Chapter 35: Fairy Tail's Return!
After partying the night away in Crocus and spending an additional week to help repair the entire city, much to everyone's reluctance, the Fairy Tail members were finally making their way back home to Magnolia City. To where the location of their beloved guild was located.
"I can't believe we spent that long in Crocus. It almost feels like a dream coming back home." Lucy said as she stretched her arms.
"I can tell what you mean, it's nice to finally return home after many days of hard work." Erza said with a smile on her face.
"You weren't the ones who had to do all the manual labour…" Gray muttered underneath his breath, feeling the soreness in his body after all the lifting he had to do. It was even worse for him since he would be constantly chase by Juvia…and Lyon being there hadn't made it any better either.
"Well you don't expect fragile girls like us to do all the heavy lifting, do you?"
"I don't see anything fragile about you two…" he muttered underneath his breath.
"What did you say?" Despite being an Ice-Mage, the ravenette suddenly felt a chill upon hearing their dark tones.
Meanwhile, staggering behind the large group was none other than Natsu who was yawning tiredly with his arms behind the back of his head as he walked. Laying gently atop his head was an equally exhausted Happy.
While he was happy to be returning back to his comfortable home, he also wanted to spend more time with Kei at Crocus. However, because her identity as his mate was yet to be discovered by his other guild mates, he decided that it was best to return back to their respectively homes.
Which was why he brought her back home himself, using his Dragon Prince mode which was the main reason why he was as exhausted as he was. Though she did chastise him for doing so, he was more than happy to do it, regardless of how tired he was.
"Well, don't worry everyone. Just a few more miles and we'll finally be back at our beloved guild." Makarov said, getting cheers.
However, the moment they arrived back at the city…
"W-woah, what's this?!" Makarov, who was at the front, jolted up in surprise.
Wondering, what surprised their guild master so much, the group decided to step forward and their eyes widened in surprise at what they were seeing.
"There they are, they're finally back!" one of the townspeople cheered.
"Hurry up! Everyone, over here!"
"We've been waiting!"
"Welcome back, Fairy Tail!"
Standing in front of them were none other than the townspeople of Magnolia, but it wasn't that, that surprised them, it was the sheer number of people that were present. In addition, the city seemed to have been decorated with streamers as confetti fell from the sky.
"This is a lot of people…" Gray said, looking around in awe at the sheer number of people greeting them.
"Looking at it, I think there are people who aren't living in Magnolia present as well." Erza commented with a smile.
"T-thank you all for your support!" Wendy bowed, starting to feel nervous at all the praise that were fired at their direction.
"You need to loosen up, Wendy…though I can't wait for some celebration drinks!" Cana cheered happily.
"Rather, I think you need to sober up, Cana." Laxus, who was walking beside her, deadpanned.
Of course, Makarov was currently indulging in all the citizen's praises as he carried Asuka, "That's right, Fairy Tail are supreme!" he laughed haughtily.
"Gihi, we're number one!" Gajeel exclaimed proudly before recalling something as he pulled out something from his bag.
"And as proof of our victory…have at it!" the Iron Dragon Slayer lifted the trophy causing everyone to cheer at the sight of it.
As the group all continued walking through the streets, the townspeople began calling out the members who partook in the games accompanied with their best moments of it.
While Natsu was among the list of people who was being called out, (in fact he was being called out the most after his dominating performance), he decided to ignore it all since they were also the group of people who ridiculed them just a few months ago.
"Natsu!" The Dragon Prince opened up an eye and saw both Sam and Selene amongst the crowd with smiles on their faces.
"Hey there you two. How are you guys?" The ravenette greeted with a smile as he walked up towards them.
"We're doing fine, but wow, you really are incredible, you know that Natsu? I only saw you fight once, but man, that can't compare to what we saw on television." The man said with a massive grin on his face.
"Dad's right, you were awesome out there!" Selene added.
"Well, it was definitely fun experience that's for sure." He shrugged nonchalantly causing the man to laugh heartily.
"Only you would say such things, Natsu."
"Anyways, what's everyone doing here? Surely it's not only to congratulate us, right?" the Dragon Prince asked, gesturing to the citizens.
