Chapter 64: Heart Breaker
"Fairy Tail"- Regular Speech
'Fairy Tail'- Regular Thoughts
"Fairy Tail"- Flashbacks
"Fairy Tail"- Dragon/Demon/Monster Speech/Names of Spells
'Fairy Tail'- Dragon/Demon/Monster thoughts
Fairy Tail- Stating of the year or a place
Summary: I was told I was alone...in a world where NAKAMA were every person's desire. Then HE found me, he said he saw great potential in my small body and he raised me. Because of him I lived...I learned...and I finally found someone I could call nakama. Even if he didn't call me the same. That is why I will do whatever I can to live up to his name. As the son and dragonslayer of the greatest being I have ever met. Acnologia, the Black Dragon of the Apocalypse.
Lower Tier Forest, Tenrou Island, Fiore
The Spirit of the Goat was not an idiot. Caprico knew that being a part of a villainous group like Grimoire Heart meant he needed to keep tabs on as many people as possible should they ever attempt to stab him in the back. Knowledge on their biographical data, their abilities, their strengths and most importantly, their weaknesses.
Sabaku no Gaara was an enigma when it came to who he was for all that Caprico could dig up on him was that he was an orphan boy who managed to survive the eradication of the mage village of Sunagakure. Even Ultear, despite being the one who employed the sand using duo into their ranks, knew next to nothing about him as she only brought them in under the recommendation of Matatabi.
When it came to other facets of the young Sand Magic user's profile, things were even more difficult to ascertain. There may have been under factors in play that led to the red head's mental state, but being kept under the wing of a bloodthirsty tanuki-Exceed like Shukaku did not help matters. However, Shukaku's mediocre attempts at raising the boy did grant him a masterful level of control over the sands. He could control it to the point that it would respond automatically to defend him, not even a thought was required and that spoke volumes to a level of reaction time and movement speed of both Gaara and his weaponised sands.
He could also crush solid stone or earthen materials through the sheer force of his magic energy, convert it into sand and use it for himself. There was no limit to his ammunition, but there was a limit to the volume of sand which he could control. However Caprico was never able to truly discover what that upper limit was. Even now as he was avoiding the current wave of granulated earth that threatened to crush his body into a bloody pulp.
(Insert Music: Magi- Eye of the Dragon)
"Why are you avoiding, Caprico?!" Gaara snarled as the golden eyes of his Ichibi Modo form glowed with bloodlust. "I thought you were the second strongest among the Kin of Purgatory?! So why do you run?!"
Caprico didn't respond as he leaped into the air, propelling himself higher as he pushed off of the trunk of a tree. Black sunglasses shone in the light of the setting sun before he made a series of hand motions. Runes of magic decorated the air as they emerged from the tips of his fingers before unleashing a bright flash of purple light.
"Human Subordination Magic: Belparasoan Archers!"
Over the course of several years, a stockpile of enslaved humans was generated using this type of Lost Magic. A magic which allowed one to weaken, enslave and then summon any humans that were targeted. Armies could be created with the greatest of ease for those weak enough to be taken by the magic, and the user could either summon whoever they wished ranging from a single warrior to an entire battalion.
The mountain tribe of Belparasoa was home to some of the greatest hunters in all of Fiore, with their archery skills being well renowned throughout the kingdom. Thus it was only common sense for Grimoire Heart to target their home, enslave their warriors in the manner which Caprico did, and then slaughter the remainder.
The enslaved warriors notched their arrows in midair and released the projectiles. The rain of steel-tipped wood descended at great speeds, but the former native of Sunagakure stretched out his sand covered arm. The sand expanded in size and became a monstrous clawed appendage that blocked all the arrows, each of the projectiles embedding themselves within the palm.
Gaara's arm stretched forward and aimed to grab at his assailants and their summoner. Caprico quickly pushed off of one of the archers, using her as a literal stepping stone to avoid the monstrous sand arm. Eyes widened with fear as the entire group of archers were caught within Gaara's sandy grip. With a wide grin on his face, the red head tightened his hold. The enslaved archers released gargled grunts of pain before they were crushed. Bones snapped, muscles tore and blood sprayed as the archers were turned into mangled corpses that were unceremoniously dropped to the ground.
"Human Subordination Magic: Hero of Rubengard..." Caprico landed on his feet before another magic circle formed from violet runes appeared before him. "San Jiao Shin!"
A spear wielding mountain of a man came lumbering out of the magic circle. In sheer size, he resembled Zabrock but Gaara did not feel any sort of fear towards the oncoming attacker.
San Jiao Shin released a thunderous battle cry that would have struck fear into the hearts of many a hardened warrior. The spear thrust was precise and quick, visible streams of air resistance passing around the tip of the polearm. The powerful thrust would have torn through flesh and bone with ease as San Jiao Shin was known to have taken the lives of ten men with a single strike, but his thrust was much too slow in comparison to the spike of sand that came at him.
Gaara remained standing in his original position, not shifting even a single centimetre as the spike stretched from the armour of sand that covered his abdomen. Eyes wide with shock, the hero of Rubenguard released a cough as a massive glob of blood came from his throat.
"You've served your purpose well, San Jiao Shin." Caprico's deep voice was the last thing the enslaved warrior heard before he died. Caprico leaped over the impaled corpse and the Spirit of the Goat landed deftly in front of his opponent and delivered a strong uppercut. His lower jaw met his upper with a resounding 'clack' before Caprico blurred out sight and reappeared several feet in the air above his opponent. With an outstretched leg, Caprico performed a quick front flip as gravity took its hold on him. The axe kick crashed down on Gaara's skull with enough force to generate a small shockwave.
Gaara grunted as he was in a state of mild dizziness, but the sand covered mage shook his head with a snarl.
"SAND MAGIC: SPEAR OF SHUKAKU!" Sand collected into the form of a lengthy spear, its pointed tip appearing like the gnarled claws of the Ichibi no Tanuki. With a roar, Gaara swung the spear. Caprico immediately leaned back, his body now bent at a ninety degree angle, and his hair shifting from the wind generated from the spear swing. Gaara twirled the polearm and followed up with a downward swing. Caprico straightened his body to land on his back before he rolled to the side. He felt the earth shake slightly as his former location was reduced to a small crater.
Caprico continued to roll as the earth continued to rumble. Pillars of sand erupted with the intent of either impaling him or shattering his bones. Using his momentum, he quickly climbed back to his feet and leaped out of the way as another tower of sand threatened to skewer him.
A massive shadow was cast over the goat spirit and Caprico watched as the sand towers had actually coalesced to become a terrifying tsunami made of the granulated earth.
Too wide to run around. Too high to jump over. Too vast to even attempt to block or counter with any of his subordinated humans.
Caprico reached to his waist and gripped one of the three objects which currently dangled from his belt loops. Magic energy flared and a golden magic seal emerged before him as he pointed the object at the sand tsunami.
"Gate of the Ram, I open thee..." The sound of a ringing bell echoed throughout the battlefield. "Aries!"
In a flash of golden light and energy, the Celestial Spirit of the Ram emerged in all her woolen clothed glory.
Brown eyes met the shades covered ones of the goat spirit.
"Capricorn-san?! So Gem and Mini weren't lying?!" The pink-haired spirit gasped. "You're really back!"
"Now is no the time for pleasantries, Aries!" Caprico shouted as he pointed in front of them.
The wool covered celestial spirit's brown eyes widened as she gazed upon the oncoming sand tsunami.
"ARIES, BLOCK IT!"
"Ah! I'm sorry!" Her trademark exclamations of apology no matter the situation heralded the use of her spell. "WOOL WALL!"
The sand tsunami crested, bringing down several hundreds of tons of sand upon its target. It washed over the woolen defense and blanketed a significant portion of the Tenrou forest lands. Gaara took no pause in his actions as he immediately planted his hands down on the ground.
"SAND MAGIC: GREAT SAND BURIAL!"
The sands released a wave of force and a dull pulse echoed as they imploded. Anything and everything underneath Gaara's sand was crushed as an untold amount of pressure was exerted. For a flesh and blood body, human or otherwise, that amount of pressure would immediately turn their flesh into a bloody smear and their bones to powder.
