A/N: 6 months between two updates... I should be ashamed of myself... As extra, if it is of any consolation, here is longer chapter in order to soothe your raging anger for this delay.
"I see it!" Natsu shouted down from the crow's nest, voice loud and cheerful, followed by laughter "Land ahoy!"
Small Island soon appeared on horizon for those on deck to see. Glorious sight for those on the ship. Even captain felt small relief in his stomach as he approached bow of the ship. Slight grin manifested on his lips as he could finally begin to harbor one particular thought… Rest. Natsu was quick to climb down from the cursed nest only to stand on the wooden railing, shouting from the bottom of his lungs "Freedom!"
"Shut up!" Gray shouted in return, hoping that pink-haired sailor would fall off the ship and into the sea.
"Bite me!" Natsu retorted, not losing a single sliver of his enthusiasm "Relax will ya? Finally after who knows how long we get t'dock in real land of opportunities! Right Cap'n?"
He wasn't wrong, even captain Jellal had to admit from time to time Natsu had a point… but he said nothing and just watched as the island appeared larger and larger with their approach. Island itself was small by continental standards, shaped like crescent moon and coral reefs surrounding it with cliffs steep on all of the sides reaching from one tip to another. If one would want to approach it, he would have to go straight between two tips and see only beach that island has. Right there, laying on the beach, was a town and a large dock, rivaled only by those of King's ports. One way to reach it, one way to leave it and throughout the entire trip one ship would be closely followed by ten towers on each side, built on the rocks that emerged from the sea with at least two guns on each. Last true bastion of all 'opportunists' in these seas.
It wasn't always like this. Before it became synonym for freedom and debauchery, island was deserted, marked by Kingdom as 'nothing useful on it'. Indeed, that was true. Other than few species of games to hunt and fresh water, this island had no real significance. That all changed when first of the pirates turned against the crown, dubbed as 'rogues' and 'scoundrels' and 'cutthroats' of the worst kind. But the truth is, only a handful were really like that.
Living in Fiore is a paradise. It is a land of opportunity to prosper, to achieve your dreams and surrender to hedonism. All you had to do to achieve this… is to have money. For everyone else, life was far less forgiving. Kingdom of Fiore waged wars for the good part of this century, keeping the status quo enough to impose taxes but not enough to win it. Some say, Royal Navy couldn't muster enough ships to finally win the naval war against Kingdom of Veronica… others say that it was kept like that, perpetually rotating between attacking and defending only so it can continue to impose taxes. Depression hit hard. Honest man could just barely afford enough for himself and family. At good age of eighteen, young man would be drafted, thrown into the boots of the ground-pounders or salty docks of one of His Majesty's Ships. Four years to serve, not a day less. Only after those four years would pass, he could return home… either with a medal or with a folded flag. That is the life of regular man. Achieving more than that? Well, that was a challenge and among those rather bleak chances, first of the black sails rose. Criminals? Yes. Cutthroats? Yes. Bloodthirsty brigands that only sought chaos and murder? No. It never reached that point. All they ever wanted was better life than one that was handed to them and for that they went over the line and dared to live free, live as they see fit. To take from life all that they could.
They rose… one after another black sails began to appear until they realized that they cannot rely on free ports to rest. Twenty captains gathered and decided to 'liberate' a land from Kingdom and take it as their own 'free republic'. For that, they picked one island that Kingdom shunned but didn't quite liked having it taken from its bosoms. Black Orchid Lagoon… that is how they named it. First true free port and it was everything they could ever dream for . Only one way to reach its beach and on it they built towers, mounted cannons to ensure no ship other than those they allow would pass through. Of course, Kingdom didn't like it and they decided to take it back and crush this little rebellion once and for all. They would soon regret that decision.
