Happy holidays everyone. It's certainly been a little while since my last post. Just had a ton of ideas floating around that left me a bit preoccupied and then got occupied with stuff related to the holidays. I was hoping to get a little more done, but it's fine.

Anyway, we got another new story on the docket. I promise that I'll get more stuff done in the near future, just gotta make sure to budget the time left of this year wisely. …side note, how is the year almost over?

A massive shout out to the kind folks at the Claudeleth Discord Server for not only being my friends and supporters during a fairly tough year, but also for being the ones who inspired this story. This story's concept was thrown out by IGOM, Mer, and Spirit of Creativity for differing thoughts after Christmas Ignatz was announced to be joining Fire Emblem Heroes, and I wanted to do something to just genuinely thank the people in the server for their kindness, friendship, and just generally being a group of people I know will continue to have my back even if I blunder and/or say/do stupid things. I am truly grateful to have you all in my life and want to do something to pay back the joy and acceptance you guys gave me, as well as comfort in trying times.

Just really appreciate you all and whatnot. They're a great group of people. Also, before I forget to mention this, I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Venna, known as Venna Conqueso-Macarte on Twitch and on Twitter. She's doing a Three Houses Randomizer run and it's been a blast so far. While the replays aren't on her account at the moment, the vods will be going up somewhere in the future so that they can be rewatched. They're a blast and motivated me to get back to playing Three Houses again, which helped to make it my third most-played Switch game of this year. Massive thanks on that, Venna. Go check her out.

Well, let's get this going.

Disclaimers: I don't own Fire Emblem Three Houses. It belongs to Nintendo and Intelligent Systems.

Special Thank You to IGOM, Mer, Spirit of Creativity, Piniee, and Hotzo Thotzo

(As well as the rest of the Claudeleth Discord Server. You guys rock and I appreciate everyone there that I've become great friends with.)


Captain Jeralt let out a heavy sigh as he trudged his way through the dining hall of the monastery. He had heard something rummaging through the area during his patrols and couldn't quite tell what it was.

'Probably just one of those dumb animals again…' he thought to himself as he opened up the door and held out a small lantern so that he could see, 'Still… better not take any chances.'

He walked around a little, then heard a clattering from something falling. He gently moved towards his lance before slowly walking forward, just to be safe. He finally got close enough and held up the lantern… and his eyes widened in shock.

Before him was a young girl with green hair and brown eyes, with what almost looked like rags for clothing, no shoes, her green hair being messy and unkempt, a few wraps around her knees and elbows that seemed to be recently covered up wounds, and she had a loaf of bread in her mouth. The thing that shocked Jeralt the most, though, was how familiar a shade the hair and eye color both actually were to him…

"Huh?" he blinked before the kid just quickly moved behind a pillar, though he could clearly still see her doing so, "...hey, kid?"

The girl didn't respond, still trying to scarf down the food she stole. He soon walked over to the kid in a calm and gentle manner, but she didn't seem to notice him at first until he kneeled down to her eye level.

"What are you doing here? I've not seen you around before," Jeralt gently asked.

"Food…" was what the girl said as she took a pause from a piece of bread.

"I see…" Jeralt blinked, realizing the question was a little obvious, "Why are you here?"

"...daddy didn't come home, so I had to find food by myself…" the girl responded, turning away from Jeralt.

Jeralt slowly nodded a bit, carefully observing the young girl. She clearly had parents, one of which he had a hunch he knew, yet she was clearly by herself for some reason. Before he could start to say anything else to her…

"Byleth!"

Jeralt and the young girl turned to see a man in a church's robe quickly walk over. The man in the robe quickly pulled down his hood, which made Jeralt give off a soft sigh as he recognized the person basically right away.

"I had a feeling she was your girl, Aelfric…" Jeralt said with a slight sigh in his voice, "What's up with the rags on her?"

The man, Aelfric, then looked over in surprise at the girl's outfit, "Byleth! Why are you wearing those?!"

"The Abyss was too hot…" the girl, Byleth, responded.

"Why are you even up here?"

"...hungry and lonely…"

Jeralt gently sighed at the sight in front of him, not really sure what to say or do. He slowly tuned out the conversation and drifting off to sleep owing to the time, but then he soon heard Aelfric start scolding the kid about stealing from the kitchen. This woke him up just enough to step over.

"Don't be too harsh. She is just a kid after all," Jeralt advised.

Aelfric turned towards the officer, then gave an understanding nod, "...right. Byleth, apologize to this poor knight and let's go home."

"...sowwy…" Byleth apologized.

With that, the father and daughter duo took their leave. Jeralt gave off a small sigh before he walked off to head off to bed for the evening, but the image of Byleth remained in his mind as he sat down in his quarters and exhaled a little bit.

