Chapter 91: The Beginning of the End II

Through the haze of white fog-like substance hanging over her flaccid body, Vannessa felt familiar touches on her face; there were soft and light ones mixed in with downy ones as well as rough ones which she had sought out for so long. The rough touches belonged to a certain someone that was the last person she laid eyes on before she fell unconscious due the large drain of magic, largely caused by the charging and activation of all sixty-five lacrimas in one go.

"You've got to get up, Vannessa and end this battle with your own two hands. Isn't that your desire for freedom?" Micaiah's voice floated through her subconscious mind. The Dragon Slayer's fingers twitched slightly with the attempt of her trying to regain conscious.


Her eyelids fluttered slightly as she blinked her eyes open. She struggled to lift herself up using her arms and her eyes widened at the scene before her. Micaiah was standing a few feet in front with her back to her against Narumi Valentine. It was apparent that the wolf was injured severely, she had a limp and there were hideous bruises darkening all over her body. Dark anger coursed through her as she witnessed her friend being flung aside violently by the impact of Narumi's magic. "That bastard!" she hissed as her purple eyes became an inky black and her lips were pulled back into a feral snarl. A dark magic aura surrounded her as she stood up shakily. "NARUMI!" she screamed out his name as if it tasted vile.

Both of them stopped and turned to stare at the Dragon Slayer. "Vannessa…" her name escaped from Micaiah's throat in a fragile but relieved whisper. Narumi however regained his composure more quickly than the wolf. A lazy smirk spread across his lips as he placed his hands in his pockets, leaning backwards. "I see you're finally awake now, Vannessa," he responded with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. The other Dragon Slayer chose to ignore him and glanced meaningfully at her best friend. Micaiah took this as her cue to transform herself into the staff and merged herself with the girl.

Once the transformation was complete, the Dark Dragon Slayer opened her eyes and cut her dark eyes towards Narumi in a glare. "You did quite a number to my friend huh, didn't you?" Vannessa growled quietly that betrayed the dark hatred behind it. "She did you no harm – "

"Oya, but she did…by joining up with you," Narumi intercepted as his own dark eyes matched her gaze evenly while his pupils constricted into cat-like slits.

"You'll pay for what you did to her…and all of my friends!" the girl snarled before launching herself at him, her twin swords at the ready.

Laxus made a rude noise and stepped backwards from his initial position where he had landed, trying to dodge Ultear's attack. The ice mage smirked at him and advanced closer, her curled hands cradling blue magic, at the ready. "What's wrong Laxus?" she taunted. "You aren't going to win by dodging alone."

"Tsk! That's why I hate women!" he muttered under his breath, his eyes never leaving Ultear's hands. "They always make my life miserable."

Well…with the exception of Vannessa of course…

Another voice whispered in his head.

In response to that, neither did he disagree nor agreed. "Well, since we have established the fact that I am going to lose this battle unless I do fight seriously, then let's do it your way, Ultear!" he snarled, letting his own magic loose. Lightning magic scorched the ground surrounding him as if to emphasize his point. Ultear smiled and motioned towards him with a finger. "Then come at me, tiger."

He took this as a cue to launch his first attack at her. "You messed with the wrong people…my people, Ultear."

"Yeah, you made your point clear the first time round," Ultear responded mockingly. "And I am sure to prove you wrong."

Laxus raised an eyebrow. "Honestly, this statement is getting old…that's what they all say all the time…before they lose that is," the lightning mage countered before he unleashed his own magic at her.

Ashwynn Moonsworth studied his adversary that was standing intimidatingly across from him. It was always like him to study his opponents first before he did battle with them. A beautiful red-haired mage was glaring at him and if looks could kill, he would probably be overkill and the battle would have been concluded in five seconds flat. "Boku wa Ashwynn Moonsworth…doka oshiete kurae namae wo, o kirei no hime-sama." (My name is Ashwynn Moonsworth…would you please tell me your name, oh beautiful princess?)

