Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Character Creation and Discussion (second reincarnation)
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hotsprings Resort
Well, this one is long overdue.
The Gospel of Judas
Chapter 1: The Darkness
Chapter 2: The Terror of Death
He had not realized that he had fallen asleep, his last memory being that shaky, rickety cage and that boy with the hateful glare. But now that his consciousness slowly brought itself from the darkness of slumber, Noland gradually became aware of his immediate surroundings. He was laying flat on something mildly soft, like a cot of sorts, and a rough blanket was draped over his body. Temperature, cool, but not as biting as the true outdoors. The room was damp and dark – a small light source seemed close by. A regular, strangely loud dripping sound could be heard close by. And there was something cool draped over his forehead. A wet towel? What a nice luxury…
No. What the hell was he doing, making a needlessly detailed analysis of the surroundings? Why was he still lying in bed? Every moment of rest only brought his enemies closer. He had to get up, had to leave as soon as possib—
By the throne, what was wrong with his body?! Every muscle seemed to ache tremendously, as if every single fiber had been worked to and beyond complete and utter exhaustion. The simple act of lifting his right arm up just to grab that damn towel brought horrible aches down his entire forearm, his shoulder, neck, and arm muscles groaning in effort. Just reaching his head took considerable effort, but now to sit up?
Even with one arm pushing and the other pulling (another arduous task in of itself just to set up), Noland just barely made it up, collapsing tiredly against a wall that the bed was against. Heavy breaths stole the air from the fallen knight as he tried to will his body into moving once more. Alas, the effort required for his exhausted body to move was too great, leaving Noland to lean heavily into the wall and control his labored breathing.
Damnation, even inhaling took effort! What the hell happened to him?!
Or for that matter, where the hell was he? True to his earlier observations, the room was dark, damp, and for the most part, dirty. Grime coated the walls and the floor, and even his blanket was stained with unknown colors. Where was this place?
A door nearby groaned quietly as it opened, a doff of red hair slipping through with quiet steps. Dressed in dirty clothes and carrying a beaten pan of water, newcomer soon revealed himself to be a young boy who, despite the dark bags under his eyes, had clear, bright eyes. Though he sported a tired look, upon seeing Noland sitting up, a scowl was quick to spring up.
The knight cried out in surprise as tepid stale water splashed onto his face, instinctively bringing up the ragged blanket up to his face to dry it.
“What the hell is wrong with you, child?! What is the meaning of this?!”
“Shut up. I’ve heard you moan enough already.”
“You little brat…”
“The man that bought us made me take care of you for a whole week—”
“A week?!” Noland repeated incredulously. How the hell had he been out for so long?!
“Are you deaf as well as dumb? I said a week,” the boy spat, directing another intense glare at the knight. “All day, all night, you just tossed and turned and moaned in your sleep; they said you had a fever. You would’ve done us all a lot of good if you had just died.”
Noland narrowed his eyes at the boy at that last line, but held back for the most part. “Us?”
“The other slaves. Most of them were taken elsewhere, though. It’s just you and me now.”
“Is escape possible?”
“No way,” the boy shook his head. “Someone tried, and she was brought back in a day. I tried asking about it, and they told me it’s the fault of the slave brands. We all got one; mine’s on my arm, yours on your neck.”
He rolled up a dirtied sleeve to show off a bizarre mark imprinted into his flesh, a shape that Noland found upon the back on his neck as well. How shameful! To be branded the mark of a man stripped of rights and freedom… this honorless position and disgusting mark was damning proof of his fall.
“And they function as tracking devices, so even if we were to escape, they could hunt us down easily,” Noland muttered bitterly. “Nowhere to run, either.”
“Speak for yourself, old man,” The boy growled, crossing his arms across his chest. “I still need to pay that woman back.”
Such a young boy speaking of such things piqued the knight’s attention. “How is it that you come to speak of debts?”
“None of your damn business.” A predictable response.
“Perhaps, but a child like you should not have to worry about adult matters like debts.”
“Don’t call me a damn child!”
“A child that tries to act like an adult will only seem more childish.”
“Just explain to me why you are here. Like me, you were not a slave prior, correct? What is your name?”
