Chapter 12: The Knight and the Demon
The next day, Lisanna was re-introduced back into the guild, and the entire guild just shook from shock as they saw their once dead member come back to life. Hell, there are some with certain thoughts towards her and her older brother has to work on keeping them in line. Len too was part of the craziness, but he decided to move the edge of the guild house to avoid getting caught up by Natsu.
"They sure can party." Len said.
"That's Fairy Tail for you." Maya laughed, "But never mind them, are you okay?"
"I mean, you went all demon right?" The ice dragon slayer said, "The last time you loss control, excluding that incident with Mei, you couldn't move and had to stay in bed for a week."
"Ah, I know." Len said looking at his armored hand, "But this time is strange. When I regain control of my body, it's like I'm inside someone else. I don't how to describe it but… it's like me yet I'm not myself."
"That makes no sense whatsoever." Mike said on Maya shoulder, "But if that's case, it would be like a Take-Over magic."
"Take-Over?" Maya asked the little dragon-lizard.
"It's a magic which you take form of another." Mirajane tells them as she walks over, "Sorry, I heard what you said and couldn't help myself."
"It's fine." Len said.
"So, your magic, Demon Slayer, is a form of Take-Over?" She asked.
"Now that you mention it…" Len looked at his armored arm, "Whenever I use this arm, it feels like that another being is wrapped around my own arm. I guess it's like a Take-Over."
"If that's how you felt it, then it's maybe the same." Mirajane said, "Wait, does that mean all Demon Slayer magic are actually a form of Take-Over? Does that mean my Satan Soul is a form of Demon Slayer magic?"
"I don't think it's that simple." Len said, "My master, Dante Vestor is a Demon Slayer himself, with the white demon of Melancholy, Daemo. The demon he wields is in the form of sword, compared to my arm."
"A sword?" Mirajane said confused.
"You mean that large kitchen knife he carries around all the time?" Maya asked. The blonde nodded, "I don't know much, but I remember him saying that he found the sword in one of the ruins in Magnolia." Len said, "Now that I think about it, that witch, poly-what's her name stated she knew him once."
They then saw Mei flying around with her wings out, the crowd below cooed at the cat angel. "Mei seems to be fitting in well." Len said.
"That's a pretty weird girl you brought back." Mike said, "She looks, smells and sounds like Mei, but she is really different."
"That's true." Maya said, "Our Mei was really shy compared to her." She then noticed Len's stare at Mei. A small little sly smile crept up her lips, "Len, if you like her, you should tell her~!"
"You liiiiiiike her~" Mike said mimicking Happy.
"Shut up, Lizard!" Len shouted.
"Len-san~!" Mei called as she lands on Len's lap, "Look here, look here!" She pulled back her hair to show the Fairy Tail mark on the back of her neck, "I'm a part of the guild now~! We're going to be together!" She hugged the poor blonde, whose face starts turning complete red.
"Ah, Len-niisan's turning red!" Lucy said in shock.
"What cute couple they make." Erza commented. That comment hits Len hard, in his mind already thinking of him and Mei as a small happy family. He shook his head of the fantasy and pushed the girl off him, Mei falling on the floor with a thud before slamming his head on the wall countless time while muttering, "Stupid" Over and over.
"Len-san?" Mei asked.
"L-Len-niisan? What are you doing?" Lucy muttered worriedly.
"Don't worry, this happens every time his embarrassment gone to the max." Maya tells them, "Or when he starts thinking dirty thoughts."
"Shut up, Maya!"
Len slowly opens his eyes, finding the familiar ceiling of his apartment. 'Good thing I left early last night…' He thought remembering what happened last night with the entire guild partying till they drop, before feeling something soft on his right. He turned to find Mei all cuddled up next to him in the nude, this causing him falls out of the bed in shock, "W-What the?-!"
"Mm…?" Mei rose up from the sheets with her hair covering some of her breasts, "Ah… Good morning, Len-san…"
'Ah right, I forgot, I allow Mei to sleep with me for the night.' Len thought, 'Wait, that didn't come out right.'
