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Hoe Of The Month

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The Great Tree Moon month at Garreg Mach was anything but uneventful for the students at the monastery, as Byleth served their first month in the Blue Lions House. During this time, there was a huge controversy over their decision; particularly with Edelgard , and Claude - who wanted Byleth within their House as the House Professor, and not in the Blue Lions with Dimitri. This tension often unfolded in underhanded tactics, provocative persuasion, and outright arguments around school grounds to persuade Byleth into changing Houses. This also trickled down into other students within the Houses, who clearly could see the superior tact Byleth radiated in correlation to other proctors, and all saw Byleth as the key to achieving their own personal goals; as such, everyone wanted Byleth.

 

This complication has since made it’s round around the monastery; from students mouths, to other personnel within Garreg Mach, to the Knight of Seiros, and soon to Seteth and Lady Rhea’s ears. Both Lady Rhea and Seteth both have had enough of the bickering, and soon had to come up with a sure-fire way to quarrel the tension, as well as promote House growth. Towards the end of the Great Tree Moon- just days before the Mock Battle, Lady Rhea issued a summons of all House Leaders, and all Professors to congregate in the Audience Hall…

 

*****

 

Byleth, Manuela , Hanneman, Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude all make their way to the Audience Chamber- all unaware of why they have been called. They all stand in a line in front of Seteth, and Lady Rhea. Byleth silently stands there as they look side to side at all the others- attempting to put together for themselves as to why they are here. Suddenly, Byleth hears a voice inside of their head.

 

I bet you are about to get your ass handed to you… ” said Sothis inside Byleth’s mind. Byleth scoffs softly to themself.

 

What? I don’t think so- I haven’t even done anything!... You are just messing with me… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis- who chuckles away at Byleth’s nervousness. Dimitri then looks over to Byleth.

 

“Is everything alright, Professor?” asked Dimitri. Byleth then looks over.

 

“Huh? Y-Yea, I’m sorry- just in my head a bit…” said Byleth. Manuela, who looks disheveled, goes to speak first.

 

“Lady Rhea. Can I please ascertain as to why we all have been called here at such an early hour in the day? Why, I haven't even had time to properly apply my makeup!...” said Manuela- feeling a bit groggy. Hanneman scoffs.

 

“Really Manuela? It looks just as good as you always do it, though” said Hanneman. Manuela gives Hanneman a mean side-eye.

 

“Silence!...” said Seteth- calling for attention forward. Lady Rhea then sighs, and puts on an endearing smile.

 

“Professors… House Leaders... I do apologize in advance for calling you all here at such short notice…” said Lady Rhea.

 

“Don’t worry, Lady Rhea. It is our honor to be graced with your presence” said Edelgard as she bows. Claude rolls his eyes.

 

“*cough* *cough* Kiss-ass *cough*” said Claude. Edelgard looks over and grunts towards Claude, while Dimitri attempts to hold back a chuckle. Seteth sighs.

 

“Lady Rhea, please continue on telling them why they have been summoned” said Seteth. Lady Rhea then clears her throat.

 

“So, over the past few weeks, we have gotten an upsurge of complaints and concerns from other students- from hearsay, so them conveying their grievances to the counselor, other faculty, the Knights of Seiros, and the clergymen about the atmosphere in the Houses- pertaining Byleth’s positioning. And, we are now aware that there as been House-to-House tension and rivalry attempting to shift the Professor’s class positioning to their liking” said Seteth in an irritated tone. Hearing this, the House leaders tense up, and Manuela, shocked at the comment, groans in satisfaction.

 

“Oh- thank god you are commenting on this! That has been urking my last nerve! S-Sorry, Professor Byleth- it’s not your fault- I know… But because all the students are starting to get roped into this issue, it has been harder to keep the Black Eagles students’ attention on me! And if I’m being honest- you pulling the attention from me is quite an annoyance! Agh, I didn’t experience this much fight for attention since my days at Mittelfrank!” said Manuela as she looks towards Byleth. Hanne man then starts to chuckle. 

 

“Well- for the first time in forever, me and Manuela can agree on an issue; the apparent quarrel over Byleth’s positioning has been a thorn in my side for the past couple weeks- from a teacher’s perspective. However Manuela… Please don’t place your insecurity of the spotlight being constantly taken from you on the Professor- they clearly are already dealing with enough as it is!” said Hanneman. Manuela looks over to Hanneman, and scoffs.

 

“Hanneman- you wear that monocle on your right eye ‘cause of eye issues due to age I presume?… Would you like to have an issue with your left eye as well?” asked Manuela in a baiting angry tone. Hanneman clears his throat.

 

“... I think you need to wear a whole bag over your whole face due to your age. And that isn’t a presumption” said Hanneman- snapping back in a regal tone. Manuela gasps.

 

“Wow…” said Claude in awe of their bickering. Seteth groans loudly.

 

“Agh! This is what I mean! This is even making the Professors fight amongst each other! Claude, Dimitri, Edelgard- do you understand the repercussions of your actions?” asked Seteth. Edelgard gets shocked by the accusation.

 

“B-But Seteth! I am not doing anything to cause trouble!” said Edelgard. Dimitri then scoffs.

 

Please ! Do not lie in front of Lady Rhea; you have been stalking and gawking at my House Professor all month because of your jealousy over them not choosing your House! I would expect that level of decorum from Claude- but not you!” said Dimitri. Claude then looks over to Dimitri in shock. 

 

“H-Hey! don't rope me in! You can say a lot about me, but I’m no liar! Plus, I think this House-to-House quarreling is really just Dimitri and Edelgard; I told Teach that they should choose the House that they wanted to essentially… However, I added in that they should choose the House that gave them the least amount of drama; clearly that statement is now void because there would of been drama in picking any House that isn’t Edelgard’s!  ” said Claude- defending himself while proving a point. Edelgard then scoffs in annoyance.

 

“Those are a lot of accusations, Claude. Would you like to say that closer to my axe?” asked Edelgard. Claude chuckled and held his hands up.

 

“Hey! Let’s not sully a beautiful woman’s hands with blood now! Hehe. I like the promiscuous scheming Edelgard- not the tight ass Edelgard. You must be spending too much time with the tightest ass in the monastery- Dimitri” said Claude. Byleth, Edelgard, and Dimitri all gasp by his comment.

 

“C-Claude!? Stop with your vulgar comments!” said Dimitri- becoming flustered.

 

Oh my God! They are totally fighting all over you! ” said Sothis inside Byleth’s mind. Byleth, becoming more confused and uncomfortable, attempts to speak.

 

“Lady Rhea… Seteth… The tension that has been created by me being in the monastery has been something I have noticed- and I’m sorry that my being here has been a pain to many… I’m currently attempting to figure out how to remedy the situation- but I’m not sure; I care for all students- even in other Houses. I’m just doing my job…” said Byleth. Hearing these words, all others in the room starts to feel a bit guilty for Byleth’s feelings about the situation. Lady Rhea sighs.

 

“I understand your words, Byleth. I’m sorry that you have been placed in this unwanting position. That is why me and Seteth have attempted to come up with a method that will hopefully appease everyone” said Lady Rhea. Suddenly, all the House Leaders and Professors become confused.

 

“What do you mean, Lady Rhea?” asked Dimitri. Seteth clears his throat preparation to explain how his and Lady Rhea’s plan will unfold…

 

“The tension has been due to Byleth’s positioning, and everyone wanting the best experiences from all Professors. Initially, we have had a Professor assigned to each House, and it was up to the assigned Professor to proctor each House of students. And, the estate of the House relied solely on the guidance of the Professor with the students, and the symbiotic growth between the two factors- so to speak. Since we already have a system in place where other Professors and Knights can have students sit in on seminars they lead, we started to consider if a system like that was more or less the ‘standard’ of practice. You can think of it similar to a ‘Professor Rotation System’” said Seteth.

 

“Professor Rotation System? What does that mean?” asked Hanneman.

 

“Our initial system has one Professor in charge of a group of students the entire semester they are here. And all traits they need would have came directly from that Professor. In this Rotational System- at any given point you as Professors can and will be in charge of all students. This gets rid of biases, and gives each student the chance to be lead by their Professor of choice- in theory. This is a system we have never implemented, so this year's students will be the guinea pigs- so to speak” said Seteth. As they hear this, the House Leaders’ eye then light up.

 

So… If the Professors rotate... Then I could potentially have Byleth as mine!~ This is joyous to hear! ” thought Edelgard.

 

W-What? A Rotation System? S-So… The Professor might be taken from me!? ” thought Dimitri. Claude then looks over to Dimitri and Edelgard.

 

Those two are either pissing their pants- or  seconds away from cumming in their pants from hearing this. This just got hella’ interesting! I guess... I gotta steal Teach from them somehow ” thought Claude. Byleth then sighs.

 

“So… If we are doing that system… How is the Professor- per-House determined?” asked Byleth.

 

“Ah! I’m glad you asked. Mind my absence for a moment… Oh- I have been working on this all week!” said Seteth as he suddenly became a bit excited as he went into the other room for a second. Lady Rhea then grins as she begins to speak.

 

“We have been trying to come up with an unbiased system that we can gauge just that. Seteth and I personally didn’t care how the Professors choose their House- but just that they had a House to look over. We thought that by letting the Professor choose their House- that they would place them in an environment suitable for them. We understand that this system is now asking for the Professors to change this fact, but we thought to place this decision in the student’s hands and by this, promote student moral” said Lady Rhea. 

 

“Huh? So, our positions are determined by the students? How???” asked Manuela. Seteth then re-enters the room, holding what looks like an easel covered by a cloth. He sets in front of the House Leaders and Professors, and stands behind it.

 

“Your position is determined by this!” said Seteth as he takes the cloth off. As he reveals what is underneath they are shocked to see a Plaque- one that reads ‘ House of the Month ’, with an area in the middle that is vacant- as if something is to be placed there in the future. “This is the Certification Plaque for the ‘ House of the Month System’ we are going to field test the upcoming months. In short, the House that holds this Plaque will have their House Flag adorned in the middle, and will have the first pick of choosing what Professor is the best pick to lead their respective House that month. And, each month, this Plaque will be re-handed out the House that will hold it next”  continued Seteth. Everyone in the room- except Lady Rhea- gasps as Seteth says this. What could this Plaque means for the future of all Three Houses!?

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“W-What?!” shouted Dimitri as he looks at the Plaque in front of him.

 

“So, a Plaque that gives us the ability to choose a House Leader? That’s quite intriguing” said Edelgard.

 

“But Seteth- who chooses the Professor? And, what qualifies the House to get the Plaque?” asked Claude.

 

“Well, the answer to your first question should be an easy guess- the House Leaders. In terms of your second question, we thought it was appropriate to judge the House of the Month on what House is the ‘best’ House the previous month- so to speak. So, we will be judging that fact based off a collection of factors; merit, growth, scores during tests, mission completion, the overall skill of the House, and other minute factors. Keep in mind- this system is new, so bear with us if this system has its quirks, but we determined that using the Houses own aptability to determine who gets the honor of choosing their teacher would spark the students to perform better, and in term show us how each Professor affects each House. This system will in theory- promote overall growth among all students” said Seteth. Dimitri then grunts.

 

“B-But, that’s not fair to the Blue Lions!” shouted Dimitri. Everyone then looks to Dimitri.

 

“Hm? Howso?’ asked Seteth. 

 

“The Professor has already chosen us! And, our House has now gotten used to the teachings of our Professor! To rob us of that union- potentially- might be detrimental to what we already worked towards! Plus, you are just going to force the Professors to just be passed around to whoever wants them the most?!” said Dimitri. Seteh then hums to himself. Lady Rhea then looks to Seteth.

 

“That is a good point…” said Lady Rhea. Seteth groans.

 

“Ahem! Well, if the Professors opt out of participating- I suppose there can be other methods… And I see how that might affect the estate of the Blue Lions… But, it is our belief that there might be things one Professor might be able to excel in conveying to the students over others. Also, while the main tension is with Byleth- there have been issues brought to the counselor about students being stressed due to Byleth’s sudden position and placement- some feeling uneasy by being lead by someone that essentially nobody knows. These complaints as well stuck in my ear, as even I still hold those same reservations and feelings of unease by this” said Seteth.

 

Huh? There are students that find an issue with YOU leading their House? Wow… I guess you still need to change public perception… ” said Sothis to Byleth. Byleth then hums to themself- factoring what they just heard.

 

“S-Still! I think we should not do this system; this is only an issue because Edelgard would not leave my Professor alone!” said Dimitri.

 

“Accusations… Accusations… I for one am fine with this system, because if we are judging on those factors- then the Black Eagles will simply be House of the Month each time” said Edelgard- getting annoyed.

 

“Oh please! The only 'Plaque' you will monopolize is the plaque growing in between your teeth! I am in opposition to this!” proclaimed Dimitri. Edelgard then eyes down Dimitri.

 

“You are treading thin waters, Dimitri…” said Edelgard.

 

“Ah, come on Prince- you scared of your precious Teach being taken from you?” teased Claude. Dimitri blushed.

 

‘I-I beg your pardon?!” responded Dimitri. Claude laughs as the other two snarl at each other. Byleth sighs seeing this, and in noticing Byleth’s deposition- Lady Rhea then looks to Byleth.

 

“Well, you are the Professor of the Blue Lions… Would you- and the other Professors- object to partaking in this program?” asked Lady Rhea. Byleth starts to think hard about this. Manuela then speaks up as Byleth thinks.

 

“Well I personally am not liking being passed around, myself. However, I do see the strategy of having multiple points of influence” said Manuela. Hanneman then gets shocked at hearing this.

 

“But- aren’t you used to getting passed around like a soup ladle?” asked Hanneman.

 

“Oof…” said Claude and Dimitr, while Edelgard, Lady Rhea, and Seteth gasp. Manuela then grunts at Hanneman.

 

“Hanneman- I know you are just jealous because the only thing women pass to you is your daily dose of vitamins- alongside a plate of tapioca. Agh, I feel sorry for whatever House gets stuck with you; the Golden Deer this month have been at the bottom of the barrel!” said Manuela.

 

“H-Hey! I’m right here!” said Claude- feeling attacked. Manuela sighs.

 

“M-My apologies… Back at Mittelfrank, having guest instructors teaching your students their techniques- or even having multiple instructors in the room joint teaching- can greatly improve the students. You just need to ensure that no one steps on each others toes” said Manuela.

 

“E-Exactly. So, this system will not only unify the students- but the Professors as well” said Seteth. Hanneman grunts.

 

“Well, I do see the positive for this implementation. So, I am for it if Professor Byleth is…” said Hanneman.

 

“So, Professor? It looks as if the decision falls on you” said Lady Rhea. Everyone then looks at Byleth- who has been thinking about this whole time. Dimitri, as he looks at Byleth starts to get anxious; since he already has Byleth in the Blue Lions his house he feels a bit territorial that that might change. 

 

Please- say no, Professor!... ” thought Dimitri. Byleth looks to Dimitri, and feels his desperation for them to stay in the Blue Lions, but Byleth’s aspiration to help the students in not tied to any one House. In reality, they secretly like the idea. But, by saying yes- Dimitri will be saddened. Suddenly, Byleth hears a voice in their head.

 

Hey! I think that you should do it! We would get more closer to each student if we were in each House; we kinda had to make the decision for a House based on first impressions and pre-described notions we picked up prior to that point. Plus- it does seem that each House Leader seems determined to have you! Maybe they all will try harder like Lady Rhea thinks… ” said Sothis to Byleth. Byleth takes what Sothis says into consideration.

 

“So, how would next month’s House be determined with that system, if we have already been assigned? As far as I know- no one has been going on missions as of yet” asked Byleth. Seteh then gets alerted, and goes to speak.

 

“Ah! I almost overlooked that point. I spoke about the months preceding that will implement this factor, but I forgot to talk about how this month’s certification will be dealt out. You see- the Mock Battle between the Houses will take place at the end of the month. As such,  we also determined that for this month that instead of relying on our system, the House of the Month will be determined on whoever is the last standing House during that bout. And, to make it fair up until that point- the Professors shall cease proctoring their respective Houses, act within the rotation system, and act as proxies for the battle. During the said battle- instead of leading your team to victory- you will instead keep track of your House loses; not interfering with the battle as they will essentially be fighting for the right to choose one of you to best represent their House. So, up until that point- use what you can gather to steel your respected House for the fight” said Seteth.

 

“Hm… So the Mock Battle determines the House of the Month… We have it in the bag already then” said Edelgard.

 

“Keep dreaming, Edelgard! Your House just doesn't have the strategy that we have!” said Claude as he laughs.

 

“Claude- your way of ‘strategy’ is underhanded tactics. You might try to set traps around the battlefield in your favor” said Edelgard.

 

“Hey! That sounds like a nice idea- I might have to remember that…” said Claude- teasing Edelgard, making her scoff at his sentiment. 

 

“However, I must say- just for Claude’s sake- that Dimitri already having the teachings of Professor Byleth might leave the Golden Deer at a disadvantage. That fact clearly wouldn’t affect the Black Eagles, but I’m just trying to point out what I notice” said Edelgard.

 

"Are you insinuating that my teaching methods are inferior in the Golden Deer?" asked Hanneman. Claude, hearing Edelgard criticize his House, scoffs. 

 

Please ! In your dreams, my aggy Empress! We at the Golden Deer take any challenge in stride, and use our own wit to accomplish our goals! We don’t just ride on clout- like you” said Claude. Seteth then clears his throat- calling for attention once more.

 

“Again- we are aware of the quirks in this system. So, that is why the Professors would have to commence the rotation starting… Today. We thought that if each House got each teacher’s teachings- on top of substitutes from either me or one of the Knights, that that would even things out. And, if we start today, discounting Sunday, you three Professors would be rotated through each House at least twice. So, Byleth, you will be moving to the Golden Deer, Manuela to the Blue Lions, and Hanneman to the Black Eagles. That is all if Byleth agrees” asked Seteth. Byleth then sighs.

 

“... I suppose… Trying it out would not do much hurt in the long run…” said Byleth. Hearing this disappointed Dimitri, excited Claude, and was the delight of Edelgard- seeing that they all have a chance to have Byleth in reality. Lady Rhea sighs in relief.

 

“Well, I’m glad that we have gotten that out of the way… Again, I apologize for any inconveniences. I hope that this system does nothing but positive for the students of Garreg Mach” said Lady Rhea.

 

“If that is all understood, that is all,” said Seteth. Manuela stretches out her back as she sighs.

 

“Ahh! Well, now that that is done- I’m going to go re-situate myself. And Hanneman- if you have something slick to say, I swear I will Nosferatu you all the way to the Horsebow Moon!” said Manuela as she waves her finger in Hanneman’s face. Hanneman chuckles.

 

“I won't! I swear, I got out my clap backs already; I have to recharge myself so I can create some more for later today” said Hanneman. Manuela groans.

 

“Whatever. I will return to you later so I can give you my class notes to teach my class with…” said Manuela. 

 

“Oh! That’s right. Byleth, I will be giving you my class notes for the Golden Deer. You should give yours for the Blue Lions to Manuela as well” said Hanneman. Byleth nods their head as they both start to walk away. Dimitri, who looks disappointed, groans to himself as he looks down. Noticing then, Byleth walks over. 

 

‘Dimitri, I’m sorry. But- I think this will be a great experience for you- and all the students. Please understand” said Byleth. Dimitri sighs.

 

“I do… I just… I just wanted my favorite Professor to stay mine…” said Dimitri as he blushes. Byleth is taken aback by his words, and isn’t sure what to say. However, seeing Byleth and Dimitri talk, Claude goes over to interrupt. 

 

“Hey! Whatchy’all talkin’ ‘bout? I want in!” said Claude as he places his arm around DImitri’s shoulder, “Since it seems that Teach in my House for today- I think any conversations pertaining them I should be included as the Golden Deer House Leader, correct? Hehe” said Claude- seemingly teasing Dimitri. 

 

“G-Get off, Claude…” said Dimitri as he tries to unhand Claude’s arm from his shoulder as he gets flustered. Claude then chuckles, and puts his face in close proximity to Dimitri’s.

 

“Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of Teach, my Prince. Don’t be sad- you’ll get them back in like two days! I don’t wanna see your pretty face cry now” said Claude as he makes the motion on DImitri’s face as if he is wiping away a tear. Dimitri then gets beat red, and backs away from Claude.

 

“S-Stop! I’m not sad! Agh!” said Dimitri as he turns around from embarrassment. Edelgard then walks over to Dimitri and Claude.

 

“Well Claude, enjoy the Professor’s presence- for now. Because once the Mock Battle happens- that will never happen again!” said Edelgard. Claude laughs.

 

“Oh stop! Oh- you are gonna make my sides hurt, Edelgard! Haha! The fact that you really are so vain, and think so highly of yourself, that you think that will ever happen!” said Claude. Dimitri then sighs and begins to speak.

 

“... Professor… I’m going to work extra hard in your absence, so I prove that you deserve to stay in the Blue Lions! Just you see!” said Dimitri as he turns back around with newfound determination and resolve. Edelgard and Claude then chuckle hearing this. Edelgard then starts to bow to all the rest in the room.

 

“Hopefully all that ‘hard work’ doesn’t go to waste. Claude, Dimitri, Seteth, Lady Rhea- I bid you adieu. I have to start the preparations for the Black Eagles welcoming party for our future Professor for the month! And, I guess we can also do a little something for Hanneman as well...” said Edelgard as she starts to walk away laughing to herself. Dimitri then grunts.

 

“That prude woman! She will rue the day she started this! Professor, please do not get too comfortable in the Golden Deer. Have a nice day Seteth and Lady Rhea. Oh, and Claude- don’t ruin the Professor’s tact with your unethical approaches to problem solving” said Dimitri as he starts to walk away. Claude laughs some more as he watches Dimitri leave.

 

“They are all just jealous of us Teach! Well, looks like I can enjoy you all to myself for today! Come on! Let’s go to the Golden Deer House!” said Claude as he takes Byleth’s hand, and starts to leave the Audience Hall. 

 

Well- I guess this is the start of a new beginning of sorts! This could be fun! They clearly are gonna be fighting over you, so get the gloomy look off your faceI ” said Sothis to Byleth. Byleth, not really liking the rivalry portion of this system, decides to take the situation with stride- thinking that they now can guide all the students in the monastery to a better future. As they all leave, Lady Rhea then sighs- as if a huge weight has been lifted from her shoulders. Seteth looks over to her.

 

“It seems they all have the intention of securing Byleth to their House over the other two. I hope this decision does not backfire on us” said Seteth. Lady Rhea then turns to Seteth.

 

“I’ll pray to the Goddess that it doesn’t as well…” said Lady Rhea.

 

This is the beginning of a story of hoeisms...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Word of the ‘House of the Month’ soon made its rounds around the monastery as Seteth had Knights tack the Plaque onto the side of the Reception Hall wall in the Courtyard. This changes the air of the monastery slightly as the students became more determined to try their hardest at the Mock Battle. However, others were not as happy for this certification now daunting over them- specifically Dimitri. He sits in the Blue Lions house staring at the Plaque groaning. Suddenly, Sylvain walks up behind him, and pats him on the shoulder.

 

“Hey! It’s not the end of the world! We just gotta do well in the Mock Battle, and we get our professor back!” said Sylvain- attempting to be hopeful. Dimitri then gets startled.

 

"Oh! Sylvain- you startled me. I-I’m not worried about that, I’m just…” said Dimitri- attempting to hide his anxiety. Sylvain sighs.

 

“Well, if that is how you feel in secret- you won’t get any closer if you just sulk. And, can you not do your sulking not in front of our classroom? You are scaring away the ladies!” requested Sylvain.

 

“S-Sylvain! You should have other things to worry about than you trying to bang something!” said Dimitri.

 

“H-Hey! I don’t intend to jump down a girl’s dress that quick! You start with dinner, a little flirting, and that might come afterwards… Courting, Dimitri- courting” said Sylvain. Dimitri sighed and turned to look back out in the courtyard. However, as they do so, they see Claude walking out with Byleth- holding hands! 

 

“W-Wha-...!” said a shocked Dimitri. At the same time, Edelgard- holding tea in her hand- walks out of her own classroom, and sees the same thing happening. She drops her tea cup on the ground in pure shock as she gasps.

 

“W-Why is Claude holding the Professor’s hand like that?! Agh!!!” said Edelgard as she shrieks to herself. Claude, intently trying to attract looking, starts to giggle. However, Byleth seems oblivious to it all; they see Dimitri and Edelgard looking, and feels as if they are extremely annoyed with Claude. Byleth then turn to Claude.

 

“They are staring us down… A-Are you sure you need to hold my hand right now? I know where the class is you know…” asked Byleth. Claude chuckles.

 

“Teach, I’m just so elated that you are going to lead our class, that I just don’t want anything to happen to you on the way there. I’ve been watching every pebble on the ground- every turning corner- for anything that might ruin this moment for our class. And I do this because there might be onlookers that might try to kill us with their stares and harm us with rumors, but fear not! My radiant tenacity shall protect us! Now- let’s go to class!” said Claude as he guides Byleth to the Golden Deer House. Dimitri, grunting, then attempts to approach Claude.

 

“Claude! I swear, if you try anything crazy with the Professor!...” said Dimitri attempting to threaten Claude. Claude giggles.

 

“Huh? Sorry, I can’t hear you! I only hear Golden Deer students and Professors… That’s why I can hear Teach loud and clear!” responded Claude.

 

“B-But, I didn’t say anything…” said Byleth.

 

“Shh, Teach- just play along! Have a nice class today, Prince Dimitri!” said Claude as he waves to Dimitri in a taunting motion. He then takes Byleth into the Golden Deer classroom. Byleth then looks back at Dimitri with slight guilt.

 

"I feel bad... I was going to do my idea today with the Blue Lions... Guess it will have to wait..." thought Byleth.

 

"That idea with the Handkerchiefs? Please don't..." said Sothis within Byleth's mind. As he sees Claude and Byleth walk away, Dimitri then grunts.

 

“Curses, Claude!...” said Dimitri as he starts to walk away from Sylvain.

 

“H-Hey, wait Dimitri! Agh…” said Sylvain who attempts to call him back, but fails. 

 

Edelgard, across the courtyard, repeatedly taps her foot on the ground as she watches this exchange happen- attempting to hide her jealousy. She stands just a bit outside the Black Eagles Classroom, as some of the members sit there awaiting the start of class. They chatter amongst themselves about various things, but as some start to bring up the Plaque outside- and others notice Edelgard’s deposition shift as she watches the situation unfold with Claude, Dimitri, and Byleth, the air of the classroom shifts as well...

 

“Agh!... This stupid 'House of the Month’ thing is so dumb!...  Our House was fine with Manuela, and now Edelgard is actin’ all funny!” said Caspar- annoyed by the shift in the monastery.

 

“You think? I think that Hanneman will be able to provide intriguing study, and give us the increase of knowledge. We might learn things Manuela could not teach us” said Petra . Dorothea, situated near them, turns to join in the conversation.

 

“I’ve been in Manuela’s presence ever since my time in the Mittelfrank Opera Company- so I personally am very used to her tutelage, and think she is well enough to suffice our student needs,” said Dorothea. Linhardt, in the back of class trying to rest, groans.

 

“Well I hate it! Everyone is more rowdy already with all this Processor junk, and now with this- it has made it worse! So much so, that I can't even enjoy sleeping in my own room. And now, I’m losing valuable resting locations around the monastery. Why- they are even gossiping about it in the Library! Can you believe!?” said Linhardt. 

 

“Linhardt, if you need a quiet place to sleep- you could always head to my room,” said Caspar. Linhardt then blushes.

 

“H-Huh?” said a shocked Linhardt.

 

“What? I’m usually training, so my room is free to sleep in if you can’t in your room. You are right on the first floor, so I bet it is pretty noisy!” said Caspar.

 

“Uh… Well, I will take your offer into consideration at least…” said a flustered Linhardt. 

 

“Still… Edelgard does look a bit tense about this…” said Dorothea as she peers out the classroom doorway.

 

“She desperately must want the best for our class. I wonder what Professor she would prefer” wonders Petra. 

 

“Probably Professor Byleth- if I had to guess,” said Caspar.

 

“You think?” questioned Dorothea.

 

“ I have been watching Professor Byleth’s tact from across the ways. Their teaching’s well- uh… They are well at teaching” said Petra. Ferdinand, who has been trying his best to ignore the conversation, groans in the back of class.

 

“Well, Edelgard better not be spending more of her time trying to secure the Professor she wants, and not on being our House Leader. As Heir to House Aegir, I will succeed no matter who teaches me- so putting too much thought into that is redundant to our fates” said Ferdinand. Dorothea scoffs.

 

“Suuure there heir-boy… Keep thinking that, and maybe one day it will actually be true…” said Dorothea.

 

“Hmgh!” said Ferdinand as he shrugs his shoulders.

 

"HubertBernadetta? What do you think?" asked Petra.

 

"Whatever Edelgard wants, I will follow. I don't care about anything otherwise" said Hubert. Bernadetta then gets startled by the mention of her name.

 

"I-I-I don't know!!! Uhh... This is too much pressure to think about on the spot! Can I take a rain check?" asked Bernadetta. Caspar scoffs.

 

“Well, I’m at least excited for this Mock Battle! We are totally gonna crush the other Houses- so I suppose Edelgard is putting hard thought into what Professor she wants now because we are guaranteed to win!” said Caspar.

 

“Hm… That does make some sense…” said Petra.

 

*****

 

The Black Eagles continue their banter about the House of the Month. As they are talking, Edelgard walks in. A hush falls the room as they all look at Edelgard- who seems to not understand why they all are stopping and staring. 

 

“...Is there something the matter? You all look like you just saw a demonic beast” said Edelgard.

 

“U-Uh, no nothing is wrong, we were just talking about the House of the Month” said Dorothea.

 

“Ahh… Well, worry not; the next following days, we are doubling down on our training- no objections. If we are going to have to prove that we are the best, then we will rise and soar above the occasion- like eagles in the sky” said Edelgard- attempting to fill the Black Eagle House with hope. 

 

“Yea!” cheered Caspar- causing Linhardt to groan from his loudness. Suddenly, Hanneman walks through the doorway of the classroom.

 

“Good Morning class, I’m sure you all are well aware, but I will be your Professor for the day. It will be my job to do what I can to make sure you are ready for the Mock Battle. Now, get out your books” said Hanneman as they start class...

 

*****

 

An hour later…

 

In the Golden Deer House, Byleth has just finished giving an hour seminar to the students about tactical plans and formations that the Golden Deer can potentially do during the Mock Battle. Byleth takes great joy in being able to proctor a new set of students- who all seem open enough to not make them feel like they don’t belong because Byleth didn’t initially choose their House. Byleth feels a sort of ‘realness’ within the Golden Deer- one that was hard to find in the Blue Lions. This is where Byleth started to run into an issue they didn’t foresee coming- getting attached to Houses that they were only temporarily being in, and the homesickness that follows. 

 

Byleth felt calmness in feeling ‘right at home’ in the Golden Deer House- but this was soon backed up with a sharp feeling of guilt as she remembers Dimitri’s face when they decided to go along with this idea. Should Byleth be getting accustomed, or testing the waters? Should Byleth be teaching other classes techniques- some that they crafted with the Blue Lions? Is any of this really fair? These thoughts hit Byleth’s head as the Golden Deer House broke for lunch. Noticing that their Professor was starting to feel uneasy, Claude and some others walked up to Byleth as other students left the classroom.

 

“Hey Teach, you gotta minute?” asked Claude.

 

“Huh? Yes, Claude- oh, there’s a bunch of you” said Byleth as they turned around to see Hilda , Lorenz , Ignatz , Marianne , Lysithea , Raphael , and Leonie standing there.

 

“We noticed that while you were teaching- it looked like something was troubling you. We thought that it might be the jitters from teaching a whole new class, so we wanted to welcome you into our House to break the ice!” said HIlda.

 

“Oh, really? That is nice of you to think of me, but I am fine- don’t worry” said Byleth. Claude then chuckles to himself.

 

“Nonsense, Teach. We can understand being in your shoes. That’s why we want you to feel at home- no matter where your ‘home’ might be” said Claude. Byleth blushes as they hear this.

 

“R-Really?” asked a nervous Byleth.

 

“Yea! Even if you don’t stay our Professor for long- we welcome any new experience with open arms!” said Ignatz as he smiles at Byleth, “We just want you to feel at ease while you are here; we also hope that the time you are here with us is as long as possible, so we are going to work extra hard to be House of the Month!” said Ignatz.

 

“As Jeralt’s child, it would be an honor to have you as our Professor!” said Leonie.

 

“As long as you make time for food- I’m fine with you being our Professor! Though- I suppose if any Professor did I would also be fine...” said Raphael- seemingly indifferent about Byleth being there.

 

“We deserve a suitable Professor that will keep a close watch on Claude’s mischievous behavior. If you are unable to keep up with his antics- then you should just leave our class now” said Lorenz. Suddenly, Lysithea hits Lorenz’s side.

 

“Lorenz! Agh, can you not do that right now? We are trying to make Byleth feel welcome!” said Lysithea.

 

“Don’t worry- I’m not that hard to quarrel if you try hard enough!” said Claude- attempting to joke the issue off, “But, I won’t make it that easy on your, Teach”.

 

“Hanneman is a fine Professor… B-But, I am for giving each Professor a chance to lead us to see what is the best route for all of us… I just hope I don’t ruin your perception of our House, Professor” said Marianna- hating on herself.

 

“Well- if you sell yourself like that Marianne- they will think that for sure!” said Lysithea. 

 

“I-I don’t think that any of you are- or will get in my way…” said Byleth as they get nervous.

 

“While I personally would rather be left off the battlefield- I will try to slack off a bit less if that means we might be immortalized as the best House in Garreg Mach! Even if it is just for a month!” said Hilda.

 

“Oh? Well, I suppose that is the allure of the Plaque- to encourage students to strive for better. So, I hope that happens for you all” said Byleth. They all let out a smile as Byleth says this.

 

“Of course! Perhaps after lunch, we can run some field tests on those formations you brought up in your lecture?” asked Claude.

 

“Sure!” said an excited Byleth.

 

Byleth, letting out a smile, almost feels overwhelmed by the warm welcome the Golden Deer is giving them- and for a second considers the possibility of staying in the Golden Deer House if they win. Compared to the Blue Lions- the Golden Deer have a unique energy amongst them, and lots of personality. Which is not to dampen Byleth’s feelings about the House they initially picked, but in feeling different arrays of emotions- Byleth really does start to consider the magnitude and strain this system will place on them. For now, Byleth chooses to suppress their anxiety over the situation, and goes to have lunch with the Golden Deer...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

As they all make their way to the Dining Hall, the students of the Golden Deer’s stomachs are rumbling. Dining with the students is not a foreign concept to Byleth at all, but Byleth feels a surge of excitement to share a meal with the Golden Deer- as their Professor. Byleth walks with a pep in their step along the way, and Claude notices that. As they walk into the Dining Hall Claude walks right behind Byleth as they stand in line for some food. Claude, as he turns his head, notices Edelgard staring them down from across the room as she sits with some girls from the Black Eagles. Byleth looks over to Edelgard, and waves. Claude, wanting to toy with Edelgard, Claude places his hand around Byleth’s shoulder, and leans on them.

 

“Say Teach… I’m not sure what I should get… You have any ideas?” asked Claude. Byleth is somewhat alerted by the physical contact, and as Edelgard sees this she immediately sits back down and turns her body facing away from them. 

 

“H-Huh? Oh, well I’m not sure… I don’t even know what I want yet… But… that Derdriu-Style Fried Pheasant looks nice- the Special for today?” said Byleth as they point to the menu above the cooks.

 

“Oh really? If you get that I’ll get that too! That is one of my favorites to eat!” exclaimed Claude.

 

“Oh really? Well then let’s get that together” said Byleth. Hearing that, Claude blushes.

 

Claude and Byleth then order and receive the same dish, and as they get it they go to find a seat. Some of the Golden Deer students have already found seats scattered around the lunchroom by this point.

 

“Do they not all wanna sit together?” asked Byleth- feeling a bit disappointed.

 

“Oh! Did you wanna sit together since you were teaching us today? You don’t have to envelope yourself in us for us to feel like you are at home with us, Teach. We have all dined together in the past- there’s nothing different beside you just being a little close to home with us!” said Claude with a smile. In truth, it didn’t alarm Byleth that they all didn’t eat together, but it did start to alarm Byleth how much they were ‘anticipating’ that being the case. They could not tell if they were indeed forcing it due to being thrusted into a new environment- if if they were trying to replicate what is is similarly with the Blue Lions. In thinking this, Byleth goes to look around for Dimitri in the Dining Hall, and notices him at the other end of the hall. They lock eyes momentarily, but Dimitri looks away, and instead goes to sit down with Sylvain. 

 

What? Why is Dimitri giving you the cold shoulder? Is he… Jealous that you're with Claude?... ” asked Sothis inside of Byleth’s mind. Claude notices Byleth look at Dimitri, and grunts to himself. 

 

“Hey Teach, since everyone seems preoccupied- why not we go eat somewhere together… Like, outside?” asked Claude.

 

“Outside? Sure. I don’t see a problem with that” said Byleth. Claude then takes Byleth outside to the quad, where they since a nice table to sit at to eat their food outdoors. There, they sit down, and as they begin eating Byleth stares in melancholy down at their food. Claude, who just took a bite, notices this, and gets concerned.

 

“Everything alright, Teach? You look sad” asked Claude.

 

“Huh? Oh… I’m fine… I’m just-” 

 

“You gotta cut the act, Teach. I can see right through you” said Claude- getting more assertive in tone as they cut Byleth off..

 

“H-Huh?” questioned Byleth.

 

“You have been uneasy since this morning- ever since we have that talk with Lady Rhea… You know… I’m the type of person that when I see someone that interests me puzzled in their head… All it makes me wanna do is figure out how to solve the issue… So, lay it on me” said Claude. However, Byleth gets shocked.

 

“Someone that… You’re interested in?” asked Byleth. Claude’s eyes widen, and they blush.

 

“Huh? Uh, forget I said that- that’s not what I mean. I just have to be interested in you ‘cause of the situation you were dropped into. I mean- everyone has you in their mouths. You are without a doubt the talk of the town. S-So, that’s what I mean” said Claude. Byleth hums to themself.

 

“You know… You tell me to cut the act… But you have the greatest poker face of us all” said Byleth.

 

“H-Huh?” questioned Claude.

 

“You… Ever since I stepped foot on Garreg Mach, you have had this… This way about you- as if you always have your guard up, always plotting… You wanna know what is in my head… But what exactly is in yours? Why do you keep messing with Edelgard in Dimitri?” asked Byleth.

 

“W-Why? B-Because… It’s fun? Uh… I don’t have any plans in motion with you- I’m just trying to help you be able to have the free decision to choose the House you feel most comfortable in. We are not pressuring you to stay, but we are making you feel at home while you are here. All that is in my mind, is conveying that to you” said Claude. However, Byleth no longer is buying it.

 

“No… You are finding excitement in the others not having me… You are doing things that you know will upset them… Why if you are content with me being in any House?” asked Byleth.

 

“Because I’m not!” shouted Claude- changing his demeanor instantly in a pinch. Hearing this alerted Byleth greatly. “There, is that what you wanted? I’m not! I don't want to pressure you… But when I found out that you chose the other House over me… When I was so welcoming… I started to become insecure about what I offered… Like, as if someone had held their hand out, and all they had to offer was the warmth their hands bring… But someone else strolls along with a cold hand filled with diamonds, and you chose that… That’s how I felt…” said Claude- admitting his annoyance over Byleth’s initial choice. 

 

“C-Claude…” said Byleth- lost for words.

 

“I’m not going to use stupid tactics to persuade you like Edelgard, and I’m not gonna guilt you like Dimitri is- I just wanted you to make the choice you wanted to make with no bias. But am I hurt that you didn’t choose me? Yes! T-Take it how you want…” said Claude as he becomes defensive.

 

“I-I’m not putting any blame on you or ridiculing your feelings at all!... So… Are you toying with the others because you're... “ said Byleth as they hesitate to finish their sentence.

 

“Jealous? Bitter? Is that what you want to say? Well, if it is- I don’t know if that’s the right word… When I saw you with Dimitri all this month… I started to feel resentment… I started to feel my heart race a million beats per minute that you weren’t with me… I wanted you here and you weren’t… And Edelgard is just gonna go around like a floozy and thinks she can win you over? Bullshit! So, I kept my mouth shut... B-But I don’t wanna keep my mouth shut anymore! Teach- when I found out that I had a chance to claim you, I was more interested in seeing Edelgard and Dimitri suffer ‘cause of this fact than actually getting you… I wanted them to feel the silent hurt I felt when they get so close to what they want- and it's ripped from them! That has happened to me too many times in life That I- no... I should not speak more… I’m sorry... I-I know, you might think I’m some asshole now…” said Claude as he gets all his feelings off his chest. 

 

Byleth, who bears the brunt of his attacks, understands where his anger comes from- and the cause of it is themself. Byleth, overcome with Claude’s angered lust, places their hand on Claude’s hand. Claude, feeling the soothing energy of Byleth enter his body from their exchange, Claude is almost calmed completely. Claude looks into Byleth’s eyes, and sighs.

 

“I’m sorry that my decision has caused you so much internal hardship… I didn’t know that I affected people that greatly… I cannot control the House I will end up in- that is all on if your House pulls through. But, what I can control- and promise, is that if I’m in the Golden Deer that I will make sure that you never feel like you have to suffer in silence” said Byleth. Hearing Byleth’s words truly touched Claude, and as old memories he dealt with start to super-cut in his mind he rises up from his seat.

 

“Then I’m going to fight to the death for you. I won’t let them have you! And I will admit it now- I want you in our House and only our House! And I wanna prove to you just how bad I want you in our House now…” said Claude as he starts to walk over to Byleth.

 

“R-Really? H-How so?...” asked a nervous Byleth. Suddenly, Claude grabs Byleth’s arms, pushes them to the side- opening up Byleth’s chest area, and embraces them in a hug. 

 

Claude then whispers in Byleth’s ear, “I wanna devour you… Right here”. Byleth’s eyes widen greatly as they hear those lustful words...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“D-Devour?...” said Byleth. Suddenly, Claude raises Byleth off from the seat, and pushes them into the thicket- making them fall in between bushes. Claude then enters that opening, and encloses them amongst a bunch of flowers and leaves on the ground. 

 

“Teach… When was the last time someone made you cum?” asked Claude. 

 

“W-What?! Excuse me?!” questioned an alerted Byleth.

 

“Teach… When I was talking about cutting the act- I wasn’t just talking about you being stressed and keeping it to yourself… I was talking about your feelings about me as well” said Claude.

 

“I-I don’t know what you are…” said Byleth- completely flustered. Byleth then starts to think, “ S-Sothis!... W-What should I do?!

 

H-Hey! We had a deal, remember? I check out mentally when you are about to do sexual stuff. You are on your own kid ‘cause this isn’t about to be a threesome… ” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind. 

 

S-Sothis?! Wait! ” thought Byleth, however, they had this feeling as if Sothis had left their mind- completely become unresponsive to their needed help. Byleth, truly having to think for themselves in this moment, didn’t know what to do. “C-Claude… I am your teacher…” responded Byleth.

 

“I know! And that’s what makes my feelings even more cocked up! How can I convey to you how much I want you to stay in my House if I don’t tell and show you!?” asked Claude. Byleth is completely thrown off by Claude’s demeanor right now; they only can compare this feeling to Edelgard, who attempted- and almost succeeded in swooning them before Dimitri stepped in. However, in this moment- there was no one to stop the passion that sat silently between them from bursting in a climax. Byleth didn’t want Claude to touch them- but at the same time, the warmth that Claude gives off is something very addicting. It makes Byleth crave Claude, and as Byleth starts to explore those thoughts they attempted to bury they start to get aroused. Claude comes closer, and places his hand on Byleth’s chest.

 

“Teach… Do you not want me?...” asked Claude.

 

“N-No, that’s not it… I… I shouldn’t be doing this... “ said Byleth as they look away, “You aren’t… I hope you are not doing all this for some sick game…”

 

“No! My feelings are real! This is not some ploy! I really... Really want you!...” said Claude. As he grabs Byleth’s face, and presses their lips against his own. They kiss- exchanging saliva like it was sweet honey, and in that moment- Byleth gave in. Claude released himself from Byleth, and licks his lips.

 

“Mmm… You taste so good… Teach, I wish I would've tasted you-” said Claude before he was cut off by Byleth grabbing them and pulling them in for another kiss! Byleth slides their tongue down Claude’s throat, and places their hands on their lower back. 

 

“Taste me… Taste me however you want, Claude!~...” admits Byleth. 

 

“Mhm!~... Don’t mind if I do!” said Claude. He then lifts up Byleth’s shirt, and starts to suck on their nipples. 

 

“Ah!~...” moans Byleth. Even though they didn’t think that part of their body would produce this much pleasure, they are encumbered by Claude taking control of their body, and using all he can to make them feel good. 

 

“If you like that, I’ll lick, squeeze, suck more…” said Claude as he starts to twist on Byleth’s nipples.

 

“Ahhhhgh!~...” Byleth moaned once more as their body goes limp from ecstasy. They start to kiss Claude some more, and each of their hand near Claude’s cock. They notice that Claude is already piping hard, and as Claude’s warm breaths heat up Byleth’s body they start to feel light headed. 

 

“Teach- I got you. I know that releasing all your tension in this moment might be a lot, but I will make sure that you are tended to whenever you need in my House. Whenever you want to be kissed…” said Claude as he kisses on Byleth’s neck, “You will be kissed” 

 

“Ohh!~...” groaned Byleth.

 

“If you wanna be licked…” Claude continued as he started to rub on Byleth’s crotch, “Well, you will have to unzip your own pants, Teach”. Byleth’s tensions soon flew away as Claude embraced them in their arms- hugs up against their toned muscles, and throbbing thick cock. 

 

“C-Claude~... Please… You cannot just be doing all of this without me returning the favor…” said Byleth- completely giving into their desires.

 

“No, Teach- you don’t have to please me. Right now, this is all for you. My tongue and hands will please you- you just need to lie here and feel yourself twitch and curl until you feel like you are gonna cum all over me~...” said Claude. Byleth feels like this is too good to be true.

 

“Oof~... Just the thought of that, I… Agh… Please… Touch me there…” said Byleth as they press Claude’s hand into their own crotch. 

 

“Mhm!~... I will, Teach” said Claude. Claude then goes down low, and unbuttons Byleth’s pants. They then are met with their pulsating cock. Byleth, embarrassed that they are this aroused, hides their head. Claude notices this, and gets concerned. “Teach! You have nothing to be ashamed of. Please, allow me to please you and you feel right enough that you will watch me!... If you won’t look at me- then you feel like I shouldn’t suck on your huge throbbing cock…” continues Claude. 

 

“I-I'm!-... I’m just a bit self-conscious on another guy seeing me like this… I’ve never…” said Byleth as the stumble over their words.

 

“... Being touched by someone that wants to devour you? That’s called a genuine attraction” said Claude. In truth, Byleth was a bit closed off- and clearly hiding their feelings due to the nature of the feelings itself; they like a student, and that student is a male. Byleth feels a rush in this moment- feeling alive from the freedom Claude is indeed bringing, but freedom is a boundless power- that might be overwhelming to some. This brought fear into Byleth’s heart, and it shut them down in their moment of arousal. Claude watched as Byleht’s dick got flaccid, and got confused.

 

“I… I’m sorry… Could we not go all the way just yet?...” asked Byleth nervously- retracting inward away from what was about to happen.. Claude sighs, and backs off from Byleth.

 

“Whatever will make you comfortable, Teach. I want to be there for you- to make sure that in every capacity you are attended to. I'm honored that it even gotten this far... I-I’m sorry if I overstepped a boundary just now though… I just... Want you so bad, and want you to feel how much I really do… However, what's right is... That I want you to want me 100% when you are ready...” said Claude.

 

“N-No… It’s not that I don’t want to do it… O-Or I don’t want you… I’m just not ready to do that now… Feeling you on me… It felt like something I’ve never experienced…” said Byleth. They felt guilty for stopping right before Claude was about to pleasure them, but they also felt like it was right.

 

“It’s fine… There is always the right time for everything… And, if you join my House, Teach… I’ll make you experience the world- whenever , so time is on our side…” said Claude. Byleth feels the serenity Claude attempts to convey through his words, but in hearing that in this context makes Byleth think about the Blue Lions House, and the implications of falling into Claude will have on them- as if it would isolate the ability to vibe with that House if they are with Claude.

 

“I-I just wonder how the other Houses think, if you think like this… I wonder how Dimitri is doing too… I never properly talked with him after agreeing to this system for lady rhea… I should go check up on him…” thought Byleth. However, saying that in this moment was the wrong thing for them to do- in Claude’s eyes. They grunt loudly in annoyance, and bang on the ground.

 

“...And even now you are still thinking of Dimitri!? Him?!... He’s not even… Agh!…  I just let my guard down for you and… What does he have that I don’t?!” said Claude as he gets up, fixes his clothing, and goes to head out of the bush. Feeling as if they said something wrong, Byleth chases after them- after re-situating themselves as well.

 

“C-Claude? What is wrong? Why are you mad?...” asked Byleth- obvious to what they just did.

 

“Oh, I don’t know- ask Dimitri why don’t you!? ‘Cause he’s the perfect little Prince, ain’t he!? That’s why you picked him, right?!” exclaimed Claude. Byleth, at a loss for words, feels like Claude is venting out frustrations about Dimitri that predate them. Suddenly, Claude attempts to re-compose themselves. “I-I’m sorry… Agh… Maybe I just fucked this up… Look- let’s just try and forget about this for now and… Focus on our field training for the Mock Battle, huh? I think we all are holding onto our demons at this moment…” continued Claude.


“Y-Yea… That might be best… I just want the best for all the students… Perhaps one day, all the Houses can just be under one big House” said Byleth as they sigh. Claude chuckles slightly.

 

“Wishful thinking, I suppose…” said Claude. 

 

“I’m gonna go get our plates and bring them inside… I’m not sure if you wanna finish yours but… I’m still hungry…” said Byleth.

 

“Oh! I totally forgot about our food!... Y-Yea, my tummy is rumbling… It’s almost distracting me from my feelings of blue balls…” said Claude.

 

“Huh?’ questioned Byleth.

 

“N-Nothing. Here, I’ll get mine, and you get yours instead… It might be best if we cool down with our warm food away from each other before anything else happens…” said Claude.

 

“Y-Yea…” said Byleth. In reality, they feel a bit somber; with all that emotion Claude finally let out- and feeling as if Claude was finally showing emotion that wasn’t hidden behind a front- it was all for naught as that front is slowly rebuilding itself. But, for now- that might be the best for Byleth to have some fronts up…

 

They walk back into the Dining Hall, but unbeknownst to them- one specific student saw them exit the bushes together. On the other side of the quad area they were in was Felix.

 

“Oh… My… God…” said Felix…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

The Golden Deer, after having lunch, head to the Training Grounds to go over formations for the Mock Battle. As they enter, the others- besides Claude and Byleth- can’t help but to feel some unusual tension between them that was not there this morning. Byleth chooses to be as professional as possible in this moment, and act as if everything is fine. They don a smile, and begin to speak to the large group of classmates.

 

“Okay class! So, since many of you excel at long range combat I thought that it would be smart to practice formations that highlight that fact. For example; Raphael and Lorenz- in a formation like this you will be in the middle as I think the close-range students should lead the way. However, we should have the archers surround you for support. Lysithea- you are in a sense a trump card as you excel with your duel capabilities of black and white magic. If we have you running behind the unites following the close-combat unites with white mage-class students- such as Marianne- you won’t have to worry about the closer range units getting hurt; an onslaught of arrows and magic covering them constantly as they charge with the battalions” said Byleth.

 

“Hm… I suppose that plan isn’t that bad… However, when Hanneman was teaching us, he was beginning to have us explore other skill sets that we had an interest in. For example- Ignatz and I were learning some black magic spells. So, we can really apply pressure on the battlefield from a long distance” said Lorenz. Other students start to chatter as they echo the same sentiment.

 

“I’ve also been training on horseback quite often. B-But that’s mainly because of my love of horses- I might just be focusing my studies in an area that I might not take anywhere…” said Marianne. Hilda scoffs as she hears this.

 

“Nonsense, Marianne! Professor- I think you might be thinking of our skill sets from the beginning of the semester you arrived- but by now a lot of us have branched our interests in other fields of interest” said Hilda.

 

“I see…” said Byleth as they think.

 

Did you not read Hanneman’s notes? I’m sure that inside they would of had up to date description of the students’ progression ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then gets annoyed.

 

Oh! Well if it isn’t Sothis. Glad to see that you are back in my mind now of all times ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Hey! The door is right here- I can ghost you again if that is what you would prefer ” said Sothis. 

 

“Teach?” questioned Claude as he sees Byleth thinking for far too long.

 

“H-Huh? Oh!...” said Byleth as they come back to it. They then look on to the mass of students as they all look on with uncertainty at their temporary Professor, “Well, I think for now- just to maximize your chances of winning- we should arrive on the battlefield with the right tactics that prioritize your current strengths; if you emerge victorious we can focus on other skills then” said Byleth.

 

“Logical conclusion to make. So, Professor- how are we to practice these formations?” asked Lorenz.

 

“First, we are going to split into even groups of 8. I want groups of the types of units I explained, while I want other units purely of magic- leaning users, and others of close-combat units; students that use lances, swords, and axes primarily. Then, we are going to initiate battles between the two sets of groups until we find a way for our long-range based groups to triumph over the others” said Byleth.

 

“But Professor- since we mostly excel long-range, why make groups as well that are not long-ranged based?” asked Lysithea.

 

“Good question. Because, from what I know about the Black Eagles- they focus on magic. And- since I was in the Blue Lions… They have many members that excel close-range, and I made many formations using those types of units. So, if you can triumph over formations that mimic those Houses- you are more likely to win. ” said Byleth- feeling just a tad bit guilty for setting up Blue Lions formations for the use of the Golden Deer. Claude finds this to be interesting- in that Byleth is sharing information about other Houses to them.

 

“Well- I’m down to try it out if Teach recommends it. Come on guys- we got 8 people right here. Let’s get in that formation!” said Claude. Lorenz and the others nod their heads in agreement as they hurdle up. Seeing them get in formation also inspires other Golden Deer students to do the same. Byleth then walks over to Claude’s group.

 

“I’m gonna be leading certain groups especially- and I’ll start with yours Claude. Your group will most likely be the group that will lead in first- since you have the students that are highlights in Hanneman’s notes. And, I will have you going against the close-range formations since I know from experience that close-range formations can breeze through units that excel in long-range” said Byleth.

 

“However, if you have a lot of long-range units together- especially ones that excel with magic- then they can give other units a run for their bullion!” said Lysithea. 

 

“Precisely. Okay… I’ll find you all a close-range formation, and we will get right to it” said Byleth as they start to search around the Training Grounds for a close-range formation. Suddenly, they hear footsteps come in from the gate of the Training Grounds- so many footsteps that it had to be of another class.

 

“... If you need some close-range formations- why not ask us?” said Sylvain- who walks in with the other members of the Blue Lions! Byleth turns around- shocked, as they lay eyes on Dimitri- who stands near Dedue , Mercedes , and Annette.

 

“Well well well… If it isn’t the Prince…” said Claude.

 

“Claude… Byleth…” said Dimitri as he walks closer, “We were about to do some extensive training with our new Professor- seeing as we need to get re-calibrated, but we didn’t expect another House to have the same idea at this same time… I also wasn’t aware that we were sharing House tactics with other Houses either”.

 

“W-What?...” said Byleth- feeling a bit guilty.

 

“Believe me- we tried to get Manuela to spill the beans on the Eagles… But she wouldn’t budge!” said Sylvain as he chuckled.  Suddenly, Manuela appears behind Dimitri.

 

“Oh Byleth… Even I have enough honor and class to at least protect the House I was previously governing- to not spill their tactics to potential rivals… Days before a Mock Battle!” said Manuela.

 

Oh that harlet! ” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind. Byleth then sighs.

 

“Manuela- for the next week we are the Professors in charge of all Houses. There is no aliegences or favoritism. You should be doing any and everything to ensure your students excel. That might entail... Revealing things to them that otherwise might be against a perceived code… And, there is nothing in Garreg Mach policy that states I must keep info to myself if it might help my students in knowing it” said Byleth.

 

“Oh Byleth- this is sad. This is how I know we are cut from two completely different cloths… I had my reservations about you- I did… You are a…. What do the young students say nowadays?... A snitch ass rat” said Manuela.

 

“M-Manuela! Even if there might be truth to those words- you cannot say that about another Professor!...” said Dimitri. Manuela however shrugs her shoulders.

 

“I speak only the truth” said Manuela. Byleth groans in annoyance.

 

“Manuela… I apologize if my tactics do not mirror yours. If you spent this much effort in ridiculing my life choices than you do reflecting on yours- you wouldn’t be alone” said Byleth. Everyone in the Training Grounds gasp- completely thrown off by Byleth clapping back at Manuela. Byleth, however, immediately regrets saying those things about her. Manuela is flabbergasted at the statement, and clenches her fist tightly.

 

“Why I never!... You know, this whole shit storm wouldn’t be a thing if you never arrived at the monastery, Professor. Perhaps you should watch your tongue before you speak ill of someone that is superior to you” said Manuela- causing ‘ooo’s’ to echo throughout the Training Grounds.

 

“Manuela- we are equals. We share the same rank” said Byleth.

 

“A rank many of us are unsure you deserve” said Manuela- causing in more ‘ooo’s’ to echo.

 

“You don’t even know your team well enough to even lead them!” said Byleth.

 

“And you must not respect your past team well enough to lead them into a trap by giving away all their secrets” said Manuela- causing yet more ‘ooo’s’ from other students. Sothis, groaning within Byleth’s mind, starts to speak to them.

 

What are you doing?! Manuela is murdering you right now!... ” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind.

 

W-What should I say? I have to be the bigger person… ” thought Byleth back.

 

You literally just read her relationship life… ” responded Sothis.

 

T-That was wrong of me… ” responded Byleth. Sothis scoffs in response. Byleth then sighs in a grunting manner.

 

“Manuela- if you and your House came here to ridicule us- I think we both have better things to worry about. I don’t think we can proctor House-to-House trainings…” said Byleth.

 

“Well, why not?” asked Felix- finally breaking through the tension to speak.

 

“Huh?” said Byleth. Sylvain then starts to laugh

 

“I see where you are gettin’ at! Our Houses both want to use the Training Grounds, and you clearly are setting them up to fight students from the Blue Lions… Well, we are right here” said Sylvain. Many of the Blue Lions students seem to agree with his statement.

 

“I don’t see why we cannot. Lady Rhea never said that we couldn’t…” said Claude.

 

“I agree; it might be good training to train with the real thing...” said Leonie.

 

“But we gain no valuable experience; we are trying to best the enemy- not prove our strength before we have to prove our strength!” said Byleth.

 

“Professor- I’m only interested in training. We all came here to train. Your whole class is taking up the grounds. So, it’s either you train with us daunting over you- or you leave” responded Felix.

 

“I concur with Felix; it definitely will aid us in… Proving that our tactics will always work against long-ranged formations ” said Ingrid. However, some Blue Lions’ sentiments going against this plan start to echo out.

 

“P-Perhaps we can just make it work, and train separately? We don’t need to fight now…” said Ashe.

 

“I agree… I think we shouldn’t confront each other until we are forced to…” said Annette.

 

“Well, I suppose we can let the Professors decide…” said Dimitri. Dedue, analyzing Dimitri’s demeanor, starts to get questionable of his motives by this point; he hums to himself as he tries to make sense of all of this. Manuela, who is over the entire situation, sighs.

 

“Well I don’t care either way; seeing the tact of Byleth only proves that any House that trains under them will be destined to fail- and I’m rueing the day you touch the Black Eagles. If the Blue Lions are fine with training for a bit with the Golden Deer- I’ll agree if Byleth does; we can even make it fair by the Professors making the call to give up. But careful- we might leave a bruising!” said Manuela. Byleth sighs to themself, unsure of what to do. Claude then pats Byleth on the back.

 

“Teach- we will do whatever you want. Don’t let them egg you on, and make you agree just to get back at ‘em. They are clearly all just expressing their animosity with you in this moment- which is totally uncalled for. We can train somewhere else and do your drills. But... I wouldn't mind sticking an arrow into Dimitri’s ass right now!~” said Claude.

 

“I-I heard that!...” said a flustered Dimitri.

 

“Well then, my Prince- let’s make it happen!” said Claude.

 

“Bring it on!” responded Dimitri.

 

“I thought it was my say…” said Byleth- feeling left out of the situation.

 

“Oh! Sorry Teach… Uh… So whatdaya say?” asked Claude. Byleth, looking at the Blue Lions ready to train with them, contemplates whether they should train with them, or not…

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

Byleth, giving into the pressure, agrees to the Blue Lion’s taunts. They prepare the Golden Deer in the formation they discussed- in a formation that has since been dubbed “The Liontamer”.  It resembles a triangle-shaped formation with a line of close-range units in the middle. Their formation, on top of long-range units safeguarding close-range, will also act as a pincer attack- spreading out archers from the side around the enemy to ambush them with a fury of arrows from all sides. In theory- this should work in Byleth’s eyes. 

 

The only down-side to testing out these formations is that they are testing them out on the ones they are using it against- so they will then know the formation afterwards. Realizing this issue. They assemble Claude’s unit team- as well as other formations- in similar, but different formations that they came up with on the spot. So, Byleth will be testing out the actual formation with units that Dimitri and others will not be focusing on- while testing the spontaneous adaptability of the units at the same time by giving them commands on the fly; this will also throw the Blue Lions off as they will think the Golden Deer’s formations are different. 

 

Byleth, in this regard, is at an advantage- as Manuela is not familiar with Golden Deer or Blue Lions formations enough to accurately command them… Or so they thought. Soon after the Blue Lions and Golden Deer took their sides of the grounds they each put out about 4 sets of 8 teamed formations of students- mutually agreeing that in this training session the bout was only over once one of the Professors made the call to give up, or if a student got seriously hurt. Claude’s formation- with Lorenz, Ignatz, Hilda, Marianne, Lysithea, Leonie, and Raphael- stood in front of three other formations of students in a diamond-like shape, and every formation stood in a diamond-like shape in comparison to the other. Byleth, watching over them, stood alongside Raphael and Lorenz. 

 

Mirroring them slightly- in a more straight column line- was Dimitri’s group up front- with Dedue, Annette, Ashe, Felix, Sylvain, Ingrid, and Mercedes. Manuela stood near Mercedes. Instantly, Byleth noticed that Manuela and Mercedes were behind the rest- signifying that they were playing a support role. However, the formation right behind Manuela and Mercedes were more mages, with close and long-range units mixed in behind them. Byleth then looked to Claude- who was on their left side- and motioned with their eyes to look towards Manuela. Seeing what they were seeing, Claude understood what they were trying to communicate; “ They are using a line pattern to place mages in the midst of close-range units to throw off close and long-range units ” is what Byleth was thinking and attempting to convey. 

 

Knowing that the long-range units are not the forte of the Blue Lions, Byleth surmises that they are putting units further back that will survive longer if all the brunt of the onslaught goes to the heavy hitters- such as the units around Dimitri. Byleth, as they analyze the demeanor of the Blue Lions, looks towards Dimitri- who has a stern look on their face, as if they were attempting to don a poker face. Byleth looks a bit somber as they exchange a look, but Dimitri looks back at Manuela in such a manor as if they were intentionally trying to not interact with them. 

 

“Manuela- are we ready?” asked Dimitri.

 

“Yes! Oh, Professor! Are you guys ready to commence the training?” asked Manuela.

 

“Yes, we are” said Byleth. 

 

“Okay then… Well- there’s no real formal way to start a bout… Blue Lions… CHARGE!” said Manuela as her cry invigorates the Blue Lions- and they charge head first towards the Golden Deer shouting. Leading the charge was Dimitri, Dedue, Felix, and Sylvain, and following behind them were mages as well as the rest of their initial formation. The Golden Deer ready their weapons, and widen their stances as they approach.

 

“Archers! Provide cover! Non-magic and bow units- charge in!” said Byleth as they begin to run alongside the other units; these include Claude, Leonie, and Ignatz especially. Many of the archer units begin to fire volleys of arrows towards the Blue Lions. Claude readies his bow in hand, and begins to aim his arrow straight at Dimitri. 

 

“I wonder how our good ‘ol Prince will look with a dot on his forehead?” said Claude as he fires his bow. Dimitri, seeing the arrow come straight at him. Clenches his spear in hand, and slices the arrow straight in half. 

 

“I’m not going down so easily, Claude!” shouted Dimitri. Claude then hums to himself.

 

“I guess I forgot how agile he was…” admitted Claude. As this happens, Ignatz, Hilda, and Lysithea then start to charge forward in an arch formation towards the Blue Lions; archers, mages, and axe-wielders follow suit with them. This starts to throw Dimitri and Manuela off- as it goes against the command that Byleth had said.

 

“There is absolutely not cohesion as to how you are sending out your units, Professor! Ha!” taunted Manuela.

 

“But- Byleth would not just send them out so carelessly without a plan… Are they giving out false commands? What are they planning?...” wondered Dimitri. He charges in with Felix and Dedue- striking down some unlucky Golden Deer students who thought they could take them on. Dimitri, attempting to close the distance between them and Byleth, heads straight for them- and Byleth feels this energy. Raphael, following close behind Byleth, starts to throw some enemies with his brute strength that manages to run past Byleth as they charge forth and knock other students down with their blade. 

 

While this happens, Felix, zipping past the rest of his units, charges straight for Lorenz at a breakneck speed. Felix them strikes Lorenz- but the guards with his spear! Lorenz is nearly thrown off by Felix’s tenacity to strike him down- as if he was an actual enemy. Felix and Lorenz exchange blows as Lorenz attempts to keep Felix from progressing any further. Ignatz, coming in from the side, fires arrows towards Felix, and Felix dodges away.

 

“Ha! You think those slow shot arrows would hit me? I laugh” taunted Felix towards Ignatz. However, Ignatz chuckles back.

 

“D-Don’t count us out yet! We anticipated that you would rush in with brute strength- so we are hitting you back with tact!” responded Ignatz. Suddenly, they see mages on the side getting ready for a spell.

 

“Fire!” shouted Lysithea as she, and other mages, unleash the spell Miasma upon the close-range units charging in. Dark energy soars towards Felix and Dimitri- with the attempts to throw them off with a wall of magical energy. In truth, the archers were just bait; used to throw off the incoming units with messing around with their reaction times. Felix, for a moment, questions if he can evade in time. Suddenly, a bright, blinding light travels in front of him and the units around him.

 

“Nosferatu!” shouted Mercedes and Manuela- as they joint cast a light spell. This power was more than enough to ward off the dark energy that was heading towards Felix. Lysithea, annoyed by the failed attempt, stomps her feet on the ground.

 

“No fair! Double teaming me with joint magic?! Agh! Plus, your Professor is skilled in magic!” said Lysithea. Manuela laughs.

 

“And your Professor is a pain in my backside! Plus- your Professor is skilled with the sword. So, we are even!~” declares Manuela. Byleth scoffs.

 

“Manuela- that’s just arthritis you are feeling. Less smack talk- more leading your House to victory!” said Byleth. Manuela gasps.

 

“Well- it seems you are gonna fit right in at Garreg Mach if you have such a quick snake tongue!” said Manuela. Byleth sighs- feeling a bit disappointed in themselves for once again coming for Manuela. But, Byleth combats these feelings by attempting to understand that a rivalry mindset is what is needed in this situation- and that Manuela is not their friend.

 

As the light disperses, Dimitri is seen charging straight towards Byleth. Thrown off still by the light- Dimitri is able to rush past the units in front of him, and get within distance of Byleth to attempt to jab their spear into them. Byleth dodges, and attempts to swing- but Dimitri grabs onto Byleth’s arm and tackle Byleth to the ground. Dimitri then places his spear against Byleth’s neck. 

 

“Teach!” Claude yells as he sees this happen- and goes to charge in as he readies another arrow. Dimitri then growls at Byleth as he sits atop of them.

 

“I guess you forgot to factor in a disadvantage you had- Professor… That since you trained with the Blue Lions for so long- and often gave us hand-to-hand instruction- we are fairly familiar with how to take you down!” said Dimitri. Byleth’s eyes widen- realizing that fact. 

 

“D-Dimitri! Agh” said Byleth as they struggle to get up- however, he places the blade of the spear closer to their neck. Byleth looks to Dimitri’s face- and sees his anger; anger that clearly is for Byleth. However, they see sadness escape his composure as his breathing got heavy.

 

“Why…” mutters Dimitri. Byleth gets confused.

 

“W-What?...” responds Byleth.

 

“We were all excelling so greatly in your tutelage… I was starting to find hope in our goals… And then you agree to Lady Rhea’s system because of Edelgard’s stupid mettling… I tried to protect you… Why?!” shouted Dimitri. As Byleth hears this- it all clicks; Dimitri is in fact still mad at them for their decision that morning- which lead to Byleth leaving the Blue Lions. But, to bring such a point up during a training… Just how clear is Dimitri’s mind right now?...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Agh!!!” shouted Claude as he ran faster than an arrow shoots from a bow- towards Dimitri and Byleth. Claude is able to tackle Dimitri off of Byleth- due to him being enamored by his feelings about Byleth in the moment , and they roll on the floor as they grab onto each other’s clothes. Claude rolls Dimitri under him, and pins him down. 

 

“Prince!” shouted Dedue- noticing this as he starts to run towards Dimitri.



“Claude! You are always butting into things that don’t have anything to do with you!” shouted Dimitri.

 

“When you tackle Teach- it instantly becomes my business. What’s the deal dude? We are training ! Lay off!” said Claude. Dimitri scoffs as he rolls Claude over- so he is under him.

 

“Oh! The person that only picks up a bow five seconds before combat- and puts in no training- is telling me to focus on training! Ha!” responds Dimitri. Claude then grunts as he flips Dimitri back over.

 

“Look- whatever you feel about Teach- save it for later! You guys are already intruding on our practice with Teach! It’s like you planned this!” said Claude.

 

“N-No! We had no idea you would be here! Stop making up accusations! That’s all you can do is lie!” said Dimitri.

 

“Really? Funny- coming from the person who has to lie to save face!!!” shouted Claude irritatedly. Byleth, hearing this, gets unusually concerned for the amount of anger in Claude’s voice. At the same time, Dimitri’s eyes open wide as they hear this.

 

“W-What?! You are speaking nonsense!” exclaimed Dimitri as he rolls Claude underneath him. Claude, struggling to flip Dimitri back over- starts to laugh. “What is so funny!?” asks Dimitri.

 

“It’s just… Haha… I wish I could pretend this was the first time you were on top of me like this- like you are!” said Claude. Suddenly, Dimitri’s face blushes red. Byleth, hearing this exchange, gets increasingly confused. Immediately, Dimitri cimbs off Claude.

 

“I-I don’t… S-Shut up!!!” shouted Dimitri. Byleth attempts to get on their feet, and heads towards Claude. Dimitri then attempts to wield his spear in both hands. “You wanna take us down- and use the Professor to get what you want? Fine!” continued Dimitri as he then prepared to throw his spear at both Claude and Byleth. However, he is intercepted before he could throw it by Raphael- who tackles him to the ground! They hit the ground hard, and Raphael places his knee into Dimitri’s crotch.

 

“You aren’t going anywhere!” shouted Raphael. Dimitri lets out a shrieking yell.

 

“Fuck! Agh, you guys a-are playing dirty!?” mustered Dimitri. Claude laughs.

 

“What’s the Golden Deer for ‘ya if we don’t get a little dirty?” questioned Claude. Felix, looking on from afar, starts to grin.

 

“Huh, well if that’s the case-” said Felix as he grabs Lorenz with both hands, brings him in closer, and knees him in the balls! “-How about this !” he continued. 

 

“Agh!!! My noble family jewels!” shouted Lorenz as he hits the floor- twitching. Felix then runs off.

 

“Sorry, dude. We win by making your Professor give up, and while underhanded tactics aren’t my thing to get the win- guess it’s what is called for” said Felix as he runs towards Dimitri. Ignatz, looking at Lorenz from awar, starts to hold his balls.

 

“T-Thank god I’m not a close-range fighter… I don’t want to not be able to reproduce!” said Ignatz. Lorenz then struggles to get back up.

 

“I… N-Need a healer…” mustered Lorenz. However, as he looks up, someone approaches him.

 

“Well, ask and you shall receive!” said Manuela as she towers over Lorenz. Unknowingly, from Lorenz’s angle- he can see up Manuela’s dress, so he starts to get red in the face. “Oh no! You are getting flustered! Never seen such a divine woman up close before!~ Hehe. Now now- no need to worry anymore- I will heal you right up… After I send you to the infirmary!” she continues. She goes to cast a spell towards Lorenz, but before she can properly do the spell darkness starts to swarm around her! Small, menacing looking bees start to swell around Manuela.

 

Swarm !” shouted Lysithea. As she casts this spell, the dark bees cut up Manuela’s dress!

 

“Ahh!” screamed Manuela as he breasts started to become exposed as the bees tore around her chest area. As her breasts flailed in the air the boys around her looked on with red faces, bloody noses, and arousing boners. Manuela covers herself, and stares down Lysithea “ Bitch do you know how much this costs! Oh no… I can't call a student a bitch… Agh! How can I fight like this?!” continued Manuela. Lysithea then giggles.

 

“You might excel in magic… But clearly not sense to not wear such flimsy material to a battle!” said Lysithea as she helps up Lorenz.

 

“T-Thank you Lysithea… You have helped me in more ways than one…” said Lorenz as she stares down Manuela. Marianne then hurries over with a couple of white mages.

 

“Let me fix you up, Lorenz” said Marianne.

 

“M-Marianne! Uh, p-perhaps we can leave the area in question wounded for now; no need any unnecessary excitement…” siad Lorenz- confusing Marianne. As this happens, Hilda, as she strikes down a bunch of students with her axe, looks over with a scheming grin.

 

“Hey! Wait I just got an idea… If your Professor is unable to fight back- she will be forced to give up if he corner her! Guys! Charge in! B-But don’t touch her…” said Hilda- revving up the Golden Deer students whose moral has dampened. Feeling the rush, the students charge towards Manuela. Hearing this, Claude smiles.

 

“Giving out orders, are we? Didn't know you were Teach. If Hilda is trying, then that means we got the upper hand!” said Claude. Ingrid then gasps as she realizes the situation.

 

“Guys! They are trying to take out our Professor while she is in tatters- literally! We gotta protect her! And someone- get her some clothes!!!” shouted Ingrid. Sylvain, aroused and blushing, doesn’t move however.

 

“I don’t know, Ingrid… Would losing be so bad if we got to lose next to a sight like this!?” asked Sylvain. 

 

“W-What!?” shouted Ingrid. She then noticed many of the male Blue Lions students are doing similar, and quickly losing moral as they become infatuated by Manuela. “Fuck, have we just found a glaring disadvantage we have in ahving Manuela as a Professor?!...” Ingrid continues. Annette, Ingrid, Mercedes, and Ashe scoffed.

 

“Sylvain- have some respect!” said Ashe.

 

“Come on, Ashe! Look at her tits!” said Sylvain as he forced Ashe to look her way.

 

“N-No! Looking while she is in this state is wrong!” said Ashe- holding his composure. However, Sylvain overpowers Ashe as he forces his head to Manuela’s direction- and lifts his eyelids open from their closed state. Looking at Manuela- Ashe freezes in his tracks. “I… I-I… Oh my..” said Ashe as he looks at Manuela’s body. Ingrid groans and slams her palm into her forehead as she sees this.

 

“We are fucked …” said Ingrid.

 

“Don’t give up yet, Ingrid!” shouted Mercedes as she stands in front of Manuela, “We, the Blue Lions, aren’t going down without a fight!”

 

“Mercedes; while you are a beautiful sight- get outta the way!” said Sylvain.

 

“I will not! Manuela- I got you! Heal !” shouted Mercedes as she begins to heal Manuela’s clothing.

 

“Thank you, Mercedes…At least SOMEONE on this team is helping me!... What kind of students are you?!” shouted Manuela as she tries to get out her tomb- but drops it as she tries to hold onto her tattered dress. “ Fuck! I cannot fight like this! I-I didn’t expect to be placed in such a state… If they get me while I’m like this- I don’t know what I’ll do…” continued Manuela.

 

While this happens, Claude and Byleth- seeing the priority change after Hilda announced that they all should charge for Manuela- charge forth; Byleth, filled with the resolve to achieve this victory- for Claude and their own sake, and Claude- determined to have a win over Dimitri. In doing so, they leave Dimitri- who struggled to get Raphael off of him. Dedue, making it over, smashes his shield up-side Raphael’s head to force him back to the ground as he meet back up with Dimitri.

 

“Agh!” shouted Raphael as he hit the floor. Dedue turns to Dimitri.

 

“Prince! We are in a bind! Manuela is in critical condition! What should we do?!” asked a flustered Dedue.

 

“Agh! The last thing I will let happen is our House be taken down another notch because of the actions of another promiscuous woman! Blue Loins, charge after the Professors! Protect Manuela, and capture Byleth!” shouted Dimitri as he begins to run after Byleth. 

 

Who will triumph? Byleth- and their determination to win over their old House, or Manuela- and their determination to hold onto their dress for dear life?...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

 The Golden Deer charge forward towards the Blue Lions with the full gall to win this little bout started; the Blue Lions’ units, separated by a wall of Golden Deer, are frantic in the current situation as they charge towards Manuela. Alongside this, there are other Golden Deer units behind them around Dimitri engaging with other Golden Deer units. However, as the Golden Deer approach, the Blue Lions also form a tight wall around Manuela- pushing Lysithea, Lorenz, Hilda, and adjacent units away from them. Clinging on for their bare life, Manuela holds her garment as other female units try and barricade her from any and all men that might look; this was done not only to unease the Golden Deer, but to entice male Blue Lions units to focus on the battle afoot. Ingrid grabs her lance in hand, and puts herself into a determined stance.

 

“You are not coming any closer!” shouted Ingrid as she rushes towards Hilda. Hilda, grinning ear-to-ear, grabs her axe fully in both hands.

 

“Let's get this over with quickly- so I can take a break already!” said Hilda as she prepared to swing her axe. Ingrid laughs.

 

“Ha! My lance will smash right through your axe!” said Ingrid.

 

“Maybe in a stylistic world- but the reality of the matter will be the other way around!” proclaimed Hilda as she and Ingrid clash their weapons together.

 

“Agh! She is strong! But you must fight brawn with brain! Guys! Now!” shouted Ingrid as Annette, Ashe, and other bow units shoot arrows towards Hilda. Ingrid dodgers out of the way- as if the attack was completely planned out. Hilda looks towards the onslaught of arrows, and shrieks.

 

“I don’t wanna look like cheese right now!” yelled Hilda as she attempted to back away. 

 

“N-Not if I have anything to say about it!” said Ignatz as he, Leonie, and other bow units counter the arrows with their own in the air. Arrows neutralize in the air as Lorenz charges in at Ingrid- spear in hand- and attempts to pierce her. However, Ingrid feints the strike with her lance, and counters the move by spinning around- causing Lorenz’s spear to launch in the air- and she goes to swing her lace at Lorenz’s side. 

