I HAVE RISEN FROM THE DEAD! That's right fuckers, it's me, in the flesh and posting a new chapter! After an entire year! No doubt most of you have forgotten this story or lost interest, but hey, that means new people can read it! Yay! Tbh I just felt so bad reading through the reviews that begged for a new chapter that I just had to give you one. And after this, I hope to actually wrap up this story. Seriously, three years is way too long to be writing a fanfiction.

Ok, for the record, Cobra and Malachi are not gay. Although, as I have been reading this, I think my characters have accidently turned gay without me really intending for anything to happen. Oops! XD. However, there will not be any sort of pairing there. Not part of the plotline.

A lot of you will hate Malachi after this. Personally, he's my favorite to write. I love that no one really knows where his true intentions lie. Judging by the reviews, you guys either are pissed off at him already or just really want him to be good. Well, um...I honestly don't know what to tell you. You'll see. Um...don't hate me too much. I know that recent fairy tail chapters have been rather traumatic and I don't want to break your hearts even more.

So, yeah. Chapter 18!

"Captain, we've established a perimeter." The guard made the report quickly, obviously out of his comfort zone. Captain Fullbuster nodded grimly, clapping him on the shoulder firmly.

"Good. We're expecting a disturbance, so stay sharp."

The guard saluted, then returned to his post on the edge of the courtyard. There was a soldier stationed every ten feet around the entire courtyard, and not one of them looked comfortable. Most simply stood at their posts, remaining as still as statues, but there were a few who kept glancing nervously at the sky. They were all terrified. In fact, the very air inside the stone walls seemed to be charged with negative energy.

The Captain's gaze narrowed as he looked around, guaging the situation. He seemed completely at ease, but if you were observant, you could see how tight the grip he had on his sword was. This was a man who was accustomed to wearing a mask.

"They'll be bringing the prisoners out in a few minutes." A voice informed him. It belonged to Erza Scarlet, Captain of the guard. She kept her voice low, so that only he could hear. "I don't know how much time there is."

He looked at his oldest friend with an unreadable expression. "I see. So it's really happening, then."

"I'm afraid so."

He only dipped his head in remorse. The swell of emotion that he felt was almost too much for him to bear, and it was building up behind his wall. After all-his family was about to be slaughtered, and they were still trying to come up with a course of action.

"The King! He's entering!" Erza exclaimed in a hiss. Both automatically stood at attention, watching their monarch with steely gazes.

The man was dressed in his finest robes, heavily adorned in gold and jewels. He was followed by his cabinet: A few advisors, the crown prince, and his guest, Prince Cobra. Gray's expression hardened just a little upon seeing the foreigner.

A few minutes of silence passed, until the great doors to the courtyard opened once more, and the prisoners were led into the courtyard.

They were all bound, even the children.

They were all there-Makarov, Levy, Gajeel, Laxus, Gildarts, Bisca and Alzack-even little Asuka. They each met his eyes at some point, but none of them were angry or demanding. They all knew that this wasn't something they couldn't stop.

That didn't stop Gray from sucking in a breath when he saw MiraJane, swollen and due any day now, and the bruises and injuries sustained by the rest of the guild. No doubt they put up one heck of a fight.

"Natsu will be here. No one will die. He has enough power to take down every guard in the vicinity." Erza placed a hand on his shoulder in an attempt to calm her comrade. He relaxed slightly, but the tension never left his shoulders. "We just need to have faith

Once the prisoners were kneeling in front of the guillotine, the king stood, looking very pleased with himself. "Fairy Tail, you have wronged the kingdom of Fiore by practicing magic. I hereby sentence you to death."

In Fiore, there was a law which guaranteed every citizen a fair trial. To the king, he had just conducted a trial, playing both judge and juror.

It made Gray Fullbuster seethe in fury.

As for fairy tail, they held their heads high, even as Master Makarov was led to the guillotine. Most of them were crying silently, but they didn't speak. No one could say they didn't go out with pride.

The executioner prepared the blade, which glinted cruelly in the sunlight. Makarov, bound at the hands and feet, was shoved to his knees in front of the head locks. His eyes were closed in resignation, and the only sound in the surrounding area was a sob from Mira.