He remained silent for a while longer, still unwilling to answer any of the man’s questions. Yet as the silence drew on, the boy found his tongue less eager to stay still. What had he to lose to give a name?
The man nodded. “And your companion?”
“How did you and Signum come to this place?”
Erio hesitated for a moment, but shook his head. “We… I… I don’t know. I don’t even remember how I got here in the first place. I just woke up, and suddenly there’s this big ugly guy grabbing me by the hair. I couldn’t fight back, and I thought everything was over when Signum suddenly appeared. At first, they were no match for her. Her sword was just too good. But then…
The boy fell onto a stool, his glare redirected into his lap.
“Those bastards… they held me hostage. She had no choice but to give up. She got thrown into a different cart than me, then
showed up. Now, this,” his voice dropped to a strained mutter. “Damn it. It’s all my fault…”
A sigh came from the knight, “What strange origins. Perhaps you are from one of the neighboring planets? Or from the frontiers?”
“I told you I don’t know! If I did, I would’ve said so!”
Noland held up a hand to placate the boy. “Calm, young Erio. It does you no good in getting agitated over that. Rather, you should prepare yourself for what you must do in the near future. You wish to save your friend, yes? Such opportunities will present itself eventually, and it is then we will strike; I seek to escape, and I will assist you in yours if you agree to help. Even a child as young as you can serve some purpose.”
“Rrrrghh! Don’t think you can sweet talk me that easily with big promises. What guarantee do I have you won’t betray me at your convenience?”
Those words hit harder than any blow the fallen knight has ever suffered, snuffing out the flames of conviction in his heart in a silent gasp.
“…” a short moment of silence passed between the two, the older one quietly gazing upon the simmering boy. It is only through superhuman will that Noland did not raise a hand against the child in outrage. Remind himself he did that his quarrel lay not with this one but another, far more dear than he would ever wish, so the former knight waited, patiently, his flame burning once more, until Erio’s defiant shoulders dropped a bit in exhaustion before speaking up again.
“Have you calmed yourself, now?”
“No. You suck at this,” the boy muttered, but lacking the harshness from earlier. Now, he just sounded tired. Noland would have laughed at the response had it not ached horribly to do so.
Suddenly, the cell doors were pushed open with a loud echoing clang, the rusty locking mechanism rattling as it was forced open. From the tiny door came an armored guard, a two-pronged spear-like device in hand. Squinted eyes peered at the two, his face scrunched up in an attempt to look intimidating, though to Erio, he just seemed constipated.
“Get up, you scum!” he barked, a harsh, grating noise made worse by the open room. “It’s feeding time, and the Master wants to see you now that you’re up.”
Flanked by guards as well as to his forward and rear, Noland marched through what would be his first time seeing the castle. He had to keep a careful eye out, aware of the doors and hallways. The mental map he drew would be vital in their eventual escape. Speaking of which, for what reason was the boy coming along too? Perhaps this castle’s lord was one of those…
Whoever it was, the master of the house looked to be a well-to-do noble, considering the extensively lavish furnishings and architecture of the estate. Gold and platinum embossing, handcarved busts and statues, even elaborate suits of ancient armor. Hell, was that a tower out the window? Even his shackles were elaborate, and likely magical. This place must be huge… Escape from here would not be easy, if this great wealth was also mirrored in guards of this place.
Mages and mercenaries galore…
Through a grand set of double doors was their destination, a grand dining hall with a great wraparound table. However only one man sat at the table, a lavish meal of over a dozen different dishes spread out before him. The enticing smells and tantalizing sights served only to remind both Noland and Erio just how painfully hungry they were, especially the former.
“Ahh! So my honored guests have arrived! I would extend my hand in welcome, but I believe you have both been here for quite some time,” the master of the house, a large man with a greasy face and gaudy, blindingly colorful robes smiled over a leg of roast bird. “My name is Cosworth Donkervoort, and I am the man that purchased you. I am sure you understand what this means.”
This bastard wants to gloat.
