Disclaimer: I will never own the works of Hajime Kanzaka or Hiro Mashima though I appreciate that they haven't put themselves on the list of authors who don't want fanfiction.
"Well we're not in the Inner World, I can tell you that much." Lina was currently staring down at the sprawling city.
"Which doesn't really narrow it down much, considering the size of the Outer World." Zelgadis noted. The group was currently observing the city from the edge of the forest, unsure whether the occupants would be hostile towards outsiders. They normally wouldn't have taken that level of caution but after having been through a dragon hating city which caused all sorts of problems, they had decided to err on the side of caution.
Lina had been all for just heading straight into town and if worst came to worst, she would use a Dragon Slave to bust their way out. The dark look on Amelia's face as she towered over Lina had quickly shot down that idea.
The blond dragoness had quickly rejoined the group after having doubled back to an area where she could land out of sight. She had carefully memorized where the rest of the group had stopped so it was a simple matter to teleport to their location.
Zelgadis turned his head to look at Filia. "I don't suppose any of this looks familiar to you either?"
"Unfortunately, no. Most of the traveling I've done was with you people." The dragoness had lived out the majority of her life at the temple of the Fire Dragon King Vrabazard so despite having lived in the Outer World her entire life, her knowledge of the land was very limited.
"We might not know where we are but we have decided we must be in the Outer World, correct?" Zelgadis received an affirmative nod from the rest of the group. He smiled. "Then I doubt we'd have anything to worry about. Even if they are hostile I doubt that we'd have any problem defending ourselves."
"Oh ya, that's right!" Lina's face brightened. "Sorcerers in the Outer World have trouble casting even the simplest magic."
"Well I don't see anyone that looks like part of the military or a police force, so I don't think it would be too dangerous to go down there." Amelia stated hopefully, always willing to believe the best of humanity. She turned to Lina with a stern look on her face. "But only if Miss Lina agrees to use force only as a last resort. It is we who are intruding on their land. Furthermore, how can we hope to understand those around us if do not let kindness and integrity rule our actions?! Violence begets nothing but more violence and as a one who would uphold peace, I must protest against this cycle of hatred for the sake of justice!"
She struck a pose as light shined behind her, only to look over and see the others already walking away.
"Yah yah, can we get a move on already? My stomach says it's time for second breakfast." Lina tossed back in a bored voice.
"Hear hear!" came from Gourry.
Natsu was still breathing hard as he walked through the streets of Magnolia. He had run as fast as he could but the dragon had still disappeared from sight.
He grit his teeth in annoyance. Damn it, where did you go?
So caught up was he in his thoughts that he didn't give a second glance to a petite red head girl, nor another girl with short blackish hair or the tall blond man walking next to her. He didn't even notice the strange hooded man with a mask over his face. And he certainly didn't look twice at the tall blond woman bringing up the rear of the group.
"Geez, this place is bigger than I thought," Lina commented, walking along with her hands behind her head.
"I suppose our best bet would be just to stop someone and ask where we are…" Amelia trailed off as she noticed the curious looks there were receiving from the passerby. "We sure are attracting a lot of attention."
"Dammit, always staring," Zelgadis muttered under his breath, ignoring the fact that the others were receiving the same looks. His semi human appearance was always a sore point for him. He had his hood up and a cloth mask over the lower half of his face in an attempt to avoid people seeing him.
"I think it's our clothes. I don't see anyone else wearing anything similar." Filia lifted her cloak with one hand.
"What about that guy?" Gourry asked, openly pointing at a pink haired youth dressed in an open tunic and baggy pants. No one was paying attention however.
"Well once we figured out where we are I suppose we can get something to better fit in." Lina was saying, completely ignoring Gourry.
Amelia glanced around before spotting a woman sweeping in front of a shop. "Excuse me ma'am but can you tell me what city this is?"
"Hmm?" The woman glanced up and blinked. "This is Magnolia young miss." She peered closer at their clothes. "Are you looking for the wizard's guild by chance?"
Lina quickly pushed Amelia out of the way. "You mean there's a guild in town?"
The woman nodded. "Of course. Actually, there are two guilds but the largest is Twilight Ogre. If you walk that way, turn left two streets down, walk another block and turn right, then it'll be on the right."
"Alright, let's go!" Lina shouted. She took off running, pulling Gourry behind her like a kite.
Amelia prepared to follow, but quickly turned and bowed to the woman. "Thank you ma'am." She then ran after the other sorceress, Zelgadis and Filia trailing behind. "Wait Miss Lina!"
The group was currently staring up at the guild building of Twilight Ogre.