 

“Lorenz!” Hilda shouts in fear- seeing him wide open for Ingrid’s attack. However, Lorenz smirks. 

 

“A smart man of combat always has a backup!” said Lorenz as he grabs a tomb from his pocket. “ Fire!” he shouts as flames erupt from his hands and collide with Ingrid’s lance- pushing her back with the force. Ingrid is thrown off by this entirely.

 

“Lorenz knows magic!?” questioned Ingrid. Lorenz grins as the flames scar the ground below them.

 

“We at the Golden Deer are not one trick ponies! I suggest hoping off your pegasus now and then and learning other skils” said Lorenz. Ingrid scoffs.

 

“Please! Flying is very hard! I encourage you to try and see how good you fare!” shouted Ingrid. 

 

“I am learning more about mounting in general as well, so you might eat your words soon enough; perhaps, we can share such words over dinner sometime?” asked Lorenz.

 

“Oh my god! Trying to flirt at a time like this?!” questioned Ingrid. 

 

“Don’t pay attention to him, Ingrid! Watch your head!” shouted Ashe as he continues to shoot arrows towards the Golden Deer- however, each one gets apprehended by Ignatz. They continue to exchange arrows… Until Ignatz runs out! 

 

“Oh no!” said Ignatz.

 

“Ignatz! You want to borrow some of mine?” asked Leonie. Ignatz looks over, and nods his head ‘no’.

 

“I’ll switch to spells… You rally the archers and keep this going!” said Ignatz as he attempts to run towards lysithea, “I’m going to join you with the mages!”. Lysithea looks over- who is preoccupied with striking back at Mercedes who is protecting Manuela. Ingrid looks over.

 

“Oh now, what kind of spells does he have?” asked Ingrid aloud. Suddenly, Ignatz creates a chilly wind around him as he guides his hands back into a cocked position. As he releases this energy forward, icicles shine through the air towards Mercedes.

 

Blizzard!” shouts Ignatz. Mercedes gasps.

 

“Ignatz! That’s such cool magic! However, it will not work! Fire!” shouts Mercedes as she casts black magic to counteract Ignatz’s Blizzard spell. The spells elementally cancel out- shocking Ignatz who thought he was going to break through. Sylvain smiles

 

“Let’s heat it up some more!” Sylvain shouts as he casts Fire as well after Mercedes- sending a burst of flames through the dissipated ice! The spells travels straight towards Ignatz- but is intercepted by another casting of Fire! Ignatz looks over to see Lorenz- who casted the spell

 

“T-Thanks, Lorenz!” shouted ignatz.

 

“No worries! Just watch yoursel- ah!” said Lorenz before he was cut off by Ingrid attempting to strike him once more. Manela then balls up her fists.

 

“Come on! Hit them harder! Gosh, why does the draft from that Blizzard spell have to travel between my legs… This is not what I meant when I said I wanted to freeze my eggs…” said Manuela. Sylvain then turns around as he charges a Fire spell in his hand.

 

“Want me to help out with that?” asked Sylvain as he winks. Manuela then gasps loudly.

 

“P-Please! I don’t need blanks I need some fucking clothes! Now fight please so we can end this!” said Manuela. Suddenly, as Sylvain is distracted he gets his with a peculiar spell from the distance. As he looks over he sees Marianne with her hands out, and Lysithea laughing.

 

“Good job, Marianne! That should shut him up!” said Lysithea.

 

“What was that?’ asked Ashe. Sylvain, who attempts to speak- suddenly finds out that he is mute! Manuela looks over in shock- but with slight please.

 

“She hit him with Silence… I don’t wanna say he needed to shut his ass up but… Agh! Now we are just down a magic user!” said Manuela. Marianne then cowers away behind Lysithea.

 

‘S-Sorry… Lysithea told me to…” said Marianne.

 

“Don’t worry Sylvain, I can use Restore!” said Mercedes as she gets out the appropriate tomb. Lysithea then grunts.

 

“Now if I can stop you! Nosferatu!” shouts Lysithea as she sends a light spell towards Mercedes and Manuela.

 

“Mercedes! Quick before we get lit up- literally! Neutralize it!” shouts Manuela. Mercedes then instead gets out another tomb.

 

“Nosferatu!” shouts Mercedes as she clashes Lysithea’s spell with her own. Bright light shines from the area- blinding almost everyone around them. This almost throws off Byleth as she look towards it. Using this moment of distracting, Felix goes in for a strike- causing them to clash. 

 

“Watch who you are fighting!” shouts Felix as he strikes Byleth with a flurry of sword strikes and punches- pushing Byleth back. As Felix went to slash Byleth horizontally he backs up as an arrow travels past his face. He looks over to Claude.

 

“Ever heard of a one-on-one fight?” asked Felix. Claude laughs.

 

“Do you know who you are talking to? Ha! Considering you just knee’d one of us in the nuts- I think fairness is out of the window” said Claude as he shoots another arrow at Felix- who splits it in half with a blade strike. As Claude fires off arrows he sees in the corner of his eye Dimitri and Dedue approaching- having taken out Raphael who lies on the floor hurt. He goes to fire an arrow at Dimitri- but Dedue blocks it!

 

“Prince Dimitri, I’ll cover you!” shouts Dedue.

 

“Right!” shouts Dimitri as he rushes in towards Claude- launching his spear at Claude. He manages to dodge, but Dedue swings his axe at Claude- making him lose his balance. He falls to the ground- not being able to do much with the close-range assault. Dimitri smirks seeing Claude fall. As Claude hits the ground his entire pouch of arrows empties on the ground; making arrows scatter around the ground

 

“Guess you need to work on your aim and your stance! I one-up’d you this time, Claude” said Dimitri. Dimitri and Dedue run past Claude- unworried about him for the moment. Claude grunts.

 

“The battle isn’t over!” shouts Claude as he hurries to fire another arrow. However, as Dimitri and Dedue pass by Byleth- who is engaging with Felix- they hear a shriek in the distance beyond the wall of dissipating light. Byleth looks back to see a sight they never thought they would see ever; a naked Manuela!

 

“Okay, I can’t anymore! I-I give up!!!” shouted Manuela. With her call, this signified that the Golden Deer wins by the Blue Lions giving up. Byleth, completely confused and baffled, can’t help but be frozen in their tracks! However, while the entire battlefield has expressions of shock, Lysithea dons a proud face- overzealous of what just occurred in her eyes... 

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“W-What is the meaning of this?! We concede? But we can keep going! A-And why are you nude!?” shouted Dimitri- irate over her seemingly premature call. Manuela, laying on the ground bare naked, clenches her body- hiding her pussy and breasts from the students. 

 

“M-My apologies… There is just no way I could fight anymore... Please can someone get me some clothes!?” asked Manuela.  Claude then chuckles.

 

“While the sight wasn’t something we were looking for, the outcome was. And, you and Teach agreed that the bout was over when either of you said you ‘give up’, or a student got really hurt. That’s how the cookie crumbles” said Claude. Dimitri then grunts.

 

“Manuela, I need to ascertain what the heck happened to put you in that state!” said Dimitri. Suddenly, Manuela, Mercedes, and Sylvain pointed to Lysithea- who still has a childish smirk on her face. Dimitri, Claude, and Byleth look over.

 

“Lysithea?” questions Byleth. Lysithea then starts to chuckle.

 

“I am astounded by the results myself. Typically, when the magic spells are of the same element and power- they neutralize. However, our Nosferatu spells were not of the same levels.  When I was clashing spells with Mercedes, something awesome happened! Right when I was thinking I would cave in- and she would overwhelm me with her magic- my Crest must have activated- granting me immense magical power in a pinch!” said Lysithea. Mercedes then looks down.

 

“It was amazing, honestly… I felt the spell that I was keeping at bay- suddenly grow like a behemoth! I could not hold it back, and it broke through my spell- hurtling straight towards me and Manuela. I managed to evade the attack, however Manuela…” said Mercedes as she looks over. Manuela then wails in agony.

 

“The light hit me, and before I knew it I was exposed! With Mercedes moving away, it revealed a gaping opening towards me that any of the enemy could have taken advantage of- I had no other choice but to give up at that point!” said Manuela.

 

“No! You could of just fought naked!” said Dimitri. Claude scoffs.

 

“You are that thirsty for a victory that you would allow a Professor to fight unethically? Gosh…” said Claude. Dimitri looks over, and grunts some more.

 

“T-That!-... I was just under the impression that by ‘giving up’ meant something closer to ‘you have me cornered and it’s either admitting defeat or death’” said Dimitri.

 

“And I was cornered! AND covering every corner of my body in the process! Are we done beating this dead horse or are you gonna be a sore loser?” asked Manuela to Dimitri- making him gasp.

 

“Do not speak to Prince Dimitri that way! You might be our House Professor- but you are temporarily nonetheless!” said Dedue- defending Dimitri. Manuela shrugs her shoulders.

 

“Gosh, I don’t know what is worse; the unimpressive tack of the Golden Deer, or the playfulness of the Blue Lions… Oops, I probably shouldn’t have said that- I’m suppose to lead the Golden Deer next… Well, I will fix that once I am Professor!” said Maneula. Hilda then rolls her eyes.

 

“Okay- we won! Soooo can we conclude this training sesh, Professor? I think I have done enough fighting for like- the whole month!” said Hilda.

 

“N-No! I want a rematch! No Professor influence!” said Dimitri. 

 

“Well that will be the Mock Battle when the Golden Deer win, my Prince!” said Claude as he folds his arms, “Just be a fair sport, and come to terms that you guys just fumbled the ball here!” 

 

“Agh…” groaned Dimitri as he looked down. Byleth, watching this all go down, starts to sigh to themself.

 

Well… While Claude’s team I sent out took the brunt of the attention- I was able to test out the actual formation with another team in the meantime in the background… Still… I feel like I should have turned down this bout… It has caused more bad than good… ” thought Byleth. Suddenly, they hear a scoff in their mind.

 

Don’t feel down now! You brought your House to victory nonetheless! ” said Sothis to Byleth.

 

Well… I suppose… Most of their skills came from before me… And I didn’t lead them that much- more like fought alongside them ” thought Byleth.

 

That isn’t entirely bad. It shows that you see them as equal to you… Or, perhaps the other way around in that you all are one… Or, you just were a bad Professor- your pick ” said Sothis.

 

Ugh… ” thought Byleth- attempting to piece this all together. However, before they can get a word out- Dimitri starts to walk off violently. Dedue attempts to stop Dimitri.

 

“Dimitri! Please do not let your emotions get the best of you! This was just training, and not representative of the real thing- or our training up til now without Miss Casagranda!” said Dedue. Byleth looks on with a somber expression.

 

“The Blue Lions… Did well- regardless of the outcome, don’t you agree?” questioned Byleth to Dimitri and the rest of the students. Dimitri then turns around- feeling astonished by their words. Byleth then walks up to Manuela- prepared to shake her hand, but then stops- realizing that she is naked still.

 

“N-No need for a peace making handshake- we can do so in spirit for now… But yes, i agree with Byleth… And, I suppose I can take back some of the crude comments I made…” said Manuela- feeling bad for what she said up til this point. Byleth then smiles.

 

“Me as well; if we can get past our differences, then we all grow stronger just the same” said Byleth. Dimitri then scoffs.

 

“So, was it that your leadership prior to leaving the Blue Lions the result of our loss- or the fact that we didn’t have you and they did… Can we truly grow stronger with multiple influences that all are vastly different?!” asked Dimitri in an irritated tone.

 

“Relax, Dimitri! It was just training!” said Sylvain.

 

“But what I question is logical to think, is it not!? Was this ‘system’ a negative influence on us? I think so! SO, take your victory, and throw it into Fódlan’s Throat for all I care!” said Dimitri as he storms off. 

 

“D-DImitri!” shouts Dedue as he follows. Manuela, and the rest of the Blue Lions look off in disappointment and shock of his actions.

 

“I-I should go after him!” said Byleth as they start to run. However, Claude stops him.

 

“No, Teach. Let him be… This has been hard on all of us…” said Claude as he looks down at the ground- reflecting on his own anger an hour or so prior. In reality, despite Claude’s animosity towards the situation himself he holds face in knowing that he must separate his personal feelings with what is reality. And, as he looks at Dimitri being unable to- he feels pity; but, also envy. This is because as Dimitri walks away everyone can understand him; almost as if he can get away with it, because everyone understands why he is lashing out in this moment. Claude wishes he could of been the one to seep the pity, but Claude would rather suffer in silence. Manuela sighs as a student rushes over to clothe her.

 

“Thank you… Professor, I think this is where we part ways- for now. I hope you have a good rest of your day teaching the Golden Deer. Class, let’s go…” said Manuela as she- and the rest of the Blue Lions- leave the Training Grounds feeling a bit unsatisfied by the resulting atmosphere of their loss. Byleth waves goodbye as they see them all leave somewhat silently; only a couple conversations about Dimitri, and Manuela’s nakedness echo the walls around them as it dissipates out the gate...


-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Since the bout between the Golden Deer and the Blue Lions happened about an hour or so ago, the talks of what occurred has since spread around the monastery about the Blue Lion’s loss- and Manuela’s nudity. Seteth had just received word of what happened from Knights that investigated the situation, and was alarmed justifiably. Knowing that this situation was a result of the House of the Month System that was implemented hours prior, Seteth had to bring it to Lady Rhea’s attention…

 

*****


"Lady Rhea… It has come to my attention that there was… Peculiar activity occurred in the Training Grounds. I think you should sit down before reading this…” said Seteth as he walks into the Audience Chamber holding a report in his hand. 

 

“Seteth. You look troubled. What happened?” asked Lady Rhea. Seteth then hands her the report in his hand- not wanting to repeat the transactions verbally. As she read the report she slowly started to sit down in the chair next to her, and her eyes widened.

 

“I see… So, I suppose this is the result of the Mock Battle having added weight to it… But even the Professors being directly involved? What on earth could Byleth and Manuela be thinking? And what possibly could have happened to result in Manuela displaying herself in front of my innocent students?!” asked Lady Rhea. Seteth sighs.

 

“You guess is as good as mine, Lady Rhea…” said Seteth. 

 

“We will have to reprimand her later, then…” said Lady Rhea.

 

“... I think there might me other matters more important to put our efforts into” said Seteth.

 

“And what might that be, Seteth?” asked Lady Rhea.

 

“It seem that… Manuela’s actions might have… ‘scarred’ some of the youth… Many do not know how to handle what they saw. Many of the male students reported had very polarizing- or questionable reactions, which has made many of the female students weary of their treatment or perceived safety. My assumption is that some of the men… Might not have the best knowledge on how to conduct themselves when in the face of their raging hormones… And the last thing that we need are letters back to Noble Families around Fódlan…” said Seteth. Lady Rhea sighs.

 

“There is a certain code and conductivity standard I enforce on the students- for moments like these; although, Manuela being the fire-starter wasn’t in my mind but… Agh, I guess we will have to mitigate this properly… What were your thoughts?” asked Lady Rhea.

 

“Well… I think it would be best for the Professors to take time in their Houses to teach the students about sexual conductivity and behavior-  in pertaining their time at Garreg Mach. So, when situations arise- it does not hurt the atmosphere of the learning environment” said Seteth.

 

“I see… Well, that might be what is needed; the last thing we need is a sex scandal… We need to teach them to place their studies, futures, and faith above their primal desires… There is to be no sexual activity to happen within these monastery walls” said Lady Rhea.

 

“Lady Rhea… No matter what we do, we can only guide theses students so much. Many students here have courtship in their minds; finding suitable partners to better their situations. It will be our job to guide them with the best intentions” said Seteth.

 

“So, we should be okay with the students potentially having sex?” asked Lady Rhea.

 

“I-If you would want me to hammer into them to not pertain in sexual activity- I will. I have no issue with that. I also just think we adults at the monastery should… Place ourselves in their shoes- before we project our ideals upon them” said Seteth. Lady Rhea sighs.

 

“I understand, Seteth… Manuela is by any means not qualified to teach such a course… You should do it in her place” said Lady Rhea.

 

“M-Me?! Teach a sex seminar?!” questioned Seteth.

 

“I would trust your words of wisdom over hers any day of an Imperial Moon. I need you to do this” said Lady Rhea. Seteth then gets red in the face, and sighs.

 

“Very well Lady Rhea… As you wish… I will see to it that classes tomorrow have this conversation…” said Seteth as he bows, and starts to walk away. 

 

“Oh, and Seteth? Bring Manuela…” said Lady Rhea. Seteth looks back, and nods his head.

 

*****

 

After the bout between the Blue Lions and the Golden Deer Byleth felt more and more guilty about their actions; Was it truly right to share their formations- even if it was for the benefit of other students? Is it that big of a deal- if it is just a Mock Battle? Are they to blame for Manuela’s nudity since it was one of their students that caused it? These are some of the many thoughts that echoed in Byleth’s mind as they searched around the monastery for Dimitri. They were extremely concerned about them- seeing them walk off in a very angered state. As his previous Professor- and someone that does care for him- Byleth had to find Dimitri.

 

Seeing as they cannot find them anywhere they look around the Monastery they conclude that Dimitri might be held up in his room. Thinking it was their responsibility to resolve the issue, they make their way to the 2nd for of the dorms to ascertain Dimitri’s location. They walk to the end of the hallway, and stop by the 2nd to last door. Then let out a sigh before knocking on the door.

 

“... Coming” said Dimitri from the other side of the door. Byleth was relieved to know that he is inside. However, they were unsure what his reactions will be once they realize that Byleth is on the other side. Dimitri opens the door, and peaks his head out. “Sorry, I was caught up in studying for lecture tomor-” he says until he freezes in place- realizing who he is talking to. As his eyes meet with Byleth’s he suddenly becomes cold, and recluse.

 

“H-Hello...” said Byleth nervously.

 

“Oh, it’s you… My apologies; I thought you were Ashe, who was coming over to go over some notes- you know… Someone who is still in the Blue Lions?” said Dimitri snarkly. Byleth rolls their eyes and sighs.

 

“Listen Dimitri- can we talk about all of that?” asked Byleth sincerely.

 

“I’m sorry Professor of the Golden Deer- I must stay vigilant in my Blue Lions studies- may we talk another time?” asked Dimitri in a shady tone.

 

I’m the one that assigned the lectures for this week!” said Byleth.

 

“And Manuela- our new Blue Lions Professor- has assigned some different ones. Please, if you may I need to get back to work…” said DImitri as he begins to close the door. However, Byleth catches it!

 

“Dimitri! I’m sorry! Please, talk to me!” said Byleth. Dimitri grunts.

 

“Talk? After you foiled our House’s moral by using our hard worked strategies against us!? And you want to just come into my room, and step on my Blue Lions rug with your sullied Golden Deer feet!?” replied Dimitri- growing angrier.

 

“... I’m sorry” said Byleth.

 

“This wouldn’t even be an issue if you just didn’t agree to this stupid system!” said Dimitri.

“I thought that it would be a good decision for all the students of Garreg Mach- I don’t know how many times I have to defend this decision… I’m aware that you didn’t want that” said Byleth.

 

“Well I’m sorry that I haven’t gotten over the choice hours later…” said Dimitri as he looks down. Unsure of how to mitigate the situation, Dimitri’s expression and words make Byleth feel increasingly guilty. “... I’m aware that you cannot go back in the past and change things, it just… Hurts seeing you elsewhere” continued Dimitri.

 

Well… You kinda can! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

But, I still stand behind the decision… I just didn’t consider everyone’s feelings who didn’t want it to happen… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Dimitri, seeing Byleth just stand there, starts to get annoyed.

 

“If you aren’t going to say anything- please, leave me be…” said Dimitri as he tries to close the door once more.

 

“W-Wait!” shouted Byleth as he catches the door once more, “When I return to the Blue Lions, I can make it up. I mean- we saw today that despite our good strategy there still are things that can be worked on. Being on another side showed me ways to get through our own defenses. So, we can work on that when I return. And, there are things that other Professors might implement that we can carry over; so if there were tactics that Manuela did that worked better- that only aids the Blue Lions even more. This is a give and take type of thing; I am dedicated enough to do whatever I can to get the best results for us all”.

 

“Really… Anything?” asked Dimitri as he looks deep into Byleth’s eyes.

 

“Y-Yes, I care deeply about your future! Everyone’s! That is why I did what I did today!” said Byleth. Dimitri then opened up the door, and approached Byleth.

 

“... Then I would love to see that happen first hand; up-close, and personal…” said Dimitri as his face closes in mere inches from Byleth’s. Byleth, feeling like there is awkward closeness between them, backs up.

 

“W-Well, I can surely take you up on your private lesson idea- if that is what you mean. It would be needed to ensure that the techniques are being properly implemented. Would that make you feel better?” asked Byleth. Dimitri’s eyes then widen; he nearly forgot that he ever even mentioned that to the Professor- all that time ago.

 

“Yes. If you care about all the students… Allocating time to work with them individually must be something you intend to do. Especially since our time might be cut short. I think we can at least start there” said Dimitri.

 

“Yes. Well- if I happen to be in a House that isn’t yours by the end of the month- that House will take priority. However, I will campaign amongst us Professors to keep the positive aspects of this rotation system alive while it happens. I don’t think we need to be divided” said Byleth.

 

“... Is it wrong to want all your time, Professor?” asked Dimitri. Byleth then blushes.

 

“W-Well… No… But, I cannot have favorites or anything…” said Byleth.

 

“So I’m not your favorite?...” asked Dimitri as he backs off.

 

“Di-Dimitri! Stop… I already feel guilty- are you trying to make me feel worse…” said Byleth as they look down.

 

“M-My apologies…” said Dimitri as he clears his throat, and looks into Byleth’s eye, “Well, let's not think about the possibility of you not being in the Blue Lions; you are mine- I mean.. You are ours…”. 

 

“I understand…” said Byleth as they let out a sigh. Suddenly, they realize that there are footsteps approaching them from down the hall. As their senses catch up with them, Dimitri and Byleth look over to see Ashe walking up to them.

 

“Dimitri- and Professor Byleth! G-Good Afternoon Professor… D-Dimitri, I apologize for being late, I was held up with Professor Manuela…” said Ashe.

 

“Held up? Why were you?” asked Dimitri.

 

“I just so happened to still be with her, and Cyril came towards us and relayed a message. She was reportedly requested to see Lady Rhea in the Audience Chamber… Judging by Manuela’s expression afterwards, and what had just transpired… One can only wonder the result…” said Ashe.

 

“O-Oh… I see…” said Byleth.

 

“W-What are you doing here, Professor? Have you come to… Help us study?” asked Ashe- confused as to why they were there.

 

“I was just leave. Ashe, Dimitri, have a good rest of your day, and I will be seeing you two soon” said Byleth as they bow, and walk away.  Dimitri then sighs, and lowers his shoulders in a depressing way. Ashe looks over to Byleth as they walk away, and turns back towards Dimitri.

 

“Is… Everything alright?...” asked Ashe.

 

‘Yes… At least, for now…” said Dimitri as he started to walk inside his room, “Come, we have much studying to do” he continued.

 

“R-Right!” said Ashe as he walks into Dimitri’s room. Dimitri then closes the door- but not without taking one final glance at Byleth as they walk away.

 

“I’ll make sure to see every part of you soon…” said Dimitri.

 

‘Huh, Dimitri? Did you say something?” ashed Ashe.

 

“N-No! I was just -... Uh… You are just hearing things!” said Dimitri- embarrassed- as he quickly closes his door. He then commences his studying with Ashe, and tries to play off the rest of the day- and prepare for what might come to pass...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

It is now the next day at Garreg Mach- a Thursday to be exact. Byleth finally gets out of bed, stretches out their arms, and yawns as they walk over to the calendar to see what is planned for today. Suddenly, as they look over to the ‘4/24’ slot in their calendar they soon realize the somewhat bitter truth; today, they were with the Black Eagles. While they were not reluctant to go due to not wanting to be in the House, it was just the mental preparation for what will come- seeing as being in the Golden Deer for a day went as it did. They gathered themselves together, and readied themselves for the upcoming day.

 

*****

 

As Byleth walked about through the Monastery- greeting students as they pass by- they suddenly hear footsteps walking up from behind them. Quick to react, Byleth turns around to see none other than Seteth.

 

“Good Morning, Byleth. I hope you were able to sleep well last night following the… Unique turn of events that was yesterday…” said Seteth. Byleth laughs.

 

“Ah yes, yesterday was something… However, I wake up with a fresh slate every day. Water off a duck's back if you will” said Byleth.

 

“Hm… Interesting analogy… Anyways, I didn’t come here just to make small chat- I actually have to speak with you regarding your seminars today... “ said Seteth as he starts to sigh.

 

“Hm? Is it something bad? You don’t look too thrilled to tell me…” said Byleth.

 

‘If only you knew… A-Anyways, Please, when you get a chance before classes start today, come by my office. I have ‘special’ materials for you for your lectures, that I must hand to you and request you go over with your assigned House today- per request of Lady Rhea” said Seteth.

 

“Oh? What might they be? I’m not really doing anything now, so we can go there together now” said Byleth. Seteth then clears his throat in embarrassment.

 

“I- uh… Well… It is a matter that… I would not like to speak about in public... So, let us relocate then” said Seteth.

 

“Oh? Uh… Okay. Let’s get going then...." says Byleth- intrigued as to what Seteth wants to speak about.

 

*****

 

And just like that- Seteth and Byleth walked into Seteth’s Office- were Byleth’s eyes were immediately drawn to a peculiar stack of papers on top of his desk. Seteth walks around to the other side of his desk, and flips through some papers. After getting the right stacks, he hands Byleth some of them. 

 

“These are the material notes… You will notice that their contents are…” said Seteth- unable to finish his sentence.

 

“... Is this porno?” asked Byleth, as they flip and see naked pictures of women and men.

 

“N-No! You see… After the commission involving you and Manuela, Lady Rhea and I are concerned with the sexual wellbeing of the student populous. To save face, and not anger parents- about lack of info, or student conductivity- we are going to spend today proctoring the students on sexual education- pertaining the code of conduct of the Church. The rule of thumb for Lady Rhea is lessening the sexual conductivity as much as you can with proper education... S-Sure… This might be different from bow or sword training… But we feel like this might be a necessity at this time…” said Seteth.

 

“R-Really… So, I should show these pictures to the class?” asked Byleth.

 

“I believe those are included in case students don’t know about the anatomy of the body- which will be correlated to behaviors and expressions” said Seteth.

 

“... I feel like I’m not qualified to do this” said Byleth.

 

“I understand your concern, Professor. However, Lady Rhea does not want Manuela to teach seminars on this subject; as such, You, Hanneman, and I will be. If it makes you feel any better, this would be my first time as well…” said Seteth. Byleth then looks through the papers some more.

 

“So… I’m supposed to just follow the guidelines that are discussed in this material?” asked Byleth.

 

“For the most part- yes. As long as you follow what Lady Rhea wants us to accomplish I think we will be okay- for the most part. Now, Professor- please take your materials, and head to the Black Eagles House. That is all” said Seteth as he grabs the rest of the materials, “I have to hand out the materials for Hanneman as well… I wish I wasn’t the one that had to do this…”

 

As Byleth looked down at the sexual notes in front of them, they start to get confused as to what they could do to implement what Lady Rhea wants the most- and how well they can communicate such a thing. In Byleth’s mind, ‘sex’ isn’t something that really runs across their mind, so to talk about it is a foreign concept to them.

 

Don’t worry, Byleth! I’m here to help you! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

Um… But what would you know? Have you even had sex before? ” thought Byleth- asking Sothis a question.

 

E-Excuse me?! WHY would that matter- or correlate to knowledge and common fucking sense?! Two things you seem to NOT possess! Plus- have you?! ” said Sothis angrily. Byleth then looks down.

 

U-Um… I uh…. ” thought Byleth- attempting to dance around the question.

 

“Professor? Is something the matter? You are just standing there like you just seen a ghost” said Seteth,

 

“H-Huh?! I’m fine- my apologies. I’ll be on my way!” said Byleth as they hurry out of Seteth’s room. As they see them leave, Seteth sighs, and cracks his neck- relieving built up tension.

 

“Oh Byleth… So much weight on their shoulders… Perhaps I can do something to aid in this situation we thrown the Professors in…” said Seteth…

 

*****

 

Byleth takes their lucrative materials for lecture across the monastery to the Black Eagles classroom. As they set down the pile of papers they sigh, and look onto the students that are just now hurrying in. Byleth, attentive and smiling for her new House class, starts to recognize key faces as they start to take their seats; Hubert, Bernadetta, Petra, Caspar, Linhardt, Ferdinand, and Dorothea. Edelgard, whom walks in just at the last moment, holds a basket in her hands. She walks to the front of class, and sets the basket down on Byleth’s desk.

 

“Why, hello there Professor. Welcome into the Black Eagles House; why, it’s almost a dream to finally see you in this light. It’s as if you were a missing puzzle piece to our puzzle- with how you fit in so perfectly here” said Edelgard as she starts to open up the basket, “I’m sure you might be hungry- I noticed that you didn’t even eat breakfast today” said Edelgard. Byleth then gets shocked.

 


“W-Why, yes- I haven’t actually… How did you know?” asked Byleth. Edelgard laughs.

 

“Why, it’s because I took notice of your absence from the Dining Hall during breakfast today. A good House Leader learns their Professors patterns, conditions… Their favorite meals perhaps” said Edelgard as they lean over the desk to get in Byleth’s face, “Tell me Professor… What is it you’d wanna eat up right now?”.

 

“E-Excuse me?!” said Byleth in a shock. Edelgard then chuckles some more.

 

“What would you like to eat? I brought you some goodies from the Dining Hall since you didn't eat” said Edelgard as she pulls out and apple from the basket, “You see? Hehe. Professor, do feel free to… Take a bite of anything inside my basket~”. Byleth, not really sure what she means, starts to blush.

 

“Hey! Can we start class now!? Gosh…” said Caspar- seemingly getting annoyed.

 

“Y-Yes! I’m sorry Edelgard… I’ll eat your apple and the contents of your basket later-erm… I’m not sure how that sounds… Anyways, may you take your seat?” asked Byleth to Edelgard. Edelgard scoffs, looks towards Caspar with disgust, and then goes to take her seat. Byleth then clears their throat.

 

“Okay class, My name is Byleth- as some of you already know. Today, I will be your Professor. Now, I see what the contents of your morning lecture should of been- however, there has been a change of plans…” said Byleth.

 

“Huh? But why? Professor Hanneman had us going over spells today” exclaimed Ferdinand.

 

“It’s quite tiresome if our learning material keeps changing every day… How can we focus if there is no focus ?” asked Linhardt. Chatter ensues as the class starts to talk about the estate of their lecture. Byleth starts to clear their throat from nervousness.

 

“S-So… Um…” said Byleth- feeling the pressure. Edelgard realizes that the class- as a whole- is somewhat divided on their feelings about Byleth, and so Edelgard feels obligated to rally them all up. She stands up from her seat, and dons a look of assertiveness.

 

“Come on class. We are the Black Eagles. We can be handed a different task of the hour- and we shall prevail. That is what is to be expected from such a multifaceted group of students such as ourselves. Do we not all feel similar?” asked Edelgard to the class. The chatter started to unify adns ettel down as Edelgard’s comment started to ease the tension down. Byleth sighs in relief.

 

‘T-Thanks, Edelgard” said Byleth with a smile. Edelgard giggles from her seat as she sits back down. Caspar and Linhardt look towards Edelgard with worried looks, while Petra and Dorothea smile at Edelgard’s actions. 

 

“Anytime, my teacher. Now, what is it that we will be learning today?” asked Edelgard. Byleth, knowing what is coming shortly, clears their throat in an attempt to not stumble over their words.

 

“S-Sex…” said Byleth reluctantly. Suddenly, as that word permeates the room, eyes widen, and bodies tense up as they all anticipate what will become of them next…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“S-S-Sex?!!! O-Oh no!” said Bernadetta as her entire face glows beat red. Other students in the room begin to process what they just heard, and all react;

“Well that’s a curve ball to wake someone up. Like… Having sex? Or… Sexuality? Or… The Sexes?...” questioned Linhardt.

 

“What the heck? Ew, gross!” shouted Caspar.

 

“What’s wrong- don’t want to sully your virgin ears  with lucrative talk?" asked Ferdinand to Caspar, "As the Heir to House Aegir, I must be ready, willing, and able to withstand any type of conversation- for diplomatic reasons. Perhaps the kids should go back to their mommies” continued Ferdinand- teasing Caspar. Caspar , getting shocked from hearing this, then blushes.

 

“W-What?! I-I’m not scared or anything about talking about this… Why the heck is this important to discuss!? And there are girls around, Professor!” exclaimed Caspar.

 

“We will be talking about sex today… Hehe” said Edelgard to herself. 

 

“Um, Professor… Why would we need to spend a class period talking about that?” asked Dorothea. Byleth laughs nervously.

 

“Y-You see… After the Golden Deer and Blue Lions bout yesterday- the one that involved Manuela’s… Exposure… Lady Rhea basically has all the Houses going over material that I’m assuming they feel should be common knowledge amongst the monastery. So… I apologize if this isn’t wanted, but I must educate you all on sexual things today- bear with me…” said Byleth.

 

“Oh no, Professor- by all means. I would love to talk about sex if it’s coming from you~” said Edelgard. 

 

Wow! She must have balls to do her taunting in front of everyone… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“R-Really? W-Why is that?” asked Byleth.

 

“Well I do appreciate your unique take on life; it is what drew me to want your tutelage for our House. What better person to speak on such a unique topic than my choice as the most unique Professor?” asked Edelgard.

 

“Manuela’s teaching is very good too, Edelgard” said Dorothea. Edelgard looks over to Dorothea with a unenthused glare.

 

“Manuela is a great Professor. However, you should not be lead into bias by your previous experience with her. That is a fact that Professor Byleth could not have with any of us students; they are unknown- with so much to unearth. Students are not only inspired by learning new things- but can keep inspiration based on the medium in which they learn. And as future emperor to the Adrestian Empire, I must always tackle issues with no bias” said Edelgard. Dorothea scoffs.

 

“Sure…” said Dorothea.

 

“Uh… So in simpler terms; you think Professor Byleth is better than Professor Manuela…” said Linhardt.

 

“Well… You said it- not me” said Edelgard.

 

“Don’t you think the last thing Manuela needs right now is yet another House fighting, and it involves her?” asked Ferdinand.

 

“I agree” said Petra. 

 

“Okay okay class” said Byleth as they try to rally everyone back together, “This Rotational System is suppose to help bring all the Houses together- although at this point I’m questioning that… Nonetheless, whether it was Hanneman or Manuela- you would be getting this talk. Now, where should I start…” said Byleth as they sift through the papers.

 

“Agh…” groans Hubert as he starts to read a book he pulls out of his bag.

 

“Ah! Well, we can start with sexual behaviors. You see; since you are dorming on Garreg Mach- even when not in class there is a standard and expectation. That also includes when we are training, or even outside of Garreg Mach. Sexual comments- to, about, or concerning Professors- or sexual comments- to, about, or concerning other students- is generally not allowed And… It says here specifically, that you are to conduct yourselves ‘as if you were in front of Lady Rhea at all times’” said Byleth.

 

“Huh?” questioned Dorothea.

 

“What does that entail, Professor?” asked Petra.

 

“Hehe, making sexual comments… You hear that Edelgard?” said Caspar under his breath. Edelgard, hearing just enough to tell what he was saying,  turns around to face Caspar.

 

“Excuse me? If you have something to say, say it with your chest. I am a role model student to Lady Rhea” said Edelgard. Ferdinand attempts to hold back a laugh.

 

Sure , it’s you- and not me” said Ferdinand.

 

“Correct. I’m glad that we can agree on something” said Edelgard.

 

“W-What? No, what I meant was-”

 

“Excuse me? I’m not done” said Byleth- cutting off Ferdinand. Suddenly, Caspar rises from his seat.

 

“But Professor- and sorry to cut you off after being cut off... B-But, don’t you think that’s a bit controlling?” asked Caspar.

 

“Huh?” questioned Byleth. Linhardt then starts to nod his head in agreeance.

 

“Yes, I agree as well actually. Not that I spend my time really going over the matter, however.... But, to say that we must be model students even in our most intimate moments like sleeping… I don't need to have a chip on my shoulder 24/7- that just sounds exhausting…” said Linhardt.

 

“Well… I don’t make the rules- I just follow them and project them...” said Byleth. Edelgard then stands up.

 

“Well… Some rules are put in place to hinder the soul or man, and I believe in sexual liberation. If the individual could be fully in their element and of use unhinged- wouldn’t you fight for a future like that, Professor?” asked Edelgard.

 

“W-Well… That does make sense… But…” said Byleth- unsure of what to say.

 

“I personally can sympathize with needing to follow a moral code of practice- even when you are not in active duty- as it keeps you in place. And falling victim to idle desires is not fit for a noble” said Ferdinand. Dorothea, hearing this, groans loudly.

 

“Noble this, noble that… You know- many in power are often the ones that abuse it” said Dorothea.

 

“A-And what are you insinuating that I’m going to do with my rightful power?!” questioned Ferdinand. Petra then raises her hand up.

 

“If I may add… " said Petra- cutting through the chaos, "... Back home in Brigid, there was more lost- uh… More to lose, for not remaining in your tact- that such thoughts were not often had. So, I can see where Ferdinand is coming from” continued Petra.

 

“Well- it seems our class is fairly divided on this matter…” said Linhardt as he sighs.

 

“Well I am not shocked by Edelgard’s thoughts… But yours and Caspar’s I sure am” said Dorothea.

 

“Well, I explained myself …” said Linhardt. Everyone then looks to Caspar.

 

“W-What?! It’s not like I’m out here having sex with everyone! I’m too busy training and eating food too!" said Caspar as he grunts- and sits back down, "I just think that we all have enough intelligence and awareness to know that regardless of your religious ties to the Church- that someone telling us to act how they want to co-exist isn’t what is needed. You can do what you will sexually in your personal life and still be a productive student at the monastery; why, look at Edelgard” said Caspar.

 

“W-What?! And what is that implying!?” asked Edelgard.

 

“That you’re a hoe- and we all know it,” said Caspar. Everyone in the room gasps. 

 

“Excuse me!?... You do realize who you are talking to, don’t you?” said Edelgard as she rose from her seat.

 

“Do NOT say such things about Edelgard!” yelled Hubert as he got up out of his seat in a hurry, and walked over to Caspar’s desk. However, before he can reach him, Ferdinand stops Hubert.

 

“H-Hey! Let’s not fight now! Caspar, that’s rude!” said Ferdinand. Hubert attempts to push Ferdinand off of him.

 

“Don't touch me! I’ll Miasma his ass and yours into the ground if you stand in my way!” shouted Hubert.

 

"Bring it on!" responded Caspar.

 

“Ah! Fighting!!!” said Bernadetta as she starts to hide under her seat.

 

“Caspar! I see what you are trying to say, and I can sympathize with the sentiment- but let’s not slut-shame on hearsay…” said Dorothea- shockingly comign for Edelgard's defense.

 

“But, we all know I’m not lying...” said Caspar. Edelgard, having enough of this, bangs on the table in front of her.

 

“These are lies, and vicious rumors! P-Professor! Don’t believe him! S-Stop him! Lecture him!” said Edelgard as they look at Byleth- wanting protection. Caspar then stands back up in his seat.

 

“You wanna fight, Hubert?! Then let's take it outside! I’m not fucking scared of no body!” said Caspar as he balls his fists.

 

“I’ll rip your blue-haired ass to shreds!” proclaimed Hubert.

 

“S-Stop!” shouted Byleth. The sound of anger, disappointment, and fear in the timbre of Byleth’s voice shook them all; well enough to make them all take their seats, and silence. Byleth looks on to the class, and is appalled by their treatment of each other; on the outside, the Black Eagles are pristine, but are the cracks showing because of the tension the House is now under to outperform the other Houses? Or, is the Facade they put up for the other Houses showing face?...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Professor, I apologize for my actions…” said Caspar.

 

“Mine as well…” said Hubert.

 

“This is by any means not an accurate depiction of us as a House, Professor. There is arguments even in the healthiest of relationships between colleagues” said Edelgard.

 

“Well… I wish my arguments between Manuela and I were considered ‘healthy’- but that isn’t related to this…” said Byleth as they trail off in thought, “I understand, and accept all apologies as long as we can move on”.

 

“Yes. please, continue” said Edelgard. Byleth then clears their throat.

 

“N-Now… Sexual behaviors can change over time… However, with the tasks at hand- and being around your ages- it can be a safe thing to say that sex is not the most important matter at your hands” said Byleth.

 

“Unless you need to find a suitable consort, and are not in an arranged marriage,” said Dorothea.

 

“Well, yes. But, that isn’t really dependant on sex- but the union, correct?” questioned Byleth.

 

“Oh- well, that would be right- sorry, stupid question…” said Dorothea.

 

“No no, there are no stupid questions here” said Byleth.

 

“Really? Well, I heard that the longer you wait to finally have sex- the stronger your children will be when they are born! Is that true, Professor!?” asked an unusually excited Caspar.

 

“... Now that is a stupid question…” said Linhardt.

 

“H-Hey!” exclaimed Caspar. Byleth chuckles.

 

“Um… Well, I’m not sure. I have never heard such a thing- but perhaps you can test yourself and practice abstinence; that is what Lady Rhea recommends to all the monastery’s students while they are here” said Byleth.

 

“Well then my children will be the strongest of them all! I have not had sex whatsoever, and will wait as long as I have to!” said Ferdinand.

 

“Well that might be a blessing in disguise if it never happens in this lifetime…” said Dorothea. Ferdinand then scoffs.

 

“Dorothea, isn’t it ironic that I am the one waiting to have sex- yet so much pussy is thrown my way, but you cling onto any knight that gives you the light of day, and none want to lay down with you? Leave me alone” said Ferdinand. Everyone gasps. Dorothea turns her head so quick that her hat falls off.

 

“E-Excuse me!!! I am like- the hottest bitch up in the monastery! So many men want me! Majority are just not cutting it!” said Dorothea.

 

“Hottest? Now that is a claim…” said Edelgard. 

 

“Dorothea- I would be honored if you would stop going against me, and relax enough for me to take you out on a date~” said Ferdinand.

 

“Agh, pathetic…” said Dorothea. Byleth then clears their throat.

 

“O-Okay… Well, that somewhat segways into my next point… Now, even though it seems heavy implied that Lady Rhea wants you all to have no sex whatsoever- a lot of theses pages pertain to navigating the sexual landscape with the best mindset…” said Byleth as they flip through more pages.

 

I wonder if these notes were compiled by Seteth- well, most likely they were… I wonder what he really thinks about all of this… ” said Sothis to Byleth.

 

“I think we understand all the basics already; no sex before marraige, do it with the right one, be careful- blah blah…” said Caspar as he leans back in his chair.

 

“Well- yes, but I’m just following what is in front of me- bear with me… It is smart to consiter your personal feelings with sex, and love, as you navigate life. Make sure you set boundaries. Also, being open to negotiating the parameters of your relationship; in this growing world, where the unknown is becoming more known, you might be surprised where you end up. Oh- and communication; you need to know what your partner is thinking, and be in tune” said Byleth

 

“Yes, I agree. You always wanna know what makes your partner… Tick” said Edelgard and she giggles.

 

“Yea- you don’t want to make them angry about something stupid, or something” said Byleth. 

 

“Uh- I don’t think that’s what she meant- but that is true,” said Dorothea.

 

“Okay… Well, I have these included just in case people have inquiries about them…” said Byleth as they hang pictures of naked men and women on the board, “I understand if these pictures are graphic- but open dialogue about our bodies makes for clearer understanding of them”.

 

“Oh my…” said Linhardt as he realizes what’s being shown in front of him.

 

“Ahh!!!” shouted Bernadetta as she hides her face in her hands- not wanting to look.

 

“Agh, I don’t need a crash course on a male or female body! I try to limit the only penis I stare at to being my own…” said Caspar as he starts to blush.

 

“Well studying the female anatomy is very important for a noble man; you want to understand just what are the best features to look for in a woman’s physique when choosing a suitable wife; not for an attractive standpoint, but having enough understanding to know a healthy and fit body for bearing versus one that is not” said Ferdinand. Petra, Dorothea, Edelgard, and Bernadetta all scoff hearing this.

 

“Ferdinand- I suppose then I should study the male anatomy, so that I understand the inner workings of a males testicles exactly to know just how much force I should apply to my kicks to make you sterile!” said Dorothea. Hearing that, many of the men in class- including Byleth- hold their nuts.

 

“Ouch!...” said Caspar as he starts to imagine how much force it would take to break someone’s nuts.

 

“Hey! Threatening to end the Aegir line is not something I will take lightly! It is with utmost importance that I continue the noble bloodline; someone like you wouldn’t understand” said Ferdinand.

 

“Ferdinand!” said Linhardt- shocked at what he said.

 

“Wow… I feel sorry for whatever girl lays down with your small dick ass” said Dorothea as she snarls at Ferdinand.

 

“Ha! I have you know that I was crafted by God to have a most suitable body for a woman, to ensure the best possible odds for childbirth. I can tell you are wishing to know just how suitable I can become” said Ferdinand.

 

“Ew! I don’t wanna hear that!” said Caspar as he covers his ears.

 

“That is not appropriate conversation for the classroom; gosh, are you guys even listening to me?” asked Byleth.

 

“Ferdinand- most men that brag about their penis size often have underwhelming penises” said Linhardt. 

 

“Yea bro- quit being the alpha-male right now” said Caspar. Ferrdinand then chuckles.

 

“Would you guys care to see as well?” asked Ferdinand as he looks over, “A noble does not discriminate, and should solve all curiosities with vigor!”. Linhardt and Caspar then blush.

 

“W-Wha-!” said a shocked Linhard and Caspar.

 

“Back on task!” said Byleth as they beat the board in front of them, “These pictures serve as a basis for understanding the material pertaining how and where things such as sexually transmitted diseases affect the body, contraception methods, and pregnancy. For instance, did you know that condoms do not protect against all forms of diseases or infections?” asked Byleth.

 

“W-What? Really?!” questioned Caspar.

 

“Yes. Some are spread simply by skin-to-skin contact; herpes, genital warts, and syphilis. There are ways to protect yourself from all three of these, but understanding how to detect them helps prevent you from getting them. Diseases of any kind can impede your ability on the battlefield, so if and when you engage in sex- you need to have knowledge to protect yourself” siad Byleth.

 

“Huh… I… Didn’t know that…” admitted Hubert out loud. 

 

“Also understanding that abstinence- which can prevent 100% of all sexually related occurrences- is not some negative ‘I am holier than thou’ thing; it can just be your way of life- either to focus on tasks at hand, or you might not even be interested in having sex. Sometimes, people think they should do things based on what they know or see- but  this lecture is also to educate you that just because you have these urges or pressures against you, that it doesn’t mean you cannot carve your own way of living” said Byleth.

 

“I see... “ said Petra as they think about Byleth’s words. 

 

“Your own way of living, huh… I like that. Perhaps... I have judged the Professor prematurely…” said Caspar to themselves.

 

“Now, if anyone has any questions, I can go through some now- and don’t be scared about what you would want to know or clarify. Or, if you would rather talk to me after this seminar is over- that is fine” said Byleth. Chatter permeates the classroom as the students talk about their own thoughts about the matter.

 

“I have a question!” one student says.

 

“M-Me too!” another one shouts. 

 

“Hehe, it seems that the Professor has won over our class with their wit... “ said Edelgard. Byleth chuckles. 

 

Good job, you are finally breaking through to them! I knew you could do it! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“That is what a Professor should be able to do! Now, let’s start with you…” said Byleth as they start to answer the questions of the class…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Byleth spends the next couple of minutes answering the questions of the Black Eagles students, and with each question answered it motivates others to want to ask their questions as well. Byleth answers so many questions that before they knew it the bell for lunch started to ring- thus ending the morning lecture.

 

“Oh, well it looks like we have ran out of time; if anyone has any questions, please stay behind to ask me. That is all” said Byleth as they collect their sexual notes up, and start to compile them. The students all get up, stretch, and start to head out of the classroom. Caspar gets up, and heads over to Edelgard.

 

“Hey, Edelgard… I-I’m sorry for what I said earlier… Just this whole system bullshit is getting to me more than I thought it was; things are changing around here quick!” said Caspar.

 

“I accept your apology, and I agree- it is changing. But, it will be for the better. Hopefully, the class understands now my sentiment that Professor Byleth can lead our class in a new direction” said Edelgard.

 

“I suppose…” said Caspar. Suddenly, Hubert walks up to Edelgard and Caspar.

 

“I am not one to be apologetic or sentimental- but if Edelgard accepts your apology, then I will accept yours as well,” said Hubert.

 

“Huh? For what!? I didn’t do anything to you!” said Caspar.

 

“Insulting Edelgard in my presence is like attacking my soul itself; so, by saying sorry to her you are also saying sorry to me” said Hubert.

 

“Awe, well that is awfully sweet of you to say, Hubert” said Edelgard. Caspar scoffs.

 

“Oh, go grow some eyebrows you alien!” said Caspar.

 

“What?! I have eyebrows! Why don’t you go grow period ” said Hubert. Caspar then snarls at Hubert.

 

“It’s lunch time, so don’t think you can’t be eating your fucking words right now!” said Caspar as he balls his fist for Hubert once more.

 

“I’ll eat your shrimp-sized ass up!” said Hubert as he leans into Caspar’s face. Edelgard sighs, and breaks them up.

 

“Hubert, Caspar- stop. Come on, let’s go eat- in peace !” said Edelgard as she starts to walk out. Caspar and Hubert grunt at each other, and start to walk out as well. Suddenly, Edelgard stops. “Oh- wait. I have to ask the Professor something, you guys go on ahead. Remember, we are eating somewhere special today!” she continued. She then walks up to Byleth- who has just finished gathering up their belongings.

 

“Hm? Edelgard, what’s up? You have a question?” asked Byleth.

 

“I just came to give thanks for teaching our House today, and that I wanted to tell you that I felt that it went really well,” said Edelgard.

 

“Oh really? Thank you for telling me that. I really think that it went well as well. It was a bit shaky, but I think we pulled through. Who would of thought that talking about sex would of been the breakthrough. I guess I should thank Seteth at some point…” said Byleth.

 

“You doing greatly was something I knew would come to fruition, so I had no worries myself. Anyways, I also came to invite you to lunch” said Edelgard.

 

“Really? Like- with you?” asked Byleth. Edelgard chuckles.

 

“That can come later, but no. I told you that if you joined the Black Eagles, that we would show and offer you the services that those in the Black Eagles dine at. Our standards tends to be higher than the other Houses, so there would be no way that you would spend your first day with the Black Eagles eating at Blue Lions or Golden Deer standards” said Edelgard.

 

“Um, so how different is the eating standard exactly? It’s not as if your House never dines in the Dining Hall” said Byleth.

 

“True. However, we extend our dining repertoire outside the Dining Hall walls- which is what we will showcase today” said Edelgard.

 

“Really? Howso?” asked Byleth.

 

“I have prepared an exquisite outside eating experience worthy only for someone of your caliber to partake in out in the quad. I remember giving you a taste of that before, remember?” asked Edelgard.

 

How could I? I spent the day trying to find you when I found your handkerchief… ” thought Byleth. They then nod their head ‘yes’.

 

“Good. Well, take that idea- now amplify it to the heavens! That is what we are heading to right now!” said Edelgard as they extend their hand out, “Care for me to show you the way, my teacher?” asked Edelgard. Byleth smiles, but holds their hand up in refusal.

 

“I would, but I need to carry these papers with me as well. I can deliver these to Seteth- who should be down the courtyard from us- and then we can head to the quad after” said Byleth as they pick up the papers, and head out. Edelgard then balls up her fist, and growls silently.

 

Agh! How did Claude convince the Professor to let them hold their hand!? Whatever, Edelgard… Your time will come… ” thought Edelgard. Edelgard sighed, and followed Byleth out of the room…

 

*****

 

After delivering the papers to Seteth, Byleth and Edelgard make their way to the quad- where Edelgard’s lavish setup awaits for Byleth. There, some familiar faces of the Black Eagles sit within the giant seating arrangement- all covered with silk white clothed furniture. As they all see Byleth, they all bow in their seats, and encourage Byleth to sit. There are two vacant seats at the end closest to them as they approach; one next to Hubert, and the other next to Caspar. 

 

“Edelgard, I saved this seat for you,” said Hubert as he gestures to the seat next to him.

 

“And Professor- this one is for you!” said Caspar.

 

“Thank you. This all looks so nice. The decorations are really beautiful, and the food looks really tasty” said Byleth as they go to sit down. Edelgard takes her seat as well as she giggles.

 

“Compliments of the chef.  Please, dig in” said Edelgard as she picks up a fork and knife, and starts to dig in to her own meal. Byleth obliges, and starts to eat the food. Their face blushes with pleasure as they are consumed by the umami of their meal. 

 

“This is really good!” said Byleth. Edelgard smiles.

 

“I’m glad!” said Edelgard. 

 

The Black Eagles continue their joint meal, and as this happens Byleth starts to feel internally happy; in secret, they were enjoying eating as a whole class more than Edelgard thinks. Byleth felt a sense of responsibility to stick with the House and continue to educate them on what they can, and bring them even higher. However, as they stare down at their porcelain plate filled with food, they start to wonder if this feeling is right- as they share a similar sentiment with the Blue Lions and Golden Deer. Edelgard notices the slight instance Byleth’s expression went from a happy one to a worrisome one, but was unsure of what to say...

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

“Okay guys, they are in frame. Remember, don’t hit Teach!” a whispering Claude said, as he and other Golden Deer students hide in the bushes near the Black eagles lunch outing. “Archers- are we all ready?”.

 

“Y-Yes, but should we really be doing this?” asked Ignatz.

 

“Agh, if you didn’t want to take part you could have opted out like Raphel, Marianne, and Lysithea!” said Leonie. 

 

“I-I know…” said Ignatz.

 

“I only agreed because the Professor will be the best candidate between Manuela and Hanneman to watch over Claude” said Lorenz. 

 

“Well I am not a good archer- but I just wanted to see the fun! Don’t lecture me if I miss, Claude...” said Hilda. 

 

“Shh! They will hear us! Put on your hoodies attached to our cloaks! We want to attempt to  make them think we are the Blue Lions" said Claude as he moves his eyes to survey around the area, "The rest of us are on the other side right? When we give them the signal, it’s game time! Just aim towards Edelgard!” continued Claude. Hilda, Lorenz, Ignarz, and Leonie all nod their heads.  Claude then readies his bow with a special arrowhead attached; it has no sharp end, and resembles a blue sphere-like object attached the end- that looks like a special powder wrapped in bamboo! The other archers around Claude then ready similar looking arrows on their bows, and aim towards the Black Eagles. Claude then reaches his hand up out of the bush he was hiding in, and puts up one signal. This was to motion to the other Golden Deer across the ways to ready their bows. Then, with another command- all the arrows are released inward towards the Black Eagles! 

 

Byleth looks up, and as soon as they do they see a lot of arrows of multiple colors flying towards them! Quick on their toes, they hide under the table. Edelgard then looks to Byleth as they do this, and then looks up.

 

“W-What?! Guys! The skies!” shouted Edelgard as they attempt to get up. Pandemonium strikes them all as they all look up. Soon, one arrow makes contact with the table, and as it collides the spherical object attached bursts- sending paint all over the impact area! 

 

“Woah!” shouted Caspar as he sees this.

 

“Watch out!!!” yelled Linhardt as he tries to hide under the table. The arrows collide all over the table- striking everywhere around them. A rainbow mess of colors is painted upon the white cloth of the table, and ruins all the food.

 

“Ah!” shouted Dorothea as she is hit with an arrow- causing her to get covered with paint. The force is enough to knock her straight to the floor. Around her- other students get hit.

 

“Ahh!” Ferdinand shouts as one hits him in the back, “N-No! It got in my hair!” continued Ferdinand. Caspar, running from shots, does his best to not get hit- however his luck ran out when one arrow completely hits him right in the nuts!

 

“Oooof! Ahhgh!!!” groans Caspar as he falls to his knees- holding his crotch as the arrow leaves a red-stained shot upon his pants, “W-W-Why the nads?!...” Caspar continues.

 

“Lady Edelgard!” yelled Hubert as he foes to cover her- but it was too late. Both Hubert and Edelgard get hit- causing paint to splatter all around them as well. 

 

“Yes, I got her!” shouted Leonie as she cheers from hitting Edelgard. After the first volley of shots was over, many students rose from the bushes- all cloaked in black robes with blue insignia on them- and started to run away from every angle. 

 

“L-Look! They are all running away! Were we just attacked?!” shouted a confused Caspar. Petra then looks to the table.

 

“They ruined all of the food and the cloth!” said an irate Petra.

 

“Wait! What is that on their cloaks? Are they the Blue Lions?!” questioned Hubert.

 

“Why would they hide themselves- yet make it so easy to spot who they are… No...” said Edelgard as she looks down to the table as well. She then turns her head over to the students running away. “Who dares ruin this joyous moment for the Black Eagles!!!”. Suddenly, one of the student's hoods lowers off their head as the wind blows it off. 

 

“S-Shit!” the student says as it happens. As Edelgard catches a glimpse of the student’s face unclothed, Edelgard lets out a huge scream.

 

“CLAUDE!!!” screamed Edelgard- recognizing him clear as day.

 

“M-Make like the deer, and run!” yelled Claude.  Byleth then takes their head up from under the table- untouched by the paint.

 

“C-Claude?” said Byleth. 

 

“Huh? You said you saw Claude?!” asked Caspar. 

 

“Yes! They must be Golden Deer students horribly trying to place the blame on the Blue Lions! Typical Claude behavior!” said Edelgard. 

 

“Agh! Then let us chase after them, Edelgard! Before they get away!” said Hubert as he pulls out his spell book, “I have my weapons on me!”.

 

“I do as well!” said Dorothea as she pulls out her spell book. 

 

“Agh! I didn’t bring any of my shit! I can go get it and come back!” said Caspar.

 

“Me too!” shouted Ferdinand.

 

“No- we can’t fight here like this, but what we can do is capture Claude and bring him to justice! I saw him, and the Professor can vouch for me to Lady Rhea that he was here!” said Edelgard as she angrily starts to run after Claude, ”Oh when i get him, he’s gonna wish he had never been born! I’ll skin him alive! Martyr him at the stake! Turn him into a constroti!” she continued- pulling out a short axe she has hidden in her garment!

 

“W-Woah there…” said Dorothea- thrown off by her growing anger and threats.

 

“P-Please, Edelgard. You need to calm down” advised Byleth.

 

“If we were going to tell Lady Rhea- we don’t need to capture him to do so” said Ferdinand.

 

“But I’m not letting him foul me in front of my teacher!!!” said Edelgard as she rushes faster towards Claude. Hubert puts away his book, and follows behind Edelgard. Byleth, sighs, and runs too.

 

What is Claude thinking?! And how did they know the Black Eagles were going to be doing this? ” thought Byleth.

 

I’m not sure myself… But they are definitely waging war with the Black Eagles over you! ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

But you would think after the unnecessary bout with the Blue Lions that they… Agh! ” thought Byleth as they continued to run. Caspar, Ferdinand, Petra, and Dorothea all follow Hubert, Edelgard, and Byleth. Bernadetta and Linhardt, however, don’t run.

 

“I’m… Totally not running after them. I’m going to try and clean myself off…” said Linhardt. Berndetta then starts to run away in another direction.

 

“Ah! I’m going to my room! I’m super duper scared!” said Bernadetta as she starts to cry. As all the students soon disperse from the area- all that is elft is arrow shafts, a messed up dining set, and paint splattered everywhere. Suddenly, Cyril walks out into the quad.

 

“W-WHAT is all this?! Oh my- what happened!? Oh no, if Lady Rhea sees this!- I have to clean this up immediately!!!” shouted Cyril as he rushes to find the material to clean up this mess...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Get back here, Claude!” shouted Edelgard as she continues to chase Claude and other members of the Golden Deer.  Claude looks back towards Edelgard, and chuckles.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry my Princess- didn’t see you there. Doin’ a little... Dine and dash it seems?” asked Claude as he turns to look at Edelgard.

 

“What?! Stop messing around with me, Claude! You ruined my lunch with the Professor! How could you?!” questioned Edelgard. Byleth, trailing behind her alongside Hubert, Caspar, and Ferdinand, starts to scoff in disappointment.

 

“E-Edelgard! Please! It’s fine! Claude, what is the meaning of this?!” shouted Byleth- completely confused over Claude’s actions.

 

“Sorry, Teach- just thought I would add some ‘color’ to the Black Eagles’ lunch! Hehe. And Edelgard? A House Leader should always be alert for an incoming attack Edelgard; simple field training knowledge 101 here. You should be eating with one eye on the food and one on your axe” said Claude- being cheeky just to upset Edelgard. Edelgard grunts.

 

“And my axe is about to be impaled into your trachea!” shouted Edelgard as she grips her short axe in hand and runs faster to catch up with Claude. Claude looks back, and starts to get worried.

 

“Oh, she’s really gaining on me!” said Claude to himself. However, seeing that Claude is in trouble the Golden Deer start to step in. 

 

“I got you leader!” said Leonie as they shoot another arrow towards Edelgard. In the corner of her eye, Edelgard sees a red colored arrow fly towards her and chuckles to herself.

 

“I guess you might need more training with Jeralt because your aim couldn’t be any slower!” shouted Edelgard as she hopped backwards- making the arrow hit the wall to her left side. Edelgard glanced over to Leonie with an annoyed look, however Leonie gave back a smirk.

 

“Ha! Guess I was fast enough to mark you the first time, huh?” said Leonie pointing to Edelgard’s clothes. Edelgard then grunts.

 

“Why you!... And that will be the last time you ever get the chance to hit me with anything. I would stay and deal with fodder, but I have bigger fish to slice” said Edelgard as she continued to chase after Claude. Claude then looks behind him once more.

 

“Oh no! Well that didn’t halt her for long!” said Claude. Suddenly, Ignatz appears in Claude’s vision to his right.

 

“C-Claude! Please, come this way!” said Ignatz as he waves for Claude to pass by his way. Ignatz stands near a corridor that leads them into the monastery. “We could probably lose their tail if we go this way! Lorenz and Hilda already went through!” continued Ignatz. Claude then starts to smile.

 

“Alright, Ignatz! Remind me to give you a thank you kiss later” said Claude jokingly as he turns and runs past Ignatz- passing him a gentle wink as he looked him in the eyes. Ignatz, blushing and flustered, starts to stumble over his words.

 

“I- uh… Um… It was n-no problem, but… O-Okay?...” said Ignatz as he holds his head from embarrassment and confusion. 

 

“Heads up, Ignatz! A wild boar approaches us!” shouted Leonie as she tries to shoot another arrow at Edelgard’s feet- causing her to back-step to not get paint on her shoes.

 

“Boar?! Well if this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black- then I don’t know what is!” said Edelgard.

 

“Have you looked in the mirror lately?! News flash- you don’t need to order the whole menu every lunch period!” Leonie shouted. Edelgard scoffs.

 

“And have you looked in the mirror!? News flash- that’s not a hairdo, it’s a ‘ what did I do?’!” said Edelgard. Ignatz then groans to himself.

 

“Well I’m getting outta here before this gets nasty…” said Ignatz as he escapes through the corridor, and down a flight of stairs. 

 

“Bitch, don’t think that all I have is this bow- I can and will pull out this knife I got, and shank your ass!” said Leonie.

 

“Ha! Well I would love to see you try! You want me to turn around so you have a better shot? Might as well get used to the sight since you and you whole pathetic team will forever be beneath me!” responded Edelgard. Suddenly, Byleth and Hubert caught up with Edelgard.

 

“E-Edelgard! Leonie! Please, do not fight! What are you doing!? Do you want me to lecture you two on how to treat other students on school premises?!” asked Byleth. Edelgard scoffs at the fact that Byleth is attempting to stop her.

 

“Professor, the only thing that needs to be taught is a lesson on how to eat the ground I walk on; and just in case you have an questions- I will be this bitch’s proctor, because she is going to learn loud and clear today!” said Edelgard- fully feeling entitled to how she feels. Byleth sighs. Hubert, rushing towards Edelgard, meets besides her in place- panting.

 

“Lady Edelgard- please do not waste time on dirt. Claude is getting away” said Hubert to Edelgard. Leonie, flabbergasted over his response, gasps.

 

“Excuse me?! Rude much!” said Leonie. Edelgard sighs, and regains her composure.

 

“Yes Hubert, you are right…” said Edelgard as she looks to the corridor Claude ran through, “Ferdinand, Caspar!” continued Edelgard as she motions for them to head towards the opening.

 

“Already on it!” responded Caspar as he rushes past Leonie!

 

“Oh no you don’t!” shouts Leonie as she readies another arrow, however before she could shoot it- Ferdinand brushes against her- causing her to fall down!

 

“Ahh!” shouted Leonie as she is flung to the floor. Ferdinand looks back with a somewhat guilty expression as he glares at Leonie.

 

“My apologies- but even though I try never to cause harm to a woman I must exact my revenge! I spend countless hours combing my perfect locks- and for you simpletons to just cover me in dirty cheap powdery paint?! Unforgivable!” exclaimed Ferdinand as he and Caspar rush into the corridor, and run down a flight of stairs. Leonie grunts seeing this.

 

“ N-No!” says Leonie as she reaches out her hand in an attempt to stop them- but fails. Byleth groans.

 

“Leonie- why are you guys trying this hard? Why go all this way just to mess with the Black Eagles in such a childish way?” asked Byleth. Leonie sighs with slight guilt.

 

“I’m sorry Professor- I got roped into Claude’s idea. But, it’s not as if we don’t have a shared thought on the matter... We are all just sticking by our House’s wants. And, Claude wanted it to be known well and clear that the Golden Deer believe that Black Eagles do not deserve Professor Byleth with them!” said Leonie. 

 

“Agh, and so trashing a lunch is the best way to display that? Gosh…” said Byleth as they shake their head. Edelgard, regaining her footing, then tries to run past Leonie.

 

“I don’t have time to listen to her drabble- Professor, do not stop me! Claude has been playing tricks on me for far too long! I’m going to get him!” said Edelgard. However, before Edelgard could inch closer to the corridor, Leonie finishes readying her arrow, and fires an arrow at Edelgard’s shin. It explodes, covering her leg in purple powdery paint.

 

“Ahh!” Edelgard screams as it connects, forcing her to the ground.

 

“Yes!” shouted Leonie as she hits her target.

 

“No! How dare you!” said Hubert as he approaches Leonie. 

 

“S-Stop! Everyone, stop!” said Byleth as he holds back Hubert. Byleth, losing control of a situation they initially had under control, is quite unsure of what to do in this situation- and gets lost in thought; let Claude go and deal with Edelgard now, or chase after Claude and lecture him for attacking Edelgard and the rest of her House for little to no reason? These thoughts permeate within Byleth’s mind as they try to quickly assess what to do…

 

“... Hello? You better make up your mind soon! Edelgard ad Leonie are about to scrap!!! ” shouted Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Suddenly, while they struggle against Hubert’s attempts to get at Leonie, Byleth comes to a consensus in their mind.

 

I just… I just need to apprehend them both- somehow! As their Professor- I must!!! ” thought Byleth; however, just how on earth is Byleth going to quarrel these two very eccentric House Leaders….

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry Professor, but get out of my way!” shouts Hubert as he tussles with Byleth. Byleth grunts as he continues to cling onto Hubert.

 

“H-Hey! You wouldn’t dare hit a Professor would you?!” shouts back Byleth as they eye Hubert down.

 

“For Edelgard’s sake- I’ll do whatever I must!” said Hubert as he tries to grab his spell book. Byleth, seeing this, attempts to grab for it as well. Their hands collided together as they both try to clench onto the book cover- but both their sweaty hands and unclear minds make it difficult.

 

“Agh! Would you- stop! Unhand me!” shouts Hubert.

 

“You are acting like a deranged demonic beast right now over the pettiest stuff! You need to stop!” responded Byleth- who manages to grab a hold of the book, and chucks it far away from Hubert! 

 

“N-No!” yells Hubert as his eyes follow his flung book across the field. Using this moment, Byleth hits Hubert’s temple- causing him to fall towards the floor seemingly unconscious.

 

“S-Sorry…” said a guilty Byleth as they watch Huberts body crash down to the dirt. Edelgard then looks over to see Hubert knocked out on the floor, and she gasps.

 

“H-Hubert?! Professor, you did that to hi-” said Edelgard before she was cut off my Leonie smacking her in the face.

 

“Eyes on the fight, bitch” said Leonie. Edelgard then looks back to Leonie with steaming anger.

 

“Wimpy cheap shots? Clearly that’s the only way a Golden Deer could ever land a hit on anyone” said Edelgard.

 

“Uh, are you blind?! I tagged you twice with arrows!” said Leonie.

 

“And each time was when I couldn’t see you- or when you weren’t within arms reach so I can strangle you!”  said Edelgard.

 

“Well I’m right here now!” responded Leonie. Byleth, steadily approaching, hears scoffing within their mind.

 

Gosh! Is it that time of the month?! Moody much! Do they have some type of vendetta out for each other!? ” asked Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

I’m not sure… But that doesn't matter right now! ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. 

 

Edelgard then swings her short axe horizontally towards Leonie- who dodges the attack. Leonie then throws her bow to the ground, and grabs her knife from her holster.  He stabs three times in Edelgard’s direction; Edelgard avoiding each strike with finesse. Leonie then throws the knife at Edelgard, and Edelgard moves out of the way as it passes by her. However, as Edelgard looks back to Leonie she sees Leonie grab a second knife out of her holster!

 

“What? A second one?” questioned Edelgard as she backs up. 

 

“I got you now!” said Leonie as she lunges forward, and thrusts her right arm towards Edelgard with the knife in her hand. However, Edelgard grabs Leonie’s lunged arm, and flips her to the ground! 

 

“Ahh!!!” Leonie shrieks as her right shoulder and a part of her head collides with the floor. Leonie rolls out on the floor as the knife is flung from her hand. 

 

“L-Leonie!” yells Byleth as they rush over to Leonie- who was flung towards them. Byleth kneels over Leonie on the ground- whom Byleth discovers is knocked out! “Damn!” continues Byleth.

 

The force from hitting her head on the ground must have given her a slight concussion! She might need help as soon as possible !” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind. Byleth grunts.

 

“Edelgard! What are you-” said Byleth before they realize that Edelgard is fast away running towards the corridor, and disappears down a flight of stairs into the monastery. “What? N-No! Agh, do I go after her, or save Leonie?... I need to stay for Leonie’s sake…” continued Byleth as he look down to Leonie. Suddenly, they hear footsteps approaching them.

 

“This is such a drag… I’ll heal her, Professor. You go” said Linhardt as Byleth turns to look at him. Astonished that he came back, Byleth rises up with shock.

 

“L-Linhardt! I thought you ran off! And… Your clothes are clean…” said Byleth.

 

“Well my room isn’t that far from the quad- I just changed. I’m more surprised that this wild goose chase is still happening. While I’m annoyed that my clothes were sullied- I’m not really for grudges. So, I’ll heal her” said Linhardt. Byleth smiles.

 

“Thank you, Linhardt!” said Byleth as they get up, and start to run towards the corridor.

 

“Don’t mention it… Really- don’t. I don’t wanna be the Black Eagle student known for helping out Golden Deer- why, Edelgard won’t let me live it down…” said Linhardt as he kneels down to Leonie on the ground. He then around the field- seeing the scars from the battle- and happens to look over to Hubert, and gets shocked. “Oh! He is knocked out too. I didn’t see him there… Agh… I guess I’ll heal him too…” continued Linhardt.

 

*****

 

In the hallways of the monastery, Ignatz walks by himself; attempting to not run into Caspar and Ferdinand- whom he hears trailing behind him from their yelling, and attempting to run into his fellow Golden Deer. The hallway was lit only by lanterns, and as he turns many winding pathways- and still not running into anyone- he starts to get paranoid. He pants in fear- not knowing what is going to come next.

 

“C-C-Claude? Hilda? L-Lorenz? Where are you guys?...” said Ignatz out loud.  He walks by a knight’s armor set display, and starts to click his teeth together in nervousness. Unknowingly, his words echoed through the hallway a bit too loud, and suddenly he hears a yell.

 

“I think I heard Ignatz! Ferdinand, come this way!” said Caspar from afar. Ignatz then shrieks.

 

“Oh no! They are on my tail! I’m outta here-” said Ignatz before he was cut off by someone grabbing him and pulling him into a small enclosed space behind the knight armor. “Ahh! D-Don’t kill me!” shouts Ignatz as a mysterious person envelops them behind the shadows. Suddenly, Ignatz feels a finger press up against his quivering lips.

 

“Shh, Ignatz. I'm here- so you don't need to be scared~... If you make too much noise- they will hear us” said Claude- who reveals himself through the dim light that peaks behind the armor set display. Ignatz looks up to him, and smiles.

 

“C-Claude! Oh, thank god! I was so afraid that they were gonna get me!” said Ignatz. Claude then hugs Ignatz tighter.

 

“No, for real- shut up; they are coming” said Claude as he looks out beyond the bend. Suddenly, he sees Caspar and Ferdinand pass by! Claude hides as they pass by.

 

“Agh! Where did those idiots go!?” shouted Caspar.

 

“Let’s not give up yet, Caspar! We will leave no stone unturned here as we search for them!” said Ferdinand. Caspar and Ferdinand both pass by them unknowingly, and as they disappear Claude and Ignatz sigh. 

 

“Thank god!” said Ignatz as he comes out from the hideaway. Claude follows soon after, and stretches out his limbs.

 

“Yea, me too!” said Claude. He then looks around them- analyzing his surroundings, and then turns to Ignatz. “Come, let’s go this way!” 

 

“O-Okay!” said Ignatz.

 

*****

 

He then follow Claude down another pathway, and as they run they soon reach an open area in the monastery where littered around them are just old paintings, weaponry, and barrels. Suddenly, as he realizes that they are the only ones here, Ignatz turns to Claude.

 

“S-So Claude… Where is Hilda and Lorenz?” asked Ignatz. Claude then hums to himself.

 

“Um… That’s a good question. I don’t know, hehe” said Claude as he smiles- making Ignatz sigh, “Were they supposed to be here?” asked Claude as he continues.

 

“I-I should be asking you that!” shouted Ignatz.

 

“Oh! Haha. Nah, I just ran here- I have legit no idea where they are” said Claude. Ignatz then moans in annoyance.

 

“... When they went through the corridor they told me to guide you this way… I assumed they would have met back up with or something, but okay... I guess we just gotta- Claude look out!!!” said Ignatz as he pushes Claude hard enough that he  collides against some barrels, and falls to the floor. Suddenly, a short axe- flung through the air- sticks to a column of stone next to them! 

 

“H-Hey! What gives, Ignatz! I- oh… That axe almost took my head off! That could only belong to one very aggy lady!” said Claude as he turns his head to the place where the axe was shot from to see Edelgard- panting and in rage.

 

“Claude… This place shall be your deathbed!...” said Edelgard.

 

“Really? Can I at least get my last meal or somethin’?” asked Claude sarcastically. Edelgard then takes out another short axe from her holster.

 

“I hope blood is good enough!” said Edelgard. Claude then hums.

 

“Um… Bloody Mary would suffice! But, I probably shouldn’t be drinking alcohol… Also, how many of these axes do ‘ya got?!” said Claude. Edelgard scoffs.

 

“Save the talk for heavens gates!” said Edelgard as she runs towards Claude. 

 

“O-Oh no! Claude, what should I do?” asked Ignatz- who’s knocking knees make a rattled tune.

 

“Either fight or flight, Iggy! You got my back?” asked Claude. Ignatz, looking at Edelgard’s daunting demeanor, then gulps.

 

“Y-Yes!” said Ignatz as he grabs his bow. Suddenly, Byleth turns the corner to see Edelgard approaching Claude and Ignatz.

 

“Shoot! I got here too late! E-Edelgard, stop!” said Byleth as they soon chase after Edelgard. As this scenario unfolds, all Sothis can think, lodged up inside Byleth’s hazy mind, is what will become of such a bout- so far below in the monastery grounds…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Kya!!!” Edelgard screams as she rushes towards Claude. Claude, quick thinking, grabs the short axe lodged into the column next to him. He grips it intently in his heads as he looks out to Edelgard approaching.

 

“Well, I guess it’s time to work on my axe skills… What better target than a raging boar” said Claude. He then looks over to Ignatz. “Iggy! She will be focused on both of us, so don’t be afraid to shoot arrows to disrupt her when she clashes with me!” he continued.

 

“R-Right!” said Ignatz as he prepares an arrow, and aims it right at Edelgard.  

 

“Please! Don’t think that I am going to me thrown off by two idiots attacking me at once!” said Edelgard as she vertically swung her axe towards Claude. Claude sidesteps to the left, and grabs the axe in his hands with two hands. He lands on the ground after being airborne for a few milliseconds, and holds the axe up in a defensive stance as Edelgard comes in with a follow-up strike. They clash in might as they try to power over the other- and break free. Seeing an opening, Ignatz shoots an arrow, and as Edelgard sees this coming she backs off.

 

“Damn it!” said Edelgard- getting increasingly annoyed over Ignatz. Claude, using the moment where Edelgard’s focus is on Ignatz, he takes out another unique arrow head, and swings it up against Edelgard’s face. As the arrowhead connects,- the powdery paint concoction explodes- detonating point blank in the black of her head in a blue color. Edelgard is taken aback by the exchange, and after she gets hit she backs away. She kneels on the floor as she goes to feel the back of her head with her left hand, and as she reaches her hand back all she sees is blue on it.

 

“Agh!!! You ruined my hair!!!” screamed Edelgard. Claude laughs.

 

“Awe, I think it looks nice! You are giving me hard Marianne vibes!” said Claude. Edelgard then lunges forward and attempts to slide Claude once more. She throws multiple slashes- which all miss, as Claude’s evading techniques have high finesse with them. Claude, wanting to throw Edelgard off, clashes with the short axe in hand in a right-scaling upward slash. The slice was extremely quick- but not quick enough for Edelgard to avoid. She is thrown off by the attempt, but quick on her feet she instead grabbed ahold of the axe’s handle- brings it in closer to her- and headbutts Claude!

 

“Ah!” shouts Claude. The force from the blow causes slight blood to shed on Claude’s forehead. Edelgard then grabs a hold of Claude’s arm, swips him around, and forces him to the floor. As Claude hits the floor he rolls out- tumbling on the floor towards Byleth. Edelgard grabs ahold of her axe that Claude hand- and now dual-wields two axes.

 

“Claude” shouts Byleth and Ignatz. Byleth then rushes over towards Claude. As Claude finally comes to a stop he looks up at Byleth- who looks concerned as ever. Claude then feels on his forehead, and smiles.

 

“Ah, I guess she got me this time!” said Claude. Byleth then grunts.

 

“Stop acting so nonchalant about this! Edelgard, if you don’t stop right now-”

 

“And what if I don’t, Professor?” asked Edelgard- cutting off Byleth, “I am the victim here. He attacked us! Why are you defending him?” continued Edelgard as she gets slightly jealous.

 

“That would be the case once we were still in the quad. But you have chased him! No matter how you cut it- you are an aggressor in this! Please, if you two stop right now then we can try and put this behind us, and you two won’t get in so much trouble!” said Byleth.