"My Children," He said clearly, even while tears rolled down his wrinkled cheeks."It has been quite the adventure."

The hooded executioner shoved his head forward, so that it was resting on the block. The headlock came down, and it was secured.

Gray tensed, looking wild-eyed at Erza. He was ready to go up there and shove an ice blade through the king's chest.

"No." She gritted her teeth, holding back tears. She looked just as conflicted as Gray did. "We have to stick to the plan. Master gave us specific-"

"I don't care!" Gray whispered angrily. "He's going to die!"

"He knew that." She replied, though it pained her greatly to say it. She closed her eyes, waiting in dread for the sound of the blade falling. "Master..."

But the sound that exploded across the courtyard wasn't that of a blade slicing through the air. It was the sound of a dragon roaring in anger.

Lucy's POV

The moment we tumbled to the ground, I knew everything was about to go terribly wrong.

Five minutes ago, I was actually feeling pretty confident. Natsu managed to control his dragon form, and we flew straight to the palace. When i looked down from where I was on Natsu's back, I didn't see the huge army I was imagining. There was only a small force of guards, each hiding fear beneath their malicious scowls. I wouldn't have guessed that the moment we entered the courtyard, a buzz would fill the air. Not electricity-magic. In the blink of an eye, it was no longer a dragon beneath me, but a very human Natsu. We fell, rather gracelessly, to the feet of my father, who stood there unfeeling as Natsu tried, in vain, to summon a spark.

Their hands were rough as they bound my wrists and ankles. I will say, in my defense, that I fought tooth and nail the whole way down. But I must have known, deep down, that this was how it had to end. The only possible outcome to our fantasy tale. I knew, in the moment our eyes met through the struggling tangle of hands and chains, that if anything, we would at least meet our deaths together.

I now kneel before my father, this time bound not with the chains of royalty but with real, physical chains. The iron bites into my skin, the cold scent of metal reaching my nostrils. The courtyard is silent. I almost smile. I anticipated shouting, warlords, and jeering crowds, but it's just me, Natsu, our friends. Not even the birds dare to sing. They must know the dark intimacy of this moment. The cruel inevitability that is death. And yet, I find peace. For a moment, the insanity of the last twenty four hours fades away. I will die by my father's hand. The certainty of that calms me. There is no escaping it, no fighting it.

I look to my left, where Natsu is bound with layer upon layer of anti-magic chains. He meets my gaze, eyes sad, filled with unshed tears. An apology.

I wish that I weren't bound. I would reach out for his hand, offer small comfort where there is none. Instead, I never break his gaze, shutting out the rest of the world and allowing myself to see only him for however long my life will last.

The executioner unsheathes his blade, stepping forward. I cringe away from him, but it isn't me that he turns to. Instead, he looks at the King, as if awaiting something.

My eyes flicker instinctively to my brother, who is standing to the side with an emotionless expression. His jaw clenches a little bit when the prisoner is dropped, groaning, to the cold stone, but he gives no other indication that he is affected by any of this. I swallow, hard, as fear begins to creep, uninvited, into my stomach.

The King steps forward. He no longer deserves the title of father.

"Lucy, my dear. We were worried we'd have to start without you." He fixes me with stone cold eyes, a smug grin playing on his lips.

"Fuck you." I spit. His eyes narrow to dark slits, lips tightening at my words.

"Such language. I thought I taught you better." He returns to his pasted on smile, squaring his shoulders as if he's speaking to an enemy. "When you ran away the first time, I was willing to let it go. I gave you a second chance." His voice grows louder. "As a father, it was my duty to direct my children onto the right path. But you…" He points an accusing finger at Natsu, who returns the glare with a hateful snarl. "You deserve death for everything that you're kind has done to mine."

Not a soul dares to move at his words. I catch a flash of dark red hair out of the corner of my eye, and turn to see cobra, just as smug as ever, standing to the side. He thinks he's won. Maybe he has.