He smirked inwardly when he realized that his flattery did get him somewhere. That stupid bitch…!

Erza blushed at his flattery and placed both hands on her cheeks. "Ya-da , do I really look like a beautiful princess?" she giggled. "My name is Erza Scarlet."

There was a saying that puppeteers were able to mask their emotions and indeed he did. However, the mage could hardly hold his contempt towards her in as he felt a sneer snaking its way across his lips. The woman's guard was down and now it was his time to strike. His green eyes glinted cunningly. He could exert his control over her will. "Mummy Control," he hissed under his breath and silver magic wisps began to intertwine themselves with his fingers. Besides, easily forcing the submission of his opponent's will under his complete control, there were certain downsides of this magic attack. For starters, he had to touch his opponent. Next, he had to make sure that she stays within the circumference of the area that was within reach of his magic, exactly 15 feet. If two of these conditions were not fulfilled, the effect would be null. Clearly long-range attacks would put him at a disadvantage but of course, he had a few aces up his sleeve to counter that weakness. His eyes narrowed as they focused on Erza. "Let the puppet show begin…"

"The stage is set for you and your guild's destruction!" Flavius Salazar spread his arms open wide as a thick orange magic aura encased his figure. Natsu glared at the older man before him, his hands balling themselves into fists. His lips were curled into a snarl and his eyes were blazing. "I think it's meant for you and them though," Natsu spoke up in a low and dangerous voice. "This is Fairy Tail that we are talking about; none of us will die so easily…"

"Doka na…" the silver-haired man sneered. "My name is Flavius Salazar…also known as Soul Strangler."

"Natsu…Natsu Dragneel," was all Natsu said in response, his eyes narrowing.

"You are really unlucky to be facing off with me, Natsu…" he went on. "I don't fancy children as my enemies but such is the circumstances that it leaves me with no choice but to kill you."

The younger mage prepared to launch an attack at Flavius. "Fire Dragon's Claw!" he yelled out as his fire dragon magic blazed underneath his feet, propelling him forward towards Flavius.

Natsu's eyes widened as realization hit him and as the distance between him and the enemy closed. The man was simply standing there calmly, with his hands in the pockets of his long overcoat which was hanging loose over his naked but muscular frame.

Why isn't he moving out of the way nor doing something to counter my attack…?!

The Dragon Slayer was but a distance away did Flavius made his move. With one swift movement, he raised his left hand out from his pocket and deflected the power behind Natsu's kick with his arm. The impact created made the hem of his overcoat flutter behind him. His light blue eyes languidly slid over to Natsu's. "Oya, I didn't know you were a Dragon Slayer…" he pointed out.

The Dragon Slayer did not even have time to process his words before he was flung backwards by an unknown force. Flavius brushed at his sleeve before turning to Natsu, a sneer evident on his attractive face. "That makes my job all the more simple…you are born under an unlucky star, indeed," he added as he advanced towards the Dragon Slayer.

"What just happened?" Natsu spoke up blankly as he pushed himself up from the ground, his hand on his head. He looked up at the towering mage above him.

"It seems that I didn't make my introductions clear…I am the Slayer of Dragon Slayers, in other words the Dragon Soul Strangler."

The blonde mage was breathing hard as she wiped at her chin that sported a fast-forming bruise, her eyes never leaving the girl that stood before her. She pushed herself up and maintained a fighting stance; she needed to be ready at all cost. The auburn-haired beauty was serious indeed when she told Lucy not to underestimate her just because she was a music magician. The girl had underestimated the younger mage, what with her small almost fragile frame which was almost drowning in the cloak that encased her bony frame; her brown eyes could have easily been mistaken for friendliness and warmth. Lucy's hand moved to the belt that was hanging around her hips as she swiftly unhooked her ring of keys. By now, her whip's location was unknown due to Misty's magic and thus resulting in it being thrown out of her hand.

