A/N: This is a potential FanFic idea for a much stronger (borderline OP) and a smarter Natsu, one that's simply grown up and not acting quite as irrational. And not just Natsu, everybody is a bit stronger, though the ratios should still be the same, if that makes any sense.

I'm still toying with how far I'll take this story, but definitely finish out events of the GMG at the very least. My available writing time is limited so chapters will likely be irregularly posted regardless.

Avoiding spoilers, the short history before this segment is thus: Everyone who was on Tenrou Island still was there. The only major difference is Natsu, Wendy and Gajeel were not affected by the time lock, but were still trapped within the spell's sphere. Hopefully one day I'll actually finish the remainder of the backstory and more of the story moving forward.

The events of Pandemonium I will (likely) not be writing out. I may come back and do it later, but not at first. Assume it happened as cannon, just with the minor changes you'll see before the event itself.

Anywho, I'm still getting the hang of writing FanFic for the masses, so any constructive reviews on my writing style, or lack thereof, are much appreciated.

"WELLLLCOME BACK to the Grand Magic Games!" the announcer exclaims, to the cheers of the crowd. "We have reached the middle of the games here on the third day!"

"Indeed, what kind of fierce dramas will we see today?" Yajima replies stoically. "It should be quite the event."

"With us today, we are joined by Captain Lahar, courtesy of the Magic Council."

"Thank you, Chapati Lola" Lahar responds with a small smile on his face. "It has been a while."

"Yes it certainly has, Captain." Lola happily responds. "For those of you who are curious, Captain Lahar's presence serves two functions today. Not only is he our guest judge, but he is here to oversee a special event that will take place after today's event and the matches. Give a hand for Captain Lahar!"

The cheering continues excitedly in anticipation of this unknown event. Lola turns to Lahar and questions, "you're the captain of the Custody Enforcement Squad, yes?"

"Indeed. My squad and I are the ones responsible for making arrests and escorting prisoners and suspects" Lahar answers firmly. With a small scowl he adds, "Any impropriety or law breaking will not be tolerated."

'Oh Lahar, only you would reinforce your position while being a judge at a competition' Duranbolt thinks with a smirk as Lola continues on. 'And then you had to go and drag me here.'


"Really Lahar? A guest judge at the Games?" Duranbolt asks confusedly.

"There's no reason to refuse such an offer. It's not as if I wouldn't already be there, with so many mages in the area, someone is bound to cause trouble" the captain retorts. Smiling, he adds "you should come too. At least attend."

Turning away, Mest declines. "No, I probably shouldn't. Not after abandoning them as I did."

"You want to see Fairy Tail alive and well, don't you? No better way than seeing them for yourself."

-End Flashback—

"Such a low blow, Lahar" Duranbolt muses to himself with a slight grin. "Even if you are right, such a low blow."


"I shall go" Erza declares, clinching her first to her chest. "I shall not lose!"

Shouts of encouragement rage from the Fairy Tail guild area "Whoohoo go Erza!"

"I'm going too, Kagura! I want to compete with Erza!"

"Alright, Milliana. I'll allow it" Kagura dolefully responds, already regretting the decision.

"Heh, they're sending out Erza, eh" Natsu observes quietly, then glances over to Sabertooth. 'Hmmm, they haven't chosen yet.' Turning back towards his team, he takes note of where they're standing. "Mira, move over closer to Gajeel, and both of you keep an eye on Sabertooth will ya?"

"Uh ok…" "Why?"

"Just do it, I'll explain in a moment. Laxus, start heading towards the arena as if you're heading out, then turn towards me as if saying something back"

"Yeah, sure, whatever" the blonde retorts, slowly making his way towards the arena, then turns back towards this team. "This better be for a good reason, I feel like an idiot." Glancing at his team, he asks "Where did 'Mystogan' go?"

"It appears that the Fairy Tail teams have chosen Erza and Laxus. My memory says he uses Lightning Magic" Rufus remarks to no one in particular."

"In that case I will go. I'll turn everyone into Black Lightning chili" the brutish Sabertooth member states, heading towards the center."

"Do whatever you want. If Natsu Dragneel isn't coming out, I don't care."

"I agree with Sting," Rogue adds sullenly. 'Once again I am denied facing Gajeel Redfox.'

Looking around himself, Gajeel answers the blonde lightning mage "No idea. Probably the head. Yo pyro, Sabertooth sent their green egghead guy out."

"His name is Orga, Gajeel" Mira counters.

"Yeah, whatever. Orga, ogre, same difference."

"Anyways, were they looking towards us when they made their decision?"

"It looked like it" "Yeah" came the two responses. "That white headed bloke even called you out, saying he wasn't going unless you were."

"Yeah, I heard that part" Natsu turns and looks towards the center, seeing Ogra approach Erza and the cat-faced girl. 'What was her name again? Miranna, Mirianna? No, Milliana? That sounds right.' he pondered, observing the other teams. 'Is it two L's or one L? Two N's? Oh who knows, I don't care.' "Alright, Laxus, I'll take this one instead. I wanted to see what Sabertooth would do."

With a grin, Laxus turns back towards his teammates. "They seem to have a hard-on for us don't they" Laxus says snarkily, to which Mira snorts, causing the others to glance at her with raised eyebrows. "Did you just snort?" Laxus cheekily questions the demoness.

"NO! That was me sneezing" Mira exclaims, covering her face as it mimics a very ripe tomato.

"That was adorable" Natsu adds, chuckling to himself as he heads to the gathered mages.

"IT WAS NOT ADORABLE YOU ASSHOLE!" the model shouts after the retreating Natsu, getting only a grin over his shoulder in response.

To his surprise, a voice he'd not heard in many years suddenly reached his ears, "it really was adorable. Even more so with how flustered she became. You haven't lost your touch, Natsu."

The Fire Prince's head shoots up in surprise, eyes scanning the crowd. 'She's here' he thinks to himself, eyes, looking for familiar faces. "Ears sharp as ever I see. But your eyes, I wonder…" the voice trails off, a light-hearted titter in the female's voice. Smirking lightly, he halts his search, planning to seek the owner of the voice out at a later time.

"Well, well. It appears Natsu is competing this round instead of Laxus" the leader of Sabertooth comments. Turning towards the blonde she adds, "it seems you've missed yet another opportunity to face him" with a sadistic grin on her face, amused at the Dragon Slayer's plight.

"Hmm, Natsu is competing. I will take this challenge and face him. Leave it to me" the 5th Wizard Saint announces to his team, striding towards the object of his proclamation. "I am surprised at you, Natsu" he begins, offering his hand to his opponent. "Isn't your Wizard Saint ranking after the matches? It would be unwise to wear yourself out beforehand, would it not?"

Shaking the bald man's offered hand, Natsu contents confidently. "True, it is. But they haven't told me what I will be doing for it. Likely, just another power display, like they had us do when we were first initiated 7 years ago. Though, admittedly, I don't know how effectively that will rank me, as level of power isn't everything when it comes to being a Wizard Saint. If it was, Gildarts would've been one years ago."

"Indeed, his recklessness has kept him from the title for several decades now."

"That, and his so-called womanizing tendencies, his disdain of anything with responsibility, and a number of other reasons" Natsu enforces laughing, remembering his own past. "It's ironic that all those reasons are why he is refrained from the role, and yet he was the one who beat out such weaknesses and flaws from me. Well, except womanizing. He taught me that" he provided, chuckling lightly alongside his fellow Saint.

"Welcome competitors! My apologies for missing yesterday, it was my day off" Mato pronounces to the gathered mages, after Hibiki, Obra and Novally joins them all. "Now, I shall explain the rules of Pandemonium!" Turning towards the arena's center, he stretches out his changes. "Give rise to the Forbidden City, MIDIAN!"

