FairyTail: The New Age
A FairyTail TG Story by JanusDaGuardian
Chapter 1: Mark of the Guild
The year is X864. The great magical country of Fiore has undergone many changes since the once great magic guilds. With the coming of the New Order of Knights, the use of magic has become a capital crime, and the mere possession of a magical item, aside from those assigned said items by the New Order, has become a crime punishable by death. Despite the new law, there are those amongst the undying, magically-gifted populace who still attempt to hold onto their parent's legacy.
Our tale begins in the old city of Magnolia, the historical metropolis that once housed the legendary wizard guild known as Fairy Tail before changing hands several times, including those from the Guild known as Twilight Ogre. The New Order knights have made great strides in trying restore the once vibrant tourist attraction, but recent attacks have enforced a curfew and numerous security points to be erected along the main entrances into the city and the ports, effectively slowing traffic and shipments going in and out of the city. Despite the complaints of the city's inhabitants, the young captain in charge of the military forces in the city, a man by the name of Kanousei Nakushi, has declared that these measures aren't nearly as extensive as they should be, stating the belief that the magical exiles-- the Anarchists-- may attempt to take the city, and was, therefore, in dire need of extra hands and supplies in order to provide for more security... His requests have fallen on deaf ears.
The wooden door to the pawnshop flew open, practically knocking the small, golden bell off its high perch as a young man, dressed in a new, and well-polished suit of armor strode inside. The purposeful sound of his steel-plated boots trekking across the wooden floorboards were what brought the attention of the scrawny old man behind the counter to the front. His features were already slightly strained since the wooden door had knocked over a full, Old Age suit of bronze armor off its pedestal, but his features became even more visibly strained once he saw the young knight/captain shuffle past the random wares in the center of his shop and approach the back counter.
"Good afternoon, Yamada-san," the young knight said, a hint of aggression in his otherwise neutral tone.
"G-g-good afternoon, Captain Nakushi. Can I help you?"
"Yes, you may..." Captain Nakushi glanced around the room, his right eye partially concealed under his slightly-parted hair. "I'm here to inquire about any items you may have received from a suspicious looking man earlier..." The captain's next sentence was delivered with a powerful glare. "I have been told by my informants that the possible new inventory may... not have been in accordance with city regulations..."
The old man looked even more uncomfortable than before. "Oh, uh... you may need to be more specific, sir. I've received several visits from both buyers and sellers today. In fact, I just had a gentleman come in and purchase a couple items, said he was stocking his museum or something out in Clover..."
Nakushi blinked. "Interesting... What did he purchase?"
"He, uh... he purchased a couple of old training swords and other Old Age weapons," Yamada gestured to a large pot in the corner next to the counter where a mixed assortment of old age weapons ranging from axes, to spears, to double-edged long-swords had been carelessly tossed inside. The dust on their hilts and blades was as thick as ever. "They aren't in any greater shape than when I first received them, but he seemed quite takenNNNN--!"
Mr. Yamada yelped as his story was cut short, near-literally, by the appearance a magical, double-edged sword as it impaled the wall right behind the old clerk's right ear. A moment passed before the young knight/captain holding the sword sighed and said, "Yamada-san... if you're going to lie to me, learn to be more convincing... I know that you've received no other customers today, aside from the man in question. Furthermore," Kanousei's next glare made the clerk want to soil his trousers, "you're magic-less old age weapons hold no value to anyone, even the Anarchists. Why else do you think they been trying to get their traitorous hands on our weapons or some of the older, magical weapon models? They been after the latter since even before I joined the academy, even though the older models would be considered junk as well..."
Kanousei withdrew his sword, making the old codger sigh and relax his tense shoulders. However, he tensed right back up when the young knight seized the protruding item that was ill-concealed inside his trouser's right pocket. A moment later, a key-shaped item coated in platinum dangled between the young investigator's and the guilty old man's faces.
"When exactly were you planing to notify the guards of your customer's illegal possession of a magical item, old man?"
Kanousei sighed in irritation. "You're just like those Anarchists; unable to live within the laws of the New Order, supplying magical weapons to an exiled minority who ceaselessly attempt to destroy whatever stability we have achieved. You ought be hung in the middle of the plaza and have your traitorous hide burned to cinders, old man!"
"Captain Nakushi, please...!"
"However..." Kanousei slipped the platinum key into a small satchel attached to his belt, "I will suspend your sentence just this once..."