Noland thought darkly as he took in his surroundings. It was not an unfamiliar setting, though the situation definitely was. Bound and clad in dirtied rags that used to be his travel clothes, he stood before a noble that hardly had the best intentions for him. Was it possible to attack and escape? The guards could be taken down easily enough, and there were plenty of makeshift weapons around them…
A low growl brought Noland’s attention down low, just by the feet of the dining table. There, watching his every move, were two of the largest dogs he had ever seen. Jet black with crimson eyes, muscles rippled under a fine fur coat. Their ears were upright and alert, and the barest sliver of white revealed a dauntingly vicious set of carnivorous teeth.
Damnation. Those beasts were no ordinary hounds – they were bloody familiars! So the fat one was not made of hot air and blubber… this could make things a little more difficult to deal with.
“Do you like my Baskerville Hounds? Such loyal creatures, though they must be fed often…”
A thick, raw steak was tossed down to the beasts, invoking a violent and furious struggle for the morsel. Considering their size, the slab of meat was barely a snack. Great… Baskerville Hounds, these superb guardian beasts were renowned for their loyalty, strength, and hunting prowess that would fetch a handsome sum in any relatively civilized fiefdom or illegal black market.
“Where did you take Signum, you fat bastard!?” Erio shouted, taking a bold step forward. The guards and dogs reacted accordingly, jumping to the ready.
Boy, you are going to get both of us killed…
“You would best watch your tongue, boy! Lest I pluck it out with my fork!” he jabbed a sort of plum-like fruit in emphasis, biting it viciously and letting its juices run down his chin. “You are my slave, and I will suffer no disrespect!”
He calmed down quickly enough, sitting back down to enjoy some sort of pie. “That woman you speak of is in the tower. I have already sold her to another client for a price far greater than what I paid for. He was looking forward to…
her. Heh heh heh.”
“You…!” Erio started, but was suddenly forced to kneel. Noland too, with a solid blow to the back of his knees.
“You will make a good slave once I beat that rebellious streak out of you. But as for you!” he turned his gaze to Noland. “I know you, oh great knight! You are worth infinitely more than your price tag. Imagine my surprise when I saw the infamous former Knight of Two amongst the filth of slaves! Oh ho, I can almost taste the fame, prestige, and money I will receive for turning you in to the Throne. Ho ho ho!”
Noland only gave the man a quiet, solid gaze.
“But let it not be known that I am a cruel master. I understand the need for proper nutrition for efficient work. Only fools would starve their laborers,” he clapped twice, summoning a pair of servants carrying a small bowl each. These bowls were placed before the kneeling pair, filled with a grey, coarse gruel with a bizarre bouquet.
Ugh. This slop was not even fit to be fed to swine. Was this a kindness or a cruelty?
“What, is the fallen knight too proud to bow down and eat on the same floor as his peers? How arrogant of you! See your companion, how he sees his place and eats like the trash he is.” the boy was eating it ravenously, something that nobleman was laughing uproariously about.
Looking to the food, there was nothing that Noland could say to convince him not to eat. His body was starved, and his muscles demanded rest. There was no other choice but to swallow his pride and swallow this slop.
Doing so only brought about another round of laughter and even chuckles from the guards nearby.
Filthy wretches. You will all be erased from this world in due time.
Ugh. What was that? His head was throbbing… hunger must be getting to him.
Once “dinner” was finished, the two were fortunate to be merely dismissed amidst the laughter of the room.
“Go on! Return to your cells. I need not exhausted slaves. I will be merciful and grant you a night’s rest before we… begin.”
With those final words, Noland and Erio were brought back to their dark, musty cell. Almost immediately the boy flew into an incoherent rage, throwing himself bodily against the cell door in fruitless attempts to break it down. Back on his bed, Noland only watched on silently as young Erio exhaust his pent-up fury. And goodness, how much anger it was. A solid five minutes of this tantrum passed by before the redhead finally collapsed against the door, heaving breathes the only sounds in the cell. A balled up blanket bounced off the wall next to him.
“Are you quite done? Stay calm and be patient. We’ll get through this, and we will find your friend. I only need a little rest, then we can make our departure,” Noland sighed as he settled onto his barebones cot.
A little longer. Just a little longer.
With a scowl, Erio wrapped himself in ragged blankets and tried to find sleep.
