Disclaimer: I don't own Fairy tail
Mirajane despite the fact that she was bleeding and in pain smiled as she recounted her past and the mere thought of Natsu's smiling face lifted her spirits, and by the time she was done a full smile graced her features.
"Thank you for telling me, but tell me, why are you smiling?" Elione asked as she saw the calm and gentle smile on the woman's face.
"Because Natsu would come and save me. It's a certainty." Mirajane replied simply the unflappable smile still in place even as she watched Elione raised her sword to deliver the killing blow.
"You have that much faith in him?" Elione asked. "You know, I hate to repeat myself, but that kind of relationship would only end up hurting everyone involve. No woman likes to share his man." She added sagely but she looked curiously at Mirajane who still had her smile.
"You know, the moment he came back, he told us that he'd rather have us hating him than hate each other, and your right no woman likes to share his man. Both of us still have arguments and fights about Natsu but…" her smile only grew as she looked at Elione in the eyes. "We're not just women, we're family, and we may have our differences and misunderstanding but we'll manage to work things out because above all else, Erza is my family and I know she feels the same." she stated firmly.
Elione smiled at Mirajane's declaration as she closed her eyes as moments later the sound of metal piercing flesh carried through the air and red stained the ground beneath them.
CHAPTER 17: A Date with the Emperor
Erza ducked using her flight armor to dodge the hail of arrows heading her way as Lieri continued attacking her from a distance with a four foot bow, wearing her battle armor.
A simple crown adorned Lieri's head as she wore a blue and white sleeveless-skintight bodysuit. The body is white that resembled a bathing suit while it's blue from the feet up to her hips. A single blue and white metal spoulder on her right shoulder connected to a triangle shape metal plate covering her left breast. She wore blue fingerless glove on her bow arm that covered her whole arm with a metal plate at the back of her hand that reach up to her elbow. On her right hand she wore white and blue gloves with her index and middle finger exposed. She also wore a blue skirt with white frills on its tip that is divided into four parts with its front open with eight swords floating behind her –four on either side- acting like wings. And finally white grieves that resembled heeled shoes reaching up to her knees with a built-in pile driver to anchor her to the ground completed her armor.
"You need to do better than dodge, princess." Lieri stated, pulling another arrow from the container dseployed beside her. Drawing arrows with practiced ease and speed that didn't allow Titania to close the gap between them, and even if Erza managed to get close enough, she would simply push her back with her legs or the swords on her back.
Erza cursed under her breath as she dodges the arrow that shot past her. "What does my mother want with Mirajane?" she demanded, switching to her Adamantine armor to block the magic based arrow that created a powerful explosion that knocked her back.
Erza's eyes widen as an arrow created a hole in her shield as moments later, a hail of arrows shattered her shield and armor. "The Emperor just wants to talk to your friend alone, princess." Lieri answered, loading two arrows and firing it at Erza.
Erza saw the opportunity, equipping her flight armor once more and catapulted herself towards Lieri using the gap between the two arrows. She quickly covered thirty meters in a flash, stunning Lieri in the process and Requipped into her Purgatory armor, bringing its massive weapon on the woman. Lieri quickly reacted by jumping away from Erza's swing as her weapon crushed her quiver.
Erza immediately changed her grip on her weapon preparing for an upward swing. Lieri immediately acted angling her bow horizontally and drawing the string back creating another arrow as her magic seal appeared in front of the bow. Erza couldn't help but feel confident at Lieri's move, knowing that the kind of arrow she used explodes in contact and she'll be able to dodge in time. Both combatants released their attacks and as Erza's weapon is about to reach Lieri's, the arrow she fired created a sphere of energy that exploded outwards, knocking Erza twenty meters back. Erza slammed her hand on the ground as she grinds to a stop. Her purgatory armor lie in ruins, pieces of it falling off her body.
"Please do not think that just because I use a bow as my main weapon that I'm defenseless at close range." Lieri announced, summoning another quiver beside her and loading it to her bow aimed at Erza. "I suggest you use that armor of yours, princess, it might give you a fighting chance."
"Not yet, I'll only use it as a last resort." Erza replied standing at her full height and Requiping her Heaven's wheel armor, pointing her sword at Lieri as numerous weapons materialized behind her. "Let's see you defend against all of my swords!" she challenged.
Lieri watched 500 bladed weapons appeared behind Erza, unfazed by Erza's show of power. "You're not the only one who can summon weapons at her bidding, princess, but I'm afraid that amount isn't enough." She replied with a shake of her head before leveling her gaze at Erza and with a wave of her hand, she summoned her own set.
To say that Erza was stunned was an understatement as she saw the wall of bows behind Lieri, all of them drawn back and aimed at her direction. It wasn't the choice of weapon that stunned her, but the number of them all, a thousand if not more as it created a wall behind the azure haired woman. Rather than be threatened, she steeled her nerves and sent all of her weapons forward just as Lieri did the same and right before Erza's eyes, her swords shattered against her attack.
"I forgot to tell you, princess that all of my physical arrows have powerful piercing capabilities and I've armed all of my bows with them." Lieri stated as she draws her bow back, creating another energy based arrow.
Erza's eyes widened as the arrows neared her and knew that she has only one option as none of her armors could withstand Lieri's arrows. Just as the first few reached her, a pillar of flames surrounded Titania as the rest of the arrows hit, creating a dust cloud around Titania. Lieri fired her arrow towards Erza and expected a rather large explosion, enough to knock Titania out, but instead nothing happened and a large blade extended skyward.
"Impressive." Lieri commented as she dodges the massive blade by jumping to the side. The sword vanished into flames as she noticed two projectiles flying towards her from opposite directions. She shot the one coming from her left and sent it crashing to the ground as she jumped on top of the other and catapulted off it, firing arrows at Erza's location.
Erza fearlessly charged towards the woman, successfully blocking her armor piercing arrows with her Aegis blade and closed the gap between them. She catapulted after the woman in midair, swinging her weapon in an upward diagonal arc connecting against Lieri's protected bow arm, knocking her back in the air. Erza quickly spun in the opposite direction as her weapon turned to a spear, striking Lieri and sending her rocketing back to the ground.
"Lustrous Fang." Erza roared as she finished her arc, sending her spear soaring towards Lieri.
Lieri flipped in midair and aimed her bow at the approaching spear and shooting an arrow at it. It delayed the weapon long enough for her to avoid it by jumping backwards. She saw the same projectiles approaching her once again as she shot the first one and kicked the second. The distraction gave Erza enough time as she landed on the ground, dashing towards and pulling her weapon out of the ground with a flourish and with a mental command it split into two.
Lieri dodged the massive halberd by mere inches and immediately fired another arrow that exploded into a sphere that knocked Erza back. Erza managed to block just in time with her blade. She lowered her weapon and saw the halberd flying towards her and the moment she caught it an arrow exploded a few feet in front of her as a couple more did. Dirt and debris peppered Erza and the moment she uncovered her eyes, she realized she's covered by a dust cloud that obscured Lieri from her sight.
Erza aimed her blade forward and fired fireballs at Lieri's assumed direction clearing the dust cloud and missing her target. Lieri saw Titania come out from hiding and came charging at her deflecting each arrow she shot, combining her weapon midway.
"Fang Dive!" Erza roared, jumping forward while swinging her weapon in an upward arc sending a pillar of fire at Lieri's direction as Erza brandished her weapon downward. The pillar of fire and Erza struck at the same time, creating a devastating explosion in her wake. After the flames and smoke cleared Titania stood over the unconscious woman, Lieri's armor in ruins.
"Now to find Wendy and the others..." Erza stated as her armor vanished into flames.
The moment Erza dropped her guard, Lieri's body vanished as Erza quickly turned around just as the arrow struck her, creating a massive explosion. Titania's body rolled along the ground as she landed a few feet away. Her Dragonslayer's armor in ruins before it completely vanished from her body. Lieri then saw a massive pillar of light that shot through the sky.
"I guess the charade's up. Natsu's going to notice that." Lieri commented.
"Help me!" Happy cried as he is bounced around inside his cage strapped behind Maria's mechanized creation.
"Don't worry little cat, I won't let them hurt you." Maria assured, standing on her creation's shoulder grinning maniacally.
"Ice Make: Cannon!" Gray fired his ice projectile at the giant replica of Maria chasing after Lucy like mouse after Maria personally beaten Loke to the ground. The projectile exploded on the robot's shoulder unfazed. "What the hell is that thing made of?" he grumbled as he chased after the woman.
"Juvia has never seen something like it either." Juvia agreed as she too attacks the robot. Her razor sharp water spells couldn't even scratch its armor.
Maria's creation took the group by surprise even more when they were all suddenly transported in the middle of nowhere. It was there that Maria caught Happy and placed him in a cage and declared that they're all her captive until she says so. At first, they thought that it was a joke until Maria shot Juvia who had the instinct to turn herself into water as the attack passed through her. The group felt the explosion the attack created that destroyed a small hill and realized the severity of the situation. They all attacked simultaneously to quickly defeat the woman and demand what was going on. Gray used his Ice Make: Freeze Arrow while Juvia used her Water Cane attack and Lucy summoned Taurus.
Meanwhile, Maria simply grinned as the attacks raced towards her, and before it could make contact an object fell from the sky scattering dust around it. Their attacks collided against the new comer and much to their shock, it did nothing to damage the object, even Taurus' attack did nothing and got him crushed under a massive hand. All of them watched in awe as the giant figure stood at its full height, towering over them.
All of them gazed at the three-story high robot that resembled its creator. It wore a white and blue pointed helm that resembled a tennis cap with fins on either side of its face that supported the red visor that covered its eyes. A black metal collar protected the side and back of its neck with a blue rectangular plate in the front. Two square plates with holes in the front -which supports the two containers on its back- where its shoulder guards with multiple layers, are connected. Its arms are painted in blue with black pipes connecting its upper arms to its forearm and hands resembling someone wearing blue fingerless gloves. The front of its body is painted white with its side painted black; the bust is painted black a third of the way with a red Lacrima orb beneath it.
A shield shape ornament is located at the center that supports two strip of blue colored leather with its tip painted white connected to two metal rods that framed its waist holding black a pleated skirt and four white metal accessories that went around its side. Its legs are painted black while its feet are painted blue.
"What the heck is that thing?" Lucy gasped in awe and fear.
"That's rude, Blondie." Maria pouted appearing on her robot's shoulder. "This thing is the fruits of my labor, the perfect combination of magic and engineering, the first ever WarGod, Caliburn. It's powered by my experimental Lacrima core that has the ability to absorb Eternano like a human mage and its armor is made from the alloys used for magical armors." She explained proudly before she looked down on the group of mages menacingly, her glasses gaining a deathly glint in them. "And you three will be my test subjects."
"Not if we have anything to say about it!" Gray countered while stripping his coat. "Ice Make: Lance!" countless lances soared towards Maria who did nothing and waited for the attack.
Before the attack could even reach Maria, Caliburn raised its arm to defend with surprising speed. This gave Juvia the opportunity to attack from behind as the massive arm blocked her from sight, turning her body into water and surging behind the massive object.
"Water Lock!" Juvia said, extending her right arm towards Maria's direction who simply glanced at her knowingly. Her attack connected, imprisoning Maria's head in a sphere made of water. "Please let go of Happy and Juvia will release the spell…" the moment she finished talking, she found herself surrounded by rifles before getting electrocuted as it fired lightning.
The water surrounding Maria's head disappeared as Juvia lost consciousness. "That was easy." Maria commented before looking back at the rest of the group. "Let's see if the two of you would last longer that your friend there." she stated maniacally as her WarGod vaulted towards Lucy and Gray.
Its fist slammed against the ground that shattered against its might. Gray managed to jump away while Lucy barely escaped as she tumbled into the ground. Gray immediately used his Ice Make: Cannon, deducing that she's not suited for physical combat. Maria once again surprised him as she destroyed the attack before it could even hit her using hand before Gray is sent flying, backhanded by Caliburn. She then turned her attention to Lucy who by now managed to summon Virgo who's poised in front of her Master.
"Is it time for my punishment, Princess?" the Pink haired Celestial spirit asked, bowing at her master.
"Now is not the time for that!" Lucy cried as Caliburn turned at her direction. "I need your help to defeat that." She asked pointing at the approaching mech.
Virgo saw her opponent and knew that victory was slim, but as a spirit and a friend, she will do her utmost. "I'll do my best, princess." The spirit assured, lifting Lucy as she avoided its feet and landing a few feet away. "Be careful, Princess." Virgo reminded as she burrowed into the ground.
"That's interesting." Maria commented as her Caliburn began chasing Lucy. "How many of the zodiacs do you posses?" she asked, stopping a few feet from Lucy.
"Nine, why are asking me that?" Lucy asked as she took out her whip, knowing that it wouldn't do anything to the towering object in front of her.
"Wow, you almost have the complete set." Maria praised. "This is how it's going to be, since I could easily tell that you have no combat experience, I'm giving you the option to give up." The azure-haired woman offered.
"Thanks, but no thanks." Lucy replied confidently. "I'd rather lose trying than just give up and watch my friends fight." Her statement caused Maria to grin as Caliburn reared its fist back.
"Princess, it's done." Virgo stated popping out of the ground delivering a powerful kick to Caliburn who blocked with its arm. Virgo landed beside Lucy and carried her once more as the ground around Maria's Caliburn buckled before it collapsed, taking Maria by surprise.
"Thanks Virgo, you're a life saver!" Lucy thanked her spirit as they watch Caliburn fall into the ditch that Virgo made, and with a mental command, Virgo sent large chunks of rocks to crush Caliburn. She landed, skidding backwards as she gently placed Lucy on the ground.
