Resurrect the Fairy
I will only give you more despair.
I have known this ever since I wrote that essay at Mildian Magic Academy four hundred years ago, the one where my once thin charcoal pencil strokes turned thick and the paper crinkled beneath my firm fingers. The will to discover a greater destiny had vibrated off my chest and burned in my head, slowly pulsing through me like a bloodline as I thought back to you.
I thought back to the fire that had consumed your pink hair and vibrant smile which echoed in our parents. I thought back to the shrill screams bouncing off the walls as you swallowed the smoke of fate. Manifestation had burned through our well-worn photograph of family and seared the edges with torched smoke. When I had gathered your limp body in my arms, your slanted eyes were impassive but glazed over in a frozen state of death. Cringing, a burst of guilt erupted in my chest and slowly spread like a wildfire, pain following as you remained in a peaceful slumber. You would never wake up. I would never hear your triumphant laugh, or see your eyes gleam with mischief. You would never get to light a match, as I did, and lead the only world you knew to destruction. A chemical mixture of jealousy and affliction jostled inside of me, both dominating as the new voices in my head as I collected you in my arms and held you close to my chest, tears escaping down my cheeks as I cried for me, for us. There was something enchanting between us in that moment, where I loved you but hated you at the same time.
You would never feel loss, or pain, as I was, but you would never feel love, or revelation, as I had. You were too young, too gentle, but rowdy and dangerous all at once. And in that moment, the spell-bound emotion came forth and enlightened me with a moment of prospering, where I wondered why we live and die. Do we endure for the people we love, or do we sacrifice for the people who gleam in our eyes? The questions broke the barriers of my immature mind and brought more tears to my pain-stricken eyes, your face still bemused in all it’s worth. Everything, you were my everything now. I shot you down when you were learning how to fly and for the time being, you would never fly again. The guilt was chased by another dose of tormenting agony as I kneeled on the shards of glass and rubble, clutching you in my chest as I made a promise; to never light another match again.
In the days after you waltzed away from life, I enrolled in Mildian Magic Academy, where I sought for answers to my grueling questions that gave heat to my now open mind. Research on reincarnation and heaven were brought to my attention, but they proved to be delusory and senseless from my perspective. Even at a young age, I focused on writing the entailments of my seemingly far-fetched ideas on why we live and die, finding relations between the spiritual world and reality. In consequence, my teachers disapproved of the rampant thoughts filling my head.
“Life and death and its connection to magic has been and still is a taboo for us.”
With judgments spoken, I realized that I was an outsider. They believed in a greater evil than death, while I simply believed that there was no other wicked than our demise. There was no all-seeing eye in the sky, no other judgment upon us than ourselves. We were all outsiders of the truth, a lie to humanity in this world of magic.
But with that one essay, my own truth was revealed. The people at Mildian proved my efforts futile and proclaimed that I was too young to be thinking about such dark themes. I was just curious about the orientation of life and how it supposedly revolves around a schedule. Like clockwork, the people we love will eventually perish under the eyes of the gods, and then are reborn as another in the wake of promise. That was what we were led to believe, what was expected of us at Mildian Magic Academy. And once this revelation occurred, I began to walk the boundary line between magic and it’s great taboo, all in the effort of bringing you back.
Years after enrolling, I took it upon myself to expand my horizons and seek originality in my grand scheme of innovation. With you to motivate me, I brought forth the idea of resurrection, designing the incurable R-System. While many people were astonished by my proposal, my elder professors dictated my decision and once again scolded me for my unkempt opinions.
“It is taboo to bring back the dead and based on your theory, we’d require a human sacrifice in exchange for the life you’re bringing back. Life and death is a natural process, and it is unwise for us humans to tamper with the order.”
The way my professor had looked at me sent off a flare of emotion in my chest. Your face was immediately conjured up inside my head, the fire streaking our house with smoke and the flames kissing your face as you swallowed the heat. It wasn’t fair, this so-called order. I may have lit the match, but the house, the fire, all these artificial manifestations in life took you away. I could’ve saved you, but they chose to collapse in on themselves and crush you into the beholder of the reaper. Anyone could rebuild the house, or rekindle the flame, so why couldn’t I resurrect you?
“But wouldn’t you agree that life is artificial in many ways? So why aren’t death and the afterlife that acceptable?”
My mind continued to ramble over that conversation for many years after. It had become so tightly condensed that sometimes I could ever only focus on the logical point I had made. Why was life artificial and death deemed immortal? While time had eroded and burned holes in my memory, I could still remember glimpses of our childhood and behold our admiration for one another. Two sides of the same coin, two halves of a whole. Did that mean that you were now immortal and I was artificial? Didn’t that mean that you could come back if I was still living. Only time could tell, and I was determined to undo our final days together in order to bring you back.
Time was the centerpiece of my next research project, and I took it to heart in the last remaining words of my thesis. If we can change the past, we can change the future. And indeed, that was my goal, to go back in time. I would have stopped myself from lighting the match, from running away from the burning house, from leaving you behind in the flames that brought great chaotic madness to my life. In those final moments of your life, I realized the true intentions of that match, to burn. To go back in time meant that I could save you and that I would never learn how to light a match. I’d be normal, I’d see the world for what it was made out to be. I would rather live a life living in the shadows than in the light. I would rather dream in life than be obscured by the nightmarish truth, just as long as I could be blind to what was deemed an illusion.
“I thought I told you to stop working on the Eclipse Project?”
