As Team Natsu takes a vacation at the popular Akane Resort, Erza's dark past comes back to haunt her when a few of her old friends kidnap her and plan to make her a sacrifice needed to revive the most powerful Dark Mage in history; Zeref. Now, Team Natsu must find a way to rescue her and Erza must come to terms with fighting the man who was once one of her closest friends.
The Ruined Vacation: Battle At the Casino!
After Loke gives Team Natsu tickets to Akane Resort, they head off for a vacation. Upon arrival, Natsu, Gray, Lucy, and Happy first decide to enjoy the beach. Elsewhere, Erza unwinds in her room and drifts off to sleep. She dreams of her childhood horrors at the Tower of Heaven where she worked as a slave to build the R-System. She hides in a corner and cries as Jellal Fernandes' voice whispers to her that freedom is just an illusion. Erza then wakes up and looks at herself in the mirror. She changes back into her Heart Kreuz Armor thinking it fits her personality better, before Lucy comes in the room and tells her to get dressed to go gamble at the casino downstairs, where the others are already present. Erza then requips into a rose patterned dress and heads out.
At the casino, Natsu gets angry when he loses a roulette game. As Gray plays at slots, Juvia reveals herself and admits that she decided to tag along. Natsu starts complaining again, when suddenly, a block-headed man named Wally Buchanan appears and tells him how to enjoy himself in an adult place, to Natsu and Happy's surprise. Wally then points a gun to Natsu's head, while everyone in the casino starts running in horror. Meanwhile, Gray and Juvia discuss her leaving the Phantom Lord Guild and becoming an independent Mage, as well as her interest in joining the Fairy Tail Guild. Just then, another man named Simon appears in front of them, swatting Juvia aside and demanding to know where Erza is. At the same time, Erza is playing a card game, when suddenly one of Erza's childhood friends, Shô, comes in to rotate dealer positions, but instead spells out the words DEATH with his cards to Erza. Erza stares at Shô, shocked to see him.
Shô remarks how its been a while since they last saw each other, but Erza is still surprised to see that Shô is safe. Meanwhile, Simon asks Gray about Erza's whereabouts a second time. Juvia suddenly appears ready to attack in her water form, intending to protect Gray and buy him some time to go find Erza. At that point, Simon gets told, through his headpiece, that Erza has been found, so he uses his Dark Moment Spell to blind Gray and Juvia and escape. While in the dark, Natsu gets shot in the mouth by Wally, and a bang is heard throughout the casino. When the light reappears Shô is gone but reappears behind Erza and shows her his Magic Card by displaying the trapped people inside his card deck by his Card Dimension Spell, remarking that he learned to use Magic too. At the same time another of Erza's past friends, Millianna, a cat like woman, meows and uses her Nekōsoku Tube to grab Lucy, despite Erza's protests about Lucy being a friend. Shô finds this remark insulting, saying that he thought they were friends too, until Erza betrayed them. Wally then reanimates himself to where Shô and Millianna are and tells Shô to calm down while also complimenting Erza's beauty.
Simon also appears as Lucy falls to the ground with her hands and feet tied. Lucy asks Erza why they are all calling her sister, and she replies that they are old friends, which triggers Wally to point his gun at Lucy, much to Erza's shock. Wally reanimates his hand behind Erza and shoots her with a sleeping bullet instead. As Simon grabs Erza, Lucy struggles in her position to get Erza back, but Millianna remarks that she'll be "cat food" in a few minutes. Wally then remembers that he has a gift for Millianna and presents Happy to her, knowing her cat-loving nature. Shô then exclaims that Erza will be returning to the Tower Of Heaven, where Jellal is waiting for her arrival.
After Erza and her former friends leave, Lucy tries to summon Cancer but fails to reach her keys, when she is suddenly poked by a knife belonging to someone inside of Shô's cards. He ends up cutting the ropes for her and the man is rewarded with a kiss. Once freed, Lucy runs over to Gray but when she touches him, his body breaks into pieces, freaking her out, until it turns out to be an ice clone. Juvia then gets up and lets Gray out of her water body, where she was hiding him, getting a freaked-out reaction from Lucy. Gray sheds his shirt and asks where Natsu is, but then Natsu's signature flame breath appears in the distance, before he starts yelling about how it was rude for someone to shoot inside his mouth. Natsu runs out of the casino, wanting revenge on Wally, with everyone else following, since Natsu has a keen sense of smell and can lead them to Erza.