Gaara grinned maniacally. He loved to observe his handiwork, taking much joy in witnessing the outcomes of his kills. Star-shaped pupils stared intensely at the spot where Caprico had been, but what had once been maniacal glee was replaced with confusion. Instead of a dead goat man, there was a dome of thick pink wool. It appeared immensely soft, probably ideal as a sleeping pillow, but for Caprico and Aries, it was the ideal defense against the Great Sand Burial spell.
Aries placed her hands upon the wall of wool which lay before her. The structure glowed with bright pink magic energy before Aries unleashed a bombardment of woolen projectiles at Gaara.
"Wool?!" Gaara laughed as he lashed out with the tail of his Ichibi Modo form. The rear appendage was swung in a wide arc, knocking the wool aside with ease. "You think you can stop me with wool?!"
"I'm sorry!" The Ram Spirit apologised with a deep bow as she continued to unleashe a torrent of wool upon her opponent.
"I don't need Aries to stop you." Caprico stated as he adjusted his shades, the lenses glinting in the setting sunlight as he withdrew the second Golden Key from his belt loop. "Gate of the Scorpion, I open thee...Scorpio!"
"WE ARE!" The Spirit of the Scorpion exclaimed loudly as he turned to face his new master. "Capricorn, my man! Gem and Mini told us you were back, but to think you'd be able to summon us! Our sand is gonna wreck everybody's shit!"
"Scorpio, hit him with everything you got!" Caprico then glanced to Gaara's left. "Meredy, now!"
As Scorpio aimed his mechanical tail at Gaara, the pink-haired Kin of Purgatory emerged from the brush from where she was hiding. Floating behind her were a multitude of golden swords of light, all of which were trained at Gaara.
"MAGUILTY SENSE: MAGUILTY RAY!"
A concentrated burst of sand was fired from the right and the energy blades were launched from the left. Gaara was effectively stuck within the area of effect of the pincer move, but he wasn't a mage taught by the Bijuu-Exceed who boasted of absolute defense for nothing.
With a flick of his wrist, Gaara conjured a thick wall of sand and pushed it forward with but a thought. Each of Meredy's energy blades stabbed themselves into the wall and generated a chain of explosions which caused the wall to collapse, but it did its job of preventing Gaara from being dealt any form of damage. It was then that the Sand Magic user turned his attention to Scorpio as the twister of raging sand slammed into him with the force of a cannon.
Gaara stamped his foot on the ground and two sand walls formed on either side of him. He stretched out his sand coated hands, the limbs lengthening as the claws stabbed themselves into the newly formed structures. Gaara let himself being carried by the force of the Sand Buster spell, and the elasticity of his sand arms generated a noticeable amount of tension as he was sent back.
"HRAH!" Gaara unexpectedly lashed out with a swipe of his tail, nailing Meredy in the head to send her careening through the air. As she slammed into a tree, Gaara felt enough tension was generated and so his golden eyes focused upon the red and white haired celestial spirit. "I'll kill you, bug!"
It was almost instantaneous.
The tension was released and Gaara allowed his body to be fired through the air like a slingshot projectile. He traversed the distance between himself and Scorpio in practically the blink of an eye.
Scorpio quickly brought his arms up to block.
He felt the bones creak.
Or did they crack?
Or was the crack actually from the tree that he somehow ended up colliding into?
It could have been either or both options, but in the end, it was extremely painful. Though an immortal spirit, he was still composed of flesh and bone in some capacity and thus he was also capable of feeling pain. And damn was there a lot of pain when it came to Gaara's skull collided with his crossed arms.
"You thought sand could take me down, Caprico?!" Gaara laughed, and rightfully so. After all, the twenty-year old mage was currently coated in the substance and also manipulated it to a degree where he was able to simply use a sand spirit like Scorpio to his own advantage.
It was then that Gaara's laughing halted. His eyes widened as he felt a sudden surge of pain occur at his back and along his forearms. It felt as if his bones were about to break.
'But I haven't even been struck by those two!' The red haired mage thought. Golden eyes suddenly caught sight of a bright pink glow that emanated from his left wrist.
(Insert Music: Fairy Tail- Guild Darkness)
"What the hell?" He uttered before his head snapped in the direction of Meredy. "You! This is your magic!"
"That's right." Caprico smirked as well. "Rageful and bloodthirsty you may be, but you are definitely no fool Sabaku no Gaara."
"We know that your ability over sand would make Scorpio's attack nothing more than child's play to you, and when it comes to overall battle ability, I know that I wouldn't be able to last too long against you one-on-one." Meredy smirked as she used the tree she was knocked into for support. She nursed her now broken arm and spat out the bit of blood that had collected in her mouth. "But using your opportunity to strike me with your tail as my own opportunity to lay the Sensory Link spell of my Maguilty Sense Magic..."
Meredy's words were tuned out for a brief moment as Gaara narrowed his eyes in thought. He recalled the moment his tail was used to strike her. She had raised her hand to at least soften the blow, but Meredy had done her job.
"I know how your magic works, insufferable brat." Gaara dropped onto all-fours, stabbing his claws into the ground to anchor himself. Drool dripped from his mouth as he bared his fangs and moved to charge. The ground cracked heavily beneath his four limbs as he pushed off, his killing intent focused entirely on the pre-teen girl who stood defenseless against the tree.
Gaara unleashed a cry of pain as he felt the sensation of something slicing through the flesh of his thighs. He glanced to his legs and found nothing, but...
"SCORPIO-SAN!" Aries brought her hands to her mouth in surprise.
The brown skinned man remained laying against the tree which Gaara had sent him flying into, hence why Gaara had experienced back pain alongside the sensation of nearly fracturing his forearms, but on either side of Scorpio stood two knights, each one bearing a sword that was currently impaling Scorpio through his thighs. And due to the Sensory Link spell, Gaara now felt the same pain that Scorpio felt.
"Now Now, Gaara, you know better than to harm a child."
"Capricorn-san, we have to help Scorpio-san! He..." The pink haired ram spirit's eyes widened even further than they already had as she saw the goat spirit's hand was outstretched, pointed in Scorpio's direction. A dark purple magic seal hovering in front of his white furred palm. "Capricorn-san, you...what are you...how are you...You never used magic before."
"Hmmm, that's true." Caprico stated rubbing his chin. "Capricorn never really did use magic did he. Always more of a close combat fighter than anything else."
"Capricorn-san, please! Stop this now or else you'll..."
"Meredy, if you would be so kind."
Meredy's monotonous voice rang out as she pointed a hand at the Ram spirit.
"Maguilty Sense Magic: Three Spread Sensory Link!"
Aries wasn't able to finish her sentence as she suddenly struck in the back by a burst of pink magic. Two arrows of pink branched off from the magic seal that now encircled her wrist, connecting to both Gaara and Scorpio. Once they did, the two knights that stood next to Scorpio withdrew their swords from his legs and proceeded to impale his arms. The sharp blades tore straight through his biceps.
All three of them; Scorpio, Aries and Gaara screamed in agony in perfect unison.
The sensation of skin and muscles being pierced was felt in both Gaara and Aries. Gaara managed to hold back his scream after a few moments, reduced to simply gritting his teeth, while Aries gripped her arms and curled into a ball.
The pink-haired spirit glanced up at Caprico, her brown eyes filled with fear, pain and betrayal.
"Capricorn-san...how could you?"
"Well that's quite simple, my adorable servant." Caprico bent down and tilted his shades down. "I'm not Capricorn."
For the first time in her life, Aries bore witness to the fully exposed eyes of the goat spirit. They were a beautiful shade of pale blue with rectangular pupils however, despite being somewhat ditzy, Aries knew that the wild and sadistic light in those eyes would never have been those of her friend.
Caprico rose back to his full height and chuckled.
"Well done, Meredy."
The Maguilty Sense Magic user nodded.
"This is taking much longer than anticipated, Caprico." Meredy stated with obvious displeasure in her otherwise monotonous voice. "We could have taken him out a lot earlier if you would have let me link your sense of pain with his like I suggested. As powerful as he is, the sensation of being torn apart by his own attack would no doubt knock him unconscious. At best, it would trick his brain into experiencing the sensation of dying."
"While this spirit body is immortal, the ability to regenerate is only able to be carried out in the Spirit World." Caprico reminded her. "If I were to be injured here, due to not being able to return to the Spirit World under my current circumstances, I would be practically dead and have to possess another host body."
"Ah, that's right. I forgot about your situation."
"Who...Who are you?" Aries managed ask through the pain.
