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Dark Age

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Archbishop Rhea received Prince Dimitri and Ashen with the utmost secrecy, since Professor Byleth had been very careful to help them sneak into the Monastery separately, in case someone was attempting against Dimitri’s life once again.

“Oh dear. It has been long since I last saw you.” Archbishop Rhea whispered somberly. “The two of you...”

“Do you know me?” The woman asked in confusion, since she was certain she had never seen Rhea in her life.

“But of course I do, Beleth.” Rhea gifted the two of them a warm smile and a soft tone. “I was there when you and your brother were born.”

“My brother is Professor Byleth? Why didn’t my mother ever tell me?” Beleth looked hurt and even more confused than before.

“Your mother ran away with you to keep you safe. It was a hard decision for your parents, but they decided that splitting the two of you would be the only way to keep you safe. They’ve been communicating through letters, but neither your brother or you knew about each other. It seems that you have grown into a strong woman. I am very glad you made it.”

Beleth didn’t have to ask about who was behind her, because she knew it. In her time as a mercenary, she had been attacked by all kinds of unusual enemies. She knew that the Agarthans were after her, because she bore the Crest of Flames, but she didn’t exactly know the story behind her crest.

“As for you, Prince Dimitri.” Rhea turned to Dimitri. “I am also very glad that you were saved. It is truly the work of the Goddess what made possible having you back here, in the academy, safe and sound. And our dear Beleth’s too.”

“I can’t believe my parents named me Beleth and named my brother Byleth... so original.” She scoffed under her breath while Rhea was speaking, praising the Goddess for her kindness.

“I am impressed by your skill and your clear connection to the Goddess. She has clearly blessed you. I would gladly give you any reward you ask for.”

“Uh... I was hoping for a job here in the academy. Being a mercenary is quite rough... but if you don’t have anything for me, then that’s fine.” Beleth sighed in defeat.

“Of course you can stay here. In fact, I was thinking of hiring more knights to ensure Prince Dimitri’s safety. If you want the position, I would gladly give it to you, since you’ve remarkably proven your capability to protect him.”

“Alright.” She nodded.
“Now, please, settle down here. I will continue to investigate who perpetrated this heinous crime.” Rhea said, and it seemed like she would faint.

Dimitri and Beleth stepped out of Rhea’s room. When they were outside, the Blue-haired woman turned to Dimitri, sighing heavily.

“This is insane. I... didn’t even know my father was alive.” She expressed, crestfallen.

Dimitri looked at her with sympathy in his eyes. He knew his mother was dead, but if he was suddenly told that she wasn’t, it would make him feel very unsettled.

“I want to talk to him.” She continued. “Do you want to come with me?”

Hesitating, Dimitri slowly nodded. He wasn’t really sure whether he wanted to intrude in a family moment between his new friend and her father. However, there was a group of his classmates threatening to hurt him. The only person he trusted was Beleth, so, even though he didn’t like to be a third wheel, he felt safer around her.

 

Captain Jeralt was in his room and when he heard the knock on the door, he allowed the people knocking to come in. The surprise on his face was majuscule, when he noticed it was none other than his daughter coming in. She was the vivid image of her mother and Jeralt thought there were tears prickling his eyes when he took his eyes off her.

“Father, why?” She asked, voice stuttering. “Why did you leave me?”

Jeralt said nothing. Beth, like her mother referred to her in the letters, stepped forward and Jeralt caught her in a hug, the two of them sobbing lightly.

After the emotive hug between father and daughter, Jeralt noticed the elephant in the room. The blonde boy, with blue eyes, looking at him like a lost lamb.

However, he chose to ignore it for a moment and give explanations to his daughter.

“I never wanted to. I just wanted to protect you.” Jeralt said sternly, then his eyed flickered towards the boy, and his impatience got the worst of him. “I’m assuming this is Prince Dimitri. What relationship do you have with him?”

“I’m kind of a knight now.” She announced proudly, which made Jeralt realize she was much expressive than her brother was. “And I saved Prince Dimitri, so I will be his escort now.”

“As long as you’re happy.” Jeralt mumbled nonchalantly, not wanting to think beyond what his eyes could see. “How’s your mother?”

“She’s fine. Well, always complaining about me getting in danger, but fine overall. I think I’ll go back to my village soon and fetch her back, because I doubt she can go on too long without me.” Beleth smirked smugly, as if it made her happy to think about how much her mother cared about her.

“That would be...” Jeralt gulped at the thought of seeing his wife again. “...nice.”

“OK!” Beth chirped happily. “So tell me about your job, dad!”

