Jellal never really took the time to look at Erza's eyes. Sure, he'd stare at them and try to read them, but he never looked at the eyes itself. Or the kindness they held in them. Were they always like that? But Erza's sudden statement brought him to a complete shock.
"Erza, were you kidding when you said it was X791?" Jellal asked.
"I know nothing of this kidding thing," Erza said seriously. Jellal blanched. That was a joke, right? Right?
Then why would the world look so different? Why would the sky be blue and why would there be those… those green things?
"Erza, are those green things safe?" Jellal asked. Erza nodded.
"Yes, those green things known as tree are completely safe." Of course trees would be safe. But why were they GREEN?
"They must have locked you in here longer than I thought," Erza said. "Either you lived so long ago that trees weren't around, or you've been in there so long that you forgot about trees."
"Let's go with the first option," Jellal suggested. He was a little scared. Erza sound completely serious, like she actually believed both of the possibilities could be true. He had never met someone like that. Then again, how many people has he met?
"Now I must plan what I shall do with you now that I've rescued you," Erza said.
"What you'll do with me?" Jellal sounded relatively calm, but inside, he was scared. What if it was an execution? No, wait, she wouldn't have saved him if it was an execution. A random thought popped into his mind. Or, not really random. It was probably running through every teenage boy's head right now. Was he still a teenager? Jellal tried to block out the weird thoughts.
"Someone's thinking dirty." Erza looked genuinely confused, but Jellal mustered a neutral expression.
Where did that voice come from?
"Oh, you're probably confused right now. I'm Mavis and my voice is coming from the device Erza is holding." Jellal looked at Erza's hands, and sure enough, there was a device. Jellal inspected it closer and saw the face of a pale-blonde haired girl with light skin and large, emerald eyes.
"How are you in the device?" Jellal asked.
"This is called a phone. This phone contains a special application that allows Fairy Tail members to communicate. Fairy Tail is a group I am currently in. Mavis is the leader. She is currently working on hacking base 32." All the information was making Jellal's head spin. What does Fairy Tail do? What is hacking? What's base 32?
"Base 32 is one of the remaining bases of the Balam Alliance," Mavis explained. "Fairy Tail's mission is to eliminate the Balam Alliance. Hacking is when you infiltrate computers."
"Is everyone in your time mind readers?" Jellal asked.
"So, I have done as you instructed. What shall we do with him? This is the first base to contain people, and Jellal seems to have come from another time."
"May I decide where I should go?" Jellal asked.
"Apologies. I never thought you might have wanted to go somewhere specific," Erza apologized.
"Actually, I don't know much about the planet anymore, so…"
"Erza, you go with him." The two of them turned to stare at Mavis.
"He doesn't know much about what's going on right now, so you can explain everything to him while you drop him off at Magnolia. It's the safest place in the continent of Ishgar. After that, he can learn the rest on his own."
"But what about attacking base 189?" Erza asked.
"You're going to need to deliver ammunition from Hargeon to Bisca on your way, and Magnolia and Hargeon are not too far away." You're side tracking Erza. Don't be useless like you were during the battle.
"It's alright. I'll go my separate way right now. There's no need to trouble any of you." Jellal started walking towards the greenery.
"Actually," Erza said. "I'm going to do it."
"My battery's running out," Mavis said. "I have to cut off the connection for a while since I left my charger at home. Bye bye." Erza shut off the phone and started walking next to Jellal in silence.
"You know," Jellal said. "You don't have to."
"I insist," Erza declared.
"Well, okay then." The two continued to walk in an awkward silence. Jellal watched as Erza stared at the ground.
"Can you please not stare at me?" Erza asked.
"Sorry," Jellal said. There was even more awkwardness. Jellal could have sworn the awkwardness was smacking him on the head right now. "I-"
Funny, everything that can happen in a split second. It's tail hit his head and it's leg hit his stomach, but he didn't even see it. Who knows how much more damage it would have done if Erza hadn't stepped in. Jellal was amazed at the fact that it actually had more speed than the time witch. But, the time witch would have fixed that up. It's not like she was lounging around in a dome for 400 years…
"Be on guard at all times," Erza said. "The woods are dangerous."
"How did you hit it when it's so fast?" Jellal asked.
"Flight armor," Erza said. "I requiped."
"Requiped?" Jellal asked.
"It's a magic that switched the clothes or weapons of a person. Usually, a person can only switch out one item at a time, but I posses the skill of being the only one in Fiore to be able to do a full body requip." Jellal was impressed.
"I have a question: isn't Fiore Hisui's last name?" Jellal asked. Erza nodded.
"Actually, it was because of her that the country is named that. The survivors she protected were the founders of this country. They decided to name it in honor of her. So far, we've managed to recover most of the continent of Ishgar from the Balam Alliance's grasp." Erza looked out at the sky.
"We should set up camp right now." No other words were spoken as the two set up the camping equipment (which Erza pulled from an alternative dimension).
"Do I have magic?"
The question was sudden, so Jellal was surprised when Erza gave him an immediate answer.
"I don't know. The only way you could have survived in that dome was if you had Ethernano within your body. However, if you did, then you would have been able to escape easily. On the other hand, your magic can be holder type or you might have a spell or potion that blocks your magic affecting you right now. All I can say is, if you did, then it's something neither I nor the hidden detection machine recognize."