Mei got off the bed as she slowly walks towards the bathroom with her brown tail swaying behind. The only male there just stare in shock at the great view of heaven presented to him, before fainting on the sport from the blood dripping out his nose.
"Morning!" Mei greeted cheerfully as she entered the guild. She changed to an outfit she borrowed from Lucy, green tank top over a pink turtleneck and beige hotpants. She decides not to wear a bandana around her head anymore showing her brown cat ears and her tail swaying side to side happily.
"Oh, morning, Mei-chan." Wakaba greeted.
"I heard you slept at Len's place last night." Macao stated.
"Yup~! He is so peaceful when he sleeps~!" Mei said.
"Mei!" Maya greeted, "Can you come here for a while?"
"Okay~!" The cat girl went to the ice dragon slayer.
"Ah, to be young again…" Macao commented, "That Len sure have a heck of a night."
"I'll say." Wakaba said with a perverted grin, "I bet that they have the 'deflowering' moment~"
"Hahaha, the best time of his life!"
"Oh, Len! Just the guy we're talking about- Gak!" Len has tissues plug in his nostrils and his face white as paper, "What happen to you?" Macao asked.
"Nothing, really." Len said before walking past them.
"Hey, Len!" Wakaba called out, "Did you 'enjoy' yourself last night?" Len stopped on the spot, his mind going back to his image of Mei's nude body. Blood erupts from his nose and he faints again, "O-Oi, Len!"
"What happen to you?" Macao said in shock.
"Good morning!" Lucy greeted only to find her brother bleeding to death, "AH!-! LEN-NIISAN!-!-!"
"That's a whole lot of blood." Natsu said in shock.
"Is he alright?" Wendy asks.
"Oh rather, is he still alive?" Gray asked.
"I-I'll live…" Len grunted.
The blood was cleaned up and Len sat by one of the benches with head on the table, "God, my head…" He grunted. The others all looked at him with worry.
"You okay, Len-san?" Wendy asked worriedly.
"This is the first time I seen someone bleed that much." Carla said.
"Len-niisan, are you alright?" Lucy asked.
"Y-Yeah, just a bit light-headed…"
"What happened here?" Maya asked as she and Mei walk up to them.
"Ah, Maya-san, Mei-san." Wendy greeted.
"This guy just nearly bleeds to death." Carla said, "He has way more blood than anyone else here."
"What?-!" Mei cried as she walks up to him bending down by him, "Are you alright, Len-san?" Len turned a bit to sight, noticing that Mei's cleavage is shown to him, the image of her nude once again enter his mind but he manage to hold the nose-bleed down this time, before turning his head to the other side. "GAK!-!" Mei was struck in the heart his actions as she went to a corner to sulk.
"Delicate, ain't she…?" Lucy muttered.
"What's with him?" Mike asked.
"The only time I have seen this action is…" Maya's face turned red at the memory, "M-Mei, what did you do last night?"
"N-Nothing, really." Mei said still in the corner sulking.
"Can you at least come out of the corner?" Lucy dead-panned.
"Len told me I could sleep with him and I just went and bathe, then I went to bed." Mei said.
"Doesn't Len only have one bed in his room?" Gray said.
"Then she slept on the floor?" Natsu said.
"Maybe he sleeps on the floor while she sleeps on his bed." Erza said.
"That is sounds just like niisan." Lucy smiled.
"Len-san was sleeping in his bed when I came out." Mei tells them.
"You slept on the floor then?-!" Lucy cried.
"No, I just join Len in his bed." Mei said innocently.
"Mei," Maya said, "what do you wear when you sleep?"
"Ah, I don't." Mei tells her, "I sleep naked."
"I-In the nude?-!" Lucy cried blushing.
"Ah, I think I know what happened." Mike said, "Len probably woke up to see her naked by his bed then can't get that image off his mind."
"That has nothing to do with his bleeding." Gray said.
"Len has terrible resistance towards girls." Maya tells him, "There were times where he couldn't stand to walk next to girls. Dante-san fixed that by pinning our Mei as his partner until he can get used to being next to her."
"Oh, that explains the nose-bleed." Lucy said in understanding.
