IN WHICH I ACCIDENTALLY THE WHOLE GUILD
Previously: Don’t Ask
Themesong: We Are Young by FUN.
Fairy Tail…. Not Tale? Huh… Another blind jump… this one blinder than the last. The basic intro makes this world seem a little more goofy, a little more cheerful, though, so there is that. I read everything, emerge no less confused. Earthland, Wizard Saints, Guilds, a currency called Jewel… Is this an Anime? It has the feel of one, but I don’t see a bunch of Japanese names… A kids book? Kids books don’t usually have fan service. No way to know. The main kingdom seems to be called Fiore… population 17 million… Maybe it’s French animation. Fiore sounds French… and one of the guilds is apparently called the Oracion Seis… that could mean the Oracion Six in French. I’m going to guess French Animation.
I do note the companion buy… not bad… I also note the literal fuckton of massively expensive and not at all discounted powers. Damn! The top tier has some nice stuff, but it costs 1000 CP to pick… 900 to get a random one. Ouch. Might as well grab one. None of the gear interests me… but these perks are called “Magics”… I wonder just how many of them I’ll be able to gank with Copycat Technique… and how much trouble that will cause me if I demonstrate that power.
I roll for age… 17. Roll for starting location… Onibus… a theater town… huh… trade in my C-Class Magical Power to get 100 Choice off a higher rank and roll for S-Class Magical Power, as most of the lower level ones sound fairly… limited… Dragon Slayer… [200/1000] You have the power of Dragons within you… Choose a single magical element – you are now immune to all mundane sources of that element and any magical sources of it weaker than from an actual Dragon. In addition, you may consume this element to recharge from fatigue caused by using this technique. This magic lives up to its name, and while highly destructive against anything, shows its true potential when in combat against anything that could truthfully call itself a Dragon. Might as well pick up Fire. I’m already immune to Ice / Water attacks from being a Conduit and Lightning from being a Lightning Bender… but oddly Firebenders aren’t immune to Fire… just ask Zuko’s face (ooo…. burn… oh no she didn’t! Oh yes I did! Take that Sokka! Wow… I’m lame.). Immunity is better than raw power… I think. Comes with Motion Sickness built in.. bleh.
Buying “Because I Have My Friends”, the Companion Import, costs me  (-100/1000), which spends me negative, but grants all my companions a free C-Class Magic and 400 CP… with a discount on anything I have… which, I guess, in theory means they’d get a discount on Fire Dragon Slaying? Hmmm… Either way, I need Drawbacks… especially since I don’t really want to be a drop-in here. Worldly knowledge seems like it would be key… otherwise we’ll end up wandering around going “Ummm…”
The first one I take is Fanservice for +100… I can cope with a little embarrassment. I consider Motion sickness… I can fly and teleport, vehicles aren’t a big concern of mine… but I’ve had problems with actual motion sickness as a child… don’t need to bring up those memories… Or my lunch. Obsession… yuck… Ill-Adjusted… heh… “I can use magic? Holy Shit! You have wings? Aaaaack! What’s wrong with you people?”… tempting… but naw.
Evil Twin… I’ve had an evil twin before… doesn’t say they have all my Jumper Powers… would be worth waaay more than just two hundred… and they get an evil one of my companions… mmmm… But maybe a “Dark Guild” (which are apparently outlaw guilds) would be better. Eh. I’d rather face a bunch of experts than myself. Don’t need to deal with two Evil Me’s. +300 for being the target of a bunch of magic assassins. A little challenge isn’t a bad thing. That brings me to 1400… with 300 left to spend.
Guild Membership costs me [100/200/1400]… That could get me a discount on Fighting Spirit… but that would leave me with 50 left… I settle for Resourcefulness [100/100/1400] “The ability to make do with what you have in almost any given situation… at the very least, you’ll never be without some way to survive in a hostile environment.” And I consider paying out my last 100 for the 18x Gale Force Reading Glasses… which, as the name suggests, allow you to read and comprehend text 18 times as swiftly. Could be helpful… assuming they’re not something I could buy in jump or make once I’ve studied the local enchantments…
I decide that they probably are something I can buy with cash instead of CP, as it seems like the kind of thing a magic rich society would turn out, and instead opt for Magic Identification [100/0/1400], which promises me insight into what type of magic is generating any observable effect… i.e. are my shots missing because the enemy has precog or because they’re slowing time or because they’re moving at super speed. That kind of information could be very very handy… especially if, in future jumps, it scales to super-powers as well.
Most of my companions are still a little… umm… not quite talking to me after the events of the last jump. Zane seems unphased by the whole process, in fact I’m pretty sure he enjoyed himself. In fact, the whole Pokemon Crew seem to have taken it all in stride. Dyna especially… what with the tentacles and all… but the rest… umm… there’s a lot of awkward silences and embarrassment and recrimination. Of the humans, only Toph and Uriel are speaking to me. Everyone else has retreated in on themselves. Kendra especially. Dunno what their problem is… not like things didn’t happen to me too… I promised adventure and power… not safety… At least no one got vored. Okay, okay… I know what their problem is… but it’s less trauma and more embarrassment, and that they’ll just have to get used to. If being embarrassed is the worst that happens in a jump, it’s been a relatively good jump.
Still, one by one, they turned in their request forms, then vanished back into the depths of aggressive training, violent video gaming, or sullen drinking. I looked the reports over… Bloody hell, this jump could be a gamechanger. I’d asked each of them to supply a “nom de guerre” for this jump, an idea of what kind of persona they’d like to have upon import, since there wasn’t much in the way of guidelines and it seemed like these Wizarding Guilds were more a collection of adventurers with a specific magical schtick than the Elminster style of all rounder.
Of course, I’d helped Ziggy with his build, getting him Phasing Magic which “Allows the user to pass through solid objects without harming themselves or the object. Works over short ranges only.” as well as the Strength perk “Even without magic, you seem able to lift more and hit harder than those around you. Your muscles are at the pinnacle of humanity.”, and the Fighting Spirit perk “No Matter how strong your opponent, you just keep getting up when knocked down. So long as you have the will to stand and fight (and aren’t, you know, dead), your body has no choice but to obey.” Ziggy is my stalwart little buddy, he likes gnawing on my enemies. I named him Ghost Thief Zig, of course and decided that he’d be a Siberian Wolf-Ferret this time. I had no idea if there was a Siberia in whatever world this was, or if there were Wolf-Ferrets in it… but the system accepted my data input without a blip and displayed a truly impressive image of a speckled black on white ferretoid about the size of a cougar with a big fluffy wolf-tail and somewhat shaggy fur that looked like it would be a pain to brush… then again, that’s half the fun of pet ownership.
Zane had taken his chances rolling for one B-Class and one C-Class Magics and gotten Heaven’s Eye, a magic that “Allows the user to zoom in their sight on objects or people up to five kilometers away. In addition, the user can see through about 50 meters worth of solid material at a time.” and Sand Magic “The user can manipulate and create Sand, which can then be launched at enemies or formed into walls.” Zane, the Sharp-Eyed Sandman… I can see him using sand as a both sniper shield and bullets. And since with Sand Magic you can create sand, not just control ambient sand… hell, just sculpting beaches could be a valuable skill, depending on how fine of control on the type and grain size he has… and 50 meters of solid material… that’s about a third the thickness of an American Football Stadium. Most buildings aren’t even close to that far across.
