Disclaimer: I don't own either one of these amazing series. Though I wouldn't mind it if I did.
I'm not Lost: Redux
Zoro slept quietly as the breaks slowly brought the train to a stop, a light rain spattering the windows.
"Attention all passengers," announced the conductor over the intercom, "We have arrived in the town of Endor. All passengers are required to disembark at this time thank you for riding with us today."
Zoro, meanwhile, remained asleep, that is until his peaceful slumber was rudely interrupted by a certain someone planting a boot firmly into his gut.
"What the hell was that for," shouted Zoro at his partner.
"We're here," said Mirajane condescendingly. "Dumbass."
Grabbing his swords Zoro followed the young take-over mage off the train. Walking out of the train-station Zoro took a look around in order to get a feel for his surroundings.
The town of Endor was unlike any other town Zoro had ever been to in his life. Rather than small houses that were tightly packed in order to accommodate as many people as possible and still leave enough land for agricultural purposes, all Zoro could see were large ostentatious mansions built around a large hill in the center of town, spaced out and separated by large walls of granite and tall hedges. And the people here were dressed in clothing that he could only assumed passed for fancy in this strange world he found himself in as they shopped in the market, their servants trailing behind them carrying large stacks of their purchases in one hand whilst holding an umbrella in the other to shield their masters from the light rain.
"Huh," said Mirajane, "I guess you are lucky."
"What are you talking about," questioned Zoro.
Mirajane palmed her face in annoyance. "Can't you see how rich people in this town are? As long as you don't screw anything up we should make a ton of money.
Zoro merely shrugged, "Whatever, it's not like I care how much money I make, I was just bored."
"Oh," Mirajane said slyly, "So you won't mind if I take whole reward for myself."
"The hell you will," Zoro shouted at the girl.
"Boy you sure have a short temper," she responded coolly.
This girl was really starting to get on his nerves. He was starting to wonder if this was how Nami had been when she was younger.
"Now then, what's next on the agenda," Mirajane asked the young swordsman
Zoro merely looked at her quizzically, "How the hell should I know?"
"Are you serious," she sighed. "Give me the job flyer."
Reaching into his pocket Zoro fished out the folded piece of paper that contained all the information regarding the mission and handed to Mira.
"Alright let's see," she said as scanned over the sheet of paper. "It's says we're to meet with the count at his house as soon as we arrive."
"So where is this count's house," Zoro questioned her.
"I don't know, I've never been here before."
"Tch," Zoro growled in annoyance, "Some help you've been."
"What's that supposed to mean," she shouted at him, "You're the one who's useless. I mean you can't even use magic and… Hey where are you going?"
Zoro stopped mid-stride and turned his head to look at Mirajane.
"I'm just going to ask for some directions," Zoro said dismissively as he walked up to the nearest person he could find, Mirajane begrudgingly following behind.
"Hey you," said Zoro rudely, "Can you tell me where the count's house," he had started to ask before he was interrupted.
"Hmmm," the man inquired as he looked down just noticing Zoro for the first time. He had a long hooked nose with pasty skin and a long black cane hung from the wrist of his left hand. He wore a monocle over one eye, magnifying the large black iris while the other was closed. He wore a black suit with a frilly white undershirt; his hair was styled in a comb over in a failed attempt to hide his bald head while his hat sat askew on his head. His servant, a pretty young woman bearing a curvaceous figure and large breasts (not that Zoro noticed) with dark hair and violet eyes wearing an outfit typical of maids with a long skirt, of maybe 15 years of age gave Zoro a look that seemed apologetic.
"What a rude ugly little child," the man chided as he waggled a finger in Zoro's face. His servant's face fell even further, the sympathy in her eyes now clearly evident
"What," growled Zoro as a vein in his head started to throb.
"You should be more respectful when speaking to your betters you hideous child," the man said with a huff as he turned his now upward.
"Why you," Zoro practically shouted as his hand went for his sword, the air around him growing heavy with killing intent to which the man was completely oblivious due to his obnoxious nature.
His servant on the other hand was suffering terribly. The color had drained from her face and she appeared to have trouble standing. One could see her knees shaking beneath her long dress.
Zoro grit his teeth in rage as he started to slowly draw his blade from its sheath menacingly. His actions were cut short however, by a gentle hand staying his own. Zoro blinked in surprise before looking away from the arrogant prick in front of him to the owner of said hand to find himself surprised once more as he found himself staring into the blue eyes of Mirajane.
She gave him a stern look before turning her attention to the man in front of them.
"Excuse me sir," she said with a polite smile on her face, "Please forgive my rude partner here. We were just wondering if you would be ever so kind as to direct us to the count's house."
"Hmm," the man now turned his gaze to the young mage, "Oh my," said the man as if startled, "you poor dear. I can't imagine what it must have been like growing up with such terrible deformities."
"What," shouted Mirajane in anger as her hand squeezed tightly around Zoro's wrist.
"So many terrible imperfections," the man continued on, "Your face is uneven and your hair is bone white. Such terrible deformities; your parents must be so ashamed."
"M-my parents," said Mirajane, her face darkening as she hung her head. Zoro could see her attempting to hold back tears. Whether they were tears of rage or sorrow he couldn't quite tell.
As her tears fell to the ground a wild black aura surrounded her body, her fists clenched so tightly her finger nails started to draw blood as they dug into her palms.