My professor had eventually discovered my hidden research and had fought for me to stray from my fallacies about life. When I had explained to him my next proposal, however, he mentioned time paradoxes and such, to try and convince me to let the past go and move forward with intentions on using my knowledge for the greater good of society. A part of me knew he was equitable, but the other believed he was trying to justify my illogical thoughts and alter my perspective. What he didn’t know, however, was that I couldn’t be changed, not when you were gone and there still being a chance at saving you. And at some point, my professor caught onto my plans and underscored my main reason for being at the academy in the first place. It was never about the parallels between life and death, it was about you. I guess I had realized that a while ago, but I didn’t bring it to light until he spoke of my reason in such clarity. All of my research was for you, my life was for you. And I would do anything to bring you back.
“What do you plan on doing once you’ve gone back in time? All these projects of yours, the R-System, Eclipse, all of it was to bring back your brother, wasn’t it? After all that is said and done, you still can’t seem to let go of the idea of bringing back the dead, can you?”
Despite his age, he hadn’t acquired nearly enough wisdom to speak of my brother with such uncharitable emotion. And then to uproot my research with expulsion from the school, I couldn’t even comprehend the next few seconds of my life. An aching throb in my head expanded as it coursed through my system. The guilt that I had miraculously buried within the sheets of my conducted research gnawed its way into the forefront of my mind and exploded as I went blind for the first time in my life since I lost you. And when my vision finally returned, the same fate that I had conceived the moment you entered an eternal sleep was beseeched and repeated.
The more I loved life, the more I robbed people of it.
I was a walking curse, carrying the black magic of Ankhseram as I tried to make sense of my situation. While I loved researching and spending my time learning the lines between reality and fallacy, dozens fell prey under my predatorial curse. Each and every single one reminded me of you and forced me to relive the trauma of losing what I valued the most in life. I had failed you. I was a curse, always have been and always will be.
And if I wanted to keep the curse under control, I couldn’t think of life the way I wanted to.
So I forced myself into isolation and awaited the day until I would die. If I couldn’t enjoy singing the way I deemed beautiful, then there was no reason to sing at all. To my dismay, I discovered that I was immortal, and never could escape this prison of guilt that I had built for myself. I had wanted to drown, to choke on the blood of the people I killed, to repent for my sins. But to no avail, that was impossible for me. So instead, I spent my time exploring my labyrinth of thoughts, conjuring up possible ways to just disappear. In all that time I spent alone, I probably would have found it peaceful to greet death, as if he were an old friend, and go home with him, if it weren’t for her.
After leaving Mildian and traveling around Fiore country for hundreds of years, I found myself enjoying the quiet breeze against the rustic forest, leaves strewn across the ground as I resided mainly in the West Forest of Magnolia. A large amount of the trees had kept me in the shadows, even when the dark guild, Blue Skull, had invaded Magnolia Town, and for that, I was thankful. While I knew of the savage guild laying waste to the once prosperous town, I didn’t want to help and risk hurting any more people. I didn’t want to help until I saw her.
The sun was rather blinding in the midst of one afternoon, and despite not feeling much of anything at that time in order to keep the curse under control, I could feel the sweat rolling in drops down my calves. Out of habit, I swiped my hand across my forehead to remove the beads of perspiration dotted along my hairline. The water stayed settled atop my fingertips, the salt emanate as I ran my hand through my hair, hoping to relieve some heat from my head. In consequence, streams of sweat flowed down my cheeks and rested atop my lips. I tasted bitter today.
Begrudgingly, I stripped myself of my black robe and entered the water of a small pond without hesitation. It felt soothing as the water climbed my legs and stopped at my chest, but I desperately wanted to go under, to just escape the harsh rays of light from beneath the surface of the water. And I did, the calming presence of water easing itself around my entire body as I stooped low enough to rest on the bottom of the pond.
“It’s all my fault…”
My eyes opened at the sound of a voice. It was delicate and angelic as it whispered in mournful song. Never before had I heard such a soft, melodic tune.
“Our enemies were all wizards… a guild…”
As she continued to whisper, my mind couldn’t help but wonder whether the somewhat feminine voice was associated with magic. Slowly, I tilted my chin up towards the surface of the water, where I watched falling leaves skim the pond and leave ripples in their wake. Even in the murky depths, I could make out a figure with golden hair, though her face was a blur.
“I should’ve thought of them as if they were an entity…”
I could detect a strain of guilt in her voice. That feeling was something that I had known all too well to forget, even in the days where I was at peace with myself. But this distinct girl, though I didn’t know her, caused my heart to pound with an unfamiliar emotion, something that I had forgotten a long time ago. Sympathy.
“And yet… because of my miscalculations…”
She sounded so mature, despite her kneeling figure being tiny. Even with the diffraction of the water, I could see her body shaking as if she were crying. Another piercing knife stabbed my heart as I recalled another emotion from long ago, one that I had associated with you. Loss.
“If only I were stronger...”
My gaze hardened when her misty voice echoed in the water as if she were speaking directly with my mind. That harmonic voice had struck a chord inside of my heart, and every part of me heaved when she spoke in relation to my past. With that final sentence, that sadness, that pain, something inside of me snapped, images of you dancing before my eyes as the house burned and you died in my arms. Guilt.
Before I could stop myself, my body bolted from the bottom of the pond and resurfaced in a funnel of water, spouting remnants of liquid in ancient incantation as I emerged from the shadows of my heart. And there she sat at the water’s edge. The tiny figure had flowy golden hair warped around her surprised face, her pair of astonishing jade-green eyes gazing at me with an aura of nervousness. My eyes focused on hers, keeping the level of contact mutual as to not frighten her away. For now.
