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SF's "Write Your Butt Off" Competition HD II.5 Remix

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I am going to vote on @TheSilentChloey for this one.

Damn, you all had to go and make this week heavy. SilentChloey gets my vote because of how accurate it presents it all.

Spoiler

This is especially the case with Sari developing a relationship with an abusive boyfriend, since, even though she hates the abuse, abuse is most of what she knows is love. And little Liam reminds me of me, mainly because he is also autistic (I am high-functioning, though).

That said, @Jotari had a very nice plot. The twist at the end was nice, too.

@AnonymousSpeed‘s story was good, but I agree that I’d like a little more of the past.

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4 minutes ago, Azure, Roundabouted Out said:

I am going to vote on @TheSilentChloey for this one.

Damn, you all had to go and make this week heavy. SilentChloey gets my vote because of how accurate it presents it all.

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This is especially the case with Sari developing a relationship with an abusive boyfriend, since, even though she hates the abuse, abuse is most of what she knows is love. And little Liam reminds me of me, mainly because he is also autistic (I am high-functioning, though).

That said, @Jotari had a very nice plot. The twist at the end was nice, too.

@AnonymousSpeed‘s story was good, but I agree that I’d like a little more of the past.

So then does that make @TheSilentChloey the winner instead? cause this right here then breaks the tie. As for my vote well I guess I'll give mine to Chleoy as well. The only reason I didn't vote earlier today was because I didn't want to disrupt anything but seeing how Azure here already has well now we got something to discuss.

Edited by Ottservia

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2 hours ago, Ottservia said:

So then does that make @TheSilentChloey the winner instead?

In spirit, perhaps, but the voting period is not a week, rather only 6 days. As such, these votes were submitted past the deadline.

 

9 hours ago, Jotari said:

So you say this is part of a preestablished setting for you, and I'm afraid it shows. Honestly I didn't know what was going on half the time. I think you had a solid idea for a story here, and I like the premise, but all the sci fi action turned out more to be a distraction than an enhancement to the setting. At least in my reading.

2 hours ago, Azure, Roundabouted Out said:

story was good, but I agree that I’d like a little more of the past.

I see. I did try to introduce some things little by little, but I definitely understand how that would fall flat. It's a lot of backstory from a long-running (now unfortunately defunct) campaign halfway through being mutated into a rebooted setting. Maw and Gladius aren't even the characters I think are best to introduce the setting with. I just thought they really fit the prompt with how Maw went from a student of Gladius to his sort-of-in-a-weird-way adoptive son, and the legitimacy of that as a parental relationship was part of what I wanted to get convey.

 

I do really want to what @TheSilentChloey wanted to get across with her story, since I didn't pick up on it. If she doesn't mind answering, I'd be cool to hear her intent.

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9 minutes ago, Azure, Roundabouted Out said:

Shall we just let @TheSilentChloey take the win?

I can understand why that might be considered, especially with there being no poll up. However, late votes are still late, and Jotari has already given a prompt. If Chloey wants to challenge that, she's welcome to, and Jotari is welcome to concede if he feels that is best, so long as he does so in the next day, preferably the next few hours.

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I don't mind either way to be honest, but I can see where others are coming from.  That said, I think Jotari's prompt is fine, so it just depends on the majority here.

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well if Chloey is fine with it then I’m fine with it

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Yeah, not a bad prompt. I could probably come up with something for it. If I could find time to write something. xP

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I'd be up for conceding, but the prompts been released out into the universe and people seem pleased with it. Plus I expect Chloey is probably more likely to submit an entry for the next round than I am.

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3 hours ago, Jotari said:

Plus I expect Chloey is probably more likely to submit an entry for the next round than I am.

I wouldn't say that's a given but I do have a Grima centric fic that is probably the most likely one for a prompt like this...and it may be longer than normal...or someone else, but I don't think it'd be as long...

 

Decisions, decisions...

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15 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

I can understand why that might be considered, especially with there being no poll up. However, late votes are still late, and Jotari has already given a prompt. If Chloey wants to challenge that, she's welcome to, and Jotari is welcome to concede if he feels that is best, so long as he does so in the next day, preferably the next few hours.

Ok. I understand.

So, sympathy for the devil, eh? What definitions does @Jotari accept for devil?

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18 hours ago, Azure, Roundabouted Out said:

Ok. I understand.

So, sympathy for the devil, eh? What definitions does @Jotari accept for devil?

As I said in another comment above, something or someone that wouldn't usually be seen as deserving sympathy. Doesn't have to be the literal devil (though that's certainly one route to go down).

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On 9/15/2019 at 10:20 AM, Jotari said:

Sympathy for the devil.

-Copypastes script from final fight vs Angery Berkut-

In all seriousness, this sounds fun, I'll see if there's anything I can come up with in between anticipating Halloween and freaking out over Nagi getting in Heroes.

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55 minutes ago, SoulWeaver said:

Copypastes script from final fight vs Angery Berkut-

 

If you wanna talk copy paste there is certain series with a wealth of scenes like that(*cough*Naruto*cough*) or a song that I novelized as my first entry into this contest. Maybe I could revisit that. Then again I think Len has died enough in his songs. *shrug* we’ll see. So many ideas running through my head so little time. 

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After reviewing my options, pretty much it's gonna have to be Zelgius-focused, though how I do so might differ from what's expected. We'll see.

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Alright, I actually have something written again! ^^ And for a game I hadn't done yet! Though it is FE, so it's not a new series. It's Three Houses, featuring Sylvain! I adore him so much now I just needed to write something about him eventually, and this idea I came up with not long ago works well enough for the prompt, I think. There is an antagonist in this that he could reasonably show some sympathy to even though he doesn't really think she deserves it. It also uses Sylvain x female Byleth as a pairing.

Oh, and don't worry, spoilers are minimal, though it is best that readers are people who have completed at least one route that isn't the Black Eagles route (meaning you should complete Golden Deer, Blue Lions, or church route). What I have here is closest to what occurs after the Golden Deer and church routes, but there's no reason not to take from both possible Sylvain x Byleth endings. Nothing in one version contradicts the other. (Sure glad I found out there are two versions anyway though lol)

Title: The Burning Flame
Fandom: Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Words: 5678

Spoiler
The Burning Flame
 
The afternoon sun blazed upon the Garreg Mach Monastery of the Church of Seiros and Officers Academy in the land of Fodlan. A young man with fiery unruly hair and ebony armor stood upon a balcony in an upper floor, gazing down upon the many students and faculty enjoying their weekly Sunday off. Some students were conversing with one another in the gardens, others were simply taking strolls. Guards did their usual patrols and kept an eye on everything they could see from their posts. This kind of peace was not unusual these days, but a sense of awe and great joy still filled the man's heart anyway.
 
Man, it's still so hard to believe that not so long ago, this place was a complete battlefield... And I was a philandering fool of a student here myself. And the woman who is now my wife was calling me a jerk twice. Heh... How things have changed...
 
Indeed, one would not have thought that everything had been so different at the monastery only half a decade before. War had ravaged all of Fodlan and now...it was like it had never even happened. No one even really talked much about the fighting anymore, as focus had been on the now united continent under the rule of the monastery's leader and archbishop, Lady Byleth. The monastery was in the center of Fodlan, and as it had been Byleth herself who had been entrusted with the monastery's care by the previous archbishop, her being named the united Fodlan's first leader was only natural.
 
And I'm married to her! Who'd have thunk? Ingrid would've laughed until she literally hit the floor if I merely suggested such a thing back then. Felix would've called me a fantastic idiot. Dimitri would chastise me with things like "Sylvain! She's one of our professors! Have you no shame?!" Ha ha...
 
Sylvain did have to admit that a student and professor having a relationship wasn't a common thing, and was even sometimes frowned upon. And it seemed even more bizarre when the student in question was Sylvain given his history. Yet, he had ended up learning much more from Byleth than just typical academy lessons. More about life, and himself. It was the first time he'd felt real love for someone. He had flirted with women many times, but the mere idea of a real relationship and marriage to someone who would love him for more than his noble lineage or the mysterious magical Crest he bore made him giddy with excitement. Even now, his heart sometimes raced around her. She was also strong, smart, beautiful, and brave. And Byleth said she loved a lot of things about him, even considering his past behavior.
 
"Heh, what did I do to deserve such a wonderful woman?" Sylvain wondered aloud. There were plenty of other men Byleth could've chosen and not all of them were other students either. And yet she said there was only one man she ever had true feelings for and that was Sylvain. The one thing she'd said that was most important was that Sylvain was the first person to ever make her laugh. For the longest time, Byleth was very stoic, almost void of emotion. Over time, that gradually changed, but one of the first times she was able to show more emotion than usual was when Sylvain made her laugh. He couldn't remember what he did that was so amusing, but just knowing put a huge smile on his face.
 
