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SkyFrostDragonSlayer
"Prepare for war!"

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Propyagif
"This be that and this be that, Welcome to the page!."

This article, The Search Begins, is the sole property of Grunt, so please, don't edit it without good reason. If you wish to edit it, please contact me on my talk page and I will think about it.

A man stood above a large hill, looking out and over the famed city of Magnolia --the city that had been home to the Fairy Tail guild sometime in the past. However, little did he know that the guild had disbanded sometime ago --a year to be exact-- and that a new guild had long since taken its place; such news would have come across all mages, however yet, despite being proclaimed and heralded for being a genius, the man had no idea what he was about to get himself into. A cigar forming in his hand out of thin air, he shifted it towards his mouth and puffed a single ring, before finally making his way towards the historical building complex that had been the home of his dear Erza only some time ago.

Arriving at the front door, he puffed himself a series of rings, before a small mirror formed in his hand. He quickly checked over to make sure his hair had been kept tidy, and clearing his throat, knocked on the large door with the back of his knuckles. Whoever was to open the door would have more than likely recognized the man as Cuda, one of the most celebrated mages in all of Fiore. He was a man of class who, much like his former comrades at Blue Pegasus, dressed to impress, complete with a dark black suit and dress pants. His shoes had been polished, and his chest hairs had been groomed, and he now waited patiently for someone to open the door and let him in. It had been much too long since the last time he had seen the scarlet haired maiden; he simply could not restrain himself any longer.

A scarlet haired man stood at the bar, drinking wine as the in general commotion behind him was ensuing. A tall man was suplexed through a table by an incredibly short tempered woman and a man trying to cheat playing cards at one of the various tables that were not broken. He took another sip of his wine as he got up, he wore a gold and black suit, with a mask on the right side of his face. He helped found the Purple phoenix guild while at first it was very difficult he and others were able to establish the guild as a respected guild that is very powerful.

He heard a knock upon the door and began to walk towards it, the door was unlocked why the person knocked when he or she could have just opened the door was beyond him. With a wine glass in his hand he approached the door hoping it was a woman he could talk to. He opened the door slightly disappointed with what he sees, he had no idea who the person was so by that most logical account it was someone who wanted something from his guild he asked a very simple question "What do you want?" He stood waiting for a reply half wanting to throw his wine at the person in front of him.

As the door opened, Cuda's eyes were overtaken by pink hearts. "I'm here at last, Erza-chan!"

However, his expression was killed suddenly, when he noticed that it was a man who stood before him, and not at all what he had come in search for. The Fairy Tail guild was quite evidently the most famed guild in all of Fiore, having won the last Grand Magic Games and even before that, having made their return from a seven year long disappearance. The way it was now, Cuda could not identify this man in the least, whoever he was. The anger was mutual, and to accommodate for this, Cuda glared at him, simply going to puff more smoke through his cigar.

"You're not Erza-chan," he began, his voice suddenly growing fierce. "Where is Erza-chan?"

Alden stood calm in the face of whoever it was that was shouting Erza-chan at him. "I can only guess that you are referring to the previous guild that once stood here." He then pointed at the many Purple Phoenix guild markings plastered on the walls "This is Purple Phoenix NOT Fairy Tail! those guys disbanded." Alden kept his composure and took another sip from his wine glass.

Looking at the matter at hand it was only logical that the person in front of him was stuck in a cave for a large amount of time and had not learned of the events that occurred. "Look man I don't know what to tell you I have no idea if anyone from that guild are even alive or not, nor do I specifically know where they are. Regardless you are welcome inside for a drink or something I'll try and answer what questions ya got but don't waste my time with stuff you could have figured out on your own." With that said he opened the door wide and started to walk towards the bar with a sour look on his face.