 

“Agh, no one likes a tattle, Teach…” said Claude as he rolls his eyes. Byleth then scoffs in shocks.

 

“E-Excuse me!? You are lucky that you are not on the ringer right now!” shouted Byleth. Claude then blushes, and looks away. 

 

“Professor, if you care about my feelings on this- and understand by unfettered rage for Claude and his immature tactics- you will let me at least slice him once!” said Edelgard as she walks towards Claude. Byleth then walks towards Edelgard.

 

“Violence cannot be quelled with more violence” said Byleth. Edelgard, shocked by their response, gets unnecessarily annoyed..

 

“T-Then why are you at this monastery!? War is ingrained in our culture!” said Edelgard. Hearing this, Byleth then gets shocked- and a bit hurt. 

 

“I-...” said Byleth as they back up. In reality, Byleth still doesn’t truly know why they are really there- on top of the fact that they really don’t even know who they are. So, for someone like Edelgard- whom they respect- to throw that essentially in their face doesn’t make them feel good. Edelgard, realizing this, feels guilty.

 

“P-Professor, I apologize for speaking out of turn you don’t deserve my rage… Claude does!!!” shouted Edelgard as she tries to take her mistake out on Claude.

 

“What?! What do I have to do with your miss of tongue?” asked Claude. Byleth attempts to grab Edelgard’s hand- attempting to stop them from approaching Claude. 

 

“Let go!” shouted Edelgard as she attempts to unhand Byleth from her. She then twirls on axe in her hand and goes to slam the axe on the ground where Claude is. Claude sees this, and backs up on the ground.

 

“Woah!” shouts Claude as the axe lands inches from his crotch, “Gosh, are you trying to end the Riegan line?!” continued Claude.

 

“Not having another Claude running around might be a service to Fódlan!” said Edelgard as she slices the other axe towards Byleth. Byleth then heads towards Edelgard’s back, and attempts to stop Edelgard. As this happens, Ignatz, who is unsure what to do, stutters in fear. He is shaking so much, that he can not even get a clear shot anymore.

 

“W-W-What should I do?!...” asked Ignatz. Wanting to approach, Ignatz started to walk forward slowly. However suddenly, as he was doing this, he was grabbed from behind! “W-Wha-!” continues Ignatz as he is thrown to the ground. As Ignatz looks up after getting thrown to the floor he sees Caspar staring angrily at him!

 

“Ahh! I found you! You are not shooting anyone anymore!” said Caspar as he readies a punch.

 

“Wait! Please, don’t hurt me!” said ignatz as he holds his arms up in defence. However, that did not stop Caspar as he punches Ignatz in the face. 

 

“Ow!” shouted Ignatz as his glasses fly away, and break on the ground. Hearing Ignatz shouts, Edelgard, Byleth, and Claude look over to see Caspar on top of Ignatz, and Ferdinand running in.

 

“Caspar! You found them! Good- oh! Edelgard is already here!” said Ferdinand. At the same time as Ferdinand trolling in, Hilda and Lorenz come into the room. Hilda looks around, and see Claude.

 

“Claude! We heard the screams coming from here like a mile away! Looks like we were too late!” said Hilda.

 

“I apologize for my tardiness; I was quite puzzled at my inability to navigate these winding passageways” said Lorenz. Hilda then looks over to Caspar on top of Ignatz.

 

“Hey! Get off of him!” said Hilda. Caspar grunts.

 

“Shut up! You guys were fucking with us!” said Caspar.

 

“Please, get off of me! I’m sorry!” said an apologetic Ignatz.

 

“You through the first punch and now are crying that you are getting hit back! Agh, you fucking wimp!” said Caspar as he goes to punch Ignatz again. He hits Ignatz again- this time causing a nosebleed. This, along with his words, angers Ignatz- a feet Hilda and Lorenz rarely see.

 

“I said- get off me!” said Ignatz as he tries to push Caspar off of him. He pushes Caspar down, and climbs on top of him, “And I’m not a wimp!” said Ignatz as he punches Caspar somewhat softly. Caspar recovers from the recoil, feels his cheek where Ignatz punched, and then growls. 

 

“... You are gonna regret that!” said Caspar as he tries to wrestle with Ignatz. Ferdinand then comes over, and pulls Ignatz off Caspar. Ignatz, irate, throws his limbs everywhere.

 

“Let go of me! Let me at him!” said Ignatz as he tries to reach for Caspar. Caspar, feeling a bit sorry for Ignatz, just shakes his head. As Ferdinand, Caspar, and ignatz tussle on the ground Hilda, and Lorenz instead run towards Claude- where Byleth and Edelgard is. Byleth, who currently is wrestling with Edelgard, attempts to unhand both axes in her hands. Claude, still on the floor, continues to back up- trying to get away from Edelgard. Byleth grabs onto Edelgard’s right arm, and as they tug on it Edelgard let’s go on one of the axes as Byleth recovers it- which angers Edelgard.  Byleth then goes to grab for the axe in her left hand, and Edelgard tries to move her arm out of the way.

 

“Professor, I said stop!” said Edelgard as she goes to swing the arm Byleth is holding on go. However, as this happens the unthinkable occurs; as Edelgard swings her arm back, the axe accidentally cuts against Byleth’s face! It gashes Byleth’s face, and as this happens Byleth lets out a large scream from the pain. Edelgard looks to Bleth in complete shock and fear- not intending to cut Byleth. Claude, seeing first hand Byleth’s blood daintly paint Edelgard’ axe blade, get extremely angered. 

 

“T-TEACH!!!” shouts Claude Everyone in the room turns to see Byleth cut- and instantly they all knew that the confrontation was indeed concluded…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“EDELGARD! WHAT DID YOU JUST DO!? WHY DID YOU CUT THE PROFESSOR?!” shouted Claude at the top of his lungs. Edelgard, feeling completely guilty, drops the axe in her hand covered in Byleth’s blood. 

 

“I-I didn’t mean to! Oh my god, what have I done! I harmed the Professor!” said Edelgard as she starts to freak out. Byleth falls to the ground, and covers their face.

 

Hey! Are you okay?!  Want me to rewind time? Agh! What the fuck is that bitch thinking!? ” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind. However, Byleth was too distracted by their cut to really hear Sothis. Ferdinand and Caspar, instantly concerned, stop fighting with Ignatz- and start to run over to Byleth. 

 

“Oh no! This is bad!” said Caspar.

 

“Edelgard…” said Ferdinand under his breath. Hilda and Lorenz meets up with Byleth, and hover over them.

 

“Professor, I’m here! Here, let me see!” said Hilda as she makes Byleth turn their face towards her. As Lorenz peaks over, Hilda and Lorenz  see the gash on their face; it was right on their right cheek. It didn't hit anywhere vital, but had Edelgard cut Byleth any higher or lower- who knows…

 

“Oh my… W-We need to get the Professor to the infirmary!” said Lorenz. Claude then gets up, and grabs tightly on Edelgard’s clothes- and pulls her in.

 

“Don’t you EVER hurt the Professor again!” said Claude as tears starts to seep out his eyes. Freaking out, Edelgard starts to stutters.

 

“I-I didn’t mean to! If you hadn’t just been minding your business- none of this would have happened!” said Edelgard as she pushes Claude off of him. Caspar then yells.

 

“This isn’t the time for that! Get yourselves together- you are House Leaders!!!” shouted Caspar. 

 

“We need someone that can heal now!” said Ferdinand as they come close to Byleth. However, as they look around, they realized that the only one of them that might know healing magic is Byleth. Byleth then attempts to regain footing.

 

“I-It’s fine… Please don’t yell at Edelgard… I-I can heal myself- agh!” said Byleth as they move their face wrong and pain shoots around their face.

 

“Please don’t try to walk, Professor! Can someone carry the Professor to the infirmary?” asked Hilda. 

 

“I can!” said Caspar as he raises his hand. As he approaches Lorenz then holds him back.

 

“And why you ? It was your House Leader that cut the Professor!” said Lorenz.

 

“Huh? What the fuck are you saying?!” said Caspar. 

 

“Lorenz, please- right not we should not be House dividing, and instead coming together for the Professor…” said Ignatz as he slowly approaches the group- his hands held out in front of him so he doesn't bump into anything. Caspar, observing Ignatz, starts to feel a gut renching feeling in his stomach.

 

"..." Caspar sighs as he looks down. Lorenz then scoffs to himself, and backs off from the situation. 

 

"Fine..." said Lorenz. Re-composing himself, Caspar then looks over to Byleth.

 

“Plus- the Professor is still our Professor. Let us handle it!” said Caspar. 

 

“That’s correct. Caspar, I can aid you as well” said Ferdinand offering to carry Byleth. Edelgard then looks over to Caspar and Ferdinand as they try and pick up Byleth.

 

“Please, this is my doing- I will come with-”

 

“Haven't you done enough, Edelgard?...” asked Caspar- cutting off Edelgard making her frown, “This whole stupid system is dumb! Look what it causes! I’m ashamed I even played into it…”. Claude, and the rest of the Golden Deer start to feel guilty as he says that. Caspar and Ferdinand then starts to carry Byleth away, and as this happens the Golden Deer group up, and start to follow towards the infirmary…

 

*****

 

The group managed to get Byleth safely to the infirmary to be treated by a somewhat reluctant Manuela. Thankfully, the gash wasn’t that deep, and could be healed up with a session of Healing magic. As they all converge in the infirmary room they all hover over Byleth- while Hubert and Leonie lay in beds next to them. During this time however, Cyril had reported to Lady Rhea about the paint fiasco in the quad; combined with onlookers telling their witness testimony on seeing the Golden Deer and Black Eagles mess around from afar, Lady Rhea had soon issued on audience with the participating Golden Deer students, Edelgard, Caspar, Hubert, Ferdinand, as well as Linhardt- who was there healing both Leonie and Hubert when he was found by Seteth; all accompanied by their Professors that is. This was informed to those who sat by Byleth in the infirmary by Cyril- who came there to see if Byleth was okay as well. However, unknown to the others in the room, Cyril himself was also annoyed at both Houses- as he was cleaning up their mess in the meantime between the events for them...

 

“So, how is the Professor, Professor?” asked Cyril- holding back his tongue for what he really wants to say in the moment.

 

“... Their condition is stable; there is nothing to worry about. They just need to take some ointment, and Byleth should be brand new tomorrow” said Manuela. Hearing this, Claude, Edelgard, and the rest of the students in the infirmary sighed. 

 

“I’m glad… Professor Byleth and Professor Manuela- I take full responsibility for my part in this… I shall repent for my actions soon enough” said Edelgard. Claude then sighs.

 

“... I take responsibility as well. It was just a stupid prank gone wrong- and Edelgard, I’m sorry…” said Claude as he nervously rubs his forehead. Edelgard looks to Claude, and slightly rolls her eyes.

 

“It’s fine… I just hope Lady Rhea is as forgiving as I am…” said Byleth as they look down at their bed they currently rest in-whose tone depicts a Professor who feels like they have failed. Ignatz then bows. 

 

“... Thank you for healing the Professor, Manuela” said Ignatz.

 

“Well, while I would not want to spend my day healing the very person who is rooted to why I myself got reprimanded today, it is the duty of a Nurse to treat all patients…  But, you guys really have it out for me it seems; because you Claude wanted to act out of turn while I lead the Golden Deer, I’m going to be reprimanded twice today! What the fuck?! Now, I believe you all are to re-converge in the Audience Hall to really repent for your actions” said Manuela. Claude then bows- followed by Hilda, Lorenz, and Ignatz. 

 

“I’m sorry for the situation our actions bestowed upon you… Like I’ll inform Lady Rhea- this was all my idea, and I roped the others into this. So, if you are gonna place your chagrin on anyone of the Golden Deer- place it upon myself...” said Claude. Caspar, looking over to Ignatz as Claude says this, starts to feel a bit guilty for punching him.

 

“... You still all played a part in this whole fiasco” said Linhardt, as he stands by the door. They all turned around to look at him as he walks in.

 

“Linhardt, fancy to see you here” said Ferdinand.

 

“Well, where else would I be? Oh right- in the Audience Hall, where I’m about to get my ass handed to me! Agh, had I known I would be getting in trouble just because I decided to come back after leaving, I would have never done it…” said Linhardt as he shakes his head.

 

“Why did you come here instead of the Hall?” asked Caspar.

 

“I’m not in a rush to get an earful… Plus, Seteth allowed me to go free for a minute by me saying that I was going to check up on the Professor’s condition in his place- as he wanted Byleth to attend the summoning as well. Plus, I guess I should see how Leonie and Hubert are doing as well...” said Linhardt. 

 

“Well everyone is fine. Now- if you excuse me- I’m going to get ready to get murdered…” said Manuela as they get up from Byleth’s side. 

 

“Yea- let’s go guys. Let’s not keep Lady Rhea and Seteth waiting any longer…” said Claude as he starts to walk about.

 

“Professor- are you okay to move?” asked Edelgard as she looks to Byleth.

 

“Yea… I am…” said a defeated-feeling Byleth. They get up, and walk past Edelgard- not even looking at her. Seeing this exchange, Claude’s eyes raise in surprised- while Edelgard’s eyes fall to the floor. Edelgard knows for sure now that they have messed up- and went too far with their jealousy and anger. 

 

*****

 

They all start to walk off towards the Audience Hall- leaving Leonie and Hubert in the infirmary. The Golden Deer all walk feeling unsatisfied from their attempts- while the Black Eagles feel a sense of victimization and accountability mixed into being provoked and falling hard into the bate. Suddenly, Edelgard looks to Claude- who both are trailing behind the ground feeling the most guilty. Edelgard then stops in her tracks- her demeanor shifting to one more assertive.

 

“Claude… May I have a word with you really quickly?” asked Edelgard. Claude then stops in his tracks, and turns to Edelgard.

 

“...Now? Don’t you see we gotta go?” asked Claude. Some of the others turned around to see them talk. Edelgard then looks to them.

 

“I’m not going to fight- I now think it is time that we have a talk; especially since we have let this get to this level. I promise we won’t be late to the summoning” said Edelgard. Byleth sighs.

 

“Well… Coming to an agreement somehow might show Lady Rhea some promise if done beforehand… Do as you wish...” said Byleth as they continue walking- seeming indifferent with both House Leaders. Claude then sighs.

 

“Sure…” said Claude. As the rest head towards the Audience Hall, Claude and Edelgard then head across the hallway to speak one-on-one…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Edelgard and Claude stand near a window on the second floor as the others continue to walk towards Lady Rhea. Unsure of exactly what she wanted to discuss, Claude was a bit confused as to what is happening. Claude leans against the wall, and folds his feet as he crosses his arms and stares at Edelgard.

 

“Well, what is it, my Princess? I hope you didn’t single me out so you can give me a mean headbutt again” said Claude.

 

“No, I don’t need to single you out to do that. I wanted to talk about you exploits and attempts to continuously get under our skin- and by our I mean me and Dimitri” said Edelgard.

 

“Oh really? Sure- let’s chat about it” said Claude.

 

“To put it frankly; you have been putting all your energy into making sure the rest of us have the hardest time possible at the monastery. And this is not recently; this has been for awhile. The Golden Deer- in truth- are not last in which House statistically has been the greatest due to your inability to be a proper leader, it’s that you spend all of your time bringing all the other Houses down to your level. Are you scared of being an outsider that much to what the monastery stands for, that you must make all of us be in the same rut too?” asked Edelgard Hearing this, Claude backs up off the wall.

 

“Excuse me?” asked a surprised Claude.

 

“I failed myself in letting this exploit get to me- which caused me to hurt my Professor… You did this to prove how much we did not deserve the Professor; but really all that you proved is your immaturity, your desperation to get what you want, and how much the Golden Deer not only are not fit for the Professor- but to attend this monastery” said Edelgard. Claude then chuckles.

 

“Now look who is doing all the accusations now” said Claude.

 

“Say what you will- you know the truth” said Edelgard.

 

“What I know is you are the biggest manipulator on Garreg Mach!” said Claude as he leans in close to Edelgard, “Don’t think your slate is squeaky clean Missy. You say I have exploits? I laugh. It is a thorn at my side- here at this monastery- that the Golden Deer are known for their ‘underhanded tactics’ yet no one wants to pay attention to yours. At all. Even on record. Hm… Isn’t that interesting? It’s almost as if you are bribing people to get your way!” said Claude. Edelgard gasps.

 

“Excuse me!? Acc-”

 

“Accusations. I know” said Claude- cutting Edelgard off, “But unlike knowing the truth- I have the truth”.

 

“Oh really? Well, I wonder who Lady Rhea will believe; a neanderthal troglodyte like yourself, or true nobility” ponders Edelgard.

 

“Ha! Least I’m not a homewrecker. Oh! Should I tell Dorothea that many of the rumors about her being a 'slut' really are about you- that you twisted to being about her?” asked Claude.

 

“What?! P-Preposterous!!! I would never!” said Edelgard.

 

“You mean- you already have. Hey, don’t get me wrong; I’m all for an underhanded tactic- but at least I own up to my shit, and don’t push it on someone else” said Claude.

 

“... You literally just tried to pull a prank, and blame it horribly on the Blue Lions...” said Edelgard. Claude then chuckles.

 

“I know! Wasn’t that a good attempt, though? Haha” said Claude. Edelgard scoffs.

 

“Quit the games, Claude! You are not going to stand in my way any longer!” said Edelgard.

 

“And you pulled me to the side just to tell me that bullshit? Talk about a wasted date…” said Claude.

 

“No, I pulled you to the side to tell you that if you keep this shit up- I’m going to snitch on you to Lady Rhea about all that I know you are doing! Like how you have been snooping around trying to get a hold of restricted scriptures and books in the library, or stealing confidential info on almost all the students that go here-  especially Professor Byleth? Or... How about how you have been also invading Lady Rhea’s private study? You must be some new breed of snoop that's also a pervert” said Edelgard. Claude then chuckles- as a small bead of sweat rolls down his face.

 

“Oh wow- I’m snooping around~... That’s such a thing to throw in my face. Telling someone that Claude is 'snooping around' the monastery is like proclaiming that Seteth’s hair is green… Duh! The fuck?” exclaimed Claude.

 

“Shut up! I have dirt. Want me to dig your grave? Keep fucking with me!” shouted Edelgard.

 

“And what will you do if I don’t?” asked Claude.

 

“I will get you expelled, ruin your track record- that is already falling off the tracks, turn the Adrestian Empire fully against the Alliance, and fuck up your nobility!” threatens Edelgard.

 

“Oh really now? Well, two can play that game~. Want me to make your family disown you?” asked Claude.

 

“Want me to make a fatal mistake on the battlefield during the Mock Battle, and end the Riegan line permanently?” asked Edelgard as she eyes down to Claude’s crotch, “You have nothing on me worth that much threat!” continued Edelgard. Claude then laughs profusely.

 

“Really?! Is that what you really think? Have you forgotten about… That ‘thing’ I know?” asked Claude as he raises one eyebrow. Edelgard's face scrunches- unsure of what Claude is talking about.

 

“What are you… What thing?... !!!” said Edelgard as she soon gasps- so much that she covers her mouth. Claude then smiles.

 

“Yea~... That thing. Want me to ruin your life in one sentence? Keep fucking with me !” said Claude dauntingly.

 

“... You have no way of proving that!” said Edelgard. Claude chuckles some more.

 

“Maybe I should take a trip to Enbarr and tell the king- I wonder what he would think,” said Claude attempting to provoke Edelgard. Edelgard then freezes in her tracks- and doesn’t have the words to day; she isn’t sure if Claude is telling the truth about ‘proof’ but she seems to know exactly what Claude is talking about. This places them at somewhat of a stand still; each having dirt on the other. However, Edelgard’s dirt seems to be so detrimental that she doesn’t even want to say anything back.

 

“... It might be best that we not continue this conversation now of all times… We already have enough on our plate against us...” suggests Edelgard.

 

“Perhaps. For now- you keep your mouth shut, and I keep mine. Deal?” asked Claude. Edelgard looks at Claude’s hand, and rolls her eyes and walks away.

 

“... Just keep a fair distance- and maybe I won’t dig up more dirt on you” said Edelgard as she flips her hair. Claude then chuckles.

 

“The blue in your hair looks really nice by the way!” said Claude. Edelgard then scoffs.

 

“Fuck you, Claude” said Edelgard as she walks up to the Audience Hall door.

 

“Maybe after some dinner, my Princess” said Claude as he follows Edelgard into the Audience Hall- where the rest awaits.

 

*****

 

“Good. Now everyone that pertains to this is here. Claude, Edelgard- please line up” said Seteh as Claude and Edelgard close the door behind them…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Claude, Hilda, Lorenz, Ignatz, Edelgard, Caspar, Ferdinand, Linhardt, Cyril, Manuela, and Byleth all line up in front of Lady Rhea and Seteth as Seteth paces back and forth in front of them. Lady Rhea stands there looking extremely disappointed. It also was a bit embarrassing for Edelgard, Caspar, and Ferdinand as they stand there covered in paint still. Linhardt then looks over to Cyril- who stands right next to him with slight confusion.

 

“Cyril, if I may ask- why are you here? You are not in trouble, like we are” asked Linhardt.

 

“Huh? Well- you are right… But I was told that you guys were going to help clean up what is still left around outside- so I thought it was convenient to just stick around because I was gonna help; I bought stuff for it too!” said Cyril as he pointed over to some mops and buckets set aside on the side wall.

 

“Well, if we were going to just ruin the ‘surprise’ for them, then yes- that is what will happen” said Seteth. Hilda then scoffs.

 

“Agh, that is what I was hoping wouldn’t happen…” said Hilda.

 

“Wait- backup for a minute... Cyril, why?” asked Linhardt to Cyril..

 

“Because I’m helping Lady Rhea! Unlike you guys who are making her time a bit harder. So you guys should be really thankful, because I’m helping you clean up your guys’ mess!” said Cyril.

 

“You mean the mess the Golden Deer caused…” said Caspar. Seteth then sucks his teeth in annoyance.



“Silence!” yelled Seteth as he stops pacing around, “Cyril has more than happy to aid in cleaning up the remnants of your silly childish debacle- because your decisions impacts multiple students, and will ultimately place a scar on the reputation of the monastery! As such we all are affected!”. Edelgard then lowers her head a bit.

 

“You are right, Seteth… I apologize to you and Lady Rhea for inconveniencing you- as well as the Professors for ultimately involving them…” said Edelgard as they start to turn to Byleth, “And Professor byleth- words can’t express how sorry I am for harming you..” continued Edelgard. Lady Rhea then clears her throat.

 

“We are well aware of your regret- but we are here to discuss how we shall conduct ourselves for the future. That type of behavior is unacceptable by any means!…” said Lady Rhea. 

 

“Yes- we cannot re-write the past... But we can surely discuss it, “said Seteth as he puts his hand on his chin, “Deliberately targeting another House, defacing property, causing pandemonium, fighting on school grounds- not in a training setting, disobeying Professor order and harming a Professor… What has gotten into you House Leaders!? I understand the quarreling between the Golden Deer and Black Eagles has existed for quite some time- but this has reached a new level when you harm a Professor!” said Seteth.

 

“... Do you know that these actions are grounds for expulsion? Or worse? You better pray to the Goddess that she bestowed on me an unfettered amount of mercy…” asked Lady Rhea to the lot. This causes all but Manuela to lower their heads- even Cyril.

 

“... I am deeply sorry that what was originally a harmless prank got to this level, Lady Rhea…” admits Claude.

 

“I hope that you all are aware that you are not getting out of this situation without a formal punishment… I hope that you all accept the cards that were dealt, and attentively journey to re-meet my expectations” said Lady Rhea.

 

“Y-Yes, Lady Rhea…” Claude, Edelgard, Lorenz, Hilda, Ignatz, Caspar, and Ferdinand all say.

 

“And your motive for doing this was what, Claude? Over Professor Byleth?” asked Seteth.

 

“W-Well… If I am being honest- it was an idea I had in the works for awhile. But yes- Byleth played a role in why we specifically did it today” said Claude. Seteth then grunts.

 

“I thought this rotational system would quell the fighting over the Professors... “ said Seteth. Ignatz, wanting to speak, steps forward.

 

“I-If I may add, Seteth… I think this system actually does encourage us to try harder and reach for our respected House to be the best… Since you have announced this the Golden Deer have been training extra hard; why, after our Sex-Ed lecture we went straight to training- before some of us participated in this…  It’s merely our own human faults get in the way- as they would in many situations… A-At least if you are asking me…” said Ignatz. 

 

“... So, are you implying that your House Leader has been positively impacted by this new system? And not the cause of the craziness?” asked Seteth.

 

“W-Well… We are all still adjusting to it… I think- even if we had a negative opinion on it- you merely need to wait it out longer to accurately see. I-I think there are positives that every House can say about it” said Ignatz. Claude then turns to Ignatz, and smiles- feeling less of a lowlife than he already does in this moment due to him sticking up for him.

 

“I-I can attest to that, Seteth…” admitted Caspar as he steps forward, “I was almost totally against it at first but… Professor Byleth is a good Professor- so I am a bit more open to the idea of other Professors… Just not people’s petty attempts to get what they want… It also lets you see where your native Professor has faults in” continued Caspar- targeting both Edelgard and Claude with his words.

 

“Excuse me? What is there at fault about me?!” asked Manuela. Suddenly, as they all speak, the door to the Audience Hall opens behind them all- to reveal Hanneman behind it as he walks in.

 

“Oh Manuela- the easier question would be what isn’t ” said Hanneman. Manuela rolls her eyes.

 

“Oh my god- why is the fossil here?” asked Manuela.

 

“Because many of the students from the Blue Lions are also complaining about this ‘prank’, because it has also come to our attention that the Golden Deer attempted to put all the blame for their part on the Blue Lions. Am I correct?” asked Seteth.

 

“O-Oh… I forgot about that part… Yea, hehe…” said Claude nervously.

 

“The Blue Lions shall not tolerate these fallacies against them. I am deeply disappointed- but not shocked- that the Golden Deer would perform such an insignificant-in-reality taunt towards the Black Eagles while Manuela was leading them!” said Hanneman.

 

“Literally every House so far as listed you as the worst teacher among us three- don’t start feeling yourself now” said Manuela.

 

“Oh! Listening to the rumors and spreading them, I see. Lady Rhea- I think Manuela is perfect in the Golden Deer” said Hanneman. HIlda, Lorenz, and Ignatz then gasp. Claude, feeling attacked, starts to get annoyed.

 

“Hey! We’re right here! And hello !? You are our original House Leader, Hanneman!” said Claude. Seteth, seeing this conversation going south, starts to sigh to himself- feeling a sense of despair as they continue aimlessly bickering onward...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“I am quite shocked to hear such a thing from a Professor… Showing his true colors I see…” said Edelgard as she is taken back by the Professors' words.

 

“Well, regardless of Hanneman’s clear faults in just- everything… That still doesn’t mean my teaching skills are sub-par!” said Manuela.

 

“If you cannot even take criticism from your own students- then I see why you shatter every time a man says ‘no’ to a date from you” said Hanneman. Sounds of ‘Ooo’s’ echo the room.

 

“Well, his wit sure is of the Golden Deer- I can say that…” said Claude.

 

“Hanneman- I heard you don't even pay when you take your imaginary women out to dinner. Probably because your wallet is as empty as your soul. Sorry that no one wants to fuck an old, broke, withering concubine hanging on daintly to his Professor roll because that’s all you will have to prove your worth in life when everything soon leaves and deserts you” said Manuela.

 

“Silence!” shouts Seteth towards Manuela and Hanneman, “I think instead of worrying about getting the last laugh- you should be worrying about honing your skills so you aren’t left in the dust, and being a shining example of how to conduct yourselves in the monastery. You all need a deep sense of discipline. As such- on top of aiding Cyril in cleaning up today- all the Golden Deer and Black Eagles students tomorrow will spend time scrubbing the monastery clean !”

 

“W-What?!” exclaimed the students in the room. 

 

“Did I stutter?” asked a very serious Seteth, “Oh- and let me make this clear; that means no training! Only cleaning!” said Seteth. 

 

“B-But Seteth- we have to train for the Mock Battle! If we spend all day tomorrow just cleaning- we will fall behind!” said Caspar.

 

“And I believe the youth would say in this moment… ‘Tough shit’. You made your bed- now lay in it! And, if this means the Blue Lions will be ahead, then that should inspire you all to work even harder!” said Seteth. Lady Rhea then sighs.

 

“Going back to Seteth’s comment about cleaning up today- this is not required of all your House students to participate in- but only the students in this room. However, if you want to get other students who have enough heart to help you- you may… And if you work fast enough you might make it back before dinner is over” said Lady Rhea.

 

“What?! But that means only 4 Black Eagles students are going to clean up the mess that was made due to a stupid prank made on us!” said Ferdinand.

 

“You also are the only 4 that engaged in fighting around the monastery- which resulted in the harm of a faculty member. Did you forget that part?” asked Seteth sarcastically.

 

“Agh… No, Sir” said Ferdinand as he started to hide his head.

 

“Again- I’d like to state how I didn’t fight…” said Linhardt- feeling hopeless. Hilda then sighs.

 

“If I had foreseen this type of torture I would have never participated Claude… Agh, Now I totally regret this…” admits Hilda.

 

“Hehe, my bad!” said Claude.

 

“I feel bad… Marianne… Lysithea… All the others that had nothing to do with this- or outright refused to cooperate due to disagreeing are not all affected...” said Ignatz.

 

“Actions always have repercussions. You should of been thinking of your House before you even attempted to do that” said Lady Rhea. As she says this Cyril then goes off to the side, picks up a mop and a mop bucket, and comes back.

 

“Well they will be thinking of their House- and the whole monastery- very much so now since we are gonna make sure this place is spotless over the next 24 hours! Oh, this will be fun!” said Cyril feeling excited.

 

“He is enjoying this too much…” said Ferdinand.

 

“Cyril will be the one that will make sure that you all are on track with your cleaning. You falter in any way- he will tell us! Essentially, he will be leading you all” said Seteth. Linhardt scoffs, and walks forwards.

 

“S-Seteth… I didn’t do anything! The prank was made against us! Please, can I opt out just for today? I healed! That’s it!” asked Linhardt desperately. 

 

“No. But you knew I would say that. You can save your tantrum for the mop you're about to utilize” said Seteth. Linhardt then starts to groan in displease.

 

“What? So… We are gonna be listening to a kid? What kind of backwards bullshit…” said Caspar under his breath.

 

“Don’t worry- you guys are all so skillful with everything else that cleaning should not be anything hard for you!” said Cyril with a smile on his face. 

 

“And what of the Professors?” asked Manuela- who would be leading the Black Eagles tomorrow.

 

“Well… Since you will not be teaching them tomorrow- you will  have a free day” said Seteth. Manuela and Hanneman then get excited.

 

“Oh really? Well, I guess I should be thanking the Golden Deer and Byleth then” said Manuela.

 

“I concur…” said Hanneman. Byleth then sighs.

 

“So… What about me? I teach the Blue Lions tomorrow” asked Byleth.

 

“You can use tomorrow to fully devote your time to your original House. And, since all other facilities will not be of use to either House- you basically have the monastery at your fingertips. Please, use it  and your time to your advantage tomorrow” said Seteth.

 

Well, that is kinda nice! Cheer up! This might be your way to make it right with the Blue Lions! ” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind. However, Byleth just sighs once more.

 

“I see… Very well” said Byleth.

 

“Byleth… You don a face of melancholy... Is there something you wish to say?” asked Lady Rhea. Byleth then looks over to Claude and Edelgard.

 

“I just… Wish everyone would do better- especially since my name continuously is on the line for all of this… I want us all to be happy- and that fact still runs true. If I have to endure things like this to make that happen…” said Byleth as they feel on the gash on their face, “... Then I will for the monastery” continued Byleth. Lady Rhea then smiles.

 

“Your unwavering conviction and determination for the students should serve as inspiration to all else in this room. Byleth, I envy your heart” said Lady Rhea. Edelgard, and Claude- both feeling guilty- have nothing to say to Byleth, and simply look on to them- displaying their sorry and want for forgiveness from Byleth. Seteth then claps his hands together.

 

“Okay. Now that we have all of that covered- time to get to work. The Black Eagles students- you may bring your clothes to the designated dirty clothes bins stationed in the dormitory before heading to your tasks. After that, Cyril- please take these lot back to the quad so they can help you with clean up” said Seteth.

 

“I’d be more than glad to!” said Cyril as he started to head out, “Come on you guys! You will all be listening to me from now on!” continued Cyril. Edelgard and Claude then sigh; neither awaiting the punishment created for them- or being bossed around by Cyril for the next day…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

As Seteth  adjourned the group of students after she assigned them their punishments they began to leave. Cyril leads the group of students out of the Audience Hall with a brimming smile on his face, and a pep in his step; the students reluctantly following carrying what cleaning supplies they could carry that Cyril brought with him. Cyril then turned around to face the wallowing students.

 

“Okay guys, carry what you can! It there’s still free hands amongst you- don’t worry! There’s more buckets and mops to carry downstairs!” said a chipper Cyril. As he says this, a large groaning sound permeates throughout the hallway.  Watching all the students leave the Professors begin to follow after them; Byleth- who just went through a lot in the last hour- looks onto them with slight sorrow in their eyes. Suddenly, Seteth then gets an idea.

 

“Oh! Professor Byleth! One word before you go…” said Seteth. Byleth then stops, and then turns to Seteth.

 

“Yes, Seteth?” asked Byleth.

 

“I understand that making you do a task in your state might be asking a bit too much- and you can turn this down if you are feeling sluggish- but the Black Eagles now have a surplus of sullied clothing and armor. Since they will be cleaning up the exterior of the monastery would you be able to make sure the class’s dirty laundry gets to the Laundry Room, and is cleaned” asked Seteth. Byleth then sighs.

 

“Yes, I can do that. It is the least I can do since this whole prank was caused by me. And don’t worry- Manuela is a good healer, and I’ll get through it” said Byleth. Seteth then hums.

 

“Ah, well- if you say so Professor. If you have any concerns- please, don’t hesitate to do so” said Seteth.

 

“I understand” said Byleth as they bow, “I’ll go see it that I get their clothes washed. Have a nice day” said Byleth. They then leave the room- following the rest of the group. The Audience Hall doors close behind Byleth, and as this happens Lady Rhea sighs.  Seteth notices this from Lady Rhea, and turns to her- and frowns.

 

“Lady Rhea… Your face does not look pleased” said Seteth. Lady Rhea then looks to Seteth with concern.

 

“Byleth… They looked so troubled over all of this… Do you think that this was not a good idea to implement? Especially since they had just started so soon?” asked Lady Rhea.

 

“Ah… Well, gathering from what the students said- I think we still have room to grow with it. Again- like we said in the begging- they are kind of like the guinea pigs for this; we get to see the pros and cons live. I am most surprised by the level of decorum and conductivity by the House Leaders- which was completely disappointing. But… At the same time- you have not seen them ‘try’ so hard in awhile… Wouldn’t you say?” questioned. Seteth.

 

“You mean these students? Well… They have only been here cumulatively for about a month… Isn’t that too short to really say?’ asked Lady Rhea.

 

“I mean the Houses in general; when was the last time any of the Houses were this motivated? I’m not sure myself…” said Seteth.

 

“I see… Well, let us pray for the next upcoming days that it gets better…” said Lady Rhea.

 

“We shall see… I definitely feel for the Professor in this time…” said Seteth as he looks towards the closed door. He then sighs. “Well, the day moves on...” Seteth continued.

 

*****

 

After the students changed out of their dirty clothes they went with Cyril to help further clean up the Golden Deer’s mess. This left all their dirty clothes in the bins for Byleth to take. The bins were also filled with the Black Eagles’ sullied table cloths as well as other things that could be placed in the laundry. Byleth looks at the pile, and sightly hums to themselves. Suddenly, they hear a voice.

 

Well- at least it’s not the whole House’s dirty laundry you are cleaning! ” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind- trying to make the best of the situation at hand.

 

Yea… You are right. It’s not that bad of a task- although, I never had to clean my students clothes before… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Have you ever cleaned your own clothes? ” asked Sothis.

 

Huh? You are making it seem like I don’t take care of myself. Also- you have been with me ever since I came here; you know I have not actually ‘washed’ my clothes here, and that someone else does. The less I as a Professor have to worry about- the more I can dedicate my time to my students ” thought Byleth. Sothis then sighs.

 

Even after that nasty gash on your face- your determination and resolve never wavered… I don’t know if that means you are just a kind soul- or an idiot ” said Sothis. Byleth then feels the cut on their cheek.

 

It will disappear in a  day or so- just like the tension will between these Houses; and I will be the one to make it happen. It’s all around me- so I might as well try- right? ” asked Byleth.

 

I suppose… You really are putting in a lot of effort into this. I just hope that Claude, Edelgard, and Dimitri all follow suit… ” said Sothis.

 

Oh believe me- that has been one thing that I have been praying for since the first day… ” thought Byleth. They then place all the clothes into one bin, and begin to roll it off to the Laundry Room.

 

*****

 

So… Where is the Laundry Room? ” asked Sothis. Byleth, puzzled and almost lost, starts to scratch his head.

 

... You think I should have asked Seteth that before I left?... ” asked Byleth- who feels a bit stupid. Sothis then scoffs.

 

Remember when I said you might be an idiot? Well, you are starting to show that right now… Well, the Laundry Room is were they wash dishes and whatnot as well, so it has to be close to where we are- the Dining Hall. Wanna ask around? ” asked Sothis.

 

Don’t you think it might be degrading if I’m asking someone else where the Laundry Room is as a Professor at the monastery? ” thought Byleth.

 

Well how else will you do this, dunderhead? Agh… ” said Sothis. Byleth scratches their head as they lower it- debating whether they should ask someone or wander around aimlessly until they find it. Suddenly, footsteps approach Byleth. “ Hey! Look alive! ” continued Sothis. Byleth, hearing Sothis’s words, lifts up his head, and turns around to the direction of the footsteps.

 

“... Professor; do you not know where to take the dirty laundry? I am heading to the Laundry Room myself to do some laundry per a request from my House. Want to head there together?” asked Dimitri.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Reluctant, but not knowing where to go, Byleth agrees to Dimitri’s offer to be shown the way to the Laundry Room. What made it even more awkward for Byleth was the face that Dimitri had also offered to roll the cart together with Byleth- which also holds some clothes that Dimitri needed to clean. At this current moment, Byleth and Dimitri were cordial; not in an argumentative state, but both knowing that they are still ‘rebuilding’ from the hurt and guilt that sits in between them. Byleth, believing that Dimitri’s aid is more deliberate than he lets on, wants to think that he is aiding them to start the mending of the bridge. Byleth, wanting to break the dead air between them, turns to Dimitri.

 

“So… Have you heard what happened?” asked Byleth. 

 

“I can see what happened” said Dimitri as he looks to Byleth’s face, “But yes- it was quite hard not to thought. Since that sneaky little Claude wanted to try and blame the Blue Lions- like, what kinda sorry attempt was that?!” continued Dimitri.

 

“Y-Yea…” said Byleth.

 

“Oh! I’m sorry; I know what you went through pales in comparison to his attempts on us! Please, disregard what I said” said Dimitri- feeling he overstepped his words.

 

“No- I’m the one that brought it up, it’s fine. I asked because of that” said Byleth.

 

“O-Oh… Well, yes. It was an annoyance- since we would not have overstepped a simple lunch just to prove a point. But Professor Hanneman seemed fairly annoyed. Also, many Blue Lions students were present watching it go down, so there is a bit of tension between the Houses” said Dimitri.

 

“Really?” asked Byleth.

 

“Yea. I feel in the middle about it all personally; while Claude’s attempts were childish and ill-planned, it is a bit satisfying that- for a moment- Edelgard had some type of retaliation done on her. You know- since she likes to act like she never does so on us” said Dimitri. Byleth then looks down.

 

“I see… Just, what does Edelgard do?’ asked Byleth. Suddnely, Dimitri lowers his head in guilt.

 

“I-I’m sorry Professor- I should not have even utters those words… I think right now is not the best time for me to be gossiping, and talking negatively about Edelgard; there will be plenty more opportunities to do so. I just think that- like with every House- you will see the closed closets that each House tries desperately to keep shut” said Dimitri. Byleth then hums.

 

“I see… So, what about our closed closets; what may reside in the Blue Lions?” asked Byleth. Dimitri then blushes slightly.

 

“... The desire to come out of it…” whispered Dimitri.

 

“Huh? Did you say something, Dimitri?” asked Byleth- who didn’t hear his response.

 

“U-Uh… Just that… It rests our desires to be lead in the right direction by the best leader” said Dimitri. Byleth then chuckles.

 

“I know, I know… I’m coming home tomorrow” said Byleth.

 

“Home?" said Dimitri as he stops in his tracks. Byleth pulls the bin a bit further before they stop themselves, and look back.

 

“... I have never forgotten the choice I made, Dimitri. What has changed however… Is my realization that I’m not selfish enough to keep what I offer to just one group of people- when everyone can grow from it. Looking out for your soldiers- your people, or your loved ones as their beacon of hope- isn’t that a philosophy you bestowed upon me?” asked Byleth to Dimitri. Dimitri, hearing this, blushes greatly.

 

“A beacon… O-Of hope? M-Me?...” stuttered Dimitri. Byleth then giggles.

 

“Yes. Like a true hero… Please understand Dimitri; I would hope that you would not feel similar to me if we traded shoes…” said Byleth. Dimitri took a moment to think about Byleht’s words as he stood there.

 

“I see…” said Dimitri.

 

“Come on, I still gotta service to do for Lady Rhea. ANd this paint ain’t gonna clean itself” said Byleth. 

 

“Right… Let’s keep going- it’s not too far from where we are” said Dimitri. As he walked forward, and continued to push the bin towards the Laundry Room.

 

“Right! L-Lead the way, please” said Byleth as they push the bin as well...

 

*****


“Here we are, Professor” said Dimitri as they stand outside the giant door to the Laundry Room. 

 

“Finally, we made it. “ said Byleth,

 

“... I get the impression you have never been here, Professor” confessed Dimitri. Byleth then gets suprised.

 

“Oh! U-Uh… I-Is it that obvious?” asked Byleth as they start to rub the back of their head. Dimitri then chuckles.

 

“I mean- I practically lead the way the entire time. Which is no problem; we got here regardless” said Dimitri as he went to open the door to the Laundry Room. Byleth then rolls the bin inside, and sees many different washing cauldrons filled with steamy hot water, as well as steam drying stations. There also was a furnace in the room- mainly used to heat the water. Byleth parks the bin, and then gets confused.

 

“So… I just… Do… What with the clothes?” asked Byleth.

 

“... So, you never washed clothes using these mechanics before?” asked Dimitri.

 

“N-No…” admitted Byleth. Dimitri then sighs- but crack a smile through it.

 

“I understand. You just leave them in that cauldron over there with the water, and the machine will churn the water- soaking it and washing it with added soap that you mix in. Please place mine in the one next to it if you will.

 

"Okay" said Byleth.

 

"Oh, for the soap- you go over there where it's stored” said Dimitri as he points to a shelf with soap on it. Byleth felt a tad bossed around in this situation, but they followed Dimitri’s words, and went to get the soap. 

 

“And I just dump it in there?’ asked Byleth.

 

“Yup Pretty easy, huh?’ asked Dimitri.

 

“I suppose... “ said Byleth. They loaded the clothes into the cauldron, mixed in the soap, and let the machine do it’s magic as Dimitri finished putting his load in as well.

 

“Well that does it. Professor, while I would love to stick around and talk more- I actually have to get going” said Dimitri as he bows.

 

“No, I understand. I have to return to the Golden Deer, and Black Eagles outside… Speaking of which- let’s just say that you might like tomorrow due to their punishment they have to do…” said Byleth.

 

“Really? Like what?” asked DImitri.

 

“Uh uh uh! If you don't gossip- I won’t either” said Byleth as they wink. Dimitri, taken aback, blushes and giggles slightly.

 

“I understand. Well, Professor- have a nice day, and I will see you tomorrow” said Dimitri as he leaves the room. Byleth watches as Dimitri walks, and smiles.

 

Well- out of the three House Leaders, I would say you and Dimitri have the least amount of tension arguably ” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind.

 

Eh… I think the issue I have with him is a bit deeper than Claude’s… However, Claude’s minor attempts just happened to have a big outlandish resulting effect ” thought Byleth.

 

Ah… Well- forget the semantics for now- let’s get over to Cyril and the others! ” said Sothis.

 

Right ” thought Byleth. They then leave the room, and head off. However, as Byleth leaves, what they didn’t see was someone watching them from afar.

 

“Since we are playing dirty- let’s play dirty…” an unknown voice exclaimed as they watched Byleth walk away…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Okay, guys, pick up the slack! I want to be able to see my reflection in these stones!” said Cyril as he stands on top of a bunch of barrels. Linhardt, carrying a bucket full of water, sets it down as he wipes sweat off of his brow.

 

“That’s like- impossible!” said Linhardt.

 

“With that attitude-maybe. You just gotta use more polish. Come on, there is still some paint on that window over there as well” said Cyril.

 

“I’m on it!” said Ignatz as he carries his bucket to the window, and starts to clean. Caspar, on his hands and knees scrubbing paint off the ground, gets up and shouts.

 

“Gosh, Claude- what is in this paint!? It’s too hard to clean this paint off!” said Caspar. Claude, who is picking up excess arrows on the ground, turns around and laughs.

 

“Well it would of been no fun if you could just wash it off all willy-nilly. It’s a special concoction I have been cooking up for a minute. It needed to be hard enough and not be too wet to hold together, but also elastic enough to make the best mess!" said Claude. Hearing this, Edelgard starts to get increasingly annoyed.

 

“Claude- are you really sorry for doing all of this if you are happy with the result of the product so?” asked Edelgard.

 

“I’m sorry for the result , but the work that I initially put into it I appreciate; it’s not everyday I get to see one of my schemes come to light!” said Claude snarkly.

 

“Agh… Just clean Claude; this is your mess, so you should be cleaning up most of this!” said Edelgard. 

 

“And don’t you see me with this mop? Hello? I know this is mainly my fault, okay? I told you that you don’t have to go in that hard on the cleaning, and leave it to the Golden Deer” said Claude.

 

Excuse me! Everyone should be trying really hard because Lady Rhea said so!” said Cyril.

 

“Oh chill out Cyril. I don’t think that the Black Eagles have to overextend themselves for our mess” said Claude.

 

“Okay, but I am to report on you all to Seteth and Lady Rhea- and keep you all on track. So I’m afraid I’ll have to notify them if you are not trying to clean up like they said. I’m not forcing you guys to do anything- but no one likes a slacker ” said Cyril. Hearing this, Ferdinand gets annoyed greatly.

 

Slacker ?! Um- we literally were just minding our own business, and now we are fucking clean up crew!” shouted Ferdinand as he throws his cleaning rag on the ground, “And why would we hustle to clean up our own mess we did not cause!? Not to mention, it’s just Edelgard, Caspar, Linhardt, and I who have to clean- not our whole House!” he continued. Cyril then scoffs and rolls his eyes.

 

“Listen; if you all still had more repetitive complaining in you, you could have gotten it all out when we were still in the Audience Hall” said Cyril.

 

“Oh haha Cyril- I didn’t know that comic was a skill you possessed” said Ferdinand.

 

“Well I didn’t know complainer was one of yours,” said Cyril. Edelgard then sighs and stands up straight from cleaning the ground next to her.

 

“Come on now, Ferdinand. Let’s just clean this up. This won’t blow over if we sit around” said Edelgard.

 

“Right…” said Ferdinand. 

 

*****

 

Over the next hour, the students follow Cyril’s lead cleaning up the quad. They removed Edelgard’s special setup, and put back the original seating in that section. Everything was going smoothly for the students until they all started to silently noticed that Cyril’s commands would come more consistently; whether to do a job more efficiently, or to do a specific task to expedite the process. On top of this, Cyril started to don a more dictator-like persona…

 

“No no no, Ignatz! Put the snapped arrows in the trash if they cannot be repaired! That one is fully intact!” said Cyril.

 

“O-Oh! You are right. Sorry, I wasn’t thinking…” said Ignatz as he went to go to the arrow in the ‘still good’ pile that Claude was making. 

 

“Don’t worry Iggy! If you put a broken arrow in my pile it’s easier to throw them out then the other way around ‘ya know?” said Claude as he continues to pick up the arrows around the field.  Suddenly, next to Ignatz, Lorenz drops a water bucket full of sudsy water.

 

“Lorenz, watch out! If you spill the water everywhere, not only will we need to source more- but you make the cleanup area a safety hazard!” said Cyril.

 

“M-My apologies, everyone; please, watch your step over here…. I lost my grip because the bucket was too heavily filled” said Lorenz.

 

“Then that means that Hilda is filling them too high!” said Cyril.

 

“What? Agh, you already yelled at me because I was not filling them enough! You know these are not light you know?” said Hilda.

 

“Well you wouldn't need to keep filling them if Caspar would wash with less water,” said Cyril.

 

“Oh please leave me outta this! The paint is fuckin’ hard to wash!” said Caspar. 

 

“Ferdinand, I know you don’t wanna get your knees dirty- but could you go down low right there and get that paint on the bottom of the wall?” asked Cyril.

 

“S-Sure…” said Ferdinand reluctantly.

 

“And now that I’m looking around- where’s Linhardt?” asked Cyril as he tries to find him. He then finds Linhardt laying against the wall taking a nap. He then walks up to Linhardt with a stern look on his face.

 

“... LINHARDT!” shouts Cyril- waking him up.

 

“H-Huh?! What’s wrong!? N-No I didn’t drool all over the library books…” said Linhardt as he looks around.

 

“... What? Linhardt- just get up already” said Cyril as he shakes his head.

 

“Oh, we are still cleaning… Well, alright…” said Linhardt as he gets up. Edelgard, getting annoyed over Cyril, sighs as she goes to turn to Cyril- and dons a fake smile.

 

“Oh Cyril, if you may- could you help us with  procuring water since we seem to have issue getting them?” said Edelgard. She then starts to think, “ If we get him out of here then we can regain some tact here… ”.

 

“Me? Go get water? Well, if I go get water- I suppose then you guys can focus more on efficiently cleaning…” pondered Cyril.

 

“Yes! You go do that, and we will continue cleaning this up! Why- we might even finish before you get back!” said a delighted Edelgard. Cyril then smiles.

 

“I like your enthusiasm! That’s the kind we need to inspire others to shift their work ethic! Why- if you think that we can finish up by being more resourceful with what we have now, then let’s follow your idea!” said Cyril.

 

“W-What? Oh n-no, I mean- well we surely could finish with the amount we have, but we don’t want to be under resourced right? Why not try and get as much as we need to clean properly?” suggested Edelgard- attempting to sell her point.

 

“Yea… But we also need to not be wasteful; we shouldn’t use precious water just to clean up paint, ‘ya know? And now that you mention it- we totally have enough now! Thanks, Edelgard- you helped me be less wasteful!” said Cyril as he smiles. Edelgard then lowers her head in sadness.

 

“Y-Yea… You are welcome…” said Edelgard. Claude then chuckles in the background- watching her attempt to fool Cyril fail.

 

“So Caspar- more elbow grease! Hilda- can you take our trash pile to the garbage area? Claude, Ignatz- let’s focus on clearing out the paint remnants than picking up arrow heads for now- anything you miss can be gotten tomorrow; we gotta make sure the exterior of the monastery looks just like- if not better than it did before. Everyone else- continue on cleaning!” said Cyril. As he says this, everyone cleaning groans.

 

“Yes, Cyril…” said them all. Cyril then starts to ponder to himself.

 

“... Actually, it’s Captain Cyril. Hehe, just for today!” said Cyril.

 

“Captain?! Okay- now you are pushing it! You been ordering us around for no reason” said Caspar.

 

“And clearly you need some guidance if you squirm at any sign of authority. Would you want to lead this, Caspar?” asked Cyril.

 

“I just wanna go train, man… Can you cut us some slack? I haven’t even digested my food from earlier! Can I go take a bathroom break at least?” asked Caspar.

 

“Uh… Maybe in 10 mins; remind me” said Cyril. Caspar then scoffs. As this happens, the Golden Deer all huddle up as they start to clean near each other.

 

“Oh my god- what’s with this dude? Is the power getting to his head?” asked Hilda.

 

“Considering Lady Rhea specifically wanted him to do this- he’s probably having the time of his life,” said Lorenz.

 

“Compared to Byleth’s situation- this is nothing, really…” said Ignatz.

 

“Right. This is just desserts in my opinion… Lets just deal with it, guys...” said Claude. 

 

“Right…” said Hilda, Lorenz, and Ignatz. They then continue to diligently work to clean up all the paint as Cyril dictates them around; the Black Eagles steadily following their lead as well. In the end, they end up cleaning for the next two hours on the paint together; the day winding closer to evening as the sun got lower, and Dinnertime started…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

While Cyril was bossing around the other students, Byleth was still in the process of washing the Black Eagles’ clothing that got tarnished earlier. However, with all that has been on their mind, accidentally they let what they have been doing slip their mind as they decided to take what was supposed to be a brief nap. What ended up being the case was that they fell asleep for a couple hours! Byleth, deep in their slumber, starts to slowly come back into consciousness; coming up into awareness as they faintly hear a voice echo in their mind...

 

Hey… Hey… Hey! Wake up! Aren’t you washing clothes? They could be getting moldy ‘ya know! ” said Sothis to Byleth. Suddenly, Byleth comes to, and wakes up in their room. They look around disheveled as they instantly get up- realizing what is going on.

 

“Oh no! W-What time is it?” asked Byleth out loud.

 

You were asleep for almost three hours! Gosh, did all that running around tire you out? You came to your room just to rest your face a bit- but you knocked out cold! How are you feeling? ” asked Sothis.

 

“Well… You never really know how you will handle being slashed in the face until it happens. I just had it all hit me all at once- and I just needed a bit of rest. But I didn’t want to pass out for so long- I don’t think any of the other workers even know clothes are being washed right now…” said Byleth. 

 

Right. I think they typically wash clothes on Sundays… ” said Sothis.

 

“... How would you know that and I don’t? We have like… The same conscious?” asked Byleth.

 

While YOU were gawking at Dimitri I was admiring the sweet simplicity and ambiance of the Laundry Room; it said that on the wall, and I happened to remember. We might share similar minds- our eyes see different horizons apparently! ” said Sothis.

 

“W-What?! I was not gawking at Dimitri!” said Byleth as they blush.

 

Ha! If that’s what you want to believe- you can say that. Anyways, the point is that there is no one that probably thinks that there are clothes being washed. So, let’s go! ” said Sothis. 

 

“Right!” said Byleth as they go to leave for the Laundry Room.

 

*****

 

Byleth makes it back to the Laundry Room to assess the state of the clothing, but what they find instead made them assess what to do even further. Byleth- in actuality- was unable to check on the clothes, because once they arrived to the Laundry Room door they noticed that it was locked. Byleth stood there puzzled on what to do next.

 

“Oh no… How are we to get in if the door won’t open?” asked Byleth.

 

Uh… Yea, this has me beat… Well, if it has a lock on it- then someone here should have a key! Maybe we can find someone with a key ” said Sothis. Byleth then hums.

 

“Well… That does sound like a good plan- but… Isn’t there something odd about this lock? And why would the public use Laundry Room be locked anyways?” asked Byleth.

 

Listen- I’m not clairvoyant! Your guess is as good as mine! ” said Sothis.

 

“N-No… I mean… The lock looks like it’s broken” said Byleth as they lean in closer. The lock on the door was a lock that would normally need a key to open; however, the key hole was warped- as if someone tampered with it. The lock was also wrapped in a chain- to make taking if off more complex than it should be. Byleth grabbed the lock by their hands, and tried to shake it lose- to not avail. They then held the lock closer to their face. “See? The key hole- that won’t fit a key whatsoever. So, even if we went to go get a key- no key will fit in that. We need to pry the lock off” continued Byleth.

 

Agh, just our luck… It’s like someone does not want us to be in here or something- but there are clothes still inside that have not been washed… Who would lock it- knowing that stuff is inside? ” asked Sothis.

 

“Maybe they finished the clothes for us, and relocated them?” proposed Byleth.

 

Well if that were the case they would be delivered back to the owners if they closed up shop- but that is just a guess… I think that they would just place your clothes back to a bin… Which would be inside the room. So, I suppose we could check everyone’s rooms… ” suggested Sothis.

 

“Well it’s all we can do for now…” said Byleth. 

 

*****

 

They then turn around and head back to the dorms- to see if any of the Black Eagles had gotten their clothes back. However, of the ones that were back in their dorms- notably Dorothea, Bernadetta, and Petra- none had said that they gotten their dirty clothes back. Since Hubert was still in the infirmary, and with no other way for Byleth to enter his- or anyone else's rooms that were not currently there, their only options were to find someone that regularly aids in washing clothes, or asking the other Black Eagles students still working with Cyril. Cyril, being someone that would potentially handle this stuff, was an easy person to ask first about this- since Byleth would then instead have to ask a plethora of Garreg Mach associates to see who handles that work; they also didn’t want to go to Lady Rhea about this issue as to not make the issue bigger than Byleth thought it was. As such, Byleth moves to head to the quad to see those hard at work…

 

“Hey! It’s Professor Byleth! Tighten up your spines in front of the Professor you guys!” demanded Cyril as they see Byleth approach. Byleth then chuckles nervously.

 

“No no- none of that formality is necessary” said Byleth. Hilda, stretching out her back due to bending over for so long, groans in agony.

 

“Oh Professor- save us!” This has been the worst punishment ever like- for real! This is far more wrenching than you would ever expect. Please , make it stop!” pleads Hilda as she cracks her back.

 

“Huh? But we can’t stop- there’s still more paint that needs cleaning up” said Cyril.

 

“Well let’s let them rest for one moment Cyril; I need your help with something” said Byleth. Suddenly, as Byleth says this, the rest of the students working light up with joy.

 

”R-Really?! Y-Yes! Please, take him away!” shouted Lorenz. 

 

“Hey! I’m helping you all stay on task so you don’t get further in trouble!” said Cyril- feeling unwanted. Byleth the waves their hands in the air.

 

“Relax everyone- I need to ask something of the Black Eagles as well actually” said byleth.

 

“Really? What’s up, Professor?” asked Caspar.

 

“So… This might be a stupid question… But did any of you guys happen to get your dirty clothes yet from the Laundry?” asked Byleth. The Black Eagles then look around to each other.

 

“... Huh? No, we have been here all this cleaning, and no one has came by to give us them” said Ferdinand.

 

“We might have more dirty clothes now though! You see all this dirt and fuckin’ sweat?!” said Caspar as he shows off his clothes. Edelgard shakes her head at Caspar, and turns to Byleth.

 

“... Did anyone come to our rooms with them?” asked Edelgard.

 

“I checked. No they have not” said Byleth.

 

“And you as asking us…Why?” asked Caspar.

 

“Well… I don’t want to alert you all- which is why I wanted to speak to only Cyril but… The Laundry Room is locked- and the lock is tampered with. I can’t get in... And I believe the clothes are still in there” said Byleth. 

 

“W-WHAT?!” Cyril, Edelgard, Caspar, Linhardt, and Ferdinand all shout hearing this unfortunate news…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“W-What do you mean our stuff is stuck in the room?!” shouted Ferdinand. 

 

“P-Professor; many of us do not have multiple pairs of clothing. So, if our clothes are stuck in there- and we continue to work or even go on missions, then sooner or later this will affect our performance if we are running around in dirty clothes” said Edelgard.

 

“Gosh, talk about privileged…” said Cyril- under his breathe- in response to Edelgard. Caspar then starts to groan in annoyance behind Cyril.

 

“I will solve that shit right now! I’ll bust that fuckin’ door down! Let's go!” shouted Caspar as he begins to walk off. However, Byleth places their hand on Caspar’s chest.

 

“Calm down, Caspar” said Byleth as they look over to Cyril, “I don’t know who to ask about locks, so I came to Cyril since he does lots of maintenance related things around the monastery. I just need him”.

 

“What? Can we go, Professor? Please” asked Caspar.

 

“And wait, Professor- if I go… Who will make sure they stay on task?” asked Cyril.

 

“Edelgard and Claude will be good House Leaders, and finish the work. Come on Cyril” suggested Byleth. Edelgard and Claude’s faces light up, and get shocked at Byleth’s response.

 

“Y-Yes! I will!” said Claude and Edelgard sternly.

 

“Well… Alright. If that’s what you think Professor, then I’m okay with it. Come on, let’s go!” said Cyril. 

 

“Right” said Byleth. And with that Byleth and Cyril rush off, and as Cyril and Byleth disappear the group of students cheer.

 

“Oh- thank god!” said Linhardt- relieved.

 

“C-Cyril has such a good heart and mind… But I think he might need to work on this authority…” said Ignatz.

 

“Definitely… Well, time to slack off!” said Caspar.

 

“No, let’s still try and finish…” said Edelgard.

 

“Yea, I agree…” said Claude as he starts to pick up more arrows, “Awe- and here I was about to formulate my escape plan, and here goes Teach making me feel like cleaning…” he continues- feeling sentimental. Seeing Edelgard and Claude’s sudden shift in mood and motivation- the others start to work more collectively and determined…

 

*****

 

“Whoever tampered with monastery property is going to get in big trouble! Why is all these little weird problems happening all the sudden?” ponders Cyril as he walks with Byleth around the monastery.

 

“I do not know… And I can not even think to wonder who would do such a thing…” said Byleth.

 

“Agh! It’s so annoying, right? We need to get to the bottom of this! I’m glad you wanted me to handle this!” shouted Cyril. 

 

“Right… Well, I just didn’t know who to even talk to about this that would not make some uproar... And, I feel like since there are other personnel who are off doing things that I would consider more important than clothing- this issue would not be resolved any time soon, so I think we should.” said Byleth.

 

“Right, I agree” said Cyril.

 

“What do you suggest we do?” asked Byleth. 

 

“Well, I guess the smartest option would just be to break open the lock” said Cyril.

 

“Isn’t that defacing property?” asked Byleth.

 

“Well- yea… But I mean it’s already defaced so… And- I mean, we have to get in. Unless you have some ‘walk-through-walls’ ability that I don’t know about” said Cyril as he chuckles.

 

“No, hehe” said Byleth as they rub their head, “I just wanna do what I can since Lady Rhea asked me to do this… So, if I have to do that then I will” said Byleth.

 

“I like your enthusiasm! You good at an axe? Or mace? We can just bust this thing open” said Cyril. 

 

“Well I don’t have any weapons on me... We are better off heading to the Training Grounds or the Knights' Hall for weaponry” said Byleth.

 

“Let’s not bother the knights about some laundry- let’s head to the Training Grounds!” said Cyril.

 

Byleth and Cyril then make their way to the Training Grounds to secretly get some weapons so them can break open the lock so that they can get inside.

 

*****

 

Cyril and Bleth then head to the Training Hall to procure weapons. Along the way there,  they pass by the Courtyard where the House of the Month Plaque rests on the stone wall- still without a House home. Cyril looks at the House of the Month Plaque with confusion, and stops momentarily. Byleth, noticing, stops besides him.

 

“Gosh… All of this hullabaloo over that ? I mean- what is the big deal? It’s just a frame” said Cyril.

 

“Well it is about what it represents, and what it will mean to others; it’s what it might be turning into- or representing to certain folk that I’m starting to notice a negative effect in. But, regardless of that fact, it ultimately awards hard work and dedication to the most deserving House- so I still stand by my decision to do this” said Byleth.

 

“Yea; I think that part of it is good. But, I guess some are trying a bit harder than others” said Cyril.

 

“Yea…” said Byleth.

 

“So… How do you feel about it all?” asked Cyril.

 

“Huh? About what?” asked Byleth.

 

“About the whole rotation system, and you moving around Houses” asked Cyril.

 

“Well… The whole ‘daily rotation’ is a bit much to get used to… But, I do like being able to interact with every House’s students. But I know that once the Mock Battle happens it will lessen to at least once a month we change- so I am baring through it.” said Byleth. 

 

“I see. Is there a House you think will win? I mean- you have been with every House now” asked Cyril.

 

“Hm… I’m not sure. Every House has their strengths and weaknesses, and I had hoped that I could make every single House the best they could be. I had thoughts of recruiting certain members from other Houses when I was just in the Blue Lions, so there are some students I see that have potential; being able to work right with them is pretty nice” said Byleth.

 

“I see… Well, I suppose that when you are in an actual House that the plaque might have more weight that I don’t see” said Cyril. 

 

“Ah… Speaking of which, have you ever thought about joining a House, Cyril?” asked Byleth.

 

“Um, well I would not join one right now- but it was something that Seteth has asked me once before,” said Cyril.

 

“Really? He wanted you to?” questioned Byleth.

 

“Yea; either this or joining the Knights- but I am not sure what I wanna do. I just wanna help Lady Rhea. I mean- there isn’t really an age limit or anything on joining either, so I could now despite my age. And I trained under Shamir; so my archery skill is pretty good. Seteth says I got the skill for it” said Cyril.

 

“Shamir, huh? I don’t think I have met someone by that name before. Well, I think you would fit right in” said Byleth.

 

“You’ll probably see her around the monastery; she kinda sticks to herself, or around Catherine” said Cyril.

 

"I'm not sure I've heard of either..." thought Byleth as they rub their chin. “Ah… So, why wouldn’t you right now?” asked Byleth thereafter.

 

“Um… Well, it is a pretty lengthy reason actually. I don’t want to chew your ear off” said Cyril.

 

“No- I insist. If you wanna tell me, then I will listen” said Byleth.

 

“Hm… Well, okay. We can walk and talk then” said Cyril.

 

“Right” said Byleth as the continue walking- anticipating whatever Cyril is about to say…

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

“So… I guess the short version of why now isn’t the best time is because I’m just too busy” said Cyril as he kicks a pebble on the ground as he walks, “To attend to Lady Rhea’s every need- you need not only diligent workers, but a lot of them. I am fairly privileged to be able to stay at the monastery due to basically having no where else to go; by Lady Rhea’s grace, she allowed me a place to call mine. N-Not to get sentimental or anything- but it's part of the reason why I’m such a diligent worker towards her”.

 

“Right, I understand that” said Byleth as they look to Cyril with intent.

 

“Anyways… So because of that, I go above and beyond for her; but it isn't just for her to be at ease, it’s for others who also do the same. You see- the monastery still needs more help around it; that’s partly why I think you were invited as a Professor on such short notice. I mean- the other one just ran off somewhere. Those random occasions are blights to the integrity of the monastery” said Cyril.  

 

“I see... I agree” said Byleth.

 

“We need goods, weaponry, materials, livestock, and most of all- the bodies to source it all; these primarily come from merchants, other officials, donations, as well as any type of miscellaneous findings on missions. But those kinds of activities do not happen as often as you think. So, it is up to the students and the Knights of Seiros sent on away missions to primarily to do all those other things. So… Do you know what that all means as a result?” asked Cyril- after his long explanation ended.

 

“Y-... No” admitted Byleth as they scratch their head and laugh nervously. Cyril then sighs.

 

“It means that all the other work- like the stuff around the monastery- is left for the clergy people of the church, the stationary on sight knights, faculty members, and people like me to do" responds Cyril. 

 

“Ohh…” said Byleth as they soon realize all of what he is trying to say.

 

“Sure- I could just lessen my work load; a lot of what I do, I am often told that I do not have to do- but with that mentality nothing gets done! So, because of all that I do I just have the time to do other things; most of what free time I have goes straight to personal training- just so I do not fall too far behind. But things like missions, and homework, and all that- eh. Not as important as making sure we have food, and working facilities” said Cyril.

 

“So… If there were more things like merchants and whatnot- as well as just more people at the monastery in general- then you would feel more comfortable joining a House?” asked Byleth.

 

“In short- yes. I would be able to allocate what I think is important to other things in that type of environment. I mean- when you have to fight to survive, what do you think will be most important to you?” asked Cyril.

 

“Um… Your life? Survival?” responded Byleth.

 

“Sure. And that is what many of you all who go on missions rely on to keep fighting. So, it’s up to people like me to make sure your bed is nice and neat when you return, so you can keep focusing on fighting and not other stuff; for yours and for others sake” said Cyril. Hearing this caused Byleth to get shocked.

 

“W-Wow Cyril… I didn’t think you felt so strongly and deeply about this…” said Byleth.

 

Kinda weird if you ask me… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“I do. Which is why when people deface property, or do stupid things like this it makes me angry!” shouted Cyril. Byleth then sighs with relief

 

“Ah… Well, perhaps one day you will be in that situation where you could do that Cyril” said Byleth.

 

“Perhaps. I’m not really awaiting it to happen I just take what life hands to me, and be thankful for whatever it is” said Cyril.

 

“I understand” said Byleth. They then start to think, “ Hm… I should probably see what I can do about that issue of the monastery… ”.

 

“Well, we chatted all the way to the Training Grounds; quite a tale to last this long huh? Well, let’s get back to what we came here for, shall we?” suggested Cyril.

 

“Yes; let’s get this lock taken care of,” said Byleth as they open the door to the Training Grounds, and enter…

 

*****

 

As they come inside the Training Grounds they see various students from various Houses training amongst themselves, as well as Knights standing ideal about the grounds. In the middle of the field was Jeritza- who had a foreboding expression on his face. They pass by him- not really wanting to both him whatsoever, and keep going along the outer rim of the grounds. Looking over to the side, Cyril spots a rack of weapons, and his eyes light up.

 

“Byleth! Look! I think we could borrow those weapons there” said Cyril. 

 

“Yea, those should work” said Byleth. They then walk over to the weapon rack, and Byleth goes to grab a mace. However, as soon as they grab it instantly Jeritza appears behind him, and puts his hand on Byleth’s shoulder.

 

“... What are you doing with that?” asked Jeritza. 

 

“O-Oh!... Uh…” said Byleth as they get shocked, “We just needed to borrow a weapon to break open a lock”.

 

“... These are here for students to use to train with. If you are not using them for their purpose- leave them” said Jeritza. Cyril then scoffs.

 

“Come on! It’s not like people just walk around with their weapons! In order to get weapons, you have to properly sign them out so you are authorized to have them on monastery grounds; that keeps weapon use to limited areas or for missions. But we just need a bludgeoning weapon really quickly!” said Cyril.

 

“ So go to the weapon hold for mission use of Garrag Mach affiliate; these are for training, not to hold or play with. I’m not going to just be giving out weapons anymore because someone tried to enter the inventories recently- unauthorized- and attempted to procure weaponry as well as sabotage specific House weaponry” said Jeritza.

 

“H-Huh? Really?” asked Byleth- shocked.

 

“Yes; but that doesn't matter to you- who won’t be getting weapons regardless. The issue is for Seteth and Lady Rhea- not you. Also- you should be able to keep personal weapons on your person because you are a Professor; you should also be able to sign out your House weapons as well. So, why are you here?” asked Jeritza. Byleth then sighs hearing this.

 

“You are right… I just didn’t think it would matter where I procured them. I’m a Professor; I’m not going to lose or steal these” said Byleth.

 

“Your title is redundant to me; you are a Professor to the House students pertaining their classes ; guiding them to new highs for the monastery. What does that have to do with here and these weapons? Mind your place” said Jeritza sternly. Cyril then grunts.

 

“Don’t talk to the Professor that way!” shouted Cyril- making other students in the Training Grounds look over.

 

“C-Cyril, it’s fine… It’s just find some other weapons; I just don't want to go through this anymore” said Byleth as he takes Cyril’s shoulder, and walks off from Jeritza. 

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you just let him say all that mean stuff and you just walked away!...” said Cyril.

 

“It's not that big of a deal; and like I said- he is right” said Byleth. Cyril then sighs.

 

“Well… Okay. So… Where are you gonna look next?” asked Cyril.

 

“Well… I’m not sure. I am a Professor of the Black Eagles- but I do not have the authorizations for their weapons because I never really looked through Manuela’s papers due to only paying attention and having time for Seteth’s sex papers today...” said Byleth,.

 

“W-What? Sex papers?...” said Cyril- not understanding what Byleth means.

 

“O-Oh… Um…” said Byleth stumbling over their words.

 

He would not know about the lectures today due to him not being in a House! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“N-Never mind that; the point is I just don’t know where to go for weapons… “ said Byleth as they start to brainstorm, “...I could go to another House… N-No, I would have to go through the Professors, and that’s just too much hassle; plus, I don’t think either are that fond of em right now.. Oh! I could buy one-.... But I have no money…” said Byleth attempting to form a plan- but failing.

 

“Do you not have weapons of your own?” asked Cyril.

 

“I was supposed to get my own for the Mock Battle. But, that has not happened yet… I just been borrowing from the House inventories. When I was Professor of the Blue Lions that is what I did- just use the weapons procured for our use that were given to use by Seteth. And there are weapons that are given to Faculty- but like I said I never got any yet; I didn’t even get money either- I just have what I already have already” said Byleth. Cyril then groans.

 

“Agh! Well, if you can't get weapons from the Houses- and Jeritza is being stingy about the weapons in the Training Grounds- then let’s just get some from the Knights. Or let’s just sign one out. I never even realized how hard it is to get a weapon here…” said Cyril as he starts to ponder to himself, “… ‘Ya know… It’s almost as if someone has done this specifically because we would have a hard time getting a weapon on such short notice” continued Cyril.

 

“Yea…” said Byleth- almost giving up. Suddenly, Cyril gets an idea and grabs onto Byleth’s arm.

 

“W-Wait! Duh- let’s just use a rock!” said Cyril. Hearing this very basic and simple idea, Byleth smacks themselves on the face.

 

“Oh my god... “ said Byleth.

 

You idiot!!! A baby armadillo could have came up with that! You need to use your brain! ” said Sothis.

 

Uh… You didn’t think to use a rock either… So, maybe you are not as smart as you think ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Cyril then look around on the ground, and picks up a big rock.

 

“Let’s use this big thing!” said Cyril. Byleth then laughs.

 

“Yea- that will work” said Byleth. Cyril then clenches the rock firmly in his hand and starts to run off to the Laundry Room. Byleth follows behind as they jog behind Cyril.

 

*****

 

Cyril and Byleth make it back to the outside of the Laundry Room where they still see that the door is locked. Byleth looks around side-to-side to see that no one is watching them; while they knew they were doing this for the right reason Byleth also felt like they were defacing property. Feeling a bit guilty Byleth grabs the rock from Cyril's hand, and approaches the door.

 

“You are gonna do it, Professor?” asked Cyril.

 

‘Well- I would rather be the one this falls back on- and not you” said Byleth.

 

“Well… Alrighty” said Cyril as he shrugs his shoulders.

 

Holding the rock tightly in their hand, Byleth lunches forward to swing the rock at the lock. As it bashes against the lock it leaves a giant gash on it- but does not break or dent it whatsoever.

 

“Dang it!” shouted Byleth as they look towards the lock, “This is a pretty sturdy lock”.

 

“Or a pretty weak rock” said Cyril as he walks closer to the door, “Swing harder! Use your professor strength!” said Cyril encouragingly. Byleth nods, and winds their arm back to swing once more. Using all their might, they swing again; this time, they managed to dent a portion of the lock! 

 

“That’s it! Way to go, Professor! Give it one more good smack!” said Cyril.

 

“Her it goes!” said Byleth as they cock their arm back one more time, and collide the rock against the lock- breaking it apart completely! The force was also enough to break a part of the rock off as well. Cyril cheers as he sees Byleth break the lock off. As the lock comes undone the chains on it loosen- allowing them to take off the lock.

 

“Yes! Let’s get that lock off now!” said Cyril. He then goes over to the lock and takes of the chains around it. As he unwinds it, the chains come off. Cyril then unlatches the lock. “There you go, Professor! Try opening the door now while I go set this lock down”. Cyril then goes to set the lock down on a nearby table, and Byleth goes to open the door for the Laundry Room.

 

As they go in, they see that the room was left pretty much untouched; the cauldron that was washing their clothes for them was off- with the Black Eagles’ and Dimitri’s clothing sitting in their cauldrons. Byleth leaned in to smell the clothes; thankfully, they didn’t smell like they have been sitting in water, and they were clean as well. 

 

“Cyril, we are good; the clothes are fine. Let’s just get them dry and get outta here” said Byleth. Cyril then walks in.

 

“Alright! That’s good” said Cyril. Byleth then wipes a bit of sweat off their forehead. Byleth then goes to take the wet clothes, and places them in the dryer. Byleth then sighs.

 

“Gosh, we went through so much just to do this… I really do wonder who tampered with the lock…” pondered Byleth.

 

“Me too! I know that you didn’t want to bother Lady Rhea and don’t know who would have- but we should report the tampering of the lock to Lady Rhea and Seteth” said Cyril.

 

“Yes, we should. Could you do that for me, Cyril? I can go back to the students on your behalf” said Byleth. 

 

“Yes, I can do that for you Professor. I’ll leave you to those lot” said Cyril as he heads out of the Laundry Room. Byleth then tinkers around to try and figure out how to start the dryer, and once they do, they run two dryers of both loads starts to dryer.

 

Byleth then starts to think, “ I’m also glad that Dimitri’s clothes are alright… I wonder who’s clothes these are specifically from? The Blue Lions?... “. 

 

Byleth then leans in closer to Dimitri’s clothes to get a better view of them. Up until this point, Bylehth never questioned who owned the clothes he brought. Analyzing further, they were clothes of many sizes; some to little  to belong to just him. It wasn’t as important to consider for the moment, and so Byleth decided to leave it alone and head to the students still cleaning up in the quad…

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

The day has soon turned into the evening, and most of the students at Garreg mach are away in the Dining hall eating dinner. Hard at work, the students finish up the remnants of the paint in the quad as Byleth shows up. As Byleth arrives, they see that the place looks how it did before- but clearly with a shine of hardwork and reluctant diligence. Tired and sweaty, the Black Eagles and Blue Lions all look up to Byleth with joy in their eyes.

 

“Professor!” they cheer as they dust themselves off, and approach.

 

“Hello guys. I see that you guys are finally done; just about time for dinner too” said Byleth. Edelgard and Claude then walk towards Byleth.

 

“Heya, Teach; how’s it goin’?” asked Byleth.

 

“Professor, I hope that our work has been satisfactory to your needs” said Edelgard.

 

“Hello House Leaders… Yes, Having the monastery in a presentable shape is good, but I personally didn’t think the paint was that big of a deal. Just… The outcome… But that’s not important right now- I think you guys deserve some food, so I’m saying you all are free to go” said Byleth. Hearing this, the students cheer.

 

“Oh, thank god! I’m starving!!!” shouted Ferdinand.

 

“Time to get some grub!~” said Ignatz, feeling excited.

 

“Time to get some sleep!~” responded Linhardt, feeling relieved. 

 

“You don’t want to get something to eat first, Linhardt?” asked Lorenz.

 

“I’ll eat in my dreams; goodnight” said Linhardt as he walks away. Lorenz shrugs his shoulders as Linhardt walks away. 

 

“Well I’m gonna go eat some grub… Professor, you joining us? I would be happy to have you dine with the Golden Deer” said Claude. Hearing this, Edelgard scoffs.

 

“Well I don’t think our Professor needs to be dining with the very people that pranked our luncheon” said Edelgard.

 

“Relax guys; Maybe we can settle all our issues today and dine together” said Byleth.

 

“Well breaking bread would be a very metaphoric ending for this…” said Ignatz.

 

“Agh; I would not like to dine with a boar, Professor” said Claude as he rolls his eyes.

