Titania and The Hunter
Chapter 54: Seis Huelga de Oración
Oh it is such a breath of air to be writing for all these new characters. Don't get me wrong because the Fairies are great, but adding new people with different personalities and figuring out how they talk and properly act while adding on top the ones I already familiarized myself with and how they all act together.
It's a challenge...but damn is it fun.
Plus, this was one of my favorite arcs from the show. So yay for me finally making it here!
It took a few more moments for Wendy to disengage from Naruto, releasing her hug and wiping the tears from her eyes with a little sob. The S-Class Mage simply smiled at her reaction, "Are you okay?"
"Y-Yes." Wendy nodded, "I'll be okay."
"She'd be better if you gave her some space." Carla quickly stepped between the young lady and the older Mage. The white cat tried to forcefully push him away with all the strength she could muster, but unfortunately all her little paws could do was press against his knees. But while her physical strength couldn't measure up, she more than made up for it with her scowl and sharp tongue, "In case you haven't perceived it yet, her current condition is because you have waltzed up and upset her. So if you would be so kind as to just go away."
"Wow fussy-cat, do you seriously not recognize me?"
"Unfortunately I do, but I have been actively repressing our last meeting since we had it. Now would you just leave Wendy-" Carla paused when she saw the terrifying sight of a blue cat peeking around Naruto's waist and staring at her with big shaky eyes. She stepped back warily, "What in god's name is that creature behind you?"
"Oh, that's Happy." Naruto shuffled aside from his crouched position. The blue cat panicked and jumped back behind the blond Mage for protection, "He's a cat that can fly, just like you."
"Really?" Wendy finally spoke again and looked down at her friend, "Can you believe it, Carla?"
The white cat looked forward and stared at the bashful Fairy cat hiding from her gaze. He peeked out from behind the whiskered blond's butt, acting shyly before waving his paw, "Hi."
Happy's world shattered at her callous, immediate refusal. The blue cat stumbled back from the front group and waddled backwards with his legs acting like jelly under his weight. He dropped forward and landed on his knees as the shock must have taken its toll on his psyche.
Until he blushed and giggled, "She's shy."
'You're delusional.' The unanimous thought of everyone present after what they had witnessed.
Wendy heard the sound of metal clicking against metal as boots stepped across the floor. Another figure stood by Naruto's side with a small smile on her face, "So you know this girl?"
"Yep." Naruto stood back up and smiled, "This is Wendy Marvell, a Mage I met a few years back when I was still being punished for stealing that S-Class job."
"Then it's fortunate for us that you already know one of our future comrades." She stepped forward and offered her hand to the shorter, stunned girl, "Hello Wendy, my name is Erza Scarlet. It is very nice to meet you."
"W-Wow." Wendy seemed to have missed Erza's introduction as she stared at the older woman in shock. The smoothness of her face and the beautiful color of her red hair. The different colors of her eyes that Wendy couldn't look away from. The voice that greeted her with kindness and a smile filled with warmth that also conveyed that she could change at any moment to a firm, powerful demand, "Y-You're Titania, Erza Scarlet-San, aren't you?"
Carla sighed, "She just introduced herself Wendy. Keep up."
"I-I've always wanted to meet you, Erza-San." Wendy held Erza's hand with both of hers. The young blue-haired girl's eyes twinkled and shimmered in wonder, "I've always been a really big fan of yours! All of the stories and interviews about you in Sorcerer's Weekly inspire me to be a better Mage!' Wendy's exuberance was halted when she realized she was still holding Erza's hand. Her hands snapped down to her side as she blushed with embarrassment, "I-I suppose it is more along the lines of I set myself a goal, but have failed to actually pursue it. I-I haven't done anything to properly pursue the path of a better Mage, a-and this is really the closest thing I have ever done to a real job."
"Yet you've come here to help us stop the Oración Seis and their plans before they can be completed." Erza countered, "I think that shows you have bravery, and a desire to help your guild and others more than you realize. I hope to see some of your devotion for myself while we work together."
"T-Thank you." Wendy was flustered by Erza's praise and ducked her head, even if a small smile came to her face as she rolled her feet in the rug.
"Have a backbone, Wendy!" Carla's sudden escalation made Wendy nearly jump out of her skin from fright. The white cat continued to frown, "You can't just flounder and fizzle at every slight compliment you receive. You are a Mage, and representing Cait Shelter to the rest of these people! You must have confidence, bravery, and - Wendy?"
"Hello, little lady." The others looked surprised by Wendy's sudden disappearance before looking aside. They saw the timid young girl seated at the couch, being treated by and watched on by the 'charming' members of Blue Pegasus, "You must be exhausted from the travel here. All by yourself as well. Quite commendable for a young lady such as yourself."
"I love the color of your hair! And your outfit is so eye-catching."
"If you want a drink you can tell me. Not like I'll get it for you but you can say."
Wendy's eyes were blank as her face was red, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-"
"No! No no no no no! Wendy, get away from those people! This is very different from trying to branch out! This is diving into the center of debauchery and evil! Young lady get back here!"
Ezra and Naruto stood beside each other and watched the white cat quickly run up to her friend's side as Wendy failed at handling the Trimens' eccentricity. The redhead spoke, "So that's the girl you told me about?"
"Yeah. She was the one who told me Jellal was alive years ago. she said when her mother disappeared and she was left alone, Jellal appeared and protected her. It's what gave me hope that the next time I saw him he might be..."
There was a moment of pause between them before she smiled, "She's a very sweet girl. I can see a gentle soul in her eyes."
"Yep," Naruto nodded with a chuckle, "She's just as nervous and jumpy as the last time I saw her."
"Hmm..." Ezra hummed, but Naruto noticed a hint of something in her voice. When he looked over he saw a conflicted expression on Erza's face, "That's what has me concerned."
"She's...so young." Lucy noted as she, Gray, and Natsu all stepped over to join their friends. The blonde continued to looked perturbed by the presence of such a young girl on their mission, "I thought they would send someone our age or older."
"She smells kinda familiar." Natsu scratched his head, "I can't put my finger on it though."
"Don't smell the kid man. It's weird enough the pretty boys are trying their usual comedy shtick on her."
"Wait, Natsu are you seriously not getting it?" Naruto asked incredulously. When the pink-haired man shrugged the whiskered Mage could only sigh, "She's the Dragon Slayer I was telling you about."
"Do you not remember anything I told you about her? Blue hair? Young? Has a fucking talking white cat just like Happy?! Did none of that cross your mind?!"
"Oh." Natsu meekly scratched his cheek, "I actually just kinda tune out what you say when I get bored. I do that for most people when I get bored. Why do you think I never listen when Jii-chan chews me out about all the damage I cause?"
The other Fairies stared at the pink-haired Mage in silence. They all let out a sigh of disappointment and shook their heads. However Erza did channel all of their thoughts and delivered a swift punch into the Dragon Slayer's ribs that sent him tumbling over.
That was cathartic enough for now.
"I suppose now that the members of Cait Shelter have arrived, that means we are all here." Jura stepped up to their side, "If we can proceed with the mission preparations-"
"Hold on, Jura-San. There's a serious problem with all of this." Lyon made his way over to join the discussion with a displeased expression on his face, "Is Cait Shelter pranking us? Is this supposed to be a joke? We are about to tackle the Oración Seis and wage a war with them, and they send us a child that can't even look us in the eye? I can't be the only one seeing how poor in taste this is, right?"
