Legend of the Pink Haired Demon
Chapter 35: The Wrath of a Demon
Disclaimer: I Don't own Fairy Tail or anything affiliated with it.
It was now the end of what could be only described as a truly peaceful day, well as a peaceful as days could be for the little troublemaker known as Natsu Dragneel. He'd enjoyed his days like all the others in his young life, eating an excessive amount of food, spending time with his friends, and generally making the lives of adults just that little bit harder.
So it was no real surprise that the pink haired boy had escaped into the dark forest in order to not only escape the lectures he was likely to receive and to get some much-needed rest. However, things hadn't gone as smoothly as the young boy had hoped. He managed to sneak away pretty much undetected, but on his way to his favourite spot, he'd gotten a little greedy and enraged some of the local wildlife by taking its food. Somehow, Natsu had yet to learn that it was never a good idea to take food from boars, no matter how small they were.
Even though the boar that was chasing him was probably too small to cause any major harm, Natsu still ran as fast as his little legs to take him. Something about this tiny boar's determination and drive to get it's precious barries back terrified the young boy. He was so terrified that the thought of returning didn't even cross Natsu's young mind. The only way the pink haired boy had evaded the small yet sharp tusks of the small brown creature was pure luck. "Come on! Leave me alone already, ya dumb pig!" Natsu cried out, looking back at the charing creature.
The limits of his body were starting to show as his pursuer was beginning to close the gap between them. The boar didn't seem to give the boy's words any attention. Not just because it didn't understand a word Natsu was saying, but also because it still hadn't gotten it's food back. The chase continued, and the pink haired boy found himself with his back against a very large tree, barries in his hands and a boar ready to charge.
The young man did take some solace in the fact that he had ended up in his favourite spot. The boar did its best to intimidate the boy more, but before it could charge to the boy, it received a bolt of fire to the face. This sent small animal running back to its home, leaving Natsu alone. "I was wondering when you were going to get here." A young female voice told the boy.
The source of the voice had originated from the top of the tree, but rather than giving the girl a reply, Natsu just sat down and passed out from exhaustion.
Natsu awoke in his favourite spot of this dark forest. The boy loved this spot for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious was the massive tree that was fun to climb and produced some of the tastest fruited he'd ever sunk his teeth into. The second being that it was the only spot that had consistent light. The last being that it was a place that only he and his closest friend knew about. The last reason was probably why he loved the place so much. "You're finally awake, I was starting to get a little worried that you wouldn't show up." The girl told the boy who was currently resting his head on her lap.
"I come here every day, you don't need to worry about that... And I'd be a pretty bad friend if I didn't keep my promise." Natsu replied looking up at the young girl. This brought a large smile to the girl's face who started running her hands through her friend's messy pink hair. The boy then sat up before taking a seat at the girl's side, who appeared to be the same age as him. "Hey, where did the berries go?"
"I gave them back to that cute little boar." She replied, getting a pout from her friend. The girl rolled her eyes when she saw that Natsu was about to start complaining about his lost bounty. "Come on, Natsu. You shouldn't have been stealing from that poor little thing to begin with, and I feel bad for hurting it."
"How can you feel bad for that thing? It was gonna beat the hell out of me!" Natsu exclaimed, getting sigh for the girl at his side. This really put the young man on the defensive. "Well, it's not like I can just throw fire at it like you." He huffed. The boy's pout intensified tenfold and he started looking away from his friend.
Wanting to cheer him up, she spoke up. "How about I show you a trick with my fire, but only if you stop being such a baby." She suggested. Natsu's mood instantly brightened. He took great delight in seeing the girl perform her magic. "Mother taught me this one today." She exclaimed.
Like any other day, the two spent the rest of their day in their special little spot with the young boy be completely enthralled by the display of magic. However, it was now time for them to leave the forest. The sun was already going down and Natsu would be getting a massive scolding if he stalled too long. "I wish I could do magic, it's so cool." Natsu told the girl as he stared at the woman's fire. He was fascinated with magic, but he had yet to show any ability for it.
"I wish you knew how to do it, then I wouldn't have to keep saving you... Not that I mind." The girl replied, whispering the last part, leaving it unheard by the boy. The two continued to make their way out of the forest and into the town. On their way there, both children noticed something odd about the town seemed glowing bright. Curious, Natsu ran ahead of his friend to inspect his home. "Natsu wait!" She shouted.
Natsu didn't seem to listen to her and only stopped when he reached the edge the forest. The girl ran as quickly as she could to catch up to her friend and she quickly realised why he'd stopped. The small peaceful town had been replaced with one that had been set ablaze with a giant shadow looming over it. The girl looked up and saw the colossal scaled beast which was enough to make her freeze in fear. While she froze in fear, the young boy clenched his fists and ran into the village. "Oka-san, Oto-san and Nii-san!" Natsu yelled.
Hearing her friend's shouts was enough to snap the girl out of her trance and she started calling out to her friend. "Natsu! Natsu! Natsu!" She yelled with all her might as her friend entered the burning town. This was all the young boy could hear as he continued to run.
~The Tower of Heaven~
"Natsu!" Natsumi yelled, making her host wake up in a panic. In his panic, he transformed, letting out a loud demonic roar as he did. The man almost attacked the demonic spirit in his disorientated and panicked state. Realising this, he turned back before he felt a massive pain in his stomach. The Dragon Slayer started to collect himself as he sat up. "Finally." An out of breath spirt muttered.