Oddly enough, Cuda had taken an exceptional liking to the man before him. Not only did he dress similar to himself, but the way he managed himself, from the way he spoke to his otherwise rude behavior, it was all very intriguing --like staring into a mirror. Discarding the cigarette, Cuda forged another out of thin air, lighting it with the use of his fire prowess. He puffed on the cigar as he followed behind the man, taking notice of his surroundings, including but not limited to the many guild marks in the room, the mages, and the overall decorations and renovations of the building. It had all come to him so suddenly that Fairy Tail had disbanded --oh where ever could his beloved Erza have run off to?

Without further invitation, Cuda walked ahead of the man who had allowed him inside, taking a seat on a table filled with other mages. Sitting back in the chair, he popped his feet up on the table and his hands went behind to cradle his head. He waved to the man known as Alden, treating him as if he was one of the waiters around. "Say, I could really use a drink right about now, buddy. Mind fetching me up a little something?"

His tone was casual, as if he saw nothing wrong with the actions he had taken all of a sudden. Obviously, it would have come across as disrespectful to anyone who did know him very well. He didn't mean anything by it in particular --no, he was a rather intuitive mind who was looking to have a good time after he had bothered to come all this way to Magnolia. He would make the best of it now.

A chuckle could be heard from a good number of the other mages in the room especially from one woman who had both red and pink hair, seeming to get a great kick out of what seemed to be a very disrespectful request one even shouted out "Ha! Guild boss bein' made to run errands for folk!" They all then began to resume their business as usual before overhearing what Cuda asked of Alden. He walked over to the bar and took a bottle of wine and a wine glass then walked over to where Cuda was. Notably the guild mates that were at the table moved away to another table.

When he over to where Cuda was he put the wine bottle down and placed a very dirty wine glass near Cuda's feet "There, happy?" His tone was slightly sour but still remained casual as well as he could Alden had no idea who the person he was talking to was and his patience is starting to run thinner each passing second. He took a sip from his wine glass before speaking once again "I'd have gotten a cleaner glass but I chose not to I know not who you are, nor do I know your profession now. Speak, I need to go back to making sure miss Vivian doesn't go into one of her infamous rampages I prefer that she doesn't throw anymore people through the tables." He was referring to the man that was laying down in the middle of a broken table, while Vivian was in the process of throwing a table at Alden although it stopped half way. Alden then waited for a reply from Cuda.

Without Cuda reaching for the bottle, it began to levitate and appeared within his hands in mere seconds. He placed the bottle toward his mouth and bit off the cork, spitting it somewhere towards the floor. The ruckus ensuing around him made him feel at ease. This was a fine guild, one that had been run smoothly. Placing the bottle up to his lips, he chugged down some of the wine, before sighing out in relief and using his sleeve to wipe his mouth.

"Ah, that hit the spot. I sure am grateful for that, thanks!" he appeared to be completely oblivious to whatever Alden was trying to convey to him. In his mind, Alden was a great man, one who had served him liquor. In that regard, he had also invited him into the guild and allowed him to make himself at ease --surely, this man could mean him no harm. Gargling more wine into his mouth, Cuda puffed out his cheeks and looked Alden over, squinting his eyes as he did so. Finally, he swallowed the liquid down his throat, and ran a hand through his jet black hair.

"You know what? I like you! Come join my guild."

Alden looked at the man and answered without even considering the potential ways to reply nicely to Cuda's question and flat out replied "No. I am already in a guild as you can see with many beauties among it, Why would I leave such a place? And to add to it I am this guild's master so I cannot leave this guild unless I retire or am dead." He took one last sip from his wine as it was finally empty.

He quickly scanned over the man before speaking "You never answered my questions one, who are you? second Why did you come here? and three join my guild. Those are the questions I am asking you now answer them, before I kick you out, I'd like to keep an eye out for new recruits." He waited patiently but in his mind he was already planning pickup lines in his head when taking his usual stroll through magnolia.

As if Alden's words had never once reached Cuda's ears, he looked past the guildmaster of Purple Phoenix, and set his gaze upon the nice, bouncy flesh of a woman's rear end. Placing his pinky into his nostril, he zoned out, tuning back in some few seconds after Alden had finished speaking to him. Looking him over now, he rose an eyebrow, before taking whatever he had dug out of his nose and flicking it across the room. "Huh? You know what, I think I'm sorta hungry now, too! Do you have anything for me to eat before we leave?"

