Chapter 2: The Strong, The Weak, The Overprotective
Hot water splatters on the bathroom floor in a familiar melody, Lucy hummed happily as she washed the dirt and sweat off of her, "This feels good…" She turns the hot water off and took a lone towel, wrapping it around her body and another around her wet hair. She looked in the mirror and remembered her brother. Her long lost brother that she hasn't seen for years suddenly appears in Magnolia and protected her from the Raijinshuu, she originally thought she would be angry at him, for leaving her all alone in the mansion all those years ago; but instead, all her anger vanished and replaced with happiness, "I'm so glad that I managed to see him again…"
She left the bathroom with her towel still around her body and rubbing her hair dry with the other, "Yo, Lucy!" She stiffened at the voice as she saw her brother sitting on her bed waving happily.
"Don't barge into other people's house!-!" She cried and hits him in the face, sending him crashing into the wall, "A-Ah! S-Sorry, nii-san!"
"I'm good, I'm good." Len grunted as he got back on his feet, "I'm the one who should apologize for coming in without saying anything."
"W-Why are you here?" Lucy asked, a little embarrassed that she saw her brother again and right after her bath.
"Can't I visit by sister?" Len laughed, "And also, I need a place to stay so…"
"You want to stay with me?-!"
"Is it okay with you?" Len asked worriedly.
"I-It's just that this room is so small and… well…" Lucy blushed heavily.
"I'll rent the room next to it if you want." Len stated.
"N-No! It's fine!" Lucy stated blushing, "I'm happy to let you stay with me!"
"Oh, okay." Len chuckled, "But I thought you would mind so I've already rent the room next door…"
"Then just stay there!" Lucy shouted angrily.
"Kay kay, I was just playing around with you." Len laughed. He then gave a small grin, "Well, I guess we're still living together, in a way."
"I-I guess…" Lucy giggled, 'Just like old times...'
The next morning, Lucy is sitting at the guild house with her friends and teammates, Natsu and Happy. The ice mage, Gray Fullbuster, sat with them as well, along with Lucy's good friend, Levy Mcgarden, "Oh, so your brother came back?" Natsu stated, "That's good for you, Lucy."
"Thanks!" Lucy beamed, "I've haven't seen him in years so it's kind of startling but I'm glad that he came back."
"Oh? So you do have a brother." Gray chuckled, "And here I thought it was someone's prank."
"Gray, your shirt." The blue cat informs him.
"Waa!-!" The Ice mage looked down on his half-naked self in shock.
"Hey, Lu-chan, what is your brother like?" Levy asked.
"Hm… I guess he's a really cool guy." Lucy said, "He always protected me from many dangers when we were kids. In fact, he is the only one of us that dares to stand up to my father, which leads to him leaving home in the first place."
"Ah~ That sounds like a pretty cool brother you have, Lu-chan~"
"But you know." Lucy giggled, "He seems to always get into trouble and even causes the trouble in the first place. I would say he is cool and a bit of a klutz."
"Who are you calling a klutz?"
Lucy stiffen as she saw her brother appearing behind her, an angry tick on his forehead, "A-Ah… I-I didn't mean it like that!"
"You little bugger!" Len grabs her into a headlock, "For eight years I didn't see you and you became like this?! Calling your older brother a klutz?!"
"Y-You're only older by a minute!-!" She cried out.
"I'm still older!" Len shouted.
"So that's her brother, huh?" Levy looked on at the two squabbles.
"They really looked alike, huh?" Gray said.
Len stopped as he saw them looking at them curiously, "Oh, hi!" Len greeted as he let go of Lucy, who gave him a kick to the shin, "Ow! God damn it, Lucy!"
"That's for that!" Lucy huffed, "Anyway, why are you here?"
"I'm here to sign up." Len tells her, "I'm joining Fairy Tail."
"Oh, really?-!" Lucy hugged him in joy, "That's great, Len-niisan! Here, I'll show you the way." She pulls her brother away to find Mirajane. Natsu just looked on at him curiously, "What is it, Natsu?" Happy asked.
"Ne, Happy." Natsu asked, "Is that guy strong?"
"Aye! He took down Bickslow like it was nothing!"
Natsu grinned happily, "Oh-ho? That's good to hear!" Natsu stood up with his fist flaming, "I'm getting all fired up."
