"We're leaving! Retreat!" Erza ordered.
"We won't let you get away." The Phantom Lord members said.
"Oh?" One of the Phantom Lords said as he was pulled by Natsu.
"Natsu, What are you going to do?" Happy asked.
"What do you think? I'm goinna save Lucy." He answered as he run out to save Lucy.
"Tell me, where's Lucy?" He asked the Phantom Lord member.
"I don't know… Who is that?" was the answer he got which aggravates Natsu's anger and he burned the guy.
"Speak up. If I find my friend is hurt, I might burn you to a crisp." Natsu threatened.
"Hieek I.. I don't know… I really don't know someone by that name. But… Our headquarters is located on the hill straight ahead. Maybe over there!" The member answered.
Up on the hill, Naruto and Aria appeared and saw Natsu pulling one of their members.
"Aria, go on ahead. I need to help the member Salamander took." Naruto ordered.
"If that is what you want, Naruto-san." Aria said as he disappeared.
Naruto looked on from the hill and took out his sword. It's black color visibly seen under the sunlight. He charged it with magic. The sword started to have a dark glow as dark energy gathered from it. He raised it above his head and mentally locked on his target.
"Dark Pulse!" He said exclaimed as he released the dark energy towards Natsu. The attack rushed towards Natsu at high speed.
"Natsu !" Happy exclaimed as he saw the attack coming while flying around.
"What the hell?" Natsu shouted as he suddenly saw a blade like dark energy coming at him from above. He tossed the Phantom Lord member away and then took Happy as he narrowly avoided the attack. Rocks, dusts and debris were thrown out as the attack exploded when it collided to the ground Natsu was standing.
"Who did that? Where did that come from?" Natsu asked Happy.
"I don't know too. I just saw it coming suddenly." Happy answered.
"Na… Naruto-san." The Phantom member exclaimed in shock.
"Naruto? Where? Where is he?" Natsu asked while trying to look for him.
"Natsu!" Happy exclaimed again. Natsu looked towards Happy and his eyes widen as he was suddenly face to face with Naruto. Naruto then dropped down and spin around to deliver a swift kick on Natsu's feet. His kick connected and Natsu was sweep off his feet. While Natsu was still on mid-air, Naruto kicked him on the mid section that sent him away from the phantom member he previously dragged.
"Bastard, I'm going to smash you to bits." Natsu said as he stands up. He was about to attack Naruto when Happy shouted.
"Natu, Lucy is in trouble."
Both Naruto and Natsu looked at the high tower and saw Lucy at the edge of the tower window while talking to Jose.
"Gah! I'll get you next time. Happy we have to save Lucy." Natsu said as he run towards the tower.
Instead of pursuing them, Naruto walked towards the Phantom member.
"Na… Naruto-san." The member trembled in fear as he thought Naruto will punish him.
"I'm sorry, I… I didn't want to tell him… where the headquarter is but… he said he would burn me to crisp."
"I see… Are you able to stand up on your own?" Naruto asked.
"Yes…" The member said as he hastily stood up for fear of being punished.
"Will you be able to go back to town by your own?"
"Yes… I don't think he did any fatal damage."
"Very well, go back to town and have yourself examined. Then, go to the guild and check for any injuries on our members." He ordered.
"Yes, Naruto-san." The member answered as he hurriedly run back to town.
Naruto looked back at the tower as he saw Natsu caught Lucy. He felt water drops on his shoulders as he watched them argue.
"Not going to stop and catch them, Naruto-san?" Juvia asked.
"My mission did not include catching Lucy Heartfilia or stopping Salamander from rescuing her. My main concern was the guild's members. I don't see any reason to do something I wasn't asked to do so." Naruto answered.
"You say that Naruto-san, but Master Jose might not be happy seeing Heartfilia-sama escaping."
"If you're really concerned about that, then be my guest and stop them."
"Juvia already finished her mission of bringing Heartfilia-sama to Master Jose. Juvia does not remember any orders for recapture of Heartfilia-sama."
"Let's go Juvia, before Master Jose sees us here and decides to give us another annoying mission." Naruto said to which Juvia only nods as she transformed into water and Naruto disappeared in a blur.
"A meeting just after a battle? Our members haven't even able to get back to the headquarters yet. Master Jose must be really pissed off." Totomaru said as he and the rest of the element four walked towards the guild master's room.
