"Gray-nii... yeesh, Gray-nii, wake up!"

Eight-year-old Gray's eyes slowly opened, and a blurry figure registered in front of him.

"Ne, you promised you'd play with me today!" the girl pouted, and Gray's eyes fully opened. He saw a five-year-old girl crouching beside him, her large chocolate-brown eyes looking at him with eager anticipation and ever-present adoration. Her blonde hair fell to her shoulders and two small pigtails were on either side of her head.

"Oh... I did, didn't I?" Gray smiled tiredly at the girl, and reached out to pat her head. "Okay," he sat up with a smile, "what do you want to play?"

"Let's play Tag!" The blonde promptly darted off away from her brother, already initiating the game.

Gray's eyes widened as he scrambled to his feet and chased after his sister. "Lulu! Wait, it's not safe!" he shouted. The scenery flew by, changing from his childhood village to the Temple of the Moon's ruins on Galuna Island. Gray slowed, and turned around to observe his surroundings. He looked down at his hands, and found that he was eighteen-years-old again. "What...?" Confusion swept through him, but his eyes widened when he saw a petite figure standing by a large broken arch that had presumably once been a window, staring out into the starry horizon stained with purple.

Blonde hair was tied up in a half-up-half-down by a red ribbon, the rest flowing down to her hips. The lithe figure was clothed in a red-and-white striped long-sleeved shirt and jean shorts, held up by matching suspenders. (1)

"Lucy?" he breathed hopefully, tentatively walking towards her, as if afraid that if he were too loud, he would shatter the dream. The girl half-turned around, and Gray's breath caught in his throat.

It was her. It was Lucy.

Or, what Lucy would've looked like, had she lived.

Gray's fists clenched as grief and sorrow threatened to overwhelm him. He lowered his head, overcome with shame at his past helplessness when his village had burned to the ground by Deliora, leaving him as the sole survivor. He had promised to always be there for his little sister, and on that fateful day, he had failed.

Soft footsteps and two small feet, clad in white laced sneakers, came to a stop before him. A soft voice, full of concern and childish innocence, questioned softly, "Gray-nii?"

Gray refused to look up, refused to meet her eyes. Confronting his failure... it was too much for him.

A slim finger tilted his chin up and Gray, not having the heart to fight, let his head be lifted up to meet the chocolate brown that reminded him so much of his mother. Tears started to fill Gray's onyx eyes at the sheer concern in those brown orbs, and without warning he lunged at his little sister, clasping her to his chest as he buried his face in her shoulder.

Lucy gasped softly at the sudden movement, but upon hearing her brother's sobs, simply smiled and held him as his body shook with the grief that he had held onto for so long.

When at last Gray was all cried out, he took a deep shuddering breath, leaning his forehead on his sister's shoulder. "Lulu... I missed you," he mumbled.

"I missed you too, dummy," Lucy laughed softly in his ear. And that sound — oh that sound. It would've been enough to make Gray cry again, if he hadn't already cried all his tears.

Pulling back, Lucy smiled up at him. Even now, Gray was still a good head taller than her. "Ne... come with me."

Gray let her drag him along, too transfixed by the moving girl in front of him. Her small hand was on his wrist, not even fully wrapped around it. She was so small... so fragile... Gray lowered his head. How could he have let this happen to his baby sister? Out of everyone in his village, she had been the least deserving of her fate.


Gray's head lifted, and his eyes widened at the sight before him. A group of masked wizards were in a circle, chanting an unknown incantation as, what was presumably the moon's light, shone down in a tubular form in the middle of the circle.

"What is that?" he asked in horror, although he already had a pretty good idea of what was happening. "Are they..." He turned to his sister, who was watching unflinchingly. "They're not... they're not collecting the moon's light, are they?"

A small dip of her head acknowledged his fears. "It's Moon Drip, a Belianese spell," she told him quietly. "Gray," she turned to face him fully, "they're trying to use Moon Drip to revive Deliora."

"What?!" Gray whirled back around to look once more at the wizard circle properly, rage mixed with something akin to horror on his face. "That's impossible! Iced Shell ice is unbreakable!"

