73 Chapter 73 - Going Home.

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[Adam C. POV]

[4 Months Later.]

[December. Year x776.]

The sun cast a warm glow on the training grounds as I stood, poised and ready to spar with Warrod, like every morning after breakfast, and our daily meditation.

As one of the Wizard Saints, his magic was unparalleled, and I could sense that much. 

Around me, the air was thick with the scent of foliage, and I could feel the life and magic of Warrod pulsating within every leaf and branch, it seems he would give me quite a workout today. 

Smiling, I gripped my blade tightly, preparing myself for the inevitable clash.

Seeing me ready, Warrod wasted no time, and with a flick of his wrist, towering trees erupted from the ground in a bid to trap me. 

I moved swiftly, using Shunpo to blur in and out of sight, slicing through the timber with ease. And unsurprisingly, despite the speed I was showing, Warrod's keen eyes followed my movements with ease, sending plants and trees to obstruct my path and counter any possible attacks, both actions a testament to his wisdom and experience.

I really had no chance of winning this.

I didn't care though.

I was learning.

Fighting one of the strongest mages this continent had to offer, that alone was worth more than I could express.

A smile crept onto his face as I cut down one of his trees. "Excellent form, my young student," he complimented, clearly amused. "I can see you've been practicing."

I grinned back, before pointing my index finger at him, releasing a thin beam of pure concentrated magic power, aimed straight at him. 

Unfazed, Warrod quickly conjured a shield made of a beautiful, blooming rose, its petals shimmering with magical energy. The beam of mana struck the rose, dissipating harmlessly.

His spell had absorbed mine.

Fitting for this type of magic if you think about it.

"Your control has improved a lot," Warrod noted, a twinkle in his eyes, before snapping his fingers, summoning thousands of vines that erupted from the ground, twisting and writhing as they sought to ensnare me.

I leaped backward, using my blade to dance around the battlefield, cutting through the vines as they approached. 

But in the heat of battle, as I focused on the vines and Warrod, I failed to notice the ground beneath me crack and shudder, giving way to a massive wooden dragon that burst forth with a deafening roar, before lunging forward, its jaws wide open, swallowing me whole.

"You could say that... what quite a bite?" Warrod chuckled at his own pun, watching as his draconic creation roared triumphantly.

That one was on me.

Taking a deep breath, I mustered all the strength I could in a short moment, before slicing through the wooden dragon, shattering the beast into thousands of splinters, emerging at the other side, panting and covered in sweat.

It seemed... The dragon had absorbed some of my power while I was inside.

Warrod's eyes widened in surprise, but his smile never wavered. "Impressive."

"What I find impressive is that you used a different joke, instead of the usual one," I chuckled, feeling a sense of accomplishment despite the exhaustion that was creeping in.

Warrod laughed heartily, the sound echoing throughout the vast training grounds. "Well, you said I have just the one joke, and I have to keep you on your toes somehow," he said, his eyes twinkling with amusement.

I chuckled. "Well... time to get serious." 

I had no hopes of actually defeating him... but I would not waste this opportunity to go all out.

"That won't be necessary, you completed your quest," Warrod said, his smile faltering for a moment. "The reality of things is, I have nothing more to teach you."

Surprise washed over me, halting the release of my Shikai as I almost tripped over. "What?"

Warrod chuckled, finding my confusion apparently amusing. "You have surpassed all of my expectations. You have learned everything I wanted to teach you. From this point forward, there's nothing I can teach you, especially seeing how different our magic types are. In short, it's time for you to move on and continue to forge your own path."

"But... I thought we were just getting started.... you said that yesterday!" I protested, feeling a sense of loss.

I mean.

I remembered very well his words while we were making dinner last night, and he said we were just beginning! There's no way I changed his perspective of how far I was in my training in the span of ten hours.

