After the Guild War with Phantom Lord settles, life at the Fairy Tail Guild starts returning to normal. However, Loke suddenly begins to act strangely around his fellow guildmates (especially Lucy), who decides to investigate the matter.
The Never Ending Play
Lucy laments on having no money and being unable to afford her monthly rent again. Just as she starts losing hope due to her teammates' destructive natures, Mirajane provides her with a simple job to advertise a play in a nearby town; Lucy excitedly takes the job and sets out with her teammates. However, upon arriving at the site, they find out that the cast has run away and the play consequently cancelled. Erza instantly volunteers her team to replace the cast, thus giving them a new job.
After a week of practice, the play opens with a revised cast: Erza playing the role of the prince, Lucy a princess, and Gray as the villain. Initially, Erza is excited at this theater opportunity, but she develops massive stage fright at the opening night. However, she is able to overcome her stage fright for the battle scene with Gray as their respective roles. Later, Natsu arrives in a Dragon costume on the set whilst being carried by Happy, but Happy accidentally drops him and Natsu accidentally engulfs the stage and Lucy in flames. Still performing her role, Erza then slashes Lucy's costume and begins fighting both Natsu and Gray. The fight results in a destroyed theater but a surprisingly pleased audience.
With the play as a major hit, the manager makes them perform multiple acts in a single day leaving everyone anxious to return home, except for Erza who is still enjoying the job.
New Mystery, The Vanished Member
Team Natsu takes a new job which involves subduing some thieves, which they manage to complete in a much shorter time than expected; with the rest of the day free for themselves, they spend time together in a nearby village. The members meet Loke by chance but he flees from the group upon seeing Lucy, keeping up with his behavior towards her. Later that night, Natsu suggests a pillow fight with his teammates which ultimately gets out of hand, destroying the hotel room which they are spending the night at.
Exhausted, Lucy takes a walk with Plue since she cannot compete with her teammates. Along the way, Happy plays a prank on her and she is ultimately subdued by two criminals who try to kidnap her, though fortunately Loke is able to save her. For his actions, Lucy refuses to let Loke leave without thanking him so they go and have a drink; Plue and Happy see them together, thinking that they are now a couple. While drinking at a bar, the two Mages have a short conversation which quickly ends with Loke abruptly hugging Lucy, telling her that he doesn't have a long time left to live. Loke quickly laughs it off afterwards, saying it is a joke he uses to get girls; furious, Lucy slaps him and leaves.
Upon returning to the guild, Natsu and Gray are covered in bandages from their pillow fight and start arguing over who won. They try getting Lucy to decide for them but she icily shrugs them off, still upset with Loke's previous actions, scaring and silencing the two men. Shortly after, all of Loke's girlfriends arrive at the Guild wondering where he disappeared to, as he suddenly broke up with all of them the previous night.
Curious, Lucy then decides to investigate Loke's situation. With Crux's help, she discovers that he once had a relationship with Karen Lilica, a famous Celestial Spirit Mage from Blue Pegasus who died a few years ago. Shortly after, Gray arrives at her apartment telling her that Loke has left Fairy Tail. She joins the search for him, thinking she knows where he went. She manages to find Loke at Karen's grave and reveals that she knows the truth behind him and Karen; she explains that Karen was formerly his summoner and that his real identity is Leo the Lion, one of the twelve Zodiac Celestial Spirits. Loke confirms this and reveals that he was exiled from the Celestial Spirit World for the crime of killing Karen Lilica. He proceeds to elaborate on his past with Lucy.
The Past, The Present, The End
A few years before, Loke, then known as Leo, was one of Karen Lilica's Celestial Spirits. As a prominent Mage of Blue Pegasus, Karen was corrupted by her fame and became very conceited and arrogant, especially towards her Celestial Spirits whom she treated more like tools than living things. One day, while being followed by an entourage of lustful men, Karen summoned Aries to entertain them all in her place so that she would not have to deal with them herself; despite Aries' discomfort regarding the task, she was forced to complete it by Karen. The Guild Master, Bob, witnessed the event and warned Karen not to treat her Celestial Spirits so poorly otherwise she would suffer as well.