"I don't care who you are!" Gaara roared as he pushed himself back onto his feet with a cloud of sand. "I'll rip you and the girl apart for this!"
"Oh, but you can't do that." Caprico replied as he made a slicing motion. "How would ever be able to get over here when it feels like you're missing a leg?"
One of the knights took its sword out of Scorpio's arm and in one quick strike, severed the immortal spirit's leg. The sensation was transferred over to both Aries and Gaara in an instant and Gaara immediately collapsed onto his left side, as he clutched his right leg just above his knee.
"The beauty of this method I've come to realise is that with an immortal body like that of a Celestial Spirit, I could actually have you endure a lot more pain and suffering compared to if I were to use a regular human."
Caprico made another slicing motion and Scorpio's other leg was amputated.
"Of course hearing the screams of a precious lamb like Aries is simply icing on the cake." Caprico grinned in a manner that was not unlike that of when Gaara would endure a bloodlust induced rampage. "The only downside is that a Celestial Spirit can only hold out against so much abuse before it needs to return to the Spirit World to heal, and I can get a lot done in the time it takes for that to happen. Master Hades has practically given us free reign until it is time to leave this island, so I think I'll take my time."
Caprico snapped his fingers and suddenly two knights appeared beside Aries, their swords at the ready. The Ram spirit trembled, her body wanting to run but not being able to due to still experiencing the sensation of having her legs severed like Scorpio's still running rampant along her nerves.
"Now where should we start first?" Caprico hummed in thought. "Though the other don't have them, I must say I am becoming rather curious as to what sort of feeling Gaara and Scorpio will experience should I cut off your horns."
"N-No! I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!" Aries's eyes widened as she raised her arms to the curved protrusions of keratin. As the Spirit of the Ram, her horns were more than just a part of her body. They were her symbol. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Please...I'm sorry! Please don't!"
"Well my dear, now that you've begged me not to..." Sadism shone in those rectangular pupils as a toothy grin spread across the Kin of Purgatory's face. "Then that means I have to do it."
The Human Subordination Magic summons responded to their master's words as they gripped their swords tightly.
Tears lined the pink haired spirit's eyes, the shining silver blades reflecting in those wide brown orbs. Overcome with fear and pain, Aries could only brace herself for the inevitable.
(Insert Music: Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel- They Rule the Battlefield)
"Density Magic: Force!"
"Yoryu no Tsume!"
Before the knights could move to perform their torturous acts, blurs of colour zipped across her field of vision. A massive form of silver and black slammed into one knight while a bright red and magenta blur took down the other. The pair of Caprico's subordinates were dragged across the grass, tearing a relatively lengthy trench in the forest floor.
Aries and Caprico stared with wide eyes as Zabrock and Roshi rose to their full heights. Zabrock removed his foot from the deep indentation that his boot created with what used to be the knight's chest, while Roshi wrenched his claws of bright orange-yellow lava from his target's stomach.
As the two celestial spirits were processing the scene, they found themselves facing the space between each other and the ground rumbled. A small form crashed down in front of Aries, and Caprico could only blink owlishly behind his sunglasses as he witnessed the form of a blue-haired girl. Her brown eyes burned with righteous fury and the wind seemed to bend around her.
"It's alright now Gaara-san, we're here to take you back." Wendy glanced behind her and offered a comforting smile. "Onii-san said we...You're not Gaara-san."
Wendy and Aries simultaneously tiled their heads in confusion as their eyes met.
"Wendy-chan, Gaara-kun is over there." Roshi pointed out to the Ichibi Modo user who lay a few feet away from her.
"O-Oh." Wendy turned to Aries and gave her a nervous smile, bowing her head slightly. "Sorry, I thought you were Gaara-san."
"S-Sorry to disappoint you."
The two females nervously apologising to each other in nearly identical fashion was amusing from an outside perspective to say the least.
"Gaara-san, are you..." Wendy paused in her addressing of Gaara when she felt a sudden burst of killing intent. "Vernier!"
The Sky Dragonslayer was outlined by a shroud of sky blue magic energy before she seemed to vanish into the wind. Caprico's fist passed through the space where her head would have been before the anthropomorphic goat felt the air shift. His eyes shifted to glance to his left as Wendy blurred into existence to his left.
"Tenryu no Kiru Tsume!"
The Sky Dragon's Slicing Talon spell created a small shockwave, Wendy's wind encased kick colliding with the durable body of the celestial goat spirit. However, Caprico had managed to block with his raised left forearm before crossing over his right hand to grab her ankle. He prepared to swing her into the ground, but having grabbed her ankle gave Wendy a new form of anchoring her body in midair.
"Tenryu no Tekken!" The blue haired girl twisted her body, her torso moving in an overarching fashion to bring the wind cloaked fist down upon her opponent's skull. Caprico raised his left arm up once more, catching to fist. Caprico winced as he felt the impact, but Wendy had not ended her movement there as she lashed out with her remaining left leg. Using her caught limbs as pivots, she raised her left leg and brought it down with the intent to drive the toe of her shoe into Caprico's skull.
The Kin of Purgatory adjust his hold, raising his left forearm and blocked the oncoming strike. The downward force was tremendous to the point that the ground beneath the Grimoire Heart member's feet cracked.
"I have you!" Wendy announced as magic and wind gathered within her lungs.
"Tenryu no Hoko!" Her initially bloated body quickly unleashed the raging twister, crashing into Caprico with devastating force. The goat spirit's grip on her was removed and the humanoid goat was sent spiraling through the air and into the dense trunk of a nearby tree.
Wendy quickly picked her herself up off the ground and dusted herself off.
"That should buy me a bit of time." She muttered before running over to Gaara. "Gaara-san!"
"No you won't!"
Wendy's head snapped in the direction of the new voice, her eyes widening as she saw Meredy staring at her with the emotional equivalent of a brick wall. Golden swords of magic energy floated in a circle above her head and with a thought, the bladed projectiles were fired.
Zabrock quickly jumped in front of his superior's adoptive sister, his body taking on a sturdy horse stance.
"Density Magic: Wall!" A cloak of silvery-black magic energy appeared as the former Tower of Heaven slave increased his own body's density. The golden blades impacted with Zabrock's body causing a small explosion of golden light and dust.
Meredy stared at her enemy's location as the dust began to clear, but her brown eyes narrowed in annoyance as she took note of Zabrock's unchanged form.
"If you think you can pierce my defenses with a spell that has piercing damage of that level, then you are going to find yourself sorely disappointed in the results." Zabrock commented as he pridefully patted his chest with a fist. "Wendy, you can keep going! I'll handle this one!"
"Thank you, Zabrock-san!"
Zabrock gave her a thumbs up in response, his silver eyes never leaving Meredy's location.
"You think I can't break through you?" Meredy scowled as she summoned forth more of her swords. "Then let's see how many you can handle! MAGUILTY RAY!"
The bombardment of energy blades continued once more. The energy blades produced powerful explosions equivalent to the force of several sticks of dynamite. The ground ruptured. Dust, dirt and grass scattered with each explosive impact, but Zabrock remained static in his position. He had endured more than enough pain and suffering, both mentally and physically, while in the Tower of Heaven and so this was nothing to him.
"You're good for a child." Zabrock commented from his spot of broken forest land. "You might even give Wendy a challenge one day, but your attacks are annoying and they barely sting."
Zabrock's legs tensed and he pushed off with explosive force. The ground cracked with each of his heavy foot falls, his massive frame quickly beginning the close the distance between himself and the pink-haired dark mage. Meredy gritted her teeth and her firing rate increased, but Zabrock remained undeterred as the blades of energy simply shattered against his dense form.
Meredy's eyes became wide as she quickly unleashed a desperation attack, her swords converging into one massive blade approximately the size of Zabrock himself.
"HRAAAAH!" The Maguilty Sense Magic user sent the giant energy blade rocketing towards her target, visible streams of air resistance trailing behind it to showcase just how fast it was traveling. A powerful explosion rocked the forests of Tenrou Island and Zabrock was engulfed in a cloud of dirt and light, Meredy's hair whipping wildly in the winds from the resulting shockwave.
As the winds died down, Meredy smirked at the result of her spell. Surely that would have done significant damage.
"Don't go smiling yet, girl." Meredy's eyes widened as Roshi's words met her ears. A seven foot tall shadow moved within the dust cloud before it burst through, revealing a lightly singed Zabrock, his muzzle of a facemask slightly cracked. Zabrock's mighty frame reached out, his hand casting a large shadow over her face as it threatened to engulf her head in its grip.
