Titania and The Hunter
Chapter 70: All-Out Brawl X ʅʍɐɹꓭ ʇnO-ʅʅⱯ
Damn this was a long chapter! Always seemed to be more and more that I could add!
"UuuuuuuuuuugggggyyyyyyHHHHHHAAAA!" The brutish, loud, unruly, and very hairy Jura stretched his arms out with a groan so loud it started to shake the walls around them. He circled his arms around his chest and started swiveling his upper body, "Man, it feels good to be out of there! I missed stretching my legs!" He then immediately broke into very deep squats, "Oh that feels amazing!"
"Jura, try to focus." The suave and collected Laxus looked at his fellow Mage in exhaustion as the large, brash man continued to ignore them and do his workout. The tall blond man fixed his tie before lifting the purple and black suit jacket off his shoulder and slipping his arms through the sleeves. He then looked aside, "Are you alright, Gildarts?"
"Ah! Such beauty! Such immaculate design!" The gangly, awkward orange-haired man exclaimed in glee as he looked around at their settings. He immediately charged at the Earthland Fairies as they jumped back in shock only to realize that he was more interested in examining the wall at the finer details in its creation, "I hate the oppressiveness of the Royal Army but my goodness do they have an eye for architecture."
"You have to forgive him, he was an architect before joining Fairy Tail. He never really got out of it." Laxus politely apologized for his comrade's rude and unwelcoming behavior to their saviors. He noticed their expressions, "Are you alright?"
Wendy, Lucy, and Carla looked like they had been suddenly slapped in the face and were trying to rationalize the absurdity they were witnessing.
Naruto looked like he'd been slapped by a fish, and the way his face grimaced and contorted spelled that out quite well, "I don't like this." He bemoaned and shook his head in disgust, "I don't like this at all."
"Well I recognize some of you as similar to our comrades, so you must be versions from another world." Edo-Laxus deduced as he looked at Wendy and Lucy in general disbelief at their remarkable likeness. But when his eyes turned to Naruto, "However you look like-"
Naruto barely had a moment to guard his chest as Edo-Jura rushed in and shoulder slammed him into the wall. The whiskered Fairy cracked the concrete and dropped to a knee with a groan, "Oh fuck, like a train to the chest!"
"No! The wall has been cracked!" Edo-Gildarts wept, "You monsters! It was innocent! How could you?!"
"Bastard!" The hairy Jura exclaimed in seething rage as he glared down at Naruto, "You'd dare show your face in front of me after you brought me in! You and your little squad of gimps!" Jura cracked his knuckles as he drew closer and Naruto immediately tensed his body in preparation for combat, "I'll show you-"
"Stop!" Laxus stepped in-between Jura and Naruto before things could escalate. The blond Mage looked at the larger man, "Jura, that isn't Naruto Namikaze."
"What the hell are you talking about?! Look at him! He looks the same!"
"Yes, he looks the same but not exactly." Laxus turned to Naruto and pointed at his face, "Look at him. He's missing the scars along his face that Namikaze received fighting my grandfather in the Fairy Tail raid. Also, along with the missing scars his eyes are different. One is brown and the other is blue, while Namikzae's are both blue. And these girls, who come from another world's Fairy Tail, trust him enough to bring him here to help us." He turned back to Jura and implored the Lamia Mage, "This man is not our enemy."
Jura pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes as he looked between Laxus and Naruto a few times. The larger man sighed and relented, "Fine Laxus, I'll trust you." He lowered his arms and eased the tension in his form, "Sorry about that buddy. I wanted to beat on the guy with your face."
Naruto trembled, "Stop it, Jura. Please, shave your head or something. It's weird like this."
"I ain't shavin' shit!" The man loudly proclaimed before proudly running a hand through his hair, "This is the greatest goddamn mane of hair in Edolas! And don't you forget it!"
Wendy trembled in fear, "I-I-I'm not sure what to do now. I-I never expected the Jura-San of Edolas to be so wild and…hairy."
"Y-Yeah." Lucy nodded uncomfortably before she looked at Laxus and Gildarts as well. It was quite surreal to see the two S-Class Mages act so vastly different from how she was used to them. She didn't know Gildarts very well but had gotten the read of him that he was a carefree man, loved adventure, and never really worried about much. Laxus also came across as headstrong, vainglorious, and after the incident with the Fighting Festival, very self-centered.
So to see versions of them standing before her as they obsessively looked at the architecture and humbly thanked them for their assistance respectively left her for a loop.
She decided to put her shock at Edolas' counterparts aside and focus on the task at hand. Mainly that their enemies were rallying, their allies were rushing into battle, the Exceed was being declared war on, and their guild was about to be used as a battering ram to destroy an entire civilization.
"Hey," Lucy stepped forward, being the first one to regain some sense of clarity as Wendy floundered under the tension and Naruto was trying to cope with the sight of Jura with hair, "You guys are strong right? Like the best of your guilds?"
"Damn straight!" Jura confidently announced.
"I'm not sure about strongest but I think I was always quite capable within the guild." Laxus politely informed.
"Uh, I'm not much of a fighter." Gildarts said, "I prefer to avoid conflict directly and spend time creating if I'm being honest."
Naruto covered his face with his hands and deeply groaned into his palms before dragging them down his cheeks. His face snapped back to normal before he sighed, "Well I guess we can hardly be picky in this situation. Can you guys help us or not?"
"Well, Jackass, we'd be happy to wreak a little havoc on the Royal Army that's been treating us like shit but there's a problem." Jura waved his hands, "We don't have our weapons!"
The faint sound of objects rustling drew their attention back to the masked person. She held up a burlap sack for them all to see.
"Hold on! That's the masked bitch that keeps following the big wigs around!" Jura immediately yelled and got into a fighting stance, "She must be here to trick us and get us killed!"
Gildarts, paying no mind to the doubt and hesitation from the others, walked up and took the sack from her. He looked inside the bag and rummaged around before retrieving his tools. He donned a pair of goggles and a hammer with a relieved laugh, "I got them back! Ahhhhhhh, I don't feel complete without them." He held up the sack and smiled, "C'mon guys, our stuff is in here!"
"Wait." Laxus held out his hand warily as he eyed the masked person in doubt, "Who are you? Why are you helping us? If this is some kind of ploy-"
The masked woman raised her hands in surrender and shook her head. The others watched her reach for her mask-
Gildarts' goggles started to blink and react. He panicked, "WATCH O-"
Everything went silent before he could finish.
And they were all beaten back by a blur running between them before they could do anything.
Without letting out a single noise everyone was beaten back into the wall and let out cries of pain when they did. They tumbled to the ground but some of the tougher fighters quickly picked themselves up to look at their attacker.
Racer's boots, Mercury's Rush, glowed after their burst of energy. He stood at one end of the hallway with a pissed-off scowl on his face.
Naruto turned his head and looked down the other side of the hallway to see Cobra standing with a vile smirk. He clicked the device on his hip and suddenly the sound returned around them, "Never seen you this angry."
"That prick that looks like Naruto got me in trouble." Racer spat out, "Stole that big chunk of Lacrima and ran off with it."
"Well, you should be happy he's stupid enough to come back." Cobra noted with a smirk, "And in the middle of a jailbreak too. We've got invaders running through our halls, prisoners out of their chains, Exceed now in enemy territory, and - oh?" The burgundy-haired soldier reached down and lifted a dazed Mask off the ground with an arm around her neck, "And look who's in the middle of it all. With contraband too."
"That's not a good look." Racer commented, "Y'know when Knightwalker told us to keep an eye on this one I thought she was just being paranoid."
"That woman's intuition is frightening."
"Yeah, or she had some idea," Cobra smirked, tightening his hold on the frightened woman squirming in his grasp. His hand reached for her mask, "Let's see who you-"
Naruto whipped his hands out, sending blisteringly fast bursts of wind in both directions as he snapped up to his feet. One missed Racer as he dodged aside the other beaned Cobra in the face and his grip on Mask weakened. With that opening Naruto rushed over and grabbed the sack of weapons, tossing them to Laxus and Jura before yelling at the masked woman, "Run!"
She nodded and quickly dashed down the hall and away from the incoming battle. Naruto quickly gathered magic around his fists and threw a barrage of punches, sending his Armor flying in a Knight's Crusade-
But Racer weaved and rushed through the onslaught of attacks to attack the whiskered Fairy-
Only for the ground and concrete around him to crack and jut out from their original place.
Jura slammed his gloved fists together and laughed, "Payback time!"
Laxus retrieved his weapon from the sack as well as prepared for battle. He looked down at where Lucy, Wendy, and Carla were picking themselves up and quickly warned them, "Ladies, I think it would be best if you went on your way."
"What?" Lucy gawked at his suggestion, "But there's a fight here!"
"Yes," Wendy nodded, "We can help! We have the numbers advantage!"