"P-please, excuse me," stuttered the young maid as she stepped forward, a mixed look of both fear and sympathy on her face. "The count's house is just at the top of that hill, if you hurry you c- Aaaahhh," she cried out in pain
"You stupid girl," shouted the man as he hit his servant in the legs repeatedly with his cane, "Did I give you permission to speak?"
"M-my apologies Sir Reginald," she stuttered as tears of pain welled up in her eyes, "I didn't think- Ahh!"
"That's right you didn't think," he scolded as he continued to beat his young maid, "And once again you are speaking without permission!"
Mirajane's look of rage and anguish turned to one of shock as she gazed upon the scene in front of her. The people simply passed by as if nothing was going on. The rich people keeping their noses upturned whilst their servants kept their eyes averted by staring at the ground.
Zoro decided he had seen enough. In the blink of an eye he was between Sir Reginald and his servant, the black cane snapping as it made contact with the dense muscles of Zoro's body. "Enough," Zoro commanded through gritted teeth his hand floating towards Sandai Kitetsu as his opponent's eyes widened in rage.
"What, how dare you interrupt me while I discipline my servant you common filth," Sir Reginald demanded.
A shadow fell over Zoro's eyes as he directed all his anger at the obnoxious man before him and drew Sandai Kitetsu, "I suggest you leave now before I do something you're going to regret because trust me I won't regret it."
Sir Reginald, finally realizing his life was now in danger started to back away before turning to run but not before saying some parting words, "I swear you will regret this you horrible brats!"
"Che, whatever. Oww," shouted Zoro as he started to rub his head, "the hell was that for?"
"You Idiot," yelled Mirajane the only evidence she had been crying were her red and puffy eyes, "You just threatened to kill a member of the aristocracy do you have any idea of the repercussions we could face?"
"I had to stop him you saw what he was doing," Zoro started to argue.
The mere mention of the young maid caused Mirajane to shift her focus from Zoro to the girl on the ground.
"What's your name? Are you all right," asked Mirajane, a trace uncharacteristic sympathy in her voice as she went to help the older teenager.
"M-my name is Victoria and I-I'm fine really," the girl tried to assure them.
"All right," said Mirajane as her hands went to lift the girls dress, "but I'll check your legs just to be sure."
"No please you really shouldn't," she tried to protest but it was too late, as Mira lifted the hem of her long skirt a look of abject horror crossed his face. Her legs were covered in deep purple and black bruises and scabs some of which had been reopened and were slowly oozing blood.
The young maid quickly pulled away from Mirajane's hands as she did her best to hide the damage that had been done to her legs and possibly the rest of her body.
Slowly getting to her feet she bowed to the two young members of Fairy Tail, "I thank you from the bottom of my heart for trying to defend me but you really shouldn't have done that,"
"Why not," Zoro questioned her.
Once again she regarded the young swordsman with a look of sympathy and regret, "Sir Reginald is a very influential member of the aristocracy, he will no doubt fire me and make it impossible for me to find work anywhere else, but you needn't worry about me. He will be looking to get revenge on you for embarrassing him in public."
Zoro and Mirajane both gave her questioning looks, urging her to explain further.
"Sometimes his rivals go missing while others meet their end in freak accidents and those aren't even the worst cases."
"Why hasn't anyone done anything to stop him," Mirajane asked.
Victoria hesitated to answer.
"It's because they're afraid to do anything for fear that he will come after them next," stated Zoro, "Is that about right?"
"Y-yes, now please you should really go now," Victoria continued to plead with them.
"Sorry," Zoro replied, "We came here to do a job and we're not leaving until it's finished."
"I see," she said with a downcast look in her eyes, "Then please be careful."
She gave them a final bow and said goodbye before turning to leave.
"So she said that the count's house was at the top of the hill," said Mirajane taking charge of the situation, "We should head there now."
"yeah, yeah lets go," said Zoro as he started to walk in the wrong direction.
"Where the hell are you going?"
"To the count's house where else," he answered.
"it's at the top of the hill," Mirajane shouted at him while pointing to the large house that sat at the top of the hill in the center of the town.
"How was I supposed to know which hill she was talking about," he shouted back defiantly.
"There's only one hill in this entire town what other hill could she possibly been referring to," she argued.
"There's tons of hills outside of town," said Zoro as he pointed to the hillls miles away from the town off in the distance.
"Why the hell would the count of the town have his house at the top of a hill miles outside of the town he's the mayor of?!"
"Maybe he likes his privacy."
"Ugh," MIrajane groaned, "your stupidity is giving me a headache!"
As they sat there arguing there was a flash of lightning and a crash of thunder as the rain started to pour out from the heavens, drenching the two young teenagers. Everyone else ran to find cover from the storm while the two members of Fairy Tail continued their pointless argument.
"Forget it," Mirajane yelled bringing the argument to a close, "Let's just get to the damn count's house and get out of this fucking rain."
Grabbing Zoro's hand she started to drag him up down the street that led to the top of the hill.
"Hey what are you doing," Zoro protested as he trailed behind her.
"I can't let you out of my sight otherwise we'll never complete this mission," she complained still leading him by the hand, "I can't believe there's actually somebody with a sense of direction that bad."
"What are you talking about," he questioned, "There's nothing wrong with my sense of direction. It's not my damn fault everything isn't where it's supposed to be."
"You are incorrigible," she said only slightly under her breath.
"I heard that."
"You were meant to," she shouted at him.
A few minutes of brisk walking brought them to the gate of a large mansion surrounded by tall walls of granite on all sides, with thick metal doors acting as a gate two armored men on either side wielding spear like weapons. The mansion appeared to be more of a fortress than a house.
