...I Do not own Fairy Tail in way shape or form
Fairy Tail: The Family Arc
Chapter one : Unthinkable Paths
It was late into the night, but in a crowded hall, whole groups of families talked in hushed whispers together wondering why they had gathered at the hall. The sudden appearance of an old man, their leader,made them silent as they waited for him to speak.
He walked with the aid of a large cane, but he held features of a leader with a strong jaw line and brown hair that was fading to salt and pepper. He walked to the end of the large table where he sat at his chair - the largest in the room, fine craftsmanship separated it from the rest. Following him were a young couple: a woman with chestnut hair, abdomen round with child, and a young man who had similar features as he did. Once settled in the chair, his tired eyes swept through the table before speaking.
"I know you all want to know why I called you here, and the answer is simple enough, I am tired of it all." A deep sigh left him. "What I wanted for my children, but could not give them, is what I could give for my grandchildren." He looked at the chestnut-haired woman sadly.
"I Want FREEDOM, free from tyrants who rule us! The ones called the Family must be defeated!" Slamming his hand on the table, cups and plates shook precariously from the force, and few people shielded themselves from the chief's anger.
A commotion of different people started to speak up, but he expected them and waited for one the chaos to die down.
"C-chief how could you say something like that? How could we ever hope to defeat them?"
"He's right, what hope do we have? The Family has ruled over us for as long as I can remember."
"There's nothing we can do, but wait for them to come and kill us all!"
That sparked off terror, and soon the whole small community started shouting accusations and fears at each other.
"That is enough!" The chief's voice reverberated through the small space of the hut easily; everyone quieted down, though a few even looked like they were trying to become one with their chairs.
"I will tell you just what we will do." He looked around and his gaze landed on the one person he knew would be up for the job. "Beteo come to me."
The man who came forward looked strong enough; he was an impressive man with large muscles and a stature that showed he worked hard for a living. The large man towered over the other people in the room by feet, and when he walked, they parted to make way for him. He stood in front of the chief and bowed on one leg with his head facing the floor. The old man placed his hand gingerly on his shoulder. The man took it as a sign and raised his head back to look him in the eye.
"Beteo, I have watched you grow into a strong man, I know I can trust you with what I ask of you," he explains softly. "I need for you to journey to the woods and find the old witch. Only she could find an answer for our troubles here."
Finished with his explanation, the giant of a man stood back to full height. Holding one hand with a closed fist over his heart, he spoke "I understand Elder Yu, I will not fail you or our people in this task," he promised with his deep rumbling voice shaking the hall.
Then without an ounce of fear, the man left the hall with everyone watching his back as he left into the coming night.
"May the gods look over you." Elder Yu spoke.
A small whisper followed after, desolate and without hope. "If the gods haven't already abandoned us."
..Elsewhere in the land of Fiore
A crash resonated throughout the forest trees, ones as tall as the eye could see, demolished like a child's building blocks. The earth now had impact marks, yards across, and in the middle of it all was a young woman running - vibrant blonde hair flying everywhere. Quickly pushing the stubborn strands back into place before looking back at her opponent, she was Lucy Heartfilia: Celestial mage and a wizard of Fairy Tail.
The creature showed itself, breaking through the foliage of trees and plants easily, looking like a crossbreed of a bull and goat. Its lower legs were shaped with large hooves, dark patchy fur covering its bottom half, and a long deadly tail with a pointed tip pincer thrashed side to side. It held a deadly intent in its eyes, deep wine red with no pupil showing. It made a show of roaring and digging its hooves into the earth leaving deep trenches.
Suddenly, Lucy was struck with an idea; she gave a survey of her surroundings to see where she was and, spotting the right cropping of trees, gave a wicked smile.
"Hey! You!" she taunted sounding confident, despite the situation she was in; she had a small pebble in her hand and bounced it up and down. The creature stopped looking at her as if she was an annoying little fly.
