Foreword. Hi everyone, I've finally decided to post this story because I am in serious need of MSLN as of late and cannot find anything new. Poor me. Fate will have an important role in this, just so you know, because she's definitely my favorite character (do I have to explain why?). I like Nanoha too but her overpowered mage status makes it a little irritating at times, just like her "Starlight Breaker you then we speak" attitude. Seriously, this girl can cast several nuclear bombs in a single battle and that's it (don't tell me it costs her, she do it every chance she gets to kick an ass, and more importantly half of the time she doesn't even need to starlight breaker anything apart from bosses, just divine shoot whoever stands in her way…) Meh.

So, I thought to myself, what if I threw an OC character that could make her dance for a change. Then I told myself I had to do an OC who wouldn't downright annoy me cause yeah, OCs are hardly enjoyable most of the time. After that my mind started running a mile a minute and next thing I knew I had a full story. I didn't even get the chance to plan it because of my brain. Bad, brain. Bad! Well, enough with my non-sense!

Just the necessary information: this is a canon-verse story set just after Vivid, including Reflection and Detonation (see them on Wakanim, they're good). All the characters will make an appearance but the story revolves mostly around Fate, Hayate, Nanoha and an OC. This is a NanoFate story (cause I can't picture them with anyone else to be honest) but in a slow burn form (I love ambivalent relationships, don't sue me). This contains an important OC, I try to make her interesting but it's not an easy task, bear with me? (just so you know, it's absolutely not a Mary sue… eww!). Other pairings may appear, I dunno. In this story Rein will mostly be in her pixie like appearance because damn, she's too cute like that! Also, I don't care much about the whole combat arts of Vivid (never understood this evolution) so, I won't talk much about it. Finally, since I love Einhart I think I will include her in there, somewhere. Somehow. Hmm.

Fair warning: the beginning of this story is rather angsty, you'll understand why soon enough. The story won't be angst only though, I generally don't like this type of story (personal preference) as it demoralizes me too much. Also, English is not my language so I'll do my best for you but go easy on me if I make any mistake.

Lastly this foreword is way too long, sorry for that. I'll keep the forewords to a minimum from now on. Note that I don't own anything apart from the plot and the OC. Just having fun!

Have a good read and a good day, dear reader! Welcome to Two of Diamond!


Two of Diamond

1. Fight or Die


Peace could never last long, and certainly not forever.

It was a universal rule.

The blonde mage gritted her teeth, still reeling from the last attack thrown at her. This girl standing on the other side of the clearing was powerful. She was unknown to the TSAB, to the military or any other records anywhere else in the universe and that was quite rare. How a mage so strong could escape the many tracking systems surveying any magical disturbance was beyond her. The first time she caught a glimpse at her it was on pure coincidence, right after a large amount of energy had been released on one of the moons of Midchilda and she had been sent there along the Wolkenritten to investigate. The long, silver hairs caught a dimming ray of light, catching her attention again, and the red eyes looked sadly at her.

It was not like she could help it. All those memories were still fresh in her mind, haunting her in the worst moments. She was older, wiser and certainly more balanced emotionally than ever in her life but she had a mind full of images ready to pop before her eyes when she least needed them. As it was, it was one of this moment.

Fate T. Harlaown was for all intent and purpose a powerful Enforcer, one of the three Aces and a frightening opponent to engage in combat. Although, it didn't prevent her for making a mistake. Her long experience in combat was useless against the flashes of her past that were assaulting her so very annoyingly.

She was on a very dangerous mission, in an area largely unknown to the TSAB and quite frankly what was happening here was far worse than anyone had expected. Something huge, unprecedented was growing in the shadows, were no one could see yet and if this girl was just a glimpse at their prowess, then it was a danger far greater than any they had encountered. She should have brought support on this one, of that she was convinced now.

Gripping her wounded side, she let out a sigh. She had lost enough blood to get on her knees but she was still standing, not relenting. The girl… facing her was piercing her with her gaze and something about that gaze, had triggered the old memories of her mother, Alicia and the abuse. Why? She was not aware of it and honestly in her situation it was not what mattered the most. She needed to gain some time, to hope for reinforcement and to live long enough to understand why this girl made her falter so… strangely.

