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[. . .]
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Imaginary World no. 856
Without further distractions and unnecessary speeches, I present the next chapter:
[Medieval!Nanoha] Chapter 5
5. Fifth Scroll – Chase
Yuuno was positive they were going to die. There was no doubt about it. They were fugitives from the church and probably the news about them would soon spread throughout the whole realm. They had been lucky up to that point, but their luck could eventually run out.
The following month went by without getting recorded. They had adapted to a nomadic way of life going from place to place, never staying too much in a single place where they could get caught. One moment they could be seen in the north, other people had seen them in the east. They were everywhere, too afraid to stop from wandering since they could always get caught. It was actually a wonder that they hadn’t been found yet. Somebody from above was definitely smiling for them and giving them this insane luck. Nanoha was also trying to improve her marksmanship as soon she had gotten to prove that she wasn’t the little girl who could only shoot pink little bolts.
The only moment when their sighting was recorded was a certain awkward meeting in the center of a village with a certain old acquaintance…
“Don’t look back!” were the only words Yuuno could shout as the terrible screams of peasants could be heard behind them. He, Nanoha and Fate and Arf were running at full speed from what seemed to be a mob of peasants armed with pitchforks and torches and screaming their lungs out hideous insults. Compared to other villagers, these were content to protect their lands from witches and if it meant chasing them to the end of the world, they would probably do it. After all, the witches were the one who created a ruckus in their village by fighting each other out of the blue. After running a good few miles, the men decided it was getting late and there was no use chasing them, as they wouldn’t catch up, so they turned around and headed back to their homes.
The four stopped to catch their breaths.
“That was stupid.” Yuuno muttered while leaning against a tree. Turning to look at their unlikely companions, he saw that the heated atmosphere from the village hadn’t cooled down yet. Nanoha and Fate were standing a few meters from each other, eyes locked in a battle of wits.
“We can’t talk about this, can we?” Fate answered by griping the hilt of her scythe harder and taking an offensive stance.
“Raising Heart, please!” Nanoha shouted as she raised her bow to level with her line of sight.
“Divine…” the girl began saying as her bow started forming a sort of pink sphere of energy at the tip of her energy bolt.
Fate started running towards Nanoha.
“Buster!” Nanoha ended shouting and a very large pink projectile shot from her weapon, hitting Fate point blank, before she even had the time to get in range to scythe her. The blonde was thrown back, and a few trees started falling hit by the radius of Nanoha’s pink attack.
Not very far away, the villagers that had previously chased them heard loud noises coming from the forest. The men decided that the witches were harming their trees and that they needed to be taught a lesson. They turned back and resumed the chase.
“Ugh.” The girl replied hearing her name called once again. She opened her eyes and was greeted by Arf’s worried face.
“What happened?” she asked straightening herself. The only thing she could remember was that she was running, and then something hit her. She turned and looked around to see that she leaning against a large oak tree. They were still in the forest and it was getting morning.
“Nanoha hit you with her attack. And you fell unconscious from the magical damage.”
“Nanoha?” she asked confused and was answered with a pointing to the white clad girl that was standing just a few feet away from her. Fate put a hand to her head to ward off the constant pain. Magical damage wasn’t dangerous by itself, but it hurt a lot more than anything else. It also didn’t need special treatment, but a good few hours of rest and it would pass by itself.
Hearing her name spoken, the girl came and took a seat on the ground next to Fate. At that moment, Arf left and give the two time to talk.
“How are you feeling?”
“Fine.” The blonde couldn’t understand fully what situation they were in and was surprised by the bright smiled of the person in front of her.
“I hope we can become good friends. Right, Fate?” the simple way the question had been asked, as well as the sincere smile that the brown haired girl had on her face, made it hard for Fate not to believe it was a sincere question.
“So… you aren’t working for the TSAB?”
“No, we are runaways.” Nanoha answered with a bitter smile this time. Fate had a hard time believing that the girl in front of her was capable of lying to anybody.
“Yes!” Nanoha brightened up in an instant at her simple saying of the word. “Just say my name: Nanoha.”
“Na-no-ha… Nanoha!” Fate was taken aback as the girl in front of her suddenly hugged her. She couldn’t help but smile a little at that action.
“Report.” Lindy promptly told the man as he opened the door to her office. She wasn’t in a good mood that day. The recent reports had been bad and she had a feeling this one didn’t bring good news either. The magical activity in the realm outside of her control was slowly, but surely increasing and she had to play her cards carefully.
“Yes sir!” the man replied starting to read from the paper in his hands. As she had anticipated, the two runaways that had escaped the previous month hadn’t been captured yet. The two who had been sent after them had lost their trail and kept running into dead ends. There had been no sign of the Jewel Seeds, or of the people who had stolen them and the latest report was that mages outside of her jurisdiction had been fighting in a village, and then had been chased by the villagers a good few miles through the forest.
Information could not travel quickly enough and by the time the reports came in, a different set of details could be send.
