The Hour Tolls For Thee
Thou was born in ignorance and consumes flames from the wicker
Shall taste the bitterness of defeat
Not thou blood's shed
But by loss of another
The Hour Tolls for Thee
The Tale of Fairies: Natsu vs Jackal
"GET DOWN!!!" Natsu Dragneel shouted as his arms grasped Lucy and Wendy by the waists, pulling them to the ground as a quaking sensation shook the foundations of the Ex-Counselor's home. Seconds later, a bright flash of orange and gold filled the upper ramparts of the structure, birthing explosive tongues of heat down towards the gathered assemblage. Had it not been for Natsu's Fire Dragon Scales and his consumption of the fiery torrents, the heat would have burnt the lower half of the now ruined structure. Patting his swollen belly as it deflated, he murmured out loud. "I managed to eat that...close call though."
"M-My house!" Cried out the Ex-Councilor, Michello, a cat-man whom hunched over on his cane as he looked around his abode with despair.
"G-Grandfather!" Michelia, Michello's granddaughter, cried out from her ground proned position.
"Are you alright...despite the blast?" Charle asked everyone, worried that Wendy or Lucy was harmed.
"I'm fine...somehow," Lucy replied gingerly, rising up as the heat of the explosion was still fresh on her apparel.
"What was that?" Wendy asked out loud, her nostrils picking the scent of burning ozone and something else. Something she didn't pick up before. It directed her to a slowly revealing figure, whose silhouette looked menacing from its crumble-topped perch. "Who's there?!"
Turning to look up, everyone saw a man with features that were a hybrid of a Jaguar's and humans. Hunching over, the black armed man with burnt yellow colored hair had his feline ears perk up with curiosity. A hidden tail swished under his kama skirt, his sleeveless top tucked in while his boots swiveled against the tiled ground. His split pupils looked out with golden eyes flashing with surprise as much as annoyance.
"Huh," He began to speak, having a higher pitch with a grated squeal like a knife caressing a silk covered wall of steel. "You didn't blow up? I thought for sure I got you...like the Magic Council."
Ending with a cruel smile complemented by a crazed cackle, the girls who were assembled looked up with unnerved expressions while the Councilor looked with a shaky expression. While the latter's granddaughter would catch his look of fear from the corner of her eye, the attacker's next actions took precedence over her attention.
"Who the Hell are you?" The Feline Predator asked the short-pink haired man with a particularly dangerous glare aimed at him.
"Natsu from Fairy Tail," He declared, his voice low and eerily composed as his words came from his lips. "Shall we start the Hades Hunt?"
A deadly quiet entered the air, mounting the tension as the only sound was the crackling embers of the doused explosion from mere moments before. Dragon Slayer locked eyes with the mad bomber, intent on taking the fight to the one who was responsible for harming Laxus and his Thunder Tribe. His Guildmates...he'd make them pay for harming them, starting with this lunatic who attacked them out of the blue!
"M-My house! How dare he-!" The elderly man shook his cane, much to the granddaughter's dismay as she tried to restrain him.
"He's from Tartaros," Charle answered for the Councilor. "He's the one responsible for attacking the Council."
"We're no longer safe here! Let's get moving!" Lucy ushered the man, whom was surprisingly quick to rise to his feet and retreat to what was a standing door. Now it just leaned over, its panels crumbled and its frame charred. Another reminder of how quickly they escaped death.
"I was gonna do it without your say-so!" Michello gutturally declared, tapping his cane rapidly against the ground as the girls along with the Exceed tried to do their best to escort him and his graunddaughter out of harm's reach.
"So..." Natsu began to murmur out, trying to break the tension in some vocal manner.
But Jackal just exhaled, and swung his arms around in a graceful manner. A gust of wind bristled out from the house, carrying itself past dozens of houses till it reached the outer perimeter of the town. Seconds later, a quaking rumble shook the structures back to their location, the sound of thunderous blasts echoing through the air while clouds of smoke rose up with towers of flames. In a short amount of time, the Tartaros Terrorist had claimed even more lives. The sounds of screams of panicking citizens rushing through the streets could be heard faintly, causing the girl and Wendy to open their mouths agape, silently expressing their despair at what just happened. This would only be vocalized by Lucy herself.
"Why," She began, turning to the foreign intruder. "Why involve the people?! They have nothing to do with this!"