After filling the necessary documents, Mirajane stamps the guild insignia on Len's left hand, gaining an orange Fairy Tail symbol. "There you go! You're now an official member of Fairy Tail." The white haired woman smiled.
"Is that great, Len-niisan?" Lucy said happily.
"Yup." Len clenched his hands, "At least now, I don't have to barge into other guilds awkwardly."
"Oi!" Natsu ran up from behind with his fist burning, "Fight me-" His sentence was cut short as Len lands a backhand on his face without thinking, or moving his body much, sending the fire mage flying and tumbling on the wooden floor. "Oh, you okay?" Len asked.
"Whoa… he beat up Natsu so easily." One of the members muttered.
"Looks like we have a new strong member in our ranks." Another replied.
"To think that Lucy's brother is strong..." Another stated.
"Hm?" Len look around at everyone's stares, even his own sister is staring at him in shock, "Did I... do something wrong?"
"You're strong, Lucy 2!" Natsu cheered when he got up.
"My name's Len!" Len shouted at him, "Don't mix me up with her!"
"Sorry about Natsu." Gray stated as he raised his hand up, "Welcome to Fairy Tail. I'm Gray."
"Nice to meet you, Gray." Len shook his hand, "Say, why are you naked?"
"Ah! Shit!" He cried out as the others face-palmed at his stupid habit.
"I'm Levy." Levy introduced herself, "It's very nice to meet you, Len-san."
"Nice to meet you too, Levy." Len greeted.
"So you managed to join in." Erza appeared behind them.
"It's good to have you a part of the family, Len." Erza gestures her hand in a handshake. "I'm honored to be part of it, Titania." Len greeted as he shook her hand.
"Please, call me Erza."
"Nah, I prefer Titania. Calling a girl by her first name doesn't sit well with me." Len lightly laughed, "Oh, I have been wondering, who's the Master here? I have something to ask."
"Did someone call me?" The Fairy Tail's Master, Makarov Dreyer appears from the entrance.
"Ah, gramps!" Natsu said startled.
"So you're master?" Len asked.
"Yup, that's me." Makarov jumped onto the table so that the newbie doesn't have to strain his neck looking down at him, "Is there something you need?"
"Well, yeah." Len stated, "I've heard there's a guild member named Mystogan here, and I was wondering if you know where he is at the moment."
"Mystogan?" Levy wonders.
"What does he want with him?" Cana wonders.
"Do you have business with him?" Makarov asked.
"Ah, nothing really. Just that he seems to resemble someone I know."
"Hm… I see. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I've no idea where he is at this point." The old man sighed, "That man is just untraceable by any means."
"I see." Len nodded, a bit disappointed.
"Len-niisan…" Lucy looked at her brother worriedly.
"Well, if you're planning on joining, you'll run into him one way or the other." Makarov tells the young lad, "He will come back to the guild at one point or another."
"I'll keep that in mind." He stated as he walked to one of the tables, sighing a little as he sits down. "Hey, you!" He turned to see Bickslow looking at him angrily, "You dare show your face here?-!" He shouted, his totem head puppets chorused the last sentence many times in echoes.
"You again...? Look, if you're angry about the other day, don't." Len stated, "You attacked Lucy first and I just came to protect her, nothing more."
"Tch, you son of a…"
"So you want to tussle?" Len looked at him seriously; you can see lightning crackling between them as everyone around them moved back slightly.
"That's enough, Bickslow." A green haired man in a dark red coat with a rapier on his waist, whose name is Freed Justine, tells him, "Accept your loss with dignity at least."
"Get lost, Freed." Bickslow spat, "I only lost because he caught me by surprise! That doesn't count!" His puppets readied around him for an order to attack, "And I'm willing to pay him back tenfold!"
"Look, I don't the time and will to deal with you right now." Len sighed as he got up, "So I'll make this quick." He drew his blade which in turn became a sword whip that he tosses at Bickslow, wrapping around him and Len in what looks like a small barrier, "W-What are you-?!" Bickslow shouted before noticing a Len in front of him with a small pill-like capsule in his fingers. He pressed the two halves together and tosses it in front of him. The small capsule beeps a few times before it glows and exploded in front of them.
"W-Whoa!" Gray exclaimed, "He blew themselves up!"
"Len-niisan!" Lucy cried.