AJ snatched Sword Magic (probably as soon as he saw it was offered) “The user gains the ability to channel magic power through swords to reflect various effects, as well as telekinetic control of numerous swords at a time. The number of swords starts at four or so, but will grow with time, practice, and storage space.” and also picked up Resourcefulness. We’ve been together since the very beginning, him and me, through flush times and lean times. Always nice to have a skilled swordsman have your back. Sword Arm Ajax… huh. Implies a defensive mindset that… or maybe I’m reading too much into the name Ajax. I don’t monitor my companions’ reading tastes so I’ve no idea how much Greek mythology AJ knows… He could have chosen the name simply because it starts with AJ. But he does like to stand between me and danger. Maybe AJ is short for Aegis. I wonder if Sword Magic can be modified to work with shields instead… but then again, would AJ be willing to use shields instead of the more Gallade-like swords?
Francine, probably the most changed from what she originally was, took Dancer, a magic that “Allows the user to increase the fighting capability of allies in a 10-meter radius by dancing. Also boosts one’s own agility, allowing for excellent dodging of the inevitable attacks.” and Thought Projection “You know a spell to send a sort of hologram of yourself to speak with friends or taunt enemies remotely.”. She named herself Mind Dancer Flora… interesting. I wondered if she’d been reading my Amber books… Of all my mon, (save Zane), she seems to have become the most human… but then again, Abra start out among the most human of mon as it is… and are psychic. I think the fascination with spoons reflects much the same desire as Ariel’s fascination with forks… a desire to understand the strange creatures that they share their world with. Then again… sometimes it’s hard for me to think of myself as human any more. I’ve spent too much time as other things; Asari, Vulcan, Elven, Cat, Spirit, Tengu… God… But maybe Human means more than just race… ask me again in another 15,000 years.
Dyna, by far the least human by any metric, also took two magics… High Speed which “Allows the user to go fast… Very Fast… somewhere around “Jet plane” Fast. Doesn’t allow the user to fly.” and Thread Magic “Allows the User to create threads much like spider webs. These threads can, in fact, be used to create such webs and stick people to them.” “Hyperspider Dianna”… that’s not creepy… especially after what “she” pulled in Touhou-land.
RayRay, never one to settle for less than the best, spent all her points to get 1 random roll from the S-Class table… thanks to me having bought it… and snagged “Gravity Magic” which grants the User the ability to control and manipulate gravity in a variety of ways, useful for pinning multiple opponents to the ground, increasing or decreasing the gravity of anything in line of sight that they are aware of, crushing weaker magics, or even suspending things like people and rain in mid air. Somehow that fits. It’s scary, but it fits. Gravity Dragon RayRay, floating her meals up to her in real time. There is no escape… unless you like plummeting to your doom to escape the jaws of the skydragon. She named herself “Skyfisher”
Petra followed suit, clearly hoping for Machina Soul (the power to absorb technological items) but ended up with Devil Slayer… the power to kill powerful demons, a variant of Dragonslayer that allows the Devil Slayer to Consume and Utilize a single magical element, in Petra’s case Darkness” as well as rendering her immune to elemental Darkness attacks. Talk about covering weaknesses… a Steel Psychic immune to Dark. Get her immunity to Fire & Ghost and she’ll be untouchable… almost. She hadn’t given herself an identity, leaving that part filled in with a drawing of a crab holding a fork for some reason. Sometimes the logic of other beings confuses. I guessed she might mean “Devil Crab” as a play on “Deviled Crab”… which she eats shell and all with no hint of irony. They can’t all be winners.
Uriel’s choice were a strange, almost whimsical blend of useful and gleeful. From the perk trees he snagged Resourceful and Pragmatism “There’s standing your ground honorably, and that’s all fine and well, but you always seem to know when it’s time to just get out while the gettin is good.” That was the intensely practical side. For magic… he picked Aera… “the ability to sprout wings and fly. Flight speed can be increased at the cost of magic power, and one other person may be carried by the user.” which seemed a bit whimsical and carefree to me, but maybe I was projecting a vision of the angelic Uriel… but he’d chosen to name himself “Battlecrow”… which was probably more in the Valkyrie / Odin line than the more Judeo-Christian model. He had a note attached “The wings I generate with my magic will be a chromatic black, the kind that has an almost rainbow effect as light plays over it, and will constantly shed feathers that scatter themselves behind me almost at random. The system accepts that the effect can be suppressed or deactivated with a little concentration for those times where discretion is warranted, but I will otherwise not be turning it off.” He further noted that he planned to be quite elderly for the duration of the jump, in keeping with the Odinic theme I warranted.
Bao, clever, scholarly, always eager to prove himself useful… picked up Archive… a strange little magic that “Allows the user to store information in a magic database, as well as shield themselves with the UI screens and identify other magics.” and Enchanting, “You’re in the business of making magic items! Even the most powerful of these, however, are simple light-up items or rings that keep you cool on a hot day… most such items are sold in stores as utility pieces.” which is a money-maker I’m sure, but seems strangely powered down for this setting. “Spellbroker” is what he named himself… I guess he was planning on playing the mercenary analyst and hoped it wouldn’t come back to bite us… then realized that, in all likelihood, everything we did was likely to do exactly that, no matter where we went or what we bought or did. Such was the nature of existence when one jumped from reality to reality at narratively important moments.
Ryoga went for the power, rolling a random S-Class as well… and… horror of horrors, snagged himself “Crash” a perfect complement to his blossoming God of Destruction motif. It was billed as “The bane of the works of man.” With but a touch, gates fly open and skip like rocks through the estate, castles crumble to dust, and weaker spells simply shatter. Bones Shatter… Towers… Shatter. Used carelessly, the strongest iron fortresses or greatest battleships can be reduced to scrap metal.” Great… more human wrecking machine. Ruddigore, The Living Calamity he named himself… and I had to agree. Then again, he still blushed when a pretty girl talked to him, so that’s something.
Yoiko, being slightly more sane than her big brother, took the Haggling perk “You are more apt at spotting the quality of goods and thus their optimal price. This decreases the amount you pay for things by about 10%.” as well as Agility “You are nimbler now, capable of somersaulting, cartwheeling, handstanding, and leaping from rooftop to rooftop.” and Charisma “You seem to have the gift of gab… people are about 1/3rd more likely to listen to you.” She also took the C-Class magic “Binding Magic” which allows the user to generate soft tubes that can stretch or constrict to bind opponents or be used much like whips.” I wonder if I should be worried about what “Yara the Lash” might be plotting.
Kendra, apparently sick of bullet hell battles, took Slowing Magic which “Allows the user to slow down opponents that are within a certain radius of them when they cast it, simply by altering their targets’ perception of time. However, anything not caught in the radius is completely unaffected by the spell, even if it enters the radius later while the spell is still at work” and Magic Shoes “a pair of Lacrima-powered shoes that increase your running speed to that of a cheetah.” Slow and Speedy, the ultimate rope-a-dope. To anyone caught in the radius of her magic, she’ll become all but unhittable. If only she hadn’t made her report into a paper airplane and nailed me in the head with it from the top of one of the warehouse stacks. Good aim though. She called herself “Kay, The Unshadowed”, which spurred memories of Jet Li using “No Shadow Kick”… the idea being that it was so fast it didn’t cast a shadow. Since Kendra was a big fan of martial arts movies, I’m certain it wasn’t an accidentally comparison.
