Huh, strange glitch.
It didn't notify the last chapter update... very strange...
And still no new reviews... bah!

Here we go! Hope you enjoyed it so far!

Chapter 7

Before the Finals Began

Natsu couldn't help but laugh at Arcadios' pathetic attempts at getting him to turn over his key. Did the armored bastard really think that a little bit of pain was going to break him after everything he had gone through?

The man had disappeared at some point, likely when Natsu had blacked out for a moment, leaving Natsu once again alone with his thoughts.

"Heh… bunch of pansies." Natsu mumbled as he tried to shift his weight, the smell of the charred flesh where the electrical lacrima touched his skin making it hard to get comfy.

"Natsu-sama… are you conscious?" A feminine voice questioned quietly from outside the bars, drawing Natsu's attention back to reality. When his vision stopped spinning he could finally make out the form of a very concerned-looking Yukino staring back at him.

"Hey Yukino… decided to join the military after what Sabertooth did to you?" Natsu managed to ask in between deep breaths.

"I-I did… but I cannot sit by while they torture the man who aided me in one of my lowest points." Yukino quietly said as she unlocked the door to the cell and running into the room.

"Thanks, not really interested in letting them take my key from me." Natsu replied as he shakily stood up.

Yukino lent her shoulder to the still weak dragon slayer, a question on the tip of her tongue.

"Natsu-sama… why not let them use your key? I realize that it reminds you of Miss Lucy but by using it we can change the past. Perhaps…perhaps it might even save Miss Lucy."

But Natsu shook his head, a sad smile on his lips. "No… nothing in this world can bring her back… nothing."

Yukino was about to ask how he was so sure when a multitude of voices called out to Natsu, the white-haired woman looked up to see a group comprised of Fairy Tail mages, two humans and three Exceeds.

"NATSUUUUU!" Happy cried, barreling into his partner.

"Natsu! Are you hurt?" Wendy cried out as they approached, noticing how haggard the older dragon slayer looked.

"I've been better, but this is nothing compared to what that Hades bastard did to us." Natsu said, comforting Happy as best he could.

"Well, as glad as I am to see you okay, Natsu, we need to get out of here before the guards notice us." Mira commented as she glanced around nervously.

However, before anyone could make their way to the exit, the floor beneath them opened up and all the mages present fell down into the depths below.

The moment they hit the ground, Natsu sprung back to his feet, a look of fury on his face.

"What the hell was that? Did the floor just give out?"

"I've heard of this… it's the secret dungeon, Abyss Palace." Yukino murmured as she looked around at the jade colored walls.

"So this is the choice you have made, Natsu Dragneel… very well then, I shall simply have to take the key from you after the Garou Knights are finished with you." The voice of Hisui echoed from the giant projection that appeared over their heads, her tone sorrowful but steadfast.

"Like hell you will!" Natsu screamed out as the lacrima vision turned off, leaving them in almost pitch darkness. "When I get out of here, you'll be sorry!"

A short while later, the group was traversing the eerie caverns searching for a way to escape. the rest of the group was feeling antsy, and Natsu's building temper was not helping matters. Mirajane was staring intently at Yukino, when the older girl smiled.

"You know, Yukino, you could pass as Lisanna pretty easily."

Yukino was shocked at the sudden conversation, but her flustered silence continued with the others' additions.

"Mirajane's right!" Wendy chirped in. "You do look like Lisanna."

"The resemblance is rather uncanny." Lily stated with a nod.

"Um… who is Lisanna?" the bewildered girl asked.

Mira smiled. "Lisanna is my little sister."

Yukino's eyes widened slightly, a sharp memory darting past her vision of her own sister protecting her years ago. She glanced over at Natsu, and saw his body relaxed slightly. She understood that they were trying to lighten the mood, and it worked, to an extent.

"Everyone!" Carla called out standing beside a narrow gap in the wall. "This passage might be our best bet out of here."

"Great work, Carla~" Happy trilled. "Would you share a fish with me when -"

"No, Tomcat!" the white exceed hissed. "Quit asking me that!"

"Thanks, Carla." Natsu said, "Let's get moving."

The team inched their way through to the next opening, and across the way was a shocking sight.

"Chief Arcadios!" Yukino gasped.

The White Knight of Mercurius was heavily injured. Blood, burns, and blackened flesh were all over his skin.

"Wendy, help him out!" Natsu ordered, and the girl complied. Natsu may not like the guy, but he didn't deserve whatever happened to him... though Natsu felt something off around them. Arcadios gasped as he gained consciousness before muttering -


Natsu's instincts took hold as he pushed everyone out of the way as a surge of acid rushed forth. He stuck out his foot and sideswiped a figure with a flag on his back.

"What the heck is up with these weirdos?!"

A giggle was heard as a giant plant grew from the ground, and a girl in pink appeared, and then a flurry of papers twisted into another girl in purple. A large bodied man with a glass bottle in his mouth appeared at the same time as a man with overly large forelimbs and a smile as he rubbed his face. Taking center stage behind them from the shadows appeared a normal-looking man with the lower half of his face covered in a metal mask and he wore a hooded cloak over armor, but what truly stood out were the enormous twin scythes on his back.

"The…" Arcadios breathed, lifting himself up slightly. "...Garou Knights. They're… the kingdom's independent executioner squad."

Yukino shivered. "I…I thought they were just a myth."

"Knights?" Natsu spat. If he was in a better mood, he would have laughed them off. Heck, they were all weirdos!

"They are all trained in magics exclusively for killing mages. They're the wardens of the Abyss Palace and kill all criminals of the kingdom. Run while you can!" Arcadios shouted.

"If they're the wardens of this place…" Mirajane mused, "Then they probably know the exit."

Natsu smirked at her conclusion. "Good, let's beat it out of them."

"Yukino," Wendy said, "Try to get him to safety." Yukino nodded, as she lifted Arcadios on her shoulder away from the others.

"Happy, Carla," Lily stated as stepped forward, "Go with them."

"I'm going to fight too!" Happy argued.

"You won't do anything." Carla chided as she grabbed his tail. "Come on!"

