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Countless intangible veils separate all universes from each other - and from ours. The fabric of space and time is at its faintest, like gossamer, at these proximate points we share with all other realities. Interdimensional castaways are drawn to safety and arrive on a train in our core world, Hialao. The train system also serves as our lifeblood by connecting five other worlds to Hialao.

With the dimensional displacements not yet showing signs of slowing, and research forever futile on how to leave (besides those who simply vanish, falling back through the invisible curtain), it's impossible to say who might arrive and how they might shape this fragile series of lands, eras and cultures. Good luck out there.

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 Message Man, protag / azula
Time to tip the scales!
45
POSTS
twenty
fire emblem: awakening
human
advisor & ambassador
Tabris (She/her)
He/him
Robin was inclined to believe that, regardless of the nature of the world, farm labor was a constant. In Ylisse, he’d dug in his heels before many a field, wielding lightning to ward off the blight of Risen from destroying a village’s livelihood. While Wildewall’s fields did not seem threatened by undead armies (as far as Robin could tell, looks could be deceiving), there was something reminiscent to the golden0green countryside of the Halidom that had become his home.

The farmers that fed the dimension toiled in the fields, assisted by animals, from standard horses to more exotic breeds of draft beasts, from buffalo-looking behemoths to horned creatures of alien build and vibrant colors. The tactician himself was riding a modest horse, past its prime but still on its feet, a loan from the temple he had visited earlier in the morning. Perhaps less of a loan and more of a mercy, as Robin’s trek was to be long and his feet were sure to fail him before the summer sun reached its zenith. His journey was technically doubling back, since he’d walked out to the temple in the outskirts only to find that the reason for his journey was back in the fields not far from the train station

While the tactician was, as a rule, wary of religious orders and their zealots, he found that the order residing in Wildewall to be exceedingly generous. He’d had a similar impression of acolytes visiting Elestis, seeking permission to perform philanthropic works. In spite of his initial misgivings, he found the humble group endlessly entertaining in their close-knit dynamic, enough to listen to their tales of temple intrigue, of the good works and of brothers and sisters pulled from all walks of life and all manner of circumstances. The one who caught Robin’s interest was the story of the amnesiac priestess, a woman who the group had insisted he eventually meet. And sure enough, on an off-day gifted by some spell in the castle gone horribly awry (Robin did not know the details, but bullfrogs were apparently involved), the tactician found himself bored enough to make the train trip over to Wildewall. Of course, when he arrived, he learned quickly that most of the acolytes were out in the field, assisting the farmers hardest hit by recent drought. And thus, Robin was forced to turn around and make his way back to town before the day was entirely wasted

The field that the man searched for seemed to be a part of another world. Only miles away, the bazaar bustled with the energy of an angry beehive. Yet in the farmlands, there was peace in the air, hanging heavy with the heat of the gathering noon. The object of Robin’s search became obvious when the tactician looked to a half-plowed field and found robes amongst overalls and jeans. Though Robin could often pass for a soldier, he was painfully aware of how out of place he looked amongst farmers, an obvious scholar in tactician’s garb, toting tomes on the back of his wearied horse. But he held his head high and with a friendly smile as he dismounted and strode through the field toward the closest, humbly-clad priestess. When he spoke, his voice was parched, cracked and dry with dust from the road, his snowy hair streaked with the same.

“I’m sorry to bother you,” he spoke, insistent but warm, coughing a bit as he said his piece. “I’m looking for one of your sisters. Yang, I think. Do you know a Yang?” He looked around, as though a quick scan might yield the woman in question. As expected, he was just as lost as before and he looked back to the acolyte with a sheepish smile, fidgeting slightly as he waited for any hint of instruction or dismissal.


ROBIN I
AZULA – Look! I stole your template!