“K… I think you might want to reconsider the shoes.”
“Why?” I could feel the bite in her words as I spoke to her through the door.
“They sound like something that can be bought in setting for cash.”
“For how much cash?”
“I don’t know. But if I can find them for sale, I bet I can make you some… If not, I’ll appologize… but buying things with CP that can be stole, bought with currency, or made… it’s… sub-optimal.”
“At least ask the system what the fastest race is… it’s a fantasy world… maybe there are supernaturally fast people around?”
“The Jumptree doesn’t say anything about it.”
“It doesn’t… but can it hurt to ask?”
“… it says Weretigers are noted for their ferocity and speed.”
“Will it let you be one?”
“Yes… for 50 CP. But it warns that they’re uncommon and not well liked. And somewhat unpredictable.”
“Something to consider.”
“I’ll send you the revision.”
She did. She bought the weretiger… and one of the these strange Celestial Silver Spirit Keys… the one that summons an annoying thieving raven named Corvus… supposedly can only be summoned at dawn of a prolonged conflict (anything more than a single day)… but that’s the problem with being all but immortal… sometimes your personal feuds can last… ages. I suspected she’s doing this to irritate me, but I refrained from mentioning that there’s every chance these Keys can be bought in setting as well… It just wasn’t worth the hassle.
Joy, a disciple of the gun and preparation signed up for the “All the Guns Ever” club, taking Gun Magic which “Allows the user to load various types of magical bullets (usually with elemental enchantments into guns and fire they so as to cast spells. This can even include candy or bubble bullets.” and a strange sounding magic called Requip which “Allows the user to summon equipment they own from a pocket dimension (the cosmic warehouse) while in battle and stronger users can switch equipment many times during a battle.” While it’s not infinite ammo… we have hundreds of guns in the arsenal. If she starts magicking up bullets, she could load dozens of different mission specific loadouts and just summon the gun she wants at any given time. I’d considered it, but I don’t have a lot of weapons that are anywhere near Soul of Ice or armors that rival VIctoria… maybe I should start working on that. She named herself “The Shooter Saint”… I probably would have gone with “The Sniper Saint” myself… but Joy’s a bit more close combat than I am.
Ahab seemed a little leery of the whole magic thing… even after all these years, so he took the Leadership “You seem more suited to taking charge of situations than others… in fact you’re about 1/4th better at this than you were before.“ and Read the Atmosphere “Your knowledge of dialogue scripting gives you a better sense of how tense a situation is, making it easier to respond accordingly.” perks. The first seemed to be an odd metric… how do you get 25% better at something almost immeasurable like that… I guess by raising your skill total from 8 to 10. Thanks Gygax. You’re welcome SJ. The second… wow… that was meta. It essentially assumed that every conversation was being actively scripted in real time. Deep… and disturbing. Were we characters in a story? Wasn’t that always the question? Or did it matter not the slightest? Regardless, Ahab did take one magic… Body Restriction Magic, which he claimed seemed more like a combat technique, since it “Allows the user to immobilize a target by effectively causing their limbs to fall asleep. This magic requires physical contact with the target, and can be shrugged off with strong enough magic or a strong enough will.” I had the feeling he’d be applying it via the vehicle of CQC and wondered if his eschewing the potential range effectiveness of it would make the relatively weak magic more potent. Things tend to work out that way, I’ve noticed. Self imposed limits often magnify the effectiveness of magic. I wonder why.
As for an identity he simply drew a smiley face… with one horn. Oh, good lord… he was going to resurrect the identity “Venom Snake”. I checked the system… I was 80% correct. He’d psyched me out and gone with “One Horned Viper”… which was something of a blending of One Winged Angel and Venom Snake… I liked it… I added a note into the system to give his local incarnation the skin pattern of the Horned Viper… but with the scales varying in smoothness depending on his mood… spiky when angered, smooth when enjoying himself. The system asked if I wanted to give him a snake’s nictitating membrane (the second sideways eyelid) and I confirmed, then added in Viper Eyes to complete the picture, though I did send the whole thing to Ahab’s PDA for confirmation… what, you thought we were doing this on paper? Please… this is the… never mind… Human Epochs are a meaningless distinction inside the Warehouse. Leave it so say we are a tech-savvy bunch. I was certain he’d not have a problem with the eyes… he’d had them for a decade in RWBY.
Toph, ever one for simplicity, took Palm Magic “The user gains the ability to channel magic power into the palms of their hands, allowing for potent palm strikes capable of smashing boulders, among other effects.” as well as Green Magic “This non-combat magic allows the user to greatly accelerate the growth of plants, especially small ground-cover types, but also trees) and halt desertification.” I like her sense of balance… shame more of the Magics weren’t non-combat in nature.” Slap the ground, make grass grow! In the box for identity she put “I am Toph.” Of course she is.
I sent her a PM. “Toph the What?”
“I mean, what version of Toph do you want to project to the world we’re going into?”
“There is only one Toph.”
“There are many.”
“Yes, huh. There was Toph the rebellious child who became master of the arena and invented metalbending, Toph the creator of her world’s first police force and mother, Toph the reclusive swamp hermit, Toph the Magi goddess, Toph the sarcastic dragon, Toph the amateur detective, Toph the badger girl who beat up giant monsters with a pair of fans… even Toph the dominatrix. There have been many Tophs. As long as you travel with me, there will always be more Tophs. It’s part of the package as both a companion and as a living being. We are never who we used to be, only who we are becoming.”
“Baaah. Too much thinking, not enough punching.”
“I’d say you need to get laid, but…”
“Hahah. I didn’t have nearly as much sex as you did, slut.”
“I wasn’t slutty! I was being punished for being a thief!”
“So you say. You got caught a lot!”
“Regardless… Toph the What?”
“You’re change the subject!”
“No, you’re trying to change the subject and blaming me of doing the same to cover it. I know your tactics, bitch. You don’t like introspection and you’re trying to avoid picking a name for yourself. If you don’t pick in the next twenty seconds I’m going to name you Lotus Head and you’re going to have to live with it for a decade.”
“I… huh… okay.”
“I’m calling your bluff.”
“You want to be Lotus Head Toph for a decade?”
“No. Lotus Hat.”
“Like that Buddha guy.”
“That…” I considered the effort needed to explain that in Buddhist symbology the Crown Lotus of Enlightenment wasn’t a hat… then shook my head and said “Fine. You got it, Lotus Hat it is.”
“I am Buddha Palm!”
“You are a git with dirty toes.”
Velma, still feeling powerlag and somewhat shaken by the appalling power level of the residents of Gensokyo, barely contained as it was by the nature of the Danmaku Battle System, wasn’t at all certain she’d be able to deal with this new and, quite obviously, similarly overpowered setting. It took Zane, oddly enough, to calm her down and reassure her that, even if the world was against her, she’d have us behind her. I think she responded to his essential dogginess because she eventually submitted her form, though she, like many others went for a duo of magic rather than any of the perks on offer. She picked up Archive as well, which did double duty as information system and defense… clearly designed as battlefield Command and Control for a magical world, and the randomly chosen B-Class “Solid Script” which allowed the user to cast spells by writing words corresponding to the effect… for instance writing the word “FIRE” in the air would create an image of the word “FIRE” made out of fire that could be launched at opponents. This cannot be used to bring about any spell more powerful than the caster could otherwise use.” Sounded weird to me… but then again, a magic GUI that doubled as a shield was pretty weird too. It sounded highly flexible too, since it pretty much allowed almost any effect that could be summed up in a simple word or phrase. I’m not certain what the limits of a master of Solid Script would be, but I suspected she’d find out.
