Disclaimer: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha belongs to Seven Arcs and all respective license holders. The Persona Series belongs to ATLUS. I only own this fic and nothing else. I also own all the mistakes too.
Chapter 1: Joker Meets Ace
He was in the darkness again. It was the same dream as last night, and the night before, and the night before. Almost every night since he returned home, he had the same dream each time. He waited, as he knew that anything else was futile. Then just like the nights before, a faintly glowing white figure appeared. It seemed like it was trying to tell him something, but he couldn't make out what it was trying to say. He couldn't tell if it was a girl, a boy, some other manner of creature, but it was trying to tell him something, that's for sure.
"What are you trying to tell me?" He asked again. But just like last time, as soon as it was done saying what it needed to, it vanished into the ether. He sighed again, thanks to being unable to understand what it is that was being asked of him. And soon like all the other times, his consciousness faded into the darkness as well.
It wasn't bad, competently made, but simply put, Sojiro's coffee was better. Ren, jotted down his thoughts of the coffee he'd ordered from Midoriya. It certainly was well brewed, but it did not stand out in particular. Perhaps that was for the best, seeing as the café sold deserts and sweets, so the blandness of the coffee might have been meant to help emphasize their main attractions. Of course, Le Blanc sold curry mainly, so he wasn't sure of the particulars of selling primarily sweets. Still it was a bit disappointing that the coffee wasn't as good as he'd hoped it would be. He was finally back home in Uminari, but at the same time, it didn't feel like home.
"Not too great huh?" he heard from his bag. A little black, furry head popped right out, shaking around a few times once it was free. "Sojiro's coffee in retrospect seems more and more amazing when compared to coffee from... literally anywhere else. Maybe it's just that our expectations have been skewed as a result of thinking of his as the standard?" Said the cat, his blue eyes looking straight up at him.
"Perhaps…" he said simply before going for another sip. Hmmm… perhaps this coffee goes better with a bit of sugar, he mused to himself. "Still disappointing that I can't find a really good cup of coffee though."
"Yeah, I guess that makes sense. By the way are you going to finish that cake?" He shook his head, and grabbed the cake with a napkin, putting it in front of Morgana's head, to which the feline began to happily chow down upon. "Thanks! Mmmh, so good. Coffee might be disappointing, but the cake is really something else." It was, and he was a little sad to give it up so easily, but he decided to share it with him anyways since he hadn't treated Morgana to anything recently. Speaking of which… "Oh? What are you checking on your phone?"
"Just thought I'd give the old 'Phansite' a look. For old times' sake I guess." It has been a while, and maybe he'd find something interesting on there.
"I hear ya. Being a in a café kind of feels nostalgic, especially when we held our meetings there," Morgana mused as he began to lick his paw before getting up so that he could see the screen. "So, anything interesting?"
"Honestly, no." And that's how it has been for the past few months. Ever since he returned home, it's just been one sleepy day after another. He still maintained contact with his friends back in Tokyo on a regular basis, but that didn't change the fact that compared to his year on parole, life was just, to put it lightly, dull.
"Perhaps it's better that way," Morgana said as he jumped out of the bag and onto his lap. "Honestly if it's just the mundane stuff, that means we did our job. We should be proud." Though he said that, Ren could still tell that something was off about his voice. He guessed that Morgana also missed being able to run around the Metaverse, fighting shadows, and generally having more humanistic limbs. Most likely it was the last of those he missed, Ren thought. "By the way, how much longer are you going to stay here? You're still bold to be staying at a café doing homework on just a slice of cake and coffee. Though that's still better than just ordering coffee."
"Nah, let's go to the next place on the list. I want to try a few more places before going home. Besides that, I'm done with homework," Ren said as he began to put some of his books back into his bag, before opening it up for Morgana to jump back into.
"As expected of Joker, always striving to be the best." At the prompting Morgana jumped back in and the two left after paying. "Though you don't look as good in a white uniform I have to say."