The night passed without incident, as did the day. True to his word, Noland had recovered nicely, the extended bedrest curing much of his exhaustion. Some muscles were still sore, but time would fix that, and with the day prior’s spectacle, suffice to say, there was an unspoken agreement between boy and man to cooperate in the meantime.
Night once again arrived with little fanfare, and with the changing of the guard, the opportunity they had been waiting for. Perhaps it was arrogance on the noble’s part, or perhaps some greater power was looking out for them, but tonight’s guard was a far cry from the fit, alert, and unflinchingly vigilant men prior. Rotund, disgruntled, and smelling strongly of spirits, the night guard could barely stand still let alone stand guard for even one man.
“Be quiet in dere! You stinkin’ lot best be quiet ta-night! Or I’mma shove this spear right in your ass!” he blathered, banging his weapon against the cell door for emphasis.
“A question, then. You will hear no words from us afterwards. What of the woman that is in the tower?” Noland asked, giving Erio a look as he awaited an answer.
“Wot, that crazy bitch? She’s gettin’ shipped out t’night. The master’s had enough of her shit, an’ he’s sold her already,” he blurted out. “Now shut up! It be quiet time wit me ‘ere!
“Ah. I see.”
Silence prevailed once more, though only for a moment. Clink clink clink. Clink clink clink. Clink clink clink. These three sounds were strangely loud in the prison, a noise that grated away at the guard’s already reduced patience.
Clink clink clink.
“I said shut up!”
Clink clink clink.”
“Stop that bloody racket or I’ll stop it for you!” he banged the butt of his spear against the door. “I’ll shove that cup so far up yer ass you’ll be drinkin’ piss through your nose!”
“Is that so? Come stop me then, fool. A pathetic man such as you have not even the ability to even see me past those rippling hills you call your belly. The sow you call your mother would be embarrassed to see the mass of blubber that you have become.”
“WOT?! THASSIT! I’MMA RIP YOUR SHITTY LITTLE DICK OFF YOU FU—” his speech degenerated into incoherent rumblings as he fumbled to undo the lock. With a loud clank, the door opened and the giant guard rolled in, eyes wildly searching the room. All he found was one boy.
“WHERE IZ ‘E?! WHERE THE ‘ELL IS THAT RAT BASTAARruuuuk!” the guard’s shouts were cut short as a long rag suddenly wrapped itself around his neck and pulled taut, the fall form of the knight appearing just as sudden behind him.
“Where is your pride now? It is choking away, just as you are,” Noland hissed into the man’s ear, pulling the cloth as tight as he could around the fat neck. “Now die as your have lived: sad, weak, and alone.”
The guard flailed about haplessly for moments more, his face quickly turning a bright red, purple, then blue. Despite his rage, Erio could only watch with horror as a helpless man was strangled right in front of him. Death in battle was expected, but this… this was practically cold-blooded murder.
The guard’s movements stilled, his eyes rolling back as his body went limp. Noland merely released the rag, letting the overweight guard collapse to the ground, nothing more than a pile of dead flesh. Without another look at the corpse, the knight took a step towards the cell door. “That was too easy. Let’s go.”
Jumping to his feet, Erio followed, trying his best to keep his eyes off of the corpse. Moments after stepping out of their cell, however, their entire world was rocked to the foundation with a great quake! Dust and rock fragments rained down upon them as a distant sound gained in slow crescendo. A familiar sound, one that Noland found a small smile in hearing.
“What the hell?!” Erio summed up the situation nicely.
“What convenient timing…” the knight murmured, “It seems our esteemed ‘master’ has bolder enemies than he had believed. This will be the perfect distraction for our escape.”
They could hear it dimly, the terrible sounds of battle: the bark of gunfire, the roar of chainweapons, the almost musical ringing of magic being summoned. Screams of men and women fighting echoed in the distance, signaling a rather pitched battle. This was fine. This would all mask their escape from the place.
Indeed, as they moved through the twisting halls of the castle, evidence of battle marred the walls and ruined the once-pristine carpet. Noland would ask no questions of how such an attack already penetrated this deeply into the castle, instead focusing on the path in front of him.