"Maguilty Sense Magic: Maguilty Sodom!" She cried out with a tone of desperation.
Zabrock froze as he felt something pierce through his abdomen. Silver eyes stared at the pre-teen dark mage's light brown ones, her expression the very definition of fearful as she stared up at him. However, Zabrock was not focused on that as he quickly shifted his gaze downward to find a blade forged of light blue energy piercing directly through his gut.
There was no effect upon him physically. He did not feel the weapon pierce through his skin or muscle. There was no blood coming from the wound or flowing along the sword's blade. But he did feel the sense of pain. He felt as if his nerves were on fire, as if the pain sensors in his body had been spontaneously activated and enhanced times ten. It was a sensation he hadn't experienced for quite some time. Not since the battle with Naruto, when the Apocalypse Dragonslayer brutally battered his body to the point where he died and had Wendy resurrect him.
"That..." Zabrock's eyes narrowed, his teeth gnashing together as he grunted in pain. "That hurt."
"H-How are you still..." Meredy found her words being withheld in her throat as Zabrock's large arm stretched forth once more. His large hand wrapped itself around her neck and he lifted her off the ground as if she were a feather. Meredy coughed as she fought to breathe, a glare of defiance finding its way upon her face as several magic circles of light blue formed in the air around Zabrock.
"Maguilty...Sodom!" The command came out as a wheeze, but the spell managed to activate. Zabrock grunted and winced visibly as ten blades of aqua coloured energy were fired upon him, spearing through his back and shoulders to the point where it made him stagger. But the giant of a man still did not scream. Such an onslaught would have made a lesser man scream bloody murder or at worst, made him black out from the pain.
"Why?" Meredy managed to utter. "Why are...you not...in...agony?"
"Your..."Zabrock laughed lightly as he released a grunt of pain. "Your spell...You target pain sensors in the body, but for someone like...like me...For someone who has endured a lifetime of pain and suffering...to me...this is simply something to shrug off."
"You...You're an idiot...who just won't die then." Meredy wheezed as her eyes began to roll up into her head, the lack of oxygen beginning to affect her.
Zabrock raised an eyebrow before turning to the son of Volcanus with a deadpan expression. "What's with this sassy lost child?"
Roshi could only shrug before pointing to Meredy. "Alright, you can put her down now. She's blacked out."
The Maguilty Sodom swords in Zabrock's body shattered as if they were made of glass, Meredy's mind no longer keeping them active. Zabrock held the youngest Kin of Purgatory in a more comfortable position, her small frame easily being held in the crook of his arm.
"Given she was with Caprico, then she's probably that other Kin of Purgatory Shukaku mentioned to Kurama." Roshi commented. "It really is quite a shame to have a kid so young being involved in such activities."
"Are we any different?" Zabrock asked as he gestured to Wendy with a tilt of his head.
"Fair point." The Lava Dragonslayer replied. "Anyways, I'm not one for killing kids so let's take her with us."
"Take who with us?" Wendy asked as she and Gaara walked next to them.
"If it's the girl, I rather we kill her. She's an enemy and she deserves it for that pain linking spell she cast on me."
Roshi gave the Sand Magic user a deadpan stare.
"I'm not even going to entertain that with a response." The Lava Dragonslayer said with a shake of his head. "Though on the talk of killing people, what do you think we should do about- Oi! What do you think you're doing?!"
"EEP! I'M SORRY!"
The two dragonslayers and Zabrock had their eyes trained on the pink haired Celestial Spirit as she was knelt beside her fellow spirit. Due to the Meredy now being unconscious, her effects of linking Scorpio's pain to her own nervous system allowed her to move over to the goat spirit's body. His body was currently enveloped in a noticeable amount of pink wool to the point that only his head was the only part visible.
"I'm sorry, I was only trying to prevent Capricorn-san from getting back up!" Aries exclaimed. "I'm sorry, I thought he would be a hinderance to you all who are trying to save your nakama, so I thought it would be best to keep him down."
Roshi arched a crimson eyebrow. "While the gesture is helpful, we don't know who the hell you are."
"Ah, I'm sorry! I'm so rude, my name is Aries!" The pink-haired female bent her head low. "I'm the golden key spirit of the ram."
"Well...thanks for keeping Capricorn down, but why did you do that?" Roshi asked. "Better yet, how are you doing that? I'm not sure if a piece of cotton will be enough to bind him."
"Ah, well I thought it would be best to show my thanks." Aries blushed in embarrassment at how intensely the three mages were staring at her. "While it was an inadvertent action, you three did save Scorpio-san and I."
"Speaking of which, are you sure he's okay like that?" Zabrock asked as he looked to the leg-less scorpion spirit.
"WE ARE!" Scorpio exclaimed. "Don't worry about me! I'll be good to go once we get sent back to the Celestial Spirit world!"
The group all sweatdropped at the very boisterous golden key spirit.
"While his physical state is worrisome, Scorpio-san is correct." Aries replied. "As spirits, we are able to maintain our bodies outside here in the material world unless we sustain a level of damage which requires us to have to return or if our key bearers send us back with a forced closure."
"And having your legs cut off doesn't meet that damage criteria?" Zabrock asked.
"The damage sustained is different for each spirit, but also given that we are golden key spirits, we are also higher class spirits and thus can endure much more abuse than most." The ram spirit then shifted her gaze away from Zabrock to Roshi. "Also, to answer your follow-up question, my ability as the Ram Spirit is to generate magical wool which is able to apply sedative effects to any target of my choosing that comes into physical contact with it. I'm sorry if I wasn't able to do more to show my thanks."
Sleep-inducing wool would do the trick to keep down the anthropomorphic goat if that was the case.
"Also, I'm sorry if I'm being too forward, but..." Aries bowed deeply once more. "...would please be so kind as to spare Capricorn-san's life?"
Roshi, Zabrock and Wendy looked to each other and then back to Aries.
"Well, even if we wanted to kill him, I don't think we could. " Zabrock responded to the Ram Spirit. "He is a Celestial Spirit after all."
"Actually, I'm not too sure about that."
Roshi and Zabrock looked at the Sky Dragonslayer with confused expressions. "What do you mean, Wendy-chan?"
Wendy tapped her nose as she furrowed her brow in thought. "When we were in Edolas, because I was together with Lucy-san for a bit, I was able to pick up what the scent of a Celestial Spirit is. Now obviously, he smells like one just like these two here." She gestured to Scorpio and Aries before looking back over to the unconscious Capricorn. "But there's something off about his scent, it's similar, but not exactly."
"I-I-I'm sorry, but I might have a bit of information to help solve that mystery."
"Well it's better than nothing." Zabrock muttered. "What do you know?"
(Insert Music: Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel- Interception)
"Well..." Aries fidgeted nervously as she glanced down at Capricorn's body. "It had been quite some time since I had been summoned into the material world. Time flows differently within the Spirit World, with the material world's time moving at a rate where 3 months out there was the equivalent to one day for us. There was no telling just how long it had been, but I had felt my connection to my previous master being severed. Scorpio, Gem and Mini had felt it too so there was no mistaking that our former master had either willingly broken the connection or she was dead."
"And what does that have to do with Capricorn?" Wendy asked.
"Y-Y-Yes, I'm s-sorry." Aries stammered. "W-Well, you see...a new connection had clearly been formed between us three Golden Key spirits and a master, and the Gemini twins had been summoned not too long ago to be of use to this new master. After performing whatever task was required, Gem and Mini reported that their new master was found to be one of our own."
All eyes focused on the sunglasses wearing goat-man.
"Can you do that?" Roshi asked. "A celestial spirit summoning another one?"
"That's what had all of us spirits confused." Aries replied with a frown. "A contract is to be performed between a spirit and a member of the material world. Whoever discovers our keys immediately gains dominion over us, and we are obligated to follow them without question. For the most part."
Wendy reached out and held the hand of the taller woman, clearly noting the distress on Aries's face. Aries had obviously had problematic master in the past, but now was not the time to press that particular issue. Aries offered a grateful smile to the daughter of Grandine before continuing.
