Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Character Creation and Discussion (second reincarnation)
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hotsprings Resort
My god. This took a while.
Black, jagged, rusted chains rattled and creaked as they unfurled around the grand throne, like writhing snakes slithering against each other. They unraveled and shrank, releasing their restrictive hold upon the sitting armor. But where did the chains go as they released their prisoner? Like an old automaton with creaking limbs, the knight rose from its seat, its arms dropping to its side. The Aces watched with frozen breaths as the chains returned to their origin… Until the final link disappeared under the black and red plate.
I told you not to touch that!
How was I supposed to know?!
It let out a hiss-like breath, its first full breath in a long, long time. Despite the comfortable temperature, the air escaped in visible condensate form. Was it really that cold? No… the breath was just that hot.
I was literally screaming at you the entire time!
What screams?! I didn’t hear you at all!
Lurching forward, the knight stepped closer to the ferret-changeling, his seven foot form easily towering over the little librarian. With a look that could be best described as hateful, it pulled its right arm back.
Hmm. Must have been the artifact then… by the way, heads up.
What? Oh shi—
Yuuno could only stare in frozen horror, his eyes locked onto those burning red orbs. He could distantly hear someone screaming at him, yelling at him to duck, dodge, get out of the way, but his legs refused to move. Rooted in place, the archaeologist could barely register the clenched fist coming to take his head completely off his shoulders.
“Yuuno-kun!” in a white blur and ringing chime, a pink magic circle formed between him and this black knight. Nanoha’s Round Shield sparked and crackled as the armored gauntlet crashed into the barrier. The impact resonated with a thunderous roar, Nanoha’s legs almost buckling under the pressure and her arms shaking in effort. Never before had she absorbed such a blow so strong! Never before did her own Round Shield begin to crack with only one strike! Yet she could see it with wide eyes as the knight brought his other fist to bear and struck her shield once more. With a sound like shattered glass, Nanoha’s Round Shield exploded into a storm of crystalline fragments, the force knocking her body a short distance away. Immediately did the knight leap after her, snarling in fury as he prepared to strike the killing blow.
Instead of flesh, however, his armored hands smashed into another barrier, green in color and much stronger than the previous. There, standing between him and his prey was Yuuno, a grim yet determined look upon his face and a glowing card between his forefinger and middle.
“Are you all right, Nanoha?!” the archaeologist gritted his teeth against the oppressive force. Damnit. Even with this enhanced barrier, he could barely stand! But he needn’t worry much longer, for his friends were already charging into battle. So long as he could hold this monster back, he could leave the battle to the others. Signum, Fate, Vita, and even Zafira, they came from four sides as Hayate prepared a spell; next to her, Shamal was ready to assist. The knight may have gotten the first strike, but he could not possibly hold back this elite team!
Two chains lashed out, whipping in every direction around the knight as he pivoted three hundred and sixty degrees. The others had no choice but to defend, their devices coming up to parry the whip-like chains. Yet behind the attack was a force none of them could have expected, so great and overwhelming that it smashed right through their defenses! In a single, unbelievable strike, he had repelled all attackers, blowing them away! As the knight flowed out of his attack, his foot stomped loudly upon the grass, throwing his head back to unleash an incredible warcry! The very sound caused Yuuno’s stomach to twist and turn, his breath to still in his lungs, and his own mind break in terror. An icy chill seemed to wash over his mind, numbing it and bringing his own sanity to its limits. The world around him seemed to darken, as if the terrible night had arrived.
The nightmare began then, unstoppable and unrelenting.
Nanoha staggered to her feet, her entire body aching from the blow. Where did all that strength come from?! Could they defeat it? No… not in their current state they could. They needed more power. A lot more.
Hayate-chan! Hurry! Release our limiters!
The mental request went out as she stood to face her foe.
“Raising Heart! Exee—KYAAH!” Nanoha’s command could not finish as the berserker suddenly appeared in front of her, his hands grasping Raising Heart by the shaft. Her grip failed against the knight’s unholy strength, a strange terror filling her as she lost her companion to the enemy. Suddenly, she found the butt end of the staff jammed deeply into her belly, causing her to double over. Even as she tried to recover, the golden crescent head of the staff slammed into her jaw, sending her reeling back and falling over. Through her blurred, swimming vision distorted by pain, Nanoha’s eyes were wide in shock as she watched her precious device be snapped in two, the ruby gem of Raising Heart cracking as it dimmed.