“Tell all vacant units to set up patrol routes through the important road. I also want reinforcements sent to the Capital. Everybody is to be vigilant and if they ever see even a slight hint that somebody might possess magic, I want him captured and interrogated. That is all.” She gave her order and the man left the office.
“Incompetent lot.” She though as she raised the tea cup and drank the tea in one go. “Needs more sugar.” She muttered at the end.
Nanoha had never in her life seen something as magnificent as that. The tallest building that she had ever seen in her life had probably been her father’s mill. The houses here were tall and the streets were crowded with people running around to their daily lives. The road was mucky and was slightly uneven, with a passage in the middle of the road to allow water to go downhill when it rained too much. Large three of four floor high houses covered each side of the street with ropes dangling from one side to the other, where people let their clothes or dishes dry. One could occasionally hear the shouting of a merchant as he promoted his wares, or the pained cry of a poor as he asked for a penny to buy at least a half bread.
That was the Capital, the largest and most advanced city in the whole realm.
After meeting Fate, the four had talked about what each of them had to do. Fate was definite that she had to find the Jewel Seeds and Arf would be following her. Yuuno and Nanoha had no real schedule planned, but they were supposed to be avoiding the TSAB. As Yuuno was the only one who had seen the faces of those who had stolen the Lost Logia, it had been quickly decided that he and Nanoha would help Fate and Arf on their quest. Nanoha wanted to use this opportunity to learn as much as she could about magic.
As the last place where they had heard the Bandits were heading had been the Capital, even if it had been a month ago, they decided to retrace their steps from there and see what they could find.
As they advanced more towards the center, the streets began getting larger, the roads getting paved with stone, and the general poorness of the beginning was getting replaced with cleaner houses, stores and everything. In the end they reached a large white building that was shadowing almost everything around it by its huge size.
The Infinite Library. The only place where the church had absolutely no authority and probably the only place where they might find something relevant to their cause.
Entering the large halls, they were surrounded by cool air and the smell of damp and old paper. The guards at the entrance gave no attention to them as they stepped inside. Once there, they started going through the rows, Yuuno leading the way. The reason that it was called the Infinite Library was because the amount of scrolls and books in it couldn’t be read by a single person in a lifetime. It was also a national monument and the church had no authority over what it contained. It was a likely thing that there were records on magic in it. Nobody checked the accuracy of the written materials, the librarians only duty was to archive and protect anything that ever came written down, therefore it wasn’t hard to sneak inside records on magic, while hiding them as a work of fiction or as a tale to scare off little children.
The four travelers had come here in search of such records, hoping to find something that may help them in their search.
Yuuno looked around. The place was gigantic and they needed to know where they could find something related to magic. They went through the rows until the boy stopped at a larger category where everything that wouldn’t fit in the more serious rows was simply dumped. He randomly took a scroll from the shelf and started skimming through it. Nanoha did the same and looked at the smelly piece of paper. It was filled with unfamiliar symbols that took over the whole page.
“What is it, Nanoha?” the boy asked after a few minutes as he had seen her staring at the paper with a confused look on her face.
“I can’t read. I’ve lived in a village all my life so there was never a reason for me to learn to write or read.” She stated embarrassed putting the scroll back from where she had taken it.
Arf patted Nanoha on the back. “Heh, don’t worry! I can’t read either!” the woman smiled. “Want to go around the city? We would just be bothering Fate and Yuuno here.”
The two left Fate and Yuuno to search through the library and promised to return before dusk. They went around the city and Nanoha was amazed at the amount of people living in this place. She had never seen this many people in her life. Taking a turn down another street, they found a less crowded part of the city.
“Look! There she is!” a man screamed as he noticed them walking on the street. Suddenly two armed men bearing the Knight symbol of the church came from around the corner and charged towards them. Nanoha tried reaching for Raising Heart, but she realized they had left their stuff in the Library.
Arf began running, but Nanoha wasn’t quick enough and a man jumped on her, pinning the defenseless girl to the ground. Arf knew she couldn’t do anything against the armed men so she continued running.
“Arf!” Nanoha screamed, but the woman didn’t turn back. She just continued running and running, until she reached the crowded streets again and got lost in the mass of people. The woman ran as quickly as he feet could take her until she saw the large white building of the Infinite Library. She barged in and started running through the shelves in search of Fate and Yuuno.
“Fate!” she bawled as she finally reached the place where they had left the two. They were still in the same place, just a few meters further down the shelf.
“Arf. Calm down. What happened?” Fate asked alarmed as she saw Arf breathing heavily after having just run a long time.
“Nanoha… Nanoha got captured. TSAB… church.”
They heard some shouts outside and people generally stirring. “In the Library.” A man’s shout told them exactly what they had to know: they had followed Arf till here.
“Run.” Fate managed to say as they picked up their bags and ran towards the back door.
+ For reference, everybody should check out Evil Rick's awesome drawing.
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