Lily transformed into his Battle Mode, his Musica sword in a reverse grip in its small size. "Time to see whose knight training was better, Gihee~" he smirked, mirroring Gajeel.

Arcadios looked back at them. "Why… do they really think they can face them on equal ground?"

Yukino was silent, looking over at Natsu. 'Everyone… Natsu-sama… please come back safe.'

"Heh," Natsu grinned. "I'm all fired up now."

"You thieves have something that could save this kingdom," the hooded leader stated. "Our duty is to execute you and reclaim It." they all stepped forward.

Natsu glared at them, a bristling of irritation at the leader's words. "You weirdos don't know a damn thing about duty."

The lady in purple chuckled, holding a small red piece of paper in her fingertips. "I'll start this off, Cosmos."

"Don't take all the fun from us, Kamika." the lady in pink quipped.

Kamika blew on the paper as it fluttered in the wind. The paper glowed red and exploded into thousands of pieces of the same size, creating a torrent of scarlet flames.

"Paper Blizzard: Red Dance!"

Natsu sneered. "Magic paper? Don't underestimate true fire magic!" his hands were encased in his dragon flames as he shot them forth into the paper storm, but the paper did not burn. Instead, the paper was controlling his flames, turning them the same shade of scarlet. "What the hell?!"

"The paper didn't burn?" Wendy squeaked.

Kamika chuckled. "Don't think you can handle the flames of the God of Fire. Scatter!" With a flick of her fingers, the papers formed into fists and flew towards Natsu. Her casual mention of gods made both Natsu and Wendy hesitate for a moment, but it was enough for Natsu to be pounded into the ground repeatedly. Kamika laughed at his screams before flicking her wrist as the paper fists dispersed into a column of fire, engulfing the slayer.

"Natsu!" Wendy yelled, about to save him by blowing the paper away but stopped as Natsu raised his arms in defiance and started inhaling the flames. The Garou Knights blinked in astonishment.

In moments the flames disappeared, leaving only the falling papers, and Natsu standing in the middle, breathing heavy and wiping his face. He hunched forward for an instant, his body pulsing, and short streams of flame pulsed on his head forming horns like before for just a moment. He scowled at Kamika, but he looked slightly different. His muscles looked larger and more defined under his skin, his shoulders broadened and he maybe gained four inches in height, but his face... his hair grew a touch longer and wilder, and there were now traces of facial hair on his jaw. His expression now looked predatory.

"So those were Ifrit's flames." he muttered, though it was loud enough to hear.

In the Realm above, the mentioned god tensed as his body felt invigorated. His name was spoken time to time by scholars, but this time it was warmer, more true to its meaning. It was acknowledgement and praise.

Ifrit glanced over at Vakhiduta, keeping an eye on the battle. 'Your Heretic's done something interesting…'

His attention was brought back as Kishin lashed out at Oroku to stop him from entering the summon gate. 'And why are you so focused on him, Kishin…'

Everyone stared at Natsu, his new appearance was not as unnerving as his fight with Sabertooth, but a physical change was still a surprise.

"Natsu?" Wendy asked warily as she walked to his side. The fire dragon slayer glanced down at her, noticing he had to look further down.

"Wendy? You shrunk a bit?"

The sky dragon slayer whined in her head. "No, Natsu, you grew!"

He had the crass to blink dimly before looking down at himself. "Huh, so that's what the geezer meant."

Kamika herself was trembling in fear and rage. "How…" she hissed. "How did you survive that?!"

Natsu's attention was back on her with the scowl, but a smirk was on his face as well. "Thing is, lady, I'm a Fire Dragon and God Slayer, and you just gave me the strongest Fire God's flames." his hand was engulfed in the scarlet flames. "See for yourself! Enjin no... Moeruken!" (1)

In irony, the flames took form as a flying fist headed straight for the paper assassin, only for a row of gray withered trees to stop most of it, the rest dispersing in the wind.

Cosmos giggled at the scenario. "That would have made a beautiful death for you, huh, Kamika?"

"S-shut it, Cosmos!" she stammered.

"Wendy, let's go." Natsu stated as he bolted towards them.

"Right!" she replied as she sped alongside him. In seconds they were on top of the ladies.

"Karyuu no Yokugeki!" (2) Natsu's dragon flames forced the two apart.

"This again?" Kamika seethed as she leaped out of the way, only for Wendy to be behind her.

"Tenryuu no Hoso Danga!" (3) Wendy roared. The whirlwind in hand struck down on a gray barrier of paper, but the paper wall was now torn.

'Even the God of Protection fails me?' the paper mage thought frantically. She leaped away as the barrier dispersed.

Cosmos giggled at her comrade's predicament, giving Natsu enough time to get behind her, black-gold flame in hand.

"You can't beat us so easily!" Natsu roared swinging, only for a line of purple gourds to sprout between them, taking the brunt of the flames and force.

"Right back at you, dragon boy!" Cosmos teased. Natsu just glared back at her.

The fisherman knight laughed at the scene. "They seem pretty impatient to die-tai!"

The larger knight bit on the neck of his bottle with a grin. "Looks like it. The girls have this covered."

The hooded knight was silent as he stared at the slayers, analyzing them.

"(4)Karyuu no…"

"Tenryuu no…"


Wind and flame combined into a firestorm that beat down on the two knights. As smoke covered the area, Natsu turned his attention back to Wendy.

"You got a lot stronger pretty fast, Wendy." he smiled as he raised his hand for a high five.

Wendy responded in kind. "I have to thank Great-Grandfather Ketquozal for that."

"Ketquozal?" Natsu didn't know why, but that was familiar to him, and a rush of energy washed over him as the word left his lips.

Wendy nodded. "He's Grandeeny's Grandfather, the King-God of the Sky, and the God of all Dragons."

"Wha?!" Natsu gaped in shock, but then smiled. "That's awesome, Wendy!" he picked her up and spun her around.

Above the fight, Lily and Mira saw their celebration.

"Those two went down pretty fast, didn't they?" Lily asks. Mirajane nodded.

"You're right… it was too easy."

The smoke dissipated and a purple plant bulb covered in red papers was visible.

The dragon slayers' celebration was cut short as they noticed the bulb.