As soon as Cuda said this Alden's patience was running on a very thin line he grabbed his gun from his pistol holster and aimed it at Cuda's face "How about a nice balance of iron?" under normal circumstances he'd have just thrown anyone except for the opposite gender out of the building that got on his nerves not only did Cuda ignore him, but he also seemed to possess the same womanizing glance as he does. At the same time practically every woman in the room also seemed to notice as Alden's womanizing nature taught them to be wary of people he seemed to get along with, one woman especially seemed incredibly livid.

Alden spoke with a very slight hint of annoyance "Very bold action ignoring me of all people normally It'd be the other way around, I will not get you food and where do you seek to bring me, also as much as the ladies of this guild do possess great qualities one in particular possesses a short fuse, so do speak quickly." As he spoke it seemed at least half of the room's occupants were attempting to hold back the woman who had had her rear end gazed upon by Cuda.

"Gree hee hee!" Cuda chuckled, heaving forth saliva that had been mixed with both alcohol and nicotine. "You most certainly are an interesting lad. I'll tell you now guns won't work on me," Cuda's tone was calm, and neutral, as if he didn't mind the fact that a gun was literally being pointed towards him. "Why don't you put that thing down before one of us gets hurt? I'd really hate to have to roll up my sleeves here, of all places."

"Heh, that's about the twenty second time I've heard someone say that, most of the time its either boasting non-sense at other times its true. This has risen to a skirmish between two guild masters, I advise we roll up our sleeves in this building's arena its built to settle disputes such as these. I will meet you there once I get my battle gear, my guild mates will gladly escort you there." As he got up and walked to get his Cross of Riara from the S-class mage floor while the ever so friendly guild "gently" escort him to the Purple Phoenix's arena as Alden began to formulate his fighting strategy as he picked up the Cross of Riara.

Cuda waited patiently for Alden to arrive in the arena, smoking away on a newly lit cigar. The man could take all the time he wanted, it wouldn't worry Cuda in the least. Whatever strategy he dished out, whatever armor he wore, it wouldn't ravel Cuda's confidence; a poised veteran of war, he was practically a killing machine who had been fighting even before he had learned to speak --it was quite literally in his blood. Cuda thought back at what Alden had told him before he left.

"Roll up my sleeves in the arena, huh?" he closed his eyes, puffing smoke from his mouth. "I wonder; will you even be able to push me that far?"

Despite being in enemy territory, and being heavily outnumbered, the man was experiencing no such pressure. It was moments like this that Cuda truly shined; it was moments like this that he lived for.

Alden walked in with a giant metal cross, one that is clearly not designed to be utilized as a melee weapon. He leaped into the arena with the cross oddly levitating in the air. As he landed the cross levitated over near the middle above where the appointed Ref of the match Vivian stood. Alden stood with a completely calm face, completely sure of his odds against Cuda, Whatever magic Alden's opponent had or combination of can stop Alden once he sees their pattern, his experience and his skilled eye can see much.

The designated referee spoke "Alright, the guild master of Purple Phoenix, Alden Virkov Vs..." Vivian waited for Cuda to announce himself as she nor Alden actually knew who he was, once that was clear she could start the battle or end it prematurely should she or anyone in the spectator seats sensed a killing aura.

"Cuda."

Cuda caught his cigar between the two fingers on his left hand, and placed the right in his pocket, savoring one final puff before heading off into battle. Closing his eyes, his mind began to ponder beyond the physical limitations of the arena. It stretched outside, accounting each and every member of the guild who was present, memorizing each of their individual magical signatures. His eyes then opened slowly, and the cigar vanished into thin air, as if it had never existed in the first place.

