Darkness

The Council and Tenroujima

“I’m exhausted,” Sanmari complained as they continued to walk through the dense forests of northern Fiore. Ever since escaping the Phantom Lord guild just before Jose launched the attack, they had headed north towards the Kingdom in Crocus.

“Would you stop complaining,” Sarai yawned out of annoyance.

“Is Era even in Crocus?” Melissade asked stretching.

“I think it’s a few towns over, but Crocus is a good place to start. The Kingdom of Fiore is there.” Kera explained kicking aside some leaves and twigs which covered a small animal trap.

They had to wake up early that morning as their campsite had been invaded by large scale monsters they weren’t aware even existed. It looked like a giant slug, but they didn’t dare stick around as it had let off a train whistle like sound upon seeing their fire. It had charged them down and destroyed most of their camping equipment so now they were especially short on items. They had been expecting forest Vulcans, especially because they were women, but not slugs.

“Think a guild will pass off some of their requests to us again?” Melissade asked with a yawn similar to Sarai’s.

“I sort of just want to nap.” Kera admitted, none of them really giving a response to the request for more money.

“I’ll put up puppets on watch and we can sleep for a few hours,” Melissade told her understanding none of them would be able to think critically about finding mage work. Sanmari ran her fingers back through her blonde hair, fluffing it as they forged ahead in search of a clearing to rest.

After several more minutes of walking, it was obvious they would not be finding any clear land, which is when Sarai suggested placing themselves in the branches of the trees. They swung upwards, looking for a good place to rest and tie themselves off in case they should fall. Yawning, Melissade summoned some soil puppets before drifting off and leaving them all in the puppets care.

It was more than a couple hours later when the girls awoke, completely surrounded by a dark guild. They recognized the bloody guild mark, and they were surprised to see them so close to Crocus. Sanmari’s eyes went wide as she stretched out a leg to kick Kera into action. Melissade’s golems had disappeared after a few hours of sleep, no longer sensing a mage behind them. Sarai had been awake for a few moments and already building a plan. Using their agreed upon hand signals, she transmitted their attack plan. Sanmari swallowed, it involved her nearly pushing her magic to the limit on the first move. In the next second the girls were standing and the dark guild was charging on them.

Sanmari lifted her arms and then swung them together on an angle and the ground in front of her broke and tilted flipping over so the mages on it slipped and were crushed by the falling landside. Melissade lifted her hands and the surrounding trees bent themselves into a large vegetation monster which roared and lifted its roots from the ground to step down on a large portion of the mages, roots taking plant again and shooting up in other areas wrapping around those who ran. Sarai was fighting physically, taking no damage because she could hear the attackers coming up around her. She flipped and clipped several with the bottom of her tennis shoe, landing and swinging in for a punch on another incoming mage. Grabbing a knife she had strapped to her leg under her shorts, Sarai let it flash a few times, warding off incomplete attacks.

The air was rent with screams as the guild members, who had been looking to mug the girls, attempted to scatter away from their stronger prey. Kera focused her magic, letting her arms swing outwards in large iron clubs, imitating Gajeel. She rolled her neck, letting it pop as she charged for the mages, her brown hair trailing along behind her. Most of those remaining screamed in surprise and made to turn, but were quickly taken out by Melissade’s Puppet’s roots. As some of them ran where nothing had yet happened, Sarai focused herself and flashing a small knife which had been in her pocket, moved within the light to stand in front of them with a little smirk. They skidded to a stop and she licked her lips in a threatening manner. In the wake of her smile they turned and Sanmari hit them with another wave of over turned earth which Sarai avoided easily having read Sanmari’s mind.

“What guild is it?” Melissade called over once all of the members had been subdued. Sanmari picked up one of the arms of a fallen mage and inspected the guild mark on their shoulder.

“Looks like-” she began.

“Dark Northern Wolves,” Sarai told her and Sanmari glared over at her friend. She never got to finish her sentences with Sarai around and it drove her crazy.

“Think this is the whole guild?” Kera continued ignoring Sanmari’s and Sarai’s sparking glares between each other.

“No way, but I want to figure out why they were out here in the middle of the woods targeting us.” Sanmari pushed out before Sarai could interrupt her. Sighing Kera turned her body and started to head off following the footsteps in the soft dirt. “It can’t be just to loot us, they get enough money like we got under Jose.”

