The time to see who's worthy enough to become an S-Class Mage descends upon Fairy Tail once again; the S-Class Mage Promotion Trial is about to begin. Makarov announces the competing Mages, and they pick their partners to help them pass the trial. However, only one contestant is allowed to pass this time round. Once they arrive, however, they soon find out that it is not just they who are on Tenrou Island, but another third of the Balam Alliance: Grimoire Heart. On top of it all, a mysterious youth is wandering on the island, killing all who crosses his path. The war between the Fairies and Demons begins.
Celebrating A Former Member's Return
With the whole Edolas ordeal finally over, Lisanna returns to the Guild with her friends and siblings, where the other members greet her warmly and happily. They even begin a celebration for such a miraculous event. This celebration, however, quickly turns into a brawl when Gajeel tries to get the Exceeds to fight one another, but accidentally starts one between the members instead.
At the newly established Magic Council, the new members voice their complaints about the recent issues regarding Fairy Tail. Despite Org's arguments being in their favor, the new head of the council, Gran Doma, announces that they will forcefully disband Fairy Tail if they cause trouble once more.
Elsewhere, within a forested area, a mysterious young man is attacked by wolves. Despite him pleading for them to leave him be, they persist in attacking him. However, his power is unwillingly activated, and he ends up taking the lives of the wolves, as well as the floral life around him. He mutters sadly that he wishes to meet Natsu soon.
Power and Luck
The guild grows excited at the announcement of the annual S-Class Mage Promotion Trial. Makarov states the venue: Tenrou Island, Fairy Tail's Holy Ground, and the eight participants: Natsu Dragneel, Gray Fullbuster, Juvia Lockser, Elfman Strauss, Cana Alberona, Freed Justine, Levy McGarden, and Mest Gryder. Makarov continues to explain that only one of those eight will become an S-Class Mage, and that each participant needs to have a partner that isn't an S-Class Mage. Soon, Carla sees a vision of Natsu and Cana crying, a lifeless hand on the ground, and the face of the young man in the woods. Later, every contestant successfully chooses their partner: Natsu and Happy, Gray and Loke, Juvia and Lisanna, Elfman and Evergreen, Cana and Lucy, Freed and Bickslow, Levy and Gajeel, and Mest and Wendy. One week later, the contestants go to Hargeon Port and board a ship.
All the contestants and their partners make their way to the first stage of the exam on the ship. After the explanation of the rules, the trial commences and the contestants race to get off the boat, with each pair trying to get ahead of the rest to reach Tenrou Island.
Natsu and Happy choose Path E as Natsu believes that Erza would be there, but they encounter Gildarts instead. Lucy and Cana are the last to arrive on the island and head through Path C to encounter Freed and Bickslow. Meanwhile, Juvia and Lisanna encounter Erza, Elfman and Evergreen meet Mirajane, Gray and Loke square off against Wendy and Mest, and Levy and Gajeel go through the safe route.
Freed and Bickslow decide to lose on purpose since they owe Lucy and Cana. Erza easily defeats Juvia and Lisanna, while Elfman and Evergreen manage to defeat Mirajane by catching her off-guard. Gray and Loke easily defeat Mest and Wendy, but are having trouble remembering Mest's background. Natsu loses to Gildarts in battle, but Gildarts lets him pass when Natsu learns to accept defeat and fear. Meanwhile, Panther Lily and Carla are flying towards Tenrou Island because of their suspicions regarding Mest.
At the gathering place of the passing contestants, Makarov announces the beginning of the second exam with the task of finding the grave of Mavis Vermilion, the first Master, within the time limit of six hours.
Mest and Wendy decide to explore the island after failing the test while Gildarts, Bickslow and Freed return to the guild and Erza, Juvia, Lisanna and Mirajane rest at the camp. However, Erza begins to worry about Wendy and searches for her along with Juvia.
After escaping the claws of a beast while grave-searching, Elfman and Evergreen notice someone approaching them. He warns them to stay back, just as he loses control of his Ankhseram Black Magic, stealing the lives of the flora around him. Natsu, just in the nick of time, saves the two. Zeref sheds tears of joy upon seeing Natsu, but Natsu, not recognizing him, demands to know who he is and punches him in the face, though the Mage is left unfazed by this. Suddenly, Zeref feels that yet another wave is about to be unleashed, and the Mage warns them to run. As the wave is unleashed, Natsu meets it head on. He is still alive, though for some reason, his muffler has turned black.