"It's not an advantage in such a narrow space to fight. And this is a war on multiple fronts, isn't it?" The composed blond man advised them, "Let us handle the speed and sound duo. Gildarts!" He called out to his comrade, "I need you to get them out of here and help them! We'll find-"
This time it was a skull-splitting, eardrum-shattering base tone that nearly deafened everyone but Racer in its path. Those that could suffer through the pain looked over to see Cobra had picked himself up and tweaked his Acoustic Onslaught to attack them.
Laxus whipped his hand out and tried to yell over the booming sound. Gildarts nodded and slammed his hammer down, creating a dome around himself, Lucy, Wendy, and Carla before the stone construct slid along the hall and carried them away.
In the end that left Naruto, Laxus, and Jura face off against the duo of Cobra and Racer in the mind-numbing field of sound.
The stone and concrete egg carrying the Fairies away came to a stop and cracked open. Gildarts let out a breath of relief as Lucy, Wendy and Carla toppled over once freed, "Ahh, fresh air. Are you ladies alright?"
"I-I think I kinda understand what Natsu hates about traveling now." Lucy groaned on the ground, "Wendy, are you okay?" She looked around, "Wendy? Carla?"
"Oh!" She looked down to see the young Dragon Slayer and Exceed were pinned underneath her. She scrambled to the side, "Are you okay?"
"So heavy, a-and yet so soft." Wendy muttered traumatically as she tried to rationalize the massive sensation she felt pressing down on her head that seemed to defy explanation, "It was impossible."
Carla rubbed her head and frowned back at Lucy, "I think I want to avoid traveling with you again."
"I didn't do it on purpose!" The blonde girl sniped before frowning at their wording. She turned her attention to Gildarts as the slim man let out a breath of relief, "Hey! Can't we go back and help them? They need us!"
"Believe me, I think they'll be safer together than with us standing behind their backs." Gildarts said as he stood up, "Laxus is one of the smartest men I know. He remembers that you have lost your weapons to help in a fight." Lucy looked down at her belt and her lack of keys, "And I don't think he wants to risk either of you two before you can fully recover for a fight." He said to Wendy and Carla as they looked at each other, "Plus he was being considerate to me because I don't enjoy fighting."
"That's weird." Lucy stated, "I mean I don't know you all that well back in our world but you seemed like a guy that got down and dirty with his fists."
"Well I'm sorry but that ain't me." Gildarts stood up and cracked his back, "I've preferred helping in other ways. Building barriers around our guild. Fortifying our defenses. Anything I can do to help preserve our guild and members from the forces of the army."
Lucy shrugged, "I guess you can play it safer while still helping out. Explains how you still have all your limbs attached to you."
"This is all well and good," Carla quickly piped up to get their attention again, "But we need to consider our next course of action."
Lucy nodded, "Happy went to get Gajeel to the Lacrima. Gray and Natsu are looking around to find some way to stop the cannon. Naruto is holding off those two fighters. And Erza is fighting herself." There was a loud blast and shake of the castle to cap off her point before she looked at her belt, "I need to find my keys. There's nothing I can do in this fight without their help. But I don't know where to look."
"Who had them last?"
Lucy looked at Gildarts, "A woman named Angel. She's-"
"The cheeky tart who flies?"
"Oh, you know her."
"Yep." Gildarts pulled his goggles down and he started looking around as life signs started appearing, "I can locate Lacrima signals and the people using them with my goggles. It doesn't let me know exactly who is who but there are only so many people flying around here." He nodded in one direction, "I think I spotted her."
"She's the best chance of finding my keys!" Lucy nodded and looked back at her younger friends, "Wendy, Carla-"
"Go ahead, Lucy-San." Wendy confidently nodded, "We'll take care of ourselves. Please get your keys back."
The blonde Celestial Mage grinned before she and Gildarts rushed in the direction of their target. Carla looked up at her partner, "So what are we going to do?"
Wendy looked back at her and said nothing.
Carla frowned, "No."
"Wendy, I said no."
"We have to warn them."
"We just have to stop the cannon!"
"We will stop the cannon. And we will get our guild back." Wendy bent down on her knees to face her best friend more closely, "But even if we do that won't stop the Royal Army from hunting them down. They are still in danger."
Carla frowned and turned aside, "That doesn't matter."
"Yes, it does." Wendy pouted, "We're members of Fairy Tail now, Carla. We don't leave others to just get hurt. Remember that Naruto-San rushed over to Cait Shelter to warn them about Nirvana before it could come. We need to do the same to Extalia."
"They aren't worth saving."
"They're not!" The little Exceed petulantly yelled and stomped her paws, "They sent me to capture you and betray the Dragon Slayers and you could have been hurt so much worse and…" Carla floundered, her expression still a strained frown as her eyes watered from the flood of emotions.
Wendy smiled warmly, "I know…but we can't just leave them to suffer. Do you think they all deserve to be punished?"
The kind old couple that helped her and Happy after their escape came to mind.
She looked up at Wendy as the young blue-haired girl smiled happily. When had she gotten so confident?
"Iron Dragon's Demon Logs!"
The two Fairies attacked in unison and blew away the forces of the Royal Army that were swarming around them outside the castle. Juvia's arms morphed back from their watery form as her back pressed against Gajeel's, "How do you think the others are fairing inside the castle?"
"Well, I haven't heard anything about them dying so I think we're in the clear right now!" Gajeel's arm changed into a long and serrated blade, catching the swing of a soldier's spear before knocking him back, "I'll never forgive Hunter for sticking me out here with the cleanup! I'm the fucking star of this show!"
"N-Now, Gajeel-kun, no reason to get upset." The Water Mage attempted to calm her friend down with a placating pat on the shoulder, "Erza-San said we should wait out here and Naruto-San said he would come back once they had located the Lacrima. So let's wait until-
Both former Phantom Mages stopped arguing and yelped as the ground underneath them suddenly went soft. It started to suck them in like quicksand as they sunk to their knees.
Gajeel panicked, "What the hell?!"
Juvia immediately morphed her body to water and slid out of the ground before it could swallow her up. Her hand swung out and wrapped around Gajeel to pull him out before he was sucked in completely, "What was-"
Gajeel's arm swung out sharply and knocked the razor-sharp feathers that were flying their way and threatened to make them pin cushions. The two Fairies looked up at the figure floating down from the sky with two large wings flapping behind her back, "Oh look, two more interlopers have decided to take a chance and make a raid today."
"These two don't look familiar so I believe these are more of the trespassers Master Naruto warned us about." Gajeel and Juvia looked back as a large man stepped out to block them from the other side, "I suppose they're just another pair we need to take out."
"Yep, looks like it." Angel smirked as her wings flapped and prepared to attack, "Take-"
Happy flew in from the side and slammed his paws into Angel's cheek at blinding speeds. The white-haired beauty's eyes trembled and her head twisted with the blow as she fell out of the air and towards the ground. The moment she hit Hoteye called out, "A-Angel?!"
"Happy?" Juvia looked up at the blue cat as he floated down, "What are you-"
"No time!" He looked at Gajeel, "I know where the guild is!"
"Take me!" Without wasting a moment Gajeel immediately knew what he needed to do. Happy nodded and flew behind him before grabbing hold and lifting him. Gajeel flinched and waved his limbs around, "O-Oh shit, what are you doing?!"
"Have you never seen me fly with Natsu?! Don't fight it and let me drive!"
As they flew off, Juvia looked down at Hoteye as he helped Angel back to her knees. When they had their backs to her, Juvia's eyes spotted a familiar set of golden keys hanging from Angel's belt. She reached out with a stream of water and collected the keys back before they returned to her hand, "These don't belong to you! Juvia will make sure they get back in the hand of their rightful owner."
"Ah! Dammit! That stupid fucking cat!" Angel whined as she nursed her cheek. Her Archangel Grace spread open as she stood up, "Hoteye, keep this one busy! I'm going to-"
Angel had to jump aside as Hoteye raised a wall of liquid ground with his Earthly Tome to protect him from the blades of water. Once they did both Mages looked over at the defiant blue-haired woman holding them back.
"Apologies," Juvia's body started to morph, "But your fight is with Juvia!"
"You just punch it?"
"Yeah! I punch it! What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing," Happy shrugged as they flew up through the air, "Just sounds like something Natsu would do."
"Salamander doesn't own the rights to punching things!" Gajeel snarled before looking up through the air. As he saw the giant Lacrima come into sight he smirked, "Once we get all of these guys out of here we'll-"
His nose started to twitch.
"H-Huh - IYAH!" Happy yelled as he had to suddenly veer aside as a blur rushed up and tried to attack them. He balanced himself and Gajeel in the air before looking over, "Did Angel catch up with us?!"
"Nope, don't recognize this guy."
Flying ahead of them and in their path to the Lacrima was Pantherlily. The large feline had abandoned his armor and finery for more minimalistic battle gear. His white wings spread proudly from his back and he wielded a giant sword in hand as he prepared for battle.
