Chapter 1: The Ladyblog Archives
Author's note: This is a heavy rewrite of my story "Rise of Paonne and Renard Rouge", which can still be found in my story archive, though it is forever unfinished.
Basically, I started that story with just the first season as reference, had only vague ideas of what I wanted to do, tried to Frankenstein in elements of later seasons even though the story hadn't been written for them, had no idea how to get from plot point A to plot point B, and started focusing way too heavily on original characters and the lore, rather than story.
So, this story is a fresh start. I've actually written out a chapter-by-chapter plan, working out what aspects of the three seasons currently out I wanted to integrate and what I had to get rid of to suit my story ahead of time. So, hopefully I won't fall into the trap of focusing too heavily on the world building or the original characters, to the point that I'm just digging a deeper hole in an attempt to get out, like last time. And if season four comes out while I'm still writing, I won't have to care as much since I already have my plan and will know if adding in future season's elements will throw everything off or not.
I've tried to stick close to the original story for fans of that version, but many changes have been made in integrating aspects from all three seasons, my changing view of the characters, and shaving off the unneeded lore dumps.
Gabriel Agreste sat in his office, the room completely dark save for the lights illuminating the portrait of his wife that he was staring at with fingers steepled.
He didn't look away from the visage of his wife as his door gave a quiet knock and then opened, revealing Natalie.
"Sir, Adrien is bed, and seems to be doing completely fine, health wise. No aftereffects from Style Queen's actions." Natalie reported.
"Thank you, Natalie." Gabriel said. "You are dismissed."
Natalie nodded but didn't move.
"…Do I need to get the lights replaced?" She asked cautiously.
"No." Gabriel told his assistant simply. "Please leave."
"Yes sir." Natalie said reluctantly, leaving and closing the door behind her.
Gabriel stared up at his wife for a little longer before swinging around in his chair to face his desk.
Gabriel's face is lit up as he turns on his computer, opened his browser and clicked on the bookmarked link named 'Ladyblog'.
A pink page opened up, with a scroll of posts in the middle and a red and black dotted silhouette to one side.
The man then clicked in the tab labelled 'Archives', revealing a more organised page that split the posts into months.
Gabriel scrolled to the very bottom and opened the first post, displaying some text and a video.
'Guys, this is insane! Today, I got to see a real-life superhero and supervillain fight! A classmate of mine got turned into a big rock creature somehow and went after another classmate. And then a hero showed up to fight him and free him from evil.
This is so awesome!
The video played, showcasing some very shaky footage that was clearly taken with a phone camera.
The person behind the camera hid behind a barrier, peering into a football stadium as a humanoid made of stone stomped across the field, after a teenage boy.
"Not so fast!"
A female in purple appeared, jumping down from the roof of the stadium and situating herself in between the boy and stone creature.
"You will not take another step, villain!" The female said.
She then turned her head, looking directly into the phone camera.
"Don't worry, Iris is here to save the day!" She announced.
"Get out of my way!" The stone creature growled.
Iris laughed as she jumped back, avoiding a stone fist.
She then jumped above the creature's head and withdrew a blade from the cane she held, attacking from behind.
The blade seemed to do nothing as it glanced off the stone creature.
But Gabriel's eyes zeroed in on the fuzzy image of Iris' fist clenching as she struck. And at the same time, the stone creature groaned, as if in pain.
"Come on, you've got to try harder to beat me." Iris boasted.
Gabriel watched as Iris clenched her fist again while she attacked with her other hand, the stone creature once again acting as if it was in pain.
Iris dodged a return attack and raised her blade again, but then looked around, the camera unable to pick up what her exact facial expression was. But then the supposed hero shook her head and jumped further away from the stone villain.
"Come on then." Iris goaded. "Come after me."
Behind the camera, the holder gasped, as if in realisation.
"I think she's trying to lure Ivan away from us." The recorder, a female, said. "Such a hero."
"It's not you I'm after." The villain growled, looking back at the boy he had been chasing.
Though, the villain didn't move to go after his previous target, as if debating switching his new target of his anger to Iris.
Iris clenched her fist again, and once again the stone villain hunched in pain, this time without the hero attack with her blade.
"Fine then." Iris released her hand.
The supposed hero then jumped over to the boy, picking him up.
"Come get us then." Iris invited, jumping out of the stadium.
This time the stone villain did follow, leaving a large dent in the ground as he jumped out of the stadium after Iris and the boy.
