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[. . .]
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Imaginary World no. 856
I'm done with the third and fourth chapters. XD This was originally intended to be only one chapter, but I decided to cut it into two to keep it similar to the first two and to make it easier to read. Enjoy I guess.
[Medieval!Nanoha] Chapter 3
3: Third Scroll - Meet
Arf slowly opened her eyes. The light in the room felt blinding. The ceiling was pure white and there was a huge window on the right from where light was pouring in the room – an unfamiliar room that was. She blinked a few times to get used to the atmosphere then slowly raised her head. She was lying on a bed in a fairly large room and the most peculiar part was that next to her bed was a chair and sitting on it, a small blonde girl.
“Who are you?” she asked slightly dazed by the new surroundings. Her head hurt as well as her hands, feet and torso, but she could clearly remember this was not the place she had been before blacking out.
“Fate.” The young girl answered slowly, but with a large smile on her face. What, was she kidding?
“Linith took care of you.” She seemed very happy for some reason that Arf could get. She had never met a person who could just smile and be happy out of nothing when talking to a stranger. As far as she knew, they had never met up until now. Maybe she had died… and this was her ‘Fate’? She decided to ask, since over thinking it wouldn’t give her any answers. “Hey, what’s making you this happy?”
The girl let out a small giggle. “You got better.” That simple answer bothered Arf.
Barely a minute after the mention of her name, an older woman entered the room. She was carrying a pitcher of water and a glass. “Ah, seems like our guest woke up.” She said with a smile. Arf was confused at the sudden kindness that these strangers were showing. By the way this woman looked she was guessing she was the housekeeper. Judging by this room, the family that was living here wasn’t a normal peasant family. The girl probably was the daughter of some lesser noble or something.
“Fate found you near the storage shed. She came in screaming that there was a body outside and that we had to take care of you. You were hurt badly.” The older woman said slightly amused looking at the one she was calling ‘Fate’. She guessed this was the one the blonde had called ‘Linith’ a while earlier. Arf, for the first time in a long time, and for the first time in the presence of strangers let out a loud roar of laughter. She was laughing with tears in her eyes. The irony of being saved by ‘Fate’ was too great, but she was also laughing because she had nothing better to say at that moment.
“So, what’s your name?” Linith finally asked after she had calmed down.
“Arf.” The girl spoke rubbing the tears from her eyes. She still couldn’t believe the turnout her life had. The woman offered her a glass of water and she took it without complaining and drank it all in one go.
Arf looked at the night sky. She was currently in the dark forest, trying to sleep, but failing miserably. She could guess half of the night had already passed away and yet she hadn’t managed to sleep a single bit. She tried turning on her left side, and then on her right side, but whatever she did sleep simply refused to come. Resigning herself to simply standing on guard she turned to look at the other body lying next to her. Bundled in a blanket, the blonde next to her seemed to be sleeping peacefully, her body slowly raising and lowering itself in rhythm with her breathing. It made Arf sad to see how much she had changed while growing up. Not wanting to think about it anymore, she turned her back at the girl. Maybe, just maybe, she could still get some sleep that night.
Yuuno and Nanoha began traveling together. They stopped by at the first village and bought from Yuunos’ money another cloak, a bag for Nanoha and food to last them for the week. At first Yuuno also visited a ‘friend’ as he had said, but he hadn’t let Nanoha know where he had gone. With the provisions packed they set off for real.
When they weren’t nearing a settlement, the two were forced to camp outside. They usually chose clearings or places where they could easily see if anybody was coming towards them, as the forests were dangerous places at night. It didn’t quite help that more than half of the lands of the realm were covered in forests.
When camping outside, Nanoha would practice with her bow, but most results were unsatisfying. The bow was light in Nanoha’s hands and she tried concentrating on the shot, as she had been told. She could see the small sign that had been crested on the tree as a target for her. Pulling the bowstring she saw the pink light form into a long projectile that served as an arrow. For an instant she closed her eyes trying to feel the bow and arrow. Opening her eyes she let go of the bowstring. The beam flew towards the tree before missing and hitting something nearby. Sighing, the girl repeated the process, trying to gain control of the energy. She was getting better, but was still far from being useful. Yuuno was telling her that her grasp of magic was far better than that of a complete rookie though. He said that most new magic users just ended up blowing up everything in their path, which Nanoha was actually doing at a smaller scale.
