Chapter 1: The House of the Month Program, Part 1
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 Seteh, 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 quarrelling 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 scoffs.
“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 synbiotic 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.
“ They are either pissing their pants, or 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 gadge 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 2: The House of the Month Program, Part 2 (End)
"What could this System mean for the Professors of Garreg Mach?"
“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 3: The Golden Shower
"Byleth's rotation starts! And immediately they are showered with love by their new House! But, other Houses might wanna rain on their parade..."
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.
"Hubert? Bernadetta? 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 4: Eating Out
"The Golden Deer- with Byleth- go to the Dining Hall to get something to eat. However, what are the odds that Claude and Byleth discover a new way of eating out in the process..."
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 5: Gold Gets Harder The More Hotter It Gets
"Byleth and Claude, both enthralled by their primal emotions, discover things about each other in a very peculiar situation..."
“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 6: Let’s Get In Formation
"The Golden Deer prove to Byleth that they have some coordination! But, will they get eliminated?..."
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
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…
"The chapter title is inspired by "Formation" by Beyoncé" - Sonicravenx.
Chapter 7: The Training of the Lion and Deer, Part 1
"The training between the Blue Lions and the Golden Deer is under way! But is everyone fighting for all the right reasons?"
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 8: The Training of the Lion and Deer, Part 2
"Sometimes, there's a thin line between being on the verge of winning and losing..."
“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 9: The Training of the Lion and Deer, Part 3 (End)
"The training nears the end! Who will win this bout between the Golden Deer, and Blue Lions?"
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 10: Naked Manuela, and the Salty Prince
"Baring their true self, Manuela and Dimitri's actions spur a difficult scenario for Byleth..."
“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 11: Dormant Feelings
"A worried Professor desperately seeks out the student they start to feeling they might have gravely wronged..."
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 firestarter 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 scandel… 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 12: Garreg Mach Sex Seminar
"A new day turns for the students at Garreg Mach, and as the morning sun awakens- so does the curiosity of its students as they learn of their special lecture..."
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.
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 13: Let’s Talk About Sex
"What could possibly go wrong with talking about sex with the Black Eagles? Byleth will soon find this out..."
“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? 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” said Ferdinand- teasing Caspar. Caspar 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.
“But Professor- and sorry to cut you off aftering being cut off... 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. Not that I spend my time really going over the matter, however, 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.
“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 active- as it keeps you in place. And falling victim to idle desires is not fit for a noble” said Ferdinand. Dorothea.
“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 power?!” questioned Ferdinand. Petra then raises her hand up.
“If I may add… 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” said 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! 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.
“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.
“But we all know I’m not lying...” said Caspar. Edelgard bangs on the table.
“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 stands up.
“You wanna fight, Hubert?! 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 14: The Witty Professor
"After all of the commotion winds down, Byleth takes this moment to recollect themselves, the group, and the conversation..."
“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 15: A Worthy Lunch
"When in the Black Eagles House- you do as the Black Eagles do. And, it's about time the Black Eagles put their money where their mouth is with a surprise for Byleth!"
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 16: A Messy Lunch
"Who could possibly come and rain on the Black Eagles parade?..."
“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 think they think we are the Blue Lions. The rest of us are on the other side right? When we give them the signal, it’s game time! Just aim towards Edelgard!” said 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 17: The Confrontation of the Eagle and Deer, Part 1
"A quarrel stirred up by jealousy starts a faceoff between Claude and Edelgard..."
“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 18: The Confrontation of the Eagle and Deer, Part 2
"Escaping into the halls of the monastery, the Black Eagles stop at nothing to trying to catch Claude- and apprehend the Golden Deer..."
“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 19: The Confrontation of the Eagle and Deer, Part 3 (End)
"A fatal blow ends the confrontation in an unsuspecting way..."
“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 20: The Cut That Created The Divide
"How much can Byleth take to keep face as a Professor at Garreg Mach? Today, this is tested greatly..."
“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 21: That ‘Thing’
"Byleth has taken the full brunt of Edelgard and Claude's chagrin; so much so, that the only way to mend this rift- for Byleth's sake- is to converse; can Edelgard and Claude bounce back from this grave wound?"
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 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?” 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?” said Claude.
“Shut up! I have dirt. Want me to dig your grave? Keep fucking with me!” exclaimed 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 22: Unfettered Mercy
"After the Prank of the Golden Deer, all participants that were involved in what was partaken after, it gather in the Audience Hall in front of Lady Rhea and Seteth; apologetic and expecting whatever punishment they are to be dealt..."
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 23: The Face of Melancholy
"Dreary faces are donned in many facets as the events that transpired come to a close"
“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 24: Dirty Laundry
"Airing out ones grievances allows them to cleanse themselves, and as Byleth goes to do more hands on work with cleaning the problems at hand they come into contact with a familiar person..."
