The Grand Revolution Of War!
Maleen dropped Nelsie next to the place she sleeps, the alleyway Nelsie was originally heading towards. Nelsie had tears in her eyes and was on the verge of crying. Maleen wrapped her up in the rags she sleeps on in an attempt to calm her down.
"I'm sorry, Mistress Nelsie. I-I couldn't find you after you left for the barracks. B-by the time I did you-"
Nelsie cut Maleen off with a hug. After a brief pause of surprise, Maleen hugged Nelsie back, gently stroking her back. Nelsie is still a sheltered child. She was raised by a loving family and never had to face the harsh world outside. Nelsie, if ever faced with danger, has a high chance of having a breakdown.
'I should have been there for her.' Maleen thought bitterly. She wasn't too sure what caused Nelsie to break down but she had a guess. When she was making her way over to the path Nelsie takes when she goes home from the barracks, she saw the Black Rei Band, not the full band but a small number of them, marching by. Leading them was none other than Baaluzikai herself, a conflicted look on her face. Maleen couldn't really get much of a glimpse of Baaluzikai's face since she was looking down but, when a little girl walked up to Baaluzikai to offer her a flower, Maleen caught a glimpse of Baaluzikai's expression before it changed into a happy one.
Maleen never knew why kids liked Baaluzikai. Her teeth were all sharp and her eyes were...eerie to say the least. But, if Maleen had to guess, it would be the childish behavior Baaluzikai has. She not only is very pretty, but she is also like a playful older sister. Of course, Maleen knows the other side of Baaluzikai. She was, after all, an old friend to the Shu Maker House. Baaluzikai is a slut to the King. A lot of nobles know that. They just don't tell their kids. Her music is the best throughout the known world of Nostalisk, yet Baaluzikai, the perfect band leader, is nothing but a toy. When Nelsie's grandfather was talking to Baaluzikai about the King, Baaluzikai had a blush on her face and, Maleen swore she even saw Baaluzikai drool a little. She was disgusting.
'I guess even the perfect idol isn't perfect. I just hope Nelsie never learns of her dark secret.'
Maleen remembered that Baaluzikai and Nelsie, when she was seven, were close acquaintances. Perhaps, when Baaluzikai saw Nelsie again, she was reminded of the time she used to hang out with the Shu Maker House. Maleen doesn't doubt for a moment that Baaluzikai saw through Nelsie's hair dye. Baaluzikai was creepy in that way. She observed everything.
'Should I track Baaluzikai down and ask her what happened?'
Maleen shook her head. She wasn't close enough to her for that to happen. Besides, Baaluzikai was clearly aware that Maleen was hiding on top of the roof. It was more of a feeling but, knowing that Nelsie's grandfather, who respected the strong, clearly respected Baaluzikai meant that the feeling she had probably wasn't wrong. And, despite being famous, Baaluzikai was quite hard to get to, let alone find. Her base was located outside of the walls of Gudha City and, when she isn't planning on performing, she moves quickly and in a small group secretly. By the time Maleen finds any information about Baaluzikai, she will already be gone from the area with no one but her own band members which travel with her and herself knowing where her location is and where she'll be going.
After a bit, Maleen heard the subtle sound of Nelsie sleeping. She carefully wrapped Nelsie up so she was nice and snug, took the coin purse Nelsie received, and made her way to the drop-off bin, the place where today's catch is delivered. She didn't want to wake Nelsie up so, Maleen decided to deliver her goods herself.
Nelsie woke up with a groan. She tried to get up only to realize that she was tucked in her makeshift bed. Only one person tucks her in like this.
Nelsie blushed a little, remembering how she cried in Maleen's embrace yet again despite her being eighteen. She checked around for the coin purse Jay gave her and, when she couldn't find it, she didn't become alarmed.
"Maleen probably has it and should be turning it in now.'
Nelsie, after resting in her bed for a bit, decided to meet Maleen before she got back. Nelsie got up, stretched, and made her way. Henry wasn't here anymore. He was out stealing food during this time. In his place was one of the guards, this one not in armor but carrying a flintlock pistol and spear. He nodded at Nelsie as she went past. Nelsie thinks his name was Frank, but she wasn't sure and didn't feel like asking.
As she made her way through the alleyway, Nelsie recalled that strange sensation she felt when seeing Baaluzikai. She doubted it was poison since she was clearly fine now and she didn't think it was magic. Baaluzikai had no reason to use magic on her and the only people who could use magic near her was Jay and his soldiers, and Nelsie trusted them. Maybe it was just a small heartburn? She heard from Diggle and Zerg that heartburn is a real pain to deal with. She hopes she doesn't have it.
