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[. . .]
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Imaginary World no. 856
[Medieval!Nanoha] Chapter 6
6. Sixth Scroll – Execute
The guards simply threw Nanoha into the cell and locked the door before abandoning her there. Nanoha got up from the ground and surveyed her surroundings. It was a small cell, the walls were made of large solid blocks of rock and the exit was blocked by a wall of iron bars. There was no window and the only light came from the small candle on the corridor. The floor was cold and wet and the whole place smelled of rotting flesh and dirtiness, and also some other things Nanoha would rather no even think about.
Taking a seat on the wet floor, Nanoha rested her head on the wall behind her. Arf had abandoned her to get captured. But then, thinking back, there had never been much that could have been done against it anyway.
Hearing the rustling of clothes and the sound of footsteps, Nanoha went closer to the iron bars. In the cell across from hers she saw a red haired young boy. He was probably about 10 and he looked dirty and as if he hadn’t eaten anything good in quite a while. By the way he was dressed she would say he had been from the poorer part of the city.
“You’re the new person they brought in, right?” despite his looks, he spoke politely.
“Yes.” Nanoha replied. “Who are you?”
“That’s not important. We’re not going to know each other starting from tomorrow anyway.” The boy smiled warmly as he told her that.
“Your coming made a big fuss around here. I overheard the guards talking to prepare the junk pile for tomorrow’s execution. You must have done something really bad to get them so worked up.”
Nanoha stood silent a few minutes.
“What did you do to get here?” she ended up asking the boy.
“Me? The worst thing I’ve ever done had been stealing a few apples because I was hungry. But I’m sure that’s not what I’m here for.”
“You mean… you’re not a mage?”
“If I were a mage, I’d get myself out of here.” The boy laughed bitterly.
“Too bad you got stuck with an amateur” Nanoha muttered under her breath.
The two fell silent afterwards.
Nanoha couldn’t tell how much time had passed, as time moved at a constantly slow pace in the prison. There was no outside light to tell her the passing of the day, so when two women came into her cell, she could only guess it was the next day and they had come to take her to her execution.
“Hey, Tia, by the trouble we had finding and capturing her, I was expecting something a lot more menacing.” The blue haired woman spoke first to the other person accompanying her.
Nanoha blinked. Menacing? Her?
“It doesn’t matter now Subaru. She can’t escape now” The other one replied. “And stop calling me Tia!”
The two continued their arguing while Subaru came and tied Nanoha’s hands together behind her back. Nanoha would have struggled or tried to escape, but she knew she was no match for the woman as she looked a few times stronger than her. Afterwards she was escorted by the two out of the cell. She heard the boy from the cell next door whisper ‘Good Luck’ slowly as she passed by his cell. Four more Knights came into their convoy and the six people surrounded her while leading her through the streets towards the execution grounds.
There was quite a distance to walk to get to it and the way was filled with people who had come just to see her execution. Most of them were shouting insults and words of hate towards her, although Nanoha had never seen or hurt any of those people. Many of them tried throwing stuff at her, some missing, but some managing to genuinely hit her, making Nanoha stop a few seconds every time to let the pain fade away. To her luck, food was expensive, so there was no chance anybody would think of throwing something edible at her. That also meant that they were forced to throw blunter objects like small rocks or sticks. She was quite lucky that they were running out of throwing objects as well, having used all the good rocks on previous prisoners, because otherwise she didn’t know how she would have managed to reach the execution spot.
The execution grounds were in fact nothing more than a large pile of garbage with a wooden pole put at its top. Hay was expensive as well and nobody could afford using it every time they had to burn somebody to death, so practicability in mind, they burned the garbage along the executed. Hundreds of people surrounded the junk heap and were cheering as Nanoha was tied up to the pole at the top. The Knights surrounded the spot to leave some space between it and the people so they wouldn’t interfere with the burning.
Nanoha looked in horror as Teana ignited a torch and slowly started approaching her. There were no formalities; nobody cared who she was or what she had done. Everybody had come to see her burn to death and hear her pathetic screams as the flames enveloped her.
She didn’t want to die.