"She is pretty nervous." Lucy noted with her concern in her voice.
"If the master of Cait Shelter has sent her, then they trust that she is the most suitable to handle this fight." Jura stated while looking at his fellow Mages, "We cannot simply judge this girl's proficiency from one introduction and a meeting."
"Wendy is a Dragon Slayer," Naruto spoke, frowning at Lyon and his perpetual scowl, "Her potential is much greater than we think, plus she's a healer. Saved me from a poisonous Wyvern attack when I was just a kid. She can be an asset."
"Fine, her healing power is exceptional, but what about when we're stuck in a fight? Can she hold her own in the thick of it, or do we have to keep one eye on her at all times?" Lyon glared at Naruto, not bothered by the blond's anger being sent his way, "Do you think her combative skill has changed enough since the last time you met for her to be fighting alongside us?"
"Enough Lyon. We are working together now, and there is no point in making bad blood between us before we even begin." Jura cut off all discussion before Naruto had the chance to challenge the Maker Mage's point. The Wizard Saint looked between them all, "Whether or not Wendy-dono has the combat ability is not a reason for us to be fighting now. If she does then that is that, but if she does not then we can rely on her to heal our wounds after battle. Whichever path we take, these are the people we are fighting alongside and trusting our lives with. It would not do to have strife within our own ranks." Naruto grumbled and Lyon huffed before both reluctantly agreed with Jura's point, "Shelf your misgivings for the time being and let us see how Wendy-donor proves herself in the field."
"YEAH! WE CAN'T JUDGE THE LITTLE LADY ON HOW USELESS SHE IS JUST YET! LET'S SEE HOW SHE DOES FIGHTING ALL THE BIG SCARY DARK MAGES AND THEN WE'LL SEE IF SHE CAN FIGHT OR IF SHE PEES HERSELF! WE'LL HANDLE THINGS FROM THERE!"
Kichiyo's voice continued to echo through the entire building for a few seconds in case everyone in the main hall couldn't hear him. Wendy blinked and tilted her head in confusion. All eyes turned to the rock golem and glared at him balefully, "Do you ever use your inside voice?"
"YEAH! IT'S THE SAME AS MY OUTSIDE VOICE! I ONLY HAVE ONE VOICE DUMMY! DUH!"
Jura rubbed the bridge of his nose before sighing, "We have wasted more than enough time now. Let us proceed with our meeting. Ichiya-dono? Ichiya-dono?"
"I'm here! Apologies, I did not mean to leave." The short Pegasus Mage was making his way back down the stairs with a towel to dry off his hands, "It's just moments after I was batted around with my head encased in ice I realized there was a call that I must answer. So I vacated to the lavatories to...admire their parfum."
Several faces grimaced at the obvious implications that he had left to take a dump.
"Now, without further ado, let us proceed with the debriefing. Maestro."
Hibiki stepped up to the center of the room and raised his hands. When he did, transparent screens appeared under them and filled the air. The other members of the alliance looked on in awe at the strange magic that started to spread out overhead. The sandy-blond gentleman started to type away at the screens, "Give me a moment to bring up the information."
A second later, a large screen appeared in the air and grabbed the attention of everyone present as a feed of the Woodsea played outm "The Woodsea is one of the largest natural landmarks in all of Fiore. Archeologists have searched through it for decades and have found many ruins leftover from ancient civilizations. But it is believed that somewhere in the expanse of forest there is a powerful magic sealed inside of it..."
"Nirvana." Ichiya spoke up, "An ancient magic which has been lost to time for so long that no one knows just what it is capable of doing. But suffice to say that if the Oración Seis are looking for it now, they must have some idea of its capability."
"As such they have started to pull back all the other Dark Guilds under their control." Another image appeared of some unsavory characters being spotted heading towards the Woodsea from other villages and towns, "We believe they are spreading out and searching for Nirvana together as we speak."
"Then let's stop wasting time and get out there already!" Natsu exclaimed and made for the exit before Gray's hand snagged his scarf.
"Before we get out, we need to understand our enemy. Does anyone here know anything about the Oración Seis?" No one answered, except for Natsu who was knelt on the ground and struggling for air, "Alright, then we need to show you what we've gathered on our enemies so far. It's not much, but what we do have will prove essential in the long run."
The floating screens changed, the images of the Woodsea swapping out for an odd-looking man with spiky hair and a pointy nose. The leather-clad figure didn't impress the Mages walking up in the footage, until he disappeared in a blur and the people that had come to catch him had been blown away like dolls. The camera that had been brought to catch pictures of him dropped to the ground and focused on the man with blood dripping down his hand.
That earned a few surprised looks from the Mages gathered.
"Racer." Ichiya informed, "What you just witnessed was all the footage and intelligence we could gather on him. From the disappearance to the state of his victims, we can guess that his moniker isn't simply for show."
"So we're dealing with someone who can move so fast he can beat a team of people before they even know what happened?" Lucy asked, her eyes restricting in fear at the prospect, "C-Can't Jet run really fast? Maybe we could give Levy-chan a call-"
"I doubt Jet could handle an opponenet like that." Erza stated firmly as she stared at the screen.
"Next up is Cobra." The screen changed to a man with deep burgundy hair and a cocky smirk on his face, a large purple snake coiled around his body, "From what we can gather, this man either has a connection to poisonous snakes or he can communicate with them somehow. Whichever it is, he's somehow able to use them to locate his enemies like a sonar."
"How do you know that?"
Ichiya and the Blue Pegasus Mages looked towards the screens to show a still taken of Cobra from a safe distance away. Before another picture took its place of the Dark Mage whipping around to look up in the photographer's general direction. The next several pictures were a combination of his quick run over and the cameraman's desperate dash away. However once again it ended with the camera being abandoned and a spray of blood filling the edge of the cracked screen.
Wendy tried to hide her frightful gasp behind her hands. However it fell on deaf ears as everyone else present was too preoccupied with the horror they had just avoided witnessing.
"This man has been referred to as Hoteye, the Heaven's Eye." The picture of a large, tall man with bright orange hair and an oddly geometric face appeared, "We don't know much about this man other than he is quick to a fight and extremely powerful." The image of a town laid to waste and rubble appeared on the screen, "And we only know that much because he recently destroyed this town singlehandedly. From surviving witness reports, apparently he did this in response to not being able to find a treatment for magic sickness. Whatever his magic maybe we need to be wary of anyone who can do that on a whim."
"Next up is the lovely Angel." The form of a pretty young woman with a bob of white hair and in a feathery white outfit appeared in the air, "This gorgeous femme fatale has an air of mystery and intrigue surrounding her beautiful form. Rumor has it she can look directly into your soul and whisper sweet nothings into your ear that make you surrender your heart to her. Truly she is the most dangerous and fearsome of our opponents-"
"Uh-hum!" Naruto coughed loudly and stopped Ichiya's nonstop prattling. The other Mages were unimpressed by his odd tangent as the blond circled his hand around to signal that they should move on.
"Right." Hibiki stiffly continued, "This man is known as Midnight. Despite our best efforts there was nothing we could find or gather about him that could be of any use." They looked up at the tired young man with spiky black hair, "In a group of people we aren't totally certain of what they can do, he is the biggest enigma we are facing."