"You seem confident," Cuda's expression grew grim, and his tone had suddenly grown fierce, as opposed to his usually comical appeal. "You see, I've practically seen every facial expression a person can make, so I know exactly what you're thinking right now. I wouldn't underestimate me if I were you."

Alden smirked a little before speaking "Everyone has their own opinions, you are entitled to your own, even if you got it backwards. Being the strongest isn't everything, Underestimate me at your own peril." Alden watched as Vivian went to the ref station "Being guild master means more than being the strongest or possessing the most unstoppable magics, thats what this throw down is probably not about... I bet its our egos that are the cause of this battle nevertheless, May the best man win." Alden placed his hand on his gun holster as he waited for Vivian to start the match.

Vivian stood holding up the cross with her telekinesis before speaking once again. "Basic rule of this arena do not kill your opponent, that is it but do launch arena destroying attacks at your own peril as I may hurt you if you accidentally destroy the compound. When I drop this cross you may begin the brawl, We have mages with healing magic but they cannot revive the dead so don't go for killing blows." Vivian then let go of her magical grip on the cross and let it drop to the ground. As it did Alden drew his gun and fired 4 times each with his magic embedded in the bullets they would attempt to hit Cuda even after they initially miss, they were known as his Bullets of Redemption.

Cuda stood firm as he was approached by the four magical bullets. He didn't budge so much as an inch, before his own prowess enabled him to great rid of the assault without so much as a scratch. Cuda was a magician renown for his mastery over the arc of time; naturally, any materialistic objects were at his mercy, which was why he was able to quite literally spawn them from thin air at will. Bullets, unfortunately, fell into the same subject. Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Cuda allowed the bullets to remain alive for a few more seconds, until they looked like they were just about to come into contact with him. Controlling their time, he "flashed" forward, ridding them of the magical energy they had been provided and turning whatever metal they had been made of into dust. It would have literally seemed as though the bullets had ceased to exist, vanishing from plain view.

"You propose that I am arrogant by your actions and words," Cuda's gaze fell upon Alden, as he had taken care of his magic with ease. "However, I already warned you that guns wouldn't work on me. So then, tell me, was it not arrogant of you to disregard my warning?"

Of course, the arc of time was a lost magic; given its rarity, Alden would have likely never seen the magic in his lifetime. Even if he had, the fact that Cuda had not made so much as a physical movement would have made it near impossible for Alden to draw upon the conclusion that he had utilized such magic in the first place. Alden would have been confused in this instance, no doubt about it, for his magic had vanished before his very own eyes.

"It's not the gun that you should be worried about." Alden still stood firm in his confidence, he concluded that Cuda was somehow able to erase his bullets from existance, he was positive they were not blocked as the Crosses did not appear indicating whether or not they hit a barrier or not. Alden himself did not appear surprised when the bullets disappeared merely aware of the bullets disappearance. He shot 2 magical bullets to his left and right with his bullets of redemption magic they would eventually recourse themselves towards Cuda, but he holstered his gun regardless. "Regard my words however you like, power alone cannot guarantee one will win a fight."

He could not decipher what magic he did use, but he was sure that its a powerful defensive magic of what kind he was not sure. Based on what he had seen he would need more information on the magic Cuda used, so far he lacked enough knowledge on what cuda did to properly look for it on his Archive, which possessed practically every magic he could read on. He positioned his hands much like a clock as magic orbs appeared much like a clock but not in anyway related. He did not say anything as he used his hands to mimic the appearance of a gun as 2 magical orbs appeared in from of them as each of the orbs started shooting at Cuda, all piercing bullets fired from bullet magic, all attempting to hit Cuda along with the area around him as the 2 magical bullets Alden fired from his gun started to close in from the sides.

Cuda looked on with some confusion. Surely it was foolish of Alden to continually try the same tactic after it had failed in the past. He simply could not get himself to understand why he had tried the very same strategy all over again --was this all he had to him? Without budging an inch, Cuda was made well aware of the bullets through the use of his Heaven's Eye, without looking directly at them, given that they were approaching him at an angle. His variation of the spell, harnessed with his disciplined mastery, enabled Cuda to quite literally see through objects and over long distances, coupled with the ability to see around him. In short, it was almost as if Cuda had eyes on the back of his head. There was nothing that could escape his sense.

