Levy and Justine trotted down the path to the manor as the sun had set. The whole time the two had been silent, so a rosy pink color spread across Levy's face from the awkwardness. Soon enough, Levy blurted out, "You can take your helmet off Freed. There is no one out here but us." Levy had figured out Justine's identity long before offering herself that morning. He had acted so formally yet comfortable with her and her family as if they met before.
Freed answered with a soft shake of his head. "Despite how things appear, there is quite the amount of troublesome scoundrels and creatures around here. The armor has a special charm that keeps them away." Levy couldn't really argue with him. It wasn't like the armor's design didn't intimidate her herself. She remained quiet until they reached a large gate. Freed got off his horse and rang a small, brass bell on the gate's stone frame.
A second later, Levy spotted something flying over the gate at a crazy uncontrolled speed. Only when it halted to a stop in front of Freed was Levy able to make the object out. It looked like a wooden doll, but not the porcelain kind given to children. The body was a small cylinder of wood about the size of someone's head. There were attachments on the sides that looked like wings. The face painted on looked rather obscure and foreign to her.
Levy nearly jumped as the doll shook franticly and laughing maniacally. "What's the password?" it asked in a high-pitched voice before going back to giggling. Freed removed his helmet and yelled over the gate, "Bixlow, what kind of joke is this? We don't have a password!" Levy held back a laugh. She hardly ever saw Freed get angry, and she couldn't help but find his reaction funny.
"Yes, we do," the doll replied. "We all thought one up while you were away." That made Levy even more curious. She couldn't see Evergreen or Laxus joining in such a childish prank. So how many other people lived here?
Levy shook off her thoughts as she heard a loud smack and a yowl of pain. "Just let them in, you idiot!" The voice sounded much more feminine than before. Levy figured it had to be Evergreen by the tone alone. The strange doll shook and moved from one spot in the air to another. Levy figured it was a dance because, as that happened, the gate creaked open.
Freed let out an annoyed huff and guided his horse into the courtyard with Levy following. As she entered, Levy took in her surroundings. With the sun still present in the sky, the courtyard and manor didn't seem as scary as her brother told, but better maintenance was a priority.
Suddenly, Estelle reared up and shook Levy from her thoughts. She was afraid she would fall off before someone caught her. As she looked to see who, Levy felt like she lost her voice. The creature Jet had described, a large, stocky humanoid covered in metallic scales, was holding her up by her underarms as if she were a rag doll. He startled Levy, not as much by his physical appearance but by how he came out from nowhere.
Their eyes met for a few seconds, leaving Levy holding her breath. He had a scowl etched into his face that Levy couldn't read. Somewhere between pure fury and mild annoyance. He turned to Freed, who had dismounted, "Who the hell is this?" Annoyance seemed to fit his mood well.
"Certain circumstances prevented her brother from coming back," Freed calmly replied, not seeming at all afraid of the creature that stood before him. "She made the offer, and I accepted."
The creature set Levy down but didn't change his expression. He looked at Levy and turned to Estelle, who was utterly bare. "Is this all she has?" Levy figured he was talking about the clothes she was wearing.
"We were in a hurry, " Freed answered plainly. The creature groaned before let out a long, ear-piercing whistle. Two men ran out of the manor, one with dark hair and no shirt and another with pink hair wearing a scarf even though it was nearing the end of Springtime.
Levy felt a small but forceful push at her back. The gesture annoyed her, but she didn't want to deal with - she couldn't say he was a man and she didn't want to call him a thing- this individual's foul temperament. As Levy walked towards the fresh pair of men, their master said, "Take her Bunny Girl and the Rain Woman. They've been complaining about having nothing to do."
The pink-haired man took hold of Levy's hand, smiled ear to ear, and gave a salute. "No problem, boss, " he replied. Before she knew it, Levy was being dragged by the wrist as he ran off with her.
The master groaned as he saw the shirtless servant chase the two of them into the house. He turned to Freed and gave him a chilling glare that would turn a lesser man to stone.
"This better not be some sort of scheme, Justine." Freed just shrugged before replying, "I don't know what you mean, Sir. There were a few problems that came with having Jet here. As I said, she made an excellent offer for the both of us."
The creature snarled and stomped off in a huff. Freed's lip lightly curved into a smile, satisfied with himself as he went to find the rest of the Legion. It would take a lot of work, but everything would end swimmingly if luck was on their side.