Mest, who noticed the wave of energy, is both happy and excited due to the fact that Zeref is on the island. On an airship, Ultear reports to Hades that they have located Zeref. Six of the Grimoire Heart Guild's Seven Kin of Purgatory gather and prepare to attack Tenrou Island.
Lucy and Cana brainstorm where the grave might be by utilizing the vague hints left by the Master until Lucy comes to a conclusion to where the grave might be. Meanwhile, two members of Grimoire Heart ambush Levy. But just as she is about to be killed, Gajeel saves her. The members reveal themselves to be Kawazu and Yomazu and the battle of the two pairs begins. Levy and Gajeel are easily overpowered by the Dark Mages, so Gajeel tells Levy to run and warn the others. Before she leaves, she helps Gajeel replenish his energy by using her Magic to form a word from iron. With pure determination and pride, Gajeel battles the two Dark Mages despite his severe injuries in order to defend his guild.
Just as Gajeel defeats Kamazu and Yomazu, Levy brings back reinforcements; Juvia and Erza. Comprehending the severity of the battle, Erza declares that the exam is now on hold, and launches a signal flare to let everyone know about the enemy attack.
The Seven Kin Of Purgatory
The red flare is seen by the contestants around the island. Cana attempts to ignore it, but Gray and Loke interrupt, as they were secretly following the two, saying that they need to focus on the enemy attack instead of the exams.
Carla and Panther Lily encounter Wendy and Mest and tell her to stay away from him. When confronted about his identity, Mest counters that he was a disciple of Mystogan. Panther Lily knows it is a lie and confronts him about it. Mest, however, teleports in front of Wendy, and moves her away from an impending blast. The perpetrator morphs from a tree and introduces himself as Azuma, a member of the Seven Kin. Mest reveals that he's a member of the Magic Council and was searching for some evidence worthy to disband Fairy Tail, but with both Grimoire Heart and Zeref, he imagines how big his promotion will be if he succeed in finishing the job himself. But, in case of emergency, he had a battleship prepared. The battleship, however, is destroyed in an instant by Azuma.
This prompts Panther Lily to begin a battle against Azuma. Mest and Wendy also join in to take him down. However, Azuma proves to be too strong for them and easily takes each Mage down, without getting a scratch.
On the Grimoire Heart Guild's Ship, the members notice a gigantic Makarov waiting for them and he attacks. Hades orders Carprico to take all the Grimoire Heart members to the island while he deals with Makarov himself. Makarov threatens to cast his Fairy Law, but to his surprise, Hades counters with Grimoire Law. With shock, Makarov recognizes Hades as the second master of Fairy Tail, Precht. Makarov, shocked by Hades' true identity, is caught off-guard and shot down to his original size. Due to his identity, Makarov does not attack him with his full power. However, Hades has other concerns and easily defeats Makarov with a Magic blast, puncturing his body.
After Makarov is defeated, all of the Fairy Tail members present battle with the lesser members of Grimoire Heart Guild.
Zancrow walks over to Natsu and declares to take care of him. He throws black flames that Natsu can't eat, much to his surprise. Elsewhere, Caprico faces off Lucy, Gray, Loke, and Cana. Loke and Lucy are surprised to see him, but for different reasons. Meredy meets Erza and Juvia, and sets her objective to defeating them. Rustyrose confronts Evergreen and Elfman. Meanwhile, Mirajane and Lisanna meet with Azuma.
Fighting Fire with Fire: Natsu vs. Zancrow
Zancrow claims that Natsu cannot eat his flames because he, a God Slayer, has inherently superior flames to those of a Dragon Slayer. Natsu loses the initial battle against him and is thrown off a cliff where he finds Makarov in critical condition. Despite Makarov's command to leave, Natsu refuses and swears to have revenge on Hades. He battles Zancrow again, who followed him, this time with anger.
During the battle, Natsu is engulfed by Zancrow's flames and retaliates by pouring out his own in an attempt to break the spell that Zancrow uses against him. Makarov attempts to crush Zancrow to stop him, but Zancrow sets Makarov's fist on fire and wonders which one will perish first. Natsu's flames are suddenly depleted, to Makarov's horror and Zancrow's joy, but the black flames suddenly start flowing into Natsu's mouth. The use of so much of his powers had made a significant room in his Magic reserves, allowing him to eat Zancrow's previously inedible flame. Recharged, Natsu combines the flames of a dragon and a god, defeating Zancrow. Natsu faints, before Wendy and the Exceeds work to heal him.