“They don’t cover their tracks very well,” Sarai said catching up with Kera while Sanmari fell into step next to Melissade. The latter gave her the encouraging smile she needed and Sanmari was able to pick up her step. They were going to go raid a dark guild.


Kera came bursting into the middle of the Dark Northern Wolves guild hall wielding Gajeel’s magic. Annoyed with Sarai still, Sanmari decided it would benefit them to start off with large attacks, despite plans beforehand, and send a giant pillar of rock up through the floor of the guild and out of the ceiling. People screamed and Sarai started another glaring match with Sanmari as she punched and kicked her way through the guild members. As the fighting started to drag past ten minutes, Sanmari had to let herself slide into the background of the fighting as she was nearly gone and the other three knew it. Her insanity was not something to be toyed with in such a delicate situation as it was. It was going to be a long battle.


“What exactly have you been doing out on your missions?” Makarov asked Gajeel once the guild member had been pulled into his office.

“Just doing what the request asks for,” Gajeel was obviously confused.

“I’ve been given a report that you were apparently at the scene when a dark guild was destroyed a couple weeks ago.”

“What?” He stared at the master. “I haven’t even been in contact with any dark guilds.”

“You’re absolutely sure?” Makarov was staring him down. “They say the perpetrator used the same magic.”

“It couldn’t be-” Gajeel froze, he only knew of one person capable of doing such a thing, but he had no idea why they’d target a dark guild in the first place. “She couldn’t have done, she had no reason.”

“You know who did it?” Makarov looked surprised.

“When we were back in Phantom Lord there was a well-kept secret among guild members. Jose was targeting her particularly for her ability and wanted it to be one of his final weapons against Fairy Tail. Her name was Kera, she’s a rarity among dragon slayers.”

“A second generation dragon slayer?” The guild master’s eyes widened in surprise and Gajeel shook his head.

“Fourth generation, they are a dragon slayer but with certain abilities plus. Kera could perfectly imitate other mages with a form of imitation magic, she could use any magic of a person she knew very well at any time or of a person she didn’t know within a certain space. It became dangerous, when she copies a dragon slayer she’s at her most powerful peak. It also came with its own benefits as well.” Gajeel paused. “Jose had me train her and her friends joined in, but when the time came for Jose to know her true power so he could pit it against his enemies I lied. Kera asked me to protect her and tell Jose she hadn’t been able to improve and that the best she could do was imitate her friends, who Jose considered weaklings.”

“So you lied to protect your guild mate from having to go up against us.” Makarov nodded in understanding.

“The four of them managed to escape just before Jose launched the guild building away and over to where it would obliterate this guild. They came and saw me after you did and I told them my plans to join this guild. Kera had meant to when she was younger, but plans had been foiled by Jose and now she’s looking for an opportunity to redeem herself after thirteen years so she can join.” Gajeel explained.

“And she’s taken to wiping out dark guilds?” Makarov lifted an eyebrow.

“I don’t know why she did such a thing, it’s surprising they were able to do it so easily. I’m sure there had to be something else to provoke her into action against the guild as she had never looked for an opportunity to strike another guild before.”

“I see,” it was obvious the older man was thinking and the quiet was starting to make Gajeel uncomfortable. “What I’m wondering here is, from what it sounds like an imitation magic requires the user to be within a certain range of the person they are copying. How is it she can be so far away from you and use your abilities?”

“Kera does have a very large copy range, but not as large as it would’ve needed to be to copy me in my current state. If she has been around a single person for a long enough time she can copy them as they were when she was last with them. She is using the Phantom Lord me, not the Fairy Tail me.” Makarov lifted a hand to cover his mouth in response. Gajeel wasn’t sure what he had just said was a comfort or a bother to the older gentleman.

“We will have to find a way to keep an eye on their movements I suppose and make sure they don’t sully your name any further, I would hate for another one of my children to be taken into the custody of the magic council. You may go for now, I will devise a plan for finding these four mages.”


“I can’t believe those mages weren’t even after us, they got us mixed up with another target.” Kera growled.

“Personally I think it’s better,” Sanmari commented. “At least we know they weren’t trying to kidnap Kera and her abilities and use them against the light guilds.”

“They probably didn’t even know about Kera or her abilities.” Sarai said out of annoyance.