At the Tower Of Heaven, Jellal sits on his throne as Vidaldus Taka walks in, reporting that Erza was successfully captured. Jellal laughs to himself and tells Vidaldus why he didn't kill Erza, which was because Erza was going to be the sacrifice to the tower. On Shô's ship, Erza is tied to a pole, and while everyone else is asleep, Shô visits her. She demands to be released, but Shô refuses to oblige. She then struggles to get free but Shô tells her its futile because Millianna's ropes can seal Magic, but Erza corrects him saying she just wants to just equip her armor back so she can feel more secure. Shô tells her that she looks nice in what she has on, and then he hugs Erza, telling her he never wanted to do all this, but it is her fault for betraying Jellal. Erza then reminisces her old friends and her escaping, worried about getting captured and potentially tortured, and that Jellal was the one who gave them the courage to carry on.
Infiltrate! Staircase to Heaven
The Magic Council reacts to the news brought by Siegrain that the R-System still exists. They remember shutting down the R-System projects, but other members point out there was an 8th tower they must have missed and that now it is almost completed. Siegrain interrupts the conversation saying the name of the 8th tower is The Tower of Heaven, while the others tell him to shut up and organize an army to take it down. Michello feels they don't have enough information to do that, but they do know that a cult leader, Jellal, is in control of the tower.
Gray, Juvia, Lucy and Natsu travel by canoe to the Tower of Heaven. Gray thinks they're lost and Natsu is sick from the transportation as usual, though they are all counting on his nose. Juvia expresses her surprise that Erza got defeated, which irritates Gray as he refuses to accept that she lost, until Lucy tells him to calm down since they don't know much about Erza. Soon, they see the tower ahead of them and continue sailing towards it.
Inside the tower, as Erza arrives, she is thrown in a prison, which triggers her to remember her monstrous past; when the guards came asking who was the mastermind behind the plan to escape, Jellal courageously said that it was him but the guard decided that it was Erza. Despite the fact that it was Shô who had the idea, Erza accepted the punishment trembling with fear, but also smiling, to assure the others that she was not afraid. Now in the same prison again after years, Shô tells her she will stay there until the "ceremony" starts the following day, in which she will be the sacrifice for "Paradise". Erza tells Shô not to use the R-System to resurrect the Dark Mage because of the consequences it will bring to the Magic World, but Shô is adamant, believing that Jellal will bring them to "Paradise" and that they will all rule together. Erza then brings Shô to his knees by kicking him in the face and requips into her Heart Kreuz Armor, determined to find and fight Jellal.
Happy wakes up in Millianna's room surrounded by stuffed cats and cat pillows, and he starts looking for Natsu. Millianna asks Happy how he is, and he shocks her when he reveals his ability to talk. Simon then comes in to tell Milianna and Wally that Erza has escaped, much to Happy's surprise that she is somewhere close. Simon tells them she's probably going for Jellal and they all set out to find her.In the throne room of the tower, Vidaldus worries about the Magic Council's actions.
At the Magic council, everyone is still arguing about what should be done, until Siegrain says the tower is way too dangerous to let it stand and recommends using Etherion. Almost everyone initially refuses, claiming the Etherion is their ultimate weapon and is even more powerful than the R-System, but Ultear Milkovich agrees to use it, so Siegrain begs for three more votes to let the chaotic weapon be used.
Back at the tower, Erza continues fighting and looking for Jellal. On the outside, Natsu and the others think there are too many guards to just walk in so Juvia recomments they go through an underwater entrance she found. She produces water helmets to give the Mages oxygen while underwater, and after they go through and reach the ground, Lucy points out how useful the water helmets were, surprising Juvia, who admits to having made Lucy's tank smaller than the others so that she wouldn't last. Guards then spot the gang but they are easily defeated, and then a door leading to the inside of the tower opens for them. In the throne room, Vidaldus asks Jellal why he is letting enemies enter. Jellal just claims that everything is a game to him and that they just passed a level. At the Council, Siegrain is able to gain one more vote, which leaves him with two more votes needed.
Once Natsu and the rest get in, Lucy changes into the clothes that Virgo gave her. More enemies start running towards the gang until Erza shows up and fights her way through them, asking about Jellal's whereabouts. Although surprised to see her friends at first, she then tells them to go back and that this is her problem to deal with, but Natsu refuses, as they have even abducted Happy. Erza decides to tell her friends everything she knows about the R-System, meanwhile reminiscing that when Jellal was captured, she and the other slaves decided to fight for their freedom starting a rebellion but by then, Jellal had completely changed.
Erza's Past: The Battle For Freedom!