"Oh, thank you, Captain Nakushi. Thank you..." the old man sighed.
"Remember," Kanousei said, pointing an accusing finger at the strained old man, "this is your first and only warning, old man. If I catch wind of another suspicious deal having taken place here, I will not only see to it that your treachery is disposed of, your family will have their home and their money confiscated. Understand?"
The old man bowed as low as his aging spine would allow as he said with the most sincere tone possible, "Yes, Captain Nakushi. I swear, it will not happen again..."
With that, Kanousei marched out of the pawnshop, slamming the door behind him and causing another suit of armor to come crashing down.
Outside of the shop, Kanousei Nakushi nearly punched the first civilian he came across. After all he'd done to protect these people, they continued to make shady deals with the Anarchists behind his back at the cost of safety amongst the populace and his New Order brethren. Naturally, this wasn't the first time he'd caught someone, but it was first time he really thought about running someone through.
As the young captain made his way along the waterway on his way to the city center, his headquarters, his thoughts returned to the new key in satchel, making numerous questions form within his mind, all of them trying to seize his attention at the same time in order to make sense of the most recent events:
Why the pawnshop? The old man was already having problems since the items in his shop were losing value, and, again, the checkpoints surrounding the city had made braving the traveling and trading routes a much harder task to undertake, thus causing his business to suffer from an increasingly less frequent visits from probable customers, including the poverty-stricken attempting to get a couple Jewels for whatever they managed to scrape-up, or steal, as would be the case with Anarchist thugs like the one that supposedly visited Mr. Yamada's shop earlier that day.
Why sell a Celestial Spirit Key? Granted, it could have been stolen by a fool who couldn't wield magic, but surely they'd have some competent, more unstable friends who'd want to use it.
Why would the old man buy the key off some Anarchist thug? Perhaps he had it in his head to resell it for some substantial quantity of profit, but it'd be tough to do so since, according to his superiors at least, most of the people within the city limits couldn't use magic, and it'd be risky to even offer such an item since even the most disgruntled patron might report having been offered a highly-illegal piece of merchandise.
Finally, what kind of Spirit key did he just seize? It's appearance was quite unique. The entire thing looked like it was made of pure platinum. It's hilt possessed a pronounced feminine figure, it's tip shaped like a cemetery cross. When he was in the academy, Kanousei had learned about the Celestial Spirit keys, and how they, with the magical power of a key wielder, could summon powerful or supportive beings from another universe, commonly referred to as "The Celestial Spirit World". Those keys were separated into two categories, two categories that did NOT contain keys made of platinum: The first contained Silver Celestial Spirit keys, which were once found in many shops, and whose summoning power could call a being whose powers ranged from mediocre to decent. The others were the ancient Golden Zodiac Celestial Spirit Keys, which were incredibly rare and summoned one of the Great 12 Spirits of the Zodiac, whose powers far-surpassed those of their silver-key-summoned counterparts. Needless to say, it was for this reason that most of the 12 golden keys were seized by members of the New Order in order to be either sealed or given to the most prestigious graduates of the New Order Academy. Kanousei was one of the few knights of the New Order who was given charge of a gold celestial spirit key. Even though Kanousei could not use magic, his superiors agreed that the key was safer in his care than the magically-sealed vaults and shrines they had hidden several. The Anarchists, however petty their magical-prowess that they were thought to possess, were starting to break through the seals holding certain lost magical items and take them for their own, a fact that had been made very clear to Kanousei as of late. More magical items had been seized in the last few months than in the three years prior combined, which lead his superiors to one conclusion: The Anarchists were regaining the magical power left behind by their ancestors, and were growing more powerful with every passing day.
"Captain! Captain Nakushi!"
Kanousei Nakushi glanced backwards to see a strange, two-wheeled vehicle speeding past several gasping groups of pedestrians as it zoomed over the nearby bridge. Its operator was a young man, about the same age as Kanousei, with bushy brown hair wearing a less armored and decorated version of his own uniform. Kanousei recognized him instantly.
"Kensen! What's wrong?"
The two-wheeled vehicle screeched to a halt several feet before the young captain's boots. Kensen Tensai seized a few moments to catch his breath before he delivered the startling news.
"Bad news, Captain! Our station up in the hills has been attacked by an unknown force boosting fire magic!"
Kensen nodded. "I was sent to inform you and gather as many reinforcements as possible! The detachment up there isn't going to hold-out for long!"