Struggle of the Fairies
At the camp site, Mirajane and Lisanna are taking heavy damage from Azuma's attacks. Azuma recognizes Mirajane as the feared "Demon" and requests a battle with her, going as far as binding Lisanna with a tree bomb. In an instant, Mirajane transforms into her Satan Soul, but knows that she can't last long. Mirajane, distracted by her sister being taken hostage, cannot concentrate fully on the battle, rendering her unable to proper attacks. With little time left, Mirajane deactivates Satan Soul and chooses to shield Lisanna from the blast. The blast engulfs the camp, and as Lisanna cries for her unconscious sister, Azuma leaves.
In a different place on Tenrou Island, Ultear finally finds Zeref and requests for his help on behalf of Grimoire Heart. The Black Mage, however, refuses as he doesn't want to see anyone else dying, and orders them to leave. With his intimidation, Ultear is left paralyzed. The two engage in battle, where Zeref is defeated as he is unable to use his full power.
At another battleground, Elfman and Evergreen are battling against Rustyrose and his summoned monster. Despite their best efforts to fight back, it is no use and they're nearly defeated. Afterwards, Rustyrose reveals the true reason for coming to the island, to acquire Zeref and lead civilization into the Great World of Magic, where non-Magic users are unable to survive. The two Mages protest their ideals and continue to battle. However, despite their teamwork, Rustyrose's Arc of Embodiment overpowers and defeats them with an explosion.
In the woods, Natsu, with his scarf reverted to normal by Wendy, wakes up. While Makarov remains immobile, Natsu catches the scent of the person he met on Galuna Island, Zalty, and decides to head to where "he" is.
The Battle of the Spirits: Leo vs. Capricorn
At the destroyed battleship of the Magic Council, Mest arrives before Lahar and reveals everything that had happened on the island. Lahar can't believe it, and fears that the Chairman, Gran Doma, may fire Etherion to rid the world of Fairy Tail, Grimoire Heart, and Zeref. Mest is ordered to contact HQ, but has second thoughts about it.
While Gray Fullbuster, Loke, Lucy Heartfilia & Cana Alberona are fighting Capricorn, Loke tells the combatants from his side to stop and tells them to go look for the other six members of the Seven Kin Of Purgatory. He reveals that Capricorn's Magic could weaken humans, and as a Celestial Spirit, he is unaffected by this and can battle on par with him. He reveals the opponent to be Capricorn, who is also a Celestial Spirit. As they leave, Lucy makes Loke promise that he'll come back to her, to which Capricorn notices that something is familiar about her.
Capricorn creates a Magic seal with two of his fingers and summons the Hero of Rubengard: San Jiao Shin, who attacks Loke in the chest with his spear. Loke asks what that was and Capricorn explains who San Jiao Shin is and how he made him his subordinate. Loke is surprised that Capricorn can kidnap and then summon the humans he kidnaps and Capricorn says that it is time for him to ask about Loke's master. Loke asks why and Capricorn responds that it is so he can make her his subordinate. He also says that he already has a hunch but there is something about the girl that he let get away. Capricorn asks about Lucy, and when he realizes that she is Layla Heartfilia's daughter, he goes berserk and summons San Jiao Shin to eliminate Lucy. However, Loke easily defeats him and the knights he summons afterwards. Capricorn reveals that he broke a taboo which left him with a goat body. Loke realizes that Capricorn has a human possessing him and that human cast a spell that would let him fuse with Loke instead. Trying to stop the fusion, Loke punches Capricorn with Regulus, but is too late in the end.
Now fused with Loke's body, the possessor now prepares to finish Lucy off in order to become human once again. However, Capricorn suddenly strikes back with his newly-transferred Regulus, and the possessor, Zoldeo, is forced out of Loke's body. Zoldeo expresses his delight at regaining his original body, but fades away shortly after, as he is now a spirit without a body. Afterwards, Capricorn explains everything about his past with Layla and Zoldeo, and decides to fulfill his promise with Layla by becoming Lucy's Celestial Spirit. Lucy, who notices her keys were glowing, announces that Loke has defeated Capricorn to Gray and Cana and that Capricorn has joined them.
The Grave's Location and The Tag Team Battle
Walking down the path, Cana suggests that they split up and search for the members of Seven Kin of Purgatory so that they could find and eliminate the enemy faster. The trio agrees and Gray separates from Cana and Lucy.