"Now, the obvious and logical response to such news would obviously have been denial. Capricorn-san had been missing for the better part of what had been the equivalent of seventeen human years. From what they could recall, Aquarius-san and Cancer-san stated that a human by the name of Zoldeo, who was a servant to their former master Layla Heartfilia, he had been granted possession of Capricorn-san's key. He was instructed to hand the Goat Spirit's key over to Layla-san's daughter once she came of age, but neither the Water Bearer or Crab spirits had seen or felt the presence of our second in-command since the day their former master passed away."
"And you think maybe this Zoldeo person could have done something to Capricorn's body which allowed him to remain here in our world for the past seventeen years." Zabrock spoke with a matter-of-fact tone.
"It is not impossible for a spirit to remain in your world for an extended period of time, but if we are kept here for too long then it becomes damaging to our magic circulatory systems." The Ram Spirit informed the three mages. "Maybe Zoldeo-san altered his body to allow Capricorn-san to remain here and it changed his mental state and cast the magic that he used to summon those humans."
"Summon humans?" The three human mages looked at Aries with wide eyes. She nodded in confirmation.
"I'm sorry, but I am a bit skeptical as to that idea."
"How come?" Roshi asked.
"Before you all showed up, Capricorn-san...or rather, whoever it is that is in his body stated quite firmly that he was not Capricorn-san."
A period of silence passed between the group at those words.
"That's enough." Everyone's heads snapped in the direction of Gaara, an annoyed expression present on his normally apathetic face. "We don't have the time to stay here and mull over the fate of a celestial spirit. If you won't accept the notion to kill or at least attempt to kill the last of the Kin of Purgatory, then I suggest we follow through with the instructions the Fuujin gave us and leave this island with Shukaku, Gyuki and Isobu."
"Gaara-san has a point." Wendy nodded in agreement. "Onii-san said once we get Gaara-san, we were to leave as quickly as possible. The only problem is that I can only carry so many people."
"That will not be a problem." Gaara replied as the sand of his Ichibi Modo fell away from his body and collected beneath his feet. The others all watched in amazement as Gaara rose into the air, now floating atop a cloud of sand as if he were riding a magic carpet.
"Impressive." Zabrock commented. "Never knew sand could float."
"Shukaku showed me a wide variety of uses for Sand Magic." Was the redhead's reply as he formed another sand cloud, picking up Scorpio in the process as he brought the larger cloud over to them. "All of you can climb atop this one."
"We are!" Scorpio grinned toothily at his fellow sand user. "Thanks for the lift bro!"
"Hn." Gaara grunted, his annoyance at the Spirit of the Scorpion showing quite clearly. "The Fiorean fleet should have retreated far enough by now so Shukaku and the others will be wrapping up their battle soon. We will fly over to them and announce our own retreat once they do."
The others nodded as they looked across to the battle that the Bijuu-Exceed were currently engaged in.
(Insert Music: FMA Brotherhood- Crisis in the North)
Bijuu-Exceed vs Mechas
Shukaku roared as he unleashed a massive swipe of his left paw, crashing it against the Charon. The scythe wielding mecha stumbled to the side only for Isobu to rise up from the depths to crash his thick skull against its hip joint. Its balance lost, the Charon fell over. The Devil Heart fueled machine moved to climb back to its feet, but the form of the Cerberus came crashing down upon it as Gyuki slammed his eight tentacle-like tails against the other mecha of Grimoire Heart.
"SABAKU KYU!" Shukaku slammed his hands down on the seabed. Tendrils of wet sand sloppily rose up from the Fiorean sea and fell over the bodies of the Cerberus and Charon. Though wet and thus having poor structural integrity, the weight of the sands did their job of keeping the mechas down for the moment.
The Ichibi turned his star-shaped pupils over to his eight-tailed brother. "Isobu, keep 'em down!"
Isobu nodded as his magic energy flared. A burst of ocean blue eternano flowed from the Sanbi no Kyodaigame's body and into the seas like a newly broken dam.
"TSUNAMI!" Isobu unleashed the powerful water spell, his magic artificially molding the waves of the Fiorean Sea to become higher, wider and faster. Within a matter of seconds, a powerful tsunami was formed and crashed into both mechas with all the force and speed of the actual thing. Seventeen hundred pounds of repetitive oceanic force drove itself against the Charon and Cerberus, knocking their already downed bodies across the Fiorean Sea.
They had done well throughout the battle, but for as powerful as they were, they were no match for monsters of magic like the fragments of the Juubi. Metal dented, mechanics quickly began to suffer and though the magic energy that powered their bodies was equivalent to that of ten Jupiter Cannons and one Devil Heart respectively, the energy output could only be capable of handling so much continuous abuse.
The crews of the Cerberus and Charon were scrambling within, trying their utmost to get themselves back into fighting positions. They would not fail their master. Hades had entrusted the act of destroying the Fiorean fleet as well as any other obstacles that got in the way of Grimoire Heart.
Another battering from Isobu's tsunamis held them at bay however.
Shukaku and Gyuki turned to one another and nodded. They raised their heads skyward, jaws agape as eternano burst forth from their bodies. Positive blue eternano and negative red collected within their mouths. The energy swirled, compressed and tightened into spheroids of purple-black. They swallowed the orbs and the Ichibi and Hachibi's bodies bloated significantly, steam escaping between the gaps in their mouths as they took aim at their targets. Their bodies bloated ever so slightly once more before they finally exhaled.
Crimson destruction was fired from the mouths of the two Bijuu-Exceed. Isobu's tsunamis were torn apart from the pure force that was generated by the twin beams until they slammed into the Charon and Cerberus. Crimson-white light shone like stars before powerful domes of light and energy expanded from the points of impact. Storm force winds caused the vegetation of the nearby Tenrou Island coast to bend harshly, and trees which stood the test of time for tens if not hundreds of years were snapped in half. Waves were kicked up and though they paled in comparison to the Tsunami spell of Isobu, they were still quite impressive in size as they battered the Tenrou Island coast.
As for the targets themselves; metal superheated and set off multitudes of explosive chains that destroyed the bio-mechatronic titans. Their crews only had an instant to feel the searing heat of the explosions before they were taken in by the welcome embrace of oblivion.
All of this took place in a matter of seconds. Shukaku, Isobu, Gyuki, and any who were able to bare witness to the level of destruction that occurred watched as the domes of energy died away. All that remained of the Grimoire Heart mechas were two massive craters, the waters of the Fiorean Sea circling around the newly formed hemispherical indentations of the seafloor before they began shifting to fill the new spaces.
Shukaku huffed, his chest swollen with pride. "That's what they get for messing with us."
Isobu glanced behind them, observing the Fiorean Naval Fleet as the waves from the Tailed Beast Bombs resulting shockwaves were able to die down before they could touch them. The Sanbi released a sigh of relief as he turned to his brothers.
"And the humans are safe as well."
"Alright, we've done our jobs." Gyuki's body shone with magic energy as he shrunk himself down, becoming a purple-furred Exceed wearing an ushi-oni costume. The octopus-tailed Exceed hovered in air as he drew upon Aera Magic. "Time to head back to base."
Shukaku and Isobu morphed into their Exceed forms as well before turning towards the island as they felt approaching magic energy signatures. Shukaku's golden eyes narrowed as he noticed a stream of sand speeding through the air before it returned to his body. Not too long after did the Gaara's flying sand clouds approach the three Bijuu-Exceed with their passengers.
"Everybody accounted for?" Gyuki asked only for his circular white eyes to stare blankly at the three Celestial Spirits and an unconscious pink-haired girl. "Who are they?"
"So we're keeping Meredy alive. Nice." Shukaku smirked as he patted Gaara on the head. "Good to know you didn't succumb to your urge to kill a child...Again."
"Hn." Gaara scowled at his Exceed partner. "Let's just go."
"Aye sir!" The Ichibi chuckled.
As they began flying off, Isobu glanced back at the island as he felt the burst of malevolence that suddenly came from the island. The magic energy that now came from the island of Fairy Tail radiated death and evil that made the Sanbi uneasy.
A deep frown marred the one-eyed Bijuu-Exceed's face. "I hope Nii-san will be okay."
"Don't worry about it Isobu." Gyuki offered a comforting smile as he patted his younger brother on the head. "He's been through too much and is way too stubborn to be taken down. Kurama will be fine."
(Insert Music: Yugioh- God's Anger)
Upper Tier, Tenrou Island
The ground ruptured from the mighty fist of the demonic titan that Makarov Dreyar had become.