 

Meanwhile, Professor Byleth wasn’t doing so good dealing with the fact he had a sister. He had been trying to hide his conflicting emotions, under a mask of indifference. He had been tutoring each of his students privately with even more might, wanting to prove that he wasn’t weaker than his father or his sister, despite losing the mock battle.

He had also been watching the Blue Lion students more closely. Sylvain seemed to be the strongest, so his analysis had told him. He knew very advanced levels of dark and black magic and he was one of the highest ranks in reason. He surpassed even Annette, who had received specific training in the magic academy. Strangely enough, he wasn’t interested in having Hanneman tutor him with magic, but rather, he was more interested in learning how to ride a wyvern and handling an axe. Those two activities seemed useless for someone who had such a talent for magic.

Ingrid was training to become a Pegasus knight. She was fast and agile, perhaps because she had trained with her fiancée before arriving at the academy. She wouldn’t be too hard to beat, if he trained well Bernadetta with her bow. As for Ashe, he still had the physique of an archer, but was learning magic nonetheless, like Annette and Mercedes. Dedue was a very strong unit, the shield of the team.

The only problem was Dimitri. Byleth had no idea of what he was aspiring to be. He discovered shortly after that his sister was acting as an escort and a private tutor for him, because she was very proficient in swords, and Dimitri was being taught swordsmanship by her.

 

Byleth thought Edelgard had much more potential than him. She was a excited student, who really wanted to learn. She was also trying to become a lord, focusing more on handling an axe instead of a sword yet training for both nonetheless. She was strong and dedicated, so Byleth didn’t doubt her capabilities.

As for Hubert, he wanted to be a dark mage. Byleth suspected he was better than Annette but deep inside he knew that Hubert would never surpass the secret potential of Sylvain. How he had achieved that, Byleth would never know.

Petra was very good handling swords, Bernadetta was training to be a bow knight, Dorothea trained for both reason and sword, while Ferdinand was... he wanted to be a paladin, but Byleth wasn’t sure about him. What he knew is that he had a healer in his team (Lindhardt) and a brute force unit, aka Caspar.

 

The Golden Deer didn’t scare him too much. Raphael was the brute force of their team, Leonie was training with a bow but she aspired to be like his father (so she would be a paladin), Ignatz was... he didn’t even want to fight, Byleth didn’t see him as a threat. Marianne was the healer of their team, while Lysithea was a very quick unit whose art with the bow rivaled Bernadetta’s.

As for Blanche and Hilda, they were the trump cards. Byleth had no idea of what those two girls were up to. He had never even seen Blanche, while Hilda made incredible efforts to hide herself but still Marianne seemed to like her so she always found her and dragged her out of whatever hole she hid in.

 

Another reason why Byleth was investigating students was because Rhea had asked him to. Someone had planned to murder Dimitri and Rhea had directly intel pointing at the Blue Lions.

Rhea was also carrying out her own investigation, so she informed him early in the month of his monthly mission.

Surprisingly, he called his sister in as well. She had tried to talk to him a few times, but Byleth didn’t want to. He was too busy.

“We have found who was behind the murder attempt.” Seteth announced, looking at the twins. “This was the Western Church’s assassination plot to take over the throne of the Kingdom. As such, the culprits must be apprehended.”

Byleth had already participated in missions to punish those who the church considered to be criminals, so he wasn’t too surprised.
“Why did the Western church want to kill Prince Dimitri?” Beth asked in confusion.

“They’ve been straying away from the Goddess’ path for a while now. Lord Lonato’s son conducted a serious of uprisings against the Goddess and he was put down, for his heresy. Lord Lonato also fostered one of our students, who seemed to dislike particularly Prince Dimitri.” Rhea explained.

That made Beth sigh while Byleth glared at her.

“The Black Eagles house should be appropriate for his mission.” Seteth looked at Byleth, and nodded. “As for you, Beth, your request has been approved and the Knights of Seiros will accompany you.”

Beth smiled lightly, which made Byleth wonder what mission she had requested to take.

“It is a shame that you two do not seem to get along. If not, Professor Byleth might have been assigned to go with you.” Seteth said, looking at Beth.

Professor Byleth’s serious face didn’t break for a second, as he waited until the two of them were dismissed. He saw hurt briefly flashing in his sister’s eyes, then proceeded to walk off while huffing. He didn’t know her, there was literally no reason for him to get along with her.

When he arrived to the Cathedral, he found Mercedes there, praying. It wasn’t frequent to see her alone, without Annette’s little figure following her. Byleth realized that he had never seen Mercedes looking so vulnerable, with her eyes closed shut as she held her hands together.