"Did you really have to stay out so late? I mean we visited like 8 different shops. It's gotten really late," Morgana chastised as the two began walking home, with the only sources of light being from the lamp posts. Ren knew that he shouldn't have been out so late, if only to avoid having to her Morgana's nagging, but he just wanted to do more comparison. His year at Le Blanc kind of made him a bit of a coffee otaku. Suffice to say, his curiosity got the better of him this time. All in all, not bad, but not great though. He'll probably just have to make his own coffee then since he hadn't found a single place that was up to his standards. Suddenly though
"It's not like anyone will be at home though," his parents were abroad now. They were at home for perhaps the first couple of months since he got back, but then they had assignments that had to throw them across the world. Admittedly, the year without them made him fine with that. In fact, it all started just like on a night like this. It almost made him nostalgic. That night he saw a woman being assaulted, and instead of ignoring it, he stepped in to stop the man. Unfortunately, since the man fell and hurt himself, he sued Ren for assault. That kickstarted a whole year of absolutely crazy nonsense. It was a year that he would always remember, and treasure. Besides it's not like he was alone this time. "Besides, I hav-" A huge crash sound interrupted him as the two whipped their heads around to see dust clouds rise from close by.
"Woah! What the heck was that?" Morgana said, practically pushing Ren's head down to get a better look.
"I don't know, but someone could be hurt," he said, as he pushed Morgana back into the bag, so he could start running towards the scene. As he turned around the corner, that's when he saw her.
Running towards them was what looked to be an elementary school girl in an orange long sleeve shirt and skirt. Her brown hair was done up in pigtails with white ribbons that swayed to and fro. In her hands was what looked to be a ferret with a red jewel around its neck. Of course, he didn't have too long to look as she soon ran into him.
"Kyaa!" She screamed as the two made impact. Before she could fall completely on her rump however, he managed to grab a free hand to pull her up. "Um, thank you! But you have to get out of here mister!" He was confused for a second, but soon something landed in front of the two with a large crashing sound, kicking up dust and smoke. The two of them began to cough wildly as a result. When the dust settled, he could see that what landed in front of him was what looked to be a sort of amorphous blob of fur that seemed to writhe every which way. All that could be said that it was a monster. "Run!" she cried once more.
"Hold on to this!" He said, ignoring her plea as he handed her his bag and grabbed a nearby pipe from a garbage pile. "You get the police! I'll stall it for as long as I can!" He said as he put himself between the girl and the monster. Not knowing what the monster was going to do, he waited until it made the first move. Only at the last moment did he notice it lunge at him. At the right time, like a batter, he swung and knocked it to the side, but only just a little. Good a swing as it was, it only served to more so delay the monster. That and piss it right the hell off.
"You can't fight that thing!" the little girl said again.
"Why haven't you run yet?" Ren asked as he took another swing as the monster lunged at him once more.
"We got to go now young miss!" Morgana said. Of course, it would only come out as meows to her. Hopefully though it would at least prompt her to move if she had another animal in her care.
"Huh? Did you just talk? First a ferret, and now a cat?" the girl asked in confusion as she turned to Morgana.
"Are you a mage as well?" The ferret asked, shocking Morgana to the core that there was another animal around capable of speaking. Well it sounded like speaking but something was off.
"What? No! I mean, how are you- Argh, we don't have time! Look just get running and get the authorities. Ren might be able to handle himself, but not forever. You have to go get help now!" Morgana said furiously. He'd have to save the questions for later.
"But I can't just leave him behind!" The young girl said, refusing to budge on the matter. Ren couldn't respond as one of the tentacles swung at him, knocking him to his knees. He still had some fight left in him, but without his powers he was just an athletic young man.
"Young girl, there is a way to save him but it will require your help," the ferret told her. Though she was surprised to hear as such, she was not for long.
"What can I do?" she asked without a single bit of hesitation. She couldn't do nothing, not when someone is there fighting so bravely to help her.
"Here!" The ferret said as it handed to her the red jewel in its mouth.
"It's warm," she said as she took it in hand, enamored by the beauty that the jewel exuded.
"Hold it firmly, then close your eyes and quiet your heart," the ferret continued to instruct. "Then repeat what I say." The girl nodded, enclosing the jewel in her hands and holding it close to her heart. "I am the one charged with a mission."
"I am the one charged with a mission."
"Upon this contract, release the power of…"
"Upon this contract, release the power of…" The jewel in her hands began to respond, activating just enough as it sensed the presence of a potential master.
"Wind in the sky, stars in the heavens…."
"Wind in the sky, stars in the heavens…."
"And unyielding spirit…"
"And unyielding spirit…"
"Here into my heart!" The two began to say in sync. "Send magic into this hand!"
"Raising Heart set up!" She spoke, finishing the chant as she raised the jewel into the sky.