"He doesn't look that tough."
"Appearances can be deceiving."
"And this man is the eldest member and de facto leader of the Oración Seis, Brain." Eve was the one who spoke up as the screen filled with a dark-skinned man with six black lines marking his face, "Decades ago this man was a distinguished teacher and instructor for the Rune Knights. He had mastered many forms of magic and helped revolutionize many more for future Mages to use."
"So just six people," Lucy gulped, "But all of them so powerful that we have no chance of stopping them alone." The blonde raised a shaky hand, "Should I remind you I'm really not much of a fighter at all?"
"I-I'm the same." Wendy announced in an equally frightened tone.
"They sound tough." Natsu said with an excited smirk on his face.
Erza looked between the six members, "If each of these members are as powerful and dangerous as you say, then what are our plans for fighting them?"
Ren stepped forward, "Firstly, if you do happen to face one of the Oración Seis, the best option to take would be to not fight them alone. Each one of them is strong enough to wipe out an entire guild by themselves, so a team meeting them head-on is the best chance we have."
"HEAR THAT GUYS! WE'RE IMPLEMENTING THE BUDDY SYSTEM! WHOEVER GETS STUCK WITH ME IS GONNA HAVE THE MOST FUN POSSIBLE! KNOCK KNOCK JOKES GALORE!
"And second is that we don't actually need to fight them directly if necessary. With the size of this landscape, they can't be searching and organizing this large of a search party without using some spot as their base of operation. If we can attack that place before they realize we're moving, we'll have the upper hand."
"Which is where the Blue Pegasus treasure comes into play, the magical bomber, Christina." The gathered Mages gaped at the still of a giant airship designed like a flying horse hovering in the sky. Hibiki continued, "When we find the base, we will use the Christina to level it down and render them immobile. Once we do, we can surround them and apprehend them before they can make a move."
Lyon scoffed, "You can't honestly believe capturing a third of the Balam Alliance will be that easy, do you?"
"Of course not. Honestly, everything I just explained is for the most ideal result." Hibiki's Archive disappeared as he fixed the sleeves of his designer suit, "When we're out in the field we must be prepared for unexpected variables and any changes we'll have to make in the heat of the moment."
"Where in the world did you even get a bombardment ship?"
"We're Blue Pegasus, the most charming and eligible guild in all of Fiore," The Pegasus Mages posed and winked, "We have our ways."
"Bet Jewels they got dirt on some guys with deep pockets." Gray whispered as Naruto chuckled.
"So now we know our enemies, and we have an outline of what we need to do. Find their base and ambush them." Erza announced, her voice firm and commanding as she looked around the group, "Our next course of action is-"
"LET'S GO FIND THEM!" Natsu charged down the hall and burst through the door to run into the forest, "ORACIÓN SEIS, WE'RE COMING FOR YOU!"
"AYE SIR!" Happy called and followed after his friend.
The Fairies sighed while Erza shook with grit teeth, "Goes in one ear, gets lost, and just dies in that empty shell of a head." Her eyes opened sharply and she sprinted through the hall, "If we let him go on alone, he'll burn the whole forest down!"
Gray shrugged, "She has a point. Come on, Lucy, no point crying."
"Guess we'll lead." Naruto jogged in place with a cheeky smile, "You're welcome to come if you want."
"OH, PLAYFUL TEASING!" Kichiyo threw his arms in the air and shook the ground as he followed after the Fairies, "THIS IS BONDING WE'RE DOING! YAY!"
"I'm not letting Gray get the better of us. Come on Sherry."
"Of course, Lyon-sama!"
Wendy timidly waited behind as the Blue Pegasus Mages announced that they would never surrender to the brutish actions of such unlovely guilds and chased after them. The blue-haired girl hesitated and looked down at her feet nervously-
"Come along Wendy," Carla's voice spoke up and grabbed the young girl's attention as the bipedal cat stepped in front of her, "You wanted to prove yourself to all these other Mages, didn't you? Well you aren't going to do that just standing in the same place."
Wendy looked at her partner for a moment before taking a deep breath and nodding in agreement, "Right! Let's go, Carla!"
"Jura-San, please wait for a moment." The Wizard Saint stayed as the two young Cait Shelter Mages ran out of the building and disappeared into the forest. The Lamia Mage looked down at the short, suited man that strolled up to his side. Ichiya's eyes sparkled and he pointed up to the bulkier Mage, "I need to ask you honestly; what do you think our chances are against them?"
"Speaking truthfully then I believe that we are more than capable of handling the Oración Seis, but only if we can work together." The Wizard Saint said, "At the moment, with all of us acting so confrontationally and attempting to show each other up, we are not treating this so much as an alliance as we are a competition. And if we do not correct that behavior than it will most certainly be our downfall."
"I noticed their attitudes too. The spirit in each of them burns brightly in an effort to prove themselves to each other. I remember being just that competitive in my youth as well, but right now might not be the best time for that drive." The Pegasus Mage nodded, "I suppose it's fortunate we have you here to keep us level. With one of the ten Wizard Saints on our side, I'm sure there is no threat we could face that couldn't be handled."
Jura hummed but shook his head negatively, "I am honored by your praise, Ichiya-dono, but the truth is that while I might have the title of Wizard Saint, that does not automatically make me beyond every other Mage here. I share the title but compared to individuals like Makarov-dono or the former Jose-dono, I am severely lacking in skill and ability."
"Are you saying your title is just for show?"
"I have some power, but not enough to guarantee victory before even meeting our foe." Jura said modestly, "Our success lies in all of us working together."
"I see." Ichiya nodded, "So then by that logic your defeat is guaranteed if we can kill you before you all can coordinate, right?"
Jura's eyes widened at the line of questioning their conversation had gone, but they constricted at the sudden spiking pain that flared from his side. The Wizard Saint slowly looked down...
To find the tip of a small dagger sticking out of his abdomen, the rest of the blade imbedded from behind by his ally.
Jura lurched forward with a pained groan, the blade slipping out and spilling with blood as he put some distance between him and his attacker. He gripped his side tightly as blood seeped through his fingers, "I-Ichiya-dono!" His voice became progressively more strained with the blood he lost, "W-What have you-"
"Shh." Ichiya shushed the injured man before pulling out a vile and letting the Perfume magic waft out from the test tube and into the Wizard Saint's face, "First, tell me what this feels like." Jura gasped and gagged as he writhed in pain, clutching his wound even tighter as his screaming caused his wound to worsen. The mighty Mage screamed as Ichiya started to glow, "Yeah, apparently that's a perfume that saps people of their will to fight, while a strong potency causes great pain to the target. For such a dumb Mage this guy has some weirdly effective skills, probably for use as a deterrent."
"Y-You're not I-I-Ichiya-dono. Who-"
The short man popped in a puff of smoke and revealed a pair of light blue skinned creatures that looked exactly the same.
"And I'm Mini!"
"Like them? Their ability to copy a person's appearance, personality, and memories are extremely useful." A light, airy voice pleasantly sang as the sound of heels clicked against the marble. Jura strained himself and looked up as a young woman in a feathery outfit strolled over to their side, the beaten and bloody form of Ichiya being dragged behind her as he moaned. She gave the downed Wizard Saint a pleasant smile, "You idiots didn't even notice as I kicked the shit out of this guy with his pants down. Thankfully I did it before he could pull anything out and I got scarred for life."
