Here's the next chapter. Sorry for another delay, please don't hate me for it. Man, it's been a while! A LOT of stuff has been happening for the past months. Going to make this chapter long to make up for it. I can't thank you guys enough for being patient with me.
The members of Fairytail made their way down the hall as quick as they could. They needed to find a way to destroy or at least disable Phantom's mechanical guildhall before it can use some other weapon to unleash on them. Naruto could sense a lot more magical energy besides the Jupiter Cannon, so it was a safe bet that Jose still has something up his sleeve.
"Get ready guys, there's a large group waiting to ambush us at the next turn." Naruto informed his friends.
"How can you tell?" Gray asked.
"When I'm in sage mode, I can pinpoint other people's locations within a three mile radius." The blonde pointed at his eyes that were still yellow and toad-like. "It also has other uses that come in handy."
The other three couldn't help but be impressed. Being able to sense an enemy from long distances was a useful advantage. They couldn't help but wonder about what other things Naruto could do in sage mode.
"Gray, as soon as I let go, give them a greeting." The blonde instructed. He formed a single shadow clone that ran ahead of the group.
The raven-haired ice mage gave him a confused look. "What do you mean by—Gah!"
Gray didn't have any time to finish his question because Naruto grabbed his arm and started running horizontally along the wall. Naruto climbed higher until he almost reached the ceiling. The ice mage was hanging above the floor, being towed by the blonde.
The shadow clone made it to the corner turn. As soon as he was in plain sight, a barrage of spells was casted at the clone. The Phantom mages were surprised however, when their target disappeared in a puff of smoke. All of them shared a confused look. All the while, the real Naruto reached the corner by running on the wall. Gray instantly knew what the blonde meant when he saw the group of mages.
The blonde let go of the ice mage and the raven-haired teen brought his hands together. As soon as he landed, Gray shouted. "Ice Make: Hammer!"
A huge war hammer made entirely of ice appeared and launched itself at the enemy. The mages didn't stand a chance. The ice hammer plowed through them easily.
Naruto landed next to him when Erza and Elfman caught up.
The blonde whistled. "Nice one Gray."
"We should keep moving." Erza said. The four of them continued for a short distance when Naruto halted. The sound of a huge explosion reached them.
"What was that?" Elfman asked.
Naruto frowned. "The Jupiter Cannon has been destroyed."
"That's good news for us, isn't it?"
As soon as the words left Elfman's mouth, the entire building began to rumble and shake. They all braced themselves against the wall to support themselves as the floor shifted. It didn't exactly feel like an earthquake in Naruto's opinion. It was like the entire guild hall was…changing.
The rumbling stopped after a few minutes. Naruto went over to the nearest window to see the Fairytail guildhall and the rest of their friends fighting off a swarm of shades.
Strange, I could've sworn that this window was facing the sea a while ago…
Suddenly, Jose's magically enhanced voice blared. "Say goodbye, Fairytail trash!"
Meanwhile, in the midst of the battle with the shades, a transformed Mira could do nothing except watch wide eyed in fear as she saw the magic circle the giant was drawing. If what she was seeing was real, then they were doomed unless the members who infiltrated Phantom acted quickly. Phantom Lord was going to wipe out the whole city of Magnolia if they aren't stopped.
She really felt useless at times like these. Right now, the best she could do was to hopefully buy more time by transforming into Lucy. All of her friends and even her brother were fighting for their home. Mira on the other hand would only be a burden.
The waitress sighed. There was a time when she was one of the most fierce and amazing fighters in the guild. That was when she had powers that could rival Erza's. She was an S-class wizard and other mages even gave her a nickname: The Demon.
"Mira," She was snapped out of her thoughts by Cana's voice.
"How are you holding up?" Cana asked.
The waitress couldn't help but smile. "I should be asking you the same question. I'm not doing any of the fighting after all."
"I know. That's why I wanted to make sure you weren't sulking." Cana said. "Just because you're not fighting doesn't mean you're doing any less than us."
Mira stood silent for a while, but she eventually nodded in agreement. "Thanks Cana. I needed that."
The busty brunette smiled at her. "Don't mention it. So, do you have any ideas on how to deal with that thing?" She pointed at the giant robot-like guild hall that was about to cast Abyss Break.
"No, I don't even know what's powering it." Mira frowned. "A spell of that magnitude would need a lot of magical energy."
"I guess it's up to the guys inside huh?" Cana said.