This focus would save him soon enough, as he stopped briefly before turning a corner, a flicker of shadow giving him pause to progress. Before Erio could question this hesitation, however, an ear-piercing screech followed by a horrified yell came just around the corner. A heavy dull thump signaled the fall of a body, one that Noland took to step forward. However upon seeing what had taken down the guard caused Noland to hesitate once more.
“A Wretch?!” he seethed in disgust.
Were these and its ilk that attacked the castle? That was nothing but bad news, then. Human forces could be bartered with, but these abominations had only one desire: destruction. They would have to evacuate the area as soon as possible. The creature covered in fresh gore quickly lost interest in the ravaged twitching body, turning around quickly to see two new victims.
Although small as a dog, its wiry limbs and unnatural quickness made it similar to a monkey. In a group, they were extremely dangerous, but alone? An annoyance. Still, with bloodied, jagged claws and filthy saw-like teeth, it was still a danger to an unprepared man.
The creature screeched an earpiercing howl, leaping from its victim to its newest one, claws and teeth homing in to that soft, warm flesh… and was intercepted by a boot’s heel crashing into its jaw. Noland was quick to react to the pounce, lashing out with his foot in a powerful side kick and sending the ugly thing sprawling. It would have no time to recover as Noland quickly moved in and pummeled the beast with his fists, the clash of bone and flesh lost to the churning chaos around them. Against Noland’s assault, the beast lasted only moments before it collapsed into a writhing heap of screeches.
“Be still, filth,” the knight spat, bringing his foot down upon the creature’s skull with a satisfyingly loud crack. With a final, shuddering hiss, its flailing limbs fell lifelessly to the ground. There would not much time, however, as the presence of one surely meant dozens more elsewhere. As such, their movements would have to be that much quicker.
Wasting little time, Noland kneeled next to the guard’s ruined corpse, still warm in its recent death. A quick search of his person discovered only a small pouch of coin and an intact dagger – everything else was too ruined or secure to quickly procure.
“Do you know how to use this, boy?” Noland held out the weapon to Erio, a simple design with a wide blade no longer than ten inches. Really, it was more of a utility device than an actual weapon, considering its construction, but it would work in a pinch.
He, however, does not receive an immediate reply. Curious. The boy’s gaze is focused oddly on the fresh cooling corpses of beast and man. …this could be problematic.
“I have some idea,” the boy answers after a time, taking the proffered and testing its weight in his hand.
The knight shook his head. Not good enough. He will deal with the other problem later, but for now… “Surprise is your ally, and your targets are the arteries. With swiftness and stealth, you can strike down any opponent. The eyes, the neck, the heart, the groin, the stomach, pierce them with the point of the dagger.”
Noland pointed at each part of his body as he spoke, mimicking the motions at the same time.
“Carotid. Brachial. Radial. Subclavian. Severing these arteries cleanly will lead to quick submission and later, death. Worry not of their names, but do know their location. Some are more easily attacked than others, and the greater the vessel, the quicker they fall.”
“Okay, I think I got it,” the boy nodded, though a little more uncertain now. He fastened the weapon to his ruined belt.
“Fight only if you must. Otherwise, leave combat to me. I will ensure both our safeties, and, fates willing, I can teach you more.”
“Fine, but we must check the tower first! We can still get to that woman!”
“Boy, we don’t even know if your friend is still there.”
Angry blue eyes were once again upon the man. “I want to see that for myself!”
Noland’s own blue-grey eyes almost rolled in exasperation. The chances were very low, considering the current progress of events. However, the taste of disappointment would do well to mellow out that irritating idealism into something more realistic. “Very well, but you only have yourself to blame for any frustration.”
Stealth would be a key factor here, if they wanted to move quickly. Attracting attention would only lead to prolonged combat, and with the entire area on alert, quick and quiet movement would have to be tightly controlled. Despite the boy’s patience, Erio forced himself to move at the slowed pace of his companion. Battles broke out in wild, frenetic skirmishes as squads of armed soldiers clashed with grotesque creatures, battles that Noland and Erio strove to avoid. Ducking into empty rooms, hiding from patrolling soldiers, these actions were not exactly the most “knightly” of things to do, but such classifications held no meaning here. It was only until the two reached the final set of stairs that they were met with an obstruction.