"That's right!" The white-haired girl dropped Ichiya on the ground and winked, "You weren't the only one observing the Woodsea perimeter for anything odd. Once our guys spotted a bunch of you goody-goodies coming together and planning to meet up, we figured you were making a move against us. So we decided to move first." She clicked her tongue and shook her head condescendingly, "Seriously, you losers come here and think you're gonna stop us just like that? We've been preparing for this for years, dumbos. Not gonna let you lot get in our way."
"W-We will stop you." Angel looked down as Jura lifted himself up and glared at the white-clad Mage with determination burning in his eyes, "Even if we may fall, the others will take up the fight and put an end to your plans. You will not succeed while they still have the will to fight."
"Hmmm~," Angel hummed, "Riveting speech, and a very compelling argument. But counterpoint..."
Angel swung her leg in and shoved the tip of her heel into Jura's gash. The Wizard Saint let out a strangled gasp before he toppled over and fainted from the pain. Angel looked down at the red staining her formerly spotless footwear and pouted.
"Seriously an ambush? Geez, you remember we're the Dark Mages, right? We're the ones who are supposed to utilize underhanded tactics in order to take out the competition. Case in point..." Angel stood over Ichiya and reached into his pocket to pull out a Lacrima, "Gemini, you said these guys actually have a magical bomber at the ready?"
"They indeed do!"
"Interesting." An evil, mischievous smile stretched her lips, "Well it'd be downright criminal not to take her out for a spin."
"COME ON OUT! WHERE ARE YOU, ORACIÓN SEIS!" Natsu yelled as he sprinted through the Woodsea, "WE'RE GONNA KICK YOUR ASS AND STOP WHATEVER CRAZY SHIT YOU'RE PLANNING! YOU DON'T FUCK WITH-"
"Shut up." Erza's stern voice was followed by a swift slap to the back of the head that slammed the Dragon Slayer's face directly into the dirt. Without missing a beat her hand whipped out and grabbed his leg to drag him behind her as she jogged, "We're trying to locate them without alerting them to our presence, remember?"
"THAT'S RIGHT, STUPID! STEALTH MISSION, UH-DOI!"
Gray sighed, "On second thought, with the people present, a full-on assault would be easier than trying to make them quiet."
"You're whining more than usual, Gray." Lyon snarked as he ran by his fellow Maker Mage's side before picking up the pace, "Of course you always did complain when things weren't easy for you."
"Oh man Lyon, you're lucky I'm the bigger man or I'd sock you right in the nose."
"Is that a challenge?"
"Go, Lyon-sama!" Sherry cheered, "Show your love through your competitive spirit!"
Lucy started taking more shallow breaths as the continuous running started to take its toll. The young blonde slowed down, "C-Can we stop running please? It seems like a wasted effort if we don't even know where we're going."
"Are your legs feeling shaky around us, pretty lady?" Eve ran up to her side.
"A maiden like you shouldn't have to keep up with these brutes." Ren added from the side.
"If you like we could carry you." Hibiki said with an alluring wink, "It would be our pleasure."
"Oh wow, look at me go!" The formerly tired Mage sped up and left the Trimens in the dust, "My second wind! Miracles do come true!"
Naruto looked around at his impromptu teammates and saw them all filled with energy, despite the task hanging over their head. Erza was smart to shut Natsu up before he could scream anymore, but honestly the stealth and ambush aspect of this plan didn't even seem like a viable idea to follow. And it wasn't just because they had the tact of a bull running through a plate shop.
As far as he knew he was the only one present to fight a pillar of the Balam Alliance. Grimoire Heart hadn't expected a sudden attack like that, but they held him back and beat him down until Hades came in to save the rest of them. If this guild really was equal to Grimoire Heart, then they weren't going to take a sudden attack from them sitting down.
When they did make contact, they were going to have to play it out carefully.
Naruto looked back and saw the stragglers lagging behind the group slightly. The white cat tried to hide her exhaustion as best she could but keeping up with all their running on her tiny legs was bound to be difficult. And right beside her, Wendy was trying to keep up as best she could with the older Mages. But her cheeks were turning red and there was sweat building up.
And Naruto didn't think it was all just from running.
He slowed down considerably and started jogging by their side, "Hey, are you okay?"
"Naruto-San," Wendy spoke with a little gasp, not noticing his approach as she was deep in her own thoughts, "I-I'm sorry we're going so slow."
"There's nothing to apologize for, Wendy!" Carla exclaimed with a dirty look up at Naruto. Her voice was a little ragged as she struggled to keep the pace but continued to glare at the taller man, "Why don't you go back up ahead and leave us alone? Maybe all your bravado has actually failed you and your lagging behind because you're tired?"
"Yeah, no. I could walk at a mildly brisk pace and I'd still outrun you, sourpuss."
"But that's not what I was talking about. I wanted to know if you were okay. You looked like you were thinking pretty hard about something."
"O-Oh, you noticed." Wendy looked away and hid her face from view before turning to look up at Naruto with a shameful expression, "T-The truth is, Naruto-San, that I don't know why Master picked us to help on this mission. I think the best reason I could come up with is that my healing magic would be invaluable to you all but besides that...nothing."
Carla looked up at her friend, "Wendy-"
"I've tried getting stronger and more courageous since I saw you all those years ago. I've tried following the example Grandeeny and Jellal set for me, b-but I never got any better." Wendy said in a hushed voice as she lowered her eyes, "I want to help all of you and stop these people, but when I think about I-I-"
Those were all the feelings she must have been experiencing at the thought of fighting these monsters. And he was guessing that because he had felt them before when he fought overwhelming enemies. The feeling of your legs freezing and shaking underneath you, and the shame that followed knowing what you wanted was never possible as long as your instincts betrayed you.
And she was only twelve.
"Wendy," Naruto's firm voice stopped the young Dragon Slayer's quiet murmuring as she looked up at him. The blond's eyes were stern as he looked down at her, "I understand wanting to help us, and to fight your fear, but if we face them and you find yourself too scared to move...then I want you to take Carla and hide."
Wendy nearly tripped, "W-What?"
"I won't let you get hurt and I'll make sure you're safe when the fighting starts, but we won't be able to watch out for you in the heat of it. So if you're so scared you can't move, then I want you to put your safety first. You're the best healer we have here, so you'll need to keep yourself safe in case any of us get hit hard."
"It's the most practical and logical choice, Wendy." The little cat said resolutely while looking up into Wendy's uncertain eyes, "As the best healer here you need to prioritize your safety over theirs during a battle, because you're the only one that can fix them afterwards if their injuries are too severe. Plus out of this entire group of ruffians, we're the ones with the least amount of combat experience. Throwing ourselves into a fight solely to prove to ourselves that we're courageous is suicidal. It's the best move to make, Wendy."
"But I wanted to help everyone. To prove to the guild that I could do this." Wendy whispered, "I-"
Naruto's hand immediately came down in front of her and stopped her from taking another step. The little Dragon Slayer looked up at the whiskered blond in confusion only to see him glaring ahead of them. She looked ahead and saw other members of their group having stopped in place as well. They were still and staring in the same direction as Naruto, Wendy following their gaze before gulping in fright.