"That's kind of stupid, isn't it?" Natsu said bluntly, unknowingly stabs the blonde's heart harshly.
"I know right, I thought he is really strong like Gildarts but his weakness is pathetic." Gray said stabbing him again.
"So girls are his weakness?" Happy asked.
"That's kind of pathetic coming from him." Carla said.
"Shut up!" Len cried, "Yeah, I'm weak against girls! Would you stop rubbing in?-!"
"That's not good enough!" Erza shouted suddenly, startling them, "Fear is something to be conquered, not be overwhelmed!" Fire erupted from all around her, "Leave it to me, Len! With my special training program, within the five days, I'll cure you of that stupid weakness! You can count on it!"
"Erza's all fired up." Happy said.
"I suddenly feel sorry for him." Gray sighed.
"Eh? Eh?" Len blinked confused and scared at the same time.
"Here!" Erza declared with a job pamphlet in her hands. "What is this?" Len took the pamphlet from her hands, "Serial killer at inn, several girls, mostly young, murdered. Help needed; reward: 300 000 jewels. Yeah, what of it?"
"This will be your special training!" Erza declared, "The inn stated is famous for its beautiful ladies that serves all the customers' requests, of course there are limits to what requests are eligible. If you can withstand 5 days in that inn, you can handle any girl's seduction!"
"You were serious about the training…?" The blonde sweat-dropped, "Still, this job is more of a detective work. Won't someone else be more suitable, like Lucy or Levy?"
"Don't worry about that." Erza smiled victoriously, "I've a plan."
"What plan, exactly…?" Len asked worriedly.
Elsewhere, Lucy watched the scene with the rest as she worries about her twin, "I hope niisan will be alright…" She muttered.
"Don't worry." Mike tells the celestial wizard, "He may not looks like it, but Len is tough. He'll be fine."
"I don't know about that." Natsu said paling, "Erza can be REALLY scary when she is dead serious about something."
"You can say that again." Gray sighed, "She won't know the words restraint and common sense even if she was slapped in the face by them."
"That's Erza for ya." Happy said popping out of nowhere.
"Now I'm even more worried!" Lucy cried.
Len gawked at the large building that is the inn in front of him. He and Erza have to take an hour-long train ride to Hosenka, which is famous for its spas and hot springs, and it didn't take long to find where the inn is as its sheer size is enormous compared to the other inns in the same area. "Big!" Len cried, "It's at least five times larger than a normal inn!"
"It's prices are the same." Erza said. On the menu, most of the services and the room rentals are at least at the five digit costs.
"Ah, welcome." At the entrance, there stood a beautiful blue-haired woman in her twenties with a considerable cleavage and amazing figure in a blue yukata that squeezes her body at the right places, "Considering the marks you have, you must be wizards. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"That's correct." Erza shook her hand, "We're wizards from Fairy Tail."
"We? So that unconscious man is your companion?"
Erza looked back, finding Len unconscious on the ground with floor forming a puddle around him. "You couldn't even handle seeing a fully clothed woman." She sighed, "You're more pathetic than I thought. Excuse us, let's talk somewhere else."
"Of course, miss…"
"Of course, Erza-san." The woman bowed politely, "My name's Testa." She gestured inside, "Please, come with me."
The armored wizard picked up the unconscious blonde like a sack of potatoes and hauled him after Testa into the inn.
They re-gathered at the office with the manager of the inn, the blonde finally woke up but was a little light-headed from the excess amount of the blood loss. "I'm glad that you answered our request." The manager said, who is too is a beautiful woman in a business suit, glossy black hair and jet black eyes and quite a figure, "It's pleasure to meet you, Fairy Tail wizards. I'm Celina Maxwell, the manager of this inn."
"It's nice to meet you too, Manager Maxwell." Erza greeted, "My name is Erza Scarlet, and the blonde guy is Len Heartfilia."
"Now then, let's get down to business, shall we?" Celina smiled, "As you know, our inn, the Succubus Wing, is famous throughout the nation for its services and spa, and especially our lovely ladies like Testa."