"Stand by Ready! Set up!" Was what he heard before a pink light rose up from behind him where the little girl was supposed to be. Luckily it appeared that the monster was afraid of whatever was going on as it stopped attacking to simply stare in fear of the light.
"Woah!" Morgana exclaimed, being right next to the girl as the bright light shone from her hand where the jewel was held.
"So much power!" the ferret couldn't help but let out but regained his composure to continue leading her. "Calm down and visualize the magical staff that controls your magic! As well as the powerful garment that protects you from harm!"
"But this is so sudden… but um… um…" though hesitant, the scene of the young man getting back up despite having been struck down just before reminded her that she couldn't afford to hesitate here. Immediately her mind began to imagine her staff and clothes as instructed. "How about this!"
As soon as she said as such, she was then completely engulfed in the light. Though he didn't have the ability to call his persona, he could still feel the immense swell of power that emanated from her. His grip tightened on the pipe he was carrying. Was this all he could do? Was this all he was worth without his Persona? Before he could contemplate that thought further though-
"It worked!" the ferret exclaimed as the light died down, revealing the girl to now be wearing a white dress with blue trimmings, featuring a red ribbon neatly tied in front of her chest. In her hand was a staff that was pink at the far end, white for the main staff portion, and an elaborate gold head piece with what seemed to be a larger version of the red jewel from before.
"Huh!? What!?" the girl let out in confusion, not entirely sure of what was going on anymore. "What is this?" She began to back off completely unsure what just happened. The monster saw this however and decided to capitalize on the opportunity. Jumping up, it then dove at what it perceived to be the biggest threat, hoping to eliminate it while it had the chance. While falling it began spinning to increase its momentum for impact.
"Oh no you don't!" Ren said, sliding beneath it to intercept it with a big swing. The monster and the pipe collided with, the sound of the monster and the pipe grinding as he held the pipe to try and ward it off. Unfortunately, the pipe snapped under the pressure, and the monster then slammed into him right after, this time putting him on to the ground.
"Mister!" the girl cried as he skid across the concrete, skipping like a stone, his blood making streaks on the floor as he flew.
"Ren!" Morgana called out to him as he jumped out of the bag to see if his friend was alright.
"Urrggh," Ren let out as he struggled to get up from the floor. He'd taken worse from the Metaverse, but without his Persona backing him up, it was by comparison even more life threatening. The monster, seeing weakened prey, snarled before pouncing at him to finish the job. Even as it approached though, he kept his hard gaze. If this was how it was to end, stay proud. Worse ways to go than trying to save a kid.
"No!" the girl screamed as she ran between the two of them and pointed her staff at the monster.
"Protection" the staff said coldly, as a barrier formed in front of her, not only stopping the monster in its tracks, but beginning to split the blob into pieces as it grinded against the magical spell. Eventually the monster was completely in shreds.
"What did I-
"Our magic is based on a program that contain incantations," the ferret began to explain as the pieces started to writhe back to each other. "And what is required to activate it is the caster's spiritual energy. That monster was born from a sinister power and to stop it we're going to have to seal it." The pieces had now coalesced such that the big clump was now grabbing at what pieces remained scattered using more tentacles.
"So, what do I have to do?" She asked, looking over Ren who was trying to get up again.
"You so far have used magic that can simply be used with a thought, but for sealing you're going to need to use stronger magic. For that you're going to need a manual incantation," the ferret tried to explain.
"And what's that?" Morgana asked in a panic. "We don't got all day for her to learn all your magic crap! Any way to speed it up?"
"She just needs to calm her senses and it will come naturally," the ferret explained.
"Well then do it now! Before Ren gets himself killed, this goody two shoes!" Morgana demanded. The young girl, nodded before closing her eyes and calming herself as the ferret instructed. Behind them the monster, having completely reformed, came back with a vengeance, throwing its tentacles out to attack them. "CRAP!" Without a word, the girl raised her staff again.
"Protection," was heard again as another barrier manifested, disintegrating the monster's attack.
"Lyrical! Magical!" The girl said, resonating with the words in her heart.
"What must be sealed is the sinister vessel!" the ferret said as the girl raised her flourished her staff once more.
"Jewel Seed Seal!" she declared, raising the staff high into the sky.