“Pitiful, sniveling girl. This amount of suffering will not appease me. No… your pain comes from the suffering of your friends, does it?” His words were like a demon’s, distorted in resonance and evil in character. The girl could barely resist as he grabbed her neck, lifting her into the air. Scarcely able to breath, Nanoha could only struggle weakly against the iron-like grip. There was a rush of air before an explosion of pain blossomed in her back, but even greater was the agony in her hands. Her heart thundered in her ears as she felt a strange warmth trickle down her arms, a horrified scream taking over as the Ace realized what had happened. Upon the far wall of the room, the broken shafts of Raising Heart pierced her hands and splayed her arms apart in some twisted crucifixion.
“Then be witness to their misery, their anguish, and their torment! Do not look away, child, unless you want them to scream even louder!”
“You bastard!” an anguished cry came from behind him, the lithe form of a furious Fate charging forward. The bladed form of Bardiche glistened in the darkness, its keen edge thirsting for dark one’s blood. Her battlecry was cut short, however, as she suddenly found her face smothered by the knight’s large hand. With a great roar, he slammed Fate’s head into the ground, showing no mercy as he brought an armored boot down upon her slim neck. Fruitlessly she struggled against his weight, unable to breathe at all.
“What hope do you have of defeating me, reject? You cling to the tattered false love of others when the others loathe and despise you! You have no right to exist, you disgusting bitch of a copy! Suffer, and writhe in agony!”
He could do no more, however, as a sword and hammer came rushing for his head. Instead of a victorious strike, however, Signum and Vita watched incredulously as the knight backflipped out of the path of danger, landing mere yards away. Nonplussed, the hammer struck once more, though its flight was stopped short. More than that, as his hands gripped the shaft of Graf Eisen, Vita suddenly found her world spinning and her brain rattled as her own weapon was torn from her hands and used to beat her to the ground. Through the ringing in her ears, she could hear that horrible mocking voice.
“How far has Belka fallen to have her Knights so weak? This weapon is ill-suited to scum like you!”
The hammer was almost like a toy in his hands, sickly black veins forming wherever he touched it. Brandishing it before him, the knight called out his command, red eyes blazing brightly, “Graf Eisen, obey me!”
the device responded, though not wholly itself. What was once a proud and strong voice was now as twisted and dark as its current master.
“N-no way! That’s not possible, dammit!” Vita yelled. Her own device, betraying her?! How was that possible?!
In a glow of ghastly crimson, the hammer grew in size and shape. He held the now warhammer sized weapon before him, mockingly saluting his new opponents.
“Now… come, weaklings! If you are truly knights, then you are prepared to die like one!”
In an instant, he was among them, hammer splitting the air.
“Move!” Signum yelled.
The earth cracked and the world trembled as the weapon smashed down on where Signum and Vita once stood, red and magenta streaking away as the hammer came up once more.
“What the hell is he?!” the swordswoman hissed as she landed a short distance away, yet as she regained her bearings, she saw no enemy before her. “Dammit… where?!”
The answer came with a jarring blow to her head, the colors leaving her vision and stars exploding in the darkness left in the wake. Barely did her vision return when she was struck again, her brain rattling in her skull as the strength leaked away from her legs. Where was he?! Where was her enemy!? Behind? In front? Signum’s senses, though disoriented, confused her even more as it told the Cloud Knight that her foe was all around her!
“Get away from her, you bastard!” came the vicious, almost hysterical cry from nearby. Screaming a mighty warcry, Vita charged in with her bare hands reaching for the dark knight’s throat. All sense had left the girl now, her mind overtaken by a rage greater than anything she had ever felt before.
Such blind fury paled in comparison, however, to the wild insanity boiling within the knight and all around them. He spun around; in his right was a corrupt Graf Eisen, its head bloodied from use; his left arm lashed out instead, the sound of scraping metal strangely loud.
There was a light pressure on her legs, if only for the briefest of moments. She barely registered it through the rage that clouded her mind, yet in an instant Vita could feel the difference. She tumbled awkwardly now, her bare-fisted tackle rendered harmless with a single swipe. With a heavy, almost wet splat, Vita of the Hammer collapsed as an overwhelming torrent of agony pierced the cloud of adrenaline blanketing her mind. Her legs! She couldn’t feel them at all! Had the nerves been severed? No… oh god. Oh god! Where were they?! Where were her legs?!
