Chapter 9: The Fairy Slayer
In the Royal City, Natsu, Wendy, Lucy, Maya, Len, Happy and Carla are now walking along the streets with Len wearing his hood down. As the name states, the city is filled with all sorts of entertainment compared the other towns they visited. People will cheery talking to each other, children were playing with all sorts of magic toys and features of amusement were all around them.
"What is this?" Wendy wondered.
"This is surprising…" Lucy said in awe, "I've heard that this place is under dictatorship so, I expected this town to be more inactive…"
"We got into town so easily too." Maya stated.
"This place is really different from Luen or Shicca…" Lucy stated, "It's like an amusement park…"
"Are all this things powered by magic?" Maya wondered.
"This is a waste of magical power." Carla huffed, "They took the magical power from all the other countries and guilds and concentrated all the magical power in this town."
"Well, we are at the capital, isn't it?" Len stated, looking around and viewing the goods, "For people to remain loyal this long without a single sign of an anti-government organization, the king probably make use of the magic he got from Anima to makes this place into an entertainment hub. Since there are people that are happy with their lives, there's no reason for the citizen to be angry at the kingdom."
"What a king…" Lucy said.
Len then recalled what Natsu[E] has said before. 'My counterpart… a traitor of Fairy Tail…? Not only that, he worked with Titania's counterpart who is the one responsible for the near-destruction of Fairy Tail… but something is not right… Why didn't Edo-Maya and Mary say anything about that? There's more to it than it seems…'
"Ah, there's a crowd over there." Wendy said, pointing at the crowd.
"Is there a parade or something?" Lucy wonders.
"A fight?" Maya asked.
"I doubt that." Len comically smacks her, "This isn't Solien, after all…"
"Let's go and check it out!" Natsu declared as he ran towards the crowd, Happy following right behind. The rest decided to follow him as well, shoving past all the people, but then Natsu suddenly stopped, causing Lucy to bump into him followed by Len bumping in her and Maya bumping into him, "Don't just stop all of the sudden!" Maya whined.
"Ah, no. Lucy just stopped as well…" Len stated.
"Len-niisan…" Lucy stuttered, "T-That's…"
In front of them, stood a huge crystal almost as tall as most of the buildings around them, secured to the ground with ropes and soldiers of the Royal Army standing guard around it, "It's the lacrima…" Wendy stuttered.
"Don't tell me… this is…" Lucy stuttered.
"Everyone from Magnolia…" Happy muttered in shock.
"On top of that, this is just a part of it." Carla stated, "There are traces of it being cut off."
"She's right. I only sensed two particular signatures, but they are too fused with each other so I can't make out who is this." Len stated.
"You mean the whole thing is even bigger?-!" Maya cried.
The crowd cheered even louder as an old man wearing a cloak and with a scepter at hand and a crown on his head appears and starts speaking, "Children of Edolas. Our holy country Edolas has created ten years' worth of magical power through the power of Anima. Let us sing and celebrate together… and share this happiness." The crowd roared with cheers, "Edolas' people have a right to share this magic power! Also, Edolas is the only holy nation that will continue to the future! Nobody can take magic power from my country! From our country! I promise you, that I'll gain more magic power! One, that will make you think this much magical power is a piece of trash!" He ended smacking his staff on the lacrima, cracking it a little, and the entire crowd starts to cheer and chanting their nation's name over and over.
That snaps Natsu as he was about to rush in to beat the king up, but Lucy managed to hold him back before he does anything rash, "Hold it, Natsu!"
"I can't do that!" Natsu shouted, "That is… That lacrima…!"
"Please…" Lucy stuttered, she already on the verge of tears, "Everyone feels the same…"
Len pulls his hood down further to cover his eyes; Maya lowered her head so her bangs covered her eyes. The two cats couldn't say anything, Wendy too. In the shadow of his hood, Len is already fuming and ready to punch that thief of a king in the mug before scarring him with his sword and pull his eye balls out.
After the crowd diminished, it was already evening and they all rented a room in the nearby inn. In there, everyone was still all down from finding out about the king, or rather the nation itself, and the fact their friends are so close, yet they can't do anything. "I can't stand it anymore!" Natsu shouted as he got off the window, "I'm charging into the castle!"
