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Kayla is separated from her little brother by a dark guild master and now she's fighting for a way to find him. Bickslow knows he's lost his sister, but now he has to save a friend.

Action / Adventure
SI Waters
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Family Ties

Screaming. An endless torrent of rain. Rivers made of blood and water. The world seemed to separate itself and two children clung to the other, praying they would be delivered to safety. They could hear shouting round the corner of the next house and they slid down behind a box in the street. As people ran past the mud pulled at their feet, making loud suction noises as it tried to keep them in one spot. Cloaks swirled around them and the two children pulled each other closer. The house behind them caught fire and the sister picked up her little brother, struggling away before they too dried enough to catch flame. She ran through the streets, her dress was torn and the long sleeves of fabric annoyed her as they slid across her skin. She shifted her smaller brother on her hip as she attempted to keep running.

A few men charged through the alleyway in front of her and she reeled back, stumbling on her ragged clothes and falling into the mud. Her little brother rolled away from her and she scrambled to reach him before the adults did. He didn’t dare make a sound as she pulled him back up and they hid in the doorway of the nearest house. She reached up and pushed her long hair back out of her face so the water was no longer running down the strands into her eyes. She let out a slow breath, water spewing from her lips, she lifted a muddy hand to wipe it away. The girl gently bent down to her brother’s level and slid her muddy thumbs against his cheeks, the stick figure birthmark was extremely familiar to her still young eyes. She slid her fingers through his dark blue hair, his green eyes looking up to meet hers.

“I’m not going to let anything bad happen to you, understand that?” She whispered and he nodded. “We’re going to get out of here safe and everything will be alright.”

He had a strange habit of letting his tongue hang out of his mouth whenever he smiled and this smile was no exception. The older sister smiled and pressed a firm kiss to the top of his head before lifting him into her arms once again as she prepared to run the final stretch.

“Happy Birthday!” Priscilla and Richie cheered looking down at their two small children. They were a pair of boy and girl twins, the girl with soft blond hair and her barely elder brother with a sandy dirty blond. Sanmari giggled happily, clapping her hands excitedly as a party hat was placed on her slim face. Max took his off almost immediately and started to crush it, no interest in simple favors, he just wanted the cake in his seven year old stomach.

Priscilla reached over and tucked a lock of blonde hair behind her daughter’s ear as her husband began to cut up the cake. Two boxes were sitting next to each other and both kids knew they were for them, but they’d have to wait until after cake to open them.

When they finally did get to see what was in the boxes, the twins were mildly disappointed. They knew their family didn’t have much, but this was the lowest of the low. Sanmari and Max Alors looked at each other as they stared at the matching set of necklaces. Put together they made a small friend pair, their twins name engraved on the front. At the top were the characters to make the word “twins” so they would forever be connected. When they turned them over Sanmari’s read Imouto while Max’s said Onii, so they would never forget who was the oldest of the pair.

“Thanks mom,” Sanmari whispered running her thumb over Max’s name.

“You’re welcome sweetheart.” She looked at Max expectantly who gave her a smile and slung the silver chain around his neck.

It was a couple weeks later when Sanmari’s and Max’s lives would change for the worse. In the streets of the market they were attending, there was one dark man who slunk only through the shadows. They had stopped at a few of the stalls, but they had found nothing they needed quite yet, nor did they have any money for the children’s many wants of colorful jewelry and small toys. It wasn’t until something small caught Sanmari’s eye that anything began to really take a downward turn.

Sanmari had stopped and picked up the item, it had an intricately carved base with a large bubble top made of out of glass. Inside the globe was a model of a large building, a flag flying off one of the top levels with a symbol she didn’t recognize. The name tag carved into the base told her the snow globe was titled “Fairy Tail,” but it didn’t make any sense to her. She looked up only to find her mom and brother missing, she set the globe back down and attempted to spot them through the thick crowd.

“Mommy!” Sanmari yelled out loudly, she thought she faintly heard her name yelled from several stalls over and she started to push through the crowd. Just as she had spotted her brother, an arm snaked around her waist and pulled her back away from them.

“Sanmari!” Max called after her in shock.