"I hope that she can protect Kim." The recorder of the video said as she started running through the stadium and outside, following the sounds of commotion until she found the villain and hero again, this time in a more public area.
In the corners and background, the camera picked up many other people recording the fight with their phones.
Focusing in on Iris, the camera caught the supposed hero nodding as she looked towards the crowd.
"Your tyranny ends her, villain!" Iris proclaimed, pointing her blade at the stone villain.
She raced towards the villain, who was ready to meet her with his stone fists.
Just before they clashed, the stone villain hunched in pain again, allowing Iris to slice at him without being hit herself.
At first, Iris' attack seemed to do nothing.
But then the stone creature was covered in some sort of dark purple substance, which quickly disappeared to reveal a teenage boy, who looked incredibly confused.
From the confused boy's hands, a dark purple butterfly flew out and disappeared into the sky.
People around started cheering for Iris' victory.
The recorder quickly raced up the Iris, the video blurring from how excited they were.
"So, Iris, right?" The recorder asked.
Iris grinned as she turned towards her, looking into the camera rather than where the girl's head would be.
"That's me." Iris said, sounding very satisfied.
"Are you really a hero? Like, an actual superhero? And do you have a statement for what just happened?"
Iris' grinned even wider.
"Of course. That poor boy-" Iris motioned vaguely to Ivan. "Was possessed by evil. And as a hero, I will stop all villains possessed by this evil."
"So, we'll be seeing more of you?"
Iris was interrupted by the sound of beeping.
She looked down at her chest to see the broach with four long points coming out of it like wings blinking before loosing one of its wings.
Iris frowned before quickly switching back to a grin as she looked up.
"Well, I've got to go. Hero duties to do elsewhere." She said.
Iris then turned and ran off.
The camera turned so that the girl holding the phone had her face showing, revealing another teenager.
"Well, there we have it. A real superhero in Paris. This is so cool!" The teen said.
The recording then ended.
The text continued under the video.
'Not much is known yet, but if Iris is correct, then we should get to see her more as she fights this unknown evil. And we'll hopefully get more clarification the next time she shows up.
In honour of our new hero, I'm creating this blog to keep track of all things Iris and villainy.
This is Alya introducing, Eye on Iris.'
Gabriel opened up the next post, which showcased a freezeframe of the footage just after the attack ended.
A red circle was drawn on the image and an enlarged image of inside the circle was displayed next to it, showing two blurred figures standing on the roof. One of the figures stood out, being dressed in red while the other was almost completely black.
'A friend of mine noticed this while we were watching my recording.
This can't just be normal people, or why would they be on the roof like that?
So, are these the actual villains behind what happened to my classmate, like Iris warned, or are they other heroes like Iris?
Gabriel ignored the comment section underneath the post and moved onto the next one, which was short.
'People in Paris are turning into replicas of my possessed classmate. They seem to be completely frozen. I'll update if anything happens.'
Below was a picture of exactly what the blog owner, Alya, had said.
Gabriel quickly moved to the next post.
'My classmate has been possessed again and taken two other classmates hostage. I am following after and recording live.'
Gabriel skipped though most of the video showing Alya racing through Paris while recording the villain's destructive wake, until the teen comes across someone dressed in black with cat ears and a mask, battling with the now-active stone beings.
"Woah, another superhero." Alya gasped. "Who are you?"
"Just call me Chat Noir." The male hero winked.
He then had to quickly defend himself from attack, clearly struggling.
"Ladybird, where are you?" Chat Noir complained out loud.
"Who is he talking about?" Alya wondered aloud.
Then, one of the stone beings knocked a car towards Alya.
Just before the teen could be crushed, something wrapped around the car and stopped it.
"Are you okay?"
The camera shifted to look at a new person, dressed in a red and black costume with a short cape and braided hair with beads.
"Yes, thank you." The blog owner said. "Who are you?"
"Ladybird, I guess." The person, another female, shrugged. "Get to safety."
Ladybird threw an object she held in her hands, a yoyo of all things, and swung away on it, in the direction that the stone clones were marching. Quickly joined by Chat Noir.
"Hey, wait!" The blog owner quickly ran after the seemingly new hero.
Gabriel skipped through another lot of running, until the blog owner reached the fight at the Eiffel Tower.
From the ground, the fight could only be watched from a distance. But Iris could be seen doing battle with the stone villain again, while Ladybird and Chat Noir made their way up to them.