Dark crimson glistened from a thin blade jutting forth from the knight’s left gauntlet. With the child down, the Berserker returned his attentions to the Flame Empress just in time to see the fiery blade of Laevatein seek his neck. Yet no closer did it travel than a mere inch from his head, the weapon and its master held in bondage by scores of black chains.
“Who the devil are you?!” she hissed, straining against the chains of heaven and hell. Her arms, her legs, even her torso, these damned things had come from almost nowhere!
Though his face obscured by his warped helmet, Signum swore she could see the man underneath grinning madly as he replied, “The devil, I am…!”
Ah. So that’s what that feeling was. It was fear. Absolute, pure, unadulterated terror. It gripped her heart, crushed it painfully, and squeezed her lungs empty of air. Why was it so hard to breath? Oh God! Oh GOD! Her throat! It was being crushed! And her hair! Pulled so tightly it felt as if it would be torn right off! Stop it! What are you doing?! STOP IT!
Poor Vita, finally finding sight through the blinding haze of pain, recovered in time to witness her friend’s throat be torn apart by black bloodstained claws. With growing horror and disgust, the Hammer Knight could do nothing more than watch Signum’s head be brutally and cruelly ripped off its shoulders. With disgusted grunt, the lunatic knight threw away his bloodied prize, its tangled mass of magenta hair and dead blue eyes rolling to a stop by Vita’s head.
“NOOOO!” she screamed hysterically, clawing desperately at the ruined soil to get away. Her body felt so heavy, so cold now. Memories of that snowy day flashed back to her unwillingly, though now she alone lay there in the snow, dying in the cold. Her body jerked violently, a shuddering breath escaping her lips as she reached her hand out desperately, longingly, for a freedom not even there. No more could she move, no breath could she take, all as her vision lost all color and her strength wean away. Even the pain was fading…
With a final wet crunch, the dark warrior tore the bloodied shaft of Graf Eisen out from the girl’s back.
“Be still, filth.”
A strange light stopped him for a moment, however. A strange feeling too; a hollow, cold feeling from within his chest. A green light? A hand! This filthy hand dared to even touch him?!
“Wretch!” he roared, grasping the hand with his own and crushing it with all his might; a terrified and agony-filled scream followed after. Weakly, the hand tried to pull back, struggling fruitlessly against the vise-like grip crushing it. Worse still, the dark knight pulled the hand forward until it could come no more, then he thrust his own hand through the strange portal. Immediately it came back, grasped tightly in the hand his prize: still beating, alive and strong, Shamal’s heart continued to work even when ripped free from its master.
“Can you hear it?! Can you hear your own heart crying out?! Its mewling disgusts me!” the knight spat and clenched his hand, crushing the organ with a wet splatter. With its master dead, the portal winked to nothingness.
A beastly roar was the knight’s only warning as a mess of blue fur blurred into his vision. His eyes mad with fury, Zafira snarled wildly as he leapt at his hated enemy, claws and teeth bared. His intended target of the neck would not be found, to his horror, as the same damnable chains that held Signum now trapped him like some twisted spider’s web. His arms and legs bound, not even this beast-man could tear himself free. And lo, did he see his foe step forward with eyes blazing red.
“A dog dares to bear its fangs at me? You forget your leash, mongrel!” the Mad Knight held a hand high and snapped his fingers, a clear, sharp sound that rang beautifully as the chains will pulled tight. The Guardian Beast howled as he felt his limbs be stretched to the very limits, a cry that grew as muscles tore and ligaments failed. Ragged were his screams as he was at last drawn and quartered limb-by-limb, his head and ruined torso was left to flop unceremoniously to the ground like a dying fish. With every futile twitch, the beast’s blood spilled onto the soaked earth.
As the knight brought his hand down, he turned to face the last one standing: a trembling girl in soiled clothes, a bare remnant of a once happy and proud woman.
“You’ve killed them… you’ve killed them all!” the Meister sobbed, barely able to see clearly through the tears that clouded her eyes. Every bit of her trembled in fear and loathing, the instinct to flee outrageously strong amidst all this horror. Yet with conviction she straightened up and pointed the Schwertkruez at her enemy. “Nothing matters any more! Even if I kill myself, I will end you—URGK!
