Blood That Flows
I own nothing.
Funny enough, what got me to finish this arc was the epilogue, as I got THAT written up before I finished the last chapter.
Two weeks later…
"Well, that mostly wraps up everything." Hayate said as she finished looking over the report. Everyone had fully recovered, more or less, from the ordeal, other than Nove's arm and Corona still having her body, hair and eye pigments all being changed. Whatever had saved Rio's life but kept her in Adult Mode had finally faded when the girl mostly recovered, so she was back to normal. "Still, it doesn't explain one thing. Why did those Mazoku do that to Corona?" Heck, why were they interested in her to begin with?
"I can answer that one." A rather obnoxious voice spoke up from behind Hayate. Gasping, the short woman stood up and glared at the being behind her. "Oh come on now, I wasn't the one who made those children disappear like that."
"No, but your children did." Hayate glared, "so what are you here for, Xellos?" And where the heck was Reinforce? Hayate would feel more at ease if her wife was there with her.
"I'm hurt, I'm here to clear some information up and all you do is yell at me?" Despite being a Mazoku, Hayate was genuinely impressed with how he could put up a hurt facade. "Now come on, cheer up, if it makes you feel any better, my daughters are being punished by their mother right now."
"Alright, talk, you didn't come here to torment me, did you?"
"That's always a fun option." Xellos admitted, grinning happily in response. "But as for Miss Corona, it turns out that Gram figured out that her ability to create golems was far beyond what he had ever seen before. He told me that a golem made of normal materials should never be able to harm a Mazoku, and yet her golems could actually hit beings on the Astral Plane. So if she can do that... Imagine what she could do if she had access to something like the Zannafar Armor."
"...Eww." Hayate grimaced, that wasn't pleasant. "Making an army of those things?" Beings that were mostly immune to magic let loose in any area that was magic dependant just screamed 'bad touch' to her.
"Why yes, that would be quite bad." Xellos nodded in agreement, "well, that problem's taken care of."
"And what about Corona?" Hayate nearly growled when Xellos shrugged helplessly.
"There's not much I can do, had she been given a small fragment of Lord Ruby Eyes's power I may have been able to syphon it off. But seeing as this is Lord Death Fog, I'm afraid it's impossible for me to do anything."
Hayate sighed and sat on her desk. "So what? I'm supposed to just accept that?"
"Whether you do or don't, that's your call. Anyway, my work here is done." Xellos waved before disappearing.
"Great..." Hayate sighed as she got off her desk and walked out. She needed some fresh air before she told Nanoha and Fate what was going to happen to Corona.
"Yeah, we're going to have to get you a new arm, but that won't be too difficult." The doctor smiled at Nove. "Considering the damage and the fact that we had to remove most of the rest of your arm, it will take us a couple of weeks to get a new one ready."
"You should totally get a rocket punch added on." Jail spoke up from Jet Edge, causing Nove to twitch as she put her jacket on.
"I'll get around to that when you build me a transforming outfit." Nove muttered and nodded to the doctor. "I'll see you around, I need to get this thing looked at."
"Have a good day. We'll call you when we're ready."
"Thanks." Nove nodded and grimaced as her sleeve dangled to the side. "Maybe I should have asked for a substitute." She said to herself as she walked out to meet up with Ginga. "Hey, sis."
"They should be able to get me a new one in a couple of weeks."
"I don't know what sucks worse, the fact that you have to wait or the fact that you're right handed."
"Yes." Nove's response got both sisters to laugh as they left. "Come on, I need to get Jet Edge looked at."
"I don't see why, it's not like either of us are going anywhere. We're in all your sister's devices."
"And that's why we're going to have you two fix their devices, Un-nee." Nove shook her head in exasperation. "Plus we'll get you two into some devices of your own."
"It might be better to delete them, I don't think the Bureau would let you keep them."
"Ginga, dear, even if you delete us, we'll find a way to come back." Jail spoke up, his holographic image popping out of Nove's device. "Now then!" He pointed dramatically. "Onwards! To new bodies!"
Nove shrugged helplessly, "well, you heard him."
