Hey guys, I hope you all had a great Christmas/Holidays! Well, I'm back with the next chapter for this story. I'm glad that you all seemed to enjoy the last chapter because I had lots of fun writing it! This chapter will pick up where the previous one left off and will continue Lucy, Happy, and Carla's mission to save the other members of Fairy Tail. So, I hope you're all looking forward to that.
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Well, that's all I wanted to say, so let's get to the fic!
Disclaimer: I don't own Fairy Tail or any of its characters.
"There are enemies on the ground and in the sky!" Lucy exclaimed as she looked between the Edolas soldiers on the ground and the exceed in the air. "What the hell are we going to do!?"
"What about your celestial spirits, Lucy!?" Carla asked, gesturing toward the pouch of gate keys on Lucy's hip. "Can't one of your spirits help us!?"
"Sorry, but using Natsu's magic earlier really drained me, I need a bit longer to recover..." Lucy replied as she released a shaky breath and shook her head, a thin sheen of sweat coating her forehead. "And even if I could use my magic, there's too many people...I don't think any of my spirits could handle them all."
"W-What the hell..." Faust breathed out, tightly gripping the windowsill he was leaning against as he watched the scene unfold from the castle. "Someone tell me what's happening!"
"It seems like the Extalia imperial guard is attacking in pursuit of some fallen traitors." Coco explained as she tirelessly ran up and down the hallway behind Faust. "Things seem like they're about to get hairy out there."
"Hmmm..." Faust growled, his brow furrowing in anger as he glared at the legion of exceed approaching the capital. Then, he said something that caused Coco to stop in her tracks, a look of pure fear on her face. "Invoke code ETD..."
"Let's try to lose them in these buildings!" Carla yelled as she veered toward a row of partially concealed buildings below them, Happy and Lucy following right behind her. However, as the fleeing Fairy Tail mages neared the possible escape route, they were surprised when dozens of Edolas soldiers lined on the walls above them. The Edolas soldiers waved large red flags with strange symbols on them and blared horns that echoed throughout the capital. "What in hell is going on now?! No matter, we need to get into those buildings!"
"Code ETD?!" Knightwalker gasped, hearing the horns signaling the operation's start. "Why at a time like this?!"
"The final defense plan for national security..." Sugarboy muttered as she stroked his chin, watching as spotlights lit up across the capital. "I never thought I'd actually see it in action."
But these weren't normal spotlights. One by one, these magical spotlights turned toward the large group of Extalia exceed. Then, in unison, just before the exceed could catch up with the Fairy Tail mages, all the spotlights seemed to trap the cats. Before the flying cats could realize what was happening, they began to howl and scream in pain as the light seemingly began to sap away their magical power.
"W-What is going on..." Lucy breathed out in shock as she watched the exceed writhe and yell in agony, unable to escape from the spotlights' beams. "I thought they saw the exceed as gods or angels. Are they rebelling or something?"
"I wonder what they intend to do?" Happy muttered, feeling a chill run down his spine as he witnessed the other exceed experience what seemed to be excruciating pain. "I feel kind of bad for them."
"It doesn't matter what they intend to do." Carla said as she turned her attention back toward the buildings they had originally been heading toward. "We need to take advantage of this chaos and escape! This might be our only chance to rescue Natsu and Wendy!"
"Damn! The fallen ones and the prisoner!" Knightwalker exclaimed, watching as the fleeing Fairy Tail mages sped away. "They're going to try to free the prisoners in the west tower! Fortify all the defenses there!"
"You damned humans...the queen..." Nichiya growled as he felt all of his magical power being drained from his body, moments before everything around him started to go dark. "Won't let this-"
Nichiya never got to finish, as all of the Extalia exceeds that had been trapped in the spotlights were transformed into a massive, cat-shaped lacrima. The Edolas soldiers watched in awe as the impressive lacrima crashed to the ground, shimmering with immense magical power. None of them dared approached the lacrima, almost as if it were a taboo object.
"The exceed...they all turned into a lacrima."
"Damn it, we've really stirred the pot now."
"I-Is this really okay? There's no going back from this."
"There are no gods in this world." Faust's voice snapped the soldiers out of their stunned stupor, all turning to face the castle, where their king was standing on a balcony. "Only us humans suffer with limited magical power. Meanwhile, the exceed indulge in their limitless magic. When that 'limitlessness' is so close, why should we not make use of it? We've officially ended this age of being ruled over! This is all for the future of mankind! We do this to build an abundant, magical society! Hear me, my soldiers! Let us rise up together! I hereby invoke Code ETD!" The soldiers began to rally around their king, cheering and chanting his name. "The plan to eliminate all angels!"
"Things are starting to get real, heh." Hughes laughed, clasping his hands behind his head. "I'm starting to get excited."
"Hmmm, I suppose it was merely a matter of time..." Sugarboy said as he shrugged his shoulders. "Those exceed could only push us around for so long before we pushed back."
"So this is what that military buildup was for..." Lily growled, balling his fists and glaring up at Faust. "You won't get away with this, Faust."
"If we steal the exceed's magic, our nation can take hold of that infinite magical energy." Faust said as he stared out at his army of cheering soldiers. "Nothing will be able to stand in our way."