“Mommy!” Sanmari screamed as the man began to run. “Max!”

“Sanmari!” Her mother screamed after her and people started to turn, realizing the child had just been kidnapped in the middle of the crowded street. “Sanmari!”

It was still raining when Kera could see the lights of a city up ahead. Bickslow had fallen asleep on her shoulder and she was exhausted from carrying him so far. She stumbled down the hill, heading for the brightest lights. A woman was just closing the doors of a large building, she had beautiful blonde hair and brilliant blue eyes.

“Help me,” Kera cried out. The woman didn’t seem to hear her. “Help me, please.”

She set Bickslow on the ground and tried to move forward but a strong hand gripped her arm. The person pulled her into an alleyway, her scream making the woman turn and notice her motionless brother. Her kidnapper’s hand covered her mouth to keep her from crying out and notifying the woman of their presence. The blonde ran and scooped up the child, Kera’s eyes watering as she watched her brother being taken from her in such an unfair situation. Her captor turned her around, a wicked smile pressed into his dark and oily face. He looked like a ghoul and Kera wished she would die then and there.

“You’ll be joining my guild today miss.”

Kera was shivering, the guild was absolutely freezing and she had next to no clothes, only the scrap of a dress which she had managed to escape in while carrying her brother. The man before her, if she was completely honest, terrified her to no end. She felt like he would beat her if she was bad and the shape of his face, along with the way his mustache and beard outlined it, made her never want to see another man with facial hair. She brought her hands up to her forearms in an attempt to protect and warm herself, but to no avail. Surprisingly, despite his cold eyes, he tossed some clothes towards her.

“I collected these from the guild members. They were extras members could spare, I hope they are your size.” He told her quietly and she held the shirt up. It was a turtleneck with no sleeves, a small fur lined jacket was on the floor at her feet and went surprisingly well with the chosen shirt. The pants which were splayed across her lap looked as though they had come from one of the men of the guild as they had many more pockets than girls clothing would have. Finally, there was a small pair of worn, but still in good condition, high top boots made of black leather with a steel toe.

“Thank you,” Kera whispered as she pulled the clothes toward her. She didn’t dare change in front of such a disgusting man, but they felt warm and she was every so tempted to just quickly pull them on and get it over with. Kera held back, however, and told herself it would be best to wait it out.

“I’m Jose, this is my guild Phantom Lord. I’ve brought you here to join my guild as I can sense you have a very powerful magic within you. I will give you food and a home here, but you will have to work for most of your keep as all wizards do. What do you say?”

“Thank you again sir, I would be glad to join your guild.” Kera said it in almost perfect monotone, they both knew she was in no position to decline his offer. Jose was particularly glad that she showed the aptitude to understand this point. As their eyes met, Kera pushed her dark hair back, it was nearly dry and curling upwards into her face. The guild master smiled a grin which made her want to throw up, why had he chosen her of all people?

Bickslow gasped as he awoke, warm and in a soft bed with blankets. He shoved them off in fright, he had no idea where he was and inside the well-furnished room he couldn’t see his sister anywhere. It looked like he was in the guest room of a house considering it was void of any personal decoration. Bickslow put his feet on the hardwood floor and started to patter over to the door when he noticed what he was wearing.

The pajamas were obviously not his, he couldn’t remember ever owning a pair of soft sleeping pants with lightning bolts on them, nor could he remember owning a faded white shirt with the words “Property of Laxus” written on it. The writing was messy and Bickslow wondered who the owner of the t-shirt, Laxus, really was. Certainly his sister didn’t know anyone with such a strange name. Just as he made to reach for the door, it was opened and Bickslow stumbled backwards in surprise.

“Oh you’re awake.” The woman said pleasantly. She had beautiful long blond hair and white hanging diamond earrings. Her hair was pulled up into a lovely partial pony tail, and her smile was one of the kindest Bickslow had encountered. “I found you in the street last night completely passed out. I’m Mimei Dreyar, what’s your name?”

“Bickslow, do you know where my sister is?”