Kanousei nodded, too. "Understood. I'll make haste to the hills. If you find Sergeant Gauss, tell him to bring his best cannon. Now get moving!"
"Will do, sir!"
Kensen raced down the waterline, making a sharp left turn at the next fork, causing several more people to yelp as they got out of the way of the speeding freakshow-of-a-vehicle and its reckless driver. Kanousei made haste to the nearest stable, where he would attempt to borrow a horse as he rushed to reach the hills and the old guild concealed.
"They aren't going to get away with this...those damn, Anarchists..."
It didn't take long for Kanousei to reach Magnolia town. Unlike the inhabitants, he was able to dash through the checkpoint near the city's southern coast without the fear of hassle from his own men. From there, he and his borrowed horse crossed the old stone bridge that separated the city from the town as he made haste to the small hill in the distance. As he raced towards the roadway that would take him to the old guild itself, he heard a small explosion coming from the peak. Kicking his horse in the ribs, the brown-haired beast galloped up the hill, leaving clouds of dry dirt and dust in his wake as his horse's hooves thundered over the stoney pathway leading to the summit.
At the top of the hill, Kanousei saw that the once great splendor of an old tavern and farming atmosphere, surrounded by a wall made of strong timber, had become a war zone with the wooden gate completely blown-through with what appeared to be a high-yielding incendiary. Past the gate, sprawled upon the ground, were the charred bodies of the knights commissioned to the outpost. As he approached to check them for vitals, he was surprised to find that they were all stable, aside from also being unconscious. From the looks of things, whoever did this had some serious power behind them; the shields some of the soldiers carried were blasted pieces scraps now.
The red, wooden doors to the tavern were wide open, the wind teasing them as the air rushed in and out of the damp interior. Above the door, half-hanging, half-falling was an old, orange, tattered flag with the white, winged and tailed symbol of the legendary guild that last took residence there.
"In there, huh? You bastards are gonna pay for this..."
Kanousei took his time going through the door. With his support down until Kensen arrived with reinforcements, there was nothing to prevent the enemy from setting up an ambush. One slip-up could mean instant death for him, and doorways were one of the more common places for a soldier to die, aside from the battlefield. Slipping through, Kanousei crept along the wooden floorboards of the front sitting area, trying to minimize the sound of his plated boots as he glanced around the old tavern.
The tavern was very quiet, but Kanousei knew from the feeling in his gut that he was being watched. Straight ahead was a small flight of stairs which lead to far sitting area, the right to the tavern's service counter and bar. The tables and chairs were old, but had long been cleaned and arranged by the outpost occupants. Several windows had been broken and covered by plywood. Mugs of beer and plates of food still adorned the surface of the circular tables closest to the bar. In two cut-outs, off to the left, were a sparse arrangements of home-grade furniture.
A metallic creak from above prompted Kanousei to turn his gaze towards the rafters, to a wooden chandler just barely hidden in the tavern's low light. That's when he saw the silhouette of the phantom in its perch.
"Karyū no Hōkō!!"
A stream of fire rained down from the enemy's perch above like a water geyser made of flames. It came so fast and so suddenly that Kanousei barely managed to dodge the attack as it demolished the floorboards he stood on moments prior.
"Anarchist thug!" Kanousei drew his sword, the shiny magic-infused steel gleaming in the low light of the tavern as he called out to his aggressor. "Come down here and fight me like a man!"
The silhouette up in the rafters complied as a young girl with long pink hair, dressed in baggy black trousers and a red blouse with gold trimming, fell thirty feet down and landed feet-first onto the old tavern floor.
"I don't know about fighting like a man," the girl said, "but I'll give you a good fight if that's what you want." With that, the girl summoned a ball of fire in her right hand like a wad of paper had just combusted in her palm.
"An ability-type wizard?!"
"Karyū no Tekken!!"
Kanousei swept to the side as the girl's flaming punch slashed the air near his face. He could feel the heat as it passed and, worse, the power that would've been strong enough to decapitate him had he moved just a split-second later. This girl was strong.
The pink-haired girl whirled around, swinging another flaming fist at her opponent, only to be parried by the blunt side of the knight's awaiting blade.
"Not bad... You're faster than the rest of those fascist pigs, but..." the girl struck the blade with another flaming punch and the blade split in two. "how good are you without a decent weapon?"
