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#there is no sense of self without you
jimpotters · 3 days ago
humans are Space Orcs, sure. but, more importantly, humans are pack-based Space Orcs. in terms of terror, imagine lions or wolves but with thumbs and a pre-frontal cortex that doesn’t understand the meaning of impossible.
we are apex predators that turned lions and wolves into house cats and lap dogs because they were cute and it was convenient.
so now you have a whole galaxy full of allied species - probably all prey species because apex predators rarely ally with other species of apex predators - and it’s like having a pack, right? it’s kind of like an alliance between dogs and humans, except the dog has more critical thinking skills and its own technology.
so why wouldn’t we join? we love packs! packs are the best!
but you’re apex predators, the other aliens are confused, want to join a pack?
we’re a pack species, we explain and isn’t that the most terrifying thing for the alliance to hear? humans are ferocious and almost unkillable and, more importantly, fucking insane. and they’re a pack? these motherfuckers come in groups of three, minimum. 
yes, the aliens agree, knowing nothing else to do.
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aevios · 11 months ago
I gotta say, the whole "queer is a slur" thing also coinciding with the use of 'fruit' and 'f*ggot' as acceptable jokes directed at or about gay people (usually gay men), as well as the use of 'freak' and 'weirdo' as acceptable insults (usually implying sexual perversion or embrassing or cringey behavior) on Tumblr sure is hmmmm something.
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butwhatifidothis · 2 months ago
New post for the chapters, same reason for the second post lol. Here's the first chain, and here's the second.
Cap'n is so... weird. Not just with, like, *waves hand* the obvious stuff, but with just how often he gets small details wrong. Saying Marianne can sense the feelings of humans when her supports with Raphael directly state that's not true (which is small for a fic that barely remembers she exists lol), Edelgard having memories of Hubert's father berating him for "letting" her get injured when she specifically says she didn't know that happened, saying that Byleth helped stand Claude up in the VW ending cutscene (in his meta post), and now the one that Chapter 31 reveals: he apparently thinks that the "javelins of light" are what the missiles that hit Ailell in Seiros scripture.
Now, he gets one big thing wrong with them as well, but like... bro. They wouldn't be called that. Nader coined that term, completely independent of knowing the Seiros faith at all, so it literally couldn't have been called that outside of astronomical coincidence. It's so annoying!
Also, we get a glimpse of how the Black Eagles behave like when Byleth... actually acts like the canon Byleth. She only does it for a little bit (and some character are straight up OOC about it, but that's expected at this point lmao), but it's somewhat telling. Also they're annoying af about it too: "what if we bring a problem onto ourselves and then :( about having to deal with it" stfu
SIBLINGS!! They're only there for two scenes and then the focus is put right back on Agnes - aka the literal only sibling Edelgard liked lmao - the second The Other Siblings' allotted time is finished, but they make a couple appearances!!
Here are the chapters lol
Chapter 31:
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Chapter 32:
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Chapter 33:
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Transcript under the cut:
Chapter 31:
Chapter 31: It ain't easy bein' green
     - Flashback, after the experiments but while Edelgard and Hubert are both young (Hubert is called a boy, not young man like he usually is): "Every moment that her limbs ached, or her heart momentarily wavered, she thought of her siblings. So many moments, large and small, had been stolen-quiet walks in the castle gardens, private jokes and joyful meals. The web of loss expanded outward…there were passionate romances that would never be. Children that would never exist. All gone, because of this unfathomable greed and cruelty." -> This could have been the perfect time to go over some of the other siblings' lives as Edelgard knew them. Barring Matilda, Otto, Maximilian, and Agnes - who walked with Edelgard in the castle gardens? Who had private jokes? Who enjoyed meals the most? Who were the most passionate about romance? Who spoke of wanting children the most? Putting a name to these events that were lost would have given a more impactful feeling of loss to the reader, and also would have allowed for the remaining six siblings to have some sort of presence in the story outside of a miscellaneous title of "Edelgard's siblings." 
     - "Edelgard knew and accepted that she had died with her siblings. That the terrible emptiness inside her would never go away." -> Be consistent. Did Edelgard die with her siblings, or did El die? When writing about the differing personas one person keeps of themselves (whether a deliberate choice from the character to separate oneself from trauma or as a result of trauma), an author must keep in mind in what situations the character in question uses which persona with a careful eye as to prevent confusion for the reader. Is "Edelgard" "alive"? Is "El" "alive"? Are they two different people, in Edelgard's mind? What does each represent, if they are?
          - This is also affected by the epithets chosen when Edelgard is referring to herself. When does she refer to herself as "the Flame Emperor"? When does she refer to herself as a "girl," like El would be? When does she refer to herself as a "young woman," as Edelgard would be? There is too little care to the concept of Edelgard holding a complicated perception of herself from the author for the idea to come across well to the reader.
               - "The girl stared at the object, and then at her retainer’s hopeful expression. “As much as I wish otherwise, I am not that girl anymore, Hubert.” She placed the gift next to the purple tassels that her sister had once tied into El’s hair." -> See above. Edelgard and El are being treated as separate people here, and yet the epithet refers to girl, which is what El was. She was a young, innocent girl - not a princess in Edelgard's mind, but a girl. If the fic had been more consistent with its usage of epithets, the separation would come across more clearly. Here, for example, if it had been "The princess stared at the object, and then at her retainer's hopeful expression. "As much as I wish otherwise, I am not that girl anymore, Hubert." She placed the gift next to the purple tassels that [insert sister name here] had once tied into El's hair" Edelgard's active separation would come across far more clearly.
                     - [Insert sister name here] (preferably not Agnes or Matilda), instead of "her" sister, because "El" "died" with her siblings in the dungeons and thus are "not [Edelgard's]" siblings
     - "No one knew what to say-Byleth’s hair and eyes were now the same color as the Archbishop. The only Eagle who appeared happy about this development was Flayn. The girl followed the Ashen Demon like a puppy, hand occasionally stroking her own green hair." -> Wrong: Caspar and Petra are also excited about Byleth changing appearance (Caspar because he thinks Byleth got stronger with that motivating him to train even harder to catch up, and Petra because she thinks Byleth is similar to the spirits of Brigid and that making Petra expect Byleth to sprout wings and fly like those same spirits). Ingrid, who is present here in this fic, also shows excitement over the idea of Byleth receiving a new form due to receiving a divine revelation from the Goddess. Strikes against canon: 204
          - To say that, in the previous chapter's author's notes, the author claimed to be taking Byleth's cold behavior from explore dialogues, he seems content to ignore explore dialogues that go against the idea of Byleth merging with Sothis being a bad thing or the idea that every single (Black Eagle) student was uncomfortable with Byleth's transformation
     - "For many years, Edelgard had hidden the raw hurt of this rejection under cold logic-it was easier to pretend that the Goddess did not exist at all." -> Edelgard does not pretend to think that the Goddess isn't real; she genuinely believes Sothis to be a fake goddess conjured by Rhea to control the masses. Strikes against canon: 205
     - "Caspar slammed his bowl down excitedly, splashing an annoyed Kronya. The Agarthian had tried to find a seat away from the group, only for Caspar to sit down beside her, and pester her with endless questions." -> (joke) MY SHIP
     - "“How’d you wipe out those bad guys, Professor? With those cool arrow things? Can you teach me?”" -> Confirmation - as though it was needed - that it was Byleth that caused the "javelins of light," as Edelgard called them, to rain down. This is false, as again, those do not relate to Sothis, but to the Agarthans. 
          - "“There are legends…” Linhardt began to speak, his eyes remaining closed. It caused Lysithea to jump with a start. “About how the Goddess destroyed evildoers with…oh, what’s the word? ’Javelins of light.’ Rather fascinating, I must-“" -> No, there aren't any legends that call them that. They are not called javelins of light by those of Fodlan - they were called that by an outsider who has no knowledge of the Seiros faith. There would be no scriptures about "javelins of light" because they are not called that. Strikes against canon: 206
               - This is such a small yet obvious thing to get wrong, again pointing towards the author's lack of understanding with the source material, similar to Marianne being able to feel the emotions of humans or Edelgard having memories of Hubert's father scolding him. 
               - Whohardt speaks.
     - "Byleth’s return had brought so much joy to the Flame Emperor’s heart. But that relief had been poisoned, tainted by the evil little voice in her mind. Where was my miracle? A shameful, hidden part of the princess was angered by the inequity of her teacher’s return. That the woman she loved had been saved, when so many had not." / "It made Edelgard hate herself all the more." -> Edelgard does not hate herself. Strikes against canon: 207
     - "The girl who wept had died long ago, but this new rejection shook the princess to her core." -> It is this sort of separation - The girl who wept (El) had died long ago, but this new rejection shook the princess (Edelgard) to her core - ought to be far more present than it has been in this fic so far (if this was indeed a moment of active seperation from Edelgard).
     - "“Oh, did She now?!” The princess spat the words out, as the pain underneath bubbled over. Filled with shame at her outburst, she stood, and began to walk without meaning or purpose. There was no scheming, no plan-just a lost little girl filled with hurt, lashing out at the one person who did not deserve it." / "“Wonderful! That, and the Sword of the Creator-“ She tried to take a breath to collect herself, but no relief came. “You must truly be loved by the Goddess.”" -> It is funny of the author to have Edelgard "try" to collect herself and fail, because that is what she in fact does in canon - she is frankly not this upset about Byleth being granted power by Sothis. Or, more accurately, she does not yell, there is no lashing out, there is only a subtle, contained anger at the idea of Byleth being connected to the Goddess. Edelgard is not a "lost little girl filled with hurt," and it is frankly belittling to her character to describe her in that way. Strikes against canon: 208
          - If Edelgard were, hypothetically speaking, put in a unique situation that was outside of the parameters of the game that was directly linked to her trauma - for example, in the hypothetical scenario where she finds out Ionius was the one to have allowed the experiments on her and her siblings, not the nobles of Adrestia - then her reacting in a similar manner (one of uncontrollable rage and lashing out) could potentially make more sense, but that is not what is happening here. We know how Edelgard responds to this specific event since this is essentially just retelling canon (however much the author doesn't want to admit it), and she reacts nothing like this. 
     - "“I don’t know what to do.” Byleth shook her head. “I don’t know what’s happened to me, Edelgard. It reminds me of when I was young, and Papa tried to teach me to swim. He just…threw me in the water.” She smiled, and her angelic face was creased with smile lines. The small, human imperfection made her look even more beautiful." / "Despite the agony of the moment, Edelgard let out a snort. “That sounds like Jeralt.”" -> It sounds like canon Jeralt, but this sounds nothing at all like the warm, protective father-of-the-year the fic has described Jeralt to be.
     - "They were trapped in a grand destiny- the reborn myth of Saint Seiros and Nemesis, swallowing everything that Edelgard and Byleth were. A white-haired rebel, allied with monsters against the green-eyed daughter of the Goddess. For a moment, she could almost see her teacher’s blade coming down, the inevitable end of the path Sothis had laid for them." -> If Edelgard is so worried about repeating the "destiny" laid out before her, then she should just stop willfully recreating the destiny. It is highly annoying as the reader to watch a character bemoan their dreadful fate when that character is knowingly making it happen. Myabe if Edelgard didn't want Byleth to kill her she should not murder everyone in her war
     - “"Yes, you do. But that’s why…” Byleth looked up at the stars. “I’m not good with words, Edelgard. Especially now…” She ran calloused fingers through her ethereal green hair, and laid her head on her student’s shoulder. The princess shivered at the feeling of Byleth’s head gently resting on her. “But I feel like…like you’re my flower. That you deserve someone to help you grow. That we should grow together.”" -> Byleth's pure little (lesbian) flower that she will help grow to her full potential using her pure (lesbian) love. 