"Bastard!" Natsu howled out, his left foot jetting flame strong enough to propel him straight up at his adversary.
"Ha!" Jackal gestured, causing the Dragon Slayer to be halted in mid-air by a fireball of combustion. "Explode!"
"A Direct Hit!" The Ex-Councilor cried out with shock and horror.
"Don't worry! Fire and Explosive attacks are useless against Natsu!" Happy exclaimed while hitting the deck, watching as Natsu slurped up the tongues of heat as if it was soup.
"He...ate my explosion-?" The Bomber asked with a look of utter dumbfoundment. He regretted that the moment the Dragon Slayer's fiery fist crashed into his jaw, craning his neck to the side as his body collided into the wooden boards. Getting up to rub his jaw, he narrowly escaped as Natsu crashed entirely underneath the ground. He distanced himself with a backpedaling motion. "This guy is like a Fireball!"
A rippling tear through the floor was seen, causing him to stutter at the tenacity his enemy had. Ripping upward with a fire coated knee, the Feline-Man got his chin crashed into by the cap, forcing his body to fly upwards head over heels into the sky. Stunned by another gut punch of Fire Magic, his back smashed into the brick chimney just short of a spinning flaming kick crashing him through it. Dropping down to the ground he glided back on all fours. A smile spread across his face in a feral manner as he took the time to speak to his enemy, "What a funny guy, very amusing! But I should tell you something before you cont-"
"Iron Fist," Natsu cut him off, his knuckles already roiled in thick flames by the time a surprised Feline-Man opened his mouth to protest.
"OF THE FIRE DRAGON!" The Slayer roared out as a pyro burst of force crashed into him, engulfing the terrorist in flames while he bounced off the ground and slid to a halt. Landing on his knees to straddle him on his torso, Natsu cried out with a fervor in his tone. "I'm not nearly done yet! HRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!"
With a violent scream, Natsu wailed on the Dark Guildsman's face. Crack after crack resounded over the cat-like visage, his eyes whiting out from the kinetic bombardment he was receiving. Blood soon flecked up with saliva, coating his skin as the knuckles continued to relentlessly pound him into submission.
"A-Amazing," Michelia uttered out loud.
"S-So terrifying," Michello whispered hoarsely, his face caked in sweat and his eyes widened with fear. "This...this is a Fairy Tail Wizard? He's more fearsome than I would have thought..."
"...overdoing it," Lucy finished for Wendy, smiling sheepishly as Natsu's attacks continued without ceasing. "Wasn't he going to say something too?"
"Oh, that's right," Natsu pulled back finally, the man's forehead ebbing blood over his face while drool crawled out of his mouth. "I was going to ask where this guy's hideout was."
"If...If they're really after Face," Michello thought with quiver in his legs, looking down at the ground with fear overriding his senses. "Then they really won't stop. I-I gotta hide. Protect myself, go underground! I have to leave this place at once!"
"W-Wait!" Wendy cried out, turning to see the man clap his cane against the ground as he tried to leave. "Where are you going?"
"I have to hide! Disappear! You've done enough!" He exclaimed, turning briefly to look at his standing granddaughter. "Come Michelia! You come with me."
"But...grandfather, aren't you being rude?!" She exclaimed in an indignant tone, insulted by the way he was so ungrateful.
"Yeah, you should tell us if you know something," Charle commented, placing her paws on her hips.
"I-I don't know anything!" He hoarsely cried out, a bit too unconvincingly with his arms wailing with protest.
"Gramps," Natsu uttered out, his tone level as was his stare at his shaking back. "If you know something, speak up."
"I...I really don't know anything at all!" The Ex-Councilor continued to insist.
"C'mon man," The rising Feline-Man urged smoothly, sounding like a knife grating across mortar. Sitting upright, earning a look of annoyance by Natsu while shocking the rest his attacks didn't do more than stun him, he placed his hands on his lap. "If you share a morsel with me, I might actually let you live. Be a pal and tell, I promise I won't cause anymore trouble."
"I REALLY DON'T KNOW! ASK SOMEONE ELSE! I REALLY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!" Michello shouted raspily at the top of his lungs.
"Oh, that's a shame," The terrorist turned to look under his arm, his right face angled in a way his feral grin returned to gleam at the older man. "Then you're going to die. Painfully."
"YOU! What the Hell are YOU doing?! None of your attacks did anything!" Michello ridiculed Natsu whose veins were already bulging with mounting frustration. "Beat the crap out of him so I can get away!"
