'Thinking' – thoughts
"Speaking" – speech
'Thinking' – Dragon/God/Beast thinking
"Speaking" - Dragon/God/Beast speaking
Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail or any of its characters they are property of Hiro Masima.
Kriim-Sauce786: Interesting ideas you have there, with the battels in the next chapter I will be able to show more of the new abilities in combat, though Haru won't be proficient in the new manipulations yet, though Natsu might just use it to show Haru more of what it can do :)
Ninjafang1331: Thank you, my friend.
Amanny: Next chapter you will see more of the combination magic I can assure you. 1. No comment. 2. Thus far, not before the GMG arc but this can still change if I choose. 3. Honestly, I think it was kind of stupid. If he knew such a threat was on the horizon and an invasion was imminent then keeping the guild together or disbanding it doesn't affect the outcome. Ishgar will fight Alvarez no matter what. 4. No, I will most likely forget about it if I decide to give him one and it will just be out of place.
BoredAsUsual34: That is an interesting idea, I looked back at the first chapter and saw that it would be possible. I'll toy around with the idea, thank you for the suggestion :)
"My friends, today is the day we call upon our lord. Tonight the moon will rise, full and brilliantly white, though it will turn red through the blood of the sacrifices. Our lord will rise and sow chaos amongst the mortal realm," Gohra called out as he stood before the group of cultists that had followed his orders. A cheer met his declaration and a bloodthirsty grin formed on Gohra's face.
"Now bring the sacrifices, and once the sun sinks below the horizon our lord will cross the divide," Gohra ordered before he turned to the main tent and motioned for Hardon, Sithria and the man with long dark hair to follow him.
"It's quite impressive how you riled them up while keeping the final part of the ritual hidden," the dark-haired man said in a neutral tone.
"Oh you do know that I just love the screams of unfortunate fools, and to see betrayal in one face moments before the blood erupts from their sorry bodies… oh that just gets me all tingly," Gohra said with a maniacal grin.
"I commend you for gaining such a large following Gohra, it would have been a lot harder to keep enough prisoners under control," Hardon commented with an indifferent expression.
"I'm just glad that after that first moron tried to interfere with my pastime, I was left to my own devices," Sithria said.
"Well I do doubt that anyone would want to be blown to literal bits and scattered across a clearing just for talking to a pretty lady," Hardon said with a grin.
"You're lucky that you are the only one I can stand to hold a conversation with outside of these little meetings," Sithria said as she rolled her eyes.
"I will leave you to do whatever you wish after I have gained what I was sent here for," the dark-haired man said as he stood up.
"You don't want to wait till the end? I promise their screams of terror and the destruction that follows will be delectable," Gohra said as he twirled a blade in his hand.
"My master wishes to come into possession of the items as soon as possible," the man merely replied before exiting the tent.
"Can you explain again why we are working with him?" Hardon asked.
"He came to me and informed me how to complete the ritual and all he wanted in return was a simple object that is but a by-product of the ritual itself so it was a mutually beneficial partnership," Gohra explained.
"Why don't we just kill him and keep the artefact to ourselves, we can surely cause a lot more chaos and death if we had it," Sithria suggested.
"I had that idea and did some digging into what the artefact might be, but all I could come up with was that it was some sort of key and to use it you would also need a massive amount of them, something I can't be bothered to search for. As for what the keys are used for, I have no idea. As for killing him, that wouldn't end too well for us. His master is in control of a very powerful group and he in himself can easily take you two out. I'm not even sure if I can win against him," Gohra explained.
"As long as he doesn't stand in our way I have no qualm in working alongside him," Hardon said.
"Might we keep my suggestion hidden, I do enjoy blowing things up and I would appreciate it if I could continue doing so?" Sithria said with a slightly nervous chuckle.
"Don't worry Sithria, once we are done here and our lord walks the mortal plane, he won't be able to stand against us if he found out. Though I will agree that we keep this quiet," Gohra said.
"Well, we better get this ritual started, I can hear the terrified voices of the villagers approaching," Hardon said as he got up, followed by Sithria as the two exited the tent.
'I will revel in the blood of the innocents, and those two will help me pave the way for utter destruction and death,' Hardon thought to himself, pleased that he found two other people who shared his lust for destruction, even if they had other opinions on what they enjoy.
-With Ur and Ultear-
A gleeful expression crossed Ur's face as she looked to the mountainside.