A cult tried to build a tower to resurrect the fearful and terrifying Dark Mage Zeref by using the R-system, also known as Tower of Heaven. They used slaves to build it, and Erza happened to be one of them along with Wally, Shô, Millianna, Jellal, and Simon. After an escape attempt, Erza was taken to the dungeons and was tortured with such severity that she lost her right eye. Her friend Jellal arrived to save her and told her they had to fight to survive, but then was caught by another guard and received a beating, while Erza was sent back to her prison. Then, Jellal was possessed by what he believed was the Dark Mage Zeref, which greatly altered his former kind personality to a more violent one, making him almost completely insane. No longer able to take the abuse, Erza attacked the guards and started a revolution which at its inception appeared to be successful.
The sudden presence of Mages, however, began to dampen the slavers' chances at victory, and all seemed lost the moment a Magic blast came towards Erza, until Rob, another slave that was forced to work on the R-System, interfered, saving Erza, but sacrificing his life while doing so. To see Rob, who had nurtured her in the manner of a grandfather, blown to dust in an attempt to save her life seemed to unlock something inside of Erza, and as she remembered Rob telling her what is Magic and that it came from the heart, she awakened her Magic. In a vengeful fury she manipulated all kinds of weapons and tools like pickaxes and shovels in her proximity and sent a barrage of steel at her captives; in that moment of rage she ended the revolution, defeating all her enemies.
While the others went on the boat to go home, Erza went back in the dungeons to look for Jellal. Already possessed by Zeref, Jellal attacked Erza, telling her he was going to complete the R-System to resurrect Zeref's body in order to find his "true freedom". Jellal easily finished off the guards who were torturing him, despite Erza's attempts to stop him, and even attacked Erza herself with Darkness Magic. Erza remembers Jellal telling her not to tell anybody about the tower or he would kill everyone, and she then woke up on another island, crying about the events she had just witnessed.
Back in the present, Erza wipes her tears infront of her friends, and claims she will be the one to face Jellal.
The Countdown to Death Begins
The ones against Siegrain's proposal argue that Etherion would cause the death of everyone in the tower, including the innocent bystanders, with Siegrain announcing that he is willing to take the risk. Eventually, Belno also agrees to use the Etherion, with Jellal in his tower smiling and claiming that there is one more vote until everything ends.
Meanwhile, Erza talks about Zeref and how the R-System is being used to resurrect him. She then explains that he was the cruelest and most powerful Dark Mage in history, and also the creator of Lullaby, and probably Deliora. Lucy then asks why Erza is considered a traitor to her old friends, with the latter replying that Jellal probably made up a lie about her. Shô then appears, having overheard everything Erza said, furious about Jellal manipulating him and his friends, since he told them all that Erza planted bombs in their ships and that if Jellal hadn't noticed, everyone would have died. Jellal then made everyone get back to work on the tower, claiming it was a sign that the tower must continue to be built. Erza assures Shô she would never do that, confusing him. Simon then approaches the group, revealing that he knew Jellal was lying all along and that he always trusted Erza, who then comforts Shô saying she was too weak in the past but is stronger now. Then they all decide to work together and stop Jellal.
After finally arriving at Millianna's room, Natsu tries on a cat-themed costume head but soon finds himself stuck. When Wally tries to ambush him again, Natsu is saved by Millianna, who believes that he is a real cat, and doesn't want Wally to hurt him. He is nearly killed again when Wally points a gun at his head, but Millianna stops him once again. Wally convinces Millianna that he is not, in fact, a cat, and the two attack in tandem, but Natsu is saved by Happy this time. He ends up defeating both Mages by using a move dubbed by him as the "Ultimate Strike: Kitty in Pain" to invoke Millianna's pity and make her release him from his bonds, allowing his Magic to return to him and beating them with a single attack using his Fire Dragon's Wing Attack. Jellal, sensing his underlings' defeat, tends to his chess board made of pieces that represent all the people in his “game” and knocks Millianna and Wally’s pieces over, symbolizing their loss.
Jellal then tells Vidaldus that Simon and Shô have betrayed them, but that he doesn't mind since this is also part of the game. Vidaldus just tells Jellal to hurry up with the ceremony, but he gives the former the job of fighting for him instead, with Vidaldus awakening his true form, and his allies, Fukuro and Ikaruga appearing alongside him. Jellal then announces that it’s their turn to move.
Natsu and Happy are able to get the cat helmet off Natsu's head, but when they finally succeed, Wally gets up and attempts to attack them again. Jellal, however, uses Magic to send an audio to everyone in the tower, telling them that it’s time to begin the Paradise Game; the rules are to try to prevent him from using Erza to resurrect Zeref and that they must get past Trinity Raven to get to him. He then lets everyone know that the Etherion will also hit them soon and destroy the tower so they have an unknown amount of time and that they could potentially all die. An angry Shô claims that he will protect Erza and defeat Jellal so he uses his Magic to trap Erza in one of his cards and runs, with Simon following him. After hearing this, Natsu and Happy are excited to be par of the game, but instead decide that it would be easier to cheat; they fly straight to the top, but are soon stopped by Fukuro, who makes them fall to the ground.
