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Dark Age

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Unluckily, Seteth had other plans. He ran towards Rhea as soon as he saw her, with the twins in tow, and completely disregarded their presence.

“Archbishop Rhea! I can’t find Flayn! I think she’s gone missing!”

Knowing everything that was going on with the wyvern knight, Sylvain and Professor Hanneman’s injury, adding something else to the list wouldn’t just stress Rhea further. Of course, she was concerned about Flayn, but it wasn’t the heaviest preoccupation heaving inside her head.

“Byleth, Beth. Please help me find her.” Seteth finally turned to them. “There is a rumor that the wyvern knight might have taken some students but... I... please, help me look for her.”

The desperate look in Seteth’a eyes got Beth to crack immediately and nod in empathy, while Byleth just shrugged.

 

During the month, Beth gathered clues with Marianne, Ingrid and Dimitri, since none of them had nothing more interesting to do and were concerned about Flayn. They split up in two teams, Marianne and Ingrid, who mostly spent their time by the stables, and Dimitri and Beth, who just wondered around trying to find clues but got constantly side-tracked.

Byleth had a whole team of skeptics analyzing every mini detail to obtain any clue about Flayn’s location.

“There were footsteps on the ground her size by the botanic garden, so it must be her the one who walked around there.” Lysithea announced proudly, sure of the fact that the garden hid a secret passage inside it.

“Your shoes are the same size as Flayn’s.” Hubert pointed out, sighing because he thought he was the only intelligent person left in the monastery.

“No. She’s shorter, therefore, her shoes must be smaller.” Lysithea contradicted him, but Hubert was right and her claim had no base.

Still, Lysithea would fight anyone if it meant being right. She was smart and her parents had spoiled her a lot, taking her to archery classes and all kinds of classes to further solidify her intelligence and her skills. However, detective work was not her forte.

“I think that I know who took Flayn.” Leonie spoke her, from her spot, smiling happily. “It was Hilda!”

Everyone gasped, and some people (Ferdinand) shook their heads, flabbergasted and unable to believe her, but Byleth asked her to explain her idea.

“Hilda has been missing for a short while. Not to mention, the wyvern knight appeared in the Mausoleum, the place Hilda was lingering around all the time. I think she’s the wyvern knight and I think she took Flayn.”

“But Hilda is a student here. Where could she have possibly taken Flayn to?” Hubert questioned smartly.

“Well, I don’t know, that’s for you intellectuals to figure out!” Leonie shrugged, looking directly at her professor, her eyes gleaming as she thought of solving a mystery with her hero.

Surely, Edelgard would not like that. Nevertheless, Edelgard was too busy hanging out with Petra, Bernadetta and Dorothea.

 

Byleth decided to look into the issue and he discussed with Manuela Hilda’s whereabouts. She’s missing from class a short while. Byleth talked it out with Rhea, to see if there was some secret place Hilda could use to hide Flayn.

“...” Rhea thought about it. “I think that there is a place in the monastery, where Hilda could hide Flayn. I think that Jeritza’s room has a secret passage that leads to my... working room.”

“Working room?” Byleth questioned.

“Yes, my working room.” Rhea refused to further explain. “I have passages everywhere leading up to there. No one knows about it, and if they do, they shouldn’t. I suggest you try looking around Hilda’s room, in case there is a passage leading up there.”

 

There were only two people that could take the mission of inspecting the female bedrooms in case there was a passage around there. Leonie and Lysithea’s bedrooms were closer to Hilda’s, so Byleth went to them and asked them specifically for help. However, when he approached Lysithea, she was engaged in a conversation with Edelgard, the two of them amicably speaking.

“My younger sister reminds me so much of you, Lysithea, you two are so bright and funny, it’s wonderful to be around you.” Edelgard was saying, and Byleth got to hear it. “Oh! Professor, is there anything you need?”

“Yes, actually. I have a little assignment for Lysithea. May we... speak in private?” Byleth remembered well that Hubert had expressively asked all of them to not tell Edelgard anything about their conspiracies until there was solid information and a base to justify their suspicions.

Since Byleth himself was pretty intimidated by Hubert, he decided to actually listen to him and not make him angry. Luckily for him, Lysithea followed him without asking any questions, but she let her thoughts out when Edelgard was far enough.

“Why can’t we tell El anything? She’s very nice, we shouldn’t leave her out of this!” Lysithea complained, clearly worked up over the fact that Edelgard knew nothing about the conspiracy group. Everyone in the Black Eagles knew, except for her.

“Edelgard has enough to worry about, we should not bother her with baseless suspicions.”

“They’re not baseless, we have proof! Ashe is so mean! They’re definitely hiding something, and Sylvain attacked Professor Hanneman. We are not wrong! She should know, she could help us!”

Still, Byleth refuses to get Edelgard involved, because of her own safety and to keep her away from all the dangers he was getting himself into.

 

Leonie listened to him with much less complaints. Leonie was hanging around the pond, and by the time Byleth told her, Marianne and his sister were sitting by the fishing area, staring at the fish swimming inside there. Beth noticed him but did not say anything, as Marianne kept pointing at fish and laughing at how adorable they looked.