"Try and get me you lame brain!" She stuck out her tongue, mocking it, and with an aim perfected from throwing things back at rowdy guild mates, let the stone fly and hit the beast square in the forehead. Then she hightailed out of the there, the beast quickly running after plowing down trees left and right.
Soon she made it to what looked like a dead end - hard stone raised upwards to the second level of a forest, large limbs hung over the edge. One peek over her shoulder let her know the creature was right behind her as planned. Taking out her deadly whip, she gripped it tightly before releasing into the canopy and pulling hard to get momentum. She hung over the small cliff face, shouting triumphantly, a bright gold key shining in her hand.
"I open the Gate to the Bull, Taurus!"
A golden circle of magic flashing vibrantly on the ground under her. Appearing out of the light was a huge bull carrying a large metal axe who gave an exuberant shout. "Moo, Lucccy, I shall protect your precious and bodacious self!"
The blonde could only uneasily smile at the embarrassing declaration. "Not now, Taurus, quickly we got to win this".
"Moo, yes, Lucy." Came the bull's excited cry.
The bull took charge, large axe in his hands, and ran towards the danger head first. The creature at this point turned around and charged right back at the bull, but the space it was in now left it little room to gain the speed it needed for a frontal attack. A smart plan that Lucy had counted on, and at the moment of impact between the two sent the creature careening back to the rocks.
"Yes!" Lucy's excitement was contagious and Taurus, too, was happily dancing with the mage. She sent him back to the spirit world with thanks, and took out a slip of paper before approaching the prone, knocked out form of the beast. The tiny slip of paper was completely white and had one strange symbol. It reminded her of paper seals that Levy had told her about from her books that they often talked to each other about. Touching the paper to the creature allowed the paper to work its magic. Soon a light grew, and the body of the creature shrunk and vanished into the paper itself, turning the paper from the pristine white to jet black.
Paper in hand, Lucy rather happily walked back to the village and the mayor to collect her reward.
The night had fallen hours ago, but where there should have been animals making their nocturnal rounds, there was only silence. Few dared to leave their homes at night, fear drove them to stay indoors, to work the fields quickly in the light hours to gather what few items could grow on the island.
But most people were not Beteo, usually called The Strongman by the villagers because of his large size and strength. He was a man who could be counted on to help in any situation, so when their leader and elder to them all asked for him to find the old witch, he had no qualms in going where most men would dare not to.
The further he went up the mountain the harder the terrain became; rocky outcroppings were scattered everywhere and if someone was not careful they could easily fall off on one of the hidden sheer cliffs. He made headway when the rocks lead to a path overgrown with weeds and trees and other heavy foliage. Beteo gave a sigh of relief when he spotted a hut at the end of the path; old patches of straw were missing from the roof of the hut, strings of fish and herbs laid out to dry. He raised an arm out to knock on the door, but it had already opened before his fist hit the wood. A puff of cloudy smoke pushed towards his face and the man could not help but cough helplessly.
"Hehen, seems like you don't know how to keep smoke boy." she mocked.
The old woman was short, barely coming to his waist. She didn't care for him, simply leaving the door open and walking to a seat by a small stove where she put fresh wood in.
"Well, are you going to stand there all night, aye?" she chastised.
Realizing he was still outside, the large man bent to angle himself inside, his gaze traveling around the small hut catching sight of jars and bones that littered the shelves and floor. "Elder Yu, has sent me to ask of your aid in finding a way to seek help from the outside." he announced with no fear entering his words.
She was silent for a moment, just sitting in a chair, before collapsing into a fit of laughter. She was kneeling over as if it was the greatest thing she had ever heard.
"Ah-ha! Now he wants my help! That bastard sends a little whelp like you to come and grovel for him, does he?" she chided, trying to calm her laughing fit.
"Enough old woman, you know we have had no choice in how we live" he argued.