"I don't think I'll ever feel like I know the answer," Sylvain continued. "But I'm happy. And more importantly, she's happy."
 
He then began walking back inside the monastery, bringing his hands to the back of his head with a distant grin on his face.
 
"How can life be any better than this?"
 
A moment later, however, his daydreaming was unfortunately cut short.
 
"SYLVAIN!" a familiar female voice thundered loud enough for the knight to jump.
 
"HOW DARE YOU?! HOW COULD YOU?!" she continued.
 
Sylvain turned to see none other than Byleth herself, her spring green hair looking slightly unrulier than usual. Her emerald eyes were normally radiant, only now they were for some reason seemed more like a blazing fire.
 
"Huh?! Byleth? What in--? How could I what?" Sylvain wondered confusedly, a sudden wave of shock running through his nerves.
 
Byleth growled before responding.
 
"Don't pull that with me you...you philandering cheating TRAITOR!" she spat. "YOU PROMISED ME! AND IT WAS A LIE!!"
 
"Wait, what?!" Sylvain gasped. "Cheating?! But I absolutely never--! Byleth, who told you--?"
 
"Shut up! I told you you would pay dearly if you ever cheated on me, and I MEANT IT!"
 
Before Sylvain could say anything else, Byleth ripped her sword out and pointed it at her husband.
 
"Whoa, WHOA! Byleth, calm down! That is definitely not necessary!" Sylvain pleaded, his shock turning into fear as he raised his hands defensively. "I'm telling you, that never happened! I could never do that to you after all we've been through! Please put your sword down!"
 
He couldn't believe it. Just a moment ago he was reveling in his peaceful life and now his wife was raging and pointing the backbone-like Sword of the Creator at him. What the hell was going on here?
 
Byleth, meanwhile, could only hesitate as tears began to fall down her cheeks, her blade still raised.
 
"I swear to the goddess, Byleth, I'm telling the truth," Sylvain continued. "I don't know where you got the idea that I cheated, but whoever said that is lying, probably to break us up for who knows why! And I promise to figure out who and make sure that they're punished. I just need you to put your sword down and give me a chance. Please..."
 
Byleth still took another moment of hesitation, but finally, she lowered her weapon.
 
"Well... Alright..." she uttered, sniffling.
 
Sylvain hunched a little as he breathed a sigh of relief.
 
"Phew... Thanks," he said. "I was honestly scared that I was about to be mauled by my own wife for something I didn't do."
 
"You still will be if you don't prove to me that you're being honest!" Byleth retorted.
 
"Ah, alright, alright!" Sylvain conceded. "I'll do everything in my power to prove it, you can count on it. Someone has a lot of nerve using my past to try to destroy us! Truth be told, I'm as furious as you are over this!"
 
"Oh, you are?"
 
"Of course!"
 
Sylvain then approached his wife and gently brought his hands to her shoulders, looking firmly into her eyes.
 
"Byleth, my love. Like I said, I did not cheat. I've been faithful and loving the last couple years, haven't I? Why would I go back on that now? I couldn't ever risk ruining everything we've had together. Two years isn't all that long, but I still cherish them because you were there with me."
 
Byleth hesitated again before replying.
 
"I...I want to believe you mean that," she uttered. "But...I don't know what to think right now! I need some time alone."
 
With that, she turned away from Sylvain and headed for their chambers on the top floor. Sylvain could only growl to himself.
 
"Damn it all," he said. "Someone is going to pay dearly. And that's whoever's trying to wreck my marriage!"
 
With that, Sylvain angrily headed downstairs, contemplating on where Byleth could've heard the idea that her husband went back to his old ways. Heck, Sylvain wasn't even sure the old him would have done what Byleth implied, as while he did jump from girl to girl back then, he never got even close to serious with any of them, let alone married.
 
Byleth had to have misunderstood something she heard or was told. Or as Sylvain had suggested earlier, someone outright lied to her. Although, he also had to wonder why she had believed such a thing in the first place. Sure, in the past, he was a philanderer who never stuck to one girl. But the promise Byleth had been referring to that he'd made was that he'd be a man she could always trust, a man who'd love her and only her for all his days. And so far, he'd done just that.
 
Indeed, to get Byleth to believe her husband was cheating... Something very wrong was happening.
 
"This calls for investigation," Sylvain decided. "Now where was Byleth before she found me? I think I remember her saying she'd be in the cathedral and before that, the dining hall for lunch. I can't imagine any students would be spreading lies or rumors though..."
 
Students of the Officers Academy in Garreg Mach had to be well off to have any chance of attending, even though Byleth did her best to make sure it was as accessible for the people of Fodlan as possible. And to ensure classrooms didn't become overloaded each year, potential students had to be turned down at times. Students that earned the privilege to attend would be fools to put that in jeopardy. And yet, Sylvain couldn't rule out the possibility that one or more were to blame.
 
There were some other people he could look at too, however... The professors and Knights of Seiros. Sylvain sometimes served as a professor himself and had aided the knights before, but was never sure he had the favor of some of the others due to his past. Truth was, he wished people would just forget his younger self and focus more on what he was now. He wasn't that man anymore, so why bother with it? People that kept living in the past were so bothersome.
 
As Sylvain made his way up the path that led directly into the cathedral, he passed by a pair of knights who were conversing, and paused when a certain set of words reached his ears.
 
"Oh, did you hear about Sylvain?" one said.
 
"Yeah, I couldn't believe it! Lady Byleth must be--" the other began, until Sylvain himself interrupted.
 
"Ah, you heard something about me? Do tell!" he said, folding his arms and smirking.
 
The knights froze for a moment.
 
"O-Oh! Lord Sylvain! Uh..." the first knight stuttered.
 
"Ah...w-we were just..." the other begain.
 
"Just what?" Sylvain sternly inquired. "This wouldn't happen to have anything to do with why my wife just came at me in a rage a few minutes ago, would it?"
 
"...Well...wait, why should we be upset?" the first knight wondered. "It's you who's been cheating on your wife and the archbishop of all people!"
 
"...I knew it," Sylvain angrily replied. "Someone is telling lies about me!"
 
"Oh, sure! It's not hard to believe you'd cheat!" the second knight retorted. "Plenty here have heard all about how you were some years ago! And now witnesses put you with an unknown woman in a tavern in town, and using your old flowery language to boot!"
 
With that, Sylvain impulsively grabbed that knight by the collar of his chest plate and lifted him off the ground.
 
"Now listen here!" he demanded. "Have you ever seen or heard of me even looking at another woman since I've been married until today?!"
 
The two knights didn't respond, merely hesitating in nervousness at Sylvain's anger.
 
"No?" Sylvain guessed, seeing as neither of these fools were giving him a yes. "Then why would I be doing that again now?! Either someone is purposely trying to ruin my marriage or they've mistaken someone else for me. And unless I've somehow got a flame-haired twin running around here, I highly doubt it's the latter!"
 
"Oh...well..." the knight still on his feet uttered.
 
"You're going to tell me where you heard this and why you're spreading lies! RIGHT NOW," Sylvain demanded, the rage in his eyes almost equal to Byleth's at this point.
 
"W-Wait!" the knight Sylvain was grasping pleaded. "We didn't start it, we swear! We just heard it from some students and soldiers earlier today! And I guess...by habit we were really skeptical about it being a lie."
 
"Yeah, he's telling the truth," the other knight replied. "We're not sure exactly how the rumor started. If I had to guess though, it began either in the marketplace or further in town. It's the only way in and out of the monastery and tons of people go through there."
 
"Hmm... Good point," Sylvain admitted and then threw the knight he was holding down to the ground. "I'll see what I can find there. In the meantime, you two are to shut up and not say another damn word about that rumor to anyone. And if you hear others talking of it, tell them they're also ordered to stop. Do I make myself clear?"
 
"Crystal, sir!" both knights replied and saluted.
 
"Good."
 
With that, Sylvain turned around to go back in the other direction. I should go let Byleth know what I'm doing, he thought as he walked. And we should have a chat with Alois seeing as those were his men I just spoke to. I swear, if he believes any of that nonsense...
 
Alois was the newest captain of the Knights of Seiros, and while he did a good job at the role, he could be a little...absent-minded. For all Sylvain knew, he didn't know of the rumor yet. And he would need to help stop it from spreading further in any case.
 
