Holding on to this feeling that I cannot yield

Still, I have walked this far

I didn't seem to advance much

But I can feel the dream carried by a wave of time

-All in good time by Mami Kawada

Rainbows after the Rain

Prologue: Of Knights and of Princesses

Fate's POV

Today is one of those days that just seemed to pass by so quickly; no one knew what day actually meant for me, save for one person. This will be the day I turn fifteen years old, a year away from undergoing the test that would determine my future, the future of whether or not I can stay in the path of swordsmanship.

But today was also one of the days that I had to refurbish the statue that just seemed to captivate me. Maybe it was because that it could talk to me or maybe it's because I could see the pain etched on the statue's face.

'Ah… Happy birthday Fate.' She spoke mentally.

'Thank you. Can you believe it's already been three years since I started maintaining you?' I asked.

'I'm sort of glad that you didn't run away like the others did though…' She said, intoning relief with her words.

'Maybe it's because you're pretty?' I responded.

'Nyahaha… if I had the choice to move I would be blushing right now.' She happily replied.

I had a bucket of water and a brush with me today. I began dipping the brush, gently brushing the statue from head to toe making sure not to miss any edges, in-betweens, and curves. It took a while but I finally got to make the statue shine like it's supposed to.

'How do I look?' She asked.

'Beautiful as always, Nanoha.' I responded casually.

She giggled. 'Thank you… although sometimes I wish I could change what I'm wearing for you.'

'I think you're fine with whatever you wear Nanoha.'

And just like this our conversation that lasted until sunset, she talked about herself and I opened up to her in the same manner. She's straight-forward and she can be blunt at times but that just told me that she would never lie, each word she said were what she meant. I always wonder where she gathers the strength to express herself in that manner…

For the first time ever since I met her I wanted to free her from this horrible way of living out your life. 'Say… have you ever heard of a way to break your curse?'

You paused a bit, trying to comprehend what I just asked. 'I don't think you need to trouble yourself with me… the condition of breaking my curse is nearly impossible to complete, why the sudden interest?' She asked.

'I'm curious. Will you please tell me?' I pled.

'… It's a riddle a witch named Precia Testarossa made.'

'Precia Testrossa? Do you mean the witch who destroyed the kingdom of the guardians, Lutgard, single-handedly?' I asked.

She hesitated a bit. '…Yes. Let's just say that I come from that specific kingdom and I was in her way of plans so she turned me into what I currently am at the moment.'

'Will you tell me the riddle?' I asked.

'All right… it goes like this:

The forgotten shall come to you
They will deliver the key to your burden
Your soul shall be dragged into the darkness
The unspoken spell shall find it's way to you
These words from your "other" will set you free
And the "other's" caress will awaken you once more.

…that's what she told me.'

'She made it hard for us to solve.' I pouted.

'Well… it wouldn't be called a riddle if it gave the answers straight away.' She giggled.

I realized that it was already dinnertime when the sky grew darker. It was already time for us to part.

'I'm sorry. I have to go now…'

'It's already late I guess… Good night to you Fate.' She responded happily.

'Good night to you Nanoha.' I replied.

Sometimes I just really don't want to go but sadly due to curfew I'm always bound to go back to our resting quarters. I slowly picked myself up and started to walk for the door. Before closing the door I took one last glimpse of the room before I closed it. I fixed my black pants, torso, and boots before I headed off to the mess hall. It was as crowded as usual but I could already see that my table of friends have gotten my share of food already, I immediately walked in the general direction the table was in. Sitting down quietly I gave an apologetic look to Hayate, my long-time friend, for taking longer than usual in my duties today.

"…I give up. Why are you still polishing that statue?" Hayate sighed.

"Habit?" I answered.

"The people who assigned you to do that already graduated last year. Why do you like following Axel a lot?" Yuuno asked, trying to reason with me.

"He would be one of my role models besides it isn't that boring." I answered simply.

"Yes, yes, just spare us from the 'he was carefree and straightforward' speech." Chrono interjected, obviously annoyed that we're on the subject of Axel again.

Axel was a student of this school he excelled in the field of swordsmanship at a very young age and started taking all the advanced courses most people normally wouldn't take. I was assigned to be his partner for a job once and he asked me to take care of the statue; yes, the same one I'm taking care of right now, telling me that it looked sad. Not knowing what he meant until I actually started taking care of it.

"Chrono if you're so upset about your last duel you could always graduate now and search for him." I replied.

"Heh… it would save me the trouble of reprimanding you two." Signum added.

Chrono and Signum are well known in this academy for being Axel's greatest rival, although they are more or less their own rivals.

"I do not break any rules! Fate does!" Chrono complained.

"This coming from someone who kicks dirt at someone when they're about to get beaten." I retorted.