Erza must have been thinking about this a lot.
"Maybe because it's an ancient spell," Jellal said.
"Are you implying that you have some sort of knowledge about the reason for your inability to use magic?" Erza asked.
"Most likely. In the oldest memory I can remember- and I can't even remember my age back then- there was this old man who told me something weird. He muttered something that sounded like sumigretxe airomem. After that, he apologized." Erza's eyes lit up, like she knew something.
"That spell sounds really familiar." Jellal stared at her hopefully, but Erza drew a blank.
"I apologize. Every time I try to remember what that spell is, my mind restarts my progress." Jellal sighed, hope lost.
"It's ok. I understand. Situations like this have happened to me more than once." Erza nodded and then started up a fire. Jellal decided to do something useful when he realized there was only one tent.
"Um, Erza," Jellal pointed to the tent.
"What's the problem?" Erza asked.
"There's only one tent." Erza stared at him.
"Does this mean we have to sleep in the same tent?"
"That is what you're worried about?" Erza deadpanned.
"I'm a boy and you're a girl," Jellal said.
"We're not going to do anything. And if you still find a problem with it-"
At that moment, a four legged creature conveniently flew out of nowhere only to get chopped by Erza's sword.
"Looks like I found dinner," Erza said. She stared at Jellal's horror-stricken face.
"You most likely got the wrong idea. I was going to say that if you find a problem with it, I could just go outside. The tent has more protection, and you won't get attacked."
Jellal felt irritation rise within him. He wasn't just a kid. He can take care of himself. Erza didn't need to take pity on him.
And what about Erza? Erza was risking her own life for him. She could have told him to be the one outside, but she insisted that he stays in the tent. She was showing kindness to a stranger.
The irritation was replaced with understanding and admiration.
"You should eat," Erza said. She lifted up a stick filled with grilled meat.
"Erza, are you sure that thing is edible?" Jellal asked.
"If it wasn't edible, would I still be alive?"
"Good point." Erza handed him the stick.
"I will rest," Erza said. She fluffed her pillow and fell asleep. Jellal turned to the meat. He stared at it.
It looked nowhere near edible.
The meat was slimy and a gross shade of green. It was hard and chunky. Jellal's stomach was doing somersaults trying to escape from the thing. How Erza managed to eat one bite was beyond him.
Jellal dropped the food.
He would train. He would get stronger. He'd save what's left of the Star Kingdom.
But it wasn't that easy.
Jellal examined the tree that he'd pulled punches at for some time. It looked like barely a scratch was made. He sighed.
Why attack the tree? It never did anything. The tree's innocent. You started a fight. Trees are living creatures.
Jellal decided to train against a rock.
Which was much worse. Jellal swore rocks were the epitome of evil itself. When he punched a boulder, the thing ended up severely injuring his hand and released dust in his face. Plus, it didn't move an inch. The rock was taunting him, telling him that he can never be anything but a weakling. He punched harder, but to no avail.
It was in the night when they attacked their prey.
When they know the prey is defenseless.
When they know the prey is weak.
Jellal felt a presence behind him. It wasn't the strongest of presences. He barely felt it. But he felt it's motives.
"Wake up, Erza!" Jellal yelled. Erza kept snoring.
"Wake up!" She didn't move a muscle or twitch in the slightest.
"Erza?" Fear crept into Jellal's mind. Is Erza… could Erza be…?
No, Erza isn't dead. She's breathing.
"One is weak. The other one is disabled. There's no escape."
"I thought it was strange that she didn't wake up through my training," Jellal said. "It must have been because of the meat." He pulled out his fists, but the creature ran straight past him and towards Erza.
"You're target's over here!" Jellal yelled.
"Pathetic human. Like I would even dream of eating you, weakling."
Jellal's eyes widened. He was in real trouble now. The only person who could fight the monster was incapacitated. And Erza- Erza doesn't deserve this. It was his fault. All his fault.
Jellal had never hated himself as much as he did at that moment.
"I'm no weakling," Jellal said. "Not weak like you, who's reduced to using dirty tricks just to kill other people." He struck a blow with his fist.
"If you think a single punch will defeat me, then I'll commend you on your stupidity."
The beast and Jellal exchanged blows every second, neither knowing who'll strike where next. Jellal could feel fatigue, pulling him towards the ground.
But fatigue was just one part of his mind. The brain was a complicated structure with many, many parts, and fatigue was simply one of those. Jellal had his heart.
That was all he needed to fight on.
"You're the stupid one," Jellal said. "You've laid yourself straight into a trap."
In the split second that the creature was distracted, Jellal plunged Erza's sword straight through its midsection.
"I forgot to mention that the trap was to distract you," he said.
Who knows why. Jellal sure didn't. Then again, maybe it was because his mind was muddled, but the dark dots he saw grew larger and larger until all he could see was black. The same blackness as the dome.
But it wasn't the same. There was nothing about it that was the same from before. This blackness was deep. It filled him with hope. He had control over it, knowing light was just one motion away, if he'd just open his eyes…
He could escape.
Jellal closed his eyes and let his fatigue wash over him.