"This is the hope of our world." Lily stated as he raised his sword, "I will not let you take it!"
Happy gulped, "O-Oh man, he's an Exceed?! I've never met one as big and burly as him! Gajeel, we might be in trou-"
"I found him."
"MY CAT! THE ONLY CAT WORTHY FOR ME! I'VE FOUND HIM!"
"NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR THAT!"
"KING! WHERE ARE YOU?! KING!"
"HE'S NOT GONNA ANSWER YOU, HOTHEAD!"
"WELL, HOW ELSE DO WE FIND HIM?! COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE!"
"Okay stop!" Gray slid to a stop and sighed, "This isn't going to work out. We need to think of another plan."
"What other plan?! We have no idea where we're going and we're on the clock!" Natsu barked back, "The best choice is a direct path! Cause havoc! Get attention! Work our way through! And squeeze the information we need out of our enemies! Y'know, the easy way!"
"Yeah but that isn't gonna be as effective when we're lost in enemy territory and they can send us anywhere in this stupid castle because we have no idea where we're going!" Gray argued back with a pulsing vein over his eye, "Can we try to use our brains for a second, Charcoal Breath?!"
"Well I would, Absolute Shrinkage, but I don't know if it'd do any good. I can't think up of another plan and I know for a fact you've got vacant space behind those droopy eyes of yours."
"VACANT?!" Gray snagged Natsu by the scarf and yanked him in, "You calling me stupid, slanted-eyes?!"
"If the missing underwear fits, Blue Balls!" Natsu struggled and wrestled with Gray in return as they pulled each other's cheeks and yanked on any hair they could grab. They continued for several moments, completely ignorant of their surroundings.
"They haven't even noticed we're here."
"That's quite insulting. We should fix that."
With a nod, one man raised his sword and gently touched it to the floor. When he did the tiles and ground started to soften and change, bending under the point of his sword and spreading out. As the two Fairy men continued to fight and wrestle on the ground they finally noticed that they were getting sucked up into the floor like quicksand.
Natsu looked over and spotted two figures standing on the patch of floor that wasn't swallowing them up. His eyes narrowed and he took a deep breath before spewing fire, "Fire Dragon's Roar!"
A mirror appeared in the hands of one man and he held it up before the oncoming rush of flames. Flames that suddenly disappeared and then went flying right back at them at the same intensity. The flames rushed over them and erupted, sending both Natsu and Gray flying out of the ground and careening along the ground.
Natsu looked over at them in shock, "What the hell was that?!"
"Who cares! Just run!"
The two Fairies rushed further down the hallway as the other two started to chase after them. They weren't scared of fighting, but whatever strange abilities these two had been far more advantageous in this small corridor than theirs were. If they wanted to even the scales and have a better chance, they needed to find a more open space to fight. Fortunately, as they ran down the corridor, and heard the sounds of footsteps following behind them, they reached a larger hall with more than enough space to move around and fight.
Natsu grinned, turned, and ignited his hands, "Alright jerks, bring it-"
Gray grabbed Natsu by the scarf and yanked him back as something rushed by and nearly ran over them. It crashed into the wall and embedded itself deep within the stone. Once it had settled, the Fairy Mages looked up to see-
"A Ferris wheel?"
They couldn't believe their eyes as they saw the amusement park attraction lodged into the wall. It truly looked like it had gotten loose from a carnival and rolled its way over here. Confused, both men looked over in the direction it came from…
And saw a huge amusement park with loud noises and lights shining out in every direction.
"An amusement park!" Natsu exclaimed with sparkling eyes.
Gray on the other hand looked at the whole thing in disbelief, "W-Why - why is there a park in the castle? And why are you excited? You get sick just mentioning the word rollercoaster."
"Whoa!" They looked up and saw a young man poking his head out of the window as he rubbed his hair, "I thought that'd be a hoot but it was way bumpier than I expected." He chuckled before leaning his body out the window and looking at how high up he was, "Hey, a little help?"
"I've got you." One of the men that had been stalking them through the hall stated as he touched his sword to the support beams inside of the wheel. The whole thing started to go limp and lower down slowly. The man in the cart looked down as he drew closer to the ground before stepping off on a beam and jumping to the floor, "That was close."
"Yeah, nearly got 'em." The mixed-haired boy smiled, "I'm Hughes, Third Commander of the Royal Army."
"I am Sugarboy, Fourth Commander of the Royal Army." The blond pompadour man in a thong stated as he lowered Rosa Espada.
"I am not a Commander, but I am Midnight, second-in-command of the Oración Seis." The pale man announced as he raised Reflective Force in his hand, "We've been tasked with defeating you."
Natsu and Gray shared a look before nodding, letting their hands blaze with fire and crack with ice respectively.
"Wow." Coco looked up at the giant cannon they had forged to aim the Dragon Slayer magic and crash the Lacrima into Extalia. She marveled at the scale and potential of the weapon before looking at its creators, "I can't believe you were able to make something like this so fast."
"It just took repurposing some of our other equipment." Brain answered while looking up at the fruits of their labor, "A large-scale cannon, an appropriate battery, the sensors and support tools to run it. Not to say it wasn't a labor of genius and love…"
"But it is done." Boro nodded, "We're almost finished." The stout Chief-of-Staff made his way over to the primary console and activated it as an image of their target came onscreen, "Now all we have to do is drag the Lacrima to the Exceed and we'll have an eternal magic source to draw from."
As he spoke, sparks flew across the display on the screen. The odd sight drew the attention of those watching and Boro zoomed in. The screen revealed Pantherlily viciously exchanging blows with Gajeel in midair with Happy's support. The advantage constantly changed between the two of them as they fought in front of the Lacrima.
"Oh no! Lily is fighting!" Coco fretted as she saw her friend fend off their enemy, "We have to get a message up to him to get out of there! Before it's too late!"
She thought she'd see a quick correspondence of agreement as they tried to reach out to the First Commander…
But was instead met with silence.
"Huh?" Coco looked around in surprise, "What are we waiting for? We need to warn him to get out of the way of the cannon!"
"That might not be such a good idea."
Brain started rubbing his chin, "The intruders from the other world have figured out some way to dispel the Lacrima holding the magic. Commander Pantherlily is currently holding off the only one we know that is trying to intercept it. If he retreats and gives that man an opening, we may lose the Lacrima altogether."
"Indeed." Boro nodded, walking over to the side and opening a compartment to retrieve a large key with a dragon insignia on it, "Once His Majesty and Namikaze arrive, we'll begin the process. The sooner the better."
Coco looked between them in utter disbelief before waving her arms frantically, "But what about Lily?! He's an Exceed! If he gets caught in it-"
"His sacrifice will help us secure an eternity of magic. I'm sure he would happily give his life for that."
It made her heart drop into her stomach.
It wasn't just the idea of sacrificing Pantherlily - their comrade and friend - to secure their victory. Granted that was horrifying as well but the worst part…was their indifference to it. As if a choice like this didn't weigh on their souls or leave them conflicted in any obvious way. The manner that they agreed to it so quickly and suddenly without pause…
Like they had decided that even sacrificing their comrades was necessary for the dream.
Suddenly so many things felt different. So many things felt wrong. Suddenly-
Her hand snatched the key.
"Coco?" Boro questioned in surprise as the young girl backed away with the key in hand, "Give that back!"
"I-I will!" Coco nodded nervously, "L-Let me deliver this to His Majesty myself!"
"Coco we need that here-"
"I-I'm just borrowing it! Just for a little bit!" She rationalized, her heartbeat soaring and pounding in her chest, "I-I just have to-"
She turned and sprinted out of the lab as quickly as she could.
She wasn't sure when she grabbed the key or what was going to happen to her. She still wanted eternal magic just like everybody else.
But only after Lily was safe and sound.
Sword met spear.
Fist met cheek.
Foot met stomach.
All these attacks and strikes landed in a mere instant before they swept away into the next wave of attacks. Even though some hits may have landed they were never direct or debilitating enough to hurt the other.
The hallway and wing of the castle they had been fighting in had crumbled and broken away under the force of their battle. The floor had splintered and cobwebbed when their attacks met each other while the walls and ceiling rained down around them.
Even so, neither woman let their attention falter for even a second. Because even a moment of hesitation or doubt would leave them open to a counterattack from their opponent.
Knightwalker shifted the shape of her spear as she leaped up over her counterpart's head. The moment she hit the air, the weight of her weapon brought her careening back down towards Scarlet's head. However before the spear could even land her body was covered by a sturdy, powerful armor that blocked the force of her spear.
They pushed away from each other, Scarlet's body illuminated with light before she took up her Heaven's Wheel Armor to strike at her opponent in midair. But Knightwalker's spear glowed again and changed into Melforce, allowing her to unleash a burst of wind to send herself flying further down the room and gain some distance. Once she landed and was far enough away, her spear switched again.