A tall man with burgundy hair and tan skin leaned against a tree, his arms folded over his white jacket and eyes closed. They dared not move, because they recognized the man's face instantly when they saw it. He slowly opened one eye to look at them, feeling their gazes lingering on him while he stood aside. He opened both eyes and greeted the group with a cocksure smirk, "Well, I was wondering when you'd get around to making it here. We thought about letting you all just keep running along like chickens with your heads cut off but thought better and decided to come greet you. Y'know, cause we're so nice like that. I'm-"
"Cobra." Erza said deeply.
"Oh good, you know already. Kinda rude to take the wind outta my sails like that but whatever." The Dark Mage shrugged and slipped his hands into his pockets as he kept smiling at his audience, "So you came out here to find us, right? How can we help-"
"You're part of the Oración Seis!" Natsu pulled himself out of Erza's grip and jumped back up on his feet with a challenging grin, "Get ready buddy because you're gonna fight me first!"
"Wow, you…are unnecessarily loud." Corba said with a flinch as he pushed his finger in his ear and cleaned it out, "I am right here man, you do not need to-"
"WE FOUND ONE!" Kichiyo announced cheerfully as the golem threw his arms up in the air, "WOW WE ARE REALLY GOOD AT THIS!"
"OW!" Cobra yelled, "What the fuck?! That thing talks?! And it's the loudest fucking creature in the world! Hey asshole, shut whatever you use as a mouth and let the grown-ups talk!"
"I AM A GROWN-UP! I'M SEVERAL CENTURIES OLD, YOU MEANIE!"
"SHUT THE FUCK UP! I'M RIGHT HERE YOU DON'T HAVE TO YELL IT!" Cobra hissed before scratching his head, "I can already tell I'm not gonna like any of you."
Lyon slammed his fist down on his palm and swung out as an eagle made of ice formed from its magic. The dynamic construct rocketed through the air and flew at blinding speeds before exploding by Cobra's head. A rush of white mist ran over the space it exploded and the tree he had been leaning against toppled over after its body had been so thoroughly destroyed.
The cold air drifted away and revealed the Dark Mage still standing in place, his head slightly to the side as he had easily dodged Lyon's sudden attack. The Mages looked on in shock as Cobra looked behind him at the area of tree that had been decimated right behind his head. He whistled, "Ho-lee shit. That would have been a great move if I hadn't totally known you were going to do that." Cobra stretched his arms nonchalantly before raising his chin and exposing his neck for all to see, "Second chance, and I promise I won't dodge this time. Any-"
Erza immediately summoned a sword from her Requip and spiked it towards the open Dark Mage. The sword stopped just an inch from piercing his throat, but this time because a leather-bound man with a long nose had suddenly appeared and grabbed it by the hilt. Cobra hid his neck and smirked at the shocked redhead, "Oh, you're a feisty one, sweet cheeks."
Racer dropped the blade, "What would you have done if I didn't come out and grab that?"
"Totally knew you were gonna though."
"Next time I won't."
"Aww, I know you don't mean that. Seriously," Cobra tapped his ear with a sly grin, "I know.
"Fire Dragon's Roar!"
"Ice Make: Cannon!"
The attacks landed from both sides and enveloped the two Dark Mages casually having a conversation. The steam caused by the two extremes colliding started to dissipate as the Mages got ready for a fight. It finally settled only to reveal neither Oración Seis member. However their eyes immediately fell down to Erza's sword, and how it was poking out of a patch of ground that looked to be liquid and bubbling.
Erza's warning came just too late, as Cobra came sprouting out of the ground in front of her and aiming for her jugular. His hand pulled back before it could be sliced open with a sword and the armored redhead raised her sword and took a stance against him. The Dark Mage smirked, "Didn't hear that. Pure reflex, huh? Man you are gonna be fun to tear down."
Before Natsu and Gray could take a step in her direction, the ground in front of them exploded in a viscous geyser. It was immediately followed with a heel swinging in for their cheeks and sending the two Fairies flying. Racer landed on the ground and his glasses shined under the sun before he disappeared.
"Move-" Lyon's warning was cut short as his head violently jerked aside with the foot swinging through his temple.
"Lyon-sama! I'll make you pay!" Sherry cried out as the ground and rocks around her piled together and created a golem from her Puppet magic. The giant lumbering hunk of rock groaned with each step and swung a massive limb down to crash into Racer's body. But the speedy Mage vanished in a blur, slipping under the puppet's legs and slamming his shoulder into the pink-haired woman's chest. The rock puppet toppled over with its puppeteer floored and Sherry gasped for breath as Racer sped away.
"Wendy," Naruto ripped his cloak off and sent it to his Requip space as he tried to follow Racer's blinding speed, "You need to get out of here."
"Now!" Naruto concentrated his magic into his fist as a glow started to encompass it. Carla grabbed the Dragon Slayer's hand and dragged her away before things could escalate. Naruto yelled and slammed his fist into the ground, splintering the earth and making it uneven and jagged. If it was supposed to impede the quick Dark Mage's movement, it failed as he easily traversed the wrecked ground and charged the blond. Racer lunged forward and slammed his knee into Naruto's chin and sent the blond's head flying back.
"Not enough!" The S-Class Mage threw a punch and released a blast of air at the speedy Mage's body. Racer easily dodged it and made some distance between him and the Fairy. Naruto landed in a kneeling position and drew Kokuryū from his Requip as his jaw ached, "Fast, but I've taken harder hits."
"I guess you have." The pointy-nosed man said, "And I guess we'll find out just how many of those you can take before your head cracks like an egg, huh?"
"Ughhh, shit." Natsu lifted himself up and rubbed his aching head from the strike he took. He looked around and saw Erza holding back Cobra while Naruto fended off Racer. His eyes narrowed on the Dark Mage who continued to disappear and reappear in bursts on speed and jumped to his feet with fire flowing off his body, "Bastard! I dare you to try that again when I'm ready for you! Come here you little-"
"What?!" The pink-haired Mage looked down at Gray. He watched in surprise as Gray's body slowly started to sink into a bubbling patch of rock beneath him. The Dragon Slayer looked down and saw he had already sunken to his knees as well. His hands waved around wildly, "What the hell?! What did you do?!"
"Don't put this on me you idiot!" Gray barked, "I can't get out of this damn thing!"
"I can free you from your current predicament, but of course it will come at a price." The two men looked over and saw another patch of ground start to liquefy and bubble. A form breached the surface of the liquid earth as a large, bulky figure started to rise up from the marsh. The large blocky man emerged into the air and kept his book close to his chest as he pontificated, "For money makes the world go round! And to help others at a cost is the greatest thing you can do, for frugality encompasses all other virtues! Simply pay a nominal fee of 30,000,000 Jewels each and I shall release you to assist your friends!"
"We don't have that kinda cash on us!"
"Does it look like these pockets are deep enough?! That guy can barely keep his clothes on for a good day so no way is he gonna be able to pay that off!"
