One year after Fairy Tail's dissolution and subsequent disappearance of Makarov Dreyar, Natsu and Lucy embark on a long journey, in order to track down their comrades and reunite the guild once more. On the way, they encounter allies and enemies, both new and old. Meanwhile, in the shadows, a sinister organization plots to fill the power vacuum left by the defeats and collapse of the Balam Alliance, and to pave the way for a new world belonging to Zeref.
One Year Later
A year passes since the events of the battle with Tartaros and Fairy Tail's disbandment. Lucy has become an editor-in-training at Sorcerer Magazine thanks to Jason—though not before ironically being one of its models. She covers the recent Grand Magic Games, though cannot help but wonder where her friends went off to since then and has been using her job to find any leads on them. However she admits to herself that even if she could find them and bring them all together again, she would not know what to do afterward.
On the last day of the Grand Magic Games, she covers the match between the finalists: Team Dullahan Head and Team Scarmiglione. Despite Jason predicting Dullahan Head will win, Lucy sees through Scarmiglione's attempt to conceal their abilities during the previous matches. Sure enough, Scarmiglione comes out victorious, to Lucy's disgust as she figures all they really care about is money. Just as the tournament is about to come to a close, a cloaked figure suddenly enters the stadium. Lucy senses a strong Magic presence as it challenges the winners to a match. The figure suddenly releases a blast of hot air that resonates through the stadium, which easily beats the guild and at the same time melts the clothes of the spectators. The hood comes off; Natsu announcing his arrival. Happy manages to find Lucy in the stands and states that Natsu wanted to see the strength of the current number one guild in Fiore. Several other competitors try to ambush him, proving futile as he quickly defeats them. He then notices Lucy and greets her to which she smiles and greets him back. Lucy subsequently thinks to herself that Fairy Tail may not be gone after all.
Afterwards, Natsu's destruction of Domus Flau is forgiven by Toma E. Fiore, so he and Happy head out of the castle, just to meet up with Lucy. His curiosity about the rest of the Fairy Tail members is answered as Lucy reveals that the guild has been dissolved, much to the duo's shock. Natsu tries to take his anger out on Makarov, as well as the rest of the former members, wondering whether they were fine with such decision. He is taken aback when Lucy notes that Natsu was also gone for an entire year, not caring about the guild at all. However, knowing that both Natsu and Happy had a lot on their mind, Lucy apologizes and brings them to her apartment. Natsu takes care of his appearance and then ends up telling Lucy stories about his travels until it's late, with Natsu lying down on a couch. Both he and Happy continue thinking about the guild's fate, however, it's not long before they decide to sneak into Lucy's room. That is when they witness all the information about the former guild members that Lucy has gathered. In the morning, Lucy wakes up just to find her place surrounded by the royal soldiers. It is revealed that Natsu went and put up a message on the royal castle using his flames, signalizing the revival of Fairy Tail. The three run out of the apartment and even though Lucy is initially reluctant, she accepts the offer and together, they flee from the army.
Natsu and Lucy arrive at Tuly Village, where Natsu immediately recongizes the clock tower he destroyed during his earlier job. He ponders destroying it again, only to be slapped by Lucy in order to detract him from it. Natsu is visibly stirred from the lack of challengers, especially that his beloved guild was dissolved, leaving him without anyone to fight. He decides to duel with Lucy, which seems to be confident about her newly acquired abilities, only for Natsu to launch his pinpointed breath towards a group of thieves a certain distance away, precisely landing his attack and allowing the victim to reclaim his carriage. Later, Natsu and Lucy rest in Kotoko Inn, in order to plan their next stop in Margaret Town, which is the home town of Lamia Scale, which also is the new guild of their former guildmate, Wendy Marvell.