"But, your majesty!" Coco exclaimed, darting around the room and spinning in a panic. "The queen of Extalis will surely retaliate! Their military might is extraordinary!"
"That's why we captured those dragon slayers." Faust explained as a menacing look spread across his face. "Their power will be instrumental. This will be our only chance to bring down the gods. Hurry up and extract that dragon slayer magic, Byro!"
(Same Time: Dungeon Underneath the West Tower)
"Heh heh, yesh...everything ish going smoothly..." Byro said with a sadistic smile, tightening the chains binding Natsu and Wendy. Taking a few steps back, Byro gazed at the dragon slayers as they were bound to large stone slabs with draconic symbols on them. Grabbing two cables, Byro prepared to connect them to start the magic extraction process. "With their power, we'll be unshtoppable."
"Ughhhhhh..." Natsu groaned as his fluttered open, everything appearing blurry for several. When Natsu went to rub his eyes, he was surprised to find that he could move them. With a grunt of exertion, Natsu tried to break free of his bindings. After several failed attempts, Natsu released a heavy sigh and gave up. "What the fuck is going-" The pink-haired dragon slayer stopped mid-sentence, his eyes widening when he spotted Wendy, chained up on a stone slab next to him. "Wendy! Are you okay!? Please, say something!"
"It would have been better if you were shtill unconscious..." Byro said with a smirk, causing Natsu's head to snap toward him. Despite the pink-haired dragon slayer being completely immobilized, Byro took a fearful step back when he saw the furious look in Natsu's eyes. "Thish ish going to hurt...a lot."
"Don't you dare hurt Wendy, you sick fuck!" Natsu roared as he began to violently thrash against the stone slab, his muscles and veins bulging as he desperately tried to break the chains keeping him trapped. Seeing that Byro was about to connect two cables, Natsu gave one last, powerful pull, managing to break one of his arms free. However, just as Natsu was about to break the chain binding his other arm, Byro connected the cables. "When I get free, I'm going to ripe those RAAAAAAAAAAGH!"
(Same Time: Streets of Edolas' Capital)
"We need to hurry! Something big is going down!" Happy said, running through the streets of the capital with Lucy and Carla. "I hope we find Natsu and Wendy soon!"
"I can't believe that the humans are going to war with the exceed." Lucy said as she reached up and rubbed her mate mark, feeling its comforting warmth. "Natsu...please be okay."
"Their fight has nothing to do with us." Carla said bluntly, turning down an alley that led toward the west tower. "We're not on either side of this battle, so let them do as they please."
As the Fairy Tail mages neared the end of the alley, they were stopped when a spear impaled itself in the ground, stopping them in their path. Leaping away from the spear, Lucy stood in front of Happy and Carla, doing her best to shield them. Turning toward where the spears had come from, the Fairy Tail mages were surprised to see a group of Edolas soldiers being led by Knightwalker approaching them.
"You will not pass this point." Knightwalker said as she and her soldiers filled the alley, completely blocking it. "You Fairy Tail mages stop here."
"What the hell!? Don't you have other things to worry about!?" Lucy exclaimed, tightly balling her fists and glaring at Knightwalker. "Why are you still chasing us?!"
However, instead of saying anything, Knightwalker merely smirked an snapped her fingers. Lucy was confused for a moment, but her eyes widened in surprise when the spears that had been thrown at them suddenly began to hum and glow brightly. Reacting instinctively, Lucy grabbed ahold of Happy and Carla, using her body to shield both cats, just as the spear exploded, sending her flying backward. Skidding several feet, Lucy eventually came to a stop, now battered and brusied by the explosion. Coughing and sputtering, Lucy set Happy and Carla back down, both cats largely unscathed.
"Huh, so you're still alive even after taking a hit from my magic..." Knightwalker said in a mildly impressed tone as she approached an grabbed her spear. Locking eyes with Lucy, the scarlet-haired knight smirked and rubbed her sore jaw. "First that incredible burst of magical power earlier, and now you use your body to protect those exceed and survive one of my attacks...you are just full of surprises, I like that."
"Screw...you..." Lucy spat as she glared fiercely at Knightwalker, slowly getting back onto her feet. Lucy went to reach for her gate keys but stopped when her enhanced hearing picked up two distinct screams coming from the west tower. "Those screams...that's Natsu and Wendy." Clenching her teeth, a growl rumbled in Lucy's throat. "What the hell are you doing to Natsu and Wendy!? Answer me, now!"
"We're taking the magic we need from them for Code ETD." Knightwalker explained, pausing for a moment when another scream, even louder than before, echoed down the alley. "It's a very painful process."
"S-Stop..." Carla begged as she heard another scream, that she knew was Wendy, feeling tears stream down her cheeks. "Stop it, please! Stop hurting, Wendy!"
"I wouldn't worry about that if I were you..." Knightwalker said, raising her spear and aiming it at Carla. "You're all going to die here, so you'll be seeing them soon."
"Stay away from-" Lucy tried to move to protect Carla but was stopped in her tracks when she was hit by a sudden wave of exhaustion, bringing her down onto one knee. "Damn it...using Natsu's magic earlier...and taking the brunt of that explosion...my entire body is aching right now."