     - "As the convoy came to a stop, Rhea rushed down the stairs, showing none of her usual saintly dignity. She pushed past Caspar and Ferdinand, and with a shockingly strong arm, thrust Edelgard out of the way." -> Rhea is very excited about the idea of Byleth becoming more Nabatean/becoming Sothis, yes, but this is hilariously out of character for her. She never once shows this sort of desperation - definitely not enough to physical assault students (however lightly). Strikes against canon: 209
     - "As she surrendered Byleth to Flayn, Seteth, and Rhea, Edelgard felt her spirit shatter in despair. Byleth was where she belonged-a grand destiny as the favored child of the Goddess. Her teacher had searched for a purpose for so long-a reason for being. How could the Flame Emperor take that away from her? Selfishly pull Byleth into the pit that Edelgard had been cast into long ago?" -> We're meant to sympathize with Edelgard here, but she is right; she wants Byleth all to herself, never offering Byleth the sort of ambition that Rhea has given her and that Byleth told her that she wanted. With how Edelgard has still offered nothing even remotely similar for Byleth, why should we sympathize with her here?
     - "Sylvain shook his head, full of an unusual earnestness. “I’ve seen that look in the Archbishop’s eyes when she tried to take back the Lance of Ruin. She wasn’t going accept no for an answer.” His face darkened, and his voice filled with hate. “And since the Goddess evidently has nothing better to do than play games with our lives…”" -> The Lance of Ruin scene again being used to demonize Rhea, when she was completely in the right to want the Lance returned to her. It was not Byleth's to keep, and Rhea simply wanted to return it to the Gautiers, and yet we see that this is proof of her "not accepting no for an answer" even when she literally did when Sylvain stepped in and laid claim to the Lance. She wasn't even that angry or anything akin to an extreme emotion in canon during that scene, only shocked at Byleth's trying to keep the Lance for themselves when they had no right to. Strikes against canon: 210
     - "Bernadetta huddled next to Hubert..." -> It is these sort of small things we are supposed to perceive as moments that showcase their growing romantic relationship, but again, compared to what was shown with Ferdinand and Hubert in the last chapter this is nothing. 
          - (joke) fuckin' "When the Aegir and Vestra houses unite" SAID IT SO CASUALLY AND NATURALLY but they're just bros guys
     - "When anxiety threatened to drown the Flame Emperor..." -> What is the Flame Emperor to Edelgard. When does Edelgard refer to herself as this.
     - "For all her meaningless prattle about fighting destiny and forging fate, where had the Flame Emperor’s actions brought her? All she had done was push Byleth further into Rhea’s arms. Perhaps she should abandon her childish dreams and-" -> Yes. Literally yes. Edelgard only talked about changing fate and destiny but did nothing to actually change anything, since that would have gotten in the way of her grand dreams - dreams which are apparently incapable of giving Byleth any sort of ambition to strive towards, given how she has yet to even suggest one that isn't "but you get to be by my side!"
     - Edelgard sees Lysithea crying: "What would her siblings have done? How would Aggie have handled this? Edelgard sighed. She would never know. It would have to be enough. Poor Lysithea had no one else." -> NAME SOMEONE OTHER THAN AGNES HOLY SHIT THERE ARE SIX WHOLE ASS OTHER FUCKIN' OLDER SIBLINGS PICK ANY ONE OF THEM.
          - "Edelgard smiled. “I believe today, [Linhardt] was simply worried about you. As am I.” She began to gently rub Lysithea’s shoulder, just as her sisters had once done for her." -> What sisters? She only had Agnes apparently - even Matilda was said precisely two times in this entire fic so far, so she's little better than a footnote.
     - "She could almost hear Hubert’s voice: You must keep silent, Lady Edelgard! She ignored the opinion of her imaginary retainer. “I am…taking back the Empire. This month, by force.” Lysithea’s eyes widened, but she remained silent. “It will be the prelude to a great amount of darkness. Darkness that may…drive us apart.”" / "Lysithea shook her head. “Never. I know you and your goals. To eliminate Crests and create a world where people like us are no longer victimized. I want you to bring that world into being.” She stood, body filled with righteous anger. “Professor Byleth knows it too.”" -> Do you know what Byleth doesn't know? What Lysithea doesn't know? What Edelgard has conveniently failed to tell either of them - what she fails to mention to Lysithea even here? That Edelgard is planning on "taking back the Empire" using TWS' power and men. That she has and still is actively working with TWS. That she willfully chose to work with them. She is working with Lysithea's torturers and the murderers of Byleth's father. She also fails to mention that she is just simply lying - she is not "taking back the Empire," she is planning on waging war against the Church, as well as the Alliance and Kingdom. This isn't noble of Edelgard, this is her manipulating Lysithea during a moment of weakness for her to get on her good side.
          - By doing things she wouldn't do in canon - Edelgard wouldn't tell Lysithea of her coronation. She wants that to be kept a secret, asking Byleth to stay silent about her ascension. Strikes against canon: 211
     - "Edelgard felt a smile cross her face. For untold generations, each ruler of Adrestia had been crowned by a representative of the Church of Serios. It established from where the Emperor’s power sprung-the divine authority of the Goddess of Fódlan. It was a symbol of the ancient bond between Saint Seiros and Edelgard’s ancestors." / "The princess would not bend her knee to the liars who had kept the continent in bondage. She answered to the people-not to the whims of gods. But there was one woman who had chased the darkness away. Who had believed in Edelgard’s goodness at every moment." -> ""Really, I'm just like Lonato. I, too, will be the sort of ruler who's willing to risk the lives of my citizens in service of a higher cause."" Edelgard does not answer to the people - she sacrifices the people. Strikes against canon: 212
          - Did Edelgard "answer to the people" in this fic when she allowed Remire to happen without any interference and then did nothing to help the survivors afterwards?
     - "The only thing that mattered, in the end, was that Byleth would not hate her. If this was to be their final moments together…if the Goddess would soon rip away the light from Edelgard von Hresvelg’s life… then for just this once, the Flame Emperor would be selfish. She would follow her heart, no matter the consequences." / "If she must follow her fate, and wear that damned crown…there was no one the Flame Emperor would rather have by her side." -> What does she mean, "just this once, [she] will be selfish?" She has shown a multitude of times where she valued herself and/or her ideals and wants over someone else/else's - see her never giving Byleth any ambition to strive for other than being by her side and her allowing Remire to happen for her own personal gain for just two examples in this fic alone that showcases her being selfish.
          - What is the Flame Emperor to Edelgard
     - Author's notes: "You all can probably imagine how I felt when Fire Emblem Heroes released Brave Edelgard, who talks about how her Crests are a sign of her "hideous strength," says that allowing gods to determine people's lives is "irresponsible", and says "we should forge our fates with our own hands."" -> Perhaps this is just me, but I never interpreted Edelgard's "hideous strength" statement to literally be referring to her strength - she never mentions such a sentiment anywhere else, after all. I believed that she was talking about the strength of status that having Crest(s) gave to her, seeing as how that was what she was talking about right before mentioning hideous strength (""My Crests are the product of a world in which the mark of a goddess determines a person's worth. That is what such a world is bound to produce. Hideous strength like mine.""). This is far more in line with both what she was talking about in the conversation as well as what she usually talks about when talking about Crests. Lissa, whom Edelgard is talking to, also says that Chrom and Emmeryn were given the "power" to save lives via their Brands, and yet Brands offer no sort of similar literal power that Crests do save for being able to perform the Awakening and potentially wielding Falchion - it is strictly in terms of status and means. Again, however, that may simply be my personal interpretation. 
     - Author's notes: "This scene, for my money, is the worst mistranslation of the game-in the JP version, Edelgard is *angry*. When she finds out about the Goddess saving Byleth, she lets out a long, distraught sigh, tells Byleth "the Goddess must really love you", and asks her teacher, point-blank, if Byleth will fight "for the Church, or the people of the world?" -> Yes, she is angry, but she is not angry in the way the author has portrayed her in this fic. She is angry and then immediately composes herself, which is in direct opposition to how the author wrote her during this scene.
Chapter 32:
Chapter 32: Maybe... if I'm lucky... Rhea will only be in this chapter a little bit... plz
     - "The Flame Emperor watched the fireplace hiss and crackle, restless mind momentarily distracted from thoughts of manifestos and revolution. Edelgard’s past had given her a deep appreciation for life’s small pleasures, and the calming warmth of an open flame was no exception. It was a salve for aching limbs and an anxious heart. Even so, there was no escaping the melancholy she felt-this would be one of the final days the princess would ever spend in the Black Eagle classroom." -> Is the Flame Emperor merely a shell for Edelgard to don on to protect/distance herself from her actions? Or is it something she casually refers to herself as? Why put any attention to the title as something other than a disguise if that attention is so consistently thrown away?
          - "Edelgard's past had given her a deep appreciation for life's small pleasures, and the calming warmth of an open flame was no exception." -> Show that! Have her relax in front of the fire, the warmth a temporary but wanted respite, or detail how the warmth drove away the chill of the air, or something. Don't just simply say she enjoyed it, have her react as though she does. 
          - "aching limbs" very easy to forget her limbs are supposedly always aching when she literally never mentions them doing so unless it's in quiet moments that can't hinder her. Surely, if they're always aching, that must mean that they're also aching during combat? And yet she never says that they do.
     - "Edelgard gazed at the elegant tapestries and cozy bookshelves with a deep longing. It was her sanctuary, where for a brief moment, she had escaped the long shadow of the Adrestian crown. The princess would have been quite happy to have remained forever at Garreg Mach, never trading the sturdy wood of her desk for the plush throne of the Emperor." / "But Edelgard’s life had never been about what she wanted." -> It has always been about what she wanted; just because she can't have her cake and eat it too doesn't mean she's such a self-sacrificial noble, willing to give up what she wants for what needs to happen. She gives up what she wants (the peaceful days of Garreg Mach) to get what she wants more (becoming ruler of all Fodlan). Strikes against canon: 213
     - Ingrid coming to Edelgard to talk about siege tactics, as part of the class: "“Of course.” Ingrid let out a long sigh, and stretched her back. “I suppose you never have such silly doubts.” She turned back toward Edelgard’s report and frowned. “Your idea…digging a tunnel to collapse the castle foundations. It never would have occurred to me.”" -> I'm hoping this is a joke
     - "The Flame Emperor turned to see Monica’s cocky grin. Her feet rested on the table, and adroit fingers tossed and caught a dagger with practiced casualness." / "Ingrid’s green eyes narrowed. “And I suppose you have a better idea, Monica? It’s not like you do any of the assignments anyway.” Due to the distraction of Byleth’s transformation, no one had inquired further about Edelgard’s ludicrous excuse of Monica working under her. However, Edelgard knew that Kronya would give herself away before long, and she winced internally." -> This is something that was not noted previously: Edelgard lied and said that Monica was a spy for her back during the Sealed Forest Snare chapters, and the Black Eagles just... accepted the radically different personality Kronya showcased. She gleefully tortures someone, while laughing and taunting them, right in front of the Black Eagles? Not a peep. Her calling them worms and fools? Nothing. There's trusting Edelgard's words, and then there is being outright foolish and gullible, and the Black Eagles are showing themselves to be the latter.
     - "A look of crazed pride appeared in the assassin’s countenance. “Not anymore!” She pulled out a crinkled scroll, filled with untidy scrawl. “What d’ya think? Pretty impressive, huh?”" / "Ingrid glanced at the report, eyes bulging. “You want to launch corpses over the walls?!” She nearly threw the paper back at the disguised Agarthan. “I’ve never heard of something so…so…vile!“" -> She nearly threw the paper, after Kronya suggested something so abhorrent and against Ingrid's - and most people's - sensibilities. After she herself witnessed Kronya cruelly play with a man's life just a few days prior. There has been too little of a reaction towards Kronya's behaviors from the Black Eagles, given how extremely violent and torturous she continually acts around them
     - "But how could she be angry? Byleth was a savior, and Edelgard a sinner. Her teacher was now a chosen and favored child of the Goddess. Why should her appearance not reflect this newfound status? After all, if anyone was deserving of adoration, it was Byleth Eisner. She was everything that Edelgard was not-blessed, kind, beautiful…" -> Edelgard views herself as a savior and she does not care about being or being perceived as beautiful. Strikes against canon: 214
     - "“Professor.” Dorothea put a hand to her lips. “The outfit is certainly…unique.”" / "Edelgard and Ingrid exchanged worried glances. They had sparred with the Ashen Demon countless times, and that intimacy meant they understood Professor Byleth better than almost anyone at Garreg Mach. Perhaps the princess was projecting her own feelings, but the mercenary’s dead-eyed stare spoke to a deep discomfort." / "Byleth remained silent. A few slow blinks from her green eyes were the only sign that a living being stood in front of the Black Eagles class." -> How kind of Edelgard and the rest of the Black Eagles to dehumanize Byleth the second she isn't their cute little cheerleader teacher and acts *gasp* stoic! Not Byleth! She could never be one to not express her emotions as well as others!