"Wait a bit longer please." Carla tells him.
"Why should I?-!"
"We need to formulate a plan." The white cat added, "Or we won't be able to return everyone back."
That shut the fire dragon slayer up. "Even so, how do you change everyone back?" Len asked.
"We have no choice but to ask the king himself for that." Carla stated.
"There's no way he will tell us." Wendy stated.
"Why don't we just kick his ass?-!" Natsu shouted.
"And how are you planning on doing that?" Len asked, "You and I know we can't use magic freely like we did."
"I know that but…"
Lucy then realized something, "Does the king know how to change everyone back?" She asked.
"Most likely." Carla tells them.
"This might work, if we are able to get really close to the king…"
"Really?-!" Natsu cried.
"W-What do you mean?" Wendy asked.
"I'm talking about Gemini." The celestial mage said, "Gemini can turn into whoever they touch. But during this time, they can also know everything that person is thinking. In other words, if they can transform into the king, we can know how to save everyone."
"Oh!" Everyone realized, except for Len.
"Wait, I thought we all can't use magic?" Len asked.
"Lucy-san is still able to use her magic." Wendy tells him.
"Eh?-! So unfair!" Len cried.
"The question is… how we can get close to the king…" Lucy said.
"There are too many guards around. It wouldn't be easy…" Wendy said.
"Not to mention getting to the king, entering the palace is almost impossible…" Len stated.
"There is a way to get close to the king."
The white cat suddenly said holding a diagram she drawn on a piece of paper, "It was originally an escape route leading to outside the castle, but the underground route and the outside of the city should be connected."
"Amazing!" Wendy cried, "How do you know?"
"This is the information that just comes up in my mind." Carla stated, "Ever since I came to Edolas, geological information has been added little by little."
"Nothing's coming up for me…" Happy said sadly.
"In any case, if we can get into the castle from there, we can make this work." Lucy said.
"Alright! Let's turn everyone back into their normal selves!" Natsu declared.
"We should leave at night. For now, let's just rest as much as we can." Carla said.
"Okay, good night." Len said flopping on the bed and falling asleep immediately, "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…"
"Fast!" Lucy and Natsu cried.
"Len-san has this tenacity to sleep really quickly." Wendy tells them.
"But isn't that too fast?-!"
When night fall, they followed Carla as they entered a mine via the map Carla drawn from her knowledge. Once they reached to the point, the entrance is blocked by boulders and wooden planks but was quickly taken care of by Lucy's Taurus. "There's really an entrance!" Wendy said in awe. "So this is the passageway to the castle?" Len asked.
"I hope it connects, though…" Carla stated.
Natsu then noticed Happy looking not so happy at the moment, "What's wrong, Happy?" He asked.
"Why don't I have that 'Information'? I'm the same as Carla and was sent to Earthland to accomplish a task, right?" Happy asked.
"You promised you wouldn't ask me that, right?" Carla stated.
"…I too, have no idea why this is so in your case."
"Let's move further inside." Len stated as he entered the passageway, the rest following along. To them, the entrance looked really old and ready to crumble down on them any minute, Natsu openly mentioned that and causing Lucy to get even more worried. "But still, how is this place still standing after all this time…?" Len asked.
Natsu then suddenly stopped with eyes widen in shock, "What's wrong, Natsu?-! Did you find something?" Lucy asked worriedly.
"Lucy, hold this for a second." The salamander said as he gives the fire torch to her, getting her more worried, "Don't move."
"What, you found something?" Len asked.
"Uho~uho~ This is my territory~!" Natsu said happily making a shadow puppet with his hands, leading to both Heartfilia twins to hit him with a torch into his mouth from Lucy and a fist to the head from Len for messing around. After that, they continued down the passageway, following Carla as she directed them along. Eventually, they come to a huge clearing.
"Looks like this place really is connected to the basement of the castle." Carla stated.
"Not sure how you did it, but you being here is a great help, Carla!" Lucy stated.
"I don't know either." She stated, "The information just keeps coming to me, piece by piece."
"Thank you, Carla." Happy thanks her.