It took them the better part of the week to finally be able to track the bandit group which had taken the artifacts. Their only clue were the descriptions Yuuno gave on their appearance from when he was robbed and it had been hard finding somebody who had heard of them. They were a small group of bandits, unimportant and almost unheard of, but highly distinguishable by their peculiar appearance and behavior. Many people had seen them pass by, but nobody knew where to find them. They weren’t even known as bandits, just as a group of weird people. The only thing that they did manage to deduce was that they were currently going east, which was incidentally the direction of the Capital. If, by chance, they didn’t change directions mid way then that was the only important place they could be heading towards. So at least they had a lead.
They were stuck at beginning again though, heading towards the Capital. Yuuno didn’t really like such coincidences, but he knew that if they tried asking some more they would only find out, once again, that the traveling group was quite weird and that they were going east. They had to move to try to catch them before they reached their destination.
Thus said, they were back on the road.
It was morning and the two were traveling towards the next village on their road. They were currently passing through a forest. It all seemed peaceful and quiet and the two were just enjoying the silence that the morning was offering them.
“Yuuno Scrya.” A voice came from behind them. Yuuno turned first and Nanoha followed to try to see the author of the call. Behind them stood two people, a blond girl maybe just less than a year older than them and a slightly older woman.
“Fate, are you sure this is the guy we are looking for?” the older woman said slowly towards the girl. The one who turned out to be called ‘Fate’ nodded.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Yuuno shouted towards the two. He had a small idea on what they were looking for, and didn’t like it at all.
“The Jewel Seeds. Give them to us and you won’t be harmed.” The blonde threatened them. They had no doubt that these people were dangerous and serious about the situation. The older woman smirked.
“I don’t have them anymore.” The boy told them, but it had become obvious that the two didn’t believe him and were expecting such an answer. He looked at Nanoha who had understood the situation and was currently holding Raising Heart in her hands.
Fate held the scythe in front of her. The steel blade flashed yellow in less than an instant and was now emitting a low glow, magical energy covering the weapon.
“She’s a mage.” Yuuno muttered, stating the obvious in disbelief.
“Let’s go Bardiche!” Fate charged towards the two at full speed, and their only chance was to dash sideways and split up. Nanoha lifted Raising Heart and prepared to shoot aiming towards the blonde, only to have it deflected by her blade. The older woman charged towards Yuuno, knuckles raised and ready to hit him, while Yuuno could only parry using whatever barrier magic he possessed. The battle had turned into a one-on-one battle as Fate engaged Nanoha, finding her half-attempted shots towards her aggravating and knowing that Arf was more than capable of handling a defense mage.
“Why are you doing this?” Nanoha tried speaking to her adversary. She was being forced to keep on the move to stay away from the girls’ melee attacks.
“It’s not important to you.” For just that instant Nanoha thought she had seen sadness in the blondes’ eyes as she said those words. She got lost in though and Fate managed to close the gap between them. She swung her scythe towards the bow user and managed to slash her arm making her fall to the ground on her knees.
Nanoha had never felt such pain before. It was like her arm was freezing, yet at the same time rapidly melting. She had no better words to describe it as her hand felt numb and powerless. There was no blood though. Yuuno had called it Magical Damage, but at that moment the girl couldn’t think clearly anymore and didn’t care what is was called. It hurt horribly.
Yuuno stopped defending against Arf and ran towards his friend, dodging the woman’s fist. When he reached her, Nanoha was slowly recovering from the shock and was trying to get up. Fate was already readying herself to attack and finish them off. Nanoha tried to lift Raiding Heart with her good hand and shoot an arrow with the other one that was slowly starting to recover.
The blonde moved first charging at full speed towards the two. Suddenly between them appeared a blue figure. It was wearing blue knight’s armor and held a spear towards Fate, blocking her scythe, while holding a rectangular shield towards Nanoha stopping her arrow. The shield, as well as the armor was inscribed with unfamiliar markings.