Sylvain just hoped Byleth was up for talking again now after...earlier. He didn't like bothering his wife when she was upset, but this was important, and she might be glad that he has a lead too. When Sylvain reached the doors of their chambers, he took a deep breath and knocked gently.
 
"Byleth? May I come in?" he wondered, slowly opening the door. Sylvain saw his wife standing at the room's only window and peering out of it.
 
"Can we talk again?" Sylvain continued. "I understand if you're still upset... I'll leave you alone for as long as you need."
 
"Oh, Sylvain," Byleth greeted, though her tone was very neutral, almost like when she had little emotion. "It's alright. What is it?"
 
"Well, I began investigating what you heard as soon as you'd left me back there," Sylvain reported. "I found two knights gossiping and there is a rumor going around that I cheated! I'm disgusted! I'm really sorry you had to hear of something like that. I swear to you again, it is not true at all. Someone has to be trying to sabotage us!"
 
"I see... I'm sorry if I still don't know what to think," Byleth replied. "But...if you're being entirely truthful, you shouldn't be punished for anything. The person responsible will be."
 
"Yes, exactly," Sylvain agreed. "Okay, so where did you first hear someone say I cheated? Those knights I found were near the cathedral."
 
"Oh, some students reported it to me when I was in the dining hall. I cannot believe they would cause this kind of trouble, but I just brushed it off as a mere misunderstanding at that point. Then I overheard it again from the clergy in the cathedral. They absolutely cannot be mere liars and...I guess I snapped after that. I even mouthed "I'm going to kill him." I...I'm sorry."
 
"I...see," Sylvain replied, his eyebrows rising. "Damn it, this is worse than I thought! I'd like for us to go talk to Alois next. I ordered those knights to shut their mouths about that nonsense, but Alois needs to start telling others to do the same so the rumor doesn't spread further, and he might know some information that can further help us."
 
"Alright, that would help. I think he's in the knights' hall right now. Let's go."
 
Sylvain nodded and the couple departed the room to return downstairs.
 
"I wish Seteth was here to help," Sylvain opined a little later. "He'd know what to do too, I bet. Stupid bad timing..."
 
"Indeed. We just had to send him on that errand to Almyra..."
 
Seteth, Byleth's primary advisor when Sylvain couldn't be available due to his real home being the Gautier territory to the north, sometimes had to travel abroad due to having a wyvern to fly on to make it easier. And that meant Byleth and Sylvain had him bring messages to their allies out there every now and then too.
 
Never thought I'd find a rumor about myself that I'd actually care about though... Sylvain thought as he and Byleth drew closer to the knights' hall. One thing I never changed was not caring about what others think of me.
 
"You taking issue with gossip about you though. Who'd have thunk?" Byleth spoke up, as if to read her husband's mind.
 
"Yeah, it is unusual," Sylvain admitted, a small smile tugging at his features. "Though who would want to be accused of something you didn't do?"
 
"Fair point."
 
The pair had only gotten roughly half way to the knights' hall when Alois himself had come rushing toward them, the chocolate-haired warrior panting when he came to a stop.
 
"Ah, Lady Byleth and Lord Sylvain! I'm glad I found you both!" he said, but then noticed Byleth's slightly reddened face and eyes from crying and Sylvain's unusually serious expression.
 
"...Oh. I...guess I'm a little late," Alois awkwardly admitted. "You heard that gossip, huh?"
 
"Yeah, we did," Byleth confirmed sternly. "You don't know anything about it, do you? Sylvain is adamantly denying that he cheated and I have no idea who to believe! I feel like I'm going crazy! We need answers!"
 
"Yes, we do," Sylvain seconded. "Please tell us you know something. I won't stand for anyone lying about me like that!"
 
"Oh, yes, of course," Alois agreed. "I don't know exactly how it started, or if there's any truth to it, I'm afraid... But I was about to go question as many knights and students as I can and find out. I'm sorry I didn't know about all this sooner..."
 
"It's fine, you can still help now," Sylvain replied. "Go question people like you said, but also tell them to stop spreading that rumor. I'm going into town to do the same thing. A lot of people come and go that way, so it probably started there."
 
"Good idea, I'll help you out there when I'm done here," Alois decided.
 
"Much appreciated."
 
"I'll go with you, Sylvain," Byleth decided. "If someone is intentionally causing this trouble, I want to confront them as much as you do."
 
"Alright, thanks," Sylvain replied with a smile.
 
With that, the trio parted, with Alois going west towards the dining hall and training grounds and Sylvain and Byleth immediately heading south for town. Luckily, they were both already armed in case they would have to engage in combat with the culprit for whatever reason. Although, said culprit would be a massive fool to try doing so, as both Byleth and Sylvain were skilled and carried special weapons known as Relics. The Sword of the Creator was one of the strongest, and Sylvain's Lance of Ruin was nothing to sneeze at either. Many liked to call them a true power couple due to their combat skills combined with their Crests and weapons.
 
The marketplace looked normal on the surface, with various people browsing and selling wares. And for the most part, it was peacefully thriving. There was an armory for weapons, a blacksmith for forging them, merchants selling food and other goods, and the battalion guild was there too. It was more prosperous than ever after the war had ended and reconstruction had taken place at the monastery. However, Sylvain knew a lying delinquent was among the people here and he was eager to find it, not just to prove his innocence, but to also ease the stress the woman he loved had been suffering over this fiasco.
 
He kept his eyes peeled for anyone suspicious, and both of them asked some passersby if they had seen anyone who seemed so themselves. They unfortunately could not help thus far, but there was no giving up. Sylvain would search every little nook and cranny of the entire monastery if he had to in order to find his suspect.
 
Suddenly, Sylvain and Byleth jumped a little when an unfamiliar feminine voice greeted them. They turned to find a fairly young dark blonde woman garbed in a rather extravagant dress. A small mole sat near her chin and her eyes looked a little...devious.
 
"Oh, hello! Are you Sir Sylvain? I didn't think I'd find you this fast!" she said with a pleasant, and yet odd smile.
 
"Er, yes, that's me," Sylvain confirmed. "Can I help you?"
 
"Ah, well--" the woman began, and soon noticed Byleth, though with a strange hint of disappointment in her expression. "Oh, you brought the archbishop too. Interesting, I do say. But anyway. Sir Sylvain, I'm Alice! I came on behalf of your parents. They wanted to introduce us, but didn't feel the need to call you all the way back to Gautier just for that. So I volunteered to come here and they agreed."
 
"Uh...what now? Why do they want us to meet, exactly?"
 
Byleth could only arch an eyebrow at this revelation herself.
 
"Yes, what business do you have with my husband?" she inquired, and Sylvain could plainly see a hint of annoyance in her voice.
 
"Wait, how are you still--? I mean, Margrave Gautier has said your marriage was being annulled because of some...scandal or some sort," Alice explained, though slightly shakily. "He and his wife and I agreed I'd make a suitable new bride for you afterward. Isn't that wonderful?"
 
"...What?!" Sylvain gasped angrily. "There is no such thing going on at all! I wouldn't have put it past my parents to arrange some dumb marriage for me beforehand, but they know very well I'm already happily--!"
 
The knight paused when a sudden realization came to him and filled his eyes with rage again.
 
"...Wait. YOU!" he shouted.
 
Some passersby began to overhear and paused to watch, intrigued by what was going on between this strange woman and the church's leaders.
 
"Hm? Me what?" Alice innocently wondered. Though Sylvain could clearly see this reaction was fake.
 
"YOU did this! You told those lies about me cheating on my wife!" he snapped.
 
"What? Now why would I go and do a thing like that? And besides, I just arrived not long ago."
 
"Oh spare me! I bet you're not even telling the truth about my parents being involved in this!"
 
"So there was someone causing this fiasco!" Byleth jumped in. "You won't get away with trying to frame my husband!"
 
"Sigh..." Alice uttered in annoyance. "Well, looks like you've got me then. Guilty as charged. I wasn't lying about Margrave Gautier and his wife though."
 
"That's impossible! They wouldn't try to ruin my happiness!" Sylvain protested. "...Not intentionally, anyway. There's a misunderstanding here, at the very least."
 
"Ha. Sorry to burst your bubble," Alice continued. "But your parents did intend for us to marry and I still wish to abide by that. They wanted to introduce us some time ago, and they promised me a life with you and House Gautier! But the war got in the way and then they told me you had proposed to another woman! I was furious! I didn't know where you were, but I had to track you down. And as luck would have it, I found you here. All I needed was a way to get you away from her. And when I learned that you were a cheater in the past, well...it just all came together."
 