She also included a dozen potential identities, asking me to pick one. They included “Red One”, “Groupthink”, and “Mother”, but none of them really spoke to me, nor did they really capture her essential Velma-ness. I suggested “How about ‘Vera Truth’?” which got me a sour face in reply.
“Vera? What am I, grandma?”
“Short for Veritas.”
“So I’d be True True? At that point, I should be Trueheart.”
“I… sure. Better than Vera. Oh… I had a thought. Can my Script be in Latin?”
“Don’t see any reason why not. Why?”
“Fewer people know Latin. Spelling things out first gives people an idea of what’s coming if they’re fast enough. much better to use a language they don’t know.”
“True… but wouldn’t it be better to use a language with non-Latin symbols so they can’t even guess?”
“I… I guess. But I don’t know any of them. What would you suggest?”
“Well, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean culture produces a huge amount of potential settings, so let’s discount them. Let’s also discount Devana and Arabic. Cyrillic and Greek are possibilities, as is Hebrew. But you want something fluid… but powerful looking… how about Tibetan Uchen script? Some very dangerous people are likely to know it if the setting is right, but aside from them, I think very very few people in most settings will know the faintest thing about it.”
“I don’t even know Tibetan.”
“Yeah… me either. Consider it a learning excercise. Harry Dresden postulates that using a language you don’t know to cast magic helps shield your mind from the strain… I don’t know if he’s right, especially not in worlds that lack the horror of the DresdenVerse’s magical system, but I bet it will make your magic more potent to be written in words you only know as vessels of power, words you can fill with personal intent independent of their normal meaning or usage.”
“I… guess that makes sense. Also means I’ll need to practice each new word carefully.”
“It does at that, yes.”
Cirno… spent her time pouting that Icemagic wasn’t on the list, then pouting that she couldn’t afford Molding Magic (Ice) once it was pointed out to her, then pouting because we pointed out she could already do that and we were being mean. Then she took Flattening Magic “allows the user to flatten their bodies to a paper-like state. This aids in slipping through tight spots or dodging attacks”… which I guess makes sense because she’s trying to minimize her hit box… though she’s missed the point that it’s only from one direction of course… and rolled the bones twice to get two more random C-Class Magics… Ended up with Wool Magic “Allows the user to create and control fluffy, comfortable pink wool so as to distract opponents or break falls.”… and Smoke Magic “Allows for the control of pipe smoke (of a color of her choice) to form fragile decoys of oneself or strike enemies with smoke fists.” She seems… strangely pleased with that… and pulled out a bubble pipe… baka.
Personally, I think they all sound next to useless compared with the other things on offer… even other things in the same category… but what can you do? The Random Number Gods had spoken. Maybe she’d be able to make something useful of them… but since this was Cirno, I doubted it intensely. I doubted it to the point where I hadn’t even bothered asking her for a nom-de-guerre because I honestly wasn’t certain I could explain to the self-proclaimed genius what one was or why she might want it. Unfortunately, she’d clearly heard about it from one or more of the others and so she’d decided that she was going to be “Flatsmoke Woolbottom”… which as names go just made me want to hurt something. Still, she would not be dissuaded and imposing my own vision of how she should be in a jump wasn’t the behavior of a reasonable entity… it would be a form of spiritual tyranny and I couldn’t do that. Autonomy is to be treasured, not quashed… especially if I wanted to avoid any potential “Revolts in Heaven” as it were. She did throw a tantrum when we told her she had to be human… after the system rejected her assertion that she was a fairy.
“Atura? You coming?”
“Indeed. I believe it would be best to simply take my chances on one of the high level S-Class magics. Since we cannot afford Lacrima Creator, obviously the best choice from it’s price tag among the perks, no matter how we adjust the points. The maximum for this iteration is 1600 and Lacrima, a Random S-Class, and the Group Import total out at 1900… It is unworkable.”
“You could take something you find interest instead of pure power.”
“I find everything interesting.”
“And while balance dictates utility over randomness… in this case, utility and randomness combine in one perfect package. With frugality tossed in for good measure.”
“I… see your point. Is there any one of them you are most interested in?”
“Rules of the Area seems nice.”
“You mean the one that allows you to just make up rules that have to be followed and can cover an area the size of a small city? Yeah… I can see that. I think you’d be scary with that, personally. But let’s see what the Numbers say… 3. That’s… God Slayer. Not plotting against me, are you?”
“I asume that was a joke. But no, I am not. I think… Chaos God Slayer… is that a magical element? Or perhaps Death God Slayer… or Evil God Slayer?… All such entities seem like they’d be unlikely to maintain the Balance… at least those who would revel in the use of their element. A proper Death God should not bring about death, but merely oversee it… Unless there is too much life… what is it that you call such things… Cancer?”
“Er… yes. I can’t say disharmony is an element… but Chaos as it is often depicted is, in fact, considered The Primordial Element from which all others arise… Order out of Chaos, Balance out of imbalance… so I’d think Chaos would be a good choice. If not now… later perhaps.” I considered certain universes and nodded, “Yes… very good choice.”
“Should I choose a name to be known as?”
“I… don’t know. In either of the two jumps you’ve been imported to, have you gained any memories or persona… no form obviously…”
“Not per se. A… sense of the local spirit world perhaps, but that seems to be the limit of it. Then again, memory is even more identity for us spirits. My… our nature… could be changed. You mortals… or whatever you are… are the sum of your experiences and memories, but they do not define you. That is… less true for us spirits. We are who we are. To change that would change me forever. Humans can be other than they believe themselves to be. They can do things that are out of character or are surprising. Do you… there is a story of a venomous insect and a small mammal and a river…”
“I know it. The Scorpion stings the Fox as they are crossing the river, even though it means both will die, and when the Fox asks why, the Scorpion explains that it is merely its nature.”
“Indeed. While we spirits do have free will, it is more constrained than… corporeal life’s free will… and every time we exercise it, it changes us on a fundamental level. What do you call them… Fallen Angels? These are messenger spirits who rebelled against their nature and became something else? Fundamentally defined by the choice they made… as Raava, once the spirit of Peace and Harmony, became “The Avatar Spirit” when she bonded with Wan.”
“Ah… yes. I understand now. Then giving you another name… though I have already done so, haven’t I?”
“Yes. I was the Origin Spirit, Twilight, Balance… now I am the Manifest Spirit… but I am also Atura. Because you think of me as such.”
“Then I shall continue to do so.”
“I thank you. Though I do worry, there is an implication that I would, should I use this, be consuming Chaos, making it part of myself. Should that worry… why are you laughing?”
“Allow me to show you something. Vivian! Main Screen, Mandlebrot Set, keep expanding it slowly.”
“W… what are we looking at?”
“This is Chaos, in Mathematical terms.”
“It is… for lack of another word… lovely.”
“It is. It is also infinitely recursive. No matter how far you zoom in or out, the pattern it creates repeats infinitely. And the line around the black bug shape… it has infinite fractality. It is a 1 dimensional shape with a fractal dimensionality of 2. there are no end to the ramifications and kinks of the line.”
Why does this answer my worries?”