"What the hell is going on?" Natsu questioned. Rather than a proper reply, the demoness just fell forward into her host's arms. The woman looked completely drained and the pinkette hastily accepted her back. He'd never seen the spirit in such a sorry state before, but his thoughts only remained on her when he felt that horrible pain again.
Natsu then started to remember his fight with Erza, his spirit's attempt to stabilize him and how he eventually passed out due to the pain associated with the process. However, he didn't remember the tower looking the way it did at the moment. He could feel a great amount of magic coming from the tower and a strange hunger like desire began to plague the mind of the Dragon Slayer. "No, focus... I need to get to the top." He reminded himself as he struggled to stand up.
With the sharp stabbing pain in his stomach, moving around proved a lot harder than he expected. He was sure that if it wasn't for Natsumi, he'd have surely perished and the amount of blood he had left behind was a testament to that.
Natsu struggled his way to the top of the tower. Despite his injuries, he'd managed to get there rather quickly and he was met with a slightly different sight than Erza was. While he was also met with a large metal door, a bridge and a woman, there were a few major differences. The bridge was a charred and crumbling wreck, and the woman was bleeding out. The only thing that was the same was the fact the metal door was currently shut.
Still gripping the gash on his stomach, the pinkette traversed the unstable bridge and moved to the woman's side. Natsu was surprised when he saw who it was. Considering the wounds she had sustained, it was amazing that she still had any life left in her eyes. "I really didn't expect to see you here." Natsu said as he knelt at the woman's side.
She let out a small laugh used what little strength to speak to the man. "I never expected to see you here either mister Dragneel... And certainly not in such a manner." Ikaruga replied. Natsu had an odd relationship with the pink-haired swordswoman. He'd met her during his time away from the Fairy Tail guild. At first, the two were sent to work together as their guild's collaborated, much to the annoyance and jealousy of Ultear. The time mage knew it wouldn't take long before the two pinkettes got intimate and she wasn't wrong, it only took until their second job together.
Unsurprisingly, Natsu found himself in the doghouse because of his relationship with the woman. It wasn't really the fact he was sleeping with another woman, but more the fact Ikaruga had made an attempt at her life when she had infiltrated the magic council. It turns out a lot of people were more than a little pissed that Ultear had taken the position. Though Natsu had managed to save her and hand the assassin her first loss, she was still pissed about how close a call it was. "Erza sure did a number on you." Natsu told the woman, examining the woman's wounds. He had no idea how she was still alive at this point, but he was impressed.
"I was hoping that I'd be able to avenge my loss, but that's clearly not happening... Could you do me a favour, mister Dragneel?" Ikagura requested weakly. Even though part of him was expecting the green-eyed woman to bring him close and stab him, he still moved in. The woman was weak and her eyes held almost no life. "That girl, I've grown fond of her... I want to her to have my sword... It would... truly... make me." She requested before she passed on. Natsu was a little caught off guard by this request but he grabbed the woman's hilted blade from her side anyway. He and Ikaruga hadn't parted on good terms by any stretch of the imagination, but it didn't mean he wasn't going to fulfil her dying wish.
The man then started moving towards the metal door, slowed down by his injuries and having to hold the blade. Natsu wished he had listened to Ur's advice and taken the climb a little slower. Even with the fire spirit's aide, the stabbing pain refused to go away and worsened with each step. 'Natsu, do you really think you can fight in the state you are?' Ur questioned, concern lacing her voice.
"It doesn't really matter, I'm still gonna fight that blue-haired bastard." Natsu replied as he reached the door. The pinkette cocked his fist back and readied himself.
~A few moments earlier~
"I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get the chance to kill those two Dragon Slayers." Jellal claimed as he approached the bloodied redhead. The woman had fought her hardest, but it simply wasn't enough to stand up to the wizard saint. However, it didn't mean she was going to give up, she attempted to use one of the many damaged blades that now littered the tower to get herself up, but it shattered the moment she did so. "You're still persistent, I wonder if that's how your friends are going to remember you." He taunted, getting a snarl from the woman. This was all the redhead could really do in her current state, she knew she had lost, but she refused to let the man know that.
The Wizard Saint smiled and went to grab the woman by her Scarlet locks. However, before he could, a familiar voice could be heard from the other side of the door. 'Fire Dragon's Iron Fist!' Natsu roared. The metal door pretty much exploded and it was sent flying at the blue haired man. Jellal easily dodged the door and turned his attention to the enraged Dragon Slayer. This attention wasn't returned, once the door was out of the way Natsu rushed to Erza's side ."I'm sorry I got here so late, but we'll get out of here... Together." He apologised as he cradled the woman.
At first, the woman was ecstatic to see her fire-breathing lover again, but that turned to concern when she saw the wound on Natsu's stomach. It had healed to some extent, but he hardly looked like he was ready to fight anyone, let alone a Wizard Saint. "Please, just leave Hitomi is safe... And don't worry, I won't let him finish the ritual no matter it takes." Erza promised with her conviction ringing through. However, it was quite obvious what she planned to do and Natsu only saw one course of action. With a swift punch to the gut, the woman was knocked unconscious. After laying to his bloodied lover down and his attention to Jellal.
"I'm impressed Dragon Slayer, I counted you out of this little game too early and now you're the only one left to oppose me." Jellal praised, tossing his coat to the side and grinning at the man. "It's honestly a shame you didn't get to see how much of fight those two put up... It quite entertaining."
