(belated) birthday presents for hubert || not accepting
↪ @vesselmade sent:
“Happy birthday, Hubert,” Byleth’s soft greeting came with the sound of boot heels against stone flooring, tap tap, “I got you something.” In hand, they held a book bound in parchment and scarlet ribbon—One Hundred and One Curiously Poisonous Plants: A Compendium of Murders, procured from a dusty pile in Abyss’ shadow library. They came to a stop, and presented the gift before them with a hint of a smile. If Hubert were to tear past the paper he would find another trinket inside. A balanced and light blade made with swirled Almyran steel rested between the engraved black leather cover and first browned page of the book like a precarious bookmark (Byleth would dare not mention the small weapon took a chunk of their meager savings to procure). It may not be much; it may not mean much either, keeping their strained beginning in mind. Yet, should they not show Hubert a gesture of appreciation on the day he had been welcomed into this horrible and beautiful world?
HE GLANCES UP AT THE SOUND OF THEIR APPROACH, at the tell-tale sound of heavy boots on stone floor, his gaze settling on the parchment-wrapped package in their hands. he hardly bothers to celebrate his birthday, though he supposes he should not be surprised that byleth of all people had thought to get something for him — they seemed to have a knack for knowing the birthdays of all of their subordinates, don’t they ? though at the very least, he supposes he can trust them not to make a fuss over it — the last thing he desires is the entire black eagles strike force swarming him and … singing at him, or whatever other torture they might see fit to subject him to. he plans to avoid dorothea until tomorrow for just that reason, if he can help it.
❝ no gift was necessary, though your effort is appreciated. ❞ hands extend to accept the package, surprisingly heavy for its size. fingers trace over the shape beneath the parchment paper — a book, most likely, in his estimation. they have, he must admit, always been rather adept at gift-giving. he’d once thought them to be disturbingly astute, but now that his initial suspicious have largely been proven false, he finds he can appreciate the attentiveness more readily.
deft fingers tug the ribbon loose, then with one clean motion, he tears away the paper, revealing the weathered tome beneath. from the look of the cover, it’s clearly quite old — the engraved writing on the cover is speckled like it may have once been inlaid with something metalic, but has long since worn away. it’s not a book he’s seen before, and one thin brow lifts in curiousity as his fingers trace over the cover. perhaps more curious, however, is the item wedged beneath the front cover — he flips the front cover back as soon as he feels the shape of something underneath it, and promptly slides the weapon from it’s leather sheath to inspect it.
the metal is thin, but deceptively strong ; altogether the design is rather simple, devoid of any ostentatious filigree or unnecessary ornamentation apart from the whirling patters on the steel itself, the craftsmanship is indisputably fine. he’s familiar enough with the style — the particular method of forging the metal leads to the intricate patterns that grace the blade. though some may prize them for their unique appearance, the purpose to it is entirely practical. just the sort of thing he would expect from the former mercenary.
❝ this is almyran, ❞ he states, perhaps somewhat needlessly, as he glances back up at byleth, the dagger still poised in one hand. ❝ you must have gone through some effort to get this. the blacksmiths at garreg mach would never be capable of this kind of craftsmanship. ❞ he pointedly does not mention how much he's certain such a thing would cost, though he's well aware that it was likely inordinately expensive compared to any number of gifts they could have bought from the market.
he pauses to return the dagger to it’s case, then closes it back inside the book. the look he fixes byleth with is scrutinizing, as if attempting to unravel a mystery five years in the making. ❝ you do realize, you know, ❞ he drawls, ❝ that were i to still be inclined to kill you, you would only be making my job easier. ❞
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BABY GURL, What a lovely ending to your SMAU. Thank you for putting up chapters and dealing with all the hate. TBH, I'm expecting (which could also sound demanding) you to take a break, love. Get your health in tip top shape! We care and love you so if you do decided to make another one you'll be ready to handle the amount of shade, hate and love. Thank you again for making the story and giving us a happy ending!! Lots of Love! <3333
ahaha, a little too late for the break. although, thank you so much for reading and for the support that you had given me during the story. but for the amount of shade, hate part— aha, someone to you was the first time i ever received any disclosure but it’s okay. but i can’t wait to release the new series :)
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