The old woman made a noise as she got up and walked to a jar on a shelf pouring it in a cup and dousing it in the stove. Plumes of smoke filled the air with an array of different colors and smells.
Beteo tried to push his shirt over his mouth, with little avail; coughing, he angrily shouted, "You old hag, Lee, what good does that do for us? We need real power to kill the Family, not your gypsy tricks!"
Lee simply ignored the whining of the younger man; for all his excessive muscle and size he was quite a baby. Everything she did served a purpose and helped the situation greatly. She understood a little of what the Family was trying to do, but not enough; she studied the smoke more and grinned.
"You're an arrogant little thing, aren't ya? Hmph, tell that old man Yu that there's only one person who can help defeat the Family," she said, a cheeky smile on her face.
He quirked an eyebrow questioningly asking, " And who do I say will be our savior, Lee?"
She gave a chuckle and told him, "Why the child of blond shall make way to your salvation. Now don't be late and tell Yu that I told him so."
She then let out a loud and boisterous laugh, not even caring to see the man out of her home. There was a loud clank of the door and a few jars shook from the force of his departure.
"Hmph how rude of young people today." Motioning with her small pinky, she drew a figure with a small half circle in the air. "But at least make sure he gets a move on, we don't have time to play, heh."
Beteo was furious at the proclamation that he heard; it was an outrage. There was only one such person in the village that she could be talking about. No, it couldn't be a possibility that he would be of any use to them. Fat use he was since the day he was born. 'Nothing good could come from this,' he thought.
Suddenly, though his vision warped, he could not understand what was happening; it was as if everything was rushing past him, even though he had not moved. Just as it started, it stopped, and he found himself back at the village entrance, shaken a bit.
He gathered himself back up, cursing the old woman for using whatever trickery she used to push him quicker.
Walking to the center of the village was an easy enough task; he pushed past the doors and entered the hall. About 20 families lived in the village. It was built so they also could fit in the large hall; it was the only one made from the strong oaks that surrounded the village, the rest made do with straw, salvaged wood and handmade bricks.
Therefore, in the colder seasons they all gathered in the main hall of the Elder's home to eat and of course talk like tonight. He could feel their eyes boring into his back as he made way to the elder who still sat at his chair at the end; a few pieces of dried fruit were in front of him.
He stopped in front of him, as custom dictated, bowed and raised back up to announce what happened.
Lucy returned to the mayor's quickly, spotting the familiar home from when she first arrived in the town for the job. She saw two people sitting in chairs on the porch and smiled, politely greeting the elderly Mayor and his wife, Lady Clair.
"Hello there Mayor, Lady Clair!" she called out cheerily.
The two elder folks happily gave their own greetings and Lucy gave them the slip of paper while the mayor produced a book. Curious, Lucy saw him place the small slip on the book and watched it glow for a moment before it absorbed the paper in itself.
"Oh, my dear, I can't help but thank you enough, thank you!" Excitably, the mayor shook her hands repeating his thanks.
"Oh-ho, now do forgive me ladies, I have to leave but my wife has your reward. Oh-ho, I have to send this out to the mail, perhaps the magic library of Liore could use it."
Lucy, a bit overwhelmed, stared at him as he 'oh-ho'ed himself away, before turning her attention to the elderly woman.
"Don't mind him child. Come, come I bet you want to head back home to that young man you told me about." the mayor's wife says gently, smiling the whole while.
Lucy blushed, giving a small cough to try and hide it. Following her back in the home, Lucy marveled at the decorated lamps and knickknacks strewn about the room. A few choice words from Lady Clair drew her back, climbing back down from a small stepladder.
A small bag was presented to her and she gently opened the string pouch. In it was a spirit key and she could not help but let out a squeal of excitement. The key was silver but had a few gold etchings running along the side. She studied it closely, but couldn't recognize the symbol, till it suddenly clicked and her smile widened even further.
