Dear Professor Beetlejuice,
My feet won't clean! I don't know what, but every tide I jump the water, dirt magically appears! I reason as to what behind this, other than the enemy wizard! Please, I request your aid! I'm wet hunger, darkness cometh!
Zelda of The Hylian Kingdom
It was this letter that caused Byleth to leap into action and take charge of the situation. On the first day of meeting somebody new. The same day that she would have repaired her broken door and her problem. She even managed to gather all the necessary materials together, way before it was time for lunch. It would have been brunch, but she was too busy trying to calm Zelda down and get her away from the pond. It got to the point where she just gave up completely and left Zelda to her fate-much to the victim's delight. She thought that was the end of her, but while she was preparing a bagel with cream cheese smothered on top, a hand floated up to her holding a letter. With grammar so bad that it would put a foreign infant learning a new language to shame.
"Joyous day, dear friend!" exclaimed Zelda, clapping her hands.
Which leads her to now, carrying a semi-drenched princess on her back. She was busy ignoring the clapping and singing coming from her. Something that only seemed to become louder and more annoying with each passing second. It sounded like she was singing some sort of ballad whilst also acting as the lead musician. For each and every single imaginary instrument. Byleth was certain that drowning her in the pond then acting like she had no part in it would have been a good idea. She wasn't that annoyed… at least not yet.
"Had you not have come to my aid, I fear what would have happened to me and my glorious feet!" exclaimed Zelda, gently patting Byleth's head.
"Yes, how unfortunate," muttered Byleth, rolling her eyes."I'm sure the enemy wizard or whoever would have succeeded in foiling the plans of… whatever role you have here."
"That dastardly fiend would have succeeded in forever tainting the royal feet in the darkness of the Dark World!" agreed Zelda, growling loudly before laughing like a mad lass." I'm so lucky to have such a kindhearted professor to aid me in my hero's steed!"
Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Byleth remembered another task that she needed to perform." Say, Zelda? There wouldn't be a library somewhere in here, would there?"
"Oh, there should be! A loss though as I believe it is undergoing reconstruction from… The War."
Byleth resisted the urge to give a snarky reply." Well, there goes my chances at finding more information on this world."
"Oh, if it's knowledge you seek, we could always seek out The Tactician-er, Robin. They know all sorts of things and have always helped me whenever I've been stuck!"
Somebody that wasn't as mindless and chaotic as Zelda actually existed here."Then I suppose we should pay them a visit. After grabbing something to eat."
Zelda laughed in agreement before swiftly kicking Byleth's sides. If she didn't have her uses, then Byleth would have strangled her within an inch of her life.
After making herself another bagel, and cooking something for her deadbeat companion, Byleth made her way to the place Zelda mentioned. It was then she noticed that each part of the mansion had different flooring. Whenever she was approaching a dining room or bedroom there would be a marble floor engraved with arrows to guide her way. The walls were still bronze, however, and engraved with various pictures of what she still assumed were fighters. As she made her way towards her destination, however, the flooring suddenly changed. She was now walking on an oak wood floor and through walls of shiny, glorious silver that were engraved with arrows each painted a different color. Zelda remarked that the arrows that they needed to follow were painted a light grey and the others pointed the way to some other parts. She was being extremely cryptic which shocked Byleth for once. She nearly went into a trance as she walked through the halls. The faint light of dusk shone through the many arched windows draped with curtains that were woven from the finest golden silk. It caused Byleth to slowly gaze out of each one; only to stop when she heard the annoyed groaning of Zelda telling her to giddy-up. Maybe one day, she would leave this world in search of the dawn.
Nevertheless, Byleth made her way to the place Zelda called The Study Hall. The golden letters engraved into the dark oak wooden double doors read: Smashology 101. The gray letters engraved below it read: Where fighters come to Smash their knowledge. Byleth glanced at Zelda, who decided now was a really good time to rest her head on her shoulders and breathe softly into her ear.
"You can get off my back now," grunted Byleth, staring daggers at Zelda who groaned in annoyance.
"I tired," breathed Zelda, nuzzling herself against Byleth's hair.
Byleth shook her head and pushed open the doors to the best of her abilities. Then nearly slipped on an opened book laying just behind the door. She took a brief survey of her surroundings and found that there were nothing but books. Some were neatly stacked on top of each other and were in perfect condition while others were just thrown about the room. Those that were thrown about the room where either opened their spines being stretched to the maximum or were just ripped apart like a gutted fish. They nearly dominated the entire room and the many tables and chairs that were in it. There was even a table that was turned upside down and resting on a large rectangular pile of books in one of the corners.