“Because, Atura, my friend… all order is is Chaos taken far enough to reach equlibrium… and what is Equilibrium but balance? Chaos is change over time. When the system has too much chaos, it unbalances itself one way… when it has too little, it cannot adapt and an outside force unbalances it. To consume Chaos is to use it as a fuel for Balance. You reduce the Chaos in the system until it is at an acceptable level, a state of Balance between the destructive and the constructive… perhaps a bit more towards the constructive… progress is good, growth is to be encouraged as long as it isn’t harmful.”
“I knew I liked you.”
“Yes well… I like you too… now I have to get everyone ready. You ready?”
“I was born ready.”
“You were born?”
“All things have a beginning, all things have an ending.”
“So they say.”
“Just don’t go picking fights with any Gods without consulting me first. We share an existence. If you piss off a God, I’ll probably have to fight it.”
“I shall do my best to not pick fights I do not feel I can win.”
“I… it’ll have to do.”
I looked around at my crew, gathered for a sullen pre-insertion peptalk. “Look. We’ve had a rough go of it these last 10 years… and we’re jumping blind here. But… we’re a team, we’ve got the skills… hopefully the Drawbacks I’ve taken will mostly target me, so if it seems like someone’s gunning for me, let them through. I can take more punishment… but try and help me out if it looks like I’m being swarmed… If I’m being tanked, don’t try and fight whatever’s tanking me, just grab me and go. I guarantee, I’m not going to try and lure anyone into a false sense of security.” That got a few chuckles… I nodded… no point in wasting any more time… we weren’t going to be any more ready than we already were. I hit the confirm button and we dropped.
You know the story of the people one town over from that one town that keeps getting flattened, attacked, and invaded? The story of people who hear all about the great big insane adventures going on elsewhere? That was me and my companions for the first year. See, Onibus is just across the desert from this town called Magnolia, home to this balls out crazy group of moronic overpowered children called Fairy Tail… as in the butt appendage of a pixie or something. Clearly, from the name of the Jump, they were the defacto heroes of this story… but we weren’t in that guild. We were in Guild Jumpstar. Our Guild Leader, Quicksilver, was on something called a Millenium Job, a job so hard it would take a millennium to complete, and no one knew where he was or if he was a she or what. His/her powers were legendary… but no one living had ever met him.
The economy of being in a Guild was pretty simple. People brought us contracts, we ranked the contracts on how hard our seers said they’d be, then guild members volunteered (or sometimes were voluntold to volunteer) to take on these jobs. Essentially it was bounty work or adventure for hire or fetch quests… except the quest givers came to you. Guild Jumpstar tried to get things done in a professional and restrained… if sometimes a little flashy… way. Fairy Tail was more than likely to destroy half your town to save a kitten.
Being who I am, I scouted out Fairy Tail, finding out who was who and what was what from the townsfolk and from the minds of some of the… let’s not beat around the bush here… mental midgets who made up that team of thundering dunderheads. Christ. They’d fight anyone, including their own friends, at a moment’s notice for any damned fool reason… and the Dragon Slayer (who clearly was the Protagonist of this circus of Shonen Anime Lunacy) had a brain slightly softer than overcooked cabbage. Lots of Fighting Spirit…but very little brainpower to go with it. Made Ranma look like a Chessmaster and Monkey D Luffy look like a genius. Even Naruto would have thought Natsu the Salamander (that’s what Fire Dragon Slayers are called apparently) was a hotheaded dunce…. Though fiercely, uncompromisingly loyal.
In fact, that seemed to be Fairy Tail’s schtick, loyalty. No matter how hard they fought, they… most of them at least… remained almost fanatically loyal to their comrades… and even seemed to have the ability to make some enemies into allies.
I considered quitting Jumpstar to join Fairy Tail, just to get close to the action, but after seeing them nearly get wiped out by a Rival Guild for no good reason… I decided against it. I also decided against infiltrating them using one of my alternate forms…. I just didn’t have any information to go on and there were clearly plots afoot… too many of them to track down in time.
The biggest of these, to me at least, was the fact that, according to my memory, the dragon who’d trained me, Igneel, had decided I was too dangerous and had shifted his attention to Natsu. And then vanished… along with all the other dragons. Natsu had been searching for Igneel for years… as, apparently, had I… though for less savory reasons. It was strange having a motivation in my head that I just didn’t feel, but thankfully, those memories were just that, and I swept the desire for revenge over being cast aside out of my head.
But if I couldn’t join Fairy Tail… maybe I could beat them. I developed a hobby while my companions ran make money missions (we needed to eat and pay rent and build up a sizable fortune with which to buy the various souvenirs this world had to offer… many many interesting toys… and that meant building a reputation.) I decided to build my reputation by appearing outside of Fairy Tail every day at noon and challenging one of their members to a fight. Every Day. For two months straight.
I’ve been to worlds with magic or things very much like it before, don’t get me wrong. I’d even been to Touhou… but all of those worlds had had relatively few supernatural abilities, and most of them had abilities that all worked on the same basic principle. This world, Earth Land… had none of that, as far as I could see. And so I needed to analyze the magic of this world, to figure out how it worked and what made it tick.
Not for the first time I regretted buying Flight in Buffy instead of the Watcher handbook… though I’d used the flight to excellent effect later, so it hadn’t been wasted… simply something I could… and had… picked up elsewhere… unlike a guidebook to all the magics of any given jump… hindsight. But to figure out the magic I didn’t have a guide to, I had to test myself against the protagonists… since I had no bloody clue who the Antagonists were… they seemed to show up just in time to get their asses handed to them by the FTs. This show must be such fight porn.
And so I gave it fight porn. I made my way through the lower ranked members of Fairy Tail, never being cruel or dismissive, (though sometimes I did use insults to get them to attack me), and never going for a kill… I didn’t want the entire guild to attack en masse… I wasn’t sure I could take their best yet… I certainly wasn’t going to try and take them all on at once.
Each fight I used only as much force as needed to achieve victory, and I ramped up slowly, seeking to understand the limits of those I was fighting… as well as gage how far my own abilities had grown… it had been a while since I fought like this. And to force myself to grow into my new abilities, I began to consciously suppress my old ones. If Natsu could be the MC of this setting based upon his Dragon Slayer Magic alone, I should as well… but I knew from experience that without something to push me, I wouldn’t master it. I had certainly never managed to unlock my Semblance in RWBY as I used too many other non-aura abilities.
Regardless, it soon became a bit of a game slash spectacle. I’d show up, challenge the Fairy Tailers to send out their Champion of the day, I’d get a good workout, repeat the next day. And so it went until this lunatic with the head of an owl and a rocketpack showed up and tried to kill me… I learned only later his name was Fukuro… but I prefer to think of him as Owlhead Rocketboy.
The lunatic fucking ate me! Swallowed me whole. I could feel him trying to drain my powers as the digestion process began to kick in… but the surface of a stomach makes a damned fine surface for a portal and I dropped into the warehouse, then tossed out a couple plasma grenades and damped the portal down to its smallest aperture and reinforced the forcefields over that spot. A minute later I opened the portal just a bit… guy must have had a fucking stomach of adamantium… or had somehow absorbed the blast… so I did what any good doctor would do… I pulled water from the pool and fed it out into his stomach in a torrent.