“You never know how many people know about things like this, I’m just waiting for a fifth generation dragon slayer to pop up and they’re able to actually transform into a dragon or something.” Sanmari bit back and Melissade ignored the pair by cutting in between Sanmari and Kera.

“Just be grateful the fight was short lived and we managed to make it out without being recognized or having to put our names in the mess.” Melissade told them shaking her long hair back behind her shoulders. “We’re still planning on making it to Era and joining the council aren’t we?”

“That is our current plan,” Kera agreed.

“To Era!” Sanmari cheered, punching her fist into the air. She took off running and her three friends were forced to run after her, all of them laughing as they tried to overtake each other in their quest to be the first to spot their future home.


It took Gajeel several more weeks to finally track down something of a location on Kera, Sanmari, Melissade, and Sarai. He had Juvia help him and they looked for hints of the four on every mission. It was just nearing the S-Class trial exams when he managed to get a letter to them letting them know Bickslow was indeed a part of Fairy Tail. He’d made several friends in the guild, but didn’t seem to be actively searching for his sister. He hoped the news wouldn’t hurt Kera but drive her will to make it back to Bickslow alive.

He had heard rumors about where they had ended up, but didn’t dare spread anything around in case what he had heard was true. Gajeel mainly hoped for the safety and ability to travel and survive okay. It was a tough world out there and he was glad he had joined Fairy Tail even after all the pain he’d put them through on the account of not wanting to be killed. He grinned, looking out over the guild hall, he finally felt like he had a home.


It had taken an entire six months after the downfall of Phantom Lord, but they’d finally made it to their destination. They were a part of the magic council and could easily keep tabs on all of the guilds. They were working on some of the paperwork over Fairy Tail when a letter arrived for them. Kera glanced at her three friends before sliding it open.

“It’s from Gajeel!” Sanmari exclaimed looking over Kera’s shoulder. Sarai and Melissade joined her, all of them staring down in excitement over the piece of paper.

Hey,

I’ve no idea if this’ll actually reach you four because I’m going off location rumors here. So, Kera, Sanmari, Sarai, Melissade—how are you four doing? I’ve joined Fairy Tail, Juvia is here too. I know you were never close with her, but she’s probably the closest family I have here considering we went through hell together.

Bickslow is here Kera, he’s doing well. For a while he was a lackey of Laxus, that second generation dragon slayer we heard rumors about, I suppose he still is but for the time being Laxus isn’t a member of the guild. Bickslow’s on a team with a couple of others and he’s a pretty strong mage, claims he’s unbeatable, but we’ll have to see about that in the future. He doesn’t seem to be actively searching for you though, so I wonder if he really remembers—don’t want to get you down, but it’s a possibility.

He’s a really funny guy, I think you’ll be proud of the man he’s grown up to be—despite the fact it’s been thirteen years now. In fact, he’s going to be in part of the S-Class trials. Master Makarov didn’t pick him right up front, but he picked one of Bickslow’s friends and they’ll be working as a team. I’ll admit I forced myself upon one of the examinees, but I want to repay her for attacking her back when—well, you know the story.

Juvia wanted to ask her boy toy to be her partner, but the stripper was chosen as a candidate himself. I’m glad to see Juvia might be S-Class, if I’m fully honest I’m cheering her on. We’ll be heading out in about a week to Tenroujima and I’m sure the magic council has already been notified of our plans. There’s some weird guy named Mest here though, no one really seems to know who he is, but I suppose he’s good enough to be S-Class.

Hoping you’ll catch up with us soon-

Gajeel

P.S. Juvia would like me to tell you four ‘Hello’ and says that as long as none of you encroach on Gray (the stripper) then she’ll be happy to have you all back as guildmates.

Sarai started laughing.

“Sounds like they’re all doing well then,” Sanmari eased back a soft smile settling onto her face.

“So good to hear.” Kera agreed.

“Gajeel is as funny as ever,” Melissa stated heading back towards her seat across the room.

“So, we’re going to join Fairy Tail right?” Sarai asked Kera who was still staring down at the letter.

“I think we have a few more things to settle here on the council first, then we’ll go and find my brother.” Kera bit her lip. “If he still remembers me.”

No one knew quite what to say, thirteen years was a long time span and Bickslow had been exceedingly young at the time. It was good to hear he was doing well, but if he wasn’t searching for his sister then perhaps he couldn’t recall his previous life at all.