"Moon Drip can melt it," Lucy insisted gently, but firmly. "Focused moon energy can break any spell at all." She lifted her hands to force her brother's head to turn back towards her, holding his gaze that was filled with pain and rage. "I don't like it any more than you do," she admitted.

"They have no idea how horrific Deliora is," Gray muttered bitterly, his hands reaching up to feel his sister's hands on his face, grounding him, keeping him from losing it.

"Moon Drip may also be the cause of the phenomenon the islanders believe is a curse," Lucy added, turning her gaze the bright purple moon. "Concentrated moon energy can contaminate people's bodies, too. That's how powerful it is."

"Those bastards—!" Gray jerked forward with a scowl set in his face, but was abruptly stopped by his sister's arms winding around his chest firmly.

"Hold it, Gray," she said softly, but firmly. "Someone's coming."

But just as footsteps reached their ears, their surroundings suddenly vanished and Gray found himself in a plain white landscape. He whirled around, relaxing when he saw his sister was still there with him. Confusion briefly flashed across her dainty face before being replaced with the same neutral warmth she had since the beginning.

"Gray," she said softly, "I need to go."

"No, wait... don't go," Gray pleaded desperately, reaching out to grasp her hand in his. It was so small compared to his. He could feel her smooth skin contrasting to the callouses engraved in his own palms. She hadn't even had time to experience things, to learn all that she wanted, to make her own mark on this world, before she was taken away.

Lucy gently cupped Gray's face with her right hand, her left being enclosed with both of Gray's. "I'm sorry," she whispered, "but I need to go. Stop the Moon Drip. Find out who is behind this. But do not let the past blind you. Not everything is as it seems."

"Wait... how do you know all this?" Gray suddenly asked, searching his sister's face for answers.

Lucy turned back to look at him, eyes gentle. She reached up on tiptoe to hug him, and whispered, "It wasn't your fault... it never was. And no matter what, even if we can't see each other, I will always be watching over you."

Gray's eyes flew open, ready to scream Lucy's name. He quickly stopped himself, slumping over as he dug the heels of his hands into his eyes. What was that dream?

Suddenly, the cave started shaking and bits of rock fell down, waking the other two living occupants of the cave. "What's that sound?" Happy exclaimed in alarm.

Natsu jerked straight up, his snoring abruptly cut off. "Is it nighttime?" the Fire Dragon Slayer shouted eagerly. Neither cat nor Ice Mage bothered to answer him. Instead, both looked up as a purple magic circle formed above Deliora, purple-stained light flowing down and covering the massive ice block.

"There's light coming from the ceiling!" Natsu's eyes widened.

"Purple light... is it the moonlight?" Gray murmured, eyes wide as he stared at the familiar light and magical phenomenon, his fist clenched tight against his side.

"What is this? What's happening?" Happy was full-on panicking, his eyes wide as he stared in shock and alarm at the bright purple light filtering through the cave.

"It's shining on Deliora... this is no coincidence." Gray gritted his teeth. Could it be that what he saw in his dream was reality? Had she somehow shown him the future? It wasn't as if he never dreamed of what his life could've been, had his family lived. But this particular dream left him feeling something different... he didn't feel hollow and listless, but almost... empowered? Was that the right word? Gray wasn't sure, but he didn't have time to ponder further on it as another rumbling forced him back to reality. Gray snapped his head over the Fire Dragon Slayer, "Let's go! Find the source of the light!"


They started to run up the stairs that led from the cave and back up to the ruins of the Temple of the Moon. There, they found another magical circle, the bright purple light filtering through that and presumably down below to Deliora.

"There was a magic circle in the middle of these ruins?" Gray breathed.

"Higher up!" Natsu called as he started to run forward again, Gray and Happy on his heels. Racing up the flight of stairs, the three Fairy Tail mages found themselves outside the ruins and to where there was a sort of pavilion.

Gray's eyes widened; it was a group of masked wizards were in a circle, chanting an unknown incantation as the moon's light shone down in a tubular form in the middle of the circle. Was it coincidental that this was the exact same thing he had seen in his dream?

"What is that?" Natsu was about to speak again when Happy hissed, "Shh!"

