Hi, everyone! After a long wait, I'm happy to bring you all the fifth chapter of Fire Fairies! I would have loved to have gotten this out sooner, but things got pretty busy IRL.

Anyways, enjoy the latest chapter.

Special thanks to The 3rd Dragneel for helping with edits.

Disclaimer: I do not own Fire Force or Fairy Tail

Fire Fairies Chapter 5: The Fire Witch

Shortly after Benimaru's sudden outburst, the stadium quickly returned to normal as the rest of the matches continued.

The next match-up was between Sabertooth and Mermaid Heel. However, the fight barely lasted more than five minutes as Mermaid Heel's Araña Webb was swiftly defeated by Sabertooth's Orga Nanagear, who revealed himself to be a God Slayer. More specifically, a Lightning God Slayer.

After wiping her out with a single attack, Orga proceeded to put on an impromptu music show, which lasted for another couple of minutes while medical staff carried Ariana out on a stretcher.

Once things returned to normal, Chapati returned everyone's focus to the next match. "Apologies for the delay, everyone. Please turn your attention to the lacrima vision for the matchups of the third battle."

Like before, a giant screen appeared over the arena, revealing the next two fighters for the upcoming match.

"It looks like our second match of the day will be Ren Akatsuki of Blue Pegasus versus Maki Oze of Fire Force." Announced Chapati.

"Looks like you're up first, Ren." Said Hibiki as he looked towards his fellow Trimens member as he made his way towards the ledge of their viewing area.

"Good luck in your fight, Ren." said Eve, the youngest member of the Trimens, with a smile on his face.

"I'll be taking the win for Blue Pegasus." Ren said nonchalantly as he jumped from the ledge with his hands in his pockets. The moment he jumped, he used his Air Magic to slow down his descent. This had the effect of impressing many female spectators, who cheered loudly for him. None more so than a certain pink-haired mage from Lamia Scale.

"Do your best, Ren!" Sherry yelled as her fiancé made his way towards the center of the arena.

While Sherry was more than eager to support her fiancé, her guild master, Ooba Babasaama, did not take too kindly to this.

"What do you think you're doing, Sherry? Cheering for the enemy?! I ought to spin you good for that young lady!" Ooba yelled.

A random Lamia Scale member suddenly spoke up from behind her. "Well to be fair Master Babasaama, she is Ren's fiancé, so it makes sense that she would…"

He never got to finish his sentence as Ooba turned around to face him. "Shut up!" She interrupted while pointing her finger at him, causing him to spin uncontrollably.

"Heeeeeeellllllppppp meeeee!" The member pleaded as he suffered from Ooba's unusual form of punishment.

Meanwhile, Shinra and the others were looking at Maki's opponent as he used his magic to slowly fall into the arena.

"Well, the guy may be a show-off, but at least he knows how to enter a fight with style." Shinra said with a toothy grin. He was still slightly upset about the whole affair involving Raven Tail cheating, but he refused to let that ruin the rest of the tournament for him and the others. Besides, seeing the look of horror on the faces of Raven Tail's members during Benimaru's brief moment of rage was priceless and really helped to make him feel better.

"Indeed. The wind mage certainly knows how to draw the crowd's attention." Arthur concurred in what was one of the rare moments where he and Shinra mutually agreed on something.

"That being said, the fact that he can use Air Magic may pose a threat to you, Maki. Especially if he can manipulate the oxygen in the air." Arthur said while looking to his female comrade as she was just finishing up some warmup exercises.

Maki grunted as she finished stretching her legs, then jumped back up, putting her trademark witches hat on her head and smacking her hands together.

"I'm not too worried about that. While he certainly looks proficient in Air Magic, I can tell that this guy's more used to fighting long distances. The moment I get in close, he's as good as beaten. Besides, even if he can manipulate the air around me, I'm confident my new secret weapon will be up to the task of countering it." Maki said with confidence.

Shinra had stars in his eyes as he hears Maki mention the words "secret weapon."

"Maki, does this mean you're finally gonna show us the top-secret new equipment that Vulcan made for you?" Shinra asked excitedly.

"Yup! Today, Maki Oze's Iron Owls make their grand debut!" Maki said with excitement as she gave him a thumbs up.

"Awesome!" Shinra said with a starry-eyed expression.

Before making her way to the arena, Maki turned back to Obi. "Captain, I assume you'll be going to talk to Wendy Marvell, right?"

Obi nodded. "Yup, that's right. I'm sorry I won't be able to see your match, Maki." Obi explained honestly. He then marched towards Maki and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "However, I have complete faith in your abilities and do not doubt that you will be victorious. So, go show them what Fire Force is all about!"

Maki saluted Obi with a smile on her face, happy to have been praised by her superior. "Yes, Sir!" She yelled before jumping over the ledge and down to the stadium below.

Contrary to Ren's silent landing, Maki landed with a loud thud in a classic superhero pose. She looked up with a confidant smile as she walked to the center of the arena to meet her opponent head-on.

Chapati's voice rang overhead. "Oh my ladies and gentlemen, it would seem that both fighters know how to make an entrance. Which one will emerge victorious? Will it be Blue Pegasus' resident bad boy or Fire Force's mysterious and bewitching beauty?"