The waitress nodded. "If anyone can do it, he can."
Mira exited the medical wing along with everyone else when she resumed her usual task of putting away the beer mugs and glasses for the night. While she did this, her mind kept wandering back to Team Shadow Gear. It was awful to think that this happened to her friends. Jet and Droy were both nice people. She couldn't understand why Phantom wanted to go so far as this. Levy must be devastated.
When she was done putting everything away, she realized that the light was still on in the medical ward. She stopped just outside the door when she heard voices. She peaked through a small opening in the doorframe and saw Master Makarov and Naruto talking.
"I don't know what Jose might be thinking." Makarov was saying. "I can tell you this, he has something planned and I doubt that it will end well for us."
Mira saw Naruto stand from the bed. "In that case, I'm going with you guys. I'll help-,"
"No." Makarov cut him off. "I and the others will be enough. I have a bad feeling about what is to transpire and that is why I need you here. Laxus and two of our other S-class mages are currently out on missions. I can't count on them for assistance. I need someone I can depend on to look after the few guild members that will not take part in the battle. Naruto, I've only known you for a short time but I can tell that you are a strong and trustworthy person. I'm placing the guild in your hands while I'm gone, understood?"
Naruto was speechless for a moment. Mira herself had to cover her mouth with one of her hands in slight surprise. She tried to process everything she just heard. Master Makarov was entrusting the safety of the guild to a man who only joined a few weeks ago? It was a little more than startling.
"You can count on me." The blonde finally said. He sounded determined.
Master Makarov released a small relieved sigh. "Thank you. Now, I think you should rest. Fighting a dragon slayer must be tiring."
Naruto nodded and made himself comfortable on one of the beds next to Jet. "Do your best, gramps. Show 'em who's boss."
With that being said, the young man's eyelids fell and his breathing slowed. In just a few moments, Naruto's soft snores could be heard. Mira had to suppress a giggle. She thought that it was kind of cute.
"Mira, I know you're out there. Come on in." Makarov called.
The white-haired waitress did as she was told. "Sorry, I didn't mean to eavesdrop."
The old man just smiled at her kindly. "It's alright."
The two of them sat in companionable silence. The only sound that filled the room as of this moment was Naruto's snoring. Still, something the master said worried her.
"Master, if what you said earlier is true, maybe you and the others shouldn't go." Mira said. "It might just be a trap."
Makarov replied with a hard but sincere voice. "If I don't go, then how can I call myself a parent who is supposed to protect my children? How can I call myself a guild master if I do not seek justice for the crimes committed against my guild? I must go and end this once and for all."
"But…what if…" Mira bit her lower lip. She couldn't bear to think of what might happen.
The master patted her knees reassuringly. "I promise that everyone will come back safe and sound. Besides, I'm not worried. Even if I'm not here, I am at ease because someone like him is able to fill in for me."
He gestured toward the sleeping Naruto.
"Don't get me wrong, Master. Naruto's strong but surely not as strong as you right?" Mira asked. It wasn't because she doubted the blonde. Master Makarov was always the one who led them. He was the guild's rally point. He was their beacon that gave them the strength to be able to carry on. No one could just easily replace his role to them.
The old man was pensive for a moment before answering. "I honestly can't say. His past is a mystery but I can tell that he has suffered, maybe more than anyone. There is sadness within him that is hidden beneath that smile. However there is also kindness and courage that is unrivaled. I can't really explain it but, Naruto has a greater power than any magic spell."
They both watched in amusement as the blonde mumbled dreamily in his sleep. "Another bowl of ramen please,"
Mira giggled. She couldn't help it. He was just so adorable when he sleeps. He had a goofy smile on his face. She was assuming that he was having one heck of a dream.
Naruto was really strange, but in a good way. He's so clueless sometimes and sort of spaces out when you talk about complicated stuff. He was also fun to hang out with and was very sociable. Then, she caught a glimpse of another side of him when he fought Natsu. The way he moved and assaulted the pink-haired teen was precise and controlled. Every attack was planned to drive the dragon slayer into submission.
His eyes were the most shocking. Those sky blue orbs were usually so bright and warm. However, in battle, they were fierce and calculating. Those eyes belonged to a battle-hardened warrior. They belonged to a man who has seen war and the horrors that came with it.
"Yes, I think so too." Mira said after a while.