"Give Wendy back, you bitch!" Carla yelled, grabbing ahold of a loose piece of stone in the road as she prepared to throw it at Knightwalker. "She's just a kid!"
"I won't let you touch, Carla!" However, before Carla could try to desperately attack Knightwalker, she was surprised when Happy stepped in front of her. His arms were outstretched as he did his best to shield her. "She's been through enough!"
"Heh, then you die first." Knightwalker said as she reared her spear back, ready to strike Happy. But before Knigthwalker could attack, she was stopped when an explosion rang out behind her soldiers. Gasping in surprise, she whipped around to face the source of the explosion. "What the hell is going on?!"
"W-Wait..." Lucy said, raising her head and sniffing the air several times. When a familiar pair of scents hit her nose, Lucy smiled and breathed a sigh of relief, feeling tears sting her eyes. "Happy...Carla...we're gonna be okay, back up is here."
"We never forgive those who endanger members of our guild." Happy and Carla's eyes widened in surprise as they watched two figures approach through the dust in debris, Edolas soldiers screaming and falling in their wake. When the dust finally began to settle, Erza Scarlet and Gray Fullbuster could be seen, their faces furrowed in anger. "That makes you all enemies of Fairy Tail!"
"We're here, Lucy." Erza said, briefly smiling at her fellow mate. "I'm glad that you're okay."
"W-What!? There's another Erza-sama!?"
"And who's the creep not wearing a shirt!?"
"I-Idiot! Those are Earthland mages!"
"Where are our nakama?" Gray asked as he pressed his fist into his palm, the air starting to chill around him. The Edolas soldiers yelped in fear as they watched chilling energy start to gather in Gray's hand. "Where the hell are our friends that you turned into that huge lacrima!? Tell us now!"
Slamming his palms onto the ground, Gray unleashed a wave of ice spikes, that easily cut through the Edolas soldiers. One by one, the soldiers were taken out by the wall of ice. However, Knightwalker seemed to be the only one who managed to dodge Gray's attack, backflipping away. As soon as she landed, Knightwalker sprang into action, launching forward to attack Gray. But her attack was stopped by Erza, who used her sword to deflect Knightwalker's spear. Both scarlet-haired knights glared at each other as they clashed blades. The ground underneath the powerful knights began to crack and crumble as both refused to move an inch. A piece of flying debris cut Erza's cheek, while another sliced across Knightwalker's nose.
"Woah...Erza vs. Erza...this is going to be crazy." Lucy breathed out, watching both scarlet-haired knights leap away before clashing blades once again which sent out a small shockwave. Hearing another scream come from the west tower, Lucy tried to get back onto her feet. "That was Wendy again."
"Are they in the basement?" Gray asked as he rushed over to Lucy's side and helped her up. "That scream sounded like it came from that building just ahead."
"Yes, Natsu and Wendy should both be in there." Happy said, gazing at the tower in worry as he heard Natsu roar in pain. "We have to hurry and help them."
"Gray, go on ahead! Go save Natsu and Wendy!" Erza said as she deflected a spear jab from Knightwalker, before kicking her Edolas counterpart in the gut. "I'll hold things down here!"
"Can you walk, Lucy?" Gray asked, letting the blonde mage lean against his shoulder. Lucy was about to say something but stumbled forward a bit. "Here, I'll help you."
"Thanks, Gray..." Lucy said as they all began to make their way toward the tower. "How did you and Erza get here?"
"Don't worry about the details now." Gray replied, pushing the door open to the west tower and helping Lucy inside. "Let's just focus on saving Natsu and Wendy."
"Tch, to think I'd be getting in my own way." Knightwalker said as she wiped some blood from her face, spreading it across her cheek like whiskers. "Quite perplexing."
"It is indeed an odd feeling." Erza agreed, tightening her grip on her sword as she glared at her Edo counterpart. "You seem to be quite strong."
"As do you..." Knightwalker said as she continued to stare at Erza, her brow furrowing slightly. After a few moments, her eyes softened slightly and she lowered her spear. "Do you...are you really in a relationship with Natsu...and Lucy?"
"Yes, we are all in a relationship together, along with another girl, Mirajane...but there will likely be other girls in the future." Erza replied with a small smile, lowering her sword slightly and locking eyes with Knightwalker. Taking a deep breath, Erza clenched a hand over her heart. "I love Natsu with all my being, it took me a long time for me to realize how stubborn I was being, denying my feelings for him."
"I just don't get it!" Knightwalker exclaimed in a frustrated tone as she clenched her eyes shut and turned her head away. "How do you possibly make a relationship like that work!? Shouldn't you want Natsu all for yourself?! How can you stand sharing him with another woman!?"
"I won't lie, it is tough sometimes...I absolutely hated the idea at first, wouldn't even entertain it." Erza said with a chuckle, remembering back the Tower of Heaven incident before she had started her relationship with Natsu. "But Lucy and Mirajane have become sisters to me, we've become very close. They're just as important to me as Natsu and I couldn't imagine my life without them."
"I...I don't know..." Knightwalker muttered as she pressed a hand to her forehead, her voice a bit shaky. "It all just sounds too convenient...too perfect..."