The fight ended just as the two new heroes made it, resulting in the possessed teen and the hostage he'd been holding being sent to the ground now that he no longer had the strength or size to keep them on the tower.
Ladybird and Chat Noir jumped after the falling victims, Chat Noir somehow destroying part of the tower to slide down it and catch the boy, while Ladybird swung her yoyo at something unseen and then caught the hostage and activated a parachute in her colours that had seemingly come from nowhere.
Placing the girl she had saved on the ground, Ladybird then opened her yoyo, releasing a pure white butterfly.
Iris landed on the ground near them, walking over.
"Thanks for the help, but I would have saved them. And I could have caught that Akuma too." Iris addressed Ladybird and Chat Noir. "Ah!"
Iris barely managed to deflect the yoyo sent her way with her cane.
"What's your deal?" The supposed hero demanded angrily.
"Why are they attacking Iris, I thought they were heroes?" Alya gasped.
Chat Noir had his staff pointed at Iris while Ladybird readied her yoyo again.
"Your façade isn't going to work on us, Iris." Chat Noir said.
"Wh-what do you mean?" Iris stepped away as the other two heroes began to approach her.
"The Butterfly Miraculous, which grants the wielder the ability to create champions through the use of empowered butterflies. Or, in your case, the ability to create villains." Ladybird said loudly and clearly so that everyone could hear, sounding as if she was quoting someone or something.
Iris' eyes widened, realising that the two heroes knew the truth.
"Wait, what?" Alya gasped in disbelief. "Iris is behind all this?"
"No, of course not." Iris denied. "They're the villains. They're just trying to discredit me." She pointed at Ladybird and Chat Noir.
"Who do we trust?" A person out of camera shot asked.
"Wait, that boy was possessed by a butterfly, and Iris is butterfly themed." Another said in realisation.
Ladybird took another step forward. "Hand over your Miraculous, before you hurt more people."
Iris backed away again before turning heel and running away as fast as she could.
Ladybird and Chat Noir quickly gave pursuit, but then Iris proved herself a villain by using her blade to slice several lampposts, billboards and powerlines as she ran, forcing the two heroes to stop chasing her and save people from getting hurt, allowing her to escape.
"She got away." Ladybird stomped her foot.
"We'll get her next time." Chat Noir placed a hand on Ladybird's shoulder.
Ladybird nodded and then grabbed her parachute, quickly tucking it back into its bag and then tossing it into the air.
The bag burst into light that washed over everything the phone could see.
"Woah!" Alya said as she panned the camera up, showing that the Eiffel Tower had been restored. "She really is the hero."
When Alya moved the camera back, Ladybird and Chat Noir were already gone.
"Gone." Alya huffed.
Like last time, Alya turned the camera to face herself.
"This has certainly been a crazy day, Iris turns out to be a villain, and we get not one but who new heroes in her place."
The recording then stopped.
'With Iris having revealed herself as a villain, and Ladybird and Chat Noir proving themselves to be the true heroes, I need to rename this blog.
Say goodbye to Eye on Iris and say hello to the Ladyblog.'
Gabriel skimmed through the next lot of blog posts, detailing more of the citizens of Paris being turned into supervillains by Iris, who had clearly embraced her role as villain, and being saved by Ladybird and Chat Noir.
While the villain had not shown herself since being exposed, her Akumatised victims made in very clear what her new goal was, to destroy Ladybird and Chat Noir, likely for revealing the truth about her.
The next post that Gabriel stopped to look at came with a big title, 'A new Villain?!'.
An image showed a blurred figure of orange and purple fighting against Ladybird.
'A new villain seems to have appeared. And they're not an Akuma, as the new villain was spotted fighting alongside the heroes with the Akumatised victim, Prime Queen.
Just who is this new villain?
Eye-witness accounts claim that she is fox-themed, while others claim a butterfly theme, like Iris.'
Gabriel moved onto the next post which came with a much clearer image of the "new villain", showing a familiar face.
'The new villain turns out to be Iris.
After referencing images of Iris, it has been revealed that Iris is the villain who was seen fighting alongside Prime Queen.
It appears as if Iris has gained a second power somehow, which has emboldened her to fight against the heroes instead of hiding away in her lair like before.
But though Iris may have more power, this also means that the heroes have the ability to take her down during a fight and end her tyranny.'
Gabriel enlarged the image of the newly powered Iris, focusing in on the fox-tailed necklace that hung just under the butterfly broach she wore.
On another screen, Gabriel brought up a news article.