Now, in the midst of battle, she had already placed the outcome of the battle entirely in Naruto's hands. In fact, she thinks that everyone has done the same. They all followed his lead without question. Maybe some of them haven't realized it yet, but Mira could tell just by looking at the determined faces of the Fairytail wizards.
Every one of them has placed their trust in Naruto. Now she had to do her part as well and buy her friends who were fighting inside a little more time.
Jose sat in the center of the control room watching a lacrima showing the five members of Fairytail race through the corridors of the guild hall. Naruto and the others managed to regroup with Natsu while searching for a way to stop the forbidden spell. The battle of the mages down below meant little to him. His small army of shades should be more than enough to eradicate those pests. Abyss Break will be ready in thirty minutes so he wasn't in much of a hurry.
He had already sent Gajeel to fetch the real Heartfilia heiress. It really was amusing how that white-haired waitress thought she could fool him with such a pathetic transformation. He had also sent the rest of his Element four to dispatch of those Fairytail wizards who managed to sneak inside the fortress. His victory was assured.
It won't be long now before Makarov's precious guild will be crushed.
However, there was a particular mage he was indeed interested in. The lacrima showed Naruto leading the group of Fairytail mages as they rounded another corner. The young man's face showed no hesitation or doubt while navigating his team through Phantom's guild hall. It was almost as if the young blonde knew exactly where everything was and which path to take.
"Sir," One of his subordinates called his attention. "We have received word that Gajeel was successful in retrieving Lucy Heartfilia. He and his team are heading back as we speak."
A sinister smile pulled at Jose's face. "Excellent. I think it's time for me to properly welcome our guests."
The group of Fairytail wizards came face to face with forty of Phantom's mages as soon as they turned left. However, they weren't fazed because Naruto sensed them earlier and informed his friends. Erza summoned a lance and ran ahead of them. She swept the mages aside with a battle cry and reduced the enemies' numbers in half.
"Beast Arm: Iron Bull!" Elfman's right arm morphed.
Naruto grabbed his other hand and hurled him toward the enemy like a meteor. Elfman had his arm raised above him like superman as he sailed through the air. The mages toppled like bowling pins, a perfect strike.
"Argh, I didn't get to do anything at all!" Natsu complained. "Hey Naruto, I want to kick some ass too!"
"Now is not the time for your antics Natsu!" Erza scolded.
"She's right, let's keep moving." Gray said.
The four of them found Elfman embedded in a wall at the far end of the corridor. The man had spirals for eyes and stars twinkling around his head.
"Whoops, I guess I threw him too hard." Naruto mumbled. It took a moment for the big guy to come to his senses. He shook off his dizziness.
The Beast Take Over mage grunted. "Next time, I throw you."
The blonde chuckled embarrassedly. "Sorry about that."
The five of them were about to continue when Naruto halted. He had a frown on his face as he sensed two familiar energy signatures that just entered Phantom's base. Damn, not just Lucy but Mira too? This doesn't look good.
"What's wrong Naruto?" Erza asked.
The blonde's scowl deepened. "They've got Lucy."
"What?!" Natsu blurted out. "No way, I have to save her!"
"Calm down, I'm not finished." Naruto ordered. "They've got Mira as well. Now I know that we have to hurry if we're going to save them and everybody else, but just listen for a moment. I think I know how to stop the Abyss Break."
That caught their attention as they waited for him to continue. "A spell of that magnitude would require a large amount of magical energy, right? Thanks to my sage mode, I've picked up the location of what's powering it. Actually, it's not what but who. The three mages supplying the magic for the Abyss Break is none other than the remaining members of the Element Four."
"Which means…all we have to do now is to defeat them," Erza said. Naruto nodded.
"What about Lucy?!" Natsu demanded.
The blonde sighed. "Relax, I haven't forgotten about her. She's at the top floor of the building with Gajeel and a few of his lackeys. We need to split up. It's up to you to save Lucy, Natsu. You three will have to take on the rest of the Element four to stop the Abyss Break."
"Alright, I'm coming for you Gajeel!" Natsu shouted. Flames engulfed the pink-haired teen before he shot upward, burning a hole through the ceiling and kept climbing. Naruto assumed he was going to keep going until he reached the top level. He couldn't help but chuckle at the dragon slayer's brashness.
Although she already knew his answer, Erza couldn't help but ask. "What about you?"
Naruto's face was blank and unreadable. "Jose's mine."
The other two looked at him like he was crazy.