A large, demonic-looking city slowly rises from the arena, coming to rest a dozen meters off the arena floor, massive chains anchoring it. Sporting a dozen cathedral-sized towers, with parapets connecting each, countless windows and arch-ways spanning and honeycombing the structure. Several statues surround its outskirt, all facing outwards, giving the appearance of sentinels guarding the city from intruders. Each one a creature from one's nightmares. At the forefront, warding the bridge-like entrance, were two identical creatures, their broad flat faces facing forward, large jaws opened wide, sharp canines shimmering in a fierce show of warning to all intruders. Each were sporting sharp horns, protruding from the sides of their heads where ears would normally be. Their broad chests outstretched, displaying a magnificent appearance of power, muscles rippling down the stone bodies, resting on arms the size of a full-grown man's neck. Each paw was the size of a lion's, each with seven serrated claws gripping their pedestals menacingly, the threat made perfectly clear. The body posed like a tiger, hind legs bent in anticipation, their scaled tails high in the air on alert.

"The temple where evil monsters nest, where chaos is law. Here you shall face Pandemonium in its purest form. Kabo!"

"Where monsters nest, you say" Jura queries the game master, a grin stealing slowly across his chiseled jaw. "Intriguing."

"Niiiiice. This should be fun" Natsu adds, matching the stone mage's grin.

"It's HUGE!" Millianna screams, tail miraculously flairing out like a scared cat. "How is it doing that!" Quatro Puppy's mage brays in the background (in true anime style) while gawking at Millianna's extended tail.

"Why yes, yes it is. Thank you for noticing" Natsu ascertains in an offhand fashion, fighting a smirk at Millianna's confused reaction, before going red in embarrassment, making the connection.

"Behave Natsu, now is not the time to corrupt innocent minds" Erza reprimands, slapping her comrade on the shoulder.

"That was information I did not need to know" Hibiki comments, holding the bridge of his nose.

"If we can continue, kabo" holding up a cube with eight straws sticking out, Mato raises it towards the challengers. "Before I explain the rules, everyone please draw your lots."

"Ladies first" Natsu inclines, arm outstretched towards Mato.

"Don't mind if I do!" Millianna pounces towards their Pumpkin-headed host, pulling her straw. "Whoohoo, I'm Number 2!"

"I am no lady" Erza retorts, scowling at Natsu.

"But mademoiselle, you express a most magnificent perfume!" Natsu counters, mimicking Ichiya's voice and pose almost perfectly, much to Erza's chagrin, if her full body shiver is anything to go by.

"Ohhh you're going to pay for that, Natsu" the Knight darkly retaliates, an evil visage of proposed pain surrounding her as she marches towards the scared, minute figure holding the cup of straws. "But if you insist then I shall take mine next" Erza expresses determinedly, choosing her own straw. "It would seem I am to be first in this competition" she discloses to her opponents, holding up the marker with a bold "1" on its face.

"Well that's unfortunate" Natsu verbalizes, holding up his own marker with a number "8" on it, as the remaining competitors pick their markers.

"Now that everyone has their numbers, we shall begin, kabo. As you've likely already figured out, each number represents the order you shall compete. Within the temple city, there are 200 monsters, kabo. Well, to clarify, they're not actual monsters like each of you would encounter in the wild, though many may have similarities to them. They are magical tools that we have created, kabo. They won't attack any of you in the audience, so you may relax. They will not leave the statue perimeter that surrounds the city, kabo.

"The creatures are divided into six levels of battle power: D, C, B, A, S, and X" the diminutive host continues, as the crowd and mages respond in surprise.

"AN X CLASS? ARE THEY CRAZY?!" Makarov screeches from his balcony.

"Wow, they're really pushing these mages' limits aren't they?" the blonde, child-like spirit muses, feet dangling in the air. All pretense of her immature self gone. "Whoever faces the X class will have their hands full."

"And here I was concerned there wouldn't be a challenge" Jura ponders out loud, as Natsu nods next to him.

"If I haven't missed my guess, I would still say there won't be one" the fire mage adds, as Jura looks at him questioningly. "I don't think Erza will let any of us have a shot at fighting any of them" he articulates, chuckling lightly.

"Now, in regards to each level, there are a limited number of each, so the engaged champion will not be overwhelmed, kabo. The specific numbers are 90 D class, 60 C class, 30 B class, 15 A class, four S class, and finally only one X class. In regards to how strong a D class creature is…" he breaks off, as an armored creature comes barrelling out of city wall as if summoned, roaring at the humans before it, before charging through another wall. "Well, I think that about describes the D class creature better than I could, kabo. Of course, as you get higher up, the creatures get much exponentially stronger than that little guy, kabo" he finishes, as many in the crowd sweatdrop.

"Did he just call that creature a little guy?"

"If that's a little guy, I don't want to see what a big guy looks like"

"No kidding, an X class creature would be truly terrifying to face in any setting. And they have to do it in a confined city."

Ignoring the crowd, Mato divulges to the awaiting wizards, "be warned. The X Class monster has such strength that it is one that would challenge Wizard Saints. Often, such monsters are purposely offered only to ones of that level to avoid collateral damage." Most of the crowd and gathered mages grimace at that, fear evident on many faces.

"Well, that's interesting. It appears I should have listened to you Jura and not competed today."

"Possibly, but your earlier assessment may also prove true. We can only wait and see."

"Heh, no doubt. 10,000 Jewel says she tries fighting all of them."

"HA!" the monk barks, nearly doubling over. "Do I look like a fool to take such a bet?" he rails, mirth gracing his face as he chuckles.

"Eh, worth a shot. Would've gotten lunch out of it" he acknowledges with a smirk, turning towards the other competitors, before choosing his mark. "Hey, puppy boy" he calls out to the Quatro Puppy contender, who turns with a confused look.

"You talking to me?"

"Do you see any other pooches down here, Fido?"

"WHO THE HELL YOU CALLING FIDO!" he screeches before a question mark pops up over his head. "Who's Fido?"

'Oh man this is too easy' the slayer thinks to himself, chuckling internally, a stoic persona as his front. "Nevermind. 20,000 jewel says Erza tries fighting them all" he offers casually, watching his target process what he just said.

"Yeah, right. She'd never do that" he quickly retorts, waving off such an absurd idea.

"Alright, fifty thousand then says she beats them all" he counters, keeping his eagerness to himself.

"BEATS THEM ALL?! ARE YOU CRAZY?! She'd be stupid to try that" the blue capped man exclaims, arms waving around.

'Oh yeah, he's definitely falling for it. Time to drive it home' he deems, glancing at Jura whose pursed lips and dancing eyes bely where his attention is truly focused. "Alright then, final offer. 100,000 says she beats them all, and if you win you get your guild name back" the salmon haired man bids, hand offered towards the spike-collared man. 'They certainly take the whole "dog" thing to an extreme' he gathers silently.

Eyes at first widening at the amount, all thoughts of the money fled at the last offer. Nearly ripping Natsu's arm off "You've got a deal! FINALLY! Quatro Cerberus will rise again!" he shouts, before dancing off to celebrate his victory.

Rubbing his shoulder slightly, Natsu moves back to Jura's side, the larger man finally breaking his composure and smiling. "Well done."

"Too easy. Didn't even try to fight back" the smaller man cracks up lightly, turning his attention towards the green-hatted man. "Definitely didn't lose your touch" he hears the all-too familiar voice say between giggles, whilst smiling to himself at the woman's approval.

"Now, in order, each you will take turns selecting a number of monsters to fight with. This is called your 'Challenge Right', kabo." The host looks at each of them before continuing. "For example, if one chooses '3', then three monsters will appear within the temple, kabo. If they succeed in defeating those three, that competitor will receive three points. Then, the next competitor may exercise their 'Challenge Right' amongst the remaining 197 monsters, kabo. This will continue on a rotating cycle until zero monsters remain, or everyone's magical power reaches zero. At which point, the competition will end, kabo."

"It's like a counting game, huh."

"Exactly, miss. Situational judgement becomes quite important."

"What do you mean?" Millianna asks.

"Like I said before, the monsters have ranks. The monsters appear randomly. If you choose only six creatures with your 'Challenge Right', you may face one monster from each rank. However, you could also choose 25, and all 25 may be from the same rank, or a mixture from each of them. Also, while all chosen monsters may not appear simultaneously, they will not appear in a specific order either. If you choose 10 monsters, and 5 are A class, and 5 B class, you may face all of them at once, or in a random order as well."

"Wow, it truly is pandemonium isn't it" Mavis comments from her balcony seating. "It would be very difficult to create a stratagem with that many variables to account for."