Alice sneered at Byleth, not willing to accept her scheme having failed just yet.
 
"You can't be serious!" Byleth retorted.
 
"I should've known," Sylvain growled. "They would pull such a stunt. I will have to have a chat with my parents about this. They shouldn't have promised you something that they might not be able to give and it shouldn't be me without telling me first! And I'm set to become Margrave Gautier myself soon anyway."
 
"Indeed. So why not have us rule House Gautier together when your elderly father steps down? The archbishop here certainly already has her hands full with this monastery, she can't possibly join you. I should and will get what was unfairly stolen from me!"
 
"How DARE you?! You can't just take him!" Byleth said, moving in front of Sylvain and bringing her hand to her sword. "And if you try, I will fight you! Hope you can defend yourself!"
 
Sylvain blinked and then took his wife's arm.
 
"Uh, Byleth, dear, hold on! Maybe you should go let Alois know we've found the suspect," Sylvain suggested. "I just don't want you do to something you'll regret in front of all these people."
 
Byleth hesitated for a moment, but chose to give in.
 
"Well, alright. I'm not really feeling up for combat right now anyway," she admitted. "Alois does need to know too. He and I will meet back up with you later."
 
"Alright, thanks," Sylvain replied. Afterward, Byleth headed back into the monastery grounds.
 
Sylvain then turned his attention back to Alice and folded his arms.
 
"Guards," he echoed loud enough for those present in the marketplace to hear him. Without hesitation, a few guards approached and took Alice by the arms.
 
"You're going to lock me up?" Alice wondered.
 
Sylvain then approached her and leaned hotly in her face.
 
"Actually...no," he replied. "I don't believe you deserve any sympathy for what you've done. And had you done this to me five years ago, I probably would have thrown you into a prison cell without a second thought. But in the end, my parents are probably partly to blame and that's not your fault. No one likes a broken promise. I will allow you to leave, but you are to never return here."
 
"...I see," Alice replied. "I suppose I have no choice then."
 
"Precisely," Sylvain said and then turned away before finishing. "...However, if I find out you are lying about my parents, I will order you arrested for real."
 
"...Hmph."
 
"Kindly escort her out, please," Sylvain ordered. The guards did as asked and yanked Alice away from the marketplace.
 
Afterward, Sylvain let out the biggest sigh he'd had to make in a long time. Byleth might have kicked him out of the monastery if he took too long to show her proof of his innocence. He was thankful she had given him a chance to do so instead of falling for Alice's trap. And yet, as Sylvain began making his way back into the monastery, it still bothered him that his past was used to make people think he had gone back to his old ways.
 
He'd thought the past was staying in the past. One part of him was relieved this incident was over, but the other was annoyed that his old habits had more or less come back to haunt both him and Byleth. Perhaps that was another reason he'd chosen to show Alice a little sympathy too. If Sylvain hadn't been what he used to be in the first place, it would've been less believable that he'd cheat. And he now knew the hard way what could happen if someone claimed he did that again. He owed Byleth an apology for this.
 
However, Sylvain had just begun going through the entrance hall when he saw Alois rushing up to him for a second time.
 
"Lord Sylvain! Thank goodness you came back in when you did!" he cried. "It's Lady Byleth! She collapsed right when she was telling me about this woman you two caught!"
 
"What?!" Sylvain gasped, all of a sudden forgetting his previous concern. "H-How?! Is she okay?!"
 
"I had her brought to the infirmary immediately, so I'm not entirely sure," Alois replied somberly. "I'm so sorry. But Lady Byleth should arrive and be resting by the time you get there. You have to go see her! I'll let Seteth know what's happened when he returns."
 
"Alright, thanks a bunch."
 
With that, Sylvain rushed off as quickly as he could to the infirmary, wondering what in the world could've caused his wife to suddenly be ill. She had said she didn't feel up to battling earlier, but...that could've meant a lot of things other than health issues. Damn it all! If it isn't one thing, it's another today, I swear! Sylvain opined. Could the day get any worse?
 
When he burst through the doors, Sylvain was relieved to see his wife in a bed, but breathing. It seemed she had merely fainted for a few moments, and this was something he did recall happening a few times during the war. But it had been years since the last occurrence, so Sylvain was curious why it all of a sudden happened again. Byleth was not only the wielder of a Crest and Relic, she was more or less half of the goddess spoken of in Fodlan as well, due to having been granted Sothis's power to end the war. By all means, she could be called the goddess herself at this point, but Byleth didn't like the idea. Sothis had still once been a separate being and preferred that she still be thought of as the real goddess. She did allow Sylvain to use "goddess" as a personal pet name though, since it was sweet of him. And he wouldn't have stopped using it that way anyway.
 
"Byleth?" Sylvain said fairly quietly as he approached her bedside.
 
"...Huh?" she uttered. "...Sylvain?"
 
"You've awoken," Sylvain replied. "Thank goodness. Alois told me you were here. Are you feeling alright? What the heck happened out there? Did those goddess powers do something again?"
 
"Whoa, slow down," Byleth commented with a weak chuckle. "I'm fine, I just fainted. But...my body should be used to the goddess power by now. And it's been years since the last time I fainted from that. Why would it suddenly happen again now?"
 
"Yeah... I don't know. Maybe something else caused it then, but what?"
 
"Hm... I'm not sure. Oh, but Sylvain, I owe you a huge apology..." Byleth continued, beginning to sob. "You were innocent all along! You'd done nothing wrong and I screamed at you and almost hurt you and..."
 
"Oh, Byleth..." Sylvain replied, kneeling before her and taking her hand. "I know. And I understand. I'm sorry you had to feel the way you did due to how I behaved in the past. If I hadn't been...such an idiot then, I know it would've been easier to believe me. And that's on me. Ingrid once said to me that my behavior could come back to bite me. She was right..."
 
"But you did change and you didn't choose for someone to try to use the past against you. When we met up at the Goddess Tower that night of the academy ball, you'd said you'd become a man I could trust and you had done just that since. I shouldn't have ever doubted you in the least bit and I yet I was doing just that by getting angry at you without proof you even did anything wrong..."
 
"Well, you'd heard some awful things that understandably upset you, and sometimes we can't think clearly when upset. Heck, I sometimes didn't think clearly period before you more or less cast your metaphoric spell on me. Ha ha... Oh, and by the way, that Alice woman's never allowed to show up here again. I'm making sure of that."
 
"Heh," Byleth chuckled, wiping her eyes. "I suppose that's true. And thank you for handling that situation. Sylvain, I love you and I always will."
 
"I love you too, my beautiful goddess."
 
With that, Sylvain leaned in to meet his lips with Byleth's for a gentle kiss. They were unfortunately interrupted when the door opened again.
 
"...Oh, heh, my apologies," the voice of an infirmary doctor replied. "Is it alright if I give you two some good news after all the hubbub today?"
 
"Well, yes!" Sylvain agreed. "We could sure use something to smile about right now. Right, Byleth?"
 
"Indeed," Byleth agreed. "This day has been frustrating enough."
 
"I thought so," the doctor chuckled. "Well then! I believe I know why you collapsed, my lady. It's been known to happen early on in your condition. Lady Byleth, you're with child! And Lord Sylvain is going to be the proud father!"
 
At this Sylvain's jaw dropped, and Byleth blinked as her eyes widened.
 
"I...whaaat?!" she gasped. "I...I don't believe it!"
 
"Oh my gosh..." Sylvain uttered, feeling as giddy with excitement as he had the moment Byleth had said yes to his marriage proposal two years back. "This is really happening...? We're having our first...our first...!"
 
"Sylvain..." Byleth said, chuckling again. "Easy there, love."
 
It did amaze her that she could laugh the way she was able to now, though. And it was mainly thanks to her husband, having been one of the few who could make her do so.
 
"Ah, I'm sorry. Heh... This is exciting, Byleth!" Sylvain admitted, his smile growing large.
 
"Yes, it is! Now we can definitely put today behind us and focus on preparing for the baby," Byleth replied, her smile growing nearly as big.
 
"Heh... Yes. Yes, indeed. Though what a day it has been. I was framed, you collapsed, and we found out we're going to be parents, all in twenty four hours. Ha ha, wow."
 
"Yeah, though I hope we don't have another day quite as eventful in a long time, personally."
 
"Oh, I hear that, believe me. Too bad you can't surprise me with a cute pregnancy announcement trick now though! That would've been so fun."
 
"Oh you. Maybe next time."
 
"Ah, is that a desire for more children I hear?"
 
"Maybe. Maybe not. You'll just have to wait and see."
 