I willed my lips to move, and my vocals to expand enough just to say hello. But I continued to stand motionless, gawking at her with sudden admiration and concern. For someone so young, she sounded so intelligent in her actions. To even remark that there were mistakes in her calculations, that was an entirely new level of maturity. But what I couldn’t forget was the fact that she had felt guilty many moments ago, and I felt a twinge of sadness well up inside of my chest. The pressure began to hurt as her emotion weighed down on my own, for she shouldn’t be feeling this way, no matter what the situation was. For some unknown reason, I didn’t want her to feel the way I did when I lost you, I didn’t want her to hurt and lose herself.
Just as I was about to speak again, I noticed that her cheeks had flushed and her eyes screamed embarrassment. To my shock, she whirled away from me, covering her eyes as she squeaked.
“S… Sorry! I didn’t think there’d be people here…“
She had hurried to stand and started to walk away from the water, her eyes still covered as she began to enter the forest. As I watched her hair flow out behind her along with her short pink dress, I felt another unfamiliar, long forgotten emotion that I didn’t want to ever recall again. Abandonment.
“So you’re leaving this forest…”
At my statement, I suddenly felt exposed and sent a downcast glare at my reflection in the water, cursing myself for speaking of something so direct. I shouldn’t be encouraging her to stay, not with the danger I possess, especially since my mood is unstable now. Acknowledging my newfound emotions, I hurried to escape the suddenly constricting confines of the water, making my way to the tree in which my robe was hung.
As I clothed myself in my robe, I felt the Ankhseram Curse surge inside of me, unparalleled images of you and her ripping holes in my chest as the world around us began to shake.
“It’s a bad habit of mine. Because it’s usually me that leaves.”
The realization that she would leave me like everybody else broke my heart as the trees shook, crestfallen leaves circulating in the air around us as she gazed at me with her wide viridescent eyes. And as quickly as the trees had grown their leaves, they disappeared into a pile of dead, crusty remnants.
I watched patiently as she gawked at the damage I had done to our surroundings, her mouth gaping as she breathed wordlessly.
“Everything I come into contact with… dies,” I spoke tearfully, not meeting her gaze, not able to bear another word of judgment by anyone.
“Ankhseram Black Magic…”
My eyes immediately shot to hers at the sound of my curse fluently rolling on her tongue. Not many people knew about such dark power, especially little girls who dressed like angels.
“I’ve only seen it in books but, it’s one of the oldest curses isn’t it… known by others as the Contradictory Curse… the more one believes that their existence is robbing others of their life force, the more dark energy is released. But if one doesn’t think of it, then the dark energy won’t be released.”
She fell mute after that, both of our eyes locked together. Her jade-green eyes remained solemn and intellectual, but wore an expression of deep gratitude and sympathy.
“Ah… I’m… sorry… I… just…“
Guilt crossed her face again, her eyes becoming glazed over as she held her tiny fingers to her lips, almost as if she were willing herself to never speak again. What bothered me was how she brought light to my situation and wanted to run away from her observation. Perhaps, based on what she had said earlier, she didn’t trust herself or her calculations.
“It’s fine. Wide knowledge is a good thing.”
She didn’t reply but meekly smiled while keeping her eyes glued to her fiddling fingers. I could understand why she’d feel ashamed, but in wholeheartedness, her words of truth stung me and propelled me further into a conversation. Not many people could relate to who I was, and even fewer people wanted to be knowledgeable in something so dark and depressing.
“It’s the first time anyone’s ever gotten my curse right. But then again, I always made it a point not to meet people…”
Her face shifted to me once again, but wore a deeply saddened expression, but not one of pity, unlike so many others would have if they knew the truth.
“You’ve been here all along?”
The wind captured her hair in a messy abstraction of gold, her face free of any strands. It was the first time I saw her completely, and it captivated me. For someone so young to know about my curse or any curse for the matter, they shouldn’t be as pure as she was.
“Oh, no… I’ve been traveling places… I couldn’t be near anyone or anything because of this curse… anything with life will die if touched by me.”
Her mournful expression burned into my chest. The secrets that I had buried within myself began to seep out of me with poignant distaste that ran bitter. My lips ached to form around my story, to tell her everything that I had been through. By this point, people thought of me as an outsider and ran away, more concerned about themselves and their safety. Of course, they had every right to, I was dangerous. Hell, I even wanted to run away from myself. But strangely, this girl stayed still, her eyes holding mine as her lip quivered and her eyebrows knit together in thought. While I didn’t want her to leave, I also knew that of all people, I didn’t want her to get hurt by my past, my misery. It was intended to be dealt with alone, as I had been for years. So why now, of all times, of all people, did I want to hinder her usually prominent, personality just for the sake of putting my heart at ease. I couldn’t allow that to happen.
“Such a sweet girl. You don’t have to feel so bad for me.”
I bit back the tears as she cocked her head to the side, her expression wary. I didn’t want to feel anymore, but she was forcing me to relive all the emotions that came with life. She couldn’t stay with me forever, and she could never understand how I felt, so what was the point anyways?
“Aren’t you lonely?”