'That's Sitri's kid alright… I hope she's doing alright…'


Byleth soon sat in what looked almost like a make-shift classroom that wouldn't look out of place at the Officer's Academy, even if the environment around it was a bit more decayed and closed off. She just sat in a small chair with a bit of a petulant look on her face as Aelfric stared at her a little.

"Sweetie… you know I'm busy with work," Aelfric reminded her, "And I told you to stay away from the Academy unless I bring you there. How'd you even get up there anyway?"

"Yuri showed me a way…" Byleth responded truthfully.

"And why did you go up?"

"...I was hungwy…"

"That doesn't give you the right to steal, you know. The monastery takes care of orphans who are less fortunate than you can be, and you taking from them means they go hungry."

All Byleth did was exhale a bit in response, then turn away from her dad.

He then took out a small hourglass and set it on the table nearby, "Five minutes."

With that, Aelfric walked off from the room with a bit of an exasperated look on his face, while Byleth just angrily crossed her arms.

'Sitri would be disappointed with her… and probably me for not taking better care of her. But, alas, it is what it is…' Aelfric thought as he leaned against the edge of the entrance with his mind drifting away to his deceased wife as he gently moved his hand along the wedding ring he had on his finger, 'But… no matter what Byleth does… she's our legacy. And I'll make sure to protect it and her as best I can…'

The time slowly passed as Aelfric simply remained waiting. He didn't hear Byleth moving at all, then peaked his head in to see that she had fallen asleep in the chair with her arms still crossed. He couldn't help but softly chuckle at this display, then picked her up to carry her off. After a short walk, they arrived in a small lodging that was decently maintained and clearly meant for at least three people. Aelfric set the sleeping Byleth in a bed, covering her up, and then gently placed a kiss on her forehead.

"Good night, my darling daughter…" he bid before heading off.


Some weeks had passed and Aelfric ended up bringing Byleth up to the monastery with him when a church meeting was set to happen. He soon passed her off to a man named Seteth so that he could babysit her while he attended the meeting. Byleth just let out a frustrated groan at the fact she was left with a babysitter, and just sat away from other kids as Seteth spoke to some orphans about various church related stories.

"Boring, boring, boring…" Byleth mumbled, clearly irritated and not wanting to listen to what Seteth had to say.

She then noticed, though, that Seteth was paying far more attention to the orphans instead of her. Byleth gave off a small grin as she got up and quickly headed out of the room, with Seteth none the wiser about her escape.


The meeting amongst the Cardinals continued for a while with various topics being discussed and voted on. However, just as the topic was about to reach the Abyss…

"Hey, no! They're not to be-" somebody yelled.

The doors flung open and Byleth came running in with a smile on her face.

"Daddy~!" Byleth cheered as she hurried over to the table.

"Byleth?" Aelfric questioned as he turned towards her, "Why are you here? Seteth was supposed to keep an eye on you."

"I got bored and left. Luckily, someone told me where you were!"

Aelfric let out a sigh as this development and then turned towards the other Cardinals, who simply stared a little at the young girl.

"Byleth… sweetie… I'm busy. Please go back to Seteth…" Aelfric told her.

"But… I want to spend time with you!" Byleth responded.

"It can wait. I'm very busy."

"But-"

Aelfric then turned towards the others in the meeting and cleared his throat, ready to get back to the topic at hand.

The young girl gave a small glare at the meeting area before she clenched her fist a little bit. The meeting was about to proceed, when…

"WAH~~~~! WAH~~~~~! WAH~~~~~~!"

The entire group turned to Byleth to see she had her eyes closed and was wailing. She ended up falling to her stomach and started flailing her arms and legs as she kept wailing.

"I WANT MY DADDY~~~~!" she wailed, "I WANT MY DADDY~~~~!"

The Cardinals attempted to try to ignore the girl, but her wailing just kept going on and getting louder. The girl just kept at it for almost an entire minute, which caused one Cardinal to finally growl a little and turn to Aelfric. The Cardinals all soon started glaring at him as Byleth kept on wailing.

"AELFRIC!" one member of the hooded figures finally yelled, "MAKE HER STOP ALREADY!"

He soon let out a heavy sigh and went over to the girl, gently picking her up and hugging her, "Daddy's here… I'm here."

Byleth almost instantly calmed down and happily hugged her dad, making the Cardinals let out a heavy sigh as they realized she was faking her crying.

"We take five minutes. Let Aelfric attend to his brat…" another Cardinal spoke.

"She's not a brat!" Aelfric instantly shouted back, "But… five minutes."

"That'll do!" Byleth beamed.

With that, the two walked away from the meeting area while the other Cardinals all sighed.