"Halt," shouted one of the men at the gate, "Who approaches the mansion of the honorable Count Garland?"
Mirajane spoke up, "We are members of Fairy Tail. We have come at the behest of the Count of Endor to look into the break ins that have been occurring recently."
"Very well," Said the guard as he and his companion stepped to the side, "You may proceed."
The large metal doors opened with a loud creak. Mirajane and Zoro made their way through the court yard of the estate. The court yard was filled with trees and gardens full of colorful flowers ranging from violets and lilacs to various colored roses. Soon enough they were at the foot of a set of granite steps that led to a large set of ornate oak doors.
Stopping at the doors Mirajane turned to Zoro, "Just let me do all the talking."
"Why should I let you do all the talking," he questioned, "in case you forgot, this is my mission."
"Just shut up and let me handle all the details," she hissed, "If I were to let you take command you would end up insulting the count and then he would look elsewhere for a solution to his problem. Do you understand?"
"Fine," Zoro begrudgingly relented, "Do what you want."
Reaching out a hand Mirajane knocked loudly on the door. It wasn't long before the doors were opened revealing an old man in a suit with grey hair sleeked back.
"Yes," he greeted them, "How may I help you?"
"We are the magi from Fairy Tail here at the behest of Count Garland," Mirajane explained.
"Ah yes," said the old man, "Count Garland has been expecting you. Please come in out of the rain."
Stepping into the main hall of the mansion they got a good look around. All around the room there were painting of various things from people to mountains directly in front of them was a large staircase that led to the upper levels of the mansion. Directly above them was a large crystal chandelier. They had barely stepped inside when they were surrounded by servants. Faster than either one of them could blink they found themselves being dried off and groomed. In just a matter of second the servants were finished and Zoro felt as if he had just taken a shower and changed into a freshly laundered set of clothes.
"What the…" started Mirajane.
"Hell," finished Zoro.
"There," said the servant who had answered the door, "much better. We had to make you look presentable to meet the count. We couldn't have you looking like you just came in off the street now could we?"
"Oh," came a voice from the top of the stairs, "You have finally arrived."
Looking to the top of the stairs Zoro found himself staring at open air.
"what the…" Zoro began, "I could have sworn I heard someone,"
"Yoohoo," came a voice directly beneath him.
Looking down Zoro found himself staring into the face of a man who was a full head shorter than himself with blonde hair and green eyes other than his diminutive stature there was nothing that really stood out about the man.
"I am Count Garland," said the small man, "I am so happy that you decided to answer my pleas for help. Now if you would both please follow me."
Walking to a painting of a man riding a horse, he shifted the painting to the right. As soon as he had done that a piece of the wall started to move. Soon a section of the wall was gone revealing a long hallway. Count Garland motioned for them to follow him. As Zoro and Mirajane stepped into the hallway the secret entrance closed behind them.
As they walked down the hall Zoro had the distinct feeling that there was someone following them.
"So how long have the two of you been together," asked Count Garland.
"Huh," said Zoro as the short count caught his attention, "Oh… This our first mission together," Zoro answered nonchalantly.
"No no no," said the count as he shook his head, "That isn't what I meant. I mean how long have the two of you been dating?"
"WHAT," both Mirajane and Zoro shouted at the same time both of the faces going red, "ME DATE HIM/HER!?"
"Oh you mean you aren't dating?"
"No way," said Zoro, "I don't have time for that sort of thing."
"There's no way I would date a directionally challenged idiot like him," answered Mirajane.
"Oh I'm sorry," apologized the Count, "You two just look like you would make such a cute couple. Oh well. Let's continue on shall we?"
Stopping halfway down the hall the count turned to face a candle holder on the wall and pulled it down. Once again a piece of the wall slid to the side revealing another passage that led down to a lower level of the estate.
After a whole hour of walking down to the lowest possible level they finally came to a stop in front of a large vault of sorts.
"Now for the reason I asked for you to come here," said the count as he regarded the two teenagers in front of him.
"The truth is that nobody has really had anything stolen from their estates but the magical wards surrounding there vaults were all disturbed proving that someone had indeed broken in. The fact that they didn't take anything leads me to believe they were looking for something."
"And you believe that you might have whatever they were looking for is that right," asked MIrajane.
"That is correct young lady," said the count, "The fact is I have no idea how these burglars are breaking into the vaults. I want you two to stand guard inside my vault and if the burglars should find their way inside capture them."
"How long are we supposed to be doing this," questioned Zoro.
"Until I am comfortable that my belongings are no longer in danger or the burglars are caught."
"How much money will we make doing this," Mirajane asked.
"You will paid a daily rate and should you catch the burglars you will receive a large bonus," answered the count.
"What about food," asked Zoro.
"Refreshments will be brought to you every few hours. Now then," continued the count, "just one moment and I will open the vault and let the two of you set up."
It took a few moments for the count to open up the vault. As the doors to the vault swung open they were greeted by the sight of various items set up on display. On one side the room various forms of jewelry locked securely in display cases while on the other side an assortment of armor and weapons set up on mannequins and at the end of the vault right in the center of the two aisles sat a pair of matching curved blades in ornate scabbards perched upon a pedestal.
"As you can see," started the count, "I am an avid collector of enchanted and magical items. This collection is my pride and joy and I need you to protect it with your lives."
"Yeah, yeah," said Zoro waving off the short count, "Tell me about those swords over there," asked Zoro pointing out the blades sitting on the pedestal.