At those three words, something in my chest snapped, and a streamline of memories burst inside of my head. Images of you daring me to climb the tallest tree, and how you got to the top first despite your age. You had reached down to grasp my hand and hoisted me onto the branch, since you were strong and I was weak. My memory shifted to thoughts reflecting you and I laughing as we ran through the overgrowth of bushes, pretending it was a maze. You had gotten lost, and I followed your sobs until I reached your huddled figure, then I said that I would always find you no matter where you were. Your tears had then formed into stars and led to a moment showing us under the sky, gazing at the lights as the sun set behind the trees. As long as you were around, I was never lonely. When you left, loneliness had become my friend, until now. Until her.
“In this moment where I’m talking to you… I’m feeling quite happy, I guess…? It’s been such a long time…”
I watched as the girl’s face flushed crimson, her stance wavering as she stood a few feet from me. She was so close, the closest anyone has ever been to me in years.
I will only give you more despair.
“But at the same time, it worries me… will my power kill someone as tiny as you? This battle with fear inside me… I never wanted to kill anyone.”
I confessed through my clenched jaw, my gritted teeth ground together as I turned away from her, angry with myself for letting her in. I had left the door a crack open, and now was the time to see whether she would enter or exit, stay or run. It was all up to her, this delicate little girl with a mind of her own. It was her choice.
When she fell completely silent, I closed my eyes, not in the least bit surprised by her response. I expected this of everyone, so why would she be any different. Opening my eyes, I was met with a blank expression on her face. It was almost agonizing to look at, so I forced myself to tear away and start walking in the opposite from her.
“I’ll be going then… forgive me for scaring you.”
Because that was the only thing I was capable of doing, killing innocent people and apologizing. I could never right a wrong, not once.
As I began to enter the treeline, a number of small mammals entered the clearing, charging at me with delicate, dancing enthusiasm. I withheld a gasp when they came into close proximity of me.
“Don’t… don’t come near me…” I grunted, sweat clinging to my face as my anxiety built up again.
Almost on cue, more animals emerged from the forest and swarmed around me. Why were they coming? Most of the time, animals had the instinct to stay away from me, since I was dangerous.
“It’s okay,” a voice whispered, “you can touch them.”
I gave the girl a pointed look, and she simply smiled.
“This is my magic.”
And I understood in that moment what she meant. This little girl had shown me great kindness and brought me something to make me happy. The warmth radiated from the animals, almost as if it were her own heart beating.
She smiled affectionately, then gazed at me with longing. Two kindred spirits we seemed to walk, two halves of a new whole. She was the dazzling blaze of a soothing sun, the gentle kiss of a wind blown by, the touch of an infant child with only a smile of pure innocence. While young, she withheld more knowledge than ever thought possible, enough to know that there was no such thing as miracles or fate, but still possessed enough hope to walk amongst their shallow waters.
“It must’ve been fate that brought me here to you.”
“You’re that black wizard from before… why are you… no… wait, is that…?”
I slowly embarked on a journey to Magnolia, where I would be reacquainted with the guild she had built after defeating Blue Skull. I would be returning her to her former glory, her pride. She deserved to be honored, for she saved so many more lives than she probably ever thought possible. She saved me, an impossible feat, even for a fairy.
“I’ve come to return her,” I gritted angrily.
I stared at Precht Gaebolg, Fairy Tail’s most recent guild master, with blazing eyes, knowing that I needed to let her go, like all of the others that had followed in her footsteps. As any others had, she had gotten too close. Without any further hesitation, her motionless body became a dead weight in my arms, and I dropped her to the cobblestone road. I avoided glancing down at her strewn golden locks or her once jade-green eyes. She was gone, and it was time for me to move on again.
I’m so tired of this already, I don’t want to be around people anymore. I shouldn’t have fallen in love, I couldn’t…
I thought back to her and a lone tear rolled down my cheek. I had lost two important things in life, you and hope. Both were no different than the other, for both had given me the will to move forward.
Unfortunately, she never did. When I had returned the fairy to her home, Precht had used a lacrima to try and resurrect her, as I did for you once. Countless times he tried, but failed countless more. And soon after he realized that she was also cursed with Ankhseram Black Magic, all because of my inability to teach it to her completely, he announced that the fairy had lost her wings and would fly home for the last time.
But she never returned home, instead staying suspended in time itself, her heart no longer beating but her magic still coursing through her veins. And with her magic still vibrant, she became eternal and was renamed Lumen Histoire, the fairy’s heart. But that wasn’t supposed to happen, at least not in my eyes when I laid her to sleep for eternity. She was meant to stay free, not contained to a point in which she couldn’t fly. Yet she converged for the guild and became their beacon, shining like the north star that pointed her family home.
And her magic radiated within all of Fairy Tail’s members, each one bearing their tattooed insignias with pride and devotion, promising a bright future in order to repay their first master with grace and admiration. Of all of them, Yury Dreyar wore his with the biggest grin and praised the first master with her kindness as she had once saved his life. Before she died, she was given the honor of naming his first son, Makarov, who could have essentially been her in reincarnation. His hair had been golden and reflected a smile, one that I could’ve recognized anywhere. He was the light of Fairy Tail now, the next generation of hope.
For Fairy Tail’s beloved mother had died, I watched over the infant child from a distance, feeling the need to repay her through versatile seeing. He grew into a rambunctious boy of great allegiance and perception and fought with a will like no other. When he met Porlyusica, a being from Edolas, he taught her how to value her life on Earthland and asked her to form a team with him, to which she obliged and learned to become fascinated with the overgrowth of bonds at the guild. He had told her that there were people in this world who prefer solitude. But that there is no one who can withstand it. She had smiled and took his hand to accept his challenge, and in that moment, I saw an old friend who had said the same thing to me.