Knightwalker disappeared in a flash of light straight at Scarlet with the intent to cut her down. But with a mighty roar, the powerful Fairy responded, summoning a myriad of blades to her side and fending off her doppelgänger's assault from all angles with a barrier of swords. Sparks and the sound of clashing steel seemed to ring out endlessly in their battle as both women roared furiously.
Scarlet changed armor again, switching to her Black Wing set and diving at Knightwalker when she had stopped in her rapid movement. Her blades crossed with her spear and they pushed against each other in a vie for supremacy.
"H-Hehe," The Second Commander forced out a chuckle as the shaft of her weapon scraped against the edge of the Fairy's blades, "You know I expected more of a challenging fight from another version of myself." She mocked with a bloody cut on the side of her cheek, "But you are surprisingly disappointing."
"I feel the same." Titania stated with a line of blood running down her face from her hairline, "The way Naruto talked about you and the scourge you caused on this world I thought you were a tyrant beyond reason." She scoffed, "Now I look at you and all I see is an angrier, grumpier version of me. I'm sure Naruto's dealt with me as bad as this during particularly bad times of the month."
Knightwalker clicked her teeth, "Tch, so you are involved with that idiot? How can you stand being with him?"
"The same way you're around him I imagine, but more honestly."
Knightwalker snarled and pushed back, forcing them apart before rushing at each other again. However just as they were about to meet a deep quake from further inside the castle drew the attention of one of them.
Long enough for a decisive blow to be struck.
"DAMMIT!" Naruto cursed in rage as he jumped aside and tried to gain a moment to catch his breath and plan, "THIS IS A PAIN IN THE-"
Another mind-numbing tone assaulted his ears and caused him to flinch and shake as he tried to weather through the pain. Even as his vision started to shake and he unconsciously started grinding his teeth, he looked over at the source of the offensive sound.
Cobra rushed towards him with a vicious grin across his face. Naruto stomped his foot to steady himself and take a full stance to meet the enemy charging at him. Despite the deafening sound emitted from Cobra's Acoustic Onslaught, Naruto quickly raised his guard to defend himself.
The Edolas Mage jumped up with a roundhouse kick lashing out towards Naruto's head. He leaned back and barely avoided a strike to his temple before blocking the follow-up kick. Even as the noise felt like it was making his ears bleed, Naruto steeled himself and fought back. He pushed Cobra's foot back and threw punch after punch at the Edolas Mage. Cobra avoided the path of his punches but Naruto was determined to push on even if it felt like a spike was going through his head-
Until it suddenly turned silent as death.
The whiskered Mage's eyes widened as he recognized the pattern and turned with his guard raised.
A blur rushed towards him and landed a blindingly fast punch against his arms that nearly blew him off his feet. He mashed his teeth and weathered the barrage of blows before the speedster passed by him to rejoin his comrade. Naruto looked back with a snarl as Cobra and Racer stood together.
Dammit! This was getting nowhere fast!
Naruto could sense Edo-Laxus and Edo-Jura still moving behind him but wasn't going to risk taking his eyes away from the duo for a second. Having fought both of them back in his world he knew the Oración Seis of Earthland were stronger and more ruthless than this pair. But what they had in spades in comparison were coordination and reliance on one another to take the most opportunities they could get in a fight.
Between the rapidly alternating extremes of deafening tones and dead silence, it was impossible to prepare for what assault came next from Cobra. And Racer had to have some kind of noise-canceling device in his headset because he attacked during the screeching and switched to hit-and-run tactics when things went silent. They seemed antagonistic like the pair he knew back in his word, but their teamwork was well-developed enough to handle fights like this.
They weren't the only legal guild in all of Edolas for no reason.
'Damn, I can't keep wasting time on these guys!' His thoughts were the only thing he could still hear as Cobra and Racer nodded and prepared to engage them again, 'The others are still fighting and there's so much at stake! I have to-'
The ground by their feet suddenly launched up and slammed into the ceiling, creating a wall in the hallway they were fighting in.
With the wall blocking the sound Lacrima, the noise started to return in a muted tone around him. Enough for him to hear the heavy footfalls behind him before a hand grabbed and yanked his shoulder.
Laxus pulled him back and held up several thin disks, "You need to take these," He forced them into his hand, "And place them anywhere you can! Floor! Ceiling! Walls! Most importantly, you need to put at least one on each of them!"
"Too long to explain!" The wall Jura had raised was cracking and another ear-piercing tone could be heard from the other side as Laxus rushed to Jura and forced more of those disks in his hands, "Just trust me!"
Despite his confusion and doubt, Naruto decided to follow his advice and threw the disks around him. He planted several on the ground and threw them to attach to the walls and ceiling as he watched their defense start to crumble down completely.
Suddenly it became deathly silent again and Naruto knew what was coming. He summoned his Wind dragon sword and immediately swiped ahead, sending several blades of air flying down the hallway. Racer was forced to jump and evade them to make his way further down the hall to reach them. And after evading everything he rushed forward and landed a punch across Naruto's face before passing him to attack the others.
Never noticing that Naruto planted one of the disks on his back as he passed by.
A punch landed on Laxus' cheek and knocked him to the ground in an instant. And just as he tried to pick himself up he realized the ringing in his ear wasn't from a concussion but Cobra's Lacrima using the assaulting loud noise. The Dark Fairy Mage groaned and lifted himself, looking over as Jura raised several spires of stone to try and spear Racer only for the speedster to avoid their path.
But he did notice the disk placed on their opponent's back without his knowledge. Spitting out some drops of blood Laxus looked to the other side of the hallway.
Naruto blocked and countered Cobra's strikes through the piercing loud noise he was using to disorient them. The burgundy-haired man looked like he was laughing at his attempts to fight against the assault of sound before lunging forward and striking him. Naruto's head jerked aside violently-
But his hand settled on Cobra's shirt and pinned the disk to it.
Laxus retrieved the final part of his weapon and held up a lighting rod. With a yell that was muddled by the sound, he slammed it into the ground hard enough to plant it in the stone. For a moment nothing happened-
And then the whole hallway was blinded by the sudden flash.
A lightning bolt shot out from the rod before it was suddenly pulled aside to another location. It hit one of the electric disks planted along the floor before ricocheting off one on the wall and another on the ceiling. In an instant, the lightning bolt danced across the hallway, back the way it came, and across all the other disks before repeating the whole thing. The lightning bolt sped between each disk-
And lanced Cobra and Racer through the ones planted on their bodies multiple times in a matter of seconds.
Acoustic Onslaught shattered and their agonized screams filled the hallway before they toppled over. Cobra and Racer laid unconscious on the ground, their eyes rolled back to the whites as their bodies twitched from the residual shock.
Naruto stood up, wiping his bloody nose and looking between the beaten Mages before turning to his allies, "What. The fuck. Was that?"
"The Lightning Splinter," Laxus said while yanking the rod out of the ground with a grunt. He tossed it in the air and caught it again before pocketing it and moving to retrieve his disks, "The rod fires out a bolt of electricity, bouncing between the disks and accumulating more power between each jump. It's mostly used for dealing with a wide area." He pointed between the two downed Mages, "And if anyone gets in the way of them…well, we're lucky we had them marked."
"Shit, you are crazy." Jura chuckled as he sprouted out a rock underneath him and sat to catch his breath, "Goddamn, that was tough. Been a long time since I got into a fight like that."
Naruto wiped some of the sweat off his cheek and caught his breath before looking around, "We moved a lot fighting these guys. We came…" He looked around in thought before nodding, "Yeah we came from there." And then turned the other way, "There has to be something this way."
"Wait," Laxus called out to him, "Where are you going?"
"My friends went ahead to keep doing what they could to rescue our guild. I'm sure they're still trying even now. Which means I need to go help them." Naruto walked down and tried to determine where everyone was, "Dammit, this castle is too big."
"I know you're anxious but please don't go running off." Laxus warned him, "We don't know where we're going either and if we go off separately or with no plans we'll just get lost." He looked between Cobra and Racer as they lay unconscious on the floor, "If they were awake we could get some answers out of them. If we try to follow the sound of soldiers we could find the more regular paths but also trouble-"
"I'll save us some time." Jura slammed his fist into his palm with a dramatic hair flip, "Let's just tear down every wall in our path until we find what we need!"
"I think that will just get more unwanted attention on us-"
"What?" Naruto looked at Laxus in shock, "You aren't okay with wild and wanton collateral damage in the wake of your path?" He shook his head in pity, "What kind of Fairy Tail member are you?"
"One that understands that causing collateral damage only works in the favor of the kingdom painting us as - wait, you cause collateral damage all the time back in your world?"
"It's our guild's specialty."
"And…you're still legal?"
"Of course!" Naruto said with a smile before shrugging his shoulders, "I mean we're hated by our Magic Council and are in their sights all the time but screw it."
