Fairies of the Force
A Fairy Tale
Hargeon, one of the busiest ports in the kingdom of Fiore. Thousands of people passed through this port from around the entire Kingdom. Merchants looking to sell their wares through small, mobile carts. Ordinary citizens just passing through on the trains as they made their way to their final destinations. Rune knights from the Magic council reporting for assignment. And last but not least, the most outlandish of all the travelers that pass through this bustling town, the wizards.
You see, in this world there is magic. It is not just some novelty or a trick. No, in this world, magic is everywhere. It is used as an everyday tool by the people of Fiore. From clocks, to vision lacrimas, to starting fires, even cooking; magic is used as a convenient tool to make life easier for everyone living in the kingdom of Fiore. But there are a select few who not only use magic as a tool, but possess magic power themselves. These people are known throughout the world and throughout Fiore as wizards.
Now, you might be wondering how you could tell who is a wizard and who isn't? Well, normally you just have to look for the most abnormal person strolling through the street and most likely they possess magic of some sort. It was why the sea of people that normally strolled through Hargeon's main train station were steering clear of two strange looking people exiting one of the trains.
The first was a young woman. She wore a suit of Heart Kruetz armor along with a rather girly blue skirt and high black boots. A sword rested at her hip while behind her she dragged a small wooden cart loaded with dozens of suitcases and crates. The most striking feature of this woman though was not the obscene amount of luggage she possessed, nor the armor, but the color of her hair. It was a vibrant scarlet color.
Beside her stood a young boy, no older than ten years old. Unlike his companion, his hair looked somewhat normal. It was brown, slightly spiky. A normal haircut for a child his age. However, his attire was just as abnormal as his friend. Instead of normal clothes, or even armor, he wore a dark shirt and jeans with a brown hooded cloak thrown over his shoulders. The cloak was much too big for his small, skinny frame. The sleeves dropped past his hands while the tail of the cloak dragged along the ground behind him. If he had the hood over his head, it would have covered half of his face. Which would have made it impossible for him to see anything in front of him. Unlike his friend, the boy carried a small pack at his side.
The boy let out a loud yawn. Behind him the train he exited with his red haired companion bellowed a loud whistle. The conductor shouted all aboard, then the train began to chug away from the platform, leaving the two peculiar people at their destination. Over the roar of the train's wheels grinding against the steel rails, the red head heard the boy yawn loudly again.
"I told you to get some sleep while on the train." She said. She gripped the handle of her small wooden cart and began to effortlessly drag it, and it's mountain of contents, behind her.
"I can't really sleep on those things, Erza." The boy replied sleepily, "It's either too loud or it jerks around too much."
"Well if your going to be going on jobs with me, then you better learn how to sleep on a train." The red haired woman named Erza advised. Though she seemed rather irritated as she spoke. Her mouth was creased into a small frown as she walked alongside the boy.
The boy glanced at his upset companion, "What's up?" He asked innocently as the pair strode through the train station. All around them, people weaved by them. All of them either giving them curious glances or avoiding eye contact.
"Nothing, Joshua. Just keep walking." Erza replied curtly.
The boy frowned, "You don't exactly want me following you around do you?"
Erza stopped walking, "It's not that I don't want you around. It's just-" She pinched the bridge of her nose, "Look kid, I normally take very dangerous guild jobs. Jobs that a young kid like you should be nowhere near. So I'm just trying to figure out the reason why Master decided to put me in charge of looking out for you."
Joshua shrugged, "Fair point I guess. You are…er... what was it called again?"
"A S-class wizard." Erza replied in a matter of fact tone, "And you are just a young trainee in the guild. So like I said, I'm trying to figure out why Master Makarov placed you with me instead of pairing you up with someone who could go a little more your speed."
The pair continued making their way through the train station. They passed several more train platforms before reaching a set of stairs. Both Erza and Joshua stopped. The stairs led out of the train station. A simple enough exit. There was just one problem though.
"You sure you can get your crap up there?"
A tick mark formed on Erza's forehead. "What did you call my stuff!?" She asked as she gave the boy a terrifying glare.
Joshua gulped and began sweating, "Um...w-wonderful th-things that are absolutely treasured and p-precious! Even to me!"