'Ara the Altar'
"I figured asking for a Celestial mage would be a good idea since we had that key, of course there's this as well." The old women held another pouch. This one held a nice portion of gold coins. Lucy had to stop herself from falling from shock.
A key and reward money? How lucky was she that she got this job?
"Oh, thank you Lady Clair!" she held it in her hand preciously.
"Hehe don't worry my dear, but you should know something." Serious for a moment, she walked to a chair next to the ladder and gave a heavy sigh. "I have a gift, now I'm nowhere near as powerful as you mages are in the guild, but I know one thing about that book that had come to shore." Clair's gaze met Lucy eyes.
"The one that had the creature that terrorized the village," Lucy added.
"Yes, the very one my dear. It's always a bad omen when something washes on shore like that." She rocked in the chair steadily, her eyes half-closed as if remembering something from the past. "When the child born of dark reaches the light, that is when destruction starts." she stated with an air of depression.
Lucy, startled at that declaration, asked, "What do you mean, Lady Clair?"
The old woman smiled at the girl; she reached over and took the hand with her guild mark and gently cradled it. "My dear I knew you would be the one to take this job, and I also know that you will play a special part in something, my dear."
She released her hand and gave a motion to the door. "Now you better get going dear, the train leaves soon if you want to return home."
The clock on the mantel chimed and she looked at the time. "Oh y-yes, thank you Lady Clair! Remember, if you ever need help again, Fairy Tail is always here." Smiling brightly, the blonde mage left the home and headed toward the station on the other side of the port town.
"May whoever watches over you child be with ye." Clair sighs as she stares up into the night sky.
The hall was silent; everyone didn't dare to speak. It wasn't the need to be polite and wait, rather it was fear that paralyzed them.
"Bring him here, Beteo," elder Yu declared.
Beteo stood still for a moment before he relented and left the hall.
Two hours later Beteo arrived with a child who was held by the tail end of the scruffy and worn shirt. He had no shoes, but scraps of cloths and rags tied around his feet to give some sort of protection. His bright blond hair stood out from the sea of dark hair that most of the villagers had.
The child was placed in front of the elder, and the child looked up exposing his unique and vivid eyes. His left eye was a bright cerulean color while his right eye was a dark indigo color, and under it was an unusual birthmark.
His entrance didn't go unannounced, immediately different villagers started to shout out their anger. And it was all pointed directly at the small child.
"He will kill us all!"
"What use is the devil child to us!"
More remarks were made and Yu just stared at the child who looked around at the different faces and voices like a wounded animal. He raised his hand and placed it on the child's head and in that instant, everyone was silent from fear of what was going to happen. He rubbed the golden haired child slowly feeling the strands of hair between his fingers, and he could also feel the child shaking in fear. The unknown and waiting could be the hardest thing to bear.
"Child, you are sadly our only hope. Gods willing, you will serve the purpose of our salvation." Yu looked back at Beteo, removing his hand from the child's head.
"Take him to Lee."
The large man grabbed the child who froze up for a few moments before he went limp in the man's arms. They left past the crowd of watchful eyes and back out the door to the old witch's home.
"Father, can we really trust that boy?" A voice questioned him.
Yu only stared at the doorway where Beteo had left only moments earlier.
"We don't have any choice but to believe, Eiji." the Chief said solemnly.
Lucy's walk back to the train station was uneventful, the weather couldn't have been any better. The quiet was a bonus as she didn't have to worry that a certain Dragon Slayer and cat would get distracted and blow something up. Though it was a bit lonely without them as well. Before she could fall into her nostalgia, Lucy felt a pull of magic suddenly.
For a moment she felt the magical signature fade, but focusing on the little thread of magic in the air she took off in the direction. She didn't know what she was going to find, but with what lady Clair had said - easily still on her mind - Lucy couldn't leave the village if there was even a possibility of danger still left.
I give my thanks to my Readers and Editor August235
Second Chapter will be up soon