"Sealing Mode… Set up," the robotic voice of the staff replied; ancient magic words, writing themselves upon the jewel. With that, pink wing like structures made of light emanated from the staff's head. Simultaneously pink lights also flew to restrict and bind the monster, as the symbol 'XXI' appeared on the creature's forehead. "Stand By Ready…"
"Lyrical! Magical! Jewel Seed Serial 21… Seal!"
"Sealing!" And like that, more pink lights flew from the staff, stabbing at the creature and skewering it every which way. The monster cried as it was pierced by the light until finally it seemed to completely dissipate. When it was over, she noticed something shining in the place where the monster used to be.
"Huh? What is that?" she asked as she walked over to whatever it was. To her it looked to be a simple gem stone that you could find any jewelry shop. How could something so small be so dangerous, she wondered.
"That's a Jewel Seed, touch it with Raising Heart," the ferret instructed once more. As she was told, she held her staff out and before going further, the jewel seemed to fly into the staff itself.
"Receipt Number 21" the staff let out as the girl began to be engulfed in a glow similar to the one she was in before transforming. When it died down, she was back in her normal clothes from before.
"Is it over?" Surprised, she whipped her head back to find the young man, standing behind the two of them, one hand holding the bag behind him, and the other holding his side. Out from the bag popped out the familiar head of the cat from before.
"Yeah, thanks to the two of you. Thank… you…" was all the ferret could muster before it collapsed onto the ground.
"Woah there!" Morgana said, leaping down to check on his fellow talking animal. Before he could continue though, sirens sounded off in the distance.
"There's a park nearby, let's take him there. I don't want to be arrested again." Ren picked Morgana up placing him in his school bag.
"Again?" She asked, but with the approaching sirens, she couldn't ask. "Wait I'll carry him." She said, taking the ferret out of his hands. He was injured, and she didn't want him to carry any more than he had to.
"Right, let's go then!" The two made off into the distance before the police could arrive.
The two of them sat down at one of the park benches, the police sirens passing them by as they rested. In Ren's lap was Morgana, and in the girl's was the ferret, who was currently still passed out.
"That was a close one. The hell were you thinking? The you right now can't take a beating like that. Any more of that stuff and you would have been dead!" Morgana began to chastise him. "What would I say to the others if that happened to you?"
"Well, it's a good thing that didn't happen then. Are you alright?" He asked the little girl, dismissing his nagging cat.
"Oh, um… I think I should be asking you that. Are you okay? Do you need to go to the hospital or something?" She asked, worried about the older man she just met. Normally she'd be warier of an older high school boy at night, but seeing as he risked his life to save her, even if it was unnecessary, she felt she could trust him. Of course she also couldn't but worry, since his uniform was stained red. Hopefully it would come out in the wash.
"I'll be fine. I've had worse at the gym." The little girl was confused at the statement, but it seemed his feline companion was privy to what he was alluding to.
"At least you're not out on the ground this time… Fine, but you have to be more careful alright?" the two of them stopped in their tracks when they heard the young girl giggle. The thought of him lying on the floor exhausted seemed to be putting her in stitches.
"I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but laugh," she muttered through her laughter. "Um… I'm Nanoha Takamichi, a third grader. My friends and family call me Nanoha. I guess you can too," she introduced herself once her laughter died down.
"I'm Morgana," the cat explained. "And the quiet one here is Ren Amamiya. A pleasure to make you acquaintance Miss Nanoha." Morgana then took a sort of bow, which only served to further amuse Nanoha, alongside the polite demeanor he had so far shown.
"Nice to meet you Nanoha-chan," Ren said without much decoration. At Nanoha's lap though, ruffling could be heard.
"Um… since we're doing introductions. I'm Yuuno Scrya. Thank you for saving me," the ferret sheepishly said, revealing himself to have awakened in the process.
"Ah, nice to meet you to! Are your wounds okay? I wasn't too rough with you, was I?" Nanoha asked as she began to panic, hoping she didn't cause things to get worse.
"I'm fine. I used healing magic to tend to my injuries." Yuuno then shook himself to loosen the bandages that Ren and Morgana had just now noticed. Falling off, they revealed pristine fur that was free of scars or wounds. "Actually, while I'm at it, here!" A green glow began to emanate from the small animal that then soon transferred to Ren. Unsure of what was happening at first, he then noticed that his body no longer ached or hurt as he moved. "Some healing magic as thanks for helping us."
"You're welcome," Ren replied. "And thank you for the heals."