The red head's brown eyes narrowed dangerously, "That's what I thought you said." She turned her back to the stairs and gripped the cart handle with both hands, "Here is how we are doing this. I'm going to pull," She pointed an armored finger at Joshua, "You are going to push."
"WHA!" Joshua cried, "Are you crazy! That pile of crap is… like… twenty of me!"
"WHAT DID YOU CALL MY STUFF!" Erza roared.
"N-nothing." Joshua quickly stammered, "I'll go push."
Erza nodded and readied her muscles. Meanwhile, Joshua went to the back of the cart. He stared straight up the tower of suitcases and boxes. The pile was so tall that he couldn't even see the top of it. He gulped and cringed before bracing himself against the many suitcases and boxes. He bent his knees and waited.
"Ready?" He heard Erza ask.
A shaky thumbs up emerged from the side of the cart.
"Alright." She shifted her grip on the cart handle, "Push!" Erza ordered.
Erza tugged sharply on the cart. The front wheels jumped up the first step. She then felt the back of the cart shift ever so slightly. But the back two wheels did not budge.
"Are you even trying back there?"
"Oh give me a break! I'm not Elfman, for crying out loud!" Joshua shouted back.
Erza frowned, "Very well. We will just have to try again."
"How about I pull and you push this time?" Joshua suggested as he peeked around the mountain of suitcases and boxes.
Erza narrowed her eyes at him.
"Right!" Joshua smiled nervously, "Let's just try again!"
"Um sir?" The train conductor said as he stared down at a young man lying on the train car's floor.
The man uttered a feeble groan. His cheeks then puffed out to an incredible size before he quickly swallowed and let out a long moan. The conductor simply sighed and rubbed his face. This was just his luck wasn't it? He had to get a crazy wizard on his train today.
This wizard in particular seemed especially strange. First of all, he had pink hair. Now, the conductor had been all over Fiore. He had guided trains from town to town; north, south, east, and west. And he had yet to see a man with pink hair before. Then there was the guy's weird attire. He wore an open black waistcoat with gold trimming, very baggy white pants that were cut off at his shins, sandals, and a strange scaly white scarf around his neck. Then there was the slanted eyes and sharp canines. Just from appearance alone, the conductor knew for certain that this passenger was a wizard.
His demeanor however, led the conductor to wonder just how competent a wizard this young man actually was. He had seen cases of motion sickness on his train before. In fact, he helped hand out barf bags on occasion for passengers suffering from the illness. But he had never seen a case so severe that the passenger was incapable of speaking or moving. Unfortunately for the conductor, he needed this passenger to move. He was the only one still on the train, and this train had to get moving to it's next stop.
"Sir." The conductor continued, "Could you please exit the train?"
"Give… me… a… moment." The pink haired boy groaned before he gagged again, "The world is still spinning."
The conductor stared dumbfounded at the boy, "B-but we are no longer moving. How is that possible?"
"It's a side effect to his magic." A high pitched voice answered for him.
The conductor's jaw fell open as he saw a blue, bipedal cat with a green backpack stride up to the pink haired boy. The cat placed a paw on the boy's shoulder and gave him a gentle rub.
"C'mon, Natsu. You gotta get up." The cat said with a cheerful smile.
"Can't… move… *gulp*... so sick."
A bead of sweat dripped down the cat's forehead, "But… don't you wanna find this Salamander guy."
Whatever the cat just said, it seemed to work. The boy's dark eyes blinked rapidly and he jumped to his feet.
"That's right!" Natsu exclaimed, "He's gotta be here, right!?" He glanced from the cat over to the conductor, "Right?"
"Um… who?" The conductor asked.
"Salamander of course!" Natsu replied, "You know of any guy going around calling himself Salamander?"
The conductor frowned, "No sir. I have not heard of anyone calling themselves Salamander. Now please, exit my train. I have another trip to conduct."
"Oh!" Natsu blinked, "Right." His face suddenly went pale, "I'm still on a train."
His legs trembled. His knees knocked and his arms began to wobble like noodles.
"Uh oh!" The cat cried. It suddenly sprouted angelic wings from it's back. It grabbed the boy's shoulders and gave his small wings and powerful flap.
"Sorry, mister conductor sir. Like I said, he doesn't like trains too much." The cat explained sheepishly, "C'mon Natsu, let's go find him!"