Admirals of His Majesty's Navy were furious… twenty ships sunk and other twenty sent with tails between their legs. If it were up to them, they would've sent rest of the Navy but they had enough sanity in their heads to stop this plan before it could be made into action. To try again is to risk losing more ships and they do not come cheap. Losing more means leaving ports open to any invader to freely plunder or land as they see fit. They abandoned idea of retaking this island, leaving it in the hands pirates. They couldn't have guessed just how creative they would be with it. Instead of government, all was handled by 'volunteers'. Whenever something of importance to the island and the port would come up, all captains interested would gather to discuss. Plan was presented and those who wished to participate would step forth. Those who didn't want would just step aside. No one could be forced into anything and they took great pride in this liberty. There was only one rule that all had to obey. No one was allowed to enter combat with another ship within the docks or three nautical miles from the tips of the island. Those who did were sunk by the cannon-towers. No questions asked, no warning given.
As mentioned before, they were scoundrels and raiders, there were no questions about it, but far from the fact that they shot first and asked questions later. Not at all, in fact, any captain could sail into the port providing that he obeyed this one law. In the town he could find all sorts of pleasure provided, for a price, along with unique services that no other port could provide. For a bag of jewels, one could hire a ship or two to do anything he wanted and most often it was escort service. Money was motivation for everything and if paid well… they would battle Davy Jones himself. And the town itself? As merry as it can be, friendly to everyone who wishes to spend jewels. All that… was Black Orchid Lagoon.
Dark Fairy was frequent visitor of the port. Often they would return here when they wanted to stay out of the Royal Navy's sight. Today was no exception. They needed a good, long rest and captain needed to carefully plan out how to deal with Titania and its beautiful captain. As soon as they docked, crew dispersed, each going to points of their own interest, leaving captain and his quartermaster alone on the deck.
"Quite the sight, isn't it?" Laxus said in low tone, directed to captain who stood right beside him.
"Indeed it is." Jellal responded in equally low tone.
"We rest. We might stay here for some time so I suggest you make most of it mister Dreyar." Jellal smiled at him as he disembarked the ship. Crew was given three days to spend their hard-earned shares as they see fit and possibilities were limitless. As for Captain... he preferred to keep his share for Fairy. On fourth day he headed to one place he knew would ease his mind regardless in what mess it was left in. Doors of the tavern opened and he entered, taking a moment to carefully observe the patrons. They merely glanced at him, few nodded to him while others didn't even bother to do that much. Navy blue uniform meant nothing here… hell… they've seen more than enough of it. Half of them are deserters. He made his way to one of the empty tables and sat on it, cleaning his side of the table from some bread crumbs that previous patrons left there. Girl, not older than thirty years dressed in white and brown dress, approached him.
"What can I get you?"
"Good afternoon, Margaret." Jellal responded in polite tone, keeping his manners in high standard as always "Do you still serve wine from Blue Pegasus winery?"
"You are the only one who orders it." She remarked, smiling down at him.
"Well lucky me there will not be shortage then." He added, returning the smile. "One glass, thank you."
A minute later, she returned with glass of light red wine, almost resembling Erza's hair. He pondered, looking at the wine through the glass. Erza Scarlet. It was not a common sight for girl to become captain of the Ship of the line. Brigs… yes… but the warship of that caliber never once had a female captain throughout history of Royal Navy. It intrigued him, having to wonder what sort of training she had, how many palms she had to grease in order to become captain of it. Maybe it wasn't the bag of coin, maybe, just maybe, she went down the road he did and proved herself by surviving against overwhelming odds. Maybe… if things were different…
"Well if it ain't my good friend cap'n Siegrain." Man said in cheerful voice and sat on opposite end of the table, making Jellal snap out of his thoughts. He was about his height, black hair and short, black beard, sporting a leather coat with long collar.
"Good afternoon, Reginald." Jellal responded, eyeing man across the table.
"Come on cap'n, we've been friends for long time now. Please, just Reggie." He chuckled.
"Not long enough." Jellal added, bringing glass to his lips, taking a sip of the wine "What do you want?"
"Just stopped by to see how ya doin'… Saw your ship when it docked. Still refusing to get better one?"
"It has sentimental value." Jellal said in cold tone.