"Are you nuts? There's no way you can take him on alone!" Gray protested.
"Yeah no offense Naruto, you're strong but he's a wizard saint, one of the ten strongest wizards in Fiore." Elfman informed him. "His powers are on par with the master's. I don't think you can win this battle."
Erza placed a comforting hand on his arm. "What they meant to say was, maybe you shouldn't face him by yourself."
"I'll be fine." He assured them and gave a small smile. "Trust me."
The three exchanged worried glances. They all knew how powerful the wizard saints were. Master Makarov was an example of one and he was the best in the guild. It was too risky to send him off to face Jose alone.
It took a few moments but it was Erza who spoke up. "Alright Naruto, we'll leave Jose to you."
Gray and Elfman stared at her incredulously, but it appeared that the matter was already settled.
"Okay, since we all know what to do, let's get moving." Naruto said. "The sooner we end this, the better."
The four of them sprinted down the hall but stopped when they reached an intersection. The corridor split three different directions. Naruto thought for a moment before pointing to the path on the right. "Gray, go that way and Elfman will take the other. It will lead you straight to Mira. Erza and I will take the center."
The two of them nodded before they all sprinted down their selected paths. Not long afterward, the corridor split into two opposite directions again.
"Erza-chan, take the left one. I'll go this way." Naruto said.
Before he turned to leave however, a pair of arms suddenly wrapped around him and a wonderful smell filled his nose. Something soft lightly brushed his cheeks. He blushed as he realized that it was Erza's lips.
"Be careful." Erza whispered before letting go. She ran down the opposite direction and disappeared before he could even react. The blonde stood stunned there for a moment, just staring at the empty hall where Erza took off. He absently touched the part of his face where Erza had kissed him. His face felt hot. Her lips were so soft…
He shook his head as he remembered the task at hand. He could think about that later. Right now he had more urgent matters to deal with. Jose was probably waiting for him at the end of this corridor. But still…the enemy would be wondering why he had such a stupid grin on his face.
Erza had a faint blush on her cheeks as she ran down the hall. She didn't know what came over her or where the courage to just kiss him on the cheek came from. Maybe it was just a heat of the moment thing? The red head wasn't sure. One thing was certain though. She would love to do it again.
Unfortunately, her thoughts concerning a certain blonde had to wait. They had a mission to accomplish and she couldn't afford to get distracted. Her friends were counting on her. She must stop the Abyss Break before it activated.
She slowed her pace when the corridor widened into a spacious room. She scanned the area to see if there was another way but found none. Then, she felt a presence behind her and she spun around while summoning one of her swords.
"It looks like you are my opponent today. It's so sad." Aria of the Element four said as he floated a few feet off the ground.
Erza gripped her sword and a white glow began to envelope her body. "I know it was you who drained the master of his magic. Now I'll gladly return the favor."
"Stop it! Cut it out!" Elfman shouted. He was surrounded by duplicates of his little sister Lisanna that were conjured by Sol. They all looked at him with anger and there words cut deep into him.
"Big brother, why did you do it?" All of them spoke in unison. They all looked so betrayed. "I only wanted to help you!"
Elfman crumpled to his knees. "Lisanna…I…didn't mean…"
He heard someone clicking his tongue and Sol suddenly sprouted from the ground. "Now now, what are you saying monsieur Elfman? We all know that it was your fault for doing this to poor Lisanna."
His voice had a thick French accent and he grinned evilly at the Fairytail mage who was on his knees.
"We all know that it was you…who killed her!"
At those words, Elfman was assaulted by grief once more. It was true. He was the one who attempted to try something he wasn't ready for. He was the one who was supposed to protect his sisters. Instead, he did the opposite and caused them pain. Lisanna experienced the full force of his poor choices.
He killed her. There was no denying it. He buried his face into his hands and sobbed.
That's weird. Where did this rain come from?
Gray had found his way onto the roof and noticed the heavy downpour. The skies were suddenly filled with dark rain clouds. Thunder boomed overhead as he kept on walking. He scanned his surroundings, making sure no one would be able to surprise him.
"Drip, drip, drop," A feminine voice spoke and Gray whirled around to face the woman.
She was cute in a way. Her long blue hair was styled to end in curls on either side of her face. It suited her. She held an umbrella to keep her from getting soaked by the rain.
"Juvia regrets to inform you that Juvia will be your opponent today." She said.
