Chapter 5:

Nuns 'N' Guns.

A Reverie for Another Eternity

"Many prayers are left unanswered in this world. Guess it's up to me to answer them, eh?

- Some Sister


Mikuta sped away from the luggage on the floor, hidden away behind a conveniently placed boulder close by. Nervously studying it from a small distance, she began to wonder about how safe it was to touch in the first place.

It was right after she had finished contemplating Miyori's departure when it suddenly began to jiggle; the strange etchings of a tattered sun glowed and faded with every movement, the air around it rhythmically bouncing up and down. Sending mild shockwaves, Mikuta could only helplessly look upon it.

Is it safe to even handle it right now?

At least a solid 5 minutes have passed when the case stopped moving, the strange markings still glowing menacingly.

Mikuta smacked her cheeks and ignored the alarms going off in her mind. Approaching it hesitantly, she managed to grab the edge of the handle when suddenly an arch of jagged lightning flashed from her body.

The bristling sensations became draining, the chain lightning turned into a smooth stream of brilliant light that continually flowed towards the case, wearing out Mikuta. Conversely, the case only got brighter with every second that had passed; the now lethargic Mikuta had teetered backward, collapsing onto the ground facing the dull morning overcast and its signature undulations. 

Eventually, the flow stopped as Mikuta lay helplessly on the ground. The space around the case warped into a strange flowery helix, the orange and yellow radiance blending and forming into something shaped like a mortar. Strange yellow veins crisscrossed around the hazel-colored artillery as the air around its barrel began to pulsate, seemingly charging up with the increasingly loud pitch in noise.

Suddenly, a shell imbued with blinding light was unleashed at unparalleled speeds. Streaking blue lightning, it ruptured the carpet of gray stratus and spectacularly exploded, scattering away the clouds revealing the pale blue skies of a cold morning.

As the fireworks proudly displayed a bouquet of bright red flowers, the shockwaves from above sent ripples throughout the field of tall grass that Mikuta was sprawled out on.

Gazing up, utterly exhausted with no room nor energy to spare, she could only look upon the simple beauty that stayed afloat in the sky, eventually dispersing after a few seconds.

Sometime later, perhaps an hour or two, she felt a steady rhythm of heavy rumbling approaching from the far-off gates as two figures on horses strode over a huge stone bridge.

In ten or so minutes, they came to a stop surrounding Mikuta.

As the horses panted heavily at the stoppage, the two figures looked down at the fallen girl with suspicious eyes.

One was a middle-aged man with shoulder-length brown hair and resolute eyes. He sat with perfect posture, wearing shining metal armor and a long saber at his side. The other was a boy with a bowl cut, who looked fourteen or fifteen years of age. He wore a slightly undersized leather outfit, with his most prominent feature being the yellowed buck teeth and oversized nose with a wart at the end.

“Ma’am, was this your doing?”

He pointed to the gaping hole in the overcast sky, the blue sky conspicuously looming overhead.

Mikuta managed to let out a small grunt of denial, though it went unheard in this man’s ears.

He looked down into his large collection of field manuals and flipped through the largest one, pulled out of his pouch pocket hanging from the side of the horse.

“Hmm… Says here that no persons are authorized the use of explosives at this time of day and season under the penal code 12680.”

He took a small glance upward, his uninterested eyes not even looking at the defenseless girl, but instead at the silent mortar.

“You haven’t shown your ID, registration, and passport yet. Could you do that for me?” Taking a pause, he scratched his head looking back at the drooling Mikuta, who was only partially aware of the situation. “Actually, can you just get up first off?”

Unable to focus properly, the groggy Mikua looked directly above her and attempted to formulate a proper, curt response that’d hopefully deter the guards from investigating her any further.

“I’m noooooot a suspishuos peeeeersooooooon at all,” She slurred as her mind wobbled on the inside from the fatigue, “Igh thiunk I leuft m’ passport baick oon thee… wagaon…”

His face turning slightly red at her idiotic answer, the old man got off of his horse and roughly jostled the lethargic Mikuta, handcuffing her.

She weakly attempted to fight off the guard by wriggling as he dragged her off towards his horse.

“Gerroff meee...”

A weak sort of struggle ensued, with Mikuta digging her heels into the soft ground, the old guard slightly struggling onward until they couldn't move any further.

Taking a breather, he let Mikuta feebly crumple down onto the dirt as he put his hands on the sides of his waist.