When they land, they end up being with Simon who tells them to run away from Fukuro. Simon uses his Darkness Magic to help them escape, but since Fukuro is an owl he manages to see Simon in the darkness and beat him. Simon, defeated, tells Natsu that Fukuro is a member of Trinity Raven, a team that belongs to Death's Head Caucus, a guild that takes care of assassination jobs, which enrages Natsu, who now prepares to fight the other Mage. Natsu and Fukuro send attacks back and forth, with the former determined to win this battle despite his opponent's advantage. Somewhere else, Juvia and Lucy wander the tower looking for Natsu.
The Tide to Reach your Friends
As the battle between Natsu and Fukuro starts, the Trinity Raven Mage proves that he is not an easy opponent. Fukuro uses his Jet Magic and Simon realizes the power level of Trinity Raven, with Jellal in his throne room counting Simon as a defeated piece.
Meanwhile, Lucy and Juvia wander around the tower hoping to find Natsu, with Juvia wondering why she has to look for Natsu with Lucy, shortly after remembering that Gray told her that he would go after Shô while the girls were to look for Natsu. Juvia says to herself that she will do it despite being stuck with her love rival, but soon the girls are attacked by one of Trinity Raven's members, Vidaldus Taka, who seems to be obsessed with rock music. Juvia fights him for a while and seemingly traps him in her water lock, but his hair absorbs the water much to Juvia's surprise. Vidaldus then utilizes his Rock of Succubus Magic and decides to turn Juvia into his slave. During that time, Jellal knocks down Juvia's piece as she is out while he knocks Lucy's piece next, assuming that she is next to go.
With no control over her actions, Juvia attacks Lucy with her Water Magic while Lucy tries to reason with her, to no avail. Juvia attacks Lucy a couple of times, first by ripping her dress off then by whipping her with water, while Vidaldus states that if he turned both of them into slaves, things would become boring and that he preferred to see a cat fight. While Lucy is trapped under Juvia's water, she states that she can't hurt her. However, Juvia's real consciousness reaches Lucy, telling her that she doesn't like hurting her friend, considering her one despite the fact that she also sees her as a love rival, and that she has come to love Fairy Tail, thinking that she has finally made friends. Lucy feels Juvia's hot tears and sadness inside her water and, When she gets out of the water, Lucy decides to settle things summoning Aquarius using Juvia's water body. Upon being summoned, Aquarius begins attacking everyone, including Lucy. Somehow, Lucy and Juvia join hands as Aquarius attacks and they perform Unison Raid to defeat Vidaldus, who seems unable to absorb all that water, stating it is too much for him.
While the girls celebrate their victory, Aquarius throws a tantrum, scolding for the way she summoned her, and also warning her that she was about to go on vacation with her boyfriend. Juvia tells Lucy that she defeated Vidaldus Taka, to which Lucy corrects her, stating that they both defeated him, also surprised that the other woman called her by her name. Since both of them are tired, they decide to rest for a while and regain their strength. Meanwhile, Jellal expresses that he is impressed with the two girls, because a lot of people tried to use Unison Raid in the past, only to fail, but then deducts that this is to be expected out of Erza's friends.
The Owl Assassin
When the remaining members of the Council reject the idea of using Etherion, Siegrain resorts to revealing that Jellal's aim is none other than to resurrect the Dark Wizard, pointing out the gravity of the situation. The council is shocked at the revelation and asks Siegrain to tell them everything he knows.
Meanwhile, Natsu faces trouble as Fukuro launches his missile to get a hold of him, resulting in his motion sickness kicking in, which Fukuro takes advantage of and, amazingly, eats Natsu. Happy tries to attack Fukuro but the assassin, unfazed, uses Natsu's Fire Magic to bring Happy down, revealing that he is able to absorb the Magic of the Mages he eats.
Meanwhile, the council votes again, with 8 in favor and 1 against Siegrain's proposal, resulting in the Etherion being now approved of. Yajima, who is against it, asks Siegrain if he’s ready to accept the consequences of firing it and all the death he is about to cause, with the other man replying that he is. Meanwhile Jellal knocks Natsu's piece down, wondering how Erza will win now that her strongest piece is gone.
Gray reminisces Erza's arrival at Fairy Tail; one day, back when he was a kid, Cana was reading Gray his cards, when Erza suddenly arrived at Fairy Tail, saying to herself that this was the place that grandpa Rob was talking about.