Gray replied. "Fine but don't expect me to hold back on you just because you're a girl."
What he did next caught Juvia totally off guard. He stripped off his polo shirt and threw it aside to reveal his lean and muscular upper body. Gray frowned in confusion as he saw the woman blush tomato red.
"GAJEEL!" Natsu roared. He burst through the floor and head-butted Phantom's dragon slayer under his chin. Natsu's body was ablaze.
Gajeel stumbled backward a few steps before glaring at the teen.
"Natsu!" Lucy cried out in relief.
"I'm gonna burn you into a crisp pal!" Natsu said. He set his right hand on fire and launched himself at the Iron dragon slayer.
The Phantom mage just grinned. "Bring it!"
Naruto pushed open a large set of double doors leading into a giant room. It was wide and spacious, but it was empty aside from the huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling and a long carpet leading to a wide staircase at the other end of the room. If he had to guess, he would say that this was the room where someone could throw a huge party for kings and queens.
He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and stood absolutely still. Sage mode had worn off a few minutes ago and now he needed to replenish the Nature energy he lost. Only thirty seconds passed before he felt Sage mode reactivate. He still couldn't help but grin at the fact that he could easily gather Nature energy faster now. He subconsciously remembered that entering this mode was more of a pain in the ass in the past.
Naruto was able to sense the battles taking place around him. Erza was two floors below him battling with one of Phantom's Element four. Elfman felt angry for some reason and his energy was comparable to a wild beast as of the moment. He could also sense Mira near Elfman's position. Gray was on the roof squaring off with another Phantom mage. Everyone else battling the shades down below is holding on, but only just. The relentless onslaught of shades was taking its toll on them. They were running out of energy and time.
He didn't need sage mode to sense what Natsu was doing. Naruto could feel the ceiling shake as the pink-haired teen exchanged blows with Gajeel. Lucy was up there as well along with a few other mages. If they were smart, they would steer clear from a battle between two dragon slayers.
Suddenly, he sensed a very dark and foul energy nearby.
"Welcome young Naruto." The blonde opened his eyes to find himself standing face to face with Phantom Lord's guild master. Jose Porla, one of the ten wizard saints.
"I hope you don't mind the lack of commodities." Jose said as he casually made his way down the stairs with his hands behind his back. "If I'd known that I would be having guests, then I would have prepared a much more suitable welcome."
Naruto said nothing as he stared at the man with an impassive expression. Jose raised an eyebrow at this and chuckled.
"You know, it's rude not to reply to people who are talking to you." Jose said. His expression suddenly turned dark. "You need to be taught a lesson boy!"
In one fluid motion, Naruto threw a kunai at Jose. However, the man caught the weapon easily in between his fingers before it could nail him on the head. He examined the tri pronged kunai with strange markings before looking back at Naruto.
Jose sighed. "Honestly, did you really think that a little knife like this would-?"
Whatever he was about to say was cut off as Naruto's fist crashed into his face and sent him flying into a wall. Pain flared on the spot where the punch connected and his back where he impacted the wall. Jose shook off his momentary daze and glared at the blonde who picked up his knife on the floor.
Damn brat! I didn't even see him move. Plus, his strength is remarkable.
"You talk too much." Naruto said. The blonde got into a fighting stance with his tri pronged kunai raised in front of him. "I have nothing else to say to you so I suggest you save your taunts because I'm not in the mood to play games."
Jose grinned evilly. "Very well, then. I shall make you suffer for your insolence boy."
He stretched out his hand in front of him and a magic circle appeared. "Death Wave!"
A powerful blast of dark energy shot toward Naruto. The blonde quickly sidestepped as the attack passed him and created a hole in the wall. However, he didn't even have time to think of a counter attack as Jose suddenly appeared in front of him with his fist cocked back. Naruto blocked the punch with his forearm and followed up with a roundhouse kick of his own.
Jose caught his leg with his other hand and gripped it tightly. Before the man could throw him over his shoulder, Naruto flicked his wrist, throwing the kunai a few inches in the air and broke free by using the Hiraishin to teleport to the weapon. Naruto caught the kunai in midair and used it to take a swipe at Jose.
Unfortunately, the man stepped backward and leaned away from the weapon, just in the nick of time. A few more millimeters and he would've been decapitated. A furious shout escaped his throat as he encased his fist in his shade magic.