"You don't have to believe me when I say sorry," whispered the advancing girl, her hands into fists. "But I am."

Frowning yet again, Fate gave her a puzzled look. Sorry or not, she intended on giving her the final blow and Fate could not surrender to death when she had so much to go back to, at home. Clutching Bardiche more tightly in her shaking hand, she angled her device correctly and gave her silent command to the intelligent tool. Her barrier jacket was badly damaged and parts of it were missing, but no matter what, she was the top enforcer. Fire!

"Yes, sir."

A gold circle spread under her feet and four projectiles of pure electricity appeared around her, all shooting toward her nearing opponent. The two of them knew that this attack was far too weak to reach its intended target but Fate had to try and buy some time. A shield swiftly countered the four projectiles and the girl/woman came to a stop before her, kneeling to get a close look of her face. Astounded by her comportment in the middle of combat, Fate was far too surprised to think of protecting herself. She was just hoping that her presence here was enough to record all of this girl moves, words or whatever. They needed to get a hold on her and discover what was going on recently. This was not the first incident.

"They say time can mend all wounds," softly said the girl, her tone as bland as earlier.

The red eyes flickered somehow and they seemed to clear for a second, making the girl look younger as she studied the wounded enforcer. Fate! Fate, can you hear me?Amy's voice was frantic.Yes. The unknown girl was still detailing her and it was bordering on intrusive at this point, making her uncomfortable.Help is on the way, let her speak, do not engage again! She agreed silently as it was probably the safest thing to do at this point. Those eyes though…

"Time has not mended you, has it?" Asked the strange girl, her words echoing in the blonde enforcer's mind.

To say she was flabbergasted was an understatement. Who was this girl? Another voice spoke to her. Fate, don't let her distract you, she's too dangerous. The worried voice of her brother drifted away in her head, tense. He was right but speaking to her was a good way to gain more time so she finally responded to her talkative opponent, giving into her curiosity.

"Who are you?" She demanded with a frown as the pain was making her lightheaded.

"That's a good question actually," replied the girl with a sad smile. "But I really don't know the answer."

The admission made the blond mage look at the stranger more attentively. She seemed honest enough, a tinge of confusion was shining in the girl's eyes as she was returning her gaze. The whole thing was weird but not so much as what she had seen in past missions, after all, weird mages were not rare. It was quite the opposite in fact.

"What do you want?" Probed the enforcer as a bout of nausea made her close her eyes for milliseconds.

"I…" The girl trailed off and tensed.

Going rigid in a second flat, the girl's face contorted in pain as a light shone in her ear. Dozens of white threads appeared around her, entrapping her, digging into her flesh and drawing droplets of blood through her clothes. Fate was close enough to hear the voice growling in the little device that activated itself, menacing and as sharp as a shard. Don't test my patience, kill the Enforcer and leave. The threads enclosed the girl more tightly, digging deeper in her flesh and she whimpered, the sound bringing back other memories of her cursed past. Why? Annoyed by her mind and feeling a little amount of compassion for the entrapped girl, Fate tried to reach to her but the heat radiating off the girl was too hot and a bolt of white energy stung her hand so she retreated it. Fate! What did I tell you! Her brother's voice was angry now. Fate was about to retort but her mind went blank when the threads disappeared and the girl regained her bearings, her red eyes focusing solely on her. That look was dull and even more sad than before. Not good.

"Yes, master," whispered the hollow girl.

The stranger with long silver hair closed her eyes and to her complete befuddlement tears appeared at the corner of her eyes, running down her cheeks and dropping on the ground. It left her speechless but the nausea she was fighting off decupled. Leaning heavily onto Bardiche, she let out a soft curse under her breath. She was at her limits and she knew it. The girl called a name, so low that she didn't understand it.

"Slaughter mode, set up."