"Of course it does. But hey, I ain't here t'judge."
"Then why are you here, Reginald?"
Reginald's voice lowered, as if he wanted to avoid being heard by patrons that already barely admitted existence of those two "I have a wee proposition for you. Quite easy job and pay is better than you can get from the board." Reginald smirked, nodding toward the large board at the far side of the tavern. On it, people could post requests for services and those interested would take the request and find the owner of it. That is how most of them acquired jobs on this island and there were numerous such boards spread throughout the town.
"Not interested." Jellal responded with sharp tone, sending a glare at the man.
"Hold on, no need to make rush decisions… you haven't even heard what I'm offering."
"Last time you offered me a job I lost seven men."
"Look, I admit it was my mistake but I couldn't have guessed sirens would be by that reef."
Jellal continued, voice showed signs of anger "And before that, my ship nearly sank when I decided to help you escort your tinderbox."
"Tha' could've been me too…"
"Except you ran away the moment sea got calm while we had to escape the Kraken." He sighed deeply, regretting the fact he brought that memory up in his mind.
"Who could predict it would be there?" Reginald defended himself from Jellal's accusations "How about, you just hear me out and then decide if you want it or not?"
"Alright." Jellal responded, taking another long sip from the glass "I will hear you out and then toss you out."
"About a week ago we got a reliable information tha' a certain treasure fleet set sail to Fiore. Some kind of peace offerin' or like that. One of the ships got separated and got hit by bad weather, stranded on one of the islands." He leaned a bit forward, trying to be as close as possible to Jellal but captain didn't move one bit. "Rumor has it, nothin' but gold and rare spices are on board."
"What makes you think it is still filled with it?" Jellal asked.
"Cause no one knows. Mhm mhm. Pretty confidential but I have my sources. I figure… we have about five more days till word spreads and Navy goes to investigate."
"Alright, so what do you want from me?"
"I give you coordinates where it's now and you go and get whatever they were carryin'. We split fifty-fifty."
"And why are you not going after it yourself?" Jellal continued with questions. He skeptical and didn't bothered hiding it.
"Cause my boat ain't in sailin' condition." Reginald leaned back, crossing his arms "Got hit by a… nasty navy warship, tore my hull apart. Barely made way here and I won't be leavin' port for weeks. But I know you can squeeze through Navy patrols and reach the ship. Whatever you find in it, half is yours."
"Your story has many holes. For one, if treasure fleet lost one ship they would return for it. No admiral in right mind would allow for such important cargo to be left unguarded."
"I ain't sayin' they aren't going for it… but it might take some time t' find it. Alright alright… how about I sweeten the deal hm?"
"And how will you do that?" Jellal asked with exasperated voice, believing less and less in the story that Reginald was trying to sell him.
"You bring the cargo… and I'll give you tell where she is." Man winked, instantly grabbing Jellal's full attention "I know you are looking for her."
"How would you know that? Who told you that information?"
"I have my sources. You bring me cargo and I'll tell you in what port she's sleepin'."
Jellal bit his lower lip, his fingers began to frantically tap on the wooden surface of the table. His eyes were fixed on Reginald and brows furrowed. He is lying, he must be lying and it would be neither first nor last time but Jellal was desperate. He needed to know where she is. Crew was ready by the end of the day and on the first light of the next day they opened their sails and left the port of Black Orchid. Crew didn't complain much. They had their rest, spent well-earned shares and were already itching for more. Greedy? A little bit, yes but more than that, they wanted to earn as much as they can and retire while they are still young… few yearned to forever sail the seas of Earthland. None complained, none but two.
"Reginald." Said Laxus as he stood beside Jellal, looking forward.
"Indeed." Jellal responded.
"Reginald." Laxus repeated.
"Yes, mister Dreyar, Reginald."
"Reginald." Laxus said yet again and this time he managed to draw Captain's look toward him "THE Reginald."
"I am aware what you are trying to say."