Nanoha definitely didn’t want to die. Not now, when she had found so many new things and interesting people. No…
Casting another look at her surroundings before Teana let the torch fall, she thought she saw a bright pair of red eyes looking at her from the crowd.
“Stop right there!” a blonde figure stepped out of the crowd. Red eyes met Nanoha’s blue eyes and the former could only look in amazement at the act that was playing right in front of her.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Teana turned around to address the newcomer, taking the torch away from the inflammable material.
“My name is Fate Testarossa and I have come to see my greatest enemy to her final moments in this world.” The people gasped at the hearing of her name. Subaru, Teana and the Knights looked with raised eyebrows, but stood their ground.
“Nanoha! You have been a thorn in my life for enough time, now I come to see your evil reign finally come to an end.“ Fate continued her act by raising her clenched fist high in the air.
“Disappear from my sight!”
Lowering her hand, Nanoha could see a small black pouch falling from Fate’s previously closed fist. As the small bag hit the floor, a small poof was heard and black smoke started surrounding everything around her. People started screaming and moving around fanatically.
Nanoha felt something touch her from behind and the ropes tying her to the pole soon became undone. A hand took her by the arm and started pulling her through the crazed people. The girl was too paralyzed to oppose the force pulling her, but she managed to see blonde locks of hair when she looked in front of her.
After running a few streets, the girl was almost brutally pushed into a hole in the ground in the back of an abandoned alley. She was about to fall hard on her back, but her fall was softened up by half a meter of water.
“Nanoha! Are you alright?”
Nanoha turned and saw Fate running towards her. The blonde helped her get up from the smelly water. Looking up, she saw Yuuno and Arf descending from the same hole she had fallen through a moment earlier.
“Everybody… thanks.” Nanoha spoke slowly looking at the three gathered around her. She wanted to hug them as a sign of thanks for saving her life, but was instead pushed to move forward and keep moving.
“Let’s go, they might be following one of us. We’ll give you the details on the way.” Nanoha was handed her bag along with Raising Heart. The girl gripped the bow tightly, feeling a lot better by having it with her. Yuuno took the lead while looking back to see if there was anybody coming their way.
Nanoha was told what had happened after her capture. Arf had run into the Infinite Library and had warned Fate and Yuuno about the danger and about Nanoha’s capture. They had luckily found plans to the city and its undergrounds so they made their escape to the sewers.
Yuuno spoke enthusiastically about all the content that could be found in the Library and that it was any scholar’s dream to read all that info. They had also found the recipe for the smoke bomb that Fate had used in Nanoha’s escape and had spend the whole night assembling said object, then used the whole morning to finish plotting her escape.
Nanoha suddenly stopped. “The prison…” She turned around. “There was a boy there. He didn’t do anything! We must save him!” She started running back, but something caught her arm and pulled her back.
“Let go! We must save him! He didn’t do anything to deserve to get killed.”
A cold palm coming in contact with her face turned her whole head to the side. Although it had never been done with ill intent, it stung more than any wound she had ever experienced.
“Nanoha, we aren’t heroes. We are runaways, scourges of the society. Going anywhere near that place means death. Don’t throw away your life uselessly.”
Unable to say another thing, she listened to those words and silently followed the group.
The sewers were a large place. They extended all the way under the Capital and even further, eventually dumping all the waste a few kilometers away from the huge city. Nanoha had very much recovered from the day’s incidents, but an ominous silence still covered their little convoy. Nobody dared say a word.
“Who are you and why are you here?”
The group came to a sudden halt as out of the darkness emerged a short, red haired girl. Her coming out of the dark wasn’t an actual problem, but the fact that she held a very large hammer menacingly towards them could have proven an issue. From behind her appeared another four figures. One of them was a blonde woman dressed in a long green dress. The one next to her was another tall woman with pink hair and clothes, a sword hanging sheathed from her belt. Next to them stood a shorter girl with brown hair and holding a staff with a sort of cross modeled at its end and a large book in her hands. Finally, complementing the four females, a tall and muscular male stood behind them with white short hair and tan skin.
“What are you doing in Wolkenritter territory?” the girl with the hammer asked again.
“You!” Yuuno exclaimed at their appearance. “You are the ones who stole the Jewel Seeds from me!”
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