"It's Moon Drip, a Belianese spell," Gray muttered, recalling his sister's words. So it was true... and if Lucy had shown it to him, then perhaps... she really was watching over him, wasn't she? The thought alone was enough to upturn the corners of his mouth in a rare smile.

"What?" Natsu asked blankly, oblivious to his companion's inner thoughts.

"These wizards are trying to use Moon Drip to revive Deliora. Focused moon energy can break any spell at all... even Iced Shell ice," Gray explained in a bitter tone that did not go unnoticed by the other Fairy Tail mage, clenching his fist tightly. "Concentrated moon energy can contaminate people's bodies, too. This could be what the islanders believe is a curse."

"You can't be serious..." Happy stared in open-mouthed horror at the magic ritual taking place before them.

"Whoa hold up, since when did you become an intellectual?" Natsu stared at his rival weirdly.

Gray let out a yelp as he was suddenly head-locked, Natsu's legs wrapped around his torso so he couldn't move. "What do you think you're doing, Ash for Brains?" he hissed as loudly as he dared.

"Who are you and what have you done with Gray?" Natsu demanded, fire threatening to spew from his mouth.

"Shut up, you dragon," Gray muttered, pushing Natsu back with a short burst of icy steam. "It's me, you dolt." He glanced up at the stars, his ire dissipating into loneliness as he remembered the warmth and love he had received from his younger sister, even if it had been a dream. "I just... remembered something that someone told me."

Natsu looked at the raven-haired Ice Mage disbelievingly, but didn't say anything more when four people entered the site.

In the lead was a slim man was wearing a large white cape with a wide collar, golden edges and fur trimmings over the shoulders held closed by a belt. Below his cape, he wore a blue high-collared tunic with golden edges, and baggy dark pants were tucked inside armoured greaves. An an ornamental helmet that bore a resemblance to a skull obscured most of his face, revealing only his mouth and nose, sharp teeth lining the bottom of the front part. Striped horns pointed forwards and a large crest made of spiky fur fell to his back. All in all, he was quite the imposing figure.

Following behind him was the pink-haired girl in a fairy-like outfit, a shorter male with blue hair and large arching eyebrows, and behind him was something like a cross between a dog and a human. It was the three from the underground cavern, when Gray and Natsu discovered Deliora.

"Damn, I'm sleepy because we woke up during the day," the blue-haired man complained in a neutral, albeit slightly grumpy, tone. The hybrid man let out a whine of agreement. "We didn't even find the intruders," the shorter man muttered, glaring off to the side.

"Were there even any?!" the dog-eared man shouted in frustration.

"It's sad, Cold Emperor," the pink-haired girl said softly, her blue eyes indeed showing sadness. As the Cold Emperor looked over at her, she continued, "It appeared that there were intruders during the day, but they got away. I am unfit to speak of love."

"Intruders..." the Cold Emperor murmured, both contemplation and annoyance lacing his tone.

Gray drew a sharp intake of breath as Natsu muttered beside him, "So he's the Cold Emperor? He sure looks high and mighty, with that weird mask."

"Is Deliora's revival still incomplete?" the masked man spoke a little louder.

"From the looks of it, it will be today or tomorrow," the girl answered him.

"Which one?" the dog-man shouted impatiently, suddenly appearing behind the girl. She did not, however, appear startled by his sudden appearance.

"At long last..." the Cold Emperor seemed pleased with this information. "As for the intruders, I've come too far to be interfered with now."

"Yes. The only people on this island are the villagers on the outskirts."

"Go eradicate the village," the man ordered, flicking his left arm out to the side in a demanding fashion.

"Yes Sir."


"What? The villagers have nothing to do with this!" Natsu hissed furiously, clenching his teeth tightly together. "Got no choice, then."

"I'm not fond of blood, but..." Despite his words, a smile seemed to curl his lips.

Gray's eyes widened. "That voice... no, it can't be!"

He was suddenly jerked out of his thoughts when Natsu leapt atop the broken wall they were hiding behind, yelling at the top of his voice, "All right! I'm sick of sneaking around!" The Dragon Slayer's cheeks swelled up, and a blast of fire erupted over their heads. "We're the ones who came to interfere!"