"Yes and… I'm sorry to have gotten the two of you mixed up in this. You Nanoha, because you were the only one who I could call, and you Ren because you had the misfortune to run into us," Yuuno said remorsefully as he bowed as far as his ferret neck allowed.
"It's fine, he and I are used to these sorts of Dashing Heroics," Morgana proudly exclaimed. "Trust us when we say, we've been through worse." He then began to pat Yuuno on the back to help assure the ferret that he was being truthful on the matter.
"Umm…" Nanoha hummed nervously.
"Oh right, it's getting late, we both should be heading home. Do you need me to take you home?" Ren asked, noticing on the park clock that it had certainly now become really, really late as opposed to being just late.
"No, I'll be fine. Besides I think my parents might get the wrong idea if you show up all of a sudden." That was true. He didn't want to be arrested again on even worse charges. "But um… we should meet up tomorrow. After school, do you know a place called Midoriya? My parents own the place and we could meet up there to talk some more tomorrow."
"We were there today actually. Ren here's actually been trying cafés all across town." Morgana made sure to not mention Ren's thoughts on the coffee.
"Great! Then, we'll see you tomorrow," Nanoha said as she and Ren got up to start walking out of the park.
"Yeah, I think all of us are going to need to discuss this stuff," Morgana said.
"I'm sorry for mixing the two of you up in this," Yuuno once again apologized.
"Save it for later, for now, let's just go home… and you better split up before the cops see you and arrest Ren for pedophilia," Morgana explained with nervous laughter.
"What's pedophilia?" Nanoha innocently asked. The other three had a bit of a time trying to avoid that subject afterwards.
"So, Jewel Seeds are ancient artifacts from our world. Originally, they were magical stones that granted the wish of its possessor. However, the power is unstable and has the possibility of going berserk. That is what occurred last night. Not only that it can also, on its own, search for a user, causing harm as it tries to find someone. Person or animal, if they find and keep it, they get possessed and go on a rampage," Yuuno explained as the four of them, Ren, Nanoha, Yuuno, and Morgana sat at a table at Midori-ya. The excuse Nanoha made to her parents was that Ren was a tutor to help her with her studies. His test papers that he had in his bag helped to prove his worth… that and they really liked Morgana.
"And those things are now all scattered in the city then?" Morgana asked. "How did they end up here?"
"It's my fault. You see, I'm an archaeologist and I found the seeds on a dig one day. I went with procedure and sent them to the investigative team for safe keeping. However, either vessel carrying the seeds either met crashed or met with some man-made disaster. Then they ended up here. There are a total of 21 seeds, and so far 2 have been found, leaving 19 remaining," Yuuno said, guilt clear in his voice as he explained the circumstances.
"Doesn't sound like it's your fault in that case," Ren was the first to say, though Nanoha was just about to say it. "Beating yourself up about things that aren't your fault isn't the way to go about things. It's best to just take things slow and work them out."
"I agree, I don't think you're to blame either, Yuuno," Nanoha added.
"But, I'm the one who found them, and as such it's my responsibility to return them safely so that they don't fall into the wrong hands," Yuuno rebutted almost immediately.
"While you have a good sense of responsibility. That's only going to lead to recklessness. Let me guess, you're thinking that you have to do this all on your own, and that after you're fully back up and running, that you're going to try to find the seeds by yourself. Right?" Morgana asked as he nibbled at the cookie on the table.
"How did you-"
"It's easy when you're as wise and experienced as myself," Morgana preened. "Trust me when I say that doing things on your own isn't responsibility, it's recklessness, and dangerous recklessness at that. It will only end up with you dead, and no one left to solve the problem. At that point, your responsibility will just be a meat pile on the side of the road."
"Morgana!" Nanoha said in shock to the cat's blunt statement.
"Sorry, but in a situation like this, sugar coating it is only going to make things worse. If you really want to fix this problem, then let us help you out," Morgana, without holding back, replied.
"But I… I can't just let you get involved. I'm sorry but-"
"I agree," Nanoha interrupted the ferret. "I can't during school or cram classes, but I can help outside of those times."
"But it can get dangerous like yesterday, or even worse than that," Yuuno tried to argue.
"And what can you do as you are now?" Ren began. "I hate to say it but you're a small ferret, and you said it yourself last night. Nanoha is strong. What if a Jewel Seed pops up right now? What can you do about it? If it's as dangerous as you say it is, then you might not have the luxury of time. Nanoha proved she can do it last night. Just believe in her."