You were born with nothing. So you've had to struggle and connive and claw your way to power. But true power, the divine right to rule, is something you're born with.
90
POSTS
seventeen
avatar: the last airbender
human
priestess
protag (she/her)
she/her
The acolyte looked up from her work on the soil, having been interrupted right as she had plunged her shovel into the ground with surprising strength. She was young, no longer a child yet not quite a woman, with slender shoulders that carried the burden of thick, nondescript woolen robes weighing like carpets down her arms. The bottom of her robes were faded with dirt and her toes were coated in dust. But under the strict gaze of the sun, her skin glowed pale and clean like a smooth pearl, her eyes shining in bright amber even in the glaring day.

With slender fingers and cut nails, she pulled strands of her silky black hair behind her ear, scoping the foreigner in deep violet cloak with unhidden wonder. She spotted a distance away that he came with a horse, mounted by thick books. A scholar? What he had come to Azula for?

“Oh, no, you didn’t bother me at all,” she said off-handedly, a reflex to be friendly, looking thoughtfully from the horse and then to the man. Without the sugary rendition of Yang though – Azula having been distracted by the scholar’s sudden appearance – it had sounded almost sarcastic. She looked at him, uncertainty and doubt shaped around her eyes. “But I know a Yang. You’re looking at her. Is there…something you need…?”

It would not be unlike of the cursed matron to command Yang another task while she was already busy with one, and to be assigned to a stranger would not be the first time either. Time and time again, Azula had showed Wildewall’s woeful state to the volunteers of other dimensions in heightened acting, pleading for their intervention to “alleviate the suffering of her friends” and singing to them about their bottomless kindness for “becoming a light to Wildewall.” Wildewall was a ceaseless charity case. The outsiders who came to Wildewall had stopped being tourists a long time ago.

But something about this encounter was telling Azula that this was different. She could not discern much from the man with one look, except that he had a fancy living and had taken a beating from his journey. What did he want from her?

AZULA I | ROBIN
[OOC] rip that template. it was so young....

Time to tip the scales!
45
POSTS
twenty
fire emblem: awakening
human
advisor & ambassador
Tabris (She/her)
He/him
Though the priestess quickly stated that his questions were no bother, Robin had initially felt a sting of guilt as he watched her divorce herself from what must have been a weary system of labor. The woman before him received a tactician’s initial appraisal, an involuntary screening that went through Robin’s mind upon any first meeting. The priestess was young and she was beautiful, a beauty like the light glinting off the edge of a knife in multicolored fractals. Even so, her youth had not been a shield; that much resonated in her voice and her chosen occupation. And in spite of her beauty, the girl had not shied away from labor or meager provisions, as was apparent in her unabashed display of the plain robes and the dirt that adorned them. All in all, the tactician sensed no threat, which was saying much considering his judgment of priesthood.

Robin was wary still, if only a bit, even as the surface kindness of her words and assurances smoothed over some bit of the man’s fluster. Still, it took the tactician long second to realize that the girl he spoke to was, indeed, the one he was looking for. When the revelation did dawn on him, his apprehension seemed to vanish and he smiled, a warm expression that highlighted a spot of mud from the road smeared upon his chin.

“Ah, so my luck is not so bad after all. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Yang. You can call me Robin,” he said, extending a hand to shake, his long sleeve only falling half out of the way of his palm. A hand offered was a cherished gift, in Robin’s mind. A hand had been offered to him once, in a field not so dissimilar from this one, and that moment had directed his life for years to come. Though Robin wished for none of the gravity Chrom’s gesture had had, he found the situation pleasantly ironic. Perhaps this truly was a chance for him to pay forward the great kindness that Chrom had once done him.

The man coughed again, still having yet to clear the dust from his throat, before continuing in a slightly hoarse and quietly embarrassed tone. “As for my business, it may sound somewhat-“ he paused for a moment, searching for the right word. “-strange. Perhaps better spoken of in a different place.” Robin was only too keenly aware that he was standing amongst a field of hardworking acolytes, distracting one from contributing to what was likely one of the temple’s many good works. He felt quite foolish to consider speaking of lost memories in muddy farmland.