Back in the present, Gray is looking for Shô who has Erza trapped in his cards when he runs into Simon and Fukuro. Gray indicates that they need to find Erza as soon as possible because as long as she is stuck in the card, she is defenseless. Happy tells Gray that Fukuro has eaten Natsu, and Fukuro explains that in around ten minutes, Natsu's body will dissolve. Gray decides to take the matter into his own hands and attacks Fukuro, but since he has absorbed Natsu, he uses Natsu's Fire Magic to counter Gray's Ice-Make Magic.
Gray remembers his younger days again. Once, Cana talked about how Erza was always by herself, and when Gray suggested that she talked to her, Cana told him that she had completely ignored her when she tried. Gray then tried to talk to Erza but she ignored him as well, pissing him off. He knocked Erza off her chair, telling her that this was a Mage guild and that she shouldn't go around wearing armor, however she replied that he should take a look at himself before telling the others what to wear, and that this might be mistaken as a guild for perverts with Gray being in only his underwear, which caused the rest of the guild to laugh at Gray, enraging him.
The arduous fight between Fukuro and Gray continues, with Gray still under Fukuro's fire, until he manages to freeze the flames and tells Fukuro that they can't be Natsu's, as they are not as powerful as the original ones. Fukuro is impressed with Gray's Magic, to the point that he wants to capture Gray as well. As Fukuro attempts to attack him, though, Gray freezes his mouth and says that they don't have time to play around.
Gray recollects getting beaten up by young Erza and Wakaba and Macao praising her, which enraged him even more, saying that he refused to accept her as one of his allies. Later, Gray found Erza sitting alone and he immediately challenged her to another fight, but then saw her crying. Instead of challenging her, he asked her why she was always by herself, and she replied that she liked being alone and did not feel comfortable around others to which Gray angrily responded that she should not be all alone, crying.
With all these memories powering up Gray, he finishes Fukuro off with his powerful Ice Blade: Seven Slice Dance, saying that Erza must be with everyone in Fairy Tail, so that she does not cry ever again.
Sword vs. Sword
After Gray's battle with Fukuro, Simon praises him, saying that he is a lot stronger than the information he had on him indicated, with Gray insisting that he has to hurry up and find Erza, before collapsing due to his wounds. Simon adds that Erza had indeed joined a great guild.
Meanwhile, twenty-seven minutes remain until Etherion is fired. Org thinks that they may have made a mistake in firing it and Michello states that they need to take full responsibility when it comes to maintaining order in the Magic World, and that they absolutely must not allow Zeref to be revived. Meanwhile, Jellal tests Ultear's resolve and loyalty, and then mentions that if Etherion fails, they would probably all die, with Yajima, who is eavesdropping on their conversation, overhearing this.
Back in the tower, Jellal knocks Fukuro's piece off on his chessboard, saying it is time to say goodbye to Siegrain. Meanwhile, Shô keeps looking for Jellal and still has Erza trapped in his card. Erza tries to reason with him, pleading with him to let her out but he tells her that he is going to protect her no matter what. He runs into the final member of Trinity Raven; Ikaruga, who proceeds to greet him. Shô attacks, telling her to move out of the way as he is not interested in fighting her but she cuts through all his attacks. She then attacks Shô while Erza tries to tell him that he is no match for her but Shô tells her that the card is protected from outside attacks. However, Ikaruga attacks Erza, managing to slice through the card dimension, with Erza defending herself. Fortunately, Erza successfully manages to break free out of Shô's card, having Ikaruga to thank for that. She then tells her opponent that she should move out of her way but, surprisingly, Ikaruga destroys Erza's Heart Kreuz Armor, telling the other woman that she is sort of surprised that Erza didn't notice the attack.
Shô notices that now Erza is serious about fighting Ikaruga, shortly before she changes into her Heaven's Wheel Armor; soon, however, Ikaruga destroys that armor too. Erza's opponent attacks her again, using a flame attack, however, Erza requips rapidly into the Flame Empress Armor to defend herself; nonetheless, this armor is quickly destroyed as well. Ikaruga praises Erza's ability to use Requip so fast, and she suggests that Erza uses her strongest armor, and she obliges, deciding to use the Purgatory Armor. Before Erza manages to do anything in that armor, though, Ikaruga destroys it in an instant, telling Erza that no matter what armor she wears, she won't stand a chance against her blade.
Erza stands on her feet once again and requips into a sarashi (long, winding strip of cloth, usually thick cotton, wrapped tightly around the midriff up to the chest) with flamed bottom hakama. Both Ikaruga and Shô think that this is not a particularly strong "armor", but Erza replies that she is weak, and that's why she wears her armor all the time, but she does not need it anymore, because now that she has met Fairy Tail, the armor keeps the warmth of those people away. She then declares she will defeat her opponent.