Len leaped out of the smoke with a few bruises and lands on the floor in front of Lucy. Bickslow collapsed onto the ground with bruises all over him. The blonde guy picks up his sword-whip and change it back into a sword with a flick of his wrist, everyone all looked at him in shock.
"Now that's crazy…" Gray said in awe, "He took care of Bickslow so fast."
"Attacking the enemy and taking him down without regards to your own body..." Makarov stated, "Reckless but effective strategy, mostly used by mercenaries. But that way of fighting is mostly used by... Where do you learn how to fight like that?"
"Oh, I learnt it when I was training in Solien." Len stated.
"Oh?-! You trained there?-!" Makarov stated in shock.
"Hm? Solien?" Natsu wondered.
"What is that?" Happy asked.
"It's the country of fighters, located far west of Fiore, a large group of island in the middle of the sea." Mirajane informs them, "It could be considered a fighters' paradise, the entire country held countless arenas in which fellow fighters fight to their death for money and honor throughout the islands. It was said that most people who went to Solien came back to become soldiers of the Council or joined numerous Mercenary Guilds."
"I've trained there for five years straight, fighting and training almost all the time." Len explained, "I came back to Fiore two years ago and became a freelance mage."
"S-So you've been fighting to the death for five years?" Lucy stuttered.
"Ah, don't worry." Len tells her, "The fight to the death part is an over-exaggeration. There are medics on standby in every match that make sure that any of the competitors don't die. In fact, there are lesser deaths in the arena than outside the arena. And mostly people die from the street fights than anything."
'That's no different!' She mentally cried out, 'But... Len-niisan trained there for five years... Wait, five years...?'
"So it's a country that flourishes through fighting, huh?" Levy concluded.
"Oh! Sounds like a fun place!" Natsu cheered.
"If you definition of fun is fighting…" Gray sighed.
"That's a unique sword you got there." Erza stated.
"Oh, this?" Len lift up his sword in front of her, "This is a weapon created by one of my friends, one of the many others."
"Others?" She wonders.
"Here, let me show you." Two green magic circles appear on both sides and five swords came out of each circle. "Oh! Amazing!" Gray complimented as Len picked up a blue claymore sword from one side, it has a feather wing guard and a blue gem in the middle and a sky blue blade.
"I can summon any one of these for me to use, magic swords." He explained as the sword summons out a small tornado around the blade, "Also, each of these swords contains their own magic energy and abilities. The one I'm holding is called Sky Rider, and it has the ability to generate winds and tornado as well as other abilities." He placed the sword back with the others and they disappear as it appeared.
"Oh! That's pretty cool!" Natsu complimented.
"Is that some kind of Re-equip?" Gray wondered.
"Amazing! You're amazing, Len-niisan!" Lucy cheered as she hugged his arm, "Can you tell me everything you saw in there?"
"Ah, sure." Len said.
"I want to hear about it too!" Happy flew down towards them.
"I'm kind of interested as well." Erza stated.
"W-Well…" Len thought for a moment, "Not much, there were colonies on each island… with one arena each… then there was this dragon I found-"
"Dragon?-!" Natsu barged in front of his face, "Was it red, was its name Igneel?-!"
"W-Whoa… take it easy." Len tells him, "This dragon isn't the same as you described, it was white and its name was… Freeztia, if I recall…"
Natsu groaned as he slumped his shoulder in defeat.
"More importantly, why are you so tensed up?" He asked.
"Natsu here is looking for a dragon of that name." Lucy tells her brother, "He is a fire Dragon Slayer."
"Woah, a Dragon Slayer?!" Len cried in shock, "I never expect to meet another Dragon Slayer!"
"Eh? You mean you know one?" Gray asked.
"Yeah." Len nodded, "But she's not that crazy as Mr. Fireman here."
The rest of the morning was all about most of the guild asking Len questions about him, his life before, even some gutsy guys asked for Lucy's measurements and got hammered by him. That gave the guild a new rule: Don't harass Lucy or her brother will deliver judgment on all of you.
At during that madness, Erza was dragged to the side by Makarov, "What do you think, Erza?" The old master asked.
"From what I remembered from that time, he uses a gun-based magic." Erza stated, "But here, he uses a similar magic as mine."