"I've heard." Len said, "Succubus Wing is the largest inn in the whole of Hosenka, and your regular customers are dukes and royalty from all across the nation. Although, there are services for the lower income people too that are affordable by them."
"You have done your research." Erza said in surprise.
"Just the things I heard when I was still a freelance." Len tells her, "Hibiki was the one who told me about the lower income part." He turned back to Celina, "But enough bragging about the inn, you sent the request to help uncover a serial killer, right?"
"That's correct." Celina smiled, "For the past weeks, our girls and female customers, have been found dead all around near the baths, all of them seems to be killed instantly and by magic means."
"So that's why you choose to turn to mage guilds rather than the government." Erza said in understanding.
"Please, I beg of you, find the killer of my lovely girls." Celina pleaded, "Most of the girls here are orphans and they are like family to me. If the reward is too little, I can increase the price."
"Don't worry about it." Erza said, "Leave it to us. We'll find the killer as soon as we can."
"Five days, huh…?" Len muttered as he and Erza walks along the wooden corridors of the inn, "Within that five days, we have to find the killer of several girls… If it's a mage, I'm sure to find residue magic particles on the bodies, but they were removed from scene already. But more importantly…" The knight mage beside him is in a female Sherlock costume, "What's with the outfit?"
"Leave the investigating to me." Erza tells him, "You have your own training to do."
"Training? You mean that you were dead serious about that…?" Len sweat-dropped.
"Of course!" Erza declared, handing him a key, "This is our room. Enjoy your five days."
"Eh? What?" Len couldn't ask anymore as Erza speed off around a corner. He sighed as he went to the room with the key's number, "That girl really is over serious about everything…" He sighed once more as he enters the room. It was a simple room with two futons rolled out up by the side of the room.
"Nice room…" Len muttered as he walks around, 'Wait.' He then realized, 'Doesn't this mean that I'm sleeping with Erza for the next five days?-!'
He heard a shy voice and looked behind him, finding a young green-haired girl at her early teens at least, her figure isn't much compared to the girls he knew, but her face is so adorable that it makes up for it; she is wearing a similar yukata as Testa. "Oh, hi there… I guess?" Len greeted nervously, then noticing her clothes, "You're one of the ladies working here?"
"H-Hai…" She nodded shyly, "M-My name is U-Umi."
"Umi? As in sea?" He said, "That's a nice name."
"But… aren't you a little young to be working here?" Umi flinched at that question, "A-A lot people say that…"
"EEEEEEHHHHHHH?-!" Len cried, "You're in your twenties?-!" Umi nodded. "This is insane! You look at least 13 at best!"
"S-Sorry for not looking so mature…" Umi muttered, her face becoming more overshadowed.
"I-In return…" Umi starts to unfasten her robes, "Please… do whatever you want with me."
Len couldn't take what she is doing and fell back on the tatami floor bleeding like crazy. "E-Eh? Wizard-san?-! A-Are you alright?-!"
With Erza, she is inspecting scene where the latest murder took place, which is the staff bathroom. The body is found by one of the cleaners who found the cubicle is locked in the middle of the night, only to find the dead woman sitting on the toilet bowl with the wound on her neck.
Most of the blood was cleaned away but there are traces of them on the wooden floors. The knight mage bend down, inspecting the dry blood near the toilet bowl. She looked at the cubicle's door, noting how the hinges are slightly out of place.
'The hinges are slightly out of their places…' she then turned to the lock, 'The lock here is locked via magic… Looks like we're dealing with a killer mage…'
She got out of the cubicle, 'With just these, there's no clue to who is capable of the killing. The only suspects are probably members of the staff, considering that only they can access here… But we're dealing with a mage so magic locks have no effect on them…'
"Are you done?" The woman by the bathroom's door asked worriedly, "Is there anything you find out?"
"A-Ah, I can't get a conclusion based on this alone." Erza tells her, "I'm truly sorry."
"No, it's fine." The woman said, "Thank you… um…"
"Just call me Erza."
"I see, Erza-san." The woman said, "Ah! It'll be rude if I didn't introduce myself. I'm Onse."
"Onse, you seem rather tensed. Is something the matter?" Erza asked.