"With all due respect, Captain, since when do we trust Reginald? Need I remind you of all the 'schemes' he lured us into only to almost end up sunk and about to meet eternal grace of Davy Jones."
"I never said I trusted him."
"Then why are we helping him?" Laxus asked as he turned toward Jellal, eyes still revealed tone of confusion "If it were up to me I would've-"
"I need to know where she is."
"We are still looking for her?"
"We never stopped, mister Dreyar." Captain took deep breath and slowly exhaled. He hoped that voyage to the mentioned spot would be clear, preferably without any incidents.
"Ships sighted!" Natsu yelled from crow's nest and all Jellal's hopes fell into the water.
"How many, mister Dragneel?" Jellal asked as he walked over to the railing, taking out spyglass from his belt.
"Three cap'n!" Natsu yelled, leaning over crow's nest in such angle to give Gray a hope he just might fall over and spread across the deck. Jellal observed carefully as ships slowly approached.
"Orders, captain?" Laxus asked.
"None is ship of the line. Mister Dragneel, let King's flag fly!" Jellal shouted "All men fix your clothes and tongues!"
"We are going to go past them?" Laxus asked and Jellal nodded.
"It is safe to say they spotted us so we shall not run. They will think we are merchants and we shall pass by."
Jellal folded his spyglass and went to his cabin, taking off his navy uniform and picking brown one. To sail with admiral's uniform is invitation to be arrested. There was one more thing to be done. He pulled out sword from the scabbard and ran the blade across his left palm, letting the scarlet liquid flow from it. He watched it… that color… it reminds him, brings him memories. He snaps out of the daydream and picks a gauze from the table rubbing blood against it before he wraps it around his eye, covering the marking across it. Another piece is tied around the palm, tied tightly using right hand and his teeth and hid well with pair of gloves.
Bell rang and he leaves his cabin. His crew already looks 'presentable'. All wear white shirts and whatever pieces of clothing they prefer over it. Laxus and Gray have hid their uniforms and have took more 'regular' clothing. He looks at both of them and nods… they know what to do and how to behave.
"They're signalin' us cap'n!" Natsu shouted.
"Fold sails!" Jellal orders "Bring Fairy to full stop!"
Within ten minutes ships approach. Hooks are thrown and Fairy pulled toward Naval warship, enough for plank to connect them and captain of the warship to cross over. To complete his makeover, Jellal adorns something rare few see… a big smile.
"Good afternoon." He says.
"You are the captain of the ship?" Officer asks. Man in his forties, brown hair with few scars across the face and square jaw. He seems to have seen better days but he holds himself well, stance rigid and voice stern, commanding.
"Aye, sir." Jellal responds, still smiling wide.
"Your papers." He commands and Jellal pulls several papers from his pocket. Captain opens them and inspects everything, every single detail.
"Captain Henry Summerson?" He asks and Jellal nods "What's with your eye?" He asks. Jellal looks at him for a moment and points at the bandage to which captain nods.
"Bar fight. Small disagreement on the… price."
"Where are you heading?"
"Southern Islands." Jellal quickly responds "We are traders."
"What is it that you trade with?" Officer asks again and eyes look around deck of Dark Fairy. He is suspicious but there is nothing he can pick that would draw his attention. Crew looks dirty but then again most merchants do.
"Spices. Sugar, salt, ginger, nutmeg. Whatever we can find for good price we buy and sell at free ports."
"Free ports you say…" Captain asks and begins pacing around the deck, followed closely by four of his men, fully armed "You had any trouble with local pirates?"
Jellal let out a small chuckle "Always, sir."
"Mind if we inspect your cargo?" He turns to look at Jellal. Tone is familiar. It is not question it is statement. Regardless what Jellal says they will go under the deck.
"By all means." Was the answer that was given. Expected. Naval officers move down, under the deck and begin inspecting crates, one by one. Nothing seems to grabs their attention. Crates are many but all are empty… it is expected from traders.
"Those are nice cannons you have." Captain says as he moves toward one of them. It doesn't take him long to recognize magical mediums.