"Indeed." Makarov stated, "Normally, a mage can only specialized in one magic only. Even if they use another type of magic, it would take years to perform so. Not only that…" He glared at the blonde's right gloved arm, "There's a dark force radiating from him as well. We better keep an eye out for him."
It has been a couple of days since he has join, with now Len looking at the Request Board for a while. He wanted to go on a job for a while, but her sister wants her to stay and get accustomed to the city of Magnolia first. Sometimes, he cursed himself for being too lenient to her. He sighed as he skimmed across the green wooden board, 'Now… what to do…?' He thought, 'Capture an S-class monster? Nah, that's a little tricky… Deliver a simple package to the island of Medica? I've heard from others that there're pirates all around so I doubt it would work since I suck at navigating… Oh! Find a treasure in the mountains of Drakia, details will be given at the town of Drakia. The reward is 15 000 000 jewels!'
"That would work…" Len mumbled.
"Oh, a treasure? That seems rather interesting…" A female voice said, "Maybe Alzack will be interested…"
"I'll choose this one!" Len grabbed the paper with another hand grabbing it as well. He turned to see a green haired girl with purple-brown eyes around his age; she wore a light brown cowgirl hat with a yellow scarf around her neck, dark-blue one piece dress with red boots. "Oh, hello." Len raised his hand in greeting, "Sorry to tell you this, but I've already chose to do this job."
"Sorry, but I've touched it first." She stated.
Both glared at each other for a moment, before Len spoke, "You know what, this is getting us nowhere, so let's both do the job."
"Sorry, but I've plan to do it with someone else." She stated.
"Then the three of us then." Len smiled, "More the merrier, right?"
"I-I see…" She nodded, "Alzack! We have a new job, and we're taking the newbie!"
"Coming!" Her partner came running towards them. Alzack has long shaggy black hair and eyes of the same color, he wore a brown poncho around his shoulders covering most of his body, dark brown shirt with sleeves rolled up and brown pants with his two black guns slung on both sides with a green belt, "Is this the new guy?"
"Yup, hang on as I tell Mira about this." The girl walked off to the white haired receptionist, leaving the two guys alone.
Both stood there with an awkward silence in the air, neither is speaking with Len not knowing them and Alzack not interested in small talk.
"So… my name's Len. Nice to meet you." Len started off.
"Alzack Connell." He said.
"So Alzack…" Len mumbled as he rubs his neck awkwardly, "You're always partner with that girl?"
"Her name's Bisca." Alzack said, "Please try to remember that."
"I'll try." Len grinned.
"Okay, we're set to go." Bisca tells them as she walked up back, "Do any of you know how to get to Drakia?"
"There's a train from Magnolia that takes us within a day time to it, but we have walk to the town ourselves." Len stated.
"That's good enough." Alzack nodded.
They took a common tram as they waited for their destination. Len looks out of the window and watch the trees goes by, "Say, Len." Bisca spoke up, "What kind of magic do you use?" Len looked at her confused, "You helped Erza destroy 100 of the Thunder Lacrimas back then didn't you? What kind of magic did you used back then?"
"Oh, that?" Len took out his gun, "Gun-based Magic, I called it Temple Magic. Don't ask why the name is that. I was curious as well."
"Oh!" Alzack took the silver gun into his hands, "This is the Dragonite M-73!" He said in awe, "This gun has the newest loading system with almost no recoil than most magic guns! There are almost impossible to buy, each worth a fortune! But looks like it have been modified."
"Really?" Len looked at him startled, "I got this from a friend, or rather, he threw it away and I just repair it good as new."
"You repair it?-!" Alzack said in shock, "These things are really complicated in its system!"
"When you've been living on the road for a month, you pick up a lot of things." Len said.
"So you used Gun Magic as well?" Bisca asked.
"Not completely." Len stated, "I use both guns and swords. I'm a magic fighter. And you're right about the modification." He took back the gun and pressed a button on the cartridge under the barrel, a small yellow-framed card with a yellow symbol of a cross in it drops out and into his hand.
"Oh? What's that?" Bisca asked.
"A card cartridge." Len stated, "My magic power aren't that strong on its own, so this helped cover that. This card is one of the few cartridge I uses to change normal bullets to magic projectiles, each of these cards have a lacrima circuitry implanted within that can absorb magic of other mages, and then using them with the gun. If I didn't place it in," He opened the window and shoots at a nearby tree, the magnum bullet impacts on the trunk, "It just shoots normal bullets."