Natsu just stared the man down before enveloping himself a blue demonic flame. Once it dissipated, the Dragon Slayer was gone and only a demonic version of himself remained. With the transformation complete, he let out a loud roar. "I'm gonna end you." Natsu told the man, his man eyes glowing a crimson red. Despite the immense amount of power coming from the pinkette, he didn't seem fazed what. The fire demon launched himself at the blue haired man and despite his enlarged size, the pinkette was moved at an incredible speed. 'Blazing fist of the demon!' He roared as he jetted towards his target with a fist of blue flames.
'Meteor!' Jellal retorted, vailing himself in heavenly body magic. The blue haired man moved at such an incredible speed that he not only dodged Natsu's flaming fist but got behind him and delivered a brutal kick to the back with enough force to make the man stumble forward. This provided the man with a perfect chance to brutalise the man's back. The pinkette found himself in a world of pain as he felt each of the man's bone-crushing attacks and he found himself staggering forward as a result. As he was about to fall forward, Jellal gave him a powerful punch to his stomach causing him to spit up a fair bit of blood as he was almost brought to his knees. "You're still putting up more of a fight than that girl of yours did." He mocked.
The man was about to keep going, but his cocky expression became one of shock when he felt large demonic claws dig into his side and hold him in place. 'Fire Demon's Wrath!' Natsu bellowed as he bathed the man with his flame. Jellal let out a pained yell as he was consumed and blasted back by the attack. The pinkette didn't give the blue-haired man a moment to recover, rushing at him and grabbing him by his head before smashing him it into the ground. He drew his fist back and got ready to do some real damage to the man. 'Blazing fist of the Demon!' He shouted before bringing his fist down. However, before he could make contact with the man, he was slammed onto the roof of the tower by Jellal's telekinesis.
'Meteor! Jellal yelled, perusing his target and smashing his fist into Natsu's stomach. It was very obvious that the Wizard Saint wasn't going to let up on his injury, and the fact he couldn't do anything about infuriated him. This fact was really driven home as the man continued to be assaulted. He eventually let the man fall, but this was only so he could give him a magic-infused punch that made his decent all the more painful. Even when he hit the ground, he didn't get to catch a break as he was punched hard and sent flying towards a wall. Wanting to hurt the fire mage, even more, he attempted to knock him to the ground with a swift kick. However, Natsu managed to catch the kick and use the momentum from Jellal's attack to spin and smash him into the ground.
As he continued to sail towards the wall, Natsu dug his claws into the floor and slowed himself down. Natsu found himself a little out of breath from the exchange, but that was overshadowed by the horrible pains he was feeling all over which were enough to force him back to his human form. "This guy is no joke." Natsu told himself as he watched Jellal get back up. He'd hardly found opponents that could handle one of his attacks from point blank and certainly not one that could keep fighting afterwards. 'I can't just keep countering him, he hits way too hard, a head-on attack won't work, he's way to fast.' He thought, trying to figure out to deal with the man staring him down.
"I have to admit Dragneel, I thought your victory over Jose may have been a fluke, but it's clear you've got a great deal of skill... This battle will be a great way to welcome Zeref back into our world." Jellal ranted, which only proved to infuriate the pink haired man. He was ready to retort but was cut off when Jellal rushed at him with at a blinding speed. By the time he realised the man was behind him, it was already too late. 'Jiu Leixing!' He chanted, summoning nine swords formed from lightning. Mere seconds later, all of them belted down on the pinkette, giving him a taste of Wizard Saint's magical might.
Even though the attack brought about one of the most painful experiences of his young life, Natsu stood his ground and took this as a chance to blast him with his white flame. Due to his speed, Jellal managed to avoid the brunt of the pinkette's attack and was left very confused by it. The Dragon Slayer decided to use this confusion to his advantage, firing his frozen flame at the man's feet, leaving him stuck in place. 'Fire Dragon's Iron fist!' Natsu shouted, using his fire to boost himself towards his target. This attack hit and it hit hard. Knowing it would be hard to get another good clean hit in, he decided to do everything he could.
Natsu summoned a wall of white flame that solidified into a wall of red ice. Jellal yet out a pained scream when he was caught by the wall and endured a horrible burn on his back Natsu gave him another flaming punch that instantly shattered. This sent him barreling towards the nearest wall. "I see you're full of surprises, but a few surprises won't save you from Zeref's most loyal servent." Jellal claimed as he got up. While he still didn't look as roughed up as Natsu did, the damage was beginning to show as was his frustration. It was obvious that it had been a very long time since he'd been pushed like this. He assumed a stance before called out the starry heavens. 'Pleiades!'
Natsu was ready to make another charge at the man, but he was stopped in order to narrowly dodge a ray of light that fell from the sky. His momentary relief was replaced by an intense pain when five more rays of light hailed down onto him as if the gods themselves were smiting him and he let out a tremendous pained roar as he was brought to his knees. Jellal vailed himself in Heavenly body magic yet again and unleashed a vicious assault on the pinkette. Since he'd yet to recover from the barrage of light every hit felt twice as powerful with the especially painful ones being those that made contact with his sealed up gash. So it was no surprise that when an out of breath Jellal finally stopped, Natsu landed on the ground with a loud thud.
Every last inch of Natsu's body was in pain, but he wasn't about to stop and give in, he simply couldn't. Every movement was pure agony for the fire mage, but he kept the thought of Erza's beaten body filled him with one of the greatest anger he had ever felt. With a defiant roar, he forced himself back to his feet and transformed yet again. In his current state of mind, he didn't notice the changes to himself. He'd grown larger, scales covered more of his body, but rather than a crimson red, they'd adopted a more reddish black. His horns had gone from gold to a jet black and he gave off a more ferocious and unstable aura. Before Jellal could properly take in the transformed Dragon Slayer, said Dragon Slayer blasted a stream of fire directly at him, which he only just avoided. While the attack didn't hit, the heat alone was enough to leave severe burns on the nearby area.
