I expected something like this to happen, where Ultear wasn’t exactly there but something more abstract that represented an extension of herself was. The fact that Ultear can’t battle in that form against Dimaria suggest to me that while her magic may be present, she does not have a physical form. What I do believe though is the developments occurring now help pave a path for Ultear to return.
Back when Ultear lost her ‘time’ using Last Ages, I was of the mind that the ‘time’ sacrificed in payment of that one minute was too excessive even for a drawback for a Lost Magic. I couldn’t help but believe that not all of that ‘time’ was used as ‘payment’ but a major part of that “energy” taken from Ultear ended up existing elsewhere in the world/worlds. That ‘time’ may just have been lost in the Valley of Time and the Ultear we are currently seeing is but a manifestation of that ‘time’.
Ultear herself stated ‘she does not exist in the natural flow of time’ and that she is only a “concept”. The cracking of Ultear’s body suggest to me that she is but a shell, that her real body isn’t there but only her magic/’time’. Because Dimaria stopped time, that “Ultear”, residing within the Valley of Time, was able to appear.
Despite all of that, I am certain that Ultear will return to the story instead of being just a reminder of how amazing her character is. Mashima-sensei will not tease us with her return only to go back on it shortly after, he is not that type of author. He respects his fans and the characters of his story and there is a certain flow to his story. Ultear in particular represents a major character in the story, one who embodies what Fairy Tail the manga is. And because of that, I am confident she will return.
The very fact that Mashima-sensei is pushing the existence of the God deities, opens up the door for Ultear’s return. With the Goddess of Time, Chronos, revealed, he has created a path for her return. One would presume a Goddess of Time is capable of miraculous feats, such as restoring the ‘time’ of an individual. We may very well get a journey to the Ancient Capital of Mildean, where Chronos is enshrined. Chronos could help restore Ultear’s lost ‘time’. Ultear has gained an appreciation for ‘time’ and its essence while Dimaria is ignorantly oblivious to its flow. Could Chronos end up wanting to help Ultear despite Dimaria’s will?
Speaking of Dimaria, I did not expect her to use Take Over on top of Time Magic, unless her “God Takeover” means she can use the magic of the “God” she has Taken Over. Whatever the case, I have found myself becoming increasingly interested in Dimaria and her story – she is a descendant of the people from the Capital of Time, Mildean. That bond seems to have created a connection between Chronos and Dimaria. With “Mildean” revealed, I wonder if we will get further focus on it and its people.
The reveal that there exist a Third Origin of Magic opens up so many doors to the possibilities of growth for the characters. What a fantastically exhilarating cliff hanger. How much of a boost in power does Third Origin grant and how does it evolve and modify the current application of magic? I am very interested to see what Wendy and Sherria decide to do, if they cannot defeat Dimaria with their current power, they will most certainly need to have their Third Origin prematurely unlocked with Ultear’s magic. Even if Wendy and Sherria lose the use of their magic through this battle, I don’t see that being a permanent thing. It will ultimately be restored in some way e.g. Chronos. Very much looking forward to the coming chapters. I.AM.EXCITE.