"A-aye, H-happy." Natsu trembled as motion sickness overcame him yet again.
Once Happy got Natsu onto solid, motionless ground, the pink haired man was instantly cured of his sickness. He scrambled to his feet. His head whipped to and fro as he looked around the busy train station. The train behind him whistled loudly. Natsu winced and picked at his left ear.
"Geez, does that thing always have to be so loud?" He wondered aloud.
"It wasn't that loud for me." Happy commented as his wings disappeared in a puff of smoke. He settled onto his feet beside Natsu and grinned, "So this is Hargeon!"
"Of course it is. And you've been here before, Happy." Natsu replied.
"Oh! I have!? I forgot." Happy smiled up at Natsu as the pair began to walk through the station, "Do they have good fish here?"
Natsu titled his head to the side, "Come to think of it, I think I forgot that myself."
"Well then, we will just have to go eat a lot of fish here then!" Happy declared.
"Aye, buddy!" Natsu replied with a toothy grin. He shifted the pack on his shoulders before taking a deep breath, "Salt air smells weird." He muttered before he continued walking.
The pair weaved through the crowds before reaching the main entryway to the train station. As they got closer, Natsu froze and sniffed the air.
Happy glanced at Natsu, "What's up?"
Natsu sniffed the air again, "I smell strawberries." He mumbled nervously.
"IT'S TIPPING OVER, ERZA!" A young voice screeched over the throngs of people.
"Make sure it doesn't then!" A stern woman's voice replied.
"And just how am I supposed to do that!?"
"Use your muscles!"
"What muscles!? I'm ten years old and-" The young voice let out a loud, terrified cry, "TIMBER!"
A loud crash filled the air, causing many of the everyday train travelers to stop in their tracks and glance over at the large dust cloud forming over by the stairs. As the dust settled, Natsu could see a large mound of suitcases and boxes littering the stone steps. Standing one step above the fallen mountain of stuff was a red haired woman dressed in armor. A woman that Natsu recognized instantly.
"No way." Natsu gasped.
"It's Erza." Happy muttered in shock.
Erza stared dumbstruck at the pile of suitcases. She then glanced down at her now shattered cart handle. Splinters covered her armored fingers as they tightened around the handle.
"M-my s-stuff." Erza growled dangerously.
Natsu didn't seem to notice the slow, burning fury building up in the woman. He simply let a wide smile spread over his face as he strode over to the stairs.
"Yo! Erza!" Natsu called.
The red head's seething rage suddenly disappeared. She glanced over at Natsu, a look of surprise crossing her face.
"Natsu! What are you doing here?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing." Natsu replied.
"We're looking for some guy named Salamander!" Happy explained cheerfully.
Erza cocked an eyebrow, "Salamander? Isn't that your nickname, Natsu?"
"Hm… well yeah." Natsu folded his hands behind his head, "But maybe this other Salamander guy is Igneel. I mean, he'd be the only other person to go by the name Salamander right?"
Erza rubbed her chin possibly. Neither person noticed the small mound of suitcases shifting while a young boy's panicked cries began to fill the air.
"So anyways, what're you doing in Hargeon?" Natsu asked.
Erza folded her arms, "There have been reports of a group of dark wizards operating in the area. And I have a hunch they may be led by a rogue wizard named Bora of Prominence." She replied.
Natsu whistled, "Wizard hunting! That sounds fun!"
"It will be. If everything goes according to plan." Erza replied.
"According to plan?" Natsu asked.
The very top of the mountain of fallen suitcases broke loose. Out of the top popped a ten year old boy. He gasped for air as he emerged from the mess.
"Oxygen! I need oxygen!" Joshua wheezed, "Suitcases crushing me! Lungs on fire! I'm dying!"
Erza sighed and closed her eyes, "One moment." She told Natsu.
Erza marched over to the suitcases. She gave her knuckles a quick crack before exhaling.
"Requip!" She barked.
Her body shimmered. A yellow magic circle appeared around her and the mountain of suitcases. A blinding yellow light consumed the area. Then, in an instant, the suitcases and boxes all vanished, leaving Joshua sprawled out on the stairs. The boy groaned then slowly sat up.
"You saved me." He wheezed.
Erza smacked him upside the head, "Quit being so melodramatic."
