The secret bond between Irene and Erza has finally been confirmed and as was made apparent since Irene’s introduction, they are mother and daughter albeit ones separated by a genuine relationship. Erza never knew her mother and Irene was long since under the assumption that Erza had perished some time in the past. As a result, the revelation of the truth ends up as a disconnect and the subsequent reactions of the two leads them to approaching the situation in a callous and indifferent manner. Irene has since realising the truth resolved to defeat her daughter and Erza in disbelief continues to stand against Irene regardless of whether Irene is her biological mother. There is no connection between the two to serve as an expression of their bond, only an empty relation which see’s the two of them baring their magic against each other.
Looks like Larcade is really defeated, I was half expecting him to get back up and continue with his righteous mumbling. Thankfully though, I suppose we were saved that. It is great to see Minerva again, particularly in this situation where she had the opportunity to meet Kagura again, reflect on her past actions and attempt to close the gap between the two that she had created when she was in a less understanding state by apologising now. Kagura herself also displayed the maturity she acquired from reflecting on her past mistakes and negativity when she let go of her grudges and resentment resolving to move forward and live life to the fullest. I enjoyed it a lot seeing the growth these two had undergone and the steps they have taken to free themselves from their inner prisons. It is a reflection of their desire to move forward and of their gratitude towards Erza who helped them see the world from a different perspective.
After several chapters out of focus, we finally return to the Erza and Wendy VS Irene battle. Wendy enchants Erza and Erza utilising her non-armored form (just the sarashi and hakama) engages with Irene. As expected, Irene effortlessly holds Erza off but the way Erza went about attacking Irene was quite badass. Found it exceptionally thrilling seeing Erza change things up by requiping swords on each foot and attacking Irene. Not even Blumenblatt with the Heaven’s Wheel armor was able to do much to Irene. Instead Irene utilised all of the blade from the attack to form a shape of the a flower circle.
Unlike Erza, Wendy was noting the similarities between Erza and Irene and most likely from the moment Wendy identified that their scents were the same, she realised the close relation between the two, but based on Wendy’s reaction when Irene confirmed she was Erza’s mother, Wendy didn’t realise that they were that close. Erza is denying the truth but Wendy having noted the similarities most likely realises that what Irene stated is the truth. Given this, it will be interesting to see what role Wendy plays in this battle now.
Irene is indifferent towards Erza and having already made peace with Erza’s death which she believed was the case in the past, she currently has no problem fighting and/or even killing Erza herself now. Erza half denying the truth doesn’t fully believe Irene is her mother and given that she has no genuine relationship with Irene, Erza herself has no difficulty deciding to stand against Irene for attacking her guild. The interesting element about their current relationship is the subsequent reactions. Erza’s rushes forward to engage Irene and to silence her own thoughts about the knowledge of who Irene could be to her. Irene on the other hand, holds off her attacks to first reveal the truth and “secret” behind Erza’s birth.
Irene has no reason to reveal the truth to Erza, especially since she plans to kill Erza but for some reason Irene wants Erza to know about her origins and the secret behind her roots. While this does serve as a plot device to reveal more information for the reader, I feel there is a deeper meaning for Irene wanting Erza to have this knowledge. With Irene revealing that she was the former Queen of Dragons coupled with her conversation with Acnologia in chapter 489 about her new magic not existing four hundred years ago and even before then, it is now certain that Irene existed way back in the past before Acnologia decided to kill all the Dragons. Irene is most likely several centuries old but based on the fact that she wasn’t familiar with Acnologia, I believe she went into a dormant state and was in that while the culling of dragons was ongoing during the Dragon King Festival. Acnologia likewise went into a dormant/quiet state over the centuries given the minimal destruction and sightings over the centuries.
Based on how Irene turned Princess Hisui into a mouse back in chapter 491 and the reaction which she sought from the King Fiore, I am beginning to wonder if Irene was let down by a former lover/friend in the past when she revealed her Dragon form to him/her. A moment that shattered Irene’s heart when someone who she cared for changed their opinion and feelings for her when she changed into a Dragon. A tragic and traumatic moment that revealed to her the shallowness of humans. Could Zeref’s mission be her outlet for the rage she feels towards humanity and Acnologia? Whatever happens, I don’t believe Irene and Erza will continue to be at odds in the future, something will happen that changes the nature of their relationship and hopefully forces them to act like mother and daughter.
I was entertaining the thought that Erza was born in the past and ended up travelling through the Eclipse Gate but with her being able to pass through Freed’s barrier blocking those older than 80 years old during the Battle of Fairy Tail Arc, Erza could not have been born in the past like Natsu and the other Dragon Slayers. Erza was born in the year X765 and sometime since her birth Irene and her were separated in an event that led Irene to believe that Erza had died. Very interested to learn about the origins of Erza and the history of Irene. Looking forward to the next chapter (and seeing Jellal again).