Vaguely humanoid but undeniably vicious, the creature gripped a bloodied chainsword in its massive hand. Easily two meters tall, musclebound and sporting pieces of ruined plate armor and leather for armor, it was a unnerving sight to behold. Bullet holes and magic burns marred the armor, but the beast itself looked unscathed despite the conflict around them.
“What the hell is that?!” Erio sputtered, unable to tear his eyes away from the wretched creature.
“Terrific,” Noland muttered, his body already reacting to the beast’s presence. “A
As if on cue, the creature unleashed a deep, guttural roar! It smelled fresh meat, ready to taste the wicked edge of its chainsword. Thrusting the weapon into the air, it leaped down the stairs, its warcry echoing in disharmony with the howl of the chainsword.
“Move!” Noland shouted as he dove to the side, leaping out of the way of the Locust monster’s attack. Erio managed the same, unfortunately landing on his stomach rather than the graceful roll the knight managed. As a result, the boy was left to scramble to his feet as Noland pressed on his counter attack. Unlike the wretch before it, however, the drone was not as badly overpowered by the knight. Instead, it recovered quickly and struck back with its sword, forcing Noland to take defense.
No matter how skilled the combatant, an unarmed fighter was a disadvantage against an armed opponent, especially when said opponent is by far angrier and extremely willing to introduce his weapon into your belly.
A dance of death, a waltz of war, both fighters clashed head on in a chaotic rush of sword swipes and hand-to-hand. Though the drone fought with incredible ferocity, Noland in contrast moved with practiced grace. The knight’s blows rained down upon the monster, slowly wearing away at it, while the creature’s chainsword seemed to come closer and closer with each slash. All the while, Erio watched on in grim fascination.
Without warning, the drone reached out with a meaty hand and grabbed Noland by his neck, the other bringing down the spiked pommel of the chainsword down upon the knight’s captured head. In response, Noland threw a hand out to catch and stall the weapon arm, his other hand mirroring his opponent’s grip. Locked in a stalemate, a contest of strength, neither warrior gaining the upperhand.
“Haah!” A young voice cried out, immediately followed by a pained roar of the drone. The dull metal hilt of a dagger now protruded out of the monster’s thigh, a small river of blood steaming from it. Erio had leapt in for a surprise attack.
“What are you doing?!” Noland managed to grind out as he pushed back against the drone’s unnatural strength. He would receive no answer, however, as the drone suddenly turned its attention on the boy, backhanding him swiftly across the face and sending him sprawling. That distraction proved to be fruitless, as the fist came rushing back to clobber Noland right in the head, a blow that sent the man reeling back. With another bellow, the monster surged forward to cut down his stunned opponent.
Though his vision swam momentarily, he registered the quickly approaching drone in front of him. Instinct, habit, or reflex, the knight’s stance stabilized, arms outstretched, awaiting…
Five feet. Four feet. Three feet. Two.
Noland stepped forward, right into the drone’s arms; the drone stepped forward, right into his.
Push. Pull. Capture the arm. Lock the shoulder. Pivot. Hip. Redirect the force. Upward. Over. A splendid execution of an one-armed shoulder throw. Noland followed through, rolling with the throw and capturing the dagger as he traveled over the body. Upon landing on the other side, he brought the blade down viciously upon his foe, piercing its exposed neck. The drone gurgled its outrage one final time before finally falling limp, just as Noland pushed himself up to his feet.
The knight let out a long breath, still feeling the adrenaline rush. Splatters of blood and a few scores on his ruined garments were the only signs of his battle, a highly preferred outcome compared to other possibilities. The only issue now was the boy…
Erio had just managed to shake away the spinning world around him when he was suddenly lifted to his feet by his shirt, his vision immediately filled with a very disappointed and quite annoyed Noland.
“Are you daft, boy?! You could have very well died! That attack was no more a distraction as it was a hindrance! What sort of strike was that, to stab its thigh? All you managed to do was anger it further!”
“So? I got it, didn’t I?” Erio bit back, pushing away from Noland and brushing himself off. “And I wasn’t hurt at all.”
