A/N: Sup guys, wiErD here and I've got another chapter for you all.
Hope ya like it!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything except for my plots. Everything else is owned by Hiro Mashima. Support the official release.
- Secret of the Heart -
The results of the Lacrima Battle Royale had left many people astounded in their seats. The unexpected comeback of Fairy Tail caught their attention the most. Not to mention, their two teams surpassed Sabertooth which everyone thought to be the sole dominators of the match.
Who would've thought that they would be outclassed by the current weakest guild while having all of their three top tier mages participating in the match?
Some say that it was just a fluke. Others simply shifted their attention and support over the underdog guild who's now dominating the minds of the people ever since their spectacular victory in the event.
It was the turning point of the match.
Located somewhere within the walls of Domus Flau, the crowned winners of the match; Natsu and Wendy along with Laxus are called upon by Makarov with an urgent message to discuss something.
No one sure knows about the sudden call but they could assume that it must've something to do with the incident that involved Ivan and the true nature of his guild and also their purpose for participating in this year's games.
The three were guided by the Sixth Fairy Tail Guildmaster who was ahead of them a few meters away. None of them has spoken a word ever since they've been called out by him.
The sounds of their footsteps simply filled the silent atmosphere around them as they walked along the huge stone-built corridor of the stadium.
Soon afterward, they arrived in a small place, leading outside from the giant arena. Their eyes eventually caught sight of their First Master―or rather her spiritual form standing near the ledge.
Natsu and Wendy could feel a cold sweat upon noticing her presence.
"So what is this all about, old man? You never mentioned about having the First Master here with us." Laxus started to ask, as his face drew an inquisitive look. Makarov paused for a moment before finally looking back at him with a rather serious look of his own.
"I called you three here about Ivan."
"What about him?" Natsu asked.
"I'm sure you already know by now of what happened during your fight mid-way... Well, it was more like we noticed it as well that a disturbing presence happened in the middle of the event which involves the three of you facing my son, am I right?" He answered.
"So you knew..." Wendy confirmed, seeing he was aware of the incident earlier.
"I am... It was very easy to detect but the First and I never had the opportunity to intervene so we'd like to ask about what happened out there." The three gazed at each other for a moment and then back at the two guild masters.
"Well, it's true that Ivan and his guild attacked us at that time. He also revealed their true purpose to why they entered the games. It looked like he baited the three of us just to ask some questions about something..." Laxus started to explain, trying the recall the past events that occurred back in the games.
Makarov perked in curiosity.
"And what did they want?"
"They're here about something called 'Lumen Histoire'..."
As soon as he revealed their reason, Makarov and Mavis shot their eyes wide upon hearing the familiar name. Their bodies jolted quickly as if something had struck inside their heads in complete utter shock.
"No...no... it can't be... How did he know about it? It's impossible for it to be leaked outside."
All of a sudden, the Seventh guild master began muttering words in a suspiciously low tone away from the ears of everyone, including them.
Mavis was unusually silent. Her joyous expression during the cheering is no longer present and instead, plastered a rather grave look after hearing the conversation.
The three dragonslayers couldn't understand behind the sudden change of impression which caused them to ask.
"What is this, Lumen Histoire anyway? Ivan said that it could harm the guild. If it's true, why keep it a secret from anyone?" Natsu asked, his eyes darted over to the two guild masters in suspicion.
"It's supposed to be a secret only for the founders of the guild and the people who succeeded the position as guild master," Makarov explained, surprising the three.
"I can see why the First Master is involved here... However, one thing's bothered me during our conversation with him." Laxus asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Ivan called it Fairy Tail's darkness or something... As such it could harm the guild, I think he sees it as a dangerous threat for us and wants it so badly." Wendy spoke worriedly about the ominous warning.
Makarov released a depressed sigh. His mind slowly sunk in deep thought as he took his gaze into open space right in front of his eyes. The others could already tell that it is a problematic issue judging from the look on his face.
"Good grief... That brat."
"It is not darkness." Then suddenly, Mavis's voice declared as they all looked over to the petite guild master in surprise.
"First!" Makarov exclaimed.
"Lumen Histoire is our guild's light."
"F-First, you shouldn't―" Makarov wanted to speak against her decision to reveal about the forbidden topic but Mavis simply shook her head.
"I know. This is something only those who become master of the guild can know..." She paused before setting her eyes over to the three in anticipation.
"...I know there are a lot of questions you want to ask about but I cannot simply tell you about it as such it should be kept as a close secret to protect the guild."
"Protect the guild, you say?" Natsu asked confusingly. Mavis nodded in response.
"Hnn... In time, I might be able to have the courage to explain it to you all but for now, I must simply ask you to trust me. I can assure you that Lumen Histoire is not something like what Ivan had foreseen."
She was asking them a favor to keep it a secret.
As much as they wanted to know about it, they also respected their First Master as she was one of the founders of their guild. If such a thing like Lumen Histoire is meant to be a secret, they have to accept it as well no matter the consequences. Each and every people have their own secrets that are not meant to be revealed.
Natsu and Wendy have their worried faces from the start after hearing it from Ivan but since Mavis had reassured of its true nature, they were washed in relief.
"Alright, if the First doesn't want to talk more about it then I won't pry," Natsu replied with a smile transitioned over to his face as the rest looked at him in utter surprise.
"...I trust her words so there's nothing more to worry about it. And even if it threatens our guild, I'll stand to protect it no matter what. That's all I could ask for."
Makarov was surprised at his response.
Never in his life would he see the pinkette acknowledging other people's problems and letting himself understand the gravity of the situation. For sure, Natsu was never the type of person who would easily settle down just like that. The very sight of the old dragonslayer he once viewed as a hardy and stubborn brat is no longer present in his eyes.