An armored fist buried itself deeply into Hayate’s belly with such great force that she was lifted off the ground, a horrifying bulge protruding from her back. Her entire body shook from the blow, the trauma so great she blacked out for a moment. Yet her consciousness remained long enough to hear the knight’s hateful words.
“Be silent! Is this the best the Meister of the Night Sky can do? Pathetic. Whilst your Guardians threw their lives at my feet, you stood back and watched them die! Now you see fit to step in?!
“You have no right to stand upon the same earth as they. Wallow in your own waste, trash!” His hand plunged into the girl’s belly, as if her barrier jacket were but measly rags, tearing through soft flesh and fragile organ, until his fingers ripped out through her back. Clenching into a fist, there was a horrific, agonizing crack as he crushed the girl’s spine. Just as swiftly, his fist tore free from her belly, and with it, the ruined remants of Hayate’s spine, intestine, and flesh. Crimson stained the black gauntlet, trails of blood dribbling down the jagged plate.
Hayate couldn’t scream. No. She was in too much suffering to scream. Her world was nothing more than burning agony and a creeping cold that filled her very being. Blinded by pain and no longer able to stand, the meister collapsed like a puppet with cut strings. There was a dull thump as the knight threw a mangled pile of shattered bone and flesh next to her head.
The dark one, alone standing amongst the dead and dying, threw his head back and laughed. His maniacal laugher bellowed in the grand, hollow room, a place once beautiful, now stained with blood and tainted with sorrow. In discord were the wracking sobs and pitiful screams of the crucified girl in white not far away. But he could not cheer for too long. There was at least one who still lived, after all…
Immediately after the “Awakening”
The bridge exploded into a flurry of activity as a shrill alarm blared incessantly over their heads.
“Status report. Talk to me, people – what is this alarm about?” Chrono asked calmly, though internally his mind raced. Worry gripped his heart as dozens of dreadful thoughts pounded his skull.
“Sir! It’s the swordship! It’s activated!” one of the operators reported. “Defense gadgets just tripled—no, quadrupled—in number! They’re firing on us!”
The fresh pict-feeds projected to his personal holoscreens showed a damn near mythical swarm of fresh gadgets, disgorging themselves from the target objective. It was as if they meant to blot out the skies in one grand biblical plague, and sweep away Claudia in the process.
“Shields are holding – returning fire!” the weapons officer reported.
“What of our Marines?”
“We’ve lost contact with most of the teams! The AMF just jumped to insane levels! We can’t break through it!”
“I’ve got something!” one of the communication operators called out, though his face quickly changed into one of utter dread. “They’re… they’re being torn apart! The ship’s defenses – t-they’re
killing them all
“Deploy the reserve platoons ASAP; outfit them in maximum level protect gear. Medical! What is that status of our away team?” the Admiral’s cool was quickly deteriorating. The entire operation had gone to total shit in an instant, and now his closest friends were in terrible danger.
“Sir! Their psychographs are out of control! Vitals are fluctuating madly, and I can’t get into contact with any of them! Whatever’s happening to them… I-I don’t know! This is horrible!”
“Damn it. Damn it all!” Chrono swore beneath his breath, breaking from his unruffled persona and leaping out of his chair. No longer could he just sit back and watch it all happen. Damn protocol! Damn regulations! It was time he did something about it.
A deep breath to force calm back into his system, and he was once again in control of himself, “Tell the transport room that I will be arriving shortly. Have them prepare to send one person to the bridge of that ship. I will see to this incidence personally.”
“Admiral! This is hardly the appropriate response for this situation! We should—w-where are you going?!”
Chrono was already quickly stepping to the ship’s lift, ignoring the cries of his crew and communiqué requests from the scientists. “You are in command, XO! If I fail, here – catch.”
A single “key” flew through the air to land in shaky hands, the second-in-command gave his leader a look of absolute bewilderment and shock, “Th-This is lunacy, Admiral! Leave it to the Marines to handle it!”
The blue-haired man turned on his heel and glared at his XO, a fury so chilling that people swore the room got colder. In hissed tones that barely hid the riotous emotions within, he managed to grind out, “Our top teams were on that ship when it went off, XO. Do you really believe reserve Marines can handle where their best could not? I go now to the face this forsaken serpent and cut its head right off. And should I fail, you will do your duty!”