"It seems Heartfilia-sama has escaped his grasp. Non non non…"
"You shouldn't taunt the guild master like that monsieur Sol." Juvia said.
"This turn of events are SORROWFUL!"
"Stop crying about anything, Aria." Naruto reprimanded him.
The element four looked back and saw Naruto.
"Bonjour with non Monsieur Naruto." Sol greeted.
"Enough chatter, the Master awaits." Naruto said seemingly quite irritable as he walked passed them.
"It looks like Naruto-san isn't in a good mood today." Totomaru whispered.
"Juvia suggests to hurry up before Naruto-san and Master Jose shows their wrath."
The element four walked a little faster towards their destination. When they reached the door, they heard Naruto and Jose talking.
"Naruto-san, I saw you and Juvia not far away from where Lucy Heartfilia was caught by Salamander. Why didn't you stop them hmm?" Jose said in quite angry manner.
"Forgive me Master, but I was more concerned about the well being of our members who were left behind fighting the Fairy mages." Naruto answered calmly.
"So you're telling me that you would rather abandon a mission just to see if one or two of our mages are slightly hurt?" Jose asked seething.
"Yes Master, I would gladly forfeit a mission if it is needed to save a hurt comrade. And furthermore, I don't remember you issuing any order to recapture Ms. Heartfilia. I was only doing what a guildmate should do." Naruto answered with no hesitation.
"It is also a guild member's duty to ensure that the guild's mission is finished. Seriously Naruto-san, ever since we decided to wage war with Fairy tail, you have been using loop holes to lessen the damage to them. If I didn't know you any better, I would've thought you were slightly helping them!" Jose yelled.
"No Master, I am not helping them. I was just doing what I feel is right to do and that is ensuring the guild's well being." was the only answer he got.
"Enough of this, I am seriously doubting your loyalty Naruto-san, but I'll let you redeem yourself. This time when we attack Fairy tail, I want you to track down Lucy Heartfilia and personally take her back to our guild. Understood?"
When Naruto didn't answer, he shouted.
"AM I UNDERSTOOD?"
Naruto closed his eyes for a moment.
"As you wish, Master." He answered as he turned his back at Jose and opened the door. Outside the door he saw the element four in there looking at him. He paid them no mind and just walk passed them. When he was out of view, Jose addressed them.
"Come in, I will now relay our battle plan."
Naruto's mind is in turmoil. On one part he knew that what they were doing isn't right and that what they were doing would probably endanger the whole guild. But, there is this part of him that tells him to follow Jose. While he was thinking, his body was like in autopilot. When he realized where he is already, his eyes widened. He was already on one of the rooftops of magnolia. He looked across and saw the familiar window of a room he had been looking for the past day. He sat down and continued to look across the window.
"I wonder if this is my punishment for my actions that day. Ever since that day, all I had was bad luck. I couldn't even feel a single flicker of happiness anymore. It seem like everything has been turning against me. The magic sensei taught me left me; I couldn't feel magic inside me anymore as if it was taken away from me. Even Levantine's magic is failing me. I even have to hurt and take away the smile on Fairy girl's face. Now, I have to capture and probably hurt a girl who just wanted to live freely. " He whispered as he remembered someone.
"Haku must be laughing at me right now. I was the one who repeatedly told him that people shouldn't live as tools for someone especially when they were asked to do something bad. Yet, here I am mulling over things that I shouldn't even mull over if I just follow my own words. Haku was right, I didn't understand. I didn't understand how is it to choose between doing what is right and doing what your loyalty tells you. Back then, I always had a purpose in life. I live for my ideals and for my dreams. The people around me would never command me to do anything against what I think was right. How naïve I was thinking decisions like this was easy." Naruto's eyes focused on the sleeping occupant of the room he was looking on.
"I wonder what would you do if you are on my shoes?" He asked and as if expecting for the room's occupant to answer. He shook his head thinking how stupid he was to expect an answer from someone sleeping.
"I'm sorry, fairy girl. What I will do will probably hurt you again, emotionally if not physically." He said as the emotions on his face fade.
'Haku was right, when you have nothing anymore to fight and live for, all you could do was hang on to that loyalty no matter how twisted it is.' He thought as he stood up and saw Phantom Lord's guild house walking towards Magnolia.
'That is one ugly creation.' He thought as he looked at the six legged castle walking towards the Fairy tail guild. In a second, he disappeared.
Unknown to him, two eyes were looking and heard what he said.