"This is perfect, now I can truly test my skills against the forces of nature and see how far I have come," Ur said with excitement filling her voice. Barrelling down towards them was an avalanche, the snow and ice on the mountainside had come loose and was rushing down towards them.
"Be careful mother, I can sense magic infused with that avalanche," Ultear warned her mother as she calmly watched the mass of ice and snow approaching.
"Even better," Ur said with a grin. Lowering her stance, Ur opened her left palm and placed her right fist in it. A light blue, almost white, aura surrounded Ur as she allowed her magic to pool around her. "Ice-Make: Climbing Rose Garden" Ur called out as an ice mist exploded from her hands.
A light blue hue covered the bottom of the slope of the mountain. Suddenly thorny stems sprouted from the hue and started climbing up the mountainside towards the approaching wave of ice and snow. Small icy roses emerged from the stems as they climbed higher up the slope. Once the avalanche connected with the construct, a massive rose grew, covering the mountainside and stopping the avalanche in its tracks.
"I, Ur Milkovich, stand above the forces of Nature, bow down before my majesty over Ice," Ur declared in a jubilant tone as she let out a hearty laugh.
"Getting a bit full of ourselves now, aren't we? None the less that was an impressive feat," Ultear laughed before complimenting Ur. Ultear held out her hand and started channelling her magic towards the stopped mass of ice and snow. "Arc of Time: Accelerate" Ultear called out as a purple light enveloped the stopped ice and snow. Within moments the ice solidified allowing Ur to release her hold on her spell.
"Well now that that problem is solved we can continue with our morning," Ultear said, turning back to the practice dummy that has been set up.
"Hold on a moment Ultear, there were mages in that avalanche, I sensed their magic as my spell climbed up the mountain," Ur said, gaining her daughter's attention.
"Do you think they are potentially hostile?" Ultear asked in a serious tone with the unasked question of whether the mages were responsible for the avalanche, the practice dummy completely forgotten.
"That is still to be seen, though I don't think they caused the avalanche since it seemed like they were trying to escape it," Ur said.
"Then I guess we will have to go investigate," Ultear sighed before following Ur to the mages' general location.
-With Team Erza-
"Fall back," Erza's command resonated along the mountainside before it was drowned out by the rumbling avalanche that followed the fleeing mages. Erza cast a glance behind her and saw that Lucy and Gray heard her cry and were running alongside her.
'I have no idea how we will get out of this, if we're lucky there will be a range limit to the spell though I do doubt it. For now, we will just have to run until one of us comes up with an idea,' Erza thought.
"Screw this, we can't just keep on running," Gray shouted out in frustration and spun around, still skidding backwards. Dropping into his maker stance Gray called out "Ice-Make: Shield", causing an icy shield to form in front of him with Lucy barely making it behind it before it was fully formed.
Erza, having been in the lead was the only one to see the icy stems that rushed up the mountainside and as they rushed past her she looked back. Horror too over her mind as she saw Gray and Lucy standing behind a small icy shield with the large wave of ice and snow closing in. The horror quickly changed into stunned amazement as a massive rose exploded from the stems and halted the snow's advance.
The eyes of the Fairy Tail mages were glued to the massive rose before they saw a purple glow from the opposite side. Moments later the massive rose disappeared, revealing that the mass of ice and snow was solidified against eh mountainside with no sign of moving any time soon.
"That was amazing Gray, I never knew you were that powerful," Lucy said in wonder as she gazed upon the newly frozen mountainside.
''That wasn't me, I cast an 'Ice-Make: Shield' but whatever that was, was way stronger than my spell," Gray said with wide eyes as he wracked his brain to try and figure out why the aura of the spell felt familiar.
"That spell was cast from the base of the mountain," Erza made herself known as she walked up the other two mages. While Gray still had his thoughtful expression, his mind focused on the magic's aura that had saved them, Lucy's amazement at what she thought was Gray's spell quickly turned to surprise at Erza's words.
"Maybe we should go and see if they will help us," Lucy suggested.
"We have no idea what their motivations for saving us are. It is possible that they simply stopped the avalanche because it was inhibiting their daily lives, meaning that they can potentially be hostile. I agree that moving to their position will be the best option but we will do so while staying on guard," Erza declared.
"Something about this ice has me on edge but I don't know what," Gray said still having his face in a confused expression.