No more words reached him as the lift doors closed, painfully long seconds ticking by as he was transported to another deck. The moment he arrived, however, the mage found an unexpected person waiting for him by the door.
“Erio,” Chrono nodded at his godson, schooling his emotions with every ounce of willpower so as to not betray the turmoil of wild emotions rushing through his mind. “Everything is being taken care of. You have nothing to worry about.”
With that, the Admiral brushed past the child and continued to walk quickly, but calmly, down the hall. Yet for some reason it did not surprise him to find young Erio to be following him closely.
Not slowing in his steps, Chrono merely raised a brow at the boy, “What do you think you are playing at, boy? Return to your room.”
The boy only scowled back and snarled a response, “Do you take me for an idiot to just sit back and watch this chaos unfold?! I am coming with you!”
“Do not be daft, godson. I will handle this personally, so you need not concern yourself,” the Admiral internally winced at the poor argument, but he did not have much time to think of one anyways.
do not think me naïve just because I am a child, godfather! These alarms would not sound throughout the entire ship if it were nothing! Turbulence is not what shakes us! Something terrible is happening, and I won’t stand back and watch it happen!”
Such incredible intelligence in one so young, so much that it almost surprised Chrono. Then again, this was the boy that Fate had adopted, and she had a knack for finding the most interesting people. Still, what the boy was asking was simply preposterous. Gods, if it had not been for her, he would not even be standing here to worry over the irascible runt! And when this was all over, no doubt she would return to finish their interrupted “talk” too!
Why… Why is it so? Fate, are you the executor of… Her will?
Finally arriving at the transporter room, Chrono had one last chance to dissuade the child.
“Listen to me. I am going to do something incredibly dangerous, and possibly stupid. For the sake of everyone else, I am putting my life on the line. I do not wish the same of you, Erio. You still have much ahead of you. Do not put your future in jeopardy because you feel some – indignant obligation to make a difference.”
“What life will I have then, if everyone dies?”
That question, Chrono could not answer, his benevolent patience spent. What a brat!
“It is because
that I am here now, and I still want to see where this path will take me,” Erio’s eyes, though young and inexperienced, were bright with determination and rage. “I will not let her be taken away, so easily, without even lifting a finger.”
Pangs of nostalgia and strangely, sympathy, tugged at Admiral’s spirit. In Erio, he saw a slight reflection of himself, and in that he knew that the boy would fight even the eternal darkness to win.
How he wished he still had that spark…
“…Be it insanity, courage, fury, or all of them, I can admire that. Very well then, Godson. I shall see to it you do not sally forth empty-handed into the belly of the beast.”
All around him, his friends lay dead. All around him, their lifeblood and bodies. Signum, her head brutally ripped from her body. Shamal, her heart literally crushed before her eyes. Vita, cut to bloody pieces and impaled with her own weapon, and Zafira, drawn and quartered like a piece of meat. Hayate drowning in a pool of her own blood, her spine ruthlessly crushed and torn out. And Nanoha… dear Nanoha, crucified to the wall to watch every damnable moment. She was screaming earlier, but now she was silent. He dare not look over at her, lest his heart be crushed.
Now… their blood stained the tainted ground.
God… stop it! Stop it!
Yuuno wanted to scream so badly, but his words were trapped in his throat. Since no words could be made, he clenched his mouth tight with bared teeth and his fists balled into fists, despair enveloping his very being.
Dead… they’re all dead! All in a blink, you killed them! Tortured them! Murderer! How could you do this…?! You… You DAMNED MONSTER!
Despair and fury.
While his rage remained bottled, another’s was released with a blinding flash! Lightning crackled as the electric yellow blade of Bardiche Zamber sought the mad knight’s neck. But like those before it, the blade would not find its target. Wrath fueled Fate’s frenzy of attacks, and though her movements were blindingly fast and elegant, she could not land a single hit. Her opponent bobbed and weaved with inconceivable dexterity, dodging potentially lethal strikes with the most minimal of movements. The deceptive ease in which the knight avoided the black witch seemed like outright mockery and taunting; with but a minor twitch of his arm, the zamber blade scraped harmlessly off blackened armor.
“Fight! Rebel! Struggle with all your might! If you cannot even touch me, what hope do you have to save anyone?!” Fate’s opponent mocked with every swing.
