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[. . .]
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Imaginary World no. 856
[Medieval!Nanoha] Chapter 7
7. Seventh Scroll – Sacrifice
“Oh, you’re the guy I knocked down unconscious because he was stupid enough to try and go against me and Graf Eisen!” the red haired spoke first at Yuuno’s accusation. The two parties stared at each other for long moments, before Nanoha stepped slightly in front to make herself seen and heard.
“Please, we don’t want to fight you.” Although she was saying that, her stance could tell anybody that she was ready to fire her bow at any sight of danger. “Do you have the jewel seeds? My friend here has been searching for them for a long time and needs them.”
The short haired brunette from the other group put a hand on the hammer wielding girl’s shoulder and the former let her weapon down. “Jewel Seeds? You mean these?” Saying that, she extracted a small bluish diamond shaped stone from a pouch tied to her belt. She held the stone in front of her and Yuuno tried to get a closer look, but the sword wielding woman took a step forward and already had her sword at Yuuno’s throat. “Don’t you dare approach our mistress.” She spoke and her death glare told the boy to freeze.
“Don’t worry Signum, they don’t look dangerous. Let me handle this.” At her mistresses’ words, the woman stepped back. The stone was handed to Yuuno who looked at it from all sides then gave a happy nod towards Fate. “It’s the real ones!”
“Well then.” The brunette clapped her hand together excited “I think we have something that you guys want. What are you willing to give for them?”
Nanoha, Fate, Yuuno and Arf exchanged worried looks. Most of the money they had had been spent on provisions and they had nothing of great value with them. Fighting for the artifacts wasn’t an option either as they would be fighting in enemy terrain and these opponents didn’t look like any casual second rate bandits. There was also the matter of time, since they had no idea if they had been followed or not. They shook their heads.
“The Jewel Seeds, don’t have any real value. They are just…” Yuuno tried to negotiate, but the girl interrupted him.
“What are you talking about? A traveling jeweler gave us a lot of money for just five of them. Imagine how much more we could get from the sixteen ones left.” The girl smiled mischievously.
“You did… what?” Yuuno couldn’t believe what he was hearing. If Yuuno could have face palmed, he swore he would have made the most dramatic one ever seen in the whole world. The words of these individuals in front of him were too outlandish to be true. Selling Lost Logia to a jeweler for… money?
“Do you realize you’ve sold magical artifacts to a simple human?” Yuuno blurted out unable to control himself.
“Bingo. So you’re mages.” The girl exclaimed at Yuuno’s sudden outburst. The boy had given that fact away by stating openly that those stones had magical properties. He had played right into her plan. “By your attire and the way you act, I’m guessing you aren’t with the church.” The girl continued knowingly.
“No, we are actually running away from them. My name is Nanoha and these are Fate, Arf and Yuuno.” Nanoha took over for Yuuno. “Glad to meet you… emm?”
“I am Hayate and these are my Knights, Signum, Vita, Shamal and Zafira.” Each of them inclined their heads as their names were spoken. The tension between the two groups suddenly eased. “This changed the whole situation.” Hayate continued. “An enemy of my enemy is my friend. We should talk. Come on, all of you look tired.”
Although there was no denying at the facts stated by Hayate, the way she invited everybody to follow didn’t leave much space for contradictions. Everybody was lead to a large room connected to the sewer shaft. It was an old warehouse, but it had been quickly turned into living quarters. One side was littered with makeshift beds, while the center made way for former fire. The four were ushered to sit down and were offered a bowl of warm soup which each carefully accepted. The soup was nothing more than water in which they had boiled what food leftovers they could put and had a sour taste, but it was warm and Nanoha wouldn’t have wanted anything more in that moment.
Hospitalities aside, Nanoha told them what had happened to them and that they were helping Fate find the Jewel Seeds. Hayate apologized for selling some of them, although knowing all along their power, but they were in need of money to fund their now completed quest. Yuuno had simply been in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and it was a misfortune that they had needed money at that time and had to resume themselves to stealing from whomever they found in their path. She also laughed saying that if that jeweler actually activated them, it would be only more trouble for the Church, which was great in her book. Yuuno frowned at this remark.
It was still unknown to Nanoha and her friends at that time, and would remain unknown for a little while, Hayate and her group’s identities and intentions. Hayate was an orphan adopted by the Church and due to her great affinity in magic, trained by their best mages in hopes of sky rocketing her directly into a high ranking position in the TSAB.
That future took an abrupt turn when the prodigy child started digging deeper into the affairs of the Church. In her hunt for knowledge she ended finding out the darker lies of the organization she was part of and wanted to have no more to do with them. By chance she met a small group of former Church Knights who had gone rogue because they considered the Church was staining their honor by making them hunt down other mages whose only crime was that they had refused to succumb to their ways.
The Wolkenritter accepted Hayate as their mistress and the five formed a sort of rebel group against the TSAB and anything similar to it, their main goal being to hinder their plans in any way possible, their most successful achievement being stealing the Tome of the Night Sky, a book containing ancient knowledge about magic. The Church had labeled it as evil and had renamed it the Book of Darkness to keep curious eyes away and had scheduled to destroy it, annihilating all the information it contained.
Everybody stood silent as they heard the sound of armored footsteps in the sewers main hall. Signum, Vita and Zafira got up and went towards the door. They heard some thuds and clashed outside, then, when the sounds stopped, the three returned, Zafira holding a steel helmet in his hands.
“Knights.” He said throwing the helmet to the side
“When that patrol doesn’t return, they will send reinforcements.” Nanoha and Fate got up at the same time
Nanoha took the initiative. “We have a common enemy. Please help us get out of here!”
“We’ll help!” Hayate nodded and took the lead. The Wolkenritter followed her, then Nanoha’s group came in behind.
All of them walked for a little while, before hearing the sound of pursuers again. Another few turns away, they reached the long-sought after exit. Climbing the steep stairs, they finally reached sunlight, or what was left of it. The light rays of sun hit them fully as they ran towards the safety of the forests trying to escape their followers. Neighing of horses soon joined in the trampling of steel boots as another wave of enemies started following them.
When they finally took the safety of the woods, their followers were still after them and closing in very fast. Against the swiftness of horses, they had little chance to escape on foot, unless they managed to loose their tracks in the forest, but as it stood now, the Knights would catch them before they would manage to do that.
“We need more time!” Arf whispered, coming to a sudden halt. The group lost speed as well and turned to look at the woman.
“Arf, what are you - ?” Fate asked, her voice trembling and a look of horror on her face.
“I shouldn’t be here right now, had it not been for Fate. Time I return the favor!” The woman spoke clearly, turning her back and popping her knuckles. She was surprised as she felt another presence behind her and turned her head to see Zafira standing to her right.
“I am the Guardian Knight Zafira and I will not let anything come between my Mistress and her companions.” He spoke clearly and looked back at Arf. The two nodded at each other then slowly started walking towards the coming threat.
“Arf, wait! Stop!” Fate tried pleading and running towards the two, but was stopped by Signum who grabbed her tightly and refused to let her go.
“Hold it Testarossa! Don’t let their sacrifice be in vain.”
“GO!” Arf growled looking behind for one last time
“AARRFF!!!” Fate cried to the companion who was abandoning them and it took all of Signum’s strength to finally move the blonde and get moving once again. Nanoha couldn’t believe what was happening, but she was powerless to do anything in that situation. She also knew that Fate’s despairing scream would probably haunt her worst nightmares from that day forward.
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