Misty's eyes followed Lucy's movement carefully and she smirked. "I was right in choosing you as my opponent!" she said triumphantly. "Let your requiem start playing now."

Lucy stared at her in disbelief. What did she mean by that…?

She felt the hairs at the back of her neck stand as her body tensed. Her instincts were screaming danger and urging intensely at her body to turn and run. Something was wrong here. Lucy studied the girl carefully and her eyes narrowed when Misty pulled out a flute from within the folds of her cloak.

What the hell is she going to do with that…?

The young mage smirked when she saw Lucy's confused expression. "Your confusion is going to cost you …your life."

"What did you mean by your being right in choosing me as your opponent?" Lucy spoke up finally, her grip tightening on her key ring.

Misty jerked her head in the direction of Lucy's key ring. "That." The young mage sighed impatiently when she caught sight of Lucy's mystified expression. "Your celestial spirits won't be able to go against my music." A sneer crept across her lips when the understanding that had dawned on Lucy's face now was replaced by panic.

Gray studied his adversary with a guarded expression on his face, his blue eyes sharp. His expression remained neutral, giving nothing away even as the other man continued sizing him up from the other side.

He folded his arms across his chest and allowed a sneer to snake its way across his lip when he realized that the magic the other one possessed was but the contrary and it placed him at a definite advantage.

Well if that ice mage isn't gonna make the first move then I might as well act first…

His eyes never the ice mage as he made his move and sent an attack of greatly condensed magic in the Fairy Tail mage's direction.

"Ice Make: Shield" Gray cried out in an attempt to counter his attack with his own and managed to save himself by less than a hair's breadth.

The sneer plastered on his face did not disappear as he released another barrage of attacks at the young mage.

"Tch!" Grey made a rude noise as he kept up his dodges but he knew, by now that the other mage was not simply playing around with him; he meant business.

His eyes narrowed finally when realization finally dawned on him. "Oya, there I go again, I forgot to introduce myself…" He smirked when he saw that the other mage was panting. "You are much weaker than I thought."

"W-W-Who are you?" Gray demanded.

His derogating smile widened even further. "Name's Gabriel Faust," he answered simply. "And how should I go about addressing you, young man?"

"Gray Fullbuster," came the younger ice mage reply.

"Well Gray Fullbuster, I would like to point something out to you before we begin this…ice against fire is not really a good match up," he continued in that same snobby voice of his. "Let us conclude this match once and for all because my delightful baby needs me."

Nyia Delight folded her arms across her chest and stuck her nose up in the air, expressing her extreme annoyance at the blue-haired Fairy Tail mage standing before her. "This is really getting tedious," she complained snootily. She looked at the water mage and tilted her head to the side as she surveyed the older female mage with blank green eyes. "How much longer are you intending to size me up?" she continued. "I am so much more powerful than I look, you know."

Juvia said nothing but continued studying her opponent; she was completely on a different level as compared to the other mages that she had faced before.

I need to figure out what kind of magic she possesses first before I even do anything…

Nyia smirked as she flicked her white hair behind her. "I'll bet that you are thinking about what kind of magic I have right?"

Juvia's eyes widened and that gave her expression of surprise away. Nyia smiled slyly. "You can just ask me, you know…my magic is that of dreams. I am…not that pleased to meet your acquaintance but I go by the name of Nyia Delight, the mage who walks in dreams…the Dreamwalker."

"I am Juvia Lockser," Juvia introduced herself, careful not to give herself away any more than she needed to since her opponent was one that did not let anything no matter how insignificant pass her by. She knew that she and the rest of the Fairy Tail gang were in for a long night

PS: Helloooo minna! Thanks for reading and following through painstakingly thus far. The following chapters onwards will be slow as you all know because I need time to come up with nice fighting scenes for you guys to enjoy! But really, I appreciate your encouragement and will continue to bring more action and ROMANCE (GOD! I keep forgetting that part)...ugh..just kill me will you?! Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter as well. =)