Riding out of a bird-headed assassin’s belly on a flash flood of pool water and magical bile… weeee… also yuck. I might have limited myself against the Fairy Tailers… but that was training… this was my life… I froze the water solid around Rocketboy, then dived deep into his birdy little mind. He was part of a trio of S-Ranked Assassins calling themselves “Trinity Raven”… part of a Dark Guild called “Death’s Head Caucus”… both decent names… and they’d been hired by some lunatic religious group calling itself the Church of Zeref to kill me. There was the bounty… glad to see they were taking me seriously and sending their top team to get me. I also learned from his mind that his partners were Gothrock Hairboy and Swordmiko von Slashgirl… and they’d gone after my companions.
I left Owlhead frozen in the middle of town and ported back to Jumpstar’s guildhall, to find that Kendra was down, Velma was deadish, and Francine and Petra were both KO… The others were holding their own, collectively, against the duo of assassins. As it turns out, the reason why 4 of my team were down is because Hairboy’s Guitar gave him the power to take control of people and he’d been using my people against each other. I watched with growing annoyance as he took control of Toph and turned her against the others.
I… well, let’s just say I’d taken some damage in my fight against Owlhead and my limit bar was full. My flaming fist might have managed to cook Gothrock’s spleen before it exited his mouth, I’m not sure. I drew Soul of Ice as I stepped between Joy and Ikaruga… Slashgirl. “Let me handle this… see to the others.”
There is little to compare with a duel between masters. Ikaruga had sword magic, a magical sword, and decades of training and practice in its use. I had sword perks, a magical sword, and more centuries of practice than Ikaruga had years of life. My in-field active combat time with the sword probably exceeded her lifespan… and it was still a close run thing. Sword Magic is no joke, and I treated her with respect, not pulling on any other powers… this was a duel between swordswomen and I honored that.
We fought through a change of day to night and night back to day again, for 18 hours we traded blows, magical, physical, and spiritual. Her aura was a thing of beauty and her motions full of grace… unfortunately her heart was full of darkness and she would not relent. Oddly enough, I had no real desire to kill these people. They were assassins true enough, but they weren’t motivated to attack me out of anything other than professionalism, and had been set on this path essentially because I’d hired them to kill me. It was a somewhat strange realization.
Still, I didn’t think Energy Bending would work, since I didn’t know her well enough, and Spirit Bending wouldn’t work because she wasn’t possessed. That left Redemption by defeat…. And so I gave her an opening, a tiny one, something that might have been born out of fatigue or a transitory breeze… and she struck, as I’d hoped she would, her sword biting into my side.. And I tried to do the impossible… The perk “Cut At Will” had given me the ability to cut only what I want to cut… assuming I can cut it. And way back in the mists of time I’d learned the ability “Shehai” a spirit sword… and with energy and spirit bending I could actually cut… in theory… what I wanted to cut.
I let Soul of Ice block her blow from bisecting me, then with my off hand I formed a Shehai Blade and, with a cross body thrust, plunged it into Ikaruga’s chest… I twisted the intangible blade, then caught the swordswoman as she fell.
“W… what… what have you done?” She asked, breathless.
“I have cut away the darkness in your heart.”
“Th… that’s n… not ho… how it… it works. T… that’s a metaphor…” she gasped, flinching away from my words as much as from my hands as I laid her down on one of the low walls surrounding the guild hall.
“I am a creature of metaphor. The world is shaped by words and ideals. I simply made them my reality… and yours.”
“I did. I’m bad like that. Anyway, I believe I’ve bested you and spared the lives of you and your team… your choice where this goes next. Anyway, I have to go fight Fairy Tail now… so you be good.” I left my team to watch them and ported back to Magnolia Town, knowing I hadn’t seen the last of Death’s Head Caucus.
That was the day I finally got to fight Gray Fullbuster, Fairy Tail’s resident Ice Wizard. It was an interesting fight. He couldn’t have defeated me in a century of Sundays, of course, but finding new ways to use ice magic was more important than winning… and anyway, I am a combat grade telepath, anyone without mental shields is going to have a hard time beating me… and Gray had effectively none. Of course, while I’m telling you that, dear reader, rest assured I never feel the need to gloat about my powers mid fight like a comicbook character.
Which is not to say I didn’t show off against Gray. Chucklehead von Ice Make had to preface every creation by yelling “Ice Make Floor!” “Ice Make Cage!” “Ice Make Cold!”… no wonder Natsu always wants to punch him. But that aside, he did have some subtlety, able to freeze things to the shattering point and create intricate iceforms… But he was slowed by the need to to speak… as were most of these people. It was a challenge not to yell “Ice Makes the Grass Grow, Kill Kill Kill!” or something equally inane.
By the end of two months I’d fought most of the low level guild members… and none of the S-Class mages: Laxus, Erza, Mystogan, Gildarts, Mirajane, or Makarov. Sure, these were in the nature of friendly fights… I certainly wasn’t killing my way through the ranks… and I think that’s part of the reason the big kids hadn’t come out to play… well, that and Mystogan almost never showed up, Gildarts was off on some Decade Quest, and Mirajane had lost her mojo. And Makarov was old… really old… for a local.
But Laxus and Erza were both relative hotheads and getting Laxus to fight me shouldn’t be hard… especially since he was apparently planning on taking over the guild by force and kicking out the weaker members. His personal team within the Guild was called Thunder God Tribe (such hubris), consisting of Freed Justine (a wardmaker), Bicklsow (a doll mage), and Evergreen (a walking medusa with killer fairy dust)… I also hadn’t faced any of them… since they were off adventuring. I mean, I knew where they were, but they weren’t exactly showing up for my daily fights.
Laxus himself was a Lightning Dragon Slayer… though apparently that wasn’t public knowledge and everyone just thought he was a Lightning Magic user… he had strange crystals embedded inside his body, Lacrima… crystallized magic… that gave him the ability… as opposed to Natsu and I and this turkey named “Gajeel” who was an Iron Dragon Slayer, and this kid “Wendy” who was a Sky Dragon Slayer… all of whom had been trained by dragons. Gajeel had started as a member of the Phantom Lord Guild but after they were forced to disband, he became a member of Fairy Tail. Wendy I’d meet later in my stay, the junior-most member of a Guild called Cait Shelter… which would also eventually disband (willingly this time), leaving her to join Fairy Tail as well.
Laxus… was also Guild Master Makarov’s grandson… and pretty sore that Gramps had banished the father/son between them from the Guild for being a Grade-A Asshat… something Laxus seemed keen on repeating. Regardless, I figured taking out his goon squad might provoke him… so I made it personal.
I sowed the rumor of a strange forest temple (amazing what people with Earth Elemental Control and plant magic can throw together in a relatively short period of time), which contained a rare magical item related to a Lightning Dragon… then made sure Luxas heard about it. The Thunder God Tribe fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I set Toph to take care of Evergreen, AJ and Francine to take care of Freed, and Yoiko and Ryoga to take care of Bickslow… while I faced off against Laxus. Long story short… we trashed the temple… Easy come, easy go… And I got my scan data on the Thunder God Tribe… I hope they liked their Starfleet Lightning Phasor… damned thing’s impossible to aim.
The Dragon Slayers were particularly impressive sorts. Natsu and I couldn’t hurt each other with our magics because we’d just trade energy all day… well, strictly speaking I could easily out last him in the manna field and as long as I didn’t give him any fire to eat, I could run him, eventually, to exhaustion. Which I did. It’s not bragging to point out I’m smarter than Natsu… so is the average housecat. Laxus could hit hard and fast… but his lightning couldn’t hurt me. Gajeel, made of iron, was a formidable foe, but not particularly bright either… and he was far from unbeatable, even by local standards. I didn’t fight Wendy… she was a kid and primarily a healer at that. Unfortunately, defeating Natsu and Gray meant that they were now constantly hounding me for a rematch.
