The wind blew from beyond the horizon making the air take on a cooler temperature.
Magnolia is still surrounded by countless forests and mountains. If one were to listen a bit closer one would intermittently hear the sound of hawkers going about their usual business promoting their products and people bragging or just fooling around. All in all not much had changed and the city is as rowdy as it ever was.
It is currently autumn and the temperature in Magnolia had plummeted giving the town a cool air around it. Naturally, if there were no winds, even if it’s autumn the moist air can still drive people insane.
Inside an even more humid part of Magnolia’s forests. The sound of leaves dancing could be heard coming from a corner of the forest, the sound got more and more intense as if something is approaching.
The next instant, a figure appeared from amidst the trees, he cut through the wind with his immense speed as he ran. The figure is a youngster around the age of 17 who is wearing only a brief, no shoes, no shirt.
The youngster had a huge boulder, several times his own size on top of his hands. The weight didn’t seem to matter as he traversed the land with unfathomable agility like that of a panther. While causing minor tremors with each step he took, he slid through the trees and dodged any that obstructed him while maintaining his pace.
After quite some time, the youth finally stopped and nonchalantly threw the boulder he had to the side like it’s a twig.
The boulder smashed everything at the point of impact be it twigs or grass. It also created a massive crater on the ground while drawing up dust.
Finished with all these, the youth lifted his head and stared at the sky. He revealed his face that had little of the innocence he once had in exchange for a more mature one. His eyes that could draw in anyone were also revealed under the sun.
This is the face that went through a 4 year period of growth, how time flies. It was just a blink of the eye and now 4 years is gone.
It’s not just his appearance and height that grew. Now at 17, one couldn’t fathom where is the limit of his strength that grew all this while.
After hearing the news about Laxus rising to S-Class magician, Noah had never returned to Fairy Tail. he would train himself to the limit every day for the past 4 years. He didn’t just train his magic, he also trained his body, his sword skills, his martial arts and his magic power manipulation. He even went as far as to make sure his dexterity, sensitivity, reflex, and sensing abilities kept up with his training at his utmost limit.
Comparing the him before and after 4 years is a gap that can’t be described with just drastic change.
Noah is confident that if he fought with the past version of himself, he wouldn’t need to use his magic and sword skills. Heck, he wouldn’t even need to move once half a step, he just needed to use his bare fists to beat the past version of himself.
This is part of his strength anyway. Regarding his magic…
He glanced at the boulder beside him and placed his hand upon it. He tapped it once and walked into the forest.
When his figure disappeared between the trees, the massive boulder shined and following the cracks that appeared, the boulder shattered into neat little cubes.
The cubes exploded outwards and littered the floor with what was once a massive boulder. Dust cloud began rising again.
♦ ♦ ♦
He had been cultivating in seclusion for the past 4 years. Never did he stay fixed in one place. He had stayed at mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, deep valleys, and deep abyss.
He lived in serene environments and he wandered through various places of danger all in the name of training himself on a journey.
Even when he stayed at different places, he never got so far away that he couldn’t see Magnolia with his eyes. This didn’t change even when he went deep into the forest to do battles with magical beasts in order to gather battle experience. Each day, he would make sure to find a spot of high elevation to gaze at Magnolia and Fairy Tail.
And because he never got too far away from Magnolia, Mira, Lisanna, Erza, and the others can always find him.
Sometimes, they would be in a group. In another time, there would only be a person. Today, the whole company, tomorrow, two or 3 people.
Basically, he would see his childhood friends every now and then. As a result, his days are not passed in dry boredom.
The longest time he had gone without seeing anyone is 6 months. On the other hand, the shortest time he had gone about doing the same is 2 or 3 months at a time. Other than fooling around with his friends from time to time, each time not exceeding a day, the rest of the time would be spent on training and that is basically how he completed his 4 years cultivation journey.
Wearing a simple white shirt and black long pants, he donned his white coat that reached down to his knees. He turned around and looked in the direction of Magnolia, the familiar image of the guild building appearing in his mind. He muttered.
“It’s about time to go back right?”
He said that while clenching and relaxing his fist. White radiant fog wafted about his hands. Only those familiar with [Crush] would recognize it. This fog-like light is something that can wreck anything it touches.
He toyed around with something so dangerous, making it go dim one moment and brighten up the next. After playing with it a bit more, he clenched his fist.
He had stopped losing control of [Crush] since a year ago and just to be sure, he trained [Crush] for another year!
Now he can say with 100 percent confidence that:
“Even Gildarts won’t be able to compete with me in terms of control over [Crush]!”
He can’t suppress how much he missed his old town, a rare elated smile appeared on his face. He picked up the cloth bag containing his arming sword and walked towards Magnolia.
♦ ♦ ♦
Magnolia, Fairy Tail…
He stared at the familiar building in front of him in a daze.
4 years, it’s been 4 years that I haven’t returned.
Even after 4 years, Fairy Tail didn’t seem to have undergone much change. Well, except for the door that looked like it had been replaced many times. Thinking about it, surely it’s not due to wear and tear but because of the boisterous guys in it right?
Deeply inhaling, he pushed open the door.
The sun had just broken through the horizon for a short while, that is why there is nobody at the first-floor bar.
He looked at the nostalgic scene and he toured around the bar for a bit before heading up to the third floor. He reached out and opened the door to his own room. The room stayed the same way it had always been in his mind. There is not even any dust or change as though he never even left. He stood at the door and looked at his room for a while before a voice slowly rang in the simple room.