“My sister, she and I escaped from the attack on our home. Our parents were killed in the hallway, we walked past their bodies-” he was very distressed and tears were starting to form in the corners of his green eyes. “I want my sister!”

“She wasn’t with you when I found you,” Mimei attempted to explain, scared as pieces of the room started to shudder slightly due to the magical power undercurrent of the stressed child. “We’ll go out and look for her together, okay? How does that sound.”

Bickslow calmed slightly at her words and Mimei took the opportunity to place her hands on his shoulders and gently rub his back in comfort. She bent down to his level and combed a hand through his tuft of dark blue hair.

“I have a son named Laxus, he’s going to undergo surgery soon. Do you want to meet him?”

“Yes please ma’am, but why does he need surgery?”

“Well, in one of my missions as a mage for the guild Laxus’ grandfather is in charge of, I came upon a Dragon Slaying Lacrima crystal. Usually the lacrima’s only form inside a child before their birth, but this one wasn’t. With a very careful procedure, we’ll be implanting it inside Laxus so he can be a Dragon Slayer. He’ll be one of the first test subjects of this method for infusing magic inside a human.”

“That’ll be really cool he if can control it,” Bickslow told her excitedly, not completely understanding everything she told him. All he knew was Laxus was going to get a powerful piece of magic and he wanted to be a part of that.

“Come on, I’ll introduce the two of you and then we’ll go looking for your sister.”

Once Kera had put on the new and dry clothes, she peered around the corner of the bathroom door. Seeing no one in the hallway she exited and quickly trotted towards the front of the guild. She gently pushed the door open and came out behind one of the tables in a darkened corner of the guild. A few of those residing at the table turned to look at her, but she moved past them quickly and took a seat at one of the tables near the doors of the guild. Above the lip of her turtleneck, a small patch of a blue guild mark could be spotted. Kera pushed herself down into the chair to try and hid a little more, unsure of what to do. She didn’t even know what magic she could use.

“Hi, what’s your name?” Kera jumped in surprise as another girl around the same age as her sat in front of her at the table. She had beautiful auburn hair, just enough red mixed with curling brown. She had bright blue eyes which offset everything else about her and made Kera feel surprisingly at ease.

“I’m Kera, I just joined the guild.” She explained. The girl leaned across the table to whisper in Kera’s ear.

“Did Jose kidnap you too?” Kera looked at the girl once more with new and widened eyes before slowly nodding.

“I’m Melissade, you’ll be my friend right?” Melissade asked leaning back in the bench. Kera nodded nervously and the girl smiled at her. Kera’s eyes glanced around the guild and she saw several children both older and younger than her, but one particular child stood out against the rest. The little boy had to be around 6 or 7 and his face was covered in piercings, as well as his arms. Perhaps the guild wasn’t completely dark after all.

“You’re going into surgery today then.” Bickslow stated as he kicked his legs back and forth on the wooden swing outside the Fairy Tail guild hall.

“Yeah, my dad returned home just for this day so he could be the one to do it.” Laxus kicked at the dirt, a small pebble rolling across the ground as he leaned up against the tree. He was wearing leopard print and his hair was pulled down over his face to try and hide any emotions. Bickslow knew Laxus looked up to his father Ivan and he trusted that his friend would be safe throughout the process.

“Good luck,” Bickslow told him as the guild doors opened and Mimei waved him over. It was now or never for them all. Ivan Dreyar, Laxus’ father, came outside to collect him. Seven year old Laxus gave a small wave to his friend and followed his father around the back of the guild where the process would take place.

If Laxus was honest with himself, he was scared to death of what was about to happen. His father and mother had tried explaining the process, there was no need for actually cutting his body open which was nice, but at the same time the lacrima would have to be pushed through his chest and into place just below his beating heart. The dry grass crinkled under his feet and a few dry leaves fluttered down around them like rain. About a hundred yards back from the guild was a wooden table already set up for the merging.