As the black witch raised her blade over her head, the knight stepped up to her with alarming speed. His left reached up to grab the shaft of Bardiche, while his right buried itself deeply into Fate’s belly. Like Graf Eisen before, sickening black veins seemed to spread out from where he grasped and down the device’s shaft. The knight pulled the device down, his right hand grasping the weapon as well and twisting it horizontal. Bardiche’s base slammed into the girl’s chin, burying chokingly into her throat. With his greater stature and lunatic strength, the knight easily overpowered the smaller girl; in a single, smooth move, Fate was lifted off her feet and thrown to the ground, her own device used as a lever against her.
Suddenly, the red-eyed witch found herself winded, disarmed, and rolling out of the way of Bardiche’s distorted axe-head. She scrambled to her feet, almost stumbling to get away from her enemy. Yet in an instant, he was before her, device in hand.
“Cut her to pieces,” he pointed the head of the corrupted device at its former master. “With contempt and malice, strike her down and
[yES SiR. RIoT bLadE.]
The cartridge system fired twice, the “hilt” of Zamber compacting into a smaller shape. Along with the grip and pommel, the great blade of Zamber mode shrunk into a more elegant saber shape. The blade’s magic, however, seemed unstable and flickered as if to reflect the device’s distortion. At the same time, it was a damning reminder of the knight’s domination over the device.
“N-No! How?!” Fate cried in anguish, horror-struck by how her precious device was infected and enslaved by this unholy warrior. How could this… this monster do that?!
“Now… DIE FOR ME!” he howled and charged forward… only to find himself arrested by green chains binding his legs. More of such chains erupted from the ground, confining his torso and arms. No longer could the knight move as his capture was completed, though strangely he did not seem to strain against his capture.
“Hurry and get away! I got him for now!” Yuuno called out, a card in his hand and a glowing green ball in the other. He was visibly sweating, however, struggling against a supremely heavy AMF load. Much like with his earlier shield, the archaeologist could barely hold against his foe; long enough for his friend, he prayed.
These prayers, Yuuno found, were unheeded as the emerald chains suddenly shattered to useless fragments with a mere flexion of the knight’s insane might. Barely had Fate a moment to move before her enemy was upon her once more, a terrible howl and burning red eyes the last thing she witnessed before a great, burning pain erupted in her chest. Worse still was the jarring impact of her entire back slamming into the bulkhead, sending her vision swimming in a blur. Though the agony and dizzying pain, she realized her final moments, impaled upon the wall with her own device.
Oh god… oh god…!
“Die, reject!” the unholy knight spat, driving the sword deeper, all the way to the hilt. “Die as you have lived: sad, weak, and alone!”
No…! I…! Na…no… Don’t…look!
Fate cough wetly, a gout of blood spilling from her mouth as her lifeblood drained out. The brilliance in her eyes faded gradually with every waning heartbeat, the girl’s fruitless struggles weakening until finally, her entire body slumped in horrible repose.
There was a terrible, soul-rending screech then, the loudest that had ever been heard. Though she struggled against her bondage with all her might, she was trapped. All this time, crucified upon the wall and forced to witness every murder, Nanoha had cried for her dying friends, screaming for the nightmare to end. But this… this was the last her sanity could withstand.
“Yes! Yes, that is what I wished to hear! The screech of a soul’s suffering, the howl of a heart’s agony! Is it because you loved this girl? Is it she that held your heart? How cruel of me to tear you apart! Here, let me reunite the two of you.”
A blade slid out from his left gauntlet once more, the same one that severed the legs of the Hammer Knight. With disgusting ease it slid though the still warm flesh of Fate’s neck, splitting muscle, bone, and sinew. Gripped by the hair, Fate Testarossa Harlaown’s severed head was cruelly shoved into Nanoha’s face, their lips touching and muffling her screams.
“Kiss her! Kiss her goodbye, mongrel! Let your final moments be together!” he cackled, pressing harder and harder with every passing second. Slowly, one could hear the dull cracks of bone breaking under the growing pressure. The girl’s struggles slowed, becoming jerky and twitch-like. Nanoha could cry no more, her jaw and skull fragmented and her brain slowly mashed along with her dead friend. Red and slate blue eyes popped from their sockets, held close only by thin optical nerves. Harder and harder, the blood oozing from their ears, eyes, and mouth, until finally, he crushed both their heads with a satisfying wet crunch.