Jellal's troubles were far from over though, the enraged Dragon Slayer started charging at the man and tearing up the tower as he went. This charge did show Jellal something, Natsu's movements were much slower. "I'm gonna destroy you and this damn tower!" Natsu claimed as he rushed towards the man. The pinkette's words enraged the Wizard Saint, who rushed at Natsu before striking the man's injury with as much force as he could. Natsu bellowed in pain and attempted to let out another demonic breath attack, but the only thing that came out was a copious amount of blood. Natsu then dropped to his knees but his transformed state persisted and he let out a harrowing roar. "I ain't done." He said, struggling to his feet before he started reaching for the bandages around his arm.
"Be proud Dragon Slayer, you survived attacks that would have killed ninety percent of the mages on this continent, but this game ends now." Jellal claimed as he assumed a new stance. Not wanting to find out whatever the devastating attack Jellal was readying, he moved as fast as his heavy body could take him. The man had sped up a considerable amount but all it allowed him to do was claw at the blue haired man.
While the attack wasn't a lethal one, it still drew blood and caused him to stagger back in pain. Before Jellal could process the attack, Natsu clenched his fists, causing blue flames to burst out. The Wizard Saint let out a loud pained roar and staggered back from it. In his current state, Natsu was unable to follow up on it and Jellal took this chance to fight back. 'Jiu Leixing!' He chanted, summoning another set of nine swords. Unlike his last attack, all nine swords were focused on his worsening injury.
Natsu let out the loudest scream of his life as the heavenly body magic ran through his body. His wound opened up even more as he dropped to his knees and his transformation was once again undone. From the sound Natsu had let out, Jellal was sure that the pinkette had perished, so the fact that he was still alive terrifying. He was both infuriated and amazed by this feat. "I'm gonna... kill you." Natsu claimed as he continued to unravel the bandage. Considering the state of the demonic spirit, he had no idea what undoing the seal. Would he go on a rampage like he did with the demons of Tartarus or maybe it would be something else. Unfortunately, it wasn't like he had much choice in the matter, he'd die if things kept going this way.
"No, you won't... You're going to serve a much higher purpose." Jellal said as he looked down at the bloodied man. Even as Natsu struggled to keep his consciousness, he already knew that he wouldn't like whatever came out of the man's mouth. "I think that I was too bound my sentimentality and I didn't see it, you'll make the perfect vessel for lord Zeref." He continued with as he turned his attention to Erza. An evil smile appeared on his face. "I think it's time to let go of my past."
"Don't even think about it!" Natsu yelled before he attempted to get back up. It was a fruitless effort and Jellal now had his sights set on the red-haired woman. Jellal crossed his hands above his head and started casting a spell. All the nearby shadows started to be drawn towards the man, forming a small black orb above his head. This small black orb started rapidly growing in size and an immense amount of magic could be felt from it.
'Altairis!' Jellal declared as he threw the attack the unconscious woman. Simply releasing that attack gave off an incredible amount of force. The large black orb was now on a collision course with the fallen maiden and it didn't seem like it'd let anything get in its way. The orb crushed and destroyed everything in its path. Natsu saw this and his body pretty much started moving on its own. He was desperate to reach the redhead and nothing was going to stop him.
"ERZA!" Natsu yelled as he rushed towards his lover.
"Erza!" Natsu yelled, rushing towards the red-haired mage. The pinkette had been at the guild for a little over two years at this point. He was loving Fairy Tail at the moment, he got to spend every day surrounded by friends and there were plenty of strong people to fight. Sure, he hadn't actually beaten any of them due to his massively unstable magic. The knight was one of these people, but this didn't discourage him. Natsu hadn't seen the girl in the guild, but he had tracked her down to the edge of the forest.
The young girl was sat down and staring into the distance with a lost look on her face. Her absent state wasn't the oddest thing about thing about her at the moment. It was the fact that she wasn't wearing her armour. It was the first time he'd seen the redhead without her armour before. However, this didn't stop him from his goal of challanging him to a fight. "It's time to fight me, and don't bother holding back, I already warmed up with Laxus." He claimed with his fist covered in flames.
Erza didn't move though, and it was pretty obvious that she wasn't paying him any mind. When he saw this, Natsu stopped his charged, stumbling and tripping over because of the sudden shop. This stumble and subsequent fall were enough to get the redhead's attention. "What is it Natsu?" Erza asked, looking over her shoulder at the boy.
"I came here to fight you... You know, like always, except that you're not normally in the forest." Natsu replied, sounding very confused. Normally, the woman would have replied to one of his challenge with either flat out no or a punch to his face. However, today she seemed a lot more distant and he didn't really know how to deal with this.
"Sorry about that, I'm just doing a bit of thinking... I'm also really not in the mood for this today." Erza told the boy with a slight annoyance in her tone. It took the man a bit of thinking about, but Natsu managed to figure out what was going on. Sorano got like this around the anniversary of her village's destruction. He always assumed that the redhead was a little troubled by her prickly personality and the way he'd sometimes catch her with a saddened look.
"What's wrong?" Natsu asked as he moved towards the girl. Erza seemed to tense up. Suprised by this, the young boy moved back and left wondered what to do. He'd never garnered this kind of reaction from the redhead.
"Pathetic, he's one of my closest friends." Erza muttered before summoning her armour. She then turned around to face the Dragon Slayer. The pinkette was caught off guard by the vulnerable look on the woman's face. Suddenly, his urge to fight the girl was gone and was replaced with a deep concern.