'Then we will move with the utmost caution," Erza said as she led the small group down the mountain. The trek down was uneventful for the most part until they entered a small forest area and through the trees, they could see smoke rising into the sky.
"You guys see that?" Gray asked as he pointed through the last of the trees.
"That is where our mysterious saviours are, I'm sure of it. This area is uninhabited and the closest town was the one we got the quest from so there is no other option," Erza said.
"I really hope they are friendly," Lucy said as she stood exhausted, leaning against a large tree trunk.
"All right, Lucy I want you to try and keep out of sight while Gray and I move in. Hopefully, they are friendly, but if they are not, I want you to be our surprise," Erza said as she looked at eh wooden cabin with a critical gaze.
"Lucy?" Erza asked as she turned around after not hearing anything from the blond. Turning around to look at where the girl was Erza's magical power suddenly spiked. Gray, having sensed the spike, spun around with a fist in his palm, his magic at the ready. What he saw when he turned around, caused him to ready his magic and his power spiked as well.
A light purple layer of ice had covered Lucy's form and a slender hand was resting on her shoulder. The owner of the hand was shrouded in the shadows which put the two Fairy Tail mages even more on edge.
"Release her at once or face the wrath of the Fairy Tail guild," Erza said as she pointed her sword at the figure.
"Now why would I do something like that? Here I was, enjoying my time until someone decided to attempt to bring a mountain down on us. I believe I am in my right to retaliate," a feminine voice came from the figure.
"You think we would bring down the mountain when we were trying to escape it, are you crazy? Now release Lucy r else," Gray shouted as a cold aura surrounded his fist that was placed in his palm. "Ice-Make: Lance" Gray called out after a silent moment where the figure's hand didn't move.
"Ice-Make: Shield" the figure called out as a shield resembling a draconic face obscured the views of Erza and Gray from Lucy and the figure. The icy lances broke as they made contact with the shield, but no damage was done to the shield, much to Gray's surprise.
"Gray, that could have hit Lucy," Erza shouted as she dashed forward. Erza slammed her sword against the shield but once again it didn't break, though this time there was a crack visible.
"You should listen to your friend Gray," another female voice said. At the sound of the voice, Gray froze. 'That voice…' Gray's mind was thrown into the past. Erza spun to her left as she focused her eyes on the dark tree line from where the new voice came from while keeping her magical sense on the icy shield, not wanting to be caught off guard by the first opponent.
"How… Why… Ur?" Gray stuttered out in disbelieve as he stared into the woods.
"Yes Gray, it's me," Ur said as she moved into the light with a smirk.
"What is going on here, where is Lucy?" Erza demanded, deeming that after Lucy was returned they could talk things out but the safety of her guild comes first.
"Lucy is quite all right, no need to be so aggressive," Ur said dismissively as she turned to Gray and rested her gaze on him.
"How can you be reckless Gray, and what was that pathetic power? I can't believe this is all that one of my students could achieve. Where did all those lessons on control go?" Ur asked as she shook her head in disappointment.
"I know you are Gray's master, but that doesn't mean I won't resort to force if you don't return Lucy," Erza said as she moved in between the two Ice-Make mages, her sword pointing at Ur.
"As I said, she's fine, but all right," Ur sighed as she released a pulse of her magic and directed it at the Icy shield that still obscured their view of where Lucy once was. Moments later the shield dissipated, revealing a smirking Ultear and a still partially frozen Lucy.
"Though I despise the fact that you Fairy Tail mages interrupted the time I was spending with my mother, I will admit that messing with you did bring me some amusement," Ultear said as the ice around Lucy melted.
"What the hell is wrong with y…?" Lucy started a tirade but she was quickly silenced by a dangerous glare from Ultear. Quickly shutting her mouth Lucy scurried over to her guildmates where she found safety.
"Master Ur, what are you doing here? Have you recovered? Where have you been?" Gray blurted out a barrage of questions after the mages fell into an uncomfortable silence.
"Speaking so rapidly won't give me a chance to answer Gray," Ur said in a slightly annoyed voice.
"Come mother, let's get back to the cabin so we can return to our business and not be disturbed anymore," Ultear said as she turned around and started walking in the direction of their cabin.
"And you lot aren't invited," Ultear called over her shoulder.