"I know it may seem that way, but trust me, our relationship has had a few rough patches." Erza said, slowly approaching Knightwalker. "I'm guessing you're in a similar situation with your Natsu and Lucy. I went through the same thing you're experiencing and it will never be solved unless you talk with them." Reaching out, Erza placed a hand on Knightwalker's shoulder. "You three may be able to work things out and start a relationship together, or you may not. But no matter how things turn out, you'll at least have closure. So please, sit down with your Natsu and Lucy, squash any bad blood left between you, and talk."
"I...I...maybe..." Knightwalker began to mutter as her mind began to race, her grip on her spear tightening. However, after a few moments, she locked eyes with Erza, and her eyes hardened once again. Her eyes widening in shock, Erza stepped back and raised her sword, barely managing to deflect a swipe from Knightwalker's spear. "Enough! YOU! LUCY! NATSU! You're all trying to get into my head! Make me falter! Well, I won't allow it! For, I am Erza Knightwalker, commander of the Edolas Kingdom's Second Magical Warfare Corps!"
"Tch, you're even more stubborn than me..." Erza said, releasing a heavy sigh as she raised her sword once again. "I am Erza Scarlet, mage of Fairy Tail."
"Let's just see what the Earthland version of me is made of! Silfarion!" Knightwalker exclaimed as she leaped into the air, her spear humming with magical energy. Leaping to the side at the last moment, Erza avoided a deadly thrust from Knightwalker's spear as she rocketed past her. "Heh, to be able to avoid that, you're pretty fast."
"Right back at you." Erza said, charging toward Knightwalker as her body began to glow with the change of her armor. "If it's a battle of speed you want, then my Flight Armor will be a perfect match!"
Featuring very few armored parts, this armor was more like a unique attire bearing reminiscence to a cheetah. Its breastplate took the form of a very revealing, armored cheetah-patterned top, with some bare armor protruding from the upper part of it, in correspondence to Erza's breasts, and some fur lining the lower edges, exposing her stomach and some cleavage. There was no waist guard, with the armor instead sporting a pair of revealing black shorts, with a belt holding a cloth hanging over Erza's left leg attached to them; the arms were covered by dark armbands reaching up just below Erza's shoulders, with Erza's left arm being protected by cheetah-patterned armor, consisting of a single pauldron and a wide arm guard. Her legs were covered in similar stockings reaching up to her thighs, with armored, asymmetric high-heeled boots over them, with the left leg, yet again, being the more armored one, with the boot reaching up to the knee, which was protected by a cheetah-patterned knee guard; the right leg, on the other hand, was covered by a boot only reaching up to part of Erza's calf. The outfit was completed by a large collar around Erza's neck and by a tail hanging from the back of her shorts, both made of bushy fur, plus a pair of large cheetah ears adorning both sides of her head.
"Her armor...it just changed..." Knightwalker breathed out in awe as she watched Erza dart around her at an incredible speed. "Her speed increased too!?" As Erza sped toward her, Knightwalker jumped into the air, avoiding a horizontal slash from Erza's sword. Before Knightwalker even touched the ground, her spear transformed into one with a wide spearhead, the edges on the side curving inwards close to where the spearhead is mounted, and a glowing orb connecting to the shaft. Knightwalker jabbed the spear toward Erza, unleashing a powerful blast of wind. "Mel Force!
Forming an 'X' with her arms, Erza took the full brunt of the attack, gritting her teeth as she was sent skidding back. With a grunt, Erza crashed through a stone wall, falling into a pile of rubble on a partially collapsed bridge. Quickly regaining her composure, Erza spotted Knightwalker leaping toward her, the Edolas knight's spear changing form once again.
"She re-equipped?" Erza thought, digging herself out of the debris. "No...just the shape of her weapon changed."
"Explosion!" Knightwalker exclaimed as she unleashed a massive fireball, completely engulfing Erza in the flames. However, when the flames died down, Knightwalker was shocked to see that Erza's armor had changed once again and that she appeared to be completely unscathed. Her armor now was dark red predominantly, but also sported orange and black parts, with the first ones being shaped like flames and the second resembling Dragon's limbs. "Her armor changed once again. So you have magic that transforms your armor and sword at the same time."
"And it looks like you can only change the form of your weapon." Erza said with a smirk, pointing her sword at Knightwalker. "And you call those flames? They don't hold a candle to Natsu's."
"Tch, you'll regret mocking me." Knightwalker spat as she readied her spear to strike once again. "Beyond the shape of my spear, I can also raise my body's battle prowess."
"Even if the principle is different, the end results are the same as my Knight magic." Erza said, sliding into a fighting stance and readying her sword. "Let's see whose magic prevails! Come at me!"
(Back with Lucy, Gray, Happy, and Carla)
"So you came from that huge lacrima that was in the plaza?" Lucy asked which caused Gray to nod his head as the Fairy Tail mages descended a seemingly endless set of winding stairs. "Was there anyone else?"
"No, it was just Erza and I." Gray clarified, releasing a light sigh. "Gajeel was the one who got us out."
"I guess that makes sense..." Happy said as he stroked his chin, hopping down from one step to another. "Gajeel is a dragon slayer, so the Anima wouldn't have worked on him, just like Natsu and Wendy."