"Ah yes the center piece of my collection," said Garland with pride, "Those are the fabled blades of Asura. It is said that when their powers are activated they can triple the power of a mage."
"I see," said Zoro as he approached the count drawing Shusui as he did so.
"Um," the count started nervously as he backed away from the swordsman, "W-what are you doing."
"Don't move," Zoro instructed him.
"Zoro get away from the count," Mirajane shouted putting herself between the count and Zoro.
Picking the white haired girl up with one hand he held her high out of the way while preparing his sword to strike.
Then he struck.
"No," MIrajane shouted.
The blood ran from the count's face as the blade missed his face by less than a millimeter and intead pierced his shadow. Two dark figures leapt from his shadow an instant before the blade had made contact.
"Wha" Mirajane shouted in surprise.
Soon the shadows took solid form and stood up revealing two male figures clad in dark form fitting suits.
"You're a clever one, aren't you," said the one on the right.
"You were able to tell where we were," said the one on the left, "That's a first."
"Wh-who are you," asked the count his voice still shaking.
"We," the two figures spoke in unison, "Are the undetectable thieves, the shadow twins."
"Undetectable huh," said Zoro as he put Mira back down.
"Yes well we will have to deal with that later, for now," said the one on the right, "Xander, get the swords, I'll distract them."
"Are you sure Kylar," asked Xander.
"I've got this now go," he commanded as he shoved his hands forward, "Shadow Flare."
Magic ruins formed around his outstretched hands and a dark ball formed before exploding into a burst of dark yet somehow blinding light.
When the light cleared the blades were gone. Turning to the entrance Zoro could see two shadows escaping.
"Get on," Zoro commanded.
"What," Mirajane asked with a curious glance.
"Get on my back we have to catch them."
"No way i-"
"Just do it," he said with a glare leaving no room to argue.
As soon as she was on he took off running at a break neck pace using his Kenbunshoku Haki to track the two thieves. It wasn't long until they were at the top of the stairs.
"Wait the door," Mirajane shouted in his ear.
"I got it," he shouted back. He quickly drew Wado from its sheath and slashed at the wall in front of him.
"What the hell? We're going to crash," Mira shouted before the wall fell to pieces in front of them, "What the?"
"Hang on," Zoro said as he picked up the pace
As they came into the main hall they found it in a disarray the things had been thrown about and the servants injured or rendered unconscious.
Zoro bolted through the large doors and sprinted towards the gates where the two guards had already been rendered unconscious.
It wasn't long before they were outside of the mansion racing down the streets of Endor. The Shadow twins figures slowly coming into view.
"Kylar," Xander said to his brother.
"I know," he said quietly, "Go on ahead and meet with the client. I'll take care of the brats. Now go."
Xander took the blades and took off on his own putting as much distance as he could between him and his brother.
"Good," said Kylar, "Now then to take care of the brats. Shadow's Embrace."
A dark circle of magic formed on the cobble stones in front of him directly in the path of the two mages from Fairy Tail.
"Come on we've almost caught them," Mirajane continued to shout in his ear.
Suddenly his mantra kicked in and alerted him to an impending attack and so he slowed to a hault a few meters in front of one of the twins.
"What are you doing the other one is getting away?"
"Get off," he said with authority.
"Don't tell me what to do," she said as she slipped off his back.
"Go get the other one. I'll take care of him."
"Are you sure?"
"I said I got it," Zoro assured her, "Avoid the trap he set up in front of us."
"Not a problem. Take Over: Satan Soul."
Magical ruins activated as her body started to transform until her body was covered in dark scales, her white hair now standing on end, her hands morphing into claws and a pair of dark leathery wings sprouting from her back with a thick tail protruding from her backside.
"Wow," said Zoro as he took in her new appearance, "That's a real improvement."
"Shut up," she growled angrily before taking flight to pursue the other thief.
Removing the black bandanna from his he arm he tied it securely to his head.
"Now then," said Zoro as he turned to face Kylar, "Shall we get started."
"Yes, let's," replied the thief as he brought his hands together and canceled out the now useless trap he had laid while his body sunk into the darkness around him.
"You should realize by now that hiding from me is pointless," said Zoro as he focused his mantra in an attempt to zero in on his target.
"Oh I'm not hiding," came a voice that seemed to echo all around him, "I am right in front of you, behind you and all around you! Shadow blades!"
All around him the shadows leapt from the darkness around him in the form of blades. His mantra had alerted him to the incoming attack but there were simply too many of them to avoid so he did his best to protect his vital organs and lessen the damage as the shadows pierced his skin.
"Hahaha," the shadow master laughed maniacally, "you see there is no possible way you can win! I am everywhere! I am the shadows!."
Zoro's only response was a grunt as the shadows stabbing into him finally dispersed.
"I see you haven't quite learned the difference in power between us," the voice of Kylar taunted, "Very well then; Shadow Blades: Endless Waltz!"
All around him blades of shadow rose up and began to twist and bend in perfect harmony as if they were dancing. And then they struck the blades came at from all directions in a slashing manner this time, their attacks happening in a rhythm. Zoro channeled haki into his blade as he tried to his best to defend against the shadows with limited results. The shadows would break away from portion he had blocked and continue on, cutting him regardless. The cuts were shallower than they could have been but given enough of them and he was going to die anyway.
Closing his eyes Zoro focused his mantra once more. He had to find his assailant and end this battle now.
Mirajane flew through the night sky following the thief at a distance. She didn't want to risk letting the thief know that he was being tailed, she had a sneaking suspicion that they were working for a third party.