Robin shifted his weight, rubbing his shock of snowy hair absentmindedly as he sought to remedy the social hole he had dug himself into. “Is there any way that I can help you with your work here? You seem short of hands, and I promise that I am much more familiar with this sort of labor than I might seem.”

ROBIN II | @AZULA
[OOC] I’ve moved on to yet another stolen template, rip old beauty

You were born with nothing. So you've had to struggle and connive and claw your way to power. But true power, the divine right to rule, is something you're born with.
90
POSTS
seventeen
avatar: the last airbender
human
priestess
protag (she/her)
she/her
Azula shook hands with Robin. Despite the gentle Yang’s demure appearance, her hands were a bit course from labour but her touch was still light and… unsure. Only for a brief moment. Yang was accepting because she was naïve and did not suspect a thing from strangers. Strangers had welcomed Yang. Strangers are sheltering Yang. Strangers were clearly friends. She smiled a small smile and showed Robin eyes that could not resist staring at him with unconcealed curiosity.

Such a simple girl. If you wandered in the Fire Nation, you would be dead in three days’ time.

“Oh, I-I’m not the one who tells others what to do… You’ll have to speak with the matron. Didn’t she send you?” she prodded carefully, searching Robin’s face. Her fingers restlessly gripped around the shovel as she looked nervously to the side, trying to maintain a meek, subservient smile. “And, anyway, someone of your position shouldn’t be doing work meant for peasants. Um.” Her hands fumbled, deciding whether to put the shovel down or not. She placed it on the side to give Robin her full attention. “I should be helping you. You need something, right? My name is Yang. Oh, but you already know that. I’m sorry.”

AZULA II
Time to tip the scales!
45
POSTS
twenty
fire emblem: awakening
human
advisor & ambassador
Tabris (She/her)
He/him
Yang’s hands were softer than a routine laborer’s. They did not hold the same deep-set callouses of a person born into a peasant’s life (so she was not like Donnel, the kid had been handling farm tools for his entire life), or even the scars of a warrior’s hands (like practically any other Shepherd, including Robin himself). Her smile was open, a bit hesitant at first, but Robin always came to expect caution in strangers. He’d come from a more hostile world. Even so, the girl’s friendliness was contagious. Robin felt himself ease into a mirrored smile, dropping her hand after perhaps a second too long of a shake.

When Yang spoke of permissions, he almost felt bad for imposing upon the obviously hard-working girl. “Ah, you’d have to point her out to me. I’ve only met a couple of your sisters on one of their trips to Elestis.” he said, scanning the fields but finding only workers dressed in the same attire, focusing hard on the task at hand. He couldn’t tell any of the priestesses apart, especially at the current distance. Robin did feel rather guilty for distracting a pious woman from her good works, even more so when she seemed to feel some obligation to put down the shovel to talk to him. He would have gladly taken up the tool himself, if he was sure that the girl wouldn’t be mortified by the proposition.

But there was one thing that caught Robin’s ear, the tiniest of machinations of his strategic mind working subconsciously to find any semblance of threat or danger. How would one assume that Robin were in a position of importance at all? Perhaps it was the manner of his dress, the way he held himself. He considered carefully, then decided to make nothing of it.<b> “My position is not so important that it’s made me soft. Yet, at least.”</b> Robin guaranteed. Perhaps that was a bit of a lie. Robin certainly did not keep the same training regimens he’d had as a Shepherd, but it wasn’t as if he were out of shape or practice. He could certainly still shovel a field. As if to prove his point, he took off his robe (a long, billowing thing that seemed more of an encumbrance than a help in any practical situation) and rolled up his sleeves. Of course, he was still missing the shovel.

