Fire Emblem Fates: Bloodlines

By, Antex-The Legendary Zoroark

Disclaimer: I own nothing except this story and anything else that I and I alone came up with. Should I use anything that is not mine and is seen by others, all original ideas go to their respective creators. I am merely borrowing/using them in passing.


«Chapter 22»


{{{The Bottomless Canyon; a.k.a. The Border Between Hoshido & Nohr}}}

(3rd POV)

If you were any normal and sane person, you would probably question what a group that consists of two Royals, both born and abducted from their respective homelands to the other, a brother/boyfriend to one, three retainers (one who was in love with the brother's long lost sister) and a freakin' fish-dragon were seemingly doing taking a casual stroll all the way to the most dreaded and most endless abyss called the Bottomless Canyon, one like yourself would simply agree that these people were far from normal (read insane) and get the heck outta dodge.

BUT!

As one knows, things in the world of Fire Emblem were hardly ever easy, normal, or even at times, sane.

As the ground began to become barren and nearly lifeless of all plant life, lightning shortly followed with an echoing boom across the Canyon like a continuous echo. The gaping maw of said Canyon only added to the unsettling atmosphere that the Bottomless Canyon was known for.

For many centuries, scholars and geographers of both Nohr and Hoshido could only dwell and ponder on how and why the Canyon was made. Perhaps it was the will of the Ancient Dragon Gods that this Canyon was made to prophesize the future war of Hoshido and Nohr? Perhaps there was more symbolic meaning? Like how there were two sides of everything? Nohr seemingly represented Darkness in a way, and so Hoshido was the Light? Regardless of how, why, or when this landmass came to be, the Canyon was always surrounded in mystery and superstition. They could also agree that the place was beyond mortal understanding. As such, an unexplained shroud of malice seemed to perpetuate the air and lungs of whoever dared to tread the hollow and empty ground of its rocky abyss...

Lightning flashed yet again as the group stopped. Kamui looked at the bridge connecting to the middlemost pillar of the Canyon, seeing how there was one piece out of two bridges left connected. She could only grimace as a dark memory fluctuated in her head when she stared at it. The lightning only served to match her uneasy feelings on the matter.

"This…" she began, "is the same place where Cayden and I lost Gunter." Tears filled her eyes while Cayden attempted to comfort her with a sympathetic look and pat on the back, tears coming to his eyes as well.

She then turned to Azura. "You don't mean for us to hide out here in THIS place do you?" Her question seemed harmless, but there was a bit of accusation laced subconsciously in her tone.

Azura stayed silent for a moment, and then responded with a calm expression on her face, not blaming Kamui for feeling the way she does. "As a matter of fact, yes, Kamui. That is exactly what I mean. We must jump into the Canyon for me to explain more."

To Kamui's unnoticed gaze, Cayden couldn't help but flinch a bit at Azura's calmness and utter certainty of the situation. He could understand that his Sister was well aware of what atrocious memories were brought up just by coming here; for Azura herself and Kamui both, that is.

'Just how long has this weight of secrets burdened your shoulders, dear Sister? You're strong I will admit that, but surely there must be a lot more mental and physical scarring of this place and beyond its outer appearance. I can only hope you'll confide in me in time; perhaps I can do the same as well, if only to be a rock for you and you for me…' Cayden thought with some sadness in his eyes.

"Don't space out already, Fleshling, you'll miss what happens if you keep doing so." Grima reminded him, and much to his reluctance, he quickly diverted his thoughts back to the matter at hand.

"Huh?!" Kamui exclaimed in both surprise and disbelief.

"Wait just a minute! If we do jump from here, we'll all die! No one will ever find us, that may be true, but that's because we'll all be ghosts!" Jakob added.

Felicia could only nod in agreement. "I have to agree with Jakob. If we jump down there, we'll all die. I know you said that we would need to keep a low profile, but I'm not certain that the realm of the dead is exactly a good hiding place!" She frantically waved her arms around in dramatic effect.

Corrin, Cayden, and even Lilith remained silent, all for their own reasons of course.

Azura stayed resolute however and gave a firm yet also commanding nod to match her tone. "Don't worry please. You will not die if you jump. You simply have to trust me. Do you?"