          - Edelgard noting that she knows Byleth is simply uncomfortable and still thinking "A few slow blinks from her green eyes were the only sign that a living being stood in front of the Black Eagles class" is her being uncaring of Byleth's feelings
     - Warning: Long quote: "“Regardless of Rhea’s…aesthetic choices…” Seteth gave an audible sigh. “The Black Eagles have been tasked with an assignment. The Western Church has attempted to seize the sacred grounds at the Rhodos Coast by force, and Professor Byleth has kindly volunteered to accompany us on this mission.”" / "The princess leaned forward on her desk, trying and failing to hide her irritation. “And I’m sure that a show of power from your new…” she scowled fiercely. “…Enlightened One…never entered into your calculations when planning this mission?”" / "“If the Western Church continues to rebel, there must be consequences.” Seteth placed his hands behind his back. “The Archbishop has been clear-they are heretics threatening the stability of Fódlan. Surely a leader like yourself can understand the importance of preventing such unrest?”" / "Edelgard’s lilac eyes darted between Seteth’s cross expression and Byleth’s blank countenance. She had kept quiet for months, remained silent while the Church dictated missions, and made a mockery of Adrestia’s sovereignty. But to use her teacher as a prop! Something inside the princess snapped." / "“I understand that as a future head of state, I am now being told to interfere in a private dispute between two separate theological branches of the Church of Seiros.” She felt Ingrid’s arm on her shoulder, but her rage compelled her onward. “When conflicts with Duscur, Sreng and Dagda occurred, the Church was nowhere to be seen. One begins to wonder why the Church of Seiros’ concern for stability only extends to when its own interests are threatened.”" -> 
          - Firstly: Completely untrue, in regards to Duscur. The Kingdom asked the Church for assistance when Lambert died and the Kingdom was immensely unstable, and they gave it readily. This is hilariously available information if one bothered to pay attention to the game. Strikes against canon: 215
          - Secondly: The Church helped with Remire in canon, which this fic conveniently has Petra do instead. The reasoning for that is now clear; it wasn't to showcase the kindness of Petra, it was to showcase the indifference of the Church. Strikes against canon: 216
          - Thirdly: Maybe the Church would have more manpower to handle its own disputes if someone's allies weren't actively making the Knights of Seiros be far more busy than they would have been
          - Fourthly: Adrestia's sovereignty wouldn't have been mocked if its princess ever bothered to help out her people instead of serving them up for TWS to use as guinea pigs
          - Fifthly: Seteth and Flayn's paralogue opens the month before Byleth becomes the Enlightened One; the author is placing their paralogue here specifically in order to cast Seteth (and Rhea) in an unfavorable light, except
          - Sixthly: Seteth and Rhea are right to put down these rebels. They are violently trying to overtake sacred grounds as their own and pose a threat to any who try to oppose them. They are a danger and must be stopped, but Seteth and Rhea wanting to do so is being portrayed as a bad thing
          - Seventhly: Maybe the Church was nowhere to be seen in Dagda and Sreng because they weren't asked to interfere and they cannot just barge in and meddle in the affairs of the three nations as they so please? Forgive them for not being so bold as to encroach into whatever issues crop up for these sovereign nations
               - "You mock the sovereignty of Adrestia, and also you didn't help us out when we didn't ask you to."
          - Eighthly: Ah yes, Duscur, that place Edelgard cares so so much about. That is why she is letting the true perpetrators of the regicide of Lambert walk free and allowing the people of Duscur to be labelled as king-slayers without any attempt to expose TWS until she can best benefit from it, right?
     - "“I fight in honor of Saint Cichol!” screamed one of the mages that dotted the sun-drenched coastline. “You will not desecrate these lands, heret-“ His final words were cut off by Seteth’s spear bursting through the man’s chest." / "Seteth’s eyes narrowed. “Your crimes have found you out, dog.” As he landed his wyvern with unexpected grace on the sandy dunes, he rested momentarily." -> Interestingly, the author has Seteth be the one to call the heretics dogs, when in canon it is the other way around.
     - ""“I am fine.” Edelgard stared ahead. “If this is where our teacher is meant to be, then I will not stand in the way of destiny.” For a moment, she glanced at her friend, silent argument waging in her mind, before she arrived at a decision. A scarred hand tightened the grip on her steel ax. “I’m ascending to the throne this week, Ingrid.”" -> Edelgard would not reveal her ascension to anyone, as it was a secret in order to gain the element of surprise against Garreg Mach. That she is spilling this secret willy-nilly to anyone - not to only Byleth, like in canon, and even then only if C+ is gained - is out of character. Strikes against canon: 217
     - "“I know your relationship with him is…fraught.” Ingrid ducked under a fallen tree, as they moved through the woods. “But you two are some of the only people who have told me that my worth is not dependent on my Crest. Without your support, I would have continued to throw myself into knighthood-never questioning this world, or my place in it.”" -> AKA: "If it weren't for you, I would have continued following my dreams, but now I know that I was silly to want knighthood thanks to your guiding hand." This is insulting to Ingrid's character and her personal dreams of becoming a knight, all because the author doesn't like that she'd become Dimitri's and Faerghus' knight, to be blunt. Strikes against canon: 218
     - "The Flame Emperor had learned to tolerate many things-pain, loss and sorrow most of all. But there was one thing that her hardened soul could not abide-those who witnessed injustice, privately disagreeing, yet choosing to remain silent. Such cowardice had killed her family. For all her many moral compromises and lapses, Edelgard von Hresvelg could never tolerate such an evil." -> Does Edelgard honestly, genuinely believe that she has no obligation to reveal who committed Duscur? She knows that it wasn't the people of Duscur who murdered Lambert and all of the knights with him and has kept mum about it for four years, and yet she has the gall to say that she could never "privately disagree yet choose to remain silent?" What about Remire? What about her literal silence there, in that injustice? Does the author perhaps not realize how completely hypocritical Edelgard appears right now when saying this?
     - "Perhaps it was the heat, or the feeling of destiny closing around her, but Edelgard’s self-control disappeared. She glared at Ingrid, as the words erupted out of her. “[Seteth] sees the impact of his Church’s policies on you-trapped in a society that does not value your courage or strength…and all he can muster is private encouragement?! The man censors books, Ingrid!” Edelgard let out an annoyed huff, mind overwhelmed with frustration. “Forgive me if I expect more than useless platitudes for my best friend!”" -> Here is a question for Edelgard: How can the Church realistically enforce rules upon the nobility without also ruling over all of Fodlan? If the Church were to go to every single household that broke the rules of the Church and punished each and every single one of them - some not even for breaking the rules, but following them in a way Edelgard doesn't like (see: Gautier) - what would stop the Church from becoming a power too strong to combat? Wouldn't Edelgard then say that the Church has too much power? How can the Church realistically win in Edelgard's eyes?
          - Seteth only censors books from the library; he does not prevent the masses from producing books, unlike what Edelgard does in her ending with Dorothea in regards to plays
          - Hypothetically, let's say the Church manages to tow the line perfectly between "doing what Edelgard wants" and "not becoming a dictatorial institution." Crests are no longer given the power of status they wield. Now Ingrid is pressured to marry someone because she is the heiress to a County of long standing roots, regardless of Crests, in order to get the money Galatea would still need, regardless of Crests; what now? What should the Church do to magically fix the exact same problem Ingrid faces as a result of nobility as a concept existing?
     - "Ingrid’s face was lit up with a beaming smile. “You…you mean it? Truly?” She rubbed her shoulder, knightly comportment replaced by quiet elation. “I…I’ve never had a best friend. Not even…” She stared up at the sky. “Sylvain and Felix have always had each other, and Dimitri had Glenn…I didn’t think I’d ever-”" -> Oh fuck off, "Ingrid didn't think she was best friends with the other Faerghus Four" this is such a blatant, manipulative way to force Ingrid to like Edelgard it isn't even funny. This is sad. Strikes against canon: 219
     - "“Please…” Any confidence the mage had once possessed was gone. She could not have been much older than Bernadetta. Hands were raised in a pathetic attempt at supplication. “It was all for the sake of the Goddess…These lands are for Her…”" -> Emotional manipulation from the author to make the reader artificially sympathize with people willing to hurt/kill people who try to stop them from violently seizing land that isn't theirs. "Oh, don't you feel sad for this poor mage, she can't be older than a teenager and she's so scared (and she's not a male so we can feel sorry for this one)."
     - Flashback to shortly after the experiments: "Once, Edelgard had loved to sit on the benches in the palace gardens. They were peaceful and quiet-the perfect place to sit and talk with her siblings. There was always someone around, and the quiet splendor of the flowers and the deep affection El felt for her siblings intermingled into a beautiful whole." -> "her siblings," "her siblings," can we as readers get some names? Can they stop being nameless sources of trauma for Edelgard? Can more than four of them be named? Can more than two of them actually have personalities? What does she miss of each one, specifically? Does she miss how, hypothetically, young Matilda would ask her to braid her hair? Or maybe how Otto would throw mud at her and make her upset? Which sibling(s) sat on that the benches the most with Edelgard? "There was always someone around," okay, but who? And what were they doing? What is Edelgard missing about them? Who were they?
     - Flashback "“I am not your retainer, little Emperor.” Edelgard searched for a breath that refused to come. Thales finished speaking, sat down next to her on the bench, and reached his arm around her. The princess stared ahead, holding her right arm to her lap to prevent it from shaking involuntarily." / "Thales, of course, saw this subtle motion, and a sadistic grin lit up his features. “I’ve received reports of your training, little one. I must say, I am duly impressed.”" -> More coding of Thales being a sexual assaulter, despite nothing of the sort being hinted at in the game.
     - Flashback: "“Don’t worry about the throne, little El.” The fiend who had stolen her uncle’s face laughed softly. “Your purpose…your destiny…is to destroy. You will burn away everything. Embrace the beauty in the role I have chosen for you.“" / "“What about Duke Aegir?” Edelgard glared at Thales. “Perhaps he would like to know where he fits in your plans…”" / "Thales’ arm tightened around Edelgard’s throat, leaving the girl momentarily gasping for air. “Weapons don’t worry about such things. Follow my will, obey my commands, and you will find your purpose.”" -> Needed for context for next note
               - "“The Goddess…The GODDESS?!” Monica began to cackle with demented laughter. She leaned down, dagger inches away from the mage’s throat. “Let me tell you a nasty little secret…the Goddess doesn’t care about you. These lands? They aren’t even…”" / "“Monica.” Edelgard’s voice was firm. “Stop.”" / "The assassin tilted her head with surprise. “Why are you stopping me, Edel? She attacked us! She’s just another stupid enemy! Killing enemies is what I do!”“ / Flashback happens / ""Because…” Edelgard lowered her head. “Because each of us has been forced into a destiny that is not their own. Told there is only one thing we can choose to be…” She shook her head, as she stared at the trembling mage. “They said you were doing the Goddess’ will, did they not?”" -> Byleth. Ingrid. Sylvain. Marianne. Bernadetta. Jeritza. Lysithea. Rhea. Random Villager. Dorothea. Petra. Kronya. Now Random Mage. 
          - This is being continuously pointed out for how many people Edelgard has had flashbacks that just so happened to relate back to the pain and/or trauma of someone else due it to becoming an immense crutch the author is using to have a go-to device to turn to when he wants Edelgard to care about someone. It's not because Edelgard just feels bad for someone; each and every single time it must come back to her in order for her to care. Note the difference between this and, say, Dimitri, someone who both empathizes and sympathizes with people. There are times where he relates to people's trauma due to his own similar pain, and times where that isn't needed for him to care about someone going through a hard time. In comparison, Edelgard just looks self-centered, not kind-hearted
     - "The girl’s voice wavered, but finally the words came out, hesitant and faltering. “Saint Cethleann…I wanted to protect this place. For her. My superiors said we must, that it was my duty to take back this place…” She covered her face with her hands. “Please…I don’t want to die.”" -> Now the mage is a girl. A poor, helpless, scared girl who was simply innocently following orders. Don't you feel so bad for her, now that the author has transformed the violent adult into a hapless little girl?