Laxus and Jura stared at him in disbelief then looked at each other before looking back at him, "That's fucked up."
"I can't believe you boys are risking it just standing there and talking."
They immediately turned and raised their guards as they found themselves faced with another member of the Royal Army.
The Second Commander stood before them, battered and bruised but carrying her injuries without a single falter in her stance. Erza stood across from them, raised her head, and glared them down.
Laxus retrieved his lightning rod and Jura raised his fists in preparation with a vicious smirk, "I've been wanting to get back at this bitch for - hey!"
Naruto fearlessly stepped forward and faced Erza down. He approached her and stopped just in front of her, looking down at her as she glared up at him.
He smiled and gently moved the tuft of hair she had over her eye, "You need a little more to cover it up properly."
A clear blue eye looked up at him with her natural brown as she smiled, "You spotted it?"
"Only because I knew where to look." Naruto leaned in and hugged Erza tightly as she did the same. He pulled back and looked her over, "You're not too hurt?"
"No, I got a good hit in when she was distracted by the chaos you were causing. What about you?" She looked further down the hall, "Looks like it was one hell of a fight."
"A pain in the ass more like it. But we had it handled."
"Whoa! Hey!" They looked back as Laxus and Jura stared at them in confusion, "What the hell is going on? How are you friends with that crazy bitch?"
"Because this isn't her." Naruto said, "Guys, this is Erza Scarlet. My partner and fellow Fairy Tail Mage. She's here with the rest of us to claim our guild back from the kingdom."
"Erza is a part of Fairy Tail in your world?" Laxus gaped in shock, "I heard your friend appeal to Knightwalker in her cell but I didn't believe it. I…wow. J-Just wow."
"And it's a surprise to see you both as well." Erza nodded to them before her eyes landed on Jura and his magnificent head of her. She was nearly caught gawking before Naruto tapped her shoulder and brought her back to reality. He nodded knowingly but she quickly recovered, "I'm glad to see we have allies in this place to help us."
"Wait, you look just like the crazy Fairy Hunter," Jura shrugged, "How'd you know she wasn't her?"
"Yeah?" She looked up at her boyfriend with a mischievous smirk, "Didn't you have a hard time facing the other me down because she looked so similar? What's different now?"
"Well you looked the same but you didn't act the same. And I know you were never going to lose." Naruto gave a lopsided smile, "She's her, but you're you."
Erza chuckled at the thought behind his words.
Jura scoffed, "Oh yeah, because that fucking explains it."
"But the resemblance is uncanny." Laxus said in disbelief, "You even have a copy of her armor?"
"Oh no," Erza shook her head while looking herself over, "I thought it'd be easier to convince others I was her if I wore the same thing, so I took it off her while she was unconscious."
The three men stared at her in silence before Naruto smacked his lips, "You…stripped her naked, took her clothes, and left her?"
"Yeah. Wasn't like she was using it."
Now that there was no intense emotional conflict or confusion about fighting her doppelgänger, Naruto took a moment to look at her in that armor. The way it was so perfectly shaped to the form and contorts of her body. The way the chest plate so snugly squeezed her breasts and pushed up her cleavage. And the lack of coverage over her smooth and flawless stomach down to the belt and shroud around her waist-
"What?" He looked up after hearing her dryly say his name and stare at him, "What?! I-I didn't even say anything!"
"You didn't have to. Really? Now?"
"You know," Laxus cupped his chin, "When you take a minute to look at her and she isn't beating, torturing, or threatening to kill us…she is quite lovely."
"Yeah," Jura crossed his arms and grumbled, "When we were on the run and doing jobs, every tavern we came across talked about the prettiest people you'd wanna hook up with. Knightwalker was always somewhere on the list. I guess you can appreciate it when you aren't being hunted down by her." He shook his head, "What is it about evil that's sexy?"
"Hey, roll it back!" Naruto said with a biting tone before turning back to see Erza's cheeky smirk. He groaned before continuing, "So what's the plan?"
"Well, I'm the Second Commander now. I should be able to get a handle on things if I'm careful. How's about we get in close and strike for the neck?"
Naruto grinned, "Sounds fun."
"Gah!" Juvia exclaimed as the ground by her feet exploded up like a geyser and knocked her down. The moment she hit the floor she saw something glint in the air. She shifted her body into the water and slid along the ground to avoid the feathers pelting the floor where she had once been.
Once they pierced the stone, they glowed brightly before suddenly bursting with magical power in a devastating explosion. The Fairy formed back into her regular body and kept a distance to catch her breath as she glared down at the two menaces that had forced her to retreat into the castle.
"Man, you are one slippery bitch." Angel mused over her head with a dainty giggle, "Do you think being made of water has anything to do with that?"
"Angel, please stop toying with her." Hoteye warned his partner as they stopped just before reaching the beautiful blue-haired beauty they had on the ropes, "I think it's quite obvious that you can't hope to best us. You're outnumbered and outmatched."
"Do you think so?" Juvia felt a little of the pride and vicious teachings of her Phantom Lord days perk up, an inkling for freedom against these arrogant fools threatening her guild and friends, "Juvia has barely even tried against you. Juvia thought you were supposed to be the most capable fighting force in Edolas that causes the Dark Guilds to run in the opposite direction? Is it just your leader that earns you all that praise?"
Angel hissed and her wings raised behind her, sharper and more threatening in response as Hoteye shook his head, "This is a waste of time. We will secure you and return you to the Lacrima with the rest of your friends. My brother has been looking forward to the day when magic can be used without restriction or fear of finally using it all up." His eyes glowed, "I will not let you and your people stand in the way of that."
The floor started to waver and congeal unnaturally as Juvia prepared for the attack to follow. The liquid ground start to spurt up from all corners and Juvia deftly evaded them. Even though she was avoiding getting hit there was no opening in the field of attacks for her to counter. She kept moving and hoping for a chance to reveal itself-
But Angel's shadow flew over her and she looked up to see the white-haired woman laugh mockingly as feathers trailed behind her and fell over the hallway. Juvia could only scream as she felt herself get enveloped in the field of exploding feathers and spurting earth geysers.
But even through the pain she gripped her fist and swung, "Water Slicer!"
She sent several thin and fast blades of water in every direction she could. Angel gasped and had to avoid them as Hoteye quickly jerked aside as strands of his hair were caught in the path of the liquid blades. He clicked his teeth as his eyes glowed again, "This is getting tiresome-"
"Coco! Get back here now!"
"No! P-Please! Let's just wait a little longer! Please!"
"No! Pantherlily knew the risks and we can't waste time!"
"Lily can do it! J-Just let him know how urgent it is!"
The fight reached a quick lull as they looked over to see a young girl carrying a key getting chased by a stout, creepy older man.
Hoteye's eyes ceased glowing, "What in the world?"
"Coco? Boro?" Angel looked down at them from above, "What are you doing here?"
"A-Angel! Hoteye! Good!" Boro panted, slowing down to catch his breath before pointing at the young girl ahead of him, "Coco has stolen the key for the Dragon Chain Cannon! You have to stop her!"
Hoteye looked down at the key in the frightened girl's arms as she cradled it and took a step back. The massive man frowned and held out his hand, "Coco, return the key to us. Now."
She panted and trembled, "B-But Richard, Sorano, we can't fire yet. Lily is in the way of the Lacrima, trying to protect it from being dissolved."
"That's his fault for being in the way!" Angel threw her arms up in exasperation, "I can't believe we're this close to finally getting what we've been waiting for since the dawn of time and we're stopping because of one person!"
Coco's eyes watered, "B-But-"
"No more talking." Hoteye's eyes glowed, "If you won't surrender the key willingly then-"
A powerful stream of water slammed into the side of his head and knocked him off his feet. Angel saw the attack and immediately reacted, releasing a flurry of feathers down across the area.
Coco flinched and curled up around the key in her grasp. But suddenly she felt herself being pulled off her feet, carried away and around the exploding feathers that rained down from overhead until the attack suddenly stopped. When she opened her eyes she was sitting on the ground, her collar wet from sweat and water before she looked up at her savior.
Juvia gently released the younger girl's collar as she kept her furious glare plastered on her face. She looked between the Edolas natives and scowled, "Juvia can't believe you people. It was bad enough that you took our guild. Bad enough that you captured and hurt our friends. But not only our friends - you are willing to hurt and betray your comrades?! For magic?! For power?!"
"What would you know?!" Boro spat angrily, retrieving several vials from his cloak, "You and your people were born with magic! Blessed with it since birth! We do not have that privilege! We have to struggle and ration and spare as much of our magic as possible! This has been our dream since our ancestors first discovered the wonders of magic!"
"And for that, you'd abduct and kill innocent people! For that, you would terrorize your citizens! Betray your friends!" Juvia whipped her arm aside, letting it elongate with its watery form as she puffed out her chest, "As a proud member of Fairy Tail, Juvia swears that she will stop your greedy madness and rescue our guild!"