"If you're going to thank me, do it after you've been some help to someone." Carla tells him, "But it's going to get tougher from this point on. We're going to have to enter the palace and into the king's sleeping quarters without getting notice and escape unnoticed as well. If we are discovered by the soldiers, we won't be much of a match as we are now."
"Though we'll always have my magic for critical situations." Lucy said proudly.
"Can't say I'm expecting much, though." Natsu sighed.
"What's that supposed to mean?-!" Lucy cried angrily, "If you haven't noticed, our plan revolves around my Gemini!"
"Even so, you can't summon two spirits at once with your current power." Len stated, "So we have to be really careful."
"Yeah yeah…" Natsu said bored.
The next thing they knew, white sticky stuff wrapped around Lucy's body with her giving a shriek in fright, "Lucy!" Len cried, before another of the same sticky residue wraps around him too. "Len!" Maya cried with another of the residue wrapping around her too.
"W-What on earth…" Lucy groaned.
"KYA!" Wendy too was captured.
"Wendy!" Carla cried.
"Who's th-" Natsu was silenced as the sticky residue wrapped around both his mouth and his body.
"I… can't move…" Len groaned.
In the darkness, footsteps are heard as more torches light up the dark cave, revealing countless soldiers surrounding them with spears pointing at them, "The soldiers!" Len cried.
"W-Why would the tunnel have…?" Lucy cried.
"H-How did they find us?" Happy asked worriedly.
"So these must be the magic-users from Earthland." A familiar voice said, but her tone has nothing but threats in them, as the female general came out of the shadows, "You look exactly like them, Natsu Dragion, Lucy Ashley, Maya Freeya, are you really different people?"
"Erza!" Lucy cried.
"The Edolas Erza?-!" Len cried.
"Hm? I don't know who you are, but you are under arrest for allying with members of the Dark Guild." Erza[E] stated.
'Oh right, my hood is still on.' Len remembered.
"Bring them along." She commanded, and the soldiers starts dragging them into the shadows.
"Wait, Erza-san." A familiar voice said, as another shadow walks out, revealing to be the Edolas Len. Unlike the real Len, he has longer hair that he ties in a small ponytail on the back of his head; he is wearing a black trench coat with a small metal shoulder pad on his left shoulder over a dark grey shirt and black gloves, black pants and black armored army boots. On both his sides, were two large white guns with a large blade extending from beneath the barrels.
"L-Len-niisan!" Lucy cried.
'M-Me?-!' Len mentally cried, not wanting to alert the soldiers.
"This man could have the location of the Fairy Tail Guild you missed." Len[E] stated, obviously mocking Erza[E], who gritted her teeth in irritation, "Allow me to take care of him myself. Undo the bindings around him." As such, the sticky residue is removed around him, causing Len to slump down on the ground on his knees. Len[E] took him by the collar and lifts up him to meet his face, Len could feel his time coming. Although, what he didn't expect was for his counterpart to lean his face to his ear.
"Hit me with all your might and get out of here." He whispered.
"I know you are me from Earthland, so I can trust you. I'm not your enemy, nor Fairy Tail's." He added, "I'm a double agent to protect them." Len's eyes widen in shock, "When you get out of the mine, head back into town and hide from the soldiers. What you do from then on is up to you."
"Then why should I trust you?" Len asked.
"Because I am you."
Len smirked, "That's all I need to know." He spun and strikes a right kick to the side and sends his Edolas counterpart flying into the wall.
"Vice-Captain Len!" One of the soldiers cried.
"Get him!" Another shouted.
Len clicked a cartridge into his gun, "Templar Magic, Templar Wave!" He chanted as a magic circle appears by the muzzle and creates a light shining the entire cave equivalent of the entire sun, blinding the soldiers, giving him a chance to escape the area and back into the passageway into the mine. Unfortunately, there are soldiers guarding the entrance as well, "Don't let him escape!" They cried readying their spears.
"Motor Drive!" Len grabs his sword and twisting the motor, and then swinging at them, slicing them in the shoulders, knocking them unconscious. He exited the mine and head back into the Royal City. Due to it being night, there aren't much people out, so he is able to get by the streets undisturbed. His only problem is the amount of soldiers that are stationed around the area. He can't just break into some random house and hope it is abandoned, so he decided to enter an alley way and wait for the soldiers to give up.