"But to you, Lucy, I give one more chance." Natsu's head shoots up at this, and his eyes fill with desperate hope. "Although you have brought shame to the family name, I am willing, in my benevolence, to spare your life. Repent of your actions and continue with the marriage to our esteemed guest, Prince Cobra of Bosco, and no harm will come to you."

"Lucy…" I don't look at him, at Natsu, but I can feel his eyes on me, searching, pleading. He wants me to say yes. He wants to save my life. I close my eyes tightly, if only to shut out his gaze that seems to burn right through me.

So with a feeling of guilt that weighs down my lungs, I look up at my father. "Save it. I'd rather die."

He blinks. This isn't what he was expecting from the obedient daughter that he rejected and abused for so many years. I'm not the same Lucy he raised, and that in itself gives me some sort of satisfaction. He didn't make me; he couldn't mold me into what he wanted me to be. I win, I guess. In some sick, twisted way. I win, he loses. I won the fight to retain the person that I am. He didn't change me, and that's how it will stay till the end.

"Very well." His voice sounds odd. Weak. He clears his throat, hardening his gaze as he continues. "Since you've both chosen to defy my authority as king, I sentence you to death."

As if his words are actually shocking, a collective gasp ripples throughout those gathered.

My father raises a hand, and the courtyard is again still. After several silent moments, the doors creak open, and a limp figure is dragged by the arms into the yard, head hanging limply to the side. I momentarily forget my predicament when I see his inhumane condition. There are chains around the poor wretch's arms, neck, and legs, and the gashes along his bare back are surrounded by dirt and bruises. For a moment, my father's attention is turned toward the prisoner, instead of us. He walks forward, every muscle in his body resembling a deadly predator. When he stops in front of the man, he buries a hand in his hair and roughly yanks his head back.

I swallow down a sob, fighting to keep my face neutral. It's the man who helped me, one of the only kind souls I encountered during the ball. I can barely recognize him; his face is purple and bloodied, and his body is filthy. No doubt this is all because he helped me.

"Igneel." I murmur. I risk a glance at Natsu, who's face is as white as a sheet.

"...Dad?!"

Igneel grins painfully, staring up at the king through half lidded eyes. "Jude. You old bastard."

"Do you see it now? I've won, old friend. Your family is gone, your kingdom is shattered, and your body is beaten." He snarls. "I've taken nearly everything from you, just like your son took everything from me. And now…"He spares a glance toward Natsu, who's muscles strain against his bonds, mouth agape and eyes filled with emotion. "I'll finish the job, and you get to watch."

Igneels eyes widen in fear, and he stares at his son. His pride is long gone, and he doesn't bother to conceal his emotions. He's terrified.

"I'll kill you." Igneel growls. "If you touch my son, I'll kill you."

"Oh, don't worry, I believe you." Jude laughs. "But Natsu will have his turn. First-my sword."

The executioner hands him an ornamental longsword, the hilt of which glistens wickedly in the noonday sun. I don't realize what's going on until the executioner grabs ahold of my upper arms, dragging me forward.

"Lucy! Get your hands off her!" That's Natsu's voice. It's unmistakeable through the haze of dread that surrounds me. "LUCY!"

The king looks down at me with a mirthless smile, examining the leather sheath of the sword. "I am truly sorry that things had to end like this, my daughter." He lifts his head to address the group. "Let her be the first of you. Let her be an example to anyone else who dares to defy me."

I expect him to raise the blade then, but instead, he steps back, turning to my brother and offering him the blade. "Would you?"

My brother will protect me. He'll save me from this fate. I search his face pleadingly, looking for some sign that this is all going to turn out alright. I see nothing.

Instead, what happens next breaks my heart in two.

He straightens his shoulders, taking the blade from my father and facing me. My heart thuds to a stop, and my resolve crumbles. "...Malachi…?"

He avoids my gaze, instead cleaning the blade with his sleeve. In the distance, I hear Natsu roaring with rage. Wait, there's more than one voice-Gray? The moment I think that is the moment that the ice mage lunges at my brother, trying to knock the blade from his hands.

"No! Malachi, this wasn't what we planned! What are you doing?! She's your sister!" The betrayal in his voice is as clear as day. "This is wrong!"