The cathedral was almost empty. Some employees of the church were chatting at the back, namely the choir director and the lady that managed the mail. Mercedes thought she was alone, until she turned around and saw Byleth there. Frightened, she left running.

Byleth wanted to ask her why she was so scared, but he knew he rarely had chances to speak to her. She was clearly shyer and much more timid than Annette, which only made it more difficult to approach her. She was rarely seen alone, much like Dimitri, who was always either with Byleth’s sister or with Edelgard and Hubert. Edelgard spoke highly of Dimitri, but Byleth didn’t know him too much.

Defeated, Byleth then sat down, to reflect. He felt that someone was looking at him, perhaps because he heard footsteps behind him. There he saw his insufferable sister. However, unlike all the other time she approached him, she was completely silent and she seemed to be wearing the girl’s uniform.

“What do you want?” He asked, clearly annoyed, furrowing his nose.

To his surprise, Beth didn’t say anything sarcastic or one of the responses she would normally give him. She spoke, with a much lighter voice than she normally would.

“Are you heading to the Leicester Alliance anytime soon?”

Byleth didn’t even understand why she was asking that. She had been at the meeting, she was supposed to know. However, looking at her more closely, Byleth noticed that there was something that was different to her normal face. Her eyes were wider, and her lips were slightly puffier. Her hairstyle was different too, seemingly longer and curlier than usual. How did that even happen?

“No, why?” He grumbled, wondering what’s kind of joke she was trying to make.

“Just curious.” Again, her voice was softer than it had ever been. She walked off slowly, moving her wrists and swinging her legs like a child.

Unbeknownst to Byleth, it was the first time he had ever seen Blanche.

The next week, Byleth noticed his sister was already gone. At least, Catherine told him so, annoyed because she had taken Alois and Shamir with her, leaving her completely lonely and with no one to talk to but Jeritza. However, Jeritza was a weirdo, according to Catherine, and she didn’t really like him.

As for Byleth, he didn’t know him personally, but apparently Jeritza had an older sister he was very fond of. He was always brooding in his quarters.

 

The rest of the month progressed tensely. The Blue Lions were aware of the fact they were being investigated and their behavior was impeccable. Ashe even befriended Lorenz during that period, while Dedue decided to take over the kitchen and cook for everybody. Ingrid was seen more frequently hanging out with Annette and Mercedes, and with Marianne too. The fact they loved horses helped their friendship a lot.

The only one who acted like he normally would was Sylvain. As everyone grew to know, he was always reading books, whether it was in the library or his room. Byleth figured
that was how he became so proficient with magic.

Edelgard just frowned whenever they walked anywhere near her. Her gut told her that it had been them, that they were linked to the murder attempt somehow, or so she had told Byleth. The conspiracy group also grew more weary, and Leonie decided to tail Lorenz to make sure Ashe wouldn’t do anything to him. Lysithea and Lindhardt watched Sylvain in the library for suspicious behavior, but he only read. Also, Lindhardt fell sleep more often than not. Caspar started sparring with Dedue and Raphael but he got beat up so often he was beginning to hate it and heavily considering quitting. Dorothea and Petra didn’t like being around them, so they just stayed out of harm’s way. Dorothea even started hiding at Bernadetta’s room sometimes, sporadically, so it was an often occurrence to not find her in her room at night.

Ignatz started hanging out with Flayn, Seteth’s sister. Flayn encouraged him to paint, so he was frequently found around the monastery working on paintings. Leonie had taken the duty to inspect paintings to find clues of unnatural events happening.

 

One week before Byleth departed with his students, Beth returned. He briefly saw her walking with a tiny woman walking beside her.

“We are going to see Rhea now.”

“Oh! It’s been so long since I last saw her! I wonder if she’s doing fine.”

“I’d say so, she’s the Archbishop now.”

“I never understood why she changed her name. Does she have any idea of how long it took me to come up with her name!? I mean, it’s not like I don’t like her name now, but...”

“It’s better than mine.”

“I’m sorry, dear, it wasn’t my fault.”

They walked in, to find Rhea. Rhea was holding a statue and she immediately dropped it in surprise, her green eyes wide as saucers. She composed herself slowly, taking deep breaths.

“Mother!? Beleth, what is the meaning of this!?” Rhea turned to Beleth.

“What? Sothis is my mother.” Beleth explained, not quite understanding why Rhea was so surprised.

“Mother! What happened to Beth’s real mother?” Rhea asked, in a silent scream.