"That's pretty amazing." Alzack said in awe.
After that one conversation, they just kept quiet for the rest of the way. Bisca reading the map so they would know where to go, Alzack just examines his gun time to time while Len look outside from the window bored. The blonde often took glances of his 'team', noticing Alzack taking small peeks at Bisca time to time, the same from the other. 'Ah... I smell a crush~'
Soon, they reached the Drakia station, and they proceeds to walk along the dirt path. The first they notice is that the town is situated on top of a plateau, and they build a cable system to reach there that goes from the town to another mountain, but that's for the villagers' use only. The other way up for travelers is an earth path that goes around the highlands to the top. They rented three horses and gallop their way up along the narrow path, Bisca leading the way with Alzack and Len behind.
"Please try to be careful!" Bisca warns them, "The road is narrow and steep!"
"We will!" Alzack answered.
"Say, Alzack," Len spoke soft enough that only Alzack can hear him, "Do you like Bisca?" The cowboy nearly fall off his horse in shock if he didn't held on his steed tight enough, "I take that as a yes. I wouldn't blame you. She's cute and nice, have a rather nice body too." Alzack glares at him angrily, "Oh, don't worry. She's not my type."
"I-I see…" Alzack mumbled, blushing a little.
"You know, you could find the treasure first and impress her." Len stated.
"I hope so..."
They arrived at the town of Drakia by sunset. It has a series of wooden houses with straw roofs, with some small wooden fences to show their territory. There are plenty of villagers; all tanned and the guys are slightly bulk of a wrester. The guards by the gate stop them, "What business you have here?" One of them asked.
"We're here on the job requested by this town." Bisca stated.
"Ah, then you must be mages." A middle-aged man walked up wearing a beige long-sleeved shirt with brown pants and explorer boots, "I'm the one that send that request. The name's Drake."
"Nice to meet you, Drake." Bisca shook his hand.
"Come with me, I'll tell you on the way." Drake walked into the village with the three mages following right behind and beside him. "So, what's exactly are we supposed to find?" Len asked.
"Why that, my friends, is a famous hammer of the Mountain Giant." He tells them, "You see, the villagers here have a story of the famous god that created these mountains by the swing of his hammer. The legend has it, that hammer that god wields is capable of destroying mountains and splitting continents. And also, there's rumors of a grand amount of fortune hidden along with it that will last anyone a lifetime!"
"So you're after the fortune?" Len asked.
"Oh non non, my good man!" Drake stated, "I do not have any interest in immersive wealth. I'm a free man that follows where the man romance goes~ I'm the great Treasure Hunter Drake after all~ I'm after the legendary hammer itself!"
"Are you sure?" Alzack asked.
"I have no use of wealth. It only add extra unnecessary baggage!" Drake tells them, "Also, that hammer is a legendary piece of artifact! Even if that hammer isn't magic, it's still worth a lot in history! Imagine the publicity I would gain!"
"And the reward?" Bisca asked.
"A personal token." Drake smiled, "In my travels, I have quite a large amount of money in my disposal. A few million jewels are nothing to me. And if you manage to bring back some of the treasure, you can pawn them with a lot of the money! What do you say?"
"So you're coming with us?" Len asked.
"Of course!" Drake said proudly, "It wouldn't be a man's romance if I let you do all the work!"
"Sounds good enough." Bisca nodded, "When do you begin?"
"At dawn outside the gates." Drake tells them, outside a wooden inn, "Get some rest and meet me there." The treasure hunter walks off, leaving them to check in the inn. Len decides to explore the town a bit so he would be familiar with the surroundings. He passes by some villagers that seem to look at him cautiously; he just threw it off as the villagers hardly get any travelers up there since its position on the highlands. He then felt a tug on his pants. He look down to see a young tanned girl with long black hair and same colored eyes, in a leather overall that looks like a dress.
"A-Are you a mage, m-mister?" She asked timidly.
Len kneeled down to her level, "Yes I am, little girl." He said softly, hoping not to scare her, "Is there something you want?"