"Seriously, what's wrong Erza?" Natsu asked. He wanted to help the girl, but he didn't know how to. Taking the same approach as he did with Sorano probably wouldn't work. Giving the woman a comforting hug would probably be land him in a world of hurt and make things really awkward.
"I don't want to talk about it, how about we head back to the guild." Erza suggested as she started leaving. The pinkette knew he couldn't help her now, but he decided to make a promise to her.
"Erza! Whatever this is, I'm gonna help you with it one day." Natsu promised with a smile. Considering her situation, Erza doubted that the Dragon Slayer wouldn't be able to really help her. However, the boy's words still brought a smile to her face.
Erza awoke, finding herself in the arms of the Dragon Slayer. At first, she thought that Natsu had defeated Jellal and they had escaped the tower together, but that was not the case. Natsu had once again taken his demonic form, but it didn't look like she remembered it. He was missing the top half of one of his horns and the other had sustained heavy cracking, his wings were in tatters. However the changes to form weren't her primary concern, it was the half-dead state he was currently in. His injuries had worsened, almost all the cuts she'd given him had reopened and a number of new wounds had appeared. "You're ok, I'm glad." Natsu managed to say as he cracked a weak smile.
"Please stop, you've done enough." Erza pleaded, only to be laid down. Natsu then turned to face his opponent. However, rather than feeling hope since the man was still ready to fight, she felt a mix of shock and horror when she saw the state of his back. Whatever attack he'd suffered was a powerful one and the fact he was still alive was nothing short of a miracle. She tried to grab the man and stop him, but all she was able to do was grab the cloth loosely wrapped around his arm. Natsu was only able to take a few slow laboured steps before he forward with a thud.
"You found a good one Erza, I was honestly a little worried he would try to rush to help you... This fight would have ended very badly for me if he hadn't." A bloodied and burnt Jellal claimed before he started approaching the redhead. Despite the underhanded nature of the tactic, Jellal knew it was necessary. As much as he would have loved to see the mighty Titania's reaction to her newfound lover becoming the vessel for his ritual, he knew it was a near impossible task. Natsu had pushed him hard and Jellal was sure he'd have been pushed even further if the pinkette was fighting at his fullest. "Now, let us begin... I've wasted enough time with that Dragon Slayer of yours." He said as he walked past the mess of pink hair and blood.
The pinkette was hardly conscious, but he felt two incredibly strong feelings. One was a rage that would only subside once he put the Wizard Saint into the ground. However, this wasn't his strongest feeling. His rage was being overtaken by the same strange hunger like desire he'd woken up with and he had neither the mental fortitude or concentration to focus like had done before. As he managed to get his eyes open all he could see or focus on were the crystals pure magic that now made up the tower and that hunger worsened. He then saw the demonic markings that cover his forearm glow a bright blue. 'Feast.' Commanded an ungodly and distorted voice. Natsu pressed his hand against the floor before summoning his blue flame.
Once he did this, the Ethernano he touched was consumed by his flame and a very small amount of that strange hunger-like sensation disappeared. He also felt a sudden burst of magical power enter him. However, whatever escape he had from it was only momentary and it came back ten times as bad. A grin appeared on his face as this feeling continued to consume him.
Just as Jellal reached Erza and prepared to grab her, a wall of blue flame streamed towards him, separating him from the woman. He then watched as various parts of the tower became covered in this flame only for them to be burnt away and the raw magic travelled to one location. This brought his attention back to Natsu, who was vailed in this fire and getting back to his feet. "What's this?" Jellal wondered as he felt Natsu's rapidly climbing magical presence. He took a step back when he noticed that his gain of magic power didn't seem to be slowing or even showing signs of stopping. Erza was equally surprised as she watched magic pour into the pinkette while the markings on his arm glow brighter and more marks slowly appear up his arm.
As Erza and Jellal stared at him in disbelief, Natsu started processing what was happening. Moments ago, he was on the brink of death, but now his body felt light and body seemed to be healing itself. Even his major wound was starting to seal itself shut as magic continued to flow into him. Not that he could stop it, he kept letting his flames consume more of the tower. Before long, the entire outside of the tower was covered in his flame. He then let out a loud harrowing roar as the magic entering him increasing. "I told you before, I'm gonna end you." Natsu told the blue-haired man as he stared him down.
"How dare you!" Jellal shouted, before casting the meteor spell once again. The blue haired man attempted to attack the pinkette's wound once again. While the attack did hit, it didn't seem to faze the man. Natsu then let out a monstrous roar, which accompanied by an equally monstrous amount of magic. Jellal struggled to keep his footing and Erza found completely thrown back completely.
"So, are you ready to start?" Natsu questioned. The pink haired man didn't bother waiting for a response and made his first attack with his newfound power. He moved at a speed that even surprised him, so there was pretty much no chance for the wizard saint. 'Blazing fist of the Demon!' The pinkette shouted, bringing down his fist onto the chest of Jellal. The attack smashed the Wizard Saint into the tower's floor, sending him through several layers of the towers, but stopping himself near the halfway point. "Don't get comfortable." He announced as he divided down, grabbing the dazed man by his head and ramming him several more floors.
The pink haired man did eventually stop and before he grabbed the man by the tatters of his shirt. Jellal looked at the fire mage with an angered glare only to be met with a smile from the man. His power had increased substantially from the first punch, but that's not all that had changed. His demeanour had changed, and Jellal felt as if he was staring at another person. "Whatever this is, it won't stop me from reaching true freedom." Jellal claimed. The pinkette just laughed at him before throwing him up in the air. The man thought this was his chance to escape and gather himself. Unfortunately for him, the pink haired man had other plans.