"Oh, that reminds me," The Dark Guild Bomber rose up to his full height, turning to face Natsu with a calm expression on his face. "You really should listen when someone's talking to you. It's bad manners, and unhealthy."
"Huh?" The Dragon Slayer craned his head, seeing the man point at his body. It wasn't until he felt an eerie tingle transpire over multiple points over his body. Carved symbols were seen glowing a bright yellow light, over his hands, feet, knees and thighs. The slow whining that grew in pitch caused his senses to tingle with danger, arms raising to look at the marks better. "What the Hell is this?!"
"My Curse allows me to detonate anything I touch," He explained, grinning maniacally at his plighting adversary, laughing out loud at his stricken state of being. "How many times did you hit me before?"
"LUCY! WENDY! HAPPY! CHARLE! GET AWAY FROM ME NOW!" Natsu shouted out loud with knowledge of what was to take place next. Helpless to stand still and hope he can take the blast that'd transpire next, the glow soon enveloped his whole being, the whine now a perpetual scream. With Lucy wrapping her arms around Wendy, she dove for cover just as Michello was shielded by Michelia through a similar dive. A thunderous flash followed by an orange flaming pillar flowed up and out of the crumbling house.
Looking over her shoulder, she gingerly rose up from the pain of skidding across crumbling floor boards to the fallen doorway. Eyes widened as she saw Natsu, smoke curling across his seared body. Eyes were devoid of awareness, unconsciousness taking hold of him as he fell limply onto his back. Echoing the thud of his fall was Lucy's scream of his name. "NATSU!!!" "Hahahahahahahaha, dumbass! I'm surprised you're in one piece," The Terrorist howled out with a gleeful cry, pointing at him while holding onto his face with incredulity. "I guess you're not a fireball in just appearance, hahahahahahahaha!"
"I...I..." Michelo began to murmur out, squeezing out of his granddaughter's grasp. "I have to go!"
"Grandfather!" Michelia reached out, her elder relative scampering off at a surprisingly swift pace for his age.
"Oi, that's not cool," The man coyly sang out, turning his attention to the retreating back of the cowardly Ex-Councilor. "Leaving your granddaughter and these poor girls to die while you run to safety? You Councilors really are a bunch of bad eggs, heh!"
"You leave him alone!" Wendy cried out, inhaling a torrent of air into her lungs. "Sky Dragon's Roar!"
With a twitch of annoyance, he pressed his finger into the spiraling vortex of wind. With a snap of his finger, the twister exploded, dispersing the air waves in a fiery blast that planted Wendy right on her back. "That's not gonna work. Just step aside."
"Gate of the Scorpion, Scorpio!" Lucy cried out, summoning Scorpio whom struck a pose with a challenging grin.
"A Celestial Wizard? You guys really do have interesting abilities," He mumbled out with wonder and awe at the spectacle before him.
"Sand Buster!" Scorpio cried out with his metallic tail jetting out a geyser of sand at the creature before them.
"Like I said," The Tartaros Bomber began to say, waving his hand to create a jet of explosive air, crashing into the sand and detonating with enough force to blow back him and the others onto their backs. "That's not gonna work!"
"Ngh!" Lucy moaned out as she felt her skin cut up from grinding into the pavement through her torn clothes. Looking over at Wendy who clutched her bruised head, the injured Charle and Happy couldn't even get themselves up. Looking over at the trembling Mikelia she turned to shout at the man harming them all. "Who are you and what do you want?! What is your reason for doing this?!"
"Ah, right. I normally don't introduce myself and for that you should totally forgive me," The maniac spread his grin ear to ear as he took a bow waving his arm out in a way that caused a surging explosive wind that ripped through more of the town in that direction. Smiling devilishly he whispered loud enough for Lucy to hear over the mayhem and screams harrowing the distance.
"My name is Jackal of the Nine Gates of Tartaros. We use a power that stands above Magic called Curses, the reason your powers are no match for mine. And the reason I'm here is for that geezer to tell me what I want to know, or die. It seems the latter is the case."
Shivering at the sight of him, she flinched when he leaped up into the air. Surprised that he ignored her entirely, she looked over her shoulder to see him hopping from building top to building top. When she saw him disappear into the horizon she scrambled up as did Wendy, inwardly glad that she wasn't as hurt as she was led to believe.