Orochi's Fin Invasion
At the time when Natsu and Lucy arrive in Margaret Town, Lamia Scale's Thanksgiving Day is taking place. Observing the celebrations, they spot Wendy alongside Sherria Blendy, known as "Sky Sisters" duo, performing a song, much to the joy of the celebrating people of Margaret Town. Natsu is set on taking Wendy back from Lamia Scale, only to be met by Carla, now using a human form, thanks to the Transformation Magic. Meanwhile, members of the rival guild of Lamia Scale, Orochi's Fin observe the event, planning their attack soon after the celebrations are over. Soon after, Natsu, Lucy and Happy go to meet with Wendy and Carla, alongside other members of Lamia Scale. Natsu openly declares that he wantes Wendy back in order to have her bolster the ranks of the rebuilding guild, only to be refused by her. During the talks, it is noted that Jura Neekis left Lamia Scale in order to become a member of reformed Magic Council, and that Makarov Dreyar received a similar invitation, but did not show up, leaving his whereabouts unknown since the disbanding of Fairy Tail. Natsu and Lucy head to rest in the Viper Inn, both pondering about Wendy's decision. Meanwhile, Wendy and Sherria have their conversation about their friendship. Soon after, Lamia Scale Guild is bombarded, and Margaret Town is attacked by monsters summoned by Orochi's Fin. Natsu, Lucy and Happy arrive at the scene and rendezvous with Lyon, who explains the situation. It is revealed that this is only a small fraction of the attacking force, as the entire force is composed of at least 100,000 attackers. Ooba Babasaama deduces that Orochi's Fin has a Monster Tamer in their ranks, so Natsu decides to attack their forces from the air using Happy, alongside Wendy and Carla. Suddenly, Sherria hijacks Happy from Natsu and decides to take care of the problem alongside her Sky Slayer counterpart.
Wendy and Sherria launch a counterattack upon the invading Orochi's Fin members, with their main goal to take down the summoner Mage responsible for taming the massive amounts of monsters invading the city, with Wendy noting a smell belonging to a familiar figure nearby. Meanwhile, back in Margaret Town, Lucy, Lyon and Natsu are poised to defend the town and its inhabitants. Natsu, mad at Sherria for hijacking Happy rushes at the invading monster army and decimates them as he moves towards the Sky Sisters' location. Lucy, at the same time summons Loke and utilizes her newfound Star Dress, entering Leo Form in order to defeat the monsters invading the town. Wendy and Sherria approach the location of the Orochi Fin's Monster Tamer, but are ultimately pinned down by the former Dark Mage of Grimoire Heart, now an affiliate of Orochi's Fin: Bluenote Stinger. As Bluenote prepares to finish off Sherria, Natsu arrives and grabs her, oblivious of the situation, yet seemingly unaffected by Bluenote's Gravity Magic.
Natsu, still mad at Sherria, does not realize that the enemy standing in front of him is the same man that once fought them at Tenrou Island. Bluenote seems to have some recollection of Natsu and engages him, but Natsu dodges the attack by using his flames to lift himself up. Proclaiming that Fairy Tail is not yet a thing of the past, Bluenote remembers the guild's name, as well as the man who defeated him, and once more engages Natsu only to be obliterated by Natsu's roar, which became considerably more powerful, greatly surprising both Orochi's Fin members, as well as Carla and Wendy, who are baffled by the amount of power Natsu gathered through the year. After that, Natsu lectures Sherria that stealing is bad, but is reminded by Happy that Orochi's Fin are still on the scene, but the guild surrenders unconditionally in fear of Natsu.
Back in Margaret Town, Lamia Scale rejoices over their victory and thank Fairy Tail Mages for the help. Elsewhere, Wendy and Sherria talk about the battle and how Sherria wanted to protect everyone, only for Natsu to take all the glory. Sherria also tells Wendy that her place is in Fairy Tail, noting that both Wendy and Natsu love their guild and comrades, and that's why he wants to bring it back, and she reassures Wendy that they are and will be friends, even if they are under a different guild's banner. Wendy and Carla leave Lamia Scale in order to depart with Natsu, Happy and Lucy in their search for other members, with their next destination being Amefurashi Village.
Ominous News and Rough Reunion
At Amefurashi Village, Juvia is seen wandering in the rain, clearly depressed, while Natsu, Lucy and Wendy are on the move towards the location at the same time, noting the rumors about the constant rain in the village.