Karen interpreted Bob's words as Aries telling her off to him. While in her home, she summoned Aries and sentenced her to staying in the human world for seven days as punishment, despite the fact that the act would likely kill her. Before Karen could do so, Leo suddenly changed places with Aries and gave Karen an ultimatum: sever her contract with him and Aries or lose her opportunities to work with other Celestial Spirits in the future. When Leo proved that he could not be sent back by his summoner, as he came of his own accord, thus preventing Karen from summoning others, he left to the nearby ruins and told Karen to come and find him once she met his demands.
However, Karen stubbornly refused to give in. After thirty days, she pleaded with him to return to her, promising not to mistreat Aries anymore, though she is refused for Leo was able to see through her deceit. Angered, Karen attacked Leo and proclaimed that once he died, she would summon Aries and treat her ten times as worse before leaving him. After three months, Loke found that while his vitality was still draining he could live in the human world much more bearably. He decided to go forgive Karen, only to discover that she had gone on a mission and ended up being killed. Hearing this, Loke was overcome with guilt and subsequently blamed himself for her death.
After finishing his story, Loke begins to fade away from existence from his over-extension in the human world, but Lucy refuses to let him die and tries to think of a way to open his gate.
The King's Decision
Desperate, Lucy attempts to open Loke's gate forcefully and nearly merges with his life force, which would make her disappear as well. Loke pleads for her to stop, saying he doesn't need to be saved, but Lucy refuses and officially declares her wish to change the rules of the Celestial Spirit World for his sake.
Suddenly, the Celestial Spirit King appears before them much to their shock. He reminds Lucy that despite Loke not breaking the rules directly, he still caused Karen's death and is not allowed to return to the Celestial Spirit World. Lucy stubbornly argues that Loke should be allowed to return for all of the suffering that he has endured; though the Celestial Spirit King agrees, he states that he cannot break the rules and therefore cannot save even his own friend.
With her will and determination, Lucy summons all of her Zodiac Celestial Spirits and Plue to stand by her decision, an astonishing feat considering that most Celestial Spirit Mages can only summon one at a time; the feat proves to be too tiresome for Lucy already as she collapses from the life-threatening action while her Celestial Spirits disappear. Seeing her resolve, the Celestial Spirit King decides to make an exception and allows Loke to return to the Celestial Spirit World due to Lucy's resolve to save him.
Loke initially refuses due to his sin against Karen but is told to live and fight for his allies as a means to atone for it. As his Gate then opens, he sheds his tears and thanks Lucy for her help and support. He expresses relief at being able to move on from the past and gives her his key, thus forming a contract with Lucy.
The next day, Lucy summons Loke and lets him explain to the others about his past and reasons for leaving the Guild. After finishing his explanation, Loke provides Lucy and her friends tickets to a luxury resort which they gladly prepare to leave for.
- During the play, numerous filler characters appeared in the anime.
- After completing the job and staying at the hotel, it showed that Juvia had followed Team Natsu and even supplied Gray with numerous pillows for the pillow fight.
- There is a public bath scene added in Episode 31, which showed Lucy and Loke enjoying a drink together, and he secretly telling her about who he really is, by telling her what happens to a star that can't return.
- When Lucy's spirits were summoned, she summoned all the spirits she had which was a total of nine at the time. In the Manga, she only summoned six spirits, including her gold keys with the addition of Plue.
- When Loke told Lucy that he can finally move on, he said this to her after returning to the spirit world. In the manga, he said this as he was returning to the Spirit World.
|Events||Lights, Camera, Action! Team Natsu in a Play! • Leo's Return|
|Phantom Lord arc||Loke arc||Tower of Heaven arc|
|70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74|
|30 | 31 | 32|