The trio of Kamui, Felicia, and Jakob continued to remain uncertain, but then both Corrin and Cayden stepped up.

Corrin wondered why Cayden stepped up, but then realized that Azura was of course Cayden's adoptive sister, so it would make sense that he'd know what Azura was speaking of. Corrin himself knew as well, if only due to Azura one day travelling THERE and in his curiosity, he had followed her, much to her slight chagrin and unmentioned gratitude that someone else would help in sharing her noncommitted vow of silence.

Cayden gestured for Corrin to speak first and so he decided to do so. "Sister, believe me that Azura has never once lied to me or you. I trust her with my life, and if it'll help reassure you, I can vouch for her. Regardless, I cannot say more than that either."

Cayden decided to add onto what Corrin said, "I'll be honest that I also know what these two speak of, or at least are trying to. But I cannot reveal my knowledge either unless you do as Azura says. I will at least admit that there's a lot more to this area than meets the eye."

Finally, another voice spoke. One that Kamui never thought would, especially when it came to such possibly forbidden knowledge that not only Corrin and Azura knew of, but Cayden as well!

"My Liege, please trust their judgement in this." Lilith spoke softly with as much a nervous smile she could make in her Astral Fish-Dragon form.

While Felicia and Jakob were still extremely skeptical, Kamui was deep in thought. It was then that she had a brief flashback of what she had heard in her dreams that tormented her for a brief time in the Astral Plane.


{{{FLASHBACK}}}


(Kamui POV)

As the voice spoke, I could only yelp in fear and slight anger at its condescending tone. "I may be ignorant and even naïve," I started, "But I'm always willing to stand up for my ideals, no matter who thinks what of them!" I then finished with a defiant shout.

For just a moment, I had at first thought I had won this verbal battle, but the sound of eerie, haunting laughter had me immediately concerned.

"Haha...HA HA HA HA! Truly, a bold claim, Little Heir! But in the end, ONLY a claim!" It taunted. "You speak with your words, but not your actions. One who cannot act on their actions, as well as their words, are little more than sheep deluding themselves that they are wolves. You DO have heart, but that is ALL you have. If only you knew the truth! Lord An would truly be ashamed of how his progeny has grown…"

I growled angrily. "What do you mean?! Stop speaking in riddles! SAY WHAT YOU MEAN!" I could only shout back out in both anger and desperation, my blood boiling deep inside of my being…

"I believe I've said enough. And I did mean what I said, you foolish girl. Deep down, YOU know what I speak. Search within yourself, dear Kamui. Your origins will become clear if you answer your blood's call for its return home."

My heart seemed to pulsate with a powerful ache that had me grasping the clothing that covered my chest. Why? Why did it hurt so much, yet everything I was told still resonated within?

"If you truly seek answers Heir of Dragons, then seek out your Songstress Friend and the other Retainer known as Cayden. Ask them about the Bottomless Canyon."

I could only grunt as my pulse seemed to beat faster and more painfully. "The Bottomless Canyon? Why there?" I couldn't help but ask.

"The first step towards the truth, child, is to find those who keep secrets. And BOTH Azura and Cayden keep many skeletons in the closet that they hold close to their hearts in both lock and key. Now...I shall take my leave, and you shall awaken soon…"

I gritted my teeth. I absolutely refused to wake up just yet if this dream truly did mean something. "Stop! Just answer me these two things then, before you go!"

"...I'm listening child. I'll answer you if it's truly within my power. If only to see if your heart matches your resolve."

I held back any shout of anger I wanted to shout then, and instead asked the questions I wanted to know most during this encounter. "My first question is why you called me the 'Heir of Dragons' and the second is who exactly is this 'Lord An' of yours?" I then waited with bated breath to see if the voice would deign to answer my inquiries…

"Those questions I can answer, yet not completely until the time is ripe little one. In any case, I'm feeling quite generous and for that, I shall indulge you a small bit." The voice paused and then continued. "Lord An is my master, though I must refuse on giving you his full name lest you wish to pay with your very life. He has quite the fascination with you ALONG with both Hoshido and Nohr. As for your second question, when I refer to your 'title', it is mainly due to your blood and it's TRUE origins. That is all I shall say on these matters. If you truly wish to know more, then come to the Bottomless Canyon. Until then, all shall remain shrouded in mystery, silence, and enigmatic riddles. Find the truth, and you may be able to solve everything I've said thus far. Yet be forewarned, the truth may not end up as you expect, and whether you become strong enough due to it or you BREAK from it, that has yet to be foreseen. Now...sleeeeeeeeeppppp…"

Reality began to spin before I could make sense of the words and I could only hear one final thing before waking.