"Oh that, that was a joke, hehe," Warrod said, scratching the back of his tree-looking head. "Adam, the main reason why I wanted to teach you, was not to... train so to speak, because I can't train you, not as you should be trained, but to have you improve your control over your own magic power. And you have, a few months ago you wouldn't have been able to escape my wooden dragon cage, a few months ago that spell would've defeated you."

I frowned.

I didn't feel that much stronger.

Taking a deep breath, I looked at Warrod in his foggy gray eyes, creased with age, and asked, my voice tinged with confusion. "What do you mean?"

"As you already know, my magic is mostly supportive in its type," Warrod replied, his voice calm and patient as he looked at me. "I don't excel in combat, I can manage just fine if I have to fight, but I don't excel at it."

I knew that.

That didn't stop him from beating me... in every single spar.

"I am aware of that, yes," I nodded, wondering where he was going with this.

"Well, because of that very reason I had to... get creative with my spells," Warrod continued, his voice trailing off as he looked away. "When I couldn't win my fights in a straightforward manner, I had to find a way to weaken my opponents, to drain their magic power bit by bit, and disrupt their power flow until they couldn't fight anymore."

I knew that as well.

I had felt firsthand how his spells operated.

I had felt how his dragon had absorbed some of my power... a lot of my power.

"During this spar in particular, I tried to disrupt your power flow as much as I could," Warrod said, his voice low and serious, as he smiled knowingly at me. "But I couldn't. Your control over your magic power has improved significantly. You were able to keep your power flowing smoothly even when I tried to disrupt it, even when my spells were weakening you bit by bit."

At this, my eyes widened in realization.

His entire training from start up to this point had revolved around controlling my magic power as much as I humanly could.

And thanks to him I had improved a lot in that regard, of that there was no doubt in my mind.

But as much as I had grown in that area, I didn't think I had improved this much.

Warrod's smile turned into a grin as he reached over, and patted me on the back, his eyes sparkling with pride. "You've come a long way, young man. You've surpassed my expectations in more ways than one."

I felt a warmth spread through my chest at his words, and I couldn't help but smile back.

"Thanks," I replied, wondering where his teachings would take me. He had given me the bases, but it was up to me to make something above that, something worthy of admiration.

"Don't let it get to your head though, you still have a long way to go, remember, practice makes perfect," Warrod continued, his tone serious once again. "But I have no doubt that you'll be able to handle anything that comes your way, at least better than before."

I nodded, taking his words to heart. "Will do."

"I expect to see you amongst our ranks soon," Warrod said, his eyes glinting with pride. "By the time that happens, I have no doubt, you'll be a force to be reckoned with."

Well, that's quite a compliment, if I have ever seen one.

He believes without a doubt that I will make it into the ranks of the Wizards Saints in the nearby future.

Not that I didn't believe I could.

But it wasn't something that excited me in particular.

Sure, the title was nice, but I had a strong feeling that it was nothing more than... nice way to bind the strongest mages in the continent to the Kingdom in a contractual manner.

I mean, Warrod was getting paid a monthly stipend for being one of them, and like everything in life, I was sure that money wasn't a gift out of the goodness of the Kingdom.

I don't know, maybe it was the lawyer I had inside of me, but I would have to see on paper what being a Wizard Saint meant as far as responsibilities went before even considering the title. 

Now that I think about it, I might just go ahead and ask Warrod.

"And what would that entitle? You know being a Wizard Saint," I asked, tilting my head. "I'm not one for... long-term contracts, you see."

Warrod chuckled, a glint of amusement in his eyes. "Most in our guild aren't. Well, being a Wizard Saint comes with its own set of benefits, but as you have probably guessed already, it has a few contractual obligations as well. Well, two actually. One, if the country is ever attacked, you'll be required to fight on behalf of the Kingdom, and two, if someone from the Royal Family, Magic Council, and the noble families requires some extra protection for diplomatic missions outside the kingdom, you might be requested to go and protect them, if you are free of course."

That was all?