“I only really sought you out to talk,” Robin said, almost distractedly. He was stretching on the tips of his toes to look past Yang’s shoulder to try and seek out where they were keeping tools. “As an amnesiac myself-” he said, and then stopped himself. It was already too late. Robin closed his eyes tight for a brief moment, internally chastising himself. When he reopened his eyes, he focused them back on the girl. He spoke quickly to try and make up for any awkwardness that Yang might be feeling, to have a stranger bring up something so personal. “Your sisters had mentioned you when I met them sometime ago. I wanted to meet you because… well, when I woke up with no memories of who I was, or what or why, there were friends who were there for me right from the start. I just wanted to tell you that you aren’t alone. And if you need anyone to talk to, you can reach out to me.” Paying it forward, that’s what Robin had justified his adventure to Wildewall as. “Though if you’d rather not ever take me up on that offer, that’s fine as well.”

ROBIN III
@AZULA – We’re back in this


You were born with nothing. So you've had to struggle and connive and claw your way to power. But true power, the divine right to rule, is something you're born with.
90
POSTS
seventeen
avatar: the last airbender
human
priestess
protag (she/her)
she/her
AZULA III
MESSAGE MAN
Elestis. That was the “magical” realm with the floating castle in the sky. From the pamphlets she had been given upon stepping out of Hialao’s trains, it looked like some Spirit World mumbo-jumbo. She assumed the books with Robin were some related esoteric research, or he was just trying to look smart. Azula was interested in taking a look just to get an idea of the contents. She would get to that before Robin leaves.

When Robin started to take off his royal purple robes, Azula was pretty surprised and found herself inwardly smirking. Well, somebody wants to show off. She had to keep acting like Yang though and feigned shock as he did the act, as though he had just pulled down his pants before her pure eyes. Her dirty hand was on her gaping mouth. While Yang gawked helplessly, not knowing what to do, Azula was recognizing the martial physique the garment had hidden.

Robin didn’t have the body of a bender. A bender didn’t need to have strength training, but endurance and cardio were vital so it almost came along with it. But because bending was more of a technique that wielded one’s breathing, benders didn’t have to focus on a particular part of their body. Swordsmen, however, usually end up with bigger arms.

What was all this about? Now Azula was intrigued. As Robin began to explain, Yang’s presence vanished from her facade. Azula looked into Robin’s eyes, showing no hint of her thoughts.

Azula’s golden eyes seemed to shimmer, yet it was not a beauty that could be admired. It was sharp, the tip of a blade staring close to one’s eye. “Friends…” she mumbled, contemptuous, almost like she wanted to laugh at the idea. But she didn’t. The muscles on her cheeks were stone. She wasn’t laughing any time soon.

“I’m not alone,” said Azula. “I have my lovely sisters with me to tell me what to do for the rest of my life. But if you’re so sincere, we can spend our time on the dirt together, bonding over hurt and pain if you joined. I don’t think we’re accepting men into the fold, but you could try asking the matron. Maybe you could impress her with your digging skills.”
NOTES: @ROBIN or are we
Time to tip the scales!
45
POSTS
twenty
fire emblem: awakening
human
advisor & ambassador
Tabris (She/her)
He/him
ROBIN IV
MESSAGE MAN
Robin did not catch the priestess’s wide eyes at first, but as he glanced over, halfway through disrobing, he felt the weight of her surprise. Robin felt his own cheeks sympathetically redden – he hadn’t meant to shock the poor girl. Were priestesses always this naïve and modest? “D-don’t worry, I do have a shirt on underneath this,” he assured the girl. This… certainly had not been his intention. Robin’s outfit was simply not designed for the heat; it was a multi-layered affair, long sleeves and heavy fabric in two parts. When the heavy robe was put to the side, Robin was left with a cream colored number. The tactician was suddenly and painfully aware that the shirt had a dipping V-neck. He still felt the girl’s eyes on him and he wished that he had instead just endured the sweltering temperature.

But suddenly, the naivety that had once defined those very same golden eyes dissipated like smoke. It was an odd change, a vicious change like the sudden turning of the tide, one that seemed to overtake the rest of the expressive and friendly demeanor that had been present not two minutes prior. Robin was intrigued, as any tactician would be, by the changing landscape of her voice and her words. What had before been someone meek and mild by any standards was now proud and with a lurking danger. What had changed the course of this battle? Was it the likening of their conditions? The assumptions that Robin had put into his last words?