"That was amazing, Virgo!" Lucy praised her spirit.
"Thanks, princess, but I don't think I'll be of any help to you anymore." Virgo replied as she saw Caliburn stand once more.
"Don't worry, that's enough!" Gray's stated, appearing beside Lucy. "Now, Juvia!"
"Yes, Gray-sama!" Juvia nodded, crossing her arms quickly and creating two huge waves on either side of the ditch. "Double Wave!"
Maria's Caliburn simply stretched its arms outward to block the attack that resulted in an explosion of water soaking Maria and the unconscious –from being shaken badly- Happy.
Juvia attacked her once more using her 'Water Nebula', forming two pillars of rotating water and sending it crashing to Maria.
"I'm wet!" Maria whined, her messy hair covering her eyes as she looked at her soaked clothes.
"Not for long!" Gray shouted, "Ice Make: Freeze!" He slammed his hands on the ground freezing a path towards the ditch Virgo created that Juvia filled with water. The moment Gray's ice hit the water. It instantaneously froze everything and for added measure, he used his 'Ice Make: Gungnir', encasing Maria and Caliburn in ice.
"Well that was easy." Gray commented, panting a little.
"That was amazing, Gray-sama!" Juvia said bashfully standing beside Gray.
"Did we win?" Lucy asked as she approached the two. "It seemed kind of easy if you asked me."
"It is." Maria's voice surrounded them and before they could all even act, they were surrounded by countless rifles aimed at their direction.
A massive explosion rocked the area as every single rifle fired at the group and as the smoke cleared, all three of them lay motionless on the ground. All of them injured from the attack but nothing fatal as Maria made sure that it was just enough to knock all of them unconscious as she saw the Ice mage erect a barrier made of ice to dampen the impact. She easily broke the ice that imprisoned her just as easily as Caliburn did, jumping off its frozen confines and landing near the group with a slight tremor.
Jumping off Caliburn's shoulder and landing in the middle of the group. Maria scanned the damage she made. "This was a waste of time and effort, Damn Alicia for stealing Natsu; he's the best test bed for Caliburn." Maria commented, summoning a rope and began to hogtie Lucy, Juvia and Gray. During this time she saw the massive pillar of light from afar.
Natsu on the other hand was content as he walked around the town with Alicia. The blonde woman brought him around his favorite places –restaurants where he could pig out- while making idle chatter. He was at ease being with the blonde that he forgot about his friends thinking that their fine. They now stayed at a coffee shop of Alicia's choosing waiting for her to finish her food.
"So, when are we going to have our rematch?" Natsu asked, looking at the blonde expectantly. During his stay at Krieg to train, he was either hooked up to some strange contraption Maria made or sparring with Alicia that would beat him mercilessly to the ground.
Alicia looked up to the Dragonslayer and spoke. "Rematch? You sure love getting beat up don't you?" she asked in amusement.
"Ha, I won't be able to beat you if I stop trying." Natsu replied confidently. "I may fail countless of times, but I'll defeat you someday, you, Lieri, that psycho Maria, the old man and Elione." He exclaimed proudly, even as the people around them stared at him for his outlandish claims.
"It's good to dream from time to time, Natsu, but please, let me finish this chapter and we'll leave." Alicia replied in a bored tone that annoyed the Dragonslayer. Though she smiled at how positive the Dragonslayer is and she has no inclination that he can't beat her in the future.
This naturally annoyed the Dragonslayer having never liked being ignored. "You're just being a sore loser because I beat you at drinking." Natsu fired back and saw the woman close the book she's reading.
Rather than be annoyed since her pride took a heavy blow from being out-drunk by the Dragonslayer, she used a different tactic. "That may be true, but don't you think it's more interesting to see the Princess' reaction when I tell her about you sexually molesting me?" she asked nonchalantly as if asking about the weather.
Natsu's reaction was a mixture of fear and embarrassment. "You were the one that crawled into my bed!" he cried in righteous indignation.
It was after their drinking contest that the faithful event happened. After drinking with her to the point that she lost consciousness, Natsu left her on the table as he walked back into his room. It was the next morning that he would get the greatest surprise of his young life. He slept in the most comfortable and nice smelling bed in his life, the pillows was the right mixture of soft and firmness. He buried his head deeper in his imagined pillow –a little annoyed that he always sunk in the middle- and used his hands to push them closer and try to move its content to its center.
He groped and squeezed to no avail as he did his best to get the pillow to agree with him, but it was the feeling of arms wrapping around his body and the distinct feminine moan that made him think something was wrong. He slowly opened his eyes and looked up to find the sleeping face of Alicia less than a foot from his –flushed and bothered- and everything went downhill from there as he was unable to escape her grip as the woman was somehow hell-bent on making sure Natsu remembers how nice and soft a woman's body could be and by the time she woke up. Alicia was treated with the sight of very flustered Natsu and enough material to tease the Dragonslayer to the dark ages.
"That maybe, but it was you who willfully abused and touched my breasts." Alicia replied with a feral grin -her amusement visible in her eyes- cupping her breasts and letting them drop.
Men fell like cockroaches at the sight of her heavenly mounds while Natsu who had experience with women near her caliber of beauty managed to blush and close his eyes. Propriety was something he learned while staying at Krieg, since he would've betrayed Erza and Mirajane if he didn't. He was a guy that just learned the pleasures of being intimate with women and realized the debilitating effects of a woman's body.
"Stop that!" Natsu screamed in embarrassment. Meanwhile Alicia let out a sexy laugh as he cursed in his head and had the unexpected effect on his little soldier, wondering why these women are out to get him.
"Natsu~!" Wendy's voice wafted into the area, the young Sky Dragonslayer running towards the two, behind her was a woman wearing a maid's outfit balancing countless bags.
Natsu turned his head and grinned at the approaching girl who now wore simple brown shoes with thigh-high socks. Red pleated skirt, gray blazer with a red collar over a white collared shirt with a ribbon tied on it. She was the epitome of cuteness and to complete it was her latent clumsiness, tripping over air.
Natsu acted quickly and caught her before she hit the pavement. "You ok, Wendy?" Natsu asked with a grin as he helps her stand up. "It's a good thing I caught you, huh?"
"Thanks, Natsu." Wendy replied blushing, as she was guided to the free seat on their table. The maid carrying her stuff disappeared before she could properly thank her.
"Where are Erza and Lieri?" Natsu asked the young Dragonslayer.
Wendy blushed remembering where said women went and Charle answered for her. "Erza and Lieri went to a lingerie shop and Wendy's too young for such things." The white cat stated matter-of-factly.
"I guess Lieri really has a weakspot for you, little girl." Alicia commented, realizing that she intentionally left the girl behind. "Natsu, I suggest you go after the Emperor and Lady Mira before things get out of hand." She snapped her fingers as they saw the view around the town flicker and vanish, just in time to see the beam of golden light shoot to the sky and vanish seconds later.
Natsu then realized that Elione once again pulled another fast one on him. "Damn it, I should've known this was going to happen the moment she asked us to come." He cursed, "Stay here, Wendy, I'll go and check on Mira." Natsu ordered as he ran towards the two women.
"What's happening, Miss Alicia, was everything a lie?" Wendy asked in confusion as the blonde woman returned to reading her book with Charle ready to fly Wendy out just in case something bad happens.
"No, it's just how the Emperor is." Alicia answered, flipping through the page. "She wants to test Lady Mira's resolve to continue on with their current relationship and her combat abilities. It's difficult for people to lie when you're pushed to your mental and physical limits, especially when your life is on the line." She stated with a feral grin that scared the young Dragonslayer as she continued to read her book.
It was then that a shadow passed over and something massive landed before them that scared the citizens. It was Caliburn, carrying the hogtied Lucy, Juvia and Gray with Maria and Lieri on its shoulders. The blue haired woman jumped down from her perch with an unconscious Erza in her arms.
"Stop teasing Wendy, Alicia." Lieri chided as she walked towards the three. "A gentle soul like hers isn't suited for combat, but I know that she would gladly give her all for her friends." She added with a smile directed at Wendy.
The young mage once again blushed at the compliment. "What happened to Erza? Is she hurt?" she asked as Lieri gently placed Erza on the bench.
"A little…" Lieri admitted, "I had to get rough to knock her out."
Wendy nodded and started healing Erza's wounds. "Is the others alright?" she asked, looking up at the others.
"They are, the princess suffered much worse than those three." Maria answered, "The Ice mage created a wall of ice to soften the impact and the reason they're still out is because I used a powerful sleep magic on them, the blonde won't stop yapping the moment she woke up." She complained while wiping the dirt on Caliburn's leg.
Wendy nodded as she finished healing Erza. The moment she did, golden orbs started rising from the ground as golden light seemed to seep from the ground. Everybody felt its warmth as they saw a pillar of light erupt from where Mirajane and Elione were fighting. They saw the light descend and surged forward, cutting through everything in its path until it created a massive explosion North West of the town.
"Such power…" Erza whispered -finally returning into consciousness- after seeing the pillar of light that extended skywards.
"It's not even the full extent of her powers." Alicia remarked, earning Erza, Wendy and Charles attention. "The attack that ended the war destroyed a whole kingdom and turned a mountainous region into a barren wasteland. Your mother's power defies reason, but that doesn't mean that she's invincible."
"Let's meet up with the others, shall we." Lieri offered, breaking the silence between the three as she climbed up the offered hand of Caliburn followed by Wendy and Erza. Alicia and Maria jumped on its shoulders as they left to meet with Natsu and the others.
Mirajane heard the sound of Elione's sword pierce someone's flesh at the same time she felt a shadow cast over her. She opened her eyes and saw Natsu standing before her while holding the sword in his hand, the blade cutting into his palm.
"Natsu…?" Mirajane gasped as tears stung her eyes.
"Sorry I'm late, Mira." Natsu apologized with a grin, "Why do you like pulling stunts like this?" He asked in exasperation as he helped Mirajane up. He ripped his waist coat and tied it around Mirajane's waist.
Elione simply smiled and Requipped back to her red dress. "I asked her to choose between you and Erza." She replied simply as Natsu's eyes narrowed even further, "Sadly, she's as stubborn as my daughter and chose neither. I fought her to see if she would break when death is the outcome of her decision, and as you can see." She gestured at Mirajane's injuries, "Her belief in you and my daughter won in the end." she added tiredly.
Natsu sighed in annoyance, both mother and daughter love to use force to get the answers they want. "You know, she did the same thing to Gray back at Galuna Island when I found that S-class request in Happy's paw." He said while emphasizing on the word 'found'.
"Really? If I remember correctly, you told Happy to borrow one?" Mirajane interjected, poking Natsu's cheeks playfully uncaring of her earlier injuries.
"I think the blood loss has gotten to you, Mira, your mixing up your facts." Natsu replied laughing unevenly trying to make it realistic.
Elione smiled as Natsu and Mirajane exchanged playful banter to one another as she waited for her generals. She didn't have to wait long as she saw the familiar form of Maria's newest creation heading towards them. It landed with a crash, scattering dust and debris before a gust of wind blew and fully revealed Caliburn, holding a rope tied around Gray, Lucy and Juvia. Maria stood on its left shoulder carrying Happy's cage –having never woken up from the relentless shaking he suffered- with Alicia on its right and Erza, Wendy, Charle and Lieri stood on its open palm. Natsu and Mirajane saw the injuries on their friends and knew they went through the ringer from fighting Lieri and Maria.
"Natsu, are you ok?!" Erza asked in worry.
"I'm fine, Erza, really." Natsu assured Titania and focused his attention on Mirajane. "It's Mirajane that's hurt, your mother 'did' almost kill her." he added while glaring Elione.
"Hey, my aim isn't that bad!" was Elione's indignant reply.
"I'll talk to her later about putting my friend's lives in danger." Erza said while sending a glare to her mother who ignored her as she walked towards her generals.
"Let me heal you, Ms. Mira." Wendy offered as she approached the three.
"Thanks, Wendy." Mirajane thanked the Sky Dragonslayer and allowed her to heal her using the opportunity to talk to each other and discuss what happened.
"So, how was my daughter, Lieri?" Elione asked.
"The princess is quite strong, but there is still a lot to improve in terms of skill and power just as you deduced, your Highness." Lieri reported as Elione nodded, confirming her earlier suspicion when she first fought her daughter.
"And her friends?" Elione asked looking at Maria.
"The Ice and Water mage are both skilled and powerful, enough to be in Alicia's elite's. The Celestial mage has potential, but lacks combat experience. Remove her keys and she's good as dead unless her spirits can pass on their own will whenever she's in danger." Maria reported, a yawn escaping her lips. "Though I'm not sure about the last part, if you want I can place the blond in danger and we'll see if her spirits would come to rescue her." she offered, already thinking of using a number of her inventions on the blonde.
"I can't allow that, besides the fact that she's not physically as tough as Natsu." Elione replied as Maria pouted.
It was at that time that Maria's magic bomber arrives with Tanaka on the deck, "Your Highness, it's time to leave." The aide stated.
"Erza, it's time to leave. We're wasting daylight and our little tour isn't done yet." Elione shouted as she began her trek up the magic bomber.
After Natsu and the group had their rest, Elione decided that they all go to the beach on her insistence. Mirajane now stood next to the railing looking at the endless sea of clouds while deep in thought. She glanced at Natsu being glomped by Erza's mother as she begged for his forgiveness while offering herself and her generals as a means to gain his favor. She was annoyed but kept it to herself knowing that Erza's mother is merely teasing Natsu.