"Sorry for her lack of hospitality. I will offer you all a hot beverage but sadly that is all I believe I will be able to get her to agree to," Ur said in an apologetic tone before following her daughter. After walking a few steps Ur turned around and seeing that the Fairy Tail mages were watching them warily she let out a sigh.
"I promise we don't bite, now come along," Ur said in a slightly impatient voice which resembled a mother scolding her young. This quickly spurred the Fairy Tail mages to follow.
Half an hour later the front porch of the cabin Ur and Ultear was using found itself housing a group of four people, three looking rather uncomfortable while the last had a look of displeasure on her face. Ultear was occupying the bench that was on the porch while the Fairy Tail mages used some of the larger stumps as chairs.
"So, what are the two of you doing here?" Lucy asked after a while in an attempt to relieve the awkward silence and unwelcoming feeling Ultear was extruding at an alarming rate.
"That is none of your business, and if I had any real say in the matter you wouldn't even be within eyesight of this cabin," Ultear replied with an icy voice. This quickly stopped Lucy's attempt at starting a conversation with the former Councilwoman.
"Come now Ultear, be nice to our guests," Ur's voice sounded just before she came out of the cabin with a tray of steaming cups. Ur ignored the soft 'Your guests' comment that Ultear made as she opted to provide everyone with a warm beverage before taking a seat on the bench with Ultear.
"Now that you all have something to warm yourselves with, would you mind telling me why you find yourselves this far into the mountains?" Ur asked as she took a sip from her cup while looking at the Fairy Tail mages.
"I guess it won't hurt. We came here on a monster extermination mission though we also added some training to it. The avalanche you stopped, which I would like to ask more about that later, was caused by our target. Unfortunately, we don't really know a lot about what it is, nothing I have encountered before that's for sure," Erza gave a quick and basic rundown of their situation.
"And you lot went in without the proper preparations and that caused you to be sent running all the way here," Ultear said with an annoyed sigh.
"Look here Ultear, I don't know what your problem with us is, but I would really appreciate it if you keep your unwanted comments to yourself," Erza snapped, having had enough of the unpleasant attitude of the younger Milkovich.
"I have to agree with them Ultear, please just be more of a pleasant person, at least for now?" Ur asked as she sent a disapproving look towards her daughter.
"Look, I don't want you lot here because where ever you Fairy Tail mages go, trouble isn't far away for some reason. That and you lot have an unpleasant and annoying talent for interrupting my time with those close to me. But I guess I can try and tolerate you for now," Ultear said before letting out a defeated sigh.
It wasn't that she wanted to be unpleasant, it's just that last time she was on a vacation, away from all of her worries with Natsu, Fairy Tail was there and that roped them into the mess with Jellal and now that she finally had some bonding time with her mother, once again they came and interrupted them, sure to bring more problems.
"Thank you Ultear. Now mind telling me a bit more about this monster you needed to eliminate, I'm quite curious as to what can create an avalanche just like that?" Ur thanked her daughter with a kind and motherly smile before turning to question Erza again.
"Sadly I can't tell you much. I do know it's a hulking beast with a leathery hide, a single eye, a dangerous maw and a powerful tail," Erza described the beast's form.
"It also had quite powerful ice magic," Gray added. Though the sentence was short, it spoke volumes to Ur. Her eyes widened slightly before a frown formed on her face.
"What did it do to the village that caused them to seek its extermination?" Ur asked in a serious tone, one far from the calm and curious tone she was using previously.
"The beast was decimating their livestock, with reports indicating that it sometimes took multiple cattle at a time. The hunters that attempted to track it saw deep grooves in the snow that was made by its claws while they followed a bloody trail. Why, do you know what this might be?" Erza answered with a frown at the serious tone Ur took. From what Gray had told them about his master, Erza knew she was quite knowledgeable on the snowy regions of the cold Northern Continent and what resided within.
"Though I'm not a hundred per cent sure, what you have described along with its behaviour, it does sound like a monster that is originally from the peaks of the Northern Continent. Now I won't claim this to be true since I have no idea how something like this could even make it this far south, but I have a strong suspicion that what you have encountered is known as a Fimir," Ur said as she held Erza's gaze.
"I've never heard of that monster before," Erza commented.
"Have you encountered them before Master Ur?" Gray asked.