"You gotta be kidding me… " Natsu muttered. Any further thoughts were gone as both of the dodged vines that sprouted and attempted to ensnare them.

The bulb opened up to reveal Kamika and Cosmos unharmed.

"I think it's time to show them a real combination attack." the plant mage said.

"That girl's plant magic is a lot better than Droy's." Happy said.

"Paper magic and plant magic... can Wendy and Natsu handle these two?"

Kamika blew a yellow paper this time and it exploded in a blinding light. Wendy blew the papers away, only for Cosmos to trap her in vines.

"Wendy!" Natsu yelled, only to be blindsided by a chilling stream of white paper.

"Can't do much against the White Dance of the God of Blizzards, fire boy?!" Kamika mocked.

Natsu grit his teeth as the papers started to freeze him in white ice. "Damn it! And I thought Gray's ice was annoying enough!" He roared as he shattered the ice in a blazing fury. Unfortunately, that was enough time for Cosmos' vines to grab him too. "GYAK! Oh come on!"

Cosmos giggled. "All criminals are subjugated here, and when they are, we execute them how we like."

Several purple pods grew from the ground, two of them opening up as a tendril from each snaked its way.

"Flytraps!" Yukino gasped.

Wendy cried out as the tendril wrapped around her, Natsu flailed but he couldn't get free.

"We move now." Lily stated.

"Natsu! Why aren't you burning them off?" Mira called.

"I've got this!" Natsu snarled, "Just go after the others!"

"What are you -" Natsu didn't hear the rest of Lily's comment as he spat a stream of fire at the vines holding Wendy, who responded with slicing through Natsu's with a Wing Attack.

"Let's do it right this time, Natsu."

"You got it."

The two slayers launched themselves at the knights, the rumbles of their battle heard from their audience.

"Seems Wendy has taken after Natsu's destructive tendency…" Carla muttered.

"Awesome! They're in perfect sync!" Happy called out.

"They've survived this long against two of the Garou Knights, even after everything Natsu's been through recently…" Arcadios said in awe.

"He truly cares about his comrades, no matter where they are…" Yukino whispered to herself. "That's what Fairy Tail is…"

"There's still the other three to consider…"

"Uosuke. Neppa. Go finish them." the hooded knight ordered. Neppa and Uosuke smirked as they saw Mira and Lily come their way.

Uosuke waved his flag, calling out "Gravity Zone~!" Suddenly, Natsu and Wendy were forced into the air and stayed there while Mira and Lily were forced back into the air.

Neppa leaped at Lily and Mira, acid fist in hand, and Lily deflected his attack into the ground, the floor liquefying in the process.

"It doesn't matter what you criminals do." Cosmos teased.

"Nothing will stop your execution." Kamika berated.

"Say that to my face, you weirdos!" Natsu snarled. His response was a vine lashing him to the ground.

"Natsu!" Wendy called, another vine smashing her down as well.

Kamika laughed at this, and sent her white papers around Wendy, trapping her in an ice dome with her reflections surrounding her. She was able to break out easily with a roar, but that's what Cosmos wanted, and Wendy was encased in a Flytrap.

"One down, to die slowly." Cosmos giggled. Natsu saw it all and the tension in his mind came again.

"WENDY!" he roared flames engulfing him as he dashed forward and slammed Cosmos into the wall, his eyes turning red. "LET HER GO NOW!"

Cosmos laughed. "Now why would I do that?"

Natsu snarled and grabbed her head, and the plant knight cried out in pain as claw marks were burned onto her face. Leaving her in pain, he smashed open the pod, freeing Wendy.

A bit dizzy, Wendy whispered out, "Sorry, Natsu, I'm still not strong enough yet."

"You're doing fine, Wendy." he comforted, the tension in his mind lessened.

Mirajane appeared next to them, while Kamika stood by Cosmos.

"Are you alright, Wendy?" Mira asked. Seeing the girl nod made her smile, and her attention was back on the others. Cosmos was clutching her face and glaring daggers at Natsu. Mira noticed and said, "Natsu, get Wendy away for a moment, I'll take care of these two." her magic started to pulse and she was soon in a new attire, large horns on the sides of her head wearing a unique blue and white overcoat-like jumpsuit, gauntlets on her arms, and a black collared cape over her shoulders, her face appearing more sinister.

"Satan Soul: Sitri!"

Her opponents didn't get a moment to breathe as she blasted them with a violet magic shot. Yukino saw her transformation and was shocked to see such ferocity from the kind woman that eased her worries minutes ago.

"Ah, the Demon Take Over magic…" the hooded knight stated as he looked on."Something to be expected…"

Kamika tried to get the back at Natsu by sending another flurry of white paper to freeze him and Wendy.

Natsu did not take this kindly and spun around and spat a heavy stream of fire, roaring out, "ENOUGH OF YOUR SHITTY LACRIMA CONFETTI!"

Yukino was so engrossed in the fight that she almost didn't hear the earth upturn as several vines grew out to grab her. She did however see a vine go after Natsu. "Natsu-sama, Behind you!"

The fire dragon slayer looked back at her, and saw the vine. "Yukino, watch out!"

"I'm on it!" Lily shouted as his sword grew in size and cleaved through all the vines around Yukino and Arcadios. Wendy did the same with cutting through the vines attacking Natsu.

"Oh, seems that cat can use a blade properly." the hooded knight stated.

"Ta~i." Uosuke replied.

Lily rested the blade on his shoulder as he stared down Neppa. "My blade will cut down anyone that threatens my comrades."

"Ah?" Neppa sneered as he took a swig from his bottle. "I'll dissolve you in an instant!"

"You can try."

Kamika smirked as she pulled out a purple paper, and threw it in the air. "Paper Blizzard: Purple Dance!"

The papers one again coiled around the rescue team, and as soon as they touched their bodies, they stopped moving.

"What the -!"

"Can't… move…"

Kamika laughed, "Not even you thieves can break the God of Binding."

Natsu snarled at her, but his attention was soon on Cosmos, her eyes hidden, but no doubt of her glare.

"Time to finish them off slowly." she raised her arms "Grow Flow!" in response, a gigantic flower rose out of the ground.