"Ouch!" Joshua howled, "Was that really necessary?"
"Since you broke my cart, yes it was." Erza replied as she held out a hand to the boy.
"That was on accident though!" Joshua gripped her hand and was hauled up to his feet.
Erza shook her head and turned back to Natsu.
"Who's he?" The pink haired boy asked.
"A new addition to the guild. I stumbled into him on one of my jobs." She glanced over at Joshua, "And he's kinda been following me around ever since."
"Like a puppy?" Happy asked.
"I'm not a damn dog!" Joshua snapped at the small, blue cat.
"Really!? You're new to Fairy Tail?" Natsu knelt down to Joshua's eye level. Obviously, the pink haired guy had no sense of personal space. Because the first thing he did once he got down to Joshua's ey level was lean forward and sniff the air near him.
"So what kinda magic do you use?" He asked.
"We don't know." Erza replied, "Like I said. I just kind of stumbled on him during my last job. He hasn't displayed any magic power. But Master seems to think that the boy has something special in him. He would not have allowed him into Fairy Tail otherwise."
"That or he got bit by the…. Uh… what was that word for feeling bad for someone again?" Natsu wondered.
"Sympathy." Joshua deadpanned.
"Yup, that's it. Maybe he got bit by the sympathy bug again?" Natsu suggested.
"Perhaps. Anyways, he is with us now. And," Erza sighed, "Master thought it would be a good idea for him to tag along on my jobs. He called it, 'a way for both of us to be more open and social with the rest of the guild'."
Natsu raised an eyebrow, "Open and social?"
"I know. I'm just as confused as you are." Erza sighed, "Anyways, he's my responsibility now. Or, for the time being at least." Erza motioned to the stairs, "I'm about to go find a place to stay. Care to join us?"
"Huh?" Both Joshua and Happy exclaimed.
"Nah." Natsu waved off Erza, "Me and Happy don't plan on staying in town for very long. I mean, how hard could it be to find a guy named Salamander right?"
Erza gave Natsu a sympathetic smile, "I wouldn't get your hopes to high, Natsu." She advised, "You've had leads like this before. And they all seem to-"
"But this one is different! There have been multiple sightings." Natsu interrupted, "I've gotta check them out."
Erza smiled and shook her head, "You are just too stubborn for your own good. Very well, I wish you the best of luck."
"You too, Erza." Natsu grinned, "Hey, if you catch those dark wizards earlier than expected then we could all grab some grub later!"
"We will make sure to save you some fish!" Happy declared.
"You know what, that's not a bad idea."
"Food." Joshua exhaled, his mouth beginning to water.
"And you will have to wait, mister." Erza finished.
"But I'm starving!" He complained.
"Just be patient." Erza sighed, "Hopefully we will see you tonight, Natsu."
"Right!" Natsu then took. He bounded up the stairs and out of the train station. Before Erza lost sight of him, she saw him wave back at her, "Good seeing you again, Erza!"
Then he disappeared into the crowds of people leaving the station.
Joshua watched as the weird pink haired guy and his annoying blue cat left the station. He then glanced over at Erza, the redhead simply standing still watching her friend leave.
"Who the hell was that guy?" He asked.
"That was Natsu Dragneel, he's a member of Fairy Tail too." Erza replied. She began to walk up the stairs with Joshua in tow.
"Is he strong?"
Erza tilted her head to the side, "He has the potential to be strong."
"So you can beat him like a drum."
That elicited a laugh from the red head, "More or less. Though if he keeps getting stronger, it won't be long before he is able to compete with the strongest wizards in the guild."
The pair finally emerged from the train station. Joshua's eyes widened as he finally got to see the city of Hargeon in its full beauty.
Truly, it was a marvelous city to look at. The streets were made of glistening white stone that was clearly taken care of meticulously by the people who ran the city. Off in the distance, from the hilltop the train station rested on, Joshua could see the massive harbor that was responsible for Hargeon's existence. Dozens of ships, big and small, could be seen lazily lumbering in and out of the harbor. All of them guided by either the sun, or a large lighthouse that rested at a point near the edge of the town. The sparkling white streets all ran down the hill towards the harbor. Along the way, he could see dozens of little shops with second floor apartments. Little house dotted the streets with small flower beds resting along the wayside.