'Fire Demon's Wrath!' Natsu belted out. As he flew up Jellal felt as if hell itself had been risen and was coming right for him. He wasn't sure how the man grew so powerful, but he didn't want to be on the receiving end of the man's attack. The man only just managed to dodge the attack, but not without suffering a pretty horrible burn to his leg. Both Jellal and Erza watched as the top of the tower was ripped open by this pillar of blue flames. The two then heard another massive roar which was followed by another burst of magic. Moments later, the pinkette caught up to him and he looked even more powerful. "You should stop resisting, this isn't going to end well if you irritate me more." He told the blue-haired man.
"Natsu?" Erza asked when she heard the man speak. She wasn't sure what had happened to the man she loved, but what she was looking at wasn't quite him. Sure he looked and sounded like Natsu, but the presence he gave off and the vile magic she could feel coming off of him was an ungodly one. Even the vigour and excitement that the pinkette brought into battle was gone, and it was replaced with something that was nothing short of sadism. The redhead felt afraid, afraid that Natsu would become yet another friend that she lost to the tower. She tried to call out for the man, but her words failed to reach the man.
"Freedom will be mine, I've worked too and too long to be stopped by the likes of you." Jellal spat with false courage. Natsu saw through this facade and a smile crept across his face. The pink haired man took a few steps towards his target, who instinctively moved back out of fear. Rather than feeling like a mighty Wizard Saint, Jellal felt as if he had regressed to a scared young boy at the fire mage. Even though Natsu had looked far more demonic before, the aura he was giving off was far more akin to that of a true demon.
"I will allow you freedom, but not until I've had my fun." Natsu promised. Jellal felt as if he had died and gone to hell. Not only was he staring down what could be described as the devil himself, and his life's work was going up in flames.
~Earlier with Hitomi~
"What's that?" Hitomi pondered. She hadn't taken her eyes off of the tower since she landed on the boat. The young Dragon Slayer had been waiting for Natsu and Erza to return to her. It had been even harder to take her eyes off the tower when she started feeling a strange yet familiar magical presence. Then her curiosity was further peaked when the tower seemingly was set ablaze. Hitomi went to reach for her golden key and speak to her only spirit, but as she went to do so, she noticed something odd. The heart-shaped pendant she had received from her father had changed from a bright flaming red to a deep blue with faint hints of black. "Happy, I think there's something wrong with Daddy." She pointed out as she looked back at her cat.
The blue haired cat was currently being cuddled by Millianna, who had really taken a liking to him. Happy had also taken a liking to the woman since she hadn't stopped feeding him fish since she found him at Hitomi's side. "Well, there's always been something wrong with Natsu." Happy replied, nibbling on another snack. Hitomi let out a small sigh and continued to inspect her necklace. Rather than focusing on this, she just grabbed her golden key.
"Miss Tiamat, can you feel that?" Hitomi questioned.
'Of course I can child! Would you expect any less from the Dragon Queen?' Tiamat replied in her usual confident tone. The girl was about to question her one and only celestial spirit, but another loud roar stopped her before a massive wave started barrelling towards them. Luckily for them, the boat wasn't completely destroyed by the force, but it did knock a lot of the escapees off their feet. 'This is dire, but what would you have me do child?' She asked the girl, who stood back up. Hitomi smiled as she thought of a plan.
~The Tower of Heaven~
Erza continued to watch her lover brutalise Jellal. Even though she hated Jellal with a burning passion, it was hard for Erza to watch. While Jellal did manage to hit the pinkette every so often, all of them were shrugged off by the red-eyed man. The fight was completely one-sided in Natsu's favour. That fear of Natsu losing himself was even worse now and now she had to deal with whatever happened to his body. The markings on his arms had spread all over the man's body and they glowed with the same blue as the Ethernano that made up what remained of the tower. She assumed that these markings were the only reason that Natsu's body hadn't exploded.
However, she couldn't focus all her attention on examining the man. Staying alive while the battle continued was one of the hardest things that Erza had done. The longer the battle went on the less tower there was. This fact didn't seem to bother Natsu at all, who was too focused on Jellal. "You know, I'm glad you haven't stopped fighting back, it would have made this boring." Natsu taunted the man, who attempted to fire off more magic at the man.
Jellal's attack didn't do much since the fire vailing the man consumed the attack as he continued to move towards the man. Natsu then stopped before looking around the at the remains of the tower. A little over half the tower had been consumed by his flames or otherwise destroyed. "Isn't it beautiful, but I think it's time to give you the freedom you've been so desperate for it seems you've lost interest in this little game we're playing." The fire mage said, maintaining the smile of a sadist.
"How is this possible, no one should be able to contain so much magic." Jellal declared, only to get a cocky grin from the man. This only angered the man, who then shouted. "WHAT ARE YOU!?"
"I told you, didn't I? I'm your end... Now, let me grant you that freedom you keep talking about." Natsu replied as he started letting the magic out. Jellal and Erza were knocked back by the sudden release of power. He then let out another roar as let out another burst of magical energy. The burst was powerful enough that other mages were forced against the walls of the tower. Erza finally reached her breaking point. She got up and started moving towards her lover.