"M-My d-dad…" She muttered, "He went into the mountains yesterday to look for this treasure… since our town here is poor, he thought that if he could find the treasure… the town would be saved but…" She starts to sobs as tears drops down her cheek, "H-He never came back! I-I'm worried a-and…"
Len took a small white handkerchief and wipes her eyes and cheeks, "I see." He nodded and gave her a nice smile, "Don't worry about it. I'll find him and bring him back here."
At dawn, the three Fairy Tail mages waited outside the town borders as Drake came up through the gate; he wore a brown leather jacket and a single revolver by the side of his waist, as he waved at them. From there, they walked up the path near the mountains, the path that leads to the ruins of the palace of the Hammer God; the main attraction of Drakia that almost countless tourist came to view, despite its rocky and dangerous environment.
Soon, they arrive at the ruins' entrance, a broken stone gate stood proudly with the words Hammer engraved on its billboard. Len looks around curiously, "This isn't the ruins the tourists go, is it?"
"That's correct." Drake stated, "This is secret shrine that was used as the Hammer God's vault. It was discovered by some archeologists couple years back, but some of the experts that went into these tombs never returned, so the council stopped their investigation here. Thus, this place was completely hidden from the public's eye."
"Then how do you know about it if it was hidden?" Alzack asked.
"I have my own sources." Drake stated. "Anyway, the hammer and treasure is hidden away underneath this shrine. There should be an entrance into it, so let's split up and search for it." They all split into pairs, Alzack with Drake and Len with Bisca, and they move to find the so-called hidden entrances.
Drake and Alzack walked for a while, scanning around the ruins and trying to find out if there's anything out of place; Drake looking and investigating every wall and rocks while Alzack simply gaze around. Drake look over to a small wall, and found some writings carved in. He took out a small brown notebook and starts writing them down.
Alzack walks up from behind him, "What is this?"
"Some kind of ancient writing." Drake stated as he continue to write it down, "And an odd one too. This language has links to the Drakia's own old language." He took out a small Frisbee-shaped device the size of his palm that has two series of gears and turns them back and forth, "[Where the Hammer God once lies stood the black god of death.], huh?"
"What does that mean?"
"No idea." Drake stated, "But it may have clues to the hammer." He pockets his notebook and his device, his partner looked at it curiously.
"What is that device you used?" Alzack asked.
"A translation device." The treasure hunter stated, "An old friend found its blueprints in an old ruin one day and manages to rebuild it from scratch. It can translate most of the ancient languages into our own language, almost 87% correct most of the time."
"It must be useful, for someone like you." Alzack stated.
"It's an asset worth the cost." Drake chuckled, "Helped me find most of the treasures and artifact, and even saved my life a couple of times."
A shout of Bisca's voice startled Alzack, "Bisca!" He ran towards the scream; and found a deep hole in the ground.
Len grunted as he got up, his head hurting like hell. The last thing he remembered was he and Bisca were looking around the ruins to find the secret entrance, the cowgirl then accidentally steps on something and the ground under them just gave way and they ended up falling down. He looks around and finds themselves in a large cave, man-made from the obvious signs of digging along the walls.
"Oh… my head…" Len grumbled, "You all right, Bisca?"
"Y-Yeah…" Bisca grunted as she got up, "No bones broken."
"Bisca! Can you hear me?!" Alzack shouted.
They looked up, noticing the shadow of the cowboy mage shouting down from a huge hole in the ceiling. "We're fine!" Bisca shouted back, "Nothing broken!"
"That's good…" Alzack sighed.
"Is there anything down there?!" Drake shouted.
"I don't know, it's too dark to make out anything!" Bisca shouted.
"Hang on for a second." Len brought out his green bag and search through it. He then brought out a small stick with a blue crystal at its end. He turns the end and the crystal turns on, illuminating the entire cave in a blue-white light. The stalactites hand from the ceiling with a hole with stairs leading it them from where they are and behind them, "We're on a stairway to somewhere. My guess is from the entrance, the other is to who-knows-where."
"Then the treasure and hammer would be in different rooms." Drake stated, "[Where the Hammer God once lies stood the black god of death.]… We need to split up from here as well. I and Alzack will take the room behind you, and you would take the other one." He leaps right down in front of them with Alzack following, "We'll meet up here."
"Agreed." Len nodded, the rest follow suit.
Len and Bisca walked up the stairs and enter the room above them, while Drake and Alzack enter the other room. What they do not know that the black god of death, will soon descend on them.