Naruto already had a Rasengan swirling in his hand and thrust it forward to meet Jose's attack. The two collided and unleashed a huge shockwave that shook the floor. The two of them fought for dominance as they pushed forward with all of their might. Suddenly, their attacks released a huge amount of energy that blasted them both backward.
The two of them skidded to a halt a few feet in front of each other.
"Not bad for a youngster." Jose admitted grudgingly. "I was right. You are certainly impressive and your skills are unique. Damn that Makarov! Where does he find you mages?"
Naruto summoned a clone next to him. "What are you talking about?"
"Ever since I could remember, our two guilds have always competed for the top." Jose explained angrily. "Lately though, Fairytail has been gaining a lot of attention." He spat out the guild's name with disgust.
He began to pace in which Naruto and his clone followed. They circled each other as they prepared for their next attack. The blonde's eyes never left Jose as he prepared himself to launch into action at a moment's notice. But apparently, the man was too busy ranting.
"Names like Laxus, Mystogan, and Titania have begun making themselves known." Jose growled. "Rumors about a man called Salamander also began to spread throughout the land like wildfire. Even YOU are already making a name for yourself despite the fact that you only joined recently!"
Naruto decided to keep the man talking as he discreetly pulled out another tri pronged kunai from his pouch.
"What do you mean?" The blonde feigned curiosity.
Jose glared at him and pointed an accusatory finger. "Don't play coy with me brat! The guild masters in Clover caught sight of a blonde man who defeated the demon Lullaby alongside some Fairytail mages. Also, reports from the town of Lupinus say that a man named Maelstrom single-handedly defeated three powerful dark wizards as well as a demon."
"Well, I do aim to please." Naruto grinned. Jose's anger soared into new heights as he saw this.
Good. The angrier you become, the easier it'll be for me to take you down old man.
Dark purple magic encased Jose's fists and the guild master roared. "PHANTOM LORD IS THE MOST POWERFUL GUILD! WE HAVE THE STRONGEST MAGES AND SPELLS! YOU PESTS ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO US!"
Now's my chance!
Naruto's clone detonated a smoke bomb that obscured Jose's view.
The guild master's eyes narrowed and prepared his self for the incoming attack. A tri-pronged kunai shot toward him from the cloud and Jose easily dodged it by moving his head to the right. The weapon embedded itself on the wall behind him.
Then, Jose saw Naruto burst through the cloud of smoke with a Rasengan in his hand heading straight for him. The blonde closed the gap in the blink of an eye and thrust the glowing sphere forward. Jose caught the blonde's wrist and redirected the attack for it to miss. The guild master plunged his magic encased fist deep into the blonde's gut.
Jose snarled when the blonde disappeared in a puff of smoke. He dodged just in the nick of time as a powerful gust of wind blew past him. The gust was like a torrent of tiny little razor blades and he still received a few cuts barely avoiding the attack. Jose glared at the blonde who stood calmly a few feet away.
The guild master saw Naruto weave another set of hand signs but before he could finish, Jose raised his hand and yelled, "Death Pulse!"
A powerful burst of purple magic shook the room like an earthquake with Jose as the epicenter. Naruto saw the attack coming but couldn't find a way to avoid it due to its wide range. He instinctively raised his arms in front of him, but the spell still sent him sailing through the air. As soon as he hit the wall, the blonde's eyes widened when he saw Jose standing so close to him with his hand outstretched a few inches away from his face.
Jose grinned triumphantly, "Death Wave!"
The guild master's spell destroyed the wall entirely. The structure crumbled away, creating a huge hole that opened a view of the raging battle between his shades and the Fairytail mages. A pitiful sight really. The wizards were giving it their final effort even though they were heavily outnumbered. It was only a matter of time before they all dropped from exhaustion or magic depletion.
Jose just chuckled. He didn't give a damn either way.
He peered over the edge of the collapsed wall and down into the sea where chunks of the wall had fallen. He scanned the surrounding waters to see if he could spot the body of Naruto floating lifelessly. He frowned when he couldn't spot him.
Jose took several steps away from the edge when he heard a sound behind him.
Fortunately for him, he turned and narrowly avoided Naruto's kunai thrust. The wizard saint grabbed the blonde's wrist and delivered a powerful elbow onto the side of his head. The clone puffed out of existence and Jose growled.
His head swiveled from side to side, but he couldn't find a trace of the boy. He tensed when he heard a sharp whirling sound. However, he never saw it coming until it was too late.