“Fool! That arrogance is ill-placed! If you even wish to survive a battle, do not delude yourself with the belief that anger and a dagger will carry you through! What good are you to that woman if you are dead? What should I tell her, that you perished because you believed yourself invincible?”
“You were no better! It looked like you were having a bad enough time trying to run away rather than fight it!”
In a blink, Noland was standing over Erio, dagger poised over the boy’s neck and ready to plunge into unprotected flesh. With only an errant twitch, the boy would find himself breathing out of a new hole. As such, he was shocked stone still.
“And yet, I killed it. Doing the same to you will take even less effort, boy. There are countless ways to die in Belka, many of them not by human hands. Unless you wish for this quest of yours to end prematurely, you will listen to me. Do you understand?” Noland hissed, waiting for a muted confirmation from the boy before dropping the dagger by his feet. A few steps carried Noland over to search the drone’s lifeless body. Expectedly, the equipment was mostly worthless, but there was one thing he could use: the chainsword.
Two birds with one stone? As expected of her favorite.
“Crude, but it will work,” the knight commented as he tested the weapon’s weight in his hand. It was an unrefined model, slapdash in construction and inelegant in design, but brutally effective. Erio however was uninterested in such details, choosing instead to leap over the corpse and continuing his dash for the top floor, earning another exasperated sigh from Noland as he moved to follow. Did the boy learn nothing just now? How fortunate, then, that no other obstacle impeded their path. The only remaining hindrance between them and their goal was one final door.
“It’s locked,” Noland commented, idly testing the door’s handle. At least it wasn’t trapped.
“Break it down,” Erio made his input, eager to get in.
The chainsword spun awake with a great roar, a plume of dark exhaust expelling out from the engine. Jagged, vicious teeth glistened with blood of its previous victims, soon biting and tearing into the ornate wooden door as it if were soft flesh. The barrier stood no chance against the chainsword’s gnashing blades, a horrendous gash of pulped wood and ruined iron left in the weapon’s wake as what paltry locking mechanism failed against the brutal weapon. With a swift kick, the doors were at last opened. Erio wasted no more time dashing in, slowly followed by the knight.
How oddly quiet. The light from the hall illuminated only a few feet of the room, the rest still an inky, uninviting darkness. With no obvious source of light, however, that sliver was all the boy had. Gradually, his eyes adjusted enough to make out more of the room, the shape of table, some chairs, and something that looked like a bed… but no Signum. Where was she? Dammit, where was she?!
Suddenly, from the shadows, a willowy pair of arms snaked out from the darkness and wrapped around Erio in a loose but seemingly unbreakable hug.
“I caught one~!” a sleepy, almost drunken female voice cooed.
Noland whirled around in time to see a moderately tall, lanky girl capture the boy, though much of her was still hidden in the darkness.
“Let. Me. Go!” Erio hissed as he struggled against the hold. Dammit, where the hell did this girl come from? For such thin arms, they were deceptively strong, and upon closer inspection, almost grotesque. Had it not been for the bizarre crisscrossing patterns of scar tissue and stitch lines all over the exposed flesh, some may have called her beautiful. But this girl… this strange, unnatural monster of a girl… she was downright frightening.
“No~! You’re mine now~!” she hummed “Hey~! Stop moving~!”
The room was abruptly flooded with lights, blinding Noland temporarily. It was only for a moment, but long enough to explain the very sudden appearance of a man in a long labcoat, his back turned to the knight. Despite that, Noland knew immediately the identity of this... visitor.
“Knight Stein,” Noland growled in greeting.
"Hey~! What about me~?" Erio's captor whined. "What about Fran~?"
Alas, she was quickly forgotten.
The man in the labcoat turned around slowly, a calm smirk wrapped around a crooked cigarette. Ever present was that unexplained screw that seemed to skewer his skull from temple to temple a patchwork black and grey sweater, mirroring the condition of his coat, and rumpled slacks with black loafers; his appearance completely belied the incredible strength and power he possessed. There was a reason why he and that girl together held the title of Knight of Eight.
He snapped off a salute, though sloppy and almost mocking.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Knight of Two.”
Last edited by Tempy; 2009-07-30 at
. Reason: Whoops.
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