The Wayward Vestra

Chapter One

Hubert had never slept much. From a young age, he had always been awake until the wee hours of the morning, protecting Lady Edelgard. Fending off assassins, quieting disruptors, and all other manner of things that needed to be done. Many nights he would get no sleep at all, sometimes for days, or even weeks at a time. Hubert supposed that's why he grew to love coffee so much.

Yet, despite his lack of sleep, Hubert had rarely, if ever, felt exhausted. Even when he had no time for his morning cup, he never felt as if he was going to collapse.

Then, why did he feel so tired now? Had the past five years, or maybe his entire life, finally caught up with him? It was laughable, really. The head of House Vestra, the Minister of the Imperial Household, general in Her Majesty's army, was exhausted, right before what very well could be his last battle.

He had to place faith in his army, of course. And that of Her Majesty. But with the Alliance Army upon the doorstep of Enbarr, Hubert had no choice but to take precautions. The letter he had entrusted to another soldier should take care of much that needed to be done. After all, those who slither in the dark had to be dealt with. If he and Her Majesty were to fall, someone must eradicate them. And who better suited to that task than Claude, the "Master Tactician", the brilliant mind behind the Alliance Army's many schemes. Of course, there was also the professor.

As his thoughts briefly turned to the green-haired instructor, and Hubert felt a twinge of… was that sentimentality? That couldn't possibly be it, could it? Logically, Hubert should have no such thoughts regarding him. He had not taught his class, and has been standing against Her Majesty ever since that day at the Holy Tomb. He was just another enemy to strike down, nothing more.

But, Hubert still found himself looking back fondly at his academy days, though he did not think of them often. It was strange, he had to admit. His time there had been naught more than a ruse, one key piece in his and Her Majesty's plan. Yet, Hubert did often find himself enjoying his time at Garreg Mach.

Sighing, Hubert shook his head to clear his thoughts. After all, he had no time for such things. Not now, anyway. The Alliance Army was here, and he would do all in his power to protect the palace and Her Majesty. As the head of House Vestra, this was his sworn duty. And he was intent on fulfilling it.

We are taking heavy losses. We need more troops…

It's almost a shame to have to kill you. Not even your death will make you consequential.

We must place our faith… In Her Majesty… Her victory is everything…

He had failed. There was nothing more to it. His duty as the head of House Vestra, his one task since birth; he had failed. He had to trust that Her Majesty would crush the Alliance Army in the palace. It was the only thing he could do now. Still, he felt some strength left in himself. If he could just push himself up…

Tensing his muscles, Hubert attempted to push himself off the cold, hard ground of the Enbarr street. It was then that he realized he was no longer on the ground. Where cold stone should have been, there was soft springiness. Where he should have smelled death and blood, he smelled only the soft fragrance of flowers, and perhaps, unless he was going mad, a hint of alcohol.

With a sudden dread, Hubert's eyes snapped open, confirming his thoughts. He was no longer in Enbarr. He was in Garreg Mach Monestary's infirmary. And he was tied up.

"So, you finally came to, eh Hubert?"

That voice… it was unmistakably Claude. Turning his head, Hubert narrowed his eyes at the leader of the Alliance. "What is the meaning of this, Claude?"

Claude gave a low whistle. "Well, isn't someone a bit touchy today? It's not like we didn't just save your life or anything." Claude chuckled slightly, before shaking his head. "Anyway, that's not why I'm here. The war's over, Hubert. We need to talk."

Hubert's eyes went wide. The war was over. If that was the case, then… If he was alive, then…

Her Majesty, Lady Edelgard, was dead. And he was alive. He had outlived his liege.

This, he had always been taught, was the ultimate failure for one of House Vestra. And now it had become reality.