"Ren… that's right, and besides that." Nanoha started to say, staring straight at Yuuno. "We're friends now. I can't just let you go on your own. Not after listening to your story like that. Also, if something like last night happens again, then I want to be able to do something about it so that everyone can be safe. If someone's in need and I have the power, I won't hesitate. That's what dad taught me. Though I'm not sure how good a mage I'll be."
"How noble of you Miss Nanoha." Morgana sincerely complimented her. "You might as well accept her help Yuuno. It would be rude to deny a lady's offer like that."
"I… I suppose you're right. Besides, you probably have more talent than me Nanoha. As far as I'm concerned you're already a powerful mage."
"Really? Um… I'm not too sure but thank you! I'll be counting on you teach me more!" Nanoha gleefully said as she began to hug Yuuno.
"Yes, I wi-" Yuuno suddenly stopped and looked outside, his gaze transfixed in a specific direction. "It's another seed…"
"Where is it?" Ren asked as he began to put his things away. Nanoha also was doing the same.
"I'll show you where it is, come on!" Yuuno said as he climbed onto Nanoha's shoulder.
"Nanoha-chan where are you and your tutor going?" Her mother asked from behind the counter.
"We're going to get some fresh air, too much work at once can be taxing on the brain. A little break to keep her going," Ren answered. "Thanks for the coffee and desert," He said as he began to follow Nanoha out. "Here's exact change. We'll be back soon."
"Meow!" Morgana said, imitating a cat...
"Yeah, we'll be back soon Mom!" Nanoha said as she exited the store alongside Ren. As soon as they were out of sight from the store, the two rushed in the direction as pointed out by Yuuno.
As soon as the two reached the top of the stairs, they found a woman having passed out on the floor in front of a mutated dog like creature that had a few too many eyes and teeth than was normal. It also had an extra growth on its head that had even more eyes and even horns. Nanoha already had Raising Heart in hand, while Ren brought out the combat knife he had hidden on his person, then dexterously flipping it to the underhanded position. Morgana as a precaution, jumped out and began to try and look for an opening to move the woman out of the way.
"The original animal has been taken over by the seed. It looks like a strong one, Nanoha, activate Raising Heart!" Yuuno, said after having laid eyes on the creature.
"Right… um… how was it activated?" Nanoha said with a nervous tremble in her voice.
"The Password! I am one charged with a mission!" Yuuno tried to explain.
"I don't remember it! It was so long!" She cried with tears in her eyes as the monster drew closer. She froze up as she saw the big dog approach. What was she thinking? She couldn't do this. She was going to be killed. She wanted to run away, run home to where it was safe. Suddenly though, she felt a hand being placed onto her shoulder. Ren with his confident and cool smile stood there, still firm and unyielding. Why? Why did it feel like things would go well when he looked at her like that? How could he be so brave?
"Then you help her through it Yuuno, I'll distract it. Nanoha, I believe in you. Move in to seal it when you're ready. Morgana look for an opening to move the woman out of the way." Immediately, Ren darted towards the creature. As he approached the dog tried to bite at him, only for him to side step it and immediately deliver a knifed haymaker to the side of its head. The monster, even if it didn't feel the blunt impact certainly was pricked just a bit by the knife as it jumped back, a bit of blood flowing out of the side of its head. "Damn… not deep enough… Yuuno, how's it coming along?" He asked as he prepped for another attack.
"Um… Right! You heard him Nanoha… Nanoha?" Despite Yuuno's cries, Nanoha wasn't paying attention. She looked on as Ren fought the creature with nothing but a knife, and strangely enough, holding it off even better than the monster from last night. She thought on how he didn't hesitate to run in, neither yesterday nor today. As soon as the threat appeared he took charge, and courageously fought on. And what did she do? She hesitated, she started to cry as soon as it looked dangerous. Suddenly though, the dog's tail swung, but Ren didn't see it coming from behind.
"Argh!" He let out as he landed on the floor again, just like yesterday, and just like yesterday, he only let it slow him down so much before getting back up again and running back in, calm and collected, to keep it at bay for as long as possible.
"Is everything alright? Get to it Miss Nanoha! He's not going to last much longer!" Morgana pleaded after dragged the woman a safe distance away. She hated herself for it. For saying such big words, and yet having someone else front for her bravado. She was only 9. What was she thinking?
