48 chapter 48

Two million jewel all for the sake of a single book? Lucy would be lying if it wasn't a pleasant change,however, it did strike her as odd even when the client,known as Kirby Melon,began to explain. The mission simply stated that they had to retrieve a book kept by a rich snob and they would be rewarded with two hundred thousand jewel,which was great but also questionable. Even that seemed too much for a simple job and it was something Lucy only thought of while reading the mission sheet for the fifth time on their train ride to the town. The book must be very important to this man if he was willing to pay that much money just for getting it back or perhaps stealing it. She should really focus on what he was saying since it would be crucial information and missing a single detail could lead to mission failure.

"I want you to destroy the book"

That is what she came back to which had her silenced in surprise and glancing back to the mission sheet. There stood that she had to retrieve it and now he was not only telling them that the reward had increased exponentially,but that the job had changed. She wanted to ask why, but figured she shouldn't try to pry. If it was important he would tell her soon and that was all that mattered

"You're rewarding two million jewel for the destruction of a book?" Nero questioned with a look of offence on her face. The destruction of a book is not something she stood by,for books contain a vast array of knowledge and wisdom and frankly some good adventures. To destroy such a thing this man must have a good reason,if not the dragon would not favor this man at all.

"I have a question" Asher finally spoke since her arrival in the client's house. She had remained quiet and simply listened to what the man had to say,ignoring the oddness of his request,but now she found she had to bring something to his notice. "Was this book belonging to you or is it this rich man's possession? If the latter then you are encouraging us to commit a crime,are you not?Because as far as I'm aware, destroying a person's property without permission is a criminal offence to you humans"

"I-" the man looked off in obvious shame and nodded sadly. "It is the latter"

"Why do you want to destroy this book so badly?" Lucy asked even though she had told herself she would refrain from prying and looking too deep into this.

"I cannot forgive that book's existence"

That was all he was comfortable saying as he soon dismissed them and wished them well on the assigned mission. Soon the trio were standing outside his door,each a pensive look about them.

"What an odd request" Nero voiced her opinion as she started to walk away. "Whatever had that book done to the man?"

"Humans are strange creatures" is all Asher had to comment on the question as she quickly followed after her beloved dragon. "How shall we continue from here,sweetheart?"

Lucy wanted to reject the pet name immediately,but stopped once she realized that would only result in another pet name. So she said nothing and decided to be happy with the fact that she no longer referred to her as princess for she absolutely despised being associated with that word.

"Our target is looking for beautiful maids, so it would be best to find you a maid uniform" Nero suggested to Lucy's horror.

"No" she simply said with a glare and folded arms. "I am not dressing as a maid, that dress is not tactical in anyway and gives me no way to effectively hide my daggers and also no convenient way of carrying my keys and my whip. I am not going in there feeling defenseless so I will absolutely not pretend to be a maid"

"But" the disappointment was obvious on Nero's face and she did not try to hide it in the slightest. "You'd be so,so delicious in that uniform"

"I am not dressing up for you,dragon"

Nero sighed with a look of dejection and made no further comment on the issue. If Lucy did not want to don the uniform she would not be insistent on it for it would obviously temper the blonde.

"So what do you suggest we do all mighty leader?"

The tease in Asher's voice was ignored as Lucy led them through the streets of Shirotsume to the high standing mansion she was told belonged to the man they had to rob. Nero and Asher had a good idea to use her to infiltrate the mansion and she would admit that it was a solid plan to go on,albeit not one she would comply to. There were of course other ways to get into the mansion,ones the dragon and phoenix are clearly familiar with seeing as they had broken into her house rather effortlessly. Of course if she wanted to truly cause a problem she could simply knock on the front door and deal out a beating to anyone standing in her way,as troublesome as that course of action might be. So her options were between stealth and well.....recklessness,both very appealing to her. She could never resist punching a snob or pervert and for this man to be both was just the cherry on top for her.

The trio came to stop in front of the mansion just as Mr. Evaroo popped out of a hole in the ground after a large pink haired maid. The man's eyes immediately found Lucy who in that moment could care less about him and more about the obvious celestial spirit he had in his possession and the form he let her take on. Virgo the virgin,one of the zodiac spirits. The mission became far more important to her in that instant.

"Are you trying to apply for the blonde maid position?" The man asked with a tone of full selfishness as he eyed her up and down with a look of disgust. "You can go back home for I have no use for ugly women"

Asher and Nero gasped dramatically at his ugly words,both looking at him as if he had grown a second head. Their eyes went from him to the unaffected Lucy and back again,both debating whether or not they should point this man to a damn mirror or just simply slap him for spouting nonsense.