As the seasons changed and flew by, hands withering with age and graying hairs sprouting, Precht left Fairy Tail and appointed their savior as Makarov, all in the hopes of finding The One Magic in his last, feeble attempt to revive a frozen fairy. But time has an uncanny effect on someone who is searching in vain, and Precht soon discovered that the only way to gain this mysterious power was to revive me, to become one with the darkness and reanimate a future of only magic. It’s always amazing to watch someone whom you’ve affiliated with the light for so long to see the shadows on the wall and attempt to grasp them with their own hands. Amazing to see someone wishing to be chained and fighting for the sake of torture, begging for it. But I hated him for it, to associate the origin of magic as darkness, when really, it began with love, it began with her. I despised him for abandoning her to fulfill his own desires, for turning his back on the place she called home and betraying her. The compression of hatred against my chest felt like a brick, all the emotions that she had made me remember bubbling up inside of me as I remembered her angelic bow of hair and solemn, all-seeing jade-green eyes. I thought that Precht would be capable of saving her, but like most, he ran away from danger and sought for power. This was a part of my past that I couldn’t let go, and I was determined to bring back what I loved, and this time, it was her.
If she was a fairy, then I guess you could call me a Spriggan.
She was beautiful, and I was ugly. She was valiant, and I was timid. She could fly, and I was grounded. She was dead, and I was alive. I had failed as a fairy’s bodyguard, but I wouldn’t let her down for a second time. She deserved to be held and comforted, for she had when I was alone.
Not a day went by while I constructed an empire that I didn’t think of her, not one. But I never did stop thinking about you either, or our past transgressions that led me to this point. While you were long dead, she was a constant heartbeat in my head, images of her lying dead in my arms, her body as cold and still as ice. All that remained of her was her magic, my magic, and the guilt of killing the only person I had grown to love was consuming me. You were different in this way for I was forced to love you, while, with her, it was a choice. And I chose wrong, for my touch had committed murder. Her jade-green eyes had been closed for all eternity, and she sung a song of slumber. She was still singing, her crystalized form ricocheted in the basement of Fairy Tail’s guild hall, as I became Emperor Spriggan of the Alvarez Empire.
But time never stopped for me, not for the world, not for you. Eventually denoted, I managed to delve into the dark arts completely and mar myself with masterpieces of evil. Years were spent in which I wrote books, describing the images of the nightmares that lurked in my head. Each title gave way to their name, and every book became an addition to my collection of incubuses. I named the collection the Books of Zeref. But none of these night terrors possessed enough fear or pain to torment me, to kill me. I knew they would all fail me someday. Except one. Except you. Except E.N.D.
I had brought you back, at long last. You had finally become a living, breathing nightmare. But all the while, you were so beautiful. A long time ago, I had wanted you to live again, and I would tell you to keep away from the flame. But now, I had brought you back for one reason, to kill me. Because I wasn’t capable of being loved, and I deserved to end. As I gazed at your tiny form, your eyes slowly opening for the first time in four hundred years, I felt a knife seize my heart and tear it in half. My chest ruptured when you stared at me with those onyx eyes. It was too late to turn back now, with your etherious form now awakened, for it was time for me to teach you how to play with fire, to light the match for my own destruction in case I failed at resurrecting her.
In the meantime, I made a feeble attempt to claim Lumen Histoire and had launched an attack on Ishgar’s countries, our military-run country consisting of hundreds of wizard guilds threatened by the Magic Council with Etherion and Face. Our invasion had failed, and I sat in solitude wordlessly for many years, considering her fate while I waited until I could think of another solution. While I had spent so many years alone before her and researched, there wasn’t a single new plausible way to resurrect her. My mind continued to draw a blank, time itself spinning as failure crept into my mind once again, and dampened my hopes of reviving her. By this point, you were already grown, and were marching around Fiore, causing destruction to the evil that I had once created, such as Lullaby, a demon in which I first wrote about to lull me to an eternal sleep. And I awaited the day until we would meet and you could end my existence, rid me of the guilt that I have possessed for hundreds of years.
But as I mulled over you and her, buried roots of flowers began to stem back to my once all-seeing mind and I remembered my earliest proposals at bringing you back. They were never tested, but I was positive that they would conclude with complete accuracy and fulfill their promises to me. For the first time, a burst of hysteria raged inside of me, and I began my research once again, my retrospective mindset returning each and every day, opening up my eyes to the past that I had long forgotten as time wore on and the pain hardened.
Years following the failed invasion of Ishgar, I rekindled my flame for the R-System and summoned the will to build the Tower of Heaven. I vaguely remembered my professor at Mildian Academy scolding me for proposing something involved with the taboo of life and death, and requiring a sacrifice for such a project. He said it was selfish, and pestered me to persist in wholesome studies that revolved around things like medicine and literature, rather than dealing with a science in which was built on the foundation of faith and lordly worship. By now, I had come to terms with my past and underscored the fact that there was no cure to guilt other than an apology, and that I needed to sing a hymn to my once breathing, once beautiful fairy friend before you arrived with death knocking at my door. Desperate to finish the system in time, I stole away the lives of hundreds of families as I imprisoned their youthful children and shackled them to the rubble of a half-built tower, forcing them to work in the shadows that I once had to endure. While I was pleased with the quick progress we were making, guilt jostled in my mind once more, reminding me of the numerous childhoods that I had stolen, the lives I had torn apart. And this time, I prayed that you or a hero would come and free them.