"No, but I have heard a lot about them and someone I knew from my childhood used to tell me stories of the powerful beasts that rule the peaks of the Northern Continent. They are the reason no one has conquered those peaks, though this is the first time I've heard of one venturing from its home. Usually, they are said to be creatures that keep to themselves but I guess it's possible that since this one is so far from its natural habitat, that it has problems with finding food," Ur pondered.
"That is troublesome, a beast that is fighting for its very survival is a lot more dangerous than something that is merely territorial. Do you have any other information on the Fimir that might be helpful to us?" Erza asked.
"There isn't much that is known about these monsters, but it is suggested that they have some form of higher intellect. It is believed that they live in small communities, the best thing to compare it to is primitive humans. Another thing is their affinity to Ice Magic as you have no doubt experienced," Ur said.
"The power behind the magic it wielded was frighteningly powerful. And the control it had of the area surrounding it was masterful," Gray commented. A silence descended on the group, the Fairy Tail mages thinking about their forced retreat, Ur mulling over the appearance of a Fimir so close to where they were and Ultear was merely staring out over the mountain view.
"Ultear, I have decided," Ur announced as she stood up with a determined and excited look on her face.
"Decided what?" Ultear asked as she looked at her mother as if she had gone crazy.
"Today, we scale the peak," Ur said with a large grin. Though it took a second for all the other mages to understand what she meant, a collective 'Huh' sounded from the younger mages as Ur laughed to her heart's content.
-With Natsu and Haru-
Natsu sat in a meditative pose. He was spreading his magic as far as it could go, training his magical core to increase his capacity and his control over his magic. He could feel Haru training in his new abilities, and though he had trouble forming larger constructs, he was able to form fiery daggers relatively consistently.
Happy with the progress and determination to learn from Haru, Natsu deepened his concentration as he allowed his magic to seep into the very ground of Agartha. Visions of the past invaded his mind as he saw the lives of the Dragons that had once called this their home. The residual magic of the Dragons that had bonded with the entirety of Agartha and allowed Natsu to see how they had once populated the world.
'So this is how the Dragons lived,' the amazed voice of Mavis sounded in Natsu's head.
'So you can see what I see, interesting. Yes, these are the lives that the residual magic of the Dragons allows me to see what had happened. A perk of my magic if you will,' Natsu said as the two beings watched the lives of the ancient Dragons.
'What's happening there?' Mavis asked after the two watched the peaceful lives for a while.
'There seems to be a disagreement between the Dragons,' Natsu mused as he watched the scene. A titanic brown Dragon was starting down a slender orange Dragon. Though there wasn't any sound, only the images, the two spectators could see that the presumed Earth Dragon was standing its ground. The anger on the orange Dragon's face was all too clear as it spun around and stalked out of the cavern.
'Something tells me that I know what will be happening shortly,' Natsu said in a sombre voice. The scene changed to the outside of the mountain where Agartha was located, though the draconic maw like entrance that was dubbed 'The Gateway to Damnation' by the humans was only a gaping hole in the mountain. Though this missing detail might have been apparent, you wouldn't have been looked down on if you missed it. No, the main focus of this particular scene was the Dragon bodies that lay scattered across the field.
'W-What happened here?' Mavis asked in horror as she saw the decimated bodies with visible chunks having been ripped from most of them.
'Something terrible, something that my Father regrets not being able to do anything about till this day, something that can be seen as part of the darkest moment of Dragon kind,' Natsu said in a sombre tone as a lone tear escaped his eye.
The titanic brown Dragon was standing in the field, a look of regret and sorrow in its eyes as its gaze was locked onto something on the ground in front of it. The brutalized body of a slender orange Dragon was in front of it.
'This is but one of the many scenes like this that could be seen throughout this period in history,' Natsu said as the large Dragon let out an ear-splitting roar that pierced the sky with its grief, a roar that was heard, even through time.
A shadow covered the mourning Dragon and the corpse and as Natsu and Mavis looked up, they saw what one of them knew was there while the other was horrified.
'Acnologia,' Mavis breathed out in fear. The Dragon of the Apocalypse came down to the battlefield with the blood of his victims covering his massive form. It was clear that the two Dragons exchanged words, the titanic Dragon clearly enraged while Acnologia was wearing a sneer across his face. The scene once again changed, though this time Acnologia was gone and the bloodied form of the titanic Dragon was crawling towards the entrance to Agartha.
A rift in space and time seemed to open up as a colossal Dragon emerged.