"In other words" Hibiki offers up, "some sort of battle strategy to avoid drawing the S-rank and X-rank monsters is necessary, huh…"

"If it's all random, that sort of strategy wouldn't work" Orga retorts.

"No, with probability theory and my archive, a strategy will work to some extent" the golden laced brunette states self-assuredly.

"Now, be aware, the rank of the monsters you fight does not affect your overall score, kabo. Points are given for the number of defeated monsters only."

"Ah, there's the kicker" whispered Natsu to himself, Jura and Erza overhearing and nodding to themselves.

"Once you've entered the temple, you will be unable to withdraw until you've won, kabo."

"What happens if you go down inside the city?" Milliana questions worriedly.

"Then your point total up until that round remains the same, kabo. If in previous rounds you had already defeated five monsters, your point total will remain at five after the failed attempt. You will receive no points for that round, kabo."

"So, it would be unwise to be too greedy, then" Panterlily states aloud from the Fairy Tail guild area.

"Aye, but if you choose too few monsters per turn, others will gain or overtake you" Happy adds in.

"True, and then you have to take into account your magic recovery in between turns as well" Carla also threw in, Romeo sweating lightly next to her. "Man, they really made this round a challenge" he conveys out loud, worry crossing his brow.

Meanwhile, on the field

"I was thinking this competition would all come down to the luck of the draw…" Erza affirms, head slightly bowed, eyes closed as if preparing for her next course of action.

With as confused of a look as a pumpkin faced man can muster, head cocked slightly, echoing the scarlet haired woman before him "The luck of the draw? No no no. How should I put this, kabo? It's a game where maintaining your pace and situational judgement are more important than just the order of battle…" he begins to explain, before being cut off.

"No" the knight breaks in, vigor and determination dominating her face as she looks up towards the city. "This… this is no longer a game" she renders as she steps towards the temple gates, the wanna-be oompa loompa looking on with a frown on his face, confusing all who can see him (cause a pumpkin head can't really be his actual face right? So how is he making faces with it?)

"All 200 will be my opponents" the cherry headed woman declares, a daunting figure before the werewolf and bull demented hybrid-looking creatures guarding the entrance. "I invoke my 'Challenge Right' and claim all 200!"

Most of the crowd goes silent, gawking stares mirrored on nearly everyone's faces. The voice amongst the few not remaining silent. Natsu turns and scans the crowd, finally locating the woman, one of the few persons not stone-still, her body very obviously shaking in laughter. The travel-worn cloak doing little to mask the very womanly figure she carries. Hood drawn, covering her hair and face, her legs crossed in front of her. 'Those legs' he remembers fondly. 'Long and smooth as arachnean silk.'

His musings and pleasant memories are broken off by the sounds of more laughter, this time coming from the Sabertooth bench. He seeks it out, seeing the so-called Twin Dragons doubled over, much to the embarrassment of Minerva and Rufus, who are inching away from their teammates. Fighting an angry grimace, he glances once more at the woman of his memories, winking at her and receiving a smile in return, before focusing his attention on his guildmate.


"I don't care" the woman in question declares, turning towards the MC. "I have made my decision" she delivers, before turning towards the city's entrance.

(A/N: Events of Pandemonium occur, no major changes except a couple armor and weapon mods, and of course enemy total. Will write this part out later, possibly, but not today)

As the dust settles, there stood but one. One, who faced a horde. One, who defied all odds and faced creatures of nightmares. One, the Scarlet Knight, stands proudly, each breath a deep pant, chest heaving. The wounds and future scars of the battle on display for all, she musters strength from some unknown source, raising her sword high in the air. Amongst the rubble of the ruined city, the Queen of the Fairies, known as Titania, her sword clutched firmly in her grasp, she smiles.

The crowd and mages, in various levels of shock and glee, stared at the proud mage, victorious against their darkest fears.


The pronouncement broke the wall of silence as the crowd erupts in acclamation, most getting to their feet in cheers and applause, congratulating the impressive feat.

'Still reckless as always' Duranbolt cries silently from the stands, a large smile stretching his face.

"Amazing! Fairy Tail A'S Erza Scarlet just DOMINATED the Pandemonium event! A massive victory that brooks no complaints! That was incredible! I don't foresee the applause stopping anytime soon!"

"I give up, I'm too old for this" Yajima cries, holding his head with a strained smile gracing his face

"Welp, there goes that competition. Not that I really expected anything else to be frank." Turning towards the awestruck stray, he holds his hand out palm up. "Pay up flea bag" he calls, crooking his hand. "Have my money ready by tonight, I'll be sending someone to collect it" he adds, starting towards the city.

Suddenly, a bright light appears in front of the gathered mages, and the worn out figure of Erza stumbles out of it. Catching her gently, Natsu sets her back on her feet. "Anything broken?"

"No, I don't think so. But I'm going to be sore for a while though" she replies, wincing at the pain on her jawline. As the rest of her team races out to them.

"As expected, that was amazing" the stripper remarks upon arriving.

"That was very impressive, Erza" the celestial mage added.

"Juvia agrees with her love rival," "I'M NOT YOUR LOVE RIVAL!" "Juvia thinks Erza did very well."

"YOU DAMN NEAR GAVE ME A HEART ATTACK YOU RED HEADED BIMBO!" Wendy screeches before taking Erza into a deep hug, inflaming multiple injuries in the process. She held her iron grip until Erza's groans of pain and Gray's prying pulls her off.

"Be careful with her, goodness. Can't you see she's in enough pain dammit."

"Oh chill out you oversized ice cube. She's not that hurt. Carry her back to our section and I'll start healing her" the bluenette casually remarks before walking back to their section.

"Ha ha I see little Wendy has gained your sense of rivalry with Mr Gray" Jura comments to the pinkette next to him. "Although, little may not be the correct term anymore by the looks of her" he continues, fondly remembering a young girl with a green dress wearing blue shoes with wings on them stumbling and eventually falling into their first meeting.

"Must be a dragon slayer thing. Gray has a knack for getting on our nerves" the fire user remarks, observing the reunion. "And no, she's not so little anymore. She's become a gorgeous, young woman" he agreeingly adds, as said woman turns and winks at him over her shoulder without breaking stride, a little extra sway in her hips. "She's going to be a heartbreaker for sure" he divulges with a smile, remembering the years spent on Tenrou Island with her.

"Naughty boy Natsu, corrupting innocent young girls."

"Heh heh you would know, wouldn't you" he retorts, glancing in the direction he knows the voice to be coming from, a half cocked smile on his face, seeing a smirk in response.

"What was that?" Jura queries, confused at the young man's seemingly random statement.

Waving him away, he dismisses "nothing." Watching the arena team call back the magic that created the Pandemonium event, he asks, "so what are the rest of us going to do? They going to name it a 7-way tie for second?"

"That is a good question. There's no way to defeat her, so she'll obviously receive the full 10 points. Although, that seems a bit underwhelming considering the feat she just accomplished" the bearded man opines verbally, as he too observes the deconstruction of the event.

A few minutes later, their answer came in the form of their orange-headed host leading a small squad of rune knights escorting a strange device that both Saints recognized.. It was a black orb that seemed to have an aura around it. It was hovering over a four-pronged shining chalice that hung a couple feet off the ground.

"After discussing with the judges, we concluded that the remaining seven teams must finish establishing an order of rank, kabo. Since our prepared event was, impressively, completed in historic fashion, we've prepared a simple game." Raising a hand towards the device, he conveys "this is a Magic Power Finder, or MPF, kabo. When this device is struck with magical power, that power is represented numerically, kabo. Those numerical values will be used to establish a ranking. It's a little banal, but as we already had need of it later this afternoon for Mr Dragneel here's Wizard Saint testing, we will use it now, kabo."

"A simple comparison of magical power, huh. That probably leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage" Hibiki groans.

"At least I'll get to find out how powerful I am" Millianna states enthusiastically.

"Say, Millianna. Are you free tonight?"

"Free for what?"

"Free to spend time with a handsome chap such as myself."

"Are there going to be kitties?"

'What is it with you and kitties' Hibiki sweatdrops, turning away from the confusing girl.

"A good thing they brought the Wizard Saint one. I doubt the one the Rune Knights use would have a level cap high enough for us" Natsu comments to his fellow Saint.

