Young Dragons

10 Dec 2018

“Oh, you’re such men. Stop being so militant for a minute, would you? Natsu needs a purpose and you think soldier, overseer, political leverage – when he can just be himself. An Imperial Prince and a representative of the Emperor’s court.”

“Prince and representative?” Igneel raises an eyebrow at the woman. “Empress, aren’t we in this predicament in the first place because he’s so bad at diplomacy and table manners he punched a guest?”

(How Prince Natsu Dragonil of the Alvarez Empire is chosen to be Royal Ambassador to Fiore Kingdom, and how his entourage came to be)

Teen (13+)
Chapters: 4
Words: 47,032

Young Dragons

Chapter 2
In which a Prince dances with fire


Natsu and Mavis take a morning stroll to the temples.

Chapter Notes:

You may have noticed the increased chapter number. I just reached a good stopping point so I split this chapter into two. Also, this way I get updates out faster! 😀

Natsu wakes up to the feeling of gentle fingers stroking his hair. Not many people are allowed this, he hazily thinks, and his brows furrow in confusion. Did Erza sleep in his quarters last night? Did he spend the night in hers? He doesn’t remember-


The voice is soft, warm. It’s not Erza’s. He sleepily blinks, catching light hair and pale skin almost glowing against the sun’s golden rays. Curse the Land, who drew the curtains? He groans, straining against the glare of the light.

The voice laughs, and the hand moves to cup his face, a thumb brushing his cheek.

“Wake up, sweetheart. Come on.”

Finally he manages to open an eye. “Mavis?”

Mavis smiles. “Good morning, young dragon.”

“Mavis.” he repeats, mind clearer now as he finally wakes up. He sits up abruptly, almost knocking her back from where she sits on the side of his bed. “Mavis! What- Why are you here?”

“Why, I’m waking you up.”

“What? Why?” he blinks, then his eyes widen as he comes to his first conclusion. “What happened? What’s wrong?”

“Oh, nothing’s wrong.” Mavis laughs again, stroking his hair to bring some semblance of order to it. He knew her efforts would be in vain. “Everything’s just fine.”

He relaxes considerably, then yawns and runs a hand down his face. “What time is it? Why’re you waking me up?”

“It’s early morning.” she answers. He notes that while Mavis is dressed simply, she’s not in her sleeping robes anymore. “Will you come take a walk with me?”

Natsu stares. “You… woke me up. For a walk.”

“Yes.” she answers, beaming at him.

“Why?” he couldn’t help but whine. He just wants to go back to sleep .

“I haven’t spent much time with you since you got back. I do love your company.”

Now, Natsu loves Mavis, he does, but he also knew he wasn’t the best company out there for early morning walks. He squints. “Really?”

She pouts, grabbing his hand and tugging. “Oh, do indulge your big sister, please?”

He can’t help but snort at the statement. “Last time you asked me to ‘indulge you’ , you dragged me out of bed in the ungodly hours of the night because you were craving for berries and you needed someone to help you steal some. And then I was only able to eat the one because you dipped the rest in some sauce you mixed yourself that I’m pretty sure is poison.”

Mavis huffs, indignant. “Hey, it was fine, you just wouldn’t try!”

“It was bubbling!”

“It was delicious!”

He doesn’t look convinced, but his eyes trail downwards. “Am I gonna be an uncle thrice over? Is this how you tell me? By dragging me off to steal fruit again?”

“No!” she says, a light blush on her cheeks, but she’s holding back a laugh. “Do you want to be?”

He grins, sheepish. “I’d love a niece. Would spoil her rotten.”

Mavis shakes her head fondly. “I am craving, I suppose.”

“I knew it!”

Then she smiles, bright and sunny. “For your company.”

“Aw.” He stares at her, pouting, for a long second. When her smile doesn’t falter, he finally concedes. “Fine, I’ll go with you.”

“Wonderful! I shall wait outside.” Mavis claps her hands happily and stands up, her robes fluttering gracefully behind her as she walks towards the door. “No need to dress up all fancy.”

Natsu stretches as he stands. “Where are we going?”

The woman stops by the doorway and cheerily answers, “To the temples!”


The morning sun is bright, but it’s a windy day, and the breeze keeps them cool. They walk closely, the Empress’s arm looped around the young Prince’s as they climbed up the steps carved into the hills that led up to the priestesses’ temples.