"Three seasons worth of trade… we had run ins with pirates four time this year alone."
"I can understand that." Captain nods slightly and hands Jellal papers that he received. With hand he signals for his men and they move upstairs again, walking toward the plank that connects two ships "Everything seems to be in order. Be mindful of the pirates. Good sail to you."
"And to you as well." Jellal smiles wide and bows head politely. Plank is withdrawn, sails unfolded and warships resume their voyage, oblivious. If only they have known who they just inspected…
"Hell of an act, captain." Laxus remarked.
"Perhaps but this answers something more important." Jellal said in his usual serious tone, losing the smile that he wore. "Miss McGarden, how long until designated spot?"
"Hour of sail with best winds." She responded.
"Mister Dreyar, I am absolutely certain that we have not been told the truth."
"And that surprises you, captain? Has there ever been truth with Reginald?" Laxus asked, voice filled with sarcasm. No answer came. For the rest of the trip, Jellal was unusually quiet. One thought came after another, each time trying to figure out a way out of this but each time failing. He didn't want to admit it out loud… but to a small degree, he was even scared. Whatever is waiting for them is soon to be revealed.
"Land sighted!" Natsu yelled from his position on crow's nest and immediately Jellal walked over to the bow of the ship. He waited long for them to approach before he took out spyglass and on the beach he spotted the ship.
"There it is…"
"And the ship?" Laxus asked.
"Stranded on the beach." He took deep breath and slowly exhaled, speaking in low tone to himself "What are you up to Reggie?"
They approached island as much as they could, traveling rest of the distance in boats. Ship looked damaged. Mast broken, several holes in hull and sails ripped… but there were no people. No corpses, no signs that anyone was on the beach. Suspicion grew ever deeper in Jellal. So many holes in story it practically screamed "This is a trap".
"Mister Dreyar, mister Fullbuster" Jellal turned to face them "Take men and search the cargo, whatever you find, take it and get out. I intend to stay as little as possible on this island."
Both officers saluted and took seven men that came on boats with them, leaving captain to be on the lookout. Personally, he would want to be there, to see what is inside but he became paranoid. Minutes later voices came from the broken hull.
"We found it captain!" Gray shouted while rest of men dragged chests from below the deck and slowly let them down on the beach using ropes. From the look of it, they seemed to be very heavy.
Seven chests, all same, all with iron locks and no key in sight. As per captain's order, they loaded them onto the boats, one at the time and transported back on the Dark Fairy, returning for rest until all chests and crew were aboard the Fairy.
"No key?" Jellal asked and as answer he received wave from Laxus. Now all he needs to do is to bring them back to Black Orchid Lagoon and take half of it. It is that easy…
"Mister Redfox!" Jellal suddenly called "Do your magic."
"With pleasure cap'n!" Carpenter smiled wide taking his 'small' hammer. He measured locks, inspected each of them with great interest. Nothing too complex. Hammer grew in size and he smashed all locks. Crew looked in anticipation. Who knows what could be inside. Jellal pushed the heavy lid open, revealing content. Crew was in awe and all had smile from ear to ear. All seven chests had same thing… gold bars.
"We are rich…" One of the crew said "We are bloody rich!"
Everyone cheered, everyone laughed for this much gold they haven't seen in their entire lives. All smiled, all cheered… except for three. They all sighed, knowing what this means.
"Well shit…" Gray said as he leaned head back, groaning hard.
"What the fuck is your problem man?" Natsu said, completely baffled at Gray's reaction "We can retire with this and live the rest of the life like bloody kings!"
"You really did it this time Reginald…" Jellal sighed deeply. Euphoria was still too high for anyone to notice Jellal's worried expression and constant cursing but all this is about to change…
"Ship sighted!" One of the sailors yelled "Two miles!"
"How the hell did they got so close?" Laxus walked over to the railing toward the mentioned ship "Captain, that is ship of the line."