“Ran off somewhere, I’m not sure. By the way, I love how you decorated this place, it’s so nice!” Sothis said, awing at the decoration in Rhea’s room. “Also, saw the mural of the Goddess and I gotta say she looks nothing like me.”

“Can you focus, mother, please!?” Rhea screamed desperately. “How did you find Beleth and what happened to Jeralt’s wife?”

“See, I was in my temple.” Sothis began reminiscing. “I was sleeping. Then I heard this... attack. I have no idea what it was. But it was loud. Real loud. Then I went out and I found a baby with the Crest of Flames. There was a woman with green hair attacking the Knights of Seiros and right then I knew I had to protect the baby of the Crest of Flames. I am pretty sure the knights fell in battle, but I managed to save the baby from those monster’s claws. I’ve raised her in my temple ever since, but we moved to a village so she would meet boys and she would wed.”

“wasn’t it because you wanted be to live like an adult and have a life in the human world?” Beth was suddenly taken aback, because she didn’t know that Sothis’ real purpose had been to make her find a husband.

“Well, that too. But seems like you have that blonde boy, so I’m guessing my purpose has been achieved now.”

“Mother!” Rhea screamed. “Oh dear. Please excuse her, Beth, she’s always been like this.”

“I know. She literally raised me.” Beth crossed her arms. “And saved me from my deranged birth mother, apparently.”

“I have to ask you to not talk like that about your mother. She wasn’t like that. I have no idea of what happened for her to do that... if I had known it would happen, I would have never allowed her to leave with you. I’m terribly sorry, Beth.”

“If I hadn’t known better, I would have said those were Agarthans. What did you do with Nemesis, ‘Rhea’?” Sothis dragged out the vowels in Rhea’s name.

“We killed him, after he tried to kill you.” Rhea recounted. “I have no idea of what happened to the Agarthans.”

“I think they were after Beth because she has the crest of flames. If my theory is correct, then they are after all the people you shared your blood with, Seiros.” Sothis’ green eyes locked with Rhea’s.

“I believe that as well.” Rhea said, sighing heavily. “If I had known this would happen...”

“You can’t dwell on it now! However, I must say that his place is extremely nice. With all this guards and knights, I would say that it’s even safer than my temple! Do you have anywhere I can stay?”

“You want to stay, mother?” Hope shone in Rhea’s eyes, as her voice grew softer. “That would make me unbelievably happy.”

“Well, I should fix some things here and there but overall it should be Ok if I am not wrong...” Sothis mumbled thoughtfully. “What is Beth’s position here about? Is she a teacher? A private tutor for her boyfriend?”

“Mother, it’s it’s not like that.” Rhea sighed forlornly. “She’s a security measure. The blonde boy, Dimitri, he’s the prince of Faerghus. He was almost assassinated. Beth is protecting him.”

“Oh. Sounds better than being a mercenary.” Sothis nodded, satisfied.

 

Byleth saw them go out, Sothis laughing loudly while Rhea’s expression was grim. Seteth awkwardly saluted the tiny woman, who waved back excitedly. Byleth wanted to ask his sister who that woman was, but he didn’t want to talk to her.

“Professor.” Edelgard and Hubert arrived, followed by Dimitri, who was more often than not scared to be left alone. “Hubert and I were wondering if you could solve a doubt we have about a new magic spell. I’ve been trying to tell Hubert it’s like this, but he won’t listen.”

“Oh, it’s him!” Sothis pointed at where they were excitedly and ran towards them, as fast as her little legs could take her. “Beth, introduce us at once!”

Byleth thought they were talking about him, so he opened his mouth, but Rhea spoke up again.

“Mo... I mean, Sandra!” Rhea made up the name quickly. “You can’t molest our students!”

“But I want to meet my son-in-law!” Sothis protested.

Dimitri realized Sothis was talking about him, making the quick connection about Sothis being Beth’s mother, and his face turned red.

“So, you are the prince of the Kingdom of Faerghus. That is actually wonderful but I don’t care about how much noble titles you have, before I approve of you I must be certain that you will treat my daughter...” Sothis had to stop speaking because her own biological daughter lifted her in the air and dragged her away.

“I’m sorry about her.” Rhea apologized. “Terribly sorry. I will make sure to help her improve her behavior.”

Edelgard turned to Beth with a bright smile.

“Your mother is a very cheerful person, isn’t she?” Edelgard said happily.

“Such cheerfulness makes me feel sick to the stomach.” Hubert said dully, and Edelgard glared at him.

“She is exactly like me.” Beth said proudly.

Byleth scoffed. Of course, that wasn’t his mother.