          - All of the priests were there for Cihol, not Cethleann. Strikes against canon: 220
               - Innocent girl only there to honor the female saint, but was ordered to be killed by the angry male
     - "“You know…” Ingrid looked between Edelgard and Monica with a bitter smile. “Allowing a foe to escape, and disobeying a direct order would be a betrayal of every code and standard of knighthood…” She shrugged her shoulders, quietly laughed, and turned away from the mage. “Perhaps Felix is right-I’m not a very good knight, after all.”" -> Keep note of this, and how this develops, because while Ingrid may think this initially, this is something she canonically changes her mind about in her A support with Felix
     - "Edelgard knelt in front of the enemy, who appeared unable to process the miracle that was now occurring. “You have been given another chance. Not by the Goddess, but by the kindness and compassion of others.”  She picked up her ax and hoisted it over her shoulder with an easy grace. “Make the most of it.” She turned to Monica, who was looking both at the grateful mage, and at nothing at all. “We’re going.”" -> Edelgard blessing the masses with her unbound compassion, which is more than the Goddess has ever given this poor girl
     - "As the sounds of the enemy soldier’s tearful thanks slowly faded into silence, Ingrid turned to Monica and smiled. “My behavior earlier to you…I must apologize.”" / "Monica raised her head slowly, red eyes filled with shock and not a little suspicion. “Why?!…You were right. I’m just a killer. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been good at doing. The only thing that’s ever mattered about me.”" / "Ingrid stole a glance at Edelgard, and smiled. “I don’t know what your past is, Monica. But my entire life, I have longed for freedom from the wishes of my father…and all I did was trade the role of bride for that of a knight.” She shook her head. “That struggle to break free…it can be very lonely. I don’t want you to have to suffer it alone.” ->
          - Firstly: Ingrid is apologizing for being mean to Kronya after rightfully being angry at her for unironically suggesting the army catapult their deceased men over the walls to start an outbreak of disease in order to kill the enemy slowly, and then afterwards getting called "too nice" for not taking kindly to the idea. Ingrid has no business apologizing to Kronya, as she did nothing wrong. Just because Kronya had a sad life doesn't mean she gets to do and say whatever she likes
          - Secondly: Making Kronya a sympathetic character is a feat that ought to be left to far more experienced writers than the one of this story; that is legitimately an incredibly taxing concept to try to write, and this author is simply not refined enough to be able to pull off that feat in a satisfactory manner. Leaving this to be something that develops on the side of Edelgard's story, and not having it be its own fic that specifically focuses on Kronya, only makes an already monumentous task even harder, and the faults are showing themselves continuously. 
          - Thirdly: Ingrid didn't want to be a knight solely to get away from her father, it is a dream that she very dearly holds close to her heart and which also unfortunately drives a wedge between the two of them. Reducing Ingrid's dreams to "I just want to get away from my dad" instead of the deep ambitions that they are is demeaning to her character. Strikes against canon: 221
     - "“D-did you find them?” Bernadetta asked her classmates hesitantly, as Hubert carefully wrapped a minor cut on her arm. As Edelgard shook her head, Bernadetta jumped in pain. “Ouch!”" / "“If you continue to flinch, Lady Bernadetta, the ointment will also continue to sting.” Hubert shook his head with mild annoyance." -> (joke) This is the competition. Versus "When the Aegir and Vestra houses unite."
               - "He jerked his neck in the direction of the three green-haired pilgrims in the distance. “I must confess this does not help my mood, either.”" / "Sylvain nodded his head. “I agree with tall, dark and grumpy. I know I haven’t been the greatest to Professor Byleth, but…” He leaned against the Lance of Ruin, which he had driven into the sand in front of him. “But I can’t help feeling that I’m watching the Professor get stolen from us.”" -> Perhaps Byleth wouldn't be "stolen" from the Black Eagles if they stopped treating her as though she's an inhuman creature just because she's not emoting as much as usual and just talked with her. Are we supposed to feel bad for the Black Eagles, even though they are the ones who distanced themselves from Byleth first? Keep note of this
     - "Lysithea began to grumble, arms crossed with irritation. “What do you think they could be talking about anyway? Flayn placed flowers at the monument…If I’m going to be involved in someone’s personal feud, I’d at least like to be informed.” As Sylvain gently rustled her hair, she gave him an annoyed glare. “And what’s Professor Byleth getting out of this anyways?”" / "Dorothea was resting her head on Petra’s shoulder, overwhelmed from the emotion of battle. No one took the burden of fighting harder than the gentle singer. As she quietly watched the sunset, her voice wavered. “I think…I think the Professor’s found a family. After everything she’s gone through, I suppose...“ The words hung over the Black Eagles like a terrible fog." / "Marianne’s hesitant whisper finally cut through the silence. “I…I…thought we were-“ She trailed off, full of defeat." / "“So did I, Marianne.” Edelgard’s voice was firm and cold, with no hint of the grief hidden beneath. “So did I.”" ->
          - Firstly: Lysithea says something startlingly self-centered, with no one responding to it - why does Byleth need to get something out of helping Seteth and Flayn for her to want to help them? Can't she simply want to help them, because they were in trouble and they asked for her help?
          - Secondly: Ah yes, the Black Eagles were such close family for Byleth. That's why around half of them were rarely seen actually talking with her and all of them distanced themselves from her during a time where she was uncertain and obviously needed someone to come to her and help her. The damn evil Nabateans, daring to give Byleth company when she very obviously wants it. Don't they know they should have thought of her as inhuman?
               - Essentially, we're supposed to feel bad that the Black Eagles feel abandoned by Byleth by the weird green-haired people of the Church, when they were the ones to immediately stop talking with Byleth the second she became kinda weird. Mind, as a reminder, Caspar and Petra do not act like this in canon; they talk with Byleth the same as always and they show excitement over their transformation, not apprehension, so the idea of them - or any of the Black Eagles - just talking to Byleth like she's a person is not this out-of-the-question proposition. Them not doing so makes them look worse, if anything, knowing that they would and simply aren't, for whatever reason
                    - The author tries to explain this behavior away by having Byleth be busy with Rhea, and so they "can't" speak with her, but that doesn't stop their behavior when they do get to speak with her such as on the Seteth and Flayn paralogue. They made minimal attempt with speaking with her, and Edelgard fully abandons a prime opportunity to do so by chasing after the mage girl and leaving Byleth behind with Seteth and Flayn. This also doesn't magically fix the Black Eagles' behavior right after the merging, where they give up on conversing with Byleth when she doesn't immediately respond to them - the only one to try is Edelgard, and wow! When she talked to Byleth and didn't just O.O at her odd behavior, Byleth... talked back! Almost like this is a very solvable problem that the Black Eagles brought onto themselves
     - "As the Black Eagles returned to the familiar ramparts and spires of the monastery, the princess desperately searched for a moment to talk to her teacher. Immediately after the mission, Byleth had left to debrief Rhea on the events at Rhodos Coast, leaving a disheartened princess in her wake." / "The next few days had followed a similar pattern. Byleth’s preparation for the ceremonies at the Holy Tomb extended from dawn to dusk. Every spare moment where Edelgard hoped for a private moment with her teacher, someone was there-Seteth fussing over ceremonial duties, Flayn excitedly pestering Byleth with questions, or worst of all, the Archbishop." -> Ah yes, how dare Byleth not ignore her literal job to pay attention to Edelgard all day. How dare Rhea and Seteth occupy much of Byleth's time as they prepare this high-ranking Church official for this high-ranking religious ceremony. And Edelgard can't be expected to share time with Byleth with Flayn, don't be unreasonable. Truly a tragedy, poor poor Edelgard
          - Does Edelgard - and perhaps the author - forget that Byleth is... literally employed by Rhea? That they have free room and board and are on a payroll and have responsibilities to take care of in compensation?
     - "The princess had endured many terrible moments, but the day that Edelgard had stumbled upon Rhea and Byleth happily walking in the gardens of Garreg Mach was one of the lowest points of her life." -> Seeing Byleth happy - when she's been apparently non-emotive since merging with Sothis - doesn't make Edelgard happy, because she dared be happy with someone who is eeeeevil. 
          - While Rhea has been seen making Byleth happy before, how is she able to do so now? Byleth is becoming "more" Nabatean, which the fic has made clear is something that makes Byleth less "human," not more (as untrue to canon as that is). Shouldn't spending more time with the other Nabateans lessen Byleth's "humanity," not make it grow, according to this fic? Especially with how the Nabateans are continuously pointed out as an "other" by other characters - as a group that differs from them (humans)? Keep note of this
     - "“Hello, Edelgard.” Byleth eagerly grabbed a handful of fruit from one of the stalls. “Have you tried the apples? They’re very fresh.” She bit into the produce with gusto, and waited for her student’s response." -> Byleth regaining her expressiveness - almost like all she needed were some people willing to talk to her to get her out of her funk and it wasn't as big a deal as the Black Eagles made it out to be, hm funny that
     - "“My teacher.” The princess tried to hide the obvious affection that infused every syllable. “Where are Seteth and Flayn? They’ve been accompanying you-“ She trailed off, eyes darting all around the marketplace-as if Flayn would jump out of a nearby barrel of pears, or Seteth would come rolling out from underneath the table." / "“Ingrid asked Seteth for some help with an aerial lance technique.” Byleth gave a small smile, as she fussed with her gaudy and uncomfortable purple cape. “And Lysithea wanted Flayn to assist with some research on ancient Crests. You know how forceful those two are. I’ve never seen them so insistent as today, though.”" -> This ought to be addressed; why are Rhea, Seteth, and Flayn taking up so much of Byleth's time, so much so that she rarely is seen without them and that Edelgard is expecting them to pop out of nowhere? Byleth has plenty of time before the Holy Tomb to converse with anyone they want to - Rhea would have kept Byleth busy for at most a week going by the in-game calendar, as the rest of the month the Holy Tomb takes place in is completely free for Byleth to do as they want, and any of those free days can be used to talk with Edelgard. This seems to be an extreme exaggeration on the author's end to make Rhea and Seteth look worse than they are. Strikes against canon: 222
     - "Byleth gave a small smile, as she fussed with her gaudy and uncomfortable purple cape." -> How does Edelgard know it's uncomfortable?
     - "“Professor!”" / "As Seteth’s reprimand echoed across the bazaar, the princess felt the tiny ballast of hope in her heart sink beneath the waves. The Church official marched through the stalls, before standing in front of Byleth. At the top step of the marketplace, Ingrid stood with a defeated expression." / "“You have numerous responsibilities, Professor! Without a proper education in the history and rituals of the Church, you will be completely unprepared for this month's events!“ -> Seteth, in canon, during the Holy Tomb explore section: ""Ah. It is you. I am sorry, but I have a lot on my mind. I would prefer to be alone right now."" Literally the diametric opposite of how Seteth is portrayed here. 
          - Harkens back to Strike 222
     - "The princess walked away, eyes downcast. She had come so close. Even with the help of her friends, there was no fighting destiny, or fate. As she walked toward Hubert, who was waiting at the front gates, he placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder." -> Yes yes, Edelgard fought so hard against fate and destiny when she let Remire's citizens be fucked over by TWS for her own gain despite having visions of SS beforehand letting her know there's a future where Byleth leaves her, and maybe Edelgard letting Byleth's (believed) hometown be massacred for Edelgard's own personal gain might have had a hand in making Byleth bounce away from her. Yes, she tried oh so hard to fight destiny, I know this because the author keeps telling me so
     - "As the carriage began to slowly pull away from Garreg Mach, and move toward the village below, the Flame Emperor stared forward, completely numb. She wanted to be angry or sad or cry, but right now she felt nothing at all. The Goddess had thwarted her yet again, twisting and molding the princess into the role she was always meant to play-the villain." -> So now it literally is the goddess' fault Edelgard chose to sacrifice innocent lives for her own gain.