'I think I have lost them… for now…' Len sighed as he slides down the wall he was leaning on. He hissed as his hand went to the wound he received from one of the soldiers when he was escaping the mine when the spear just grazed him, and he was losing a lot of blood. 'Not good… I should have at least steal some cloth to wrap my wound in…' He then falls on the ground dead-tired. Not just blood loss, the fatigue from running from the soldiers is a second attack on him from being conscious and unconscious, "Not good… I mustn't… sleep…" Everything went black as he succumbs to his fatigue.
What he didn't realize is that a girl just happened to pass by the alley founding him, "O-Oh my!" The girl ran towards him dropping her bag of groceries, "Mister, you okay?-! Please, say something!" She cried, shaking him badly, "Ah! There's so much blood! Hang on mister! I'm going to get help!"
Slowly, Len's eye opened, the surroundings started off blurry at first, but his sight readjusted and he was met with a white ceiling with a lone crystal that seems to be generating wind. Len got up, he realized he is not in his own clothes, or rather, he is half-naked, stripped to his black boxer with bandages around his stomach, "W-What the?-!" He cried out, "W-Why am I…?"
"Oh, you're awake?" A really familiar voice said, Len's eyes widen in shock as he saw who walks in the door. A girl with long brown hair that reaches passed her hip with a white bandana around her head and blue eyes, wearing a white blouse with a red ribbon and red mini-skirt with leather shoes, "I was shocked when I found you fainted in the alley. It was lucky I managed to find you there."
"Hm? How do you know my name?" Mei asked as she patted his forehead, "You still looked a little exhausted, you should rest up some more. I'll go get something for you to drink." She was about to walk away but Len went and wrap his arms around her, "W-What are you…?"
"Please… just stay with me…" Len said, almost a whimper.
Mei blushed a little, "W-What kind of nonsense are you saying…?" She asked as she pushed his arms away, causing him to fall off the bed accidentally and grabbed on the closest thing to him, earning a cry of pain from the girl, "D-Don't grab that!" She cried.
"Ite… sorry about that…" Len said as he saw what he has in his hands, a bright brown furry cat tail, "Eh? A tail?" He pulled on it curiously, causing Mei to cry out in pain again, and causing her to fall on her butt and hitting Len on the chest with her head. The force also caused her bandana to become undone, revealing two brown cat ears on her head, "Ears…?"
Mei finally realized what happened as she scrambles away from him hiding her ears in her hands, the long cat tail swaying around behind her, "T-This is…"
"You're… a cat?"
Mei slowly poured a cup of tea in her kitchen, before putting them on the tray and bringing them back into the room, her ears and tail out. Len, now fully clothed with the clothes he was given, which is a black leather jacket over a grey t-shirt and black jeans with black leather shoes, his armor back on his right arm, looked around the small apartment she called home, reminding him of Lucy's apartment with most of the similar furniture and everything. "Sorry to keep you waiting." Mei said as she shyly placed the two cups on the table, before taking a sit on the cushion opposite him.
Len still can't believe that the person standing in front of him is Mei. After the incident in Solien that resulted in her death, he never was able to forgive himself. But in front of him right now, is the same person, yet different, obviously due to the cat features she has.
"So… about my… issue…" She said shyly.
"You have a cat illness or something?" Len asked, before mentally face-palming for such a stupid comment.
"T-That's not it." Mei stated, "You see, I'm actually half-exceed."
"Exceed? What's that?" Len asked.
"Eh?-! You don't know?-!" Mei cried in shock, before noticing something, "Now that I look closely, you looked like Vice-General Len… Wait, you looked just like him!-!"
"Ah… I guess I need to explain as well…"
"So you're from another world, called Earthland, in a country called Fiore, where magic is abundant…?" Mei asked, Len nodded, "And you came here to find your comrades and friends that have been turned into lacrima by King Faust's Anima with some of your friends but they got captured while you just managed escaped?" He nodded again.