"Is something bothering you, Mira?" Erza asked joining the demon as she too looked into the clouds.
Mirajane smiled before she spoke. "It's just that…" she paused glancing at Natsu as he tries to push Erza's mother away before she gripped the railing tightly. "It's the first time I truly felt insignificant against an opponent. Your mother, Erza, the amount of magical power she has is unfathomable. You felt it didn't you?" she asked as Erza nodded.
They all felt it and made them doubt about their own powers, more so on Erza herself. Erza Scarlet Von Krieg, the daughter of the monster that is Elione Gottin Von Krieg, ruler of an Empire that could easily conquer the rest of the continent on its own. She glanced at her mother who by now is crying crocodile tears while Natsu tries to console her.
"She is, and I felt the same way when I fought her." She replied smiling back at Mirajane, "To tell you the truth, Mira, part of the reason why I don't want the throne is because I'm afraid that I won't be as good as her." she admitted.
"Don't be so hard on yourself, Erza." Mirajane said while placing a comforting hand on Erza's shoulder, "I know that you'll do well when the time comes that you decided to take it." She assured offering her a genuine smile.
Erza returned her smile with one of her own. "Thanks. Though I don't think I would want to leave my family at Fairy Tail." She admitted.
"Don't knock it till you try it, Erza. Being a ruler of large empire has its perks." Mirajane quipped before sending a wry smile at Erza's direction. "And when you're gone… I could have Natsu to myself." She added mischievously.
"Watch it, Mira!" Erza growled as the demon merely snickered at her reaction. "Besides who told you that I would leave Natsu behind?" she countered while delivering a wry smile of her own.
Both women glared at each other for a moment before they burst out laughing. After their laughter subsided, their eyes locked unto one another showing the competitive glint in them. They once again looked out into the endless sea of clouds until a strong gust of wind passed, parting the clouds and revealing the ground below and another wave of fear and respect for Erza's mother washed over them. A massive crater twice the size of Magnolia replaced what used to be a mountainous terrain connected to a long narrowing crevice that lead to where Mirajane and Elione fought.
"We'll have to remake the map once more." both women looked behind them to see Tanaka release a sigh. "I'm sorry for her highness' lack of restraint, Lady Mira." he apologized, bowing deeply before the demon. "She loses her ability to think straight and acts on impulse when it comes to Lady Erza."
Mirajane simply waved her hand, dismissing his apology and spoke. "It's ok. I know that Erza usually acts before she thinks." She replied, smirking at the red head.
"Are you asking for a fight, Mira?!" Erza hissed, glaring at the demon.
Mirajane's eyes narrowed into slits even as her smile turned sweeter. "Oh? No rest for the weary, huh?" She took a step forward while meeting Erza's gaze. "It would be my pleasure to hand the princess her ass." She stated with a smile that resembled a smirk due to her hair untied, reminding Erza of the younger Mirajane.
Tanaka watched as both women stared each other down. Purple and red aura clashed as they continued to gauge their opponent while he couldn't help but be amused at their newly reestablished rivalry.
"Lady Erza, Lady Mira." Tanaka spoke, gaining their attention and to his credit, he didn't even flinch from their terrifying glare. "Would you like for me to ask Maria to set up a Rune barrier on the deck so you won't have to worry of damaging anything." He offered causing both women to pause and notice Natsu walking towards them, realizing that he saw them fighting.
They glared at each other one more time before they both turned their gaze at Natsu and saw the disappointed look on his face.
"Don't tell me you're going to fight each other?" Natsu asked, crossing his arms, both women looking at anywhere but him. Natsu ran his hand through his hair and ruffled it in annoyance. "It's the tenth time since we started this arrangement. Can't the two of you just look the other way and let it go?" he asked.
Both women glance at one another and immediately looked the other way. Natsu sighed once more and before he could continue, Elione cut in.
"Let them fight, Natsu. It'll do them some good." Elione said simply while Natsu, Mirajane and Erza gaped at her. "Sometimes people understand each other better with their fist and swords than simple words alone." She pointed out while looking expectantly at Natsu, "Am I wrong, Natsu?" she asked with a raised eyebrow, waiting for his reply.
Natsu saw the expectant gaze from the three women, more so on Erza and Mirajane. "Fine!" he groused, looking at both women with worry and apprehension. "Just… don't hurt yourselves, ok." He conceded, both women sent feral smirks at one another before they went up to Natsu and pecked him on the lips. They both headed back to their rooms to rest and prepare for their fight later.
Natsu's shoulders sag as he watched the women leave, hoping that he did the right thing. He knew what Erza's mother said was true. Heck, he does it all the time. But with Erza and Mirajane involve, he's not sure if fighting each other would be the best course of action. He looked behind her and stopped Elione before she could plant a kiss of her own.
"Are you sure about this?" Natsu asked the pouting woman, "I think a fight is the last thing we need."
Elione pulled out a fan from her cleavage and opened it, liking the way Natsu blushed as he looked away. 'I totally got it.' she thought in amusement. "It's fine, Natsu. A little friendly competition is healthy in any kind of relationship. It'll help them release their frustration with one another and would allow them to improve their skills while they're at It." she assured while Natsu remained skeptical. "Trust me, Natsu. It'll be alright. It's better this way… because sometimes words could hurt you more than you could imagine." She added as her eyes held a look of sadness in them.
Silence enveloped the group for a moment knowing that she's right through experience alone. Moments later, Elione perked up once more and looked at Natsu. "Besides, you might enjoy their little competition better than you think." She quipped, gaining Natsu's curiosity.
"What do you mean?" Natsu asked, genuinely confused.
"Think about it. My daughter and Mirajane trying to outdo each other trying to please you, imagine the endless pleasures you'd receive from both of them." Elione stated, smirking as she saw him think about it before gaining a full blown blush. "If you want… I could join in on the fun and give you the most pleasurable experience of your life." she offered.
"No thanks. I'm already taken." Natsu declined smoothly before he left to go look for the two and his friends.
"Are you alright, your highness?" Tanaka asked looking at his emperor.
"I am." Elione replied with a smile, "You know… when I heard the news that my husband died and our daughter's disappearance, I felt that somebody just stabbed me in the heart. The pain of losing them was so unbearable that I almost want to give up the war." He knew of the incident and all of them grieve for their ruler who locked herself in her room for a whole day.
Tanaka nodded in understanding. "We all felt the same way, your highness. He was like a son to me as much as I treated you as my daughter." He replied consolingly.
"My daughter grew up in a place where they communicate with each other through their fists while fighting for one another. They understand each other better with each strike they receive and deliver. She knew what pain and sadness is and it helped her grow into the wonderful person she is today. I'm certain that they both understand each other because they both know what sadness feels like, and with that understanding. They would do their best to make their relationship work." Elione stated with a smile, glancing towards her own father figure. "They are family after all…"
Meanwhile inside the Magic bomber's infirmary, Gray, Lucy, Juvia, Wendy, Happy and Charle are resting. Wendy used her powers to heal the injury on her friends from their earlier encounter.
"Thanks Wendy. We wouldn't know what to do without you." Gray said, ruffling the young Dragonslayer's hair.
Wendy looked to the side and blushed at the complement. "That's not true. I wasn't any help at all, Miss Lieri tricked me out of the fight." she admitted, ashamed at her weakness.
"That's not true, Wendy. They're just stronger than we expected." Lucy said trying to cheer up the bluenette.
"As much as Juvia is loathed to agree with her love rival, Lucy is right. They're power is equal to that of an S-class mage or Wizard Saint." Juvia agreed as a wave of despair washed over the group.
"It's a good thing they weren't serious about killing us earlier. I don't think we would've survived if they were." Lucy spoke, her depression clear in her voice.
Gray looked at his friends and couldn't help but agree with Lucy. The battles he'd fought in the last months showed him that he has a lot of catching up to do with Natsu. The Dragonslayer showed everyone his strength time and time again ever since the creation of their team. Their battles against Eisenwald, Deliora, Phantom Lord, The Raijin Tribe, Jellal and finally Oracion Seis further proved his power to everyone. He wouldn't admit it to anyone, but he respected Natsu's strength and uses that respect as his drive to become stronger.
"Hey, don't be glum you two." Gray spoke, catching the attention of both women. "It just means we need to train more to become stronger so we wouldn't lose next time we face tougher opponents." He said with a grin that made Juvia swoon.
"You're so cool, Gray-sama!" Juvia screamed in adoration.
"Since when did you become this cool, Gray?" Lucy teased the ice mage, poking his chest with her finger.
"I'm always cool, I'm an ice mage, remember." Gray replied smoothly making Lucy raise an eyebrow and Juvia swoon some more.
"Stay away from Gray-sama, Lucy!" Juvia cried, grabbing Lucy by the collar of her shirt and shook her violently.
"My, my, aren't you popular." Maria's voice wafted into the room sending everyone on guard. "I'm not here to start a fight, just checking if everyone's feeling better. You can't enjoy the beach if you're hurting all over." She said with a shrug.
"Sorry about that." Gray apologized looking at the always grinning bluenette. "We can't help but be on guard since you attacked us earlier." He pointed out.
"Orders…" Maria replied simply not even bothering to apologize to the group. "I must say though, the three of you put up quite a fight." She stated looking over the three mages. "Not enough to defeat me though!" she added before laughing in their faces, annoying the group.
"She's annoying." Lucy whispered to Juvia who nodded.
"Juvia thinks so, too." The rain woman agreed.
"Do you need anything else?" Gray asked, finding the woman a little annoying for his taste. He now knew what Natsu would look like if he became a woman.
"Nothing really, like I said, just checking. I wouldn't want to get the emperor angry and have my budget cut in half." Maria said with a shrug, her eyes landing on Wendy. "You're a Dragonslayer, too, right?" She asked, bending from her waist to get eye level with the girl.
"Uh, I am. I'm a Sky Dragonslayer…" Wendy mumbled, shrinking under the scrutinizing glare of the older woman. "Is there… something wrong? Am I in trouble?" she asked with worry.
"Of course not!" Maria exclaimed, patting the girl in the head while laughing, "Lieri would kill me if I used you as a test bed for my toys. She seemed to have taken a liking to you. I just want to know if a real Dragon trained you that's all, you're the second one I've seen." She stated.
"I am." Wendy nodded. "Grandine was the one that thought me Dragonslayer magic."
"I see, you're not one of those artificial ones I've heard about." Maria said, more to herself than Wendy.
"Artificial?" Gray repeated, looking questioningly at the bluenette. "Are you saying that there are other ways to become a Dragonslayer?"
"There is." Everybody looked at the new person that joined in on their conversation. Natsu walked into the room and greeted his friends with the occasional jibe at the Ice mage. "Laxus is one; he told me that his father embedded him with a Lacrima that gave him the abilities of a Dragonslayer and I think the one Mirajane fought at Nirvana was one, too."
"He is?!" Lucy gasped in disbelief. "Does that mean he could do everything you could do, Natsu?" she asked the Dragonslayer.
"He can." Maria interjected. "Artificial Dragonslayers gain all the abilities of a real Dragonslayer without the aid of a Dragon. The only difference is their ability to access Dragon force." She lectured as everyone listened.
Juvia raised her hand and spoke. "Juvia wants to know what Dragon force is."
"Third person-person, huh?" Maria remarked, summoning a white board into the room and drew on it. "Dragon Force is a state where a Dragonslayer's body turns into that of a Dragon's. Increasing all of their combat abilities exponentially, in this state, a Dragonslayer's magical powers increase tremendously to the point where they could kill a Dragon. Natsu managed to access Dragon force once by eating Etherion…"
"So the idiot managed to access Dragon force. So, where's the difference?" Gray cut in, returning the glare Natsu directed at him.
"The difference is…" Maria continued sternly, not liking the interruption. She pointed at the figure at the left. "A natural Dragonslayer requires the consumption of large amounts of their respective element to enter Dragon force." She then pointed on the figure on the right. "An artificial Dragonslayer can invoke Dragon force at will depending on their mastery. You might think that the artificial Dragonslayers has a definite advantage against a natural one, but that's where you're wrong. It's true that they could easily access Dragon force and amplify their strength instantly, but it's also their weakness."
"You see, accessing Dragon force on your own will only increase your magical powers depending on your remaining magical reserves. Meanwhile a natural Dragonslayer uses the large amount of magic they consumed to increase their magical powers. The larger the amount they consume, the bigger boost they get. Though, whether a natural Dragonslayer can invoke Dragon force just like an artificial one is still up to debate." She finished.
"That means I'm stronger than you, perv!" Natsu exclaimed, pointing at Gray.
"You wish Flame brain!" Gray snapped, butting heads with Natsu.
"You wanna fight?" Natsu demanded, fist ablaze and ready to pounce on Gray.
"If you two want to fight, do it on the deck." Maria interjected, lifting Natsu by his scarf and Gray on his necklace –choking both men. "I'll erect a rune barrier so you won't destroy anything." She stated dragging them up the deck.
"I feel sorry for the two." Lucy commented.
"Aye, Natsu is always being man handled by a woman one way or the other." Happy quipped.
"Do your best, Gray-sama!" Juvia cheered as she followed upstairs.
"Let's go after them and make sure they don't hurt themselves too much." Charle said as Wendy nodded and the rest of them followed after three.
They arrived at Arthuria -Elione's homeland and Krieg's capital- in the afternoon. The city itself is picturesque, situated above a plateau shaped liked a shield with three different levels separated by walls with the ocean behind it. The first level is where the farmlands are located; the second level is where the residential area are, and finally the third level where the castle is located, occupying the whole top of the plateau. The magic bomber landed at the port east of the castle, the group didn't have the time to admire the massive structure that towered over the city as they're dragged to the cars waiting for them.
