"Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark." - Rabindranath Tagore
Everything felt so muddled and muffled, as if she were drifting beneath the ocean’s waves. Her ears felt like they were stuffed with cotton. Every time she tried to open her eyes, she was blinded by a mix of colors. Her body hurt all over, and when she opened her mouth to speak, wheezes and heavy breathes took the place of her voice.
‘was that… Ashe?’ The image of the silver haired archer flashed in her mind as she drifted further and further down into the abyss. Ashe was such a sweet boy… She would love to hear him gush about the latest knight tale he’s read again.
“Oh goddess, Professor!”
‘Annette? Is that you?’ Thoughtful, hardworking Annette. Slipping further down, all she could think was how much she enjoyed when the auburn-haired sorceress sang her silly songs.
‘Ingrid? What’s wrong?’ Dedicated and Bold. The blonde woman was as fine a person as she was a knight. Byleth managed a breathy chuckle at the idea of all the tales that could written about Ingrid’s heroic deeds.
‘Sylvain? I’ve never heard you shout like that before.’ Observant and sly, Sylvain was someone you could count on when it mattered most. If only he didn’t use his skirt-chasing to cover up what a good man he was.
“Damnit, we’re not gonna make it!”
‘Felix? Is that fear I hear in your voice?’ Strong and taciturn Felix. He covers up all his worries and woes for others with aggression. She’d be happy to spar with him again, if only she didn’t feel so tired.
“Professor! Please hang on!”
‘…Mercedes, why do you sound like you’re crying?’ Such a serene woman. A fitting disposition for a healer. Byleth had so enjoyed the tarts the holy woman made for her during their last tea time. She hoped to have them again soon.
“Professor, please no…..”
‘Dedue? Are you alright? Your voice is cracking…’ Ever protective and stalwart Dedue. His imposing face and figure belied his gentle and giving nature. She always enjoyed gardening with him, watching him lovingly tend to the beautiful flowers of his homeland. She hoped she could partake in more of his delicious cooking. Maybe they could celebrate their victory with a feast cooked by him, Ashe, and Mercedes, with the table decorated with the flowers they’d grown together.
“Professor! No! Please, please, don’t leave me! I can’t lose you, too! Don’t go! Byleth I lo-!“
‘Dimitri…?’ Her handsome Dimitri. Her compassionate Dimitri. Her tortured Dimitri. He’s been through so much, overcome so much, and Byleth couldn’t have been more proud of the prince. Oh, how she’d come to love him so! She had wanted to gift him her mothers ring, to spend her life with him! He’d loved her too, didn’t he?
But.. something was wrong. She can’t now. She’s drifted too far down. Why did she let herself drift so far down under the waves.?
No. No, she didn’t want this! She wanted to go back. Please let her go back!
She tried to kick her arms and legs. No response, it was like her limbs had become weights. Instead of moving up, she’d only pushed herself down. Down, down, down. She was sinking faster and faster.
Everything felt cold, so cold. She was so tired. Her body hurt so much but she couldn't give up, not yet.
Tendrils of darkness snaked around her wrists and ankles, forcing her further into the abyss.
No, stop! Let her go, let her go! She must go back! Back to the others, back to her Blue Lions!
Back to Dimitri!
She began to struggle harder, her body hurt so much and the tendrils only tightened to the point where her bones felt they would break. She was in agony, but it was nothing compared to the thought of never seeing her loved ones again.
Let her go!
Let her go back!
Back to the beginning if she must!
She’d do anything to be with them again!
She’ll give anything if it means she can make it so they never have to live through such pain ever again!
Please just send her back!
That is enough! I shall not allow this to continue for any longer. It is time to awaken, my dear Fell Stars.
Byleth jolted awake with a pounding headache and an aching body. Groaning as her senses cleared, she opened her eyes and allowed them to adjust to her surroundings.
Pitch blackness surrounded her upright form, the only source of light being the luminescent blue glow somehow coming from her own skin. Talking a step forward caused the solid darkness below her feet to ripple like water, spreading out in the same glow as her body before settling and disappearing.
Something compelled her to moved forward, even though she hadn’t the faintest idea of what was in front of her. She began to walk, the blue ripples trailing behind her the only proof she had ever been there.
This place felt familiar yet not, like the Holy Tomb, or even Sothis’ throne. It was odd and alien, but somehow comforting. No matter how comforting, she couldn’t stay.
Byleth didn’t know how long she walked, before she finally saw the environment change even a bit. She eventually found herself on a pathway made of stained glass, back lit through unknown means.
Candles with purple flames and crystals the color of emerald began to populate and illuminate the darkness around her as she traveled along the path.
The path eventually turned to stairs, leading up to another platform of stained glass high above her. Suddenly gripped with a sense of urgency, Byleth began to run, hope heavy in her chest.
There was something important up there, she knew it, she could feel it.
Whatever it was, it would lead her back to where she wanted to be.
Finally reaching the top, she crouched down to her knees, gasping for breath. Byleth looked up, hoping to find an exit to lead her back home and out of this strange place.
Only to come face to face with a male mirror image of herself.