 

“Excuse me? And what makes you think that I would want to dine with a conniving snake?” asked Edelgard.

 

“Takes one to know one I guess” responded Claude. Edelgard then started to snarl at Claude, and give him a mean side-eye. Seeing this, Byleth sighed.

 

“... You would think that after what happened today, that dining together would not be the worst thing to happen for you…” said Byleth. Hearing this, Claude and Edelgard take a step back from Byleth.

 

“I-...” said Edelgard as she looks down.

 

“Teach… Well, if that’s the case then sure- let’s go” said Claude. He then turns around to his House, and starts to walk off to the Dining Hall- leading them behind him. Seeing this, Edelgard follows his lead without saying a word. 

 

*****

 

As the students and Byleth make their way to the dining Hall, Byleth suddenly feels a silent tap on their shoulder. As they turned around, they see that it is Caspar- who has an embarrassed, blushing face donned. Byleth looks back to Caspar with slight confusion.

 

“P-Professor… May I talk for your one moment?...” asked Caspar. Byleth turns around to face Byleth.

 

“Why yes, Caspar- what is it?” asked Byleth.

 

“... This might be a peculiar thing to ask… But m-may I… Potentially… Um… Borrow some Gold to help purchase something?...” asked Caspar. Byleth cocks their head back from confusion hearing this.

 

“W-What? You want some Gold? Well… Is this urgent?” asked Byleth.

 

“W-Well… The person who needs what I wanna get might…” said Caspar.

 

“Huh? So, this is for someone?... Is this a gift for a date?” asked Byleth.

 

“N-No! Not at all! I would not bother you about money for something as frivolous as that!” said a flustered Caspar.

 

“... Your face is red…” said Byleth. Caspar then hides his face.

 

“I swear it’s not! I mean- like it’s not about that, not that my face is red… Which it’s not either!” proclaimed Caspar.

 

“Okay… Well, why are you asking me?” asked Byleth.

 

“Because I don’t have enough for what I need to get, and I need to get this thing for someone else kinda soon… Like I have some, but not it all- and this can’t really wait that long...” said Caspar.

 

“Oh… Well, okay… May I ask what?” asked Byleth. Suddenly, Caspar lowers his head.

 

“It’s… Kinda embarrassing… But I’m trying to fix a wrong made… It’s about… Um…” said said Caspar as he stampers around his words- and looks towards his hand. Byleth, watching Caspar get worked up over trying to explain himself, places their hand on Caspar’s shoulder.

 

“Relax, Caspar”, said Byleth as they smile, “I’ll help you”.

 

“R-Really?! Thanks, Professor! Y-You don’t want to know what it is before you agree?...” said Caspar.

 

“Watching you- I feel like you would only work yourself to do this, and ask me, if it was something worth doing so. So, I will trust that you will use it accordingly. Here” said Byleth as they reach into their pocket. Unknown to Caspar, that was Byleth’s last amount of pocket change- but to Byleth that did not matter. They pulled out some gold from their pocket, and handed it to Caspar. Caspar’s eyes light up as they see the gold, and take it with gratitude.

 

“You have my thanks, Professor! I’ll pay you back the first week of the Harpstring Moon!” said Caspar. However, as Caspar says this, Byleth holds out their arms in disagreeance.

 

“No, that’s fine. You do not have to pay me back Caspar” said Byleth.

 

“But I insist! I can pay you back!” said Caspar. Suddenly, as Byleth contemplates what to say back, they hear Sothis groaning in their mind.

 

His fragile male ego will be ruptured if you don’t say yes, dummy… ” said Sothis in Byleth’s mind.

 

“O-Okay Caspar- just do not stress over it; if you happen to need your allowance money for something else you can do that first” said Byleth.

 

“Okay! T-Thanks, Professor! Come on, let’s go get something to eat!” said Caspar.

 

“Right, let’s go” said Byleth. Caspar and Byleth then walk off to the Dining Hall together after their exchange…

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

In the meantime, as the students were cleaning- and Byleth and Cyril were fixing the lock issue at hand, the other students were informed of their following punishment from both the Golden Deer and Black Eagles. Confusion and pandemonium echoed throughout the halls as the rumor went from student to student. Some students in the meantime also went to the Audience Hall to complain about the punishment order- to which Seteth had waited to ruin many students’ following days, and to blame their House leader for the upcoming day’s cleaning work. As such, many Black Eagles and Golden Deer students who were not involved in any way were arguing with other students from the same House that were involved; as well as fighting between the Black Eagles and Golden Deer ensured.

 

This poured into the Dining Hall as Edelgard, Ferdinand, Caspar, Claude, Lorenz, Ignatz, Hilda, and Byleth all walk into the Dining Hall- and all eyes were on them. As they walked in, other members of the Black Eagles and Golden Deer walk up to them of various annoyance levels and grievances.

 

“Professor! Claude! What is the meaning of this!?” pondered Lysithea as she stomps forward.

 

“Is this true? That we have to spend all day tomorrow cleaning? B-But we did not participate!... I specifically said I wanted no part of it” said Marianne.

 

“I-I’m sorry Marianne…” said Ignatz as he bows.

 

“Oh no!... Everyone is staring at us because we were there when this happened… I-I don’t wanna be involved!” shouted Bernadetta as she hides her head.

 

“What the heck is this, Edelgard?!” said Dorothea as she stomps her foot on the ground, “I finally get into clean clothes- and then I find out I’m cleaning the monastery?  We didn’t even participate in chasing Claude! P-Professor, this has to be not true!” said Dorothea.

 

“Trust me, that’s what I have been trying to say… W-Well, I did participate but I mean the annoyance is shared for sure” said Ferdinand.

 

“Only those who retaliated should be punished” said Petra.

 

“W-Well don’t bust our balls too hard!” said Caspar as he rubs his head in embarrassment.

 

“Relax guys- I can explain” said Byleth.

 

“Explain?!” said Lysithea as she walks up to Byleth, “Explain to us why you have a gash on your face!” said Lysithea as they point to Byleth’s face.

 

“You know it’s rude to point…” said Byleth.

 

“I also heard that Leonie is knocked out in the infirmary because someone fought her! If that is true- she is going to miss dinner! How heartless could you all be?!” questioned Raphael.

 

“… I apologize…” said Edelgard. Marianne then gasps.

 

“So it was you!” said Marianne- shocked at the revelation. As this is said, other students from around the Dining Hall look over, and subtle gasps are heard; rumor that it had been the House Leader had since spread since the fight. Edelgard, the target of everyone’s gaze, then looks around with slight embarrassment.

 

“W-What?... She couldn’t fight…” said Edelgard.

 

“Why you!...” said Lysithea.

 

“Wait! That was you ?! I didn’t know that when we were in the infirmary! I thought she just like- fell!” said Hilda.

 

“Me either…” said Lorenz. Suddenly, many of the Golden Deer start to eye Edelgard. Hilda then attempts to approach Edelgard, but Claude grabs her arm.

 

“Relax, my aggy Princess! We have cleared this situation up, and we are here to hopefully make amends” said Claude.

 

“Really? Well- maybe then the tension on us will die down!...” said Bernadetta.

 

“Right” said Byleth.

 

“Ha! Well- Leonie’s concussion isn’t cleared up!” said Lysithea.

 

“Well- she is not the only person knocked out either!” said Edelgard.

 

“I-I apologize…” said Byleth as they lower their head.

 

“P-Professor! So you knocked out Hubert?!” asked Dorothea loudly. Hearing this, all the students in the Dining Hall gasp- and look over to Byleth.

 

“W-Wait… P-Please don’t say that so loud…” said Byleth as they try to hide their head. 

 

“Oh my god! Is that true?” one student in the background asks.

 

“He has been knocked out for awhile… I-I don’t want to get Professor Byleth mad now!...” said another student from across the way.

 

“I can not believe that they would do that!” said a female student in a whispered tone near them- sitting at the Golden Deer table.

 

“Canceled!!!” shouted a Black Eagles student from the lunch line. 

 

“What? Canceled? N-No! This is is a misunderstanding!... W-Well, not really because I did - but… Oh my…” said Byleth as they get very flustered. Hearing all the chatter aodn confusion, suddenly Byleth hears Sothis scoffs within their mind.

 

Oh my god! This airhead has you looking like some student beater! ” said Sothis.

 

“Alright, everyone! Calm down!” said Claude as he waves his arms about, “I’m sure if Teach knocked Hubert out it was for a really really really good reason!” he continued.

 

“Oh my god, Claude! Have some tact for the hurt!” said Dimitri as he walks into the Dining Hall with Ashe, Dedue, Sylvain, Felix, and Mercedes, “I am everlastingly amazed at the grave you dig for yourself!”.

 

“Why, thank you my Prince! All that digging gives  you really great chiseled arms don’t you think?” boasted Claude as he started to flex his arms for Dimitri. Dimitri blushes slightly, and turns away.

 

“W-Why are you asking me such a thing!? Agh, you would think after all you put the Professor through you would not throw salt on their wounds” said Dimitri.

 

“I think the only salty one around here is you. Oh- and throw in Princess aggy over there too” said Claude as he points back to Edelgard.

 

“You are treading on thin ice Claude!...” said Edelgard. 

 

“L-Listen; Manuela said that both Leonie and Hubert will be fine. They both will surely be fine by tomorrow” said Byleth. Dorothea, tired of arguing, grunts loudly.

 

“Okay- but Professor; the rest of us Black Eagles - some who didn’t even know of the lunch we had or the prank done- have to now suffer due to the negligence of a few people! I mean- look at them” said Dorothea as she points around the Dining Hall to all the annoyed students. Byleth then sighs, and suddenly gets a rush of resolve to speak their mind.

 

“I understand, but no matter how many times this is brought up the result is still the same; there is a cause and an effect to all things that happen” said Byleth as they face the Dining Hall crowd, “Regardless of what transpired- because some of the Black Eagles engaged in a fight- and the Golden Deer was responsible- proper punishment was laid out. You might not agree with it- but that is what it is. As future leaders- you must understand how your actions affect the near and far future. And if that fact still bothers you- please take your grievances out on those responsible and Lady Rhea; I myself cannot change the tides. However, what I can do is make sure this does not happen again, and give the service most deserved to all students. I trust that you all understand my actions are always for the better of my students. So, this is why I wish for the two Houses to dine together in peace this evening. You will be spending a whole lot of time together in the next 24 hours- and I believe that we can overcome our biases and petty desires to coexist and go through this journey together. But… If you truly do desire your way- then you need to prove that in your performance; not little games. Which is why the winner of the Mock Battle will truly decide whose desires are the strongest here” said Byleth. 

 

Hearing their speech, various students’ eyes light up as gasps are heard throughout the hall as everyone comes to terms with what Byleth said- and how what they said makes them feel. Dimitri, one of those very students captivated by such a spontaneous uttering of inspiration, looks onto Byleth with awe.

 

“... Now that is my Professor…” said Dimitri under his breath.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

 The mood shifted in the Dining Hall the moments passing from Byleth’s speech. In truth, Byleth’s words continued to echo throughout certain students within the Dining Hall a constant reminder that to get what you want- you must fight to obtain it, and to monitor their behaviors and how they change the surrounding events around them. This speech was enough to quell the idle chatter around them as well as uplift the growing tension that came from Byleth entering the room. And, seeing this change of wind- Claude moves to sit at a table with Black Eagles students scattered about.

 

“Well… If that’s the case- then let’s start this process now. I definitely want no further bad blood- but I also know my determination is high. So, let’s all come together and fight for what we want!” said Claude as he sits down, and starts to eat a piece of bread that was already on the table. Hearing this, Caspar starts to smile.

 

“Yea! Even though we are friends and all- I’m still gonna train really hard when we can so that we can win the Mock Battle! I don’t even care about having the right Professor if my strength shines through!” said Caspar. 

 

“I agree! Our inner strength is something that will prevail!” said Ignatz as she sits next to Claude.

 

“Tactics might trump strength- but I definitely concur with the sentiment. Very well then; I’ll go get some food for us, and sit with you all” said Lorenz as he heads to the food table.

 

“Thanks, Lorenz! If there’s any fish dishes up there- get one for me!” responded Ignatz. Petra then laughs.

 

“Then I’ll go get some food for folk as well. May I come join you?” asked Petra.

 

“S-Sure…” said Lorenz. 

 

“Agh… Well, I do want to learn some of your spell trick Lysithea; perhaps we can talk about some over tea?” asked Dorothea.

 

“Sure! We both are practicing White and Black forms of Magic after all. I guess I’ll forget about the drama- for now” said Lysithea as she and Dorothea go and get some drinks.

 

*****

 

Over the next few moments, various students put aside their grievances temporarily to all gather at one table in the Dining Hall. As Byleth stands on the side, they see a small sea of students- all adorned with their House red and yellow House outfits. They all culminate together in a brief calm within the storm as various students sit down with an assortment of food, and chatter ensures a hopeful future to Byleth as momentary instances of silence and nervousness fade over food and drink.

 

Claude’s boisterous personality helped break bread as he mingled with Black Eagles students. As someone who already did not have issues with this sort of thing, ‘biting the bullet’ so to speak- for this occasion- was not that hard of a task. Seeing his demeanor in action, many of the Golden Deer followed his energy about this. Surprisingly, many of the angered Black Eagles students started to regulate their own demeanor as they congregate with other Golden Deer students that they were able to share sympathy with. Other students, who were not even involved, also bond over the comedy of the prank- taking away the damage to the Professor that is. And Byleth, watching this all happen, starts to smile to themselves.

 

“Well… While I would rather dine in a more preferable setting, this dining arrangement is not that bad…” said Edelgard as she starts to sip on tea.

 

“I agree. I apologize for the actions of Claude, Edelgard” said Marianne as she bows to her while sitting in her seat.

 

“Please- it’s fine; I’m used to Claude’s exploits. Please- I think for now it will be best to just bury this with some good food and drink” said Edelgard as she raises her teacup.

 

“R-Right!...” said Marianne as she fuddles around and grabs a cup out of nervousness.

 

“Well, I personally do not have an issue with spending time just sitting around and enjoying myself- so I can roll with this” said Hilda as she leans in to blow on her soup.

 

“Hilda, my dead- please be careful to not burn yourself! Here- I can hold your hair back so you don’t get it in the soup” said Ferdinand seeing next to her.

 

“W-Why thank you Ferdinand! You are such a gentleman! But, I think I can eat this soup just fine by myself. But if you wanted to do something for me- could you go up there and get me seconds? All this working I did has me needing a serious replenisher of energy” requested Hilda.

 

“S-Sure! And thank you” said Ferdinand as he gets up, and heads over to get more food.

 

“Hey, Claude! Stop holding all the Sweet Buns! Pass some over here” shouted Caspar. Claude then laughs.

 

“Okay kiddo- chill out! Hehe. There’s enough to go around!” said Claude as he passes the basket of buns to Caspar.

 

“Raphael- could you pass me some more Berry Sauce for my Pheasant Roast?” asked Petra.

 

“Sure!” said Raphael as he passes a pitcher of the Berry Sauce for Petra. However, as she is passed it she soon realizes that it is nearly empty.

 

“Uh… Did you use it all?...” asked Petra in a disappointed tone.

 

“Oh yea! I forgot! Haha!” said Raphael as he laughs out loud. Next to Raphael sits Ignatz- who is eating on some Two-Fish Saute. He reaches over Claude’s plate to grab some salt to shower onto his dish where he bumps into Dorothea’s hand reaching for the same bottle of salt.

 

“Oh! S-Sorry!” said Ignatz.

 

“Haha, no it’s fine,” said Dorothea as she retracts her arm, “You can use it first”.

 

“No, I insist- ladies first” responded Ignatz.

 

“Well… Okay!” said Dorothea as she grabs the salt bottle and whips it over to her side and douses her plate with it.

 

“Uh… Isn’t that a lot, Dorothea?” asked Caspar.

 

“This is comfort food- don’t judge me! I’m still trying to coup with the tragedy that is tomorrow still!” exclaimed Dorothea. Hearing this, Claude laughs.

 

“Oh my… Well, I guess having a bit of comfort to prepare for the strain of the upcoming duty is well needed about now…” said Claude as he starts to sigh to himself, “Comfort to take a way the strain, huh?...” continued Claude under his breath as he eyes Byleth. Looking intently towards them his expression showed through a face of sadness- as if he was feeling some sort of unrequited feelings. Shaking the feeling off he turns away- and instead looks out to the rest of the Dining Hall. However, in doing he Claude accidentally locks eyes with Dimitri- whose eyes are glued to the joint Golden Deer and Blue Lions table. Byleth, at the same time, looks over to Dimitri as well- who sees him looking at Claude. Dimitri and Claude boh momentarily blush at each other, and turn away. Byleth, seeing this exchange, starts to wonder thoughts in their mind.

 

Hm… I wonder if I should organize a joint House dinner sometime… I hope they don’t feel left out- I just did this because of how grave the issue got across the Houses… ” thought Byleth as they ponder Dimitri’s thoughts. 

 

“Professor! You want me to give you seconds?” asked Caspar- snapping Byleth back into reality.

 

“H-Huh? Oh… S-Sure” said Byleth as they smile at Caspar. Byleth decides to subconsciously forget that issue for the moment, and focus on the bond that they are creating for the Black Eagles and Golden Deer. As Byleth looks from each end of the table and back, they smile to themselves.

 

"Well... At least everything is fine for now- that is something at least..." thought Byleth.

 

"Yea! I mean- look at everyone! Just a moment ago they were about to be at each other's throats- and before that they were completely at odds with each other pulling pranks! Even if it is better by just 1 percent- it is still something" said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

"Yea... You are right about that at least" thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

*****

 

Similar banter ensues for the rest of the dinner period as the Black Eagles and Golden Deer continue to engage with each other.Across the way from the joint dining experience of the Black Eagles and Golden Deer, the Blue Lions look off from their table- seemingly feeling left out of the festivity that Byleth created. However, Dimitri, who looks on with slight jealous as he watches Edelgard and Claude mingle with Byleth, attempts to steel his emotions- understanding its purpose isn’t meant to down him or his House. Felix, watching Dimitri from across the table, starts to sigh from annoyance- while Sylvain, who is also watching Dimitri, starts to smile with intention...



-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

It is now the next day at Garreg Mach- 4/25 to be exact. And this Friday Byleth readies themselves to return back to their original House of choice- the Blue Lions. As they piece together their garment for the day, Byleth stares at themself in the mirror with slight joy. However, this joy is all but littered with unwavering doubt. So much has happened in the last two days at the monastery, but Byleth soon steels themselves as to not show face in front of the students. 

 

They then look over to their shelf besides them, and grabs two handkerchiefs that are resting on top of it- and places them within their garments; one of them is Blue, and one of them is red. The red one was given to Byleth the night prior after the joint dinner by Edelgard- and is a variation of the one that they initially used to swoon them. The blue one is one byleth already had- which was one that was given to all Blue Lions affiliate the first day that Byleth was placed into the class. Sothis, confused as to why Byleth was taking both now of all days puzzles them- but can only reflect on past conversations and instances to try and find an answer...

 

Byleth, in reality, is hoping for an even less eventful day with the Blue Lions than they did with the Golden Deer and Black Eagles; since both the other Houses are going to be stuck on cleaning duty all day they have faith that there will be no House-to-House fighting going on. They hold that thought close to them as they venture out of their room, and walks down the dormitory stone path- waving at students as they pass. Byleth, taking in the idea that they are now a Blue Lion again, starts to feel more at center- like they felt the entire month prior. Typically, Byleth would head down this path to the Greenhouse- and do some daily planting, then head across the fishing area to enter the monastery and wander around the monastery before hitting up either the Courtyard, Church, or the 2nd floor where the Audience Hall is. Byleth decides to take this long-forgotten morning path today, and as they do they run into The Gatekeeper .

 

“Good Morning, Professor Byleth! I haven’t seen you walk past here in a couple days” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Ah yes- I haven’t. I have been preoccupied with the new rotation system, and I haven’t even had time to make my normal rounds” said Byleth.

 

“I see. Well- there isn’t much to report besides the rotation system itself!” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Oh really? Well, I don’t know if that is a good thing- or a bad thing…” admitted Byleth.

 

“Well- most the student reception is positive leaning, but a lot of the faculty and clergy of the Church are negative leaning. I wonder what Seteth and Lady Rhea were thinking when they decided to do this?...” pondered The Gatekeeper.

 

“Hm…” Byleth said as they start to think themselves.

 

“O-Oh! But please don't tell Lady Rhea I am questioning the decisions she is making!” said The Gatekeeper as his knees start to buckle. Byleth then starts to chuckle.

 

“Relax. You are fine. I have to keep going. Have a nice day” said Byleth as they wave goodbye.

 

“O-Okay! Same to you!” said The Gatekeeper as they bow to Byleth. Byleth then walks into the Monastery, and continues their walk.

 

*****

 

Byleth stops by the Faculty Room on the 2nd floor to procure some learning materials for the day for the Blue Lions. After getting more than a handful of papers- a stack a bit too big for them to carry, Byleth makes way to the Courtyard. Byleth then walks along the stone path along the side of the field area, and passed the Golden Deer Room. Byleth then As Byleth peers inside he cant see some of the Golden Deer students chatting away or studying. They manage to spot Leonie- who is in mid conversation with other female students. Seeing them, Byleth sighs with relief. 

 

Seems like they recovered nicely from yesterday. She took such a hard fall … But she seems in fighting spirit today. So, that is good ” thought Byleth. Seeing Leonie then reminds Byleth of Hubert- who also was knocked out yesterday by Byleth’s own hands. They then turn to the right- out into the field of the Courtyard- and see Hubert standing idle and alone. Byleth looks to Hubert with slight guilt, and this increases as Hubert and Byleth lock eyes. As Hubert realizes Byleth is staring at them he starts to briefly blush in embarrassment. Byleth, wanting to showcase their care, waves at Hubert; one that conveys the message, “ Hey. Are you okay? ”. Hubert, however, turns away with a smirk. Byleth, seeing Hubert reject their gesture, sighs.

 

I mean- are you shocked he is doing that? I mean- you knocked him clean out just yesterday! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then grunts to themself.

 

I had to or else he would of did more harm! Agh… ” thought Byleth as they rub their head. “ ... I’ll just go over and make things right; kinda like I always do… ” Byleth continued to think as they lift their head, and attempt to head over to Hubert. However, they then realize that they have walked off to the Black Eagles class.

 

Damn. Missed your chance Professor Concussion! You gonna go visit the classroom? ” asked Sothis to Byleth.

 

I mean… They are just enjoying their free time before they have to clean- so maybe I should leave them be… ” thought Byleth. As they continue walking towards the Blue Lions classroom, out of the classroom doors comes Ashe and Ingrid.

 

“Oh! Professor! You are here!” said Ashe.

 

“Funny- we were just about to go see where you were. We have been awaiting your arrival” said Ingrid.

 

“Really? I am happy to hear that” said Byleth as they bow for Ashe and Ingrid.

 

“Those papers look heavy! Want me to carry some in for you, Professor?” asked Ashe.

 

“N-No. It’s fine, but thank you” said Byleth- somewhat moved by the hospitality.

 

“Most of us are already here- ready for our seminar today,” said Ingrid as she smiles at Byleth walking past them into the classroom, “I heard that we are gonna be doing loads of training today! I’m excited” said Ingrid. Byleth stops clear in their tracks as they are taken back by the welcoming nature of Ashe and Ingrid- as if Byleth never left their House the last two days. Byleth then smiles.

 

“Yes- today we are gonna take full advantage of the facilities” said Byleth as they enter the classroom with Ashe and Ingrid.

 

With Ashe and Ingrid by their side, Byleth enters the Blue Lions classroom, and as all the students start to turn their attention to those walking in Byleth sees long-awaiting familiar faces;  Dimitri, Dedue, Mercedes, Felix, Sylvain, & Annette all sit around among other Blue Lion students. As Byleth walks in, all the students look over to Byleth with a smile.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Professor!” said Mercedes as she walked over from the bookshelf on the corner, and puts down the book she was reading. 

 

“Professor…” said Felix as his expressionless face hides his current feelings from the rest of the class. Dimitri then gets up quickly from his seat.

 

“Good Morning, Professor! It’s good to see you back in our House. How are you?” asked Dimitri.

 

“I am doing okay” said Byleth as they bow for the class. However, as they do some of the paper they are holding fall to the ground. Ashe, quick to react, picks up the papers that fall for Byleth.

 

“I got these , Professor” said Ashe as he smiles back at Byleth.

 

“Oh my… Thank you so much Ashe” said Byleth as they smile in return.

 

“Those are a lot of papers in your hands, Professor!” said Annette.

 

“Yea. And with them comes a lot of content to cover too” said Byleth. Ashe and Byleth then head to the front of class with the papers, and sets them down. 

 

“Thank you Ashe” said Byleth once more. 

 

“No problem” responded Ashe as he then goes to return to the seat he was sitting at previously. Felix, in the back of class, then leans forward in his desk.

 

“Your gash, Professor, seemed to heal up nicely,” said Felix.

 

“F-Felix!” shouted Dimitri as he looks back at him.

 

“What? It happened , did it not?” asked Felix. Byleth then waved their hand in the air- attempting to disperse the tension.

 

“It’s fine. Yes; I did some more Healing after the fact for the tingling- but I am fine; definitely ready for training today” said Byleth as they crack their knuckles, “Plus- there are other things to focus on other than my face today” they continued. Sylvain, sitting next to Felix, then kicks his feet up on the desk in front of him, and leans in his chair.

 

“Still- the hubbub around it yesterday was kinda crazy!” said Sylvain as he chuckles a bit, “I mean- you attracted so much of the attention that all the pretty girls in the room were sitting with you! Ha! Talk about a chick magnet!” continued Sylvain. Ingrid, walking behind Sylvain, then scoffs as she kicks the leg of the chair he is leaning- causing the chair to collapse below him.

 

“Ahh!” shouted Sylvain as he falls to the ground. Other girls in the classroom then laugh as they see this happen- including Mercedes, and Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“You slob!” said an annoyed Ingrid.

 

“Sylvain- clearly that is not true! There are girls in the Blue Lions too!” said Annette. Sylvain then gets up, and grunts.

 

“Ow!... You are gonna have to try harder to pop this bubble but, Ingrid~” said Sylvain as he tries to play off the pain with a comedic wink, “And Annette- you are right. I apologize. I should have said that majority of the pretty girls were over there; but they all pale in comparison to the beauties that were sitting with me last night- like you” continued Annette. Annette and Ingrid then scoff.

 

“Oh cool it, Sylvain!” said Ingrid and Annette.

 

“I wasn’t aware that you guys were all paying attention to us eating…” said Byleth.

 

“I mean- could you blame some of us? Kinda hard not to when half the Dining Hall was sitting at your table, Professor” said Ashe.

 

“O-Oh… I wondered if you guys felt left out…” said Byleth. 

 

“N-No! We did not!” said Dimitri- almost as soon as Byleth stopped talking.

 

“Well you said that pretty fast afterwards… You sure you were not?” asked Sylvain.

 

“What? No, I did not!” shouted Dimitri as he slightly blushes.

 

“Well for me- it just was skeptical to see; just seeing all the other Houses eating together. Beyond that- I was not concerned” said Ingrid. Dedue, who had been silent the whole time, then sucks his teeth.

 

“The fact that you even had to do that to make peace between the Golden Deer and Black eagles just shows the immaturity of both Houses” said Dedue.

 

“My thoughts as well” said Felix.

 

“But it worked, didn’t it?” asked Ashe.

 

“S-Somewhat… But- we are not here to talk about that, so please take your seats” said Byleth. Byleth then starts to flip through the stack of papers in the front of the class. As this is done, the students then take their seats.

 

“So… Professor, what are we going to do today?” asked Mercedes. Byleth, looking down at the papers, then breathes in slowly, and exhale a deep breathe.

 

“Well first… I wanted to address something that I feel like I should first; since we are talking about past events…” said Byleth.

 

“Really? What is that?” asked Dimitri.

 

“I wanted to address the training that the Blue Lions and Golden Deer did days ago” said Byleth as they turn their head up to the class. Hearing this- a surge of confusion permeates the room; “ Why would the Professor want to discuss that ” they all thought.

 

“Huh? W-Why?” asked Dimitri.

 

“Because… I wanted to formally apologize if the actions that I did that day- while I was on the Golden Deer- affected anyone else within the Blue Lions” said Byleth.

 

“Professor…” said Annette- feeling a bit somber.

 

“I spoke to Dimitri about this  already- but I wanted to address it with the House as well as The House Leader’s reaction doesn’t necessarily reflect all of your opinions on it” said Byleth. Ashe, feeling moved, rises from his seat.

 

“Professor, it’s fine… Do you have to rehash that old stuff?” asked Ashe.

 

“H-Huh?” said a shocked Byleth.

 

“Yea; we understand your intention Professor” said Mercedes.

 

“It just stung in the moment for some of us,” said Ingrid as she lowers her head with slight guilt.

 

“O-Oh... “ said Byleth.

 

“Well… You could make up for it by telling us their formations!” said Sylvain. As he says this- many of the students in the room start to ‘Ooo’ in response- seemingly liking that idea.

 

“Oh! I kinda like that idea…” said Ingrid as they hold their chin, and go into deep thought.

 

“Hm…” pondered Dedue.

 

“Their formations?” asked Byleth with confusion. 

 

In a moment where Byleth is asked to reveal secrets- to find their way back into some of the Blue Lions hearts, what will Byleth end up doing?...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“... Sadly… I never even went over other formations with the Golden Deer- other than the ones I intended to test with them that were counter measures to ‘our’ formations…” said Byleth.

 

“And why was it our formations exactly?” asked Dedue as his voice cuts through all the aimless chatter. This practically catches Byleth off guard.

 

“W-Why?...” said a startled Byleth.

 

“Was it all you knew?” asked Ashe.

 

“N-No… I catered a formation that I felt would cover their greatest weakness… Close-range combat .” said Byleth.

 

“Close-range combat… Hm…” said Felix as he started to ponder thoughts of his own.

 

“Is it because most of the Golden Deer use Bows like I do?” asked Ashe.

 

“Majority of them having long-range related skillsets- yes. Since a lot of our formations revolve being up close, and knowing that the Golden Deer can falter with pressure placed on them, I wanted to combat that somehow” said Byleth.

 

“You sure are spilling the beans,” said Sylvain.

 

“W-Well… Again, I am doing things for the benefit of the House I am running. Anyways- the fact of the matter is that they were training their greatest flaw- to me- when you fought them that day. And the fact that they managed a win- be it how lucrative it was- shows that it had to have worked” said Byleth. Hearing this, some students start to get disappointed.

 

“Because you gave them a front row showing of our stuff…” said Felix.

 

Regardless of what the Professor showed them- it was because of their teaching that guided them to a victory” said Dimitri- defending Byleth.

 

“T-Thank you…” said Byleth. Hearing this, Dimitri blushes.

 

“Well, we cannot really be too mad now; when Hanneman was with us, he disclosed some spell related tactics of the Black Eagles to us!” said Sylvain.

 

“R-Really?!” shouted a shocked Byleth.

 

“Yea; besides that weird sex lecture we got we managed to do some training on spells- which would help break through units with a high quantity of spell users; we were doing this while you were running around with the Black Eagles and Golden Deer” said Ingrid.

 

“You know… After everything was said and done… I’m quite shocked that Hanneman would do that…” said Byleth.

 

“On the contrary; he seemed happy to do it!” said Mercedes.

 

“Yea- what was it that he said?… ‘ If I can swat that bat down a few pegs by telling you about her notes, then I’m doing everyone justice ’...” said Sylvain.

 

“S-Sounds like him…” said Byleth.

 

“It wasn’t much- since most of us do not use offensive magic” said Ingrid.

 

“I am learning some myself! So, I liked it!” said Sylvain.

 

“I’m dabbling in other things that are not sword related myself too…” said Felix.

 

“Wow…” said a surprised Byleth, “So- it wasn’t really formations then?”.

 

“Somewhat. He would fight us using magic he had, and we would work on doing things like routing, getting up close through the spell usage, learning when and when not to approach so we do not get overwhelmed, and it gave us a new appreciation for Healers such as Mercedes” said Dimitri.

 

“Oh- hehehe~... Please, you don’t need to flatter me!” said Mercedes.

 

“But it is true; tank- like units such as myself still need to be healed because of fatigue,” said Dedue.

 

“And since Edelgard has skills with weaponry and magic- it was good training for me to be able to best her…” said Dimitri.

 

“Interesting. Yea- when I was with the Black Eagles, I spent more time lessening the divide between students within the House; honestly- out of the three Houses, it has to be the most dysfunctional” said Byleth.

 

“Wow…” said Dimitri.

 

“That is valuable information to know though; sometimes knowing how a group acts can be just as detrimental as how they fight” said Felix.

 

“I agree” said Ashe.

 

“Well I guess that’s why it’s good we are like a nice family!” said Sylvain. Hearing this, Ingrid scoffs.

 

“If we were a family- you would be the bratty perverted kid that never does their homework, and needs to get punished for their less-than satisfactory decorum!” said Ingrid.

 

“Okay mom!~ Spank me! I’ve been a bad boy!~” said Sylvain as he waves his butt in the air.

 

“Hey! Can you not wave your ass next to me?!” asked Felix as he pushes Sylvain away.

 

“Haha! Come on Felix- we can be brothers!” said Sylvain.

 

“Do not talk about brothers with me… You would never be that to me…” said Felix as he turns away. Hearing the brief assertive tone of Felix as he says this, it somewhat throws off the fun nature of the room.

 

“I’m sorry… H-How about an old grandpa’?” asked Sylvain.

 

“S-Shut up!...” responded Felix as he starts to blush slightly. Sylvain then sighs- seemingly failing to break through to Felix.

 

“W-Well what I want to know is if Ingrid is the mom… Then who is the dad?” asked Annette.

 

“The Professor?” pondered Mercedes.

 

“I think it would be Dimitri” said Byleth- playing along to the joke.

 

“M-Me?! W-Well… I guess as a soon-to-be-leader of a whole Kingdom- I would need to be a father-figure to most...” said Dimitri.

 

“I agree as well, Prince Dimitri” said Dedue.

 

“Okay okay, class” said Byleth as they try to revert attention back to them, “ well, I think there is little practice we can do with knowing that about the Black Eagles- unless you are about to do some ‘Golden Deer- level tactics’ as people like to say…”.

 

“R-Right… So, what are we exactly going to practice?” asked Dimitri. Byleth, hearing this, starts to smile.

 

“Well I’m glad that you asked this, because I have a unique idea to practice a skill set I want all of you to excel with” said Byleth.

 

“Really? Well I wonder what that all could be…” said Ashe.

 

“Unique practicing? That sounds kinda promising!” said an elated Annette. 

 

“Are we going to be going deep within a cave filled with demonic beasts, and clawing our way out with our bare hands?” asked Sylvain.

 

“W-What? What the heck are you reading as of late!? Stay away from the Fiction books…” said Ingrid.

 

“Are we baking sweets, to increase our crafting ability?” asked Mercedes.

 

“No, but kinda close I suppose; it is a sort of unique training that you would not normally do... Oh- I have been waiting to do this since before the Rotation System started!... Just give me one moment, class...” said Byleth as they flip through the papers they have, and pulls out a diagram of what looks like a drawn out map. Byleth then pulls out two handkerchiefs from their garment- one Blue, and one Red, and places them on the table.

 

“... What is all that? W-Wait… Is that...” asked Dimitri as he peers at the handkerchiefs Byleth are holding. Byleth then starts to laugh.

 

“... We are all going to play some Capture The Flag!” said Byleth. Hearing this, the class starts to gasp and yell with confusion and excitement.

 

“C-Capture The Flag?!” the class shouts in a joint frenzy.

 

Oh my god… It’s all clicking… So you were serious about doing that stupid idea?! You have GOT to be kidding me… ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Excuse me, Professor- did I just hear you correctly? You said Capture The Flag?” asked Sylvain- as he leans forward in his seat.

 

“Yuh” said Byleth. 

 

“... Why should we spend time doing something so arbitrary as that?” asked Felix.

 

“That is a weird thing to spend time doing…” said Ingrid. Dimitri then gets up out of his seat.

 

“Professor… I do not quite understand.. We need to be taking this seriously, and focus on actual training- not playing games” said Dimitri. Byleth then sighs.

 

“Well… Why can’t we accomplish both?” asked Byleth. As they say this, Byleth then takes the drawn out diagram paper, and tacs it to the board up front. Byleth, facing the class, then points to the diagram. “You see… With our skill repertoire, one of the things that we can further excel in is our overall movement speed. A good way to do that is to do exercises that will test such attributes” continued Byleth.

 

“Hm… I see…” said Dedue- taking in the information.

 

“And why this- and not some other way to test speed?” asked Felix.

 

“Because I’m the Professor- and I can do what I want when it comes to training” said Byleth as they shrug their shoulders. Suddenly, they start to chuckle, “But to give a more stern answer- because as students at Garreg Mach, you need to be able to do rescue and reconnaissance missions. As such, these handkerchiefs serves as flags- and they are representatives of rescuees that you must procure. And this diagram here is the set up for the game I want to construct”.

 

“So… How will the game play? Enemy teams try to capture the other flag?” asked Sylvain.

 

“Yes- something like that” said Byleth as they then hold up the blue and red flags, “Take a look at the diagram as I explain this. You see, on each end is a ‘base’, where you are ‘defending’ from the enemy. You are to grab the enemy flag- or in this case a handkerchief, and make it back to your base with the flag. Well- I suppose it’s more like Capture The Handkerchief and not flag… A-Anyways, pretty simple, right?” questioned Byleth to the class.

 

“So… How are we divided up?” asked Ingrid.

 

“That… I haven’t decided yet…” said Byleth as they start to pace around, “I didn’t really hash out the details because I never had the time; when I was going to test out the ideas, and bring them up initially- I was propelled into this system. You see- I have these two colored flags for a reason; one is to represent the Blue Lions, and the other is the Black Eagles. So, the initial idea was to have an opposing team represent them”.

 

“Why them?” asked Ashe.

 

“It’s just that I happened to have history with the Black Eagles, and handkerchiefs… And, I just so happened to have it- so I thought for the enemy team to be them” admitted Byleth.

 

“Well, I do not have a problem with that,” said Felix.

 

“So- are we supposed to play the role as Black Eagles and Blue Lions?” asked Mercedes.

 

“I do not want to be a Black Eagle…” admitted Dimitri.

 

“R-Right… So, that is where it can go either way; either we play both sides- like what I initially was going to do with the Golden Deer, or we get other students to fill in. I wanted to have units that were not in our House to face against preferably” said Byleth.

 

“Well- all other Houses are occupied, so that is impossible…” said Ashe.

 

“Right. It really was not an initial idea- it’s just what I thought after… What I wanted is like- some random knights, or something to play the enemy side... But I do not want to bother them just to play Capture The Flag... And I preferably wanted enough units as what I make formations with- so eight or so... Anyways, I can try and get some others for the practice, but yes- we would be playing as both sides if I did not do that method” said Byleth.

 

“Hm… Well, Okay” said Ashe.

 

"Well, I am fine either way- personally" said Dedue.

 

"Yea- I don't really care either" said Sylvain.

 

“But wait- why movement speed specifically Professor?” asked Annette.

 

“Oh! Right, I never really explained that” said Byleth as they put down the handkerchief on the table, “So, in my opinion- one of the attributes about a unit that is the best to excel in is your speed. This affects your evasion, how much distance you can cover across the battlefield- and how quickly and effectively you can do so. This can further help in mission when routing in the least amount of time is a critical feat to do” said Byleth.

 

“So, you want us to be very limber?” asked Ingrid.

 

“In a sense- yes. Since most of you are close-range, you will benefit from being ‘too quick’ to touch; this is the same for any Class as well however- and not just people who use swords, or are close-range at that” said Byleth.

 

“Really? How so?” asked Ashe.

 

“For Archers- for example, your speed is probably one of the most important. A good Archer can get in quick, and fire multiple shots swiftly at enemies from a distance. The only caveat is if enemies close in on you. If that happens, it gets tricky. But, if you use your speed to keep a reasonable distance, then that should even out the close distance issue” said Byleth.

 

“Huh… Interesting…” said Ashe.

 

“So, do you think that fits in with my skillset Professor?” asked Mercedes.

 

“So, with magic users- especially ones with white magic- the least you are targeted, and the more agile you are, the more valuable you are. Even if there is just one healer, if that healer can get to the wounded units while surviving the fight- then that is even better” said Byleth.

 

“I understand. Especially with my Crest, the Minor Crest of Lamine, I can ensure my own vitality in combat with the ability my Crest gives me” said Mercedes.

 

“Which is another layer as to why someone like you will benefit from this greatly” said Byleth.

 

“I see… Well, I am for the training, Professor” said Mercedes.

 

“Me as well” said Annette.

 

“I think the idea is kinda funny- and just outright stupid... But for what it is- which is just training, then I will take part in and win” said Felix.

 

“Ha! We will see about that Felix!” said Sylvain.

 

I’m interested in partaking in this exercise as well, Professor. I wanna see your idea come to fruition, and see how it will aid in us” said Ingrid.

 

“I will agree with the idea as well” said Ashe.

 

“So- you have not brought up this idea with any other House?” asked Dimitri.

 

“No, I have not. In honestly- I forgot about the idea until last night” admitted Byleth.

 

“So, this would be training just for us? That no one else knows about” asked Dedue.

 

“Yes” responded Byleth.

 

“Are you going to tell anyone about it?” asked Ashe.

 

“N-No… Well- I won’t now I should say…” said Byleth. Dimitri then sighs.

 

“Professor… I will stand by your idea- and attack it with one hundred percent!” said Dimitri with determination.

 

“Thank you, Dimitri” said Byleth as they blush slightly.

 

“If Prince Dimitri is in agreeance- then I am as well” said Dedue.

 

“Good. How about the rest of the class?” asked Byleth. As they asked this, various students around the classroom start to chime in their accepting words for Byleth’s idea; they all seem with the idea of doing Capture The Handkerchief. Hearing the fanfare, Byleth starts to smile.

 

This will be pretty fun! ” thought Byleth.

 

This will be the DUMBEST thing I have ever seen in my life… And I’ve seen a lot of dumb things!... ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

And thus, this started the Blue Lions Capture The Handkerchief Arc as Byleth wrapped up the last bits of the lecture, and instructed the Blue Lions to make any last minute preparations in the next hour before they were to guide them outside Garreg Mach, and to the grasslands below…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

In the hour of preparation for the exercise, Byleth still had a lot to plan in order to make it all run smoothly. This includes various last-minute meetings to draw reasonable layouts that would then be constructed for the use of the Blue Lions. This also included procuring weapons to use- a feat that Byleth had wished they could of had prior. Now that they were back in the Blue Lions, they had access to the weapon convoy they were used to; seeing all their old weaponry was a nice sight for Byleth in the process.

 

What also made this set up tricky for the Professor was the circumstances against them. This is because Byleth wanted units of some type of ‘caliber’ or ‘purpose’ to play against the students- in hopes to provoke within the students a sense of motivation for the practice. So, Byleth rummaged around the monastery and somehow managed to procure a couple of people of varying professions and Classes to join in the training. This all was to solve the issue that arose about students either playing against or with each other.

 

Byleth, in reality, wanted the entire unit formations already marked down to practice together- as there would be very infrequent times that the class would be fighting against each other. The idea that Byleth formed- to somewhat solve the issue of ‘teams’- was to have a ‘guest team’, and a Blue Lions team play together. With the guest team, Byleth would play against the Blue Lions House with the team Byleth allotted. However, getting these people to agree to Byleth was no easy task...

 

*****

 

“I’m sorry- what are you asking me to do, Professor?” asked Seteth- as they talk in one of the Teacher’s Lounge on the 2nd floor.

 

“I-I’m asking you to play a game with me and my House in about an hour…” said Byleth.

 

“But… Why me?” asked Seteth.

 

“Because- I want to have experienced units on my side to help invigorate my class- and to further prove skill growth. What better person to ask than you?” asked Byleth. Hearing this, Seteth starts to blush.

 

“M-Me?! W-Well I am flattered Byleth, but… Well, I’m far too busy to be playing some game of Capture The Flag with your House!” said a flustered Seteth.

 

“Oh? Really? But, you are just sitting in the lounge sipping tea because every other House besides my own has to clean- and all the other Professors have nothing to teach…” said Byleth with a frowned face.

 

“T-That’s correct- but… I have to… There are things that… Agh… I-If I must…” said Seteth- giving in.

 

“Really? That’s great if you are!” said an ecstatic Byleth. Seteth buries his face in his hand as he shakes his head.

 

“... So, should I go procure my Wyvern?” asked Seteth.

 

“U-Uh… Well, I think it might be too much if you were riding one while simply playing a game of Capture The Flag- don’t you think?” questioned Byleth.

 

“Oh… Well, that does make sense. Okay. Well, then I will go clear up some things with Lady Rhea, and meet you later to go. Is that alright?” asked Seteth.

 

“Perfect. Thank you Seteth!” said Byleth as they bow. Seeing this, Seteth then blushes again.

 

“N-No problem, Professor…” said Seteth as they sigh. 

 

“Okay- now I got to go get more people. I will see you, Seteth!” said Byleth as they wave goodbye- and begin to leave.

 

“See you soon, Professor…” said Seteth as he starts to shake his head once more- embarrassed at his choices. Suddenly, an idea strikes in his head. “O-Oh! Professor!” called out Seteth.

 

“Yes?” asked Byleth.

 

“If you would like- and still need people- I can go get Flayn to join us as well” said Seteth. Hearing this, Sothis scoffs in Byleth’s mind.

 

That girl with the green hair we saw? She didn’t look that strong… Say NO Byleth! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Oh, your sister? Sure! That might actually work out actually…” said Seteth.

 

So- I’m just invisible now, huh?! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Yes. As long as the exercise isn’t too rough- I do not mind her participating” said Seteth.

 

“Well… I can’t guarantee that. But I will try” said Byleth.

 

“Understandable. I will get to that while you go get others. Perhaps ask other Professors also with nothing to do?” suggested Seteth.

 

Oh- so is he admitting he actually had nothing better to do? Agh… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Hm… Well I don’t know if I should ask Manuela… Hanneman… I’m not sure if he is limber enough…” muttered Byleth to themselves.

 

“Professor?” asked Seteth- unsure of what Byleth was saying.

 

“N-Nothing! I’ll go do that; thank you Seteth” said Byleth.

 

“No need. Have a good day, Professor- see you in about an hour” said Seteth.

 

“Right!” said Byleth as they soon leave, and go find others for the exercise…

 

*****

 

“Okay. So I now have two people- so that would make three including me” said Byleth.

 

Well I suppose if you listened to me you would only have about one other so… Perhaps it was good you did not… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Huh? Are you talking, Sothis? I’m sorry- I was so focused on trying to figure this out that I didn’t know” said Byleth.

 

Oh, can it! What am I- background noise to you!? ” asked Sothis.

 

“Well- when you have a while other entity in your brain, you tend to tune out miscellaneous noise that you always hear; you breathing, little noises you make, the weird but vibrant echo and timbre of your voice when you speak- all of it kinda mutters out sometimes. Especially because you talk a lot” said Byleth.

 

W-What?! I do not! Alright! Then I will just shut up FOREVER ” said Sothis. Suddenly, Byleth didn’t feel their presence in the forefront of their head- but he could still make out little grains of annoyance that Sothis was still mouthing off about.

 

“... P-Professor? Are you-... Talking to yourself?” asked Cyril- as he appears behind Byleth. Startled, Byleth turns around with a swiftness.

 

“W-What?! C-Cyril! N-No, I was not! I was talking to someone obviously! Hehe…” said Byleth- red from feeling like they were caught red handed.

 

“... But, no one is in this hallway by me and you… And you were facing the opened window… Were you talking to the birds outside?” asked Cyril.

 

“...Y-Yea?” said an unsure Byleth.

 

“O-Oh... “ said Cyril- feeling a bit uneasy. Suddenly, a thought is invoked in Byleth’s mind- and they instantly get excited.

 

Wait! I can ask Cyril! ” thought Byleth. Hearing this, Sothis scoffs in the back of Byleth’s mind.

 

I thought this was supposed to be a group of people with ‘caliber’... Is it Opposite Day? ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then approached Cyril, and placed their hands around Cyrils.

 

“Cyril- can I ask a huge favor of yours?” asked Byleth as they peer into Cyril’s eyes. Cyril, feeling very confused as to what the Professor would want, starts to sweat.

 

“Want to play Capture The Flag with me?” asked Byleth.

 

“W-What?!” shouted a flabbergasted Cyril.

 

What on earth could Cyril’s answer be?...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Byleth took the time to explain to Cyril their predicament and intention with playing the Capture The Flag game- and their want to obtain people to play. Cyril, listening with slight reluctancy, stays silent as he takes in the information that Byleth gives him- which is being told in an attempt to persuade him to want to do it. As he holds onto his chin, Cyril goes into a deep thought- contemplating his choices...

 

“... So, you want me to join you to help spur up your House by having them face unit not in their House- that are of different skill sets?...” asked Cyril.

 

“Essentially- yes” said Byleth.

 

“Well… I mean- I was going to help the Black Eagles and Golden Deer clean today and stuff…” admitted Cyril.

 

“I thought you only had to monitor them yesterday?” asked Byleth.

 

“Technically- yes. But, one more able-bodied help doesn’t hurt. So, I’m unsure if I want to play a game- versus help clean the monastery” said Cyril.

 

“A-Ah… Well I suppose it is up to you if you want to do that, or come with me. But I would most definitely enjoy you participating” said Byleth. Hearing this, Cyril started to blush.

 

“Oh, r-really?” asked Cyril.

 

“Yes” responded Byleth.

 

“Hm… Well, if the training does not last that long, then I do not see a reason why I could not participate for a little while…” suggested Cyril.

 

“Really? Well, it should only last at the most one hour” said Byleth.

 

“Oh, just one hour? Then, I think I can manage that” said Cyril.

 

“You speak as if you have a schedule to uphold…” said Byleth.

 

“I mean- kinda! Since we have so many bodies helping out with cleaning, there is s o much that can get done!” said Cyril.

 

“Really? Like what?” asked Byleth. Cyril

 

“Like… That the stables need to be cleared out, or that the Courtyard needs to be swept. Oh! Also, the classrooms needs their boards cleaned, and many of the book shelves reinforced due to old age. And the gardens need their dirt re-packed, and they might as well get fertilized while we are at it. Oh! And- the fishing area needs to be de-littered. Can you believe people just throw their crud in there?! And-”

 

“Okay okay- I get it, Cyril…” said Byleth- cutting off Cyril. Cyril, realizing he was going on a tantrum, starts to chuckle.

 

“Haha, my bad… But, I suppose I can hold back on starting those errands for an hour or so to participate” said Cyril.

 

“Well, I appreciate your determination to stay busy, Cyril” said Byleth.

 

"Thank you, Professor! I appreciate that you continue to notice my work ethic!” said Cyril. Hearing this, Byleth then laughs.

 

“Right. Well, I still need to get some more people for this, so you can meet me at the Blue Lions Classroom in about an hour or something?” suggested Byleth.

 

“Oh- you are not doing the exercise now?” asked Cyril.

 

“No. I told the class they have an hour to get ready, so you have that long to do the same as well” said Byleth.

 

“Oh! Perfect! I can get a head start on the cleaning then in the meantime!” said an ecstatic Cyril.

 

“O-Oh... , well- okay” said Byleth,.

 

“I’ll see ya later then, Professor!” said Cyril. Cyril then bows, waves ‘goodbye’ to Byleth, and walks off down the hallway and down the stairs. As Cyril walks away, Byleth then sighs.

 

“Okay… Time to find more people” said Byleth as they walk down the hallways- contemplating who else to ask...

 

*****

 

Moments later...

 

“So-... You want me to join your Capture The Flag exercise- that is substituting the flag element for a handkerchief?...” asked Jeritza- as he puzzily looks at Byleth. Byleth, with a sweat tear dripping down their face- and with a nervous smile starting to form, starts to chuckle slightly and slowly.

 

“Um… Y-Yes?” responded Byleth- with a little bit of unsurety. Sothis, flabbergasted, scoffs within Byleth’s mind.

 

Byleth… Please tell me how we got into this situation- that we have to resort to asking HIM of all people… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then sighs.

 

I need people… I still need to access some of the weapons stored in the Training Grounds, and asking Jeritza along the way would kill two birds with one stone… Plus- he is totally going to say ‘no’, so it’s whatever- I just wanted to try and at least include him... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Jeritza, seemingly in deep thought, looks up to the sky- and observes birds flying by. He then looks back down to Byleth.

 

“Sure” answered Jeritza.

 

“W-What?!” shouted Byleth- shocked at Jeritza’s response.

 

You sure have messed up now… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Yes. You asked me to participate. I’m saying I will. Why is that so shocking?” asked Jeritza.

 

“U-Um… I’m just shocked you would rather play a game then stay here and like- I don’t know… Stay here?” said Byleth.

 

“Well, I would be more inclined to stay here normally; however,  I’m afraid that all other students- besides those in your class- are not allowed to come here today to train. And you are deciding to do all your training off monastery grounds. Majority of what I proctor is around training. So- what is there for me to do?” asked Jeritza.

 

“O-Oh… You are right... “ said Byleth- realizing the situation they placed Jeritza in.

 

“I might as well lend my hand in your meek exercise training- since I have nothing better to do. Perhaps, I can actually elevate your idea to a higher caliber- and make it actually productive” suggested Jeritza. Hearing this, Byleth’s neck cocks back.

 

W-What?! Is he for real!? ” asked Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“S-Sure… Well, if you would not mind helping me then yes- I would not mind you joining us” said Byleth.

 

“Good. I will reconvene with you in one hour when I will be ready to depart” said Jeritza as he immediately starts to walk away.

 

“H-Hey! Wait! How do you know we are going to be leaving in one hour?” asked Byleth. Jeritza then sighs, and turns back around.

 

“Because- there is absolutely no way you could round up the appropriate resources in less than that time. You still need to set up, and re-locate the materials needed for set up and play. Have you even thought of all that?" asked Jeritza.

 

"Uh..." said Byleth- completely unprepared in those regards, "The students and faculty that I had already asked can aid me with that" they continued. Hearing this, Jeritza scoffed.

 

"Agh... Clearly thinking for yourself isn’t your forte- so I will take it upon myself to procure a lot of the right material to aid in making your ideas come to fruition” said Jeritza. Hearing this, Byleth starts to get annoyed.

 

“Why do you have this assumption that I’m completely unprepared? I still thought this out a bunch! I have a diagram, and formations, as well as some materials that I have already pre-made for the playing ground. Also, the notes that will aid in increasing the skills of all my students. What have you been doing- besides belittling people, and wearing weird masks?” asked Byleth.

 

“Not being the epicenter of all the House’s chagrin currently” said Jeritza without slipping in tongue, “And I have done this”. Jeritza then takes out a piece of paper- that looks nearly identical to Byleth’s Capture The Flag diagram!

 

“W-What!? How do you have my diagram?!” asked Byleth.

 

“If you look with your eyes- you would see this looks too detailed to be yours. In truth- I have had a similar idea myself; I designed this idea in the beginning of the year- but I have been finding a hard time to speak to students to ever make it happen- or getting the appropriate help to help set up the obstacles” said Jeritza.

 

Probably because you are a dick!... ” responded Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Oh… Well, then perhaps you joining me will be mutually beneficial; you have the schematics- I have the students. And, I have the perfect place to have it happen at. So, what do you say- you wanna work together, and make this happen?” asked Byleth as they hold out their hand- reluctantly hoping Jeritza would shake. Jeritza then looks down at Byleth’s hand, and starts to hum.

 

“... Okay” said Jeritza as they shake Byleth’s hand. As the uncanny duo shake hands, Byleth then starts to smile. However, after a few seconds of shaking, Jeritza lets go- and continues walking away. "I'll start on my preparations then" Jeritza continued.

 

"Yours?" questioned Byleth as he heard Jeritza's comment form a distance. However, Jeritza soon escapes into the crevices of the monastery through a passageway- and Byleth is left completely unsure of what they are planning.

 

“Oh-...’Kay…” said Byleth as they retract their hand, “Well- time to move on to my next idea for a person; convincing them, I initially thought was less likely than Jeritza- but who knows now…” said Byleth as they walk off to try and procure another member…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Byleth walks around the monastery attempting to find the next person that they had in mind to ask to join them and the Blue Lions for Capture The Flag. However, what they didn’t expect was the difficulty in trying to find them. They went to the Courtyard, to the Dining Hall, to the Dormitory area, to the Greenhouse, to the quad- but still no sign of them. Getting increasingly doubtful that they will even find them-let along convince them- they start to walk the monastery grounds heading towards the Church area. However, as they approach the bridge to get to the Cathedral, they notice someone standing in the Cemetery area of the monastery.

 

As they inch closer to the cemetery, Byleth sees that this person is kneeled down on the ground, and looking at a tombstone. Curious, they look more intently at them- and instantly realize that they recognize them. Suddenly, Byleth gets excited, and runs across to the stairs, and heads down. At the same time, Jeralt is heading up them.

 

“Jeralt!” said Byleth as they approach him. Jeralt looks up, and smiles.

 

“Byleth!” said Jeralt as he opens up his arms to hug their child. As they embrace in a hung, Byleth starts to blush slightly. “Long time now see; how’s things been?” asked Jeralt. As he says this, byleth then gets surprised.

 

“Oh yea- you are right…” said Byleth as they un-hug Jeralt, “ Since this whole Rotation System started, I don’t think I have even seen you. I’m sorry” said Byleth.

 

“Oh no- it’s fine. I understood that you- and the other Professors- were just busy, so I was fine with it. Plus, I was out doing errands for Lady Rhea anyways- agh…” said Jeralt as he cracks his neck.

 

“Still- I really his escape my mind that I have not even seen or talked to you at all” said Byleth as they rub their head in embarrassment. Hearing this, Jeralt laughs

 

“Gosh- am I that easy to forget?” asked Jeralt.

 

“N-No! I just have had a lot on my mind…” said Byleth honestly.

 

“Well- let’s go sit down for a minute, and you can tell me all about it- how about it?” asked Jeralt. 

 

“Sure, I don’t mind” said Byleth. Jeralt then puts one arm around Byleth, and guides them to a nearby bench for them to talk on. However as they walk, Sothis starts to hum within Byleth’s mind- which is completely unregistered by Byleth.

 

Hm… He was kneeling over a grave just now… I wonder who is buried there?... ” asked Sothis…

 

*****


“So, tell me how are things?” asked Jeralt as Jeralt and Byleth go to sit down.

 

“Hehe, I feel like I have had to have this conversation a lot recently- makes me think how crazy this whole thing must me” admitted Byleth. In truth, it was starting to wane on them; not specifically the Rotation System, but the currency that was created behind it.

 

“Well, I bet that just means that a lot of people are either rooting for your success- or just plain worried about ‘ya. I don’t think that either is particularly bad” said Jeralt.

 

“Yea, you are right… I mean- I would not say I am particularly drained of the whole situation; like I said to someone else- it’s mainly because I am forced into switching Houses every day. I know that after the Mock battle that I will regulate, and become less stressful overall” said Byleth.

 

“Yea… When I heard of the Rotation System idea- I really was wondering what they were thinking. At first- it sounded like a bunch of crap to me- because I just did not really get how fighting for your ‘favorite Professor’ was really going to ignite anything in the students. Then again- this is why I stick to mercenary things- killing and getting boon- versus teaching classes…” said Jeralt as he starts to doze off into a thought. “A-Anyways... On top of that, I just never know what Lady Rhea is thinking half of the time; what perturbed within her to make her want to attempt such a thing as a House of the Month Program?...” continued Jeralt.

 

“You guess is as good as mine” responded Byleth.

 

“R-Right… But I heard that you agreed to it- correct?” asked Jeralt.

 

“Yes; I thought it would be good for the students overall- which I thought was the strongest point to the idea. So, I wanted to endure whatever came my way from it. There was controversy from the very moment I agreed to it…” admitted Byleth. Hearing this, Jeralt pats Byleth’s shoulder.

 

“You are a resilient kid, ‘ya know?” said a proud Jeralt. He cracks a smile- showing his praise for Byleth’s tact, however it soon fades as his face becomes more assertive. “However… Just be careful” said Jeralt.

 

“Huh? Why?” asked Byleth.

 

“Again- I do not know what Lady Rhea is thinking… She just threw you into the ringer, and has let you just deal with all of this it seems… I just don’t want you to exalt all of your worth for no payoff” said Jeralt. His worry for Byleth shows strongly in this moment, and as Byleth heeds those words then hold onto Jeralt’s hand that rests on their shoulder.

 

“I’m sure Lady Rhea didn’t mean it like that, and is worried just as you are… But I will remember your words” said Byleth.

 

“Good.... So, where we you heading off to?” asked Jeralt.

 

“Oh… Well, I was looking for you actually” said Byleth. Jeraly then starts to laugh.

 

“Well- you found me! What’s going on?” asked Jeralt.

 

“Well… I was wondering if you would participate in an exercise that I am putting on for my class today in about an hour…” said Byleth as they start to get nervous. 

 

“What is that?” asked Jeralt.

 

“... C-Capture The Flag…” said Byleth. Jeralt’s face then starts to twist as he hears this.

 

“... What?” asked Jeralt.

 

“Y-Yea… You see, I am gathering select units for my side of the exercise- people who have varying skillsets- and I thought to ask you… I-I know you are busy, and it might not be worth your time- but I know the students would appreciate you being there” said Byleth- attempting to sell their idea.

 

“... You do realize that I have a lot of things to do now- as the head of the Knights. I don’t think I should be playing games” said a stern Jeralt.

 

“I-It’s supposed to be formed into a training that will expedite the student’s movement speed- which will aid in their overall battle conductivity… I know I shouldn’t of asked- I’m sorry…” said Byleth. Hearing this, Jeralt sighs. Suddenly, he smacks Byleth on the chest with his palm.

 

“And are you serious about doing that?” asked Jeralt.

 

“Ah!” said a startled Byleth, “Y-Yea! I am serious about the training. I know it’s a gain- but it is supposed to work” said Byleth.

 

“Then why are you talking to me about ti so unsure? With such doubt? It can’t be just from my temptation. Why are you trying this hard? Do you even know?” asked Jeralt. Hearing this, Byleth freezes for a moment as they start to come up with a  concrete reason and answer. In truth, Byleth knew they cared strongly about what they were doing- but where did this strong feeling exactly stem from? That was the thing that troubled Byleth so in this moment.

 

“I-...” said Byleth- somewhat unsure.

 

“... This is what I meant by giving your all without payout. Just make sure you know what you are doing it is exactly what you want to do. And you need to have that same conviction whether it’s about war or a game” proclaimed Jeralt.

 

“Right… You are right…” said Byleth as they start to look down. However, Jeralt flicks Byleth’s chin- causing them to look back at them.

 

“Hey- I’ll do it, don’t worry,” exclaimed Jeralt. Hearing this, Byleth suddenly got relieved and excited.

 

“R-Really?!” asked Byleth.

 

“Yea. I was just pullin’ your leg. This is for the Blue Lions- correct?” said Jeralt as he chuckles. Byleth then sighs from relief.

 

“Yes. And you are not the only ‘big name’ person that will be on my side- I managed to get Seteth and Jeritza as well” said Byleth.

 

“Really?! Well, the face that you managed to do that is a feat like no other. Then again- neither should have much to do today anyways” said Jeralt as he laughs hearty.

 

"Y-Yea… Well, we are going to be leaving for the exercise in about an hour- so you have that much time to get ready” said Byleth.

 

"Okay then. Maybe I’ll go to the tavern real quick and get something to drink! Haha!” said Jeralt. Hearing this, Byleth smacks their face with their hand, and shakes their head in disappointment.

 

“D-Dad… We should not encourage day drinking…” said Byleth. Hearing Byleth call him ‘dad’ moved him slightly- as he didn’t expect it due to Byleth not doing it very often. Jeralt then chuckles and blushes slightly.

 

“I know I know- but I am famished… I’m gonna get a bite to eat. I’ll meet you at the Blue Lions classroom later then?” asked Jeralt.

 

“Yea- that is where we will be. I’ll see you there” said Byleth.

 

“Good, see ‘ya then!” said Jeralt as he gets up, and starts to walk off. Byleth then stands up after him, and as they do so they attempt to speak something else that is on their mind- but the thought hesitates. Clenching their hands together, they then takes a step forward.

 

“J-Jeralt?...” said byleth nervously.

 

“What?” asked Jeralt as he turns around. Byleth then sighs, and looks up with a smile.

 

“W-Wait, Jeralt.

 

“Thank you” said Byleth. Hearing this, Jeralt smiles.

 

“Just get ready yourself in the meantime champ, hehe” said Jeralt as he continues to walk away. Byleth watches Jeralt walk away- with their smile still donned on their face….

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Good… Now with Jeralt, I have… How many overall are on my side?... With the formation I have for Dimitri’s group- they have at least eight students… So… I need the same at least … So that's Me, Seteth, Flayn, Cyril, Jeritza, Jeralt…” said Byleth as they trickle into deep thought. However, as Byleth comes back to it they suddenly feel a shock rush up their spine. “Oh, wait!...” continued Byleth.

 

What? ” asked Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“I only have six people!” said Byleth.

 

Okay? Just ask two more people ” said Sothis as they scoff.

 

“B-But who?...” questioned Byleth.

 

“I don’t know! Figure that out! You got less than an hour! ” said Sothis. Frantic, Byleth starts to rush around the monastery- thinking of anyone else that they could ask to join…

 

*****

 

Byleth soon travels down the Reception Hall of the monastery- still without a clue in their mind on where to look next. As they do so, they are taken back to see a lot of Black Eagles and Blue Lions students already underway in cleaning the monastery; refurbishing chairs, cleaning walls,and polishing tables. Byleth, as they peer sound the Reception Hall, spots Claude; seemingly hard at work as he moves cleaning supplies on hand into the room from another section in the Reception Hall. Curious, Byleth walks over to see what is up with the Golden Deer House Leader…

 

“Hello there, Claude” said Byleth. Claude then looks up from his kneeled position as he pants from carrying a heavy bucket of soapy water, and washcloths.

 

“*pant* *pant* Teach” said Claude.

 

“Looks like you are hard at work” said Byleth. As Claude raises up to stand straight, he chuckles.

 

“Oh- do not remind me, hehe. Agh, my back is starting to hurt from all this lifting! I think I pulled something...” said Claude he fe feels on his sore back. Suddenly, as he says this out loud, a sharp jab is felt against his back- as if someone just elbowed him from behind! “Ow!” Claude shouts.

 

“Maybe if you lifted the cleaning supplies correctly you would not pull a muscle doing such a simple task!” said Edelgard as she scoffs, and walks past Claude and Byleth holding some laundry.

 

“Hey! You technically just assaulted me! I think you should lay off physical battery for awhile- don’t you think?” said Claude.

 

“Oh shut it Claude!” said Edelgard as she flips her hair, “Whatever pain you receive today because of this punishment should just be accepted, and dealt with because it’s what you deserve” she continued.

 

“Oh! Well, if that is the case- I’ll accept any pain you give me, my very aggy Princess!” said Claude.

 

“Okay guys- let’s not start a scene this early in the day…” said Byleth as they attempt to come in between the two arguing House Leaders, “Claude- I’ll help you move this over to where you need it to be” said Byleth. Hearing this, Claude blushes.

 

“R-Really? But, Teach- you don’t have to do anything involving cleaning today. I mean- we are doing this as a result of you; what would the others think if you were cleaning despite it all?” asked Claude. 

 

“Hm… Well, I guess you have a point…” said Byleth. Edelgard then turns around, and scoffs.

 

“Yes- don’t help the help, Professor” said Edelgard.

 

“Whoa there! You know- the fact that you think you can belittle me despite us having the same punishment and same role today is beyond me!” said Claude.

 

“Edelgard- I was just trying to make your guys’ time a bit easier. I mean- if he doesn't do it, then somebody has to” said Byleth-attempting to make sense of it all.

 

“Yea! No time to be jealous!” said Claude as he smiles.

 

“J-Jealous! Never!” said Edelgard as she hides her blushing face.

 

“Agh- Edelgard, please just go to your side of the hall; don’t you see that the Golden Deer has this section covered for cleaning?” said Leonie as she passes by with a handful of mops.

 

“Why, if it isn’t Leonie; how’s your head?” asked Edelgard snarkly.

 

“Fine. How’s your chastity? Barely hanging on by a thread from what I heard” said Leonie.

 

Heard? From who? This weasel?” asked Edelgard as she points to Claude.

 

“I actually like weasels, so I’m fine with the comparison…” said Claude.

 

“I mean- when yours legs spread farther apart than the distance between Brigid and Almyra, one would not be looking too far to find someone with a tale about you” said Leonie. As she says this, 'Ooo's' and gasps are heard throughout the room from students listening in.

 

“L-Leonie!...” said Byleth- shocked at what they are hearing.

 

“You know- it is always the trash that can’t fight that talk the most shit!” said Edelgard.

 

“Yeah yeah yeah; I have you know I trained under Jeralt, and he taught me not to use barbaric tactics to ensure a win! I fight with honor and class! Somethings that you lack” said Leonie.

 

"Oh! The hypocrisy! The only thing that I lack is a fuck to give for you. But- what I can give you is some bullion- so you can pay to get your bangs fixed, and buy some Leicester escort to come hug you at night” said Edelgard. As she says this, even more 'Ooo's' and gasps are heard throughout the room from students listening in.

 

“Edelgard- why don’t you clean up the dirt on the tables for us? You should fair well- cleaning up what you are” said Leonie. Hearing this took Byleth back, and an expression of pure confusion dawns on them.

 

“Oof…” said Claude.

 

“Leonie, you- agh... “ said Edelgard- before she stopped herself as she looked at Byleth’s face, “You know what- I’m not even going to do it with you today. I, unlike you, know how to be the bigger person” said Edelgard. Hearing this causes Claude and Leonie to roll their eyes, and Byleth to sigh. Claude then peers to Byleth, and sees their face as well- and sighs thereafter.

 

“Leonie- come on. Let’s just go over there and clean the tables or something- and just drop this silliness” said Claude as he motions to Leonie to pick up the bucket below him, “Don’t worry, Teach- I’ll have Leonie help me with this; you don’t gotta do a thing!~” said Claude as he winks to Byleth.

 

“Well… Okay then- if you insist that I do not help” said Byleth. Claude and Leonie then take the bucket and other supplies over to the other side of the room, and as they do this- Edelgard continues to walk with her laundry in hand away from Claude; all with a perturbed look on their face. As they go to collect more tablecloth that were dirtied- and need to be cleaning in the washer- Edelgard starts to get lost in thought... 

 

Why do I react so carelessly when I’m in front of the Professor?... ” thought Edelgard- seemingly regretting their actions…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Byleth, continuing to look around the Reception Hall, walks around aimlessly within the area as they observe the students doing miscellaneous tasks around the space. As the students clean, some look miserable- while others look indifferent. Byleth, however, could tell that many of the students were just ‘putting up an act’ in front of them; hiding how much they didn’t want to be doing cleaning. Watching the students put on an expression that appears to Byleth that they are becoming more and more content with the cards dealt for them, Byleth starts to hum to themselves- seeing this exchange in reluctance happen. Byleth then walks over to Claude once more.

 

“So… How has the cleaning been overall? Like with all the students?” asked Byleth. Claude then turns to face Byleth.

 

“Well- if you ask me, most are just baring through it, and biting their lips so they don't speak out of turn about it. There are some- I have been noticing- that feel stippled for being here; clearly students at an Officers Academy don’t want to spend time just cleaning" said Claude.

 

"Hm... I see..." said Byleth.

 

"However, there are also some students that don’t mind it; my assumption is that they think that spending a whole day where the only strenuous work they have to do is just clean is fine. So, it really depends on who you speak to about it” said Claude.

 

“I see… Where do you fit within it?” asked Byleth.

 

“Hm… Well, The more I can slack off the better! So- I feel a bit weird having a slack off day from lecture to clean” said Claude.

 

“Well- I appreciate the honesty…” said Byleth. Suddenly, an ever so silent Leonie rises up from the ground- previously cleaning up some dirt on the floor- and turns to Byleth.

 

“Professor- while I just have the chance... I-... Agh... I just wanted to apologize for my actions earlier; I rightfully so should be angered by her, but… I think I am also taking out my jealousy on her” admitted Leonie.

 

“Well- I understand that this all still has people on edge, but- jealousy? What are you jealous of?” asked Byleth.. Hearing this, Leonie sighs.

 

“Seeing people just cruise on by- when their actions are the direct result of the hardship we have to live with… It gets annoying because many do not even have the luxury to do that” said Leonie.

 

“I understand. It must be quite annoying when people are not held accountable for the actions that they consistently do- especially when the masses are the ones that are most affected. And, it is very important o have an environment that is fair. When you were still in the infirmary, that is what Lady Rhea attempted to tackle at least. In terms of this- and how you specifically fit into it however... Well, you also volunteered to participate in the prank. So, give credit where it is do” said Byleth.

 

“R-Right, Professor…  I surely am, and I understand by part... So, I think a lot of my animosity comes from a culmination of jealousy- and just coping with this whole Rotation System… Plus- hearing that Jeralt’s child was harmed by a witch doesn’t feel too great either… I mean- if I trained under him, and you are related to him... And someone like you could fall for Edelgard’s tricks- then is the gap between us not as far as I thought?...” ponders Leonie.

 

“A-Ah… Well, I guess if you keep training then you will find that out for sure one day” said Byleth- feeling a bit uneasy.. Suddenly, Byleth hears Sothis scoff within their mind.

 

Is she serious? There was no way you would have known Edelgard was going to cut you! Thank GOD she does not know that he is joining us with our game… Agh… If I had a bullion for every time she mentions or father… ” said Sothis with Byleth’s mind.

 

“Well- I would like to tell you all that for me - it has been excruciating!” said Linhardt- eavesdropping on their conversation through the opened window near them. Linhardt peers his head through, and as Byleth, Leonie, and Claude look out the window they see that Linhardt is carrying books. 

 

“Linhardt! I see you are not actually slacking off” said Claude as he wipes down the table in front of him.

 

“Well- how could I get away with it?! They would instantly find out if I’m not helping clean something or move something or dust something!... Agh, I can’t take this hell!...” said Linhardt as he moans. However, as he talks, Caspar tails right behind him- holding more books, and groans in annoyance as he hears Linhardt’s comments.

 

“Linhardt- we just started. All we did was walk, and hold books!” said Caspar.

 

“Well- that’s a lot for me!” said Linhardt. Soon after, both Linhardt and Caspar enter the main hall area, and goes to momentarily set down the books they were carrying near Byleth.

 

“Where were you off to with those?’ asked Byleth- looking at the books.

 

“They are having us clear out outdated books out of our classroom, so we were transporting this back to the library- but I overheard you guys talking” said Linhardt.

 

“Yea- Linhardt had to rush over to do his favorite thing in the world- complain” said Caspar as he laughs sneakingly.

 

“Uh- no I didn't. And no it is not. That would be sleeping” responded Linhardt.

 

“Well, I’m more in melancholy that this is all that we can do today…” said Lorenz- as he crawls up from below the table they were all gathered at, and dusts off his hands.

 

“Oh! Lorenz! Didn’t know you were there” said Byleth.

 

“Why, yes Professor; I felt like setting an example to the other Golden Deer students  on how a true Heir should conduct themselves in this situation,” said Lorenz. Suddenly, another familiar students walks over to them.

 

“Professor! Are you stopping by to see how we are doing?” asked Ignatz as he comes around to them from the direction of the Knights' Hall- ready to assist. As he approached Byleth starts to notice one glaring difference in Ignatz’s appearance; he is without his glasses! As he walks closer to Byleth he accidentally bumps into the end of one of the tables. “Ow!” he shouts as he hits his leg into the table side. Seeing him struggle to walk forward, Caspar turns away.

 

“Ignatz- are you okay?” asked Byleth.

 

“I’m fine! My glasses are currently being serviced right now for repairs; however, I’m unsure if or when I’ll be getting them back. I guess I should've bought a spare with me like my parents said! Haha” said ignatz.

 

“I see. Can do still do work today?” asked Byleth.

 

“Well- I think I can; however, some of the Knights don’t want me messing around in their stronghold because they think I’ll just ruin everything because of my fuzzy vision! I am not blind ‘ya know…” said Ignatz as he gets a bit annoyed. Hearing this, Caspar lowers his head. 

 

“I’m story to hear that Ignatz… You are still a help to me” said Byleth.

 

“I know Professor; ironically, I came over here to see if there was anything else I can do that will cater to my eye issue at the moment- because I don’t just wanna sit out when I can still work” said Ignatz.

 

“Well, if that’s the case- take my work!” said Claude as he hands him a washcloth.

 

“O-Oh… Okay” said Ignatz as he grips the washcloth in his hands, “Anyways, Professor- you never answered my question” said Ignatz. 

 

“Oh, s-sorry Ignatz…  Actually- yes, I did come to see  how you all were doing” said Byleth as they wave to Ignatz, “The place looks pretty good so fare” said Byleth. As they say this, they hear a male laugh in the distance.

 

“Thanks to my brilliant work ethic so far I bet- right, Professor?!” said Ferdinand as he sits at a table across from them; re-servicing old rusty lanterns that typically rest on the tables in the Reception Hall. Hearing Ferdinand's comment, Dorothea scoffs as she turns away from cleaning a window nearby.

 

“Ferdinand- we had to basically force you to start doing even that ! And you are not even doing it right!” said Dorothea as she comes around to Ferdinand, and takes the lantern right out of his hand.

 

“Hey! I’m almost done with that one!” said Ferdinand.

 

“You have been cleaning this one lantern for about fifteen minutes- cut the bull!” demanded Dorothea. 

 

“Ferdinand- please” says  Edelgard as she re-approaches. “Can you assist me with transporting this dirty laundry? We might as well get a head start on other time- sensitive errands right now- and the lanterns do not need to be serviced just yet.” asked Edelgard. 

 

“Sure! The fact that you are coming to me for service and not anywhere else's shows my reliability and tact! Ha! At least my talents will be appreciated elsewhere!” said Ferdinand as he gets up from the table.

 

“R-Right…” said Edelgard. Suddenly, as they talk, a small body reels their way towards them.

 

“Ferdinand… The lantern looks nice- but you need to be pulling your own weight” said Cyril- as he walks in with more cleaning supplies; his close looking as if he had just been working for hours! Byleth looks to Cyril with confusion as they look at his clothing, and his smudged face.

 

Wow… He works quick… Look at all the supplies he has, and how dirty his clothes have already gotten since you last saw him! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

My thoughts exactly… I mean- your thoughts happened in my head… So they kinda are ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Seeing all the attention on him for a brief moment, Cyril starts to smile

 

"What? Is there something on my face?" said Cyril innocently. Hearing this, Byleth starts to giggle

 

"Hehehe, oh Cyril..." said Byleth- enjoying the sudden and pure energy Cyril exudes that counteracts the lackadaisical energy permeating around them…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

 

Seeing him- with an air about him that is ready to clean- many of the students around start to look at Cyril with a confused glare. Byleth, not really taken aback by the fact that Cyril was doing this, could only help but sigh with a slight smile…

 

“C-Cyril… Well- what I can say with utmost confidence, is that you sure didn’t waste time to start cleaning…” said Byleth.