"Oh." Hoteye deflated at the realization this wasn't going to be as lucrative an opportunity as he had hoped. With a sigh he waved his hand limply and the ground started to rise up like a wave. Natsu and Gray tried to keep their bearings as the ground suddenly shifted to their over and the Liquid Ground sucked them in even further. The two Fairies were suddenly launched out of the wave and impacted the solid ground hard enough to splinter and crater it. Natsu and Gray let out some low groans and struggled to catch their breath as Hoteye stood over them, "Time is money gentleman, and every second of mine you waste is another reason for me to hurt you."
"Natsu! Gray!" Lucy cried out to her friends as she saw them writhing on the ground at the foot of the Dark Mage. The blonde looked around at the fights Erza and Naruto were engaging in to see they wouldn't be able to assist. Lucy bit her lip before looking to the Trimens, "Hey, they need our help!"
"Right! We'll hold Hoteye off and you try and get them away!" Hibiki announced as he and his comrades charged in to help the Fairies to their feet. But Hibiki felt a strong tug on his arm and looked back to see Lucy clinging to his arm, "Wha-"
"Wait, don't leave me alone!" The blonde Fairy pleaded with tears in her eyes, making sure his arm was being sandwiched by her considerable cleavage. She pulled him back, "Just let them go off and fight, b-but I need you to protect me! C-Can you please do that for me?"
"Lucy-San, I don't think now is the time for-"
Hibiki looked up and saw a second Lucy standing just a few feet away, staring at the scene in front of her in shock. The sandy blond Pegasus Mage looked down at the woman clinging to his arm and saw the look of fear and terror disappear from her face. Instead it was a look of mischievous glee.
And the shine that covered her skin before it was his face looking back at him.
Hibiki doubled over as his sudden clone slammed his knee into his gut and dropped him on the ground. The Hibiki imposter charged forward at the stunned Ren and Eve. Both raised their hands and prepared to attack but the doppelganger pounced on Eve and knocked the younger man back with a hook to the jaw. Before the young Pegasus could fall, the Hibiki double grabbed him by the collar and spun before throwing him into Ren and knocking them both over.
Lucy opened the flip on her belt and reached for one of the golden keys. Before she could grab it she felt a stinging, sharp pain across her shoulder that caused her to cry out. She gripped it tightly and felt the pain over her skin before looking up to see her own face. The doppelganger pulled the end of her whip tightly and smirked before pulling back and flicking it. Lucy cried out again as the end of the whip struck her shoulder blade and caused the Fairy Mage to topple over. She touched the whipped areas as tears brimmed the side of her eyes, "H-How-"
The Lucy clone popped and revealed the two twin spirits that created her. Lucy and the Trimens looked on in surprise as the blonde gasped, "Y-You're Gemini!"
"That's right. Our perfect little infiltrator." Gemi and Mini vanished and in their place a young woman clad in white strutted out of the forest with a pleasant smile on her face, "We knew who you were, what you were planning, and how you were going about to do it. All thanks to Gemini taking the form of that weird creepy stout guy in a suit." Angel grimaced, "Kinda wish I wasn't hiding out in the bathroom when I jumped him but that's the benefit of hindsight."
"Aniki would never lose to someone like you!"
"It's unfathomable for someone as distinguished as Boss to get caught off guard!"
Angel blinked, "We're talking about the same guy, right? Little dude? Smelly? Looks like his face was sculpted from marble and then hit with a really big hammer?"
"Y-You're a Celestial Spirit Mage. With a gold key." Lucy said in a breathless voice as Angel looked down at her, "You're just like me."
"Yep. Well, we're the same in the way a dingy sack in the same as a castle, but you can have your delusions." Angel waved her hand aimlessly before looking at the Mages with a cocky grin, "By the way if you're waiting for the Wizard Saint to come to your rescue, then I wouldn't bother. That guy's lying in a pool of his own blood as we speak." She lifted her foot and showed the blood that stained her shoe, "I even stepped in some of it while I was making my way out."
"Liar!" Lyon hissed as he lifted himself up and planted his feet in the ground. His eyes were narrowed and his face was creased from the vicious glare he aimed at the white-haired woman looking at him with derision and a smug smile, "There's no way someone like you could take out Jura-San!"
"Well technically it was Gemini looking like that little werido and stabbing him in the back. But if I have to repeat myself…his blood stained my pretty shoes."
"You…YOU BITCH!" Lyon took his stance and molded his magic into ice. A tiger formed from the magic and let out a primal roar as it charged at Angel with predatory rage, "TEAR HER HEART OUT!"
A green and black spiraling beam flew out of the forest and skewered the tiger construct before it could get any closer to the Dark Mage. The fighting came to a lull; Naruto keeping his guard up against the Racer while Cobra kept his distance from Erza's blade even after she had changed to her armor for speed. The injured Mages lifted themselves up and looked over as two more figures emerged from the shadows of the forest.
"You efforts to stop us were trival and fruitless, even before you made the mistake of underestimating us. We have aimed for this goal for years, taken precautions and building our strength so that when the time came, we would be able to take our objective without any little gnats to get in our way. The moment you came to this forest with the intent to stop us," The dark-skinned, white-haired man walked out with his skull walking stick in hand as its eyes continued to glow. By his side was a young man sitting on a floating carpet and had his head rolled forward as he napped. The tattooed man lifted his staff up and pointed its end at Lyon, "Was the moment each and every one of you forfeited your lives to us."
The sky blue-haired man scowled and flared his teeth, "You will pay for this."
"Perhaps one day, far in the future lad, but not from you." Brain said blankly as he released another blast of swirling magic from his staff.
"Lyon-sama!" Sherry cried out as the magic attack grew ever closer to tearing into the Ice Make Mage. He tried to form something to protect himself-
Lyon was nearly swept off his feet as a giant stone arm pulled him around. The spiraling magic attack obliterated a chunk of rock as a stone arm fell to the ground.
Lyon stumbled, "Kichiyo, what the hell are you doing?!"
"YOU'RE NOT GONNA BE ABLE TO FIGHT AND MAKE THEM PAY IF YOU DIE, STUPID!" The lopsided golem reprimanded as he grabbed his severed arm and tossed it at full strength. The stone limb flew through the air before shattering against the barrier Brain raised around him and Midnight. Kichiyo wasted no time burying his hand in the ground and uprooting a massive piece of rock that he threw next, "JURA WOULDN'T DIE LIKE THAT, SO DON'T BELIVE THEM FOR A SECOND!"
Angel raised an eyebrow as she avoided the path of the golem's rocks, "Weirdly optimistic talking boulder you've got there."
"Such an intriguing and unique creature!" Hoteye commented before his face brightened with joy, "Perhaps we could sell him off for a pretty Jewel! Oh, such a brilliant idea!" The Liquid Ground Mage raised his fingers to his eyes and let them glow a bright orange before whipping around with a faint smile, "And I see your weaknesses as well."
Hoteye raised two pillars of liquified rock and let them take the brunt of the ice and fire attacks coming behind him. They dropped and he waved his hand again as another wave of earth went flying at his enemies. Natsu and Gray jumped back, avoiding the attack with vitriol anger in their eyes. They yelled, weaving their magic around them as they hurled attack after attack at the orange-haired Dark Mage. Hoteye laughed heartily and wielded the melted ground around to block their attacks.
"You're friends look like they're having some trouble." Racer said as he slid to a stop across from his opponent. The whiskered blond had a few more bruises on his face and arms, but Racer's blindingly quick attacks had failed to leave any lasting or critical damage against him. Naruto just held his blade up in his ready stance as his eyes narrowed on Racer, "Aren't you worried they might need your help?"