"Nanoha!" Yuuno screamed again, this time catching her attention as she noticed that Ren was knocked down again, this time though, with the monster's foot crushing his back. Even then he didn't give up, trying to grab at the knife that had fallen out of his grasp. She had to be better, starting now. Suddenly the hand holding Raising Heart started to glow.
"Raising Heart?" She said as the glow both distracted the monster and Yuuno.
"Standby Ready. Set Up." It declared as Nanoha was once again wrapped instantly in a pink light which faded just as quickly to reveal her garments from last night. "Shooting Mode, Set Up." The staff head began to breakdown and rematerialize into a more squared shape with two prongs.
"No password? How can you… that's not important right now. Nanoha, control the output. The original animal is still inside there," Yuuno warned, having surmised that full power would completely obliterate what ever creature it was originally before the seed took it over.
"Got it!" She confirmed as she aimed Raising Heart's new form. She won't hesitate anymore. She had to prove his belief in her true. Surrounding her, magical circles with various runes began to form, and magic began to coalesce at the tip.
"Controlling Output. Setting to projected levels necessary to incapacitate," Raising Heart stated.
"Thank you, Raising Heart. Bad Dog! Hands off my Friend!" And at that she fired it. The pink magical beam shot through the air, carving its way to the monster until it finally impacted, knocking it off its feet. Ren, without the weight, got up, got his knife, and ran over to Nanoha.
"You did it!" Ren exclaimed, looking none the worse for wear save for a dirty shirt.
"Great Job Miss Nanoha! I knew you could do it!" Morgana followed.
"That control… Her talent is truly amazing… Nanoha Seal it now!" Yuuno told her as the monster was clearly worn down but could get back up any moment.
"Right, Raising Heart I'm counting on you!" Nanoha said as she made a ready stance.
"All Right. Sealing Mode Set Up!" Raising Heart acknowledged suddenly, followed by transforming into the shape it displayed last night with the two wings protruding from the back of the head. As the monster was getting up, the same binds also appeared, keeping it in place as Nanoha set up the Coup de grace. The symbol XVI appeared this time instead.
"Lyrical! Magical! Jewel Seed Serial Number 16… Seal!"
"Sealing!" And like that, the creature was purged of the seed, its form seemingly dissipating leaving behind a simple mundane dog. The seed itself flew into Raising Heart who let out a simple "Receipt Number 16." Nanoha felt her tension drop, letting out a huge sigh in the process. Her first battle as a mage was over.
"Good Job," Ren told her as the four of them watched the woman wake up to see her dog happy and healthy. No jewel seed anywhere in sight. Picking her pet up, she then began to walk down the steps. Presumably to go home after what would probably be just a random dream to her.
"Thank you. Um, Ren?" Nanoha called his name, anxiousness in her voice for some reason he couldn't pinpoint.
"I… want to be brave, like you. Today I couldn't immediately call Raising Heart when we needed to, and you had to make up for it, putting yourself in danger when you didn't need to. So, just watch me. I'm going to be as brave as you one day, and be able to meet your expectations," Nanoha declared to the older boy. To her surprise, he chortled a bit at her response. "Hey what's so funny?"
"Sorry, but as far as I'm concerned you're already braver than me," Ren said with a smile, as he began to pat Nanoha on the head.
"Stop that!" She said, swatting his hand off. "And what do you mean?" She asked earnestly, curious about what he meant by that.
"I mean, look at this way. I'm a fit athletic young adult. I have a body that can sort of handle itself in situations like this, but you? You're a kid. A 9 year old Kid. If I were you I'd be way more scared than that. Sure you stumbled. But you pulled through in the end before anyone got hurt. I think that's the most important thing. You are brave Nanoha, just don't be afraid to take it step by step. You'll do just fine that way."
"He's right, Nanoha. You've got great talent for someone your age," Yunno jumped in. "And despite the fact that you've just started, you're doing great, even in the face of danger. As he said, we'll do this together one step at a time, as a team."
"Yup, and as a team, we'll be able to do things we couldn't normally do alone. I mean look at me, I'm a cat, and even I can play my part…" Nanoha wondered why Morgana seemed to pause for a second but then he resumed without issue. "You're just going to get better with time."
"You guys really mean it?" She asked, tears in her eyes thanks to their feelings of belief in her, genuine honest faith.