"Agreed" the Earth Mage answers, nodding slowly.

"I'll need your help with something when it's my turn, if you don't mind. Nothing major, simply damage control."

"I can agree to that. We don't need the arena being destroyed" came the response with a chuckle at the younger man's expense.

"I'm not THAT bad" Natsu mutters to himself. "It's a new slayer mode I've been practicing and haven't perfected yet."

"Truly? I look forward to seeing it."

"Now then, we'll continue with the order that was previously determined, kabo."

"That means I'm up!" Millianna jumps forward, throwing her cloak off, putting on display her scantily clad body, complete with stockings and a garter belt. "SO HOTTT!" can be heard throughout the crowd, nose bleeds everywhere.

'She got embarrassed at my joke and she's wearing that?' Natsu thinks to himself, trying not to stare at his opponent.

"Here I go!" She reaches back with her hand, magic gathering in it before thrusting it forward. "Kitten Blast!" Pink tube-like ropes spiral out, striking the orb full on, a glowing '700' pops up above it.

"Our first competitor got '700'! That being said, we don't know if that number is high or not, without any basis for comparison" the shoulder-haired blonde announcer dictates, looking to his co-hosts for support.

"Hmm" came the grunted agreement from the chef in the middle.

"We Rune Knights also use the MPF as part of our training. This one in particular we use to practice squad attacks. '700' is a high number. It's a level sufficient enough to become a squad captain."

"Millianna's real strength isn't power, it's her ability to negate it" Beth comments from the Mermaid Heel team section.

"This part of the competition is probably rather unfavorable" her teammate Risley supports, grimacing lightly.

"Next up is Quatro Puppy's Novally!" After a chorus of "Wild!" is heard from said team's bench, the number '265' is displayed. "The value is kind of low, isn't it"

"Yes, that number would not qualify for Sergeant."

"Alright, it's my turn" Hibiki confidently states, stepping forward.

"This is rather tough for Hibiki, who's a knowledge-type wizard" Eve remarks from his section.

"If only I had gone out, I could have at least matched the cat girl's score" Ren adds next to him.

"Believe in your friend, you guys!" Ichiya suddenly cries out, surprising his two comrades, as the number '195' pops up. "Is this what we get for believing in him?" Ren asks, whilst Ichiya cries out "Meeennn! There's a lot to learn from failure. You can take this and strive to do better."

"Yes sir!" came the chorused response, as Obra steps up to the MPF.

"That guy" Pantherlily began.

"He's the one who attacked Carla and Wendy" Happy adds.

"Yes, such a cowardly act as well" Carla finished.

Natsu's jaw clenches, stifling a growl as he hears the exceeds, restraining from acting on his anger towards his opponent.

"Calm down, Natsu. He didn't do much damage" Wendy says from the box, her concentration still on healing Erza of her more prominent wounds. "There, you're in no danger now. I've taken care of the worst. I'd heal you more, but I don't know if I'm fighting today or not, so I don't want to use too much magic" she concludes, standing up from her ministrations.

"Thank you Wendy. I appreciate what you've done."

"No problem. But next time you do something stupid like that you're on your own" Wendy adds, smirking at her adopted sister.

"I'll keep that in mind" said woman replies, smiling. Her attention then caught by the announcer's surprise at Obra's score of '5'. "What's with the shrunken Tiki head?" she questions towards Lucy, who was watching.

"It came out from under Obra's cloak and head butted the orb" the celestial mage responds.

"I wonder why he'd avoid using his magic" Wendy wonders aloud.

"It was likely intentional, not to give away his abilities" the knight hypothesizes. "I wonder what their game is" she trails off, glancing towards the remainder of Raven Tail.

'So do I' Natsu thinks to himself, before smirking and taking the green witch's hat from the pumpkin. 'Hey, it even fits' he laughs to himself, tilting it forward to the right. "Not my color, but what do you think?" he asks, turning towards Jura and Millianna, their differing facial responses making him laugh.

"No, definitely not your color" the taller mage chortles, pursing his lips to hold back a laugh.

"That's so mean, taking his hat like that!" the kitty answers in fright, fists covering her mouth.

"Certainly not your color, but the look suits you" came the sultry voice, the sound caressing his ears as he smiles.

"What are you doing, Obra?! Are you stupid?!" Flare flares with a flair. (A/N teehehe couldn't resist)

"Silence Flare, his magic can't be shown in front of people" her team leader dictates, quieting the red head's outburst, as Kurohebi and Nullpudding cackle.

"That's a little unfortunate" the now hatless pumpkin tells Obra. "But, there are no redo, kabo" he finishes, before raising a magical display. "The current rankings are thus: in 4th place, Obra of Raven Tail. In 3rd Place, Hibiki of Blue Pegasus. In 2nd Place, Novally of Quatro Puppy. And currently in 1st Place, Millianna of Mermaid Heel. We shall continue on with the remaining three competitors" he continues before turning to said remainders, noticing his hat on the head of one smirking slayer. "Give me back my hat!" he yells, jumping up and swiping it from the thief. "Now, as I was saying, Orga of Sabertooth, I believe you're next, kabo."

"And now, the representative of the Grand Magic Game's defending champions, Sabertooth, Ogra is stepping in! The applause is amazing!" the announcer cries out, while Natsu merely yawns in response.

"Here goes…" the brutish man steps up, bringing his palms together. "120 MM Black Lightning Cannon!" he screams, a yellow and black ball of power rocketing towards the hovering black orb, it's impact nearly blinding to those closest as 7583" pops up.

"His power level is over 7000!" The announcer cries out.

"Ten times my score!?" the screeching feline shouts out, tail and ears reaching for the sky. "How are they doing that, they aren't your real body parts!" the puppy's exclamation comes from the background.

"I've… I've never seen a score like that. Not even in my corps" Lahar shockingly states from the announcers booth. "Even in squad practice we don't normally reach that number."

"That's Orga! When it comes to power, he's the strongest" Lector dances next to his slayer partner. "Frosch thinks so too" also dancing. No one notices a certain lightning dragon smirking from the sidelines, as they were all holding their ears at Ogra's terrible singing celebration.

'Not bad. At least Sabertooth aren't entirely all-show' Natsu thinks stoically, politely tapping two fingers from each hand together in a light clap before crossing his arms again.

"Next up, Jura! Can one of the 10 Great Wizard Saints surpass this score!"

"Jura will win, won't he?" Sherria worriedly asks, watching Jura approach the MPF with his eyes closed in concentration.

"Of course he will" Lyon answers definitively. "I'm not worried about this" he answer, to Sherria's confused look.

"Do you mind if I go all out?" he queries of Mato.

"Of course, kabo. That's the whole point!"

"Very well." Raising his hands before him in a prayer-like pose, his body is surrounded by a yellow and brown glow. The ground around his feet start to shake, pebbles rising in the air as the arena starts to feel the release of power. Mato and the remaining competitors start to fall back, with the exception of Natsu, who stands firm, arms crossed and a perversely gleeful smile on his face.

"RUMBLING MOUNT FUJI!" came the sudden call, eyes glowing yellow as a large beam of power erupts under the MPF, a towering mountain appearing suddenly before dissolving into the ether.

"37,975! UNBELIEVABLE!" came the announcers astonished cry that was half squeal, half squawk.

"HOLY CRAP! HE NEARLY BROKE THE DAMN THING!" the resident stripper screams from his bench.

"In a word, unsurprising" came Erza's calm and smiling response.

"He was a Wizard Saint when we did that Oracion Seis mission together" Wendy added, reflecting upon her first meeting of the man. "It's really not a shock that he's even more powerful now than we was then."

"It makes you wonder if those deemed 'Wizard Saints' should have their participation in this event limited, doesn't it?" Lyon observes, not surprised in the least by his teammates power.

"Oh, is that what you were worried about?" Sherria questions the ice mage while cheering on her teammate.

"With that score he sets a new record for the MPF! The title 'Wizard Saint' is not just for show!" Lola exclaims.

"That is incredible" Makarov verbalizes, astonishment written all over his and Mavis' faces. "He's probably a match even for Gildarts."

'Heh, you've got that right Gramps' Natsu thinks, clapping for his fellow Saint. "Not bad, bud. Not bad at all. Probably a good thing you held back some, otherwise you'd be the one destroying the arena and not me" He adds with a laugh, shaking the man's hand in congratulations.