"Well you see…" However, before the Weapons Owner could respond,
"Congratulations, Fairy Tail." A gruff tone voiced out, causing the Fairy Tail members to turn towards the source of the voice only to see a middle-aged man, yet his height was similar to Makarov's.
"Mayor!" Makarov exclaimed, walking up towards the man before the two shook hands.
"I watched your performances on television and I must say, splendid work from each and every one of you." He smiled.
"That's why, we decided to prepare a commemorative prize in recognition for your victory."
"A commemorative prize?! Y-you shouldn't have." While his words may come off as humble, Makarov's eyes were instantly replaced by dollar signs the moment he heard those words exit the man's mouth.
"Please, follow me." He said as the group decided to do exactly that. As they walked, they begun to realise that they were walking towards the location of where their previous guild was.
"Fairy Tail, you are the pride and joy of our city, so consider this Magnolia's prize to you for winning the Grand Magic Games!"
Every member felt their jaws drop at what they were witnessing, because standing right in front of them…was their guild. Though its appearance was nothing like what it was when they had left…in fact it looked completely brand new.
"Our guild…it's been fixed!" Gray cheered.
"It looks just like it was before!" Lucy added as she jumped with joy.
While the other members were celebrating the return of their precious guild, Makarov was busy bawling his eyes out, "I absolutely love this town!" Makarov yelled out.
Once the Fairy Tail members returned to their respective homes to shower, rest and so on, they all decided to regroup back at the guild.
"Wow, look at the number of quests we've received…I haven't seen anything like it for years…" Alzack said as he looked at the bulletin board in awe.
"Well, it's to be expected after all." Bisca, his wife, said as she placed a hand on his shoulder, looking fondly at the group responsible for the change.
Currently, they were all huddled up at one corner and were in the middle of some important discussions,
"So…since we had the highest points before we joined teams, which means you all need to follow our instructions for 24 hours." Laxus pointed out with a smirk as he rubbed his hands in anticipation.
Well…important to them that is.
"No way! It was clear that we won!" Gajeel shot back with a glare.
"Please, we've been in front of you all since the first day."
With that, the two began arguing about their teams beating the other, with neither one of them wanting to back down.
"So master, what do we do now?" Mirajane asked curiously as she stared at the old man.
"Well, clearly because the two teams had to join together before the final day, the best way to solve this is by…" both teams gulped anxiously as they awaited the challenge they had to perform.
"…a game of rock, paper, scissors." He finished causing the two teams to drop to the ground comically.
"Are you kidding me?!"
"You did ask me for a suggestion, besides, after being gifted this new guild, none of you are to fight in here." The old man glared.
"Fine…so who wants to represent us?" Natsu asked, looking at his teammates only to realise they were all staring at him.
"Wait…you all want me to go?" he said incredulously.
"Well, you've already been managing us during the games, so why not?" Laxus shrugged.
"Besides, we have a higher chance to win if the Prince of Dragons goes." Cana said with a lopsided smile causing the ravenette to sweat drop at her words.
"It's a game of luck though." He sighed but decided that it was pointless to argue further and stepped up for his team.
"Well if Natsu is going, then I guess I'll go for our team." Erza said as she stepped up for her team.
"If Natsu were to win…" Juvia imagined all the things she could do with her beloved Gray-sama and her face resembled to that of a tomato as she drooled. The Ice-Mage noticed this and immediately shuddered.
"Save me, Erza! Please!" Gray begged, on his knees as he dreaded what would happen if they lose.
"Come on Erza, you can do it!" Lucy cheered in support.
"Don't worry, I'll win." The scarlet haired knight said confidently as she extended her hand out with Natsu doing the same.
"Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!"
"So, who wants to pick first?" Laxus asked as he lifted Natsu's hand out victoriously while the Dragon Prince raised his other hand that was clenched, somewhat resembling the shape of a rock.
Erza, on the other hand, was on the ground with lines of depression forming on her head while the other members of Fairy Tail Team A were on their knees, cursing their luck.
"I'll go first then." Natsu announced as he looked at the opposite team's members with a calculating look.