The thief darted through the shadows to the edge of the town before running in to a small forest nearby. Lowering her altitude she flew through the forest taking care to not crash as she struggled to keep in sight and stay silent. She almost breathed a sigh of relief as she spotted the thief finally came to a stop in a clearing.
She perched herself on the branch near the top of a large tree and waited to see just who the thieves had been working for.
Xander kept looking around nervously and, as ridiculous as it sounded for him, kept jumping at shadows. The man who had employed him and his brother was not known for his kindness.
"Were you followed?"
Xander nearly jumped out of his skin as turned around to face the man that he had come to fear.
"Oh it's you," said Xander as he struggled to keep his voice steady.
"Where is your brother," asked his employer as he stepped forth from the shadows to reveal none other than Sir Reginald.
"He stayed behind to take care of the two brats from Fairy Tail."
"Ah yes I ran into them earlier today," replied Sir Reginald as he walked closer to the thief. "I must say I was rather impressed by the amount of killer intent the two of them gave off. I would have loved to have seen what they would have done to the real Sir Reginald."
In a flash of magical runes the form of Sir Reginald was replaced by a tall, muscular, dark blonde haired man with tanned skin. He wore a pair of worn hide pants with dark combat boots and an opened trench coat that showed off his chiseled and scared body. A dark stubble had started to form on his face indicating that he had not shaved in days.
"Playing the part of that insufferable oaf was unbearable."
"Speaking of him," spoke Xander timidly, "What exactly did you do with him?"
"Oh now that you remind me," said the stranger as he stroked the stubble on his chin thoughtfully, "I suppose I should really dispose of that idiot's body pretty soon."
"Y-you killed a noble," asked Xander in fear. His brother Kylar was the one who always handled the dirty work, Xander himself had always been squeamish at the sight of blood. They were twins identical in nearly every way but there was no doubt that Kylar was the evil one.
"They don't call me Dorian the Doppelgänger for nothing you know."
"Yes well," Xander started anxiously as he held the swords out for him to take, "here are the swords you wanted us to obtain."
Taking the blades from his outstretched hands he took one of the swords from its sheath and examined it carefully as the dark steel glimmered in the moonlight.
"Thank you very much," said Dorian as he regarded the thief with displeasure, "now for your payment…"
"Hold it right there," shouted out a voice from above them.
Looking up they saw what appeared to be a young female demon looking down on them menacingly. She leapt from her perch and the ground shuddered with the force of her landing.
"Oh, so the little girl knows Satan Soul Take Over Magic does she? This will be interesting."
"S-Satan Soul," Xander stuttered out.
"Don't worry Xander," said Dorian. "With your help I'll have no trouble killing the little mage."
"M-my…" A look of pain and surprise crossed his face as he looked down at the sword he was impaled upon, "help?"
"That's right," said Dorian as he watched the life leave the thief's eyes, "When the blades of Asura take a life their powers activate."
Mirajane looked on in horror as the blade stabbing into the thief began to absorb the blood. A dark ethereal glow started to engulf both of the blades. "You killed your own comrade?"
"Comrade, ally, such flimsy and meaningless words," stated the vile man in front of her, "Power is the only thing that matters in this world. And now that I have exactly that, when the blades of Asura taste blood they awaken and triple the power of the one wielding them. And the more they kill the more powerful they become."
"That won't matter," Mirajane stated boldly. "I will defeat you and turn you over to the magic council."
"That's easier said than done little girl. My magic may have been weak compared to others, having to rely on nothing more than my skill and intelligence to get by, but now I have power. Power that currently surpasses that of your Take Over magic and will soon surpass even that of the ten wizard saints and the magic council," Dorian shouted as he started to laugh maniacally a dark aura forming around his body.
"Now then little fairy, come and embrace your fears come to life. Come and embrace death."
"Raaaawwwrrrrrrr," she roared as she charged him, her own dark aura flaring around her wildly.
The battle between Zoro and Kylar was becoming ever more the one sided match as Kylar's blades of shadow continued to make deeper and deeper cuts into his body while Zoro kept his eyes closed trying as hard as he could to locate the illusive mage.
"Giving up already are we," asked the thief as his assault started to let up. "How dull and anticlimactic, though I can't say that I'm surprised. It was hopeless from the start. Very well then I shall grant you everlasting sleep. Dark Impalement!"
Zoro's eyes shot open as the magical runes formed directly beneath him. "There you are." Imbuing Shusui with haki he stabbed the dark blade down into the shadows beneath him.
"Gaaahh," came the thief's mangled cry of pain as Zoro's blade found its mark. All around him the shadows started to disperse as the body of the defeated Kylar came to the surface once more.
"It's simple really," Zoro coolly as started to walk away, "It's magic."
"No," said Kylar as he started to get up, his breathing now heavy and labored. "You think you can just turn your back on me and walk away like that. I'll fucking kill you."
Turning to face the thief Zoro gave a bored look. "Do you really think that you are in any condition to take me on and win?"
"Ha. Hahaha. Hahahahaha," Kaylar started to laugh hysterically as blood continued to ooze from the open wound in his gut. "I guess you failed to notice the little spectator over there in the bushes didn't you?"
Zoro looked at him curiously before his mantra picked up somebody hiding in the bushes. "What are you," Zoro started to ask but didn't get the chance to finish.
"Chains of Binding Darkness." Black chains formed around his out stretched hand and shout towards the bushes. A cry of alarm was heard as the chains found their mark and pulled their ha[less victim to the thief.