He could see it very well along with Wendy who also stood beside him with the same answer as well.
"I also believe in our First's words. I've no reason to ask any further."
Laxus shook his head in content, seeing the other two voice out their thoughts.
"Well, if they say it like that. There's also no reason for me to know more about the subject."
"Thank you for understanding." Mavis smiled, showing her deep gratitude to them.
"However, this does not close the case... How did Ivan caught wind of such information? There's no way for him to learn about it since I kept him at bay from knowing the truth."
Makarov pondered in thought. A grim look is seen present on his face as he tried to think all the possible ways of his son possibly knowing the well-kept secret.
"Most likely, it would come from Purehito." Mavis guessed.
"Hmm... It seems possible."
"The second guild master?" Natsu and Wendy jerked their heads into attention at the mention of his name in the topic since they knew him during their battle back at Tenrou along with the others. A single nod was made by the First as she contemplated at the demise of her old friend.
"I never thought that Purehito would have fallen into the darkness. My foolish judgment for selecting him probably caused this information to leak. If I hadn't gone to entrust the position to him, we wouldn't even have to face this problem of mine right now." Her voice weakened in sadness.
"It's not your fault, First." Makarov spoke.
"I know... But if I had the chance back then, none of this would've happened."
"You don't have to blame yourself on that, First!"
All of a sudden, Natsu's voice cut through their conversation as he looked at her with a determined look.
"...Nothing can be changed in the past. The fact that we all stand here now is because of you. You envisioned to create a guild where it would treat everyone like their family. And we're grateful to you for that. I don't know what this Lumen Histoire thing is but we're all in the same boat here. Whether it would come to threaten us or help us, we're all here to be ready for it. I'm sure everyone would think the same no matter what kind of situation it brings us."
His words surprised the group. Much like how he was able to encourage people, he even managed to ease their First's doubts in just a couple of words. It was the reason why Laxus and Makarov see him as their beacon of hope.
It is as if the very embodiment of their guild's will is inherited to him.
"He's right... Nothing would change even all after what's happened." Laxus agreed.
"We're all standing with you, First!" Wendy reassured.
"Everyone..." Mavis could only stand in deep awe of their determination.
Makarov shook his head with a content smile.
"It seems like your will has continued to live in the hearts of these children."
A joyful smile made its way to her lips as she gazed at them in deep appreciation. Tears streaked down from her eyes in happiness, seeing how her dream has finally been achieved right before her eyes. The three could only smile as well. They were glad that it turned out fine in the end.
"Everyone... Thank you...!
After the whole meeting with the guild masters, Natsu and Wendy decided to walk their way back to their team. Laxus also returned to his own team which leaves the two slowly trudging their way along the stone-built hallway with the pinkette casually pondering of today's event. His hands placed behind the back of his head as his eyes gazed solely above the ceiling in deep thought.
"Something wrong, Natsu?" Wendy asked, noticing his wistful expression.
"Ah, it's nothing. It's just that I still can't believe that our guild had a secret all this time."
"Well, Master and the First assured that it's not what Ivan described, right?" She reminded, a hopeful smile plastered on her face.
"True... but..." He paused, stopping in his tracks. The blue-haired woman halted as well, turning her head towards him in confusion at the sudden stop.
Natsu thought for a moment. He moved his gaze somewhere within the corner of the walls in deep thought until his mouth started to voice out his current thought.
"I'm just wondering about what would've happened during that time if all of us were never attacked back at Tenrou by Acnologia..." A thought he suddenly wondered after discussing their matters with Makarov and the First.
It wasn't a normal occurrence for him to remember since the events of the ongoing festival still occupy his current thoughts.
But as soon as he said those words, he began to wonder just what if...what if that in a scenario, they were never separated and still lived together with their friends up until now?
Would he still live his life protecting the girl he deeply cared?
Would he still be able to see Wendy the same if the things that happened between them alone never happened?
The things they suffered and learned from each other...
Will he still be able to stand as he is without living through those tough times with her?
A crucial event that turned the gears of their fates into different directions. He wondered if such a thing could've been true then he would later realize that everything cannot be the same if all those events that transpired seven years ago didn't occur.
It's like the same with Mavis and her dream of a guild that would later bring them all together. If she hadn't envisioned her dream, the future could've turned into a different scenario.
He would've become someone else.
His thoughts eventually got Wendy to wonder the same thing. The lack of her reply simply made him assume that she finds it hard to give him an answer towards his question.
As a result, he simply gazed at her.
"Say, Wendy... Would you still be by my side if none of this happened?"
That question struck her heart for some reason.
A phantom pain welled up inside her as her eyes opened wide in surprise from his question. Her expression was also affected with pain but she kept in inside to not let it show.
Why was he asking such a thing?
Why does he want to find out?
She didn't know but the expression on his face clearly tells her that he wanted to know her answer. Wendy couldn't find an appropriate answer to him as of now. The thought of seeing a different future where everything would never be the same if they're never frozen in the first place is quite hard for her to imagine.
She noticed that he was strangely lost in thought.
Something must be bothering his heart for quite some time and she wanted to know as well yet she couldn't bring to ask him about it. And the question she's yet to answer still stands inside his thoughts.
"Natsu... I-I can't say for sure...that I would be beside you if that happens..." A saddened frown was traced all over her face as she looked down to her feet, avoiding his gaze as she told him her honest thoughts.
Natsu was taken aback from her reply but then the same expression also took over his own as his joy simply died down after hearing her words.
"I see..." His head hung low with a saddened tone.