Out of four, only two looked truly shocked at the announcement. The dog-man stared in open-mouthed surprise, his emotions clearly shown on his face. The female was mildly distressed while the shorter blue-haired man appeared unfazed. The nonsensical mask hid too much of the Cold Emperor's face to evaluate his reaction, but judging by the thin line of his lips, he was not amused.

A large grin stretched across Natsu's face.

"He always was one to play it by ear," Happy sighed, lifting his paws up as if to say 'oh well'.

"That emblem," the girl's eyes widened slightly upon seeing the red symbol resting proudly on Natsu's shoulder, "he's from Fairy Tail!"

"I see. So the villagers asked the guilds for help," the blue-haired man noted.

"What are you doing?" the tallest male frowned. "Go and eradicate the village." His lackeys looked over at him while disbelief crossed Natsu's face.

"Huh? Why would you ask them to do something like that?" Natsu snapped angrily.

"Those who stand in the way, and those who concocted said scheme..." he stared unflinchingly back at the Dragon Slayer, fist clenched in front of him, "they are all the enemy."

"Why, you—!" Natsu raced towards him, but Gray was faster as he overtook the pyro.

"Stop your stupid ceremony or whatever, this instant!" the Ice Mage yelled, lifting his hands to shoot an Ice Make: Ice Wall at the group of four. The three lackeys jumped back, the girl giving a gasp of surprise. The boss had also jumped back, however mid-air he created a magic circle in his right palm, slamming it down on the floor as a spikier, green-tinted version of Gray's spell collided with the Fairy Tail Ice Mage's. They were of equal force, and held for only a second before both shattered into ice shards.

"He uses ice too?" Happy cried in alarm.

Gray was glaring murderously at the Cold Emperor, baring his gritted teeth. His opponent, in contrast to Gray's unbridled fury, appeared unfazed. Gray had known, from the moment he spoke, who was hiding behind the mask. The one-handed Make magic only solidified his suspicions. And so he growled out, "Lyon."

"Lyon?" Natsu repeated, shock and confusion contorting his facial features.

"Damn you," Gray cursed, "do you even realize what you're doing?"

"Heh," the masked man chuckled in dry amusement, "It's been a while, Gray."

"What is the meaning of this?" Gray demanded, fury creasing his brow.

"To think that you were one of the wizards the villagers called here..." he continued, sounding almost amused and not at all bothered by Gray's rage. "Did you come here knowingly? Or was it sheer coincidence? Not that it makes any difference."

"An acquaintance of yours, Cold Emperor Lyon?" the man with large eyebrows inquired.

"Get going. I can handle this myself," Lyon answered coldly.

"Yes sir!" all three immediately disappeared.

"Oh, no you don't!" Natsu snapped, rushing forwards to stop them from eradicating the village.

"Stop, Natsu! Don't move!" Gray cried in alarm. But he was too late as Lyon held out a hand, icy steam already forming. A split-second later, spiky ice shards were growing all over Natsu's body as he yelled out in both pain and alarm. Growling, Gray thrust both his arms forward, shooting ice towards Lyon. The latter only moved his left arm in front of him, creating a translucent green-tinted ice shield to appear in front of him, successfully blocking and dispelling the attack.

"Damn! I can't move!" Natsu hollered as the ice contorted around him to form a sphere of ice.

'Shit, that's Ice Make: Diamond Cage. Who's going to save the villagers now?' Gray thought angrily. 'Lyon... just who are you now? What happened to you?'

"Too bad you don't have a third member," Lyon commented smugly. "Although, I doubt they would be able to hold up a decent fight against Sherry and the others, anyway."

"Don't underestimate Fairy Tail wizards!" Natsu shouted at him, clearly annoyed if the fire at the back of his throat was any indication. Gray's eyes slid over to Natsu for a moment before he straightened himself and shot out a leg to kick the ice sphere, sending it rolling down the hill. "What's the big idea, Gray?!" Natsu howled as he rolled down the hill, screaming at the top of his lungs. A blue winged cat shot past Gray and after his partner, but not before Gray caught the grin on the cheeky cat's face.

