Remire Village. The younger boy, seeing the heavily armed defense forces, leaves them alone and goes after a Knight of Seiros standing guard by himself.