"So, that means he was left in Earthland, instead of being sucked into Edolas." Lucy muttered, her brow furrowing slightly as she looked at Gray. "How did he get here?"
"Apparently he was sent here by Mystogan." Gray replied as he shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. "I don't know all the details, but it seems that dragon slayer magic serves a different purpose in this world. One of which is turning those who've been turned into lacrima back to normal."
"For real?!" Happy exclaimed in a shocked tone, before rushing forward to catch up with Gray. "We know where the lacrima everyone is trapped in is at!"
"Really!? Are you serious, Happy!?" Gray yelled as he stopped dead in his tracks, whipping around to face the blue cat. "Gajeel has been tearing up the entire city looking for that damn lacrima. Could you take him to it?"
"Gajeel will be able to turn everyone back to normal?" Happy asked, looking up at Gray. "I can go...but I'm still worried about Natsu and Wendy."
"Don't worry about Natsu and Wendy, we'll definitely rescue them." Gray said with a small smile as he crouched down and gently patted Happy's head. "And Gajeel will be able to change everyone back to normal. Technically, Natsu and Wendy could do it too, but they don't know how."
"Got it!" Happy cheered with a grin, his wings sprouting out of his back as he began to soar back up the stairwell. "I'll get Gajeel to that Lacrima!"
"Hold on a second, Happy!" Lucy called out as she watched the blue cat disappear out of sight. But her shout fell upon deaf ears, Happy was already too far away. "Will he be okay by himself?"
"He'll be fine." Carla reassured them, before dropping down another set of steps. "As for us, we need to focus on finding Natsu and Wendy."
"I think we're nearing the bottom." Gray said when he noticed that the stairs seemed to end around the next bend. After descending the last few steps, Gray's eyes widened when he spotted a set of doors at the end of a long hallway. "Look guys, there's a door up ahead!" The three Fairy Tail mages rushed forward and Gray kicked the doors open. "Natsu! Wendy! You in here!"
"Oh god, there they are!" Lucy exclaimed, spotting both dragon slayers on the floor, leaning against large stone slabs. Running over, Lucy crouched down next to her mate. "Natsu! Are you okay!? Please say something!"
"Oi! Get it together, Wendy!" Gray proclaimed as he kneeled next to Wendy, gently shaking her shoulder. "Damn it, they're both out cold!"
"I'm so sorry..." Carla cried, resting her head against Wendy's lap as a few tears escaped her eyes. "I'm so sorry, Wendy."
"Here, let's try this..." Gray said as he began to dig into his pocket. "Let's try having them take these X-Balls. Open up Natsu's mouth for me."
"X-Balls?" Lucy parroted in a confused tone, quirking an eyebrow. "What the hell are those?"
"We got them from Gajeel. Did you not get any from Mystogan?" Gray asked as he held up a small glass vile full of red pills. "It's a special medicine that will allow us to use magic in this world."
"You know, now that you mention it, he did have me take something before I came to Edolas." Lucy said, watching as Gray popped one of the X-Balls into Natsu's mouth. After a few moments, the pink-haired dragon slayer began to cough and sputter. Leaning in closer, Lucy embraced her mate. "Natsu!? It's okay! I'm here!"
"Alright, time for Wendy." Gray said as he shuffled over and gave the blue-haired dragon slayer one of the pills. "Okay, we should be all set now."
"Grrrr..." Natsu growled, his eyes suddenly snapping open. Lucy was surprised when Natsu slammed his fist into the ground, causing it to crack and crumble. The pink-haired dragon slayer tried to leave Lucy's grasp and stand upright "We have to stop them..."
"Stop them?" Lucy repeated as she tried to hold Natsu down, wanting him to take a few more moments to recover. "Just hold a minute Natsu, you don't need to rush off."
"Huh..." Natsu said, breathing out a small puff of fire as he finally realized that Lucy was holding him. "Luce? I was so worked up...didn't even realize it was you." Leaning in close, Lucy was slightly caught off guard when Natsu captured her lips in a passionate kiss. She moaned lightly when Natsu's tongue slipped into her mouth as he wrapped an arm around her waist and pressed her body against his. When the two mates eventually broke their liplock, Lucy's face was flushed and her eyes half-lidded. With a smile, Natsu reached out and caressed his thumb across Lucy's cheek. "I'm so glad you're okay, Luce. If they had hurt you...I don't know what I would have done."
"I was worried about you too, Natsu." Lucy said with a loving smile as she leaned in close and rested her head on Natsu's shoulder. "Before I escaped, I had a run-in with Knightwalker and I ended up using your magic that was stored in my mate mark."
"Yeah, I could sort of sense that you used it..." Natsu said with a grin, before turning to face his mate and gripping her shoulders. "I guess that means you'll need a fill-up." Before Lucy could say anything, Natsu leaned forward and sank his fangs into her mate mark, pumping his magic into her body. Lucy moaned softly and hugged Natsu's head, feeling a warm, comforting sensation as the pink-haired dragon slayer's magic poured into her. After a few moments, Natsu pulled away and wiped his mouth. "There, you should be all topped up!"
"T-Thanks..." Lucy breathed out as she panted slightly and rubbed her mate mark. "I...I feel...a lot better now."