"So sorry! I've been meaning to relocate but-" exclaimed A Feminine Voice.
Before Byleth could even focus on where the voice was coming from, a loud THUD! echoed through the room and a stack that was as tall as her abdomen suddenly fell over." Ow, that was the third time today I've done this… Anyway, as you can see I have yet to fully move my belongings from this area."
A tall, slender, white skinned woman suddenly appeared from behind another stack and smiled warmly at the duo. Her long, silver hair was in two ponytails that softly rested atop her shoulders; within the depths of her grey eyes, Byleth could sense the cunning of a wolf staring right through their prey. She wore a tan, v-neck shirt that showed just how slender and lean her body was and puffy, tan pants that looked way too big on her. The ends of the pants were tucked into her black, leather knee high boots that largely resembled those worn by knights. Byleth noticed that she wore a rather large, brown leather belt that was held together by two smaller belts. This amalgamation of a belt held up what she assumed were three pieces of what appeared to be a black apron with golden crests lined along the edges. All in all, this woman's choice of outfit was a little… tacky.
"Didn't expect you to come here so soon, Byleth," added The Woman, placing her hand on her face." Or is it Professor Byleth? Then that would make me-"
"I'm sorry, but how do you know my name?" questioned Byleth, still studying the person in front of her.
A coy smile flashed across The Woman's lips before she stared at Byleth with the confidence of a fortune teller." A good game master makes sure that they have all their pieces-"
"That's Robin!" interrupted Zelda, quickly jumping off of Byleth's back.
She quickly ran up to The Woman, Robin, and wrapped her arms around her like a mother seeing her child for the first time in years. Robin staggered back, chuckling softly as she patted Zelda's head. Byleth realized for the first time that Zelda was actually much taller than most children her age as she nearly reached up to Robin's height.
"I haven't seen you here today, Zelda," remarked Robin." I trust you haven't caused our newest addition any trouble on her first day?"
"You have no idea," added Byleth, slowly gazing around the room." What's with all these books? There must be at least two hundred here."
"Actually, it's more about five hundred and seventy four," corrected Robin, pushing Zelda to the side."Well if we count the books that are destroyed beyond repair. There's more in the study."
"Robin's so smart she has countless books on the many journeys we find ourselves in!" exclaimed Zelda, jumping up and down." She's even managed to create an entire novel based on my entire life so far."
"Well, almost everything we've ever done," corrected Robin, picking up a book and placing it on a nearby stack." I like to think of myself as more of a… record keeper if you will. There's only so much knowledge that the Gods of this world know and keep track of. Knowledge that would otherwise be lost to the tides of time. As such, it rests on the inhabitants of this world to keep track of every major incident from the perspective of those that were directly involved."
Robin opened the book she held in her hand, flipped through the pages at an alarming rate, and closed it. She carefully placed it on another stack before taking another book and handing it to Zelda.
"Then organize them and finally distribute them amongst the rest so that all may know of the glorious adventures of people like Zelda or myself. Oh, by the way that should have everything you need to know on…"
Suddenly, Robin furrowed her eyebrows as she trailed off, lost in thought. The princess squealed in delight before hugging Robin again, nearly knocking over a nearby stack of books. Byleth stepped to the side as Zelda ran past her and out the room, finally giving Byleth a break. She turned to Robin who was still lost in thought, but merely shrugged it off.
"Anyway, considering that Zelda must have given you quite the handful, I suppose our introductory discussion can wait until tomorrow. That and this room isn't suitable for anyone to step in without becoming like that table in the corner."
Byleth gazed at the same table that she saw when she first came in earlier. Robin was right, in a way, and perhaps she would learn what fate befell the table.
"Good morning Profes- why do you look like somebody stole your family heirloom?" greeted Robin, raising an eyebrow at Byleth as she walked in.
"Oh, it's nothing I'm not getting used to," huffed Byleth, pulling up a chair to the round table Robin sat at." My door is broken beyond repair and seems to be a job that is far out of my hands now."
"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that," replied Robin, pouring her a cup of tea and sliding it in front of her. She took a moment to pour herself one before continuing."Maybe the Masters might know of-"
"I highly doubt it considering that it grew legs and walked away," interrupted Byleth, placing her index finger in the cup before gently swirling it around ."I'm not even sure how Zelda was capable of doing that."