"mY LorD OF sILeNCe mISSes YOu d****** dEAReST…"


{{{FLASHBACK OVER}}}


She remembered the ominous and foreboding riddles that that dark voice bequeathed to her in her dreams. And deep down, she could sense both danger and truth to them. Perhaps it was some sort of sixth sense due to how she had powerful blood, blood that allowed her to become a dragon at that!

She paused at that particular train of thought. What had that voice called her back then again?

"For one who is to tread upon the path of Revelations, you're still far too ignorant and naïve of the truth that lies ahead of you, Heir of Dragons…"

That was it! If she could read in-between the lines, he had something about a Path of Revelations. From what she could remember, she had once looked in a Nohrian dictionary when she was confused about words that, as Leo called them, 'big people words'.

She recalled that a Revelation is something that has to do with revealing things, like possibly the truth or a hidden agenda of sorts. And an Heir, is basically someone of royal (or of a leader's commandment) blood or birth that is to inherit something whether it be a throne, riches, a name, or title.

'And the voice said that I was an "Heir of Dragons".' Kamui thought to herself in private. Whether Azura, Corrin, Cayden, or even Lilith deliberately tried to hide this from her or not, it didn't matter one bit. All that truly mattered, was answers to her questions; answers she could only find if she was to trust Azura and the others by taking a literal leap of faith into the Bottomless Canyon's dark maw.

Taking a deep breath, Kamui stepped forward, silencing her two retainers with her actions. "Azura…" She paused before continuing. "You'll tell us more of what you know after we jump into the canyon, right?"

Azura nodded back to her. "Yes, if that is what you wish." She said with a confident gaze.

Kamui wanted to be extra sure though, so she turned to the others. "Brother, Lilith, Cayden? Will you also provide me with some answers as well if we were to follow Azura's lead?"

Corrin gave a small yet resolute nod whilst Lilith nodded with a small unnoticeable gleam in her eyes. Cayden was a bit more hesitant, but spoke once making his own decision.

"I'll do my best, but I cannot answer absolutely everything." He put a hand up for silence so that he could finish. "I can only tell you what I know because there are some things even I am unsure of and even if I knew some of the answers, it may bring chaos and instability to the world if spoken. Some secrets need to be hidden for a bit longer until the time is right." He emphasized with a firm and absolute look that was only highlighted by his serious gaze reflecting back at them with his red eyes. Kamui could only shiver a bit in some small skittish way, yet there was also another feeling she couldn't place either.

Regardless, she would take what she could get. Taking another deep breath, she said, "...Then, I guess we have no other choice."

Felicia and Jakob gaped at this and the latter asked her, "Are you truly certain about this, milady?!" He asked, not sure whether to believe if his Liege was really going through with this or if she had just lost her marbles in general.

Kamui smiled at both Jakob and Felicia and gave a resolute nod, saying, "Yes. I not only trust Azura, but I also trust my Brother and Cayden. And…" She paused and looked at Lilith. "Even if at first we hadn't known too much of the other before your services were taken in Lilith, something tells me to trust you as well."

Lilith, not willing to trust her own words, simply gave a tearful smile back in response.

Azura looked at everyone one final time before slowly walking towards the edge of the Canyon. "It's settled then. Thank you Kamui. I'll jump first and then you follow okay?"

Kamui nodded. "Alright. The rest of us will be right behind you." The others nodded while Felicia and Jakob were still semi-speechless about this course of action.

The quartet of Kamui, Cayden, Corrin, and Lilith follow Azura as soon as the latter makes her jump down to what could hold the truth to everything.

It was only a moment before Jakob spoke, breaking the silence between him and Felicia. "If my mistress is truly going, then I'll need to find the courage. I swore that I would give up my life if my lady commanded, after all. It should be an easy thing to follow her anywhere, even if it means...this."