That couldn't be all...

No contract could be so... simple, especially considering the amount of money they paid the Wizard Saints.

Though to be fair, I had no idea how much they paid them, all I knew was that Warrod had more than enough money to pay me an absurd amount of money just to train me.

"If I might ask, how much does the Kingdom pay you guys?" I asked, feeling curious about the financial aspect of being a Wizard Saint.

Warrod smiled, his smile telling me he knew this question was coming sooner or later. "It varies, depending on the skill level, rank, and reputation of the Wizard Saint. But I can assure you that it's a very generous amount."

I nodded, letting the information sink in. 

Well, if everything Warrod is saying is true, then I might accept the rank if it was ever offered to me.

Getting a monthly paycheck for doing nothing, sounds very good. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy taking jobs, but I also enjoy having money, and having two sources of income sounded awesome.

"Well, in that case, I will have it in mind," I replied with a smile. "Thank you for explaining everything to me, and helping me, Warrod."

Warrod nodded, his smile widening. "Of course. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to pee, so feel free to leave whenever you feel like it."

I chuckled. 

Same old joke.

I nodded and smiled as Warrod's shoulders slumped slightly as he spun around, shuffling his feet slowly toward his house without looking back. 

Warrod out of sight, Mavis flipped through the air; her blonde hair bouncing with each movement. She stopped in front of me and hung upside down, her eyes shining mischievously as she flashed a grin. "Ready to go back to our neck of the woods?" she asked, her face inches away from mine. 

I smiled at her. "I am."

"Then follow me my dear friend, for I! Mavis shall be your guide!" Mavis exclaimed, pumping one of her petite fists into the air.

I chuckled at Mavis's energy and without a word followed her out of Warrod's estate, feeling eager to go back home, and see how everyone was doing. 

I had much to do.

Friends to see.

Family to return to.

I wanted to see Cana.



The Old Man.




And everyone else, even the annoying Ice Making gal, Ur.

I sighed, the memory of her name bringing a bad taste to my mouth, not because I didn't like her, but because I had been keeping a big secret from her.


I had kept things as they were for this long for multiple reasons, one of them being that I wasn't nearly strong enough to rescue her daughter from the hands of Hades, no one in the guild was for that matter, at least right now.

On that note, I also wasn't sure Ultear was even alive, to begin with. 

It is said that the flap of a butterfly's wings can change everything in a world already written, so for all I knew, she could be dead, but if she wasn't, and I hoped she wasn't, she was in the best possible hands when it came to Dark Guilds.

Hades was evil, but not unnecessarily cruel. He was evil and strict, which compared to the alternatives was a day in the spa.

That being said, the main reason remained, Fairy Tail wasn't strong enough to deal with Grimoire Heart, if we waged war as we were right now, we would lose.

Telling Ur about what I knew, could very well ignite a chain of events that none of us was ready to face, at all.


Grimoire Heart.

And... if we weren't lucky, Acnologia.

We still needed time to grow, I needed time to grow.

Perhaps it was selfish of me to keep this information to myself, but there was far too much on the table for me to risk, and I wasn't even talking about my life.

I would not risk Cana's life, or her chance of having a normal, loving upbringing for a war I knew we weren't ready to face.

I would face the consequences of this decision later, I knew that. 

I would tell Ur what I knew about her daughter, eventually, when the time was right, and if she hated me for it, I would accept it.

That was my cross to bear.

"I can't wait to get back to the guild," Mavis said, breaking the silence that had settled between us.

I nodded, pushing my thoughts aside for the moment. "Yeah, me too."

Mavis tilted her head, studying me closely. "Is everything okay, Adam?"

"Yep," I lied.

I don't even know why I lied, I knew Mavis could tell when I did so, perhaps it was because she wasn't one to push me to talk when I didn't want to.

I liked that about her.

Despite how... nosy she could be at times, she respected my boundaries when I needed her to.

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