So I told them that if they could convince Erza to fight me and win, I’d give them a rematch. And to make the pot sweeter for Erza, I even offered her a magical sword if she could beat me… We both collected them and I had several duplicates. I wanted to see what the so-called best there was at Requip, the Fairy Queen Titania Erza, could do.
We held the fight on an artificial island I raised in Magnolia Bay… I promised the town I’d sink it again… only to be asked if I could make it a bit bigger and give it a hill… and move it a little northwest… maybe 200 meters or so… strange people. Apparently there’s money in raising off shore real estate. Who knew? (Actually I should have… one of my favorite novels “Diamond Age” mentions it. I wonder if that will be a jump?)
Erza’s magic isn’t powerful in and of itself. It’s pretty damned simple really. I’d seen how Joy did it, and was fairly certain I could replicate the effect (all these various magics were either Holder… i.e. item based or Caster… i.e. spell based… and that means all you had to do was learn the spells…. And then master them. But they were, almost to a one, learnable techniques, and that meant I could copycat them… except Gajeel, Windy, and Laxus… all of whom had something extra to make them what they were. There were probably other magics that had biological requirements, but Requip? Not as such.) Essentially, all Erza did was draw on her massive collection of magical arms and armors, which she kept in a pocket universe and summoned at need. The Requip Magic just allowed her to do so nearly instantly… and summon the armor already equipped and the weapons right into her her hands. It was equal parts preparation and practice… but then came skill. She was a brilliant fighter with tons of magical energy and liberal doses of Fighting Spirit and general Kick Assness.
She was most impressive and I found that the subtle goading I’d used on the others to make them fight me at full strength was not needed to make her to fight me seriously. Erza Scarlet had one setting… 11. It was a glorious fight and I would have ended it by declaring her to have beaten me, had I not sensed that she’d know if I pulled my punches. Still, I did limit myself. I fought without Victoria or Soul of Ice, using only a pair of magical shortswords I’d crafted called Freezerburn and Waterlaser… two guesses what kind of enchantments they had on them. Just because Natsu only used one type of magic didn’t mean I had to limit myself.
About a week after my fight with Erza, while I was still trying to figure out how to find Mystogan or Gildarts… or how to get Makarov to fight me (he was one of a group of ten so called Wizard Saints, the 10 most powerful living Wizards supposedly… As tests of strength go it doesn’t get much better than that)… my agents brought me word that Erza had been kidnapped and the Wizard Council was preparing this superweapon called Etherion to take out this absolutely obscenely tall tower in the middle of the ocean… and that Trinity Raven had been dispatched there to slow any who might rescue her.
I thought about interfering, but I had a feeling everything would turn out… if not okay… then with lessons learned… this had all the earmarks of a Shonen Manga after all… And also… what the hell did I know about what was going on. But still, I wanted to see the fireworks, so I went there in person. It wasn’t hard to find… the giant sky runes covered a 16th of the planetary surface.
Team Natsu managed to rescue Erza, Trinity Raven escaped, two members of the Wizard Council turned out to be traitors… and I learned a new trick. When Etherion was fired at the tower (it was a trap) the tower turned into a huge Lacrima (one of those magical crystals)… And Natsu ate some of it. Turns out it gave him a huge jolt of power… and knocked him on his ass for three days after that. I stole… a very large chunk… of that tower for further study. I also ate a few small pieces of it… can’t say it tasted very good, but it had pure elemental energies infused into it… all sorts of goodness though I couldn’t exactly use even half of those elements directly. It was like a magical sugar rush… on steroids.
Not long after that, Team Thunder God put in motion their idiotic coup to take over Fairy Tail… it faaaailed… but there was redemption and no one died… then Fairy Tail sent Team Natsu (Why the hell is he in charge?) to team up with three other guilds (Lamia Scale, Blue Pegasus, and Cait Shelter, enter Wendy as I promised) to take down one of the Big Three Dark Guilds (The Oracion Seis… the other two being Grimoire Heart and Tartaros)… Funny how only two S-Ranked Mages were sent on this “vital” mission. Definitely a Shonen… Again I tagged along, me and mine trying to find some hint as to what the bigger picture was.
That turned out to be almost disastrous, as the Oracion Seis activated some kind of ancient superweapon called Nirvana which possessed the power to turn anyone possessed of depression or doubt from light to darkness… or vice versa. Fighting evil Ryoga? Not good. Fighting evil Ahab and Joy? Sooo not good. Thankfully I managed to bring them around once they were subdued with a bout of Spirit Bending, but oy…. No fun. Missed the take down of the giant walking Good/Evil Reversing spider. Which might have been a good thing, since apparently Motion Sickness is part and parcel of being a Dragon Slayer… that better wear off at the end of the Jump or I’ll want a refund.
A few weeks later, I arrived in Magnolia for my routine fight… to find that someone had stolen the whole fucking city. There was a portal in the sky and bubbles floating up to it. Lead to a place called “Edolas”… fucked up version of Earth Land, where magic was a finite resource and was running out. The insane King of Edolas, Sir Faust, had stolen Magnolia to power the magics of the kingdom’s warmachines… and the Exceeds, a race of flying cats were worshipped as angels… and everyone had a kinda weird anti-them. Not so much Evil as just reversed. Gajeel’s counterpart was calm and reasoned, Natsu’s was a coward, Erza’s was fucking psycho…. Mine… was a lazy bum who made her minions do everything for her and never shared her candy. Thankfully, she didn’t have any of my local powers… let alone my Jumper abilities… though she did have a large criminal organization.
I still had no interest in messing with Fairy Tail’s story. Too easily I could make things worse, and even though they’d lost their magic… and so had I… they were doing pretty good. I still had my psionics and spiritual abilities, like bending, so I wasn’t too limited, so I stealthed it up and watched…. Up until Sir Faust brought out this giant magictech mecha, the Dorma Anim. I just had to fight that… how many chances do I get for Mecha v Mecha battles?
I summoned the newest generation of the Mega-Dragon Zord and we threw down, me and my companions piloting the 6 person supermech against Edolas’s finest artifact. It was one hell of a fight, but it was the most fun I’d had in decades. We emerged victorious… but Bao and Vivian would be doing a loooot of maintenance. Did steal whatever bits of the Dorma Anim were left… reverse engineering goooood.
Shortly after that, all the remaining magic in Edolas was drained and sent into Earth Land where it would be barely noticed. That also sent back Magnolia, all the members of Fairy Tail, all the winged cats, and me and mine. Poof.
It also sent back Mirajane’s baby sister, whose disappearance had rendered Mira from tomboy punk fighter to soft and sweet den mother. With the family restored, Mirajane got her groove back and I was finally able to fight her. She used one of the Full Body Take Over Magics… in her case Demon Soul (another one of those biological requirement powers. No idea what specifically allowed it, but I was definitely curious)… Sweet, nice, compassionate… flying fury. Such a massive boost in attack power and ferocity. Good fight. Closest I’d come to defeat, though neither of us were fighting to the death.