"They can handle themselves just fine." Naruto said with a smirk, the air around him starting to pick up as his and Racer's hair swayed with the wind, "I'd be more worried about yourself."
"I guess you're right." Racer said before bend on his knees, "Fortunately, my friends do worry about me."
Racer jumped up and avoided the ground underneath him turning to mush. Naruto's eyes widened and he tried to jump back to avoid the patch of Liquid Ground. But a pillar of it sprouted from the ground and latched onto the S-Class Mage before pulling him into the marsh. Naruto tried to pull himself out but his arms and legs were sucked in and struggled to get freed.
"In case you're wondering, this is where you need to worry about yourself."
Racer flipped over the Liquid Ground and Naruto's head, flipping in the air and landing kick after kick in a matter of seconds against his face. Naruto's head whipped side to side violently with Racer's rapid kicking before he leapt off the blond's shoulders and spun through the air. He chuckled at the bloody condition on the blond Fairy's face before he disappeared in a burst of speed.
Racer sped through the entire area and landed punches and kicks against every Mage he could reach. The Blue Pegasus Mages fought alongside Lucy against Angel and her Celestial Spirit that copied their appearance and techniques. Natsu and Gray tired to push against Hoteye desperately while Racer's blows landed against their bodies faster than the eye could see. Lyon and Sherry tried to attack Brain and Midnight, their attacks either landing against a barrier or swerving away harmlessly while Kichiyo batter away as best he could with chunks of rock from his body being chipped away every second.
"I can hear your heart beating faster and faster. I'd almost call it erratic if your breathing wasn't so calm." Cobra mocked as he leaned back and avoided the redhead's lunging swipes. Erza turned through the air with her blades in hand and landed before dashing forward, her speed exponentially heightened with the power of her Flight Armor. She charged her foe and swung her swords until they became nothing but silver flashes of light, but still the burgundy-haired man leaned out of their way and dodged them by a hair's breadth, "You must be worried about your pals while we knock them on their ass."
"I will help them, and I will start by making sure you can't assist your comrades in any capacity!" Erza yelled, lunging forward and swiping at his feet. Cobra leapt over her attack and Erza immediately sprung from the ground to slash him, but the Dark Mage's foot lashed out and caught her hand before she could properly swing. She narrowed her eyes and summoned a third blade from her Requip, letting it fall close to the ground before she kicked the pommel. The blade flew up and nearly barreled through her opponent's head if he hadn't so deftly avoided it by leaning back.
Erza took this opportunity to knock her attacker off her hands and send him flying back. Cobra flipped through the air and landed across from her as she charged without hesitation. Only to have his hands wrap around her wrists at the moment of her swing and stop their movement completely. They struggled for dominance, Erza scowling at her foe as Cobra just kept his cocky smile on his face. She had him beat in speed and weaponry. She moved so fast she barely had time to think about what she was doing. She was doing everything she could to land a single cut against him. So-
"How is he still dodging?"
Erza's eyes widened as Cobra finished her thought with a chuckle, "It's the only thing on your mind right now. How does he do this? How does he do that? How am I not cutting this handsome devil to ribbons so I can go off and help my loser friends? Simple," Cobra's grin grew wider, "I hear you. Every breath you take. Every move you make. From the sound of your lungs expanding to the noise of your muscles constricting, I hear the whole damn thing."
"Super hearing. I suppose you must utilize some form of Sound magic then?"
"Well these babies aren't just my most charming feature." Cobra said about his unusually pointy ears as he pushed against Erza's arms, "I heard you deadheads running from literally miles away. I hear what your next moves are and what you're thinking. I can't hear what that big hunk of rock is thinking but he screams it so loud I think I get a migraine. And I can hear all the fear and doubt crippling you and your friends as you realize you weren't ready for this fight." Cobra chuckled, "Oh, and since you seem so curious - no, the name ain't just because it's cool."
Cobra let out a high-pitched whistle and something long and purple darted out of the forest. It slithered along the ground and up Cobra's back before lunging over his shoulder. Erza's breathing hitched as her entire field of vision was blocked by the gaping maw of a snake and it's long fangs.
The redhead ducked back and avoided the serpent's nasty bite before she was yanked off her feet. Cobra took the moment to pull the S-Class Mage and hurl her through the air. Erza hissed as she slammed into the ground but picked herself up and summoned another sword to her hand. The long purple snake coiled itself around his body before laying its head in his hand, "Her name's Cubellios. Isn't she stunning? And she likes making new friends. Careful, she's a bitter."
Erza's eyes narrowed and she raised her sword higher in response. But before she or Cobra could make a move, she felt a fierce strike land on her back and nearly break it. Erza spun around and swung her sword, the speedy Mage avoiding her swing by yards as he ducked away. Erza's footing was the next thing to go as the ground beneath her nearly sucked her in. She let out a gasp before the earth erupted and threw her through the air violently. She was pelted by the rocks and stones, stumbling when she landed and roaring valiantly as she reared her sword back to attack-
She was frozen by an unbearable pain in her arm.
A strangled, pained gasp escaped her lips as the redhead's eyes swam in her head before looking to her side. Directly into the eyes of the massive purple serpent.
Cubellios' face was buried into Erza's arm. Her fangs had dug into Erza's flesh and refused to separate. The tone of Erza's skin started to fade and change color as she struggled to steady her breath. The snake drew its fangs back, the Fairy Mage feeling the uncomfortable and painful sensation of its fangs slowly pulling out of her skin and muscle before finally freeing itself. Cubellios released its bite but the color of the bite was still discolored, two small but steady lines of blood seeping out of her bite marks.
"Don't have a nice, peaceful way of taking you out. Sorry. All we got is the painful, slow way." Cobra's voice permeated the faint ringing that filled Erza's ears as she realized she was no longer standing up and laid on the ground. The Dark Mage stood over her for a second before stepping away, "Try to think of the good memories while you pass."
"NOW YOU DID IT!" Kichiyo raised his remaining fist and threw it at Brain's head while the rest of his comrades were incapacitated or beaten down by their foes, "KNOCK KNOCK!"
"Useless." Brain muttered, a Dark Caprico shooting from his staff and piercing through the golem's fist and arm. He waved it aside, dragging the magic attack through the stone construct's body and reducing it to rubble as his head and remains toppled to the ground. He looked around at their opposition and their injured or defeated state with a hint of mirth on his face. He stepped forward, "Do you see now? You came here prepared to oppose us, but you so brashly stormed into this fight that you were not properly prepared for our true power. You all were too foolish for believing you could stop us," Brain raised his staff as it started to swell with magic power, "And you shall pay for your ignorance with your lives."
"S-Sky Dragon's Roar!"
Brain's gaze shot to the side as a powerful concentrated tempest blew his way and tore through the ground along the way. His swung his staff in its direction and summoned a barrier to shield him once again. His defense struggled from the sheer power of the vortex before finally the wind died and faded away. The Dark Mages all turned to the sudden attacker and saw a frightened, blue-haired girl having stepped out from behind a boulder with the blue and white cats staring at the situation in horror. The young Mage struggled to keep her nerves and took a shaky breath before announcing, "I-I won't let you kill them!"