"Wendy, you have to heal Natsu. Do what you can," Lucy borderline commanded the young Slayer to do.
"Okay," Wendy nodded, kneeling before Natsu, recoiling at the burns and blood seeping from his injured skin. "He's hurt so badly already. I'm not sure what I can do for him..."
"Don't overdo it. You'll collapse too and we can't have that," Charle warned her friend.
"I know," She uttered, placing a healing light over Natsu's blank staring face. "I'll do what I can..."
Natsu was floating in darkness. It was just like the time when he faced Zero, the Master of Oración Seis. Everything to him was numb and empty. The flash of pain, a burst of explosive force and he was placed into a space that was eerie and empty. He hung there, suspended like a puppet with no strings to hold him by the gravity of his own mind. He couldn't feel Wendy's Magic or hear their cries much less the burning disaster that was outside his perception.
But, there was a voice, one that had once helped him reclaim his resolve and now spoke to him again.
"You cannot remain idle here, Natsu," The voice growled out, a menacing heat flowing over his skin that renewed his awareness, little by little. "If you play dead too long, you will find everyone you know perish. You won't allow that to happen, right?"
"AAAAAAAAUUUUUGH!" Natsu suddenly breathed deeply, sitting upright as he woke from his blast-ridden unconsciousness. Everything around him was in a haze, causing him to feel dizzy. Shaking his head things began to clear up, his sight to his hearing. With Wendy's arms wrapped around him tightly, he could tell right away something was amiss. "Where's Lucy?"
Hearing the question, Wendy recoiled and shivered as she replied, "She's....she went after him...the guy who blew you up..."
"No," The Dragon Slayer growled, rising to his feet and stumbled forward. Swaying side to side Wendy tried to pull him back down to rest but he kept trotting, tripping over rublle to land flat on his face. Hissing he scrambled on all fours, crashing and kicking into debris as he used his sense of smell to track Lucy. "Gotta find her...gotta...gotta...gotta...there!"
When he finally located a strong scent, he heard another violent explosion rattle the distance. Howling out, he propelled himself up into the air with jets of flame from his feet. Kicking the sky with a number of pyro blasts of flames from behind, he eventually found the location of Jackal, the Tartaros Guild Bomber. He had blasted a number of people, leaving their remains ashes inside of craters or as charred corpses, leaving most of the masses to flee pitifully into structures or towards the burning outskirts. What was in his sights was the Ex-Councilor and a weeping woman, suspended in glowing bubbles while Lucy was standing in a Curse ingraved circle underneath her feet.
"Hahahahaha! Time's up," Jackal declared with a vicious grin. "Whose gonna die, Human? What's your choice?"
"YOU!" Natsu rang out timely, propelling himself one last time across the air downward, spiraling his fist towards the terrorist's jaw. The propulsion infused Magic punch collided into him, catching him off guard and throttling him across the bridge and splashing into the river. Landing with a fall to his knees, he panted with a frenzy, turning to check on the others. The glows of the Curse infused light disappeared around the woman and Michello, disengaging the mine underneath Lucy's feet.
"Natsu!" Lucy cried out with joy, glad to see her dear friend conscious and coming to the rescue.
"We're coming!" Wendy cried out from the distance, followed by Charle and Happy as they soared at a low altitude above her head. Having left Michelia back at the house for her own safety, they promised to bring back her grandfather safely as long as she stayed put.
"That was reckless of you," Charle chided Natsu, stopping just short of him with a glare aimed at his sheepishly grinning face. "You just regained consciousness. Do you want to die?"
"Ah, relax, it worked out well enough," He laughed off, dusting hands with a cheeky grin.
"Now's not the time to relax!" The Exceed exclaimed with a hiss.
"She's right," Michello muttered out, prying himself from the river, shaking the water off as he pointed at the Fairy Tail Mages. "You have to get me out of here! He'll be back up any sec-ngh!"
Nonplussed, Natsu hand-chopped the man over his head, causing him to be silenced into unconsciousness himself. While the girls gaped at his action, he replied with a shrug, "He was bothering me, so I shut him up. It's better he doesn't run all over town like that."
"BUAHA!" Jackal coughed out as he rose from the water, fearing he may have blacked out for a second there. Shaking his head, he felt the bruise that was from hsi left cheek. Grinning at the Slayer now that he approached him, he replied in a sardonic tone. "We have quite the learner here. And by learn, I mean you got jackshit since last time."