“TSAB!” Arf shouted and Fate moved out of the way. The two sped out towards the trees quicker than ever before, ran away. It all happened in less than a few seconds. Whatever this person was, they certainly did not want to stay in his presence. The armored knight took of his helmet to reveal the human inside.
“Good day Yuuno Scrya.” The younger boy only showed disappointment at the sight of the new person.
[Medieval!Nanoha] Chapter 4
4. Fourth Scroll - Know
“Good day.” Yuuno answered picking himself up. The stranger turned towards Nanoha afterwards. “Ah, and you must be…”
“Nanoha, sir!” the girl replied quickly. She didn’t know what was happening, but to be wearing armor and to be able to scare the other mage, Fate, she recalled was her name, must have meant he was important. Very important.
“Phew, it took quite a while to track the two of you down, but I finally did it.” He let out a relieved laugh before taking on a more serious expression.
“My name is Chrono Harlown, knight and representative of the TSAB. But let us not talk here, you two must be tired. Follow me to headquarters, there are more things we need to speak of” The way he say it implied that there was no place for arguing. Not saying another word the two followed the knight. At the village he bought horses and they rode them towards the so called headquarters of this TSAB. Nanoha, not having ridden a horse in her life was forced to ride behind Yuuno.
The headquarters were nothing more than a small church apparently. The three dismounted and entered the holy place. It was small and they were surprised when the knight revealed a secret passageway behind a statue. The passage extended undergrounds a long way and made way to a larger hallway filled with torches and doors. Chrono told them to follow him closely as it was easy to get lost in the huge underground complex. Although there was no natural light, the place was very bright, torches being abundant and the walls being painted in a clear white. Nanoha wondered how anybody had managed to build all of this, but her thoughts were interrupted when Chrono opened a door and invited them inside the room. They entered silently and were greeted by a green haired woman who introduced herself as Lindy Harlown. Inviting them to have a seat and a cup of tea, the woman listened to them as Yuuno explained their situation. Nanoha had found out that Yuuno was actually working for them as well and he was tasked by them to carry those Jewel Seeds to the Capital. When the story was done Lindy and Chrono looked at each other knowingly. They asked a few questions before giving their verdict. Chrono was the one to speak:
“Well, to be truthful, things went in an unexpected way. The loss of the Jewel Seeds along with the uncovering of a new magic user had never been in our plans.” Chrono was speaking quickly now, trying to solve all of their problems in one go. “Has Yuuno already told you about the TSAB and about magic?” now he was asking Nanoha.
The girl shook her head.
“Well then….” Chrono cleared his throat to start what Nanoha has guessed would have been a long explanation.
“The TSAB, that’s tee-es-ei-bee, is a church coordinated organization that is tasked with handling and solving of magical cases that occur in the realm. If it’s related to magic, then we take care of it. The TSAB runs by its own system and internal management, but while the church does not control it directly, it is strictly important in its functioning. Not only does it work as the primary source of income – all the money allotted to the TSAB comes from the church, but it also serves as a public face. People do not know about the TSAB, and if they knew they would fear and resent it, therefore the church takes care of the people and makes sure they are happy, while we take care of all the backline work.”
“Magic is… well, our researchers haven’t yet figured out any accurate explanation to say what magic is, but we can definitely say it’s an energy. We don’t know yet where it comes from or how it is created. We can only say that it appears at humans because of a special part of the human body that has been named Linker Core. Not all people have it, some develop it before getting born, others during their lives, we cannot say exactly how and when. Also, this energy called magic is not present everywhere. We’ve noticed it has special objects where it likes to dwell predominantly, that we have named focuses. The most common focus is found as stones, precious stones, but we’ve had cases where people managed to use different objects like knives or even wooden spoons instead of a focus. All magical devices of unknown origin have been named Lost Logia. The Jewel Seeds were one of such artifacts. One of our main duties is to secure such objects from causing damage into the world. For that, we have been studying mage craft and have wise mages who day and night try to find out more about this energy. Our greatest achievement however is that we have managed to contain focuses into weapons, making the hunting and retrieving of Lost Logia a lot easier, but also the control of ones power. Your bow is an example of such a device. It was unfortunate however that you had to go through so many things to awaken your power as well as its power. Mage craft comes in different arts, depending on ones talents, but more importantly on the Linker Core. Some can be good fighting types, such as you who have attuned with a weapon. Others such as Yuuno are more inclined towards defense and searching. Any questions?”