The sight brought a pleasant smile to Joshua's face. He was so enamored by the city, that he failed to notice that Erza had not stopped walking. When he finally noticed her far ahead of him, he jumped and went sprinting after her, the tail of his cloak dragging along the ground behind him.
"Hey! Wait for me!"
"ARE YOU SERIOUS!?" A blonde woman wearing a blue and white shirt with a short black skirt roared as she slammed her hands down on the counter top.
"Yes, ma'am," An elderly shopkeeper wearing a pointed blue hat replied, "This is the only magic shop in town."
The blonde woman huffed, "But how!? How is this the only magic shop in all of Hargeon? I mean, this is such a busy city."
"Well, ma'am," The shopkeeper began, "Most of us who live her are fisher folk or traders. Hardly any of us are wizards. I simply set this shop up to sell goods to those wizards that just so happen to be passing through here." He could see the disappointment growing on the blonde woman's face. Desperate to save a possible sale, he yanked out a blue velvet lined box from under the counter, "But, I do have the latest hot magic items in stock! Right now! Just for you!" He pulled out a small pin and stuck it to the lapel of his shirt, "Like this one! This pin will change the color of your shirt to any color, anytime. All of the girls love it. Watch this!" He snapped his fingers, "PURPLE!" His shirt instantly changed from orange to purple, "How about that, sweetheart?"
The blonde sighed despondently, "I already have that."
"Oh!" The shopkeeper dug into the box again, "How about this, the latest vision lacrima! Perfect for viewing all of your favorite dramas and-"
"Or this-er- thingy majigger." He asked as he held out a strange, cylindrical device that appeared to serve no purpose other than to be a paperweight.
"What even is that?" The woman wondered aloud.
"I'm not even sure myself." The shopkeeper replied, a bead of sweat running down the side of his head.
The woman sighed, "Honestly, I'm not really interested in any of that stuff." Her brown eyes began to wander to the shelves behind the counter, "What I'm really interested in are some celestial gate keys."
"Oh! For celestial spirit magic. That some powerful and rare stuff there." The old man snapped his fingers, "I think I have just the thing for you."
He reached underneath the counter again before producing a small, wooden box. He grinned then popped the latch open. Inside was a small silver key resting on a purple pillow. Instantly, the blonde woman's eyes widened to the size of saucers.
"OH IT'S THE LITTLE DOGGY!" She exclaimed excitedly.
"Yes. Although he's not a very powerful spirit, it is a celestial spirit key nonetheless."
"I don't care about power!" The woman cried, "I just have to have it. How much?"
The old man smirked. He had her now. "Twenty seven thousand jewel." He answered.
Her expression remained blank, "Um… what?"
The old man's smirk grew wider. He folded his arms across his chest, "Twenty seven thousand jewel."
The blonde's mouth fell open.
T-twenty seven thousand! She could hardly fathom the number. And for such a small celestial spirit. It wasn't even one of the incredibly rare golden zodiac keys. The price was absolutely ridiculous.
She stared slack jawed and the pleased old man. She had to get the price down somehow. The Blonde thought for a moment, then an idea popped in her mind. A sly grin ran over her face.
Much to the old shopkeeper's surprise, the girl sat herself up on his counter top, crossed her legs, then leaned forward, giving the old man the sweetest smile while at the same time pressing her arms closer together so that her chest swelled in front of him.
This has got to work!
"Oh mister," She said sweetly, "Isn't there a way you can give me a little discount?"
"So we're after some guy named Bora?" Joshua asked as he struggled to keep up with Erza. His own short legs managed three steps for her every one. Already he could feel his muscles beginning to grow stiff. He was used to walking long distances, but walking this quickly at long distances was proving to be a challenge.
"His name is Bora of Prominence." Erza corrected.
"Why the weird title?"
"If I were to guess, it may be based off of the type of magic he may use."
"And do you we know what he looks like?"
Joshua didn't get a response at first. But when he did, he nearly face faulted on the spot.
"Nope." Erza shrugged.
"You gotta be kidding me!" Joshua cried, "So we are searching for some bad wizard guy and we have no clue what he looks like!?" He tugged at his brown hair in disbelief, "Do we at least have a clue as to what he might look like?"
"Just one." Erza replied, "He's apparently quite the charmer."
