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Fates Yet Written

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Once, Lucina likened herself to the air.

She wanted to fly.

She wanted to claim she wasn't entirely sure how it started, but that was a lie. She knew exactly how it had started.

The height of a Ylissean summer. Grass beneath her boots, pomegranate dripping down her chin. She must've been six, maybe seven. Nothing more than a girl. Innocent. Carefree.

Her father was with her then. She'd pointed out a painting in the hall of a blue-haired man wielding his sword, and he'd sat her down and explained the family lineage. Blessed by the Divine Dragon's blood, descended from the First Exalt, sworn to protect Ylisse. She'd been awed.

A few months later, she'd gone to her mother, solemnly declaring she needed a dragonstone. Her wings weren't growing in yet, and she was beginning to worry something had gone wrong.

To her credit, Queen Sumia had contained her amusement for a notable three seconds before erupting into laughter. When she was again able to control herself, she'd promised Lucina pegasus riding lessons as soon as she was a bit taller.

Lucina treasured that memory.

It was the last time she'd heard that laugh.

For years since, the open skies had been a threat. Rolling with thunder, any cloud a cover disguising the piercing gaze of the Fell Dragon. Often enough, the wind at her back and her father's sword at her side served as her only companions.

That world only lived through her nightmares, now. A constant reminder of her duty, lurking in the darkness of moonless nights and stifled screams. Always looming, always present. The price of failure. To Lucina, it was all too clear.

She was forever bound to the earth.

Chapter Text

"Alright, kiddo. What's our next move?"

Morgan knit her brow. "...The canyon."

"Are you sure? The forest shields us, and it's better terrain for an ambush."

"Oh, no, we can't take the forest. The wyvern population is vicious. They're too big for the canyon, and we can collapse it in an ambush."

Robin's eyebrows shot up. "Ah. The wyverns. You're getting good, Morgan."

She scoffed. "Not as good as you, dad!"

Lucina walked into the tent some time later. "Robin? What's wrong?"

He looked up from the map, eyes wide. "Our daughter's going to put me out of a job."

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"Corrin?"

Corrin looked back, red eyes piercing the night. "Azura?"

She sat down next to her, arms huddled. "What are you doing out here? It's freezing!"

She kicked her feet through the chill lakeside water. "Mm. Not really. Dragon blood and all."

"Nightmares again?"

Corrin nodded. "Nothing out of the usual."

Azura grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet. "Come on, then. At least sit by the fire. Do you want to talk about it?"

"Maybe in the morning? We could... just talk, though. If you want." The darkness masked her reddened features.

Azura smiled. "That sounds lovely."

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"Dad?" Morgan piped up. "We are going the right way, aren't we?"

Robin squinted down at his spinning compass. "Uh, yeah, kiddo. Probably. You know how these Outrealms are."

A shadow fell over the pair, the earth itself shuddering as a gargantuan pale green manakete landed beside them. She lowered her head, glowing eyes falling upon the two tacticians.

"We must make adjustments to our march. Thirty one degrees northeast, around that lake and into the foothills beyond."

Robin nodded sagely, already turning to address the troops. "Dragon thing?"

Tiki snorted, azure blue flames trailing from her snout. "Dragon thing."

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"Linhardt?"

Caspar frowned. "Linhardt's asleep, so... Edelgard, you wanted Haste right?"

"Correct. My move?"

Byleth gave her a nod from behind the screen.

"With the increased speed, I'll move into melee range." A dice clattered against the table. "Eighteen?"

"Hit."

"Another, and... natural twenty. Swinging their axe at its skull, Prometheus deals one hundred forty three damage."

"The white dragon collapses to the ground, defeated."

A collective sigh of relief echoed through the classroom, the others characters in varying states of gravely wounded.

"In a real battle, that tactic would have been very risky." Byleth smiled. "Regardless, well done everyone."

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"They really hate Xander, you know."

A stone skipped across the water.

"You'd think they'd realize he's better than Garon. But I guess the older nobles got complacent, or something. We'll root them out, it's just..."

Corrin sighed.

"We need time. It's... always about time."

"I still think about that day. Wonder what might have happened if I'd realized. If I talked to you."

"We'd finally won, and you weren't there, but I think you needed me, and..."

Corrin leaned forward and sobbed

"I should have been there."

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry"

The ripples of the lake had no answer.