"Note to put on the agenda for the next meeting, a rule banning Cardinals from having children…"

Another Cardinal gave a nod and quickly wrote it down on a piece of paper for topics for the next time they would meet.


The two soon reached the outside area and sat down together. Byleth happily hugged her dad, and he just gently patted her head a little bit. Byleth had a content and relaxed expression on her face, only minus a smile on it.

"Promise we'll get to spend more time together?" Byleth asked her dad.

"...I'll try my best…"


Months passed since then and it was now the month of the Ethereal Moon. Aelfric looked over some people of the Abyss who were content and going about their day without much concern, and he saw a few wintery decorations starting to go up. He started to leave the home he and Byleth lived in and just took in some of the joy from the people around the area.

"Daddy!" Byleth yelled as she hurried after him.

"Byleth, I have to head to work. So-" Aelfric started to speak, but Byleth handed him some papers.

"You almost forgot your work papers," Byleth informed as she handed them to him.

"Oh! Thank you so much," Aelfric smiled as he took them and put them somewhere safe, "See you soon."

"Bye daddy!"

Aelfric then continued on, though he took a glance back and saw Byleth was helping someone. He let out a gentle smile, though the back of his mind instantly told him why she was acting more kindly than usual for someone who lived in the Abyss…


The 27th day of the Ethereal Moon was Saint Cichol's Day. While a day of prayer and calmness for most, the monastery and some parts nearby had taken to telling children about the "Saint of Joy" that would show up on that day to give our presents to those who had been good. Stories of the Saint of Joy varied from person to person, but it was generally agreed he lived far away from the continent and would use some sort of special magic to make it.

Within the monastery, a group of children had gathered to say a prayer for the adults that they had learned, and Byleth was alongside them. She gave a small wave to Aelfric, who was amongst the crowd of parents.

"Oh, protect us great saint," children prayed that evening.

Byleth had her eyes closed and was speaking the prayer as best she possibly could, yet was clearly fumbling her words a little as she didn't know the full thing. Some of the children did their best to keep their laughter contained, and a few of the adults noticed the girl trying to keep pace with the others and struggling.

"Divine saint," the children concluded.

"Divine bait," Byleth spoke, "...saint. Wait…"

A bit of snickering followed, but was quickly covered up by the clapping of the adults. Aelfric couldn't help but roll his eyes, yet had a smile on his face as he looked to his daughter. He gently waved to her, which calmed her down a bit.


"...I'm sorry I slipped up…" Byleth apologized shortly later.

"It's alright, sweetie. You did the best you could," Aelfric comforted, "Besides, not every child will be able to memorize prayers. It takes time and practice to make sure you get it right."

"Thanks…"

The two walked along a little before arriving nearby a small bench. They sat down by it, then watched some of the gentle snowfall that was happening around the monastery. Aelfric looked towards his daughter, who was staring at the snow with a bit of curiosity and confusion in her eyes. He gave a small chuckle before he pulled something out from his robe.

"Ordinarily, the Saint of Joy is only supposed to bring gifts to good boys and girls. However, I put in a good word for you and he was able to get you something," Aelfric informed as he handed something over to Byleth, "Happy Saint Cichol's Day, Byleth."

Byleth accepted the gift, then her eyes widened to reveal a cape with a dragon symbol on the back of it. She happily put it on and twirled around with a giddy look on her face. Byleth giggled and then pulled her dad into a happy hug, which he returned.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

-Pikatwig


I will say that I don't exactly have a full road map of the direction I'm intending for this story. I do have a bunch of ideas for it, including a scene with Balthus that I decided to delay to the next chapter so I can try to set it up a little better, and a scene for a possible final chapter. I had so many ideas when I started writing for this that it became more than one chapter. Not sure how many chapters it'll be yet.

I'll admit that, for this universe, Byleth will be a bit more expressive. Not too much so, but just be able to at least emulate other people's behaviors and try to adapt them. I came up with the scene with her wailing for her dad's attention first and then came up with that idea. For context, Byleth would be like… four or five when this chapter took place.

The sort of Christmas-y ending scene ended up getting added in because of the release date and me deciding to make this into my Christmas present for the Claudeleth Discord server. My original idea ended up proving to be too time consuming and I ended up needing to switch gears, so pushing this up since it was a bit short anyway seemed like the best idea. I hope that you guys like it.

I think my favorite part would be the ending scene with Byleth getting that little cape. Just a cute and fun father and daughter moment that I enjoyed making.

Well, I hope that you have a happy holidays and look forward to more stuff coming from me soon. I have some stuff in the works that'll hopefully be partially done before the end of the year. We'll see how it goes.

Just Live More.