They talked about what Natsu had been up to lately: helping Gajeel oversee the new soldiers’ training since Metallicana and Igneel have both taken a short break from duties, their age catching up to them, and he also accompanied Wendy on her last trip to the marketplace to acquire some herbs and rarities for the more complicated potions she’s been working on. He keeps to the light-hearted parts – an encounter with a strange merchant, a slip while training with formations that sent the soldiers into fits of laughter.

She shares some of her days, as well: more diplomacy, more logistics, moving pieces around the Empire to ensure things were moving smoothly. She doesn’t go into the details, of course – they’ve both had enough that. Instead she strays into more mundane topics – a misplaced letter, an awkward misunderstanding with the locals in one of the territories that ended up more funny rather than worrying.

It’s easy, with the two of them. They’ve always been comfortable with each other, Mavis’ foreign ways and unconventional place in the court had always fit well with Natsu’s mischievous streak and casual disregard for his own status. In some ways, Mavis got along better with Natsu, even compared to her own husband.

They stopped by the main temple first, as is tradition, to offer their prayers. The priestesses and apprentices who loitered about bowed to the their Empress and Prince before making way. There are already a couple of worshipers in the open temple hall, deep in prayer.  The room itself is bare, save for a shallow pool of clear water in its heart, from the center of which rose a platform that held a torch lit with a flame burning brightly. It’s the heart of the empire, the people believed: the flame that is never extinguished. Stories say it is the first spark of magic in the land, and legends claim that it would be the last spark to go out if the Empire fell.

In the Alvarez Empire, religion was not an institution but more of a personal practice. It is not odd to see people joint in prayer on their own ways. There are no rules for worship, only traditions that sometimes tend to overlap.

No one looks twice as Mavis slips out of her sandals, sheds her outer robe and hikes her dress to her thighs before sitting by the edge of the pool and dipping her legs in the water. She folds her hands in her lap and closes her eyes, looking down. There is a soft golden glow as the water ripples once, and then settles. As for Natsu, he kneels down on the temple floor nearby. He looks at the flame first, and after a deep breath, he closes his eyes, hunches over and lays his palms flat on the floor, feeling his connection to the ground, to the magic laying dormant around the temple and in extension, the Land.

Worship in Alvarez is an open thing. There were no gods to try to appease, the people instead reached out to the blood that tied them to the Land. Some focused their worships to the earth, some to the sky, some to the trees, to the sun, moon and stars, to the seas. Some even prayed to the dragons that roamed the old lands, while some treated the very first mages known in history as saints and prayed for their patronage. But all prayers came back to the magic that embraced all life in the Empire, and all temples are open for whatever form or focus of worship, so long as it’s not to the darkness. The priestesses who stay in the temples were less like agents and more like guardians of the temple, and guides to those who feel turmoil in their spirit. They were well-versed in light magic, spells and potions to clear a person’s mind and calm one’s soul.

Natsu hears a soft voice in the distance, then registers words with them. Someone is singing in a language he isn’t familiar with, but he takes it in stride and doesn’t break his own prayer. It was just another form of connecting to the Land. It’s been a while since he really did this in the temples, so he takes his time. He lets the morning wind, the songs, and the peaceful magic of his home lull him into calm.

When he finishes, Mavis is still sitting by the pool. He stands up silently and steps outside. He waits, leaning on one of the temple’s pillars as he takes in the sight of the palace and the capital from this high up.

Mavis emerges from the hall and stands beside him a few minutes later, back in her robe, carrying her sandals in one hand. She always did like walking around barefoot. “How do you feel?” she asks, peering up at his face.

“Good.” he answers. “Lighter.”

Mavis smiles. “Can you wait a few more minutes? I’d like to drop by and say hello to Zera. I promise it would only take a while.”

He nods, and is about to say that he’ll wait for her where he stands, then changes his mind. “Take your time. I think I’ll go visit the Fire Dragon’s tower.”



The tower might be considered a ruin, with its cracked stone bricks and abandoned appearance, but it still stands as it is, sturdy and firm although weathered through time. It stands at the top of the hill, peeking above the temples and other shrines. Zeref once told Mavis that the great Fire Dragon of old lived in said tower, back in a time where dragons still lived among humans. The dragons are still around, it is known, but Mavis has never seen one.

According to her husband, they have chosen to live in isolation in the farthest reaches of the land. No one knows for certain why they left, but they had assured that they were still allies of the empire, so long as the empire doesn’t stand for darkness.