Chapati's comment about her caused Maki to blush, but deep down, she was more than happy about the comment.

Before she knew it, she and Ren had made it to the center of the arena.

"Don't think I'll be holding back just because you're a girl." Ren told her out loud.

"I wouldn't have it any other way." Maki said with a smile as she entered a fighting pose.

"Tch" Ren scoffed, causing Maki to blink in confusion. "Don't think that just because you have a cute smile, that it has any effect on me." Ren said while looking away.

Maki's smile remained while her eyes narrowed. "Flatter me all you want, but one way or another, I will be taking those ten points."

Ren smiled as he too took up his own fighting stance. "I see then." Ren said as the wind started to pick up around him. "In that case, prepare yourself."

"Fighters, are you ready? Set… Battle!" Chapati yelled just as a gong was struck and the crowd cheered.

Right as Chapati announced the start of the battle, Ren blinked and saw that Maki had disappeared from her previous spot. Sensing a disturbance in the air around him, Ren turned to the side and saw Maki crouching low and making her way towards him. Her hand preparing to attack him with a palm heel strike. Ren quickly reacted by creating an air current, which dragged him back a few feet just as Maki unleashed a palm heel strike to where his chin would have been. Even though he dodged it in time, he could not help but sweatdrop as he just barely avoided her strike.

'She's fast!' Ren thought as he quickly reacted by sending a ball of compressed air towards her. Maki surprised him yet again by banging the steel parts of her gloves to create sparks. From those sparks, a small barrier of fire materialized around her. The moment it collided with his air ball, Ren was pushed back by a massive eruption of flames that surrounded Maki.

Ren was worried at first, as the fire spread out of control around Maki's location. However, the fire started twisting and shifting before an opening emerged from within the wall of flames. Maki emerged from it, moving her hands in opposing circular motions. As she moved her hands, the flames responded to her commands by coiling around her.

"Nice reflexes." Maki said with an impressed tone. "Not many people can avoid one of my opening strikes like that. I'm guessing your quick reaction time has to do with your magic?"

Ren regained his composure and once more adopted a cool façade. "It does." He said as the air shifted around him as he recalled his last battle against the Oracion Seis member Midnight. He remembered how quickly the mage had defeated him using his unique ability to strike him down before he knew what hit him.

"Being able to read air currents comes with the territory of being an air mage. I developed this skill to better anticipate attacks that can't normally be perceived by the naked eye." Ren said before he looked away from Maki.

"Don't think I told you that just cause you're cute." Ren said in his usual mannerism, causing Maki to sweatdrop.

"Umm… sorry to tell you this, but acting all tsundere isn't really the best way to flirt with someone." Maki replied before moving her hands, causing the flames around her to shift and transform into a large serpent. "Especially with a girl like me." Maki cried as she commanded the flame serpent to fly towards Ren at frightening speeds.

However, the Trimens member kept his cool and brought his palms forward before abruptly splitting them apart just as the serpent was upon him. At that moment, the serpent's head, followed by the rest of its body, suddenly extinguished.

Maki quickly jumped back, along with two balls of fire that remained by her side from the previous flames. "You removed the oxygen in the air, causing my flames to extinguish. I know I expected you to do something like that, but it's still a huge pain." Maki said with an exasperated sigh.

"I imagine this would be quite difficult for a fire mage. Especially one such as yourself." Ren said, causing Maki's eyes to narrow.

"I noticed that right after you attacked me, you used your gloves to ignite sparks and then used them to create that flame shield from before. I'm guessing that while you can control flames and increase their intensity, it doesn't look like you can create flames from nothing. You need a pre-existing source of fire to use your powers." Ren proclaimed as he put one arm forward and tucked the other into his side with both hands in a grasping motion, causing the wind around him to shift again.

"I'll make sure to extinguish any new flames that you try to create." Ren said with an intimidating glare.

However, rather than appear worried, Maki smirked.

"You're pretty smart. Under normal circumstances, I would be at a disadvantage." Maki said as she moved her hands under the two flames by either side of her. "Unfortunately for you, I've already found a way around that problem."

Suddenly, the two flames flared up as they underwent an unusual transformation. From two wild flames, they transformed into little controlled fireballs with small, yet cute-looking faces. One had its mouth in an 'o' shape with white eyes, while the other was slightly redder with a Jack-o'-lantern-like face.

"Come forth my fire spirits: Sputter and Flare!" Maki proclaimed.

Ren was slightly surprised by the appearance of the two spirits. "Those are her secret weapon?... They look kind of cute." Red admitted. A sentiment shared by many female mages in the stadium.

Maki then thrust both arms above her creating two white magic circles featuring her guild's symbol with the number eight in their centres.

"Requip: Iron Owls!" Two large objects suddenly dropped from both magic circles, kicking up small dust clouds on either side of her. When they finally dispersed, Ren saw that Maki had summoned two strange metal hunks. The best way he could describe them was that they looked like armoured thrusters.

"Prepare to engage! Set angle to 90!" Maki yelled as the thrusters hummed and steamed.

"Pressure circuits check! Power Unit Disengaged!"

Sputter and Flare then floated beside the two devices before inserting themselves into the respective open sockets of each device. The moment they entered, a red barrier surrounded them.

"Thermal power charging!"