"Take this old man! Wind Style: Rasengan!"
Naruto drove the attack down onto the unsuspecting guild master's back from above. The sheer power behind the attack was enough to bring the man to the ground as he cried out in agony and disbelief. The floor shook and a crater formed. The hokage tapped the guild master's shoulder twice before leaping away.
As the magic circle appeared before him, Naruto knew that he had to act fast. Fortunately, he was able to use the hiraishin at the last second as the destructive spell was an inch from his face. He found himself next to the kunai he threw earlier that was embedded in the wall…
He landed in a crouch a few feet away to catch his breath. He had exceeded the time limit for sage mode. It wasn't a big issue. Naruto could gather nature energy quicker than he used to and he had already started replenishing his supply. Then he could finish this once and for all.
The blonde hokage was a few seconds away from reentering sage mode when the nature energy suddenly stopped flowing. Instead, he could feel a dark and malevolent energy skyrocket and it began to fill the room. It was so potent that it even made it uncomfortable to breath. Naruto turned toward the source emerging from some rubble.
Jose rose from the crater and he looked downright murderous. His eyes had turned black and a dark purple aura began to envelope him. His shirt was in tatters thanks to Naruto's last attack. He glared at the blonde with so much hate.
"Makarov is the only one who could push me this far." He informed the blonde. His voice was low and menacing. "To think that a mere youth could cause me so much distress….I was going to kill you quickly but now…you are going to suffer first and you will die a slow and painful death."
Naruto cursed silently as he could feel Jose's magic energy rising. He could tell that he was the reason why he couldn't gather nature energy. This foul magic emanating from the guild master was coming off in waves and it was interfering with his ability to go into sage mode. The blonde drew a tri pronged kunai from his holster and presumed a fighting stance.
"Now…" Jose gave a maniacal grin.
The hokage's eyes widened when the wizard saint vanished in the blink of an eye.
A cold chill ran down his spine when a voice behind him spoke. "…shall we begin?"
Under different circumstances, Alzack would have loved to spend some alone time with Bisca on the rooftop. Unfortunately for them, this wasn't one of those romantic moments. Well, unless you count blasting an entire army of shades as a date then they were having a great time.
Down below them, Fairytail was giving their all into one final push that will hopefully drive the army of shades back. Cana shouted words of encouragement to rally the guild members. They all launched their best and powerful spells at the swarm of shades. They managed to take out three fourths of the ghosts numbers.
Fairytail cheered as the remaining creatures were beginning to fall back.
"Yeah, that'll show them!" Macao grinned.
"Wait!" Cana shouted out in warning. She frowned as the shades once more grew in numbers and began to merge with each other. They fused into a giant dark orb with numerous tentacle arms. "It's not over yet. Get ready!"
She could feel the toll this battle was taking on them. They were exhausted and running low on magic. The brunette clenched her fists tightly and drew out more of her tarot cards. She couldn't afford to let their spirits waver now.
"We need to keep fighting!" She shouted. "Our friends inside are doing all that they can to stop the Abyss Break. We can't let them down!"
The rest of them were a little hesitant but Wakaba decided to step in. "Come on guys. Are you going to let a girl upstage you?"
That seemed to do the trick as the guild members prepared themselves. If Wakaba could still joke around at a time like this then there was still hope. Although the man was sweating profusely by the look Cana was sending him. A look that said: Are you saying just because I'm a girl that I'm not strong?"
Hopefully she'll forget about it when this whole thing blows over.
Naruto was able to dodge another one of Jose's death beams but he failed to block the punch to his left side as the man suddenly appeared in front of him. He was too fast and without sage mode, the blonde was at a huge disadvantage. Pain flared through his torso as he felt the fist connect and broke a few ribs.
The hokage slammed into a wall and Jose pinned him to it by grabbing his throat. Naruto gasped as his breathing became labored and he couldn't get enough oxygen. The blonde struggled against the iron grip but it was futile.
"I see that your eyes have reverted back to normal." Jose noted. He grinned. "I guess that explains how your physical abilities were enhanced. But it looks like you can't maintain it forever, can you?"
As a reply, Naruto substituted himself with a large rock to break free from being choked. He leapt away just in the nick of time to avoid being blasted by one of Jose's spells. However, the man was quick to follow up with a magic encased fist intending to uppercut him.
The blonde quickly threw a hiraishin kunai somewhere to the left and teleported next to it, catching the weapon by the handle.