“So you’re not alone,” Robin said, matching her sharp eyes with blunt and unyielding force, not giving a single inch in the face of her boldness. He shrugged, as if he was not quite buying her statement, and turned his attention off into the distance where the other priestesses worked away at the unyielding earth. “I would not wish to interfere with the close bonds you share with your sisters. Nor do I have any desire to find myself amongst the ranks of acolytes, even if gender was not a barrier.” Never. He could never become a priest, not after the Grimleal, not after Grima. Perhaps he’d let that bitterness enter his words, if only just a taste of it.

He turned back to the woman, aureate eyes strongly sympathetic. It mattered not to Robin if she had snapped at him with cynical words – he had handled the surly and aggressive-by-nature Shepherds, fought by their sides and entrusted his life to their care. To forget yourself, to have everything that made you truly you erased beyond your control, to never know what it was that you lost… that situation was more than worthy of compassion.

“It is good that you can find companionship in your sisterhood. The priestesses that I met seemed as though they would make kind taskmasters and this charity work is certainly enough to keep someone busy,” Robin said, his voice light and weaving. “If I am hassling you needlessly, I will leave and trouble you no more. Just know that even if you cannot remember your old life, you can build something new for yourself. Something powerful. Something that can change the world. You do not have to simply exist and survive.”

NOTES: @AZULA you’re right, are we?

You were born with nothing. So you've had to struggle and connive and claw your way to power. But true power, the divine right to rule, is something you're born with.
90
POSTS
seventeen
avatar: the last airbender
human
priestess
protag (she/her)
she/her
AZULA IV
MESSAGE MAN
Bonds? Companionship? The fact that Robin acknowledged her sarcasm with serious consideration was an affront. As if she cared for the lesser women flocking around the dumb, wrinkly, ugly matron. They sang whatever songs the matron asked, but they did not do so beautifully the way people wished angels did. They grumbled during work under the mutters of gossip and mind-numbing chatter. The older, miserable women liked to lord over them and keep them quiet, their stern scowls stretching to horrendous smiles as soon as they attended to their own haughty conversations. There were those couple of priestesses who were pious at heart. Obviously the bunch Robin had been introduced to.

“Where are you getting at?” She cupped her chin in thought, speaking more to herself than to Robin. “From that physique of yours, it’s clear that you’re not just some well-read researcher. There’s something about you that’s a bit more special. Well, just by looking at you, only a blind person wouldn’t be able to guess as much.” She had already given the upper part of Robin’s body scrutiny, so she began to invade the rest below. His stance was square and steady like an Earthbender’s, but his right foot was slightly more forward, allowing some flexibility. He didn’t appear to have some sort of injury either. Azula didn’t see any weakness.

“Could it be that you really came here for me?” she wondered out loud. “You didn’t even bother blending in. It is rather odd to go out of your way to meet me here under the sun. You could have waited for dinner. I’m sure there’s some nerd out there who would love to borrow some of your time.”

So why? What was the point of offering Azula words of advice? He came here for nothing but from the sound of it, he had been receptive to rejection too. Wasn’t this just a complete waste of time?

He came for me… But that isn’t human nature. People seek others because they want something. Robin is doing this for his own personal…

“Oh, I see now,” said Azula, smirking triumphantly. “These friends of yours who inspired you in your darkest hour aren’t here anymore. They’re back ‘home.’ You’re from another world, too.” She swayed to her right, putting a hand on her hip. “You get this sense of purpose by repaying their kindness through me. Everyone wants some sort of continuation. I mean, at this point, they’re dead to you. I hear there’s no going back. None. Never.”
NOTES: @ROBIN
Time to tip the scales!
45
POSTS
twenty
fire emblem: awakening
human
advisor & ambassador
Tabris (She/her)
He/him
ROBIN V
MESSAGE MAN
Robin allowed Yang’s analysis to go unhindered, yet unhelped. It was not often that the tactician met someone with such astute eyes. He’d often been told that he possessed such a quality, though he did not assume to liken himself to Yang in that way. Robin was an eccentric sort, a scholarly type who could not truly hide a tactician’s nature without some monumental effort. Yang was different – she was subtle. Watching her, Robin could almost see the artful conclusions being drawn in her head, the way she considered everything so very carefully, but only because he himself knew how to recognize the look. She had a contrary aura, a meek appearance when he’d first approached her that had carefully eroded into this current frame. Fascinating.