Juvia is eventually found by Natsu, who quickly catches up with her scent, but her health is severely crippled because of her extended exposure to rain, and is brought inside her house to recuperate. Juvia reveals that she lived in the village with Gray for six months, until his body was slowly overtaken by black marks. Gray left her shortly afterwards, driving her into depression. Natsu promises Juvia to bring Gray back and rebuild Fairy Tail, so they can be a family once again, but later is visibly angered, prompting Happy to question his mood. Natsu reveals that he wants to go to Sabertooth. Elsewhere, in a castle situated in a dark forest, a shady organization convenes about Balam Alliance's fall. Their priest, Arlock proclaims that with the end of the era of the Dark Guilds, a new era has begun, the age of Avatar, and state their goal: to eliminate every Mage that does not pledge their loyalty to Zeref and create the world belonging to the Black Wizard. Every member agrees upon this course of action, the likes of Gray being among them.
Back at Amefurashi, Wendy attempts to heal Juvia, but to little effect. Carla wonders whether Natsu, Lucy and Happy have reached Sabertooth yet. Meanwhile, the trio arrives at the location. Natsu tells Lucy that from that point forward, he must stop trusting Gray, unless his suspicions turn out to be false, but promises her to bring him back to the guild regardless. After a brief reunion with Sabertooth, Natsu ventures to find Rogue, who was with Minerva and Frosch at the time, heading out to fulfill a request. Natsu quickly takes Rogue to talk in private and urges him to give a look at his request, which is the destruction of Avatar. Natsu immediately gets suspicious and urges Rogue to stay in the town with Frosch, and tells him that he will take the request instead. Rogue is baffled and unhappy because of it, and Natsu quickly rushes with Lucy to Avatar, recalling what Future Rogue told him about Frosch's killer, who is revealed to be Gray.
Natsu's team arrives at Mikage Forest and discuss the request that Natsu has taken from Rogue. Lucy explains that Avatar is a cult worshiping Zeref, that is reported to be on the rise since the downfall of Balam Alliance and the Dark Guilds. Natsu, hearing this is ready to attack them, and explains that they might encounter Gray as an enemy, as Future Rogue said his ominous warning one year later. He also notes that the black marks Juvia mentioned were similiar to what Natsu has seen on Gray's body during their fight with Mard Geer. Meanwhile, in Avatar, the cultists discover that the Magic Council has discovered their base of operations, and Jerome suspects Gray to be a mole. Gray rebuts his accusations and points out a flaw in the intelligence gathered by him. He also states that his only reason for working with Avatar is to get the Book of E.N.D. and doesn't care about what lengths he will go to claim it, in order to destroy the Etherious. Meanwhile, the Rune Knights advance on Mikage Forest, and discover that Gray is part of Avatar. Surprisingly, Gajeel and Panther Lily are among them, and the former says he doesn't care about his former guildmate, only to take every cultist into custody.
Natsu prepares to storm the building through the front door, only to be stopped by Lucy, who notes that they don't know the enemy's strength and proposes to sneak in by the help of Virgo. Lucy also uses her Star Dress in order to borrow some of Virgo's powers and burrow into the basement of Avatar's church. Lucy then proposes to keep out of sight, while searching for Gray's location. Natsu, however immediately disregards the stealthy approach and yells for Gray, immediately alerting the cultists. Abel, Goumon and D-6 confront Natsu's group, but are defeated without much effort by Natsu. Shortly after, Gray shows up, telling the cultists that Natsu isn't an enemy of their caliber and that he will deal with the Fire Dragon Slayer himself.
Back at Amefurashi, Wendy continues to take care of sick Juvia, and is worried about Natsu and Gray fighting each other, but notes that fighting is not a new thing to both of them. Meanwhile, Natsu and Gray begin to exchange blows, and Gray asks what Natsu and his team are doing inside Avatar's base, to which Natsu replies that they have come to take him back in order to rebuild the guild. Gray, however has no intention of going back, stating that Fairy Tail is no more and neither feels any attachment to it now, which angers Lucy, who slaps Gray out of anger. Suddenly, Mary casts a spell restraining Lucy, distracting Natsu, which allows the defeated Avatar members to capture them. Natsu yells at Gray, telling him that he's possessed, but Gray simply responds that he's perfectly sane and joined Avatar by his own free will, showing his new mark to his former comrades. Meanwhile, the Magic Council's unit prepares to make their move, with Levy returning from her infiltration task. Gajeel remarks that Gray's membership in Avatar makes him an enemy, and stopping the Operation Purify comes first, or else innocents will die.
