St. Hilde's Academy
Disclaimer: I forgot to add this in the last chapter, but MGLN is not owned by me. I only own the OCs I have created for this story.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed, especially to SapphoSensei for the advice!
Also, Italics are thoughts while "Italics in quotation marks" are telepathy.
The instructor calls Fate up to shoot the moving targets about 150 meters away from the class's current location. She readies three training shots and sends the bright, glowing spheres towards the targets. Seconds later, a brilliant light flashed as all targets were struck at the same time. A screen opened up next to the instructor informing him the results of her shot.
"Excellent control, Harlaown! Every target was a perfect hit!" She nods approvingly.
Fate, slightly red in the face, jumps off the platform from where she was shooting and walks toward her classmates.
A collective groan, while inaudible, was easily seen as half her classmates heaved a large sigh. None wanted to go after Fate's flawless performance. Dread and tension could be felt in the air as the instructor prepared the targets for the following student.
Said boy cursed his luck under his breath and walked to the stand where the shooting test took place. Sighs of relief filled the remaining students as the unfortunate boy began.
Three soft white spheres began to light up around him, as he concentrated. The intensity of the light grew, and finally burst forth in the direction of the targets. Two were struck squarely (albeit weakly) while the third brushed past the last target.
A disappointed look immediately replaces the hope on his face. Grimacing, he awaited the instructor to point out his mistakes.
"Your control needs work, Jansen. Also your shots lack punch… But, they will improve as the year progresses, so don't worry too much. Just make sure to practice extra hard." explained the instructor.
Determination appears on the boy's face as he nods vigorously at the assessment.
Five more names were called. Five more assessments were made and a total of twelve minutes had elapsed since Fate had gone.
Finally, the instructor was reaching the end of the list.
"Yes!" Nanoha excitedly ran to the platform to start. Immediately, three cherry blossom pink balls appeared and blurred as she quickly aimed and fired. Before the instructor could scold her on not taking the time to aim, said glowing balls struck home. She smiled at the instructor, oblivious to the disbelief of her classmates and instructor.
"P-perfect score, Takamachi!" was all the shocked instructor could say as Nanoha calmly walked back towards her classmates.
St. Hilde is still in its first week of school. In order to actually break the students in the sorcery class into different groups based on skill, tests were done all within the first week of school to maximize time for learning. By the end of the week, teachers -both the lecturers and magic instructors have grouped the students into different classes based on difficulty and specialization. Everyone would start in homeroom (to Alisa's relief, though she would never admit it). Whenever class assemblies/drills/fieldtrips would happen, the homeroom class would travel as one group. It was also easier on both students and teachers to not change the starting class right after school began. While St. Hilde didn't have that many students, it would still be a hassle for the teachers to have to learn a new batch of student names the second week of school. (Something teachers admit freely to students.)
Currently, the school was on a lunch break. The grueling first week of testing was almost over; only have a day and a half's worth of classes remained. 8 friends now gathered atop the school building. The large tree where they had first become friends could be seen from where they had gathered for lunch. A little past the tree, the small stream that ran through the creek, too, was discernible.
"I neva knew da two of ya were able ta do such fancy-schmancy shootin'!" exclaimed an excited Hanna. The slender girl, as the 5 girls found out very soon, was never still. It wasn't noticeable during practical, as movement was required for those lessons. However during the lectures, the girl was always tapping something, bouncing a leg, twiddling her thumbs, etc. Most people stop fidgeting after a while, but said girl would fidget this way and that, never pausing.
"Anyways," continued Hanna, "I was hopin' dat ya'll could teach me how ta shoot better! Ya see, my sis, Resi won't support my decision ta join da TSAB until she 'acknowledges' my skill." A face less than elegant was made at that statement.
Surprised, Hayate stuttered, "E-eh? You have a sister in the TSAB?"
"Yup! Private first class Therese Schmidt! She's in the Armed Forces, too!"
A sudden choke sound erupted from Nanoha, who had drunk water at the time.
"Fate, Hayate! I trained with her three years ago in the armed forces academy! We were roommates for the year, too!" Nanoha telepathically screamed, still coughing.
The hand Fate was using to rub Nanoha's back had dropped at that. With shock-widened eyes, Fate and Hayate looked at each other.