A few minutes later, they finally arrived at their destination. A long beach as far as the eye can see. They got off the vehicles as they decided to walk the rest of the way. Along the way, people casually greeted Elione and her generals who returned it in kind; once again Erza is reminded of how beloved her mother is by her people. She watched as her mother interacts with everyone like a commoner herself ignoring social status and decorum. Moments later, they finally stopped after finding a spot large enough to accommodate them all.
"Come on, let's have fun!" Natsu cried, running towards the beach followed by Happy, stripping his clothes along the way.
"And I thought I was rich…" Lucy mumbled to the side. She knew that she already left her past life behind her, but after growing up with the knowledge she owned everything her eyes could see, did left a mark on the Celestial mage.
"Idiot…" Gray grumbled as he followed after the Dragonslayer already in his swimming trunks.
"You're so cool, Gray-sama." Juvia said dreamily then followed after the Ice mage.
"Wait for us, Natsu." Lucy called out to the Dragonslayer who's already enjoying the waters with Happy. "Let's go Wendy, Charle."
Erza watched as the rest of her friends played before she looked at her mother. "Is this where you found Natsu washed up?" Erza asked her mother who nodded as they set the Beach umbrellas with Elione as the exception.
"I found him over there." Elione pointed at a point at the beach. "I was having a nice walk when I saw his body washed into the beach. After that, I immediately called Maria and told her to meet me at the capitol and the rest is history." She finished with a shrug.
"Was it that bad?" Mirajane asked, joining in on the conversation about Natsu.
"Yeah, he was dying when I found him. That's why I had to rush him back at the capitol to meet with Maria." Elione answered as both women adopted a serious expression. She easily noticed the flash of guilt behind her daughter's eyes and felt bad for her only daughter.
"Natsu absorbed too much magic that it threatened to rip his body apart. I had to hook him up to a machine that drains vast amounts of Eternano to save him." Maria added with her usual self confident grin. "So, aren't we going to enjoy our time in the beach?" she asked, looking at the rest of the group.
Everybody looked at each other for a moment before Elione spoke. "Let's go enjoy ourselves, then." She said with a smile.
Erza exchanges looks with Mirajane and the competition began. With a mental command, Erza is bathed in bright golden light and appeared moments later wearing a skimpy black two piece bikini. The top is composed of two triangle strips that barely covered her breasts, showing a healthy amount of cleavage. Her bikini bottom consisted of a black thong that showed off her shapely backside. She smirked at the demon who smiled back.
Mirajane just like Erza used her transformation magic to change her clothes. Mirajane now wore a white one piece, slingshot bikini. Like Erza, it barely covered her breasts, a string just below her breasts helps the piece of cloth to stay in place; the low cut of her bikini came dangerously close to her sex. A thin piece of cloth covered her butt, giving the appearance of a thong as it showed her shapely backside. Mirajane's smile turned sweeter as she met Erza's challenging gaze.
Both women heard Natsu's laughter and they immediately rushed over to the Dragonslayer. A challenge has been issued and both are determined to win.
Natsu continues to defend himself against Gray's attack and retaliated with his own, splashing the Ice mage with a large amount of water. Gray glared at the Dragonslayer and glanced at Erza and Mirajane's approaching form. The moment he got a good look of what they're wearing, his face exploded in crimson, steam rising from his ears. Natsu splashed the Ice mage once more and noticed that dumbfounded look he has and the massive blush on his face.
"What's the matter, Gray?" Natsu asked the Ice mage, but it was Juvia who spoke.
"So… bold…" Juvia muttered, wearing a similar blush like Gray and feeling rather inadequate about her body.
"I can't believe they'd wear something that revealing." Lucy said blushing while covering Wendy's eyes.
Natsu looked behind him and saw Erza and Mirajane standing provocatively while wearing skimpy swimsuits. Erza leaned on her right leg, a hand planted on her hip as she flashed Natsu a sultry smile. Not to get outdone, Mirajane took a step forward leaning on her left leg, standing on the balls of her feet before puffing her flowing silver hair. The smile she gave to Natsu was something that would have put any and all hot blooded male to the hospital from the massive blood loss. Natsu, for his part blushed as countless thoughts that are best left unmentioned ran through his mind. He shook his head clear of such thoughts and grinned at the women, who waited for his verdict.
Natsu looked at Gray who fell on his back, blood gushing out from his nose while the rest of the women were frozen in shock. "Ha! You're such a pervert Gray!" Natsu mocked. "Hey…" he never had the chance to invite Erza and Mirajane to join them as blood erupted from his nose. Erza and Mirajane thought that it was one of them that made Natsu's nose erupt like a fountain as they began to argue.
"Oh, my…" Elione gasped, catching both women's attention. "I hope Natsu's alright."
Erza and Mirajane looked at Elione and her company in dismay, realizing they were terribly outgunned in the size department.
The older woman wore a much skimpier outfit that made them look overdressed. She wore a purple colored strapless top that barely covered her massive breasts, held together by a metal ring in the front. The narrow piece of cloth covered just enough to hide her nipples while exposing the rest of her breasts. Her bottom was no different from her top; a small piece of cloth was the only thing that prevented her from exposing her nether regions to the world, the bikini bottom's straps ran high on her waist. Her head tilted to the side cutely supported by her left hand, her right hand supported her left elbow. The gesture only made her breasts more prominent from being squished together.
"Oh, look at the growing patch of red at the sea!" Maria pointed at Natsu and Gray's location. She wore a blue, one piece bikini that seemed to be a size too small for her more than generous figure. It exposed a generous amount of her cleavage as the bottom part of her bikini made a perfect 'V' that reach up to her waist.
"I guess even a moron such as he could still be affected by such things." Alicia commented with a smirk, running her hand through her golden locks. She wore a white slingshot bikini with gold trim and like the first two, it didn't cover much. The two piece of cloth that simply covered her nipples is connected by two metal rings just below her collarbone, connected to the string around her neck and the other two is located on her torso that connected on another set of string that ran around her back. Her bikini bottom is connected on the two rings on her torso, showing of her sides.
"It sure is nice to have someone to amuse us." Lieri added, wearing a motherly smile. She wore a blue with white trim one piece latex bikini. Like Maria, it covered most of her body aside from the unzipped opening in the front of her bathing suit that ran from below her belly button upwards. It was classy and sexy at the same time.
Erza gapped at her mother and her general's choice of bathing suit, showing off their womanly curves. She then looked at her own state of dress then at Lucy and Juvia, but more importantly the sizes of their respective chests. She knew that hers and Mirajane's aren't that different from one another, but she was willing to bet that she's bigger than the demon.
Mirajane felt her pride crushed at the sight of such beautiful and powerful women. She looked at Elione's imposing bust and to hers, then Erza's. 'At least I'm bigger than Erza's.' she thought idly.
'I'll ask Natsu to confirm my suspicion.' Both the knight and the demon thought at the same time.
Elione sent her daughter a smug look. "Jealous?" she teased, snapping Erza from her thoughts.
Erza's body began to shake with anger before she snapped. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WEARING, MOTHER?!" she cried with righteous indignation, pointing at the woman. "HAVE YOU NO SENSE OF SHAME?!"
"I'm sorry, Erza! Please forgive me!" Natsu cried, fearing Erza's wrath. He then realized his stupidity and blinked a few times looking at Erza, Mirajane and Elione's group.
"Hi Natsu, are you alright?" Elione waved, making her breasts jiggle.
Blood once again erupted from his nose as he slowly sunk into the sea once more. "Those things are the most dangerous weapons I've seen…" he mused as unconsciousness once again claimed him from the blood loss.
Mirajane immediately went over to the unconscious Natsu as Juvia and Lucy carried Gray out of the water before he drowns.
"Too much?" Elione asked her daughter, lifting her breasts and letting them drop. Countless men fell over at the sight.
"Too much…?" Erza repeated in disbelief, "You're barely wearing anything, mother! Cover yourself up!" she ordered as Elione pouted cutely at her daughter.
"You're no fun." Elione replied, sticking her tongue out to her daughter before she changed into a much simpler bathing suit, a purple halter top bikini and string bikini bottom. "I suggest you change into something less revealing since Natsu isn't awake for him to see." she stated glancing at Erza's state of dress.
Erza blushed at her mother's comment and looked to the side. "I didn't wear it for Natsu. I just… wanted to try it that's all." She replied, changing into her favorite black bikini top and bottom.
"Is that right?" Elione asked slyly, poking fun at her own daughter.
"Shut up!" Erza snapped as her mother giggled.
Natsu released a groan as he sat up, the towel on his forehead landing on his lap. "What happened?" he asked rhetorically.
He saw his friends playing at the beach, Lucy, Happy and Charle were having a sandcastle building competition against Wendy and Lieri. Gray was having the time of his life surfing while Juvia cheered the raven haired mage. Off to the side, he saw Maria tinkering with one of her inventions that somehow made him cringe in fear after being turned into a test bed.
"You passed out." Natsu looked to the side to find a busty and curvaceous blonde woman reading a book. She now wore a simple red bathing suit with a low cut neckline. She noticed him staring at her body and couldn't help but smirk at his reaction. "I suggest you avert your eyes somewhere else before your lovers see you." She stated in a bored tone.
"What? I'm not ogling you!" Natsu snapped in protest, glaring at the blonde.
Alicia sent him a bored look, but he could clearly see the mirth behind her crimson orbs. "Ogling? I never mentioned you doing that." Her lips slowly curved upwards into a feral smirk. "Do like what you see then, Natsu…?" she asked, her usual commanding voice gained a sensual tone to it.
"S-shut up!" Natsu stuttered making the woman giggle. "I've seen better, so don't get to full of yourself, blondie!" he snapped.
"Ah, yes, being naked is better than clothe, I suppose." Alicia mused returning to her book.
"What do you mean by that?" Natsu demanded, glaring at the blonde.
"Nothing." Alicia replied in an even tone. Natsu was about to ask where Erza and Mirajane are when someone suddenly wrapped their arms around his neck and pulled him back. He suddenly felt a mixture of pleasure and fear well up inside him.
"A perfect fit!" Elione said in a singsong voice. "Wanna go on a date with me, Natsu?" she asked.
"What?! Are you insane?!" Natsu cried in shock, jumping out of the woman's grasp. "Would Erza even agree to that?" he asked, not realizing that he sounds taken by her idea.
"Why Natsu, I didn't know you would like to go out with my mother?" Erza asked with venom.
"My, my… and to think that I was worried for your safety." Mirajane added sweetly.
Natsu slowly turned around to find a very angry red head and a smiling Mirajane, realizing that he could've have worded his question a little differently. "It's not what you think." He reasoned, slowly moving backwards as the two women stalked forward. He suddenly felt himself buried once again in Elione's cleavage and he immediately saw his life flash before his eyes as both Titania and the Demon became enraged at the sight.
Elione easily dodged both Erza and Mirajane's attack while cradling Natsu's head in her breasts. "Now, now, you two, you're not the only one's allowed to spend some quality time with Natsu, and I, as her mother-in-law, have the same rights." She stated, landing gracefully a few feet from the two.
"Stop this childishness, Mother, and hand Natsu over to us!" Erza ordered, pointing the folded umbrella to her mother.
"Yes, a woman of your 'stature' shouldn't hit on young men." Mirajane added with a smile.
"Oh…" Elione had to smile at Mirajane's comment about her age. "That maybe, but with age comes experience," she sensually dragged her fingers at Natsu's chest, getting an unexpected rise from the Dragonslayer, "Natsu would never go wanting after a night with me."
Both women fumed at Elione's reply and attacked, Erza swung her umbrella below aiming for the back of Elione's feet as Mirajane attack the top aiming for her neck. The moment Erza clipped her mother's foot, Elione simply raised her leg and bent back –with Natsu still in her arms- and let their attacks pass by. She then countered by lightly kicking Erza on her butt, stunning Titania who staggered forward as she quickly spun around, grabbing Natsu's hands and planted them on Mirajane's breasts.
"Natsu!" Mirajane gasped in embarrassment, as she stepped back and covered her chest with her arms. "Not in front of everyone…" she added shyly.
"It's not my fault!" Natsu defended himself, waving his arms defensively.
Erza turned around just in time to see Natsu grope Mirajane's breast as Elione quickly evaded her line of sight. Jealousy once again struck Titania –not as potent as to try and kill Mirajane once more or break their arrangement- and immediately rounded on Natsu. She grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around, punching him in the face shocking Mirajane and their friends, and gave amusement to Elione and her generals.
"How come you're groping Mirajane and not me?" Erza demanded while shaking the unconscious Natsu. Another shocker for Team Natsu as Erza readily admitted her less than innocent wants.
Mirajane placed a hand on Erza's shoulder, putting a stop to Titania's shaking. "That's enough, Erza; Natsu might start losing more brain cells if you don't stop shaking him like a baby. It's not his fault that she prefers my breasts over yours." She reasoned miserably while smiling that sweet smile of hers.
Erza being the caring person that she is dropped Natsu on the sandy beach like a sack of potatoes. "What do you mean he prefers your breasts better than mine? Don't you know he uses mine as a pillow when we were still sleeping in the same apartment?" Titania countered proudly, given that it was a lie since it's the opposite.
Mirajane having enough of her lies immediately transformed into her Satan Soul as Erza reqquiped to her Purgatory armor and catapulted towards each other. Before both women would come to blows, Elione intervened, catching Erza's weapon and Mirajane's wrist in an iron grip.