     - (joke) noooooooooo Byleth calling Edelgard her little flower noooooooooo get the pure innocent lesbian love trope away from me nooooooooo
     - "“You left before I could go with you. So, I kept chasing the carriage until I caught it.” Byleth shrugged, undisturbed by the extraordinary nature of her feat. “Seteth was upset, but I told him that you and I help each other, no matter what happens.” She punctuated this astonishing statement with a forceful nod." -> Seeing how Byleth can literally leave with Edelgard without a word from Seteth or Rhea, I doubt the validity of the idea of Seteth being upset. Strikes against canon: 223
     - "Edelgard looked at her teacher, covered in soil, hair messy and clothes disheveled. At those green eyes, just as trusting and pure as the blue that the Flame Emperor had treasured so dearly. She did not look like the chosen one of the Goddess. She looked like Byleth. Her Byleth." -> Unintended implication: It's not Byleth simply being happy that makes her "Edelgard's Byleth," it's her being trusting and pure and unbreakingly loyal to Edelgard. As long as she follows Edelgard without question, Edelgard will view her positively.
          - This is obviously supposed to be romantic, a positive gesture of Byleth's loyalty to Edelgard, but it is rife with unfortunate implications as to Edelgard's feelings towards Byleth
               - Possessiveness?
          - When does Edelgard refer to herself as the Flame Emperor
     - "The Flame Emperor began to laugh. The sound started soft and low, unfamiliar even to Edelgard’s own ears-but as the joy in her heart grew and grew, the happiness built to a roaring flame. It was the way El had laughed when her siblings had told a funny joke, or when her young friend from Faerghus had tripped and fallen into a fountain while they were practicing dancing. For the first time in so very long, Edelgard von Hresvelg felt alive again." -> Which siblings? Who told the jokes? Give a personality to the remaining siblings - stop having them be vague blobs of sadness and/or melancholy for Edelgard.
     - Author's notes: "One of the things I thought was really important in this story was to show how Byleth's belief in Edelgard as a person impacts Edelgard's other relationships-so much of Edelgard's characterization in the game is about that flower metaphor. By believing in Edelgard, Byleth finds out that the ruthless villain from the other routes had just as much potential to be a hero and to show the beautiful person she is underneath-she just needed someone to listen and value the "tender thoughts that only seem to grow."" -> Incorrect; very little of Edelgard's character is connected to any flower metaphor. They play a middling role in her symbolism (beyond their initial connection to flower language regarding safflowers, in the JPN version), and this view of her is a result of the author granting that middling role a far grander purpose than they do in the game. Edelgard is not a tiny little seedling of a pure flower that needs Byleth's (lesbian) love to grow into its beauty; she is, in fact, the ruthless villain from the other routes. She performs most of the same exact actions on CF as she does on the other routes, and Byleth's influence shows itself to be not that impactful when it comes to Edelgard's decisions. This fic even showcases that - which action has Edelgard not done as a direct result of Byleth's influence? The most egregious thing she does - Remire - is done just the same as though Byleth has chosen another class. The "impact" Byleth has had is superficial at best for all it actually changes Edelgard. Edelgard is not a hero.
     - Author's notes: "So I wanted to give Edelgard a friend she could bounce off of besides Byleth. I consider Hubert and Lysithea as found siblings, and when I looked through the rest of the cast, I was really struggling. People like Annette and Bernie didn't feel like an equal power dynamic, and Dorothea's strengths with Edelgard are really in the contrasts-and she and Petra are the most canonically "close" to Edelgard anyways, so it was treading on ground already covered in the game." -> While a character only going to B support with someone isn't necessarily a sign that they aren't close - see Dimitri and Sylvain - that Edelgard's literal one support chain that can't go to A is the one with her hostage suggests that maybe she and Petra aren't, in fact, that close. And besides that, isn't having this fic... be Ede/leth already inherently "treading on ground already covered in the game?" What would have been wrong with using Dorothea? 
          - Hubert is a found sibling to Edelgard... guess that's why he goes down the memory hole in all routes but CF when he dies for her cause. Wouldn't want Edelgard as a sibling lol
     - Author's note: "But then I landed on Ingrid, a character who I obviously have no small affection for, and everything really fell into place-especially when I watched her Ingrid-Mercedes support, which is all about how Ingrid hasn't allowed herself to have female friends because Glenn's death locked her in emotional stasis. I realized there was a fun arc here of these two stubborn jerks, both desperately trying to push against the roles society shoved them into (hence this chapter), becoming great friends through all the squabbling." -> Actual fucking personalized copy. Proof in the goddamn pudding. Where in the hell did the author pull the idea that Ingrid disallowed herself female friends due to Glenn's death from her supports with Mercedes? That is not what that support suggested at all. 
     - Author's notes: "On another note, many of Seteth's lines during the Rhodos Coast mission are taken from the game, including the line about hunting down escaping Western Church soldiers-I think this mission becomes incredibly disturbing when you realize that Seteth and Flayn are killing their own faithful followers. Understandable reasons, but still..." -> That is why the author had Seteth say lines that belonged to the heretics, right? And it's not that disturbing - they came to violate the monument of a saint, regardless of the actual purpose of it standing there (being the grave of Seteth's wife), using violent force. If they didn't want to die maybe they shouldn't try to murder people for not believing in the same thing they do - Seteth literally says that them believing in a different sect than the main church would have been fine if they didn't try to MURDER PEOPLE
Chapter 33: Coronation I guess
     - "Edelgard observed the passing farmers and merchants with a strange longing. There was a world out there she had forever been separated from-by her status, and her plans, and most of all, the malevolent whispers in the back of her mind. They jeered at her, over and over, uncovering a truth that Edelgard wanted so desperately to keep hidden-the terrifying certainty that she was a monster. It was so alien to see men and women laughing and joking, sharing an easy and carefree intimacy she could never truly experience." - > Hearing voices and thinking of herself as a monster aren't things attributed to Edelgard... (Strikes against canon: 224)
          - ...but Dimitri
     - Warning: Long quote: "The princess had a deep love of history, and begin to lecture in an erudite, efficient tone. It was a welcome distraction from her anxieties and fears about the upcoming coronation. “You have heard the legend of Seiros and Wilhelm, have you not?” After Byleth gave a hesitant nod, Edelgard began to laugh. “The very first Emperor of Adrestia fought alongside Saint Seiros. Together, they defeated Nemesis, and brought peace and stability to the continent. They were the greatest of allies, and for many years, the ties between the Empire and the Church of Seiros were unbreakable.”"/ "For all of Byleth’s naiveté, she was far from stupid, and she instantly picked up on the unspoken implication in Edelgard’s words. “What changed?”" / "“Many things…” Edelgard glanced out the window at the familiar streets and shops she loved so dearly. “When the Church legitimized Faerghus’ bid for independence, many in Adrestia felt betrayed. After all, the people of the north were the descendants of Nemesis and his Elites.”" -> Then what does Edelgard suggest the Church have done, in regards to the Kingdom splitting away from the Empire? They weren't willing to give independence to them despite them winning, so the Church was then asked to come in and give assistance after the Kingdom had already won the war. This was done to prevent further war. She keeps mentioning the Church doing this as a slight against Adrestia, but what does she propose should have happened then? Should the Kingdom have never been recognized for the victory in the war? That would have been disastrous. Should the Church have never interfered? But then that goes back to Edelgard's complaint against the Church never helping with the stabilization of Fodlan unless it helps them - them coming in to help settle this is them doing what she supposedly wants them to do, but since it didn't end in a way that was perfectly good for Adrestia, she - and her father - suddenly don't like it when the Church interferes anymore
     - Warning: Long quote: "An awkward silence fell in the carriage, before the princess dared to ask the question that had consumed her for months. “My teacher…why are you so fond of the Archbishop?”" / "After a pregnant pause, as the princess felt her heart beating relentlessly in her chest, her teacher finally responded. “Edelgard…for so long, I’ve felt like I was grasping for a purpose in life.” Calloused fingers rested on her divine sword. “Rhea says that I have a great destiny within me, and that she will do whatever she can to help me find it. She makes me feel special.”" / "It took every bit of Edelgard’s iron will to avoid letting out a prolonged sigh. “Is that the destiny you wish for yourself, or what she wishes for you?” The Flame Emperor’s forehead creased, and after collecting herself, she shook her head. “My deepest apologies, Professor. That question is deeply unfair. My emotions are on edge with the tasks that lay before me.”" -> Yes, it is unfair, because Edelgard is doing the exact same thing she is accusing Rhea of doing - she wants Byleth to stay by her side regardless of what Byleth wants, given how she has still yet to suggest a path for Byleth to walk down that isn't solely being by Edelgard's side (unlike what Rhea - seemingly - is suggesting, which gives Byleth far more autonomy). And this is suggesting that there is something wrong with wanting to live a certain life after someone suggests one to you; why can't it be both? Why can't it be what Rhea wants Byleth to live and also be something Byleth wishes for herself?
     - "The princess raised her eyes from the floor, cocooned in a protective shell of false bravado and self-assurance. “For the past few months, my teacher, I have been plotting a coup to take back the throne of the Empire. Duke Aegir truly controls the power of the throne, and to remove him, I have gained the support of the Empire’s finances and military.”" -> It is not false bravado and self-assurance. Edelgard is genuinely confident. Strikes against canon: 225
          - Untrue - even if we go by the idea that Duke Aegir and the other nobles were responsible for the experiments, if Duke Aegir truly had control of the throne then Edelgard literally couldn't have stripped him of his title and power immediately upon ascending the throne, with no mention of Bergliez and Hevring being part of this stripping. 
               - Given that Edelgard in canon also believes this, it is not being stricken, but it should be noted that Edelgard is not correct when she says this.
     - "“Aegir…he hurt you. He hurt your family!”" / "The princess broke away from Byleth’s green eyes. The raw agony and anger in her teacher’s words tore gaping holes in Edelgard’s stern façade. To know that her teacher cared so deeply and that Byleth recognized what a dreadful injustice Edelgard had undergone…it meant the world." -> Yes, agony and anger - very clear emotions, even though just last chapter there was such a big deal made over her not emoting. That conflict has been immediately dropped, from the looks of it. 
          - Keep in mind if it crops back up
     - Edelgard: "“You have believed in me, my teacher. In spite of my arrogance and petulance and cruelty. Over and over again, though I do not deserve it.” / "Byleth opened her mouth to object, but the princess stopped her with a raised hand and an adoring smile." / "“There is only one person who has always believed, not in the hallowed name of Hresvelg, or the power of the Imperial throne, but in the weak, foolish girl named Edelgard.” The Flame Emperor fought down the swelling of her heart, and the desire to hold Byleth Eisner in her arms. “Who else could I possibly request to stand alongside me but you, my teacher?”" -> Edelgard is right; she does not deserve Byleth's belief in her. She has done nothing to earn Byleth's loyalty and has in fact betrayed it more than once - remember, she has still, to this moment, done nothing to help Remire
          - Edelgard does not view herself as weak or foolish. Strikes against canon: 226
     - "The normally impassive face of the mercenary was consumed with incomprehension." -> "Normally impassive?" When Byleth was being impassive it was seen as abnormal, and her status as a living being was called into question last chapter.
     - "As the heavy stone gates of the palace slowly opened, and Edelgard’s destiny rushed in front of her, she let out a small, feeble laugh-a weakness she would only dare to show in front of the woman she loved with every part of her broken, delicate soul." -> Edelgard called fragile/delicate: 5
          - "Edelgard is broken" rhetoric appearing again 
     - Edelgard: "“Is my father in the throne room?”" / "“Yes.” Ladislava looked pained. “It took a great deal out of him, but once we told him that Randolph was waylaying Duke Aegir…” Her stern features lit up with a warm smile. “He moved like a man twenty years younger.”" -> Didn't Ionius know his one surviving daughter was coming to visit him? If so, that isn't enough to muster strength in him to move "like a man twenty years younger?" Duke Aegir had to be distracted for him to do this? 