Preparing for one last attack both Ikaruga and Erza launch one final attack with their swords clashing for the final time, and although it looks like Erza has lost at first Ikaruga is actually the one to fall. Before Ikaruga loses her consciousness, she tells Erza that both her and Jellal would lose because there were 15 minutes left until the firing off of the Etherion. Erza orders Shô to find Simon and take her friends from Fairy Tail out of the tower and that she is going to settle things between her and Jellal.
The Dark Reunion: Erza vs. Jellal
When Natsu finally wakes up, he does not remember what happened to him aside from getting caught by the missile, which made him get sick. Simon yells at him for that, telling him that Fukuro ate him and Gray saved him but Gray took a lot of damage, so he told Happy to take him outside of the tower. Natsu is in a state of shock as Gray won and he "lost", so he actively plans revenge on Fukuro, but Simon pulls him away, telling him there is no time to do that. He tells Natsu that he got a message from Wally and Millianna according to which they found Lucy and Juvia collapsed along with a Trinity Raven member, and that they were taken outside the tower as well. Natsu thinks that he is useless now that Trinity Raven has been defeated but Simon reminds him that only Jellal is left and that Erza is on her way to confront him. He adds that the two of them are destined to battle but Jellal is simply more powerful so Simon begs Natsu to save Erza, which he easily refuses to do.
Erza finally makes it to the top of the tower where Jellal is, and he knocks the Trinity Raven's pieces off his board, claiming that the game is over. When Erza expresses her desire to free her friends, Jellal tells her he doesn't need them anymore, now that The Tower of Heaven is complete, but Erza replies to him saying that the tower will be destroyed in a matter of minutes, but Jellal is already aware. Erza decides to delay Jellal enough until Etherion fires, but Jellal tells her that she will die, as becoming Zeref's sacrifice is her destiny.
Meanwhile, Natsu tells Simon that he shouldn't underestimate Erza, but the other man replies that Erza won't bring herself to kill Jellal and that he is clever enough to take advantage of that. He also reminds him that Etherion is about to fire and if that happens, every person in the tower will die in ten minutes. He also reminds Natsu that Erza evacuated everyone and that he should know her long enough to see right through her plans; he speculates that she might take advantage of Etherion to die and take Jellal down with her. With the idea of his friend's suicidal plan making Natsu reach boiling point, he asks Simon where Erza now is.
Meanwhile Jellal and Erza begin their fight with Erza hoping to keep Jellal busy until Etherion is fired. During the fight, Erza wonders why Jellal is damaging his tower so carelessly, but Jellal doesn't seem to care, which enrages Erza because her friends spent eight years making it. He uses his Darkness Magic against Erza, hitting her, but she manages to break out of it once more, slicing Jellal in the process, who is surprised to see his opponent pinning him down on the ground.
Erza keeps wondering what Jellal is after, and speculates that something as big as the R-System would probably need tons of Magic power to be activated, but Jellal coldly reminds her that in a few minutes, Etherion will be fired. Erza gets angry and wonders whether he means to die, but Jellal tries to make her give up by saying that his body has been possessed by Zeref and that he is nothing more than a doll doing his bidding. He then claims it was all over before it had even begun and that nobody can save him.
Back in Era, Etherion finishes charging and all the members pray. Outside the tower, in the escape boat, Happy sees the light, hoping that Natsu and Erza can manage to get out of there in time. At the tower, Jellal confesses that he knew he could not finish the R-System but Zeref would not let him stop. He asks Erza to strike him down but she refuses, and hugs Jellal as Etherion is about to hit the tower. Simon sees the light also, saying that it is too late but Natsu continues climbing the tower looking for Erza. Upon Etherion finally hitting the tower an ominous smirk appears on Jellal's face.
Outside, the tower is seemingly destroyed and the escape boat that Lucy and the others are aboard gets caught in the waves until Juvia protects them using her Water Magic. Meanwhile, Org feels guilt about the innocent lives caught in Etherion. However, both the Mages and the Council members are shocked to see the tower still standing, with Lucy specualting that everyone inside it must still be alive.
Back at the tower, Simon is surprised that he is still alive while Natsu wonders what just happened. Meanwhile, Erza realizes that Jellal tricked her. Indeed, he explains that the true form of the tower is a giant Lacrima and thanks to the council's attack, he succeeded in gathering the power he needed to resurrect Zeref. Back at Era, everyone demands explanations from Siegrain, with Yajima yelling at him as he teleports away. Much to Erza's surprise, Siegrain teleports to the tower and unites with Jellal, proving to be the same person, as well as a ploy of the latter to manipulate the Council into firing Etherion. As the two merge, Jellal states that his powers have come back to him.