And one did, with a head of thick blue hair and a red tattoo on the right side of his face. Never had I ever seen such bravery in a child, nonetheless a slave. Brought to my chamber in chains, I watched as he grew bemused to the dark, an outside force threatening to possess him. And by the time I realized it’s true intentions, I was too late to save him from the destruction of his own innocence.
In the midst of rebellion stirred up by a tiny red-haired orphan, the blue-haired boy began to speak in a dialect I couldn’t recall, his words dripping with venom as he unconsciously whispered my name. And then I heard it too, Ultear’s voice. She spoke in the place of Precht who ordered her to seize control of the Tower of Heaven and convince an outsider of a greater power, one consisting of the world without magic, the Ultimate Magic World to be exact. It was then that I realized how persistent Precht had been in reviving me, the so-called greatest dark wizard of our time, and planned on resurrecting me in order to build a new world in which only wizards could endure. And I allowed him to take control, because by now, it was too late to stop him. The blue-haired boy became the greater evil of us both, manifesting dreadful, horrific images to captivate his audience of an evil world beyond the walls and sought to use their power to free everyone. Freedom was magic in his tattooed eye. And after eight years of reconstruction of my fallen tower, another one rose from the dust only to be shattered again by none other than you, and that same red-head from all those years ago. Another failure to save her, to bring her back. Maybe I should’ve listened to my professor, the resurrection was rendered useless. And so I fled, I fled to the place she called home then and now, her supposed final resting place. I would wait for you there, I would wait for E.N.D. at Tenrou Island.
“I don’t know who you are, but this is our guild’s island! Don’t get in the way of our exam!”
Your face was recognizable but slightly more mature than the last time I saw you. The only thing rendered clear in the smoke was your salmon hair, which defined a fierce pair of onyx eyes. Elongated cheekbones tilted your face to give an ashen appeal as your gaze burned holes under my skin. As I once remembered, you smelt of burnt wood and ash, but it had thickened in the years gone by.
“You’ve really grown…”
Your face distorted in discomfort at my words. Despite once being siblings, you lacked any distant thought of me, and sweated bullets while you presumably detected my surreal tone.
“I’ve been wanting to see you.”
I hung my head as a whisper of a tear threatened to spill over, threatened to unleash mayhem if I lost control. Then I couldn’t breathe another word, for I found my stomach clenched as a force unknown to my eyes landed dead center in my core, voices erupting inside my head. I thought I was losing control until I realized that the voices were not my own. You had chosen to speak in the place of me, and for once, I didn’t feel alone. Death was near, and I was ready to accept his invitation into hell.
“Who the hell are you?”
And I crumbled beneath your iron fist, but not in the way I had hoped.
I see… he still can’t break me.
The emotional dam that had concealed my content with life began to burst, my hope for you to come and destroy me shattered as I landed softly on the ground with a thud.
I don’t even want to kill anyone else… but he is the only one who can stop me.
The walls that I had built threatened to crack as tears welled in my eyes. The world around me was blurry, but I could still make out your shadow as it tensed in reaction to my senseless crying. It had been so long since I cried.
Are you still not capable?
And everything that I had buried inside my chest, the memory of you and her, the innocent people I killed, it flurried inside of me and pushed out of my throat in a snarl.
The voices that I had contained seeped out of the nearly forgotten memories and hushed the silence that I was desperate to hear. Their whispers were deafening as the nightmares clung to my lidded face and screeched in song to the beat of my breaking heart. The relapse hit, and the aura of darkness swirled around my form, the curse riding free of its cage.
“Everyone, get away from here!”
I willed my lips to move, to warn everyone to escape before they fell in staggering numbers, but the voice that was spoken wasn’t mine, it was yours. Opening my eyes, I found you staring back at me with panic and confusion etched into your face. A sharp stir of a memory caught in my eyes and danced before me, and tugged at my chest one last time. Your expression was the same as our last moment together, where your eyes had pleaded with mine to save you before the house collapsed and buried you in flame. And it was about to happen again, except this time, the smoke would seize what was precious to you.
I will continue to be rejected by this world.
Except by her, and another. Ultear. With Precht, she and her current guild invaded my solitude and decidedly turned it all to vanquish.
“What you want… is my power?”
Her wide eyes had narrowed at my attempt to lament their true intentions, but to no avail, her lips pulled into a smirk as she kneeled. Her raven hair whipped in startling ecstasy as her glittering eyes closed, making her point clear as she was laid to rest.
“Your entire existence, my lord.”
An incredible spurt of motive loomed in the far corners of my mind, inhaling, and exhaling, the words oriented themselves to the frontal part of my mind. Images of death and flames shook my world, and I had no intention of bringing it to what remained of the innocent, to those without magic.
“I have no intention of doing anything in this period. I don’t want to see wars or people dying.”
And she appeared before me, the ghost with blonde hair and jade-green eyes. I had seen her many times before, her figure walking aimlessly around the island without a second glance at the life she passed. A knife rammed into my heart every time I laid eyes on her ghosting appearance, for she could touch life and not be afraid of harming it or bringing it to the gates of hell. Unlike me, who’s fingers murdered something far more precious than life itself. And I wouldn’t allow it to happen again, not to her home which I had resided in for far too long.
“Stop attacking this island and leave at once.”