     - "“I know you’re nervous, little flower.” Byleth’s voice was filled with a quiet reassurance. For a moment, the scared little child deep inside the Imperial princess indulged in the comfort and reassurance of her teacher’s touch. “I’ll be with you the whole time.”" -> Infantilization of Edelgard
     - "For an instant, the princess could only imagine what this moment would have been if Byleth had not fallen into the Flame Emperor’s life. It was almost as if she had experienced it before-walking toward her destiny, all alone. Edelgard found that girl terrifying-a wretch who had never allowed herself the comforts of friendship, or dreamed she was anything more than a weapon." -> Why is SS!Edelgard so terrifying? She would have, up to this point, done the exact same things this Edelgard has done, with or without "the comforts of friendship" or "dream[s that] she was more than a weapon." Edelgard has done nothing to differentiate herself from this hypothetical SS!Edelgard in any meaningful way up to this point
     - "She knew, with a chilling certainty, what would have happened-she would have walked toward those doors like she had planned the deaths of Kostas and his bandits. With a cold and frightening detachment, a numbness that would have allowed her to justify any atrocity in pursuit of her ambitions. It was all so terribly lonely, and terribly familiar." -> Like how this Edelgard justified Remire to herself and allowed it to happen?
     - "The strangled croak of [Ionius'] voice, and the frailness of his limbs, was a reminder to both Ionius and his daughter. Of how he had failed in the one duty with which every parent is tasked-he had not protected her. How all his strength had amounted to so very little, in the end." / "As Edelgard thought of the end of her path, to the knowledge that her cursed visions had imparted on her, she could feel that same weakness. She too, would soon feel her body fail her, left alone in Imperial throne room to await her death. Like her father, she would try to change the world, and the world would punish that arrogance. But for now, she must fight." -> This is true; just like her father, Edelgard tried to wrongfully and cruelly take away power from any and everyone so that she could to make herself the one ruler of Fodlan, and just like her father - if the worldbuilding of 3H is followed (SS, VW, or AM is taken) - she is rightfully punished for killing and ruining countless innocent lives due to her selfish wants through being killed
          - Edelgard's body never fails her, not in the way this fic suggests. Strikes against canon: 227
          - "she would try to change the world" -> even if we allow for the (false) idea that Edelgard simply wanted to "change the world [for the better], her means invalidate any good-will her intentions could have possibly given her. Violent conquest, mass starvation, religious persecution, etc. are never justified, no matter how "noble" one intends to use them for
               - Unless the author erases these things Edelgard does. Keep note of whether these are kept
     - The fic, like canon, has failed to give a concrete reason as to why Ionius is so ill in health. We're just supposed to accept that he's dying so quickly for seemingly no reason - we're not supposed to question it, even though it makes no sense.
     - "Her childhood had not passed as others did, juvenile dreams slowly passing into adult realities; instead, it had been torn from her violently, ripped up by the roots. Destroyed, just as El had been. The girl had become a woman in an instant, a house built on ramshackle foundations. It was yet another thing stolen from Edelgard’s life, like her memories and her faith and her hair. Now, the little girl was forced to again put on the false mask-this performance of a maturity she did not possess." -> Edelgard, in this fic, repeatedly refers to herself as a girl and actually rarely refers to herself as a woman - even if we assumed that half of the usages of the word "girl" and all of the uses of the word "woman" are attributed to Edelgard, that would still make it to where she refers to herself as a girl more often (313 vs. 258 - 259, if we include the one instance of anyone being referred to as a young woman). 
          - Even in this paragraph, Edelgard immediately switches from thinking herself as a woman to thinking herself as a girl - there is no consistency whatsoever in how Edelgard perceives herself
          - It's fake, it's a mask, it's a show, any and all of Edelgard's actual traits are all just a ploy to hide the scared, broken girl she is
     - "She said the words her father needed to hear. “I-I understand, Father. In those dark times, your eyes and your fists were my salvation.” Ionius’ body relaxed, as Edelgard ignored the dull ache in her scarred flesh. “In your eyes, I saw true care. And upon your fists clenched tight with indignity, I saw the blood that dripped and fell. Even as I bled…I felt that you, too, must also be bleeding.”" -> But where did she see care? Ionius literally stood there and let himself be knocked around by Aegir as his children were tortured over a prolonged period of time - he didn't fight at all, given all that we've seen in this fic. Why should we see Ionius as this poor figure when he literally did nothing to save his children? Edelgard expresses some betrayal over his failure to save her, but nothing as distinct and visceral as hatred such as with Aegir. 
     - "Of course they could not keep Duke Aegir away forever, the pudgy little toad. Of course he would ruin even this moment. Edelgard could feel every muscle in her body tense, her breathing quickening, her mind fragmenting. All she could see was darkness, and all she could smell was blood, and all she could feel was the rats biting on her fingers." -> This reaction would have been showcased in canon were it accurate to how Edelgard felt - at minimum, her quickened breath would have been. Edelgard does not react this way because she does not feel this way towards Duke Aegir. Strikes against canon: 228
     - "She turned, and looked at the face of the man who had tormented her, day after day, until time no longer had meaning. Who had soured every tiny piece of Edelgard’s life, and dared to laugh as her siblings had suffered. His rotund face was reddened from exertion." -> Zero nuance in Duke Aegir - he is objectively evil.
          - "pudgy little toad," "rotund face" -> blatant fat-shaming
               - Notice how when Myson - a similarly objectively evil man in this fic - is given a unique appearance by the author, he is also described as overweight. This is what gives the impression of fat-shaming specifically, rather than merely negative descriptions of someone's appearance due to disdain (for example, describing a skinny character as "skeletal" isn't inherently shaming someone for being thin)
     - "He looked through the new Emperor, openly contemptuous. “Ah, Edelgard. I did not expect to find Your Highness here…do what do I owe…”" / "The Flame Emperor’s face lit up with a frightening, malevolent sneer. “Ah…but Prime Minister, I’m afraid you have misspoken. I am no longer ‘Your Highness…’” She leaned inward, coating each whispered word with an incalculable hatred. “Now, Ludwig…I am ‘Your Majesty.’”" -> The author has gotten this distinction wrong more than once in this fic, lessening the impact of this canonical line
     - "As his world fell to pieces, all the disgusting ruddiness in his fat cheeks was replaced by an ashen pallor." -> Overweight Bad
     - "For a brief instant, he stood silently, before he sprang toward the Emperor." / "“I-Impossible! I-“" / "A hand shot out, quicker than Edelgard could see, and Byleth’s fist drove into Duke Aegir’s windpipe. The man crumpled to the floor, breathing in ragged gasps, as the Ashen Demon loomed above him. Her green eyes were full of divine wrath. It reminded Edelgard of nothing more than Rhea herself." / "“Don’t you dare touch her.”" -> Edelgard handles Aegir's defiance with her father, without the assistance of Byleth. She is able to handle his strictly verbal disobedience just fine, putting him under house arrest on the spot. Strikes against canon: 229, 230
          - One for Edelgard not handling it, one for Aegir's apparent attempt to grab at Edelgard
          - Woman putting man down to protect her fair maiden's honor - see Chapter 20 with Claude for another example of this
     - "“You are dismissed.” Edelgard glared down at the Prime Minister. “It will be some time before you are allowed to make contact with the outside world again.”" / "“No!” Duke Aegir again sprang to his feet. “You don’t deserve it! I was the one who-“" -> Aegir takes his dismissal with resigned subservience, after brief denial. This is strictly made to make Aegir look worse than he is. Strikes against canon: 231
     - "“Maximillian. Agnes. Conrad. Hugh.” The names were listed off slowly, each one allowed to linger in the air. “Rupert. Margaret. Joanna.” As Edelgard said each name, slowly and dispassionately, her eyes blazed with an inhuman fire. “Frederick. Otto. Matilda.” As she stood above the man who ended all those lives for a title and wooden seat, her scarred arm gripped her dagger tightly." -> The remaining siblings are finally given names! It took 32 chapters and 160,592 words for any of the six remaining siblings to be named once, but it finally happened! Hopefully from now one their names will be used when referring to Edelgard's siblings and they won't be reduced to "her siblings" any longer - or at minimum, more characterization will be given to them in the form of flashbacks, such as with Agnes
          - Slightly distasteful that they were only spoken of in order to be thrown in Aegir's face to make him look bad, but it's good that they have names now regardless
     - "She thought back to her nightmares, a monstrous beast shedding its human skin. That was what lay inside her, if she allowed her pain to control her. She could be what Thales and Goddess and everyone else wanted-a villain, a weapon, that hurt and killed and punished…" / "But that was not who Edelgard wished to be. She tried to breathe. The girl had sworn an oath-to use her power for the good of Fódlan, not for private vengeance. She would not disgrace her family through senseless brutality, but use their memory as a flame, guiding her through the darkness." -> But that is what Edelgard does, even on CF. Hurt? Remire, starving her citizens, invading the neutral Alliance. Killed? Remire again, (potentially) Claude, Seteth and Flayn, Dimitri, Rhea. Punished? The faithful fleeing from her at every turn, in every route, due to what happens to them if they stay in the Empire or where the Empire is stationed (they flee the Alliance for the Kingdom after fleeing the Empire once it's clear the Empire is going to invade). That is who Edelgard is. She is a villain. She doesn't do it for private vengeance or the good of Fodlan, she does it for herself. She does use brutality to get what she wants. This is just who Edelgard is. Strikes against canon: 232
     - "As Byleth’s arm caressed her student, the Ashen Demon’s face shone with pride. She was there, as always. Her wings, lifting the Emperor out of the darkness." / "“You did it.” Byleth whispered, before encircling the surprised Emperor in a warm and enthusiastic hug. ”I’m so proud of you.”" -> Byleth described as wings: 5
     - "Edelgard let out a confident laugh, trying to distract from the rose-red color of her cheeks. “I am the undisputed ruler of Adrestia…and we have already broken many age-old traditions today.” She rested a gloved hand on Byleth’s wrist. “Thank you for defending me again.”" -> Byleth didn't need to defend Edelgard though, in canon; Edelgard was able to handle the situation mostly by herself.
          - "Undisputed." And it really was just that easy. For all the power Aegir took from the throne, he was immediately defeated and Edelgard immediately gained all the power she wanted with no struggle whatsoever. Almost like Aegir didn't actually have that much power
     - "The Enbarr gardens had once been the most treasured place in Edelgard’s small universe. There were so many days…quiet mornings with Agnes amongst the tranquil spring flowers, summer games on the endless green of the castle lawn, and enchanting autumn nights watching the stars with her father." -> Agnes is obviously the most favored sibling amongst the ten, but that no other sibling is ever given this sort of characterization makes them seem like an afterthought in the fic. Margaret and Joanna have apparently had no impact whatsoever on Edelgard despite also being her older sisters and despite, apparently, loving Edelgard as well (but only so much that all of her other siblings loved Edelgard: vaguely)
     - "She cherished it all-how the dirt and flowers would intermingle into a delicate symphony of scents. The way the carroty glow of the setting sun bounced off of the delicate blue of the palace fountains. And most of all, how even now, it made her feel as if she truly was El, and not just the imposter who had taken her place, and stolen her life." -> El is dead. Until she isn't. And Edelgard took her place - but Edelgard finally feels alive as Edelgard, so she is Edelgard and wants to be Edelgard. Until she wants to be El. Who is dead. Until she isn't.
     - "Did her ancestors have such suffocating doubts? Were they simply men and women playing dress-up, as Edelgard had done all day today?" -> Edelgard is not playing dress-up. She does not think she is playing dress-up. Strikes against canon: 233
     - "“No.” Edelgard shook her head vehemently. The stern, cold Flame Emperor blinked to dispel the tears in her eyes. After a moment, she regained her self-assurance. “You have told me so often that you are desperate for a purpose…and of your fears that there is something deeply flawed within you.”" / "The Ashen Demon’s face became like stone, as her most intimate anxieties were spoken aloud." / "“There is nothing wrong with you my teacher. Your worth does not lie in some grand destiny, or in the sword that you wield.” Edelgard rubbed Byleth’s hand. “The kindness that resides within your heart is a greater treasure than all of the wealth in Enbarr.”" -> So this is how the author skirts around the fact that Edelgard never offers Byleth anything, unlike Rhea; Byleth doesn't need to have a grand purpose, like she told Edelgard she wanted. It's fine if she stays just as she is - which, remember, is someone who is pure and trusting and loyal to Edelgard.