'Chinese collection stolen!' Screamed the headline.
The article went on to describe the theft but Gabriel was only concerned with the accompanying image which detailed every item that had been part of the collection, zeroing in on and enlarging one of the necklaces. A necklace shaped like a foxtail.
Gabriel compared the two foxtail necklaces and frowned at them being perfectly identical.
He then clicked on the follow-up news article.
'Chinese collection returned, mostly.' Was the headline.
This time, Gabriel did pay attention to the text article, reading how the collection was anonymously returned, minus the foxtail necklace and a book.
Gabriel focused in on the missing book, frowning even harder.
He then turned back to the Ladyblog, skimming through the next couple of posts detailing Ladybird and Chat Noir struggling but winning against Iris and her Akumatised victim.
The next post he stopped back came with another catching title.
'A new hero hits the scene!'
The accompanying photo showed a male superhero fighting alongside Ladybird and Chat Noir, dressed in red and black.
'Unfortunately, yours truly was involved in this Akuma attack, through my own twin sisters being turned into the multiplying villains Sapotis.
Due to my personal involvement, I was unable to see the action, but a loyal fan of the blog sent me some pictures and an account of what happened.
Ladybird and Chat Noir were apparently struggling against so many duplicates and Iris, until Ladybird briefly left and returned with a new hero to aid them.
The dragon-themed hero, who went by the name Ladon, apparently showed the ability to become literal wind, gathering up all the items that the Sapois duplicates wore to be destroyed at the same time, as well as destroying Iris' illusion.
I can't wait to see more of this new hero for myself.'
Gabriel skipped through the next few posts, detailing more attacks with just Ladybird and Chat Noir on the hero team, leaving the blog owner to wonder why Ladon hadn't appeared again.
'Yet another new hero!' The next title Gabriel stopped at screamed.
It also came with a picture of the supposed new hero, this time dressed in orange and yellow with some sort of bird theme.
'Your girl was once again caught up in an Akuma attack involving a family relation, with my older sister becoming Anansi to show how strong she was.
Ladybird once again disappeared during the fight. But instead of bringing in Ladon to help out, she brought back an entirely new hero.
Phoenix, as he was called, helped give Ladybird and Chat Noir the strength and speed they needed to defeat my sister. By RPG terms, he'd be the buffer of the team.
I managed to catch a very short interview with the heroes before they left, getting some answers about the whereabouts of Ladon. Apparently, both Ladon and Phoenix are temporary heroes, only for Ladybird to call on when they need a little extra help.
So, at least we know that Ladon hasn't abandoned us, and Phoenix won't either.
I wonder if other heroes will show up with Ladybird, or if it'll just be Ladon and Phoenix.'
Gabriel once again skipped through posts, stopping briefly at the mention at yet another male hero, this time a Snake-themed hero named Krait.
The next post wasn't covering an Akuma attack, but rather a theory made by Alya about all the temp' heroes who had shown up.
'Are Ladon, Phoenix and Krait the same hero?'
A picture of all three heroes edited to be next to each other was placed under the title, giving an easy visual aid to show how similar they were.
'A question many of us have had is why Ladybird doesn't bring more than one back-up to tough fights, and I think I have the answer. It's because there is only one ally, using different powers.
If you look at their hair, while each is styled differently, you can see that it's the same colour. The same with their eyes.
All three heroes can be seen to have the same height and body type.
And though I don't have reference for Ladon, I can say that Krait's voice sounded very similar to Phoenix's voice.
Unless they're triplets, it's very clear to me that Ladon, Phoenix and Krait are all the same hero, just in different costumes and different powers.
So, just who is this hero, who uses multiple powers, which I believe also come from Miraculouses, and why does he only appear occasionally? Is it him who owns all these Miraculous? And does he know the identities behind Ladybird and Chat Noir?'
Gabriel frowned at the analysis.
While the teen's evidence was quite bare, he was inclined to believe her conclusion about the temp' heroes.
Ladybird, and perhaps Chat Noir, seemingly only had one ally that they trusted with a Miraculous to aid them in battle, giving out different Miraculous depending on the situation.
On one hand, it was a wise plan.
The temp' hero was clearly a trusted ally, who Ladybird trusted to not run off with the Miraculous given and become like Iris, and the permanent heroes knew that they could fight alongside him. Adding another ally could complicate matters and risk the new hero not being as trusted as Ladon/Phoenix/Krait.