Elsewhere, Meredy summons Magic Blades to attack Erza and Juvia. While Erza effortlessly evades the attack, Juvia, even with her water body, is damaged by the Magic blades. Meanwhile, Natsu finds Zeref and later, Ultear who he battles.
Cana starts to inquire about the grave of Mavis Vermilion, and Lucy reveals where the grave is most likely to be. But just as she was about to finish, Cana puts Lucy to sleep, apologizes and leaves. Suddenly, Kain Hikaru shows up in front of Lucy and attempts to stomp her. Lucy, however, wakes up in the nick of time to dodge the attack. The two begin to battle, though its beginning is comical due to Kain's foolish action of letting Lucy hold Mr. Cursey, the source of his Ushi no Koku Mairi Magic. However, upon getting his Magic doll back, the battle begins to get intense and serious, with Kain gaining the upper hand as he easily defeats Lucy's spirits.
Lucy is sent flying in the clearing where Natsu and Ultear are battling, where Natsu's kick coincidentally ends up connecting with Kain's face, saving Lucy from him. Natsu, Lucy and Happy reform their team in order to take down the opponents.
Ultear leaves with Zeref at Kain's request as he continues to battle them, attacking Natsu with Dodoskoi in order to prevent him from chasing after Ultear. As Ultear leaves, she tells Kain to show them the terror of the Seven Kin. Kain swings a punch toward the ground and Natsu tumbles out of the way. While Lucy moves forward in order to help him in the fight, she suddenly becomes immobile. Kain shows her Mr. Cursey that has a strand of her hair and he reveals that he managed to pluck a strand when he chased her. He makes her do all kinds of poses, which interests Natsu and he comments that it looks pretty fun, to which Lucy replies that it isn't. Kain then uses her to pummel Natsu with attacks. However, thanks to Happy's flying abilities and Natsu's creative thinking, they are able to use Kain's doll and take control of Lucy so that she becomes a fireball of Magic Power, defeating Kain with an innovated technique.
The Strength of Emotions: Juvia vs. Meredy
The team decides to travel back to Wendy's location and regroup with the other Mages before looking for Grimoire Heart's base. Meanwhile, Cana, after abandoning Lucy and Gray, reaches the grave and notices it shining.
Elsewhere, Gray hears the rustle of leaves and finds a woman who bore a striking resemblance to Ur, his former master. She was carrying Zeref, leading Gray to silently continue to pursue her. At the Grimoire Heart Airship, Hades is eating, while an unknown figure known as Bluenote was asking when he could join the battle. Hades orders him to stay, but Bluenote says that if one more of the Seven Kin of Purgatory falls, he would join the battle.
At the remains of the Magic Council battleship, Lahar and Doranbolt were discussing Bluenote. Just as Lahar is about to contact the Headquarters, Doranbolt takes the Communication Lacrima and teleports to Wendy's location. He offers to evacuate all the Fairy Tail Mages. Everyone present, however, refuses. Natsu states that he would take care of anyone that dared to oppose the guild.
Erza and Juvia experience troubles in their battle against Meredy, as Meredy's spells take effect on Juvia even though her body is made of water. With Juvia down, Erza decides to take on Meredy herself. However, Meredy continues to aim for Juvia, stating that she is number thirteen in her list of people to kill and so she would dispose of her quickly since she is worthless trash. She adds that Erza is the fourth, Gildarts is the third, Makarov is the second and that Gray is the first, the person she wants to kill the most because he had killed Ultear's mother and according to Meredy, had Ur's blood on his hands. This statement causes an enraged Juvia to rise with newfound power and determination.
Juvia asks Erza to leave so she can continue finding the others while she battles Meredy alone. Erza complies to search for Gray and Wendy while Juvia dominates the battle. Meredy links Juvia and Gray's senses together, causing all the pain they would suffer to be shared. Further enraged by Meredy's resolution, Juvia's Magic grows and counterattacks against Meredy. In desperation, Meredy links herself to Juvia, and reveals that no matter who dies in the battle, Gray will die with the loser. Knowing that their lives are linked, Meredy prepares to commit suicide, but is stopped by Juvia with a blow to her own leg. As Meredy attempts to kill herself once more, her past is revealed, showing how she was taken in by Ultear as a child and how she sees Ultear as her mother. Juvia senses Meredy's emotions and embraces her, demanding that she start living for the ones she loves. The two eventually lose their will to fight and fall in the water. In Gray's area, he notices that the mark and the pain from the link have disappeared. However, Ultear sneaks up behind him, introduces herself as Ur's daughter, and tells him that she is an ally.