"Now you two, this is a beach, and fighting is not allowed." Elione stated, looking at both women. "If you two really want to fight, then I have a better option for you two that won't end up scaring the people away." both women looked at Elione for a moment and conceded.
It was thirty minutes later when a site for beach volleyball is erected with the beach goers as their audience. On the left side of the court stood Elione and Alicia on the other side stood Erza and Mirajane and the referee in charge of the game is none other than Maria with a now tied Natsu beside her. Behind them Lieri and Wendy held the banner that wrote, 'First Annual Beach Volleyball Competition' with an uninterrupted time alone with Natsu as a prize inscribed at the bottom.
"This wasn't what I had in mind, Mother." Erza stated as she looked on the other side.
"Yes, I believe that Erza and I would have some alone time." Mirajane agreed while smiling at Erza's direction who glared back.
"Oh, you're still going to fight." Elione replied casually, "Though with us as your opponents and you two as partners." The look on Elione's face was still playful but her eyes told them how serious she is.
"I guess we don't have a choice in the matter." Erza stated accepting their current situation.
"No." Elione answered simply.
"Does the little caption at the bottom stands?" Mirajane asked while pointing at the banner.
"Yes." Elione agreed.
"Don't I have a say in this?!" Natsu cried in outrage at the thought of being the prize of some completion.
"No." came the three women's reply.
"Damn it!" Natsu cursed as he watched the game begin.
The match was once again a one sided affair as Elione and Alicia's superior abilities overwhelmed Erza and Mirajane even though both women's team work was flawless. He sweated buckets when Alicia overshot her spike and the ball landed mere centimeters from him. The ball exploded like a meteor on the sand spraying him with the grainy substance and wished he was nowhere near the court as he came close to losing his heads in many occations. And after a grueling thirty minutes, Elione and Alicia won with Erza and Mirajane the losers. Their arms numb and bruised from the brutal attack their opponents gave.
Elione began her walk towards her prize and lifted Natsu off the ground, hugging the Dragonslayer affectionately. "We're going to have a great time tonight and we're going to do a lot of fun stuff that's best not mentioned." She giggled like a school girl.
"Help me!" Natsu pleaded, holding his hand out towards the two as he's carried away towards the castle.
"I'm sorry, Natsu, but a loss is a loss." Erza stated with regret, fist clenched tightly from their defeat.
"Are you really just going to let it go like that, Erza?" Lucy asked Titania.
"Of course not, Lucy." Mirajane answered for the red head, "we'll follow them from the shadows and intervene when things get out of hand."
Nightfall came and everyone turned in for the night after dinner, albeit reluctantly for Erza and Mirajane after losing against her mother in their beach volleyball match. It infuriated them both at how easily her mother overpowered them. Their friends decided not to get involved in their affairs seeing that they don't want to get caught in the crossfire between mother and daughter. Elione for her part ordered Maria and Alicia to guard Erza and Mirajane's room respectively. This was done mostly to annoy her daughter and Mirajane.
Natsu now stood in a mirror wearing black pants, shoes and pink button-up shirt under his black jacket. "Why the hell do I always end up in these situations?" he grumbled, running his hand through his spiky hair. "Why can't she just act normally when Erza's here?" he mused.
"Natsu, are you ready?" Elione's voice came from the other side of the door.
He released a sigh and with heavy foot falls, he walked towards the door. "Let's get this over with…" his voice died down his throat at the sight of Elione. The older woman wore a simple low cut black dress that reached up to her ankles held by two straps on her shoulders. A long slit ran on the left side of her dress that ended just below her waist where he could see the red waistband of her underwear and the black stocking she wore, and finally a pair of black pumps finished the ensemble.
He was speechless at the sight before him. He knew that Erza's mother is beautiful, Erza was proof of that. But the way she looked now made her look like a goddess that descended the earth.
"Um… it looks good on you…" he greeted lamely.
Elione smiled at Natsu's reserved greeting. "Speechless? Come on, dinner's getting cold." She said walking ahead of Natsu and leaving him behind.
Natsu slapped his face, "What the hell is wrong with me?" he wondered as he chased after Elione, he then slowed down to match her pace as they walked along the empty hall of the castle. "So… um… is this really a date?" he asked.
Elione glanced at him and smiled. "Of course, I wouldn't lie about that, but think of it as a date between friends." She replied playfully as they turned into the corner.
"I guess I have no problems with it, if you put it that way." Natsu said with a grin. "So how are things in the empire?"
"Oh, nothing new." Elione shrugged. "Monsters are still causing havoc at the south, reconstruction of the destroyed cities, rebels of the old kingdom whose still against my rule, and politics." She finished tiredly.
"Can't you just beat them all to a pulp?" Natsu asked noticing the haggard look on the usually energetic woman. "You could send Maria and let her test her toys on them or Alicia and her men. That would shut them up."
"That would be nice if it was as simple as that." Elione commented as Natsu looked at her questioningly. "Those two could easily do as you say, but by doing that, it will only reinforce the thought that I replaced one dictatorship with another. Those rebels are nobles and supporters of the late king that lost their power once I ended the war, and the men they control are simply paid mercenaries. Once we capture them, their men will lose their reason to fight and I could simply hire them all as soldiers." She explained, glancing at Natsu's confused face.
"Oh!" Natsu gasped while pounding his fist in his open palm in realization. "Just like what happened with Tin-head and Juvia! Since Jose was defeated and Phantom Lord is disbanded, they joined our guild." he said with a grin.
"That's exactly right, Natsu. Just because they follow a bad guy for a leader, doesn't mean that all of them are bad." Elione agreed as she pushed open the door that lead to the throne room.
The room itself is sparsely decorated with a red carpet with gold lining its edges that lead to the throne. The throne had a single decorated seat in it with five flags hanging behind with the empires seal adorning each. In the middle of the room was a single table with two chairs on each end, but what attracted Natsu to it is the amount of food that occupied the table.
"FOOD!" Natsu screamed, running towards the table and started digging in moments later.
Elione simply shook her head in amusement and followed suit. She sat on the other end of the table and began to eat albeit in a more leisurely pace, watching Natsu as he demolished the food on the table. After they finished eating, they both had a pile of plates on their respective sides of the table, while Natsu ate mostly meat, Elione on the other hand, ate the equal amount in sweets.
"I'm full!" Natsu said with a content sigh, patting his bloated belly.
"Me too, Tanaka sure knows how to cook." Elione commented, placing her silverware on either side of her plate. "Wanna go for a walk? I have something to show you." She offered as Natsu eagerly nodded.
"Sure!" Natsu agreed as he stood up and followed Elione. "Where are we going anyway?" he asked as they stood in front of the flags behind the throne.
Elione raised the flag and took a step forward, glancing towards Natsu smiling. "Follow me and you'll find out." She answered as she went forward.
Natsu shrugged and followed suit as Elione disappeared behind the flags. Once he crossed the threshold, he found a hallway behind the throne room that seemed to go on forever with torches as the only source of light. Once again he ran after the older woman and caught up to her pace walking along side her.
"So, where are we going?" Natsu asked again.
"Just follow me and you'll find out." Elione replied vaguely as Natsu simply tilts his head to the side and agreed.
Meanwhile Erza and Mirajane and the rest of the group wandered along the halls of the castle trying to find where Elione has taken Natsu. Both women managed to knockout their respective guards and met at the corridor where their rooms intersect. As they walked along the castle opening rooms along the way, the group couldn't help but admire the knight statues wearing different armors and different decorations and paintings that adorned the halls.
"Where do you think they went?" Lucy asked as she walked behind Erza.
"I don't know, but since they didn't have dinner at the castle's dining hall. There could only be a number of places where she could've taken Natsu." Erza stated, Titania on the prowl for her annoying mother and his gullible and somewhat dim lover.
"Um… could've they have chosen the garden in the back. It has a romantic feel to it." Wendy suggested and let out a startled yelp when both Erza and Mirajane directed their attention at her. One glaring and the other smiling.
"You have a point there, Wendy." Mirajane noted before they continued walking. "But I don't think that's the place where Erza's mother would've have chosen. Even though you're right, I don't think that's its convenient for the food to be delivered on the other side of the castle. Erza's mother maybe eccentric, but she's not the person that would abuse her powers." She deduced as the other's nodded.
"So you're saying that they're somewhere close to our location?" Gray remarked as he followed the group. "How about the front courtyard?" he suggested.
"We would've noticed from here." Erza replied, pointing at the window that gave a clear view of the courtyard.
"How about the castle towers?" Juvia suggested having seen that some of them are open and gives a perfect view of the night sky and the city below.
Mirajane immediately opened the window and pointed outside. "Happy, please check all the towers and be quick about It." she asked with a smile, but the Exceed knew that failure to accomplish his mission or even hinting that he won't do it would be bad for his health.
"Anywhere else they could be hiding?" Erza asked as they continued on their walk.
"How about the library?" Lucy offered as everyone's attention landed on her.
"You know Natsu has an aversion for books and learning." All of them said in unison, even Wendy who just recently joined the guild found out about Natsu's dislike of books.
"You just want to look at the library don't you?" Mirajane teased as the blonde blushed. "Erza made sure that the only types of book he'll look into are photo albums." The demon added glancing at the red head that had a faraway look in her eyes.
"Yes. It was the first time Natsu and I really bonded." Erza said with fondness, though the feeling was different if Natsu was the one asked.
"Natsu isn't in the towers." Happy reported with a snappy salute.
"To my mother's room then." Erza declared, guiding everyone to her mother's room.
"You can check the library later, Lucy." Mirajane said with a smile as they once again move to find Natsu.
The group mindlessly followed Titania as she walked along the empty halls as if she knew the place like the back of her hand. Erza amazed the group as they arrived in front of a lavishly furnished door with 'Elione's lovely suite' engraved on it. Erza prepared to open the door to the room only for it to open before she could even touch it.
"Lady Erza, I'm afraid you're in the wrong room." Tanaka stated after finding Erza and the rest of the group outside the room.
"Where are they then?" Erza asked.
"They're at the throne room, my lady, largest room at the center of the castle." Tanaka answered honestly.
"Thanks." Erza replied as they moved towards the throne room. She didn't question why her mother's personal aide easily gave Natsu's location as she's too focused on the task at hand.
"Where are we?" Natsu asked as the scenery around him changed into that of a cave.
The cave itself is filled with trees and flowers and a pond that made it look like a garden with light coming from the ceiling simulating daylight. At the distance he could see a hill with a statue on top of it.
"We're at the bottom of Arthuria, Gaia's garden to be exact." Elione answered noting Natsu's shock and excitement.
"Is there a Dragon here, is Igneel here?" Natsu asked with a mixture of excitement and anxiousness.
"There's one, but I'm afraid it's been dead for four centuries." Elione replied glancing at the disheartened look of the Dragonslayer. "And as for Igneel… your father isn't anywhere in Vereint, but rest assured that we're searching for your Dragon, Natsu." she added, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Thanks!" Natsu said with a grin, his mood lightening with the hope of finding Igneel now with more people helping him. "So, how about this dead dragon you're talking about? What does it have to do with me?" he asked.
"Quite a lot actually, you know the reason why Dragonslayer magic is a lost magic, right?" Elione quizzed the Dragonslayer.
"Yeah, it's because there aren't that many Dragons nowadays." Natsu replied confidently.
"Correct!" Elione congratulated the Dragonslayer. "Four hundred years ago, Dragons roamed and ruled the skies and they are many in numbers. It seemed like a wonderful sight, huh, Natsu? Dragons flying freely in the sky." She asked as Natsu eagerly nodded.
"Yeah…" Natsu agreed releasing a content sigh, remembering the times with Igneel. "Igneel would always fly me around when I mastered a spell."
"I'm glad for you, Natsu, but it was different four hundred years ago. You see… humans back then are prey for the Dragons and they pretty much ruled over everything as they are powerful and intelligent beings. It was the dark ages, Natsu." Elione explained, stunning the Dragonslayer. "You know Dragonslayer magic is created to kill Dragons, right?"
"You mean Igneel used to kill humans?" Natsu demanded, too shocked at the realization that Dragon's killed humans. "But that doesn't make any sense. He was kind to me and taught me everything I know, even Wendy and Gajeel's dragon aren't what you say they are." He reasoned to the woman who merely shrugged.
"Please realize, Natsu, that that was four hundred years ago and that your father is as kind and caring as you remembered," Elione pointed out, placing a comforting hand at the Dragonslayer. "You know why your magic is called as such, don't you, Natsu?" she continued as Natsu nodded.
"It's a magic used to slay Dragons." Natsu answered with a shrug.
"Yes, Dragonslayer magic is used to slay Dragons. Four centuries ago, those same Dragons that ruled over humans taught them Dragonslayer magic," Elione saw the interest in Natsu's eyes and continued. "Back then there are Dragons that simply left the humans alone. This group of Dragons tried to persuade the others from killing humans, some joined, some disagreed, and in the end ignited a feud that consumed them and dragged every other living thing with them. It was the start of the Dragon Civil Wars."
"Wait, wait, wait!" Natsu interrupted, walking in front of Elione. "You mean to tell me that humans did nothing? I mean they had magic back then, didn't they?"
Elione merely smiled and walked passed him and continued. "They did, but it wasn't enough to kill or even harm the Dragons. Yes, there are powerful mages back then, but they are few in numbers, my ancestor is one of them and uses the same Requip magic I use today." she said with pride. "Would you believe that Fiore was the center of the magic world back then? In fact my ancestor came from Fiore and migrated out of the continent because she couldn't stand the people there."
"What do you mean she left because she couldn't stand the people at Fiore?" Natsu asked in confusion.