Accounts vary on dragons, but they all agree that the Fire Dragon was the last of its kind to be seen by human eyes. It perched in this very tower, overlooking the palace and capital, spread its mighty wings then took off, never to be seen again. Nowadays, this tower is where fire mages went to worship, to pray for their magic, that they may use their fire to bring life and warmth instead of death and destruction.

This is how Mavis finds Natsu, standing in one of the weathered balconies of the tower. He had shed his robes and sandals, only retaining his loose pants, as he moves through different fighting stances. Flames tread in his skin, weaving through his fingers and then his fists, and dancing in the air around him, making him look like a desert mirage from a distance. Mavis is reminded that Natsu may look and play the part of a playful prince, but he was also a fire mage and a soldier trained in the arts, and of course he knew how to pray like one. His aura shines golden orange and magnificent red to Mavis’ eyes.

He finishes the dance with a fluid twirl, followed by a heavy stomp that sent a column of flames surging from the stone where he stood. When he exhales, there is smoke from his lips, and from his skin where the flames seem to seep into until they were gone.

Mavis knows that he’s aware of her nearby, so she doesn’t bother calling out. As expected, he looks down at her from the balcony with an apologetic grin. “You been waiting long? Sorry, the dragon got to me, I think.”

She shakes her head, watching him swipe his sweaty hair back from his face. “Stay there, I’ll come up!”

It’s simple magic. Mavis doesn’t bother with the stairs, and instead feels her magic flow into her feet, then around her. With one leap, she’s propped up on the stone railings of the balcony. Natsu whistles, impressed. Mavis sits with her legs dangling off the edge, and then pats the spot beside her, inviting. Natsu only drapes his robe across his shoulders for modesty before he joins her.

Although it was Mavis who invited him, Natsu is the one who speaks first.

“So what did you really drag me all the way here for?”

She hums. “You don’t think it really is just to catch up and spend some time together?”

He shrugs. “You don’t love me that much.”

That earns him a pout.

“Okay, you do.”  he concedes. “I still think there’s something else, though. Also, they think I don’t notice, but Igneel and Zeref’s been poking and prodding at me lately, all these questions and talks about what I’m doing and if I wanna go somewhere. They even got others to help.”


“Grandine invites me for tea everytime she sees me. Weisslogia keeps asking me if I want to help Sting work on the books. And the other day, I had the most awkward talk with Skiadrum. I still don’t understand what it was about, but he was patting my head and telling me I’m a good boy.”

Mavis bursts out laughing, mostly at the last part as she imagines the usually stern and brooding head of the Shadow Dragon’s office initiating a heart-to-heart with cheerful, sunshine-incarnate Prince Natsu of all people. It’s so much like Igneel to rope in his friends in his little quest.

Natsu grins at the memory as well, and waits for Mavis to compose herself before continuing. “So, you know, you can tell me everyone’s worried about me for some reason now. Go on.”

“Oh, you.” Mavis sighs. “Yes, you are right. There is worry, from us, for you. But you must know, it’s not because they think you’re incapable of taking care of yourself. It’s not a worry about what they think of you now, but about how you plan to move forward.”

“Worried about my future.” Natsu repeats, and his eyes look to the distance. “That’s new.”

“Natsu.” she says, soft, reaching out to hold his hand. “This isn’t like last time.”

He doesn’t seem to understand her meaning, and he only shrugs.

“Last time, we were worried because you were drifting, and you wanted to prove yourself.” Mavis explains, not withdrawing her hand. “And you did, you found your purpose. This time, we’re worried because you’re drifting again, and I think it’s because you haven’t realized it yet – so let me say it, so that you know for certain. Natsu, you’ve already proven yourself, and we are proud of you. You feel like you need to be doing something big , so that you have a reason to be here, to keep being recognized by your brother, but you don’t have to do all that. Your brother wants you around and loves you, whether you win wars for him or not.”

He looks down, eyes in turmoil, and nods slowly. “You think so?”

“I know so, young dragon.” she says, reaching up to stroke his hair fondly.

He sighs, slow and steady.

“And there goes the long sad sigh.”

He looks out to the distance, at a loss. “No, I… I understand what you’re saying, but-”

“I know.”

He stops for a second, then frowns, refusing to meet her eyes. “You don’t! You see, I- I just want- I want…” he trails off, struggling with his words.