The flame girl wizard went after Kanousei again, and the young captain had no choice but to try parrying with what was left of his broken magical sword. Three punches later, Kanousei barely had the hilt for which to parry with. This he threw at the advancing beast of a girl, which only bought him a split-second before one of the girl's flaming punches connected with the armored-plating covering his abdomen, the force of the blow knocking him backwards before his back hit the wooden tavern floor several feet away.
"Rats," The pink-haired girl cracked her neck. "I was really hoping for a good fight here."
Kanousei cursed and rose to his feet.
"Still want more?" The girl smirked. "Well, alrighty then."
Though the fight had only just begun, Kanousei knew he had already lost, a fact the girl proved when she hit him several more times, ripping his armor's entire breastplate off like a linen sheet before delivering a flaming, full-on punch to his now completely exposed ribs and black under-shirt, sending him flying and falling to the floor once more. This was the power of a fire ability-type mage, and it was much more than he could handle.
"You know, this wouldn't have been necessary if your little dogs out there hadn't tried to take up residence here... This is our guild...our birthright. You guys think you can take anything you want...end any lives in your way, but you're wrong!"
"I guess," Kanousei sigh, "this is it..."
"Use the spirit key within your satchel. Make the contract."
"Huh?" Kanousei sat up, holding his wounded stomach, his facial expression reeking with pain. "Who was that?"
"Don't bother getting up," the pink-haired girl spat as she turned towards the door. "I was just leaving..."
Slowly, with a slight shake in his joints, Kanousei rose to his feet once more, his left hand holding his abdomen while his right hand opened the satchel on his belt and pulled out the platinum, feminine-shaped key he'd taken from the old man at the pawn shop less than an hour before. He wasn't exactly sure what he was thinking, considering how he couldn't use magic in any way, shape, or form. So, why was he even trying? Perhaps because something inside of him was telling him that he could...
The flame girl wizard paused. "A spirit key?"
"I call upon thee, in the world of the Celestial Spirits!" Kanousei cried. "I beckon you to my side! Pass through the gate!"
Before their eyes, a circle of magic appeared beneath Kanousei's feet. It was white, like the feathers of a morning dove, but it was also translucent and nearly blinding to watch.
The key within Kanousei's hand suddenly dissolved into a twin set of white streamers, which circled around him temporally before slipping under the cuff of his right gauntlet. Upon sensing a slight tingle, Kanousei removed the gauntlet just in time to see a familiar white, winged and tailed symbol manifest itself onto the back of the young knight's hand.
"What is this?"
This discovery was followed by blinding flash, which prompted Kanousei to yelp and cover his eyes. The pink-haired girl, who was still very much present, was forced to do the latter action as well.
When the light finally dimmed, the pink-haired girl closed her eyes and shook her head with an obvious scoff. "Honestly. Did you honestly think that a fascist pig like you could use holder-type magic?" When the pink-haired girl glanced towards where her opponent had been before the blinding flash occurred and saw that an unfamiliar figure had taken form there, prompting her to nearly trip over herself as she took several steps back.
"What's the matter? Surprised?" the figure asked.
"Wha-- Who are you?"
"What kind of question is that?"
The pink-haired girl blinked. "Fascist pig?"
"If that's what want to call me, sure," Kanousei said, raising his palm for emphasis. That's when he first noticed the petite fingers, which were connected to an equally petite palm... "Eh?" Then, when he looked down... "EHHH?!"
It was quite a shock for Kanousei see two large mammary glands blocking the sight of his own feet, but the sight of his new outfit was just as shocking. In place of his steel-plated boots were a pair of black thigh-boots that hugged his new, shapely legs like a pair of black pantyhose. In place of his black undershirt was a low-cut, blue and white tube-top with gold trims, a matching blue, sleeveless vest, and a set of blue sleeve-lets with frilly white cuffs. The new draft between his legs announced the presence of a purple miniskirt with a single white seam running along his wider hips along with the absence of a particular external male organ. Finally, the added weight on his head confirmed that his hair had grown significantly, and had taken-on a lighter-shade of blonde.
"What the hell is this?" Kanousei turned his right hand over to discover that the symbol on his hand had changed to a pink color, which was also glowing the same translucent light the magic circle had before it had vanished.
"A holder-type mage with the ability to transform..." The pink-haired girl smirked "I guess I underestimated you." The girl sucked in his breath and, for the first time, he saw the grotesque sight of the girl's cheeks bulging to such an extent that she looked like a giant bull-frog about to croak. That was right before he, or rather she, knew what she was doing. "Karyū no Hōkō!!"