“Hey Jose, don’t forget to call in the 7th unit to haul in whatever that thing is”

His shoulder plates clinked as he turned and pointed at the mortar.

“Yessir. Should we just haul her back for now?”

“That’s what I'm doing.”

In the fear of the unknown, the panicked Mikuta attempted to dash before failing miserably and stumbling over herself after a few feet.

“Permission to handle her myself, sir?”

With a tentative nod of approval from the older man, the young boy, laughing on the way from the spectacle, soon caught up to the fallen beauty, and promptly hoisted her atop of the first guard's horse, strapping her in.

Unable to move, she saw him bend forward, his mouth deliberately put next to the side of her head.

With a twisted smirk, he began to whisper directly into her ear.

“You better play along nicely or else who knows what might happen to you~”

A chill ran down Mikuta’s spine, and a guffaw of disgust could be heard from behind the inoperable mouth.

Scrounging together what was left of her active mind, she attempted to respond to this obvious harassment.

“Screw.. off.”

The boy, however, laughed off the weak intimidation. The evil glint never left his perverted leer. With a sardonic bow of pretend courtesy, he and the old man went back to their horses.

A dreadful feeling began to manifest itself inside of Mikuta once more: ever-approaching despair with no way out.

And yet, she felt a bit relieved at this fact, at the feeling that warped her insides to the point where she wanted to puke. Perhaps this type of exhilaration was one she was already used to for reasons unknown. 

Mikuta obediently stayed on the horse as the two guardsmen headed back to their posts, which stood right outside of the bridge. From the distance, the giant gate seemingly scared away any visitors it may have had with its grandiosity - the black and white flags fluttering high on above, and its rusted yet sturdy barring that would certainly deter any would-be invaders.

Soon, the guards came back out and got on the horses. Crossing the great stone bridge and peering past the large entrance gate to the best of her ability, she could see the lively brick roads and various housing complexes colored in tiles of orange and brown, populated by many people of all ages and races. She saw a few children of her age as well, helping out with whatever chores they were tasked with by their parents. Some were milling about listlessly without a care in this world, and in the farthest alleys, she could've sworn that a few lie on the sides drunk or dead.

The horses came to a stop as they approached the large gate. There, she could now see the smaller gate presumably for holding and verifying newcomers.

“Don’t bother letting her walk. Just carry her to the cellar.” The older guard pinched the bridge of his nose as he shook his head from side to side in disappointment.“You aren’t allowed to do this for another year, understand boy?

The severity of the tone admonished the boy, but he knew better than to deny his actions.

“Aye aye captain.”

The bowl-cut guardsman promptly slung Mikuta over his shoulder and walked into the smaller gate located on the side of the larger one. Strolling through the visitation rooms with metal walls and flooring, they then turned right to a corridor full of cell rooms. They continued to head down the passage without stopping, around a few corners, and down a hidden spiral staircase by lifting one of the creaky wooden floorboards. Underneath, the dank halls were lined with dimly lit light bulbs, and the pair eventually arrived at the cellar room. She was positive that she’d seen a few bloated rats scurrying around here and there, given how unkempt and dirty the cellar was.

And the bones. There were skeletons all lying in cells around them.

Carrying her to the farthest cell from the staircase, she was suddenly thrown onto the grimy floor. The cell door was shut as the lock was turned to ensure her entrapment.

The boy squatted down, with an ugly grin that ran from ear to ear past the bars. He stared down at the powerless and binded girl who could only look in front, regardless of how badly she wanted to look away from such an abomination.

God, he’s even uglier up close.

His discolored teeth gnashed behind his chapped lips, his repulsive breath almost causing Mikuta to faint.

“We’ll hold you here till a person comes and vouches for your standing in this kingdom personally, but after the passage of 18 hours, we’re legally allowed to dispose of you however we want after the notice has been sent.”

She jolted slightly as he licked his lips in anticipation. With a gag around her mouth, she couldn't scream profanity.

"Well, it's not like anyone is coming to get a nobody like you after all."

He then suddenly pressed his face against the bars, as far as he could take it, his eyes wide opened and his tongue stuck out, wiggling about disgustingly while obsessively ogling down below at her. His saliva slowly dripped on top of Mikutas forehead as she screamed internally.

“D-don’t worry, I’ll be sure to take care of you just fine like the o-other girls.” 

All she could do, at this point, was ride this wave of irredeemable anger at this unfair treatment since her arrival to this world. Even for someone like her, there should be something akin to human rights and lawyers, right? Though, that idea only applies if this world was the same as her own. 