'So the king's name is Faust…' Len thought.
"This is really weird…" Mei said, crossing her arms under her well-sized breasts pushing them up a little, Len blushed at that, "I never thought that Anima is doing such a thing. I always thought it was weird to create magic from nothing, but this is worst…"
"I know that I just came to, but I need to get going." Len tells her, "If I don't find my friends soon, they will…"
"Can I come with you?"
"Eh?" Len looked at her as if she was joking, but her eyes tell him that she is not playing around, "EH?-! You serious?-! Even if you are some half-cat person, I can't allow an unarmed person to enter a battlefield like that!"
"But I can help you!" Mei cried, "Besides, I'm not unarmed!" She ran and starts to rummaged her drawers, Len looking at her confused, before Mei took out a thin one-handed sword with a ring guard and bright gem at the end of the metal handle in a bright red sheathe, "I'm a Six-Degree master in Fencing! And since I'm half-exceed, I have magical powers inside of me so I'm stronger than most people!"
"So you can fight as well, huh?" Len stated, before sighing a little, "Fine, come on then." He picked up his gun still in its holster and his still sheathed Motor Knight. He exited the apartment with Mei right behind him with her white bandana around her head.
"By the way, can you tell me more about your world?" Mei asked.
"I guess that is fair…" Len stated, "Well, for starters, magic to us is not a resource but a source of skill and ability, I guess?"
"You mean you can use magic in a certain way?" Mei asked.
"You could say that, but my world, there are people who are naturally born with magic inside of them called wizards, as well as other magic spells created by others…" He added, remembering Nirvana and the hammer artifact.
"You mean your world has people born with magic powers?" She asked, Len nodded, "This is amazing… I never thought there are others like me…"
"You mean you're the only person, or rather human, that has magic power in your body?" Len asked.
"Yeah, with my father being an exceed…" Mei trailed off.
"Oh yeah, you did mentioned something about being half?" Len asked, "What exactly are exceeds?"
"…Exceed… are like angels that rule over the humans…" Mei stated, "At least, that's what the other people said. They are a cat-like race which is the only race capable of storing magic in their bodies…"
"Cat-like…" Len then realized, 'Could Happy and Carla be exceeds…?'
"My father was an exceed that fall in love with a human, my mother." Mei explained, "I'm just a half human half exceed, a third category, a monster…"
"You're not a monster." Len tells her, "Sure you have cat ears and a tail, but that doesn't mean you're a monster. You're just different."
"Even so…" Mei muttered. They are then heard loud clashing and fighting coming from the central plaza, "Eh? What's going on?"
"It's from the plaza…" Len then remembered, "The lacrima!" He ran straight towards the plaza with Mei following behind closely. When they reached it, what they saw was a whole group of soldiers fighting against one guy, a spiky black-haired guy with metal studs on his nose and eyelids, "Eh?-! Gajeel Redfox?-!" Len cried.
Gajeel just hits another soldier away with his metal pipe hit, "Oh? Ora, isn't it blondie-two?" He said with a smirk, "So you weren't absorbed into by Anima as well."
"Never mind that, what happened to the lacrima here before?" Len asked worriedly.
"Oh, you mean Titania and the Ice-Creation boy?" Gajeel said, "They were heading to the castle to meet up with your sister."
"Wait, Titania and Gray Fullbuster are back to normal?-!" Len said shocked, "How do you turn them back to normal?-!"
"Simple, I hit them with my Dragon Slayer magic." Gajeel stated.
"EH?-! THAT'S IT?!" Len cried, "Is it really okay…? Are you sure they won't get some crazy side effect from that…?"
"Are you doubting me?!"
"Oi, isn't that Vice-Captain Len?" A random soldier asked.
"No, he looked different." Another soldier said, "His hair is shorter and he has that weird sword on his back."
"You're right; and isn't the Vice-Captain with the king right now?" Another said.
"He must be his ally." The first soldier said.
"Get him!" They charged forward with their spear charging him, "Don't let him strike!"
"I won't let you!" Mei shouted as she stabs forward wildly with her fencing sword, its thin silver blade glimmers in the sunlight.
"What are you doing?-!" The soldiers cried.