Gray huffed a little before turning his glare back on Lyon. Now it was just the two of them. Two pupils, two boys who had grown up alongside each other, reunited after years of separation. But it was far from a happy reunion. And now, Gray understood what Lucy had meant when she told him, "Do not let the past blind you". She had known, somehow, that he would literally be facing his past. Something he thought he had left behind him, long ago.

"I see you're just as reckless as ever. Isn't he your friend?" Lyon asked snidely.

'Don't worry, Lulu,' Gray thought determinedly, 'I won't let the past blind me. I'll move on, with everyone at Fairy Tail. I promise... because this is what you wanted for me, isn't it?' As the wind flew by the two at a standstill, Gray swore he felt familiar hands resting on his shoulders and a feather-light kiss on his cheek. Warmth spread through his chest as approval seemed to resonate from the air around him.

"That spell can destroy the ice and everything inside it if you feel like it," Gray told his former fellow pupil. Was that even the right word, for someone who had grown up alongside him with the same teacher? Somehow it seemed wrong, too light of a term for the close, almost brotherly, relationship they had once shared and the life they had created for themselves, under the care of the one woman whom they had both loved.

"Which is why you set it outside the range of my magic?" Lyon asked in amusement, realizing why Gray had sent his friend careening down the hill the way he had. "You're pretty clever, after all."

"Could you quit acting like you're my superior, Lyon?" Gray snapped, finally having enough of the other man's haughty act. "You're not Ur's student anymore!"

"Neither are you, Gray," Lyon returned coolly, reaching up to take off his mask. "Because Ur is no longer of this world."

"She sacrificed her life to seal Deliora away!" Gray shot back, rage steadily building up inside of him and thrumming through his veins. "You're trying to destroy her legacy!"

"Don't delude yourself. You killed Ur," Lyon responded coldly, black eyes hiding a raging storm.

Gray's eyes widened at the accusation, even as he took in the other man's appearance. He looked relatively the same as he had when he was a child, with pale skin and sticky white hair all over the place. His face was slimmer and more mature, however the only real difference was the cold and disinterested look in his black eyes.

"I'm amazed you've had the nerve to live... Gray," Lyon continued, spitting out the other Ice Mage's name like it left a bad taste in his mouth.

At the bottom of the hill, two legs were stuck up in the air while the torso was encased in ice. It was a strange sight to stumble upon, but it would become even stranger as a blast of fire jetted the body up into the air and out of the self-created crater.

Natsu cackled loudly, his head on fire with a triumphant yet demonic grin on his face. "Gray, you jerk! I'll get you for this!" he shouted up at the hill, shaking his fists as best he could while half his arms were locked in the ice sphere. He pressed a flaming hand to the ice, "Anyway, why the heck can't my fire melt this ice?" He quickly gave up, panting slightly. "But this is no time for that," he announced aloud to no one in particular as he recalled Lyon's mocking words, "I gotta hurry to the village!" He ran as fast as he could, though honestly it was more like a penguin waddle. "Crap! It's hard to run like this!"

Seriously, where was Happy when you needed him? And what was up with Gray, lately? He was acting sort of... distant... distracted, maybe? Natsu quickly veered off that path; finding the correct words to express his thoughts was not his forte. He was a man of action, after all. But seriously, something was off with Gray, but Natsu decided to leave it for later. Gray would tell him in his own time, and if he didn't, then Natsu would just beat it out of him. There was no use thinking about it since he knew from past experience that if he didn't get it right away, thinking further on it would just give him a headache.

Natsu had just stumbled for the fifteenth time — and cursed Gray for the thirty-fourth time — when a sudden warmth enveloped him. It was so very different from his own raging fire that it left Natsu momentarily stunned; where his flames was wild and unpredictable and had a tendency to burn things if he wasn't careful, this type of heat gave off a gentle and tame aura as it worked to set him free, yet in terms of temperature it was easily superior to even his hottest flames. Natsu let out a shout of surprise as the warmth was unexpectedly accompanied by a bright golden glow, and then a moment later, the ice shattered around him. Natsu blinked at the ice shards lying at his feet before a grin broke out on his face.