 

“Of course! Look how many bodies we have assessing the estate of the monastery, and how much work is getting done now?! Hopefully- you all start to see how much work people like me put in to make this place looks presentable for you all” said Cyril.

 

“I-I see…” said Byleth with slight confusion coming off their voice.

 

“So, Professor- have you found more people for your game?” asked Cyril. As Cyril hears this, Claude and Edelgard get shocked- and turn to face Cyril immediately.

 

“Huh? A game? What’s up with that, Teach?” asked Claude.

 

“Professor? What does he mean? What are you and the Blue Lions going to be up to while we are cleaning?” asked Edelgard.

 

“O-Oh… Yes, I am taking the Blue Lions out to do a special training. We are playing Capture The Flag” said Byleth. 

 

“W-What?!” said Edelgard- flabbergasted over what they are hearing.

 

“You are playing that with Dimitri?” asked Claude.

 

“Yup” said Byleth.

 

“And me!” said Cyril as he waves his hand, “But, I am cleaning up first beforehand” said Cyril.

 

“Well- you seem to be living the best of both worlds then…” said a pessimistic and sarcastic Linhardt.

 

“So… You guys are going to be doing that all day?...” asked Edelgard.

 

“Well- I don't plan to do just that for the majority of our day, but perhaps; who knows” said Byleth as they smile.

 

“Whaaat?...” said Claude as he scratches his head. Dorothea, looking at Claude, starts to giggle.

 

“Well well well… What is wrong, Claude? Are you… Jealous?” asked Dorothea as she leans towards Claude, and smiles.

 

“W-What? Please! Why would I be!?” asked Claude as he becomes flustered. 

 

“Hehe- I think you might be Claude if your face is getting that red!” said Hilda- rearing her head into the group conversation as she walks down the hall holding repair tools in a basket. Seeing her walk over, Claude sighs.

 

“Is everyone going to join in on this conversation?” asked Claude.

 

“Sorry! Hehe. I heard from Mercedes a bit ago that you guys are leaving the monastery to do your training! Kinda interesting you basically have the whole monastery to your leisure- yet the first thing that you do is leave” said Hilda. Hearing this, Byleth laughs.

 

“Yea, I guess that is interesting when you say not like that” said Byleth.

 

“Either way- I guess Byleth being really really far away from us all with their class is pretty intimidating, huh?” said Dorothea- teasing Claude.

 

“Okay well let’s quit saying that I am like- so moved that they are training together, alright? I just want to know what Teach will be up to- while we are forced to clean” said Claude.

 

“Well, I personally think that any training would be better than this!” said Caspar as he holds his hands out to the books.

 

“Agh, don’t remind me! Come on, Caspar- let’s go transport these out of date books back to the library” said Linhardt as he picks up his books.

 

“Alright…” said Caspar as he follows suit. Suddenly, as Caspar and Linhardt start to move away Edelgard scoffs to herself, and turns to Ferdinand.

 

“Let’s do the same Ferdinand; I stayed and listened to this nonsense too long” said Edelgard as she soon picks up the laundry, and leaves. Feeling her shift in tone- as if she was annoyed- Ferdinand.

 

“Huh? Oh-… -Kay…” said Ferdinand as he follows behind her.

 

“Gosh- what’s gotten into her?” asked Ignatz.

 

“Probably the bitch bug” said Leonie.

 

“I hope that all your weaponry rusts bitch” said Edelgard as she hears her petty comment. Byleth looks over to Edelgard, and starts to wonder where her perturbed demeanor that just arisen originated from. Shrugging her shoulders, Leonie rises up from the table she was cleaning, and picks up one of the mops she brought in.

 

“Claude- I’m going to go clean the floor on the other side” said Leonie.

 

“Alrighty. I’m gonna go tend to these lanterns that Ferdinand spent a whole Imperial Moon tending to and still aren’t all fixed” said Claude..

 

“I heard that!” said Ferdinand from afar.

 

“Well, Professor- I got to continue my cleaning so I’ll feel right to go away for the training later. I gotta go as well myself!” said Cyril as he picks back up the supplies he was carrying.

 

“Okay. You might need to change your clothes as well” said Byleth as they chuckle.

 

“Oh yea- haha” said Cyril as he examines himself.

 

“Agh- I still just can’t believe Cyril can go of all people and he has cleaned up more than all of us combined…” said Claude- exuding just a hint of jealousy.

 

“Well, I’m not currently in a House- so I can. Sorry, Claude” said Cyril.

 

“Perhaps if you show the entire monastery the impudence in your heirship- they will simply resign you from the House. Then you can go Claude” said Lorenz. Claude then rolls his eyes as he hears this.

 

“Right- Lorenz, I’ll get right on it…” said Claude. However Claude then thought, “ Well… I might take that into consideration if I didn’t want to appear extremely desperate to be with Teach… Dimitri and Teach alone doing an exercise and I can’t snoop?! What on earth should I do?... ”.

 

“Who else is attending besides Cyril, Professor?” asked Dorothea.

 

“Seteth, Flayn, Jeritza, and Je- uh… Yea” said Byleth- stopping from saying her father’s name in front of Leonie.

 

“Oh, well that is an interesting lineup,” said Lorenz.

 

“Yes. But, I need to procure more. Which reminds me- I need to go” said Byleth.

 

“Okay, Professor. Well you know where we will be- cleaning…” said Dorothea as she sighs.

 

“Well alright, you guys. Claude- I hope that you set an example for the House. And- someone can pass the same sentiment to Edelgard for me” said Byleth.

 

“Will do, Teach” said Claude as he nods his head to Byleth, and smiles fin a flirtatious way towards them. Seeing this done, Byleth blushes a bit as they soon turn around, and heads down the main hall towards the entrance hall of the monastery…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

With uncertainty filling them so on their ability to find a total of 8 units for their side of the exercise game, Byleth drags their feel as they walk down the main hall of the monastery- observing more students do their cleaning duties for the day. Byleth, by this point, started to believe- just slightly- that it would be more beneficial- and easier- to simply revert back to the idea of having the Blue Lions face off against each other. 

 

This, on its own, was not something that detrimental of a thing to have happened to Byleth. The reason why Byleth was trying so hard to make this happen was because of their want to have a ‘perfect time’ with the Blue Lions; which was a feat Byleth internally feels that they did not have- or even have the chance to have- the chance with either the Black Eagles or Golden Deer. And so, as they hold on to their perfectionist ideal, they soon find themselves at the entrance of the monastery- without a clue of what to do about their issue. 

 

“Greetings again, Professor!” Byleth heard at the corner of their ear. Facing the direction of the voice, Byleth finds themselves next to- once gain- The Gatekeeper; whose enthusiastic face momentarily lifts them from their melancholy.

 

“Oh, hello again” said Byleth.

 

“Is everything alright, Professor? You look glum” said The Gatekeeper. Taken aback by his accurate analysis, Byleth fully turns their body to The Gatekeeper.

 

“W-What? I look glum” asked Byleth.

 

“By my observation- yes, Professor. Is there something troubling you?” asked The Gatekeeper. Seeing through their poker face, Byleth is left feeling a bit vulnerable- and cannot help but laugh.

 

“Hehe… No, It’s all fine. I don’t want to burden you with my trite issue” said Byleth.

 

“Even if it is something that is the most minute and small issue you have- it still is an issue, and still deserves attention, Professor!” said The Gatekeeper. Hearing this, Byleth blushes.

 

“That’s really nice to hear. Thank you” said Byleth.

 

“Well… I’m just trying to put on a training for my House, and I have been planning it for a pretty long time. I happened to be able to get the ball rolling on the idea today- which will be happening while the other Houses have to clean today” said Byleth.

 

“Oh really? That’s great, Professor! Always staying ahead of the game! May I ask what the training is?” asked The Gatekeeper.

 

“Capture The Flag” said Byleth.

 

“Oh! That sounds really fun actually. Heh, not often that we at the monastery can have fun like that” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Yea- I think so as well; which is why I like the idea. So, one of the things I wanted to do was get a select team of students together to do the exercise against the House- and set up this ‘forces against the House’ kind of thing. I set up formations typically in units of eight, so I wanted to have eight other non-Blue Lions units on my side. However… Due to the current issue- and not wanting to bother people with a game- it makes finding those who have the time for it a bit hard…” said Byleth.

 

“Ah… That sounds cool...” said The Gatekeeper as he looks down at the ground, and kicks a pebble. Suddenly, he looks up. “So- you have even asked around in the Knights?”.

 

“The Knights? N-No. That’s what I meant by not wanting to bother people. I’m sure people like you have way more important duties than playing a game” said Byleth.

 

“Ah… W-Well, where will you be having this happen, Professor?” asked The Gatekeeper.

 

“Outside monastery walls; I have a place in mind” said Byleth.

 

“Oh… Will you be needing protection assistance?” asked The Gatekeeper.

 

“Protection? Um, well- I did not think we would need that… I have people like Seteth and Jeralt attending with us- I think that would be enough” said Byleth.

 

“O-Oh! Really… Wow… W-Well, there is strength in numbers, Professor; have you by any chance thought about the odds of your class getting ambushed while you were out?’ asked The Gatekeeper.

 

“Hm… Actually, no” said Byleth as they start to hum- considering The Gatekeeper’s words, “... I guess there would be some reason to have more on-sight units just to make sure the students are okay… But, I would think that those I have asked so far are fine… Plus, the students are not weak…”.

 

“I-I see… Well, I’m sure that- if you would request- that there could be some extra knights that attend your exercise; merely to ensure protection of the students, as well as the Teachers. A-And if you don’t have time to request some knights- I do not mind attending, Professor” admitted The Gatekeeper.

 

“Really? B-But, don’t you have to stay and watch the entrance?” asked Byleth.

 

“It is true- that my duty is to stand here, and guard the monastery entrance… But I am a knight no less. So… If you request knights to help protect the students I do not mind attention alongside Jeralt” said The Gatekeeper. 

 

“Hm… Well, I suppose that would not be an issue…” said Byleth.

 

“A-And… Since I would be there protecting… I suppose it would not be out of the question to also participate- you know… Just to make sure that I am up close and near the students so I can protect them while you guys play” said The Gatekeeper. Suddenly, Sothis starts to hum within Byleth’s mind.

 

... I think he is just framing this like you need knights for protection so that he can come… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Hm… Well, that does make some sense as well… Can you fight? All I see you do is stand here to be honest...” asked Byleth.

 

“P-Professor! I’m a knight first and foremost! Please- don’t underestimate my ability!” said The Gatekeeper as he straightens out his spine.

 

“R-Right… My apologies, that was wrong of me to do...” said Byleth as a bead of sweat inches down their face, “Well- if you can come with us for an hour or so, then I would love to have you” continued Byleth.

 

Are you serious?... ” said Sothis.

 

“R-Really?! Thank you, Professor!” said The Gatekeeper- ecstatically as he shakes Byleth’s hand.

 

“... I mean- I think I should be saying thank you…” said Byleth.

 

“Oh- right… A-Anyways, I can work out the details on getting another knight to cover my shift; shouldn't be too hard since I almost exclusively do this position for the other knights. They always offer to cover for me some days- but I never take them up. So, I suppose today will be my first!” said The Gatekeeper as he smiles.

 

“Really? Well, your consistent work ethic is really admirable” said Byleth. Hearing this, The Gatekeeper smiles.

 

“I-I appreciate hearing that from you, Professor. I’ll get on this right now! B-But, where should I meet you for the exercise, Professor?” asked Byleth.

 

“Well, we are all meeting up at the Blue Lions classroom later” said Byleth. Hearing this, The Gatekeeper started to sweat- and gulped in air as he started to stamper on his words.

 

“I- uh… T-To be honest… I have stood guard at the entrance for so long, t-that I do not know my way well around the monastery… But any chance, c-can you meet me here perhaps?” asked The Gatekeeper nervously. Hearing this, Byleth chuckles.

 

“Sure. I will see you soon then” said Byleth.

 

“Will do! Oh- this is so exciting! I always wanted to play that game!” said The Gatekeeper as he runs in the directions of the Knights' Hall. Cocking their head in confusion, Byleth looks off as The Gatekeeper disappears behind the bend.

 

“Um… Well, alright. Looks like I have seven people now! B-But… *sigh* That’s still not a full eight…” said Byleth. Suddenly, Byleth hears Sothis scoff in his head.

 

So?! I mean- you set out to find a diverse group of people, so at least you accomplished that. And, it is just one person off from the formations that you make. So, I think we are fine ” said Sothis- attempting to find some positivity in the situation.

 

You know… You are right- I’m sorry ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. “Well- I guess I gotta get ready myself so that I myself am ready. Gotta go back to my dorm!” said an excited Byleth as they head back to the dormitories. However, as Byleth rushed off back to their room- one nosey student was watching from afar, and seen the entire altercation happened.

 

“Hm… I gotta find a way to know what happens when they are away… But just how ???...” said Claude to himself…

 

Chapter Text

With the necessary preparations made, the Blue Lions- and Byleth’s procured units- were to then arrive at the meeting place to head to the on sight location with Byleth. Dimitri and Dedue- very studious students of the bunch- arrived first to the classroom among the main bunch. Soon after, Ashe, Mercedes, Ingrid, Sylvain, Felix, and Annette all showed up as well. They all congregate and chat for a bit before they see an unexpected person show up- Cyril.

 

“Why hello, Cyril. Did you hear about our class training exercise with the Professor, and come to wish us off?” asked Ingrid as she waved to Cyril.

 

“Hehe, nah- I’m coming to join you” said Cyril.

 

“Huh? But- this is a Blue Lions training. You are not in our class” said Ashe.

 

“Yea, but the Professor asked me to join to be on their side or something like that. I guess they have a bunch of other faculty and such joining in as well” said Cyril.

 

“Really? So, the Professor actually got some people for the Black Eagles side then…” said Dedue.

 

“The Black Eagles side?” asked Cyril.

 

“The Professor initially wanted the other side to represent another House- preferably them. But, they moved to find ‘unique’ units of ‘caliber’... I guess that means you” said Sylvain.

 

“Hey! What are you trying to say?” asked Cyril.

 

“Hehe- nothing little buddy” said Sylvain.

 

“You won’t be calling me a little when I make you eat dirt on the field!” said Cyril- getting unusually pumped.

 

“O-... -Kay…” said Sylvain- backing off.

 

“Cyril will not be the only personnel joining the Professor with this training” said Seteth as he approaches from the side towards Dimitri and the group. As the students turn to see him their backs immediately spark up. Noticing this, Seteth sighs. “Today- I am not here as the aid of the Archbishop- but a teacher that is participating in the training of the students. Please- do not feel the need to be nervous around me” continued Seteth.

 

“I mean- can you blame us for not being lax?” asked Sylvain.

 

“Well- no… But… Try to be- for now” said Seteth.

 

“Then... Is it alright for me to say that I’m gonna leave you in the dirty, Seteth?” asked Sylvain.

 

No - it is not. Also, you will not” said Seteth.

 

“Sylvain! Show some respect” shouted Dimitri.

 

“Alright, alright- I’m sorry” responded Sylvain as he chuckled.

 

“Hmgh. Well- I suppose if more faculty such as yourself are joining in- perhaps this will be worth it after all” said Felix as he folds his arms.

 

“Well, I think the training would of been worth it regardless. This just makes it even better!” said Mercedes.

 

“I wonder who else will show up…” questioned Annette.

 

“Well, another person should be here with me- but they are running a bit late…” said Seteth.

 

“Seteth! I’m here! Sorry I’m late” said Flayn- as she is seen runnign pantly down the courtyard. Suddenly- she trips! As she falls face first on the ground, Seteth shouts in shock.

 

“Ah! Flayn! A-Are you okay?” asked Seteth as he rushes over.

 

“Don’t tell me she is another one of these ‘unique’ units with ‘caliber’...” said Felix.

 

“What did you say?’ asked Seteth as he stops and looks back to Felix- causing Felix to gulp in nervousness, “I have you know Flayn is very strong! And, her Crest is most likely leagues more rarer than yours!” continued Seteth.

 

“R-Right…” said Felix- not wanting any tension with Seteth.

 

“I-It’s fine, Brother…” said Flayn as she picks herself up before Seteth can get there, “I know that I’m not the most adept on the battlefield- but I’m not helpless! And watch out for what I can do on the battlefield!” Flayn continued.

 

“Understandable…” said Seteth as he sighs.

 

“Gosh- if I knew I was jumping into this much fiasco, then I would of gotten way more drunk!” said Jeralt as he laughs and approaches the group. Seeing him, the students start to gasp and ‘ooo’ from awe from seeing him.

 

“Jeralt! You are not drunk right now, are you?!” asked Seteth.

 

“Haha! I’m just pullin’ your leg, Seteth- lighten up!” said Jeralt.

 

“S-Sir Jeralt!” said Ingrid as she bows, “I didn’t know you would be accompanying us as well”.

 

“I mean, now that you think of it, it is something within the Professor’s reach…” said Dimitri.

 

“I also brought this guy…” said Jeralt as he pointed behind me to The Gatekeeper, “I guess… he is joining us too?”.

 

“Greeting, Blue Lions! It’s me- The Gatekeeper!” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Oh- so are the Knights of Seiros joining us as well?” asked Dimitri.

 

“Not that I know of- no. I thought I was the only knight asked” said Jeralt.

 

“The knights are pretty busy I believe! Well- I didn’t really ask any others on the Professor’s behalf- I just found someone to cover my post for the time being while I help make sure you are all safe while you play the game! I-I’ll also be participating too...” said The Gatekeeper.

 

You ? Keep us safe? I laugh” said Felix.

 

“The only ones that will be laughing is us when we win the game!” said Cyril.

 

“Heh, well- let’s see” said Felix as he starts to walk away, and grabs his weaponry, “We need to all load all our stuff we are taking into our inventory. Where is that Professor of ours?...” he continued.

 

“Hm… Yea- they are running late…” said Dimitri- beginning to become worried. As they look around the area they suddenly see Byleth running towards them at breakneck speeds! “There they are” continues Dimitri as they point to the Professor.  Byleth stops in front of them, and kneels over.

 

“*pant* *pant* S-Sorry I am late… I tried to find Jeritza, and ask him if he can help me with something…” said Byleth as they try to catch their breath. They then look up to see The Gatekeeper.  “Oh… I see you found your way here” continued Byleth.

 

“Thanks to Sir Jeralt!” said The Gatekeeper as his eyes start to sparkle in awe of Jeralt.

 

“I just happened to be passing by, and he mentioned about what you were doing and realized we were doing the same thing- that’s all” said Jeralt as he chuckles. However, as Byleth finally catches their full breath, Cyrils’s face suddenly turns to confusion- and annoyance.

 

“...Why did you need Jeritza ?...” asked Cyril- as he starts to dig up old petty resentment towards the teacher in his mind…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Why do I need Jeritza you ask?... Because he is joining us, and aiding with preparations for the set up of the playing field we will be on” said Byleth.

 

“What?! Agh…” said Cyril, who is quite annoyed at the news.

 

“Sorry… He had the same idea as me; and arguably more planned out… It’s for the benefit of the class, so I am taking the blow” said Byleth as they looks around the courtyard, “But… He is nowhere to be found it seems…”.

 

“I didn’t know you and Jeritza had bad blood, Professor” inquires Seteth.

 

“Well-... Not really bad blood , just… A little tit for tat…” responded Byleth.

 

“Ah…” said Seteth.

 

“Well, if he doesn’t show up- who cares! We can help set up and be just fine without ‘em, Professor!” said Cyril.

 

“Yea… You are right… Speaking of which- I will need as many able bodied people to move some set pieces and obstacles that I have made to be moved to the on sight location. Can you all help me move them into our inventory, and strap them to the horses?” asked Byleth.

 

“Sure thing!” said Ashe.

 

“You know we are here to help if we can,” said Ingrid.

 

“Good. Let’s start by loading up the cargo into the inventory” said Byleth as they point to a wooden rectangular box in the courtyard, “we are loading up our stuff in those things, and putting them on horses”.

 

“On it!” said Annette as she runs over to the inventory pile in the courtyard, and goes to load it in the box.

 

“I’ll go round up the horses for you, Professor” said Dedue.

 

“Thank you. Sylvain, could you go with?” asked Byleth.

 

“Alrighty” said Sylvain as he starts to walk off alongside Dedue.

 

“Wait- I can go help as well, Professor!” said Dimitri- eager to do something too for the Professor.

 

“Actually- I have something special for you to do” said Byleth.

 

“R-Really? I’m honored! Whatever might that be?” asked Dimitri. Suddenly, Byleth approaches Dimitri, and gets up close to them. Fearing what might happen with such little space between them- Dimitri blushes. “P-Professor?...” asks a nervous Dimitri.

 

“I said to you before that I will work on the defenses of the Blue Lions… This is me trying to walk the talk I spoke… But in the days that I left the Blue Lions- it showed me that sometimes those who always have their defenses up are crumbling within those walls…” said Byleth as they whisper this into Dimitri’s ear.

 

“P-Professor?... I didn’t know you remembered that… W-What are you trying to say? And why are you telling just me this?” asked Dimitri.

 

“Because out of all the House Leaders I think you need the most internal work. Perhaps you have not seen that sentiment in yourself, but that is what I think… So, if you happen to beat me and my team today- I’ll make sure that private lesson happens today like I said I would do. I have to start somewhere, correct?” said Byleth. Hearing this- Dimitri started to remember vividly the conversation they have prior.

 

“I see… So, I’m going to see your dedication to our House up-close, and personal today?...” asked Dimitri.

 

“Yes” responded Byleth.

 

“And you are telling just me this?... Am I that special to you?...” pondered Dimitri as he blushes.

 

“W-Well… It’s just… Because, I want to give you an extra push. I think that you need it. So, today is the day I’m doing it” said Byleth.

 

“I understand, Professor… Thank you. Then, I will make sure to beat you down!” said Dimitri- with determination.

 

“That’s more like it” said Byleth as they smile.

 

“B-But, Professor- I can do that and assist Dedue and Sylvain…” said Dimitri.

 

“Right… So, I say all that because I want you to start planning our team formations for the Blue Lions- since you will be facing me . Don’t worry about some horses” said Byleth.



“Oh! I completely understand now Professor! I will!” said Dimitri as he then bows, and heads off to the others, “Guys- let’s load up the cargo fast! We have a strategy to go over so that the Blue Lions emerge victorious!”.

 

“Well- you sure have a pep in your step now,” said Ingrid.

 

“I like seeing this side of Dimitri! Hehe” said Mercedes. From afar, Seteth watches this all go down.

 

“Well- it is nice to see that the Professor can excite resolve in their students, and see it happen first hand” said Seteth.

 

“Yea… Aren’t they somethin’?’ asked Jeralt. They watch Byleth as they walk over to the inventory box. However, from afar, Felix stands there- seemingly unimpressed by Byleth at the moment. He hums to himself as he eyes the Professor up and down.

 

“What is their deal?... Why are they so peachy keen with Dimitri- but they were just as much- if not more with Claude that one day?... What is their motive?...” ponders Felix as the rest of the group start to make the final preparations to leave for the exercise...

 

*****




With everyone finally ready, they all head down the mountains that cascade around Garreg Mach to the grasslands of Gideon - in the territory of The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus . Byleth escorts the group to a specific region in  Gideon where Byleth themself had pre-planned to host the game. Alongside the other Blue Lions students, they all help Byleth carry Byleth’s resource objects for the game to the location area. The area was a piece of land on the underbelly of the mountain- and was a clearing of hilly and rocky grassland in the middle of forestation. Byleth approaches the area with almost all of the members procured however.

 

While Byleth was not that moved by Jeritza not showing up, it still left them with a bit of disappointment as they came to Gideon. And so, Byleth stands alongside the Blue Lion students and Cyril, Jeralt, Seteth, Flayn, and The Gatekeeper- all awaiting what will become of the exercise. Suddenly, Byleth feels a tap on their shoulder.

 

“Hey, Professor!” said Sylvain as he continues to tap to get Byleth’s attention, “The set up over there looks nice!”.

 

“Yes, it does- huh?...” said Byleth- taken aback by what Sylvain said, “What do you mean? We didn’t even set up yet. All the pieces are right here-” continued Byleth as they fully turn to Sylvain- looking in the direction he is looking, and sees what he is talking about. As Byleth looks off into the distance, they see several Seiros Knights moving materials- and in the middle of them all is Jeritza!

 

“Professor- I didn’t know you and Jeritza were already working on the set up… When did you have the time to do this?” asked Cyril.

 

“And if they are already working on it- why did I just spend this whole time trying to not get kicked by a horse while I guide them as they hold this cargo?!” asked Sylvain.

 

“W-Wait! I don’t even know what’s going on! He is just doing there moving stuff as if this isn’t my idea! Agh, let’s go class!” said Byleth as they march over to Jeritza’s set up in the distance…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Jeritza!” shouts Byleth as they close in on the elusive teacher; standing in the middle of construction of what looks like an entire battlefield course for the game. Dug outs, traps, mechanisms, barricades, and bases litter the grasslands around them.

 

“Oh, Professor, you are finally here. You are late” said Jeritza.

 

“Late?! I was looking for you ” exclaimed Byleth.

 

“Me? Why? You should of been getting prepared” said Jeritza.

 

“What? You were supposed to meet me! And, I wanted to go over some other ideas I had for set up- you just started without me?!” asked Byleth.

 

“Oh- my apologies; the request to meet back up with you was so irrelevant to me that it slipped my mind” said Jeritza as he turns away to look back at some knights moving supplies of his, “Can you place those bear traps further inwards in the forest? Thank you” continued Jeritza as he instructed other knights.

 

"Sure, sir" said one knight as they pick up a box of traps.

 

“Bear traps?! That wasn’t in my-... Actually it was in my plans to have, I just didn’t know where to get one… B-But, you just started without me! This is my exercise!” said Byleth- annoyed at Jeritza.

 

“And I elevated it; like I said I could do. Look” said Jeritza as he waves his hands around- pointing out the scenery, “Are you not impressed?”asked Jeritza.

 

“That is not the point! The point is that you didn’t include me. And- where did you get these knights?! I wasn’t going to bother them with something so trite...” said Byleth. Hearing this, Jeritza sucks his teeth.

 

“See, and this is how I know you lack resolve; trying is better than nothing. They were more than glad to aid in the training of the students because they will also serve as protection for all involved- as well as relays in case we cannot make it back to Garreg Mach. We are in Faerghus territory after all” said Jeritza.

 

“And what is that supposed to mean?” asked Dimitri as he approaches alongside the others.

 

“Exactly what I said” responded Jeritza.

 

“Jeritza, this all looks very well made. Good job” said Seteth.

 

“I see other faculty are here. And Jeralt as well?” questioned Jeritza. Hearing this, Jeralt laughs.

 

“Yup; we will be on the same side for today’s training exercise. I see other knights are here. Good” said Jeralt.

 

“That is nice! Then I won’t be the sore thumb sticking out…” said The Gatekeeper. As the other Blue Lions gather up, Ingrid starts to look around the area, and notices a coup filled with animals for mounting. Suddenly, she gasps from slight joy.

 

“Are those pegasus over there?” asked Ingrid as she spots a coup full of animals.

 

“Yes; I thought it would add a sense of realism if units were able to ride on their preferred mounts as well” said Jeritza.

 

“But, this is just Capture The Flag!” said Byleth.

 

Elevated Capture The Flag- using Handkerchiefs- is what I like to refer to it as” said Jeritza.

 

“Well, we could call this ‘Fódlan’s Throat’ for all I care- as long as I show off my merit and skills, and gets us a victory!” said Cyril.

 

“Well, with my setup- and the Professor's guide- we will establish the perfect settings to do just that,” said Jeritza.

 

“Oh, don’t talk as if we were concocting this idea since jump...” said Byleth.

 

“Anyways, Professor… So, you never really fully explained how the game will work. You gave us a somewhat unsure simplified version of the game… Can we have precise instructions?” asked Ingrid.

 

“Oh right; and we all do not know how the game is being played either. So, re-explain it for us would ‘ya?” asked Cyril.

 

“Oh, you all are right…” said Byleth.

 

“You all agreed, and didn’t know how the game was being played?...” asked Dimitri.

 

“I came to support regardless- didn’t matter to me how I did it, or what exactly it was that I was to be doing” said Jeralt.

 

“I concur; as long as the end result is what I believe it will be- then how we get there is not as important” said Seteth.

 

“Ditto” said Cyril.

 

“I just was excited to play- uh… I mean- protect you all while the game was commencing” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“I was asked by Seteth if I wanted to play, and I said yes instantly! I thought I would learn how it was played when I got here” said Flayn.

 

“Well I knew how it would go- since I had plans already for this” said Jeritza.

 

“Agh, whatever Jeritza…” said Byleth as they roll their eyes at them, “Anyways… Yes. Let’s all line up orderly class, and I will explain the roles for this Capture The Flag to you all” continued Byleth. And with that, The Blue Lions all congregated in front of Byleth- all eager to hear how this game will be played after anticipating it for so long…

 

*****

 

“So… How this game will work, especially since we have way more units than I initially thought we'd have, is that we will split up- the Blue Lions and Faculty/Knights respectfully- and head to our designated base locations that is within the pre-designated perimeters of our exercise” said Byleth as they point to each side of the clearing, where both the Blue Lions base and the ‘Black Eagles’-inspired Faculty Base are currently being set up in clear view, ”Clearly Jeritza has set up prior to us getting here, so you can see in the distance the barracks where the teams’ bases will be located” continued Byleth.

 

“They look like bases... That you would prepare for war... “ said Dimitri as he observes the two bases.

 

“You should approach any exercise like your life's on the line because it is always in preparation for the real thing” said Jeritza.

 

“For once, I actually agree with him…” said Byleth. Suddenly, Jeritza walks out to speak in front of the mass of units in front of him.

 

“I hope you find the base suitable to your needs for the exercise. Also, you will see that we have displaced chests throughout the area; which will be filled with boon you can collect that will further aid you while on the field such, as medical items or weapons should your weapons break” said Jeritza.

 

“Wait- but if you designed the playing field, and you are facing against us Jeritza, then wouldn’t you and your team already have an advantage?” asked Sylvain.

 

“Yea; that- on top of the fact that you have so many strong people on your side!” added Ingrid.

 

“Well in that regard, wouldn’t only one of us participating on our side only know the layout?” asked Cyril.

 

“One is better than no one” responded Dedue.

 

“True…” said Cyril.

 

“Actually, I do not know the full layout either" said Jertiza as he interjects the speculation among the crowd, "I specifically told the knights to construct the field in a randomized way than what is notated in my notes” said Jeritza.

 

“Oh, really?” questioned Byleth.

 

“Yes. The only thing that is somewhat avoidable in pre-knowing is that the bases will be opposite of each other- with the field in the middle. Sure; I instructed to place certain items or traps in certain areas, but beyond that- I do not know much else” said Jeritza.

 

“Oh, well that sounds promising” said Ashe. Suddenly, Byleth scoffs.

 

Anyways - back to my explanation…” said Byleth- attempting to regain control- “You will start in your base- which will designate your side of the field. You will be given a short amount of time for preparation- about three minutes; in that time, you ready your weapons and item pouches with whatever you deem helpful for your exercise within base. I stress within because you are unable to leave the base until that time is over. Despite this being a training, you have full access to your weaponry, spells, or other commodities. Sound simple enough so far?” asked Byleth.

 

“Yes, Professor!” the Blue Lions all say in union as they all start to chat about the info they just heard.

 

Way to go! You are doing good so far, champ! ” cheered Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth smiled- feeling excited about everyone’s interest in the game so far; however, there was far more explanation ahead for the students...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Professor, I have a question” asked Mercedes- cutting through the aimless chatter.

 

“Sure, what is it?” asked Byleth,.

 

“So we can even use the abilities of our Crests, correct?” asked Mercedes.

 

“Correct. The only thing that you will not be permitted to do is attempt to kill anyone- that will immediately cause your team to lose and you will most likely be expelled.” said Byleth.

 

“That is understandable…” said Dedue.

 

“There will be no deaths on my watch!” asserted Seteth.

 

“Mine as well; as such, even though you have access to all of your items-and you should take this as a real thing like Jeritza said- you are still participating in an exercise. So, be mindful” said Byleth.

 

“Understandable, Professor. I will make sure that we do not get too carried about” said Dimitri.

 

“There will be only one loophole to this rule; if any third-party people or creators tread on our training” said Byleth as they look around to the outskirt forest, “While we are training, we are also unsure if anyone around us is watching. If you see someone that doesn't look like a student of Garreg Mach- or a Knight of Seiros- you have permission to engage”.

 

“Thankfully, that will not be a feat that the students will have to do with all of these knights present” said Jeralt.

 

“Precisely; These knights will also serve as the perimeter of the playing field; you pass the wall of knights, you are out of bounds. if you go out of bounds, you yourself will be out for that round” said Jeritza. Hearing Jeritza interject, Byleth gets annoyed.

 

“Hey! I didn’t say that was a rule at all! B-But… It sounds like something that should be a rule so… I’ll let it slide…” said Byleth- caving into Jeritza’s good idea.

 

“Awesome! Then this area is fully protected!” said The Gatekeeper. 

 

“Yea- I guess you won’t need to watch us so closely, huh?” said Cyril to The Gatekeeper.

 

"What? N-No! I still do! Just because the perimeter is secure doesn’t mean something couldn’t breach it and attack you guys up close! I still gotta participate” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“If we can get back on track- let’s talk about once the game begins after preparation time is over…” said Byleth- attempting to re-center the conversation once more, “So, you will have about 30 minutes per round; perhaps a knight can keep track of time for us, Jeritza?” asked Byleth.

 

“I got that covered; one of the knights came prepared with a stopwatch and blow horn” responded Jeritza.

 

“Perfect. Anyways, in that allotted time, you have to approach the enemy team base, capture the handkerchief within their base, and make it safely back to your own base with the handkerchief. And, the first team to do this wins that round. And, there is three rounds. So, best two out of three wins” said Byleth.

 

“Huh, like a search and rescue mission...” said Felix.

 

“Very good observation, Felix!” said Byleth as they fill with joy from their spot-on response, “The handkerchief is more than just embroidery and cloth- this is a unit on the field that should be considered VIP. You want to take this from the enemy- as they are holding the special unit ‘captive’ so to speak” said Byleth as they get out the handkerchiefs that will be used.

 

“Intriguing…” said Annette.

 

“So it adds more weight if we think about the handkerchief's as more than just that, then? These are rescue targets for us to bring to safety!” said Ingrid.

 

“Precisely- which is another layer that adds to training movement speed; you need to be critical in thinking when on the battlefield. This is especially so because there are certain things you can and cannot do with your own handkerchief” said Byleth.

 

“Really? Like what?” asked Sylvain.

 

“For starters- the handkerchiefs should not leave your base whatsoever in any altered way unless an enemy unit takes it out. Meaning; if a Blue Lions unit takes their own handkerchief out of base, then that handkerchief is out of bounds. Out of bounds handkerchiefs will result in your team forfeiting the round when out of bounds for too long- which will give the win automatically to the rival team” said Byleth.

 

“What? Why such strict rules over some handkerchief?” asked Sylvain.

 

“Because, what if you just took your handkerchief, tied it around your waste, and just hid with it somewhere? Then, it would be impossible for the enemy team to steal it. That would be a smart maneuver- but for the realm of our game, that would be cheating. For the purposes of this game, the handkerchief should stay on the pole, and within the confines of the base unless taken by an enemy. The handkerchief always needs to be in the domain for the enemy to steal; thus within base. And, it shall remain on the special pedestal for it that will rest in the middle of each base” said Byleth.

 

“Oh- okay… That does make sense to do- I didn’t quite understand that aspect myself” admitted Seteth.

 

“So what do we do about our handkerchief within crossfire? It is out of bounds then” asked Ashe.

 

“If it is taken by enemy- then it is a stolen handkerchief; that would still be ‘out of bounds’, yes. However; when it is in possession of the enemy, then you will only reach defeat if it reaches their base, or it is out of bounds for too long. The length of time it can stay out of bounds and not in anyone's base or a any team's possession is exactly three minutes . So, in simpler terms, an enemy can carry your handkerchief out of the handkerchief’s bounds as long as they want, but you cannot keep yours out of bounds for too long if no one has possession of it other than the enemy. This is a rule set in place mainly to not waste too much time with no flag 'in play', and to not prolong things. basically, a rule of thumb to go by is If your handkerchief is out of your base, your first priority is to bring it back. Your main priority- as a team- would be to reclaim your handkerchief” said Byleth.

 

“Hm… I am starting to understand more…” said Dimitri.

 

“These really are some intriguing rules…” said Jeralt.

 

“Is that it?” asked Dedue.

 

“No” responded Byleth as they set down the red handkerchief, and hold the blue handkerchief in both hands, “The next thing is that the handkerchief should not be manipulated in any way”.

 

“Manipulated?” questioned Ingrid.

 

“Listen carefully to this; on top of taking it out of its bounds, if your own team rips, destroys, loses, or alters your own handkerchief in any way- you will lose the round. Likewise, if the enemy team rips, destroys, loses, or alters your own handkerchief in any way- the enemy team will lose the round. You follow that one?” asked Byleth.

 

“W-What? Why would that matter?” asked Felix.

 

“Because; impeding the enemy from taking the handkerchief by changing the handkerchief in any way is cheating; if you don’t think so, then you become a Professor, and you make the rules” said Byleth.

 

“I-I didn’t think it wasn’t - I just didn’t get it…” responded Felix.

 

“I think I get it; I mean, if I took our handkerchief, and just burnt it- you would think that would help me win because the enemy can't take it. However, how would they know it is burned? They might attempt to find something that was destroyed” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Exactly. As such, no tampering with the handkerchiefs just to stay safe and fair” said Byleth.

 

“Understandable” said Mercedes.

 

“Question- so, how many people per side is participating exactly? Is it just a formation of your recommend eight units? Or all of us?” asked Dimitri.

 

“Ah, that’s a good question. So- initially, my plan was that it was just supposed to be a formation against a formation, and the Blue Lions were going to just rotate out and fight us. But, since we have so many knights, I think we can have the whole class participate at once” said Byleth.

 

“Really? That’s great!” said Annette. Hearing this, the whole class starts to rile up.

 

“Wait- so, it’s going to be all us students against faculty and knights?...” asked Sylvain- feeling like they are at a disadvantage.

 

“W-Well… In that case, then some of the knights can be on the Blue Lions side as well. Just… I don't know… Put something blue on so we can tell you all apart” said Byleth.

 

“Hm… So, students and knights against faculty and knights... “ ponders Ingrid.

 

And us!” said Cyril as he brings attention to him and Flayn.

 

“R-Right…” said Ingrid.

 

“I think that should be fair enough” said Seteth.

 

“Agreed” responded Jeralt.

 

“Ok. Then- we will work on dividing up the knights evenly then afterwards” said Jeritza.

 

“Good” said Byleth.

 

“Is there anything else Professor?” asked Dimitri.

 

“Um… No, not that I can think of. Besides all that I said- you can basically do whatever you can to steal the enemy handkerchief- and make it back to your base. You mearly have to enter your base area with the enemy handkerchief to win” said Byleth. 

 

“Just be mindful of the traps and terrain afoot; if you think treading through the course would be easy think again” said Jeritza as he picks up a rock, and throws it across the ways. As the rock lands- a hole in the ground suddenly opens up as it reacts to the weight of the rock!

 

“W-Woah! A pit trap!?” shouted a shocked Sylvain.

 

“So there are traps like that all around us?...” asked Annette.

 

“Yes” said Jeritza.

 

“Gosh- you even made those? What were you thinking?!” asked Byleth to Jeritza.

 

“F-Flayn will not be playing if there are unidentifiable traps laying around!” shouted Seteth.

 

“S-Seteth- please… it’s fine. I won’t fall for some simple and basic trap like that” said Flayn- defending herself.

 

“Well- kinda hard to re-dig back up a pit trap, so it is staying” said Jeritza. Hearing this, Byleth groans to themselves.

 

“Whatever… Well, if no one has anymore questions- then that is all that needs to be known for the most part, alright? Teams-  feel free to procure what you can from the convoy, and move out to your base-await the preparation time start! Blue Lions- hear is your handkerchief, and you will be in the one over there” said Byleth as they hand out the blue handkerchief to Dimitri, and points to the base out far where they all will be.

 

Dimitri goes to grab it, and gives Byleth an endearing look as Dimitri starts to walk back towards his House, and start their trek to their base in the distance. Byleth then takes their red handkerchief in hand, and guides their team towards the base the other way. “Team- we will be over on that base” continued Byleth as they walk past Seteth, Jeritza, and Jeralt.

 

"... Hopefully this doesn't take too long; I need to get back to doing paperwork for Lady Rhea..." says Seteth.

 

And with that, the teams ready themselves with the 3 minutes of preparation time they were given before the actual game commences…

Chapter Text

“Okay guys, if you need any last minute items in your inventory, now is your chance!” said Byleth as they take leadership amongst the knights and units in their team, “Fill up on vulnerary, and grab and shields that you might need”.

 

“I’ll carry as much as I can, Professor!” said The Gatekeeper eagerly.

 

“Thank you. Oh! also, the knights that are going to stay in base to protect the flag please make sure you watch from all directions in the base. Just because their base is in front of us doesn't mean they wouldn’t try and come from the sides or behind us” said Byleth.

 

“Don’t order us around- as if you aren’t beneath all of us” said Jeritza.

 

“What did you just say?!" asked Jeralt- not liking what he just heard.

 

“I’m not scared of some old coot- I said what I said” responded Jeritza. Hearing this, Jeralt started to grunt at Jeritza. The two momentarily start to close in on each other- both unwavering by the other’s clout. As they approach each other, Jeritza and Jeralt both grab lances that were sitting around the base camp- and hold them intently in their hands. However, before they could get any closer Seteth walks in the middle of them, and stops them.

 

“Now now… This is not the time nor place for knights and teachers to be fighting…” said Seteth. Hearing this, Jertiza sighs, and places the lance on his back.

 

“I will have no need for Vulnerary because I will not be getting wounded on the battlefield. I hope that the same goes for you, Professor” said Jeritza as he looks back at Byleth.

 

“Um… Thank you?” responded Byleth- unsure if Jeritza was trying to actually be  concerned with them.

 

“Agh, whatever…” said Jeralt as he starts to walk away.

 

“Jeralt- wait! Agh…” said Seteth- feeling helpless. Byleth watches as their father retreats back into a tent while and Jertiza- the cause of the tension in the base- just goes back to what he was doing before, and waiting for the knights to sound the horn that will commence the game. Seteth, feeling like this entire situation is childish, goes off on his own somewhere else in the base as well. Byleth, feeling a bit perturbed, then turns to watch Jeritza as he stands watch at the foot of the base- ever so curious about him.

 

I wonder… Why did Jeritza agree so easily to the training with us and the Blue Lions?... ” ponders Byleth.

 

Well no use pondering it now! At least you have him to make up at least a seven-unit squad! ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

You are right… I wish I had eight though ” thought Byleth.

 

Well- if you wanna get all philosophical- then I’m the eighth person! ” said Sothis with glee.

 

Hm… Sothis being the eighth person… I guess that would make sense… Then I had the right number all along- thank you Sothis ” thought Byleth. Hearing this made Sothis blush a bit.

 

Yeah yeah… D-Don’t expect me to just rewind time willy-nilly for you! ” said Sothis.

 

Gotcha ” said Byleth. 

 

*****

 

Across the way, other members of the team get ready on their own accord as they watched this encounter go down from afar...

 

“Gosh… There is more tension amongst the adults than I originally thought!” said Cyril.

 

“Yea, but we need to not get involved as it is not our place,” said Flayn- who rests right next to Cyril as she grabs a bow out from a box.

 

“Yea. You are good with the bow as well, right?” asked Cyril.

 

“Somewhat” said Flayn as she places the bow onto her back, and closes the box, “I also study a lot of White Magic in my spare time. Oh! And I am trying to ride a pegasus!” said Flayn.

 

“Huh. So, you could really go an Archer, Priest, or Pegasus Knight route if you wanted to” said Cyril.

 

“Right. But, I’m not as good with the lance as my brother is” responded Flayn.

 

“Practice makes perfect! It’s a good thing you are here then!” said Cyril as he smiles.

 

“Yea- you are right!” said Flayn as she smiles. Suddenly, the two see a shadow daunt over them. as they turn around they see that it is Seteth, who has his arms folded, and a not so pleased look on his face.

 

“Enough talking you two; we don’t have that much time left before we start, and you need to make sure that you are as prepared as needed beforehand” said Seteth as he approaches Cyril and Flayn.

 

“S-Sorry, brother!” said Flayn.

 

“Hey Seteth- since they have pegasus’ here- are you gonna ride one?” asked Cyril.

 

“Well, I do not think they are really necessary… But since they are here I suppose I could… But, I think for the sake of the training- I will refrain from mounting this round” said Seteth.

 

“I was considering using this game to help practice with my riding, brother! If you did- then I was going to” said Flayn.

 

“O-Oh! Well… Do not let me stop you from training” said Seteth.

 

“No- what you said makes sense, so I will not as well. Although- I wanted to also train because Ingrid is on the other side” said Flayn.

 

“Ingrid? Why would she correlate to your training?” asked Seteth.

 

“Because then I could pegasus train and fight against a unit who is also mounted on the same creature!” said Flayn.

 

“Oh! Of course! Well, I would think that they would come to the same deduction I had- and probably abstain from mounting for a game of Capture The Flag” said Seteth.

 

“Let’s hope; or else you might get creamed!” said Cyril.

 

“I beg your pardon?! I would fare just fine mounted or unmounted!” said Seteth.

 

“Eh, okay” said Cyril, who doesn't really care about Seteth’s response. Suddenly, as they are in mid-conversation, they heard someone running towards them from behind. As they all turn around, they see that it is The Gatekeeper- holding a sword, axe, and a lance in his hand.

 

“Um… Is there an issue?” asked Seteth.

 

“Y-Yea, kinda… Which weapon should I use?” asked The Gatekeeper.

 

“Um… Well, which weapon do you usually fight with?” asked Cyril.

 

“Uh…” said The Gatekeeper as he nervously thinks.

 

“Agh, well- if you want my opinion…” said Cyril as he starts to think, “... Seteth, Jeralt, and Jeritza all use lances… Too many! Me and Flayn use bows- while Flayn also uses magic… So, go with an axe” continued Cyril.

 

“An axe? You think?’ asked The Gatekeeper as he eyes the axe in his hand.

 

“Or you could use some other instrument; gauntlets, tomes, bows- the options are nearly endless” said Seteth.

 

“I-I don’t know... “ said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Then ask Byleth” said Flayn.

 

“Oh! G-Good idea!” said The Gatekeeper as he runs towards Byleth with his weapons.

 

“You ever see a child's face after they just get a new toy? That’s him right now…” said Cyril.

 

“He does move as if he’s never held a weapon before…” said Flayn.

 

“Hm… We ought to observe him closely…” responded Seteth- unsure of how strong The Gatekeeper is.

 

“Oi! One minute left!” the Announcer Knight shouted through the bullhorn; loud enough to be echoed throughout the grasslands. Seteth, startled, turns around to the direction of the voice. At the same time, hearing this was everyone else, Jeralt finally exist the tent; donning new gear, and a face of determination. Jeritza looks up to the sky, and look at the birds as they startly fly away from the loud sound. The Gatekeeper, running towards Byleth, trips over his feet- dropping all the weapons he was holding as he collides with the ground. All while- Byleth, steeling themselves, breathes in deep as they start to get excited for the start of the round. Seteth then turns back around, and faces Cyril and Flayn.

 

“Oh, that must be the knights warning us of time. Come on- let’s get going” said Seteth.

 

“Right!” said Cyril and Flayn as they get up, and head back over to Byleth as well- eager to start already…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Byleth, Jeralt, Jeritza, Seteth, Flayn, Cyril, and The Gatekeeper all line up at the entrance of the base, as all other knights that were helping set up base fan around them. In this time, The Gatekeeper took up Cyril’s idea- and dons an axe for combat, while Flayn decides to both wield a healing tome alongside her bow. They all await the treasured moment when they hear the horn go off attentively; all unaware of what truly awaits them fighting against the Blue Lions students in this situation. Behind them all rests a long pedestal pole, and at its peak is the red flag- like handkerchief of their team tied to it. This pedestal is fastened to the ground via the pedestal base that it rests in. As the units all look up to the top of the pedestal as they see their handkerchief flies confidently in the air- as if it exuded confidence on the team that it will not get captured. 

 

The pole innately added extra defense to each base- making it so that you either had to climb the pole to grab it- or use another method of capture such as cutting the pole, or using a flying mount or mechanism to reach it. However, as Byleth looks back at the handkerchief moving in the air they have faith of their victory- while still holding out the the other team’s victory secretly for Dimitri. Byleth breaths in; smelling the spring morning winds that befall on the grassland- rustling the leaves in a canon fashion- creating as well the only other noise the units heard as they silent await for the go. Suddenly, a howling sound barrels throughout the forest- causing more birds to fly away in shock from the bullhorn. 

 

“Okay! Round one is about to start! On your marks, get set, GO!!!” shouted the Announcer Knight. Hearing both of these indicators, both the teams start to run.

 

“Charge!!!” shouted Byleth as they lead the knights and other units forward. Byleth unsheathe their sword , and holds on tightly in their two hands as they run around trees with Seteth, Jeralt, Jeritza, and Cyril not too far behind. Taking up the rear, The Gatekeeper and Flayn run at a slower pace.

 

“Flayn! Please try to not lose sight of me!” said Seteth.

 

“I know, brother! I’ll be fine; I will be able to keep up with you all” said Flayn. However as Flayn stares at Seteth running forward she starts to notice something odd about his demeanor. She observes that Seteth is oddly sweating, and biting his lip- as if he was nervous. Cyril also notices this as well- running right next to him. He runs closer to Seteth, and looks over to him.

 

“Hey, Seteth?” asked Cyril.

 

“H-Huh? Yes, what is wrong? Is there an enemy?” asked Seteth.

 

“No… You seem a bit out of it. Everything alright?” questioned Cyril.

 

“Y-Yes, why would it not be? Do I look like there is something wrong? Well there isn’t- I’m fine” said Seteth- seemingly attempting to prove a point no one is harking on. Hearing this, Byleth turns to Seteth as well.

 

“You are not acting like you are honestly, Seteth” said Byleth.

 

“Agh, okay- fine! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit anxious over this game…” admitted Seteth.

 

“Huh? Why?" asked Cyril.

 

“I just… Never played this game before. I do not want to be seen by the knights and students failing at such a trite game because I never played it before!” said Seteth.

 

“What? You never even played Capture the Flag before?...” asked Jeralt.

 

“Tsk, even I have…” said Jeritza as he lets out a slight chuckle.

 

“I didn’t know you never played this game before, Seteth” said Flayn.

 

“Well I haven’t!” said Seteth- as he starts to blush. Suddenly, The Gatekeeper runs up to Seteth’s side.

 

“Don't’ worry, Seteth! Because of my duties- I haven't really played this game in such a long time either. We basically are in the same boat!” said The Gatekeeper- attempting to sympathize with Seteth. Hearing this, Seteth sighs.

 

“I just want to set an example of conductivity for the students, so I need to not only learn this game- but learn it quick and efficient enough to secure us a win” said Seteth.

 

“Well that is why you have a team behind you to help!” said Cyril.

 

“Even us Professors have to have someone there to cover our bases” said Byleth.

 

“But you cannot depend on that fact; on the battlefield, you are all alone” said Jeritza.

 

“But on the battlefield you are also surrounded by allies who should not hesitate to help an ally in need” said Jeralt.

 

“Right!” chimed in The Gatekeeper. Seteth then dons a smile on his head- feeling warm about the others attempting to cheer him up.

 

“Thank you. I do feel a bit better about this” said Seteth.

 

“That’s good. Okay guys, let’s split up here!” said Byleth as they point forward. In front of them is a bunch of forestation, and around it is barricades and wooden traps, “We are going to have people proceed from the left and right. However, we need to also have units positioned here to make sure no enemy units proceed closer to our base”.

 

“P-Professor! I’ll make sure no one approaches further to the base!” said The Gatekeeper. 

 

“Thank you. I will trust this area to you, then” said Byleth.

 

“I’ll stay behind as well” said Jeralt. 

 

“Oh? You don’t want to try and capture the flag with us?’ asked Byleth.

 

“I’ll be better attempting to secure this area. Anyone that tries to come up against me will be up to a real fight! But, I am more trusting in you that I won’t even have to fight because you guys will be in and out hopefully” said Jeralt.

 

“Right” said Byleth.

 

“We should not underestimate the enemy” said Jeritza.

 

“He is correct. Just because they are students does not mean they cannot give us a hard time” said Seteth.

 

“That is also right…” said Byleth- feeling a bit dumb.

 

“Okay, well I will head this way. Come on Flayn!” said Seteth as he heads left. 

 

“Okay!” said Flayn.

 

“Then I will head this way” said Byleth as they head right.

 

“I will come with you, Professor!” said Cyril.

 

“Okay. Jertiza, what will do?’ asked Byleth.

 

“... You” said Jeritza as they start to follow Byleth. Byleth's face twists a bit from Jeritza's awkward worded response, but nonetheless they proceed forward. Byleth then turns over to other knight units following behind them, and raises their hand to give direction.

 

“Okay! knights! We are going to need units to back up each side. So, pick a side, and follow either me or Seteth!" said Byleth.

 

"Right!" the knights responded.

 

"And Seteth, let’s try and converge somewhere close to their base!” said Byleth.

 

“Okay, Professor” responded Seteth.

 

And with that, Jeralt and The Gatekeeper watch as Seteth and Flayn head off in one direction, while Byleth, Cyril and Jeritza head in another.  They disappear behind trees as other knights charge behind them towards the Blue Lions base…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Let’s move out, guys!” said Dimitri as he, Dedue, Felix, Sylvain, and Mercedes rush through the Gideon grasslands together alongside knights on their team- all adorned with some blue-like article of clothing. 

 

“Right!” said Dedue- who is not far behind. Felix, eager to get towards the enemy team, rushes right past Dimitri swiftly. 

 

“Hey! It’s not a race!” said Sylvain seeing this happen.

 

“Victory waits for no one! And we have a limited amount of time to win!” said Felix as he unsheathes his sword.

 

“Agh- whatever. Sylvain, just don’t fall behind!” said Dimitri.

 

“You don’t have to worry about me” said Sylvain as he sighs to himself. “ You should worry about the one trailing behind us all… ” Sylvain then thought. He then turns behind him to look at Mercedes- who is running a bit slower than the rest of them.

 

“H-Hey Mercedes, you alright back there?’ asked Sylvain. Mercedes gripped her magic spell tome tightly in her hand as she tried to run a bit quicker with further determination swelling up inside her.

 

“Y-Yes, I am fine. Please do not worry about me. I should be keeping a safe distance from you all either way” said Mercedes.

 

“I mean- that would make some sense if this was an actual battle- but you are not going to be getting seriously hurt! I also question if we will really need to be healed in a training like this...” said Sylvain.

 

“Considering what had just happened to the Professor- I think anything is a possibility when we engage in a battle,” said Mercedes.

 

“R-Right…” said Sylvain as he turns back around.

 

“Plus- I need to watch your back as well! If I don’t, then who will?” asked Mercedes.

 

“W-What?...” said Sylvain as he blushes a bit.

 

“Can you two stop flirting back there! You are running so slow!” said Felix- who has since furthered the distance between them.

 

“Or you are just running way too fast for your own good!” said Sylvain.

 

“Guys! Focus! We need to work as a team right now! We need to show the Professor the fruit of our training; this is perfect practice for the Mock battle!” shouted Dimitri- trying to re-center his team.

 

“Right” said Dedue.

 

“Speaking of our team- was it a good decision to leave Ashe and Annette to guard our base?...” asked Sylvain.

 

“The better plan than to guard our base all up is to force our way to the enemy, and do si so quickly that they won’t even have a chance to retaliate. That way, we can get to and back to our base with the enemy flag, and win” said Felix.

 

“I somewhat agree to that- but we are still taking precautionary tactics. That is why we have Ingrid away from us right now. Plus, Annette and Ashe will be able to strike incoming enemies from a distance, so I think we are fine" said Dimitri. 

 

“True. If things turn I will turn back, and go back to base- alright?” said Sylvain.

 

“Okay. So far we have not run into enemies, so I think we are fine for now” said Dimitri as he charges forward. 

 

Felix, Dimitri, Sylvain, and Mercedes run past a large rock in the middle of the grassland as they dodge more trees around them.  Other knights yell and charge forward all around them; overzealous and filled with the energy of the game. Hugging the rock, Felix charges forward- thinking that no enemy will sneak up on him. However, as he passes by another tree, suddenly a lance launches towards him- and he parrys it at the last moment!

 

“W-What?!” shouted Felix as he barely misses getting hit. He strikes the lance away from him, and he side-steps backwards, and creates distance between him and Jeritza. Suddenly, Jeritza comes out from hiding, and takes a stance in front of the group. 

 

“You will not be going forward” said Jeritza.

 

“No! They caught up to us already!” shouted Dimitri as he readies his lance in his hand, and prepares to approach Jeritza. Jeritza looks over to Dimitri, and sighs.

 

“Insolence” said Jeritza. He takes a defensive stance and prepares for Dimitri to head towards him.  However, as Dimitri goes to swing a person appears at the top of the rock near them, and jumps off! Dedue and Sylvain manages to spot this person- but cannot make them out as their body is shadowed by the morning sun. Eager to protect Dimitri, Dedue goes to lunch for Dimitri.

 

“Prince Dimitri! Up above! Look out!” shouts Dedue as he grabs his axe and shield, and grips them firmly in his hands. Mercedes then looks up, and is able to tell- due to her distance and the angle of the sun- that the person jumping off the rock was Byleth! Reacting quickly, Mercedes brings out her spell tome.

 

“Nosferatu!” shouts Mercedes as she casts the light spell towards Byleth. The light shined glistens off Byleth’s body- revealing who they are to those who previous couldn’t see, and as Sylvain and Dedue look at the Professor they tense up.

 

“Ahh!” shouted Sylvain as he readies his lance, and holds it over his face. Byleth turns over to see the light spell hurtling towards them. In mid-air, Byleth dodges- but it isn’t enough motion to completely miss the attack. So, Byleth takes the sword that is in their hand, and attempts to reflect the light off the side of the sword. Nosferatu collides with their sword, and a myriad of light reflects off in many different directions. Using their brute force, Byleth smacks away the light spell- causing it to not land on them as it dissipates.

 

“W-What?!” shouted a flabbergasted Mercedes.

 

“In mid-air too? Just how strong is the Professor…” ponders Dimitri.

 

“Don’t think about that for too long- you might not have a head!” said Jeritza as he charges towards Dimitri. However, he stops in his tracks, and instead turns around to guard against Felix’s sword attack that he attempts to deal behind his back, “Striking a warrior when his back is turned; I thought you had some type of chivalry”.

 

“All is fair in love and war, they say” responded Felix as he attempts to strike Jeritza once more. As this happens however, Dimitri takes this chance to run up on Jeritza while his back is turned. Jeritza looks back as he clashes with Felix once more but is not perturbed by Dimitri’s actions. Suddenly, an arrow is shot towards their direction, and as Dimitri notices it he strikes it away with his weapon. Suddenly, out from the bushes comes Cyril- who was hiding and waiting for the right moment to strike.

 

“Dang! Almost got ‘em!” said Cyril. Seeing Cyril miss, Jeritza scoffs.

 

“You need to be quicker; I practically gave you an opening to shoot either Felix or Dimitri” said Jeritza.

 

“R-Right!... Agh… I hate when he is right...” said Cyril.

 

“Curses! You guys will not stop us from victory!” shouted Dimitri as he charges to Cyril.

 

“Well I’m not scared of you! S-Stay away!” yelled Cyril as he shot another arrow at Dimitri, however Dimitri evaded the strike once more by side-stepping out of the way.

 

“This strategy they are using on us... They have all of us on the edge!... Guys! Unless the Professor told them- they should not know our formations at all, so they shouldn't know how we fight in the Blue Lions!” said Dimitri.

 

"I said I would not disclose that stuff anymore!..." responded Byleth. Dimitri then attempts to run up on Cyril. Seeing this, Cyril starts to  freak out.

 

“Y-You feel all nice and macho runnin’ up on a kid?!” questioned Cyril to Dimitri- attempting to throw him off.

 

“W-What?... On the battlefield- if you pick up a weapon- then you are old enough to fight and take whatever comes with it” responded Dimitri.

 

“Prince Dimitri! I’ll be right behind you!” shouted Dedue as he attempted to charge towards Dimitri. However, Byleth landed right in front of Dedue, and swatted them backwards with their sword. 

 

“Nope. Not while I’m here” said Byleth.

 

“Agh! I need to get past the Professor! But how?...” pondered Dedue

 

“Don’t worry, Dedue- I got your back!” shouted Sylvain as he approached Dedue.

 

“Me as well!” said Mercedes as she finally catches up with the group. Byleth takes their stance as they stand in front of Dedue, Sylvain, and Mercedes; all while attempting to figure out the best way to get to Cyril before Dimitri does. At the same time, Jeritza eagerly starts to clash with Felix- who seems to start smiling at the encounter.

 

“Show me just how good your sword skills have gotten this month, Felix!” said Jeritza as he gets motivated to clash with Felix.

 

“I won’t have any problem doing that!” said Felix as he stares down Jeritza. As the 8 units engage with each other, knights from each side starts to meet in the middle of the battlefield with them; clashing with other knights as they all desperately attempt to get past the other side to their base…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

At the same time as Byleth and group squaring off with Dimitri and company…

 

“Knights, have you spotted any enemy knights of students?” asked Seteth as he stands in the middle of the knights he was traveling with- alongside Flayn- commanding them fittingly.

 

“So, sir! We have checked the perimeter- and there seems to be no sign of the enemy!” responded back a random knight.

 

“They must be hiding pretty good!” said Flayn. Suddenly, Seteth starts to hum to himself.

 

“Perhaps… Or rather- we are walking into a trap… I also find it peculiar we have yet to run into Byleth and the others… Did we take a longer route?... Flayn, stay on guard, and stay near me!” said Seteth as he started to stare down his surroundings.

 

“I will, brother!” said Flayn. She backs up behind Seteth, and clenches her bow in hand tightly as she follows Seteth’s observation movements- eyeing down the environment around her; attempting to find just one thing out of place. Suddenly, she sees some leaves rustle in the distance, and a weird ’flapping’ sound.

 

“B-Brother, I think I suspect something!” said Flayn.

 

"Huh? What is it?” asked a concerned Seteth as he turned to face her.

 

“Over there! T-The leaves moved. Is there other knights over there in that tree area?” asked Flayn as she pointed in the direction she suspected.

 

“Not that I am aware of- no. Are you sure you saw something? We needn’t extra anxiety over the unknown if it isn’t needed; you need to be very sure of what you think is going on around you, and react quick about it” said Seteth.

 

“I-I think I did…” said Flayn- as she starts to doubt herself. Hearing this, Seteth then sighs.

 

“B-But that doesn't mean you should be weary of yourself either! That also causes you to under-perform! I’m also not trying to make it seem as if you are lying, either” said Seteth.

 

“N-No, I understand; what you say is true. It’s just that” said Flayn as she is immediately cut off by a large breaking sound of many branches that seem to be breaking in the direction of them! Seteth and Flayn then look in the direction that Flayn suspected initially. Suddenly, out pops Ingrid riding a white pegasus! 

 

“N-No! I said to fly higher !’ shouted Ingrid as she tries to bring the pegasus back to center.

 

“S-Seteth!!!” shouted Flayn as she looks up towards Ingrid. Seeing that she just barreled out in front of them through trees sporadically, Seteth instantly can ascertain to himself that Ingrid is having an issue with controlling the pegasus; from the pain and anger that is smeared on her face- to the buck-wild nature of the pegasus as it attempts to find balance in the air.

 

“So I guess my calculations were not correct in thinking they would not use Jeritza’s provided pegasus. Or- I should say I underestimated the enemy and didn't use all of my provided resources... Agh! However… Ingrid is a skilled pegasus rider, so what is the cause of the chaos between her and her mount?” ponders Seteth. Ingrid then maneuvers the pegasus with enough precision that the pegasus manages to regain its balance in the air, and starts to hover higher above the knights. “Looks like we found you! Trying to use a flying mount to get to our base?” asked Seteth to Ingrid.

 

“Well, this showing of myself wasn't in the plan, but yes- that is what I was attempting to do. And if I can get this pegasus to cooperate, then I can continue doing so” said Ingrid as she looks down at the badly behaved pegasus.

 

“Are you lacking in training?” asked Seteth. Ingrid then looks towards Seteth in shock of his question.

 

“N-Never! It’s just that I am not sure where Jeritza picked up these very rowdy and anxious pegasus! The selection was not that great- as if they are being poorly taken care of! Now- my own choice of pegasus do not compare to the behavior of this one; a skilled rider is nothing if there is no chemistry between you and your mount” said Ingrid.

 

“That is true; I wonder perhaps if Jeritza selected the mounts as a tactic…” ponders Seteth.

 

“Wouldn’t that be cheating?’ asked Flayn. Suddenly, Seteth catches himself in the ignorance of is words, and covers his mouth.

 

“Oh! R-Right… Anyways, knights! Shoot her down!” shouted Seteth as he points up to Ingrid- signalling all knights carrying bows to shoot at her. 

 

“Oh no!” said Ingrid as she sees a slew of knights aim right at her. The knights commence their fire towards her, and Ingrid does her best to maneuver in the sky so that none hit her pegasus. “ I have to get out of here!” she says as she attempts to fly away in the direction of Byleth and company’s base. 

 

“Stop her!” shouted Seteth as he watches Ingrid fly over her head. Knights eager attempt to shoot her down, but all seem to miss her! Determined to also help, Flayn grabs her bow, and readies an arrow. As she aims it right at Ingrid, her hand shakes- causing the arrow to veer off slightly. Unfortunately, this slight veering sent the arrow to travel in the direction Ingrid was traveling. So, what ended up happening is the arrow cut Ingrid off- as she got started by the trajectory.

 

“T-That one flew right in front of my face; was that intentional or did they miss?” pondered Ingrid. Seeing this, Seteth got an idea.

 

“Don’t just aim at her- aim around her as well! We have to shoot her down, or stop the movement!” said Seteth as he gives the knights new command.

 

“Right! said the bow-wielding knights as they readied their bows once more.

 

“As for the other knights who are not equipped with no bows- continue forwards in the direction of the Blue Lions!” said Seteth.

 

“Right!” said the other group of knights who then started to rush off by Seteth’s command.

 

“Dimitri and the other show already have the middle area covered; they won’t be getting any closer! But I will make sure I do!” said Ingrid as she takes out her lance, and swats away any arrows that would of hit her as knights fire more shots.

 

“Tsk, damn! If I had known this- I would of mounted myself… There still isn’t much time to be wasted if I just went back and procured one… But no! I need to focus!” said Seteth- seemingly annoyed at the situation. In this moment, Seteth was feeling like the elusive and difficult nature Ingrid brings was starting to rub wrong on him; feeling as if it should not be this hard to strike her down. However, Seteth is also subconsciously holding back as well- not wanting to overpower a mere student. This contrasting notice in his head perturbed him so as she swiftly started to get use to the arrow volleys. However, after a few seconds of evasion- one managed to connect with the pegasus! The pegasus shrieked as the arrow his against its wing- causing it to descend as it lost its balance. 

 

“Oh no!” yelled Ingrid as she started to fall out of the air. As this happens, Seteth looks over, and sees that Flayn was the one that fired the arrow that him Ingrid.

 

“I hit ‘em!” shouted Flayn as she jumped with glee.

 

“Good job, Flayn!” said Seteth with smile. Ingrid and the pegasus hit the ground, and as this I happens,Seteth looks to Ingrid with an assertive expression. “However- we cannot let our guard down still; she can easily regain herself still. Let’s use this chance to apprehend her and the pegasus!” continued Seteth.

 

“Right!” shouted the knights as they rush in to stop Ingrid from flying off towards their base.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Five Minutes later- back at the middle of the playing field where Byleth and Dimitri’s units are engaging in a fight...

 

“Hya!” shouted Dedue as he attempts to swing his axe at Byleth. Byleth evades the strike, but doesn't not have a moment to rest before Sylvain comes in launching his lance at Byleth’s face. They swap the lance away with their sword as they also strike back at Dedue- who took that brief moment Byleth had with Sylvain to close in. Byleth manages to cut Dedue slightly on the shoulder- as he was unable to hold up his shield in time.

 

“Ah!” yelled Dedue.

 

“A-Are you okay?...” asked a worried Byleth.

 

“Y-Yea…” said Dedue back to Byleth. Mercedes, trailing behind btoh Sylvain and Dedue, rushes over.

 

“I’ll heal you!” said Mercedes as she starts to heal up Dedue’s shoulder using Heal.

 

“T-Thanks, but it was not that damaged to need you to be spending your energy on healing a cut” said Dedue.

 

“R-Right, my apologies…” said Mercedes- feeling like she was ridiculed for only helping.  in secret, they started to have some serious ptsd flashbacks to when Edelgard cut them, however they try to not let it get to them as they know the purpose then versus now is way different.

 

“H-Hey, Professor? I kinda need your help over here!” shouted Cyril- as he currently attempts to run and make distance between him and Dimitri. Cyril then goes to shoot another arrow, but Dimitri parrys it with poise. Byleth then looks over.

 

Damn! I need to save Cyril from Dimitri, but these three are on me… What is Jeritza doing with Felix?... ” ponders Byleth as they look over to Felix and Jeritza’s battle. There, Byleth can see them standing almost arms length from each other in a struggle match on brute strength; one attempting to overpower the other, and create an opening.

 

“If you keep on striking that slow, then you never will land an actual blow on me” said Jeritza to Felix. Hearing this, Felix started to snarl as he gets frustrated with not being able to overtake Jeritza.

 

“The battle is not nearly over yet! Don’t start underestimating me” said Felix. 

 

“Oh, really? I can tell your ability ‘Lone Wolf ’ has already activated; funny, still with that damage output you gain you still cannot crash through my defenses?” questioned Jeritza as he teases Felix.

 

“W-What?! You knew about my ability?... How would you know that? And who cares about it! It does not dictate my ability to defeat you! And I can still overwhelm you,” exclaimed Felix. Internally, Felix was not someone that likes to be tied down to aspects about them that they cannot control; so to be judged on such aspects on him that he cannot control infuriates him. 

 

“Hmph. And your Crest gives you a boost in attack as well. Two boosts to your attack- yet this is all you can do.” said Jeritza.

 

“H-How dare you speak to me that way!” asked Felix- flabbergasted at the response, and gripping his sword tighter.

 

“I wonder; is this all that the House of Fraldarius has to offer?” ponders Jeritza.

 

“Agh! Shouts Felix as he starts to enrage. He then places the bottom of his boot on the flat end of his blade, and pushes Jeritza away- breaking their clash. “Wrath Strike!” shouts Felix as he unleashes the might- that is swelled up inside of him due to his rage- into a condensed attack. He spins around, and attempts to clash once more against Jeritza using the energy he gathered. Seeing this, Jeritza then places his lance vertically- to guard against the attack. Felix then smashes his sword against Jeritza’s lance, but as the move connects Jeritza goes flying away!

 

“W-What?!” said Jeritza as he is flung airborne towards the rock, “That attack… It had some killing intent behind it… Heh” continued Jeritza as he started to smile.  In reality, Jeritza was simply toying with Felix to make him try harder to defeat him; his sudden surge of aggression was a delight to Jeritza. However, a smaller spark lit within Jeritza’s mind; one that wanted to push him even further.  Jertiza recovers from the force of the attack by spinning around in the air- slowing down his trajectory. As he meets the rock’s side, he plants his feet on it. Then, he prepares for a follow-up attack to Felix; one with the fullest intent to scar him. 

 

However, Jeritza then looks over to Byleth- whom he sees engaging with Dedue and Sylvain- with Mercedes behind them. In that split moment, two thoughts went through his head that combated each other; “ Should I lend them assistance ” and “ Should I give them a chance to advance? ”. Unsure of what to do, for a split moment Jeritza was caught up in his head. This was enough time however for Felix to close in on him!

 

Grounder!” shouted Felix as he leaps in the air towards Jeritza, and swings his sword vertically. Quickly, Jeritza faces Felix.

 

Smite” said Jeritza as he takes his right hand, extends out his palm, and presses it against Felix’s chest- causing a massive air shock-wave to occur that in which pushes Felix backwards with great force.

 

“Agh!!!” yelled Felix as he is hurled towards the ground, and crashes- creating a ‘bang’ as he bounced off the surface. As this happens, Byleth looks back.

 

“J-Jeritza! They are still students; you don’t need to use B-Rank Arts on them to secure a win!” said Byleth. Jeritza then hops up to the top of the rock, and looks at his palm.

 

“Hm… I think I executed too much power in that attack…” said Jeritza to himself. 

 

“F-Felix! Are you alright?!” asked Mercedes as she attempts to run past Byleth towards him. Feeling concerned about him as well, Byleth somewhat lets their guard down, and lets Mercedes pass as well as he stands and watches.

 

“Professor! They still are our enemies; don’t let them pass you!” shouts Cyril as he attempts to dodge Dimitri’s strike with his lance. Dimitri then looks over to Felix as well.

 

“We should not be letting our guard down for one moment” said Dimitri as he lunches at Cyril, “Felix should have been more careful to approach a Professor so carelessly! But he would not be taken out with such an attack- even if it was a high ranked Art” he continued.

 

“S-Shut up…” said Felix- hearing Dimitri’s comment as he struggles to regain his footing on the ground. As Mercedes makes way towards Felix, Felix looks up to her with an angered face. “Agh! Don’t waste your time to heal me! Go use this opportunity to make a run for their flag! It’s more important than me!” Felix continues.

 

“T-The handkerchief?” asked Mercedes. She then looks forward, and sees that she has a perfect opening to make a run for it; With Cyril being chased by Dimitri, Jeritza over on top of the rock, and Byleth standing behind her with Sylvain and Dedue, Mercedes has a golden opportunity to create some distance between the two groups. Heeding Felix’s words, she makes a run for it. Byleth, still frozen in their tracks, reacts late as they attempt to chase Mercedes; in the moment they began to run, Dedue bear-hugged them, and threw them to the ground! 

 

“Agh! J-Jeritza! Get Mercedes!” shouted Byleth- seeing that Jeritza is the only one free. Jeritza then looks over to Mercedes, and hesitates to move. Seeing Jeritza not immediately move concerned Byleth. “W-What are you waiting for!?” Byleth continued. Suddenly, Jeritza is snapped into place by Byleth’s shouting. Jeritza sighs, and jumps off the rock, and chases Mercedes.

 

“Ah! I’m being pursued! Nosferatu!” Mercedes shouts as she attempts to case the spell towards Jeritza as she runs. However, as the mass of light travels towards Jeritza, he swings his lance- and cuts the lights straight in half!

 

“You are going to have to use more powerful magic to take me out” responded Jeritza.

 

“He sliced my spell like it was butter! Oh no, what do I do?!” questioned a flustered Mercedes as she turns around and attempts to run away. However, her nervousness starts to slow her down! Seeing this, Byleth grunts loudly in fear for her wellbeing..

 

“Calm down, Mercedes!” shouts Byleth. Hearing the Professors words allows Mercedes to re-center herself for a brief moment, and collect herself as she breathes deeply in and out as .

 

“...You better run as fast as you can, so I never catch you” said Jeritza. Mercedes, nervous, looks behind her to see Jeritza gaining on her.

 

“... R-Right! I will for my team! Y-You won’t catch me, Jeritza!” shouts Mercedes as she uses all her might to run as fast as she can away from Jeritza. Hearing this, Jeritza starts to smirk slightly as he continues his pursuit. Soon after, Mercedes and Jeritza cut through the mass of knights who are clashing with each other; Byleth’s knights all too preoccupied to stop Mercedes making a run for their base…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

One minute later- back with Seteth and company chasing after Ingrid back towards their base...

 

“After her! She is gaining towards our base!” shouted Seteth as he, Flayn, and the knights with him all chase after Ingrid- who is steadily approaching their base on foot. By this point, Ingrid had abandoned her pegasus- opting instead to run on food through the winding trees to try and lose the enemy’s tail. However, the pegasus follows Ingrid from above the trees, and as Seteth looks up to it he starts to smirk.

 

“The pegasus- trite as it may be- is a loyal mount. It seems to be following Ingrid- despite her abandoning the poor thing. Shame she has not given it a chance to show it more love” said Seteth.

 

“*pant* But we are able to use the pegasus to tell what direction Ingrid is running, correct? *pant*” asked Flayn as she drags behind Seteth- attempting to run as fast as she can.

 

“Correct” said Seteth. He then looks back up, and sees the pegasus veer off east of where he is running. “That way!” shouts Seteth as he commands the whole battalion following him to turn in the direction of the pegasus. Ingrid, some ways ahead, looks behind her at the gaining troops.

 

“Shoot! How the heck do they know each twist and turn I make?!” asked Ingrid to herself- unaware of the dead giveaway flying above her.

 

As Ingrid proceeds through the thicket of the forest, she suddenly feels a rope brush beneath her right foot. Suddenly, she trips- as the rope underneath her snags her left foot while running. 

 

“Ah!” yelled Ingrid as she falls to the ground- skidding on the soft dirt below. As she tripped, she heard a ‘spring’ like sound go off in the distance. “What was that that I just tripped on?” asked Ingrid. Suddenly, as she looks to her left, a slew of arrows are propelled in her direction! 

 

“What the hell!?” shouted Ingrid as she ducks and dodges the arrows coming her way. As they hit a tree behind her she rolls out on the ground. She then looked at the arrows planted in the tree. “D-Did the enemy shoot those? No… They came out of nowhere- in a completely random direction! Are there traps all around here that Jeritza laid? Agh, I should be careful!” Ingrid continued as she attempted to regain her footing, and dust off her outfit.

 

“There she is” shouted Seteth as he sees Ingrid from afar.

 


“Damn!” said Ingrid as she gets up, and runs away from Seteth.

 

“After her!” yelled Seteth. Soon, the knights all charge forward as Seteth and Flayn hurry along with them.

 

*****

 

Ingrid hurries past multiple trees and bushes as she tries to greaten the distance between the militia behind her. Panting about, Ingrid starts to feel the hectic chaos of the game as she tries to run away from them- causing her judgement to get clouded. Suddenly, she steps on a leaf- which held below it another rope! It manages to snag her right foot as it lifts a rock down from a high tree, which propels her into the air- trapping her airborne. Seeing this, Seteth starts to get concerned.

 

“She's snagged! Men! Rush in- but watch your step! This area is heavily Jeritza-proofed with traps!” said Seteth.

 

“Right” said the knights. 

 

“Gosh, how many of these traps are around here?!” said Ingrid as she attempts to shake her leg free of the rope.

 

“Flayn- please be careful here. You don’t want to get trapped yourself” said Steth. Hearing this, Flayn scoffs.

 

“Alright, Seteth- I do not need guidance every second to be careful! I appreciate the concern- but please, do not worry about me so-” said Flayn as she is pushed to the side by Seteth.

 

“Flayn! I said watch out!” shouted Seteth. As Flayn is propelled to the side, she looks down to notice that she almost stepped on a bear trap!

 

“O-Oh my! I’m so sorry! I didn’t see it through the grass” said Flayn.