But rather than leaving, her allies rallied and called for him, and with wings of death and might, he emerged in full glamor and took it upon himself to destroy her place of rest as well as her legendary family. And I could only stand by, bewitched with Acnologia’s audacity to lay waste to her home, my home.
“Acnologia calls for a change in era.”
My chest heated and eyes blazed, I sought my heart to near combustion, staring at Precht and the remaining members of his guild. They had called for this monster to destroy, a power they could never hope to control, and in the midst of their decision, I had lost the importance of the meaning of life. Remorse and turmoil churned inside me as I flung my body into a stance of radical theory, putting my curse to the test. They dared to call me asleep, when really, they were sleeping while I was seeing. Precht was living in this nightmare for too long, and I was determined to wake him up, and let reality take its course into a state of separation from what was artificial. He didn’t deserve to understand life as I did, as she did. He had failed her as he did me. There was no forgiveness to be spent, as there was no forgiveness for making her disappear.
“I can’t hear your voice and can’t see your appearance, but I know. You’re over there, aren’t you?”
A gust of wind exchanged words over my head and tangled into my hair, creating an illusionary screen between her and I. The vibes radiated from her like the sun, invisible golden hair fanning out as she hovered beside me.
“You were near me 7 years ago.”
I smiled as I imagined her lips motioning to say the same thing as I did, her jade-green eyes soft as she elegantly floated out of my reach, keeping herself at a safe distance.
“I have watched the end of eras. The fighting, hatred, and evil of people. I keep hoping that every new era will be cleansed of those.”
I pictured her small lips forming a weak smile as she pondered my words.
How many times has it been… people keep making the same mistakes.
Guilt eroded my solemn posture, overflowing it’s corners and making me revolt against myself once more. I had made that mistake once, and it resulted in the burning house in which you died. And with that same match, I ran and lit a forest on fire, burning more lives away than ever thought possible. Before the fire went out, however, I kissed it and it blew out, leaving me cold and in despair. From that moment on, I had accepted that the world would always reject me, from cursing me to not being able to save you.
“If the world keeps rejecting me then I will deny this world.”
Her eyes grew wide as her lips parted, as they did many years ago. They still looked as soft as they did before she died, but I knew better. Her ghost was an illusion, everything around me was artificial. Nothing was real anymore. Nothing but the pain and the guilt of others.
“This is a gift from me, the world’s harmony and its regeneration.”
There would be no more fighting or waging wars between households or countries alike. It would all be at peace, you would be at peace. I couldn’t allow anyone to be kept alive. It was a sacrifice worth giving in order to relieve this world of its pain. I wouldn’t stand for this world’s mistakes, including taking you and her away from me.
You’ll be the one annihilated.
Her whispered words were aligned with mine, and I couldn’t help but smile. Wasn’t that what I wanted? The final battle was drawing near, the battle where you would end me.
“I’m just a bit thankful to you, thank you for raising him.”
I had aimed my words carefully at Makarov, testing the boundaries as I gave him a pointed stare. I would end the world, and then you would end me. This battle was settled on the horizon, crawling closer than I ever thought possible. But with your master standing in the way, a giant shadow looming between two suns, it would be impossible to win this raging battle inside of me. He would protect you, I knew, from becoming what you were destined to do. With Makarov alive, the book of E.N.D. would never be opened and you would cease to exist as what you were created for.
As my curse captured your aging master, clawed hands with knives for nails, they scraped against his frigid body and sent him into a state of mercy. At least for me. Hustling against my power, he spouted her speech. Both were so naive about the world and all its lies, for there was nothing left to live for but brutality. If the world couldn’t accept peace, as I believed and enforced through going into hiding, then I would emerge and force it, no matter the cost, no matter the pain I felt for killing the boy with a heart of gold. But perhaps I was a fairy, with the prayer to give the world wings and set it free, despite the consequences.
“Ugly demon,” he finally said with a strained voice.
“That was close. Spriggan is the name of an ugly fairy.”
In the clearing of withered branches, stood a single uprooted tree withholding a girl of golden blonde hair and tired jade-green eyes, the same that I had met many years ago in the lake in which I touched her beating heart and soul-kissed her magic. Only this time, the light in her smile was gone, and her hair held no shine. Practically dead, I admitted, she sat before me, eyeing me like a dead man.
“You look terrible.”
“I haven’t eaten in half a year already, but I’m still alive.”
I took account of her words and felt my chest heave with distaste. The same words that I wrestled with daily were now shared with her, bending her apart from the inside. Only, she could never be broken. Nor be consumed by the flames as you did. She and I could light ourselves on fire and we wouldn’t burn, no matter how many others around us did. In the moment we stood facing one another, I recognized her expression as one of desperation, and I sagged as I spoke the already known truth loud and clear.
“I beg you, please… kill me.”
While anyone other than myself would have seen her childish form asking to perish as a threat and a hazard, I merely frowned, knowing this is what she wanted. But I wasn’t upset by her choice of words, or her lack of sympathy towards my own well-being, as I couldn’t die either, rather I was upset that I couldn’t help her.
“Sadly, even I can’t do that. The same goes for you.”
Her aching face put stitches in my chest, for she was the one that kept me motivated to keep living, to keep fighting, even while there was nothing worth fighting for until I met her.
“I was like you once… in fact, I’m still hoping for the day I’d be able to die… but I’ve learned to look at things a little differently now.”
I gazed upward at the entanglement of branches that spread above our heads and took note of their curvature. They were dead but still kept their natural shape as their bodies grew weaker and weaker. In a way, I envied them.