"So you noticed, did you? Yes, I figured going completely 100% would have done more damage than good. So I settled for about 80%. I cannot allow my good name to be tarnished now can I?" he responds with a chuckle, accepting the offered hand. "Now what is it you needed me to do for you? I presume it has to do with your display."

"Right in one, come with me and I'll explain" the pinkette orates, moving in the direction of the MPF.

"The last challenger is Fairy Tail B's Natsu Dragneel! This display is for… wait what is this? Oh, my! People of Fiore, viewers, competitors, and those of you in attendance! It is my very great pleasure to welcome the hostess of the Grand Magic Games! I give you, Princess Hitsui Fiore!"

The audience in attendance and most of the mages turn to look at the box dedicated to the royal court, and sure enough the greenette princess had just entered and was standing at the forefront, waving to the crowd before claiming her seat next to the king's throne.

'Well, now, the pressure is on to make a good show of it' Natsu thinks, smiling in the direction of the princess. 'Better make this look good.' "Too bad I can't go all out either" he remarks, turning back to Jura. "We couldn't put on a heck of a show for the Lady" he adds chuckling along with the bigger man. "Now, what I need is a few things. That wall over there, the one devoid of stands, can you lower it for me? It faces out towards the plains and mountains beyond, so there isn't anything behind it. You can put it back up afterwards."

"Yes, I can do that" Jura responds, before turning back towards Natsu. "Shouldn't we ask permission before deforming part of the arena, though?"

*Sighs* "Yeah, you're probably right. Hey, Mato! Can I lower that wall over there for my attack? I don't want to destroy it."

"Awfully confident in your ability aren't we?" the orange headed man answers, turning back from the crowd. "Very well, if it avoids any unnecessary damage, I'll allow it."

"Thanks. Ok Jura, you heard the man." A section of the designated wall slowly lowers into the ground, revealing a beautiful sight of the open plains beyond, stretching out for miles before ending at the base of the Fiore Mountains. "Sweetness. I also need a channel, starting from…" he moves to where the other competitors were standing, 20 feet in front of the MPF, "here. And stretch to the edge of the arena. Keep the walls about 20-30 feet apart, and about 15-20 feet high. I'm confident my control of this spell is within that range, but better safe than sorry."

'This should be interesting' the earth user ponders, doing as requested by the young Saint. "There, it is done. Any other requests?"

"Nope, that'll do it. After this you can put it all back." Shaking his head, Jura retreats to where the other competitors and Mato are standing. "Do I have a time limit? I'd like not to rush this if I don't need to" the salmon haired man asks the host, looking over his shoulder.

"As long as you don't take too much time, no more than 5 minutes" came the response.

'Five minutes. I hope that's enough' the fire prince ponders, before bringing his hands together and closing his eyes, forming a triangle with his thumbs touching, the rest of his fingers extended downwards and also touching their respective opposites. Crouching down, knees slightly apart, he begins channeling his magic to his hands.

Fairy Tail Bench

"Oh. My. God. He is NOT using that" Wendy cries out, eyes widening.

"Holy shit Salamander, are you TRYING to kill us!?" Gajeel exclaims from nearby.

"What is he doing?" Lucy and Juvia question the bluenette, confusing on their faces.

"What is the knucklehead up to now?" Laxus asks his teammate.

"No wonder he had Jura remove that wall, and build that channel. The idiot would've obliterated it otherwise" Gajeel continues, ignoring the blonde.

"Will SOMEBODY explain what's going on!" Makarov cries out from his guild's section, looking down at his two teams.

Turning and looking up at the guild master, before looking around at her teammates, Wendy sighs and begins to explain. "While we were on that island, as you all now know, Gajeel, Natsu and I spent the time training. Since we were trapped there by the spell, but not affected by the time-freezing aspect of it, we didn't have a lot of things to do. So we trained. And trained. I lost track of how many times the three of us nearly killed each other" she utters, shaking her head at some unpleasant memories. "Anyways, sometime about two years ago, Natsu figured out, or discovered, or something, I don't know. Anyways, he figured out how to fuse his magics."

"Fused? As is use multiple types at once? I thought he could already do that, as he showed with his Lightning Flame Dragon mode against Hades?" Erza asks of the young girl, piecing it together.

"No, using multiple magic is something most anyone can do. He actually fused them together into one magic. He is still able to use them separately, but he can also use them as one, newly created magic that drains as one element" the Sky Dragon Slayer adds to the consternation of her fellow guildmates. "Gajeel and I aren't entirely certain how he does it, as we each only have two magics to use ourselves. But Natsu, he has five that we know of" she informs the now astonished Fairy Tail mages.

"FIVE!" came the collective response.

"Yeah, the asshole has three dragon slayer magics, a god slayer magic, and another one" the disgruntled metal mage tosses in, arms crossed in annoyance.

"Look!" the pigtailed girl suddenly shrills out, pointing towards Natsu. "See the purple aura around him? That's his fusing attempt of his fire magics. Any moment now, it's going to… ah, there it is" she trails off, as a light pulse emanates from said man. "What was that?" the resident ice user cautiously. "That pulse was the successful fusion of Fire Dragon and Fire God magics. He always starts with those two to prepare himself for the difficulties of the others." 'I wonder if I'd need to absorb God Slayer magic to do that too' she wonders, glancing towards the Lamia Scale bench.

"Where did he get these other magics?" Mira asks, still reeling from the new knowledge, bringing the young girl out of her thoughts.

"Well, you all know he is a Fire Dragon slayer. So there's one. In the fight with Oracion Seis, he was on the wrong end of a poorly aimed White Dragon's Roar by Sting, the Sabertooth idiot over there" Wendy delivers with a sneer.

"Sabertooth? They were there too? I thought only four guilds were sent on that mission, Fairy Tail, Blue Pegasus, Lamia Scale, and Cait Shelter" the guild master asks to those who participated.

"There were" the bluenette confirms before continuing. "Apparently, some members of Sabertooth were passing by and heard the fighting. According to Natsu, while he was fighting some of the lesser Dark Mages, Sting suddenly appeared and started attacking, trying to help. Also according to Natsu, he was getting in the way, as they were both running into each other a lot. Sting tried to take them all out at once with a Dragon's Roar, and hit Natsu instead. For some dumb reason, the idiot decided to eat some of it, thinking to recharge his magic" Wendy cracks up as she tells the tale.

"He did the same thing with the ethernano on the Tower of Heaven against Jellal" Erza throws in, breaking the bemused silence. "It was surprisingly effective, after it nearly killed him of course."

"Of course he did, the fucking idiot" Gajeel responds before smirking. "Speaking of Jellal, that's where the third magic came from, according to the pig head."

"What do you mean?" Lucy questions as everyone else leans in for more.

Erza's eyebrows suddenly skyrocketed. "Don't tell me he can use Heavenly Body Magic too?!"

"Indeed he can" came an almost indiscernible response from the shadows, as Jellal, disguised as Mystogan, steps forward. "When he was fighting against Zero, I gave him the Flame of Rebuke to recharge his magic, and push him into Dragon Force. While a flame spell by both name and type, it was born of pure Heavenly Magic. And while I knew he could and would consume it to enhance his power, I did not think he would absorb it and add the magic type to his own abilities" he adds to the now jaw-dropped faces. "I also did not think it was possible for a slayer-type user to absorb magic of a non-slayer, but he has proven me wrong on that fact" he concludes, the shock on most everyone's faces nearly comical.

"As for the fourth magic" Wendy trudges on, "he fought against a Fire God Slayer on Tenrou Island. One of the Seven Kin. During that fight he managed to absorb some of the God Flames."

"Wait wait wait, no, that's not possible. Slayers cannot absorb a different slayers' type of magic" Makarov counters, trying to understand the boy that has now become an enigma.

"He can, if he empties his magical container" the bluenette counters, while Jellal nods in agreement. "I believe that is how he was able to assimilate my magic as well, by expending his fire magic in the fight with Zero, then assimilating what Heavenly Magic was left" the male bluenette supplies, to the girl's nod. "That's how Natsu described it as well, that he had to use up all of his Dragon Fire against Zancrow before he was able to inhale and eat his God Fire without choking on it."