With that, Byleth shot Sylvain a wink not unlike the one he'd often use himself. And it certainly felt like an approving one, that was for sure.

Some notes:

Spoiler

- Given their support chain, Sylvain has some clear reason to have fallen for Byleth, but not much is given for the other way around, so I came up with the thing about Sylvain making her laugh and being the first time he charmed her. Byleth obviously never laughed much before her time at the academy and stuff due to her initially pretty stoic nature, and Sylvain is a funny guy. 😛

- Byleth has more emotion now than she did previously because it's shown in-game that she develops more over time.

- And that also explains Sylvain's winking habit rubbing off on her a bit at the very end there. lol

- If the title seems kind of random, there's a few reasons for it. Byleth has the Crest of Flames and Sylvain's hair is a flaming red-orange. They're kind of a fiery couple in this way. And their love is still burning bright through this tough situation they have to settle. And due to Sylvain's desire to catch this suspect that's trying to ruin him no matter what, he's acting like a burning flame about it himself.

- I decided Seteth was on an errand because I felt like including him in here would make this longer than it needs to be and he is still around in the monastery for at time after the war.

 

Edited by Anacybele

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1 hour ago, Anacybele said:

Title: The Burning Flame

Fandom: Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Words: 5661

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The Burning Flame
 
The afternoon sun blazed upon the Garreg Mach Monastery of the Church of Seiros and Officers Academy in the land of Fodlan. A young man with fiery unruly hair and ebony armor stood upon a balcony in an upper floor, gazing down upon the many students and faculty enjoying their weekly Sunday off. Some students were conversing with one another in the gardens, others were simply taking strolls. Guards did their usual patrols and kept an eye on everything they could see from their posts. This kind of peace was not unusual these days, but a sense of awe and great joy still filled the man's heart anyway.
 
Man, it's still so hard to believe that not so long ago, this place was a complete battlefield... And I was a philandering fool of a student here myself. And the woman who is now my wife was calling me a jerk twice. Heh... How things have changed...
 
Indeed, one would not have thought that everything had been so different at the monastery only half a decade before. War had ravaged all of Fodlan and now...it was like it had never even happened. No one even really talked much about the fighting anymore, as focus had been on the now united continent under the rule of the monastery's leader and archbishop, Lady Byleth. The monastery was in the center of Fodlan, and as it had been Byleth herself who had been entrusted with the monastery's care by the previous archbishop, her being named the united Fodlan's first leader was only natural.
 
And I'm married to her! Who'd have thunk? Ingrid would've laughed until she literally hit the floor if I merely suggested such a thing back then. Felix would've called me a fantastic idiot. Dimitri would chastise me with things like "Sylvain! She's one of our professors! Have you no shame?!" Ha ha...
 
Sylvain did have to admit that a student and professor having a relationship wasn't a common thing, and was even sometimes frowned upon. And it seemed even more bizarre when the student in question was Sylvain given his history. Yet, he had ended up learning much more from Byleth than just typical academy lessons. More about life, and himself. It was the first time he'd felt real love for someone. He had flirted with women many times, but the mere idea of a real relationship and marriage to someone who would love him for more than his noble lineage or the mysterious magical Crest he bore made him giddy with excitement. Even now, his heart sometimes raced around her. She was also strong, smart, beautiful, and brave. And Byleth said she loved a lot of things about him, even considering his past behavior.
 
"Heh, what did I do to deserve such a wonderful woman?" Sylvain wondered aloud. There were plenty of other men Byleth could've chosen and not all of them were other students either. And yet she said there was only one man she ever had true feelings for and that was Sylvain. The one thing she'd said that was most important was that Sylvain was the first person to ever make her laugh. For the longest time, Byleth was very stoic, almost void of emotion. Over time, that gradually changed, but one of the first times she was able to show more emotion than usual was when Sylvain made her laugh. He couldn't remember what he did that was so amusing, but just knowing put a huge smile on his face.
 
"I don't think I'll ever feel like I know the answer," Sylvain continued. "But I'm happy. And more importantly, she's happy."
 
He then began walking back inside the monastery, bringing his hands to the back of his head with a distant grin on his face.
 
"How can life be any better than this?"
 
A moment later, however, his daydreaming was unfortunately cut short.
 
"SYLVAIN!" a familiar female voice thundered loud enough for the knight to jump.
 
"HOW DARE YOU?! HOW COULD YOU?!" she continued.
 
Sylvain turned to see none other than Byleth herself, her spring green hair looking slightly unrulier than usual. Her emerald eyes were normally radiant, only now they were for some reason seemed more like a blazing fire.
 
"Huh?! Byleth? What in--? How could I what?" Sylvain wondered confusedly, a sudden wave of shock running through his nerves.
 
Byleth growled before responding.
 
"Don't pull that with me you...you philandering cheating TRAITOR!" she spat. "YOU PROMISED ME! AND IT WAS A LIE!!"
 
"Wait, what?!" Sylvain gasped. "Cheating?! But I absolutely never--! Byleth, who told you--?"
 
"Shut up! I told you you would pay dearly if you ever cheated on me, and I MEANT IT!"
 
Before Sylvain could say anything else, Byleth ripped her sword out and pointed it at her husband.
 
"Whoa, WHOA! Byleth, calm down! That is definitely not necessary!" Sylvain pleaded, his shock turning into fear as he raised his hands defensively. "I'm telling you, that never happened! I could never do that to you after all we've been through! Please put your sword down!"
 
He couldn't believe it. Just a moment ago he was reveling in his peaceful life and now his wife was raging and pointing the backbone-like Sword of the Creator at him. What the hell was going on here?
 
Byleth, meanwhile, could only hesitate as tears began to fall down her cheeks, her blade still raised.
 
"I swear to the goddess, Byleth, I'm telling the truth," Sylvain continued. "I don't know where you got the idea that I cheated, but whoever said that is lying, probably to break us up for who knows why! And I promise to figure out who and make sure that they're punished. I just need you to put your sword down and give me a chance. Please..."
 
Byleth still took another moment of hesitation, but finally, she lowered her weapon.
 
"Well... Alright..." she uttered, sniffling.
 
Sylvain hunched a little as he breathed a sigh of relief.
 
"Phew... Thanks," he said. "I was honestly scared that I was about to be mauled by my own wife for something I didn't do."
 
"You still will be if you don't prove to me that you're being honest!" Byleth retorted.
 
"Ah, alright, alright!" Sylvain conceded. "I'll do everything in my power to prove it, you can count on it. Someone has a lot of nerve using my past to try to destroy us! Truth be told, I'm as furious as you are over this!"
 
"Oh, you are?"
 
"Of course!"
 
Sylvain then approached his wife and gently brought his hands to her shoulders, looking firmly into her eyes.
 
"Byleth, my love. Like I said, I did not cheat. I've been faithful and loving the last couple years, haven't I? Why would I go back on that now? I couldn't ever risk ruining everything we've had together. Two years isn't all that long, but I still cherish them because you were there with me."
 
Byleth hesitated again before replying.
 
"I...I want to believe you mean that," she uttered. "But...I don't know what to think right now! I need some time alone."
 
With that, she turned away from Sylvain and headed for their chambers on the top floor. Sylvain could only growl to himself.
 
"Damn it all," he said. "Someone is going to pay dearly. And that's whoever's trying to wreck my marriage!"
 
With that, Sylvain angrily headed downstairs, contemplating on where Byleth could've heard the idea that her husband went back to his old ways. Heck, Sylvain wasn't even sure the old him would have done what Byleth implied, as while he did jump from girl to girl back then, he never got even close to serious with any of them, let alone married.
 
Byleth had to have misunderstood something she heard or was told. Or as Sylvain had suggested earlier, someone outright lied to her. Although, he also had to wonder why she had believed such a thing in the first place. Sure, in the past, he was a philanderer who never stuck to one girl. But the promise Byleth had been referring to that he'd made was that he'd be a man she could always trust, a man who'd love her and only her for all his days. And so far, he'd done just that.
 
Indeed, to get Byleth to believe her husband was cheating... Something very wrong was happening.
 
"This calls for investigation," Sylvain decided. "Now where was Byleth before she found me? I think I remember her saying she'd be in the cathedral and before that, the dining hall for lunch. I can't imagine any students would be spreading lies or rumors though..."
 
Students of the Officers Academy in Garreg Mach had to be well off to have any chance of attending, even though Byleth did her best to make sure it was as accessible for the people of Fodlan as possible. And to ensure classrooms didn't become overloaded each year, potential students had to be turned down at times. Students that earned the privilege to attend would be fools to put that in jeopardy. And yet, Sylvain couldn't rule out the possibility that one or more were to blame.
 