"I think…they like Ogres." Gourry stated like he was imparting critical information.
"What was the point in coming here again Miss Lina?" Filia asked, confused.
"Well I was hoping that I would be able to learn something about the area we are in and perhaps a spell or two from the guild library. I thought that the name 'Twilight Ogre' was just a nickname for the local branch of the Sorcerer's Guild, I never expected it to be a separate guild."
Amelia put a finger under her chin thoughtfully. "I didn't even know any other guilds existed besides the Sorcerer's Guild. And didn't that nice lady back there say there were two of them?"
Zelgadis folded his arms and looked over. "Well we aren't in the Inner World, we can't expect things to be the same here. Considering the barrier only dropped two years ago, the influence of the Sorcerer's Guild here in the Outer World, if they have any at all, must be minimal."
"Hmm, that's true." Lina bit her lip in thought. "As silly as it was though, I was counting on it being a branch of the Sorcerer's Guild. I doubt that another guild is just gonna let us walk right in and look at their library. We'll have to figure out how to get them to let us at the books, assuming they have any."
"And no violence. We have to convince them peacefully or not at all!" Amelia piped up, concerned about what fate Lina might inflict on those inside.
"Enough with the justice talk Amelia!" Lina rubbed her forehead in exasperation.
Zelgadis frowned at her. "No Amelia's right. We cannot afford any unwanted attention. The last thing we need right now is a mob of people, or worse the law, hunting us down. We have enough problems as it is without you going berserk."
"Look who's talking!" Lina shouted in his face. "I'm not the one who started blowing up temples the first time we were in the Outer World!" He looked away, feigning innocence.
"Okay, okay. We aren't here to argue," Filia said, trying to pacify the trio, a sweat drop forming to the side of her head. People are staring she thought to herself.
"Well then. Let's go inside and see if we can find out anything." Amelia walked up, knocking on the door.
"So you all are lost, huh?" Guild master Banaboster asked, smiling in an unpleasant way.
"Ya, so we were wondering if you would be ever so kind and let us see your guild library," Lina returned, an unpleasant smile of her own forming.
"Well I'd be happy to show you our guild's book collection.." The group leaned forward eagerly. "But, of course, there would be a small fee," he added with a gleam in his eye.
"Fee?" Lina quirked an eyebrow. She knew how men like him worked. Heck, she herself frequently operated the same way.
"500,000 jewels each," Banaboster announced. (AN: 500,000 jewels= $50,000 US)
"SMALL FEE MY BUTT, THAT'S HIGHWAY ROBBERY!" Lina exploded, her red hair standing on end. "EVEN WITH SEMI PRECIOUS JEWELS THAT'S STILL-"
"Miss Lina," Filia interrupted, whispering in the red head's ear. "I think 'jewel' is the term for their currency here."
"Oh." Lina laughed nervously, turning back to the shell-shocked guild master. "Well you see, we don't exactly have the local currency…"
The guild master recovered himself. "Oh dear, well then I'm afraid that I'm unable to help you poor folks." He snapped his fingers and several lackeys appeared. They began to rapidly usher the group out. "Have a nice day!" Banaboster waved, looking please to be rid of the group.
"Man that guy was rude." Lina grumbled.
"What are we supposed to do now?" Amelia asked, walking along dejectedly.
"We still need to find out where exactly in the Outer World we are. If I had my instruments, I could probably locate our general location myself, though judging from the position of the sun on the horizon, I'm guessing that we are far to the south. That means a long journey to get home, as I'm assuming trying to find a way to use the crystal again is impractical. However, without any local currency, we have no assured means of taking care of ourselves while we travel. We should consider finding some sort of temporary work." Zelgadis put in.
"My skills aren't exactly what you would consider mundane. Although…" Lina brightened. "Considering the Outer World's lack of sorcerers with any shred of power, I'm sure there are plenty of bad guys to beat up."
"Ya bandits aren't an endangered species here," Gourry piped up, happy at the thought of getting to use his sword. It had been a bit neglected of late: both the bandit and pirate populations (what was left of them) were in hiding, most on the verge of insanity at the thought of the "red haired she-devil" coming after them.
"So let's go ask around about robbers. I'm getting hungry, so we better find them fast so I can take their money." Lina made a move to run off again but was held back by Amelia grabbing her cloak.
"Miss Lina, how many times must I tell you?! Stealing from robbers is still stealing! As guardians of justice, it is our duty to vanquish them, yes, but it is also our duty to return what was wrongfully taken! The satisfaction of helping people in need is reward enough!" She folded her arms and nodded to herself, a determined smile fixed on her face.
