Buried under the rage of negativity, feelings of camaraderie and respect blur into obscurity as the meaning of a guild loses itself under the weight of that animosity. Natsu and Gray have cast themselves into their primal rage and through that submerged state, they lost sight of the bonds they share. Carrying the teachings of Makarov and in essence, Fairy Tail, Erza pierces through their hostility reminding them of the bond they share. Through her pain and resonance with Makarov’s teachings, Natsu and Gray come to escape the destructive states they found themselves in.
Erza reminds Natsu and Gray that while conflict is impossible when each individual follows the path they each set themselves, to not give into hatred and lose the respect one has towards their opponent. Without respect, violence would be inevitable once hatred takes over. Erza wanted the two of them to remember the history they share, the meaning of a guild and the meaning of Fairy Tail. Erza urged them to never forget their history and through Erza, Makarov was able to pass on a message to both Natsu and Gray.
I found it interesting that Gray and Natsu weren’t informed at this point that Makarov has died, which leads me to wonder what their reaction will be at the time they are made aware of Makarov’s fate. Once the two regain consciousness, they should have recovered a bit of their strength back. Will be fascinating to see if Natsu and Gray can use their Dragon and Devil Slaying magic respectively more adeptly now. Despite being in rage-driven states, they still managed to draw out the raw power of their magic. Natsu’s arm began to transform into one that resembles a dragons and Gray’s arm plus half his body became corrupted in darkness. They have experienced it once, so I look forward to seeing if they can draw it again in more controlled state.
Elsewhere Crime Sorcière face off against August. Despite having the number advantage and being able to utilise a variety of magic across their members, August is able to comprehend their magic and counter them with his own variety of magic. His current state enables him to utilise such powerful magic which leads me believe that without that state he won’t be as powerful. Jellal questioned where his obscene strength is coming from and it might possibly be the staff or some insertion into his body (lacrima?). Presumably, if one destroys whatever is empowering August or enabling/sustaining the state he is currently in, Crime Sorcière may be able to turn the tide of the battle and defeat the strongest individual of the Spriggan 12. Surely there must be some downsides to his magic which Jellal can exploit or take advantage of.
Erza comes face to face with the Scarlet Despair, Irene. Irene’s final comment makes it seem like the two are one in the same aka clones, but I seriously doubt that. Firstly, Irene seems to be much older than Erza, almost as if Erza was her daughter (she must be, right?). One scenario in which the clone theory can work is if Irene wanted to create a younger clone of herself. This would beg the question though, “why?” The mother / daughter theory seems more logical but it also seems suspiciously obvious. Is Mashima-sensei trying to mislead the readers or are things as they actually appear? What is the connection between the two? Irene knows about it but Erza does not. The signs so far point to Irene being the mother of Erza. Irene and Erza are definitely connected but by what extent? They don’t seem to be siblings. Could Erza really be an enchantment of Irene’s that ended up manifesting into a physical actual living being? Erza represents “hope” and Irene “despair”, were the two sides of the ‘being’ separated into two individuals in the past? Very much looking forward to the next chapter.