Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece or Fairy Tail
After such a dismal day participating in the competition, most would think that the members of both Fairy Tail and the Straw Hats would have been disappointed with their efforts and be sulking in silence. Of course these people would never have met either of these guilds in person.
The bartender had not had such roaring business in a long time as the two guilds drank and ate their fill as if they had already won the competition. That being said it was rare to see two guilds being so cheerful with one another, especially during the tournament where a single slip up could be the difference between victory and defeat.
"I'm up tomorrow!" Natsu proclaimed boastfully. "I'll turn things round for us!"
"If the Salamander's going to be in the game then maybe I'll join in too," said Gajeel from the bar, eager to show that he was better than his long time rival in any sort of competition.
"Yosh, I want to participate again!" shouted Luffy only to be slapped over the back of the head by Nami.
"Baka, you practically destroyed our chances of winning already, I'm not letting you compete again so soon!" shouted Nami, her mind solely set on the money.
"Also, as per the rules and regulations set within the first tournament, a wizard may not compete in two neighbouring events," said Robin as she took a sip from her drink. "In other words you won't be able to compete again in the events until the third day. However Captain-kun, wouldn't it be unfair if your crew was left out of the competition because you wanted to show off."
"I'll just show everyone that I'm the strongest in the battles then!" shouted Luffy.
"If I don't end up facing you I'm going to call the whole thing fixed," said Ace as he rubbed his brother's hair. "I mean you can imagine it happening, on the last day of the tourney it will come down to two brothers brawling for the title."
"Sounds like a good story," said Levy with a smile.
"Yea but I'm going to win no matter what," declared Luffy.
"Well that's one battle I'm looking forward to," said Gray as both he and Lucy entered the bar.
"Are you alright Lu-chan?" asked Levy.
"If it still hurts I can treat you," said Chopper from nearby, always ready to tend to any patients.
"I'm totally fine," said Lucy but it was clear that she truly didn't mean it. None could blame her however, having lost in front of an entire audience was one thing but to be humiliated and laughed at for her magic seemingly 'disappearing' was another thing altogether. Nobody called her on this though and just took her words as proof.
"Well I guess since you guys have selected your competitors for tomorrow I guess it's only right that we do to," said Robin with a smile.
"Eeehhhh," cried Nami. "Shouldn't we wait until we see what the competition is first and choose the best person for the job?"
"Even if we did wait, the only clue we get for the competition beforehand is the name and as we learnt with 'Hidden' it's hardly an indication of the actual event at all," declared Robin. "Therefore choosing our combatant now is hardly an advantage or disadvantage at all."
Nami huffed as she couldn't disagree with what Robin was saying. It was clear by her mood though that she wouldn't be the one competition in whatever event played out tomorrow. Somebody else was very vocal in the fact that they didn't want to compete but went about it in a completely different way.
"Oh no, my chronic 'if I compete tomorrow I'll die,' disease is acting up," said Usopp as he clutched at his chest feigning injury.
"I'll treat it right away!" declared Chopper as he rushed up to the team's sniper.
"That sounds serious," said Natsu as he too got sucked into the lie that Usopp had spun.
"Wendy can heal him!" shouted Happy.
"She's still resting," said Ace in a voice that only just carried the distance between himself and Happy. Before having come to the bar to be with everybody else he had gone to the medical wing where Wendy was located and had spent a solid two hours with the young girl. She had been sleeping as Porylusica went about mixing medicines and Ace simply sat in silence. Part of him couldn't help but feel responsible for what had happened to the blue haired girl. He couldn't help but think that if he had actually caught the right train then he would have been there to prevent this from happening to Wendy.
"Well then," shouted Makarov as he leapt on top of a table, his small stature carefully cradling the drink in his hand before he lifted the mug skywards. "Today's defeat is the seed for tomorrow's victory. Let's rise up, cause we don't know the meaning of the words 'give up!' Let's aim for number one in Fiore!"
His words were met with a ferocious applause as the members of the guild cheerfully took Makarov's words to heart. From outside the tavern, Jellal sat upon a nearby wall still dressed in his disguise. Having been scolded by Ultear he didn't truly wish to join in the festivities. He knew that he had gotten too absorbed in the competition and realised he should have simply aimed for the draw like Zoro had instead of chasing glory and the high chance of breaking his cover.
It was foolish also as he now realised that if he had cast his spell then the person he was tracking would undoubtedly have discovered that they were being tailed and possibly have fled. His head picked up as he felt something. He couldn't quite tell what it was or if it was truly what he was looking for but it felt menacing one way or another. Needless to say this was the biggest lead he had gotten so far and even if it didn't feel like Zeref's magic he couldn't help himself as he leapt down from his position and started running down the street towards the magical presence he felt.
Meanwhile back in the bar Natsu stood triumphantly over Max as many pondered just how strong the dragon slayer had gotten over the three month period. "Yohohoho, I feel like playing my song of glory but I feel like it would be premature," said Brooke as he sipped at the glass of milk the bartender had given him.
"Couldn't hurt," said Franky as he chugged down a bottle of cola.
"Franky-san," said Brooke getting the shipwright's full attention. "Even though we are not in the tournament, we never truly decided on a reserved fighter in the case that either Usopp-kun or Nami-san became unable to compete." Needless to say he didn't feel as if he needed to list the possibility of either Zoro, Sanji or Luffy giving up on competing; such a thing seemed more impossible than improbable.