"Yeah," Ren said with a nod. "Now come on. It's getting late. I'll walk you home."
"Yeah I'm hungry! Let's go!" And like that the team walked down the stairs. Together they'd face whatever challenge came next.
"You know Nanoha…" Yuuno began as he nibbled on a biscuit while lying in his ferret bed Nanoha's family had made for him.
"What is it Yuuno-kun?" She said as she checking which pajamas she would wear for the night. A lot had happened today and left her quite dirty so she had to take a bath as soon as possible.
"I don't think we ever asked them, but how can Morgana talk?" Yuuno asked, a question he realized the two failed to bring up yesterday or today. A pregnant silence filled the room as it dawned on them that the other half of their sealing team was probably not as normal as they appeared to be… Nanoha gave only a single response.
In his room, he organized his books for tomorrow. Placing them in his bag, he looked back on his desk to see his phone by its lonesome. Turning it on, he checked his phone again. As usual, it was still gone. The Metaverse app hadn't returned.
"It's not going to just suddenly reappear you know? As nice as it would be to be able to use our Personas again, it's not like it's just going to happen for no reason," Morgana answered as he licked his paw clean, sitting in the nice cat bed he had for himself in Ren's room.
"I know… but leaving it all to a 9-year-old girl doesn't sit right with me. I have to take the burden off her just a little bit," he said as he put the phone back down. His hand began to squeeze in self-loathing.
"Well, what you're doing is probably the best you can hope to do honestly. She's the only one who can really do anything about this situation. It's best to support her so that she can do her best and with minimal danger. I don't like leaving it like that either. It's so un-gentlemanly, but it's all we can do," Morgana said as he finished licking his paw and shook himself dry. "If you're that bummed, maybe you should text everyone to see how their doing? Let them know what's going on."
"You're right… Besides It has been a while. I wonder how they're going to react?" He let out a huff as the thought danced in his head. Grabbing his phone, he went to the old chat log to talk to some old friends.
"And make sure to go to sleep." Some things never change.
Sometimes we have good ideas, sometimes we have bad ones. This is… I don't know but hey it exists now. I originally was going to just make this a one shot focusing on the Phantom Thieves as they deal with the show in it's last 4 or so episodes, just swooping in and saving the day, but change of plans. Since I had never actually watched Nanoha's 1st season proper, I decided to give it a watch in order to best research the material. After all second hand tellings from other people's cross over fan fictions is probably not the best source for how the show originally went. I was already boned up on P5's though. Getting the platinum does that to you. Watching the show, I found that my original draft wouldn't have worked. I mean I guess it could, but it was better to throw like 75% of it out and save the rest for later for better over all congruence and minimizing forced scenes in exchange for a more organic integration. In that process I decided I needed to just start from the beginning of the show and just follow that with P5 mixed into it. The changes will become more pronounced over time. And don't worry, Ren will be just fine. It's a Persona cross over after all, so they're coming, they're just in Nantucket and it's going to take a bit of time for them to get here. And they better take that left turn at Albuquerque.
One of the major changes I realized I was making was making Nanoha develop as a character a bit faster. Something at the beginning of the show I saw was that Nanoha is a bit of a ditz who needed to learn the severity of her responsibilities. It was done well in the show proper, but this isn't the show proper. In this case, because Ren is here (God that's weird I like Akira better), he's already got the qualities that Nanoha would display later. So, her seeing that is enough for her to prompt greater growth. Couple that with her own strong sense of responsibility I figured that would make her grow faster compared to the original show, because she has a role model in Ren to emulate and desire to become. I mean people with the Fool Arcana tend to stimulate growth in others. But yeah, don't worry, the domino affect that has will be shown… I hope I can show it anyways.
For the most part, this series is just going to cover the first season. I don't really have plans to go beyond that, so hopefully this all won't take too long to hash out, given that the original show was just 13 episodes long, and this chapter technically covered episodes 1 and 2. This probably shouldn't interfere with FiEW, but hey who knows. I certainly don't anymore… I mean hey I wrote this in a day thanks to a stroke that left me twitching on the floor… a stroke of genius (I watched The Producers again…).
So what did you think? Did I portray the characters correctly? Did I get lore wrong? Do you just hate my guts and want to tell me? Put a review down and let me know of all my shortcomings, so that they'll be longer in the future.
As always, I hope you enjoyed yourself and brightened up your day just the tiniest bit. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day.