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A nice chapter overall! It was good seeing Gray being badass for once.
This chapter begins, as usual, with the ranking. Then we see Natsu, Lucy and Mira wondering how they'll get out of there. Are they that stupid? Mira, Happy, Lily and Carla couuld give them a lift from where they fell couldn't they? I guess they could prevent themselves in the first place...but anyway.
As obvious as it was, Gray prepares to fight Rufus. Mavis reminded me of a filler character, by saying that her calculations were not wrong even now, but she says that it is of grave importance that Gray defeats Rufus, if they want to stand a chance againist Sabertooth.
We finally get some background on Mavis' strategic meeting with Team Fairy Tail. She said that Rufus had to be beaten first, and Gray insisted that he fights him. She then said that Gray's feelings can overcome even her calculations (is this what we call Nakama Power?) And she asks from Gray to prove her wrong.
Gray attacks Rufus with his Ice Make spells, but fails to land a hit. Rufus shows his formidable skills, and is able to use the various spells he's memorized in order to create a new, unique spell. He attacks Gray with an Ice-Lightning based spell, which, according to me, looked AWESOME and I can't wait to see it animated. Rufus then proceeds to kick Gray's ass with a Wind spell, and at the same time "forgetting" Gray's ice-shield, which caused it to vanish.
Gray then tells Rufus that he never loses to the same opponent twice (kinda true, if we take into consideration Lyon, Racer, or Angel in the fillers) and uses a new spell, named "Ice-Make:Unlimited". Now that was simply AWESOME! He created his own Ice Make Arsenal, consisting of a big number of different Ice Swords, and commanded them to attack Rufus at once.
However, Rufus survives, because he has memorized Ice magic. And now, the part I did not understand. Rufus attacks Gray with flames, but obviously, since Gray used to fight with Natsu all the time, he was able to stand this and took his ice swords, attacked Rufus with an ice technique, defeating him. If Rufus had memorized ice magic, then why did he lose to those ice-based attacks, which were obviously weaker than the previous huge ice attack? Anyway, it was a pretty awesome (albeit short) fight, and Gray won. Obviously. Much to Mavis' relief.
Oh, and something else. Gray with Rufus' hat.
Personally, I liked this chapter. I guess it's because we haven't seen any fight for a while. I liked the spells, the moves, the backstory everything. I just wish it was a bit longer. I give it 8/10. What are your thoughts?