"Shit, that's big." Natsu stated, and looking at Wendy as best he could, he saw she was not liking the idea of becoming plant food again.

"Now you'll see what happens to criminals of the crown." Cosmos smiled, her face twitching from the burns. The center of the flower opened and an intense vacuum began lifting them into the air.

Yukino tried to hang on to something, since she was lucky to not have been struck by the paper, but her support broke and began to fly through the air, but after a few seconds Mira managed to grab her hand and keep her from flying away.

Wendy did her best to stay grounded, and cast a spell "I release and break the limits that try to impede, for on this day we see ourselves succeed! Anomaly Recovery: Raise!"

The team glows green and the papers disappear. "Alright Wendy!" Natsu cheered.

"Praise later!" Lily shouted.

"Right. Lily, Mira! Let's prune this weed!" The exceed and Demon smirked and flew at the flower. Natsu clenched his fists and the scarlet flames appeared again. "Metsujin Ougi! Sayuri: Dai Kaien Ono!" (5)

The three attacks together caused the plant to release all the air inside it at once, making a heavy explosion that launched everyone in varying directions.

Natsu groaned from beneath the rubble as he regained consciousness. Popping out, he looks down the hallway.

"Oiii! Anyone here!?" he called.

"Just you and me, Criminal."

Natsu spun around and saw the hooded knight, arms folded in front of him.

"You're that…that… sorry, didn't get your name." Natsu deadpanned.

"I don't give my name to my targets."

"Tch, fine. I'll just call you Kama."

The now-named Kama twitched in annoyance. "The shockwave from your attack scattered us throughout the Abyss Palace. Though none of you will return to each other alive."

Natsu scowled. "That's not up to you to decide."

Kama pulled out his enormous twin scythes and held them at the ready. "Repent your sins and make peace with your gods, slayer."

Natsu's brow furrowed more and be bared his fangs. "I repeat that sin every time I close my eyes." he burst forth at Kama, shrouded in black flames. "AND I TALK TO THE GODS TO FIND OUT WHY IT HAPPENED!"

Kama cleaved through the flames that approached him, dissipating them, but Natsu was already gone. After quickly glancing around his body lurched forward as the harness that held his scythes shattered from a flaming kick that flung him down the hall. Natsu was able to get behind him in moments, but how -!

The Leader of the Garou Knights glanced at his opponent's left shoulder and smirked beneath his mask. A faint purple glow was seen by his eye only. He grasped his scythes and flung one at Natsu. The blade twirling like a mad buzzsaw as it sliced through the air. Natsu glared at the oncoming projectile. It may have come on fast, but Sting and the Geezer's attacks were a lot faster.

The scythe was easily dodged, but as he was about to strike back, he continued hearing the slicing of air coming closer, and piercing of his shoulder raised alarms as it ripped out of him with his blood seeping from his wound.

"GAAAAAAH-!" he screamed as he clutched the wound as he glared at Kama. he tried to cauterize it to stop the bleeding, but no flames came forth. "What-!?"

Kama simply grasped his scythe as it returned to him. "Did you think I would be easy since I never showed my skills when together? A thief and a coward, trying for the easy way out." He hefted his scythes on his shoulders, the blades facing his back. "My weapons sever the magical connection of anyone I cut, for as long as I will it."

'Shit!' Natsu cursed. He grasped onto his injury tighter a Kama stepped closer. The knight raised his weapons above his head.

"And that's not all…" Kama said, as the hand ornaments on the back of the scythes glowed with a violet light. "ACID CLEAVE." the hands glowed as they were slammed down on the ground and the shock waves caused by it melted the floor in a parting of the sea. Natsu was so shocked he was barely able to get out of the way, only for his foot to be trapped in a much smaller version of Cosmos' flytraps. The Fire slayer tried to break free, but Kama was on top of him quickly.

In a last-ditch effort, he pulled himself back before the scythe grazed his neck, pulling his foot from the flytrap, wet from both the slime and the blood from the plant's teeth, and slipped under the weapon and smashing his injured foot into the back of Kama's head while using him as a springboard to leap across the room.

"What the hell is your problem?!" he screamed as he grabbed his neck. There was no blood, but it was way too close.

Kama steadied himself before brandishing his scythes out again. "I aim for the necks of sinners."

Natsu snarled at that, but in reality, he was snarling at himself. This guy had the right to go at him, but he had to go on, to find the truth! He needed to know WHY!

As these thoughts drove him to stand his ground, a faint gold glow permeated from Natsu's scarf. Looking down, he forced back a chuckle.

Kama saw his change in expression as well as the glow. 'That light… it's similar to -!' The Knight flinched as Natsu pulled out the gold key. Kama almost instinctively rushed forward to stop him.

"Gate of the Sea Goat: OPEN!"

A hearty bell chime went off and Kama found his face embedded on a cloven hoof that forced him back. Looking up, he saw the dapper dressed spirit fixing his tie.

"My aaapologies for leaving you in your time of need, Mr. Dragneel." Capricorn stated.

"Yeah…yeah… sure you are." Natsu breathed heavily, but the smirk was on his face all the same.

"Impossible..." Kama stammered as he regained his footing. "Your magic was sealed."

Capricorn glanced back at Natsu, and saw the shoulder wound. Natsu scoffed. "Bastard's scythes cut off magic consciously."

"Then it's a good thing I'm using my own maaagic here." the goat smirked.

Natsu mirrored his smile and pulled himself into a stance. "Shall we?"


In the realm above, the Gods continued to watch the gladiatorial sport, both Fire deities that now had ties to the one below flinched as a knife severed the air around them, no part from the War King halting another god on his service.

Vakhiduta glanced around to see if anyone noticed, and his eyes fell on Ifrit, whose expression was serious yet concerned. The silent conversation between them was unknown to the others, but they accepted the strange situation, they looked over Ketquozal, who was glancing over at Kishin's tirade, but they could see the Dragon God's fingers convulse and claws form from his nails.

Whatever happened, it was not wise to anger gods.

Kama swung his scythes with precision, but both the goat and the mage dodged with precision and attacked with ferocity. Anytime the two opponents clashed with him was one more irritant that this was taking too long.

"Gravity Zone!" he roared, bringing the hands on his scythes together.