The devices hummed to life while Sputter and Flare glowed even more brightly than before. With a loud hum and burst of fire, the two Iron Owls started floating and stood on either side of Maki.

"Maintain formation!" Maki said as she adjusted her hat and pointed her right arm forward, while her other arm had her fist pointing downwards.

"Twin Hover Units, Iron Owls are now activated. Preparing to engage the enemy now!"

The entire stadium stared in awe at Maki's new weapon and were all very curious as to how she would use it.

Natsu was gazing at Maki with stars in his eyes. "No way! She's got rockets? That's so fricking cool!" Natsu exclaimed.

"Not just cool, that's manly too!" Elfman said equally impressed.

"I've never seen a weapon like this before. I wonder how it works?" Erza asked as she devoted her full attention to what was about to happen.

"I have no idea what Maki from Fire Force just brought out ladies and gentlemen, but I have a feeling it's going to be an amazing spectacle!" Chapati yelled drawing more cheers from the crowd.

Back with Maki and Ren, the latter got himself into a defensive stance, while Maki had the rim of her hat lowered to cover her eyes.

"Hey, Ren?" Maki said loud enough to get Ren's attention. "You might… want to dodge." Maki said as she lifted the rim of her hat up, showing her eyes which now had a sharp edge to them that sent shivers down Ren's spine.

Before Ren could respond, Maki thrust her arm forward, causing an Iron Owl to rotate and in a burst of flame sent it flying towards Ren at insane speeds.

The weapon came in so fast that even though he dodged it, the blow still grazed him, sending a jolt of pain through his body. The Iron Owl kept flying past him before smashing into the wall behind him, creating a large crater in the process before shifting directions and flying back towards him.

Ren's eyes widened when he saw just how much destruction Maki's new weapon caused.

'If that thing hits me directly, I won't be getting back up!' Ren thought nervously before returning his focus to the other Iron Owl, which was flying towards him.

Ren quickly used the air around him to boost his speed and dodge the attack which struck the ground beneath him, before dodging again as the first one came flying in from above. The two Iron Owls then sped towards him with impressive maneuverability. As they came flying towards him at incredible speeds, all Ren could do was just keep dodging them.

'They're moving too fast! I can't react fast enough to take them down!' Ren thought as he tried his best to adapt to the Owls movements. Just as he dodged a dual strike from them, he felt a chill run down his spine as he turned around to see Maki heading towards him.

"Don't forget about me!" Maki yelled as she jumped forward delivering a flying double kick, which Ren barely blocked. When she landed, Maki quickly reacted by sending both Owls flying to either side of Ren, forcing him to create two instant air barriers to divert the Iron Owls trajectory.

However, with the air currents focused on moving the Owls around him, Maki was able to take advantage of the gap in his guard to jump and deliver a powerful spin kick towards Ren, who used both of his arms to defend. The blow from Maki's kick hit Ren and he grunted from the force of the blow, which sent him skidding back and rolling across the floor of the arena.

"Your control over Air Magic is pretty impressive. But from the looks of things, you haven't really trained your body in terms of physical combat. It would probably be in your best interest to surrender now." Maki said with a confident, yet serious grin.

Ren slowly got back on his feet, albeit with great effort as his whole body was shaking. He started chuckling to himself. Maki's words stung, but he couldn't deny the truth behind her words. Without a doubt, despite having the advantage in terms of magic compatibility, he was way outclassed in terms of hand-to-hand combat.

"That's true… even now, it's taking me all that I have to keep myself standing up. You're incredibly strong." Ren confessed. "… However…"

"Don't give up, Ren!" A voice from the stands cheered out. Both Maki and Ren looked towards the source of the voice, who turned out to be none other than Sherry.

The entire crowd was cheering for the battle taking place before them, and there were plenty of females supporting Ren and hoping for his victory. However, the support he was receiving from Sherry far surpassed any of the cheers given to him by his fans. They could tell that she was literally pouring her heart and soul to give him the strength he needed to fight back and win.

"Hearing her cheer me on like that… doesn't make me the least bit happy." Ren muttered with a small smile and before Maki knew what happened, she felt a powerful gust of wind slam into her. Not only was the air current strong enough to force her back, but it also pushed her Owls back too.

"That being said... after seeing her cheer so earnestly for my victory, I can't stand the idea of losing in front of her." Ren spoke with a determined expression as Air Magic swirled around him.

Without warning, he jumped from his position, a magic circle appearing beneath him as his speed was boosted via Air Magic. When he got close enough to Maki, he lashed out with an uppercut, creating a strong air current that Maki blocked with her Owls, but it was still strong enough to send her flying into the air.

Ren kicked the ground and went flying up behind Maki. Before she had a chance to react, he created another air current that sent her flying back down. He tried to follow up with another airstrike, but his attack was blocked thanks to one of her Owls. However, Ren accelerated beneath her, unleashing another burst of air that sent her skyward once more. This process repeated again and again as Maki found herself turned into a human pinball. With every strike, Ren used the momentum to further increase his speed to the point where Maki's Owls were no longer able to keep up. Finally, he lashed out with a powerful roundhouse kick that sent her crashing into the ground. As she got up, Maki looked back up at Ren, only to see that he was no longer flying above her.