The party made of Fairy Tail mages and Rune Knights had come with the sole purpose of rescuing Fairy Tail's Third Master, but were now forced to fend for their lives against that very man. Judging from the size of the crater that the Titan of Fairy Tail's fist left behind, it would be quite the challenge too.
"Master!" Erza cried out. "Master please!"
"This isn't you!" Gray leaped out of the way as Makarov roared, generating a powerful wind that threatened to send the Ice Godslayer flying.
"Ji-chan stop playing around and let's get you home!" Natsu made his attempt to get through to his grandfather-figure, but to no avail.
"You're better than this Jiji!" Laxus gritted his teeth, his fists clenched tightly as in the back of his mind he wondered if their words were reaching his grandfather at all. "You're better than all of us! We're nakama! We're family! Don't let some stupid dark magic take you away from us!"
Makarov snarled, baring his newfound fangs. Crimson eyes glowed with power before he raised his massive arms over head and clasped his hands together in preparation for a hammer blow. With a mighty roar, arms that were practically tree trunks were brought down. Despite their mass, they were swung at a terrifying pace and created an equally terrifying impact.
"Look out!" Adeltrued and Archid's voices rang out as they took to the forefront. "Requip: Silhouette Knight!"
The Fairy Tail mages watched as the two members of the Rune Knight Corp glowed with white light. In an instant, their Rune Knight uniforms were replaced with shining silver armour. The plating of the armour was designed to appear like a second skin with each plate forged to match with each area of human musculature. Said plates were outlined with aqua coloured metal which acted as the areas that connected each piece of armour to those adjacent to it. The armour which covered their shoulders, back, pectorals, thigh and groin regions were significantly thicker as a way to protect the more vulnerable and open areas of the human body. Instead of a face plate however, the helmets which adorned their heads were equipped with a translucent field of aqua coloured energy.
Their arms stretched forth as they caught the massive hands of Makarov. A powerful shockwave occurred and the force traversed through their bodies causing the earth to depress, generating a sizeable crater beneath them. However, what surprised the on-lookers the most was the fact that they were still standing.
With grunts of effort, the armoured Rune Knights managed to push back against the demonic titan's hands and jump out of harm's way. The twins landed on the edge of the newly formed crater, sweat already lining their brows.
"HRAH!" Makarov's bestial roar echoed throughout Tenrou once more as he unleashed another devastating punch.
"LOOK OUT!" Gajeel sprung into action, his right arm morphing into that of a chainsaw-esque sword. "Tetsuryuken!"
The jagged arm blade released a buzz-like sound as the chainsaw function of the already sharp weapon came into play. It was like a hot knife cutting through butter, the way Gajeel's Iron Dragon Sword spell sliced through Makarov's forearm. The large piece of the upper limb came crashing down with a spray of reddish-violet blood, and Makarov released a cry of pain.
"Juvia, Fullbuster! Stick to the plan that Erza made and tie Master down!"
Gray and Juvia's reactions were like day and night. Gray, in a show of irony, froze at the sudden call to fight his guildmaster and the man he saw as his figurative grandfather. Juvia on the other hand, sprung into action as she drew upon the water from the surrounding atmosphere. Massive tentacles of water merged with Juvia's water body before she sent struck forth like an octopus. The tentacles wrapped themselves tightly around Makarov's legs, arms and neck, but the enraged giant's act of struggling placed Juvia in an already stressful state.
She turned to her chosen mate. "GRAY-SAMA! FREEZE HIM!"
"But...But Ji-chan, he can't...I can't fight him!"
The conflict in Gray's onyx eyes was apparent, and Juvia felt for him. She really did. To fight the man who basically raised him was a heartbreaking thing to ask, but when that man was currently under the demonification process of the most powerful dark mage in all of existence...
"Gray-sama please! I know he's..." Juvia gritted her teeth and generated another series of tentacles from her back, anchoring herself as she drilled them into the earth. "Juvia knows Makarov-san is your family! Juvia knows what he means to you and everyone in Fairy Tail, but if we don't fight back then he's going to kill us!"
The Frost Knight of Fairy Tail remained hesitant.
Juvia's shout did nothing and the Water Dragonslayer's eyes widened as she saw the severed area of Makarov's forearm suddenly regenerate before their very eyes. Bone, muscle and skin grew back in a near instantaneous fashion and only served to drive home the fact that the third master of Fairy Tail was something less than human. The bestial roar he unleashed came from his throat, and Makarov's size grew once more as he called upon his Titan Magic.
The fifty foot mage doubled in size, and the now one hundred foot titan ripped his body free from Juvia's restraints with ease. The daughter of Levia cried out in surprise as the action sent her flying through the air and skipping across the upper tier of Tenrou Island. Makarov's rampage continued and so he lashed out with another swing of his gargantuan arms, tearing the already ruined earth asunder.
The resulting shockwave sent everyone flying back and they all groaned in pain as they lay scattered across the battlefield.
Erza gritted her teeth as she climbed back to her feet, but her brown eyes widened as she saw the blood red orbs of her guildmaster trained on her. Out of pure instinct, Caliburn was gripped tightly and platinum flames were summoned in preparation to attack. However, the Titania of Fairy Tail found herself suffering from the same hesitancy as her ice using guildmate.
Despite the dark violet skin and the glowing red eyes, all the red-haired S-Class mage could see was a smiling old man who only had love for his guild and surrogate family. The world seemed to quiet as her mind flashed through all the moments of joy she shared with the elderly Ten Wizard Saint.
"ERZA LOOK OUT!"
The daughter of two Wizard Saints found herself snapping out of her reverie as she saw the other members of her strike-slash-rescue squad were already in the process of running out of the way of something. A shadow enveloped her and Erza glanced up, brown eyes trained upon the approaching object. There wasn't much room between them as the speed of the massive fist that threatened to crush her was terrifying.
Caliburn was held in a blocking position, but despite being the Sword of Kings which could slice rend dragon scales it could only cover so much surface area. Erza's eyes shut tightly and she clenched her teeth in preparation for the oncoming blow. The sound of impact graced her ears, a powerful wind was generated from the resulting shockwave and she felt the earth crack beneath her. However, what confused the S-Class mage was that the blow never landed against her.
"Snap out of it, Titania."
(Insert Music: Fairy Tail- Dragonslayer)
The sound of her brother's voice made her eyes open in surprise. His back was all she saw as the Apocalypse Dragonslayer held her demonic guild master's punch at bay. His claws were dug into the giant's purple-black skin before he reared his leg back. With a powerful upward swing, Naruto crashed his leg into the underside of Makarov's fist and the giant limb was sent into an uncontrollable ascent.
The ground cratered as Naruto launched himself into the air. The sound barrier shattered and Naruto seemed to reappear to Makarov's immediate left, his leg already cloaked in the swirling winds of his Fuuton branch of wind-based magic.
"Fuuton: Senpuu Kyaku!" The Cyclone Kick spell landed and the sound of Makarov's jaw shattering echoed alongside the shockwave occurred from the point of contact. Makarov's body went into a dizzying spin and the one hundred foot tall titan was sent stumbling until he finally lost balance and fell off the edge of Tenrou's upper tier.
The resounding crash made it seem as if the entirety of Tenrou Island was experiencing a high magnitude earthquake.
The world was quiet as the on-lookers witnessed the literal fall of Fairy Tail's third master.
"What...What the hell did you just do?!" Natsu exclaimed.
"You killed him!" Laxus's rage was equal to that of the Fire Dragonslayer's as his body exploded with lightning. "You killed Jiji!"
"Quiet yourself Dreyar before I put another hole in your chest." The former second generation Dragonslayer felt the scar on his chest throb as Naruto's glowing white eyes stared into his own black ones. "Your master is currently a one hundred foot demonic titan with a high speed regeneration ability. A fall from this height would not be enough to kill him, but while I would like to take the moment to exact some form of retribution for what happened in our battle outside of Magnolia I currently have more pressing matters. It would be best if you handle the current predicament that is Makarov."
Erza's eyes widened as the Apocalypse Dragonslayer's gaze shifted, holding her own for a moment.
"We can't just attack him! He's Ji-chan!" Gray exclaimed.
Erza looked at her brother with a deep frown. "He's our Master!"
"He was your Master."
All eyes snapped in the direction of the Black Mage.