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- want to head there together?” asked Dimitri.
Chapter 25: Laundry Service
"Washing away old grievances is done the best with the one that you need to do it with the most; this is a service long overdo..."
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, 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,
“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” saiod 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 26: Captain Cyril
"A new leader has arose at Garreg Mach! But, it seems the newfound power of leadership has born lust..."
“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! 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.
“ 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!? Not to mention- it’s just Edelgard, Caspar, Linhardt and I who have to clean!” he continued.
“Listen- if you still had more 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 27: Tampered Property, Part 1
"A very inconvenient scenario for Byleth is created over clothes..."
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 28: Tampered Property, Part 2
“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 Knight’s Stronghold 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 29: Tampered Property, Part 3
"While on the way to procure weapons, Cyril drops a heavy inquiry about issues that are affected the entirely of Garreg Mach- that keep him from entering a House..."
“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.
“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 30: Tampered Property, Part 4 (End)
"Cyril and Byleth, despite adversity, continue on to find an alternative way to solve their issue"
“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, Byleht never questioned what clothes these were of his; they were not too little of pieces of clothing to belong to just him- but not a lot for a bunch of students as if he was washing for multiple people in his House; however, that was Byleth’s assumption. 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 31: Caspar’s Request
"You can always tell the heart of a man by their actions in guilt or doubt, and as the students head to dinner one student demonstrates this for Byleth..."
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
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…
"HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Thank you for reading this story and making it this far to read this! I have currently uploaded this story all of October, and I'm amazed at the feedback! It's almost at 20K as of when I wrote this! Awesome. So, the daily uploads will continue into November- I'm quite surprised I managed to keep them up for this long- so bare with me another month, as we aren't even close to the Mock Battle!
For Nov. 1st (11/1) there will be NO CHAPTER for the daily upload. Chapter 32 will come out on Nov. 2nd (11/2) to make it a bit easier to upload them daily. It will follow a pattern similar to that from there on out. Thank you for reading!" - @Sonicravenx
Chapter 32: Breaking Bread, Part 1
"The joint Black Eagles and Golden Deer punishment conflicts with Byleth's idea of a joint Black Eagles and Golden Deer dinner; how will the Professor create harmony among the dichotomy of the situation?..."
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 33: Breaking Bread, Part 2 (End)
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 34: Homecoming
"Returning back to their original House, Byleth goes about the day like they typically would have before this House of the Month system even existed"
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 35: Rehashing Old Business
"Thoughts in the back of the mind of many Blue Lions students are unearthed as Byleth's first day back in front of the Blue Lions House kicks off..."
“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 36: Byleth’s Long-Awaited Idea
"Practicing what you preach is the best way to set an example for others, and as Byleth continues to step up to the plate- and be a proper Professor for the Blue Lions- an interesting idea comes to the forefront in their mind...
“... 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 37: Capture The Handkerchief!, Part 1
"A special training exercise for the Blue Lions!? What will this entail for the Blue Lions class?..."
“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 38: Capture The Handkerchief!, Part 2
"In order to make Byleth's idea come to fruition- they need units. So, they journey around the Monastery to find those who want to join the game they have started"
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 39: Capture The Handkerchief!, Part 3
"Byleth's quests to convince more people within the monastery to play their game continues as they start to encounter beings with unusual motives..."
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...
“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 40: Capture The Handkerchief!, Part 4
"Byleth encounters the person that they thought would be the most difficult to convince to aid in their exercise..."
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.
“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 41: Capture The Handkerchief!, Part 5
"Scrambling for some final members, Byleth soon stumbles upon the rest of the Houses serving their punishments. However, with tension still mildly high- and aggravation between Houses peaking out from the crowd- an altercation ensues..."
“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 Corridor of the monastery- through the main hall. 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 corridor, spots Claude; seemingly hard at work as he moves cleaning supplies on hand into the room from another section in the corridor. 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 42: Capture The Handkerchief!, Part 6
"The Black Eagles and Golden Deer start to congregate once more due to Byleth's presence- but this time, under a shared roof of mandatory duty. Likewise, conversation ensues as Byleth takes a brief break from their search..."
Byleth, continuing to look around the corridor, 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 Stronghold- 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 corridor. 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 43: Capture The Handkerchief!, Part 7
"Jealousy and desire starts to peak its head out as Claude and Edelgard are informed about the day Dimitri will have today..."
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 44: Capture The Handkerchief!, Part 8
"The dawn of the training exercise soon approaches as Byleth's procured units and the Blue Lions finally meet"
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 towards the knights stronghold. 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.
“Y ou 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…