“I know .” she repeats, firmer this time. “You know they’ll let you take it easy. You know you’ll be loved, no matter what. But you still want to help. You think you can do more, should do more, but you don’t think you’ll be any good with the duties expected of someone in your place.”

Natsu finally whirls his head to look at her, mouth open in disbelief. “How in the Land do you do that?”

Mavis giggles. “Trade secret.”

He’s the one to pout this time.

With her own sigh, the woman looks out to the view of the palace, wistful. “I am a commoner and a foreigner, serving as the Empress of a centuries-old empire built on strict traditions. I think I know quite a bit about feeling out of place and having to constantly prove your worth.”

He nods, finally understanding. They sit in silence for a while, letting it all sink in, almost getting lost in their recollections of what they’ve both been through.

Then in a quiet voice, Natsu asks, “What do you think I should do?”

She pauses for a bit, and lays her hand over his again. “Before I answer that, you know you’re still free to make your choices, right? Like us working together during the war, I may come up with solutions and contingency plans, but it’s you who would choose whether to listen or not. I try to come up with the best I can, but I’m just a guide, Natsu. I’ve always been just a guide.”

“You’re the best guide. Never steered me wrong.” he says with a rueful smile. “Tell me.”

She nods. Natsu is a grown man now, and he’s faced worse. “You know that we’ve been planning to open official trade with Fiore? Ishgar?”

Natsu nods, a curious eyebrow raised. “Your home.”

“Oh, home is here, now. But yes, it’s where I was born, I suppose.” she smiles. “Anyways, it’s been a long time coming, but it has always been put on low priority due to the wars. Now that we’ve stopped those, these other priorities have resurfaced, including the Fiore trade, among other things.”

“That’s… good, I guess.” he remarks. “A foreign land we’re befriending and not fighting, for once.”

“That’s true.” Mavis agrees. “Zeref has asked Invel and the council to come up with a list of candidates to lead this mission, to oversee the preparations and later sail to Ishgar as Royal Ambassador.”

He nods again, following well enough. He’s not keen on politics, but he still grew up in it, and he knew the implications, the weight of such a title. “They better be good.”

“Natsu.” she says, and gives his hand a squeeze. “I think it should be you.”

He looks at her, surprised. “W-wha- What- Me? As… as the Ambassador?!”

She nods, taking his shock in stride. “I believe you’d be a good fit.”

“What?! Mavis, I- No, no way! I mean, yes, sure, it’s an honor. And a high one! But… Me? I’m the worst fit! I-!” he cries, throwing up his arms to indicate his loss for words. He shakes his head. “When you started bringing it up, I thought you’d… maybe… maybe make me a bodyguard or protector of this ambassador. Or… or make me accompany whoever it is so you can keep an eye on things… to help with… assessing? I can do that! But… But being the Royal Ambassador ? That’s… that’s not me.”

Mavis is calm as she meets his eyes, and she remains so as she asks, “Why do you think so? Let’s hear it.”

“I can go all day.” he deadpans. When she raises a challenging eyebrow, he huffs in disdain and shrugs. “To start with, I am very bad at management-”

“You’ll be in charge, but you won’t be doing the managing alone.”

“How about diplomacy?”

“You’ll be a foreign prince in their country, and in this transaction, we have the upper hand. We have more money, the resources that they want, primarily. Odds are, they will be desperate to please you, and would excuse minor hiccups. Besides, being Ambassador rarely entails such direct interaction – you’ll have secretaries and agents for that – you only have to be controlling the flow of things, and reporting back to the Empire.”

“What about the business? The books -”

“You will not be expected to handle the books and the figures, or even the intel and background, though you would have to judge the results from time to time. You can trust Weisslogia and Skiadrum to choose trustworthy people from the Light and Shadow to take with you. All you have to do is lead.”

“I’m a soldier , Mavis-”

“A general , Natsu. You’re a leader.”

“In battle!”

“Exactly, and that would make your crew feel safe under your protection, especially in a foreign land they hardly know anything about. They know you’ve won battles and that you can protect them. You’re their prince as well, so it would boost morale for them to be doing this mission being led by none other than their Emperor’s brother. That makes this more of an honor for them, rather than simply another assigned duty.”

“You know I suck at being a proper prince-”

“Then it’s a good thing that they haven’t met a prince in several centuries and wouldn’t know better if you mess up, isn’t it?”