 

“I understand. I just need you to be more aware if you are going to be doing things such as this. This is just a training exercise- but imagine if this is the real thing” said Seteth. Hearing this, Flayn sighs.

 

“Right. I am sorry...” said Flayn. 

 

“It is fine… Now, let’s go after her!” said Seteth as he continues to chase ingrid.

 

“Agh! I need to get out of here!” shouts Ingrid as she grabs ahold of her lance, and attempts to cut her rope loose. She rubs the blade of her lance against the rope rapidly, and as she does this Seteth steadily approaches. Ingrid manages to detach herself from the rope, and as she plummets to the ground she drops her lance- places her hands out in front of her- and prepares for a barrel roll. Tumbling then on the ground, she gets right back up- grabs her lance- and continues to run. “I wasted too much time on that!” she continues.

 

“You are not getting away!” said Seteth as he gains on Ingrid. Seteth then grabs ahold of his lance, and throws it ahead towards Ingrid. 

 

“Don’t think that will stop me!” said Ingrid as she wings her lance around behind her, and strikes the airborne lance away. 

 

“Flayn!” said Seteth as he jumps to grab his lance.

 

“O-On it!” said Flayn as she readies her bow, and goes to aim another arrow. She then shoots her bow off, and Ingrid side steps out of the way.

 

“That is not going to get me again!” said Ingrid. However, as she lands back on the ground she lands on her foot wrong- causing it to slightly sprain. “Agh!” Ingrid shouts as she attempts to recover from her slight injury. Determined and staying sturdy, Ingrid commences to run as best as she can muster with her slowing pace. As this happens, Knights then start to surround Ingrid’s backside as she starts to lag. “Keep going, girl! You can do this!” shouts Ingrid as she attempts to invigorate herself to move forward through the pain and pressure. She manages to run out of the forest area, and runs into the open area- barely tripping on the foliage beneath her feet. Stumbling forward, Ingrid starts to internally cheer; holding her head high, and feeling a brief moment of hope that she can get away. However, that faded quickly as they looked ahead, and realized what was ahead waiting for them…

Chapter Text

Ingrid proceeds to expose herself out in the clearing of the forest area, and as she takes a closer look ahead Ingrid spots Jeralt and The Gatekeeper- alongside some stationary knights in front of the two simply standing about. Suddenly, she freezes in place- attempting to not have them sense her presence. For a brief moment of time, Jeralt and The Gatekeeper did not notice her, but as Seteth and the others come into the clearing, they start to look over as they hear the foot pattering on the ground.

 

“Jeralt! Enemy approaching!” shouts Seteth as he points to Ingrid.

 

“Oh! Isn’t that right? Hey, tinkle toes- round up the knights why don’t ‘ya” suggested Jeralt as he approaches Ingrid.

 

“O-Oh, alright sir!” said The Gatekeeper- feeling almost honored by Jeralt giving him a nickname. Suddenly he turns around.

 

“M-Men! There is a Blue Lion student getting close to our base! Surround them and secure our base!” said The Gatekeeper to the other knights around. 

 

“Right!” the knights shout as some knights head back to the base- while the other start to guard the perimeter around Ingrid- causing her to get circled in by knights from each side. Suddenly, Ingrid starts to get boxed in; Seteth’s knights coming in from her rear while Jeralt and his knights do the same in front. Ingrid takes small steps backwards as she grabs her lance firmly in her hands, and moves her eyes from knight to knight around her- thinking of the best option for her to attempt to do right now.

 

Okay… So, it is just me- completely surrounded by Seiros Knights, their qualified leader AND Seteth… Oh and Flayn and that other random knight that seems to be playing with us… Think, Ingrid, think! How are you going to get out of this situation? What would the Professor do… ” thought Ingrid.

 

“You have nowhere to go, Ingrid! If you turn back now, then perhaps I will overlook this attempt to gain at our base- and let you go with no pursuit” said Seteth, offering a choice to not engage her any further, with a hint of competitive zeal echoing off his words.

 

“I would never agree to such a thing! I will not back down so easily, either Seteth!” said Ingrid with gusto.

 

“Ah, I like the determination to not give up- even when back up to a wall” said Jeralt as he steadily approaches.

 

“Well- in that case… Knights! Charge in!” shouted Seteth as he commanded the knights surrounding Ingrid to rush in.

 

“Chaaarge!!!” shouted the knights as they close in on Ingrid. Ingrid, anticipating this, readies herself by lowering into a defensive stance, and prepares for the onslaught approaching her. However suddenly, she and the others hear a shriek come out from the distance- one that would of came from a petite young woman.

 

“I-Ingrid!” this voice shouts. Ingrid, the group of knights, Seteth, Flayn, Jeralt, and The Gatekeeper all turn their heads to the direction the voice is coming from, and suddenly see Mercedes- rapidly approaching the direction of the base from a distance- being chased by Jeritza! 

 

“There’s more of the Blue Lions approaching!” shouts Seteth.

 

“But she is being pursued by Jeritza; perhaps it’s just her” questioned Jeralt as he looks over to Mercedes.

 

“Mercedes!” shouts Ingrid as she attempts to run towards her. However, the wall of knights in front of her turn back over and point their weapons towards her-stopping her.”Damn! Mercedes- make a run for it in that direction!” she continues as she points to here the enemy base it.

 

“R-Right!” responded Mercedes as she continues to run. As this happens, Jeritza- right on Mercedes’ tail- looks over to the mass of units to his right, and gives off an indifferent look towards them- as if he is not concerned with what is happening.

 

“N-Not on my watch! Men! Separate!” shouts Seteth- further commanding the knights. The knights then start to veer off from Ingrid’s location, and pursue Mercedes alongside Jeritza. Mercedes, seeing this happen, starts to get nervous.

 

“Oh no! N-Nosferatu!” she shouts as she quickly gets out her magic tome book, and unleashes the spell towards the knights. As the flash of light is hurled towards them the knights attempt to defend themselves, but are blown away by the light!

 

“Ah!” the knights shout as they are propelled to the ground by her spell.

 

“Yes, Mercedes!” said Ingrid as she smiles from excitement over Mercedes’ quick action thinking. At this same time, Ingrid’s pegasus flies overhead of the group high in the air. Ingrid looks up to the sky- noticing that it is flying around in a circle- as if it is waiting for a command from its mounter. 

 

Suddenly, Ingrid starts to think to herself, “ Wait! While they are all preoccupied by Mercedes charging forward, it should give me enough time to slip away myself! ”. She then notices that there are still knights located behind her- but with the distraction of Mercedes and Jeritza she sees a brief moment that she can escape the bind she is in. Suddenly, she makes a run for it towards the direction Mercedes is currently, and whistles upward to the pegasus as she waves her hands. The knights who watched her do this hesitate- who were not prepared for her to run off.

 

“Come now, pegasus! Take me away!” Ingrid says gallantly as she calls out to the pegasus above. Seteth then turns around, as she sees Ingrid run.

 

“M-Men! Don’t turn away from Ingrid!” shouts Seteth. Hesitating, the knights who were behind Ingrid start to run after her, but before any could get close enough to swing heir weapons at her- or fire off an arrow or spell- the pegasus swoops down towards Ingrid- creating a gust of wind that knocks the knights to their feet!

 

“Aghh!” the knights shout as they all tumble backwards. The gust of wind meets Seteth, and eh guards it with his forearm.

 

“Agh! No! She is going to mount the pegasus again!” said Seteth as he starts to hurry over. Seeing this happen, Jeralt runs over to Ingrid as well- attempting to apprehend her. Ingrid manages to hop on the pegasus, saddle up, and kick the pegasus to ascend.

 

“Let’s go!” shouts Ingrid as the pegasus flaps its wings, and rises into the air. Seteth, rushing in as fast as he can, attempts to jump to grab ahold of the pegasus’ legs- and manages to firmly clasp its back hoof! The pegasus dips in the back- causing Ingrid to almost fall off her saddle! 

 

“W-What that?! Ah! Seteth” said Ingrid as she looks behind to see what was happening.

 

“You won’t be getting out of here that easy!” shouts Seteth.

 

“Get off!” said Ingrid as she grabs her lance- and quickly attempts to swing it towards Seteth to shake him off. Seteth manages to dodge the attack while still holding onto the pegasus, and at this same time the pegasus- who starts to go wild from Seteth grabbing it- rises higher into the air, and becomes more sporadic in movement..

 

“B-Brother! I’ll try and shoot her down! Keep her steady!” said Flayn as she nervously attempts to load another arrow as fast as she can while Seteth has the pegasus grabbed.

 

“G-Good idea!” said Seteth as he is flung around by the pegasus, “B-But, just try to hit the pegasus - not me!” he continues.

 

“K-Knights! Follow suit!” shouts The Gatekeeper.

 

“Look at you- ordering them around” said Jeralt- egging The Gatekeeper. Blushing, The Gatekeeper attempts to keep face as he motions for the knights with bows to aim up to the pegasus as well. “The few spell casters we have- attempts to shoot as well,” he continued.

 

“W-Well, don’t hit me!” said Seteth- feeling like all those arrows and spells could easily hit him.

 

“Right… This could be tricky… And it’s moving around sporadically…” ponders Jeralt- seeing the complex issue of attempting to shoot at Ingrid. Jeralt then looks back to Mercedes and Jeralt- still running further away from them, “We need to stop them as well…” Jeralt continued.

 

“S-Sir! I will go!” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Then make haste, my good fellow” said Jeralt.

 

“R-Right!” said The Gatekeeper as he chases after Mercedes-alongside Jeritza and some other knights- back to base, while the others stay behind and attempt to shoot down Ingrid…

Chapter Text

With 21 minutes left of Round 1 , the stakes become high as the Blue Lions have Byleth’s team in a bind in more than one place on the battlefield. Seteth, currently still holding right onto Ingrid’s pegasus, starts to struggle as his endurance starts to wane the more he holds on. As sweat starts to cover his palms, his grip lessens- causing him to lose his grip more and moreso. On top of this, Ingrid continuously attempts to pierce at Seteth to strike him off her pegasus. Seteth bares through all these attempts, and manages to evade all the incoming attack- all while still hanging on.

 

“You are a like an itch that I can’t scratch right now, Seteth! Get off!” said Ingrid as she swings once more at Seteth. Seteth ducks away from the attack, but as Ingrid goes in for a follow-up strike it manages to slip up Seteth enough that he lets go! 

 

“N-No!” shouts Seteth as he attempts to reach back out to grab ahold of the pegasus. He manages to re-grab ahold of the tail of the pegasus as it flails around in the air, sways underneath the pegasus so Ingrid cannot strike him with the lance. “That was close… That will not work this time!” Seteth continued. Enraged, the pegasus attempts to kick and squeeze Seteth off of its tail with its hind legs. 

 

“S-Seteth! Hang on please!” said Flayn down below as she starts to get frantic.

 

“He’s getting a bit too high for a safe landing…” ponders Jeralt as he watches the spectacle above.

 

“I’m… Fine… I… Just… A-Agh!!!!” Shouts Seteth as he finally loses his grip, and falls! 

 

“SETETH!” yells Flayn as she drops her bow, and runs over to Seteth. 

 

“Oh no…” said Jeralt as she soon hurries over himself.

 

As Seteth free falls, Ingrid uses this chance to fly away on the pegasus towards the enemy base.  She looks back at Seteth as he falls, and begins to get worrisome.

 

He’s gonna fall straight to the ground… S-Should I really be jetting out to their base and leave my Professor hanging- quite literally! ” thought Ingrid as she starts to second guess herself. Internally in this moment, Ingrid is perplexed over her intended duty- that combats her own morality; wanting to turn back, but knowing that it would risk her getting captured. However, Ingrid soon had to re-process the issue; Seteth was an enemy , and thus she had to turn away from him and proceed. As she flew away Flayn watched as she passed over her head. As this happened, Flayn started to get angered.

 

“She isn’t even going to turn back around!?” questioned Flayn.

 

“Flayn- in this training exercise, that is the enemy. That is something an enemy would do. Do not put your feelings into this. Plus- Seteth should be able to take the fall” said Jeralt as he moves underneath to where Seteth is to land. 

 

“S-Someone, please just catch me!” exclaimed Seteth as continues to fall. Jeralt reaches out his arms, positions himself right, and attempts to catch Seteth in his burly arms. 

 

“I got you- woah!” said Jeralt as he catches him- but is pulled down with him- succumbing to the velocity Seteth collected. They both crash down- and as mall crater is formed in the wake. 

 

“Seteth!” shouted Flayn as she kneeled over Seteth and Jeralt.

 

“Agh!...” said Seteth as he attempts to lean up. 

 

“Here- let me help you, Seteth” said Jeralt as he attempts to prop Seteth up.

 

“Oh!” says Seteth as Jeralt touches an area on his back that is sensitive.

 

“S-Sorry…” said Jeralt.

 

“That fall was a bit more brutal than I initially anticipated… but, i am alive...” said Seteth.

 

“Here, let me heal you, brother…” said Flayn as she grabs out her healing tome, and begins to cast Heal on Seteth.

 

“Ugh!...” said Seteth as Flayn attempts to mend Seteth’s wound. Suddenly, as this happens, Jeralt stands up and starts to walk away from the direction.

 

“W-Where are you going, Jeralt? The base is the other direction” said Flayn. 

 

“I know. I’m heading out to find the Professor” said Jeralt.

 

“Why? They are heading straight for our base! Our flag is in danger, and that is the most top priority” said Flayn.

 

“You are right. In a normal circumstance- I would turn that way. However, with Seteth out of the count for now, if Jeritza and the others were to fail to stop the siege of our base then they are going to head straight to their own base. They have a pegasus, so there is no way we will meet them before they get back if I do not warn the others- and  book it for their base. That being said- I will not have to worry about it if Jeritza manage to stop Mercedes and Ingrid; this relies on them, but I am covering our bases so to speak” said Jeralt.

 

“Ugh... Flayn, he is right… I cannot run at the moment like this...” said Seteth- attempting to chime in through the pain.

 

“I see… That does make sense- if they manage to take our flag and then we have no way to retrieve it. Gosh- those pegasus sure throw off the game!” said Flayn.

 

“Getting routed by flying units can easily turn the tide of a battle in or against your favor. This is just a live demonstration of that face” said Jeralt.

 

“Right. W-What should I do?” asked Flayn.

 

“Heal Seteth. And then come back into the fray as soon as possible” said Jeralt.

 

“I have a vulnerary in my pocket. Use that as well Flayn…” said an aching Seteth.

 

“R-Right! I’ll fix him up as fast as I can Jeralt!” said Flayn- determined to play her part.

 

“Right. Okay then I’m off!” said Jeralt as he rushes off to find Byleth, and warn them…

 

*****

 

Jeritza tirelessly rushes to catch up to Ingrid and Mercedes as they approach their home base. Ingrid, flying gallantly through the air, swoops down lower to Mercedes who is still running.

 

“Mercedes! Jump on!” shouts Ingrid.

 

“O-Oh! Thank you Ingrid!” said Mercedes as she extends out her hand, and grabbed ahold of Ingrid as she hoists her up onto her saddle. Mercedes then hops on top of the pegasus behind Ingrid, and wraps her arms around Ingrid’s waist. 

 

“Oh no…” said Jeritza as he attempts to pick up his speed to catch up.

 

“Hold on tight, Mercedes. I’m gonna go as fast as I can, so don’t let go!” said Ingrid.

 

“Right! I won’t, Ingrid” responded Mercedes.

 

“Go!” Ingrid shouts as she kicks the pegasus to fly higher. Soon, the pegasus flaps its large wings, and rises high into the air- and approaches Byleth’s base...

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

“Agh… Had I known how troublesome they would of been, I would not have instructed them to bring the pegasus…” said Jeritza to himself- feeling annoyed by the inconvenience of having pegasus in the training.

 

“S-Sir Jeritza!” nervously said The Gatekeeper as he attempts to catch up to Jeritza, “I-I’m here to help secure the base!”. Hearing his feeble voice, Jeritza turns around.

 

“Oh… It’s just a random knight. You spoke in such a squealing, no-back boned tone, that I thought you were a rodent. Hey, you need to hurry up so we can stop them from taking the flag” said Jeritza.

 

“S-Sir! I am the knight that always man’s the gate of the monastery! You know- the one that is also taking up one of the spots in Professor Byleth’s formation! The Gatekeeper?” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Huh? All you do is stand guard? Can you even fight?” asked the forgetful Jeritza.

 

“Y-Yes! Why do all of you assume I cannot!?” asked The Gatekeeper. Suddenly, Jeritza rolls his eyes, and turns back around.

 

 “All I’m hearing is mediocrity. Look up- you see them?” asked Jeritza as he points up to Ingrid and Mercedes.

 

“Y-Yes Sir, I do…” said The Gatekeeper- feeling hurt by Jeritza’s words.

 

“Shoot an arrow at them- quickly” said Jeritza.

 

“B-But Sir… I have an axe with me” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“What? Agh, useless” said Jeritza as he looks around to the knights running with them, “Can someone shoot them down?” Jeritza continues.

 

“Yes Sir!” shouts some knights as she prepare their bows to shoot Ingrid out of the sky. Feeling a bit underappreciated, The Gatekeeper starts to get annoyed.

 

“Sir Jeritza…. I will not let you sit here, and disrespect me- a fellow Knight of Seiros! P-Please show me some respect” said The Gatekeeper- quivering underneath his teeth. Hearing this declaration, Jertiza turns around once more.

 

“Oh? And what will you do if I don’t?’ asked Jeritza.

 

“I-...” said The Gatekeeper- lost for words.

 

“If you want to demand something from someone- without doing anything to deserve it- then all I can say is good luck. You have don’t nothing worth praise thus far. Maybe you should prove you even are worth someone remembering your name first” said Jeritza harshly.

 

“S-Sir!... Agh!!!” shouted The Gatekeeper as he suddenly started to run faster- past Jertiza. In reality, hearing Jeritza’s words angered him very much; however, most of it was due to him believing what he was saying deep within his mind. Since the game has started, everyone around him has done more than he has, and as Jeritza throws this face back in his face he gets a rush a determination to shut Jeritza up with action. “Then I’ll do something worth remembering, and when I’m done do that make you say my name, Sir!” The Gatekeeper said.

 

“W-What?...” said Jeritza. However, before he could get a proper response back The Gatekeeper kicked dirt up into Jeritza’s face from how fast and forcefully he ran.

 

“Sir! We are ready to fire at your command” said a knight in the distance. Jeritza then sighs, and decides to forget about what The Gatekeeper said.

 

“Fire now!” shouts Jeritza.

 

“Fire!!!” another knight shouts as they all begin to shout and release their arrows in canon. As they all shout, Ingrid and Mercedes looks back down to the ground.

 

“Shit! Not this again… Mercedes, hold on!” said Ingrid as she kicks the pegasus to pick up speed. As the arrows fly up in the air Ingrid moves the pegasus out of the way of the onslaught fire. Mercedes squeals as she attempts to not fall off the back of the pegasus.

 

“I’ll try to hit them back. Ingrid, please stabilize while I try to reach for my tome” said Mercedes as she attempts to grab her magic tome to strike back at the arrows.

 

“S-Sorry! It’s a bit hard to do that when I’m trying to dodge arrows” said Ingrid as she attempts to fly more sane. Mercedes then looks down to locate the tome she has on her, and as she does Ingrid notices an arrow heading straight for her! “Watch out!” she shouts as she turns the pegasus to the left sharply.

 

“Ahh!” shouts Mercedes as she accidentally drops the book!

 

“No!” yells Ingrid.

 

“We need to get the book back!” shouts Mercedes.

 

“Agh! I don’t know if I can maneuver myself to get back to it- but I’ll try!” said Ingrid as she dives down with the pegasus to attempt to reconnect with the fallen tome. 

 

“They dropped something, and are trying to retrieve it… Knights! Aim towards the trajectory of the tome!” shouts Jeritza.

 

“Right!” respond the knights. They then begin to change their target area for their fire, and as they re-fire the arrows start to spew out the area that Ingrid is flying to. Seeing this change of fire, Ingrid pulls up.

 

“M-Mercedes, I will not be able to recover the tome! We have to go! We will hopefully come back for it!” said Ingrid.

 

“I understand. Let’s just go. Thank you for attempting” said Mercedes. Ingrid then continues to fly forward- forgoing the tome.

 

“Agh, smart on her toes I see…” said Jeritza as he runs over to the falling tome, and catches it, “Guess I’ll hold onto this for now” he continues...

 

*****

 

As this happens...

 

Jeralt, speeding down the way that Byleth ran, sees a mass of knights and students congregating in the middle of the field. There, he sees Byleth, Cyril, Dimitri, Sylvain, Dedue, and Felix all fighting amongst each other. Jeralt then charges past the knights that are on their side as he makes it inward towards Byleth, but as he approaches other knights take notice.

 

“It’s Sir Jeralt! Charge!” shouts some students from the Blue Lions as they all attempt to rout Jeralt.

 

“Heh… Quite the ambition to come and attack me… Tempest Lance !” shouts Jeralt as he grabs his lance, and horizontally swings it at the students- easily knocking them all back.

 

“Ah!” they all shout as they fall back on the ground from the blow. Hearing this, Byleth and the others take notice- and look over.

 

“Huh? Is that Jeralt?” said Dimitri. 

 

“Jeralt!” said Cyril.

 

“But, why is he here?...” questions Byleth.

 

“Byleth- we gotta hi-tail it to their base” said Jeralt.

 

“Huh? Why is that?” asked Byleth.

 

“It seems that they have out-witted us at this moment… While you are wasting time battling through their wall they already have Mercedes and Ingrid heading straight for our base” said Jeralt.

 

“H-Huh?! Really?” asked Byleth- shocked.

 

“So, Ingrid did manage to get there… I guess it was a good idea to let her go off on her own…” said Dimitri.

 

“She’s heading towards our base!? T-Then why aren’t you there defending it?!” asked Cyril.

 

“Jeritza and The Gatekeeper are on it because Seteth is hurt, and is being healing by Flayn currently” said Jeralt.

 

“Hehe. That’s our girl!” said Sylvain.

 

“So we were made to believe that they were attacking us head on- but in reality they were going to play us…” said Byleth.

 

“Looks like they figured out our idea…” said Dedue.

 

“So why should we go to their base now out of all times? Are we in trouble?” asked Cyril.

 

“At this point- she is either going to succeed and take our flag, or get captured. In the event that she succeeds, they are going to get back to their base faster than we can. So, we need to go” said Jeralt.

 

“Oh! That makes sense!” said Cyril.

 

“Uh- that won’t happen,” said Sylvain as he starts to grabs his lance in both of his hands. Suddenly, Felix strikes down some knights that were standing in his way. 

 

“The only way any of you will be leaving is with a sword through your neck!” said Felix as he continues to push away the knights that block his way to the side, and rushes over to Jeralt!

 

"F-Felix! Don't charge in by yourself!" said Dimitri. He goes to rush in after him, but before he could get any closer Cyril shoots another arrow towards Dimitri- stopping him as he strikes it away. "Agh...  Curses!" shouts Dimitri. 

 

"Hehe! Sorry! But, my job is to make sure you stay put!" said Cyril.

 

"W-What?! The Professor has special instructions for you all for me?..." ponders Dimitri.

 

"Uh... I mean- if you want to word it like that, then yea" said Cyril.

 

"Ah..." said Dimitri as he blushes- which throws Cyril off. Dimitri then then turns over to see Byleth fighting with Dedue and Sylvain, and instead attempts to go over to thwart them. However, Cyril once again shoots another arrow towards him.

 

"Damn it! Is that all you are good at doing?!" asked Dimitri.

 

"Archers are good for striking through defenses- and causing disruption. If you are in a bind because of me, then I am playing my part! I'm gonna stop you!" said Cyril.

 

"H-Huh?! Then let's see you do that!" said Dimitri. Suddenly, knights that are on Byleth's side start to close in- cutting off Dimitri from Felix. "This will not stop someone soon to take the throne of The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. I will fight you all, and still triumph for the Professor's sake!" Dimitri continues as he then turns and rushes in towards the units blocking his path...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Wrath Strike!” shouts Felix as he closes in on Jeralt- striking against his lance towards the left with so much velocity sparks fly. Jeralt- stoic as ever- takes the full brunt of the attack as he guards against the attack with one hand holding his lance. Felix and Jeralt clash while the others- Dimitri, Sylvain, Dedue, Byleth, and Cyril- all battle with other students and knights, as their battles get more closer together, and increasingly more hectic.



“Oof, I felt the power coming from that one! Nice!” said Jeralt.



“Agh! Again! Wrath Strike!” shouts Felix as he attempts to come in for another attack. Spinning around, he uses the gathered up force- turning in a right-way direction- as he brings his blade once more to Jeralt- striking him from the right. As they clash for the second time Felix’s face intensifies; eagerly attempting to crash through Jeralt’s defenses. Jeralt picks up on this fact instantly.



When it comes to battling- he sure is persistent… Why is he trying so hard?” thought Jeralt as he backed up from Felix, and attempted to run from him.



“Oh no you don’t!” shouted Felix as he lunged forward after Jeralt, ”Wrath Strike!” he continues as he closes in on Jeralt’s backside. Felix then spins in the air- and comes down slicing downward near Jeralt’s neck. However, Jeralt turns around, and parrys Felix’s sword- sending it upwards from the recoil.



“Try harder kid!” said Jeralt.



“Agh!” groaned Felix as his wrist vibrates from the strike Jeralt dealt him. Seeing the ferociousness, the knights and students that were closing in on both Felix and Jeralt. Seeing this, Felix turns around to his fellow Blue Lions classmates. “I-I don’t need help! I’m better off alone! Go fight the professor!” lashes out Felix- succumbing to the pressure of his fight.



“B-But, Felix! That’s Jeralt you are fighting!” said a random Blue Lion student attempting to help Felix.



“So?!” responded Felix. Hearing this, Jeralt sighs.



“Sometimes, your allies can be your greatest strength, young warrior” said Jeralt- feeling disappointed by his words. However, as Jeralt sees knights closing in to fight Felix, he motions for them to stop charging forward, and instead head elsewhere, “However… I understand where he is coming from”.



“Shut up!” said Felix as he rushes towards Jeraly once more, “Wrath Strike!” Felix continues as he jumps in the air to crash down with another attack.

 

This is the fourth time he has done this move… If he keeps this up… ” thought Jeralt as he attempts to analyze the durability of Felix’s weapon. Suddenly, Jeralt sees another student appear behind Felix.

 

“Well you aren’t going to fight Sir Jeralt all by yourself! Hya!” shouted a Blue Lions student as he throws his Short Axe towards Jeralt. Flying past Felix’s face, he yells- seeing someone jump into his fight.



“I said I’m better off alone!” shouted Felix.



“Hmph!” said Jeralt- smirking. He grabs the short axe straight out of the air- shocking most of the Blue Lions students around him. Jeralt then spins around, and as he faces Felix and the other students he has a determined face donned on. “Smash!” shouts Jeralt as he comes in from the right- striking Felix towards the left. Fearing what Jeralt can do with an axe, Felix instinctively guards with his sword pointed down. The force from the Art sends Felix airborne as he tries to take the blow full on.

 

“Ahh!” yells Felix as he shuts one eye from the pain against his shoulder. 

 

“H-He knows axe arts as well?!” says one Blue Lions student watching. Jeralt then chuckles as he looks over to the student.

 

“I’m a knight; you never know what we can pull out!” says Jeralt. However, as he turns back to Felix, Jeralt notices one thing after his attack connects that catches his attention- the blow cracked Felix’s sword slightly!



I knew it… He is overusing that weapon; it can not withstand all that he is doing with it… Is he not thinking?!” thought Keralt. As Felix lands, he turns angrily towards his fellow classmates.



“See!? You just gave him another weapon! What were you thinking?!” asked Felix.

 

“Well- surely not that he would catch it!” responds the Blue Lions student that threw the axe.

 

“Whatever! Wrath Strike!” said Felix as he once again goes in for another attack. As Felix jumps, Jeralt can feel a mass of energy swell up inside of Felix.

 

A Critical Hit? No… His Crest activating?... Or his Ability?... It could be any of them! ” thought Jeralt- attempting to analyze where the sudden increase of power might be stemming from. For a split moment, he thought to side-step out of the way of the strike; but for some reason- perhaps from an inner feeling of pride- he instead widened his stance, and uses both the lance and short axe to guard. The Wrath Strike connects with both Jeralt’s weapons- causing Jeralt to be pushes back as the force vibrates through his weapons.

 

“Agh… That one was good… If every strike was like that- then maybe we could be talking!” said Jeralt- taunting Felix.

 

“Then I will increase my power tenfold! Don’t regret what you asked for!” said Felix as he charges in once more.

 

“Here- trade ‘ya!” said Jeralt as he chucks his lance forward. 

 

“Ah!” shotus Felix as he evades the throw. However, the unprepared students behind him were not as lucky; one student- with their shield firmly pressed against their torso- took the brunt of the attack- causing their shield to break!

 

“Ah!” the student shouted as they got shocked from the rupture. Despite all this chaos, Felix was unwavered in his gaze on Jeralt.

 

“Wrath Strike!” shouts Felix- once more attempting to strike Jeralt down with this attack.

 

Shove!” shouts Jeralt as he grabs the other end of his axe with his non-wielding hand, and thrust it forward against Felix’s blade. The force from Shove pushes Felix back completely. 

 

“He used a non-weapon Art with an axe?!” said a Blue Lions student watching from a distance.

 

“You have to switch up your attacking methods; dull techniques that the enemy sees through will work less and less over time!” said Jeralt.

 

“Well… In that case…” Felix ponders as he readies his next attack, “Grounder!” shouts Felix- attempting to switch up his Art usage. He jumps high in the air, and comes surging down as he puts all his weight into the downward swing of the attack. As he does this, a unique energy swells up around him as his Crest activates.

 

“Smash!” shouts Jeralt as he swings upward. As their Arts meet, they seemingly level each other out. They struggle against each other; one trying to overpower the other. However, the blow was enough to weaken Jeralt’s stance- causing him to get shocked.

 

Agh… This is a weaker Art I’m using- but my overall strength is higher… With all the added variables in place- I might have underestimated all that this attack could be charged with… ” thought Jeralt. This weakening in stance is due to the added velocity from Felix’s downward strike- as well as the sudden activation of his Crest’s Ability. That all was enough for Felix to make Jeralt sink in his stance- weakening the strike altogether. Seeing this work, Felix started to get invigorated.

 

“Ha! See?! This is my power!” shouts Felix as he backs up from Jeralt, and jumps in the sky again. “Grounder!” Felix shotus again- coming in for a repeat attack.

 

Didn’t he heed my words when I said that repeat attacks don’t usually work?... ” thought Jeralt. Jeralt goes to guard against the attack- but the second before the attack would connect Jeralt steps to the side! 

 

“H-Huh?!” said Felix as he sword smacks of the ground below. Felix then lifts his blade up once more- preparing for a horizontal strike against Jeralt’s axe. However, as he strikes the axe Jeralt was holding Felix’s sword shatters! “W-What?!” shouts Felix- flabbergasted as he witnesses his blade break right before his eyes…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Heh… You were so worried about striking me down, that you forgot to pay attention to your weapon's durability?... Sheesh…” said Jeralt- disappointed. However, in reality, Jeralt already knew this fact of his weapon forsakenness; he merely said it to taunt Felix. As the blade shatters the force sends Felix hurling backwards.

 

“N-No…” said Felix- disappointed, embarrassed, and de-motivated as he starts to realize that he cannot go back and fix the simple mistake that he made. Seeing Felix defenseless, another student with a sword suddenly dives in to protect him.

 

“I got you, Felix!” shouted the Blue Lions student. 

 

“I… I don’t need saving!” said Felix- attempting to hold onto his dignity. He goes in to strike at Jeralt, but Jeralt rushes towards him- unwavered by his heroic action.

 

“Shove!” said Jeralt as he uses his bare palm to force the student backwards.

 

“Ah!” the Blue Lions student shouts as he is hurled backwards- towards Felix. Felix, witnessing this student attempt to fight Jeralt infuriates him.

 

“S-Stop!” shouts Felix. The student manages to connect with the floor, and charges forward again.

 

“Hya!!!” the Blue Lions student screams as he makes a second attempt to strike Jeralt. However, as he does so, Felix charges right behind him. 

 

“W-Wrath Strike!” the student yells as he attempts to strike at Jeralt with an Art. The student jumps in the air as he prepares the Art, but as Jeralt jumps to meet him he swings his axe- completely parrysing the Art altogether from the student! The student falls back towards Felix, and as he sees this Felix forms a plan.

 

Swap!” says Felix- as he then grabs the falling student, and instantly switches spots with him. In that same motion, he grabs the students sword that rests loosely in his hands- and turns to face Jeralt. Felix then spins in the air continuously- attempting to build up force energy using acceleration. “Grounder!” shotus Felix as he smacks down on Jeralt’s axe- causing him to unhand it as it hurls downward from the force of Grounder!

 

“S-Shit!” said Jeralt. Suddenly, Felix turns once more- using the force still remaining from his continuous spins- and kicks Jeralt in the chest! This sends Jeralt backwards as he falls, while Felix- feeling a bit satisfied- glides gently down to the surface.

 

“Yeah!” Felix shouts- as his attack manages to land on Jeralt. However as Jeralt falls, a smirk dons on his face.

 

“It’s not over yet! Knights!” said Jeralt as he looks down below.

 

“Right!” says a group of knights as they charge forward towards the students. Felix, unsure of what the command entails, steels himself as he touches ground. Suddenly, a knight runs towards the point where Jeralt would land, and just before Jeralt touches ground himself he grabs onto the back of the knight’s armor.

 

Reposition!” shouts Jeralt as he instantly moves the ally knight behind him- using the force of pushing the knight behind him to propel forward at a great speed! 

 

“A-Ah!” shouts the knight as he goes hurling backwards- bracing himself for the fall as this maneuver was pre-planned. Jeralt goes hurling towards Felix midair as he drops the axe- and reaches out his hands. As Jeralt flies through the air, other Seiros Knights, Blue Lions students, Byleth, Cyril, Dedue, Sylvain, and Dimitri all look over in awe. Felix, quick-thinking on how to retaliate in the moment, readies himself.

 

“W-Wrath Strike!” shouts Felix as he grips his sword tightly, and goes to swing horizontally at Jeralt; however, Jeralt acrobatically evades the strike altogether as he lands behind Felix! Jeralt then grabs his lance that rests on the floor conveniently besides him.

 

“Tempest Lance!” said Jeralt as he spins around- creating centripetal force that winds up a cyclone that pushes all surrounding units away from him- including Felix. 

 

“Ah!!!” they all scream as they are blown away. Jeralt then spins the lance in between his hands as he chuckles.

 

“You know- I’m having more fun with this training than I thought I would! I guess Byleth had a good idea-” said Jeralt as he quickly cuts himself off to guard his blind-spot against a lance strike from his back. As Jeralt turns his head to see who attempted to strike his blind-spot, it is none other than Dimitri! As Felix gets up from the ground he sees Dimitri above Jeralt as he attempted to strike in midair.

 

“D-Dimitri!...” said Felix as he attempts to get up, “G-Go fight your own battle!”. Dimitri then uses Jeralt’s lane as a footing- and jumps off; spinning in the air towards Felix.

 

“This is no time to be acting idle in a group training exercise Felix!” said Dimitri as he lands, “Plus- Cyril was more or less keeping me from escaping- but he is unable to keep up with my speed”.

 

“*pant* *pant* I sure had you in a bind the last couple minutes though!...” said Cyril as he hurries over- chasing Dimitri, “that is what a hunter does; you never give up stalking your prey!”.

 

“And this lead you to join our fight; good” said Jeralt as he backs up near Cyril.

 

“Dimitri… I do not need your help…” said Felix as he slightly turns away from Dimitri- blushing slightly from embarrassment.

 

“My help has nothing to do with your inability to handle it yourself- but this is the second time you tried to fight a strong enemy all my yourself with no assistance! You still have not recovered from your fight with Jeritza because you turned down Mercedes’ healing!” said Dimitri.

 

“I used a vulnerary earlier…” said Felix. 

 

“Agh! You are not getting the point! As House Leader- I need to see that you are good, so that we can work as a team to win this! Stop being so difficult!” said Dimitri.

 

“Difficult?! What’s difficult is having a leader that has been in mental distress over our Professor leaving class for only two days!” responded Felix. 

 

“W-What?!” said Dimitri as his faces gets beat red, “I have not!...” he continues.

 

“Please… As if the Professor feels the same way about you with their track record…” said Felix.

 

“E-Excuse me!? What on earth do you mean!?” asked Dimitri.

 

“Agh- forget it; I don’t even fucking care anyways!” says Felix as he continues to lash out on Dimitri. All while this happens, the other Blue Lions students, knights, Cyril, and Jeralt all stand there- unsure of what to do.

 

“I… Feel like I just walked into something I don’t understand at all…” said Cyril.

 

“Me too kid… Me too…” responded Jeralt.

 

“If you don’t care- then shut up about things you couldn’t ever understand!” said Dimitri.

 

“Really? What don’t I understand?” asked Felix.

 

“The bond shared between someone that truly sees it for you, and pushes you; you do everything by your lonesome that you have no idea what it feels like to keep fighting for someone else. You are stone hearted!” said Dimitri. Suddenly, Felix grabs Dimitri’s collar.

 

“You know nothing of how I feel; you better watch what you say!” said Felix.

 

“But I care how everyone feels in my House! I am doing everything for the sake of our future! You do everything for you! You are like Edelgard! Join the fucking Black Eagles if you are gonna keep this shit up!” said Dimitri- getting increasingly annoyed. Hearing this, Felix scoffs.

 

“I’d rather continue gouging my ears out- listening to you wine about the Professor through the dorm walls- then be anywhere near that maniac. Please; don’t make me choose the lesser of two annoyances” said Felix. 

 

“Agh! I’ve had it with you!” said Dimitri as he pushes Felix!!!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“W-Woah!” shouts Cyril- taken back by what he is seeing. 

 

“H-Hey! You are suppose to be fighting us - not each other…?” said Jeralt- unsure of what to do in this moment. 

 

Felix- thrown off by Dimitri pushing him- almost falls to the floor. Felix almost didn’t want to believe what he just did- but as he fully comes around to what Dimitri did- he gets enraged.

 

“D-Don’t you ever fucking hit me!” shouts Felix as he goes towards Dimitri- and punches him in the jaw! Dimitri’s blood spits out- leaking slightly on the ground below

 

“Hey! Knock it off!” shouts Jeralt- attempting to be the mediator in this. Dimitri feels his mouth- and as he looks down to see the blood, he gets angered.

 

“You bastard!” shouts Dimitri.

 

“Don’t fucking start! You pushed me first! Over the Professor?! Really!?” exclaimed Felix. In this moment- Felix felt two differing emotions; on one hand, he was a bit disappointed at himself that he let Dimitri get to him- as he normally does well at keeping his cool, however- on the other hand- he was more annoyed at Byleth for bringing them both to this boiling point because this is all related to them. Felix momentarily attempts to come down from his anger high; realizing the fault in his actions at the moment, and where it is truly directed at. Felix wasn’t that annoyed at Dimitri as he was the Professor; however, Dimitri still annoys him a lot. Felix then clenches his fists; attempting to bare his anger down. However- this became hard as Dimitri didn’t let up.

 

“I don’t know where all of this is coming from- but if you have all of this time to focus on what I am doing, then you clearly aren’t focused on yourself much” said Dimitri.

 

“W-What? I’m not focused on you! You are distracting me away from training and studying! Get a life!” said Felix.

 

“Oh- you are gonna regret all that you are saying to me once I take the Faerghus throne!” said Dimitri. Felix then laughs from shock of hearing Dimitri’s pitiful words.

 

“Oh, shut up! You can’t even take The Professor being one class room over from us; the fuck am I gonna be worried about you once you take throne? Actually- now that you say it- I might have to be with your track record!” said Felix. As Felix says this, various Blue Lions students start to gasp and ‘Ooo’ as they are taken back by Felix’s words.

 

“W-Why you!... Go fall in a ditch somewhere!” said Dimitri.

 

“Heh. If I do- maybe I’ll find you there since you are so beneath me right now!” said Felix.

 

“Damn…” said Cyril- feeling the scar from Felix’s words. Suddenly, as Cyril is captivated by Dimitri and Felix’s argument- he feels Jeralt nudge his side. As he looks over, he sees Jeralt point towards Byleth, and nods. “Huh? O-Oh!… Gotcha...” Cyril continues.

 

“I apologize for wanting the best for our House! It is why I campaigned for the Professor to join our House in the first place!” said Dimitri.

 

“And we learned some nice lessons thus far- still doesn’t excuse you for being an uptight asshole about this shit” responded Felix.

 

“I am not a tight ass!” said Dimitri.

 

“H-Huh?...” said Felix.

 

“Agh! I-I mean... Like I am not high strung, or however you wanna say it!... N-Not that my ass is tight- although, I do lots of squats…” says Dimitri.

 

“D-Dimitri! Felix! Cyril and Sir Jeralt are getting away!” shouts a random Blue Lions student. 

 

“H-Huh?!” says a confused Dimitri and Felix. Dimitri and Felix then come out of their argument to peer over to see Jeralt and Cyril booking it for Byleth’s location! 

 

“Sorry! Would like to stay around- but you are enemies! So, see ‘ya!” said Cyril. As Cyril and Jeralt scurry away, Felix grunts.

 

“Hey! Damn it! See?! You always distract me!” shouts Felix as he turns back to Dimitri.

 

“Agh!... I-I apologize…” said Dimitri- feeling guilty.

 

“Grr! Whatever! Let’s just bury this hatchet for now- and let’s go!” said Felix.

 

“R-Right! Let’s go!” said Dimitri as he and Felix chase after Jeralt and Cyril…

 

*****

 

Two more minutes have passed since Felix and Jeralt’s battle was disrupted by Dimitri and Cyril; as Jeralt and Cyril make way for Byleth and company, the tension rises as they are soon pursued by Dimitri and Felix. Rushing forward, Jeralt and Cyril continue to make way towards Byleth in haste. 

 

“Byleth! Let’s go!” said Jeralt. Byleth then looks over to Jeralt approach.

 

“S-Sorry- these students are more of an issue than I initially thought!” said Byleth as he backs up from Dedue and Sylvain. Sylvain then lunges forward with his lance in hand. 

 

“Sorry, Professor! Gonna have to try harder than that to get through us!” said Sylvain as he readies his battle stance, “Tempest Lance!” shouts Sylvain as he prepares to strike Byleth.

 

“Woah!” says Byleth as he ducks under the attack. 

 

“Dang it! I keep missing!” said Sylvain.

 

“I got your back, Sylvain” said Dedue as he swerves around Sylvain and readies his axe and shield, “Smash!” Dedue chants as he condenses energy into his axe. Byleth places their sword over them- preparing to guard against the blow. Dedue crashes down on Byleth- creating a force below Byleth that shakes the ground.

 

“D-Damn… You are so strong, Dedue” said Byleth as they clash with Dedue’s art. Despite the skill level of the Art, Dedue’s power was still a shock to Byleth. 

 

“I appreciate it Professor- but your kind words will not deter me on the battle! You are an enemy!” said Dedue- taking the game  a bit too seriously.

 

“Uh… Well, I was just saying that… But, okay…” said Byleth as they struggle with Dedue.

 

“Alright! Thanks, Dedue! Hang ‘em right there! Ha!” shouts Sylvain as they jab their lance forwards at Byleth. Seeing Sylvain come towards them, Byleth starts to panic.

 

C-Crap! I can’t evade that attack! ” thought Byleth.

 

W-Well, you better do something- or you are about to be bleeding out from your liver! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Professor! Incoming!” shouted Cyril as he readies an arrow, and fries it towards Sylvain. As they hear Cyril’s call, it distracts Dedue and Sylvain- just enough for Byleth to be able to jumps backwards away from Dedue to move out of the way of its fire. Seeing the arrow come in from the corner of their eye, Sylvain turns around to evade it- causing them to move away from Byleth in turn.

 

“Try again!” said Sylvain as he deflects the arrow off his lance.

 

“Damn it!” said Cyril as he goes to ready another arrow.

 

“No worries Cryril- it helped me out nonetheless” said Byleth.

 

“Hehe, really? Then let’s keep that up!” said Cyril as he blushes slightly. As Dimitri and Felix start to take up Jeralt and Cyril’s rear, they both start to get irritated.

 

“Dedue! Sylvain! Stop them! Blue Lions and Seiros Knight units, fall in!” shouts Dimitri to his fellow Housemates around him.

 

“Right!” they all shouted in turn as they all start to converge on Byleth, Cyril, and Jeralt.

 

“Gotcha!” said Sylvain as he runs forward to Byleth.

 

“On it!” said Dedue afterward- following straight behind Sylvain’s action.

 

“Uh oh… This just got more tricky…” said Cyril.

 

“Right…” said Jeralt- seeing the issue they are all in.

 

“Don’t err just yet!” shouts Byleth- attempting to keep face in front of the units around them. Hearing this motivated Cyril slightly, and causes other knight units to rally in shouts as they converged with the other enemies falling in towards Byleth, Cyril, and Jeralt. Seeing the shift on both sides play out, Jeralt starts to chuckle to himself.

 

“This is getting interesting- no doubt…” Jeralt says to himself. As this all happens, Felix starts to hum to himself.

 

“Going back to basics with a surrounding rout formation… Good idea… We can cage them in!” said Felix. Hearing this, Dimitri starts to smirk.

 

“Thank you. We have to keep morale up- while also continuously changing our battle strategy when things do not work! We got this team!” says Dimitri. Feelingly slightly motivated from Dimitri’s change of strategy- and clearing his head to focus on the issue at hand, Felix then starts to chuckle to himself- feeling a bit silly for even getting worked up in the first place. In truth, for the last couple of minutes, he had been so caught up on Jeritza’s comments- and his inability to best him- as well as his bad decision making when fighting Jeralt that he lost the sportsmanship and conductivity standard he typically operates on. In a strange twist of mental events within Felix’s mind, Dimitri’s words shift him ever so slightly back on track- allowing him to don his game face that he mistakenly misplaced.

 

“Right- let’s win this!” said Felix.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

As the Blue Lions units approach the group from every surrounding side, Cyril starts to get nervous. Suddenly, as he sees a chance to break through defenses, Cyril fires another arrow towards Dedue and Sylvain. As the arrow travels towards Dedue and Sylvain, Dedue raises his shield to block against it. 

 

“That will not work” said Dedue.

 

“Agh! Sylvain and Dimitri both are too quick for me to hit, and Dedue has his stupid shield!” said Cyril.

 

“Then let’s do something about that,” said Jeralt as he grips his lance tighter in both of his hands, and charges straight for Dedue and Sylvain. Dedue, seeing Jeralt charge for him, widens his stance and moves in front of Sylvain. 

 

“Sylvain- preserve your strength” said Dedue.

 

“Huh? Well, okay” said Sylvain- going along with Dedue’s protection. As this happens, Byleth watches from a distance as Jeralt approaches- and starts to think to themself. 

 

Dedue is causing us the most trouble in advancing… That shield needs to go… ” thought Byleth to themselves as they attempt to contemplate a plan. They then look backwards towards Dimitri and Felix. “ Agh… They are ganging up on our rear… ” they continued to think. 

 

“Byleth! Look alive!” shouts Jeralt.

 

“H-Huh? Right!” said Byleth- as they momentarily zone out. Suddenly, Byleth then looks over to Jeralt and gets an idea. “Jeralt! Throw me!” Byleth continued. 

 

“Throw you?” asked a confused Jeralt. Suddenly, Byleth hears a confused groan within their mind.

 

Huh? Throw you… Don’t tell me… You are going over their heads?! ” asked Sothis. As Byleth hears this, they smirk.

 

Jeralt inspired me… ” thought Byleth. They then reach out their right hand towards Jeralt, and gestures their head forward towards Dedue. Suddenly, Jeralt understood what they wanted to accomplish.

 

“I see… Don’t come whining to me if I pull too hard!” said Jeralt. Jeralt then stabs his lance into the ground. Afterwards, he then reaches out and grabs Byleth’s hand, and Byleth grabbed ahold of Jeralt’s in turn- holding onto their one hand with both. Jeralt then slides a head of Byleth- positioning himself in between them and Dedue. Jeralt then grabs ahold with his other hand as he lowers his stance. Suddenly, they clench down on Byleth’s hands. “Reposition!” Jeralt shouts as he pulls Byleth behind them with great force- causing him to go flying backwards and Byleth to go flying forwards towards Dedue!

 

“W-Woah!” shouts Cyril- flabbergasted by what he sees happen.

 

In this attempt, Jeralt’s intention is actually the opposite of how he used it last time; with the knight, he used the knight’s repositioning force to propel themselves forward, however Jeralt used their own repositioning force to propel Byleth. This action- when broken down- would be akin to pushing off of someone, and using that small exchange in energy to leap ahead; in this regard, it sent Byleth hurling over Dedue’s head- to far for him to reach for.

 

“N-No!” shouted Dedue.

 

“G-Get them!” yelled Dimitri as he sees Byleth spiral in the air. 

 

Byleth, focusing their vision in front of them, then sees incoming students approaching. Quick thinking, they start to use the student’s chests as footing; bouncing off of them- causing them to fall to the ground in turn- as they hop across the onslaught sea of units. Sylvain, oddly enough, freezes in his tracks momentarily; unsure of how he could possibly stop Byleth with the amount of distance between them. However, as Dedue looks over to Sylvain- and then Byleth- he then attempts to chase after Byleth; feeling embarrassed that they let Byleth pass them. Sylvain watches as Dedue runs off, and as he attempts to run after Byleth with him he soon is distracted by Jeralt hitting the floor; watching him spiral out on the floor towards Dimitri and Felix.

 

“S-Shoot! Where’s my lance?!” said Jeralt as he looks around. He then looks back to where he came from, and scoffs, “Agh! I set it down to fling them…” he continues. Seeing Byleth rush off, Cyril starts to smile.

 

“A-Awesome! Hey, Jeralt, do that to me!” says Cyril.

 

“Agh… No way young man!” responds Jeralt.

 

“You should be more careful to not disarm yourself on the battlefield!” shouts Dimitri as he and Felix steadfully approach. Hearing this, Jeralt laughs.

 

“Haha! Look at you trying to coach me on warfare! You are right” said Jeralt as he regains his footing- and crouches low, “ Bombard !” shouts Jeralt as he lunges forward towards Dimitri and Felix with no weapon!

 

“W-What?!” says Dimitri who is thrown off by his actions.

 

“S-Shit!” says Felix sad he thinks quick to guard with his blade. Suddenly, Jeralt strikes at Felix’s blade with a solid punch- causing Felix to fly backwards. “Ahh!” Felix screams as he feels the recoil from the blow surge through his body.

 

“F-Felix!” shouts Dimitri as he sees Felix hurl through the air. Suddenly, before Dimitri could fully turn back around, Jeralt grabs Dimitri’s lance with the same hand he used to punch Felix- and punches Dimitri in the stomach! Dimtiri then falls down to the ground- rolling out as he feels his insides turn from being punched. Felix and Dimitri the come to a halt on the ground near.

 

“Agh!...” groans both Dimitri and Felix.

 

“Ouch!...” said Cyril- closing one eyes and imagining just how painful that must be for the two.

 

“Hm… Wonder if I over did it… Oh well” said Jeralt as he continues to run towards Byleth’s direction. “Come, Cyril!” he continues.

 

“Right behind ‘ya!” responds Cyril. Sylvain, watching from afar, starts to panic slightly from seeing Dimitri and Felix on the floor.

 

“D-Dimitri and Felix are down!” shouts Sylvain- so the other units on his side can be made aware- as he looks over to his two allies struggling on the floor.

 

“D-Don’t worry about us… Stop the Professor!...” muttered Dimitri.

 

“Y-Yea… Agh… W-Why are you even still here just fuckin’ watching us?!” questioned Felix. Sylvain then gets shocked by Felix’s response to him- not even realizing he has not moved yet.

 

“W-Wha-?!.... Agh! Get outta your head, Sylvain… I-I’m on it, guys!” said Sylvain as he continues to chase after them.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

As they soon land on the floor- somersaulting as they get on their feet- Byleth then looks back towards the other Blue Lions students behind them as they create more distance between them. They look back to notice that Sylvain, Dedue, Jeralt, and Cyril are running in the same direction. Dedue looks behind him as he realized that they are being followed by Jeralt and Cyril. He starts to get angered- as if he goes to stop them from following them then they widen the distance between them and Byleth.

 

“Can someone apprehend those two behind us? Anyone?!” asked Dedue, calling to any Blue Lions student that is around them. 

 

“S-Sorry! We are on it!” shouted a random Blue Lions student as they begin to ready their bows, and unsheathe their blades.

 

“Dedue, I can stop and try and block their path…” said Sylvain as he catches up. They both then look back to see Blue Lions students converging on Jeralt and Cyril. However, Jeralt grabs his lance in hand, and slashes most of them away- while Cyril maneuvers around them as he uses his size to his advantage. Seeing the other students not be able to do much to stop the duo- Dedue sighs.

 

“Sylvain- with all due respect- if both Dimitri and Felix struggled to fight against Jeralt, then I question what you could really do in this moment” said Dedue.

 

“W-What?! What is that supposed to mean!?” asked Sylvain.

 

“It means that stopping them is useless if that only means that you are more hurt and unable to continue fighting” said Dedue.

 

“So… What should we do?! Just keep going towards base, and apprehend them there?” asked Dedue.

 

“I… I do not know” responded Dedue.

 

“ We should be stopping them before that!” proclaimed Sylvain.

 

“You are right, but with the Professor ahead of us- I’m not sure if the best action is to stop and be a wall, or run and be there with Ashe and Annette” said Dedue.

 

“Agh…” said Sylvain. He then looks over to Dimitri and Felix- who by now have gotten up and continued to run after the group as well. “If we wall them- even if for a second, then Dimitri and Felix can join in since they are behind us. Or- since we probably can’t stop them- we can make sure we wall them from their own base!”.

 

“Hm… That could work…” said Dedue. Suddenly, Dedue starts to run slower as he looks at Jeralt and Cyril- and Sylvain follows suit afterwards. Seeing this, Jeralt starts to get worried.

 

“What are they doing?” asked Felix.

 

“I told them to run!” said Dimitri.

 

“Why are they… Ah- I get it” said Jeralt.

 

“Huh? What?” asked Cyril.

 

“In the same way how I ran off from Seteth and the others- despite Ingrid steadily approaching ours, the best bet would be to prepare for the potential inevitable that their flag might be taken too” said Jeralt.

 

“Oh… So have they given up?” asked Cyril.

 

“Who knows... Cyril- instead, I’m gonna fling you” said Jeralt.

 

"Huh? R-Really?! Yes!” said Cyril. Jeralt then places his lance firmly on his back so it will not go anywhere, and grabs Cyril- who places his bow on his. 

 

“I won’t put as much power into it- but it still might hurt” said Jeralt. 

 

“Who cares! Do it! Do it!” said Cyril- gitty like a little child. Jeralt then does the same motion as he did with Byleth with Cyril; coming ahead of him- turning his back to Byleth’s in direction.

 

“Alright! Here I go! Reposition!” shouts Jeralt as he soon flings Cyril into the air!

 

“Woooohooo- Ow ow ow ow ow!” shouted an airborne Cyril as he starts to feel the recoil on his arm joints, “Ah! This is cool- but damn my arms hurt!!!” he continued.

 

“What did I tell ‘ya kid?” said Jeralt with a smirk.

 

“W-What?! Why is he flinging him ?” asked Sylvain as he looks forward.

 

“Because if you are gonna wall us- then I am perfectly fine taking all four of you on at once as he joins the Professor!” said Jeralt.

 

“Agh…” said Dedue- as he realizes they realized their plan.

 

“And you send the boy over?...” questioned Sylvain.

 

“Don’t underestimate your enemies” said Jeralt.

 

“A wall you say?... I see…” said Felix. 

 

“H-Huh?...” questioned Dimitri. Suddenly, Dimitri catches on too to what Jeralt is setting up for their team back at base- and gets extremely worried. “Wait! B-But, we cannot just let Ashe and Annette be sitting ducks to an incoming base raid involving the Professor!” continued Dimitri.

 

“So what should we do?...” asked Sylvain. Suddenly, an idea pops into Dimitri’s head.

 

“Blue Lions! Let’s hold down this middle ground area. Those who are still chasing the Professor- follow them to base alongside me!” said Dimitri as he continues to run.

 

“Huh? And what about us?” asked Felix. Dimitri then scoffs.

 

“Do what you want; I assumed you wanted to still test your fruitless bravado- and stay to fight Sir Jeralt. Whether you follow me or not- I do not care; however, I think following Dedue and Sylvain’s actions as well as doing what I initially called out- which is to chase the Professor- are both things we should do. However the result, I am going to the Professor” said Dimitri as he runs towards Jeralt.

 

“Fruitless? I was getting somewhere with my fight! Agh!… Whatever…” responded Felix.

 

“And what makes you think that I am going to let you pass so easily?” asked Jeralt.

 

“You will because of this! Shatter Slash!” shouts Dimitri has he gathers energy into his lance, and prepares to smash it into Jeralt as he jumps and swings his lance vertically downward onto him

 

“Oh! If that’s the case- Tempest Lance!” shouts Jeralt as he swings his own lance in an attempt to clash with Dimitri with an upward horizontal swing. Feeling the power difference between them, Dimitri starts to struggle- believing that Jeralt will overpower him, and Jeralt felt the same as he started to push back against the airborne Dimitri. In a sudden turn of events, Dimitri started to shift his weight- placing his legs overhead of Jeralt’s body, and re-angled his arms.

 

“Ha!” Jeralt shouted as he commenced pushing back Dimitri with the power of Shatter Slash; as he did so, it sent Dimitri upwards! However, because of Dimitri’s angling of his body, when Jeralt propelled him skyward Dimitri used this power to alter his trajectory behind Jeralt; so, instead of him being sent backwards- he was sent forwards in a spinning motion! 

 

“Y-Yes, it worked!” cheered Dimitri- rolling out in the sky above the crowd of units’ heads, Jeralt turns around so see Dimitri- and starts to panic.

 

“Agh! That cunning, blonde-haired lion… He took the idea of using someone else to propel you forward- like I was doing using other units. However, to use someone else's attack as force…” said Jeralt to himself- in slight awe of Dimitri's thinking. As Dimitri lands, he runs forward after Cyril.

 

“I have to make sure Ashe and Annette don’t get routed. You all man this area- don’t let any enemies through!” shouts Dimitri.

 

“Will do, Prince Dimitri!” said Dedue as he holds his front. Sylvain and Felix then follow suit, and charge towards Jeralt.

 

“Hold down this area, men!” shouts Sylvain.

 

“Right!” shouts a hoard of men as they soon charge towards Jeralt. 

 

“Alright- let’s do this!” said Jeralt as he readies his lance, and charges forward.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

4 minutes later, and back with Jeritza and The Gatekeeper as they pursue the Blue Lions approaching their base…

 

“Oh no! They are getting close to our handkerchief, Sir!” said The Gatekeeper as he approaches their base with Jeritza- who avidly rushes forward after Ingrid and Mercedes who currently are flying through the air on Ingrid’s pegasus. Jeritza, hearing The Gatekeeper’s comments, sighs in disappointment.

 

“Agh, It sounds so silly when you say it…” said Jeritza.

 

“Well, I don’t know how else you want me to put it!” says The Gatekeeper.

 

“… Just move- less talking!” said Jeritza as he hurries past The Gatekeeper, “Men! Stop them! What are you doing?” he gestures to the knights guarding base.

 

“Sir! They are flying! We are trying our hardest to strike them down!” shouts a knight as he readies his arrow alongside other knights that do the same thing. 

 

“Well, try harder!” shouts Jeritza. Other knights attempt to shoot arrows and magic towards Ingrid and Mercedes airborne in the air- but as they attempt to Ingrid manages to evade the attacks as she gets closer to the pole that holds the enemy handkerchief. 

 

“Agh! Mercedes! I’m going to close in on the pole! I want you to try and reach for the flag!” said Ingrid as she lowers herself on the pegasus’s back.

 

“M-Me?” questioned Mercedes.

 

“My hands are tied trying to steer! Can you do it?” asked Ingrid.

 

“Y-Yes!” said Mercedes. Suddenly, an arrow flies towards her. Veering away, Ingrid circles around the pole as she tries to inch closer and closer towards it. “I’m going to lean in; when you have the change- grab it!”.

 

“I will” responds Mercedes.

 

“Not if I have anything to say about it!” says Jeritza as she reaches the base of the pole, and commences to run upwards alongside it! Seeing this spectacle of physical capability amazes the other knights- especially The Gatekeeper.

 

“W-Woah!... How is he able to do that! He’s not even holding onto it!” responds The Gatekeeper. Jeritza, hearing his comments, scoffs.

 

“I don’t need fanfare- I need men that actually do what they need to do- and pull their own weight. Suddenly, The Gatekeeper stops in his tracks.

 

“Grr… Fine then!” says The Gatekeeper as he starts to run off in another direction.

 

As Jeritza climbs, in that moment, his determination stemmed from many factions in his mind; in correlation to the handkerchief itself, he had realized the simplicity of how they can take it- and the small window that he has to prevent that. Specifically, the handkerchief is situated to the pole by a simple knot; as such, it could easily be undone by anyone. With all of this in mind, Jeritza knew that he had to reach his own handkerchief before Mercedes even has the change to grab ahold, and that if he did not then his team would be detrimentally at a loss as none of them could keep up with a pegasus on foot.

 

“Don’t think that I would be thrown off so or apprehended by a bunch of flying horses!” said Jeritza as he grabbed ahold of the pole, and propels himself upward at a quicker pace.

 

“Mercedes! Quick!” said Ingrid as she leans in moreso. Mercedes then reached out her arm.

 

“I got it! Just… A little… Further!” said Mercedes as she attempts to grab ahold of the handkerchief. Then, almost at the same time, Jeritza and Mercedes both grab ahold of the handkerchief with one of their hands! 

 

“Yes! Mercedes take it!” shouts Ingrid.

 

“Agh!” says Mercedes as she clenched her fists down, and attempts to draw back her arm to undo the handkerchief.

 

“Damn it! I was too slow…” said Jeritza as he spares no effort pull back; effectively entering a type of struggle war with Mercedes to not have the handkerchief united. Then, a delicate battle ensues between the three in the course of a couple of seconds; on one hand, Mercedes has to pull with all her might to undo the handkerchief in such a way that it allows itself to untie- while Ingrid attempts to fly so steady that Mercedes can do so in a very quick moment. While at the same time, Jeritza has to hold onto the pole and handkerchief with such substantial might that he isn’t wavered by the opposing force- or is shaken by the rope burn and wood scraping feeling that he feels on his hands. Suddenly, the handkerchief becomes undone! “No!” shouts Jeritza as he then holds onto the pole with his feet, and uses both of his hands to hold onto the now airborne handkerchief. 

 

“That’s it! Keep going Mercedes! Pull him off of it!” shouts Ingrid as she starts to spin around the pole- causing chafing to happen on Jeritza’s legs as he attempts to not fall off.

 

Agh!... I can’t let go of the handkerchief- but if I don’t I risk falling in a similar fashion to Seteth… ” thought Jeritza in this moment. He looks into Mercedes’ eyes through his mask, and sees her determination to not fail for his team. Suddenly, this wavers his grip of so slightly; enough for Mercedes to slip some of handkerchief out of Jeritza’s hand, and slightly undone on the pole. Suddenly, he comes back to his senses. “S-Shit!...” shouts Jeritza as he attempts to pull on the handkerchief- tightening the knot. Ingrid, determinate as ever, then starts to swing around moreso.

 

“Damn! I can’t shake him! Mercedes! Watch your head- I’m gotta strike him!” says Ingrid as she readies her won lance. Jeritza then looks over to Ingrid.

 

“D-Don’t think I am out of the count just yet!” shouts Jeritza as he takes one hand off the handkerchief,and reaches for Mercedes’ tome! 

 

“W-What?!” questions Mercedes as she sees this happen.

 

“A Risky move! M-Mercedes! Let go!” proclaims Ingrid. Suddenly, Mercedes turns to Ingrid.

 

“Why? I have the flag in my hands, and he’s holding on with one hand! If I just hold on- and you pull away- we might have it!” responds Mercedes.

 

“And risk you getting shot by a magic spell point blank! Hell no!” shouts Ingrid. Hearing this causes Mercedes to blush, and looks to Jeritza once more.

 

“Agh…” says Mercedes. Internally, she is conflicted; with her want to protect herself and follow Ingrid’ requests, but her want to prove herself and keep holding on- knowing that if she waits it out long enough that she can do it. Conflicted, she attempts to hold on a bit longer. In this same moment, Jeritza opens up the tome, and energy starts to swell around him.

 

“Let go!” shouts Ingrid. Jeritza looks at Mercedes as he holds up the book- but sucks his teeth as he stares into her eyes once more; feeling her unwavering determination to best him.

 

Agh… Why am I hesitant on performing this… ” thinks Jeritza in this moment. Suddenly, a sound in the distance takes all of their attention.

 

“Aaaaaaaaa-AHHHGH!!!” screams The Gatekeeper as he travels through the air- soaring directly towards Jeritza, Ingrid, and Mercedes on his own pegasus!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“W-What?!” says a shocked Jeritza.

 

“Oh, shit!” says Ingrid. Mercedes then gasps loudly.

 

“I questioned this when I saw Seteth not mounted, but they have units other than Seteth that can ride?!” questions Mercedes.

 

“N-No! At least not me! I can’t fly this thing! Watch out!!!” shouts The Gatekeeper as he glides straight towards them.

 

“H-He’s not slowing down… M-Mercedes! Let go!” shouts Ingrid.

 

“H-Huh?!” questions Mercedes- caught up in the moment.

 

“This idiot!” shouts Jeritza as he pulls on the handkerchief- causing Mercedes to let go!

 

“N-No! Shouts Mercedes. Suddenly, before she could retaliate and grab ahold once more, The Gatekeeper collides with Ingrid- knocking her and Mercedes off of their pegasus, and towards the ground!

 

“Ahh!!!” The Gatekeeper, Ingrid, and Mercedes shouts as they all freefall in the air. Jeritza, completely taken aback by The Gatekeepers actions- and seeing Mercedes and Ingrid fall- is quite frankly completely thrown off in the moment on what to do. However, he looks to the handkerchief in this hand, and sighs.

 

“Here we go” says Jeritza as he jumps off the pole himself, and dives fast towards the falling units; grabbing ahold of Mercedes first and only. 

 

“H-Huh?!” says a shocked Mercedes. Jeritza then scoffs.

 

“Unless you want to be mush on the ground- you are gonna hold on” says Jeritza.

 

“O-Okay!” responds Mercedes.

 

“W-What about us?!” shouts Ingrid.

 

“Y-Yea!” says The Gatekeeper.

 

“Hands are full. Use your pegasus- or something. Better figure it out quick” responds Jeritza as he turns over- his back facing the ground- prepared to take the fall for Mercedes. The Gatekeeper then looks below- and sees the ground approaching them quickly.

 

“Crap! Break fall everybody!!!” shouts The Gatekeeper. They all the brace themselves, and fall straight to the ground together...

 

*****

 

Jeritza, Mercedes, Ingrid, and The Gatekeeper all crash to the ground with a great thud; a cloud of dirt rose skyward- towering well over the sight of the knights surrounding them. A quick panic fell the crowd of knights as they were initially unsure of the outcome of the 4 that fell; thinking that they might be critically hurt. Suddenly, they started to rush in.

 

“Q-Quick! Is there any medic knights around?” asked one knight.

 

“Here! Coming!” said a medic knight. The dust in the air starts to disperse somewhat, and the other knights start to see the bodies still lying on the floor. Suddenly, Jeritza stands up, and holds his arms back.

 

“We are fine… Don’t waste your time; just man down the base incase other enemies come after us! ” said Jeritza as he climbs over Mercedes’ backside who is still laying on the floor.

 

“O-Oh… Okay sir? I mean- the others are still on the floor… And they look hurt” said one knight. Jeritza looks over to The Gatekeeper and Ingrid- who are both struggling to rise up alongside their fallen pegasus.

 

“I-I’m okay… My pegasus broke my fall… Not sure about my pegasus though…” said Ingrid as she groans.

 

“I-I’m okay, if anyone was wondering… My armor kinda cushioned the fall for me…” said The Gatekeeper.

 

“Agh, whatever…” said Jeritza as he tears off a part of his white cape, and ties it tightly around Mercedes’s hands. 

 

“A-Ah!” shouts Mercedes.

 

“M-Mercedes!... Are you okay?” asked Ingrid as she struggles to get up.

 

“I broke her fall, so yes” said Jeritza.

 

“W-Well right now- not so much… He tied me up!” said Mercedes.

 

“Shit... “ said Ingrid as she attempts to stand up, “I’ll save you, Mercedes! We still have a fighting chance!” she continued.

 

“Please do!” responded Mercedes.

 

“But wait- where’s the handkerchief?” asked Ingrid.

 

“Still where it belongs” said Jeritza as he points up. Looking up, Ingrid notices that the handkerchief- still attached to the top of the pole.

 

“Agh!” said Ingrid.

 

“P-Please, Ingrid! Finish what we came here to do! I’m fine!” said Mercedes.

 

“R-Right!” shouts Ingrid as she gets on her two feet, grabs her lance that fell beside her, and starts to rush over back to the pole on a whim. However, as Ingrid runs, she starts to feel the newly gained strain on her ankle and arm- caused by the unexpected fall from the sky by The Gatekeeper. Jeritza, seeing this as he and Mercedes are also aways from the pole itself, starts to get annoyed.

“Get up, knight! She’s right near you!” shouts Jeritza as he gets up off Mercedes.

 

“I-I’m on it!” said The Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper then rises up, and attempts to chase Ingrid. However, he trips over his own feet- falling back to the ground. “A-Agh!” he shouts.

 

“Oh my god… Dreadful…” says Jeritza as he shakes his head. The Gatekeeper then groans in annoyance.

 

“What about you ? She’s tied up- you can chase too! Or, use that tome of yours already; or did you forget how to use one already?” asked The Gatekeeper. Jeritza, shocked by his response, looks over to The Gatekeeper.

 

“... Excuse me?” asked a flabbergasted Jeritza.

 

“I-I did not stutter, sir!” says The Gatekeeper. Hearing the irony in his current tone, Jeritza chuckles slightly; slight vexation growing within him- but with slight praise underneath it off from The Gatekeeper’s boldness with how he chooses to speak to him.

 

“Fine, smartass; I will easily deal with the issue with the tome-” said Jeritza as he suddenly realizes that the tome is not on his person- and gets slightly nervous and thrown off by it. “U-Uh…” he continues as he looks around. He notices that the tome has fallen on the ground a distance from them.

 

“I don’t need it” said Jeritza in a condescending way as he charges forward towards Ingrid. 

 

Sure you don’t” said The Gatekeeper sarcastically as he looks around to find his axe. Thankfully, it fell near his own pegasus, and so he ventures over to go collect it so he can join Jeritza as soon as possible. As he does so, he glances over to the pegasus that lay on the ground that attempt to regain their footing. Feeling a bit sorry for them, he goes to collect his axe with slight guilt, and heads over to Jeritza.

 

The Gatekeeper and Jeriza soon close in on Ingrid- who is surrounded on both sides by Jeritza, The Gatekeeper, and their hoard of knights. This makes her stop in her tracks- unsure of where she should go next. Feeling ill at ease with the situation she is in, she starts to quickly run through her head all the possibilities that she has within a few seconds of time…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Ingrid, almost metaphorically, entered a zone within her mind as if all things around her started to move in a very slow pace; where in contrast to that her of thoughts that instead ran by in a quick-time event. In that small window of time as well, it was an ever growing tense situation wherein Ingrid began to think, “ Okay.. So, I need to get back up the pole and get the handkerchief… I could run back over to my pegasus and ride it back up- but I should've thought of that before I ran away from it! Agh, that was not a good move on my part… I could keep running, get passed them, and climb back up myself- but they could easily shoot me down! And then there is Mercedes, who is apprehended… I should really secure her safety and run away and re-group; but realistically she isn’t in any danger… Could I even get past all these men to get help? I gotta think which route is the best to do because half of the time that we have been given has ran out… ”. And so, Ingrid looks around her immediate area thinking of anything she can pull from for inspiration on what to do. Suddenly, she sees knights pick up Mercedes. “M-Mercedes!” Ingrid shouts.

 

“Ah!” Mercedes shouts as she gets taken away.

 

“Sir Jeritza! We are going to go properly apprehend the target so you can focus on the other enemy! We can place her in the hold for now- if that is alright!” says one knight that grabbed ahold of her.

 

“Fine, whatever. Just be careful as you put her in the hold” responds Jeritza. 

 

“... Sir?” questions one knight. Jeritza then clears his throat.

 

“N-Nothing, just go do something now why don’t you? Don’t you see me and the wimp are busy?” questions Jeritza.

 

“Well this wimp just got on a pegasus with no training prior, and successfully stopped our handkerchief from being taken when you failed to by yourself! So, you should be thanking me!” said The Gatekeeper. 

 

“Could you guys have your lover’s quarrel some other place?” questions Ingrid. Suddenly The Gatekeeper and Jeritza look over to her.

 

“W-What?! I would never harbour such feelings for this milksop” asked Jeritza as he blushes. The Gatekeeper gasps as he hears this.

 

“A-And Sir Jeritza has the social skills of a malcontent stick-in-the-mud grinch! He can’t even say, ‘thank you’! Can you believe?!” responds The Gatekeeper as he gets flustered. Ingrid, nonplussed as ever, cocks her head.

 

“R-Right…” Ingrid says as she grabs her lance in both of her hands as Jeritza and The Gatekeeper eye each other. Suddenly, she realizes that their weirdly placed feelings for each other in the moments has opened up a moment- and so she moves.

 

“S-Sir!” shouts The Gatekeeper.

 

“Shit!” Jeritza yells back. They both then rush in towards Ingrid- who beelines it for the pole. “Guard the pole” he continues.

 

“Right!” the other knights shout. Suddenly, knights start to wall the pole from her. Ingrid grunts seeing then, and swings her lance behind her.

 

I gotta risk it !” Ingrid thinks in this moments as she approaches the pole. The knights then take out their melee weapons, bows, and tomes as they eye Ingrid down. However, Ingrid was not fazed by the wall of knights- and rushed forward still- trying what she could to ignore the increasing pain that her injuries were causing her.

“Tempest Lance!” Ingrid shouts as she spins around in the air, and strike does the wall of knights in one swing.

 

“Ah!!!” they all shout as they fall to the ground- and some of their weapons get hurled into the air.

 

“I-Ingrid! Way to go!” says Mercedes as she is held back by other knights; looking over to see Ingrid’s greatness.

 

“Are you guys seriously getting taken down by a basic Combat Art?...” questions Jeritza.

 

“We gotta do something, Sir Jeritza!” says The Gatekeeper- who runs beside him.

 

“Well if I wanted someone to say the obvious- I would say that loud and clear” responds Jeritza. Jeritza, coincidentally, was running in the direction of his tome whilst running towards the direction that Ingrid was running. Jeritza then hoists up the tome, and grabs it firmly in his hand.

 

“Nosferatu!” shouts Jeritza as he holds his hand out- sending a wave of light towards Ingrid. Ingrid then smiles, looks beside her to a fall tome, and picks it up. Soon, she starts to charge up a bung of light energy.

 

“Don’t think that I came here with simple lance skills up my sleeves, Jeritza! Nosferatu!” Ingrid shouts as she soon releases a surge of light from the tome in her hand in the direction of Jeritza.

 

“H-Huh?” says a shocked Jeritza- taken back by Ingrid’s spell usage

 

“Oh my!” says Mercedes.

 

“She knows magic?!” questioned The Gatekeeper.

 

“Well I guess that it is not out of the question that the Professor is doing what they should be with their students’ training; to give a flyer magic ability is fascinating…” says Jeritza- praising Byleth unintentionally. Hearing this, Ingrid chuckles.

 

“While I do admit that the Professor is the one that is pushing all of us to step outside of our comfort zone- and practice movesets that we normally would not have otherwise- the effort ultimately comes from me!” says Ingrid.

 

“I see… Well, to be able to pick up a random knight’s tome and use magic on the fly is commendable- so congratulations to your work… However…” says Jeritza as he continues to rush in, “You will need more than that to beat me!”. Jertiza then jumps in the air, and falls down with his lance pointed at Ingrid. Ingrid then drops the tome, and uses her lance to guard Jeritza’s attack.

 

“Agh! You aren’t going to stop me that easily!” said Ingrid as she uses what might she has- and forces Jeritza backwards. Suddenly, Ingrid feels the pain in her hurt ankle rise up her spine- causing her to limp slightly as she attempted to regain her footing. Suddenly, she thought, “ Agh… I cannot ignore the pain that I am feeling… I need to use the healing items that I have stored on me; if I continue to engage in combat- at some point my endurance will run short due to fatigue. If Mercedes was operable I could rely on her to heal me in this moment. What can I… Wait… I can use my damage to my advantage… ”. Suddenly, Ingrid eyed Jeritza in the face- and rushed forward towards him with unfettered intent! 

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

“Hyaa!” shouts Ingrid as she canters forward towards Jeritza with the force of a stallion. Jeritza, not bucking a bit, laughs as he analyzes the grit on her face.

 

“Heh! Still have a fighting spirit after all the damage you have? Let’s see how far you will push yourself!” says Jeritza as he accelerate forwards towards Ingrid. Ingrid, with a smirk assembling on her face, swings her lance to have the blade point face upward- and takes one giant step forward.

 

Vengeance!” shouts Ingrid as she crashes her lance down on Jeritza- who guards with his own. The added damage that Ingrid procured- combined with her own power- created an even stronger Combat Art. Jeritza, feeling all of the power of this attacks, is caught off guard by it all- and starts to ponder his choices in this moment carefully.

 

Agh! This isn’t something I can’t normally shrug off; a C-Ranked Art. But, with the added damage it can push the output beyond what it is staled as… I guess I am underestimating these students… This is getting exciting! ” Jeritza starts to think. The power struggle between the two ensures as Jeritza starts to sink in his stance from the force that is coming down on him. Suddenly, Jeritza widens his stance. At this same time, the air around the two starts to get cold- and a chilling feeling starts to form around the area. Ingrid exhales her breath- and immediately notices that she can see her breath! At the point where both their lances meet- at the epicenter of Ingrid’s reprisal, icicle shards start to grow in a crystalline fashion from its origin- and grows outward from their point. 

 

“W-What?! Ice!?” says a shocked Ingrid as she backs off her attack- lunging herself backwards. Jeritza, chuckling, lunges forward after her with a horizontal strike.

 

Frozen Lance!” declares Jeritza as more ice-magic energy swells up around the blade of his weapon. 

 

“O-Oh no!” shouts Ingrid as she attempts to re-defend herself from the oncoming attack. However, a thought comes to her head; “ N-No! I won’t be able to guard against an Art that strong with my current estate! I have to evade it! ”. Ingrid, well aware of her situation, attempts to do what she can to preserve her power- and activates another Art that allows her to duck Jeritza’s incoming attack!

 

“Huh?” says Jeritza in shock.

 

N-Now! Now that I have the chance !” thought Ingrid as he closed the distance between her and Jeritza. Suddenly, a surge of energy quells up in Ingrid’s strike in a pinch.

