Team Natsu pulled up on the shore of the cursed island that housed Kantukaras the Sanguinemancer's tomb. They had taken a rowboat, and the ship and crew Erza hired had been ordered to stay anchored off shore until they came back.
Natsu quickly jumped off the boat once it was near the shore and kissed the ground saying, "Oh sweet earth, how I missed you."
Levy, Happy, and Lucy laughed as Erza went about the business of securing the boat to a tree that was near the edge of the water. She finished fastening it and then said "All right, we are all prepared right? From here on we don't know what we're walking in to. Even if it is just the tomb, I'm sure there are unimaginable threats ahead. Also at all times be prepared because there could be any number of enemies lying in wait to ambush us."
Natsu who finally seemed to be fully over his motion sickness shouted, "Let's get going, I'm getting all fired up, I'm going to be disappointed if there aren't some jerks to beat up."
Erza nodded and Gray said, "I'm right there with you flame brain, I'm looking forward to doing some damage."
Lucy just added, "I'm not that worried about other wizards, after all that stuff I read about Kantukaras at Levy's I'm more worried about what traps and tricks he has set up for us."
Levy nodded in agreement and Erza said, "That's right Natsu and Gray you need to be much more careful and cautious than usual. Storming in and randomly destroying stuff could get us in more serious trouble here than just The Magic Council. Remember the plan we discussed on the boat. Once inside we're going to move slowly and wait for Levy to inspect everything so we can avoid triggering traps unnecessarily."
Erza stared down Natsu and Gray and Happy until they all agreed to be careful and follow the plan. Erza then continued to explain the plan further saying, "Try to stay as close as possible, Levy went over some rune magic with Lucy and I, we also have light pens so we're going to buddy up. Gray you stay right by Levy the whole time, Natsu stay by Lucy, and Happy you stick to me."
Happy floated towards Erza and said, "Aye sir."
Erza said, "Ok according to the map we saw if we walk about a mile into the trees here the tomb should be right in the center, it is supposed to be hard to miss. Happy and I will lead the way, stick close and do whatever you can to not get separated."
The group went in pairs like Erza ordered and made their way cautiously through the forest that occupied the island. Their pace being as slow as it was it took them about an hour and a half to travel the mile before they came upon the clearing in the middle of the island. Erza put her hand up ordering every one to stop at the edge of the forest.
In the center of the clearing there was a small stone structure that seemed to be placed at a center point of four fifteen feet tall obsidian statues of the same man. The southernmost statue which stood in front of them showed the man in a suit of armor, and he had a snake with its fangs bared wrapped around his ankle, looking like it was poised to bite him.
Erza turned to look at Levy and she nodded as she stepped forward to inspect the statue. Levy noticed faint etchings carved into the body of the snake. She looked up and said, "Stay here, I need to look at all the statues before we move forward."
Erza motioned for Gray to follow and he did as Levy looked back and said, "Make sure to stay by the edge of the forest Gray, don't go too far into the middle."
Levy with Gray behind her went to each statue and studied it for about five minutes before she met back up with the group. Erza asked, "Well Levy, what is it?"
Levy answered, "It is a trap of sorts, but it seems very easy. I think it is just a basic check to see if the person trying to enter is cautious and understands runes at all. The tomb appears to be underground, and the stairwell to take you down is located in that stone structure in the middle. To open the door you need to make a blood offering at each statue."
Levy pointed to the snake at the statue in front of them and said, "At each statue there is a snake like this one. You'll notice that they each have very sharp fangs exposed, and their mouth and throats make a sort of funnel. One of us needs to at each statue cut one of their fingers deeply on the fang and then let the blood run down the throat. Once it's done at all four the door should open."
Lucy said, "Eww that's creepy."
Erza said, "What did you expect Lucy, this is the crypt of one of the darkest wizards since Zeref."
Natsu said, "I think it's kind of cool, feeding snakes to open a door what a weirdo."
Erza cut in and said, "Ok I'll do this statue, Levy and Gray take the one across from us and Lucy and Natsu take the other two."
Levy added, "Make sure not to step inside the radius of the circle created by the statues, if you do before the door appears I'm pretty sure something bad happens."
Erza said, "Once we're in place I'll give the signal to cut yourself."
They all walked around and got in place in front of the statue as Erza raised her hand and shouted, "Now!"
Erza then with her gauntlets off her left hand reached her bare pointer finger and quickly slammed it into the snake fangs. It stung a little as the very sharp obsidian fang sliced into her and she held her finger there for a few seconds watching the blood swirl down the snake's throat.
Erza pulled her finger off eventually and then watched in amazement as a few seconds later a bright light flashed on the stone structure and where there was a wall previously facing her there now appeared a stone staircase leading down.
Levy shouted, "It should be fine to go in now and approach the staircase."
Everyone walked forwards and met in the center at the top of the stairwell. It was made of stone and wide enough for two people to comfortably walk side by side.
Erza said, "We will go down two by two, Levy and Gray will go first as she is the best at recognizing runes. Then Happy and I will go, Natsu and Lucy you two bring up the rear."
Levy knelt down to read the etchings on the first step and said, "I think it should be safe all the way down."
Levy then tentatively put her left foot on the top step and then her right and breathed a sigh of relief as nothing happened. Gray followed her onto it. Before taking each step down Levy would repeat the same process and then Erza and Happy would follow onto the step that Levy and Gray just vacated, to be followed by Lucy and Natsu who would occupy the one that Erza just left.
They went down about forty steps this way and then at the bottom there was an archway which opened up into a large room. Levy stepped into the room and said "Woohoo we're inside."
Erza watched as a mass of light flashed and illuminated the room as soon as Levy entered. She was still standing on the bottom step as she saw several different wizards standing in the center of the room in a line. The tallest one who stood in the middle shouted, "Take out the blue haired girl, she's the rune wizard."
Erza thought, just as I expected an ambush, I am going to make these bastards pay. She then watched as one of the wizards from the line dressed in a yellow spandex suit disappeared and then in the blink of an eye appear a few feet in front of Levy and shoot a beam of light from his finger.
Gray who was standing next to Levy yelled, "Watch out Levy "as he jumped in front of her and wrapped her up in his arms.
Erza saw the beam of light slice right through Gray's shoulder and then watched in horror as Gray and Levy fell right through the floor disappearing out of sight.
AN: I updated quick, but this was a short one to set up the more action packed chapters that are on their way. I'm going to do something different here and split this story into two separate ones at this point. The main story will continue following Erza and Natsu and the rest of them, and chapter 11 of this story will tell you what happens to them during the ambush.
I'm also going to be starting a Gray and Levy story that will pick up right at this point when Gray and Levy disappeared. I had an idea for a Gray and Levy part that was going to be pretty long and involved, and since I know some people don't like heavy doses of side pairings in their fics I thought it would be easier to just split into two stories. I've already finished the first chapter of that story and I'll be posting it right after I finish putting this up. It's called Runes of Love and if you want to find out what happens to Gray and Levy you can read it. It is sort of like the next chapter of this story. If you only care about Erza and Natsu you can also ignore it, nothing important about their part in Requiping a Naked Heart will be missed by not reading it. Not to sound too full of myself, but I highly recommend reading it as I think it turned out pretty good.
Anyway thanks for reading and I hope you do choose to check out Runes of Love.