He wasn't expecting for her to say it like that so he immediately got depressed.
Was he expecting something else?
"BUT!" Then all of a sudden, Wendy slowly lifted her face with a renewed expression.
"My feelings for you will never change!" An explosion of emotions burst out from her heart as Wendy declared her feelings. The pinkette was taken by surprise as he simply widened his eyes in complete surprise.
"Even if our past took a different turn, I will never change these feelings. From the day I've met you on that mission until now, I'll never forget them. The times we spent together and the things we've done together, I can never forget them. That's because... you've been always right beside me from the start!"
A tinge of pink as bright as his hair dusted the blue-haired woman's cheeks as her lithe form stood near him, slightly leaning forward in which he finds nervous due to the close proximity of their faces to each other.
She always wanted to say this to him.
She doesn't care how the future would've played differently but one thing's for certain―
―Her feelings for him will never change, no matter what happens in the future.
She always had it ever since he entered in her life. Her admiration for him at that time eventually grew out these feelings that will continue onward.
It doesn't matter if he doesn't understand what she meant in those words. Whenever something tries to weigh down his feelings, she wanted to be the person who would be there for him. That's all that matters to her right now.
Natsu couldn't help but feel shocked.
The words she said didn't come naturally from a mere cheer up but rather from her honest feelings.
It surprised him yet... why does his heart begin to beat fast?
It's not something normal he would've felt whenever he talks with her like this.
Is it something bad?
...He didn't know.
The beating didn't stop.
His cheeks also began to have the same red tinge as that of hers. The words kept replaying inside his mind. A different feeling begins to emerge from within. He felt like it was important.
"Your feelings...?" An indecision from him caused him to turn it into a form of a question. He felt stupid saying it like that to her but it seems like she doesn't feel dejected or disappointed from his response.
Instead, she made a cheerful nod in confirming his thoughts.
"Hnn... These feelings... that I will say to you once this is all over." She drew her face back with a smile, returning to her original posture. He mentally frowned as soon as their distance grew apart from each other.
However, her statement made him remember their conversation yesterday during the special wedding event.
Is this what she wanted to say to him?
Silence filled the air around them but their flustered expressions remained and their hearts continued to beat fast as they kept exchanging close eye contact with each other in deep thought. A blush they both had on their cheeks were still visible from each other's eyes.
"This is just a part of what I wanted to say to you for a long time." She continued, seemingly satisfied with his answer.
To him, he felt it was missing. It seemed like she was trying to say something else.
He didn't want to leave his answer as a question but rather a statement from the bottom of his heart.
"Wait, Wendy!" He instantly grabbed her hand as soon as she started walking her way. A serious look donned his face as he confronted her with a realization behind her words.
Her response abruptly cuts him off.
"What about you, Natsu?"
"Huh?" He asked stupidly, losing the chance to ask her feelings towards him.
The bluenette turned back once again, losing his grip on her hand as Wendy looks at him with a smile.
"What would be the thing that would never change right now if none of this happened?" Her whimsical expression simply prevents him from ignoring her question so he stuttered.
"O-Of course, my feelings―!" His half-hearted reply caused Wendy to look at him in suspicion. His voice faded immediately at the intense stare.
"Hmmmmmm~" She hummed in response. Her face clearly says it all with a sign, 'You're lying.' towards him.
"Nothing~" She skipped forward, casting her eyes away from him as she begins to walk ahead of him with a delighted smile on her face.
"Hey! I'm not lying!" He realized through her expression earlier as he ran towards her.
"Of course, I am! You never gave me a chance to finish!" He protested accusingly.
Geez, now she's just making fun of him. He peevishly pouted which is something he wouldn't do in front of everyone but to her only...
"Wendy! Hey, Wendy!" He tried to call her attention but she kept pacing forward, ignoring him.
The rest of their conversation eventually went on with Natsu trying to prove his point―though it didn't seem to pierce through her thoughts as Wendy kept putting her teasing remarks towards him. They continued like that for a few minutes until the pinkette finally gave up and sulked throughout their walk.
However, in during those times, he would glance back to her once she had her attention somewhere, pondering the words she said to him.
A question he failed to say to her at that time popped inside his head as they slowly approached back to the arena where their other teammates were supposed at.
"Wendy... those words you said to me... Was that a confession?"
His eyes locked themselves towards her in a serious gaze, wanting to confirm his thoughts. He felt as if she wanted to convey her feelings to him that time although he can't be sure because it was just a reaffirmation of her thoughts if their past took a different turn.
Maybe... Just maybe if he wanted to ask her again without anything but her feelings alone―
―Will she say those words to him?
The unnatural beating of his heart and the fluttering feeling he felt inside made him slowly realize his answer now.
...What he truly felt about her.
The noise of the crowd reverberated the whole arena. Wild cheers and shouts filled the tense atmosphere as the results of the last event began to fuel their anticipation to see their favorite teams clashing against each other.
Surprisingly, Fairy Tail was the most cheered team all over today's games after they showed their spectacular victory against Sabertooth and the other high-tier guilds.
"Oh, you're back!" A familiar voice declared as the two dragonslayers returned to their team. Their eyes darted over to Gray along with Lucy waiting for them.
Natsu and Wendy gave a simple wave towards them before they all walked back to their quarters where Erza was located, seemingly observing the whole stadium as the event unfolds to the next phase.
She turned her gaze away and looked at them with a smile.
"It's good to see you two back. I was beginning to worry what the fuss was about?" The redhead also gave her own greeting as soon as she saw her other two teammates.
"It's nothing to worry about. Master just wanted to have a word about our performance today." Wendy reassured, a smile is seen on her lips as she faced her teammates attentively.