“Oh, I’ll mess up, alright. I… I don’t know the language, Mavis. I don’t know the geography, the customs…”

“All of that can be learned, Natsu. You know this. You learn new ones, all the time, for every territory you handled. Besides, Anna is expected to return in a month or two. There’s me, there’s Zera. There’s… There’s even Gajeel. We can help you.”

He looks at her, at a loss, trying to come up with arguments in a battle he’s losing. Why ever did he think to argue with Mavis Vermillion? He runs a hand down his face. All of a sudden it’s too much. He knows that she raised valid points, but still… The idea is so unfamiliar, so new – one that he had never even considered for himself ever.

“Alright. Say… say this title is given to me… I have to learn all about Ishgar, I also have to learn how to do my job while doing my job. You say I’ll have help.” He breathes, slow but heavy, and she nods. “Will I have time?”

Mavis gives him a reassuring smile. “You’ll be in charge. You’ll set the pace as you see fit. You can own this, and we’ll respect your choices. Say you need a year and we’ll give it. Two and we’ll adjust. Our economy is stable enough, this trade arrangement is more of a contingency of a contingency, just another avenue. It’s been held back this long. What is another couple of years?”

He looks up at the clear skies. It’s still morning, and yet he feels like an entire day has already gone by.

“If you think I’d be a good fit for the job…” he starts, frowning. “Why didn’t you just add my name to Invel’s list? Put me right at the top if you think it’s that good a fit?”

“Because Zeref won’t choose you.” Mavis says, making him pause. “Not that he doesn’t believe in your abilities, but if left up to him, he wants to keep you nearby. Of course, if it’s you , who wants to go, he’ll let you. He does trust you and only wants you to thrive.”

“Have you considered that I might not want to go after all?”

“Yes.” she nods. “And that’s why I’m telling you this first. It’s an option, not an order. A path, if you will, not one you’d normally take a second look at, but what I just did is put up a sign that it’s possible to take it, after all.”

He nods back, understanding. This is something to consider. An advice. “Does Zeref know?”

“He knows I’ll run an option by you. He doesn’t know it’s this one.” she says, and she smiles as the breeze ruffles her long hair. “Besides, say I explicitly told him to present this to you… if the suggestion came from him, what would you think?”

There’s a pause as Natsu thinks, and after a while he lets out a short, breathless laugh. His smile is bittersweet. Mavis knew him too well.

“I’d think… I’d think he’s sending me away again.”

Mavis’s smile is soft, and she leans sideways to rest her head on the side of his arm. “You see now? If this had come from him, it’ll be just another order, wouldn’t it?”

“Just another war to fight. To win for him.” Natsu says. “Because that’s what I’m good at.”

“It is.” she agrees. “But we never stop learning, don’t we? We never stop growing, I think.”

“In the battlefield, it always made me so proud, you know?” he muses. “I’m one of his strongest generals. I’m a weapon. His very own fire dragon. An ace up his sleeve.” She rubs his arm, soothing. “But after all of that, now that I’m home, I can’t stand the thought that maybe that’s all I am to him.”

“You know in your heart that that’s not true.” she says, firm but gentle as always.

She feels him nod against the crown of her head. “Of course I do.”

“You need to want this for yourself, Natsu.” she says, raising her head and reaching up to cup his cheek. “I think you’ll do great, but you have to want this for you , not for Zeref. And if you think that it really is not for you, I want you to come to me, because there always is another option, and I will always help you look for it.”

He nods, placing his hand on top of hers and giving it a grateful squeeze. “I need time.”

She smiles knowingly. “You have it.”



A week passes and then one morning, Natsu joins Mavis in her walk up to the temples again. This time they don’t bother with small talk.

Mavis asks, “How may I help?”

Natsu says, “I have some questions.”

She doesn’t appear surprised. “Ask away.”



“The Ambassador position.”

“Yes, Natsu?”

“I’d like to volunteer.”

“You’d like… to volunteer.” Zeref repeats, slowly and carefully. “Yourself?”

Natsu’s nod is a nod his old etiquette tutors would be proud of. “Yes, Your Highness.”

All of a sudden there were whispers from the members of his council, a debate in lowered voices between Mavis and Igneel, and hasty shuffling of parchment and scrolls under Invel’s hands. Zeref doesn’t hear them, his gaze focused on his brother.

