“Silence! I demand Silence!” Chairman Katarina, or rather Chairman Byleth now, yelled loudly. The chairman was different from the other members of the council as she had a bushy mustache on her face and wore a black robe. In one of her hands she held a fear-imposing gavel. At least she thought it was fear imposing. “Does anyone have any explanation for what is going on?” She asked into the round.
Studious Byleth immediately raised her hand, pushing the glasses on her face upwards. “It’s obvious what happened! We are in Fire Emblem Three Houses! Don’t you all remember playing that game about a year ago? We even tried our best to get all the endings.” Chatter exploded from all the present Byleths.
Again the gavel found its way down on the table the five of them were sitting on. “Silence!” Chairman Byleth commanded again and the chatter died down. “That does seem like the most probable thing, considering we have already met Jeralt as well. Any other opinions?”
It was Scared Byleth that spoke up the next. The terrorised expression on her face felt completely wrong to most of the other members of the council, as they had never seen such an expression on the calm and stoic Byleth during the games. “Does… D-Does that mean we’ll have to fight in a war?” She exclaimed in terror and an absolute silence seemed to fill the council chamber. Honestly that was not something most of them had been considering.
“I say we fight and we win as well!” Fearless Byleth rose to her feet and pumped her fist into the air. “Don’t you all get it? We are the protagonist now! And no matter what route, Byleth always survived the game. I’d say we go along with the story and become a hero!” She proclaimed as she seemed to swing around an imaginary sword.
Careless Byleth meanwhile was just laying around and did not seem to care about the whole situation. Studious Byleth sighed in annoyance at her fellow mind-construct, but quickly returned to work. “Okay. Listen up, everyone. We have four routes we can choose from. Currently we are probably before the start of the game, as we are still travelling around with Jeralt. The question then would be which route to take…” She finished and looked around at the other Byleths.
The chairman was in deep thought, while Shy Byleth was hiding in her chair and Brave Byleth was still swinging her non-existent sword. “I say we take the route with the most amazing battles! I want to fight a dragon!” She yelled loudly and jumped onto the table.
“A dragon?!” A horrified voice asked and of course that was Shy Byleth. The poor thing had lost every last bit of colour in her face and just looked at the others in shock. What in the name of all Gods were they thinking about. Fighting a dragon sounded absolutely horrifying to not only her but also to the rest of the Byleths aside from the Brave one.
“I call everyone to silence!” The chairman again proclaimed. “Brave Byleth please get back into your seat. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we don’t have any desire to go dragon-fighting anytime soon.” Some nods followed that statement, but the Brave One just huffed in annoyance at not getting her way. The Chairman then turned back to Studious Byleth. “So tell us. Which Routes are the safest for us?” She asked.
It was at that moment that a whiteboard appeared in the room. Studious Byleth walked over to it and began drawing on it. “Basically…” She began. “We have four routes, those being one for each of the Three Houses and then finally one for the Church. All of them are quite bloody and are full of war, so I personally think it would not change much. It must be said though that the one with the Black Eagles is the shortest, but also one of the most brutal ones.”
As soon as The Studious One took her seat again the Byleths were all in deep thought. That silence then was interrupted by the chairman. “Well… At the moment I think we should not make too much of a choice, as by Studious’ estimate we still have more than enough time to choose a house and thus a route for the story…” She said to the others. “Any objections?”
The other Byleths just shook their heads at that. None of them were able to decide which route would be the best to take. In this world full of war they could die much easier than back in their old world, but for some reason they were also safer thanks to being the protagonist. At least that was most of them assumed. “I have an objection, if you don’t mind.”
It was not the voice of one of the Byleths that spoke up, but an entirely different one. The five of them turned towards the table again to see someone else sitting there. It was a gorgeous young woman with completely green hair. Her eyes were of the same colour and she wore an incredibly beautiful dress. She gave all of them a small smile. While the other Byleths were still in shock over their new visitor, the Studious one rose up from her seat. “Sothis!” She exclaimed and got the attention of the Goddess.
“Bingo. Give that woman a prize.” She said with the same cheeky grin on her face as she turned to the chairman and the others. “Did you really think I would not notice a complete change in my host? Usually I would still remain asleep for some time, but all the chaos you made here had woken me up.” She chuckled as she stretched in her seat. “It is quite curious, really, to see that this whole world is built upon a video game. I personally find it hilarious.” All of the Byleths still found themselves unable to speak in the presence of the Goddess in front of them. This… this certainly had not been in the game.
Sothis again chuckled and grinned excitedly as she looked at the five of them. “You don’t get it, do you? And here I thought my old host was as dense as a brick.” She brought her hand up to her face, but the same smile never left her face. “Let me tell you five something: This is not a game.” The Beginning told them with a wink.