"Is that so? I guess that's fine... You're just in time for the start of the matches."
They all nodded together as the spectators of the match began to take center stage of the upcoming matches for this day.
"Hey, you alright. Flame-brain. You looked spaced out." Gray noticed the pinkette somehow staring openly in the distance.
"Y-Yeah, I guess so..." He gave a half-hearted reply in response which obviously gives away his current situation as Gray narrowed his eyes towards him before letting go and looked at the beaming blue-haired dragonslayer.
Something definitely happened between them.
However, the ice mage settled that recurring thought for later as the spectators began to take the spotlight once again to announce the upcoming matches.
"Ladies and gentlemen! We're back here once again! Sorry to keep you all waiting!" The three commentators of today's games; Chapati Lola, Yajima, and Lahar, have begun to start their anticipation towards the next phase of the games.
"...I, Chapati Lola as your commentator together with Yajima-san and Lahar-san from the Magic Council will now discuss of the upcoming matches!"
"Hnn... I can't wait to see another spectacular fight with everyone." Yajima nodded.
"Right... The shocking comeback of Fairy Tail definitely shifted the tide of the crowd's support. But we've yet to set aside the current strongest guild, Sabertooth to let that slide under them. I'm sure they're going respond with their own power in these matches." Lola spoke.
"Well, it all remains to be seen seeing the other guilds somewhat getting pumped after Fairy Tail's victory. A truly competitive spirit fills the atmosphere." Lahar added.
"Anyways, the current scores of the guilds are here as follows..."
Sabertooth – 34
Raven Tail – 31
Fairy Tail A – 25
Fairy Tail B – 24
Lamia Scale – 24
Mermaid Heel – 18
Blue Pegasus – 16
Quatro Cerberus – 10
A set of lacrima-powered screens were shown around the arena as the crowd looked at the current standings. Sabertooth still remained at the top but the other teams trailing below are a few points behind.
But it doesn't mean that they're going to stay that way. A lost match for Sabertooth will result them a 0 point gain and two teams would have an opportunity to take the top seed while the other two tying their scores to them as well.
This doesn't exactly put them in a safe zone to win the games. There's still two more days to compete for the scores so it might not be good for them to continuously lose their footing in the first rank.
However, though, the threat of the other teams doesn't bother them at all as shown on their confident faces towards the match.
"It seems we've been drawn back... This is the first time we have gotten our scores this close with the other teams." Rufus turned to shift his hat whilst speaking calmly at the current standings.
"Heh, we underestimated them... No matter, we'll clobber them on the matches!"
Orga clenched his fists tightly in a fit of excitement after experiencing a lot of mages during the event. It is as if their loss in the event didn't give him any sort of caution for the other teams who fought splendidly against them.
"There's still that Raven Tail... No matter, our matters don't concern with them." Sting muttered. His eyes gazed at the team members of the A Team in contempt, mainly to the two dragonslayers who doesn't seem to notice.
Different opinions and minds interact within the Sabertooth circle as Minerva stood silently at the ledge. Her eyes also gazed at the same team with an inquisitive look.
A light chuckle escaped her lips as she hid her sinister dark smile.
"Fairy Tail, huh..."
"And without further ado, let's get on with the matches!"
"...The first two teams to take their spot in the arena are―"
"―SABERTOOTH'S ORGA NANAGEAR VS LAMIA SCALE'S JURA NEEKIS!"
Roaring screams from both sides filled the air as the two mages were called into attention for the first match. A sense of anticipation filled each other's faces as they slowly make their way at the center of the arena, both of them hearing the cheers of their respective guildmates.
"Go get 'em, Jura-san!"
"Show them the power of the Wizard Saint!"
Chelia and Lyon shouted their cheers from behind along with their other team members.
"You know what you got to do, right?"
"Take him out. That's all I can say."
Rufus and the rest also gave their short words of cheers though it seemed unreachable to the Lightning Godslayer judging from his somewhat fierce look.
He was waiting for the opportune time to fight the rumored strongest human mage so it's obvious that he's more than just pumped up in this fight.
The rest of the teams simply watched on their separate places. All of them taking heed of the current fighters entering into battle.
"So they let him out again. It's clear that Lamia Scale has the upper hand but I don't know what might happen since that Sabertooth guy also looked strong." Gray commented. His eyes drew a curious look on both challengers in anticipation.
"Now that you said it like that, you're right... Considering how we also faced them in the last event, we're somehow fortunate to have Natsu keep Jura at bay throughout the end." Erza added.
Not only that, they could all feel the tension in the atmosphere as the two powerful men confronted each other.
Their eyes gazed towards each other as if they were staring at each other's souls. Anyone couldn't hope to withstand that kind of staredown since they're both showing vast amounts of power.
The silence continued to assail between them until the voices of the spectators were heard from behind.
"So, here we are now! The roulette has been set to a 1v1 battle! A fierce battle between Sabertooth and Lamia Scale will now begin!"
The loud sounds of the gongs echoed violently across the stadium in a single bang as the fight finally began.
Jura and Orga stood a few meters away with each other. The former has his arms held on each other in the front, concealed by the large dark kimono that covers his inner clothing. A calm and collected expression was evident on his face as if paying the Sabertooth mage without any sense of caution or threat towards him.
"I've been waiting for this day, Jura Neekis." Finally, the opposing mage spoke, disregarding his calm attitude.
"Hmm... Is that so?" Jura drew an inquisitive brow.
"Aaaah... I've been looking forward it since the start. Ever since then, our powers never clashed so I guess it would be a perfect time to finally decide which is stronger." A smirk is seen driven on his face.