Ivan lifted his son onto the table, which was next to a smoking box. He leaned away from it slightly, worried about what the lacrima was like to be giving off so much white and fluttering smoke. Mimei gently placed her hands on his shoulders and helped him remove his shirt, once the material was moved away she gently pulled him back so he was laying down on the table. Laxus was trying his best not to squirm, but he didn’t want to do this anymore. When his father opened the smoking box he tried to jump away but his mother pushed him back down onto the wood, maintaining enough pressure to make sure his upper body didn’t move again. It was a few seconds before Laxus realized that the reason the box had been smoking was because the lacrima had been set on Dry Ice inside it and it was not the lacrima at all. He calmed slightly, but when his father placed the cool and burning object on his chest he cried out and Mimei re-pressurized her grip on the small boy.

Unbeknownst to the three Bickslow had followed them around the side of the guild and was watching the scene from behind a tree. He could see Laxus writhing on the table, his legs kicking out in pain as he tried to reject the lacrima which was slowly being pushed through his skin. He managed to kick his father in the chest and Ivan was pushed backwards about a foot from the force. He moved to the side of the table so he would be away from Laxus’ continuingly flailing body. Mimei was trying to whisper comforting words in her son’s ear, but he was having none of it as he screamed in pain. It was a torturous few minutes while the process was being completed, by the time the last part of the lacrima disappeared through Laxus’ chest the boy seemed to have been quite physically exhausted. Ivan kept his hands pressed firmly on Laxus’ chest for another short while before the boy’s eyes snapped open in alarm as the lacrima seemed to give his heart a small jump start.

Mimei released her hold and as Laxus began to sit up the sky darkened and lightening started to cascade around the entire area, even reaching the guild and striking it several times, part of the roof caught fire. Laxus screamed in pain and the lightning seemed to bend towards him. Ivan threw himself under the wooden table, and Mimei tried to grab Laxus but as she reached forward a bolt of lightning struck in the dead center of her back. She cried out and Laxus turned just as all the lightening hit different points on his body causing him to scream. The guild members rushed to the yard, but several retreated back inside at the sight of the lightning storm. Bickslow had himself curled down under the large tree as he attempted to protect himself from the ferocious storm which almost seemed to be emitting to Laxus only.

A bolt split through the sky, heading straight for the child who was attempting to stand up and it connected with his head. Laxus went flying backwards off of the table and he screamed in pain as his right hand came up to cover his right eye. Blood was pouring down his face and between the cracks of his fingers as he rolled over onto his stomach on the dry grass. Ivan was still cowering under the table while Mimei lay motionless on the ground, eyes wide in shock and her hair fluttering upwards with the passing of electric currents through her body.

“Laxus!” Makarov yelled, running across the yard as the lightening started to fade. The small man picked up his grandchild who had collapsed, still bleeding. Ivan slowly crawled out from under the table, he was staring at Mimei who was still lying much too still.

“Mimei?” Ivan whispered reaching out a hand to touch his wife.

“She’s dead,” Makarov whispered, he had seen the bolt strike her and had watched her fall.

“This wasn’t supposed to happen,” Ivan gently grasped Mimei’s arm and rolled her over onto her back.

“You told me you were willing to make any sacrifice to give your son the chance of being a dragon slayer. As a Fairy Tail wizard you cannot back out on your words now. You lost your wife for the sake of making a new life for your son, you can’t stop living now.” Makarov was walking back to the guild, leaving his son at the table, when he turned to face a tree. “Bickslow, please go get Porlyuscia.”

Bickslow stepped out from behind the tree and nodded at the guild master before running off down the road. Fairy Tail wouldn’t quite be the same as it was before.

Kera screamed. Her body was burning and freezing simultaneously; she was in pain and begging for sweet relief, but knew that it would not come unless she relieved herself of her morals. She shuddered as a drop of blood began to run down her arm, tickling her armpit as it continued its downward path, only stopped by the slip of fabric which could barely be seen as a dress. She took a deep breath, dark green eyes reaching up to meet with the cold black ones in front of her.

“Have you learned your lesson yet?” Jose snarled, knife glinting in his hand the sharp edge dulled by the dark red, copper color of her blood.

“I don’t want to bow to a man who sees another’s life as unimportant.” Kera whispered, knowing all her words would bring was more pain.

“Then we will simply have to change your way of thinking.”