"Get ready..." Maki quickly turned around to see Ren standing behind her. In his hands was a sphere of wind that was quickly growing in size.

"AERIAL PHOSE!" Ren yelled as he unleashed his strongest burst of Air Magic yet. Maki quickly used her Owls to protect her from the initial blow, but the Air Magic released from Ren's attack created a powerful current that sent her flying into the air, along with massive amounts of debris flying all around her.

However, Ren was not done yet. He waved both of his hands in a series of complicated motions, causing the debris surrounding Maki to stop and hover in mid-air before a series of magic circles appeared behind each piece of debris.

Maki looked around her in shock. 'Are you kidding me? His control over Air Magic is this precise?!' Maki thought incredulously before her eyes went wide. 'Did he set this up while knocking me around earlier?' Maki thought. But by the time she realized what he'd done, it was already too late.

"Aerial Shot!" Ren yelled as he brought his arms forward and clapped the palms of his hands together, causing the debris to fly at high speed towards Maki. Knowing that she could not block them all with her Owls. Maki quickly curled her body and brought her limbs closer to her body in an attempt to defend herself.

When the rocks finally collided, the resulting clash created a large explosion that echoed throughout the arena and causing Maki to fall back down into the arena with a loud crash.

"Unbelievable, ladies and gentlemen! From being pushed into a corner, Ren Akatsuki has turned the tables against his opponent! Truly a remarkable comeback!" Chapati announced as the crowd cheered for Ren.

"Way to go, Ren! I knew you could do it!" Jenny Realight announced through her mic.

"Miss Realight, please remember to remain impartial." Yajima calmly reminded her.

Back on the field, Ren panted from exhaustion after performing such a complex and precise maneuver. He had to use a large amount of magic to pull this combo off, but it seems like his gamble paid off.

"Wow! Now that was pretty impressive!" Maki's voice echoed throughout the arena.

Ren's eyes widened in shock at hearing Maki's voice. An expression that was also mirrored by nearly everyone in the stadium.

From the smoke cloud, Maki emerged with most of her uniform covered in dust, debris and some scratches. The only notable sign of injury was a slight cut on her forehead.

"You really gave it you're all in that last attack, huh? But by the looks of it, you don't seem to have much gas left in the tank." Maki said as she started to remove the bunker coat she was wearing, exposing her sleeveless black top, as well as arms that had an athletic and well-defined build.

"How did you escape from that attack unscathed?" Ren asked.

"Well to be fair, I didn't really have an opportunity to dodge your attack. If you had used that attack on most mages, you would have definitely won by K.O." Maki said as she threw her gear behind her. Much to Ren's shock, the gear she was wearing slammed to the ground with a noticeable crash.

'Just how heavy is that outfit of hers?' Ren thought as a bead of sweat ran down his cheek.

"Our guild is often tasked with dealing with fire monsters which have notoriously tough skin and can hit back with incredible force. It's only natural that we would use special gear that protects us from such intense physical power. Not to mention, we're always making sure to stay as physically fit as possible. In the case of your attack, it's slightly above the average of what we normally face." Maki said as she got into another fighting stance.

"Unfortunately, it's not enough to take down someone like me." Maki spoke confidently.

Despite the trepidation he was feeling, Ren couldn't help but chuckle. "You're definitely more than I was expecting. You truly are amazing." Ren praised.

Maki couldn't help but blush at his statement. "Thanks. That's so nice of you to say!"

"Plus, now that you've removed your coat, I can see that you're even more beautiful than I was expecting…" Ren said, causing Maki to laugh at his praise.

"You've also got a more muscled build that really works for you." Ren said. However, he was stunned that once he finished Maki stopped laughing and moving. She appeared to be frozen in place.

Back with her comrades, Shinra and Arthur gulped nervously.

"Oh, boy." Arthur said nervously.

"That guy is going to be in for a world of pain." Shinra commented while Hibana simply nodded in agreement.

Maki started to move again, but from her fighting stance, she brought both arms to her sides which were shaking immensely. Ren could also hear her breathing heavily.

"Is... Everything alright?" Ren asked cautiously. For some reason, he sensed as though he just made a huge mistake.

"You…you…" Maki started to say each word emphasized by laboured breathing. Ren watched with growing concern as the area around Maki started to literally smoke and shimmer like a mirage.

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A MUSCLY, GORILLA CYCLOPS?!" Maki yelled furiously as she charged towards Ren while flinging her Owls towards him at insane speeds. Ren quickly dodged them, but he still winced from the intense heat the two fire spirits were producing, even though they just grazed him.

Despite the heat, Ren felt a chill run down his spine and quickly turned around just in time to see Maki standing behind him, her fist stopping just a couple of inches from his chest. Then in the blink of an eye, he felt Maki unleash a devastating three-inch punch that made him gasp out in pain before he was sent flying back and skidding across the arena before coming to a stop.

The force of the blow was so intense, Ren blacked out the second the hit made contact.

Maki then unleashed a guttural roar, signalling her victory over her fallen opponent.

"Oh, uh…" Chapati quickly announced. "Ren is down for the count! That means Maki is the winner."

The cheers from the crowd seemed to snap Maki out of her rage as she finally took notice of her fallen opponent. In her moment of rage, she failed to realize what she had just done.