"Mister Taylor!" Jellal shouted at one who reported ship approaching "Is it King's flag?"
"No cap'n!" Sailor said after he looked through spyglass "It's white with mug on it?"
"Mug?" Laxus asked, rising both of his eyebrows up.
"The Bacchanalia." Jellal commented and closed all the chests "Everyone on your stations."
"We're gonna go past Bacchus?"
"No… but I certainly won't drop sword before him." Captain commented. This turned from bad to worse. There is one person he truly never wished to cross swords with and that is the very man who sails The Bacchanalia. Terribly tricky, impossible to predict and never without ace in his sleeve. There was only one instance when Jellal had to fight with Bacchus in the past and they barely won the skirmish, not without losses however. There was no doubt in his mind, this is all Reggie's plan. Dark Fairy slowly moved toward the large man-o-war, keeping only mainsails unfolded. Ships finally moved close to each other and hooks flew from deck of the larger one, drawing small Fairy even closer. Several men began climbing down but it was the entrance of captain himself that drew most attention. He jumped; straight from the railing of his deck and down onto Fairy's. Straightening up as if it was nothing.
"Well well well, Cap'n Siegrain!" Bacchus greeted in loud, cheerful voice "It's been too long, ain' it?"
"Indeed Bacchus." Jellal responded calmly "What brings you to these waters?"
"Well I've had a… wee bit of problem so t' speak. See I've been wanderin' around an' noticed that ye've been taking me loot."
"And just how are we taking your loot?" Laxus asked, frowning at what appears to be half-drunk captain.
"Cause these be me waters, laddie!" Bacchus chuckled "I though' tha' I've told ya this already. Wha'ever comes in water from Rose Island t' Tulip Archipelago is mine." He chuckled but soon the smile disappeared from his face "And I've spotted tha' you've taken wha' is mine."
"We are not in your waters." Jellal interjected, instantly grabbing his attention. If you call all those waters yours, going from furthest of islands… your waters start five miles from here. Technically, this is still free for anyone's taking."
Bacchus suddenly became greatly displeased. He rubbed palm one against another as he paced around the deck and tension grew among the crew.
"How did you know about this?" Jellal asked, making Bacchus turn to face him "Rose Island is ten miles away and this is furthest point. I highly doubt you just spotted the ship… someone told you about it."
"I got me sources cap'n."
"Does your source bear name 'Reginald'?" Jellal asked and Bacchus was left speechless. He didn't need to say anything, silence was all the answer Jellal needed.
"Ye… he tol' me tha' there is a ship, left unchecked, ready fo' pickin'… And what did he tell ye?"
"To take what's in the cargo hold and bring it to him. As reward, half is mine."
Bacchus suddenly began laughing "Well yer no' gonna be reachin' Bla' Lagoon anytime soon."
"You remember what happened last time we skirmished? I have twice as many cannons, three times the quality, don't threaten me, Bacchus. From this angle all your cannons will shoot over our heads but we'll make 9 holes into your hull and 9 more before you move ten meters away."
"I don' like tha' tone ye be havin', cap'n Siegrain." Bacchus remarked with angry voice "Ya can rest assured after ye've been dealt I'll be visitin' good ol' Reggie."
"Tell you what. I'll make you a better offer." Jellal said as he moved closer to him "We found seven chests, king's gold, all yours to take."
Crew on the Dark Fairy immediately began chattering. Maybe captain is up to something but to give away the gold? They began worrying.
"And ye'll be givin' them out of yer good heart?" Bacchus asked, grinning wide at Jellal.
"No. In return you will owe me a favor and you will leave Reginald to me. How does that sound?"
"Ummm… Cap'n?" Natsu interjected but was immediately silenced by Jellal and dragged by Gray to the back, further away from the two captains.
"Generous of ye cap'n. And ye'll be just givin' 'em to me?"
"It is king's gold, Bacchus. I do not have use of it… but you do."
"Alright!" Bacchus suddenly yelled, laughing along with his crewmates that were on the deck of Fairy "Ye got yerself a deal cap'n!"