A familiar stream of fire aced towards Kanousei as she ran and vaulted over the small railing that separated the back of the tavern from the front. The flame-based attack ripped through the railing and obliterated the table Kanousei had landed next to as she ducked covered her head. A moment later, several mug of beers fell to the floor around her, splashing their contents all over her new clothing and the floors surrounding her.
Kanousei cursed again. "Now what do I do?"
"Use the spirit key around your neck. Open the gate of The Water Bearer."
"But it can't work, unless I have..." Kanousei looked around at the puddles of ale surround her and realized that she had everything she needed. "water to summon her with..."
Kanousei yanked on the brown-string around her neck, and a key made of gold appeared from, to Kanousei's displeasure, between her new, feminine cleavage.
"How long do you plan on hiding?" The pink-haired girl leaped over the railing on the far side, summoning another ball of flames with her left hand. "I'm not a patient woman, you know!"
"You're not a woman at all! You're a monster!" Kanousei retorted. "Open the gate of The Water Bearer!" Kanousei stabbed the Golden Celestial Spirit Key into one of the puddles of ale next to her. "Aquarius!"
A magic circle of blue translucent light appeared over the puddle, summoning a stream of water which was accompanied by a voluptuous mermaid carrying a large silver ern. She had a navy-blue tail, the same color as her vacant-looking eyes and her revealing blue-and-white bikini top, long, straight, light-blue locks, and some golden accessories, including a pair of armlets, a belt, and a pair of bracers.
"Who called me?" the mermaid demanded, aggression in her tone. "You've just interrupted my special time with my boyfriend, and I won't have it!"
"You spirits have boyfriends?"
The mermaid Celestial Spirit glanced down at the young blonde girl holding her Celestial Spirit key. "You again?! I've spent Wednesday after crappy Wednesday alone waiting for a call from you and you chose a Friday to ask for my services?!"
"'Again?!' This is the first time I've summoned you! And, if you don't mind, I'd appreciate it if you could stow that attitude for, like, thirty-seconds so you can deal with that fire-brained Anarchist over there!"
"What did you just call me?!" The pink-haired girl snapped.
Aquarius scoffed. "Fine... but remember: if you ever summon me on a day other than Wednesday, or summon me in alcohol again," the blue mermaid shot Kanousei a murderous glare, "I'll kill you..."
Kanousei shrank back slightly. He had no idea what the mermaid could do quite yet, having yet to research that far into the Celestial Spirits, but he didn't want to call the fish-woman's bluff.
Before their eyes, streams of water rushed up from the floor, as if the entire tavern was made of water, and washed into Aquarius's silver urn. Then, with a sinister smile on her face, she tossed her silver urn sideways... right in the Kanousei's general direction... Out came a humongous wave that swept over her, barely catching her opponent as well.
In an instant, the water swept away both Kanousei and his pink-haired opponent as the tidal wave crashed through the old taverns door and the outpost's broken gate as it raced down the hillside with it's two victims screaming all the way.
"Captain Nakushi! Captain! Captain? Captain, wake up!"
Upon hearing the distraught call of his best friend, Kanousei slowly regained consciousness. The first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was his best friend standing over him. The first thing he felt was the familiar firmness of his armored uniform, followed by the uncomfortable feeling of wetness all over his skin and wool undergarments.
As Kanousei slowly sat up and rubbed his head, he realized that he had turned back to his original form, including the absence of his breastplate and the presence of soreness in his abdomen. He also noticed the presence of several dozen New Order knights that Kensen must have brought with him, including Sergeant Gauss, who was toting the biggest steel-plated cannon he had in his arsenal. Most of them were seeing to the still unconscious men that the giant wave must have carried away too when the wave washed down the hillside.
"I'm all right, Kensen. I just had a physical altercation with a fire ability-type wizard up in the summit outpost..."
"An ability-type wizard..." Kensen mused. "Should we pursue...?"
Kanousei looked down at his right hand to find that the pink symbol that was there before was gone. However, it had been replaced by a visible white outline, which he set about wrapping with a piece of his black undershirt, which he ripped off, all the while concealing the symbol's-outline from his young, intelligent friend. "No... Just look for any other survivors from the outpost. We'll deal with her when the time is right..."
Kensen blinked. "Her, sir?"
"Yes," Kanousei sighed. "Her..."