Chrono had finally finished. During his talk he had allowed no time for interrupts. He seemed to be used to telling this speech as his word had been told without a specific intonation and it sounded as if he was reading it directly out of a book. Nanoha looked at Yuuno next to her who seemed to be familiar to it and didn’t seem very pleased to have it heard at that moment.
“Sir, if the TSAB is working for the church, why is the church hunting down mages?” Nanoha though of asking as that was the first question that had come to her mind when listening to Chrono.
“Good question. You see, people aren’t used to this word – magic. For them, its something alien and evil, so they turned to their nearest and most trustworthy ally – the church. Hunting down mages is a wrong way to say it, the church only asks us to find the mage and offer him to join us, where not only will he unlock all of his magical potential, but he will also be protected from the eyes of those unknowing. There are many mages working undercover for us while still living a normal life along the lines if the normal people.” Lindy answered this time
“I think this whole affair must be tiring for you. Why don’t you two go to your rooms and we shall speak about it in the morning. Nanoha, please think about what we have told you and if you would like to join us.” The woman continued and waved them out of the room.
“Mother, what do you think about this situation?” Chrono asked taking a seat on a chair in front of Lindy’s desk. Yuuno and Nanoha had just been escorted to their rooms by a servant.
“It’s the same as usual and we shall proceed as we have always done.”
“If she refuses?”
As the light knocking on the door started becoming louder, Nanoha raised her body from the bed and went to open the wooden door. Her blonde friend Yuuno stood in front of it, and was quickly invited to enter. The room that the TSAb had given her was small, having just one bed near the door and a small table with a chair on the other side of the room. There was barely enough space to walk from one wall to the other, but the place was comfortable. Also there was no window as the whole complex was still underground. Yuuno took the chair from the table and turned it towards the bed so he could face Nanoha. The girl had been a little angry on him because he had kept from her things like the existence of the TSAB and his affiliation to it. There was an awkward silence between the two.
“I’m sorry, but I had to. For both of our sakes, it was better for you not to know.” Yuuno Began speaking his voice lightly shaking. Nanoha let him speak; wanting to hear what he had to say. She didn’t want to fully judge him yet, now that he had come to explain himself.
“The TSAB are not what they seem. My clan has been under their jurisdiction for many generations and I can really say that they were not to be meddled with.” He was rubbing his palms together trying to keep himself calm and collected. He really had trouble saying all that he was saying.
“I just wanted not to get you involved in all of this.” His head dropped. Probably many people in her situation would have lashed out at him, blamed him for everything and especially for not telling her about said organization and that he was working for it and making her leave her home afraid of the church. But in her mind, things just didn’t click right. Also, her meeting with Fate had made her wonder the true value of these Lost Logia.
“Nanoha?” Yuuno had been expecting an answer that she had never given. “Do you know why they told you all those things?” She shook her head.
“They are trying to get you to join them.” The answer seemed logical; after all, they had even asked her if she wanted to do that.
“I can just decline.” Nanoha had actually been pondering on that option for a long time. Somehow it all seemed too perfect. Coming from a simple life she wasn’t used to good things just coming to her like that, there should have been a catch.
“You can’t be thinking of refusing!” He stated alarmed getting up from the chair. “That’s insane!”
“Because… because they will hunt you down.” He finally settled in the matter. He had learned that Nanoha wouldn’t just back down after putting something in her mind. She really didn’t know what she was getting into.
“Where do you think the church gets its public executions from?” he was talking about the witch-burnings that occurred usually on the streets of the Capital. Everybody had heard of them.