Truthfully he didn't want to participate in such a farce, but the thought of controlling them for one whole day does seem intriguing, especially with one particular member.
"I'll pick Gajeel." He finally said causing the Iron Dragon Slayer to stiffen while his blonde teammate sighed.
"A shame, I wanted both him and Elfman to be my servants. Oh well, guess it's just going to be you." Laxus said as he looked at Elfman who was grimacing at the thought of being controlled by the blonde.
The Dragon Prince decided to not stay any longer and drag his fellow ravenette by the scruff of his collar.
"Oi, let go of me already!" though he struggled for a bit he eventually gave up knowing that he was no match for Natsu's strength.
"Ah, Gajeel!" Levy cried out, though she could only watch as the Dragon Prince drag him out of the guild. The girl sighed because of this, something her best friend, Lucy, noticed.
"What's wrong Levy?" the girl asked in concern.
"No, I'm just worried about what Natsu is going to make Gajeel do is all." She sighed, causing the blonde to smirk as she nudged her friend playfully.
"So you're worried about Gajeel, eh?" Realising her words, the bookworm blushed as she flailed her arms in denial.
"T-that's not what I mean!"
"Of course it isn't, but don't worry you have my full support!" Lucy smiled, giving her a thumbs up causing Levy to sigh.
"But I'm not kidding though. Ever since Gajeel found out about Natsu being the Dragon Prince…he's been a lot more subdued whenever he's brought up…and it's quite worrying." Lucy placed a hand underneath her chin in wonder.
"Well maybe he's just frustrated that he kept it a secret like the rest of us? After all, it is a big secret."
"Maybe…" the girl pondered before shrugging it off before walking over to the bar for a drink. Lucy was about to join her, had it not been for Mirajane who was giving the blonde a sickly sweet grin.
"Now, this seems like a good enough area." Natsu said as he released Gajeel who instantly dropped to the ground.
"What the heck was that for?!" Gajeel shouted as he glared at the ravenette who stared back uncaringly.
"Well, I needed to bring you here somehow without you going against me. But first, let me ask you a question. Why are acting so differently around me?" Natsu asked, causing his fellow Dragon Slayer's eyes to widen in shock.
"I-I have no clue what you're talking about." The Iron Dragon Slayer stuttered, looking away causing Natsu's eyebrow to raise.
"Do you really think I wouldn't notice you look at me whenever I'm speaking? If you have something to ask, you better speak up."
A deafening silence filled the air as the Dragon Prince stared at the ravenette whose bangs covered his eyes as he looked down.
"As the Dragon Prince… you know where Metallicana is, right?" Gajeel finally spoke and Natsu somewhat expected the question to be brought up.
"Well I can't say that I know where exactly he is now, but I guess you can put it that way."
"Why do you ask?" Though he had a feeling he knew the reason, he still wanted to hear the answer from the Iron Dragon Slayer's mouth.
"…I want to know why he left me on that day! Was it because I was too weak? Or was he unhappy with me?" Gajeel clenched his fists tightly.
Each day he would think of this, and it would always help push him to the very limits, yet it would always come back and eat at him each day.
Was he that worthless as a son?
"To think you're worried about something like that…" Natsu sighed as he placed his hand on Gajeel's shoulder before closing his eyes, and this confused the ravenette.
"What are you-"
"Shut it! I'm trying to concentrate." The Dragon Prince responded.
Gajeel's eyes widened when he noticed that both his and Natsu's body were glowing. However before he could even utter a word, the two dropped to the ground like rocks.
While their real bodies remained at Magnolia Forest, both Natsu and Gajeel reappeared at another dense forest, but this time, in the middle of a large clearing.
"W-where are we?" Gajeel asked, looking around the dense forest in confusion.
"Well, why don't you look behind you before making more questions?" Natsu suggested and the ravenette did exactly that and his eyes widened in shock upon seeing a massive dragon that was surrounded by dark grey scales, gently lying down on the patch of grass.
"M-Metallicana?!" Gajeel exclaimed in shock, causing the dragon to jolt at the mention of his name before turning towards the owner of the voice.
"G-Gajeel?! Natsu-sama?! What are the two of you doing here?" he exclaimed in shock.