Naruto landed on a nearby hill on time to see the Jupiter fire. He saw the Fairy mages scramble in panic not knowing what to do. He however was not surprised to see Erza stand between her guild and the Magic blast even if she was only clad in a towel. His respect for her increased when he saw her ex-quip in a split second to her adamantine armor and shouted how she wouldn't let her guild be destroyed.
He watched as Erza was hit with full force of the Jupiter blast. When the dust cleared he saw Erza lying down face first on dirt. He looked on and saw that she was still alive.
"She really is one strong willed fighter." He praised.
"After Makarov, now Erza is unable to fight too. You don't stand a chance" He heard Jose say.
"Hand over Lucy Heartfilia, right now." Jose continued.
He heard the Fairy mages protest. He couldn't make out what they say as they were shouting all of the same time but he heard loud and clear what Erza shouted.
"We'd rather die than give up on our comrade." This statement was followed by Natsu exclaiming.
"Our answer won't change no matter what! We'll take you down!"
Naruto felt a pulse of hatred and angry magic coming from Master Jose.
"Then we'll fire an even bigger and stronger Jupiter! Now struggle in this 15 minute terror until it's reloaded!" He heard Jose exclaimed.
He saw the Fairy mages panic. He looked back at the Phantom Lord's guild and saw soldiers coming out of it.
'Shades. Master isn't going to pull any punches on this one.' Naruto thought.
"Feel the pain, Fairy tail. You have two choices. Get killed by my soldiers or die by Jupiter." Jose announced.
Naruto didn't pay attention to what is happening anymore as he was scanning the area looking for his target. He saw Mirajane pull Lucy out of the fight. He silently followed them and saw Mirajane put Lucy to sleep and ordered Reedus to take her to the hideout. Reedus complied and drew a carriage on his stomach. The carriage came to life and he placed Lucy in it. He rode it towards the hideout. Naruto followed them.
After following them, they reached the hideout but when Reedus took Lucy out of the carriage someone dropped down behind him and spoke.
"You have two choices. Leave the girl to me and scram or try your luck against me."
Reedus spun around and saw Naruto.
"I won't hand a comrade to you. You'll have to get through me first." He said.
"As I thought, have it your way then." Naruto answered as he moved in a blur and before Reedus could react, he was flung away by a strong punch on the gut. But even in that predicament, he never let go of Lucy and protected her when he collided to the wooden wall of the hideout. He tried to get up but before he could even move, his eyes widen when he saw Naruto in front of him and is about to deliver a kick. He immediately let go of Lucy so she wouldn't be flung together with him. The kick connected to his left cheek and sent him flying further inside the hideout. He was flung towards tables, chairs and some wooden foundations of the house until he hit the wall.
"Everyone… I'm sorry… I failed…" was all he could mutter before darkness claimed him.
"I had warned you." He said as he looked at Lucy.
"Now, time to finish this mission." Naruto took Lucy and he hurried back to the guild.
As Naruto landed near the battlefield he saw the transformed guild castle.
"I said it once, and I'll say it again. That is one ugly creation." He said as he jumped towards the castle.
As he landed on one of the castle's large balcony, he felt drops of water on his head.
"Juvia, what is the status of the war?" He asked as he walked towards the castle door.
"Monsieur Sol and Totomaru-san has been defeated. The Jupiter has been destroyed. The speed of the magic seal for Abyss break has been halved. Right now, Aria-san is currently fighting Salamander." Juvia reported.
"Then we need to hurry. If they also defeat Aria, you're magic alone won't be able to hold Magic seal." Naruto answered.
"Juvia will try her hardest even if she had to fire the abyss by herself."
"No Juvia, that would endanger your life. If Aria falls, you stop supporting the Seal, understood?"
"Did you get what I said?" He repeated. Juvia only nodded as she followed Naruto.
As Naruto and Juvia came inside the Castle's war room, Jose was shouting in anger.
"Those pieces of trash from Fairy tail were able to defeat three of my element four?"
Naruto looked at Juvia as if giving an order. She only nodded and stopped supplying magic to the seal. The Phantom Lord MKII suddenly malfunctioned and the magic seal stopped.
"Wha? Why did the seal stopped? I still have Juvia to support it." Jose said confused.
"It seems you've miscalculated, Master. Juvia's magic alone couldn't support the Abyss break magic seal." Naruto answered. Jose looked back to see Juvia and Naruto standing on the door way with Lucy an unconscious Lucy.