Nanoha thought for a moment. “Aren’t those for punishing those who don’t respect the law?”
“Only so called ‘witches’ get executed. Fact is, there aren’t enough of them, and most are working for the TSAB. So when they need to execute a witch, most of the time they just put a civilian. Nobody knows the difference and the church gets all the praise.”
By the word civilian it had become clear whom he was referring to – normal people. People like her parents or like her before finding out about her powers. People that wouldn’t matter for those in power if they lived or died.
“Anybody they don’t like.”
With those words Nanoha finally understood what was going on. She had had no reason to be angry on Yuuno as he had only been trying to keep her away from this so called organization that was supposed to protect mages. The only thing they were protecting was the good standing of the church and the steady income of gold. Her thoughts instantly went to that girl, Fate and her companion who seemed to be living without the protection of the TSAB, they actually seemed to oppose it. Nanoha’s world turned upside down as the concepts of good and evil seemingly changed places.
“Are you coming with me?” the question was addressed to Yuuno. The girl knew that without him she didn’t have many chances of escaping or surviving outside, but she was determined to try.
“I was going to do that from the beginning.” Yuuno smiled and it warmed Nanoha’s heart that he didn’t agree to the TSAB ways either. “I’m going to get my stuff.” He said getting up and heading towards the door. Although it would probably get him killed, it was now or never.
“So, the two have escaped.” Lindy said looking at the report she had just received. It was still the middle of the night and she didn’t quite appreciate being woken up like that.
“Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to trust Scrya. He lost one of our most precious artifacts. We should have taken care of him from when they first arrived.” Chrono had also been woken up by the report and was not in Lindy’s office sitting in front of her desk. Two other people stood near the door and listened to the conversation.
“It is our duty to look kind.” Lindy said with a sigh. It wasn’t often that things like this happened, but they were inevitable. “You two shall go after them. Take care of them in the usual way.” She addressed the two people sitting by the door. The blue haired and orange haired woman nodded and left the office in a hurry. With luck, they could still catch the two runaways before dawn.
+ The’ friend’ Yuuno visits is actually a priest. Since he got robbed by bandits, he had to go get some new money and working at the TSAB allowed him to just go and ask for it from a church.
+ Fate and Arf ran away not because they didn’t know if they could beat Chrono, but because they weren’t sure if he was alone or he had reinforcements with him.
+ Obviously, here TSAB stands for something different than in the Nanoha-universe. What is stands for though… I’m still working on that detail.
+ I wanted to make it clear from Chrono’s explanations how little they really know about magic. The organizations had been around for more than a few hundred years and yet their most important achievement is making devices and fighting with them. There are hardly any ‘usefull’ spells in their arsenal.
+ As silly as it is to just have Yuuno and Nanoha run away like that, it was actually the only thing they could do to get away. Also, just to make it clear, they were allowed to escape. (it’s probably not the first time this TSAB goes through something like this). They simply think that a rookie mage and a defense mage won’t cause them problems when they go after them, and it would be to their benefit to create a little ruckus through the world, then have the church come in and ‘save the day’ by capturing ‘witches’. They are the type to get a big head about themselves and think that everything will go good for them.
+ I don’t know if I made it clear enough in the story how the deal with the TSAB works.
Schematically, it works like this:
somebody (X) accidentally uncovers his magical powers
peasants announce church that a witch has appeared in their territory
Church tells TSAB to go after the so called witch
TSAB finds X and teaches him about his powers
X is asked if he will join the TSAB
join the TSAB – a peasant gets public executed under the claims that he is the witch
refuse to join the TSAB – X is hunted down, captured and public executed
the people are happy that the Church has saved them once from the servant of evil – they give the church more donations or more people start believing in their gods
repeat from 1.
As far as they are concerned it’s a foolproof system as any method used they still remain the good ones in the people’s eyes.
+ I made some doodles for Raising Heart and Bardiche just to get an idea of what they look like in this story. They are supposed to be taken as only doodles and used only for a reference. (aka don’t kill me because the proportions are all wrong ><)
Raising Heart - Bow Form
Bardiche - Scythe Form
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