Ignia’s abrupt entrance within the conflict between Fairy Tail and Diabolos reveals itself to be based on an alliance comprised of Ignia and Dogramag. A plan set in motion between the two sometime before Dogramag’s fall with Dogramag taking it upon himself to utilise the magic of Elefseria’s human heart to move forward the intentions of Ignia. Dogramag didn’t have the opportunity to share his ideas with Ignia before he died but Ignia eventually sensed a disturbance and paid the Labyrinth of Dogramag a visit. Ignia discovered what Dogramag left behind which at this point does not appear to require the human heart of Elefseria anymore. Selene confronted Ignia but was unable to stop him from destroying the heart and when she expressed her reasoning behind her opposition to him, Ignia retorts with the Age of Dragons is “only just beginning”. This response from Ignia suggest the plan Dogramag and he constructed involves a potential revival of Dragons. What did Dogramag do with Elefseria’s heart and how does Ignia intend to revive the Dragons?
When Ignia arrived within Dogramag’s Labyrinth, I suspected the revival of Dragons could be in play but I had not anticipated Ignia as the initiator of such path. I saw Ignia’s presence as a void to nullify hope. I previously surmised Dogramag used Elefseria’s heart to create a Dragon egg which Ignia arrived to destroy. Rather than stopping what Dogramag had in mind, a partnership of sorts was entered between the two with the resurgence of Dragons in mind. Even when Dogramag was defeated, a part of his consciousness remained that has since his death, been utilising Elefseria’s heart to bring forward this plan. It is unclear how exactly the “age of Dragons” will come about but when you consider the current state of Dragons, the most obvious path forward to signal the beginning of the age of Dragons is increasing the number of Dragons present. And one of the most natural ways to achieve this end is more Dragons being born. Ignia and Dogramag’s end goal could be to birth Dragon soldier which they planned to use to take back the world from the humans/lesser races.
The more I think about Ignia and Dogramag’s plan in relation to Selene’s reaction and rejection of it, the less I am inclined to believe the natural approach to increasing the Dragons population would have been taken. I do not believe Selene would be against Dragons naturally returning which makes her current opposition very curious. If Ignia and Dogramag really intended to herald the coming of another Dragon age, they would need soldiers. Ignia has already been exposed to how Dragons were brought to the brink of extinction which I feel defined how he plans to move forward. The division between differing beliefs and ideologies of Dragons (pro and anti-human) resulted in conflict and the birth of Acnologia. I would expect going forward, if Ignia intended to avoid a repeat of history, the type of Dragon soldiers he would need would be ones who obeyed his commands with absolute authority. In this sense, Dragon naturally being born would not be a method Ignia would be interested in to bolster the number of Dragons. Rather, what seems more likely is using the discoveries of man to artificially create Dragon soldiers that are subservient to Ignia.
In the absence of knowing what all the weapons made by man were, it is hard to pinpoint with certainty, what specific information Dogramag utilised Elefseria’s heart for but based on what has been revealed in the story so far, we can make educated guesses. In order to construct Dragon soldiers, Dogramag would need a way to create them. Where else have we heard of artificial creations being constructed by man to supply power? The Dragon Slayers. Both second and fourth generation Dragon Slayers are artificially granted their power. Laxus and those of his generation weren’t naturally able to utilise Dragon Slaying magic but when they fused with the Dragon Lacrima, such a magic became usable by them. As for the fourth generation of Dragon Slayers, based on Kiria’s comment of what she heard about them (chapter 6), they are created using magic ex nihilo (out of nothing). If the methodologies of the second and fourth Dragon Slayer magics were combined, it could very well be possible to artificially create Dragons who possess Dragon magic. After all, Dragon Slayer magic is essentially magic Dragons possessed. On a side note, Zeref also managed to create Demons and Curses, so it is not outside the realm of possibility to artificially create Dragons.