'My Father, the Death Dragon God, Draco Mortem,' Natsu said as Draco made his appearance in the mortal plane. Mavis gave a hum as the two watched the two enormous Dragons converse. It was clear from their expressions that it was a hard conversation but a necessary one.
'So this is how that entrance was formed,' Mavis observed as the titanic Dragon merged with the mountain.
"Xkhat ir mrith wer thaczil ekess troth nomenes svaust still ehtah asta okarthel tenpiswo, danthe thurirl," Draco's voice softly boomed across the landscape as the mountain swallowed the Dragon's dying form.
'Earth Dragon King Arlad, the last true Protector of Agartha,' Natsu whispered the titanic Dragon's name as he bowed his head in a sign of respect. Natsu's hand ventured to the scar on his face as an angered expression formed on his face.
'Natsu?' Mavis asked, her voice laced with concern.
'I'm fine,' Natsu dismissed her concern after releasing a sigh. The scene from ancient times started to dissolve as Natsu allowed the sounds from Haru's training to fill his mind once more.
It was subtle at first, nothing particularly out of the ordinary, though Natsu's eyes shot open once he felt it in a wave. He shot up from where he sat with an alarmed expression. Natsu was vaguely aware of Mavis' concerned questions though he had another matter on his mind as he quickly made his way to where Haru was.
"Hey Natsu, I think I got the hang of forming small objects like daggers," Haru announced as he saw Natsu approach, forming a dagger made of orange flames in his hand, a grin on his face.
"We need to leave now, I'll inform you of why once we have left Agartha," Natsu said in a serious tone, one Haru knew not to question, though his mind wasn't calm and Natsu could be sure that Haru would make sure he kept his word of informing him of what was up.
Giving the older Slayer a quick nod, Haru followed Natsu to where their things were. Haru moved to pack his bag when a bright light enveloped it. Once the light died down the bag and everything else was gone.
"I used my Re-quip, time is of the essence here," Natsu provided an explanation as he made his way over to the bridge that lead to the Gateway to Damnation.
Haru was surprised that they met no opposition as they ascended to the surface, though the question as to why was quickly answered when he looked at Natsu who was running in front of him. Around the Death Dragon God Slayer was a thick purple, grey and black aura that would lash out towards anything that would dare come close, though nearly all of the beings, apparition or beast, that felt the wrath of the aura, was merely unfortunate enough to have not cleared a path fast enough.
Once the two made it to the outside world Haru looked to Natsu to see in what direction he would go. Natsu, however, was standing still for a moment and Haru was about to question his inaction when two draconic wings sprouted from Natsu's back, wings all too familiar to those who had the privilege or misfortune, depending on who they were, to see his Dragon Force.
Natsu grabbed hold of Haru's arms before flapping his wings and ascending into the sky at breakneck speeds. Haru watched in amazement as the ground sped past beneath his feet.
"Natsu, what is going on? Why are we in such a hurry?" Haru asked.
"So many souls of the innocents, crying out in pain. Something terrible is happening, something that we can't turn a blind eye to," Natsu replied, a look of determination on his face.
A frown of anger at whatever it was that dared harm innocents formed on Haru's face.
"So it's a fight, I'm all fired up," Haru shouted as he clenched his fist, where ever their destination, he was ready for the battle that will ensue.
"Yes, scream for mercy, call for a saviour, beg for your lives," Gohra shouted in ecstasy as the pained screams of the sacrifices filled the evening air. A bloodthirsty grin plastered to his face as he watched his subordinates slaughter the prisoners in the most brutal ways, all to ensure their blood pools around the altar where he, Sithria and Hardon stood.
"Can't I just make them all erupt in a magnificent fountain of destruction, it would really speed this up?" Sithria asked as she held a hand in front of her, allowing sparks and small explosions to appear around her curled fingers, a maniacal grin as she thought of the results of her magic.
"We can't rush this Sithria, to summon Lord Ketsuek, the ritual demands blood to spill for a prolonged time. Besides, with your magic, the blood will not pool at the alter and the symphony of their screams will not reach my ears," Gohra replied with a smirk.
"Whatever, I just want this to be done with so our rain of destruction can begin. I assume you want me to enact the final part of the ritual Gohra?" Hardon asked as he lazily looked at their leader.
"Sure, but don't be too hasty to finish it," Gohra replied with his bloodthirsty grin back in full.