Maybe if she was reborn a little uglier she wouldn't be having this problem.

Suddenly, a loud horn could be heard from the outside, as the boy’s ears perked at this notice.

“Well, I guess this is goodbye for now. I’ll be seeing you soon~”

With the keys swinging around his index and middle fingers, he moonwalked his way to the staircase and clambered back up, closing the cellar door after taking a slow and hard look at the unmoving girl.

His brows rose jovially at the sight just before closing the cellar door. The rays of the outside freedom slowly squeezed to death as the lone girl remained in the pitch-black darkness. With the dripping of water and squeaks of mice to remind her of her existence, it brought her much discomfort.

Mikuta let out a sigh as the last of the drool dried on her forehead. She did cringe a bit at this sensation.

At least I’m alive. That's something I guess.

Though, following the current outlook, her future was something she definitely didn't look forward to.

The moment the thought had crossed her mind, a violent crash could be heard from above. A heavy racket ensued between the bickering guards and the intruder.

“The hell are you doing here?”

“W-we didn’t even send out the notice. We’ll be ar-arresting you as well for resisting!”

A voice unlike any other boomed throughout the building, reaching even the cellar room.

“Outta my way you peons.”

A loud shoving of bodies could be heard. Someone even began to cry as clothes were shredded; the fabric is torn piece by piece as the unknown lady continued her pursuit.

“I got authorization from the church to take this one back with me.”

Mikuta could hear the rapid stomping as the figure beelined to the end of the establishment; the cellar door broke under the rampant bashing of the intruder, who then made their way down the spiral staircase that led into the cellar. Under the dim light of the outside illumination, there stood a nun as she stepped down the final stair and walked towards the exhausted Mikuta. Her scant blonde strands stuck out from under her monastic coif, her curvy figure and bust apparent under the dull and black outfit.  

With a black veil fluttering behind her head, she squatted down, careful to not let the edge of her long black tunic touch the floor, as she gently caressed Mikuta’s face from behind the bars, admiring her features. Albeit a little immobile and mostly tired, Mikuta couldn’t help but be sprawled out disgracefully before this beautiful lady. 

“Oy oy what do we have ourselves here?”

With a coddling voice, she looked at Mikuta with pitiful eyes, scrutinizing her up and down, and spat onto the already dampened cellar floor. 

“Blech. The air down here tastes terrible.”

She began to light a cigarette and blew a plume of smoke into the cramped cellar. She took out a yellowed scroll and unraveled it, flapping it around, the contents illegible. 

“Anyways, an agreement needs to be met with two consenting parties if you want me to bust you out of there.”

She took a pause as she blew another big plume of nauseating smoke. Her fragrance, or rather cheap perfume, was mixed in with the harsh ashiness of the fumes that lingered in the dank air. It didn't smell terribly bad, but not particularly good either.

Mikua drowsily nods her head at the faintly outlined figure behind the smoke as fast as she can.

She managed to croak out a faint "yes please," before slamming her head against the stone floor.

Mikuta scrambled into a fetal position in pain. With this new position facing the cellar entrance, Mikuta caught sight through the corner of the cell and behind the sister: a trail of unconscious bodies of guardsmen behind the sister, which immediately caused Mikuta to clam up. A cold shiver ran through her body - and it wasn't the cellar temperature.

Sighing at this dumbassery, the nun finished smoking the rest of the cigarette in her next quick breath, proceeding to throw the butt on the ground and grinding it against her heel. A broad and satisfied grin spread across her face - almost as if she was relishing Mikuta's sudden fear. 

“Alright, let's get you out of there, yeah?”

She chuckled lightly, spreading her arms with hands outstretched towards the other cells next to Mikuta's. 

“Sure must suck to be trapped down here with those hooligans. I was in your position once, too after all.”

She pushed her rounded and unfittingly dainty glasses back on her nose with one finger. The silver with gold seamed bifocals had slightly slid down during the quarrel, much to her chagrin.

From amidst the trail of bodies, a voice piped up.

“T-that girl is under my jurisdiction!”

The sister turns to see the boy straggling alongside the cellar walls, purple bruises beginning to form all over his body from the earlier struggle.

“Oh? And what were you planning to do with such a lovely young lady?”

His bottom lip curled smugly.

“None of your business, hag.”

He began to unsheathe a dagger behind his back. Of course, the weapon hasn’t been used for its intended purpose of hacking and slashing and was only used as a tool for coercion involving revolting lechery. In that, he was truly experienced.