"H-Hey! Wendy is waking up!" Carla exclaimed, watching as the blue-haired dragon slayer coughed several times before her eyes slowly opened. "Wendy! Thank god you're okay!"
"Carla...you're alright...thank goodness..." Wendy said in between breaths as she slowly sat upright. "But...but we can't waste any time...everyone in the guild...they're in danger. In order to destroy Extalia...the royal army...is going to crash that giant lacrima into it." Wendy sniffled several times as tears began to pour from her eyes. "They're going use our nakama as a bomb!"
"T-That's horrible." Lucy gasped, clasping her hands over her mouth. "How could they do something so awful."
"We won't let them do that!" Natsu growled as he tightly balled his fists, sparks crackling off his knuckles. "We'll stop these bastards for sure."
"There's a floating island suspended in the air above Edolas. I'm sure we've all seen it a bunch of times." Lucy explained, helping Natsu back onto his feet. "It seems like it's Extalia's magical energy that keeps it in the air. I read that it preserves the balance of this world's magic."
"So, it seems like our nakama who were turned into that lacrima are on that island." Gray muttered as released a light sigh. "They've been right above our heads this entire time."
"And they're right next to Extalia." Carla said, hanging her head slightly and staring down at the floor. "I knew it was bad when Happy and I saw that huge lacrima floating near Extalia."
"Currently the lacrima and Extalia are floating directly above us." Wendy explained as she tightly gripped the fabric of her skirt. "This whole process speeds up on the island as dragon slayer magic becomes more potent. Their aim is to crash that lacrima into Extalia."
"Why the hell would they do something like that?" Gray asked, letting out a frustrated huff as he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Don't they need that lacrima for magical power?"
"They think it will cause magic from the lacrima and the exceed to fuse together, bringing eternal magic to Edolas." Wendy replied which caused everyone's eyes to widen in surprise. "'Eternal magic will rain down upon this nation'...that's what that creepy old man said."
"If that happens...everyone trapped in that lacrima...and all the exceed in Extalia..." Lucy said, tightly balling her fists in anger. "They'll disappear forever."
"How are you doing, Wendy?" Natsu asked in a surprisingly soft tone as he walked over and crouched down next to the blue-haired dragon slayer. "You seem kind of down."
"It's just..." Wendy said quietly, sniveling as she desperately fought back tears. "I just joined Fairy Tail...and everyone is in danger...I already lost all my friends at Cait Shelter..." Unable to hold back any longer, Wendy choked back a sob as tears began to fall from her eyes. "I don't want to go through that again! I love all of you! Everyone at Fairy Tail was so nice and welcoming! I can't lose you guys!"
"That's not going to happen, Wendy!" Natsu said in a determined tone as he tightly hugged Wendy, resting her head against his. "I promise you, we'll save everyone!" Wendy's tears slowly began to stop as Natsu's comforting warmth washed over her. "And you'll help too, Wendy! You're strong! We're gonna need your help!"
"Y-You're right!" Wendy exclaimed, quickly wiping away her tears and getting onto her feet. Dusting herself off, Wendy turned to face Lucy and Gray and bowed slightly. "Thank you for rescuing us."
"It's no big deal." Gray said with a small smile as he shrugged his shoulders. "There's no way I could leave my guildmates behind."
"And I knew Carla would come for us." Wendy said, picking up the white-furred cat and hugging her tightly. "Thank you, so much."
"Alright, if we're all ready, we need to get moving!" Natsu cheered as he punched his flaming fist into his palm, kicking out a small plume of blue flames. "We need to find that bastard king and stop these assholes from crashing that lacrima!"
"Yeah, let's get going..." Gray said, putting on his shirt, which he had seemingly removed earlier, as he followed Natsu back up out of the tower. "I'm itching for some payback."
"Hold up a second..." Natsu said when they reached the tower's entrance as he held out his arm to stop anyone from passing. Raising his head, Natsu sniffed the air a few times. After a few moments, he pointed toward a hole in a nearby wall. "Erza...and Knightwalker are in over there. As much as I want to see Erza, we should probably avoid them for now."
"Erza is crazy strong..." Lucy said, hearing the clash of blades and shouts of battle coming from the hole in the wall. "But she's basically fighting herself right now...will she be okay?"
"It's Erza!" Natsu said with a toothy grin as he gave his mate a reassuring look. "No one can stop her, not even herself."
"You guys go on ahead." Wendy said, before turning to face Carla as she locked eyes with the white cat. The other three Fairy Tail mages briefly exchanged looks before they nodded and continued on their mission to find the king. "Carla, let's go to Extalia."
"W-Why!?" Carla exclaimed with wide eyes as she stared at Wendy in shock. "We have other things to worry about!"
"We have to warn them about the royal army's attack and evacuate them." Wendy said in a determined tone, not backing down at all. "We can't let all those exceed die!"
"Weren't we going to stop that attack!?" Carla exclaimed as she tried to persuade Wendy to reconsider. "We should stay and help-"
"Of course we are! We're definitely going! I believe Natsu and the others!" Wendy exclaimed, crouching down so that she was almost eye-level with Carla. "But...we don't know what else the royal army has planned. Just to prepare for the worst-case scenario, we should at least warn them about the danger they're in!"