The Tacticatian nearly dropped the doughnut she plucked from the tray in the middle of the table on her lap."I'm sorry, could you maybe elaborate on that?"
"Basically, Zelda in her infinite wisdom decided that it would be a great idea to perform this spell she learned on my broken door. Of course, I let her because I was tired after yesterday's ordeal and didn't want to spend this day fixing it." With her free hand, she grabbed a plain bagel from the tray, broke off a small piece and began to dip it in her tea. "Yet I should have known better than to let her do anything remotely intelligent."
"Huh, that's very bizarre considering events in the past."
"The door or Zelda?"
"Zelda. I'm pretty sure that she can't use magic right now, never mind magic that can animate inanimate objects. Then again, she never used that much magic in the first place."
Deciding that her bagel piece was drenched enough, Byleth popped it in her mouth and quickly wiped her face with her sleeve."She said she got the book from you and never got the chance to see what it actually did."
"Probably thought it was a restoration spell or something." Robin then frowned."Though I don't remember giving her a book like that in the first place."
"Regardless, I'm now down a door and have to resort to hanging a sheet over the right side of my entrance. Hopefully, nobody ever needs my assistance at night. Anyway, you had something you wished to discuss unless you planned to indulge me with a morning tea time."
Robin immediately straightened her hair, yawned loudly, and leaned back in her chair." As you've already been informed, there have been strange incidents occurring as of late. One of the major ones is the case of everyone's mental state gradually deteriorating."
"Yes, Zelda's… adventure yesterday proved that."
"What they haven't told you is the severity and how that's been affecting our day to day lives. For example, did you know that Zelda used to be much more intelligent than she is now?"
Byleth gazed at the ceiling for a bit in pure shock."Somehow, I find that extremely hard to believe."
"But ever since this incident, she's been slowly devolving into, well, I'll spare you the details. Others have undergone changes as well though some are minor. I recall that one time…"
Suddenly, Robin's eyes became dull and lifeless as she trailed off leaving her mouth hanging wide open. Confused, Byleth threw the rest of her bagel at her which, aside from bouncing off her forehead and onto the floor now becoming a tarnished meal, did nothing to snap her out of her trance. Then, Robin shook her head and took a sip from her tea.
"Is the tea to your liking, Professor? I didn't know what flavor to pick, so I just settled with green."
"Um, Robin, what just happened?" Robin gazed at her confused."You were saying that others have changed as well and you-"
"Yes, others are undergoing strange changes and mine is something on the opposite scale of severity. Others have had their minds dwarfed to the point where their old personalities have been drastically changed. One might say it's out of-"
For a moment, Byleth thought Robin was about to do the same strange thing from earlier. Then, without warning, the door flew open and Zelda quickly scrambled up to Robin, her entire outfit drenched in what Byleth assumed was some sort of drink. If her being drenched didn't give it away, then the strange bottle she held in her hands would have. It looked to be made out of some otherworldly material that was probably native to this world. The bottle was also much bigger than any one she had ever seen and it had a strange logo of somebody wearing a red, white, and blue outfit. At least, she thought it was an outfit and hoped it wasn't a strange being that resembled a human but had no face. Instead of a regular sized cork pushed inside the opening, there was a strange blue one in its place.
"Robin, it happened again!" exclaimed Zelda, quickly turning around towards Byleth." Oh, hi Professor. Fancy meeting you here. Did you find Righty?"
"No, Zelda, I did not find Righty," groaned Byleth rolling her eyes." And please don't put my door through any more torment with that name."
"Again Zelda? This is the fifth time this week!" groaned Robin, flashing a weak grin at Zelda before taking the bottle out of her hand."I swear, isn't there someone else that can help you?"
"Nobody else is as helpful as you are, Robin!" exclaimed Zelda, bouncing up and down in place." You always help me whenever I have a problem and you're the smarterest person I know! Plus, Link still hasn't come back."
Robin then placed the bottle on the table and Byleth finally got a good look at it. Taking into account everything she surmised before, just this time she was actually noticing the size. It was about as big as her forearm which made her think just where did Zelda get something that big. Not to mention that the liquid itself was dark and bubbly, seemingly boiling like a steaming teapot. Once Robin had managed to open it, she would have to ask what it was.
"Well, I am one of the greatest tacticians in my home world," stated Robin, winking at Byleth as she grabbed a hold of the blue top." A shame Link isn't here, I would love to continue our conversation."