"You see, since the Dragons that fought for the humans are losing. Those Dragons decided to include the humans and taught them the magic that changed the war…" Elione paused looking at Natsu.
"Dragonslayer magic." Natsu whispered in understanding.
"Correct. They decided to fight fire with fire. It didn't take long before enough Dragonslayers were produced and the war change tides, those that treated the humans as insects are all but vanquished." Elione finished as she brought out her fan from in between her cleavage.
Natsu blushed at the sight, "So, everything turned out, ok? I though your ancestor left because she didn't like the people of Fiore?" he asked.
"You see, during the war, there are those that killed on both sides. My ancestor ended those that did, but in the end she was treated as a traitor for helping the Dragons. It was then that she realized that the people back then didn't care which Dragon was killed because in the end they wanted them all dead. They turned their backs on those that helped them and started killing all the remaining Dragons. She couldn't stand how the people acted and left." Elione said with such disdain as if she was there when it happened.
Natsu nodded as he too wouldn't last in a place like that. Growing up in Fairy Tail where everyone is his family made him understand that you should never turn your back on the people that helped you along the way, whether they're enemies from the past. As long as they're willing to change, he'll be willing to accept their help and forgive.
"But there is one that did the most damaged. The first ever Dragonslayer, he killed every Dragon and Dragonslayer he could reach his hands on and bathed in their blood, and in the end, his skin became scales and his teeth became fangs… until he became a dragon himself…" She trailed off as she looked at the figure of the Dragon they came to see.
"So, who is it then?" Natsu asked in anticipation.
"The man's name is Acnologia, Natsu. He's the main reason why Dragons and Dragonslayers are nearly extinct." Elione said with a wave of the hand.
"Does that mean I'll become a Dragon, too?" Natsu asked with a mixture of excitement and fear.
"Not likely, there aren't that many dragons to kill, Natsu. And more importantly, you're not someone that would kill the one that raised you." Elione pointed out as they finally arrived at their destination.
Natsu gazed up at the imposing figure of the dead Dragon, its head pointing at the ceiling as if releasing a roar as its wings spread out majestically. Moss and vines have grown around its body after centuries of being underground. Natsu gingerly touched the Dragon as a wave of nostalgia struck him, having the same texture as Igneel's scales; memories of his childhood came rushing back as he erupted in a smile.
"Was this really a Dragon?" Natsu asked with excitement.
"It was, but like I said, it died four hundred years ago." Elione replied, placing a hand on the Dragon. "This Dragon, Natsu, is the same dragon that started the Dragon Civil Wars and the same one that taught Dragonslayer magic to the humans." She explained as Natsu looked at her.
"Why is it here then, and who killed it?" Natsu wondered in confusion.
Elione took her hand back and said. "It was my ancestor, Natsu. Elize Krieg, founder of Krieg and the first Requip mage." she answered, confusing Natsu even more. "The reason it's here is because it wanted to atone for its sins. It searched for my ancestor, the only one that had the sense of leaving when the opportunity presented itself. This Dragon gave my ancestor its final gift to us humans."
Elione stood back and Requipped two swords on her hand. The one on her right is the one he's familiar with, Excalibur, its red blade shining under the artificial lighting, but what caught Natsu's attention was the Lacrima. He could feel it pulse as if calling out to him as the magic contained inside the orb swirled. On her left, she wields a midnight blue sword as long as Excalibur. Its grip is a quarter longer and thinner than Excalibur's with a pointed tip, widening as it approached the crossguard, an arc opening towards the blade with a Dragon's wing emblazoned on it. Just like in Excalibur, a Lacrima is embedded where the sword's blade and the crossguard meet, and it started to resonate.
"Can you feel it, Natsu?" Elione asked as Natsu just stared at the two swords. "This Dragon transferred all of its magic into these two Lacrima's, giving these swords immense power and the ability to kill Dragons."
"Just like Dragonslayer magic… an artificial Dragonslayer in the form swords." Natsu quipped as he easily understood her meaning.
Elione nodded, "Excalibur: The Guiding Light, as you already know, allows me to channel vast amounts of Eternano and unleash it in one destructive attack much like a Dragon's breath attack. This sword's weakness is that it requires a certain amount of time for it to fully reach its maximum capacity; I could increase its destructive force by channeling Eternano from the surroundings. The chain wrapped around the blade subdues the power of the sword." Elione explained gesturing towards Excalibur.
"Ok, what about the one on the left?" Natsu asked, pointing at the replica.
"This sword on my left," Elione raised the sword with a flourish, presenting it to Natsu with the blade pointing to the ground. "This sword is Excalibur's twin blade. Arondight: The Sword That Pierces the Dark. Unlike Excalibur that could cause massive destruction the moment it's unleashed. When I summon Arondight, it boosts all of my combat parameters to the maximum."
"Just like your armor, Avalon." Natsu cut-in remembering the indestructible armor that she wore.
"Correct. But what made this sword more powerful than Excalibur is its ability to cut through magic." Elione said as Natsu looks confused once again.
"Any sword could do that." Natsu pointed out, crossing his arms in disappointment.
"Here, I'll show you." Elione said with a shake of her head. "Could you give some fire?" Elione asked as Natsu raised his hand and summoned flames on top of his palm. Elione then requipped the shield that Natsu's familiar with as she drew the sword holstered on it. She then slowly brought the sword downward in the middle of the fire. "You can see my sword is completely engulfed by your flames, right?" Natsu nodded once, "create another fire on your left." again Natsu complied as Elione placed Arondight in the middle of the fire.
Natsu's eyes widened in astonishment at the sight, as Arondight made a clean cut on his flames, his flames never touching anywhere the blade or the path it took. "Wow, that's cool!" Natsu exclaimed with joy.
"Anything made with magic will fail under this sword. Erza's Dragonslayer armor from what I gathered is purely made of magic, Eternano that gained a physical form." Elione said.
"You're telling me that it's like what happened at the Tower of Heaven. When the Magic Council fired Etherion and it became a giant Lacrima thanks to that Tower." Natsu deduced, having heard it from Jellal during the fight.
"Exactly, and if I used this sword against Erza's strongest armor, I'd cut through it like butter, in fact I'd cut through all of her armor with ease. This sword was made to cut the toughest armor in existence, Dragon scales." Elione finished as she returned the swords back to her storage space.
"Wow… I just had my head filled with a lot of information, it's making my head hurt." Natsu said with a groan.
Elione smiled as she took a seat at the base of the dragon, stretching her legs and gently draping her arm over her legs as she looked out at the small garden while releasing a sigh. "When I was a kid, I would always come to this place and play hide and seek with my parents or just hide when I did something stupid." She said as she leaned back, propped with her arms as she glanced at Natsu smiling sheepishly before she looked at the ceiling. Natsu then took his seat an arm's length away beside her. "When I finally reclaimed this place and during the times that I headed the war, I would bring Ray here along with Erza to play and clear my head, and when I lost my husband and Erza, I locked myself here for a whole day; Tanaka thought I was in my room."
"I guess you liked to hide too from time to time?" Natsu said with a grin.
"I do." Elione admitted. "This place is filled with happy memories from my childhood and the short time I spent with Ray. It gave me a place to run away to and helps me through the tough times." She then looked at Natsu, "How about you? Do you have a place you run away to?" she asked and saw Natsu did the same as her, stretching his legs and crossing his arms behind his head before laying back into the grass.
Natsu thought about it for awhile having never run away in his entire life. Until he finally realized what she was talking about, it wasn't about running, but a place where he can relax and forget about his problems, and to remind him what he was fighting for. Natsu's serious face broke out into a wide grin. "It's back in Fairy Tail!" he exclaimed proudly. It was the place that he always came back too and his first ever home as Igneel and him never really stayed at one place when they were together, but if he's asked the question when he was still new to the guild, he would've said it was by Igneel's side.
"I knew you'd say that," Elione said with a knowing smile. "Though if I ask my daughter and Mirajane the same question, they will have a different answer." Natsu tilted his head to the side in confusion at her comment.
"What do you mean? I know that they'd say the same because Fairy Tail is the reason we all met." Natsu reasoned as Elione chuckled at his naiveté. She stood up and walked in front of Natsu as she leaned forward -he blushed as she flashed him her cleavage- and pressed a finger at his chest.
"That was before the three of you started this strange relationship. Fairy Tail was their home, but the moment they gave their hearts to you," Elione tapped his chest with her finger to emphasize her point. "You became their home and they'll follow you wherever you go much like you would follow them. It's the same reason why Erza won't accept the throne because it would mean that she'll be away from you." she lectured. "So, promise me that you'll take care of those two, ok?"
"Aye! I'll protect them with my life!" Natsu declared, his eyes burning with determination.
"Good." Elione nodded as she allowed Natsu to stand. "Let's head back. I'm sure their waiting for us in the throne room."
"What do you mean 'waiting at the throne room'?" Natsu asked already paling at the thought of what the woman did. "Aren't those two supposed to be guarding them? They would kill me from what you did at the beach!" he exclaimed in fear.
"They are, but I told Alicia and Maria to let them escape if they tried." Elione quipped, giggling as Natsu started sweating bullets.
"Don't worry, I'll keep you safe." Elione teased as she took Natsu's arm and pressed it against her breast and lacing their fingers together.
"What you're doing only makes me more worried!" Natsu snapped and relented from taking his arm back from her iron grip. He would be lying if it didn't feel nice having his arms pressed against something nice and soft. "Oh, what are those two stone markers on either side of the statue?"
"They're the graves of Elize and her husband. It was said that their spirit would always watch over the people of this country and protect them from harm." Elione answered, before pressing herself further to Natsu much to his confusion and discomfort.
Outside, Erza and the rest just arrived at the throne room and once again admired the castle's design as they approached the table, finding the recently cleaned plates. All of them sweat-dropped at the pile of empty plates stacked on the table. A total of seventy plates, thirty five each for Natsu and Elione, but what blew their mind was the fact that Elione's plates were all sweets and cake. Erza and Mirajane were both unimpressed since both knew that it's not uncommon for someone to eat that much sweet in one serving. Erza pigs out once in awhile and Mirajane knew that all the supply for making sweets are reserve for Titania's bottomless hunger for cavity inducing confections.
"Where do you think she puts all that?" Lucy asked, feeling queasy at the unholy amount of sweets consumed.
"I guess… in her breasts?" Gray quipped as Lucy, Juvia and Wendy had varying degrees of expression on their face.
Lucy immediately covered her chests as she turns to the side, her eyes not leaving Gray. "You really are a pervert just like Natsu said, Gray." she accused, wondering how many times he has stared at her breasts or any other woman's breasts for that matter.
"I'm not!" Gray vehemently denied. "I'm just saying, I mean look at the number of plates she'd finished off and look at how sexy Erza's mother is! The only explanation I could think of is all that food is going to her breasts, they're huge!" he expounded his words by placing his hands in front of his chest while gesturing about Elione's cup size.
Juvia on the other hand cupped her breasts, comparing her size against the three women with her. "I didn't know Gray-sama is a breast-man." She whispered, glancing at the competition –mostly Lucy since Erza and Mirajane are spoken for- and felt a little depressed since Lucy was in the lead. She clenched her fist tightly, eyes burning with determination. "Juvia will not lose hope!" the Rain woman declared.
"Are breasts size really important, Charle?" Wendy asked, blushing lightly. She had never thought of such things until now, but her curiosity has been piqued and an answer must be found.
Charle remained stoic, but like her partner, she had a light blush on her cheeks. "You shouldn't bother yourself with such things Wendy," the Exceed replied as Wendy easily agreed. "But… there are those that like them big." She quickly added, embarrassed at what she said.
Wendy nodded as she looked at the rest. "I wonder if mine would be as big as them?" she placed her hands on top of her almost non-existent chest.
Charle rubbed her temple at what she might've unleashed at the girl. "Don't worry, Charle! I don't mind that you're flat!" Happy declared, before he flew face first into one of the pillars inside the room.
"My, my… things sure are getting a little rowdy around here." Mirajane commented as she watched her friends bicker at each other.
"We can worry about them later." Erza snapped, scanning the large hall for her mother and Natsu. "I'm worried about my mother ruining Natsu for the both of us."
"And why is that?" Mirajane asked, raising a curious eyebrow. It was amusing how Elione made Erza fear about losing Natsu to her. She could easily tell the older woman liked to play around with Erza, but sometimes, she too couldn't help but question Elione's motives herself.
"She's been trying to bed Natsu ever since we met her." Erza retorted as she walked towards the throne. "My mother is practically sex on legs, Mira, and add that to the fact that she's beautiful and oozing with sex appeal... It's thanks to Natsu being somewhat dim that he could resist her." she added, her doubts about herself exposed in front of everyone, but it was only Mirajane that caught it as the others simply thought that she's simply angry.
Mirajane looked pensive for a moment and couldn't help but agree. She knows what it feels like to be jealous of your own family; Lissana was a great example of that. She wanted to sympathize with what Erza is feeling, but since she knows Elione is simply putting up a front with Erza. She chose to join in on the fun.
"Your mother is as you say she is." Mirajane agreed walking ahead of Titania who examined the throne for some sort of switch while she admired the flags. "Now that you mention it, I do envy your mother, Erza. In fact I might ask her to give me a few tips on how to please Natsu." she quipped as she went behind the flags.
The effects were instantaneous.
"I'm not going to let that happen!" Erza declared seeing the Demon sticking her tongue out to her. "I won't lose to you, Mira!"
"Natsu!" Titania heard Mirajane's startled gasp and immediately rushed to her location. Their friends immediately followed.