The young maid from earlier squirmed in his grip as she struggled to break free of her captor's grip but he was simply too strong.
"Oh-ho, what have we here? You're a pretty little thing aren't you," Kylar said sadistically as he groped her large chest. "And such a lewd little body too."
A look of absolute fear and discomfort was plastered on her face as she squeezed her thighs together as his other hand slid down her front towards her skirt. She looked at Zoro, her tear filled eyes pleading with him to help her in some way, anyway.
"But it would be oh so much sweeter if you were a virgin." The squeal of fear and heightened look of anxiety did not go unnoticed by the thief, "Oh you are aren't you? Oh the things I'm going to do to you." Zoro could practically see the snide grin beneath his mask as he looked at him. "Don't worry, I didn't forget about you, business first then pleasure after all. Once I dispose of this little brat then we will have some fun."
Zoro decided then that he had let this vile excuse for a human rant long enough. "Victoria was it," asked her in an attempt to calm her if only a little.
She nodded her head in affirmation.
"Victoria," Stated Zoro calmly, as he spread his legs shoulder width apart, grabbing Shusui and squatting into a stance, "Don't move."
"What," Kylar shouted in disbelief, "You would cut through her just to get to me? A guild bound mage like you wouldn't dare do that!"
"One sword style," Zoro started quietly, before he disappeared from the thief's line of sight only to reappear behind him, "Lion's song!"
Blood flew from the thief's mouth and chest as he fell away from the maid and hit the ground with a wet thud. "W-what? You cut her to get to me?"
"Look again," said Zoro.
Thief used his quickly fading vision to take a look at the girl. Victoria was now huddled over a good distance away from him her arms hugging her knees to her chest as she sat there on the road and cried the only damage done was the damage Kylar himself had inflicted on her psyche.
"H-how did you," Kylar tried to ask but he no longer had the energy.
Zoro answered him anyway. "A true master of the blade can choose what he wishes to cut and what he does not wish to cut."
Those were the last words the thief heard as his eyes closed never to open again.
Zoro walked over to the young maid and offered her his hand to help her up. "What are you doing out here at this time of night?"
"I-I was looking for shelter for the night until I could find a job," Victoria said to her savior as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
Zoro felt a lump of guilt start to from in the pit of his stomach. "I'm sorry about that, I didn't' mean to get you fired like that."
"I-it's fine r-really," she claimed with a small smile as she looked at the ground a faint blush forming on her face. "Thank you for," she started say before she was interrupted by the sound of an explosion and a small tremor that shook the ground. "W-what was that."
Zoro narrowed his eyes as he faced the direction of the explosion. "Victoria."
"Y-yes," she replied timidly.
"Do you know how to get to the Counts house?"
"Yes, of course."
"Go there and tell him I sent you. Do you understand?"
"Yes, but what about you?"
"I need to go help my comrade," he said as he started off towards another battle only to be stopped as he found himself in the embrace of the young woman, her breasts pressed firmly on his back.
"Wait,' she said, "Before you go, please tell me your name."
"Huh," Zoro asked dumbly, "It's Zoro. Why?"
Cupping his face in her hands she turned his gaze towards hers. "P-please," she said almost as if she was unsure of what she was doing, "be careful."
"Huh," was all Zoro managed to get out before once again he found a pair of lips firmly pressed against his own. As their lips broke apart Victoria looked away shyly before turning and running to the count's house leaving a very red faced Zoro standing alone in the streets wondering what had just happened.
Managing to shake himself out of his stupor Zoro refocused his mantra and located Mirajane before setting off. He found running to be extremely difficult due to the large bulge forming in his pants. "What the hell is wrong with my body," he asked himself as he continued to run in an awkward manner. "I must have lost too much blood in in that last fight. Yeah… That must be it."
Mirajane leapt back once again to avoid a slash from the wicked blades, putting distance between her and the evil man she faced.
She couldn't understand what was going on. She herself was practically gasping for air after only a few minutes of battle and yet her opponent didn't even seem the least bit fatigued.
'What the hell is this,' she thought to herself. 'There's no way this could even be possible. I shouldn't be this tired when using Satan Soul.'
Her legs felt as if they were jelly, barely able to support her weight. Her vision was rapidly alternating between clear and hazy. She felt as if any minute now she would pass out from exhaustion.
'Is there more to the Blades of Asura than he's letting on?'
Dorian smiled as he watched her struggle to maintain consciousness. "I see you've finally started to notice."
"Notice what," she spat.
"The Blades of Asura drain the energy of the wielder's opponent and feed it to the one holding them. In other words the longer this battle goes on the weaker you get and the stronger I become."
"Th-that's not possible," said Mirajane as her Take-Over magic deactivated and collapsed to the ground.
"Oh is it over already," asked Dorian as he started to walk towards her. "Pity. I was looking forward to making you suffer just a little longer."
He came to a stop in front of her prone form. Mirajane could barely make out his body as he raised the blade in his right hand high over his head in preparation to strike. 'Elfman… Lissana… I'm sorry,' she apologized mentally as she closed her eyes waiting for the end. 'I just wasn't strong enough.'
"Now die," Dorian shouted as he brought his arm down.
Clang! The sound of metal on metal echoed through the forest.
Using what little enrgy she had left, Mirajane opened her eyes to get a look at her savior. All she could see was his back as he held off the attack with his own sword. She managed to catch a glimpse of green peeking out from the bandanna on his head before unconsciousness claimed her. 'Zoro…?'