"You tramp!" Angel cried out in fury, sending her projectiles flying as Juvia swung out her arm to collide with them, causing them to explode midair. She guarded against the rush of wind before yelling, "Hoteye! Kill them!"
The larger man did not respond other than to narrow his glowing eyes and shoot out tendrils of soft earth at the girls. Juvia screamed and swatted them all away as her fury fueled the power of her swings.
"You silly girl," Juvia snarled before her eyes widened in horror. Coco followed her gaze and gasped in shock as Boro grew larger and larger. The color of his body started to change and tentacles grew out from his limbs as he grew. The others were dwarfed in size by the pseudo-octopus the Chief-of-Staff had turned himself into. And with a vicious grin, he looked over them, "We will take that key, and convert your guild into our glorious purpose, and there is nothing you will-"
The wall by his side suddenly jutted out with an orb of stone that slammed directly into his jaw and sent his head jerking aside. Everyone watching looked up in shock as Boro groaned and toppled over, nearly crushing Hoteye and Angel in the process.
The orb of stone that had rescued them stopped in front of Juvia and Coco before opening up. When it did Lucy popped out desperate for air and space as Gildarts fixed his goggles and looked around, "This is where the most signatures were concentrated."
"Oh my god, that is the worst way to travel!" Lucy gasped, wiping the sweat off her cheek before looking around, "Where are we? What's going - is that an octopus?!"
"Huh?" She looked back and nearly had to catch Juvia when she jumped into her arms, "Juvia!" She hugged the blue-haired girl tightly, "Naruto told me you were here! Oh, I'm so glad to see you!"
"Juvia never thought she'd be so happy to see her love rival again!"
"I'm not - meh, doesn't matter." Lucy heard a faint jingle and looked down to see a set of golden keys hanging off Juvia's belt, "My keys!"
"Oh yes," Juvia pulled them off and handed them over, "Juvia grabbed them after Happy told me they were taken."
"Thank you! Thank you so much!" Lucy snuggled with her keys and giggled with joy, "I can't thank you enough!" She sniffled and wiped her nose before looking down, "Oh, who is this?"
"Juvia doesn't know. The others called her Coco-San." Both Fairy women looked down at the startled Edolas girl cowering on the ground, "She's a member of their group that they turned on and tried to hurt."
"It is. Juvia was so enraged that…" She paused and blinked before looking at the large man behind Lucy, "Is that…Gildarts-San?"
"Not exactly." Lucy sighed, "This is the Gildarts of Edolas who was captured along with the Laxus and Jura-San of this world."
"Yeah, I was surprised too."
"Nice to meet, Earth-Juvia." Gildarts nodded to the young lady who blushed at his polite demeanor before he turned to look down the other side of the hall, "I see we interrupted something before arriving here. Question; is that a giant octopus or have I truly gone delirious from months in captivity?"
"Giant octo-EEEEWWWWWW!" Lucy quickly squealed in horror and hid behind Gildarts as she saw the giant tentacled beast groaning and lifting itself after getting hit by that transport, "What is that?! Why is that here?! What is going on?! Kill it! Kill it!"
"I-It used to be Boro, our Chief-of-Staff. He took a chemical solution he'd been concocting over the years mixed with Lacrima to alter his body and size."
"I do not care!" Lucy cried out, "Pretty girls and tentacles?! I've read enough books to know where that is going!"
That statement earned confused looks from Juvia, Coco, and Gildarts who looked over his shoulder at her, "Where is it going exactly?"
"U-Um - look out!"
They all quickly moved aside to avoid the feathers flying toward them. Looking over they saw Angel fly over Boro's head and then lower her altitude to glare down at them as Hoteye finally picked himself up. She seethed in anger, glaring down at the two new arrivals, "What the hell?! I thought this geezer and bimbo were supposed to be imprisoned?!"
"They escaped. Master Naruto's warning to us about doppelgängers walking around didn't reach before a jailbreak could occur. Doesn't matter." He raised his hand as his eyes glowed, "We'll waste them all the same."
"Coco," Boro's deep and altered voice resounded as the massive tentacled beast lifted itself and overshadowed all of them. The younger brunette tightly held the key to her chest, "Hand. Over. The key."
Juvia quickly slid in front of her in defense, as Lucy pulled out a golden key and Gildarts fixed his goggles back over his eyes, "If you wanna get to her," Lucy announced confidently, "You'll have to get through us!"
"Yes, that was the idea."
Boro's tentacles whipped out wildly and slammed into the walls and ground. The Fairy Mages of both worlds quickly react, Gildarts grabbing Coco and running aside as Lucy and Juvia prepared to engage. The Water Mage ran forward with her body already changing as Lucy held out her golden key, "Open! Gate of the Crab! Cancer!"
Cancer popped into existence in front of her, holding up his scissors and snipping them in the air, "Leave it to me, baby, ebi." And then in the blink of an eye, he dashed forward, cutting up the tentacles coming towards them and reducing them to nubs before they could collect any momentum, "Short is in this season, ebi."
"Gah! You little-"
"Haha," Lucy laughed, "Not so scary with your - kyah!" She immediately had to dodge aside as feathers flew at her head, "Hey! Watch it!"
"Just stand still and die already, you little twat!" Angel snarled, swooping down and making her wings sharp as blades as she scraped along the ground. Lucy ran in a panic and jumped aside with a scream before she could get cut.
She rolled on the ground before finally stopping, "I can't get a second to catch my breath with these guys around!"
"Juvia is having the same issue!" She called out, whipping her water around to try and attack Hoteye from multiple angles as the liquid floor around him popped up to block her attacks, "It's impossible to find a proper angle of attack in this place!"
"We're going to have to-" Lucy stopped and blinked for a moment before looking back. When she spotted Gildarts hiding away from the fight with Coco she started fuming, "Why aren't you out here helping us fight?!"
"I'm not a fighter. But good luck girls."
"How are you Gildarts?!"
The old orange-haired man focused as his goggles examined the fight from a safe distance. Through his lens, he could see the telltale signs of Lacrima powering up and activating.
One from inside of the book Hoteye held while the other was the base of where Angel's wing weapons connected to her back.
Gildarts hummed before tapping Coco's shoulder. The short young girl looked away from the fight to look up at him, "Little lady, their weapons come from the book and her wings, right? He has some type of earth Lacrima hidden in that tome and the Lacrima secured to her back let's her control her wings like limbs?"
Coco nodded, "Y-Yeah. Hoteye also uses a pair of contacts so that he can aim where his Lacrima activates but you're right about it being in the book and wings. How'd you know?"
"My goggles see where Lacrima activates and magic swells. It helped me get our guild away from sight for many years before I finally got caught." He helped Coco up to her feet, "If I tell Earth-Lucy where Angel's weakness is, can you tell Earth-Juvia the same?"
"I know they were your comrades, but they're attacking you now and those girls are holding them back. Plus you took that for reason," He looked down at the key in her hands and Coco tightened her grip on it, "Which means there's some part of this plan you don't agree with. The rest can be hashed out later, but right now help us stop them from pushing this plan any further."
Coco still looked conflicted, looking between the key and the people holding back the soldiers she called comrades not one hour ago. She closed her eyes and bit her lip before dashing towards Juvia. Gildarts made a move as well, rushing through the madness to reach Lucy as she summoned Aires to create a shield of fluff to block Angel's feathers.
Both girls were startled by their approached and lent an ear to their advice. Once they were done both Fairy women looked at each other before nodding and making their move.
Juvia raised her hand and sent her water flowing in streams around her, "Water Lock!"
Hoteye raised his fingers and summoned a patch of liquid ground to absorb the water before it could reach him, "You're going to have to do better than that!"
"Juvia intends to!" She morphed most of her body into the water and started rushing along the ground. She avoided the points along the floor where she saw the ground bubble and churn. And within a few moments, she was in a clear line of Hoteye before throwing her arm out, "Water Slicer!"
The Royal Army Mage jumped aside to avoid the path of her attack, "You'll pay for-"
Juvia's other arm came swinging in like a whip and slammed into the book in his hands. The sound of something shattering echoed out from the impact and the ground started to settle. Dust and crystal start to slip out of the warped pages of the bent book as Hoteye panicked, "No! No, you didn't-"
"Water Jigsaw!" Juvia cried out as her lower body turned into a drill and slammed into his chest before blowing him off his feet.
"Open! Gate of the Archer! Sagittarius!"
"Hello!" The costumed marksman saluted as he arrived by Lucy's side during the battle. He looked up at the winged woman and realized the situation immediately, "Ah, I see. I can tell my skills will be needed to bring down this airborne adversary."
"O-Oh my god, is that some frumpy cosplayer you've called to your aid?" Angel scoffed arrogantly, laughing as she floated in the air her feathers started to tremble with anticipation, "You sure that's what you want to try, little girl? You and your little funny summons aren't going to be able to do much against me, let alone the might of the Royal Army. I'd tell you to drop the keys and surrender," Her wings extended out at her sides, "But we all know we're well past the point of taking captives and negotiating, aren't we?"