In Era, everyone wants to know what happened, and the HQ starts to crumble, with Yajima witnessing Ultear using her Magic to destroy the council, saying that Jellal's dream has finally been realized. Back at the tower, Erza tries to fight Jellal but he easily dodges her attacks, stating that thanks to Ultear, his plans have finally been realized. Jellal then reveals that he used a Bind Snake to bind Erza's movements, which he planted on her when they hugged, and that all he needs now is Erza as a living sacrifice, whose body will be composed and decomposed into Zeref's new body. Before forcing her into the R-System crystal in order to be sacrificed, Jellal claims that he loved her.
Thankfully, Natsu arrives just in time to pull Erza out, not intending to let her die, also telling her that they need to go back to work, otherwise they won't have enough money to pay Lucy's rent on time. Erza tells him that she can't move, which he takes advantage of as he comically tickles her. Erza then tearfully pleads with Natsu to leave and not to fight Jellal because she is afraid of the consequences, but Natsu is confident that he will win. He then knocks Erza unconscious, as he turns his attention to Jellal, who asks him if he enjoyed striking his nakama who couldn't even move. Natsu replies that she was not herself and that he will defeat Jellal to bring the old Erza back, which piques Jellal's interested, as he states to be interested in witnessing Dragon Slayer Magic.
The Fight for a Friend's Freedom
During the fight, Natsu has the upper hand at first, attacking Jellal several times using his flames. However, Jellal states to be disappointed in Natsu's strength and then proceeds to attack Natsu. Since Natsu can't keep up with Jellal's Meteor spell, he tries to predict his movement but fails to do so. After that, Jellal attacks Natsu using his attack Grand Chariot, which causes huge damage to both Natsu and the tower, with Jellal regretting that action and saying to himself that he should not risk Zeref's resurrection by further damaging the tower. However, Natsu hears that and starts attacking the tower directly, claiming breaking things to be Fairy Tail's specialty and that he is more fired up than he has ever been before.
As the battle continues, Erza wakes up only to see Natsu getting beaten by Jellal's Meteor again. Natsu taunts Jellal, angering him even more when he hits the tower again. Angered by Natsu's actions, Jellal launches another attack on him but Erza shields Natsu and asks Jellal if he is going to kill her as well, since she is actually needed for the resurrection ritual. However, Jellal claims that it doesn't matter who the sacrifice is anymore due to the tower's fatal damage and prepares to cast a spell named Altairis that would well be able to kill both Natsu and Erza. Intending to protect Natsu, Erza prepares to take the attack head on, but shockingly, Simon gets in front of both of them, taking Altairis in Erza's place. Simon confesses his love for Erza and then dies in her arms, causing Erza to cry and scream in sadness. Enraged with Jellal laughing at Simon's sacrifice, Natsu punches him in the face out of rage and then starts eating the giant Lacrima, managing to absorb it and reaching the Dragon Force level of his Dragon Slayer Magic for the first time.
After a fierce battle between an enraged Natsu who has reached Dragon Force and Jellal, the latter shouts that he cannot be defeated and that he must bring freedom because Zeref chose him and he was going to build the kingdom of freedom. He then proceeds to use Abyss Break, which surprises Erza because its force would destroy the entire tower but Before he is able to launch the attack, he feels the aftershock of a slash Erza gave him during their fight before and his Magic fails.
Natsu sees an opening, telling Jellal that he will never achieve freedom by taking away other people's freedom away and that there is no freedom to someone who is possessed by a ghost and he should free himself first. Natsu charges at Jellal’s chest, punches him as hard as he can and then finishes him off with a huge smash to the ground, which leads to Jellal's defeat, impressing even Erza with his strength.
Live on for your Friends
The battle that Erza has been fighting for 8 year is finally over. Natsu faints out of exhaustion, but Erza quickly embraces him to prevent him from falling. At that moment, the tower starts to get out of control, and Erza takes the unconscious Natsu and runs, hoping to find an exit soon. However, she then realizes that the tower has strong Magic power and that it won't be stable for long, also speculating that it will soon create a massive explosion capable of killing even the people outside.
Erza announces she is not going to give up and it's now her turn to protect Natsu, realizing that she needs to be sacrificed in order to control the tower to prevent it from exploding. She puts her arm in the liquefied Lacrima which still works, only for Natsu to wake up and see Erza's half body into the Lacrima. Natsu pleads with Erza to stop what she is doing, but she says that this is the only way to save all of them and that she has no regrets as long as she manages to save them all. Offering her body to the R-system, she blanks out while Natsu continues calling for her to get out. From inside the vortex, she tells Natsu to take care of everyone because she will always be there for them. Natsu, crying, calls for Erza as the tower explodes. At the same time, Lucy, Gray and others notice that the tower isn't exploding but is pouring Magic Power straight into to the sky instead.