He did not have long to wonder at what she saw when she looked at him. Perhaps it was some sort of challenge, the way she spoke her observations with a scalpel’s edge that hardly seemed meant for him, but rather for her own personal acquisition of knowledge. “Most people would guess less,” he admitted, looking down at himself for a quick once-over. What was it that she saw to make her think him more than just a scholar? His attire was dusty and worn, definitely having seen better days, and he carried no visible weapon. A Levin sword had been tucked into his saddlebags along with a few tomes, but she appraised him as one would a warrior, implying she might hold that opinion of him by way of contrast with a scholar’s nature. Perhaps there were a few scars visible now that he’d removed his coat, but one had to be familiar with a warrior’s body to recognize the physique of a swordsman. “Would you always assume scholars to be out of shape?” he joked with a chuckle, but his eyes spoke in no uncertain terms: he was impressed. It was a solid analysis, the type that made Robin think the girl had at least some potential as a tactician. There were other factors, of course, but it was unusual to see someone so alert. Most people moved through life without seeing the details, and that was what separated Robin from most people.

But Yang even continued past the physical, musing as to his purpose before coming to her rather cynical conclusion. So proud she was, to have unraveled his truly selfish intentions. Robin waited for her to finish, then folded an arm over his chest with his other elbow resting lightly on the crook of his arm, a hand beneath his chin. It was a thoughtful look, and Robin glanced over his shoulder as if expecting a seat, as if this were some forum and he were about to launch into his own counterargument with polite disagreement. He found only dirt, but recovered quickly, straightening once more though looking slightly out of place.

“You’re right in that I am from another world, but mistaken in other regards,” Robin said after a beat, matching her smirk with a voice like a river, assured and smooth running. “Home is what is dead to me, not my friends. I was at my end right before I found myself here, so this world is more a dream than anything else, the most unlikely possibility of continuation. And my friends have found themselves here, some of them at least.” He smiled at the thought. There were certainly some familiar Shepherds in this place, and without their presence here, this conversation might have gone very differently.

“So I do not wish to return to that world. In all likelihood, I would cease to exist.” This was stated as some fascinating factoid, a well-considered musing. Robin had toyed with the what-if’s, and none of those dealing with a ‘return’ led to a good outcome. This was the world that Naga had meant – there was no other. “What’s left is to make a life here, whatever that entails. I’m not sure of it myself. As for speaking with you, perhaps I am doing it for that sense of purpose. Paying it forward. Does that make this whole endeavor not worth it?”


NOTES: @AZULA it’s record timing

You were born with nothing. So you've had to struggle and connive and claw your way to power. But true power, the divine right to rule, is something you're born with.
90
POSTS
seventeen
avatar: the last airbender
human
priestess
protag (she/her)
she/her
AZULA V
MESSAGE MAN
Mistaken. Azula did not let the word faze her, but she wasn’t going to forget that Robin said that. His warm response to her undiluted analysis came as a surprise… But if it had pleased Azula or not had yet to show on her face. She was regarding Robin with intensity that neither heat nor sunlight could bat away. Even as the air inside her woolen robes grow stale and hot, she did not motion with the slightest itch of discomfort.

“Well, that’s news to me. I didn’t know the dead could stumble their way here too.” Azula believed Robin without a doubt. She knew he wasn’t lying.