"Ah, n-no…" Onse muttered, "It's just that… the one that was killed as my lover…"
"Eh? Lover?-!" Erza cried, "Aren't the both of you girls?-!"
"I-I'm a lesbian…" Onse muttered, "Almost all the girls here are… there are some who have relationship with the other girls from elsewhere…"
"Why…" Onse starts shaking uncontrollably, "Why her… why must Rei-chan… she didn't done anything wrong at all!" She collapsed on the ground sobbing covering her face with her hands.
"I'm sorry for your loss." Erza said placing her arms over her shoulder, "I know what's it's like to lose someone close to you."
By nightfall, Erza and Len are back at their room. Umi has managed to stop the blood from flowing, which is an amazing feat that Len is able to produce that much blood.
The two mages stood facing each other on a coffee table, "So… what's the result?" Len asked.
"The murder is definitely caused by a mage." Erza said, "The lock to the staff bathroom was unlocked at the point, as by the witness (Testa), and the lock to the place the murder took place has presence of magic being used."
"So we're dealing with a mage after all…" Len sighed, "Say, what kind of lock is used for the door?"
"A basic magic lock." The knight mage tells him, "The lock is deactivated when the correct combination is pressed. Besides the staff and the manager, no one else can enter."
"So the main suspects are the staff after all…" Len muttered.
"Whether its male or female, I'm not too sure."
"Eh? Why do you say that?"
"Based on what you said," Len stated, "if they are accurate, how the woman is killed is like this:""First, the killer, whoever she is, invited the girl, Rei, to the bathroom for something. After some struggle, Rei was killed by slitting her throat with a knife or something of that sort. The body is then placed on the toilet before she locked the toilet with magic, most likely telepathic, before leaving in a hurry, forgetting to lock the door."
"It is most possible." Erza nodded in understanding, "You're pretty smart, Len."
"I and Lucy both studied really hard when we're kids." Len tells her, "Although, this theory is still temporary."
"What do you mean?"
"There are plenty of ways to kill the person without being in the same place." Len said, "One way is to hire someone to kill her for her, another is a psychological threat forcing her to commit suicide. With magic, even hypnosis is possible."
"I see…" Erza nodded, "Very well, we'll question everyone tomorrow." She stood up and stretched, "Come on, since we're in Honseka, we can at least take a bath together."
"I guess that is true-" Len then realized what she meant, "W-Wait a minute! Y-You mean… You," he points at her, "and me?" he points at himself, the knight mage nodded, "W-W-W-W-Wait a second here!"
"It's part of your training." Erza said sternly, "You're to get used to my naked form within two days! If you can see me naked, you can see anyone naked!"
"That sounds so wrong!" Len cried, "B-Besides, there are no mixed bathing here!"
"Then I'll bath in the male side."
"Any point, we are bathing together." Erza said as she pulled the blonde behind her, Len starts kicking everywhere to get free. That was proven useless as they reached the male side. The blonde was then forced stripped of his clothes before was thrown into the warm waters, "Hot!-!" Len cried as he surfaced, "*Cough* *Cough* what's your deal?-!"
"Like I said, this is training." Erza said as she un-equips her outfit, leaving her stark naked, Len was smart enough to turn around before she enters the bath. "Come on now. There is no one else here now."
"Hoho…? You wish to go against me…?" Erza chuckled angrily.
"Even if you threaten me, I still won't look!"
*Twitch* "I told you! This is training!" Erza said angrily as she pulls on his shoulder, "Now turn around!"
"I said… TURN!" Erza cried as she pulls him by his shoulder, and they both fell into the bath water. Len coughed out the chalky water from his mouth, "That's disgusting!" He cried. But he then noticed that he and the knight mage is in a really awkward position, he was on the middle, Erza sitting on his nether regions, covered with a towel, and her entire body is shown to him to see.
*Blush* Erza's face turned red as a tomato, not used to such a compliment from the opposite sex, "S-Stop looking at me like that!" The knight mage stuttered as she tries to cover herself, "I-It's embarrassing…"
The next thing she knew, Len is drowning in the bath with blood-red water starting to appear around him.