"Why? What happened, Mira? Is Natsu alright?" Erza fired-off questions one after the other as Mirajane simply pointed at a distance.
Mirajane had a mixture of disappointment and amusement in her face while Erza simply saw red.
"What did that idiot do now?" Gray asked as saw the two and followed where Mirajane was pointing. The moment he saw it, he grinned. "You're going to get it now, Flame-brain."
"Hey… Erza…" Natsu began as fear became his word for the day. "It's not… what it looks like…" he tried, again, he really did, but with his position on top of Elione and between her legs –her dress's skirt rode up mid thigh-, and his hands on either side of her head.
Elione saw the desperate look on Natsu's face, silently begging her to tell the truth les he die young. She obviously chose the opposite. "Hey, dear, want to join?" she asked shamelessly as she wrapped her legs around Natsu's waist showing more of her creamy thighs and waistband of her frilly underwear –Gray's jaw fell at the sight before he too fell unconscious from the blow at the back of his head courtesy of Lucy and Juvia- as she drew him closer to her body. "I don't mind having an audience, if you don't."
"Get off him, Mother!" Erza ordered, running towards the two so she could separate them.
Elione saw her daughter's enraged expression as she wrapped her arm around Natsu's head pulling and burying his head in her cleavage. Just as Erza is about to snag Natsu by his collar, Elione immediately rolled to the side avoiding Erza and with ease, pushing herself off the ground to a standing position –Natsu still buried in her cleavage.
"Unhand him, Mother!" Erza seethed as Elione shook her head.
"That's poor form, Erza, I asked you to join and yet you violently disagreed, it's not fitting for a princess." Elione chided which only infuriated the red head.
"Aren't you going to stop them, Miss Mira?" Wendy asked as they watch Erza chase her mother around with sword in hand.
Mirajane just ruffled Wendy's hair and smiled. "Let them play for awhile, Wendy, those two rarely meet you know." She said.
She could see the joy the older woman is having as she dodge her daughter's sword and the same goes for Erza who by now had a small smile on her lips. Her goal of reclaiming the now unconscious Natsu has been forgotten as she chased her mother trying to land the winning blow.
"Your highness, Natsu's already unconscious." Mirajane called as she saw Natsu unmoving as he's carried like a stuff toy lodge between Elione's breasts. "I'll carry him for you if you don't mind."
Elione dodged her daughters multiple stabs and quickly spun around and kicked Erza's blade to the side. She then threw Natsu towards Mirajane who caught him with ease as she pulled her left eye down and stuck her tongue out to Erza in a show of maturity. Mirajane then bid the mother and daughter goodnight as she carried Natsu back to their room as their friends followed with Gray being carried by Happy.
"You'll need to do better than that, dear." Elione teased, as she pointed her backside at Erza and gave it a playful smack.
"You!" Erza raged, catapulting herself towards Elione, swinging her sword in a downward diagonal slash. Elione simply spun around Erza as if dancing and groped her daughter's butt startling and angering Titania more. She immediately spun around and delivered three quick slashes that Elione easily dodged.
"You got a nice and firm backside, dear, though mine is better." Elione commented as she showed the hand she used while mimicking groping motions.
Erza blushed, "I don't need to hear that from you!" she countered as her blush took a deeper shade of red. "Natsu said that I have the best butt in Earthland." She admitted bashfully and proudly.
Elione snorted and floated a derisive smile. "Oh please, he only said that because he only felt yours and Mirajane. That'll change when we finally do the deed as I'll make sure he enjoys my body thoroughly." She said in mock ecstasy, wrapping her arm around her waist while groping her breast.
Erza's face went red with anger at her mother's shameless declaration of her grim plans for Natsu. "I will not let you touch Natsu!"
Erza continued to run after Elione who continued to tease her endlessly. Titania chased her mother for the umpteenth time and as she was close to landing the winning blow. Her surroundings suddenly changed from the dimly lit passage to a garden that Natsu and Elione came from. The sights distracted Titania long enough for Elione to charge her and slapped the sword out of Erza's hands and deliver a punch at Erza's face. Erza clicked her tongue as her mother easily defeated her again with her fist centimeters from her face. Elione pulled her fist back wearing the same smile as earlier.
"Where are we, mother?" Erza asked, returning her discarded sword to her storage space.
"This is the place where our empire started, Erza… Gaia's Garden." Elione answered as she once again took the same path Natsu and she took, and without any words, Erza followed. "Have you noticed how the area where the Capital is built looks artificial from above?"
Erza thought about it for a second, "It does, like it was purposely built to hold the city." She replied.
"It was, but more importantly it was built as a graveyard for the Dragon that made a difference four hundred years ago…" Elione began as she told Erza the same story she told Natsu about the Dragon Civil Wars and the swords created thereafter. They arrived at the remains of the Dragon and presented her both swords.
"So, Acnologia does exist, and he was a Dragonslayer before he became a dragon." Erza mused, digesting the information she just learned. She didn't fear that Natsu would end up just like Acnologia because of how he loves Igneel. "Does Natsu know about this?" she asked, though she already had an inkling that he already knew.
"Ask him, and you'll find out." Elione replied with a wink.
Erza narrowed her eyes at her mother, "Stop being coy with me, Mother." she said tiredly.
"You're boring, dear. It's a wonder why Natsu hasn't left you yet." Elione commented, flipping her hand over with a shake of her head. "Of course, I told Natsu about it, Erza. I took him here before you found us." She said, purposely adding the innuendo.
Erza rubbed the bridge of her nose in annoyance. "A simple yes would've sufficed, mother." she retorted tiredly.
Elione glanced at her daughter and decided to give her a break. "Hey, Erza…" Erza for her part tiredly turned her head towards her mother, "…catch." Elione tossed Arondight to her daughter who caught it by its grip.
The moment Erza caught the sword, the Lacrima began to glow and felt it tap to her magic reserves and before her eyes, runes appeared on the blade and vanished the same time as the glow from the Lacrima subsided, and the sword vanished seconds later.
"I guess the sword immediately recognized you as its new owner." Elione commented as Erza looked at her questioningly.
"What do you mean, mother?" Erza asked, sensing Arondight like every one of her weapons and armors, but somehow Arondight isn't stored in her storage space much like her Dragonslayer's armor. "And why could I sense the sword as one of my own?"
"It's simple really." Elione began with a smile. "Arondight could only be wielded by the perfect knight; much like Excalibur could only be wielded by the ruler of the empire. What happened earlier was the sword testing your worthiness as its owner, and apparently you passed the test. It's my gift to you for all the birthdays I missed." She placed a hand on Erza's shoulder with a smile and frowned when she saw the disappointed expression on Erza's face.
Rather than be happy, Erza felt like she doesn't deserved the gift. "I'm not the perfect knight, mother. I've made a lot of mistakes and failed my friends in the past. I don't deserve it." Erza summoned the sword and handed it to her mother.
Elione simply shook her head with a knowing smile, pushing the sword back to Erza. "You think too lowly of yourself, Erza. You are the strongest, bravest and truest knight there is." she said with a smile.
Again, rather than be happy, she became angry for the praise she didn't deserve. "When Jellal threw me out, I cried myself for days before I found the courage to move on." Erza reasoned, pushing the sword again towards her mother.
Elione gently pushed it back, "It takes great amount of strength to move past a betrayal from someone you once loved." She countered.
"When Master Makarov fell, it was because I failed to accompany him and I was one of the first whose morale dropped at the news." Erza tried again, and pushed the sword back.
"But you were brave enough to take over for your Master and protect your friends against something that could kill you, and then continue on and fight as needed." Once again Elione gained another victory over her daughter as she pushed it back with lesser resistance from Erza.
"When Jellal returned, I almost ran away with him and risked Natsu's life in the process, and when I thought that Natsu died…" she paused, the memory still made her heart ache. "I caved in on myself and I avoided everyone until Mirajane intervened and I almost killed her when all she did was help. How could I be perfect, mother, with all the mistakes I made?!" Erza demanded giving one final push to return the sword to her mother. "It was Natsu that kept them at bay…" tears started falling from her eyes.
Elione smiled and knew the battle is won. She gently placed her hand on her daughters and closed Erza's fist over the sword and pushed it back to its new owner. "Erza, a knight recognizes their failures and rises above them… moves on and becomes stronger… be brave for those who can't…" she paused as she closed the gap between them, the sword pressed between them as she wrapped her arms around Erza, "...and a true knight would always fight for those they want to protect regardless of the odds. You possess all of them, Erza. The sword knows it, I know it, and your friends and Natsu knows it, too." she pulled back and held her at arm's length and beamed at Erza.
The sword vanished from her hands as she wiped the tears from her eyes, she could never win an argument with her. "Is it because I'm your daughter that I fit the criteria?" she asked knowing that Elione would say it.
Elione naturally didn't disappoint. "Correct," Erza knew it, "but more importantly… it's because of everything you've gone through and accomplished, the people you've met and the memories you shared with them. Those are the reasons why you became the perfect knight. So, be a good girl and take my gift, ok?" The last part Erza didn't expect but was thankful all the same.
"I'll take it… But don't tell Natsu about what happened here, and specially, Mirajane…" Erza knew she wouldn't hear the end of it if Mirajane found out, "or so help me mother, I would make you regret the day Tanaka found Me." she threatened, doing her best to intimidate the strongest mage in the empire.
"No promises." Elione teased as she began her trek back to the castle. Erza on the other hand pinched the bridge of her nose and followed after the older woman.
"Mother, I was wondering what the devices I saw scattered around the city are. I noticed them at every town and city we passed; they weren't there when I first arrived." Erza asked finally getting the chance. The days she spent with her mother were hectic at best.
"Those are devices Maria created to protect the people within the towns and cities from a powerful spell that seemed to erupt out of nowhere." Elione replied as she became serious for a moment, "They've been happening for years, even during the war. The spell abducts those that posses magical powers in random. At first they were isolated events with few people being abducted. Maria had only had the chance to investigate after the Empire's creation and it was only a month ago that she had a glimpse at the cause of the abductions after a troop of her mages disappeared in front of her." Erza immediately understood how serious the situation the moment people started disappearing.
"Have you found out who's been doing this?" Erza asked as Elione shook her head.
"No, she couldn't find the source of the spell and there isn't a way to permanently stop it from happening or predict where it would appear, but she created a device that prevented it from sucking people out of the towns and cities, or worse… the towns and cities themselves." Elione replied closing her fan and tucking it back to her cleavage. "I've sent some of my people to the neighboring countries to gather information, and from what I've gathered, it has a high occurring rate to places with high concentration of powerful mages like Vereint and Fiore."
"This also happens in Fiore?" Elione nodded as Erza pondered as to why there is no news or request about stopping or finding the cause of such disappearance in Fiore, "do you know whether those people are alive or where they're taken?"
"We declare them as dead the moment they disappear, dear." Elione replied somberly. "My people on other countries haven't seen any trace of them anywhere."
"I guess you have spies in a lot of places." Erza noted as her mother shrugged.
"We are a militaristic empire, dear. It's only natural that I keep a close eye on everyone that may threaten our little home." Elione deadpanned with a wave of a hand.
"Little?" Erza repeated the understatement of the day. An empire that rivaled Pergrande and her mother called Vereint 'little'. "If this is a militaristic empire, how come I haven't seen any soldiers?"
"You just noticed?" Elione asked in mock dismay.
Erza released a tired sigh. "I've noticed it since we came here the first time, Mother." she said in exasperation.
"It's because of the people, dear." Elione answered, "Remember, that it's just been four years since the war. The people are still wary of any signs of military presence and feared that another war might erupt if they see soldiers lurking about." She explained as Erza nodded and answered her question before it was asked. "The soldiers are primarily stationed at the borders. Some are roaming the lands taking down monsters or helping the people, and stopping rebellions that still plague this new empire. It's the same reason we don't have magic guilds because the mages here are in the military performing the same tasks as those in the guilds."
"And those three control the military?" Erza questioned, glancing at her mother.
"Yes." Elione nodded, "majority of it they control, with Alicia owning forty percent while the rest is divided between me, Lieri and Maria. Lieri controls thirty percent of the military, Maria controls twenty percent while I control the rest. Alicia's soldiers are in charge for keeping the borders safe and quelling rebellions, Lieri's soldiers are in charge of keeping the people safe and act as the empire's magic guild, Maria's on the other hand, acts as the empire's engineering corps and research division, and mine are integrated to theirs since I currently have no use for them." She explained as Erza nodded, realizing that her mother have so much trust in her generals. Then again, the three held her mother in high regard as all of them were trained by the woman.
"I see that you're pretty laid back when it comes to those three." Erza commented.
"Of course, those three are loyal to me to a fault!" Elione replied with pride before her expression became pensive as she smiled softly while glancing at Erza. "We may not be related, but those three are family to me just like Tanaka." Erza returned her mother's smile, easily understanding what her mother felt. She's exactly like her mother as her friends back in Fairy Tail are her family even when they're not related by blood.
As they continued on their walk Erza asked another question. "So… who's the fourth general, Mother?" Elione quirked an eyebrow at her daughter's question.
"Was it that obvious?" Elione asked.
"Not really," Erza admitted. "I only figured it out when you mentioned that you have spies on other countries, and the fact that your general's occupy three of the four points of the compass and you're in the middle." Erza stated as Elione nodded and let her daughter continue, "Alicia has the north, Lieri governs the east, and Maria took the south, and that leaves the west."
"The west is under Omachi's control, a friend I met in the war." Elione revealed as Erza's interest is piqued. "Just like the rest of my Generals she uses Requip magic, but her specialty is spying and assassinations, she's in charge of the empire's spy network and acts as my shadow."