As she made her way into the main area of H.G, she noticed a bit more guards than usual. Normally the H.G hid their numbers so, if any Imperial Guard walks in, they won't think much of the community and try to get it shut down. Nelsie weaved her way past the crowd and made her way to the drop-off bin, only she didn't see the coin purse or Maleen there. Confused, Nelsie looked around until she heard the sound of Maleen's voice. She made her way over but stopped short. Maleen was arguing with Pain, one of the elders and leaders of H.G. Besides them was Diggle and Jason. Jason wasn't an elder and more of a fighter like Diggle but he was also one of the leaders here. In Pain's hand was the coin purse Nelsie received.
"That Brat doing what she is doing and bringing in this kind of money will only result in our demise!" Pain shouted.
"She's trying her best! Besides, the money she is making is from trusted people," Maleen argued back.
"Pah. Trusted people for you, maybe. Nelsie and you know nothing of life here. Your friends aren't ours. They are the reason we live like this in the first place!"
The argument went on for a while. Every time Pain spat out a reason why Nelsie shouldn't be here, the worse Nelsie felt. After another ten seconds of this back and forth, Jason stepped in, grabbing the coin purse from Pain's hand. He emptied the purse and counted the coins in his hand.
"Eighty thousand. That's enough for us to expand the H.G by a good margin while giving us enough money to properly arm and set up defenses for ourselves with a good amount to spare."
Jason met Pain's glare evenly.
"I'll be taking this. If you have an issue with me, the money, the girl, and her bodyguard, then go talk to the council."
The two leaders stared at each other for a moment before, with a grunt, Pain walked away. Nelsie, still down about the argument, did not move behind something in time when Pain walked past her. He stopped and glared daggers at her before muttering the word, "Mongrel," and walking away.
Nelsie watched him go before she looked at the ground, lost in her thoughts. So she wasn't aware of Jason, Diggle, and Maleen walking up behind her. Jason put a hand on her right shoulder, making her jump.
"Good job, princess. You did well earning this money. The reward was worth the risk," Jason told her, giving her a friendly smile. For some reason, Nelsie remembered the time when she confused Jason as Henry's father. His blue eyes were similar to Henry after all.
"T-thanks," Nelsie got out. Jason frowned a little and gently lifted Nelsie's chin up.
"Hey, don't let what that old son of a bitch Pain tell you where you do and don't belong. You're one of us now, and no one can say otherwise but you. Remember that, Nelsie."
Nelsie nodded and Jason rubbed her on the head.
"Well, I gotta give this to Merkel. While I have a great idea on how to use this money, I want to see if he has any ideas for it first."
With that, Jason walked away, leaving only Diggle and Maleen. Maleen walked up to Nelsie and embraced her in a hug.
"Sorry you had to hear that," Maleen told Nelsie. Nelsie didn't answer. Instead, she felt a fire growing in her chest.
'What can I do to make myself belong here better?'
"Hey, Maleen. I think the people who were out stealing food had a bad time. They don't have much on them," Diggle commented, looking at people returning, some holding food while some were banged up.
'Aha! Food! I can steal food.'
Nelsie was never good at stealing food, or stealing in general. In fact, she was horrible at it. That is why she uses other ways of earning things for H.G. Nelsie quickly squirmed out of Maleen's embrace and made her way back to where she sleeps.
"Where are you going?" Maleen asked her, walking beside Nelsie at an even pace despite Nelsie's speed walking. Nelsie couldn't resist giving Maleen's legs a jealous look.
"I'm going to steal some food," Nelsie told Maleen, a determined look on her face. Maleen faltered for a moment.
"Isn't that too dangerous? What if you get caught?" Maleen asked, worried.
Nelsie stopped walking and crossed her arms.
"Just admit it. I suck at stealing," Nelsie said, looking up at Maleen, "But I still will go and steal. You heard what Diggle said. We need food and I know where to get it."
Nelsie turned around and stomped off, Maleen watching her go with a concerned look. Diggle walked up behind her and put his hand on her shoulder.
"Go after her but don't stop her. Just let her blow off some steam."
Maleen nodded and jumped up on the walls of the alleyway, quickly climbing up the wall and jumped after Nelsie, following her from the rooftops.
Nelsie let out a sigh. She should have thought things over. She also shouldn't have gotten angry at Maleen which she did. Still, it was too late to go back on her words. She also knew that Maleen was following her from above. She was currently where she spied on the church official and messenger. Not only was the market right next to her but this area wasn't stolen from as much and, as such, was an easy target. At least, it should be for any other homeless person.
'Um...which one should I steal from? Marrie? No, she is nice to me. Besides, she mainly sells flowers. How about Robert? No. The food he sells is bad for the people who came from the South.'
After about ten minutes of Nelsie deciding who to steal from despite the fact that it would be very easy to steal from any of the stands here, Nelsie finally came to a decision. She would steal from Larrie, the baker. She went to the right and hid behind a trash bin. When Larrie went inside, Nelsie snuck up and was about to grab a big loaf of bread when she hesitated. She closed her eyes and willed herself to commit the deed.