“Listen up,” their commander, Lahar, suddenly barged into the room upsetting the tense atmosphere. “This entire room has just been assigned to watching duty as Fairy Tail hosts their S-Class exam. Just in case things get a little too troublesome. Makarov requested us himself so pack up and we ship out in three days. You’re excused from work for the time being.”


“That was definitely the last thing I expected.” Kera commented stretching and standing from the chair. Despite being excused, they all had finished out their work day. They had the next three off so it was obvious there was no rush to pack, but considering it was supposed to be for the long haul, it would take some serious decision making.

“You and me both,” Sanmari agreed. She had run out of paper work about a half hour before Kera and rather than offering to help had taken a nap on her desk. The mage shook her head and continued picking up the last of her paperwork and organizing it so it would be easier to come back to once their job overseeing the S-Class trial was over.

“Sounds like Juvia is going to be a contestant in the S-Class exams.” Sarai mentioned going over the letter from Gajeel once more.

“I find it more hilarious that Gajeel forced himself upon one of the chosen S-Class participants.” Meissade smiled as she picked up several packets of work she’d continue to work on despite the fact she was excused from it.

“Wonder if he misses being considered S-Class,” Sanmari said as an off topic thought.

“Most likely,” Kera agreed yawning brightly. “Anyone else hungry for dinner? I’m starving.”

“How about Pizza tonight,” Sarai suggested.

“Ah, I was really looking forward to going to a Buffet, that’s what we had agreed on the last time.” Melissade pouted.

“We could go to a bar and just eat bar snacks and enjoy a night out.” Sanmari threw in. Kera sighed and looked between her three friends.

“If we’re all in a disagreement, let’s go to the market and buy some last minute things and go home and make something random we’ll all enjoy.” Kera started for the door. “Besides, that’ll be a lot more fun.”

“’Tis true.” Sanmari agreed and the others fell into step behind them.

“I call making a vegetable sauté!” Sarai called out as they exited the room.

“I’m making the sauce!”

“I want to grill the meat.”

“Let me make drinks, I have a new recipe I wanna test on you all.”

“We’d better buy Liquor in that case.”

“Shut up.”


“Three days off work is going to take a toll on me, we definitely don’t need this long to prepare.” Sanmari complained stretching her hands over her head. Today she had chosen on of her more risqué outfits; one which included a pair of cut off jean shorts and a top which really looked like a strapless bra. Her long caramel like hair spilt over her bare shoulders and when she turned it flipped just right. “Who wants to go swimming?”

“Always thinking about that aren’t you?” Kera teased adjusting the pony tail she’d slung her long brown hair up into. She pulled the hair over her right shoulder and adjusted the jean jacket she was wearing over her tank top. She’d gone for a classier look by donning a set of white kapris.

“Swimming is really fun,” Melissade agreed taking the lead as they walked down the street. She had pushed her wavy hair over her shoulders so it hung down in a soft pattern covering the swoop-back shirt she was wearing. Her hair only reached the middle of her back but accentuated her cream belt and cargo shorts.

“Let’s go get food first, we’re all starving after all.” Sarai almost sounded like she was commanding them, but none of the girls said anything. Sarai’s short hair was swept up into a familiar side Mohawk style. Her shirt was the style which hung down so it covered one shoulder but left the other bare and revealed her stomach; the outfit completed with a pair of shorts similar to what Sanmari was wearing.

“I want Dango!” Sanmari cheered excitedly slinging an arm around Melissade’s shoulders.

“We can’t just start out with desserts,” Kera tried to remind but it was futile.

“Dango!” Melissade and Sanmari were cheering, people slowly started moving to the sides of the street to avoid them. Sarai let out a thick breath of air and Kera giggled, there was no hope for their friends.


Sanmari stretched, a strong yawn breaking forth from her mouth. Sarai looked up at her as though she had been personally insulted by her friend so Sanmari gave her a second smaller yawn. They were all exhausted, after packing they had chosen to have a little too much play before returning to work in which they would be watching over one of the strongest guilds in Fiore.

“Would you lot quit it,” Lahar yelled suddenly, his own yawn breaking through his angry exterior. “You’re making me yawn too.”

“Sorry Lahar,” Kera called waving at him and adding a small wink for fun.

“Just be more professional you four.” Lahar ordered with a small cough, his face completely red. Kera giggled and Sarai rolled her eyes.