"Don't mind her; she's that monster that lives down the street." One of the soldiers said, "She is a target too."
"Since code ETD has been activated, there's no need to keep fearing her." Another soldier said.
"Code ETD…?" Len wonders, 'They said something about not fearing Edo Mei anymore… ETD… Exceed Total Destruction?-!'
"Kill them!" They shouted.
"For Edolas! For King Faust!"
"They got all pumped up all of the sudden…" Len muttered worriedly. The metal dragon slayer then threw a bottle of red pills into his palms, "Eh? What's this?"
"X-Balls." Gajeel stated, "A medicine I got from Mystogan. It allows you to use your magic in Edolas."
"Mystogan, you say?" Len stated, before popping a small pill into his mouth and swallowing.
"He's not moving! Get him now!"
The soldiers ganged up on Len, before they were blown away by sheer force, the blonde has now his Sky Rider and Earth Breaker in his hands, "Sky Earth Style, Sandstorm…" He swings his two swords around and a huge sandstorm hurricane bursts out from around him, "Crusher!" The sand typhoon sends the soldiers flying, all the while slicing them continuously.
"A-Amazing!" Mei said in awe, "This is Earthland's magic?"
"What do you know; he can hold him own after all." Gajeel smirked.
"W-What is he?-!" A soldier said worriedly as he saw his comrades fall to the ground unconscious or all bloody, "He brought out a tornado with his swords alone!"
"Those swords aren't like any we seen before!" They cried.
"He isn't Vice-General Len after all!"
"Gajeel!" A sudden voice shouted, the three now noticing Happy flying straight towards them, "Ah! Len too!"
"Happy, you're alright?" Len said in relief, "Is Lucy safe?"
"Aye, Gray and Erza managed to get to us on time." Happy tells them, "Hang on! I'll guide you to where the lacrima is at!"
"You know what it is at?" Len asked.
Happy simply flew straight at Gajeel and grab him on his back before lifting him up into the air, "Hey! Don't grab me like that!" The metal dragon slayer said angrily.
"Oi, hold on just a second!" Len cried.
"Len-san, please brace yourself."
"Eh? What are you doing-W-Whoa!" Mei sudden grabbed him from behind and flew right after them, two white wings sprouted on her back, "Y-You grew wings!" Len cried, before remembering, "Oh yeah, you're half exceed-cat-thing…"
The two followed the Gajeel and Happy as they landed on the floating island above the city with a large blue lacrima that makes them look like ants in comparison, "It's huge…" Gajeel gawked.
"It's a lot bigger that I thought it would be." Happy stated.
"This is the lacrima your friends are in?" Mei asked. Len can sense a huge variety of magic energy in the large blue crystal, noting that he sensed Makarov and Gildarts's magic powers standing out the most, "There's no doubt, this is the one." He stated.
"What a troublesome guild…" The metal dragon slayer groaned as he spun his shoulder joint, "When we get back, I'm eating all the iron I want."
"Go for it, Gajeel!" Happy cheered.
"But is iron that good?" Mei questioned.
"Please don't try and understand." Len sighed.
What they did not expect was the slash of a blade from nowhere suddenly crashes down on them from above, luckily no one was close enough to get hit by it. The gigantic blade of a sword rises up from the crater, the large sword in the hands of a rather large Black Panther-like person in a knight armor and with two bird wings sprouted on his back, "Who the fuck is that?-!" Gajeel cried.
"Captain of the Royal Army First Magical War Division, Panther Lily!" Mei cried, "Why is a captain…?-!"
"This lacrima is the most important piece of our current plans." Lily stated, "I won't let you have it."
"Wings… An exceed?-!" Len cried.
"Stand back, cat, blondie-two." Gajeel tells them, "Iron Dragon Sword!" He strikes back with a large jagged bladed sword from his hand, Lily easily dodged it before striking them again with his large sword which they managed to dodge the attack with luckily, "What a large sword!" Len cried, "And the way he wields it with ease… He's not just simple warrior…"
"Did you actually think you can beat me?" Lily asked.
The three got ready to fight back the captain, not knowing the dangerous plan that has been thrown into motion.