Claude let out a long, deep sigh and tapped his pen on the desk, trying to focus on the article he had to read for the one of many of his business classes.
“Based on that sigh, let me guess you had another one of those dreams last night?” Sitting across from him was Hilda. She leaned forward with her elbows resting on the shared library desk. Unlike him who was actually trying to get work done, she had given up and started doodling flowers on the corners of her notebook.
“Yeah, they’ve been getting more frequent too.” Ever since he was a kid, he had been getting odd dreams of another world. A place with swords and magic. At first he dismissed it. He has had an active imagination and it was just a weird quirk. The doctors didn’t think anything of them, just a childhood fantasy. However, as he got older, he started noticing parallels from the dreams to the current world. Such as people like Hilda and Lorenz appearing in his dreams with similar personalities and similar histories. How in his dreams he went to a school at Garreg Mach Monastery and now he was enrolled in Garreg Mach academy for young entrepreneurs. An incredibly expensive school that ran from middle school all the way to college, it was the school for anyone that wanted to make something out of their life. Or at least that’s what the brochure stated. There were too many parallels to be coincidence and he had a feeling there were more to those dreams than he originally thought.
However, getting older meant he got smarter about it. He stopped telling his parents that he was having the dreams. One of the few that knew was Hilda and he had mistakenly called her by name upon first meeting because he had met her in the dream world before meeting her in real life. Despite the fact she was a bit skeptical of the dreams, even she had to admit it was useful, especially since Claude had “met” all their professors in his dreams and knew all their quirks before the first day. Knowing how far to push someone was helpful in and of itself, especially since Claude tried to keep his cunning side under wraps for the most part.
“Well, what was it this time? Another one with that girl in it?”
Claude sighed. “Yeah.” There were a lot of dreams recently with Byleth in it. She was a new professor at the monastery that oversaw the Golden Deer house, the house that Claude was apparently the head of. At first Byleth had been cold and standoffish but as time went on she began to show more emotion, her smile being one of the cutest things Claude had ever seen.
Was it weird to develop a crush on someone he had never met in real life before?
“I wonder how much longer until she shows up here…” Everyone Claude had met in those dreams; he had found in the real world as well. Including those he did not care much for, such as Lorenz. Thankfully in this modern world, Lorenz had his own family company to focus on, so he wasn’t bothering Claude about being the “head of the alliance” like in that other world. Although Lorenz still hit on any girl he laid eyes on.
Hilda paused and her expression drew to a frown. “Hang on, what did she look like again?”
“The girl. Bay…. leaf?”
“Byleth. Uh, she had dark blue hair although now it’s green. It goes past her shoulders and kind of messy. A lithe stature but she has muscle. And very well endowed on top. What!?” He protested seeing Hilda’s expression. “You asked.”
She shivered. “I did and I regret it.”
“Well apparently the me from the other world liked her okay and noticed those things!?” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Why are you asking?”
Hilda gestured behind Claude, to the large window that overlooked the main courtyard of the academy. “Is that her?”
Claude whirled around in his seat and his eyes widen in surprise. There she was, Byleth, the woman he had seen in his dreams consistently for almost a year now. Blue hair pulled back in a low ponytail, practical clothing that was a far cry from what she wore in the dreams. A messenger bag hung on a shoulder. She paused in the middle of the courtyard and began digging in the bag for something.
“Where are you going Claude!?”
Claude paused before he got too far from the table. “Watch my stuff for me Hilda? I’ll be right back.”
Hilda sighed. “Yeah, okay. Go meet your future girlfriend.” She rested her elbows on her table and her head in her hands, her attention trained on Byleth.
Anything that happened, she had a front view seat of it. Thankfully Claude knew he could trust Hilda to not attempt to record or post anything online about it.
He hurried out of the library and stepped into the courtyard. Most students either had class or were studying or working on assignments and the weather was starting to dip to late autumn, the cold driving anyone who would want to sit outside indoors. Claude regretted no grabbing his coat on the mad dash out as he could already feel the goosebumps beginning to coat his arms.
His heart was beginning to pound uncomfortable as he approached. It was definitely her. Despite the difference in hairstyle and clothing, the demeanor was the exact same, the blue eyes had the same level of attentiveness as she looked at the map in her hand and then the buildings around her.
He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans, trying to appear nonchalant about it. He was just on a walk and saw her looking confused and decided to approach. That was it. Nothing fishy about it. “Hey there Teach, you lost?” He winced, the nickname had come out by reflex. The him from that other world called Byleth that.
She startled and looked at him in surprise. “What?”
He tapered down the disappointment as he saw no recognition in her eyes. He shouldn’t have expected it. He gestured to the map in her hand. “You look lost. Trying to get somewhere? The academy can be a confusing place and you have the look of a deer in headlights.”
“I’m looking for the dean’s office.”
“Oh, that’s easy.” He pointed. “Just follow this path and it will take you to the student center. The dean office is the building to the right.”
She carefully folded the map and shoved it back into her bag.
“I’m Claude by the way. Claude von Riegan.” He gave her his brilliant smile.
“Well it’s nice to meet you Byleth.” He held out a hand.
She looked at the hand suspiciously and then at him. He knew that expression. She was trying to figure him out. An expression the Byleth in the other world had often when he brought up one of his schemes and she was trying to figure out if he was being sincere or not. He kept his smile pleasant and tried to not shiver at the cold wind. It definitely dropped at least ten degrees in the past couple of minutes.
In the end she took the hand and shook it. “Nice to meet you too.” Her grip was strong and familiar. Claude had to fight the urge to hug her then and there. This Byleth would probably kick him in the nuts for that.
“If you can’t find it, I’ll be in the library for a few more hours.” He gestured to the building. “I can take you there directly.”
“Thanks for the offer.” Her lips curled into the edge of a smile. “I think you should head back inside. You’re starting to shiver.”
He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
“Anyway, thanks for the directions but I think I’ll be fine.”
Not wanting to make this any more awkward, he nodded and retreated to the library. As soon as he stepped back inside, he relished in the warmth.
“So, when’s the wedding?” asked Hilda.
Claude collapsed in his seat, grabbed his jacket and shoved it on. It felt like the cold had seeped into his bones in the brief time when he was outside. “She didn’t recognize me.”
“Well that’s a bummer. You gave her directions somewhere?”
“The dean’s office.”
“You think she’s a new student? Really weird though, I didn’t think they allowed people to transfer into the college division in the middle of the school year. She’s a professor in your other world right?”
Claude shrugged. “Yeah but it was a weird situation-her being a professor I mean. I’m not sure what is going on myself with this Byleth. I think asking her that might have been a little strange to be honest. I think she totally thought I was hitting on her.”
“Weren’t you though?”
“Not like that Hilda.”
Hilda rolled her eyes. “You say that but she’s totally the love of your life. I can even see it from here and that’s without using my camera app to zoom in.”
“You did what now?”
“I needed to see what was going on okay?”
Claude sighed. “Well, this is a huge school so the chance of me seeing her again is slim at best.” He picked up his pen and tried to focus on the article he needed to write an essay about that was due tomorrow, but his thoughts kept going back to Byleth.