Again, he threw his head back, laughing the same crazed, insane laughter as before. The gooey remains of Nanoha and Fate’s ruined heads trickled off his hand as the other was pressed against his visor, as if to steady his haphazard balance. The knight seemed to almost stumble and falter with every raucous bellow, bending almost completely backwards in his madness. And as he did so, he saw the last.
“And you! The very person to awaken me! This is your reward, little man: you get to die last. But forsooth! This will be my only mercy, a quick death!” he cackled, twisting his body to stand upright. With awkward and unbalanced steps, the knight shambled towards the mage.
Slackjaw’d, Yuuno made no effort to escape his fate, the weight of his failure crushing his very soul. Having witnessed each of his precious friends be literally butchered before his eyes… what could he do now? His knees buckled as the strength to stand, to fight and to struggle, left him.
He had failed them.
Oh damn it all! Wake up you idiot! None of this is real! Open your eyes, damn it!
Wh-what? O-open my eyes?
Open your eyes and behold!
The card in his hand flashed with a brilliant green light as a beautiful, haunting voice echoed forth from it.
There was a strange sensation, as if someone had changed the channel, flipped a light switch, and lifted a veil all at the same time. From a horrific world of death and blood, Yuuno now saw the swordship’s bridge as it once was, unsullied with bodies.
Hah! Not so tough now without your illusion, aren’t you?
Chains everywhere. Among those blackened links were his friends, tightly bound and trapped. Still lost in the hallucination, they thrashed about against their bondage as they screamed, cried, laughed, and raged. Yet they were whole in body, without a single injury to be seen. Trapped they were still, in that terrible nightmare, but… but they were all alive…!
Oh… oh god… thank the gods…!
Yuuno nearly let himself fall flat onto the ground in exhaustion and relief. It had truly been a mere illusion, a false dream! In reality, they were all fine! What wonderful, wonderful news!
Eyes forward and get up! We may be free of that illusion, but now we’ve got the real thing to deal with!
Indeed, though the shroud of horrific fantasy was lifted from his eyes, the young archaeologist still had this terrible foe to contend with. Unlike those nightmares, this beast was very real, and very dangerous. Yet what mockery it was to see the knight sit upon that cracked throne, legs crossed and head propped on a fist as if leisurely observing the chaos before him. As he climbed to his feet, the archaeologist felt as if his foe was watching with bored derision.
What did he seek? For what reason did the knight choose to use an illusion instead of truly slaughtering them all? Thought it was false, the murders still seemed to be a real possibility, as if he was showcasing what he could do to them. But why? Why hallucinations? The answer, Yuuno would learn immediately.
Damn. That illusion spell must have really messed with my memory. I recognize this bastard now. No wonder he was screwing with our heads – he was testing us. The weak will die, and the strong will fight. But now that we managed to get out, we’re in all kinds of trouble.
What? Why? Who is he?
Oh come on! You call yourself a historian? You’re standing in front of a real live historic figure, Doc~tor!
This isn’t the time for this! Can you please just tell me?!
…Alright. An abhorred relic from the distant past. A soul lost to madness. A traitor to king, country, and family. Some call him the Traitor Knight. You know him as…
“Mysteries, no…! You… you’re him…” Yuuno whispered, horrified recognition finally setting in. “The Knight of Calamity, Noland Reiniger…!”
But how could that be?! That was over four hundred and sixty years ago, when Belka was still its own planet! How could this beast be here, still alive?! Was it the ship’s anti-time flux? Some strange magic? Or maybe he was cursed to never rest…
“How long? How long since I have heard my name?” the dark knight rumbled, his head mockingly cocked to the side. Yuuno could not control his flinch at the sound of his foe’s voice, so dark and cold, distorted, and warped. It was far worse in person than in that false reality; no human could possibly have such a horrible voice. No… this was a demon…!
D-dammit! No wonder he decimated everyone! Even with seven elite mages, they faced an apocalyptic force that not even a whole army could stop! This was the very person that brought about the downfall of an entire world!
“Well done, child. But the game is just beginning!”
The knight stood slowly, his armor creaking softly with his movements. At full height, he was a staggering full seven feet tall, a giant amongst men and by no means any less intimidating. A wet, crimson soaked gauntlet came up, a single claw-like finger pointing directly at the mage.
“Your head…” the hissed words seemed to echo through the room and in Yuuno’s mind, sending shivers down the librarian’s neck. “I shall have it.”
Oh hey look, part two just below.
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