The Strongest of Grimoire Heart
Carla returns to report to Natsu and the others about the status of the Fairy Tail members at the camp and the location of the enemy's boat. They decide to head out and regroup in order to take down Grimoire Heart while they ask Doranbolt to stall the council for time, despite his protests. Meanwhile, Ultear continues to comfort and convince Gray, but he refuses to buy any of it, and remains furious that Ultear is planning to use Zeref. However, Ultear reveals that it was all the will of Ur.
Meanwhile, Erza encounters Azuma as she looks for Wendy while Levy, Lisanna and Panther Lily are faced with the threat of Rustyrose at the main camp. On the Grimoire Heart ship, Hades realizes that Bluenote has already left for battle after Meredy's defeat, causing him to apologize to Makarov, stating that he had never intended to use him again.
As Natsu's group travels to the main camp, they feel an ominous Magic Power and meet the Grimoire Heart deputy himself, Bluenote Stinger. His Magic is felt by all throughout the island as he makes the ground between the group's feet sink. He declares that he doesn't care about Fairy Tail or Zeref and all he wants is the location of the First Master's grave in order to obtain the Magic sealed within it. At the same time, Cana arrives at Mavis' grave and finds that it is shining brightly.
Cana tries to touch the glowing grave, but it hurts her upon contact. This instigates Runes to materialize, stating that one of the three great Magics rest within the grave, Fairy Glitter. Cana desperately asks whether she won the S-Class Mage Promotion Trial Test, commenting that the last 12 years were for this moment. She reveals the history of how she met her father, Gildarts, who didn't know her. After realizing how strong he was, she resolved to take the S-Class Trial, citing that if she passed, she would feel worthy enough to tell him. Her first attempts were failures and if she failed once more, she would quit.
However, she remembers Lucy's declaration to help her pass the test. Her Help Lucy Card glows. Realizing she had been a fool, Cana cries out that she never meant to betray her friends and begs for Mavis to lend her power. It's then that she is allowed to touch the grave, and a voice, Mavis Vermilion's, tells her that mistakes are something that better the heart, and bestows Fairy Glitter upon her. With this new power, Cana rushes over to save her friends.
Cana arrives where Bluenote is and attacks with her cards, which Bluenote deflects. As Cana charges up Fairy Glitter, Bluenote's Magic knocks her off-balance. She then asks Natsu to distract Bluenote to buy her time to recharge again. Bluenote is disgusted by the fact that Cana got the Magic he was looking for but would be glad to take it away from her by killing her. Natsu, who was still under the effect of the gravity, launches a roar towards the ground, and strikes Bluenote with it. Distracted by the attack, Cana takes the opportunity and fires Fairy Glitter. The attack, however, is parried onto the ground, and Bluenote further taunts her about her Magic and her Fairy Glitter. Bluenote attempts to kill her once more, when Gildarts shows up and blasts him away.
Reinforcements Arrive: The Island's Final Battles
Back at the main camp, Rustyrose is overpowered by Freed and Bickslow; who had returned to the island with Gildarts when they saw the signal flare. Rustyrose tries to defend and maintain an offensive front but to no avail.
Erza fights Azuma, the two being on even ground. Azuma then uses his Magic, Great Tree Arc, to uproot the Tenrou Tree at the middle of the island. Upon doing so, all the Fairy Tail members start to lose their Magic and are unable to move, allowing the Grimoire Heart mages to gain the upper hand against Gildarts, Freed and Bickslow. Azuma reveals that taking control of the tree means taking control of the blessings it bestows upon Fairy Tail members, but reveals that he had left Erza unharmed to commence their battle.
Having had her strongest armors damaged and being on the losing side, Erza attempts a desperate attack on Azuma by striking him with all of her power in a single sword slash. However, Azuma uses the branches of the tree to take hold of her limbs, holding her in place before blowing up a significant amount of Magic from the Tenrou Tree directly underneath her. As Erza lays defeated before him, Jellal Fernandes in some distant prison somewhere, mutters Erza's name.
His words somehow reach Erza despite being tortured and in a cell that prevents the use of magic, and urges her to get back on her feet. Azuma attacks her with the Magic in Tenrou Tree again but to to his astonishment, the inferno does not harm her and instead destroys the branches he sets up for his own defense. Erza, meanwhile, sees visions of her comrades urging her on to keep fighting. Azuma comments in awe that Fairy Tail's strength comes with their conviction and declares that they are a splendid guild before being struck down by Erza. With his defeat, Azuma restores the stolen Magic to the Fairy Tail Mages and starts to merge with a tree as a side effect of overusing his Magic.