Jakob was about to jump until Felicia grabbed his arm, stopping him for a moment.

She looked at him with a vulnerable gaze. "Jakob, are you sure we should do this?" She questioned.

Jakob wasn't exactly known for his sense of comfort and even though Felicia tended to mess up quite a bit too much for his liking, he knew that her bond with Kamui was likely even more stronger than it was with her and Flora. Jakob had noticed the two getting a lot more distant as of late, it would be hard for him not to do so. After all, as his Lady's sworn Butler, retainer, and somewhat brother in all but blood, he would follow her lead as he had hardly any family he'd be willing to put his life in the hands of.

No. Come Hell or high water, Jakob would follow Kamui and Kamui only. Such was his loyalty and devotion!

He gently took Felicia's hand off of him and said with a stern tone, "Felicia, I am not someone who coddles others as you no doubt know. So I will say this, you and I made a vow to serve and follow Lady Kamui no matter what. If you cannot heed a single order without at least trying, then why are you even serving Our Liege in the first place? There's a time to get cold feet, and there's a time for action. This is the latter! Either way, I'll see you down there, or I won't."

With his peace said, Jakob jumped as well. Felicia reflected on Jakob's words for a brief moment before begrudgingly deciding that Jakob was correct, even though he COULD have been nicer about it.

"Well… here goes nothing! GERONIMO!" She shouted as she jumped down as well.

As everyone was more focused on finding answers with Azura, they didn't notice that two others, plus a certain Necro-Wyvern were on their tails.


{{{Meanwhile at Castle Krakenburg; Kingdom of Nohr}}}


(Selena 3rd POV)

Ugh. How long had she and Beruka been stuck in this gods forsaken cell?! They could've made things a bit more comfortable for someone of their station! But noooooo! All they get is this damp, dark, and frankly foul smelling Nohrian dungeon cell! UGH!

Her moment of inner monologue was cut by Beruka adding her two-sense either just for her own amusement or just because; Selena couldn't care less if she were honest, she knew where this would go.

"Selena...if you would please stop pacing while inwardly complaining about our situation, it would make things easier for the both of us." She said in her typical monotone.

AGH! Selena could not take it! "GAWDS Beruka! I'm just gods-damned pissed that because of our devotion to Lady Camilla, we're stuck in a freakin' prison cell without any trial or other political bull! All because it's the 'Will of King Garon'! Well I say SCREW HIM!"

Beruka just gave an unamused sigh and continued to speak so Selena could at least see some sense of a silver lining. "And in case you've not forgotten, we were and are Lady Camilla's retainers for a reason right?"

Selena paused for a moment and gestured for Beruka to continue as she now had her attention.

Beruka gave a small untraceable smile that her friend (she didn't know much on what friendship was, but she could definitely confirm she and Selena were close enough to consider a possibility) was paying attention.

"As I was saying, we were specifically chosen mainly due to our skills and we both know how fond Lady Camilla is of you and I, whether my past transgressions are truly deserving of such or not. And I for one, can understand why you're upset, but there's hardly any reason to worry."

Taking the bait, Selena decided to humor her fellow retainer (and she would KILL whoever dared insinuate that to Selena herself, that Beruka truly was a friend; she reminded her of her father at times if she were honest. Both of them) and asked, "Okay...no reason to worry you say. But why say that exactly?"

Here, Beruka actually gave a smirk. Selena had to rub her eyes and by the time she finished, she still saw the smirk on Beruka's face. Was the world coming to an end already?!

Beruka inwardly rolled her eyes at her friend's antics and continued. "While we were supposedly unconscious to our captors, I managed to briefly rouse myself from slumber thanks to my assassination training. It was during that time that I managed to… 'acquire' a certain key to our cell."

Selena was speechless, at least for a few seconds. "Wait, wait, WAIT! Are you saying we can get out of here now?! Why not say something sooner?"

Beruka gave a small sigh in slight disappointment at Selena's line of questioning. She then replied, "For one, if we were to tip our hand too soon, we'd likely never get another chance to attempt this again. We would basically be killed with no way to Lady Camilla; a one-way street if you get my meaning." Beruka then continued by pointing out her second reasoning. "As for the second, as an assassin, one must scout and mentally map things out before attempting any mission. As such, while you were being yourself, I made sure to remember the guard's rotation shifts, the amount of food and water given to us and them, along with overhearing any possible information worth gathering."