Hours later, the sun was starting to set when Nanoha and Fate walked into Hayate's office. "You called for us?" Nanoha asked when she got closer. Normally she would be more casual and carefree, but the way Hayate was looking, she didn't think it would be appropriate.
Fate honestly felt like she was in front of her brother when he was in one of his more serious moods. "What is it?"
"Well, thankfully, other than Nove's arm and the discovery of Jail and Uno in Jet Edge, most of this resolved easily enough."
"There's the issue with Corona. Right now she's under some really heavy limiters." And locked up, but the two already knew that. "The fact that her magic's so fundamentally different than it was before is scaring people."
"But the only people who it would scare are those who scanned Corona after she got back and..." Nanoha trailed off as she realized the implications. "...So who talked?"
"Does it matter?"
"You know it does." Fate retorted. "We have to trust the doctors to keep information confidential."
"We also have to trust the doctors to make sure that important information, such as injuries, Linker Core damage and anytime someone's adversely affected by Mazoku, gets to the right people." Hayate countered, "I don't like it either, but regardless the information got to our bosses and they were demanding answers."
"...So that's why you haven't been around for the past couple of days?"
Hayate sighed and leaned back in her chair. "If I had a bottle of whiskey on me, I'd have gone through three before you two showed up."
"So who.. Hayate-chan!" Nanoha frowned as the other woman shook her head. "We need to know!"
"It changes nothing." Hayate took a deep breath to try and calm down. "Thankfully there are a couple of options that we have for her going forward. The first is to put a permanent limiter on her that's so strong that she'll never be able to generate a spark of magic ever again." Such an option was only used for the worst criminals or those with magic that couldn't be controlled in the slightest. Putting that on Corona would be cruel in Hayate's eyes. "The other option we were given was that we put a limiter on her to lower her power... And then exile her to a remote planet to live the rest of her life in peace."
"...What? That... You can't be serious!" Fate gasped as she looked at her friend in horror. "She's a little girl who was forced into this."
"So were we when magic entered our lives and now look at us." Hayate's voice had no heat, just exhaustion.
"We also had a large support network and we chose to use magic when given the choice." Nanoha couldn't believe that her friend was being so callous, there had to be a better solution than this.
"Hayate, you can't expect us to standby and let this farce happen. She either has her magic sealed away for good or she gets exiled to a remote world?"
Hayate nodded at Fate's question. "How do we know that her magic won't go out of control and put countless people at risk?"
"I use that magic! Hell, I use magic that's a lot more unstable and dangerous and I've never had this problem!" Nanoha's temper was starting to hit its limits.
"You do realize that the reason the three of us were treated well was because we were under your mother's protection, right?" Hayate's words cut through Nanoha's building anger like a knife. "It was the threat of your mother that kept our bosses in check, especially after they found out about the time you went berserk."
"...I don't care." Nanoha responded as she took a moment to gather her thoughts. "If needed I'll adopt that girl myself and watch over her."
"Really?" Hayate raised an eyebrow, getting a nod from Nanoha. "And you'll take responsibility if something goes wrong?"
Nanoha slapped her hands on Hayate's desk. "Of course I would!"
Hayate was silent for a few moments before smiling brightly. "Good, because after today I'm under house arrest."
"Huh?" Both Nanoha and Fate blinked in surprise.
"It turns out that threatening to blow up your superiors with a Diabolic Emission if they try to do that to a little girl is against the rules." Hayate laughed lightly. "Before you ask, no, I didn't hurt anyone, but I was sorely tempted to. As for Corona, after today, Nanoha-chan, she's your student. You're to train her to control her powers and keep her in check should they go out of control."
"Reinforce is currently working out the details, but if I know Reinforce, Corona will either live on base or with you two at your home. She should be able to return to school after you can prove that she's safe enough to be around everyone."
"So... Who's in charge?"
"Reinforce will be in charge until my sentence is over." Hayate stood up and stretched. "Before you ask, right now I'm under a heavy limiter myself." She shrugged, it was, in her mind, totally worth it.