There were some other people he could look at too, however... The professors and Knights of Seiros. Sylvain sometimes served as a professor himself and had aided the knights before, but was never sure he had the favor of some of the others due to his past. Truth was, he wished people would just forget his younger self and focus more on what he was now. He wasn't that man anymore, so why bother with it? People that kept living in the past were so bothersome.
 
As Sylvain made his way up the path that led directly into the cathedral, he passed by a pair of knights who were conversing, and paused when a certain set of words reached his ears.
 
"Oh, did you hear about Sylvain?" one said.
 
"Yeah, I couldn't believe it! Lady Byleth must be--" the other began, until Sylvain himself interrupted.
 
"Ah, you heard something about me? Do tell!" he said, folding his arms and smirking.
 
The knights froze for a moment.
 
"O-Oh! Lord Sylvain! Uh..." the first knight stuttered.
 
"Ah...w-we were just..." the other begain.
 
"Just what?" Sylvain sternly inquired. "This wouldn't happen to have anything to do with why my wife just came at me in a rage a few minutes ago, would it?"
 
"...Well...wait, why should we be upset?" the first knight wondered. "It's you who's been cheating on your wife and the archbishop of all people!"
 
"...I knew it," Sylvain angrily replied. "Someone is telling lies about me!"
 
"Oh, sure! It's not hard to believe you'd cheat!" the second knight retorted. "Plenty here have heard all about how you were some years ago! And now witnesses put you with an unknown woman in a tavern in town, and using your old flowery language to boot!"
 
With that, Sylvain impulsively grabbed that knight by the collar of his chest plate and lifted him off the ground.
 
"Now listen here!" he demanded. "Have you ever seen or heard of me even looking at another woman since I've been married until today?!"
 
The two knights didn't respond, merely hesitating in nervousness at Sylvain's anger.
 
"No?" Sylvain guessed, seeing as neither of these fools were giving him a yes. "Then why would I be doing that again now?! Either someone is purposely trying to ruin my marriage or they've mistaken someone else for me. And unless I've somehow got a flame-haired twin running around here, I highly doubt it's the latter!"
 
"Oh...well..." the knight still on his feet uttered.
 
"You're going to tell me where you heard this and why you're spreading lies! RIGHT NOW," Sylvain demanded, the rage in his eyes almost equal to Byleth's at this point.
 
"W-Wait!" the knight Sylvain was grasping pleaded. "We didn't start it, we swear! We just heard it from some students and soldiers earlier today! And I guess...by habit we were really skeptical about it being a lie."
 
"Yeah, he's telling the truth," the other knight replied. "We're not sure exactly how the rumor started. If I had to guess though, it began either in the marketplace or further in town. It's the only way in and out of the monastery and tons of people go through there."
 
"Hmm... Good point," Sylvain admitted and then threw the knight he was holding down to the ground. "I'll see what I can find there. In the meantime, you two are to shut up and not say another damn word about that rumor to anyone. And if you hear others talking of it, tell them they're also ordered to stop. Do I make myself clear?"
 
"Crystal, sir!" both knights replied and saluted.
 
"Good."
 
With that, Sylvain turned around to go back in the other direction. I should go let Byleth know what I'm doing, he thought as he walked. And we should have a chat with Alois seeing as those were his men I just spoke to. I swear, if he believes any of that nonsense...
 
Alois was the newest captain of the Knights of Seiros, and while he did a good job at the role, he could be a little...absent-minded. For all Sylvain knew, he didn't know of the rumor yet. And he would need to help stop it from spreading further in any case.
 
Sylvain just hoped Byleth was up for talking again now after...earlier. He didn't like bothering his wife when she was upset, but this was important, and she might be glad that he has a lead too. When Sylvain reached the doors of their chambers, he took a deep breath and knocked gently.
 
"Byleth? May I come in?" he wondered, slowly opening the door. Sylvain saw his wife standing at the room's only window and peering out of it.
 
"Can we talk again?" Sylvain continued. "I understand if you're still upset... I'll leave you alone for as long as you need."
 
"Oh, Sylvain," Byleth greeted, though her tone was very neutral, almost like when she had little emotion. "It's alright. What is it?"
 
"Well, I began investigating what you heard as soon as you'd left me back there," Sylvain reported. "I found two knights gossiping and there is a rumor going around that I cheated! I'm disgusted! I'm really sorry you had to hear of something like that. I swear to you again, it is not true at all. Someone has to be trying to sabotage us!"
 
"I see... I'm sorry if I still don't know what to think," Byleth replied. "But...if you're being entirely truthful, you shouldn't be punished for anything. The person responsible will be."
 
"Yes, exactly," Sylvain agreed. "Okay, so where did you first hear someone say I cheated? Those knights I found were near the cathedral."
 
"Oh, some students reported it to me when I was in the dining hall. I cannot believe they would cause this kind of trouble, but I just brushed it off as a mere misunderstanding at that point. Then I overheard it again from the clergy in the cathedral. They absolutely cannot be mere liars and...I guess I snapped after that. I even mouthed "I'm going to kill him." I...I'm sorry."
 
"I...see," Sylvain replied, his eyebrows rising. "Damn it, this is worse than I thought! I'd like for us to go talk to Alois next. I ordered those knights to shut their mouths about that nonsense, but Alois needs to start telling others to do the same so the rumor doesn't spread further, and he might know some information that can further help us."
 
"Alright, that would help. I think he's in the knights' hall right now. Let's go."
 
Sylvain nodded and the couple departed the room to return downstairs.
 
"I wish Seteth was here to help," Sylvain opined a little later. "He'd know what to do too, I bet. Stupid bad timing..."
 
"Indeed. We just had to send him on that errand to Almyra..."
 
Seteth, Byleth's primary advisor when Sylvain couldn't be available due to his real home being the Gautier territory to the north, sometimes had to travel abroad due to having a wyvern to fly on to make it easier. And that meant Byleth and Sylvain had him bring messages to their allies out there every now and then too.
 
Never thought I'd find a rumor about myself that I'd actually care about though... Sylvain thought as he and Byleth drew closer to the knights' hall. One thing I never changed was not caring about what others think of me.
 
"You taking issue with gossip about you though. Who'd have thunk?" Byleth spoke up, as if to read her husband's mind.
 
"Yeah, it is unusual," Sylvain admitted, a small smile tugging at his features. "Though who would want to be accused of something you didn't do?"
 
"Fair point."
 
The pair had only gotten roughly half way to the knights' hall when Alois himself had come rushing toward them, the chocolate-haired warrior panting when he came to a stop.
 
"Ah, Lady Byleth and Lord Sylvain! I'm glad I found you both!" he said, but then noticed Byleth's slightly reddened face and eyes from crying and Sylvain's unusually serious expression.
 
"...Oh. I...guess I'm a little late," Alois awkwardly admitted. "You heard that gossip, huh?"
 
"Yeah, we did," Byleth confirmed sternly. "You don't know anything about it, do you? Sylvain is adamantly denying that he cheated and I have no idea who to believe! I feel like I'm going crazy! We need answers!"
 
"Yes, we do," Sylvain seconded. "Please tell us you know something. I won't stand for anyone lying about me like that!"
 
"Oh, yes, of course," Alois agreed. "I don't know exactly how it started, or if there's any truth to it, I'm afraid... But I was about to go question as many knights and students as I can and find out. I'm sorry I didn't know about all this sooner..."
 
"It's fine, you can still help now," Sylvain replied. "Go question people like you said, but also tell them to stop spreading that rumor. I'm going into town to do the same thing. A lot of people come and go that way, so it probably started there."
 
"Good idea, I'll help you out there when I'm done here," Alois decided.
 
"Much appreciated."
 
"I'll go with you, Sylvain," Byleth decided. "If someone is intentionally causing this trouble, I want to confront them as much as you do."
 
"Alright, thanks," Sylvain replied with a smile.
 
With that, the trio parted, with Alois going west towards the dining hall and training grounds and Sylvain and Byleth immediately heading south for town. Luckily, they were both already armed in case they would have to engage in combat with the culprit for whatever reason. Although, said culprit would be a massive fool to try doing so, as both Byleth and Sylvain were skilled and carried special weapons known as Relics. The Sword of the Creator was one of the strongest, and Sylvain's Lance of Ruin was nothing to sneeze at either. Many liked to call them a true power couple due to their combat skills combined with their Crests and weapons.
 