 

Hit And Run!” shouts Ingrid as she quickly makes an upward strike against Jeritza’s lance- causing him to release it from his hands due to the force of the strike, and rise slightly from the air!

 

Agh! A Critical Strike?! ” thought Jeritza.

 

“S-Sir!” says The Gatekeeper as he watches the encounter from the side. He looks up and sees Jertiza’s lance fly high in the air, and as he looks back down he sees Ingrid run towards their pole. “Sir Jeritza! She’s getting away!”. Jeritza, attempting to land back on the ground, instantly starts to run after her.

 

“Thank you, Captain of Obviousness!” responds Jeritza. Ignoring this constant spiteful words, The Gatekeeper goes to run towards Jeritza; at the same time, Jeritza- a bit annoyed at his guard being broke- starts to think, “ Shit! After that Art is used, it gives priority to movement afterwards- allowing for anyone that uses it to make immediate distance from you before you can even react! Nice play… ”. 

 

Ingrid, as she runs towards the pole, almost trips- due to the added strain she continues to put on her hurt body. However Ingrid, relentless as ever, manages to jump up and grab ahold of the pole- hoisting herself upward;  all while still holding onto her lance. She begins to climb up the pole- while Jeritza follows shortly behind.

 

“I will admit- you have done well to dub me thus far; however, that series of events shall seize now!” says Jeritza.

 

“Damn! I can’t shake this dude!” says Ingrid as she makes no time to rest- and continues onward. As this happens, many of the knights- including The Gatekeeper- circle around the base of the pole, and watch as they climb.

 

“S-Sir! You got this!” cheers on The Gatekeeper. Hearing this, Jeritza scoffs.;

 

“You duntz! Why are you just standing around?! Shoot her down!” yells Jeritza.

 

“R-Right! Knights! Fire!” The Gatekeeper commands.

 

“Fire!!!” they all shout as they fire off arrows and spells towards Ingrid’s location.

 

“W-Woah!” says Ingrid as she gets a bit flustered by the onslaught of attacks coming her way. She then takes her lance- and attempts to spin wheel her since to strike away all incoming arrows. “I… G-Got… This!...” says Ingrid as she struggles to fight away all the attacks. She does good at first, however as the spells connect with her a plum of energy explodes around her- blocking everyone’s view of her from below.

 

“No!” shouts Mercedes as she sees this. In this moment, she manages to shake off of the knight’s grasp who was holding onto her- and runs towards Ingrid’s location! “W-Watch out, Ingrid!” Mercedes continues- feeling concerned for Ingrid in this moment. 

 

‘H-Hey! Get back here!” the knight who was holding onto her says as he runs after Mercedes, “Where do you think you are going?”. He then closelines her back to the floor.

 

“Ah! Don’t be so rough!...” suggested Mercedes. Suddenly, the knight gets up off of her frantically.

 

“S-Sorry, ma’am… P-Please, stay put…” responded the knight as he grabbed ahold of her once more, and lifts her back up to her feet. Watching from afar, they witness as Ingrid falls back down from the pole, and is caught by Jeritza in a less than desirable state- breaking her fall. Almost instantly after catching her, he then forces her to the ground.

 

"N-No! Let... Go!" shouts Ingrid as she attempts to wrestle out of Jeritza's ensnarement the best she can. Holding her down with little to no effort, Jeritza then looks around to one of the knights with a tome- who have all just now got back to their feet collectively.

 

“One of you healers- get over here and do your purpose!” shouts Jeritza, as he commands his own men to heal the enemy.

 

"Y-Yes, sir!" said one of the knights reluctantly as they rush over- following Jeritza's confusing demand at face value. At this same time, Jeritza rips off more of his cape, and uses it to ensnare Ingrid’s hands together as she lays on her stomach. Ingrid, losing what might she has to fight back, relaxes her body down as she internally admits defeat...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“A-Agh! No…” Ingrid says disappointingly as she fully succumbs to all of her lost endurance to have a fighting chance against Jeritza. Jeritza, still on top of Ingrid, ties her limbs up tight- binding her completely in place. The magic knights soon meet up with Jeritza and kneel over the grounded Ingrid. Then, they start to perform Healing magic on her to heal her wounds that she procured thus far. As she is being healed, one of the knights looks over to Jeritza with beckoning confusion.

 

“... B-But Sir… Are you sure about this? If she gets healed enough, a-and amassed enough strength to escape, what will we do?” asked the knight. Jertiza, flabbergasted by their question, scoffs at them..

 

“Do what a Knight is to do- and defend themselves! Gosh, do I have to write it out for you all?...” responds Jeritza as he grows annoyed of the knight’s mindsets, “If you have a captive, you are to monitor as well as safeguard the unit; you don’t want to be left with a ticking time bomb- that could explode at any minute left in your care, but you also don’t want to lose a source of valuable information as well as an upper-hand” he continued. Suddenly, The Gatekeeper approaches.

 

“Huh? What do you mean, Sir?” asked The Gatekeeper.

 

“If you have a member of an enemy team, they can hold secrets of their enemy, exploits that we can utilize, as well as being something that we can wage against the enemy if need be; these are all common practices of war that I would assume you would all be savvy too!” says Jeritza.

 

“Interrogation purposes?! W-Why would we need to do that!?” asked The Gatekeeper.

 

“For instance- knowing if there were others that were following their lead to our base- or any other secret plans that they have under their sleeve; information is a thing that can easily turn the tide of a battle. For instance- knowing that the enemy was approaching our base is valuable information; that information we were able to relay back to the others, and hopefully they are making ways towards the enemy base as a result” says Jeritza.

 

“T-That makes sense… In the event we were unable to stop the enemy- we would have a fighting chance if they already procured their handkerchief!” says The Gatekeeper.

 

“W-Wait, what?! You guys are already approaching base?! Agh, I hope the others are okay…” questions Ingrid. Jeritza then chuckles.

 

“You should be more worried about yourself!” responds Jeritza as he hovers over Ingrid as she is pinned to the floor. “Now… I wonder what info you have locked up tight in your head. Wonder what we could know if we probed you?” he continues.

 

“W-What?! N-No! I don’t know what you're thinking, but definitely not that!” says Ingrid.

 

“S-Sir! You couldn't possibly be thinking about doing what I think you are thinking about doing, are you?” questions The Gatekeeper.

 

“About using torture methods to make her reveal enemy secrets? Yes. Is that what you were thinking of?” asked Jeritza.

 

“N-No… I was thinking something more salacious… B-But that’s even worse!” responds The Gatekeeper.

 

“Huh? I don’t know what you are talking about. Look- can you stop randomly moving your mouth- and help me secure the captive in the hold?” asked Jeritza.

 

“S-Sure, Sir!” says The Gatekeeper as he helps Jeritza take Ingrid away.

 

“No! I won’t let you!” shouts Ingrid as she starts to kick and fuss around- kneeing The Gatekeeper in the balls!

 

“Ah!!!~...” squeals The Gatekeeper as he falls to the ground.

 

“Oof…” says Jeritza as he sees him fall.

 

“M-Man down…” says The Gatekeeper as he tries to catch his breath.

 

“A-And if you want the same thing to happen to you Professor, then I suggest you let go!” shouts Ingrid.

 

“Ha. If you think that kicking me in my testicles will bring me down- then you must have me mistaken for a fool; as if I am as feeble in stature as this knight harrowing on the ground” says Jeritza.

 

“Oh Yea! Hya!!!” shouts Ingrid as she goes to kick Jeritza in the balls- but as she does Jeritza barely flinches! “H-Huh?”. Everyone looks on- confused as Ingrid is; the male knights all hold their crotches- fearing the damage that Jertiza just left himself completely defenseless for, while Mercedes hides her head; not wanting to see her do that, and shocked that she would even try.

 

“Testicular damage imperviousness is what I possess. Try as you may; you will fail every time” says Jeritza.

 

“Hya! Hyaa!!!” shouts Ingrid as she attempts to some more times. Jeritza, feeling slight recoil on her kicks, starts to squint one eye as he lets out a quiet grunt.

 

“... You… Er-... H-Have already lost if you only ways of felling me is to take me down in such an injustful way. Come on- you are coming with me!” says Jeritza as he jostles her forward Ingrid forward.

 

“H-Hey! No pushing!” shouts Ingrid.

 

“W-Wow… Balls of steel I suppose…” says The Gatekeeper quietly as he attempts to regain his own footing- and feels on his hurt groin. Then, Jeritza walks past him- staring at The Gatekeeper’s crotch.

 

“...Are you okay?” asked Jeritza.

 

“Y-Yes… Are you?” asked The Gatekeeper back. Jeritza then chuckles.

 

“Naturally so; as you would expect- I would hope. Needless to say- I would choose to not get kicked there over having it done on you I suppose…” says Jeritza. The Gatekeeper then watches Jeritza walk past him- with a slight blush. Jeritza then gives The Gatekeeper a look. “...Are you just going to stare at a man after he has gotten his testicles kicked in- or are you going to help?” asked Jeritza.

 

“S-Sorry, Sir!” says The Gatekeeper as he helps Jeritza take Ingrid away. The Gatekeeper and Jeritza stand proudly in the afterglow of their successful stop of the enemy team from capturing their handkerchief! But, one thing still echoes deep in both of their minds in this moment; "What has become of Byleth, and the others?..."

 

*****

 

At the same time as Jeritza, The Gatekeeper, Ingrid, and Mercedes’ encounter at Byleth’s team's base- as well as at the same time while Jeralt’s fight with Felix, Dedue, and Sylvain ensues...

 

Curved Shot!” shouts Ashe as he fires off an arrow towards Byleth and Cyril steadily approaching their base. Behind them all in Dimitri- alongside other Blue Lions teammates- chasing the enemies who have made it too close to their base. Byleth, quick on their feet,  dodges Ashe’s Combat Art, and relentlessly pursues forward!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Cyril!” shouts Byleth as they look over to him running beside them. Cyril then nods his head.

 

“Right! Hope you like the taste of your own medicine! Curved Shot!” shouts Cyril as he fires the same Combat Art back at Ashe. 

 

“Damn! We have the same moveset pool…” says Ashe as he grunts. Ashe initially goes to evade the attack- but suddenly, a gust of wind is propelled behind Ashe towards Byleth and Cyril!

 

Wind!” shouts Annette as she casts the magical spell.

 

“I see you have been working on your technique while I have been gone, Annette” says Byleth as they prepare to guard against it.

 

“I have, Professor! I have to show you that I am proving myself- just like everyone else is!” says Annette with a smile.

 

“I see… Cyril, get behind me!” says Byleth as she pulls Cyril to hide behind their body- and Cyril instinctively holds onto Byleth’s waist.

 

“G-Got it! Ah!” says Cyril as the magic spell crashes against Byleth’s sword.

 

“Rush in!” shouts Dimitri- who is pulling up the rear.

 

“Right!” says Annette and Ashe. 

 

Annette then grasps her axe in her hand, and proceeds forward. “Blue Lions! We need to stop the Professor from getting any closer to our base!” says Annette to encourage the other Blue Lions students that are around them. 

 

“R-Right!” the other students shout. 

 

“Annette! I am right behind you! I got your back!” says Ashe with conviction.

 

“Thanks, Ashe!” Annette responds. As this happens, Dimitri starts to wave to the units behind him.

 

“Men that are behind me! Follow suit! We have let the enemy get far too close!” shouts Dimitri- guiding the units that follow him to close in on Byleth and Cyril.

 

“Yes, Dimitri!” the units shout.

 

In actuality, Byleth and Cyril managed to get in eye’s view of the Blue Lions’ enemy base; mere meters from the pole that situates their handkerchief. This added tension that their handkerchief is so close to being captured by their own Professor has added unneeded strain and doubt in the minds of the Blue Lions students. Especially since none of them have had an exercise quite like this one before- and none of them wanting to slip up in front of their own House Professor- they all attempt to turn that same strain and doubt into determination that lights a fire hot enough to continue blazing forward in the round. And, unknown to the Blue Lions students, Byleth can feel this energy within them waking them up.

 

“P-Professor… W-What should we do?” asked Cyril- feeling a fault in his confidence showing. Byleth then looks over to Cyril.

 

“We fight. You got my back?” asked Byleth. Cyril then looks back to Byleth with a smile.

 

“S-Sure! I mean- of course I do!” says Cyril- feeling more assertive. Cyril then turns straight to Dimitri- who is coming up Byleth’s backside, and readies another arrow. 

 

“Curved Shot!” shouts Cyril as he fires an arrow at a breakneck speed. Dimitri, looking onward, starts to laugh.

 

“Heh, this Art again? That’s all that you have used in this entire pursuit that I have had with you thus far!” says Dimitri as he tightens his gaze on the arrow heading straight for him, “Do you assume that by using it once more on me- that it somehow will land a lasting blow on me? Try again!” he continues as he dodges the arrow- just as it was mere inches from him. Cyril the chuckles back at Dimitri.

 

“Any good Archer knows that shots can get stale overtime- especially if the enemy has anticipated them already. That is why you have to change things up my moving, wearing the enemy out, shooting your shots differently- or even use the terrein to your advantage. Doing otherwise- and not adapting to the skills of your target is a fatal mistake… However, Dimitri- your greatest mistake thus far has been you underestimating me!” says Cyril as he goes to ready another arrow, “Break Shot!” he continues as he fires an even stronger and faster arrow this time.

 

“H-Huh?!” questions Dimitri- thrown off by the Combat Art usage. Not having enough time to dodge the arrow, Dimitri goes to guard against it. The Arrow collides with the armor on his left shoulder, and breaks off part of it! “S-Shit!” Dimitri curses as he is thrown backwards from the force of the blow. Cyril, feeling proud of himself, starts to smile wide- and puffed out his chest protrudely.

 

“Hehe!~ I have been saving this Combat Art for when your endurance started to get low- and you could not react to a C-Ranked Combat Art as easily!” says Cyril as he chuckles some more. Dimitri, recovering from the strike, starts to grunt.

 

“You have been holding back skills like that?! You sneak! Don’t play around with me- and think I can not handle such things!” shouts Dimitir- feeling sized-down by a child.

 

“It is merely a tactic, my dear Prince Dimitri~; don’t take it too personal!” responds Cyril in a sarcastic petty manor, “Now, with some of your defenses down- my follow-up attacks will deal more damage no matter how weak they might be!” he continues.

 

“That is if I will allow you the grace of striking me with your attacks once more! Which I will not!” declares Dimitri. Suddenly, Byleth looks behind them to Cyril.

 

“Don’t get cocky now, Cyril! He still is a House Leader for a reason!” says Byleth.

 

“I understand, Professor! I’m just playin’ around with him!” responds Cyril.

 

“Well the battlefield is no place for kids who want to play around! Go play with toys, and listen to bedtime stories!” says Dimitiri- feeling a bit scorned by Cyril toying with him.

 

“Meh; I will go do that after I drill this arrow in your face!” says Cyril- unbothered by Dimitri’s exploits to get under his skin- as he releases another arrow towards Dimitri. At this same time, Annette closes in on Byleth- who turns back around to see Annette winding up another attack- and instinctively guards.

 

“Smash!” shouts Annette as she collides with Byleth sword with a Combat Art.

 

“Ah! I actually felt that one! But, you are gonna have to do more than that to stop me!”
says Byleth as they force Annette backwards- off of their blade, and thwarting the Combat Art. However, Annette then passes the axe over to Ashe at the same time as being sent back- throwing Byleth off!

 

“H-Huh?!” questions Byleth as she sees Ashe holster his bow- and grab the axe. Suddenly, Ashe rushes in quickly! Then, his eyes zero in on a specific part of Byleth’s body- attempting to find a fault in Byleth’s defenses where he can strike and get the best payout. Byleth sees Ashe concentrating on his attack, and goes to guard once more.

 

“Ha! Focused Strike!” shouts Ashe as he slices at Byleth’s sword- causing Byleth to fold under the concentrated force of the strike! Unwantingly, Byleth lets go of their sword- causing it to be flung upwards and away! 

 

“W-What!?” said Byleth- shocked at what has just occured. In this moment, they cannot really piece together sound thoughts to really understand what is happening to them; all they can do is react- and attempt to regain their footing on the ground.

 

“Yes!” said Ashe- feeling excited and proud about retaliating on Byleth.. Cyril, surprised himself on what has just occurred, then looks upwards to see Byleth’s sword above his head- and immediately realizes what has just happened.

 

“P-Professor!” says Cyril in a panic. Dimitri, watching Byleth’s sword fly in the air, is momentarily thrown into a state of astonishment; so good that he cannot find the words to speak- he merely looks on with his mouth open. Annette, ecstatic as ever, cheers on Ashe.

 

“God job, Ashe! Now, let’s finish this!” says Annette as she grabs back out her tome. In that moment, Annette starts to summon compressed waves of air around her- and looks right to a distracted Byleth. Then Byleth looks down, and their eyes open wide.

 

“You are wide open, Professor! So, let’s kick it up a notch!” says Annette.

 

“O-Oh no!” Byleth responds as Annette faces their palm forward towards them; feeling also increasingly unsure of how to remedy this situation for themselves. Byleth does what they can to defend themselves- but it is too late.

Cutting Gale!” shouts Annette as she unleashes crescendos of airwaves towards Byleth!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

The waves of winds close in on Byleth at a breakneck pace, and with very little time allotted to evade the strike- alongside the minimal distance between Annette and Byleth when Annette casted the spell- it strikes a defenceless Byleth head on; causing Byleth to fall backwards towards Cyril. Cyril, seeing Byleth tumbling on the ground as they take the entire brunt of the attack, looks over in shock- and shouts in the air.

 

“Ah! P-Professor! Are you okay?” asked a concerned Cyril as he looks over towards Byleth.

 

“Yes… Agh, I took that head on…” said Byleth as they rub on their hurt body. They then start to think, “ I don’t have my weapon… Agh- I guess my hand-to-hand combat is going to come in handy right now! ”. Suddenly, they see Ashe and Annette approach them- and realizing their disadvantage, Byleth stands back up as soon as they possibly can. “F-Fuck!” Byleth continues. Realizing that Annette and Ashe attempt to rout them, they forgo any thought of retrieving their fallen weapon- and go to defend themselves by crossing their arms across their chest. They then rush forward towards Ashe and Annette. 

 

“A-Annette, stand behind me!” says Ashe as he moves in front of Annette.

 

“Right! I got your back” Annette replies. 

 

Ashe then plants his feet firmly in the ground, and grabs tightly onto Annette’s axe; then, with what conviction he has mustered, he lunges forward to confront Byleth head-on. However, as Ashe does this, Byleth can instantly tell the nervousness swelling up inside of him. Realizing this, Byleth then think, “ Hm… His tenacity is wavering; I can easily find a break in his form- and exploit it without a weapon! ”. Ashe goes for a downward traveling vertical strike; however seeing Byleth with no weapon makes Ashe hesitate slightly.

 

Agh… But, should I really attack someone bare with an axe? I-I don’t want to be known as the second student at Garreg Mach to wound the Professor with axe this week!... ” thought Ashe in this moment. This slight hesitation was enough to be detected by Byleth; and with that they plunge forward- towards the open area of Ashe’s abdomen as his arms commence its downward travel with the strike.

 

Fading Blow !” shouts Byleth as they clench their fist tightly- and launch their balled up fists towards Ashe’s torso area- punching Ashe in his side!.

 

“U-Ugh!” shouts Ashe- in agony. The force of the punch is enough to disrupt Ashe’s initial attack, and has enough force behind it to send him slightly backwards. Ashe lets go of the axe as he falls backwards, and Annette gasps as she sees this.

 

“A-Ashe!” Annette shouts. Byleth then takes a step backwards of Ashe and Annette- towards Cyril- who watches intently as Byleth attempts to regain their footing. Byleth, in the short moment they allotted themselves, grunts as they attempt to search for their sword.

 

“Damn! Where did my weapon go?!” questioned Byleth as they search around the immediate area.

 

“Professor! It’s falling in that direction!” says Cyril as he tries to get Byleth’s attention- and point to the direction their word is falling. Byleth then looks over to Cyril- and then in the direction he is point to locate their sword. Seeing it, Byleth smiles.

 

“Cyril! You are a lifesaver! I just gotta retrieve it-” says Byleth before they are cut off by a gust of wind rushing past their face from the side; as if Annette had just casted another Wind spell. As Byleth turns over to Annette, they notice the remnants of the spell Annette has unleashed; swells of wind currently rotate around her as the small whistling of the wind is heard amongst them. Annette, seeing that their attacked strayed from its intended target, suddenly starts to scoff in annoyance.

 

“Shoot! I missed the Professor that time! And the Professor was not even paying attention!” says Annette- somewhat beating herself up. Byleth then starts to sigh.

 

“That was a close call…” said Byleth as they look back over to their sword momentarily as they see it hit the ground always over. 

 

“Professor!” shouts Cyril- worried about their well-being. Suddenly, Cyril hears Dimitri shout from the corner of his ear.

 

“Don’t look away!” declares Dimitri as he rushes towards Cyril. Cyril then looks back over to Dimitri, and readies his guard.

 

“Shoot- how could I forget the Uptight Prince?” says Cyril- sarcastically. However, Dimitri took his words to heart; Cyril unintentionally opened up a wound left in Dimitri’s psyche.

“U-Uptight?! What the- why does everyone keep saying that about me?!” ponders Dimitri. Cyril then rolls his eyes.

 

“Ponder your personal problems off the training field! And back off! Curved Shot!” says Cyril as he shoots another arrow towards Dimitri. Dimitri then grunts- feeling fooled by Cyril’s Combat Art usage. 

 

“Agh! Whatever! No matter the case- “ says Dimitri as he then swings his lance- cutting the approaching arrow clean in half, “Your exploits are still futile! What happened to adapting to your target’s skill level? So quick to let your movements get stale it seems” continues a banterful Dimitri- attempting to be snarky and sarcastic. Cyril, not really talking kindly to Dimitri’s words, scoffs.

 

“I-I’m just trying to not waste my weapons durability firing blanks is all!” declares Cyril.  At the same time, Annette goes to charge up another spell.

 

“Here we go again! Cutting Gale!” shouts Annette as she unleashes the spell once more towards Byleth. Byleth moves out of the way of that strike- barrel rolling on the floor before then come to a halt close to the ground. By this time, Ashe has begun to regain their own footing- having been recoiling from the damage of Byleth’s punch this whole time. Annette then looks over to Ashe.

 

“Hey, are you feeling okay?” asked Annette.

 

“Yea… Nothing that a quick sip on a Vulnerary could not fix… Thank the heavens that I did not have a big meal this morning- I would have thrown the entire thing up just now!” responds Ashe. 

 

“Good, because we still have to hold down own own! Come on! Grab your axe!” says Annette.

 

“Right!” says Ashe as they go to grab their fallen axe on the ground next to them, and goes to get back into the fight! 

 

At this same time, more of the Blue Lions students start to close in on the fight- boxing Byleth and Cyril in. Byleth then grunts to themselves and thinks, "Shoot... We really are in a bind now!....  In that moment, Byleth had realized the growing problem they are in; since they were not followed by any of their units other than Cyril- starts to feel their backs against the wall greatly, and contemplates the success of their seizing the enemy handkerchief…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Byleth, thinking that they need to do the same re-connection with their own weapon, starts to think, “ I will not have an opening or opportunity to get my weapon back if there is a spell user who can strike me while my back is turned… And the more time that I mess around- the worse situation me and Cyril get into. The gamble of proceeding ahead without my team is that I am walking into the lion’s den alone- and it isn’t such an easy thing to get back out. mI need to think quick on how to get past this hurdle- or I can kiss the chance that my team gave me goodbye... ”. Byleth then looks back over to Cyril- perturbed on how to assess the current situation.

 

“Cyril, are you good?” asked Byleth.

 

“Yes, Professor; I will not allow myself to err in this moment because we seem to be in a tough spot!” responds Cyril as he dodges Dimitri’s strike.

 

“Agh! You little weasel! Come here.” says Dimitri- completely focused on attempting to take down Cyril, as he feels as if his pride has been slightly damaged by Cyril during this round’s exchanges.

 

“Wow… Dimitri seems… Oddly distracted?...” says Byleth towards themself.

 

Heh, that kid; he’s pretty stoic for someone his age… ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

Right… Hey! You have been awfully quiet while this has been going on! ” thinks Byleth back to Sothis. Sothis then scoffs.

 

Well, if I had known that I was suppose to baby your thoughts every waking moment- then I would of came prepared with a bullhorn or something. Gosh, do I have to guide you with EVERYTHING?! ” asked Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

N-No… But, some help would not be too bad sometimes… What happened to being like- an unofficial ‘eighth’ member to my team?! That went out the window too- along with your help? ” questioned Byleth to Sothis.

 

W-What?! Agh! Well, if you are gonna pull THAT card on me then fine! I will help! ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

Well, I can see that your attitude didn’t go out the window… ” thought Byleth- thinking no one was listening to their inner thoughts. However, Sothis- listening loud and clear, grunts loudly..

 

Hey! Maybe you should not insult the very person you need help from the most! For God's sake, you can’t even COMPLAIN correctly! ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

I- Uh… Agh… Just- what should I do? ” asked Byleth to Sothis.

 

Well, since all you got is the kid with you, you are limited on what you can do- and overall what can be done. Realistically, there is no way that Annette or Ashe are going to let you have enough time or space to get your weapon; both of them possess long-range weapons. And, the only reason that you are not dealing with the annoyance of Dimitri on top of them is because the kid has managed to distract him away from you long enough- but that seems to be slowly losing its grip too! ” said Sothis to Byleth.

 

Okay… So my plan is going down the hole, and we are all fatigued; I didn’t need you to tell me that… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

QUIT the smart-talk, Agh! Anyways- before I was rudely interrupted by a clueless Professor, what I am getting at is that despite him occupying Dimitri for you- he HAS proven that he is good at running away from Dimitri! I wonder what could be done to exploit that factor... ” said Sothis back to Byleth. Thinking about Sothis’ words, Byleth suddenly gets an idea.

 

O-Oh! I got it Thanks, Sothis! ” thought Byleth back to Sothis- feeling a surge of resolve accumulate inside of them. Byleth then looks over to Cyril- who looks perturbed as well as he trihe hops around- dodging Dimitri’s slashes he makes back to him.

 

“Cyril!” says Byleth confidently.

 

“W-What, Professor? What should we do?” asked Cyril- seeking advice due to feeling slightly lost, and slowly losing drive. 

 

“You think you can get my weapon for me?” asked Byleth.

 

“H-Huh? Me?’ questioned Cyril.

 

“You are more nimble on your feet, and could be more easily get it than me. Plus- you are closer” responds Byleth.

 

“O-Oh! I see…” said Cyril. Suddenly, Cyril beelines it towards the direction that Byleth’s sword is falling! 

 

“W-What?” questions Dimitri.

 

“Professor! I’ll retrieve your weapon! Don’t you worry!” shouts Cyril- feeling a new sense of conviction.

 

“Agh! You are not getting away from me! Annette! Ashe! Fire at him!” declares Dimitri as he rushes Cyril from behind. 

 

“On it!” shouts Ashe and Annette; the former putting away the axe, and switching to their bow- while the latter readies another wind spell to cast.

 

“Not while I am here! Rushing Blow!” shouts Byleth as they approach Annette. Annette, quick on her toes, goes to re-direction the path of her spell at Byleth.

 

“Ha! Cutting Gale!” shouts Annette as she unleashes more crescendo-shaped wind currents towards Byleth.

 

“B-Be careful not to use up all your power, Annette!” suggests Ashe- as he watches from the corner of his eye as he readies an arrow at Cyril.

 

“Don’t worry! This one is sure to hit!” says Annette- feeling confident in their ability. As the spell travels to Byleth, they show no signs of dodging the attack- which attract most of the student’s attention in the area. Byleth, not lifting their gaze from the spell for even one moment, starts to smirk.

 

Let's see how strong I have gotten! ” thought Byleth. Suddenly, they crash their fist straight into Annette’s Cutting Gale! Gasps are heard across the battlefield as many watch.

 

“W-What?!” says a shocked Annette.

 

“You are kidding me!” Ashe says as he fully turns his head away from Cyril- and to Byleth instead.

 

“The Professor collided their bare fist with a spell?!” questioned Dimitri- as they look on from the corner of their eye as well.  The Cutting Gale attempts to rip apart at Byleth’s bare hand- but being unable to get through the might of Byleth’s powerful body- the wind breaks- dispersing across their fist in a whimpered gust-like state!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“N-No way… Breaking my spell with just their pure fist?...” questioned Annette- flabbergasted at what they are seeing. Suddenly, after Byleth connected their attack with the spell, they take one large step forward- causing them to propel themselves forward towards Annette at breakneck speeds! “N-No!” shouts Annette as they see Byleth close in on them. Ashe then panics.

 

“A-Annette! Watch out! that Combat Art allows the user to easily approach the enemy afterwards!” warns Ashe as he attempts to ready his bow at Byleth- attempting to stop them. However before he could even shoot, Byleth takes Annette’s casting hand- and uses that hand to flip Annette over their shoulder to the floor!

 

“Ah!” shouted Annette as she hits the floor.

 

“S-Sorry! I didn’t feel right punching you...” says Byleth as they watch Annette tumble on the floor.

 

“Annette!” shouts Ashe.

 

“You should watch out for yourself!” declares Byleth as they soon got to rush in for Ashe.

 

Um, hello?! Idiot! Why don’t you go and use Annette’s tome!? ” questions Sothis within Byleth’s head.

 

I-I don’t know Black Magic all that well… It would not be practical, or useful, to try and use it in this scenario- and risk looking like a fool! Or worse-  hurting someone unintentionally with spells I have no training on using… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Agh… You need to work on ALL your skills! ” says Sothis within Byleth’s head. 

 

A jack of all trades is a master of none, Sothis… You should know this… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis- who starts to get annoyed with Byleth’s comments.

 

Agh, whatever! You know what? Whenever you wake up in a ditch after your failed attempts to master your skills falls back on you, don’t say I didn’t warn you- Hey! Look out for that arrow! ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth, coming back to it, sees Ashe fire an arrow at Byleth. Still rushing forward towards them, Byleth quickly maneuvers around the incoming arrow, and goes to low leg sweep kick Ashe- causing him to fall to the ground.

 

“Agh!” shouts Ashe as he hits the ground- dropping his bow as he hits the ground hard.

 

L-Look! He dropped his bow! Pick that up!!! ” declares Sothis within Byleth’s mind. However, Byleth starts to sigh in dismay.

 

I… I don’t really know how to use a bow either… ” admits Byleth in their thoughts. Sothis then smacks their palm on their face.

 

Oh my… WHAT was Jeralt teaching you all those years? Just strictly sword fighting?! ” questions Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

No… Other stuff as well… But, I just never really needed to learn to do that because as mercenaries- we are up-close and personal; No need for weapons like bows. I do however have a knack for spells; I just don’t really get the time to perfect the skill- which is something that I have been working on since I joined the Blue Lions. Well-... At least with White Magic that is ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. 

 

Dimitri, still chasing after Cyril, glances over once more to see Annette and Ashe both laying on the floor- hurt. Dimitri sucks his teeth as he sees this happen, and then starts to think, “ Agh! Both of them are down… Wait… The Professor might make a run for our handkerchief while they are unable to stop them! S-Should I head to the Professor instead? I-I should, shouldn’t ?! ” thought Dimitri- almost second-guessing his own judgement in this stressful situation. 

 

As he thinks, he starts to shift his footing- positioning himself in such a way to where he could make a run for Byleth if need be.However, in this brief lapse in thought and movement, it allowed Cyril just a moment's time to slip forward towards Byleth’s fallen weapon- allowing him to procure it safely in his hands.

 

“P-Professor! I got your sword!” shouts Cyril.

 

“W-What?!” says Dimitri as he looks back over to Cyril.

 

“Good! Toss it!” shouts Byleth as they smile from excitement.

 

“Not if I have anything to say about it!” says Dimitri. Deciding that Byleth’s main focus was their weapon, Dimitri instead continues rushing for Cyril- who now holds Byleth’s sword in his hands. “Give it here!”  Dimitri continues.

 

“Not gonna happen! Professor, catch!” says Cyril as he goes to throw the sword into the air towards Byleth. However, Cyril's throw lacked tremendous precision and direction, and Dimitri jumps into the air and easily catches it!

 

“I-... Oops…” says Cyril, feeling ashamed for thinking that was going to work. Byleth then smacks their hand on their face.

 

“C-Cyril… You threw that horribly if I may be honest… You… You can use a sword, can you?” asked Byleth sincerely.

 

“When I was training with Shamir, we focused strictly on Bow. So, needless to say- I am not too keen on handling a sword… M-My bad” says Cyril. 

 

“Ha! And you think that you could stand a chance against the heir to the throne without basic swordsman skills?” says Dimitri as he chuckles. Cyril then grunts, and rushes towards Dimitri.

 

“Shut up! Take a Curved Shot!” shouts Cyril as he unleashes the Combat Art once more while running.  Dimitri, however, sets down his lance into the dirt- and wields Byleth’s sword in his hands.

 

“I, no matter what weapon graces my hands, shall overcome any enemy that comes my way using it!” says Dimitri as he uses the sword to have the incoming arrow bounce off of it! “Perhaps, if you joined the Blue Lions- we could further perfect your skills so you can be more like me!” Dimitri continues.

 

“Agh! As if!” responds Cyril as he does not let up in running towards Dimitri- closing in the gap between them. Dimitri then prepares to swing once more at Cyril as he cocks his arm back.

 

“Haah!” shouts Dimitri as he swings the sword at Cyril. However, Suddenly, Cyril does a front somersault forward towards Dimitri- dodging the attack, and positioning Cyril underneath Dimitri’s legs. Then, in a complete twist of fate, Cyril punches Dimitri’s nuts! A shrieking pain travels up Dimitri's body as his knees buckle from the onslaught of pain...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“A-Ah!~...” says Dimitri as he falls to the ground holding his crotch- but not before he makes another attempt to make another slash at Cyril as a last resort of protecting his pride! 

 

“Woah!” says Cyril- barely missing Dimitri’s cut. Cyril hops back to his feet, and continues forward towards Dimitri’s lance as Dimitri attempts to recover from his injury. 

 

” You… How d-dare you… To attack a man's manhood... Their pride... Have you no shame?...” mutters Dimitri- completely taken aback that Cyril would do something so dirty-tactic-like on the battlefield. 

 

“Sorry, man! Guess that’s just what us weasels do!” says Cyril as he chuckles. Byleth then shakes theri head in disappointment.

 

"I wouldn't have done something like that, but I suppose it does help us out... Oh well, Dimitri will be fine..." thinks Byleth in this moment. Cyril then grabs ahold of Dimitri’s lance! “Professor, I hope that you are good with the lance!” Cyril continues.

 

“Well, actually- I am decent. Here, pass it. And, let's not throw it this time...” says Byleth. Cyril then runs over to Byleth, and lands them Dimitri’s lance. At this same time, Dimitri manages to get to their feet, and starts to grunt as he sees Byleth be handed their own weapon.

 

“W-What?!” says as shocked Dimitri.

 

“Looks like we got each other's weapons, Dimitri” says Byleth as they form a smirk on their face.

 

“... It does seem that way, Professor…” says Dimitri as he grips onto Byleth’s sword intently. At this same time, Ashe and Annette make it to their feet, and start to get frantic that Byleth has a weapon once more.

 

“D-Dimitri! I’m sorry that I let my guard down!” says Ashe.

 

“No, it is fine…” responds Dimiri.

 

“We can help fight!” says Annette.

 

“No- you guard the base. The Professor is mine; they won’t be taking another step forward” says Dimitri. Cyril then grunts.

 

“Oh yea?! Well not if I have anything to say about it”  says Cyril as he attempts to run forward after Byleth. Suddenly, Byleth looks back- and holds their hand out.

 

“No, Cyril. You stand back as well” responds Byleth- cutting off Cyril. Feeling the ominous tension rise between Dimitri and Byleth- as both hold each other's weapons- Cyril, Ashe, and Annette start to back off- as if they were allowing them to spare with no interference. All the other Blue Lions students followed suit, and stopped approaching the group as well. Then, Byleth gilooks over to Cyril, and nods their head- signifying that they are attempting to relay a message to them. As Cyril looks over, they suddenly get what Byleth is trying to say.

 

Oh!... I see… I forgot that we had discussed that plan before we had arrived where Dimitri was when we were still with Jeritza! Got it! ” thought Cyril as he smiles. Suddenly, Cyril starts to rush forward towards the front of Dimitri’s base! 

 

“H-Hey!” shouts Annette.

 

“Stop him!” shouts Ashe as he readies his bow towards Cyril. Suddenly, the other Blue Lions students that were just standing around- all the sudden start to converge on Cyril. Cyril then looks back over to Byleth.

 

He won’t be happy with me… But, If I get captured- then I hope it buy you some time, Professor! Even if it’s just alittle” shouts Cyril as he continues forward. Byleth then nods their head again as Cyril and them share another look. Suddenly, Byleth starts to run off as well! However, Byleth runs towards the left of the base- heading towards a forest thicket near them as everyone is distracted!

 

“H-Huh?! Why is the Professor running away from the opening of our base?... questions Dimitri as he is shocked by Byleth’s actions- so much so that he briefly pauses in place, Agh! No use wondering about it… No one is paying attention to them running off; I have to catch them!” Dimitri continues as he rushes towards Byleth into the forest thicket alone; while the other students are too preoccupied with Cyril raiding their base to even notice Byleth running off…

 

*****

 

“Come back here, Professor!” shouts Dimitri as he continues to give chase to Byleth through the forest. Byleth then turns around to face Dimitri- who steadily runs behind them.

 

“Well, I can tell that your athletic skills have not wavered, Dimitri” says Byleth.

 

“I give praise to you as well, Professor. Despite all of the chaos- your tact has not faltered. I do not know what you have planned, but I will make it my goal to stop whatever it is you have going!” declared Dimitri. 

 

Hearing Dimitri’s banter, Byleth starts to chuckle as they look forward. They then think to themselves, “ Took the bait I see… This is going according to plan ” thought Byleth.

 

 “ Well, you would know better than anyone that the Blue Lions can easily fall from their pedestal if they lose sight of their structure ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

Yes; something along those lines. It is fairly easy to exploit the quirks they have; being that I am right next to those same quirks daily ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Hm… I see… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

  And, that’s all because the Blue Lions House takes pride in their protocol, systems, and they’re very specific in their ways of conductivity ” thought Byleth as they start to smile slightly for feeling proud of them.

 

Hm, well I wonder where they get their habits from?! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then chuckles from Sothis’ snide comment.

 

Ha. Ha. Well, I will take that as a compliment to be honest ” thought Byleth to Sothis- causing Sothis to scoffs to herself.

 

  D-Don’t flatter yourself! Agh. Well, hopefully leaving the kid to be your bait won’t blow up in your face! ” says Sothis to Byleth.

 

It’s a risk I am willing to take; because this is the only way I can corner Dimitri away from his team ” thought Byleth.

 

And the point of doing that is to… What? ” asked Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

In a sense, to create unneeded chaos amongst his team ” thought Byleth to Sothis.

 

I see… And that is apart of your stupid plan with the kid?... ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

Yes; a militia without its leader has no head. And no, it is not stupid. While I adore all my Blue Lions students, Annette and Ashe are not exactly… Leaders- so to speak… So, when the going gets tough, they could not know whom to turn to. That brief moment of uncertainty might be all Cyril needs ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. 

 

Well, let’s hope that this all works out, because Dimitri is closing in on you! ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Coming into their senses, Byleth looks behind them to then see Dimitri launching forward with their own sword!

 

“Wrath Strike!” shouts Dimitri as he jumps in the air towards Byleth. Byleth then stops in their tracks, and uses Dimitri’s lance to defend.

 

“Let’s see how our skills hold up against each other” says Byleth as the two clash together!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Hya!!!” shouts Dimitri as he crashes down on Byleth- interlocking the two in a struggle of power. Byleth, gritting their teeth, holds back Dimitri’s Combat Art with ease as they force Dimitri back. 

 

“Agh! You are strong Professor” says Dimitri.

 

“You are too” says Byleth. Dimitri hops back, and cocks their sword horizontally. Then, they swing it towards the right against Byleth- who props up their lance vertically to guard it. Striking them emphatically, Dimitri spares no effort to continuously strike Byleth over and over- wearing away at Byleth’s sword’s durability. Byleth then starts to smile.

 

“I see that you are trying diligently to break through my defenses, but nevertheless-  it will not work!” says Byleth as they evade Dimitri’s next attack!

 

“Agh!” says Dimitri as he misses. Byleth then readies their next attack- gripping soundly on Dimitri’s lance.

 

“Tempest Lance!” shouts Byleth- swinging horizontally towards Dimitri. Dimitri attempts to evade the attack- but realizes mid movement that he is unable to evade the attack completely. In the last moment, Dimitri attempts to parry the strike; bouncing back off Byleth’s attack from the force of Byleth’s Tempest Lance. As Dimitri falls back, and catches himself as he falls, he starts to contemplate how to break through the Professor’s defenses.

 

Hm… The Professor sure is strong… It’s admirable- but I know that if I am to excel further in my training, I MUST overcome them! But- how when I don’t even have my preferred weapon?... ” thought Dimitri.

 

“Dimitri, are you sure that you should be focusing on me- and leaving your base to get raided?” asked Byleth.

 

“Ha. The Blue Lions would not let a mere child raid our base successfully. If that were to happen, then that would not only be an oversight on your training to us- but a blight on the entire Holy Kingdom of Faerghus!” says Dimitri.

 

“I see. But, perhaps again Dimitri, you are underestimating the skills of Cyril; I mean- he was trained by a Knight of Seiros. Perhaps, I was just a decoy for him to lure you away” says Byleth as they start to smirk. Hearing this, Dimitri starts to grunt.

 

“What? W-Was that your plan?!” asked Dimitri.

 

“What do you think, Prince?” questioned Byleth.

 

“Grr… Don’t play your mind games on me! I know you are trying to trick me, so that I am off my game! Well, that will not work!” says Dimitri as he launches forward with Byleth’s sword; firmly gripped in both hands, and jumps into the air.

 

“Take this! Grounder!” shouts Dimitri as he winds up his hands, and swings downward towards Byleth. Dimitri, putting what might he has into the art by charging its power, smashes down on Byleth with lambastical force.  Byleth then gets shocked, and prepares to counterattack; reading their lance- winding it backwards.

 

“Agh!” shouts Byleth as they take the brunt of the attack. “Knightkneeler!” continues Byleth as they unleash the unbridled force of their Combat Art on Dimitri; in an attempt to fight back the force of Dimitri’s attack. 

 

“Y-You? Knowing a sword art of that caliber? I would have never guessed… Must of been training with Felix to pick that up, have you not?” questions Byleth. Dimitri however scoffs.

 

“Please! Like I would pick up any type of skill from him! I just felt that it was most befitting of me to attempt to master as many weapons as possible to prepare for my take to the throne. So, I have started that process with swords. Hopefully my training shows now, Professor!” responds Dimitri as the two interlock in a struggle match. They each attempt to overcome the other; not just in strength or power- but in intent and resolve. The power equilibrium causes them to cancel each other out; each being flung back by the opposing force. “Agh! I have to do more!” shouts Dimitri, as he gets increasingly irritated by his failure to overcome Byleth.

 

“Well, you know what they say about being a jack of all trades, Dimitri…” forewarns Byleth.

 

“... No, what do they say?...” asked Dimitri- who is quite clueless on the topic.

 

“... That you will end up being the master of none?” responds Byleth.

 

“Huh, well that is an interesting analogy… Is the premise that if I am focusing my efforts on too many skills I would not have enough time to master any one skill?” asked Dimitri.

 

“Yes, actually. Kinda like having your hand in too many pots, or having a lot of irons in the fire” says Byleth.

 

“But, that will not happen with me, because I can” says Dimitri. Byleth then smacks their palm on their face.

 

“I don’t think you will have the appropriate time to do such a thing, Dimitri…” says Byleth in a cheeky manner..

 

“Nonsense! With your guidance- I can do the impossible! Don’t you think?” questions Dimitri- causing Byleth to blush.

 

“I- uh… I don’t know if that is plausible or sane way to think about it, Dimitri… But, it is admirable and something to strive for- aiming to be something like a savant of the arts” says Byleth.

 

“But there are classes like that; like a Mortal Savant. That is possible, Professor! Isn’t that something you aim to do, Professor? Becoming a Mortal Savant?” asked Dimitri.

 

‘Well, yes… But, that is someone that really excels with a sword and spells; not every single skill under the sun” says Byleth.

 

“Well, when you strive for it Professor- you might be surprised how much one can achieve” responds Dimitri.

 

“Hehe, well i see… Well I would love to see that come into fruition, Dimitri. Just be careful not to become yet another dilettante” says Byleth.

 

“You don’t want me to become a debutante, Professor? But, I am not a female” asked Dimitri- not really hearing Byleth that clearly.

 

“N-No, Dimitri. Hehe. A dilettante; that’s basically another word for what I am saying” says Byleth.

 

“Well, you sure are good with your words, professor. But let’s see how you fare with a lance!” shouts Dimitri as he proceeds towards Byleth- beginning to unleash another Combat Art, “Grounder!” he continues.

 

“Knightkneeler!” shouts Byleth, unleashing the Combat Art once more to once again cause the two to clash arts.

 

Dimitri, in this moment, lusts to overcome Byleth; not in some zeal for victory, but for the acknowledgement of Byleth for them. Their intention in centered on themselves, and what Byleth thinks of them- and Byleth can tell this intention clearly; as if Dimitri was impressionistic. He wants to put his all into his strikes, yet part of him still holds back; not wanting to really hurt their precious Professor. And for Byleth, deep down, seeing Dimitri try so hard in an attempt to prove himself excites them; Byleth, in reality, is someone that lives off the impulses of others; as if what is happening around them- or who is around them. And so feeling the energy of Dimitri inspires Byleth to put more effort in themselves, in the attempt to meet them with a force that will push them both to a higher height. 



Each time the two clash their Combat arts, the same outcome happens; their power is almost identical in power output; mainly due to a combination of both using a non-familiar weapon to them currently, as well as their own biases with using their full power in this moment. Byleth and Dimitri continue this delicate dance for 4 minutes. Suddenly, the unexpected happens…

 

*SNAP*

 

“No!” shouts Dimitri.

 

“Shit…” yells Byleth, as both their weapons break under the force of their clashes; succumbing to their wasted durability!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Okay, Dimitri… Calm yourself… You can still press through without a weapon! Just… Re-focus!” says Dimitri to himself; attempting to gain composer. Byleth then looks down at their palms as they hold just fragments of Dimitri’s weapon.

 

“I suppose that my in-experienced caused me to use more of the weapon’s might than I needed to. Of course the weapon would break under my use…” says Byleth, ultimately believing that their mal-usage of the lance lead to it breaking. Byleth then tosses the wrecked weapon to the side, and balls up their fists as they stare Dimitri down. Dimitri, seeing Byleth’s sword of no use either, tosses the sword behind him and follows suit.

 

“I guess we will have to settle the rest of this the old fashioned way” said Dimitri as he slowly approaches Byleth. 

 

“Hehe, I don’t think I have ever witnessed your skills with no weapon. I question if you are well over your head right now” suggests Byleth as they raise their eyebrow to Dimitri. Suddenly, Dimitri gets slightly annoyed.

 

“Don’t look down on me, Professor! Then I’ll gladly give you a private demonstration of my power! Ha!” says Dimitri as he runs in and throws a left hook at Byleth. Byleth, holding up their forearms, guards against the incoming punch successfully. Dimitri then continues as he alternates right and left punches against Byleth; each one being guarded against. Suddenly, Byleth goes in for a right jab to Dimitri’s stomach, and Dimitri lowers himself to block it with both his hands. “Take this!” continues Dimitri as he spins around, and throws his right forearm horizontally towards Byleth. Byleth then leans back- evading the strike, and goes in for a low leg sweep with their left foot. Kicking Dimitri, he falls backwards as he loses his balance. 

 

“Gotchu!” shouts Byleth as Dimitri continues to fall.

 

“Agh! No!” shouts Dimitri as he reaches out his left arm. He manages to grab ahold of Byleth’s cape, and pulls them down with them! 

 

“Woah!” says Byleth as they fall into Dimitri, and both hit the floor. Byleth attempts to get up, but Dimitri’s grip on them will not waver. Dimitri then takes this chance to land a blow on Byleth, but Byleth manages to grab ahold of Dimitri’s arms, and holds down his legs; preventing him from striking. Locked in this struggle, they both then start to tussle out on the floor; each one attempting to free themselves as they attempt to tower over the other by being the one on top. Suddenly, Byleth gets on top of Dimitri, and holds down their arms with both their hands.

 

“Agh! L-Let go!” shouts Dimitri as he tries to flail his limbs off Byleth.

 

“You are gonna have to try harder than that, Dimitri!” says Byleth as they smirk; getting oddly excited watching Dimitri struggle to win against them. 

 

While Dimitri attempts to free themselves, Dimitri starts to think, “ Good grief!... W-Why is the Professor so strong!? I-... I can’t muster the strength to lift my arms. And, my legs are pinned down by theirs. But… I can’t give up! Not yet; not when the Professor has such high hopes for me! I can’t let the Professor down now; especially since they are staring me dead in the face! ”. Dimitri, stopping at nothing to overcome Byleth, uses what might he has left to lift his body upward. Suddenly, Byleth’s arms start to shake from struggling to pin them down.

 

Shit… I am having a bit of a challenge now keeping them down. W-Where is strength come from? ” thinks Byleth. 

 

In this moment, Byleth starts to put more effort into the fight; because prior to this point, Byleth has been holding back their punches in every regard to not completely overwhelm the students. But, in doing so, Byleth has been unintentionally underestimating those they were fighting as if Byleth did not need to try harder to fight against them. This, in turn, makes Byleth want to try harder; in the attempt to push not only Dimitri further- but to display their respect for Dimitri. Byleth’s arms start to slowly lift up, and they begin to lose their form as Dimitir’s legs start to move; overall making it harder for Byleth to keep Dimitri down. Dimtiri’s face turns red from him struggling so much, and starts to let out inaudible moans and groans.

 

“Ugh! Pr-... Professor!...” says Dimitri, mustering up what he can to speak. 

 

“Agh… You are strong Dimitri; perhaps I underestimated your physical power…” admits Byleth. 

 

“Ugh… You-... You too, Professor…” says Dimitri. 

 

In this moment, Dimitri and Byleth start to share a deeper bond of admiration for each other; Byleth for seeing up close and personal Dimitri's proclaimed work ethic and determination, whereas Dimitri is starting to see the allure of Byleth that they secretly lust for; alongside the fact that Dimitri can tell that Byleth is no longer letting up and going easy in any regard towards them, as now Byleth has started to put more effort into the fight. While Dimitri attempts to flip Byleth over, Byleth puts more of their body weight onto Dimitri- causing Dimitri to lose more opportunity to free themselves. 

 

Lost at what to do in the moment, Dimitri looks into Byleth’s eyes; which unbeknownst to them was their gravest mistake. Because, what they didn’t intend to happen was to be overwhelmed not only in Byleth’s strength- but the vitality of their resolve and determination. In that very moment, Dimitri felt many things emanating off Byleth; Their fiery energy loaded with passion, the soft touch of their skin unscathed in the bout, smelling the sweat oozing from Byleth’s clothes, and listening to the pounding of their own heart interlocked with Byleth’s hard breathing. With all of this stimulus- while pinned down- DImitri, unintentionally, started to get aroused.

 

N-No!... Not… Not now! ” Dimitri thought as they looked downwards towards their crotch. He then quickly looked back up, as to not alert Byleth of the location they were looking at. Dimitri shook his legs profusely- as to move them in a way to ‘hide’ what was soon to be unhidable. However, oblivious as ever, Byleth leaned in closer. “ Why!... Why am I getting these thoughts and feelings now?! How… Childish of me… But… I cannot help it!... The Professor is… So… Close~... ” Dimitri continued to think as he bites his lip. Soon after, Byleth moves their body- shifting the weight they are placing on Dimitri. Byleth goes to move their right leg forward to pin Dimitri down better- due to all their squealing, but as Byleth moves their leg their knee hits a squishy- yet hard- roadblock. Suddenly, Dimitri shrieks.

 

“W-Wait! P-Professor~...” says Dimitri as he moans. Byleth then gets curious and confused as Dimitri’s face lights up red. 

 

“D-Dimitri?...” questions Byleth. 

 

“Y-Your knee… It’s… You are rubbing up against my…” says Dimitri as he attempts to hide his face away from Byleth.

 

“M-My… Knee?” says Byleth as they looks down to see that their right knee is nuzzled up against Dimitri’s bulge! “O-Oh my! I’m sorry!” says Byleth as they release their knee off Dimitri's crotch. However, Byleth cannot take their eyes Dimitri's bulge as it wiggles, grows, and starts to rise below them; Dimitri himself getting excited from the tension and excitement building up within himself in this moment. 

 

“Oh… How embarrassing… I’m sorry… I… Can’t help it...” says Dimitri, who is feeling a bit guilty from getting turned on.

 

“N-No… it’s fine… I… I am the one that touched it…” says Byleth.

 

“Please, Professor… C-Could you let go of my body?…. It… I-It won’t go down if you stay on top of me~...” admits Dimitri as he attempts to curl up his body; hiding the parts that are most vulnerable.

 

“H-Huh?!” says Byleth, completely and utterly shocked at what they just heard... 

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“I’m… SO sorry for my decorum, Professor… I… I just was just- very excited I suppose… I don’t know what came over me!” says Dimitri as he bows in front of Byleth. Byleth, who stands up in front of Dimitri as they have since separated, gets very embarrassed seeing Dimitri of all people prostrating themselves in front of them.

“D-Dimitri, it’s fine… I… Kinda understand…” says Byleth as they look down at the ground as to not stare at Dimitri. 

 

“It is just not fit conductivity on the battlefield; even for an enemy! I hope that you can overlook this, but if you must write me up about this- I understand…” said Dimitri.

 

“N-No! I would not get you in trouble because I bumped into your- um… You know… I think it might be best if we keep that to ourselves, Dimitri…” says Byleth.

 

“Oh, I think that might be a good idea as well, Professor... And thank you; I appreciate that you can disregard this“ said Dimitri as he sighs from a bit of relief. Byleth then sighs as well as they rub their head.

 

“But… Um…” said Byleth as they try to get their words out- but feel stippled. Dimitri then looks up.

 

“What? Is there something the matter, Professor?” asked Dimitri.

 

“It’s just… Um… Well, you said…” mustered Byleth as they stamper around their words. 

 

“What?” asked Dimitri.

 

“You said that… It would ‘not go down’ if I stay on top of you.. What did you… Exactly mean by that?...” asked Byleth.

 

“H-Huh?!...” said Dimitri as he gets flustered. Dimitri then hides his face with his hands as his knees buckle. Suddenly, Byleth hides their head as well.

 

“I-I’m sorry, I shouldn’t really be inquiring about it; forget I asked…” said Byleth as they nervously turn their head in shame.  Dimitri, feeling a bit confused and increasingly flustered, rises up from the ground.

 

“W-Well… I just would not be able to control my emotions ensnared down like I was, and I needed to quickly assess the- *ahem*... Growing issue before it got worse!...” admitted Dimitri. Hearing this, Byleth starts to get a bit more confused as to exactly what Dimitri means. Suddenly, Byleth hears Sothis scoff within their mind.

 

They would not be able to control their emotions? To settle down their immature growing boner?! Why now of all times would he just suddenly develop erectile issues when you were that one pinning him down? ...” questioned Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

I… I don’t know?... I just… Was so caught off guard that I-... I could not stop staring at it!... Is that… Bad?... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Uh… Why?! ” asked Sothis to Byleth.

 

W-Why?! Hello! I mean- he is a student! I am a Professor! I should not even be thinking  to lok there- or ask him things regarding it! Agh… I think I might be a bit flustered still from the Sex-Ed class… ” thinks Byleth, as they try to make sense of it all. Suddenly, Sothis laugh.

 

Or maybe you are flustered because the last time you were in a situation like that it was with Claude! ” says Sothis back to Byleth. Hearing this, Byleth’s eyes open wide.

 

S-Sothis! L-Let’s just collectively forget that happened!... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

“Uh… P-Professor? ” asked Dimitri, who is thrown off my Byleth’s facial expressions. Suddenly, Byleth’s heart skips a beat as they look back over to Dimitri.

 

“W-What?!” says Byleth as they come to.

 

“I apologize if what just happened is a lot to take in… I-I swear, I will make sure it never happens again!...” says Dimitri. Suddenly, DImitri starts to think, “ Damn it!... I… I cannot believe I let those feelings get through and show!... I… I cannot show them at all!... ”.

 

“Dimitri, it is fine- really!...” says Byleth, as they attempt to reassure Dimitri. Dimitri, however, looks increasingly perturbed.

 

“I… Didn’t want the first time you felt it to be-...” muttered Dimitri as he quickly cuts himself off as he covers his mouth, “I-I mean!...” he continues as he gets frantic.

 

“W-What?... I don’t think I heard you correctly...” asked a confused Byleth.

 

I heard him loud and clear! He said -” 

 

“F-Forget it!!!...” shouts Dimitri, screaming so loud that he even managed to cut off Sothis. Suddenly, Dimitri’s gasps- not realizing how loud he shouted. “P-Professor, I am sorry for raising my voice at you…” he continued as guilt filled his body. 

 

“It’s… Fine… I sound like a broken record…” said Byleth as they rub the back of their head.

 

Dimitri then starts to think, “ I… I didn’t know that I said that out loud!... I thought that I was only thinking about it… Gosh darn it, Dimitri! Get ahold of yourself!... ”. Suddenly, Dimitri and Byleth focus their attention to the sounds they hear off into the distance; sounds of many units approaching them as they shout amongst them.

 

“Hey, guys! I think I just heard Dimitri scream!” a random Blue Lions student said off into the distance as Byleth and Dimitri now zero-in on their voices.

 

“Yea, I heard it too! Is he in trouble?!” asked another Blue Lions student.

 

“I think it came from this way! Let’s check it out!” said another Blue Lions student.

 

“Oh, No! I completely forgot about the round! Did something happen?! Agh, how foolish of me to let my mind drift from the main mission!...” said Dimitri. In reality, Two minutes have passed since Byleth and Dimitri had ran away from the thick of the battle . Suddenly, Dimitri turns his body to the direction of the voices, “Men! I am over here! With the Professor- huh?!” Dimitri continues as he notices that in the split second he turned away from Byleth- they ran off! “N-No!” said Dimitri as he continues to chase off after Byleth, who runs away from Dimitri towards their base!

 

*****

 

“That was a close call!... Now, let’s meet back up with Cyril!” says Byleth to themselves. 

 

Yea! Let’s leave the rock-hard blondie stranded, and see what the kid is up to! ” said Sothis with Byleth’s mind.

 

“G-Get back here, Professor!” shouts Dimitri as he chases down Byleth once more. Byleth and Dimitri then cut through the trees into a clearing, where Byleth can see Dimitri’s base clear as day in front of them- and Cyril in a bind within!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

 

“C-Cyril!” shouts Byleth as they close in towards Cyril’s location. As they peer past the hoards of students, they see Cyril keeping them all at arm’s length as they attempt to apprehend him. Cyril then looks over to see Byleth approach, and waves for help.

 

“P-Professor! I’m kinda in a difficult situation right now… If you could help me out, it would be greatly appreciated!” said Cyril. Trailing right behind him is Ashe, who attempts to align up his arrowhead with Cyril’s throat. 

 

“Come back here, you little weasel!” said Ashe as he closes one eye, and repositions his arm form. However, many of the other Blue Lions students seem to get in the way of Ashe’s aim, and cannot get a good shot on Cyril. “Agh… Move!” muttered Ashe as he grunts silently, and continues to keep his eye on Cyril. Cyril, looking over to Ashe trying to aim at him, starts to chuckle. 

 

“Ha! Looks like you are put at a disadvantage by your own team! Archers are not fit to be used to strike down a single target amongst other potential targets; unless you use them in a flurry, where it does not matter if you hit a specific person” says Cyril.

 

“I know what the Archer’s place is on the battlefield is!” says Ashe as he gets annoyed. Ashe then starts to think, “He is just too quick for me to catch to get close to with an axe, and all the others are making it hard to fire from afar! How one child has made such a farce in our base thus far is beyond me! ”. Taking caution to the wind, Ashe releases the arrow from his bow towards Cyril.

 

“Curved Shot!” shouts Ashe. As the Combat Art is initiated, the arrow then curves around other Blue Lions students; swerving towards Cyril’s location.

 

“W-Woah!” shouts a Blue Lions student, alarmed by the arrow passing by their head. Ashe puts in just enough torque to allow the arrow to bend magically past his comrades' bodies; allowing for a clean shot towards Cyril.

 

“Shoot! Curving the arrow at such an angle takes a lot of skills; even I haven’t been able to master that yet!” says Cyril as he gets shocked at Ashe’s ability to curve the arrow. He goes to evade the attack that is coming straight at him, but as he moves his feet in another direction he steps on the ground wrong; sending a chilling pain up his spine! “ Agh! No, I will not be able to avoid the strike! I need to defend! ”. Cyril then goes to protect the vitals on his body from the incoming strike and ducks his head, but before the arrow lands he hears a swooping sound rush past him. Cyril then lifts his head, and instantly gets shocked.

 

“H-Huh?! Professor!” shouts Cyril in excitement as he sees Byleth, stoic as ever, shop the arrow in half with their bare hand! Byleth then shares a glared look with Ashe- which immediately causes him to get nervous and weaken his stance. They then look over to Cyril.

 

“Are you okay?” asked Byleth. Cyril then takes a moment to catch his breath, and goes to speak.

 

“Y-Yea… But, Professor… How did you do that?” asked Cyril, who is greatly confused.

 

“Huh? Do what?” asked Byleth.

 

“Uh-... Like, rush past me so quickly, and do that?” questioned Cyril. 

 

“Y-Yea! The Professor just like- soared through the air or something, and struck that arrow down!” said one Blue Lions student in the area.

 

“They must have traveled quicker than a shooting arrows to be able to stop that from hitting Cyril!” said another Blue Lions student. Dimitri, who finally meets up with the rest of the others as the other Blue Lions have all their eyes on Byleth, and pants as he comes to a halt.

 

“*pant* *pant* W-Woah…” said Dimitri as he looks straight at Byleth.

 

“... I just moved quickly. Is what I did so unbelievable?...” asked a confused Byleth.

 

“But, you managed to hit my arrow with your bare hand- as you traveled faster than my arrow to do so!... R-Remarkable…” said Ashe. Many of the other Blue Lions students start to share the same sentiments as they all almost forget about the competition in front of them so they can admire their Professor.

 

“Remarkable is the perfect word to describe it….” said Dimitri, mesmerized by Byleth in the moment. As he starts to get slightly aroused, he shakes his head- attempting to shake away any dirty feelings. “ N-No, Dimitri! I can’t have those thoughts on the battlefield where others can see!... ” he then thinks as he looks around his immediate area; hoping no one can notice the slight chode he is forming. However, what instead takes everyone's attention- even away from Byleth- is a sound of a loud scoff sounding off in the area.

 

“Okay, we get it- the Professor moves really fast! Now can we all compose ourselves enough to stop the enemies that are literally in our base about to take our handkerchief!?” asked Annette. Suddenly, all the Blue Lions students snap to their senses, and a feeling of guilt and embarrassment is felt throughout the area. Suddenly, Dimitr clears his throat, and re-composes himself.

 

“R-Right!... Lions! Defend our turf!” shouts Dimitri as he waves his hand in the air, and points towards Byleth and Cyril. As Dimitri shouts, the Blue Lions arm themselves, and charge forward in fanfare. At that same time, Byleth back up towards Cyril- putting their backs together. 

 

“Deja vu, Professor…” said Cyril, who gets a familiar feeling having Byleth’s back up against theirs.

 

“Yea… Listen, you need to be cautious; I’m still without a weapon. So, even with my apparent noteworthy strength- I’m still at a disadvantage without a weapon. I need to like- take one from someone… Or something…” said Byleth as they look around to the incoming Blue Lions students boxing them in.

 

“Wait! What do you mean you have no weapon!?” asked Cyril as he turns to face Byleth- in complete shock. Byleth then holds out their bare hands to Cyril, and chuckles nervously.

 

“I- uh… Kinda broke it when I was fighting Dimitri…” said Byleth.

 

“W-What?!” says a flabbergasted Cyril, Ashe, and Annette as they all are brought up to pace...



-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“You… Can NOT be serious?!... Professor, you need to be watching the estate of your weapon on the battlefield” said a shocked Cyril as he continues to rue out his shocked from learning that Byleth is weaponless in the thick of it. Suddenly, Cyril starts to think, “ Gosh… What on earth happened while they were gone? Agh… I should not have let the Professor out of my sight; how am I supposed to keep tabs on them if I am not near them?... ”.

 

You gonna let the KID school you right now, Byleth?! ” asked Sothis within Byleth’s head.

 

Well… He isn’t really wrong… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Byleth then sighs.

 

“Technically, Dimitri is the one that broke my weapon. And, I broke his” said Byleth. Hearing this, Ashe, Annette, and Cyril all look over to Dimitri.

 

“H-Huh?!” they all say. They then analyze how Dimitri too has no weapon on his person. Dimitri then holds up his hands; feeling he has been caught up in a lie he never told.

 

“Look… I understand that I might have made an oversight on the battlefield as well, and it costed me my weapon. W-Well… I myself might have many many oversights in the last couple of minutes- but anyways!... C-Can someone just give a dang replacement, please?!” pleaded Dimitri, as he is put on the hot seat. 

 

“Here, Dimitri!” shouts a random Blue Lions student as they pass them their own lance to be used to Dimitri. As Dimitri grabbed a hold of the lance flung towards him, he then takes an offensive stance.

 

“Thank you! Now, watch out, Professor!” says Dimitri with determination riddling his lungs.

 

“Oh no!... Don’t think anyone can just pass me one, right?...” said Byleth, feeling a bit panicked in the moment.

 

“Don’t worry, Professor! I got your back!” declared Cyril as he aims his next arrow right at the incoming storm of Blue Lions continuing to approach them. Byleth then balls up their fists, and sighs.

 

“And I got yours!” says Byleth as they prepare themselves physically and mentally for what is to come!

 

*****

 

One Minute Later…

 

“Professor, I don’t think I got your back anymore!...” said Cyril, as he lays on the ground- pinned down by Annette. She holds him down as she locked both his arms behind him. Suddenly, she twists his arm in a way that causes immense pain. “Ow!...” he continues.

 

“Pipe down! You have caused us too much strife! Ashe! Dimitri! Get the Professor!” demands Annette. 

 

“On it!” shouts Ashe as he runs after Byleth alongside Dimitri, “Curving Shot!” he continues as he shoots an arrow towards the fleeing Byleth towards their handkerchief location. Looking backwards at the incoming arrow, Byleth evades it, and keeps running forward.

 

“Shoot… I let Cyril get captured because I got overwhelmed by their weapon forces! Strength in numbers they say…” says Byleth as they look at Cyril. “ He gave himself up so that I could have a chance to keep going… I can not waste the opportunity alloted to me! ” Byleth then thought. 

 

With that thought buried deep in the pits of their mind, Byleth charges onward; no longer looking back on the enemies closing in on them from behind. However, what the cannot run their eyes from is the incoming Blue Lions students that are coming in from the front to blockade Byleth from their base. 

 

“Lions! Do not hold back against the Professor! You seen what they can easily do with no weapon! Defend our base!” shouts Dimitri as he runs . 

 

Suddenly, about a dozen of Blue Lions students meet up with Byleth in an attempt to block them from getting any closer; Archer and magic-user units aim at Byleth, and fire their shots towards them; not fearing dealing damage so someone of their caliber. Byleth then watches as a mass of arrows come their way, as well as a multitude of low-ranked spells from the magic users; spells of Wind, Fire , Nosferatu, Miasma, Thunder , and Blizzard are hurled at Byleth. A bead of sweat goes down Byleth’s face as they start to feel a bit nervous.

 

Okay… How am I going to get myself out of this?! Do they think that just because I am a Professor that I can just take all of this?! ” thinks Byleth.

 

Well, you better think of something quickly! Or else you are going to be dotted cheese! ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

I’m kinda running out of options, if I am being honest!... You think you could help me, ‘o eighth member?! ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Suddenly, Sothis scoffs.

 

And help you do what? Dodge? I can’t rewind time, and help with that! My power only works when something has already happened. So, if you get mutilated- I can DEFINITELY help reassemble your body afterwards! ” exclaimed Sothis back to Byleth. Byleth, taking in Sothis' comment, then sighs.

 

Are you serious?! If I die- you die too! ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

“*sigh* Sadly, you ARE correct… Here, I’ll help just a little- but you OWE me one! ” shouts Sothis back to Byleth.

 

W-What?! Owe?! You have not done very much of anything to warrant me to have to owe a single thing! If anything, you owe me for shaking-up a free stay in MY body! ” thought Byleth. Suddenly, Sothis laughs.

 

Ha! And without me, you would not even HAVE a body right now! Did you forget when you wanted to be a little hero, and jumped in front of Edelgard like a ditsy idiot from an incoming attack already?! I thought so… ” said Sothis back to Byleth. Byleth then groans

 

Okay! Can you help me out, already?! ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Gladly! Hehe~, here we go~ ” said Sothis in a giddy tone as suddenly a light-element based diagram appears in front of Byleth!

 

“H-Huh?! Said Byleth as they get shocked at what they see.

 

Heh! Just sit back and watch the magic! Uh- literally… ” said Sothis as she continues her magical spell. 

 

Then, a wall of magical energy showers over Byleth- as if they were coated in a protective armor of Sothis’s energy. As all the magic and arrows collide with Byleth’s person, a huge plume of dust erupts upward; blocking the view of Byleth from everyone around. Worry quickly fills the units surrounding Byleth as they star to witness things that they have never seen before happen before their very eyes...

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“P-Professor?!...” said Cyril- still pinned down by Annette. Annette, who is slightly captivated by the attack on Byleth as well, lessens her grip on Cyril ever-so slightly as she gazes forward.

 

“W-Wow, I would have assumed that the Professor would have dodged the attacks…” said Ashe as he comes to a screeching halt.

 

“M-Me too…” said Dimitri, as his heart starts to pound; stopping next to Ashe as they look onward as the dust starts to dissipate. Suddenly, as the dust lifts, Byleth is seen standing there; without a scratch even on them! Arrows little the floor by their feet, as each and every one failed to connect!

 

“H-Huh?!” everyone shouts around Byleth, as they all become shocked that despite the onslaught- no attacks even grazed them.

 

“B-But!...” says Dimitri.

 

“That’s…” says Ashe.

 

“Woah…” says Cyril.

 

“I’m… Quite amazed” says Annette. Suddenly, Byleth looks down at their hands, which glow from magical energy.

 

S-Sothis… What did you do? ” asked Byleth in a thought to Sothis.

 

I upped your resistance to magic, and provided enough magical energy to create a buffer; strong enough to repel the arrows. You can thank me now!~ ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

W-What?... You did what now?... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Agh… Every person has some sort of natural resistance to everything! Like some animals are resistance to poisons- you can have resistances to magical elements! Are you that much of a stick in the mud that even THAT concept is foreign to you?! ” asked Sothis within Byleth’s mind back to Byleth.

 

N-No… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Okay then… So, what I did is I boosted your magical resistance in a pinch; allowing you to persevere through all those weak spells! Hehe, I think I outdid myself!~ ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

Y-Yeah… I… I don’t think I have ever seen anything like this! This is kinda cool! I can literally see the power emanating off my body; not a knick or mark on my body from the arrows!” thought Byleth back to Sothis, as they become amazed by Sothis’s ability more-so.

 

I take all praise with open arms! Yes, keep them coming!~ ” said Sothis as she starts to chuckle.

 

O-Okay, don’t get too high in the clouds… But, thank you ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

I think… I will call this move, Sothis Shield … What do you think?! ” asked Sothis back to Byleth.

 

Uh… Has a-... Nice ring to it?... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Sothis then scoffs.

 

Agh! THAT is how you respond to someone’s self-appointed conceited grandeur, that JUST saved the skin off your pale boney ass?! ” asked Sothis back to Byleth.

 

H-Hey!... My butt is not boney… Is it?... ” Byleth thought back to Sothis, feeling slightly insecure about their body, "They… Probably have NO clue on what I managed to do to stop the attacks… They already think I’m some like-... Superhuman! ” Byleth continued to think.

 

Well, they could be thinking until the next Great Tree Moon for all its worth, and never come to a conclusion on how- because it wasn’t even fucking you! It was I, the almighty Sothis!~... ” said Sothis as she starts to giggle.

 

Whatever… Well, this sure will come in handy in battles that’s for sure! ” thought Byleth.

 

Uh uh! Do NOT exploit my powers! You should be genuflecting at my feet for the simple fact that I even allowed myself to give you any help! Also- it is not a power I can just spam; I probably could only use it once per battle at this moment, and it will eventually wear off ! When it does- I'm not sure...” thought Sothis back to Byleth.

 

O-Oh… I see… Well, even a little bit of time with it is better than no time- in my opinion… Can you do this on just me- or other people? ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Uh… Good question… Considering this is the first time I ever did this- I think... I-I’m not entirely sure… But! When I have rewinded time for you, it does not just affect you- but everyone in the world. So, my assumption is that if I can train this power up, when I cast it I could enhance even a whole platoon even! ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

Well, that would definitely come in handy and be resourceful when I happen to be in a sticky situation- and the safety of my units comes first! ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Well, let me say what I did earlier in the simplest way for you... I CAN'T SPAM IT!!! So, do not rely on that grace. But, yes; that is an option I suppose… But, I think that will only be easier to have happen if you have a solid House to stay in ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

What do you mean? ” asked Byleth. Sothis then sighs.

 

Well, if I HAVE to spell it out for you… My powers, like bonds, grow with a strong connection, and attentiveness. The more you put into it solely, the more you get out. All of this House-hopping, while eventful, is also a bit challenging on bond-building process in that regard; because you have many more to deal with, and you are unsure of which ones to focus one- or if all should be focused on as one. Basically; you can not hope to have a strong connection with one specific person if you spread yourself too thin, and it makes it hard to delegate my powers to people I have no bonds with because my bonds are subsequently yours ” says Sothis back to Byleth.

 

That… Actually makes a lot of sense… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis, as he starts to ponder deeply Sothis’ words, and hums. “ ... So, do you think that I will have trouble, in that regards, building relationships with all the students because I am basically sharing myself amongst all Houses? ” Byleth continues to think back to Sothis.

 

Think? I KNOW. Not even that, I am seeing it before my very eyes! I WILL give you props however; you are doing a better job at keeping the bonds you already have- while you make new ones… But, you have seen already with choice students- Claude and Dimitri just to name a few- that building new bonds can be hard especially when you can not let the bonds you previously formed die out ” says Sothis back to Byleth. 

 

Ah… I see… Well, I will do my best to safeguard my old bonds- while I make new ones- so that in turn can help you better master your powers, Sothis! ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Hearing this causes Byleth to blush, and get nervous.

 

W-Whatever!... Look- just take the handkerchief while you have my protection! I have NO idea when it will wear off! ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

O-Oh! Right! ” thought Byleth as they charge forwards towards the blockade of Blue Lions students; who still are in a solid state of shock after Byleth just took all of their shots dead on. Byleth charges forward with a full chest, and brimming with protective light that beckons the hearts of the students ahead…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Pressed for time, Byleth rushes forward towards the enemy pole that is hoisted up by the daunting enemy handkerchief. Dimitri, following about steadily, brings up the Professor’s rear. The dexterity of the wall of Blue Lions students standing in front of Byleth starts to waver as Byleth approaches; feeling a bit uneasy after seeing their Professor tank all of their attacks head on with no wielded weapon. Surging with the unexpected energy of Sothis, Byleth approaches the wall confidently with an eagle’s glare donned on their face; zooming their eyes into any opening through the wall of Blue Lions they can possibly find to exploit. In that moment, Byleth- mentally- has every intention to bust through the wall, but doesn't want to seriously hurt anyone; despite the contrasting effort they displayed towards them. With this in mind, Byleth starts to think,

 

Where to go? Where to go?... Think, I need to find the best way to get through to them! I don’t have enough time to waste! I need to get this done quickly! ” thought Byleth. 

 

Well, if you can't find a way through them- go over them! It’s not like you are not privy to the concept! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

Oh! That is a good idea to try… ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. 

 

Look! That student has a big enough shield! ” said Sothis to Byleth, as if she was metaphorically pointing in a specific direction.

 

Am I… Supposed to know where you are pointing to?... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. They rotate their view more so to locate the specific Blue Lions student they are referring to.  Suddenly, Sothis scoffs.

 

There! Agh! The one that is like- in PERFECT line to jump to the pole! Just run towards them, and using their shield as a platform- jump over! And hey; with my power- it might even give you a bit of umph! ” said Sothis back to Byleth. As Sothis says this to Byleth, Byleth happens to spot a unit with a shield in perfect alignment to the pole if they were to jump.

 

Oh, is it that one? ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. 

 

Yes! That one- the one that you are looking at ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

You can see what I see? ” thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Yes; I see what I see with my own vision while I am in your mind; as well as what you see! Kinda weird… ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

Very... “ thought Byleth back to Sothis.

 

Anyways, just go! We do not have much time! ” said Sothis.

 

“Right!” said Byleth in a sudden burst of energy. 

 

With more determination rushing through their veins, Byleth then continues to run towards the wall of Blue Lions students. Seeing the Professor come in with such unbridled confidence starts to shake the integrity of the wall before them; beads of sweat rush down the faces of the students, and their limbs begin to shake from nervousness.

 

“W-What should we do guys? The Professor is rushing in kinda quick…” said a perturbed Blue Lions Archer student.

 

“I-I don’t know! But, why is the Professor glowing!?” asked another shocked curious Blue Lions Myrmidon student.

 

“Is that the Professor’s magic? It’s very strong!...” said a Blue Lions mage student. Hearing all of the uniconfident chatter from his fellow units, Dimitri starts to get very annoyed.

 

“Lions! Do not err now of all times! We are not out of the count yet! We have a fighting chance! Just, c-catch the Professor!” shouts Dimitri as they see Byleth run; attempting to bring hope and inspiration to his fellow Blue Lions students. 

 

Back aways behind Dimitri and Ashe’s current location, Cyril still is pinned against the floor by Annette as they both look on. As Annette’s compete focus is daggered at Byleth, Cyril starts feeling Annette’s grip loosen. With the chance he feels he is given, Cyril un-ensnared his arms from Annete, and gets up to make a run for it!

“Woah! H-Hey!” shouts Annette as she sees Cyril run off ahead of her. Cyril then looks back at Annette, and start to snicker. And smirk.

 

“Sorry!~ I gotta help the Professor!” says Cyril as he runs towards Ashe and Dimitri- who are distracted By Byleth. 

 

“D-Dimitri!” shouts Annette,a s she attempts to warn Dimitri of the incoming enemy approaching his rear. However, Dimitri is still distracted by the allure of Byleth to really react to her call. Cyril manages to run past a stalled Ashe and Dimitri, and continues to run towards Byleth.