Kera shuddered in the cold air filtering into the room, she had heard screams earlier coming from somewhere close by in the building she’d been harbored in for over a month now. The walls were extremely thin and it made it hard to sleep at night when screams would filter through. Jose, it seemed, never slept, only worked towards achieving his end goal. She wasn’t quite sure of what the end goal was, though, but she felt the need to resist and yet cave in. Filtering though the dark cage, she used her hands to feel her way around the dusty floor, her finger long since turned black from this process. She froze when her fingers came in contact with something sticky on the floor. Shocked and appalled she stood upright, holding her hands out in front of her as she rushed to the only sliver of light in the room to try and see what she had just touched.

In horror, she stared down at the red staining her fingers and wished she never would’ve wanted to know. There was so much blood from the room next door it had actually seeped into her cell. Turning back she could now clearly see the large pool of blood and she threw up on the spot disgusted. Gasping for air and still dry heaving, now sitting in her own pool of sick, she waited for the news of whether the person next door had passed away. Shoes clicked on the stone floor and she looked up to see Jose smiling down at her with his cruel grin.

“I apologize for the mess, they are still alive, but only just. I’m afraid things went just a little too far-” Jose drifted off staring down at her heaving form as she attempted to keep herself from further terror. “Do you have an answer for me yet?”

Kera looked back and the floor behind her and then up into the eyes of the guild master. She suddenly wasn’t sure what she feared more, but knew that neither would end in happiness.

“I will fight for Phantom Lord and its master’s wishes,” she whispered her voice hoarse, fists clenched from the pain of saying it with such conviction.

“Wonderful,” Jose hissed, before unlocking the door.

Melissade was unconscious for two weeks after her initial torture. Jose had gotten a little carried away and ended up removing too much of her body and her blood had gone everywhere. He didn’t consider her use a total loss, however, after all the girl was still alive and Melissade’s near murder had convinced a rarity to join his ever growing ranks. Jose leaned back in his chair, pressing his fingertips together as he thought. While he had had to pay out a large sum of money to a doctor to bring in skin grafts and repair the damage done to the girl, with a big check to the doctor for keeping quiet, he knew she would quickly earn it back with interest.

Now she was awake, Melissade didn’t seem much like resisting and neither did Kera; especially so after he had found the fourth generation dragon slayer bathed in her own throw up with Melissade’s blood seeping ever more behind her. It had been extremely hard to clean up, the floor was still stained red but hard to see in the dim light so he considered it good enough for the time being. He would now have to nurture and culture the children to never disobeying his word again. Their power could only grow under his dark care, but he had no clue who would be suited to train them in this position.

Jose was sick of waiting to instigate them into missions, but heading out as they were now they would be of no use to him. Cursing under his breath Jose made another move on the chess board in front of him, trying to clear his thoughts. Perhaps it would be best to move everyone forward a few years, he could no longer wait for the children to be moving into their teen years when he asked if they would kill for him. No, they would have to be much, much younger. He would have to corrupt them before they have time to gain any morals. Jose’s mouth twisted into his familiar sick smile. His first move would be against the small children just introduced into the guild not too long ago, and his first subject was standing just outside his door. Gajeel Redfox, the boy who came to him.

Sanmari felt like she’d just been thrown into the middle of a pack of wolves. People stared at her from all around the room and she moved slowly, attempting to not attract any more attention to her small frame. Clutching at the baggy neckline of the new clothes Jose had given her, she moved around the edges of the room searching for a quiet spot where people wouldn’t bother her. A hand suddenly came out of nowhere and landed on her shoulder, she jumped violently and turned waiting to see someone else attempting her kidnap. Instead it was a teenager, she was obviously several years older than Sanmari and her arms were covered in short thin lines curving around her arms in a twisting pattern.

“I’m Kera, this is Melissade, and Sarai. Do you want to sit with us? I promise we don’t bite.” Her soft hazel eyes made Sanmari want to trust her, especially considering one of the others she’d introduced had to be fairly close to her age and the other with blue hair not too many years older. Kera’s dark chocolate hair shimmered in the dark light as it curled softly into her collarbone. It swished as she turned towards their table.