Jellal extended his hand and Bacchus eagerly took it. They shook it and within minutes, all seven cases were brought on the deck of The Bacchanalia. Crew became agitated, more with each passing minute.
"Cap'n… with all due respect but what the FUCK have you done?" Natsu shouted, panting hard from the anger that was boiling in him.
"Relax, mister Dragneel. We had no use from that gold."
"What do ye mean 'no use'? We could've sold it and lived like kings and ye gave it away!" Natsu raised his voice even more. At any other instance he would've been dragged back but now… crew backed him up.
"Very well. What we found was not just gold, it was king's gold."
"And what of it? Are we gonna be now workin' with King's navy?" One of the crewmates asked.
"It means that all the bars are marked by king's sigil." Gray interjected, answering the question.
"It also means that if we were caught with it on board, we wouldn't even be given proper trial. We would be having second mouth under our chins and be thrown overboard." Laxus said as he stood beside Jellal.
"Not only that, but by the treaty between Kingdom and free ports, no shopkeeper is to receive payment in king's gold under penalty of death."
"Alright, so we melt it." Natsu added quickly.
"No one will accept it." Jellal added "They are all too afraid because if they are caught with king's gold they are going to be immediately hanged and their shops confiscated and there is no way we would be able to pass by the patrols as merchants with king's gold… for that we need very special permission issued by King himself."
"We practically would have no means to use it. Not even foreign countries will accept it." Gray said as he leaned against railing, feeling relief that chests were taken from them.
"This may not be how we expected it to be but Bacchus will owe us a favor and in his case it is more valuable than gold we have given him. Only he knows a man who is willing to melt kings gold. We traded nothing for something. That, however, leads me to ponder how seven chests of gold ended up on a ship with Royal Navy passing by and no one investigating." Jellal said as he wiped bit of sweat from his face. Heat was not the issue, it was the pressure that he suddenly felt being lifted.
"You think Reginald did this on purpose?"
"Without a doubt. How he got chests is another thing but he knew we would somehow meet Bacchus. They are known for not liking each other and he expected we would enter a combat. Regardless who wins, he will get rid of one annoyance to him. Clever rat…"
"Son of a bitch…" Laxus commented "So what do we do now?"
"Now we visit our good friend."
Doors of tavern suddenly opened with loud bang and no less than seven people entered, all heading toward the same table and none of them appeared to be pleased.
"Heeeey, cap'n Siegrain! You're back!" Reginald suddenly stood up, opening his arms wide but as soon as Jellal approached him, he pushed man down back on the chair and pressed tip of sword right under his chin.
"This has been last time you tricked me Reginald." Jellal growled as men surrounded Reggie. Gray on one side, Natsu on other, Laxus just beside Jellal and three more behind the man in question.
"What are you saying?" Reggie asked, looking around himself at all the men with deep frowns on their faces.
"King's gold. Island where patrols are as common as fish in the sea and on top of that… you sent Bacchus my way." Jellal answered as he sheathed his sword and took a chair from nearby table to sit on it, keeping his gaze fixed on Reginald. "Fortunately, he accepted my proposal and took all the gold."
The fake smile on Reginald's face disappeared as quickly as one on girls when she learned her beloved has chlamydia.
"I am sure he will know what to do with it and in the meantime he has left me to deal with you as I see fit. Now problem is, I like this locale and cutting your throat means I have to stain it with your blood… So… mister Dragneel over there" He pointed at Natsu "Is going to strangle you with rope."
"Wooo hold on cap'n, let's not be hasty!" Reginald suddenly became nervous as he looked at Natsu who had small thin rope in his hands and a smile of a certified psychopath.
"The only reason you are still alive is because you have information that I need which you will tell me, right?"
"Wha? Oh yes, of course cap'n" Reginald began squirming as Natsu began tightening rope around his own hands. Jellal simply leaned forward, gaze cold and fixed on sweating man.
"Where is Oathkeeper?"