"Well, we're not exactly here in person, it's more like I transferred our conscious mind to your current location using the Psychic Dragon's ability." Natsu responded with a shrug.
"I see…well to what honour do I owe you, my lord?" the dragon bowed.
"Well, it would appear your son was worried that you left him because he was weak. So I brought him over to discuss about it with you."
"Oi, shut your mouth Salamander!" Gajeel growled, thought a tint of red dusted across his cheeks.
"Worrying about something as small as that…didn't I teach you to be a ruthless fighter?" Metallicana sighed in disappointment and Gajeel looked away from that.
While he had tried to be one in the past back in Phantom Troupe, but after joining Fairy Tail…it was safe to say he mellowed down a bit.
"However...Natsu-sama has been helping me keep up to date with how you've been progressing, so…"
"You…have indeed gotten stronger and I'm proud of you, Gajeel." Metallicana said in an honest tone and the Dragon Slayer's eyes widened in shock, and he turned away to prevent his foster father from seeing the tears that threatened to fall from his face.
"Thanks…dad." Natsu smiled at the scene happening before him as he stretched his arms.
"Well then, since that's all settled, it's time for us to head back now."
"Thank you for your visit, my lord." The dragon bowed before turning his head to face his son.
"The next time we meet Gajeel, you better be stronger than you are now. Otherwise I'll rip you a new one." The dragon threatened.
"Gihi, just watch, I'll become stronger than you!" Gajeel exclaimed before both he and Natsu disappeared into thin air, leaving the mighty beast alone.
'Good luck…Gajeel.' The dragon thought before deciding to return to his slumber.
Gajeel opened his eyes, and what greeted him was the same forest Natsu had dragged him to a while ago.
"Phew, now that was tiring." Natsu sighed, deciding to sit on the ground as he dealt with the repercussion of using such a skill.
The two sat in silence with neither one making a single sound.
"Thank you…Natsu." Finally, it was Gajeel who broke the silence, as he thanked the Dragon Prince with a genuine smile and a slight bow.
"Think nothing of it, besides…" Natsu got up and extended an arm out towards his fellow ravenette who looked at it in confusion.
"Right now there's an open space in the 12 Dragon Knights, and I'm looking for someone to fill it up. So if you're strong enough, perhaps you could fill up that last spot." Gajeel's eyes widened in shock before a determined look flashed across his face as he reached out to shake the ravenette's hand.
"I'll do my best, sir."
"Urgh, don't call me that. Just stick to how you normally refer me to." Natsu sighed before he jumped back and got into his battle stance.
"What are you doing?"
"Well surely you don't expect to get stronger on your own? How about a battle against me and show me how strong you are?"
"Gihi, I'll show you that I can fill up that last spot right now." The Iron Dragon Slayer smiled before charging in towards Natsu.
The two battled for the remainder of the day, and while Gajeel was defeated until he was black and blue, he would consider it a good day.
In a dark room, thirteen people were gathered, all of them there with only one goal in mind.
"When are we going to make a move already? They're right there for the taking!" An annoyed tone asked as he glanced at his colleagues.
"We only move when the queen say we move. If you have a problem with that then you should leave." An older man stated as he glared at the young man in front of him.
The young man growled as he slammed his fist to the table, "If you think I could handle the fact that our rightful place in the world is being overshined because of some punk, then you have another thing coming!" The young man ranted earning him a glare from every person there.
"Have you forgotten what happened in that town? He could have killed us all if it weren't for the emperor." The old man replied as he stood up, summoning his large axe in the process. The young man growled as he summoned his knife in his hand.
If the old man wanted to fight, then he will have a fight.
"If you two even move an inch, I'll personally see to it that both of you will be buried six feet under." A cold, commanding tone stated causing the two to stop. The thirteen people there glanced at the source of the voice before kneeling at the grace of their emperor, even the two fighting comrades had the decency to kneel at his presence.
The man walked passed his companions as he sat in his thrown, his ruby red eyes glancing coldly at them. "Now let us begin." The man stated coldly, a cruel smile forming on his face.
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kofi.c om (slash) christophernagura