The spirit and summoner were halted in mid-air, and Kama shifted the scythes again into a different formation. "Whirlpool Zone!" Water formed around them and a twisted flung them about. Even without his fire, Natsu took a heavy brunt of the force. Capricorn, on the other hand, held up much better, and had a new addition to himself if Natsu's eyes weren't screwing with him.

"Is that a fish tail?!" he exclaimed after coughing up water.

True enough, Capricorn's tailcoat had a wide-finned green-scaled fish tail flapping about.

"I'm caaalled the sea-goat for a reason, Mr. Dragneel."

"Gahhh! Don't tell me you and Aquarius -" Natsu groaned, remembering their chats before the Games.

"Don't be ridiculous!" the spirit scowled beneath his glasses, before looking away awkwardly. "…Pisces had the son fish granted somehow. We parted on good terms."

"…This just got stranger."

"Enough!" Kama roared once again, twirling his scythes as two rings appeared in the blades' wake. One black, one indigo. "Guillotine Hell…"

In one final swing, the two rings, flashed forth onto Natsu. The banded across his torso in an x-formation, and it didn't stop there, small parts were multiplying on it, creeping over his body- WAIT A MINUTE!

"Oh come on! THIS AGA-?!" Natsu's expletive was muffled as he was engulfed in a two-color paper sphere.

"Demon Cure Nightmare!"

"Natsu!" Capricorn yelled. He slid his footing to glare at the knight. "Whaaat did you do to him?!"

"Weakened him enough for his execution." Kama stated. "To Repent his sins, he must relive them."

Capricorn flinched at his words, before lowering his shades and leveling a fearful glare.

"You have no idea what you've done…"

"ARRRRRGH!" Natsu screamed as he felt his body being fried in cold water, as strange as the idea felt. He couldn't move, he could barely breathe and yet the pain continued.

Before he could think of a way to get out of there, a hazy scene appeared in his vision. One that he never wanted to see again.


The two walked in silence for a while as the rain continued to fall. But as they reached a particularly dangerous part of the cliff Natsu finally spoke, but what he said only confused Lucy.

"Luce… I'm so sorry." He said in a voice that sounded on the verge of tears.

"Stop it… PLEASE!"

Lucy stopped in a panic and was about to turn around and ask what was so wrong when something impacted her back with such force she wasn't even able to cry out past the pain. Slowly, Lucy looked down to find something that she just couldn't understand.

"No… please gods no…"

Natsu's hand, covered in her blood and alight in flames had pierced straight through her stomach.

She only fell to her knees powerlessly. The Rain was louder than ever, sounding like a swarm of Locusts flying around her head.

Natsu's hand withdrew from her body, sending blood gushing down her legs and pooling below her. His breaths were withered and heavy but still he refused to look at her. She tried to scream out; the only thing that came out of her mouth was a gurgling noise as she choked on her own blood.

"I-I'm so sorry… I'm so sorry Luce!" he screamed out from behind her but still he made no move to aid her.

Finally her knees gave way and she collapsed down the side of the cliff and as she fell the only thing that he saw was the look of horror on her face.


The paper prison popped with a heavy explosion, knocking Capricorn and Kama off-center, revealing Natsu in a more haggard state. He fell to the ground, and looked at his arms. He was convulsing and his eyes were wide in fear. His gaze fell on the two and his eyes went black. "You."

In an instant, Kama was being held by the throat against the cratered wall.

"You had no right to make me go through that again!" Natsu's voice sounded dark and fearsome.

"Natsu, calm down!" Capricorn ordered, grasping his shoulders, only for Natsu to shake him off and throw Kama across the room.

Kama coughs as he retains his grip on his scythes. "D…do you honestly think you can survive with the entire kingdom as your enemy?!" He brought both scythes down on them, only for Natsu to grab them and hold them steady, his face ingrained in fury.

"You say that like it's a big deal, I'd take on worlds if I have to!" Natsu snarled as his grip tightened so hard the blades shattered, startling both Capricorn and Kama. Kama leaped back, resetting his grip so the spear points were at the ready. Natsu tossed the shrapnel away and looked at his bleeding hand. "I have a lot to answer to, but those supporting me." he balled his hand into a fist and stomped towards Kama. "Vakhiduta, Ketquozal, now Ifrit and even the benefactor the geezer told me about." With each god's name Kama could swear he saw a burning haze flow off of the slayer. "I'll take whatever help I can get to find my old man and DEMAND THE ANSWERS!" Natsu's fist tightened and Kama and Capricorn were shocked to see his hand engulfed in a giant red star. "AND NO ONE IS GONNA STOP ME! CELESTIAL ART: SOLAR FLARE!"

The star around his fist collapsed as he swung, and as he made contact with Kama's armor, the shockwave warped the metal and the cloak was set ablaze by the streaming arc of fire that exited from Kama's back. The force of it all blasted the knight back and forth against the walls like a rubber toy.

"Unbelievable…" Capricorn whispered. 'Being forced without his Slayer magic, he actually was able to tap into the next level of Celestial Wushu…' He shuddered. 'His Majesty will not be pleased, but General Orion and General Heracles will be ecstatic…' His thoughts were halted as Natsu walked to the fallen knight, picking up one of the spears that had been slipped from the knight's grasp. The metal of the staff creaked and dented in his hands. The slayer slowly twirled it around till the tip faced the floor; He stopped and brought it down fast. Realizing what he was about to do, Capricorn called out. "Natsu! Stop!"

Natsu stopped the blade inches from Kama's neck, the knight held his breath.

"Start Talking." Natsu growled. "Where's the exit!?"

Kama released the air from his lungs and had a dry chuckle. "It won't matter what you say, you'll never escape." he leveled a glare into Natsu's eyes. "You have the same eyes we do, you've killed for something."

Natsu flinched, his grip wavering. "Shut your mouth…"

"You hesitate, even though it's easy."

"That's becaaause it's not easy." Capricorn stated, placing a hand on Natsu's shoulder. "Death is the easy way out… the coward's way. You lost the heart of life as a knight." he glanced at his carrier. "He's not worth it."