When the man disappeared in the hole he had popped out of Lucy turned to face her offended companions with a small smile.

"What exactly are you smiling about and how did you not slap him for his idiocy" Asher questioned very seriously. "For him to insult you in such a manner, why I should just ....." Asher trailed off with a growing smile that screamed bad intentions.

"I suppose we cannot be mad at this poor man for his sense of beauty is clearly cretinous. It is not his fault I believe,one could never be blamed for their mental instability" Nero spoke with a wise air around her which resulted in an eye roll from Lucy.

"I'm flattered you guys got so offended on my behalf,but we've got something important to do,remember?" Lucy flashed the back of her hand,displaying the pink mark with pride and a look of success. "I made sure he saw my guildmark"

"That gave us away" Asher pointed out.

"Yes" Lucy nodded. "So now he'll either be very cautious or send out whoever he has fighting for him"

"Kaby did state that multiple mages have failed this mission so it is likely his warriors are somewhat commendable" The dragon said with a look at the mansion .

Lucy was walking around the outside of the house with a critical eye as she scanned for easy entrances.

"We're still breaking in even though he's aware of our mission?" Asher was asking this as she effortlessly flung a surprised Lucy over her shoulder and shot herself up to the highest window that just happened to be wide open. "What is the point?"

Nero followed close behind them and they soon found themselves standing in a room of thropies.

"I guess I want them to know we're in here so they come chasing so that way you guys can be distractions by engaging them while I head off to find the book"

After she revealed her somewhat reckless plan Nero did not hesitate to boldy step out of the room and drop a vase she found to be too ugly to continue to exist. That attracted immediate attention and the three soon had a hoard of,excuse the use of words, gorrila maids running at them with the intent to eliminate the threat.

"Is this what you had in mind?"

"Yes,Nero,thanks" Lucy smiled while already retreating. "Keep them distracted please and be careful with the pink haired maid,she's a celestial spirit and I don't want you to hurt her too much. On fact don't hurt any of them too badly"

"As you wish" red eyes were focused on Virgo and she silently planned to send her back to her world or just wait for her master to summon her to his side. The latter should be a better action since Lucy would most likely be the reason for the summons and this would give her a chance to claim the key and spirit.

As they stayed behind Lucy quickly ran off in search of a library which she hoped he had and hopefully the book could be found there. Once the book was retrieved she just needed to destroy it,nothing a small fire couldn't help with.

Turning down a third hall she stopped before large double doors,hoping she had finally found the library. Lucky for her she had indeed found it and could not help but admire the assortment of books to be found in the large room. It earned Evaroo an amount of respect from her and even more if he had actually read most of the books decorating his shelves. It was truly an impressive collection and she hated that it was wasted on a man like him. She had to constantly scold herself for browsing instead of looking for the book,but reminded herself that she did need to browse in order to find it. Lucky for her the books were placed in alphabetical order so she just had to travel to the d section where she soon found a golden book.

Once the book was in her hand her plans of burning it went out the window for she quickly realized it was infused with some magic or another. It wasn't something she was seeing for the first time as her mother would hide messages in books for her as a child with the use of a simple spell,pen and glasses. It was a clever way of communicating in secret truly and one she had studied since the death of her mother. Looking over the book she saw the author's name on the bottom and knew that she had to unscramble whatever secret he had hidden within for he was not only an amazing writer but also a known mage.

"Change of plans" she fumbled in her pouch for the glasses she carried with her at all times and opened the book to get to work.

Her glasses almost fell out her hands when the floor beneath her feet began to shake and crumble in one spot slowly revealing the man she had to steal from. He laughed a very annoying laugh as came out of the ground with a magic she wasn't sure belonged to him.

"I was wondering what you were after" he dusted himself off with an air of pride at having discovered their objective by his lonesome. "The book,huh? Did that Kaby hire you? All for that worthless book."

"Worthless?" Lucy looked at it in wonder and realized this man was not aware of the secret it hid. "Can I have it then?"

"Of course not,it belongs to me and I don't like that you're stealing from me"

Stingy.

"Because you had to break in and steal something belonging to me you'll have to be punished severely" he smirked at her as he said this,his look devious. "So I'll introduce you to the vanish brothers"

Crap. Lucy had to quickly put the book away and reach for two keys because she knew who those two were long before they revealed themselves to her. She had a feeling he would have some good bodyguards on his side,but this exceeded her expectations. Matters not,because she didn't plan on letting them scare or bully her and she was not going down without a fight. The brothers were well known and came from the mercenary guild, the southern wolves. Offering them up to the council could surely get her some extra cash for they were also wanted for several crimes.