True to his words, a brand was carved around Natsu's hand, brightly glowing just as before through a high pitch whine that only grew louder with every passing second. With his eyes fixated at the Curse stamp, he came up with an idea. Raising the fist towards his mouth, he whispered aloud, "I got it. I think I get how this works."
"Huh?" The Tartaros Member asked with a confused look in his eyes.
Biting down on his fist the moment the mark turned into a shrill shriek, a vibrant flash of golden light and a localized blast of dust threw debris all directions. What stopped the bomber from laughing was the sight of Natsu still standing. While his hair was frayed, the force of the blast fuzzying it up, the Dragon Slayer laughed as smoke escaped his mouth, "See? I got your trick down. Eating an explosion before it touches me cancels it out just nicely."
"I-Impossible! No human can withstand a blast like that!" Jackal cried out, suddenly being attacked by his Fairy Tail enemy yet again. A left hook thrashed him across the pool, his body exploding in a bout of flames. Rising up from the steaming water, he glared at him with a wicked smile. "Idiot, you just touched me again. Now you're gonna ex-"
"-plode?" He found himself cut off at the sight of Natsu shoving his hand into his mouth again, eating the explosion the moment the flash lit up the area and the shockwave crashed into the earth. It was such a small sign of force it may as well been a fire cracker in comparison to before. Shivering he raised his arms but found they couldn't even raise a defense. The eyes that glowed with vengeance in mind fit the ravenously smiling face of the Slayer that trod forward.
"N-N-No!" Jackal denied it outright, his body sudden morphing into something inhuman and tall, growling out as he continued to swell in size and gait. "I cannot allow a mere human defy a Demon! I CANNOT!"
What appeared before Natsu's eyes would be considered monstrous. The towering yellow furred beast hunched over Natsu with rows of fangs that drooled with a splashing repetition while blank eyes glared at him. With a protruding maw that was more alike to a canine than his previous form, the bipedal demonic entity reared back one arm and swung it at the Slayer. Making contact, there was no delay, only an enormous blast following his incredible strength.
Slammed into the side of the house, his body bowled through it from the fiery torrent he narrowly ate to decrease its intensity. But Jackal was already upon him, swiping down to create another blade while hitting him simultaneously. Kicking him across the ground, he sprinted after the geyser of detonation that made Natsu bounce across the earth. Grasping him by the head, he dug his face into the side of the river while continue to rave, "Demons can never be surpassed by humans! Know your place, magician!"
"Fire Dragon's Roar!" Natsu growled into the earth, propelling his head back into Jackal's face with a fierce crack. Turning his profusely bleeding face to glare at him, he swung fiery fist after crackling punch into his face. "Is that the only reason you're doing this?! Out of sick racial pride?!"
"Damn you!" Jackal swore, hammerfisting him from above, causing Natsu to brace the punch with both arms in a squat. Even then, the earth distended and cracked from the force. Holding strong, he continued to spout out. "Don't look down at me!"
"I'm already looking down at you!" Natsu howled out, his body exploding outward with a fiery might. With a chirping shriek, flames endowed his body in sync with a mantle of lightning. Seething with glowing eyes filled with righteous anger, he propelled himself with even greater speed, railing into the Demon's chest with shocking-fire punch after kick. "You hurt my friends! Killed innocents! And harmed Laxus! All because we're different from you?! GO TO HELL!!!"
With one final punch, Natsu inhaled deeply, seeming to pull the ambient currents of Magic running around his body. With his chest swollen like a balloon, he snapped his head forward, unleashing a bountiful geyser of Lightning Flame Magic from his open cavity, "Lightning Flame Dragon's Roar!"
From whence it stemmed from Laxus himself, Natsu struck Jackal head-on in an overwhelming torrent of destructive flame and electrical charge. Crashing him through the town's houses, he blew through them until crashing into a stone wall, indenting it before it finally cave in on itself from the shocking blast. Falling down he was covered by rocks that made up the wall, his body bloodied and burnt all over.
"Hah...Hah...Hah," Natsu heaved heavily, his body feeling the strain of the amount of magic he had to expel in order to put down his enemy. Unfortunately for him, marks appeared all over his body. From his head, to his arms and chest, down to his legs. A significant blast resounded like a thunder, forcing him to land on his back in a crater of his own. Wheezing heavily, he felt no strength to move, not wishing to after such an attack anyways. "Damn...that hurt..."