“We now have an infinite amount of time.”
My thoughts immediately darted to you as those words rasped against my throat. As long as you were dead, there was nothing in this world that could make the guilt go away, even her. Out of instinct, I wanted to see your onyx eyes again, to feel your breath against my cheek as you whispered mischievous secrets. All the while, I wanted you to disappear, to just hide in the far corners of my mind and never return, our memories erased as if you were never my brother. But as I pictured myself relighting the match and finishing what I started all those years ago, I begged for you to kill me, to end me then and there so I couldn’t hurt you anymore. There wasn’t enough time to decide.
“I want to see my brother… no, I want to destroy him… no, please destroy me…”
“Zeref,” she breathed.
But I couldn’t stand the war inside of my mind, the constant urge to just drown as the world slowly faded away. I wanted everything to be over, to end.
“The world… refuses to… accept me…”
Falling to my knees, continuing to shudder, I cried out in frustration. Nobody in this world was capable of loving someone like me, someone dangerous. After so many years in solitude, even this magnitude of truth hit me harder than any professor ever could have. Life and death were bound together but weren’t the same. While one basks in the light, the other dwells in the dark. And here she stood, here we stood, both in the light while hiding in the shadows. Life didn’t accept us and demanded that we stay hidden, like thieves, stealing more of life in order to survive. But I hated it, I hated this. And so did she, a thief in the light, an angel in the dark. None of it made sense, we didn’t make sense. We were still the outsiders, and you were the price.
“But I won’t! I’ll accept all of you!”
“The only one that understands how you feel is me.”
But I don’t understand…
“So don’t give up… we’ll find a way to break this curse.
Where is there hope for us…
“Let’s find it together.”
And I breathed, for the first time in forever. Slowly, I inhaled, then exhaled, and I caught the scent of her, her golden hair relished in the earth and rustic tree. The way I always imagined her to be. And I blinked, for the first time in my eternal life. And I could finally capture her jade-green eyes in mine as she gazed at me with reassurance, the type of hope you couldn’t find alone. For now, she was real, and here by my side. Together. A complex engagement that I had long forgotten, until now.
And I captured her in my arms, pulling her tight to the vibration of my swelling chest. I had let her in, and she decided to stay, touching the core of my very existence and accepting me for my flaws and everything in between. This sensation that I had long forgotten, this bubbling inside of my heart, it surfaced when her arms wound around my neck and pulled me closer, her head resting in the crook of my shoulder as I wept. Even though I couldn’t feel much of anything anymore, I was sure of this genuine tug at my heart.
“You’re the first one to treat me this kindly.”
My lips let words I hadn’t meant to say seep out of my mouth and into the open air, leaving no room for doubt. But there was more, there was so much more that she needed to know before I finally let go of you and moved onward.
“Of course not. You just don’t remember… I’m sure…” she whispered.
Tears flooded my eyes as I gazed at Mavis, her expression bemused as I pulled away from her slowly. She had a genuine smile of pure grace, her delicate figure settled directly in front of me as I breathed heavily. Never before in my life had I seen anything so beautiful, so perfect. It was as if she were a fairy, a fairy with invisible wings as she flew towards my lips, touching their encrusted flesh with her fingers in order to silence my cries.
My head has always been full of contradiction and an endless amount of choices. But never before had I been so sure about my next thought, never in my eternal life.
“It’s also the first time I’ve loved someone this much too…”
Our voices fell quiet as the breeze captured my arms and pulled me towards Mavis, intertwining with her locks and grazing her neck as I eyed her lips, the same ones that spoke words of hope to me after all those years of self-hatred. She did nothing to resist as her jade-green eyes closed, leaving me lost to revel in her delicate, fairy face for the last time, to gaze at her in wonder and admiration before placing a tender touch upon her lips.
Everything begins in the deep abyss of magic. A magic that unites it all, love. Love can cause miracles, and sadness as well. And the love between the two that have been living with the curse, have brought upon the highest level of contradiction. The more one loves, the more one will take away from another curse. This curse has taken her life away from me, even when she was supposed to be immortal.
As I held her sleeping body in my arms, golden hair fanned out behind her, I noticed how her jade-green eyes remained closed. A part of me deemed her beautiful, while the other deprived itself of her appearance and pressed against her chest for a heartbeat, a simple flutter to let me know whether she could still hear me breathing unevenly before I cried.
Mavis had saved me for the longest time, and it had been my turn to save her in return. And as I clung to the fairy that could once fly, I trembled with deep sadness. She was free now, and I intended to take her home, where she could fly to her heart’s content and explore many more adventures in the time to come. In another life, may we be together, but for now, this was enough.
“Please rely on me. I’m sure I’ll rely on you someday, too. Even when you’re suffering, even when you’re sad… I’ll always be at your side. You’re never alone. You have as many hopes as there are stars that light up the sky. The wind that brushes your skin is a presentiment of tomorrow. Come, let’s walk, in time with the Song of the Fairies.”
This would be the last time I hear your voice, Mavis.
Her words echoed within my mind as a blurring image of you surfaced and chided with her voice. With your gleaming pink hair and smoldering onyx eyes, I sighed at the rippling effect your muscles gave me as you smirked, almost challenging me to come and get you as you used to when we were kids and ran through the maze we once called life. You were E.N.D. and I was determined to catch you, only to let you escape and do as your name promised.
“Please rely on me. I’m sure I’ll rely on you someday, too.”
I’m relying on you now… Natsu.