However, the earlier humiliation called for even harsher measures.

“S-so, what are you even doing here?”

He approached the lady slowly, blatantly hiding his hands behind.

Without acknowledging the boy, the lady pulled out another lit cigarette and took two puffs, and exhaled in dispiriting boredom of what's to come next.

“I-if you don’t answer me, y-you will face my wrath.”

With a step that echoed finality throughout the hallway, he charged, speedily thrusting his arm at the sister’s back.

In one swift motion, the nun spun around, hanging low with a knee to the ground, and pulled out a Remington 1858, firing only one shot that fit snugly at the other end of the hall. In the same instant, a dark rouge flower blossomed vibrantly from his missing fingers.

With a clutter, the dagger fell harmlessly as the boy looked upon his shaking hand in disbelief, the pain settling in as he soon bawled noisily, spouting large teardrops and jets of clear snot.

“Shut it. It only grazed you, no?”

He fell on his rear as she stood up, still weeping but a little more quietly.

She blew the smoke off of the end of the barrel and walked closer to take a closer look, his face hideously twisted from the pain of missing his middle and index fingers.

“Yeowch. My bad, I didn’t think you'd get so badly hurt.”

The sister sarcastically took a gander at her gun in amusement as the boy was angrily hatching a counterattack at this unexpected development.

Gritting his teeth, his lips warped at an angle that made the inside of his lower lip overflow with snot and tears, he attempted to strike her overhead with his good arm, only to be followed up by a completely banal pistol whip. Her arm quickly swept outward from her chest to his overly large nose, crinkling it into his skull as the bottom of the nun’s gun sunk into the boy's face, sending him reeling backward.

As he was about to crash onto the floor, she grabbed him by his collar and ripped the cell key away from his belt.

He let out a funny yelp - probably from the lack of front teeth at this point. It most definitely did not escape her solid blow to his unsightly face.

A girl a few cells over could be seen being enamored by the actions unfolded. Witnessing the entire scene, Mikuta found the beatdown to be relatively enjoyable, seeing the most noteworthy features of the detestable thing be beaten to a pulp. His screams resounded well within her eardrums.

“S-spare me. PLEASE!”

She kept her gaze locked firmly into his eyes, laying her icy blue stare down on the sniveling individual who desperately attempted to look away. Sighing once more, and while in the process of dropping him, she wound up a powerful roundhouse kick that sent him into an empty cell.

“Consider yourself ‘spared’ boy - and don't you dare pull that crap on me again.”

The ugly boy began to vomit in the back, his eyes now bloodshot from the pressure as various fluids of various colors were expelled from his mouth and nose.

Brusquely walking down the dimly lit tunnel and into the cell, she hummed merrily. With each step, her boots let out an agonizing clack-tap, causing him to sodden himself at this formidable threat.

She gazed down from above at the sorry sight.

“For someone supposedly keeping the peace, you guys really like doing the opposite.” Tapping the top of the barrel to her forehead, she grew irritated at her thoughts and previous revelations. "And this is why I hate the state defense force. Absolutely useless. Abysmal even."

He shuddered in fear at the terrifying presence, the sister noticing the newly added liquid to the already wet floor after her monologuing.

With a shrug of understanding, she took another deep breath, finishing off her second cigarette in another deep inhale; the smoke forming an impossibly large o-ring as she puffed it out carefully. 

“Well, it’s not like I'm any different.” As she flicked the butt onto the floor, she came to a hypocritical conclusion. "Guess it's a do as I say, not as I do deal, yknow? Hyah!"

Watching him curl up as she feigned another hit for good measure, she cackled loudly. Striding back at a cheery pace, she turned around and instantly unlocked the cellar door, scooping up the girl in a princess carry.

“Let's get a going shall we?”

With a quick glance that admired the girl's features and her faint sleepy smile, she happily skipped down the obsidian tunnel; nevertheless, her boots let out the same foreboding clacking sound as before.

As the clacking faded into the distance, the guard, enraged with bloodshot eyes, shortly rushed after them. However, slowed by the piles of unconscious bodies, he only managed to see the last of their distinct figures escape into the crowds from behind the protective gateway. Infuriated, his two hands clenched the large bars tightly, as he snarled at this defeat and swore revenge within his petty heart.

The first drop from his ugly mug fell, staining the once perfectly fine pathway in the colors of pink, newborn hatred.