Return to Me is the sixth chapter of the Cindered Shadows side story of Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
At the Holy Mausoleum, the Ashen Wolves wake up, and Aelfric tells his master plan to get the descendants of all Four Apostles together and gather the Chalice of Beginnings, in order to revive a certain someone. Aelfric starts draining the life force of the Ashen Wolves to prepare the Chalice. When asked for his last word, Yuri reveals his own Master plan. He was working with Rhea, long before he started working with Aelfric, to keep an eye on him, as Rhea was already suspicious of Aelfric. Aelfric was however keeping Yuri's mother and former gang hostage, so Yuri's movements were restricted. Today however, Aelfric used all of his goons to attack Garreg Mach, in order to lure the Knights in. This allowed Yuri to free the hostages and ready himself to oppose Aelfric. Balthus escapes the bonds that were already half sliced-through and Constance can free herself, as she is no longer silenced. Aelfric orders his units to kill the Ashen Wolves, but then Byleth arrives with his student in order to save them.
After being defeated, Aelfric reveals the woman he is trying to survive is in fact Sitri, Byleth's mother and tries to convince Byleth to help him revive her. Although Sitri died 21 years ago, Aelfric came upon her body 10 years ago, with her body appearing to be frozen in time. At that moment Rhea arrives and Aelfric blames her for Sitri's death and demands to know what Rhea has done to her. Rhea retorts by saying Sitri made the choice to die, so her offspring could live. Aelfric does not believe Rhea and teleports away while lamenting on his past with Sitri.
- Aelfric L37
- 12 Fortress Knight L35 w/ Silver Axe
- 5 Assassin L35 w/ Silver Sword
- 4 Warrior L35 w/ Silver Axe
- 4 Warlock L35 w/ Bolting, Thoron
- 3 Sniper L35 w/ Silver Bow
- Warrior L35 w/ Hammer
- Warlock L35 w/ Ragnarok
- Bishop L35 w/ Abraxas, Physic
- 3 Bullion
Subjective: The following part of this article is based upon the editor's personal experiences and opinions, and therefore may not be applicable for all readers.
This chapter features "vortex" terrain; there are four vortices across the map, and the Ashen Wolves cannot step on them. While they are active, the Ashen Wolves will suffer poison, and Aelfric will receive +99 to both his Defense and Resistance. The vortices will be disabled and disappear completely once a unit has been placed on all four of them at once.
At the start of enemy phase 1 and turn 10, if the vortices are still active, all units except for Aelfric will take 10 damage.
The goal of the chapter is to rescue all 4 of the Ashen Wolves and occupy the 4 nearby vortices at the same time. The bottom side of the map has relatively few units, while the top part has a massive number of enemies.; they won't actively attack or chase your units unless they're in range or if your units attack them first. Located in the center however, are 4 Warlocks with Bolting. Luckily your Ashe has a retribution Gambit, which allows your units to counterattack from any range. Use this gambit to kill the 4 Warlocks, then advance on both sides of the map towards the North.
Once you get in range of Aelfrics Meteor, use a Resistance heavy unit to tank both hits before advancing. As the top part of the map is pretty swarmed with enemy units, it is best to save your Gambits for this part. Once all 4 vortices have been occupied, you can start your attack on Aelfric. As he does not have Counterattack, he can be easily taken out by your Archers/Mages
The additional enemies, higher stats, and enemy behavior will make this chapter far harder.
- Leave enough healing items on Yuri, Constance, and Hapi for them to recover if their HP goes down too fast, and the Healing Focus combat art on Balthus. It is highly unlikely Linhardt's Physic can reach any of the Ashen Wolves until he is in the middle of the map, so for the time being his healing will be limited to Byleth's group.
- Enemies will begin to move toward the "weakest" target after a few turns. At first only Fortress Knights will approach, but soon enough Assassins will also begin to move, making it important to try and reunite everyone as soon as possible, as otherwise the Ashen Wolves will be surrounded all by themselves.
- Yuri should be able to dodge the attacks of the Bolting mages somewhat reliably (as well as the axes and bows in his way), while Constance and Hapi should be able to withstand a hit from them with the help of some Pure Water, but try to keep all other units out of the way of the Bolting mages otherwise. Constance can also snipe some enemies down with Bolting (and if they approach her, utilizing Canto for hit-and-runs), but attacking one unit in a group will trigger the entire group to approach, so do this sparingly until she can reunite with her allies.
- On the left side of the map are mostly Axe-using enemies, while on the right are mostly Sword users. Byleth and Dimitri with their respective Breaker skills should be able to move forward while taking on the enemies in the way. Though the assassins can likely double attack Dimitri, if he is strong enough he can kill them in one hit after the first enemy phase removes HP from all units on the field (help from a Silver Lance would be needed). You may want to reinforce Dimitri's side with more units as well, since the enemy is likely to chase Constance and Hapi.
- Using Ashe's Gambit, Yuri with a Killing Edge (needs to be bought) stands the best chance of dodging, withstanding (thanks to the Fetters of Dromi), and killing the Bolting mages. Meanwhile, to ebb the uses of Aelfric's Meteor down, Linhardt with Pure Water and a use of Constance's Rally Resistance can withstand his assault, though Balthus can also withstand two hits and recover it all back.
- The chest items are NOT important to get. At this point in Cindered Shadows you will be needing far stronger weapons than Iron weaons, and there should be enough gold from Bullions to be able to afford them.
- Aelfric will be very bulky, taking him down may take some time. Attacking him with magic is also not recommended until the end of your phase. Whittle him down with Sniper Ashe and Sniper Claude with Hilda next to both of them, hits from Yuri's Windsweep combat art, and once he is weak enough a single powerful assault from a Relics combat art should be enough to finish him off.
- If the player doesn't have enough units remaining at the beginning of the chapter, they will be given a generic Sniper, Paladin and Fortress Knight as Mission Assistance characters.