Once, Lucina likened herself to the air.
She wanted to fly.
She wanted to claim she wasn't entirely sure how it started, but that was a lie. She knew exactly how it had started.
The height of a Ylissean summer. Grass beneath her boots, pomegranate dripping down her chin. She must've been six, maybe seven. Nothing more than a girl. Innocent. Carefree.
Her father was with her then. She'd pointed out a painting in the hall of a blue-haired man wielding his sword, and he'd sat her down and explained the family lineage. Blessed by the Divine Dragon's blood, descended from the First Exalt, sworn to protect Ylisse. She'd been awed.
A few months later, she'd gone to her mother, solemnly declaring she needed a dragonstone. Her wings weren't growing in yet, and she was beginning to worry something had gone wrong.
To her credit, Queen Sumia had contained her amusement for a notable three seconds before erupting into laughter. When she was again able to control herself, she'd promised Lucina pegasus riding lessons as soon as she was a bit taller.
Lucina treasured that memory.
It was the last time she'd heard that laugh.
For years since, the open skies had been a threat. Rolling with thunder, any cloud a cover disguising the piercing gaze of the Fell Dragon. Often enough, the wind at her back and her father's sword at her side served as her only companions.
That world only lived through her nightmares, now. A constant reminder of her duty, lurking in the darkness of moonless nights and stifled screams. Always looming, always present. The price of failure. To Lucina, it was all too clear.
She was forever bound to the earth.