Joshua face palmed.
"I don't think it's like that, kid." Erza said plainly.
"Is there any other way to describe charming?" Joshua wondered aloud as the pair approached a large building with a sign that read, The Captain's Quarters Inn and Bar.
Erza arched an eyebrow, "What do you mean?"
"I mean, doesn't charming mean like… how did Cana put it?"
Erza's eye widened as she reached for the Inn's doorknob, "If you repeat any indecent thing Cana told you, you shall receive swift discipline from me." she threatened.
Joshua gulped, "Yes ma'am."
Erza nodded then pushed the door to the inn open.
The place seemed nice enough. It had simple furnishings in the main gathering room. A small fireplace sat against the far wall with several wooden chairs and benches near it. There was a large dining area filled with tables and chairs, most of them taken by patrons either enjoying lunch or a cold drink on a hot day. A set of stairs led up to the rooms above the dining room. Next to the stairs, was the bar where a lone man stood drying off mugs.
Erza moved across the room and up to the bar.
"I need a room for two." She told the man behind the counter.
"How long is your stay?" He asked monotonously. His eyes were still focused on the mugs he was cleaning.
"A day at the least." Erza replied, "If we end up staying any longer I will let you know."
The man shrugged, still not turning around to look at Erza, "Sure, whatever. Name?"
The man nearly dropped the mug. He shakily turned around. His eyes bulged from his skull when he saw Erza standing across the counter from him.
"Th-the Erza Scarlet?" He stammered.
Erza gave the man a confused look, "Who else would I be?"
"PLEASE DON'T DESTROY MY INN!" He cried before hastily opening a drawer and yanking out a small key. His trembling hand held it out to Erza, "R-room Two. U-up the stairs on the left."
Joshua glanced at Erza, puzzled. The red head was just as confused as he was. Nevertheless, she gratefully took the key from the terrified innkeeper.
"Thank you, sir." She turned on her heel towards the stairs, "C'mon Joshua."
"Uh… sure?" He looked back at the trembling innkeeper before chasing Erza up the stairs, "What was that all about?" He asked when he caught up to her.
"I'm not entirely sure." Erza replied.
The pair reached their room in no time. It was a simple little place, very much like the dining room downstairs. Two small beds rested against one wall with a nightstand between them. A dresser sat across from the beds. The room did boast a nice, large window with a view of the harbor. Joshua whistled as he looked out the window.
"Nice." He muttered. He glanced back at Erza as the night sat down on the bed closest to the door, "When do we start?"
"We start in a moment. Let me just get a good look at this place." She replied as her brown eyes darted from corner to corner. It was as if she was inspecting every nook, ever cranny, and every shadow for some sort of threat, "The way that innkeeper spoke to us worries me."
"Because no one really greets us that way." Erza replied.
"To be fair to the guy, from what I've heard about Fairy Tail, you guys tend to go a little overboard on jobs."
Erza glanced at Joshua, "Where did you hear that?"
"Oh… everywhere." Joshua replied nonchalantly, "You all kinda got a bad reputation as troublemakers."
Erza frowned, "Careful kid. You're part of this guild of troublemakers now."
Joshua shook his head, "I don't got the stamp yet."
"You will soon." Erza replied, "Once Master thinks you're ready, you will get the Fairy Tail stamp. Then you will be an official member of the guild."
Joshua smiled, "Do you think that'll happen after this job?"
Erza shrugged, "It's up to the Master. But work hard and do your best, and who knows, it may happen sooner than you expect." She stretched her arms high above her head, "I suppose we should start searching before we get too comfortable. I'd prefer to get back to the guildhall as soon as possible."
Joshua nodded and followed the red head out of their room. Both quickly exited the inn and entered the streets of Hargeon once again. Once on the streets, the pair began to just casually wander through the shops and markets. Erza's eyes were constantly moving, but at the same time she seemed very relaxed. She even stopped to talk to some shopkeepers and to browse their goods.
Meanwhile, Joshua seemed to grow more antsy. He couldn't stand the waiting. He wanted the action to start on this job already. He was going after dark wizards with Titania of Fairy Tail. He had heard of stories about her, but to actually be working alongside her was something else entirely. It made both anxiety and excitement build up in him. He could not stop moving beside her. When they were walking, he would have a slight skip in his step. When they stopped, he would swing his arms side to side.