"That… I don't know what to say to that" Levy softly states to no one in particular, looking in shock at the still-crouched form of their topic's discussion.

"Weren't you there with them on their training trip?" Lucy asks her friend.

"Well yeah, but that doesn't mean they told me everything. Not that I would have known what to say then either, to be completely honest."

"And then there was the lightning that I gave him on that ship" Laxus ventures, remembering the difficult fight against Grimoire Heart's master.

"Yep! And that's all five: Dragon Fire, God Fire, Dragon Lightning, White Dragon, and Heavenly Magic. He first magic fusion was combining his Dragon Fire and God Fire into what he calls Purgatory Fire. Where his Dragon fire was red, and God's fire is black, his purgatory fire is some sort of purplish-blue" Wendy informs everyone.

"That sounds more like a Unison Raid" the First Guild Master thinks aloud.

"Pretty much" the dark dragon slayer answers. "He tried explaining it to us but we didn't really get it. Maybe it's different for everyone, or bonehead is a bad teacher. Probably the second one, but the fact he did it at all means we can't ignore the possibility it's simply different."

"Ok, so you two think he's simply fusing two of his magics together?" Lucy asks the two slayers.

"Oh no. Not just two. That pose he's in, that's the same pose he spent much of the last three months of training in" Wendy verbalizes, before taking a deep breath. "He's fusing all five."

"ALL OF THEM?!" came the chorused response, eyebrows shooting to the heavens.

"Yes, all of them. I did say after fusing the two fire magics he was preparing for the others, didn't I? He's succeeded a few times in the past month or so, but the attacks he threw out were…. I don't have the words for them" Wendy quietly supplies, turning towards said man, remembering the terrifyingly amazing attacks he could throw out. "To say they were incredible would only demean them. I know that sounds starstruck, but you will all see what I mean in a few minutes. And no, I don't know which attack he's going to use. We didn't see many of them, only the results."

"She's not kidding. He'd take off most mornings and head to this isolated area about 5 miles from where we were camped out. The first time we felt it, we thought there was an earthquake the tremors were so massive. Since it stopped after a little while we didn't think anything of it. Until the next time a couple days later, same thing. We went looking for what was causing it, but didn't find anything. After about 2 weeks of it, the shrimp here decided to follow Natsu, thinking it was him. Since no one else had any better ideas we went with her. We watched Salamander just sitting there, much like he is now, for about 30 minutes before this weird glow seemed to explode from his body after he stood up. He then launched this Dragon's Roar that was a hundred times larger than anything I've ever seen before. It was remarkable. It left a crater the size of Magnolia in the mountain he was aiming at." Most of the gathered mages stared incredulously at the Metal Mage as he concluded his recollection.

"Look, Natsu is saying something to Jura."

Down on the Field

"Could you repeat that?" Jura asks of Natsu, not entirely certain he heard correctly.

"You heard me" came the response from the still-crouched man. "Could you please create an effigy of Gajeel in front of the MPF. I'll tell you why once you're safely behind me again."

Jura stands there observing the young man, pondering the possible reasonings behind such a strange request. "Very well." Looking towards the Fairy Tail bench and at the startled face of said Dragon Slayer, Jura stretches out his hand, two fingers pointed at the ground in front of the MPF, raising them slowly skyward as a stone statue with remarkable likeness. "It is done. What is this about?"

"I'll tell you a secret about dragon slayers, Jura. I imagine this is true of all slayers, but dragons I am certain about" the explanation began, his eyes still closed in concentration. "A dragon's power derives from their emotions. In some forms, we are creatures of emotion. Gajeel is exceptionally stubborn in many ways, which suits his metal abilities. Wendy is very free-spirited and graceful, very much like her wind. Many have said I am temperamental. I have difficulties refuting that at times" he chuckles lightly before continuing on. "While this is all true, fire dragons are amongst the most emotional. Part of this is because our element, fire, is represented on both ends of the spectrum: Love and Rage. While that may sound sappy, it is also true."

Suddenly opening his eyes, Natsu raises himself from the ground, shoulders square towards the MPF. "The madder I get, the more powerful my attacks become."

"I can understand that. People can accomplish many things when they're affected emotionally. What does this have to do with your guildmate Gajeel though?" the larger Saint queries.

Smirking with a malicious grin, he looks over his shoulder at the earth mage. "Let me show you." Now facing the MPF, the ground again starts to shake, more violently than the previous mage's display. An otherworldly yellowish-gold aura builds up around the man, a slow pulse emanating from him. "Gajeel, years ago you committed a despicable and cowardly act against Fairy Tail and attacked Levy, Jet and Droy, and then put them on display for all to see. Gramps forbade me from acting on my anger more than I did during the war. Since then, you have earned their forgiveness, as well as the forgiveness of Fairy Tail. And though I long ago forgave you, I never forgot it." Gritting his teeth, fists clenched, the pebbles slowly start rising from the ground before accelerating, defying gravity with the sudden release of power. "Let me show you. MY. RAGE!"

A sudden explosion of the golden aura explodes from him, joining the stunning visual of power being displayed. "ACTIVATE FUSION DRIVE: GATE OF ASCENSION!" A multitude of scales crawl up the slayers skin, first purple, then yellow, then white, before settling at a dark golden color, giving him an almost angelic appearance were they feathers instead of scales.

"Fusion drive!?" came the surprised screams from the Fairy Tail bench.

"That's what he calls the fusion of his magics, and before you ask, Gate of Ascension is what he calls this particular Dragon Force. Now shut up" came the response from the two dragon slayers.

Down on the field, Natsu now had his hands outstretched to his side, palms up towards the sky. Slowly he brings them together in front of him prayer-like, closing his eyes. "DIVINE DRAGON SECRET ART."

"DIVINE DRAGON!?" the echoed cry came from around the stadium.

"Holy shit he's done it" came the whispered astonishment from the black haired slayer, the bluenette's eyes wide in astonishment, covering her mouth with her hand.

"DIVINE DRAGON SECRET ART: SWORD OF THE TAXIARCH ARCHANGEL!" he closes his right fist, fingers wrapping around a red and gold pummel of energy that appeared between his fingers, before slowly drawing it away from his open left hand. "DAWNBREAKER!" He raises the massive two-handed sword, both hands gripping it tightly, bringing it down to eye level, a soft chant coming from his lips that seemed to echo around the deathly silent arena:

"Knights of Heaven

Guardians of Hell

Here be where the Dragons Dwell

Where Demons walk

Where Fairies roam

Here be where Dragons call home

Across the Earth

Through the Skies

Here be where the Dragons lie.

By brightest day

By darkest night

Beware our power, DRAGON'S MIGHT!"

With that final cry, he draws back the sword in his right hand, tip pointed towards the effigy in front of the MPF. His left hand outstetched, seeming to form a shield of energy in front of him before a sudden powerful thrust forward. A solid beam of golden yellow rockets from the sword, completely encompassing the statue and MPF, scorching the ground as it races off into the distance. An explosion is seen coming from the distant mountains, the outlines of a newly-formed crater slowly becomes visible.

Back in the arena, Natsu is seen powering down, the raised pebbles falling to the ground around him as he stands tall, still facing the MPF. A large grin on his face as a '45,791' is displayed before he turns and walks back to his now jaw dropped competitors. That is, all but Jura, who was clapping in approval. "Well done. Well done indeed. I see you have not wasted the past 7 years either. Truly remarkable."

"Well, I couldn't just stand here and let you outdo me now could I?" the younger man responds with a laugh, scratching the back of his head. "I admit I was worried I'd overdo it. That attack with the sword is called 'Jericho' and at full power probably would've leveled the arena. Five minutes wasn't a lot of time to make sure I had the power under control, but it seems I managed. Though I had to hold back quite a bit."

"Did… did he just say that was holding back?" Gray stutters out, still in disbelief at how strong his rival has gotten.

"Oh yeah. That was holding back. You should've seen the craters he was making in the Draconian Mountains. God, I'm so fucking hot right now" the bluenette vocalizes to the astonishment of everyone except her fellow slayer and accompanying bluenette. Turning towards the silent response and seeing the raised eyebrows, she challenges, "What?"