"All right you three… Chrono obviously loses today and Signum is the victor of today's little bout now… can we please eat in peace?" Hayate cut in before anyone else could say anything.

"…Did I miss anything?" A dumbfounded Sigurd asked.

"You just missed Hayate keeping us quiet." I replied casually.

"You guys got into the forbidden topic again didn't you?" She sighed.

"More or less." Shamal answered.

"I'm not saying another word and I'm eating." She replied, starting to dig in her meal.

The rest of the time we spent in the mess hall was spent in light insults, chatter, and comebacks that just seemed to make learning our language harder. I suppose you could say that everything went in a breeze and curfew came to us sooner than we expected.

"Want to come back to our room together?" Sigurd asked.

"Sure. It's not like our destinations are different anyway." I answered casually.

We continued to walk in silence until I just decided to break it with the thought of the riddle still running in my head. "Say… would you know a forgotten family that houses a special sword of some sort?"

"Hm… I can't say that there is a lot but… there are. Why the sudden interest in my field?" She asked.

"Nothing really, it's just that I heard a riddle somewhere that one could save someone from a curse." I tried to explain, only giving out the needed details.

"There are two houses that held a special sword like that: the house of Alevi and the house of Ventris… but I wouldn't search for the house of Ventris' anymore… there isn't a single that the family existed… it's surprising that a diary was found from the head of the house just like that." Sigurd expounded.

"The diary… any chance it's here?" I asked.

"Yes but it's in the restricted section… but knowing your status you can go there now." She shrugged.

"My… status?" I tried to clarify.

"Yeah! You're the only one in this academy who could enter a match with Axel and end it in a draw!" She exclaimed happily.

"…I don't know…" I tried to reply.

Not too soon after that we arrived at our door, Sigurd opened it and gestured for me to go in. I entered and took my time to settle down; unbuttoning my overcoat to reveal a white shirt hidden underneath, removing the crest on my neck, letting down my pony-tailed hair, taking a deep breath, and just dropping myself on my bed.

"It's been a while since you've just crashed on your bed, usually you'd be studying right now." Sigurd pointed out.

"I don't know… I feel like I got run over by a crowd…"

"Oh boy… the great Fate Harlaown isn't studying for once in her life… has the dead risen on its own yet?" She joked.

I giggled. "You're hordes of undead will have to wait miss future paladin."

"But I want to kick some living-dead butt right now…" She complained, exaggerating her actions by punching the air several times.

"Their butts just have to wait for you, for now you have to pass that swordsmanship test." I explained, getting up to pat her back.

"Ughyuu… Don't remind me… I'm going against that cheater… Jail Scaglietti…" She complained.

"He isn't that good… it's just that he has tricks up his sleeve, it makes me wonder how he got here in the first place." I comforted.

We continued chatting without a care until we were told to go to bed by the person who patrols our quarters every night. Obeying his advice we got in our beds and tried to sleep… well at least I did, Sigurd just closed her eyes and she was already in dreamland. I kept on thinking about that riddle Nanoha told me… I thought about the house of Ventris' existence all night until I decided to curl up and give it a rest for tonight.

Nanoha's POV

I'm really grateful that Fate continued to go here even after Axel graduated… to be honest I don't like the feeling of being petrified let alone being petrified for a long time… sure I don't age… in a way… but I want to just get out of this darkness… I want to actually feel alive again. To be honest I can never confirm if I'm alive or not by myself… if Fate and Axel never arrived in this place I just would be lost here thinking, waiting, and hoping someone will just tell me whether I'm alive or not.

How long has it been since I've seen those hateful purple eyes? I don't even know how long it has been…

Normal POV

Somewhere a castle stood darkly upon a cliff giving travelers the invisible sign of: "Abandon hope all those who enter." Within the castle's exterior lies a poorly managed throne room from ragged carpets up to the slightly dislocated columns.

"Have you found the source?" A woman with long wavy hair and amethyst eyes asked.

"We are getting quite close, mistress." A young girl with raven black hair and golden eyes replied.

"Find that which I seek and you will be rewarded greatly." The mistress replied coldly.

"As you wish. I will now take my leave, mistress." The girl replied.

And just like that the girl left without any other questions, no affection, and most definitely no sign of belonging. As she continued to traverse the castle walls her mind wandered to the infinite sky where you can just feel free to do whatever you please… such is her desire.

Her name is Alexis of the Ventris family. She has no recall of her memory other than her name.

Author's Notes:

Well I'm still thinking of what to do with the rest of the things I've planned out with this fic X_X Should I continue posting it here? PS: The riddle is still total crap after a couple of revisions... so I'd like some help there... PM me if you're interested.

Flames will be used for dimsum!

This fic has been prescribed by the doctor!