Malachi smacks him away with a strength I didn't know he possessed. The guards are on him before I can blink, tackling the man to the ground and clicking cuffs around his wrists.

My brother returns his gaze to me.

I close my eyes tight. I'm trembling.

I didn't think it would be possible to be this terrified of any one human being. But this is worse. The betrayal is almost as strong as the blatant fear that causes my heart to thud painfully in my chest.

I'm afraid. I'm not the courageous princess who dared to defy the king of fiore. I'm not the selfless young woman who was willing to give up everything to protect the man she loved. I'm not even the girl who risked it all to save her friends. Right now, I'm just Lucy, the girl who wants to live.

It was all for nothing, and we're all about to die. Because of me.

I force myself to look up at my brother, expecting complete indifference. But I'm surprised by the emotions, the regret and guilt that I see there.

He looked down at the wailing bundle with furrowed eyebrows. "What's that?"

His exhausted mother smiled at him warmly, holding the newborn proudly for her son to see. "This is your sister, Malachi. Her name is Lucy."

His little nose scrunched up. "I don't want a sister."

"I think you'll change your mind after a while." His father chuckled. "Just you wait."

He bends down to look me in the eyes. "Sorry, little sis. It didn't have to be this way."

"Lucy! Don't put that in your mouth!" The young boy laughed, gently removing a wooden toy sword from her tiny grasp. The infant reached up to wrap her little fingers around her brother's nose, giggling. She had just recently developed a fascination for grabbing things.

The boy pulled his hand away good-naturedly, reaching behind him for a baby rattle. "Here, play with this instead."

Their parent sat a little ways away, watching their children with content expressions. The King took his wife's hand lovingly. "He's a good big brother. I always knew he'd be the protector."

She smiled in response. "He must've gotten it from you."

Somehow, I get my voice to work.

"Why?" I rasp, my voice raw with pain.

"What do you mean, you don't want to?!" The king shouted. "I didn't realize you were making the rules now!"

The young princess sat completely still in her chair, eyes downcast.

"Worthless! That's what you are! I suppose I was always too soft on you, since you can't perform a simple task."

The girl flinched.

As the king continued his rant, his son tensed in his chair. He stared at his sister, making an effort to keep his mouth shut against the protests that wanted to escape. Silently, he reached beneath the table, taking her hand in his. A small gesture, but her distress dissolved almost instantly.

I'll always be here, the boy promised, the words unspoken. Always.

"It's just the way it is. This is real life, Lucy. Wake up." His eyes harden. "This family is going to hell anyway."

The night was warm, but Malachi Heartfilia felt nothing but an icy feeling of dread in his chest.

Below the balcony, where he sat watching, the soldiers were sent out in droves, the sound of their footsteps mingling with the occasional neighs of the horses. They were going out to look for the princess.

"Good luck, little sister." He murmured softly. "I'll make this better, I promise."

He stands up, no emotion on his face.

I made a promise, didn't I, Lucy?

I'd make this better.

He took the sword from it's sheath. His father stood next to him, watching with an intense gaze.

Well...I'm sorry

I couldn't protect you, and look where we are now.

The princess shuddered at the sight of the wicked blade, closing her eyes and turning her head to the side. The desperate shouts of Igneel's son reached her ears, and tears fell onto her cheeks.

The King stepped forward, placing a hand on his son's shoulder. "Do it."

Malachi raised the sword with steady hands.

Forgive me, Lucy.

Silence fell over the courtyard, and the blade came down, followed by the soft thud of the body hitting the stone. The prince wiped the blood spatters off of his jacket as the courtyard erupted in shouting.

PLEASE DON'T HATE ME I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I TOLD YOU GUYS IT WOULD BE SAD BUT DON'T WORRY IT'S NOT OVER YET OKAY SO CALM DOWN.

Okay I know that this chapter kinda sucked because it was rushed and I really just wanted to finish it. I know that there are probably a shit ton of inconsistencies, I just hope yall can overlook them.

Yes there is another chapter. Yes I am a troll. See you next time lol bye