▶┆Chapter ninety-four 
❝I know there's pain in your heart, and you're covered in scars—I wish you could see what I do...❞
▶Author's note◀ :
Heyyy guess who's out of school?! Meee! Now that means I have more free time for writing! Yay! <3
★·.·'¯'·.·★ иσямαℓ ρ.σ.ν. ★·.·'¯'·.·★
AS SOON AS SABERTOOTH'S large mahogany doors slammed open, all eyes flew to gaze in curiosity at the large mass of powerful Fairy Tail mages gathered. A magnitude of varying voices whispered quietly, and someone, presumably the barmaid ran to alert the guild master.
Sting burst out of his office at once, clothes rumpled and eyes wide and filled with a multitude of emotions. He walked down the stairs to them, and something akin to loathing still lingered in his gaze when he glanced at Laxus and the rest. He couldn't just forget his princess's tears over what they had—or hadn't—done.
"What do you want?" Sting barked out, showing a more irritable side he seldom showed. Some members took his hostility as a challenge, such as Gajeel, Gray, and Natsu.
"What's your problem bee-boy?! Looking to pick a fight?!" Natsu yelled, before getting profusely bonked on the head by a steamed Erza. Jellal merely shook his head, not at all wanting to enrage the gorgeous red-head.
Gajeel and Gray laughed at Natsu, causing the fire dragon slayer to glare murderously at them.
"Natsu, back off," Laxus demanded. He then straightened up and looked the other blue-eyed dragon slayer dead in the eye.
"I found her." There was an indescribable emotion in his voice. Breathless and hollow, as if he himself couldn't believe his own statement.
Sting's eyes widened and were, metaphorically, as big as golf balls. His lip quivered slowly, betraying his stiff and tall stature. He seemed to be unafraid, but the Fairy Tail mages didn't miss the hope and absolute relief that flooded into his emotional blue orbs.
"Where?! Is she okay?!" He inquires anxiously, his words containing a bit of an edge due to his urgency and anxiety.
Laxus spoke quietly, saying, "I don't know...we're going to go save—" before he could finish, Sting was already marching towards the door.
"We don't have any time to lose! Every precious second we waste could be a second closer to her...death...come, on, let's go!" He commanded, and Laxus immediately followed. Some of the men didn't like being ordered around, but didn't fight because they were aware a bigger priority was at hand; Lucy.
After taking another train ride, they arrived at a small village full of loving civilians.
"You think bunny girl's here?" Gajeel asked incredulously, his unconvinced expression obvious as he glanced at all the sweet villagers smiling and waving at them.
Laxus rolled his eyes and sighed in exasperation. "No, she's there," He stated, pointing at the gloomy forest rising behind one of the larger buildings in the town.
Erza raised an eyebrow, staring at the seemingly endless expanse of woods. "Where?" She inquired, her nose scrunching. The deep green thicket that was the forest was dense and thick and filled to the brim with foliage.
Laxus sighed again and pointed to the woods. "It's a guild that's miles into that damn forest. They're a well-known dark guild...called Crimson Flag..."
Five people gasped, recognizing the name. Juvia knew of that guild, and so did Gajeel and Sting. Jellal knew of them because he was well-versed with the stopping of dark guilds, since that was his job, and they were a huge target on his list. Erza was just a powerful mage, who knew countless things, and this was one of those things. But then again, how could they not know? The countless murders, robberies, and destruction that followed that guild were chilling. The others, like Gray and Natsu, had heard that name before but did not know the horrors behind that guild, nor the damage it inflicted.
"Crimson wha?" Natsu asked dumbly, making a confused expression. This time, it was Erza who sighed.
"Natsu, it's Crimson Flag."
"Why don't we start walking. If it's as far as you say, we need to get a move on and start planning our rescue mission," Jellal states, interrupting the conversation in order to speed things up.
"He's right," Laxus nodded in agreement. The others could only follow as Laxus led them into the dark forest. They walked through the densely congregated trees and shrubs, feeling the heat of the sun burning into them.
The sun continued its bright blinking overhead, and when shafts of golden light came through the leafy canopy, dust motes hung in the air, glittering as bright as diamonds. It was as if they could see the leaves unfurling gracefully from their jewel-like buds, and the young beetles creeping purposefully forward on the earth, not at all worried about a beset attack by a predator.
Erza and Jellal reassuringly held hands as they walked, both taking comfort in each other's presence. They both desperately wanted to protect Lucy, because both of them viewed her as a sister-like figure. Whenever Jellal felt unsure, Erza squeezed his hand. She was his rock, and he was hers. She would always reassure him that they could do it; they would save her.
Natsu, Laxus, and Sting were silent, not speaking. It was weird for two of the three, who were usually very outgoing and friendly. Yet, these were not normal circumstances. All three of the dragon slayers were quiet because they were anxious. Anxious for Lucy, scared of how the upcoming events would play out.
'What if she hates me...what if she can't even look me in the eye? What if she never wants to see me again?' Questions such as this ran through Laxus's mind constantly, tormenting his troubled brain. What was he supposed to do? He loved her—he loved her so, so much. But...what if she didn't feel the same anymore. Was he just supposed to walk away?
Laxus had never felt so insecure before—so scared. But when he glanced at Sting, he couldn't help but feel so afraid she'd leave him for the light dragon slayer. Before, he would have had faith in her and trusted her to keep loving him like he loved her. Now, however...he was unsure. After everything that happened, he wouldn't be surprised if she never wanted to see him again.
She'd realize it was his fault she had gone through this—all because he hadn't broken through that barrier fast enough. Months of her life had been spent in a jail cell, all because he had been too weak in the one moment she had really needed him. That was unacceptable—utterly unacceptable.
That's when he looked up and spotted the huge dark colored building in the distant. Surrounded by a thicket of trees, it looked ominous and intimidating. He would have to be extremely clever if he wanted to sneak in. He could already spot guards milling about the outside of the complex. They were everywhere, with magic levels high enough that he could sense the dark powerful energy. This would not be easy—nor would it prove to be a realistic goal it seemed.
"I know this looks hopeless...but we can do this. Lucy is counting on us!" Laxus said boldly, masking his fear and hopelessness. How could he expect them to help him, and believe in him if he didn't believe in himself? He had to at least appear confident. Sure, the situation they were in looked fruitless—but even if this rescue attempt would all be in vain, they'd still try. And Laxus was willing to die trying if that's what it took.
"Yeah! We're going to save Lucy-chan!"
"I'm all fired up now!" Natsu boomed, with Happy nodding his head with his signature 'aye'.
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