"Hey! That's her!"
Nelsie opened her eyes and spun around. Pointing at her from across the street was the messenger she spied on earlier today. With him was the church official and twelve church guards, or the church soldiers. Men dressed in white and grey armor with a rapier and musket on their back. Nelsie froze and watched as the church guards ran her way. It was, however, only for a second. The next second Nelsie turned around and got ready to book it...
....only she found herself unable to run.
"Ehh?" Nelsie got out before she fell to her hands and knees. She was struggling to breathe and she felt a similar feeling to the one she felt when she met Baaluzikai. This one had more warmth and less of a sign pointing to something. At least, that is the best Nelsie could describe the other feeling as.
Before Nelsie could once again understand what was going on, her body exploded in a light of white and green, going all the way to the sky. Her vision flashed white and green and Nelsie saw flashes of people with angel wings and a halo of light over them. The people quickly disappeared as soon as they arrived. Finally, the light faded.
Nelsie let out a groan and sat up, rubbing her head. She was feeling warm all over, like she was basking in the sun. It wasn't an uncomfortable feeling, but definitely a strange one.
She got up and dusted herself when she remembered the people after her. She spun around to see the soldiers looking dazed. However, the messenger snapped out of it and pointed at her.
The soldiers snapped out of their daze and they started running at her again. Nelsie let out a yelp and tried to turn around and run but tripped and fell down instead. Her limbs had no strength in them. She looked at the soldiers running towards her fearfully. She tried to say something, anything, but no sound came out. Nelsie closed her eyes, tears running down her face.
'Someone, help me.'
"WAIT! Don't touch her."
Nelsie opened her eyes and looked at the person who yelled out. It was the church official. He was on his knees like he was praying, tears in his eyes.
"B-but, Father Orden, a-are you sure?" The messenger asked.
"Get her but don't hurt a hair on her body, for she is the Saint!"
Nelsie and the messenger blinked in surprise but the church soldiers just cheered. Realizing that they were distracted, Nelsie turned and wobbled to her feet. Before she could make any steps towards the alleyways, a body fell from above near her, causing Nelsie to let out another yelp and fall back down. The body looked to belong to a Shinobi. Before Nelsie could get back up, Maleen jumped right in front of her, her swords covered in blood. She put her weapons on her back and picked Nelsie up in a princess carry.
"Time to go now, Mistress Nelsie. Please hang on tight," Maleen told Nelsie before she took off running, going faster and faster until she leaped up high and jumped on the rooftop of a building. She kept her pace, running and jumping from roof to roof while making her way towards H.G.
Maleen arrived at the alleyway where Nelsie lives in shortly after the sun started setting. She had to take the long route in order to trick any pursuers she might have had. Once she was sure she was clear, she made her way down to the alleyways. She put Nelsie down on her bed and shook her arms. Not only were her arms tired from carrying Nelsie around for two hours, but Nelsie was also very warm, even warmer than one would be when they had a fever.
Once Nelsie was in her bed, Maleen flashed her a smile and went to go get Diggle to guard Nelsie, only she stumbled badly and had to support herself with the wall.
"H-hey, are you alright?" Nelsie asked, panic in her voice. Maleen waved her off but Nelsie wasn't going to take that as an answer.
"As your mistress, turn around and look at me."
Maleen paused, considering if she should listen to her orders, before she sighed and turned around. She was breathing heavily, a deep wound on her left hip close to her lungs. A small yet sad smile was on her face with blood coming out of the corner of her mouth. Yet, despite her wounded state, there was a happy look in her eyes.
"M-Maleen!?" Nelsie cried out, rushing out of bed. Maleen put a hand in front of her, keeping Nelsie from getting too close.
"Don't worry. I'll be fine."
Despite what Maleen said, Nelsie wasn't buying it. However, before she could say anything else on the matter, she heard the sound of heavy footsteps approaching her. Nelsie grabbed Maleen and held her protectively against whoever was coming but stopped when she realized it was H.G guards coming her way, lead by Diggle and Jason. The biggest surprise, however, was just about to revea itself. Out from the crowd of guards stepped none other than Merkel himself, dressed in his purple robes and a sword in his hand. Nelsie recognized the sword hilt being part of the stick-ike cane Merkel uses.
"Ah, we made it in time," Merkel said with a smile on his face.
"Well, what are you waiting for? Go bring Maleen to the medics."
A couple of guards stepped forward and took Maleen from Nesie's hands.
"Ah. Now I'm sure you must be confused, Nelsie," Merkel said, walking past Nelsie to see if the cost outside was clear, "I will explain things to you once we get back. For now, just know that you are in a prophecy."
"P-prophecy?" Nelsie asked, confused. Since when do prophecies exist in real life?
Merkel didn't answer but instead started walking back into the main area. With a sigh, Nelsie followed.
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