 

“W-Woah!” shouts Ashe as he sees Cyril scurry forward, “D-Dimitri! Cyril is getting away!” said Ashe as he nervously attempts to ready their bow and arrow. Dimitri, finally noticing Cyril, starts to turn his head towards him.

 

“O-Oh no! Shoot him!” says Dimitri as he glares Ashe down. In that same moment, as Dimitri and Ashe continues to run, Ashe goes to shoot another arrow towards Cyril; however with Dimitri’s words distracting him his shot veers off greatly from Cyril’s location! Cyril looks over to where the arrow was traveling, taking in the wide distance between him and where he shot, and starts to laugh with pity.

 

“Well if the goal of what you were trying to do was to prove how badly can you shoot at your opponents, then I think you are a good contender for the win!” says Cyril with a snarky attitude.

 

“Agh!” shouts Ashe, as he starts to get mad at himself as he beats himself up on missing the attack. Suddenly, Dimitri places his hand on Ashe’s shoulder.

 

“Ashe! What on earth are you doing?!” asked Dimitri, who feels greatly disappointed in Ashe’s skill at the moment.

 

“S-Sorry! You cannot expect me to shoot my target with precision when you are chewing my ear off, Dimitri! Please- let me focus!” demands Ashe, who starts to get a bit annoyed by Dimitri- and says something he might not have meant.

 

“W-Wha-...!” said Dimitri, who gets shocked by Ashe’s response. Suddenly, Ashe covers his mouth.

 

“I-I’m… Sorry, Dimitri… I-... Spoke out of turn…” said Ashe, as he tries to catch himself in his wrongly placed words. Dimitri, then takes a step back to analyze the situation, and starts to see that Ashe himself not only is trying the best he can, but is very stressed out over this situation. Dimitri then sighs. 

 

“No… I think that we are all slowly realizing and adjusting to just how strenuous this mere game actually can be, and how it is all pushing us. Even the Professor…” said Dimitri as he turn their head towards Byleth.

 

“Y-Yea… I agree” said Ashe. Dimitri then sighs.

 

“Still… The Professor right now… What on earth could that be- huh?!” said Dimitri before he cuts himself off by what he is witnessing…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Back over to where Byleth is, who is still charging forward towards the wall of Blue Lions students, they jump in the air towards the unit with the shield. Doing all that they can do in the moment, the Blue Lions students with the shield defends themselves by placing the shield in front of them; which is something that anyone would think to do in that moment innate. In reality, this is something that Sothis knew would be the case, and so as Byleth approaches to jump- and the Blue Lions student holds up their shield, it sets up the perfect scenario to have Byleth leepfrog off of the shield- and fly straight into the air!

 

As Byleth hops off of the Blue Lions student, they make the student underneath them fall to the ground. Others around them watch as Byleth flies above their heads, and past them towards their base pole. In this same moment, tension starts to rise as people start to soon realize the predicament they are not in; with Byleth now bypassing their last physical barrier that kept Byleth at bay from victory. Charged with the blessing of Sothis’s magic, Byleth is flung into the air with a greater acceleration and velocity then they put in; and definitely with more power than they expected. This allows Byleth to have increased vertical distance. As Annette, Ashe, Dimitri, and Cyril look on with awe as Byleth flies through the air, DImitr soon realizes the trajectory of Byleth’s direction- and soon freaks out.

 

“On no… The Professor is going to make it far up our pole if they manage to grab hold of with that amount of distance up from the air gotten! “ said Dimitri.

 

“W-We got to do something! I’ll ready another arrow, Dimitri!” said Ashe.

 

“Thank You, Ashe. I myself am unable to stop the Professor at this point… I do not have anything that will reach them from this distance, and I am afraid that I am a bit fatigued from battle to rush over to the pole; the distance between us is too much!” said Dimitri as he then turns around to face Annette, “Annette, help us out with some magic?” Dimitri then asked.

 

“Yes I can, Dimitri!” said Annette as she gets out her tome, and holds it firmly in her hand, “Just tell me when!” Annette continues. Dimitri then turns back to look at the fall of Blue Lions Students, and in this moment Dimitri starts to formulate a plan.

 

Dimitri starts to deeply think, “ Hmm… We are going to have to strike at the Professor with all that we got to stop them! But, we do not want to do too much damage to the pole, and risk it falling! If that were to happen, then the handkerchief would fall, and the Professor or Cyril could easily procure it on the ground! We also have to be careful not to destroy the handkerchief as well! If the handkerchief is destroyed, then the team whose unit destroyed it loses! This is a problem that needs to be dealt with in a very delicate and strategic way! Think, Dimitri, think! ”.

 

As Byleth approaches the pole- hurling through the air, they manage to grab a hold of the pole at a high distance off of the ground; crashing against the pole with a crashing force. Byleth then looks up towards the handkerchief above them; however, their view of the handkerchief is blocked by the overbearing radiance of the rising sun. Byleth squints their eyes as they use their left arm to temporarily block the sun. Byleth then grunts.

 

“Agh! I cannot see the handkerchief whatsoever here. Of course it would be my luck that the last force keeping me from victory would be the elements themselves…” said Byleth.

 

Even the world itself doesn’t see it for you… Hehe, sad… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then scoffs at hearing Sothis’ comments.

 

Hey! Isn’t there something that you could do about this, Sothis? ” asked Byleth to Sothis.

 

About what? The handkerchief? Or the sun? ” asked Sothis back to Byleth.

 

Well… Both would be nice, but making it a bit easier to see would be helpful ” thought said Byleth back to Sothis.

 

You want me to try to block out the sun? What am I to you, your little helper? I think that I helped enough getting you this far; you are not even that far from the handkerchief! Look, just climb upwards! It’s not like the dang thing is just going to grow legs, get up, and move! You need everything hand fed to you, and at some point you just have to do things with your own mind! ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

Agh… Okay, well that does make sense… I guess I will just reach the top and… Figure it out then? ” thought Byleth.

 

Well, hurry it up! I do not know how long my spell will last! ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

Oh, you are right! ” thought Byleth as he looks back down to the ground. Byleth then sees the Blue Lions students and some of the knights that assist them surround the base of the pole Byleth is on. Frantic to grab the handkerchief in this brief moment allotted by Sothis, Byleth hurries upward; unsure of where the handkerchief is above them still due to the blinding sun. Suddenly, byleth hears a shout come down from below them.

 

“Lions! Strike!” said Dimitri as he commands his units to attack. The long-range Blue Lions students, sparse knights with long-range weapons, Annette, and Ashe all aim their attacks upwards towards Byleth. Byleth takes no time to turn back around to stare at the onslaught of attacks, and starts to pole climb faster skyward towards the handkerchief. 

 

“Fire!” Dimitri continues, as the units start to unleash their attacks once more towards Byleth. 

 

A roar showers around the base as the own units’ fanfare charges their moral. Byleth is slightly rattled by the shouting going on below them; just enough to moisten their palms, and make it harder to climb upwards. However, Byleth was not going to let a little sweat stop them when they are this close to their goal. And so, they grip viciously on the pole, and continue upward as they magical spells and arrows heading their way flury around them. Unfazed by the ones making contact with them, Byleth manages to climb high enough to see their blue handkerchief in their field of vision; clear as day. Byleth then reaches out, and grabs ahold of the handkerchief! As the dust settles from the Blue Lions failed attempt to stop Byleth, they all look up to see Byleth holding their handkerchief fully in hand!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“No!” shouts Dimitri. 

 

“Yes!” cheers Cyril, who watches from behind the lines of the Blue Lions unit wall.

 

Way to go! ” says Sothis back to Byleth. Byleth then looks back down to the handkerchief, and starts to smile.

 

Yes! I managed to get it! And it is thanks to you help, Sothis ” thought Byleth. Hearing this causes Sothis to blush.

 

W-Well, you are not wrong! So, I will take the praise! To this my ability is enough to fare that well against that many magical spells and projectiles all at once!... I just hope that- ” said Sothis until she was cut off from the spectacle that was starting to happen around Byleth. Because, in that exact moment, Sothis’ Shield spell wore off! The light dissipates from Byleth’s body, and as they are now left with no defenses Byleth starts to panic.

 

U-Uh… Sothis? What just happened? ” asked Byleth to Sothis.

 

I-I don’t know! I told you that I probably could only use it once per battle, and that it might run out! I guess this is just… A very unfortunate place for it to… ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

Definitely a very unfortunate place for to run out!... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis; feeling a bit annoyed at her uncanny ability.

 

Well, don’t say that I didn't warn you! ” said Sothis back to Byleth. As this happens, Dimitri then looks up, and starts to ponder his thoughts.

 

“That strange magical light surrounding the Professor is gone… And all of our attacks seemed to be useless while it was up… Perhaps, this is our time to strike!” said Dimitri.

 

“Oh no!...” said Byleth out loud.

 

They are onto us, Byleth! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Lions, the Professor has nowhere to go now! Fire at will! Just, watch the handkerchief!” said Dimitri, as he once again commands the units in front of him. As Dimitri says this, the Blue Lions units in front of him prepare their followup attacks, and aim them high into the sky; attempting to get a good aim despite the sun glare now affecting them. “Gosh… By now- you would think Ingrid would have returned from her scouting! Has she been apprehended already?!” ponders Dimitri.

 

“It’s a possibility, Dimtiri… She was on a pegasus; she would of returned already- even if she had no enemy handkerchief!” responded Ashe.

 

“Right… Agh!” said DImitr, as he gets increasingly annoyed over the situation; desperately wanting to win to prove himself to Byleth. At the same time, seeing them all ready their shots towards Byleth, Cyril starts to panic from afar.

 

“Professor! Get the handkerchief- handkerchief, whatever- and let’s get out of here!” shouts Cyril, as he stops behind the wall of Blue Lions students currently eyeing Byleth down from below, and waves his hands in the air. 

 

“I-I know!” responded Byleth as they see all the aimed attacks from up above. “W-What should I do?!” Byleth continues, as they talk to themselves.

 

Well you go the prize; now you just gotta bring it on home! Figure it out before you are riddled with holes and magic! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then takes a split second to look around the area from a bird’s eye view; taking in the view of the surrounding field of battling units.

 

Time is running out… ” thought Byleth. As they start to become worried.

 

Looking up from down below, Cyril starts to think, “ But… How is the Professor going to get down from there? I mean, there are enemies right below them; waiting to make their next move. And, they are too high up to jump down safely! Gosh, we have never thought this far into the plan… I don’t know how we are going to make it out alive, but I need to make sure I am not captured- again! I don’t want to drag the Professor down with me when they are holding our victory in their hands! I gotta make a run for it! ”. 

 

As Cyril contemplates his next actions, he suddenly turns back around, and runs in the direction of Dimitri and Ashe; who are still distracted by Byleth.

 

“Wind!” shouts Annette as she fires the spell right at Cyril.

 

“Agh!” Cyril shouts as he attempts to dodge it, “Me and magical spells do not mix!” he continued.

 

“Don’t think that I am going to let you get away again! I’m going to make sure neither you nor the Professor makes it out of tis base!” said Annette, as she gets a serious look on her face; holding out her left hand towards Cyril as she begins to aim her next shot.

 

“Agh… Well, if it is one less person after the Professor… I’ll deal!” shouts Cyril as he starts to run away from Annette as he attempts to escape.

 

“Get back here!” shouts Annette as she follows Cyril.

 

As Annette chases after Cyril, Dimitri and Ashe close in on the pole’s pedestal base where all the others are. Suddenly, Dimitri turns to Ashe.

 

“Ashe, you going a good aim on the Professor?” asked Dimitri.

 

“K-Kinda… There’s a mean sun glare in this location! I should have tried to shoot from farther- where I could easily see, but my shoot would not have made it from that height back there.

 

“You are my only hope right now, Ashe; I have full confidence in your ability!  I’m believing in you!” said Dimitri, trying to egg Ashe on. Hearing this, Ashe starts to blush.

 

“R-Really?!... T-Thank you, Dimitri... “ said a flustered Ashe. Feeling a fire being lit underneath him, Ashe closes one eye- bearing the burning sensation the sun places on his opened eye- and readies his next shot with full confidence. Ashe gets a near perfect shot of Byleth, and as Byleth looks back down towards Ashe- they start to panic even more so.

 

“I don’t know what Dimitri said to him just now, but I feel like he is going to knock my head off with that arrow shot!...” said Byelth.

 

I won’t be able to ride around with your in your mind if your lose your head! You better think quick, Professor slowpoke! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then sighs, and looks out into the distance.

 

“Well, no matter… I think I figured out what to do…” said Byleth. Suddenly, Byleth repositions themselves atop the pole, and plants their feet against the pole’s side.

 

Really? Well, what?... ” questioned Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“Tell me, Sothis; can a slowpoke do this!?” questioned Byleth as they jump off the side of the pole; using the force from using the pole as footing to launch themselves with great horizontal distance! Dimitri and Ashe watch as Byleth jump right over their heads towards the ways behind them.

 

“W-What?!” said a shocked Ashe.

 

“You can’t be serious!... What else does the Professor have up their sleeves?!...” questioned Dimitri, watching the continued marvelous feats of their Professor…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Byleth soars through the sky a considerable distance above the ground below; holding the enemies blue handkerchief well in hand, and not letting up from their grip even for a second. At the same time as Byleth’s glide through the sky, Cyril veers off in another direction as he tries to once again run away from Blue Lions students. In both cases, each has a contrasting goal that is to assist the other; Cyril, trying to take as much action off of Byleth as possible- allowing them to escape with the handkerchief, whereas Byleth attempts to safeguard the handkerchief and Cyril being by doing an outlandish feat to escape themselves- which would force everyone to target them instead. The latter ended up being the true course of action for the Blue Lions; because as soon as Dimitri came to it from his daze of allure for Byleth, he soon commanded all units to chase after Byleth, to procure their handkerchief as soon as possible.

 

Byleth takes a defensive position in the air as the collide hard with the ground below; curling into a battle form as wto not only keep the handkerchief in their possession the whole time- but to protect their vitals from any fall damage. Scuffed up and wounded, Byleth ignores the pain and rises up to continue running. And so, alongside seeing Byleth run away on foot, all of the Blue Lion units at base charge after Byleth in a flurry of roaring footsteps, and sparse moments where fire attempted to shoot and stop Byleth in their wake. However, despite their hurt form, Byleth had no issues with dodging any incoming attacks coming their way as they proceeded forward. By this moment as well, all the Blue Lions units outright forgot Cyril, who was still at the base; feeling a bit left out due to everyone quickly giving up chasing him in place for Byleth respectfully. And so, he follows behind the group of Blue Lions students as they all rush forward to the middle of the battlefield where the two sides are currently battling it out…

 

*****

 

“Well, well, well… Took them long enough!” said Jeralt as they crack a smile. Suddenly, Felix comes in with a sword wing to his right, but Jeralt guards against it!

 

“What are you smiling about?!” questions Felix, who eagerly is still trying to strike down Jeralt. Suddenly, Felix starts to let his ears wander- and soon hears the roaring crowd that approaches behind him. Looking behind him, Felix looks over to see Dimitri, Ashe, Annette, and other Blue Lions units rush towards their current location- with Byleth their chased target!

 

“What’s going on?” asked Sylvain as he looks over as well.

 

“It’s Dimitri and the others… And the Professor!?” says Dedue.

 

“What’s that in the Professor’s hand?” asked Sylvain. Suddenly, all four of them lean their eyes in to what Byleth is holding- and instantly they all start to freak out.

 

“T-That handkerchief!” shouts Dedue.

 

“Oh, no!” said Sylvain.

 

“Fuck! What the hell where they worth if they can't guard a damn piece of cloth!...” ponders Felix.

 

“Well, dear ‘ol Byleth must be pretty skilled to get passed that many units, and nab the handkerchief themselves. Wonder where Cyril is though...” says Jeralt, as he looks around for their missing member. Jeralt then goes to push Felix to the side, and runs towards Byleth. “Hey there! I see you got the prize! And, also you seem to be weaponless...” he continues.

 

“Yes I do! And yes, I am; don’t remind me... Now, we have to go! Now!” shouted Byleth.

 

“N-Not if we have anything to do with it!” said Dimitri from behind Byleth as he holds out his lance towards Byleth, “Felix, Sylvain! Dedue! Whatever preparations you have made for this moment- we might need now!” Dimitri continues.

 

“Right, Dimitri!” said Dedue as he turns to face his other Blue Loins units, “Blue Lions! Our handkerchief has been captured! Stop the Professor at all costs! Assume formation as instructed!” he continued; commanding the units as if he was Dimtiri himself.

 

“Right!” the Blue Lions shout as they move to create another wall for Byleth to be blocked by. Jeralt then looks over to their knight units on his side with a serious look.

 

“Knights! Don’t be intimidated by them! Stand your ground!” said Jeralt.

 

“Sir!” shouts the knights as they fall in towards the Blue Lions units. As this happens, Sothis starts to hum in nervousness.

 

Gosh! What the fuck is with all of these walls?!... ” ponders Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

I don’t know… But for any wall built to keep me out- I will break through! ” thought a confident Byleth to Sothis as they continue to run. “ ...However, if that special power of yours can turn back on right about, it would be greatly appreciated… ” Byleth continued to think back to Sothis.

 

Agh! Well, I don’t think I can still! Don’t you think I would have this whole time your ass was mere inches away from getting probed? You are on your own for this one, I’m afraid!... ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then sighs.

 

I understand… I need to find a chance to heal myself; I can’t even reach to grab a Vulnerary!... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Byleth then looks over to Jeralt.

 

“Jeralt, think you can help me once more? I kinda need to deliver this handkerchief to our base safely; and I’m kinda tattered at the moment…” questioned Byleth.

 

“Why, of course! It would be my pleasure to help you get a victory for us!” said Jeralt. As Jeralt says this, Felix comes in with another strike!

 

“Hya!” shouts Felix as she strikes Jeralt horizontally with his blade.

 

“Agh! Well, before I assist you, I gotta get this blade-happy fellow off me long enough to!” said Jeralt as he uses his lance to guard against the strike.

 

“You aren’t going to be doing anything besides falling on my blade!” declared Felix.

 

“Falling on your blade? Sounds kinda sexual, don’t ‘ya think, Felix?~” said a sarcastic Sylvain. Suddenly, Felix gets flustered.

 

“W-What?! N-Not like that!... I meant, Falling to my blade!... S-Sorry...” said Felix as he blushes. Jeralt then chuckles, and goes to slash back at Felix.

 

“Well, either way- not happening!” says Jeralt. 

 

“Dimitri! I will make sure the Professor takes not one more step closer!” said Dedue. 

 

“Thank you, Dedue. I believe in you!” said Dimitri. Hearing this, Sylvain then sighs.

 

“Well, I guess I should try and assist too… Sorry, Professor- but you gotta hand over that nice handkerchief of ours!~” said Sylvain.

 

“We got your backs too, guys!” said Ashe from afar.

 

“Right!” added on Annette.

 

“All of these units, and it’s just Byleth and I… Yeesh…” said Jeralt.

 

“N-No! I’m here too!” said Cyril as he waves his hands from far behind the incoming Blue Lions group.

 

“This is our last stand… Lion! Charge!!!” shouts Dimitri, as he revs up the Blue Lions once more. Soon, the Blue Loins units form both sides close in on Byleth and Jeralt, to stop Byleth. Byleth, still weaponless, starts to be a bit shaken with nervousness, but continues to run forward.

 

“I will not lose now!” declares Byleth, as they continue to run forward.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Attention all players! With just five minutes left, the battle is waning down to it’s last moments! Who will end up on top in this first round of Capture The Handkerchief!?” shouted the Announcer Knight through their bullhorn- cutting through all the fanfare in the round; giving the rest of the playing field the currently time. As their message echoes throughout the area, units on each side are invigorated with resolve as they are reminded that the round is at its last leg. A flurry of colliding attacks brash about in the middle of the field as the opposing units on Dimitri’s side attempt to box in Byleth’s units. And through this chaos, Byleth attempts to sneak around the backs of enemy units as they attempt to carry their captured handkerchief through the heart of the warzone. As Byleth runs, Dimitri- who has lost sight of Byleth- starts to panic.

 

“Shoot! Where is the Professor?...” questioned Dimitri. As he says this, he starts to hear footsteps approaching him.

 

“Agh!!!” shouts an enemy knight as they lunge in, and slash towards Dimitri. Dimitri then guards as he holds up his lance, and spins around to slash back at the knight.

 

“Back off! You are not going to keep me from my goals!” shouts Dimitri as his strike knocks back the knight slightly. Dimitri then looks around his immediate surroundings, and sees Sylvain. “Sylvain! Where is the Professor?!” he asked.

 

“Huh? You lost track of the Professor? Well, I don’t know where they are” said Sylvain.

 

“W-What?! You were not to let your eyes off of that handkerchief even for a second!” shouts Dimitri.

 

“Okay, well get the lance outta your ass, Prince; you don’t know where the Professor is either! Perhaps you should follow your own advice~” said Sylvain as he wags his finger, and winks his eyes.

 

“Q-Quiet! My actions don’t reflect my expectations of you and what I know you can achieve!” said Dimitri as he gets flustered.

 

“Awe!~ Well, I will take that as a compliment~” said Sylvain.

 

“Oh, can it! I’m going to go search for the Professor! They have to be heading in one direction; I just need to stop them! We don’t need any more of their units making it past us!” Dimitri continues.

 

“I agree, Dimitri. I’m on it!” said Sylvain. 

 

“Dimitri! I think I saw the Professor run over there!” said a random Blue Lions student as they point in a direction.

 

“R-Really?! Are you sure! Well, I’m going to go look! Time’s running short!” said Dimitri as he hen runs off into the crowd of units. Sylvain watches as he does this; thinking of what he should do next. Suddenly, as Sylvain is distracted momentarily by Dimitri’s leave, he hears Felix shout.

 

“Sylvain! Watch your back!” Felix shouted as he points in a direction behind Sylvain. Sylvain then turns his head to Felix- and then behind him in confusion.

 

“Huh? What are you- woah!” says Sylvain as he almost is pierced by a lance to his side. 

 

“Good eye there, Felix! I tried to sneak up on ‘ya!” said Jeralt as he appears behind Sylvain.

 

“Sorry, Sir! I would rather not get poked by a man today. Tempest lance!” shouts Sylvain as he spins around, and goes to strike Jeralt with a vertical slash! But, as the blade of the lance closes in on Jerlat, Jeralt smirks- and steps to the side as he evades the strike completely!

 

“Close, but no Vulnerary!” said Jeralt as he lunges his left hand forward towards Sylvain, “Rushing Blow!” he continues as he clenches his fist- and jams it into Sylvain’s chest!


“Ugh!” says Sylvain as he is forced back by Jeralt by the force of his punch. As Sylvain falls back to the ground, Dedue looks over.

 

“Sylvain!” said Dedue as he runs over to pick him up. As he does this, Jeralt comes in with another attack. Dedue then uses his shield to block the incoming attack, and strikes horizontally with his axe. “Back off!” Dedue continues. As Jeralt catches his footing again, he starts to laugh.

 

“You all have done such a good job holding me back thus far; let us see how long that will last! I’m sure the durability of your weapons is running thin” said Jeralt, as he teases them. 

 

Suddenly, Dedue starts to think, “ Agh… He is right… Guarding against his attacks for all of these minutes has left my shield a bit haggard. If only Sylvain was more attentive on the battlefield! If I keep defending against them, my shield is sure to break ”. Keeping this thought in the back of his mind, Dedue walks forward slowly as Sylvain gets back to his feet. Suddenly, Dedue looks over and sees Ashe as he aims his bow towards Jeralt.

 

“Curving Shot!” shouts Ashe as he shoots the arrow; causing it to curve around the other units in the way towards Jeralt. Jeralt then looks over to see the arrow coming towards him, and goes to step out of the way.

 

“Try again, Ashe! I’m not going to be taken down with a simple attack like-” said Jeralt as he is cut off by quickly refocusing his attention to another incoming attack to the side by Felix! “Woah there!” Jeralt continues, as he is thrown off by the attack.

 

“You were almost slain by that attack. Don’t tell me you’re endurance is waning just yet!” says Felix, crashing his blade against Jeralt’s lance. Jeralt, quickly guards against the attack, and chuckles.

 

“Don’t get ahead of yourself, little boy” said Jeralt. He then thinks, “ I’m just getting ganged up on… ”. Jeralt then takes a step back to distance himself from Felix, but as he goes to prepare another attack he soon realizes he is getting boxed in by Dedue, Sylvain, Ashe, and Felix. And, not below long, Annette pops their head out of the hoards of units; aiming their tome book at Jeralt as well.

 

“We got you now!” said Annette. Jeralt, realizing his situation, then sighs.

 

“I see…” said Jeralt, as he starts to pan his eyes; looking for any opening his has to get out of this situation..

 

“If we can stop you, then the Professor- wherever they are- will have a harder time getting back to their base without you aiding them” said Dedue.

 

Well, they are not wrong… I do not know where Byleth is either… Agh, oh well; they will figure it out ” thought Jeralt. As the group continues to surround Jeralt, they suddenly hear a timid shout come off from the distance.

 

“Oh no, Professor! Don’t let them capture you! I’m right here to help!” shouts Cyril from a distance in a worryful tone!

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

“Huh? The Professor!?” questioned Felix. Peeking his head out of the crowd, Dimtiri then looks over as well.

 

“Huh?! Where are they?!” asked Dimitri. As the group focuses on Cyril’s location, the group finds Cyril forming a cone with his mouth, and shouting words in their direction. As the attention is put on him, Cyril then starts to chuckle.

 

“Haha! Gotcha!” Cyril says.

 

“Agh!” shouts Dimitri, realizing he was duped. Cyril then looks over to Jeralt, and gives him a wink.

 

I gave you an opening, now go! ” Cyril thinks, as he attempts to convey that message to Jeralt. Jeralt, picking up the hint, nods as he starts to run off with the opening Cyril allotted him!

 

“N-No! He’s getting away!” shouts Annette.

 

“Fuck! That stupid kid distracted us so Jeralt would have a chance to run away!” shouted Felix.

 

“And we fell for it; hook, line, and sinker…” said Ashe. 

 

“Damn it! I don’t have time for these distractions!” said DImitri as he soon runs off. Cyril then turns off in another direction; into the crowd of units as he dodges incoming attacks meant for him.

 

“Cyril is getting away again!” says Annette, who gets worried.

 

“Well, don’t just stand around; come on!” shouts Felix, who is already rushing after Jeralt at full speed. 

 

“Okay! I’ll try and get Cyril!” says Annette.  Suddenly, Felix stops.

 

“No! Purse Jeralt! Forget the kid- he doesn't matter right now! We need to stop the Professor, and Jeralt is the biggest threat if we don’t even know where the Professor is!” said Felix.

 

“Well, I think we have been proven that we should not ignore or undermine him whatsoever; he has given us some of the most jarring problems when it comes to standing in our way, or impeding what we are trying to do,” said Ashe.

 

“I think our best bet would be to run towards the enemy base” said Dedue.

 

“And who died and make you Captain?” asked Felix.

 

“Felix, please don’t start this now...” said Dedue.

 

“Well, Dimitri just ran off without instructing us, so someone has to step up logically…” said Ashe.

 

“I agree; I’m not the leader type, so tell me what to do, Felix~” said Sylvain.

 

“Agh, shut it Sylvain” said Felix.

 

“Ultimately, no matter where the Professor is-  they would be heading to one common goal; their base. So, if we can somehow beat them to the punch- we could stop them!” said Ashe. Annette then nods her head.

 

 “I agree. And, we might not have a way to win, but if we can prevent our loss then that is better than nothing” said Annette.

 

“Okay, well Jeralt is heading that way anyways- so let’s move!” shouted Felix. 

 

Ultimately all coming to some sort of agreement, they all reluctantly followed Felix’s words, and ran in the direction of Jeralt with Felix in pursuit of Byleth. However, the common thought they all did share during this process was, ‘ Where is the Professor?... ’.

 

*****

 

Just a bit aways from the recent encounter Jeralt had with the Blue Lions, Byleth charges forward past the enemy units standing in their way; with the velocity of a loose cannon, and with the resolve of a true lion. As they passed by enemies, none could really focus quick enough on Byleth speeding by to realize that it was really them as they continue to be locked in combat. Heading forwards towards their base, they start to travel out of the grassland, and into the thicket of forest that was in between the clearings that lead to their base. Feeling as if they are just about to reach home base, Byleth’s chest starts to un-tighten, and they start to feel victorious.

 

“We are almost there! I think we got it in the bag” says Byleth. Suddenly, Sothis then scoffs.

 

You have not won yet; don’t prematurely celebrate now! That just screams bad luck… ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“R-Right… Sorry” said Byleth, feeling a bit guilty. 

 

Ahh! I’m just glad to be away from all that roaring and shouting! Geese, if you weren’t privy to Garreg Mach, you would have thought the Blue Lions House actually thinks that they are lions! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“That is just the spirit of the Blue Lions; coming through and shining the most when they are on the battlefield. Don’t you think it’s inspiring?” asked Byleth aloud to Sothis.

 

Kinda… Makes you wonder how the Mock Battle will fare for them, and the rest of the Houses… ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

“Y-Yeah... “ said Byleth.

 

You still not sure who you have your money on? ” asked Sothis to Byleth, as she starts to wonder about how the future will pan out.

 

“I don’t even know how the rest of this exercise will go- let along the Mock Battle…” said Byleth back to Sothis.

 

I see… Understandable. Well, seeing how the Blue Lions conduct themselves on the field today sure gives us an insight on how they will do against the Black Eagles and Golden Deer ” said Sothis back to Byleth.

 

“I agree” said Byleth.

 

Hey! While you have the chance, you should heal up! ” said Sothis.

 

“Oh! That is a good idea!” said Byleth. They then reach into their bag, and pull out a Vulnerary. As they go to take the medicine, the vile suddenly breaks! “Ahh!” shouts Byleth as a lance cracks straight through the Vulnerary as it charges through the sky. The lance then pierces a nearby tree as Byleth tumbles on the ground- in fear of any other incoming attacks. And, as Byleth looks over to it- they get nervous.

 

“What? Who could have-” said Byleth before they cut themselves off by the sight of DImitri; charging up from the rear with a resolved look on their face. “How could you have?...” Byleth continued as they become flabbergasted.

 

“*pant* *pant* I finally caught up to you, Professor!” shouts Dimitri.

 

What? How did he find you? ” asked Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“I was able to follow your voice as I heard it travel through the trees. You… Seem to talk to yourself a lot Professor…” said Dimitri, who becomes a bit skeptical.

 

“W-What?! N-No I don’t!...” said Byleth, who gets nervous.

 

Oops! Did he catch us because you were talking to me? STOP talking out loud if I can hear your thoughts! ” says Sothis back to Byleth.

 

What?! So this is my fault?! Well, I guess it is… Agh, whatever! If I need to fend him off once more, then I will! ” thought Byleth back to Sothis, as they start to fill with determination!

 

-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

You are going to do what?! You idiot! We don’t need another boner crisis on our hands with 5 minutes remaining! And, did you forget you have no weapon?! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth then gulps, and gets a bit nervous- ruining any built up determination they had.

 

F-Fuck… I should have not put distance between me and DImitri’s weapon; I could have at least used it! ” thought Byleth. As Byleth thinks this, Dimitri runs over, and procures his Lance once more. 

 

“Professor; hand over the handkerchief now!” shouts Dimitri as he rushes over to Byleth. In this moment, all Byleth can do is think to run- but they fear that their untreated wounds have placed them in a situation where they cannot accurately get away to ensure the safety of the handkerchief they spent all this time getting to their base. 

 

I need to just make a small opening- and then I make a run for it! ” thinks Byleth. Feeling for a brief moment that they might have lost the chance of victory due to that idle chatter, Byleth forms a defensive stance in preparation to take whatever Dimitri can give. Suddenly, Byleth hears something out from the distance; the movement of feet pressing forward to their current location, and the clamor of individuals who seek redemption.

 

“Nosferatu!” shouts Flayn as she unleashes the light spells towards Dimitri. Seeing the white light approach them, Dimitri and Byleth gets shocked.

 

“Flayn?!” questions Byleth.

 

“W-What?!” says Dimitri, who is thrown off by her sudden arrival. Dimitri then goes to dodge the incoming spell as he sidesteps. Suddenly, another figure appears out from behind a tree.

 

“Tempest Lance!” Seteth calls as he slashes at Dimitri.

 

“Agh!” yells Dimitri as he is hit to the ground by the attack!

 

“Seteth! You are okay!” shouts Byleth in excitement. Seteth and Flayn then rushes over to Byleth.

 

“Yes, professor. And, we have come here to your aid” said Seteth.

 

“We heard you talking from afar from what sounded like a one-sided conversation, and knew that if you were closing in that you must be for a reason!” said Flayn.

 

“T-Talking? Oh, um… Hehe~...” said Byleth as they get a bit nervous.

 

“See? Agh… You do talking to yourself…” said a strained Dimitri.

 

“You are just hearing things! I-I was merely talking to a knight that-... Coincidentally just happened to run off before any of you got here…” said Byleth as they attempt to hide their quirks of verbally replying back to Sothis.

 

“N-Nonetheless, you look wounded and weaponless. Flayn, please heal the Professor- wait! Is that the enemy handkerchief?!” asked Seteth as he looks down to see the blue handkerchief in Byleth’s hand.

 

“Y-Yea” said Byleth as they attempt to get back to their feet, “And I don’t have time to heal; we have to get this to base quick!” Byleth continued.

 

“I-I agree!” said Seteth.

 

“Well, let me heal you while you run!” said Flayn.

 

“Oh yea- that can work!” said byleth as they start to rush off.

 

“W-Wait! You are not getting away!” declared DImitria s eh gets upa s well, and goes to run off. However, Seteth then stands in Dimitri’s way.

 

“Sorry, Dimitri- but this is as far as you will go” said Seteth.

 

“Back off! Tempest Lance!” shouts Dimitri as he horizontally spins towards Seteth to strike him. However, Seteth guards against the attack.

 

“Ha! You are going to have to do more than that; now that I am healed up, these silly attacks will not do-” said Seteth before he cuts himself off. Suddenly, he pushes Dimitri back off of him, and sidestep to create distance between him and Dimitri; just in time before an incoming sword attack winds around a nearby tree to attack Seteth!

 

“Damn! I missed!” shouts Felix as he appears as well!

 

“F-Felix?!” questions Dimitri. Felix then lands in front of Dimitri.

 

“Oh, Dimitri… I managed to get a head of the others while I was on pursuit of Jeralt; I managed to lose sight of him however… Have you seen him?” asked Felix. 

 

“Huh? What do you mean? Jeralt? Y-Your efforts should be focused on the Professor!” shouts Dimitri.

 

“Well, the other’s are pursuing Byleth. Look” said Felix as he points aways into the forest. Seteth and Dimtiri then briefly look over to see Annette, Sylvain, Dedue, and Ashe running past in the direction of the enemy base ahead.

 

“What? Oh no!” shouts Seteth as he goes to run, but Felix slashes at Seteth once more- stopping him.

 

“You are staying here!” said Felix as he comes forwards and unleashes a flurry of strikes towards Seteth. Each one of Felix’s attacks however are parried away from Seteth with his lance. Dimitri then circles around Seteth, and starts to eye Seteth’s blind spots.

 

There! He has an opening! ” thinks Dimitri as he  attempts to exploit Seteth’s focus on Felix. Dimitri then lunges forward; grabbing his lance in both hands.

 

“Agh!” shouts Dimitri as he approaches Seteth. Seteth then twirls around his lance in his hands, and goes to strike Dimitri with a feinting attack. 

 

“Hya!” says Seteth as he forces Dimitri’s attack backwards. Getting scuffed up from the impending attacks, Dimitri starts to bite the side of his lip. Suddenly, Dimitri looks over to Felix. Dimitri then gives Felix a specific looks; one that conveys his thought, “ We need to work together in tandem to get passed Seteth! ”. As Felix is conveyed this information, he starts to get annoyed.

 

“Oooh no. I didn’t come here to fight alongside you or help you out!” said Felix.

 

“What?!” questioned Dimitri.

 

“I mearly lost track of my target- while pursuing another target, and happened to find you in the process,” said Felix. Dimitri then scoffs.

 

“Oh my... Can you not do this right now?...” asked Dimitri.

 

“We don’t I’m just cutting Seteth out of my way of the Professor” said Felix. Dimitri then shakes his head.

 

“I would love to live in your world of delusion…” said Dimitri. Felix then turns to Dimitir.

 

“Excuse me?! And what is that suppose-” said Felix as he is hit by the butt of Seteth’s lance!

 

“You all should be paying attention to me, and not your personal quarrell! Gosh, what is the Professor teaching you?” asked Seteth.

 

“Ow!... Agh, I am not!” said Felix as he hugs his stomach.

 

“And Professor is teaching us just fine!” said Dimitri as he glares Seteth down. Dimitri then turns back over to Felix. “Felix, please; we need to focus on our goal, and stop the Professor! Just be cooperative just this once” pleads Dimitri.

 

“No” said Felix. Seteth, hearing this, sighs.

 

“I feel like I don’t need to be here to stop you all; you stop each other!” said Seteth. Felix and Dimitri then looks over to Seteth.

 

“Trust me; he doesn't stand in my way of defeating you!” said Dimitri.

 

“Well that we can definitely agree on something,” said Felix.

 

“Well then, let’s see if you can defeat us both!” said Jeralt- as he appears silently behind Dimitri and Felix!

 

“W-What?!” shouts Dimitri and Felix as they turn around to see Jeralt stand there confidently!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Ah! Jeralt, it is good to see you!” said Seteth. Jeralt, stoic as ever, then waves over to Seteth.

 

“Seteth, I see that you are doing well after that nasty that fall you took! Good to see that!” said Jeralt.

 

“Y-Yea… N-Nevermind that! The Professor is well on their way to securing our victory, but their team is gaining as well! We need to head back as soon as possible back to our base!” said Seteth. 

 

“Eh, why the rush? I’m sure they will be just fine without us” said Jeralt.

 

“What? Why are you so nonchalant about this? Our primary goal is the handkerchief; not sparring with the students” said Seteth.

 

“Why are you trying so hard?” questions Jeralt.

 

“W-What?! F-For the Professor’s sake! I nearly caught a concussion falling off of a pegasus; you do not get to lecture me about ‘trying too hard’. Do you show the Professor your resolve for their exercise by lollygagging when the going gets tough?” questions Seteth back to Jeralt. Suddenly, Jeralt starts to feel a bit offended.

 

“Oh-Ho! Don’t know if you wanna go there with me, Seteth. Don’t try to act like I am not trying hard for my own child’s sake” said Jeralt.

 

“Well, perhaps acting it would be appropriate” said Seteth.

 

“Well, newsflash Seteth; kinda not here to impress you. Sorry” responded Jeralt; being as ruthless and cut throat as ever. Hearing this causes Demitri and Felix to ‘ooo’ in shock. Seteth then starts to get a bit embarrassed; feeling insulted in front of his own students.

 

“W-Why I-... Agh… I’m going to have to give a stern report of your decorum on the battlefield to Lady Rhea, Jeralt” said Seteth.

 

“Awe; is Lady Rhea’s footstool going to tattle on me?~” teased Jeralt.

 

“W-What?! Do not disrespect me or sully my importance to Lady Rhea! Considering all the lucrative ways you must go through just to get women to spit int he same direction as you, being the 'footstool' of such a woman as Lady Rhea would be a blessing for someone like you” said Seteth. Hearing this causes Dimitri and Felix to ‘ooo’ moreso; completely taken aback by the fight Seteth and Jeralt are having. 

 

“Well you little shit! You really wanna start some shit right now, Seteth?!” asked Jeralt as he approaches Seteth; getting closer to Dimitri and Felix. Seteth then sighs in disgust

 

“You know, there’s some things I could say that could really start some ‘shit’ as you say, but I respect you and the Professor too much to hurt your feelings” said Seteth.

 

“Please; the only thing you could hurt to do, is get back to the Training Grounds and up your damn skills” said Jeralt. 

 

“Ouch…” said Dimitri. Shocked, Felix then turns to Dimitri with a perturbed look on his face.

 

“... And people think we have the biggest issues with each other…” said Felix.

 

“Y-Yeah…” responds Dimitri. Seteth and Jeralt then look tot he students watching them, and start to feel guilty. Seteth and Jeralt then back away from each other and re-compose themselves.

 

“Okay okay! I’m about done with this argument, Jeralt! I… I came out of character just now, and I’m sorry…” said Seteth.

 

“Y-Yea, whatever… My bad as well I guess…” said Jeralt as he cools down. Seteth then turns to Dimitri and Felix. Seteth, feeling a bit guilty, sighs from guilt and embarrassment as he places his hand on his forehead.

 

“Dimitri and Felix; please do not act as we adults just did- ever on the battlefield...” said Seteth, as he regains composure.

 

“S-Sure…” said Felix.

 

“I will try to not display myself in such ways, Seteth; you have my word” said Dimitri as he bows in respect of Seteth’s words. 

 

 At the same time as this is all happening, each of the 4 men’s internal monologues are slightly shifted off focus in this moment. This is because each has been deterred by the conversation, as well as the subject matter; each seemingly forgetting the minutes slipping away from them in the round, and the Professor that they all desperately need to chase after. Jeralt comes back to his senses first, and realizes that he finds himself close enough to touch Dimitri. And so, Jeralt walks up to him and places his hand on his shoulder. Jeralt’s touch reinvigorates that thought back into Dimitri’s mind, and instinctively goes to juke his body away from Jeralt to counterstrike.  Jeralt then pushes Dimitri forward forcefully, and Dimitri attempts to swing his lance at Jeralt at the same time this motion occurs. 

 

“H-Hey!’ shouts Dimitri as he almost falls to the ground trying to strike Jeralt.

 

“Yea, well keeping these two out of the fight will definitely help dead ‘ol Byleth accomplish that, now wouldn’t it?” questions Jeralt as he goes to hold his own lance in both hands.

 

“Precisely. Let us get back on track, Jeralt” said Seteth as he grips his lance tighter. 

 

“Well it’s about time I got back to cutting!!” said Felix as he holds up his sword, and dons a serious and determined face.

 

“Agh! Well, I hope your crud conversation wasn’t a means to distract us!” said Dimitri.

 

“I wish…” responded Seteth. Jeralt then starts to chuckle.

 

“Me and Seteth just know how to get under each other’s skin is all. Another thing we actually do well is fight alongside each other; I think you too need a crash course on teamwork” said Jeralt. Felix then starts to laugh from the irony.

 

“Coming from you, after what we just saw, that is kinda like a joke…” said Felix.

 

“And Sir Jeralt and Seteth; the Blue Lions work phenomenally together! I’m not sure what you mean” pondered Dimitri.

 

“Ha! From what I have been seeing on the field, I beg to differ” said Jeralt. Seteth then nods his head as he agrees.

 

“I would agree- to some extent; your House is very good at following commands from a  leader, but has also been shown time and time again that your House tends to show its weakness when that leader is not there to guide. Or, giving units exact instruction so to rely on them doing exactly as you ask to follow what only you want… Is that truly teamwork?” questions Seteth.

 

“W-What?!...” says Dimitri, as he feels dumbfounded and stuck; as if he was just hit with a brick. Jeralt, heeding Seteth’s words, starts to hum as he questions Seteth’s statement as well.

 

“Very good point… Is working together perfectly synonymous to following orders?” questions Jeralt himself. 

 

“...” Felix mutters as he looks down to the ground slightly; feeling that there is some truth to Seteth’s words. Seteth, seeing the changed attitude of Dimitri and Felix, starts to sigh.

 

“Regardless the context, the proof is in the technique. Jeralt; if you would be so kind as to demonstrate alongside me” said Seteth.

 

“Gladly!” said Jeralt as he readies his battle stance. 

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Jeralt and Seteth slowly close in on Dimitri and Felix from either side of them, and as Dimitri and Felix’s available room to run starts to grow thin Felix starts analyzing the situation he is in with Dimitri. Felix, in that moment, starts to think, “ Great… First I had to deal with Seteth, and now my actual target appears out of nowhere! Who should I strike down first?... ”. 

 

Interestingly, in this moment, Felix starts panning his eyes back forth from Jeralt to Seteth; trying to uncover an opening that he can exploit on his own. However, as Felix starts to internally realize more the stickiness of the situation, he starts to calm his mind and forgo his agenda as he has stuck to thus far. This is because factoring in his battles with Jeritza and Jeralt he has had thus far, and his negligence on the battlefield, he starts to consider different outcomes if he didn’t always act like a lone wolf on the battlefield; which is his normal thought process to do. Or, if he didn’t carelessly rush in without much a game plan, how would the results would change.  

 

These feelings are brought to the forefront specifically because he is back into a wall by two people he considered higher than him. And, for a brief moment, Felix starts to reflect backwards; to his childhood, to where he didn’t always harbor these feelings so strongly to be independent. Trapped in his head, Felix starts to take a few steps backwards towards Dimitri; idle walking as he tries to piece together sane thoughts in his mind. Suddenly, he bumps into Dimitri.

 

“W-Woah!” said Dimitri, as he is thrown off by Felix bumping into him. 

 

“Dimitri, w-watch where you are going!” said Felix. 

 

“What? You bumped into me you half wit!” shouted Dimitri. Felix then starts to scoff.

 

“Agh, m-my bad; you are right… I was just… Focused on coming up with a game plan is all” said Felix. Dimitri then gets a bit concerned, and looks over to Felix.


Felix? Not focused on a battle?! Has hell froze over…” thought Dimitri in that moment. Dimitri then starts to sigh as he starts to speak. “Well… I understand. We just need one simple opening, and we can get through Seteth and Jeralt! Time is of the essence!” Dimitri continues. Felix then nodes his head, and turns to face Seteth. Suddenly, Felix then gets an idea.

 

“Dimitri, I do not mind staying behind to fight them while you head off to the Professor. If I create the opening, can I count on you use it accordingly?” asked Felix. Dimitri then gets shocked at Felix attempting to come up with a game plan together.

 

“You? Create an opening for me? Hell has truly froze over…” said Dimitri.

 

“Shut it! Stop moving your mouth, and move your ass!” shouted Felix as he started to rush over to Seteth.

 

“Agh, well I sure can attempt to yes!” said Dimitri. Seteth, seeing Felix approach, lowers his stance closer to the ground, and moves towards Felix.

 

“Let’s see the fruit of your training, Felix!” said Seteth.

 

“I’ll bring up your rear, Felix” said Dimitri as he rushes forward after Felix. Suddenly, Dimitri trips! “Wha-!” says Dimitri as he turns to see Jeralt use his lance as a mechanism to cause him to trip. Dimtiri then falls to the ground as Jeralt starts to hearty chuckle.

 

“Hahaha! You should know better than anyone to not turn your back to an enemy, Dimitri” said Jeralt. Dimtiri then grunts.

 

“On the contrary, Sir; you should know better than anyone to think I would disrespect myself or an enemy to leave my back open to attack!” said Dimitri as he grips his lance, and spins with centripetal force in a half circle formation; attacking Jeralt with it’s gathered energy! “Tempest Lance!” Dimitri shouts as his attack manages to force Jeralt back.

 


“Agh! A Critical Attack?!” questions Jeralt as his feet skid on the ground. Dimitri plants his feet on the ground, and then goes to pursue Jeralt; attempting to take advantage of the brief moment in which Jeralt showed a slip in defenses as he feels the recoil from Dimitri’s attack. However, Jeralt sees Dimtiri’s attempted approach; and steels himself.

 

“Let’s try that again! Tempest Strike!” shouts Dimitri as he jumps in the air in preparation for another attack. Jeralt then starts to smirk.

 

Healing Focus!” says Jeralt as he self-heals himself!

 

“W-What?! He knows that Combat Art?! Any damage he would have sustained during the entire round was just undone in an instant!” says DImtiri as he starts to get a bit worried, and his Tempest lance’s accuracy starts to lower. However, because Jeralt didn’t attempt to dodge the attack it still hits; smacking against the side of Jeralt’s own lance as he guards. Dimitri then looks straight into Jeralt’s eyes as they clash. “ What is he thinking?! ” Dimitri then starts to think. Jeralt then puts his weight into his lance as he leans into Dimitri.

 

“Smite!” shouts Jeralt as he pushes Dimitri; propelling him back towards Felix! 

 

“Woah!” shouts Dimitri as he falls right into Felix once more; causing Felix to stumble.

 

“W-What the hell?!” questions Felix as he falls to the ground. As Dimitri recovers from the attack, he rubs his butt in pain. 

 

“Ouch!...” says Dimitri.

 

“G-Get the hell off of me!” shouts Felix, who unfortunately managed to roll underneath Dimitri in the tumbling exchange. 

 

“S-Sorry!” says Dimitri as he gets up. However as soon as he does he notices two lances aimed at his neck. “S-Shoot!...” Dimitri continues as he sees that Jeralt and Seteth have closed in. Felix then gets up, scuffs off his hands of dirt, and grits his teeth.

 

“I feel overrun by lances right now…” said Felix.

 

“That was a nice try, I will admit; but you guys still need to train!” sid Jeralt.

 

“I agree” Seteth added on. Dimitri then looks over to Felix as he starts to sweat, and feels the need to console him.

 

“D-Don’t be overwhelmed, Felix! I’m right here!” said Dimitri.

 

“Don’t act like I am deterred by this! My blade doesn't discriminate on what it is able to cut down” said Felix.

 

“Well, let’s test that! Knightkneeler!” said Jeralt as he rushes forward, and lunges his lance into Dimitri’s forearm!

 

“Ahhgh!!!” Dimitri yells in agony... 

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“D-Dimitri!” shouts Felix as he looks over to see Dimitri’s arm contort from the recoil of Jeralt’s blow. As Seteth looks over to see Jeralt’s attack, he suddenly gets worried for Dimitri’s wellbeing.

 

“Jeralt! You don’t have to be so rough!...” said Seteth as he looks over.

 

“O-Oops, sorry…” said Jeralt as he quickly regrets his actions. As Dimitri holds his arm in agony, he then starts to bite his lip; attempting to hold back the pain, and now show his suffering.

 

“Agh… I’m f-fine… Don’t worry about me; that was nothing compared to what I can dish back to you!” said Dimitri and he spins his lance horizontally towards Jeralt to strike him forthwith. 

 

“Hmph!” said Felix as he charges forward towards Seteth at the same time; feeling like he was worried for a second for no reason. Grinding the tip of his sword against the dirt, Felix then closes in on Seteth; lifting the sword up skyward, and leaps in the air as he shouts. “Grounder!” shouts Felix as he jumps in the air, and crashes down with his Combat Art.

 

“Ugh!" says Seteth as he guards against Felix’s incoming attack. Felix then chuckles.

 

“I have gotten stronger and faster over the course of this exercises; do not get too overwhelmed,” said Felix.

 

“I will admit that your strength is noteworthy Felix, but I will not be erred by an attack like that!” said Seteth as he forces Felix back with sheer physical force. 

 

As Felix is forced back, he starts to feel the recoil travel throughout his body. Felix then starts to think, “ Shit… He is just as strong as Jeritza and Jeralt… Guess he isn’t Lady Rhea’s right-hand man for no reason!... ”. At the same time, Jeralt changes the grip on his lance; positioning his lance as if he was about to hurl it across a distance- pointed at Dimitri.

 

What is he trying?... ” ponders Dimitri. Jeralt then aims his lance at Dimitri, cocks back his arm, and chucks the lance forward with great force!

 

“Ah!” shouts Dimitri as he evades the thrown lance. However, what Dimitri failed to realize in that moment was that by dodging the lance, it opened up Felix’s backside to be vulnerable to the attack instead!

 

“Oh no! Felix watch out!” Dimitri shouts toward Felix. Felix, hearing Dimtiri’s call, then turns back to see the incoming attack, and panics for a bit.

 

“The hell?!” says Felix as he attempts to move out of the way, but soon realizes he is too slow to move out of the way or guard properly. Suddenly, before the lance pierces Felix, Dimtiri manages to swat the lance away before it hits; causing the lance to veer off into the distance.

 

“Oh~” says Jeralt as he attempts to move towards where the lance will land. Felix then looks over to Dimitri with a bit of embarrassment, and starts to blush.

 

“T-Thanks…” says Felix. Jeralt then manages to go over to retrieve the lance before it even has the chance to hit the ground. Grabbing it, Jeralt spins around as he prepares another attack towards Dimitri and Felix. Both of them look over as they hear the slight whistling of the blade rush through the air. As the lance comes forward, the tip of the blade starts to get frosty as ice forms on it. 

 

“Frozen Lance!” shouts Jeralt as he manages to make one wide horizontal cuts towards Dimitri and Felix to strike them both at the same time! 

 

“Shit! Dimitri, guard!” said Felix as he holds up his sword vertically in retaliation to the incoming attack to protect himself against the incoming Combat Art. Dimitri , also in the line of attack, readies himself to guard against the attack as well as he holds up his lance diagonally. Jeralt’s attack then connects with both Felix and Dimitri’s at the same time as they are both forced backwards from the strength of his attack.

 

“Agh!” shouts Dimitri and Felix as they tumble backwards. At the same time, icicle shards start to grow on the impact points on DImitri and Felix’s weapons, as well as their knuckles. Felix then starts to feel his hands get cold, and starts to freak out.

 

“W-What the fuck?!” said Felix as he looks down, and sees the growing ice. He then starts to shake his hands to  attempt to fragment the ice as he skids out on the ground.

 

“I-Incredible…” says Dimitri, who stop in his tracks as he continues is in awe of Jeralt’s skills. Seeing this form in the corner of Felix’s eyes, he starts to scoff.

 

“Oh, don’t get your rocks off now; we are in the pits right now!” says Felix.

 

“Oh, stop! It’s just that… Even with both of us, we only were only able to hold off just a portion of that attack!” said Dimitri. Felix then sighs.

 

“Well, if you were not here to guard the attack with me, I might have been taken out. So thanks I guess …” said Felix. Dimitri then looks, and starts to blush.

 

“T-Thank you?...” says Dimitri. Jeralt, seeing this awkward exchange, starts to clear his throat

 

“Well, I wasn’t expecting you two to bare the brunt of my attack together! Quite a spectacle if I do say so myself” said Jeralt.

 

“I agree as well…” said Seteth as he starts to further question their teamwork.

 

“Well, let’s see if you lot can keep that same defense once more!” shouts Jeralt as he closes in once more on the two with a vertical slash towards Dimitri.

 

“Dodge!” yells Felix as Dimitri backs away from the attack, and holds his lance closes to his chest. At the same time, Felix leans in to strike Jeralt once more.

 

“Wrath Strike!” shouts Felix. As he ducks lower to the ground, and then raises his sword skyward to slash vertically on Jeralt.  Seteth, in this moment, attempts to take advantage of their turned backs, and leaps forward towards Dimitri.

 

“Take this!” shouts Seteth as he attacks. Dimitri, quickly reacting, turns around to cover Felix’s backside- as well as guard against Seteth’s attack.

 

“I have not forgotten about you Professor!” said Dimitri. Suddenly, Dimitri hears a clash of metal-like sound sound off behind him, and immediately afterwards he feels Felix fall into his backside once more as Felix is flung away from an attack!

 

"Shit!" yells Felix as he hits Dimitri, "This battle is going to be tougher than I thought to get out of..." Felix continues...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Currently, Dimitri and Felix are backed against each other; deadlocked in an attempt to escape the sticky situation they were placed in by Seteh and Jeralt. With just minutes to spare, Dimitri and Felix both eagerly want to overcome the two fortified walls of man in front of them; each desperately trying to prove their inner monologues back to themselves, so that they can subconsciously justify themselves in front of Byleth, and have their resolve come to life. Dimitri, after feeling the unusual force of Felix colliding against his backside suddenly, he gets quite startled to say the least…

 

“You okay, Felix?” says Dimtiri as he looks to Felix. Felix then grunts as he grits his teeth.

 

“Yea, I’m fine. His attacks just have a lot of force backed behind them; it throws you off. I should be used to it be now however…” said Felix. Jeralt then rushes in, but suddenly trips over a rock! 

 

“W-What?!” shouts Jeralt as he falls, and coincidentally holds out his lance in a piercing-like formation pierces towards Felix. Felix then pushes Dimitri out of the way of the attack as he himself parry’s the move. This causes Jeralt to stumble slightly as he falls into Seteth.

 

“Woah there!” said Seteth as he catches Jeralt.

 

“S-Sorry, I must've lost my balance…” said Jeralt, who feels a bit embarrassed.

 

“Its’ okay, just watch your-” said Seteth before he was cut off as he attempts to guard an incoming attack by Felix!

 

“Hya!” shouts Felix as he thrusts his sword towards Jeralt’s shoulder. However, Seteth’s lance blocks his intended target.

 

“Back away! Tempest Lance!” declares Seteth as he pushes away from Jeralt to spin his lance to attack Felix. However, Dimitri ends up blocking the attack before it could connect to Felix! “What?!” says a surprised Seteth.

 

“You are going to have to try better than that, Professor!” said Dimitri. Jeralt, whose back is turned to Felix, hikes up his lance from underneath his shoulder. 

 

“Knightkneeler!” shouts Jeralt as the pole of the lance slams against Felix’s crotch- unintentionally- and suddenly a high-pitched shriek is heard.

 

“Ahhh!~” screams Felix as he falls to the floor, holding his crotch. Jeralt suddenly drops his lance and holds up his arms

 

“Oops!… I’ve done it now…” Jeralt says.

 

“S-Sir Jeralt! You always play too rough!” shouts Seteth as he goes over to Felix, “F-Felix, are you okay?” he asked as he hovers over Felix’s shaking body.



“F-Felix!” shouts Dimitri as he looks over. Suddenly, Felix shares with Dimitri a look; one that is to convey a thought in his head in the moment, “ P-Please, to not damage my integrity or pride any further- please use this opportunity to go… ”. As Dimitri continues to look into Felix’s eyes, he starts to understand the message he is trying to relay to him.

 

On it! ” thinks Dimitri as he starts to run off as Seteth and Jeralt are distracted by Felix!

 

“H-Hey!” shouts Seteth as he turns around.

 

“Oh, how dirty of you!” says Jeralt as he picks up his lance, and starts to run after Felix.

 

“Tsk, you kids sure of something nowadays…” said Seteth as he gets up himself. Suddenly, he hears Felix groan.

 

“You… Agh… I don’t think I can go on… You are just going to leave me here to suffer?” asked Felix as he continues to hold his crotch in pain. Felix then starts to think, “ Swallow your pride, Felix!… Take one for the team, and ensure Seteth does not leave!...Agh… Though, my balls really do fucking hurt… Fuck!... ”. Seteth then starts to rub his head in confusion on what to do in this situation.

 

“I… Uh… Well, you are an enemy… But, also a student...  Agh, okay, I have some ointment in my bag. Just- don’t move…” said Seteth as he bends down to tend to Felix’s wounded area. Felix then starts to get nervous, and gulps.

 

“... I don’t… Have to take off my pants, do I?...” questions Felix…

 

“I think, for both our sakes, we should keep those well on, Felix…” says Seteth as he shakes his head in embarrassment…

 

*****

 

At around the same time…

 

“I think I see the Professor! And the base!” shouts Sylvain as he and the rest of the Blue Lions attempt to close in on the fleeing Byleth, who alongside Flayn is approaching the entryway to their own base. Flayn then looks behind them.

 

“P-Professor, they are gaining on us! Oh, I hope Seteth is alright…” questions Flayn.

 

“They will be fine. For now- just run! You do not want to get caught in a fight with them” said Byelth.

 

“Professor, I could try to hold them off for you while you continue!” asserts Flayn as he looks to Byleth with a hallowed confidence. Suddenly, Byleth hears Sothis scoff within their mind.

 

Ha! As if she could do any-fucking-thing right now! She would just turn into roadkill! ” said Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

S-Stop!... ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. Byleth then looks to Flayn.

 

“That will not be necessary, but I appreciate the offer. Look- we are so close, that I can almost taste our victory!” said Byelth.

 

"R-Right! Let’s go!” shouts Flayn, who feels invigorated by Byleth’s words. As they approach, those in Byleth’s teams’ base start to hear the fanfare of the incoming mob, and start to look out to the field.

 

“Do you hear something, Sir Jeritza?” asked The Gatekeeper, who ironically is standing watch at the gate alongside Jeritza.

 

“I think so… What on earth could that be?” questions Jeritza. Suddenly, they see Byleth appearing out from the cut of some trees!

 

“P-Professor!” shouts The Gatekeeper. Jeritza’s eyes light up, and instantly notice the handkerchief in their possession.

 

“They have the enemy handkerchief!” said Jeritza. Suddenly, they start to see the enemy Blue Lions come into view behind them. “But they are being pursued! Come, knight!” Jeritza continues as he grabs his lance, and heads out.

 

”R-Right!” shouts The Gatekeeper as he grabs the nearest axe he could find,and runs off towards Byleth.

 

“Look! Reinforcements!” says Annette as he sees Jeritza and The Gatekeeper approach.

 

“Just continue to shoot at them like we have been trying with Byleth and Flayn!” shouts Dedue as he commands them.

 

“Right! Curving Shot!” shouts Ashe as he follows orders, and shoots his arrow towards Byleth once more. However, the arrow is intercepted by another arrow! “W-What?!” Ashe continues. Suddenly, he looks over to where the arrow came from, and sees Cyril gloating!

 

“Haha! Stopped you again!” says Cyril.

 

“Damn it! He just came out of nowhere! That pest!” says Ashe.

 

“Don’t worry about him, just keep trying!” says Dedue.

 

“Professor; you keep running, and we will dispose of the trash” says Jeritza as he passes Byleth in running.

 

“Um, okay?.. Perhaps you shouldn’t call by students ‘trash’ though…” says Byelth.

 

“I only use the most befitting words, Professor; my apologies. I’ll use someone more obscure like... Fodder. Is that better?” asked Jeritza. Byleth then grunts.

 

“Just defend me!” shouts Byleth.

 

“I’m right here for you too, Professor!” shouts The Gatekeeper. 

 

“Me as well!” says Cyril as he runs towards Jeritza and The Gatekeeper.

 

“Thank you, all!” responds Byleth as they continue to run towards their base!

 

Will Byleth make it in time before the round is over? Who will win the first round?! Might it be a draw? Find out in the next chapter!!!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“We gotta break through their wall!” said Sylvain as he arms himself with his lance as he sees Cyril, Jeritza, and The Gatekeeper being the enemies last line of defense keeping them from Byleth.

 

“Charge!” shouts Dedue as he rallies up the units rushing towards them. As they all let out a yell, Jeritza closes in on them.

 

“Save the fanfare for the graveyard!” says Jeritza, as he starts to get excited;wanting to stop all the Blue Lions units approaching him at all costs. He holds out his lance in front of him. “Hya!” shouts Jeritza as he goes to slash at Dedue; striking vertically downward at Dedue!

 

“Agh!” says Dedue as he attempts to hold back the brunt of Jeritza’s attack.

 

“Hold him right there, Dedue! Wind!” shouts Annette as she casts the spell towards Jertiza. Dedue then back away from the trajectory of the spell, and Jeritza then turns over to face the oncoming attack.

 

“Tsk, please” said Jeritza as he rushes forward towards the spell, and jumps, “Tempest Lance!” continues Jeritza as he slashes Annette’s spell in half!

 

“W-What?!” says a shocked Annette.

 

“Damn it! Don’t be discouraged, Annette! We can keep going!” said Dedue, as he attempts to motivate his teammates. Annette then nods her head.

 

“Right!” responds Annette as she comes in closer towards Jeritza, ”I need to prepare another spell! I cannot give up because one failed attack!” she continued as Annette starts to charge up her magical spell once more. Jeritza then grits his teeth, and looks over towards Annette

 

“Not if I can stop you!” said Jeritza as he rushes towards Annette. Annette then gets a bit startled as she sees Jeritza approach at full speed. At the same time, Dedue rushes through the wind, and moves to parry Jeritza’s incoming attack!



“I got you!” says Dedue.

 

“Thank you, Dedue!” says Annette. Then, just in the corner of his eye, Dedue notices an arrow flying towards him! 

 

“W-What?!” says Dedue as he looks over to see Cyril peering out from behind another Blue Lions student, and manages to veer his arrow around to strike Dedue. 

 

“Curving Shot!” says Cyril. As this happens, Dedue starts to get a bit in his head.

 

 “ They are specifically coming after me… Is it because I am holding up the defenses of the group right now?... ” thought Dedue as he widens his stance, and hits the arrow away with his shield.

 

“Shoot, he managed to evade my attack!” said Cyril. 

 

“No matter, child; as long as we delay them- we are doing our role” said Jeritza. Cyril then puts.

 

“I’m not a child!” responds Cyril. Jeritza ignores his comment, and turns back over to Dedue.

 

“You have the guts to approach me with your weapon with a full chest, but your efforts end here!” says Jeritza as he strikes once more at Dedue’s shield. Dedue then starts to get very annoyed.

 

“Agh! Never!” shouts Dedue. Jeritza then starts to chuckle.

 

“Simmer down, and fall to my blade!” said Jeritza as he spins his lance around in his hands, and goes to low sweep Dedue with it. With his shield, Dedue bashes Jeritza’ lance away with great force! 

 

“Like a raging lion, we are untamable!” declared Dedue. As he peers deep into Jeritza’s eyes, and shows off his determination. Jeritza then starts to smirk.

 

“Oh really? Then, let’s test that statement!” says Jertiza as he swings his lance once more; colliding multiple strikes towards Dedue’s shield in a flurry rush. As the blows from Jeritza do not seem to set up,  Dedue starts to feel the increasing recoil of Jertiza’s attacks. Sweating and nervous, Dedue starts to think, “ Agh!... He is strong… If this keeps up, then my shield might break!... ”.

 

In the distance, seeing Dedue start to struggle, Sylvain holds up his own lance, and aims the tip towards Jertiza.

 

“Take this!” says Sylvain as he attempts to pierce at Jeritza. 

 

Seeing this in the corner of his eye, Jeritza starts to think, “ I have to parry that! ”. Jeritza attempts to move  parry Sylvain’s attack, but Dedue swings his axe towards Jeritza; blocking his movement to move away from Sylvain’s attack. “ Agh… I will not be able to fully protect myself or reflect the attack!... ” Jeritza continued to think. Suddenly, an axe comes through on Jeritza’s side to strike against Sylvain’s incoming strike!

 

“What?!” says Jeritza as he looks over to see The Gatekeeper charge in to protect Jeritza!

 

“I g-got your back, Sir!” said The Gatekeeper as he shakingly holds his axe against Sylvain’s strike.

 

“Damn it!” says Sylvain as he realizes his attack was thwarted. Jeritza then starts to smirk as he looks over to The Gatekeeper.

 

“Hmph! Good looking, knight” said Jeritza. Feeling just a slight of admiration slip out of Jeritza’s mouth, The Gatekeeper starts to blush.

 

“T-Thank you!” said The Gatekeeper. Suddenly, an arrow hits The Gatekeeper’s helmet; causing him to get started. “Agh!” continued The Gatekeeper.

 

“Got him!” says Ashe as he cheers.

 

“Watch your surroundings!” shouted Jeritza as he stares down The Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper then sighs; feeling his high of admiration fade in an instant as he feels embarrassed.

 

“S-Sorry…” said The Gatekeeper. 

 

“We do not have time to be sorry; merely pick up your weapon, and fight!” shouts Jeritza as he rushes back into the fray. Suddenly, as they all commence their fighting, Jeritza sees someone dash across the battlefield at breakneck speeds. Jeritza takes his attention just seconds off of his targets, and goes to see who that is.

 

“D-Dimitir?!!...” says Jeritza as he sees him rush past their defenses. Cyril then looks over to Dimtiria s well, and gets worried.

 

“O-Oh no!” says Cyril. Just then, Jeralt appears into view- panting as he keels over

 

“*pant* *pant* The boy just started going ! Gosh, I need to lay off the alcohol…” says Jeralt as he goes to crack his back.

 

“I-I’ll go after him!” says The Gatekeeper. However, he is blocked by an arrow flying past him.

 

“N-Not if I have anything to say about it!” says Ashe as he aims another arrow at The Gatekeeper. 

 

“S-Shoot, agh! Well, if I can’t catch up to Dimitri- then I’ll stop you! You will not stop us from victory! This is for the Professor!” shouts The Gatekeeper as he holds up his axe, and rushes after Ashe. Hearing The Gatekeeper’s words, Jeritza starts to smirk once more.

 

Right… For the Professor… ” thinks Jeritza as he goes to strike at Dedue once more...

 

*****

“Byleth! Further past the gate! I can see the pedestal! We are about to win!!!” cheers Flayn as they both approach the gate. 

 

“Correct. As soon as I make it based on the gate, we are home free!” says Byleth. They then put a pep in their step as they run a bit faster towards the base; looking outward as they see other knights on their side start to light up as they see Byleth come forward as they finally approach the gate of their base. Cheers of awaited victory sound off as Byleth makes their victory run towards the opening of their base. Hearing and seeing this, Byleth starts to smile. Suddenly, Byleth hears a scream come off from behind them.

 

“P-PROFESSOR!” shouts Dimitri, as he makes it to Byleth just before they make it to their base. Byleth, almost instinctively, stops, and looks behind to Dimitri; as if Dimtiri’s call was a call for help, as if he was in true distress.

 

“D-Dimitri?...” says Byleth as they see Dimtiri kneeled over, panting, and looking up to Byleth with one eye closed.

 

W-What are you DOING?! Run! ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind. However, Byleth seems to not hear their call. Flayn then stop in their tracks, and looks back to.

 

“P-Professor?...” says a worried Flayn. Dimitri then stands straight up, and clenches their lance.

 

“I… I will be the last threat that stands between you and victory!” declares Dimitri as he starts to rush after Byleth. Byleth then gets shocked.

 

“W-What?” says Byleth. Still weaponless, Byleth is a bit unsure of what to do in this moment. And so, they continue to run towards their base. However, as they continue to run they suddenly get the instinct to dodge!

 

“Hya!” shouts Dimitri as he lunges his lance towards Byleth- but misses!

 

How did he get so close that quickly?! ” questioned Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

“F-Fuck…” said Byleth.

 

“Take this!!!” says Dimtiri as he attacks Byleth with a flurry of attacks. Byleth, bracing themselves, attempts to evade against each one of Dimitri’s incoming attacks with no weapon. 

 

The Professor is fairing well, even while disarmed… I can't let up- even though they are weaponless! ” thought Dimitri in this moment.  And so, Dimitri’s attacks become more fluid, more impactful, more dynamic, and more determined with each passing blow; all of which Byleth feels is slowly overwhelming them.

 

S-Ssoot… Dimitri has never tried this hard to attack me ever… ” thought Byleth in the moment. Clenching more so onto the enemy’s handkerchief, Byleth raises their left arm; parrying away DImitri’s recent attack away with their arm guard gauntlets fixated on their forearms!

 

“W-What?!” says Dimtiri as his body falls back due to the force. Dimitri then regains his stance, and grunts. “N-No! I will not give up just yet! Tempest Lance!” Dimitri continues as he rushes in once more. 

 

Okay, Byleth. Just stay calm! You need to strike away his strikes, and make an opening for yourself! ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Byleth, nodding slightly, holds up their arms in reparation of Dimitri’s incoming Combat Art. 

 

“Hya!” shouts Byleth as they strike away Dimitri’s lance with the gauntlets, and every attack that comes in afterward. Hearing all of this clashing mental from Dimtiri’s lance to Byleth’s forearms causes Flayn, who watches from the distance, to get a bit startled.

 

Oh my… I have never seen this Professor fight up close before… Or seen an intense fight to such a degree as this before! ” thought Flayn as she contemplates her next movements.  Clenching her fists together, Flayn then grabs her tome in hand, and starts to conjure up magical energy. “I need to make sure that the Professor arrives to our base! If I am their last line of help… I will not fail!!!” shouted Flayn as light radiates out from her left hand; aimed directly at Dimitri.

 

“H-Huh?!” sasy Dimtiri as he quickly looks over to Flayn, who dons a determined look in her eyes. Byleth then looks over to as they get light shined in their eyes.

 

I-I can’t see anything!... What’s going on, Sothis? ” thought Byleth to Sothis.

 

I am looking in the same direction as you! I don’t know! ” responded Sothis within Byleth’s mind. Suddenly, the sound of magic being fired sounds off as the collection of concentrated light charges towards Dimitri.

 

“Nosferatu!” shouts Flayn. Then, almost immediately after her calling out the spells chant, DImitri is hit with a ball of light.

 

“Ah!!!” shouts Dimitri as he falls back towards the ground with much more recoil than Flayn initially thought would happen. Suddenly, Flayn starts to realize what just happened.

 

“I-I hit him! W-Was that a Critical shot?! Yes!” shouts an overzealous Flayn. As Dimtir tumbles backwards onto the ground. Byleth then starts to think, “ Oh my! N-Now is my chance! ”. Byleth then runs past Flayn, and towards their base. Dimtiri then leans back up from the ground, and looks over to Byleth.

 

“N-No!...” sayd DImitri as he struggles to get back up. 

 

“Go Professor!!!” cheers on Flayn as she jumps up and down. Byleth, not looking back, runs full speed towards the base. And not before long, they manage to make it base the gateway; falling to the ground as soon as the Blue Lions’s handkerchief makes it past the gateway to finally secure Byleth’s team’s victory. Ingrid and Mercedes, watching from afar, start to groan in disgust as they see their handkerchief clenched tightly in Byleth’s hand, while other knight units cheer on in canon as they realize their victory. And, not long afterwards, a giant horn sounds off in the distance once more.

 

“WE HAVE A WINNER! BYLETH’S TEAM WINS ROUND ONE!!!” shouts the Announcer Knight as they yell the winning team through their bullhorn!!!

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

All across the battlefield Byleth’s side cheers, while the Blue Lions start to sulk and prude around; all except Dimitri. Dimitri, stuck in between a weird limbo of being ‘happy’ for their Professor- but also sad for themselves, Dimitri walks towards byleth’s base, and stops before the front gate. Byleth, getting up, turns back over to Dimitri; who looks straight into their eyes. Dimitri then sighs, accepting the outcome, and goes to speak.

 

“... Good game, Professor” said Dimitri, who feels a bit defeated. Byleth then walks over to Dimitri, and pats them on the shoulders.

 

“You did good, Dimitri. Really good. It’s just round 1; we have three rounds in total. You still have two more to best me on, so I look forward to what you pull out next” said Byleth. Dimitri, holding his head high, starts to smile hearing this.

 

“Right… Thank you, Professor” said Dimitri. For a brief moment, Byleth and Dimitri share an endearing look between each other; a moment of calmness befalls them- before it is interrupted by yet another loud yell through the bullhorn.

 

“Attention! Please, can all participating units come back to the meeting place in the middle of the battlefield to get further instructions; thank you” said the Announcer Knight through their bullhorn.

 

“Well, it looks like we have to assemble, Professor” says Dimitri.

 

“Right, let’s go guys!” says Byleth, loud enough for everyone around them to hear. 

 

*****

 

The Blue Lions and Byleth’s faculty-lead group all then assemble back to the middle of the field, where the Announcer Knight is situated. Each side comes back together, and temporarily puts aside any grievances they might have collected from each other over the course of the round to stand amongst each other in solidarity and sportsmanship. As they all congregate together, Jeritza and Byleth head to where the Announcer Knight is to stand in front of the crowd of units. As Byleth looks out to the crowd, Sothis’ voice starts to buzz in Byleth’s head.

 

Hey! Earth to the handkerchief runner! Why not give the Blue Lions some pep talk since you and the other faculty just creamed them? ” says Sothis within Byleth’s mind.

 

H-Hey! When you say it like that, it makes it seem like it was a completely horrible experience for them… I think they did good ” thought Byleth back to Sothis. However, as Byleth starts to consider Sothis’ sentiment, Byleth then straightens up their back as they sigh; thinking about what to say. Then, after a brief consideration, Byleth then steps forward to speak to them all.

 

“Ahem! Hello everyone! Well, I don’t think I need to tell you all that you all did very exceptionally well for the first round! I truly feel like you all gave it your all, and has shown to me that your training has been paying off with fruitful results” says Byleth. Dimitri then bows his head in admiration.

 

“I think I speak for all Blue Lions that it is with your added training that we were able to achieve such success, so you have our thanks” says Dimitri.

 

“Speak for yourself; it’s my own training alone that has gotten me this far” says Felix.

 

“F-Felix!” shouts Dimitri, who feels embarrassed for his outburst. Byleth sweats a beat of sweat in nervousness as they try to ignore what Felix said, and laughs nervously. 

 

“W-Well, I only take a portion of the credit of your own skill and talent, so that is fine… B-But besides that, if you ask me- the other Houses will be in awe when they see you all in the Mock Battle!” says Byleth.

 

“Yeah, that is all nice- but you creamed us…” said Sylvain.

 

“Well, it was a close game the entire time to me!” responds Byleth.

 

“I would agree. To be able to hold back multiple knights and professors is something to be praised by” says Seteth.

 

“I saw your guys’ resolve with my very eyes; I was fairly shocked at how well you all did up against me” says Jeralt as he looks over to Sylvain, Dedue, Dimitri and Felix. As this happens Jeritza then sighs, and steps forward- getting in the way of Byleth.

 

“Okay- enough of this sugarcoated acclamation. You should be taking notice of your faults in trying to best us, and apply that to your strategy proceeding forward Blue Lions” says Jeritza.

 

“Well, while I feel like that could have been stated a bit nicer , I would have to agree with Jertiza’s settlement…” says Byleth as they walk in front of Jeritza to take the center stage from them. The Blue Lions then take heed of Jeritza and Byleth’s words as they start to internally process how to go forward. Suddenly, the tense air is cut by Sylvain sighing loudly.

 

“But gosh! I didn’t think a game of Capture The handkerchief could be this intense!” says Sylvain.

 

“I would agree; felt like forever… Who would've thought that thirty minutes could drag out that long?!” questions Cyril. Byleth then laughs at hearing Cyril's remark.

 

“Yea, I’ve been made well aware of that myself” Byleth responds.

 

“But with all that transpired, are you surprised?” asked Ashe.

 

“I myself am not, no. That’s why time and speed is such an important factor to battles. So, let’s work to improve that” says Byleth.

 

“Right!” shouts everyone.

 

“Seteth, hopefully your first experience of this game didn’t ruin the game overall for you” said Dimitri.

 

“Well, I am aware this would be a ‘special’ rendition of the traditional game… But the experience- be it painful at some points- was for a lack of better words, fun” said Seteth.

 

“Well that is good to hear at least” says Byleth. Suddenly, Jeritza starts to groan loudly in disgust.

 

“Okay, enough of this idle chatter and fruitless banter; let’s get to business on Round 2” said Jeritza.

 

“Agh, fine… Well, like Jeritza said- we should be on the way to the second round of this exercise. Now, Jeritza was already so kind to have the Seiros knights re-set up for the round as we speak; setting up traps and making the playing field not so tattered for fighting” says Byleth.

 

“I see...” says Dedue.

 

“And, after some brief debate, Jeritza and I have decided that we will be shifting the base locations as well; as to not give people an upper hand on memorizing layout” said Byleth.

 

“Wait, I’m sorry Professor… I get the reasoning, but is that something we really need to do?” asked Annette.

 

“Well, adaptation is a key component we should have; like to be able to quickly adjust to any type of terrain we might find ourselves in on away missions” says Dimitri.

 

“Something like that, yes” says Byleth.

 

“And we are completely moving locations? Like, traveling once more?”