Natsu simply looks back, fire in his eyes. Zeref knows this expression well – it’s the one his brother wears when he has made up his mind. It’s the one his brother wore years ago when he told Zeref that he wanted to fight in the worst war they’d fought yet.

Zeref glances to where Mavis is calmly countering each of Igneel’s arguments in hushed whispers. She had a hand in this, he knew for certain. This is not what he had expected to happen today, and it is definitely not the decision he expected from Natsu. But his wife is his best advisor, and she had asked him to trust her with this. Mavis rarely left things to chance, the solutions she offered were always solid. He is willing to hear how she laid this one out, and how much Natsu had taken to it – why Natsu had taken to such an unlikely task in the first place.

He’s had enough of the squabbling, of Igneel’s hisses of ‘What are you thinking?’ and ‘We don’t want him away from home!’ , of Invel trying to calm the others down-

The Emperor raises a hand and there’s power in his voice as he says, “Silence, please.”

The table obeys. He hears himself think again.

“You want to take charge of this endeavor then, Prince Natsu?” he asks his brother, formal because that’s how Natsu addressed him first.

“It’ll be my honor.”

“Very well, I want to hear what you have to offer.”

With that, Natsu lets out a nervous huff, shrugging.“Man, I don’t really know how to do all this.” He says, dropping the formalities easily.

Zeref nods, indulgent and expectant. “But?”

“But I wanna do it. From what I heard, this isn’t as urgent as everything else we’ve got going on. Why bother assigning this to someone who could be doing something more important? Leave this one to me. I’m not doing anything around here, so I got all the time I need to learn the kinks of this Ambassador thing.”

“There’s a lot of these kinks to speak of, Natsu. You have to sort all these out with different offices, for several months.”

“I have friends at Light and Shadow. I’m familiar with Iron and Sky. I’m Igneel’s second at the Fire office. I can get around.”

“You’ll have to do quite a lot of studying, specially about Ishgar.”

“Any other candidate you choose would need that.” Natsu points out.

His voice softens. “You’ll have to go.”

“I know.” Natsu says. “There’s plenty of stuff to be done before then, though.”

Zeref is beginning to understand now. He makes a mental note to tell his wife how brilliant she is, later. For now, he folds the scroll in his hands and returns it to Invel. “How long do you need?”

“Give or take a year.” Natsu answers, and Zeref doesn’t miss the way his brother’s eyes linger on the scroll before returning his look again. “Two at most.”

Finally, Zeref nods, and he lets out a small smile. “Very well. I’ll let you take this one, brother. Invel?”

The man perks up at the mention of his name. “Yes, My Lord?”

“You heard what Prince Natsu said. One to two years. Are we on track with that?”

Invel glares sharply at a huddled group of royals who have started whispering again – the room noticeably chills several degrees – and only when the others shut up does he nod at his master. “It’s a reasonable timeline.”

“Good. Thank you for compiling the list of candidates. I’m sure it took quite some work. Will you be able to narrow it down further, and then give it to Prince Natsu? Just to get him started, a list of trustworthy people if he ever needs any assistance or counsel.”

“Of course, My Lord.”

Natsu sends the man a grateful smile. “Thanks, man.”

Invel inclines his head in a polite bow. “And good luck to you, Ambassador.”

“Oh, and another thing.” Natsu says, catching his brother’s attention again.

Zeref raises an eyebrow. “Yes?”

“I want to choose who I’m going with.”

Zeref exchanges a look with Mavis, who gives him a wink, but it’s Igneel who speaks. “Son, I’m afraid this wouldn’t be as simple as hand-picking soldiers for your squadron.” he says, concerned but not discouraging.

“I know, I know…” Natsu says, waving dismissively. “I need businessmen and traders and guards and experienced sailors and other staff…”

Invel clears his throat politely. “My Prince, I can compile another list for you, if you’d like.”

Natsu only shakes his head. “Thanks for offering, Invel, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I’ll take you up on that if I think I need it, though.” He grins, confident. “ But for now… I think I can pick members of my own team well enough by myself.”

“Very well, then.” Zeref says, and he matches his brother’s grin with his own as he continues, “Good luck, Royal Ambassador.”

Chapter Notes:

Really enjoyed writing Mavis and Natsu’s heart to heart here, plus it’s not often I get carried away with the world-building.
Next chapter we’re finally getting the rest of Natsu’s entourage.

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