"What are you implying about?"
"You, the Wizard Saint and my magic, Lightning Godslayer. Which one of us is stronger? I simply can't help but ask myself all this time but... now is the time where we would settle this debate once and for all." Orga challenged.
"Hmph... A pretty good question you have there." Jura finally opened his eyes.
"So what would it be? Let's settle this fight to see which one of us is the best." The Sabertooth mage soon began to show his powers as black lightning sparks slowly emerged from the ground and surrounded his figure.
Everyone who was watching in the sidelines noticed the intensity of magic being released despite only showcasing little amounts of it. A power like that could very well match against Laxus in terms of strength and durability. Members of the A Team observed carefully as they witness one of Sabertooth's top mages.
Jura stood in interest as he finally took caution of the lightning mage in front of him.
His calm attitude immediately vanished and was replaced with a serious look.
"Hoh? So this is the power of the strongest guild." The display of magic astonished him yet he remained composed despite the building tension surrounding their atmosphere.
Little by little, the black lightning started to emerge from the hands of the Sabertooth mage as he moved his stance, slightly sinking his body downward with his hands drawn back in a charging gesture where the swirl of black lightning began to form around it.
Orga locked his eyes towards the unmoving Wizard Saint as he finished charging up his magic.
"Here I go, Wizard Saint." With those words said, he began his first attack.
"Lightning God's Super Charged Ball!" With his hands stretched up front, a massive beam of black lightning was shot out from his palms and went straight to the unmoving Wizard Saint who seemed determined to take the spell head on without dodging it.
Only a few seconds were spared for the audience to witness Jura as he was immediately swallowed by the enormous surge of magic and resulted in a massive explosion.
Huge shockwaves and clouds of dust kicked up in the process as the whole crowd braced against the tremor they all felt from the impact. A few mages who were left watching are stunned in their seats after witnessing such power.
A spell like that could've killed a person.
Was he really aiming to injure the Lamia Scale ace that badly?
No amount of words could describe the scale of power being unleashed at the start of their battle. The whole arena could only watch in pure utter shock at the scene.
A few minutes passed and the dust cloud begins to settle as Orga smirked at his own assumed victory after noticing the lack of magical power coming from the area where the Wizard Saint once stood.
"Hmph... Ridiculous." He returned back to his own original posture and glanced towards the mascot who had been watching the match the entire time. "The match is over... Call over the winner of this match."
The mascot turned to look at him as well with a surprised look. The disappointed look on the lightning godslayer's face shows that he doesn't intend to wait around any longer as such this battle didn't exactly live up to his expectations.
Without even scanning to the rest of the field obscured by the dust, the mascot decisively raised up his hand to call the winner.
"A-And the winner of this match is―"
"What do you mean that it's over?" Then suddenly, the voice whom everyone thought was defeated from that massive spell resounded within the dust as Orga widened his eyes in surprise towards it.
A few seconds later, a small gale was unleashed, clearing up the dust cloud that obscured the thought-to-be-defeated mage right in front of him. On the contrary, his body doesn't seem to inflict any sorts of injury from that last attack.
Everyone could only stand in surprise at his condition that it even left some of the members of Sabertooth to be surprised as well.
"Are you kidding me? That was Orga's one hit spell. No one has ever walked uninjured in that kind of attack!" Sting uttered his own confusion among their other members.
"To think that there's actually someone who could stand up to the Black Lightning. Interesting..." Rufus shook his hat slightly as he carefully observed the fight with his own eyes.
Minerva remained silent throughout the conversation and simply watched the match in pure interest as well though a small frown made its way onto her lips as she continues her observation.
Meanwhile, members of both Fairy Tail teams also began their conversations about the current match.
"Waaaahaaa... As I thought, Jura is actually not easy to get beaten up like that." Natsu cheered in high spirits as he gazed in excitement over to the two strong mages of different guilds.
"You can tell? Judging from how he handled the last event, it seems like he wasn't too serious to go all out." Gray turned to reply as well.
"It's fortunate he didn't though. Otherwise, things might've been different back then." Lucy heaved a sigh of relief.
"Natsu was also holding back too... I think they're both trying to test each other in order to settle it during the matches." Wendy added. The other two looked at her in disbelief.
"Hnn..." She nodded.
It was then, Erza started to speak as well as she stood beside them with her arms crossed and her eyes focusing on the match.
"Even so, there's no telling who would actually win the fight. Both of them are extremely powerful mages to the point that it rivals even to Gildarts and Laxus by comparison."
"We'll just have to wait and find out." Natsu smiled, not noticing how tense the atmosphere was becoming between the two mages in the battleground.
Going back to the duo, Jura calmly dusted his clothes from the dust cloud while Orga merely narrowed his eyes, analyzing how the Earth mage was able to withstand one of his powerful attacks without sustaining any injuries.
His eyes fell over to the unusual shaping of the ground in front of the Wizard Saint as if they were raised up high before his spell reached through him. To further how evidence of such occurrence, bits and pieces of rubble can be seen within his vicinity which means is that his spell was somewhat stopped by an array of walls to decrease its firepower.
For him to create such defense in just a short amount of time means that he knows how to defend himself in the last second. And judging from how he used it against his spell also means that he sees it as a viable threat.
It's like a simple game of taking the hit without any means of defense to show one's tenacity over the other. However, in this case, Jura knew that Orga's magic could potentially injure him that he needed to raise some defensive magic to prevent him from getting wounded.
"Heh, I didn't think you would actually defend yourself," Orga spoke.
"There was no such rule of letting your opponent get hit without defending himself," Jura answered back.