"Well, we can only hope for the best that she doesn't talk about you Nanoha. I guess it's too late to hope you didn't 'befriend' her like you did us. You two were roommates."Hayate sighs.
Alisa lets out a rather strangled sound. "You do realize you just said that out loud, right?"
" Whadaya mean?" Hanna asks curiously. "Da two of ya were roomies?"
And so Hayate commenced her insane, BS'ed story complete with complicated hand gestures and intelligible sound effects. If not for the sheer panic of their cover being blown, even Suzuka, the most composed of them all, would double over laughing at the ridiculous tale.
Throughout this all, someone was suspiciously quiet, soaking in the scene in front of his eyes.
"So, giant mecha appeared near Nanoha's home and attacked. Coincidentally, Resi was actually in that area for training. As Nanoha's home was destroyed, she and her family had no shelter for the night. The TSAB offered them rooms, and Resi offered her room up." James summarized. "That's balderdash."
After Hayate's crazy tale, the bell rang for noon lessons. James, Hanna, and Bryse had no chance to question such a story. Hanna tabled it with, "I'll call Resi later tonight and ask 'bout da robot story."
The comment had thrown the five other girls into another panic. No questions were asked, thankfully, but the seeds of doubt had already been sowed. Ideas formed and rumors spread.
"I'll admit, Resi is nice enough and it does sound like her to volunteer to room with strangers. But, she's never mentioned it before." continued James.
"But Resi neva mentioned any incident. It could've been classified info, but then Nanoha wouldn't've been able ta tell anyone else." added Hanna. " So they lied, which brings us ta the next question: why?"
Bryse interrupts, "H-hey, we should s-save this f-for later. The t- teacher is g-giving us a d-dirty look. H-have you both f-forgotten that t-teachers have d-devices that c-can t-tell when the s-students use t-telepathy. W-we should s-stop before we get in t-trouble."
"Then Bry, you come with me after school and let's follow them. We should interrogate them after classes end. As for you, Hanna, you should go call your sis as soon as possible."
Both nod in agreement, looking towards the board just in time to see the teacher giving them one last stink eye before continuing the lesson.
"W-we really s-shouldn't follow t-them! I-isn't that too nosy?"
Bryse continues to protest as James drags him along by the scruff of his uniform. The awkward position was sustained until the trio had stopped outside of the school gates.
"Hanna, make sure you ask Resi, okay?"
"I know, ya don't need ta remind me."
The boys turned towards the direction they last saw the girls. With a startle, they realize the same five girls had disappeared in the time it took to reaffirm their plan. Still determined, James left Bryse behind and sprinted towards the corner. Bryse, seeing James take off, quickly followed his example. Soon, the two had reached the intersection, only to see a large black car near the end of the street with Alisa and Suzuka getting on. Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate could be seen already seated through the glass windows. A young man in his late teens could be seen at the wheel. The young man also happened to be wearing a TSAB enforcer uniform.
Other classmates who had witnessed what Bryse and James had seen moments ago were already gossiping. Such was the birth of a new rumor.
~The Next Morning~
"Hey, Fate! Nanoha! Who was that guy picked you all up yesterday?" asked James. An unrelenting stare had settled on all five girls as he waited for the answer.
Classes didn't start for another five minutes, so the bell couldn't save them this time.
"E-eh? You saw that?!"Fate screamed for the first time since school had started. Usually, her voice was barely above a whisper; it was often soft and barely heard.
"Well, it's kinda hard ta miss five girls climb inta a giant, black car on an empty street." The typically and protective Hanna now gave them the same hard stare. "Also, my sis was awfully 'spicious las' night when I asked 'bout Nanoha. Said somethin' 'bout classified information that can't be told ta civilians? Utter bull, if ya ask me. Nanoha wouldn've been allowed ta tell the rest of ya if that were the case."
Bryse, too, had a kind of determined and curious look on his face.
"Actually, we are all members of the TSAB and were given a secret special mission yesterday. An enforcer was ordered to pick us up at 1600, and we were to be taken to HQ for debriefing. Also, Nanoha knew your sister because they were roommates three years ago for Cadet training," explained Hayate in a serious voice.
The silence in the classroom was deafening.
And then the laughter started. Hayate, looking like she was about to burst into tears, finally came out saying, "Hahahaha! I was just joking. You actually took me seriously? Heh, your faces are priceless!" The girl was clutching her stomach at this point. "Secret mission? Nine year old Air force Cadet?!"