"What just…" Maki soon noticed her fallen opponent. "Crap! Not again!"

Upon realizing her actions, she quickly ran towards Ren to make sure he was ok.

"What the heck just happened?" Gray asked with shock clearly written on his face. "She just totally lost it."

"All that Trimens guy said was that she had a nice, muscled body. Don't know why she'd freak out over that. I think it suits her pretty well too." Natsu admitted.

Erza could not help but sigh at him. "You're a boy. You wouldn't understand." She said nonchalantly.

Natsu was confused at first but soon shrugged off her response. "Well, either way, she's pretty strong and her ability to manipulate fire is way stronger than Macao's. Plus, her battle cry kind of reminds me of a dragon's roar." Natsu said with a grin. However, he was not expecting Erza's fist to crash into his head.

"... Yeaaahhh, that's not something you want to say to a girl moron." Gray chastised Natsu with a deadpan expression, who was nursing a large, smoking bump that formed on his head.

Back with the Fire Force Team, Hibana sighed as she fanned herself. "I can't believe that girl lost her temper again. Honestly, she really needs to differentiate the good comments from the bad ones."

Arthur and Shinra nodded.

"It's true that Maki works really hard and gives it her all when she does physical training." Arthur said.

"But she's pretty self-conscious about how her body looks compared to other girls. So, whenever someone mentions her muscles, even in a good way, she goes nuts." Said Shinra as he watched his comrade try to assist Ren.

Back with Maki, she was doing her best to apologize to Ren for overreacting as he was being taken away on a stretcher.

"Once again, I'm so sorry about that! I'm not usually that violent, I swear!" Maki said as she waved her arms rapidly with an embarrassed blush on her face.

Ren merely laughed her off. "No worries. I should have known better than to bring up a topic like that. Even so, my earlier statements hold true. You truly are a beautiful, one-of-a-kind woman." Ren said with a smile.

"Ren…" Maki muttered, honoured to have received such praise. Before she had a chance to say anything else, she felt herself getting pushed out of the way by an unexpected arrival.

"Get away from my Ren, you witch!" Yelled a very worried and very concerned Sherry Blendy. While Maki was still trying to process what happened, Sherry had turned her full attention to Ren.

"My poor Ren. You fought so hard out there!" Sherry said soothingly while holding his hand. Ren was blushing, but he couldn't help but look away.

"I'm nothing more than a failure. Even though you were cheering me on, I still went and lost that match. The idea of losing while you were supporting me… it's too much to bear." Ren said with a guilty tone.

He was then taken aback when Sherry gently moved his head up and planted a surprise kiss on his lips before pulling back to look at him with eyes shining brightly with emotion and a comforting smile on her face that he couldn't help but blush at.

"Win or lose, you're still my champion, Ren." Sherry said genuinely, causing Ren to give a happy smile of his own.

Maki silently watched as Sherry and Ren disappeared down one of the coliseum's entrances. After she did not move for a while, Shinra jumped from his place in the stands and carefully made his way towards his teammate.

"Uhm, Maki? Is everything ok?" Shinra asked while gently tapping her shoulder. When Maki began to shake, Shinra started to get a little nervous. However, when he moved around to face his teammate, what he saw shocked him to the core.

"That was so beautiful! True love really is the best force in the universe!" Maki cried out with a flood of tears escaping from her eyes. Shinra was at a loss for words. Iris had mentioned that Maki was a romantic at heart, but he did not realize that it was this serious.

"Maki… are you okay? Shinra asked his comrade. He was suddenly surprised when Maki suddenly gave him a bone-crushing hug.

"Why can't I have someone like that?" she cried out, completely oblivious to the fact that she was slowly suffocating Shinra.

"There… there…" Shinra tried to soothe her in an attempt to get her to let him go, but things did not appear to be going well for him.

After somehow escaping her death grip, Shinra proceeded to slowly guide his comrade to the stands so that the games could continue with the final match of the day.

While they walked, Shinra could not help but think about a certain superior of his that was unfortunately absent during Maki's match. 'It's too bad Captain Obi missed this. I hope everything went well on his end.'

A few minutes earlier – Just as Maki's match started

Obi sighed as he stood in front of the door to Fairy Tail's infirmary. He took a few moments to collect his thoughts, preparing for the eventual conversation he would be having with the people inside. When he felt he was ready, he knocked a few times on the door and waited.

After a few seconds, the door was opened by an elderly woman with pink hair tied in a bun, along with red eyes and a beauty mark located under her mouth.

"What do you want?" The lady snapped at Obi in a tone that caught him off guard.

"Uhm, sorry to bother you miss. My name is Akitaru Obi. I'm a member of the Fire Force guild participating in the Grand Magic Games." Obi kindly introduced himself.

"Good for you." The lady simply said before slamming the door in his face.

Obi blinked a few times trying to process what just occurred. "Well… that just happened."

Obi calmly knocked on the door again. After a few seconds, Porlysuica answered.

"What do you want? I have patients to deal with and to be honest, I have little patience or tolerance towards humans." Porylusica snapped with angry white eyes.

While initially a little put off by her sudden aggression, Obi quickly composed himself and returned to his current objective.

"I'm sorry to bother you. It's just that I understand that one of your members was attacked last night." Obi started explaining.