We can already see potential hints at Dogramag creating artificial living constructs. Take the Dogramag Labyrinth monsters, what exactly are they? Obviously they are monsters created by Dogramag using the same material as the Labyrinth. What is interesting is how the constructs are able to move. Rather than being alive in the natural sense, they are powered by some core that allows them to move as per Misaki’s assessment of them in chapter 95. Once the core is dealt with, the construct crumbles into its individual pieces. The monster core Natsu picked up (chapter 96) and the light orb Gajeel picked up which appeared to activate the Labyrinth reconstruction (chapter 99) may come into focus within the climax of this arc. Another question that would be valuable to ask is why do they exist? Why would Dogramag create them? The most apparent answer is to serve as guards but what if Dogramag was experimenting and these Labyrinth monsters are prototypes to the Dragon soldiers he sought to create. If Dogramag can construct a Dragon Lacrima and a Dragon body to contain the Lacrima, he then has a template for Ignia and his Dragon soldiers. I also wonder if the monster corpses present in the area Natsu and Suzaku passed through (same floor as Ignia) were bones of the monsters created by Dogramag’s experiments.
I suspect Selene is aware of the plan to create artificial Dragons and disapproves of it which is why she rejected Ignia and considers the age of Dragons over. Selene even takes some offense to it which is why she challenges Ignia with the intent to stop him from progressing his plan. As a mother, who cares for her children to the point of placing herself in a situation where she was chained in order to get close enough to the killer of her child to serve justice, I feel Selene values the natural course of life when it comes to Dragons. Sure, Selene may have been fine with her subordinate on Elentear turning others into Yokai but when the matter is personal, as it is now for Selene, she moves passed the concern of entertainment.
The conflict between Selene and Ignia is incredibly exciting as it is not often the readers get to witness two Dragons fighting against each other in Fairy Tail. And now that we have another Dragon alongside Selene, I finally noticed that Selene does not have Dragon wings in her Dragon form – she has multiple tails though to match the Nine Tailed Fox appearance she is also based on. I honestly did not pick up on the lack of wings during all of her previous onscreen appearances in Dragon form. Unique Dragon appearances in 100 Years Quest became such a norm that I didn’t notice how creative the new forms were until they were placed side-by-side a more traditionally looking Dragon. Mercphobia and Aldoron also have very unique designs as Dragons. This realisation makes me even more excited to see what Viernes’s Dragon design will be. And if Dogramag will also have his Dragon form illustrated, in a flashback or such, I would really be interested in seeing that.
Selene and Ignia will battle for a bit but ultimately their fight will prematurely end with the arrival of a third party. I am unsure if at this point it would Natsu and Suzaku or different character. What I am apprehensive about happening is Kirin showing up mid-battle while Selene is distracted and landing a fatal blow on her to either steal her power, incapacitate her or kill her. Kirin is the last antagonistic Dark Dragon Slayer remaining and based on his fight with Laxus and the comment Misaki dropped concerning his strength, he shouldn’t be underestimated. Kirin’s unknown position within the Labyrinth is also concerning. I have become an immense fan of Selene and want her for the long game with Fairy Tail.
I keep asking myself, why did Dogramag create a Labyrinth? Why not a fortress or a pyramid or a bunker or a research facility or an Island or a skyscraper or a boat or a giant mechanized Dragon like Aldoron? I suppose a Labyrinth would be one way to hide something you don’t want someone to find. As even if someone reaches an end, in a Labyrinth, it is unclear if that end is the true end. But I do wonder if the Labyrinth is masking another form. When Gajeel removed the light orb from the Labyrinth wall, it reconstructed itself. Does this mean the Labyrinth can change its form into something else more representative of what it was meant to be? If so, I look forward to see this play out. As for the conclusion to the Erza and Misaki battle, I honestly did not expect Wendy to show up like a badass and negate most of the damage caused by the multiplier effect of Blue Dimension by casting Recovery Magic. Despite not knowing what went down with the battle, when Wendy seen Erza in pain due to the Blue Dimension debuff, she knew how to react. Irene is totally right in Wendy possessing an immense level of potential. Very much looking forward to the next chapter. Is Elefseria really dead with his human heart gone?
Enjoyment level: 9/10 (Selene!!)