And the prelude to tragedy begins.

Chapter 301: The Dragon King.

What Went Down: Continuing with Natsu's group in the dragon graveyard. Wendy manages to use Milky Way to summon a dragon spirit, Zealconis, a emerald dragon. After showing what a jerkass he is, he begins explaining the backstory of the dragons. They once actually ruled over the Earthland and considered humans inferior. One of the dragons was actually sympathetic to the humans and wanted to live in peace with them. This lead to a civil war among the dragons of those that wanted to live with the humans and those that opposed it (Zealconis being on the latter side not surprisingly). The war reached a stalemate until the dragon that opted for peace taught humans dragon slayer magic so they may fight alongside them. It worked...but the dragons slayers turned on those who were helping him. One such being turning into a dragon himself and wiping out near all the dragons, the apocalypse dragon, Acnologia, who became the dragon king. Having revealed this, Zealconis disappears apparently having ascended. The group don't have long to mull over this information before Arcadias and Yukino arrive, the former stating that Zeref had a hand in creating Acnologia and he believes taking him out is the first step to defeating the dragon.

Cheers and Jeers:

- Milky Way And Zealconis

So apparently Wendy misread the notes about this magic, which is why she thought it was meant for offensive spells. I gotta raise an eye on that. How could she make that mistake when she had Levy helping her =P. Minor gripe aside, its an interesting spell and should look amazing in the anime when they reach this part. I actually kinda liked Zealconis, yeah he's the typical "we're the better species" type of non-human character. But I chuckled at his trolling the group and changing his mind on a whim. Shame this is the most we'll see of him but at least he was willing to help out the group. So points to him there.

- Dragons Once Ruled The Land

I take it this is what could be considered this world's "dinosaurs" back in the day. Hate to be a human during that time if what Zealconis said is true. May have played a role in the reasons why they turned against them too even though a few dragons were trying to help them. Fear can be a powerful thing even to those trying to lend support.

- The Civil War and Creation of Dragon Slayer Magic

Well this was a interesting twist to my theory. I didn't think that most of the species going extinct would be a result of their infighting and undoing. Okay granted it was the Dragon Slayers who did the deed but it was dragons who of course taught them so in essence, they're the bringers of their own destruction. Clever move there Mashima and yet ironically sad too.

- The Rise of Acnologia

Mmm I would be surprised by this but it actually makes sense considering how we've seen Zeref act in person and the behavior of Acnologia in action. Totally different with the latter much more bent on destruction. Combined with the fact that he was taught how to kill dragons, him managing to wipe out near all of them isn't really surprising. But I like the fact that this shifts who the ultimate big bad is going to be come the final battle. Who knows, maybe the guy who turned into Aconologia made Zeref a fall guy in his plans and thats the reason why Zeref is cursed as he is. It's a long shot theroy, sure but not implausible.

- Dangers of using Dragon Slaying Magic (?) and Arcadias Plans

Hmm well from what Zealconis said, Acnologia bathed in the blood of dragons, so I take it that, along with whatever Zeref did to him, made him a dragon. Yeah Natsu, Gajeel and Wendy get scales and fangs when they go on the attack but I don't think its meant to go any further then that, so they're probably safe...maybe. We gotta get more info on this to be sure but it does bring an interesting mechanic to their magic and makes me curious how they're proceed with using it from here on in. As for Arcadias, after hearing all of this and looking back to how this guy been acting. It could be presumed this could go one of the three ways

  • He's sincere about about wanting to stop Zeref and Aconologia, but he's become obsessed in stopping him. His methods will be too extreme and ultimately backfire.
  • He's lying to his subordinates and looking to either try to control Aconologia or become a dragon himself.
  • The second theory. only he's just trying to prove himself to Zeref

Whatever the case its going to end in widespread destruction and considering Charla recognizes him from her visions. Things are about to get very crazy come the following chapters.

Final Grade: A

A great exposition chapter, we learn much about the dragons' past. Needless to say this brings up a lot of questions, especially related to who Acnologia was back then and what lead him to get so crazy in first place if he was even right in the head to being with. Alas those answers will have to wait as Arcadias finally takes takes the stage with his Eclipse plan. But for now score another for Mashima! Good job!

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