Zoro had arrived just in time to block the large man's attack, thus saving the life of his annoying companion.
Pushing his assailant away with his strength, he turned his head to steal a glance at Mirajane. She was breathing steadily. That was good.
"Oh what have we here," the man in front of him spoke. "If it isn't the little moss head from earlier."
Zoro scowled at his old nickname. "You don't look familiar. Have we met before?"
"In a manner of speaking. My name is-"
"I don't really care," Zoro stated coldly glaring at his new opponent. "Hand over the swords and walk away and I'll let you live."
Dorian smirked at the swordsman's statement. "My, you're awfully dark to be a part of an official guild aren't you? Normally members of official guilds are a tad squeamish about killing people."
"I'm no assassin if that's what you're implying," Zoro explained. "The only people I've killed are those who attacked me or innocent people first. Now are you going to do as I say or are we going to fight."
Dorian's smirk cracked into a wide grin, "What do you think?"
"Good," Zoro said with a malicious grin, "It's been a while since I've had an actual challenge." Drawing his blades he placed Wado in his mouth as he always did with Kitetsu and Shuusui placed respectively in his left and right hands.
"Three swords," stated Dorian curiously, "Now that is interesting. But just because you have one more sword than I do doesn't mean anything. My magical power will soon be second to none. After I kill the two of you my powers will only continue to grow."
The man continued ramble on about how his power was unmatched now that he had the blades of Asura. Quite frankly Zoro had had enough. "Oni… Giri!" In the blink of an eye the battle was over before it had even started as blood Sprayed form the open wounds on his chest.
"What…? That's… Impossible… Your magic," Dorian tried to say as he fell to his knees in defeat.
"I don't use magic," Zoro stated, his back to his fallen enemy.
"Hahaha," His enemy started to laugh. "Perfect," said Dorian in a voice that was not his, "It's been a while since I've had the pleasure of devouring such a fine specimen such as yourself. If I had to make an estimate I'd say it's been just over a thousand years."
Zoro turned to face his enemy. Something wasn't right. His Oni Giri attack should have been enough to kill him. Not only that, but his power was increasing at an alarming rate.
"I can see by the look on your face that you haven't a clue as to what is going on," said Dorian as he got to his feet, his wounds closing up. "You see when you defeated this pathetic mage you allowed me to take control of his body."
Zoro narrowed his eyes at this new threat. "Who are you?"
"Where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself. Raaawwr."
Dorian's body started to morph. His body started to expand in size while four more additional appendages started to sprout from his back. Odd growths started to form on the sides of his face. When the transformation was complete there stood before him an eight foot behemoth of muscle with six arms, covered in spikes, each wielding a blade, and three demonic face on his head.
"I am the great warrior demon Asura!"
"Demon huh? Let's see what you got then Demon."
"Come then child. When I defeat you I will make you my new vessel."
"Not a chance. Oni…Giri!"
Zoro leapt at the demon with blinding speed drawing all three of his swords across his body at the same time only to find his strike blocked by the demon's six blades.
"That was a noble effort child but alas you are too weak to defeat the likes of me," the demon declared as he pushed Zoro away.
Leaping back Zoro put as much distance between him and this new opponent. He could still feel the creature's power growing. It still had not reached full strength yet. There was still time to defeat it.
"You shouldn't stand there like that child. You may be an accomplished swordsman for your age but even you are still human. Now perish before my might. Vacuum slash!"
Swing all six blades across his body Asura created a vortex of blades that tore through everything in their path as they headed for the young swordsman.
Zoro immediately brought his blades up to defend as he sensed to danger of the incoming attack. He gritted his teeth in pain, refusing to cry out in pain as his body became littered with lacerations further damaging his body.
"You should just give in to me child. I promise it will painless."
Zoro just smiled demonically, "Now where's the fun in that,"
"Hahahaha, well said child."
Zoro could still feel the Demon's power rising soon it would no longer be within his ability to stop the monstrosity. Stealing a look at MIrajane's still prone form he came to a decision. He would put an end to this a quickly as possible. 'I haven't used this technique in while,' he thought to himself, 'I hope this works.
"Hmm? What is it?"
"One final attack. We both use our strongest techniques. Winner take all."
"Spoken like a true warrior. I will enjoy using you as my vessel as I spread my terror to the world!"
Asura held all six of his blades of his head as dark energy started to collect in a large mass in the center.
Closing his eyes Zoro concentrated on his strongest technique. A dark aura built up around him as his body appeared to morph into a similar form as the demon he faced. "Demonic Nine Sword Style…"
"Hell's Cannon," cried out Asura launching the dark ball of energy.
Zoro dashed at his opponent cutting through his attack.
"What," shouted Asura in surprise, "How is this possible?"
Zoro called out his attack as he slashed through his opponent. "Asura: Makyusen"
"What… are you," The demon questioned as his blades fell to the ground in pieces.
"I'm more of a demon than you'll ever be."
"Damn… you," cursed the demon as his spirit left the body of the already deceased Dorian.
Zoro sheathed his blades before walking over to Mirajane. Picking her up bridal style he began to walk back into town.
Mirajane could feel her body bouncing lightly as she was carried. She opened her eyes blearily as she looked up at the one carrying her. "Z-Zoro," she managed to whisper out.
Zoro looked down at her as the sky behind him started to turn from the black of night to the grayish purple hue of dawn. "Go back to sleep," he ordered as he continued to walk the streets of Endor.
"Don't worry about it. All you need to know is that the mission is complete."