“You made him think nasty thoughts again.”

“Geez, ruin my day, why don’t you?” Kera grumbled, but somewhere in the very far reaches of her mind she was still sort of pleased with herself.

Sanmari forced down yet another yawn just as they came into view of a giant golden tree. All the girls gasped together at the beauty and harmony that seemed to radiate from the island. The whole ship had gone quiet as they watched. A second ship came into view but it was anchored down and the flag bore the Fairy Tail crest so they knew they had made it to the right place. A sudden gunshot rang out and the council jumped in surprise. There were a couple splashes and a two of the members were swimming across to the island. A couple seconds later and two more splashes then a lot of angry yelling.

“Should we help?” Kera looked uncertain.

“Nope, looks like that’s part of the exam.”

“Weird bunch,” Sarai commented folding her arms to lean on the railing.

“Alright council, gather round.” Lahar commanded having cleaned himself of his pervert mind, now ready to explain the entirety of what was going on. “We have two people on that island who know we’re here, the master Makarov, and an undercover agent you all know: Mest.”

“Wow, even in guilds their tests aren’t legitimate,” Melissade whispered, clenching her teeth. They knew Mest very well. He was older than them and quite kind, but at the same time he put them on edge.

“And you thought Jose’s S-Class tests were?” Sarai hissed having seen Sanmari’s momentary flashback to her own initiation into the high rank.

“Once we receive the signal from both Mest and Makarov, we will send in a small unit for reconnaissance. We’re aiming to keep an eye should something happen. The territory is sacred, so if the signal does go off, be sure to be respectful to everything living on the island. The signal will only be given if they find themselves in danger, Tenrou has been known to be attacked by other guilds in the past.” Lahar seemed very comfortable in his position of power, but most of the mages under him looked bored concerning the information given. “The infiltration group will be as follows:”


If the mages aboard the council ships were perfectly honest with themselves, they had not expected to see any kind of signal. When the bright flashes went off, however, it was only then did they notice the large ship floating around the exterior of the island. It was obviously staying afloat from magic and its black hull was anything but inviting as they looked at it in anticipation. Lahar yelling at the group to move was what finally set them into motion, the mages in one swift motion leaping over the side of the boat and into the cool water below. Spluttering, Sanmari surfaced, pushing wet strands of hair out of her eyes so she could see. After reaching the shore line, she emptied her shoes of water and then with a hand sign to her friends, they separated in different directions to assess the situation.

After Kera had been walking the perimeter for several minutes, there was a loud crashing as a large, muscular, blond man broke through the line of trees.

“Who’re you?” He demanded, then he noticed the council robes. “So the council was here watching, eh? Never mind that, I have places to be.”

“Wait,” Kera chased after him.

“What do you want?”

“Where are you going? What’s going on that caused the distress signal?”

“A dark guild known as Grimoire Heart, led by the second master of Fairy Tail, is waging war against those on the island. I’m here to save my grandfather,”

“Are you not a member of Fairy Tail?”

“Not anymore,” then he vanished, pushing through a thick row of vines and leaving Kera in the dust.

She huffed in frustration, attempting to locate the path she’d been following. Scratching her fingers through her hair, she decided it would be best to get to higher land as she might be able to see more of what was going on. Just as she was breaking through a line in the trees, she saw a rush of flames and was startled to realize it was one of the many battles engaging on the front lines. Rushing down the hill, sliding along several rocky slopes, she stopped herself by a tree to watch as a pink haired male was failing at fighting off the high level magic attacks of the older man.

Kera could feel the rush of magic as her body seemed to light up, responding to another dragon slayer. Excited, she tested a few of the preliminary spells filling her mind, watching the little flashes of fire from her hands. Just as she made to assist from behind the scenes, there was a rush of power which almost seemed to erase out the feeling of the fire magic. The pink haired male was completely collapsed on the ground and in front of him was the blond she’d met in the forest, his fist raised in preparation to continue the fight for his colleague.


