Rising Star. It was still strange to think, even stranger to say it out loud. It felt like a foreign food that he’d never had before, odd to the palate but not necessarily unenjoyable. Though he wasn’t one to go around and saunter the title as a means to get extra attention, jewel or other benefits, it was something he had to accept that he was. He was in the public eye now – he wasn’t just a face hidden among the many wizards that called Fairy Tail their home. Wizards that, in his opinion, probably deserved it more than he. Yet here he was.
He had finally returned to Magnolia after a few days away, having going to help the Rune Knight major in River Village and then escorting him back to Era. He’d gone to the Rune Knight compound with the intention of telling the Magic Council to take their title and shove it… but then he hadn’t. He’d realized that, no matter what he did, his name and face were there for people to see now. So rather than unnecessarily put himself – and even possibly Fairy Tail – in a bad light, he would just live with the title as best he could. Worst case scenario; people asked for autographs.
Actually that was pretty bad. He shuddered and took a long pull of the beer he was holding. He’d gone back to the guild to let them know he’d finished the jobs and then went to one of the town’s dive bars, one he had frequented more often than not. At some point he would stumble out of here and get on the train to Oshibana and finally crash on his own bed for the first time in several days. But for now, he was more than happy to occupy this corner booth and pound beer after beer. He’d earned it after all the ruckus that he’d been put through.
He hadn’t even noticed the group of wizards that had come in, sliding into the booth directly next to his. Normally other people’s conversations meant nothing to him; humans talked about the dumbest things after all. But this particular group had one subject that was not only interesting to Mythal but also of vital importance.
“I can’t believe you brought us to Magnolia for a night out, Ren,” one of the new patrons said with an obvious scowl.
“Hey, Magnolia is a hoppin’ place to be. It’s like the party center of Fiore. Great place to pick up some ladies,” the aforementioned Ren said, his tone hopeful and way too confident.
“Yeah but now we might run into one of those disgusting Fairy Tail wizards,” the third wizard said, vileness rife in his voice.
Mythal’s ears perked up, his arm freezing before it could fully lift the beer up to his mouth. His head tilted in the direction of the conversation, his eyes narrowing as he tuned in with far more attention than he had before.
“Maybe but I wouldn’t mind seeing how wild those Fairy girls can be in bed. At least they can be useful for something,” Ren continued, his mind clearly on a single track.
“Seriously, how have so many other guilds crumbled to dust and yet Fairy Tail is still here, flapping around like a fish on land that just won’t die,” the first speaker said again. “First they turn their backs on the Council for one measly little girl, becoming a dark guild and now they’re trying to convince us, after all this time, that they’re really just this… ‘independent guild of business’.” Mythal could practically see the air quotes as the man made them, hidden by the booth’s walls.
“They’re a bunch of useless wizards trying to hold onto the last shreds of respect they ever had. One of these days, the Magic Council are gonna get wise and the Rune Knights are gonna come and knock that atrocious building down and arrest all those useless fairies. So Ren better hope he gets one in his bed tonight or else he’ll never get a chance,” the third man said, cackling.
The sound of Mythal’s beer mug hitting the table nearly shook the entire booth. It didn’t do much to interrupt the rest of the bar but he was eyed by the bartender, who had helped him on several occasions now. He knew that the God Slayer in the corner, who seemed to be giving off a very malicious aura, was a Fairy Tail wizard. He glanced around the bar, clearly trying to decide if it was wise to tell everyone to clear out before trouble started. But he froze up as Mythal rose to his feet, sliding out of the booth and taking a step away, putting himself in view of the table."Another beer for me,”
the God Slayer said suddenly, his voice almost chipper. He turned to face the three men in the booth. They bore no guild marks where he could see but they simply looked
like snotty, legal wizards. A blond man, a redheaded man and a blue-haired man all stared up at him, just as surprised at his declaration as the barkeep. "And a round for these three gentlemen too,”
he said, gesturing to the three friends.
There was only a moment before the blue-haired man broke into a grin and a clap. “See? What’d I tell ya? Party town of Fiore!” This was clearly Ren. “Hey, join us buddy. Who are ya?” He waved at Mythal, encouraging him to pull up a chair."Mythal Ragnos,”
came the short but quick reply as the God Slayer reached over to an unused chair and dragged it to the end of the table. As he set it on place, the back of it facing the table itself, he plopped down onto it. "A Fairy Tail wizard.”
The entire portion of the bar where they sat came to a skidding halt. Several of the other patrons had heard the conversation and simply ignored it but now that an actual Fairy Tail wizard was confronting them about their words, all of their conversations died and all eyes turned to the table. The barkeep walked over slowly, very carefully putting beers down on the table in front of each of the men. Mythal, with his brooding and dark gaze and the three friends, who had turned an awful shade of white.
The silence lingered for several long seconds, even as Mythal reached out and brought his beer up to take a heavy gulp. It was only after he had put it back down that Ren stumbled over his words enough to speak. “L-Listen. We don’t want to cause any trouble. But if you try and do anything, we’ll—“"Get yer panties out of a bunch, pal. I ain’t lookin’ for a fight either,”
Mythal responded, waving the man’s words out of the air. "I’m gonna lay some words o’ wisdom on you real quick. Usually I’m not this talkative but frankly I’ve had a few and I’m feelin’ strange. So take a minute and shuddup.”
He waited to see if any one of them would decide to challenge his words, his eyes snapping to each man in turn. When no one summoned up the gumption, he continued. "I ain’t been with Fairy Tail that long. Hell, I think it’s only been a month, if even that. When I came to them, I looked like a wreck. I was no better than the dirt stuck to the bottom of your shoes. I was sort of… drifting through life, riding on a tide that refused to ebb or flow. You see, I’ve done some bad stuff in my life. And I didn’t feel very wanted by anyone, especially me.”
“Fairy Tail took me in anyways. I don’t know they’re whole history but I got the bullet points. They did some bad, they did some more bad and maybe even now, they ain’t as squeaky clean as other guilds are. But those kinds of guilds wouldn’t think twice about kickin’ me to the curb. Fairy Tail didn’t; they welcomed me and invited me in, gave me a place to crash if I had nowhere else, gave me food and booze – who doesn’t love booze? Every one I’ve met has done what they had to do to survive this world. Because no matter what the goody two shoes say, this world ain’t pretty. It’s harsh and it’s ugly and it ain’t always, if ever, fair. Fairy Tail understands that and still welcomes you in. The people there fight for what they believe in, claw for every bit of jewel and self-satisfaction they can find so that they can feel just a little bit less dark and broken.”
He stopped there, looking at each man for a moment before he brought his beer up and practically poured the entire thing down his throat. "Enjoy your night, boys.”
As he stood up, he pushed the chair back to its place and walked over to the barkeep, dropping jewel on the bar in front of him. As he headed for a door, a voice stopped him. “Hey. Sorry… about that,” came Ren’s almost timid response.
Mythal stopped at the door, his hand resting against it. He turned his head just enough to look over his shoulder at them. "You should drop by the guild sometime. You might be surprised what you’d find. Don’t get into too much trouble.”
And with that, he pushed out through the doorway and into the coming night. Every patron in the bar released the air that they had apparently stored in their lungs the entire time. Their murmurs and mutters filled the bar as they went back to their conversations, Fairy Tail now the only topic worth chatting about.
|River Village||Fairy Tail|