On the other hand, limiting themselves to only one ally was putting the heroes at a disadvantage.
Even with Krait's help, the heroes had struggled to win the previous fight, only saved by the abilities of the Snake Miraculous. If Ladybird had chosen a different Miraculous to give her ally, Iris would have won.
And with Iris only seeming to grow stronger, the heroes would need more than one ally, no matter what Miraculous he was given. Especially considering-
Gabriel went to the latest post in the Ladyblog's archive, which wasn't even a day old.
'Style Queen on the scene.' Was the name the creator of the blog had given it.
'Not even a day in the country and the Queen of Mean Fashion, Audrey Bourgeois, was Iris' latest victim.
Apparently not happy that she wasn't given star privileges at Gabriel's Agreste's fashion show event, Mrs Bourgeois was Akumatised into the glitter themed villain Style Queen, who turned Mr Agreste's son into a glitter statue along with several other attendees of the fashion show, then threatened to permanently turn Adrien into glitter if Mr Agreste didn't show himself.
From my own view of events Chat Noir seemed entirely absent from today's fight, leaving Ladybird to fight on her own. I was unfortunately turned into a glitter statue myself before I could view the end of the fight, but Ladybird clearly won as usual; whether Chat Noir or their hero ally showed up after I was taken out is unknown.'
Gabriel frowned even heavier at the image of his son as a glitter statue, nails digging into his palms at how close he'd come to losing his son to Iris' senseless violence and Style Queen's amplified pettiness.
Gabriel turned off the Ladyblog with a heavy sigh.
"Oh, Emilie." Gabriel turned around to face the portrait of his wife again. "These villain attacks have put Adrien in more and more danger, and today we almost lost him. And the heroes are no closer to putting a stop to Iris and her Akumas, even when she revealed herself again."
Gabriel placed his hand on the portrait of his wife, caressing it gently before pulling it back, revealing a safe.
Opening the safe, Gabriel regarded the contents before picking up a jewelled broach shaped like a fan.
Gabriel closed his safe and the portrait so that he could once again look at the visage of his wife.
"Something needs to be done." Gabriel said, looking at the broach in his hand.
He moved to pin the broach to his jacket but hesitated, before ultimately dropping his hands.
"I'm sorry, Emilie, but I can't." Gabriel apologised, looking at the painting's face. "Not without you."
The man looked back down at the broach.
"But I can't just abandon Adrien either." He spoke his dilemma.
Gabriel was pulled from his thoughts by an Email alert pinging on his computer.
Turing around, he opened the email.
'To: Mr Agreste
From: Marinette Dupain-Cheng
Hello, Mr Agreste
Sorry for emailing so late, but I'd like to know whether I'll still be coming in tomorrow, considering today's events.
Not that I'm trying to pry or anything.
Sincerely, Marinette Dupain-Cheng'
Gabriel read over the email from the girl he had given an apprenticeship to. A rare thing, but the girl had impressed him in multiple ways.
The fashion designer was just about to confirm that he would give his apprentice the day off, when a thought occurred to him.
He looked over to the broach.
"No, don't be stupid, Gabriel." The man shook his head.
But as he composed his response, the idea kept growing, seeming more and more reasonable as it circled around in his head, stopping Gabriel from sending the email.
Finally, Gabriel sighed in defeat, deleting the email and composing a new one, sending it off before he could regret his decision.
'To: Marinette Dupain-Cheng
From: Gabriel Agreste
You will be required to come to my office tomorrow, as there is an urgent matter that I wish to discuss with you in private.
None of your usual tools will be required tomorrow.
Author's note: I know there are quite a few things that don't make sense right now, like the villain, the Fox Miraculous ending up in the hands of evil, the unnamed temp' hero, etc.
Basically, I made a few changes to canon, but I didn't want to start at the beginning to address the changes as they came because there wasn't enough to write engaging chapters and I wanted to get to the Peacock stuff as soon as possible. So, my compromise is to address the changes in this chapter, and hopefully properly explain how these changes happened in future chapters. So, if you're still confused about things, write it in the comments of this and future chapters, so I can make sure that it's not only making sense in my head.
Since six of the Miraculous are unknown power & weapon wise, I'm going to have to make up stuff for them until canon fills in the blanks. You'll get my version of the Miraculous powers and weapons as they appear in future chapters.
I've already done art, doing a rework of my character of Casey from the original story, if any of you want to see her. Check out my DeviantART at DreamVixen2511 and my Tumblr at Asexual Individual.