Sarai was pushing aside some thick vegetation to reach the edge of the island, when her eyes landed on the large black hull they had spotted earlier. She was a good hundred feet away as it softly wound its way around the bend of the island. It was quiet and she knew the fighting had ended some time ago from managing to reach enough minds to hear what was going on. Breathing thickly as her allergies began to set in, she stared at the ship wondering if she should attempt to infiltrate and cause more havoc before they could. Just as she was deciding, reaching out her mind looking for cracks in the barrier where she could access what was going on inside. Just as she reached one and was working her way inside, there came a pounding in her head and she recoiled back, crying out in pain. When her eyes met what had caused the pain, she realized there was a large black pillar of dark magic completely impaling the hull. Once the black receded, the ship broadsided and fell towards the crashing waves. She could still tell that one of the people inside were alive, but she had no desire to try and rescue or fight them. Turning, she saw Sanmari standing on another cliff about 300 yards away watching, her hand resting on a vine. Looking over she saw Sarai and waved, gesturing they should meet at the beach where they first swam ashore. Sarai agreed and turned back into the forest, now was the time to figure out what was going to happen further between the council and Fairy Tail.


Once the council military members had all arrived back on the boat, they watched Lahar pace back and forth.

“Lahar?” Kera asked quietly looking at him, Mest was standing off to the side watching the commander.

“We haven’t received word from Makarov on anything and it’s driving me insane, I want to know what’s going on.” Lahar growled and Kera narrowed her eyes at him.

“Well, then we need to start making decisions on our own don’t you think?” She asked him quietly. There was a loud roar overhead and suddenly the sky darkened, they looked up only to see something they didn’t even think existed.

The large black and blue dragon was terrifying, it landed on the island and suddenly the council was in a panic.

“We’re going to help them,” Lahar decided suddenly and swallowing hard, the council began to jump in the water, but few actually decided to swim to the island, strictly following orders.

“Lahar, are you sure this isn’t something too big for us to handle?” Kera requested quietly looking at him as they stood by the railing.

“If we don’t help them then it’ll be by our hands that they fell to that monstrosity.” Lahar replied looking at her. Then softly, he brought his lips to Kera’s and they enjoyed a quiet moment of calm before the storm that was about to come. Sanmari tapped her on the shoulder making her jump.

“We have to go now or there won’t be any chance of helping.” Melissade explained.

“If we both come back alive then we can continue this conversation,” Kera whispered throwing herself off the ship backwards, her friends quickly following.


“Can someone,” Sarai yelled over the sound of another explosion close by them. “Please explain to me-”

She was cut off yet again as a roaring black flame shot over their heads and took out a giant portion of the ground they’d been using for protection. Kera and Sanmari looked at each other with wide eyes while Melissade looked for a way out of this dangerous situation. Sarai swore violently, ignoring what she had been doing before as her foot got tangled on a now visible root.

“Screw this,” she pulled her shoe off and her foot slid right out, not even wanting to try and untangle the piece of clothing. “How the hell did we get in this mess?”

“I’m blaming Lahar!” Melissade called out.

“I’m calling this on Mest’s head, he freaking teleported us here the bastard.” Sanmari grumbled peeking up to see exactly what was going on. “If he was running out of ethernano, it would’ve been more useful to not drop us in the middle of the forest.”

“He didn’t even want a refill,” Melissade huffed remembering how he had turned her down despite the large blue and black dragon flying above their heads. “If we’re the last four to get off the island, then he should want to actually rescue us rather than saving himself.”

“Mest is a hard man to trust at all,” Sarai told them. “Incoming,”

They dove aside as the tail of the large dragon landed between them, cutting a wide gap in the ground and leaving them in pairs of two. Sanmari and Sarai on one side, with Kera and Melissade on the other.

“We’ll meet you back on the ship, just try to get to the water.” Kera called to them and they nodded.

Sanmari pulled out a small knife on her person and began to cut at some of the vines barring their progress.

“I’m here with you, just make a sword.” Sarai told her quietly, understanding Sanmari’s worry. Sanmari took a deep breath, she really had no reason to worry about hurting anyone; Sarai was with her and even if she felt like killing Sarai for her annoyingness every so often, she knew she wouldn’t hurt her friend since she managed to come back fully at fifteen.

“Solid Script: Sword.”

The weapon appeared in her hand and she was quicker at cutting them free from the jungle of Tenrou, allowing them to break into the waves and swim back to the ship at a slow, but steady process. Lahar and Mest helped pull them up and Sanmari has to resist the urge to stab Mest with her knife for him leaving them in the middle of the forest.