Porlyusica narrowed her eyes with suspicion. "What of it?" She asked, though Obi kept his calm and continued to explain.

"Well, the thing is one of my members helped the girl who was injured and brought her to the nearest hospital for treatment. He told me about what happened in the final moments of the attack, but I was hoping I could speak to your patient to get the full details of what happened."

Porlyusica continued to look at Obi with a suspicious glare. After what felt like hours melting under her gaze, Obi felt relieved when she sighed and broke eye contact.

"Give me a minute." Porlyusica said as she closed the door again, but thankfully not as forceful as before.

Obi calmly waited outside while tapping his hands in a constant rhythm on both sides of his body. He blinked when he heard loud cheers from outside.

"Sounds like things are heating up out there." Obi said to himself before returning his attention to the door.

After a couple of minutes, it opened again and Porlyusica emerged, and slowly opened the door wide enough for him to enter.

"You can see her for a few minutes. But please keep in mind that my patient is still a child and requires proper bed rest. Also, you'd better not try anything funny or else." Porlyusica said as she let her threat linger while moving her hand towards a nearby broomstick.

"I understand. And no worries, I'm not that kind of guy." Obi said with the last part in a joking manner to help alleviate the situation.

Unfortunately, Porlyusica did not find it funny. A few seconds passed with what sounded mysteriously like crickets chirping in the background somewhere. Obi quickly cleared his throat.

"I'll just get going." Obi said as he moved to the bed surrounded by a curtain. He gently pulled it back, revealing Porylusica's patient.

Wendy was lying in bed with Carla sleeping next to her. She stared nervously at Obi's looming figure.

"Hello there. How are you doing today?" Obi asked in a friendly tone as he pulled up a nearby chair and lowered himself to as close to Wendy's level as he could.

Wendy's only answer was to nervously pull the covers over her nose. He could tell by the look in her eyes that she was a little intimidated by him.

'As powerful as she may be, she is still a little kid." Obi reminded himself mentally.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I guess my mask looks a little scary on a big guy like me, huh?" Obi said with a slight chuckle. He then brought his hands to the sides of his helmet and gently lifted it off of his head and put it on a nearby table.

Obi then turned to look at Wendy. "How about now? Does this look a little less scary?" Obi asked her with a brilliant smile that brought hope and reassurance to so many people before. It appeared to have the same effect on Wendy as she lowered her covers and did not seem as scared as before. Though she still had a wary look on her face.

"How silly of me. I forgot to introduce myself." Obi said with a look of realization. "My name is Akitaru Obi. I'm a member of the Fire Force guild. We're one of the teams participating in the games. What's your name, little lady?"

"My name's Wendy Marvell." She said, barely able to get her voice above a whisper.

"That's a really pretty name." Obi said to Wendy, causing her to blush.

Obi then adopted a serious–but not too serious–look on his face. "Now Wendy, do you know why I'm here?" Obi calmly asked her.

Wendy calmly shook her head.

"I'm here because I understand that you were attacked last night. One of the guild members under my command helped to save you and brought you to a nearby hospital for proper medical aid."

Wendy blinked as she remembered the final moments before she blacked out. "The fire guy who fell from the sky." Wendy spoke up, causing Obi to nod.

"Yup, that's our Shinra all right." He said with a proud smile on his face. "He gave me the rundown about what happened towards the end. But I was hoping you could provide me with some more details about the incident. Can you do that?" Obi asked her.

Wendy nodded as she began to tell Obi everything she could remember. When she finally finished summarizing the events of what happened to her and Carla right up to the moment she blacked out, Obi asked her the big question.

"When these people attacked you, did you happen to notice what they were wearing or what kind of magic they used?" Obi asked.

Wendy shook her head. "They were wearing brown cloaks, but they didn't really stand out. As for their magic, all I remember is one of them doing something to drain our strength, but I didn't see how they did it. Aside from that, I don't think they tried to use any other magic… I'm sorry." Wendy summarized to Obi.

Obi felt relief welling up inside him. 'Sounds like this really wasn't the White Clads. That's good.' Obi thought, internally grateful that this was indeed the case. He hated to think what would have happened to Wendy if she got cornered by them.

"Don't worry about it. You did great." Obi quickly reassured her. However, he began to panic when he saw Wendy tremble and tears well up in her eyes.

"W-what's wrong?" Obi stuttered, concerned he may have done something to upset her.

"My friends…" Wendy said, causing Obi to instantly calm down as he started to understand what was upsetting her. "I was looking forward to fighting alongside them and helping the guild. But instead, I'm here being completely useless." Wendy berated herself while calmly bringing Charla's sleeping form closer to her.

"Hey now, don't think about it like that." Obi said with a reassuring smile as he pulled out a handkerchief from one of his coat's many pockets and handed it to Wendy, who graciously accepted it.

"The people who did this to you were cowards. They ambushed you when you were least expecting it. Even I would have been taken down by an ambush like that. As for your team, don't beat yourself up. It's only the first day and there are still plenty of battles left to fight in the games. You just focus on resting up and you'll be kicking butt with your friends in no time" Obi said reassuringly to Wendy, who couldn't help but sniffle and smile at him.