Suddenly, he felt something wrapping around his arms and torso. The next thing he knew was that he was lifted off of his feet by a dark giant skeleton that emanated purple magic. He grunted in pain as the shade tightened its hold on him. Naruto saw Jose below him grinning triumphantly.
"That little teleporting trick of yours is quite bothersome." Jose said. "As long as you don't have any of your little knives scattered around, you're not going anywhere."
Naruto quickly tried to think of a way out of this mess. He could use the substitution jutsu again but it was a lot slower than the Flying Thunder god jutsu and Jose already knew how to counter attack it. He needed to come up with something fast.
He suddenly heard the guild master chuckling. "Ah, there we go. It seems that you lose young Uzumaki."
Naruto followed his gaze and his eyes widened. A huge creature with many tentacles like arms was relentlessly pounding the ruined guild hall into rubble. He could see most of the guild members standing there with tear stricken faces as they helplessly watched the monster destroy their home. They were utterly exhausted and defeated.
"You fucking bastard!" The blonde snarled. His vision started to turn red. Jose didn't seem to notice.
Anger and rage began to flood his thoughts as the Kyuubi's chakra began to flow into him. Newfound strength and bloodlust seemed to empower him. His sights were directed at the smug looking guild master and he wanted to rip him apart.
However, he ceased the flow of the red chakra and took a deep breath to calm himself. He remembered the last time he almost lost control and he couldn't take that risk. Being so close to the guild hall, he might hurt his friends. Naruto wouldn't be able to forgive himself if they got injured by him.
No, I can do this using my own strength.
As the guild hall crumbled into debris, Jose turned his attention back to Naruto. "Well that was satisfying to witness. Now, where was I? Oh yes, that's right."
Naruto shouted in agony as the shade holding him began to unleash tendrils of purple magic that seemed to electrocute him. After a minute the pain stopped, leaving the blonde rasping. Then, the excruciating pain intensified as Jose pumped more magic into his spell.
He needed to end this now. It was time to unleash his two trump cards.
Gray was inwardly berating himself as he ran down the corridor of Phantom's guild hall, carrying an unconscious Juvia on his shoulder. She had just sort of passed out in the middle of their fight, if you could even call it that, with a dreamy look on her face. He blushed when he remembered that awkward moment when he managed to trap her in ice and his hand had accidentally landed on her breast.
Thankfully, nobody else was there to witness that. He was already labeled a stripper at the guild because of his habits. He didn't want anybody to think he was a pervert as well.
He sighed as he rounded a corner and glanced at the unconscious girl. She didn't seem that bad for a Phantom Lord member. Maybe she was just doing her job even though she didn't like it. Well, either way, he wasn't just about to leave her there knowing that this whole place might collapse at any second thanks to Natsu.
The ceiling shook once more and Gray knew that the pink-haired idiot was probably hamming it up with the other dragon slayer.
"Gray!" Someone called out from behind him. He turned around to see Erza in her Black Wing armor along with Elfman and Mira running toward him.
"Who's that?" Elfman asked and pointed at Juvia.
"I'll explain later." Gray said. "Does this mean that Abyss Break has stopped?"
Erza nodded. "It seems like it."
Then the ceiling shook once again and this time, pieces of debris began falling from it.
"That's our cue to leave." Gray said. "This place isn't going to hold much longer if Natsu keeps going like this."
"What about Naruto?" Mira asked worriedly. "Maybe we should look for him."
Erza shook her head. "It's too dangerous. If he's still battling Jose then we might just be a burden for him and get caught in the crossfire. He'll be fine."
As the red head lead them down a hallway, she wished that she could be fighting beside him right now. Erza would feel much better if she were. Knowing that he was facing an opponent who is just as powerful as Master Makarov filled her with worry. She didn't want to see him get injured or worse.
Berating herself for doubting the blonde, she pushed those thoughts aside. Somehow, she just knew Naruto would be alright. The thought of his easygoing smile was enough to set her mind at ease and strangely, it made her feel like her heart was doing little tap dances. It was a nice and warm feeling that she couldn't explain but she only experienced it whenever she was around Naruto.
Erza will investigate what she was feeling later. Right now they needed to get out of Phantom's guild hall before it collapsed on itself.
Okay, I've decided that I made you guys wait long enough. The next chapter will be up in a week give or take, unless the universe hates me and wants to screw with my schedule again. Thanks for reading and leave your reviews!