"Natsu!" Lucy cried out, rushing to his side along with Wendy and the others.
"Get a hold of yourself, Natsu!" Happy exclaimed as he shook his body.
"Ow...ow....ow," The Slayer moaned out at his Exceed partner's gestures on his chest. "Not...happening...for awhile...anyways..."
"But you did it, right?" Wendy asked with a hopeful smile.
"HA! Ya sure did, jackass!" A resounding shout caused them all to look far into the distance. There they saw a less bulky formed Jackal, now banged up and injured to the point of immovability. Grinning slyly, his eyes were at half mast from the lack of strength he had left to stand let alone walk away. "Damn...sorry Kyouka...looks like I'm done...but....at least I'll take these bastards...to Hell..."
As he murmured those words few could pick up, fiery pillars of golden light erupted from all angles of the town. Surrounding them from various points, they thrummed with an ominous drumming sound that mimicked the whistle that came before the shrieking detonation. Crying out loud, Lucy yelled out towards the Tartaros Bomber, "S-Stop it! This is madness!"
"Too late," He croaked out, coughing up blood between his sharply grinning teeth. "I'm taking ya to Hell. YA HEAR THAT?! YOU'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"N-Natsu! Wake up!" Wendy shook her fellow Slayer with fear in her eyes, the glow of the Curse's light making it harder and harder to see as the ringing was to hear. "We need you!"
"I...I can't stop this...I can't stop it!" Lucy cried out, falling to her hands and knees, tears runing down her face with the realization of how doomed they were. Dread filled her being as even the laughter was drowned out by the imminent bomb blast that was going to erupt. What hope did they have?
"No," Happy cried out, an angry glare fixating on his face as his wings spread across his back. "I...won't let that happen!"
"Hap-eh?!" Charle began to question before he took off at a zoom, soaring towards Jackal within seconds.
"Ehehehee...wha-what?! What are you doing?!" The Demon cried out as he was lifted by the collar, carried high up towards the sky. "Let me go you fuckin' cat!"
"NO!" Happy declared. "I can't let you!"
"Happy?" Natsu groaned out, catching sight of the blue outline of his best friend heading towards the sky. Filled with adrenaline once again at the sudden realization of such an act was being committed, he rose up on his haunches and tried to scramble to his feet. "HAPPY! GET AWAY FROM HIM!"
"FLY AWAY FAST!" Wendy shouted up at him with cupped hands around her mouth.
"Happy!" Charle cried out.
"Get away from him!" Lucy shrieked out with horror, knowing the pitch of the quaking hum that he'd explode any moment.
"Get off me furball! You can't stop me-!"
"Wrong!" Happy cut him off, looking up towards the sky like he had when he entered his homeland, Edolas all those years ago. To him, it was only like yesterday that he found the origin from which he came from, testing his resolve and courage. He stood up to the evil Knightwalker, helping out Charle and declaring he was a Wizard of Fairy Tail. With tears filling his eyes he smiled cheerfully as he declared more to himself than anyone down below, the roar of the priming blast about to go off deafening his voice. "You'll never win against Fairy Tail. We'll do whatever takes to win...even if our dream ends...others will continue forever. A neverending adventure. That's what it means to be a Wizard of Fairy Tail!"
With a final cry of outrage by Jackal, an ominous explosion of brilliant golden light filled up the sky. The shockwave rattled the landscape below, winds blistering the observers that looked upward. Scorching flames danced across the heavens, dispersing the clouds that once presided high in the atmopshere. But as the calm settled in, the cries that were from below became dim and the shock gripped every Mage below.
"N-Natsu?" Lucy queried her friend's condition, finding him looking straight up with a glazed look in his eyes.
"H-Happy..." He trailed off, finding his eyes never leaving the empty canopy of blue above. He didn't even notice the pain of his sore knees crashing into the cratered ground below, bent down while still looking up. Tears swirled around his eyes, leaving burning trails down his face as his lips quivered. With a mighty cry of rage and grief, Natsu shouted at the top of his lungs. "HAPPY!!!!!"
The day was won, but at a terrible cost. Natsu's dearest friend and companion had sacrificed his life so others may live. It was just a single sobering act that gripped those within the ranks of Fairy Tail...from that moment on and days to pass on.