The bullets fired from the gun vanished into thin air just as those before them. The newer bullets fired from Alden's fingers followed in suit, sharing the exact same fate. It was actually much easier to negate these magical bullets, seeing as though magical energy was not eternal; no matter how great the sorcerer behind the technique may have been, magic had a limit as to how long it could stay alive, before it wore off. Being composed of energy, the magical bullets disappeared without so much as a trace. Standing ground, Cuda looked forward at Alden.

"Oi, oi," Cuda called out, demanding Alden's attention. "What gives? I've told you countless times already that it wouldn't work. You're not ignoring me, are you?"

Cuda retrieved a hand from his pocket and went to clean his left ear using the pinkie. This was a dull fight, and Cuda may have very well lost his interest. If all Alden planned on doing was keeping his distance, despite being given the clear advantage in the circumstance, then Cuda didn't want to be apart of such a battle any longer. It had already drawn on longer than it should have, if it were meant to peek his interest at all. He had yet to go on the offensive, initially seeking whatever value Alden could have presented him with. By now, Cuda was not at all pleased with what he had seen.

Moving the hand from his ear, Cuda turned his palm so that it faced upward at the ceiling. Out of nothing, a large canon ball was forged, and without Cuda doing much else, it levitated into the air. Suddenly, seemingly an infinite rain of the very same canon balls were created, polluting the room with their presence. Counting them now would have been impossible --there could have very well been hundreds of balls flying about. With so much as a hand gesture, they all flew toward Alden --from each and every angle-- looking to pound him onto the ground. They were incredibly durable, and even had Alden managed to split them through the use of some of his magic, they would have only continued to attack him, or worse --explode. Touching them was extremely lethal. If they had so much as managed to scrape the ceiling above Alden, they would have caused the debris to fall upon him and cripple him to no end. Handling them would be difficult without a doubt, though most certainly, trying to destroy so many given the amount of presentable space was out of question.

"You'd risk my entire guild just so you can ensure I cannot counter your magic, ehh you tread a deadly game assuming i'll go down from this barrage." Alden was sure of it of what magic Cuda was using via the use of his archive referenced the exact spell Cuda was using was very similar to the Arc of Time spell Flash Forward perhaps he used the same spell but he was very sure that hundreds of cannon balls were converging onto him, He could have protected himself but seeing as the cannon balls reached the ceiling his guild mates would be harmed as a result of the chain reaction of explosions. He did not flinch he simply assumed a defensive stance, guarding his most vital regions If he defended himself by using his gravity magic, Cuda would be disqualified for harming the spectators and the ref in the cross fire, he'd still have been hurt but nowhere nearly as badly as tanking the barrage using his own body. He began to mutter something "Steel is my body, and fire is my blood as long as I stand I refuse to kneel before those who would harm my guild willingly or otherwise." with that being said the barrage fell upon him.

Before the explosions triggered Vivian acted in the safety of the observers. "Kyoko! Mass exodus Now!!" Kyoko began using her slowing magic and her teleportation magic to move the other spectators to safety as Vivian created a shield using Etherea to shield herself. Alden seemingly fell to the ground unconscious bruised and badly hurt from a good number of hits from cannon balls than the explosions, it was uncertain from the spectators side that Alden even survived the assault. At this point Alden could do little practically rendered unable to even show off his true capacities, he wanted to try and find out what magic Cuda was using before playing more of his cards, had been given the chance he'd have shown off his arsenal of cards not purely sticking to range. Alden's mask had completely covered his face protecting his face and skull from cannon balls to an extent. All that was left was for Cuda's next action and see how it unfolded.