"But isn't it strange? If you were really the strongest human mage Fiore has right now, something like this wouldn't cause you any problems." Orga's eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Hmm... I wouldn't say strongest. There are other mages out there who could rival the same strength as I am but didn't care for the title. The reason I participated in this year's games is because I noticed some of them participating here as well."
"Hoh? You make it seem like you're underestimating me." Orga's face changed into an angered one.
"No, I wouldn't say it like that. I still have my duties as a Wizard Saint."
"Perfect excuse from a mage who didn't want to admit they're weak from people higher than them." Orga mocked.
"Hoh... While it seemed like you're the one who's already underestimating me now, Sabertooth mage."
Their conversation transformed into a small argument as both two mages are looking at each other in scornful gazes.
It was then, Orga started to make his move once again.
"Tch, I'll finish this right away!" He said before moving into his stance once again as he amassed two balls of black lightning in his two palms before sending them straight towards Jura.
"Lightning God's Dual Spheres!"
Jura remained unfazed against the powerful spell as he simply clapped his hands to initiate his own counterattack.
"Spike Rock Mountain!"
Moments later, a huge earth-like golem was immediately created around the Earth mage, encasing him inside to protect against the attack.
The two lightning balls smashed against the golem, resulting in a massive power struggle as the spell struggles to pierce through the thick golem which was meant for absolute defense. Violent gales boomed through the entire arena along with dust and rubble as the lightning balls slowly burrow through the golem.
Eventually, the black lightning didn't have enough firepower to pierce through the golem as the spell dissipated, leaving Jura still encased inside from the impenetrable defensive spell.
However, the course of battle didn't end there.
Soon afterward, the golem started releasing huge spikes from its body and went straight to the lightning godslayer in fast speeds.
Orga was forced to leap away from his position while trying to fend off the spikes aimed towards him. The spikes missed their marks, crashing into the ground in the process.
The golem that covers Jura eventually broke down into tiny pieces of rubble, revealing his unmoving figure from the audience as well as astounding them for his performance. A wave of cheers resounded from all sides as they watched the Wizard Saint in action.
"Look at that! What an unbelievable display of magic! Orga has his own vicious offensive while Jura answers with a powerful defensive magic on his own. Moreover, he still hasn't moved from his current position despite the onslaught!" Lola commented cheerily at the course of the match.
Like him, all of the people watching the match noticed how Jura remained in his current position while able to protect himself against Orga's attacks. It shows just how good he is at defending himself without the need of dodging any attacks sent his way.
It also can be seen that no amount of spell can push through his defense because of his magic's property.
Everyone was simply surprised by this as the match continues.
Going back to the two, Orga eventually sported a frown as he saw his opponent seemingly standing without moving a foot away from his position.
In his thoughts, it may seem like he was being underestimated.
"Quit standing like you're some hotshot!"
With another defiant shout, he lashed out with two lightning bolts straight towards Jura in high speeds but was deflected easily as the Earth mage maneuvered his hands right in front of it, sending its direction away to the skies.
A collected expression is still plastered on his face as he handled his opponent without effort.
"What a reckless young one." He said as Orga kept pressing on the offensive without stopping.
"152mm Black Lightning Cannon!" Placing both his palms against each other vertically with space in between, Orga shot out a more powerful version of his own Black Lightning Cannon as went straight towards his opponent in high speeds.
Jura widened his eyes at the spell as he raised his right arm to block the incoming lightning. A burst of lightning exploded upon impact as Jura defended the attack with just his own arm in the process. The mighty mage grunted as he felt pain from the spell itself, noticing its unbelievable piercing power.
It took a few more seconds for the Earth mage to finally deflect the spell off course despite its overwhelming power. A large stream of black lightning went past Domus Flau as it vanishes through the blue sky.
Silence and awe reverberated within the crowd as they continue to watch the event.
The scale of such an attack could literally blow a part of the stadium if not for Jura's intervention of its trajectory.
However, more pressing matters are at hand for the Earth mage as he looked at his right arm which suffered a considerable damage from just pushing that one spell alone without any magic to protect himself.
Orga smirked as soon as he noticed the damage done on the Wizard Saint's arm.
"Heh, it looks like you're not so tough after all."
Jura ignored his opponent as he looked carefully at his now injured right arm in the process. He pondered for a moment as he turned to look over to the Sabertooth mage with a complicated expression.
"Hmm... A spell that has the most piercing power than the rest. Interesting..."
A small grin was traced over his face as he renewed his gaze in anticipation towards their match. This is the first time he'd ever gotten himself injured.
It only boiled his fighting spirit as he reveled on his injury in excitement.
"It looks like this year's games is going to be fun after all."
"What are you dawdling about, Jura?! Hurry up and put that kid down! Do you want to get spun?! Don't bring our guild to shame over some overconfident guild!" Out from the corner of the sidelines, Ooba seemed displeased how their battle was dragging out so she shouted over her guild's ace with a threat.
Jura could only smile underneath his breath as soon as he heard his Master's words.
It looks like he'll have to get a little bit serious this time.
As if to respond towards the sudden change of magical pressure, Natsu could not help but widen his eyes as soon as he noticed the mighty Lamia Scale mage beginning to concentrate more of his magic onto his body that left him almost surprised in the process. Erza and Wendy noticed it as well as they both stood in disbelief at such concentration happening around the Earth mage.
Other mages also seemed to react slightly as well from the change as the atmosphere around the arena began to change.
"W-What's happening?!" Lucy could feel the tension rising up for some reason.
"Shit. That old man is about to go all out now." Gray looked in anticipation.