"Natsu! Get a hold of yourself!" Erza called out as she approached the man. Natsu turned to face the woman, and the redhead froze up when she looked the man in the eyes. The raw power she saw in the man's eyes was like nothing she had ever seen before, but she didn't let that deter her, she was the mighty Titania, Queen of the Fairies. She gathered her resolved as she moved towards the fire mage. It proved a difficult task, not only because of her injuries but also because Natsu's magical presence was actively repelling her. She pressed on, fighting through her injuries and her magic glowed the closer she got to the man. The mark brought her strength and she used every ounce of it move closer. "Natsu!" She screamed before grabbing the pinkette's arm.
"What's this?" Natsu questioned, looking down at the redhead. There was fear in her eyes, but it was overshadowed by the bravery and it left the pink haired man bewildered. Unlike the blue haired man, Erza's presence didn't fill him with a deep anger, he felt calm and he reached out to touch the woman's face. This brought a smile to his face, not a sadistic one, but the one that Erza knew very well. The pink haired man didn't know why, but he wanted the embrace the red-haired woman. Unfortunately, before he could do this, the floor beneath Erza gave out, causing her to fall. His body moved on its own, going after the woman and he eventually caught her they reached what remained of the bottom floor. "Are you ok... Erza." The pinkette asked, the woman in his arms.
"Is that really you Natsu?" Erza asked with a hopeful look in her eyes, but she didn't get to find out.
'Sema!' Jellal announced, causing dark clouds to gather above what remained of the tower. Erza looked up with her eyes going wide. She then looked up to check on Natsu, who seemed more intrigued than worried. It was obvious that whatever this attack was, it was a last-ditch effort to defeat Natsu and judging from Jellal's expression, he was confident that it would work. The clouds started to form a cyclone and the sky continued to dark as more magical energy was focused. "I'll kill you both!" He declared as the clouds started to part, a gigantic meteor started to emerge.
Erza felt Natsu release a great deal of magic start to leave the pinkette. Despite the meteor descending on them, the knight's attention returned to Natsu. The pinkette's magic spiked up as a significant chunk of the remaining tower was eaten up by his flames. Only the skeleton and the base of the tower remained now with the pink haired man exuding what was honestly an overwhelming amount of magic. 'Wrath of the demon!' Natsu said as he let out his largest burst of magic yet before letting out another breath attack. It was unlike his other breath attacks as rather than fire, pure magic left the fire mage. The attack closely resembled the Etherion cannon.
Being in such close proximity to such a potent magic almost made the redhead pass out, but she managed to hang. The knight watched as the beam of concentrated magic speared through the meteor as if it was nothing, causing it to explode in spectacular fashion that eviscerating what little remained of the tower. It was obvious that Jellal was caught in the blast from the pained scream he heard. The woman had hoped that this was a single that this was all over, this quickly proved not to be the case when Natsu dropped her as he was brought to his knees with a pained scream. The pinkette started clutching his head as the marks covering his body began to demon glow a deep red.
Erza tried to get to the man's side, but she was once again repelled by the pinkette's magic, which was stronger than ever. Even while trying to combat the oncoming force, the fact that Natsu was being forced to let out this magic and at an unsustainably fast rate. "Natsu!" Erza screamed as she felt an immense amount of magic leave the man and ascend to the sky. The Dragon Slayer's suffering did eventually come to an end when he collapsed and his markings returned to their original state.
Things only got worse when Jellal made his presence known. The blue-haired man had just barely survived the attack and his bloodied state made that as clear as day. Erza was shocked by the man's sudden appearance. "You think that will be enough to defeat Zeref's most loyal servant?" Jellal questioned with a cocky look on his face. The knight was rightfully infuriated by the claim. She no longer had hope for the man, so she picked up the sword that previously belonged to Ikaruga and charged the man with a mighty yell. The woman easily took the man to the ground and positioned her sword right above his heart. "It doesn't matter what you do, your Dragon Slayer has destabilised the tower and it will explode at any moment, but I will live because I've put my faith in Zeref!" He claimed before falling into a fit of laughter.
"SHUT UP ALREADY!" Erza screamed, putting the sword away, and punching the man in the face. The red-haired woman somehow found the energy she needed and started mercilessly beating her former friend. It took almost everything she had, but she didn't care. She couldn't take this man anymore and by the time she was done, her fists were just as bloodied and swollen as Jellal's face. She wasn't sure if she was satisfied with the victory or if she was just sick of Jellal, but she started making her way to Natsu. She had exhausted herself mentally and physically throughout the day so she barely made it to her lover.
"Hey, Erza looks like I managed to get to you on time." Natsu muttered, smiling at the redhead to his side. He wasn't sure what had happened after stopping Jellal's attack. He remembered feeling lost and a great deal of pain which made the current state tower extra confusing. Natsu confusion came through in his expression, which brought a smile to Erza's face. She was overjoyed to see Natsu return to his normal self. The redhead rolled over on top of the man and hugging him. It was a rather weak one, but the feeling of love and warmth was still there.
Erza wasn't able to enjoy the embrace for very long as the rumblings made her remember Jellal's final warning. "Natsu, we need to leave, the tower is going to explode." Erza warned as she sat up. The woman looked panicked, so Natsu attempted to put on a brave face, but when he tried to move, he found himself unable to move. It then set in that they weren't going to be able to leave. She just hugged Natsu tighter and started apologising.
Natsu wanted to give her some comforting words, but he just couldn't. He could feel the magic building beneath them and it wasn't going to be pretty. The Dragon Slayer attempted to return his lover's embrace only to stop and smile when he saw the large winged beast.