With a start, Fate searched for the robotic voice who just spoke, dreading the ominous name of the unknown device mode. Six, slick looking silver claws sprouted out of the girl's hands, three on each hand as she curled them into fists. A metallic sound made itself known when two large pieces of metal connected around each one of her arms. Plated metal parts materialized on the girl's black and silver barrier jacket, creating a full body armor. Fate! Run! A large amount of energy was surrounding the girl, specks of silver light crackling all around them as they illuminated the area in an eerie silver hue. What the… Paralyzed by the unexpected display of power, Fate caught sight of the tears still running on the girl's cheeks while she looked sadly at her.

"Run!" Whispered the girl.

Dread settling in her mind like a ten-ton truck, Fate willed her legs to support her but the pain that flared in her side made her cry out and the fresh gush of blood spilling on the ground made her dizzy. She was not going to die here, she had to return to her best friend and Vivio! One set of the long silver claws was coming for her throat and would have sliced it with ease if not for the blade that popped just before her head, stopping the attack.

"Not today, Testarossa."

Lifting her gaze, she saw the blurry form of Signum towering over her and she let out a relieved sigh. She had done it, she survived until the reinforcements could make it. That girl was a big treat and surviving on her own for so long was something of a feat, especially since she's been ambushed. She was weirded out though, that girl seemed not that intent on killing her or she would be by now, they went at it for hours… So why? As all the tension accumulated in her started to dissipate, Shamal kneeled beside her, listing all her injuries and asking Zafira to lift the injured Ace. They needed to give her immediate medical assistance, her life was at stake. The blonde enforcer saw the fleeting image of Reinforce form in her mind and she had to admit the resemblance was there, which made no sense at all. Thinking that some rest was well deserved after that draining extended fight, Fate let the peaceful darkness creeping in her peripheral vision come to her, having just enough force to let out a last thought. I leave it to you, Signum.


Understood.

Signum was far too perplexed to be a hundred per cent concentrated on the fight. Not only the top Enforcer was hurt badly, it was also the result of a single younger girl who didn't have any apparent Device. Gauging the stranger warily, a fleeting memory came to her mind, picturing Reinforce standing at the foot of Hayate's bed. The painful reminder stung her but she ignored it for the time being. Bardiche was still lying on the floor and she picked it up, glancing at the scythe with a frown and addressing the two devices she was presently holding.

"Can you tell if she has a device?"

It was worse asking.

"Affirmative, unknown Device detected," declared the synthetic voice of Bardiche.

"Where?"

Signum could see the energy coursing in the silver claws but they were weapons, not the device in itself. Levantine was still blocking a set of claws, her hand trembling lightly under the pressure. She forgot her own question when she then spotted the tears running down the girl's cheeks. It was surprising to say the least. Her eyes were dull and sad, remembering her of some unpleasant memories. Destabilization… is it a power or just our own flaws? Fate's device went to his stand-by mode then, cracks running along its form as it went silent, undergoing his self-regeneration program. She put it in one of her pockets and grabbed the handle of her sword with both hands, ready to fight.

"Hinter."

The sudden answer from Levantine left her even more confused but as her sword let out the information, the girl snapped out of her apathic appearance and rushed her with the second set of claws. She blocked it with her sword but the now free set she just disengaged came for her too. It was not good, the attacks were stronger than they looked and she was far too close to the strange mage for her comfort. Putting some distance between them, the knight took her time to study her enemy, wondering why their enemy lured and attacked the top Enforcer of the TSAB in the first place. Vita, who she had sent to scoot their surroundings to make sure no other culprit was hiding in their immediate area, was barreling straight for the girl after her quick inspection, anger and grief radiating off of her.

"Who the HELL are you!?"

The short woman gave a swing of her hammer and made it crash on the shimmering silver shield protecting the still crying girl. The protection didn't even crack in the slightest which was proof enough that their opponent was not a low-class mage. Vita bounded back in retreat, her eyes shooting daggers at the unknown girl and Signum sighed. Some things never changed, the red mage's temper for example. We can't stay any longer, Fate-chan is in bad shape. Shamal's voice was overly concerned about this fact and now Signum was too, not ready to give up on her old rival just yet. Vita, all out. Instructed the leader of the Wolkenritten, brandishing her sword before her in an aggressive stance. If they let the blonde die in those circumstances, the White Devil will rip into someone and she didn't want to be on the receiving end of her wrath. Nanoha was overreactive when it came to Testarossa.