"That Sabertooth guy is good as dead." Natsu commented as his gaze also turned serious over the course of the unfolding events of the match.
Moments later, the ground begins to shake tremendously as small rocks rumble from the intense magical pressure surrounding the Earth mage.
"W-What is happening? J-Just moments ago, the match was seemingly equal but for some reason, Jura Neekis is releasing an amount of monstrous strength!" Lola exclaimed in excitement.
"We're about to see the 5th Wizard Saint in action." Yajima nodded.
"It certainly is a formidable strength... I could not find the words to describe Jura-san's unbelievable strength." Lahar added.
Members from Sabertooth also steeled themselves for some reason as they both felt the enormous strength coming from the Earth mage alone.
As this was going on, Orga's smirk turned into a frown as he looked at his opponent in caution. The confident attitude he had just now suddenly vanished after noticing his magic power.
"This match had been a very interesting insight for me... However, our master doesn't want me waiting any longer so let's finish this once and for all, Sabertooth mage." Jura finally made his stance as he drew his left foot a few inches back with his left hand stretched up front in an open palm fashion. His right hand was also drawn back as his body slowly sank in the process.
Orga's eyes narrowed in response to his reply as he summoned a black lightning spear from his right hand and enlarged it in just a few seconds, seemingly bringing out his own killer move.
Everyone noticed how he was also able to amass such magic power in just a short amount of time as the lightning spear grew bigger.
"I'll settle this match as well! Prepare yourself!"
"Bring it on."
As if to bring their last words to this battle, the duo looked at each other one last time as Orga threw the spear towards him.
"Black Lightning God's Spear of Judgement!"
The spell was invoked and went straight to Jura in lightning speed. There was no time for any chance of dodging it but for the Earth mage, he momentarily closed his eyes before opening them again as his feet kicked up in an instant that almost everyone didn't notice it except for Natsu who widened his eyes in surprise from his actions.
Due to his stance, Jura simply used his left hand to grab the massive lightning spear by hand and went straight head on against its full power. However, it was his intention to take on the spell head on.
Much like he did the lightning godslayer's spell earlier, he merely deflected it with ease and dashed forward straight towards him in a much faster rate that everyone failed to follow for a moment.
Within just a few seconds, Jura had used his left palm to smash it against Orga's face and sent his body down to the ground, shattering it into little pieces and created a small crater where his head was directed at.
It took another few seconds for the rest of the onlookers to notice what happened.
The match had already ended as Orga was sent down to the ground in an instant. Shock and disbelief went over to the rivaling mages as they witness him settling the match in just one attack of his own.
It was also his first time moving from his position. That alone even makes him even more frightening to battle against.
Everyone except the members of the Wizard Saint showed surprised looks at the outcome of the match.
Silence reverberated around Domus Flau as everyone took a moment to sink in the events that transpired within a few seconds before the aftermath. Small dust clouds eventually cleared away and the sight of the fallen Sabertooth mage further shocked the other onlookers from the lacrimas.
Jura stood up from his stance and returned to his original posture with a hardened look on his face.
"Much like you underestimated me from the start, you were already full of openings. No matter what strength you possess, nothing's going to change when you look down on others without seeing their true potential... Remember that, Sabertooth."
"...Don't you ever forget that."
He stated his words rather heavily to show the other members of the guild of their tenacity. His serious look gave them a few reactions from the other guild members as well after witnessing his power.
At that moment, the mascot declared the victor of the match.
"A-And the winner of this match, Jura Neekis!"
Shouts and cheers occupied the silence of the arena as soon as the victor was announced. Sabertooth had yet to sink in the unusual turn of events of their comrade's loss against the Wizard Saint while the others narrowed their gazes over to the mighty Lamia Scale ace in caution.
"So this is the strength of the 5th Wizard Saint, huh?" Laxus commented in between conversations as he observed the aftermath.
His eyes fell over to the defeated lightning godslayer in a deep thought.
Certainly, the man was not weak. It's just that Jura had the upper hand and took advantage of his enemy's unguarded side which led to that one-sided victory but―
―seeing how he was handled in just a single blow is somewhat worrying.
If he ever encountered him in one of the matches again, he'd better take the chance to not underestimate as well.
"Is that guy even human? Hmm... Though I can still bet that Laxus might be able to take him on, right?" Gajeel ranted along with the rest of the team.
"Juvia feels that it won't be easy."
"I agree with her as well... Jura-san is not an easy man to defeat with after all these years."
"Hey, I was just reassuring you guys. You don't need to tell me that."
"Aaaaahhh~ Don't worry guys. We can still win this even with him around. We just gotta be workin' together, right~?"
"How long are you gonna keep drinking?!"
Their usual conversation went along throughout the match.
On the other hand, the other team also wrapped up their observation of the match as well.
"To think that he's already in that kind of level... At that power, it could be the same as Gildarts." Gray pondered.
"Don't make such exaggerated comparisons. You're scaring me, alright?!" Lucy shuddered.
"Iya, Gray's right. At that power level, he could be next to either Master or Gildarts in terms of magic. That alone assures the fact that he's a Wizard Saint after all." Erza joined in with a rather serious look on her face.
After observing the fight with her own eyes, she could not help but feel overwhelmed by his strength alone. She knew that the Sabertooth mage was strong but Jura is just a monster in terms of strength and durability.
Not to mention his magic capabilities of using impenetrable defenses and even turning it into a form of offensive attack when needed shows just how formidable he is to the upcoming games.
Looking at how he handled Jellal on the first day of matches, she'd say that he was just holding back and had only been measuring him at that time.
"Jura Neekis..." She muttered in an undertone as she watched him return to his comrades who congratulated him on his victory.
