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War is Nothing to Hope For

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I used to want to save the world.”

A woman with mint colored hair walked across the road, quickly stepping into a building to protect her from the snow. Large paintings cover the walls, a sign with the words “GARREG MACH UNIVERSITY” directly in the center of the far wall. She smiled slightly, walking up the stairs to get to her office.

“This beautiful place…”

She had been working for a few hours by the time her coworker walked in, a large parcel under his arms. “Ah, Seteth. What can I do for you?”

The man grinned at her, bits of green hair peeking through his darkly dyed beard. “I found it, Byleth. I brought him back for you.”

A gasp left the woman’s lips as she took the package from him, quickly ripping off the gift wrap. It was painting of a time long since passed. A woman with teal hair led the charge into battle, a blonde man beside her with several others behind them. All of them held the mythic hero’s relics.

Byleth felt tears run down her cheeks as she ran her fingers of the portrait of the blonde, a name slipping out softly. “Dimitri”

“But the closer you get, the more you see the great darkness simmering within.”

Memories flood her mind, some happy, some filled with anger, and some filled with sadness. But they were memories all the same.

“And mankind? That’s another story altogether. What one does when faced with the truth, is more difficult than you think. I learned this the hard way, a long, long time ago.”

 


 

Imperial Year 1165

Red Canyon

 

The sounds of weapons meeting weapons echoed throughout the training grounds; a sea of green hair was all to be seen from above. Swords, lances, axes, bows, and even magic were being utilized all across the field. It truly was a sight to be seen. The Nabateans were an ancient race with an even longer life span. Hidden from the world in the Red Canyon, they fought to train to protect themselves from an unavoidable threat.

Their race was almost extinct, thanks to Nemesis, the so-called “King of Liberation”. He killed their creator, and then proceeded to slaughter half their race. That was nearly over a millenia ago, and thanks to Lady Seiros, the Nabateans are once again thriving, hidden safely behind a magical barrier.

The training ground was full, sparring matches between all sorts of weapons were being held all over the field. It was a wonder that a few broke their concentration to see a young girl with teal hair, watching with full intent, even practicing different moves. Seteth, the general of the army, caught her gaze and gave her a disapproving glare. She just stared back with a blank look.

“Byleth!” Flayn, Seteth’s daughter, and Byleth’s tutor, was chasing down the girl. Of course, as soon as her name was called, Byleth took off in the opposite direction in a sprint. Flayn sighed, picking up her dress and started to run faster, making her father chuckle as she passed him. Of course, he gestured for Macuil to take over drills so he could follow his daughter.

“Byleth! I can see you!”

Byleth ran through the courtyard, passing the friendly gatekeeper, who laughed at her antics. The knights making their way through the main entry tried to stop her as they saw Flayn relatively close behind her. Alas, they weren’t quick enough to catch the younger girl, who dodged them and made her way up the stairs.

Flayn continued to chase her student, exasperated with running after her for the better part of the day. “Byleth, come back!!”

The younger girl kept running, dodging everyone she met until she reached the throne room. Smirking, Byleth ran towards the open window. Climbing on the windowsill, she looked down below. Hm, shouldn’t be too much of a jump. It most certainly was. She actually looked a bit excited as she jumped, aiming for the grass below her, which was nearly impossible for the little girl with no emotions.

She fell, dropping through the air quickly; she was lucky that someone had caught her elbow. With another blank look on her face, Byleth looked up to see a gorgeous woman with long, mint colored hair, and a crown that had nearly caught on the edge of the window due to its size.

“Hello, mother. How are you today?”

Rhea smiled, her eyes crinkling with joy as she lifted Byleth back through the window. “How many times, little one?”

“I haven’t counted yet. Quite a few, I’m assuming.”

“I believe you own Flayn an apology.” Said girl smiled down at Byleth, trying to catch her breath.

Byleth sighed, “I’m sorry, Ms. Flayn.”

“It’s alright, Bylie. Just try not to do it again, please.” Ever the optimist, Flayn’s grin grew bigger, and she turned to exit the throne room. Seteth, however, stayed behind.

“Mother, don’t you think it’s time to start my training?”

Rhea’s smile dropped, and she scoffed at her daughter. “You are training, Byleth. Your mind is your weapon. All battles start and end there.”

“But Seteth believes I’m ready!”

Rhea eyed Seteth as he bowed respectively. “Does he now?”

The man in question nodded, stepping closer to the group as he spoke. “I could begin teaching some things. She should at least be able to defend herself.”

“From whom?”

“In the event of an invasion!”

“I do believe I have an army at my command, general.”

“I pray a day will never come where she has to fight, but you, the wisest of us all, know that one cannot deny their inner nature. A scorpion must sting, a wolf must hunt-”

“She is a child . The only child as young as she is on the island. Please, let her be so. If this was Flayn-”

“You know as I do that she is not like Flayn-”

Byleth could only look on as the two siblings fought, their words running over each other from the intensity of the quarrel. It only ended with Rhea narrowing her gaze, grabbing Byleth by the arm, and walking away to their quarters.

“There will be no training, brother.”

Seteth could only sigh in response as he watched his niece being dragged away, a crestfallen expression upon her face.

 


 

 

Back in their chambers, Rhea attempted to tuck in Byleth. Byleth, being completely awake, struggled against her mother’s efforts.

“What if I promised to be careful?”

“Byleth…” Rhea’s hair fell in front of her face as she looked down at the floor.

“What if I didn’t use a sword?”

“Fighting does not make you a hero!” Rhea looked up, a fierce glint in her eyes.

Byleth, however, did not back down. “Just a shield, then! No sharp edges!”

“Byleth, you are the most precious thing in this world to me. So much so, that I blessed you with my mother’s crest stone when you were born.” Of course, that wasn’t all she did, but no one could ever know the full truth, not even Byleth herself.

“You’ve told me this story.” The teal-haired girl looked up with a bored expression.
“Then, I shall tell you a new story. One of our people, and of my days of battle. So you may finally understand why war is nothing to hope for.