 

Before the departure, Byleth visited the cathedral to pray like he always did. He saw the Blue Lions reunited there, except for Sylvain and Ashe.

“I think that this is useless.” Annette mumbled defeatedly. “They will never go back to normal.”

“We can’t lose faith.” Mercedes replied soothingly. “We can hope the Goddess will guide their hearts back to their rightful places.”

“I miss Felix too.” Ingrid said somberly. “And I miss Dimitri too. Seeing him here, but not being able to talk to him... it’s crushing my heart. I’m sure you feel the same.”

“I do.” Dedue sighed. “But I must be faithful to Lord Ashe.”

“I’m worried about him.” Ingrid mentioned off-handedly. “Lonato was his mentor. If he gets hurt, then Ashe will...”

“I will make sure Ashe doesn’t lose control.” Dedue promised Ingrid. “I’m ready.”

 

Byleth didn’t want to think about what would happen after they killed Lord Lonato. He didn’t really want to do it, but if Rhea said it, then it would be done.

He walked out of the church and saw Ashe’s green eyes stabbing daggers at him.

“Why aren’t you with your friends inside?” Byleth asked.

“They’re not my friends.” Ashe scowled. “And you are not my professor, so why should you even care?”

“Maybe I’m not your professor, but I am a professor of this school and you are a student. Are you sure they’re not your friends?”

“I can’t be friends with people that have perfect lives and don’t understand what’s it like to carry a burden.” Ashe rolled his eyes and turned away.

 

Catherine led the Knights of Seiros when they charged against Lord Lonato’s troops and didn’t hesitate to strike a blow directly on his head with her magnificent sword. Edelgard watched the spectacle with fear in her eyes and horror in her face, as if she didn’t want to take part in the assassination of a person for religious reasons. Of course, she was furious that they had tried to kill her friend, but she believed that if an eye was sacrificed for another eye, the world would go blind.

Though she had already been taking down mysterious creatures that lurked around the village where Dimitri was hiding with her friends, it was the first time she was fully aware of how the church could dispose of anybody just because Rhea wanted. She didn’t agree with the way things were being done, and as Lord Lonato’s head was hit with Catherine’s sword, she let out a whimper. Then she looked at the bodies around her and realized all the damage they were causing because of a disagreement between the western church and the church of Seiros and realized how much she hated violence.

“Are you alright?” Hubert asked her, with concern written all over his features.

“I am alright.” She said, but her voice was shaking. “I don’t like this at all.”

“Nobody here does.” Hubert ignored Ferdinand’s victorious screech when he realized he’d taken down more soldiers than Edelgard. “But it’s necessary to maintain peace.”

“Peace, through violence?” Edelgard sighed.

 

One of the soldiers of the church found an assassination plot directed to Lady Rhea and informed Catherine, who took with a grain of salt. Catherine showed Byleth the paper and stomped on the ground.

“These anarchists!” She scowled, waving the paper around. “We need to tell Lady Rhea right away.”

“Doesn’t this seem like a ruse to distract us? Isn’t the Goddess’ Rite of Rebirth coming up soon?” Byleth asked.

“THIS CLEARLY MUST BE A RUSE!” Catherine screamed, as if it had been her idea, and all the knights of Seiros gaped at her, amazed by her capability to guess what was really going on.

Well, that was how Catherine took the credit. They left for the Monastery and Lady Rhea was informed of the paper they had found. Lady Rhea shared Catherine’s theory and talked it out with Seteth. Together, they decided to send the Black Eagles and Beth to investigate the situation, because they were the only ones they could fully trust.

“We think that there must be something specific that the Western Church is chasing.” Seteth told Beth and Byleth. “So that is why we want you to make a list of the places that could run risks and decide how to guard them.”

 

When Byleth exited Rhea’s room, he felt weird, as if someone was watching him. Beth didn’t seem bothered and she engaged a chat with her mother right away, who was quick to suggest places she could go, because apparently Beth’s mother had been looking around because she was new to the monastery.

Byleth eavesdropped on their conversation.

“I must say, there are a few interesting places. The Goddess’ Tower, seems important, and it is actually a very romantic place I’d say, so when Dimitri confesses you should tell him to-“

“Can you please focus, mom?” Beth sighed, a light blush coating her cheeks.

“Oh, right. There’s also the Mausoleum, you know, the place I was supposed to be buried in.” Sothis whispered.

 

Byleth didn’t hear that last part and turned away, to go and speak with students that would actually provide important information.

The first person he found was Lysithea, who seemed to think the library was very important and many important books could be stolen from there. Then he found Raphael, who suggested that the kitchen was an important place to raid.