Natsu bit his cheek to stop himself, before relenting and tossing the spear to the side. He walked past Kama down the hall, Capricorn following, intent on leaving this madness.

There was but a moment's passing before Kama grabbed the discarded spear and lunged at the slayer. "Your Sins will follow you beyond your death!"

Natsu tensed and twisted around, backhanding Kama's skull, sending him through two walls. "I TOLD YOU TO SHUT YOUR MOUTH!"

Any response was silenced as Kama lost consciousnesses. He fell in a crumpled heap.

The Sea Goat glanced at Natsu before sighing.

"Your choice of an opponent to bring me out against waaas… ironic, don't you think?"

Natsu glared at Capricorn. "It's not like I had a choice, damn it!" he said, spitting fire out. The action startled both of them, but they smiled. Kama couldn't hold the slayer back of the knight was out cold.

"When you have need of me again, Mr. Dragneel, just caaall." the spirit stated before bowing and disappearing through his gate.

"Tch…" Natsu clicked his tongue, but he still chuckled as he made his way down the hall, intent on getting out of this place…

"Where the hell is the exit to this stupid dungeon!?" Natsu couldn't help but scream. He felt like he was walking around for hours, but still not even a sliver of light. He then caught a dark but very familiar scent.

He sniffed the air, his eyes darting about the shadowed corridor until he saw something move. Whatever it was wore a hooded cloak and was trying to be invisible.

The person stared at Natsu, a frown on their mostly obscured face. "Natsu…" The person started running down one of the forking paths.

"Hey you! Wait up!" Natsu called as he followed the figure. The chase continued for minutes with the person just out of Natsu's sight, but the scent left was so eerie that he had to follow. Soon Natsu found the figure in a narrow passage before a crack of light. The figure pushed it open to brighten the corridor, and the hood was blown back by the fresh air coming in, and Natsu saw the golden tresses and he gasped.


She turned her face to him, and they stared into each other's eyes… and Natsu flinched. He realizes that she was not his Lucy. She is older, and her eyes are much sterner, the eyes he saw on an enemy.

"Who are you?" he asks as he follows her into the palace's pristine halls.

"I am Lucy, yet I am not." she says spitefully.

"That's not the answer I want to hear."

She didn't acknowledge his outburst as she peered around the corners. The tension grew until they reached the dining hall, and Natsu snarled in frustration.

"GRAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I can't take it anymore!" he roared, spitting flames into the air, "I've got some questions and You're gonna answer them!"

"Look, idiot!" she turned to him and gave a glare that would make even Erza run. "We don't have time for Twenty Questions, and I don't have time to deal with you!"

"You helped me escape for a reason, Luce, and I want to know now!" he glared at Future Lucy, who flinched at her old nickname.

"Luce… heh, it's kind of surreal being called that after you killed me." she snapped.

Natsu twitched and averted his eyes. "I know… and I can't forgive myself for that."

"You shouldn't… and I can't anymore."

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"You heard the princess speaking of the Eclipse Gate, right?" she asked. He nodded. "Then get this through your skull: I'm from a future where I never forgave you and dragons and demons have taken over."

Natsu's eyes went wide at 'dragons'. "Dragons! How?! Was Igneel there? How many did I beat down?"

"None." she deadpanned, looking away.


"Think, idiot!" she snarled in his face, and she prodded her finger into his chest. "You didn't get to fight the dragons because I KILLED YOU FIRST!"

Natsu's eyes widened at the revelation. He lowered his head and a dry laugh went through his throat. "I guess that's my punishment then."

Future Lucy stopped and looked at him. She huffed and rolled her eyes as she started moving again. "Get moving. We have to stop the Eclipse Gate from opening before the Rogue from my time gets to you."

{Too late.}

It went almost too fast for Natsu. First he heard the voice, and then he saw Future Lucy pierced by a shadowy trident, and then cleaved in two from shoulder to hip. Future Lucy screamed and that echoed raw in Natsu's memories… a sound he never wanted to hear again.

"LUCY!" he screamed as he rushed to her side, not noticing Capricorn's key falling out.

Future Lucy winced in pain as she tried to feel her limbs. There wasn't any blood, her heart had been stilled far too long for there to be blood now. She looked at Natsu's frantic face and recalled the same expression from so long ago, but this was much more direct.

"Don't worry, Lucy! I can save you this time. I'll just get Wendy and -"

"Don't. Natsu." Future Lucy stopped him. "It's too late for me. I'm of no use anymore. Abaddon made sure of that after you died."

"No! Damn it! I'm not losing you again! I CAN'T!" Natsu pleaded, tears welling in his eyes. He had seen this sight so many times and it was still raw. Why? WHY AGAIN!?

Future Lucy chuckled. "Idiot…" she looked him straight in the eye, cupping his face. "You've changed a bit… Even with all that happened, before this happened." she looked down at herself. "I only wanted to return and go on more adventures with you…"

"Please, Luce…" wet drops fell to the floor.

"Natsu… you can still save the present me. Save her."

"I will!"

Future Lucy was starting to feel stiff, but still looked at Natsu with a smile. "Thank you, Natsu… I for…give yo-"


And with a fallen hand, Future Lucy finally met her end.

Natsu felt colder than he ever had. His body was frozen more than anything Gray had done. He could only stare at the body before him, wishing desperately that he could wake from this nightmare. For second time in his life, he felt absolutely powerless.

He heard the rattling of keys and looked to see a man with black and white hair in an ornate get-up that looked a lot like Rogue holding Future Lucy's ring of keys, Capricorn's key in his hand.

"Finally." Future Rogue said, looking at the key in hand. "History will repeat once more with the tables turned. And all it cost was a worthless dead star."

Slowly but steadily, Natsu raised his head to stare at the strange-looking Rouge, the man in question staring arrogantly back at him.

And then, after hearing a loud snapping noise in his head, the world was suddenly dyed red.

At that moment, Natsu didn't care about the future or the incoming dragons. He didn't care about finding his dad or keeping a hold of Capricorn's key.

All he wanted to do was paint the walls with the blood of the fool that stood before him.

Natsu roared, he roared loudly with both pain and rage making his scream almost inhuman. Dark red flames erupted into existence all around him, giving the once regal halls of the palace an appearance straight out of hell.