Later, Lucy and Natsu are imprisoned in the dungeons of Avatar's Mikage Forest base. Natsu, Lucy and Happy ponder Gray's downfall into darkness, until they are visited by Goumon, their interrogator. Natsu demands Goumon to reveal Gray's whereabouts, but Goumon reveals that Gray and the rest of Avatar left the area in order to participate in Operation Purify, and that he's going to extract knowledge from Lucy about the reason of their invasion by torture. As Goumon attempts to execute Lucy, he is frozen by Gray, who contacts a person through the Miniature Communication Lacrima about the infiltration plan being ruined, and gives it to Natsu. The person behind the call is revealed to be Erza.
Stop Operation Purify!
Natsu expresses surprise to Erza about an infiltration mission that Gray was undertaking. Erza reveals that she was looking into Avatar, as a group related to Zeref a half year ago, per request from Crime Sorcière and Jellal. Gray also reveals that he learned to control his black marks at will with Porlyusica's help. Gray reveals that him taking part in the operation was to learn about the book of E.N.D., and he expressed regret about not telling Juvia, because he was stopped by Erza not to cause any unnecessary harm or attention. Gray also reveals that Avatar consists of many branches operating independent, nor interacting with each other, which explains his prolonged work in the cult, trying to gain as much info on Operation Purification as he could, and learned that this event gathers every branch of Avatar in order to kill innocent people and summon Zeref. The reformed Team Natsu arrives in Malba City and starts to defend against the oncoming Avatar cultist army.
Mages of former Fairy Tail manage to hold off the waves of invading cultists, and prompt the top members of Avatar to take the matter into their own hands, Jerome being the one to secure the rear of the army. He intercepts Erza, who was clearing the battlefield from low-ranking cultists, and manages to corrode her defense wing via his Dark Sword, but after a brief skirmish he is defeated through Erza's own sword, that actually lands a blow without an enemy realizing it.
Meanwhile, Gray is intercepted by Briar, who is angered by Gray's prior charade, and asks him whether his revenge at E.N.D. was false as well, but Gray denies this, yet tells Briar that he couldn't face his father if he did follow their methods. Elsewhere, Lucy is attacked by Mary, who once more infects her with Virus, but is saved in time by Wendy and her Sky Dragon Slayer Magic, allowing Lucy to launch her own counterattack. Elsewhere, Gray continues to battle with Briar, who uses her Clone Magic in order to distract him. Shortly after, Juvia appears behind Briar and strikes one of the clones with Water Claw, and Gray freezes the remaining three. After a brief reunion, Gray and Juvia defend the city against the remaining Avatar cultists alongside the rest of Fairy Tail Mages, and Natsu manages to confront Arlock, who gives him a cryptic warning: he predicted everything that happened, and when Ikusa-Tsunagi shakes the earth, the purification will begin.
Natsu swiftly engages Arlock in battle, countering his Magic. As he penetrates Arlock's defense, he manages to land a powerful blow and damage his mask. Arlock, however laughs in the face of defeat and summons Ikusa-Tsunagi, one of the Eighteen War Gods of Yakuma, as well as reveals the true purpose of Operation Purify: a mass sacrifice that mainly consists of Avatar cultists, whose belief is strong enough to summon Zeref into the battlefield and lead those who remain. Natsu hearing this, angrily remarks this course of action as unforgivable, before engaging the enormous war god.
Ikusa-Tsunagi unleashes his attack upon the scattered forces of Avatar and Fairy Tail Mages, who dodge it. The sheer power of the Yakuma War God's sword manages to split the ground open, but Natsu manages to climb up on it and make his way upon the head of the creature. As he counters Arlock's statement of true purpose of living, Natsu lands a powerful attack upon Ikusa-Tsunagi, which manages to shatter him into pieces, prompting Erza to acknowledge Natsu's increase in power.