With their Magic restored, Freed, Bickslow and Gildarts defeat their respective Grimoire Heart opponents.
The Legacy of Ur: Gray vs. Ultear
Gray agrees to the use of Iced Shell, saying he's fully prepared to lose his life for the guild. Back at camp, Natsu's group arrives. After Panther Lily relays the location of the Grimoire Heart ship, they decide to split into attack and defense groups to take on the remaining members of Grimoire Heart.
Later, Ultear meets Meredy with Zeref in tow and reveals how she was able to fool Gray into going after Hades with a made-up story about her mother. As she prepares to leave the island with a reluctant Meredy, Ultear notices and prepares to kill a passed-out Juvia. However, Gray springs out and saves Juvia from Ultear. It turns out he had not believed a word that she said. The two begin their battle, with Gray delivering the first blow.
Meredy runs with Zeref to the rendezvous point according to Ultear's commands, though Gray has Juvia chase after her. With them gone, the two battle it out. Gray initially has trouble due to Ultear's Arc of Time that reverses Gray's Ice-Make. He overcomes that disadvantage when he freezes his own blood, making it immune to Ultear's Magic. However, Ultear makes a surprise comeback with Ice-Make: Rosen Krone, revealing that Ultear knew the same Creation Magic her mother used.
Their ice-to-ice battle takes them rolling down a cliff and into the ocean. Ultear's past is revealed, and it turns out that a terrible misunderstanding led her to have those feelings of hate and so she joined Grimoire Heart. She realizes that Ur's spirit flows within the ocean after her ice melted in Galuna Island and that she is in the embrace of her mother. When she snaps back to reality, Gray delivers his finishing blow, defeating her.
The ice around Ultear breaks and she falls, crying and admitting she just wanted to see her mother again. The two get back on land, where Gray lets Ultear rest, then heads off towards the Grimoire Heart Airship, despite being wounded.
The Demon's Final Stand: Fairies vs. Hades
Zancrow appears before Meredy, while she runs from Juvia, revealing how it was Ultear that destroyed her hometown and declares that she's no longer a part of Grimoire Heart. Suddenly, Zeref awakens and utters the word "Acnologia". He unleashes a dark wave that kills Zancrow and leaves Meredy and Juvia in an unconscious state. He feels remorse for what he has done once again while Doranbolt, standing nearby, looks on in shock at what he heard Zeref say. He later reports back to Lahar and they evacuate.
The Exceeds decide to scan the ship itself while Team Natsu proceeds to battle Hades. They battle him with everything they have, even creating a Unison Raid. At some point, they appear victorious, but Hades soon recovers, barely affected by all their attacks. He casts a spell which affects Wendy, who suddenly disappears, leaving only her clothing behind, much to the group's horror.
She turns out to be fine after Horologium saves her. Hades reveals to them that he was the Second Master of Fairy Tail, though Natsu does not believe him. He is easily able to immobilize the group with his Amaterasu, Chain Magic and Bullet Magic. Just as Hades is about to finish Natsu off, thunder crashes through the airship as Laxus Dreyar appears. Laxus, hearing Natsu say that Hades is his grandfather's enemy, proceeds to head-butt him.
Thunder Crashes: The Spirit of Makarov Lives!
Laxus and Hades soon fight, with Laxus starting off strong. The fairies are astonished by Laxus' strength as he continuously delivers spells and dodges Hades' attacks. However, Hades' last attack has weakened him. He attempts to strike Laxus down with an energy beam, and just as it connects, Laxus manages to transfer his powers of lightning to Natsu, though it drains him greatly. The others are astonished that the lightning and fire have fused together in Natsu's body. Laxus asks Natsu to pay Hades back for the pain he caused.
Natsu, completely revived and brimming with lighting power, charges after Hades with multiple melee attacks, overpowering Hades, with Lightning Fire Dragon's Roar as a finisher. For a moment, they believe he has been defeated. They are proven wrong when Hades gets back on his feet and activates the Demon's Eye.
Meanwhile, the Exceeds are still trying to find the power source of the ship and have entered the air vents. They come across a grate and look through, shocked at what's below. They drop down into the room and try to make out the mysterious power source that they have found. Before they can examine further, a few of the Grimoire Heart members rush inside. Panther Lily battles them in his Battle Form while Happy and Carla stop the source.