Though Byleth couldn’t have guessed it, they both heard his conversation with Leonie. Marianne was putting special attention to it, since she was specially concerned about Hilda and wanted to know her whereabouts.

 

Leonie and Lysithea didn’t do much, because they couldn’t sneak into other students’ room, so they only investigated their own rooms. Marianne, however, knew exactly where Hilda’s room was, so she went inside and inspected everything until she found the mechanism that activated the entrance to the secret room.

Gasping, Marianne quickly left to tell Professor Beth, who was the person that she trusted the most.

Beth wasn’t with Dimitri, and the only reason why she wasn’t, it was because Edelgard and Dimitri were hanging out together. She was with Sothis instead, inside her room. Marianne knew that was the professor’s mother and she had talked to her a few times, but she seemed to be more interested in talking to Dimitri for some reason, rather than any other student.

“Hello Marianne!” Professor Beth greeted her happily, as Sothis’ green eyes analyzed her. “Are you alright?”

“Oh my. You really should try to get some sleep! I taught Beth some nice spells that help to put people to sleep, I could help you to have more sleep...”

“It’s not that.” Marianne said, sighing sadly. “It’s another thing. I’ve found a passage to a secret place. I think Flayn might be hidden in there.”

“Ooh! A secret passage! I wonder what is hidden inside there. Maybe two people could use it to get some priva...”

“Mother!” Beth cut her off.

“Oh. Alright. This seems serious. I will let you deal with this, I trust you.”

“Thank you.” Beth sighed, getting up and following Marianne, who had a concerned expression.

However, as they were making their way to the other dorms, they walked into Ingrid, Annette and Mercedes. Professor Beth had begun to teach them both reason and faith, so they had greatly improved their magic skills. Mercedes definitely liked Beth more than Annette did, perhaps because she trusted people more easily.

“We think we know where Flayn is.” Professor Beth told them. “One of you, please go and tell my brother about this.”

Ingrid looked at Mercedes and Annette. Annette huffed, while Mercedes stepped closer to Beth, seemingly giving out the message that she preferred to be with the larger group and not go off on her own.

Beth was almost completely sure that her brother already knew about the passages, since she’d seen him talking to Rhea when Sothis had called her because she was bored. However, Beth had Marianne on her side, and the shy girl was willing to share information with people that she trusted rather than with people she did not know, like Professor Byleth.

As Ingrid walked away, Mercedes asked her teacher about her theories on the matter and Beth did not say much, because she didn’t quite know what to expect. Annette gave her input, stating that she suspected that Hilda had to do something with everything. She’d become much more daring and talkative since Sylvain had been captured, now she wasn’t scared of pissing him off. Ashe, on his own, wasn’t much of a threat.

On their way there, Beth wondered what Ashe was doing, because she never saw him in communal areas. Annette and Mercedes had talked to her much more than those two, and Mercedes seemed to like her much. Beth could say that she liked Mercedes too, because she was a very gentle and nice person, despite how scared and how dull she’d been during the period she’d been threatened by Sylvain.

They eventually reached Hilda’s room and Marianne went inside without second thoughts. Probably, she was too scared of backing down once her rational side overcame her emotions. She had had a surge of bravery and she would use it, because she knew that Hilda was hiding somewhere, and she would be a bad friend if she left Hilda behind. Something very bad and wrong had happened to her, but Marianne didn’t know, and she hoped that Hilda, one day, would open up to her.

She rushed down the stairs, hearing Beth’s hurried steps after her and ran until she reached the large room, Rhea’s working room. The room was completely dark and there were shelves everywhere. Some books had fallen to the ground and there was a trail of blood on the ground.

Marianne gasped, hoping Hilda wasn’t hurt and she clang to Beth’s side as soon as she arrived, trembling. Professor Beth tried to reassure her, but it didn’t work, because Marianne let out a horrified gasp when the lights turned on, because Annette lit up the candles of the ceiling using her fire magic.

There was Flayn, on the floor, in the middle of the room, surrounded by blood. Next to her, there was The Wyvern Knight. The knight’s armor was pitch black and almost impossible to see in the dark, but there were runes in it that made it shiny. The knight’s wyvern stood next to them, in all its ghostly glory. Its purple fangs and white skin were brighter in the dark center of the room.

When the knight noticed them, they made some kind of signal and some enemy soldiers started trudging through the passage ways. One of them directly threw an axe at Mercedes, but Annette blew it up with magic before it even made contact with her friend. The little redhead girl stood in front of her friend protectively, as they engaged in a fight against the soldiers.

“You are too late. The ritual is about to begin...” The Wyvern Knight said darkly.
Beth tried to advance toward whoever was behind that armor and save Flayn, but it was too hard. She was surrounded by soldiers and there was no possible way that she would make it on time, without her students getting hurt, as they were only four, and there were a lot of enemy soldiers.

Midst her desperation, she saw her brother descending down one of the passages, the one that came from Jeritza’s room, followed by some of his students. Dorothea and Petra leaded the group. Lysithea descended with her bow in hand and prepared to go to where the knight was standing, knowing she had advantage over the flying unit.