"Shiden Issen!"

Raising Levantine, the blade of her sword erupted in flames and she didn't waste any more time, going at the girl while Vita was backing off a little. Signum knew she was just going to prepare her biggest attack so she tried to tire their enemy before the real blow was delivered, going at her fiercely, following her even in the air. The six-clawed girl was rather fast and experimented but in a flurry of speed attacks Signum was overwhelming the strange girl and managed to land some hits before she heard Vita's scream.

"Gigantschlag!"

The girl lifted her gaze.

"Testa mode."

An octagonal shell formed around the stranger who was clenching her fists more tightly and tensed on instinct. Signum saw the giant hammer coming at them and lounged out of the targeted area just before the massive slam connected with the magic shield. A flash of silver went in all directions at the cheer power of the massive attack but the shield never broke as the ground caved under it. A cloud of dust covered the entire area, blinding them for a while, and Vita's hammer retreated toward its master as Signum felt the beginning of a frown on her face. A silhouette was walking.

"Gashing mode, set up."

She saw the claws split up in many little shards of silver energy, glinting menacingly as they faced four different directions, all the Wolkenritten being targeted. Despite herself, Signum felt her eyes widen at that, astounded by the unrelenting assault and the great amount of magic this girl could wield after her previous combat. Leave now! Retreat! Admiral Harlaown was frantic in their minds as Amy was heard over him. Transfer ready, please regroup!Signum was about to turn but the girl spoke.

"Aggeris."

"Yes, my Lord."

All the shards flew out in the blink of an eye and Signum was not fast enough to evade all of them. Many wounds tore her body and judging by the cries behind her and the one on her right, the others suffered injuries too. Anger swelled in her and she took a step forward, intent on lashing out, only to be met with sad red eyes and tears streaked cheeks.

"Slaughter mode, set up."

What? The silver claws reformed, the girl took a fighting stance and readied herself to strike but the device in her ear blinked to life and she froze on the spot, smocking threads kipping her in place. Enough dear, she won't survive. Mission complete. The male voice faded into a beeping sound and the girl was free again, which made the leader of the Wolkenritted tense once more. The vicious weapons attached to her hands dissolved by themselves and the girl staggered on her feet. That's when Signum saw the many injuries the girl sported, the majority of them were not from the fight and it left her speechless. What was going on with this new threat?

"Signum!"

Turning around, the sword knight went to Shamal and the others, entering the transfer spell shining on the ground. Just before they disappeared from the surface of the planet, the girl's voice reached their ears a last time.

"But I am," the words echoed the ones she had told to the Enforcer moments ago.

The transfer spell sparkled, activating, and the last thing the leader of the knights saw was their strange opponent walk away, her back turned on them as she staggered. The interior of the Claudia was surrounding them and Signum faltered, falling to her knees. The transfer had jolted them, giving the shards in their body the opportunity to go deeper. They were little pieces of agony and she wondered how many of them was in her flesh and how the medics will manage to extract them all but after two seconds they disintegrated, making her grimace in more pain. They were all losing a lot of blood but Testarossa… throwing a look at the unresponsive Enforcer, she balled her hands into fists, frustrated beyond belief. This girl was a deadly enemy but what was worrying her even more was that the stranger was not alone, others were assisting her and one in particular, was controlling her. It meant that this man was more powerful yet… it was no good. And her looks.

Could it be…? Vita's mental voice was shaking with emotion and the other knights knew exactly what the smaller of them was referring to. They all saw the same thing. Impossible, stated Zafira.

Leaning on her side, she heard rushed footsteps, and shouts, and orders, and names being called, and a wail. She wished she could transfer herself directly wherever Hayate was at this hour but she could not and it was all too much. She drifted off.