"Y-you saved me," she said. Then she realized how she was being held. She had half expected someone like Zoro to carry her like a sack of potatoes. "Why are you being so gentle with me?"
"Zoro gave her a quizzical look. "You're a girl," he calmly stated, "and you're hurt."
That wasn't exactly the answer she had expected from him. He just didn't seem like the chivalrous type and yet he had saved her and was currently carrying her bridal style, just like the knights did with the princesses in all the stories her mother had told her when she was a little girl. She couldn't help but blush at the thought.
When the sun finally came out she was able to get a better look at Zoro. Her eyes widened in shock as she looked at the damage he had sustained while in battle.
"Zoro… You're hurt…"
"I've been worse," he said as he continued to walk. "Go back to sleep," he commanded once again. This time she did just that unable to muster up the energy to argue with him.
It was some time later that Mirajane finally woke up in a large soft bed with light pouring in through the window. Opening her eyes she took a look around the room. Expensive looking furniture and decorations were all over the room. It didn't look anything like a hospital room.
"Oh you're finally awake I see."
Turning to face the sound of the voice she found herself staring at Small form of the count.
"I'm so glad the two of you are all right, I shocked when my servants brought Zoro here covered in blood and you unconscious. I was so worried."
"Zoro," Mirajane asked worried, "Where is he?"
"Oh no please don't worry, I had my doctors bandage him up the best they could. They told him to take it easy but he just wouldn't listen. I believe he is currently in the kitchen eating. If you want I can take you down there."
"No, that's fine," she said as she released a breath she didn't even realize she had been holding.
"Now about your reward ," The count said getting down to business, "Zoro told all about what happened and I assure you I will make sure you receive payment befitting of your efforts. How does Ten million jewel each sound."
"Wha-, but that's," Mirajane started to say before she was cut off.
"Oh I know that isn't enough," the count started to apologize. "I nearly got two children killed. I'm so ashamed. Fine fifty million apiece it is then and I won't take no for an answer."
"Y-yeah," Mirajane said stunned, "That's fine."
It wasn't until the next day that Zoro and Mirajane left to return to Magnolia. They were about to head inside the train station when… "Zoro wait!"
Turning around they found the maid from the first day running up to them.
"Oh it's you," said Zoro as he recognized her.
"Is that all you have to say to her," scolded Mirajane.
"N-no it's fine," said Victoria as she rubbed her arm nervously a blush on her face, "I just didn't want you to leave without saying goodbye to you is all."
"Have you been able to find a job yet," asked Mirajane.
Victoria's face fell a little at that. "No not yet. Sir Reginald was found dead last night and everyone believes I'm bad luck so they have been avoiding me."
"Here," said Zoro as he held out his payment to her.
"Take it," he ordered, "It's my fault you got fired in the first place."
"B-but it's so much money," she started to say, "And what about you?"
Zoro just shrugged, "I'm sure I can find another job soon enough."
"Oh Zoro," cried Victoria as she wrapped Zoro into a hug. Unfortunately she was taller than Zoro and when she hugged him he found his face being smothered in her cleavage. Zoro could once again feel a large bulge forming in his pants as blood rushed to his nether regions. 'Damn it what the hell/ Why can't I control this.'
As she released him from the hug she once again pressed her lips to his just as she had done the night he had saved her life.
Mira didn't know why but the fact that this girl who was practically a complete stranger was kissing Zoro made her angry. "Alright grandma," MIrajane growled out as she pulled an extremely red faced Zoro out of her embrace, "That's enough robbing the cradle for one day."
"Oh I'm sorry," Victoria apologized, "I didn't realize the two of you were together."
"We're not together," Mirajane shouted.
"Then why… Oh," said Victoria as it dawned on her. A sly smile graced her lovely features. "Then in that case I accept you as my rival. Goodbye Zoro," she said with a fond smile before bowing politely and walking away.
Zoro waited until she was gone before asking, "What did she mean by rivals."
Mira's face turned beat red. "Nothing you idiot just get on the damn train you green haired muscle head," she shouted as she pounded her fist into his skull.
Mirajane watched the green haired swordsman sleep peacefully on the train ride home. With a sigh of exasperation she started to count out the reward money.
"Wake up," Zoro heard someone shout as he was once again woken up with a kick, "We're back."
"Oh," he said groggily, "cool."
"Here," Mirajane said as she tossed him a large pouch.
"What's this," Zoro questioned.
"It's half of my payment," she stated, "You just had to give that maid your share didn't you?"
"I said I would be fine. Besides it's our fault she got fired."
"Just take the damn money."
"Fine I will," Zoro said.
"Just remember," Mirajane said with a smirk, "You owe me."
Zoro could only ponder as to why those words stirred a feeling of dread in him as Mirajane walked away.
"Oh," he said out loud as it dawned on him that he was now in debt, "Shit."
A/N: Done. Longest chapter I have ever written for a fan fiction. As for Zoro's reaction to girls: I cnat say whether or not he is sexually experienced or not. Some say one thing some say another. To me it seems he just ignores women all together. I think that he was so focused on his swordsman ship he never noticed girls when he was going through puberty that is why he is so immune to them as an adult. Plus the only girl he really interacted with when he was young died when he was eight. So since he is going through puberty again he has no clue what is going on with his body. As for Victoria she will appear in more chapters but not as a pairing for Zoro. I'm pretty dead set on Mirajane for that role. No she exists for the sole purpose of making Mirajane jealous and embarrassing Zoro. Well until next time.