Byleth watched with bated breath, Robin slowly turning her hand which caused the bottle to spin around. About twelve times earning an unamused look from Zelda.
"You're supposed to hold it with your other hand and then turn it," she stated, a hint of annoyance in her voice.
Robin chuckled nervously, a blush staining her white face as she placed one hand on the side of the bottle. Once more she turned her hand, grunting loudly as the top did nothing but stay in the same place. Again, she tried once more until her face was bright red yet still the top of the bottle did not move. As she tried again, growling loudly and muttering something under her breath, Zelda crossed her arms over her chest and stared down at Robin. Much like a mother whenever they caught their child doing something they didn't approve of.
"Are you sure you know how to open it?" grilled Zelda, her look becoming more and more unamused.
"Yes, I am certain!" growled Robin, taking her hands off the bottle and looking under the table."I just need the right tool to open it!"
She then pulled out a bronze sword from underneath the table, which made Zelda scream in horror like she was about to witness someone get murdered. With the speed of a rogue, she grabbed the bottle off the table and cradled it in her arms like she would a small child.
"No, I'm not letting you hurt it!" screamed Zelda, turning on her heels and walking towards Byleth."Professor, I know I've been quite a nuisance as of late, but could you look past my shortcomings and open this for me?"
"But I don't know how to open this," protested Byleth, leaning back as the bottle was placed in front of her."We don't have these types of bottles where I'm from."
"What's wrong? Is the world renown Professor scared of opening a soda bottle?" taunted Robin, resting her chin on the table, a look of utter defeat covering her entire face.
"Oh don't worry Professor!" cheered Zelda, patting Byleth on the head."I'm pretty sure they don't call you Byleth for nothing! Besides, you help me with my little problem and you can help me with the same-I mean, help others with the same problem in the future! And it'll be good practice for when you begin to teach us!"
Ignoring both Zelda's head pat and Robin's daring look, Byleth sighed loudly placing her hands in the same position as Robin's. From the side hold, she could tell that the bottle was made out of a smooth material that also held in air. She assumed that was what was causing the bubbling and why it was so hard to open it. From the hold on the top, she found that the strange cork wasn't a cork but some sort of strange lid. The material was about the same as the bottle itself and she could feel her fingers rubbing the ridges that were circled around the sides. She began to twist her hand to the right and felt her skin rubbing around something that was hard and rough. Yet no matter how hard or long she twisted her hand, the strange lid did not move. It was then she realized that maybe this strange bottle functioned a lot like turning a wrench or screwing in a screw. She turned her hand to the left and slowly but surely the strange lid began to turn. What she didn't realize, however, was the air that was in the bottle quickly began to hiss like a snake as it slowly escaped. This in turn caused the bubbling liquid inside it to quickly rise to the top ,and without warning it sprayed out like a bursting pipe. And onto the table, the floor, Byleth's hand and outfit which nearly caused her to throw the bottle to the floor. Once she completely unscrewed and removed it, the spraying finally stopped and the liquid rushed back down and settled out.
"Yay, you did it Professor!" exclaimed Zelda, clapping softly." Shame it got all over the place. Don't know why that always happens."
"Yes, how unfortunate," moaned Robin, yawning loudly." If only there was a way that-"
"Robin," interrupted Zelda, grabbing the bottle and wiping it off with her apron." Just stop, okay? We've been over this already. Just because you fail from time to time doesn't mean I think any less of you. You're still the second person I would go to whenever I have a problem that needs to be solved."
The growl that came out of Robin was one that was mixed with anger, disappointment, and exhaustion. It made even Byleth wince at the sentence that Zelda just spoke. Robin, sighing loudly whilst giving Byleth a death glare, slowly rose from her seat with bronze sword in hand. Her entire body was devoid of all energy it once had and she gazed sullenly at Zelda, who was busy chugging the bottle of what was called soda down. She had a look of pure and utter sereneness within her eyes.
"Anyway, if you'll excuse me I have some work to do in my lab," stated Robin, gazing at Byleth." Secret lab, located entirely within this room. Unfortunately, I'm hungry and wish to eat breakfast so whenever you're done please leave. I hope that I wasn't too much of a nuisance."
Robin gave Byleth and Zelda one last look and, satisfied that she wasn't being acknowledged, left the room. Zelda stopped drinking and smacked her lips loudly before turning to Byleth whose hand was still covered in the liquid.
"Professor, may I lick your hand?" questioned Zelda, tilting her head to the side innocently.