"Oh, there it is." Obi exclaimed with a happy grin. "You have an adorable smile, Wendy. And after today's events, a smile like that will be worth more to your team than you can imagine."

Wendy smiled cheerfully, her previous sadness all but forgotten. "Thank you, Mr. Obi." Said Wendy in a genuine tone.

Obi laughed at her reply. "Please call me Akitaru. Mr. Obi makes me sound old."

"Huh, you mean you aren't?" Wendy asked innocently.

"I'm only 31!" Obi comically exclaimed with his eyes popping out. Wendy couldn't help but giggle at his reaction, causing Obi to laugh as well.

Their moment of laughter was interrupted by the sound of loud rumbling and cheers from the stadium. Obi pulled up his sleeve and looked at his watch. "Huh, looks like the next match has already started."

Wendy's expression soon turned apologetic. "I'm sorry you missed your guild's match." Wendy said apologetically.

However, Obi merely waved her off. "It's no biggie. I'm confidant Maki won her match." Said Obi with his trademark smile. "I'm pretty sure I'm not missing anything major."

"OH MY GOD!" Shinra and Arthur yelled while fearfully embracing each other as they witnessed the sight before them. Shortly after the start of the final match between Fairy Tail B and Lamia Scale, the battle between "Mystogan" and Jura quickly escalated from a one-sided battle to an evenly matched brawl.

As the tide of the battle turned, Mystogan performed a series of hand movements, causing him to activate an incredibly powerful spell. A spell which manifested above them in the form of massive storm clouds and a single giant source of light that radiated with immense power that shook the entire stadium.

"THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!" Maki yelled with her eyes now large white plates.

"No kidding! This is going way beyond just a simple sparring match!" Hibana said, trying her best to maintain her cool while sweating nervously.

Meanwhile, in the audience, the rest of Fire Force also had some interesting reactions to the sight before them. Vulcan, Tamaki and Iris were the only ones freaking out like the rest of their comrades. Meanwhile, Hinawa showed a bit more emotion than usual and frowned as he held back the twins who had stars in their eyes, waving their little arms and cheering at the chaotic situation occurring around them.

The only one who did not seem worried was Burns. He did not react in any way besides narrowing his eye towards "Mystogan" as he prepared to unleash his spell. Burns couldn't help but sigh and shake his head.

"Idiot." Was all that Burns had to say on the situation.

Then, much to the shock of everyone in the stadium, the immense pressure suddenly vanished and the atmosphere returned to normal as the spell dissipated. Everyone was confused at first but then turned towards "Mystogan," who was suddenly clutching his throat in pain. At first, he stood still while hacking and groaning. Then without warning, he suddenly started rolling around the floor in agony. Not long after that, he erupted into a fit of mad giggling.

Back with Team Fire Force, everyone was staring at the scene incredulously.

Shinra and Arthur had let go of each other and simply stared dumbfounded at what was happening in front of them.

"… Uhm… what the heck is going on?" Shinra asked, trying to make sense of the situation before him.

"… Maybe he suddenly got possessed?" Arthur suggested hesitantly.

After a few minutes of non-stop laughing and crying, "Mystogan" finally lay still on the floor of the stadium, leaving his opponent and an entire stadium of people speechless.

"Uhhh… I have no idea what just happened, but it seems like Jura is the winner." Chapati announced as the stadium erupted into a mix of confused cheers and laughter. "Yajima, Jenny, any comments on what just happened?"

"No comment." Yajima said.

"I kind of knew Jura was gonna be the winner here… but I honestly wasn't expecting him to win like this." Jenny said with a huge sweatdrop.

Meanwhile, "Mystogan" had finally recovered and walked back to the entrance where his team was waiting with his form hunched over in embarrassment.

At that moment, Obi finally made his return as he walked out of the stadium and reunited with his team. He looked around and noticed that the match was already over and that his team had weird expressions on their faces.

"What did I miss?" Obi asked curiously, causing his teammates to look at him with an "are you serious expression"?

Meanwhile, at some random bar

Cana Alberona growled as she watched the outcome of the final match in the bar's large lacrima vision screen. She scowled as she downed a large pitcher of beer in just a few seconds.

She banged the empty pitcher on the table, getting the attention of the bartender. "Give me another one old man and make it stronger." Cana snapped.

The bartender nodded as he quickly moved to get her another pitcher, while Cana slid the empty one next to the others she previously drank. As of right now, this was her tenth pitcher.

"I can't believe those guys got their asses handed to them so badly… and on the first day." Cana said with a menacing voice. "Not to mention the first match. Those creeps definitely did something to mess with Lucy. She had that in the bag." Cana muttered angrily.

While she was muttering, the bartender handed Cana her drink, before moving to pour some more sake for the only other occupant currently in the bar. He gulped nervously at the man's blank, yet menacing stare. A stare made further intimidating by his unusual eyes.

"Uhh, rough day?" The bartender asked nervously while the man just sipped his cup of sake without ever moving his eyes or blinking.

"… Not exactly. I was having a pretty good morning until that first match." The man said, glaring at the bartender with his unusual red eyes with circle and cross-shaped pupils.

"Those guys really pissed me off." Benimaru said as he grabbed the gourd of sake next to him, downing it in one go. Next to him, Cana downed her pitcher at the same time, voraciously chugging the contents down. Once they both finished, they slammed their respective drinks on the counter.