"NOTHING!" came the chorused response from Makarov, Wakaba and Macao, all holding bloody noses at the mental image of a naked Wendy.

"I thought not" she smirks, turning towards the pinkette approaching them, receiving a wink in return.


At that, Natsu suddenly turns towards the announcer. "HELL NO!" he shouts before launching a fireball in the air, the crowd watching it explode into the Fairy Tail symbol. "WE'RE FAIRY TAIL!" he hollers, hands outstretched in a silent challenge to all. "WE'RE FAIRY TAIL!" came the chorused echo behind him, as everyone raises their hands up, index fingers skyward and thumb outward, palms facing them.

"Hmm, food for thought, kabo."

"Alexei" Nullpudding suddenly says to his team leader. "Here are the matchups for the battle portion."

"These pairings, quite creative. This fourth match though. That is strange" the masked leader reads the listing. "It's time to put our objective into play."

Back at Fairy Tail Bench

"I see you haven't been slacking. All that training has really paid off, Natsu" their own masked teammate comments as the pinkette rejoins them.

"Yeah, well, after our fight at the Tower of Heaven, I realized just how outclassed I was. I mean hell, I had to eat pure Etherion just to beat you, and even that was only because you were worried about destroying the lacrima" came the respondent answer. "The council may have granted me your spot on the Wizard Saints for it, but I didn't really believe I had earned it then."

"That's a very… mature response, Natsu" Erza remarks, sidling up to her comrades. "I believe you have earned it by now, if for no other reason than your power level alone. That was truly impressive."

"It really was" Makarov agrees from above, all three speakers looking up to him. "I daresay you would give Gildarts a run for his money now."

"I certainly hope so. I did manage to knock him over during the S-Class trials" he provides to the astonishment of all within earshot. "Only once!" He supplies, holding his hands out in defense. "Don't think too much on it. After that he removed his limiter and, well, that was it."

"But he passed you?" Mira comments, coming to the gathered mages. "I remember Master saying you had gotten past Gildarts before we were attacked."

"He passed me because I was willing to admit defeat. After I knocked him over, he had passed me on merits of my improved strength alone. I didn't accept that as I wanted to beat him. That's when he removed his limiter and showed me his true power. I was so stunned I couldn't move, so I admitted defeat. Because I did, he passed me." He shook his head dejectedly before looking back to his guild mates. "It took me a while to truly understand that. It wasn't until I began pushing Wendy and Gajeel to their limits that it finally made sense to me."

Sighing, he turns towards the arena, watching Millianna defeat Semas from Quatro Puppy before looking at his two dragon slayer students. "True power isn't just a number. That was what I didn't understand at first." Turning back to 'Mystogan', they exchange looks before Natsu continued on, waiving a hand towards the celebrating kitten in the arena. "Right before I faced Jellal on that bloody tower, I was caught by Millianna. As you just saw, power wise, I outclass her by a large margin. Even back then, before my 7 years of training, I had the power to defeat a Wizard Saint, yet I couldn't beat a strange, cute girl with a cat fetish."

Laughing lightly, he looks at the arena as Eve and the funny looking guy from Sabertooth began their bout. 'Some people and their choice of outfits. Jura looks like a monk, he looks like a medieval soldier, Millianna and her cats' he mused before shrugging his shoulders and looking back at the still-listening Fairy Tail members. "It took interference from Happy, and me playing up the helpless kitten to finally get an opening to knock out both her and the square guy, Wally was it?"

"Helpless kitten?"

"Yeah, in my stupidity I had put on this kitten helmet. I don't know what I was thinking doing it, but afterwards I couldn't get it off. And poor Millianna, I convinced her to think I was a helpless kitten, and she prevented Wally from attacking me because of it. I should really apologize for taking advantage of her like that" he adds, scratching the back of her head sheepishly as 'Mystogan' face-palms.

"That's Millianna for you" Erza ventures, a slight smile on her lips.

"Yes, her, Sho and Wally all grew up overly obsessive about various things. I probably would have been more concerned about it, but I was too focused on achieving my goal I did not think on it as much as I should have" the disguised bluenette conjectures. "I am pleased to see she has joined a family that cares for her."

"Yes, Mermaid Heel cares for her greatly" Erza supplies, watching her friend excitedly talk with her teammates.

"But anyways, that's one of the main reasons I trained so hard while we were stuck on that island. Besides there not being much else to do, I wanted to earn the Wizard Saint title I'd been given, as well as the S-Class spot I hoped to have once we got out."

"I daresay you've earned both at this point, m'boy." Makarov smiles at the young man. "As both 3rd and 6th Guildmaster of Fairy Tail, I officially declare you an S-Class mage from this point forward. Not only because of your power and displayed abilities, but the maturity you've just portrayed to us gathered gives evidence that you have the necessary qualities to be an elite mage."

Fighting back tears, silently accepting the congratulations of the gathered mages, he jumps up to the balcony and hugs the Master of Fairy Tail. "Thanks Gramps. I won't let you down."

"I know you won't, m'boy. I know. I'm proud of you" he responds, hugging the young man in return. After a few moments, both men get their emotions under control and return to their respective viewing areas. "NOW LET'S WIN THESE GAMES AND SHOW EVERYONE WHOSE NUMBER ONE!" Fairy Tail cheers echoed in response, drowned out by the cheers of the crowd as the current match ends.


"Let's start the next match!" came the squeak from the arena, as the small man in a ref's outfit holds up his card with the competitors on it. "Next up: Fairy Tail B's Laxus Dreyar, against Raven Tail's Alexei!"

"Finally, something to do" the blonde mage comments with a smirk, before heading down to the arena.

"This one's in the bag" Gajeel remarks, leaning against the wall behind their bench.

"WHOOHOO! LAXUS KICK HIS ASS!" came a drunken call from the balcony, no one needing to look to see the lush leaning over the edge with another bottle in her hand.

"Juvia is confident Laxus will win, but Juvia feels some sort of unpleasant premonition."

"Lahar, you brought along people from your unit, right?" Yajima whispers to his co-announcer of the day.

"Eh? I mean, yes, regulations and such."

"Look out for Raven Tail. If there is any impropriety, stop the match immediately. They may be classed as a light guild by the Council, but I don't trust them."

Fairy Tail bench

"Warren" Makarov commands to the mind-mage.

"Understood" came the response, before putting two fingers to his temple. "HQ to Biska, can you hear me?"

"HQ? Really Warren? No movement from Master Ivan, over."

"Understood. Thunder Legion and Lisanna, how about on your end?"

"Lisanna here, no conspicuous movements from Raven Tail's current location."

"Threaten Laxus and the Thunder Legion cannot guarantee you your lives" Freed mutters darkly in Raven Tail's direction.

"Ever says she'd like to go back to where Elfman is, so please give her permission, over." came the maniacal laugh from Bixlow to Evergreen's expense.

"I didn't say that!"

'Hmmm.' "Wendy, Gajeel, can either of you smell or hear anything from the Raven Tail bench?" Natsu asked his fellow slayers with a confused look.

*sniff sniff… sniff sniff* "I've got nothing. Might be because of the distance that I'm not getting a scent. But I'm not hearing anything either. Again, though, same reason. They are standing awfully still for watching a teammate battle" came the reply from the younger girl.

"Not a thing here either. Probably the same reasons as small fry."

"I'm not getting anything either. You both may be right, but I thought I'd at least pick up a heartbeat. And I agree Wendy, their lack of movement does seem strange" came the reply, all slayers staring daggers at the Raven Tail guild area.

"Hehehe" came the small giggle from the child-like spectre.

"Is something the matter, First?" the disgruntled older man inquires of his predecessor.

"No, nothing at all" came the cheerful reply as her gaze turns skyward. "You all will do anything to protect your friends. I'm enjoying the situation just a little bit. Okay, maybe more than a little bit" she adds, turning a big smile to the smaller man. "It's splendid!"

"I...uh...what?" came the confused response.

"The ultimate form of the guild that I've hoped for is now right before my eyes" she continues, a sad but encouraging smile gracing her lips. "You all aren't just friends. You're family. Please don't forget this Third… or was it Sixth?"

Doing his best to stifle teardrops, the foreshortened man sobs out a "Thank you for those words."