"Unlike the Energy Dragonslayer here, what you all do not understand about demonification is that it is a difficult process to reverse. Human minds and bodies are easy to mutate, but the reverse is often what brings about the challenge and I've seen many mages during the Dark Wars try to do such a thing. Holy magics, trying to talk to them such as what you have attempted...I have yet to see a successful reversal of my spell, but I will let you know the harsh reality of your situation young mages." Zeref's own crimson eyes stared with such intensity it was almost as if he were gazing into their souls. "Your guildmaster is no longer human. He is now a demon and a soldier under my command."
"You son of a bitch!" The grandson of said demon soldier unleashed a burst of magic energy as he called upon the Thunder in Heaven spell, traversing the space between himself and Zeref in less than a second. "LIGHTNING MAGIC: CRUSHING FIST OF MAJESTIC THUNDER!"
The lightning infused fist slammed into Zeref's stomach and a beam of concentrated voltage tore through Zeref's stomach to burst out of his back. Anything in between was scorched and a lesser mage would have surely died. But just as he had done from the attempts on his life from Naruto and Kurama, Zeref's body simply blinked back into existence in an unharmed state.
"Wh-What did you...How did you..."
"As I said before to the dragonslayer and his pet..." Zeref gestured to Naruto and Kurama causing both to glare at him. "...my connection to the One Magic has been restored and thus not even the concept of Death can affect me."
"Like hell!" Laxus snarled. "I'll tear you apart in every way imaginable if that's what it takes to bury you in the ground!"
"You wish for revenge which is an understandable reaction and I would be more than willing to let you try, but unfortunately it won't be much of a battle with the way I am now..." Zeref raised a hand and Laxus found the world becoming a dizzying blend of blues, greens and browns as he was delivered a devastating backhand blow. The lightning user tore through the air before taking the same course as his grandfather, falling off the edge of Tenrou's upper tier.
"Laxus!" Natsu's fists burst into flame, orange-yellow shifting into bluish-white. "You bastard!"
"Natsu!" The pink-haired dragonslayer paused as Erza held her hand out. The younger mage paused in his charge as he looked to the red-haired swordswoman. "We can't fight someone like Zeref! We need to go to Master and help him!"
"Erza-sama, I understand the situation but we have multiple high-class dark mages in our sights." Alice stated as she took a stance beside her fellow armoured female. "You are the one in charge, but..."
"Master Makarov is the priority, Lieutenant-General."
The tone was firm and Alice knew there was no arguing with her current commanding officer. Alice turned her honey-coloured eyes looked to her fellow Rune Knights and nodded.
"Understood, Erza-sama." The four Rune Knights moved to the edge of the upper tier as Gray and Juvia formed a lengthy slide of ice that led to Makarov's location. Alice, Tyson, Archid and Adeltreud were the first to go. Natsu, Gray and Juvia followed after, but Erza paused as she made the move to slide down the icy structure. She glanced up at her airborne brother, a small smile gracing her features as she met his gaze.
After mouthing those words, Erza slid out of sight.
Naruto landed beside the five-tailed kitsune as he turned his attention back towards the Black Mage.
"You're surprisingly merciful for a son of the Black Dragon." Zeref commented. "I know you could have easily killed my new demon, what with the power of a Divine Dragonslayer at your fingertips, but yet you choose to let the guild mages be the ones to deal with their fallen master."
(Insert Music: Attack on Titan- YOUSEEBIGGIRL/T:T)
"Apocalypse Doraibu!" The earth and the heavens seemed to shake and Zeref's crimson eyes stared in awe as a pillar of blue-black magic energy pierced the clouds. The atmosphere seemed to grow heavier as Naruto drew upon the power of his Drive Mode without hesitation. "Like I said, I have more pressing matters."
"If you are referring to me then I will admit you are correct in how your priorities are being addressed, but..." Zeref paused as he looked to the skies. "I will not be able to remain here much longer. If he begins to pick up on my magical energy signature then it will only be matter of time before things begin to take a very terrible turn."
"You think you can just walk out of here undeterred, Zeref?" Naruto snarled, his eyes shining with ethereal white light. "You think I, of all people, will let you leave here alive after everything you've done to him?! After everything you did that led to my father's banishment from Alagaesia?!"
"It is precisely because of your father that I am leaving, Energy Dragonslayer." The descendant of Merlin replied. "My awakening has no doubt been felt my him and it is only a matter of time before he pinpoints my location to exact his revenge. So that's why I'm leaving behind these fragments to throw him off the trail so that I can prepare."
"Prepare?" Kurama's eyes narrowed. "Prepare for what?"
"To finish what I started."
The Black Mage's response was spoken as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.
"What does he mean by that?" Kurama asked as he looked to the other mages within earshot. "Oi, what the fuck does he mean by that?!"
"It means he wants to resume the Dark Wars." Ultear stated, her shock just as apparent as Kurama's. "To wipe out all of existence on the planet."
"Smart girl." Zeref chuckled.
"What?! You can't do that!" The Kyuubi no Yoko looked to his dragonslayer partner. "Can he do that?!"
"Oh believe me, I can...and I will." His amused expression was immediately replaced by a much darker one. "I brought about the darkest age on the planet since the Dragon War and I would have continued had the one who would become the Sixth Dragon King himself not stepped in all those years ago."
"Zeref-sama, I apologise for my insolence but..." Hades cleared his throat nervously as he took note of the irritated expression of the dark lord. "What are you talking about?"
"Of course you wouldn't know, none of you would." Zeref spoke with a harsh tone. "I was not one to question the acts of the Void Dragon himself, and so I, a lowly human, followed his commands to put him on the throne and rip away Acnologia's birthright as the eldest of the Divine Dragons to be King."
"So it's really all true then." All eyes turned Naruto as he glared at the descendant of Merlin. "Your reawakening is essentially to be seen as Zennou having lost faith in the world. He is granting permission for you to wipe the slate clean and remake the world."
"He didn't entirely lose faith as he allowed over four hundred years to let the crowned jewel of the First Dragon King's creations earn back favour in the eyes of its current ruler. Though it really is quite strange how the creature known as the Black Dragon of the Apocalypse is actually the one who retained more faith in the planet than his own brother." Zeref hardened his gaze towards the Apocalypse Dragonslayer. "You wish to exact revenge upon me in your father's place. Admirable, but not a task you can achieve with your current skillset, even with the power of your Drive Mode. In fact, not even the almighty Doragon Fosu will be enough I'm afraid."
"So what you're saying is we can kill you, but you will not die." The crimson eyed fox scowled in annoyance. Immortality was a pain in the ass when it was used against you.
"Precisely, but I am not against wishing to keep you unsatisfied in your quest for vengeance young dragonslayer." Zeref vanished from view but reappeared just as quickly beside Grimoire Heart's master. "In order to satiate your need to kill me..."
"Zeref-sama?" The master of Grimoire Heart's eyes widened as he watched the Black Mage place a hand against his chest.
"You've done a spectacular job of learning my magics and I can feel the essence of my magecraft flowing through you." Zeref gave a small smile. "You really have shown your willingness to be my apostle by placing a Devil Heart and Eye into your body so this might actually work well in your favour."
"Wh-What ever do you mean, Zeref-sama?"
"It means that I will be lending you a piece of myself."
Ultear now felt the same level of emotions that currently ran through the mages of Fairy Tail, and could only watch helplessly as her master's body suddenly began to shudder and shake. His eyes rolled up into his head and saliva bubbled from his mouth as the Black Mage unleashed a pulse of black mist into the elderly mage's body. The ground beneath him cracked heavily as a burst of purple-black magic energy exploded out of the former Fairy Tail master's body. His grey locks were dyed a shade of black similar to Zeref's and the power which Hades exhumed increased to a level which made it seem as if the atmosphere itself became heavy.
Hades's seizing form fell forwards almost as if he were a puppet which had its strings cut, but the centennial mage remained standing. The ebony aura seeped into his body and once the last wisp of magic energy vanished from view, Hades regained consciousness. His head snapped up and Ultear released an unintentional gasp of fear as she gazed into her Master's eyes.
His originally black eye was now the same evil crimson as the Black Mage's. The leader of Grimoire Heart straightened his back and looked down at his hands, clenching them into fists almost as if he were experimenting with the basic movements.
"I have left a piece of my power inside Purehito's body as I have done with the Titan Magic user." Zeref informed the mages before him. "Kill Purehito and my demonic titan, and I will recognise you as a legitimate threat to my act of extinction. Until then, I look forward to seeing you all again in battle should you survive."