Upon seeing the War God destroyed, the defeated Avatar members just look on in disbelief at Natsu's strength. The rest of the army flees in terror as D-6 tries to rally them, however before Abel and he can do anything, they're quickly beaten by Gajeel and Panther Lily who arrive with the Magic Council Army to arrest all of Avatar. Gajeel and Levy reunite with the other members who reveal they have come after raiding the Avatar hideout and finding Gray's message along with a nude, tied up Goumon. With victory achieved, Gray apologizes to everyone for his earlier behavior, which he is forgiven for, and the group cheers at their success. At that moment, Sting and Rogue arrive with Lector and Frosch, initially intending offer aid but find that they aren't needed. Frosch then wanders off by itself and goes to talk with its fellow Exceeds, though Natsu quickly notices it and worries about it being near Gray, given that in Future Rogue's time, Gray is meant to kill the small Exceed. His fears, though, are put to rest when Gray simply hugs the Exceed, much to the chagrin of Rogue and the amusement of the others.
History Revealed: Zeref's Origin
Meanwhile in an unknown area, Zeref awakens from a dream about his past and starts to reminisce. Four hundred years ago, he had a brother who died not long after he was born. Thus Zeref, a child prodigy, started to look into the relationship between Magic, life and death as a way to bring him back. During his days at the Mildian Magic Academy, he gave lectures and created projects such as the R-System and Eclipse, both of which were considered taboo; he was warned to cease his studies into such matters by his professors. He did not heed them, however, and was expelled, but not long after this, Zeref was seemingly cursed by the God of life and death, Ankhseram, for forsaking the sacredness of life and death.
While the Magic went out of his control if he didn't think of the preciousness of life, it did grant him immortality and allowed him to continue his research. He eventually created the Etherious in the hopes they would kill him, with his final work being the creation of E.N.D.: Etherious Natsu Dragneel; which he had used then preserved body of his younger brother for. Zeref stops his recollection there and heads off to meet with Acnologia, who has taken human form and still recovering from his battle with Igneel. Zeref offers him a challenge in the form of a final battle between themselves and the human race, during which he promises to slaughter everyone. Such a proposal appeals to both men as Acnologia will get his desired fight and Zeref should get the death he desires, all of which intrigues Acnologia.
Arises from the Ashes: Revival of Fairy Tail
After the Avatar incident, Natsu, Lucy, Wendy, Happy and Carla return to Magnolia, having agreed to meet the others after they take care of personal matters. However as they near the site of the old guild, Lucy becomes nervous, remembering when Makarov announced to dissolve the guild after the battle with Tartaros despite much protest before disappearing. Lucy is afraid the other members might not wish to return after that even though she sent a letter to as many as she could find. However, she is proven wrong as one by one, all the prominent former members arrive looking to revive Fairy Tail, which causes Lucy to shed tears of happiness. Then, seeing all his old comrades return, Natsu digs into the rubble of their old building and pulls out the guild's flag, stating the Fairy Tail Guild has returned.
- The 2014 anime ended at the start of this arc on March 26, 2016, due to the anime starting to catch up to where the manga currently is. Hiro Mashima, however announced that they were still working on a new project for a new series related to Fairy Tail, so it's likely this will eventually be adapted in the future. It was later announced on July 20, 2017 that Fairy Tail will resume in 2018.. The arc resumed with Episode 278 on October 7, 2018.
Battles and Events
|X792 Grand Magic Games Battles||Chrisack vs. Berrick|
|Operation Purify||Erza Scarlet vs. Jerome • Lucy Heartfilia & Wendy Marvell vs. Mary • Gray Fullbuster & Juvia Lockser vs. Briar • Natsu Dragneel vs. Alok|
|Events||Orochi's Fin's Assault|
|Tartaros arc||Avatar arc||Alvarez Empire arc|
|418 | 419 | 420 | 421 | 422 | 423 | 424 | 425 | 426 | 427 | 428 | 429 | 430 | 431 | 432 | 433 | 434 | 435 | 436 | 437|
|276 | 277 | 278 | 279 | 280 | 281 | 282 | 283 | 284 N/A|