But then, there was Leonie, who actually mentioned something important.

“I’ve watched Hilda for a while now.” Leonie confessed. “I just think she behaves strangely. She’s always lingering around the Holy Mausoleum, as if she was waiting for it to be open. I think that someone -like Hilda- could use the chance to infiltrate in there.”

“Do you believe Hilda is allied with the Western Church?” Byleth asked.

“I’m not sure, but she seems very suspicious.”

Byleth took note to ask Lady Rhea about the Mausoleum. But he asked around some more, in case someone had important information to share.

“Hi professor.” Marianne shyly said. “Have you seen Blanche? I’ve trying to find her but... it looks like she’s vanished. I’m worried about her and Hilda, I haven’t seen them in a while.”

“Who’s this Blanche?” Byleth asked, feeling beyond curious.

“Oh. I think you already know she’s a golden Deer student. She’s very shy and she’s my friend, so please help me find her... Professor Manuela is looking for her because she has an assignment to do in but she’s been gone since yesterday...”

“And Hilda?”

“I haven’t seen Hilda since this morning.” Marianne’s brown eyes pleadingly looked at Byleth. “Please, help me find them.”

“Alright.” Byleth nodded. Marianne’s sad face lit up and she smiled for half-second, before her face reverted back to her usual serious expression.

 

A few meters away from Marianne, Leonie was eavesdropping on the conversation, similar to what Byleth did sometimes. Her admiration for Byleth and Jeralt went that far as to have her do the same things they did.

 

It didn’t take long for Byleth to share the situation with Edelgard, who gave her input immediately. Hubert was with her as per usual, while Dimitri wasn’t there, meaning he probably was with Byleth’s sister, being a dog as per usual.

“I think that the Holy Mausoleum could be a place the Western Church would be interested in raiding. I’ve heard the Goddess was buried inside in there.”

Edelgard told the other Black Eagles and they all agreed that they would guard the Holy Mausoleum, because not only the Western Church was after it, but also Hilda, by the looks of it. Leonie approached Byleth and practically begged him to help in the mission because she needed to confirm her suspicions about Hilda. She was also his biggest fan -perhaps after Edelgard- and wanted to be under his mantle, so she practically begged him to join his class. Knowing Leonie’s prowess with the bow and her capability as a knight, Byleth accepted her into his class.

The other Golden Deer also were aware and soon Lysithea wanted to switch classes as well. However, Lysithea wanted Leonie to do field work and she would join after Leonie’s suspicions were confirmed.

 

At the end of the month, the Black Eagles were all in their positions to guard the Holy Mausoleum. The battle began as soon as Western Church members began flocking in, and a mysterious knight appeared and joined the Western Church.

The armor the knight wore was completely black. The knight’s face was completely covered by a black mask with horns on their sides. However, the knight’s Mount was none other than a wyvern... a phantasmagoric wyvern. It floated in the air, flapping its translucent wings, with eyes devoid of life and a flame shining in its tail.

The knight held an axe, a huge axe with a chain that meant that it could be used for attacking from afar.

Byleth had been consciously preparing his students to face the battle, but that enemy wasn't one they could take and he was fully aware of it.

“Everyone!” Edelgard noticed Byleth’s panicked look and talked to her classmates. “Stay away from the wyvern knight!”

The Black Eagles nodded and prepared to fight all the other enemies. They needed to stop the priest that had arrived to the tomb.

“We need reinforcements.” Hubert said and Byleth remembered that his sister was around, but he hadn’t told her they were heading to the Mausoleum.

He realized he needed someone to go quickly and tell Beth to help them.

“Bernadetta!” He screamed, looking at the archer, who was standing next to the entrance. “Go and fetch my sister!”

Bernadetta nodded and scrambled away, as quick as she always ran whenever she found herself in a situation she couldn’t stand.

They were quick to wipe the church members before the stairs, but the wyvern knight was blocking the stairs, meaning they couldn’t go up and stop the priest from robbing the tomb.

The knight seemed to be growing impatient, and Byleth was sure that whoever was under the mask was going to attack his students. The knight was about to toss their axe in Edelgard’s direction, but Byleth stood before her and blocked the hit, getting severely wounded.

And before he collapsed, someone healed him. Byleth looked around, but Lindhardt, the only healer of his team was as shocked as he was.

In the entrance, there stood Beth, with Bernadetta and Dimitri by her side. The wyvern knight was going to attack again, but Beth managed to get there and blocked the hit with her sword.

“Go!” Beth told her brother. “Go and stop them, quick!”