After a couple hours of wandering, Joshua felt himself let out a long breath. His anxiety was slowly going away, and the excitement had drained away long ago. This job was nothing more than walking around. It was starting to become… dare he say it, boring. Erza noticed the boy's enthusiasm starting to lower.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"What are we doing?" Joshua replied.
Erza smiled, "We are searching."
"More like shopping." Joshua replied as he and Erza turned a corner onto a street that held several armor shops.
Erza shook her head, "You don't get it do you?"
"We are doing this to maintain a low profile."
Joshua arched an eyebrow, "Kinda hard to maintain a low profile when you look like us."
"Wizards pass through here all the time." Erza retorted, "The citizens of Hargeon as well as the Dark Wizards we are after know this. So the dark wizards will be wary and will not do anything to attract attention to themselves. They will be on their guard, watching for guild wizards who may be coming after them. So we must be just as vigilante, while at the same time, we must be as inconspicuous as possible."
"SALAMANDER!" A woman screamed in delight.
Erza and Joshua stopped in their tracks as a crowd of beautiful women rushed past them. The pair looked at the crowd puzzled. Then they saw who they were running towards.
It was a man with striking dark blue hair and a sharp jaw. He wore a slick smile and ornate clothing complete with a cape. A dark tattoo sat above his eyebrow. As the flock of woman reachedh him, the man's smile grew wider and he addressed them all.
"Ladies, ladies. One at a time, please." He said smoothly.
Some of the girls swooned. Others squealed even louder. Meanwhile, both Erza and Joshua could only look on in confusion.
"What is up with them?" Joshua asked.
"Maybe a celebrity of some sort?" Erza wondered.
Joshua blinked, "Hey wait a moment! What was that guy's name, again?"
Erza blinked as well, "Those women called him Salamander."
"So that's the guy Pinky is looking for?" Joshua assumed as he recalled meeting Natsu Dragneel at the train station.
Erza frowned, "It appears so. Though… he doesn't look much like how Natsu described him."
"But he's called Salamander right?" Joshua replied as a blonde woman entered the throng of woman, a completely captivated expression on her face.
"He-" Erza suddenly shook her head. Her eyes blinked several times. She seemed to be getting hot. Joshua noticed some sweat beginning to bead on her forehead. Her pupils were also dilating as she looked at Salamander even more, "He's definitely Salamander." She muttered before shaking her head again.
"Hey Erza? You dizzy or something?"
The red head placed a hand on her head, "I'm… not sure." She looked at Salamander, "But for some reason, I really want to go see this guy."
Joshua raised an eyebrow, "I didn't take you for the kind of girl that likes celebrities."
Erza ignored him and began to step towards Salamander. Right as she got halfway to the man, a familiar voice erupted through the squeals of the women.
"HEY IGNEEL!" Joshua's eyes widened as he saw Natsu Dragneel and Happy force their way through the crowd, the pair accidentally knocking the blonde woman over as they got close to Salamander, "Igneel it's me!"
Natsu froze then frowned. His arms drooped, "Who the heck are you?"
With those words, Natsu unleashed hell on himself. Every woman near him pounced on him with a fury. Everyone that is, except for Erza and Lucy. Although Erza was moving much more quickly now. A wide smile was on her face as she approached Salamander.
"Ladies, ladies, please." Salamander said with a cool grin, "Don't hurt the kid. It's not his fault he doesn't know who I am." Salamander replied. He then whipped out a piece of paper and a pen, "I am Salamander, fire mage extraordinaire. Here's my autograph." He handed Natsu the signed paper.
Natsu gave Salamander a puzzled look, "Nope. Still no clue."
The women were about to jump on Natsu again when the blonde grabbed his wrist.
"Sorry, Mr. Salamander. My friend here doesn't get out much. I'll get him out of your way."
Salamander looked at the blonde. Joshua noticed that he looked surprised. But that flash of surprise disappeared quickly.
"It's not a problem, miss. You have a lovely day."
"You as well." The blonde waved before she quickly rushed Natsu away from Salamander.
Natsu struggled against the blonde's grip, "Hey! What're you-" Natsu stopped when he saw Erza moving towards Salamander, "HEY ERZA!" He shouted.