"I CAN'T STAND THOSE RAVEN TAIL BASTARDS!/ I can't stand those Raven Tail bastards!" Both Cana and Benimaru said at the same time.

After they said this, both drinkers blinked before looking at one another. The moment they made eye contact, Cana's attention was immediately drawn towards Benimaru's unusual eyes, while Benimaru gazed into Cana's. While Cana was surprised by Benimaru's unique pupils, Benimaru noticed the fierce fire burning within her eyes.

"You got beef with Raven Tail?" Cana asked, narrowing her eyes at Benimaru. He just shrugged at her question.

"Not really. They just piss me off." Benimaru answered lazily.

Cana grinned, lifting her hand to signal the bartender. "Hey old man, get me another beer and give one to this guy too. On me." Cana called out.

Benimaru mirrored her action, a small smile appearing on his face. "Same here geezer."

The bartender nodded and quickly prepared their drinks.

"Name's Cana Alberona. And you?" Cana asked with a smirk as she picked up her drink, while Benimaru grabbed his.

"Shinmon Benimaru." Benimaru answered as they clinked their glasses together.

"Well, I'll just come out and say it... today could have gone better." Sighed Lucy as she thought back to the events that took place earlier today. After the first day came to an end, Lucy met up with her teammates, before meeting up with the rest of the guild. Not long after reuniting, the large group starting making their way towards a nearby bar that Cana told them she would be at to watch the games.

"Yeah, I was for sure hoping that Jell..." Natsu was interrupted when Erza punched him in the shoulder to avoid having him accidentally reveal "Mystogan's" identity to any nearby eavesdroppers. "Uhh, I mean Mystogan would have kicked Jura's butt."

"I mean, I know he had to hold back, but god damn the old man's really grown stronger these last seven years." Gray exclaimed proudly while Juvia fawned over him.

"That battle was absolute bull crap! I can't believe that A-hole lost in such an embarrassing way. He should learn a thing or two from the bunny girl over here. She kicked ass!" Gajeel ranted pointing his thumb at Lucy.

"Oddly enough, that's actually one of the nicest things you've ever said about me." Lucy said with a smile and her eyes closed.

"Don't get used to it." Gajeel said with a huff.

"Gajeel." Levy said in a scolding manner.

However, she stopped when she noticed Gajeel adopt a serious expression while looking at Lucy. "Seriously though, I mean it. You went above and beyond today and everyone else here knows it." said Gajeel with a toothy grin.

Lucy blinked before smiling as she looked over all of her fellow guild members, who were nodding and giving her supporting smiles of their own.

"Thanks, you guys." She quickly wiped away the tears that were forming from her eyes. She then looked up with a smile and a determined look in her eyes. "Next time, let's make sure we show these Raven Tail goons what we can do!" Lucy called out, getting a cheer from everyone.

At that moment, she saw the bar up ahead. "Although, I can only imagine how Cana is going to react." Lucy sighed with a tired smile. A sentiment shared by everyone else. Just as they were closing in on the bar, they suddenly heard...

"AHHHHHHHHH!" They all blinked as they recognized the scream belonged to a familiar brunette.

"Was that Cana?!" Erza cried out of concern. Soon she, the strongest team and the rest of the guild ran to the bar out of concern for their comrade.

'Is this Raven Tail's doing?" Lucy asked. Most would call her paranoid, but after what happened in the last 48 hours, she wouldn't put it past them. They quickly accelerated their pace and arrived at the door just as another one of Cana's screams echoed out of the building.


"Cana!" Lucy and Erza yelled worriedly while slamming the door open followed by most of their guild. However, when they finally arrived, they witnessed a sight that left them frozen in their tracks.

"AHHHHhhahahahahahaha!" Cana's screams soon turned into hysterical laughter. Her guild watched stunned as they witnessed Cana laughing her head off, surrounded by various types of empty booze bottles. She was completely red-faced and blushing as she banged her fist on the table, while an unknown man sitting next to her was smiling at her antics with his eyes closed. Upon closer inspection, he also seemed to have a small blush.

"You...hahaha... you kill mee... hahaha... I shwear... I'm gonna busht a gut...hahaha!" Cana finally said with a slight slur as her laughter died down.

"I'm serious. That's what I told those old farts at the council." Benimaru said with a calm voice and without ever opening his eyes.

"Oh, you are just so bad...hic" Cana said with a goofy grin.

Meanwhile, her guild could not help but feel shocked at the sight before them.

'I can't believe this! Cana's actually drunk!' Everyone thought.

Lucy and Natsu blinked when they recognized the man that was drinking with Cana.

"That's the same guy who caused that commotion in the arena after Lucy's match." Natsu said. "What the hell's he doing here?"

It was at that point when Cana finally noticed them. She blinked a few times before finally getting her vision in order.

"Hey, you guysh... about time you got here!" Cana yelled enthusiastically. "Now who wants a drink?!"

And with that, the fifth chapter has officially come to a close with an unexpected end that Fairy Tail did not see coming.

I hope you all enjoyed the battle between Maki and Ren. I tried to make it as long and as detailed as possible.

Anyways, be sure to favourite and follow and don't forget to leave a review!

Until next time, stay safe out there everyone!