"Yep, that's right." Lucy confidently smiled and pointed up at Angel, "No more begging and crying! We're about to clip your wings!"
"Oh," Angel hummed before her wings swung forward, "I'd like to see you try!"
Lucy and Sagittarius dove aside as the feathers littered the ground before exploding. Lucy ran aside, whistling as loud as she could to grab Angel's attention for a moment as the soldier cried out in fury and sent her projectiles flying down. Only for them to burst and explode before they could ever reach their target.
"Wha-" Angel looked down and saw Sagittarius standing proudly with several arrows drawn along his bow. She seethed and swung her arms out, "Stop fucking with me!"
As the feathers turned and arched through the air, the proud Celestial Spirit let loose one arrow after another to meet them. They popped like fireworks before they could get any closer and Angel looked down furiously at the stone-faced archer, "I am not attempting to 'eff' with you, young lady, but I suggest you do get out of the air." Sagittarius stood confidently with his bow, "To my bow, you may as well be a clay pigeon hovering in the middle of the air."
"You uppity shit!" Angel cried out in outrage at her wings extended to their full wingspan, "I'll make you pay for looking down on me!"
"Angel!" Boro called out to her, "You're expending too much magic at once! Be careful-"
"Shut up, Boro!" The white-haired woman snarled, "I'm going to make these bastards pay once and for-"
Her eyes widened in shock and she used one wing to guard against the blades of water flying toward her. She looked down at Juvia and the groaning Hoteye, "Hoteye, what the fuck?! How could you let her-"
Something struck her between the shoulder blades, where the base of her wings connected and extended from her back. She looked back in horror and shock as she felt her wings malfunction and waver. Panicking she cried out, "N-No – NO -SHIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTT!"
She fell and landed on the ground with a pained grunt. Lucy cheered with joy and threw her arms up in the air, "Woohoo! Way to go, Sagittarius! Dead-eye shot right there!"
"Thank you very much, ma'am!" He saluted, "If you need anything else, please make sure to call."
"Will do!" She sent him back home as she smiled at Juvia, "Thanks for the assist! How'd you know what we were trying to do?"
"Juvia just had an inkling that you and Horse-San needed a hand to blindside her. She thought that a quick attack might afford you the chance you needed." Lucy jumped in and tightly hugged her blue-haired friend, startling her for a moment before Juvia smiled and gladly returned the embrace. She basked in it for a moment before her eyes snapped open and she yanked Lucy off her feet, "Look out!"
A tentacle came crashing down on the spot they once stood on. The Fairy girls quickly picked themselves up and looked up at Boro as he menacingly bared over them, "You didn't think you'd get to escape that easily, did you?"
Hoteye groaned as he picked himself up and glared the girls down as Angel snarled and tore the broken wings off her back. With all three of them approaching with murder in their eyes Lucy started to sweat, "O-Okay, we need a new plan."
"Lucy-San, do you have a Spirit strong enough to defeat all of them?" Juvia inquired, "Because Juvia isn't sure she can make enough water to drown that giant octopus."
"Enough water?" A lightbulb flashed over Lucy's head as a brilliant idea came to mind. She retrieved one of her Keys, "Juvia, can you give me a little water?"
"Of course, but why?"
"Pulling out the big guns! Sorry if this is uncomfortable." Juvia shifted her hand into water and Lucy placed the tip of the key into it before calling out, "Open! Gate of the Waterbearer! Aquarius!"
The water in Juvia's hand exploded upward as a beautiful blue-haired mermaid appeared carrying a large jug in her hand. As she gazed around at her surroundings and the Edolas warriors hesitated for a moment, Lucy confidently called out, "Aquarius, show these guys whose-"
A hand roughly clamped down on Lucy's head and roughly rotated her back to face her Spirit. Aquarius looked down at her with venom and spite, "Did you just summon me from the water of some woman?"
"T-That was my friend Juvia, she can use-"
"You're not answering me." Lucy trembled but slowly nodded, "Well I can't let you do that again. But I know just saying it won't change anything. So…" She pulled her water jug back, "I'm going to ingrain this lesson into your mind, body, and soul."
"Let this be a lesson to you; when you summon me…DON'T! USE! WATER! FROM PEOPLE!"
With a furious roar, Aquarius swung the jug out and sent a tidal wave of water flowing from space. Water that rushed out so wildly and with such ferocity that it carried Boro, Hoteye, and Angel away in the current.
As well as Juvia and Lucy.
Coco was lucky enough to be standing by Gildarts as he summoned an orb of stone around them to keep them grounded.
But unfortunately, the wave didn't stop there…
"I remember this dream being told to me since the moment I was cognizant of words." Naruto looked down as the king soliloquized at his side on their way to the lab, "Passed down from my father. And to him from his. And so on and so on until our records became nothing more than carving in the walls of caves." Faust looked off wistfully, "I thought one day I'd be able to entrust my son with this duty…but-"
"I understand, your majesty." The scarred blond man nodded, "There have been many sacrifices and tribulations for this day to come to fruition."
"Some even you gave willingly for the cause." Faust said as he saw Naruto gingerly rub his left arm, "My boy, this is a day to celebrate."
"Yes, sire. I only hope that after this day is through-"
"H-Hold on." Faust raised his stave and they stopped, "Do you hear that?"
Naruto heard the sound of something rumbling and growing louder as he looked back. When he saw the rushing tidal wave he immediately grabbed the king and ran, "Oh shit!"
"Dammit! We have no idea where to go!"
"If Gildarts was here we could have used his goggles to locate others in the castle."
"He's not here and we're on our own." Erza warned the others as she marched ahead, "We have to find something."
"Again, just pointing it out, we level everything and look through the rubble."
"For the last time, Jura, we shouldn't-"
"What's that noise?"
Erza, Naruto, Laxus, and Jura looked ahead as they felt something rumble along the floor.
In time to see a hallway full of water rush towards them.
"Ice Make: Stairs!" Gray swung out his hands, freezing the gooey ground that Sugarboy's sword had altered and raising a platform into the air. He quickly ran up the steps and jumped off the top one to jump onto a rollercoaster speeding by.
When he landed on it he quickly scrambled to the front despite the uneasy footing. There he found his pink-haired comrade, secured to the front with swirls in his eyes and his cheeks puffed up from nausea. Gray groaned before slamming his hands down on the locking mechanism and freezing it, "C'mon you idiot, we've been toying around with these guys for too long!"
When the securing post was shattered, Gray grabbed Natsu by the collar and jumped off the rollercoaster before landing on the ground. He dropped the Dragon Slayer on the floor as Natsu gagged and hocked up something in his mouth before growling, "I'M GETTING SICK OF THIS BIT!"
"But I still find the gag funny!" Hughes called out with a laugh, standing atop a carousel with some dried blood and bruises on his face, "Hey you think if I stick you on this thing you'll spew your lunch in every direction?"
"I'M GONNA BURN THAT THING TO SLAG BEFORE YOU EVEN GET THE CHANCE!"
"Hughes, please focus." Sugarboy warned with a delightful bit of campiness, despite his bloody nose and messed up pompadour, "We've been trying to wear them down for a while but you constantly toying with the pink one is just dragging things out."
The mixed-haired boy blew his lips before dropping on his butt, "Well excuse me for having a little fun."
"Well we've come this far," Midnight stepped up, barely even a scratch or scuff on his body as he raised his Reflective Force in hand, "Let's put an end to this quickly, shall we?"
"These guys are a pain in the ass." Gray noted as he pulled Natsu up by the shoulder, "That brat never gives us a moment to think! That weird guy makes everything soft! And the creepy guy sends everything we throw at him right back at our faces!"
"You need to hold the other two off."
"Huh?" He looked down at Natsu as the Dragon Slayer finally found his feet again and stood at his side, "What are you talking about?"
"That guy with the mirror?" Natsu cracked his knuckles and rolled his head around, "I'll take care of him myself. You hold back the other jerks."
"Hold them back?" Gray scoffed, "I'm taking care of two guys while you're pissing around with only one? Sounds like you just need me to handle the hard work."
Natsu frowned, "Hard work?! The guy with the mirror is tougher!"
"Barely tougher than one of the other guys! And I'm handling them both!"
"You suck and you know it!"
"You just know you'll get caught in another stupid ride and be a useless sack of flesh and puke!"
The Royal Army members stood aside in silent amusement as they watched the duo bicker and curse at each other. As Hughes chuckled, Sugarboy rubbed his chin, "I have a feeling they forgot where they were."
"Oh well, might as well remind them!" Hughes announced with a laugh, swinging his Command Tact with a flair as dozens of attractions singled in on them.