The red head suddenly froze. She seemed to shudder in place, her head and legs trembling. Almost like she was resisting the pull of something. Joshua cautiously moved up to Erza and grabbed her wrist.
"Hey, Erza. Are you doing ok?"
She felt extremely hot. Her cheeks were red for some reason. And was it just Joshua's imagination, or was she breathing hard? He reached up and tugged on her armored shoulder. This seemed to stir the red head a little more. She blinked several times before a puzzled look rushed over her face.
"What am I doing?" She wondered aloud.
"Hey Erza!" Joshua bellowed into her ear, causing the red head to wince.
"Don't shout in my ear!" She growled back.
"S-sorry." Joshua trembled.
"HEY ERZA!" Natsu yelled in her other ear.
"WHAT DID I JUST SAY, NATSU!" Erza bellowed as she swung an uppercut at the pink haired boy.
"Why me!?" Natsu cried as he was punched in the jaw. He flew into the air several feet before landing hard on the ground. His eyes spun and his mouth hung open. He was out cold.
The blonde stared flabbergasted at Erza, "H-hey what did you do that for!?"
"I warned him." Erza muttered.
"A-actually, y-you warned me." Joshua nervously corrected.
"Not now, kid." Erza glanced over at the Salamander. Over the cries of the women, she heard him mention something about a party on a yacht. Erza shook her head, "Strange." She mumbled.
"Hey, aren't you going to answer me?" The blonde pointed at Erza, "And just how do you know this guy!?" She pointed at Natsu.
"Hm? Natsu? He is my guild mate."
The blonde blinked, "W-wait? Guild mate." Her eyes widened, "You guys are wizards?"
Erza nodded, "Yes we are."
The blonde grew starry eyed, "OH MY GOSH! You are wizards! This is so exciting! I'm actually talking to guild wizards! And you saved me from that Salamander guy and-"
Erza raised a hand, stopping the blonde mid sentence, "Hold up, saved?"
The blonde jumped, "Oh, right." She glanced over at Salamander as he handed out more autographs, "Not here." She whispered to Erza, "Let's go get something to eat. I'll tell you then."
Erza narrowed her eyes. She was immediately on the alert. Something was very wrong here in Hargeon. Specifically with that man named Salamander. She couldn't act with no evidence or reason. That would bring the rune knights in this town crashing down on her and Natsu. That was the last thing she needed on this job. However, this blonde seemed to have information for her.
Very well." Erza nodded, "Your name?"
"Lucy Heartfilia." The blonde replied with a smile.
"AWESOME! We are going to get food!" Joshua pumped a fist, "I'm starving!"
"Me too." Happy said as he hovered over Natsu. The blue cat hauled Natsu, who was still unconscious, up off the ground, "I could go for some fish."
"Well, I know just the place." Lucy folded her arms, proud of herself. Her eyes then widened and her pupils dilated.
"That cat just talked."
HELLO EVERYBODY! Welcome to the rewrite of the Dark Fairy! For those of you who coming over from the original story, welcome back! As you can tell, this story is already off to a way different start. For any new readers, I welcome you as well and I hope you all enjoy the story.
Now you all may be wondering, why a rewrite? Well, for one, I reread my original work. And… yeah, I feel like I could do a lot better. Especially after I also rewatched the Fairy Tail anime. I've received some very helpful criticisms of the original story as well and I have learned some very valuable lessons of story telling and writing since then. The Dark Fairy was quite literally only the second story I had ever written, and the first that I had ever even completed. So it was a huge learning curve for me when it came to constructing a story, planning it out, researching, writing, grammar, structure, editing. So, I've decided to treat the original like a first draft. This one I hope will be even better than the original story!
Also, I wanna give a huuuuuge shout out to the user gokufighter18. He was instrumental in correcting my original work as well as helping work out many problems that were in the story that I was not aware of at the time I wrote it. He has helped me find plot holes, flaws in character motivations, etc. that I had never noticed and would never have noticed without his extremely helpful criticism.
Now, with this story, each chapter I post is going to be a long one. I'm expecting this rewrite to easily surpass 1,000,000 words. It's gonna be one heck of a journey and I can't wait for you all to join me on it.
With that being said, let me know what you all think! As always, I hope you all enjoyed! Have a nice day!