"W-what the hell is this? These are not the flames of a God Slayer or a Dragon Slayer? What have you done, Natsu Dragneel?" Future Rogue questioned in a panic.

However, Natsu didn't respond with words but simply roared again. The flames shuddered at the enraged dragon slayer's roar, the fires obeying the command of his soul and leaping into action. Future Rogue was prepared for an attack and jumped away, however he stopped when he noticed that the flames were not targeting him.

The flames covered Natsu's skin, the smell of burning flesh now filling the hall despite the fact that Natsu shouldn't be burned by his own flames. The fire coiled and snaked around Natsu's body, completely covering him from head to toe.

Future Rouge watched the now living fireball that was once Natsu, half in curiosity and half in fear. He remembered the pain he had suffered at Natsu's hands that fateful day and he would be dammed if he let him stand in his way again. Using his magic to sink into the shadows, Rouge turned away from the now completely engulfed Dragon Slayer and began making his way up to the surface, ready to take control of his dragon army.

Yukino cried out as the heat from the chains seared her skin. From her perspective, she could see Happy and Carla being crushed by the gravity around them, while her Ursa Minor spirit Polaris was keeping Arcadios safe while holding back an iceberg of all things.

She had tried her best, but the varying terrain was no good for Pisces and while Libra's power was helpful, she could only do so much on her own. If only she was strong enough, if only...

"Yukino!" she heard call out to her, and she saw Wendy, Mirajane, and Panther Lily entering the Terrain Knight's zone, looking worn, but ready to fight.

"Ah~ More criminals ready to die- TAI~" Uosuke cheered. He coiled his arms about ready to shift the terrain, when a black mass surged across the floor in front of him, rising up to show a single glowing eye, one that unnerved the knight.

"{I told you all the Celestial Mage is to be left alive.}"

Yukino gasped, she knew that voice.

For the first time they has seen the knight, Uosuke flinched his face in a fearful frown. "Y-yes sir-tai, but my orders -"

"{Your orders are under my command, and they have changed slightly.}" With that said, the shadows blanketed the ground and everyone in the room started sinking into the floor. Yukino tried to scream as she felt Polaris return back to the Celestial Spirit Realm, but a hand clasped over her mouth as darkness overtook her.

When she felt light enter her eyes she saw Rogue standing over her, but he was older, and half of his now long hair was white. His face was both scarred and tattooed. He tossed something in front of her.

"Open it." he ordered.

Her vision clearing, she saw what every Celestial Mage sought: the entire set of the Zodiac Gate Keys. Under any normal circumstances, she would have been ecstatic, but her mind was riddled with questions. Looking up, she gasped and saw the Eclipse Gate above ground.

"Rogue-sama, w-what's going o-!?" her question was cut off as the Rogue grabbed her chin and chuckled.

"It's been so long since I heard that, but I've been going as 'Master Rogue' now. Sounds better, doesn't it?" he smiled, but it did not fill her with comfort. His smile turned into a glower as he tossed her towards the gate. "Now open it."

Yukino shuddered at his tone, but complied, her magic seeping into the keys as they entered the locks. A heavy click was heard and the gate slowly opened, a glimmering light shone like a pool of water in the night sky, but any more of the mesmerizing sight was halted with what came out… the girl could only scream.

Up above, the gods were in shock to see dragons exiting from the portal, none more than Ketquozal himself. The instinctive praise that came from each dragon as it entered into the present made him stronger, but he felt… wrong about it. When their purging came from the Black Dragon, his body and spirit suffered greatly, but he endured, as did they all.

Now… he felt like a funnel focusing rapids. Too much all at once was hurting.

He had to do something, even if it meant breaking a long-standing law.

A ways away, Princess Hisui stared in horror as dragon after dragon emerged from the portal. Ten dragons now were traversing the city and there was nothing she could do. The man from the future claimed that opening the gate and using the cannon would be beneficial, it was all a lie.

"How…how could I be so stupid to trust that man so blindly?" She murmured to herself as her legs gave out and she collapsed to the ground. "I have led our country to its own destruction… it's all my fault."

"Princess! We have to shut the gate! Where is Yukino?" Arcadios questioned from the Princess's side, trying desperately to get a handle on the situation, even when he was injured and the rescue team alongside, he was still in pain. However the Princess couldn't hear his question, her despair was simply too great.

"Hahahaha! Don't feel too bad, Princess!" Future Rogue called out from atop the Gate, holding Yukino by her collar. "Consider yourself the Last of your family to make such a mistake!" He held Yukino above the emerging dragons. "And now to make sure the gate stays open." and with those words, he dropped her.

Yukino felt nothing but dread, her voice caught in her throat. No keys, no weapons, she was helpless…

"Yukino!" she heard another familiar voice call out, she looked and her heart grew light.

"Sting-sama!" she called out as he bolted through the soldiers into the air to catch her.

"YUKINOOOO!" Sting cried out with his arms outstretched as he closed in.

"STING-SAMAAAA!" she cried as he wrapped his arms around her and he leaped off the head of an appearing dragon, much to its annoyance. The dragon shot its neck out to head butt them and the two went soaring into the town, Sting protecting her from any debris with his body. As they crashed onto a street, the White Dragon held her tight, and Yukino could feel his tears on her skin. "Sting-sama? Are you alright?"

"I'm sorry." he choked out, hugging her closer. "I'm so sorry I forgot my promise to you. I should have kept you close; I swear to never lose you again!"

Yukino's eyes widened at his words. Natsu must have gotten through to him. Her eyes glanced to his left arm, tracing her fingers over the scars across his mark. "Sting… it's alright."

"No it's not!" he pushed her back enough to look into her eyes. "I almost lost Lector because I was too blind… I…I can't lose you again…"

"Sting…" Yukino whispered.

The moment was cut short as a tower of Mercurius exploded and the debris was engulfed in dark red flames. Emerging from the flames was the nightmare Sting survived. An enormous draconian corpse flailing in the air as it fell to the ground. It crashed into the nearby buildings as it rattled the earth as it righted itself.