With Demon's Eye activated, his appearance changes dramatically. Hades cites it as the Abyss of Magic. He recites a spell from the book of Zeref which summons Demons from the rocks around them. Everyone in the group, including Erza, finds themselves shaking in fear at such monstrosities. Just when it seems they'll give up, Natsu suddenly remembers what Gildarts had told him about how fear allows one to learn their own weakness, repeating it aloud. He gets to his feet, telling his team that now that they know their weakness, they can grow stronger.
Just as Hades sends his army of Demons at them, the team regains their resolve from Natsu's speech, gets to their feet, and charges toward Hades. With their teamwork, they fling Natsu to Hades at high speed as Hades he summons a spell. The result is a huge explosion that blows up the remainder of the deck.
After the smoke clears, it is revealed that Natsu's punch landed on Hades due to the ineffectiveness of his Magic caused by Happy and Carla's destruction of the ship's power source, Grimoire Heart, which is actually Hades' heart and the key to his longevity and Magic. On the island, Ultear restores the Tenrou Tree with her Magic, letting the fairies regain their energy. They all attack for the final time, with Natsu beating Hades with Crimson Lotus: Exploding Lightning Blade. As Natsu gives out a shout, the sun breaks on Tenrou Island.
The Victory We Believed In
The lesser Mages of Grimoire Heart come storming in while chasing Happy and Carla, though they run away at the sight of the other Fairy Tail Mages, including Makarov, who have just arrived. They celebrate their victory as well as Laxus' return. Afterwards, they head back to camp except Makarov who approaches Hades. When Hades reasons that it was all to create the Ultimate World of Magic and to acquire the "The One Magic", Makarov leaves Hades, reminding his former master of all of the things he learned about Magic being alive from Hades himself.
The Fairy Tail Mages start relaxing at camp as Juvia returns from failing to chase Zeref. Meanwhile, the Grimoire Heart ship takes off with only Rustyrose, Kain, and Hades. Zeref suddenly enters the ship, blaming Grimoire Heart for the use of Acnologia. He then predicts the end of the current era.
Hades quickly orders the two to bring him the keys for Zeref's awakening. However, Zeref states that there is no need since he is already awakened and was never asleep. He then continues his explanation, saying that he had seen countless people die in war 400 years ago, and realized how valuable lives really are. That also started his curse of his body, taking lives against his will. In order to stop such effects, he has to forget the importance of lives. Zeref continues by stating that they are the ones who caused him to summon Acnologia, and he will punish them. Before Hades can ask him anything else, Zeref announces the two crimes they committed, and then prepares a spell that causes Hades' demise.
Meredy and Ultear leave Tenrou Island together on a rowboat. Meredy asks Ultear if she truly did destroy her hometown. She becomes angered when Ultear confirms it. However, her anger quickly turns to horror as Ultear stabs herself with a knife so that Meredy wouldn't taint her own hands by killing her, and tells Meredy to find happiness on her own as she throws herself out of the boat. Not wanting to be left alone, Meredy dives after Ultear and rescues her from drowning, using her Sensory Link to feel Ultear's sadness and regrets. Meredy forgives Ultear, saying that the fact that she was raised by her is all that matters, and begs her to stay alive so that they may live together. The two then cry and embrace as they drift on the ocean's surface.
Due to the recent events, Makarov announces that he is going to suspend the S-Class trial, much to most of the candidates' dismay. Elsewhere, Lucy drags away Natsu and Happy so Cana may be able to talk to Gildarts in private. With the three gone, Gildarts asks Cana what is wrong, having seen her sad face. She explains that she came to Fairy Tail to find her father, who she confesses to be Gildarts himself, surprising him as he instantly asks whose child she is, listing out all the women he has been with. Having said what she wanted to say, Cana turns to leave, saying that she is not expecting Gildarts to be part of her family and that they can return to the way they were. However, Gildarts approaches her and hugs her, realizing that her mother is Cornelia, the only woman that he really loved and the only one he married. He explains that he left eighteen years ago but never knew that he had a kid. Gildarts continues to hug her, asking for the right to love her. While the two stand in each other's arms, Lucy, Natsu and Happy watch from afar, Lucy thinking about her own father. Elsewhere, Zeref watches as a large black Dragon approaches the Fairy's island.