It would be fun to see Grandfather pop up, she thought. He would be really old though. I don’t want to end up taking care of him. And her grandfather would not be happy either. Azula imagined that the proud Azulon would rather be dead with his legacy and golden burial in the royal catacombs than suffer poverty with old age and disgrace. Robin was only able to embrace the idea of starting new because he was still young and handsome, and comforted by important presences from home. He talked big like he had discovered his own special way of viewing the material world, but all he was was lucky.

“But I guess for someone who’s supposed to be dead, being optimistic is really the only way to go. It’s pretty hard to beat dying in the list of ‘Things To Be Sad About.’ Good for you. Had my fate in my world been similar to yours, maybe I could have benefited from your infinite wisdom.” She shrugged her shoulders and blew a stray strand that slipped in front of her eye, acting more interested of the slight mess in her hair than of Robin.

“I feel bad for these friends of yours now, though,” said Azula, tidying other loose strands with her hand. “Unless they’re supposed to be dead too, I can imagine that they’re not as happy with their situation as you are. I bet you don’t care. Or they didn’t tell you. They probably lied. Or maybe you’ve always known. Denial is always a healthy possibility.”
NOTES: @ROBIN
Time to tip the scales!
45
POSTS
twenty
fire emblem: awakening
human
advisor & ambassador
Tabris (She/her)
He/him
ROBIN VI
MESSAGE MAN
Robin wasn’t sure if he could even count himself among the dead. ‘Obliterated’ or ‘essence-scattered to the wind like dust’ were more apt terms to describe his condition. That was all by his own determination, of course. The selfish thing would have been to postpone annihilation with limited cost to his own life, but Grima’s ascension could have been stopped at the one-time cost of his own existence. A fair price to pay, considering what was held in the balance.

This was not anything that Robin was willing to discuss with those he had just met, or even friends unfamiliar with the situation. What benefit would anyone gain from knowledge of the darkness that once dwelled in his heart, the world-ender that was inscribed into his soul? Nothing good would come of it, and thus nothing bad would come of it as a tight-lipped secret.

But as tight-lipped as such a secret was, Robin could almost feel Yang’s efforts to pry loose the unspoken truths. The pressure she exerted was matched by his own fluid ease, which was not dissuaded by her intensity. His own gaze was light and airy, warm sunshine filtering through the leaves of trees or glittering off a placid pool. His weight danced from foot to foot with a seemingly-timed pattern.

Though his calm did a great deal to mask his sharpness, his mind was still a dangerous blade. At the smallest slip, his eyes gleamed like a cat’s. There was not much that could get past him, even as he dawdled, even as he speculated as to the nature of his own false existence. His voice was quiet like a rising tide. “You just spoke of your own fate. How is it that you know you did not die before finding yourself here?” he allowed a pause, then answered his own question with a voice that held an unmistakable scholar’s enthusiasm. “Could it be that you intrinsically remember your past? Is there anything else that came with that thought? A flash of memory perhaps?” Robin had experienced similar moments of recollection when he’d been confronted by those who had engineered his amnesia. Hopefully Yang hadn’t had her mind-wiped by the harbinger of the end that slumbered inside her heart. “Or perhaps something else?” Robin did not make a habit of excluding any possibilities, and he was, by nature, more suspicious than Chrom. He had to be, as a tactician. But there was no reason for such suspicion here, no motive.

“Ah, I may be pressing too hard,” he spoke out loud, rubbing the back of his head, though he still appeared thoughtful. The wheels continued to turn behind his eyes as he exiled the excitement from his voice and continued in a bemused manner, as if entertaining questions of the philosophy of existence was a hobby he partook in often.

“Returning to what you said, I cannot speak for my friends. None of them seem worse for wear, but I cannot pretend know their true thoughts on the matter. You may be right, but you cannot pretend to ignore that there are people who find happiness here. In equal measure, there are those who find only misery. It is a choice we make for ourselves. All I know is that I cannot help you if you choose to accept the latter as the only option.”


NOTES: @AZULA it’s no longer record timing
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