After noticing Melissade and Kera had yet to make it back to the ship, they looked back at the island which had just been cut in half by the large dragon. The top of the tree was falling quickly towards the ocean and the dragon was retreating, but they were unsure whether anyone on the island was actually alive. A light barrier suddenly shot up in front of them and Sanmari cried out, the island was sinking and their friends were still there.

“Lahar, we have to save Kera and Melissade!” She spun on the dark haired male who was watching in shock and didn’t seem to be reacting to anything.

Then suddenly there was a loud crash which echoed across the water as Kera and Melissade broke through the line of trees, unable to escape.

“KERA!” Sanmari screamed preparing herself to swim back for her friend.

“It’s no use, we can’t save them at this point.” Mest told her, holding her back.

“Get off me, I hate you.” Sanmari was kicking wildly and Sarai was staring in pain at their friends, unable to properly form a reaction. “KERA!”

As the waves crashed to overtake the island, it went silent and everyone that had been there was gone. There was no hint in the break of the waves than an island had even existed. Tears running down their cheeks, Sarai and Sanmari were ushered away to be kept in the hold under the ship.


“Where do you suppose we’re going next?” Sarai asked, her hair fluttering down over the shortened half of her head so she looked like she hadn’t shaved her head a month ago. They had been wandering around together, never fully returning to the council, unsure of what they wanted to do personally. Sanmari looked out over the water from where they stood on a large cliff watching the sunset. She had cut her blond hair down so it floated around her chin, leaving the back of her neck bare.

“Phantom Lord,” Sanmari turned to look at Sarai who was simply watching her quietly. “I want to go back, Jose is dead now and I want to find his old office. I want an official closing. I want to prove that I’m more than killer, even if I can’t shove it in his smug face.”

“Let’s go then, it’ll take a couple days to get there and we’re low on money.” Sarai grinned, even if they didn’t get along well they were still friends and they were the only thing the other had to keep walking on strong.

As they rode on the train, Sanmari was reading A Study into the Principles of Ethernano by Z. D. again, it had been a while since she’d returned to the book. Sarai had claimed the files on the R and X Systems, attempting to make sense of the pages because she figured it had a bigger picture.

“Who is Z. D.?” Sarai asked looking up from mapping out differences and similarities between the two.

“I don’t know, from what I could find in the library he was some sort of prodigy, but nothing ever mentions anything other than his initials. He was the sole survivor of some sort of mass murder that happened at one of the earliest magic academies.” Sanmari shrugged turning another page. “Did you know this author was the first one to propose the idea of putting an Ethernano crystal inside a human being?”

“You mean, projects like Melissade.” Sarai clarified and Sanmari nodded.

“I feel like the author is trying to write this as though he has firsthand experience with the idea of altering the human and mage genome in such a way, but I can’t find any substantial evidence about any of it.” She paused. “Curiouser and Curiouser.”

“Well there’s something in here which I found interesting, apparently the X System has to be built on top of the R System or there wouldn’t be a way to properly build something so complex.”

“Wasn’t the R System destroyed several months ago?”

“That’s what Lahar reported, but according to this it only needs the concentration of Ethernano and a piece of the original structure.”

“Terrifying,” Sanmari returned to the text in front of her, pouring over the pages and leaving notes on the parchment paper next to her. Sarai copied the same movements, but with her papers, sketches filling other blank pages accurately inserted inside their notes. Discouraged by their heavy atmosphere for the duration of the ride, they were blissfully left alone.


“Do you think any of the other guild members decided to raid the place after Jose was destroyed?” Sarai asked, but received her answer almost immediately as Sanmari gave her noise of affirmation, having reached the peak before her. The place where the guild building had been no longer existed, it was underwater behind the Fairy Tail guild in Magnolia, but they hadn’t come for the guild. They had come for Jose’s official office, in the building where the torture of his guild members took place.

As they stepped past he guild hall, following the steep path they saw the building where they all had experienced true horror. Sanmari lifted her head, spotting the ledge from which Lucy had thrown herself just to escape. The building had undergone some changes the summer before as Jose wasn’t looking to raise up murderers so close to his battle.

Their hands trailed along the walls, the still air making them shiver in anticipation. As they climbed up the long sets of stairs, passing endless corridors of cells, Sanmari didn’t let her eyes stray from their straight path, striving to not remember the chains and crack of the whip against her naked skin.