"Alright! I don't know what just happened but I'll take what I can get!"

He took a step forward but jerked around as he heard a soft giggle. He scanned his surroundings suspiciously, his nose twitching. 'Honey... and strawberries? That's an odd combination, but it smells nice.' Taking one last look around, Natsu shrugged and ran full speed to the village.

A few miles still away from Galuna Island, a pirate ship was approaching slowly. Half-naked men were lying around the boat, groaning in discomfort. The captain, an old and round man, turned around with a sweatdrop even as fear shone in his one eye. "Wh-Why do you want to go to that horrible island?" he asked the figure behind him. "I-If you don't mind my asking—"

"Just steer," the cold, no-nonsense voice of the imposing woman ordered.

"R-Right!" the captain squeaked, hastily turning around and continuing the ship's course. Just then, the men started waking up. "C'mon lady! I mean, Ma'am! I beg you," he whined pitifully, trying not to look the armoured redhead in the eye. "Galuna Island is cursed! They say people turn into demons there!"

"I've no interest in that," was the measured reply.

"Y-Yes Ma'am!" the captain squeaked, terrified of invoking her wrath. He had more than learnt his lesson when his men were all pulverized within a matter of minutes.

"I'm simply on my way to punish some rule-breakers. That's all," the Titania divulged in a curt, clipped tone.

"So cool!"

"You're wonderful!"

"Let's go, Onee-sama!"

"We'll follow you anywhere you go!"

The crew chorused, hearts flying in the air as they surrounded their captain and the warrior woman, even as their captain sweatdropped at his crew's behaviour.

"Good. Then please hurry." Erza Scarlet somehow managed to make it an order while making it sound more of a request than an order, unmoved by the open display of affection.

"Aye, Sir!" the entire crew shouted, happy to be in the service of such a beautiful warrior.

"L-Let me join in too, Onee-sama!" the captain exclaimed from behind his crew, not wanting to be left behind. "Steady as she goes!" echoed as the crew as they drew closer to the cursed island. Erza merely stared at the island, knowing what awaited both her and her two fellow guildmates.

Back on Galuna Island, Gray and Lyon were still at a standstill.

"I'll say it again," Lyon spoke with an air of resignation, not caring for Gray's apparent feelings, "You killed Ur." And finally, anger broke through the cold, neutral mask. "It is presumptuous of you to speak her name!" He held out his left hand, an Ice Make: Puffer Fish knocking Gray off his feet and sending him crashing through the broken wall that he had previously been hiding behind.


"What's the matter? Feeling too guilty to fight back?" Lyon called over mockingly before his tone turned deadly serious. "In that case, please stay out of my way. I'm going to revive Deliora."

Gray, shaking, glared at him. "I won't let you!" he roared.

Lyon dropped his helmet, a matching glare in his own eyes. The minute the metal hit the ground a smirk crossed Lyon's face. "That's more like it. Let's play together again, for old times' sake." He held out his left hand, "Ice Make: Eagle!"

"Ice Make: Shield!" Gray shot up his defense. The ice eagles, however, circled around the shield, hitting the Ice Make Mage from all sides.

"Static Ice Making, creating objects, was always your specialty," Lyon noted with disinterest. "While Dynamic Ice Making, creating animals, is my specialty. Have you forgotten my ice can move about?"

Gray leapt into the air to avoid the ice attack. Slamming his right fist into his left palm, Gray shouted, "Ice Make: Hammer!"

Lyon lifted two fingers on his left hand. "Ice Make: Ape!"

Both ice spells cancelled each other out as Gray landed back onto the ground. "What a joke," Lyon scoffed, "I see you still use both hands for your Make magic."

"That's what Ur taught us!" Gray growled defensively. "Single-handed Make magic is incomplete and unbalanced!"

"I'm an exception," Lyon answered dismissively. "I surpassed Ur's level long ago."

"Don't act so cocky!" Gray ground out through his gritted teeth. How dare Lyon cast away Ur's teaching so easily? How dare he dismiss the generosity she had given in sharing her home with the both of them, in teaching them her magic? After all she had done... for all intents and purposes, Ur had practically been a mother to them! How could Lyon be so dismissive of her legacy?