Byleth nodded and the Black Eagles continued advancing, now accompanied by Dimitri, who, Byleth was shocked to learn, was exceptionally talented with his lance. Byleth turned around just once, and saw his sister blocking the blows the knight was throwing at her, with her shiny, golden sword. That sword seemed strangely powerful and Byleth knew he’d have to ask her about it.

 

Eventually, they reached the tomb and Byleth knocked the priest out before they could steal whatever was inside the tomb.

But the tomb was open, and there was nothing but the same exact sword his sister was carrying. The priest got up and tried to fight him, but the sword shone and a chain took down the priest.

The wyvern knight noticed Byleth was holding the sword and fled while Beth was too weak to attack them.

 

“That’s a holy weapon!” Edelgard said excitedly, and she took Dimitri’s arm and shook it. “It’s the same that Beth carries!”

“Why are there two?” Hubert questioned aloud.

“I have no idea.” Edelgard mumbled, curiously eyeing the sword in her teacher’s hands. “Can I hold it?”

“No, I will hold it first!” Ferdinand ran over to the shiny golden sword and tried to snatch it from his teacher, but Byleth pulled away and he fell down.

“What a fool.” Hubert snickered under his breath, while Petra excitedly ran and asked if she could hold the sword. Sighing, Byleth allowed her to hold it and Dorothea asked her to pose for a painting that Bernadetta could make.

Bernadetta just screeched and hid behind her teacher, tightly grasping the jacket that hanged off his shoulders.

The Black Eagles were all very excited to hold the sword. Leonie even came up with the theory that only Jeralt’s blood could hold the cool weapons, but Edelgard explained that some families had holy weapons and perhaps that was Byleth’s, which made Leonie feel proud of her theory, since it was correct.

 

“Aren’t you going to ask Byleth if you can hold the sword?” Beth asked Dimitri, who seemed oddly quiet, away from everyone else. From what Beth knew, Dimitri had problems talking to other people because it had been long since he had lost his friends and he didn’t feel enough confidence in himself to try to make new friends.

“No. It’s... the same you’re carrying. Professor Byleth seems awfully quiet and I doubt he would be interested in engaging any kind of relationship with me. If it doesn’t bother you, Professor, May I ask why Professor Byleth seems to be so distant with his own sister?”
“I wish I knew.” Beth mumbled sadly, which made Dimitri feel the need to hug her.

“I think that he’s being a fool.” Dimitri said clearly. “Ignoring his own sister, not even caring about how much a wonderful person she is. It is both enraging and unbelievable. If I had the chance to get along with my brother, then I...”

“You have a brother?” Beth asked, curiously.

“Oh, but he wouldn’t like to hear me referring to him as such. I apologize, please forget what I said, Professor, it is nothing important. There are shadows in my past and he’s just one of them.”

“You are very cryptic, Dimitri.” Beth told him straightforwardly.

“I am, am I not? Please excuse me if I keep secrets from you. I simply do not want to lose anyone else. I will tell you when I am ready to hold the weight of my past. It would be very selfish of me to make you share with me the burdens of my past.”

“Alright.” Beth nodded, respecting Dimitri, because she understood, he had to get over his own problems on his own.

 

When they made their way back to Rhea’s chamber, Sothis was there. The little woman immediately noticed Beth’s presence and rushed to hug her, glad she had made it out safely.

“I see you dealt safely with the bandits. Good job.” Rhea smiled at them, happy her mother had such a good relationship with Beth. “Oh. What is that sword you are holding, Byleth?”

“I found it in the tomb.”

When Sothis heard that, she started giggling under her breath, while Rhea remembered that she put that sword in there to keep it safe, because it was a legacy she had from her mother and she wanted to keep it safe. When she saw Beth held the same sword, she understood how much Sothis loved Beth.

“I see. That is a Holy weapon, blessed by the Goddess herself.” Rhea told him solemnly. “As it seems to have chosen you, you can keep it.”

Over the years, Rhea had grown to see Byleth as her own child. She appreciated him and felt like she had been the one to raise him. Seeing him wield her sword filled her with pride. It was like it was meant to be, a weapon meant to be passed down generations like all the other holy relics and Rhea felt like she was giving her sword to her son.

While Byleth faintly smiled at that, Beth approached Rhea and, as per usual, spoke without any kind of mannerism. She was saying something trivial, but for some reason, it made both Rhea and her adoptive mother laugh. Byleth turned away to leave, but someone stopped him.

That someone was none other than his father.

“Heard you faced some danger. Don’t look at me like that, kid. Leonie told me.” It was no wonder Leonie would tell his father. “She’s very worried about the mysterious knight that appeared in there.”