Suzuka began to explain in the place of Hayate, "Actually, the enforcer you saw yesterday is Fate's big brother. His name is Chrono Harloawn, and because he had a day off yesterday, he decided to give us a ride home." Suzuka was the fastest to recover from Hayate's unexpected outburst. More like, she was the only one of the five girls able to speak. Fate, Nanoha, and Alisa were all shell-shocked from Hayate while Hayate was busy laughing her butt off.
Alisa, the next to recover, began, "Y-yeah! And we forced Nanoha to tell us what happened to her house when we saw it reduced to rubble the next day!" With that, a triumphant smile arose on her face. She had managed to help cover for them.
Shaking off the shock, Fate continued Hayate's sentiment. "What kind of nine-year old would be in flight school? Sorry, Hayate's such a jokester."
"Is that the reason? Phew, I thought you all were in some sort of trouble or something." A girl about meter away stated. She cracked a smile and said, "That's true, imagining a nine-year old able to fly and shoot through concrete walls. I would pay money to see that!"
All around, people began voicing their agreement.
Hayate had finally stopped laughing and looked at the clock. "Hey guys, I know I made a funny and all, but homeroom is about to start and we should all get seated."
As if on cue, the door opened and their teacher walked in.
"Alright, class is starting! Everyone, please go to your seats so I can take roll!"
Groans and sighs were given by the students as they made their sluggish way to their seats. No one looked forward to the exhausting physical training and practical classes that began after homeroom.
Still suspicious but far less sure, Bryse, James, and Hanna exchanged quizzical looks.
"HEY ASTON, BRANDT, AND SCHMIDT! SIT DOWN ALREADY!" yelled a cranky teacher. The first week was hard on everyone, including the teachers.
"Y-yes, ma'am!" was all James said as the three hurried to their seats.
~During Lunch Break at the rooftop~
"What was that, Hayate?! You can't go around spouting facts in front of our classmates!" Alisa, seriously pissed, yelled. "You could have blown our cover! Remember? They don't know that you three are part of the TSAB! Nor do they know that Suzuka and I are from Earth! A non-administered planet, nonetheless! That's not all, Hayate! What about the retarded cover story? Lindy probably had to pull a bunch of strings to get the cover story to Therese Schmidt before Hanna called?! You know it's only luck that the sister hadn't mentioned Nanoha!"
"C-calm down, Alisa. No harm was done, and while what I said was true, it's too unbelievable for ordinary students. I said it to throw off James and his friends. You have to admit, they were too suspicious of us. Besides, I never anything about the two of you coming from Earth. " Hayate reasoned, trying to placate Alisa's anger. There was no way that she was going to mention to Alisa that yelling all of this would expose them. Nope. She valued her life. Sure, she was S rank in magic, but she could only properly use the magic when in unison with Rein. Alisa was very good at offensive magic. Also, she was very… angry. Angry plus magic was not a good combination, reasoned Hayate to herself.
Nanoha, speaking for the first time, "Now now, Alisa. Everyone thought it was a joke, so it's okay, right? Besides, I don't think yelling all of our secrets will help them stay as secrets, so please calm down. As for the excuse, it was made on the fly, but next time we'll prepare an acceptable cover story."
Taken aback, Alisa just nodded.
"Anyways, Fate and I just got an order for an urgent mission. Sorry, but can you cover for us by saying we got sick or something? They're going to teleport us from here to HQ in a minute. Also, Chrono said that you need to investigate as many leads on the cloning case after class ends." Immediately, Hayate and Fate's expressions darkened.
Fate and Nanoha stood up as the other three backed out of the glowing circle that had formed underneath the two. A sad smile graced Nanoha's face as they disappeared.
Hayate sighs as the three finish their lunch. The solemn air hung around the three as they sat, distracted by their own thoughts.
If it had been any other time, the three would have noticed the mysterious absence of the trio. And the presence of another. The person gasped as she saw Fate and Nanoha teleport away. While the wind had covered most of their conversation, but she had picked up, 'teleport,' 'HQ,' 'investigate,' and 'case.'
Maybe Hayate actually wasn't kidding around earlier.
The girl turned around and slowly retreated back into the building, mulling over what she had just seen.
A/N: Thank you for reading and please PM me any feedback and mistakes!