Erza remembers back to when Makarov was taking her to Porlyusica in order to fix her damaged eye. When Porlyusica asked Makarov where the girl was from, Makarov told her that she was an acquaintance of Rob, also revealing that Rob was now dead. After adding a new artificial eye in place of Erza's lost one, Porlyusica urged Erza to leave from her house, until she saw Erza crying from one eye only, which she said she would fix. However, Erza told her that it was okay and that she had already shed half her tears anyway.
Out of nowhere Erza, finally wakes up in a white dress. Wondering where she is, she sees a scene of her funeral, with every member of Fairy Tail attending it. Makarov delivers a speech saying that she was like a daughter to him and during the funeral, the Council members also appear and award Erza a place as a member of the Ten Wizard Saints but no one seems to care, they are only crying. The funeral is shortly cut by an angry Natsu who says there is no that way that Erza died, refusing to accept the facts, kicking the flowers on her tombstone with everyone in Fairy Tail pinning him on the ground. Seeing Gray, Lucy and Happy's sadness over her loss and mostly Natsu's anger and denial affects Erza and makes her cry, saying she didn't sacrifice her life to give them a sad future and that this is not the future that she wanted to see. She closes her eyes as she slowly fades away from the vision to reality.
Suddenly, Erza wakes up and doesn't know where she is. She sees Lucy, Gray and the others running towards her relieved that she is fine, and she then realizes that she is alive and notices that Natsu is carrying her, who somehow not only found her but also managed to take her out of the vortex alive. As he lays her down, he tells Erza they are the same and that she should never do something like this again.
Touched by his words, Erza promises not to risk her life again as she embraces him and gives him a genuine thanks. Erza finally says to herself she doesn't have to die for her nakama, she just has to live for their sake because that's the only way to bring about a happy future. For the first time in 8 years, relieved, Erza sheds tears of joy out of both of her eyes.
Back at the hotel, Natsu has been sleeping for three days straight. Wally, Millianna and Shô apologize to Erza, and she tells them that since they don't have a place to go, they can join Fairy Tail. While she takes them to introduce them to her teammates, she hears Jellal's voice telling her that she has become really strong. She starts and turns around and sees nobody, deducing that she heard nothing after all. Lucy is in her room, writing what Erza told her; Jellal may be the one who saved everyone once he got released of Zeref's possession, saying to herself that she kind of felt sorry for him since Jellal was one of Zeref's victims. As Erza enters the room, she asks Lucy where Shô and the others are, and when Lucy seems to not know either, Erza tells her to tell Natsu and Gray to prepare some fireworks.
While Shô, Wally and Millianna decide to go on the journey to discover the outside world, Erza prepares for them the Fairy Tail Farewell Ceremony; she bids them farewell and promises that they will meet again as Natsu, Gray and Lucy throw magnificent fireworks for them. Erza's friends set off on their own journey, finally, free to live their own lives.
Manga & Anime Differences
- In the manga, when Lucy invited Erza to go to the casino, Lucy wore a shirt with a floral design and skimpy shorts. In the anime, Lucy wore a darkish red long dress.
- In the manga, Wally originally pinned down Natsu with his gun and shot him in the mouth. Natsu's Dragon Slayer powers allowed him to survive. In the anime, Wally used his block powers to pin Natsu to the game machine he was playing at and then transformed his arm into a cannon and fired at him.
- In the manga when Simon attacked Gray and Juvia, Simon slapped Juvia away when he first appeared. In the anime, he blew her up, using Magic.
- In the manga, Jellal spoke to the contestants of the game through the use of mouths that were set up all over the walls and ceilings in the tower. In the anime, his voice was transmitted through the statues.
- Originally in the manga, Lucy summoned Cancer to fight off the guards and to give her a dress. In the anime, she summoned Virgo.
- The anime showed the child versions of the Oración Seis (minus Brain) during Erza's flashback, however they weren't present in the manga.
- Originally the fate of Trinity Raven was unknown in the manga and was presumed they were caught in the blast when the Etherion fired down on the tower. In the anime, it showed that the three managed to escape thanks to Fukuro's jetpack.
- The Trinity Raven's battle ground is different in the anime.
- In Erza's vision when she woke up in the anime, a hand pulled Erza out of her vision to reality. In the manga, Erza slowly faded away from dream to reality.
|Loke arc||Tower of Heaven arc||Battle of Fairy Tail arc|
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|33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40|