          - This is a harsh reading of the text, but given that Byleth becomes an emotionless weapon in the SS visions and given how Edelgard is not happy when Byleth is showing happiness after a period of strange stoicism because it is not directed at her, it is unfortunately what this can come across as to the reader
          - "Your worth does not lie in... the sword you wield." Given Byleth's solo ending in CF, yes, it is where Byleth's worth lies.
     - Warning: Long quote: "For a few minutes, Byleth stared at the sky, quietly absorbing her student’s heartfelt praise. Finally, she grasped the bouquet that lay next to her. “Tell me about them. All of them.”" / "The Emperor breathed deeply, before turning to her teacher with a quiet resolve in her lilac eyes.  “As you wish.”" / "For hours, they sat and talked. Edelgard shared stories she had not told another living soul: How Conrad had the most beautiful singing voice she had ever heard, and the time that Joanna had accidently set a tablecloth alight in the middle of a ball. Of Rupert’s skill with the sword, and Margaret’s gentleness. Of how much she loved and missed them all." / "Byleth laughed and listened, the lonely mercenary clearly fascinated by the chaos and tumult of this large, loving family. After a madcap tale involving Maximillian’s pranks on a particularly ornery butler, the mercenary shook her head." -> This is a good thing, finally giving a small hint of characterization to these previously unnamed siblings. Unfortunately, it also calls something into question: if Edelgard does have fond memories of her other siblings, not just Agnes, then why are we just now hearing anything about them? Why have they never appeared in any of the flashbacks whatsoever, save for Maximilian? Why haven't they been mentioned, even just by name, as far back as the second chapter, when the experiments were ongoing? As obnoxious as would it have been to see all of these names crop up throughout the story, that is only due to the amount of times the author forces Edelgard's past into the forefront; it is still not good of the author to fail to ever bring up these siblings until well into the fic. This is the consequence of all of the noted missed opportunities the author failed to do anything with in regards to the siblings; this isn't quite the heart-warming scene it was meant to be because frankly, it feels as though Edelgard just now remembered the rest of her siblings. 
          - Note how even here, not all of the siblings are given characterization. How was Hugh like? Frederick? We already knew of Matilda and Otto, but we still have no idea how they were like when they were alive. If she "loved and missed them all," then time can be spared to at least mention all of the siblings, yet she doesn't.
          - The author can retell the reader again and again the differing aspects of Edelgard's trauma, but actually describing how the siblings were, actually having Edelgard talk about them, can be delegated to two small paragraphs - of which are the only times we actually get any sort of characterization for any of the siblings not named Agnes and Maximilian. 
              - Essentially, this scene is ruined by the fact that the majority of the siblings have never been brought up before this moment despite numerous chances to do so, and the one time that they are they are given middling scraps of characterization that can be summed up in one-and-a-half paragraphs - again, the author could have made it to where Agnes, Maximilian, Otto, and maybe Matilda were Edelgard's only siblings and have nothing change from the story 
     - "“Do they?” Edelgard clenched her hands together. “After my mother was driven from court, my siblings could have shunned me. Abandoned me as a pariah. But yet they…” She covered her face with her white gloves. “Aggie raised me like a daughter, when my Crest destroyed her very standing. And this pathetic weakness is how I repay that love?”" -> Even here, Edelgard pays specific attention to Agnes, not to any of her other siblings. She says "they" and then swerves back to Agnes - because, again, she is one of the few siblings that actually mattered to Edelgard (the one to matter, given how much more often she is brought up in comparison to the rest)
     - "“No.” Ionius’ voice momentarily gained back its fierceness. “I loved the girl you were. She…she was the light of my life.” Ionius reached out, and held his daughter tightly. “And the thing I loved about her the most was her humanity. She believed…in people.”" / "Edelgard remained silent, sheltered in her father’s arms." / "“Today… you could have killed the man who…” Ionius paused, emotions overwhelming his fragile body. “Who destroyed our lives. But you did not. You chose to act with integrity and fairness…using the crown not for personal satisfaction, but for justice.” He grasped El’s shoulders, and stared into her eyes. “I am immensely proud of you, El…and the woman you have become.”" -> What about Remire? Will Edelgard mention her actions there, how she used the people as a stepping stone specifically for her ascension to the throne, by her own words? 
     - "“I tried…to change Adrestia for the better.” Ionius looked immensely pained. “I failed…and in doing so, I lost everything. But the hardest thing…was watching my daughter lose her hope and love for this world. This…this Byleth…she has brought back the light in your eyes. Light that I believed I would never see again.”" -> This is in reference, in part, to the supposed change to the concubine system of Adrestia that Ionius wanted to implement. This is based on another misunderstanding of the text from the author: Ionius didn't wish to abolish the concubine system, as the author claims, but to be rid of the power the kin of the concubine gained when Ionius chose one (for example, the real Arundel gaining a position of power due to Ionius marrying Anselma), and he did this in order to further consolidate power towards himself. He also destroyed House Hrym for trying to escape his tyrannical rule and ruined House Ordelia for daring to help them - this is what ruined Lysithea's life. Ionius did not try to change Adrestia for the better, he tried to change to it benefit himself and only himself. Strikes against canon: 234
          - Noted as a strike given the knowledge of the author's genuine misunderstanding, rather than a matter of perspective from the characters themselves
     - "“That has been my only prayer, for every day since…That the Goddess would give you the miracle that you deserved.” Ionius allowed his daughter to lean her head on his shoulder. “The one that I could not provide.”" -> But why couldn't he provide it? What stopped him? How did Aegir stop him? Because for all it looks, he just sat there and let his family be killed and did nothing about it despite being the Emperor. This fic has done nothing whatsoever to give the reader a plausible explanation to this that doesn't make Ionius look heartless and uncaring towards his children.
     - Author's notes: "This is a hugely important scene in the Crimson Flower route-you can't access Edelgard's route, unless you accompany her to the coronation. Why? Well, it's really about the decision here: sparing Aegir (which she does even if Byleth doesn't choose her house). It isn't just Edelgard who blames the man for her family's death, but Ionius as well. It really is a fantastic demonstration of Edelgard's true character (and wow, does it make the Ferdinand/Lysithea paralogue *incredibly* messed up)." -> But she allows him to be driven off and killed on all the other routes: the author tries to say that this is a moment of Edelgard's humanity independent of Byleth, but it is only Byleth's presence that allows that man to live at all
          - The author isn't even saying "with Byleth's influence Edelgard was able to control herself," which would have at least been slightly more true to canon; this is just wrong. The importance has literally nothing to do with Aegir and everything to do with Byleth showing themselves to be willing to follow Edelgard anywhere, hence her believing them trustworthy enough to stand by her side.
          - How does this make Lysithea and Ferdinand's paralogue look messed up? Because it showcases what Edelgard is willing to do to make herself look better when she allows Aegir to be blamed for things he didn't do, so that Thales/"Arundel" can do as he pleases to the people of Hrym?
     - Author's notes: "In this story, which is really all about Edelgard healing from her PTSD/religious trauma, I've tried to present Edelgard's interior life as she makes these decisions. Her self-loathing, separating herself into pre- and post- trauma identities, and dissociative flashbacks/amnesia are all things that are presented (very well) in the game, but I've tried to expand upon them given the perspective shift from Byleth to Edelgard." -> Edelgard frankly doesn't need to heal from PTSD/religious trauma in this fic, as she is barely truly impacted by them. This is only reflected in her thoughts - nothing on the outside is ever truly affected by this supposed PTSD. She never falters, she almost never loses focus, she's perfect in combat, she is rarely irritable to her friends (in a way that is due to her PTSD - and the two notable times it is with Ingrid and after Byleth merged with Sothis, they are literally ignored), her grades are perfect, everyone loves her (and if they don't they're complete villains), she only experiences pain when it can't get in her way - hell, as horrible and insulting his depiction has been in this fic so far Dimitri has been a portrayal of someone who is actually, genuinely affected by mental illness better than Edelgard has been in this entire fic, and he has made minimal appearances. The author seems to be under that impression that solely because Edelgard has sad thoughts a lot, she is suffering through the daunting reality of mental illness when that of course isn't true - if Edelgard's thoughts were truly as self-hating as they are, if she is truly experiencing as much pain and aching as she claims to be, if there was truly this much stress and anxiety building and building up inside of her, than she would have shown it far more often and/or more openly than this fic claims she would have. 
          - The presentation of her "dissociative" flashbacks are laughable - no one ever comments on any loss of focus when these occur, and in fact they seemingly aren't even truly dissociative. Recall Chapter 27 note: "Ingrid turned to her friend with surprise. “But you’re such a wonderful dancer! You always are so composed and…graceful…I wish I could be-”" -> Note: this is immediately after the flashback ends. Was the flashback an instance of dissociation from Edelgard? No, because Ingrid is responding to what Edelgard said directly before the flashback happened. So then was the flashback simply for the reader to see how Edelgard ~related~ to Ingrid's now existing hatred towards the ball? Is it really needed to assert again that yes, Edelgard has a horrible time with the torture?" No loss of time is noted, and so they are just a means for the reader to know of what happened to Edelgard - if they were, then someone would have certainly noted when Edelgard just stops talking for a noticeable period of time
          - the separation of her pre and post trauma identities has been noted numerous times for why they are poorly implemented in this fic due to inconsistent writing
               - Edelgard mentions a tendency of thinking "El" to be dead and slight amnesia in canon, but nothing about intrusive and/or dissociative flashbacks she has exactly one flashback, in AM, which even there wasn't truly depicted as dissociative. That is a headcanon of the author's
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primaveravenus · 9 months ago
Thinking about “Could he daily feel a stab of hunger and feel nourishment at the very sight of you” and that for Hannibal, eating Will would always be unsatisfying - the only true nourishment is to remain suspended in hunger, that is to say, to love, to look at beauty and choose against destroying it with teeth. It’s like Simone Weil’s “Beauty is the only finality here below. [...] We should like to feed upon it but it is merely something to look at. [...] The great trouble in human life is that looking and eating are different things.” Admitting to the insufficiency of literal consumption is a vulnerability Hannibal has long avoided. To be nourished at the sight of someone brings a desire for their continued mortal life in parallel to yours - in all the unpredictability and interdependence that entails
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tobermoriansass · 6 months ago
still thinking about that post about self-deprecatory humour from last night and seeing some of the responses i genuinely wonder how people are defining self-deprecatory humour? like, i genuinely would not classify the black humour of "if i'm going to die, i'd rather do it in a sexy fireball car crash rather than the slow grind of a world on fire" on the same level as the self-deprecatory humour of "i love math, but the numbers unfortunately don't want to be my friends", and even within this i don't even think that i'd put "if i'm going to die i'd rather it happen in a fun way" jokes about climate anxiety on par with the more straightforward "haha i want to die jokes" and all of it is in like. how you're doing it and whether you're inviting people to laugh with you versus springing a surprise confession on people using humour
its a finely tuned social art? but its also. really helpful if you want to lighten up an otherwise grim situation/job/moment (e.g. if you and your colleagues are debating a genuinely possibly life-threatening decision for everyone involved down the line - a nicely placed dark joke does alleviate the tension). its also frankly great to escape super awkward encounters like when your boss randomly decides to tell you he thought you were really athletic because you're so slender. there's no other way to reply to that in a way that defuses that entire situation to make way for escape except to make an awkward, self-deprecatory joke that everyone can laugh over and move on from immediately.
its just. all of these exist in a completely different category from jokes that are situationally violating in casual settings because they're essentially personal confessions dressed up as jokes. you do have to pay attention to where you can make them - i can joke about suicidal ideation with my best friend who also struggles with the same background radiation suicidal ideation because both of us use this as a tool for empathy to be like yes, i hear you and recognize your struggle and i am there too, standing shoulder to shoulder with you, but not necessarily elsewhere; i can make absurd jokes about being queer and loathed with queer colleagues who also share that same experience. it can be a great tool for empathy and healing and solidarity, if you can deploy it with situational wisdom. hell its a great tool for letting off steam, but also repurposing difficult situations to see the absurd or funny side and defang their heaviness.
its just weird to see people wanting to shut it off entirely or claim that it erodes everyone's sense of wellbeing. some of us are just flippant as a self-defence mechanism to save our earnestness for the moments when it matters.