"N-No! I can't go back there!" Carla shouted defiantly as she rapidly shook her head. "I don't care what happens to the exceed!"
"It's not about whether they're human or exceed..." Wendy said with a soft smile, reaching out and gently patting Carla's head. "As living creatures...we have to do something to help them." Wendy's words seemed to strike a cord within Carla, the white cat's brow furrowing as she contemplated what the blue-haired dragon slayer had said. "I'll be with you the whole time, so there's no need to worry! Okay?"
"All right..." Carla said with a light sigh before she smiled at Wendy. "I can never say no to you."
(Same Time: With Happy)
"Gotta find Gajeel fast!" Happy thought, flying the streets of the royal capital at an incredible speed. Rounding a corner, Happy's eyes widened when he spotted the iron dragon slayer surrounded by a group of Edolas army soldiers. "Gajeel!"
"Blue cat! You're safe!" Gajeel grunted as he dodged an attack from one of the soldiers, countering with a punch to the face. "Where's Salamander and the others?"
"They're safe too, but they're taking care of something else." Happy replied, rushing forward and picking Gajeel up, much to the iron dragon slayer's surprise. "I'll take you to where the lacrima is!" As Happy flew them both away from the soldiers, he glanced down at Gajeel. "Hey, can you really change everyone back to their original forms?"
"Gehe, it'll be no problem." Gajeel chuckled with a devious smirk as he held up a balled fist. "I'll smash that lacrima with dragon slayer magic!"
"W-Will that really work?" Happy asked in a skeptical tone, a sweatdrop forming on his brow. "Seems kind of...simple."
"Oi, I'm just doing what Mystogan told me to do!" Gajeel barked as he released an annoyed huff, crossing her arms. "Got a problem with that, ya punk cat!"
"N-No! No problem at all!" Happy hurriedly exclaimed, rapidly shaking his head. "Why isn't Mystogan here anyway?"
"How the hell would I know?!" Gajeel snapped as he pointed toward a floating island with a large, glimmering object on it up ahead. "Just focus on getting us to that lacrima!"
"Here it is..." Happy said, setting Gajeel down on the edge of the floating island. "Our friends are trapped in there."
"God damn...it's fuckin' huge...a lot bigger than I thought it'd be." Gajeel said with a grunt as he stared up at the towering lacrima which occupied most of the island. "Ah hell, what a pain in the ass. When we get back home, I'm eating all the iron I want."
"You can do it, Gajeel!" Happy cheered, pumping his fist into the air. "I know you can!"
"Alright, let's get-" Gajeel started to say but was cut off when something suddenly sliced through the ground beneath him and it began to collapse. Quickly leaping onto a stable piece of ground, Gajeel whipped around to face what had attacked them. "What the fuck was that!?"
"Ah, I remember this guy!" Happy exclaimed when he spotted Panther Lily floating in the air, a massive sword resting against his shoulder. "He's with the royal army!"
"I'm the captain of the royal army's 1st Magical War Division, Panther Lily." The large, black-furred exceed introduced himself, glaring at Gajeel and Happy. "This lacrima is the most important part of our current plans. I won't let you have it."
"Stay back, cat..." Gajeel said as he cocked his arm back, transforming it into a massive, iron sword. "Iron Dragon's-" However, as Gajeel swung his bladed arm, Panther Lily flew forward and dodged the attack. Swinging his own massive blade, Lily cut off another massive chunk of the island. Leaping backward, Gajeel came to a skidding stop on a secure chunk of the island. "Holy hell, what's with that big ass sword!?"
"Did you really think you could beat me?" Lily asked in a condescending tone, pointing his sword and glaring at the iron dragon slayer. "You'll be stopped here."
(Back With Natsu's Group)
"Where the hell is that bastard king!?" Natsu growled as he lead the charge through the halls of the royal castle, leaving a trail of fire in his wake. "We can't just keep running around aimlessly!"
"They put my prison in a high place and made the courtyard's layout quite confusing..." Lucy said, stroking her chin and furrowing her brow as she thought. "Assuming that this place is a concentric fortress, there should be something akin to a castle tower. Even their general castle structures are different from Earthland's, so I can't make any concrete guesses."
"Ugh, I barely understand a word you just said." Gray grumbled as he sighed and shook his head. "All I got is that this building has an ass-backward layout."
"Can't argue with that..." Lucy said with a small smile, shrugging her shoulders. "At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if there was an amusement park here in this castle."
"Heh yeah, I could...totally..." Natsu started to trail off when he rounded a corner and spotted something he wasn't expecting to see, stopping dead in his tracks. "U-Uh Luce...you said you wouldn't be surprised by an amusement park, right?"
"What are you-" Lucy stopped midsentence when she rounded the corner as well, her eyes immediately bugging out when she saw what Natsu was referring to. Spread out before the Fairy Tail mages was a sprawling and bustling amusement park, apparently called E-Land, filled with dozens of magical theme rides. "What the fuck!? There really is an amusement park here!?"
"Mmmmmmm...this is so fun..." A singsong voice coming from within the park caught the Fairy Tail mage's attention. Entering the amusement park, they were greeted by the bizarre sight of a man with a blonde pompadour wearing pink armor, riding on a carousel. "HAHAHA! Truly, this is quite fun! Mmmmmmm."