“But it is!” Studious Byleth proclaimed. “We played it in the past. We have four routes and many different characters we can befriend from D to S rank, with S rank obviously being the romance you choose.” She said and the other Byleths nodded at that. Sothis still seemed very amused by all of that though.
She rose up from her chair and even though she was much smaller than the five Byleths she seemed to command incredible authority as everyone looked at her. “No. What you played was indeed a game, but this is no longer one. Think of it as being in a world that is based upon your game. This is not a static world that will follow a certain path you will choose. Every single decision you make will shape and change it. So… To get back to the objection I have brought up before: You can’t follow any of those routes, as they most likely won’t even come to be in the first place.”
Before any of the others could call for an explanation from the goddess she had vanished already. Meanwhile Studious Byleth was still in a state of shock. What did Sothis mean with this not being a game? That made no sense at all! This was a game, right? She vividly remembered playing it in their first life. They had stayed up long to try and get every A and S support for every character in the game. “I… Ehm..” Chairman spoke up to try and get everyone’s attention. “I think we should finish for today. Any Objections?” She asked and this time no one did interject.
This new life of hers was strange. No longer was she the villainess Katarina Claes, but the Hero Byleth, who would later go on to save all of Fòdlan and become high priest, Queen or adviser to the new Empress. In other words she was now the protagonist! While it was quite amazing and also made her feel safe as she certainly would survive this game, there were still other feelings inside her as well. The most prominent one was longing. She missed her friends back in the Academy. All of it had started out as her trying to avoid her death flags, but in the time they spent together Katarina had developed friendships with all of them. And now she was here in this new world, alone again.
No. That was not entirely true. She still had Jeralt of course, her father in this timeline and a pretty great guy. It seemed to be a common theme in her reincarnations to be blessed with a great father figure. But there were also the others, like Jordan, Millie and Sven, who all have not been in the game but were members of their band of mercenaries. All of them had quite different personalities and acted so funny. At first of course they had been quite surprised by her sudden change in behaviour. The old Byleth only cried when her father died, but she had immediately started crying when she had come to this world. Not even Jeralt knew what to do.
“Here you are, kiddo.” A familiar masculine voice called out from behind her and Byleth turned around to meet the eyes of her father. “I’ve been looking all over the place for you.” He walked over to her and placed one of his large hands on her shoulder.
Byleth smiled at him brightly. His eyes widened at that and he as well smiled. For her it was always funny to see his reaction to her smiling or showing him any affection. She knew that the original Byleth was pretty cold, almost unfeeling at certain points in the game. That was probably because the developers could not give the protagonist too much character. It was still pretty hilarious for her to see such a large and serious man like Jeralt smile silly and happy at his daughter. “Yes, dad? What can I do for you?” She said with the same bright grin still on her face.
Jeralt looked at her in shock for a moment, as if he still could not believe what he was seeing. “You certainly changed a lot in the last few days… almost as if you are a different person.” He said with a chuckle and Byleth knew that he had hit the nail on the head. He was quite the great warrior after all with some powerful intuition and much experience. “Not that I am complaining at all!” He said as he raised his hands in a calming manner. “It’s just that you have never shown much feelings before. Even as a baby you never once cried or wailed. You always seemed so calm and now…”
Byleth just laughed at that as she moved closer to Jeralt, hugging him tightly. She… she needed that right now. The woman once known as Katarina had been ripped out of the place she had considered home and now was in an entirely different world. She still had some people who were there for her though and Jeralt was one of them. “I know it must be pretty strange…” She said as she let go of him and took a step back, the bright and happy smile still on her face. “But I realized that there is so much great stuff in this world! From all the amazing people to the amazing food and places! How could you remain sad or unfeeling when seeing such amazing stuff?” She asked and this time Jeralt did laugh loudly and with vigor.
“I am happy you did. And here I thought that you only inherited everything from your mother. I’m glad that you got a bit of me. Be thankful it’s only that and not my looks.” He said with another laugh and Byleth joined immediately. She turned around to take in the amazing view they had here. The game would officially start with the appearance of Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude. After that there eventually would come a choice to take over one of the houses and finally all of that would eventually lead to war. A war more destructive than anything Fódlan had ever seen before. “Hey, kid? Are you alright?” The voice of Jeralt shook her out of her thoughts.
Turning back to him she realized that he too would die. No matter which route, Jeralt would eventually be buried next to his wife in the monastery. She looked at him sadly and a single tear rolled down her eyes. Back in the Fortunate Lover she had been the only one who could die and thus had tried to avoid all the death flags, but here it would be the others dying around her. Pushing away those thoughts she again smiled brightly. “Yeah! Don’t worry, dad.” If he was to die, then she would spend as much time with him as possible before that. “How about we go have a spar? Unless your old bones can’t handle it anymore?” Byleth said with a cheeky grin.