The marketplace looked normal on the surface, with various people browsing and selling wares. And for the most part, it was peacefully thriving. There was an armory for weapons, a blacksmith for forging them, merchants selling food and other goods, and the battalion guild was there too. It was more prosperous than ever after the war had ended and reconstruction had taken place at the monastery. However, Sylvain knew a lying delinquent was among the people here and he was eager to find it, not just to prove his innocence, but to also ease the stress the woman he loved had been suffering over this fiasco.
 
He kept his eyes peeled for anyone suspicious, and both of them asked some passersby if they had seen anyone who seemed so themselves. They unfortunately could not help thus far, but there was no giving up. Sylvain would search every little nook and cranny of the entire monastery if he had to in order to find his suspect.
 
Suddenly, Sylvain and Byleth jumped a little when an unfamiliar feminine voice greeted them. They turned to find a fairly young dark blonde woman garbed in a rather extravagant dress. A small mole sat near her chin and her eyes looked a little...devious.
 
"Oh, hello! Are you Sir Sylvain? I didn't think I'd find you this fast!" she said with a pleasant, and yet odd smile.
 
"Er, yes, that's me," Sylvain confirmed. "Can I help you?"
 
"Ah, well--" the woman began, and soon noticed Byleth, though with a strange hint of disappointment in her expression. "Oh, you brought the archbishop too. Interesting, I do say. But anyway. Sir Sylvain, I'm Alice! I came on behalf of your parents. They wanted to introduce us, but didn't feel the need to call you all the way back to Gautier just for that. So I volunteered to come here and they agreed."
 
"Uh...what now? Why do they want us to meet, exactly?"
 
Byleth could only arch an eyebrow at this revelation herself.
 
"Yes, what business do you have with my husband?" she inquired, and Sylvain could plainly see a hint of annoyance in her voice.
 
"Wait, how are you still--? I mean, Margrave Gautier has said your marriage was being annulled because of some...scandal or some sort," Alice explained, though slightly shakily. "He and his wife and I agreed I'd make a suitable new bride for you afterward. Isn't that wonderful?"
 
"...What?!" Sylvain gasped angrily. "There is no such thing going on at all! I wouldn't have put it past my parents to arrange some dumb marriage for me beforehand, but they know very well I'm already happily--!"
 
The knight paused when a sudden realization came to him and filled his eyes with rage again.
 
"...Wait. YOU!" he shouted.
 
Some passersby began to overhear and paused to watch, intrigued by what was going on between this strange woman and the church's leaders.
 
"Hm? Me what?" Alice innocently wondered. Though Sylvain could clearly see this reaction was fake.
 
"YOU did this! You told those lies about me cheating on my wife!" he snapped.
 
"What? Now why would I go and do a thing like that? And besides, I just arrived not long ago."
 
"Oh spare me! I bet you're not even telling the truth about my parents being involved in this!"
 
"So there was someone causing this fiasco!" Byleth jumped in. "You won't get away with trying to frame my husband!"
 
"Sigh..." Alice uttered in annoyance. "Well, looks like you've got me then. Guilty as charged. I wasn't lying about Margrave Gautier and his wife though."
 
"That's impossible! They wouldn't try to ruin my happiness!" Sylvain protested. "...Not intentionally, anyway. There's a misunderstanding here, at the very least."
 
"Ha. Sorry to burst your bubble," Alice continued. "But your parents did intend for us to marry and I still wish to abide by that. They wanted to introduce us some time ago, and they promised me a life with you and House Gautier! But the war got in the way and then they told me you had proposed to another woman! I was furious! I didn't know where you were, but I had to track you down. And as luck would have it, I found you here. All I needed was a way to get you away from her. And when I learned that you were a cheater in the past, well...it just all came together."
 
Alice sneered at Byleth, not willing to accept her scheme having failed just yet.
 
"You can't be serious!" Byleth retorted.
 
"I should've known," Sylvain growled. "They would pull such a stunt. I will have to have a chat with my parents about this. They shouldn't have promised you something that they might not be able to give and it shouldn't be me without telling me first! And I'm set to become Margrave Gautier myself soon anyway."
 
"Indeed. So why not have us rule House Gautier together when your elderly father steps down? The archbishop here certainly already has her hands full with this monastery, she can't possibly join you. I should and will get what was unfairly stolen from me!"
 
"How DARE you?! You can't just take him!" Byleth said, moving in front of Sylvain and bringing her hand to her sword. "And if you try, I will fight you! Hope you can defend yourself!"
 
Sylvain blinked and then took his wife's arm.
 
"Uh, Byleth, dear, hold on! Maybe you should go let Alois know we've found the suspect," Sylvain suggested. "I just don't want you do to something you'll regret in front of all these people."
 
Byleth hesitated for a moment, but chose to give in.
 
"Well, alright. I'm not really feeling up for combat right now anyway," she admitted. "Alois does need to know too. He and I will meet back up with you later."
 
"Alright, thanks," Sylvain replied. Afterward, Byleth headed back into the monastery grounds.
 
Sylvain then turned his attention back to Alice and folded his arms.
 
"Guards," he echoed loud enough for those present in the marketplace to hear him. Without hesitation, a few guards approached and took Alice by the arms.
 
"You're going to lock me up?" Alice wondered.
 
Sylvain then approached her and leaned hotly in her face.
 
"Actually...no," he replied. "I don't believe you deserve any sympathy for what you've done. And had you done this to me five years ago, I probably would have thrown you into a prison cell without a second thought. But in the end, my parents are probably partly to blame and that's not your fault. No one likes a broken promise. I will allow you to leave, but you are to never return here."
 
"...I see," Alice replied. "I suppose I have no choice then."
 
"Precisely," Sylvain said and then turned away before finishing. "...However, if I find out you are lying about my parents, I will order you arrested for real."
 
"...Hmph."
 
"Kindly escort her out, please," Sylvain ordered. The guards did as asked and yanked Alice away from the marketplace.
 
Afterward, Sylvain let out the biggest sigh he'd had to make in a long time. Byleth might have kicked him out of the monastery if he took too long to show her proof of his innocence. He was thankful she had given him a chance to do so instead of falling for Alice's trap. And yet, as Sylvain began making his way back into the monastery, it still bothered him that his past was used to make people think he had gone back to his old ways.
 
He'd thought the past was staying in the past. One part of him was relieved this incident was over, but the other was annoyed that his old habits had more or less come back to haunt both him and Byleth. Perhaps that was another reason he'd chosen to show Alice a little sympathy too. If Sylvain hadn't been what he used to be in the first place, it would've been less believable that he'd cheat. And he now knew the hard way what could happen if someone claimed he did that again. He owed Byleth an apology for this.
 
However, Sylvain had just begun going through the entrance hall when he saw Alois rushing up to him for a second time.
 
"Lord Sylvain! Thank goodness you came back in when you did!" he cried. "It's Lady Byleth! She collapsed right when she was telling me about this woman you two caught!"
 
"What?!" Sylvain gasped, all of a sudden forgetting his previous concern. "H-How?! Is she okay?!"
 
"I had her brought to the infirmary immediately, so I'm not entirely sure," Alois replied somberly. "I'm so sorry. But Lady Byleth should arrive and be resting by the time you get there. You have to go see her! I'll let Seteth know what's happened when he returns."
 
"Alright, thanks a bunch."
 
With that, Sylvain rushed off as quickly as he could to the infirmary, wondering what in the world could've caused his wife to suddenly be ill. She had said she didn't feel up to battling earlier, but...that could've meant a lot of things other than health issues. Damn it all! If it isn't one thing, it's another today, I swear! Sylvain opined. Could the day get any worse?
 
When he burst through the doors, Sylvain was relieved to see his wife in a bed, but breathing. It seemed she had merely fainted for a few moments, and this was something he did recall happening a few times during the war. But it had been years since the last occurrence, so Sylvain was curious why it all of a sudden happened again. Byleth was not only the wielder of a Crest and Relic, she was more or less half of the goddess spoken of in Fodlan as well, due to having been granted Sothis's power to end the war. By all means, she could be called the goddess herself at this point, but Byleth didn't like the idea. Sothis had still once been a separate being and preferred that she still be thought of as the real goddess. She did allow Sylvain to use "goddess" as a personal pet name though, since it was sweet of him. And he wouldn't have stopped using it that way anyway.
 
"Byleth?" Sylvain said fairly quietly as he approached her bedside.
 
"...Huh?" she uttered. "...Sylvain?"
 
"You've awoken," Sylvain replied. "Thank goodness. Alois told me you were here. Are you feeling alright? What the heck happened out there? Did those goddess powers do something again?"
 