A new presence appeared behind the three as the man with long dark hair made his appearance. The man walked up to the altar and held out his hand and a white aura enveloped the altar. Moments later, a strange object appeared from the altar. The object was deep red with a circular form though on occasion a black spike would just out of it.
"My work here is done so I'll be taking my leave," the man said as he turned and walked off to who knows where.
"Sad that he doesn't want to join in on the fun, but no matter, we both got what we wanted," Gohra commented as he returned to the slaughter that was happening around him.
"What a mysterious individual, brutal in his action though seemingly devoid of enjoyment in his task," Hardon said as he twirled a blade in his hand.
The dying screams of those who had been captured by the cultists continued to pollute the chilling dusk air until the last crimson rays of the setting sun dipped behind the horizon. As the sun departed from the day the last voice of pain and suffering was snuffed out. A cheer arose from those who were covered in the blood of their victims.
Gohra gave Hardon a slight nod before he made his way to the altar. As he stood before it he threw his hand to the sky before letting out a blood-curdling laugh.
"The blood of two hundred and fifty innocents pool for your glory, oh Bloodied One," Gohra shouted. Cheers from those around him filled the silent night, none of them privy to the net of blades that formed a dome over the blood-filled pit.
"With the blood of you devoted followers, who offered you the innocents, mixing with it," Gohra continued as the cheers started to be laced with concerned questions.
"I offer the world to you Great Blood Demon Ketsuek," Gohra continued. As these words left his mount Hardon called out "Blades Magic: Whirling Separation", prompting the dome of blades to swirl into a whirlwind of death. What followed were the confused screams of pain and betrayal as the cultists who had followed Gohra were carved into shreds.
"The gate has been opened," Gohra finished as he revelled in the dying screams once more.
"Just a bit longer before he is here, then we will make our way to those who think they rule this land," Sithria said with a grin as the pool of blood started to bubble.
-Mount Hakobe peak-
"I still can't believe you, why do we have to go with them?" Ultear complained.
"You should know that there is always something to learn from working with others, besides, I would love to see how two of my students measure up when they face a common foe," Ur grinned as she led the group to the awaiting blizzard-covered peak of Mount Hakobe where their foe awaits, shrouded by the maelstrom of ice and wind.
"While we appreciate the aid, I must once again urge you to reconsider. This is our mission and our problem to deal with," Erza said.
"Nonsense, I had planned on scaling to the peak from the beginning of my trip here with Ultear, this just spurred my enthusiasm," Ur cheerfully replied.
"It's no use Erza, once Master Ur gets an idea into her head, nothing I have come across could dissuade her," Gray sighed, having already resigned to the fact that they were working together now.
"I think we should be happy for their help," Lucy chimed in. Her previous aversion to allowing more people to share in her precious rent money all but gone since Ur already denied any form of reward or compensation for their aid, stating that 'You were fortunate enough to come across and extra reward, though the highest reward will be the experience and growth gained from facing a powerful foe.'
A veil of raging snow descended on the group as they neared the peak.
"It's close, I can feel the icy shifting and the residual magic in the area stirring," Ur announced as a grin formed on her face. This caused the rest of the mages to tense and ready their combat stances. A feral roar announced the arrival of their foe. As the sun began to sink lowered on the horizon, the outline of the Fimir became visible.
[Xkhat ir mrith wer thaczil ekess troth nomenes svaust still ehtah asta okarthel tenpiswo, danthe thurirl] - [Become one with the land to protect those who still find their home here, dear friend]
There you have it. Wow, this story has been going on for just over a year now and I just want to thank all of you who have been with me through this journey, the comments you leave, the likes and favourites, ever thing really makes me overjoyed and I hope we can continue till the finale of this tale comes and goes and new stories fill the space this one will leave once it is done. Now just a quick disclaimer, the part of Lucy seeming a bit greedy isn't to bash her character, that is just a bit of humour in her eternal quest to pay her rent. I hope you enjoyed the characteristics I gave Ur here, being a bit playful at times and excited for the coming battle. The next chapter will be the final conflicts of this arc, though it might spill over to the chapter after, depending on how long I write it. The little backstory I gave to Agartha was just to add a bit of spice to the place, not really something I will return to as of this moment. Once again thank you everyone for reading and I hope to continue to entertain you all. Leave a review with your thoughts and I will see you I the next one.