XXII

Igneel hadn't ever particularly taken a strong liking to the boy named Gray. He thought he was a good rival for Natsu, someone who could push him to grow, but he hadn't thought about him much beyond that. However, when Gray and the others came out of hiding thanks to Natsu's shouting, and Gray suddenly took full responsibility for taking the cult's leader down, Igneel gained a bit of respect.

It was clear that Gray had personal business with the man. He'd called him Lyon, and mentioned something about a woman named Ur and not tarnishing the reason she'd died. Igneel's curiosity was piqued, however Natsu's mind was a haze of simpleton thoughts such as 'fight' and 'stop the cult' so Igneel wasn't able to make out much of their conversation.

That was when Gray apologized, turning on Natsu and promptly casting a spell which encased Natsu's body in a sphere of ice… which was rather top-heavy and immediately sent him rolling down the hill.

That was when Igneel decided he rather liked this Gray.

With bumps and stray curses flying, Natsu bumbled down the side of the mountain, rolling through the jungle at breakneck speeds until he hit the bottom with a rather loud 'oof'.

Igneel cackled away to himself, wishing he could've seen it from the outside. Served Natsu right for being such a hothead. In fact, Igneel decided perhaps he wouldn't mind if every time Natsu did something stupid, Gray shut him up by covering him in ice and shoving him down a hill. Perhaps he'd learn his lessons quicker that way.

Natsu fumbled and rolled, tipped and teetered, but eventually got to his feet, Igneel guffawing so loudly that he began to wonder if Natsu would be able to hear him. With a burst of flames Igneel was brought back to Earth, the temperature growing rather hot as Natsu attempted to melt the ice, but to no avail.

There was a moment of silence then. A moment where Natsu's thoughts ceased entirely and Igneel leaned back, waiting to see what his son would do. He was faced with an interesting dilemma now. His physical capabilities were limited because of the ice, and he was separated from the others.

Natsu turned to glance around himself, the jungle looking rather similar in each direction. He didn't know where he was… and he made the connection that he didn't know where the village was either. He looked up to the sky. No longer could he see the magic circles of the Moon Drip spell, and the trees obscured most of the sky, including the moon. Natsu considered heading off in one direction and hoping it was the right one to either lead him to the village, or to find Lucy. Happy had carried her off somewhere, if he remembered right…

He looked back up the mountainside. Or he could try his hand at climbing back up… There was undoubtedly a fight going on at the top between Gray and the leader of the cult, Lyon…

Well, at least Natsu didn't ever waste much time in hesitation, Igneel thought, as something seemed to click inside of his son's brain, more simpleton thoughts clouding his reasoning.

"Sonofa- That idiot Ice Princess- Snowball-faced- Frost-covered-" Natsu began his trek back up the side of the mountain, spitting names at Gray for trapping him inside of the ice ball.

In all reality there were quite a few different ways Natsu could've tried to break free of the ice, only one of which he'd tried. Also, he could've used his sense of smell to find his way back to the village. Or even better yet, use his sense of smell to find Lucy and Happy. But hey, he at least wasn't just running off in a random direction in a fit of rage and hoping for the best… Igneel supposed he'd take that as a win.


I just always sort of pictured Igneel laughing uncontrollably when something stupid happened to Natsu.
He's the type of parent that's like 'lol serves ya right' if something bad happens to their kid that doesn't kill them.
Heh.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed! Thank you for all the lovely reviews last chapter! I'm so glad if I can ever get Igneel's personality on point, haha. XD
Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

~Foxtail-chan