"Well it clearly couldn't be you, I think the rules clearly state that you have to be alive to compete," said Franky with a smirk.
"I am very much alive thank you," said Brooke getting slightly frustrated. "Anyways, since your body is so heavily modified, the officials would refuse to allow somebody who was part machine to compete."
"So long as we don't show them that I'm part machine there shouldn't be any problem," said Franky. "Face it Brooke, I'm going to be the reserved member because I'm SUUUUUUPER!"
"No, it shall be I who fights alongside Luffy-kun!" shouted Brooke as he got to his face, staring Franky eye to...eyehole.
"While it is quite enjoyable to watch the two of you squabble, I feel like I should end this bickering before you two get into a fight of some kind and end up costing our guild precious funds," said Robin as she broke up the two members of the Straw Hats.
"Ah Robin-san, you're going to say that I'm the reserved member right," said Brooke confidently.
"Please, the reserved member has to be someone Super like me," declared Franky pointing his thumb at his chest.
"Actually it's Chopper," said Robin passively, enjoying the entertainment value as both Franky and Brooke's jaws dropped several inches to the point where Brooke's jaw nearly dropped off entirely.
As this was going on Laxus was warning Gajeel that brawling with Natsu inside the pub would be foolhardy. For his efforts the Iron Dragon Slayer patted his blonde counterpart on top of the head much to the dismay of Freed who tried to summon the rest of the Thunder God Tribe to his side to aid him in defending Laxus' honour. Sadly for him however both Evergreen and Bickslow had found themselves in quite a predicament as they found themselves in a drinking contest against Cana. Despite having been drinking all day there was little that could deter the card mage from drinking even more. Even when a random person came and sat down beside her she didn't sway from her drinking. Unfortunately this was one opponent she couldn't beat.
After multiple shots, Cana dropped to the floor as many of the guild members gasped in shock from the fact that Cana of all people had lost in a drinking contest. "I'm going to be taking this as a present," said the stranger as he reached for the small top that concealed Cana's breasts from view. He didn't get far however as he found his path blocked.
"I don't mind friendly competition," said Sanji slightly annoyed that he wasn't permitted to light up a smoke indoors. "As I recall however no stakes were made at the beginning of the contest and I will not let you destroy Lady Cana's honour by stripping her in front of everyone here."
While the members of Fairy Tail thought that Sanji was being incredibly noble by standing up to this drunkard, the Straw Hats all knew that while Sanji wouldn't let somebody else strip Cana he wouldn't waste a second if he got the opportunity to do so himself.
"Bacchus?" questioned Erza as she finally came around to see what the commotion was.
"Yo, if it isn't Erza," said the member of Quatro Cerberus.
"You reek," said Erza quickly picking up the stench of alcohol upon Bacchus' breath.
"You're a fine babe as always," said Bacchus and Sanji had to force himself not to strike out at the drunkard as he completely agreed with what the man was saying.
"It's been a long time," said Erza.
"You know him?" asked Lucy as she too got involved in the conversation.
With the threat seemingly having passed, Sanji felt that this was as good a time as any to get out of the conversation. Craving a cigarette, he stepped outside of the bar in order to allow himself to light up a smoke. Taking in a deep breath, he knew that when he stepped inside once more he would make his declaration, undoubtedly he would be the one competing tomorrow.
It wasn't long before the door was opened and a laughing Bacchus staggered out into the open and Sanji couldn't help but speak up. "Oi Bacchus," he said as his visible eye caught the attention of the drunk. "If I were you, I'd hope that you don't encounter me on the battlefield anytime soon. For trying to disrobe Cana-chan I will make you suffer."
"I'd like to see you try!" laughed Bacchus as he stumbled off towards where he thought his guild was being housed. Sanji let out a sigh as he finished off the last of his smoke, letting the cigarette drop from his lips to the floor before extinguishing it with the base of his foot. Turning back towards the bar, he needed to make sure that Luffy didn't eat the entire place out of food in the brief period he had been gone. Kami knew that that boy would do it if unsupervised.
On the other side of town, Jellal had practically given up on his search. Over time the energy he had been tracking had become fainter and fainter until he could barely feel it at all. Even though he could feel that the magic wasn't the same as he had felt several times before, he had been willing to chase up any leads that may have appeared.
With a defeated sigh, he turned to return to where the rest of Fairy Tail drunk merrily but paused as he watched one man exit out of a bar of some description. "Those were the best cherry pies," declared the man boldly as he patted his stomach before his eyes locked on to Jellal. "Oh, you're that Mystogan fellow that fought today."
"Yes," said Jellal. "If you'll excuse me."
"By all means," said the man as he allowed Jellal through. "If you fight in the tournament again, try not to screw up so badly, zehahahahahaha!
Hope you enjoyed
Buslimpan: Yea, Ace's going to compete but not within the next few chapters. He'll get the chance to show off later.
Jonjames427: Ah, it was written that the straw hat was torn, not cut. There's a difference between the two. Although Roger riding Acnologia would be a pretty entertaining Omake.
Son Goshen: It's not just...actually I'll let you figure out what else could be out there.
MASSEXPLOSION: I try to avoid the fillers as much as I can and basically anything that I deem not overly worthy or just plain boring I tend not to write. An example would be last chapter I could have written out the fight between Flare and Lucy but we already know how that would turn out so there was no point in me doing so. From here on out though a good deal of the matches will have changed so who knows what'll occur.