“What’s your name?” The girl around Kera’s age asked, her dark red hair was straight and she kept it tucked behind her ears out of ease for seeing.

“Alors Sanmari,” she said quietly, threading her fingers together.

“No need to be so formal Sanmari,” Kera giggled. “We’re all friends here at this table, you band together and then never go out any farther. Now you’re with us it won’t be wise to speak with anyone else.”

“Why did Jose kidnap me?” Sanmari asked, dark hazel eyes shimmered with unshed tears.

“It can be hard to say honestly, all we know for sure is that the girls here have been kidnapped while the men generally find their way here on their own.” Melissade explained quietly attempting to make sure they weren’t overheard.

“At any rate, this building is connected to the sleeping quarters. No outside residencies are allowed. Girls sleep to the east and boys to the west.” Sarai told her, when their eyes met they could tell right away they wouldn’t be getting along easily. Sensing the start of a fight, though not sure what would have triggered such an emotion, Melissade lifted her hands and quickly put herself between them as a kind barrier.

“Tomorrow you’ll start training with us,” she smiled. “Jose-sama will be looking to get you working on missions and bringing in revenue as fast as possible. He rewards us for our good work.”

“I don’t wanna work for my kidnapper,” Sanmari cried, her voice carrying a little more than she meant for it to go.

“Jose doesn’t go easy on anyone who defies him, even if he kidnapped them. It’s a rough life but we’ll do our best to protect you for now.” Kera told her, her soft voice comforting. “You’ll be okay.”

Sanmari was definitely not okay. Her arms ached from hanging above her head for so long and her body was still racked with chills as her naked back faced her captor. Her feet hovered several inches above the floor and her hazel eyes had long since gone grey as they hazed over to block out the stinging pain. She had lost track of how long she’d been in this room, but it no longer mattered. Sanmari cried out, hands balling into fists as the worn and barbed leather connected with her back once more. She had once been counting the strokes of the whip with which Jose was beating her, but she’s soon lost track as days withered away in her mind with no real sense to time.

Her worn hands, gripped at the chains tying her to the ceiling, attempting to get a grip on the reality at hand but quickly letting go again when she realized several barb pieces were still stuck in her back. Her hands slipped against the rusty chains and she felt warm blood slide down her fingers and over her palm, dripping down her wrist and into her blonde hair. Gasping, she swallowed thickly unable to really produce any saliva due to lack of food and water. The sound of the whip cracking stopped and Sanmari allowed herself to slide back into reality for only a moment, trying to figure out what was going on. Jose was talking in a hushed voice at the door of her cell, but she couldn’t make out what he was saying nor the voice of whoever he was talking to.

“It seems I have some urgent matters to attend to, I will be back later.” Jose announced sweeping the door open and slamming it shut. Sanmari balked, he had not loosed her from the ceiling like he normally did and she was still stark naked. Feeling dirty all over, she swallowed down the acid her stomach was trying to eject as it had nothing left. Tears spilled from her eyes and down her cheeks, stinging her cracked lower lip.

She thought back to the promise her friends had made her at the very beginning of her time as a member of Phantom Lord. Sniffing hard, in order to try and keep snot from running into her mouth, she understood how their words had been meant to provide comfort in her first dark moment. The older ones had already been through something like this and knew it would not get any easier, but they had still tried to ease her childish mind. Sanmari knew what she had to do, it was the only way she could survive from this moment onward.

Sarai bit her lip, tasting thick blood, in order to keep herself from screaming out as the hot iron pan was pressed against her lower back. As she released the breath she’d been holding, her tongue made a small clicking noise that seemed to please Jose as he set the pan back on the burning coals in the corner of the room. She considered herself extremely lucky having been given the blessing of wearing pants while locked away in her cell, her cold brown eyes met Jose’s black ones as he leered at her. Her hands were tied above her head on the table and she had to crane her neck to even look at him properly, her feet held down at the opposite end.

“Are we giving an answer yet?”

“Who’s first?”