"We're supposed to fight blondie here?" One of them asked with a scoff of disappointment,having expected a better challenge.

"Another pathetic mage to kill" the other chuckled very pleased with the events.

Lucy would have to be careful fighting the mercenaries and frankly did not want to drag things out. From what she knew of them they were physically impressive while magic could not meet that level of mastery for they believed that mages care more about their magic than their physical strength. She also knew that they fight rather unfairly for while their opponent was focused on one brother the other would be ignored giving him the chance to attack brutally. With all of that in mind Lucy carefully returned the two chosen keys in favor for a single silver one. Hopefully the spirit she was about to summon was more than enough.

The key she plucked off her keyring was elegant in it's silver design and one she had only recently stumbled upon. When she found it she could not contain her joy and now she was happily using her new friend in action. When she flashed her key the brothers didn't even try to stop her,something she was counting on. They were cocky and arrogant,thinking no mage could stand up to them. While it may be true that Lucy could not defeat them or at least not on her own and without pulling some tricks. What she could do is summon a spirit who could easily take them out with no need for violence.

She smiled almost smugly as she focused magic into the key and decided to at least let them know the name of the spirit who defeated them.

"Open,gate of the Aquila Cadens" the key glowed with her words attracting the attention of the brothers,but they still did not move. It's not good to be cocky and they would learn that now. "Lyra"

With her name the spirit was summoned in a glow of golden light,blinding everyone,but Lucy who was used to the glow of her summonings. With the fading light their opponent was revealed to them,only making the men smirk devilishly at Lucy's apparent foolishness.

Little did they know.

Black hair almost hid beautiful golden eyes gleaming with hidden intentions as slender fingers rested upon thin strings of the beautiful instrument the summons sported as some sort of weapon. A flowing white dress trailed elegantly behind her as she slowly approached the one she saw as her master,a mental question sent to the blonde to which she simply nodded.

"Hello gentlemen" she spoke,her voice carrying on the wind and so melodic that they were taken by surprise. Her voice added the slightest of pressure on their minds,a pressure that to their surprise was very pleasing. "I am Lyra,it is a pleasure to meet you"

She smiled as if she was keeping some great secret from them as their eyes lost focus for the smallest of moments,her voice easily effecting them.

"What th-"

"I would like to play a song for you" her words were followed by the sweet sound of her lyre filling the room,increasing the pleasant pressure on their mind with it's first notes. "Beautiful isn't it?"

"Yes" Eyes were far off as the men quickly lost themselves to Lyra's beautiful and effortless hypnotism.

It was Lucy's turn to smirk as if she was a devil at how easily they had fallen under Lyra's influence.

"You are as amazing,Lyra, and your song is beautiful" Lucy complimented to which the woman smiled kindly.

"I thank you mistress" she bowed her head in respect,her fingers still playing with the strings of her instrument effortlessly.

"Just Lucy is fine"

"As you wish,Lucy" gold eyes displayed genuine joy at having such a kind master to work with. "Any request?"

"Put those to sleep please and have that one tell me everything he knows about this book and the writer"

"Well you heard her boys,why don't you rest your pretty little heads for me,hmm?"

They were useless while under her melodic spell. Anything she asked of them they would happily give to her,anything she tells them they will happily follow for that is the nature of her magic. The ability to charm anyone hearing her voice or music,fully manipulating them into anything she so pleased. Lucy did not know much else of her magic safe for that and made a mental note to find out as much as she could later. It is best for her to know the strengths and weaknesses of those who are contracted to her for they were not simple tools she could use at her whims. They were sentient beings with their own thoughts and emotions, their own rules and morals and she did her best to follow them and not abuse the power she had over them.

"And you" Lyra tilted her head as she looked at Evaroo,eyes glowing just slightly as she delicately probed his mind just enough to tempt his words easily. "Would you be so kind as to reveal everything it is you know about Daybreak and its creator?"

Words were tumbling out of his mouth with the hypnotism telling him he needed to. He had no control of what he said and as he revealed the story behind the book Lucy was trying to convince herself not to burn the entire mansion down and out this knowledge to the public. He was a politician and what he did will surely earn him a good amount of hate from those he looked to him.