The last one in arriving was Ferdinand, who announced his arrival for everyone to hear.

“I am Ferdinand von Aegir.” He said, because he wasn’t completely sure as to whether Beth knew his name or not. “And if I am here, we will win for sure!”

Ingrid and her pegasus rapidly joined her teacher’s side and helped to keep both Mercedes and Marianne safe, as the offensive side of their team (Annette and Beth) tore the enemy lines down.

Unbeknownst to them, Lysithea was running ahead of them and she was standing close to the Wyvern Knight’s area, her bow in her hand, as Ferdinand kept other units away from them. Dorothea and Petra were wiping all the units that prevented Lysithea and Ferdinand from advancing, as they were playing dirty and attacking from behind.

Lysithea was about to shoot an arrow to the wyvern knight, when suddenly the lights brought by the candles flickered, and the atmosphere of the room completely changed. A dark mist surrounded them, and suddenly, another figure clad in an armor stood beside the Wyvern Knight.

“It’s time to go.” The mysterious figure said. “You must retreat now.”

The Wyvern Knight vanished in the air, and its mysterious boss turned to face both Byleth and Beth, completely disregarding Lysithea’s proximity to him, and talked to them.

“You two should stop interfering with my plans.”

To Byleth’s surprise, Beth lashed out on the mysterious subject.

“Who the hell are you!?” She cried, more confused than scared.

“I am the King of Night. Now, stop interfering or you will perish.”

The mysterious person, just like The Wyvern Knight, vanished in thin air. Fortunately, Flayn was still there, despite the fact she was severely injured. Lysithea, who was the one closest to her, gave the voice of alarm and Dorothea, the closest mage with knowledge of healing magic, tried to heal her fruitlessly, as more experienced healers made their way to Flayn.

Mercedes and Marianne tried to step in and help, but they were stopped by their teacher. Beth seemed to know very advanced faith, so she kindly asked Mercedes and Marianne to let her handle everything. Mercedes tried to say that Beth might need help, but Annette grabbed the taller girl by the arm and dragged her away, not willing to be exposed to more mental damage having Mercedes heal a bloodied Flayn.

As for Marianne, Ingrid kindly told her that they had to trust Professor Beth, because she was a experienced healer. The Blue Lions made their way out, since their professor asked them to, accompanying Marianne.

The Black Eagles didn’t leave, because Byleth hadn’t say anything, and they were quite curious to investigate the secret place that no one knew of, but was too big for it to be something built recently. Ferdinand and Lysithea started running around, as part of their conspiracy group work.

Dorothea and Petra were more interested in knowing what the function of the room was, for the monastery as whole.

“Maybe this room is a secret sorcery place where Archbishop Rhea practices reason...” Dorothea was discussing with her professor, while Petra picked up one of the books that had fallen down and read what it said.

Since she barely understood what it meant because it was not what she was used to read, she asked Dorothea what the words in the book meant. Dorothea took the heavy volume from her hands and started reading to answer her friend’s question, but her face turned beet red midway through the lecture, as her eyes quickly assessed the names of the books in the shelves and she began to understand why Rhea didn’t have that room open to the public.

“Well? What did the words say?” Petra asked Dorothea, curiosity shining in her bright purple eyes.

“...” Dorothea sighed heavily. “It was nothing, Petra, don’t worry about it.”

Dorothea heard a horrified scream from Lysithea, followed by a thud that sounded like the noise a book would make when falling to the floor, and then what sounded like Lysithea running up the stairs to flee Rhea’s reading lair while screaming that the room was filled of FILTH. All the books that Seteth had banned seemed to be hidden in there, where possibly only Archbishop Rhea had access to them.

“Let’s just go, please, please.” Dorothea pleaded to her professor and Byleth accepted just because Dorothea seemed very anguished.

The three of them left, as Ferdinand was left to pick up the book Lysithea had dropped and read its contents. Unlike the two girls that had understood the books and their content, Ferdinand was not horrified, but indignant. He slammed the book against the shelf, making a loud noise, and then left stepping down strongly.

 

Beth sighed in pure relief when she saw Flayn’s green eyes opening. She had thought the girl was dead and she had started reanimating her. Luckily, it had worked and she had managed to bring Flayn back to life before it was too late. The faith that Sothis had taught her worked her out, and she helped Flayn get out of Rhea’s reading room, effortlessly carrying her weight.

A few minutes later, Flayn was safely reunited with her ‘brother’, and Seteth was thanking Beth for using her healing prowess to save Flayn and thanking Byleth for figuring out her whereabouts and helping to defeat the wyvern knight. Flayn knew that she wouldn’t be safe as long as she was alone, so she asked Seteth if she could join the Black Eagles, as to be in Professor Byleth’s class and learn from him. Seteth didn’t roll his eyes, but Byleth saw something like that, and asked her if she didn’t prefer to join Professor Beth’s, because she was better at healing magic than Byleth was and she could learn more from her. As it turned out, Flayn was a fan of Professor Byleth as well and she had been dying to join his class since the year began.