The beast was even larger than before, maybe larger than the past dragons. But unlike before, flames were not its full embodiment. Its limbs and wings were stripped and charred bone, the torso's rib cage cracked open to see the molten beating heart furiously pumping, the deep red scales crackling like embers. Its body heat was melting the ground below. Its head was as stripped as its limbs, only leaving its muzzle fleshed… but its eye were not the same flames as its origin. They were the sickly regal yellow that screamed for damnation and suffering.

And they were glaring straight them.

"Natsu… what have they done to you?"

Kishin only gaped at Natsu's latest transformation, fear in his eyes. He had only just seen the boy's fury encompass him and the escape of his instigator.

This was no Avatar, this was something much worse.

He tried to grasp the screen to somehow get their attention, but his hands slipped through the projection.

"Damn… c'mon kid, fight it! You're stronger than this, I know it!" he screamed as if it mattered. He saw Rogue and the two's Exceeds running to the couple. "No, no, no! Stay away! You'll only make it worse!"

Ironically, the god's prayer went unanswered as Natsu turned his attention to the younger shadow dragon, a heavy rumble shook the area as Natsu reared his head back. The dark flame building in his maw to erase the slayer. Kishin was panicking, if he had his first kill like this, he'd be a monster for sure!

In a last-ditch attempt, he swung his gilded fist at the screen. "DAMN IT NATSU, YOU DUMBASS!"

Imagine his surprise when he felt his fist connect and Natsu's body was knocked down, sending buildings tumbling down. Kishin looked at his steaming hand in awe.

"Was that… Divine Intervention? After all this time?"

The Sabertooth Trio were scared stiff at the reeling of the giant dragon before them, only for an invisible force to bash it aside, smashing the skull into the pavement. None of them moved in fear of retaliation. They held their breath as the beast raised his head to shake off any debris, its eyes were alight again, but were now scarlet red, a small yellow iris with a black slit pupil darting around. Setting its sight back on the three, its lips curled, showing heavy fangs.

Thankfully, the beast's attention was now back at the castle, and he reared his back into a guttural roar, uttering one single word.


"Wha…what just happened?" Hisui asked in a daze her eyes wide as she stared at the badly damaged castle.

Before anyone could answer the Princess's question, an earsplitting roar shook the air, causing the soldiers present to cover their ears in pain. The Princess watched as an almost sickly red glow began to grow brighter and brighter from beyond the courtyard before a massive dragon corpse climbed from the city level, its roar only louder now that the earth was no longer in between it and the outside air.

Hisui watched in horror as the strange dragon landed on the terrace, its flames burning so hot that Hisui could feel it from her spot on the other end of the courtyard. Her body shuddered as the dragon slowly swept its gaze across the courtyard. She had seen another dragon of flames emerge from within the gate but this one in front of her was on another level entirely.

Her body shook involuntarily and a voice in the back of her mind screamed at her to run, that this was something that no human could understand or even hope to oppose.

"So you still had another form you were hiding, Dragneel? A shame that it won't save you anymore than your powers were able to save that foolish Lucy." The Voice of the man who told Hisui about the Eclipse Cannon mockingly declared, drawing both the attention of the dragon as well as all those present. Standing atop the gate, the man from the future was flanked by at least thirty dragons hovering in the sky, their massive silhouettes only made more intimidating by the darkness that surrounded them, and more were still coming through. With a flick of his wrist, two cleaves of shadow severed the doors of the gate off, leaving those that know to gasp. Without the gate's doors, it couldn't be closed, and the dragons would continue forth.

"But in the end, nothing you do will matter. The gate shall stay unlocked, allowing myself and the dragons that have free reign in this world. And with my Dragon Supremacy Magic, I shall rule this world and save it from the horrors of Acnologia!" The man declared before cackling madly, the dragons behind him roaring in response.

Hisui whipped her head around to stare at the cruel looking dragon, her eyes wide in disbelief. "…Natsu Dragneel?" she murmured quietly, not able to understand the situation before her.

The blood red dragon paid her no attention, instead glaring at the man from the future and the flames covering its form flaring almost as if in response to its anger.

"And now… I shall finally be free of your interference, Natsu Dragneel. Now, Brynngard, Voistel, Fafnir, destroy this false dragon!" the man from the future commanded and a hearty gray stone dragon, a dragon with giant shell-like scales, and golden scaled dragon behind him roared in response.

However, before they could even lower their heads in an attempt to dive bomb the dragonfied Natsu, Brynngard's neck crumbled in the fiery teeth of the blood red dragon, Voistel's fin-like wings and spine were pierced by its skeletal tail, and Fafnir's head was cracked in its boney claws, the horns shattering away.

Hisui couldn't understand it. She hadn't even seen the dragon move, but all of a sudden it had soundly defeated three dragons, something that no human should be able to accomplish.

The three dragons fell as Natsu set his gaze on Future Rogue. In an instant, the Dragon form shrunk down into a human form, but his appearance changed more. He was now three inches taller that his last transformation and his muscles bulked up even more on his broader frame. His face was more gaunt, and red scales were overtaking his skin, and small spikes formed on his jaw bone. His hands and feet melded the dark gold and scarlet flames together, and the blazing horns formed in his hairline again. His eyes were black and red again, the white glow replaced by the slit-pupil iris of sickly yellow just as before, demanding what was wrought. A rumbling growl was heard as Natsu bore his fangs.

"You… Killed… Lucy."

His voice was in pain and fury almost as if he was drowning in boiling oil. And that oil was set ablaze at his next words.


"Natsu Dragneel… what are you?" Hisui questioned quietly as she watched the dragons begin to circle the slayer, each roaring in rage and anticipation of the battle about to begin.

(1) Fire God's Blazing Fist

(2) Fire Dragon's Wing Attack

(3) Sky Dragon's Shredding Fang

(4) Fire/Sky Dragon's Roar

(5) God Slayer Secret Art: Amber Lily: Conflagration Flame Axe

Yahahahahaha~ How's THAT for a cliffhanger? The gate is now unable to be closed, the dragons are constantly coming forth, and Natsu's not himself... mostly.

what will this entail for the future? Stick around and find out!

Also, while you wait to see the next chapter, check out my other stories! Especially Legend of the Miraculous~