"What's wrong, Natsu? You don't seem excited about the fight." Wendy asked after noticing the lack of his response towards the outcome of the fight.
Normally, the dragonslayer would show more spirit than the rest of them but it seems like it wasn't the case.
What's even more confusing is that Natsu stuttered as soon as she started speaking to him―as if he was being cautious.
"U-Uhh... Y-Yeah... Just had a lot of things in my mind lately. Don't worry about it."
"Is that so?" The blue-haired woman pondered in thought.
"Y-Yeah..." He looked away for some reason. Wendy didn't know what was going on but for some reason, she noticed his cheeks flushed for some reason and the pinkette's movements were rather crude and unexpected, almost to the point of being uneasy for some reason.
She was about to ask until the voices of the spectators drew both their attention back to the arena once again.
"That was a splendid battle! Although it was short, the two combatants had shown terrific fights against each other, especially on Jura-san who instantly dominated the match in just a single attack! Truly, Lamia Scale is a guild to be reckoned with. This now puts them at a tie score with Sabertooth of 34 points of today's match!" Lola exclaimed in joy.
Sabertooth – 34
Lamia Scale – 34
Raven Tail – 31
Fairy Tail A – 25
Fairy Tail B – 24
Mermaid Heel – 18
Blue Pegasus – 16
Quatro Cerberus – 10
"...With that said, we're now moving to our second match of the day. And what a surprise, this matchup will surely test the fighting spirit of both respected mages! This is really going to be an interesting matchup as well."
Others waited in anticipation as the next contenders were announced right away.
"The next two teams that will take on the spot are―"
"―FAIRY TAIL A TEAM'S NATSU DRAGNEEL VS FAIRY TAIL B TEAM'S LAXUS DREYAR!"
A mix of both cheers and disbeliefs went over to the outlying audience as the names of the mages for the next match was announced.
Even Natsu was also taken by surprise of his name being called upon in the next match as he glanced around to his teammates who had a rather shocked look on their faces.
"A-Ah, huh?" He couldn't help but stutter yet again in response as all eyes were fixed on him.
"Y-Your opponent is Laxus?! You gotta be kidding?!" Lucy said with a disbelieving look.
"You're dead as well, flame-brain. Hahaha!" Gray, on the other hand, simply laughed his ass off seeing how the pinkette was paired against such an impossible opponent.
Wendy and Erza had a rather different expression as they gazed at the dragonslayer in anticipation.
"Good luck out there." They both said in smiles as Natsu reluctantly nodded after having one last look on the sky dragonslayer before making his way towards the arena to meet his opponent there.
Meanwhile, members of the B Team also began their conversations about the matchup.
"So Salamander is going get his ass handed to him, huh? Gihi, this should be fun."
"Gajeel-san... I think we should cheer for the both of them since they're both our comrades." Mirajane gave a rather soft scolding remark towards the iron dragonslayer.
"Who do you think who would win, though, Mira-san?" Juvia asked.
"Well, that's something we should look forward to in this match. I think both of them have something to settle here." She said as she looked further towards the duo with a careful observation.
As she said that, the rest of them began watching the match closely as well.
As Natsu took his step to the arena, he eventually sighted the lightning mage standing on the other side. It would seem like he was already there and had been expecting him as well. The look on his face also states that he was looking forward to this match.
"Yo, Natsu..." He greeted with a smirk as he came into view.
"...I expected our rematch would come around sooner or later but I didn't think that it would come as close as this."
"Me either..." Natsu answered with a rather complicated look in which he noticed.
"Hmm? It seemed like you're not ready. Don't tell me, you're already chickened out on me?" He playfully mocked.
"Like hell, I would!" As a response, he answered back with a retort.
"That's more like it. It would've been a bit boring if you're not in the game, though." Laxus let out an honest smile as Natsu saw through what he was planning to do.
"Heh, do you really think I would back down from something like this?" As soon as he said those words, flames started to circle around his form as Natsu turned to gaze at Laxus in a very determined expression.
The lightning mage saw this and could not help but answer back with a hardened expression as lightning sparks emerged around his surroundings as well.
A clash of two powerful mages was soon felt as the atmosphere around them began to tense.
The fight between two guild members that will test their strength against each other has finally begun.
A/N: Hello and wassup, everyone. Thank god this has finally updated. In all honesty, I almost lost all the plots I needed to put under this arc but good thing I wrote it beforehand in my notepad in order for me to remember it again. Recently, I've been having writer's block since the pressure of studies became prominent as of late. It was because of this reason that I can't update as fast as I can during my early days so there's that.
Anyways, back to the chapter. I know some of you are already dying to see the part where the two would hit it off. And yes, even I wanted to at some point but I'd like their romance to be stretched out as far as possible in order to fit in realistically to the story. Love doesn't always come around with just a few conversations and compliments. It needs a lot of time to develop just like the other stories I've read. And this chapter is a big leap towards that since Natsu is somewhat aware of the feeling he has towards Wendy.
I originally intended to have them confess by the end of the Future Rogue arc but now I think their confession would happen much more early than that after writing this. And yes, Natsu isn't a complete moron and dense as he is before. This will be later proved by the later chapters that are to come in the future so look forward to it.
Also, the fight between Laxus and Natsu would never end half-heartedly. This will be the battle that would decide who would win or lose the match. There will be no draw on this one. One shall stand, one shall fall (Transformers reference?)
Also notice my small reference to one of my favorite games, World of Tanks. (Any WOT fans out here?) XD
Anyways, tell me about your thoughts in this chapter. I'll see you guys in the next chapter. J
- The wiErDos send their regards...