Having reached the top floor, Sanmari wound her foot back, kicking at the handle of Jose’s office door and watching as it pleasingly swung open. They grinned at each other before invading the office and ransacking the stacks of paperwork. They had no fear of being caught in the office and allowed themselves the pleasure of staying as long as they needed. Even closing the door at night, working by candlelight, and lightly napping while the other studied and kept a guard just in case. They worked like that for three days before Sanmari’s hands landed on something particularly interesting regarding Jose’s own experiments on mages.

Test Subject #43

Having found information on Zeref’s demons, I have searched myself into creating an ultra-mage who can seemingly never run out of ethernano. While the ability to perform something seems out of the question, I am sure that I can find a way to at least implant something useful into the children here at Phantom Lord. For the task of the ethernano crystal enhancement, I’ve chosen a young girl named Melissade; we shall see how her body takes to the object.

Test Subject #57

I’ve come across one of the rarest magic items on the face of Fiore. It was very hard to get a hold of and Ivan Dreyar was not of particular help in giving me any assistance. Precht Gaebolg turned out to be very resourceful on the other hand, after I handed over Zancrow and Rusty Rose into his care. I’m sure those two children could not amount to much, I was indeed surprised at the small price I had to pay for getting my hand on something such as a dragon slaying lacrima. As it turns out Precht had an extra one after a tumult at the Tower of Heaven slowed his ability to implant more than one in a single child. Now I shall repeat his process on the small girl Kera, I kidnapped her not too long ago from the streets of Magnolia near Fairy Tail. I plan on adding something interesting though, I’m working on Subject 43 at the same time and I wonder what it’d be like to combine an ethernano crystal with a dragon slaying lacrima. We shall undoubtedly find out very soon, my greed for creating a fourth generation dragon slayer has become an interesting passion.

June X770

There was a lot more blood then expected, I performed two long surgeries today on subjects 43 and 57. Both appear to have been successful, but I have yet to see what kind of power I have achieved by combing them in such a fashion. Number 57 proved resourceful and found herself settled in a pool of blood, it was a mix of 43 and hers. I think she caught a glimpse of what happened to 43, but I’m pleased to report 57 is very willing to do my bidding. 43 is still healing after large portions of her skin were removed. She was not cooperative during the surgery and I left the marks as warnings, let a professional healer graft new skin to her body. I told him 43 was attacked by a wild animal, after a good payout I’m sure he will say nothing to the world outside this.

Test Subject #121

This one fell under my care today, completely parched of water she accepted anything I had to tell her. Name is Sarai and she has an interesting ability. She has read my mind and is wary of my actions against her, she was easy to convince to join my team and follow my will when I flooded her mind with the convincing measures I’ve taken on other subjects. She will prove to be useful to me, but for now I will leave her to be taken under good care.

Test Subject #132

This one I kidnapped from a market about a year ago, she still yearns to escape and return to her family, but that behavior should end fairly soon. She will be the youngest I’ve ever taken into the cells, but I have a plan. I want to see how early a mind must be broken to do will completely unbidden. She is seven currently, name Sanmari. I will break her mind and perhaps then I will have managed the perfect warrior.

The pages went on for a while longer, but neither of them could stomach any more information on what Jose did to all the children in the guild. Their numbers barely leaving any information on the many children he murdered, kidnapped, and kept as minions for his higher plans. Sanmari ran a hand through her short hair and set the book inside her satchel, it was something they would have to keep. After locating other books and files they might thought be of use, they turned their backs on Jose’s office for the last time. It was perhaps time they return to the council.

Lahar would not be happy with their absence, but perhaps the information they found could be of some use to help them grovel their way back into admittance.


Kera felt like she was swimming in a rush of black, she couldn’t see anything and that final moment when Lahar and her met eyes as the island sunk below sea level felt like it would haunt her into the eternities. Struggling, she realized there might still be a chance to make it to the surface. Remembering how her foot had been caught in the tree root, she tried to reach to untangle herself, but she couldn’t move her body. There was a small groaning noise near her and she knew it had to be another person stuck in the same predicament. When fresh air and sunlight hit her senses she realized the reason she could not move was because she was stuck under dirt and several tree branches. The groan came again and she turned her head, looking at a familiar bush of red hair which had spent too much time in the humidity.

“Melissade?” Kera asked and then both their eyes snapped open, realizing they were alive.

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