Hitomi seated at the beach of Akane resort, waiting to see if the Dragon had managed to save the knight and the Dragon Slayer. She was nervous to say the very least, constantly checking the pendant around her neck. While it had confirmed that her father was still alive, fact that it had suddenly returned to being red made her wonder just what was going on. Her concern for this was overtaken by how dim the flames were glowing. Luckily for her, a Dragon Queen made herself known once more only to disappear a few moments once she came into view. "Mommy! Daddy!" Hitomi called out when she saw two figures being falling from the sky. From the way they were thrown, it was obvious that they had been thrown. Wanting to know why this was the case, the partly green haired girl grabbed her key. 'Why didn't you just put them down?'
'I don't want to attract any more attention to myself, and I wouldn't go to the effort of saving someone just to kill them.' The Dragon Queen retorted, sounding slightly annoyed about performing such another menial task. 'Our agreement still stands child, you shouldn't summon me so casually, hence why I gave you my armour.' She reminded the young girl.
Hitomi didn't seem to give the spirit much mind and rushed towards where parental figures had landed. She only got about halfway before Natsu stood up, holding the red-haired beauty in her arms. It turns out that the water wasn't too deep, so she stopped in his tracks. "Looks like we made it." Natsu said, looking down at his lover.
"I guess you made good on your promise... I never thought you would." Erza replied, looking at the pink haired man.
"I know I was pretty beat up, but you shouldn't count me out." Natsu replied with a bright smile.
"No, not that one, but don't worry... Just kiss me." Erza replied, before going in for a kiss. After all this, a kiss with his knight sounded great and he happily accepted the advance. The pinkette and redhead enjoyed a long romantic kiss under the moonlight. They eventually separated from the kiss and locked eyes. "You know, we've still got a few of days left." She reminded with a coy smile. Natsu smiled at the reminder. Though he was sure that they'd have to spend at least one day recovering, he liked where the woman was going. If the events of the tower weren't so fresh in his mind, he would have already started telling the beauty all the things he'd do to him.
"Hey Erza, make me a promise... Don't die for my sake." Natsu requested. He could still remember the convicted look on Erza's face when she essential promised to kill herself just to stop Jellal. At the moment, he was more enraged that Jellal had pushed her to this point, but now he was more concerned about the self-sacrificial nature of his lover. "I know you want to protect us, you don't know how scared I was when you said you'd kill yourself to stop Jellal." He told the woman. "You're not supposed to live for the people you love, not die for them, not die for them." He pleaded.
"Natsu, I promise so long as you do the same for me." Erza replied, planting another kiss on her lover's cheek. The smile that followed the kiss put the man's heart at ease.
"I promise." Natsu agreed returning Erza smile.
"Mommy! Daddy!" Hitomi yelled as she ran at jumped at the couple. The two mighty mages were so weary that the young girl easily knocked them off their feet. Luckily, they were in shallow enough water that they didn't get drowned. "I was so worried!" The overjoyed Dragon Slayer cried as she gave the two a crushing hug. The couple didn't get a break as Erza friends and Happy moved ran towards them with smiles. Despite how she was, the woman happily accepted the warm reception she got from her friends.
In the dark halls of Tartarus, there was a library, in that library, there was a demon. This demon was Sayla and she was currently re-reading one of the many books she had gathered. Ever since she had been reunited with her beloved Master, she had hoped to find some clues to fill the blanks in her memories. The demoness had hoped that something would jog her memory, but she had no such luck. Even the occasional visits from the pink haired man had failed to give her any further insight.
The woman's search eventually stopped and she let out a small sigh before returning to her regular seat. "Master... What happened to you?" Sayla wondered as she held onto her master's tome. Prior to her encounter with Natsu, she never thought a demon was capable of feeling such melancholy. In fact, she found that she was feeling more 'human' emotions. While this did bother her a little, it also made her feel much closer to her master. "Please return to me." She muttered, holding the book closer to her chest. The book was a simple one, looking slightly tattered with various rips and tears. The only writing present on the cover was 'E.N.D' which was written in bold black writing. At first, she wondered how something so simple could make her feel so much, but those thoughts always faded when she thought about being reunited with her master once more.
She stayed like this for a few minutes before she felt the book start rumbling. The book then started to heat to a point that it almost caused her to drop what she considered the most precious thing on the planet. As the book continued to rumble and burn, she felt a great deal of magic enter the tome. Eventually, all of this stopped and she examined the tome. The brown book bearing her master/lover's initials remained mostly the same with one exception. One of the letters had gone from the standard black to a glowing blue, and the tome oozed even more power than ever before.
A blush appeared on Sayla's which was followed by a delighted smile. "Master must have heard my pleas... I knew Master still cared." Sayla told herself, with her blush intensifying. The demoness was filled with a mixture of love, excitement and a great deal of lust. "I knew I was Master's favourite." She muttered, holding the book even closer to herself. A deep blush then appeared on the horned woman's face as she began to hatch a little plan.
And that's it for this penultimate chapter of the Tower of Heaven arc. The next chapter will wrap up things up and it may even do so with a nice lemony bow. That last part really depends on you guys, so tell me if you do want a lemon in the next chapter. Also, make sure to let me know what you thought about this chapter, I really had a blast writing this chapter and I'd love to know what you guys thought. So make sure to drop a REVIEW.
Also if you like Natsu x Erza stories, I think you guys should check out Erza's book by Kowaba. He's discontinued it, but he did say he'd bring it back if the story got to 400 favs and follows. I know I've plugged this story before, but I want to read more of it so it'd be great if you could do that.
See you next time whenever I upload.
- Beta read by Earth Dragon Arnighte