Cuda prevented the ensuing chaos with a flick of a hand, of what would have translated into a chain explosion, with one ball bursting after the other until the entire guild was obliterated. However, he had long since lost his fighting spirit, and seeing as though he had already defeated Alden with a single move, there was no point in causing meaningless destruction. Running a hand through his hair, he sighed, his gaze falling upon the battered body before him aimlessly. The rest of the Phoenixes had very little difficulty conveying their emotions to Cuda. They had disrespected him --Alden especially, through the filthy glass he had presented Cuda with and his overall shaunty attitude. However, what Cuda despised most was Alden's arrogance; even into his defeat, the man had pretended to be his superior and Cuda simply couldn't understand why. Looking at him now, a cigar formed between Cuda's lips. The man was out cold.

"I don't know if you can still hear me or not," Cuda began, offering his remorse. "But, I felt it was important to show you the difference in our strength, especially with how things were going back there. I apologize for ending this so quickly, but you see, I felt a bit disrespected by how you neglected my advice. Use it next time, it'll help you in the long run."

Looking about the arena, Cuda could see that it had been damaged beyond belief. The series of detonations had left burnt stains all about, and much of the casing had been undone altogether. Including the guildmaster, the guild was in a horrid state, all because Cuda had decided to reveal an ounce of his power. He sighed again, before snapping his fingers. The arena and all its inhabitants were coated briefly by his magical aura, and time had been restored to an earlier time. All the damages had been repaired, though Cuda decided not to heal Alden, most nearly because it would have been disgraceful to show pity to a warrior who had fought against him.

"Strength is not what makes a man. Looking at you now, I can't help but feel as though you felt as if you could have defeated me had you been given just a few more minutes. Well then, allow me to discern that belief --the result you see now was sealed from the moment our eyes met. Certain elements cannot be changed, I'm afraid. There was so much I wanted to show you, but as it is now, you're not worthy." Cuda walked over to Alden's body slowly, treading one step at a time. "Come with me and I can show you levels beyond this that you could only hope to imagine. Come with me to my guild."

Alden laid there on the ground, thinking things over. He had been bombarded by at least fifty or more cannon balls and had them explode on him. He made a mental note of this and put it into his archive for future reference, Alden is often noted for being a sour loser, often never acknowledging his defeats at the gambling table or in actual battles. "The Man who can, I assume control time, one of the most unstoppable forces of this world, says I lack strength when he himself can control time, I presume this battle ended differently but you went back in time and took me more seriously." Alden's tone was notably sour and a ting of anger could be felt underneath the tone. His mask notably took the shape of a skull and while reforming back to its original form, the black soot the explosions put onto the mask was shaken off reverting back to its original color of white.

Vivian the appointed referee of the round stood veins were visible of her head it was clear she was angry, she was not aware Cuda was a guild master nor was she aware of the power he possessed had she known this the arena the battle would have taken place in would have been in a different location altogether. It was ultimately up to her to decide the victor, although it was clear Cuda was the only man standing, Vivian decided the victor of the round and announced it "I Vivian the referee of this round declare the winner is." She picked up the exceed that was watching the match and held her up "I declare Beru as the victor between guild masters!" She said this with a grin as the confused exceed looked around confused and shocked at being declared the winner.

Alden got up and calmed himself to a degree, it was still clear he did not enjoy the bombardment of cannonballs at all. "I refuse your invitation into your guild Cuda, I am the guild master of Purple Phoenix and from the ashes we grow as people stronger and ready for whatever challenge comes against us!" His voice seemingly boomed throughout the guild complex and as he shook off the damage done to him and his outfit which was not on fire, nor seemingly torn by any of the explosions. "We are both stubborn men that hate being underestimated, that much is clear to me. I present a proposal to you, Purple Phoenix will stand as a rival to the guild you are the boss of, as a blade sharpening another blade. A Friendly rivalry between Purple Phoenix and..." Alden sighed as he face palmed "I don't believe you ever revealed the guild you founded's name. But regardless my proposal stands what do you say Cuda?" Alden stood facing Cuda and waited his reply.

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