It had been a week since the commotion was over and peace was restored in Edoolas but it by no means meant that Jellal could rest assured. The real task came now, to rebuild the loss an establish the kingdom again and it would be a lie if he said he wasn't overwhelmed by all of it. For years living as Mystogon in silence had made him used to the peace and quiet. Now all the eyes were on him, looking up to him to take the lead, his decisions were not solely his now and knowing that was a little intimidating. His mind was pretty occupied with planning ahead to make everything work. But another thing that held his thoughts was a certain red head. Her eyes still had the same ferocity as eight years ago when she looked straight into his eyes demanding he had her executed. Jellal knew he couldn't avoid facing her again when he returned yet it just didn't cross his mind he'd had to do it so soon. He expected her to confront him but she didn't but neither did she hide the resentment and anger in her eyes,not when she first saw him during the battle or when he announced their punishment.
" Re build the city? Pardoned? Get my position back? Tsk Cut the crap already, I do not fear death and I am willing to pay for everything I did with my life. Besides you're the last person I want to hear all this from. Yes what we did was wrong but then what about the cowardice you committed? Don't act like you're any better why do you get to get away with it?... I.. I'll never pledge allegiance to you no matter what ." Her words were bitter with a hatred long held but Jellal understood. He understood the hate, remorse and desperation that the words held.
" I didn't get away with it and I'm not any better "he whispered to himself.
It took some convincing but in the end she did not oppose it, agreeing to atone for what she had done.
" It's not because of you, it's for Edoolas." She had muttered before pledging loyalty to him in front of everyone and he realized she hasn't changed after all.
"Your Majesty, the council meeting will commence soon" Jellal turned at the voice
"Ah I'll get going, thank you Coco. How's building of the city going?" he asked
"Yes, it's going well! Everyone even started getting along with the citizens!"
"That's a relief" he sighed
"Just that Knightwalker-san.." the name caught his attention quick.
"What about her?" he asked, an unwavering concern laced in his voice
"She refuses to eat or rest. I tried to convince her but she doesn't listen. She doesn't stay in the room you gave her in the castle too... and... its cold outside at night.." the girl told him, evidently worried about the stubborn former captain.
"I see, don't worry I'll do something about it" he reassured before walking out of his room
The Council meeting felt awfully long for today. To be fair Jellal wasn't even sure why the bunch of old nobles gathered at the table just to spat useless comments instead of giving any suggestion worthy of consideration.
"I assure you that trivial matters like court positions can be made after the rebuild is done. Edoolas is our priority and I hope you all agree with me on that because if you don't then you do not have to be here next time" he declared before leaving the hall. Jellal did not really like proclaiming his absolute power like that. It was quite the opposite of how he wanted to rule over his country,but the sternity he used was very much needed.
He took a round of the city, strolling through the hustle bustle. The streets were full of life again, noises from the crowds burst through. His eye caught the members of a certain guild. Lucy shouting at Levy with Natsu struggled in her strangling hold while the blue head yelled insults back from the roof she was fixing. Jellal couldn't help but let out a chuckle. Fairy tail was the same. It reminded him of the time at Earthland. Despite the minimum contact, it was his home, they were his family.
Jellal went to the corner he saw the read head working in with a shovel in her hand. Her vibrant red hair that now reached barely down her neck,drenched in sweat as she aggressively struck the tool down on the ground in the mass of toppled rocks. He wasn't oblivious to the way everyone else avoided the place she was working at and knew she wasn't oblivious to the fact either.
"Your Highness, do you need something?" He turned to the guard at his back
*Actually yeah, Can you get me a shovel" Jellal said after a moment of thinking. The man looked a little surprised,but nevertheless got what he was asked to. If he was honest, Jellal didn't know what was it that was so surprising. He knew royalties didn't exactly worked but was it that much of an odd thing if they did?
He took the tool in his hand, making his way towards the corner the fierce captain was working in with gentle steps. A part of him wondered if she had noticed him coming towards her but chose to ignore,or was she too engrossed in what she was doing. Then again that's what made her Erza Knightwalker, diligent and graceful no what she was doing.