"NO! YOU'RE NOT GETTING AWAY!" The ground exploded beneath Naruto's feet as he pushed off, a shockwave occurring as he rapidly shattered the sound barrier. Claws of blue-black magic energy were aimed at Zeref's throat, but the Black Mage vanished from view as he literally vanished out of thin air.
"NO!" Naruto slammed his fist into the ground. The earth caved in and the crater that formed from the impact began to expand as Naruto followed up with repetitive blows that made it seem as if an earthquake was rocking the island. "No. No. No. No! No! NO! NO! NO! I had him! I fucking had him and he just gets to escape?!"
"Naruto..." Kurama gave a small frown at the enraged dragonslayer. Even Ultear couldn't help but feel some form of pity towards him.
(Insert Music: Naruto Shippuden- Tragic)
"Master? I...I know we wanted to change the world to make it better for us mages, but..."
"Are you siding against Zeref-sama, Ultear?"
Her breath hitched as the centennial mage's red eyes stared her down, his massive frame casting an intimidating shadow over her.
"M-M-Master p-p-please." Ultear's voice trembled. "W-What Zeref-sama is suggesting is no less than complete genocide of not just human mages, but life as we know it."
"And then the world will be remade, Ultear." Hades added on. "Siding with Zeref-sama will allow us to bring back a world not just completely new, but with the ability to make it even better than what we could have imagined."
Ultear stepped back as Hades took a step forward, a maniacal grin stretching across his face.
"Just think about it my child! You could bring back your mother, your sister and Matatabi all at once in the new world! We could all live the lives we truly want with whomever we want! Zeref's mastery over the One Magic has proved even Cause and Effect have no hold on him and that could extend to being able to be spared by the Dragon King's magic as well! So we can do exactly the things we want once we are given access to it!"
"Master..." Ultear's dark eyes were wide with shock. "Zeref-sama...Zeref-sama is...He...You...You can't just kill the planet!"
"Oh?" Hades's eyes glowed menacingly. "So you are choosing to stand against me then?"
"No! I just..." Tears collected at the edge of her eyes. "This isn't the way things were supposed to go, Master!"
"Oh my dear, sweet Ultear." Hades caressed the side of her face with the back of his hand. "This was always how it was supposed to go, and I'm afraid that if you can't stomach the fact that lives are going to be taken for the sake of the grand vision that I have...then I will have to treat it as an act of defiance."
"Master...Master please no!" Ultear was practically sobbing at this point as her tears began to flow. "Please don't this! Please! I've loved you like you were my own parent ever since you took me from Bureau! I would have done anything and everything for you!"
"Your use of past tense is what hurts me the most, my child." Hades said with a soft voice. "I too loved you like my own, but it seems this is where we part ways. I can't let anyone, not even you...get in my way."
The former Fairy Tail master's magic energy spiked, ebony-violet flaring around his body like a roaring fire.
"No." With a single word, Hades was caught off-guard as he looked at the tearful woman looking up at him with a hardened gaze.
The daughter of Ur shifted her dark coloured eyes towards the ring of ice which lay on her finger before reaching into her pocket and pulling out a small piece of paper. Hades raised an eyebrow as he observed the glowing purple seal present on its surface.
"A Communication Seal?" Hades could not contain his confusion. "What do you plan to do with that, my dear? If you are attempting to call for help then I highly doubt whoever it is you're contacting will be able to reach you in time."
"That's what you think." The Arc of Time user fired back as she poured magic into the seal tag. "Before we parted ways in Era, you made an offer to me. You said Grimoire Heart would fall and it has. Shukaku and his brothers destroyed our main forces, my master has ex-communicated me and now wants to kill me for treason. You said things tend to go in your favour and I believe that right now, at this very moment, it has. You said that if I should ever be willing to accept that offer that I would simply need to use the Communication Seal you gave me."
Ultear clenched the Communication Seal tighter, the paper tearing as her fingernails stabbed through it.
"So, if you still aren't having second thoughts about wanting to kill me, then what do you say?" The now former Kin of Purgatory gave a half-hearted smile in the direction of her contact. "Still willing to take me in?"
An eerie silence seemed to echo across the atmosphere of Tenrou Island. The wind did not blow. The waves seemed to calm. The birds did not cry. For those brief seconds, Ultear felt as if the world had stopped turning and she could feel the tears welling up in her eyes once more as she heard no response.
Hades snorted in amusement and gave a hearty chuckle towards his former second in-command.
"Well it seems your would-be saviour is nowhere to be found. I must say though, your words were quite emotional. I didn't think you actually had it in you to actually carry out a change in allegiance against Grimoire Heart, but now that I've let you have your last words I think it's time I silence you once and for..."
(Insert Music: Yugioh- Passionate Duelist)
"MOKUSHIRYU NO HAKAI TSUME!"
Time seemed to slow as there was a burst of magical energy that made it seem as if gravity had increased ten times over. Ultear and Kurama couldn't contain the feeling of shock that washed over their bodies.
The impact was hard and fast.
The world bent within Hades's vision became skewed as his neck twisted violently and the sounds of his jaw bone breaking seemed to echo in his ears. The earth shook from the accompanying shockwave and a massive crater expanded outwards beneath their feet before time began to flow once more.
The dark mage rocketed through the air, smashing through the boulder which Zeref had once been sitting one before crashing through a series of dead trees. He transitioned into smashing through the live trees of Tenrou's forests and each of the once mighty fauna came toppling down. A large dirt cloud and a massive trench marked Hades's path until he finally came to a painful stop by being embedded half way through a boulder.
"F-Fuuji...Naruto-kun?" The Arc of Time user raised her hands to cover her mouth.
"I will confirm that as the current situation stands, Grimoire Heart is all but destroyed. Your Master had me tortured and kidnapped aboard one of his airships and was a part of a joint plan that led to Kurama being taken from me by Tartaros. I intend to pay that back one thousand fold, but as for you...You still have use to me. As a former member of the Kin of Purgatory and second in-command of Grimoire Heart, you have vital intelligence pertaining to the world of dark mages as well as access to knowledge about the Black Mage Zeref of which you will no doubt share with my spy network. With this in mind I will accept your request to join my ranks." Black and blue magic energy outlined Naruto's body as he turned towards her, the white ethereal light shining within his eyes. "Ultear Milkovich...you're mine now."
The nod of confirmation was his response.
"I got her."
Kurama quickly reverted back to his Exceed form and grabbed onto their newest spy network member as he unfurled the wings of his Aera Magic.
"Just remember the deal we have. I let you handle Hades, but the ones who tortured me in Tartaros...they're mine."
Naruto nodded to the fox-costumed Exceed. In a blur of speed, Kurama took off with Ultear. Not too long after, the area of healthy forest trees outside of Zeref's circumference of death began to shake. The tree line burst apart in a blaze of violet-black eternano and Hades stood before the son of Acnologia as steam rose from the regenerating portion of his jaw that Naruto's Annihilation Claws took off. The eternano blaze raced out from the Grimoire Heart mage's body and within an instant, a multitude of violet-black magic circles appeared around Naruto.
From each magic circle, Naruto watched as demonic figures of all shapes and sizes climbed out from the spell of Living Magic. Hundreds of demons roared as they surrounded the Apocalypse Dragonslayer and Hades smiled, his eyes shining like a pair of rubies within the shroud of dark magic that made up his aura.
"I will give you a chance to surrender and die a clean death by my children." Hades gestured to his demon horde. "After all, you're surrounded."
"All I am surrounded by is fear." Blue eyes bathed in ethereal white light stared into Hades's crimson orbs and Hades could not withhold the shudder that ran down his spine as the ground cracked beneath Naruto's feet, his aura exploded forth, morphing into the phantasmal form of Acnologia. "And a dead man."
(A/N: Alright, this gonna be it. Next chapter will be the final chapter of the Tenrou Island arc. I've gotten all the things I needed to do out of the way. All the pieces are gathered, everyone who would end up getting in the way of the fights are not around and so the final chapter is gonna be just complete unadulterated action.
Man am I excited to write this next chapter. To be honest, as far mage battles go, Naruto vs Kankaku is the best one I think I personally did and given what Hades has in power right now, while it won't be involving any moon shattering or dimension hopping, it will be definitely be a doozy of a fight to write. Hope you guys look forward to it.
Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and remember to review!)