"I say the same to you," Lyon responded. "Tell me, did you ever once hit me with an attack?"

"Don't mistake those times with now!" Gray shouted as his hands moved in front of him. "Ice Make: Ice Geyser!"

Lyon was unmoved as the ice jerkily encased itself around him, even as the spell shook the ground and sent the cloth-covered wizards scrambling for cover in a panic. However, much to Gray's shock, the Ice Geyser shattered within a minute of locking Lyon in place.

"Nothing has changed," Lyon stated condescendingly in a monotone. "I was the elder student, and I was stronger than you. I learned to use single-handed Make magic, but you never could. Nothing has changed. Our paths are different, but our time remains frozen and unchanged." He lifted his left hand as a blue magic circle appeared. Gray let out a cry of surprise and pain as he was knocked away by an Ice Make: Snow Dragon. "That's why I'm going to melt the ice," Lyon continued coolly, not at all bothered by what he had just done to his former fellow pupil. "To follow a path that was sealed off."

Gray fell to the ground and out of sight, a cloud of dust rising up being the only indicator of his landing.

"Ur was my goal," Lyon spoke, now seemingly more to himself than Gray. "Surpassing her was my dream. But you took that dream from me. I thought I would never be able to surpass her." Lyon walked over to where Gray had landed, and found himself mildly surprised as Gray was up on his knees, that fierce glare still directed at him with a burning conviction that Lyon had seen before, on that night. However, he realized there was something else fueling this passion, something different from that night. But it wasn't as if that would make Gray any stronger, so Lyon dismissed it from his mind as he knelt down to be face-to-face with his former sibling-student.

"But then I realized there was a way."

Deliora, frozen within the Iced Shell, flashed to Gray's mind as he realized what both Lucy and Lyon meant.

"If I can defeat Deliora, the demon that not even Ur could vanquish..." Lyon's eyes suddenly widened in apparent pride and anticipation, a maniac gleam in them. "Then I will have surpassed her. I can have the rest of my dream!"

"Are you insane? That's your goal?" Anger and disbelief contorted Gray's features. "Even you know how horrific Deliora is!" And yet, Lyon appeared unmoved throughout his tirade. "Stop this! You can't do it!"

But now, rage crossed Lyon's face as he shot out a hand at Gray. The latter yelled out as serpents made of ice rose up from the ground, sending him flying. "'Stop'? 'You can't do it'?" Lyon repeated in a growl.

Gray grunted as a flock of Ice Make: Pigeon flew at him. He fell on his back, but what should've been a harsh landing seemed somewhat cushioned instead. Instinctively, he wanted to believe that it was Lucy, who seemed to be present in the wind surrounding both him and Lyon.

"We said those exact same words to you back then," Lyon uttered in a low, angry tone. "Surely you haven't forgotten. Ur died because you challenged Deliora!"

'Gray, look out!'

Gray barely rolled to the side in time as a single Ice Make: Knuckle crashed through the ground and barely scraped Gray's side, stimulating his, by now, rag-doll-like body to roll even further as he groaned.

Lyon, now lost in a fit of rage that contrasted sharply with his previous stoic exterior, bellowed, "You aren't fit to say Ur's name! Begone!"


But Gray was too beat up to move in time, and pain instantly blossomed all over his torso as a Ice Make: Snow Dragon struck him. By now, Gray had lost count of the times that Lyon and his Dynamic Ice Make creatures had sent him flying.

"Disappear forever!"

A second Ice Make: Snow Dragon appeared, but before it could strike, Gray heard a furious voice whisper loudly, with anger and protectiveness in her voice, 'Not on my watch!'

Gray was blinded by a bright yellow light, and he could hear Lyon shout in confusion. Cracking his sore eyelids, the Ice Mage was shocked to see the concerned and determined face of his little sister descending towards him, arms outstretched to capture him in a warm embrace.

Gray closed his eyes just as he felt her slim arms wrap around his torso.

'Please... please, don't let this be a dream.'

A/N: For a visual on this version of Lucy: deviantart (.com) / inma / art / Commission-for-Ifabulicious-476011344

Remove the spaces and the brackets :))