Selena was amazed. She knew that Beruka was good, but damn! If this wasn't near-mastery of the assassination arts, then she didn't know what was! She eagerly waited for Beruka to continue.

Beruka obliged and said, "We'll be able to make our escape by early morning tomorrow from my calculations. We'll just need to be as quiet as possible to prevent any possible interferences. Understood?"

Selena nodded her approval and affirmation towards this plan. "Sounds good to me. The sooner we reunite with Lady Camilla, the better. I just hope she understands that we have no way to keep an eye on her siblings. King Garon has been keeping too hard an eye on them ever since Lady Camilla left."

"Yes...I'm in agreement." Beruka agreed. "Yet there's something else."

"What is it?" Selena asked.

Beruka stayed quiet for a bit but then said in a hushed whisper, "You recall that Berserker, Hans right?"

Selena could only nod. Hans was a despicable human being, if he could even be considered a human with his murderous and immoral tendencies. He was honestly more a beast than anything if she were honest. Both dangerous and unpredictable; the worst combination one can get with beasts like him. What else was surprising though was that a certain advisor to the King of Nohr had been strangely absent lately. And whenever he was around, he was as silent as a ghost. Such behavior was uncommon and frankly, disturbing to the redhead.

Selena needed to make a mental note to convey her suspicions on Iago's behavior later to her fellow retainer when the time came. She then listened to what Beruka was saying as she continued.

"In any case, Hans was in a drunk stupor earlier and yet he said something that caught my attention." Beruka paused almost as if uncomfortable, but endured it carrying on, "He had mentioned that due to setbacks with his children, he's brought in a bit of help."

Selena gulped. "What...kind of help?" She dared ask.

Beruka rubbed her head as if she couldn't prevent the upcoming headache she'd likely be witness to in a few more minutes. "He's brought in a strange black coated man named Enigma. Apparently this Enigma helped to forge the Ganglari Blade which Garon gifted to Lady Kamui."

Selena could only sum up the situation in a blunt but also very true way. "Ohhh... We're in VERY deep shit now…"

And for once, Beruka had to agree with the vulgar yet factual comment. Never in her life, before or after her service to Lady Camilla had she heard of this Enigma person. What could this mean for Nohr, their Liege, and quite possibly, themselves?


{{{King Garon's Throne Room}}}


(3rd POV)

Currently, the man of whom Beruka and Selena were conversing with, Enigma, was having a private audience with Garon per his own request. Those foolish Nohrian Royal Children were quite adamant that one of them watch over the proceedings, but thanks to a bit of his Master's influence on Garon, they made themselves scarce before they became stains on Bölverk's edged blade.

Enigma made sure to put up many privacy wards and security alerts that would send a small magic pulse only felt by himself to know whether there were any… uninvited eavesdroppers nearby. He also made sure to make the room as soundproof as possible, but alas that was more his Master's specialty and Lord An had no reason to teach a 'lowly ant' one of his most useful spell in which enigma believed there was no possible limit to what it could possibly achieve, yet that was neither here nor there.

Garon sat upon his throne with a bored gaze on his face as was the norm for the man. "Speak. And make it quick Enigma. Lord Anankos is in need of my network of spies to carry out his commands very soon." He deeply mumbled out.

If Enigma didn't already know the King was already (somewhat) dead and only functioned as a sort of link/proxy to his Lord, he would've chosen to speak a bit more delicately. But there was honestly no need for niceties to be wasted on a walking corpse that had no other purpose but to be tossed aside in the future.

"My, my Garon. You're quite eager to get things done aren't you? Do not forget to whom you speak to. After all, it was due to His hearing of your pleas and prayers to end your misery that you are what you are today, no?"

Garon, or at least the being that was created during his rehabilitation to wear his body as a guise, clenched his fists and his eyes gave quite the angry hint that he need not be reminded, much to his chagrin.

Seeing as the chain of command was still in order, Enigma decided to get down to business.