Lina sweat dropped. "Ya, well 'the satisfaction of helping people' isnt' gonna put food in my gut. So unless you have a better way of earning fast cash-" She was cut off as a large explosion rocked the ground.
"What was that?!" Amelia looked off in the direction the sound had come from. The group looked warily at the smoke cloud that could be seen rising from the ground.
"Sounds exciting, let's go!" Lina seized her chance and sprinted off towards the sound before someone could stop her. The rest were left yet again to chase after her.
"This isn't good. I can't think of anything native to the Outer World that could cause an explosion that big. Unless it's a dragon…" Zelgadis shouted to the others over the sound of pounding feet. He glanced to the side and his eyes narrowed. "Although none of the populace seems alarmed."
"I don't think a dragon would just cause a random explosion like that. And it seems a bit small for a breath attack." Filia commented, hoping she was right.
The chimera man glanced back. "Perhaps but until we know what we're dealing with we need to be prepared for anything."
The group's rapid pace speedily took them to the outskirts of the city. They quickly caught up to Lina, who was found standing a little ways away from an odd looking building. She was staring at a couple of teens who were currently punching the living daylights out of each other.
Both teens broke apart, settling a ways back in fighting stances. The one with pink hair growled.
"Damnit Gray, I don't have time for this! I need to talk to Gramps!"
The other teen, the one with spikey black hair, responded. "Ya well maybe you shouldn't have used me AS A DORMAT FLAME BRAIN!" For some reason he had been pulling off his black pants as he yelled at the other teen. Finally free of the fabric, he tossed it to one side as Lina's group stared on in shocked embarrassment. Their shock increased ten-fold as the newly dubbed 'Gray' created a magic circle, out of which a large ice hammer appeared.
"Get out of my way! If that dragon gets away because of you, you are dead. You hear me Gray? DEAD!" the pink haired teen shouted. He raised a flaming fist in time to pummel the ice hammer.
Lina's group began to sweat. The magic of these youths was definitely beyond what they were expecting from Outer World sorcerers. But more importantly it seemed that the pink haired youth had seen Filia while she was in her dragon form. Unless he was referring to a different dragon but that was unlikely.
Filia whispered to the others out of the corner of her mouth. "If we back away slowly, then maybe they won't notice." The group began an exaggerated tiptoe backwards away from the fighting duo.
"Oh, can I help you?" The group froze. Turning their heads around they saw a pretty young woman with white hair. Her bands were held up away from her face by a ponytail holder. Her rather curvy form was shown clearly underneath a short sleeved, ankle length maroon dress with a pleated skirt. She appeared to be carrying groceries.
Lina's hand snapped up to rub the back of her head and she adopted a goofy smile. "Oh no we were just passing through, what I mean to say is we saw these two guys and we just-" she continued meaningless babble for a few more seconds. The woman just stood there and smiled.
"I see. Would you like to come in? We don't get too many visitors to our guild anymore."
Lina started to decline nervously, but Zelgadis stopped her. "We'd be delighted to. I'd also like to speak to your guild master if he has a moment."
"I'm not sure, but I can check for you if you like. Come in, please." The woman walked past them into the building, sidestepping the still fighting youths. Zelgadis ambled after her.
Wearily walking around the two sorcerers, Lina quickly sped up to whisper to Zelgadis. "What are you doing we need to get out of here. I don't know why Pinky was looking for Filia but I don't like it."
"Relax Lina. They don't know that Filia is a dragon. Besides, this must be the other guild that woman mentioned. It's worth a shot to see if we can look at any atlases they might have." The red head grunted, still not liking the situation.
They walked through the door into what appeared to be a casual dining area. Lina's mouth watered at the sight of a few men eating food, only for her mood to darken considerably as she remembered her lack of funds.
She walked along muttering to herself, only to shout in surprise as short little man jumped in front of her. He was wearing orange pants and jacket, with a white undershirt. An orange and blue striped jester's hat sat on top of a head of white hair. He also had a thick white mustache. Red jester shoes completed the look.
"Hello there youngsters. My name is Makarov. I'm the guild master of Fairy Tail."
Please, Please, Please leave a review, even if you think it's not worthwhile. I really appreciate any feedback at all.
If any of you are confused about some of the references in this chapter, don't worry. Most will be explained when they have to explain it to the people of Earthland. Though if you don't want to wait, ask in a review or pm and I can explain it to you. Or just watch the Slayers. You should do that anyway.
Thank you to Rybalov for being my first ever reviewer and thank you to Lanky Nathan for helping out with this story.
Chapters 1 and 2 have been rewritten for those interested.