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high-and-away · 4 days ago
Ego sum qui ego velit esse
Just because Irene's sword doesn't fit you doesn't mean we can't find you one that does. Nothing fit right in her hand. Not the standard-pattern gunblades, not the slender Doman officers' swords, and certainly not the heavy Bozjan cleavers. Irene Belisar's weapon, no matter how freely it may have been given, was customized to better serve someone else. Eventually, Victoria had accepted that if she wanted to wield a more suitable blade, she'd have to solve that problem by herself. In the end, she hadn’t gone it alone; all that stopped her from requesting assistance was a lingering sense of self-consciousness that she’d had enough sense to recognize as groundless and had forced herself to shove aside. There had been so many hands beside her own - Lee's, Barengar's, Max’s, Wyda’s, half the craftsmen in Arcanotechnical Research, a mournful man with an aging gelding and horseshoes nailed over his door. What was one more pair, in the end? Nolanel's had been sure enough, once he'd gotten over his initial wariness and grudgingly agreed to help. His were the ones holding the hammer. Hers had gone from bellows to tongs as he directed. Sitting and watching was out of the question; if this was to be well and truly hers, then she must have a hand in its creation. And she'd made sure she had, every step of the way, from glowing steel to grafted gun to true aim and a lethal edge. It's all wrong, really, but it's wrong on purpose and that serves her purposes. Sabres lend themselves perfectly to being swung from the saddle, and having a guard sturdy enough to act as knuckledusters gives her another offensive option, however small. Shooting with a slightly offset barrel is less than ideal, but she'll learn, and mounting the revolver barrel to one side had been a necessary concession to the shape of the blade. It's all wrong, really, but it fits right in her hand. There's a pile of wrong choices behind her. It doesn't matter. None of them were accidental. She'd weighed them, understood them, and deliberately followed them all through in her madman's quest to become something more­ - someone more - and Victoria regrets nothing, no matter what the world may think of her. No one has the right to tell her she's worthless. No one has the right to tell her she’s an accident. Not anymore. She is who she chooses to be. The words she's so carefully etched deep in the blade give the same answer:
                                                 No Mistake
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tennessoui · 4 months ago
BRO......bro!!!! ur flimsi friends au was not only so galaxy brained and such a good take on pen pals in the sw universe but omg it was SO sweet and cute. ugh loved it!!!!
thank you so much!!!! i love them theyre peak dicks to each other but also incredibly sweet 🥺
like after their first day spent having sex, obi-wan wakes up to anakin quietly sniffling because he was snooping around obi-wan's room and he found the box of letters Obi-Wan's kept that are all from him, all the way back to when he was nine
and anakin is very touched about it and obi-wan is very sleepy but again, a dick, and when he is faced with his partner's honest emotional spillover, he comes up to sit behind him and rest his chin on anakin's shoulder and he's like 'do you believe me now that your handwriting was really quite terrible?'
and anakin is like (sniffling) 'what do you mean ? this is perfectly readable' and he picks up the first letter he ever sent obi-wan and he's like 'see look it says, dear obi-wan, hi my name is anakin skywalker and i think im going to eventually love you more than anything else in the entire galaxy and not even your prickly exterior and dickish personality will stop me.'
and obi-wan hides his smile in the curve of anakin's neck and urges him to come to bed, he can snoop later all of this is pretty much his if he wants it
and anakin is like 'ok just one sec' and he goes to his stuff and pulls out a box that has all of obi-wan's letters to him in it and puts the flimsi papers together in one box like a metaphor or something idk <3
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denizen-of-dreamland · 24 days ago
its incredibly concerning how much i self project onto adachi like. i vent by writing adachi pov fanfiction. thats awfully troubling. i dont know how that happened but this feels like. a problem
also im so sorry i keep on sending you asks youre the only person that ive interacted with that likes persona and actually talks back at me. you are my void to shout at
Oh, big mood. I also vent a lot through fic, and, between him and Takuto, I'm very worried about what it says about me :(
And don't worry about the asks! No need to apologize ^^
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traumacure · a month ago
it shouldn't upset me this much but i was looking forward to that order so much every day i'd pull up the listings to look at them again and smile waiting for them to arrive but i guess i was stupid to think life would let me have anything to smile about
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void-kissed · a month ago
aaaaagh why is deciding on a Pokémon team such a difficult task
#part of it is because I love so many different pokémon but in this case another part is because it sort of needs to make sense#since someone who doesn't go out into the wild a lot wouldn't need pokémon that can surf or fly or climb or smash rocks or any other HM move#but if you *were* a travelling trainer on a journey then you'd definitely need at least one water and one flying pokémon#since you can reasonably assume that most fully-evolved pokémon are strong enough for most of the other HM things like rock smash or cut#without explicitly being a pokémon that can learn those HMs in the games themselves so that's not a problem#but being able to surf/dive/climb waterfalls is something that is pretty specific to only certain pokémon that could do that#and this is something I haven't taken into account with adriana but she does canonically need to be able to do all those things#so this is something I need to sort out on top of the fact that she currently has like 12 pokémon and that's sort of too many for my liking#but I haven't decided whether to stick to her non-specialist team or a fully ghost-type team because of canon in-game encounter rates#not to mention i've already portrayed her with a honchkrow who isn't even on my final team for either set#uuuugh this is one of those things that will be super satisfying once i've actually come up with something I like but getting there is hard#a call from the void#self‑inserts#self‑insert: soul‑touched (adriana)#with noire it's so much easier because she's a ranger so the concept of only temporarily befriending a pokémon for a specific need is fine#but adri wouldn't be like that (i.e. catching a pokémon to surf on and then immediately releasing it). i don't like the idea of that#why did I write all this in the tags
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loptrcoptr · 4 months ago
Me: I don’t have enough horse experience to be teaching, I have so much to learn as a rider and as a horseman, perhaps it’s irresponsible for me to be around horses so much when I’m not the best person out there. I am the worst.
The 73 yr old I have been teaching, who has ridden horseback exactly seven (7) times in his entire life: guess what! I’m buying a horse :)
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#nevermind I’m not the worst#the man is very nervous around horses and has no horse sense and I was like “try leasing…?’ and he was like ‘no’#idk man he’s grown he can do what he wants he doesn’t listen to what I’m telling him in the saddle so lord knows he won’t listen when I say#you can’t buy a horse you know fuck all about horses and you can’t even ride yet#you cannot be unsupervised in the saddle. you know this. what is wrong with you.#personal#kids: don’t just buy horses because they look cool#get yourself a trainer and some folks who know what they’re doing#have them come with you to vet the horse/ride the horse/watch you ride the horse#and set up a plan to be in constant training and to supervise the people you hire to take care of your horse#because you can’t do it yourself. so you need to watch someone feed and watch someone muck and watch someone turn out etc. so you know how#and then you practice. practice walking your horse down the lane. practice stopping your horse on the ground#practice pulling your horse’s head up when he eats a weed you don’t want him to eat#practice trailer loading. practice tying. GROOM for the love of FUCK please groom your horses#do not ride without supervision and if you actually want to get decent then you’ll need to ride more than once a week#and you’ll need to make an effort to get stronger and to improve your seat and your self sufficiency#if this sounds like a lot then hey!!! don’t buy a fucking horse!!! you’re not ready!!!!
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compoundhero · 2 months ago
what are some song lyrics that you think represent your character?
Six Feet—Patent Pending
Been working to the bone, been burning both ends Trying to make them meet before we're hungry again So it's left, right, left, down the trail of the dead And only six feet between me and catching my breath
Come Hang Out—AJR
"Come hang out 'cause you're outta your mind You're working so damn hard you forgot what you like And come hang out—don't you leave us behind" But- I'll be there next time, I'll be there next time
One—Sleeping at Last
The list goes on forever Of all the ways I could be better, in my mind As if I could earn God's favour, given time; Or at least congratulations
Now, I have learned my lesson The price of this so called perfection is everything I've spent my whole life searching desperately To find out that grace requires nothing of me
Make Them Hear You—Stephen Flaherty
And say to those who blame us for the way we chose to fight That sometimes there are battles that are more than black or white And I could not put down my sword when justice was my right Make them hear you, make them hear you
Bumpy Ride—The Hoosiers
It's gonna be a bumpy ride But it sure beats standing still I know we can work it out And I've no doubt that we will
When it hurts more than it shows It's not the easiest of roads No, it's never black and white And you can keep your happy life
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matoitech · 3 months ago
yknow i wish we could talk abt how a lot of ppl on here think ‘being critical of media’ means liking the Right Media decided by their mutuals w lots of followers who seem 2 generally have good takes they hold in high esteem without like, minecraft youtube fans rbing it and going Yeah! like no you also do not understand what that means if you think this was posted to align with your opinions
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inkykeiji · 4 months ago
do you ever feel like you over think too much over something small and you realize that you shouldn’t be putting this much worried thought over something that’s so small like it’s not a big deal but you can’t find yourself to not worry??
YES, I DO!!!
i struggle with this more often than i wish, tbh :/ there are two things i try to do to get it to stop: the first is to try and put everything in perspective. life is extremely fragile and unpredictable, so i ask myself ‘do you really want to waste time worrying over this? what if this is your last day on earth and instead of doing something you enjoy you’re wasting your time stressing out about something you *know* you shouldn’t be’. it sounds a little morbid, but i find that it does help to kind of put it all back into perspective. the second is to try and distract myself by doing something i enjoy or something i find productive. i feel like breaking out of this cycle is definitely an exercise in self discipline, but this is also like, a symptoms of my mental illness :/
i’m so sorry i don’t have better advice for you sweetpea :( i hope you can at least find some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone <3 i definitely struggle with the same issue and it’s honestly infuriating at times :/ but combining the above strategies seems to be the best thing for me when i get like that!!! <33
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laves-here · a month ago
#vent#goddd#like i hate that i’m forever going to be fucked up because of what my abuser did#and they just don’t car!! at all!! they don’t give a shit#instead they guilt me because god forbid they FEEL BADLY ABOUT ABUSING ME#BOO FUCKING HOO#wow i am such a bad person because you no longer can use me for affection and be someone you can just beat up without repercussions cause y#you terrified me into not being able to set boundaries#guess what bitch!! you’re not a good person!#and i hope it fucking STICKS with you until you die because it will for me#i have no more identity no more sense of self i can’t trust anyone god i can’t do anything because i’m plaqued by the shit they did#they never even said sorry#they just blamed my abuse on me and made things up#used buzzwords to cover up their abuse#and i just have to go on like i’m fine because if i’m honest people claim i’m lying or call me draining despite them CONSENTING TO LISTENING#TO ME#im nothing#there is literally nothing of me left because of this person#abuse tw#that’s not an exagération#and they don’t care#how come they get to move on when i’ll forever be wrecked by this#i want to be able to love people#i want to so badly#but my brain is destroyed by what if they’re like them? what if they fuck me up even more?#and maybe it makes me an asshole but like!!#i have at least a little bit of respect for myself so i hate them for making me this way#i hâte them for taking advantage of my love#i hâte them for making me not be able to trust anyone#for making me have to be alone the rest of my life
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merlinmeta · a year ago
It's absolutely possible to tell an interesting, meaningful, well-written story that tells its audience "this is destiny; this is the goal of the story" and then breaks that promise, challenges that destiny, and changes that goal, but Merlin is pretty clearly Not That Story when the same character that makes the promise in the first place later says "congrats! you did it!" with absolute sincerety despite having no narrative evidence supporting that claim and then flies off into the sunset, leaving his depressed, bitter, hollowed-out shell of a destiny-vessel with nothing to show for a decade of sacrifice in the name of that promise
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