"In any case, The Master commanded me to make a small detour in order to help advance some of Nohr's operations now that the war is in full effect." Enigma gleefully rubbed his hands and continued. "While I cannot provide material for a second Ganglari, I can still provide enough to at least enhance your weaponry along with a few more versatile spell tomes. I could even help enhance your Faceless if you so desire..."

Garon remained silent, likely communing with his Master to see whether or not he should do so. Even though Enigma was a servant of Lord Anankos as was he, that didn't mean Anankos didn't trust some of them. Back before Garon was completely lost to the Silent Dragon's mental manipulations, he was ordered to set up small stations and areas where Anankos could work on shaping certain minds within Nohr and beyond to either be his sleeper agents or if he just needed more cannon fodder to add to his arsenal of Invisible Armada. The stations were cleverly guised as places of Dusk Dragon worship, similar to that of a small church or cathedral. Yet the unique spells and wards prevented any outside source from making too deep an investigation so Anankos could continue his work in what he desired above all else: silence.

Yet Enigma? He had actually appeared out of nowhere and voluntarily let Anankos reshape him into whatever image the Silent Lord of Valla wanted; all without complaint or hint of pain.

But Garon was getting off track. He would be sure to convey to Lord Anankos his suspicions regardless as that was his duty. Any servant with a true sense of self would know the Master comes first above all else, never second.

It was with that settled in his corrupted mind, that Garon nodded in affirmation to Enigma's offer. "Very well. Lord Anankos has agreed to this proposal of yours and agrees that as long as these projects are worthy enough to keep the war going in his favor, we will take whatever we can get."

Enigma gave a small nod, glad that his Master's puppet still has some sense to make worthwhile decisions when needed. All the better for his Masters' (and his own) plans to proceed forward.

"Very good. In that case, I shall return to Valla and acquire the materials I am to provide you. May the war prove beneficial to our Master."

Garon nodded. "To Lord Anankos!"

Enigma didn't really share such an obsessive view of his Liege like the Puppet Garon did, but it was of no issue. He simply nodded and gave a respectful (which made him want to vomit) bow to the King of Nohr and as politely as he could, quickly made himself scarce from the throne room.

Waving his right hand in a counterclockwise manner, Enigma summoned a Dark Portal that would be sure to take him directly to Valla where he could continue his own plans and machinations.

Before entering, he glanced at a seemingly empty corridor and said, "I wouldn't try anything if I were you, wielder of Brynhildr. You of all people should know what happens to those who mess with royal affairs."

In a small shimmer, Prince Leo revealed himself, having used one of the spells that he had managed to blackmail Iago into sharing in his youth. "Do not patronize me. I don't know who you exactly are, nor why my Father needs your services, but if you make any move to betray us, I'll cut you down."

Enigma gave a small smirk. "As much as you would like to believe in your own words, you won't be able to back them up due to two specific reasons. One, your Father needs me and as such, if you were to strike me down, you'd only seal your own death as well. And as for the second, you likely managed to try and decipher the runes and spells I used whilst meeting with King Garon, yes?"

Leo grunted. "Yes. What of them?"

"I can tell that even with your genius, you could not decipher a single one did you?" At Leo's silence, Enigma decided to leave salt in the already widening wound. "As such, you had no other choice but to, as you'd say, use inadequate tactics to confront me yourself to attempt answers out of me. Yet even with your position and your threats, they're nothing more than the barks of a dog on a leash."

Leo could only snarl at the diminutive remark to his pride, but dared not make a move, as it could put him in quite the precarious position.

Enigma chuckled and proceeded to enter his portal, leaving some parting words for the young and arrogant second Prince of Nohr, "Also a word of advice. When making threats towards someone, make sure your collar isn't worn inside out, boy!" He then vanished, the portal shrinking into nothingness as Enigma's bone-chilling laughter and a fuming Leo was all that was left in the hallways of Castle Krakenburg...


TO BE CONTINUED!


Well now! This is quite the surprise isn't it? I don't know how, but I managed to find time to write and was able to write down THIS monstrosity! I hope the wait was worth it and I also hope you enjoy reading this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it! Please be sure to R&R! I'll be sure to see y'all on the next chapter! Of course, I'm unsure of when that'll be, but goshdarnit, I don't wanna leave you all hangin' so I'll think of something!

Stay frosty and until next time!

~Antex-TLZ