Destruction Descends: To the Future
The members of the guild start feeling an ominous presence around them. Soon after, a loud cry of a Dragon reaches their ears, the cry of the Black Dragon of the Apocalypse, Acnologia. As the Dragon approaches, Makarov orders everyone to stand back and uses his Giant Magic to expand himself to be able to hold back the Dragon. Everyone runs away in tears, as Makarov continues to battle the beast.
The Dragon knocks him down, injuring him. He had believed it would be his end. Suddenly, the Fairy Tail Mages, led by Natsu, arrive and begin fighting the Dragon while Laxus helps his grandfather, reasoning that there was no way they could've left him behind. The Dragon repels the Mages' attacks with little effort as Gildarts realizes that it is holding back, unlike when he fought it.
The Dragon quickly takes to the skies to prepare for a breath attack. In an attempt to defend themselves and their holy land, everyone joins hands just as the Dragon unleashes its attack, decimating the island and seemingly vaporizing everyone. When the attack dissipates, Zeref realizes that it is all over as the island is no more. The Magic Council tries to find survivors, with no success. Acnologia disappears once again. Seven years later, Fairy Tail Mage Romeo Conbolt stares off into the sea.
Manga & Anime Differences
- In the battle between Bickslow and Freed in the manga, Lucy and Cana originally "defeated" both using Aquarius in conjunction with Cana's The Prayer's Fountain. In the anime, Lucy uses Aries to hold Bickslow in place and beats him with "Lucy Kick". She then summons Aquarius using Cana's The Prayer's Fountain Card to help them on Freed, but the spirit attacks them (without using water) and leaves after bickering with Cana. Cana then uses more of her Sexy Lady Cards to trap Freed. He tries to escape out the only spot he sees, but winds up stepping into a circle of cards that electrocutes him, knocking him out.
- Juvia and Lisanna's battle with Erza is expanded, with the former two trying different attacks. In the manga, there is only a brief glimpse of their fight.
- There is only the aftermath of the battle between Gray and Loke vs. Mest and Wendy in the manga with Mest waking up after being knocked unconscious. The anime, however, shows the full fight and how Wendy was defeated; essentially, Gray and Loke ate pickled plums and making puckered faces to scare her into submission.
- Erza and Juvia are shown searching for Wendy and Mest in the anime, where Erza shares her past experience on her S-Class exam with Juvia while the latter is thinking about Gray.
- The Grimoire Heart underlings wear masks and cloaks in the anime. They do not in the manga.
- In the anime, while Team Natsu was fighting Hades, two other battles were occurring simultaneously with the wounded.
The inner cover of Volume 24 includes many S-Class materials originally planned, remained, and/or cut out:
- Natsu and Happy's potential opponent included Gray and Loke before settling on Gildarts.
- Mirajane is supposed to have won the battle against Elfman and Evergreen.
- It involves revealing where the locations of certain characters are at this point such as Laxus after Makarov was defeated and Jellal after Erza was beaten.
- Cana and Lucy beating Freed and Bickslow is planned out along with the battle between Juvia and Lisanna with Erza.
- Gajeel and Levy are supposed to fight Mest and Wendy. The latter team would be victorious in the battle.
- The Killing Mage is originally not supposed to be Zeref. There are a few other names that could have been used for him, including "Touma," "Mafuyu," "Fuyuki," and "Invel." The use of Ankhseram Black Magic, however, remains.
- Cana suddenly snuck out of the team by putting a sleeping spell on her partner, Lucy, and began working alone for personal reasons. Lucy went to find Cana for that reason.
- Gray participating in the exam for the second time.
- Some info regarding Makarov's death in the battle is circled but parts about him dying are blurred.
- Tenrou Island contains the secrets of Fairy Tail and may be revealed in the course of battle.
Battles & Events
|Events||Conflict on Grimoire Heart's Airship|
|Edolas arc||Tenrou Island arc||X791 arc|
|200 | 201 | 202 | 203 | 204 | 205 | 206 | 207 | 208 | 209 | 210 | 211 | 212 | 213 | 214 | 215 | 216 | 217 | 218 | 219 | 220 | 221 | 222 | 223 | 224 | 225 | 226 | 227 | 228 | 229 | 230 | 231 | 232 | 233 | 234 | 235 | 236 | 237 | 238 | 239 | 240 | 241 | 242 | 243 | 244 | 245 | 246 | 247 | 248 | 249 | 250 | 251 | 252 | 253|
|96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122|