If you want to read up to 20!! chapters ahead go to https://www.patreón.com/cornbringer
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Don't forget to check the auxiliary chapter about Adam. It's like an info chapter.
U guys won the extra release, I will post it in a few days. On Monday/Sunday.
It was a brisk autumn day in Magnolia Town and the leaves were just starting to change color. The sky was a deep, vibrant blue and the sun shone brightly in the sky. The air was still and crisp and carried the sweet smell of wood smoke and the hint of spices from the nearby bakery.
These past few months, which almost stretched into a year, I had been around the town on a mandatory leave of absence, doing nothing but train and hang out with the others.
Playing with Cana, more than not, she would practice her makeup skills with me.
Reading with Mavis.
Sparring with Laxus.
And... training with Erza, who... well, was more than relentless in her pursuit of perfection.
Today, I had been summoned to the old man's office, in order to discuss about something that hadn't been made out clear to me, but if I had to guess it had something to do with my temporary demotion a few months ago.
Needless to say, I arrived at his office promptly, knocking at the door, until I heard his voice coming from inside. "Come in."
I opened the door and stepped inside, where the old man motioned for me to come closer.
"It's been a while since your punishment," Makarov began, his voice deep and full of wisdom, "And, seeing I believe time heals it all, I feel that it's about time for you to take back your rightful place among the ranks of Fairy Tail."
The corners of my mouth tugged upwards as I glanced at him. "And just when I was starting to think about switching guilds, so close," I said with a chuckle, clicking my tongue.
"I can demote you again, brat," Makarov said with a playful glint in his eye, causing me to laugh.
"I'm just kidding, old man," I said, shaking my head. "I would never leave Fairy Tail, I mean, nobody would accept me, you know, property damage and all."
Makarov chuckled, nodding in agreement. "Ah, yes, yes, our infamous reputation for causing property damage. But they wouldn't reject you for that, they would for the lies I would tell about you."
"Fair enough," I chuckled for a moment, before taking a deep breath. "So now what?"
"Go back to taking quests, and make this old man proud!" Makarov replied with a grin, patting me on the shoulder before shooing me out of his office.
Time to train with Erza.
[Mavis Vermillion POV]
"Ohhh! It's starting!" I giggled, as I slowly rocked my feet back and forth over the edge of my seat.
The sun had just risen over the eastern horizon, casting a golden light across the courtyard of the training grounds, Adam had tricked Gildarts into commission.
Adam stood in the center, his training sword glinting in the light as he waited for Erza to approach.
Erza entered the courtyard, her own sword at the ready, as she bowed respectfully to Adam, before taking her position opposite him, it had been months since Adam began training with Erza, on an almost daily basis, and today was no different, but despite the days of training, she still struggled to land a blow on him.
I always enjoyed watching them spar.
As they began to spar, their bodies blurring in and out of sight, Adam effortlessly blocked and dodged Erza's attacks, his movements fluid and graceful, as he struck back with precision, but always stopped just short of making contact.
"Erza, you're not keeping your weight centered," Adam said, deflecting another of her strikes. "You're leaving yourself open, after each strike."
Erza adjusted her stance, trying to stay more grounded, as she lunged forward with a quick thrust, hoping to catch Adam off guard, but once again, he effortlessly sidestepped her attack.
"That's better, but you're still not using your hips," Adam said, as he parried her sword. "You need to put more power behind your strikes, otherwise you won't get any results."
Erza nodded, determined to improve. And without losing any ounce of her unwavering determination, she tried again, this time putting more force into her attack.
Smiling at this, Adam deftly blocked her strike and spun around, bringing his sword down in a swift arc.
Erza barely had time to react, but she managed to raise her sword just in time to block the blow, and by her reaction it was clear that the impact had jolted her arm, forcing her to stumble back a step.
"Good block, but when fighting an enemy bigger than you, it's best to avoid," Adam said, and soon enough, they resumed their sparring.
For the next few hours, they continued to spar, Adam guiding Erza through each move and correcting her mistakes. And little by little, as the spar continued, she began to improve, her strikes becoming more precise, her moves more fluid, and her stance more solid.
It was really admirable seeing how far she was picking up what Adam was teaching her, she still had a long way to go, but with Adam's guidance, I was confident she would become a terrifyingly skilled swordswoman.