“What mysterious knight?” Rhea popped into the conversation, reverting back to her usual, serious self. “Byleth, would you care to explain what that means?”

To Byleth, Rhea was the mother figure he’d been missing since forever. So getting scolded by her infused as much fear as it would getting scolded by his real mother.

“I will explain.” Beth stepped in and Byleth hated himself for not being able to speak up. “There was a mysterious knight accompanying the western church members. The wyvern they rode was... a ghost. They held a strange axe that could be thrown around. I consider myself lucky to have survived a fight against them.”

“A mysterious knight.” Rhea breathed in. “Fine. I will inform Seteth of this news. We must look into the matter immediately. We cannot allow an unknown enemy to linger around the Monastery. Byleth, please aid the Knights of Seiros in our investigation. As for you, Beth, continue taking care of Dimitri. We do not know if the knight could be targeting him.”

The group dispersed. Sothis and Rhea went back to their chambers while Jeralt asked his two children to have a private chat with him.

“You two are going to be careful, alright? I had never heard anything wyvern ghosts before. Such strange thing only brings danger.”

“I’m glad to be with you, father.” Beth hugged him and Jeralt’s cold facade broke, as he returned the hug. “I will be careful.”

“That is all I’m asking for. What about you, kid?” Jeralt asked Byleth.

“I will be careful.” Byleth promised, tightly grasping the Holy weapon that Rhea had gifted him, although he wasn’t even aware of that.

Right after him and Beth exited Jeralt’s room, Dimitri was waiting for Byleth’s sister, looking at her like a lost puppy, with a lovestruck look in his eyes. Byleth thought he was pathetic and did not understand why his sister was leading on a seventeen-year-old, four years younger than her.

“Are you alright, Beth? Were you hurt?” Dimitri asked, and Byleth hated him because he looked like he was a very nice person. Why else would Edelgard keep up with him?

“I’m fine.” Beth just smiled at him. “Have you thought about what class you would want to promote to?”

Dimitri looked taken aback by the sudden question, but he had an answer ready. Though he wasn’t ready to share it with Byleth.

“I have an idea, but we should it discuss it with Professor Manuela.” Dimitri said.

Beth nodded and walked away with him, while Byleth scowled and wondered what Prince Dimitri would have to do with a woman like Professor Manuela.

 

But he had more important stuff to take care of, such as tutoring his students and dealing with the Conspiracy Group’s farfetched theories. They invited him the weekend after the fight with the wyvern ghost knight and instead of theorizing about the knight’s identity, they were talking about Ashe and Dimitri, because apparently Ashe had cursed Dimitri but Mercedes had fixed it before any teacher knew.

“He literally tossed a beam of strange light his way, and Dimitri fell to the floor.” Lysithea was recounting. “Then Mercedes healed him, but the damage was done, and it was not pretty.”

“I’ve heard Ashe has been very irritable since Lord Lonato’s death. He’s been scowling and being mean all the time, even more than before.” Caspar contributed to the beef-sharing session.

“Anyway, that does not excuse his behavior.” Byleth commented, careful to not add any remark that could possibly indicate he disliked Ashe, because he was a professor and he couldn’t bring himself to hate a student.

“Ashe is a strange person but I don’t think he’s bad.” Ferdinand pointed out, since Ashe had the same behavior to the people that weren’t nobles as Ferdinand’s. “He’s just suffering because someone close to him died.”
“Ashe is suspicious, I’m calling it now!” Lysithea banged the table with her little fists. “Professor Byleth, may I join your class? You know, it’s been a while and I have grown very close to your students, so I think that you could help me to be as talented as Bernadetta is with her bow.”

The request took Byleth by surprise but it was not unwelcomed. He had talked to Lysithea a few times and she definitely seemed interested in working with him, so he was willing to take her under his wing and teach her archery. He himself practiced sometimes but Shamir had taught him everything he knew and so he transmitted the knowledge to Bernadetta.

“Alright, Lysithea, if that is what you wish.” Byleth said amicably.

“Alright! Now we can all investigate this weird stuff, all as a joined class!”

“I would thank you if you were so kind to keep all this... conspiracies away from Her Highness. Lady Edelgard is already occupied and worried with her duties, so burdening her with our baseless suspicious would be adding unnecessary stress to her.”

“But if the Blue Lions are dangerous, shouldn’t she know?” Lysithea complained.

“You are all creating imaginary scenarios now. If Edelgard doesn’t suspect anything, leave her to figure out things on her own.” Byleth commented.