Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

Jaded Marble


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Chapter 6


The sun was peaking over the horizon and rays of light were being filtered through the trees of the forest. Most of the camp was still asleep. But Subaru didnft sleep. She didnft need to. For now, she was enjoying the change of scenery.

Behind her, some of the early awakeners were preparing breakfast for the rest of the troops. Birds were peacefully chirping and flying from tree to tree, and the breeze was soft and cool. She had to admit, it was feeling more like a holiday than a search.

Then the ground exploded.



Nanoha threw herself back into battle, not hearing anyonefs protests. She couldnft hear anything over the thoughts screaming in her mind. She quickly caught up with Fate, but didnft notice. Neither did Fate. They both were focusing on the retreating Cravens. There were only six left, but as soon as Nanoha arrived, it became four. She screamed past them at breakneck speed, and offloaded two unstable orbs of magical energy which exploded on contact.

She spun back around, ignoring the blood dripping into eyes from the skin she tore off. Terror gripped her face. She wasnft afraid of dying. She knew that the job she was doing could take her life at any moment. No, she was afraid of leaving her daughter alone. That terrified her to her very soul. She turned her fear to anger, which erupted into rage.

Raging Heart bucked as it pumped through several cartridges. Energy massed in front of the staff, searing the air with a high pitched noise that sounded like two thin panes of glass rubbing against each other.

eDivine Buster!f Nanoha screamed. The world silenced, and seemed to draw in on the mass of energy before it distorted, then blasted forward in a beam of deep pink light. The blast forced Nanoha backwards, but she didnft fight it. She rode the recoil back several meters, then spun around to meet the Craven approaching from behind, bringing her staff down on the creaturefs beak so hard that two bills were torn off.

Fate didnft notice the Devine Buster beam until is singed some of her hair. One of the Cravens disappeared within the beam, which bore into the earth before fading out, leaving a deep creator. She blinked as she snapped out of her rage and looked up to her friend, who was charging for one of the creatures that was plummeting out of the sky.

eNanoha?!f she cried. But Nanoha didnft hear her. She was screaming out of anger and terror as she came down on the badly injured Craven, using Raging Heart as a club and beating it further out of the sky until she disappeared within the forest canopy.

The two remaining Cravens gave chase and were halfway to the area the disappeared when Fate realised what was happening. There were several smaller explosions as she gave chase, then large chunks of rocks and splintered tree trunks shot out of the forest, tearing one of the Cravens apart in mid air. The last one managed to avoid most of the onslaught, only to have its tail and one of its tendrils badly mangled. Several small pink orbs then streaked from the forest. The lone Craven only just managed to dodge them, and then spun around to make sure they wouldnft come back.

They didnft. Each orb found the opposite end of a tree or rock and detonated, showering the creature with shrapnel of rock and splinters. As it fell from the sky, Nanoha erupted from the forest, charging towards it with a protection barrier rippling in front of her. The Craven landed on it with a stricken cry.

Fate watched in terror as the barrier rippled inwards.

[Barrier Burst] announced Raging Heart, and then the barrier exploded.

Nanoha stood in mid air, panting heavily as the smoke and evaporating Craven dissipated around her. Neither her nor Fate moved. Fate was too shocked and horrified to move. She had seen Nanoha loose herself in combat before, but she had never seen her attack with such murderous intent before.

Nanoha raised her hand to her mouth, then hunched over and gently dropped out of the sky. Shock and fear was replaced with concern as Fate raced for her.

When Fate found Nanoha, she was on her knees and had just finished being sick.

eNanoha!f Fate cried as she ran for her. Nanoha wearily turned to look at her. Her face was vacant, but smeared with blood and streaked with tears. eNanoha, are you alright?f

Fate dropped to her knees and held Nanoha tight. Her friend was trembling. eThank god,f Fate sniffed. eI was so worried.f

eFate-chan...f Nanoha muttered. eWhat just happened..?f

eItfs okay,f Fate told her hurriedly, eDonft worry about it!f

eI... The Cravens... I...f The past events came back to Nanoha like the lifting of a curtain. The Cravens, her bloodthirsty attack, her fear, and Hayate...

eHayate!f Nanoha cried, jumping to her feet. Fate looked up at her from the ground with a puzzled expression. eHayate was calling out to us, she was telling us to return—she even commanded us..!f

Fate knew what that meant. Hayate never issued a command to her friends. She hated to be viewed as the type of person who pushes the ones she cares about the most, and hated her friends to think that they were just pawns or tools even more. The only time she would issue a command was if she knew that everyone, and everything, depended on it.

Fate leapt into the sky and broke through the canopy of the forest. eThe camp!f she cried as Nanoha appeared beside her. A large plume of rustic dust rose from the clearing.

For the second time that day, apprehensive fear gripped every part of Nanohafs body. eVivio!f she cried.



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