"Oh?" Angel hummed, "They have a little junior league of losers too? That's just adorable." Angel giggled when Wendy flinched and her legs nearly buckled beneath her, "She's pretty cute. What do we do with her; let her pick up the pieces or just have her join her friends? Cause I'm easy at this point."
"You're easy at every point."
"Fuck you Cobra."
"That an offer? Cause I have too much respect for myself."
"That's enough, both of you. "
"J-Just get away from Naruto-San and Erza-San and everyone!" She cried out, "Get away from them!"
"T-This is bad." Happy shuddered.
"Wendy!" Carla called out, her attention moving away from the Dark Mages and their defeated companions and focusing solely on her charge, "Get back here!"
"Wendy?" Brain muttered, his attention and focus revived by the cry of the white cat's plea. He stepped forward, the clap of his staff against the ground silencing the young members of the alliance and making Wendy's terrified gaze focus solely on the white-haired man, "Tell me child, is your name really Wendy?"
"W-Why do you ask?"
"Tell me Wendy," Brain continued despite her never giving him a proper answer, "Do you remember just some weeks ago when a group of our men came to the Woodsea? One was injured quite fatally and you brought him back from the brink."
Her eyes widened but she shook her head, "I-I don't know what you're talking about."
"Yep, this is her. Playing the whole thing out in her head." Wendy's breath hitched as the man smirked with his serpent hissing at her, "Oh, I can practically hear her bleeding heart from here."
Angel raised her hand, "Umm, am I missing something here?"
"What this is, my dear Angel, is an honor." Brain raised his staff and looked between his subordinates, "My dear Prayers, this is truly an auspicious day! For we are in the presence of a powerful, and gifted young healer, who can mend any wound, and ease any disease."
Midnight still slumbered, but the other members of the Oración Seis all seemed to be hit with clarity at his meaning. Angel smiled widely, "Oh, this is the girl we needed, isn't it?"
"And she came to us." Cobra cackled, "Ain't we lucky."
"Truly serendipitous!" Hoteye announced with joy in his voice, "And we didn't even have to spend a single Jewel in order to find her!"
"We require your assistance, girl." Brain stepped forward and offered his hand to the young Dragon Slayer, "Now If you come with us willingly-"
"Get out of here!"
A hand slapped itself over her mouth and grabbed her arm firmly to stop her from running. The young Mage's eyes shook in her skull as she looked up at her attacker. Racer looked down at her and shook his head, "Nope."
"Let her go!"
Happy and Carla ran up to her side as Wendy reached out for someone to help her. She felt the wind rush on her face and found herself on the other side of the clearing with the other members of the Oración Seis.
"Um, Wendy? I think you grabbed the wrong cat." Happy stuttered as the Dragon Slayer held his paw tightly.
"Well if we have everything we need, how about we just-"
Spires of rock and earth jutted out of the ground and obliterated the patch of Liquid Ground that held the blond Mage. He was perched on the highest point and spiked the Earth Sword through the air, the cleaver slamming into the ground and creating a trench and flying stones that forced Angel to duck and Hoteye to protect himself. His eyes narrowed in on Racer and his two prisoners with gritted teeth, his legs being braced by his Armor while he gathered his Wind around his feet.
He launched himself with a Storm Step, a mighty sonic boom rocking the area as he launched himself at Racer in order to rescue his friends. The speedy Mage vanished just before Naruto landed and dragged Wendy along to avoid his path. The mixed-eyed blond roared and dashed in to help her-
His head whipped back and avoided the vicious bite of the purple serpent. Before he could strike the reptile's open body his attack was blocked by Cobra's forearm. The blond growled as Cobra narrowed his eyes, "Not gonna let you touch Cubellios."
"I don't give a shit about your stupid snake." Naruto snarled as he pushed against the Dark Mage and let wind start to gather around him, "I am not letting you take them."
Cobra narrowed his eyes and struggled against Naruto's force as he pushed forward. Strain showed on his face…before his eyes widened in surprise. Suddenly, a wide smirk and chuckle took its place so quickly that Naruto was alarmed by his sudden change, "Oh, now I remember. You were there, both of you, weren't you?"
"That girl you have in your heart," Cobra whispered as Naruto's eyes widened, "Maybe you should say goodbye to her first, huh?"
"YOU – GAH!'
A Dark Caprico shot into his back and made him stumble forward. Followed by a geyser of Liquid Ground shooting up behind him directly into the blond's back, earning a pained gasp from the S-Class Mage and unbalancing him. Cobra grinned widely and buried his knee into Naruto's gut. The blond's body doubled over and the Dark Mage followed up with a giddy laugh and a devastating hook to the cheek.
"Gemini!" Angel summoned her twin spirits who whooped in response. They came together and took Kichiyo's intact form as the Celestial Spirit Mage smirked, "Give Cobra a little help, okay?"
Naruto lifted himself but only in time to see the massive shadow looming over him. He looked up at the form of the golem and watched in time to see the massive stone fist the doppelganger struck him with and cracked the ground beneath him. The blond bounced off the ground and spat up blood as Gemini glowed and vanished once again. He struggled to lift himself off the ground and looked around at his comrades. They were beaten, bruised, and bloody upon the ground but still did what they could to lift themselves up. He looked ahead and saw the Oración Seis stand together with Happy and Wendy; the blue-haired girl staring at him with tearful and frightened eyes.
"I…" Naruto panted, blood dripping from his lip as he looked into her eyes, "I promise we will find you."
"The only thing you'll find is oblivion, and the fools to follow will be examples of those that try to stand against us." Brain said as he raised his staff, the sky going dark as something huge cast them in a shadow.
The members of the alliance looked up and saw a familiar ship in the form of a flying horse. The Blue Pegasus members stared up in shock as their airship hovered over them while its cannon started to glow.
"By the way, we're taking your little ship for a joy ride." Angel called out over the loud hum of the cannon and the flap of the wings, "You were gonna use it against us so don't complain, okay?"
Wendy tried to cry out through the hand covering her mouth but Racer dashed away with her still in his grasp. She felt tears sting her eyes as the ground shook violently and the echo of the blast carried out over the forest. The shape of the smoke and explosion were still visible even as they got farther and farther away.
But despite the despair that threatened to grip her heart, Wendy spotted Naruto's gaze just as she was carried off. The eyes that promised that they wouldn't be gone for long. That they would find her and they would stop these monsters.
That was all the hope Wendy could hang on to while she found herself in the grasp of the Oración Seis.
I wanted this chapter to end at a different point but I kept writing and realized holy crap, this is never gonna end at this rate! There was probably still 2~3K words left to write! Had to cut off on some point.
So I left it on a cliffhanger. Know how much you all love those. But to be fair this is the start of another arc, are you seriously expecting shit not to get cut off somewhere?
I was looking back at the Oración Seis as a threat and realized yeah, these people were some pretty damn heavy-hitters back in the anime and manga. They floored the Light Alliance. They knocked Fairy Tail during their return in the Starry Sky Arc. They even pretty much beat down Jellal after the 7 year break, and that was just 3 of them with a little backstage meddling by Midnight.
I'm serious when I said I love writing for all these characters. I started writing and I just couldn't stop. I forgot how much fun it was to write for this story. I hope you all enjoyed it too.
Thank You and Bye