Sugarboy let out a faint chuckle and slammed Rosa Espada into the ground, sending a wave through the ground directly at them.
Both attacks narrowed in on the arguing Fairies-
Only to get blown away as Natsu incinerated the theme park attractions and Gray froze the ground in the middle of its movement. The two Fairies rushed ahead to encounter their foes. Natsu charged at Hughes while Gray beelined towards Sugarboy. Both Commanders prepared to meet them-
Before the Fairies suddenly converged in and swapped places.
Sugarboy was too surprised to react in time as Natsu kicked him in the chin and sent him flying. While Hughes clicked his teeth and twisted his Command Tact around so his attacks turned to Gray instead. The black-haired Fairy smirked and slammed his fist down on his palm as he jumped over the rollercoaster-
"Ice Make: Cage!"
He created a large cage that snapped down on the front car under him. And the sudden pressure on the first car caused all the ones behind it to slide and crash before they broke through the cage and were ruined completely. Gray landed with a smirk and rushed at Hughes.
"Oh, you bastard!" Hughes controlled a set of bumper cars that slid to his side. He jumped on top of one, hoping to gain some distance to summon more of his attractions to assault his enemy-
"Ice Make: Floor!"
A layer of ice suddenly spread out around Gray's hand and coated the floor in the direction the bumper cars were heading. Hughes suddenly felt his footing waver and slide uneasily before tipping completely. He had to jump off before he was caught in the spin. The moment he landed on his feet he turned to summon more attractions-
But Gray's palm clasped around the Lacrima weapon before it could summon anything. And Hughes' eyes widened in shock while the Fairy Mage smiled and froze the Command Tact completely before it shattered into pieces.
"No!" He looked down at the broken piece in his hand, "You bastard-"
Gray grabbed him by the collar and yanked him in before slamming his fist into the Commander's face. As Hughes hit the ground unconscious with a bloody nose, Gray cracked his knuckles, "Take a nap you little prick."
"Ha! Ha! Ha!" Sugarboy announced, swiping his sword and creating cuts through the ground that flew towards Natsu as he flipped around. The Commander clicked his teeth in irritation at trying to catch the quick Dragon Slayer, "Dammit! Stay still boy!"
"Well, maybe you should catch me!"
"You want to taste the edge of Rosa Espada?!" Sugarboy leaped into the air and brought the sword down on Natsu's head, "Then have it your way!"
But Natsu caught the blade between his hands before it could reach him. Sugarboy tried to push through his grasp and struggled for a moment before Natsu smirked and ignited his entire body in an inferno.
"This blade makes things gooey and soft, right? Do you think it'll work on flames?" Natsu increased the intensity of the fire around him as he grinned viciously, "What about this; do you think it'll stop my flames from getting hotter and hotter?! Wanna find out?!"
Rosa Espada grew red and then white hot from the intensity of his flames, and steam started to rise from the handle where Sugarboy's hand held the sword. He tried to power through the pain but his eyes started to twitch before he finally let go, "IT BURNNNNNNSSS!"
Natsu tossed the sword aside before clasping his hands in front of him, "Guess my flames beat your sword! Too bad! Fire Dragon's Brilliant Flame!"
A giant fireball engulfed Sugarboy before exploding and blowing him back across the giant hall. The Fourth Commander skid across the floor before coming to a stop, his pompadour frazzled and messy as he laid unconscious on the ground.
Natsu caught his breath before looking over at their last adversary. Midnight stood aside, wearing an amused smile while his comrades were defeated at their hands.
The Dragon Slayer rushed forward and puffed out his chest-
"Fire Dragon's Roar!"
A plume of flames rushed out of his mouth and straight at Midnight. The calm young man raised his mirror and absorbed the blast before sending it back out at Natsu. The Dragon Slayer was swallowed up entirely by the rush of flames he had sent.
The moment they died out, Natsu clicked his teeth and rushed in with his fist raised, "Fire Dragon's Iron Fist!" It slammed into the mirror and suddenly the same force was released back at him. He went flying through the air before landing and swinging out his arms, "Fire Dragon's Wing Attack!"
The wave of fire he sent flying at Midnight was sucked in and returned once again. Midnight sighed as he watched Natsu get hit with his attack, "Is there something about doing this over and over to yourself that you just find so amusing-"
"Fire Dragon's Brilliant Flame!"
Natsu clasped his hands together and thrust forward, launching a devastating fireball at Midnight that was immediately sent back. The Edolas Mage was about to sigh from exhaustion-
Before he noticed something flying through the air and quickly moved his head. He looked back to see a piece of a shattered tile skittering along the ground after being thrown at his face.
"Oh, you didn't just reflect that?" Midnight looked back as the smoke settled to reveal a smirking Natsu, "You dodged? I wonder why? Is it because…you can't reflect non-magical things?"
Midnight scowled at him, "I don't know what you think you've discovered, but don't push your-"
"Ice Make: Cannon!"
Gray created his bazooka and fired a powerful rush of ice and snow. But instead of aiming at Midnight, it slammed into Natsu's back and sent him flying at the Edolas Mage in a rush. And before he could make any kind of reaction, Natsu was on him and punched him square in the face.
They both went flying across the floor before Midnight slammed into the ground roughly while Natsu slid to a stop. As he shrugged off the ice and snow that covered his back, Gray walked up to his side to face down Midnight as he picked himself up, "So that's it, huh? You can reflect magic attacks but not physical ones?"
"Then you're shit out of luck, guy." Natsu cracked his knuckles, "Because, alongside collateral damage, Fairy Tail specializes in beatings and brawls!"
"Ugh, you bastards." Midnight spat up some blood and wiped his chin before standing back up to face them down, "Do you think discovering that weakness has changed anything? You think I'll give you a chance to hit me?" Midnight scowled and shook his head, "As long as I still draw breath, I will keep fighting until that Lacrima is…"
All three men paused for a moment as they heard a strange rumbling shake the ground. They looked towards the hallway they came from before they reached the amusement park area-
Just in time to face a tidal wave rushing towards them at full force.
"I found her!" Coco called out to Gildarts and she ran through the waterlogged hallways and debris to push a swirly-eyed Lucy on her side. The blonde was mumbling and whispering an apology to Aquarius before the shorter girl called back to the old Fairy, "Have you found anyone else?"
"Not yet." Gildarts answered, "I thought Juvia was close to her but she might have been carried-" Gildarts slipped and nearly tumbled flat on his back before looking down, "Oh, never mind! Found her!"
"Gray-sama~," The moaning puddle under his feet groaned, "That was amazing~. Juvia can't feel anything~."
"D-Do I need a bucket?"
"I'll check on them! Please keep looking for anyone else!" Gildarts nodded and headed further down as Coco looked between the spot Juvia laid as a puddle and Lucy by her side. She wrapped her arms around Lucy's chest just under her breasts and pulled her along. She nearly slipped out of her grasp if her arms didn't slide up to meet two large patches of resistance, "Wow those are big."
She dropped her down by the Juvia puddle and could see both women were too dazed out of it to realize what was happening. Coco took a deep breath and yelled, "Wake up!"
She clapped her hand on the puddle while slapping Lucy wildly. After a moment Lucy finally shot up in surprise, "W-What happened?!"
Juvia emerged from the puddle with a groan, "But Gray-sama was just here, wasn't he?" She looked around before noticing Coco, "Coco-San?"
"You both saved us. Your attack blew Boro, Sorano, and Richard away. Along with…a lot of the castle." She looked around and sweated at the sheer devastation the tidal wave they sent rushing through the castle caused, "But you and your friends might be able to stop what's happening."
"Huh?" Lucy rubbed her head, "What are you talking about?"
"I-I want my world to have magic, but I didn't want to lose Lily in the process. A-And thinking about it, we're hurting all your friends the same way, aren't we?" Coco reached into her belt and retrieved the large key. She looked down at it sadly before looking at Juvia, "You were right. We wanted magic but…we've become so greedy that we'll sacrifice everything and everyone to get it. And I-I don't want that. So…"
She held the key out to them as they looked between it and her in surprise.
"Let me help you."
It was startling to wake up in the water. It was such a sudden and shocking experience that she nearly felt like she was drowning right then and there.
The water seemed to continue forever, and she couldn't find the right direction to swim up and find air. She held her breath for as long as she could and continued to stay conscious even after the bubbles slipped out of her lips.
But finally, the rush of water ended and she found herself lying naked on the ground in a soaking mess. Coughing and gagging, spitting up what felt like a gallon of water before she could take a breath. And when she did she greedily sucked it in like she was starved for oxygen.
This…this would not stand.
This humiliation. This defeat. This indignation.
Her fingers dragged along the soaking wet floor as her other hand tightly gripped the spear she refused to release even as she nearly drowned. And with a growl, her foe's name groaned out of her throat…
There was more to this chapter but my god it was getting long. I had to cut it in two. Hopefully the next part won't have to wait too long.
Thank You and Bye