"Hayate-chan..." Nanoha smiled as her friend saluted her. "Thank you." She saluted the other woman back.
"General." Hayate nodded as she saw Regius waiting for her in the parking lot. "If you're here to escort me..."
"I just wanted to talk before you leave." The older man nodded to her. "I have to say, watching you take on your superiors like that... That takes some real balls."
Hayate scoffed, "oh please, I've dealt with Nanoha-chan when she's mad, a bunch of old fools who would try to harshly punish a little girl who did nothing wrong? That's easy. By the way, thank you for your suggestion."
"I have no idea what you're talking about, it's obvious that the girl got her hands on a Lost Logia of some sort that overloaded her Linker Core and she just needs to learn to control her new powers." Regius shrugged at her.
Hayate smiled at him. "That it true. Although, I'm surprised you didn't push for a harsher sentence."
"We both know that if I tried that I would face considerable blowback." He rolled his eyes. "Still, you were most impressive. If I were twenty years younger..."
Hayate smiled as she walked to her car. "If I wasn't happily married to Reinforce, General, I might take you up on that offer." She giggled at his shocked look and got into her car. "See you."
Regius blinked as he watched the car drive off. "...The rumors of her being a vixen are true after all."
Deep in space...
"What is with this place?" Veyron looked around, from the outside it looked like a giant rock, but on the inside it almost looked like some prison fortresses that he had been in at one point or another.
Ignoring him, Levi walked up to a door and frowned as she realized that there was something that prevented her from walking through it or even warping inside. "Well, master Garoth... You really were cautious, huh?" Looking to the side, she found a panel, after messing with it for a bit, the door opened up. "This is where we split."
"Huh?" Veyron looked at her in an annoyed fashion. "First you say you want me to come with and then you say you don't?"
"Do what you want, I don't care, but don't go blaming me if something inside eats you."
"Whatever." Veyron scoffed as he watched Levi walk through the door. "Crazy bitch." He sneered and walked back to the ship.
Meanwhile Levi continued her walk through the corridors and frowned, while the inside looked like some sort of mass prison, there was nothing inside any of the "rooms" that were there. "Am I just wasting my time?" That would be annoying, all this time to get out this far into space and nothing to show for it?
Moments later, she felt something behind her, turning she frowned as she saw a bunch of Lesser Demons. While tough for humans to fight they were nothing for her. "Well?" She asked as they stood around and looked at her before slinking away. "That's what I thought." She scoffed and turned only to see a humanoid Lesser Demon, which looked like a small dark minotaur standing there.
"Master? No, you're... Not him."
"Lord Deathbringer is dead, I am all that remains of him."
"Impossible." The Lesser Demon shook his head. "The master's power was unmatched."
"It's true, I felt his connection disappear myself!"
"You are... The master's successor then?" The minotaur frowned and looked at her. "Are you here for the toy?"
The Minotaur nodded and pointed downwards. "Down there, the master's favorite toy, he left her for us to play with. Sometimes we win, sometimes she wins, lately she hasn't been as much fun."
Looking down, Levi wondered what was down there before shrugging and jumping. After all, the fall wouldn't hurt her in the slightest. Landing, Levi was surprised to find a rather solid-looking door in front of her. "There better be something in there." She growled and grabbed the door, pulling on it to open it. "I wonder why there's no security on this one." She muttered as it opened fully. Walking in, she looked around to see what was in the room before stopping and her purple eyes widening in shock. "Well... This is far more than I could have imagined."
On the far wall a body was sitting against the wall. A pair of mismatched eyes opened up to look at Levi before the person tilted her head to the side in obvious confusion.
"Get up, you're leaving with me." Levi grinned as the person did just that and stepped into the light fully. "Oh... Yes, this will work perfectly for me."
She threw her head back and laughed maniacally. Who could have guessed that this would be something that her master left behind?
I've only just started the next arc. So it'll be awhile. There will be two more. The Fallout from this arc and Force.
If I can get my muse to cooperate. I dunno how long the next arc will be, but it'll be a bridge between Revolution and Force.
At the very least, this arc is now finished.