"What? Impossible my calculations are correct."
"It seems the magic needed to power up a magic seal on that scale needs atleast two mages. Juvia's magic failed to support the seal. But that besides the point, we already won. We got Lucy Heartfilia." Naruto countered.
"But is she alive? We won't get any money if she is dead." One of the members said.
Naruto gave Lucy a slight strong kick on the ribs which made her twitched in pain.
"Looks alive to me. Though, I am not sure about the one who tried to protect her." He answered.
"As expected of the strongest man in my entire guild. Good work, Naruto-san." Jose praised.
Naruto and Juvia though were quite startled at what Jose announced.
"All you Fairy tail members out there, we have succeeded in capturing Lucy. Our first objective has been achieved." At the same time to prove his claim, one of the Phantom members pulled on Lucy's hair making her scream in pain.
"I'm sure you all heard that. We have but a single objective remaining. To slaughter the lot of you, disgusting brats." He continued as his shade become stronger. The Shades started to dominate the battlefield as the Fairy mages start to lose their morale.
"You two, keep an eye on Lucy for me. A few insects seem to have invaded outo be Natsr guild. I shall let them know that there won't be any miracles. I will deal with them myself." Jose ordered as he started to hunt the Fairy mages.
Natsu was currently holding the fallen Erza.
"Natsu, release your power. There is an untapped power sleeping within you. Believe in yourself and make it through. Awaken it. The time is right, Lucy, the guild protect them. NOW GO NATSU, YOU ARE THE MAN WHO WILL SURPASS ME!" Erza said shouting the last sentence.
Natsu stood up with a determined look and took off searching for Lucy.
A minute after Natsu was gone; Mira, Gray and Elfman arrived and saw Erza.
"What are you doing here?" they asked her.
"Don't tell me you actually fought somebody on that state." Elfman said.
"Then the one who defeated Aria was you?" Mira asked.
"I didn't want you to see me in such a pitiful state. I still have a long way to go." Erza answered as she looked at Gray.
"Gray, could you do me a favor?" She asked him.
"Yeah, what is it?" Gray answered.
"I asked Natsu to save Lucy, but I feel that he might need help since Naruto-san and one of the element four is still out there. I want you to help Natsu. Follow the path he had gone through." She said as she pointed to the way where Natsu was gone.
"I will. Rest now, Erza. Natsu and I will finish this." Gray said as he run towards the path Natsu had gone through.
Lucy is currently chained to the wall while the Phantom members including Juvia and Naruto are looking after her.
"Juvia is bored, is there anything we could do?" Juvia asked but Naruto didn't answer.
Naruto was currently sensing the Magic around them. He was checking, how many Fairy tail members are inside the castle or how many Phantom lord members are still able to fight. They suddenly heard a chuckle. Naruto looked at her but continued to sense for Magic.
"Juvia thinks she has finally lost it." Juvia said.
"You guys really are complete idiots, aren't you? I feel sorry for you, it makes me want to cry." Lucy started. The Phantom members became a little agitated at her statement.
"Is that right? To be able to bluff at a situation like this. No wonder you were able to trick Master earlier." Naruto answered indifferently.
"You fools aren't you even the tiniest scared, are you?" she continued.
"Humor us then, to alleviate our boredom." He told her.
Naruto felt two large Magic sources coming.
'The closest one is probably Salamander as his magic feels like a wildfire but the other is the complete contrast, it feels like winter.' He thought.
"You're the one in trouble if I dies you know. There's no way Fairy tail would forgive you! That's the kind of guild they are. You'd end up spending every day cowering in fear of the most terrible guild in the world for the rest of your lives." She threatened.
Naruto mentally smirked as he thought of something that would give a good welcome for Natsu.
"Interesting little theory got there; maybe I should put it to the test?" He said as he took a knife from one of the Phantom member's hand.
"Naruto-san… Don't kill her please." The Phantom member said.
Juvia though, didn't even try to stop Naruto as he threw the knife towards Lucy with great accuracy.
As the knife flew towards Lucy, the ground beneath shook and Natsu came out of it, destroying the floor as he caught the knife with his teeth. The other Phantom members were startled at what happened.
"Nice catch, Salamander. As I have thought, I'd recognize your wild magic signature even from afar." Naruto remarked.
Natsu landed with his body blazing with fire.
"Salamander!" Lucy exclaimed.
End of Chapter 4