Sorry for the lateness, got held up.

And so we reach a turning point.

Chapter 286: Laxus vs Alexi

What Went Down: The battle portions of day 3 commences. Milliana easily bests one of the Quarto Puppy members in the first round. Eve vs Rufus in the second round and while Eve does manage to hang in there. Rufus use of Memory Make overcomes him and he is beaten. Gray is determined to find a why to beat Rufus. We then go to the third match, Laxus vs Alexi. All of Fairy Tail keeps an eye on Raven Tail for any tricks. But when the fight starts Laxus seems to be getting easily beaten. However it turns out to be an illusion of Alexi's, Laxus and he aren't even fighting yet. Alexi reveals himself to be Ivan who used his magic to make an image of the fight so he can speak with Laxus in private, no one in the stands can see the real them (supposedly). His whole guild gather as Ivan ask Laxus where the Luman Historie is. Laxus has no clue what he's talking about and even then wouldn't tell them if he did. With that Laxus prepares to take on the entire Raven Tail.

Jeers and Cheers: Wow...and I mean for real this time. This, my friends, is how you make a suspenseful chapter and leave it on a high note.

I didn't even mind we skimmed through the first two fights. We get another showing of Millianna's strength again, seems she still loves using that anti-magic tube. Then again she was up against Quarto Puppy which really isn't saying much. I like that Lucy and Natsu remember how tough it was the first time they encountered her all the way back in Paradise Tower arc, good they took that into account.

Poor Eve, while I'm not rooting too much for the Trimens I'll give it up for him for at least holding his own. Rufus's magic does seem a little cheap now that we see it in a simplified form. Sort of a mass catch and return combined with mega-manning, though how do you exactly mold memory? I did find it interesting that Mavis said it was an ancient magic though meaning it not exactly a common.

Ichiya making a big to do about the bunny guy did get a little chuckle out of me but yeah, he's the only mystery person we haven't seen in action yet. This both felt like a tease and to remind us that he's with the group.

The lead up to the Laxus/Alexi fight was just awesome as all the Fairy Tail memebers do their darnest to make sure RT doesn't pull anything. Even Shitou watching for any mysterious behavior. I especially like that they have Bisca having her sights trained on Alexi considering what Flare tried to do with her daughter (I actually was hoping she would pay her back for that. But thats up to Mashima). As well as the fact Mavis is happy they're taking such precaution and telling Marakov so in a rather sweet moment.

But even then Ivan still manages to pull a fast one with his magic by fooling everyone with the illusion fight. What's more he was with the main guild the whole time with the one watching being an illusion. And even making illusions of the guild watching the fight while they join him. Just...damn. You know he's serious business. But I'm more impressed with Laxus, he certainly come a long way from the brat who wanted to make FT a guild from the strongest and the fact he won't sell out Marakov is also touching in and of itself.

So I'm guessing the Luman Historie is the main mcguffin that was shown to Gildarts below the old Fairy Tail building considering Ivan mention Marakov knows about it. But what does he want if for though, theres the question. We all know Ivan is a greedy pounce and that he put Lacrima in Laxus' body just to sell it so I'm guessing it'll have something to do with money or, if not that, power.

Either way he shows off his cowardly side again by having his whole guild take on a single person. Quite a sneaky plan there and even I can't tell if they'll get away with it or not. Best I can think of is either Ultear and Meredy will see something wrong from their orb or Mavis won't be fooled. Oh and of course Erza's false eye which is immune to magic. She still plenty wounded but then again she's Erza.

All in all, a very enjoyable chapter this week. Good tension and nice use of characters. Hats off to Mashima for it, looking forward to seeing next week's.

Grade: A

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