It really brought a smile to my face seeing Adam so happy.
It was almost as if he was born for this.
Finally, after hours of training, Adam stepped back, lowering his sword. "Good work, Erza," he said, a hint of pride in his voice. "You're getting better every day, it won't be long before we can have a friendly competition between us."
Erza smiled brightly, feeling a sense of accomplishment. "I won't disappoint you!"
Adam chuckled, pleased with her enthusiasm. "I have no doubt about that."
Erza nodded, before taking a step forward, her face taking on an inquisitive form. "If I might ask, how is it that you move so effortlessly? It's like you know what I'm going to do before I even do it."
Adam chuckled softly, "Well, that comes with practice, Erza. You need to be able to read your opponent and anticipate their moves. You also need to have a strong foundation in your technique, so your movements become more of a second nature."
Erza nodded thoughtfully, taking in his words.
Adam smiled, patting her head. "Remember, Erza, to master the sword, you not only need to possess physical strength and skill but also discipline and control. You must never let your emotions guide your sword. Behind each strike, there must be a calm-tempered soul."
Erza listened to Adam's words with a look of enraptured attention, nodding in agreement.
Discipline and control were not foreign concepts to her. After all, she knew that a true warrior, needed to know the value of patience, strategy, and composure in battle, and she wanted to be a true warrior.
"Now, off you go," Adam said, gesturing towards the exit of the training grounds. "I have things to do tomorrow, and you as well, so rest up and when you find the time, focus on perfecting the techniques we went over today. We'll continue our training another day."
Erza nodded with a beaming smile, sheathing her sword, before heading towards the exit.
"So, what do you think, Mavis?" Adam asked after a moment, turning to look at me.
I hummed, a mischievous smile playing on my lips. "About the weather?"
What can I say, I like messing with him. He never ceases to amuse me.
Adam chuckled softly, shaking his head. "Funny, but no. You know I'm talking about Erza's progress. She's come a long way since we started, don't you think?"
I nodded, a smile tugging at the corners of my lips. "Despite my many, and I mean MANY concerns, it seems you're an excellent teacher, Adam."
Adam rolled his eyes, his eyes sparkling with amusement. "Well, what can I say, my magic revolves around using a sword, so yeah." He paused, a hint of mischief taking place on his expression. "Perhaps I could teach you a thing or two, Mavis."
I laughed, shaking my head. "Thank you for the offer, but I think I'll stick to being an awesome ghost, thank you very much."
Adam chuckled, waving a dismissive hand. "Suit yourself. I did my part in offering."
"So what will you do now that you have your S-Rank back?" I asked, changing the subject, seeing I was genuinely curious about what he would do now.
Adam shrugged nonchalantly. "I'll probably take on some more jobs, travel a bit, who knows. I haven't really thought about it, to be honest, so I guess I will go with the flow, and see what happens."
"That sounds wonderful," I smiled at him.
Adam chuckled, his eyes gazing at the sky as if lost in thought. "Though now that I think about it, there is one thing I want to do, but that won't happen anytime soon."
"Oh, do tell?" I prompted, intrigued.
Adam sighed and ran his fingertips along the length of his blade. "Maybe another time," he murmured, his voice barely audible in the stillness of the room. "Let's just say my sword is one stubborn lady, so what I want to accomplish will most likely take more than a few years, but it doesn't matter, I have more than enough time ahead of me."
"Fine... but make sure I'm the first one to know about whatever it is you are trying to accomplish!" I replied, leaving no room for argument, I was okay with him being mysterious, but I would not let him share his mysteries with others before me, I had called dibs on that! After all, it is not every day you get to study a new type of magic!
Adam chuckled, his eyes meeting mine. "Don't worry, Mavis. I promise that you'll be the first to know."
I was truly happy with how things were going.
But there was something that still bothered me. Something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. It was a feeling, a sense of unease that I couldn't shake off.
As if sensing my thoughts, Adam turned to me and raised an eyebrow. "Is everything alright?"
I hesitated for a moment, before simply nodding. "Of course!" Whatever this feeling was, I would not spoil this for him, for just a feeling.
Adam didn't look convinced, but he didn't press the matter further. Instead, he stood up and stretched his arms out, before walking out of the training yard.
Perhaps it was nothing.
Time would tell.