Everlue forced Kemu Zaleon to write the book for him, with the Duke himself as the main character, after he refused to do so the first time.Since Everlue was a politician, he could easily ruin his family by revoking their citizenship, keeping them from getting jobs as merchants and effectively making their lives a living hell. Left with no other option Kemu then agreed to write the book but Everlue, angry at the first rejection, put Kemu in a solitary cell and forced him to stay there until the book was finished, keeping him from his family which must have crushed his writers spirit for he had cut his writing hand off.

"This man did what?" Lucy was surprised by Nero's appearance and even more surprised when the dragon royal roughly took him by the collar with a look of anger. "Lucy, please have your companion free him from this mental prison so I can deal with him"

Lucy did not have a problem with the dragon teaching this man a lesson and gladly asked Lyra to release him. When he came back to himself immediate terror found his eyes as he was facing a very angry dragon who had plans of tormenting him in the worst of ways. So of course his instinctual reaction was to defend himself and that had him reaching for a small number of keys in his pocket,pulling out a the single gold key he had acquired.

"V-virgo"

"Hello" after the familiar light faded to reveal the spirit who was apparently also the head maid,it also revealed Asher,who sat comfortably on Virgo's broad shoulder just before she attacked her. The phoenix then relocated to Lucy's side and pressed something into her palm. The look of surprise on Lucy's face when she held the gold key before her was priceless even more so than the look of complete terror that crossed Evaroo's features.

"How did you.... When even did you take this?"

"Just a second ago,along with these" Asher proudly held three silver keys between her fingers,presenting them to the joyous Lucy who gladly accepted them. "I happened to have traveled through the celestial world and took it upon myself to ask if these spirits enjoy their contract to this bastard of a man. They do not so I offered you and they've take quite a liking to me"

"But Virgo attacked you just now" Lucy pointed out.

"She is still bound to that man and he does see us as the enemy and did tell her to extirpate us" Asher explained. "You know this"

Lucy sighed,but still held her smile when she met the terrified eyes of Evaroo when Nero actually snarled at him

"Nero,wait a minute please"

Lucy noted how Nero completely stopped all hostile actions with her words and slightly loosened her grip on Evaroo,doing as she said without hesitance.

"As you can see,Nero is very mad and will cause you a world of pain for what you had done to Kemu" Lucy decided to use his fear to her advantage at that moment. "So I offer you this, end your contract with your spirits since you clearly don't treat them with the respect they deserve and I'll make sure Nero doesn't torture you"

~~~~~~~

"Four keys in one day,nice" Lucy attached the new keys to the keyring at her waist and ignored the pained cry of Evaroo when Nero punched him in the face. She never said she would keep Nero from harming him,she simply said she would keep her from torturing him. With him taken care of Lucy wore her gale force glasses and quickly read through the entire book,effortlessy finding the secret message within. She had a hunch and it was proven right with the book. Kaby was indeed the son of Kemu . She knew the name Kemu Zaleon was simply a way to disguise his real name that was Zekua Melon. Now she had to make sure the book found its rightful owner and convince Kaby not to destroy the book before reading it.

"What is the meaning of this book?" Asher asked,leaning over her shoulder curiously.

"A message from father to son" Lucy held the book before her with a bittersweet smile before putting it safely away and departing from the mansion she wanted to burn down. Following behind her and Asher was Nero and the newly acquainted Virgo who helped the dragon carry a stack of books they had rescued from the library. It was an injustice to let such beautiful books wither away in that awful man's hands so the dragon took it upon herself to liberate them.

"I appreciate the help Virgo"

Since being contracted to Lucy Virgo's appearance had changed drastically,going from the big gorrila type woman she was to the admitingly very cute but very weird young woman they had following them. Weird because she had asked for punishment with a gleeful gleam in her eyes making both Asher and Nero chuckle with no hidden perverseness.

"Will I be rewarded with punishment,then dragon mistress?" The smile on Virgo's face betrayed all her sinful desires right then and there.

"If that is what you wish for" Nero nodded in agreement,seeing no issue in her request or purposefully ignoring it.

"No! You will not punish her"

"But Lucy,that is what she wants" Nero argued. "And you do much to make your spirits happy, this would make her happy"

"I'm not comfortable with her request" Lucy admitted,not having the heart to harm her spirits in any way even when they ask for it and Virgo was the first spirit she found who wanted such a thing.

"Then I'll do it for you" Nero offered.

"No"

"My mistress says no, dragon mistress" Virgo relayed to Nero with a stoic face and monotone voice. "So you are not allowed to punish me"

"Fine" Nero simply shrugged. When Lucy turned away she quietly whispered to Virgo who eagerly leaned in to hear what she had to say. "I will reward you, I promise"

"I heard you!"

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