Then Gildarts returned (though Mystogan had gone missing apparently for good), giving me a chance to fight him… ouch… Turns out he’s the one with the Crash magic, plus another S-Class called Disassembly magic. If I’d fought him without having practiced against Ryoga, I might have lost. Still, dude was tough as nails and, if anything, even less good in the self control arena than Ryoga… as in can’t walk through town without breaking… the town. Had the same respect for walls that Shampoo did but on a grander scale.
But a couple weeks after that fight, something utterly fucked up happened… Fairy Tail was having its S-Rank trials to find a new S-Ranker… supposedly happened every year but S-Rank Mages don’t grow on trees. And no, being S-Ranked in one guild doesn’t transfer over. Juvia (Gray’s Girlfriend / Stalker) and Gajeel were both S-Ranked in their old guild, but not when they joined Fairy Tail… Anyway, everyone with any standing in the guild went off to their hidden island to decide who would be elevated to the purple or whatever they call it… and then they vanished… whole Island, taking with it the Guildmaster, all the S-Ranks, and all the potential S-Ranks too… although they seem to have taken the second of the big three dark Guilds, Grimoire Heart, with them into oblivion.
In one moment, Fairy Tail went from being one of the most powerful guilds around to… a collection of B-Rankers with no leadership and no heavy hitters to protect them from their enemies. And me? I hadn’t followed the Fairy Tailers because I was involved in my own private war with Death’s Head Caucus…. Hunting them before they could hunt me again.
So I show up outside FT’s Guild hall after a fortnight’s absence, expecting to maybe fight whoever’s been promoted, or maybe finally to get Makarov to fight me… and instead of the normal bunch of rambunctiousness and idiocy… I find a bunch of worried people sitting around looking lost. And they see me as their salvation.
A group of them, Macao, Alzack, and Elfman, three of the elder low rankers, were waiting for me when I arrived. They had a proposal. They needed an S-Ranker, someone they could trust, someone that had prestige and weight, to step in as interim Guild Leader. And I’d be perfect. I pointed out that I belong to a rival guild, they shrugged and pointed out that Gajeel and Juvia had belong to an actively hostile guild. I pointed out that my main means of interacting with members of Fairy Tail was fighting them… they returned the point that that was their main method of interacting with each other. I pointed out that I had several teams within Jumpstar that followed me… they weren’t just willing to accept them, they felt they needed to… they had a lot of enemies and there is strength in unity.
I had to admit that Fairy Tail’s hall was nicer than Jumpstars… and Magnolia was a bigger city than Onibus… and it would be cool to run my own guild… So I took them up on their offer. Me and my crews rolled to the FT, trading one magical tattoo for another, and I assumed wardenship of the nuthouse.
It took four years for the Magic Council to recognize that Fairy Tail, under my leadership, was becoming a threat to their hegemony. Makarov had been a compassionate but largely laissez faire leader… I was much more hands on, and I encouraged those I led to improve their skillsets… and I had a suite of capable tutors. We operated as teams, assigned missions based on profiles and talents, and expanded our brand recognition. Yes, I kept a tighter leash on the hotheads, but I made a real effort to encourage a “Think before you Destroy” mentality while still encouraging a free and open collective. This was a Guild, and I wasn’t so much the boss as the den mother…
Our major clash with the established powers of the Magic Council came in the 6th year of the Jump, when the Council sent its trained magical police, the Rune Knights, to arrest me for “Usurping control of a Guild and transforming it into my private army.” We sent their attack dogs back to them gift wrapped and told them where to stick it. By that time I had enough allies to move against the Council and we took them captive and explained that they’d no longer be allowed to use their positions to enforce politically motivated rules they’d made up on the spot. The Council was abolished and a Guild Council established in its place, something each of the established guilds would have a voice in.
Two years into the Magical Presidency of Velma the First, the missing members of the guild returned, having apparently been flung forward in time and looking no older than they had when they’d vanished 7 years earlier… and I finally got my fight against Makarov. To say he was less than thrilled with what I’d done to his guild and the Magical Council was to put it mildly. I told him he could have Fairy Tail back if he could… teach me the errors of my ways.
Did you know the dude could grow to the size of a fucking skyscraper? Cause no one else I’d scanned did. Fuuuuuuck….Dude got big… and buff… and suuuuper angry. Told the others to stay out of it and whomped me. Seriously… ouch… I’ve spent centuries practicing and collecting powers, but I don’t know how long Makarov’s been at this, but he’s had all that time to work on a very small set of abilities and to do hone them to a fine edge… and as it turned out… he had not one or two, but 4 aces in the hole.
As Legit Guild Master, he could call upon the three secret magics of Fairy Tail… an incredibly powerful defense spell called Fairy Sphere, a general attack spell called Fairy Glitter, and a spell that wipes out all who the caster views as enemies called “Fairy Law.” But more than that, he could draw on something called Fairy Heart… a source of functionally infinite magical energy… something I, as a mere usurper, invited or not… could not. It was a functional and abject lesson in humility, getting my ass ever so completely pwned by a wizened old midget… of course, he was cheating and it wasn’t exactly a duel to the death… but that’s how Makarov regained leadership of his guild. Which was fair enough… I’d only taken the post as an interim measure.
The last two years were mostly dealing with an Invasion from a nation across the sea called the Alvarez Empire, led by some evil demonomancer / necromancer named Zeref… Never got the whole story on him, but his followers were pretty completely batshit lunatics. They included the third and last of the big three Dark Guilds, Tartaros, who turned out to be all demons from the “Book of Zeref”.
They tried taking out the Guild Council, partly to disable Etherion and partly to seize control of the Council’s other Mega Weapon, the continent wide magical draining weapon called Face… it’s shaped like 3000 face statues… still a stupid name. Unfortunately for Tartaros, Magical President Velma called in reinforcements before she went down and the rest of my companions showed those demons exactly why you don’t fucking mess with Fairy Tail. (Makarov had made us full guild members after his return… though he’d tried to bust me down to normal guild member until I’d given him “The Look”… Oh, and he’d let Laxus back in. Kid had had a change of heart.)
All in all it was a most satisfactory jump. I was in it for the training, having no idea of the plotline, and although I unlocked “Second Origin” (a way to tap into deep magical reserves within yourself), I was never pushed close to the need to use “Third Origin” (a way to tap into your future magic and use it all at once… thus stripping away your ability to use that magic ever again). I also never got anywhere near as good at Requip as Erza, but I can use it in a pinch without having to open a portal to my warehouse and Accio something. One step better than two…. Or three if I need to find/make a surface.
Still haven’t discovered my Semblance yet. Very annoyed at this. Maybe next jump? Did learn Fairy Law… Kinda had to to modify Etherion to fire it… much easier to fight an empire if all the top brass take targeted mega-damage from your godweapon just before the enemy shocktroops land. I may not like the Rune Knights, but if you’ve got a bunch of blue-robed magical stormtroopers, you might as well use them against your enemies. Did you know you can (with enough power and enough casters) cast Requip on an entire city? If everyone’s wearing the same uniform, who do you attack? What happens if only one side can see the difference between the fake uniforms and the real ones. As Oppenheimer once said “I drink to the confusion of our enemies.”
Well, I certainly did that. All in all, I give Fairy Tail a solid 7 of out 10, not great, but would Jump Again. Natsu on the other hand… him I give a 3/10… fucking chowderhead. I admit, my last action in this world was to douse Gray, Gajeel, and Natsu with Jusenkyo Curse Water… just for lolz.
Next: World 29 – Turn Turn Turnabout