Sanmari couldn’t hold back the tears any longer, she had been chained up like this for what felt like many extremely long hours. With nothing but darkness and the pain in her back to keep her company, she had started to realize what Jose wanted her to do and what she would have to do to stay alive.

“Gomen,” she whispered in the dark, stretching her toes to try and reach the dank floor and relieve some pressure off her wrists. “Gomenasai.”

She started to take calming breaths, letting her body go entirely limp so she could forget all temporal things. I’m sorry Otousan, Sanmari thought, a tear slipping down her grimy cheek as the smiling image of her father infiltrated her mind. I’m sorry Okaasan. Her mother’s kind smile and lovely hair wafted through her mind and then slipped away with her father, she was forgetting and letting all her happy memories go with them as so to save herself from the continued horror. Please nii-san, find me. Sanmari tried to hold onto the image of her twin brother, Max, as long as she possibly could but just like her parents he became a part of the dark void. Forgive me Minna, was her final thought as even the guild members slipped from her memory, one by one they reappeared but as people she would use to achieve her means, they were all enemies vying for the same goal. When Sanmari’s eyes opened again they were clear of all the fog from before, they were darker than they had been before and her murderous intent was quite clear.

“I see you’ve come to a conclusion then.” Jose laughed in the hall, having just appeared in front of her cell door and taken a look at the way her body has stiffened of its own accord to match her attitude. As the chains released and slid away she dropped to the ground, turning to face Jose he knew he had achieved his goal. She was the perfect disposable weapon.

It was another two years before Phantom Lord received another dark and gloomy member. Gajeel, Kera, Sarai, and Melissade were all good friends and when they saw this girl they knew she’d been kidnapped just like them. She was around Gajeel’s age and she looked extremely lonely; for the longest time after her arrival it would not stop raining which made the guild sadder than it generally was. Another thing that it did, was make it hard for any of them to leave on missions designed by Jose.

Kera had been inducted into missions for a long while now, now that her initial torture with Jose was over. She had refused to do missions when he first gave them to her because they involved killing people, people she had no clue were good or bad. After she had spent days tied to a table with nothing but a slip of fabric covering her, while Jose ran a knife along her arms and legs, she didn’t have much heart to really disobey the guild master. Sanmari had long since abandoned them; after her friend was taken in much earlier to the chambers than her she had a feeling it would go awry. The girl was deranged and only nine years old. Sanmari was away on a mission and Kera was honesly glad because it was like she was a reigning queen while there. Already S-Class and a part of Jose’s elites, they saw no sense in running with a true wolf. Rubbing her eyes Kera adjusted her position so she wasn’t so uncomfortable standing in the open guild doorway. She was staring out at the rain soaked road which was now dark mud with large puddles, the ground acting like cement.

She turned away from the door and looked over the guild, Gajeel was sitting quietly in his corner munching on the scrap metal which had been collected specifically for him by the guild members. Melissade had yet to return from her solo mission, Gajeel had been training with her of late, but it was especially hard to train in the midst of the guild. In the corner near Gajeel’s table was the newest guild member, her head was down and her hands were moving, making something she couldn’t see at this distance.

Slowly, Kera took a few steps towards the girl, she could feel Gajeel watching her. She sat down at the table lightly and the girl jumped, startled to see someone approach her so easily. Her brown eyes were wide as she stared up at Kera, blue hair hanging down into her eyes so she almost couldn’t see. Her head quickly fell back down to her work and Kera leaned in slightly to try and glimpse what she was working on. Sitting on the bench next to her were about seven ter teru bozu dolls and she was working on an eighth.

“Hey, are you wishing the rain would stop too?” Kera asked quietly scooting a little closer. The child nodded and Kera smiled, glad she wasn’t against responding. “I’m Kera, do you have a name?”

“Juvia is Juvia Lockser,” she whispered so quietly Kera thought she had missed it completely.

“It’s nice to meet you Juvia, you have very pretty hair.”

“Thank you,” she replied, hands moving in a practiced manner as she finished off a ninth teru teru bozu.