Before any of the Fairy Tail mages could respond or react to the strange display, they were caught off guard when a massive object swung just over their head. Ducking out of the way, they were shocked to see that it was actually a wooden ship that had nearly hit them. Natsu stood protectively in front of Lucy as the wooden ship swung back into place.
"You know, all this fun and magic will be disappearing from this world soon." A voice called out from the top of the swinging ship. Looking up, Natsu recognized that it man who had first locked him and Wendy in a cell. "Do you guys understand how that makes me feel?"
"We're going to obtain magic that lasts forever." Sugarboy said in a somewhat menacing tone as the carousel he was riding came to a sudden stop. "No matter how we have to achieve it."
"We must have it." Hughes said with a dark look in his eyes, glaring fiercely at the Fairy Tail mages. "And I won't let anyone stand in our way."
"Hmmm, the way I see it, you either return to prison..." Sugarboy said, in his usual sing-song tone as he fixed his hair with an over-exaggerated motion. "Or you die here."
"Sugarboy, we're not giving them any choice. They die here." Hughes spat, pulling out a small device that appeared to be a magic wand of some kind. "The extraction of the dragon slayer magic has been completed. Once Code ETD succeeds we won't have any further need for the dragon slayers." With a flick of his wrist, Hughes' wand shot out of a bolt of magic that surrounded the ship, causing it to float into the air. "These otherworlders don't understand the value of magic, so we'll kill them now."
The massive, wooden ship shot toward the Fairy Tail mages, aiming to crush them all in one swoop. Hughes smirked when he felt the ship smash into something before it continued forward, crashing into the carousel Sugarboy was riding. However, when the dust and debris began to settle, Hughes was shocked to see that the Fairy Tail mages appeared to be unharmed, being protected by a large shield of ice.
"A shield made of ice..." Hughes breathed out as he stared at the ice shield in awe. "So this is Earthland's magic?"
"So, they really don't need to use tools, huh?" Sugarboy said, digging himself out of the carousel's rubble. "Hmmm, it's my first time seeing it."
"Don't think I forgot about you asshole! I need to pay you back for all the shit you said while we were trapped in that cell!" Natsu roared as vibrant, blue flames coated his legs, before rocketing toward Hughes at an incredible speed. In the blink of an eye, Natsu was in front of Hughes hitting him with a devastating flaming punch to the jaw. "Fire Dragon's Purifying Iron Fist!" Natsu's attack instantly floored Hughes with enough force to cause him to smash through the ship's deck and crash into the ground below. "Give our nakama back!"
"Y-Your friends will be f-fused with Extalia's magical power and become an eternal s-source of magical power for Edolas." Hughes said in a pained tone, pulling himself out of the hole in the ground and raising his magic wand once again. Wincing in pain, Hughes flicked his wrist and his wand sparked to life. Out of thin air, a set of roller coaster tracks formed underneath Natsu's feet, with a series of cars barreling toward him. "That was a good hit, I'll admit, but let's see how you like this!"
"Natsu! Look out behind you!" Lucy exclaimed as she tried to rush over to help her mate. However, she was stopped in her tracks when the ground beneath her and Gray suddenly gave out and they started to sink in, almost as if it were quicksand. "W-What the hell is this!?"
"As if this would stop me!" Natsu roared, turning to face the coaster cars and standing his ground. "We're not going to let you stop us!"
Hughes gasped and watched in wide-eyed terror as Natsu's entire body became engulfed in roaring blue flames. Feeling his body start to tremble, Hughes' breath hitched when he swore the pink-haired dragon slayer's billowing flames took the shape of a ferocious dragon. Unleashing a deafening shout, Natsu reached out his arms and stopped the coaster cars with his bare hands, completely shrouding them in scorching blue flames. In mere seconds, the coaster cars melted, the molten metal falling to the ground below. Hughes yelped in fear when Natsu turned to face him, a look of draconic fury in his eyes as he exhaled a plume of smoke and blue fire.
"O-Oh god..." Hughes thought as he felt the almost overwhelming urge to drop his wand and run away, feeling as if he were facing down a real dragon. "He really is a monster."
"Gray, you handle that pink-armored fruitcake...Lucy, you go on ahead and try to find the kind..." Natsu snarled, hopping down from the wooden ship and landing several feet away from Hughes. Slowly walking toward the terrified Edolas mage, the pink-haired dragon slayer's fists became engulfed in crackling orange electricity as he seemed to tower over Hughes. "This asshole is all mine."
And done! Well, Hughes is screwed! I thought with the way Natsu is in this story, there's no way he should struggle against Hughes at all. I felt that this was a good stopping point because things are about to start ramping up to the final fight of this arc soon. So, I hope you're all looking forward to that. Unfortunately, I'll be working on my Batman story next, so you'll have to wait a bit for the next update for this fic. Remember to follow/favorite if your enjoyed, PLEASE REVIEW (I NEED YOUR FEEDBACK), PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING MY P ATREON, check out my profile and other stories if you haven't already, and PM me any ideas you might have for my stories. So until next time, I'm outta here!