"Whoa, slow down," Byleth commented with a weak chuckle. "I'm fine, I just fainted. But...my body should be used to the goddess power by now. And it's been years since the last time I fainted from that. Why would it suddenly happen again now?"
 
"Yeah... I don't know. Maybe something else caused it then, but what?"
 
"Hm... I'm not sure. Oh, but Sylvain, I owe you a huge apology..." Byleth continued, beginning to sob. "You were innocent all along! You'd done nothing wrong and I screamed at you and almost hurt you and..."
 
"Oh, Byleth..." Sylvain replied, kneeling before her and taking her hand. "I know. And I understand. I'm sorry you had to feel the way you did due to how I behaved in the past. If I hadn't been...such an idiot then, I know it would've been easier to believe me. And that's on me."
 
"But you did change and you didn't choose for someone to try to use the past against you. When we met up at the Goddess Tower that night of the academy ball, you'd said you'd become a man I could trust and you had done just that since. I shouldn't have ever doubted you in the least bit and I yet I was doing just that by getting angry at you without proof you even did anything wrong..."
 
"Well, you'd heard some awful things that understandably upset you, and sometimes we can't think clearly when upset. Heck, I sometimes didn't think clearly period before you more or less cast your metaphoric spell on me. Ha ha... Oh, and by the way, that Alice woman's never allowed to show up here again. I'm making sure of that."
 
"Heh," Byleth chuckled, wiping her eyes. "I suppose that's true. And thank you for handling that situation. Sylvain, I love you and I always will."
 
"I love you too, my beautiful goddess."
 
With that, Sylvain leaned in to meet his lips with Byleth's for a gentle kiss. They were unfortunately interrupted when the door opened again.
 
"...Oh, heh, my apologies," the voice of an infirmary doctor replied. "Is it alright if I give you two some good news after all the hubbub today?"
 
"Well, yes!" Sylvain agreed. "We could sure use something to smile about right now. Right, Byleth?"
 
"Indeed," Byleth agreed. "This day has been frustrating enough."
 
"I thought so," the doctor chuckled. "Well then! I believe I know why you collapsed, my lady. It's been known to happen early on in your condition. Lady Byleth, you're with child! And Lord Sylvain is going to be the proud father!"
 
At this Sylvain's jaw dropped, and Byleth blinked as her eyes widened.
 
"I...whaaat?!" she gasped. "I...I don't believe it!"
 
"Oh my gosh..." Sylvain uttered, feeling as giddy with excitement as he had the moment Byleth had said yes to his marriage proposal two years back. "This is really happening...? We're having our first...our first...!"
 
"Sylvain..." Byleth said, chuckling again. "Easy there, love."
 
It did amaze her that she could laugh the way she was able to now, though. And it was mainly thanks to her husband, having been one of the few who could make her do so.
 
"Ah, I'm sorry. Heh... This is exciting, Byleth!" Sylvain admitted, his smile growing large.
 
"Yes, it is! Now we can definitely put today behind us and focus on preparing for the baby," Byleth replied, her smile growing nearly as big.
 
"Heh... Yes. Yes, indeed. Though what a day it has been. I was framed, you collapsed, and we found out we're going to be parents, all in twenty four hours. Ha ha, wow."
 
"Yeah, though I hope we don't have another day quite as eventful in a long time, personally."
 
"Oh, I hear that, believe me. Too bad you can't surprise me with a cute pregnancy announcement trick now though! That would've been so fun."
 
"Oh you. Maybe next time."
 
"Ah, is that a desire for more children I hear?"
 
"Maybe. Maybe not. You'll just have to wait and see."
 
With that, Byleth shot Sylvain a wink not unlike the one he'd often use himself. And it certainly felt like an approving one, that was for sure.

Some notes:

  Reveal hidden contents

- Given their support chain, Sylvain has some clear reason to have fallen for Byleth, but not much is given for the other way around, so I came up with the thing about Sylvain making her laugh and being the first time he charmed her. Byleth obviously never laughed much before her time at the academy and stuff due to her initially pretty stoic nature, and Sylvain is a funny guy. 😛

- Byleth has more emotion now than she did previously because it's shown in-game that she develops more over time.

- And that also explains Sylvain's winking habit rubbing off on her a bit at the very end there. lol

- If the title seems kind of random, there's a few reasons for it. Byleth has the Crest of Flames and Sylvain's hair is a flaming red-orange. They're kind of a fiery couple in this way. And their love is still burning bright through this tough situation they have to settle. And due to Sylvain's desire to catch this suspect that's trying to ruin him no matter what, he's acting like a burning flame about it himself.

- I decided Seteth was on an errand because I felt like including him in here would make this longer than it needs to be and he is still around in the monastery for at time after the war.

 

Huh. I was hesitant to write anything Three Houses related because it still has not been long after Three Houses has released. But, maybe I should some time. That would make coming up with prompt responses easier.

Spoiler

I can only assume that how this ties into the prompt is that the “devil” of this story, Alice, wants to exploit someone’s sympathy for her. But, of course, Sylvain does not. But that is a little minor. Then again, Sylvain was once that devil that eventually go his sympathy. And then he got love on top of that.

Overall, I really liked this story. The headcanons were nice, everyone was in-character (as far as I know), and, well, it’s always nice to see good Three Houses content.

Might have to make a story that revolves around my Byleth and his wife after (or maybe during) the Blue Lions route. I just don’t know who (Marianne is an option, but I have to beat both Black Eagles paths to really make sure).

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14 minutes ago, Azure, Roundabouted Out said:

I can only assume that how this ties into the prompt is that the “devil” of this story, Alice, wants to exploit someone’s sympathy for her. But, of course, Sylvain does not. But that is a little minor. Then again, Sylvain was once that devil that eventually go his sympathy. And then he got love on top of that.

Hey you know what good point. Maybe the sympathy was banning Alice from the monastery instead of attacking her. Regardless I wanted to punch her as soon as she showed up. Ana has been feeding me updates on this since it was a concept, she actually had the idea before the prompt and it turned out to fit well.

Edited by Dragoncat

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24 minutes ago, Azure, Roundabouted Out said:

Huh. I was hesitant to write anything Three Houses related because it still has not been long after Three Houses has released. But, maybe I should some time. That would make coming up with prompt responses easier.

  Reveal hidden contents

I can only assume that how this ties into the prompt is that the “devil” of this story, Alice, wants to exploit someone’s sympathy for her. But, of course, Sylvain does not. But that is a little minor. Then again, Sylvain was once that devil that eventually go his sympathy. And then he got love on top of that.

Overall, I really liked this story. The headcanons were nice, everyone was in-character (as far as I know), and, well, it’s always nice to see good Three Houses content.

Might have to make a story that revolves around my Byleth and his wife after (or maybe during) the Blue Lions route. I just don’t know who (Marianne is an option, but I have to beat both Black Eagles paths to really make sure).

Yeah, several people here have completed one or more routes by now and there have been entries on other games people here haven't played at all, so...

And thanks! But how it ties into the prompt is just Sylvain showing a little sympathy for someone whom he doesn't really think deserves it. He's only doing it because his parents had some indirect involvement and Alice was in a way wronged herself since the Gautier parents promised her something they shouldn't have. His sympathy is deciding to let her off a bit easy by just banning her from the monastery instead of throwing her in a prison cell.

Oh, btw, I decided on Alice for this woman's name because it rhymes with malice. Which is basically evil intentions. 😛

11 minutes ago, Dragoncat said:

Hey you know what good point. Maybe the sympathy was locking Alice up instead of attacking her. Regardless I wanted to punch her as soon as she showed up. Ana has been feeding me updates on this since it was a concept, she actually had the idea before the prompt and it turned out to fit well.

She wasn't locked up though, she was just banned from the monastery.

Edited by Anacybele

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9 minutes ago, Anacybele said:

Oh, btw, I decided on Alice for this woman's name because it rhymes with malice. Which is basically evil intentions. 😛

Well, she entered the wrong wonderland, that’s for sure.

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4 minutes ago, Azure, Roundabouted Out said:

Well, she entered the wrong wonderland, that’s for sure.

She was going down a rabbit hole arranged by a mad hatter.

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5 minutes ago, Azure, Roundabouted Out said:

Well, she entered the wrong wonderland, that’s for sure.

 

Just now, Dragoncat said:

She was going down a rabbit hole arranged by a mad hatter.

LMAO omg yes. XD She certainly did. lol

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As much as I dislike Sylvain when he's not in battle, I do find his support chain tolerable.

 

Byleth though...

 

Yeah that detail was unnecessary.

 

But as far as stories go this wasn't overly long to read so props for that.

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