“Do you mind if I trim your bangs up so we can see your face better? I would hate for a pretty face like yours to go to waste.” She gently tilted Juvia’s face up and she went red, it was obvious no one had treated her with this much kindness before. Juvia nodded slowly and Kera leaned over to Gajeel’s table and started rummaging through his scrap pile for something useful. The kid glared at her and she glared right back, as another Dragon Slayer, Kera was the only one allowed to touch his stuff. “Were you really going to eat scissors?”

Gajeel shrugged, having been surprised Kera actually managed to find something like scissors in his pile of scrap metal. Rolling her eyes, the older child turned back to Juvia with a smile.

“He seems rough around the edges, but he’s really a sweetheart on the inside.” Kera placed a hand on her much paler one and pulled gently. “Come on, let’s get you all cleaned up.”

The rain stopped.

“I heard you attacked Fairy Tail, Gajeel.” One of the guild members announced loudly, his high pitched voice grating its way into everyone’s ears. Gajeel was sitting alone at one of the table munching on his large pile of scrap iron. His eyes slid over the table where Kera was sitting with her three friends, Sanmari had been seriously messed up over the course of the years and he’d separated himself for their sake, this man, in turn, would never understand and Gajeel might just have to teach him a hard lesson in the place of Jose. Then the man continued, his voice really cutting into him the wrong way. “I bet they’re feeling mighty blue as we speak! Serves ‘em right, though!”

Unable to control himself, knowing Fairy Tail has deserved none of their hatred, but not in a position to defy Jose he lashed out at the man. His left arm turning into a large pillar and smashing him away knocking out several teeth as he flew across the make shift guild hall. It was very dimly lit but after years trapped in the same place it was easy to keep track of everything going on. The guild tittered in excitement as they watched the ruthless Kurogane Gajeel give yet another guild member a talking to.

“Don’t talk to me when I’m eating. How many time do I have to say it? Scum!” Gajeel turned standing firm and tall, muscles rippling and his Phantom Lord tattoo highlighted in the dim lighting. Sanmari shuddered over at her table, suddenly scared of her friend and his sharp eyes didn’t fail to miss it, but he had to ignore it. “Who cares about those Fairy Asses? We’re the strong ones.”

Gajeel truly did think they were mentally stronger than Fairy Tail, not particularly in power and muscle wise. They had suffered much at the hands of Jose and he could smell the guild master about to take his step out onto the scene. Fear was already sinking into his heart and the hearts of those around him as distinct power twisted across the floor licking at their ankles. Gajeel hardened his face and kept himself from reacting, however, a show of how he had long since learned to shut out Jose and his dark power.

“The embers have been spread.” Jose said quietly, but no one in the room was speaking and they could hear him as though he had just shouted. “That was splendid work, Gajeel.”

Gajeel curled his fists in tighter, it was not good work. It was the work of the damned and he knew his soul would be damned for even placing himself in this position. He had to keep pushing through and playing the part, because if he didn’t then Sanmari would be sent back out and her mind couldn’t take much more before she would be permanently damaged. Nor could Kera or the others, they’d all been through so much yet they had to keep playing as though they had all willingly and excitedly accepted Jose and his charge.

“You’re too soft, Master. That won’t be enough to stir up those lowlifes.” Gajeel laughed darkly letting his tongue slide away from his true thoughts, spinning thick lies. He knew with his next words he was sealing his own fate, having not wanted to do it in the first place, but knowing Jose would not be pleased if his simpleton actions had not been enough to start the war needed. Attacking at night had been a moment of weakness, but this time he’d really done it, he’d sunk to the lowest point he could possibly imagine himself in. “That’s why I left them one more present…”

“Well, I’ll be…” Jose grinned wickedly at him, his face twisting at the excited prospect he had perhaps completely brought over another mind into complete commitment like Sanmari had been. “Just be sure to leave you-know-who alive…”

Gajeel laughed and then turned away, he knew he was being sent to keep an eye on Fairy Tail and wait to report on their actions after what he’d done. The smile on Jose’s face at said it all. A hundred meters out from the guild Gajeel threw up, trying to get rid of the sick feeling in his stomach from having to follow such grotesque orders to remain alive. Wiping his mouth with the back of his glove, he continued on his way attempting to harden his heart for further performances.
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