"Shadow?" Erza repeated in wonder. "Does that mean she follows you everywhere?"
"Indeed," Elione agreed, "Omachi is in charge of guarding my life against people that would try to kill me. The three acts as my guards in public as well as Tanaka, but Omachi guards me from the shadows. Those three has their own personal shadows just like me."
"I guess I should thank her, mother, for keeping you safe." Erza said with a smile.
"There's no need, dear, she loves doing that kind of stuff, but do what you want." Elione replied off-handedly, but the smile on her face told her otherwise. "You should've been here during the war. There were at least 15 people trying to kill me in one day without me knowing, but nowadays it almost stopped." Elione added, sounding a bit disappointed about her assassins decrease in numbers.
Erza simply shook her head as they spent the rest of their walk in peaceful silence. It didn't take long before mother and daughter left the cavern and entered the castle, parting ways as they bid goodnight to one another. Erza rushed back to their room just in case Mirajane decided to outdo her.
Back at Fairy Tail, a new face has taken over Mirajane's currently abandoned post.
"Toriko, can we have another round for the three of us." Macao called out, drinking with Wakaba, Elfman, Max, Warren and Nab.
"Toriko, more booze please." Cana sang from across the table, waiving her mug in the air, the tarot mage already halfway into a morning bender.
"Hey, new girl, do you have any more metal in there?" Gajeel asked as he demolished the pile in front of him.
"Coming!" The woman called Toriko replied wearing a smile. "Here's your food, Levy." She handed the plate over the petite woman.
The new member of the guild named Toriko Murasaki has become the new poster girl for the men and envy of a few women with Evergreen taking the lead. She was the tallest among the female standing as tall as Freed. Her proportions, the envy of everyone with her leading in the chest department, flat stomach and trim waist, shapely hips that connected to her curvaceous legs that seemed to go on forever.
Her wavy and flowing raven hair tied in a lose ponytail that's draped on her right shoulder. Her hair was split from the right with two short strands of her hair stood up and pointed backward like antennas from where it's parted. Two long strands of her hair that reached up to her breasts framed her face curling near the end pointing inwards. Her sharp eyes and red irises–while normally intimidating- is usually filled with mischief and playfulness. Her full lips that have a light shade of red lipstick only accentuated her pale complexion. She wore a simple black dress with a long slit that reached below her hips under a white jacket with its collar unfolded and terminating just below her large breasts with black heeled shoes finishing her ensemble.
"Thanks." Levy said as she accepted the meal. "You've really taken over as our new barmaid, Toriko." She commented as the woman smiled as she worked on getting everyone's order delivered.
"It's not that hard, really." Toriko replied as she got out of the bar, "Miss Kinana, could you deliver this to Macao-san and the others?"
"Ok, kina." Kinana said as she took the tray with beer. "I'll take it to them, kina." The former Oracion Seis pet turned guild waitress replied. Even though she was the most senior between them from being the newest addition, she didn't mind taking orders from the kind and playful woman.
Toriko lifted the barrel of alcohol with one arm and balanced the tray filled with metal with the other and walked towards their respective owners. Arriving first at Cana, she handed the resident alcoholic her next victim. "Here you go, Miss Cana, another round for you." She placed the barrel down on the table with ease where Cana plopped herself.
Cana smiled happily as she hugged the barrel of alcohol. "Thanks a lot!" she grinned, patting the new barmaid at the back. Just as the woman started to leave, Cana's mischievous side kicked in as she vaulted forward grabbing Toriko's breasts who released a startled gasp as Cana began groping her. "How come your breasts are this big? My hands can't even cover them."
A lot of men keeled over at the sight with Macao and Wakaba leading the charge. Despite the sexual assault from Cana, Toriko simple blushed but held her composure. "Now, now… as arousing as it is, Miss Cana, it's not the time for such things." Toriko admonished as she placed the tray filled with metal on the table and rounded on the drunk. She wrapped her arm around Cana's waist and grabbed her left wrist, lifting it in the air as the intimate position sent the men falling like flies. She leaned in close to Cana's face with just a hairsbreadth away from hers and smiled while tracing Cana's lips.
Cana stared at Toriko's eyes –a light shade of red- as she forgot how to speak from the intimate position they're in. How was it again? Open mouth and words come out. Cana did just that and made a rather disturbing mistake. Toriko immediately sealed her lips with her own in a soul searing kiss.
Toriko pulled back with a satisfied smirk as Cana seemed to be staring of at a distance. "Now, if you're really interested… to know what it's like to be with a woman… you know where to find Me." she left the invitation as she took the tray and walked towards Gajeel.
Cana shook her head as she snapped out of her kiss induced daze and started looking for Toriko. 'Damn woman, making me question my sexuality and whatnot!' Cana internally groused as she returned to her drink, chugging at the barrel without a care. Her eyes following Toriko as she walked towards Gajeel and whether she was going insane or more hammered than she thought, Cana watched the sensual sway of her hips and wondered if she would take her up on her little offer.
Gajeel eyed the woman who handed him the pile of metal who remained uncaring of his wary look. "You're more dangerous than the person you're substituting for." He commented, having had a few run-ins with the fully reestablished Demon, which is Mirajane.
While Mirajane have a way with words, accompanied by a little threat to get what she want. Toriko, on the other hand would strike when you least expect it and could actually talk a Dragon to give up its wings and start crawling. Her ability to talk a person into complacency is unnerving as she could easily blend into a crowd like a chameleon to its surroundings, not to mention her ability to just appear out of nowhere without his nose picking up on her scent. She has the makings of a perfect spy, if not an assassin.
"How is that? I can't even use magic, Mr. Gajeel." Toriko replied innocently, purposely adding the honorific to annoy the Dragonslayer. "Anything else?" she asked with a smile.
That was the crux of the problem. Even Master Makarov agreed that she wasn't a mage and his enhance senses told him the same, but as much as Gajeel wanted to be calm in front of the woman. He can't. His instinct screamed at him that she was dangerous on a level that even he wouldn't be able to compete. "Nothing, go away," he motioned with his hand, "your ruining my appetite." He grumbled as he returned to his food.
"Just call me when you need anything else." Toriko offered as she left the solitude loving mage, returning to her post at the counter.
Makarov glanced at the woman through the rim of his mug, raising a curious eyebrow. "As much as I enjoyed the show, did you really mean that?" the Third Master asked, as Toriko refilled his mug. Images of Cana and the absurdly seductive woman in a hot embrace sent his mind into the gutter. "Thanks."
Toriko smiled again as she returned to drying the newly washed dishes. "Of course, I don't want to limit my chances of happiness, Master." she replied in a matter-of-fact tone. "And if you were a little younger, Master. I might talk Cana into a little threeway." She added playfully sending a wink to Makarov.
The effects were instantaneous as Makarov's beer is tainted with his blood, head snapping back from the sudden torrent of blood that erupted from his nose. He was sure that he would fall into the floor, but he was saved by Toriko who moved to catch Makarov who landed between her breasts. The feel of such soft flesh surrounding his head made him feel that he died and went to heaven as a blissful expression appeared on his face.
"Now, Master, you should be a little more careful." Toriko chided as she pulled Makarov from her breasts and sat him properly. "We wouldn't want you getting hurt now, do we?"
Makarov coughed through his fist to try and retain some dignity. "You're more trouble than, Natsu and the rest of my kids." He said, taking the offered drink from the woman who simply smiled and returned to her chore. Unlike Mirajane who chided him for acting like a pervert, Toriko didn't and simply enjoyed making fun of him. Makarov saw the look coming from the two other perverts in the guild –Macao and Wakaba- and couldn't help the smug look on his face.
It's been three days since he met the alluring woman outside of the guild looking to join Fairy Tail. At first, he thought that she was a mage like Erza from the swords she carried –a katana and a short sword with a blunt tip-, but upon further inspection and coming from the woman herself. She can't use magic, and the magic he sensed came from her swords. After hearing her story that she was trying to get into a guild, but being unable to use magic quickly made her ineligible to join any.
So, being the kind and understanding man that he is –and the fact he could add another painfully beautiful woman to his guild, he allowed her to join and was rewarded by a breast facial. That alone was enough proof that he made the right call, though a test of her skills is still required and would be done in the near future.
Makarov silently continued with his drink as he watched his children milling around in the guild. Toriko chatting with Levy who blushed as the woman teased her about a certain Iron Dragonslayer. It was moments later that he senses the familiar effects of sleep magic and knew that he has returned, he watched as his members fell one by one as he remained awake.
"Well, this is curious." Toriko's voice wafted into his ears and saw the woman unfazed by such powerful sleep magic. "What's happening here, Master? Are we being attacked?" the tone of her voice was still playful, but the way her body tensed told him otherwise.
"Our nomadic member decided to pay us a visit." He replied, glancing at the woman who smiled. Another question rose in his head as to how she could remain unaffected. But now wasn't the time to find answers.
Mystogan finally materialized walking through the guild doors expecting to find everyone asleep. But the moment he glanced at Makarov's direction, he was stunned to find someone immune to his spell. A new comer he hadn't seen before, but what unnerve him were her shrewd eyes that bore unto him, watching his every movement as he pulled on his mask to further hide his face. Knowing that avoiding her was first in his agenda. Like usual, he walked towards the board and took one of the high paying and dangerous job off it. He then proceeded to walk towards Makarov and presented him the piece of paper, eyeing the woman beside the lethargic Third Master.
"I'm taking this job, Master." Mystogan's garbled voice said.
Makarov stared at the mysterious man before he spoke. "There is still the matter from Laxus' betrayal… I still need an explanation for your actions." He stated, having heard that he left his friends when he could've defeated Laxus and stop things from escalating.
Given that in the end Natsu was victorious. But the fact that he was forced to kick his own Grandson for placing everyone life's in complete danger for using Fairy Law weighed heavy on his heart.
"I know that you have your own issues to deal with, and I understand that." Makarov looked up and held the man's gaze. "But to walk away from your duties as a mage of Fairy Tail is going against the principles you swore to uphold, and in turn… you walked away from your friends." he didn't want to blame the man nor fault him, but it was the truth and it's the foundations that held the guild together. Friendship and camaraderie.
"Forgive me, Master." Mystogan apologized, "I know that what I did was wrong, but my presence there would only confuse and hinder them in battle." He stated, unable to mention Erza's name knowing what his face and name brought to the woman. He never really knew her personally but took it upon himself to hide his identity and lessen the woman's burdens.
Sensing the apologetic aura coming off the man, Makarov accepted his apology. "Very well, just make sure this doesn't happen again." He then gestured to the woman silently listening and watching their conversation. "This fine young lady beside me is the new addition to our guild. Her name is Toriko Murasaki. Toriko, Mystogan, Mystogan, Toriko." he gesture from the woman to the hooded man and back again.
Toriko held out her hand. "Nice to meet you, masked man." She greeted with a smile.
Mystogan warily took the woman's hand and shook it. Her grip was strong, but not enough to cause pain as he tried to remember if he ever saw her before. Much like Makarov, he could sense that she's incapable of magic just like him, but he couldn't shake off the feeling of how dangerous she is.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Toriko. I hope you enjoy your stay at the guild." Mystogan replied as he took his hand back and looked at Makarov. "I'll be going now, Master."
Like before, he left while counting down to one as every single one slowly started to stir and talks about the mysterious man resounded in the hall.
"How can you stay awake from his sleep magic?" Makarov asked as she once again returned to her duties.
"A woman must have secrets, Master, or we'll just be attractive faces on sexy bodies." Toriko replied vaguely, sending another wink to Makarov as she prepared to clean the mess Mystogan left.
Makarov shook his head. Another person joined the guild that would possibly be the death of him as he just accepted her answer for now and silently watched the day pass by.
"Your highness…" a short old man, wearing elaborate robes approached his king looking over his city from the balcony.
The king glanced back at his chief of staff and spoke. "What is it, Byro? I pray that it is good news that you bring." He then turned his attention to the short man. The king himself is a much taller man than his chief of staff and rather slim as he wore long and elaborate clothes like Byro. His long grayish-white hair reached below his shoulder much like his beard with matching moustache. The sound of his staff hitting the floor reverberated inside the room.
The bald Byro bowed in respect as well as asked for forgiveness from his king. The shorter man has horn like eyebrows and tufts of hair on either side of his face. "I'm afraid it's both my king…" Byro saw him grip his staff tighter as he continued and decided to start on the good. "The good news my king is that we finally perfected the use of Anima and we could now aim it. The bad news… is that our biggest source has been completely cut off." he didn't dare look up as he waited for his king's reaction.
"I see… what about our previous source? Will he be able to stop it?" The king asked, some anger slipping in his voice, but remained composed.
Sensing that his king wasn't as angry as he expected, Byro gave him the answer he wanted. "Not if we increase the Anima's output, my king. Even he could not stop one large enough to swallow a large town."
The king's face erupted into a smile. His body began to shake as gales of laughter erupted from his lips. "Soon we will have unlimited supply of magic, and I, Faust, will bring this kingdom to the peak of its glory!" Faust exclaimed to the heavens as plans to make sure the man that hindered his dream suffer by taking whatever family he may have attained.
AN: Well I finally managed to update after so many months of absence and I hope this updates would be enough of an apology for said absence. My work has taken for the worse, as my simple life of an office engineer doing simple paperwork ended and I was dragged out into the site. I'm one of the engineers in charge of making sure the construction goes as schedule (which rarely does) and I spent six days and a minimum of 12 hours per day. I'm hoping of making these two months of rest productive and write a few more chapters before I'm dragged back on site. Thanks for those that left a review and message me while I'm away.