"Competitors, to the center of the arena!" came the sudden announcement as both fighters entered the grounds. "Annnd… BEGIN!"

Alexei darts forward and lands a knock-out level elbow to Laxus's face, sending the latter skiddng backwards several dozen feet before screeching out a "What the hell?!" and launching himself forward before being driven back again.

Around the arena astonished faces gasp in amazement as the Fairy Tail mage is absolutely dominated by the masked man, being beaten at every turn.

"What the hell is going on" Gajeel growls out in confusion.

"Is he getting beaten?" a slurred and astonished voice asks from the balcony, her drinking bottle disappearing in shock.

"What's happening?" Wendy asks, her face in mixed wonderment and confusion.

'Something doesn't smell right' the third slayer thinks to himself, trying to piece together what he's seeing.

"These are raging attacks from Alexei! Laxu can't lift a finger!" the amazed announcer cries out, nearly eating his microphone, suddenly seeing the blonde hit the dirt, landing on his back.

"What's the meaning of this" a recognizable voice come from the arena, but not from either competitors.

"It's a kind of illusion magic" came the response, also not resounding from a competitor.

"The others around here can't see our real bodies, the ones that are talking right now" the voice calls, before a body steps through the competitor Alexei. " Nor can they hear our voices. Rather, right now they're watching and hearing illusions fighting each other. Well done right? Not a single person has noticed. The spectators are watching a scene of that Laxus unable to lift a finger."

"Why is Laxus getting so one-sidedly beaten?!" said man's grandfather cries out, eyes bugging in concern at his grandson seemingly being outdone in every way. "Biska!"

"Ivan hasn't moved from his seat in the stands."

"Lisanna and Thunder Legion!"

"Nothing from here either, all Raven Tail members still where they've been the entire fight" the take-over mage replies, her attention divided from her assignment and the 'fight' happening on the field.

"It seems like you're admired by your guild" the masked man asks his opponent, their likenesses preparing for another bout. "I wonder what your friends are feeling right now as they watch this."

"I don't understand your intentions at all. What's the point of you winning with an illusion?" came the query, his face carefully masked from emotion.

"Our aim isn't 'victory'" the masked man sneers. "This illusion is just a smoke-screen."

"What?" came the unabashedly ignorant retort, confusion dominating the otherwise impassive face.

"Illusions are illusions. WE can change the results however we'd like. Depending on our discussion, I can even let you win." Sure enough, 'Laxus' starts counterattacking, seeming to overwhelm his masked opponent.

"Oh my! Laxus has turned the tables and is really giving it to Alexei!" the announcer cries from his booth.

"There's nothing to discuss, this has nothing to do with illusions" the younger man retorts, disposing of his jacket, then raising his eyebrows in bewilderment as the other four members of Raven Tail exit the tunnel, approaching their comrade. 'Hmmm, why do I now smell six people down there' the resident fire dragon ponders, watching as the 'fight' continues on. "Heh, so this is your gameplan. Very well. right here, right now, I'll dispose of the real you and put and end to this. All of this, and all of you" the Lightning Mage declares, fists readied in front of him.

"That's impossible" cam the indignant response from the red head, head tilted with a look of distant madness on her face.

"Reality sure is cruel" the purple bodied… man… states with a large sadistic grin.

"Even you wouldn't be able to defeat all of Raven Tail's elite" the masked man states to his opponent, his voice laced with arrogance as if speaking to a child, meeting the other fighter's glare head on.

In the Fairy Tail booths

"Gajeel, Wendy… do you smell it too?"

"As in it smells like there's six people down there? Yeah, I do" came the reply from the black haired man, eyes squinting towards the arena as his nose twitches, trying to pinpoint the smells

"So do I, but I only hear the two we see in front of us. It's giving me a headache" the bluenette adds, her fingers on her temples as she makes sense of her conflicting senses.

"What do you mean that you smell six people, Natsu?" came the soft question from behind him.

"You know how we dragon slayers, at least us First Generation ones, have enhanced hearing and smelling, right Mira?" he answers without looking at the nodding woman, his own senses fighting. "Well, scents can often be muddled and confused in areas like this where there are so many people. Like right now, I can smell the individual scents of the last 10 people that have come in contact with you, and judging by the strength of them, can even give you an estimation on how long ago each one did" he continues, his own nose sniffing towards the arena. "From the arena, we can smell everyone who have competed thusfar today, from Pandemonium until now. I can still smell Erza down on the field, but it's not as strong as Laxus's is right now."

"Okay. But what does that have to do with smelling six people down there now?" the nearby celestial mage asks.

"The strength of smell from the arena is stronger" the Sky Dragon answered, still gazing at the arena. "When the match started, there were only two people down there according to our eyes, ears and noses"

"But just a couple minutes ago, we smelled four more people walked into the arena" came a gruff voice, also facing the arena.

"And that's playing havoc with our senses. Our eyes and ears tell us only two are down there, Laxus and Alexei. But our noses are telling us there are actually six. The headache is pounding" the pinkette concluded, the other two nodding in agreement, Wendy still holding her head.

On the Field

"There's one more thing you should be aware of, stupid boy" the masked man reels, pulling his mask off his face. "You should know of my strength, right, son?"

"I figured with would be something like that. Shitty pops" came the calm response, frustrating the older man.

"Makarov would die before he opened his mouth. But you're different. So we'll have you tell us the location of Lumen Histoire" came the now sinister voice, shadow clouding half his face.

"What are you talking about? This is a boring conversation" verbalized the blonde, stretching his arms, loosening them up.

"You indignant little…" but he wouldn't get any further, being slammed into the arena floor by a suddenly irate Lightning Slayer. "Go to hell, 'dad'." He slowly stands back up, looking over each of his new opponents, egging them on. "Bring it on. All of you at once." Dodging each of the initial attacks, he backpedals to his original spot. "Lightning Dragon's: ROAR!" he belts out, enveloping all four of the standing mages, each getting knocked out in the process, before turning back to his coat. "Such a lame fight" he grumbles.

"O-our elite troops!" came a high-pitched shriek, causing the assumed victor to turn around, realizing the illusion was still in play before locating the voice's origin.

"Elite? That's pretty pathetic if those were your elite" he belittles the astonished man, watching his face turn from confusion to anger. "I ain't got a clue what youre goal is, but your guild has been targeting Fairy Tail from day one. AND NOW YOU'LL PAY!" he screams, lightning dancing around his fists.


"My family… IS FAIRY TAIL!" came the warcry before a massive uppercut launches the man against the arena wall, the illusion finally breaking.

"What… what in the world?" the announce asks perplexed, the same question echoed in the gathered's minds.

'Well… that explains that. Thank god the headache is finally gone.' the three dragon slayers each thought simultaneously.

"IVAN!" the man's father yelps, surprise and disdain in his voice and facial response.

"He's the guildmaster, kabo! Alexei's real identity was Master Ivan! Raven Tail is disqualified!"

"The match is over! Laxus is the only one left standing, single-handedly taking out the entire Raven Tail team! Laxus of Fairy Tail B is the victor!" Cheers erupt, breaking the silence as the winner grabs his jacket and moves toward his bench, passing the still unconscious Raven Tail members being collected by the Rune Knights. "And now, the final match of todays main events! Fiary Tail A's Wendy Marvel and Lamia Scale's Shelia Brendi!"

A/N: My descriptive capabilities are still verrry rough. I apologize. I'll be leaving ANs after chapters with references to what some of the inspirations came from.

As for further chapters, both before and after, bear with me. All of my writing is being done at the library, as I don't have my own computer anymore and no moneys to replace it atm, so the chapters will likely be irregularly posted. My apologies, but that's how it is.

1. Midian is the City of Monsters in the book Cabal by Clive Barker and it's movie adaptation Nightbreed. A fitting name for the event don't you think? Although the city isn't evil in the book, but for the sake of my AU just go with it.

2. The guardian creatures are Skrin from the cover of Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind. Great series, I highly recommend it.

3. Yes. I totally went there. And no, I wasn't about to make it 9000. I don't like him that much.

4. No, not intentional reference to Green Lantern. I honestly wrote the whole chant a while ago, then watched the Green Lantern movie and realized what I'd done.